Comic 1187 - Thank them and leave

Posted on 7th May 2019, 12:50 AM in Like a Bullet from Behind
Thank them and leave

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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 7th May 2019, 12:50 AM edit delete
You thank Helen, Cora, and Zed for their help. Caius ends up buying a few old cookbooks, and then you all take your leave.

It's beginning to get dark as you step outside.

"After some of the stories I've heard," Pierce begins, "I'm a little surprised that went so smoo--"

"Don't," Caius blurts out (in a low key sort of way). "Don't do it. Trust me."

"Don't... what...?," Pierce asks, but Caius just shakes his head.

"Finish tha sentence. Quit thinkin' about it, even."

You return to your portal, which is still firmly hidden beneath a dumpster. You slide the blood out from under it and return to the bunker, getting some help from Michelle on the other side to circumvent the... er, gravity issue. You close the portal behind you.


You pass the tome off to Pierce, who begins to search it for the messaging ritual while you and Caius explain what happened.

"Huh," Fuse remarks. "Didn't think there was that much magical shit going on in this city."

"It's not much, from the sound of it," Liz replies. "Just one old woman and her bodyguards trying to avoid federal suspicion."

"This does raise more questions, however," Dr. Finch begins. "The nature of our ritual to contact the tradesmen directly implied that it was... unusual, to put it succinctly. We only acquired it ourselves via extraordinary means."

The tradesmen themselves were even curious how you found that particular ritual.

"And yet," Dr. Finch continues, "that woman's foreknowledge and the presence of that singular candle suggests she has the same ritual in her repertoire."

"It may not be the same one," Pierce comments, quickly thumbing through the pages of the book. "Candles like that are used for a couple of knowledge-based rituals, always connected to the tradesmen. I've heard stories, but... frankly, what you all are doing is the most powerful version of it I've even seen hinted at. Asking the tradesmen literally anything is... it's almost unbelievable."

"How's it s'posed to go, then?," Caius asks.

"Specific lines of inquiry," replies Pierce, "with vague responses. Spells with very certain intents and questionable results. More like trying to interpret chicken bones or reading the swing of a pendulum. That some of you have even seen the tradesmen, live, and in person..." The faint hint of a smile creeps across his face as he pauses, shaking his head, "that the tradesmen have a physical manifestation to begin with is mind blowing. The things that have gone on in this bunker would shake the entire occult world."

"Add them to the list," Fuse remarks, "with the scientific community and... I dunno, whoever does space stuff."

"Also scientists, I would hope," Dr. Finch concludes. "I do often take it for granted that our discoveries alone will inevitably change the world when this is all over with, not even beginning to account for what Mine herself is capable of. We've made immense breakthroughs in a multitude of fields... well, almost as a matter of course."

"It is kinda funny to think about," Michelle adds. "We jus' been tryin' to survive, maybe kill one rich old asshole, and on the way there we've like... torn apart everything everyone knows about everything. We just can't go shoutin' all our crazy discoveries from the rooftops yet, 'cuz... y'know. Rich old asshole."

"If we make it out of this," Fuse says, fighting back a light smirk, "we're gonna be... I dunno, man. Something."

"When we make it outta this," Michelle retorts, "we're gonna be heroes."

"When we make it outta this," Caius restates, "we're gonna be friggen loaded. We're gonna be the rich old assholes."

Dr. Finch sighs, smiling a little. "The perfect summary of our society... the constant struggle between rich, old assholes."

"The entire book is in code," Pierce states, finally looking up from the pages. "Thoroughly, but I think I can narrow down whatever spells it contains. I've seen this type of encryption before, or variants of it--but it may take me some time."

"How much time?," Michelle asks. "We kinda got a clock runnin' here."

"An hour, maybe two at most," replies Pierce.


Mathbird 7th May 2019, 1:35 AM edit delete reply
Ask what type of code it is (I took a cryptography class so I'm curious what it is and I'm wondering if we could get it as a puzzle)
skybirds15 7th May 2019, 2:12 AM edit delete reply
I actually just graduated with a math degree with intent to go into the field of cryptography so I 2nd this opinion. Though Morgenstern might not want to do that cause he isn't a math nerd like presumably you and I.
zophah 7th May 2019, 2:45 AM edit delete reply
I don't think it matters in the context of the story that we know exactly what code is being used. We know that Pierce can crack it in short order, and that's what matters.
skybirds15 7th May 2019, 3:24 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, but puzzles. Puzzles in the field I want to work in. It'll be fun, for me at least. But yeah, there's no reason for us to actually learn the thing since Mine has no in-universe knowledge of ciphers probably, apart from possible red knowledge osmosis/eventual gestalt entity shenanigans.
Snervalton 7th May 2019, 2:15 PM edit delete reply
Yeah, we're probably getting attacked some time in the next hour or two, that's the only reason a code was mentioned...
Mister 9th May 2019, 11:44 PM edit delete reply
I'm with Snervalton. The clock has started.
Mister 9th May 2019, 11:44 PM edit delete reply
I'm with Snervalton. The clock has started.
Lunar Waffles 10th May 2019, 12:55 PM edit delete reply
Lunar Waffles
yeah, we need to hurry up the decoding.
Lunar Waffles 7th May 2019, 1:37 AM edit delete reply
Lunar Waffles
im just going to go ahead and repeat myself.

"ide also like to Blood Moms Red
(portal into Mines House and Portal back out. can even levitate the blanket to its kind of like a wall so Mine can just step through without any real problems)
then perform a normal Sync to try and learn Blood Speak. (not HOW to but rather the Language itself)

then preform various forced syncs on those willing to volunteer with moms Red being the "final boss" x:
Michelle first though, would love to see how things have changed, also remind Mine that she Blooded a vending machine there so she knows her blood powers work in at least a Mind-scape, with that hopefully leading to being able to use blood in astral form aswell.

as an aside, i wonder if Moms Red would be more aware of the information transfer then humans would be?"
(i want to do this WHILE Pierce is decoding)
zophah 7th May 2019, 2:46 AM edit delete reply
Do we even need to blood mom's Red directly? the Red on the wall is already linked to the main body so we might be able to blood from here. Just be sure that mom's Red gives permission first.
skybirds15 7th May 2019, 3:25 AM edit delete reply
We already did, sort of. We fed some blood to mom's red in order to get it to talk, and then some more to get it to talk in proper english.
Lunar Waffles 7th May 2019, 4:19 AM edit delete reply
Lunar Waffles
Moms red is not "blooded"(the ability to give commands and sync via The Blood) the reason being back when we first wanted to it required more then the human body holds, and thus Mine was unable to because she had as of yet not opened any portals.

Moms Red merely received info from Mines Blood somehow.

Also good point, the part in the bunker is still connected to the rest of it. i +1 that revision XD
Myya 8th May 2019, 2:35 AM edit delete reply
+1 to this plan. I'm also extremely curious to see how Michelle's mindscape has changed.
Limrix 7th May 2019, 5:33 PM edit delete reply
We probably shouldn't sync people while also doing a forced sync, so we'd have to stop syncing Pierce if we wanted to do this.
Cyanic 7th May 2019, 1:40 AM edit delete reply
Ask Pierce if he wants to do an info ritual, in general and also because it may help with deciphering the thing
Lunar Waffles 7th May 2019, 2:32 AM edit delete reply
Lunar Waffles
+1, though maybe don't suggest to Pierce to ask the tradesmen to help with decipher....we have faith in his abilities right? after all, he can literally as them ANY-thing
€heshire777 7th May 2019, 8:34 AM edit delete reply
+1 To LW
Macheman7 7th May 2019, 1:42 AM edit delete reply
Decode away, Pierce. Maybe have Fuse and/or Dr. Finch learn the code. Possibly sync Finch and Pierce so Finch can use his superior intellect to assist with the decoding using Pierce's knowledge? Alternatively, ask Pierce if giving him a temporary cleantex effect might help him decrease the time estimate.
Limrix 7th May 2019, 11:48 AM edit delete reply
This sounds like a good idea. I think this situation is sufficiently crucial to warrant syncing.
Limrix 7th May 2019, 4:00 PM edit delete reply
While we're synced, we might as well make use of that time and Finch's expertise to do some higher level blood crafting.
Lunar Waffles 10th May 2019, 12:56 PM edit delete reply
Lunar Waffles
+1 to cleantex
Xylas_Incarnum 7th May 2019, 2:43 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, we've got that kind of time to spare.
Natural 20 7th May 2019, 4:39 AM edit delete reply
1. Become the blood, then attempt to sync with Mine.
2. Sync with Finch, then monitor Fuse's brain while he uses his powers.
3. Trade up the cookbooks.
4. Try making a brain that can store your own memories.
Tych 7th May 2019, 7:15 AM edit delete reply
you know what I was looking through the comments and no one said this yet so I would like to see Caius bake a cake
Winged Crusade 8th May 2019, 4:13 PM edit delete reply
Winged Crusade
Ooh. Caius baking a cake huh? That’d be... Interesting. I could second this
Departure_Dave 7th May 2019, 11:38 AM edit delete reply
Offer to Clean-dose Pierce for deciphering. Otherwise let him work as an hour is already a really fast rate to break encryption.
Limrix 7th May 2019, 11:47 AM edit delete reply
Lunar Waffles 7th May 2019, 2:59 PM edit delete reply
Lunar Waffles
Skullrama 7th May 2019, 5:15 PM edit delete reply
Some things we've gone over in the discord over the last couple weeks:

1. We need a way to stop surprise bullets. Right now, if someone shoots at us or our friends unexpectedly (like say, with a gun you literally cannot comprehend is there), we take casualties.

There have been a couple of ideas for this - one is to see if it's possible to push things with our aura, and if so, train to push things entering our aura over a certain speed on reflex. This would require our friends to be within our aura, but our aura is pretty big... could work.

2. Try being the blood and Mine at the same time. This is related to trying to come to an epiphany that we don't have to be one or the other, but are actually both - if we can learn to perceive and act as both at the same time, we can get many of the advantages of being the blood (like, not instantly dying when the body takes grievous damage), without lose our frame of reference and human perspective. This is very different from being the blood while puppeting the body, or perceiving the body as unnecessary - they would both be equally important pieces of our being and simultaneous perspectives on life.

That said, I don't really expect us to get this on the first try... it's probably going to take some doing. Still worth starting on though.
Limrix 7th May 2019, 5:41 PM edit delete reply
These are both very important points, and I would support Mine working on either of them.
Lunar Waffles 7th May 2019, 6:02 PM edit delete reply
Lunar Waffles
+1 but i think Syncing with Moms Red first may help with this
Myya 8th May 2019, 2:42 AM edit delete reply
+1 to this after syncs
Vanya 11th May 2019, 9:19 PM edit delete reply
I'll +1 this
Limrix 7th May 2019, 5:31 PM edit delete reply
There are a number of things going on, so here's where I'd put everybody:
Mine: Syncing Pierce and Dr. Finch, and Doing something that benefits from that sync, like bloodcrafting blood ticks to improve our mobility around the city so our animals can function as mobile portal carriers. Dr. Finch: Research of some kind, like how to best shield the body from mind control waves. We might just want to ask Team Griz about this though.
Pierce: decoding the ritual.
Caius: Trading up cookbooks and baking a cake.
Michelle and Fuse: downloading a bunch of poppin sheet music onto a thumb drive to trade up. Alternatively making electronic warfare devices with the Juries and Liz
Liz: Help Dr. Finch if not otherwise engaged.
Mom Red: Helping Dr. Finch and/or Fuse prototype things by constructing them in the red.
Lunar Waffles 7th May 2019, 6:10 PM edit delete reply
Lunar Waffles
Mine has a lot to do and that is most definitely on the list, but atm i think it might be fairly low on it.

Pierce? just yes.

Caius trade-up cake? could be fun. but also seems pointless for now, unless Dr. Finches birthday is close at hand.

i think Dr. Finch is a better match to help Fuse make "electronic warfare devices" i want them to make a bunch of the emp thingys they used on the Silk worm and trade them up for hopefully at least military grade ones. maybe even Alien grade...maybe even alien military grade!

Liz could help out with almost anything really.

Moms Red has no access to a "The Red".
Myya 8th May 2019, 2:51 AM edit delete reply
Definitely have Pierce work on decoding first, and if he finishes that maybe he can look into spiritual defense options.

I like Fuse and Finch working on the emp devices, and trading up some of these.

Any of Michelle, Caius, and Liz that would be willing to assist Mine with forced syncs would be helpful before finally having a normal sync followed by a forced sync on Mom's Red.
Limrix 8th May 2019, 6:59 AM edit delete reply
I still don't think it's a good idea to do a sync dive while also syncing two other people. If we want to do something while syncing them, I think advanced bloodcrafting is our best bet. Maybe we could work on creating a remote body, making some of that metalsilk, or something similarly difficult.
Myya 10th May 2019, 1:53 PM edit delete reply
I personally wouldn't bother syncing Finch and Pierce. Pierce can handle it, and if we did do a forced sync while syncing other people, we'd drag them along like we did when we took Fuse along to help with Macland.

My opinion is that Mine's time is much better spent attempting to work on any of the elements the tradesmen gave us that aren't necessarily going to help in the upcoming battle, and forced syncs were among those. It might not help, but it's the best lead we have on something that might.

It'd also be great if we could somehow get Red involved in some of this, she needs to build up her sense of self asap.
Dragunov 8th May 2019, 12:47 AM edit delete reply
Just FYI, but the link is broken on to Blood is Mine.
The link on your Blood is Mine banner links to
but returns to Top Web Comics instead of directing to
Dragunov 9th May 2019, 11:52 PM edit delete reply
Link fixed. 😀
Sekwel 10th May 2019, 7:46 AM edit delete reply
Y'know, I am now firmly in the "Don't tell the tradesmen about the origins of the ritual," after the advice that Helen offered.
Memo 11th May 2019, 3:57 AM edit delete reply
Just had a thought I'd like to share.
Since Mine can blood electronics and machinery,
and she can pull blood from the red through her aura.
If she can focus, or spread, her aura enough, she should be able to take over any machine she gets close to, by letting her aura penetrate the machine and pull blood into it from the aura, possibly via portal, until enough fills it.
This includes any lock, with even the smallest keyhole.
Unsure if the aura can pass through materials like wall or metal, but I think it's worth testing.
Lunar Waffles 11th May 2019, 10:59 AM edit delete reply
Lunar Waffles
from what i can tell Auras are the EM fields that form imprints/ghosts, and most electronics have an EM field(some TVs have HUGE ones. doubly so when they all CHARGE by wireless EM fields. x: but its worth a shot i guess?
Hari_Seldon 11th May 2019, 6:57 PM edit delete reply
What if Mine uses her blood wand to spray a LOT of blood at a Carpenter robot and blood it that way, then zap it with electricity? That might only work in one battle and after that Carpenter would make them sealed, but there is only one more battle with Carpenter anyway.

EDIT: Actually Lunar Waffles pointed out that blood portals may not be a good idea with Nil around.
Hari_Seldon 11th May 2019, 6:58 PM edit delete reply
With the blood wand electrocuting enemies and being able to portal away enemies I think the team is ready to do the next floor of Bunker X, but that should wait until after they message Carpenter. EDIT: and after Red is recovered. EDIT: I mean you can spray blood with the blood wand and electrify the blood pool.
Hari_Seldon 11th May 2019, 7:44 PM edit delete reply
Could Mine experiment and see if she could convert Red material to psychic energy, then use that to fight The Many or Nil? I think she tried to use her own psychic energy to resist the ghost girls and that did not really work. Giant psychic death beam would be cool. Or blood portal psychic bomb from a blood fly.
Hari_Seldon 11th May 2019, 7:59 PM edit delete reply
What if they use project Odin on the homunculus? If we are lucky and that does not produce a conscious being we could have a powerful psychic battery. (I'm joking ;) )
Hari_Seldon 11th May 2019, 8:30 PM edit delete reply
The message to Carpenter will probably buy us time, but I am worried that Nil might spread to other people during that time. Fuse should go into the Error room to check failure modes. Even though he really doesn't want to.
Hari_Seldon 11th May 2019, 8:41 PM edit delete reply
What do you think is in Bunker 0 and how hard would it be to explore that? Knowing everything about Zone 50 might be a BIG help. Then it would be much easier to defeat Bunker X, Carpenter, and Thale.
Hari_Seldon 12th May 2019, 1:49 PM edit delete reply
Could we download a lot of ebooks from the internet to a thumb drive and trade them up for super ebooks? Like a lot of medical ebooks for a super medical ebook or a lot of robotics ebooks for a super robotics ebook?
Hari_Seldon 12th May 2019, 2:19 PM edit delete reply
Oh dear. What if Carpenter infected The Many with Nil? Crazy stuff might happen. Maybe that's how the bunker is so messed up and "invisible".
Or maybe The Many can spread Nil by psychic attack. That could spread the Nil to a LOT of people very fast.
And make it even more impossible to send our people in to kill Carpenter. They might not just get obliterated by Nil ritual but also infected by Nil.

We might want to message The Many to tell them how to delete horrible memories to get rid of Nil that in case they don't know.

But if The Many cures itself of Nil, Carpenter may just kill it. If we want to rescue The Many, we may have to do so soon, before The Nil takes The Many over. During the rescue The Many would be able to cure itself, but not before.

If The Many can psychically remove Nil from itself and Carpenter we might be able to blood fly blood portal it out right after. That might be safe, except Nil seems to have turned Carpenter's base into partly Nothing, which could be bad for blood portals even if Nil is gone. Can we make a levitated disc of blood into a blood portal? If so, then we might be able to blood portal The Many without touching the Nothing in Carpenter's base.
Hari_Seldon 12th May 2019, 4:57 PM edit delete reply
Also if there is a way to upgrade the Tradesmen ritual so we don't just send a message but also get a message back that might be very important to negotiate with The Many to get that rescue to work (we don't want to try to rescue The Many while they are still against us).
Crayssius 18th May 2019, 12:21 AM edit delete reply
Nice that Caius understands Murphy's Law.