Comic 1192 - Perceive through Mom's red

Posted on 16th Jul 2019, 7:41 PM in Like a Bullet from Behind
Perceive through Mom's red

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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 16th Jul 2019, 7:41 PM edit delete
You ask Mom's red if they've learned anything new from... uh... consuming all that blood.

"I do not suspect so," says the giant mouth. From, uh, both ends. "Not as of yet. That much may take some time to process through."

You ask if they have any idea what syncing with them will be like.

"I have not the faintest hint," the mouths reply. "Your mother never did much resembling syncing, as far as I am aware--certainly not while I was a part of her. I have only second-hand knowledge from you all of what it's like normally, I can only deduce that it will not be the same syncing with me."

You ask if it's okay to try syncing now--just a regular one, not a forced sync.

"Of course."

You take a moment to talk to Dr. Finch. If you're no longer bound by the rules of blood quantity, maybe some of the other rules can be bent, as well. You request that Dr. Finch try to manipulate Willard--maybe you're not the only one with blood powers anymore.

"Not a bad idea," Dr. Finch replies. He nods, his smile building steadily. "Yes. Hm. I'll give it a whirl."

And then... you sync with Mom's red. Just the act of doing a regular sync feels a bit strange--it takes you just a little more effort, like you're trying to... find them, like their mind isn't where it would usually be in uh, theoretical not-space.

As soon as you connect, you feel a slight pressure inside your head--as if too much is squeezing into your skull. You check, quickly, and it's not a tangible physical difference... it's just a sensation, something in your thoughts, not really interacting with your body.

You try to perceive through Mom's red. At first, you get... a lot. Accidentally feeling the outside of them, the way you would normally sense through an object, you're a bit overwhelmed simply due to the creature's size--spanning a portion of the inside of the planet and ending in two entirely different rooms on two separate continents. Adjusting to perceive through Mom's red, the way you can look through the eyes of others... well, it doesn't help much.

Mom's red's perceptions are very different. You can see... you, and the meat room, and the bunker, and... the entire ship. Everything the entity is, inside and out, but the way they see is... off, like it's a wrong angle or there's another dimension involved. You can... sense that the bug in the basement is you, through the red, even if you hadn't known prior--Mom's red can perceive the connection itself, faintly. You actually get a little lightheaded trying to focus on so much at once from such an odd perspective, and have to snap back to your own perception.

Next, you focus a little more and, with the sync intact, you attempt bloodspeech.

It, too, is a strange sensation--as though your blood is moving, signalling, inside your veins. You can feel your connection to the red proper tighten, like pulling a rope taut. It makes you... aware of your physical link to your red in a way you don't normally get. Like you feel... attached, to yourself, tethered to something deeper in you.

It feels natural, somehow. Just... different.

You greet Mom's red.

They greet you back.

You... experience the response. You don't hear it, you just... know it in the surface of your red. Your brain actually lags a little behind.

Everyone in the bunker visibly shudders, winces, grimaces. Liz actually throws up her hands and leaves the room. You look around at everyone, about to suggest maybe stopping, but--

"Nah, keep goin'," Michelle says. "You need to do this."

"Not like we ain't been through worse, anyway," Caius adds. "We can take it."

Pierce looks up from his work to give a quick nod.

"It's, uh--" Fuse hesitates, "it's not that bad when YOU do it, just kinda weird feeling."

"Yeah," Michelle affirms, "no offense, big guy, but you gotta learn how to... talk softer? I dunno how that stuff works. Blondie's isn't painful, though."

You and Mom's red make small talk as you acclimate yourself to this method of communication. Words aren't... explicit, ideas are conveyed wholesale in a moment, fully grasped in an instant. There's no misunderstanding, no waiting for a full explanation before grasping the entire context, it all just... hits, and is.

It's also almost entirely devoid of emotion. Nothing stated in the blood feels proud, or satisfied, or smug, or... anything. It simply is. For how otherworldly and organic and natural it is, it also feels strangely mechanical. Things just... are. Information is simply delivered, more complete and detailed than you imagined possible but with no accent, no personality.

No humanity.

Less than a minute of it and you feel almost... frustrated. It's like eating food with no taste, or holding your breath, like you're subjecting yourself willingly to something so... hollow.

You strain... and use the bloodspeech to convey a hug. The idea of it. The emotion, the sensation that's supposed to be attached with it. You have to almost describe the emotion in one delivery but you do it, sending the perfect idea of a hug in a blood-contained informational system.

The mouth on the wall pauses.

Then tightens.

"I am beginning to understand more now," the mouth states in your normal language. "Your usual manner of speaking--the vocalization, the audio. It has always been different from the voices of those you ally yourself with. Your bloodspeech, too, has the fringes of something else... something foreign. Human. I think you cannot help but mix the two. You speak with humans with a tint of the blood, and you speak in blood with a tint of mankind."

The mouth considers for a moment.

"Your mother, notably, did not share these qualities. You have achieved... more, in terms of being human, than I believe she thought herself capable. Given what others have said, I suspect you may be more human than the majority of other humans. Your greatest strength is not your mixed biology nor your origins--those alone would not allow you to do all that you have done. Your emotions--your 'compassion', your 'trust', your 'hope'..."

The mouth... hesitates? Even with the sync, even with your current, temporary grasp of bloodspeech, you can't really read their emotion.

"They are elements I once disregarded. Evolutionary leverage for a weaker species at best, fictional concepts at worst. Holding onto them has given you more potential than even your mother could have dreamed. The amount that you care, against all reason, and how much you believe has given you incomprehensible power. Even in something as insignificant as the way you communicate, the person that you are is palpable."

Dr. Finch shakes his head, turning to you after a while of squinting at the walls. "I've been attempting to do anything blood-wise, but alas, nothing has come of it. I... almost felt like I had something for a moment, but it certainly wasn't control. I'm not sure what it was."

Fuse shrugs. "Might've just been the bloodspeak freaking you out."


Limrix 16th Jul 2019, 9:21 PM edit delete reply
That was a lot to take in at once; I'm glad we were able to finally experience this. What Finch is feeling is probably a sync. It feels like looking through Mom's red has showed us more of ourself.
* I'd like to push this feeling further, switching between brain and blood to get a better feel for both, and to see if there's a middle ground we can find in the switch.
* Take a second to let Zine's family know things are fine. They're probably panicking right now.
* We didn't finish trading up all our foil hats, someone should keep doing that, though not the same number as before.
Lunar Waffles 16th Jul 2019, 9:27 PM edit delete reply
Lunar Waffles
PretenseAndPoison 17th Jul 2019, 12:15 AM edit delete reply
+1 to letting the rest of the blooded friends know whats going on, if they can feel that without the benefit of being in the loop it could be frightening.

I suppose that includes Macland, just to be safe?
Some Random Guy 17th Jul 2019, 10:10 AM edit delete reply
Some Random Guy
37212513 19th Jul 2019, 2:23 AM edit delete reply
+1 to heads up and "everyone okay?"
Limrix 16th Jul 2019, 9:35 PM edit delete reply
I wonder if it would be possible to "sing" in bloodspeak. Maybe that's too hard at first, but music of some sort. Something that doesn't feel like a cheesegrater to our human friends.
zophah 17th Jul 2019, 1:50 AM edit delete reply
The problem with singing in this scenario is that music is inherently inflective. Bloodspeech looks to be purely informative and instant while song is drawn out and emotional.
Myya 18th Jul 2019, 12:38 AM edit delete reply
I feel as though Mine is making a slang version of bloodspeak that doesn't entirely neglect emotion.

If she can manage to translate a hug into bloodspeak, there may be hope that she could even find a way to add emotion/humanity to her blood so when she's being the blood, it's more like being just her.

Interacting with Mom's Red in this manner more may also help convey human emotion and thoughts more precisely, and make the eventual forced sync less alien.
PretenseAndPoison 18th Jul 2019, 8:57 PM edit delete reply
Now /that/ is something interesting. The possibiity that Mine could be lessening the distinction between 'Blood' and 'Human'. I wonder how that would affect her own Red, who's already being distinguished as her own person by Mine.
Skullrama 16th Jul 2019, 10:07 PM edit delete reply
For Finch, he stated that whatever he felt was definitely not control - this mskes sense, as control and giving orders don't particularly suit him.

Perhaps he should try something with the blood in Wilard that better aligns with his personality, wants, beliefs and feelings. Given the way the red works, this would probably get him closer to whatever he felt than continuing to try to control things.
Lunar Waffles 16th Jul 2019, 10:11 PM edit delete reply
Lunar Waffles
+1 to suggesting to Dr. Finch that he let his personalty guide him with his use of The Blood
Limrix 16th Jul 2019, 10:35 PM edit delete reply
+1, maybe suggest that he also practice with Caius, as the two seem to have an aura affinity.
PurpleKetchup 18th Jul 2019, 11:42 PM edit delete reply
Considering his actions so far, would the blood grant Dr. Finch insight, rather than control ?
Lunar Waffles 16th Jul 2019, 10:22 PM edit delete reply
Lunar Waffles
While making trades with varying numbers of tinfoil hats. i think Fuse should also make more of those EMP devices and trade them up.
Limrix 16th Jul 2019, 10:31 PM edit delete reply
+1, he should also see if the Juries want to help. The tasks we're doing directly contribute to the continued of Bunker B, so we might be able to get them on board.
Myya 18th Jul 2019, 1:21 AM edit delete reply
PretenseAndPoison 17th Jul 2019, 12:20 AM edit delete reply
We should check in with Mine's Red real quick while we're at it. See how she's reacting to this.

Aside from that, maybe try to feed Mom's Red some sync data from the others, using Mine as a filter. Though, I woudn't recommend doing this right away, it's just something I want to keep in the back of the mind.
Hari_Seldon 17th Jul 2019, 11:46 AM edit delete reply
+1 to checking Mine's Red while synced with Mom's Red
Myya 18th Jul 2019, 12:41 AM edit delete reply
+1 to checking on Mine's Red.

We should also have her materialize and boost her spirit with the ritual (at least) so that she can interact with the team more and get a stronger sense of self.
Natural 20 23rd Jul 2019, 1:28 AM edit delete reply
If you guys are really so attached to Mine's Red as a character, you should externalize her as a construct. Mine is going to have to try to properly incorporate her eldritch half into her identity to grow, so keeping Red as a split personality could become an issue.
PretenseAndPoison 23rd Jul 2019, 11:27 AM edit delete reply
It does provide a lot of potential complications, but having a good long think on the subject it's started to seem like Mine's Red is being influenced by everyone she's synced with to a degree. Like a representation of the cast as a whole in one person.

Externalizing her may offer just as many difficulties- and it leaves me wanting to know more about what Externalizing a Red actually means.

It's a good thing we have an Externalized Red to actually ask that question.
Natural 20 23rd Jul 2019, 4:37 PM edit delete reply
Good idea, that's another good question for the list.
zophah 17th Jul 2019, 1:56 AM edit delete reply
We have not only acquired the ability to Bloodspeak, but we just added a whole human dialect to it. =)
But now that I think about it, isn't synching basically instantaneous sharing of information, just like Bloodspeak? Is it possible to load a synch with information instantly in this method?
PretenseAndPoison 18th Jul 2019, 9:02 PM edit delete reply
Now you're just blowing my mind.

Then again, rereading the passage doesn't seem to suggest it works instantaneously. /But!/, if the current experimentation with Finch pans out (which it seems to be having some effect) it's entirely possible that the team could convey their expressions /much/ more clearly.
Lunar Waffles 17th Jul 2019, 6:25 PM edit delete reply
Lunar Waffles
Another thing Mine should try, is to use the Same Senses that Moms Red has. i think it doesn't really have any physical senses other then maybe ears/eyes. i think Mine can with the blood "See" the same way Moms Red can.
37212513 17th Jul 2019, 10:26 PM edit delete reply
All Mine had at first was panic. If Finch has a mildly unidentifiable sensation, he's doing far better than Mine did when she began. Hell, he's ahead of her by a good week, given what he already knows. Direct control should not be expected on the first try, being able to sense the mouse at all is proof that he's on the right track. Recall that Willard was picked because this mouse is Finch's personal pet and he has shown a bond with said mouse already. Willard's trust in Finch will go a long way in helping him grow in the early stags. Beyond that, Finch needs only trust his instincts on when to push his training and when to rest.
Myya 18th Jul 2019, 1:05 AM edit delete reply
Two theories on this...

1) Finch wasn't 100% sure he could do it, but thought there could be a chance thus resulting in an initial, incomplete success. He should be encouraged to try again, as this sounds like an impressive first step.

2) Perhaps he picked up some idea of blood speech due to the current conversation and how much of the blood he has. Then he subconsciously managed a really quiet whisper to Willard. We could try to bloodspeak to Finch gently/quietly to see if he gets a similar sensation. This could end up being a less brain warping alternative to syncing for transferring information if it works. Maybe send him a hug packet to see if it works. :D
PretenseAndPoison 18th Jul 2019, 9:04 PM edit delete reply
+1 to trying to bloodspeak to Finch, after discussing it. Only briefly discussing it, though, since it's plausible the team could talk themselves out of being able to do it by looking too closely.
fellow 18th Jul 2019, 8:06 AM edit delete reply
Say, since bloodspeak can aparantly communicate concepts very clearly, how about we try and bloodspeak some things that might affect nilpenter? Like, the concept of thinking, since that's antithetical to nil, or perhaps the idea of a person, like Carptenter himself or doctor Finch?
Eternity 18th Jul 2019, 11:16 PM edit delete reply
Happy 2nd birthday Blood is Mine!

I don't usually post much (or... at all) but I just wanted to say that this is by far my favorite webcomic (and I read a lot!) Thank you MM for making such a great story!
PurpleKetchup 18th Jul 2019, 11:46 PM edit delete reply
Happy second solar cycle, indeed.
Lunar Waffles 19th Jul 2019, 4:38 AM edit delete reply
Lunar Waffles
+1 XD
B 20th Jul 2019, 4:25 PM edit delete reply
Hapy aniversary bloodismine
Since bloosspeaking transfer data can it be done to super celphone(am i wrighting it korekt) like sending sms after blooding it and the idea strike me what will com out after trading bateris or toy lasers will it be litle fission reactor and laser cannon or what?
Natural 20 22nd Jul 2019, 9:48 AM edit delete reply
Keep communicating with Big Red in bloodspeech. We need to practice this so Mine can retain it.

Ask Big Red if it can let you go through its memories of changing its shape, or of your mother's memories of using her abilities. Seeing their process could help us a lot.
PurpleKetchup 22nd Jul 2019, 1:32 PM edit delete reply
Maybe Mine can regenerate the memories she lost to Nil ?
Assuming she wants to, that is.
Natural 20 23rd Jul 2019, 1:03 AM edit delete reply
It seems unlikely to me given the perspective change and probable sensory differences, but what the hell, give it a shot.