Comic 246 - Discuss the list

Posted on 15th Aug 2017, 10:39 PM in Blood on Mars
Discuss the list

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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 15th Aug 2017, 10:39 PM edit delete
Before you go to bed, you take one last glance at Macland, and consider trying to probe his mind. It seems that all of the panic has sobered him up a bit--or at least, it's keeping him firmly awake, and you are quite exhausted. You go to bed.

The next day, you all begin to discuss the list of names... and their influence. You also make breakfast for everyone.

"These are almost all very powerful names," says Dr. Finch. "Every member of that club is a millionaire at minimum. All CEOs, prestigious lawyers, renowned doctors... many with stake in every tier. All have businesses that could benefit from something like the Tobu attack, or could conceivably take advantage of our class war turning into an actual war."

You ask about the TH name. Fuse is actually the first to speak up on this one.

"Me and Dr. Finch stayed up... eh, maybe a little too late sorting through internet articles. I think we've narrowed it to one of two... either Theodore Reigns, or Patton Thale. Reigns is an old dude, a multi billionaire that's teased getting into politics a couple of times. He owns a couple of TV networks and a fightball team. One of those channels is a news station--basically propaganda, at this point. 24/7 railing against the lower tiers, trying to defend dirty cops, that kind of thing. Guy comes off like a real fascist in interviews. Reigns has spent most of his career trying to turn society against the poor--all this that's been going on lately plays right into his agenda."

Dr. Finch clears his throat and adjusts his glasses. "Patton Thale is a younger fellow--he inherited his father's power company about ten years ago. Thale has mostly stayed out of the public eye; his father was considered eccentric, funding various ridiculous projects... mostly methods of prolonging his own life, but also--and here's the kicker--space expeditions, including a few flights to Mars. Patton has stayed low key, presumably in an attempt to let the family name recover--daddykins almost ruined the company by making his insane exploits public. It's possible that Patton Thale has been secretly carrying on his father's work, perhaps using secret accounts to keep from being another laughingstock. The Thales having access to old Zone Fifty documentation is not out of the question... Thale Senior had been involved with far stranger, certainly.

In short: Theodore Reigns has the motive, but Patton Thale has the means. Either are likely to be our mysterious TH."

You ask Fuse how the not-quite-cleantex trip was.

"Weird," says Fuse. "I mean, it worked, but it didn't... feel right, I guess?"

Michelle speaks up. "Might be your first time gettin' the effect straight. Dealers put a lot of weird stuff in cleantex."

"True," Fuse says, trying as hard as he can not to let a laugh slip out, "they fill it with stuff that gives you cancer, right? And extatix is, like, a government mind control thing, and--"

Michelle crosses her arms, tilting her head to the side. "That is NOT what I meant. This ain't some paranoid Grizwald thing, I mean they--"

She stops. The smile leaves her face.

"What?," asks Fuse.

"You weren't there for that. ...For what Grizwald said. Did Blondie tell you about it?"

Fuse stares at Michelle, his own expression sinking. He turns to you, staring blankly, then back to Michelle. "Not that part. Holy shit, I wasn't there! Why do I remember that, then?!"

The three of you stare at each other, a tense silence overtaking the room. Dr. Finch breaks the staredown.

"Was... was was was it the cleantex effect, perhaps? Could it have... I don't know, enhanced your psychic potential? No." Dr. Finch stops himself, holding up a hand. "No, that... that doesn't make any sense, I don't think. Hmm. Hm hm hm."

You remember what your red told you--that just as you can learn from others when you sync, they can learn from you. You mention this to the others--that some of your mind may have... leaked into Fuse's.

"Holy shit. Holy shit," exclaims Fuse. "So we like... hive minded? A little? But it stuck. You don't remember all that computer stuff you got from me, do you?"

You shake your head. It's there, a little bit, but you couldn't replicate any of the things you did while synced, you don't think.

"Maybe it's like... a book," suggests Dr. Finch. "While you're synced, you have each others' books in front of you--it's easy to know how to fire a gun or work a computer while you have the book in front of you. Unless you study the book, though, you'll only retain so much when the book is gone. Fuse... retained a little of what he'd glanced upon in your metaphorical book."

"I didn't mean to glance upon ANYTHING. I didn't even know it worked that way!"

"Man," says Michelle, "...That's kinda freaky, to be super honest. Blondie, you're cool and all, but I don't wanna wake up thinkin' I'm you one day."


Shrek 15th Aug 2017, 11:48 PM edit delete reply
Oh boy.

Can't be one of those guys. The voice was female.
DrBilly 16th Aug 2017, 12:03 AM edit delete reply
But we learned that it was a secretary being spoken through.

I wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't one of those guys still, and it turned out to be Thale Senior in some dubious twist.
DrBilly 16th Aug 2017, 12:03 AM edit delete reply
Fightball. What a perfect distillation of sports.
5007-574in3d 16th Aug 2017, 2:30 AM edit delete reply
I wonder if Reins and Thale have been in the same room? Or even are friends?
Mochi 16th Aug 2017, 2:48 AM edit delete reply
tell fuse that it's okay and assure michelle that you're pretty sure that won't happen to her. (maybe ask red and make certain) then, like 5007 suggested, investigate if there are any connections between reigns and thale. personally, i think it's likely macland would refer to someone in this position by their last name, so my own money is on thale. unless he's on a first name basis with reigns.

i think we might actually need to try and win macland over. in the very least, we need to know if he has a connection to either of these men, and what that connection is. i don't think we have much to offer him though. we can't really protect him if the queen finds out he's with us. :/
rufiangel 16th Aug 2017, 2:49 AM edit delete reply
Uhmu... apologise for unintentionally freaking everyone out with the leak? :'D For what it's worth, at least we're all friends here. I think what it means, though, is that if we try hard enough we can share information freely between our minds whenever we sync. But it also means if we try to do it to anyone else who isn't so friendly, they might glean info we don't want them to have. We have to be careful. Any chance we can train this ability? (If Red knows anything that would be helpful.) Don't worry Michelle, you'll never wake up thinking you're Blondie XD

The monster has many legs, and cutting them all off may really take too long. We gotta go for the head, I think. Macland might be our best info source but it probably isn't safe to try it in broad daylight.

Someone mentioned last page we go and chillax for a bit to take our mind off things (as Dr. Finch puts it... maybe we should wait until the 'heat is off'). If we're not going to go snooping around our two TH leads (and it's kind of hard to figure out where to start with that) maybe we should chill like homies. >_>?

Though a part of me also kind of wants to build some kind of conspiracy site using Fuse's computer knowledge to keep it anonymous, and spread gossip out about those 30 names amongst the lower tiers - primarily to start spreading awareness. But that could also backfire enormously so I don't know. XD;
Kitty 16th Aug 2017, 6:56 PM edit delete reply
>maybe we should chill like homies

I second this idea.

What about playing a multiplayer game and possibly using it as practice on how not to leak info from our brains? Or a board game or card game! (Do they still have those in the future? :P Maybe Finch is enough of a nerd to have an antique copy of Seven Wonders or Settlers of Catan stashed away?)
Mochi 16th Aug 2017, 8:59 PM edit delete reply
i like this idea! i'm sure there's probably a way to train ourselves to avoid leaks. might as well get to know our new friends better in the process!
rufiangel 16th Aug 2017, 10:24 PM edit delete reply
The idea that we can play games and use it as a training tool at the same time sounds awesome XD
PurpleKetchup 16th Aug 2017, 3:46 AM edit delete reply
An older person would have a really tough time dealing with the crappy bioprinted blood quality.

There's a good chance the controller is Thale Jr. - they wouldn't trust a third party on this. Staying out of sight just furthers that point. He probably doesn't look very young anymore.
Reigns might be involved, but we already got McLand on that level.
rufiangel 16th Aug 2017, 11:36 AM edit delete reply
I forgot about the crappy bioprinted blood thing! That's true. Unless they found a way to circumvent that... I wonder if constantly replenishing it helps, kind of like doping.
Mochi 16th Aug 2017, 5:18 AM edit delete reply
also, incidentally and completely not relevant to anything, do we know finch's first name? i've been wondering if we have full names for any of our companions, honestly.
Macheman7 16th Aug 2017, 8:04 AM edit delete reply
Michelle, don't worry, we won't let that happen.
Dr. Finch is probably right with the being an open book stuff. Good reasons to not sync up with Macland... yet. I suggest waiting a while, keeping a mental, bloody, eye on him, and after a day or two, bringing him to us to sync with him. Also, though he might not be enQueened, he might still have something like a robotic chip or other funky stuff in him to be a spy, so if we grab him physically, take him someplace not where we go often... A park, maybe.
rufiangel 16th Aug 2017, 12:01 PM edit delete reply
I came up with this stupid joke and I couldn't not do it, I'm sorry XD


(obviously 0% canon)
Mochi 16th Aug 2017, 12:47 PM edit delete reply
EclairForce 16th Aug 2017, 2:04 PM edit delete reply
Should absolutely 100% be canon. Its the best joke, Specially if we aren't going to be going back aggressive for a bit
Morgenstern 16th Aug 2017, 2:47 PM edit delete reply
Pfffttt yeah that's good
Kitty 16th Aug 2017, 3:05 PM edit delete reply
Beautiful, this is now part of my headcanon too.
rufiangel 16th Aug 2017, 10:23 PM edit delete reply
XD I'm glad you guys enjoyed the silly that comes out of my head sometimes hahahaha <33
Baeronius 4th Sep 2017, 6:52 AM edit delete reply
Myk Streja 2nd Aug 2019, 9:57 AM edit delete reply
I have never understood the attraction of 'yaoi', although I can appreciate its application in your well done illustration. (lot of four syllable words, not my goal here)
Morgenstern 16th Aug 2017, 3:29 PM edit delete reply
Just as a heads up, might not be too many updates today. I woke up feeling like a poop. Hopefully better by tonight.
Macheman7 16th Aug 2017, 5:46 PM edit delete reply
You're awesome Morgenstern, thanks for your hard work.
Definitely don't overwork yourself on this. :)
Kitty 16th Aug 2017, 6:58 PM edit delete reply
Aww I hope you feel better soon! Get lots of rest and have delicious soup and stuff, and don't worry about us, we can entertain ourselves while you're recovering!
rufiangel 16th Aug 2017, 10:25 PM edit delete reply
Aww you poor lamb! I hope you feel better soon. ;v;* Like the others say, you've been working so hard with Blood is Mine - go ahead and take a well-deserved rest!
Xylas_Incarnum 17th Aug 2017, 11:49 AM edit delete reply
Given what Mac was saying to TH over the phone, Thale fits the bill. Young rich kids with far more money than they can possibly spend tend to do way more drugs than is sane. Old guys tend to steer clear from them, they have their own problems from age and don't tend to look for more.
Not to mention Patton being devoid of a public face to go with his name more or less clinches it that they're the head of the hive for Queen.
Unless there's a third party here. Patton's dad being the only other real candidate at the moment. Immortality drugs experimentation and all. legally dead but still alive in a less than human form.
Either way Queen's something like 90% likely to be a Thale.

Reigns is likely in the cabal as well, maybe even dosed with Queen a few times. Unlikely but possible.
dasno 17th Aug 2017, 3:50 PM edit delete reply
I think having doctor finch work on a cure might be a good idea and why not just ask or incentivise macland to tell us he seems to be in a rather tough spot with his current 'associate'. also as an out would probably make the group feel a bit better.(love the comic btw.)
dasno 17th Aug 2017, 3:50 PM edit delete reply
I think having doctor finch work on a cure might be a good idea and why not just ask or incentivise macland to tell us he seems to be in a rather tough spot with his current 'associate'. also as an out would probably make the group feel a bit better.(love the comic btw.)
Anonymous 20th Aug 2017, 3:55 PM edit delete reply
I'm more than a little late to the party, but can I just mention that the blood used to create STQ was found on Mars, where Thale Senior had funded several flights to? Just something I found interesting.
Malikat 16th Aug 2018, 8:17 PM edit delete reply
Lol. Rupert Murdoch and Elon musk Jr?