Comic 431 - Fill Dr. Finch in

Posted on 24th Sep 2017, 10:02 PM in Doors
Fill Dr. Finch in

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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 24th Sep 2017, 10:02 PM edit delete
You all steadily fill in the details of what you know, and what Dr. Finch missed.

You also ask Fuse about that hospital.

"So... officially, it's not Gesenai's," Fuse states. "Officially. The surrounding blocks are dense with her property, though, and that hospital's kept open thanks in part to generous donations from Row Dynamics. So... yeah, it might as well have Shirai's name on it."

You ask Dr. Finch how much he told the agent.

"Not much," replies Dr. Finch. "She opened with numerous questions about the Tobu hack, and the beasts in the hospital. We didn't quite get to the aftermath of those events before things became... dicey. When the agent inquired about a certain nurse exhibiting unusual behavior, I told her that some of what I'd seen had perplexed me--but I was rather scant with the details. I also explained to her that you had saved my life, when you certainly didn't need to."

You ask Dr. Finch if he has any theories on that agent, and her immunity to the bacteria.

Dr. Finch adjusts his glasses.

"Quite simply," he begins, "she is not human. That was a very specific strain of streptococcus, no doubt hand tailored by Carpenter himself. I was at first put off by her lack of shock at Carpenter's involvement, her zero concern regarding the situation, and her being unaffected outright by the bacteria. I had no doubts in my mind that surely, she must be in league with that fiend.

BUT! But but but, as I had more time to consider it, more time to think about the elements in play a very different conclusion came to me--and I did have... quite a bit of time to think. Humoral immunity must be acquired, and while it's possible that the young lady had been steadily, carefully exposed to small doses of Carpenter's deadly strep strain to build her resilience... it's very unlikely. Arvin Carpenter is a sociopath, and she would need his compliance to develop such a resilience.

She displayed little in the way of concern for my well being, which I will admit, stung a little. But... but but but, she also showed no surprise at my accuracy, no fear in the gunfight. Not much in the way of any emotions. She could very well be an incredibly hardened veteran at a disturbingly young age that has somehow earned a soft spot in Carpenter's black heart... or... or, or or or..."

"She's some kinda robot," Caius pipes up.

"EXACTLY!," Dr. Finch shouts, pointing at Caius. "An android, built as part of the government's secret operations. Automata are by no means unheard of, but if I'm correct, she's operating at an unprecedented level of human similarity."

"Crazy as that sounds..." Fuse starts, "it's... a good idea, if you're right. Think about it: you're dealing with two or more forces that can take over a person's mind through the bloodstream. Obvious answer? A cop with no blood."

"The only facet of this still puzzling me..." Dr. Finch states, quieter, "is her reaction to it all. There was ample evidence in my home of my dealings with the extraterrestrial blood post-hospital. She did not turn that over. I attempted to hand her a syringe full of more than enough evidence."

You mention that the syringe has since been shattered, its contents gone.

Michelle speaks up. "We know somebody in that bunker's prob'ly workin' with Thale, right? Or workin' with Shirai, or workin' with... somebody. Maybe robo-cop knows there's somethin' fishy goin' on in her department. She's tryin' to crack this alien case while keepin' Blondie outta the bad guy's hands."

"Or," Fuse says, "she is the dirty fed in Thale's pocket. She might be trying to covertly turn Blondie in to the circle before the rest of the government gets its shit in order. Much as I wanna be optimistic, we can't just assume the robot isn't a bad robot."

For now, you order some Chinese food and plot your next move. You have the surveillance footage, which should be enough to get the mystery agent's attention--from there, it's figuring out when, where, and who to make the call.
Morgenstern 24th Sep 2017, 11:06 PM edit delete
As a side note--while I'm not really fond of hustling internet strangers for money, I would like to gently point the unaware toward my Patreon, as well as the donate button on the left side menu.

I'm not dying or anything, but the reason I can update as often as I can is that most of my money comes from various writing projects. If more money comes from this direction, that's less time I have to spend desperately pumping out books or writing articles for websites, and I can keep my focus here.

My financial situation isn't dire, but it's getting me nervous enough to post about it. Sorry. Also, a MASSIVE thank you to everybody that's already donated or is currently hooking me up on Patreon, you guys are saints and I love you.


Mochi 24th Sep 2017, 11:00 PM edit delete reply
if robo cop is investigating a fishy situation inside the government installation that was probably responsible for her creation... that could be very bad for her. if they figure out she's digging in places she shouldn't, they probably wouldn't hesitate to deactivate or even destroy her. the fact that she has enough autonomy to come to these conclusions on her own is very, very interesting. you'd think that she would be programmed to look the other way when it came to that kind of thing. i don't know what's more likely... that she's in on the queen plot, or that she's trying to keep us out of the government's hands.

as for who, that's easy. she's dealt with caius before. it's logical that caius, given the situation we presented her, would go digging for info if he found out the girl he's supposed to be protecting is out there, somewhere, alive. even if she is (supposedly) very dangerous and has possibly been bodysnatched. also, she mentioned footage, which caius could then conceivably go looking for. caius knowing a guy in the lower tiers who specializes in this kind of thing is not only mostly the truth, it's also very believable given the lines we've fed her already.

basically, we take our original lie and run circles around her with it. tell her that he thought she might be interested in the rest of the aforementioned footage. for the when and where, i'd say "as soon as possible" and "why not a motel". not this motel... just a motel. any motel that isn't this one.
PurpleKetchup 24th Sep 2017, 11:58 PM edit delete reply
About the first part - if we take the original Robocop as exemple, it may not entirely be the case. The ignorant, lawful cop is left to fend for himself, while the powerful evil guy(tm) was sitting in plain sight at the boards of directors.
Only after the hired goons underestimate his investigations, and he tries to arrest the head honcho does the nasty override kick in.

Anyway, we need to ascertain miss Fedbot's allegiance and deal with her in the worst case...
Where's the closest functional hydraulic press around here ? Going for the classics usually works.
Kitty 25th Sep 2017, 12:04 AM edit delete reply
I wonder if, if she's a robot, she is in fact programmed to be hard to bribe or corrupt. A case of somebody reacting to a high-profile corrupt cop scandal by saying "well, let's just make an incorruptible robot cop then!"

Of course, if that's the case, one wonders what kind of side effects that might have (since humans tend to make things with flaws, and we have trouble thinking of all the implications when programming something). A distinct lack of empathy? An inability to let things lie even when that would be the best solution for all involved? Something I'm not thinking of because I've never experienced what being truly inhumanly incorruptible is like?
Kitty 25th Sep 2017, 12:06 AM edit delete reply
To sort of... complete my thought, there, maybe she was programmed by someone entirely different from the people using her. Maybe the creators wanted to make an incorruptible public servant, but then the alien-hunting "Feds" decided to use the only available super-cop-robot and just deal with the fact that she's hard to control because they didn't really have any other super-cop-robot options.
rufiangel 24th Sep 2017, 11:12 PM edit delete reply
Aha. That's likely.

It bothers me that Carpenter had an inkling as to who she was, on the phone with Dr. Finch, back at his lab. Hm. But didn't sound like they were on the same side, either, so there's that. Still, who is she really under the tab of?

I'm happy to roll with Mochi's plan, though I do think we need to discuss contingencies here. We should be ready to cut and run if necessary.

Also, just a thought, but... maybe we could tell her straight off the bat that we may not have been entirely truthful with her, but we've had no reason to be. But if she's willing to come clean, we'll lay down our cards too. The footage proves there's so much more to this story than the Feds have been getting, after all. Maybe?

(EDIT: By 'straight off the bat' I don't mean immediately or on the phone event. -v- Okay maybe 'straight off the bat' wasn't the right phrase. I mean more like, once we've got the ball rolling. If she seems interested in the footage, then... maybe we could preface the rest of the conversation with this. Blah maybe not. I dunno. I'm thinking out loud XD)
LaidBack Commenter 24th Sep 2017, 11:23 PM edit delete reply
Well said Moch, you've my vote.
Nayru9572 25th Sep 2017, 1:36 AM edit delete reply
For starters, let's check on Macland to see if Knox is still there, potentially calling Gesenai or something like that.

After that, how about everyone rests for a little bit? Let Finch check everyone's wounds, order pizza, relax... It's been a stressful day.
rufiangel 25th Sep 2017, 2:03 AM edit delete reply
We've already ordered Chinese food, if you catch the last few lines of the update. -v-*
Nayru9572 25th Sep 2017, 3:02 AM edit delete reply
Whoops, missed that. Sorry 'bout that.
Kitty 25th Sep 2017, 2:05 AM edit delete reply
And meditation practice! Can't forget that. More ability to visualize and center ourselves will never hurt, at this point.
rufiangel 25th Sep 2017, 2:31 AM edit delete reply
Side-note: we have five people (one with a lacerated back, one just out of surgery, one freshly battered and bruised, one burn victim... the only one who isn't injured is Caius so far, good for you Caius!) and two beds :'D maybe we need to either book another room, or move to another motel/room that has more beds XD;

(This can wait until night time though obviously)
Xylas_Incarnum 25th Sep 2017, 3:54 AM edit delete reply
......... Oh shit. We gave her a syringe of Jane's blood. That might come to bite us in the ass now.
Worthless 25th Sep 2017, 4:25 AM edit delete reply
Im 100% sure the syringe was broken, evan in this moment it was clarified that the syringe is no more, so we can at least be sure she isn't all zealot: catch the blond nurse she's chaotic evil and once we get rid of her the world will objectively be better
D 25th Sep 2017, 5:00 AM edit delete reply
Just because blood isn't in closed container doesn't mean it's not stored. If they know that we can percive through it, they might store it in open container, like a bucket, or something. I'm pretty sure there were other containers in his lab for his study on Red, anyways. I still think that robot lady might be our best bet. Still, approach carefully.
rufiangel 25th Sep 2017, 5:58 AM edit delete reply
Actually! If the blood is in a bucket, we can still perceive through it. The fact our blood control works in vents proves that we don't need a closed container. Technically it just needs to be "inside" something. It would benefit us if they put it in a bucket, at least we'd be able to see what's around it XD adversely if they put the blood in a box or Thermos or something like that we can't see or hear much lol
PurpleKetchup 25th Sep 2017, 12:32 PM edit delete reply
No, no. We're going to befriend the inexpressive gynoid federal agent because she'd make a hell of a difference.

For potential angles, if she's anything like Michelle, she's being treated worse than a nail clipper by her superiors, and her tech maintenance team sees her as a constant risk of going rogue terminatrix and killing everybody.

The only reason there would be not to get her onboard is if she has to obey direct orders to hurt Jane or her affiliates.
If that's the case, first we fry those orders out of her, then hugpile her into submission.

Good thing, Fuse now has a computer to cook up the right voodoo for that situation.
Mochi 25th Sep 2017, 1:24 PM edit delete reply
yes, we shall be optimistic about this! we will have a shiny new robofriend when this is done. no more whammies.
25th Sep 2017, 1:54 PM edit delete reply
She ain't all that shiny.
Mochi 25th Sep 2017, 2:23 PM edit delete reply
everyone is shiny in their own way.
Nayru9572 25th Sep 2017, 12:38 PM edit delete reply
By the way, where are our ravens posted now? If we have one free we could send it to stick around the arcade in case Grizwald comes back. I'm honestly curious what else he might know.
Skybirds15 25th Sep 2017, 1:55 PM edit delete reply
I still think she's mom's blood thrall. I have yet to see proof otherwise.
You know, we gave a syringe to Grizwald, we should be able to see if that still exists.
Mochi 25th Sep 2017, 2:25 PM edit delete reply
dude, that wouldn’t make her immune to the bacteria. as dr. finch says, this was an incredibly specific form of strep likely created specifically by carpenter. unless she’s with carpenter, she would have never been exposed to this incredibly specific bacteria, and i don’t think carpemter cares much about collateral damage, so it’s incredibly unlikely she’s with him. we also had to actively command our cells to hunt down and destroy the bacteria when it was introduced into dr. finch’s system. mom can’t actively command anything. mom is dead.
Skybirds15 25th Sep 2017, 5:00 PM edit delete reply
But Mom was a lot better at this whole blood thing than we are, and her thralls might have been immune to all diseases. Or she might not have any human blood in her anymore, which would probably make her immune.
Mochi 25th Sep 2017, 9:42 PM edit delete reply
that's... no? that's not how it works? it's an airborne flesh-eating bacteria. it doesn't need to get in her blood stream. all she'd have to do is breathe it, and it would cause necrosis in her throat and lungs exactly as it did with dr. finch. even if she had no human blood, she would still have flesh which is -- obviously -- the preferred food of a flesh-eating bacteria.
Cuttlefish 25th Sep 2017, 3:01 PM edit delete reply
Yeah, we should try to sense Grizwald's vial of blood! If it exists still, it means he might still be alive/free. It'd probably be possible even to make the vial buzz out a simple morse code message, and Grizwald would probably be able to understand... although so would anyone that has captured him and his vial.