Comic 533 - Check on Caius and Michelle

Posted on 23rd Oct 2017, 6:26 PM in Doors
Check on Caius and Michelle

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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 23rd Oct 2017, 6:26 PM edit delete
You decide to call your raven back. The road out of town is fairly open, and you suspect it would be noticed more easily.

You double check your other ravens; the other two are currently positioned at Rockwell Arcade, which is within walking distance of your house, and at Macland's house. The raven you are recalling will return to the street the bunker door is on.

You check on Michelle and Caius. They are currently talking with the Proto-Juries, and trying to get as much information as they can... which isn't much. The androids don't seem to be programmed with more information than they need to keep their facility running--they're not sure about other bunkers, or even what it is they're watching over.

They only know that they cannot stop.

You ask about the possibility of fixing the other Proto-Juries; Michelle steps out into the hall so she can speak out loud to you.

"Real talk... there ain't a lot of Juries left to fix. We found out the original 12 were built to keep this place runnin' for fifty years... an' obviously, it's been a lot longer than that. They prioritize the bunker and the coolers over themselves, so... when a tube would break, and a Jury would break, they'd scrap their sister to fix the tube. If one sister was sorta damaged and the other stopped functionin', they'd take the second one apart to keep the first one runnin'. Even doin' that, they're down to like... two and a half robots. I think they might, MIGHT be able to put together a whole third with what they got lyin' around of old staff, but even that android's gonna be piecemeal from different girls they had to take apart to keep it all goin'. Puttin' the whole crew back together... we'd basically be makin' new robots."

You ask Dr. Finch if he asked Jury about the door code, and if Bunker A was the bunker she intended you to find.

"Oh, yes!," he says, "I had almost forgotten to mention it. I described this bunker to her, and she confirmed that this was, indeed, the bunker she was anticipating. It housed a small team of scientists who worked fairly exclusively on endeavors of artificial intelligence and small scale robotics. The lab had wall to wall computers in its heyday, though of course, everything was cleaned out when Zone Fifty shut down."

You ask Dr. Finch--and Fuse--about the other chemicals in Save the Queen. Dr. Finch used his knowledge about how your blood works to break down Queen before--if you can cross reference the drugs in the mix with common suppliers, AND with locations owned by Gesenai Shirai, you may be able to start tracing the distribution of Queen back to its source.

"Oh, shit," Fuse says. "That... is a really good idea, though. You really figured out what all's in Queen?"

Dr. Finch nods excitedly. "Yes, as a matter of fact I did! If it's not in the notes I grabbed from my lab, I'm quite certain I can replicate the process... or or or we can emulate cleantex, if absolutely necessary. It should not be difficult to determine all the non-blood elements in Queen again."

"Cool," Fuse says. "Make that list, I'll see if I know any of the big sellers for the stuff in Queen. That'd give us some names to go hit up for info... we might be able to track it all the way to where they're making Queen from. We could shut the operation down at the source."

Fuse and Dr. Finch wander off into the lab area of Bunker A to start working on it.

You know that you'll have to recirculate the doors for Caius and Michelle to get out of Bunker B... but in addition, your curiosity is finally more than you can stand. You want to know what's normally on the other side of the entrance to Bunker D, when it's not attached to the weird portal door.

You exit Bunker A. You swipe the card for Bunker B, linking the door to that bunker. Caius and Michelle step out, finished with loading supplies up for the Proto-Juries.

You tell them your plan, and you step into Bunker D. Michelle swipes the card for Bunker A, cutting Bunker D off from the door.

You open the entrance to Bunker D, expecting a solid wall, or maybe a storage room--




Morgenstern 23rd Oct 2017, 6:58 PM edit delete reply
I actually botched this one up for a minute or two it is a very stressful week

speaking of stress, the Kickstarter for GAG: ORDER is still going strong, tell everybody. I'm going to put up a big button or something for it unless I forget.

If any of you guys have Reddit, I did a Reddit post on /rpg/ plugging the whole thing, and if folks could upvote that it would do me a huge favor thank you.

Thank you all in general for putting up with my juggling of five and a half projects at once. Especially rufiangel, who is magic. New Blood is Drawn will be posted sometime after midnight tonight, as well. Yeah!

Trying to make it as a professional writer is fun and amazing, except when it isn't.
AlphaDragon 23rd Oct 2017, 6:59 PM edit delete reply
"Oh" indeed. Check the vents see if any are loose (simple habit). Then I say we go left before checking the ladder.
AlphaDragon 23rd Oct 2017, 7:00 PM edit delete reply
Actually maybe we should get Michelle to go with us.
Steve 23rd Oct 2017, 7:02 PM edit delete reply

I'm curious what happens if we try and blood a machine with sensors. Can we see through the camera?

Also, let's NOT go down that whole right now.
Twyll 23rd Oct 2017, 7:31 PM edit delete reply
I've been pondering the idea of sticking a camera to a remote control car and trying to blood that. (or a non-remote-control car, but the RC car is already set up to be able to be controlled from a distance, so presumably it'd be easier to work with). Even if we couldn't see through the camera with our blood, we could just have it stream to our phone or something and see through it that way.

Haven't talked about it much because the animals have been serving well enough for it not to matter, but it would be a good thing to keep in mind in case we end up having to go into places that would be hazardous for animals (maybe smog-choked areas of the lower tiers or something).
Steve 23rd Oct 2017, 7:48 PM edit delete reply
Or down mysterious holes that could lead to cosmic cthulu corpses.
Archon 23rd Oct 2017, 7:25 PM edit delete reply
Now this is very interesting.
To state the obvious, this is very different indeed.
Although, why is it here? I suppose theres the possibility this is intended to be a "separate" bunker your intended to access via a different card.
Or, it could lead to the actual exit to the bunker. In case of emergency or whatnot.

Regardless, I'm sure we can find a better method to check down there safely than going down in person.
Twyll 23rd Oct 2017, 7:35 PM edit delete reply
We might want to start pondering methods of remote-blooding people-- I want to own as many members of Southern Cross as possible BEFORE they start shooting people. ("Own" in the hacking sense, not the slavery sense.) Maybe we should have the raven at the arcade practice dropping things.

For now, of course, let's look at those vents and then check out the ladder.
Steve 23rd Oct 2017, 7:50 PM edit delete reply
We are not the bad guys, we don't need to blood everyone we see or consider a threat. That is what Thale does. We are not going to be like this.

But if we really want to talk about remote blooding people I saw we just try and get a tranq gun, and load it up with blood bullets instead of drug bullets.
Steve 23rd Oct 2017, 7:52 PM edit delete reply
Thus far, we have only blooded as necessary. Although we might have gone a little blood happy with Mack's bar. Plus, if we blood someone needlessly, it makes that person a target. remember the bartender?
Twyll 23rd Oct 2017, 8:31 PM edit delete reply
I'm just particularly worried about Southern Cross. They can do a LOT of damage to a lot of people very quickly, with their resources and training. If we have even one member of one of their squads on our side, we can learn more about their plans and try to influence things to go in a less bloody way. We've blooded people in order to prevent them from killing people before, and these folks are likely going to try and do just that-- kill people. A lot of people. The balance seems to be in favor of tagging a few of them, to me, in the interest of preventing all-out war from breaking out.

I'm not saying we should be blooding people willy-nilly. But we should *definitely* have the ability to blood people at a distance in case we need to, because with these particular people, it is VERY likely that we will need to.
Archon 23rd Oct 2017, 8:00 PM edit delete reply
I'm rather indifferent to blooding more people preemptively, but keep in mind the benefits of blooding as many people as possible are fairly limited for our cause.
Assuming of course we want to continue being the good guys.
Baeronius 23rd Oct 2017, 9:37 PM edit delete reply
He wasn't talking about using blood.

More like a disinformation campaign or something of that sort
Twyll 23rd Oct 2017, 9:58 PM edit delete reply
I dunno what you call a disinformation campaign when you're the one actually telling the truth, but yes XD

I still think we should do our best to acquire remote-blooding capabilities and be ready to use them if we have to. Information may simply be insufficient to stop a well-equipped private military from blasting through whatever they want to (although it might at least change the target of their blasting).

Also, our blood is literally the only cure we know of for StQ. If they end up mass-Queened, we may need to blood them simply to reverse that-- we don't even have to invade their privacy or exert any kind of influence on them, just to un-Queen them.

(Mass Queening, now that's a scary thought... I sincerely hope StQ can't be aerosolized or anything...)

Y'all are right that we shouldn't jump the gun on it, but I also think we really should watch them closely and be ready to blood if it becomes apparent that other options won't work. I'm not saying "blood them *now,*" I'm saying "make sure that we can blood them *before they start shooting,*" if it comes to that. Which means exploring our options for doing that and practicing techniques a bit, so we don't end up in a situation where they've got guns pointed at a bunch of innocent lower-tier residents and we can't do anything about it in time.
Steve 23rd Oct 2017, 10:26 PM edit delete reply
Again, I think of those tranq guns. Also, dart guns. The idea is simple, dip sharp thing in what you want to get into the target's blood system, shoot it at them. I'd imagine that a needle dipped in our blood would be just as effective as our syringes, although not quite as elegant.
Akasha 23rd Oct 2017, 8:08 PM edit delete reply
Well, hell. That's... huh. Maybe we should bring in our entrance-watching raven and have it scout further down for us? Mind, we'd need to do more keycard shuffling so that's kinda iffy. Would be better than sending down someone who still needs to get themselves adjusted to having two different sets of hearing organs, tho.
rufiangel 23rd Oct 2017, 8:13 PM edit delete reply
Fuse thinks the thing is a good idea, and senpai thinks I am magic. Today is a good day XD <3

I'm all for gently exploring, but maybe we should bring Michelle or Caius (one of them has to do the key swipe) in with us? Who knows if there's robot security to tackle down around this new area?

Maybe we'll finally find a spaceship or docking station. >_>?

(Also I found out I had a Reddit account, I must have made it forever ago and forgotten about it XD; Upvoted the thing~)
Akasha 23rd Oct 2017, 8:30 PM edit delete reply
Aye, things certainly look like they're comin' up rufi. Or however that meme goes. Anyways!

I'd legit be excited if we found a functioning spaceship in there. Hell, even if it isn't fully-functioning, it'd sitll be quite the treat. Mind, I'd also have many questions, but... Hrm. Those would be for later. As for a docking station, I'd be tempted to ponder terrible ideas and see what the logistics of gettin' Mom's red up there would be like, as if I recall right, it's mentioned that it was a spaceship. ...Mind, there's still the whole thing where it'd cause a bit of an uproar, if I recall correctly, but. Still. Something to ponder, I s'pose.

As for more immediate concerns... Backup probably wouldn't hurt, yeah. I've no preference to who we bring in, though.
rufiangel 23rd Oct 2017, 8:43 PM edit delete reply
I don't have a hard preference either. Though I wonder if Caius would like to come, since he's all for throwing hands with a defense robot XD
Nayru9572 24th Oct 2017, 1:11 AM edit delete reply
I'd propose not sending Jane down there and just sending someone else, seeing as this is Mars: for all we know that's where the blood is being kept. It might not be really sentient anymore, but there's still a chance it'll try to kill her just 'cause.
rufiangel 24th Oct 2017, 1:23 AM edit delete reply
Well, Caius did go first last time on his own volition, since he's protective of Jane. He'd do it again. Michelle would probably do the same. XD;
rufiangel 23rd Oct 2017, 8:30 PM edit delete reply
Regarding Bunker B, by the way...

ONLY FIFTY YEARS?! For something as immortal and important as THIS?! Why was nothing in place to-- ARGHHH XD Now I am starting to feel some of Mochi's and Akasha's indignation. :'DDD

As a side-note, I feel like it might make for a rather interesting project to put together a third Proto-Jury from the strewn pieces, if Trinity and Infinity are cool with it. If nothing else, they will gain another helper (and friend). Plus we could try and see if we could upgrade the third one along the way somehow, and in-so-doing learn the inner workings of the currently functioning two without having to take them apart. We could perhaps help improve *their* systems that way? Fix their SPEECH SPEECH SPEECH impediments? Potentially.

Then again... I know Fuse is like our resident electronics expert but I have no idea if his area of expertise extends to robotics XD;
Baeronius 23rd Oct 2017, 9:42 PM edit delete reply
If you have enough kits around for assistance, and an anonymous internet connection you can probably learn how to assemble a robot at the very least.
Programming one would more likely involve scanning for old code that is still valid in the memory unit, then filling in the blanks as best as possible. But the internet, again has plenty of coding advice and tips for everything from sensor connections to data analysis.

So, yeah probably. It just takes someone with enough focus and patience. I bet Finch could help with the frame assembly if you got the right tools to learn with.
Blue_Elite 24th Oct 2017, 12:00 AM edit delete reply
I really have no problem at all with building a "new" robot if the P-Js know how (and just need the parts).
If we end up going the blank-slate route, I'd definitely like to try experimenting with blooding a robot since we know our blood works with electronics.
PurpleKetchup 24th Oct 2017, 12:20 AM edit delete reply
With bunker D on/under Mars, can't say I'm fond of letting Jane explore the nooks and crannies by herself. Maybe a quick check at that shaft and the room below if it's close enough, nothing more.

Also, if we have to build new robots from scratch, so be it. The survivors deserve the effort.
lil Joshu 24th Oct 2017, 12:27 AM edit delete reply
lil Joshu
Actually, I suspect in exchange for parts to build more robots, they'd probably build robots for us as well since the deal would help the facility keep going, they'd probably be willing to do it.
lil Joshu 24th Oct 2017, 12:25 AM edit delete reply
lil Joshu
Curiouser and Curiouser...
rufiangel 24th Oct 2017, 2:36 AM edit delete reply
Hey guys, just a random thought I had... indeed, why was it for only fifty years? Because they can't have been that thoughtless when they clearly put in a lot of effort to contain Lasker when things went wrong. They knew what was at stake. So why fifty years?

I wonder... were they in the process of making something capable of wiping out Lasker properly, that they figured would take around 50 years (or less) to perfect? Some kind of weapon or technology (portal?) that would successfully remove Lasker from existence or something to that effect?

Would we be able to eventually find a work-in-progress of a weapon or tool of that nature in one of the secret bunkers, through this magical door, I wonder?
Akasha 24th Oct 2017, 3:01 AM edit delete reply
ngl, I was kinda wondering why they made it 50 years. ...Well, more along the lines of when they contained Lasker, really. Because if it happened (relatively) shortly before they had their big 'ol shadowy everything must go sale, then that'd explain a few things. I'd still be a tad annoyed, but not as cross as I was before. Hell, it'd make a lot of sense if that's why the whole thing was projected to last for that long. Hopefully, if that's the case, then we'll find some prototypes that we can fix up, or at the very least, schematics for such devices or papers that'd outline such prospective projects.
AlphaDragon 24th Oct 2017, 10:51 AM edit delete reply
I think the answer to your question is Jury. They were thinking the proto-Juries would be replaced with an upgraded model. Then the project died and they never got upgraded.
Varil1024 24th Oct 2017, 9:59 AM edit delete reply
Well then...whatever is down there we probably shouldn't explore alone. We should ask Michelle if she'd be up to a brief(?) bit of spelunking.

Also, I am 100% behind any plans involving building robots. I don't even need a reason, and keeping Frosty away from his magic hat is plenty of excuse anyway.

(We need to convince a robot engineer to join the team.)

(If you're asking yourself if that's an engineer who knows about robots or an engineer who is a robot the answer is yes).

...hey, so, crazy the location of Southern Cross' central HQ public knowledge? Can we learn where it is? they keep gear there? Because these guys might end up on our "to wreck" list and we have a couple military-grade tube badasses that could use some military-grade hardware to go with their badassitude.

I'm not saying it'd be a good idea to go raid a private contractor's armory. I'm just saying it's an idea we might keep around in the ol' maybe column of our to-do list.
PurpleKetchup 24th Oct 2017, 12:36 PM edit delete reply
Robot robot engineers remind me of Manufactoria...
Memo 24th Oct 2017, 3:30 PM edit delete reply
I agree with sending someone else down the ladder first. No preference as to who though, so whoever volunteers
yugi0998 24th Oct 2017, 5:57 PM edit delete reply
just want to say this but where do you guys think door will lead to if one side is connect to the portal door? i mean will it lead to the other side of the portal door or just let you through,it could also lead to a limbo but i don't know, what do you guys think?