Comic 624 - Ask Michelle about the door

Posted on 27th Nov 2017, 4:22 PM in Ghosts
Ask Michelle about the door

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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 27th Nov 2017, 4:22 PM edit delete
You ask Michelle about the blocked off door.

"There's guys in hoods out everywhere," she says. "Like, for real, they're all over the place. We took the long way around tryin' not to get seen... I think we're in the clear, but I ain't takin' any chances. It's mad spooky out there."

You speculate with those back in the lab about possibly "eldritching" your mind a little, just enough to shake off the entity.

"Remember what happened with your shoulder?," your Red says. "Remember how difficult that was... now imagine doing it without the focus and clarity of mind. Altering your human anatomy is one thing, but towing the line with your mind is a different kind of dangerous. You won't have the same level of concentration. You'll be a monster trying to talk yourself out of being a monster. Even delving a little bit into that could be hard to recover from."

"I agree," Dr. Finch says. "It will be much more difficult to calm yourself down and walk yourself back if you've given a portion of your mind into your more alien side."

"I feel like I'm missin' half the conversation here," Caius says. "Who tha hell you answerin' to?"

Dr. Finch stops... and looks around for a moment... before staring at you. "I... err... did she not just...?" He scratches his head, glancing toward the floor. "I am getting quite confused."

You bring up potentially bolstering your attempt at Macland's mind. Last time you fought this creature, it couldn't handle you, Fuse, and Macland's own mental defenses simultaneously. You could try to overwhelm it again.

"Possible," Dr. Finch says, "very possible. With Macland's mind on hiatus, however, I fear you won't find much to work with... and if the entity truly has strengthened its grip, it may take more to ambush it this time. You could try going into Macland's mind with a larger group sync--not just Fuse, but everyone. It would increase the potency of the blitz, so to speak, but if it isn't enough..."

"If it ain't enough, we'd all be screwed," Caius finishes. "It's a real Hail Mary play."

You suggest that, if there's not enough in Macland's mind to work with... you could try dragging the rest of the creature back into your own mind. It would give you more firepower without risking everyone else.

"True," Dr. Finch says, "but you'd also be taking the entire thing into your own mind, or at least, its entirety as it exists in Macland. If its full weight is even remotely capable of affecting you the way it has Macland Row, it could be disastrous. Doubly so if it is, in fact, aiming to take full control of a body."

You bring up the possibility of just... negotiating with it?

"Whatever this thing wants, there's no friggen way it's good," Caius says.

"It... is one of the less risky options at our disposal, however," Dr. Finch replies. "I've no honest idea what it would take to convince this thing to back down, or if it would even be susceptible to diplomacy in the first place. It may be too... too alien, too outside of our comprehension to communicate terms with. If it's at all possible, however..."

"I don't like it," Caius says. "Even if you can talk to it, it ain't gonna be askin' ya to help it move a couch. It's gonna want somethin' messed up and crazy. A thing that knocks people out and takes over their brains ain't just gonna leave 'cuz ya asked politely."


McOnion 27th Nov 2017, 4:59 PM edit delete reply
Can't we get mom's red to go with us into Macland or our own brain? I know we can't blood it because it is too big, but does it not have other means to "sync" with us?
WalkerOfSorrow 27th Nov 2017, 5:06 PM edit delete reply
I think Finch might be revealing something about the Red that was not expected. He seems to respond to the Red as if Jane was saying all those things, not as if a second person was. Might this mean that "our Red" is just us talking to our friends in a way only The Sync Club can pick up on? Like telepathy?

We see the Red our way because of our experience with it. Fuse sees it our way because he got it from our head. But Finch doesn't see the redhead version as distinct from the brunette original. They're just the same person saying things only he and Fuse can hear. Makes sense, given the human part and the blood part are both just Jane.
Cuttlefish 27th Nov 2017, 5:24 PM edit delete reply
Two other (probably silly) ideas to run past Finch:
1) Entice the thing into our own brain under the guise of diplomacy, and then group blitz it to attempt to force it into a helpless body - a rodent.

2) Are the frozen bodies in Bunker B, the presumed Lasker-slaves, simply dangerous biological matter being stored, or is this true cryogenic freezing? Because an alternative to doing battle with the brain snatcher at all may be to physically kidnap Mac and freeze him completely - ceasing his brain activity and giving us time to de-sync his neurons, and possibly starving the creature,
PurpleKetchup 27th Nov 2017, 6:25 PM edit delete reply
I don't think Gesenai will let us move Macland anywhere, much less worsen his condition even if it's to improve it later.
Cuttlefish 27th Nov 2017, 7:35 PM edit delete reply
Absolutely true - and I don’t think kidnapping a person from a high-class hospital is a viable option either. If everything goes very badly, and we wind up compromised by the brain snatcher, we can always attempt to freeze ourselves and buy some time for Finch to work out some way to fix it all!
Auron 27th Nov 2017, 6:56 PM edit delete reply
Explain that you have a representation of your subconscious/alien side that people you sync with long enough can perceive. Also try to tell Caius's mind that it sees and hears red.

Anyways remember that if Blondie is lost there could be SO MANY horrible effects. If she is risked might as well risk everybody to give her a bigger chance. Of course that could result in a horrible failure.
Blue_Elite 27th Nov 2017, 6:59 PM edit delete reply
Well, given we've got a time limit, negotiation seems like the best option we've got so far (mostly because as soon as we attempt to attack it, negotiation goes out the window as an option).

I like the idea of the group-sync attack... if it wasn't for the fact Fuse is the only one with even remotely psychic abilities and no one but us has ANY experience in the mind world (Michelle only experienced a dream that ended too soon). It'd be a gigantic gamble where we pretty much stand to lose everything if it doesn't work. A shame we don't have more experience/skill with force-syncing and the mind world.
If Mom's Red has any information or can help in any way, then maybe it'd be worth a shot.

We could... we could try to incorporate all 3 plans at once. Go in for negotiation. If that doesn't work then hopefully that means we've met the qualia and we can then try and pull it out of Macland and into our mind. There, we can try and fight it on our own grounds with the group-sync.
2 things to try are: 1) Try ordering Fuse not to use his pyrokinetic abilities in the real world; maybe that will allow him to use them in the mental world without fear of burning himself/everyone. 2) Set up an ultimatum/final gambit so that if the attack doesn't work, we kick everyone out of the sync and threaten the memetic entity that if it makes us brain-dead, the rest of the group will physically kill us and thus kill xes host.
rufiangel 27th Nov 2017, 7:48 PM edit delete reply
Everything that comes to mind is so horribly risky I'm just, uh, not sure what to do. :'D

Blitzing it seems like the only option that actually, well, eradicates it with the least risk to Jane's mind (since it would happen in Mac's mind). It doesn't get rid of the subconscious bit that leaked into Jane's mind, though, so we'd still need to locate that in Jane's head to stop us from de-synchronising the cells in Macland's brain, right? ~_~ Or does getting rid of it in Mac's head also cut the connection with Jane's head? *ponders*

Also I'm kind of with Caius on the negotiation thing, though I can see the logic in attempting it first since what else do you have to lose besides time?

Mmmmm. ~_~ Also, poor Dr. Finch. If we sync with him a bit longer though, he's gonna see what we're talking to. XD;