Comic 720 - Discuss Zene's parents

Posted on 1st Jan 2018, 4:32 PM in No Easy Way Out
Discuss Zene's parents

<<First Latest>>
Average Rating: 5 (4 votes) / Rate this comic

Author Notes:

Morgenstern 1st Jan 2018, 4:32 PM edit delete
You blindfold Zene, and you all head to the mess hall on Mars to eat and discuss the plan.

"We could just try talkin' to his dad," Michelle says. "Just a hey we need to talk to the manager for a minute thing. He ain't gonna freak out and try to kill us in a public place in the middle tiers."

"I'm not certain that's true," Dr. Finch replies. "With no public ties to the rest of our foes, if he's been exposed to Save the Queen... Thale may not take issue with having the man act act unruly, as it were. He could become violent if approached."

"Why, though?," Caius asks. "What good would that do 'em? No offense to tha kid's dad, but weaponizin' him against us would just be dumb--one fast food manager ain't a danger to us. Thale'd jus' be sacrificin' tha guy for--"

"--for the sake of doing it," Fuse finishes. "Which Thale might not be above... just forcing us into a public conflict to draw attention to it, or to try and make us do something terrible. Just picture a guy screaming these people took my kid, they've kidnapped my son. I bet Thale would love an excuse to make us public enemy number one without exposing himself too much."

"Of course, this all assumes that the father has been Save the Queened," Dr. Finch states. "Attempting a covert operation to blood him without explaining the situation has... a few ethical drawbacks if he's not, in fact, on the drug."

"Yeah," Michelle replies, "If he ain't actually been hit with Queen, then the right thing to do is talk it out. I don't like the thought o' needle snipin' him if he's still clean. We really don't know for sure, do we?"

"I don't think he's done Queen," Zene says. "He was real serious about keepin' his job... he wouldn't screw that up by doin' drugs."

"Not on purpose," Caius responds. "A lot o' people don't wanna do Queen, they jus'... get forced into it."

"Yeah, which is why if he ain't Queened... I'd like to try talkin' to him," Michelle says. "We ain't Thale. Bloodin' the whole city might make this easier, but it's signin' people up for somethin' they might not wanna be part of. If he's clean, I'm sure he'll wanna help us anyway--gettin' off on the wrong foot by ambushin' him with a syringe is messed up."

"There really ain't no way to tell?," Caius asks. "Aside from tha name trick?"

"No," Dr. Finch states. "None that I've thought of. Our acquaintances in the government have a machine that can detect extraterrestrial blood, but it's an involved process, and not really something we can replicate quickly or easily. Dragging him into our bunker and strapping him to a glorified dialysis machine isn't much better than an impromptu injection would be. Once we've gotten Zene's father aware of the situation, approaching the mother should be much less of a mine field... at least in terms of moral dilemmas."

"Yeah, we might be dealin' with an actual mine field when we get to that step," Michelle says. "They MIGHT be suspectin' somethin' with Zene off the grid. Maybe. After we get the dad outta there, though, there's no way they ain't gonna know what our next move is."

"We could make a move to save Zene's mom first," Fuse suggests. "Throw 'em off, maybe?"

"It'd be a lot harder to reach Zene's mom without his dad's help," Michelle replies. "Prob'ly be harder to convince his dad we ain't the bad guys, too, if we already got his wife and kid snuck off."

You ask Zene if he's doing alright. It's been kind of a crazy day for him, with all this talk about him and his parents, and Zene having to meet your mom's Red.

"Yeah, I'm okay," Zene says. "I don't think it's all sinked in yet... that this stuff's really happening. I just want my mom and dad to be alright... the rest of it's kinda flyin' over my head."

You give Zene a hug. He's fairly receptive of it, though that might just be the level.


Wierdweblurker 1st Jan 2018, 5:19 PM edit delete reply
Go after the mother first. If the father is Queened, she seems the most logical vector. If we can blood her and tap into her unconscious, we may be able to find out if she injected him.
Memo 1st Jan 2018, 5:51 PM edit delete reply
I'm with talking to the dad.
Maybe get a message to him, asking him to meet us somewhere safe/secluded to talk about his son.
Urging him to come alone, and not to talk about it to anyone.
Maybe make it sound less extortion/kidnappy, and more for your safety.
Going after the mother unprepared, I feel would be too much of a risk
Blue_Elite 1st Jan 2018, 6:26 PM edit delete reply
Since we have disguises now, we could have someone (I'm thinking Caius as he's REALLY good at bluffing) pretend to be a customer making a scene at the burger joint. He could then storm into the manager's office (if he has an office) with a complaint and ask to be called Patton Thale. If Zene's father can call him by the full name, we can then try to explain that his son has "gotten into some trouble" and arrange a more private meeting (in case there is no office/it's not private enough).
If he can't say the name, then fake an assault and inject him with the blood. Jane can then issue a command to meet us outside/back of the restaurant where we can then explain things.

I'm not a big fan of the plan myself but it's something if someone else can't think of something better.
Warp 2nd Jan 2018, 5:53 AM edit delete reply
Caius is still out of commission, its been ONE DAY since the brain surgery, and even with the Red helping focus his healing efficiently, he'll need a full week before going back into the field.

That being said: Jane, maybe do a quick bloodpower-checkup on the integrity and healing rate of Caius's cranium?
rufiangel 1st Jan 2018, 8:13 PM edit delete reply
Aw. Sweet kid. ;v;

Just thinking out loud here, but what about just sending Zene in to talk to his dad? I think we could be nearby for backup and give Zene a syringe/dart gun just in case. If his dad is queened, we'd know if he tried to kill Zene or said something really weird to Zene. It would also raise less red flags than sending anyone else in?
PurpleKetchup 2nd Jan 2018, 2:30 AM edit delete reply
Well, we can bring a phone so Zene can speak to his dad on our behalf and explain the situation in a good light.

Also, happy 2018 everyone !
rufiangel 2nd Jan 2018, 2:40 AM edit delete reply
Hmm, that's an idea. -v-

Happy new year~ ^_^)/
Madd 1st Jan 2018, 8:33 PM edit delete reply
I say we talk to Zene's dad after he gets off shift, preferably through Zene. We should try to slip in something about Paton Thale to test he's not queened. Then we should talk about one of the drugs his wife is using (and spreading) mindcontrols people. Then we explain how we could counter it with our "counter agent."
Or we could go after his mother, blood her, and hope she doesn't kill herself before we get control. After that we pick up his father and send them far out of the city.

If we haven't already maybe tell Zene about The Blood.
Portal In Time 2nd Jan 2018, 11:32 AM edit delete reply
Portal In Time
the blood, the blood
Frission 1st Jan 2018, 9:54 PM edit delete reply
Perhaps if we have enough healthy people for it, we could engage in a bit of blitzkrieg here -- go after both simultaneously, hit them both before their defenses go up?
Baron11704 1st Jan 2018, 10:36 PM edit delete reply
I say we take care of the mom first, convincing him will be a lot easier if his family's on our side
Warp 2nd Jan 2018, 4:49 AM edit delete reply
At this point, it seems Zene is not the important character here, rather Zene has an "in" to the Church of Enyo via his mom, and through Zene's mom we can get more information regarding the Save The Queen operation, and how the Church's may tie into the para-military-company that's been brought into the lower tiers, as well as highlight the importance of the tier-wide secret-railway system.

Aren't we losing track of the situation with all this focus on Zene? Our current master plan was oriented towards countering the entire STQ provision network by finding its manufacturing sources and neutralizing them.
Blue_Elite 2nd Jan 2018, 5:47 AM edit delete reply
We were trying that originally with the mushroom bust. That went nowhere when it turned out the supplier's brain had been removed from his body and Zene wasn't a part of the operation; just a thief that was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

We're getting back on track now that we've got a possible new lead in Zene's mom.
Warp 2nd Jan 2018, 4:50 AM edit delete reply
"You give Zene a hug. He's fairly receptive of it, though that might just be the level."


what's our current hug count guys!?
rufiangel 2nd Jan 2018, 6:25 PM edit delete reply
She's given around 21 hugs across the party members and a hug to Jury S, so including the hug to Zene it's something like 23 now. Others can feel free to add to this hug count if they can recall more. I can't recall other hugs she's given to other characters off the top of my head besides the times she's hugged Baby Red, or cuddled Willard.
lil Joshu 2nd Jan 2018, 3:37 PM edit delete reply
lil Joshu
Worth noting, we don't know how much Thale knows. He has to be actively aware to know what's going on (much like we do), but we don't know if he knows how to set blood alarms. He may or may not be aware of Zene's situation. (He may instead just give people the command they check in with him if anything happens). If we got Zene to the base & blooded fast enough, he may be assuming Zene is dead.

My suggestion... burner phone, have Zene call his Dad.
Memo 2nd Jan 2018, 5:08 PM edit delete reply
Yea, that could work