Comic 768 - Discuss infiltrating the church

Posted on 28th Feb 2018, 5:20 PM in No Easy Way Out
Discuss infiltrating the church

<<First Latest>>
Average Rating: 5 (2 votes) / Rate this comic

Author Notes:

Morgenstern 28th Feb 2018, 5:20 PM edit delete
"...No," Fuse says suddenly. "Michelle, it'd be suicide."

"We got money," Michelle says. "We arm me to the teeth, strap me down with body armor--there's no way they're prepared to deal with what we can bring to the table. Blondie has me kick in the door with guns blazin', they--"

"We don't know what they're prepared for," Fuse counters. "They have magic. We don't even know what that means at this point. We don't know what they've got."

"We NEVER know what they got!," Michelle says more firmly. "We never know what to expect, but we can't just... sit here, paralyzed, too scared to act. What the hell happened to us?"

"One of us died," Fuse says. There's a brief pause before Fuse adds, "that's what happened."

Caius shakes his head. "Nuh uh. We ain't playin' that game. I'm tha idiot that got himself killed, but if you assholes would let me I'd run into that church myself. I'm in a diff'rent friggen' body, but I ain't scared. We take risks all tha time."

"We have to," Michelle says.

"We don't," Dr. Finch suddenly adds. "Not necessarily. We could send in a drone."

"Or a cat, or literally anything that's not one of us," Fuse says.

"And do what with it?," Michelle asks. "Y'all don't think Blondie controllin' me, with big ass guns and body armor could handle this church... what're you plannin' to strap to our shin-high robot that'll get the job done? This is a rescue mission, the best our drone could do is maybe take a couple of those cultists out... and then what? They'll just double down on their defenses, or shut off our way in, or move Z's mom, or... whatever. If we're gonna do this, we need to DO this."

"We could do recon first," Fuse says. "Figure out what we're getting ourselves into. Going into this blind, with ONE person piloting one other person, is insane."

"That telepathic entity is the real issue," Dr. Finch states. "We could send in our team properly if not for the threat of us being turned on each other. A blooded drone could, conceivably, reach the brain with... an explosive, of some kind."

"Our little scrap buddies've been hit-or-miss so far," Michelle replies. "Can we really get one that deep into their lair? All th' way up to the brain thing with a bomb in tow?"

"That thing don't work on animals, neither... right?," Caius asks. "Cat might be better off. Cat can prob'ly see better, not to mention runnin' and jumpin' an' all that other crap our robots can't do."

Michelle frowns. "I don't really wanna risk one of our cats carryin' a bomb in there..."

Fuse throws his hands up. "You were just volunteering yourself a minute ago, now you're worried about the cat?"

"They don't make bulletproof vests for cats," Michelle retorts. "And haulin' a bomb in there's different than what I was plannin'. I was thinkin' Blondie could just march me in there, kick all the ass, blood Z's mom and get the hell out."

Michelle turns to you.

"Your call, Boss," she says.

"Cat or robot's our safest bet for taking out the big telepath," Fuse says. "After that, we can deal with the rest of the cult like we normally would, without getting brain boggled."

"If we screw it up, though," Caius adds, "we prob'ly ain't gettin' a second shot at it."

Michelle nods. "Even if we don't screw it up... we take the mind monster out, there's no tellin' how the rest o' the church'll change their plans around. They might panic after we blow up their best security measure."

"Still the best we got," Fuse concludes. "Hitting hard and fast with Michelle up front might be better on paper, at least for catching them all off guard... but it puts her at risk more than taking out the brain and going in after as a group does."


AveryCross 28th Feb 2018, 5:58 PM edit delete reply
I think we should DEFINITELY do some recon first. as nice as the element of surprise would be, we can't afford to slip up here because that could very well lead to losing someone for good
Waddle Dee 28th Feb 2018, 6:04 PM edit delete reply
Consider the possibility of blooding the mind monster. It's immobile, right?

As for the actual mission itself. Send a lone cat without a bomb in for recon, just to learn the layout of the building and where everything is - then, decide what to do from there.
Leafia_Barrett 28th Feb 2018, 6:15 PM edit delete reply
The problem is that creating a direct link to the mind monster could give it free access to our brain, as much as the other way around.
Fishbulb 28th Feb 2018, 6:51 PM edit delete reply
We don't know if the blob can be blooded. IIRC, it was an amalgam of several minds, which may make it impossible to control.
Leafia_Barrett 28th Feb 2018, 6:20 PM edit delete reply
There's no guarantee that our remote control Michelle idea would work. For all we know, the mind monster would be strong enough to overpower Jane's commands, and Michelle would end up blowing her own head off before she even got in the door. There's also the possibility that the monster could access Jane's mind through Michelle's, at which point everybody is completely screwed. We simply can't afford to risk it. I think our safest option is to use a camera spider or a cat for recon - spider is more mobile and can hide more easily, while cat blends in with environment better and is faster. Willard would also be an option, being far smaller than a cat, but his senses aren't quite as good and if he gets spotted, he's likely in a lot more danger than a cat would be.
pkrankow 28th Feb 2018, 6:20 PM edit delete reply
Pump the place full of general anesthesia, or better still, pump the space the monster in in full.

I suspect blooding it wont work so well, as it is quite full of the synthetic blood. It will take more tnan a single syringe at least, and Lefia_Barrett mentions a good point of it might make a path back to us.

Tear gas, something to make the odds more balanced. Knowing where the monster is will help considerably. Ammonia and bleach might be too toxic though. Then again it might be isolated enough that chlorine gas won't have unacceptable bykill.

This general plan requires gas masks and/or rebreathers.
Blue_Elite 28th Feb 2018, 11:20 PM edit delete reply
Already got gas mask/air filter covered (1 is on Caius so we also know it'll fit Michelle).

That's what I couldn't think of before. Tear gas (or "sleep gas" if there's such a thing) would work nicely for the inevitable encounter where we have to incapacitate Zene's mom who will invariably be where the Brain Beast is also at, specifically to prevent us from killing one without killing the other.
Frission 28th Feb 2018, 6:39 PM edit delete reply
Perhaps Willard could be used for some good ol' vent-based recon?
Twyll 28th Feb 2018, 10:02 PM edit delete reply
I agree with using Willard. A cat might raise eyebrows, but if they see a rat, it'll be fairly normal, given the location of the church. Ideally we'll keep out of sight, but just in case they see him, it will be good that he fits in.
Leafia_Barrett 28th Feb 2018, 6:42 PM edit delete reply
Divine_Chaos666 in the Discord raised a point - what about buying or building some kind of remote-control car or something? Take blood out of the equation entirely, remove all risk of Jane being hijacked.
Frission 28th Feb 2018, 6:50 PM edit delete reply
It's been brought up several times - and it's not a bad idea at all - but we've never pulled the trigger on it for various reasons.

Biggest problem is almost literally any obstacle presents an obstacle for one. Not to mention a random RC car with a camera is gonna be a bit more suspicious than just sending in our animals. Probably why we've never gone ahead with it. Sadly there's no shadowrun-style drones in this universe we could play with, either. That I know of. >_> There aren't, are there?
pkrankow 28th Feb 2018, 6:51 PM edit delete reply
A car can deliver an aerosol of some type too. Fire, tear gas, some knockout stuff like ether....
Auron 28th Feb 2018, 7:55 PM edit delete reply
I'd suggest a pigeon because they can fly and they're smaller.
Blue_Elite 28th Feb 2018, 11:41 PM edit delete reply
I'm not a big fan of the "bomb the monster" plan. If they're going to use Zene's mom as bait, and not pull a, "your princess is in another castle" stunt, it'd be stupid to keep her tucked away in some nice, safe place where we can rescue her once we've cleaned up the place. I'm fully anticipating they're going to have Zene's mom right next to the Brain Beast to take a bullet or whatever else we try to throw at it.
This isn't even taking into account that she'll likely have a "blessing of Enyo" that we're going to need to interrupt by incapacitating her before it goes off. If we don't deal with the Brain Beast and get her both in relatively quick fashion, Thale might decide to "cut" his losses.

All that said, I'd still be open to safer ideas. For instance: the goal isn't to kill the Brain Beast - that's just our biggest obstacle.
If we could get a drone/cat(/crone?) in there to blood Zene's mom that'd also be an option. The problem there being Thale would INSTANTLY kill her, if not with the Brain Beast than with the other members likely standing guard at the church. Still, if we could plan a rescue mission around that it might be a step up from our current plan: have Michelle go in through the front as a distraction and send in a crone for the infiltration/infection mission (which there are many problems with that idea alone but this is wordy enough as is).

EDIT: Also if Zene and/or Crease have any info about the church layout, now would be a good time to get that info (also let's get her name so we can stop calling her Zene's mom/Crease's wife).

EDIT x2 Combo: Also also if Fuse knows any good drugs to get someone to lucid-but-not-all-there state, I'm really afraid that the tussle between us and the Brain Beast might break her mentally (like snapping a tug-of-war rope). It'd be good to have a backup plan of being able to put Michelle in a barely coherent state to protect her mentally (while still giving us use of her senses and motor functions).
Memo 1st Mar 2018, 12:23 AM edit delete reply
Churches usually have windows.. we should send a pigeon to look through them to get a basic layout. A pigeon should be part of the normal picture.
Combining that with sending Willard in through a vent, should give us the intel we need.
If we don't want to risc Willard for sentimental reasons, we need to get more rats, that we don't consider pets. Our animal scouts are one of our greatest advantages, but if we don't use it, we are just hoarding animals.
Fishbulb 1st Mar 2018, 8:06 AM edit delete reply
Would it be a safer idea to attempt to blood Harold Hope or one of his flunkies and try to infiltrate the church that way?
lil Joshu 1st Mar 2018, 11:37 AM edit delete reply
lil Joshu
Michelle wants to go in guns blazing, she likes being the hero and denying her that much would be stupid (especially since this is literally a damsel in distress situation to reunite a family, she'd totally get to enjoy this), but we're definitely not doing a suicide mission.

First off, some training prep: See if we can sync with someone lightly with Caius just so we can, when doing stuff, be able to focus on more than one thing at once (because that'd be helpful here.)

Then, see if we can whip up custom armor for one of the cats, and get top-gear armor for Michelle. Make a flak vest out of a flak sleeve, combat helmet out of an elbowpad for a midget, etc. Michelle and Narthylyep (the black one - camouflage) go in at the same time. Narth carries the explosive with remote detenator, and since Narth can be semi-autonomous, we protect Michelle, while secondary in sync (if possible), gives brief guidance bits. Narth drops bomb and gets the heck out of dodge like a cat out of hell, and THEN Michelle runs in after. Then, once we start to feel the brain control, we watch for when their side becomes most reliant on mother brain, then we press the button (likely freeing Michelle of imminant control or breaking some unity thing they got) giving us element of surprise in the middle of a fight.

... or... we have the cat blood the brain.
Portal In Time 1st Mar 2018, 3:32 PM edit delete reply
Portal In Time
Oof. Okay. Everybody here is suggesting sending Willard through the vents - I’ll have to agree with them. I don’t think the Brain Beast can control our Blood brain. Even if it’s through Willard, our red is still too strong for the brain to take control of.

I brought up making one of the cats bomb the church/brain thing, but nobody seems to be willing to let go of one of our cats, even though we got them specifically to be expendable and inconspicuous eyes around the city. The question of HOW we can bomb the place with our cats is a different problem, but I think maybe.. Maybe we could try to portal a bomb through our red, and out of the cat. OR, yknow, getting a pigeon to break a vial through the church’s vents or something, but I don’t know how accurate we can get with that without killing Zene’s mom.

If we settle on the Blood Portaling Kaboom, then I suggest we practice portaling items through our blood in the first place.