Comic 845 - Power the camera

Posted on 26th Mar 2018, 5:55 PM in Shipping Off to Southden
Power the camera

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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 26th Mar 2018, 5:55 PM edit delete
You consider a few alternate methods of powering the camera.

Thoughts are, to simplify it a great deal, electrical signals. You send thoughts and suggestions from your brain to other brains all the time. You provoke neurological behavior with your will, thoughts passing through the red somehow. If these thoughts remain electrical in nature, you could--possibly--strengthen the signal and send stronger electricity directly to a receiving end. However, you're not sure it does work that way, or if your thoughts maintain an electrical form as they pass through the red--when you move an object, are you hitting it with neural signals, or something else? Further, there'd be no way to control what it does when it gets there--it would just try to go to the golem's "brain," whatever the red interprets that to be, and you need to be a little more controlled than that. You want to power the camera, not fry it.

You consider forming electricity directly in the red and sending it to the golem via a portal. However, you run into the same problem you did with the eyeball: where's the portal at, spatially speaking, inside the red?

You head outside to Ilworth, and you swipe the door to Bunker B. In the short term, at least, this cuts the door off from the warehouse.

You take a deep breath.

You convert the blood you've placed in the golem, and the camera, into electricity. It's not easy, and you suspect that you wasted some of it burning it off into free ions or... something. It doesn't feel like you did it right, or at least, not very efficiently. Getting into the camera's battery is a problem, as well, one you didn't think about too much before you started--it's not built to receive electricity directly, it's designed to harness ambient energy from an EM field.

Still, you... fumble your way to something resembling a success. The camera comes on, though the screen's a bit glitchy now. You probably damaged the camera a little in the process of charging it, and you didn't give it much juice, but... it works.

The camera is on. You can't see much from this spot in the warehouse, but you can hear perfectly fine.

"Wait, hold on--" you hear the young male voice from the last time you were hear, "--something else. Like a burning...? Like burnt... metal, I guess."

There's a pause. You hear a female voice, vaguely familiar, speak up. "Leave me."

"Ma'am...? Are you sure?," asks the male voice.

"I am absolutely positive," she replies. "Walk back out into the hall. Close the door behind you."

"Yes, ma'am, Ms. Voclain."

You hear the young man walking away, and then the door shutting. You hear high heels on the cement floor, drawing nearer but still a distance off.

"Are you here?," she asks. She speaks loudly, her voice echoing across the warehouse. "Are you hiding in the ventilation? Did you sneak in some homemade robot, like you did at the power plant? I'm not him. Not yet. I have about three days by my estimation before I become another one of his puppets. It normally takes less time, but you have kept him very distracted lately, and this is a small operation. He is resting. He no longer sleeps, but his mind still has to have breaks. This place, at this exact moment, is a blind spot. Are you here?"

She wanders into the view of the camera.


Though she keeps glancing at the crate, she mostly looks out into the warehouse, eyes wandering everywhere. She's not sure where you are, or if you're even there at all. She continues to speak anyway. She looks... extremely similar to Thale's secretary, and sounds like her... but something's off. She's not... quite identical.

"I hate you," she says. "I don't know if that's him or me. It may be both. I won't hurt you, though. Not me. Not while I am me. You are the only thing that can stop him. I know that because he knows that. You are the only thing he is afraid of. He fears literally nothing else. Even you were of little concern until Mr. Row and Ms. Shirai went off the grid. He realized then how little he knew about you and what you are capable of. He has no qualms sacrificing pawns to win the game but on his terms. He has to have control. You have taken it from him, in small doses, and that makes him very upset."

She stops. Her expression never changes, not even for a second. Not even slightly. She shouts slightly louder into the dark.

"I feel like I am losing my mind. I don't know if that's him or me. It may be both. Are you here?"


Leafia_Barrett 26th Mar 2018, 6:34 PM edit delete reply
Someone needs to take a syringe or blood dart through to her. Immediately. We don't have long. Run.
Try to lift the drone up and drop it, or make it rattle around, or... something, anything, to make noise. Get her attention. Let her know we're listening.
Finch, go wake up Caius and Michelle. We may need them.

EDIT: Moving the bandages out into the open where she can see them would also be sufficient evidence that we're listening. We need to do this while heading for the door.
Portal In Time 26th Mar 2018, 6:40 PM edit delete reply
Portal In Time
This is excellent. And terrifying. We can save her.

Most cameras have a speaker for playing their recordings. If she's capable of hearing it, I vote that we should make a loud enough noise for her to notice our drone, pick it up, and then we speak to her through it. Ask her if she wants to be free, if she wants to never be Thale's puppet.

We can do a quick transaction of a blood vial through our door, slip it through the hole we made. After she injects herself, she needs to immediately get clearance over both the door's crate, and the Z50 canister. She needs to relocate them to our bunker door, abandoning all trackers. We can meet up and speak in person after then.

We can still save her.
LytharWolfe 26th Mar 2018, 6:43 PM edit delete reply
She has no reason to lie. Either she's already a puppet, and we can steal her from Thale and, in the confusion, get the door to safety, or she's not, and we can steal her out from under Thale's nose, right here and right now.

Blood her.
Madd 26th Mar 2018, 6:44 PM edit delete reply
Blood her now, either this is a trap and we do what we normally do, or we free someone vitally important.

Also they know about sanguine.
Fishbulb 26th Mar 2018, 6:57 PM edit delete reply
Under no circumstances should we give Voclain a vial of blood. If we want to blood her, it has to be done by Jane or someone else from the group. Also consider that as soon as she stops being under Thale's influence, he will notice, so Jane will only have until he "wakes up" to get Voclain, the door, or both out of the warehouse.
undeadDreamer 26th Mar 2018, 6:58 PM edit delete reply
If she can't see our crate send another golem out to blood her. If she wants to be unblooded later we can just turn our blood into other things.
pkrankow 26th Mar 2018, 6:58 PM edit delete reply
She would be a fantastic asset. Yes.

She is probably loaded with PINTS of the synthetic alien blood Thale controls. Well, at least 1 pint, good chance on 2. A single dart won't be very quick at taking her over. If Thale is paying attention it may actually fail This isnt a queen user with a couple doses...

Compromising the security on the PJ's door is a very high potential cost.

I feel it is a bad idea to dart her. It is also a bad idea to reveal ourselves unless she finds the golem... 1 is yes, x is no?
Blue_Elite 26th Mar 2018, 7:03 PM edit delete reply
This absolutely, positively, reeks of bait. Thale knows, KNOWS, we are the sentimental type.
Even IF this is "Ms. Voclain" and not Patton Thale, even IF it's not going to be Patton Thale in the next few minutes it takes to contact her, even IF Ms. Voclain is 100% correct and she is safe to approach, there is absolutely no way we'd get away with getting in contact with her.

We'd give away that we have access to that warehouse, either because we'd have to bust the crate to get to her OR simply because she'd, "disappear," without a trace - if we don't take her out via the door, she'll get killed by Thale's goons on the way out due to being blooded. Then there'd be no way to stop Thale from invading Bunker B and then possibly getting ahold of Lasker. That itself would just be the tip of the iceberg if he was then able to turn the door access around and use it to get to the other bunkers.

I feel bad for her, I really really do; and I believe that is in large-part the POINT of this setup, but there is simply no way we can pull off a rescue in these circumstances without a severe backlash from Thale.

The only way I could agree to a very sudden rescue is if we have a way to destroy that door (from either side). If we can do that, even if this goes completely south, at the very least we can prevent Thale from getting to Lasker and to us.
And keep in mind that, as far as we know, that's the only door to the PJs. Whoever does the rescue may become stranded/left-for-dead and we may never be able to visit the PJs again.

EDIT: Ask Fuse if there'd be a way to permanently sabotage the other side of Bunker B's door so it will always lead to, "Invalid," or an Error room. As I mentioned, if we can make it physically impossible for Thale to follow us, I'd be on-board with this rescue mission. Just remember to pull the signal scrambler from Edison's canister so we can put it on Tesla's canister before taking it. We don't want a small detail like that to sabotage this whole plan.
pkrankow 26th Mar 2018, 8:57 PM edit delete reply
Yes, if we act on this we will have problems. Rescuing Telsa will be a goal we may not get a chance at again if we act.
Gitaxian 26th Mar 2018, 7:42 PM edit delete reply
Leave the camera where it is. Move the bandages out by themselves. Try to spell out "on our way" with them if possible, and at least get her attention.
Cuttlefish 26th Mar 2018, 8:27 PM edit delete reply
Gr8 b8 m8. We’ve encountered people before with cyber-brains, or whatever it was that prevented us from blooding the guy at the power plant. And that almost got us killed. Our best asset right now is our hidden base, and even destroying the door behind us will still reveal that we’re hiding out in old Z50 bunkers.
wierdweblurker 26th Mar 2018, 8:42 PM edit delete reply
We need to blood... Admiral Ackbar. This is most likely a trap. Even if it isn't, the cost of blooding her - the location of the bunkers - is too high. This is not to say we can't do it, she may be a massive tactical asset. But not here, not now. We have about three days to figure out how to get the blood into her, which can be done through raven recon and/or sniping.
dasno 26th Mar 2018, 9:10 PM edit delete reply
it may be a trap, in fact it probably is but so far that hasn't stopped us from doing the right thing, save the girl at the very least we have home field advantage if the bunkers get compromised.
Crestlinger 26th Mar 2018, 9:10 PM edit delete reply
Time for a middle man then, get in touch with Lydia and Grizwald, get her to meet them (spell out lydia's phone in bandages), blood her with the vial at a location Not here. If not enough then trap confirmed and Run, if enough between those two nobody is better at hiding people, then get her to Mars at the first safe opportunity.
dasno 26th Mar 2018, 9:17 PM edit delete reply
while a middle man might work if this was a meeting kind of deal what we need right now is speed unfortunately and we are the fastest thing around.
Xylas_Incarnum 26th Mar 2018, 9:38 PM edit delete reply
So... Blood her? I think Blooding her sounds quite good right about now.