Comic 872 - Discuss Ms. Voclain

Posted on 31st Mar 2018, 4:17 PM in Shipping Off to Southden
Discuss Ms. Voclain

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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 31st Mar 2018, 4:17 PM edit delete
You ask Fuse what Lydia did to stop Hope from calling Thale.

"Uh, yelled at him from the vent," Fuse replies. "It didn't help, as shocking as that might be. It just lead to Hodges trying to cap us."

You ask how it even got that far. What lead to them crawling around in Hope's church...?

"Man, I don't even know," Fuse sighs, shaking his head. "She had info on Gargan, then it turned into a stake out, then when it turned out they were all having a secret meeting she wanted to go in and I couldn't talk her out of it, but I couldn't just let her go in by herself so..." Fuse tosses his hands up in a sort of shrug. "Dunno if they got a good look at her or not. She's not exactly under the radar to start with, so it probably doesn't matter."

You talk to Dr. Finch about what to do tomorrow, mainly in regard to Ms. Voclain's arm.

"Your abilities could certainly be of assistance," he says. "Though, I do have concerns about our Mars bioprinter. It's fairly old, and printing of whole limbs is a newer convention... it may not have the options necessary for something of that scale. In general, finding a comfortable norm for Ms. Voclain may hinge far more heavily on you than it does any technology we could access... and even still, it will be a far bigger project than I believe you've committed to thus far. Restructuring a skeleton to human standard is... quite a trick."

"It's a night full of dumb ideas," Fuse says, "but I might have a dumb idea. You guys remember why I brought up Geoangular Control in the first place, right?"

"Yeah," Michelle replies. "Caius was dyin', and we were hashin' out ideas for how to save 'em."

Fuse nods. "Nil was offering to swap his soul to a different body, and I thought the book might be able to do that. ...Guys, what if the book can do that?"

Dr. Finch adjusts his glasses. "That... that that that is a distinct possibility indeed, but we would be affecting forces far outside our normal wheelhouse. I'm not even comfortable defining a soul, or the psychic sense of self, or whatever else it is the book may profess to transfer. ...If it does at all, we still haven't seen the book."

"Plus," Michelle adds, "who would we even swap Voclain with? I mean, there's other--" Michelle stops, almost smacking herself in the forehead. "Oh, duh. Thale's growin' those bodies in tubes. The, uh... first edition models were more human, right? Like, Thale's secretary's been kickin' it a while, and nobody's mentioned her walkin' like an alien. We could use the book to swap Voclain's soul into one of those bodies."

"...We'd have to get one of those bodies to do that, though," Fuse realizes. "Which means breaking into Thale's weird alien wife farm, or... kidnapping his secretary, I guess. That all sounds really stupid, guys. This was a stupid idea, forget I mentioned it."

"I dunno," Michelle replies. "It's... good on paper."

"It's bordering on suicidal on paper," Dr. Finch states. "Even if the book is what we believe it is, even if it has that manner of power, even if we can perform a... a a an elaborate soul switching ritual without some dire side effect or outrageous cost, there is absolutely no conceivable reality in which we can commandeer one of Thale's spare secretary shells to facilitate the mysterious magical spell being suggested."

Dr. Finch tugs at his lab coat, breathing out and breathing in deeply, and collects himself. He looks at you. "I personally suggest using this as a chance to push your abilities further. It may be more work, and it may take more time... but I believe it will incur far less risk to us in the long run. I'm not normally one to play it safe necessarily--"

"--You totally are, though," Fuse interjects with a slight smile.

"--But," Dr. Finch continues, "I feel we need to be very careful with that book, and magic in general. We have already seen the disastrous results of magic used improperly. We should heed those warnings."

"Well," Fuse says, "I'm going to bed before any more horrible shit happens."

"Same," says Michelle.

"I'm going to be up a bit longer, I think," Dr. Finch concludes. "I'll stay awake to let Caius back in when he's finished up."

You check on Caius. He's fine--helping the driver of the truck, and one of the larger crewmen, check everything for tracers and clean up.

You check the camera at the warehouse. It's oddly silent--no one seems to be around. You set the camera to charge for now.

You finally go to bed, as well.

What will you do tomorrow?


Ronmr 31st Mar 2018, 4:59 PM edit delete reply
Don't do magic, that is still too dangerous. Play it sage at the moment.
BunnyMuffin 31st Mar 2018, 5:22 PM edit delete reply
Still might wanna get the book, just in case it falls into the wrong hands.
Blue_Elite 31st Mar 2018, 5:13 PM edit delete reply
Pretty sure we (Jane, Dr. Finch and technically Caius (who had a beer)) missed dinner so HUGE breakfast tomorrow. It'll be a nice welcoming meal for Ms. Voclain as well (whether or not she appreciates it is another story). There's parfaits that were suggested last time. I don't think we've done waffles yet too; pancakes but not waffles. Maybe chicken and waffles (ideally pre-cut for Ms. Voclain so she doesn't have to mess with both a fork and knife)?

We definitely need to update Jury but I'd like to ask Ms. Voclain some questions first. Mainly just general info about Thale's more immediate plans. Does she know if he's planning to bring about rapture via a bioprinter apocalypse? Does she know if the bioprinters have been messed with in a way that can be traced back to him (or at least Gargan, it'd be a start anyway)? Then we should get her permission to let Jury interview her.
If all that goes well, I think we can give Jury an update and direction to go in to help us.

THEN we can see about replacing her arm (unless we want to do that before breakfast but I'm assuming that's going to be a long and tiring process so I'm suggesting it for later rather than sooner).
Twyll 31st Mar 2018, 5:22 PM edit delete reply
We had fishdogs for dinner in Southden, in comic 856. But a hearty breakfast is still a good idea, after such a stressful night!
Wote 31st Mar 2018, 5:22 PM edit delete reply
I'm fine with pushing our more mundane—for whatever value of mundane one prefers—abilities for now. We know how a body is supposed to work and we have Finch to help us figure the rest out.

Besides, as much as I've been an advocate for Geoangular Control, my thinking's never been to use it straight. The mindset a book like that likely teaches is far more valuable to us than whatever rituals it uses. If my suspicions are correct, we can adapt what we learn to tap into our own Red without needing to drop our meatsuit too hard, as well as letting our friends start tapping us for help instead of relying entirely on us being able to pay attention to situations.

Basically, I expect GC will be able to help us not have to spread so thin, which is a net gain in the long-term. For now, though, let's just fix Ms. Voclain the old-fashioned way.
psychoshen 31st Mar 2018, 5:23 PM edit delete reply
Getting the book isn't a certainty at this point, so I don't recommend making plans around that yet.

While the bioprinter isn't up to the standards that they need, the biopaste will probably serve as raw material for Jane's construction. While the arm is being replaced and other tweaks are being made, the group should ask Ms. Voclain knows about various Thale type things. As a side bonus, that will hopefully keep her distracted from the process itself and any discomfort that might entail.

Someone should check on Lydia to make sure made it through the night without any issues. Anyone who doesn't have plans should sort through some of the crates they just stole.

Questions for Ms. Voclain:
Does Patton keep any sort of a schedule?
Does he go into public for any reason?
Where does he live?
Does he have any weaknesses?
Distractions cause him to operate more slowly, is there anything besides Jane's group that is distracting him?
He didn't pay much mind to the warehouse, what places does he focus on instead?
How does he make his secretary shells, where does the material come from?
Does he have any allies or enemies we haven't encountered yet?

(That's all I can think of right now, keep getting distracted by work haha.)
Twyll 31st Mar 2018, 5:25 PM edit delete reply
Yeah, I'm thinking we should stick with doing things the blood goddess way, not the humans-meddling-with-eldritch-powers-beyond-their-knowing way. We need to practice with our biology-altering powers anyways. And this way, if Ms. Voclain wants us to customize her body in any particular way, we can do that-- so she can feel more at home in her own skin, which is a feeling that I suspect is fairly foreign to her.

Also, does Ms. Voclain have a first name? "Ms. Voclain" sounds so formal; it'd be nice to call her by her first name, if Thale ever bothered to give her one. (If he didn't, or if she just wants a new one, the discord settled on suggesting "Elizabeth" as a good name for her.)
Blue_Elite 31st Mar 2018, 6:50 PM edit delete reply
Dr. Finch has always been Dr. Finch. Sometimes he's the Finchster or Finch but when asked for a name, he just said, "Dr. Finch." I'd have no problem with continuing to call Ms. Voclain, "Ms. Voclain."

That said, she hates everything about Thale. If that includes her name, then I'd be fine with caller her something else.
pkrankow 31st Mar 2018, 5:28 PM edit delete reply
Re study human anatomy so we can lean less on Dr Finch. It is not like the good Dr won't be available, but it will help. We learned a ton of that for nursing school, so refresh.

We can probably restructure Ms V some so she can move easier, and have less constant pain. This is better doing over time instead of all at once.

We need to analyse what Ms V is, a hybrid clone? Human? Something else?

Mom's Red might have insight. Has Mom's Red grown an eye locally yet?

Naturally we need to get information... nicely. Start with her full name.

We need to take Telsa and Edison to Faraday. Faraday will hopefully be be lucid enough to assist.

We need to consult with Pierce and co about the voice at the bar. (P 860) The goal there is (more or less) within his experience.

Finish up at the warehouse, hide everything, set the camera to charge, we will need to portal in stink bombs though.

While the book I think will be generally helpful, I too am inclined to distrust it.
Nerak55 31st Mar 2018, 5:35 PM edit delete reply
Yeah, I trust the book about as far as we can throw it, and considering we don't even have it yet... it seems silly to put any trust in it or plan for when we do have it if ever.
That said I am still hoping aiming to get the book is on the schedule sometime soonish.
Madd 31st Mar 2018, 5:36 PM edit delete reply
A nice breakfast, then start work on fixing Voclain's body.

Talk to Jury about Thale's plans.
Istyatur 31st Mar 2018, 5:40 PM edit delete reply
Im with finch on working with our current abilities and refining them. Latter on we might have a better understanding of magic and swap her into a older body, or even one we make. Our first 'spell' probably should be something we care less about than her soul. Helping her in the meantime is a win-win.

Right now, we don't even know what geoangular control can do and if its more or less dangerous for us (or which parts; i bet we can use the bits that draw on our red more safely than some random cultist, but other 'gods' may be more concerned if another god draws from them)
Fishbulb 31st Mar 2018, 6:48 PM edit delete reply
If Jane can help do a brain transplant, and unkill herself after having her brain impaled by bone shrapnel, she can definitely fix Ms. Voclain's body.

First, though, everyone should sit down with Ms. Voclain and have a talk. Give her some emotional support, figure out how to fix her, both physically and mentally. Maybe take a brief walk in Ilworth if it's nice out, so that she can enjoy freedom.
chaosblitz 31st Mar 2018, 7:09 PM edit delete reply
Hmm, to fix Ms. Voclain (fun fact: I googled her name and found out that it comes from the french name "VAUQUELIN", which comes from a german word that roughly means "foreign", which is a good name for someone based on an alien/elder god person!), we might need to "be the blood" for a bit. I think we were better at fixing people's wounds and such while we were a bit out of body. (also can we just find a damn anatomy book or something? I know we were a nurse before all of this happened, but I'd still feel more comfortable if we had some sort of reference on hand...)
Leafia_Barrett 31st Mar 2018, 7:18 PM edit delete reply
Moving forward, we should try to be cognizant of the fact that Ms. Voclain likely still harbors residual hatred for us that's been wired into her brain after living as Thale's puppet for so long, and she also probably lacks some of the social niceties that most people take for granted. If she's rude or awkward or anything like that, we shouldn't take it personally.

First things first, I think after a day like yesterday, a hearty breakfast is definitely called for. We should... well first off, we should ask Ms. Voclain what her first name is so we can call her something better than Ms. Voclain, and second, we should ask her if she has any food allergies or if certain foods make her ill, and base our breakfast choice around that, or at least make her a separate breakfast if need be. Per usual, check the news during breakfast and check on all the animals; also check in on Caius, see how things are going on his end. Might be good to take inventory, figure out exactly what we have on hand (warehouse boxes notwithstanding, let's hold out on that) and what all of importance is currently happening. Off the top of my head, I can think of fix Ms. Voclain, get magic book, talk to Tesla, and try to find out what Thale is up to with those bioprinters.

I think we should go ahead and print the new arm if possible. I may be putting a lot of stock in our current skills but I think we can make do with just having "an arm that exists" and just fix it up from there. Maybe put some extra mass on the arm to give us more material to work with, god knows we're going to need it to fill in some of the bone mass and muscle mass that Thale intentionally omitted. We also need to take into consideration that the original blood running through her veins is entirely bioprinted garbage blood, and we'll have to either flush it out and replace it, swap its material with some other material or some such (like turn it into bone and some bone into blood), or convert it directly into actual functional blood. If we're unsure about any details, like how dense/thick bone should be, we have Dr. Finch to help us; any point where we have doubts about our ability to fix/do something, we test it out on the meat golem, or make a new meat golem to test stuff out on. Measure twice, cut once, and all that jazz.

Let's definitely put the Magic Book sidequest on hold for now; we have enough on our plate already. After all, the library's always open, right? We've got time.
pkrankow 31st Mar 2018, 8:34 PM edit delete reply
"Measure thrice, cut twice" don't amuse you?

I jest. Yes, you have good ideas. A generic structure that we then adjust might not be bad.
Archon 31st Mar 2018, 8:08 PM edit delete reply
Could look into general workshop material/tools.
Making golems/homunculi as we have been is... sufficient, but we could do better.

Chat with the others about this. Curious what kind of golem/homunculi they may be interested in.