Comic 919 - Take the book to the error room

Posted on 10th Apr 2018, 8:02 PM in Shipping Off to Southden
Take the book to the error room

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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 10th Apr 2018, 8:02 PM edit delete
While Dr. Finch and Fuse go to discuss magic with Pierce--without explicitly giving him access to Geoangular Control--you take the book to the error room behind the entrance to the Mars base. Michelle flips the doors so you can enter it.

You wait for the doors to get switched around... and then you walk in.

You are, once more, confronted with an injured mirror of yourself.

She smiles. She holds out her hand. You give her the book.

She opens it up, and pulls it out a pen. She begins to write on the inside of the back cover. As she does, she begins to explain what this room is.

It is, as the writing on the wall implies, a place that shouldn't be--a side effect of all the bunker door shenanigans. Things, people, and events that show up in the error room are things that never were, people that aren't, and events that didn't happen. The room can be affected, slightly, by who and what enters it. You came in with the book... so you get a version of you that didn't happen with a fate loosely related to said book.

Most people can't perceive the room. They walk in, they walk out, they remember nothing. You have slightly higher clearance, so to speak, than most people.

Specifically, the library gave you Geoangular Control. It did NOT give you a different book. Any book more powerful than this one would get you killed--either via magic, or by one of the numerous agencies keeping magic in check.

But... hypothetically speaking

IF the library HAD given you a different book

you might have learned this spell.

She hands you Geoangular Control back. Now, written on the inside cover, are instructions for a ritual... alongside drawings of the proper circle and the symbols that form it.

She tells you that this spell is perfectly safe, considering where it came from. It also gives you access to the most powerful weapon of all: knowledge.

This ritual lets you petition for information from the tradesmen.

You may ask a question, and they will tell you the price of the answer. You may decide from there if you want to pay the price or not. They will never force a deal onto you, and they will always make sure you understand the cost. The more powerful the question, the higher its price. The spell can be totally useless, or the most potent tool in your arsenal... entirely depending on how much you're willing to pay. Sometimes, they even answer questions for free.

Knowledge is power, and power has a price.

The you that isn't also assures you that the library won't mind the markings in the book. It's really easy to erase something that never happened.


lil Joshu 10th Apr 2018, 8:25 PM edit delete reply
lil Joshu
... our metaphysical super-alien phonebook now includes "Press 0 to reach the operator."

... nice.
psychoshen 10th Apr 2018, 11:30 PM edit delete reply
complete with operator charges even
Tych 10th Apr 2018, 11:34 PM edit delete reply
This Comment deserves a cookie
Eternity 10th Apr 2018, 8:26 PM edit delete reply
Wow, this could be really useful! Thanks, Library and Other Us!

I do vote that we see if Pierce can reverse-engineer the summoning spell, since I can't think of any information that we desperately need at the moment.
lil Joshu 10th Apr 2018, 8:27 PM edit delete reply
lil Joshu
We might want to know how Thale is doing things Thale should not be able to do.
Necryel 10th Apr 2018, 10:45 PM edit delete reply
We already know how. He's putting brains in body parts and then considering anything with a copy of his brain as effectively being himself for the purposes of drawing upon The Red. Just as Jane's mother considered her marriage to her father as making them both "Two into one" and thus conisdered her husband as part of herself to be able to extend his life. Remember, their powers are based on a psychological perception and understanding of things. What they believe takes precedence over what actually is; what they understand <b>becomes truth</b> in spite of what the truth may actually be.
Twyll 10th Apr 2018, 8:34 PM edit delete reply
It would be excellent to know what Thale is trying to pull with his massive under-tier tunnel system, and/or how we can stop it. Like, if "what he's trying to pull" is very expensive knowledge, then "how we can stop it" will suffice.
Eternity 10th Apr 2018, 11:02 PM edit delete reply
I second Twyll, but also be REALLY CAREFUL not to do anything to make the Tradesmen mad.
Nayru9572 10th Apr 2018, 8:32 PM edit delete reply
Let the others know about this, and then take a moment to tell Fuse about that 'more psychic than anticipated' deal of his. Maybe in private, so he can calmly take in the info.
lil Joshu 10th Apr 2018, 8:35 PM edit delete reply
lil Joshu
Taking fake bets on the "more psychic than anticpated."

I'm betting three words and a pile of "hmm" that maybe instead of setting things on fire, he makes wormholes, it just so happens that he has a habit of making the other end of his wormhole in close orbit around the sun.
Madd 10th Apr 2018, 8:48 PM edit delete reply
Tell Fuse what the Library said about him.

And actually sit down and study the magic ourselves, we shouldn't have to sync for knowledge all the time.
pkrankow 10th Apr 2018, 8:53 PM edit delete reply
We all study, so if we sync it becomes more completely integrated and understood.
Archon 10th Apr 2018, 9:01 PM edit delete reply
Well now. That's going to see a good deal of use.
Fishbulb 10th Apr 2018, 9:11 PM edit delete reply
I suggest practicing astral projection and finding out its limitations, whether or not your astral soul can be hurt or damaged, whether you can interact with the environment if you are astral planing, etc.
Cuttlefish 10th Apr 2018, 9:11 PM edit delete reply
Good thing we tried the book and not the soul-eating gun. Who knows what sort of an us we’d have met if their fate was tied to that gun!

The blood on other-Jane suggests that getting a more beefy book than Geoangular Control from the Library really did make things go bad - we should be careful about our approach to magic!
pkrankow 10th Apr 2018, 9:47 PM edit delete reply
Maybe my opinion on Pierce is hard, seeing we can literally control his brain and give him no choice.

My fear is magic as a drug. It may become addictive, or worse a single use is instantly addictive.

We are also persons who are technically thralls, not thralls that are effectively automatons. Liz was right to shoot a dirty look. If magic IS addictive then we will have the same troubles I fear regardless of Pierce's involvement. Thale is not the issue.

As a physician Dr Finch has knowledge of asking questions to aid in determining if an addictive effect is happening. As a physician with ... apparently poor ... bedside manners, having more focus on the technical care than the emotional care in his carreer, he may not be well versed in this line of questioning. I think bluntness as to where he is going may work well, and he probably has some standard question forms memorized.

Ultimately Jane needs to allow others to handle the book.

Jane also needs to be back from the error room to use a Cleantex effect so Pierce can copy out what he knows.

The information Pierce has, and the ability to alter spells is quite powerful. It would be best to have assurances that his mind is strong enough to not require attention to his loyalty.
lil Joshu 10th Apr 2018, 11:08 PM edit delete reply
lil Joshu
Crestlinger 10th Apr 2018, 10:31 PM edit delete reply
If the tradesmen are in any way familiar with the library, and they should be, tell them what it told us, that Jane embodies the best hope of things not looping the cycle again and coming out positive. Should help our cause unless they are required to be utterly neutral in things.
lil Joshu 10th Apr 2018, 11:09 PM edit delete reply
lil Joshu
Maybe it would be better to first ask them their stance on resetting vs continuing the universe.
Tych 10th Apr 2018, 11:42 PM edit delete reply
keep in mind the price of asking either question and whether or not we want to what we might have to pay
Tych 10th Apr 2018, 11:41 PM edit delete reply
could ask that but there is a problem with that we don't know what they would ask for in return for the answer could be too high a price I mean this is effectively asking them to show their hand to you don't how paranoid or close to the vest they may like to play things
lil Joshu 10th Apr 2018, 11:10 PM edit delete reply
lil Joshu

We need to hug the "not Jane"
psychoshen 10th Apr 2018, 11:31 PM edit delete reply
"not Jane" could probably use a hug at this point, I agree
Tych 10th Apr 2018, 11:38 PM edit delete reply
Wait so the Error Room is a place that basically didn't happen or rather you could almost consider it the bad ending to all are decisions or maybe actions we didn't take so does that mean it exists as a shadow of cycles of are actions that ended in failure or simply a room where the other 5 sides of the dice came up metaphorically speaking?
pkrankow 12th Apr 2018, 3:47 PM edit delete reply
I get more of a "flip a coin and it landed on edge" vibe...