Comic 958 - Trace the hackers

Posted on 22nd Apr 2018, 1:55 PM in Shipping Off to Southden
Trace the hackers

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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 22nd Apr 2018, 1:55 PM edit delete
Before you head upstairs, you ask Cam if she can disconnect the biopaste from any other printers in the hospital. She nods.

You send a message to Fuse, telling him that you're in the hospital. Using data on his phone he picked up the last time he was here, he puts the security cameras on loop.

You, Caius, and Michelle head up to the fourth floor. You put on your bone armor and you ready your weapons. You leave this bioprinter connected to its paste, since the hackers might not bother trying to take it back if there's no way to make monsters from it.

You sync with Fuse, Dr. Finch, and Elizabeth.

Fuse gives you the signal... and you plug his USB into the bioprinter.

The hack begins.

Fuse, Dr. Finch, and Elizabeth all type furiously away at three separate computers, occasionally reporting on their progress or slinging technical jargon at one another. Elizabeth and Dr. Finch are working on 'taking over the bioprinters;' they use variations on some of Fuse's oldest techniques and habits. The idea is that Howler will recognize them, and think that it's just Fuse trying to get in. They're also outdated and predictable methods, and only able to keep pace in this instance because they're coming from two different directions.

Meanwhile, Fuse is working on the trace.

The process is difficult. Howler and other fugitive hackers aren't slouches, and they were thorough in protecting themselves. The entire attempt almost fails outright a few times as the printers are almost taken back. Fuse and Dr. Finch become progressively more and more stressed, then agitated, as the trace isn't going through fast enough and Thale's hackers are fighting too effectively for the bioprinter.

By the end of it, even Elizabeth is starting to emote, furrowing her brow and speaking in more irritated tones.

Juuust as Howler and his group are about to completely shut down the printer hack...

"GOT 'EM," Fuse shouts. He almost knocks his keyboard off the table from throwing his arms skyward. "SUCK IT, HOWLER!"

"Yes!," Dr. Finch shouts as well. He doesn't quite know what to do with his arms, but he does some kind of... celebratory... motion.

Elizabeth gives a small sigh, sinking her forehead against her monitor. Her tense expression eases and for a brief moment, she almost smiles.

The bioprinter lights up and begins to churn. Caius rather ungracefully rips the biopaste canister right out of the machine before it can really get going.

"Oops," he says sarcastically. The bioprinter makes a few loud, likely warranty-voiding noises. A slab of... meat... rolls out of the printer, but doesn't go on the attack. It just sits there, being meat.

Caius is about to just casually toss the canister on the floor, but Michelle stops him. "Don't. Don't do it."

Caius stares at her... and then solemnly nods. He puts the canister down more gently.

"So," Michelle starts, "did we do it?"

You nod. You did it.

"There's no way they know what happened," Fuse says. "That shit was intense. They were all over that printer, they can't possibly know I was tracing them. We got original identification with coordinates, I'll have you a physical address soon."

Michelle's phone rings. She adjusts the minigun to answer the phone.

"Yeah?," she answers. She listens to the other line. Her expression sinks a bit. "Alright. Get outta there, take everyone you can."

She hangs up her phone and shoves it back in her pocket. "Cops are startin' to surround the building, and Cam was hearin' oldschool hip hop under the first floor."


AE-86 22nd Apr 2018, 2:54 PM edit delete reply
We better be careful he might have the many with him.
Guest 22nd Apr 2018, 3:01 PM edit delete reply
It's the many, likely time to skedaddle as fast as is possible
PurpleKetchup 22nd Apr 2018, 3:18 PM edit delete reply
Well, that's as good a background theme as any.
Although the bone suits would fit better with some death metal...
Let's try to keep it as non-lethal as reasonable. They're in a hospital, but we just disabled their bioprinters.

...Kneecapping with a minigun isn't exactly non-lethal, is it ?
AE-86 22nd Apr 2018, 3:21 PM edit delete reply
Wait i think we're on the fourth floor if we disable the elevator the carpenters robot can't reach us because his robot is definitely not good for stairs.
Twyll 22nd Apr 2018, 4:09 PM edit delete reply
Knowing him, he's made like New Daleks and added jet boosters or something.
fellow 22nd Apr 2018, 3:21 PM edit delete reply
Huh, I didn't notice that blondie's armor had cat ears before.
Blue_Elite 22nd Apr 2018, 3:27 PM edit delete reply
It didn't. She just made the helmet today. We'll have to see if we have pink ritual paint to make the helmet ears pink. >:3
Madd 22nd Apr 2018, 4:15 PM edit delete reply
Yes, it must be pink. :3
Blue_Elite 22nd Apr 2018, 3:24 PM edit delete reply
Hate to bioprint and run but we really must be going.

In retrospect, we really should have made an escape plan. I wasn't expecting this to go off without any biomonsters. Instead, Thale is throwing police and Carpenter at us.

Use the raven to scout out either a safe route or at least a path of least resistance to escape. We need to get out asap before Carpenter shows up.
If we can use the syringe-gun to deal with the cops non-lethally that'll be ideal. Given our last encounter with Thale minions, however, that might be pointless. We might just be dealing with meat-bombs that also just happen to have guns, so be prepared for that.
On that note, we should probably enter blood-mode. If Carpenter is working with Thale we shouldn't have to worry about The Many as it'd disrupt the control over the police. If he's just here coincidentally, however, we may need to start doing override commands.
Quick EDIT: Michelle can lay down some suppressive (and tire damaging) fire with her gun against the cops.
Frission 22nd Apr 2018, 4:11 PM edit delete reply
I *did* suggest we do the escape planning like 2 comics ago. >_> Nobody seemed to notice. :(
Blue_Elite 22nd Apr 2018, 7:12 PM edit delete reply
Well we did park the car in something of a secure location. Just, we didn't plan the whole hospital-to-car route.

I personally got distracted by the threat we didn't get, rather than the one we did. ;>_>
Reiko Lupus 22nd Apr 2018, 3:52 PM edit delete reply
Good, the idiots bited the bait XD.

-Tell Cam to evacuate before things became nasty.

-Use the Raven to search for the better escape route. If there is none, then... Let's prepare to make a run for it XD. Let's give everyone some painkillers and run to the car. Michelle in the Front, shooting the minigun to force the police to take cover and give some space to enter the car. Cat-Ears is going to need to shoot Blood to every officer that appears, and use them to stop the others.

We need to escape before the Monster of Carpenter appears. They ARE dangerous XD.
Frission 22nd Apr 2018, 4:10 PM edit delete reply
Thale/Carpenter's strategy here is probably to convince the cops we're the group responsible for the bioprinter hacks at the start of the comic, so we'll need to find a way to avoid letting that tactic work. D:
Pinpang 22nd Apr 2018, 4:12 PM edit delete reply
Is there any way we can disrupt Arvin's signal? I know we talked about this before, but it doesn't sound like we brought anything with us for that.
Twyll 22nd Apr 2018, 4:14 PM edit delete reply
At this point, we might need to start considering solutions that involve bring in Red-material using the faster but more dangerous method.

Could we make a big slide, like a massive artery that we can stick out the window, anchor to the ground, and slide through? A meat bridge from the roof of the hospital to a nearby building, which we can then retract? Skin parachutes, that we can use to glide down from the roof or window? (That last one is probably more dangerous, as it's tough to make a parachute work on a large scale without an understanding of the aerodynamics of it, and it would also open us up to being shot at.)

They said the cops are *starting* to surround the hospital, but not that they *have* surrounded it, so if we move quickly, we might be able to go above or around them. And even if they're already there, maybe the sudden appearance of strange meat things will be enough of a shock to keep the un-Queened cops from reacting quickly, and our armor can hopefully deflect shots from the Queened cops.

Alternatively, if we can stealthily blood some cops (and if they're not Queened), we might be able to have them distract or mislead their comrades.

Let's ask Michelle for advice. Does she know how the cops would go about approaching this situation? She does have law enforcement experience and probably was given memories/experience about how to work together to secure a building when she was created.
Wote 22nd Apr 2018, 4:31 PM edit delete reply
Yeah, between our eyes in the sky and Michelle, we should be able to plot a Path of Least Resistance. We'll need to make that assessment pretty quick, though, because that path might not be around for very long.
Madd 22nd Apr 2018, 4:18 PM edit delete reply
Well, it's time we make a break for it.

Edit, meatslab, bone armor, and we make it some skin. We then have a dummy we can throw out the window and then run out the back and run off in the hummer.
Fishbulb 22nd Apr 2018, 4:32 PM edit delete reply
Have Fuse change the footage so that it looks like Jane, Michelle, and Caius are still on the fourth floor (if he can) to decoy Carpenter into sending his robot there, instead of just randomly causing collateral damage. Cam should definitely try to evacuate the hospital (how good is she at acting?).

Try to escape without engaging the police. We may not be able to escape to the higher tiers this time. Now would probably be a good time to attack the hackers, since they're likely not expecting it.
pkrankow 22nd Apr 2018, 5:01 PM edit delete reply
I would bet on Carpenter et al ...

Evacuation of the hospital might be warrented. We need to meet this threat but not be stupid about it.

I hope Blondie is packing an assortment of weapons.
Heroshima 22nd Apr 2018, 6:21 PM edit delete reply

Get Cam and the other employees at the hospital to escape and/or hide. Also, get ready for a boss fight.