Comic 1043 - Grow the bug wings

Posted on 23rd May 2018, 5:16 PM in Hope
Grow the bug wings

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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 23rd May 2018, 5:16 PM edit delete
You decide that, since you'll be trying to approach the church from above, it may be prudent to investigate the upstairs area.

You schlorp your bug back to the egg in the main area, and when the guards aren't looking, you hustle it back to the first hall where the upstairs door is.

Halfway down the hallway, though, a thought occurs to you.

You can now move material to the bug. The bug is very small, and a bug.

After... some effort, getting the details worked out in your brain... you give the bug tiny wings.

You give it a practice flutter and indeed, the bug takes off into the air. Not... gracefully, but into the air nonetheless. You suspect this will be very helpful for not just exploring the church further, but for getting a bug onto (and into) the monster.

Modifying your bug in this way also gives you an idea, a very different idea.

You ask Dr. Finch how octopi and other creatures camouflage themselves.

"Oh, dear," he says, almost laughing. "I I I do worry where this is going. Cephalopods have chromatophores, cells that contain biochromes for pigment. The chromatophores are... are are attached to the nervous system, allowing the animal to change its color with muscle contractions. Humans instead have melanocytes, which produce melanin. That.. is the basic and very rough version, I may have butchered the explanation as I am very much not a zoologist."

Dr. Finch adjusts his glasses, mulling it over for a moment. "Engineering chromatophores would be... a task, to say the very least. I'm not familiar enough with them to offer much help in their construction biologically, and I'm frankly unsure if you could manufacture cells that aren't... human, by default."

You did just make bug wings.

...Out of human-esque meat and skin. Okay, fair point.

"For a very impromptu solution," Dr. Finch continues, "I don't believe anything should stop you from altering your own melanin levels. While the pigments found in, say, sea stars or cuttlefish are a very different fashion of melanin, it is melanin nonetheless... as is the pigment of your eyes. Not limited by the path of human evolution, you may be able to assume a... a wide variety of colors, with some effort. I would like to emphasize effort, however, as this won't be like picking paints from the home decor shop--you'll be altering proteins and monitoring the effects for a best case scenario. Pinning down a specific color perfectly will come neither quickly nor easily, if you can hone in on one accurately at all. Returning to your original skin tone may be impossible for much the same reasons."

He takes a breath. "Lastly, there are... a list of sometimes poorly understood complications involved with high or low melanin, mostly involving skin diseases and the like. ...I believe I can say with confidence we are far beyond worrying about that sort of thing, though. I only bring it up for the sake of transparency--if you damage your DNA in the process of turning invisible, I feel like melanoma shouldn't be that big of an obstacle anymore."

You take all this into consideration. You thank Dr. Finch, and also ask if he could pick up a whole bunch of language translation guides on the way back from their shopping trip. You want to try trading up as many translation manuals as possible to see if you can get a universal translator.

Dr. Finch smiles. "Certainly."


Archon 23rd May 2018, 6:03 PM edit delete reply
As long as we only apply the camo to our homunculi/golems, it should be fine.

Still, might want to invest in some practice when we get some free time; should help future golems look a bit less patchy.
ReikoLupus 23rd May 2018, 6:06 PM edit delete reply
And before we know it, we'll be talking to cats and the monsters in Bunker X XD.

Let's pospone the camouflage. That is something that needs time and effort. Continue investigating the church. And try to fill an Egg with Blood to create a new Bug without having to move materials from the one we are using. Knowing that we can do it can be very useful XD. And if we can, then Try to send that material to your Red. Knowing that we can return them to the Red can be even more usefull XD.
Gigafreak 23rd May 2018, 6:27 PM edit delete reply
Did the bug even need wings when it could already blood-levitate? That's how we were making it travel along walls and ceilings to begin with...

Ah well, I suppose it can still make the bug more closely resemble a beetle or roach if spotted.

Or is this a precursor to having Jane and her allies sprout meaty pterodactyl wings? ...That wouldn't be doable today, but could be pretty amazing if it worked.
Skullrama 23rd May 2018, 6:35 PM edit delete reply
Blood levitate is kind of clumsy and imprecise, wings are kind of clumsy and imprecise... together, perhaps, they can allow for pretty good air control?
pkrankow 23rd May 2018, 7:09 PM edit delete reply
Two effective but impercise control methods should make better control and redundancy
Skullrama 23rd May 2018, 6:34 PM edit delete reply
Fly boldly forth up the stairs yon bug! Or, uh, stealthily move up the ceiling in the stair corridor. We'll want to have as much idea of the structure of this place as we can before shopping time is done and SERIOUS TIME begins.

Experimenting with giving the bug different melanin tones would be potentially useful, but it is already covered in dust, which seems to be giving it pretty good camo as is.
Cyanic 23rd May 2018, 8:01 PM edit delete reply
I still standby what I said on the previous page of practicing toxin fabrication in the red, or at least practicing non-human cell fabrication, just like, one cell or one lump of non-human parts

Also request Caius to give Fuse some CQC tips regarding kicking so he can do more awesome robo-kicks!
chaosblitz 23rd May 2018, 9:19 PM edit delete reply
oh, actually yeah that's a good idea! Jeez, I wish we could just kind of split our conciousness or something (do you think we could like, put our red in charge of it or something??) because that seems like the kind of thing we would need to keep a watch on to make sure we don't accidentally poison ourself, but we really need to keep a watch on this bug and make sure it doesn't get squashed. Also seconding Caius giving Fuse some tips.
Winged Crusade 23rd May 2018, 8:08 PM edit delete reply
Winged Crusade
What about doing something not unlike what the bone armor spell does and *shlorp out* things that give us a chameleon effect instead? It’d be safer than practicing on our own skin directly at least.
Twyll 23rd May 2018, 11:30 PM edit delete reply
I like this idea-- would probably not be terribly comfortable because it would be like wearing full-body leather, but it would definitely be easier to fix than if we messed with our own skin.
Blue_Elite 23rd May 2018, 9:01 PM edit delete reply
Investigate upstairs (still carefully).

Also it probably wouldn't hurt to try adding a little melatonin to the blood bug's wings to make them brownish (to match the rest of the bug). That's how it normally functions anyway.