Comic 1048 - Check the downstairs

Posted on 26th May 2018, 1:18 AM in Chapter VIII
Check the downstairs

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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 26th May 2018, 1:18 AM edit delete
"Thale" and his secretary fall silent. You're steadily leaning toward blitzing the monster under the church with bugs--but you still want to wait until you're ready to grab Grizwald for that. If the monster goes down, Thale might get desperate and do something to Grizwald.

For now, you leave an egg in the audio/video room and schlorp your bug back to Hope's study. You have the bug makes its way down the stairs at the end of the hall. They're... a surprisingly long set of stairs, leading to a small basement hallway.


T41 26th May 2018, 1:34 AM edit delete reply
Only the head? That is not this monster's MO.

Could someone else be here?
Twyll 26th May 2018, 1:37 AM edit delete reply
It might be the closest part the monster could get to-- perhaps the guard leaned down to pick something up or knelt to tie his shoelace or something, or to peer under the door, thus putting his head in the line of fire.
Swagner 26th May 2018, 3:55 AM edit delete reply
The way his body's propped up, I'm leaning in the direction of another monster, rather than the giant one.
Cyanic 26th May 2018, 1:37 AM edit delete reply
That's a good point, we'll wanna notify our friends of there being other possible entities here
Cyanic 26th May 2018, 1:35 AM edit delete reply
May wanna leave the corpse and the obvious part of the subchurch monster alone for now and check out the door on the left. CAREFUL OF ELECTRIFIED THO
wierdweblurker 26th May 2018, 1:36 AM edit delete reply
Charming. Well, let's take the door to the left and leave what I strongly suspect to be an eyeball monster to its own devices.
1977 26th May 2018, 1:42 AM edit delete reply
Looks like the monster really knows no friends or foe.

Could we somehow lure the rest of the guards down here?

At some point Hope should become aware that his guards go missing and confront Thale about it.

Maybe then we have an easy opportunity to rescue Grizwald.
Portal In Time 26th May 2018, 2:56 AM edit delete reply
Portal In Time
I'm curious what's behind that different looking door. Could we add a bunch of weight to our bug to pull down the handle? Then just leave the extra mass back with the rest of the gore pile.
Blue_Elite 26th May 2018, 3:04 AM edit delete reply
Hey awesome, an easy way to get to the monster. I was afraid we'd have to endure a tentacle pounding just to reach it from any direction.

I'd avoid traveling on the floor to the door on the left. That guard has got me worried, the way it died doesn't look natural. It looks like its head, and only it's head, just exploded. Hopefully we can check out the door before finding out if there are supernatural/mutant shenanigans at play here.
I do, however, vote that we do our egg trick and come back here to mess around with the bug. If the monster DOES have psychic head-exploding abilities, we'd want to learn that sooner rather than later.
Gigafreak 26th May 2018, 8:36 AM edit delete reply
The blood smear on the shutter handle and the blood smear on the Down button of the shutter control suggest a wounded guard desperately trying to close the door while being pummeled by the tentacles... or grabbing at things in a panic while being dragged outside by same.

Problem is, there's no obvious way this guy's head could have been crushed AFTER the shutter reached its current "tentacle cannot fit through" position. Another guard may have closed the shutter after this guy's death, but he'd be covered in blood (if not his own, then the dead guy's) and trailing it everywhere he goes. But there's no obvious bloodstains between here and the washrooms... It really does indeed look kinda like the dead guy's head just spontaneously burst.

Oh, wait. Maybe the hypothetical "dragged out the door" guy was the actual last man standing, and his desperate grip on the shutter handle is what pulled it to its current position, after the other guy's head was crushed.

...I wonder if the corpse might have anything useful in his pockets. In particular, we can find out if the guards carry handguns-- not because we particularly need any, but to see if we will be facing a shootout.
lil Joshu 26th May 2018, 3:08 AM edit delete reply
lil Joshu
So, revised blood-blitz plan mk 3.1 ...

1. Mass eject blood.
1b. Add iron deposit layer to everyone's bone armor helmets (blood has iron in it afterall) to give shielding from anything like telepathic abilities. Like foil hats, but less goofy. Maybe make Caius's be a full skull with see-through eyes instead of a helmet with a visor, he'd probably get really excited about that ;)
2. Craft airtight "blood sub" from bone and cartilage and keratin to transverse through the red (like bone armor, but much larger and mainly just the ribcage)
3. Make a pool of blood under the blood-sub for blood portaling. Also have it have a large blood sac that can be released on command. Also cover in spines for injecting blood into any giant monsters that tries to smoosh it.
4. Get everyone into blood-sub. (Red shouldn't be traumatizing if they're protected from it by the blood-sub.
5. 'Refresh' blood bug with enough blood to make two bugs.
6. Send one to Grizwald, make marks under his clothing, talk to him via bone induction on his spine, make sure he can still say Thale's name, if he can't, blood him.
7. Tell Grizwald to speak the magic words once ceiling starts to bleed if he can.
8. Other bug goes to ceiling where it won't be noticed.
9. Push blood through blood bug to creating ceiling portal (make lots of noise once its open so we can navigate from one portal to another), drop crew and blood-sub through portal, controlling blood to propel it through the red.
10. Drop bloodsub through, everyone blazin' as ports open, Grizwald activates armor, blood sac splatters blood into ground all at once.
11. Activate blood on ground as new portal out under bloodsub, pulling Grizwald into the bloodsub.
[Note: This means that upon just after entrance until exit, there's a blood portal both above and below the bloodsub]
12. Close opening, bloodsub out through bottom portal.
13. Giga-beast will likely be in the midst of beginning attack, grab on with blood portal and slurp it into the red like spaghetti. Let red digest and enjoy, and maybe see if red can learn any new tricks from the parts.
14. Close portals, but not before forming the remaining blood into the a drawn winky smiley face with its tongue sticking out. ( ;P ) Let Thale twitch realizing we just slurped up his gigabeast like a snack.

[Edit: Added part 1b]
1977 26th May 2018, 3:34 AM edit delete reply
So far all your plans make heavy use of bloodportals on a level that implies perfect control over them.

I myself had suggested using portals too, but my use was not really under the pressure of combat.
First I said was use bloodportal to transport the spacecar(after the ritual to aquire one) to the city by making a pool fo blood under it to get it in the red and then pull it out on the other side.
Basically the same principle is used to get the safe in the church out.

Your plan would require a control over portals we simply don't have yet.
We're not Chell and our enemy is not GLaDOS.
lil Joshu 26th May 2018, 3:43 AM edit delete reply
lil Joshu
It's fair to say we haven't done exactly this before (but we need to do something different, Thale thinks he understands us, so trying out new tricks is smart to make sure he's not prepped is the smart route). But this is actually well with in our skillset, just taking advantage of our now using-red-blood-and-not-limited-to-just-the-blood-currently-in-our-body trait (as Morgenstern said, that one change makes us substantially more powerful.)

And we should be able to do this. Thale doesn't understand how the red works (or that we can now channel a lot more of it). And we're already literally making tiny portals inside our bloodstream. That's some pretty fine-tune control. What we're doing in this plan is a lot simpler and less refined than that, just bigger. And mostly outside of the body, so less risk. We should totally have enough control for this at this point.

It's like looking at someone who's a watchmaker and asking them if they have the hand-eye coordination to paint lines on a soccer field.

The portals necessary for this version of the blood blitz plan? We got this.

Alternative for the blood-blitz plan for the purpose of just providing an alternative -
Less moving parts, but requires a hypothetical skill that we could have but is even less tested... less risky for team, more risky for Grizwald...

- Do step 5 & 6 & 7 of blood blitz plan.
- Send other bug to make portal, and just drench blood down (start it from the edge of a vent so they don't immediately know the actual source and assume its piping in from somewhere). Goal is to make a barrier of blood to try and blood any of the gigabeast that tries to attack, slowing it down.
- Reinforce Grizwald's the moment it activates. While everyone else is distracted by bleeding ceiling, and use control to sever bindings.
- Doe the Caius-acceleration on Grizwald, and get him to run out of there, hopefully before creature crushes him. (Might be able to. Killed Fuse was killed by the time everyone got into the church, and then Jane was fine getting out... implies the time limit of action and response wasn't -quite- enough to get eveyrone in AND out. However, it may be enough time to just get someone out - specifically Grizwald.
Blue_Elite 26th May 2018, 4:42 AM edit delete reply
I hate to be that guy, but seeing a lot of plans/ideas being thrown out without an intermediary proof-of-concept. Biggest offender has been the blood teleportation/portaling ideas. We have, at most, portaled and then immediately un-portaled a coin. That required pulling a small object into ourselves and took multiple tries (not to mention a slightly larger object, namely the pencil, got stuck). The one time we blood teleported our entire body was unintentional, and caused us to disappear for a month in real time while seeming to be only a moment from our perspective.
So blood portaling objects larger than our entire human-being and in a timeframe of less than 1 day is completely untested.

We first should test intentionally blood teleporting our entire body. We could blood our bedsheet at the bunker and try blood teleporting to that while standing right next to it.
Then, we could try blood teleporting while carrying an object smaller than ourself (like, say, one of those bunker books).
If that works, then we could try blood teleporting just the small object by itself without us going with it (if that's even possible).
That's all a good first few steps without even getting into testing blood pool portals, moving objects larger than ourselves, moving LIVING objects, etc.
And I'll note this would all take time, that we lose perspective of time while blood teleporting, and that we have about 1 to 1.5 days to work with.

EDIT: Time over distance. Did we spend a month in the red because we were lost, or is that how long it took to get from the morgue to our bedroom? Me might even be able to ask Mom's Red this question: Do physical objects sent into and through the red to another physical location transfer instantaneously or is there a delay? Blood teleporting may not even be efficient time-wise, it may only be a stealth option (a way to test that would be the bedsheet test but with us farther away before trying to blood teleport and having someone else time how long it takes).

tl;dr: I think we should table all plans that require blood portals or blood teleporting until we actually test doing it. Also that our current situation might not warrant doing said testing right now (unless someone can think of a safe way to do testing without possibly losing a whole day or more to it).
lil Joshu 26th May 2018, 4:46 AM edit delete reply
lil Joshu
I'm assuming referencing my blood-blitz plan when you're talking about this. Point is, we've already done the preliminary testing. We portaled blood into our blood-bug to refresh it. That means we don't have to create the portal risking a body, and since we can do that, it's only a matter of scaling up - something easy to do with access to the red and portaling in more blood. It's not an untried-experimental thing any more, merely a larger scale, and that larger scale should actually make it safer because we're not trying to move a transporting portal through a vulnerable body (which can interfere with the body), but leaving the body's biology alone by just pulling the entire thing through the portal.

It should be a lot simpler than the other blood portal stuff we've been doing, just seems fancier on the surface because it's a bigger portal. But it's actually less skilled use, and more brute force use of the blood portals. (Brute force that Thale is unaware we're capable of).

That said, it's one of our best plans at this moment, and time's running short because Thale knows we know about the monster under the church. We need to act quick, and I'm personally not seeing any plans that will act fast enough (both in getting there, and in the getting-in-and-out before people can get crushed aspect.) If you've got a better one, by all means, but at present, I think it's riskier to table portals. Current strategic situation seems against using tried-and-true tactics when the opponent is expecting and has been analyzing our normal tactics. We need to do something a tad more experimental, because, at the moment, slightly experimental is safer.

It's like in chess... if your opponent knows your playstyle, sometimes it smart to switch to a riskier playstyle in order to throw off their planning.
Blue_Elite 26th May 2018, 5:12 AM edit delete reply
Not your plan specifically, I simply didn't know what to say until just now. I've been meaning to rant about this for a while.

What we did with portaling blood to our blood bug was convert the red into human Jane blood and then send it into the blood bug. The key there is we don't know where that red was, and it didn't matter. All we had to know was the point B, the point A being the entirety of the red.
Teleporting, requires a point A and a point B. This is precisely the problem we run into. We don't know where the point A of the physical world (the non-red world) connects to and from within the red to exit out of the point B. We also don't know if we can control that or not; or if we can, how we can control it so less than a month passes in going from point A to point B.
The red has no structure. It's not simply a matter of making a portal at point A and just walking to the other portal at point B. We don't even know how to traverse the red because we were out of it when we did so the one time accidentally.
Mainly what I'm getting at is there's a difference between creating something in the red and sending it, and having something in the physical world and sending that through the red to another destination in the physical world.

I'm just saying, if we want to go ahead with the blood portaling/teleporting ideas, let's actually test the proof-of-concept first. I feel we are making far, far too many assumptions.
1977 26th May 2018, 5:51 AM edit delete reply
Well, I guess the main assumpotion I myself made is that it would work like the Handy Hoversack or whatever the item from D&D is called.
Just put everything in the bag wtihout regard if it is practically at the bottom of the bag or not and just think about what you want to take out and it will be automatically at the top to retrieve.
lil Joshu 26th May 2018, 12:32 PM edit delete reply
lil Joshu
Fair enough on the locating.

You're right. I forgot we haven't tested that part yet.

However, that's something we should be able to test really quick in just a few minutes before starting blitz plan. Just make two blood portals at two different base locations, open them up, and make a sound at each one (just alternate bloodkinesis each blood at the portal to vibrate the portal really hard with a listening ear). Then we drop a watch through and move it through the red.

This is the biggest unknown, but it's not something that would only take a few moments to test. It's at a stage to where either we should be able to do it or not if we want to test it before trying it.

If my own hypothesis is right, my personal suspicion is we'll be able to get to our destination faster. I suspect the red runs through and around the universe much like blood vessels run through a body. Although it doesn't directly inject into any particular cell(spaces), it touches all cells(space), and pumps through. I suspect this is why stretching thin and drinking deep would be bad and force a reset... streatching thin and drinking deep is effectively giving the universe a heartattack.
pkrankow 26th May 2018, 6:58 AM edit delete reply
Make enough bugs to get around the monster. Make blood portal to absorb monster. Crush monster in the red. Clean up blood portal.

There are fewer unknowns and less control required
how fast can we make a portal.
Can we portal an unwilling thing.
Will Thale loose control once it is in the red

Now we have a regular rescue mission.
lil Joshu 26th May 2018, 12:38 PM edit delete reply
lil Joshu
Hm... interesting. That does de-escalate a number of issues, but three problems...

1. Taking out the monster first will -definitely- alert Thale. At which point, he's going to do something about Grizwald ASAP.
2. He thinks he's prepared for us, and we often switch up tactics in various ways... this means he has some kind of backup plan, and that concerns me if we lapse into thinking this will be a regular rescue mission. Remember, his plan not only crushed Fuse, but somehow left Jane as a confused prisoner with no memory of what happened. This implies some insidious secondary plan that we haven't accounted for yet.
3. This whole thing is being caught on video. A regular rescue plan will just get us wanted images everywhere. If we're all covered in bone armor and unrecognizable and coming from a dripping portal in the ceiling, in a giant ribcage, people are going to think it's all CGI.

Actually... thinking about it... a plan based on yours that addresses the unknowns....
Make blood portal even bigger. Just open up a blood portal under the church and it's infrastructure and drop the whole thing into the red, then close it up, and since we got blood kinesis over the blood at entrance fo the portal, use it to selectively leave out Grizwald.

My only concern about that plan is it strikes me as an old-red heavy-handed "stretch thin, drink deep"-like tactic. Not much finesse to it, and something we dont' want to get into the habit of doing (although it's neither drinking deep or stretching thing, but swallowing large... which to be fair old red would devour whole worlds and we're hypothetically capable of that... but still, we'll want to monitor what happens in the red when we drop it in and start deconstructing everything very carefully.)

Edit 2 concern: Jury. Something of that magnitude won't be able to be written off as CGI, and Jury knows we're targeting Thale and Hope's church. If it is just conveniently swallowed by a gigantic magic-like thing, that might trigger her safeguards.
pkrankow 26th May 2018, 2:24 PM edit delete reply
Eating the whole building might not be a good idea.
Ablaze 26th May 2018, 8:03 AM edit delete reply
Could we totally cheat and use a spell on the beast? Do the following: use tiny bugs to draw and portal components under/around the monster. Then generate mouths on the walls/floors to recite the spell.
Gigafreak 26th May 2018, 8:21 AM edit delete reply
Well, there is the rune-covered weapon that obliterates an enemy at the cost of also obliterating the wielder. We could blood an enemy thug and make them use it, if we wanna get morally gray.

We could also have Lumpy use it, but the "obliterate an ally" condition might count Lumpy as part of Jane, and promptly obliterate Jane. That'd be... probably something worth asking the Tradesmen before trying.
Skullrama 26th May 2018, 11:13 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, fairly sure it destroys your soul to destroy the other thing. Golems either wouldn't work at all, or... What you said.
pkrankow 26th May 2018, 2:17 PM edit delete reply
Like the Nil destruction spell? It aparently removes a hemisphere above the spell circle. If we could make the circle without the monster noticing it might work...
Cuttlefish 26th May 2018, 8:45 AM edit delete reply
What is effective against organic material? We are effectively fighting a giant wall of it.

Could we utalise electricity?
Either buying and trading up a ton of tasers, or hand crafting some kinda tesla coil.

We've also encountered a military grade energy shield before, when rescuing Caius. I know its unlikely that we could obtain one quickly or easily (perhaps run an assault on that private army that rolled in a while ago). With a shield like that, we could block the monster access to the church long enough too roll in, stomp out all the goons, and get out with the Griz.
ReikoLupus 26th May 2018, 9:15 AM edit delete reply
Create an Egg nearby, this situation is risky for our Bug XD.
First, inspect the dead body. Is a good oportunity to see the exact equipment the Guards carry. After that, investigate de door in the left.
Crestlinger 26th May 2018, 12:22 PM edit delete reply
Quick and dirty way to beat the boss:
Get one of the tentacles to make contact with the electrified vents.
pkrankow 26th May 2018, 2:20 PM edit delete reply
An electric fence controller is only an irritant to a cow/horse size animal. It will have no real effect on a huge nerveless monster.
fellow 26th May 2018, 1:06 PM edit delete reply
Didn't southern pass have a tank of some kind? I bet that thing could destroy the monster.