Comic 243 - Check on Macland

Posted on 14th Aug 2017, 11:41 PM in Blood on Mars
Check on Macland

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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 14th Aug 2017, 11:41 PM edit delete
Once you get back to Dr. Finch's, and are sure you weren't followed, you check in to see what Macland is doing.

He appears to be in a hotel room, and is having a conversation on his cell phone.

"Did you. Get. Infected?," asks a stern, female voice on the other line.

Macland pauses for just an instant. "No," he says. He wants to tell her the truth... but he can't. He physically can't.

"Then why are you calling?"

"Something happened at the club, and--" he starts, but she cuts him off.

"I'm well aware. Believe me."

"Of course," Macland says, wiping sweat from his bald head. "I just... I'm paranoid, alright? If--if that girl ever does get to me, you can fix it, right? You've got like, a cure or something?"

"Take the drug, Mr. Row."

Macland tenses, his grip on the phone tightening. "I'm not taking it. I told you, I don't wanna give up my privacy, and I don't wanna hand control over MY BODY to anybody else. I wouldn't be CALLING you about this if I'd changed my MIND!"

"Then I can do nothing for you," the woman says flatly.


"Do not. Speak. My name. We went over this, Mr. Row."

Macland huffs, clenching a fist with his free hand. He paces the floor of the hotel room. "You can't tell me, in all your INFINITE WISDOM, all that SHIT you've been pumping into yourself, that you don't have a real cure for what she does? That if me, or any of the others in the circle, or this stupid secretary you're talking through... if any of them get infected, you got nothing?"

"Take the drug, Mr. Row."

Macland's face is beginning to turn red, but he bites his tongue. "You know what--you're losing it, man. You're losing your FUCKING grip on things, and all the other guys are talking about it. I don't know if it's this Mars bullshit, or all the weird shit you did to yourself before that--but you don't even act human anymore, man. You're turning into a FUCKING monster!"

"Take the drug, Mr. Row."

"I'M NOT TAKING YOUR CRAZY MIND CONTROL DRUG, YOU GOD DAMN PSYCHOPATH!," Macland screams into the phone. His guard visibly winces.

The voice on the other side is still unnervingly calm. "You can back out of this at any time, Mr. Row."

"No," Macland responds, "No, I can't. I'm in too deep, now--I walk away, I'm gonna spend the rest of my life wondering who on my staff is you. Every secretary, every guard, every whore at the club, I'm gonna be scared to death it's you trying to kill me. I wouldn't turn on you now, I wouldn't fucking dare."

"Do not act like you are being forced into this, Mr. Row. This has benefited you greatly, has it not? And things will only become better for you. You do not need to be afraid of me, Macland Row. We are in this together. We are all in this... together."

Macland swallows dryly, gripping at his forehead. "Yeah. I guess we the fuck are, aren't we?"


Kitty 15th Aug 2017, 12:33 AM edit delete reply
...Well then. At least we can hammer home Mac's revulsion at the idea of taking Save the Queen, if he ever is at risk of being pressured into taking it.

Also, this means that we could potentially woo him over to our side with promises of safety from the STQ hivemind. We are literally the only person in existence who could possibly challenge it, after all, and we can provide protection from the drug.

We just have to be really careful not to remind him that we also have creepy mind-control powers, and/or communicate how much we really don't want to mind-control anyone. As long as Mac sees us as less dangerous and less likely to rob him of his freedom than our adversary, it'll be easier for us to work with him. (Hopefully we can even coax him into cooperating and telling us things willingly, but even if not, it might make it easier for us to yank information out of his brain.)
Kitty 15th Aug 2017, 12:38 AM edit delete reply
For now, though, I think we should just observe and see where this goes-- as long as that isn't "Mac taking STQ," unless we can figure out how to mask our blood's presence so that the person/people sensing via STQ can't detect that he's already got someone's Eldritch Blood in him. If we *can* do that, then he might turn into a useful double agent of a sort, and we can always trigger our ability to overwrite STQ at the worst possible moment for our enemies :3
rufiangel 15th Aug 2017, 12:34 AM edit delete reply
'Th'. We got two letters that spell the name of the Queen. Hangman, anybody? XD;

Gotta relay all this right back to the group. This is scary but at least we know for sure Mac ISN'T injected with STQ just yet. Once he tries the queen will know for sure we've got him and that's probably not going to lead to good consequences for, well, anyone involved.

Still think we gotta get Fuse to try replicating from memory as far as we can, if we can't get the data somehow another way using our white rat-spy.
Kitty 15th Aug 2017, 12:42 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, we should ask Finch if he knows of anyone who might be in Mac's "circle" whose name (or nickname, possibly) starts with TH.

And we definitely need to see what Fuse can come up with re: getting back into that computer. I just want to make sure we don't divert our attention from Mac for too long, because shit could get bad quickly with someone so close to the inside of things.

Maybe we should set a kind of "alarm" for our blood to notify us if he talks about certain topics, like Save the Queen (or drugs in general) and "the circle" and things to do with that group of people? I wonder if we can do that, if our blood is intelligent enough on its own to do that kind of if-then thing. Can we "program" our blood in other people's bodies to do things while we don't have our attention explicitly trained on them? That could be a really useful ability to develop, and would help solve a lot of our issues with not being able to focus on a bunch of things at once.
Xylas_Incarnum 15th Aug 2017, 2:19 AM edit delete reply
.... mmmm.... yep, still blanking on things. Annoying how I can't think of things in stealth mode but planning how to survive Charnel houses is a piece of cake for me.

That said.... yep, Save the Queen's already a full blown hivemind. Odds are fairly good that later on we'll ourselves in a rather... fleshy building. Like that Flood level in Halo 3.

.......... Oh right, we really should point out to Mr. Row here that Jane is by far the lesser of two evils no matter how you slice things. Hell, there's good odds that Jane can terminate her connection to others without killing them.

Probably should test with rats first when it comes to that sort of thing though.