Comic 261 - Inform Dr. Finch

Posted on 21st Aug 2017, 9:10 PM in Blood on Mars
Inform Dr. Finch

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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 21st Aug 2017, 9:10 PM edit delete
Morgenstern
You update Dr. Finch on what's happening to Macland.

"Oh... my my my. That will make things more difficult, yes it will. It sounds like I was right about memetic measures--they're planting psychological threats in Macland's brain to deter any would-be invasions. Even if Macland does agree to a sync, he may not be able to turn off those memetic measures."

The prophet and his large assistant wait for a bit while you consider your options. Your guard is still passed out, but you force him to think that someone is trying to save him--though you don't say who, you try to make him feel like he's not alone. You're not sure how effective it is.

The prophet suddenly speaks up, lifting his gaze toward the ceiling.

"Yes, my goddess?"

There's a pause.

"No. Nothing yet. ... I agree, my goddess. He is, at best, a liability."

Though it seems like he's just talking to himself, this is what it looks like when you talk to your allies in similar fashion--TH is likely forcing Prophet to think things, and then Prophet is responding out loud so TH can hear it. This does suggest that TH is not syncing with their followers, but using the simpler form of communication you've been using.

Prophet turns to the giant. "Nimrod," he wheezes, "Approach our guest, please."

The large mutant--apparently named Nimrod--shakes the floor as he walks toward your guard. Prophet adjusts his robes and straightens his mask.

"Devil... if you are listening. Make yourself known, or..." He breathes in deeply. "Or we will kill this man. Enyo has spoken. This guard is one of legions, and is no longer of use to us. Present yourself, or... his life is forfeit."

Comments:

Xylas_Incarnum 21st Aug 2017, 9:40 PM edit delete reply
Xylas_Incarnum
Eeeeeehhhhhhhhh..... To be honest we're only using the guard to gather some minor bits of information. Not to mention we can probably still hear them for a bit after they kill the vat meat.

This guy ain't like Michelle who has a conscience... or is willing to act on said conscience, given the nature of the club and all.

Plus if we let the dude die they'll likely second guess themselves which opens up more room to maneuver.

.... Heartless, I know but it works.
WalkerOfSorrow 21st Aug 2017, 10:20 PM edit delete reply
I'm gonna say that doesn't sound like the best approach. A few bullet points:

1. We killed the rat. We had a conscience about that. Now you're proposing we use the guard exactly like the rat, and kill him all the same? That doesn't seem like our MO.
2. The "second guess" assertion is really baseless in my opinion. If they second guess themselves AND we let our only implement die (meaning we lose the ability to speak through him) then they have more room to maneuver too, while we lose something and gain nothing.
3. He has not made any demands we cannot safely follow. No minds in that room can be read, only pushed. What he HAS asked is that the devil make itself known. Pay attention to what ELSE he says though: the guard is "no longer of use." It is expendable. Does anyone have suggestions that would a) announce the devil's presence, b) keep 'the devil' and the real us separate in their eyes, and c) identify the guard as someone useful to both us and them. We need leverage and he JUST gave us a chance, slim though it be.
Xylas_Incarnum 22nd Aug 2017, 4:54 AM edit delete reply
Xylas_Incarnum
Like I said, it's a heartless route. Besides, given the next page they were still unsure that anyone else was listening in with the guard. For all they knew he was having a bad trip or something.

Still, the actions are more of a distinct villain role than the path Jane's chosen.
Mochi 21st Aug 2017, 10:57 PM edit delete reply
Mochi
i will say that, morally, i can't see jane -- who is a trained medical professional and devoted a large chunk of her life to saving lives -- willingly letting a man die when she has a chance to save him. but, at the same time, things have changed... needs of the many vs. needs of the few (or one in this case) is never a fun quandary to be caught in. if we reveal ourselves, there's a chance we could be captured or killed, and they might just kill the guard anyways. we're able to aid hemostasis, but i get the feeling that any injury at the hands (hand?) of nimrod here would be of the squishing variety, or possibly dismemberment, which presents far more problems than just blood loss. we could take a chance and hope whatever nimrod does isn't catastrophic, and try to keep him alive artificially until they leave, but there's a high chance we could fail. i don't know... could we make it appear like he's already dead? slow his heart rate and breathing way down? they've already said he's of no use to them, and that becomes doubly true if they think he's already dead. they might just leave him for macland to find later, which gives us a chance to bust him out.
WalkerOfSorrow 22nd Aug 2017, 12:51 AM edit delete reply
Worthy note to the dismemberment thing you said: we can't even make blood needles. That's not how our powers work. So if someone we want to keep gets dismembered, we can forget making some kind of cyborg arm out of blood magic. You make a very strong argument there.

Might the Prophet also just have Nimrod destroy the meaningless thrall so there's one less in the legion?
Mochi 22nd Aug 2017, 12:59 AM edit delete reply
Mochi
i'm kind of hoping that if they think he's already dead, they won't expend the extra effort to make sure he is really, really dead. and yeah, we can't make new parts out of blood or move our blood unless it's in something. but, we can stop bleeding. so if he gets stabbed, we can make sure he doesn't bleed out. a loss of a limb, or having his head ripped off, would be too much too fast, so dismemberment would be v bad. we wouldn't be able to act quick enough.
Macheman7 21st Aug 2017, 10:58 PM edit delete reply
I'd feel worse about getting killed and having the whole city be enslaved than living, saving millions, at the cost of a few lives. That said, we do have a place we can blood portal to, if we need to live again. Not my decision, ultimately.
Mochi 21st Aug 2017, 11:07 PM edit delete reply
Mochi
if TH gets a pure sample of our blood, he would be far, far more dangerous. remember what grizwald said about the blood on mars: "...if some of that original Mars blood was still around, we'd be right fucked. I dunno if they had any left after all their weird projects... but if they did, we better damn well pray the guy with the Queen formulate never gets his hands on the real deal. He'd turn himself into a horror film."
PurpleKetchup 21st Aug 2017, 11:44 PM edit delete reply
Guess that's the cue for Jane to casually say hello from the vent and vehemently deny any devilish accusations.

The problem is, arguing with a zealot never works. Maybe throw a syringe like a dart to inject the Prophet and cut his link. He will hate that, though.
Mochi 22nd Aug 2017, 12:47 AM edit delete reply
Mochi
we aren't in the vent, we're still outside in the car with fuse and michelle.
WalkerOfSorrow 22nd Aug 2017, 12:53 AM edit delete reply
The Prophet is not one I think we'd ever turn to our side by his will. Zealots are irrationally bound to their cause, and will either give up on their own (perhaps with help) or will never give up.

As for Nimrod, damn, I don't think that monstrosity is something we can convert. All that green stuff could pose a problem, whatever it is.
Mochi 22nd Aug 2017, 12:56 AM edit delete reply
Mochi
i'm pretty sure that's another eye, on a tumor in his back. he's not a very... attractive fellow, this one
WalkerOfSorrow 22nd Aug 2017, 12:59 AM edit delete reply
Oh, fair point. I retract mentions of green stuff for the time being.
rufiangel 22nd Aug 2017, 12:26 AM edit delete reply
rufiangel
This is a tricky situation. I think the reason we even came down here at all was mostly to figure out if we could get a hold of the guard. Now, we either leave him to die, or we do something to save him, regardless of how well we know him. And I have to say I agree that the protagonist we have been playing through has shown a heart to try and help people. Even Michelle was someone we barely knew but helped out, and that swayed Michelle enough to forget about nabbing us, kill her boss (lol) and stick with us instead.

I'm going to say if that this point, maybe we should go ahead and just talk through the guard. Wake him up and just go ahead and just ask why they're so convinced the guard is part of a 'legion', and what they think they would gain?

Maybe use the talking as a stalling tactic while Fuse crawls into the vents and (probably with aid of level) sets a tiny controlled fire to burn the ropes off the guard? I'm not sure what to do after that, though. Throw a smoke bomb in and run for the hills? XD;;;; (I'm just thinking out loud at this point)
Mochi 22nd Aug 2017, 12:54 AM edit delete reply
Mochi
*i think he means "one of a legion" in that the guard is one of many lab-grown tubecops
rufiangel 22nd Aug 2017, 2:15 AM edit delete reply
rufiangel
Ohhhh thanks for clearing up the legion thing, me dumb XD;;;
WalkerOfSorrow 22nd Aug 2017, 12:58 AM edit delete reply
Firm agreement. If we talk through the guard, we can turn this conversation around, possibly to ends that benefit us. (The legion thing is just a mention of tube cops and the like, methinks.)

YES. We do not need our people motionless while we talk. I would modify your suggestion to say we have Fuse on standby to use his fire in SOME way, improvised. If we need to free the guard, we can do that by burning the ropes. If we need to deter Prophet and Nimrod, we can do that by roasting them. Betcha the green stuff is flammable. But right now, there's no solid plan for Fuse except getting in a better position. Maybe we can play the Prophet off Macland and the hypno green-eye cyborg, see if we can divide the ranks (while we technically have some control over one rank).
Dragon_ANGL 22nd Aug 2017, 3:04 AM edit delete reply
To play the Devil's Advocate here, going against a previous comment of mine, we might go full devil (ish). How about going a la Kerrigan vs Mengsk / Gul'dan vs Varian / Illidan vs Gul'dan - that is, (if the characters have a will for it) have Fuse combust the tubecop guards body from the inside, turn him into a Living Bomb. With the addition of knowledge of anatomy, try and get him to explode so that broken shards of bone rip through the prophet's (and possibly the flesh giant's) body for fatal wounds.