Comic 311 - Ask questions

Posted on 2nd Sep 2017, 1:32 AM in Unfathomable Hate
Ask questions

<<First Latest>>
Average Rating: 5 (1 votes) / Rate this comic

Author Notes:

Morgenstern 2nd Sep 2017, 1:32 AM edit delete
"S'what happens when you get 'er?"

"Not my department," the agent says bluntly. "I'm just looking to detain her."

She begins to walk toward the door.

"Anything I can help ya find?"

"No, no, I think I'm about finished up. I was looking for any signs of the perpetrator's presence, and there doesn't seem to be anything unusual here."

"Oh, and," Caius adds. "Who should I ask for if I gotta call this number?"

She smiles.

"Whoever answers the phone should be sufficient. Just tell them your name, the situation, maybe the name of your company. Which company was that, again?"

"I'm uh, independent. Y'know, private investigation an' all that. S'tough, but I like bein' my own boss."

She nods, smiling wider. "Is that why you don't carry a gun?"

Caius is given the slightest of pauses. He starts to respond, but she cuts him off.

"You almost had me... knowing about the dead parents. There weren't any police contracts listed in connection to the family, but I figured it could be an under-the-table thing. I let it slide. But no gun? No asking if I had a warrant? No double checking anything to make sure I am who I say I am? You don't even know my name."

"I'm, uh," Caius swallows dryly. "...Ya fuggen got me, alright? I'm terrible at this cop thing. That's why I gotta self employ... ain't no police company in this city wants somebody with my track record. The girl's parents liked me, though... so they was willin' to let me work off the books, so to speak."

She stares at Caius for a good, long series of seconds.

"If anything happens," she says plainly, "call that number. Whatever it is you're doing... I'm not after you. I'm just trying to protect this city."

She turns, and begins walking back to the living room.


Mochi 2nd Sep 2017, 2:00 AM edit delete reply
very good bullshitting, caius! we should've thought of all that, really. but hey, she seems nice. see her out and then poke around and make sure she didn't tamper with anything before we got here. also, there's ice cream in the freezer!
rufiangel 2nd Sep 2017, 2:11 AM edit delete reply
Proud of you Caius, my man, for not cracking under pressure. Good job, you. XD; *pat pat*

Let's NOT be in her line of sight when she gets out of that front door, but maybe get Caius/Willard to check that she's really gone. >_>;;

Maybe let Finch know we got a Fed(?) who's seen the hospital surveillance on our track, now. >_>; If where he lives is where he was always living even while he was at the hospital, then he could be tracked down fairly quickly I reckon - he's on the hospital footage, too. Agh, I hope not. ;;;;

EDIT: Actually I think my concerns are utterly baseless because we would have been tracked down at Finch's forever ago if his place was that easily trackable. Never mind. XD;;; Still, nice to let him know, I guess?
Varil 2nd Sep 2017, 2:41 AM edit delete reply
Well, it's possible that it is trackable, but they haven't gotten to it yet. They're only just now checking out Blondie's house, after all. Finch might be their next place to visit, so I think your paranoia is warranted.
rufiangel 2nd Sep 2017, 2:55 AM edit delete reply
Well... dangit, Varil! XD;;;;
PurpleKetchup 2nd Sep 2017, 4:23 AM edit delete reply
I'm half tempted to have Fuse buy a single-use phone in the shady tiers for Jane to record a message using it, have Caius or Finch place it in Howler's hidden basement and use delay-delivery to send it at that federal number.

She could rant in detail about being alien even before dying, why it doesn't mean anything bad (cue "guns don't kill" analogy here), and that she's currently working on cleaning the city of Save the Queen because a mind-controlling maniac wants her dead.

If it gets in the wrong hands, that's nothing they don't already know. If it gets in the good hands, that might replace "kidnapping and dissection" with actual federal support.
Which would be nice.
WalkerOfSorrow 2nd Sep 2017, 7:21 AM edit delete reply
PurpleKetchup, you're a genius! Your idea has my full support. Even if they wanted to trace something like that, tracing it through the shady tiers would remove a lot of the incentive.
rufiangel 2nd Sep 2017, 8:57 AM edit delete reply
@PurpleKetchup: I think that plan has a few points where it could awry, namely because a) I think the fact she's an alien (or half-alien), regardless of her intentions, will be cause for alarm for them, and b) the plant could go wrong because they saw us at Howler's apartment when Fuse was queened, so I don't know if it's a safe place to check out anymore. >_< The apartment also belongs to Shirai, if you recall.

Which reminds me that I'd really like to ask Fuse about the safest way to check out that shady number we found on Tiger-mask's phone, and also look up what other potentially shady buildings Shirai owns that could potentially house nesting grounds for horrors they plan to unleash into the city. >_> Though I suppose this can all wait until the coast is clear.
PurpleKetchup 2nd Sep 2017, 11:03 AM edit delete reply
a) Not any more alarm that already is there. Everyone already knows she's an alien, be it feds or TH. Remember, Grizwald told us the government was aware of aliens living on earth 100 years ago when the Lasker incident happened.

b) that's why I said Caius or Finch should go plant the phone there, they never saw them. Half of the buildings there belong to Shirai, so... It's just a matter of going there, pressing a few buttons on the phone to program the message, lower it down with a rope to the hidden level, and run away.
Technically any spot in the lower tier is fine, but putting it in Howler's secret room would show the feds we're investigating.
They'll see the altar and the super expensive setup.
rufiangel 2nd Sep 2017, 12:04 PM edit delete reply
a) Even if that's the case, I doubt it's any less alarming :'D but I see what you mean.

b) I don't know if it matters who goes - if anything, if anyone goes in there and trips an invisible alarm, it could risk showing off the few people we have who aren't immediately recognisable by the enemy.

I'm also still iffy on whether the number she gave us is legitimate. >_> It's not a bad idea if we know for sure the Fed we just met is legit but I feel like we still don't really know. >_<
worthless 2nd Sep 2017, 4:57 AM edit delete reply
well I don't trust her, her story is too good, fits too well in all of this, maybe the info she got was faulty and "protect this city" from what is she trying to protect it from: change?, there's a huge conflict going on between the low tiers and the high tiers why is she not trying to do something about that?! and the not her departament thing im pretty much 100% sure she's being lied to, for being too good and trusting of her boss, person to clarify im expecting the person she will deliver Jane to will execute her in the interrogation room and say she was the leader of the lower tier and she committed suicide persona 5 stile no need for a reason or anything what do YOU think of this theory
WalkerOfSorrow 2nd Sep 2017, 7:24 AM edit delete reply
I agree with you entirely. She may have once been an agent, may even still be one on paper, but she's entrenched deep in what all's going on. Why would some talkative civilian agent get told all this stuff about non-human representatives and stuff?
WalkerOfSorrow 2nd Sep 2017, 7:27 AM edit delete reply
Guys, before she gets any farther, we need to have a vote on something. This is contingent on if we have any syringes left (I think we have two, maybe one).

Should we stick her with our blood? She said she didn't find anything unusual. That means she may have taken anything we'd be worried about her finding. Something like the bloody sheet may already be in the car, or already stored in some container or...shudder...a warehouse. MM didn't say she was already gone, so we have a chance. Do we detain her and inject her?
PurpleKetchup 2nd Sep 2017, 8:36 AM edit delete reply
Personally I'm against injecting first because it sends the wrong message and makes Jane uncomfortably close to TH.

Not-so-small recap:
#93- Dr. Finch, to limit blood loss issues
#136- Fuse, when he was taken over by TH
#158- Michelle, when she was taken over by TH
#192- offered it to Grizwald if shit hits the fan
#199- Willard, for infiltration purposes
#207- Masteser, same thing (RIP o7)
#228- Elegance security room tubeguard (RIP)
#235- Elegance bartender (RIP), to get Macland in the restroom
#236- Macland, because keeping an eye on your enemies is smart
#241- Caius, to secure escape
#266- Waldo (RIP), failed attempt at infiltration
#291- Tigerface (RIP), to stop her from turning Jane into paste

Outside clearly hostile situations, Jane only injects people when there's life on the line. Sometimes even in hostile situations.
I think that's a honourable M.O. and worth sticking to.

There's also the fact she senses when her thralls die. Bit by bit that will erode her value of life, and we really don't want that.
rufiangel 2nd Sep 2017, 8:51 AM edit delete reply
@PurpleKetchup: All seconded. Thanks for that recap - it made me realise the protags under the Characters section on the fan data page didn't contain the info of how/why they were injected with Jane's blood, which is kind of important so I added it in -v-)/
Varil 2nd Sep 2017, 8:37 AM edit delete reply
I really don't trust her...BUT I think if we want to make headway against the whole "but she's a scary mind-controller" thing that keeps cropping up we should probably limit our influence to active hostiles, willing friendlies, or emergencies.

Also, on a more practical note...right now all she knows is that a "friend of the family", so to speak, caught her snooping. But she seems somewhat friendly towards Caius, and may be a useful source of info later...IF we learn enough to decide if we can trust her.

If we stick her we risk that 1: she might notice and any chance of making an ally goes out the window even if we can force her compliance, and 2: her co-workers or superiors may notice(if they know anything about how we operate I bet field operatives get full check-ups to look for weird blood components or syringe marks) and she'll probably die or at least be made useless to us.

Your comment about our syringes brings up a good point though...

We know how to force rapid regeneration...kinda...can we also stimulate blood creation? Maybe get Finch to help put together some sort of dietary supplement we could use to give us the materials to make lots of blood even as we bleed it out?

I'm not sure how much of what we do is limited by usual physical constraints, though...we had a lot of syringes before but making them didn't seem to cause us any blood loss problems.
WalkerOfSorrow 2nd Sep 2017, 10:34 AM edit delete reply
Some valid points have been raised, but I think you guys are missing the point. I'm not trying to add one more thrall or anything, I'm trying to keep this situation under wraps. If any of you have a good, quick way to make sure Miss "I'm done with my investigation" is not a loose end, I'm all auditory organs.

She represents a new player in the game, a force we are entirely not ready to take on. If we don't stick her, she needs to be dealt with somehow. Captured, watched, killed, I don't really care. But letting her go free and unsupervised is a mistake.
Mochi 2nd Sep 2017, 10:53 AM edit delete reply
really? killed? if we start offing people just for doing their jobs, what does that make us? also, she's a federal agent. she goes missing, there will be a whole lot more of them involved in a short amount of time. also, she has no reason to lie to caius. she is -- from her perspective at least -- trying to keep him safe. she had no reason to tell him what she was doing aside from that, especially if she didn't believe his story about being a cop.
Mochi 2nd Sep 2017, 10:50 AM edit delete reply
i'm also against injecting her, namely because we have no reason to right now. we cleaned up the house and locked everything the last time we were here. she didn't find anything, because we didn't leave anything behind. also, we have no real reason to distrust her at the moment. the goal we wanted to accomplish was getting her out of the house, and it seems like we've managed that. also, if we play our cards right and she ends up being trustworthy, having a federal agent on our side is a boon we could really use. we're five people against a plot that spans an entire city. we can't do this on our own. we barely survived the warehouse. we need as much help as we can get. if we put our heads together i'm sure we can figure out a way of feeding her information without giving ourselves away. we should figure out a way to keep an eye on her, though. also, her next logical step would probably be looking for the other people on the tape, if there were other people, which means michelle and finch. which gives us more opportunities to run into her and learn more about her.
worthless 2nd Sep 2017, 11:06 AM edit delete reply
hmmm good points all around well why not just keep a pair of raven eyes on her if we can find any from like a pet store if possible and see were she goes how about that? does that make everyone happy?
WalkerOfSorrow 2nd Sep 2017, 11:40 AM edit delete reply
I think this is finally the time where that bird idea comes in handy. We should find the means to acquire three innocuous birds and keep them on shifts. One is watching the agent from a safe distance, and the other two are looking for food. That way, one can keep hunting while the other eats. Whenever the bird watching the agent gets hungry, it can tag out with one of the others. If we're lucky enough to get crows or ravens of some kind, we could even give them instructions on staking out a nest (i.e. some things to hoard, where to roost in order to best keep an eye on the agent, etc.)
Mochi 2nd Sep 2017, 11:19 AM edit delete reply
also i guess if we wanted to risk everything, we could show up with the rest of our crew as she leaves and try to explain what really happened at that hospital. we might get shot, though. or worse. she thinks we're dangerous, but she doesn't know we saved finch, and michelle, and killed the monster than could have gotten loose and caused so much more devastation than just the hacked cyberbrains did. she doesn't have the whole story. i think, if she did, it might help. but this should probably wait until we know if she's trustworthy or not.

for now, i think warning her about Save The Queen is a good idea. i highly doubt the roving pack of hoodlums who injected jane was a one-time-thing. also, if she's investigating, chances are she'll be working closely with some of the local law enforcement, which could mean dirty cops, which means more queen. she should be warned. it also gives us the chance to see her reaction when we bring it up. just sort of, "you know how she died, right?" and explain what happened. tell her to watch her back, as she seems like a nice lady and we wouldn't want anything bad to happen to her.
WalkerOfSorrow 2nd Sep 2017, 11:42 AM edit delete reply
I know you want to protect human lives and whatnot, I get that, but you seem to be making quite a few assumptions about this agent. Just because she didn't kill Caius doesn't mean she's nice. Trusting her at this juncture will come back to bite us, especially if we confront her and tell her what we know.
Mochi 2nd Sep 2017, 11:57 AM edit delete reply
we have no reason not to trust her. we have no reason not to believe her. granted, we also have no reason to trust or believe her. but we also have no reason to attack her, capture her, or murder her. i'm not saying we trust her right off the bat. i'm saying we try to determine if she can be trusted.
worthless 2nd Sep 2017, 12:06 PM edit delete reply
well why not just keep a pair of raven eyes on her if we can find any from like a pet store if possible and see were she goes how about that?
WalkerOfSorrow 2nd Sep 2017, 12:26 PM edit delete reply
I wasn't advocating any of the radical options, though I realize how it must look. What I was saying is that we can't just let her run off back to her superiors and not keep an eye on her in some way. Worthless has made an excellent suggestion, and if we don't do that, we should at least do something.

These things you're saying about not having a reason should tell you something. This person is an outlier, an unknown, a loose end. She knows about our secret, and represents an organization that also knows these things. But we don't know anything about her except that she claims to work for the government. And may I remind you, the government is not exactly in a good state of affairs right now.
Kitty 2nd Sep 2017, 12:54 PM edit delete reply
She's also a potential *ally*, though, because a Fed is one of the few people who might actually be functioning in a LE environment that's less compromised by TH. I'm not saying that feds are incorruptible, but rather that they tend to be corrupt in a *different* way from how local police tend to go-- much less subject to the sway of local authority figures.

And sticking her without her consent is likely to make her struggle against us, while bringing her around to our side naturally is more likely to make her an actual ally. It's not like she's an imminent threat, anyways-- she's a Fed! Their very nature is to move slowly and build a thorough investigation over a long period of time.
tor 2nd Sep 2017, 1:26 PM edit delete reply
I agree with WalkerOfSorrow, we don't know much about the government and there sorta a mind control conspiracy going around so we don't know how much that has infiltrated them. I say we set up some form of surveillance head back to Finch and talk over our options. We should probably give Finch the heads up before hand as well.
rufiangel 2nd Sep 2017, 11:55 AM edit delete reply
Fanart time, Caius after he changes clothes and shaves his head:


'Lab meat' is really hard, I'm sure I'm not quite drawing them big enough or something, but I hope it's still a passable attempt -v-;;

Also, since I don't know what his shirt emblem is and even MM cannot unsee the possibilities, I've done a cop out and left it as pixel-art, lol XD
Mochi 2nd Sep 2017, 12:03 PM edit delete reply
*chinhands* my son~

also i totally missed MM's comment on mine on the page where i was wondering what was on his tshirt, that's hilarious. thank you for alerting me to it's existence.
worthless 2nd Sep 2017, 12:40 PM edit delete reply
oh yea awesome art Rufiangel!
Kitty 2nd Sep 2017, 12:56 PM edit delete reply
Very nice! If you need references for beefy bodies, I suggest looking to JoJo's Bizarre Adventure for inspiration :3 Araki is a master of the well-muscled masculine form.
Wing Eye 2nd Sep 2017, 12:47 PM edit delete reply
Wing Eye
If its an alien she wants we should point her in the direction of the Church of Enyo, maybe mention some zealots from there were sniffing around just before Jane died.
worthless 2nd Sep 2017, 1:08 PM edit delete reply
(sarcastic) why not apply her some save the queen and tell her to question people in the lower tiers, some question that would rise a red flag on any save the queen user, to make sure she's completely and utterly f**** seriously lets not do any of that
Mochi 2nd Sep 2017, 1:22 PM edit delete reply
yeah, that.... that would end very badly for her.
Kitty 2nd Sep 2017, 1:05 PM edit delete reply
I think we should try contacting her later via a burner phone (maybe have Fuse spoof its location to prevent the location from being tracked-- if the goddamn spammers who keep calling me can spoof a phone's location, I'm sure Fuse can do something similar) and see if she wants to have a conversation.

It's definitely a good idea to grab a few crows and have them follow her. Maybe even give one of them a syringe to carry (with a bandage so we can remotely press the plunger), so if shit goes realbadwrong it can deliver our blood as a kind of oh shit button.
Mochi 2nd Sep 2017, 1:23 PM edit delete reply
a good idea.
WalkerOfSorrow 2nd Sep 2017, 1:43 PM edit delete reply
Agreed. Kitty's plan seems wise.
worthless 2nd Sep 2017, 1:47 PM edit delete reply
me three lets do that
Kitty 2nd Sep 2017, 3:47 PM edit delete reply
Also, crows are generally pretty good at dropping things from above to hit a target (for example, IRL crows in Japan drop nuts on crosswalks so the cars will drive over the nuts and crack the shells, then the crows can wait until the cars stop for pedestrians to walk across the crosswalk and grab the nuts), so we can probably use a crow for remote-syringing pretty easily, with just a bit of steering the syringe as it falls. So even if we can't *throw* the syringe via the crow, we can still get it to cover some distance if we need to.