Comic 400 - Get back to Dr. Finch

Posted on 17th Sep 2017, 11:21 PM in Unfathomable Hate
Get back to Dr. Finch

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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 17th Sep 2017, 11:21 PM edit delete
You speculate that hard evidence of Carpenter's misdeeds could convince the feds to help you... but that would require the rest of the hospital footage. And that would require going back to Howler's apartment, and getting the video files off of his secret computer... and dealing with whatever Shirai has done with the place in your absence.

"Or..." Michelle breathes deep. "I can't believe I'm sayin' this, but... there is one other place that would have the footage archived. Either one coulda been tampered with by now, though. ...The hospital."

The room goes quiet for a moment. If no one's gone back to wipe the footage off the hospital's security system... then there is a chance, a slim one, that you can pull the video off of there. The hospital may be just as dangerous as Howler's apartment, at this point, and there's a good chance that either or both sources have been cleaned out, though. Howler's apartment would also have the e-mails from what you assume was Arvin Carpenter, further proving his involvement with the Tobu hack.

You are alerted to Dr. Finch trying to get your attention. You turn your attention to him.

The surgeons at the federal bunker have rolled in a... very unusual looking machine.

"We're concerned that, during your adventure in the hospital, you may have been... infected. There's something dangerous circulating with connections to one of the people you encountered at the hospital--it took us a great deal of time and effort, but we've worked out a device that can test for it. It works a bit like a dialysis machine..."

He flips a few switches, and the machine begins to hum.

"Once we hook you into it, it'll begin to isolate portions of your blood. It will then test smaller samples of that blood against blood of a different type. If any cells appear to spontaneously change blood type to match the new majority in the mix, the machine will buzz and let us know that something's amiss. If the blood comes out clean, then the rest of the isolated portion will be circulated back into your body, and the machine will try a different portion."

The other surgeon continues where the first left off. "Depending on the number of unwanted cells in your system, this... could take a while. If you have little to no unusual cells, it may be a very uncomfortable couple of hours, and for that we apologize. If your blood has a significant amount of taint, or the machine just gets lucky... well, we could be done in a matter of minutes. We're just being cautious."

"Cautious?," Dr. Finch says, his voice still weak and raspy from having surgery done on his throat. "Is that why I'm strapped down like an animal?"

"It is, I'm afraid," one of the surgeons says. "If you are infected, it could very well alter your behavior. We heard you were a pretty good shot back at your house--you go to the range a lot, Dr. Finch?"

Dr. Finch's expression tightens. "I started practicing after all that happened at the hospital. I didn't like feeling helpless."

The surgeon nods, beginning to uncurl a series of tubes from the machine. "Ah. Makes sense. Well, with any luck, this test will come up clean and we can send you on your way..."


Matanui3 17th Sep 2017, 11:42 PM edit delete reply
Uh oh, we get signal.

(main screen turn on)
PurpleKetchup 17th Sep 2017, 11:54 PM edit delete reply
It's you !!
Baeronius 18th Sep 2017, 4:14 AM edit delete reply
All your base are belong to us.
You have no chance to survive, make your time. Ha Ha Ha Ha!
Weedgoku 18th Sep 2017, 5:08 AM edit delete reply
What you say!
PurpleKetchup 18th Sep 2017, 12:44 PM edit delete reply
For great justice.
Frission 8th Dec 2017, 7:13 PM edit delete reply
Take off, every Zig!
rufiangel 17th Sep 2017, 11:45 PM edit delete reply
Oh hey, that's a pretty nifty way they've figured out to test for our blood, haha THIS ISN'T THE TIME TO BE ADMIRING IT

Is it possible to spend the next few hours focusing all we have into tricking the machine by manipulating our blood cells to do exactly what it's *supposed* to do if it's Dr. Finch's blood? Ugh.

EDIT: PLEASE let there not be any freaky Mars blood they're thinking of putting through Dr. Finch while they're at it, oh geez, no. ;___; EDIT 4: Uh, re-reading the thing, I realise this wouldn't happen because they're isolating the blood out and only pumping it back in after checking reactions, so nevermind.

EDIT 2: In the event they figure he's 'infected' I don't even want to know what that would mean to them. I imagine if we do try to trick the machine, we'd have to sync with Dr. Finch to do it, despite what we said about syncing earlier. But this is an emergency. ;____;

EDIT 3: Re-reading how the machine works, I was wondering if it's possible to actually control our blood cells so they do not ever enter any of the portions they draw out of Dr. Finch to isolate? Basically they only ever draw Dr. Finch's blood, purely. I realise how much wacky control that would take because we have so much of our blood in him, but that might actually be easier than trying to control our blood to react 'correctly' to the samples they force on it.

Argh I'M SO WORRIED RIGHT NOW I'm so mad at this shady government bunker thing too like what gives them the right to do this T____T poor Dr. Finch, as if he hasn't been through enough already OTL
Baeronius 18th Sep 2017, 12:39 AM edit delete reply
Do we have to synch with finch? or the blood?

Oooor we could have the blood hide in the bone marrow. (blood is made inside the bones so there's storage space)
Skybirds15 18th Sep 2017, 1:22 AM edit delete reply
Well, to be absolutely fair to the government... we are suspicious as fuck. I mean, a space alien... who injects people with her blood to possibly mind-control them. We don't exactly appear to be a saint, here.
rufiangel 18th Sep 2017, 1:38 AM edit delete reply
The hospital footage does not contain us syringe-ing people with our blood, though. And it doesn't look like they caught footage of the blood transfusion, because then they'd definitely know he had our blood for sure without needing to test for it.

Shooting syringe darts at people full of blood started in Chapter Two XD;
Skybirds15 18th Sep 2017, 1:43 AM edit delete reply
But they clearly know that we put our blood into other people. And things, probably.

Speaking of, we need to train in throwing those things. Curving it in the air is nice and all, but accuracy is probably better.
PurpleKetchup 18th Sep 2017, 12:01 AM edit delete reply
Dr. Finch should ask about the well-being of miss Fed. Last he saw her she was miraculously surviving biohazard, and that tickles his curiosity.

He can also say that his quickfix serum was based on alien blood, so of course they'll find that. They can skip the whole procedure and just keep him restrained.
And skip the bullshit, he knows about zone 50 and Lasker. And also that the people he met during his hospital adventure saved his life, unlike those who were just watching through cameras.
rufiangel 18th Sep 2017, 12:05 AM edit delete reply
Huh. I did not think of that. I guess that's kind of way more straight-forward. -v-

But like... if he straight-up admits to deliberately 'infecting' himself, will they just leave him be? ;;;; Wouldn't they see that as cause to do some crazy things to him? I'm kind of worried about the backlash from that though. Could it be a sort of last resort?
Skybirds15 18th Sep 2017, 12:24 AM edit delete reply
The problem with this plan is they could want him dead, if he's infected, or the could want him dead for knowing about area 50 and Lasker. But if they find out, it might be our only option.
Skybirds15 18th Sep 2017, 12:24 AM edit delete reply
The problem with this plan is they could want him dead, if he's infected, or the could want him dead for knowing about area 50 and Lasker. But if they find out, it might be our only option.
Skybirds15 18th Sep 2017, 12:24 AM edit delete reply
Why did it post twice I didn't do that

Oops, i guess.
Auron 18th Sep 2017, 12:05 AM edit delete reply
Didn't we have blood in his computer? Can't we just control it from here?
Auron 18th Sep 2017, 12:07 AM edit delete reply
We need to control the blood so that it avoids the spot the machine is hooked up to.
Auron 18th Sep 2017, 12:08 AM edit delete reply
Also he should ask what they'll do with him if he's infected.
Skybirds15 18th Sep 2017, 12:17 AM edit delete reply
That would be suspicious as hell.
Baeronius 18th Sep 2017, 12:40 AM edit delete reply
They already said... if they find nothing it will be a long procedure. but if they get a hit... it'll be "short".

Plus, by the sound of it, they're gonna cirulate almost all of his blood through the device... Or so It seems to say, but that would pose medical problems such as oxygenation and... well generally living.
PurpleKetchup 18th Sep 2017, 12:49 AM edit delete reply
Extracorporeal circulation is already a thing nowadays for many procedures. Nothing special there.
Skybirds15 18th Sep 2017, 12:58 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, it's basically what dialysis is. The machine would warm the blood after use, but no oxygen would be lost due to how blood transports it. Sometimes, if a heart or lungs or something doesn't work, doctors could run the blood through an unconscious pig to warm and oxygenate it. But that's way more complicated than what's happening here.
Baeronius 18th Sep 2017, 1:19 AM edit delete reply
The circulation methods you're talking about usually bypass the point of surgery. The blood is pulled out at the point of surgery, then pushed straight back in on the other side.

This method is used to extract ALL of the blood. And if not, it needs a substitute something to allow for oxygenation of the brain etc, or the patient will die.
Skybirds15 18th Sep 2017, 1:23 AM edit delete reply
Ah, I see what you mean. But they aren't doing all the blood at once; maybe half a pint. The body can lose half a pint without problems.
Baeronius 18th Sep 2017, 1:30 AM edit delete reply
They can't quarantine nor isolate the blood if they put it back.

Edit: I misread, they are replacing it.
Derp-a-derp! (...or it was cunningly edited in when I wasn't looking, *thunder noises* but I'm going for I misread it.)
Skybirds15 18th Sep 2017, 1:33 AM edit delete reply
..And? I don't think they are trying to do that. Or that it's necessary. They probably have some AB- in there, and they tested his blood type earlier probably. It's cyberpunk, they can do these things.
Skybirds15 18th Sep 2017, 1:34 AM edit delete reply
Ah, well, there you go (posted last before your edit sorry :) )
Skybirds15 18th Sep 2017, 12:15 AM edit delete reply
I... got nothing. Unless we can control our blood to that much of a degree that we can stop the morphing thing, well... Red? Help?

I mean... both Michelle and Jane saved his life in the hospital. He could just say that. Maybe he could go into details, if we can't stop the scan. Our chances are low.

Damn. What will they do? Kill, interrogate, do what the prophet did? I... don't know. ;_;

On the bright side... now that we know they have this, we can practice countering it. Doesn't help us now.
Skybirds15 18th Sep 2017, 12:21 AM edit delete reply
There is one thing we could maybe do... if (when) our blood gets in the tube, we could have it clog. I don't know if they'd buy it, but he did just have major surgery to remove necrosis. I don't know the side effects of this on Finch, or the machine.

But maybe it can buy us some time.
rufiangel 18th Sep 2017, 1:41 AM edit delete reply
Oh, there's an idea. Maybe if we really can't avoid getting some of our blood sucked into the machine we could attempt that, though technically to clot, I believe we need some oxygen exposure? Uh, actually don't quote me on that. I'm no expert in this. XD;;
Skybirds15 18th Sep 2017, 2:00 AM edit delete reply
Expanding on this idea, maybe we could teleport in chunks of organs from our red into the tube- small enough individually, but together they clot. Again, this is pretty risky, but... do we really want them to know?
Baeronius 18th Sep 2017, 12:33 AM edit delete reply
The blood that constantly changes is the STQ blood. Ours can just be told to stay Finch's type.
AS long as the blood doesn't transform he's good. I guess.

I hope the blood doesn't do anything stupid, like spell out "HI!" under the microscope. Those little tricksters.
Worthless 18th Sep 2017, 12:46 AM edit delete reply
Ok we NEED too ask what
happens if he is "infected"
out.of curiosity
rufiangel 18th Sep 2017, 1:42 AM edit delete reply
I think asking this is kind of a red flag. Not sure if there's a way to ask without raising it? Though I suppose we might end up having to ask if we screw up and they find our blood in him and deem him 'infected'.
Worthless 18th Sep 2017, 3:02 AM edit delete reply
Let's be honest we have a high probability of going undetected and about asking we are a doctor after all curiosity is our middle name right?
rufiangel 18th Sep 2017, 3:35 AM edit delete reply
If we get through this undetected, we can ask by all means. I think. -v-
Mochi 18th Sep 2017, 3:02 AM edit delete reply
oh god.

time for our blood to be sneaky blood. we should be able to tell it to match dr. finch's blood type and only his blood type. it pretended to be b+ blood for the majority of our life, this should be easy. if they don't think he's "infected" then we may not even have to break in and get him back. it'll suck to be stuck to this for a couple hours, but probably significantly less than them finding out he's got a massive amount of our cells in his system. i do like the idea of asking after the woman as well, though. but if they already know and/or they've tested the syringe that he had at his house, then playing coy might give away more than we want it to. i think we have to take the chance, though. i don't knooooow. ;^; i just want finch back.
rufiangel 18th Sep 2017, 3:41 AM edit delete reply
I just want Dr. Finch back too T____T *sob*
rufiangel 18th Sep 2017, 3:40 AM edit delete reply
I guess, in summary, we try not to get any of our blood in the tubes sucking blood out of Dr. Finch's system. If our blood gets in, we attempt to camouflage within the isolated sample like we've always done, very very intentionally. If that fails (bwuh), Dr. Finch owns up to using alien blood super serum to save himself from the weaponised strep, acting like it was a risky procedure he didn't know would work until it did. Something like this? ;;;; Just trying to layer out what we're all discussing, though everyone feel free to correct me if this isn't quite right.
Worthless 18th Sep 2017, 4:53 AM edit delete reply
Whoa whoa whoa we don't try to change we in this case wanna stay 100% Finch blood and have a couple of awkward hours where they try to find something within Finch
rufiangel 18th Sep 2017, 5:16 AM edit delete reply
That's what the camouflage is about, my friend. Technically it's not necessary if our blood doesn't even get into the sample!

The above isn't a list of things that must all be done, it's a "try this first and if it doesn't work try this next". I hope that's clearer!
Zeddy 18th Sep 2017, 8:03 AM edit delete reply
If our blood gets into the machine, we might be able to control the machine and manipulate the results it reports.
Varil1024 18th Sep 2017, 9:08 AM edit delete reply
Wh---holy crap! That's brilliant!

I see no reason we couldn't just try everything in order, though.

1. Try to "organize" our blood so it never actually leaves Finch's body, so they never get to test it anyway.
2. Tube clogs?
3. Just make the machine lie its butt off.
rufiangel 18th Sep 2017, 9:18 AM edit delete reply
That's a good idea! It didn't quite occur to me XD; I guess it kind of depends on how the machine works. I mean, if it *processes* the blood, that's one thing; if it *observes* the blood reactions, the blood may not actually be going through the machine, if that makes sense.

Let's say blood is processed, however - then we have a shot at this! In theory, however, to make the machine lie, we're going to have to understand the machine and how it works. It's a new technology made specifically for this purpose, so it's never existed before, so it's a bit iffy as to whether Jane could do it on her own knowledge with medical equipment as a nurse. Technically we could attempt to sync with Dr. Finch's scientific knowhow to take a crack at it, though, if it comes to it.

It fills me with joy to see all the ideas we have come up with so far, so many contingency plans XD Dr. Finch, we're doing our best!
Zeddy 18th Sep 2017, 10:57 AM edit delete reply
But there's no need to hijack the detector, the machine will indicate it via buzzing.

We just need to kill the buzzer.
Zeddy 18th Sep 2017, 10:59 AM edit delete reply
Of course, there's the possibility that the machine doesn't work like the doctor explained at all. They could be lying, and the nature of the test could be entirely different.
rufiangel 18th Sep 2017, 11:05 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, Zeddy, I actually thought about that too (like, they're lying about how it works) but it's kind of hard to counter that, right? XD;

Killing the buzzer does sound pretty simple, though doesn't that mean we have to get our blood to get into the buzzer? XD; Like... it's one thing to get into the machine and trick it somehow so it doesn't send a signal to the buzzer. But it's another thing to get the blood into the buzzer to make it quit buzzing. Does this make sense?

You know what, I'm totally over thinking this AGAIN, I'm sorry XD;;; I WANT EVERYTHING TO WORK
Mochi 18th Sep 2017, 11:00 AM edit delete reply
i really think we need to be as subtle about this as possible. if they find out their machine is broken, they'll just fix it and test him again. if it breaks a second time, that's more than enough proof that something's fucky.
PurpleKetchup 18th Sep 2017, 12:56 PM edit delete reply
If I was a black ops engineer making a machine to test alien blood that can mimic and take over anything, I'd use extra redundant wiring to make it impossible for the buzzer not to buzz.
It would buzz regardless test result. The actual result would be mailed over wifi to the tester's account. If the buzzer fails to buzz, consider the patient actively trying to hide his contamination and deal accordingly.

Trying to guess how the machine works and hijack it will not end well.
Mochi 18th Sep 2017, 10:36 AM edit delete reply
i just want to say that my favourite part of being involved in this comic is the fervent pace at which we, as a community, can throw spaghetti at the wall that is our newest problem to see what sticks.
rufiangel 18th Sep 2017, 11:01 AM edit delete reply
XDDD This is so accurate LOL <3
Guest 18th Sep 2017, 3:01 PM edit delete reply
To sort of concatenate what other folks have posted, a more complete list, in the order I think it should go:

1) Try not to get any of our blood into the machine in the first place. Have it hide in his bone marrow, or elsewhere that blood could hide. We're a nurse, we know all about that.

2) If that doesn't work, have our blood mimic his throughout the entire process, so it can't be isolated from his.

3) If that doesn't work, try to compromise the machine so that it doesn't alert the users that it detected anything awry.

Kitty 18th Sep 2017, 3:08 PM edit delete reply
Oops, accidentally hit Enter. To continue, step 3 should also have a priority list of what we try.

3.1) The best way to do this is not to be detected at all-- either through mimicry, or through some effect that makes the sensors unable to sense us (depending on how the sensor technology works, we may be able to make modifications that could render our blood "invisible," but only if we know exactly what mechanism the sensors use).

3.2) If we can't prevent being detected, try to prevent information about detection from being relayed within the machine to any device that could alert the users (a buzzers, screen, etc.) by breaking specific parts of the machine.

3.3) If that doesn't work, disable the alert devices such as the buzzer, cause the screen to glitch, etc.

4) If none of this works, clog the machine. It's the most obvious tactic and thus should be left for in case we've determined that none of the other tactics would possibly work.
PurpleKetchup 18th Sep 2017, 3:12 PM edit delete reply
#3 is asking for trouble. Let's not underestimate the secret government-affiliated team with a century worth of scientific experiments on alien blood.

#3a is own up to it. They're probably afraid because Lasker turned into a monster. They think in terms of humans vs aliens. We have to defuse that situation and explain with what we know.
The blood's origin is the important point, not the blood itself.
Auron 18th Sep 2017, 3:56 PM edit delete reply
Wait a minute. If the blood goes inside that machine doesn't that mean we'll be able to control it?