Comic 403 - Check everything

Posted on 19th Sep 2017, 12:12 AM in Unfathomable Hate
Check everything

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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 19th Sep 2017, 12:12 AM edit delete
Morgenstern
You begin checking on... well, everything.

You check on the raven at Dr. Finch's home. Everything seems fine there--in fact, all of the federal staff appear to be gone now.

You check on the raven at your own house, as well as the rat. No one on the premises.

You send your third raven out to see if it can--as stealthily as possible--find the agent out and about. She may still be conducting business around the city somewhere.

You check on Macland Row. He is currently in a hospital room, but there's an air of tension to it all. Two guards are posted at the door, and the hospital looks... decidedly not high tier. Macland's associates may be trying to keep his current status a secret from the public for now.

You attempt to feel the blood that Dr. Finch had prepared into a syringe, for the purpose of saving the federal agent. You don't feel... anything. You suspect that it may have been shattered, its contents removed or dispersed somehow.

You ask your group if it would be possible to get a computer for Fuse to use.

"I mean, it's possible," Fuse says, "but it won't be fun. You want it on the cheap, we're either stalking garage sales all day in the middle tiers, or we're taking a trip to Poor Town."

You also ask what you should say to the feds when you call. A cheap phone with pre-purchased minutes shouldn't be too hard to acquire.

"Damn good question," Caius says. "We dunno if they know what we know. Y'know?"

"How much do we wanna tip our hand?," Michelle asks. "Any questions we ask could clue her in to how deep we're at. If she's really workin' the feds from the inside, we could try to leverage that--she wants to help us, or at least Finch, or she'd have exposed him. If we play too hard, though, and it turns out we misread her intentions, we'll be screwin' ourselves over."

Fuse nods, leaning forward. "We're playing fifth dimensional chess here. If she knows we're in cahoots with Dr. Finch, then her covering for him could just be a ruse to trick us into thinking she's on our side. Or... maybe she really hates us, and thinks we're just using Dr. Finch. If that's the case and she finds out Dr. Finch is one of us, that could lead to her turning over what she really knows about Dr. Finch to her employers. Or... if Caius makes the call and plays it off like he doesn't know anything, she might hesitate to fill him in. She thought he might be in on something when she fed him info last time, right? Everything she gives us might just be bait... if she doesn't think she's getting something out of us, she might not give us anything back. We tread too carefully, we come up empty handed--we don't tread carefully enough, we could blow the whole operation. And we don't know what she's actually aiming for, or how much she's messing with us, so we don't know what careful is."

"And THAT's all hopin' the number goes to her, and not just some rando in the government bunker," Michelle adds. "Or, like, a hotline in another state or somethin'. If we just ask what she really wants to do with Blondie, she's likely to lie--especially, especially if she's pullin' some double agent stuff, and what she wants to do with Blondie is different than what everyone else in that bunker wants to do with her. She might lie to Caius because she's tryin' to trick him. She might lie to Caius 'cuz she thinks he's another government agent in disguise. She might actually believe Caius is just an awful cop, but don't want him reportin' what she's doin' to the other feds. Who wouldn't she lie to? Who's she tryin' to help? How much of it's just a smokescreen?"

"Our elaborate series of ruses has encountered another elaborate series of ruses," Fuse says, chuckling dryly. "It's almost some prisoner's dilemma bullshit. If she's really looking to help us, and she comes clean, and we come clean, this could all go perfectly fine and everybody comes out happy. ...But even if we told her the truth, even a little bit, she might not believe it. Yeah, we're all just friends of the mind control alien, we're not being forced to say that. She'll believe it, right?"

"I don't think we oughta be tellin' her shit, if you ask me," Caius says finally. "She mighta helped Dr. Finch, but we don't know why. Or maybe she didn't help him, and tha feds just suck at their jobs. We don't know! S'what I hate about this whole stinkin' situation, we don't know jack!"

"But if we don't give her somethin'," Michelle says, "she might not be inclined to give us anything. Caius--or whoever makes the call--has gotta convince her to let us in more, for whatever reason. We don't gotta give much, but it's gotta be enough to make her give back. Right? If we just call and ask questions, she's got no reason to answer 'em. Not with straight answers, anyway."

Comments:

Baeronius 19th Sep 2017, 1:27 AM edit delete reply
Baeronius
I had an idea of linking Caius' prior story of being hired, to looking into Dr. Finch.

He could call in, saying the Dr he was looking after went missing, a Dr. Finch, but he noticed Finch's place had been scoured, so he called the number to see if she had anything to do with it.

... Mind you I went to the DnD site, and rolled a Virtual D-20. The roll was 1.

Soooo....
Anybody else got an idea?
Mochi 19th Sep 2017, 1:41 AM edit delete reply
Mochi
finch has been missing less than a day. no one would go to the trouble of hiring a PI after less than a day. most police departments make you wait 24 to 48 hours before they even let you file a missing persons report. that dog's probably not going to hunt very well.
Baeronius 19th Sep 2017, 2:08 AM edit delete reply
Baeronius
That's not really what I said? I think?
*cautiously licks the mochi on the plate in front of me*

If he was already assigned to both Finch and Jane's house... and was just doing a weekly checkup... etc.

But yeah I'm not attached to it, cause I think it'll go badly due to the 1 roll.

(Actually, I rolled a 4, for "if I should post", a 1 for "Would this work", and a 14, for "should I forget this?". I think that dice was rigged on the astral plane)
Skybirds15 19th Sep 2017, 2:14 AM edit delete reply
He would be a pretty eclectic cop if he was guarding a orphaned daughter in the upper tiers and a self-proclaimed politically minded genius with no friends in the middle tiers.

I'd trust the dice on this one.
Baeronius 19th Sep 2017, 2:25 AM edit delete reply
Baeronius
Cause it's so Dicey.
Varil1024 19th Sep 2017, 8:03 AM edit delete reply
Varil1024
To be fair, Blondie did work with Finch back at the hospital. Maybe Caius is investigating everyone who knew her, and learned today about the incident at Finch's? He could claim he asked the neighbors about it, or something.
rufiangel 19th Sep 2017, 1:33 AM edit delete reply
rufiangel
Fifth-dimensional chess, indeed.

Well, the only thing I was able to glean when I read through what the 'Fed' lady said before, was that she wanted Caius to not engage with Jane and to call the number if he got even an inkling of where Jane was at. She thought he'd be in the position to encounter Jane.

So I guess the one thing we *do* know, for sure, is that she wants to be notified of Jane's location. As to what she'd do with that information, no one knows, but at least that's something we could wield as 'leverage'. If we go at it too weak, like a lead of a lead to where Jane is, then she's not likely to give us much back in return. But if we go too strong, she wouldn't bother with an info exchange; she'd just take the info and go straight to verifying it without bothering to give up anything else.

Hmm... I'll have to think about this a bit more and come back. -v-

EDIT: To procure further information she *might* be interested in, perhaps we really should think about getting the original hospital video footage from Howler's apartment or the hospital, as well as the emails (that would further seal in Arvin Carpenter's involvement) from Howler's basement. It's hard evidence that we could keep on hand regardless of whether the 'Fed' lady is interested in it or not. But we'd need to check in those locations to see what's happening there, first. I suppose we could send a raven to check? Just throwing the idea out there; not necessarily saying this is a greeeat idea.
Mochi 19th Sep 2017, 1:53 AM edit delete reply
Mochi
i was thinking of something like this too. we could have caius call the number and go 'hey, i might've seen the girl at (location that would make good neutral territory like maybe the arcade)' and see what happens. if she comes alone, we send caius along to meet her. if an entire squad of feds roll up, then we leave. if we do get her alone, it's plausible that jane would have the means to call caius' cell, since he "worked for the family" (of course, we put our real name in the phone, for credibility). then we call from a safe place with a burner phone, and talk to her directly. caius would need to act surprised, obviously... but i think he could pull it off. we don't need to elaborate on how we knew to call him at that exact moment. we're dangerous and mysterious, we could (and sort of do) have eyes everywhere.

edit: getting the video is a good plan. it'd definitely be good bait. but there's a chance they might not care about the whole thing with carpenter. a slim chance, but a chance... still, if we want to offer information, that's about the best thing we could get.
Passerby lost one 19th Sep 2017, 11:21 AM edit delete reply
I second that plan. Not only will it keep C some-what thrust worthy, it will let the agent know not to jerk Jane around. This also frees up what we can say...its Jane after all.
AlphaDragon 19th Sep 2017, 2:38 PM edit delete reply
I think compromising the arcade might be a bad idea, it may be a safe space when we need it but not if the feds are watching it.
How about the park we caught the ravens at?
Mochi 19th Sep 2017, 3:01 PM edit delete reply
Mochi
that might work. keep in mind, though, that shirai knows we were there. but, to be honest, she can't have that many goons left. and she has bigger problems to deal with at the moment, like the fact that her partner in crime is a potato.
Macheman7 19th Sep 2017, 1:56 AM edit delete reply
Maybe feed her some slightly sideways truths.
"I've learned that there is an alien that possesses people, it might be involved with someone the girl knows. I'm following up on the lead, but I'm worried I'm gonna get killed or something. Could you visit me at that house so we can talk a bit more plainly?"

...Not that. Something like it, though.
Skybirds15 19th Sep 2017, 2:06 AM edit delete reply
Not going to lie, people aren't my strong suit. Especially when we don't know what she wants to do. Though... we know for sure that she knows we've THE BLOOD-ed Dr. Finch, or at least are close enough to him that he's injecting people with blood.
If we have Caius know Finch on the phone, that raises further questions... but those questions can be answered by the fact that Finch has an easily locatable house and works at the hospital that he, Jane, and someone else are the only survivors from. We could have him say that he was heading around to Finch to see what he knows and saw the quarantine, with her there.
Maybe we can work it from there, I dunno. We need to do this fast, or slow, cause that machine's going to come back soon, and we don't want to be talking when it does, so we do it now, or after.
PurpleKetchup 19th Sep 2017, 1:19 PM edit delete reply
I suck at chess. Also tired of fleeing from everyone, and being sure of nothing. Caius knows what's what - too many unknowns means you can't move anymore. Easy pickings.

Still want to talk to miss Fed about the whole shebang with Queen, original Mars blood and Jane's origins. We don't have to tell all the details, but the point is to lower Jane's danger score in their eyes.
As I already said, who cares if she works for Thale or the Prophet - those already want to kill us anyway, won't change anything.

The current situation can't get better on its own, we're going to get cornered by Shirai or Carpenter while we're trying to hide from the feds eventually and it'll be game over.
Jane could start an infowar to get the word out and get support from the general populace, but we have 0 setup to pull that one nicely.

Stupid chess. Bishop to e6.
Auron 19th Sep 2017, 6:52 PM edit delete reply
Now I want to design Fifth-dimensional chess
Auron 19th Sep 2017, 7:14 PM edit delete reply
Whatever you do don't lie.
Auron 19th Sep 2017, 7:15 PM edit delete reply
OOPS not the current page
Frission 8th Dec 2017, 8:17 PM edit delete reply
Frission
"And THAT's all hopin' the number goes to her, and not just some rando in the government bunker," Michelle adds. "Or, like, a hotline in another state or somethin'. If we just ask what she really wants to do with Blondie, she's likely to lie--especially, especially if she's pullin' some double agent stuff, and what she wants to do with Blondie is different than what everyone else in that bunker wants to do with her. She might lie to Caius because she's tryin' to trick him. She might lie to Caius 'cuz she thinks he's another government agent in disguise. She might actually believe Caius is just an awful cop, but don't want him reportin' what she's doin' to the other feds. Who wouldn't she lie to? Who's she tryin' to help? How much of it's just a smokescreen?"

"Our elaborate series of ruses has encountered another elaborate series of ruses," Fuse says, chuckling dryly. "It's almost some prisoner's dilemma bullshit. If she's really looking to help us, and she comes clean, and we come clean, this could all go perfectly fine and everybody comes out happy. ...But even if we told her the truth, even a little bit, she might not believe it. Yeah, we're all just friends of the mind control alien, we're not being forced to say that. She'll believe it, right?"

^--- In response to this, a line I've heard or read before: "The problem with what-ifs is that they never end. At some point, you've just got to learn to trust."