Comic 434 - Head toward Caius

Posted on 25th Sep 2017, 10:50 PM in Doors
Head toward Caius

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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 25th Sep 2017, 10:50 PM edit delete
"How'd ya know?," Caius asks.

You rush out to the car. Though you don't even begin to explain what's going on, Michelle follows, getting in the driver seat.

"Your face," Jury replies. "I have an eye for detail and you look identical to the bouncers at Club Elegance. They recently had to rearrange the schedules of their staff to deal with a few deaths. There was someone named Caius who wasn't reported dead, but was still left off the new schedule. I figured it had to be you, seeing the shaved head."

You give Michelle directions to where Caius is, and the two of you start heading in that direction.

"Patton Thale," Caius says simply. "Ya want my guess? I think it's Patton Thale."

Jury stares at Caius for what feels like forever. She squints, but that's the only change in her expression. You can't tell what her reaction is--if it's surprise, if it's anger. You get nothing back. You intentionally picked a motel not far from the one you've been staying at; it won't take you long to get there.

"I've tried to contact Patton Thale," Jury finally says. "He's managed to elude me, and city officials haven't exactly cooperated in getting me to him. I did, by... let's call it a coincidence, meet his family. He has a wife and three kids."

Caius looks confused, clearly not real sure where this is going. Jury continues.

"I've also combed through what footage I could find of Patton Thale, which isn't much. Do you know what I discovered? His wife, his kids... they talk with the same rhythm he does. They have the same mannerisms, make the same gestures. They walk the same. His kids sometimes started to talk over each other, accidentally giving the same responses at the same time."

Caius starts to say something, but he's slow on the draw. The agent speaks before he does.

"I've talked with fifteen persons of interest, the Thales included. Not one of them would say his name. My husband, or my father, or my boss, but never Patton Thale. Even when it would be less suspicious to just say his name, they'd work around it until they could change the subject... and they changed the subject as soon as they could."

Caius chuckles. "That it? Y'want me to say Patton Thale, I can say Patton Thale all day."

She nods. "That's the closest thing I can get to proof that you're not in on it. There are agents that I'm supposed to be working with right now that awkwardly avoid the name Patton Thale. You lied to me... but I completely understand why.

He's everywhere."


Kitty 25th Sep 2017, 11:20 PM edit delete reply
Good to know that *she* can say Patton Thale, too.

Also goddamn, the man is mind-controlling his own family O_o

Welp, the enemy of our enemy is hopefully amenable to becoming our friend!
Mochi 25th Sep 2017, 11:28 PM edit delete reply
yeah, that's not an oversight he would make if he's been this careful about it. even if she's an android, if she was on his side, he would make sure that she was programmed not to say his name. or interview people about him. or probably even go near his family. that explains how carpenter knew about her, though. she's been doing an awful lot of sniffing around.
rufiangel 25th Sep 2017, 11:40 PM edit delete reply
I just got legit creeps reading about the family all acting the same, yiiikes :'D

But that's what we risk becoming if we keep syncing, so I guess we should take this as a solemn warning...
PurpleKetchup 25th Sep 2017, 11:59 PM edit delete reply
... I think Thale oversynced with his family because he kept wanting to learn their secrets. All of them. That's creepier.

And he probably forces everyone not to speak his name exactly like Jane told Caius not to turn or mention anything about getting syringed.

Akasha 26th Sep 2017, 12:10 AM edit delete reply
To be honest, I was thinking he did it more because he's a ruthless asshole, and simply no longer saw them as family and more along the lines of potential liabilities. Wouldn't be surprised if did something insidious like use them to test the kind of influence Queen has.

Mind you, that's just me smacking at straws and flailing about like a particularly ineffectual cat. Kinda curious as to how long his wife and kids have been like that, and if they've been that way /before/ StQ started becoming more prominent.
rufiangel 26th Sep 2017, 12:11 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, I think that's exactly how that latter command is working out for everyone using STQ. Funny how it's just making him even *more* suspicious. -v-
Baeronius 26th Sep 2017, 1:06 AM edit delete reply
There is the possibility that Patton has merged so far, he can't tell which body is truly his anymore. So he keeps the one he thinks of as the "root" in a safe zone, while letting his merged "others" roam.

Quite frankly, if he's merged too deeply, it doesn't matter which body survives... cause they're all going to have a singular mind.

So, he could have made it less suspicious by leaving one of his kids in the "safehouse" at any one time and rotating family members out. Meh.
5007-574IN3D 26th Sep 2017, 1:17 AM edit delete reply
Maxim 29: The enemy of my enemy is my enemy's enemy, no more, no less.

Though I hope we can trust Jury, I still feel paranoid about it.
Mochi 25th Sep 2017, 11:21 PM edit delete reply

we can chill. we can chill, slightly. we should still head in his direction, but we don't need to be in as much of a rush about it, and we don't need to go in guns blazing. i think we can start to finally be honest with jury, here. we know about thale. we know what he's up to. we even know a fair few of his cohorts. though... he has considerably fewer of those after the last two days.

ask her if she wants to know what's really going on. but first, we need to know she's not a danger to us. we need to know she's not going to try and hurt or arrest jane, or michelle, or anyone else. if she can promise that, we can tell her the real story.
rufiangel 25th Sep 2017, 11:48 PM edit delete reply
Yeah, it's important to figure out exactly what her motives are here. What parts of this investigation are her own rogue actions, and what parts are officially part of her department? Because the thing that happened at Dr. Finch's, she called in what resources she had to deal with it and it was all part and parcel of her investigation.

But this thing with Thale doesn't seem like it, because even her boss is in on it if what she's saying is the truth. So to some degree, she's acting separately from her chain of command, if I understand this situation correctly.

Is truth all she wants, or is she looking for something as her personal agenda? Hm.
Auron 25th Sep 2017, 11:27 PM edit delete reply
She's either lying or doesn't know about the blood checking machine.
Kitty 25th Sep 2017, 11:30 PM edit delete reply
I suspect the latter. Thale would want as few people as possible to know about the blood-checking machine. Also, it may be that Jury knows about the machine, but she herself can't use it (doesn't have the medical knowledge, perhaps, or just doesn't have access to it), so having people say "Patton Thale" is the best thing *she* can do to make sure they're not under his control.
Mochi 25th Sep 2017, 11:30 PM edit delete reply
i bet one of the surgeons is in on it. i'd also bet that machine would ignore STQ. also, what kitty said. it's a pretty big machine, it's not like she can carry it around with her. or drag everyone she needs to know if she can trust to the secret government bunker and strap them down for two hours to cycle their blood. especially when there are other agents who are in thale's pocket.
Mochi 25th Sep 2017, 11:38 PM edit delete reply
also, i think we kind of need to bring her in for the sole purpose of, you know, keeping her alive.

if she keeps poking her nose in thale's business, especially without knowing how dangerous he really is, pretty soon she's not gonna have a nose. or a pulse.
PurpleKetchup 25th Sep 2017, 11:54 PM edit delete reply
She might not have a pulse to begin with, though.
Depends if she's been built for full human infiltration or not.
Mochi 25th Sep 2017, 11:59 PM edit delete reply
i mean even if she's an android, she has electrical pulses that would power her. that was mostly for effect, though.
rufiangel 25th Sep 2017, 11:39 PM edit delete reply
Alright, looks like she's a little less terrifying now that she's willing to show a couple more cards on her hand.

Let's just really quickly let Dr. Finch/Fuse/Michelle know that Jury just admitted she was investigating Thale and was coming to creepy conclusions.

I'm with Mochi in just having Caius ask her if she really, really wants to know what's going on. What's her end-game? I'm still wondering what she was looking for in Jane's house, and why she didn't report any of the alien blood samples that were at Dr. Finch's house. The former being something Caius can actually ask about, the latter tipping our connections a bit fast so maybe hold back on that one.
Mochi 26th Sep 2017, 12:04 AM edit delete reply
i think it would possibly also be a good idea to get out of the open, now.
rufiangel 26th Sep 2017, 12:10 AM edit delete reply
Get a room?
Mochi 26th Sep 2017, 12:13 AM edit delete reply
might be a good idea. or just move somewhere less "standing in the middle of a parking lot". she's right about thale, he really is everywhere.
Guest 25th Sep 2017, 11:39 PM edit delete reply
oh thank duce robocop doesn't seem to be evil. whew. i think we can chill.
PurpleKetchup 25th Sep 2017, 11:52 PM edit delete reply
About time we got more honest with her.
Let's start explaining the deal with StQ and the various factions we know about. Especially the fact that aliens are not all trying to destroy Earth.
rufiangel 26th Sep 2017, 12:16 AM edit delete reply
Maybe we could ask gently how much she even knows about STQ or its relevance to the grand scheme of things, so we know where we can fill in the blanks or correct things for her. But at this point, I still think we need more information from her, rather than us feeding her more information. We still don't know what her end-game is, so I'm still kind of cautious. Though to be fair, she's acknowledged she understands why Caius lied to begin with. Maybe she'll be willing to start explaining some things on her end now that we've got that out in the open.
PurpleKetchup 26th Sep 2017, 12:10 AM edit delete reply
I'm really excited about Jury right there, because unlike Jane's other friends she will never have get red'ed up to prevent Thale's backstabbings. Because let's be honest if she snooped around as much as she did I expect several hobos already tried to stick her full of Queen.
It doesn't work on her. Impartial Jury, how fitting.

Anyway, keeping trustworthy allies unblooded is a clear break with Thale's methods and firmly establishes Jane as a force for good.
rufiangel 26th Sep 2017, 12:19 AM edit delete reply
Can we straight-up ask her if she's a robot? XD;;;;;; Probably not, I guess... but that's still conjecture on our end, right?
PurpleKetchup 26th Sep 2017, 12:52 AM edit delete reply
Immune to virulent disease, poor facial expressions, apparent lack of panic, works for criminal CYBER response & services, interrogated Thale's own family but isn't Queened up yet ?

Still conjecture ?
rufiangel 26th Sep 2017, 1:21 AM edit delete reply
Well, we don't *know* for sure yet so yeah, it's still conjecture. I'm not saying it's not likely but it's still not confirmed, you know?
Baeronius 26th Sep 2017, 1:13 AM edit delete reply
Oooh! OOoh!
And we can ask if she's an alien if she says no!
Nayru9572 26th Sep 2017, 1:02 AM edit delete reply
I'd say before we reveal Caius' connection to Jane, we should first ask why she's looking for her, what she thinks the connection between her and Thale is.
We can even offer to let her see the footage first, going along with her to wherever she wants to watch it, if it seems safe and easily-accessible enough. I'd assume she's got a computer to watch it without risking her colleagues finding out, or maybe she'll just download it into herself.

Bottom line: don't show all our cards yet before we know what she thinks of Jane. She might not react well to finding out Caius is blooded if she doesn't think there's a big difference between her and Thale.
rufiangel 26th Sep 2017, 1:23 AM edit delete reply
Yeah. Let's take it slowly and see what she wants from Jane besides custody of her, if she wants anything at all.
Vahno 26th Sep 2017, 1:19 AM edit delete reply
We should also inform her of Alvin's involvement. Howler and Alvin were responsible for the Tobu Cyberbrain incident, with Thale connecting the dots. You're not sure how, but maybe the Agent has an idea.
Crestlinger 26th Sep 2017, 5:34 PM edit delete reply
So the Thale collective. Resistance is futile.