Comic 437 - Meet Jury

Posted on 27th Sep 2017, 3:49 PM in Doors
Meet Jury

<<First Latest>>
Average Rating: 5 (3 votes) / Rate this comic

Author Notes:

Morgenstern 27th Sep 2017, 3:49 PM edit delete
Caius tells her that you are on your way. You thank him for doing all this, and for saying he'd protect you. You tell Michelle what's going on, and what the plan is.

You reach the motel. You and Michelle walk in and introduce yourselves.

"And I'm Jury," the agent responds.

You then begin to explain... well, not everything. You tell Jury how you got into this situation--that your blood used to register as and act normal, before you were ambushed by Queen users and everything went to hell. You tell her that your goal is to stop Patton Thale, and whoever else is pushing this mind control scheme... maybe to do the right thing, maybe because they've been trying to kill you since they found out who you are, and stopping them is the only way you'll ever know any sort of peace.

You list off the major players that you know: Macland Row, Gesenai Shirai, Arvin Carpenter, Prophet... and probably Brother Hope. You stay vague with the details as to how you know this, but Jury doesn't question any of the names you mention. You tell her about Enyo, and how the church operates on two fronts--one public charity gig that may act as a recruitment method, and one secret cult driving the lower tiers toward terrorism.

After a moment, Jury nods. "A few of those names don't surprise me, but I couldn't find anything concrete linking them to the conspiracy. I should warn you--someone, maybe multiple people on the city council are probably in on it, as well. They may not know what Thale is up to, but they're helping to cover his tracks. This has extended to police under contract to the city itself."

"So don't trust cops," Caius chuckles. "Nothin' new there."

"And," Jury adds, "as I was telling Caius... there are members within my department that are not interested in solving this case. They claim to be, but their actions say otherwise. They want you, either for their own unprofessional reasons, or because they're taking a cut of some kind from Thale."

"So we can't trust the cops, and we can't trust the government," Michelle concludes. "Not exactly news, but it's nice to have it confirmed. I gotta ask, though I hate to: is there any way they could get to you, Jury? Like, is there any risk of them messin' with your code or anything?"

Jury shakes her head. "Not that I'm aware of. No one in this department should be able to reprogram me--I'm on loan, you might say. No one's background suggests the sort of experience in robotics that would be necessary. That being said..."

Jury looks aside for just a moment. It's a little odd to see her hesitate, given what you know about her.

"...I believe Arvin Carpenter is the largest threat under Patton Thale himself. Having looked at the files on Arvin Carpenter, I am afraid I will not be able to approach him."

A sort of stun takes the room, with Caius breaking the silence. "Shit, for real?"

Jury nods. "He knows enough about biology to engage in his ghastly experiments, but his real expertise lies in the mechanical. I also believe he has his hands on copies of old Zone Fifty files. The risk is too great that he may be able to compromise me, or may have built some manner of defense against me specifically. He's made it clear that he knows I'm in the city."

There's another pause before Michelle speaks up. "You know where Carpenter is?"

"Not with absolute certainty," Jury replies. "I have the address of a location he's been working out of. He might have jumped ship since then."

"Or it could be bait," Michelle says.

Jury nods. "It could be bait," she reaffirms. "My investigation at the moment mostly involves looking into the other names loosely tied to the Thales. There's numerous shaky leads, but with how much the wealthy in this city protect each other, it's hard to figure out who all actually knows anything. Even when I do get something solid, my hands are tied by process--I still haven't been allowed to talk to Howler Ferrings, for example.

I don't like relying on forces outside the system... but the corruption in this case has become too wide spread. I will personally try to overlook whatever you need to do to bring the perpetrators to justice. I cannot guarantee that others will do the same, however. My contact with you in the future may be restricted--I'm going to continue trying to clean this department out from inside, and catch the corrupted in the act."

"Which means you gotta be inside," Michelle comments. "So you gotta act like everything's cool."

Jury nods. "Protecting your group on my end means keeping our interaction a secret. You are, on paper, criminals that I'm aiding and abetting... but dealing with your crimes is a microscopic priority compared to everything else. All the things I've dug up on the city's elite--completely detached from the current case--could keep me busy for decades after Patton Thale is dealt with."


Mochi 27th Sep 2017, 5:02 PM edit delete reply
we don't have the means to go up against carpenter, either. we broke one of his toys, for sure, but we've got no real defense against anything he could throw at us. especially if what he throws at us is more deadly bacteria or viruses or something else. she knows what he did to finch. speaking of, can we ask her if she was the reason the feds presumably didn't find blood samples in his house? and if so, we should thank her for protecting him. one thing we can do, though, is get those emails from howler's apartment. we should ask if she thinks that'd be enough to provoke any sort of response from the feds against carpenter for his involvement.

if she wants to give us the address she thinks carpenter has been working out of, we can try and send in some form of infiltration. at the very least, we could have a raven watch it for a while. also, there's probably no harm in asking if she can help us find somewhere clean where we can set up shop. our last base was compromised pretty thoroughly, and we can't just live out of motels forever. she might not be able to, but if any one can help us, it's her. and we can answer some of her questions about dad if she'd like. i don't see any harm in helping her understand what went down.
Nayru9572 27th Sep 2017, 5:15 PM edit delete reply
I agree for the most part, but I feel really hesitant about the idea of coming anywhere near Carpenter, even with a blooded rat or raven. There's always the chance of him somehow detecting it or finding its behaviour suspicious, which would lead to capture, followed by dissection and/or feeding us misinformation.
But then again, we will need to confront him at some point, so I can see why preparing for that now is a good idea.
rufiangel 27th Sep 2017, 7:44 PM edit delete reply
I support Mochi's ideas~
lil Joshu 27th Sep 2017, 5:16 PM edit delete reply
lil Joshu
The rat/crow trick was never revealed to Carpenter. Carpenter could well be under control. Find location given by our robotic friend, blood a few mosquitos, and have them blood Carpenter, free him if he's under influence, never get closer than a drive from a few blocks away.

Note: If there's cameras, and the ringleader can sense Carpenter, chances are we'll only get to do this trick once before they start countermeasures (and likely up the ante with their likely subsequent queened creatures) so we need to wait to do this till we're ready to also take on Thale and whoever the true puppet master is. However, taking care of Carpenter will free up our metallic friend.

Not sure if we should reveal animal abilities in case this is a ruse, but we should ask Jury if there's some kind of signal for when we've taken care of him or timeline for her involving Carpenter.

Also, note:
Be prepared to face prophet. Yes, I know he died, but remember he does psychic illusions. He could have faked his death to make it harder for us to prepare for him. I always felt he went down way too easy. Should also see if there's anything that can block psychic illusions.
Baeronius 27th Sep 2017, 6:13 PM edit delete reply
Ah, but since we know Patton Thale has brain-merged people. It could be a reality that the Prophet wasn't just a single body.

The goo we have could lead us to any melded individuals linked to the Prophet. If there are any.

And if Carpenter is in the group, I wouldn't put it past them to perform alteration surgery on each Prophet to give them the same fear ability. So a problem could arise if more than one Prophet attack at the same time.
rufiangel 27th Sep 2017, 7:40 PM edit delete reply
MM confirmed in the comments that Prophet is definitely dead, one reason being the illusion he put us through would really only work once. So you can rest easy there.
Mochi 27th Sep 2017, 8:32 PM edit delete reply
nah man, carpenter is a sociopath. and probably a psychopath. i highly doubt he's under anyone's influence except his own. he's the kind of person that does this stuff for shiggles.
PurpleKetchup 27th Sep 2017, 6:24 PM edit delete reply
Maybe Jane should ask what Jury remembers about her dad ? Maybe they worked together long ago.

Jury also probably knows her actual family name (like Finch does)...
CiciEnixa 27th Sep 2017, 7:42 PM edit delete reply
I *might* be wrong, I'll have to check way back, but I think Michelle and Fuse actually know Jane's name by now (don't know if they've told Caius). It's MM that doesn't write it out for us readers to see XD
rufiangel 27th Sep 2017, 7:48 PM edit delete reply
I can confirm for you that it's not confirmed whether Michelle or Fuse know Jane's name by now XD For sure, Fuse calls her Blondie the first time because he only ever heard Michelle call her that and we never gave him a name. As for whether she would have told him later is not confirmed. Given they never call her by name, though, it's reasonable to guess they don't actually know it XD Jane is a troll sometimes and introduces herself as a vent hermit after all lol

(EDIT: But you're absolutely right in that the reason they may not know her name is because of MM XD)