Comic 454 - Go get the rat

Posted on 1st Oct 2017, 10:39 PM in Doors
Go get the rat

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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 1st Oct 2017, 10:39 PM edit delete
You compare your list of Prophet's numbers to Jury's, to see if he had her number in his phone.

It is not on the list.

You consider using one of your ravens to retrieve your rat, but it's quite a distance to be carried, and there's a number of things that could go wrong. You decide not to risk the rat, and instead go to pick it up from your home personally. You want to try and grab some things from Dr. Finch's place, anyway, so it might be best to get it all done in one trip.

You ask Dr. Finch and Caius to go with you. You inform Fuse and Michelle of your plans, and you head out.

You double check with the raven that is watching over your house--nothing suspicious that you can spot. You also send your unoccupied raven to check out Dr. Finch's house, and make sure the coast is clear there.

As you walk into your home, Dr. Finch begins to look around. "Hm," he says. "I don't believe I've been here yet."

"You're not sure?," Caius chuckles.

"I have a faint sense of deja vu... a side effect of syncing, perhaps." Dr. Finch nods to himself. "I don't believe I've been here myself, though."

"Y'think it like... stacks?," Caius asks, turning to Dr Finch. "Like... if everybody's been here but you, and you been synced with everybody... would you pick it up stronger than if only one of us had been here? Am I makin' any sense?"

Dr. Finch nods, smiling. "Yes... yes, I believe I follow. You're speculating that a memory could be accidentally picked up more easily if more individuals involved with the sync share that memory. If I were synced for an equal amount of time with every member of our party... and I picked up any memories, feelings, or skill sets incidentally, something already shared may be more likely to 'leak' than something held individually."

Dr. Finch stops, considering it for a moment. "Which... could, if true, lead to a sort of 'snowball' effect." Dr. Finch turns to you, pointing. "Let's say you and Fuse did mentally coalesce. If I then synced with you AND Fuse at the same time, I'd be twice as at risk... as I could gain the same feelings and memories from either, or both of you."

"Makes what Thale's doin' a lot scarier," Caius adds. "He's got his whole family in on it, right? One big hivemind he can sync somebody else with."

"And..." Dr. Finch begins, "and and and, as that hivemind grows, the effect would only multiply. Five people with a singular thought process would draw someone in more rapidly, I would think. Imagine: a hundred, or a thousand people, all with identical behaviors and memories and emotional responses, syncing with a single person. It wouldn't even be an amalgam or a coalescence at that point... their collective mind would consume the smaller one. The victim would only be a fraction of an already established entity."

There's a brief pause.

Caius breaks the silence. "Ya think Patton Thale mind melded his family on accident, jus' bein' a paranoid weirdo... or d'ya think he's tryin' to start up somethin' like that? Inject tha whole city... then sync tha whole city. Start with people close to him, so he don't change too much before he gets some weight behind him... and then turn everybody into tha Thales."

Dr. Finch shakes his head, mostly staring at the floor. "An... an excellent question, to be sure. The initial hiveminding would be risky, if that's his plan--but if he maintained enough of his original drive and agenda after the first few combinations, it would only become easier from there. The concept of so many memories, expressions, talents all being spread across individual minds is terrifying, in a way. I know who I am, and you know who you are... but if I had all of your memories in addition to my own, I wouldn't be either of us. The combined experience would make me an entirely different person... full of new perspectives and cognitive dissonance."

"I think I get ya," Caius responds. "If I love drinkin' an' you hate drinkin', and we synced too hard... one of us would win out, or we'd both start seriously rethinkin' alcohol. Prob'ly just come out kinda likin' to drink, but not all tha time. So the big bad guy behind all this..." Caius squints, thinking hard. "Might have started as Patton Thale, but if he's really oversynced his whole family... the Thales, all of 'em, together, might be tha ones that wants us dead. Whatever weird... final... collective thing is in each of their heads."

"That's all assuming, of course, that Patton Thale didn't simply find a way to override their minds with his own," Dr. Finch concludes. "If he really intended something grandiose with his syncing ability from the start, he may have developed a method to overpower those he oversyncs with. Either scenario is awful in its own way."

Caius, as if now uncomfortably trying to change the subject, turns to you. "Was there anything else ya wanted to pick up while you was here? Besides tha rat, I mean."


rufiangel 1st Oct 2017, 11:31 PM edit delete reply
Hmm, that makes a lot of sense. That could explain why Fuse remembers the hospital basement so well, because he's been synced together with Michelle and Dr. Finch a few times as well as with Jane herself.

It wouldn't surprise me if Thale (or the Thales) had come up with a method to override or brute force memories, personality and tendencies with his own, but it's unlikely to be perfect; ugh, I'm with Caius on feeling uncomfortable with the idea. Eek.

I really hope not syncing for a long period of time does help to alleviate the over-sync symptoms; if it doesn't, then we really shouldn't sync with Fuse going forward at all :') (and be veeery careful about the others)
Baeronius 2nd Oct 2017, 2:51 AM edit delete reply
Oh. My brain just registered this.
Why are you calling the Ravens "Birb"? I just saw in Terraria they have a "Birb Staff" and it kinda clicked. Then I saw the Yogscast have the Birbs at about the same time as you started using the word... so I was like... No.... Right?
rufiangel 2nd Oct 2017, 6:33 AM edit delete reply
I am unaware of those references you speak of, sorry :'D
Mochi 2nd Oct 2017, 8:16 AM edit delete reply
it’s a meme. bird is birb.
Kitty 2nd Oct 2017, 4:41 PM edit delete reply
Baer, it's an internet-in-general thing-- "bird" is "birb," "dog" is "doggo" (or "a big ol' pupper"), "puppy" is "pupper" (or "just a li'l doggo"), and "snake" is "snek" (or "long dog" or "danger noodle"). And cats are just cats. (Although their toes are "jelly beans.")

There are also terms for when animals stick their tongues out a little bit (usually while sleeping)-- "blep" for cats, "blop" for doggos, and "blup" for everything else. (Although sneks generally do a "thphbhbthphthpb" or a "mlem" instead.)

Basically, the Internet is weird, and memetics is fascinating.
Cuttlefish 2nd Oct 2017, 4:05 PM edit delete reply
It strikes me as strange that Patton Thale would develop a system based on a feminine identifier, Save The Queen/Queen/Godess etc. It might be a smokescreen, a weird quirk of the religion that formed around TH, or just an aspect of Patton we don't know about - but it feels like evidence suggesting that perhaps he was not the one who won the hivemind battle of wills with his family. His wife was included. What gender identity does/did his children have before hiving?
Guest 1st Oct 2017, 11:40 PM edit delete reply
If we're going to start hanging out at the base for awhile, maybe bring any necessaries from the house, like cleaning supplies, clothing + linens, etc? Stuff to make the whole place a little more homely + livable.
Guest 1st Oct 2017, 11:47 PM edit delete reply
ooh maybe a few personal belongings too, like the penguin or cat plushies? Some books for everyone to read during downtime? There's also the appliances in the kitchen - like the microwave. If there's an outlet, it could be used for easy-to-prepare meals... I forgot if there were any real cooking apps in the bunker.
Mochi 1st Oct 2017, 11:41 PM edit delete reply
if we need spare clothes or anything we could pack a bag to take back. other than that, there’s not much else we need here, i don’t think. we could introduce dr. finch to mom’s red but with the sheer number of questions he’s sure to have, that can maybe wait until we have more spare time and we’re not so worried for our lives.

for other things to grab… maybe that stuffed cat from our bed, if it’s not too bloody? a piece of home cor our new home.
rufiangel 1st Oct 2017, 11:43 PM edit delete reply
Home cor XD grab a cushion or two with it, it'll be like a housewarming party <3
lil Joshu 2nd Oct 2017, 11:51 AM edit delete reply
lil Joshu
I second this.
rufiangel 1st Oct 2017, 11:41 PM edit delete reply
What is there to do here except take Willard and eat more ice-cream out of the fridge? ._. Pick up some more sneaky clothes?
Steve 1st Oct 2017, 11:44 PM edit delete reply
we could grab the cat plushes
2nd Oct 2017, 1:44 AM edit delete reply
A mysterious secret government bunker is not the place for such things.
Deadly Death Sickle 2nd Oct 2017, 1:51 AM edit delete reply
Deadly Death Sickle
Adding a bunny and a goldfish to the pet crew?

Nayru9572 2nd Oct 2017, 2:09 AM edit delete reply
Could we even blood a fish? I mean, that it works on mammals is understandable, but fish blood? I think we'd need to run that by Finch or the internet first before trying it.
Baeronius 2nd Oct 2017, 2:15 AM edit delete reply
Oh it'd work on the fish, the problem would be getting the Blood in there without maiming the little fella.

Also, what would little tiny fishy doooo?
rufiangel 2nd Oct 2017, 6:20 AM edit delete reply
We can blood inanimate objects, so I'm pretty sure anything is on the cards. We had to train to learn to perceive through a rat's limited vision and sensibilities though, so I imagine learning to perceive through a fish would require us to get used to its limits and capacities as well. Honestly I'm not sure how useful it would be to blood a goldfish, given their 3-second memory span; it might make for a rather frustrating endeavour XD;;
Varil1024 2nd Oct 2017, 7:58 AM edit delete reply
Fun fact, that's actually a myth! Goldfish remember just as well as most any animal.

Not sure how useful a fish would be in general though, unless we wanted to spy on an aquarium. I guess we could plant them in the sewers or something...? But it isn't like there are rivers or lakes on these tiers we could use for moving a fish around and spying.

I agree we definitely COULD blood a fish, I just don't see why we would...except maybe as a sentry of some sort at home? Nobody would ever expect that the goldfish was spying on them.
rufiangel 2nd Oct 2017, 8:44 AM edit delete reply
Gosh, I had no idea that was a myth! :O Thanks for dispelling that, the more you know!

But uh, yeah, all the other points. I am wondering if a fish could even live in sewage water XD;; ehhh...
Deadly Death Sickle 2nd Oct 2017, 9:34 AM edit delete reply
Deadly Death Sickle
I said the fish so we can try to get em through the pipes if there's water
Baeronius 2nd Oct 2017, 6:55 PM edit delete reply
Brain-derpage removed.

But goldfish scare very easily. Their short-term memory is a bit fuzzy, even though they can remember for 3 months.

Would it be worth it to have fear blasting at regular intervals from the fishy wishy?
lil Joshu 2nd Oct 2017, 11:48 AM edit delete reply
lil Joshu
I second blooding a goldfish to check out the pipes. That said, goldfish could be treated like security cameras. They're a living creature you don't expect to move from one spot, unlike a rat or a dog who would need to leave their spot to get food.

I also second Steve's idea of filling a secret government bunker with plushies.
Deadly Death Sickle 2nd Oct 2017, 11:54 AM edit delete reply
Deadly Death Sickle
About what about a rabbit, its like a upgraded rat (gaming terms)

Lol jk, but a rabbit/bunny might be a bit more helpful than a rat when it comes to scouting an area
Kitty 2nd Oct 2017, 4:44 PM edit delete reply
Rabbits are an upgrade in some senses, but a downgrade in others. They kinda minmaxed for dashing speed, so their overall endurance took a hit and their walking speed is *really* slow compared to rats. Also they need to graze fairly frequently I believe, and have a few really intense prey responses (the last thing we need is for our spy rabbit to catch a whiff of something scary, and then *scream like a banshee* in fear). Plus they're not so great at climbing.
rufiangel 2nd Oct 2017, 7:58 PM edit delete reply
On that note, wouldn't we have to constantly feed a fish since it can't feed itself if it's in a bowl? ;; I mean, all other points aside, that kind of makes it hard to use it as a security checker in places we don't frequent all too often.
PurpleKetchup 2nd Oct 2017, 12:06 AM edit delete reply
No wonder if feels like a Goddess barging in your head for people doing Queen.
Guest 2nd Oct 2017, 12:11 AM edit delete reply
Get the bed. As much as I trust Jury's keeping us safeish, I don't want that left in her home.
Baeronius 2nd Oct 2017, 12:35 AM edit delete reply
Well, different people store different memories with different connections.
One can store the memory of their mom's house with odors and the taste of cookies. Another might associate the feel of the furniture with the color of the walls. Same house, different tactile memories, as they use different memory connectors.

Now, assume that there was a mush of memories. What you would have is that memories that merge would have to be stored in the same alignment that they were created from. This means that the places memory occupy cannot be the same if the merged memory is to be coherent and useful.

So, It is unlikely that one would have complete memories of anything the more amalgamated the brain gets. This means that the physical shape of the brain affects memories, just like the actual sensations do. So an individual's physical setup can do alterations to a hive mind, so to speak if they connect in such a manner. The copy of the physical alterations would have to be managed until it matches a conformity, but until that point the others in the hivemind would be melding slightly toward the physical state of the introduction.

So what this means,if memory functions reserve in a similar fashion, a hivemind unit may alter it's conceptions, the more people who get added into it.

And likewise, the same memories, stored in different ways would be in competition for their storage. You can't have two memories occupying the same storage, unless it's a joint connector that is a pass-through. But likewise, you can't have too many pass-through or the mind becomes incoherent.

This would also mean that the intelligence of the hive-mind would not be able to exceed that of a single individual, because the extra storage would be consumed by redundancy. The redundancy would be required for the hive to operate.
Guest 2nd Oct 2017, 11:29 AM edit delete reply
This assumes only human minds. But what about something inhuman? And what's wrong with making a few... storage units?
Baeronius 2nd Oct 2017, 7:18 PM edit delete reply
Well, it could depend on if the original user wanted to maintain "human integrity". As well as with a large hivemind of mostly human, if something was inhuman it would alter their brain patterns.
Memp 2nd Oct 2017, 1:17 AM edit delete reply
Since we are here anyway, are we sure we can't think of something we want to ask mom's red about?
Also, I second the eating of icecream
Baeronius 2nd Oct 2017, 1:44 AM edit delete reply
Like what? If Mom's Red remembers Jury?
Skybirds15 2nd Oct 2017, 2:20 AM edit delete reply
Avoiding hive-minding, asking if it knows about other space blood aliens on earth, how to talk blood-speak (I think that's what it's called), how to regenerate others without the... issues, the reaction hypothetical other aliens would have towards us, and the reaction we would have towards them
Also, how the hecky-heck do these guys breed if they hate each other so goddamn much?
Memo 2nd Oct 2017, 3:23 AM edit delete reply
Maybe we should ask about the whole hivemind thing, (the Thales) and what the effects would likely be, if Patton were to die, or blooded for that matter.
Nayru9572 2nd Oct 2017, 3:28 AM edit delete reply
That's actually a good point. Even if we do manage to kill Thale, he basically has copies of his mind in his family members, and possibly others.
rufiangel 2nd Oct 2017, 6:32 AM edit delete reply
As far as we have seen, the way the blood control works is by majority. That is, if you, as a single unit, have more of the alien blood type than the other person who has some injected, then you are the one in control. Therefore, we speculate that Thale is the one with the most STQ-type blood right now, but this is speculation and it is possible there is someone else who has even more of that blood than he does. In the assumption that Thale is the one with the most STQ-type blood, if Thale dies, then whoever has the second-most amount of the blood will take control; keep in mind that this is using bio-printed blood. That is how it seems to be working at the moment. To take Thale over with our blood overrides the control he has or is under from STQ, which means the same thing effectively; Thale becomes a ghost to the STQ type blood, and the next person in line with the most of it will take control. (EDIT: I should add that due to the sheer amount of STQ-type blood in Thale, however, it would take a huge amount of our blood to override it, most likely. But that would be dangerous, because the reason Jane is in control of her 'subjects' is because she is the one with the most blood. Probably best not to test that one.)

However, let's say that Thale dies, and no one else has a sufficient enough about of STQ-type blood to take the reins. We can speculate, based on the information we have right now, that this would mean nobody would be able to take control, even if they are effectively copies of Thale - because they don't have enough STQ-type blood to do it.

I would imagine, though, that another likelihood is that people who have similar amounts of STQ-type blood would go berserk trying to take control over the other. This is probably how one would learn how to brute force their will over another person's will, because it would come down to a battle of wills if the physical requirements are equal and met for both (or more) parties.

It might have already happened behind the scenes, and we just don't know it yet... >_<;;

EDIT: Uh, honestly I hadn't taken these thoughts that far until now but... I... guess this means potentially, if Jane died, Dr. Finch would be the one in control? :'D Gosh. That's... an interesting thought... ;;;

EDIT2: I should probably disclaimer all of this with the fact that although I am basing this off of all of the information presented in-comic, Dr. Finch has always made it clear these are speculations on his part. We don't know if there are other prerequisites to the blood control; only that the majority factor is one of them. So take this all with a half-grain of salt, as MM could at any time prove all my theories half-baked -v-)/
D 2nd Oct 2017, 7:32 AM edit delete reply
It has been mentioned that if a person gets 2 different Bloods in them they turn into a monster. (As it was in that goverment experiment with Mars Blood and bio-printed one.) Unknown effect on the thralls. Might extend to all with either of Bloods in the worst case scenario. Might heve been a result of neither Blood belonging to a living Red/Alien.
Varil1024 2nd Oct 2017, 8:05 AM edit delete reply
A few thoughts here...

Blondie did die once, as I recall. She just returned to where she had a bunch of blood. Plus, our blood, our red, is...extra-dimensional? We might have more than a human body can reasonably contain...or maybe we can acquire that ability? Something to ask Red, maybe. We've bled a lot in the past and still had blood to spare, but it's difficult to be sure.

I think our blood is stronger than STQ, cell-for-cell. We've shattered every instance of STQ we've blooded so far, so I don't think it's a huge risk.

Hey...if we over-synced with our pets I wonder what kind of side-effects that would have?

Too bad I can't think of any way to force Thale to sync with particular subjects. We could just STQ a bunch of harmless critters somewhere and see if we can make his hivemind dumber or at least more impulsive. Probably not a great idea anyway but it sounds funny.

"STQ is now ruled by the Chipmunk King! Bow before your new nutty monarch!"
rufiangel 2nd Oct 2017, 8:14 AM edit delete reply
I don't doubt that Jane's blood is better than the bio-printed crappy blood by far; we'd most certainly override it in any instance, even if there is a sheer amount to overcome.

I agree that no matter what happens, if Jane 'stretches thin' and/or externalises her Red, she would most certainly have more/most blood than whatever else, so there's always going to be that option. It's just that the moment we resort to that it's going to be very hard to go back to what we used to be, so we can only hope we never ever have to test this theory. :'D

As for syncing with animals, MM covered this when we thought about syncing with our raven and basically said because we can't explain syncing to get permission, it's likely we'd have to force-sync it - and it could either be a lot harder to force-sync with an animal, or a lot easier. Either way, we haven't actually tried syncing because it doesn't seem worth the risk. ^^; So it's hard to say what kind of side-effect *over*-syncing with an animal would have, since we don't really know what it'd be like to even just normally sync in the first place.

That said, we don't want to give Thale's boring corporate mind ideas by STQ-ing animals and giving him insight into having extra animal blood-friends running around, so maybe we should not do that XD;;;; not to mention, syncing is a choice, so all he has to do is not sync with the animals (like how we don't) in order to not accidentally cause the (hilarious) Chipmunk King scenario you suggest :'D
lil Joshu 2nd Oct 2017, 10:43 AM edit delete reply
lil Joshu
Well, ants normally hive-mind, so injecting a few ant colonies would probably do it. On the flip side, if the plan failed, Thale now knows he can blood animals, which would lose us one of our biggest tactical advantages.
lil Joshu 2nd Oct 2017, 10:40 AM edit delete reply
lil Joshu
New task to add to Quest log:

We have prophet's numbers..
Acquire or produce quantities of "Save the Queen"
Add a drop of blood to each injection (preferably in a body-heat dis-solvable membrane). Distribute among lower tears among known save-the-queen users abusing prophets list. Start cleaning up the city. (Also once active, experiment with completely dropping ability to control one person in a group of STQ junkies, and see if immunity to save the queen remains. Unlike Thale, we don't want to hive-mind control the lower Teirs, but having their identities stripped away is something we should probably prevent.)

Also, Caius seems worried about the effects of the blood (and reasonably so, he was pretty much the only injected person alive who wasn't injected willingly). Not wanting us to be some kind of blood tyrant, we should probably ask him if he'd like us to experiment with de-blooding with him. (Note, if we do, have the rest of the group nearby and ready to help, no idea if there would be any kind of side-effects.)
rufiangel 2nd Oct 2017, 10:51 AM edit delete reply
While it's a novel idea, we did actually cover this idea before and the team is mostly against it because a) privacy invasion issues and b) we still don't know what will happen to those with Jane's blood if Jane dies. ;v; Just gonna go ahead and copy and paste the relevant bit here with the page link:

You all discuss the possibility of injecting as many people as possible--it would be the surest way to cut down Thale's influence.

"It would also be really messed up," Caius says. "There's a reason tha cops don't put cameras in everybody's homes."

"My main concern..." Fuse starts, "is that something could happen to you. Like, if you died--somehow--what happens to everybody with your blood? Does your blood freak out and we all turn into monsters? Does the control pass to someone else? What if someone figures out how to control you? Aside from the privacy concerns, there's too many weird factors at play. Too much that could go wrong for how little we know about... everything."

From Take it easy
lil Joshu 2nd Oct 2017, 11:53 AM edit delete reply
lil Joshu
That's why I emphasis testing de-blooding. Basically I want to see if we can just grant people immunity without having to take them over, and then do it en masse (also why targeting just Prophet's list, so it's not injecting anybody who hasn't already been manipulated).

... that said, it may be easier just to ask the red if there's a way to make someone immune to blooding.
Deadly Death Sickle 2nd Oct 2017, 12:01 PM edit delete reply
Deadly Death Sickle
Wait, since we can perceive through tour blood, and we have a bit of us living inside everyone we blood. so if we "die" then would we still be "alive" because we have a part of us living inside someone. Like how Voldemort had hucruxes (think that's how you spell it) and could never die if he still had a hucrux. We should ask our red about that
Skybirds15 2nd Oct 2017, 4:37 PM edit delete reply
Horcrux. Also, as long as our blood exists at all somewhere, then we can just move some mass out of our red there and create a new body. Theoretically. If we weren't half-human.
rufiangel 2nd Oct 2017, 8:02 PM edit delete reply
Personally I am against removing blood from any of our party members at this point. Quite aside from the fact Caius and Michelle need it for life extension, it's the thing that's really helping us all stay alive at the moment. At a later date we might want this to be something to explore, but only at a much later date faaar away. That's just my two cents, though.
lil Joshu 2nd Oct 2017, 11:51 AM edit delete reply
lil Joshu
Question for Mom's red...

Considering we're her daughter, and she's no longer with us, and has considerable knowledge, is there a way we can adopt it as a second red? Might be able to regain it's ability to manifest/de-manifest. It does have a lot of useful knowledge that it seems smart to keep access to.
Mochi 2nd Oct 2017, 12:08 PM edit delete reply
this was addressed at some point, i believe moom's red said something along the lines of "i am of your mother and only of your mother" so i don't think we can claim her red. it might be able to fold itself down so we can take it places with us, but we don't really have a place to put a big alien meat spaceship at the moment, so it would possibly have to stay small for a very long time. that's if it even likes the idea of coming along with us. it might be just fine where it is.
Crestlinger 2nd Oct 2017, 3:43 PM edit delete reply
Ask mom's red if they could blood portal themselves to the new base of there was enough of an anchor there, Or open a gateway between here and there.
Also, what Would happen to a hive mind exposed to an alien's eons long experience? Would the alien triumph and get X more minds or would it be subverted and the hive gets the alien?
To bring? Books, bedding (bloody especially), couch if possible, and blood seal the vent's entrance so Jane has to be present for it to open.
Honeyguide 2nd Oct 2017, 7:26 PM edit delete reply
Um, I think i read/saw somewhere that said that rats could slip into smaller corridors and pipes easily, maybe we can get a rat to explore a vacant pipe?