Comic 530 - Finish getting fixed up

Posted on 20th Oct 2017, 3:07 AM in Doors
Finish getting fixed up

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

Author Notes:

Morgenstern 20th Oct 2017, 3:07 AM edit delete
You set up a blood alarm to inform you if anything unnerves Michelle.

You also send a message that, once everyone's back at the door, someone should call Jury. There's a good chance that she may have access to resources your group doesn't, and may be interested in trying to help fill out the bigger list.

You try to focus more on meditating. It's difficult, still, with so much on your mind--when you're not worrying about the Lasker situation, you're wondering what Carpenter or Thale or Shirai are up to, or you're trying to figure out what the next step is. You have numerous leads, but they all feel small, or dangerous.

You lose track of time.

Your alarm goes off.

You check on Michelle, Caius, and Fuse.

"You guys saw that, right?," Michelle asks.

Fuse has his phone out. His demeanor is stoic, but his fingers are mashing at the buttons nervously.

"Yeah," Caius replies. "Looked like a friggen tank."

You don't see any of the parts the group was hauling earlier; they were likely just finishing up bringing it all into the bunker when they saw what they saw.

"It was an APC," Michelle says. She's still staring blankly down the road. "It had a logo on it, but it was too far for me to get a good look. That was a custom build, though, they didn't just slap armor on the side of a car."

"Think it was lookin' for us?," Caius asks.

Michelle shakes her head. "It was haulin' ass. It had somewhere to be... prob'ly took this part of town to stay low. Whoever it is, they didn't want too many eyes on 'em..."

"Southern Pass," Fuse says, finally finding what he was looking for in his phone. "News says... Theodore Reigns has been in touch with the PMC group Southern Pass... something about taking charge of the lower tiers."

"Fffuck," Michelle manages out.

"What, what's the deal?," Caius asks, looking from Michelle to Fuse. "Tha hell's Southern Pass? I worked in a club, cut me some slack here. What's a PMC?"

"A private military company," Fuse says. "Short version, rich people pay 'em to blow stuff up."

Caius squints, considering it for a moment. "Alright... alright. How bad could they be, with a name like Southern Pass? They sound like a blues band or somethin'."

"That's the trick," Michelle says. She continues to just stare off where the vehicle was, many many blocks away. "You wanna roll into town and tear everything up without raisin' any questions... you roll in with the blandest, safest name you can. Elise Interworld, Raymond Safety & Clearance, Statehelp... if they called themselves The Demons or Murderstrike or some trash like that, people would know things were about to get real. You roll in with a name like Southern Pass..."

"They might not think too hard about the armored vehicle you just drove straight through the city," Fuse finishes. "Not until after the bombs go off."

"If Reigns is really gearin' up to do what it sounds like he's gonna do..." Michelle says, finally breaking her gaze from the distance, "the idiot's gonna turn the lower tiers into a crater."

Dr. Finch finishes fixing your ear. You can hear out of your head again.


Akasha 20th Oct 2017, 4:08 AM edit delete reply
Well, this crock of bullshit that Reigns has cooked up sure sounds perfectly thought out and certainly doesn't seem like a flaw without a plan or possibility of going right. Not at all! Man, and of all the friggin' days for us to not have any high-frequency blades, too. Anyways, my idiocy aside, what's their logo? That way, if we see them stroll by, we can more properly plot out how to fuck with 'em. Or avoid 'em. Or steal shit. Any and all of those sound good. More importantly... how big is Southern Pass? Any idea on how much manpower they have? Do they just have APCs and tanks, or can we expect helicopters, jets, and unmanned units, too?
rufiangel 20th Oct 2017, 4:19 AM edit delete reply
Wow. Get in here guys, time for us to do a pow-wow. Jane is all ears now. (Thanks Dr. Finch, again, for being super awesome.)

We can't just let this one sit, we gotta do something. Would it help to get in touch with Lydia, see if we can't expose some of this so Reigns can't just go about having clear shots at the Lower Tiers? Dangnamit.

Can we have a raven discreetly follow that tank? Just to see where in the Lower Tiers exactly it's planning to nonchalantly enter and potentially blow up?
Akasha 20th Oct 2017, 4:31 AM edit delete reply
Yyyeeaahh. I'm all for having a raven keep tabs on the APC, tbh. Talking to Lydia about this also sounds good. May as well convene and see how the hell we're gonna crack this highly-explosive nut.
rufiangel 20th Oct 2017, 4:35 AM edit delete reply
Y-your avatar is so shiny *____*
*stares at it for a while*
Akasha 20th Oct 2017, 4:44 AM edit delete reply
Eh, nothin' I made. it's just a higher-resolution image of Eyes Full of Light.

Though, I don't mind the reaction, hah.
AlphaDragon 20th Oct 2017, 3:59 PM edit delete reply
So, I know we said TH was Thale, but did we rule out this (TH)eodore Reigns?
Akasha 20th Oct 2017, 4:26 PM edit delete reply
Nah, Reigns was the other big suspect as to who TH could've been. While we're mostly certain he isn't the TH pulling the strings, we never really wrote off the possibility of Reigns being involved as well. It was mentioned ages back that Reigns had the means, but Thale had the motive, so it isn't out of the question. Add to it, there's also the fact that Brother Harold Hope, another person that's connected to all this, has his Sunday shows broadcast from one of Reigns' channels.. So, all things considered, I'd be highly unsurprised if he's in on this as well, because it seems like half the fucking fucking rich pieces of shite in this city are collaborating on this bullshit conspiracy.
worthless 20th Oct 2017, 6:09 AM edit delete reply
well if we don't stop this its gonna end up being a persona 3 ost - calamity so at least sent a raven after it
Bluhx2 20th Oct 2017, 6:30 AM edit delete reply
We're gonna need more recon animals.. Preferably ravens.
Blue_Elite 20th Oct 2017, 8:39 AM edit delete reply
Cats are fairly easy to access (though probably notably more difficult to capture) in this area.
Though with Michelle's "ranger" skill it might not be difficult either way. :3
Twyll 20th Oct 2017, 10:51 AM edit delete reply
We might be able to set out simple box traps, depending on what sorts of stuff the scavenging crew picked up.
PurpleKetchup 20th Oct 2017, 12:31 PM edit delete reply
We need snakes in those boxes, for obvious reasons.
Baeronius 20th Oct 2017, 10:02 PM edit delete reply
Ah, you want to ship the snakes in boxes via airplanes. There's no way that could possibly go wrong.
Blue_Elite 20th Oct 2017, 8:46 AM edit delete reply
Aw well, we're getting ever-so-slightly better at the whole meditation thing. Good job trying Jane.

Agreed if we got eyes-in-the-sky on the APC we should try to follow it carefully.

Unless the rest of the group has any ideas, they should finish the special delivery (since I'm still VERY hesitant to have Jane go into Bunker B herself at this point) so the androids can get to work on sprucing things up.
Macheman7 20th Oct 2017, 10:01 AM edit delete reply
Weee probably want to get anything might care about out of the lower tiers, really, really quickly. Fuse, grab your relatives, and so on.
Memo 20th Oct 2017, 10:17 AM edit delete reply
Wow, I go off the grid for a week, and so much happens!
I concur with you guys, let's send a raven after the app, finish the delivery, and meet up for a meeting.
(Pun not intended)

A thought I got while reading through my baglog: with at least 17 bunkers, are we sure we have found the one Jury intended for us?
We should ask her for her login credentials, and compare with our key cards.
also, I think we should dust for fingerprints in the bunkers, to help with the key maker program.

It has been suggested to check what's behind the doors, when the "magic door" is not connected. I strongly support that!

Next-to-lastly, unless I'm mistaken, what we found in bunker B is (part of) Laskers Red, and not Lasker him(?)self. Am I getting that right?

Last, but definitely not least, it's great to be back, you are a wonderful community, and I'm happy to be part of it :)
Twyll 20th Oct 2017, 10:41 AM edit delete reply
It probably IS Lasker himself-- because of what happened to him when he was injected with both synthetic and original Mars blood. He stretched thin, which seems to involve distorting the body and then summoning redstoff to continue stretching and stretching and stretching, in order to better drink deep from a world. Grizwald mentioned "tum'rous growths," which presumably were drawn from the Mars alien's red, but he extruded them from his own body (which is how you make a red with a physical location in the first place-- he just never *detached* the red, because he didn't know how).
Memo 20th Oct 2017, 11:22 AM edit delete reply
Ah, that clarified it, thanks :)
PurpleKetchup 20th Oct 2017, 12:42 PM edit delete reply
To be perfectly clear I think Lasker went byebye when he first died.
Jane's Red might have subsumed Jane's human side if they didn't talk about how important it is to her.
Unlike Jane, Lasker was a common human, and Mars!Red probably skipped the discussion part to jump straight into murdergrowth mode.

So, much like Mom!Red, I think Mars!Red exists on its own right now.
Twyll 20th Oct 2017, 2:31 PM edit delete reply
That makes a lot of sense actually. What we're calling "Lasker" probably isn't really Lasker at all any more, just... a thing that erupted from Lasker's body, almost certainly tearing him to bits in the process. There might be a few scraps of Lasker's body tissue in there *somewhere,* but not much of it.
Nayru9572 20th Oct 2017, 5:51 PM edit delete reply
Actually, wasn't it stated that Lasker turned into a monster because the alien his blood came from was dead? I think that was the reason given that he reacted so badly to STQ.
Akasha 20th Oct 2017, 6:32 PM edit delete reply
Not exactly. It's less that because the alien was dead and more because blood like that of the Mars creature, the bio-printed bootleg version of it, and Jane's own blood are... naturally inclined to hate the absolute shit out of each-other. Like, hate to the point of wanting to obliterate the offending blood with extreme prejudice. So, in short, the reason Lasker turned into a monster was less because the ayylmao the blood came from was dead, but more because that, upon the moment of the injection of the bootleg blood the dormant Mars blood remembered what it was, so it was like 'oh right I'm supposed to grow thin and drink deep of this world. How foolish of me to forget that.' And then it was abomination time for 'ol Laskadoodle, and that's why there's three tanks dedicated to containing Lasker's face or elbow or whatever the fuck in bunker B, along with however many more places there are dedicated to containing the fucker.
rufiangel 21st Oct 2017, 12:03 AM edit delete reply
Just popping in for a clarification! Though if I misunderstood please ignore me XD;

The Lasker situation happened because Lasker was injected with both the bio-printed fake blood and the unadulterated original Mars blood. Jane's blood/Jane's mom's blood is not in the equation for what happened to Lasker. It basically happened because the Mars blood reacted badly to its own fake blood and recognised it as an "other" to dominate. At least, that's Jane's mom's Red's theory.

The reference page is over here if you want a refresher. :)
Baeronius 20th Oct 2017, 10:04 PM edit delete reply
I keep reading the ! as "Not" signs.

Too much C++ I guess... !
Guest 20th Oct 2017, 10:31 AM edit delete reply
Inform Jury
Twyll 20th Oct 2017, 10:49 AM edit delete reply
I agree that it's definitely time to make some phone calls-- to Lydia and to Jury to update them both. (And to have Lydia update Grizwald.)

I'm sure Jury will be just THRILLED to hear "We found Harold Lasker! And also Theodore Reigns is about to start a class war!" Lydia, on the other hand, might faint at the sheer journalistic potential of the class war thing :P (Let's not tell her about Lasker of course. Although Grizwald might be interested to know. Heck, Grizwald might even be able to help us gather some parts for the Big List-- he's good at gathering information, I bet he's pretty good at gathering objects too.)

Then, it's time for a meeting to figure out what the hell we're gonna do about this, while we have our raven tail the truck. *Carefully*-- I bet they're the sort of people who WOULD get suspicious and shoot down a bird.
Crestlinger 20th Oct 2017, 5:21 PM edit delete reply
There's our next ride, arsenal, etc. Right on time. Blood the head and rob em blind. Keys handed over to a bird would be all that would be needed.
Morgenstern 20th Oct 2017, 8:17 PM edit delete reply
Updates might come slow for a bit while I hammer out some job and/or book related stuff, just as a heads up.
Bluhx2 20th Oct 2017, 8:40 PM edit delete reply
AlphaDragon 20th Oct 2017, 10:39 PM edit delete reply
Take your time MM
Twyll 20th Oct 2017, 11:13 PM edit delete reply
Legit! Let us know if you need proofreaders and/or playtesters for any of that book-related stuff :3 Your faithful commenters have plenty of experience picking through your words with an exacting eye for detail, after all!
rufiangel 21st Oct 2017, 12:38 AM edit delete reply
☆ganbare senpai~ ☆ :D
Memo 21st Oct 2017, 1:14 AM edit delete reply
Take the time you need, we will still be here afterwards :)
Baeronius 20th Oct 2017, 9:48 PM edit delete reply
Hmm.. just getting over being sick, and a lot of stuff is happening.

I guess this "military company" must have some schematics for the lower tiers. I mean...

How much damage can the structure take before it collapses? How are these things repaired? Can any of the repair crews reach the bottom?

Also... Who is the "Queen" of STQ?
Why wasn't it "King" if it was Thale?

These questions and more brought to you by "Sick Thoughts Anonymous".
PurpleKetchup 21st Oct 2017, 1:56 AM edit delete reply
That's a good point actually.
Especially since Prophet attributed Thale's telepathic messages to Enyo, a goddess.
Maybe Thale Jr's body is breaking down due to the poor fake blood quality, and he started using his mindwiped wife to send the messages instead...
yugi0998 21st Oct 2017, 7:17 AM edit delete reply
Probably not his wife but his secretary since she seems to by the figure head, all we know about his wife is that she is hive mined, we have heard more about his secretary then his wife.