Comic 690 - Talk about brain surgery

Posted on 16th Dec 2017, 2:56 AM in Ghosts
Talk about brain surgery

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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 16th Dec 2017, 2:56 AM edit delete
You continue to focus on keeping Caius stable. As time passes, you feel that it's becoming a little more difficult to maintain it all--both because his system is falling out of line, and because it's getting later, and exhaustion is creeping in. You're pretty sure it's dark outside by now. You ask Dr. Finch how confident he is about doing a brain transplant.

"Normally? I'd be terrified," he replies. "However, we are in exactly the ideal position for such a surgery. Nerve tissue typically fails to heal quickly enough, and scarred nerve tissue doesn't carry signals properly, making most attempts at a full brain transplant fatal. You can prompt the body to focus its efforts on healing the nerve tissue after the transplant, as well as guide the process to minimize scarring. And, because it will be a transfer between genetically identical bodies, there's no risk of transplant rejection."

"A... am I dead? F-feel like I'm dead."

Caius speaking up draws the attention of both you and Dr. Finch. You confirm that Caius is still very alive, though... you're working on keeping it that way. You give Caius a very rough rundown of what all's going on.

"Shoulda just lemme die," he says. He starts to chuckle, a little, but stops when the pain hits him. Even with the painkiller effect you have him on, he still feels it. "Lemme go out swingin'... you keep this up, I'm gonna die fat and old. Married, maybe. Gonna own a house an' shit. S'gonna be ugly."

Dr. Finch gives a weary smile. "That is the plan, yes. As much as I'm sure you'd enjoy having 'wrestled a cyborg to death' on your headstone, I'm afraid we still require your service."

Caius smiles, or tries to. "S'what I like about you, Doc. Me an' Michelle... we was talkin' about death and all that. She had to kinda... kinda get over it. Bein' lab meat, I mean. I knew from tha start, y'know? Wasn't a big deal, I just didn't think about it. Thought about a lot of stuff, but... never dyin'. You tell Michelle she's only got 24 hours to live, she'll spend every second tryin' to prove ya wrong. You tell me I got 24 hours to live, I'ma' spend it drinkin', fuckin', and fightin', and that'll be that."

Caius breathes in, and out, slowly. He stares at the ceiling for a second. "I thought that made me hard, y'know? Never thinkin' about dyin'. You, though, Dr. Finch... you talk about dyin' like you're puttin' together a table or somethin'. Just... just another part of life. People die. Just science. You just... you just say it, like it's no big deal. I got a lot o' trouble with that. Y... you're braver than me. S'hard to say, but... I figure I oughta say that now. Just in case, y'know."

There's a long silence. Dr. Finch turns away from you, struggling not to cry. You ask him if he could tend to Fuse's leg, since you didn't get much of a chance to. Dr. Finch nods, and leaves the room.

You tell Caius about the current options--that you looked into some arcane tome, and mind swap magic, which almost prompts another attempt at laughing from Caius. You bring up a brain transplant, or possibly syncing him 100% with a clone body. You ask what he'd prefer.

"Geez, those my only options? That all sounds like shit." He motions, partly, for a shrug. He doesn't quite get all of it. "I guess if it's up to me, I'd take tha brain thing. Syncin' is still kinda weird, and I don't... I dunno. I don't want ya to just get another Caius that acts like me. I want part of tha real me in there somewhere. That make any sense? But I'm... I'm kinda dumb, so you just... do whatever you gotta do, kiddo."


Crestlinger 16th Dec 2017, 3:39 AM edit delete reply
More ice cream for Jane! Sugar rush our way to victory!
Let the head games Begin!
Get the others back in to help prepare and sterilize Everything then check it twice.
rufiangel 16th Dec 2017, 3:44 AM edit delete reply
I know we typically try not to do this, but given how dire the situation is, could we momentarily - not for too long - sync with Michelle to share the mental strain for a little bit? Just for a short while. I suspect we'll need to do it again later, when we do the *actual* shift from Caius to Caius, but a small time to alleviate the pressure might do Jane some good. (Of course, ask Michelle if she's okay with that.)

On that note, can we check in on Michelle, see what state the body's in? Do we need to wheel Caius there, or can we wheel the cloned body here?
rufiangel 16th Dec 2017, 3:46 AM edit delete reply
Non-action comment, just my feels:

This whole update made me so freaking emotional. ;___; Caius, on his deathbed, makes such sober remarks and what he says to Dr. Finch is so heartbreaking. He really looks up to Michelle, and Dr. Finch. It's so sweet and sad.

And what he says to Jane makes total sense to me. If we can do the transplant, let's do it. It sounds like we have the best chances that way.

Can we just squeeze Caius's hand here since a hug isn't a good idea in his condition? (I know I said this is a non-action comment, but these are a part of my feels XD)
Twyll 16th Dec 2017, 3:56 AM edit delete reply
Squeezing the hand is definitely necessary, yes.
lil Joshu 16th Dec 2017, 4:16 AM edit delete reply
lil Joshu
Lythar 16th Dec 2017, 3:47 AM edit delete reply
Dammit Caius, you're not dumb, you're just delightfully obtuse at times, but we love you dammit.
Auron 16th Dec 2017, 3:55 AM edit delete reply
Nah Caius we get you. It's the best way to be sure it's you and we've got good conditions. Brain transplant is starting to look like a better idea every minute.
lil Joshu 16th Dec 2017, 4:20 AM edit delete reply
lil Joshu
Agreed. It's got the Caius vote, and his body, his rules, and I think it's the best option among the choices. So let's do this thing. (Also, after the transplant is done, might want to write down what all of his scars were in case he wants any of them cosmetically added back in, scars are memory pieces afterall... or he may get a tattoo of his old body's identifying marks chart on his arm or something. I dunno, but a body's something you get kind of attached to, so be good to track, just in case.)
Madd 16th Dec 2017, 12:19 PM edit delete reply
Agreed, the other options seem like they might take to much time we don't have.
Blue_Elite 16th Dec 2017, 5:30 AM edit delete reply
I don't have anything to add as our course is clear. Just a few reminders for once this situation is over with (in no particular order):
-Check on Jury repairs/Bring Jury back/Deliver Unity's name to her
-Laundry (looks like we're going back to jeans for a while)
-Check on GasMask
-Check out sweet loot(TM) Fuse procured
-Get Fuse's leg properly treated (I'm assuming Dr. Finch will need the Mars room to do proper bullet removal on Fuse)

EDIT: Wait, is that blood Caius's or ours? Will our blood come out in the wash? Since it's "inside" the washing machine, do we risk damaging it if we wash blooded clothes? Can we make our blood act as fabric softener?
So many laundry-related questions...
Madd 16th Dec 2017, 12:22 PM edit delete reply
Also sometime we should explore the bunkers some more. Likely it's a good idea to look into the magic to see what it's all about.
WalkerOfSorrow 16th Dec 2017, 8:54 AM edit delete reply
I just had the most wonderful of thoughts! Could be nothing, we'll see.

I was wondering about if we could blood-and-sync Mom's Red, what that would look like. Then I realized two things. One, we are mom's progeny. Pretty much hatched from a Lil' Red of our own. And two, WE ALREADY GAVE MOM'S RED OUR BLOOD. So it could talk to us.

Hear me out. If that Geoangular magic is just about drawing minute amounts of power from Mom's Red, what if we used our connection to Mom's Red in order to perform the ritual? Instead of stealing power, we ask Mom's Red for help with this and explain our plan, saying that together, with more than a gnat's power, it should be easily doable.
WalkerOfSorrow 16th Dec 2017, 8:55 AM edit delete reply
Though, again, Nil cautioned us against trying too hard, and I'm not willing to throw out that advice just yet. Would collaborating with more Red count as trying too hard?
rufiangel 16th Dec 2017, 10:38 AM edit delete reply
It's been confirmed that we cannot blood and sync Mom's Red because Mom's Red is too big for us to blood. The reason we had Baby Red in the first place is precisely because we couldn't communicate with Mom's Red without visiting our basement at home physically, and we needed to find another way to do it.
WalkerOfSorrow 16th Dec 2017, 10:54 AM edit delete reply
We can't do to it what we did to Michelle, no. But what I'm proposing is that we are already connected to it, and we might ask it if what I suggested could work. And if it would be willing.
rufiangel 16th Dec 2017, 11:06 AM edit delete reply
I'm not entirely sure what you mean but I'm just going to go ahead and try to clarify what I'm trying to say. MM senpai can correct me if I'm wrong but as far as I can understand, we are not connected to our Mom's Red - at least, not in the sense you seem to be saying. If Mom's Red could blood us, that would have already been done. As it is, because Mom is dead, Mom's Red has no one to control 'the blood'. And our blood, in turn, is insufficient to sync with Mom's Red because we cannot even 'blood' it to begin with due to its sheer volume. That's why we had Baby Red in the first place, to find a way to communicate because we aren't connected innately.
Mochi 16th Dec 2017, 11:15 AM edit delete reply
we cannot do what you suggested because it is impossible for us to sync with or control mom's red. we cannot sync with mom's red. we've asked it about doing this and controlling it before. it has said explicitly that our blood is not enough to control it.
Steve 16th Dec 2017, 9:09 AM edit delete reply
HUG HIM!!!!!! Thank him for what he's done. Tell him we ain't gonna give up yet, but that we've still been glad to get to know him. He is a pillar of support we never knew we could have.
Frission 16th Dec 2017, 9:42 AM edit delete reply
Imma cry ;~; *just spends the next few updates hugging Caius and lets everyone else decide what to do*
Mochi 16th Dec 2017, 11:27 AM edit delete reply
hold his hand. tell him we love him, and we'd better be best lady at his wedding.