Comic 698 - Head to the second floor

Posted on 19th Dec 2017, 12:13 AM in Ghosts
Head to the second floor

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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 19th Dec 2017, 12:13 AM edit delete
Morgenstern
"Oh, one more thing," Michelle says. "Anybody get bit by that mosquito?"

"Um. I sure hope not?," the nurse replies. "I think we'd have heard about it if somebody else saw that thing. Seriously, it was like... the size of a small dog. Or a big cat, maybe. It was huge."

Michelle nods. "Alright, just makin' sure. Keep an eye out, and if anybody's actin' fishy... ask 'em to say Patton Thale. If they can't do it, let one of us know."

"Okie dokie."

Michelle makes her way to the elevator, and heads to the second floor.

"Hey," she says.

"Hey," says the male nurse. The pink haired nurse's eyes widen--she seems visibly stunned by Michelle. "Uh, h-hello."

"You alright?," Michelle asks.

"Yeah," the nurse replies. "You're just... uhhh... ʳᵉᵃˡˡʸ ᵇᶦᵍ⋅"

Michelle stares at her for a second before shaking her head. "You guys see a mosquito? Like... a huge one?"

"Oh, yeah," the pink haired nurse replies. She leads Michelle to the trash can by the nurse's station. "Prima tell you about it? We think it might be a mutant. Like, from the super low tiers. Or a government experiment that got loose."

Michelle looks in the trash can. Inside is the... well, the remains of some grotesque creature. She can make out what might have been wings made of thin skin, and some kind of stinger, which appears to be narrow bone. There is a great deal of blood.

"Can you guys do me a favor?," Michelle asks. "Say Patton Thale for me."

"Patton Thale," the male nurse mutters.

The pink-haired nurse does not immediately leap to say the name. "Is that, like, some kind of code? Do you work for the government? Are you going to erase our memories?"

Michelle stares at her for several long, awkward seconds.

The pink-haired nurse finally speaks again. "Patton Thale. Please don't delete my mind big lady."

"Anybody been bitten by a mosquito like this?," Michelle asks.

"They didn't report it if they did," says the male nurse.

"Only one that saw it in the wild was Prima, I think," says the pink-haired nurse. "Everybody'd be freaking out if there was more of them here. ...Right?"

Comments:

Bluhx2 19th Dec 2017, 12:35 AM edit delete reply
Bluhx2
Looks like our unease meter went up from 5% to 15%.
Crayssius 19th Dec 2017, 12:36 AM edit delete reply
Crayssius
Ask who Prima is, and where we can find her.
Bluhx2 19th Dec 2017, 12:37 AM edit delete reply
Bluhx2
I think Prima was the nurse earlier unless I'm an idiot.
Twyll 19th Dec 2017, 12:39 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, Prima is almost definitely the front desk nurse.
rufiangel 19th Dec 2017, 12:57 AM edit delete reply
rufiangel
These nurses. XD Welp, tell them to be careful and watch out for more of these.

Man, a grotesque creature. Well, at least it was something that could be smashed by an instrument tray. I think we might need Michelle to grab a blunt weapon of sorts, just in case.

Time to mosey along over to the bio printer and just listen in at the door first, see if we hear anything... uhm... weird? That is, if we don't run across another mansquito on the way.
skybirds15 19th Dec 2017, 12:59 AM edit delete reply
If anyone gets bit, we need to give them a syringe, and we should say that it's an antidote to this sort of thing and if they figure out there's blood in there say that the antidote works better that way and also that it's the universal donor so no rejection.

Also, I'll say again, asking lots of people to say patton thale is going to get thale to cotton on to that method of detection so we should try to avoid it.
Twyll 19th Dec 2017, 1:07 AM edit delete reply
Hmm, that's not a bad idea, the "this is an antidote" strategy. I like that.
Swagner 19th Dec 2017, 2:16 AM edit delete reply
Swagner
Throwing some other drug, or even just food coloring, in there with the blood might not be a bad idea, to really sell it. I don't think telling them that they'll get a shot if they get bit (until it happens) is a good idea, though: while Thale's almost certainly caught on to our methods, the less info he has if he does compromise them, the better. I second pulling back on the "say the name. say it" test, too: he'll probably use it to trick us at some point if he catches on. It would be better to trick people into saying it conversationally if the test is used at all.
Nayru9572 19th Dec 2017, 11:00 AM edit delete reply
But if that's the case, wouldn't he have done it when Jury started asking around as well? She even interviewed his family and still didn't change it.
Swagner 19th Dec 2017, 11:25 AM edit delete reply
Swagner
The way she talked about it, I think she was less direct than saying "say the name 'patton thale'", perhaps things like "so tell me about your husband" and noticing that nobody referred to him by name.
Twyll 19th Dec 2017, 1:05 AM edit delete reply
Right, let's ask about how likely it would be for a critter of that size to be able to get into a patient room. (Any man-sized-- or bug-sized-- vents leading into the rooms...? Are the doors all closed by default and such?) And also how many patients there are here overnight. Maybe play up the "yecch, that's creepy, hopefully there isn't another one" sort of angle, so it seems natural to be asking those sorts of questions for safety reasons. Or possibly the "I'm here to deal with exactly this problem" angle.

I'm torn between reassuring the pink-haired nurse that we won't erase her memory, and reassuring her that we won't erase her memory as long as she behaves :P

We might also want to let them know that we're gonna have to turn off their bioprinters until further notice. Maybe because "there was a vulnerability detected, gotta turn them off until the security hole can be patched. People are taking that real seriously now. Can never be too careful." Heck, we could even play it off as a standard thing now, that unless your security software is super up-to-date, the police are gonna turn off your bioprinters if at all possible because they just don't want the chance of things being hacked while they're doing unrelated operations.
Blue_Elite 19th Dec 2017, 1:20 AM edit delete reply
Honestly we can just point to the Tobu hack incident and no one will question shutting off the bioprinters/removing the biopaste. Heck, we can just point to that critter in the trash as the reason why and they'd probably insist on helping.
Blue_Elite 19th Dec 2017, 1:08 AM edit delete reply
Ask for directions to the 2nd floor bioprinter. If Fuse doesn't know how to manually shut if off, ask for that as well. If it's not difficult to find, Michelle should go it alone (I'd rather those two have strength in numbers than for 1 of them to be alone and we come back to them either dead or Queen'd).

Also if it's not a problem, with Jane (I'm not sure if we're supposed to still be Jane giving orders or Fuse or Michelle or both right now) occupied there isn't really a way to immediately alert one-another if there's trouble. Keeping an open phone-line like a radio would probably be good.
Mochi 19th Dec 2017, 1:10 AM edit delete reply
Mochi
politely ask if we can take the trash, and tell them that if they see anything fucky they should get a hold of prima at the front desk since she's closest to fuse and the operating theater right now. since we're here, we might as well go peek at the bio-printer room and see if there are any more mansquitos. also, tell them that the bio-printers are going to be turned off for a bit for classified reasons but also say that we don't think there's a reason to worry. we don't need an all-out panic.
Twyll 19th Dec 2017, 1:14 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, we should very much stress that we're just taking precautions. We don't *think* there are more of these, but we're going to make sure.
Madd 19th Dec 2017, 1:14 AM edit delete reply
Madd
Tell them don't panic, the bioprinter's are being shut off temporarily for undisclosed reasons.
And then check for more of those things.
Blue_Elite 19th Dec 2017, 1:24 AM edit delete reply
On the note of getting them not to panic, we should ask for an impromptu bludgeoning weapon in case there's more "mosquitos" around.
Small arms fire will definitely be heard and we don't want to face these things barehanded (Caius is the monk of our group and he's out).
Swagner 19th Dec 2017, 2:15 AM edit delete reply
Swagner
Hmm. I may have underestimated the threat of a single mosquito, I assumed it was the size of your hand, at most. It might be worth switching from a handgun to a shotgun if we're going to stay on guard for things like that: it's still small enough to be a pain to hit unless it's Michelle doing the shooting, but no longer small enough for "smacking it with a shoe" to seem like a great idea, as lucky as those nurses may have been.