Comic 709 - Check up on everyone

Posted on 21st Dec 2017, 10:19 PM in No Easy Way Out
Check up on everyone

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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 21st Dec 2017, 10:19 PM edit delete
You sleep... maybe slightly longer than intended. You wake up to the smell of eggs.

You wander into the lab midway through a conversation.

"I just don't understand the point," Dr. Finch declares.

"That a pun?," Michelle asks with a grin. "You just make a joke, Finch?"

"It most assuredly wasnotintended!," he replies. "Why grant them the ability to inject blood? Surely the goal isn't to inject bioprinted Mars blood, as I imagine that requires proteins and other synthetic components not traditionally present or preparable via standard market bio paste."

"You imagine?," Jury asks. "I thought you studied all that stuff. You're not sure?"

"Well," Dr. Finch begins, adjusting his collar a little. "Neither the hybrid blood nor the bio printed Mars blood I've studied has a... let's say a natural state I can find. It's constantly either imitating other cells, or in a state of flux. Obviously normal blood does not do that, and cannot be made to do that--even bio paste forms only the crudest duplicate when manufactured into blood, nothing like the perfect copy that our associate's blood can manage. That suggests either hidden components not present in our organic matter, or processes beyond the microscopic that let it naturally conform as part of its intended cellular function... which would suggest that it's some manner of precursor to our stabilized blood cells, and that's frankly ridiculous."

There's a long pause.

Fuse breaks the silence. "Precursor... like..."

"A progenitor," Dr. Finch finishes. "As in, it would mean the extraterrestrial tissue and our own is inherently linked--ours being a sort of... of of of evolution, or I suppose a factory streamlining, of the alien prototype. ...But that wouldn't make much sense, would it? No."

There's another... very long pause. Michelle finally turns, asking your mother's red.

"Hey. You guys ever dump life on random planets?"

Jury visibly recoils as the large mouth answers. "I can say with certainty that when I was internalized, we did not distract ourselves with the act of creating smaller lives."

Dr. Finch practically breathes a sigh of relief, but it's short lived.

"However..." the mouth continues. "Things were very different when all of our kind were one."

"Oh, no," Caius says. "You ain't jus' gonna leave it at that. Go on, Big Red, tell us a story."

"Yeah," Fuse says with a dry smile, taking a puff of level. "Spin us a yarn, giant mouth on the wall."

The mouth doesn't change its features, yet somehow seems to smile wider. "Before the one that created me indulged herself in the human condition, she was long, and thin, and forever changing. Her goals counted two, and two alone: to drink deep of worlds, and to eliminate any others like herself. Only when she was the last of her kind could she know some semblance of peace. All others like her were the same--they thirsted, and they hated, both in ways no lesser being could ever comprehend.

There was a time when these many beings were one. I cannot say why the one became many, or why its fractions despised one another. I cannot say what it accomplished, or why. That is a mystery perhaps none can solve."

"Seriously?," Michelle asks. "You don't remember nothin' from when y'all was... all one big alien?"

"Do you remember what you did as an infant?," the mouth asks. "Do you remember your goals? Your agenda? Can you explain to me the thoughts that coursed your mind when you were fresh from the womb, or relay your frustrations as you first struggled to walk?"

"...Fair enough," Michelle responds. "So Blondie's mom mighta been a part of an alien that made humans. Cool."

"I am not committing any credence to that theory," Dr. Finch states. "That is mildly absurd."

"We're smoking level with an android," Fuse says. "And a dead guy, and pretty soon our friend who's half alien--"

He turns, gesturing as he realizes you're standing in the doorway.

"There she is," Fuse continues. "Like... absurd has not stopped us up to this point, somehow. Maybe today, maybe tomorrow... hell, we're probably due for absurd to shut us straight down. I'd give us to the end of the week. Where was I going with this?"

Michelle shakes her head, chuckling and turning her attention to you. "We filled Jury in, we checked Fuse's leg--"

"S'bad," he interjects.

"--We scrambled eggs, we put a dent in all the level Caius and Fuse bought, we double checked that The Needler didn't poison me or nothin', and... am I missin' anything?"

"We bought more clothes and groceries," Caius says. "Well, you guys did. I ain't doin' nothin' for a while. Oh, and we smoked a bunch o' level."

"So, yeah," Michelle concludes. "We still got... gas mask guy tied up on Mars, maybe gonna have to figure out where to get Fuse a robot leg in the next couple o' days, Jury's gotta turn over the info we got to the feds so she can bust Carpenter..."

"Lydia's started giving a heads up to all the local hospitals," Fuse adds. "Between that and us screwing up Thale's source of mushrooms, maybe we've slowed him down a bit."

"Man," Jury says, shaking her head. "I wish we were half as efficient as you guys. You guys have gotten more done in a week or so than I'll probably get to do all year... and with no paperwork."

"Hey, there's always room on tha team," Caius says. "We don't pay nothin' and we're one fuck up away from tha end of tha world, but I bet it's more fun than workin' for tha government."

"I am... pretty sure that's all true," Jury says, giving a stiff grin.


Mochi 21st Dec 2017, 11:26 PM edit delete reply
that's what happens when you're anarchist rebels with no higher authority! we get shit done!

also, yay!! jury!! hug the android! tell her we're really glad to see her up and functional again! edison was scary. also, dole out painkillers as required. at some point we should go feed our captive, as well. he's probably up and making noise by now.

everyone looks super awesome, i love caius' little hat and the fact that fuse has a new, cooler red jacket and finch has procured a new lab coat.
Twyll 21st Dec 2017, 11:36 PM edit delete reply
Yes! Hugs for Jury, and ask how she's feeling!

And also very very gentle hugs for Caius and ask how he's feeling too!
Swagner 21st Dec 2017, 11:26 PM edit delete reply
Good to see Jury's back in one piece / working as advertised. Speaking of, would those same robots + Dr. Finch be able to put a leg together for Fuse? Or is that outside of his/their specialties? Getting the whole team back to 100% might be the top priority before diving face-first back into whatever nonsense That's cooking up.

Of course, contacting our hobo friend who knows everything might not be a bad idea, either. Now that Thale's drug supply is interrupted, I wouldn't put it past him to start pushing for a more aggressive means of contamination, and Grizwald seems to have his ear to the ground.
Azith 21st Dec 2017, 11:31 PM edit delete reply
He would. Thale would totally do some kind of bloodaggedon. It wouldn't be subtle, but...
Has anyone checked the news today, or been outside? Because once the premade StQ runs out (probably a bit before), we'll have to deal with an angry cult, an angry gang, a PMC, and whatever nonsense Thale can cook up.
Twyll 21st Dec 2017, 11:37 PM edit delete reply
Hmmm, that's a good thing to ask about. Are we aware if StQ has any withdrawal symptoms? I'm assuming it's designed to be some sort of wonder drug that doesn't cause withdrawal in order to make it more appealing and thus more effective as a blood-delivery mechanism, but if it does, then things could get ugly as a bunch of people go into withdrawal at once.
Auron 21st Dec 2017, 11:27 PM edit delete reply
Ask Jury if she wants to have a needle in case of an emergency.
Swagner 21st Dec 2017, 11:30 PM edit delete reply
Stealth dart-gun in her arm.
Nayru9572 22nd Dec 2017, 3:42 AM edit delete reply
Probably a bad idea, as if she returns to her government peeps they'll probably check her and her possessions and ask where she's been and all. Carrying suspicious blood around then wouldn't end well.
Azith 21st Dec 2017, 11:27 PM edit delete reply
So, first and foremost, Jane needs to hug Caius and Jury. Then we need to sit down, have breakfast (lunch, brunch? WHO KNOWS!), and let all of that sink in. Then we need to feed Gasmask, get Fuse a robot leg, do a blood-check on Michelle to make sure that Goopy didn't do anything that Jane and Dr. Finch can detect, thank the proto-Juries for their assistance, make polite inquiries of Gasmask, double-check Edison's container, and resume dismantling Thale's plot. Oh, and check in on Mackland, make sure he dreamed last night.
dudecallmecool 21st Dec 2017, 11:56 PM edit delete reply
wait, have we ever tested the gravity in the Mars bunker? DOES WE HAS MAD HOPS?
Auron 22nd Dec 2017, 4:51 PM edit delete reply
We would've noticed the change in gravity if there was one. It's probably artificial gravity.
Blue_Elite 22nd Dec 2017, 12:00 AM edit delete reply
Soooo much to comment on story/art-wise.

Like the new outfits. Fuse finally has an unburnt coat, Dr. Finch finally has a labcoat again, and Caius has another indecipherable shirt (is that a skull with an open mouth, another space invader shooting a ray down, or another muscleman jumping?). And I see Michelle still has her anime cheek bandage (and blue camo pants).
It appears mom's Red has been accepted into the family; with our crew talking to xem like any other person (albeit a person that's a big mouth stuck to a wall). :3
And yay Jury is back! Maybe to stay even! ^_^

In terms of plans:
Eat breakfast and check news. We gotta start interrogating GasMask pretty soon; I'd suggest Michelle and Jury do that (Michelle being a cop and Jury being a legit federal agent). Don't forget to bring along the "monster" to present to the guy in case he doesn't feel like talking.
We should start looking into a replacement leg for Fuse ASAP. It might just be on the decline now, but one monster attack and we might need to replace it right away. We don't have to replace it immediately, but we'll want to know our options without having a time crunch to worry about.
Nayru9572 22nd Dec 2017, 3:44 AM edit delete reply
Maybe not Jury: Thale might not know we have her (or that she's repaired), and if the guy is STQ'd we'd rather keep that information from him.
Guest 22nd Dec 2017, 12:41 AM edit delete reply
I don't know if we already asked her this, but ask Jury if she happens to know anything about Edison, I doubt it but they're both from Zone fifty so maybe by stroke of luck
rufiangel 22nd Dec 2017, 1:17 AM edit delete reply
<3 Love the new duds on everyone, so much love.

Also knowing the back story behind the... well, back story, does go quite some ways in explaining the innate unfathomable hate.

I love this update~ <3
Blue_Elite 22nd Dec 2017, 2:53 AM edit delete reply
Ya siblings. Am-I-right? X3
Baeronius 22nd Dec 2017, 1:22 AM edit delete reply
Now that we have an extra Caius body... I think we should try to learn how to heal people. If we mess up on the corpse, at least we won't kill the subject.

If we could fuse and separate to internalize the repairs on the body, it would prove useful to the team as a whole.

We seem to be incurring larger and larger injuries.
Azith 22nd Dec 2017, 1:34 AM edit delete reply
We do need to learn to heal properly, but I'm not sure working on Caius's old body is the best idea. First of all, it's back in the morgue. Secondly, it's irradiated, probably more so than is healthy to be around, and our blood does NOT enjoy radiation. On the other hand, learning to cure radiation exposure is probably an excellent idea, as that causes a wide number of problems on the genetic and organ levels, and might give us some clues into how to keep Caius and Michelle (and other lab-grown friends we may meet) alive longer. Practicing on a dead body is the best idea, but as far as blood powers go, we have a really long list of stuff we need to try. Like externalizing something small and simple, making better blood-golems, imitating a wider range of drugs/medicinals/poisons, getting more blood alarms... the list is nearly endless.
Deadly Death Sickle 22nd Dec 2017, 1:47 AM edit delete reply
Deadly Death Sickle
Speaking of drugs, I think I found a way to improve our painkiller affect, we could just tell the nerve endings in the body to stop feeling pain... right?
Baeronius 22nd Dec 2017, 2:50 AM edit delete reply
Well.. Yes, but you see the painkiller is a fire and forget, the chemical does its thing on its own.

Telling the nerves not to send would require constant attention, as the nerves would be looking to repair themselves, and we would have to worry about undoing the effects later.
PurpleKetchup 22nd Dec 2017, 2:09 AM edit delete reply
Well, if the Finch himself can't craft printed alien blood from typical biopaste then it's a huge relief already. Better keep an eye out for weird shipments to random hospitals, though.

Seconding the hugs, asking Jury about Edison (although that's probably another of Z50's "one hand doesn't know what the other does"), and giving her a syringe of Jane's red for safekeeping.

Oh, and bring some breakfast and apologies to our shadowy guest. Dude probably feels he's going to be tortured or some other horrible common thing they do to spies/thieves around there.
Guost 22nd Dec 2017, 5:01 AM edit delete reply
Did the Finch jack that lab coat from the hospital?
Madd 22nd Dec 2017, 2:30 PM edit delete reply
Get some food for gas mask, be prepared to blood them if necessary.
Start looking into some heavy weaponry, we got two tube cops and not a lot of guns. Even if jailed Carpenter is still part of the StQ blood network and can be synced with some hackers.
Baeronius 22nd Dec 2017, 3:01 PM edit delete reply
Oooh, Caius' new shirt is a crawling baby.
Auron 22nd Dec 2017, 5:54 PM edit delete reply