Comic 724 - Head to the place

Posted on 6th Jan 2018, 6:00 PM in No Easy Way Out
Head to the place

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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 6th Jan 2018, 6:00 PM edit delete
You give the dart gun to Zene, and ask him how he feels about being influenced by you--the possibility of you steadying his hand, and helping him pull the trigger, if it comes to it.

"Uh... sure, I guess," he replies. "Yeah, it's fine."

You check on Caius, both verbally and with your blood. He's still a little out of it, but he seems to be healing fine.

You ask Dr. Finch about the space suits. "Indeed! I'm well over halfway to finishing, actually."

You take handguns, the shotgun, and the scoped pistol with you to the hummer.

You, Michelle, and Zene head to his father's place of work. It's a quiet and tense drive, with none of you really sure what to expect.

You park close, but not too close, to the fast food place. You send in Zene. Michelle watches around the hummer while you monitor Zene.

Zene walks into the building just as his dad is about to leave, having just clocked out for the day.

"Zenith?," his father asks with surprise. "What are you doing here?"

"Dad," Zene replies, nervously. "I need to talk to you. It's... it's about Mom, and that church she's with. It... it's some kinda cult, Dad. Like, they're crazy, and they're tryin' to brainwash people. We need to--"

His dad quiets him a little, glancing around to the other people in the restaurant. There are customers sitting at tables, and other employees behind the counter.

His dad speaks up, his voice lowered. "I think we should talk about this somewhere else, Zenith."

Zene nods... but his heart rate picks up. He stares at his dad for a second or two before forcing the words out. "Dad... I need ya to do somethin' for me, first. Before we go anywhere. I need you... I need you to repeat the name Patton Thale for me. Say it out loud."

His dad stares back, hard. There's a moment of silence between the two of them.

"Why, Son?"

"Please," Zene says, his voice straining. His hand brushes against the shape of the dart gun, concealed in his pocket. "Just do it, okay?"

Another pause, his father casting another glance aside.

"Patton Thale," speaks Zene's dad. "Is that right?"

"'Ey, boss," Michelle says, bringing you back to the hummer. "Uhhh this might be a problem."

You glance at Michelle, who's staring hard at the passenger side rear view mirror. You take a look into your own mirror... and see a large truck barreling down the road at a high speed, straight toward you and the restaurant. You're apprehensive, at first, but it might not mean anything--at least, that's what you think, until you see the truck plow straight into a car, shoving the smaller vehicle out of its way. It continues on its path, charging straight toward you and the fast food place.

Michelle's eyes widen when she sees the truck run straight through a car. She turns to you, bewildered, but ready to do something. The truck is about a block and a half away now, and approaching rapidly.


Mochi 6th Jan 2018, 6:25 PM edit delete reply
get the hummer the hell out of the way and tell zene to get his dad as far back in the restaurant as possible, and to warn everyone inside that there's a truck headed for the place. quickly.
Madd 6th Jan 2018, 6:26 PM edit delete reply
Get Zene to grab his dad and run away from the fucking death truck, like to the hummer or something.

Shoot the tires that might slow it.
Swagner 6th Jan 2018, 8:11 PM edit delete reply
All we brought was pistols and shotguns, they won't do anything to something that big (even against the tires, I'd think). I think trying to get away, ideally around some building (I'm assuming it's like a semi, which won't be able to corner as well at higher speeds) is safest. Let Zene know to evacuate, but subtly, not like he has foresight of the incoming truck (assuming it keeps charging the restaurant, it might give chase to our hummer instead).
Ronmr 7th Jan 2018, 6:38 AM edit delete reply
What of the scoped pistol? Is it stronger than the other pistols and could it actually do something to the truck? Shooting through the windshield might not be a bad idea but if they are doing this they might have prepared and got better windshield maybe even bulletproof. So either shooting the driver or the tires. It might not hurt to try.
CiciEnixa 6th Jan 2018, 6:44 PM edit delete reply
Urgency aside, I have a feeling that... well... MAYBE we shouldn't have people say Patton Thale anymore. I'm having the sinking suspicion that MAYBE it's an alarm (kinda like saying Voldemort) to... y'know... track people who aren't influenced by Thale yet.

MAYBE. I dunno.
Blue_Elite 6th Jan 2018, 6:58 PM edit delete reply
But we currently have no other way to tell if people have been Queen'd or not. If we don't do the test (or if Thale ever gets his panties out of a twist and lets his thralls say his name) we can't tell if the person we're dealing with is going to shoot us or stab us, or stab us by shooting us with a gun that shoots knives when our back is turned.

Our only other options would be to blindly trust people until they very suddenly pull a gun on us or blood everyone on sight (moral dilemma aside, we simply don't have that much blood :( ).
wierdweblurker 7th Jan 2018, 12:12 PM edit delete reply
You don't send trucks at ramming speed to just any uninfected individual. This was a trap for us, if a somewhat hastily-constructed one. Perhaps the infected individuals subconsciously recognize our faces, or Thale's goons were already watching the father to see if Zenith would return. In any case, I believe it's still safe to ask people to say Thale's name (although we may want to be a little more subtle about it than just "say Patton Thale").
Blue_Elite 6th Jan 2018, 6:49 PM edit delete reply
"Zenith?" Now I know why he goes by "Zene." I hope Fuse's full name isn't something like "Fuseworth" or "Fusington."

So yay! Zene's dad at least appears to be clean. That's better than definitely-not clean.
And then boo! Thale is making a move yet again. :(

Whelp, first we should alert Zene to either find a narrow alleyway (but not a dead end; don't want the truck just stopping, the guys inside just shooting them, and then drive off) or hide with his father somewhere.
Then we gotta floor it! Our next course of action will depend on if the truck continues to chase us or not. Ideally we should be able to tell if it slows down and looks like it'll go for Zene or just continues on to us.

If it slows down to go after Zene, we can turn around and provide covering fire to try and let them get away (either on foot or by car, but I'm guessing they'll have to hoof it as traffic may stop them in a car).

If it chases us... we're in a bad position. It's not dead-of-night and traffic might prevent us from trying to do a high-speed chase. Also since we took the hummer we don't have the option of narrow alleyways either. We can try shooting the driver/tires but I'd gamble if the truck can plow through a car with no issues, those bases are covered.
All I can think of for now is to find someplace wide enough for us but narrow enough not to let the truck through without slowing it down significantly. Another option is to find a large body of water or a ditch or other such obstruction that'd get the truck stuck or caught on (we could use a raven to look for one).
pkrankow 6th Jan 2018, 7:20 PM edit delete reply
What kind of truck? A large box van, stake bed truck, or delivery truck (different back on the same type chassis), or are we talking the front of a semi? Or an entire semi? Did I jump too big and it is a pickup truck or hummer with a guard welded on the front?

Any of these will be able to plow in the building front, and probably not go anywhere else, but in a chase they are quite different.

Is the back of the building an alley, or a (big or small) parking lot?
Golden_Eagle 6th Jan 2018, 7:42 PM edit delete reply
Alright, I finally caught up!

Is it just me, or does that hesitation from the father to say Thale's name seem a little suspicious? Maybe Thale has realised by now that they've figured out that those under Queen can't say his name, so he set something similar to a blood alarm on everyone that's on Queen so he can grant them permission to say his name to get rid of Jane and co's suspicion. Maybe I'm overthinking it...

But anyway, the truck. Zene and his dad need to get out of there, immediately! Could something be done to somehow delay the truck? A few seconds to evacuate the food place could make all the difference.

It'd be easier to figure out what to do if we find out who exactly is the target- is it Jane, or is it Zene/his father? Either way, I think Zene and his father should run to some narrow alleyway with good escape routes or maybe find a good hiding spot until Jane and Michelle can get them.
Madd 6th Jan 2018, 9:14 PM edit delete reply
To be fair if I told you to say some random rich persons name I think you would be confused and ask why.
lil Joshu 6th Jan 2018, 9:52 PM edit delete reply
lil Joshu
Those in restaurant: Evacuate.

Obviously combat hummer - tires will he hardened against gunfire, windows will be bulletproof. Best bet... take a blood syringe, shoot & guide it at tailpipe, blood tailpipe, then collapse tailpipe like ducts early on - hummer will vent fumes into cabin; really only solution I can see.
Baron11704 6th Jan 2018, 11:22 PM edit delete reply
I don't think the truck we're dealing with is a hummer, hummers aren't really trucks, there more glorified minivans
lil Joshu 7th Jan 2018, 6:45 AM edit delete reply
lil Joshu
Ah, I misread... and I was thinking of a Military Hummer.
Baron11704 6th Jan 2018, 11:17 PM edit delete reply
Hummer's are pretty tough, and we've been through worse, (if there's nobody in the back of the car) reverse it into the truck, it's going to be quite the hit but there's a lot of Hummer between us and that truck if we reverse, if we're lucky we'll get away injured but no innocents in that restaurant are going to die, call out to finch for a getaway vehicle in case the hummer is too badly damaged. EDIT: actually it depends on the type of truck, if it's a smaller street truck, the kind which is just the cabin and the rear bed as all one piece, then this plan should work, if it's a massive semi that you would rig a container to, then this plan will not work, as that's probably way too big a truck for our (relative to a semi) small hummer to beef
wierdweblurker 7th Jan 2018, 12:04 PM edit delete reply
If it is indeed a semi, this plan will depend on what it's going for. If it's going for us, we can lead it away, depending on the Hummer's superior handling. If it's heading for the restaurant... we could likely T-bone it for a (very slightly) safer method of interrupting its momentum.
pkrankow 7th Jan 2018, 8:36 PM edit delete reply
I'd rather not sacrafice our new ride. I don't think we would get another.
Auron 7th Jan 2018, 12:41 AM edit delete reply
Zene needs to get his dad to run and hide now. Don't care what he needs to tell him just it's life or death he needs to run and hide. If that's a thing that can be done somebody call the cops.
Crestlinger 7th Jan 2018, 1:26 AM edit delete reply
When you want a hamburger. You Want a hamburger.

Is there another exit to that place? Truck vs building pillars might stop it If everyone inside can leave in time.