Comic 732 - Bait the blade man

Posted on 10th Jan 2018, 11:51 PM in No Easy Way Out
Bait the blade man

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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 10th Jan 2018, 11:51 PM edit delete
In an impressive (but slightly concerning) feat of agility, you watch via your raven as the blade man leaps from one of the tier pillars to its underbelly, scaling the "ceiling" of the tier below. He slices open one of the repair hatches, letting it swing open before disappearing into the maintenance/sewer system beneath your current tier. You can fly your raven into the maintenance hatch to follow him, if you like, but it will look very suspicious if a raven suddenly flaps its way into the tunnel and continues following him--not to mention putting the raven itself at risk in a more confined quarters. On the other hand, not having the raven follow means you lose sight of the blade man until he finds you again.

You decide to face the blade man in a more open arena. You pull your hummer into Everautumn Park, which elicits a few shocked and amazed noises from Zene and Crease.

"I didn't know there was a place like this in the city," Crease says.

"Oh, yeah," Fuse replies. "There's all kinds of parks and tourist spots if you've got money."

You don't mention that none of it's real. The trees, the grass, the park is full of bio-synthetic imitations. They use chemicals to keep it all looking "natural," with colors changing through various hues of orange throughout the year, leaves falling and getting collected by built in systems, and then "regrowing" from the trees. You were still really impressed with the sight as a child, but you remember Mom being disappointed when she finally got here and realized it was all a facade. Most of the plant life in the city is specially treated to keep it alive in spite of the poor growing conditions, and the local temperature is heavily regulated. You don't really see the natural effect of seasons changing much here. It makes life easier, or so you've been told--it never gets too cold, it never gets too hot.

It means that snow rarely sticks to the street, though, and the colors of autumn are limited to this park.

You decide that you and Fuse should stay isolated and out in the open, while Michelle takes control of the hummer with Zene and Crease. If the blade man does go after them, Michelle can just book it--he might be able to chase the hummer, but you don't think he can outrun it. Michelle drives off, intending to circle the park and wait for your signal, or a sign that something's happening.

You check on the raven near the truck. Progress is getting made on changing the tire out. You're still not sure whether Thale would risk sending... that thing higher in the tiers to chase you, but you've already been surprised by your current stalker bothering to come this far. You waddle your raven closer to the gap in the trailer's roof, trying to get a better view of what's inside without sending the raven in completely. It's hard to get a good look through the gash, and it's dark inside the trailer, but... you definitely see something.

Something big.


Blue_Elite 11th Jan 2018, 12:27 AM edit delete reply
As far as we're aware, Thale doesn't know we have animal spies. We really, REALLY, do not want to lose that advantage because 1) it'd ruin having them ourselves and 2) Thale might learn from it and create something like an army of Queen'd spy-rats to sweep the city for the bunker door. Let's recall Poe (I'ma start actually calling them by their names from now on) and have it be our eyes in case Swordarms attacks either Jane/Fuse or chases Michelle & Co. .

I think Edgar has seen enough. We know it's one, big entity rather than a team or a "person," that's all we needed to find out. Get Edgar away so it can monitor the truck situation from afar and follow if it starts moving again.

Allan should probably move from the Church to Zene's house. They're going to want to pick up things from their home eventually so we might as well start checking the place for ambush setups. Plus maybe we can catch sight of the mother in case she gets used as bait instead of being relocated.
Xylas_Incarnum 11th Jan 2018, 12:51 AM edit delete reply
that looks like the edge of a fleshy mass..... keep thinking it's some sort of hive.
Golden_Eagle 11th Jan 2018, 2:05 AM edit delete reply
Okay, whatever is in the truck is hideous and most definitely bad news. From the little sliver we can see of it, it is most definitely one of Carpenter's creations.

I hope its not something like a fusion of human bodies.

We need a plan for when Mr Swordhands decides to attack. We know it may be psychic, it is somehow tracking them, and has swords for hands. Keeping a distance would be good.

I'm scared for whatever's going to happen next.
Madd 11th Jan 2018, 3:04 AM edit delete reply
Well then now we hope mister sword hands isn't just delaying for the truck to get moving again, or taking a nap and getting some food in a maintenance tunnel.

The raven can leave the truck now.

It appears Carpenter has linked a bunch of brains together with a telepath and included the faces.
pkrankow 11th Jan 2018, 6:32 AM edit delete reply
Have the raven at the truck move to a safe distance to keep an eye on things.

Following into the service conduits and sewers with the other raven sounds like a bad idea. Have it join us in the park so we can get extra eyes on the terrain.

The question also rises: where are these conduits and sewers in the park if the whole thing is a potted artificial plant?
pkrankow 11th Jan 2018, 4:49 PM edit delete reply
Ask Caius to channel his inner Mario (or search the interwebs) and see what the service tunnel and sewer situation is like under the park.
Deadly Death Sickle 11th Jan 2018, 8:25 AM edit delete reply
Deadly Death Sickle
Oh, hai hoo man faces
Macheman7 11th Jan 2018, 10:42 AM edit delete reply
Before having the raven leave, make sure there's no noticeable markings or the like on the truck or trailer.
When having it leave, make him drop one on a dude's hat.
Twyll 11th Jan 2018, 3:56 PM edit delete reply
Maybe don't have the raven do something noticeable, that would be bad. Good idea on the looking for markings and such tho.
undeadDreamer 11th Jan 2018, 3:47 PM edit delete reply
Climb a tree so he can't get you through the floor.
Twyll 11th Jan 2018, 4:00 PM edit delete reply
On the one hand, that would be good to avoid an immediate attack from the ground. On the other hand, we could end up stuck up in a tree with him at the bottom of it, with nowhere to go. I guess if we have our allies ready to shoot, that wouldn't be too much of a problem, but it still limits our mobility more than I'd like.
Twyll 11th Jan 2018, 3:59 PM edit delete reply
I made a rather belated fanart! The proto-Juries (PJs) wearing pajamas (PJs)!

Edit: I made another fanart! Vasquez with an eggplant for a head, because it's shaped basically the same and because he's a dick.

I agree with keeping the raven from getting too close-- we *really* don't want to tip anyone off to our animal usage. And yeah, after this is done, we need some different animals. Pigeons, feral cats, animals that would live in a city basically. That way we can hopefully avoid provoking suspicion with them, by switching them out as needed.
Blue_Elite 11th Jan 2018, 11:15 PM edit delete reply
Huh, it DOES look like an eggplant. Brings back memories of Kid Icarus.

Now I'm wondering what a sleepover with the PJs would be like. Ghost stories would probably be a lot more amusing with their verbal tics.
Baron11704 11th Jan 2018, 11:50 PM edit delete reply
Current theory: they fused a bunch of psychics together in the most horrific way imaginable in order to combine their powers to control us