Comic 764 - Make sure the door is still here

Posted on 24th Feb 2018, 6:50 PM in No Easy Way Out
Make sure the door is still here

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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 24th Feb 2018, 6:50 PM edit delete
You wait a little while before bringing your drone out of hiding.

You send it back across the warehouse floor to make sure the Bunker B door crate hasn't been moved. You confirm that it has not. In fact...

Nothing's been moved. Or marked.

Nothing's changed at all, as far as you can tell.

You explore a little further, double checking; nothing seems out of place at all from what you can remember.

You update the others on what's going on, and... express your confusion.

Dr. Finch is the first to speak up. "Transparent marking," he says finally. "The presence of scent-based chemical signatures in the boxes suggests intentional barriers to communication and knowledge among the warehouse staff. Only one type of personnel can detect which crates are which; a second type of personnel, assisted by the former, marks the crates with something like ultraviolet ink, as an example. Then, a third type of personnel--the ones that will physically move the crates out for testing or shipment--are likely equipped with something that lets them see the markings. And and and then, those that do the actual testing or shipping are separate still, and so on."

"The left hand never knows what the right hand's doing," Fuse says.

"Precisely," Dr. Finch replies. "Every step is kept in the dark about the rest of the process. Those that test a crate could never find that particular crate again--I'm sure they're not even allowed in the warehouse. Those that can identify the crates never find out what's inside them. The invisible markings for testing or shipment are probably erased when they're no longer necessary, if they're not designed to simply... simply expire. Only those at the very top of the chain would ever be able to identify exactly what is located exactly where."

"So who's at tha top?," Caius asks, having just wandered into the lab.

"An excellent question..." Dr. Finch mutters to himself. "Could be a different purchaser of Zone Fifty's assets."

"Could be the same purchaser," Fuse adds. "That warehouse could be Thale's."

"At the very least..." Dr. Finch speculates, "if they're going through all that trouble to obfuscate their stock from the resident staff, they're surely aware what kind of power they're sitting on."

"They just don't know the details yet," Fuse says. "...Or they wouldn't be testing. Makes me wonder where they're shipping to."

"Prob'ly sellin' it off," Caius says. "I mean, I would. You could prob'ly make some fat cash off some o' that Zone Fifty stuff."

"Perhaps," Dr. Finch replies. "It would help if we knew what they were planning to ship, but if they're dealing with things as distinct as scent signatures and genetically engineered scent detectors, there's no telling what they're using to highlight crates for shipment and testing with. UV highlighted ink is my guess, but it's only that."


Fishbulb 24th Feb 2018, 7:17 PM edit delete reply
Would it be prudent for Jane to check with Macland to see if Gesenai is the proprietor of this warehouse? Or would that potentially tip her off that the gang has access to it?
Portal In Time 24th Feb 2018, 7:28 PM edit delete reply
Portal In Time
Seconded. They're probably ignoring phone calls, so let's ask through Macland.

Hey, we could also ask how they're getting out of the city without leaving tracks, too, right? If that's the case, we could probably find a good way to smuggle Zene and Crease out, too.
AveryCross 24th Feb 2018, 8:06 PM edit delete reply
i second this
pkrankow 24th Feb 2018, 7:32 PM edit delete reply
Maybe. Not a bad idea.
Leafia_Barrett 24th Feb 2018, 11:30 PM edit delete reply
That would be wise, I think. Maybe ask in general if they know who owns it.
pkrankow 24th Feb 2018, 7:38 PM edit delete reply
Keep an eye out for other "damaged" crates similar to our crate. It would be slightly reassuring that some other crates are less than perfectly sealed. Our crate is now potentially suspicious in this regard.

We really need to maintain security via obscurity as best we can. Can a listening device be set up or something?
Fishbulb 25th Feb 2018, 12:49 AM edit delete reply
This might be a job for Willard. Jane can set a blood alarm if he detects any of the warehouse tube cops coming back.
Nayru9572 25th Feb 2018, 5:46 AM edit delete reply
There are other damaged crates. In the second panel there appear to be three different crates with cracks in them.
Memo 25th Feb 2018, 1:49 AM edit delete reply
Having an excellent sense of smell, Willard could sniff the crates. Might hold a clue as to what is in them.
We also still don't know how the crates got into the warehouse yet.
Madd 25th Feb 2018, 2:24 AM edit delete reply
Have the phone bot look for an unguarded exit like some vents. Also find the loading bay, or at least the wide hallway leading to the loading bay.

Lets not send in Wilard, lets have our cats catch us another mouse for this alive.