Comic 770 - Send Willard

Posted on 1st Mar 2018, 9:31 PM in No Easy Way Out
Send Willard

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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 1st Mar 2018, 9:31 PM edit delete
You go to retrieve Willard, and to feed him a cracker.

Dr. Finch follows you. He doesn't say anything, but you know what he's thinking. When a rat was used to do recon on Club Elegance, the rat did not make it back. This may be Dr. Finch's last chance to say goodbye to Willard.

Both of you are silent for a little while, just watching Willard eat a cracker.

"It's silly," Dr. Finch finally says, quietly. He forces a weak smile. "He's just a lab rat."

You suggest maybe getting a different rat--one that no one's attached to--but Dr. Finch shakes his head. "We can't very well start collecting a zoo. If our new rat survived, we'd just name that one and get attached to it, and... we..." He pauses. "Things will happen. If the worst loss we suffer are rodents, then we've done well. I need to accept this."

You remember what Caius said, before--when he was dying. Dr. Finch is normally very accepting of death, talking about it in cold, clinical terms. You start to wonder if this is a side effect of Dr. Finch's extended sync with you.

Before you can think about it too much, Fuse and Crease wander in.

"Hey," Fuse says. "We had an idea. Crease only got a glimpse at part of the church, but he did see it. You can do cleantex, right?"

"You might be able to dig up what I saw," Crease says.

You nod, and ask Crease if he's ever done cleantex before.

"Not cleantex specifically," he replies.

Fuse nods. "Our version's, uh, a little different than normal... it's just the effect, with none of the additives. Still, it's kind of a roller coaster the first time you take it. You're going to remember everything, all at the same time. It's easy to get overwhelmed..."

While Fuse explains all the normal precautions of using cleantex--focusing, breathing, etc--you check on Dr. Finch. Dr. Finch nods, and forces another smile, petting Willard. "Alright. I think it's time."

You send Willard out, and direct him towards the church. You also send one of your cats, specifying for them to stay separated on the way there so nothing looks too odd. Having the cat carry Willard all the way to the lower tiers would be rough, but you can have the cat "catch" Willard somewhere near it, then have the rat "escape" and make it into the building afterward.

While you wait for the cat and Willard to get there, Crease sits down on one of the beds, and you cleantex him. He stares at the floor, his eyes widening.

"You're going to remember everything," Fuse says. "Focus past it. Try to remember just... that... day, just that room."

You also remind Crease to breathe.

It takes a little while for him to narrow in on it without getting sidetracked by stray thoughts, but eventually, Crease speaks up. "The church was new but the pews were old... hand-me-downs, probably, or bought pre-owned. They had scriptures framed on the walls... red writing on yellow paper. The floorboards felt hollow around the middle of the room. There were three people there my wife was talking to... one with a breathing mask and red goggles, one overweight guy, real tan... he was trying to look like he belonged there, dressed real poor, but he had nice jewelry and clean fingernails... he wasn't from the lower tiers, he was faking it."

"What about the third?," Dr. Finch asks. "You said three people were talking to your wife."

"A thin woman," Crease replies. "With glasses, and light blonde hair. The way she spoke was... stiff, weird."

You can't be certain, but that somewhat describes Thale's secretary.


Frission 1st Mar 2018, 10:14 PM edit delete reply
;n; I didn't realized how attached Finch was. Now I'm upset, this was my dumb plan. ;n;
pkrankow 1st Mar 2018, 10:21 PM edit delete reply
Not a dumb plan. Just excessive emotional attachment. The lab rat is a pet, but it is still just a lab rat intended for experimentation.
Blue_Elite 1st Mar 2018, 10:28 PM edit delete reply
Now now, it's not like we're sending Willard into battle. He's just doing some spy work and ideally will be brought back when done to enjoy some celebratory crackers and cuddles.
Twyll 1st Mar 2018, 10:17 PM edit delete reply
Can he sketch us a rough map of the bits of the building he saw? Note the locations of vents and such? Every little bit helps.
rufiangel 1st Mar 2018, 10:18 PM edit delete reply
Be safe, Willard ;v; please make it back in one piece.

Hmm, any chance that overweight dude with the tan is Hope? >_>a We could check online I think? If not, then who is heee.

Also, a hollow middle... sounds like Willard might need to check out what's going on below the church. @_@ Drains might make sense as an entry point then maybe?

EDIT: Also holy smokes, Zene's mom was talking to Thale's secretary, SHE'S RIGHT IN IT. >___>

EDIT2: Can Crease actually recall the conversation his wife was having with these jerks, or was he not actually close enough to be listening? -v-
Xylas_Incarnum 1st Mar 2018, 10:20 PM edit delete reply
first one was definitely the prophet guy we killed back when we revisited the hospital. now the real question is who the second guy is.
pkrankow 1st Mar 2018, 10:29 PM edit delete reply
We do need a book of faces, yes.
Blue_Elite 1st Mar 2018, 10:35 PM edit delete reply
Not much to do besides listen to Crease and keep an eye on Willard + Mocha (What I'ma call the cat until he/she gets a name proper).
Espylacopa 2nd Mar 2018, 12:34 AM edit delete reply
We should look up Brother Harold Hope and Theodore Reigns online if we don't already know what they look like.