Comic 790 - Grab level and go

Posted on 9th Mar 2018, 1:37 AM in No Easy Way Out
Grab level and go

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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 9th Mar 2018, 1:37 AM edit delete
The two cultists assigned to secure the loading dock reach the top of the ladder, and head to the door at the back of the sanctuary.

Before taking off, you quickly run back inside. You tell everyone that you and Michelle are headed to the church, and you'll keep them posted. You grab the remaining ridiculous amount of level.

On your way out the door, you ask Fuse his thoughts--if level would negatively affect the Many.

Fuse shrugs. "My stuff gets out of control if I don't keep my emotions in check... but mind control? I dunno."

Michelle scratches her head. "When that thing was takin' over us, it was like... tryin' to give thirty commands at once. It took it a while to figure out what it actually wanted us to do. It's a bunch of different minds, right? Maybe it's, like... a vote? Maybe they all gotta agree to a command before it kicks in."

"Level could slow that down," Fuse suggests. "Coordinating can be hard when nobody feels that strongly about anything."

Michelle nods. "I mean, we ain't got much else at this point. It's better than nothin'. Also, we should take my truck--much as I like the hummer, we're headin' into the lower tiers. Gettin' to that church unnoticed oughta be a priority, and if it goes south everybody else can take the bulletproof wheels to be our backup."

You and Michelle hop into her truck and head toward the lower tiers. Along the way, you describe the situation and events so far... and you discuss where the Many is actually located.

"It's big, right?," she asks. "The bay doors on the loading dock were big enough to fit it through, but from what you're sayin', the rest o' the church's doors are small. I don't think it coulda got much farther than the loading area. If we wanna go after the Many, the back entrance where the trucks are might be best. If we wanna get the cultists away from the Many, we should tell 'em to go out the front. That's two different approaches, though, and only one me. If we blood the cultists first, we can both do that from outta brainy's range... but when I go in, I gotta go in alone.

We gotta decide if we wanna focus on takin' out the Many while the cult hunkers down in the basement, or if we're bloodin' the cult first--we might still be able to just TALK to the Many, but... somethin' about this ain't right. That thing's dancin' too much to its own beat, we dunno what side it's on or what it's playin' at."

You ask Michelle if she thinks Thale might have already gotten to the Many.

"Thale? Nah," she replies. "If we learned anything from Macland, it's that Thale's shit at talk. He's too weird now, not human enough to be a charmer. I think he's got too used to just... controllin' people. I don't know what it is, but... I feel like somethin' else is goin' on. I dunno who else would be tryin' to cut a deal with the Many or HOW, but somethin's not addin' up. I think for now, we should take it one step at a time--get ready to disconnect, and control me as the blood. ...And figure out what I'm doin' when I get there, and which way I'm goin' in."

You check your raven. The truck has finished backing up to one of the dock entrances. You can hear something moving inside the truck--it sounds like... stomping? Something heavy, moving around in the trailer.

...After a moment or so, you start to hear music. It's muffled, inside the trailer--but whatever's in there is definitely playing some sort of... victorious... old pop music.

You drive fast. You and Michelle reach the lower tiers, but you're not to the church just yet. Almost there.


Matanui3 9th Mar 2018, 2:55 AM edit delete reply
Is it The Final Countdown? It's always The Final Countdown.
Frission 10th Mar 2018, 12:22 AM edit delete reply
Pretty sure it's We Will Rock You. "You hear stomping." *nodnod*
Memo 9th Mar 2018, 4:58 AM edit delete reply
I'd it's not Thale or his underlings who are here, we have a new player in town.
Kinda hope it's on of Thales.
Regardless of who is coming, we can't let them control the cultists. They know to much about summoning, and they know we can use animals.
That is knowledge we need to secure.
I say we go for blooding the cultists.
Blue_Elite 9th Mar 2018, 5:12 AM edit delete reply
The moment we take down The Many the cultists go right back into Thale's palm. Blood the cultists first.
We don't even know IF we want to kill The Many or not (all signs point to, "yes," but mere moments ago we thought we had to slaughter the cultists to get to The Many and Mav before finding out the cultists could be reasoned with).

I hope we still have that one cultist on the phone (or can get him back on the phone) so we can instruct them to come out the front of the church.

We REALLY should hide Willard if we're not going to retreat him. Maybe under one of the pews.
FlockPack 9th Mar 2018, 6:09 AM edit delete reply
Blood the cult. Get Willard and the cat out of there, there is no need to put them in danger.
pkrankow 9th Mar 2018, 10:12 AM edit delete reply
Willard and cat only need a few blocks of separation from the church, they can work on going to the bunker ag a more sedate pace.
Leafia_Barrett 9th Mar 2018, 9:45 AM edit delete reply
Blood the cult, retrieve the animals. Continue trying to negotiate with the Many, if possible.
Madd 9th Mar 2018, 10:25 AM edit delete reply
So now we get a hulking monstrosity coming at us, again.

Carpenter, or someone else in his chain of command likely recruited The Many for Thale's cult. Thale has likely found out things have turned sour, and is doing what he's been doing since day one sending giant shit at those he can't control.

Blood the cult and negotiate with the Many while under level.

Have the animals run back to base.

Don't forget to grad the books on the way out with the cultists.
PurpleKetchup 9th Mar 2018, 2:47 PM edit delete reply
Huh. We are Jane's Many, after a fashion.

Anyway, the incoming truck is probably something from Thale/Carpenter to deal with the cult. Probably some massive automaton/cyborg to withstand the Many's influence and cause extreme prejudice.

Next, the Many might be in contact with Nil, rather than Thale; which is arguably worse, considering we still have no real way to banish it from wherever it gets to - didn't we want the damn book to find a way ? Gotta save as many cultists as possible so they can help with that.
We can try appling level & negotiating, but it might still be impossible to talk to it without some dangerous telepathy. I'm not for attacking it outright, but wariness is a must.