Comic 807 - Talk to Pierce about flowers

Posted on 17th Mar 2018, 6:42 PM in No Easy Way Out
Talk to Pierce about flowers

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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 17th Mar 2018, 6:42 PM edit delete
You set down a plate of mini-tacos, and offer them to everyone.

You ask Pierce what he thinks about the flowers.

He smiles, sort of. It's like he's still remembering how.

"I've seen pictures of flowers," he says, "and fake, plastic flowers. These are real, aren't they?"

You nod. You tell him that this part of the bunker grows them, though it's gotten a little out of hand since no one tended to it for a long time. It can probably grow other things, too, but you've been so busy lately you never got around to messing with it.

"I see. That's how it is now, isn't it? The first time in my life seeing real flowers... hidden away in a secret facility, far from the rest of the world."

You're caught a little off guard by his phrasing--far from the rest of the world. You ask him if he knows where this bunker is.

"It is not in the city," he says. "I... feel confident in that. A gut feeling, perhaps. I have seen so many strange things, I didn't even think to question it. Your reaction makes me believe I'm correct, though."

You ask Pierce if he knows anything about the Queen shipments, or if he thinks Mav might.

He considers it, but he shakes his head. "She was close to our operations, but not that close. She mostly worked above board, a face between the public church and those of us that toiled in the dark. She distributed, but she did not receive. The drugs arrived in various vehicles, some unmarked, others disguised as delivery trucks. The drivers wore hats and sunglasses, and the occasional mock up of a uniform. I do not think I've seen enough of a face to identify anyone. The deliveries were always erratic--never truly scheduled. Prophet used to arrive shortly before a truck would. Once he died, members of our circle would simply... know, when the time was right. Thale, I'm sure, was informing us. That is also how we knew when Prophet died. We just... knew."

You pick a few flowers, including one for Pierce. You tell him he can keep it.

"Thank you," he says, attempting another smile. It's closer to a real one this time, but it still looks unpracticed. You don't think his time being synced to Thale has done him much good.

You put a flower in your hair and head back to Bunker A. You give a flower to the baby red, and update everyone. You also tell Fuse that Lydia said hi.

Fuse sighs and rolls his eyes, but smiles a little.

"So we're gonna rock that satellite, right?," Caius asks.

"It'd be illegal," Fuse replies. "Like, more illegal than what we usually do. It's not a seedy nightclub or a drug lab, it's a very by-the-book relay station in the upper tiers. It's not Thale's, it's Reigns'. We get busted pulling a heist on that, they will put our asses in prison. It's a fun idea, but we need to think real hard about how badly we need it. Straight up storming the warehouse with guns blazing would almost be safer."

"We may already be straying too close in that regard," Dr. Finch says. "I didn't wish to worry Michelle any further, but the police chase today ran from the lower to the middle tiers, yes? Cell phone footage, body cams... a case could be made of this, I fear. We've skirted by thus far, committing crimes our enemies would hesitate to report in earnest. A public shootout is very news friendly."

"That's a fair point, as much as I hate to admit it," Fuse adds. "People take a beat down all the time for resisting arrest, even when they shouldn't be getting arrested in the first place. Thale could pay some news anchors to bring up the chase and never mention what the chase was for. If anybody got footage of it..."

"So maybe Michelle's gotta wear a mask," Caius says with a shrug. "Ain't a big deal. Our disguise game's weak anyway, 'bout time we step it up."

Fuse smiles, but Dr. Finch does not.

"We have enough trouble with police on the take and Queened civilians," Dr. Finch says. "If our faces begin making the rounds as those of genuine criminals, navigating in the city will become much, much more difficult. We may find ourselves battling officials with no direct ties to Thale at all. I... do not want us in a position where we must harm innocent people."

"We hurt innocent people all tha time," Caius replies.

Fuse motions a thumb back to Caius. "It's fucked up, but he's kinda right. We haven't really kept a tally of who all wants to be on Thale's side, and who all just got caught up in drugs or money or whatever. Pretty sure half the people we've fought had no idea what they were getting into. ...I agree with the idea, though. We can't beat ourselves up over what we have to do, but that doesn't mean we should be gung-ho about spreading the carnage any further. Shooting one of Thale's puppets is one thing, shooting a regular cop just doing his job is something else. We don't wanna wage a war with the people we're trying to save."


Leafia_Barrett 17th Mar 2018, 7:44 PM edit delete reply
I mean, honestly I'd rather we not shoot any of Thale's puppets either, but our options are limited and none of them are very good. It's unfortunate, but it is what it is. Maybe once Thale and Carpenter are out of the picture, we can set about fixing some of the damage they've caused.

I'm glad we went through with the Church rescue when we did. There's no telling how much longer we had until Thale had oversynced the entire church. The fact that we were able to get anybody out of there alive means we made a difference.
Twyll 17th Mar 2018, 7:48 PM edit delete reply
Maybe we should leave the idea of the satellite station for now, and work on developing new Sanguines for combat and exploration. We should probably get around to exploring and mapping those tunnels, which a Sanguine could do quite well I think. Now that we know how to manipulate bio-materials much better, we should be able to make better bloodbots-- using bone and tendon, for example, to make them sturdier and more flexible.

I wonder if we could stick a human-sized Sanguine in a biohazard suit or something to keep it safe from the atmosphere of Mars? It wouldn't necessarily need to be able to breathe, after all, so we could simplify the requirements of the suit drastically. Maybe we could cut up part of an old or broken suit to put on a more reasonably-sized Sanguine.

We also need to look into Geoangular Control and the Tradesmen. There are plenty of things we can be pursuing that aren't nearly so risky as this, so I think we should try those first. Especially if we learn more about magic, we may be able to circumvent a lot of the dangers anyways-- since it's Reigns' station and not Thale's, it's unlikely to be warded against magical attack, and we may be able to do just... banish people from the area, or something, or compel them to leave, instead of using violence.
pkrankow 17th Mar 2018, 8:06 PM edit delete reply
Compelling people to leave an area would be handy especially if the cost of the "spell" is very low.

Since we already have somone with knowledge regarding this I think some action can be done, but care needs to happen so we record information and to learn without casting anything unintentional.

Reworking a damaged pressure suit into a blood golem might be a worthy idea.
Wote 18th Mar 2018, 3:15 PM edit delete reply
I—as always—agree on the Geoangular Control front. Right now, that seems our best avenue to gaining a real edge. Or, at least, leveling the playing field enough to have a chance.
Wote 18th Mar 2018, 3:19 PM edit delete reply
And by "agree" I meant "we need to do the Geoangular Control thing sooner rather than later. If not now, then before committing to any other long-term projects.
pkrankow 18th Mar 2018, 3:29 PM edit delete reply
We are supposed to remember to cleantex effect and copy out material from p778, 779 that may be related to geoangular control
Archon 17th Mar 2018, 8:18 PM edit delete reply
Seems that old disguised golem plan from a while back would be worth pushing to happen again.
Powder (say sand, cement mix), tub-sized container, heavy clothes, full facial mask, gloves, work boots, camera, microphone, speaker. Enough material to make a golem disguised as a person for whatever.
Twyll 17th Mar 2018, 8:37 PM edit delete reply
When it comes to disguise, I think it might be better to use our bio-abilities to just disguise ourselves. Provided that Jane can put things back when we're done being disguised (which we should obviously experiment with in lower-risk situations, maybe in animals, to make sure she can do that), we could alter the blood friends' faces using the shifting-bio-material abilities and make ourselves look completely different, facially at least.
Archon 17th Mar 2018, 9:07 PM edit delete reply
Worth looking into later, certainly.

But for now, what we need is something strong, durable, easy to overlook and highly disposable.
Which, these golems would be fairly solid at doing. Only hard part would be controlling several of em at once and keeping them coordinated. Though for that we could get some practice before we hit the place.
Crestlinger 17th Mar 2018, 9:54 PM edit delete reply
Time to have an animal scout Finch's place and, if safe, pick up those masks we got from the warehouse and anything else we might be able to use. There should be a minimum of surveillance on the place but if not then we can at least find out Who is watching the place.
skybirds15 18th Mar 2018, 1:43 AM edit delete reply
The best solution I have to the harming innocents thing is Edison. If Edison disrupts the mind of a Thale-thrall, then Thale has no control over them. The problem with this is Edison.

If only we could reason with her, or do some SCIENCE! at her.
PurpleKetchup 18th Mar 2018, 4:56 AM edit delete reply
Let's keep the invasive SCIENCE away, she probably got enough for her entire life already.
But I do agree with wanting to communicate positively, redirect those murderous tendencies into something constructive.
Blue_Elite 18th Mar 2018, 5:37 AM edit delete reply
Let's get in touch with Jury before looking into crazy shenanigans with illegal satellite hacking. Maybe the feds have a GPS satellite of their own; especially for a robot like Jury to use. I'm sure the feds would love to reclaim some of that Zone Fifty property (better in their hands than in Thale's).
lil Joshu 18th Mar 2018, 5:37 AM edit delete reply
lil Joshu
We can rearrange flesh. We just showed we can do it on all of us.

Rearranging facial features and identifying marks should be a snap.

Okay, we know what everyone looks like, but what does everyone WANT to look like?
pkrankow 18th Mar 2018, 7:45 AM edit delete reply
"Two buck teeth for two bucks!"
Madd 18th Mar 2018, 2:55 PM edit delete reply
Get a another rat to experiment on with out new ability, I say we try to give it tentacles.

Ask the others about changes to their faces, since we can face dance now. :V

Check the door program before we do anything else.

Practice our new ability on something whether it be our faces or some animal.
Leafia_Barrett 18th Mar 2018, 3:15 PM edit delete reply
I realize I never actually made a suggestion on what to do next beyond "contribute to conversation a bit maybe", so my vote goes towards learning more about magic and geoangular control and such. Directing an animal in the general direction of Finch's place might be a wise choice too.

EDIT: Actually, change my vote. I say we practice multitasking: send an animal towards Finch's place, drop a camerabot off on the surface of Mars and have it scout out the tracks some, and look for more info on magic. EDIT EDIT: Though if we can't get a bot that doesn't have exposed blood on its movement surfaces (i.e. bloody bandages), then maybe sending a bot out might not be the best idea.

EDIT EDIT EDIT: Checking the bunker door program really quickly before doing something else would probably be really smart actually. If it has anything, can everything else in my post in favor of "discuss how to handle the new door".
pkrankow 18th Mar 2018, 4:23 PM edit delete reply
Check the bunker door software +1
Baron11704 18th Mar 2018, 3:18 PM edit delete reply
Making bio-sanguines out of meat using our newfound powers is my vote.
undeadDreamer 18th Mar 2018, 3:28 PM edit delete reply
Let's look into magic.
LytharWolfe 18th Mar 2018, 4:45 PM edit delete reply
I know this is a bad thing to do but I'm with the "Look into magic" group. We need to know how to combat it, and make it work for us, or else we're gonna be in way over our heads.
Mochi 18th Mar 2018, 4:48 PM edit delete reply
i think that while we have pierce here, it would be a good idea to see what he can tell/teach us about the magic the cultists were using. closing our knowledge gap is important. the more we know about what our enemies are capable of, the better. thale caught us put with the shrapnel bomb, we need to try and reduce the chances of that happening to us again.