Comic 826 - Hum the ghost's tune

Posted on 21st Mar 2018, 2:24 PM in No Easy Way Out
Hum the ghost's tune

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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 21st Mar 2018, 2:24 PM edit delete
You suggest humming the ghost's tune alongside it.

"I... do not think that will work," says Dr. Finch. "The notes stated that Tesla reacted strongly to the song, I doubt Faraday would respond much to it."

Still, Caius begins to hum the song. Dr. Finch shrugs his shoulders, and takes the opportunity to read over the document more.

After a little while of humming the tune... you all hear the door at the left side of the room unlock with a loud click.

Dr. Finch looks up from the papers, bewildered.

"We proved we was payin' attention," Caius answers, then shrugs. "Prob'ly sends a better message than kickin' tha door in."

Caius and Dr. Finch step through the last door. Inside is, as Dr. Finch predicted, a large machine. It hums and glows, energy coursing through it.

Dr. Finch approaches the machine, and begins to mess with the operating screen.

"My first clue," he says, "were the smaller devices throughout the facility. They're very old, and I'm no expert on power stations... but they reminded me of a Folkat system."

Caius scratches the back of his head. "Pretend I don't know what that is. Y'know, for a joke or whatever."

Dr. Finch smiles dryly. "Short for Folded Katana. Ancient katanas were made of very crude iron, not suitable to make a sword with. That iron was folded, though--multiple times, until it was pure and strong. A Folkat system implements that in principle: it takes loose, wasted energy from the environment and refines it. They're sometimes utilized alongside a normal generator to make it more efficient. Now, picture that process being used on an entity made purely of energy. Edison, Faraday, and Tesla were the most stable, most consistent apparitions Zone Fifty had ever seen--if any imprints could survive the refinement process intact, it was those three. That's what Experiment Odin was--an attempt to take three blurry images of emotional turmoil and strengthen them, sharpen them, to something greater."

"Well, we seen Edison," Caius replies. "Strong and sharp is right."

Dr. Finch nods. "Indeed. The ghosts were quite potent, with permanent manifestations. You could see them, feel them, at all times--they didn't fade in and out like most ghosts, and they had immense power. Zone Fifty liked results, though--they wanted production. The notes we found on the Mars base back that up. The researchers here saw the stronger ghosts as a chance to learn, to study... and given the tone of their documentation and the attitude of their lingering imprints, researchers took to trying to rehabilitate the spirits, humanize them. Zone Fifty HQ mostly likely wanted weapons, but Edison couldn't be controlled and Tesla couldn't be driven to violence. Faraday was cooperative, but the researchers weren't teaching her to fight--so the director of Zone Fifty had to change the game plan."

Dr. Finch cycles through information on the screen, adjusting his glasses. "If you can't get your tools to cooperate, you find a way to use them that doesn't require their cooperation. Mythical Odin was said to collect the dead, and eventually lead them into battle. Zone Fifty couldn't have Odin... so they settled for his son, a god of thunder and lightning. A researcher here was forced to refine Faraday to a point beyond her limit--to overload her, and turn her into more energy than she could control. That was Incident F."

"So where's Faraday now?," Caius asks. "She in that machine?"

"No," says Dr. Finch. "She's all around us. She fills this bunker. She still has power, and has been imitating electrical signals from researchers over a century ago... creating her own imprints to guide us here. Despite everything that's happened, she still trusts. The prototype Folkat system is slowly taking from her, refining her excessive energy into usable power, and distributing it elsewhere--but there's so much of her, she might as well be an infinite power source. At the current rate..."

Dr. Finch touches a few buttons. His expression sinks a little.

"Even if she were flushed from this bunker entirely, this and every bunker wired to it would be fully powered for at least 2,000 years."

"That's why tha gun was hidden," Caius remarks. "So Zone Fifty couldn't use it to catch more ghosts, and turn 'em into more generators."

"Not just that," Dr. Finch replies. "That gun miniaturizes a Folkat process in a way science only approached in the last five years or so. The researchers here used it to make a gun that captures ghosts for further research, but the same idea could easily be applied to a more dangerous weapon, especially in combination with a power source like Faraday. If Zone Fifty had found that gun and this document, they would have had a head start on ghost-powered Stratemeyer grade weaponry a century ago."

Caius stares at the large machine for a moment. "So, what're we gonna do? We can save her, right?"

Dr. Finch takes a long, slow breath... and then gives a very audible sigh. "Reconstituting Faraday out of the environment, it would be... it it it would be an immense task. She was almost literally lightning in a bottle, a genuine phenomenon."

"...But it's possible," says Caius.

"It should be," Dr. Finch states. "In theory. I just... have no idea how. I wouldn't know where to begin. I'm not... I'm not that well educated in this particular field, I haven't enough of a grasp on the science of how ghosts form or how a Folkat system would interact with them, I'm..." He looks at the floor, shaking his head. "I'm not smart enough to do this."

"I don't believe that," replies Caius.

Dr. Finch stares at the screen, but he doesn't respond.


Xylas_Incarnum 21st Mar 2018, 3:26 PM edit delete reply
Well Finch, time to hit the books and expand your knowledge base.
Twyll 21st Mar 2018, 3:33 PM edit delete reply
Just because you don't have the knowledge to build a good conclusion on right now doesn't mean you're not smart enough, Finch! Knowledge can be acquired; but you already have the important part, the ability to *use* knowledge once you have it. We have their notes, and we have a cooperative Faraday who can theoretically show us other imprints if we find a way to communicate to her what we'd like to see.

Maybe we can ask to see other imprints, anything she can think of that would show what we might be able to do to rescue her?

Also, we can leave and come back later with more knowledge (after letting Faraday know that we need to do that, of course, and we're not just leaving her). Maybe after we get Geoangular Control and consult Pierce, and glean some more knowledge from that, we'll have more options. Or maybe Finch can do some research that will turn up something, or figure something out with more time to go over the documents.
Twyll 21st Mar 2018, 3:35 PM edit delete reply
Also, are there any notes on things Faraday likes? We can try to give her a gift, if we know what kind of gift she likes. Even if she can't manifest to use it, we can let her know that we're thinking of her and want to help her manifest in the future.
Twyll 21st Mar 2018, 3:46 PM edit delete reply
Also also, Finch needs a hug. Or maybe like a good strong pat on the back if Caius isn't into the idea of administering hugs right now.
pkrankow 21st Mar 2018, 4:40 PM edit delete reply
Man hug, one handed, facing the same direction, and followed by a "pat" on the back judged to be not painful by the one administrating the pat. (Ahem, hard)
Frission 21st Mar 2018, 5:10 PM edit delete reply
Agreed. I have a sad because Finch has a sad. :( A hug should help.
BunnyMuffin 21st Mar 2018, 3:35 PM edit delete reply
I think the stress is getting to Dr. Finch. He needs a big hug.
Is there anyway we can ask Faraday to manifest slightly into the TV or something so we can speak with her?
PurpleKetchup 21st Mar 2018, 3:39 PM edit delete reply
Yep, these circular sockets are how they moved the girls around.

Faraday is still conscious enough to interact with us. Can we start to openly speak with her in a room with enough ghosts so she can piece together her answers ?
If so, inform her we found Edison, but were unable to reason with her. Maybe she'll have a better idea on how to help her. With luck, Tesla is somewhere in the other warehouse...

Anyway, no dates in the reports ? Maybe we can just ask how long she's been boosted into a power source.
Nayru9572 21st Mar 2018, 3:47 PM edit delete reply
Actually, we ran into a cannister exactly like Edison's in the warehouse.
If we can move it without being noticed (if it hasn't already been done so) we should definitely do that!
Wote 21st Mar 2018, 3:41 PM edit delete reply
Before we send Finch to become an electrical engineer on top of a doctor and a GENIUS, maybe we should at least check with the rest of our merry band and make sure there's not some miscellaneous knowledge about this stuff floating around. Like, this seems like the kind of thing Fuse might randomly be familiar with for some weird-ass reason.
Nayru9572 21st Mar 2018, 3:48 PM edit delete reply
Instead of telling Finch to study up, let's first assure him he is smart, and that there's no shame in not being an expert in every area of science.
Also hug him once he's back.
undeadDreamer 21st Mar 2018, 3:59 PM edit delete reply
I wonder what happens if we put an empty ghost container up against what I assume is a ghost deposit/retrieval opening on that machine.
undeadDreamer 21st Mar 2018, 3:59 PM edit delete reply
I wonder what happens if we put an empty ghost container up against what I assume is a ghost deposit/retrieval opening on that machine.
Archon 21st Mar 2018, 4:06 PM edit delete reply
Attempting to restore Faraday is nice and all, but that is a massive amount of energy we could use.
It would allow us a source of energy for our future base outside without having to tap into the power grid; keeping suspicion to a minimum.
Regardless, there are yet more notes to sort and review in this place.
Archon 21st Mar 2018, 5:47 PM edit delete reply
Actually, having considered it the science involved here combined with our unique abilities, there is a potential opportunity here.
That is, bringing ghosts to life and turning life into ghosts.
Will need to see/sort more notes before this goes anywhere though.
Madd 21st Mar 2018, 4:07 PM edit delete reply
Tell finch that he's a genius, if he wants to he could research it, and that this isn't in any of our fields of research. He has all the time want want to research it if he wants.
undeadDreamer 21st Mar 2018, 4:09 PM edit delete reply
Finch your expertise is medical. You're smart enough you're just not so familiar with this kind of stuff.
Fishbulb 21st Mar 2018, 4:40 PM edit delete reply
If Faraday is able to manipulate electrical signals, perhaps she can do so enough to be detected by something that can detect electrical signals. Fuse might be the best person to ask about that.
pkrankow 21st Mar 2018, 4:42 PM edit delete reply
Genius is knowledge, reasoning, skill, and application thereof.

"If knowledge is low, gain more knowledge."

If we disconnect Faraday, do we loose the magic bunkers?

Yes, trapping and draining Faraday is bad. I just want to know the risks involved.

Can Faraday answer more about the risks?

Tell the room, assuming Faraday is listening, that we currently have Edison in another displaced bunker. We would very much like her to be at peace, but dont know what to do. She is in a containment unit because she tried to kill us...
pkrankow 21st Mar 2018, 6:22 PM edit delete reply
"Naw, any fighter who knows 'is blades knows ancient katanas started wit iron rich sands, tha sands was burned with charcoal til 'sembling spongy cast iron, but that has too much carbon to do anytin' wit. Then tha spongy iron was hammered out, broken, sorted, stacked up, heated and fire weld'd then folded and weld and folded more to reduce the carbon, and other junk from burnin' the sands, making it steel. Steel. Tha is a 'markable alloy, steel."

"I learn something every day."
Cuttlefish 21st Mar 2018, 4:47 PM edit delete reply
God, first the immortal blood-plant man, and now the constantly combusting electric-ghost child. Zone50 was really big on inadvertent fates worst than death, huh?
LytharWolfe 21st Mar 2018, 5:15 PM edit delete reply
I don't think this was an inadvertent fate, I think Z50 knew what they were doing here and did it anyway...
Leafia_Barrett 21st Mar 2018, 5:56 PM edit delete reply
Caius is right. Dr. Finch, "smart" is not how much you know right now. It's your ability to absorb, process, and use information, and you have proven time and time again that you have that ability in spades. On top of that, you're not alone. You have all of us, and you have Faraday. We can do this.

Send Finch, like... a mental virtual hug or something, just the thought of "we are hugging you".

I wonder... If we could somehow safely converse with Edison, we might have a lot more to work with. Maybe we could ask Faraday about it?