Comic 831 - Ride to Southden

Posted on 23rd Mar 2018, 1:12 AM in Shipping Off to Southden
Ride to Southden

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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 23rd Mar 2018, 1:12 AM edit delete
"What if I got ya a side car?," Caius asks.

Dr. Finch takes a step toward Caius. "I'll remind you that you were thrown through a windshield about a week ago, not wearing your seat belt."

Caius takes a step toward Dr. Finch. "I'll drive carefully."

Dr. Finch takes a step toward Caius. "You're also fresh off of a brain transplant."

Caius takes a step toward Dr. Finch. "I'll wear a helmet."

By this point, the two of them are very close, staring each other down in intense silence.

"...Fine," Dr. Finch relents. "But if I die in an idiotic motorcycle accident, my imprint will come after you, Caius."

Caius cracks a smile. "Alright. Cool."

Michelle nudges you with her elbow, giving you a very direct glance, a smirk, and a head tilt. You're not really sure what she's trying to say.

Though the police are only publicly searching for Michelle, you still try to keep a low profile as you head out to buy a motorcycle. It doesn't take long; there's plenty of places selling them in the middle tiers, and Caius isn't picky. Adhering to Dr. Finch's conditions, he picks one with a side car, and you all pick up helmets.

Normally, there would be a registration process, forms to fill out, so on and so forth when purchasing a vehicle, however... throwing a little extra money at the small time dealer removes those obstacles.

You and Dr. Finch take the hummer while Caius drives the motorcycle back to the bunker. You take the usual precautions, circling the block and being careful that no one is following you. It takes a little extra effort with the side car attached, but eventually, you manage to squeeze the motorcycle through the portal door into Bunker E... and from there, out into Ilworth.

When you leave, Fuse is already starting to work on reinforcing the card reader, and Michelle is beginning to scout the perimeter out. She's fully armed with a handgun, a shotgun... and looks as if she's going to try and give the ghost gun a spin.

Caius drives the motorcycle while you sit behind him, holding onto his waist. Dr. Finch sits in the side car. If Fuse's estimation was right, it should take you about twenty minutes to get to Southden.


Though you can't hear each other over the roar of the motorcycle, you can mostly figure out what people are trying to say by the motion of their mouths. It's a bit like lip reading, but by feel rather than sight. You use it to facilitate conversation, mentally telling one person what the other is saying.

"It don't look as dirty here as it does back home," Caius says.

"They're more stringent with environmental protection laws," Dr. Finch replies. "The government has actual authority here, unlike in our country where everything's privately owned and ran by corporations. Ruthless capitalists like Reigns aren't concerned about air and water, only profit margins. Patton Thale comes from a long line of that, as well... he's just discovered a power greater than money."

"Must be nice," Caius says. "Livin' here, I mean, not bein' a money grubbin' psycho."

Dr. Finch shakes his head. "It's not necessarily better, just different. The government here has more control than the privately owned companies, yes... the problem is that it's not a government of the people. Good men get caught up in semantics, splitting hairs between better and best. One mistake can destroy the reputation of a clean politician. Meanwhile, fouler individuals lack such limits. The sinister can band together, maintain momentum, crush political competition, and dissuade voters from rallying behind a less than perfect alternative.

The air here is more breathable, but its people are in no less misery. The government has power, and they use it to spread fear and perpetuate ignorance. Few places left in the world could be described as free... cages come in many shapes."

After about ten minutes, you check on Fuse and Michelle. Michelle hasn't found much yet--just empty buildings, old and rusted cars, and the occasional small animal. Fuse, however, has something to tell you.

"So," Fuse starts, "the library might be a trap, but that book is the real deal. I mentioned it to Jury and I thought she was gonna short circuit. Geoangular Control is on some kinda... secret federal black list, right next to terrorist handbooks and guides to building bombs. Jury can't even say its name unless she's speaking to another federal agent. She said if we do get it not to let her even see it, and not to tell anybody else about it. We're talking, like, black helicopters and shit coming for us.

The good news is, those scriptures Pierce and the cult were reading? They might be in the same boat. If we can dig up hard proof that one of our bad guys was playing with that stuff, we might have a shortcut to getting the feds on Thale. Oh, and Jury said it'll still be a couple days before she can get back to the city... but she's gonna see what she can do about visas for our bunker buddies. We might have those by tomorrow, if we're lucky."

You thank Fuse.

About ten minutes later, you arrive in Southden.



Archon 23rd Mar 2018, 2:54 AM edit delete reply
Hmm. Looks rather run down...
Anyone around? Anyone at all?
Blue_Elite 23rd Mar 2018, 5:59 AM edit delete reply
What kind of small animals? Are they dogs? Michelle, listen, if you find dogs wandering around don't pet them; they could be radioactive. Forbidden puppies!

EDIT: Oh hey bonus: It's National Puppy Day!
Frission 23rd Mar 2018, 7:10 AM edit delete reply
nooes not forbidden chernobyl puppies D:
Frission 23rd Mar 2018, 7:09 AM edit delete reply
Woo, looks like a town! There's a house, there's an old run down house with broken windows, there's a pub—I mean come on, it's England, I think that's a safe assumption—but where oh where is the old Libarium? :o
Blue_Elite 23rd Mar 2018, 9:29 AM edit delete reply
Look around. Try to find a safe place to stash the motorcycle. Even in a small town I'd expect a person or two wandering around. This place looks ice creamed (desserted).
If no one is around, begin to cautiously search.
Leafia_Barrett 23rd Mar 2018, 9:56 AM edit delete reply
Look around for people. It does seem oddly deserted and run down here. I wouldn't be surprised to see broken windows in the Lower Tiers, but here? Different story. Something doesn't seem right.
pkrankow 23rd Mar 2018, 11:04 AM edit delete reply
One cracked window does not make "rundown". All the same, it isnt right.
Portal In Time 23rd Mar 2018, 11:07 AM edit delete reply
Portal In Time
Is this place tiered, too? It looks like we’ve got some decent natural light, even though we’re on ground level. Let’s just keep an eye out for people. If there’s a diner somewhere, we could probably park our bike rather inconspicuously.
PurpleKetchup 23rd Mar 2018, 1:42 PM edit delete reply
For Dr. Finch's information, they make special sidecar seatbelts (and even harnesses). Plenty of bikers drive their doggos around with appropriately sized ones.
Crestlinger 23rd Mar 2018, 4:02 PM edit delete reply
Keep a careful eye out for: crude traps in front of dark alleyways, bomb zombies, and a dude with a dog offering shelter over a broadcast.
PurpleKetchup 23rd Mar 2018, 4:16 PM edit delete reply
Thale hopefully doesn't reach that far. Be more wary of Big Brother equivalents.
Moopamoop 21st Nov 2018, 3:54 PM edit delete reply
Between Blondie not getting the Caius and Finch tension and her unintentional hardcore friend-zoning of Michelle earlier, I think she might be the most oblivious person here. For someone as kind and sensitive as she is, she's awfully dense.