Comic 836 - Head back to Ilworth

Posted on 24th Mar 2018, 5:52 PM in Shipping Off to Southden
Head back to Ilworth

<<First Latest>>
Average Rating: 5 (1 votes) / Rate this comic

Author Notes:

Morgenstern 24th Mar 2018, 5:52 PM edit delete
For now, the three of you head back to Ilworth. You arrive after a roughly 20 minute drive; the sun is beginning to set as you approach.

When you reach the abandoned town, Michelle is off to the side, speaking to someone on the phone. Fuse tosses you a bag of rare car parts. "I figured you didn't wanna drag around anything too big, so I went for small and hard to come by. That should make you a top rate customer at any small time auto shop."

You remember Fuse saying he had something to show you--something dumb, he said. You mention it, and Fuse smiles.

"Yup. Follow me, and I will show you something... amazing."

As Fuse leads you back toward the bunker door, he starts to explain. "When we started running the bunker program and cracking our first handful of doors, I had one weird one. A set of valid credentials came up, but they returned an error if you put them in the reader. On paper it was a legit way in, it just didn't open to anywhere. I still made a card out of it, just in case--like, maybe someday I could figure out the right circumstances and open some kind of mysterious super bunker. Bunker X. Or Bunker Zero. Whatever sounds cooler. Anyway..."

You arrive at the bunker door. Fuse approaches the key reader, pulling out a card.

"Please, let me guess--" Dr. Finch says, "the credentials are valid from this door, but not the city door."

Caius adds in, "--But tha only things in Bunker Zero are infinite beer, huge cigars, and tha world's most comfortable chair."

"Close," Fuse says. "I had almost forgot about the mysterious non-bunker key, and since this reader uses all the same data as our first one, I didn't think anything about it. I ran into a problem today, though... and had a lot of time on my hands. So, I gave it a shot, and figured out why it doesn't work in the city AND what's behind the secret entrance. Behold, gentlemen and lady... the fantastic, the elusive... Bunker Zero."

Fuse swipes the card. You push the door open.

...It opens back out to the city. Specifically, the magic door your group always uses. Not Bunker A, mind you--it opens the other way, straight from Ilworth to the city street.

"Wow," Caius says sarcastically. "That's... friggen useless."

"Is it, Caius?," Fuse asks, grinning wider. "IS IT? Riddle me this: if we couldn't do this, how would we get back to the city?"

"Well, we got a card to Bunker A. We'd just swipe that, and then--" Caius stops. He looks at the ground, his expression straining. He puts his hands on his hips.

Dr. Finch starts laughing. "We... we locked ourselves out."

"Damn," Caius finally states.

Dr. Finch shakes his head, looking aside. "Now I'm struggling to think how we even pulled that off. After the last of us filed into Bunker E, one of us would have to have--"

"Switched the Ilworth door to Bunker E manually, from outside, to complete the disconnect," Fuse says, "yeah. We're great, and we did it. We were so hype about magic books and abandoned towns we didn't even think about how the hell our door math was going to work out. But, now we have a card that goes directly to the city, so if we run into any more key readers we'll always have a way home."

Fuse passes out keys to the city, or what he's dubbed Bunker Zero (as it's not a bunker at all).

Fuse sighs. "I'm still holding out for some kind of crazy mega bunker. I'll find you someday, Bunker X."

Caius pats Fuse on the shoulder, but then stops, taking a quizzical expression. "Wait, so what happens if we rig this to tha city, but rig tha city door to Bunker A?"

"One overrides the other," Fuse replies. "This door would go back to its default, Bunker E. If you try to switch them while the door's open, it returns an error. I told you--I had time today."

"They must have been very careful about who had what cards, where, and when," Dr. Finch speculates. "All of that door switching would become an issue very quickly."

"Remember," Fuse says, "Jury didn't even know the door went to other bunkers. Most of the Zone Fifty staff were the same way, I bet--only the top dogs would have access to more than one bunker. I think we're gonna find some truly bizarre shit once we start cracking doors only, like, the director could open."


Fishbulb 24th Mar 2018, 6:30 PM edit delete reply
I posted this 30 seconds before the updoot:

It might be safest to find out what kind of collection the library has, and have Jury forge us some papers so that Jane, Finch, and Caius can pose as researchers (and their bodyguard). The library surely has some sort of temporary pass for visiting academics, right?

As for the new bunker key, if there's a door that only works in Ilworth and leads to the city, maybe there's a reciprocal key that works only in the city and leads to Ilworth (or another location).
pkrankow 24th Mar 2018, 6:51 PM edit delete reply
Excellent! So, this is the only bunker so far attached to itself? The magic door is also the bunker door with the bunker in this location?

There should also be an outside key to this location since there is a key reader.
Blue_Elite 24th Mar 2018, 7:21 PM edit delete reply
Wow, that really was stupid of us. After all those times where we told ourselves to keep someone on the other end so we COULD switch doors.
No one outside our group must EVER know this happened. ;>_>

SO! Definitely meal-time. In keeping with making today be a healthy food day, I'm thinking fruit salad? Something that combines vegetables and fruits. We HAVE been doing cheap meat and carbs a lot lately.

In non-meal related plans, we should make a tally of the PJ parts we've got and make a delivery. We can hold onto the bag of rare car parts for our next visit to Southden.
On THAT note, sense Michelle's face is fixed, I'd like to update Jane's disguise (I recommend black hair dye and stylizing our hair; my personal recommendation being pigtails/braided) and let's make up a disguise for Fuse so he can join us in Southden. We could probably just get a really nice hat (so he'd have no reason to take it off).
I'd rather have Fuse with us when dealing with seedy characters and honestly, I think a mutant with a cybernetic leg is going to be more intimidating in this town than Caius would be if he looked straight up like a gangster. Between Fuse's street-dealing skills and Caius's contract skills, I think we'd make a (non-literal) killing in the underworld.

EDIT: The other reason I want Fuse with us is, "street cred." Anyone suspicious we're undercover cops or that we're pulling a sting operation won't think twice seeing a guy that DEFINITELY would not be allowed within city limits. Might make getting leads to fake IDs, etc. easier too.
Leafia_Barrett 24th Mar 2018, 8:05 PM edit delete reply
I agree that this seems like an excellent time for dinner, and something with veggies sounds like a good idea - maybe a fruit salad for dessert.

After that's all squared away, a weird idea I'd like to try: Reach into the Red and try to create chitin (or specifically bug exoskeleton).
Archon 24th Mar 2018, 8:18 PM edit delete reply
Don't suppose any of the abandoned towns buildings were in decent condition?
Some stuff I'm interested in requires setting up a proper workshop/testing area, and the bunkers are a bit... Cramped for that.