Comic 838 - Call a few hospitals

Posted on 25th Mar 2018, 12:00 AM in Shipping Off to Southden
Call a few hospitals

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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 25th Mar 2018, 12:00 AM edit delete
You suggest looking into whether or not other hospitals are getting their printers replaced--and if so, which hospitals.

"There's... a large number of hospitals in this city," Dr. Finch states. "I very much doubt there's a database readily available of which have had printer replacements recently."

"Maybe not," Michelle says, "buuut if one of 'em could tell us who their new provider is, we could start diggin' into that company. If we know who Thale got to replace Row Dynamics, we can try to find out what contracts that company has. I'll make a few phone calls--I don't wanna call too many at once, or it could raise suspicion... but I might get lucky."

Caius grins. "Sometimes I forget ya used to be a cop."

Michelle smiles back. "Sometimes I forget I'm not anymore."

Michelle steps outside to make the calls. You thank Dr. Finch for the food. You also pat the baby red on the top of its... self.

"Thank you," it says. "Work hard. Very deserving."

Dr. Finch chuckles. "It has such a... robust vocabulary for how basic its sentences are."

"Syntax hard," says the small red. "No laugh."

"My apologies," replies Dr. Finch. He tries not to laugh further, but the best he can do is cover his mouth.

The grin on the wall seems to tighten a bit. "When I first began to meet you all, my grammar was not much better. My grasp of spoken language has improved, but there are still many human concepts that elude me. ...Some of them, I do not suspect I desire a better understanding of."

"Does this bother you at all?," Caius asks. "Tha whole... havin' a smaller you hangin' out thing."

"It does not," the mouth replies. "It is stimulating, in its own way--to have a more simplistic iteration of myself present, unshackled by the weight of thought, not bound by the petty ideas I impose upon myself. My smaller self lacks complexity, but it can reach conclusions without considering them too heavily. It can engage in simple joys and not feel repulsed by its own immaturity."

Dr. Finch smiles more softly. "As children, we could just... enjoy life, and not worry about wasting time. We could cherish gifts and not wonder their cost. We could aspire to great things and not think them ridiculous. As adults, we worry about seeming foolish, or weak, or that our chance to do something worthwhile has passed."

"Perhaps," the mouth begins, but pauses, "there are human concepts I do grasp perfectly."

Caius starts to say something, but stops when you all hear the bunker door slam shut. He lets the moment pass, and Michelle returns.

"So, check it," Michelle says. "A little less than a week ago, one of the upper tier hospitals met their new printer crew. They just did some diagnostics, some light repairs, but that hospital keeps track o' every vendor that comes through. The company doin' printer stuff for Thale now is called Gargan Heart. Ring any bells?"

"Kinda," Fuse replies.

"Yeah, Gargan does sound familiar," adds Caius.

Dr. Finch shakes his head. "The Gargans are a wealthy family, and have had power in this city for generations. They emblazon their name on everything, unfortunately--it may be a chore to figure out which of the Gargan children is behind what I'm sure is ostensibly a shell company for Thale."

"Gargan," Caius repeats. "It's such an ugly ass name. Like a monster or somethin'."

"You might be thinkin' of Gorgons," Michelle comments. "Y'know, like Medusa."

Dr. Finch looks genuinely surprised. "Are you a fan of ancient myth, Michelle...?"

"Nah, not really," she replies, "I just always thought it'd be a cool name for a gun. The Gorgon: Kill a man dead. STONE dead."

Dr. Finch sighs. Caius and Fuse throw their hands up almost simultaneously.


Blue_Elite 25th Mar 2018, 2:30 AM edit delete reply
Well WE love you for your puns Michelle. :3

Excellent, more progress than I expected already. Well, you can't JUST make an empire overnight. Perhaps we could backtrace some Gargan Heart medical supplies/services to one of the Gargan children? Find some investor information/wikipedia article explaining the story of how the company was founded and narrow down the list from there (assuming we can't narrow it down to one person from that alone). Maybe even investigate to see if there was a major share trade/shift to one person or, "entity," recently to suggest a change in ownership (possibly Thale himself). It's not perfect but it's a start.
Memo 25th Mar 2018, 6:53 AM edit delete reply
We should really look into who they deliver machines to.
Also an important question, do they supply the biopaste as well?
Imagine if Thale produce blooded biopaste, and distribute to the hospitals with the new machines.
He could spread to the middle and higher tiers without anyone noticing
Fishbulb 25th Mar 2018, 7:01 AM edit delete reply
If anyone would know about this, it would be Macland and Gesenai. Maybe check in with them (perhaps alert Macland somehow before actually looking in on him) and ask.

Also, it might be good if Macland and Gesenai get a burner phone so that you can call them if you need information rather than..... showing up in his brain at awkward moments.
pkrankow 25th Mar 2018, 8:17 AM edit delete reply
The only "Gargan" reference is pop. Marvel comics.
pkrankow 25th Mar 2018, 8:40 AM edit delete reply
We are going to have a minor problem with concealment and our police box. The tall grass and weeds will be smashed down in short order, and probably are already, indicating the traffic of several people in and out of the door. Simce the area is otherwise deserted this is an obvious camaflauge problem.

If pavement exists immediately under the sod pulling it back, but leaving the dirt in the cracks, may hide the situation after weeds regrow. Otherwise I am unsure how to fix the vegetation.

Fuse needs to look, specifically, for a key to the outside access for this door. I would bet every code reader has 2 codes. With physical access to this reader he can pull the program off and it may be obvious, the valid but invalid at this location code.

After locating and verifying this pair of codes he then needs to look at the permutation differences in the two paired codes and see if he can acquire and run another computer (2 actually, one to run the original program on tbe new lock) to search for key reader pairs as they will be a subset of keys, and may be more mathematically predictable so easier to locate, if only because there will be 2 in 6 codes to look at.
Mochi 25th Mar 2018, 10:30 AM edit delete reply
don't forget to feed mars buds if we haven't
lil Joshu 25th Mar 2018, 1:55 PM edit delete reply
lil Joshu
Obvious thing to check...

Are the bioprinters being replaced now going to print out things that are pre-queened?
Cuttlefish 25th Mar 2018, 4:36 PM edit delete reply
Maybe the replacement of bioprinters reflects a fracturing between Thale and Carpenter. Carpenter’s Frankenstein robot knowledge was pretty important in the original Tobu hack, but with the level of meat manipulation Thale has shown, it would no longer be needed. Thale may need to replace compromised equipment since Carpenter was outed while stealing The Many.
Mochi 25th Mar 2018, 5:25 PM edit delete reply
also i’m curious what caius was about to say…