Comic 849 - Realize the truth

Posted on 27th Mar 2018, 2:17 PM in Shipping Off to Southden
Realize the truth

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Morgenstern 27th Mar 2018, 2:17 PM edit delete
You shut the camera down to let it recharge during the day.

You consider what the others are saying. The way Ms. Voclain walks... the sound of her voice... something's not right...? But you didn't notice anything wrong. It was distinctive, certainly, but not off-putting or strange like the others seem to be suggesting. If it wasn't for the stiff, monotone manner of speaking, she would actually sound a bit like--


Wait, no.

Hold on.


"Blondie," Michelle says, "you alright? You're lookin' a little out of it."

You state...

you state that you know what Ms. Voclain is.

Thale's trying to make your mom.

"Wh..." Michelle stops.

"I... that..." even Dr. Finch is a bit stumped. "Are you certain?"

Mom's red once said that her human shape was never quite right. If Thale was attempting to engineer a copy of her earthly form, then that would mean having her move and speak in a way that was... well, like an alien trying to imitate humans, and never exactly nailing it.

"But why?," Fuse asks. "Why in the name of sweet merciful fuck would he do that?"

"F'real," Caius comments, "that's messed up even for Thale."

"Unfathomable hate," Dr. Finch says quietly. "Fragments of the first womb despise one another, yes? Yes. Everything we've been told suggests they cannot rest until others of their kind are destroyed, utterly and entirely. We as humans are... different. We have nuances to our hatred. There's a word... schadenfreude. Enjoyment derived from the misery of others. Thale has an alien hatred running through his bioprinted blood, but he's also a human being at his core. Take your greatest enemy and subjugate her--make her suffer. Not overtly, not torture outright... but dress her up and parade her around. Make her work for you. Turn your mortal foe into your witless secretary. If your mother did truly die simply from becoming so human, that would only exasperate Thale and his false blood further. Picture it: someone you despise, someone you want more than anything to murder in cold blood with your bare hands. ...They shared this world with you, this city, and you were never able to do the deed yourself. She died on her own, on her own terms. You missed your chance to kill her. Loathing, regret, a grudge that cannot be let go... dire human aspects, but human nonetheless, tainted by a maliciousness toward the woman that runs through his very veins."

Caius shakes his head. "That... that's FUCKED up."

"That's why she doesn't wanna be saved," Fuse adds. "...She knows. She knows why Thale made her."

"I got one question," Michelle finally says. "How does Thale know what she looked like? Am I forgettin' somethin', 'cuz I thought Blondie's parents slipped out under Zone Fifty's nose. There shouldn't be any footage or nothin' of her. Even Jury didn't know the story."

The room falls silent as everyone mulls it over.

Caius speaks up. "Jury don't know everything about Zone Fifty," he says. "She didn't know about tha other doors, and she's admitted she don't know nothin' about the director. Right?"

Dr. Finch nods. "She suspects, even, that she may have known about the director at one point, but the data could have been deleted or tampered with. Zone Fifty was secretive, even among its own."

Michelle grits her teeth a little. "So... Zone Fifty coulda' had hidden cameras where Blondie's dad worked. The assholes at the top coulda' known about the alien, they just kept it to themselves for whatever reason. Her dad mighta' bailed just in time to avoid a god damn sting operation. Thale might not just have leftovers from Zone Fifty, he's prob'ly got some o' the top brass's secret stash... like some security feeds starrin' a certain alien."

You barely notice it over your own building anger, but the tension in the room has risen. Michelle is bucked up, and her voice has been getting louder. You look around, and it's on everyone's faces, in their postures. They're angry. They can barely find the words.

Dr. Finch shoves his hands into the pockets of his coat, staring at the floor. "He's growing women in a laboratory, in the image of another he wants to kill but can't. ...Forcing them into a tortured, miserable, one note existence to satiate what miserable figment of his humanity still lingers. Thale is sick. That's... that that's... that's all I can say. That's all I have. He's depraved."

"Voclain's right," Caius adds. "Thale's a friggen monster. We can save her, right? We got tha smartest man on tha planet and a blood god in this room, we can do somethin' about this. ...Right?"

Dr. Finch gets a hint, just a fleeting glimpse of an almost smile at Caius' words, but then returns to considering it. He's hesitant to say anything, one way or the other. "It would be difficult. ...Very, very difficult, if not impossible. Physically, we would almost need to reconstruct her from the ground up. This isn't a simple fix, she was grown explicitly with anatomy that does not function correctly. We would almost be starting over. Mentally..."

Dr. Finch wipes at his forehead. He swallows roughly. "Mentally, she's mostly Thale. We don't know what she was provided before then, but I'm not wagering much. Thale is engineering these women to be taken over, not to be their own individuals. She likely has... whatever accounting or bookkeeping skills would be needed to function at her job and the base qualities required to engage with the public, but beyond that we don't know if there is a Ms. Voclain to speak of. Thale would have started syncing her shortly after she emerged--she hasn't had time to develop, to discover herself, to become someone. In short, we would be attempting to reset her--physically and mentally starting from scratch."

"We still ain't even sure you can recover from an oversync," Michelle states. "Blondie, you were talkin' about program macros an' stuff yesterday, and that's with you an' Fuse bein' real careful about syncing. If we're gonna do this, I don't think it's gonna be time and therapy that makes it happen--you're gonna have to scramble that girl's brain."

"I... have a question," Fuse says, after a brief pause. "Your mom passed away from... well, becoming human I guess. How'd your dad die...?"


Fuse stares at you. Hard. "Was it?"

. . .

"If they had footage of your mom," Fuse says, "then the top guys at Zone Fifty knew what your dad did. If Thale has that footage, Thale knew what your dad looked like. If Thale's seriously still mad about--"

Fuse stops as a very uncomfortable sound makes its way through the room. Grinding. Bone on bone. Everyone stops, and turns.

The mouth on the wall is gritting its teeth.

Its shape is always a smile, but the smile is contorted now. Unwilling, like the red is fighting it. It is far, far more menacing than you've ever seen Mom's normally helpful, informative red.

"I-- dude," Fuse stammers, "if this is making you uncomfortable I- I can stop, I didn't mean--"

"No," the mouth replies, "If you are the right this would like to have know. Would enjoy to aware exact the distance man Thale have gone."

You can hear the wall cracking behind the red. You... request, as politely as you can, that it might consider throttling back on its rage.

"We can't say for certain," Dr. Finch adds very rapidly, "this is only speculation on our part but it's not unlikely but if we find out for certain that Thale may have been involved with-- with his demise-- we... we'll tell you, I promise--"

There's a silence.

You hear the stress on the wall relieving.

A sigh hisses through the massive teeth.

Everyone else gives sighs of their own.

"I'm goin' back to bed," Caius says. "We got shit to do tomorrow, an' I can't deal with this right now."

"I..." Dr. Finch pauses. "I may give sleeping an attempt myself. This... is a great deal to process."


Leafia_Barrett 27th Mar 2018, 3:39 PM edit delete reply
I promise you, Mom's Red, when we get done with Thale there won't even be any remains left to fucking bury in a shallow grave.
Sleep sounds like a good idea. We have a busy day ahead of us tomorrow.

EDIT: We may need to check the wall around Mom's Red for damage, judging by the cracking sounds.
Golnor 27th Mar 2018, 3:39 PM edit delete reply
If Big Red is mad enough to possibly break the wall, how is Baby Red doing? Is it(he?she?) okay?
Blue_Elite 27th Mar 2018, 5:56 PM edit delete reply
I assume the Reds are genderless/sexless aliens and refer to them by the x-series of pronouns (he/she/xe, his/hers/xes, him/her/xem).
Twyll 27th Mar 2018, 6:31 PM edit delete reply
Best to give it a hug just to be sure. Also because *Jane* probably needs to hug something soft and squishy.
pkrankow 27th Mar 2018, 5:27 PM edit delete reply

Babs is probably fine since it is not as cognizent of events... but I don't know, so check.

This got messed up in a hurry.
Crestlinger 27th Mar 2018, 5:41 PM edit delete reply
Thus Thale's fate has been decided. He is to be Eaten and subsequently digested, much like how amoeba work, only Redder. Unless that turns out to be his plan, then we open Bunker 9999 and chuck the bugger into the sun.
PurpleKetchup 27th Mar 2018, 6:10 PM edit delete reply
Not sure if the most satisfying punishment would be burning in the Sun or getting crushed to specks in Jupiter.
Blue_Elite 27th Mar 2018, 6:23 PM edit delete reply
Gentlemen/gentle ladies please, I think we can all agree that as Mom's Red has seniority, xe gets to decide Thale's fate.
I'd assume xe'd love to just endlessly chew Thale's bits for the rest of eternity.
PurpleKetchup 27th Mar 2018, 6:08 PM edit delete reply
I have a nasty hunch Thale got the materials to alter his cloned secretaries into Jane's mom from the earlier events in the story.
The hospital bedsheets, Jane's bedroom sheets, probably the summoned blob in Enyo's church...

Maybe a hug before going back to sleep, anger got a bit out of hand there and affected everyone.

Those clones come from somewhere. Trace the money, find out which lab produces them ?
Blue_Elite 27th Mar 2018, 6:18 PM edit delete reply
Hug Bab' Red. Also do a check-in with our own Red. If Mom's Red got a little hot and bothered under the collar, I'm concerned about what our Red might be experiencing.

Then try to go to sleep. Maybe think about cats (like the ones we now have) to ease into sleep.