Comic 898 - Ask Mom's red about the gun

Posted on 6th Apr 2018, 1:37 AM in Shipping Off to Southden
Ask Mom's red about the gun

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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 6th Apr 2018, 1:37 AM edit delete
You head back to Bunker A. Fuse has already gone to bed, and everyone else starts following suit.

"We're prob'ly headin' back to Southden tomorrow, right?," Caius asks. "We still gotta grab that book, too. No tellin' what hoops we still gotta jump through for that, so... be ready." He heads to bed.

Michelle sticks around, likely to make sure you go to bed. Before you do, though, you stop to ask Mom's red about the gun you found--if they've ever heard of anything like that before. ...A gun that kills the user, but destroys the soul of whoever is shot with it.

"I cannot say that I have," the large mouth replies, "nor can I imagine what would drive an individual to such desperate measures. As I've come to understand it, a life is an immense cost at your present scale. ...And to destroy another at the level of self, death beyond the physical body, is a powerful request. There are entities that can accomplish that, certainly... but not in the form of mere tools, and not for the hands of human beings. Truly, Zone Fifty was toying with forces far above their station--but that being said, there is no question in my mind that such a weapon would tear through your enemy's greatest defense. His identity is thinned across legion. His sense of self, what constitutes "Patton Thale," is embedded in every being that he--"

"We ain't gonna use it," Michelle says, calmly interrupting. "We can beat Thale without it. Nobody's gotta die. We've come too far, and fought too hard to keep everybody alive for one of us to go sacrificin' themselves to a messed up alien gun."

There's a brief silence. Michelle continues. "I mighta' given you a different answer a week ago, but... you've put your life on the line to save me. I've put my life on the line to save you. We put our lives on the line to save Caius, and Fuse, and Finch... even Liz. We didn't fight for 'em just to use 'em as ammo. Right?"

You assure her that you have absolutely no plans to use the gun. Just... something that dangerous, you really want to understand what you're dealing with.

Michelle nods. "Yeah, I guess that makes sense--I'd hate to find out there's more than one of those guns. I just..." she pauses, "I don't even like the idea of it. It prob'ly would work on Thale like that--maybe. I dunno, I'm still lost on this magic... soul... stuff. It might be an easy out, but... damn. I get what Big Red was sayin'--it's scary to think anybody ever got to that point, that anybody felt the need to... to make a gun like that."

You ask Mom's red if they could possibly form a storage for you--or if they could... function... as storage...? You want something secure, extremely secure, somewhere you could put the gun and not worry that anyone's going to get to it.

"I can bring more of myself to this location, if you like," the mouth replies. "I can form a pocket of sorts inside this end of me, and hold onto anything you want to keep hidden. It will take time for that material to arrive, however--check back with me tomorrow, if you're still interested."

For now, you and Michelle go to bed.

What will you do tomorrow?


Blue_Elite 6th Apr 2018, 2:40 AM edit delete reply
Alright, yogurt/parfaits for breakfast. We need to start eating better.

Shopping trip for Bunker E. Also look into about possibly grounding the monitor to prevent Faraday from destroying it with a power overload.
Don't forget to get more biopaste (depending on where we go shopping; Southden is only about a 40 minute round-trip so it's always a shopping option).
We may also want to purchase a parrot bird at a pet shop in Southden so we can start having eyes-in-the-sky again.
Twyll 6th Apr 2018, 2:48 AM edit delete reply
Probably easier to just blood a seagull rather than buy a bird-- at least, the seagull would fit in better-- but it *would* be nice to get a pet for Michelle finally. A doggo would be good :)
fellow 6th Apr 2018, 5:39 AM edit delete reply
Not entierly related, but, the many can't control animals, right? If we got a big dog, like, a tube dog, we could sic that on the many the next time it rears its heads. I don't think it'd make a very fun pet for Michelle though.
chaosblitz 6th Apr 2018, 10:52 AM edit delete reply
We should just catch a bear and be done with it. Though we need to be careful not to give Thale any ideas, I don't think he's figured out that we can control animals yet (though that might have changed with the blatantly controlled rat and all.)
fellow 6th Apr 2018, 2:35 PM edit delete reply
Oh, funny thing about that. Thayle actually stays the hell away from the many. He's not gonna see what we do to it.
chaosblitz 6th Apr 2018, 10:48 AM edit delete reply
oh, we should also buy tv parts while we're out!
Twyll 6th Apr 2018, 2:42 AM edit delete reply
I guess we need to do some shopping! Before we go, we should check on Elizabeth and see how she's doing physically, then invite her shopping for clothes if we feel like that's practical at this point.

We should also check with Zene, Pierce, and Zene's parents, to see what they think about their living options: fixing up and moving to Ilworth, going into witness protection, or moving to wherever is near the Bunker B door's current location.

Things to buy:

General use:
- More biopaste

For Elizabeth:
- comfortable, practical clothes and shoes, perhaps with some wiggle room so we can make adjustments to her body and they'll still fit (e.g. shoes with straps that can be loosened or tightened, that can have insoles put in, and so forth; sports bras rather than fitted bras)

For Tesla:
- comforting, entertaining things
- A child-sized tent or one of those cardboard houses you can color, or one of those long tubes that's like a Slinky covered in cloth, something she can hide in
- Coloring books and/or puzzles so she doesn't get bored out of her mind
- Pillows for pillow fort construction, and also because she doesn't seem to have a bed in there

For Faraday:
- Components for fixing the monitor
- Tools for working with electricity and grounding things (a rubber mat? rubber gloves? I don't know much about electrical work but I think rubber mats are a thing people use)
- Wire/cable rated for very large amounts of electricity, in case we need to wire things and there isn't sufficiently robust cable on hand in the bunker (likely, as it's been there for a long time and probably degraded some).

For Pierce and Zene and family:
- Basic living necessities for moving into a new house-- disinfecting wipes, drawer liners, trash bags, some paper plates and such so they don't have to do dishes immediately.
- If they want to try living in Ilworth, they'll need more things, like water filters and preserved food, because it will probably take a while to get things established as a proper modern living space. Portable batteries would also be good in that case-- or maybe small solar-powered charging units, if those exist?
fellow 6th Apr 2018, 5:34 AM edit delete reply
Maybe we could ask Pierce if there's any substances that help deal with magic and buy those too.

Maybe Tesla could use a reading book too.

Perhaps Caius could use some brass knuckles type of thing so he can punch things harder when we're getting the book. Then again, those might be illegal and it's probably harder to do fancy stuff like judo throws with them.

It occurs to me that if we want something we can't get in southden(like guns) we could ask macland to move the door to a place that has them.
37212513 6th Apr 2018, 5:55 AM edit delete reply
Actually, we could ask Macland to git us the guns and drop them off in the storage unit the doors inside of.
Also, Twyll, rubber is an insulator, meaning it blocks electricity, the opposite of grounding it. Good for protection from discharge though. Commonly used when lots of wires cover the walk space, not when actually working on most tech. (Might think to ground your wrists if your working with excessive amperage.)

Not only do I agree with EVERY point Michelle makes here, but there is an additional problem with using the gun on Thale, will Thale actually be affected or will it just erase what's left of his possessed victim. It's a lot more complicated than this gun's likely made for, willing sacrifice or no.
fellow 6th Apr 2018, 6:09 AM edit delete reply
For the best chances, the gun would have to be fired at a thayle. Be it the main thayle or a clone of him. But yeah, sacrificing anyone of us is a no-no.

We might be able to cheat by sacrificing a blooded Carpenter or Hope, but the very act of using the gun would have us toy with a creature that by all means should not be toyed with.
psychoshen 6th Apr 2018, 6:10 AM edit delete reply
That's a great shopping list Twyll, I'm all for everything you thought of.

I'd suggest as well, a journal for Elizabeth. That's something I see helping a lot of people with memory problems. I'd wager she's a unique case, but the principle remains sound. (I hope)
Hat Lord 6th Apr 2018, 10:14 AM edit delete reply
i agree with the journal idea, and maybe we could bring one of the cats to the base as a sort of therapy animal.

((I mean, we have three, and I don't think we've even checked on them in quite some time, so I guess we should probably at least do that))
Heroshima 6th Apr 2018, 10:50 AM edit delete reply
I agree with spoiling Tesla.
psychoshen 6th Apr 2018, 6:22 AM edit delete reply
So there's a big shopping run planned, and while we have people in Southden, they might take a look at the library.

Mav, Crease, Zene and Pierce should get a look at the backup location in Ilworth to see what they need to be comfortable, assuming they're interested in moving there.

We should check on Macland, in case he has news. Also to let him know we haven't forgotten about him. Don't want our only communication with him to always about needing something.

Someone should see about rigging the entry to Tesla's room so that it stays open or saw the end off of the Z50 canister so that it's a opening, rather than a dead end. With Tesla's permission of course, she may enjoy the feeling of security, but I would imagine she'd prefer to come out and play. The container looks sturdy, but a hacksaw and some elbow grease should do the trick.

If Fuse isn't in on the shopping trip, he could continue to look up properties in Ilworth. Assuming people straight up abandoned their properties without paying them off, the banks likely took possession.

If we still have people to spare, maybe we can send a party down the tracks on Mars and have a look at what's there.

We can also see how Jury is doing, if she's got any news about the Dicers, or if there's something we can do for her.
pkrankow 6th Apr 2018, 6:33 AM edit delete reply
Faraday''s cannister should be somewhere...
Blue_Elite 6th Apr 2018, 6:36 AM edit delete reply
I'd rather just remove the observation glass rather than damage/destroy one of the only methods we have to contain/hibernate the ghosts. It'd be nice to have a backup canister in case Edison ever manages to break/destroy her own.
Memo 6th Apr 2018, 7:42 AM edit delete reply
A protective pocket would be very practical.
Also, we should consider looking into making a clone of us.
Both as an insurance, but also as a possible ammunition for the soul - killer if we ever need to use it. Spreading our identity out to two identical bodies, could probably be useful in other situations as well.
fellow 6th Apr 2018, 8:59 AM edit delete reply
There's a couple of moral concerns with that. An identical clone would still be their own person when they're not being controlled, so using her for the gun would still be using a person as ammunition. Being two people at once could also incur a loss of humanity.

Logistically, creating a clone would need a copy of the brain and that's likely to stop working if it's examined well enough to copy it. Unless we'd want to go the thayle route, create a feeble minded clone and force an oversync.
Archon 6th Apr 2018, 9:29 AM edit delete reply
While I wouldn't mind throwing morality out the window, there's the question of at what point is the clone considered a truly separate entity with a soul of its own.
It's the fine line between the clone getting roasted as fodder for the gun, and our protagonist getting roasted alongside the clone.
Worse still, how does the soul interact with those we've blooded? Certainly some sort of connection, but what sort? Or rather, how would one party using the weapon affect other blooded individuals?
Too much we don't know about the gun.

As to cloning as a form of life-insurance, there is a fair deal of merit to creating our own dopple. But would/should it really need to be a full clone? Given our nature, creating a vegetative, blank-slate clone to use as a host may be sufficient.
Madd(Not logged in) 6th Apr 2018, 9:13 AM edit delete reply
Test the slime!
Dromite 6th Apr 2018, 10:26 AM edit delete reply
I say we look into hypnosis. With the information we have, if we hypnotize ourselves that we have control over someone, we have control over them, as that's what Mom did to Dad to increase lifespan without blooding him, and we could do the same to control Thale without even knowing where he (or his clone) are.
Dromite 6th Apr 2018, 10:26 AM edit delete reply
I say we look into hypnosis. With the information we have, if we hypnotize ourselves that we have control over someone, we have control over them, as that's what Mom did to Dad to increase lifespan without blooding him, and we could do the same to control Thale without even knowing where he (or his clone) are.
Heroshima 6th Apr 2018, 10:47 AM edit delete reply
Finally caught up from the beginning.
Also, I've wanted to say that Caius reminds me a lot of Brick from Borderlands. I thought we could maybe get some melee weapons for him, like spiked gloves. He doesn't seem to be very experienced with gunfire, just CQC.
Cruentum 6th Apr 2018, 11:19 AM edit delete reply
Would the gun work on Nil? He seems like the ultimate enemy of the Red. Also, I second testing the slime, and we should go to Southden next.
Wote 6th Apr 2018, 1:45 PM edit delete reply
Doubtful. Nil is an order of being utterly different than the ones the gun is likely meant to target (i.e. people). The magic may not recognize its existence as a "psychic self", may not be powerful enough to affect it, or just plain may be pulling from its spheres to work at all. Bottom line, even if we wanted to use the gun, I don't think we're going to want to pull the trigger on anything more alien than what Thale's become.
lil Joshu 6th Apr 2018, 2:00 PM edit delete reply
lil Joshu
What if we could get Thale or Nil to pull the trigger on the other one?
lil Joshu 6th Apr 2018, 1:59 PM edit delete reply
lil Joshu
I want to stick that spare door into our red.

Also, blood all the doors.
Crestlinger 6th Apr 2018, 3:04 PM edit delete reply
Seconded, make a blood iris.
lil Joshu 6th Apr 2018, 3:13 PM edit delete reply
lil Joshu