Comic 975 - Rejoin your body

Posted on 28th Apr 2018, 4:53 PM in Chapter VIII
Rejoin your body

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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 28th Apr 2018, 4:53 PM edit delete
Morgenstern
For now, you rejoin with your body. There's discussions to be had, you might want to talk with your own Red, and you remember this ritual taking a lot out of Caius.

Becoming physical again is a weird feeling--you sink back into your body, and slowly line your thoughts back up. You become aware of yourself again in figments... feeling slowly coming back to your arms and legs. You pull yourself to your feet, and realize quickly that you feel very worn out--there's a distinct soreness in your muscles, and your body feels heavy. It might just be the fact that you have muscles and a body again, when you spent a good chunk of time without them. Now that they're back, you feel weighed down.

You and Dr. Finch go over what the imprint in the bathroom said.

"The hell's it all mean, though?," Michelle asks. "The 'most important part.'"

"Calloway had to've figured out something big," Fuse replies. "It sounds like he'd started getting addresses and names of people from other bunkers... the 'most important part' is probably something like that, just for somebody... y'know, important."

"The program name and the password are anagrams of one another," Dr. Finch points out. "Rhetoric Delta and Old Heretic Rat. If you rearrange the words, they use the same letters. The most important part... from just those two phrases..."

"Who even mattered in Zone Fifty, though?," Caius asks. "Like, it ain't gonna be an address, 'cuz there ain't no numbers in it. S'gotta be a name."

"The director," Elizabeth states. "The director of the entire operation would be considered the most important figure of Zone Fifty. The name of the director, or the address of Site 1, would be incredibly dangerous information to possess."

The director.

Old Heretic Rat.

Rhetoric Delta.

Anagrams of one another.

The word director can be formed from those letters, too, and with the leftovers...


Director Thale.

You say it out loud.

Dr. Finch is the first to realize what you're saying, his eyes widen. "That... that that that works, that fits the... the the anagram."

Fuse puts the pieces together in his head next. "...Holy shit. Yeah."

It sweeps the room, Caius and Michelle's faces slowly contorting into shock. Even Elizabeth looks a little put off.

"How?!," Michelle finally asks. "That means the asshole's gotta be like... over a hundred years old!"

"The blood," Fuse says simply. "Director Thale blooded and oversynced Desmond, who blooded and oversynced Patton's dad, who blooded and oversynced Patton. They become the same guy when oversynced, right? So... it's like Director Thale's stayed alive through each generation."

"The oversync swings both ways," Dr. Finch utters. "The one with blood can absorb as much from the one without as visa versa... but if Thale had a lineage of his own family in the hivemind before he began syncing with people outside it..."

"He'd have a head start," Michelle says. "By the time Patton got around to syncin' his wife and randos from the cult and who the hell knows who else, he had the thoughts and memories of a bunch o' Thales already. Anyone he sucked into the void after that'd just be a drop in the bucket, and wouldn't mess up his hivemind all that much."

"Like spittin' in a river o' piss," Caius adds.

"They might not even BE Patton's ancestors," Fuse suggests. "Not in any real way. We know the dude's got clones, right?"

"His body has broken down numerous times due to his bioprinted bloodstream," Elizabeth confirms. "He has had to resume his activities from cloned bodies repeatedly."

"So Patton himself might be a clone," Michelle concludes. "His dad might be a clone. His grandad might be a damn clone."

"Patton's father was considered eccentric," Dr. Finch states. "He was... more visible, made bizarre purchases and made himself a public spectacle. Clone degeneration can cause irrational and unpredictable behavior--the impulses of the brain simply fail to clone correctly. ...Desmond may have avoided blooding him for whatever reason, resulting in his odd outlier status. Then, of course, Patton was returned to business as usual."

"That also means," Michelle adds, "that when the Thales bought up Zone Fifty stuff after its shut down... they were basically just buyin' back their old stuff."

"Thale would have hints of what purchases would be the most useful," Elizabeth says, "due to Zone Fifty's information leaks. It also explains why the warehouse was a side project, rather than a priority: his plans began to take shape many decades ago. He knew exactly what he required, anything else to be gained from Zone Fifty's property was purely incidental. What remained in the warehouse was potentially helpful, but in no way vital."

"I do have one question," Fuse asks. He turns to Liz. "How do you not know all this? This is... kind of a huge aspect of Thale's entire life, apparently."

"Patton himself may not know," Dr. Finch speaks up. He gets a sort of... wry smile. "Imagine it--rewiring your clone's brain from the inside, preventing them from realizing that they are a clone. Leaving them the goal, the plan, the aspirations... but leaving out a few insignificant details, such as where this idea came from, or how long it's truly been in the works."

"Oversyncin' goes both ways," Michelle repeats. "If Patton knows the truth, it could slip out when he oversyncs with anybody. Unless he can control what info goes first and what goes last, he can't stop somebody like Pierce--who was well over halfway there when he got cut off--from gettin' all the crazy shit and none of Thale's love for himself."

"By selectively excising memories from their 'children,'" Elizabeth states, "without removing anything critical to keeping the scheme in motion... Thale can protect his deepest secrets from even himself."

"So that's the most important part," Caius says. "What's tha rest of it? If our ghost pal was hidin' the director's name in plain sight, what's on tha program?"

"Well, the big question right now," Fuse responds, "is where the hell is the program in the first place? It's not on our Mars computers, I'm pretty sure."

"Dr. Calloway was mostly limited to this bunker, even if he did have information on others," Dr. Finch states. "He claimed to have used redundant methods... and hid the program in a way that could not be scrubbed."

There's a slight pause... before Caius speaks up again. "Hey, y'know who else was in this bunker?"

Jury.

"...And Jury's a robot," Fuse says, throwing his hands up. "Dammit. I'll bet she has the program."

"She said she's prob'ly had her data messed with," Michelle says. "I bet Zone Fifty did exactly what Calloway said they would--they tried to wipe anything Jury had on the director and Site 1. If the ghost doctor really did hide some stuff where even Zone Fifty couldn't clean it, though..."

"Then Jury may have a very peculiar reaction to those anagrams," Dr. Finch concludes.

Comments:

Twyll 28th Apr 2018, 5:48 PM edit delete reply
Welp, time to call Jury, invite her over, and then give her some passwords.

I also wonder if this is related to the fact that the Tradesmen said she couldn't alter her own programming related to her reaction to magic *yet*... meaning, perhaps this will unlock her ability to access and modify a lot of own programming, even that not directly related to info about Thale.

Edit: Of course, we should still hide all evidence of magic before she comes over, and maybe hide mini Jane so we don't have to explain how that happened, too.
Blue_Elite 28th Apr 2018, 7:08 PM edit delete reply
"A happy accident," isn't enough of an explanation for Mini-Jane? :D

But agreed. Anything we've gotten from a Tradesmen trade (Michelle's gun) should be hidden from Jury.
chaosblitz 28th Apr 2018, 7:39 PM edit delete reply
how about we just stick it all on mars or something. I don't think Jury ever goes there, and the cultist dude would probably help hide it.
Nayru9572 28th Apr 2018, 5:51 PM edit delete reply
Ok, I propose we call Jury, but before we tell her the anagrams, warn her. We do not want to end up with her having a freakout all alone - or perhaps worse, when near other federal agents. Tell her what we found and the general gist, but do not tell her the actual anagrams or that Thale was the director of Zone 50. Warn her stuff might get weird if she hears the words, and let her decide when she wants to do this, if she wants to be alone or come here.
Twyll 28th Apr 2018, 5:56 PM edit delete reply
Yeah, we should definitely ask her to come visit the bunker and tell her the passwords in person (after warning her that we're gonna do that), just to be on the safest side.

...And make sure to clean up and hide all our ritual implements first.
Istyatur 28th Apr 2018, 6:28 PM edit delete reply
Or maybe we should use a different bunker. It would be easier, have no chance we forget something or don't hide it enough, and ensure that any freakout doesn't destroy home base.
Wote 28th Apr 2018, 6:09 PM edit delete reply
Thirding this. If she doesn't agree, that may put us in a bind for a bit, but it sounds like Calloway didn't just have the one back-up, so the worst case is that we have to dig around for another vein of information—and hopefully one that doesn't have feelings requiring consideration.
pkrankow 28th Apr 2018, 6:07 PM edit delete reply
pkrankow
Clean house. Put the ritual stuff away. Put the new dust jacket on GAC then hide the book. We need a hiding spot for MJ, probably with GAC in a different bunker.

Then call Jury. Tell her we found some serious information, and we need her in a safe, private location when she recieves it so our bunker is a good choice.

Name drop Dr Jalen Calloway if needed.

Since I doubt Jury is next door we have a couple hours. Talk with our Red about astral projection, etc. Talk with Big Red about storage spaces and portals.
Practice making a storage space, (bag o' holding or magic bra, try both. A bag is meant to be usable by others to a certain extent.)
practice moving mass through a portal.
Practice moving mass through a portal to ourself.
Practice moving mass through a portal to MJ.
Heroshima 28th Apr 2018, 6:12 PM edit delete reply
Heroshima
Also can we take moment to tell everyone how nice they look?
They look badass.
chaosblitz 28th Apr 2018, 7:42 PM edit delete reply
I know, right! I really like Jane's shirt for some reason, even if it's just a heart. All of this clothing talk really makes me want to play dress-up with mini-Jane later, when all of this is wrapped up.
Blue_Elite 28th Apr 2018, 7:46 PM edit delete reply
Except for Jane who more likely than not has a cute ass. (=^x^=)

Also we'll totally need to try another golem trade-up ritual later to see if the next Mini-Jane gets matching duds.
Then switch into each of our old outfits to make a complete set of clothes-coordinated Mini-Janes (collect them all).
Archon 28th Apr 2018, 6:26 PM edit delete reply
Mm. Is the hotel where Dr. Jalen was murdered still around? Could go look for another one of Dr. Jalens imprints there. Might learn something interesting from the experience.
Guest 28th Apr 2018, 7:27 PM edit delete reply
Agreed, but only if we can secure movement there.
pkrankow 28th Apr 2018, 7:41 PM edit delete reply
pkrankow
Might be a good idea to check it out. I am sure the information is available. It may not necessarily be close. Imprints do not seem to be related directly to place of demise.
nicolas arboleya 28th Apr 2018, 6:55 PM edit delete reply
I would still like to try externalising our red into mini Jane. It would be super cute and prolly super useful
Blue_Elite 28th Apr 2018, 7:42 PM edit delete reply
Make a book jacket for Geoangular Control. I still like, "A Boring Book Jury Never Needs to Bother Reading," very specifically so she can tell her superiors it is, "A boring book I never need to bother reading."

Then invite Jury over (agreed with others NOT to say the specific words over the phone least it causes her to have a robotic freakout).
If we've got time, we could work on Elizabeth. Judging from how getting back into our body feels, I'm guessing mental tasks would be easier than physical tasks like making bone armour would be.
pkrankow 28th Apr 2018, 8:43 PM edit delete reply
pkrankow
I may be showing my age here...

I am reminded of wrapping elementary school books in brown shopping bag paper because the books were a decade old and were expected to last another decade.
Blue_Elite 28th Apr 2018, 9:11 PM edit delete reply
Then I am too. I remember it being hard to find a colour of marker that didn't show up as just slightly darker than the paper itself to write the school subject because all the books looked the same.

Actually, that wouldn't be a bad idea for the book jacket. Make it look ratty and extremely cheap.
EDIT: No offense intended to Willard of course. ;)
DÆMONBIRDY 28th Apr 2018, 7:45 PM edit delete reply
Try to make something from the red that can"spread jane's vison"
Madd 28th Apr 2018, 8:03 PM edit delete reply
Madd
Clean up the place cover over the book.

Then invite Jury over before discussing the program and password with her.
PurpleKetchup 29th Apr 2018, 3:25 AM edit delete reply
(psst, MM - it's "vice versa")