Comic 963 - Treat dead tissue

Posted on 23rd Apr 2018, 10:37 PM in Chapter VII
Treat dead tissue

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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 23rd Apr 2018, 10:37 PM edit delete
Morgenstern
You send the raven that was at Rockwell Arcade to go watch the hummer.

You send one of your rats through the tunnels toward Bunker A, hoping to find a ladder out near your base. You put a blood alarm on it to tell you when it finds something.

You give a heavy dose of painkiller to Caius and Michelle... and you start looking at their wounds.

As Caius's is confined to his hand, it doesn't take that long to deal with. The sections of completely necrotic tissue aren't... that significant, in the big scheme of things, and you can salvage the rest of it. You suggest that he looks away, you temporarily suspend the nerves around his hand entirely... and you use the living tissue to force the dead tissue out.

You quietly kick the dead material over to the pile of deceased rat against the far wall, you put Caius's living meatstuff back into place, and you bandage his hand up. You start converting lipids and his tonsils into replacement hand material, you maneuver them through his body, and for the most part it's all back to normal. You... suggest that he not go crazy with this hand in the immediate future, since it's probably not going to feel great for a while.

You turn to Michelle. She gives a dry, grim sort of chuckle. "This is gonna suck, ain't it?"

You want to tell her that it won't, but it's probably going to.

A very significant amount of both her arms is completely dead. There's... not likely to be enough material to replace it outright like you did with Caius, and it takes up so much real estate that you'd be hesitant to try anyway--her arms wouldn't come out right if you tried to wing it. You tell her that you're going to remove what you have to, but her arms will likely need to be replaced.

"Robot arms," she says with a small laugh. "Got it."

You numb her arms... and level Michelle. You begin to work on pushing the dead tissue out. It takes a substantial amount of time, as you don't want to make things worse or accidentally kill additional tissue during the process.

"Brown recluses," Michelle comments idly, staring as far away from what you're doing as she can. "Brown recluse bites cause straight up necrosis almost half the time. That always scared the hell outta me. They ain't aggressive, but if you like... got one stuck in your clothes or somethin', they're liable to bite. They can cause like... gross, gangrene ulcers and stuff. Doctors can't really do nothin' about it 'cept cut that part out and replace it."

Caius shakes his head. "You're gonna make me scared o' spiders, you keep talkin' like that."

Michelle smiles. "It's weird, though, ain't it? We can print a whole damn limb, or a kidney, or a chunk o' somebody's face... but th' idea of somethin' rottin' out and gettin' cut away is still real uncomfortable. I'm still... nervous, about losin' my arms, even though I'll prob'ly have 'em back by the end o' the day."

Caius shrugs. "S'natural. Tha thought o' somethin' inside you bein' dead is weird. Tha idea o' replacin' part o' you with somethin' new is weird. Trust me, I had to replace my whole friggen body. I'm lucky I got real good at not thinkin' about stuff, 'cuz this? It ain't fun to think about. All tha talk about..."

Caius pauses. He reconsiders mentioning it, but he fights through and keeps going. "All tha talk about souls an' shit, it ain't helped. It's identity, right? That's what tha... all tha big magic guys have been sayin'. Sense o' self. And that's gotta be tied to my brain, right? An' I got tha same brain, so... I'm good. I just keep thinkin'--"

He stops, and looks at the floor.

"What happens when I take a bullet to tha head, and we gotta make me a new brain? Same body, different brain, is it still me? I'm like 99% different, everything BUT tha brain is a different Caius, is it still me? Jury ain't got a brain, does she got a soul? If she's got a soul it ain't about tha brain, which means I--"

"You're right," Michelle interjects. "You're better off not thinkin' about this stuff. You're you, that's all that matters. You're Caius. All this soul, sense o' self stuff... it's above our paygrade. We can't do nothin' about it, so why worry about it?"

Caius scratches at the back of his head. "I worry sometimes that I ain't Caius. Not... real often. Just once in a while. I'm scared tha real Caius is dead, and I'm... I dunno, livin' his life. I'm gonna steal his man like a total asshole. He died on an operatin' table, and I'm gonna live tha big life as some kinda hero when all this is over with. I don't... do much thinkin', so when I take a swing at it I ain't great at it."

"Jury's got a robot brain," Michelle says. "That's gotta count, right? She's got a machine thing she thinks with, it's gotta all be tied to that. Your brain's what makes you think you're you, I ain't sayin' the soul gets kept there 'cuz it's prob'ly more complicated than that but... yeah. You got the same brain, you're still Caius. I'm still me. S'all good."

It takes a lot to keep from doing what Dr. Finch told you not to do.

Thinking about your own brain.

You're still not... entirely sure what he was worried about, but he was very serious about it.

You distract yourself, focusing on Michelle's wounds. It takes a great deal of time, but you're eventually sure she won't die of gangrene or anything like that. You bandage up what's left--she's definitely going to need her arms replaced.

Your blood alarm goes off, as the rat you sent found a way out of the tunnels.

You and Caius help Michelle back down the ladder, and you all take off. It's a long, slow walk, and you're mostly quiet throughout it. You mentally contact the other three once they get back from Southden, and update them on the situation.

By the time you reach the end of your journey and pop out of a manhole in the city proper, the sun is starting to set. You're still a number of blocks away from Bunker A, this is just the closest exit your rat could find.

"Well, poop," Michelle sighs. "The robo-limb place'll prob'ly be closed by the time we can get there. Guess I'm settlin' for bioprinted arms after all."

You send a message to Fuse, telling him your location. You get about a block and a half before he pulls up in your car. You, Caius, and Michelle load up, and begin explaining everything that happened.

Comments:

Twyll 23rd Apr 2018, 11:26 PM edit delete reply
Let's congratulate everyone on a job well done. We did what we set out to do and it could have gone a lot worse.

I mean seriously, we dealt with being surrounded by police AND attacked by a giant, ridiculously fast robot with a bomb inside (and apparently with mad hops, too). And we did it without hurting anyone except the robot! AND we completed our objective!
GivingTree 23rd Apr 2018, 11:27 PM edit delete reply
Let Caius know that he's definitely actually Caius, you didn't feel anyone die while that operation was going on. (and even if he did, he'd want someone as cool as current-caius to carry on his legacy)
Reiko Lupus 23rd Apr 2018, 11:36 PM edit delete reply
Yeah. Even if Caius died, this Caius is worthy of carring his spirit XD.
Reiko Lupus 23rd Apr 2018, 11:34 PM edit delete reply
Michelle, your REALLY want robotic arms, right? XD.

For now, let's get new arms for Michelle, and after that eat something. This was a LONG day. After eating, we can make some deals with a devil or whatever, but everyone needs a rest and somehting to eat.
And don't forget to hug Mini-Blondie. She really saved us this time XD.
Swagner 23rd Apr 2018, 11:38 PM edit delete reply
Swagner
Let's ask Fuse if he nailed down where the hackers are, and if he thinks he was detected at all. As rough as it is, that may be a lead we have to follow up on fast, if Thale even suspects we know where they are, he's sure to move them soon.

Hey, at least we can make use of that "exceptional" finger, right?

And on a less-morbid note, we ought to put mini-blondie in a little witch outfit, since she will likely prove instrumental in any magic we do outside of the bunker henceforth. It'd be adorable.
Reiko Lupus 23rd Apr 2018, 11:45 PM edit delete reply
Yes, Mini-Blondie is now our oficial Witch XD. And as a Witch, she need a cute outfit XD.
Guost 24th Apr 2018, 12:05 AM edit delete reply
Ask Fuse about Howler. Apart from the hacking, he have any skills or abilities worth bein' concerned over?
Guost 24th Apr 2018, 12:16 AM edit delete reply
And put tha blood alarm back in the raven at the hackers' location just in case they do start movin' out.
Archon 24th Apr 2018, 12:25 AM edit delete reply
We could ask the Tradesmen about this soul business.
Related; I'm a bit concerned Caius and Michelle may have taken some damage to the soul, not just the physical necrosis.
nicolas arboleya 24th Apr 2018, 12:41 AM edit delete reply
We can bioprint fingers. So why don't we print a bunch,attach them and the use the mass to repair other areas. We are really good at making fingers
nicolas arboleya 24th Apr 2018, 1:09 AM edit delete reply
Is it possible to externalize our reds conciousness into mini us?