Comic 948 - Discuss Fuse's plan

Posted on 19th Apr 2018, 2:10 PM in Shipping Off to Southden
Discuss Fuse's plan

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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 19th Apr 2018, 2:10 PM edit delete
You decide to hash out what the next step is, and go over Fuse's plan. While he talks, you blood more bandages and make sure you're stocked up on scalpels. Michelle makes sure everyone's armed and has ammunition.

"So," Fuse starts, "if we try and take back a bioprinter, the hackers will try to stop us. In this case, we want them to try and stop us... because I've rigged up a program that serves a dual purpose. It acts like it's trying to brute force into a bioprinter, when it's really a way to trace anyone that tries to intercept it. It's a baited trap, basically. So... we want to do this on a printer they might already be watching, and one we know they've definitely made harder to get into. The whole thing falls apart if we actually get the printer right off the bat, we want to make a struggle out of it so the hackers are on it longer. For this reason... I think we should hit up Cam's hospital again."

Michelle tenses up somewhat, but doesn't protest.

"The side note to this," Fuse continues, "is that I still need to actually do the tracing. I can do it from our computer, but let's be honest... it's not great. I'll be working through thirty layers of bullshit, so there shouldn't be a risk of them tracing it back to us--and that's if they notice what I'm really doing in the first place. They should be too busy fighting off the printer hack to realize there's a second layer to the setup. A better setup would help guarantee the trace, though--if we don't finish the trace before they get the printer back, we lose our shot. Just like how I'll be working through thirty layers of bullshit... they will be, too. This would be easier with a better computer. Howler's place has one, but that means physically going to Howler's place. Mac and Gesenai could get us a better rig, but that'll take time."

"So... lemme see if I got this right," Michelle says. "You'll be workin' a computer--maybe ours, maybe one from Mac, maybe one at Howler's--and doin' the trace, while pretendin' to just be hackin' the bioprinter. For the fake bioprinter hack... do we gotta be there in person?"

"It would be better," Fuse says. "It adds one more layer of bullshit. They'll be looking at the bioprinter and working around the device you bring to it, instead of trying to trace back the source of the hack. I don't want them to like... sacrifice that printer to figure out where we are. I don't want them to think it's an option. It's another reason I kind of favor the Howler's apartment plan, even if it's frankly the dumbest. IF, if they realize what's going on, IF they decide to try and trace MY trace, IF they can even manage that, and IF they manage to stumble through all my misdirection and actually pinpoint the source of the trace... they'd track me to Howler's apartment in the lower tiers, and not this bunker."

"...But then you'd be fucked," Caius comments.

"True," Fuse says. "I'd be in the lower tiers, in a place we know they're familiar with and have control of. ...But the bunker would be safe."

"Even getting into Howler's apartment in the first place is gonna be some garbage," Michelle states. "They ain't messin' around in the lower tiers. I had a straight up shoot out with the cops down there. You do this, somebody should prob'ly go with you... and that means splittin' our forces. We'd have one group with you at Howler's, and one group handlin' the bioprinter... and prob'ly dealin' with whatever monster gets dumped out once the hackers take it back."

Fuse nods. "Yeah. It sucks. The alternative is me doing the hack from here. Technically, we could do the whole damn thing from here and never get near the bioprinter, but that ups the risk of them figuring me out and finding the bunker. I'm good, but so are they--and there's more of them, and they're better equipped. We gotta weigh personal risk vs risk to our whole operation. This all hinges on them not figuring out the plan, too. If they know they're being traced, they can just... move."

"So if they catch us in the act," Dr. Finch states, "...we would need to pursue immediately, and be ready to deal with whatever defenses Thale has provided them."

"Which would suck twice as hard," Fuse replies. "If we can pull this off and get away with it, we could go after the hackers at our own pace. We wouldn't be prepping for two huge fights in a row, we'd be prepping for the hack... and then the hackers."

So, it comes down to several questions.

Will you send a team to "hack" the bioprinter in person? Doing so splits your allies up, but lessens the chance of the hackers tracing you.

Which computer will Fuse use? He can use yours, but may risk failing to find the hackers. ...Or worse, if the hackers do trace back, it could mean them finding your bunker. If Fuse uses Howler's big computer, it means sending Fuse (and possibly others) to Howler's apartment, further dividing your team and risking a different fight. If you ask Macland for a computer, you're in a much better off position from every angle... except that it could take a day or two for Macland to acquire a good, expensive computer and get it to you.

You also discuss prepping for... however many fights you might be looking at.

"Tha upgrade ritual's pretty good," Caius comments. "You could make more of them meat golems, throw 'em in tha circle and see what happens."

"If prep does take a day or so..." Michelle starts, "takin' a swing at Bunker X ain't a bad idea. One floor oughta be doable, and we could go after that tonight if we don't think we'll be hittin' the hack up right away."

"It may not be a great idea to attempt the hack tonight regardless," Dr. Finch states. "The rituals are on the rather exhausting side, yes? Caius still seems weakened from attempting astral projection..." Dr. Finch turns to you, adjusting his glasses. "And I'm not sure you or Michelle have recovered fully from dealing with the tradesmen. A lack of stamina may seem easily compensated for, but working through it--even with your abilities--isn't very healthy."

Caius shrugs. "It ain't that bad. Some caffeine, a little stretchin', I could kick some ass."

Fuse shakes his head. "I agree we shouldn't jump into this at half strength... but we also don't know when Thale's gonna pull something. Bumrushing it while half of us are worn out is dumb, but putting it off too long could be worse."


Archon 19th Apr 2018, 3:05 PM edit delete reply
For the upgrade ritual, the golems should be built with a general focus, a sense of purpose in the design.
Big bulky golems, agile, dexterous golems, just a specific idea to the lot.
Should net us a decent specialized golem out of the ritual.
Fishbulb 19th Apr 2018, 3:12 PM edit delete reply
Another potential option:

See if you can buy some computers from the Royal Flush Gang Deck and rent an apartment in Southden so you can have Fuse do the hack from there.
Leafia_Barrett 19th Apr 2018, 3:21 PM edit delete reply
Oh shit, you're totally right, we can do that!
4 & 20 19th Apr 2018, 3:48 PM edit delete reply
That would almost definitely require us gettin' more "ladybucks" first, which would take time. We aren't sending Caius into the ring exhausted so we'd either be waiting for him to recover, having someone else fight, or findin' somethin' else valuable to sell.
Twyll 19th Apr 2018, 3:57 PM edit delete reply
Now that we have papers, would we be able to exchange some of our US currency for ladybucks at a currency exchange kiosk? Maybe a slightly seedier one in a very touristy district so we know they won't check too hard?
4 & 20 19th Apr 2018, 4:47 PM edit delete reply
That'd probably work, true. I'm really startin' to like this plan.
Runnava 19th Apr 2018, 5:03 PM edit delete reply
You could get Macland to buy a computer and have it delivered to the storage unit you have the door to bunker B in, then retrieve the computer and take it over to Southden.
chaosblitz 19th Apr 2018, 8:52 PM edit delete reply
wouldn't that still take two days, though?
chaosblitz 19th Apr 2018, 8:51 PM edit delete reply
I was gonna suggest breaking into a middle tear computer store and using one of theirs but that sounds like a much better plan.
AE-86 19th Apr 2018, 3:25 PM edit delete reply
Could we trade up for a better computer and then use it on someone's router in the middle, or rich districts Thale doesn't have many people under his control there.
Ablaze 19th Apr 2018, 3:59 PM edit delete reply
I service this notion. Use the spell to upgrade to an awesome computer. Maybe make it a laptop for portability. Maybe also upgrade a wifi router. If you magic-ify it enough, perhaps you could remote hack from Mars.
Twyll 19th Apr 2018, 4:12 PM edit delete reply
I'm not sure if the Tradesmen will necessarily do a good job of giving us a computer that's compatible with what we need it to be compatible with. They might give us something *too* advanced-- imagine if the world was still working on floppies and they gave you a current-day Macbook that doesn't even have a CD drive.

I'd like to see what they trade for some of our blooded bandages, though. Maybe they could give us something stronger, some kind of futuristic super-material? We could also try trading in syringes, scalpels, anything else we use frequently. Do we have any body armor we can trade in? We should probably invest in some of that anyways.
AE-86 19th Apr 2018, 4:30 PM edit delete reply
I starting to think we won't get something futuristic because when we traded the hand guns we got a weapon from present time it was modified but still from this era.
Hambone 19th Apr 2018, 4:06 PM edit delete reply
Might wanna test the waters on seeing if Big Red can act as an AI. Would be a pretty neat thing if so.
Twyll 19th Apr 2018, 4:08 PM edit delete reply
I'm in favor of taking the extra day or two to get a better computer (and a plug that's compatible with not-UK outlets), and using the computer from somewhere in Southden. Either find an Internet cafe and pay them extra ladybucks for privacy, or see if the Deck has somewhere we can do our hacking from. (In exchange, maybe we can offer to also hack something they need hacked? So we don't have to do more cage fights in exchange :P Caius may enjoy it but we need him in top fighting form.)

Ooh, an idea-- we *do* have that ritual where the Tradesmen answer questions. We could ask them some simple "weal or woe" type questions to see which of our potential plans is most workable.
Nayru9572 19th Apr 2018, 4:15 PM edit delete reply
I definitely say we should rest and prepare first. Haste makes waste and all that.
And definitely check if there are other options for good computer. Maybe check in with the Deck as suggested above, maybe ask Lydia, Grizwald or Jury. Just checking in with Mac and Gesenai might also be good, just to make sure they don't happen to know any excellent contacts for that. And even if they don't at least we'll have a better computer for later.
pkrankow 19th Apr 2018, 4:16 PM edit delete reply
Go hack howlers and then run howlers machine from somewhere else. Somewhere else may be another apartment in the same building. Across the street would be better, but a physical wire is only so long.

Since we have some time ask Mac about a wish list machine.

Redundant transportation may be a good idea. Rent a small moving truck. Load a motorcycle. Get stuff we can afford to loose and buy the insurance on the rentals. Stuff is stuff.
Blue_Elite 19th Apr 2018, 5:32 PM edit delete reply
We could finish exploring Thale's tunnels and look for a way in/out from the middle or upper-tiers. Then just have Fuse get in and out from Howler's apartment from Thale's tunnels.

On the other hand, if we want to use Macland, that'd give us time to get shields/armour or make an upgraded armour golem (I feel like we have plenty of offense; what our group lacks is the ability to take a bullet right now). We could make a go at floor 1 of Bunker X and not have to worry about being exhausted before the assault on the bioprinter/hackers.

Also we should check the future money box. Something else I just thought of is the upgrade ritual might also work to, "downgrade," something like the future money into present-day money we can actually use. We'll want a big ol' pile of future bucks to trade all at once if it does work.
fellow 19th Apr 2018, 5:37 PM edit delete reply
Depending on how much lady money we have we could just buy a computer from southden. If we're buying computers we can also sync up fuse and finch to have two hackers on our side instead of one, we needn't bring finch to a fight anyway. We could consider syncing up Elizabeth too if she agrees to it but that might not be very good for her becoming her own person.
undeadDreamer 19th Apr 2018, 6:24 PM edit delete reply
Could we have a golem do the hack in person? Also there'd be no monsters if they just took out the bio paste before hacking the printer. We could try to find a bunch of not great computers and do the upgrade ritual on them.