Comic 964 - Do some rituals

Posted on 24th Apr 2018, 3:57 PM in Shipping Off to Southden
Do some rituals

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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 24th Apr 2018, 3:57 PM edit delete
After explaining everything to everyone, the team begins to move quickly. Dr. Finch and Fuse head to Mars--they alternate between working on bioprinting arms and cooking a chicken dinner, since the Mars base has slightly better kitchen utilities than Bunker A.

"Tube cops are tough," Fuse says. "We can try to print out some arms, but they're not gonna be Michelle Quality™. Lab meat's made for something our printer's not prepared for."

"Genetically engineered individuals like Michelle are designed to be replaced, rather than repaired," Dr. Finch says with some disdain. "Even searching online, there's not much in the way of appropriate programming to feed our printer. That being said... we're determined, and we have magic at our disposal."

"Yeah," Fuse chuckles dryly. "Eat it, society."

Dr. Finch smiles. "Indeed. We'll print up the strongest arms we can manage--a multiple of them--and then hope the tradesmen can take care of the rest."

You and Caius begin setting up rituals--the trading up ritual, and the ritual for acquiring information from the tradesmen. You want to make sure that Caius and Michelle aren't being affected in imperceptible ways by the Nil casting.

You also point out to Caius that Faraday doesn't have a body, let alone a brain... but she's still Faraday. You've spoken to her, and you're quite confident she has a soul.

Caius nods. "Yeah. ...S' a good point."

As before, Dr. Finch and Fuse can't quite print up whole arms. You end up injecting the arm pieces with your blood, then melding the arms together manually--connecting veins and musculature until they look like... well, arms.

The entire process is time consuming, and you all have ample time to eat during the various steps. ...Michelle ends up needing a bit of help on that front, but you get it worked out.

You pile a bunch of beefy, bioprinted arms in the ritual circle. Michelle grins, shaking her head. "I want this to work real bad, but even I gotta say this is dumb as hell."

You know that a group of traded items will only produce one final item. The tradesmen did skirt the line a bit by giving you "one" whole roll of improved bandages, but you don't want to gamble on getting "one pair" of arms... so you split the arms up and do two castings.

Smoke takes over the first pile... and you are left with an appropriately strong looking arm. You do the second casting... and get a paired limb, correctly matched for the other side of the body.

On closer inspection, the arms are... odd. Dr. Finch in particular becomes fascinated with them very quickly.

"They're... organic, but they're not. I must admit to being quite perplexed." He points out various portions of the unattached arms. "Veins, you see... but they appear synthetic. The surface feels like flesh but denser, and with visible seams. Everything's very... uniform. Designed. The arms are made in a human likeness, but I don't... believe this genetic engineering was performed by human hands."

"So... they dangerous?," Michelle asks.

Dr. Finch shakes his head. "They should function perfectly well, from what I can gauge. I'm seeing all the major arteries and such... they should connect to your body with little difficulty. I just... the... the implications are bothering me somewhat. Despite my curiosity, I think I can live the rest of my life without witnessing an entire body engineered this way."

Caius smirks. "Lab meat... from beyond tha staaars."

Dr. Finch gives several rapid, nervous nods. "That is not far from what I'm suspecting. Extraterrestrial tube cop is not a phrase I take joy in uttering."

"But it sounds like such a good movie," Michelle adds.


pkrankow 24th Apr 2018, 4:24 PM edit delete reply
Such clowns
Yuki 24th Apr 2018, 4:26 PM edit delete reply
Beefy space arms! Awesome! I say check to make sure Michelle is cool with these appendages as is and if she gives the green light we work on making her part extraterrestrial tube cop!

I suggest the first test for her new arms to be a round of hugs!
Twyll 24th Apr 2018, 4:27 PM edit delete reply
I second all of this.
pkrankow 24th Apr 2018, 4:40 PM edit delete reply
Yes, hugs for all starting with a stack of pillows to make sure they are not several orders of magnitude stronger than her old arms. Then Caius because he is strongest. Then everybody else.

Edit find a tube of tennis balls so she can test grip.
Portal In Time 24th Apr 2018, 4:40 PM edit delete reply
Portal In Time
To potentially avoid paying for the ritual's answer for imperceptible after effects from the destruction ritual, I think we should phrase the question as "What did the destruction ritual do to Michelle and Caius".

If the answer was decay and decay alone, then we already know the answer, meaning we won't have to pay the price to know more.

Conversely, if they do ask a price for the knowledge, we should rephrase the question to "Were there any imperceptible effects of the destruction ritual on Michelle or Caius." This will grant us less knowledge than learning about EVERYTHING, because it's only asking for a fraction of the knowledge.

If it's damaged their souls, let's ask how they can be fixed.
pkrankow 24th Apr 2018, 5:48 PM edit delete reply
An alternate question is something like:

Did the ritual of destruction cause any additional lasting harm besides the decay?

Let us be honest, replacing body parts is lasting harm even if we can cure and replace.
Archon 24th Apr 2018, 4:41 PM edit delete reply
Wonder what entity was contracted for these limbs?
Some sort of "Fleshsmith", perhaps.

Might be able to learn a thing or two from them should we do business in the future.
Swagner 24th Apr 2018, 5:20 PM edit delete reply
It wouldn't hurt to ask the tradesmen about that, too.
Too Many Monkeys 24th Apr 2018, 4:58 PM edit delete reply
I'd give that movie a watch.

Help Michelle inspect the arms and, if they meet her approval, instal them and maybe test their strength, speed, dexterity, ect.
Terrabrand 25th Apr 2018, 4:44 AM edit delete reply
It sounds like a hilarious premise for a movie, really.
Golnor 24th Apr 2018, 5:02 PM edit delete reply
We should also ask how fast our blood will affect the hackers. For future reference.
lil Joshu 24th Apr 2018, 5:28 PM edit delete reply
lil Joshu

has the right to bare arms.
Blue_Elite 24th Apr 2018, 5:47 PM edit delete reply
Bear arms too. If these break and we go the robot route, we should see about claw options.
pkrankow 24th Apr 2018, 5:50 PM edit delete reply
Pack a bag of apples when we go into the ritual circle.
Blue_Elite 24th Apr 2018, 6:00 PM edit delete reply
As long as we're doing the information ritual, we should ask how much we can let Jury know about magic.
Obviously telling her we have Geoangular Control is bad, but is it okay to let her know we know about ritual magic (we can say we picked it up from Thale or that it's best she doesn't know per her own instructions)? Can we ever take her with us to Bunker X or is it best she never finds out about it (or if she already knows, best she never finds out WE found out about it)?
It's kinda important in case she ever actually joins our group at the bunker.

On that note, we should probably make a book cover for Geoangular Control with a silly name like, "Boring Book Jury Should Never Bother Reading," just so she can't accidentally happen upon us reading it and undeniably know what it is.

EDIT: Also, we should try and keep it short and sweet. We still need to make more bone armour for tomorrow. Michelle needs an entirely new set and I don't think we can fix Caius's armour; we either have to ritual up the scraps and hope we get a repaired set or make another one (we can collect scraps as the armor breaks to try and ritual up some super-bone armour at some point; or given the Tradesmen's sense of humor, an exoskeleton).
pkrankow 24th Apr 2018, 6:15 PM edit delete reply
Other possible nonsuspicious titles
Tax rules 2110
Moby Dick
The ultimate Hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy
Have Spacesuit will travel
Three men in a boat

Or some other hardbound reading that likely came with a dust jacket.

boring book Jury should never bother reading
Has a certain value in the title... even if it is a two edged sword that may increase her curiosity.
Twyll 24th Apr 2018, 6:24 PM edit delete reply
"50 Shades of Red"
chaosblitz 24th Apr 2018, 6:45 PM edit delete reply
GivingTree 24th Apr 2018, 6:07 PM edit delete reply
Ask for a piggyback. Y'know, to test out the new arms.
Mochi 24th Apr 2018, 6:15 PM edit delete reply
we need to check on cam, and let jury know we're (mostly) fine.
psychoshen 24th Apr 2018, 6:17 PM edit delete reply
Hug mini-Jane for saving our butts.
pkrankow 24th Apr 2018, 6:20 PM edit delete reply
Yes MJ needs hugs, and then needs to give hugs.
Reiko Lupus 24th Apr 2018, 6:24 PM edit delete reply
Yep, that would be an interesting movie XD.

For now:
-Let's replace the arms of Michelle. (If she wants them XD)
-Put the remaining parts of the Broken armors in the Trade Ritual. I want to see what we get XD.

Questions for the Tradesmen:
-What is in the First Challenge of the Bunker X?
-Is there Damage in the Souls of Michelle and Caius because of the Ritual with Nil?
-Nil infected Caius and/or Michelle with something?
-What would we get if we put all the abandoned cars in that cute ghost town in a Trade Ritual? (I don't think he is going to put a Price too high if we ask him about this type of things XD)
-How Thale was able to make that arm grow from aparently nothing?
pkrankow 24th Apr 2018, 7:55 PM edit delete reply
The obvious answer is he can portal stuff. We can do that too, but we have limited control over the rate and volume of our ability.

We need to practice with MJ and make portaks between, and slow flowing, and adding or removing mass and more.

A large water resistant volume like a stock tub or three might be in order while we practice.
Reiko Lupus 24th Apr 2018, 8:00 PM edit delete reply
Maybe, but... If there is something else we still don't know?
If it is what we think it is, then the answer is that we already know. But, this guy has been playing with this power for a MUCH longer time than us. If he is doing something we still don't understand well or don't even know, then the answer can be interesting XD.
pkrankow 24th Apr 2018, 8:28 PM edit delete reply
Fair enough.