26th Dec 2021, 11:18 PM

Discuss the merits of Plans B through C

Discuss the merits of Plans B through C
"If we take out some of the more well-to-do parts o' town," Marlow suggests, "their complaints'll be saw to first. If we pick 'em as far from the police station as we can, that'll buy us even more time--leaving us less likely to get caught. The more we can shut down at once the better--get the repair guys really scramblin', get 'em real far from the cops and then shut the station down."

...Hmm. "So the safest way to do the power knock-out thing would involve splitting us up as much as possible." Not a... huge fan of that, in particular. "Wouldn't a power outage involve other risks? If we knock out power to somebody that needs--I don't know, maybe medical equipment..."

"Nah," Kate replies, "nothing around the police station like that--it's all empty houses, parking lots... some lingering mom-and-pop shops. If we hit it at night, it should be no big."

"Plan C, though..." Marlow pauses, thinking it over. "The most secure method for us would shut down at least a neighborhood or two. ...But then again, we'd be hitting the wealthiest neighborhoods we can--those folks are in a pretty good spot to handle it if somethin' does go wrong. Half of 'em prob'ly have backup generators."

...Speaking of. "The police station has to have a backup generator, too--right?"

"We could disable it ahead of time," Kate suggests.

"Too risky," Marlow replies. "And I wouldn't worry about it anyhow--those backup generators are good for things like heating and lighting, sure, but I doubt it'll be wired up to all those electronic locks, or that expensive surveillance system. ...And that's if anyone's even taking care of the damn thing. Worst case scenario, if the backup power isn't sittin' on E, if it can HANDLE all that big budget equipment, and it's all hooked up correctly... well, Plans B and C would fail, but we wouldn't be any more likely to get caught. You just wouldn't get the time with Franklin unsupervised--the rest of us wouldn't notice a difference. In other words: it'll fail, but it won't blow up in our faces or anything."

"It'll still look like a coincidence caused by the weather," you mutter. "Yeah. I just..." Hmmmnnghhh "I don't know. It feels like a trap."

"How?," Kate asks. "There's no way they know how bad we just wanna talk to Franklin, and there's no way they know we're gonna cut power to a whole zone or whatever just to do it. And there's NOOO way they know we're gonna use the shit blowing in tonight as a cover. Unless the cops can control the weather this can't be a setup."

"I'm with Kate on this one," Marlow states. "We all wear masks and gloves, go over everybody's roles and get the timing down beforehand... oughta be a clean job all around. Heck, even if one of us does get busted finaglin' with the power--they'll have nothing tying you to us. YOU'll have been at the police station the whole time... and sure, we know each other, but it's a small town. Everybody knows everybody, and I've got plenty o' reasons to be doing this all on my own. Depending on how the weather goes... I think we could swing this tomorrow night, maybe even tonight."

"It's not me I'm worried about," you reply. "They've already tried setting Kate up--with the concert AND the fire at the grocery store. MondolGroup AND the police would both love to catch her pulling some shit."

Kate shrugs. "Comes with the territory? We're already risking death with this dream shit, and for all we know it might be illegal, too. Like... secret illegal."

Marlow nods. "As in, black ops federal program illegal. Off-shore, off-book military prison illegal. If we're not the first to be touching this magic business, then something had to have happened to keep everybody before us silenced. The town's already had one case of men in black suits showing up--you're poking at some pretty mean bears just by livin' in that house."

Kate adds, "And Plan C would get us like... what? Criminal mischief? Oh nooo a misdemeanor"

Marlow's face tightens, just a little. "Well... maybe a couple counts of interfering with an investigation, but it'd be a hard case to make."

"To be fair," you begin, "what they're holding Franklin on is a misdemeanor, too. If they find an excuse to just lock us up, laws be damned, they're going to take it."

"Exactly," Kate says. "So fuck 'em. If they're gonna drum up some bullshit excuse to put me away regardless, I might as well make it a real crime."


You take a breath.

Think about it for a second.

"What if we just paid the bail...? I don't have $500, but if we asked around and pooled our resources--"

"Hard pass," Kate says.

Marlow, too, shakes his head. "The last thing I wanna do is hand money to the corrupt police force that's holding my friend hostage. That's the real scheme they've set us up for."

Next suggestion, then. "What if we contacted a different police department? Like, somebody from the private sector? They'd know how to approach a situation like this, right...?"

Kate shakes her head. "Most of the private cops were ran outta town by these shitlords... and that was before Mondol's OWN cops hit the scene. Competition couldn't be deader if they shot it."

"Technically," Marlow adds, "our municipal police are a private organization, too--they're just under a contract managed by the city."

"Wait," Kate chuckles, "how the hell does that work, anyway? Like, if the mayor decided somebody else was going to be the REAL police now, would the old police have to disband? Would the new police just be like... The Police II?"

"The old cops'd still exist as their own operation," Marlow replies. "They'd have to change the logo on the cars, though--callin' yourself THE Ninelives city police, or the municipal police department, or anything of the sort... well, the right to do that comes with the contract."


Last idea. "What if we contacted Dr. Finch?"

Marlow and Kate both slowly turn to focus on you.

You shrug. "He fights political corruption. He ALSO deals with a lot of weird pseudoscience and theoretical physics and shit. He ALSO ALSO has a shiiit ton of pull, and resources, and experience way above our paygrade. He could take an interest in our whole situation, and I mean all of it, and he could solve half our problems in like five minutes."

Marlow, after giving it some thought, is the first to respond. "S'not a bad idea," he says with a short nod. "Between the house and what Franklin's going through, it really does sound like his bag."

"How the hell would we get a hold of him, though?," Kate asks. "Isn't he like a... fuckin'... senator or something...?"

There's a moment of silence before you and Kate both grab your phones. You're quick with an internet search, but Kate's device is just that much faster than yours.

"13th Representative of Machigun."

"Lower chambers, then," Marlow mutters. "Not quite as hard to reach as a senator, but..."

"Huh," you remark, finally catching up to Kate and finding some articles on Leopold Finch. Apparently, he wasn't much of a politician prior to this--he did some protests and other general activism when he was young, helped campaign for a few people... but left college with a medical degree in pursuit of what was definitely not a career in politics. His history's notably un-notable from that point--he did normal doctor stuff (and had a wife at some point?) until about three years ago, when he began raising absolute hell in Motor City, Machigun.

"...Hey, Marlow," you proceed to ask: "The Thale Incident--where did all that stuff take place at?"

"Motor City," he replies. "Like all tiered cities, I've never heard a good thing about it. Why?"

"Just... putting some things together."

If you recall correctly, Motor City is where Fuse Hendricks is from, too.


Statistically speaking, these days most people in the States ARE living in one of the handfuls of tiered cities so you probably shouldn't find it that weird. YOU'RE actually weird for living in a small, single-level town--but the mountains keep a lot of Misuschaqua elevated above the worst of the pollution, and protected from the largest of the mutated wildlife (and also the roving bands of bloodthirsty raiders) so, whatever. The idea of trying to drive in one of those tiered cities terrifies you and you don't even drive.

Motor City.

Not mentioned online is the part where Dr. Finch was dragged into the survival video situation--every website you can find makes it sound like he just SUDDENLY met his current husband and SPONTANEOUSLY decided to fight for massive change in the political arena.

...At which point Dr. Finch proceeded to piss off so many conservatives that you know his name, despite the fact that he hasn't been at it very long and only represents one (1) district in one (1) state (and it's not even the state you live in). You're... kind of curious how he even got into the position, seeing as it is an elected position and campaigning for ANY office is like... it's a money fight. It's just two parties throwing money at each other. Almost literally, sometimes. The internet says it was a grass roots endeavor and, yeah--no shit? Grass roots endeavors rarely even win small elections, but maybe he had a lot of that sweet, sweet doctor income saved up.

"There's a number to contact him," Kate says, suddenly looking up from her phone. "But like... it's a number to contact the representative on a government website, not the dude's personal hotline."

Marlow nods, scratching the back of his head. "So we'd get some tax-funded intern or a... a secretary--who'll think we're out of our gourds if we start in about phantons, dream monsters and this one guy's breaking-and-entering charges."

"In a totally different state," Kate adds.

"Right," Marlow agrees. "And that's if it's not just an automated line. If you've got reason to believe the end is coming, push 3 now..."

"We don't have a better plan than Plan C," Kate finally concludes.

"That doesn't mean a better plan isn't possible," you point out. "We haven't even consulted Cici yet--we need to ask around, do more research--"

"The longer we wait," Marlow says, "the more we risk findin' out what the cops' end game is the hard way. They can't keep Franklin in there forever--so why are they still holding him?"

"And, y'know--" Kate sort of generally gestures "everything else, that whole end of the world countdown thing--"

"It just feels like we're putting a lot on the line for one conversation."

Kate shrugs harder. "We've been putting it on the line for less. We knew somebody straight up exploded in that house waaay before we knew there was an apocalypse involved."

You shake your head. "If you die in the dream, though, you just wake up--if something happens to you HERE it's PERMANENT--"

"First off," Kate declares, "you just wake up? Fuck you, I had nightmares last night. The regular kind, during the couple hours I could sleep. We don't know what this shit is doing to us, and it doesn't matter because SECONDLY: you're not responsible for me. If I get arrested, that's on me. If I get blown up or traumatized or fucking whatever, that's on me, too. You don't have a gun to my head, Plaire--you're not MAKING me do this, I'm telling you it's the best shot we have. You said you wanted answers TODAY--if we get ice there's a chance we could have that shit tonight--"

"I don't want to help you go to jail or die for helping ME! I'm doing everything I can to minimize the damage, if I had known sleeping in the house without me was going to put you through that shit I would have said no--"

"And I'd have fuckin' done it anyway!," Kate counters. "Two, maybe MORE people are trapped in the alcazar. Somebody covered up a human explosion! A librarian may have got straight up unpersoned, a homeless guy's being held by the cops under THE most bullshit circumstances and my friend's house is turning into a god damn nightmare creature that hides rooms and shit! I'm not scared of the fucking popo and YOU shouldn't be scared FOR me!" She takes a second to breathe. "I'll be back... I need a fucking smoke."

You watch, silently, as Kate turns and heads for the door. She doesn't reach for the cigarettes first, though--as she's making her way outside, the first thing you see her digging out of her jacket pocket is her bottle of Brainsate.

"You okay?," Marlow asks quietly.

"Yeah," you reply, just as quietly.

You can't even say she's wrong without admitting that you are, too--you're using the same argument the mayor used against you. 'I will not take responsibility for more bodies and I will not help you dig deeper.' It just feels like everything is escalating far, far too quickly. Ah, you've been here a whole week--that means it's time to start burning down the government

"Look," Marlow begins, "if you're not comfortable with the power plan, I'm not--"

"I don't know if the plan is the problem," you interject. "I don't know if the plan is the problem and I SHOULD, and I think THAT'S a pretty big fucking problem in and of itself. Am I being cautious or am I afraid? Am I really concerned for you guys, or am I concerned I can't handle the guilt going forward if shit goes south? I don't know and I'm the person who needs to know and make a decision and I am HUMAN GARBAGE. I'm not cut out for this being in charge leadership shit, I'm the opposite of cut out for it. I can't handle ONE fucking disagreement without somebody or everybody screaming at each other."

"You're doin' alright," Marlow replies--then adds, with a faint smile, "I don't think the greatest strategic minds of our era could ever hope to peacefully wrangle a Halford, so all things considered... I'd say you're doin' just fine. Don't be so hard on yourself--it's a tough situation."

You heave a deep sigh.

You should probably try Captemon tonight, if a blizzard doesn't roll in and drag everything straight to Hell.

Average Rating: 5 (2 votes)
Load my Place Save my Place

Will Schrag | Snervalton | Skullrama | John Wood | Tom Axon | David J Wu | Sekwel | Mochi | Wisp Pandemonium | arbit | Travis Whittaker | Avasraali | Nicolas Arboleya | Trent Brossman | Clotty Cola | TacticOwl | SomeRando

27th Dec 2021, 12:40 AM
We have a name for the city, so that's cool.
Backup moral compass is our middle name.

Y'all got any Captemon merch?
27th Dec 2021, 12:42 AM
27th Dec 2021, 12:43 AM
27th Dec 2021, 12:50 AM
Portal In Time
27th Dec 2021, 12:50 PM
27th Dec 2021, 1:02 PM
27th Dec 2021, 2:43 PM
Ka~a me hi,
Ka~a me hoo,
Ka~a me haaa
Ka me ha me ha!

Hello, Vagete, It's me, Kakroot
And I made a blast that mades from how I feel
Hello, Hello, It's me, Picallo...
I will piant, the walls with blood, with your name on every wall...

Ka~a me hi,
Ka~a me hoo,
Ka~a me haaa
Ka me ha me ha!
27th Dec 2021, 7:33 PM
Portal In Time
(The context was left on Discord but just picture us doing this)
28th Dec 2021, 5:26 PM
That's... a lot of context to leave behind. Thanks for the pic.
28th Dec 2021, 8:13 PM
Kamehamehug was the general idea
31st Dec 2021, 1:12 AM
Well that's what you get when you leave the punchline up to my silly butt. xD
28th Dec 2021, 9:32 PM
31st Dec 2021, 1:13 AM
Also I love this song reference. I have fond memories of an artist doing Resident Evil parodies using that song on youtube and I wish I remembered where those were now ;n;
27th Dec 2021, 12:42 AM
Give this a +1 to sending Plaire hug energy. We know this is stressful, we've been in situations like this in the last comic, and let's just... I dunno. Tell her that it all worked out great in The End anyways, even when we got things wrong! The world may be dark, but Plaire Stevens, you can do something, and it'll be fine.
27th Dec 2021, 4:50 AM
+1 to positive and supportive vibes.
27th Dec 2021, 7:39 AM
+1 to positive vibes. Kate needs some too. Positive vibes all around!
27th Dec 2021, 1:02 PM
Huuuug energyyyyyy~ <3
27th Dec 2021, 4:59 PM
Gutz Grilla
Best thing I can do, yeah, plus one! You can do this, Plaire!
27th Dec 2021, 9:40 PM
+1 positive calming vibes to Plaire
You just do the best you can with what you've got, and when you think about it, you've got more than you think!
We can do this, if it's what needs doing
27th Dec 2021, 12:44 AM
Plan C good
We should do it
Gotta start kicking ass outside of the dream dungeon eventually anyways, might as well now, even if its a trap
We've got things planned out decently enough and we've gotta make a move eventually
Everything is gonna be a trap in some way, we just have to know that and be prepared for what that means
We can still get somethin out of it

Also, brainhugs for Plaire

Apologizing to Kate prolly couldn't hurt
27th Dec 2021, 12:45 AM
Indeed. I +1 all of this, let us play Captemon, do Plan C, and even if there's traps, we're still going to get out fine.

Brainhugs, naturally.
27th Dec 2021, 12:55 AM
+1 to apology, +1 to giving Plaire hope.
27th Dec 2021, 1:05 AM
+1 to plan C.
27th Dec 2021, 1:03 PM
Crush your enemy, even if its a trap
Go big or go home.
27th Dec 2021, 8:28 PM
+1 To all'a this
27th Dec 2021, 12:49 AM
I think we should do plan C, all in all if we take the precautions, it'll be alright.

27th Dec 2021, 1:57 AM

He's good people, just tell whoever answers the call for him, "A part of Mine is here" If they write it, make sure they capitalize the "M".

Sure, it may be cryptic to you and whatever intern answers the phone, but if the Finch we knew is still the same Finch, it will instantly become a top priority for him.
27th Dec 2021, 2:41 AM
Portal In Time
+1! This is the best way to get him to pay attention IF we're contacting him! Also, I know it's slower than a phone call, but I also think the best way to contact him about more sensitive topics at first is through mail, then jot down our email address for him to respond.

Maybe we could host a private email server he can contact? That way Big Government can't flip their shit if we say the word Xanthouse - Same goes for him, too. There's no way there's not a filter put on what he sends out.
27th Dec 2021, 7:43 AM
There might be some value in sending a note. Email or snail mail it will still go through other hands to get to his eyes. Email is faster and more likely for a non-threatening note to be seen.
27th Dec 2021, 10:39 AM
I had a flash of inspiration since it is just after Christmas here. Send a greeting card with a short message and return email. It is more likely to land on Dr Finch's desk. This is backup to sending an email as snail mail takes 3 to 5 days to get anywhere.
27th Dec 2021, 2:56 PM
If you say it aloud (which presumably you would) it's two syllables, Mi-ne, it's the name of the last Choir host

(Idk if these get transferred as audio or text or just Ideas but on our side it's just text So)
27th Dec 2021, 7:21 AM
+1 to all of the suggestions here, pretty much
27th Dec 2021, 8:14 AM
+1 for the note to Finch
27th Dec 2021, 1:03 PM
Yeeeeeeeeeeeeee, we're the OG Hugmonster Goddess Crew <3
27th Dec 2021, 4:43 PM
+1, and the greeting card is a pretty good idea actually.
27th Dec 2021, 7:39 PM
Portal In Time
Seconded, I revoke my regular mail thing and say go for the Greeting Card deal! Maybe we could say we're a friend of Ms. Ametsuchi or something. Get a big ol' name drop in there to catch his attention.
27th Dec 2021, 8:28 PM
+1 message the Finch, telling him we know Mine should help~
27th Dec 2021, 8:49 PM
-1 to pestering Finch.

First and foremost, it's out of character for Player. This person has no connection with her, or with Ninelives. He's made public talks that Darkness A Marionette (and maybe Haunt Butterfly) found worth watching, on topics apparently relevant to saving the world. That's her in-character justification. Which is something–but not very much, for someone who is introverted to the point of borderline neurosis.

Second, it seems to me like these calls are primarily demands for free resources. Like Finch has got a slush fund of time, money, and knowledge to just throw at anybody who can get his attention. But he is a global scientific authority on Human Survival Instinct. The Thale Incident and Player's Incident are not likely the only global threats, and he is probably a lightning rod for them (if it's really bad, pressing 3 might actually happen), and for a number of false alarms from the well-meaning and from the malicious alike. If he has the resources, he's probably looking into as many as he can, and helping with those incidents that he's found are legit. That means, I wouldn't be surprised if he's involved in efforts to save the world on a couple different fronts at any given moment (as well as investigating another half-dozen alleged threats), and it's not like he can drop those to once again devote his undivided allegiance to the Herald of His Choir.

Finally, our good author has stated that he wanted this comic to be very different from his previous comic. Insofar as these calls are motivated by nostalgia, and the urge to revive BiM and its party (and with that, its mood and dynamics), I really think that's flat-out disrespectful.

And, quite apart from my main points (above), something I just find strange is the suggestion to name-drop Mine, or use another shibboleth, to slip past his secretary's presumed weirdness censor. But if he hires a secretary and authorizes her to throw out everything "too weird," then he sucks nowadays, and we should forget about him; better to just let him play "Respectable Politician Who's Not At All Weird" than to trick him into granting attention to us weirdos. And if the secretary is provided by The States, but he doesn't get to give her instruction on what to keep and what to toss, then he's letting The States censor what he receives from the public (including people that he's literally supposed to be representing), and he should resign. And maybe burn the entire Capitol; it's too far gone.

Admittedly, it's Kate and Marlow saying there might be a weirdness censor around him, and they don't know him. But again, if it's there, he either authorizes it or fails to prevent it. In-character, and out-of-character, it's time to move on.
27th Dec 2021, 9:53 PM
I'm not going to plus or minus one the idea of contacting Dr. Finch, but I do want to say that it's unlikely that the author is going to allow this to influence very much. Plaire has been given a limited amount of resources and knowledge for a reason, the challenges in this story were designed with her in mind. Personally, I would be very disappointed if a much more powerful character from another story just swooped in and solved all of Plaire's problems, that would seriously deflate all the tension and take away the challenge of tackling things ourselves. By all means ask for help but it would be entirely logical and appropriate for the author to just say "sorry, he's busy" or "the message didn't get through".
27th Dec 2021, 11:34 PM
I also seriously doubt Finch will actually come in as an active party. That said, I'm still for contacting him for information and lore. Like the Human Survival Instinct thing, how phantons work, and how that would create hostile memes and what not. There's literally no better source of answers, it's not like we'll find any textbook or anything on the stuff we're dealing with.

So from a technical standpoint it'd just be an avenue for Morgenstern to give us clear bits of information that none of the other characters available can actually provide, should he wish to.
3rd Jan 2022, 4:24 PM
Gingerbread Conductor
+1 to the -1 making a -2 because math can be weird. If this strip does the cross-over thing, have it be explicit before trying to leak between one thing and another.

Also, really cool detail BJBlack. I had not caught the Plaire == Player wordplay before. Thanks.
28th Dec 2021, 9:11 PM
I'm not going to vote on this, but if we decide to contact Finch, I've put a lot of thought into how we can do it without getting noticed by anyone we don't want.

Good things to mention:
a. Hello
b. 1 Corinthians 15:51
c. Willard is not a heretic
d. Her words were soft and pink
e. Three, eight, undefined, twelve.
f. Neeeeerd
g. The fattest pigeon, Caesar.
h. T.H.
i. Lumpy
j. That we felt like we should message him, and tell him this sentence.
k. If we were a cartoon character that had run off a cliff, right now we would fly.
l. Fluffy goat bees
m. Syntax hard. No laugh.

Things we shouldn't mention:
The Ghost Girls
29th Dec 2021, 9:48 AM
I am going to HARD no #a. do we really want to be associated with the hell parrot right off the bat? A lot of these are going to be hard to indicate as anything significant either, like TH. My thought is that the best we can do is ask how obscure characters are doing, like you said Willis and Lumpy. I agree mentioning the library wouldn't be the best idea, but why not the ghost girls?
One final thought: since it's somewhat hard to convey prescise information to Plaire, maybe she can try auto-writing, just writing down random words without paying attention. It's a psychological technique mostly, but may get our message through more clearly.
31st Dec 2021, 1:14 AM
I like this. We should just send that post, verbatim, hehe. :3
27th Dec 2021, 1:08 AM
If we're going to go to the Old Library soon then we should call Bebe now and set a definite time for her to escort us there.
27th Dec 2021, 1:36 AM
If Plaire ever needs any of those details hard enough to justify the risk of falling In Between again, we know how to do that.

I'm with Plan C. We need to start making moves or they're going to make moves for us, and I'd bet inaction would feel a lot worse than the plan going poorly.

In my experience, you'd know if you were just protecting your ass emotionally. Plus, how you're feeling can be a bit of column A and a bit of column B.

If we need to relay a message to Finch, just concoct a fake story about some past medical results and use the phrase "The Blood," a lot. .... might need to wait for the dream to transmit that?
27th Dec 2021, 1:46 AM
I think the quick, easy answer is going to come with consequences. Finch getting involved, even secretly, might cause some blowback. Plaire's situation is precarious enough. I'm not saying "let's never do it," just make sure we're ready for it.
27th Dec 2021, 1:48 AM
Wait, Captemon? As in... capture monsters and make them fight for us?

What would even capturing your own personal demons and making them fight for you equate to in your psyche...

... wait, no, nevermind, I know what that is. It's basically pulling a batman. "I'm terrified of Bats so... I'm going embrace them and use them to cause fear to others...."

Oh dear gosh, Plaire's going to be become Batman! O_O

Well, at least well in her dream world... that said, make it stick. Bring along extra DNR tape, and attach some to each captured inner demons. Because part of this is literally her psyche, and if we can just defeat and repurpose inner demons into inner strength... daaaaaammmmmm Plaire is going to level fast.
27th Dec 2021, 2:51 AM
Maybe it'll allow her to capture and control some of those ants if that's the case? I was originally thinking it'd give her some "capteballs" with monsters already inside though, like pokemon starters.
27th Dec 2021, 1:04 PM
Make sure to go with the Fire type! }:3
27th Dec 2021, 4:44 PM
Except here, every 'mon is a ghost type :p
27th Dec 2021, 4:47 PM
I'd never thought of those possibilities. I always figured Captemon would have Accomplice-related benefits.

You get to unsummon an Accomplice to summon up another (available) one, and/or replace a fallen Accomplice with another.

Your ideas are pretty cool, too.
28th Dec 2021, 5:30 PM
I'm fully expecting a SMT Nocturne kind of deal, down to stupid Right To Knows jamming themselves in our roster without Plaire's consent.
31st Dec 2021, 1:15 AM
GDI Jack Frost I don't care that you found me a buddy-bud I don't need a 47th one of you D:<
27th Dec 2021, 2:46 AM
It might be good to ask Bebe and Cici for help? At the sleepover they seemed to know how the cops think pretty well- They were very effective in convincing them you weren't worth the trouble of investigating. Maybe there's an easier way than causing several power outages?

Otherwise, I vote plan C. Maybe do some research into where would be best to hit if Marlow doesn't already know.
27th Dec 2021, 3:08 AM
The Beardman
Wait, how do we know about Fuse? Just news reports from the Thale Incident?

Also - Mine and pals are from Detroit, update your mental models of their accents accordingly

+1 apologize to Kate, +1 Captemon, +1 hugs to Plaire

Torn on both which plan, and Finch. Could there be weird choir-focused interactions? Is reaching out to BiM crew crossing the streams somehow?
27th Dec 2021, 7:49 AM
Reaching out is OK, but might not provide the resources we are really looking for. This is a different thing. We may be calling the cavalry, or the chow wagon, or increasing the difficulty from "normal" to "hard", or a sisyphean boulder. I expect results to be between non-existent, benign, and only somewhat helpful.
27th Dec 2021, 12:53 PM
Gutz Grilla
Please go see page 77, Fuse is first mentioned there.

Personally, I'd say contacting the Blood crew now would be like crossing the streams, yes. Though it is good to know we have at least a means of contacting Dr. Finch, even if not directly, so we keep that in mind.
27th Dec 2021, 4:02 AM
if we do wanna push the contact Finch plan, we can go roundabout by contacting InfoHazard, specifically Lydia, who can then contact Griz, who can then probably safely contact Fuse or Finch. InfoHazard probably has a better chance of getting through. Especially if we prioritize phone numbers, or notDiscords

Talk to Kate outside, apologize, then clear up that she should have her own agency, that's her prerogative, but it's less that you'd feel responsible if something were to happen to her, and more just that you don't want stuff to happen to her in general because you care and shit,
27th Dec 2021, 7:53 AM
Ask Marlow. Be specific.

This might be more immediately helpful than Dr. Finch. A representative cannot clear several days on a weird whim, but a quasi news organization lives for it.
27th Dec 2021, 1:08 PM
27th Dec 2021, 11:35 PM
This, this is an idea. If we contact Finch better to go through InfoHazard than government.
28th Dec 2021, 5:06 PM
All good ideas, +1
29th Dec 2021, 5:03 PM
+1, I like the idea of going through InfoHazard. Feels more right.
27th Dec 2021, 11:21 AM
the iceman cometh . . .in fuckin' july
28th Dec 2021, 5:31 PM
Climate change's a bitch, I guess.
31st Dec 2021, 6:12 PM
I mean... We've heard a lot about pollution, and bloodthirsty raiders, and tiered cities that are really just Detroit. Are you surprised that it's icy in July?
31st Dec 2021, 6:43 PM
Wait, is there a place in the story where it actually says that it's July?
27th Dec 2021, 12:56 PM
+1 to apologizing to Kate. Whether we go through with Plan C or not, it’s important that everything is all patched up before you do anything.

What might help is some context. It seems from this page and last page that Plaire is getting severe anxiety from the fact that Plans B and C are crimes at all. Given her religious background, it makes sense that breaking rules (especially major ones like laws) is hard for her to do, especially since she’s never done jail time like Kate and Marlow have. This is only adding on to her worry for Kate specifically would get caught and thrown in jail as a result of this plan.

And from this page and page 194, it’s pretty clear that Plaire is severely underestimating how traumatic it already is in the Alacazar for everyone else in the group. It’s been noted that the Alacazar shifts like a dream for the accomplices, while being relatively stable for Plaire, so perhaps that has something to do with it. Perhaps it’s because the therapy of Plaire fighting her own personal demons doesn’t apply to the accomplices, who are just fighting giant meat ants and whatnot. Perhaps it’s even because Plaire has a history of playing games, and the Alacazar is more like a VR game to her then the terrifying reality it is for the others.

Even if all of the above isn’t the case, it seems like there are major disconnects in perception between Plaire and Kate. After apologizing to Kate, talking to her about them and *both* of your worries will go a long way towards patching things up. It might be worth talking about with the others as well later on, but in all cases remember that all of the accomplices have already agreed to go through this. It won’t be productive to try and talk them out of it, even if the reality of what they see is so much scarier then what Plaire thinks it is. Let them make their choice to help a friend, and proceed from there on how we can help them help us.
27th Dec 2021, 2:34 PM
How much of Plaire knowing about Dr. Finch is because *we* happen to know about him? What if there's other people doing similar things closer to home? Finch's people could probably put us into contact with other like-minded people more easily than come out here himself.
31st Dec 2021, 6:13 PM
Very little of it, I think. It's been mentioned on Page 77 and elsewhere that Dr. Finch is a big politician now, and at least somewhat noteworthy for Human Survival Instinct.
27th Dec 2021, 3:19 PM
While I agree that Plaire and Kate should make amends, I also think we're missing an important detail.

I really didn't want to mention this until someone on their (the comics) side said something first. If both Finch is our Finch and we are in fact the same choir that helped Mine, then we have an ability that makes phone calls and mail/email a mute point. We can jump to whomever is important at the moment, even if that individual soul is only important for a second or two. With this detail available to us, we can play the messenger and let Finch know we need his aid once more. Shouldn't take us more than an hour his time to come up with something that gets across to him... assuming we really can connect.
27th Dec 2021, 4:49 PM
I'm not sure that is possible. We switched focus a couple times in BiM, sure, but only between people who were all part of The Blood, and under extenuating circumstances. Importance is massively relative, and if it were the main factor somehow we would likely have just been following Thale for the entire first few chapters. That would be great if it worked, but I'm afraid the mechanics just aren't made like that.
29th Dec 2021, 4:58 PM
We also caught the rare link to enemy forces, if only for a few relative seconds, enough to let us know - well, something... never enough though.

I thought to suggest it as an ability because we are an acknowledged character (all of us are the one) in this story, meaning we might be capable of independent action from our protagonist. Not something we could do back with Mine, and no way to know for sure without trying. Besides, we might be 'leveling up' this time 'round, same way Plaires allies are. These differences are the reason I thought it was a worthwhile suggestion.

End all: we don't actually know what our limits are, and the only test we've actually done was generating direct help of some random kind within the Xanthos.
Not saying I'm right, just explaining my logic. Feel free to poke holes.
29th Dec 2021, 6:30 PM
Oh, I see what you're talking about more now. Yeah, by leveraging our powers as the/a Choir may actually get us some results IMO. There's still a hood chance of failure, for plot development reasons if nothing else, but yeah that's more worth a shot sometime. If we end up trying we should do it sometime when Plaire is well rested, the effects weren't great when she tried to get more on the Squatch fur, or when we tried to give her I think a minigun? But yes, more testing.
27th Dec 2021, 4:38 PM
It may help you to reframe "leadership" in your head. It doesn't need to be, "control your followers," and it shouldn't be, unless your followers need control to get things done.

Actually, followers like that—which need micromanagement because they won't take any initiative—are pretty low-quality followers. Like Zerglings, they can reliably get results, but they're going to be in the wrong place, doing the wrong thing, unless you make sure otherwise.

You've got a long list of problems, but the fact that, "My friends constantly need my personal guidance and attention to get anything done," is NOT on your list of problems is something to be grateful for. But that also means you'll see disagreements, and that you shouldn't take that to mean you're some kind of failure as The Leader.

So, please Accept that you don't (and possibly can't) control everyone's actions. As a corollary, Accept that you don't bear responsibility for all of it, either. That means Kate's right when she says you aren't responsible for her. She, too, has moral agency in this arrangement, and denying that moral agency is a very dangerous moral stand to take.

You see, an excellent example of 'persons without moral agency' are slaves.

Nevertheless, -1 to Plan C, absolutely and definitely. For ethical and practical reasons. Ethically, you can punish people for wrongdoing. Such people deserve it. So, you can make an argument that the police deserve a power outage for their wrongdoing, namely, the probably-spurious arrest of and definitely-excessive bail for Franklin.

(Obviously it would be better if they were made to release him and, further, compensate him, but a little vigilante justice is acceptable where the former isn't gonna happen.)

Authorizing the power cut to others, however, is not justified. Even accepting an "all rich people are evildoers" position (Kate said something to this effect once), that doesn't mean that just anybody can visit vigilante justice on any rich person. As I said, you can punish people for wrongdoing. But there are caveats: One being, that the ethical right to exercise that punishment rests with the victim or victims, not with unrelated third parties.

Franklin's unjust imprisonment is a wrongdoing primarily against him, but secondarily against all his friends, who are deprived of Franklin's company. Marlow's distress alone might justify a few hours' loss of power, and if Franklin approves (if only ex post facto), the power cut is undeniably justified.

If you're going to shut down power to a block of dozens or hundreds of people, you'd need to find those people's victims and get their permission.

If one were to object, "That makes this sort of action very hard to justify," the ethicist would counter, "Good. We want class warfare—probably described by its victims as indiscriminate terrorism—to be very hard to justify."

Further, looking at it from a practical standpoint, it might be counterproductive in the long term. Even if it really helps this particular operation, what if Mondol or the police spread the rumor in those neighborhoods that the power outage was no phenomenon of weather, but an act of deliberate sabotage? Easy fundraising pitch for rich patrons, I think. More bags of money to spend on armed mooks, and possibly some outraged "law and order conservatives" pressuring the city government to loosen regulations on public and private security.

But a comfortable upper class is a complacent upper class.

You'd be well advised to ask if you can deal with the turbulence that they can kick up before you rock their boat.

If, all that being said, Kate still decides to run Plan C, just let her know you'll hold her to her statement:

"If I get arrested, that's on me." –Kate Halford
27th Dec 2021, 5:15 PM
I don't really track with how you say the burden of punishment falls to the victim. First of all, if that were the generally accepted case then every person who does wrong will be punished differently according to who was affected, or rather who their 'victim' was. Secondly: in a hypothetical scenario where a person was murdered, the victim is dead and unable to take revenge, or mete punishment. While some people may have family members with a valid claim, not everyone has anyone affiliated with them, whether family or friends. Thirdly: If I, for example, stub my toe on a chair, I under that system have claim to determine punishment against the designer of the chair, the manufacturer, the person who sold it to me, anyone who shipped it anywhere before the chair ended up in my hands, etc. All of them had some part in what led up to my injury, however small. The actual fault of the matter however, lies either with me for being an idiot and hitting my foot on it, or with no one in particular. This is why most countries have a judicial system to make decisions, however flawed each may be. Finally, in some cases such as on cases of abuse, a victim may sadly not give permission for punishment even if it is justly deserved. Now I realize this is going a ways off track from where you were going originally, and I understand your reasoning of basically not invoving innocents for the most part, but that one section was just something I have studied and thought about. I do agree with everything you're saying about free will and autonomy in this case however, Kate is as aware of all the risks involved as we can make her at this point and we have no claim to hold her back further. The scenario might be different if Plaire was holding a more military position and it fell on Plaire to make tactical/strategic choices, but that's not the case since all that Plaire has claim to is owing the house.
27th Dec 2021, 9:41 PM
Hahaha, I've thought about this topic a lot, too. And truly, my main point could be fairly distilled to, "Don't involve innocents."

But, I wanted to cover the case where Kate objected, "They're rich; they're all guilty of something." I wasn't trying to exhaustively describe my theory of ethics.

I could describe my answers to all your objections, but I doubt Kate will make any of those objections, so it's not relevant to the comic.

If you're curious and want to hear, I'll tell you, though.
28th Dec 2021, 8:00 PM
Whoops, missed this reply. Yeah, I probably focused too much on that one statement, and I don't want to come across as being aggressive. If you would like to answer those, sure, I would be interested in your perspective on the topic :)
30th Dec 2021, 10:57 PM
Okay, then.

First objection: If the victim possesses the right to punish the wrongdoer, the punishments would vary.

This would always be true to some extent, no matter the punishing authority. Often, the judge and jury have a degree of discretion about sentencing, which means punishments vary. There are instances where criminal sentences are fixed in law, giving judges and juries no choice beyond "guilty" and "not guilty," but in that case, the punishing authority is the legislature, who passed the laws fixing the punishment. That legislature can still turn around and vary the punishment, should they wish.

Now, you might say that victim-centered punishment would be more variable than the above. Yet, in the particular instance of Franklin, I doubt you'll say, "For the sake of consistency in justice, let's leave this to the courts." What are the other options, then? There's the wrongdoer, but let's reject him for obvious reasons. That leaves unrelated third parties, which I want to reject as being the most random of all. The victim, at least, has to live with the consequences of his punishment, such as a pissed-off criminal and a morally outraged community. A third party who takes an interest (read: "has a justice boner") could swoop in from anywhere, pick a punishment that makes the situation worse (according to everybody but him), and then disappear to God-knows-where.

I also think that, over time, victim-centered punishment as a basis for justice would come to be quite stable. By my understanding, that's how we got common law. If we just dropped the government courts to ground the country in victim-based law, it would be a huge upheaval, at first. But (supposing I'm right about it) common law would start being invoked to guide victims in choosing good punishments (basically, those that satisfy the victim, and the criminal, and the community), and in the long term, it would result in more stability.

Second objection: Murder victims (or, by extension, any victim who might die of unrelated causes between the crime and the punishment) don't get to exact retribution.

To clarify, I don't see the right of punishment as something that is unalienable, i.e., it resides in the victim and cannot be transferred to any other party. It can be given to others. And much like, in the event someone dies, he may say in his will that his house goes to his wife, or his second son, or his best friend Mac; he may declare that punishment rights in the event of a murder are passed on to whomever he chooses. If he doesn't say anything specific, general principles of inheritance can direct the punishment rights to someone, like his next of kin.

Third objection: If victims can punish people who hurt them, then any injury allows the injured party to punish lots and lots of people, who helped cause the injury.

I need to point out that I said victims can punish people for wrongdoing. Not every injury is caused by wrongdoing, as you admitted in your example that your stubbed toe is basically your fault.

Without going too deep into it, I hold that wrongdoing is the violation of another person's rights, full stop. In your example, you can point to people who contributed to the toe-stubbing. However, in your example neither the designer, the manufacturer, nor the vendor of the chair actually violated your rights at any point, so you don't get to punish them, in my view.

The ethical stance that one has to answer for all the consequences of his actions, no matter how distant in time and space, as long as his actions are a contributing causal factor in any chain of events that result in injury, is an extremist form of consequentialist ethics that I don't subscribe to. In fact, examples such as yours are a reason why I believe in deontological ethics instead. I believe that standing on principle means being an absolutist, so if I followed consequentialist ethics, I would have to take the extremist position, including the absurd conclusion that your chair's designer, manufacturer, and seller are all partially liable for your injury.

Fourth and final objection: In some cases, the victim may not punish a Bad Guy, nor even give permission to others to punish him.

Actually, I do hold that in those cases, the Bad Guy should not be punished. As I mentioned, I say that standing on principle means being an absolutist, and the absolutist position says, The victim decides, end of discussion. When the victim himself says, "That man shall not be punished," you and I, and the rest of the world population, don't get to decide (by our own authority or something) that we know better than he.

That said, there are things that an outraged community can do to, say, an abuser who gaslights his victims into forgiving him. There's a reason that, in addition to manipulating the victims, such people also keep the whole affair secret from everybody else. Not just now, when the government takes an interest. If someone commits such crimes that people start ostracizing him, things will get ugly.

Worst case scenario, someone else just kills the guy, then his heirs either agree that he deserved it, or his heirs can't find the killer because the community shelters him (and maybe some heirs were rendered so helpless by abuse that they don't have the assertiveness to push for it).

You'll probably assess that my ideas on principles and absolutism are too rigid. But I can find no other acceptable answer to the quandary of what is and isn't forgivable. If one man does something reckless and injures a family member once a day, and another man does something reckless and injures a family member once a decade, and in both cases the family forgives him, is the government not obligated to override the family's forgiveness in both cases? If no, then some "threshold of forgivable reckless endangerment per unit of time" needs to be set, and no matter where it's set, it's arbitrary.

I can tolerate no arbitrary rules in ethics. The ultimate in arbitrary ethics is the despot who possesses absolute power, dictating right and wrong with no consistency but what his whims favor. Any step in that direction is a step in the wrong direction.
31st Dec 2021, 2:13 PM
I see, thank you for the well written clarifications. From a purely moral standpoint, I think the system has definite merit, and overall is among the better I've heard of or considered. I do have some reservations about how it can be abused, however.

If an unscrupulous person decides to go wandering around in back alleys in down-town New York City until he gets mugged (or if that's still too directly aggravating, even though that's public property, he waits until he gets into a minor traffic accident), then for the harm that was inflicted on him decides to sue the offending party for a massively disproportionite amount of money, there's no oversight to say what the cap is. If there's some cap built into the enforcement system, then that falls into those arbitrary rules you were speaking about. Conversely, if fines are completely off the table as something that can be required, then in another scenario such as if a man's storefront was burned down, a fair enough punishment can be meted out on the perpatrator- but the man is still out his livelyhood.

There are a few other, more general instances I could suggest as well, such as the punishment that was selected forcing the original perpetrator to commit another crime, or to neglect other responsibilities, etc.

I also have some concerns about scenarios in which a crime was commited with no clear victim. As an example: A man runs a red light. For the sake of argument, he was clearly in the wrong, had no good reason, but no accidents or anything more than mild inconvenice was caused to the other drivers in the area. While the man clearly commited the crime, and attempt to determine his punishment would have to either track down every other driver at that intersection at the time for their input, which has obvious problems, or a governmental representitive would need to be appointed to represent the victims who presumably had no previous bearing at all on the case, looping back to those arbitrary descisions again. A similar principle would be in play for anything at the corparate level, but some sub-systems could be worked out in that case.

Finally, determining whether the crime actually was commited or not. Some oversight has to exist to deliver a verdict of guilty or not guilty, otherwise any random person can sue every major buisness or competitors or political figures or anyone without any reason to stop. Having part of the legal system be professional, to deliver that G/NG verdict, and part be based on the victims seems yet again, an arbitrary sort of bar to set, and it has to break down somewhere.

It seems, from my perspective, that the best way to have wrongdoing adressed is with a clearly defined set of laws which are enforced equally on everyone. Those laws would nessessarily need to be built by fallable humans, however, and enforced by the same, with descisions by same... any attempt to remove the human element would be even more dangerous, however, because since the whole system would have to be ultimately be built by flawed humans, without more human oversight there would be no way to determine those who are exceptions to the laws. There is great danger in rules that are created arbitrarily too, and inconsistencies within sections of whatever legal system is created, which can be clearly seen in the American legal system today... Truly, the only good option is divine, but we do (or rather, should do) the best we can in the meantime.

I'm also going to note that I do not subscribe to an extreme consequentialist model, and than I was over-exaggerating the point in that one previous example with the toe-stubbing.
(sorry for any typos, this was on a phone keyboard @_@)
27th Dec 2021, 4:52 PM
I'll throw in another +1 to plan C. Also I started hearing Marlow in Clark Dregg's (Phil Coulson's) voice and I can't un-hear it now.
27th Dec 2021, 7:53 PM
Fuse, Leo, Caius, an ex tubecop named Michelle, and a blood goddess with a choir were all involved in the Thale incident. So was the old host of infohazard.
27th Dec 2021, 9:49 PM
I move that "peacefully wrangle a Halford" be permanently added to the lexicon.

And, that Marlow be thanked for that.

And (playfully) never permitted to forget it.
28th Dec 2021, 5:35 PM
Hmm... briefly consider sending a letter to dear Mayor Parsons asking to turn Halford-wrangling into Misuschaqua's official sport.
28th Dec 2021, 5:46 PM
Gutz Grilla
Hey, didn't Plaire and Cici do just that in page 98? (Peacefully wrangle a Halford, I mean.)

peacefully wrangle a Halford

1 Chiefly Ninelivese. to... -description pending-

...I'm very bad at this, don't even know how to format here.
28th Dec 2021, 7:17 PM
Is Ezra in today?
I almost wonder if we should/could ask him about Darkness a Marionette
like, doesn't he have haunted puppet girls?
Maybe we could ask him about how they work and stuff
Or something
I'm not even entirely sure what that conversation would look like tbh
28th Dec 2021, 8:04 PM
Gutz Grilla
Hmm, not a bad idea. Surely can't hurt to ask; the worst may be it not ringing any bells to him. Plus one!
28th Dec 2021, 8:04 PM
I'm pretty sure DaM is a very non-typical example, but having some more general knowledge about haunted dolls might be helpful in understanding what she represents and so on, and exposition is always fun :D We basically did that with haunted houses and the library. +1.
29th Dec 2021, 5:06 PM
You know what? Yeah, talking to the haunted dolls somehow feels like a sane thing to do right now.
29th Dec 2021, 6:25 PM
Not *to* the dolls, about the dolls, with Ezra. I definitely don't want to mess with the dolls themselves.
29th Dec 2021, 9:38 AM
28th Dec 2021, 8:02 PM
Gutz Grilla
Alright, that was intense...

First off... hope Morgenstern and everyone here had a wonderful Christmas!

Second... to be frank, I was really torn about the page before, and am still a bit torn here. None of those plans sound right to me, especially paying the bail (and those damn pigs may well just move the goalposts, anyway). The idea of sending our pal a note seemed the least effective of all them.

I don't feel very comfortable with the Operation Big Blackout, but, from the looks of it, we're headed that way. So be it. The only thing I'd suggest would be: maybe it's best to actually leave it for tomorrow, and use today for scouting. And, if there's time, talk to Maria. She knows more about Franklin, it might help.

(Part of me would like to do it right away, before the snowstorm strikes and it becomes too chilly and dangerous. Part of me also would like to just find a hummer, a tank, or something like that, and ram the sucker into the police station. We can't always have what we want, though.)

The idea of contacting Dr. Finch comes across as far-fetched, and I'd rather let this be its own story, even if it's in the same 'verse as Blood Is Mine. It's good to know there's a way to contact him, but, for now, it's out of our context.

(For some reason I think it'd be more likely if Fuse Hendricks ended up metting the gang. Yet, as with Dr. Finch, he's out of our context, so not counting on it.)

Still... glad we have a name for the place where it all started. Motor City, Machigun. (Either someone would say "Michigan" and had their mouth full, or it made a name for itself making machine guns.)

Plus one to making amends with Kate, and clearing things up. Also, plus one to sending good vibes to Plaire... and also to Kate; she may be tough, but also needs some.
28th Dec 2021, 8:24 PM
Well, since we're probably waiting for the weather it's not likely to be today anyway.
28th Dec 2021, 9:38 PM
The Now: talk to Kate.
The Soon: battle plan, get everything set for how to do it so if the chance Does happen it can go off as smooth as can be.Whenever that is. Maybe Don't sleep in the house this night, will need some honest rest, not That stuff.
The If Able: talk to Maria or do some relevant-to-plan research

What time Is it anyway?
29th Dec 2021, 7:23 PM
Gutz Grilla
Last time given by the story was 4:14 pm, when Kate and Plaire left the thrift store, two pages before.

Plus one to The Now and to The If Able (which could be The Right After, really).
30th Dec 2021, 4:22 PM
Gutz Grilla
Oh, an addendum before the years rolls out: about not sleeping in the house, it might be a good idea. Plaire and the gang really could use some nice, horror-free rest.

Okay, it didn't work for Kate... but she may be luckier next time around. Come to think of it... besides apologizing to her, our protagonist could also ask about the nightmares. They seemed the regular kind, but they may be revelant if Kate never had them before.
30th Dec 2021, 4:27 PM
Gutz Grilla
*before the year rolls out

29th Dec 2021, 9:04 PM
On page 65, Plaire was looking for a Bible fighting game. Now Afu has one. If it's the same one, let's buy it.
30th Dec 2021, 4:25 PM
Gutz Grilla
Oh, you mean "Robodemons?" Cool, plus one to that! (Even though it seems to be in very limited edition. Can't hurt to ask anyway.)
2nd Jan 2022, 8:13 PM
Hugs for Plaire!!