Jeph Jacques's comics discussion forums

Comic Discussion => ALICE GROVE => Topic started by: BenRG on 05 Aug 2015, 13:12

Title: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: BenRG on 05 Aug 2015, 13:12
Firstly, New Comic Up early (http://www.alicegrove.com/image/125949754619)!

Well, it's increasingly clear that something is up. Possibly something apocalyptically up. From Alice's rant, it's clear that someone or something is not playing by the rules and either may be using the events of the Blink as an excuse or is trying to subvert/reverse it. I'm strongly feeling another few strips worth of exposition coming up as Alice explains who and why.

I'll make a prediction here - The Praeses seem to be the outcome of the Biotech Faction so it's unlikely that they'd be for bootstrapping/uplifting the Anti-Techs. I'm betting that the missing AI Faction are showing their hand and they have subverted both the space kids for their own purposes.

Finally:
(click to show/hide)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 05 Aug 2015, 13:18
It's the polar opposite of the useless broom made entirely of dicks.

Also I'd call this comic less early and more a few days late, but I'll take what I can get :roll:
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: osaka on 05 Aug 2015, 14:09
I think we haven't thought of the full implications of this. If he had managed to get it on with the lovely lady at the water pump, what would've happened to the lambskin?

Crude jokes apart, this seems like someone wants to hypertechify everything and that might not be the best idea.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 05 Aug 2015, 14:12
It would've just become a 100% effective condom, I guess?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: improvnerd on 05 Aug 2015, 16:23
what would've happened to the lambskin?

Ribbed, for her pleasure.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Kugai on 05 Aug 2015, 16:49
If we see a giant, lidless eye wreathed in flame we'll know
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: mustang6172 on 05 Aug 2015, 18:05
Is Alice's house not technology?

Is Alice from the Ba'ku?

Quote from: Ba'ku Philosophy
Thanks for saving us with your technology.  By the way, we hate technology.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: jheartney on 05 Aug 2015, 18:07
I guess I'm not seeing why they need Ardent to deliver nanomachines. Couldn't they just seed the sky with them, so they'd float down and do their magic on any device they touch? We know from the Walker that nanomachines can perambulate, too. Once in place they ought to be able to spread wherever unassisted. Or, once they'd "infected" a given area, that area's inhabitants would spread the nanomachines anywhere they went.

In any case, if the "Blinker" is still around, it ought to be able to make quick work of any nanomachine infection.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: osaka on 05 Aug 2015, 18:15
I assume that if you tried to "rain them down", the big-ass cloud of them that's around there would absorb the precipitating nanobots.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: SomeCanadianWeirdo on 05 Aug 2015, 19:33
We now know Alice Grove doesn't take place in the QCverse, via the note with the latest QC.



Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 05 Aug 2015, 19:35
Ehhhh...I dunno if I believe him.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: cesium133 on 05 Aug 2015, 19:56
Ehhhh...I dunno if I believe him.
"I AM THE LORD THY GOD... and I don't know shit about this universe I just created."
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 05 Aug 2015, 20:34
I'm not saying he doesn't know, I'm saying I don't know if he's telling the truth :P

(Also there's really no way of confirming that negative in-comic so as far as I'm concerned it'll always be possible)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: jheartney on 05 Aug 2015, 21:06
We now know Alice Grove doesn't take place in the QCverse, via the note with the latest QC.

The next question is which of the two takes place in the Tommy Westphall multiverse.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 05 Aug 2015, 21:35
Our particular universe does, and Jeph resides in our universe, so I suppose anything he draws is covered under that multiverse as well.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: FunkyTuba on 05 Aug 2015, 21:52
(click to show/hide)
(click to show/hide)
.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: hedgie on 05 Aug 2015, 22:55
Broom.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: BenRG on 07 Aug 2015, 12:02
New comic is up at last here (http://www.alicegrove.com/image/126112043354)!

I'm not sure if I believe Alice's fears are entirely grounded in reality but it definitely is a workable set of assumptions with which to start.

Now, Gavia has a lot of hard choices to make. Whose side is she on? More importantly, is she even sure that she knows which side is which? Does she accept Alice's word for it or does she even know for certain that she knows which faction wants what?

One thing is certain: Things are going to get ugly for the space kids!
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Neko_Ali on 07 Aug 2015, 12:25
I don't know, that seems an awfully subtle and long reaching plan for humans to come up with. If the Praeses really are trees or something akin to them then I could see that sort of long thinking. But Ardent upgraded one or two things to cause an eventual collapse is the kind of thing that would take decades, possibly several human life times to come to fruition. There are much quicker ways to get humanity to try and kill each other.  The biggest thing that throws this whole plan off though is how flashy the transformation was. If you want a subtle, long term plan to go into effect, you don't want to start it off with a pyrotechnics show, then a bolt from the blue... Alice removing the pump and replacing it with a new one fixes the problem... So was the pump a triple blind? Give Alice something else to deal with and not pay attention to the real threat, whatever that may be?

Or is it just something else entirely and Alice is over-reacting and using this as an excuse to justify her hatred of the Praseses and distrust of the spaceborne?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: pwhodges on 07 Aug 2015, 12:28
Yes, but once Ardent's "power" becomes known, he'll get taken everywhere to upgrade their pump and whatever else; Alice's authority will be sidelined, and then what? 

At present, Alice the Witch is the world's stabiliser; discredit her in that role and the scenario she outlines comes to pass.

So now she has to control the children, benevolently by persuasion if possible, but by force if not.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Neko_Ali on 07 Aug 2015, 12:44
That's kind of my point though. If whoever sent the sibs down knew enough about Alice to figure she would watch Gavia closer thinking she was more dangerous, then snuck a secret payload of nanomachines onto Ardent because she would think he was harmless. They should know her enough that she would react by isolating the cause of so obvious a transformation. A more subtle effect would be needed here so that Alice did not go into crisis management mode, the way she is now. It's like carefully planning out your evil death machine, then putting the off switch on the outside with a big neon sign pointing to it. I think either Alice is misinterpreting things, or there is something else here and Ardent's upgrade is another red herring.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: FunkyTuba on 07 Aug 2015, 13:49
There are much quicker ways to get humanity to try and kill each other.

Hrmmm Ba-ra-roommmm now don't let's be hasty....
(http://i.imgur.com/M4tFHMV.jpg)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Kugai on 07 Aug 2015, 15:05
Understanding is a three edged sword

(http://roleplaying.diraven.net/babylon5/rcc/images/y5_25.jpg)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: mustang6172 on 07 Aug 2015, 18:30
So humanity's downfall is indoor plumbing?

...Seriously?  :psyduck:
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: ReindeerFlotilla on 07 Aug 2015, 19:24
Earth is a ball (Oblate spheroid) about 6371 kilometers in radius. It's surface is, therefore about 510,072,000 square kilometers or 510,072,000,000,000 square meters. about 70% of that is sea surface, and not going to be considered (though certainly bio-intelligent trees could probably make use of that, we will leave it aside).

Alice seems pretty tall, but the Vicissitudes are pretty short. Compared to other people who have appeared in the comic, Alice appears to be of unremarkable height. One can assume approximately 1.65 meters plus or minus .1 meters. Alice's reach is thus about 2.7225 meters squared. Alice, however, is human and, therefore, mobile. She can move around. She is not limited to what is within reach of her arms from any one location. Alice, also, is superhuman. It is not unreasonable to suggest that Alice can move faster than a normal human. We know Alice has a pump. We know Alice has a windmill. We can infer, from Alice's speech, that she does not have transportation technology that she uses regularly.

This suggests three possibilities.

Option one. Alice is one of a significant number of witches left by the blink to patrol and protect the earth from the depredations of the space trees.

Option two. Since Alice lacks any reasonable ability to patrol the entire surface of the Earth, we could infer that Alice Grove is the last bastion of human survivors on the planet Earth. While the population is significant enough to prevent a total crash, it is also small enough that a single vector in the form of one person could potentially create an instability that would break its sustainability cycle. Whatever blinked made it clear that the trees could not have the Earth until all of the people on it were dead.

Option three. Insufficient information. Either not enough information to speculate about what's really going on or not enough information was placed in development and the plot makes no sense.

If it's option three, that's pretty run-of-the-mill for Science Fiction. If it's option two, Alice is humanity's last best hope for peace. One would hope that she does not go the way of the Babylon Project. If it's option one, logically the space trees would have sent down more than one Trojan horse.

All of this is predicated upon the fair level of unlikeliness that the Trojan horse would happen to run into a local protector who was specifically hostile to the aims of the trees if said protector was a rare occurrence in a large population. So either the population is not large or of the protectors are not rare.

This has been another mountain manufactured from a garden variety mole hill. Feel free to climb it.

A specific note.

It's certainly possible to someone else's already mentioned this, since I haven't been paying that much attention to all the comments in this thread. However, the Vicissitudes creepy night journey was interrupted when a cloud of nanomachines reached for them. Alice suggested that the nanomachines were reacting to Gavia's nano bots. Alice also said that the cloud is constant, and protects itself from UV radiation by hiding under leaves during the day. So there's no particular reason that that cloud wouldn't be able to find Gavia whenever it pleased.

Alice did not know about Ardent and he is Trojan horse payload. It seems more likely that the now about giant was reaching for him.

The question is, why? The easy answer is to assume that the children's assumption is correct and that the cloud was a threat. A mindless threat that has developed rudimentary distributed intelligence and spends that intelligence gazing wistfully at the moon.

It's also entirely possible that we are not seeing something formed of nano about evolution into a new class of animal life form but a system waiting for instructions. After all nano bots are high-tech. High-tech seems to be the thematic enemy. The thematic enemy lives in space. The nano bots gaze wistfully into space. Ardent is a vector for upgrading technology by touch. The cloud of nano bots is technology and could be waiting for an upgrade.

Assuming that this nano but cloud is a local phenomenon, which it seems to be, upgrading it would be one of the most effective means of distributing an upgrade of vector across a wide area in whatever option scenario exists in the actual Alice Grove plot.

Either way, I think that cloud of nanomachines is more important than simply set dressing for the setting.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: mustang6172 on 09 Aug 2015, 18:50
So a windmill doesn't cause an energy imbalance, but indoor plumbing does?

This is bothering me way too much.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Zebediah on 09 Aug 2015, 18:54
There is apparently a limited quantity of potable water available to Alice's community. Use too much of it, and there are problems. But they aren't going to run out of wind no matter how much they use.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: mustang6172 on 09 Aug 2015, 18:59
But couldn't wind cause them to over-consume other resources?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Neko_Ali on 09 Aug 2015, 19:40
Not if Alice is the one controlling where the power goes and what can use it. Unlike water, electricity is only really useful by devices that run on it. Since Alice is the only one who can build or maintain electrical devices in the area she can pretty easily control how much of it gets used and for what purpose.  That an as said, water for the town is still a limited resource, but that's something the townsfolk don't know and may not understand if explained to them. Over using it would benefit them in the short term, but eventually cause major harm.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: BenRG on 09 Aug 2015, 23:29
So a windmill doesn't cause an energy imbalance, but indoor plumbing does?

The pump is nothing; Alice is just saying that it is a bad precedent that led to cultural and social (and, ultimately, economic and political) problems in the past. Specifically that too much technology-enabled wealth and ease can lead to a runaway chain-reaction of greed and acquisition that inevitably leads to a major war.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Wimblesaurus on 10 Aug 2015, 07:17
You know, by all indications the praeses could just send down a few cyborgs right now and easily take over most of the populated earth, no overtures and no bullshitting around with diplomacy.  In fact, it seems the only real complicating factor is Alice's presence in this part of the world.

So what if Ardent and Gavia are scouts?  Unknowingly selected for their curiosity and awful temper respectively, to A) Find Alice, and B) Cause as much collateral damage as possible in the process.

I realize everything I've said has probably been said before, but this is where things get crazy:

What if Ardent and Gavia aren't the only Ardent and Gavia?  They managed to find Alice, confirm she's a witch, and blow up a few buildings in the process almost immediately.  If the Praeses knew beforehand that sending these two to the surface would work so well, they might be one of many pairs of clones of the original Gavia and Ardent, sent down to the surface to do basically the same thing in multiple settlements.


Of course, this is assuming the Praeses have the goal of taking over the world at all.  Ardent and Gavia weren't TP'd back to the moon when Gavia requested it, despite having drawn out Alice.  Them living among and becoming acquainted with humans for any length of time makes them a potential complication when the invasion comes, so it seems like it would have been more efficient to bring them back, if maybe only slightly.  Assuming the Praeses are as wise and powerful and junk as they're supposed to be, even a minor potential setback, particularly one so easily avoided, would be unacceptable to them.  That Ardent and Gavia aren't back on the moon might be an indication that the Praeses have other goals.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: improvnerd on 10 Aug 2015, 14:20
Back to the moon? It seems pretty clear now that the spaceborne live in orbital habit.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: mustang6172 on 10 Aug 2015, 18:28
So a windmill doesn't cause an energy imbalance, but indoor plumbing does?

The pump is nothing; Alice is just saying that it is a bad precedent that led to cultural and social (and, ultimately, economic and political) problems in the past. Specifically that too much technology-enabled wealth and ease can lead to a runaway chain-reaction of greed and acquisition that inevitably leads to a major war.

Isn't it a basic rule of science fiction that every problem caused by technology gets solved by throwing more technology at it?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 10 Aug 2015, 20:01
If Ardent is infested with undesirable nanobots, why would Alice think the bots would be affected by killing him?

"Ideological grudge"? Alice may be projecting here.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 10 Aug 2015, 20:06
Well, fuck.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: jheartney on 10 Aug 2015, 20:14
We could just take Jeph at his word; he's tired of Alice Grove and so he's bringing it all to a halt.

I have to agree with other commenters that this plotting doesn't make much sense, at least as presented. If the Praeses want to take over, why send down such an obvious agent? Why not just send someone that looks like another bumpkin from the next village? Alice would not even have noticed. Why have the nanomachines' effect be so obvious, if this is a covert takeover attempt? Why not infiltrate the everywhere first and then have them all attack at once? If nanotech is advanced as presented, why bother with a convoluted plot like this anyway? Just infect everything and kill everybody (including Alice). Assuming Ardent is killed, how does that stop his nanomachines? Can they even be stopped anymore? Etc.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 10 Aug 2015, 20:15
We could just take Jeph at his word
That'd be a silly thing to do.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: The Woodcarver on 10 Aug 2015, 20:57
Decided it was time to finally register and stop lurking. My money is on Alice is testing her theory. If Ardent is infected with evil nanobots that can't live without a sapient host, it's logical they'll act to preserve his life, thus showing their hand. I doubt severely that Alice would have any serious intention to kill Ardent, considering that doesn't seem to be her style, plus Ardent isn't a conscious threat.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Neko_Ali on 10 Aug 2015, 21:11
Killing children is not her style? She was going to beat Gavia to death shortly after they first met, for what is actually a lesser danger in her mind. Gavia was only threatening to burn down the town and had already been pretty much neutralized by Alice's anti-nanotech-tech. Right now to Alice Ardent represents a weapon in her long standing grudge against the Praeses and a threat to the future of her town and it's people, as well as possibly much further reaching effects. The fact that she hasn't just killed Ardent and is talking it out with Gavia makes me think that she doesn't actually want to do it, and the talk is more to psych herself up/talk herself into doing it. Not convincing Gavia.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: ReindeerFlotilla on 10 Aug 2015, 21:12
If Ardent is infested with undesirable nanobots, why would Alice think the bots would be affected by killing him?

"Ideological grudge"? Alice may be projecting here.

Actually, there's no knowing if the nanomachines in Ardent are smart enough to know if he's dead or not. Ardent is disposable to his handlers, so they may not have put a lot of thought into preserving his life. Dead ardent doesn't interact with technology.

Alice is, essentially, immune to Gavia's nano. She seems to disrupt it. She can probably do the same to Ardent's.

Now, if The SpaceTrees are David Xanatos, trying to kill Ardent will activate a different payload that CAN hurt Alice. Because you should always design your plans such that even if you lose, you win.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: The Woodcarver on 10 Aug 2015, 21:32
Killing children is not her style? She was going to beat Gavia to death shortly after they first met, for what is actually a lesser danger in her mind. Gavia was only threatening to burn down the town and had already been pretty much neutralized by Alice's anti-nanotech-tech.

It's not that she wouldn't kill someone who is attacking her or her charges (child or no), but I find it hard to believe she'd kill an innocent. She didn't kill either of them, even though their existence posed a massive risk to balance and tranquility. She was pounding Gavia's face in because Gavia was attacking first her town, then her. Ardent is dangerous, but he's not belligerent.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: ReindeerFlotilla on 10 Aug 2015, 21:35
She only stopped beating Gavia because Ardent said she was his sister.

I think Alice is perfectly capable of killing Ardent. I just don't know if she intends to.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: mikmaxs on 10 Aug 2015, 21:35
Question: Why didn't the Praeses send down, like, thirty people? To different towns? Or just send Ardent literally anywhere except where Alice is?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: ReindeerFlotilla on 10 Aug 2015, 21:42
Question: Why didn't the Praeses send down, like, thirty people? To different towns? Or just send Ardent literally anywhere except where Alice is?

How do we know they didn't?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: plusorminus on 10 Aug 2015, 22:45
Question: Why didn't the Praeses send down, like, thirty people? To different towns? Or just send Ardent literally anywhere except where Alice is?

It's possible they did. There could be "Ardents" in "Peter Grove," "Jamie Grove," "Dana Grove," or other places where there are caretakers like Alice. I think the difference here is that Ardent draws attention because of his body modifications and Gavia went looking for him. I didn't buy into the twin theory until now but that would go a long way toward explaining why the Praeses allowed her to follow him. Her arrival may have mucked up the timeline.

I don't doubt that Alice believes what she says and that she will attempt to kill Ardent and will kill Gavia if she tries to interfere. Only sentience by Ardent's rogue nanotech would be able to save him.

What I don't get is why Alice is telling Gavia or Ardent any of this other than as an expositional device for readers. She could have played it cool, killed Ardent in his sleep and then dispatched Gavia. Sure the Praeses would have been pissed but it's not like she isn't risking bringing on their wrath by killing Ardent anyway. And does she just expect Gavia to shrug and stand there while she kills her brother?

While I don't think that Jeph is necessarily "tired" of this comic, I am wondering if we're headed to a "Most Dangerous Game" sort of solution where a large part of the action takes place off screen and we jump to some unspecified point in the future where things have been resolved and we have to infer just how that happened. It is possible that the next comic will see Alice shoring up her defenses and maybe Jack making a return and asking whatever happened to the blue boy with the tail and Alice giving him a glare and shutting him up.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: BenRG on 10 Aug 2015, 23:27
Y'know, Alice, Gavia might be able to believe you if you explained the source of your little hate-match with the Praeses; please start by explaining their alleged motive for wanting to take over the Earth. As matters stand, you seem to be treating them as a random bogeyman without any real cause. I know that 'explaining' isn't something that you like doing but, really, remember how good it felt to tell Gavia your story earlier on? It really might help you sort out your thoughts in your own head if you had someone to review them for you!

Seriously, I've been wondering for some time if living for so long without any significant emotional connection has turned Alice psychotic and this seems to be backing that up.

Oh, and Ardent...?

Run away.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: mikmaxs on 10 Aug 2015, 23:28
I also have to wonder, since this is implied: Is Alice saying that, if they were to be invaded, she and she alone would inflict massive casualties? Gavia is just a random chick with nanobots, not some high level military agent, and she could have leveled a town on her own if not for Alice. Even Ardent, with no micro machines to speak of, has extreme healing powers that render him far more capable than the average soldier.

If Alice IS saying that, well... Damn. She's tough.

I hope the Praeses don't nuke her from orbit.

That's another question, can Alice fly? Or jump real high like Superman did in the early comics? If not, how would she deal with a fighter jet or a helicopter?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: ReindeerFlotilla on 10 Aug 2015, 23:46
I hope the Praeses don't nuke her from orbit.

It's the only way to be sure.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Loki on 11 Aug 2015, 00:26
Regarding the plans which involve killing Alice: do we have any indication she can be killed?
I mean, longevity implies cell regeneration... and possibly a nano-bot enhanced immune system.

I may be projecting because Alice reminds me of Jones from Gunnerkrigg Court.

Spoiler:
(click to show/hide)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: ReindeerFlotilla on 11 Aug 2015, 00:32
I'd actually expect she can't be easily killed, if she's not paranoid. That would imply the space trees have been trying to kill her for thousands of years.

That's why I said "hurt." Remember. If you can't kill them, cripple them.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: mikmaxs on 11 Aug 2015, 00:40
I'd actually expect she can't be easily killed, if she's not paranoid. That would imply the space trees have been trying to kill her for thousands of years.

That's why I said "hurt." Remember. If you can't kill them, cripple them.

Or go with the old standby and toss them into the void of space.

Barring that, she's only one witch thing person. Run her in circles. Easy peasy.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: BenRG on 11 Aug 2015, 01:37
A way out there possibility: The Praeses have to beat Alice one-on-one and she has to do the same (although the current stalemate suits her fine). Anything else would be a breach of the Rules and there is a far, far bigger player out there who is enforcing them.

I'm thinking something similar to the Babylon 5 deep back story. The two sides - the low-techs and the high-techs - are still fighting it out as to who has the right prescription for sustainable human happiness. Because letting this happen in an uncontrolled way would just lead to the Great War starting all over again, the power behind the Blink has set aside a tiny patch of the Earth where the two sides can play chess with each other. Going outside that contact area and using extreme methods like orbital bombardment would forfeit the game. Given the power level required to carry out the Blink, the umpires (the AIs, perhaps?) very likely have the capability to inflict catastrophic sanctions on those who break the Rules.

In this game of human destiny, the Town and its surrounding Habitat is the board. Ardent and Gavia are the latest in possibly a long string of pawns sent onto the game board by the Praeses and it is possible that the townsfolk are the pawns of the low-tech side.

Alice is the other side's queen. Like the queen, she is far and away the most powerful piece on their side of the board and, naturally, the Praeses are doing everything to keep her in check and away from other moves that they may or may not be planning.

What does that mean? White queen takes black pawn. Goodbye Ardent. At least that is probably what Alice is thinking right now.

I wonder if, as in Babylon 5, the real story will be the pieces deciding that they don't want to play anymore...? Which is, of course, the outcome that the AIs were waiting for all along.

Quote
"Who are you? What do you want? Why are you here? Where are you going? Do you have anything worth living for?"
-- Lorien
-- Babylon 5 - The Hour of the Wolf
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Wildroses on 11 Aug 2015, 04:12
Bad move Alice. If you are going to kill someone, you don't tell them of your intentions prior to killing them while their sister is present. That just gives them time to react and get away.

Do you think this is the result the Praeses had in mind? Maybe they wanted Ardent dead for whatever reason but for some reason are unable to do so themselves (I wonder if they are AIs which have been heavily programmed to protect the spaceborne, myself), so they put some really obvious nanomachines on him, manipulated him into going to Earth and Alice and they are now sitting back waiting for Alice to get her hands bloody. Certainly if they were trying to subtly reclaim Earth like Alice thinks people in and out of the comic have suggested better ways of going about it.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: osaka on 11 Aug 2015, 04:29
It would be nice if that hit Gavia right now. Like, on next comic, Gavia recalls all the shenanigans Ardent has caused on the Grove and in orbit and she goes all "WAIT, something's much fishier than you thought".
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Zebediah on 11 Aug 2015, 04:37
That's why I said "hurt." Remember. If you can't kill them, cripple them.

And if you can't cripple them, emotionally cripple them.

Alice has admitted she's become fond of the kids. Now one of them appears to be a danger. The logical part of her mind says Ardent has to die. But she really doesn't want to do it. That's why she's talking about it out loud - not to psych herself up into doing it, but because she's hoping that Gavia gives her a reason not to do it.

And that's the enemy's goal - get Alice's emotions engaged, and muck her head up to the point where she can't or won't do what must be done. This works whether she decides to kill Ardent or not. If she kills him, she winds up hating herself and decides to quit the game. If she doesn't kill him, she starts to believe she doesn't have what it takes to protect her town and decides to quit the game.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Neko_Ali on 11 Aug 2015, 06:01
As far as why Ardent was sent down to Alice's town, if that is what is what is happening here... If Alice is the only source of technology more advanced than an animal drawn plow, then the upgrade nanobots would have to be sent down to where she is. Since the nanos can't augment simple, human powered machinery it seems... No ultra quantum brooms. We really don't know if this is happening anywhere else. Or if other places have guardians like Alice. It seems in her long life she's traveled a fair bit on foot, and doesn't seem to have met anyone else like her. It seems likely that is something she would mention when she was expositioning to Gavia. So the plan as Alice has outlined would only work in her town... Which has two pieces of advanced tech we've seen so far. Really this 'plan' has so many holes and flaws in it that I can only think it's something else, and all of this is just Alice's paranoid ramblings.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: ReindeerFlotilla on 11 Aug 2015, 13:04
I'm not sure Alice actually intends to kill anyone.

I think it is a test.

Remember, when Gavia demanded clarity, Alice's first concern was that the kids were bugged. She thinks she's being surveilled.

She's either trying to provoke a reaction from the spacetrees, the nanotech, or the kids.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Neko_Ali on 11 Aug 2015, 13:59
Entirely possible, even likely. Alice has shown so far that she just acts and expects to be obeyed. Talking out the situation with Gavia is out of character for her, unless she has some alternative reason for doing so.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Kugai on 11 Aug 2015, 15:29
Now she's starting to piss me off

FFS Alice, take a Chill Pill and calm down.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: improvnerd on 11 Aug 2015, 17:15
It seems to me that if the Praesides are trying to take over the surface, their approach is a subtle one.

1. Throw the system out of balance.
2. Cause a crisis, and
3. Take over under the pretext of rescuing the surface folk from the crisis.

That would be how to undermine Alice's authority without any overt violence.

_Why_ they need to be so subtle has yet to be explained. The suggestion of more powerful others that the Praesides are also beholden to seems most obvious.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: ReindeerFlotilla on 11 Aug 2015, 17:28
You left out a couple of steps.

4. ???
5. Profit.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: improvnerd on 11 Aug 2015, 17:47
(Or at least, why they want to take over the surface in the first place, and why _now_ especially.)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: jheartney on 11 Aug 2015, 19:03
I'd agree that Alice's threat to Ardent isn't genuine, and that she's trying to provoke a reaction. Turning the strip's only Hero into a psycho killer doesn't really make sense; remember that Alice has already conceded that Ardent isn't malevolent, and her reason for attacking him is this far-fetched conspiracy theory. For her to sincerely attack Ardent now basically destroys the comic.

Leaving aside the unconvincing plotting, Alice Grove the comic has another problem: the severely constrained cast size. The local bumpkins have never been more than cyphers, so the only characters that have received any attention have been Alice and the two kids. Alice is a grumpy Madame Exposition, and Ardent is a somewhat less interesting Pintsize. This leaves Gavia as audience POV character, but beyond skeptically listening to Alice, she doesn't do much. The course of the comic has been SLOOOOOOWWW revelation of its own mythology (which mythology doesn't happen to make much sense). Without an interesting cast, I'm not sure where this is supposed to be going. Maybe it'll try doing some world building, but at this pace we'll be very old and gray before we get anything much.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: mikmaxs on 11 Aug 2015, 19:35
I'd agree that Alice's threat to Ardent isn't genuine, and that she's trying to provoke a reaction. Turning the strip's only Hero into a psycho killer doesn't really make sense; remember that Alice has already conceded that Ardent isn't malevolent, and her reason for attacking him is this far-fetched conspiracy theory. For her to sincerely attack Ardent now basically destroys the comic.

Unless this ends like literally all of my D&D games, where eventually one of the player characters just up and murders the other for whatever reason and the GM just throws his hands in the air in frustration until they figure out a segue for the dead person to introduce their new Level one clone of their last guy. (Henry Evans is dead, but here's his... Uh... Twin brother, Harvy A'arons. What, he's dead too? They're triplets!)

I'd agree with your opinion about the problems. The mythology might be really good and internally consistent and logical and fully thought out, but we've got so little information that it's impossible to tell one way or another. And since our characters and their motivations lie completely within this strange and alien universe, it's really hard to relate to their goals, fears, or aspirations.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: mikmaxs on 11 Aug 2015, 19:42
Another question I just now considered: Why couldn't the nanobots come down on their own and be flown around via remote control? It's possible to kill an Ardent and take out his minimachines, but seeing as they're apparently invisible and totally undetectable without seeing their effects, wouldn't an invisible swarm of technological bootstrapping work just as well? You can't punch an invisible cloud. We know that microrobots can live without a host, since there's that giant shadow monster thing, and even without AI it would be possible for a remote pilot to operate them. Or, y'know, non-AI programming.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Deadcoder on 11 Aug 2015, 19:43
Just thought of something. What if the Praeses aren't unified? We have no reason to believe that they have a unified motive. What if there's internal conflict of some kind among the Praeses, and Alice is partially right?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: plusorminus on 11 Aug 2015, 20:17
Just thought of something. What if the Praeses aren't unified? We have no reason to believe that they have a unified motive. What if there's internal conflict of some kind among the Praeses, and Alice is partially right?

I think this was posited by someone back during the "special snowflake" comic. It was suggested that either the Praeses wanted Ardent as a scout to the surface for some reason and then thought better of it and sent down Gavia, or that there was a set of Praeses interested in the "other world" and allowed Ardent to go and that another faction of Praeses was appalled by this and sent Gavia after him. That they were not able to be brought back suggests that there might have been a battle between the Praeses and they are all incapacitated or dead.

My suspicion is that Alice is deadly serious in her intent to kill Ardent. She is telling Gavia because what else can Gavia do? Alice nearly beat her to death. She has said openly that if the Praeses had attempted to launch an invasion she herself would have inflicted massive casualties. She is in effect telling Gavia that her brother has to die and that if she interferes, she will die, too.

I am wondering if this is being set up for Gavia and Ardent escaping Alice and going on the run, possibly finding other "groves." My thought now is that Alice's little area isn't the most advanced in the world, but rather the least. She may have set herself up to be a Kurz-like character a la Heart of Darkness ruling over "the savages." Other areas might have indoor plumbing, electricity, technology, and Alice might be keeping this area back against the Praeses' wishes and Ardent was sent to get the party started.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 11 Aug 2015, 22:21
Killing children is not her style? She was going to beat Gavia to death shortly after they first met, for what is actually a lesser danger in her mind. Gavia was only threatening to burn down the town and had already been pretty much neutralized by Alice's anti-nanotech-tech.

It's not that she wouldn't kill someone who is attacking her or her charges (child or no), but I find it hard to believe she'd kill an innocent. She didn't kill either of them, even though their existence posed a massive risk to balance and tranquility. She was pounding Gavia's face in because Gavia was attacking first her town, then her. Ardent is dangerous, but he's not belligerent.

Welcome!

In support of your position, we've seen Alice show forbearance around children no matter how much she chooses to scare them.

On the other hand, we don't know much about her, and the glee with which she beat up Gavia shows some disquieting things in her psychology.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: BenRG on 11 Aug 2015, 23:15
Another question I just now considered: Why couldn't the nanobots come down on their own and be flown around via remote control?

Because [[arbitrary plot device]].

If you want a suggestion, here's one off-the-cuff: Alice has already explained that modern nanomachines are different from the sort that make up the Night Walker. It is possible that they don't have that capability due to their lack of collective computing power or it is possible that their construction is too fragile to handle the environment outside of a human body.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: FunkyTuba on 12 Aug 2015, 00:13
Something I've been confused about since the Gavia=nanomachines Ardent=pure human but with "helping" evolution comic...

How else would Ardent be able to repair his tail but with nanomachines? I interpreted that comic as "Ardent doesn't use nanotech for daily stuff but he does carry it with him and uses it to rebuild his tail and make his skin blue or other gross body modifications and he'd use it to get out of a jam if necessary". Noone else here seemed to take it that way. But the revelation that he's carrying a nanotech trojan payload seems to make it more likely that he's got some of his own for them to hide in :?

Also chalk me up in the Alice-is-trying-to-force-the-Praeses'-hand category.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: BenRG on 12 Aug 2015, 01:20
How else would Ardent be able to repair his tail but with nanomachines?

Terrifyingly fast (we're not talking Wolverine-fast but orders of magnitude faster than normal humans) cellular regeneration. I bet that, during the weeks after he lost his tail, he was eating a lot of carbohydrates as well as vitamin- and mineral-rich foods to supply his metabolism and regeneration.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 12 Aug 2015, 04:27
I interpreted that comic as "Ardent doesn't use nanotech for daily stuff but he does carry it with him and uses it to rebuild his tail and make his skin blue or other delightful body modifications and he'd use it to get out of a jam if necessary".
Yeah, I think this as well. I don't think there are any spaceborne without nanotech, just the extent they use it differs.

That being said, I still don't think Alice has any, I think she just has superpowers.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: BenRG on 12 Aug 2015, 04:53
That being said, I still don't think Alice has any, I think she just has superpowers.

Or was built/grown/both with significant augmentations. I'm sticking with my theory of her being the 'third way prototype', a merger of both genetically engineered optimisation and cybernetic augmentation.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: A Duck on 12 Aug 2015, 08:40
Alice is assuming they can be heard by the Praeses. She probably wants them to think she'll kill Ardent.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Kugai on 12 Aug 2015, 15:42
Hmmm

So she might be trying to provoke a response from the Praeses huh?

It's a possibility
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: ReindeerFlotilla on 12 Aug 2015, 19:31
Actually swarms of Nano probably don't get bombed down for the same reason the night walker swarm swarms at night.

UV. Same reason most contemporary nanomachines (Virus) don't do too well when exposed to direct sunlight.

A nanomachine bomb would certainly work, but it wouldn't last long. We can assume that whatever makes is so unlikely that Ardent and Gavia would be on the surface to begin with makes orbital bombardment a no no, or at least not very effective.

Sending the nanite down with their own mobile anti-UV casing that doubles as fuel source and raw materials processing plant is probably not a bad plan. Shaping that weapons platform as a cheeky, irresponsible, but reasonably okay guy who isn't totally unlikeable once you get to know him probably isn't a bad idea either.

If Cyberdyne wanted to build the perfect Terminator, it would be a machine that didn't know it was a Terminator.

But that movie didn't do as well as hoped, so...
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 12 Aug 2015, 23:11
Alice has now given Gavia a reason to come up with a way to kill Alice. They're living under the same roof and Gavia has access to Alice's food.

Gavia could also do pointless retaliation. If she decides she has nothing to lose, she could incinerate a lot of the villagers out of spite before Alice could react. Alice's reaction would make it a kamikaze move on Gavia's part, of course.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: ReindeerFlotilla on 13 Aug 2015, 00:07
I suspect it takes more power than Alice has to kill Alice.

Jeph usually thinks things through, and I'm betting "tired of life" factors into Alice's thousands of years of life on Earth. I suspect she's tried to kill herself.

And Failed. The spacetrees might have the power to do it (not without catastrophic losses), but Gavia probably isn't up to it.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: dexeron on 13 Aug 2015, 05:38
I just realized it, and I'm not sure why it took me this long.

Ardent is voiced by Greg Cipes.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 13 Aug 2015, 11:17
Don't be silly. Ardent is voiced by me :mrgreen:
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: FunkyTuba on 13 Aug 2015, 14:21
I was thinking something more along the lines of:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TiWg7L0NJYU

...Nicholas Bird, the director's son.

Guess it's not that far from Greg Cipes
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: improvnerd on 13 Aug 2015, 19:10
Ardent, we hardly knew ye.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Zebediah on 13 Aug 2015, 19:18
I have a feeling that hurt Alice way more than it hurt Ardent.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: jheartney on 13 Aug 2015, 19:30
I'll be very surprised if Ardent is not alive in the next comic. And I expect Alice knew he would be. I think Alice is the one being Skruked.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 13 Aug 2015, 19:47
What J said. I don't buy it.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: ReindeerFlotilla on 13 Aug 2015, 19:57
That was unexpected.

I thought she was bluffing.

I also expected less from Ardent.  Note that Ardent has done the first unambiguously heroic thing in the story.

I also suspect that Alice's knife hand is in the wall. (Unless she really was bluffing, and she had to go that far before whatever she was trying to bluff reacted.)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 13 Aug 2015, 19:59
Either Jeph was bluffing or he wanted us to think he was, either way kind of a dick move to do a cliffhanger of this magnitude. Oh well, we'll find out soon enough.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 13 Aug 2015, 20:10
If I sent a Trojan Horse full of nanotech malware to a defended area, I'd put defense mechanism into it or make absolutely sure its work would be done before anyone knew to attack it.

Alice may just have done the equivalent of throwing a punch at Momo.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: ReindeerFlotilla on 13 Aug 2015, 20:22
Well, unless Alice's knife hand technique is the quivering palm method, I have to wonder why her hand was shaking before the blackout panel.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 13 Aug 2015, 20:41
She was probably moving it incredibly fast to make it seem like she was about to kill Ardent.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Loki on 13 Aug 2015, 20:49
Or you know, she was in emotional distress.

Next strip, Ardent's body is dead, but he is now in Alice's body. Because nano magic. They are quite an odd couple.

Caught in one body.
She is a cynical being of unprecedented power.
He is a wacky hormone-driven teenage boy.
Together, they fight crime.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: cesium133 on 13 Aug 2015, 20:57
Or you know, she was in emotional distress.

Next strip, Ardent's body is dead, but he is now in Alice's body. Because nano magic. They are quite an odd couple.

Caught in one body.
She is a cynical being of unprecedented power.
He is a wacky hormone-driven teenage boy.
Together, they fight crime.
...while they confuse the hell out of poor Margaret Wheelwright.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: jheartney on 13 Aug 2015, 20:58
OTOH Jeph might do a Talia Winters (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ManchurianAgent) with Ardent, having him die and be replaced by a more aware Praeses agent. Face-Heel Turn. (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/FaceHeelTurn) That would be harsh. Not to mention the first violent death in the Jeph Jaques oeuvre.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 13 Aug 2015, 21:00
Well thanks for possibly sort of spoiling a plot point of Babylon 5, a show I was probably gonna watch eventually! :roll:
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 13 Aug 2015, 21:08
Go ahead and dive into it. It's a classic. Slow start, don't give up when the first season seems too Trek-like.

I wonder why Ardent didn't run away.

Having him die seems too simple to be likely.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: amykathleen on 13 Aug 2015, 21:16
The way I read today is that she's going to hit him, but is hesitating - see how she's posed to hit him and his eyes are closed, then she starts shaking and he cracks his eyes open (looking for the blow that hasn't come) - and then while she's hesitating, the Mystery Skruk occurs.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 13 Aug 2015, 21:18
I wonder why Ardent didn't run away.
He was actually quite clear on why he didn't run away. He is many things, but whether or not he died, a coward is certainly not one of them.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Channelore HellicottAtham on 13 Aug 2015, 22:30
Expecting that Ardent's payload makes him as unwittingly (and unwillingly) immortal as Alice herself seems to be. Kinda hoping that the crunch nailed her, just to shake things up a bit, or at least a big ol' mutual KO.

Otherwise, if Ardent is gone, well...

I'm blue
Doobeydoo
Doobeydoo..

:verysadface:
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: hedgie on 13 Aug 2015, 22:55
Things have turned a deeper shade of blue
And images that might be real
May be illusion
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Loki on 13 Aug 2015, 23:06
Is this the real life, is this just fantasy
Caught on the planet, no escape from reality
Open your eyes, look up to the skies and see

Alice just killed a boy
Put a hand against his chest
Pushed some more and now he's mess'd
Alice, life had just begun
But now you've gone and thrown it all away
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: BenRG on 13 Aug 2015, 23:08
Well, well! So, Gavia does care for Ardent after all (as if we ever doubted it :wink: )! Ardent has unexpected depths and... and I doubt that Alice has had the shakes like that from emotional conflict in a very, very long time.

Jeez Alice...

Did you have to punch a hole in the wall like that? I mean... It's going to take forever to fix it without it looking like basically a patch over a fist-sized hole!
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: celticgeek on 13 Aug 2015, 23:11
Do not count a human dead until you've seen his body. And even then you can make a mistake.
     Margot Lady Fenring
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Undrneath on 13 Aug 2015, 23:55
I think the skruk was Alice's knife hand, however it didn't hit Ardent rather it hit the wall behind him after Alice saw how far Ardent was willing to go to protect innocent lives.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: pwhodges on 14 Aug 2015, 00:03
I sure don't know what's actually happened, but it seems to me that bluffs have been called, or reactions triggered.  As for the likelihood of Ardent's survival, I commend the site's favicon to your attention as additional circumstantial evidence.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 14 Aug 2015, 00:32
It's Ardent. Was it not always?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Loki on 14 Aug 2015, 00:41
I suppose Paul means that a character who is dead after a few strips is unlikely to be the favicon for the comic.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: osaka on 14 Aug 2015, 03:43
"Alice Grove: The story of how Ardent made everything go topsy-turvy"
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: hedgie on 14 Aug 2015, 03:49
True, he *could* be possibly all corpsified and gross by Alice, and have served his purpose in being a catalyst for a huge change in the society there, much like Kamina (who died fairly early in TTGL) ended up being.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Zebediah on 14 Aug 2015, 04:09
My prediction: Ardent is completely unharmed. Meanwhile Alice's right arm is missing below the elbow. (Not to worry, it will grow back.)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: bhtooefr on 14 Aug 2015, 04:44
Yeah, I'm guessing that Alice was right, but the nanotech in Ardent's body is powerful enough that Alice can't kill him.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: BenRG on 14 Aug 2015, 05:01
My prediction, Alice punched a hole in the wall by Ardent's throat so deep that it indicates that her blow would have cut his head off if it had contacted.

Whilst Ardent is busy realising that he's alive, Alice will collapse, crying and sobbing that she's too weak to do what she has to do. Gavia floats over to her, hugs her from behind and says something like: "You've been alone for too long, haven't you?"
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: ReindeerFlotilla on 14 Aug 2015, 05:10
If Alice breaks down, I'll give you a dollar.

I'm sure Alice has a softer side. It's made titanium alloy compared to her Depleted Uranium side.

She's like an onion. She has many layers. Like an onion, each successive layer is made of the same stuff.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: pwhodges on 14 Aug 2015, 05:33
Gavia floats over to her, hugs her from behind and says something like: "You've been alone for too long, haven't you?"

Given how Gavia was in the first frame, that seems an unlikely turn-around.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Skewbrow on 14 Aug 2015, 06:31
Hmm. Many possibilities.
... Stay tuned ...

I, too, doubt that Ardent is permanently removed from the story.[/list]
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Loki on 14 Aug 2015, 11:50
I am surprised this hasn't been suggested yet.
A hitherto unknown power intervenes.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Kugai on 14 Aug 2015, 15:38
*Cue dramatic music and 'To Be Continued.....' screen*
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Neko_Ali on 14 Aug 2015, 17:06
Next week: Jeph announces he's taking a three month hiatus from Alice Grove to re-evaluate the plot...
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: cesium133 on 14 Aug 2015, 17:29
Next week: Jeph announces he's taking a three month hiatus from Alice Grove to re-evaluate the plot...

Don't worry, there will be Yelling Bird to fill the time.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Zebediah on 14 Aug 2015, 17:42
That's when we discover that Yelling Bird is an agent of the Praeses. And Randy is Alice's boss.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: mustang6172 on 14 Aug 2015, 18:57
Skruk?  I don't recall Batman ever using that one.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Loki on 14 Aug 2015, 22:45
Next week: Jeph announces he's taking a three month hiatus from Alice Grove to re-evaluate the plot...

So basically Jeph is a GM in a pen & paper game and Alice's player just broke his plot with wanton PvP?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: BenRG on 14 Aug 2015, 23:02
Next week: Jeph announces he's taking a three month hiatus from Alice Grove to re-evaluate the plot...

So basically Jeph is a GM in a pen & paper game and Alice's player just broke his plot with wanton PvP?

One thing that all GMs should realise is that players are inherently perverse and unpredictable.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: hedgie on 14 Aug 2015, 23:07
So basically Jeph is a GM in a pen & paper game and Alice's player just broke his plot with wanton PvP?
[/quote]

It would be quite interesting if he was actually writing the comic as a GM, and both Ardent and Gavia are characters played by people he knew in IRL.  With the level of world-building involved, it actually makes a bit of odd sense.

Nah, nevermind.  The plot makes waay too much sense for the shit players do.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: KOK on 15 Aug 2015, 00:05
Skruk! If there is one thing Alice is not it is skruk. Well, I suppose it doesn't mean the same in English. In Danish it is a word used mostly of hens, but occasionally of women. Google translates it as "broody".
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: de_la_Nae on 16 Aug 2015, 20:49
Guys, the skruk is Amos.

Duh.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: cesium133 on 16 Aug 2015, 21:25
It turns out the peanut butter was entirely made of nanobots. That's what's kept Amos alive for so long.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: de_la_Nae on 16 Aug 2015, 21:47
Maaaaaybe.

I was thinking it's more him hitting Alice with a stick.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Wildroses on 17 Aug 2015, 04:13
Does anyone else think the skruk might have been Gavia making a move on Alice? She's already made it clear she doesn't want Alice to kill her brother, has used violence to try get what she wants in the past and she doesn't strike me as the type to go: "Oh okay I'll just stand here while Alice kills you if that's what you want Ardent."
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 18 Aug 2015, 21:33
Is Jeph only doing one update this week?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Detachable Felix on 18 Aug 2015, 22:59
He did drive 14 hours today, we may get one tomorrow
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: improvnerd on 20 Aug 2015, 16:45
I wonder if Alice dug those mass graves herself.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Detachable Felix on 20 Aug 2015, 17:14
My reaction to today's strip can only be summarised by image.
(click to show/hide)

Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Carl-E on 20 Aug 2015, 17:15
I wonder if Alice dug those mass graves herself.

No, she has our cultural memory.  Those are (or should be) some well known images of the world's greatest atrocities.  She's been around far longer than she lets on  :wink:

I just wanted to express my awe at the last panel.  Her face, the eyes especially, but its angle and the emotion evident in it just took my breath away. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Kugai on 20 Aug 2015, 17:18
Wow

Just ...... wow
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: mustang6172 on 20 Aug 2015, 17:29
Quote from: Jepherson B. Jaqueston
Those were some really cheerful images I had to look up for reference, let me tell you

Yeah.  Those bloody hands can be tricky to draw.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: jwhouk on 20 Aug 2015, 17:35
Wow.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: ReindeerFlotilla on 20 Aug 2015, 17:52
Called the wall. Her motives for hitting the wall are far better than "I like ardent, after all."

I don't think that's prehistoric (From a post blink POV) despite being referenced on the inhumanity of, well, us.

I think that's from the war.

I'm guessing the blink didn't make Alice. I'm guessing there's a reason the MBT/LBT level Gavia was no match for ALice is that Alice is a weapons system, and that final flashback of the bloody had was her hand. She was confident she could kill to protect the mission objective because she always has.

But she can't now.

I'm less wondering whether she dug the graves and more curious how many she put in them.

If Alice is a walking WMD not by blink, but by war, it would explain her relationship with... everyone.

This also proves my assessment of Alice in error. I thought she had layers like an onion. Many layers, but all of them onion. Her evident surprise today makes me think she thought the same of herself. Clearly she was wrong. She's no longer as hard core as she thinks she is.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Wildroses on 20 Aug 2015, 18:50
Well as far as I'm concerned this comic proved some of Alice's dark past was self-inflicted. I also think that blood-stained hand was hers, and she did not get blood on it by trying to save someone or by accident as I doubt she'd have been thinking about it while she was trying to work herself up to commit murder.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Neko_Ali on 20 Aug 2015, 19:18
I would guess that she's killed a lot of people. Both in the war, and afterwards. But she's convinced herself that all the people who she killed deserved it. They were soldiers, or had done some wrong. Ardent's last words.. If you're wrong, you're killing an innocent person, probably was the final straw to break millennia of doubt. So much of what she does seems to be tied up with 'I know more, don't question what I say or do'. She's been avoiding this question for a long, long time... what if I was wrong?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Rghfrgl on 20 Aug 2015, 20:40
Where's Harrison Wells when you need him?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: mikmaxs on 20 Aug 2015, 20:59
Whelp. Alice Grove just went full-on PG-13 Adult Audience Star Wars Episode III, didn't it?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: ReindeerFlotilla on 20 Aug 2015, 21:07
When Jeph surpasses the raw carnage of Schlock Mercenary, I'll consider him to have gone Adult audiences.

I remember the old days when Tayler would repeat that SM was a family comic, and I'd think, "Howard, these people casually rip each other's head off. And this among friends."
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Sorflakne on 20 Aug 2015, 23:13
Hmm, unsure if I approve of Alice not offing Ardent, or disappointed that she didn't off him.

On the one hand, the one panel makes it seem she had a large hand in the carnage and destruction of the wars before the Blink, and that the experience broke her in a way, which would indicate that by sparing Ardent, she doesn't want to reawaken the monster she once was (though you can see it here and there in the comic).  On the other hand, by offing Ardent, it would've shown that she's willing to do what it takes to prevent any harm from coming to the world she's tried to rebuild.

Of course, the second option assumes that Ardent is indeed a pawn/sleeper agent.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: BenRG on 20 Aug 2015, 23:22
Called it!

Killing enemies and threats to the innocent? She can do that and even enjoy it on a disturbing level. Kill an innocent pawn who is willlingly offering himself to death? That's something totally different and I don't think that Alice has ever been that able to disconnect her conscience from her actions to that extent.

About those images...? I think that Alice was remembering the next few steps down the path to hell that starts with killing the innocent 'for the greater good'. Pogroms, genocides and all the horrors that come from radical eugenics. Something tells me that things got bad just before the Blink. She's seen just where well-intentioned extremism goes to. She can't be part of that, let alone the start of it... she won't.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: improvnerd on 20 Aug 2015, 23:55
Something tells me that things got bad just before the Blink.

According to Alice: "This led to a series of regional conflicts that escalated to all-out war. It lasted for years. Billions died." (6/11, panel 6)

The art for that panel looks a lot like panel 1 of today's strip.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 21 Aug 2015, 00:35
Did anyone actually think Ardent was dead?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Neko_Ali on 21 Aug 2015, 07:11
I think she is capable of it. She was perfectly willing, even eager maybe to slowly beat Gavia to death before Ardent stopped her. Given that she's shown here that she's capable of immediately ending a fight that only leaves Gavia's nanobots were enough to stop Alice from splortching her in one punch. Or Alice was holding back so she could enjoy the killing. Or she never intended to kill Gavia. Just hurt her really, really badly. That seems the less likely option.

I am beginning to wonder if Ardent doesn't have some sort of pheremone type effect on people to make everyone like him. It seems everyone he encounters wants to be nice to him. The only person who breaks that mold, kind of, was when Miss Wheelright slapped him. And even then she seemed taken by him before his ah... indelicate suggestion offended her sensibilities. If that's true, and he is a kind of sleeper agent, that would be a fantastic tool. Everybody likes Ardent, nobody wants to hurt him so his hidden nanobots are free to do whatever...
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Loki on 21 Aug 2015, 08:25
No, she has our cultural memory.  Those are (or should be) some well known images of the world's greatest atrocities.

Can you elaborate? I don't think I know any of those images.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: BenRG on 21 Aug 2015, 08:34
Can you elaborate? I don't think I know any of those images.

Panel 1 looks like a mass burning of heretics or some mass-cremation or it could just be the fires of total war such as those that consumed large parts of London, Berlin, Hamburg, Coventry, Tokyo and dozens of other cities during WW2.

Panel 2 is a loose adaptation of an iconic photograph of a mass grave of Jews, Slavs and other 'subhumans' at a Nazi extermination camp at the end of WW2 in Europe.

Panel 3 is a bloody hand, the universal and seemingly instinctual symbolic visualisation of murder.

It is... disturbing at times just how terrifyingly efficient and enthusiastic the human race is when it turns its collective mind to the mass eradication of life.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Roborat on 21 Aug 2015, 12:51
Starting to get a strong Jones vibe (Gunnerkrigg Court) with her now.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Kugai on 21 Aug 2015, 14:17
There comes a point where even the greatest Warrior says "No more!!"
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: BenRG on 21 Aug 2015, 15:27
Starting to get a strong Jones vibe (Gunnerkrigg Court) with her now.

Jones is a curious creation but, IMHO at least, she and Alice are very different... except in appearance, which I found very spooky.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 21 Aug 2015, 17:06
Jones claims to be emotionless if memory serves. Her memories also don't seem as psychologically damaging, even she must have seen over four thousand once-in-a-million-years horrors.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: ReindeerFlotilla on 21 Aug 2015, 18:12
It is... disturbing at times just how terrifyingly efficient and enthusiastic the human race is when it turns its collective mind to the mass eradication of life.

Botulism toxin is basically weaponized poop.

There are animals in the family mMustelidae who kill because why not. domestic cats are known to be roving murder bots who kill for no other reason than there is a thing that can be killed.

These are just three examples off the top of my head. Why is it at all surprising that humans have weaponized intelligence? There are counless examples that natural selection rewards animals that efficiently or enthusiastically kill whatever they can, including each other. Despite Agent Smith's assertion, every other mammal does not come to a natural equilibrium with its envrionment. It not just humans and viruses that consume all the resources and move on. that's why invasive species are a problem.

Nature's balances rest on a fulcrum that is equal parts consumption and replication, and death and destruction.

Deep down, this has always struck me as one of humanity's delusions. Except that sounds judgmental and It's not meant to be. Intelligence is evolved. As awesome as it is that we can use it to formulate pi (or preferably, tau) we also use it to formulate big foot, gods, and the Bermuda triangle. Ultimately, natural selection is unconcerned with whether the tools it crafts are "right," but only that they work. What intelligence constructs need not be representative of the real world, if it conveys advantage in passing on genes.

This better functional than realistic method makes selection a form of mathematics or vice versa.

What is interesting to me is that along with weaponizing intelligence, we've used it build a number of evolutionary tools that are generally aimed at preserving life. They were obviously intended to pass on genes, just like all the rest, but they've also gone to the extreme. A level of altruism that no longer makes sense at the genetic replication level. We are efficient and effective killers, but we are also the most efficient and effective healers and caregivers this planet has produced. We're so good at it, we've abstracted it and specialized it such that we have artisans who focus entirely on  providing care for other species for not reason other than "it's there." Not just caring for animals that produce goods we consume, but caring for animals just because.

We often stand in judgment of our species as horrible compared to others, and I generally agree, because I am cynical pessimist. But the fact is that we are the undisputed champs when comes to pretty much all the "good" behaviors, too. I think the whole factors of surprise and shock at our heights and depths tends to vanish when you realize that good and bad are also constructs of our evolved intelligence ad actually have little to do with reality. Morality is another of those things like math. It doesn't matter if it is real, just that it works.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 21 Aug 2015, 18:49
From another angle, along with all the other species we've sent to extinction, we also eradicated smallpox and have polio on its deathbed.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Hiazi on 21 Aug 2015, 19:39
There comes a point where even the greatest Warrior says "No more!!"

https://www.youtube.com/embed/4BTcxQQf_O0




On a more serious note, holy hell that look on Alice's face in the last panel. Just... wow. Ignoring any and all emotional impact from the story, that right there is -art-.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: BenRG on 22 Aug 2015, 08:43
New comic up (http://www.alicegrove.com/image/127318564499)!

For something so simple, it's full of world-building and character-building. It also has probably the single most significant Alice quote so far:

Quote
"If I'm right, you're being used as weapon. That's a terrible thing to be. I should know. I was a weapon too, once."

So, there we have it. What exactly is she? Gene-engineered super-soldier? Cyborg super-soldier? Whatever it was, it's left scars. Immortality has left scars too, by the looks of it. How long can one woman, no matter how remarkably gifted, carry the world before she starts to buckle under the weight?

Oh, and I was almost right. It's just Ardent who goes in for the hug instead of Gavia. Which, when you think of it, is deeply in-character for him.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: ReindeerFlotilla on 22 Aug 2015, 09:37
Such a burden, being right.

The most developy thing I get from this (not discounting the weaponized Alice, just calling it revelatory. For arbitrary distinction sake), it that Alice is willing to open up at all. Obviously the flash back was emotional for her, but her verbal response are pure, cold Alice. Rational. Objective.

Her body language, OTOH is vulnerable. I don't know if she's hiding her face, in the end because there's only so much vulnerability she can tolerate, or if Jeph just wasn't up to drawing tears, but it's nice touch. It fits in with the conflicted expression of Alice's affect.

Now, I'm going to kick back and drink all of Arbitrary Distinction's sake.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Kugai on 22 Aug 2015, 13:35
Dang!
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: mustang6172 on 22 Aug 2015, 18:44
Alice doesn't kill people; people kill people.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 22 Aug 2015, 18:49
Alice is a person, and she's killed a lot of people. But probably never one who allowed himself to be killed.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: ReindeerFlotilla on 22 Aug 2015, 23:55
Alice is a person, and she's killed a lot of people. But probably never one who allowed himself to be killed.

I wouldn't put money on that.

I mean, we authors do love to create the conflicted soldier who hates what they were but, on analysis was just somebody fighting a war, and never did anything questionable. War is hell, etc. Which is true, even if you do it "right." But doing it right is easier imagined than done.

Alice strikes me as the kind of person who would kill someone in these exact circumstances and call it square. The mission requires, so it will be done.

Of course, that's just her personality talking. Jeph only knows what kind of person she reall is.

I'm going to tell a story. Hopefully is will be short. There was an Attack helicopter pilot. A warrant officer, and the senior pilot on routine patrol in Vietnam, during the war. Nothing special.

Now, for context, understand that this man's last tour in Vietnam ended when he was shot in the back while flying an attack helicopter. While this even was in the future, compared to the story, it's relevant to understand the situation. Being in the air didn't make one safe from bullets, oddly enough.

As I said, this was nothing special, Just two gunships on patrol. As the senior officer, this man's job was to give direction. As a wingman, his job was to provide mutual support. Keep an eye out for threats his wing man might not be able to see, while his wing man (technically wing men, but roll with me) did the same for him.

Now, what happens next happens quickly, because war. While this man implies that he hold's himself responsible personally, he wasn't the only set of eyes in his aircraft. He was just the guy who saw it first.

A hut. An unremarkable hut. And his wing man was going to over fly it.

Shot in the back, while piloting. I said that was important. Because he had no idea why that hut was there. It could have been a hidy hole for a guy with a rifle, just waiting for a chopper to snipe. It could have been a mother and her son, Tiny Tim. He didn't know. He just knew his wing man was going into the danger zone around it, and it was too late to call a divert.

He, on the other hand, was almost lined up perfectly on it. I wasn't too late to eliminate "almost." So he did. Then he eliminated the hut with rocket fire.

That is war. Maybe he killed the enemy. Maybe he killed a hunter just trying to get dinner for the kids. Maybe he blew up a hut with nothing in it. He had a responsibility to the mission, and to the men in the aircraft. Doubly so as they were under his command. The calculus was simple. The call was the right one.

So you gotta wonder why he told me that story 20 years after the fact. No moral. No lesson offered. No justification.

Alice is the weapons system. If she doesn't have stories like that keeping her awake in the middle of the millennium, she wasn't really in a war. If she didn't "fire" at times it wasn't really clear she had to, she wasn't in a war. We have main battle tanks and jet fighters because they work. So weaponizing a woman implies they needed more than a super soldier. They needed something to get up close and personal with the enemy. And kill it with her bare hands.

After a while, the enemy stops being human.

After the war, it dawns on you how many humans you killed, or might have killed, or didn't kill and that's why you got to watch your buddy's head explode.

Maybe he did have a lesson in mind when he told me the story. After all, he did ask what I would have done. And I gave the only answer you can give. If I had been trained, I'd like to think I'd do the same, because I know it's the right call. Even if there were innocents inside. I couldn't know. I would have been trained, indoctrinated, to protect my people, and if protecting them means burning a bit of my soul, that's the job. But I wasn't trained. At the very least, I'd hesitate just trying to work out where my responsibilities lie. And if that hesitation cost the lives of men I was sworn to protect, well that's also a bit of my soul burned, isn't it?

How many huts has Alice burned? I bet there were a lot.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: BenRG on 23 Aug 2015, 00:40
Of course, those midnight moments are worse when, with the maturity and clarity that comes with time, you determine that the cause was unjust, the orders illegal and the reasons irrational. It's hard to keep going when you realise that you were a gun in the hands of a monster and, worse, a gun with the intelligence and capability to have refused to fire... if you'd wanted to.

"We need to execute these women and children because we need to focus food production on combat-capable parts of our population."

"Yes sir."

"We need to liquidate this entire community because we aren't sure that they are ideologically pure enough."

"Yes sir."

"Jeez, Alice! Those augmentations are really working, you fucking punched right through that guy's head!"

"Heh. Yeah, I did, didn't I? Being a super-soldier is cool!"

"Why did you do it?"

"Eh... Stupid civvie pissed me off by lookin' at me wrong."

"Asshole had it coming!"
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: pwhodges on 23 Aug 2015, 04:12
Called it!

(This is not aimed at you individually)

Don't you people think that this "Called it" meme has got more than a little out of hand?  In this case, there were two options - she killed him/she didn't.  Guessing the right one is hardly an achievement, as even if there was no indication a 50:50 chance is no big deal.  And I'm not sure that so closely identifying one's thought processes with those of the cartoonist is entirely healthy.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: BenRG on 23 Aug 2015, 05:21
Actually, if you look up-thread, the debate was far more nuanced than "killed/didn't kill". It was about whether she even hit Ardent, what might happen if she did or whether or not he was even killable. The things that I called was:
I'm usually incredibly poor at predicting future plot directions or even the outcome of cliff-hangers so please indulge my need to celebrate actually getting it right for once!
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: ReindeerFlotilla on 23 Aug 2015, 10:12
Called it!

(This is not aimed at you individually)

Don't you people think that this "Called it" meme has got more than a little out of hand?  In this case, there were two options - she killed him/she didn't.  Guessing the right one is hardly an achievement, as even if there was no indication a 50:50 chance is no big deal.  And I'm not sure that so closely identifying one's thought processes with those of the cartoonist is entirely healthy.

I very specifically called
A) Alice put her hand in the wall.
B) Alice is a weapons system, not a purpose built protector for the blink.

It was obvious from Jeph's sarcastic caption that she didn't kill Ardent.

Also, "You people" is poor phrasing in any circumstances given the huge number of circumstances in which it's used to dogwhistle sexism, racism, and homophobia.

I'm not saying you are a sexist racist homophobe. I'm implying it, the same way you unnecessarily implied that story analysis is mental illness. Considering the fact that I am a "cartoonist," I'd call it what it is. Practice. Storytelling is the fine art of taking a situation and figuring out what happens next. Analysis of another storyteller's story is how you practice that. Practice makes perfect. We aren't mentally ill, and we've got no reason to think you're actually a bigot, except for the ablism implied by suggesting we were mentally ill, but that'll pass. So maybe we can all agree to project a bit less?

I get it. People do things. It annoys. But as long as they aren't being disruptive and breaking the rules, why not let them enjoy stuff in their own way? Believe me, I find myself responding the same way when something gets under my skin. But then I try to stop myself. (https://xkcd.com/386/)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 23 Aug 2015, 10:26
I'm not saying you are a sexist racist homophobe. I'm implying it
(mod)*cough*(/)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: ReindeerFlotilla on 23 Aug 2015, 10:28
I'm not saying you are a sexist racist homophobe. I'm implying it
(mod)*cough*(/)

Thank you for modding, but if you took that in context, you'd note that I implied to illustrate a point about not implying stuff, like the other mod's implication that people who say "called it" are mentally defective.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 23 Aug 2015, 10:45
Wait, Alice hasn't been established as a weapons system.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 23 Aug 2015, 11:13
Quote from: ReindeerFlotilla
Considering the fact that I am a "cartoonist," I'd call it what it is. Practice. Storytelling is the fine art of taking a situation and figuring out what happens next. Analysis of another storyteller's story is how you practice that. Practice makes perfect.

(mod)For anyone following along trying to understand community standards, RF's statement here is exemplary. Direct, on point, insightful, educational, impersonal, and therefore respectful.(/)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Sorflakne on 23 Aug 2015, 22:43
Quote
Did anyone actually think Ardent was dead?
*raises hand*

Yeah, I'm a bastard.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: SubaruStephen on 24 Aug 2015, 04:29
Quote
Did anyone actually think Ardent was dead?
*raises hand*

Yeah, I'm a bastard.

*also raises hand*

Long time Joss Whedon fan here...
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: katsmeat on 24 Aug 2015, 04:45
The first panel reminds me of some background stuff I read in some World of Darkness Vampire source book ( I was flicking through somebody else's, I don't play WoD, honestly).

It cogently argued the point that any person granted immortality would slowly turn into a monster.  If they happened to be exceptionally morally upstanding the progress would be slower, but it would still inevitably occur.

I think RPG source books are an underrated form of literature.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Kugai on 24 Aug 2015, 14:06
Quote
Did anyone actually think Ardent was dead?
*raises hand*

Yeah, I'm a bastard.

*also raises hand*

Long time Joss Whedon fan here...


Well, at least Jeph isn't George R.R. Martin
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 24 Aug 2015, 14:12
I didn't think Ardent was alive because I didn't think Jeph wouldn't go through with it, I thought he was alive because that would be a shitty way to kill off a main character.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Sorflakne on 24 Aug 2015, 20:50
Main characters have been killed off for less.

(click to show/hide)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 24 Aug 2015, 20:52
Ok, I don't know what that's a spoiler for. And I don't mean that it wouldn't have been enough of a reason to kill him, I mean Jeph wouldn't kill him in a "did I kill him?" way.

And now I know what it's a spoiler for in a way that made it unavoidable to know what the actual spoiler was. Eh, I probably wasn't gonna read it anyway.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Carl-E on 25 Aug 2015, 21:31
Can you elaborate? I don't think I know any of those images.

Panel 1 looks like a mass burning of heretics or some mass-cremation or it could just be the fires of total war such as those that consumed large parts of London, Berlin, Hamburg, Coventry, Tokyo and dozens of other cities during WW2.

Panel 2 is a loose adaptation of an iconic photograph of a mass grave of Jews, Slavs and other 'subhumans' at a Nazi extermination camp at the end of WW2 in Europe.

Panel 3 is a bloody hand, the universal and seemingly instinctual symbolic visualisation of murder.

It is... disturbing at times just how terrifyingly efficient and enthusiastic the human race is when it turns its collective mind to the mass eradication of life.

I believe the first is from a photo of the firebombing of Dresden, although it's hard to tell.   The second is right on the money, though it could be any mass grave, there were several well known photos of trench graves from the holocaust.  And I seem to recall seeing the third before - on first look, I thought it was the hand of a person who'd been lynched, but on a second look BenRG may well be right. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Kugai on 26 Aug 2015, 17:03
Welcome to Canada Jeph
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 26 Aug 2015, 17:17
Eh?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Kugai on 26 Aug 2015, 17:37
See his message in Alice Grove
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 26 Aug 2015, 17:38
I know, that was a Canadian "eh?"!
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Kugai on 26 Aug 2015, 17:39
Ahhh!!!!
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: jwhouk on 26 Aug 2015, 18:11
Yah, eh? He's oot and aboot in Canada, eh? Picking up a Timmies and goin' ta see da Leafs training camp, eh?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: ReindeerFlotilla on 26 Aug 2015, 22:19
Depends on which part of Canada. He could be oat and aboat.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Kugai on 27 Aug 2015, 14:05
*Must ....... resist ....... punning*
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Method of Madness on 27 Aug 2015, 14:10
Resistance is futile.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Loki on 27 Aug 2015, 16:03
You will be alicimated.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: KOK on 27 Aug 2015, 21:46
"I was a weapon too, once." Does that remind you of anyone we know? Like Bubbles.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Kugai on 28 Aug 2015, 14:36
She's seen things Ardent and Gavia wouldn't believe.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: ReindeerFlotilla on 28 Aug 2015, 18:17
She's seen things Ardent and Gavia wouldn't believe.

This is probably literally true. I just hope she save Harrison Ford before she dies.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: Kugai on 29 Aug 2015, 15:47
Naaah, that's Chewies job
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
Post by: ReindeerFlotilla on 29 Aug 2015, 23:56
I think you're thinking of Short Round.

Or maybe Willem Dafoe. I always get those two mixed up.