Jeph Jacques's comics discussion forums

Comic Discussion => ALICE GROVE => Topic started by: Kugai on 31 Mar 2016, 15:22

Title: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Kugai on 31 Mar 2016, 15:22
Happy April Fools Day!  :-D
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Carl-E on 31 Mar 2016, 17:54
The joke is, it's still before midnight in the US!
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Kugai on 31 Mar 2016, 20:45
What's even more of a joke is that it's actually 16:45 here on April 1st in Kiwiland
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Loki on 02 Apr 2016, 11:20
New comic!





So, it's nice to see Ardent not getting distracted by Malice's apparel.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: BenRG on 02 Apr 2016, 12:23
SEDNA: "I'm going to need a bigger gun. A much bigger gun."

P.S.: Well, Sedna is human enough that her breasts look like breasts rather than a shaped body shell, as was the case with May.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Kugai on 02 Apr 2016, 14:01
She's gonna need a BFG alright.

Pulse EMP Cannon?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: TinPenguin on 02 Apr 2016, 14:09
She's gonna need a BFG alright.

What, to steal the Night Walker's dreams?

(https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/c8/4b/5c/c84b5c1b677c230c79fab740c89fd769.jpg)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Welu on 02 Apr 2016, 14:51
Dang, these last few have been fantastic on the art and creep factor.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Neko_Ali on 02 Apr 2016, 17:51
We're going to need something bigger than I have to take out the Night Walker.

Ardent... Touch her gun.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Detachable Felix on 02 Apr 2016, 20:33
Boobies!
Now now, let's be civil, folks. Let us keep abreast of the topic and not make a tit out of ourselves  :mrgreen:

In all seriousness though, let's not be like Tyler from GwS.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Y on 02 Apr 2016, 20:45
At least she has her priorities straight, unlike some tv shows where they take time to get dressed when confronted with an emergency. It's the same for people that are confronted with a bear while peeing, they finish their business first and zip up because they don't want to be caught dead with their dick out, instead of fleeing or whatever you're supposed to do when seeing a bear.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: President Peaches on 02 Apr 2016, 21:40
Pfffft, casuals. A true badass would piss on the bear.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Channelore HellicottAtham on 02 Apr 2016, 22:06
P.S.: Well, Sedna is human enough that her breasts look like breasts rather than a shaped body shell, as was the case with May.

So long as Ardent keeps his mystery magical auto-upgrade paws off them, at least.....  :psyduck:
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 02 Apr 2016, 23:21
Sedna didn't mind being in her underpants around a horny adolescent.

Alice, in contrast, sleeps in her armor. (Did the armor destroy her regular clothes?)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: BenRG on 02 Apr 2016, 23:42
That's probably just a personal preference. She sleeps in a t-shirt and pants at home too. That said, I suppose that it is possible that sleeping in her armour rather than begging a shirt off of Sedna might reflect a sense of personal vulnerability.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: FunkyTuba on 03 Apr 2016, 01:31
Guessing we'll get to see Sedna's final form at some point
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: War Sparrow on 03 Apr 2016, 12:10
At least she has her priorities straight, unlike some tv shows where they take time to get dressed when confronted with an emergency. It's the same for people that are confronted with a bear while peeing, they finish their business first and zip up because they don't want to be caught dead with their dick out, instead of fleeing or whatever you're supposed to do when seeing a bear.

Never run from a bear. Back away very slowly, and it will likely wander away. If not, and it looks about to attack you, make yourself as large as possible, make lots of noise, try to scare it.Fight the bear..you want to be as troublesome of a meal as possible. If that doesn't work, curl up in the crouch position. Your back will get ripped up, but your vital organs will stay in your soft, squishy torso.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: katsmeat on 03 Apr 2016, 12:36
At least she has her priorities straight, unlike some tv shows where they take time to get dressed when confronted with an emergency. It's the same for people that are confronted with a bear while peeing, they finish their business first and zip up because they don't want to be caught dead with their dick out, instead of fleeing or whatever you're supposed to do when seeing a bear.

Never run from a bear. Back away very slowly, and it will likely wander away. If not, and it looks about to attack you, make yourself as large as possible, make lots of noise, try to scare it.Fight the bear..you want to be as troublesome of a meal as possible. If that doesn't work, curl up in the crouch position. Your back will get ripped up, but your vital organs will stay in your soft, squishy torso.

To sum up... you keep your (for me,. hypothetical) dick out  and  spread open the  flaps of your coat, in the classic flasher-in-a-dirty-trechcoat  manner, to look bigger and badder while  shouting like hell.

Undeniably scary.

Though probably a bit  embarrassing if the snapped twig noise you thought was a bear turned out to be another hiker.

Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: mr.jacob on 03 Apr 2016, 22:59
At least she has her priorities straight, unlike some tv shows where they take time to get dressed when confronted with an emergency. It's the same for people that are confronted with a bear while peeing, they finish their business first and zip up because they don't want to be caught dead with their dick out, instead of fleeing or whatever you're supposed to do when seeing a bear.

Never run from a bear. Back away very slowly, and it will likely wander away. If not, and it looks about to attack you, make yourself as large as possible, make lots of noise, try to scare it.Fight the bear..you want to be as troublesome of a meal as possible. If that doesn't work, curl up in the crouch position. Your back will get ripped up, but your vital organs will stay in your soft, squishy torso.

To sum up... you keep your (for me,. hypothetical) dick out  and  spread open the  flaps of your coat, in the classic flasher-in-a-dirty-trechcoat  manner, to look bigger and badder while  shouting like hell.

Undeniably scary.

Though probably a bit  embarrassing if the snapped twig noise you thought was a bear turned out to be another hiker.
"leave your dick out, you'll look bigger by comparison"
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 04 Apr 2016, 00:58
Why design a weapon that needs to sleep?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: BenRG on 04 Apr 2016, 01:21
Why design a weapon that needs to sleep?

A limit of the technology, perhaps? Note that, in QC, Bubbles (a weapon) still has to sleep; it seems to be a limitation of the AI processor that it needs downtime to recompile or something. Not knowing what Alice and Sedna are, apart from the fact they are nearly indistinguishable from human women to the naked eye, we can only guess why their brains/processors/whatever need 'sleep periods'.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Dagoonite on 04 Apr 2016, 01:37
Why design a weapon that needs to sleep?
Self maintenance cycle, a memory reallocation cycle, to make the weapon more human so that it can more easily associate with humans, a way to help jump the final uncanny valley hurdle, a low power usage mode due to the presence of people who need to sleep in the same building, ancient technology has encountered bugs over prolonged usage beyond warranty, some dorky designer decided that it was a character flaw and nobody is complete without a character flaw, they were originally flesh and blood people who volunteered for upgrades and it's a holdover from their mental patterns...

I could go on with possibilities all day!
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Loki on 04 Apr 2016, 02:48
How are they powered anyway? Have we ever seen either of them eat?
Then again, Alice has an outhouse...
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: BenRG on 04 Apr 2016, 03:22
How are they powered anyway? Have we ever seen either of them eat?

We saw Alice having breakfast with Ardent and Gavia (she likes her porridge plain). She also is partial to a foamy beer at the local pub. So at the very least, her body can store food without it coming into contact with sensitive systems until excretion. However, I find it more likely that they can process food into energy, most likely organically.

FWIW, my view of Alice has long been that she is an extremely-augmented vat-grown bio-bot. This may include high-strength composite bones, cybernetically augmented senses and brain and a nearly-indestructible synthetic skin. Underneath this, she has better-than-human meat and organs (including snap-reflex tendons and muscle fibres, vastly accelerating her movements). Overall, she's really a true bio-synthetic hybrid rather than a cybernetically-augmented human.

This raises the question about which faction made her. The use of genetic enhancements and biological material would lend itself towards the bio-tech faction. However, the clear possibility of synthetic components of some sort to increase her durability is an inconsistency. Is she the result of some attempt to find a 'third way'? Or (and this is much more likely) were the bio-tech faction more than willing to ignore their ideology's rejection of synthetic means when it came to building weapons?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Zebediah on 04 Apr 2016, 03:52
I'm still of the opinion that she was originally a normal human who got upgraded. Perhaps involuntarily.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: TinPenguin on 04 Apr 2016, 04:32
At least she has her priorities straight, unlike some tv shows where they take time to get dressed when confronted with an emergency. It's the same for people that are confronted with a bear while peeing, they finish their business first and zip up because they don't want to be caught dead with their dick out, instead of fleeing or whatever you're supposed to do when seeing a bear.

Never run from a bear. Back away very slowly, and it will likely wander away. If not, and it looks about to attack you, make yourself as large as possible, make lots of noise, try to scare it.Fight the bear..you want to be as troublesome of a meal as possible. If that doesn't work, curl up in the crouch position. Your back will get ripped up, but your vital organs will stay in your soft, squishy torso.

(http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk40/AndalusMan/Misc/ranger_ron_zpsgferqgz5.png)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Dagoonite on 04 Apr 2016, 07:25
Snip!
I hate being a geek some days because my mind whirls and analyzes things, especially with the evidence that we're given.

Like how Alice (admittedly in armor) soaks an antimaterial round to the face.  A round like that can severely deform over an inch and a half of titanium.  That's nasty.  (Okay, we don't know what kind of round Sedna was firing while in combat mode, or...  Yeah.)  Or how Alice tanks that fall from the wind turbine.  While both of these are kinetic damage, they're very different.

Now, I won't lynch Jeff if he says nanomachines in the end despite how that makes me twitch uncomfortably.  It's his story, not mine, and he's entitled to use whatever explanations he wants to give, if he chooses to give any.  The story is solid, and that's the most important thing, right?

Failing that, if I were to hazard a guess, I'd go ahead and suggest that their skin has either a technological or biological high shear non-Newtonian fluid that operates down to a near-molecular level along with some other mechanism to spread out impacts over a greater range.  The armor behaves like cloth, but appears to offer more protection.  I would randomly guess that it behaves on a similar principle as the skin, along with some sort of super-dense crystalline latticework going on at a molecular level that...  Okay, you know what, let's skip this unless people want more and just fast forward.

I'm torn on if Alice is more biotech or.... normal tech?  Non-biotech?  I'll just call it tech for now.  On one hand, it's implied that her hair grows by Sedna.  That seems silly to have on non-biotech units.  On the other hand, summoning armor like that, or deploying it somehow, would require a degree of tech that would be hard to reproduce with biotech.  But Sedna illustrates that they're probably anatomically correct, which seems weird and mildly fetishy for tech, but more plausible for a biotech unit made off a human pattern.  But on the other hand...

...What's this about "MST3K Mantra?"  Just shut up and enjoy the ride?  B-but my geek cred demands that I figure this out and show everybody that I'm smart!  I...  Fine, I'll go sit in the corner and write "nobody wants to read fifteen pages of technobabble but me, even if Jeff seems to put thought into his" a thousand times.  Sorry.  I promise not to do it in public again.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: bhtooefr on 04 Apr 2016, 08:29
I'm just surprised Jeph didn't use carefully placed arms or jumping felines as censor bars.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 04 Apr 2016, 08:46
Welcome, analytical new person!

Whatever the explanation, it has to cover the deduction that they are self-repairing. We haven't seen anything remotely like a facility that could repair Alice, and she's lasted longer than any machine humanity has ever built. That points to something biological or to handwavium.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: FunkyTuba on 04 Apr 2016, 09:50
...What's this about "MST3K Mantra?"

Spoilered so as to preserve your productivity if necessary:
(click to show/hide)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Y on 04 Apr 2016, 13:41
This raises the question about which faction made her. The use of genetic enhancements and biological material would lend itself towards the bio-tech faction. However, the clear possibility of synthetic components of some sort to increase her durability is an inconsistency. Is she the result of some attempt to find a 'third way'? Or (and this is much more likely) were the bio-tech faction more than willing to ignore their ideology's rejection of synthetic means when it came to building weapons?
That makes me wonder if there might be a small 'Divergent' contingent, people that favors both faction's goals (or none). And therefor are shunned or even hunted by both factions. Then a combination of both technology trees would theoretically be more superior than each one on itself.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: FunkyTuba on 05 Apr 2016, 11:41
Feeling pleasantly whipsawed at the "oh shit" moment of Alice admitting that she's not invincible and then the ludicrous vision of Ardent and Sedna in their dramatic butt underwear poses.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: pwhodges on 05 Apr 2016, 12:09
If it kills Alice, the name of the comic will have to be changed, I guess...
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Welu on 05 Apr 2016, 13:25
I think that if Gavia survives this, the process may destroy all their nanobots and that will be interesting to deal with for her. Although that's getting a bit far ahead.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Pilchard123 on 05 Apr 2016, 13:25
If it kills Alice, the name of the comic will have to be changed, I guess...
Unless the wooded area they're in is (re-)named in her memory.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: BenRG on 05 Apr 2016, 14:11
One definition of a hero is a person willing to go to their death for someone they don't even like, simply because it is the right thing to do. This truth probably irritates the hell out of Alice who, if what Sedna says is accurate, probably simply would never believe someone such as her could ever be a hero.

Prediction:
Alice takes such a lot of hits that she blacks out after knocking Gavia out of the Night Walker's... er... grasp. She wakes up with her head in the lap of a tearful Sedna. :-*
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: FunkyTuba on 05 Apr 2016, 14:54
Alice has had millennia to figure out how to use whatever her enhancements are. I'd expect her to fare better against the Night Walter than Gavia, who may not fully understand her tech.

I'm curious if it steal Gavia's nanobots what enhancement that'll give it and what that will mean for our little party
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Zebediah on 05 Apr 2016, 15:31
It just occurred to me that Alice's instructions to Sedna could be interpreted a couple of different ways. "Take care of Ardent" could mean exactly that, or it could be interpreted as "Eliminate the danger that Ardent represents."

I'm sure that Alice meant the first, but Sedna might interpret it differently. For that matter, she might deliberately choose to interpret it differently while knowing full well it's not what Alice meant.

Probably moot as Alice is almost certain to survive this.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Kugai on 05 Apr 2016, 15:33
This is gonna be ugly
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Channelore HellicottAtham on 05 Apr 2016, 17:55
Lucky she left her armour on, I guess. Unless of course she has multiple armour reactivations hidden up her sleeve, in which case we might see her helmet suddenly reappear.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: mr.jacob on 05 Apr 2016, 19:53
I think the EM rifle quip is confirmation that Sedna was also alive before the blink
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 05 Apr 2016, 22:26
Is the Night Walker sentient? It's capable of goal-directed action but there was no idea of trying to talk to it, as Alice tried (once) when Gavia was setting off explosions.

Sedna did not activate any sort of armor. Wonder what that implies.

What happens if Ardent touches Sedna?

Is Alice some kind of idealist who believes in protecting the (arguably) innocent, or is there a strategic reason for saving Gavia?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: mr.jacob on 05 Apr 2016, 23:40
Is Alice some kind of idealist who believes in protecting the (arguably) innocent, or is there a strategic reason for saving Gavia?

I think she's just grown fond of the kids, ever since her flashback when she tried to kill Ardent she's felt maternal to them
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: hedgie on 05 Apr 2016, 23:57
And what parent *hasn't* thought of it with regard to their own offspring?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: BenRG on 06 Apr 2016, 01:24
Is Alice some kind of idealist who believes in protecting the (arguably) innocent, or is there a strategic reason for saving Gavia?

She was a weapon once; a perfect weapon - merciless, amoral and ultra-efficient at killing. I think that she realised a long time ago that she despises that creature and has been trying to be a better person. Furthermore, I wouldn't be surprised if there is an element of seeking redemption about it. Every life she saves and every threat to the helpless she stops, then she's wiped another red mark off of the ledger of her conscience.

Finally... I suspect that she and Gavia are developing a bond analogous to that between siblings. Gavia is the bratty little sister to whom Alice is trying to be a good example of how to use your great power with great responsibility. Alice is the accomplished and poised adult exemplar whom Gavia (at least on a certain subconscious level) has been increasingly trying to emulate. Yes, I am suggesting that Gavia may end up the Robin to Alice's Batman.

Oh and Alice being able to fly confirmed, IMO at least.

Also, to re-emphasise, I'm thinking that this volume will end with Alice tearing Gavia from the Night Walker's grasp before being hit by a huge electrostatic blast and blacking out. We'll then have a few weeks of tension trying to predict how badly she and Gavia have been hurt. Personally, I'd like for Gavia to lose all of her powers, at least for an extended period. Her learning to live as a baseline human might make for some nice character growth, especially if I'm right about how Alice views her.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: JimC on 06 Apr 2016, 02:41
I suspect a radically enhanced ability to jump rather than flight.  The image doesn't seem inconsistent with some sort of leap rather than Gavia style flight.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Loki on 06 Apr 2016, 04:09
I, too, suspect it's rather http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/InASingleBound (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/InASingleBound).
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Pilchard123 on 06 Apr 2016, 11:29
TV Tropes?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfsTk5i7mPw
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: improvnerd on 06 Apr 2016, 15:16
BTW, it just occurred to me: Congratulations to everyone who voted for "Night Walker: 'Hey, guys! Wait up!'" in November's poll. A winner is you.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: DSL on 06 Apr 2016, 15:48
If it kills Alice, the name of the comic will have to be changed, I guess...


Alice Grave?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Zebediah on 06 Apr 2016, 16:16
Alice Grieve.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 06 Apr 2016, 20:30
Alice said she could inflict intolerable losses on the Praeses if they invaded.

Alice as much as told Sedna that the Night Walker might be able to kill her.

Was her remark to Sedna a flip one? If not, how is she puissant enough to fight a war? Are there hidden resources at her command?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: BenRG on 06 Apr 2016, 22:55
Fighting a disassociated cloud of molecule-sized robots is very different from fighting an army, even ones with nanotech powers. It requires a completely different approach. For example, you can't punch it, no matter how hard you hit things. The ability to defeat an invading army and the ability to stop a nanobot cloud require totally different skills and tools.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 06 Apr 2016, 23:07
If the invading army deploys a squad of nanotech clouds there might be an issue.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: BenRG on 06 Apr 2016, 23:16
From what Alice and Gavia said when the Night Walker was introduced, nanotech of that sort is no longer known about and certainly not produced as the means to do so may have been lost.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Dagoonite on 07 Apr 2016, 00:42
"You can fly?!"

"No.  Jump good."

Also, to re-emphasise, I'm thinking that this volume will end with Alice tearing Gavia from the Night Walker's grasp before being hit by a huge electrostatic blast and blacking out. We'll then have a few weeks of tension trying to predict how badly she and Gavia have been hurt.

Other than the jumping bit, I'm favoring this analysis.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Neko_Ali on 07 Apr 2016, 06:56
There is also the scale of response that Alice can generate in each situation. Imagine if she has access to pre-Blink weaponry of mass destruction, either hidden away or as a last ditch 'spoil sport' final attack. If an army was invading from space she might well be willing to take out a huge chunk of the area to stop them. When trying to save a friend in the grips of an enemy, detonating a nuke-equivalent would not be the best course of action, generally.

Even setting that possibility aside,  it's quite likely that the Night Walker, made of billions or trillions of nanomachines could pose a threat in a different way than conventional weaponry could. Sure she can take an explosive anti-material rifle shell to the face and break the weapon with her bare hands after... That doesn't help if you're swarmed with a million tiny machines disassembling you molecule by molecule.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: mr.jacob on 07 Apr 2016, 10:01
When Alice said she could inflict significant losses, I assume she meant on the humans attacking, not necessarily on their nano-weapons. She never even implied she was well-equipped to fight nano's
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: BenRG on 07 Apr 2016, 11:17
New strip up! (http://www.alicegrove.com/image/142411527749)

Gavia is wearing a one-piece costume - Myth Debunked!
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 07 Apr 2016, 11:25
Am I the only one who thought at first that she did pull the whole leg off, and that Gavia was disintegrating?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: sitnspin on 07 Apr 2016, 11:35
The red eyes are back.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: pwhodges on 07 Apr 2016, 12:02
New strip up!

I know the comic link isn't perpetual, but it's better not to link directly to the image as that deprives Jeph of clicks on the site which contribute to his income.  Just say it's up (there's a link at the top of the page, after all), please.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: retrosteve on 07 Apr 2016, 13:43

This raises the question about which faction made her. The use of genetic enhancements and biological material would lend itself towards the bio-tech faction. However, the clear possibility of synthetic components of some sort to increase her durability is an inconsistency. Is she the result of some attempt to find a 'third way'? Or (and this is much more likely) were the bio-tech faction more than willing to ignore their ideology's rejection of synthetic means when it came to building weapons?

Everyone, spacers and praesides and humans and Alices agree, that AI is not possible (any more), as the Blink eliminated it all.  (Possible exception: the Eschaton that caused the Blink.) Hence Alice and Sedna are not AI.  From that I'd assume that they have meat brains, and were developed by the bio-tech faction. 

Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: retrosteve on 07 Apr 2016, 13:52
When Alice said she could inflict significant losses, I assume she meant on the humans attacking, not necessarily on their nano-weapons. She never even implied she was well-equipped to fight nano's

Except of course here, where she implies exactly that: http://www.alicegrove.com/post/105313777144/glowy-nanotech
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: retrosteve on 07 Apr 2016, 14:10
There is also the scale of response that Alice can generate in each situation. Imagine if she has access to pre-Blink weaponry of mass destruction....

No.  Read this one again: http://www.alicegrove.com/post/121321270784/thats-it-for-chapter-2-taking-next-week-off

She was there, but unless she's editing the story a bit, she wasn't part of whatever caused the Blink. Whatever deleted all AIs and advanced tech did it regardless of where they were 'hidden'.

Either she's telling the truth, and she has no way of making or hiding advanced tech beyond herself, or she's allied with whatever caused the Blink, and is way more powerful than she lets on.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Kugai on 07 Apr 2016, 15:33
Shoulda gone for the full Fireman Style grab there Alice
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: jwhouk on 07 Apr 2016, 18:13
We should be due for the end of a chapter here soon, too...
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Verteiron on 07 Apr 2016, 18:51
There was some discussion in the last thread that the night walker exists to nullify technology that isn't "allowed" post-Blink.

I wonder if it's going to strip away Gavia's nanotech. If so (assuming she survives), she is going to be a profoundly unhappy girl.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: hedgie on 07 Apr 2016, 18:56
She'd certainly have a rather hard time of things, considering that she probably hasn't walked or done much if any physical exertion on her own.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 07 Apr 2016, 21:23
Has anyone seen the new strip that Jeph tweeted about just now? I'm still getting the "I'm just pulling your leg" strip.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: bhtooefr on 07 Apr 2016, 21:26
I think that is the new strip.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 07 Apr 2016, 22:38
That makes more sense than getting two in one day.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: improvnerd on 08 Apr 2016, 02:04
Jeph usually posts Alice strips earlier in the day, but re-announces them on Twitter when he posts the day's QC.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Skewbrow on 08 Apr 2016, 12:44
Looks like gravity is about to reassert itself.

I suppose this was a single shot, and Alice cannot make another similar leap. Either she needs to re-energize and/or Gavia will be too deeply immersed in the nano-cloud for Alice to grab the other sock.

Hmmm.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Verteiron on 08 Apr 2016, 17:37
Looks like gravity is about to reassert itself.

I suppose this was a single shot, and Alice cannot make another similar leap. Either she needs to re-energize and/or Gavia will be too deeply immersed in the nano-cloud for Alice to grab the other sock.

Hmmm.

Actually it looks like she double jumped/space jumped. Either that or Jeph forgot which leg she had extended between panel 2 and 3.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Carl-E on 09 Apr 2016, 22:16
...maybe she pedaled up? 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Skewbrow on 09 Apr 2016, 22:25
It is in some sense natural  to keep on striding mid-air (http://trackandfield.about.com/od/longjump/ss/Long-Jump-Technique.htm#step6). Some long jumpers do it vigorously. Not really in an attempt to fly, but as a continuation of the sprinting before take off and/or in preparation for the leg extension needed for a good landing. The latter point does not apply to Alice, but toon physics is also an alternative.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: USS Martenclaire on 10 Apr 2016, 23:39
Well....that socks.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Kugai on 10 Apr 2016, 23:45
Yeah.  I wonder if The Night Walker will leg it now.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: TinPenguin on 11 Apr 2016, 01:38
I just hope this whole situation hasn't slipped out of Alice's grasp.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: USS Martenclaire on 11 Apr 2016, 01:42
Bringing down the Night Walker will be no mean feet.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Kugai on 11 Apr 2016, 14:39
It will be a trip to see though
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: pwhodges on 11 Apr 2016, 14:54
But I'm sure Alice will manage to sock it to 'im.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: FunkyTuba on 12 Apr 2016, 12:50
Eagerly anticipating what I hope will be a non-cliffhanger if Jeph updates today ...   :mrgreen:
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: cesium133 on 12 Apr 2016, 14:53
But I'm sure Alice will manage to sock it to 'im.
It will be a trip to see though
Bringing down the Night Walker will be no mean feet.
Shoe! Shoe! Begone with your puns!
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Kugai on 12 Apr 2016, 16:06
Putting the boot in are we cesium?

:-D
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 12 Apr 2016, 23:59
Gavia: Are you really going to rescue me, after all those harsh words?
Alice: No, I'm just pulling your leg.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Channelore HellicottAtham on 13 Apr 2016, 00:11
I daresay that Gavia will really have to toe the line and reduce her nano use if she does come out of this okay..
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 13 Apr 2016, 20:11
Has there been any word about when the next update will be?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: BenRG on 13 Apr 2016, 22:58
None whatsoever; Jeph hasn't even mentioned Alice Grove this week on Twitter.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 14 Apr 2016, 22:48
Quote from: Jeph tweet today
Alice Grove will update tomorrow, it’s been a tricky week
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: jheartney on 15 Apr 2016, 10:47
Well, that was unexpected.

Now I'm wondering if Gavia's nanobots got contaminated by Ardent's. Or if this isn't the real walker, and instead is the same birb that escaped through Alice's window. Or maybe the birb has come to take Gavia home to orbit. (Cue "Solsbury Hill")
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: BenRG on 15 Apr 2016, 11:43
Okay... Now, is this something the Night Walker could always do or is it something that it could only do with a 'pilot'? Maybe that's what it wanted Gavia for - To use the sophistication of her mind to 'evolve' and be able to do more than the limited programs of its components could do on its own?

Here's a thought though: Is it malign in its intent or is it just attempting to achieve the purpose for what it was created? Was it originally a tool to be used by humans, an extension of the mind and body, much like Gavia's normal abilities but on a vastly greater scale?

Even if it does not intend harm, could Gavia's mind handle being the crux of such power? Worse, if it is malign in nature, does it only require her brain's processing power, not its independent functions?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: mr.jacob on 15 Apr 2016, 11:53
Okay... Now, is this something the Night Walker could always do or is it something that it could only do with a 'pilot'?
Aww, the nightwalker is like a puppy, all it ever wanted was a mom to tell it what to do

Gavia could literally be the only human on the planet since the Blink who actively uses nanobots and knows how to use them, and would therefore be the only viable person for whatever it's up to
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Zebediah on 15 Apr 2016, 12:30
I wonder if Night Walker bit off more than it could chew. Gavia manifested as a loon to Ardent, and now the Night Walker has turned into a vaguely loon-like bird. (Sort of a cross between a loon and an Apache thunderbird (http://www.warpaths2peacepipes.com/images/thunderbird-clkr.jpg).)

So are we seeing something that is the merger of both of them?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: BenRG on 15 Apr 2016, 13:29
I've got a feeling that the Night Walker is, in the normal scheme of things, close to mindless. It just repeats the same basic tasks over and over again. However, Gavia has the ability to use its capabilities to the full. I just don't know if her mind can take the stress of suddenly being the control cortex of such a vast creature or, more worrying, if her higher brain functions are just not needed by the resulting completed unit.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Storel on 15 Apr 2016, 14:01
New strip up!

I know the comic link isn't perpetual, but it's better not to link directly to the image as that deprives Jeph of clicks on the site which contribute to his income.  Just say it's up (there's a link at the top of the page, after all), please.

There are permalinks for each strip, though, even the most recent one. The permalink for today's page is http://www.alicegrove.com/post/142852600914/birb (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/142852600914/birb).
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Kugai on 15 Apr 2016, 14:01
It's a good point Ben

Could this be Gavia manifesting her and Ardents desire to go home?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: ysth on 15 Apr 2016, 14:18
Alice flew!  Again!
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: TinPenguin on 15 Apr 2016, 14:31
The nightwalker's gone loony!
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: katsmeat on 15 Apr 2016, 15:08
The nightwalker's gone loony!

I think it's just found what it's been waiting for all this time.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Pilchard123 on 15 Apr 2016, 15:39
And now we know why Alice didn't want them to wander off. It's dangerous to go alone!
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Verteiron on 15 Apr 2016, 16:04
I'm gonna go out on a limb here and guess that probably isn't good.

One of the skykids said earlier that nanotech needed a conscious mind to operate. Alice said the Night Walker is different, but... is it?

Also, no one ever said the conscious mind had to be willing...
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: SubaruStephen on 15 Apr 2016, 16:22
Ah! I think finally I know what the Nightwalker is waiting for!



A 1978 Pontiac Firebird hood.
(http://cartype.com/pics/1243/small/73_cameo_white.jpg)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Loki on 15 Apr 2016, 17:20
Looks like the Nazca bird to me.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Pilchard123 on 16 Apr 2016, 02:48
I first thought of the Hylian crest.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Method of Madness on 17 Apr 2016, 18:02
Just noticed it went back to January, but can someone tell me what the L in MCDLT is? I know what the other letters are.

Also, MCDL is 1450.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Zebediah on 17 Apr 2016, 18:41
The L is for lettuce.

(click to show/hide)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: JimC on 18 Apr 2016, 09:14
Thoom?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: BenRG on 18 Apr 2016, 09:49
That was almost certainly a beacon of some sort. Possibly summoning the Invasion Fleet.

"What's that?" I hear you cry, "What invasion fleet?" The robot invasion fleet that's been sitting on the Moon waiting for a summons from the Synth-Tech faction for about 5,000 years after being built by nanotech Von Neumann machines. Of course, after 5,000 years, they may not be functional anymore but the Night Walker doesn't know or care about that. It's just been waiting for the right set of circumstances to order the invasion, specifically the Praeses violating the Agreement.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: pwhodges on 18 Apr 2016, 10:10
Maybe the nightwalker has merely returned Gavia (whose nanotech is proscribed on the surface) back to orbit whence she came, and so is fulfilling a duty of defence which Alice appears not to be.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Roborat on 18 Apr 2016, 11:43
That was almost certainly a beacon of some sort. Possibly summoning the Invasion Fleet.

Why? did the population go over one million?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: BenRG on 18 Apr 2016, 12:01
That was almost certainly a beacon of some sort. Possibly summoning the Invasion Fleet.

Why? did the population go over one million?

No, the Praeses infected the planet with their technology, violating the agreement between the various factions' AIs that Earth will remain uncontested between them.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Kugai on 18 Apr 2016, 15:11
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qYbVQu7YAQ
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 18 Apr 2016, 18:48
A beacon doesn't need to be that bright and showy to do its job. A few watts of RF in a tight beam can cover astronomical distances.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Loki on 18 Apr 2016, 20:38
We don't know on what kind of perception the recipient is operating. What if it's visual?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: JimC on 19 Apr 2016, 05:24
Alternatively Gavia - presumably the white spot in the Loon's chest- now has a communication capability the Praeses can't ignore... A few watts of RF in  tight beam may cover astronomical distances, but is easy to miss - or ignore. A huge laser blasting a hole through the atmosphere is certainly an attention getting way to say "talk to me you b******d..."
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: BenRG on 19 Apr 2016, 05:26
I'm with Kugai. The caption of the 4/18/16 strip should be: "The avalanche has begun; it is too late for the pebbles to vote."
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: retrosteve on 19 Apr 2016, 08:55
...Or as Sedna puts it:  "Ohhhh, that can't be good."

I think it makes sense that the Nightwalker is an agent (perhaps the only agent) for whatever "weakly godlike intelligence" caused The Blink. And it has found something worthy of notifying said WGI of.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 19 Apr 2016, 09:13
Being next to an energy release that large might have crisped Gavia.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Loki on 19 Apr 2016, 10:48
Unless the mechanism understands that crisping her would ve bad in the long run and protects her.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: USS Martenclaire on 20 Apr 2016, 05:27
I don't why but after reading today's strip all I could think of was Yelling Bird (http://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=1566).
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: cesium133 on 20 Apr 2016, 05:55
I don't why but after reading today's strip all I could think of was Yelling Bird (http://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=1566).
In NanotechBirdEse, "Thoom" means "Cockgobbler."
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: BenRG on 22 Apr 2016, 14:34
Alice Grove chapter 4 ends!

Okay, as I'm the first to comment, I'm going to put my thoughts in spoilers:

(click to show/hide)

So, where from here? Back to spoilers:

(click to show/hide)

A great chapter ending, Jeph! We'll be on tenterhooks waiting for the next instalment!

A lovely final picture of the chapter too!
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Pilchard123 on 22 Apr 2016, 14:44
(click to show/hide)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Zebediah on 22 Apr 2016, 15:37
You know what this means, don't you?

(click to show/hide)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Method of Madness on 22 Apr 2016, 16:25
Why couldn't the week break happen when I was away for a week? :P
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Kugai on 22 Apr 2016, 17:08
It definitely looks like Gavia has been stripped of her Nanotech.  That's gonna change things for her if that's the case and life is gonna get a wee bit harder for her now.

That hit on the Moon was specifically targeted.  It's gonna be interesting to see what TNW hit before it dissapated and what effect that is going ot have on our heroes (and heroines) lives from this moment on

And it begs the question, was this the exact reason the Preaeses dumped both Ardent and Gavia on Earth?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: jheartney on 22 Apr 2016, 17:45
We're guessing Gavia's nanotech is gone, but what about Ardent's? Supposedly it's a payload of nanmachines that upgrade appropriate tech on contact, right? Why didn't the Walker go for Ardent too?

For the hit zone on the Moon to be visible to the naked eye, it must be quite large. Tens, if not hundreds of miles across. Even assuming total conversion of mass to energy, Gavia's nanotech wouldn't create enough energy to hit that hard. So where did all the energy come from?

Did the Walker dissipate permanently, or did its constituents just de-combine till needed again? If the Walker's purpose is a one-time use against invading nantech, how did its makers know the Vicissitudes woould be visiting thousands of years later? Why convert to a bird before doing its thing?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Zebediah on 22 Apr 2016, 17:47
As I said, my guess is that the Praeses intended for the Night Walker to eat Gavia's nanos and start a war. And I'm betting that Ardent's nanos are designed to help the other side.

Why help both sides? So that the Praeses can sit back and keep their hands (limbs? leaves? twigs?) clean while others do the dirty work. "Oh look! Our two worst enemies are destroying each other! How terrible!"
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Channelore HellicottAtham on 22 Apr 2016, 18:32
Ardent doesn't seem to have any active nanos, does he? Their eyes go red when they are relying upon nanos - i.e. Alice's did when she fought the nanobird, and Sedna's were when she fought Alice - and I expect Gavia's will no longer be red now that she has been stripped.

Ardent used technology to adjust his phenotype but as he said early on he prefers to otherwise rely upon his own biology form, his body, for daily living rather than upon nanotech as Gavia did. We have never seen Ardent use nanos nor have red eyes..
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: TinPenguin on 23 Apr 2016, 01:15
Ardent definitely has nanomachines, not that he knew that until they started upgrading things. But no nanos he uses for his own purposes, à la Gavia.

As for the red eyes, I'm not convinced it has anything to do with technology. So far there's little evidence for it being more than an artistic depiction of anger. It may yet prove more significant.

And that red light from the moon; is it an impact event, or a beacon in response to a signal? My first impression was actually it was simply the fading light of the "thooom" as the Night Walker still travelled.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Channelore HellicottAtham on 23 Apr 2016, 02:10
Ardent definitely has nanomachines, not that he knew that until they started upgrading things. But no nanos he uses for his own purposes, à la Gavia.

As for the red eyes, I'm not convinced it has anything to do with technology. So far there's little evidence for it being more than an artistic depiction of anger. It may yet prove more significant.

And that red light from the moon; is it an impact event, or a beacon in response to a signal? My first impression was actually it was simply the fading light of the "thooom" as the Night Walker still travelled.

Good point about Ardent's upgrade skills, I'd forgotten about that; I guess then in him they are entirely latent and seemingly co-opted by The Baddies. Or else he had no latent nanos and the Praeses / Baddies loaded him up like a pack mule pre-departure.

With the eyes, I had considered whether it were an anger thing except the shade was exactly the same as Gavia's all-the-time colour, and seemed too neat and tidy in how it suddenly turned on and off..

Moon thing is hella interesting - either something from NanoBird hit there, or just launched from there in response!
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: JimC on 23 Apr 2016, 03:38
I make the 'impact' point on the moon about W 2, S20.  In the highlands a bit south and east of Arzachel. The red corona, or whatever it is, is about 20 degrees across, getting on 400 miles I reckon. Vaporised surface, ejecta, heated surface, who knows, but if the latter that's a mindblowingly huge energy release. The actual impact phenomenum, crater or whatever, well hard to be accurate about 3 pixels, but certainly not as big as Tycho. Could be 20 miles across?  That has, as they say, left a mark.

As for what it signifies, who knows, we shall just have to wait and see. I don't think I see an interplanetary/orbital war scenario though, it doesn't feel like the writer's style to me.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Method of Madness on 23 Apr 2016, 04:26
Ardent knew about some of his nano. Isn't that what fixed his delightful tail?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: DSL on 23 Apr 2016, 06:19
Are we looking at a lunar impact, though, or an event in cislunar space? Say, something involving an orbital platform that just happens to be transiting the moon (Or perhaps at the Lagrange-1 point)? Guess we'll find out in a couple weeks.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: BenRG on 23 Apr 2016, 07:42
Jeph had the impact appear to be on the Moon when something confusing like the Moon being a background object was not strictly necessary. Also, he had Alice mention earlier that the Night Walker would stare at the moon all night and every night. It seems most likely that it was on the Moon.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: JimC on 23 Apr 2016, 11:54
Are we looking at a lunar impact, though, or an event in cislunar space? Say, something involving an orbital platform that just happens to be transiting the moon (Or perhaps at the Lagrange-1 point)?
Unless I am much mistaken the L1 point wouldn't be stable in the long term? ( http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/mechanics/lagpt.html ). Unless a spacecraft were actively managed I think it would be unlikely to stay there.  Also I'm not convinced (although I haven't done the numbers or made a scale drawing)  that the drawn image is consistent with the L1 point.

But failing that, consider, assuming we have an actual event targeted on the moon, was it targeted at the moon in general, or at a specific point on the moon? And if at a specific point, because there's a desired target, or perhaps because there is or was nothing to hit at that point? We don't know much about the orbital civilisation do we. I wonder if they exploit the moon, mining maybe, and if so what the implications are...
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Zebediah on 23 Apr 2016, 13:04
Yeah, only L4 and L5 are long-term stable without active station-keeping.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Verteiron on 23 Apr 2016, 17:57
It's also possible that the NW's beam wasn't strong enough to directly inflict that much damage, but that whatever it hit on the lunar surface reacted by exploding violently.

I wonder if Gavia's nanotech can regenerate itself? Unless every single one of them was destroyed, they should be able to reproduce exponentially (assuming adequate source materials) and be back in full force relatively quickly. Hopefully a few survived or she's going to have a rough time of it. As reliant as she is on them she literally might not even know how to feed or clean herself...
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: hedgie on 23 Apr 2016, 19:21
Hell, she might not even be able to stand on her own without them.  Alice and co. might have to construct some crude leg/body braces until she builds strength.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Skewbrow on 23 Apr 2016, 23:08
Gotta love the artwork (yet again). Alice's face is telling. It immediately reminded me of this painting. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lemmink%C3%A4inen's_Mother) My cultural conditioning shows, apologies. Obviously there is no shortage of examples of the Pietà theme in the history of art.

Ardent does care about his sister. Sedna and Alice are worried about larger scale things.

But I really don't see Jeph bringing us another war? Not impossible plotwise, but IMHO not his style. May be we get to see a team of extraterrestrials coming to investigate what the hell that THOOM was all about, and Alice+Sedna's account of the event will be enough to defuse the situation? It's high time we get a scene of either the Praesides or the Blinkers convening.

Or may be the Thoom was much ado about nothing? Just NW following ancient code, and whoever was supposed to get the message long gone.

Or, may be NW just really hates the Moon :-)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: pwhodges on 23 Apr 2016, 23:28
I wonder if Gavia's nanotech can regenerate itself? Unless every single one of them was destroyed,

Were they destroyed or reappropriated?  Gavia may have supplied the materials, either in quantity of nanobots, or perhaps in a different type, which has simply enabled the NW to complete a mission after all these years.  It could even be that the completion of its mission so long after the war is over (and the NW was perhaps assumed lost) will be an embarrassment which retriggers things.

As for Gavia, I'm sure she'll manage; I don't think Jeph would dump on a character like her by leaving her useless.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: TinPenguin on 24 Apr 2016, 02:27
But I really don't see Jeph bringing us another war? Not impossible plotwise, but IMHO not his style.

I don't see another war, but I can certainly see someone trying to start one. Someone trying to reset the playing field to just before the Blink.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Stoutfellow on 24 Apr 2016, 07:22
Is anyone else surprised by how quickly whatever-it-was got to the Moon? The Moon is over a light-second away, and very little time seems to have elapsed between launch and impact. (By way of comparison, the New Horizons launch in 2006 left Earth at about 10 miles/second (relative to Earth), fast enough to pass the Moon's orbit in about 6.4 hours.)

I'm inclined to think it had to have been a radiation pulse, not a missile of any kind.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: JimC on 24 Apr 2016, 10:08
I'm inclined to think it had to have been a radiation pulse, not a missile of any kind.
Completely agree, I originally thought it was coherent light, but now I think of it isn't the central blue colour a reasonable facsimile of air ionisation blue?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: cesium133 on 24 Apr 2016, 10:56
A sufficiently intense laser beam can ionize air, so I'd still guess it's supposed to be a laser.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Skewbrow on 24 Apr 2016, 11:11
Is anyone else surprised by how quickly whatever-it-was got to the Moon? The Moon is over a light-second away, and very little time seems to have elapsed between launch and impact. (By way of comparison, the New Horizons launch in 2006 left Earth at about 10 miles/second (relative to Earth), fast enough to pass the Moon's orbit in about 6.4 hours.)
That's not much faster than the Apollos. You need about 11km/s to escape Earth gravity. And New Horizon was climbing out of the Sun's gravitational well to boot. I would have thought that starting from 1AU you would need something like 40 km/s (or 25 miles per second) to escape the solar system. Compare: to stay in a low orbit around the Earth you only need 8 km/s. The Earth is orbiting at 30 km/s, so a bit over 40 to get to Pluto is needed.

Edit: Hmm. I'm ignoring the fact that the New Horizon was piggybagging the Earth when launched. So that gave it an extra 30 klicks relative to the Sun. Nevermind.

Quote from: Stoutfellow
I'm inclined to think it had to have been a radiation pulse, not a missile of any kind.

Agreed. We were not given a real time video, but radiation pulse feels more logical. No projectile of any kind was launched. I'm not at all conversant with all the physics and material science involved, but my guess would be that NW doesn't have the means to launch anything that hit the Moon in a  matter of a minute or two at most. Also, whatever thoomed away had no rocket engine, so it would have needed huge acceleration. Speed of light, 1.3 seconds, and electromagnetic radiation is more like it.

May be the red speck is the point of impact cooling down and glowing as it gets rid of the excess heat?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: cesium133 on 24 Apr 2016, 11:17
Is anyone else surprised by how quickly whatever-it-was got to the Moon? The Moon is over a light-second away, and very little time seems to have elapsed between launch and impact. (By way of comparison, the New Horizons launch in 2006 left Earth at about 10 miles/second (relative to Earth), fast enough to pass the Moon's orbit in about 6.4 hours.)
That's not much faster than the Apollos. You need about 11km/s to escape Earth gravity. And New Horizon was climbing out of the Sun's gravitational well to boot. I would have thought that starting from 1AU you would need something like 40 km/s (or 25 miles per second) to escape the solar system. Compare: to stay in a low orbit around the Earth you only need 8 km/s. The Earth is orbiting at 30 km/s, so a bit over 40 to get to Pluto is needed.


New Horizons also got a gravitational assist from Jupiter, which lowered the required velocity quite a bit.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Sorflakne on 25 Apr 2016, 03:44
Looking at the angle of the walker's beam shot and Sedna and Ardent's line of sight while watching it in previous comics, and the Moon's position in the last panel of the current comic, I'm not sure the beam was aimed at it.  If anything, I think it was a signal, and now something on the Moon is activating in response.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: FunkyTuba on 25 Apr 2016, 14:48
Quote
"The NightWalker"

It's the NightFlyer now, baybee!

 :mrgreen:  :clairedoge:
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Zebediah on 25 Apr 2016, 15:04
(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/e/ed/Cover_of_The_Night_Flier.jpg/220px-Cover_of_The_Night_Flier.jpg)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: SubaruStephen on 25 Apr 2016, 16:41
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: retrosteve on 26 Apr 2016, 17:10
I'm inclined to think it had to have been a radiation pulse, not a missile of any kind.
Completely agree, I originally thought it was coherent light, but now I think of it isn't the central blue colour a reasonable facsimile of air ionisation blue?

It was definitely a signal, it was definitely light, and it was definitely aimed at a receiver on the moon. Result is too fast and dramatic to be anything else.

Now here's the science: https://what-if.xkcd.com/13/
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Channelore HellicottAtham on 26 Apr 2016, 20:22
Quick thought: Jeph's comment for that comment was "I guess it hated the moon", which to me sounds to imply that the laser struck the moon and caused the red glow, an explosion.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: mustang6172 on 26 Apr 2016, 20:25
Has Jeph stated how many chapters AG will have?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: JimC on 27 Apr 2016, 02:57
It was definitely a signal, it was definitely light, and it was definitely aimed at a receiver on the moon. Result is too fast and dramatic to be anything else.

Dunno I'd care to be quite so definite...

... could be coherent X-Ray radiation, if we hypothesize the trail is atmospheric ionisation.
... supposing the target was something in orbit, and the appearance in front of the moon is because the transit across the moon was used for targeting. That would mean the night walker has been looking at the moon in order to monitor transits, which explains why it didn't turn up earlier - had to wait for a transit.
... and if we assume an object in LEO transiting the moon then the scale, physical and time, comes down to something more reasonable, and we can even consider missile or particle beam rather than light, provided its something capable of producing the ionisation. But that might be propellant of some kind...

Loads of other amusing speculations possible, and we have a month to play with them... Consider what in LEO the NW might want to take out...
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Method of Madness on 27 Apr 2016, 03:02
Has Jeph stated how many chapters AG will have?
What makes you think there's a planned end already?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Zebediah on 27 Apr 2016, 06:00
I'm pretty sure that Jeph has a coherent plot for AG with a definite end in mind. I also suspect that even he doesn't know how long it's going to take him to get there.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Welu on 27 Apr 2016, 07:10
I think that's there's chapters at all suggests there is a planned beginning, middle and end. If it was intended as forever ongoing, it would be a lot harder to break it into chunks, especially when the chapters are relatively short (four chapters in less than 150 pages). Not impossible but unlikely.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: retrosteve on 27 Apr 2016, 07:21
It was definitely a signal, it was definitely light, and it was definitely aimed at a receiver on the moon. Result is too fast and dramatic to be anything else.

Dunno I'd care to be quite so definite...

... could be coherent X-Ray radiation, if we hypothesize the trail is atmospheric ionisation.
It's good that you're covering all the possibilities. It could be, but I'd just call that high-energy light, for the purposes of this discussion, since (see below) there's a high probability this is a message, not a weapon.
Quote
... supposing the target was something in orbit, and the appearance in front of the moon is because the transit across the moon was used for targeting. That would mean the night walker has been looking at the moon in order to monitor transits, which explains why it didn't turn up earlier - had to wait for a transit.
That's a stretch, but I'd buy it if I had to. The appearance of the bright red beacon apparently on the moon could just be something in between.

Quote

... and if we assume an object in LEO transiting the moon then the scale, physical and time, comes down to something more reasonable, and we can even consider missile or particle beam rather than light, provided its something capable of producing the ionisation. But that might be propellant of some kind...

Yeah, again possible but a stretch. Why would the moon need to be behind this LEO object before it could communicate? Why not just take Occam's advice and put the object on the Moon?

Quote
Loads of other amusing speculations possible, and we have a month to play with them... Consider what in LEO the NW might want to take out...

Well, all the 'Spacers' are in earth orbit, though not necessarily low orbit. But the spacers were put there by something way more powerful, at the Blink. Let's call that something the Eschaton, after Stross's similar scenario. The nightwalker seems to have been around since the Blink as well, so it's not part of some recent Spacer scheme. Anything that powerful on Earth was destroyed at Blink time, so it's got to be something left by the Eschaton.

I think whatever was in LEO at the time of the Blink was either destroyed by the Eschaton along with all the other Earth technology, or left there deliberately for its own purposes.  If the Nightwalker is an Eschaton agent (or autobot), it's not going to need to destroy any more satellites now. It's going to send a message.

One thing nobody has mentioned, so I thought I would -- that red beacon on (or in front of) the Moon could also be something physical coming this way.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: Neko_Ali on 27 Apr 2016, 07:37
Well, my understanding of Lagrange Points is that L1 is placed at the point between two celestial bodies where the gravities and forces of each other out. So if I'm understanding it correctly, if someone were to say, place an orbital colony at the Earth-Moon L1 point, it would remain forever between the two, barring external forces. Like say, a giant nano-bird energy pulse being fired from the Earth. Or to put it another way... We are assuming that the target was the moon. What if it was something that just happened to be between the Earth and Moon? That would account for a couple of discrepancy people have pointed out about the big red spot being on the surface of the moon, would it not?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: JimC on 27 Apr 2016, 08:01
Well, my understanding of Lagrange Points is that L1 is placed at the point between two celestial bodies where the gravities and forces of each other out.
L1 isn't very stable. There was a reference earlier in the thread.  Things that are left at L1 tend to drift away, and have to be actively maintained there. Of course that is a possibility...

Getting a fine selection of options for next time's poll.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: FunkyTuba on 27 Apr 2016, 10:41
[sorry I didn't read every word of every post above, so I'm probably being redundant]

Cognitive dissonance stemming from extrapolation from our reality (dangerous, I know) leaves me needing the exposition coming in Ch 5:
* The blast was too big to be just a signal since we could manage communications easily enough using regular radio during the Apollo project... you wouldn't *need* something that big to merely send a signal
* That's a pretty big explosion up there. A real-world blast that would leave a spot that big on the surface of the moon red and glowy would (probably?) have pretty catastrophic effects on the spot on earth that was sending the blast... Alice and Sedna's indestructibility would have saved them, but Ardent and probably Gavia would have been toast from plasma effects, etc (see the What If post referenced above)

so... either AG physics and the need for cool graphics alleviates these concerns ("It's just a comic and I really should just relax" is totally acceptable btw)

or, the blast was aimed at something on the moon, disrupted/destroyed it, and *that's* what's red and glowy and we've just witnessed the first shot of the Second Big War, unintentionally fired by Alice/Sedna but likely to be viewed as their hostile act

What do you think, sirs?

Edit: Here's what I should have read above:
I make the 'impact' point on the moon about W 2, S20.  In the highlands a bit south and east of Arzachel. The red corona, or whatever it is, is about 20 degrees across, getting on 400 miles I reckon. Vaporised surface, ejecta, heated surface, who knows, but if the latter that's a mindblowingly huge energy release. The actual impact phenomenum, crater or whatever, well hard to be accurate about 3 pixels, but certainly not as big as Tycho. Could be 20 miles across?  That has, as they say, left a mark.

As for what it signifies, who knows, we shall just have to wait and see. I don't think I see an interplanetary/orbital war scenario though, it doesn't feel like the writer's style to me.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: JimC on 28 Apr 2016, 02:34
Alice and Sedna's indestructibility would have saved them,
Not (quite?) indestructible though: See http://www.alicegrove.com/post/142301957714/gonna-punch-it-right-in-the-giant-nanotech
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: retrosteve on 28 Apr 2016, 13:11
[sorry I didn't read every word of every post above, so I'm probably being redundant]


* That's a pretty big explosion up there. A real-world blast that would leave a spot that big on the surface of the moon red and glowy would (probably?) have pretty catastrophic effects on the spot on earth that was sending the blast... Alice and Sedna's indestructibility would have saved them, but Ardent and probably Gavia would have been toast from plasma effects, etc (see the What If post referenced above)

so... either AG physics and the need for cool graphics alleviates these concerns ("It's just a comic and I really should just relax" is totally acceptable btw)


That doesn't need to be an explosion up there. It could instead be something on its way back to Earth. Or just another really bright beacon.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: HiFranc on 01 May 2016, 04:41
The way I see it, the red dot is the after image of the device that caused the night walker to break up.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
Post by: FunkyTuba on 02 May 2016, 09:35
Alice and Sedna's indestructibility would have saved them,
Not (quite?) indestructible though: See http://www.alicegrove.com/post/142301957714/gonna-punch-it-right-in-the-giant-nanotech

fair point... my take on that is that physical forces are pretty much not an issue for them, it's more like "if the nightwalker can take over Gavia like that then I must not fully understand its capabilities for infiltration"