Jeph Jacques's comics discussion forums

Comic Discussion => ALICE GROVE => Topic started by: brasca on 01 Nov 2016, 04:43

Title: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: brasca on 01 Nov 2016, 04:43
New month new poll and hopefully Jeph will recover quickly from his latest operation.

I'm partial to option 3 since I'd like to see Gavia back in action. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: BenRG on 01 Nov 2016, 04:56
I really can see Ardent offering himself to Pate if there is any indication given that this will stop the Monster's rampage and save lives. This will shock Gavia to the core who really, really didn't think that he had it in him.

That said, there is some doubt as to whether things go that way. Another possible outcome is that Alice swoops in to extract Sedna and then flees without engaging the Monster. As the cart pulls away and the town in the mine starts to burn, Gavia criticises her for pitilessly leaving the archeophiles to their fate. "I know what that thing is," Alice replies. "I know what it is capable of. I couldn't stop it; an army couldn't stop it. If we'd stayed, we'd just end up dead too. The minute it went onto full auto, they were all dead already; they just hadn't stopped twitching yet."
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: brasca on 01 Nov 2016, 05:41
I really can see Ardent offering himself to Pate if there is any indication given that this will stop the Monster's rampage and save lives. This will shock Gavia to the core who really, really didn't think that he had it in him.

Ardent was willing to let Alice kill him when she first suspected he was the Praeses pawn so it wouldn't be out of the ordinary for him to do something similar to stop the rampage.  I think the biggest reason Gavia resents Ardent is he's had nothing, but fun this entire trip and still the same happy-go-lucky adventurer who dragged her into this.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: FunkyTuba on 02 Nov 2016, 11:19
Ben: you've made me curious just how much Pate knows about his Help

Edit... oops, looks like this has already been brought up:

It's possible Pate doesn't know what he is, and just employs a huge guy as a bodyguard and luggage hauler.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: brasca on 04 Nov 2016, 15:36
Strip is up!

Well we can rule out option number 2 since Gavia returned.  Doesn't seem the wisest course of action, but since Alice returned to save Sedna she might've decided to take her chances sticking with the strongest of the group. 

However, it's still possible that Ardent could avenge Ellie's presumable death by upgrading a weapon or one of the other 3 options.

Still don't know Mr. Bad News' name, but at least we know Mr. Pate has seemingly normal eyes under the glasses. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: Welu on 04 Nov 2016, 16:39
Holy crap.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: TinPenguin on 04 Nov 2016, 17:13
fucking hell.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: Detachable Felix on 04 Nov 2016, 17:51
JESUS  :psyduck:

I mean, I was expecting a fight, but. .jesus.
 :psyduck:
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: Pogopotamus on 04 Nov 2016, 18:29
In retrospect this was an idiotic plan by Alice to begin with knowing that the big bio-android was that powerful. But now the circumstances have changed and Pate is revealed as a deadly and ruthless enemy and maybe a bit sociopathic. I've been following Jeph and QC the last few years now and the tone of that comic never dealt with anything as seriously deadly as what he is undertaking now in Alice Grove. It'll be interesting to see what he comes up with.   
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: Castlerook on 04 Nov 2016, 19:17
Oh god, Ellie...
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: Verteiron on 04 Nov 2016, 19:17
Well, so much for my theory that Pate didn't know what his bodyguard is. Pity. I kinda liked him up 'til now.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: brasca on 04 Nov 2016, 19:23
In retrospect this was an idiotic plan by Alice to begin with knowing that the big bio-android was that powerful. But now the circumstances have changed and Pate is revealed as a deadly and ruthless enemy and maybe a bit sociopathic. I've been following Jeph and QC the last few years now and the tone of that comic never dealt with anything as seriously deadly as what he is undertaking now in Alice Grove. It'll be interesting to see what he comes up with.

What other option did Alice have?  That carriage could easily catch up with their bird drawn wagon so disabling it was necessary.  The only other option would have been to pretend that Mr. Pate and Mr. Bad News were just paying a visit with no ulterior motive until she could find a better time to leave, but the biggest risk was Ardent revealing his secret.  I'm sure she ran through scenarios where she and Sedna could sneak up on Mr. Bad News and subdue him, but concluded that these were too risky.  The only other option would be for Alice to pick up Ardent and run in one direction and Sedna to pick up Gavia and run in the opposite direction and agree to meet up at some location later.   

Gavia looks like she's on the verge of tears.  I doubt she's ever seen a dead body and this is a mutilated corpse.  If terror is enough to reestablish communication with her nanotechnology then this would be the time.  If not then maybe Ardent can find something to upgrade into a weapon strong enough to wound Mr. Bad News and avenge Ellie's death. 

We won't know until the next chapter begins next week, but for now it looks like Mr. Pate will tell Mr. Bad News to stand down.  Hopefully, he's a villain who likes the sound of his own voice and will monologue long enough for Ardent to wake up and do something.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: Pogopotamus on 04 Nov 2016, 21:11
Ardent was put in the wagon dead drunk minutes ago in strip time. I suppose Jeph could use him as a "save the day" tool, but I think dealing with the scenario where Alice is at risk, instead of an invulnerable all powerful Goddess relative to the dangers in her environment would be much more interesting.

Dealing with the current situation requires strategy not brute force. It will be interesting to see what Jeph outlines as the future direction.  I'm really quite interested in what Pate has to say re the overall situation and his objectives. We know so little about this world. Pate has been involved in been digging up stuff for quite some time, assuming he's very intelligent who knows who much real technological horsepower and knowledge he has at his disposal. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: Tova on 04 Nov 2016, 21:45
Well, so much for my theory that Pate didn't know what his bodyguard is. Pity. I kinda liked him up 'til now.

You were taken in by his wiles.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: brasca on 04 Nov 2016, 21:52
Ardent was put in the wagon dead drunk minutes ago in strip time. I suppose Jeph could use him as a "save the day" tool, but I think dealing with the scenario where Alice is at risk, instead of an invulnerable all powerful Goddess relative to the dangers in her environment would be much more interesting.

Dealing with the current situation requires strategy not brute force. It will be interesting to see what Jeph outlines as the future direction.  I'm really quite interested in what Pate has to say re the overall situation and his objectives. We know so little about this world. Pate has been involved in been digging up stuff for quite some time, assuming he's very intelligent who knows who much real technological horsepower and knowledge he has at his disposal.

Alice did act strategically.  She knew this was a fight she couldn't win so she tried to withdraw quietly.  As for Ardent, can anyone be sure what he could do?  Yes he can upgrade machinery, but there's no way of knowing how effective that might be.  If he touched an old assault rifle it might upgrade into a gatling gun, but would that be enough to stop Mr. Bad News?  One other alternative is to have upgraded Pate's carriage and escape in it, but if it transforms into a Jetson's bubble car who would know how to fly it?  There's no way of knowing how effective Ardent's ability could be and if he tried and failed then Pate would know exactly what he could do.  At this point they have nothing to lose if Ardent tries, but I don't know what the archaeophiles have that could be upgraded into a weapon or escape vehicle that could either defeat Mr. Bad News or get away from him.   
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: Matoyak on 04 Nov 2016, 23:53
Ardent was put in the wagon dead drunk minutes ago in strip time. I suppose Jeph could use him as a "save the day" tool, but I think dealing with the scenario where Alice is at risk, instead of an invulnerable all powerful Goddess relative to the dangers in her environment would be much more interesting.

Dealing with the current situation requires strategy not brute force. It will be interesting to see what Jeph outlines as the future direction.  I'm really quite interested in what Pate has to say re the overall situation and his objectives. We know so little about this world. Pate has been involved in been digging up stuff for quite some time, assuming he's very intelligent who knows who much real technological horsepower and knowledge he has at his disposal.
Alice did act strategically.  She knew this was a fight she couldn't win so she tried to withdraw quietly.  As for Ardent, can anyone be sure what he could do?  Yes he can upgrade machinery, but there's no way of knowing how effective that might be.  If he touched an old assault rifle it might upgrade into a gatling gun, but would that be enough to stop Mr. Bad News?  One other alternative is to have upgraded Pate's carriage and escape in it, but if it transforms into a Jetson's bubble car who would know how to fly it?  There's no way of knowing how effective Ardent's ability could be and if he tried and failed then Pate would know exactly what he could do.  At this point they have nothing to lose if Ardent tries, but I don't know what the archaeophiles have that could be upgraded into a weapon or escape vehicle that could either defeat Mr. Bad News or get away from him.   
What if he upgraded Alice herself, or Gavia's nanotech (if she has any left in her)...is that within his powerset, if he thought about things in a certain way?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: BenRG on 05 Nov 2016, 00:47
The thing that jumps to my mind... maybe the most serious question of all is: What pretense? Who or what is Pate that he's been disguising behind those glasses and a nerdy persona?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: blt on 05 Nov 2016, 05:17
It's the small details like Ellie's peeled up thumbnail that make it even more brutal.  Jeez.

Anyway, it probably rules out (at least the brackets) of #4 in the poll.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: brasca on 05 Nov 2016, 05:37
It's the small details like Ellie's peeled up thumbnail that make it even more brutal.  Jeez.

Anyway, it probably rules out (at least the brackets) of #4 in the poll.

Good eye.  I was too focused on the protruding bone that I completely missed it.  And we're not even seeing everything, but poor Gavia is. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: jheartney on 05 Nov 2016, 09:58
The thing that jumps to my mind... maybe the most serious question of all is: What pretense? Who or what is Pate that he's been disguising behind those glasses and a nerdy persona?
The pretense that Pate is a mild-mannered town administrator having a look into one of his philanthropic investments. We don't know what Pate is, but we do know that he's willing to employ a violent cyborg to kill anyone in his way, without a shred of regret. He's very interested in the orbital kids, and probably has designs on all the spaceborn and their habitats. He's also likely attempting to take political power over both the orbital habitats and what's left of Earth.

Unless Jeph is planning to add a buttload of new exposition to upcoming comics.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: Kugai on 05 Nov 2016, 14:08
Poor Ellie

I hope that Pate and that thing he employs wind up getting their comeuppance at some stage for this.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 06 Nov 2016, 01:07
Where is Loomis now and what is he doing?

Why does Alice feel safe tending to Sedna?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: Castlerook on 06 Nov 2016, 06:35
Why does Alice feel safe tending to Sedna?

My guess is that Alice's ability makes her the unmovable object to Mr Bad News seemingly unstoppable force. Even a passive version of her ability would mean she'd have a few scant milliseconds to react accordingly (bear in mind I'm thinking of her meeting up with Sedna and the wind turbine).
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: jheartney on 06 Nov 2016, 08:23
Why does Alice feel safe tending to Sedna?

She's not safe. But violent hostilities seem to have been suspended with the death of Ellie. If Alice went after Bad News, she'd end up like Sedna, or worse. For now though, we're into "villain monologues" mode, probably to be followed by "heroes imprisoned by villain" mode.

Methinks we're about to get a better idea of what the comic's larger arc is about (which isn't "getting the Vicissitudes back into orbit").
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: TinPenguin on 06 Nov 2016, 09:44
Suddenly, Alice doesn't seem like a walking deus ex machina anymore. Ardent still kinda is, though (or maybe more like a deus machinarum).
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: Method of Madness on 06 Nov 2016, 13:06
Holy shit. Also, TinPenguin, good work with the genitive plural* there.

*I think that's what that is, I'm too lazy to check, but assuming "god of the machines" it's what's warranted
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 06 Nov 2016, 21:06
Here's a speculation.

Is Alice willing to figuratively turn her back on Loomis because he is programmed to be only a counterpuncher?

He didn't hurt Sedna until she punched the carriage. He brutalized Ellie only after she wrapped the pipe around his head.

What if Alice knows that until she attacks him, he will not initiate violence?

Except in that case she would have had no reason to want to flee the scene when she recognized him.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: brasca on 07 Nov 2016, 04:58
Here's a speculation.

Is Alice willing to figuratively turn her back on Loomis because he is programmed to be only a counterpuncher?

He didn't hurt Sedna until she punched the carriage. He brutalized Ellie only after she wrapped the pipe around his head.

What if Alice knows that until she attacks him, he will not initiate violence?

Except in that case she would have had no reason to want to flee the scene when she recognized him.

I believe you answered your own question.  If Mr. Bad News only responds to violence with violence then they could work around him unless Mr. Pate provoked everyone to the point that they eventually retaliated. 

While I'm still not entirely sure what Ardent could upgrade that could harm Mr. Bad News he might not have to if he can bluff too.  Suppose Ardent upgrades an old hand grenade into a thermal detonator Alice, Sedna, and Mr. Bad News would have nothing to fear, but unless Mr. Pate is far beyond baseline he'd be killed too.  The only problem is he probably would call his bluff because while Ardent might be willing to die to keep his ability from falling into the wrong hands he wouldn't kill his sister in the process and Pate probably knows it.   
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: Kugai on 07 Nov 2016, 12:54
Here's a thought

What if Pate is a rouge Praeses??
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: brasca on 07 Nov 2016, 13:02
It's a possibility, but if so he seems to have disguised his tree attributes. 

I'm leaning towards Pate being a politicaly powerful baseline human working in conjunction with the Praeses.  He may be a stooge or possibly someone who seeks to turn the tables on his allies and will have grossly underestimated them or vice versa.  I still don't know enough about the Praeses to draw that conclusion.   
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: jheartney on 07 Nov 2016, 13:49
It's entirely possible that Pate's objective is access to Ardent. Imagine you were a local bigwig, and had an instant-upgrade magic wand. Your military would be unstoppable, and you could create an assembly line of advanced gadgets for sale or for your own use. (OTOH Pate already has Bad News, who is pretty unstoppable too, albeit less flexible.)

The question then would be how Pate learned about Ardent. Maybe he has a com line to the Praeses. Or maybe he got wind of the water-pump upgrade incident. So many questions.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: brasca on 07 Nov 2016, 15:13
Mr. Bad News is a one many army, but he can't be everywhere.  If Mr. Pate wants to extend his control then he'll need an army that can deal with low level problems and then his Death Star on two legs to take care of the big problems. 

As for how Pate knows all this maybe he's been in communication with the Praeses or maybe he has a network of informants.  I imagine he's had an observer in Alice's village for some time just because she's an anomaly with knowledge of the past, but it wasn't until the space dwellers arrived that there was anything significant to report.  If so Pate never paid her a visit with his companion to get information out of her which seems odd considering his goals.   
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: Tova on 07 Nov 2016, 15:22
I wonder whether 'the blink' really did occur in an instant, or whether there was simply a period of time during the war so traumatic that Alice has blocked all of the events that occurred out of her mind to the point that, from her subjective viewpoint, the events occurred 'in an instant'. We only have her word that there was a blink at all, so it seems possible.

My other theory is that Pate was one of the AI designers and Mr Bad News is an AI.

Sorry if these thoughts have surfaced before, I only semi-follow this thread.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 08 Nov 2016, 00:44
If Mr. Pate is a baseline then a sufficiently motivated or sufficiently unethical opponent could seize him as a hostage. If, hypothetically, such a person were around.

If Loomis is only capable of counterattacks, why did Alice want to abandon their entire mission as soon as she saw him?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: retrosteve on 08 Nov 2016, 06:47
If Mr. Pate is a baseline then a sufficiently motivated or sufficiently unethical opponent could seize him as a hostage. If, hypothetically, such a person were around.

If Loomis is only capable of counterattacks, why did Alice want to abandon their entire mission as soon as she saw him?

"Only capable of counterattacks" presumes that he has no agency, which is unlikely. His sadistic grin could only come from a thinking being. Could Asimov's Three Laws have somehow been imposed upon a thinking being? It cannot happen.

"Has standing orders from his employer, for now, to counterattack only" would make far more sense. What's easier to imagine: mind control, or employment?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: Thrudd on 16 Nov 2016, 19:09
Wild speculation here - even for me  :psyduck:

Since Ellie is now possibly expired [loss of large amounts of fluids and possible reconfiguration of vital systems] would our little blue mr fixit try to play combat medic and have it actually work resulting in one very sexy, very powerful and very unhappy android?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: Neko_Ali on 16 Nov 2016, 19:47
Ellie has never been shown as anything other than human. Argent's upgrade nanites have never been shown to do anything to humans, and he's had a fair bit of contact with them. Plus, his nanites don't repair things, they dramatically alter the shape and function of them. Trying to force them to work on Ellie's body is more likely to produce a grosser example of alchemy gone wrong as seen in Full Metal Alchemist.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: DSL on 17 Nov 2016, 05:12
Ironclad orders to counterattack-only woukd explain Loomis's grin after the first pipe strike ... "FINALLY! It's clobberin' time!"

This is not, as far as has been demonstrated, any of the Asimovian universes. Three Laws may apply no more here than they do to the robot arm on the assembly line in the universe I assume the rest of you share with me.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: BenRG on 17 Nov 2016, 05:31
I've always thought that Asimov's Three Laws would be antithetical to the purpose for which a combat AI (either biological or synthetic in nature) would be intended. As the big money is always in armaments, the process Asimov visualised where the Three Laws were an integral part of the intelligence algorithm simply couldn't happen.

The story of military robotics is a developmental process that, IMO fits into the "fund (often to multiples of the original budget) in reaction to cool PowerPoint slides, build, deploy to unsuitable scenarios (even though development delays mean the intended threat has long gone), deny faults, non-specifically apologise in the face of overwhelming evidence of lethal failures and only then think and try to fix" process that seems to summarise RL state technology development and post-failure stories.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: JimC on 19 Nov 2016, 09:02
Up.
No more Mr nice guy...
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: Skewbrow on 19 Nov 2016, 10:13
Hmm. Pate's agents surely gave him the bits about Alice & Sedna being in the party of four. Wonder why Alice didn't think about thaat. Things don't usually go well for your side, when your opponent has better intelligence. Also, I wonder whether the enhanced ones can recognize each other as such easily.

I guess Alice needs to play along for now. She is faster and probably also stronger than Sedna, but with the sidekick mostly incapacitated and the Vicissitudes around as extra baggage, it doesn't look like the time to really put Mr Church's abilities to a test.

So let's wait to hear what Pate wants from the space kids.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: blt on 19 Nov 2016, 10:40
Guaranteed Alice is seriously considering putting her fist right through Loomis's soul. But with no idea how Church is going to react it certainly wouldn't pay off, even if it would be satisfying.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: brasca on 19 Nov 2016, 11:32
Hmm. Pate's agents surely gave him the bits about Alice & Sedna being in the party of four. Wonder why Alice didn't think about thaat. Things don't usually go well for your side, when your opponent has better intelligence. Also, I wonder whether the enhanced ones can recognize each other as such easily.

I guess Alice needs to play along for now. She is faster and probably also stronger than Sedna, but with the sidekick mostly incapacitated and the Vicissitudes around as extra baggage, it doesn't look like the time to really put Mr Church's abilities to a test.

So let's wait to hear what Pate wants from the space kids.

I think Alice knew that Mr. Pate is resourceful enough to know more about her and her party than she knew of him and Mr. Church, but didn't really have any other good options. 

So we can now call Mr. Bad News by his actual name Mr. Church which is brutally ironic or not considering what churches you may have attended.  And he doesn't sleep which is one of his many advantages.   

Alice has many reasons to be furious and I think the biggest is that for the first time since she was a super soldier someone can compel her to do their bidding.  Hopefully, she can out think him because while Mr. Pate seems quite intelligent he probably has the weakeness of overconfidence all villains do. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: BenRG on 19 Nov 2016, 11:54
Ladies and Gentlemen, meet the post-Blink world's equivalent of Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin of Crime.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 19 Nov 2016, 11:55
In chess terms, Mr. Church is now pinned.

He can never go off and do something other than being Pate's bodyguard now. If he runs an errand, if he enforces some decree in another location, Pate is on his own facing an enraged Alice. The results are left as an exercise for the reader.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: brasca on 19 Nov 2016, 12:07
It's likely that Pate knows about Ardent's upgrade ability since he likely has an informant in Alice's village so it wouldn't be wise to deceive him by omission, but what he cannot know unless he actually has her cottage bugged is that the upgrades are affected by Ardent's mood.  So perhaps he can demonstrate his upgrade ability on Pate's carriage and get a vengeful Optimus Prime in the process.  It probably wouldn't stop Church, but it might buy enough time to flee. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, meet the post-Blink world's equivalent of Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin of Crime.

Perhaps, but the voice I hear when he talks sounds like Frieza. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: Castlerook on 19 Nov 2016, 12:31
Ladies and Gentlemen, meet the post-Blink world's equivalent of Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin of Crime.

Just a reminder though. Wilson Fisk is only human in a world of superhumans. And as we have just seen, human vs something extra-human is very messy.

I wouldn't be surprised if Pate ended up as pâté very soon.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: Kugai on 19 Nov 2016, 12:32
I

Really

Loathe

This

Bastard
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: FunkyTuba on 19 Nov 2016, 13:00
as a side note, it's interesting that Ardent's missing yet another negative experience that Gavia will be able to ascribe to him
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: brasca on 19 Nov 2016, 13:17
While we're getting some long awaited exposition I'm not entirely sure that Pate is a baseline human.  Alice didn't recognize him so perhaps not, but she may not be acquainted with all of the immortals from her time.  As such it would be dangerous to underestimate he could send Church away to fetch Ardent and Alice strikes only to realize that he takes orders from Pate because he's even more powerful, but prefers to let others do the dirty work. 

If he's not more powerful Church takes orders from Pate because of some hold over him that we have yet to see.   
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: BenRG on 19 Nov 2016, 13:49
If he's not more powerful Church takes orders from Pate because of some hold over him that we have yet to see.

Maybe Pate has access to the command codes - a hypnotically or cybernetically-implanted trigger that forces super-soldiers of Church's type to obey him without question (originally intended as a safety override but later abused when the various factions realised that, given time, their perfect killing machines sometimes developed consciences).
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: brasca on 19 Nov 2016, 14:04
Good theory and while I'm not sure how intelligent Alice and Sedna are it's possible that Ardent or Gavia might be able to crack the code and turn Church against Pate.  It would be fitting it Ardent was the one since he killed Ellie, but I have a feeling it could be Gavia.  Pate may not feel it's necessary to keep a close eye on her if he thinks she's been rendered a completely baseline human incapable of the mental faculties to crack codes. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: jheartney on 19 Nov 2016, 19:58
A more general comment, regarding the way Jeph uses names in this comic. He's not afraid to be pretty on-the-nose with them (the space kids are the "Vissicitudes;" the horny blue boy is "Ardent;"). Pate is a town administrator, i.e. the local government. His henchman is "Church." Church and State, geddit?

Also, if I may note, about two weeks ago I said this: 
If Alice went after Bad News, she'd end up like Sedna, or worse. For now though, we're into "villain monologues" mode, probably to be followed by "heroes imprisoned by villain" mode.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: Pogopotamus on 19 Nov 2016, 20:34
It's likely that Pate knows about Ardent's upgrade ability since he likely has an informant in Alice's village so it wouldn't be wise to deceive him by omission, but what he cannot know unless he actually has her cottage bugged is that the upgrades are affected by Ardent's mood.

I did not realize this.  Where is the "mood" effect on his upgrade power discussed?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: brasca on 19 Nov 2016, 22:21
It's likely that Pate knows about Ardent's upgrade ability since he likely has an informant in Alice's village so it wouldn't be wise to deceive him by omission, but what he cannot know unless he actually has her cottage bugged is that the upgrades are affected by Ardent's mood.

I did not realize this.  Where is the "mood" effect on his upgrade power discussed?

When he upgraded the wind up bird and it flew away Alice theorized that Ardent might influence the upgrade based on some subconscious desire.  This might not be proof that he can will something to upgrade based on what he wants, but it's not like he's been allowed to practice.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: sitnspin on 20 Nov 2016, 03:49

If he's not more powerful Church takes orders from Pate because of some hold over him that we have yet to see.

Or maybe Church just likes hurting people so why not get paid for it?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: brasca on 20 Nov 2016, 04:22
If he's that powerful then he could simply take the money and still hurt people. 

The only explanation I have for him following Pate if he doesn't have any means of controlling him is Church is interested in hunting down other immortals and Pate provides the means to do so that he lacks. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: JimC on 20 Nov 2016, 06:24
Might just be that Mr Church has continued to work for the established Government where he is.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: BenRG on 20 Nov 2016, 06:25
That's a good point, Jim. He may have a core directive along the lines of: "Obey the duly-constituted authorities". If Pate is legal leader of his settlement, no matter how weird (or even self-declared) the manner of that legality, Church might obey without question.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: jheartney on 20 Nov 2016, 12:28
Might just be that Mr Church has continued to work for the established Government where he is.

As I said, Church and State.

Having an extremely powerful henchman work for a seemingly less-powerful overlord is hardly unprecedented, either in fiction or reality. The Mountain works for the Lannisters, any of whom he could overpower easily. The U.S. military answers to a civilian commander-in-chief, whose authority is backed by tradition and custom, not by force. Of course Pate may have some other hold over Mr. Church as well.

BTW, what was Pate saying about Ellie "wouldn't have suffered for long"? Was Church going to murder her anyway?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: Method of Madness on 21 Nov 2016, 04:15
There was a pipe and a bone sticking out of her arm. She did not die quick.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: BenRG on 21 Nov 2016, 04:35
Pate's words were only a sociopath saying things that he knows he is expected to say, even if he doesn't understand or mean them. Even though he knew Ellie personally, I doubt that he cares very much about her death; I don't think he does 'care' about anything other than his own objectives at all.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: Neko_Ali on 21 Nov 2016, 05:40
Considering the amount of damage Church can do, and how fast Alice can move Ellie probably did die quickly. That doesn't mean she didn't suffer during the process though.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: jheartney on 21 Nov 2016, 07:35
I think the meaning behind "won't suffer for long" is much more violent: Pate's planning to kill everybody that knows about this dig. Why? A. so that there won't be witnesses, and B. so whenever he extracts whatever he's looking for, no one will know where it came from. Twins remain alive because Pate's interested in the orbitals, and Alice and Sedna will stay alive as having more immortals at his command is helpful to Pate, so long as they cooperate.

As much Bad News as Church is, Pate is worse.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: Castlerook on 21 Nov 2016, 08:44
Someone hit by a freight train won't "suffer for long". There's still going to be a lot of pain for that instant.

Same thing happened to Ellie.

She suffered, even if her death was near instantaneous. Pate probably thinks that Mr Church didn't get to have much "fun".
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: Ghanima Atreides on 21 Nov 2016, 11:56

If he's not more powerful Church takes orders from Pate because of some hold over him that we have yet to see.

Pate definitely has some kind of hold over Church that we have yet to see. Note how he says "I will allow Mr. Church to indulge himself further"
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: Verteiron on 21 Nov 2016, 19:01
What a dickweed.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: brasca on 21 Nov 2016, 22:33
I think the meaning behind "won't suffer for long" is much more violent: Pate's planning to kill everybody that knows about this dig. Why? A. so that there won't be witnesses, and B. so whenever he extracts whatever he's looking for, no one will know where it came from. Twins remain alive because Pate's interested in the orbitals, and Alice and Sedna will stay alive as having more immortals at his command is helpful to Pate, so long as they cooperate.

As much Bad News as Church is, Pate is worse.

I doubt he'll kill the archaeophiles.  They may expendable in his overall scheming, but what reason would he have for covering his tracks?  He has Mr. Church.  Who could threaten his interests?  I believe Mr. Pate is making a thinly veiled threat about Alice's village.  Even though he couldn't sic Church on the people without being defenseless I'm sure he has a gang of baseline thugs who could ride in and burn it down if ordered.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: retrosteve on 23 Nov 2016, 14:23
As has already been pointed out, the point we've just reached was inevitable from the moment Alice figured out what Church was. She underestimated Church, which Pate has also taken note of and therefore downgraded his estimation of Alice and Sedna accordingly.

Just a few notes on the visuals that have been striking me, especially given Jeph's now high-level skill at representing body language and subtle facial cues:
* Church (still "Loomis" to me) always appears totally bored, except when he's indulging in violence. This may be indicative of his relationship with Pate and may even be a wedge Alice can later use. Remember, he's a person, not an AI, certainly not a robot. He might be big and strong and fast and sleepless, but he still has motivations.
* Pate looks...cute. Even more so without his glasses. Young, innocent, boyish. Hardly like the pseudo-civilized psychopathic megalomaniac his words indicate. At one point he even sounds middle-aged, complaining he's not as spry as he once was. He should be greying, hardened, with a balding, er, pate, and perhaps stroking a Persian cat. Jeph doesn't draw looks by accident. The deliberate contrast must mean something, and I declare it a clue. (Even if he's really supposed to look like David Willis, he's younger than Willis too.)
* Pate appears totally at ease with the violence Church inflicts. Another clue.
* Pate's intelligence (or his reading of social cues) is scary good. He's figured out what Alice and Sedna are, but also which one is in charge, and their plan, all from pretty scanty evidence.
* Alice as prisoner and nursemaid to injured Sedna, being told she'll have to obey arbitrary commands, doesn't look scared or horrified. She just looks pissed off.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: Tova on 23 Nov 2016, 17:04
Remember, he's a person, not an AI, certainly not a robot.

And now for my dumb question of the day. Do we know this for sure?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: retrosteve on 23 Nov 2016, 17:53
Remember, he's a person, not an AI, certainly not a robot.

And now for my dumb question of the day. Do we know this for sure?

Pretty much. If Alice's exposition was right, then we know it for sure.

http://www.comic-rocket.com/read/alice-grove/73

If Alice was lying or deluded then all bets are off. Otherwise:
* Alice was there at The Blink
* All AIs vanished at that time but Alice didn't.
* So Alice isn't an AI.
* Alice recognizes Church as the same kind of thing as her and Sedna.
* Pate confirms that he knows this too.
* So Church is also not an AI.

Fer sure.

P.S. Reading through the comic linked above again, the Occam's Razor interpretation is that Alice, Sedna and Church are biologically enhanced humans. AIs were eliminated at the Blink. The other possibilities require a third type of entity not mentioned.

Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 23 Nov 2016, 20:43
An enhancement that leaves someone uninjured after having a pipe bent around his head is Clarkean technology.

Mr. Church must be made of something other than protein.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: Tova on 23 Nov 2016, 22:57
Remember, he's a person, not an AI, certainly not a robot.

And now for my dumb question of the day. Do we know this for sure?

If Alice was lying or deluded then all bets are off.

So.

Do androids dream of electric sheep?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: brasca on 24 Nov 2016, 00:01
Remember, he's a person, not an AI, certainly not a robot.

And now for my dumb question of the day. Do we know this for sure?

Pretty much. If Alice's exposition was right, then we know it for sure.

http://www.comic-rocket.com/read/alice-grove/73

If Alice was lying or deluded then all bets are off. Otherwise:
* Alice was there at The Blink
* All AIs vanished at that time but Alice didn't.
* So Alice isn't an AI.
* Alice recognizes Church as the same kind of thing as her and Sedna.
* Pate confirms that he knows this too.
* So Church is also not an AI.

Fer sure.

P.S. Reading through the comic linked above again, the Occam's Razor interpretation is that Alice, Sedna and Church are biologically enhanced humans. AIs were eliminated at the Blink. The other possibilities require a third type of entity not mentioned.

Sedna said Alice doesn't lie so unless proven otherwise she's telling the truth, but there is the possibility that their memories may be falsely implanted or that they were in fact AIs who mysteriously gained super advanced organic bodies after the blink and just don't know it because of some programmed amnesia.  I'm sure the AI faction will emerge at some point in this story and it will probably be quite the plot twist.  Perhaps Mr. Pate will be revealed as one.  He certainly knows a lot about Alice and her kind.  Maybe he found a damaged Mr. Church and repaired and reprogrammed him to do his bidding.  As such he may be physically weaker than the other immortals, but if he can download his consciousness into a spare body he may be more difficult to kill than he appears. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: plusorminus on 24 Nov 2016, 05:34
Pate is reminding me a lot of Hux from the new Star Wars movies. My suspicion, given how young he appears to be, his employment of Lurch, and the deference/fear we saw in the woman doing the briefing when Pate was first introduced, is that Pate is the latest in a line of dictators, possibly inheriting his "kingdom" from his forebears. Possibly, pre-Blink, the Pates saw the coming apocalypse and built themselves a bomb shelter to ride it out, emerged victorious and managed to carve themselves out a bit of power in the fallout. As we see him now, Pate is not the sort that anyone would just choose as their leader. It is possible that Lurch is an AI that doesn't know he is an AI but has been in service to Pate's family and now serves him. I'm not sure. I do think Pate is baseline.

The murder of Ellie puzzles me from a storytelling standpoint, but beyond that, I wonder what will happen next with her group. She was their leader. I feel like if Alice's little fiefdom is equivalent to, say, 17th Century Salem, then Ellie's was more mid-19th Century Wild West, as far as technological advances and Ellie's understanding that Sedna and Alice are powerful, but they are not "witches." That would indicate to me that her group has a similar knowledge base. It is very possible that the archeophiles, seeing that the strangers have brought bad trouble to their heretofore peaceful group, will raise a fuss. Obviously they can't go up against Lurch, but if Lurch truly is counterpuncher and cannot go on offense, Pate could very well whip the townspeople into a frenzy over Ellie's death and that would be big trouble for Alice.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: BenRG on 24 Nov 2016, 06:08
The murder of Ellie puzzles me from a storytelling standpoint

It shouldn't - It was admittedly heavy-handed but an effective narrative device that establishes the scale of the threat very clearly and concisely. He went to all this trouble to introduce and establish Ellie and then make us like her (and establish that she is someone Pate knows and does business with personally). Then he had her brutally and savagely beaten to death; then he had Pate stand in a pool of her blood and wave this off as 'shit that happens'.

Jeph has just told us just how dangerous Church is and just how amoral Pate is. He's also told us that no-one is automatically safe, no matter how well established the character.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: plusorminus on 24 Nov 2016, 06:48
The murder of Ellie puzzles me from a storytelling standpoint

It shouldn't - It was admittedly heavy-handed but an effective narrative device that establishes the scale of the threat very clearly and concisely. He went to all this trouble to introduce and establish Ellie and then make us like her (and establish that she is someone Pate knows and does business with personally). Then he had her brutally and savagely beaten to death; then he had Pate stand in a pool of her blood and wave this off as 'shit that happens'.

Jeph has just told us just how dangerous Church is and just how amoral Pate is. He's also told us that no-one is automatically safe, no matter how well established the character.

I probably should have gone into more detail, but I'm rushing today. What you say is true, and that's understandable. What I meant is that Ellie herself was not neccessary to be used as the blunt instrument. She is the leader of this group. We have seen others - the gent who told her Pate was there, and the background peeps in the bar. It would have been an interesting tableau if, instead of Ellie, one of those other people had come to Sedna's aid. They still would have been just as mangled as Ellie became, and everything you mentioned in your post - Lurch's deadliness, Pate's sociopathology, the real danger that Alice feared - would have been established. The additional deal, though, would be Ellie's survival. To this point, she has seen Pate as a benefactor. He seems to travel with Lurch exclusively. Pate has come and gone from the community without any issue. Sedna is a friend/acquaintance who, we are told at the start of this arc, had not been seen at the community since they seemed to stop running into the guns she collects. Ellie likes her, but it is Pate who helps keep the community running by providing it with the goods and services it needs to carry on its work. So it's Pate that is the important one, in Ellie's view. And Pate - up to now - has show no signs of being a bloodthirsty maniac.

Had one of Ellie's people been killed, then Ellie herself would have been in a quandary. To my knowledge, she is never told by Alice or Sedna about their fears of Pate, so if one of Ellie's people had been killed by Lurch, then to save the rest of them, it's possible Ellie would have felt compelled to sell them out to Pate and offer up what information she gleaned from Ardent, Sedna, Alice, or all of the above.

But killing Ellie herself likely means that this community won't play a very large part in the narrative going forward. Save for Jim (?), the young boy we meet at the very start of the comic, Jeph had not introduced a person who had a substantial speaking role beyond serving as a punchline who did not end up playing a large part in the narrative. We had Ardent, then Gavia, then Sedna, then Ellie. Ellie is now dead when I assumed that whatever else happened, she would be a large part of the story going forward. So it just puzzles me, but not in a bad way, just in a "Huh, that's not what I expected" way.

I wasn't knocking on Jeph or the way he is choosing to tell the story, if that's what you inferred. It's just that I foresaw Ellie playing a big role, particularly when it became clear that she knew and liked Pate. With her death, those avenues are closed. Interesting choice.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: Thrudd on 24 Nov 2016, 08:00
Just a quick point but everyone seems to think Mr Pate is baseline and goes off from there. Why?

Near immortal living weapons walk about from before the blink.

What makes anyone think that those with the money and power at that time before would not want to have that immortality for themselves but without the military baggage or responsibility?
For all we know he could have been one of those behind the wholesale death and mayhem that lead to the blink in the first place.

Think about it - Immortal Sociopath.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 24 Nov 2016, 13:43
Clever enough to lie about not being as spry as he used to be.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: Skewbrow on 24 Nov 2016, 14:00
I could easily be wrong about it, but I don't think Mr. Church is a robot/AI. A few clues:

Neither of the clues is conclusive, but I think that Church is another enhanced homo sapiens.

But how will our friends deal with him? Narrative imperative means that, after killing Ellie, there is no way for him to fully redeem himself and/or peacefully retire. He may see the error of his ways near the end, and turn against Pate. Possibly in a way that will lead to his own destruction (and regain his soldier's honor), but he has to perish. How to bring that about?

Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: pwhodges on 24 Nov 2016, 15:09
We have no idea how quickly Sedna will heal to a level that will enable her to be an effective fighter again.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: Verteiron on 25 Nov 2016, 16:09
An enhancement that leaves someone uninjured after having a pipe bent around his head is Clarkean technology.

Mr. Church must be made of something other than protein.

Human brain in an entirely synthetic body?

They could also be a human intelligence transferred or uploaded to a synthetic brain/body. Either could be considered entirely distinct from AI.

Alice also says that there are no thinking machines in the orbiting colonies, and no signs of the controlling AIs on the ground. Even if we assume Alice doesn't lie, neither statement entirely rules out the possibility of Alice's "kin" being AIs.

I'm leaning toward human intelligences in artificial bodies, though.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: brasca on 25 Nov 2016, 18:51
I could easily be wrong about it, but I don't think Mr. Church is a robot/AI. A few clues:
  • Mr. Pate said that Alice recognized Church "as one of [her] kind"
  • Even in Pate's town they don't seem to have electricity. That is, no means of recharging his batteries. (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/148839923804/i-hope-to-get-back-to-2-updates-a-week-soon-thank)

Those buildings we see in the background are partially submerged in the water so Pate's city may have electricity, but there was no need to wire something derelict. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: JimC on 26 Nov 2016, 02:09
An enhancement that leaves someone uninjured after having a pipe bent around his head is Clarkean technology. Mr. Church must be made of something other than protein.
As is Alice' ability to survive what looks like a well over 100ft fall from the wind turbine right at the beginning. Seems to me that both are in a vaguely similar order.
Incidentally Alice' wind turbine doesn't seem to make any sense to me as anything other than an electrical power generator, and judging by its size its perhaps megawatt level output - an awful lot of power to run a small cottage.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: BenRG on 26 Nov 2016, 05:52
I suspect that the wind turbine was intended to supply the Town. The pump at the well suggests that she has slowly been reintroducing technology at a rate at which she is confident that won't 'unbalance' the local society.

Possibly the whole 'witch' and 'magic' thing was intended to keep the ordinary folk from wanting to learn about these vicious complexities for  themselves and thus maintain their socio-economic innocence.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: brasca on 26 Nov 2016, 16:14
Strip is up.

I'm actually surprised Pate would reveal his plan this quickly.  Nice of him to cut to the chase.  What remains to be seen is if he is underestimating the Praeses.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: HiFranc on 26 Nov 2016, 16:26
More to the point, he doesn't seem to know about Gavia's situation and doesn't seem to care. The fact that she can photosynthesize makes me wonder if they have a direct connection to her and, right this minute, are making counter plans.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: brasca on 26 Nov 2016, 22:19
Unless Gavia has some organic means of communication like telepathy with the Praeses I doubt they know what's been going on ever since she lost her nano-tech.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: BenRG on 26 Nov 2016, 23:46
Yeah, I'm starting to get the feeling that some people know as much about the post-Blink state of affairs as Alice, maybe even more. Either Pate wants to reignite the war or he's tired of being big man in a little patch of the world and thinks that the Praeses can help him (willingly or otherwise) to ascend to the position of global or even system-wide power that he thinks he deserves

I'm actually surprised Pate would reveal his plan this quickly.  Nice of him to cut to the chase.  What remains to be seen is if he is underestimating the Praeses.

Why should he hesitate? He thinks he's winning and that he holds all of the cards. In his mind, it would be inefficient not to tell his new slave precisely what he needs of her. What reason does he have to prevaricate?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: Tova on 27 Nov 2016, 00:55
I'm actually surprised Pate would reveal his plan this quickly.  Nice of him to cut to the chase.  What remains to be seen is if he is underestimating the Praeses.

It's only what they would have worked out for themselves. You don't think he's put all of his cards down on the table, yet, do you?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: brasca on 27 Nov 2016, 04:40
Yeah, I'm starting to get the feeling that some people know as much about the post-Blink state of affairs as Alice, maybe even more. Either Pate wants to reignite the war or he's tired of being big man in a little patch of the world and thinks that the Praeses can help him (willingly or otherwise) to ascend to the position of global or even system-wide power that he thinks he deserves

I'm actually surprised Pate would reveal his plan this quickly.  Nice of him to cut to the chase.  What remains to be seen is if he is underestimating the Praeses.

Why should he hesitate? He thinks he's winning and that he holds all of the cards. In his mind, it would be inefficient not to tell his new slave precisely what he needs of her. What reason does he have to prevaricate?

Well for the sake of storytelling villains tend to drag these things out. 

And while I understand this is a tense situation Alice could be a little nicer to Gavia.  She's not doing anything bratty or annoying and considering that she's never seen a dead body to say the least one mangled so badly and the guardian she thought was invincible neutralized she is justifiably terrified by all this. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: Tova on 27 Nov 2016, 04:52
And while I understand this is a tense situation Alice could be a little nicer to Gavia.

Maybe you need to rethink just how tense this situation is.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: brasca on 27 Nov 2016, 05:34
If it were anyone else it would be hopeless, but this is Alice so there is a better than average chance.  I can understand keeping her wits as well as those around her, but Gavia is deeply shaken by all this and not hysterical.  Telling her to shut up seems needlessly mean.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: retrosteve on 27 Nov 2016, 08:33
If it were anyone else it would be hopeless, but this is Alice so there is a better than average chance.  I can understand keeping her wits as well as those around her, but Gavia is deeply shaken by all this and not hysterical.  Telling her to shut up seems needlessly mean.

To me it seems absolutely necessary. Alice's one remaining advantage is that Pate doesn't know all of her plans. When Gavia begins "...we can't let him" that's likely to be the beginning of Gavia blurting out information on their plans, and Alice really doesn't want to lose another advantage just then.

The fact that Pate seems well aware of their plans doesn't emerge for another few moments.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: Kugai on 27 Nov 2016, 12:24
I think Pate is going to be in for a few surprises if and/or when he gets into Orbit
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: Tova on 27 Nov 2016, 12:26
If it were anyone else it would be hopeless, but this is Alice so there is a better than average chance.  I can understand keeping her wits as well as those around her, but Gavia is deeply shaken by all this and not hysterical.  Telling her to shut up seems needlessly mean.

I can't comprehend why you're empathising with Gavia's trauma but not with Alice being a bit tense in this extraordinary situation. Yes, she is better than average, which is the only reason she hasn't completely lost it as well. Yet you want her to be perfect. Cut her a bit of slack.

This is still an unprecedented situation for all concerned. Alice may not be baseline, but she's still human. People have died, people are being threatened, and you're fussing over niceties.

Gavia will cope with being told to shut up, I am sure.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: BenRG on 27 Nov 2016, 12:45
I think Pate is going to be in for a few surprises if and/or when he gets into Orbit

I'm not sure that they'll get as far as orbit. I wonder if just what they find in the bunker may be a bit too much for Alice and Church to chew, even fighting together.

"Well, shit! Who would have ever guessed one of these would have survived the Blink?" ((Giant Godzilla-sized mecha rises up into the sky, multiple laser batteries tracking to find targets))
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: brasca on 27 Nov 2016, 14:10
If it were anyone else it would be hopeless, but this is Alice so there is a better than average chance.  I can understand keeping her wits as well as those around her, but Gavia is deeply shaken by all this and not hysterical.  Telling her to shut up seems needlessly mean.

To me it seems absolutely necessary. Alice's one remaining advantage is that Pate doesn't know all of her plans. When Gavia begins "...we can't let him" that's likely to be the beginning of Gavia blurting out information on their plans, and Alice really doesn't want to lose another advantage just then.

The fact that Pate seems well aware of their plans doesn't emerge for another few moments.

Pate seems to know just about everything at this point including Ardent's abilities.  The only thing he doesn't (unless Alice's cottage was bugged) is that Ardent might subconsciously influence what he upgrades which might come as a rude awakening if the computer on their upgraded spaceship flushes him and Church out the airlock.  However, I doubt it would end so easily.  Where Pate is literally in the dark about is space.  He doesn't know what the habitats are like which is what he's likely to ask Ardent and/or Gavia next.  It's easy enough to tell her to be quiet, but keep in mind Pate is calling the shots now and if he thinks they are lying he could kill another innocent person to show his displeasure.  Who among us would want that on their conscience? 

That being said Gavia may prove crucial if Pate thinks she's on his side.  She wants to go home and may have similar philosophies regarding technology so he might consider her the least likely to resist.  Moreover, she likes to learn new things and Pate seems like the type of villain who loves to bend people to his way of thinking and would be pleased to have an apprentice.  As such she could lull him into a false sense of security and lead him into a trap once they arrive at the habitat or if Church is controlled by some code as some have theorized she might be able to get close enough to break Pate's control over him.   
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: Method of Madness on 27 Nov 2016, 14:19
As awful as Pate is...is he worse than the Praeses?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: pwhodges on 27 Nov 2016, 14:47
If it were anyone else it would be hopeless, but this is Alice so there is a better than average chance.

She's got Sedna, who is pretty much equivalent to her, damaged right next to her; she can't just assume she can handle this as easily as usual.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: pwhodges on 27 Nov 2016, 14:47
As awful as Pate is...is he worse than the Praeses?

Quite simply - we have no idea yet!
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: Tova on 27 Nov 2016, 15:23
It's perhaps interesting to reflect that Pate (allegedly) wants to use Ardent to help him get to the Praeses, along with the well founded conjecture that Ardent is where he is now only because the Praeses want him to be there (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/108888645539/we-all-need-a-vacation).
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: Method of Madness on 27 Nov 2016, 15:40
She's got Sedna, who is pretty much equivalent to her
Wait, what? What makes you think that? Sedna uses guns, while Alice is so strong she can punch through a nanotech shield.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: wlewisiii on 27 Nov 2016, 16:15
If it were anyone else it would be hopeless, but this is Alice so there is a better than average chance.  I can understand keeping her wits as well as those around her, but Gavia is deeply shaken by all this and not hysterical.  Telling her to shut up seems needlessly mean.

To me it seems absolutely necessary. Alice's one remaining advantage is that Pate doesn't know all of her plans. When Gavia begins "...we can't let him" that's likely to be the beginning of Gavia blurting out information on their plans, and Alice really doesn't want to lose another advantage just then.

The fact that Pate seems well aware of their plans doesn't emerge for another few moments.

Pate seems to know just about everything at this point including Ardent's abilities.  The only thing he doesn't (unless Alice's cottage was bugged) is that Ardent might subconsciously influence what he upgrades which might come as a rude awakening if the computer on their upgraded spaceship flushes him and Church out the airlock.  However, I doubt it would end so easily.  Where Pate is literally in the dark about is space.  He doesn't know what the habitats are like which is what he's likely to ask Ardent and/or Gavia next.  It's easy enough to tell her to be quiet, but keep in mind Pate is calling the shots now and if he thinks they are lying he could kill another innocent person to show his displeasure.  Who among us would want that on their conscience? 

That being said Gavia may prove crucial if Pate thinks she's on his side.  She wants to go home and may have similar philosophies regarding technology so he might consider her the least likely to resist.  Moreover, she likes to learn new things and Pate seems like the type of villain who loves to bend people to his way of thinking and would be pleased to have an apprentice.  As such she could lull him into a false sense of security and lead him into a trap once they arrive at the habitat or if Church is controlled by some code as some have theorized she might be able to get close enough to break Pate's control over him.   

"Always two there are, no more, no less. A master and an apprentice.” ? 

I do think that the way forward, story telling wise, is for him to be underestimating one or more of the heroes. Gavia is obvious but so is Ardent. Remember he was standing there ready to die before Alice pulled her blow. 

Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: brasca on 27 Nov 2016, 16:22
If it were anyone else it would be hopeless, but this is Alice so there is a better than average chance.

She's got Sedna, who is pretty much equivalent to her, damaged right next to her; she can't just assume she can handle this as easily as usual.

Alice can't win with brute force.  If she could then she and Sedna would've dealt with Mr. Church instead of attempting to flee in the night.  However, she knows more about the past than Mr. Pate and he probably knows nothing of the Praeses so this gives her some advantages, but she'll have to out think him which may be possible since like most villains his arrogance can outweigh his intelligence.

As awful as Pate is...is he worse than the Praeses?

Quite simply - we have no idea yet!

Indeed.  This may all be a trap to bring the last of the immortals to a space habitat where they can nullify their abilities and conquer Earth without any trouble.  Mr. Church is unbeatable on the ground, but if he is plunged into zero gravity or propelled toward the moon, Mars, or even the sun then it doesn't matter how powerful he is.  Alice assumed she was all that stood in the way, but I doubt Mr. Pate would like it if the Praeses invaded without him being a part of the new world order.  If the Praeses knew all of the people that would potentially thwart their plans and could eliminate them in one fell swoop this would be the best way. 

I'm starting to think this will end like Eanbrain Tain's ill-fated preemptive strike against the Founders.   
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: LKR1009 on 27 Nov 2016, 16:39
Sounds like we have a serious need for the Separation of Church and Pate.

 :claireface: :claireface: :claireface:
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: Method of Madness on 27 Nov 2016, 16:46
You'll do well here, LKR. Welcome aboard.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: brasca on 27 Nov 2016, 17:12
If it were anyone else it would be hopeless, but this is Alice so there is a better than average chance.  I can understand keeping her wits as well as those around her, but Gavia is deeply shaken by all this and not hysterical.  Telling her to shut up seems needlessly mean.

To me it seems absolutely necessary. Alice's one remaining advantage is that Pate doesn't know all of her plans. When Gavia begins "...we can't let him" that's likely to be the beginning of Gavia blurting out information on their plans, and Alice really doesn't want to lose another advantage just then.

The fact that Pate seems well aware of their plans doesn't emerge for another few moments.

Pate seems to know just about everything at this point including Ardent's abilities.  The only thing he doesn't (unless Alice's cottage was bugged) is that Ardent might subconsciously influence what he upgrades which might come as a rude awakening if the computer on their upgraded spaceship flushes him and Church out the airlock.  However, I doubt it would end so easily.  Where Pate is literally in the dark about is space.  He doesn't know what the habitats are like which is what he's likely to ask Ardent and/or Gavia next.  It's easy enough to tell her to be quiet, but keep in mind Pate is calling the shots now and if he thinks they are lying he could kill another innocent person to show his displeasure.  Who among us would want that on their conscience? 

That being said Gavia may prove crucial if Pate thinks she's on his side.  She wants to go home and may have similar philosophies regarding technology so he might consider her the least likely to resist.  Moreover, she likes to learn new things and Pate seems like the type of villain who loves to bend people to his way of thinking and would be pleased to have an apprentice.  As such she could lull him into a false sense of security and lead him into a trap once they arrive at the habitat or if Church is controlled by some code as some have theorized she might be able to get close enough to break Pate's control over him.   

"Always two there are, no more, no less. A master and an apprentice.” ? 

I do think that the way forward, story telling wise, is for him to be underestimating one or more of the heroes. Gavia is obvious but so is Ardent. Remember he was standing there ready to die before Alice pulled her blow.

True, but I don't think Ardent can stomach befriending Pate once he learns what happened to Ellie and I don't think Pate would believe he could just easily forget her.  Aside from what his informants have told him he doesn't know much about Gavia which gives her an advantage.  It might even be cathartic for her because I think deep down she feels betrayed by the Praeses, but won't admit it, however, if she told Pate that she lost her faith in them she could reconcile this as something she said to fool her captor and she never believed it even if subconsciously she does. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: jwhouk on 27 Nov 2016, 19:17
Sounds like we have a serious need for the Separation of Church and Pate.

 :claireface: :claireface: :claireface:

Ladies and gentlebeings, we have a rookie-of-the-year posting nominee right here.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 27 Nov 2016, 23:13
Welcome, new person who is going to fit right in!

Of course Alice told Gavia to shut up. Alice is rude. This is known.

If what's in the bunker is what they expect, it will be the first time in the strip that something has gone as expected.

Sedna lost a fight with Alice but is the same class of being.

Do we know that Gavia can photosynthesize? I thought it was Sedna who said she could do that.

Alice is showing impressive self-control. In her place I'd be tempted to gamble that Mr. Church would shout "free at last!" rather than avenge his employer if Alice splashed Pate.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: JimC on 28 Nov 2016, 08:16
So Alice, if you get Pate and Church blasted into orbit, what, from your POV, is the downside?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: BenRG on 28 Nov 2016, 08:20
So Alice, if you get Pate and Church blasted into orbit, what, from your POV, is the downside?

They could succeed in finding the Praeses, who then Upgrade them and send them back to Earth to act as their agents. This is not a good thing, given that they appear to be amongst several sub-factions who haven't ever stopped fighting the Great War.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: Neko_Ali on 28 Nov 2016, 08:47
That assumes that Pate would just let useful tools go once he has accomplished this task of getting a way into orbit. Why would he settle for having an ancient human weapon in his employ when he could have three. And the possibilities of keeping Ardent around to upgrade things are staggering.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: Tova on 28 Nov 2016, 15:42
So Alice, if you get Pate and Church blasted into orbit, what, from your POV, is the downside?

If they refuse to take Ardent and Gavia with them, then that's a bit of a downside.

There could well be a much bigger downside that either Alice hasn't worked out yet (because Pate's motives are unknown), or she has but hasn't yet spoken out loud (seems less likely).
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
Post by: pwhodges on 28 Nov 2016, 15:50
I am simply reminded how little we know of life in orbit and the position and motivation of the Praeses.