Jeph Jacques's comics discussion forums

Comic Discussion => ALICE GROVE => Topic started by: brasca on 01 Dec 2016, 03:54

Title: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: brasca on 01 Dec 2016, 03:54
I'm actually hoping for option 5 although it doesn't have to be the Moonities.  Quite possibly the AIs have been living there all along and will make an appearance. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: Castlerook on 01 Dec 2016, 17:48
I'm still hoping Pate will be turned into Pâté, so we shall have to wait and see.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: brasca on 01 Dec 2016, 20:28
Well the inertial dampening field collapsing or possibly the artificial gravity malfunctioning could do that, but that could kill everyone else so the airlock is probably the best option. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: retrosteve on 02 Dec 2016, 18:11
I'm thinking along different lines.

I'd speculate that the Praeses aren't as evil as Alice thinks.
Here's why. Imagine Earth pre-Blink. AI faction and biotech faction about to go to war. No alien encounters mentioned at all. Then suddently, all the AIs vanish and the Earth is instantly edited. At the same time, a bunch of orbital habitats instantly appear. This is the action of a godlike intelligence with (at least weakly) godlike powers. Let's call it "Bob".  Bob is the Singularity, an AI that has figured out how to improve its own intelligence, then repeat the process, until it's smart and powerful enough to easily shape worlds.  Bob eliminated the other AIs before they figured out how to compete with him.

The Praesides, whether they appeared that day or sometime not long after, were not players before. And they've taken the name that historically means "governor of a province".  I'm guessing they were living out their own intelligent treelike lives elsewhere in the galaxy, and Bob, before Blinking everyone, found them and cut a deal with some of them. He offered each one a chance to govern a new colony (or part of a colony) of intelligent but naive colonists, to have free reign in their education and care, in return for something they wanted. Some of them agreed, and got Blinked into place on a colony asteroid.

They're governors, and whatever it is they want, they got it, 5000 years ago. Presumably as treelike things, they're pretty long-lived and patient. They don't move around on their own, so conquering another planet doesn't seem like a priority. They already share their colony with a few other Praesides, so they're not really aggressively power-hungry either, or there would be just one left on each world (and that's not what Gavia implies.) Also, the colonies are not overpopulated (or Ardent would come from a scarcity economy, which he evidently doesn't!)

So from the Praesides point of view, they're doing what they want to do, and educating their charges to their own tastes. Their world is pretty much utopic. I think if they sent Ardent to upgrade Earth's technologies, they did it from altruism, thinking the Earth people might want to have nice things too. (Alternative suggested by a friend: Or they just got bored! Also likely.) The Praesides are likely naive, well-intentioned, and therefore dangerous exactly the way Ardent is -- because they don't think about unintended consequences.

My guess is that Bob wouldn't approve of this move, but never actually told them not to. Instead, Bob moved to the Moon, and placed the Nightwalker on Earth to send him a signal if any really higher technology appeared there. Which just happened.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: brasca on 02 Dec 2016, 18:33
Gavia argued that her people had no reason to conquer Earth since they have everything they need, but I doubt it's a coincidence that Ardent should go to Earth which is forbidden with an ability to upgrade machines that was implanted without his knowledge.  And then his sister goes off pursuing him and gets stranded too.  The Praeses wanted these 2 on Earth.  With Ardent's ability it's somewhat obvious, but with Gavia it's unclear.  Was her nanotechnology carrying some important programming for the Night Walker to absorb and if so what purpose did it have for blasting the moon?  The Praeses are definitely up to something, but it remains to be seen if they are as sinister as Mr. Pate.  They might prefer to modernize Earth covertly to avoid detection by Alice instead of outright invading, but if that is the case then why send Ardent to her village?  It would make more sense to target a place where immortals are absent and then let him upgrade their society until it was too late for anyone else to react.  I still think this is a trap.  They knew about Pate and how he controls someone more powerful than Alice so they scheme to get him to leave Earth with his bodyguard and unwilling companions and once they've reached the habitat they'll do something to nullify their powers or quite possibly use a device that directs their vessel away from Earth.  As powerful as they are they don't seem to have the ability to fly through space so they could be banished to the vacuum of space and never be a problem again. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: retrosteve on 02 Dec 2016, 18:54
I still think this is a trap.  They knew about Pate and how he controls someone more powerful than Alice so they scheme to get him to leave Earth with his bodyguard and unwilling companions and once they've reached the habitat they'll do something to nullify their powers or quite possibly use a device that directs their vessel away from Earth. 

I can't see the Praeses being able to know that much about Earth. If they were powerful enough to know all that, and sinister enough to make such bold and devious plans, they wouldn't have been content to hang around babysitting space humans for 5000 years.

The guy who did the Blink, now that thing is intelligent. But I think the Praeses are just babysitters.

They may well have been bored and curious, though. And then sent Ardent and Gavia along to find out more about Earth, which they otherwise can't observe in detail.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: brasca on 02 Dec 2016, 21:10
I still think this is a trap.  They knew about Pate and how he controls someone more powerful than Alice so they scheme to get him to leave Earth with his bodyguard and unwilling companions and once they've reached the habitat they'll do something to nullify their powers or quite possibly use a device that directs their vessel away from Earth. 

I can't see the Praeses being able to know that much about Earth. If they were powerful enough to know all that, and sinister enough to make such bold and devious plans, they wouldn't have been content to hang around babysitting space humans for 5000 years.

The guy who did the Blink, now that thing is intelligent. But I think the Praeses are just babysitters.

They may well have been bored and curious, though. And then sent Ardent and Gavia along to find out more about Earth, which they otherwise can't observe in detail.

I should have prefaced that with "if." I can't be certain that they know anything about Pate, but if they do and it seems likely that they would because of his interest in restoring lost technology.  I imagine that the Praeses first noticed him after one of his scientists tried to get a radio to work.  Once they detected such anomalies they would probably investigate and determine that he could be an ally or an obstacle to their plans. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: BenRG on 02 Dec 2016, 23:46
My vote is complex because I expect that Pate and the Praeses will come to a mutually beneficial deal... in their own minds. Basically, they'll both go to the negotiating table with the intent of manipulating and betraying the other for their own ideological (Praeses) or selfish personal (Pate) benefit. They'll shake hands, go their separate ways and, the very moment they're out of sight of each other, immediately put their plan to destroy the other into motion.

Lex Luthor 'teaming up' with the Skrull Empire is as close a pop culture parallel that I can think of.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: brasca on 03 Dec 2016, 01:31
Perhaps, but I still think Pate will get the same deal Bruno Manheim got from Darkseid. 

Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: Skewbrow on 03 Dec 2016, 08:59
Hmm. Alice got may be 6 ft head start on Church yet he caught her more or less immediately. We now have a better idea of their relative abilities. No need to add extra for reaction time, because obviously Church was monitoring Alice very carefully all the way through Pate's little speech.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: BenRG on 03 Dec 2016, 09:33
Whatever that 'Mr Church' thing is, it is clearly pure Clarke-tech. In essence, he blink-teleported over to Alice.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: Skewbrow on 03 Dec 2016, 09:51
^ Yup! Church didn't move. He just arrived.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: retrosteve on 03 Dec 2016, 10:01
^ Yup! Church didn't move. He just arrived.

I called it last month. He's not just stealthy. He's super-fast.  That's what Alice noticed when she first saw him.  She's aware of her surroundings, as any super-soldier must be. She knows he wasn't there, then he suddenly was.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: jheartney on 03 Dec 2016, 10:08
Sounds like Alice's brilliant plan to run away wouldn't have worked very well; how do you run from something capable of near-infinite speed?

Alice, as powerful as she is, has never struck me as particularly smart. She's going to have to outthink Pate/Church if she wants to get out of this. The key would have to be understanding whatever hold Pate has over Church. Mere force won't get you anywhere in this situation, and that's not a place Alice is familiar with.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: BenRG on 03 Dec 2016, 10:08
One thing that was interesting was the threat that Pate chose to make. Did he suspect that Alice would rather die than help him, so a threat against one of her charges was the only way to intimidate her? Or is it possible that, unlike Sedna, Alice really is practically indestructible, even for a being of Mr Church's abilities?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: pwhodges on 03 Dec 2016, 10:27
Pate implies that Alice and Mr Church aren't so greatly different in their capabilities, in that he suggests the two of them break open the bunker together.  If Mr Church was so much more capable than Alice it would be pointless for her to help him.  So it seems that although Mr Church may be in some ways superior to Alice, he is still the same class of being.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: Castlerook on 03 Dec 2016, 10:56
Pate implies that Alice and Mr Church aren't so greatly different in their capabilities, in that he suggests the two of them break open the bunker together.  If Mr Church was so much more capable than Alice it would be pointless for her to help him.  So it seems that although Mr Church may be in some ways superior to Alice, he is still the same class of being.

Though Pate could be referring to an unstoppable force meeting an immovable object scenario, Church's brutal strength meeting Alice's armour.

And thinking along those lines, I would be surprised if we find out that Alice, Sedna and Church were weaponised aspects for some program during the conflict before the Blink, embodying one specific trait to be used as a weapon. Think the Ultimate Shield, the Ultimate Spear, the Artillerist and so on.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: brasca on 03 Dec 2016, 11:48
Sounds like Alice's brilliant plan to run away wouldn't have worked very well; how do you run from something capable of near-infinite speed?

Alice, as powerful as she is, has never struck me as particularly smart. She's going to have to outthink Pate/Church if she wants to get out of this. The key would have to be understanding whatever hold Pate has over Church. Mere force won't get you anywhere in this situation, and that's not a place Alice is familiar with.

Until now outwitting an opponent wasn't necessary, but I think this attempt to kill Pate wasn't her losing her temper, but a test of Church's abilities.  Now if he is capable of teleportation as some have postulated there is still a limit otherwise he could appear on the space habitats.  It's also a test of Pate's temperament since he could've threatened or ordered Church to kill a random archaeophile, but since Ellie's death was not enough to dissuade her from attempting to kill him he's upped the ante to harming Gavia.  This may also reveal some limitations to Pate's intelligence gathering.  Pate may not know about Gavia's recent loss of powers and doesn't realize she can't heal from an attack as quickly as she did.   
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: jheartney on 03 Dec 2016, 12:33
I think Pate sees Gavia as entirely expendable, rather like Ellie. Sedna and Alice are useful as super-soldiers, and Ardent has his magic touch, but Gavia is just the gal that used to have nanotech. Alice and Ardent apparently care about her, so she's useful for applying coercion. But for herself, Gavia isn't important enough to not kill.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: brasca on 03 Dec 2016, 12:42
And hopefully that may lead to his undoing.  If he thinks she's nothing more than a hostage he can threaten to compel Alice and Ardent to obey him he may keep her close enough that she could possibly figure out how Pate controls Church and break that link.  Or she may regain her ability to control her nanotechnology and if is now linked to the Night Walker that would give her an advantage.   

I also suspect that he decided not to fulfill that threat since he's probably going to use that threat against Ardent once he's awake and sober. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: Kugai on 03 Dec 2016, 12:59
I want rocks to fall on this bastard


Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: Tova on 03 Dec 2016, 17:45
One thing that was interesting was the threat that Pate chose to make. Did he suspect that Alice would rather die than help him, so a threat against one of her charges was the only way to intimidate her? Or is it possible that, unlike Sedna, Alice really is practically indestructible, even for a being of Mr Church's abilities?

This is an easy one to answer. He needs Alice's help to crack the bunker open, so any threat to incapacitate her in some way would obviously be an idle one. So he threatened to hurt Gavia instead.

It's also obvious why he didn't threaten to kill Gavia. Once she is dead, that leverage is gone. After breaking her arms, however, he can threaten to break her legs next.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 03 Dec 2016, 21:32
I want rocks to fall on this bastard

Rocks are interesting.

How accurately can Alice throw?

We can be confident about her throwing far and fast.

Could Mr. Church prevent a supersonic rock from going through some vital area on Pate? It's a harder problem than body-blocking Alice.

He could follow Alice around 24/7 and never take his eyes off her. But Pate has to sleep sometime, and Gavia could hit him in the head with a hand-held rock if his bodyguard is away watching Alice.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: Tova on 03 Dec 2016, 22:04
Don't forget that Mr. Church also appears to have an unnerving omnicience (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/151526306659/maybe-he-wants-to-be-friends).

He probably doesn't need to watch either of them. Or, to put it different, he can probably keep an eye on both of them. Maybe that's the significant of the differently coloured eyes.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: pwhodges on 04 Dec 2016, 00:52
Even Church must have limitations, otherwise there would be no story to tell.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: Tova on 04 Dec 2016, 02:39
I suspect that neither Alice nor Gavia would be too keen in testing those limitations in that way, though. Not without knowing, at least.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: brasca on 04 Dec 2016, 04:44
I'm still curious about what control Pate has over Church.  We've never seen him give an order so he may have some kind of telepathic control over Church.  Consider what just happened when Alice went to kill Pate.  Church grabbed her arm, but didn't crush it like he did Sedna's shoulder.  Even if Pate would intricately explained every single detail of his plans to Church to prevent a misunderstanding this would still make improvising impossible when things don't go accordingly.  I think Pate can see and act through Church and signaled him to stop her without breaking an arm that she'll need to dig out the bunker.  There is the matter of sleep which he claims Church doesn't do, but if that's the case then what happens when Pate sleeps?  Does Church become semi-autonomous and only if there is a disturbance telepathically wakes his master?  Then again maybe Pate doesn't sleep and is more than just a baseline human. 

On a somewhat related note if any of you have a subscription to Tumblr and follow Jeph Jacques you should check out Roko unwinds.  When I first saw it I thought it was bonus Alice Grove strip until I read it.  And why would I make that mistake?  Because in a black and white sketch Roko resembles Alice which makes me think that she is the AI that will eventually evolve into Alice, not Bubbles.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: retrosteve on 04 Dec 2016, 09:06
I'm still curious about what control Pate has over Church.
Maybe none. Maybe he just pays Church's salary, and they talk a lot, so Church knows what Pate needs.

Pate is, as we've already seen, good at aligning his interests (at least temporarily) with those of others. Possibly he and Church have aligned interests.

Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: Tova on 04 Dec 2016, 17:37
One thing that does interest me is that Pate doesn't even blink at the lightning-fast attempt on his life. He allows himself the very slightest smile, like it was just what he was expecting. I think that most people, even knowing they are being protected, might have at least flinched.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: Neko_Ali on 04 Dec 2016, 19:16
He's not only been expecting Alice's attack, he's been taunting it out, trying to force it. Pate is well aware of at least the general level of Alice's capabilities and believes that Church can stop her. So he's been baiting her into attacking. Making threatening statements, issuing demands and taunting Alice, all while staying within easy reach of her. When she didn't take that, he turned his back on her giving Alice her best chance to attack, short of waiting until Pate was asleep.

He was trying to prompt that attack so Alice would know any kind of attempt on Pate would be stopped. He wanted to demonstrate his safety and demoralize Alice. She's more likely to grudgingly go along with Pate's commands in the short term and wait for a better opportunity now, instead of constantly be trying to undermine him.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: Samik on 05 Dec 2016, 09:58
We had something approximately like a singularity event. In a relatively short span of time we went from the events precipitating the faction split, to the blink. It stands to reason that the super-soldiers would be iterated pretty rapidly towards the end.  We already know that Alice is somewhat improved from Sedna. Mr. Church seems to be an even larger leap from Alice (and she knew it (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/150226023709/baby-we-were-born-to-run#_=_)). It is probably wise to assume that his offensive output dwarfs the tech level Alice is designed to hold up to.

Additionally, I'll predict that his intelligence is far higher also - that he's not under Pate's control at all, but that they have some sort of agreement. Or even that it's the other way around  and Pate is Church's puppet. (I just noticed, panel 3 of this page (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/152742362034/alice-will-be-taking-a-break-next-week-while-i).)



I don't think he's meant to have legitimate teleportation - just speed that's darned near to it. There's a bit of a blur effect in panel three (and the bottom text can possibly be considered evidence also).
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: Samik on 05 Dec 2016, 10:14
Now that I'm thinking about this puppet idea, I notice something.

So obviously Church's go-to move is the classic sneak (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/149485414154/they-seem-nice#_=_) up (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/149849457474/he-used-to-be-extremely-spry#_=_) from (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/151526306659/maybe-he-wants-to-be-friends#_=_) behind (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/153991037889/alice-is-fast-but-mr-church-is-faster#_=_) while you're distracted. But, I don't think it's just a comedic gimmick. I think the author is employing it deliberately, and it tells us something about the character.

Pate is Church's pocket distraction. Three of the four sneak-up moves we've seen so far occur when the target is focused on Pate (the fourth being Sedna examining the carriage). Everyone assumes Pate is the brain behind the operation and so deals with him directly, while Church stands back and surveys the field.

And to the point of him being hyper-aware, so how did Ellie get the drop on him (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/152175316869/bravery#_=_) with the pipe? She didn't: She was absolutely no threat to him, he simply had no reason at all to avoid her attack. Sedna was the only relevant target for him in that scene.  (Once he verified her disabled, then he had his fun.)

In the same vein, he also had no reason to prevent Sedna from damaging the carriage. He hardly needs it for transportation. And all the assets he needs to execute his plan are already present.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: Samik on 05 Dec 2016, 10:23
Even Church must have limitations, otherwise there would be no story to tell.
I know it won't happen. But, I would be very lit-geeked if it turns out that Church is the main, or most important, character.


The way things went down before the blink never sat right with him. He's been meaning to have a word with the Praeses. And now, thanks to Ardent's payload, his long years of patience are about to pay off.

This summer, one man takes his vendetta to the stars.

Ron Perlman is

CHURCH

(click to show/hide)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: FunkyTuba on 05 Dec 2016, 14:51
When I first saw it I thought it was bonus Alice Grove strip until I read it.  And why would I make that mistake?  Because in a black and white sketch Roko resembles Alice which makes me think that she is the AI that will eventually evolve into Alice, not Bubbles.

+1 insightful
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: jheartney on 05 Dec 2016, 21:00
I  had a completely opposite hypothesis about Church: what if he's not really a separate being? What if he's a telepathic projection of Pate's? That would explain the instantaneous motion, and the lack of any need for communication. it would also explain his being indestructible.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: Samik on 05 Dec 2016, 22:57
I'm still curious about what control Pate has over Church.  We've never seen him give an order so he may have some kind of telepathic control over Church.  Consider what just happened when Alice went to kill Pate.  Church grabbed her arm, but didn't crush it like he did Sedna's shoulder.  Even if Pate would intricately explained every single detail of his plans to Church to prevent a misunderstanding this would still make improvising impossible when things don't go accordingly.

Assuming Church is under Pate's control, the simplest order set, expressed during or before the carriage ride, would be something like:

1.) Protect me.
2.) If possible, do not kill the other soldiers.
3.) Do not harm anyone else, unless you're attacked.

I suppose 2 and 3 could be reversed, but this gets you the behavior we've seen so far. Pate says to Alice, "You will do exactly as I say from now on, or I will allow Mr. Church to indulge himself further, at your personal expense." Church enjoys killing, but is restricted from doing so unless he's attacked or instructed. That's why you get the ear-to-ear grin (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/152175316869/bravery) when Ellie hits him with the pipe - he's literally thrilled that she did that, because now he's "under attack" and therefore permitted to indulge himself.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: pwhodges on 06 Dec 2016, 00:59
He harmed Sedna without being attacked, though.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: BenRG on 06 Dec 2016, 01:14
He harmed Sedna without being attacked, though.

That was a second-tier attempt to restrain her. She had ignored the clear warning when he put his hand on her shoulder (a first-tier attempt) and her continued violent behaviour released him to use... stronger measures to enforce the behaviour restrictions on her specified by his commander.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: JimC on 06 Dec 2016, 03:20
I  had a completely opposite hypothesis about Church: what if he's not really a separate being? What if he's a telepathic projection of Pate's? That would explain the instantaneous motion, and the lack of any need for communication. it would also explain his being indestructible.

Not sure. Note that Alice recognised him *and* Sedna didn't.

I think at this stage we can think of him like a Pratchett Golem - Golem must work, Golem must have a master.  [and Golem can harm a human if instructed by duly constituted authority]
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: brasca on 06 Dec 2016, 05:52
I'm still curious about what control Pate has over Church.  We've never seen him give an order so he may have some kind of telepathic control over Church.  Consider what just happened when Alice went to kill Pate.  Church grabbed her arm, but didn't crush it like he did Sedna's shoulder.  Even if Pate would intricately explained every single detail of his plans to Church to prevent a misunderstanding this would still make improvising impossible when things don't go accordingly.

Assuming Church is under Pate's control, the simplest order set, expressed during or before the carriage ride, would be something like:

1.) Protect me.
2.) If possible, do not kill the other soldiers.
3.) Do not harm anyone else, unless you're attacked.

I suppose 2 and 3 could be reversed, but this gets you the behavior we've seen so far. Pate says to Alice, "You will do exactly as I say from now on, or I will allow Mr. Church to indulge himself further, at your personal expense." Church enjoys killing, but is restricted from doing so unless he's attacked or instructed. That's why you get the ear-to-ear grin (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/152175316869/bravery) when Ellie hits him with the pipe - he's literally thrilled that she did that, because now he's "under attack" and therefore permitted to indulge himself.

It seems to me that all the immortals tend to go berserker when the opportunity presents itself.  Alice defeated Gavia quickly enough, but continued attacking her viciously until Ardent intervened.  Sedna was ready to attack the space dwellers until Alice stopped her.  And then there is the aforementioned Mr. Church showing any kind of emotion when under attack.  It could be some kind of leftover programming that still influences Alice and Sedna, but controls Church. 

There is still speculation as to whether Church can teleport and while the jury is still out on that I would say there is a limitation to his range.  Pate threatens to break Gavia's arms since she's the only person present Alice cares about and isn't vital to his plans, however, she would still be valuable on the basis of where she's from.  Pate could've threatened to send Church to Alice's town and kill one villager for every act of defiance.  She cares for them and they are completely expendable to Pate, but if Church's teleportation is limited then this would not be a credible threat. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: Neko_Ali on 06 Dec 2016, 08:33
There are a number of other potential problems with the 'kill villagers' idea. First is that killing more people may make Alice less likely to comply. Hurting someone but leaving them alive and needing to be cared for is a scummy, but effective technique for dealing with enemies. There are also questions of whether it's teleportation or very fast movement, how far can Church go. And how could he prove what he had done. If he could travel with a human then Pate likely wouldn't have needed the carriage. Church could bring back just a severed head to show what he's done. We just don't know his capabilities.

The number one reason though is a soon as Church is out of what Alice thinks is his effective range for instant travel, she could kill Pate. It took several days to walk to Sedna's, then several more at least to travel by cart to the dig site. So we might be several weeks normal travel time from Alice's village now. Alice is capable of moving so fast that the kids couldn't make out what was happening when she and Sedna fought. Even if Church could instantly teleport to the village, it would take him at bare minimum several seconds to go there, locate and kill someone and return. Being almost absurdly generous with the time scale there, that's still plenty of time for Alice to knife hand Pate's heart out.

As far as why the immortals tend to go a bit crazy when the opportunity for bloodshed arises.. The three times we've seen it was when a fight or attack was already under way. As far as we can tell, they were specifically made or re-made as weapons. It's not a far stretch to think they were designed to enjoy or be used to killing. And they are far more powerful than everyone else around them. So we have a 'world of glass' Superman situation. It's not that they are aware that they can destroy things whenever they want... They have to actively work on restraining themselves and their programming, so as to not destroy whatever they touch or lash out with violence when surprised or stressed. And when a situation happens that they can cut loose... It's like releasing a huge amount of pressure they keep themselves under.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: Samik on 06 Dec 2016, 12:10
He harmed Sedna without being attacked, though.
To a much more limited extent, and with a very different disposition. He dismembered Ellie with glee. With Sedna, he did the bare minimum to neutralize her as a threat, with perfectly flat affect.

That was a second-tier attempt to restrain her. She had ignored the clear warning when he put his hand on her shoulder (a first-tier attempt) and her continued violent behaviour released him to use... stronger measures to enforce the behaviour restrictions on her specified by his commander.
What he said.


His reaction to getting hit by the pipe just really suggests to me that he's under certain behavioral restrictions, and taking the hit, as BenRG puts it, released him to do his thing. He was genuinely glad that she did that, because he couldn't have had his fun otherwise.

Likewise with Sedna, her aggression was directed towards not himself or Pate, but their property - an asset that may impact their ability to achieve their objectives, but the loss of which doesn't place either of them in imminent danger. So, his order set probably permits him to disable but not kill her.


Now, he did less harm to Alice for attacking Pate than he did Sedna for destroying the carriage.  So either they knew the attempted assault was coming (or as Neko_Ali suggests, were deliberately provoking it), and Pate had already instructed him to just block it and nothing more, or Pate has already recognized that Alice is superior to Sedna, and given Church a higher aggression threshold for her preservation.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: Samik on 06 Dec 2016, 12:14
Okay, I've already given up on the Pate-as-Church's-puppet idea.  It was fun for the day it lasted.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: Skewbrow on 07 Dec 2016, 01:54
From the scant available data of Church's responses to stimuli I am beginning to doubt my earlier belief of him being organic.  He is shown as being very tightly conditioned to follow orders. So his undoing may become to find a conflict in those orders, and place him in a situation where the conflict freezes him into inaction. Not at all unlike those Asimov's three law obeying robots that Susan Calvin (and later skilled roboticists) incapacitated in the numerous short stories/novels.

It is not unthinkable that bio-engineered soldiers could be conditioned to follow a set of orders in a robotic fashion. So actually: bio-engineered or robotic, makes no difference? After all, the pre-Blink war created several models of bio-engineered soldiers (as well as AIs). May be Church was one of the latest models? Like a developed version of Alice that was discovered to not be flexible enough under some circumstances, and therefore abandoned?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: Method of Madness on 07 Dec 2016, 04:27
I never can seem to remember to check for a new thread. Also holy shit, Church is fast...does he teleport short distances?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: BenRG on 07 Dec 2016, 05:22
I've looked at the strip again and no, he wasn't teleporting; there is a motion blur in the panel in question. He's just so incredibly fast and is so without really giving any impression that he is in motion.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: Kugai on 07 Dec 2016, 12:14
Besides, I think if it were possible for Church to 'port, I think Pate would have used him long ago to take him for his little chat with the Praeses
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: brasca on 07 Dec 2016, 12:19
Besides, I think if it were possible for Church to 'port, I think Pate would have used him long ago to take him for his little chat with the Praeses

Not if the space habitats are out of range and if they are shielded in such a way that block him.  All the more reason to get a spaceship to bypass that defense.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: Kugai on 07 Dec 2016, 12:22
point
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: Method of Madness on 07 Dec 2016, 13:22
I just meant short distances as in line of sight, and not necessarily able to bring others.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: plusorminus on 07 Dec 2016, 21:02
A moot point now, but the look (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/149485414154/they-seem-nice) Ellie gives Lurch before she answers Pate is interesting. It's hard to know if she's afraid of him or wary. She didn't seem to want to offer up the info that there were visitors to the site, but that look she gives Lurch makes me think that possibly she withheld info, maybe inadvertently, once before and there were reprisals.

At any rate, do we know is a higher-level of being than Sedna? She doesn't say Lurch is "my level bad news" she says "our level." Sedna also seemed amazed that Alice wanted to run when there were two of them and one Lurch.

I don't think that Lurch is pulling the strings. This is seeming more and more to me like a Star Trek episode where a deadly probe that was corrupted during its time in space didn't destroy the Enterprise because Kirk had a similar name to its creator and he was able to control it until they were able to figure out how to neutralize it when it inevitably got wise. I think Lurch might actually be an imperfect form of Alice (and Sedna) who were utilized as canon fodder during the wars because they were expendable, but strong, ruthless and utterly without conscience. Post-Blink, that sort of being would be very, very dangerous. It's possible Lurch was created or programmed by a Pate ancestor or someone he believes to have been one. It's also possible that Lurch might think Pate is his creator and he must obey him.

Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: Method of Madness on 07 Dec 2016, 21:24
I think "our level" just meant "god-level", even if there are various levels of gods.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: pwhodges on 08 Dec 2016, 00:12
... Lurch ...

Do you have any reason for calling Church "Lurch", or do you simply prefer not to use the name that his creator bestowed on him and which everyone else uses?  (And does this relate to your appearing to query the name "Corpse Witch" in the other comic?)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: Method of Madness on 08 Dec 2016, 05:41
It's close enough and we all know what they mean, what's the issue? Plus Church is his last name, for all we know his name could be Lurch Church.

And Corpse Witch hasn't been confirmed in comic ;)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: Zebediah on 08 Dec 2016, 05:53
Unless you count the title of the strip where she was introduced: "Her name is CORPSE WITCH"

If that's not canon enough for you I don't know what is.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: Method of Madness on 08 Dec 2016, 05:56
It is for me, but it's nice to know I don't have the strictest canon requirements.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: pwhodges on 08 Dec 2016, 08:56
It's close enough and we all know what they mean, what's the issue?

So we're happy with people writing Jeff Jacks or Martin now, are we?  Sorry, but I'm not going down that road - and in any case Lurch is not simply a misspelling of Church.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: Method of Madness on 08 Dec 2016, 09:25
That's not the same. People were calling him Lurch before his name was revealed, so it still works as a nickname.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: pwhodges on 08 Dec 2016, 10:08
Ah - Oops, I missed that.  Sorry!
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: Samik on 08 Dec 2016, 15:53
We're forgetting something.

The blink happened thousands of years ago. Just like Alice has been around all that time, Mr. Church has to have been too. And he certainly wasn't under Pate's control all that time.

This suggests two possibilities:
1.) Church has some limitation or throttling that compels him to either have a master or need to collaborate to accomplish what he wants to accomplish, and moves from partnership to partnership as the other parties age/die, or
2.) Pate came into possession of him somehow. For example, maybe he was deactivated and stored, and Pate discovered him, and was able to adjust his programming in some way before activating him.

I like possibility #2. It also fits well with Pate's archaeological endeavors. I'll bet he's found more than a couple interesting and useful curiosities.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: cesium133 on 08 Dec 2016, 16:06
Possibility #2 sounds very likely. It may even be hinted at here (http://www.alicegrove.com/image/150545067644), where Mr. Church is shown looking at Pate as he talks about the power that may be obtained from those archeological endeavors.

Incidentally, unless I'm mistaken, Church has never spoken since he's arrived. If he is a revived AI or something from millennia ago, then that would make sense. If he's only recently been revived, he might not speak the language that everyone else there speaks. Languages change drastically over the course of thousands of years, particularly in this scenario where communication over long distances appears to be limited.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: plusorminus on 08 Dec 2016, 20:04
... Lurch ...

Do you have any reason for calling Church "Lurch", or do you simply prefer not to use the name that his creator bestowed on him and which everyone else uses?  (And does this relate to your appearing to query the name "Corpse Witch" in the other comic?)

It's .... a joke. You can feel quite free to block me so you can be spared any more of my attempts at humor.

And I don't understand your second question and feel like it's off topic here. You don't care for me or my posts, it seems. It's all good. The block button is a handy device.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: plusorminus on 08 Dec 2016, 20:08
... Lurch ...

Do you have any reason for calling Church "Lurch", or do you simply prefer not to use the name that his creator bestowed on him and which everyone else uses?  (And does this relate to your appearing to query the name "Corpse Witch" in the other comic?)

It's .... a joke. You can feel quite free to block me so you can be spared any more of my attempts at humor.

And I don't understand your second question and feel like it's off topic here. You don't care for me or my posts, it seems. It's all good. The block button is a handy device.

We're forgetting something.

The blink happened thousands of years ago. Just like Alice has been around all that time, Mr. Church has to have been too. And he certainly wasn't under Pate's control all that time.

This suggests two possibilities:
1.) Church has some limitation or throttling that compels him to either have a master or need to collaborate to accomplish what he wants to accomplish, and moves from partnership to partnership as the other parties age/die, or
2.) Pate came into possession of him somehow. For example, maybe he was deactivated and stored, and Pate discovered him, and was able to adjust his programming in some way before activating him.

I like possibility #2. It also fits well with Pate's archaeological endeavors. I'll bet he's found more than a couple interesting and useful curiosities.

I think it is almost certainly option #2. Without his glasses, Pate looks much younger than when he first appeared. Unless he really is an AI or an enhanced human, there's nothing much about him, physically, that seems to scream "Choose me as your leader!" Yet people follow him unquestioningly. If he inherited Lurch somehow, then that would be a huge motivator for people to obey him and for his man to stay at his side and do his bidding.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: brasca on 08 Dec 2016, 21:17
Possibility #2 sounds very likely. It may even be hinted at here (http://www.alicegrove.com/image/150545067644), where Mr. Church is shown looking at Pate as he talks about the power that may be obtained from those archeological endeavors.

Incidentally, unless I'm mistaken, Church has never spoken since he's arrived. If he is a revived AI or something from millennia ago, then that would make sense. If he's only recently been revived, he might not speak the language that everyone else there speaks. Languages change drastically over the course of thousands of years, particularly in this scenario where communication over long distances appears to be limited.

That's why Pate reminds me of Alex Rosewater from Big O.  He's a rich and powerful ruler of a city obsessed with finding out how to operate old technology.  Quite possibly he found Church buried somewhere.  He may have been damaged hence the eye that is probably fake since it didn't turn red when he attacked Ellie.  Once he got him operational he had the perfect enforcer at his beck and call.  It's also possible that an ancestor of Pate recovered Church and he's been with the family for generations. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: BenRG on 10 Dec 2016, 12:40
New comic up!

No great revelations other than proof that Alice can crack 3-foot thick concrete with one punch.

I've just got this horrible feeling that Pate's scheme will go exactly according to his plan and it won't work out well for him at all. As a certain Vulcan said to the man who cuckolded him at his wedding: "I believe that you will shortly find that desiring and possessing are very different experiences."
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: brasca on 10 Dec 2016, 12:57
Why would that be a horrible feeling?  Pate's plans falling through seem like a good thing for most everyone involved. 

Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: BenRG on 10 Dec 2016, 13:53
Because when getting what he thought he wanted goes wrong for him, it's going to catch everyone else in the blast radius.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: Tova on 10 Dec 2016, 15:49
Pate has gone to some trouble to procure Alice's help, so I can only assume either that Church cannot in fact get through that barrier without repercussions or at least some degree of risk to himself, or that Pate needs Alice's help with whatever he expects to find down there.

We'll find out soon enough.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: retrosteve on 10 Dec 2016, 17:32
Pate has gone to some trouble to procure Alice's help, so I can only assume either that Church cannot in fact get through that barrier without repercussions or at least some degree of risk to himself, or that Pate needs Alice's help with whatever he expects to find down there.


I think Pate needs Ardent's help with whatever he finds down there. He needs Alice to be a good obedient little weapon is all.
There could be any number of reasons he chooses to have Alice go first, starting from the one he gives, down through "he wants Church fresher when the bunker busting is done" and "Alice is just better at it, is all", to "Church has some reason not to do it".
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: jheartney on 10 Dec 2016, 21:23
I'm guessing Ellie's gruesome death must be general knowledge by now, meaning the crowd of bystanders at the top of the pit must know that Pate/Church did it. Given that Ellie was running the dig, she must have been an important person in this community. Wouldn't at least some local folks be upset at her outright murder? Is Pate so certain that there's nobody with a rifle and sight up there? True, they couldn't get Church. But if Pate is baseline, then a bullet will take him out, and Church hasn't shown he's fast enough to stop one.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: Samik on 10 Dec 2016, 21:55
I'm guessing Ellie's gruesome death must be general knowledge by now, meaning the crowd of bystanders at the top of the pit must know that Pate/Church did it. Given that Ellie was running the dig, she must have been an important person in this community. Wouldn't at least some local folks be upset at her outright murder? Is Pate so certain that there's nobody with a rifle and sight up there? True, they couldn't get Church. But if Pate is baseline, then a bullet will take him out, and Church hasn't shown he's fast enough to stop one.
Remember that these people are technologically just about turn-of-last-century*. Alice is a witch, and Gavia and Church are demons. Doesn't mean there won't be a brave soul willing to take a shot at a demon-master, but it's probably not as clear cut an option as it would be to someone with a 2016 level of understanding.

(click to show/hide)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: BenRG on 10 Dec 2016, 23:43
Or, to quote 'The Usual Suspects' - "How could I shoot at the Devil? What if I missed?"
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: brasca on 11 Dec 2016, 04:46
I'm guessing Ellie's gruesome death must be general knowledge by now, meaning the crowd of bystanders at the top of the pit must know that Pate/Church did it. Given that Ellie was running the dig, she must have been an important person in this community. Wouldn't at least some local folks be upset at her outright murder? Is Pate so certain that there's nobody with a rifle and sight up there? True, they couldn't get Church. But if Pate is baseline, then a bullet will take him out, and Church hasn't shown he's fast enough to stop one.

Pate probably made an off panel speech to everyone and gave them the choice between pointlessly taking revenge and dying horribly in the process or reaping the rewards of what's inside the bunker after he retrieves his rocket ship.  Since the archaeophiles are scientists in a fashion they're probably smart enough not to seek revenge on him or the recent visitors.  Of course Pate may not be entirely sure of this since Ellie seemed too smart to attack Church even after seeing what damage he did to Sedna which is why he might want Alice to break into the bunker while Church guards him as well as his other captives.  We don't see them at the bottom of the pit, but I suspect Ardent, Gavia, and Sedna are up at the top watching down from the rim while Church keeps an eye on them and anyone else who might blame them for attracting Pate and Church to their dig site and seek to harm them.

Leaving the others alone might be a good opportunity to strategize.  Church may or may not have super sensitive hearing, but perhaps Sedna could exchange some notes that might reveal her species weakness that could be exploited by someone unassuming.   
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: Kugai on 11 Dec 2016, 13:35
Here's an interesting thought, what if that's not a Bunker at all, but an underground community of technically advanced survivors who have lived closed off from the world since 'The Blink'
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: BenRG on 11 Dec 2016, 13:53
Does Jeph like Fallout? It occurs to me that it might be a pastiche of one of the more horrible Vault-Tec social experiments. Will they suddenly be knee-deep in homicidal identical redheaded clones, all giggling and shouting 'Clinton! Clinton!"
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: HiFranc on 11 Dec 2016, 14:05
I suspect that the reason for using Alice is to scare the people who live there.  People could rationalise that Sedna was injured because she was caught by surprise.  However, if Alice shows that she's scared of the duo enough to cooperate then any resistance from them is futile.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: Verteiron on 11 Dec 2016, 16:02
He may be making Alice do it for exactly the reason he stated: to see what she's capable of. Collecting immortals via blackmail/threats/whatever means he's using on Church may be his hobby, and Alice is simply his latest acquisition.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: Tova on 11 Dec 2016, 16:05
Yes, you could well be right. I had forgotten when I previously posted that it is really Ardent's help that Pate is after.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: Skewbrow on 11 Dec 2016, 23:31
Alice punching her way in may be just Jeph running with the joke. And probably also to show the locals who's the boss. It might also be an opportunity to size up Alice's abilities so that Mr Church has a better idea what he is up against this time (assuming Pate does not have perfect intelligence on Alice already).

May be Jeph will finally give Mr Church a line or two? Church and Alice tossing the pieces of concrete out of the pit will give them an opportunity for a little heart-to-heart chat? Naaah! More likely it will go like

 Alice: "Why do you work for this guy?"
 Church: <shrug>

I very much like Brasca's theory that Mr Church has worked for the Pate clan for as long as he cares to remember. May be even ever since the blink.

Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: BenRG on 12 Dec 2016, 00:03
If Church were asked why he's working for Pate, I suspect that his response will be one word: 'Order'. Pate stands for a restoration of strong, intrusive and controlling government, something for which Church was made to protect. He may (if he is talkative) reproach Alice and Sedna for forgetting their 'directives' in this area.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: TinPenguin on 12 Dec 2016, 01:39
I like the lack of a 'BAM', indicating the casual apathy of the action.

Also, both Church and Pate have turned their backs to Alice, yet she makes no attempt to take advantage of that. She has, for now, given up.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: BenRG on 12 Dec 2016, 01:47
Also, both Church and Pate have turned their backs to Alice, yet she makes no attempt to take advantage of that. She has, for now, given up.

No, rather I think that, given what she knows about Church's reaction times and likely sensory acuity, she's not going to try anything pointless and self-destructive. She's biding her time whilst trying to work out a plan. How well she does so remains to be seen; Alice doesn't strike me as the sort of personality who thinks ahead particularly well. However, she will be attempting to come up with a plan.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: TinPenguin on 12 Dec 2016, 01:59
She's biding her time whilst trying to work out a plan.

That sounds a lot like a PR version of giving up for now.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: Tova on 12 Dec 2016, 03:53
Also, both Church and Pate have turned their backs to Alice, yet she makes no attempt to take advantage of that. She has, for now, given up.

It doesn't mean that. It just means that she isn't stupid. She isn't fast enough to take advantage of it, as we've already found out, and she's not keen on getting Gavia's arms broken.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: brasca on 12 Dec 2016, 05:10
If Church were asked why he's working for Pate, I suspect that his response will be one word: 'Order'. Pate stands for a restoration of strong, intrusive and controlling government, something for which Church was made to protect. He may (if he is talkative) reproach Alice and Sedna for forgetting their 'directives' in this area.

In Sedna's case that may be true, but Alice has been keeping order in her village so if that is their directive she's still fulfilling it. 

Alice punching her way in may be just Jeph running with the joke. And probably also to show the locals who's the boss. It might also be an opportunity to size up Alice's abilities so that Mr Church has a better idea what he is up against this time (assuming Pate does not have perfect intelligence on Alice already).

Considering that Church was able to outrun Alice and grip her arm hard enough to cause discomfort I think Pate knows everything he needs to know about her abilities.  Having Alice break through the bunker may be partially a power play to demonstrate that he is the boss, to keep Church in a place where he can keep an eye on his captives, and possibly because there is some trap left behind from the ancient past that could neutralize an immortal.  Perhaps that's how Pate or one of his ancestors discovered Church.  They never could figure out what deactivated him, but were concerned the process might be repeated.   
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 12 Dec 2016, 07:50
Just how far would Alice be knocked backward by Newton's laws?

Could she even get the swing going in the first place? If her arm is going down with enough momentum to have that effect then the rest of her is moving upward with the same amount of momentum.

A running start on a vertical wall would make more sense.

Whatever's inside the bunker may be damaged by now.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: Neko_Ali on 12 Dec 2016, 09:05
Physics go right out the window when dealing with super humans like we are seeing here. So I wouldn't worry to much about what is logically possible. That leads to rather boring stories. There is nothing about Alice, Sedna or Church that would work with the knowledge we have of matter, energy and physics. The same goes to a lesser degree with the kids' nanobots. At the very least they should be consuming massive amounts of food to take in the materials and energy they need to keep their nanos running, or get energy from some outside source. Gavia more than Ardent before she lost her nanos because she used them constantly.

Or to put it in the words of (the slightly altered) MST3K: "If you're wondering how they eat and breath And other science facts, Just repeat to yourself "It's just a comic, I should really just relax."
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: FunkyTuba on 12 Dec 2016, 13:13
Follow me here...

While obviously higher-level/more enhanced than they are, Pate described Church as being "one of [Alice and Sedna's]" kind. That would imply to me that Church does have his limits. He could probably move fast enough to stop a bullet. What about simultaneous bullets? While Sedna and Alice both attack at once? I'm curious to see what Church would do about that, possibly his programming/orientation/directive would pick up Pate and bug out beyond range of danger.

Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: Thrudd on 12 Dec 2016, 21:38
Stepping back a bit, I have to ask - why is everyone assuming Pate is baseline?
As far as I have seen there is nothing pointing either yay or nay.
Even if a sociopath he either has 100% trust in churches abilities (doubtful) or knows that he was in no personal danger in the first place.
If he was then there would be a #3) Pate was Churches commander before the blink.
Officer types don't need the firepower of front line combat units, just the survival ability and much better strategic and tactical skills.
As for the counter question, but Alice didn't recognize him as a Church level threat. Maybe she didn't have much, if any interaction with the officer types, or they are very difficult to differentiate from baseline except under extreme circumstances like being shot in the face at point blank. (man that would sting)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: Neko_Ali on 13 Dec 2016, 03:46
There is no reason to assume Pate is anything other than a baseline human though, either. Sociopathy and megalomania also tend to come with a supreme level of (over)confidence.  He clearly trusts that Church can take care of any threat that Alice and Sedna can pose. And he has not shown any signs of being anything other than just a smart human. The only knowledge he's shown outside the normal is about the existence of the Prases and the space colonies. And that's something he could have found out through Church or other sources.

So basically, there's no reason to assume he's anything other than human because we've seen no signs of it. There's no reason to assume he's not super human, and just hasn't shown any abilities yet either.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: brasca on 13 Dec 2016, 05:56
Stepping back a bit, I have to ask - why is everyone assuming Pate is baseline?
As far as I have seen there is nothing pointing either yay or nay.
Even if a sociopath he either has 100% trust in churches abilities (doubtful) or knows that he was in no personal danger in the first place.
If he was then there would be a #3) Pate was Churches commander before the blink.
Officer types don't need the firepower of front line combat units, just the survival ability and much better strategic and tactical skills.
As for the counter question, but Alice didn't recognize him as a Church level threat. Maybe she didn't have much, if any interaction with the officer types, or they are very difficult to differentiate from baseline except under extreme circumstances like being shot in the face at point blank. (man that would sting)

There is a possibility, but it's just that until proven otherwise.  I've theorized that he might be originally from the space colonies and was either exiled, marooned, or left of his own free will and set up operations in that city he controls, but if that's the case that only makes him as special as Ardent or Gavia and could still be easily killed by one of the immortals.  He could also be an immortal that Alice and Sedna never met that might even be more powerful than Church, but chooses to let his underlings do all of the work.  If so he may have plotting a very long time to leave Earth and now he has the key. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: retrosteve on 13 Dec 2016, 11:44
Or to put it in the words of (the slightly altered) MST3K: "If you're wondering how they eat and breath And other science facts, Just repeat to yourself "It's just a comic, I should really just relax."
I should really just relax, but I have a pedantic need to correct your "breath" (a noun, rhymes with death) to "breathe", (a verb, rhymes with "seethe"). Joel and the bots would point at me and laugh.

More seriously, I think it's important to keep some level of technology-believability in the explanations, since without it there's no point in even speculating about the story. Even a good Fantasy universe has laws of physics, and a SF universe even more so. If Jeph breaks them, I will choose to believe (until proven otherwise) that he's got a science or at least attempted science explanation.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: retrosteve on 13 Dec 2016, 11:48
Pate was Churches commander before the blink.
Officer types don't need the firepower of front line combat units, just the survival ability and much better strategic and tactical skills.
As for the counter question, but Alice didn't recognize him as a Church level threat. Maybe she didn't have much, if any interaction with the officer types, or they are very difficult to differentiate from baseline except under extreme circumstances

The combat units are still organic (at least in brain, since they are not AIs) so there may be no way at all to recognize them until you see how they act or move. Church gave himself away early by suddenly appearing behind Alice when he had been nowhere nearby a fraction of a second ago.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: JimC on 14 Dec 2016, 05:14
Stepping back a bit, I have to ask - why is everyone assuming Pate is baseline?
There is no reason to assume Pate is anything other than a baseline human though, either.

Sure, but isn't amusing ourselves with probably-shortly-to-be-outdated speculation much of what forums like this are for? I quite like the super warrior officer idea, although I should have thought in practice a less nerdy look would be advantageous, if only for interacting with humans.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: Tova on 14 Dec 2016, 14:10
I like the lack of a 'BAM', indicating the casual apathy of the action.

There is actually a large BAM in light yellow behind the scene.

BAM
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: TinPenguin on 14 Dec 2016, 15:34
Good spot, I hadn't picked that out. Still markedly muted for such a mighty blow.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: JimC on 15 Dec 2016, 05:13
I know I shouldn't be picky, because it is a spectacular image, but if I were interested in the contents of the bunker I wouldn't bash through the roof and have huge lumps of concrete fall through and land on whatever is inside.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: ConmanTheBarbarian on 15 Dec 2016, 08:34
Any real bunker would have rebar. Lots of rebar. I hope Jeph doesn't leave them out...
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: BenRG on 15 Dec 2016, 08:46
After five millennia, the 'rebar' may have been little more than soft channels of rust.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: FunkyTuba on 15 Dec 2016, 12:13
Stepping back a bit, I have to ask - why is everyone assuming Pate is baseline?
As far as I have seen there is nothing pointing either yay or nay.

One thing I think points that way: the non-baseline humans we've seen (Ardent, Alice, Gavia, Sedna, probably Church are the only ones I think are confirmed) are all physically fit. Pate is kinda dumpy. Also none of them wear glasses, Pate does. I think this would imply that being non-baseline carries with it a basic level of feature correction before whatever augmentation is added.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: Tova on 15 Dec 2016, 13:59
Those could be part of a ruse to conceal whatever enhancements he has.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: brasca on 15 Dec 2016, 23:08
Those could be part of a ruse to conceal whatever enhancements he has.

Considering how the glasses appeared to glow there was some speculation that he had something similar to Dale's from Questionable Content.  That's probably not the case and he just has tinted lenses, but it could just be a prop used to deceive people. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: JimC on 16 Dec 2016, 04:43
I was just thinking, if I were Alice I'd hold something back, only operate at about 80% or something. Even though she's physically not on a level with Mr Church it might be useful to have something in reserve. Although it also occurs to me that its quite possible Mr Church knows as much about Alice as she does about him.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: Zebediah on 17 Dec 2016, 05:03
Comic's up.

Sedna is maintaining a positive attitude.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: brasca on 17 Dec 2016, 05:24
Well we know Sedna can heal fast and she thinks there's a way to defeat him.  Perhaps they have a weakness or vulnerability that Sedna could exploit if she put her mind to doing it.  Despite what they may say Alice and Sedna don't really hate each other enough to use such a tactic, but Church is different.  However, this would likely require time which they didn't have during their ill fated escape attempt and not likely to have later since Pate probably wants his spaceship ready to go as soon as possible.   
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: BenRG on 17 Dec 2016, 09:26
It's interesting that Sedna says that Church chose to brutally murder Ellie rather than just disarm or immobilise. her. That strongly implies that Church is fully self-aware and independent. He has chosen to work for Pate. Maybe they have complimentary goals and/or attitudes but Pate has the resources, contacts and charisma to get things Church never could by force.

I'm suddenly getting a strongly similar feeling of how the Darth Vader/Emperor relationship was originally presented in the Original Trilogy - The Emperor being politically powerful but needing Vader to be his enforcer because, fundamentally, he was nowhere near as personally strong. One wonders if, when push comes to shove, Mr Pate will turn out to be as formidable foe as Darth Sideous!

What is more, we all know what Darth Vader's endgame was going to be. Once the Emperor was of no further use to him? In the end, there could be only one Top Dog in the Sith!

"Alice... join me. Together, we will finally end this war and rule this system together... as brother and sister. Alice... You will destroy Pate... He himself has forseen this... Alice... it is your destiny!"
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: Kugai on 17 Dec 2016, 11:26
But does that mean that Church will eventually toss Pate down a long shaft into a Reactor?


I hope Sedna's right and they can deal with Church.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: pwhodges on 17 Dec 2016, 12:10
Re whether Pate might be enhanced or not: he makes it clear when talking to Ardent (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/150545067644/hey-he-does-seem-nice) that he is not like Alice et al - though of course we can't really trust what he says when buttering up Ardent, I guess.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: plusorminus on 17 Dec 2016, 12:24
@BenRG, but wasn't Sideous confirmed as one of the most powerful Sith ever? Yeah, Vader was bad ass but he also couldn't exist outside the suit. Palps was weakened by the Force Lightning blast, but not as much as Anakin? I thought?

Anyway, I also find Sedna's word choice interesting. Considering that had Alice continued wailing on her, Gavia could have and likely would have ended up like Ellie, nanotech or no, Alice did stop when Ardent pleaded with her, and she stopped herself from killing Ardent when she thought he might be the Praeses' pawn. Considering that Sedna didn't know that Church was at the level of her and Alice on sight, for that statement to be factual, it means that Sedna learned something about Church off-panel. Because there is nothing in what we've seen of him that indicates he has anything near to Alice's restraint or Sedna's empathy.

And I am starting to love Sedna more and more. While I would have loved to see Ardent's initial reaction to the news of the recent events, this scene works really nicely. He understands the danger they're in, he understand's Pate's goal, and he understands that he is in the middle of this. Very nicely done. I also like seeing Ardent's continued character growth. But for some backsliding, he's gotten off the "We're on vacation!" lark completely. I think it was more or less gone after the Nightwalker took Gavia's nanotech, but I think with Ellie's death, he is understanding the stakes here. He's been sort of seen as a goofball cinnamon roll but I think we're gonna see Ardent as the one putting Church's head on a spike. Can't wait.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: Method of Madness on 17 Dec 2016, 13:15
Anakin's body was pretty much destroyed by lava, that's why he couldn't exist outside the suit. Palpatine got pretty badly electrocuted by his own lightning, but it was reflected off Mace's light saber so that...softened it? I don't know, it's not really clear.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: BenRG on 17 Dec 2016, 13:25
@BenRG, but wasn't Sideous confirmed as one of the most powerful Sith ever? Yeah, Vader was bad ass but he also couldn't exist outside the suit. Palps was weakened by the Force Lightning blast, but not as much as Anakin? I thought?

That doesn't matter; it is in a Sith Apprentice's nature to seek to destroy his or her Master when they have learned all they could and are strong enough to do so. Vader knew that he couldn't beat Palpatine one-on-one so he didn't even try. The EU (now known as 'Legends') records at least one occasion when he tried to train an apprentice to back up his attempted coup (as well as several occasions when he tried to salvage tools or learn abilities to give him an edge) and we all know what his game plan was for trying to get Luke on his side - Kill Palpatine and take over the Empire.

Anyway, we're getting sidetracked. The point is that, until the climax of Return of the Jedi, we had no clue that The Emperor was powerful in his own right as a Force Adept. So, I'm wondering if Pate will turn out to have hidden depths. Maybe extrasensory or energy field manipulation based powers to offset Church being an ultra-strong and invulnerable living tank?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: Tevildo on 17 Dec 2016, 13:36
New here, first post. Whee. I like this comic; it's grown on me a lot since it first started.

I did want to say, I'm glad to see Sedna not severely disabled forever, or incapacitated by feelings of failure. Church's presence has a bit of a Hollywood vibe, so it's nice to see the usual set of cliches not being followed exactly.

Still crossing my fingers that this doesn't turn into "Ardent Single-Handedly Saves The Day And Gets The Girl", though.

(And, err, not sure if this is the place for such comments. Hope I'm not goofing up already...)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: BenRG on 17 Dec 2016, 13:40
Welcome new person and, don't worry, those comments don't violate any unspoken rules.

Still crossing my fingers that this doesn't turn into "Ardent Single-Handedly Saves The Day And Gets The Girl", though.

That presupposes that Ardent meets a girl with whom he's interested in a sustained relationship and isn't inspired to slap his face upon first meeting. :wink: :evil:
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: pwhodges on 17 Dec 2016, 14:31
Ardent doesn't want to get "the girl" - he wants to get all the girls!

(Disclaimer - my avatar on my other main forum is currently Ardent from today's comic.)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: Tevildo on 17 Dec 2016, 15:02
Thanks for the welcome, y'all!

For the purposes of Hollywood cliche, plural is probably even worse than singular. And there's no rule that male hero types even have to be good at anything. Michael Crichton, as far as I could tell, habitually wrote goofball hero dudes who perforce succeeded because they were dudes.

Sorry, everyone. Pop culture has conditioned me to expect disappointment.

(And don't get me wrong, I do like the comic. But I will breath a sigh of relief when Church stops being a major player. Juggernaut-style male villains are a hard sell for me.)

(Also: if Ardent avenges Ellie's death, I swear I'm gonna just ragequit AG, geekery withdrawal be damned... :|)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: sitnspin on 17 Dec 2016, 20:41
Ardent doesn't want to get "the girl" - he wants to get all the girls!

(Disclaimer - my avatar on my other main forum is currently Ardent from today's comic.)

I can hardly fault him for that, I am of a similar mindset.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 18 Dec 2016, 09:39
Welcome, new person!

Sedna did not punch the carriage as hard as Alice punched the bunker. Why? Because she couldn't? Because flying debris could have hurt bystanders?

The other noteworthy thing is that Alice was pulling her punches drastically when she beat up Gavia. Put that together with how much she was enjoying it and it reminds me of a cat torturing a mouse.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: Pogopotamus on 18 Dec 2016, 12:42
Re Church "choosing" to kill Ellie from a fair is fair perspective we have to remember that Ellie was most definitely trying to kill Church and did not know he was an android. She hit him in the head with a thick metal bar so hard it bent. That blow would have easily fatally crushed the skull of any human being.  And why was she trying to kill hiim? For stopping the violent destruction of his bosses property.  Ellie was trying to *kill* him for doing his job.

There's more to the moral calculus here than "innocent Ellie got killed by the murder bot". If you are trying to eat the bear and the bear eats you that's what happens sometimes. 

Also Sedna hardly seems to be a position to be pontificating about "choice". Recall that just a little bit ago she was peppering human bystanders to Alice with live ammo. If Gavia had not had a shield they would all be dead from bullet wounds.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: Neko_Ali on 18 Dec 2016, 15:56
Regardless of how you want to dress it up, if he has any free agency at all, he chose to kill Ellie, and enjoyed the chance to do so, by his look.

Ellie attacked Church, after he badly injured her friend. Since the surprise attack happened immediately after Church crushed Sedna's shoulder, she must have seen it happen. It's a fair assumption to think that she knows how tough Sedna is. Even if she didn't know Church was super human, anyone who could do that to Sedna was clearly a threat, so yes, she went for deadly force. or what she thought was deadly anyway.  It's not like she could call the non-existent police. Also, as far as Pate being her boss... He's only somewhat so. He's her backer. There is a difference. Ellie attacked Church to defend her injured friend. Church killed Ellie because he could. He wasn't even in danger from her. Big difference between the two.

Sedna was shooting at people who were invading her homestead without an announcement. And yes, Sedna is exactly in the position to talk about choice. All three enhanced people can easily kill someone or not. Nor are normal people any great danger to them if any at all. So killing is very much a choice. Alice and Sedna are not nice people. They've never claimed to be either. They've certainly never pretended there is no blood on their hands. Killing Ellie was still a choice Church made. And it's not like they are even pretending they are on a moral high ground here. Sedna straight up says she wants to kill Church for killing her friend. Not 'bring him to justice' or any flowery terms. "He's a monster, I'm going to put him on a spike."
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: TinPenguin on 18 Dec 2016, 16:46
Alice and Sedna are not nice people.

For reference:

(http://i67.tinypic.com/2gxfgr7.png)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: Method of Madness on 18 Dec 2016, 19:08
Sedna did not punch the carriage as hard as Alice punched the bunker. Why?
She didn't have to.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: USS Martenclaire on 19 Dec 2016, 15:49
Alice and Sedna are not nice people.

For reference:

(http://i67.tinypic.com/2gxfgr7.png)

I wonder if there's something to the eye colours here. Sedna's being red, Alice with blue and Mr Church's "Evil David Bowie" thing. Perhaps whatever traits Alice and Sedna have, they were merged in an experiment with Church, explaining his on and off behaviour.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: TinPenguin on 20 Dec 2016, 01:40
Alice has also displayed the red-eyed aggression trait, when trying to rescue Gavia from the Night Walker. (http://www.alicegrove.com/image/142411527749)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: BenRG on 20 Dec 2016, 01:45
There was, many moons ago, an abortive TV superhero story. One of the gimmicks was that, as the protagonist's powers boosted to higher and higher levels, his eye colour changed with red being the penultimate stage before "oops, you've just overloaded your endocrine system and exploded".

I'm wondering if the red eyes are signs that the Super-Soldiers are utilising some 'turbo boost' augmentation to massively increase their strength, reaction times and energy reserves. If that is the case, it implies that all three we've seen so far use some common technologies and may be the product of the same research program and maybe even the same clone factory.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: Neko_Ali on 20 Dec 2016, 06:42
Red eyes is a common trope in cartoons and comics to show that someone is about to go psycho on you. Some characters eyes are always like that. Sometimes it's a personality flip where they normally have another color, but when they get angry or whatever happens to turn them into killing machines they go red.

It is in fact a TV Trope: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RedEyesTakeWarning
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: derech on 20 Dec 2016, 10:06
Yeah, but.   Who (if anyone) from Alice, Sedna, Gavia and Ardent does Pate actually require though?   Is it only Alice, because for all his lack of needing sleep and apparently useful violent tendencies, Church is incapable of actually punching through a mass of something like reinforced bunker material?   Only Ardent because of his abilities, and Alice is made to do the punching to keep them from knowing Church's true capabilities?  None of them, they just happened to be there so got used?   Back where they came from Pate certainly acted like he went to the bunker then because he needed something from them and that guess is Alice's strength.    Weird immortal strength.     

But pretty clearly Pate is not giving them any information he doesn't need to.  Like he doesn't really answer Alice about her contention Church could do the punching, just agrees with her sort of.   Alice and Sedna didn't seem to be too concerned with where Church was before starting out to destroy that vehicle, but as others have pointed out, Church just ...  phase shifted in or something.   Like he did pretty much every time we've seen him, not there then bamf whoosh.   Clearly Pate thinks that sort of thing can take care of every problem these rather unwilling helpers might cause.     

There are a lot of rhetorical questions nobody has the answers to yet.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: sitnspin on 20 Dec 2016, 12:20
I think he just used Alice to prove that he had the power to make her do something she didn't want to do. It was purely a dominance display, putting her in her place. He's a smug little shit.


Also, welcome new person.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: brasca on 20 Dec 2016, 13:29
Re Church "choosing" to kill Ellie from a fair is fair perspective we have to remember that Ellie was most definitely trying to kill Church and did not know he was an android. She hit him in the head with a thick metal bar so hard it bent. That blow would have easily fatally crushed the skull of any human being.  And why was she trying to kill hiim? For stopping the violent destruction of his bosses property.  Ellie was trying to *kill* him for doing his job.

There's more to the moral calculus here than "innocent Ellie got killed by the murder bot". If you are trying to eat the bear and the bear eats you that's what happens sometimes. 

Also Sedna hardly seems to be a position to be pontificating about "choice". Recall that just a little bit ago she was peppering human bystanders to Alice with live ammo. If Gavia had not had a shield they would all be dead from bullet wounds.

Ellie knows Sedna well enough to conclude she isn't an ordinary human and if Church could do that to her shoulder she'd have to use deadly force just to get him off her so she could get away.  Maybe she wouldn't have done that if she truly knew what she was dealing with, but she didn't, however, I think she acted because Sedna helped her out enough times that she was returning the favor.  Now while I can agree with your reasoning that Sedna destroyed Church's boss' property and Ellie was interfering consider what glimpse we got of Ellie's corpse in the aftermath and all the blood on Church's clothes he used excessive force.  Even if stopping her by deadly force is a part of his programming he could've easily snapped her neck and that would be that.  We didn't get to see what happened in between Ellie's ill-fated rescue followed by Alice's.  Sedna could've begged him to stop and he just continued to brutally kill her which has shaped the opinion she now holds of Church. 

Admittedly when the immortals are in the mood to kill they get those sadistic grins and red eyes, but they can be talked out of it.  Alice ceased her beatdown of Gavia when Ardent pleaded with her and while it took the threat of force to stop Sedna she really wasn't serious about killing Ardent and Gavia and just wanted to irritate Alice.  That doesn't excuse her recklessness which could've got them killed in the crossfire, but I think being an immortal super soldier altered their moral compasses.  Outliving most everyone you know will do that and quite possibly when they or their territory is attacked they go berserk and may not think all that clearly beyond their attack.  Perhaps that's what happened with Church because the only one who can control him is Pate and either he wasn't close enough to the scene to stop him or didn't care to intervene.  Perhaps we will find that he is the most simple minded of the immortals and is only as bad as the person controlling him.   

New here, first post. Whee. I like this comic; it's grown on me a lot since it first started.

I did want to say, I'm glad to see Sedna not severely disabled forever, or incapacitated by feelings of failure. Church's presence has a bit of a Hollywood vibe, so it's nice to see the usual set of cliches not being followed exactly.

Still crossing my fingers that this doesn't turn into "Ardent Single-Handedly Saves The Day And Gets The Girl", though.

(And, err, not sure if this is the place for such comments. Hope I'm not goofing up already...)
 

Welcome to the board Tevildo.  I'm hoping that Gavia may save the day since she really hasn't had much to do except cope with her loss.  I'm not entirely sure how or even if there is enough time since Pate is eager enough to get to the space habitat, but some of the posters have theorized that Church is programmed to obey Pate.  Now if someone intelligent can get close enough to crack the code they could take control.  Gavia seems the most likely since Pate could underestimate her.  We don't see her with Ardent and Sedna so perhaps Pate is keeping her close in case he needs to fulfill his threat.  This could be his undoing if Sedna reveals that immortals like her have a weakness she can exploit if she's close enough to activate it.  Moreover, Gavia could further lull Pate into a false sense of security if she pretends to go along with his plans.  In addition to her animosity with Ardent she has every reason to want revenge on the Praeses so it might not take too much convincing for Pate to think he has a willing collaborator. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: jheartney on 23 Dec 2016, 08:04
Comic up.

Alice can sense radioactivity by sniffing. If she's a product of the bio-enhancement side, pre-Blink, they've given her capabilities beyond just weaponry. She's like a Pak Protector  (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pak_Protector)without the knobby knees.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: BenRG on 23 Dec 2016, 10:33
In the third Terminator movie, the T-X unit could do DNA sequencing by licking blood. So, a multi-purpose air quality sensor mounted in the nasal cavity isn't so unthinkable.

I'm just hoping that whatever Ardent turned that torch into isn't too powerful. I mean, death by sunburn in a cavern is a really, really embarrassing way to go!
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: brasca on 23 Dec 2016, 11:46
Considering that Ardent may subconsciously influence what he upgrades that's not out of the realm of possibilities.

And I'm going to assume Alice is telling the truth about not detecting any radiation since Church could have that ability too and would warn Pate.  Even if he doesn't if the bunker is toxic it could kill potentially kill anyone baseline or enhanced if they entered it. 

Needless to say if they find the Holy Grail down there he'll probably have someone else take the first step. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: Kugai on 23 Dec 2016, 11:57
Let the light show you the way

Hope Jeph has a good week off and look forward to seeing what is in The Bunker.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: Method of Madness on 23 Dec 2016, 13:04
In the third Terminator movie
What are you talking about? Everyone knows there were only two.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: Tova on 23 Dec 2016, 16:51
He's just being his usual creative self.

He'll be talking about a Matrix sequel next.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: Tevildo on 25 Dec 2016, 15:16
I do like the idea of Gavia (eventually) playing a major role in getting them out of this. It seems like a natural progression for her character.

Re: radiation. Was that mentioned earlier? On seeing Alice sniff a bit and proclaim "No sign of contamination", my first impulse was to wonder what the bunker might be contaminated with, aside from obvious things like radioactive fallout.

Nanotech, maybe? Really, really nasty nanotech?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: brasca on 25 Dec 2016, 20:38
I would think the radioactivity would diminish over the millennia, but this could be an advanced form of it or perhaps whatever is down there was buried under tons of concrete because it's just highly toxic waste.  Pate isn't completely certain what's down there. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: BenRG on 26 Dec 2016, 00:28
I don't think that Alice was looking for radiation at all. It's more likely that she was looking for chemical contaminants. After five millennia a lot of synthetic materials could have decayed into poisonous particulate end-products that makes asbestos seem like nothing by comparison. Then there is the possibility of accumulated vaporised hydrocarbons from fuel and lubricants which could fill sealed chambers like a toxic fog.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: cesium133 on 26 Dec 2016, 05:33
Or she could be looking for contaminants that could indicate that someone else has been in there sometime in the past 5000 years.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: Zebediah on 26 Dec 2016, 06:31
Or it's a code phrase and she wasn't talking to Pate at all, but signalling Sedna.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: JimC on 30 Dec 2016, 03:46
It's more likely that she was looking for chemical contaminants.
I was just thinking water and mud leaking in from outside.

But TBH I find it difficult to believe in anything mechanical being of any value after 5000 years. Unless of course its somehow maintained. One could hypothesise self renewing nano machines with a care and maintenance function.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: BenRG on 30 Dec 2016, 03:58
Pate has factored that in; that's why he has Ardent down there.

FWIW, I'm beginning to lean towards this being a 'converging agenda' scenario. Ardent and Gavia were sent to force those on Earth to directly open contact with the Praeses; Pate wants to see them for his own reasons but it is a useful coincidence. I've got the feeling that the Praeses are going to find that Pate is no-one's pawn and that the Pate is going to find that it is a lot harder to dictate terms to a multi-millennia old non-human semi hive-intelligence than it is to a small group of post-humans.

As for our heroes? Alice is going to get Gavia and Sedna fixed up and then they will flee the orbital habitat in an escape pod before the shooting starts. After that, it is a matter of finding the beings responsible for the Blink and getting them to intervene before the Great War starts anew. I'm guessing that the big twist will be that the Night Walker wiped out the Architects; just enough information is left over in the ruined moonbase for Alice to reconstruct their plans going forward and it falls to her... to the woman bred to be a weapon of total war... to find a way to become a maker of peace.

I will shout in rage if Alice ends up, battered and on her last reserves of strength, in front of a holographic avatar of the collective of the sentient AIs that informs her that the equation has changed; the simple fact of her existence has changed it forever. She can end this crisis but she must choose which method she uses:
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: Thrudd on 30 Dec 2016, 12:23
I would think the radioactivity would diminish over the millennia, but this could be an advanced form of it or perhaps whatever is down there was buried under tons of concrete because it's just highly toxic waste.  Pate isn't completely certain what's down there.
Just a reminder on the subject of Radioactivity and it diminishing over time.
- Yes it is true
- Yes some isotopes can go from kill you outright in minutes to meh in a decade or less
- Plutonium - weapons grade - has a half life of less than 25,000 years - so after 5,000 they are all still viable
- BUT some have a half life of millennia
- Then there is that little toy called a breeder reactor that if automated could produce long lived isotopes and be active for a stupid long period of time.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: brasca on 30 Dec 2016, 14:18
Or it's a code phrase and she wasn't talking to Pate at all, but signalling Sedna.

I hope they had enough time to think that up, but I'm not entirely sure when and how.  Church may have exceptionally good hearing and could detect whispering from long distances and even if he doesn't do they really want to take that risk?  If they intend to communicate secretly passing notes would be the best way to go for now and only when they aren't being watched by Church or Pate.  We don't know what transpired since Pate's ultimatum and Alice breaking through the concrete.  Maybe Pate was feeling overconfident enough to let Alice attend to Sedna's wounds alone while he chatted with Ardent after sobering up, but after that he had Ardent and Sedna stay in that cabin while Alice breached the bunker.  Gavia is noticeably absent, but if I had to guess Pate probably had her close by as an incentive for Alice to not do anything contrary to his plan as well as keep Ardent from escaping.  As such this makes plotting behind Pate's back difficult.   
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: retrosteve on 30 Dec 2016, 15:49
Also none of them wear glasses, Pate does. I think this would imply that being non-baseline carries with it a basic level of feature correction before whatever augmentation is added.
In fact, Pate wears glowing glasses, which like Dale's I took to be a kind of computer display.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: Storel on 30 Dec 2016, 17:27
I will shout in rage if Alice ends up, battered and on her last reserves of strength, in front of a holographic avatar of the collective of the sentient AIs that informs her that the equation has changed; the simple fact of her existence has changed it forever. She can end this crisis but she must choose which method she uses:
  • DESTROY - Annihilate all post-humans and all advanced technology, including herself, Sedna, Gavia and Ardent and leave the humans in peace to remake their civilisation on their own terms;
  • CONTROL - Use nano-tech to become a controlling hub for all of humanity and its children, preventing war by being the single eternal and infinite mind underlying them all; 'Alice' would cease to exist but her hopes, fears, dreams and beliefs would be the framework around which the new order is created and organised;
  • SYNTHESIS - Merge all humans and post-humans into a single homogenous group sharing eachother's characteristics and being interlinked together on a fundamental level; the war will end because there would be no more differences to fight over and, to a greater or lesser extent, all will be one.

That's an... oddly specific scenario to arouse your rage, plus it sounds (to me) more interesting than enraging. Was that taken wholesale from some anime?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: BenRG on 30 Dec 2016, 23:45
It's taken from the controversial end of Mass Effect 3. I guess that I really don't want Alice Grove to climax with a 'no matter what you do, you will lose in some way' scenario.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
Post by: ChaoSera on 31 Dec 2016, 01:51
I really don't think Jeph has to rip off ME3 to have his comic come to an ending.