Jeph Jacques's comics discussion forums

Comic Discussion => ALICE GROVE => Topic started by: BenRG on 31 Jan 2017, 02:45

Title: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: BenRG on 31 Jan 2017, 02:45
Just thought that this is an appropriate point for a little crystal-balling.

I'm really expecting Jeph to deliver a twist at this point. My guess is that Jasper Pate and the Praesees have been in communication, of sorts, for some time and that everything that has happened has been in order to manoeuvre events to get him to them. Why? Possibly they think that they can use him as an agent for their own objectives on Earth. Possibly they are naive and honestly think that he is an unselfish leader who can help them help the humans to find their way to a utopia. Or, possibly, they're smiling monsters and both Pate and the Praeses are already planning how to betray each other so they end up the lone top dog.

Whatever happens, I'm pretty sure that Pate is going to demand nanotech and gene therapy treatment to become immortal and have super-powers of sorts ("I left them a tyrant; I shall return to them a god!"). I also suspect that getting what he wants will turn out to be a punishment all of its own.

Finally, I'm wondering if Alice and Sedna will be taken away for 'humane disposal' (nasty, filthy super-soldiers have no place in utopia). Gavia and Ardent have to choose whether they want to live in utopia or if they want the scary but basically nice ladies to live.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: Zebediah on 31 Jan 2017, 05:10
They get to space, and discover that there are no space habitats. There's no sign that there ever were any space habitats. Somebody blinked again.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: FunkyTuba on 31 Jan 2017, 09:55
yeah, whoever did the blink didn't do such a great job if they're finding spacecraft and stuff buried. I'm wrestling with the idea that an Ardentified Valkyrie probably *requires* AI to run correctly if it's sufficiently advanced.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: brasca on 01 Feb 2017, 04:54
yeah, whoever did the blink didn't do such a great job if they're finding spacecraft and stuff buried. I'm wrestling with the idea that an Ardentified Valkyrie probably *requires* AI to run correctly if it's sufficiently advanced.

Perhaps the bunkers were built in such a way that it and the contents inside were immune to the blink.  We still don't know who or what was behind the blink and maybe when it scanned the planet to edit everything the bunkers were shielded possibly by some sophisticated EMP generator or material.  As for the personnel inside they'd eventually have to forage for food and the the facilities were either abandoned and lost to history or plundered by the residents centuries ago and only a few remain unopened. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: jheartney on 01 Feb 2017, 15:44
Scenarios:

1. On takeoff, the Walker shows up, grabs the orbiter in flight and pulls it back to the ground. After the inhabitants get out, another THOOM and another new crater on the moon. The orbiter joins Gavia's nanotech in Alice Grove heaven.

2. On achieving orbit, the new craft is unable to connect with any orbital platform- both craft and orbitals repel each other. Back to Earth for another plan. Pate and Church are not in a good mood.

3. Once Ardent gets aboard the orbiter, it begins to continually evolve. By the time it reaches orbit, both orbiter and passengers have been absorbed into a new, sentient being with godlike powers. Including time travel. In this way we learn who did the Blink.

4. As soon as the orbiter gets in among the orbital platforms, it begins shooting them apart one after another. We then pull back to discover that the Earth is just part of a giant game of Asteroids being played by aliens.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: A small perverse otter on 03 Feb 2017, 19:39
Well, we know one thing at least: Ardent's powers are screwing up the world's balance something fierce.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: Storel on 04 Feb 2017, 23:15
Well, we know one thing at least: Ardent's powers are screwing up the world's balance something fierce.

And we still have no idea how he got these powers, but the Praeses would seem to be the number one suspects.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: brasca on 05 Feb 2017, 04:37
Scenarios:

1. On takeoff, the Walker shows up, grabs the orbiter in flight and pulls it back to the ground. After the inhabitants get out, another THOOM and another new crater on the moon. The orbiter joins Gavia's nanotech in Alice Grove heaven.

2. On achieving orbit, the new craft is unable to connect with any orbital platform- both craft and orbitals repel each other. Back to Earth for another plan. Pate and Church are not in a good mood.

3. Once Ardent gets aboard the orbiter, it begins to continually evolve. By the time it reaches orbit, both orbiter and passengers have been absorbed into a new, sentient being with godlike powers. Including time travel. In this way we learn who did the Blink.

4. As soon as the orbiter gets in among the orbital platforms, it begins shooting them apart one after another. We then pull back to discover that the Earth is just part of a giant game of Asteroids being played by aliens.

1.  If the Walker menaced rediscovered advanced technology that often I think Pate would take precautions and while Alice failed to stop it from absorbing Gavia's nanotechnology Church might be more persuasive.  Of course the thing might've burned itself out and no longer a threat.

2.  Could be a possibility unless the ship is equipped with a space suit for Church, but even if he can breathe in space he may not be as powerful in zero gravity.

3.  That would provide a lot of exposition, but I don't know where the story could go from there.  It would be a gestalt of 6 different beings which might make it difficult to function.

4.  The only problem with that scenario is the tank shooting down the space craft is always on the Earth's surface.  It never rises above them. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: Method of Madness on 05 Feb 2017, 06:37
They get to space, and discover that there are no space habitats. There's no sign that there ever were any space habitats. Somebody blinked again.
That'd be interesting...and depressing.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: BenRG on 05 Feb 2017, 11:52
Okay, just a little implication in today's strip:
(click to show/hide)

Apart from that, I have only one thing to think right now:
(click to show/hide)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: brasca on 05 Feb 2017, 12:03
Well we can now confirm that the immortals can survive the vacuum of space although that seemed obvious. 

We can also confirm that Ardent's ability is sophisticated enough to upgrade an old space fighter and its contents into something that can apparently teleport into space.  This does resolve the problem of clearing out the tunnel although it's a bit disappointing since I wanted to see where it exits. 

Pate is putting a lot more trust into Ardent than he should, but I suppose he really doesn't have a choice if he wants to get into orbit.  He doesn't even need Alice or Sedna to pilot it, but leaving them behind would give them the freedom to plan some counterattack.  We'll have to wait until next week to see if the flyer is now in the middle of the orbital habitat, the moon, or somewhere else in space and time. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: pwhodges on 05 Feb 2017, 12:29
Well, given Alice's surprise vs Pate's confidence, I'm getting the feeling that really does know some stuff that she doesn't.

Meanwhile she's bored by travel, and is passing the time by watching Church.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: brasca on 05 Feb 2017, 15:41
Perhaps Ardent really doesn't have any control over what he upgrades, but the people who implanted this ability within him do.  As such the Praeses may have just upgraded the vessel into something of their own design and teleported Ardent, Gavia, and Pate directly to a conference room for a chat while Alice, Church, and Sedna are in some isolation chamber where their super human strength is nullified. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: Kugai on 05 Feb 2017, 15:48
I wonder if it uses the Infinite Improbability Drive.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: jheartney on 05 Feb 2017, 18:07
4.  The only problem with that scenario is the tank shooting down the space craft is always on the Earth's surface.  It never rises above them.

You're thinking of Space Invaders. Asteroids has the ship in the middle shooting at floating objects all around it.

(http://heartneystudio.com/clientfiles/misc/Space-Invaders.jpg)

(http://heartneystudio.com/clientfiles/misc/Asteroids.jpg)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: sitnspin on 05 Feb 2017, 21:00
Well, given Alice's surprise vs Pate's confidence, I'm getting the feeling that really does know some stuff that she doesn't.

Confidence is just as often a consequence of ignorance as it is knowledge, if not more so.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: Method of Madness on 05 Feb 2017, 21:52
I wonder if it uses the Infinite Improbability Drive.
That seems unlikely.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: JimC on 06 Feb 2017, 10:43
coupla thoughts.
"Controls look just like a flyer from home" so the space habitats have transport craft as well as the apparent teleport that got the kids down to earth.
Pate doesn't appear to be wearing a pressure suit, only the kids I think.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: TinPenguin on 06 Feb 2017, 11:10
He's wearing one, it's just his big head is filling it up.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: brasca on 07 Feb 2017, 04:08
4.  The only problem with that scenario is the tank shooting down the space craft is always on the Earth's surface.  It never rises above them.

You're thinking of Space Invaders. Asteroids has the ship in the middle shooting at floating objects all around it.

Yes, I was.  I've heard of Asteroids, but never knew what the game was about so I thought it was another name for Space Invaders. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: FunkyTuba on 07 Feb 2017, 09:52
I wonder if it uses the Infinite Improbability Drive.
That seems unlikely.

If we can figure out exactly how unlikely it is, we can make it happen!
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: Kugai on 07 Feb 2017, 15:35
I wonder if it uses the Infinite Improbability Drive.
That seems unlikely.

If we can figure out exactly how unlikely it is, we can make it happen!

Quite probably


I'll put the Kettle on
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: Method of Madness on 07 Feb 2017, 15:36
(Takes a sip) This is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: Kugai on 07 Feb 2017, 15:52
But it is hot
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: WareWolf on 07 Feb 2017, 18:16
I wonder if it uses the Infinite Improbability Drive.

That's impossible.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: Kugai on 07 Feb 2017, 21:56
I wonder if it uses the Infinite Improbability Drive.

That's impossible.

No, just very improbable



Tea?

Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: Tova on 08 Feb 2017, 19:54
What's happening to this thread?

This must be Thursday. I never could get the hang of Thursdays.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: Kugai on 08 Feb 2017, 21:33
It could be worse

The World could be about to be demolished for a Hyperspace Bypass
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: Storel on 09 Feb 2017, 00:19
You mean you haven't heard? Sorry to break the news to you this way, but...
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: Kugai on 09 Feb 2017, 13:20
*Rumages through draws*

Now where did I leave that Electronic Thumb ......
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: retrosteve on 12 Feb 2017, 09:39
Even more scenarios:

- The gang appear in orbit only to find that there are hundreds of thousands of unlabelled space habitats in similar orbits, all similar looking. The Praesides at each habitat are friendly but have no idea how to find any specific one. Pate and the kids grow old and die while they wander among the maze of twisty little asteroids, all alike. Alice and Sedna get bored and nap for 100 years until this sorts itself out. Church leaves the vehicle and settles on one habitat where he imprisons or exiles the Praesides and rules unchallenged for millennia.

- The big godlike AI who caused The Blink, alerted by the nightwalker, has just teleported the gang to its own lair on the Moon for a pleasant chat to tell them about the new rules.

- That Pop was the end of the story. Jeph stopped advertising Alice Grove on QC because he's tired of it. The decreasing frequency of updates was a hint after all.


Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: Method of Madness on 12 Feb 2017, 10:03
That Pop was the end of the story. Jeph stopped advertising Alice Grove on QC because he's tired of it. The decreasing frequency of updates was a hint after all.
Easily the worst possible scenario.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: Tova on 12 Feb 2017, 18:49
That Pop was the end of the story. Jeph stopped advertising Alice Grove on QC because he's tired of it. The decreasing frequency of updates was a hint after all.
Easily the worst possible scenario.

Indeed. Argh. Signature checks out, though.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: JimC on 13 Feb 2017, 06:52
There's a message on Twitter stating a new AG has been written, but will probably be delayed until Monday.

[Later] and its up - and so are they. Bemused as to how teleporting comes as such a surprise to Alice and Sedna.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: BenRG on 13 Feb 2017, 10:03
New Comic Up

It's played for laughs but it makes sense: If the ship has been upgraded to the point where it is Clarketech, then it's kind of logical that it would be so advanced as to be able to overcome any reasonably-predictable problem for the crew.

Things I like:
Also confirmed: Teleporting transportation is standard tech for the Spaceborne (not unsurprising as it's the 71st Century). So, that confirms that Ardent was teleported to the surface at the start of the story, either by a port-ship or by a more powerful 'reach out and grab' fixed teleporter system.

It's interesting that Ardent associates 'Praeses' with 'Habitat'. I wonder if the Biotech Faction's habitats really are huge space-going trees like I speculated once before?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: Zebediah on 13 Feb 2017, 10:15
Church is bored. "We teleported into space? Ho-hum. Wake me if something interesting happens."

Meanwhile it's clear that Alice and Sedna have never been to space before. Pate too, for that matter, though for some reason he looks frightened while Alice and Sedna seem merely amazed.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: brasca on 13 Feb 2017, 11:51
The reactions of everyone is quite interesting.  This is probably the only time Pate has ever been surprised even though he is fully trusting Ardent's magical ability and intended to go orbit.  Alice and Sedna are surprised too, but  I think it's more by Ardent's ability since they have probably been to space before albeit thousands of years ago.  Church appears bored so he probably lacks any sentimentality or imagination.  And for Ardent and Gavia this is common place, but he seems more amazed that he upgraded an old space fighter into a teleporting bubble ship.  Gavia may be reluctant to look since even though she's longed to go home the most she's powerless to stop Pate and Church from invading. 

It appears that the bubble ship cannot teleport blindly.  It needs to get into orbit first and Sedna's concern may or may not be justified.  On the one hand Ardent magically upgraded a vehicle thousands of years beyond its original abilities, but it quite possibly has limited power which was burned up teleporting into space and they'll either have to wait for it to recharge or Church will have to get out to push.   
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: Skewbrow on 13 Feb 2017, 14:04
Should they not be floating in zero-g now? (or, more accurately, be in a free fall orbit for the same effect). I guess the ship could still be accelerating up. Don't know how well Newton's second meshes with teleportation :-)

What I find a bit strange is that this party does not carry any luggage. No spare food, water, spare clothes, nothing. Remember how well Sedna and Alice stocked up for the trip across the desert. I guess they don't need to be armed, but it's more like they expect to find the space equivalent of a burger joint sooner rather than later.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: cesium133 on 13 Feb 2017, 14:07
When they left for the trip across the desert, Sedna and Alice were planning things. They have less control when they're being forced to act at gunpoint (err... Church-point). So that's probably a reflection of Pate's impulsiveness/lack of planning.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: Kugai on 13 Feb 2017, 14:13
I wonder if Gavia is thinking of shoving Church out theAirlock/Hatch, and would he burn up rentry or just crash land and be annoyed/

And will the ship sound like Majel Barrett or Eddie the Computer?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: brasca on 13 Feb 2017, 14:29
I wonder if Gavia is thinking of shoving Church out theAirlock/Hatch, and would he burn up rentry or just crash land and be annoyed/

I'm not sure how she'd manage that when Alice and Sedna couldn't scratch him.  However, the ship may have a voice operated ejector seat so if Ardent wants to get rid of the uninvited guests this would be the time.   

Should they not be floating in zero-g now? (or, more accurately, be in a free fall orbit for the same effect). I guess the ship could still be accelerating up. Don't know how well Newton's second meshes with teleportation :-)

What I find a bit strange is that this party does not carry any luggage. No spare food, water, spare clothes, nothing. Remember how well Sedna and Alice stocked up for the trip across the desert. I guess they don't need to be armed, but it's more like they expect to find the space equivalent of a burger joint sooner rather than later.

If Pate knows anything about the ancient spacecraft he probably anticipated that the journey wouldn't take more than a day and to get what he wants is willing to rough it.  Moreover, Ardent upgraded is far beyond its original capabilities so who knows what it can do aside from teleport miles above Earth within seconds.  For all we know it could have a replicator. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: OldGoat on 13 Feb 2017, 15:24
Should they not be floating in zero-g now? (or, more accurately, be in a free fall orbit for the same effect). I guess the ship could still be accelerating up. Don't know how well Newton's second meshes with teleportation :-)

What I find a bit strange is that this party does not carry any luggage. No spare food, water, spare clothes, nothing. Remember how well Sedna and Alice stocked up for the trip across the desert. I guess they don't need to be armed, but it's more like they expect to find the space equivalent of a burger joint sooner rather than later.
Pretty close quarters in there, even if Church wasn't on board.  Even if it is a zero G environment, everyone's wedged in.

Church is bored. "We teleported into space? Ho-hum. Wake me if something interesting happens."

Meanwhile it's clear that Alice and Sedna have never been to space before. Pate too, for that matter, though for some reason he looks frightened while Alice and Sedna seem merely amazed.
Or is Church hugging himself because he's starting to feel spacesick?  There's a very good reason NASA's zero gravity training aircraft are all called "the Vomit Comet."  Everyone has some weakness, and motion sickness may be his.  If Jeph has this in mind, watch for Alice to be taking note.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: mikmaxs on 13 Feb 2017, 20:29
Yeah, since nobody knows the capabilities of the ship (Including the characters,) it's hard to predict what would happen, but if I were Ardent, and the ship responded to whatever I wanted it to do, I'd look into opening a nice little airlock hole right about Mr. Church. Even if he survives the fall back down to earth, he's going to be really, really far away.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: Skewbrow on 13 Feb 2017, 22:46
Church thru an airlock? An interesting possibility. Let's do some ball park math. Assume that the cabin pressure is still approximately one atmosphere. Church is a big dude, so one half of his surface area is close to one square meter. Therefore the force of the pressure difference (vacuum on the other side) on his body would be very close to ten metric tons. It would be interesting to see whether he could manage...

Hmm. I'm sure many of you remember the scene where James Bond wrestles a parachute from Jaws mid-air. If they manage to eject Church putting him to an Earth bound orbit it would be just like that. Dude falls, impacts, dusts off, and carries on. At least in a sequel.

OTOH, ejecting Church forward would mean that he stays on orbit (unless he has a personal means of propulsion).

Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: Neko_Ali on 14 Feb 2017, 07:44
There are three main problems with the 'chuck Church out an airlock' idea. Assuming they could open an airlock right where he is sitting, there is only so much air in that tiny cabin. Remember basic physics. Explosive decompression isn't space actively sucking things out of an extra terrestrial enclosure. It's sudden and dramatic equalization of atmospheric pressure between the cabin and vacuum. There can't be more than a second or two of air there before the cabin would be a vacuum, and the expelling force would stop. Secondly, explosive decompression would affect everyone. Considering again how small the area is and how close they are sitting, even if it did work, chances are that only  Church would be ejected are slim. Gavia and Pate are closest, so they would likely go out as well, if not everyone. Finally... Church has already shown he is incredibly strong and has better reflexes that anyone else there. Even caught unawares it is highly doubtful he wouldn't be able to brace himself to prevent being sucked out for the second or two of explosive decompression.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: derech on 14 Feb 2017, 08:01
Yep, Pate is way surprised even fearful, whereas Alice and Sedna seem more amazed teleportation happened.  Either them thinking it impossible physics-wise, or a long-gone tech...   or it's just been so long they've fully forgotten what it's like out here.    After all Sedna does talk about the navigation issues.   

One might wonder if they're actually in near-Earth orbit of some sort (or the ship has some sort of anti-gravity impulse drive "hovering" capacity etc).   Difficult to tell when the tech can pretty much be doing anything that could be imagined or even things that can't.  There's either some way they're attached or a local gravity of sorts, but seemingly nothing to breathe or maybe even no temperature control (unless they're wearing the suits just in case and don't really need them just yet).   We just don't know what atmosphere if any is in the ship right now, or if the tech is high enough to not make any of the otherwise practical things have any bearing on this situation.      As far as removing Church...   If somehow he could be ejected what then to him.   (And  for Gavia, Ardent and Pate, exactly how strong and clingy and force and gravity and temperature controlled are those spacesuits, anyway.  Do they supply air or not.  )  What happens to get Church out, how, and so far Ardent hasn't seemed the type to just suddenly space anyone, even if he could.  But if so, is it just Church that goes?  Does he do his magic trick thing and get back inside?     Either way, if they're near the planet's gravitational pull, one imagines not orbit but re-entry.     Reminds me of  John getting back planetside at  the start of Halo 3.    Not that Church has MJOLNIR armor to cushion or lock up,  but still.    Although for Sedna at least, they can be damaged.  So really,  what does a high-speed fall of some 100 miles or more do to even the heartiest of non-sleeping whatever they are?

It wouldn't seem so far story-wise (barring a twist or surprise or the reveal of plans we don't know of) that the time or situation is correct to try and attack or remove or neutralize either Church or Pate.   Aside from the safety of Ardent and Gavia (their own concern or that of Sedna or Alice) this might not be the best time wisdom-wise to start in-fighting (they are more of a group banded together at this point than combatants).    Either way, both Sedna and Alice seem to think they can't  outclass Church in the physical department.  It's not clear either Ardent or Gavia would have even an idea of where to begin, that they'd be fearful of an immediate case of being beaten to a pulp disease.

It seems likely at this point the habitats are perhaps the rulers and the denizens live on the things that run the whatever is out here.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: OldGoat on 14 Feb 2017, 09:37
Thinking to my keyboard.

Alice and Sedna are the same species and Church is one of them, confirmed by Pate.  Sedna bleeds.  Therefore, Alice and Church do, too.  But Church has other characteristics, too, that may not be human.  Are they mechanical in origin?

Church has some reason for serving Jesper.  Is that reason coercive, or is he willingly Pate's creature?  If the former, is it linked to whatever enhances him?

What happens if Church and Ardent come in contact?  More specifically, what effect would that contact have on Pate's hold on Church, if any?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: JimC on 14 Feb 2017, 09:47
The orbital habitats must have gravity, presumably artificial, because Ardent had no adaption problems walking, and Gavia wouldn't need nanotech to float if orbit were zero G. So accordingly its unsurprising that the spacecraft also has gravity.for the occupants.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: Zebediah on 14 Feb 2017, 10:07
There's no need to open an airlock to get rid of Church. They're on a ship that can teleport. It shouldn't take too much fiddling with the teleport controls to allow it to simply teleport Church outside the hull.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: pwhodges on 14 Feb 2017, 10:20
The craft has controls that are familiar to Ardent (big surprise!), and I dare say that function is not a routinely available one.  OTOH he can give it arbitrary voice commands (then why did it need controls at all?) so all bets are off.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: Method of Madness on 14 Feb 2017, 14:18
We don't know that his voice command worked yet.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: BenRG on 14 Feb 2017, 23:36
I'd be very surprised if it doesn't. It would seem to be a very odd joke to pull in the strip and would undermine the whole 'Clarketech' feel of the upgraded spaceship.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: Method of Madness on 15 Feb 2017, 05:49
I fully expect it to, but it hasn't yet, so we don't know.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 18 Feb 2017, 02:19
Maybe not routinely available, but close to a necessity right now.

It would be a logical thing to have on a spaceship. No docking hassles, just match velocity and pop your ears.

Or they could play wolf and cabbage, and hope Pate is impulsive enough to fall for "Better send Church out first to make sure you'll be safe out there". Two, four, six, eight, separation of Church and Pate!
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: LKR1009 on 19 Feb 2017, 13:43
 :mrgreen: HOLY SHIT THAT'S A GIANT-ASS TREE

which I suppose is worlds better than a giant ass-tree.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: cesium133 on 19 Feb 2017, 13:46
And it's only the above-ground part of the tree.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: BenRG on 19 Feb 2017, 13:48
Yep, called it: big space-going tree.

And it's only the above-ground part of the tree.

Going for the bonus points, maybe the roots are sticking into a parallel dimension? I mean, why not?

Right now, I'm most worried that those 'leaves' orbiting around the boll are perimeter defence turrets. Assuming that the Praeses don't want Ardent and Gavia back (and cutting off Gavia's communications suggests that they don't), our intrepid heroes and villains are about to get an uncomfortably warm welcome wagon.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: Method of Madness on 19 Feb 2017, 13:50
Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: brasca on 19 Feb 2017, 16:12
Yep, called it: big space-going tree.

And it's only the above-ground part of the tree.

Going for the bonus points, maybe the roots are sticking into a parallel dimension? I mean, why not?

Right now, I'm most worried that those 'leaves' orbiting around the boll are perimeter defence turrets. Assuming that the Praeses don't want Ardent and Gavia back (and cutting off Gavia's communications suggests that they don't), our intrepid heroes and villains are about to get an uncomfortably warm welcome wagon.

If that were a possibility then why bother to help them get back home?  I know Alice wanted a chat with the Praeses too, but if they pop the Bubble ship then she, Sedna, and Church will just drift until Earth's gravity drags them down.  She wouldn't go to all this trouble if she were completely oblivious of the space habitats.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: OldGoat on 19 Feb 2017, 16:46
So THAT's what they look like.

I wonder, was the whole thing a scheme to get their, what, tendrils on Pate?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: brasca on 19 Feb 2017, 18:26
Or maybe this is the Vorlons celebrating Christmas.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: Kugai on 19 Feb 2017, 21:47
OMG!!!

IT'S A JURAIAN TREE SHIP!!!!!


Meah!!      :-D
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: mikmaxs on 20 Feb 2017, 00:54
So, a thought on Ardent's ship - It's clearly advanced, but it is also made by nanomachines programmed by someone for the Praeses. So, whatever it can do, it is incapable of being more advanced than the most advanced tech that the Praeses have - After all, it's using only whatever raw resources are available to modify the ship, unless it can make resources out of thin air. (And if the nanomachines can do that, then so can the Praeses.)

Unless Church can avoid being dropped out of an airlock that magically appears beneath his feet, I don't see how he plans on threatening the Praeses.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: USS Martenclaire on 20 Feb 2017, 01:03
I had a thought. Depending on whether the tree is in geostationary orbit and its mass relative to the moon, its quite possible that the planet would experience arboreal eclipses as the tree passes in front of the moon and the sun.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: Zebediah on 20 Feb 2017, 06:17
It's probably not that big, because if it was big enough to cause a noticeable eclipse it would also be easily visible from the ground.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: Neko_Ali on 20 Feb 2017, 06:20
OMG!!!

IT'S A JURAIAN TREE SHIP!!!!!


Meah!!      :-D


I've been thinking this ever since it was pointed out the tree connection to Prases.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: jheartney on 20 Feb 2017, 08:21
It's probably not that big, because if it was big enough to cause a noticeable eclipse it would also be easily visible from the ground.

It would definitely be visible from the ground. The International Space Station (which is closer in size to one of those floating leaves) is visible from the ground. These tree things would be easily visible, even if they weren't Moon-sized.

From the size of the Earth at the bottom of the page, I think we're not far enough away from the planet to be in geosynchronous orbit. But we're higher than the near-Earth orbit where the ISS lives.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: A small perverse otter on 20 Feb 2017, 08:28
I had a thought. Depending on whether the tree is in geostationary orbit and its mass relative to the moon, its quite possible that the planet would experience arboreal eclipses as the tree passes in front of the moon and the sun.
In principle, there's a way to estimate the orbital radius of the tree by looking at the curvature of Earth's image as seen from the spaceship (assuming that the flyer is in roughly the same orbit as the tree), since the radius of the resulting circle can be estimated from its curvature. Given the apparent radius, we can then compute the distance between Earth's center and the spaceship by a straightforward application of plane analytic geometry.

That would permit anyone to determine whether the tree is in geosynchronous orbit.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: jheartney on 20 Feb 2017, 09:06
In principle, there's a way to estimate the orbital radius of the tree by looking at the curvature of Earth's image as seen from the spaceship (assuming that the flyer is in roughly the same orbit as the tree), since the radius of the resulting circle can be estimated from its curvature. Given the apparent radius, we can then compute the distance between Earth's center and the spaceship by a straightforward application of plane analytic geometry.

That would permit anyone to determine whether the tree is in geosynchronous orbit.

That would depend on the focal length of the "camera" used in the making of the image. A telephoto lens would foreshorten distances, making the planet seem nearer, with a larger apparent radius. A wide-angle lens would have the opposite effect.

Granted, these are drawings rather than photos. But the principle is the same: apparent radius is a subjective quality based on foreshortening, as chosen by the artist.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: Welu on 20 Feb 2017, 09:38
Das a very big tree.

I'm worried for Gavia. That looks like fear on her face to me.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: A small perverse otter on 20 Feb 2017, 09:43
In principle, there's a way to estimate the orbital radius of the tree by looking at the curvature of Earth's image as seen from the spaceship (assuming that the flyer is in roughly the same orbit as the tree), since the radius of the resulting circle can be estimated from its curvature. Given the apparent radius, we can then compute the distance between Earth's center and the spaceship by a straightforward application of plane analytic geometry.

That would permit anyone to determine whether the tree is in geosynchronous orbit.

That would depend on the focal length of the "camera" used in the making of the image. A telephoto lens would foreshorten distances, making the planet seem nearer, with a larger apparent radius. A wide-angle lens would have the opposite effect.

Granted, these are drawings rather than photos. But the principle is the same: apparent radius is a subjective quality based on foreshortening, as chosen by the artist.
Actually, no.

Any three point on a circle define that circle completely. Because the earth is a sphere, the image of the earth through any (reasonable) camera is also a circle.  In addition, each viewpoint line is perpendicular to the line which runs from the point at which that line touches the sphere to the radius. (Using the fact that the Earth is a sphere.) Now we have a tetrahedron about which we know a great deal (some faces are isosceles triangles, others are right triangles, and we have a bunch edges.) I'm going to assert without proof that we have enough data to reconstruct the solid completely, from which we can actually compute the distance to the Earth's center.

(ETA: also, we know the exact length of the edges which run from each point were the line from the eye to the point at which the ray grazes the sphere, since we know the radius of the Earth.)

But, as you say, this is a pure and absurd exercise, since Jeph drew it and there's no relationship between the drawing and reality.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: A small perverse otter on 20 Feb 2017, 09:59
In principle, there's a way to estimate the orbital radius of the tree by looking at the curvature of Earth's image as seen from the spaceship (assuming that the flyer is in roughly the same orbit as the tree), since the radius of the resulting circle can be estimated from its curvature. Given the apparent radius, we can then compute the distance between Earth's center and the spaceship by a straightforward application of plane analytic geometry.

That would permit anyone to determine whether the tree is in geosynchronous orbit.

That would depend on the focal length of the "camera" used in the making of the image. A telephoto lens would foreshorten distances, making the planet seem nearer, with a larger apparent radius. A wide-angle lens would have the opposite effect.

Granted, these are drawings rather than photos. But the principle is the same: apparent radius is a subjective quality based on foreshortening, as chosen by the artist.
Actually, no.

Any three point on a circle define that circle completely. Because the earth is a sphere, the image of the earth through any (reasonable) camera is also a circle.  In addition, each viewpoint line is perpendicular to the line which runs from the point at which that line touches the sphere to the radius. (Using the fact that the Earth is a sphere.) Now we have a tetrahedron about which we know a great deal (some faces are isosceles triangles, others are right triangles, and we have a bunch edges.) I'm going to assert without proof that we have enough data to reconstruct the solid completely, from which we can actually compute the distance to the Earth's center.

(ETA: also, we know the exact length of the edges which run from each point were the line from the eye to the point at which the ray grazes the sphere, since we know the radius of the Earth.)

But, as you say, this is a pure and absurd exercise, since Jeph drew it and there's no relationship between the drawing and reality.
Oops. No, you'r right. Sorry.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: jheartney on 20 Feb 2017, 14:40

(ETA: also, we know the exact length of the edges which run from each point were the line from the eye to the point at which the ray grazes the sphere, since we know the radius of the Earth.)


No, we don't know that length. That length is what you are trying to determine.

Consider this diagram:
(http://heartneystudio.com/clientfiles/misc/Planet-Observer.jpg)
If you were hanging in space, looking at the Earth, you would be able to measure Angle C. With that measurement, plus knowledge of the Earth's radius, you could then determine the length of sides A and B using trigonometry.

But we're not hanging in space. All we have is a flat image. Depending on the focal length of the camera used to capture the image, both Observer 1 and Observer 2 could capture an identically sized image of the Earth (Observer 2 would just have to zoom in a bit). Given that is the case, there's no way to tell what Angle C is, using only the photo. Without that known measurement, there's no way to solve for A or B.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: brasca on 20 Feb 2017, 15:50
Das a very big tree.

I'm worried for Gavia. That looks like fear on her face to me.

I think she's afraid of what Pate will do next.  She's seen what Church can do and knows that Pate won't take no for an answer.  I also think that she's in denial about the benevolence of the Praeses and fears the revelation that she and her brother were just pawns in a grand scheme that could've got them killed.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: Sorflakne on 20 Feb 2017, 20:02
So basically...there's a giant tree in space whose base looks like a giant butt?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: derech on 21 Feb 2017, 11:51
Perhaps where this nearest Praeses is happens to be is in a place where it wasn't visible to them from where they were on Earth.   Maybe it's visible to someone?  Depending on how populated the planet is.    Unless of course there's some sort of field around Praeses  that shields from view past a certain distance.   Right, probably just easier to chalk up the presentation of things to artistic license.   

Gavia's look is somewhat confusing, maybe she's never been outside looking in though.   Ardent seems  happy, to see it and that his command worked (with another teleport?).   Sedna is surprised with a sort of wonder, maybe the simple life is too familiar after so long. And,  Pate's nearly terrified.   He seems to rather keep demonstrating how little he actually knows in detail about anything, his information sources incomplete and lacking, not plain, clear and illustrative.      Oh, where are Alice and Church, maybe that's not important.   

One might imagine that if those who imparted these tech abilities in Ardent might have had something very far more grand in mind then just long-term interference, subterfuge of things like water pumps in that one town spreading out to corrupt the local folk, given what we've seen from these abilities.      Perhaps the point was providing extremely advanced  tech that might be used for (or was certainly going to be used for) what's going on now with them getting here.   Whoever it is they want for whatever reason.  What might the Praeses know about those planetside?  Something new in the works?  Random chance?     Either way, if they have the ability to create things that give abilities to Ardent that allow the things he's been doing, they likely then aren't going to be something that Pate can control or bully or even impact at all, maybe that's what he's learning fast.   

The king of ant-town might be mighty in his own realm, lord of all he surveys and more.  Yet all of his best and worst legions of troops would find themselves quite unable to even get to  the Balaenoptera musculus, much less harm or defeat them.  Ooops.      Laser to the moon.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: brasca on 21 Feb 2017, 14:15
One might imagine that if those who imparted these tech abilities in Ardent might have had something very far more grand in mind then just long-term interference, subterfuge of things like water pumps in that one town spreading out to corrupt the local folk, given what we've seen from these abilities.      Perhaps the point was providing extremely advanced  tech that might be used for (or was certainly going to be used for) what's going on now with them getting here.   Whoever it is they want for whatever reason.  What might the Praeses know about those planetside?  Something new in the works?  Random chance?     Either way, if they have the ability to create things that give abilities to Ardent that allow the things he's been doing, they likely then aren't going to be something that Pate can control or bully or even impact at all, maybe that's what he's learning fast.   

Considering all the fantastic possibilities demonstrated by Ardent's ability I'd find it hard to believe that the Praeses couldn't monitor its use.  They probably know that he turned an ancient space fighter into a teleporting bubble ship and can shut it down at any time it becomes a problem for them.  It's still unclear as to what their scheme is, but most likely they wanted to get those that would oppose their invasion of Earth out of the way.  Pate may be an exception.  If he's smart he'll accept their offer to be an exalted middle man since I doubt he's going to get anything better.  Given his expression I think he's so in awe of what he sees he might just forget to throw his weight around and readily agree without the Praeses providing a demonstration that would probably be aimed at Church. 

Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: Kugai on 21 Feb 2017, 15:24
It will be intersting to see hat happens after they ENTer the Habitat.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: jheartney on 21 Feb 2017, 19:49
Considering all the fantastic possibilities demonstrated by Ardent's ability I'd find it hard to believe that the Praeses couldn't monitor its use.  They probably know that he turned an ancient space fighter into a teleporting bubble ship and can shut it down at any time it becomes a problem for them.  It's still unclear as to what their scheme is, but most likely they wanted to get those that would oppose their invasion of Earth out of the way.  Pate may be an exception.  If he's smart he'll accept their offer to be an exalted middle man since I doubt he's going to get anything better.  Given his expression I think he's so in awe of what he sees he might just forget to throw his weight around and readily agree without the Praeses providing a demonstration that would probably be aimed at Church.

Why would they offer Pate anything? His only leverage is Church, and it's not clear how much that means in this context. I could see them pushing Church out into space to flail aimlessly as he floats in orbit. At which point Pate is all alone up against a pair of pissed-off immortals whose friend he had murdered.

I'm guessing the whole point of Operation Blue Boy was to collect Alice and bring her up to the orbitals. Maybe Sedna too, but it's hard to see how they could have foreseen that. Pate is probably just an extra baseline human they have no use for. Church might be a bit of a bonus, provided they don't end up having to space him.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: BenRG on 21 Feb 2017, 23:13
Why would they offer Pate anything?

Because he offers them something that they want: Political power on the planet's surface without having to go through the effort and expense of conquering anything as an initial step.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: brasca on 22 Feb 2017, 04:54
Considering all the fantastic possibilities demonstrated by Ardent's ability I'd find it hard to believe that the Praeses couldn't monitor its use.  They probably know that he turned an ancient space fighter into a teleporting bubble ship and can shut it down at any time it becomes a problem for them.  It's still unclear as to what their scheme is, but most likely they wanted to get those that would oppose their invasion of Earth out of the way.  Pate may be an exception.  If he's smart he'll accept their offer to be an exalted middle man since I doubt he's going to get anything better.  Given his expression I think he's so in awe of what he sees he might just forget to throw his weight around and readily agree without the Praeses providing a demonstration that would probably be aimed at Church.

Why would they offer Pate anything? His only leverage is Church, and it's not clear how much that means in this context. I could see them pushing Church out into space to flail aimlessly as he floats in orbit. At which point Pate is all alone up against a pair of pissed-off immortals whose friend he had murdered.

I'm guessing the whole point of Operation Blue Boy was to collect Alice and bring her up to the orbitals. Maybe Sedna too, but it's hard to see how they could have foreseen that. Pate is probably just an extra baseline human they have no use for. Church might be a bit of a bonus, provided they don't end up having to space him.

The Praeses plan will go more smoothly if its being carried out by a human most people know.  And if there are unexpected difficulties Pate can be the scapegoat too.  I think the scheme was to collect Alice and Church, however, Sedna is just a bonus.  She could be a problem, but since she largely kept to her self by the time she realized what was up it would probably be too late to do anything.  Alice told Gavia that if her people invaded she'd see to it that the losses would be catastrophic so she's fairly confident that she could defeat an invasion force and it's safe to say Church would have no problems, but that was when they were on Earth.  Now they're in space and there could be plenty of countermeasures to neutralize the immortals which leaves Earth virtually defenseless.  However, it Pate controls Church and he's willing to be their viceroy then they'll probably let him return since he would expedite their conquest immensely.

Of course if Pate does turn on the Praeses I could see things going down a little something like this:     
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: Thrudd on 22 Feb 2017, 07:56
It would be funny if after all is said and done that the Praeses just wanted Alice and Sedna as gardeners and give each a tray of saplings to take back home to start groves of Earthian Praese .
(click to show/hide)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: WareWolf on 22 Feb 2017, 14:42
OMG!!!

IT'S A JURAIAN TREE SHIP!!!!!


Meah!!      :-D


Or one of the Templar Treeships from Dan Simmons' "Hyperion".
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: derech on 24 Feb 2017, 12:31
Unless, whatever whoever the Praeses is are, they don't actually have any plans.   No changing or  invading Earth, no capturing its more powerful denizens, perhaps nothing in particular to begin with.    Or maybe the entity thing that captured and used Gavia is a or the end target for something or another (or they its target).  ?   

If the Praeses are distinct and sentient and have goals, those goals might not be anything a human would understand or want.   If so, humans identifying happenings might not get it in other than terms they understand them.   Alice was rather vague, perhaps even paranoid about things, and wasn't all that specific about it either.  Whatever that is, whatever she thinks about the Praeses,  might not actually be correct .

Either way, it would seem the odds are, whatever the truth about plans or not, that they are not worried about anyone (or all) in the spacecraft.   Or something like that what they're worried about is not exactly what people would be concerned with or necessarily contextualize properly.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: OldGoat on 25 Feb 2017, 13:27
Gavia's look is somewhat confusing, maybe she's never been outside looking in though.   Ardent seems  happy, to see it and that his command worked (with another teleport?).   Sedna is surprised with a sort of wonder, maybe the simple life is too familiar after so long. And,  Pate's nearly terrified.   He seems to rather keep demonstrating how little he actually knows in detail about anything, his information sources incomplete and lacking, not plain, clear and illustrative.     
This.  Pate realizes that he's bit off 'way more than he can chew, and even Church doesn't have the chops to help him gnaw through it.

Ardent was Pate bait.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - February 2017
Post by: Method of Madness on 26 Feb 2017, 06:19
Kinda wish we saw Alice's reaction (I assume Church is still...not sleeping but pretending to?)