Jeph Jacques's comics discussion forums

Comic Discussion => ALICE GROVE => Topic started by: Kugai on 30 Apr 2017, 18:04

Title: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: Kugai on 30 Apr 2017, 18:04
The Voice of Reason?


Or The Praeses?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: brasca on 30 Apr 2017, 18:08
I want to say Praeses, but the great revelation seems to be delayed each month.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: Kugai on 30 Apr 2017, 18:14
Poll added - forgot to do it first time  through
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: Welu on 30 Apr 2017, 19:51
Dang, that's a gorey panel. The eyes are intense.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: brasca on 01 May 2017, 01:28
Although I don't think Gavia is that much more powerful than she was at the time she arrive on Earth it would be ironic if she saved Alice.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: Verteiron on 01 May 2017, 08:06
Now I wonder if this is what he did to Ellie.  At least it would be quick for her.

I bet not. Alice, though apparently not as powerful as Church, is still potentially dangerous to him and could, at a minimum, escape if he lets go of her. With that in mind, he appears to be dispatching and/or disabling her with only a minimum of cruelty.

Ellie, on the other hand, never presented the slightest threat to him... so he could have taken his time. Every nail. Every bone. Every internal organ, moving from least to most essential with the sort of delicacy and attention to detail possessed by only the best surgeons and most persistent torturers. I'm sure the face-ripping/brain-crushing was saved for last, otherwise she wouldn't be able to see and hear and feel what he was doing to her, and that would not have been any... fun.

Poor Ellie.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: Neko_Ali on 01 May 2017, 11:04
Pate did say that Ellie's suffering was brief, so I doubt he took his time about that. Not to mention, he killed her in the time it took the others to get there. While I have no doubt he's capable of extended torture, there wasn't the time for it. Given that the immortals can punch hard enough to shatter large areas of concrete, a backhand or two was probably more than sufficient to crush Ellie.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: Indicible on 01 May 2017, 12:16
The picture in which Church burrows his fingers into Alice's face looks to me like it was inspired by Eren grabbing Annie's face in Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyoujin).
Am I the only one seeing this?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: brasca on 01 May 2017, 16:12
Now I wonder if this is what he did to Ellie.  At least it would be quick for her.

I bet not. Alice, though apparently not as powerful as Church, is still potentially dangerous to him and could, at a minimum, escape if he lets go of her. With that in mind, he appears to be dispatching and/or disabling her with only a minimum of cruelty.

Ellie, on the other hand, never presented the slightest threat to him... so he could have taken his time. Every nail. Every bone. Every internal organ, moving from least to most essential with the sort of delicacy and attention to detail possessed by only the best surgeons and most persistent torturers. I'm sure the face-ripping/brain-crushing was saved for last, otherwise she wouldn't be able to see and hear and feel what he was doing to her, and that would not have been any... fun.

Poor Ellie.

It would've been quick for all the reasons Neko_Ali stated and in that instance this was about killing an attacker.  With Alice it's personal.  She buried him alive in lava for a long time and that's just what we know.  Others have theorized that he was standing down so if she did that to him then I imagine he also feels a sense of betrayal. 

The picture in which Church burrows his fingers into Alice's face looks to me like it was inspired by Eren grabbing Annie's face in Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyoujin).
Am I the only one seeing this?

No, but it does remind me of Casino when Nicky Santoro was torturing a guy by sticking his head in a vice to find out who he was working for.  Of course with his hand over her mouth Alice can't very well tell him much of anything. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: blt on 01 May 2017, 16:30
The picture in which Church burrows his fingers into Alice's face looks to me like it was inspired by Eren grabbing Annie's face in Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyoujin).
Am I the only one seeing this?

I feel you.

(click to show/hide)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: one8_2zeros on 02 May 2017, 05:12

Others have theorized that he was standing down so if she did that to him then I imagine he also feels a sense of betrayal. 


I've seen people suggest this, but in the first flashback scene, Church is bleeding under his hand. That seems to indicate there was a fight. Maybe it wasn't a fight with Alice, but he's definitely been bested in battle by someone.

(ps - Hi. Longtime lurker finally pulled into the discussion)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: sitnspin on 02 May 2017, 06:25
Welcome new person
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: Kugai on 02 May 2017, 18:40
Then too there may be the factor that, while powerful enough in herself at this point Alice is, she may mot be as powerful as she once was prior to The Blink.

For instance, what happened to her Warhammer  did The Blink 'Depower' Alice and other Supersoldiers of her class?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 03 May 2017, 00:41
She said she would inflict unacceptable casualties on an invasion force, which means she could, which means she still has world-changing power.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: pwhodges on 03 May 2017, 00:54
And yet Church appears to be more powerful. 

Or alternatively Alice, to defeat him, would have to unleash forces which would cause such a level of collateral damage that it would have unacceptable effects on those around that she is trying to protect.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: Neko_Ali on 03 May 2017, 05:33
It's possible that since the Blink she no longer has access to technological assistance. Like the warhammer and rock-liquefying orbital strikes. So far we've only really seen evidence of incredible strength and toughness and the ability to summon armor around her. She did threaten Sedna with entombment, but she it may have been a bluff to calm her down. Without the immortal's external assistance, it could be that Church is the physically stronger. He's certainly much faster.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: brasca on 03 May 2017, 07:16
Then too there may be the factor that, while powerful enough in herself at this point Alice is, she may mot be as powerful as she once was prior to The Blink.

For instance, what happened to her Warhammer  did The Blink 'Depower' Alice and other Supersoldiers of her class?

Perhaps, but if the Blink diminished her powers then why not Church?  Alice knew as soon as she saw him again that she and Sedna were no match for him, but if the Blink reduced their abilities then Church would be similarly affected. 

And yet Church appears to be more powerful. 

Or alternatively Alice, to defeat him, would have to unleash forces which would cause such a level of collateral damage that it would have unacceptable effects on those around that she is trying to protect.

That's a possibility too because even though the archaeophiles weren't under the same protection as her town she probably wanted to avoid unnecessary casualties, however, now that they are in space she could've struck Church in such a direction that he would fly far enough away from the habitat and certainly Earth for her to discard all restraint in fighting him.  After that first punch she's on the defensive until he finally smashes her helmet which seems to confirm that she was never a match for him anywhere. 

It's possible that since the Blink she no longer has access to technological assistance. Like the warhammer and rock-liquefying orbital strikes. So far we've only really seen evidence of incredible strength and toughness and the ability to summon armor around her. She did threaten Sedna with entombment, but she it may have been a bluff to calm her down. Without the immortal's external assistance, it could be that Church is the physically stronger. He's certainly much faster.

That seems to be the most likely explanation.  Without external assistance and weaponry Alice never would've won that battle and knew it as soon as she saw Church. 

The bulging eyes in the 5th panel received the most notice, but I'm concerned something else might have popped considering all the red droplets flying outward and pinkish hue on the bark Alice's head is being crushed against.  She'll probably survive this, but I fear she might suffer some kind of brain damage.  If the praeses finally intervene the timing couldn't be better.  If Church is an unthinking brute then they may have countermeasures to subdue him.  Alice would normally outsmart such methods, but if she's knocked out after this fight they won't have a problem capturing her too.  Sedna with the help or Ardent and Gavia may be the only people that can ultimately thwart whatever they have planned. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: cesium133 on 03 May 2017, 07:46
Then too there may be the factor that, while powerful enough in herself at this point Alice is, she may mot be as powerful as she once was prior to The Blink.

For instance, what happened to her Warhammer  did The Blink 'Depower' Alice and other Supersoldiers of her class?

Perhaps, but if the Blink diminished her powers then why not Church?  Alice knew as soon as she saw him again that she and Sedna were no match for him, but if the Blink reduced their abilities then Church would be similarly affected. 
Unless he wasn't affected because he was locked in magma at the time.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: Kugai on 03 May 2017, 16:40
I tend to agree with  brasca on this one cesiium.  I think her not having access to  external elements such as the Orbital Strikes and her Warhammer ar an indication that. while strong and somewhat invulnerable  she, and possibly Sedna, are, they also require access to 'External Measure' in order to deal  with individuals such as Church.  Facilities that she no longer has access to since The Blink which has somewhat 'Depowered' her and Sedna.

Hmmmm I  wonder if that is part of the  reason Sedna was so  openly hostile to Alice when we met her.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: KevxD on 04 May 2017, 03:30
In the last panel there appears to be a forcefield around Church and Alice, possibly from Gavia. May indicate her intervention.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: brasca on 04 May 2017, 06:54
Then too there may be the factor that, while powerful enough in herself at this point Alice is, she may mot be as powerful as she once was prior to The Blink.

For instance, what happened to her Warhammer  did The Blink 'Depower' Alice and other Supersoldiers of her class?

Perhaps, but if the Blink diminished her powers then why not Church?  Alice knew as soon as she saw him again that she and Sedna were no match for him, but if the Blink reduced their abilities then Church would be similarly affected. 
Unless he wasn't affected because he was locked in magma at the time.

It's a possibility seeing as how everything on the immediate surface of the Earth seemed to be affected by the Blink, but anything below it like a bunker filled with ancient spaceships was not.  Perhaps Alice figured this out in 5000 years and knew Church who she was evenly matched before was now superior to her because he was presumably underground at the time of the Blink, but until it's revealed that the immortals were affected I'm sticking with my theory. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: jwhouk on 04 May 2017, 17:36
I just noticed between the two strips that Church apparently punched Alice through the wall of the Praeses "root" in the background of the April 9 comic.

That voice is coming from inside the habitat.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: brasca on 04 May 2017, 17:58
Previously Church was trapped in magma, but perhaps the Praeses with their tree technology will smother him in sap that will harden into amber.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: Method of Madness on 05 May 2017, 05:23
Always spacebutts.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: BenRG on 07 May 2017, 10:49
New Comic
Interesting. I know that you're fast, Church. The question is: Are you fast enough?

FWIW, I'm thinking that poor Gavia may end up exiled from the habitat on the grounds that her experience groundside has left her 'irreversibly contaminated'.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: OldGoat on 07 May 2017, 11:31
That answers the "Who said that?" question.

Pate did say that Ellie's suffering was brief, so I doubt he took his time about that. Not to mention, he killed her in the time it took the others to get there. While I have no doubt he's capable of extended torture, there wasn't the time for it. Given that the immortals can punch hard enough to shatter large areas of concrete, a backhand or two was probably more than sufficient to crush Ellie.

Between Alice's face and Sedna's shoulder, it looks like grip-&-crush is Church's preferred way of maiming and killing.  Anything else he does is just to get his victim to where he can grab on.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: LKR1009 on 07 May 2017, 12:40
Now I REALLY want to know what Pate has on Church. Church doesn't really need Pate to get his revenge; rather only, presumably, to ensure his continued survival.

None of us are really prepared for a scenario in which Church shrugs off Pate's survival and goes back to pummeling Alice.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: ThePerilsOfDan on 07 May 2017, 13:10
new sudden respect for Gavia

I think I like her after all
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: Nighthawk700 on 07 May 2017, 14:00
An out of phase blade through the heart...  DANG!!!!!! 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: brasca on 07 May 2017, 14:22
That's my nanotech wielding spitfire! 

Gutsy move because even though she could kill Pate before Church could react there is no guarantee that he cares at this point now that he can get his revenge.  At this range she could kill Pate and Church could either finish off Alice or kill Gavia once she's done and resume pummeling Alice, but he stopped.  And the look on his face indicates anger that he is being compelled to do what Gavia wants and not indifference. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: jheartney on 07 May 2017, 15:10
My impression is that the blade through Pate's heart will change phase as a kind of kill switch - if anything happens to Gavia, the blade kills Pate automatically. In which case it won't matter how fast Church is.

WRT Church and Pate, I'd assumed it was Pate who freed Church from the lava (Pate has lots of teams digging pre-Blink stuff up). Perhaps Church feels he owes Pate for that. Or perhaps Pate used some other bit of unearthed tech to get Church's loyalty; or perhaps they are tied together, like Glorificus and Ben, so that if Pate dies so does Church.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: WareWolf on 07 May 2017, 15:17
My impression is that the blade through Pate's heart will change phase as a kind of kill switch - if anything happens to Gavia, the blade kills Pate automatically. In which case it won't matter how fast Church is.

This was my thought as well...she's maintaining the blade in the "out of phase" state. She dies, it goes back to being a hunk of metal bisecting Pate's heart.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: Neko_Ali on 07 May 2017, 15:21
Well, I called it on them threatening Pate to get Church to stand down. I thought it would be Sedna though. And it seems a pretty well thought out threat as well. Church might be fast, but I don't think he can move faster than Gavia's thought.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: Method of Madness on 07 May 2017, 16:12
I like this Gavia. I also like to think she's more powerful than anyone else thanks to Ardent now.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: Kugai on 07 May 2017, 22:01
Glowy eyes pissed off upgraded Gavia

Not to be trifled with I think
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: brasca on 07 May 2017, 22:29
Glowy eyes pissed off upgraded Gavia

Not to be trifled with I think

Speaking of eyes I noticed that Church's eyes are both red now.  It was difficult to tell last week, but both are definitely red and I'm not sure why.  Previously when Ellie assaulted him only the left eye went red while the right remained blue.  I'm not sure if it's an indication of how furious he is, but it's a noticeable difference. 

And am I the only one that thinks this looks like Negasonic Teenage Warhead picking a fight with Darkseid?  Fortunately, she's holding the equivalent of the anti-life equation hostage. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: KevxD on 08 May 2017, 01:34
In the last panel there appears to be a forcefield around Church and Alice, possibly from Gavia. May indicate her intervention.

Called it.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: brasca on 10 May 2017, 18:27
Perhaps the Praeses are in the dark about all that's been going on and they've been manipulated by the AI faction which has been in hiding since the Blink.  Perhaps they interfered with the teleportation process and implanted Ardent's upgrade ability while cutting off his and later Gavia's ability to communicate with the Praeses.  This may be the next big twist, but we probably won't find out until Alice recovers enough to ask questions.

I hope Gavia and the others have something more than this short term plan.  If Church attacks Gavia then Pate dies, but I imagine this takes some concentration and if she slips then they'll lose their leverage.  She has some wonderous powers, but how long can she keep this up?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: brasca on 13 May 2017, 08:18
Strip is up!

Don't know why, but Pate controls Church since he's actually standing down.  Hope Alice isn't brain damaged.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: sitnspin on 13 May 2017, 09:21
I'm thinking Alice's killer instinct is kicking in. We already know she enjoys fighting. Her control that's kept that instinct in check might be gone.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: brasca on 13 May 2017, 09:26
I'm thinking Alice's killer instinct is kicking in. We already know she enjoys fighting. Her control that's kept that instinct in check might be gone.

I hope not.  Church may have stood down, but that doesn't change the fact that punching him is like punching a wall or Deadpool punching Collossus.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: Castlerook on 13 May 2017, 09:29
Church looks like he's about to throw a tantrum because his fun got ruined...Which is both oddly hilarious and utterly terrifying.

I'm thinking Alice's killer instinct is kicking in. We already know she enjoys fighting. Her control that's kept that instinct in check might be gone.

Indeed, if what we have seen previously is any indication, its that Church and Alice both have a brutal history and I think I Alice is about to let that history rip. My guess, we're about to see round two of this particular fight.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: BenRG on 13 May 2017, 09:39
Yeah, I agree. Church has knocked Alice's 'sanity' switch to 'no' and it's anyone's guess as to whether it can be turned back on again.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: brasca on 13 May 2017, 09:40
Maybe it tickles to pop your eyeball back into your skull.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: OldGoat on 13 May 2017, 10:26
So there were "nanomachine capsules" that Ardent, Gavia, and Sedna recognized as such aboard the vessel but Alice and Church apparently did not.  That suggests they were standard issue on a Valkyrie and were upgraded along with the rest of the vessel by Ardent's mojo.

How much more powerful has Gavia become?  It makes sense for her to employ an attack against Pate, something she knows will work, than to try her untested new abilities directly against Church.  Also, can she put the nanos to work repairing Alice, who pummeled the puddin' out of her upon their first meeting?  If she does, it'll show than an immense trust had developed.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: brasca on 13 May 2017, 10:58
Perhaps that's why Alice is laughing.  Maybe there is some rule that whoever saves an immortal becomes their master.  That would explain Church answering to Pate.  I doubt Alice would be all that pleased with such an outcome.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: jheartney on 13 May 2017, 14:26
The laughter isn't mysterious (to me anyway). Church was all set to kill Alice, getting revenge for sealing him in magma for so long. Now all he can do is fume. (https://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/simpsons/images/e/e9/Nelson_Ha-Ha.jpg/revision/latest/scale-to-width-down/350?cb=20121205194057)

I don't see why Alice would have lost control; she's badly injured, and in pain, but despite that she's taking the opportunity to laugh in Church's face.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: Castlerook on 13 May 2017, 14:59
I don't see why Alice would have lost control; she's badly injured, and in pain, but despite that she's taking the opportunity to laugh in Church's face.

The thing is, look at how Alice is laughing, how Jeph has portrayed it. The jagged look of it, the halted nature of it. That's not a "Har har, you're Pate's bitch" kind of a laugh. That's a straight up evil laugh (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WofqmWpXJZ8) or even sanity slippage (https://youtu.be/lb8fWUUXeKM?t=1m50s).

Alice has lost it, precisely because she's been badly injured. She's a weapon and she's been broken and that's manifesting in that scary looking laughter.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: brasca on 13 May 2017, 15:14
Or she really really really doesn't want to be Gavia's servant.  She's certainly had the greatest reversal of fortune if she can now control 2 immortals.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: pwhodges on 13 May 2017, 15:50
But Alice is still the title character - that will count for something in the end.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: Kugai on 13 May 2017, 16:55
Hoo boy

Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: Case on 13 May 2017, 18:11
What's a 'Valkyrie' in this context? Is it what Alice & Sedna were called before the blink?

Regarding Gavia's powers vs. Church's (or Alice's) - I figure that Gavia's nanotech is a more recent development than whatever empowers Alice, Sedna and Church? Quite possible that she could best Church in a fight, but chose to threaten Pate instead because it is the faster way to get him to let up on Alice.

In panel 2 on p.7 (http://www.alicegrove.com/page/7), Church is blocking 'shots' (or whatever) - I'd figure that either Gavia or Sedna where doing the shooting (and Sedna doesn't appear to have shooty things on her atm.). If it was Gavia doing the shooting, then she might have originally planned to attack Church outright, and only switched tactics because Church was on the verge of killing (or irrevocably hurting) Alice?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: jwhouk on 13 May 2017, 18:37
The Valkyrie is the vehicle they took to get into space - what they found in the cavern.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: jheartney on 13 May 2017, 19:04
I don't see why Alice would have lost control; she's badly injured, and in pain, but despite that she's taking the opportunity to laugh in Church's face.

The thing is, look at how Alice is laughing, how Jeph has portrayed it. The jagged look of it, the halted nature of it. That's not a "Har har, you're Pate's bitch" kind of a laugh. That's a straight up evil laugh (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WofqmWpXJZ8) or even sanity slippage (https://youtu.be/lb8fWUUXeKM?t=1m50s).

Alice has lost it, precisely because she's been badly injured. She's a weapon and she's been broken and that's manifesting in that scary looking laughter.

Or she's been badly messed up by Church's attack, and given her half-destroyed face/mouth, this is what her laugh sounds like.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: Castlerook on 13 May 2017, 19:40
I don't see why Alice would have lost control; she's badly injured, and in pain, but despite that she's taking the opportunity to laugh in Church's face.

The thing is, look at how Alice is laughing, how Jeph has portrayed it. The jagged look of it, the halted nature of it. That's not a "Har har, you're Pate's bitch" kind of a laugh. That's a straight up evil laugh (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WofqmWpXJZ8) or even sanity slippage (https://youtu.be/lb8fWUUXeKM?t=1m50s).

Alice has lost it, precisely because she's been badly injured. She's a weapon and she's been broken and that's manifesting in that scary looking laughter.

Or she's been badly messed up by Church's attack, and given her half-destroyed face/mouth, this is what her laugh sounds like.

There'd be a lot more burbling or trying to take in air. No, I'd be willing to bet that's the laughter of someone who has snapped and is going to get vicious.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 13 May 2017, 22:11
It is the author's sovereign choice how to balance exposition and enigma.

That said, I am surfeited with enigma.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: Tova on 13 May 2017, 22:30
My vote is for the insanity interpretation, for whatever that's worth.

Also, with regards to "controlling two immortals." Would I be right in suggesting that one far from a given, and the other is temporary unless she can maintain the blade while asleep.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: brasca on 13 May 2017, 23:48
It's definitely dependent on Gavia holding Pate hostage, but the reason why Church answers to Pate is still a mystery.  If Pate dug him out of the ground then he seems honor bound to obey him since there doesn't appear to be any other way for him to keep him in line.  As such it's theoretical, but if saving the life of an immortal gives that person control over them Alice may still hate the situation no matter who it is.  While I doubt Gavia holds a grudge and probably feels indebted for her saving her from the Nightwalker Alice was once a weapon controlled by others and for the last 5000 years shes been free so even if she's oblligated to follow a good person  she still hates the loss of independence. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: retrosteve on 14 May 2017, 13:05
if saving the life of an immortal gives that person control over them Alice may still hate the situation no matter who it is.  While I doubt Gavia holds a grudge and probably feels indebted for her saving her from the Nightwalker...

I really can't see stories of any kind built on artificial rules controlling sentient beings. Church shows sadism, anger, lust for revenge. He's sentient, not some sort of rule-based AI. He may or may not have a sense of honour. He doesn't have a robotic "I am controlled by whoever last saved my life" switch, any more than you do.

If I'm wrong, I'll be seriously disappointed in the story, for turning sentient creatures into automata, which would be awfully useful at times, but doesn't happen.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: brasca on 14 May 2017, 13:49
Then how would you explain Pate's control over Church?  If Church was just following him until he could satisfy his revenge then he wouldn't back down once he got it. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: sitnspin on 14 May 2017, 13:53
Honor? Gratitude? There are countless reasons why Church might follow and protect Pate. His desire for revenge doesn't have to have anything to do with it.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: Method of Madness on 14 May 2017, 14:06
Also, I don't think Pate saved Church, it sounded like he dug himself out.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: Castlerook on 14 May 2017, 14:08
We don't know that much about Alice, Sedna and Church other than the fact that they are remnant weapons of before the Blink.
We don't know why Church and Alice had a battle 5000 years ago or why she was forced to imprison him under molten rock.
We don't know the circumstances of Church's release or the cause of his attachment to Pate.

There's a lot we don't know and thus every theory about their origin is left open until outright proven wrong.
It might not be a case of Church being indebted to Pate, but rather Church being a defective soldier who sees in Pate, a person in authority as a commanding figure, a replacement general. It could be that while he was imprisoned, Church seethed while Sedna and Alice were able to develop in their own ways. It could also be a case of Church being the murderously psychotic Lennie Small to Pate's slightly in over his head George Milton.

Who knows? Not us, yet, anyway.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: retrosteve on 14 May 2017, 14:25
Then how would you explain Pate's control over Church?  If Church was just following him until he could satisfy his revenge then he wouldn't back down once he got it.

Every movie or book plot ever has someone refraining from doing something they want to do, because someone else tells them not to. Common reasons include
* Love
* Blackmail
* Curiosity
* Fear
* Loyalty
* Allegiance / Fealty
* Belief in authority
* Sense of duty

All of these are way more interesting than programming.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: brasca on 14 May 2017, 14:25
Honor? Gratitude? There are countless reasons why Church might follow and protect Pate. His desire for revenge doesn't have to have anything to do with it.

Could be and if so then he has a stronger code than most.  He could've abandoned Pate, killed Alice, then Gavia, Sedna, and Ardent leaving no witnesses to say otherwise except himself.  Perhaps he's not completely devoid of any honor or integrity.  In fact his tenacious adherence to a leader no matter how terrible is why he was sealed up.  Maybe all he believes in is his code of honor.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: Method of Madness on 14 May 2017, 14:36
He could've abandoned Pate, killed Alice, then Gavia, Sedna, and Ardent leaving no witnesses to say otherwise except himself.
Maybe. But then what? Maybe Pate doesn't control him, but he has some sense of purpose while Pate's alive, and that might be more than he's had in thousands of years, and more than he sees having post-Pate.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: jheartney on 14 May 2017, 15:05
I know it's a convention of most sci-fi that everywhere has 1g gravity and a breathable atmosphere, but in point of fact all our heroes and villains are in orbit well above the Earth. So apparently the inside of wherever they are has gravity and life support (this despite the rather large hole Church made in it), or else Gavia has extended her bubble around all the proceedings, and her bubble has artificial gravity along with instantly generated atmosphere.

So far these vaunted praeses have yet to actually do anything in the story other than allowing the twins to make a trip to Earth. I hope they (the praeses) get off their wooden butts and do something soon, as the main characters seem to have arrived at an impasse. (Given Church's apparent lack of need for sleep, I bet on him winning any temporary standoff.)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: BenRG on 14 May 2017, 15:43
What's Church's game? He's seen lots of little guys who dream of being something big. He figures that hanging around Pate and his ambitions will give him plenty of excuses to murder people. He sort of needs excuses; it's part of his genetic programming to only use lethal force in something approaching self defence or 'for the cause'.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: jwhouk on 14 May 2017, 15:49
It may be that the supersoldiers were the reason for The Blink, because when one became damaged, they went out of control. So the Powers That Be shut everything down.

A lot of backstory that could be told by Jeph here - and if memory serves, Jeph's only scratched the surface of this story...
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: Castlerook on 14 May 2017, 16:51
It may be that the supersoldiers were the reason for The Blink, because when one became damaged, they went out of control. So the Powers That Be shut everything down.

A lot of backstory that could be told by Jeph here - and if memory serves, Jeph's only scratched the surface of this story...

Exactly.

For all we know, Church could have developed the equivalent of brain damage and could have latched onto Pate as a commanding figure.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: brasca on 14 May 2017, 17:33
I know it's a convention of most sci-fi that everywhere has 1g gravity and a breathable atmosphere, but in point of fact all our heroes and villains are in orbit well above the Earth. So apparently the inside of wherever they are has gravity and life support (this despite the rather large hole Church made in it), or else Gavia has extended her bubble around all the proceedings, and her bubble has artificial gravity along with instantly generated atmosphere.

So far these vaunted praeses have yet to actually do anything in the story other than allowing the twins to make a trip to Earth. I hope they (the praeses) get off their wooden butts and do something soon, as the main characters seem to have arrived at an impasse. (Given Church's apparent lack of need for sleep, I bet on him winning any temporary standoff.)

Since they're inside the habitat I imagine some automated system has already sealed the hole and artificial gravity and life support have taken over so Gavia isn't responsible for keeping them alive beyond taking Pate hostage.  Perhaps the Praeses will finally show themselves or maybe we'll get some long awaited exposition.  Either from a cracked Alice or if Gavia orders Pate to order Church to talk.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: Morituri on 14 May 2017, 18:55
As I read it:  (Conjecture, really)...

We've already seen that Alice and Sedna have a thing going where Sedna's abilities aren't as great as Alice's, nor does she feel a personal duty to a community and human welfare in the same way that Alice does.  We've already conjectured that Alice is a "more advanced" or later version of whatever advanced weapons program produced them both.  Church is a "More advanced" model than Alice and Sedna.  He was developed later, when both the knowledge about how to make somebody that strong and about how to keep somebody that strong under their control was more advanced than it was when Alice and Sedna were produced. 

So when it was over - when the old world had gone to shit and there was really and truly no more point in fighting - Church was the one who couldn't stand down.  He had orders from some recognized authority and could not overcome his compulsion to obey them.   He was stronger, faster, more durable, and as ruthless or more ruthless than anyone else standing, and could not stop fighting.  Alice felt duty to human welfare and so on, but she was free to reinterpret her duty and make choices about how to carry it out, and because Church didn't have that freedom, he had to be taken down. And taken down he was, with Alice to wield a hammer and an orbital laser strike to make a handy pool of lava.

Now that Church is above ground again, we see him under the exact same compulsion he could never overcome, to obey orders from some recognized authority.  I don't think loyalty or gratitude or valuing that entity as a person or anything like that comes into play here.  Church is literally stuck on a compulsion, as in an obsessive-compulsive disorder, that he can't overcome.  Pate is some kind of recognized authority figure, whether he sees Pate as a worthless worm of a man or not, whether Pate ever did anything for him or not, and when a recognized authority figure gives an order, Church obeys it.

And now Alice is laughing at his predicament.  His is greater strength than hers, greater speed, greater endurance and durability, but this one crucial weakness - the very same weakness that forced her to put him down fifty centuries ago (possibly even the same type of threat that forced him to stand still for it) - prevents him from taking his revenge on her.  That's some high-grade irony there.  Her sanity hasn't broken; there's an element of nervous laughter there as she experiences relief instead of death, of course, but this is to me clearly a laugh at a situation which is funny as hell if you have a very very dark sense of humor.


Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: KevxD on 15 May 2017, 06:43
Church looks like a teenage girl about to throw a temper tantrum...
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: hitmiccs on 15 May 2017, 14:31
Alice might be laughing about the fact, that Gavia made herself Church's enemy no.1 by threatening Pates life directly. Gavia might now be an even greater priority than Alice for Church - she will not have a single moment of peace from now on and has to be aware of Church at any time. The moment Gavia removes the life-threatening blade, Church will attack, if he sees a chance.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: OldGoat on 16 May 2017, 12:59
So far these vaunted praeses have yet to actually do anything in the story other than allowing the twins to make a trip to Earth.
Twins?  I was under the impression that Gavia is the elder by a few years (or cycles, or whatever Orbitals use to mark time).

Church's expression when Ellie tried to cold-cock him was the first time we'd seen him drop his flat affect, like he was thinking, "You've crossed the line - now I can act. (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/152175316869/bravery)"  The appearance of his eyes seems to signal which mode he's in.  Even a threat to Pate (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/153991037889/alice-is-fast-but-mr-church-is-faster) doesn't appear to release the control, whatever it is, but a threat to his own person (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/159157247154/church-is-going-to-miss-his-hat) does.

If he's programmed, Alice may be chuckling because she knows that Church's perception of the threat to himself will diminish, he'll drop back to 'droid mode, and the knife in Pate will attenuate into part of the background.  At that point all Gavia has to do is prevent Pate from issuing instructions to Church and she can snooze (if she even needs to now - we don't know what effect the nanobots have on that part of her physiology). 

We also know from early in the story that Ardent elected to not use nanotech.  He may still be able to adopt it, especially if they can retrieve another nanopod from the wreckage of the Valkyrie.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: Method of Madness on 16 May 2017, 17:54
Was that supposed to be the same link thrice?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: OldGoat on 16 May 2017, 22:23
Was that supposed to be the same link thrice?
No, it wasn't.  Damn.

I'm too sleepy to mess with it right now, though.

Edit - 06:00 PDT Fixed 'em.  Thanks for the proof-read.

Something occurs to me.  Alice is known to her village and identifies herself as a witch.  It's not uncommon for Wiccan groups to hold outdoor gatherings in a designated grove.  Alice's nemesis is Church.  Hmmmm....was the pre-Blink conflict a religious war?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: sitnspin on 17 May 2017, 07:22
I think it's more that humans tend to refer to any woman with abilities they don't understand as a witch. She never called herself a witch, she just accepts that that's what the villagers call her.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: OldGoat on 17 May 2017, 08:11
She never called herself a witch . . ..
Really?
"You have meddled in the affairs of a witch..." (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/117142226274/jephjacques-alice-is-very-principled-maybe)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: Stoutfellow on 17 May 2017, 09:56
True, but she also called Gavia a demon in the same speech, which was addressed to children. I think we can take both statements with a large dollop of salt.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: sitnspin on 17 May 2017, 10:13
There's this verbal trick people sometimes use called "irony".
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: brasca on 17 May 2017, 14:20
So far these vaunted praeses have yet to actually do anything in the story other than allowing the twins to make a trip to Earth.
Twins?  I was under the impression that Gavia is the elder by a few years (or cycles, or whatever Orbitals use to mark time).

Church's expression when Ellie tried to cold-cock him was the first time we'd seen him drop his flat affect, like he was thinking, "You've crossed the line - now I can act. (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/152175316869/bravery)"  The appearance of his eyes seems to signal which mode he's in.  Even a threat to Pate (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/153991037889/alice-is-fast-but-mr-church-is-faster) doesn't appear to release the control, whatever it is, but a threat to his own person (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/159157247154/church-is-going-to-miss-his-hat) does.

If he's programmed, Alice may be chuckling because she knows that Church's perception of the threat to himself will diminish, he'll drop back to 'droid mode, and the knife in Pate will attenuate into part of the background.  At that point all Gavia has to do is prevent Pate from issuing instructions to Church and she can snooze (if she even needs to now - we don't know what effect the nanobots have on that part of her physiology). 

We also know from early in the story that Ardent elected to not use nanotech.  He may still be able to adopt it, especially if they can retrieve another nanopod from the wreckage of the Valkyrie.

We don't really know much about Ardent and Gavia's ages.  Being genetically augmented they could be older than Pate, but age very slowly.  Gavia's upgraded nanotechnology may allow her to stay awake longer than she previously could or possibly indefinitely, but none of that may be necessary if they take Pate somewhere he can't communicate with Church.  Gavia could temporarily remove the knife to sleep and Church would never know.  However, that's not possible at this time since they are currently within the outer surface of the habitat.  Unless there's a door they'll have to leave out the hole and try to find a docking entrance.  As for Ardent I know he doesn't believe in using nanotechnology, but he might not be capable since he's not acusstomed.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: Thrudd on 17 May 2017, 14:20
Just chiming in one the source of control thread;

So far everyone has put forth something psychological as a control.
Why not something a bit more material?
Like the dragons hearts used on Escaflowne or the life links used in so many anime scifi/fantasy mecha series.
Or maybe there are bits of Pate that were used to reboot our psycho-killer and the loss of Pate would mean total shutdown?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: brasca on 17 May 2017, 16:42
It's a possibility, but it seems unlikely that Pate could figure out how to control an immortal super soldier since I doubt an instruction manual survived the ages and even if it did you'd need someone who could translate a 5000 year old language. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: Tova on 17 May 2017, 18:23
Well, if anyone could... (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/150545067644/hey-he-does-seem-nice)

Quote from: Pate
Old broken machines in the ground, strange lights in the sky, the bones of ancient mega-structures across the land. What knowledge might be gained, what mysteries solved, what power attained?

Indeed. The inclusion of Mr Church in that frame is kinda interesting.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: brasca on 18 May 2017, 06:58
When Pate was first introduced he reminded me of Big O's Alex Rosewater.  Both are men of power seeking to unlock past secrets.  I'm still not sure how Pate could control someone like Church with so little information, but if he stumbled into it then I doubt he would look such a gift horse in the mouth. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: Tova on 18 May 2017, 16:03
I'm keeping my mind open, but to be honest, the 'rescuing a being enslaves them to you' theory doesn't ring true to me.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: Method of Madness on 18 May 2017, 20:22
Btw, are we still on chapter six?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: brasca on 18 May 2017, 21:50
I'm keeping my mind open, but to be honest, the 'rescuing a being enslaves them to you' theory doesn't ring true to me.

It's how genies and some other mythical figures work and seeing as how Church is old and powerful enough to be one I wouldn't rule it out.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: Tova on 18 May 2017, 22:31
Not ruling it out either. Just not buying it yet.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: jwhouk on 19 May 2017, 02:29
Btw, are we still on chapter six?
Yes. We haven't gotten any indication of a chapter break yet.

Sent from my NXA8QC116 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: retrosteve on 19 May 2017, 14:57
I'm keeping my mind open, but to be honest, the 'rescuing a being enslaves them to you' theory doesn't ring true to me.

It's how genies and some other mythical figures work and seeing as how Church is old and powerful enough to be one I wouldn't rule it out.
I'd be pretty disappointed if I was reading a science-fiction story and in the last chapter it turned out to be a fantasy.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: Storel on 19 May 2017, 15:27
I'm keeping my mind open, but to be honest, the 'rescuing a being enslaves them to you' theory doesn't ring true to me.

It's how genies and some other mythical figures work and seeing as how Church is old and powerful enough to be one I wouldn't rule it out.
I'd be pretty disappointed if I was reading a science-fiction story and in the last chapter it turned out to be a fantasy.

One of my favorite books is Sylvia Engdahl's Enchantress from the Stars (https://www.amazon.com/Enchantress-Stars-Sylvia-Engdahl/dp/0142500372), which starts off sounding like a fairy tale and turns out to be a science fiction story. Turnarounds can be awesome if done well.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: retrosteve on 19 May 2017, 16:34
I'm keeping my mind open, but to be honest, the 'rescuing a being enslaves them to you' theory doesn't ring true to me.

It's how genies and some other mythical figures work and seeing as how Church is old and powerful enough to be one I wouldn't rule it out.
I'd be pretty disappointed if I was reading a science-fiction story and in the last chapter it turned out to be a fantasy.

One of my favorite books is Sylvia Engdahl's Enchantress from the Stars (https://www.amazon.com/Enchantress-Stars-Sylvia-Engdahl/dp/0142500372), which starts off sounding like a fairy tale and turns out to be a science fiction story. Turnarounds can be awesome if done well.
Yes ... and no.  Charles Stross's The Merchant Princes series starts out looking like a fantasy and turns SF over the first couple of books. That's taking what looks like magic and carefully defining its parameters until you realize it's science. That's actually pretty cool.

Going the other way, where you assume the universe has science rules, and then open it up to arbitrary magic, is... not so cool. It says the writer didn't really make up the rules in advance, he just threw a bunch in later. It's magic ex machina. And I won't have it.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: brasca on 19 May 2017, 22:12
I'm keeping my mind open, but to be honest, the 'rescuing a being enslaves them to you' theory doesn't ring true to me.

It's how genies and some other mythical figures work and seeing as how Church is old and powerful enough to be one I wouldn't rule it out.
I'd be pretty disappointed if I was reading a science-fiction story and in the last chapter it turned out to be a fantasy.

One of my favorite books is Sylvia Engdahl's Enchantress from the Stars (https://www.amazon.com/Enchantress-Stars-Sylvia-Engdahl/dp/0142500372), which starts off sounding like a fairy tale and turns out to be a science fiction story. Turnarounds can be awesome if done well.

I would also include Babylon 5's technomages.  They have extremely advanced technology that gives them abilities that seem magical, but I think Elric is more eloquent in his explanation:   

Gavia would be right at home with them. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: A small perverse otter on 21 May 2017, 08:33
I'm keeping my mind open, but to be honest, the 'rescuing a being enslaves them to you' theory doesn't ring true to me.
I agree, that seems a stretch to me, too.

I wonder if the original creators of the super-soldiers had some kind of explicit control over them? If I'd built Church, I'd have made damned sure I could make him do what I wanted, and, more importantly, make him unable to turn on me. If Pate got ahold of that mechanism before he unearthed Church, then Church would be completely under his control, like it or not.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: BenRG on 21 May 2017, 10:05
There is some difficulty that comes from understanding why Church and Alice's armour seems to be of the same design. I suspect that they originated from the same faction. So, why were they fighting? I suspect that Church was designed too well - Nearly-indestructible, self-repairing, self-powering and (most fatally) with no control backdoors. Simply put, there was no way to override him once active. His creators were, of course, 100% sure that their control over him was failsafe. They were wrong and Alice was possibly the last of hundreds of super soldiers that were needed to stop him. All the others fell so that she would have the chance to deliver that last hammer-blow.

I suspect that Church was genetically programmed to seek out and destroy all perceptible enemies but had a dangerously imprecise IFF coding. This meant that he ended up slaughtering whole populations because they were insufficiently zealous and fanatical for the cause.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: OldGoat on 21 May 2017, 15:13

I wonder if the original creators of the super-soldiers had some kind of explicit control over them? If I'd built Church, I'd have made damned sure I could make him do what I wanted, and, more importantly, make him unable to turn on me. If Pate got ahold of that mechanism before he unearthed Church, then Church would be completely under his control, like it or not.
Perhaps the Warhammer is that mechanism.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: Method of Madness on 21 May 2017, 21:29
I'm keeping my mind open, but to be honest, the 'rescuing a being enslaves them to you' theory doesn't ring true to me.

It's how genies and some other mythical figures work and seeing as how Church is old and powerful enough to be one I wouldn't rule it out.
I'd be pretty disappointed if I was reading a science-fiction story and in the last chapter it turned out to be a fantasy.
A. Last chapter? What? Why?
B. I'm pretty sure this has always had elements of both sci-fi and fantasy.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: blt on 22 May 2017, 18:28
True, but she also called Gavia a demon in the same speech, which was addressed to children. I think we can take both statements with a large dollop of salt.

http://www.alicegrove.com/post/115349455399/think-about-it

Alice also refers to herself as a witch here too, speaking to Gavia and not her townspeople.  I think she puts more stake in the "witch" thing than just irony.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: Tova on 22 May 2017, 20:13
She's cracking wise here too. Positively dropping with irony.  I can't see how you can read this any other way. Honestly.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: sitnspin on 22 May 2017, 20:15
Alice also refers to herself as a witch here too, speaking to Gavia and not her townspeople.  I think she puts more stake in the "witch" thing than just irony.
I interpreted that as her trying to deflect.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: Tova on 22 May 2017, 20:56
Yes, exactly, I agree.

Imagine that you ask me how I know this, and I reply, "Because I'm a genius."

Even if you were taking me seriously, there's no reason to take me at my word (and every reason not to). But it's a deflection, not an answer. In Alice's case, good enough for the townsfolk, but not for Gavia.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: OldGoat on 22 May 2017, 22:23
She's cracking wise here too. Positively dropping with irony.  I can't see how you can read this any other way. Honestly.
"Witch," from the Old English "wicce" meaning a wise woman.  A wicce was also understood to be an elder (probably because age and wisdom usually go hand in hand).  Alice is calling herself a witch in this sense, not the fairy tale Halloween hag version of the Christian Church's Whore of Babylon wanna-be you seem to be assuming.

Immensely old, unfathomably wise (or at least knowledgeable), and preternaturally powerful - describes Alice pretty well, doesn't it?

I picked up on the significance of the surname Grove when Jack's uncle told him to "Go get the witch (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/99644342039/blue-guy)" in the sixth comic.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: Tova on 22 May 2017, 22:49
Whether you think the term describes Alice well has little bearing on whether Alice self-identifies that way. Just to remind you of the root of this conversation:

I think it's more that humans tend to refer to any woman with abilities they don't understand as a witch. She never called herself a witch, she just accepts that that's what the villagers call her.

I'm not going to enter into the topic of whether the term "witch" really is appropriate. I didn't think so, given its history.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: BenRG on 22 May 2017, 23:38
I think that Alice uses 'witch' as a convenient shorthand for what she is and what she is capable of that avoids her having to tell a long, harsh story which even she would be happier if she could forget.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: blt on 23 May 2017, 05:32
I'm more with BenRG on this one.  To me, the fact that she uses it fairly regularly, and says it to Gavia in private (who would obviously know better), says there's a bit more character depth to it than just "Hey you're a witch" "K whatever"

Maybe she likes the title or the image, or maybe it's just a convenient shorthand.

Anyway, if you can't see anything beyond  "She's deflecting/lol ironic sarcasm", not even to "She's deflecting/and MAYBE there's some character reason she prefers witch based on her repetition of it", I'm not sure what to tell you.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: derech on 23 May 2017, 09:09
The rest is more squishy, and rather depends on if a listener/reader thinks referring to oneself with a name others have used is calling yourself that thing to what extent.   Although using a word as a descriptive shortcut because others have called you that or because  it's as good as any other word that is calling yourself that.   Even if you meant it in another way than others did, especially if it's partially correct in one or more parts of its definitions.    Just because it's sarcastic or ironic or non-serious doesn't mean you're not calling yourself that.   

Obviously not everyone looks at these things in the same way.    It's also not easily a debate that can be concluded definitively one way or another.    See also: White Horse Dialogue, map-territory relationship, sense and reference, use-mention distinction.

What is fairly certain (from what we've seen)  is that Alice has never directly claimed to be an actual witch in the sense of having magic in the sense of being able to cast spells, and as far as anyone here knows, has never cast any.     Spells in the sense of non-technical "powers" and paranormal methods of manipulating otherwise natural forces and without requiring the use of tools to do so.     Just like it's fairly certain she has referred to herself as one, as have others.    Is that her saying she's a witch, perhaps.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: Tova on 23 May 2017, 14:17
Anyway, if you can't see anything beyond  "She's deflecting/lol ironic sarcasm", not even to "She's deflecting/and MAYBE there's some character reason she prefers witch based on her repetition of it", I'm not sure what to tell you.

Let's go with "we agree to disagree."
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: OldGoat on 23 May 2017, 17:49
What is fairly certain (from what we've seen)  is that Alice has never directly claimed to be an actual witch in the sense of having magic in the sense of being able to cast spells, and as far as anyone here knows, has never cast any.     Spells in the sense of non-technical "powers" and paranormal methods of manipulating otherwise natural forces and without requiring the use of tools to do so.     Just like it's fairly certain she has referred to herself as one, as have others.    Is that her saying she's a witch, perhaps.
Note Clarke's Third Law (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarke%27s_three_laws).
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: KevxD on 24 May 2017, 03:09
No update this week?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: BenRG on 24 May 2017, 03:10
Nope; Jeph was at a convention in Vancouver.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: brasca on 24 May 2017, 06:55
I thought as much, but usually we get a note informing us of this. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: Method of Madness on 24 May 2017, 21:32
I dunno if I'd consider her a witch, but (and I know I've said this several times), I still don't think she was created.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: derech on 25 May 2017, 10:51
Note Clarke's Third Law (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarke%27s_three_laws).
Yes but there is a difference between innately and inherently being able to harness natural forces via paranormal manipulation, and using tech to accomplish something like it or that works the same.  Others may not be able to tell tech from magic or the opposite, and perhaps even the user wouldn't know.   If somebody knew or could find out the mechanism, they'd know though.   Short of absolute indistinguishable where the difference couldn't be told, or where the method was some blend or mix, it's one or the other.   (Blend/mix, imagine perhaps something like being able to collect and create power and effects from high frequency sound waves by a normal natural ability they'd evolved into, or somebody building a tool that draws upon nodes of tri-folded inter-dimensional magitrons to power it.) 

With Alice IIRC she's not done anything that has appeared to be magical, it's been physical.  Not very witchy.   Age and wisdom and control-wise, perhaps the term fits.  Maybe her demeanor.   She's not really claimed to be one, but maybe she is.    Gavia's tech has appeared to be tech, biometric, created, limited, removable and addable.  What Ardent is doing seems more like magic.   Whatever it is, as far as anyone knows,  it's tech.    Yet why not tech created by magic.   Or the opposite, magic created by tech that looks more like tech so far.  Perhaps it's both   Although content-wise not many could well argue this story has been fantasy and not sci-fi.   
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: Morituri on 25 May 2017, 11:58
To me technology and magic are fundamentally different because technology is based on knowledge about the universe, and those natural laws are the same for everybody.  The universe doesn't discriminate, and what is true, is true regardless of whether anyone believes it or cares about it. Therefore technology works exactly the same for everybody.

Magic is based on psychology, and psychology is different for everybody.  What is true depends on subjective experience, belief, symbolism, implication, and identity, and what is true depends on who you are.  Magic works differently for different people because the universe itself (if it's a universe where magic works) cares who they are and how they are psychologically different from everybody else, or because someone has been chosen by the universe as a unique symbol for some principle and is therefore 'fated' to some demonstration of that principle.

In a universe where magic works, natural laws as we know them cannot exist; they have to bend, or break, in order to bring about predetermined or symbolic or believed sequences of events, and therefore such things as the Gravitational constant aren't even constant; it depends on who's asking and why.  Nor are statistical laws capable of describing things, because probability is out the window when someone is fated to act as a champion of the Holy Winslow or whatever.  The natural laws that apply to each person, and to each situation, depend on circumstance and identity and symbol that changes from minute to minute.  In a universe that can't be described by any constant set of laws, technology as we understand it can't exist because no repeatable experiment can reveal any natural laws reliable enough to build it.  Further, if anyone did or could, then the power conferred by that technology would perforce be perceived in symbolic ways and would have consequences - and such a universe operates on symbolism and consequences in terms of fate and identity, so any supposed technology would only work for you if the universe were willing to accord you that power for symbolic reasons anyway.

So while Clarke has a point that from the POV of an outside observer it may be indistinguishable, they imply and require profoundly different things about the universe.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: Tova on 25 May 2017, 16:00
Isn't the POV of an outside observer the entire point of Clarke's Third Law? One person's sufficiently advanced technology is another's sticks and rubber bands, after all. Which means you can either interpret the law as saying that everything is magic, or that nothing is.

The Alice Grove universe, as far as I'm concerned, is only a universe where magic works in the sense that there is, from our universe's POV, and obviously from the POV of the villagers, some seriously advanced technology and lifeforms.

I'm not sure what point OldGoat was trying to make, but the term "witch" in the context of this comic falls into the same category. The villagers call her a witch because she has powers beyond their comprehension. Alice herself would obviously not regard her own powers in the same way.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: derech on 26 May 2017, 10:05
Most places that have actual magic seem to have a given set of natural laws as well, it's just that some inhabitants can adjust some of these natural laws.  Removing localized gravity, creating energy from nothing / converting magic into energy, making objects become without mass or be not solid.  There is some structure and set of rules on top of some base though.   So perhaps it would be more correct then to say that magicians are capable of altering nature or nullifying physical laws in some ways for some period of time.   That where magic exists,  'the laws of physics' aren't always 100% universal.  Be that magic alone,  tech and magic mixed,  tech that works like magic, etc.     Even still, places with magic have limitations.  Not anyone can do anything at any time in any way.  Either because the person casting doesn't know how or isn't powerful enough to, or because such things are even beyond the powers of magic, or because some things take too much magic to carry out.   Sometimes there are just some things someone sane doesn't do, like destroying the star the planet they're on is rotating around. Not unless their magic is capable of and strong enough to substitute for all the forces that keep things in orbit in ways capable of supporting life.   Or they've got a spell to provide long-term protection from deep space, if they even had some reason to do such things.  Unless it was trivial for them and unimportant to them or others...    In that case, such a person might very well be indistinguishable from a god.  Which  goes back to the other subject.

Fort:  "a performance that may some day be considered understandable, but that, in these primitive times, so transcends what is said to be the known that it is what I mean by magic."  Brackett: "Witchcraft to the ignorant, simple science to the learned"   Ambrose:  "Any technology, no matter how primitive, is magic to those who don't understand it." 

Yes, the notion is that if you didn't know anything at all about anything technological (and were not genre savvy and were not capable of advanced thinking) science that could revitalize and supercharge old spacecraft or light one on fire from a flaming forcefield might seem like pure magic to you.  As would be the notion of spaceships and forcefields.    Although that isn't necessarily a fully convincing concept either.   Algebra dates back to at least the Babylonians circa 2000 BC, would modern quadratic equations seem all that odd potentially.  Somebody from 100 BC who was familiar with Antikythera mechanisms that saw somebody today using a voice-communication-enabled pocket supercomputer might well be able to extrapolate.  People were imagining somewhat practical ways to get to the moon long before anyone actually did.     (Presenting things like this to far earlier versions of humans (such as  Au.africanus) is really another matter.   If we showed up 3.5 million years ago, would the brain of that time even be able to recognize we were the same type of animal, much less be able to conceptualize either technology or magic?   Would lighting a cigarette or turning on a television make us seem like gods, just cause them to run away in terror from a horrible monster, make them try and kill us for food, or would we just notice the spaceships seeding the planet with DNA and get back in our time machine before we even began. )   

Beyond that sort of endless discussion,  it's not entirely convincing that this entire 'did she call herself a witch, did she claim to be a witch'  rises to  these sorts of discussions when it comes to either Alice Grove the person or the location.  Yes,  to a given observer, they may not be able to tell the difference between advanced tech and magic.  Is that the case?   Seems the real question is more like if what Alice does appears to be like magic to these people. 

Why do the folks in the town call her a witch? Because she does witchy things, even if that's just  falling dozens of feet, hitting the ground, and being fully unharmed, or without effort beating up the toughest guy in town.   Does that fit, maybe not very witchy at all.   Why does she sometimes use that term.  It could work to explain her advanced status comparatively, her attitude towards them and things in general.  Perhaps even describe to others how she's thought of by the locals.    However, the term has been used mostly in flippant, neutral, wry, mocking, sarcastic, ironic, hyperbolic, joking, dismissive ways though.  Not seemingly as an claim by anyone she is magical or can perform magic.      Which to large extent also rather seems to match how the townspeople use the term, doesn't it?   They don't really seem all that under the impression she's magical either.    Powerful, not to be trifled with, in charge, indestructible, etc; but not an actual witch or with witch-like power.    Nobody appears to believe she weighs as much as a duck.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: Pilchard123 on 26 May 2017, 11:57
And don't forget, any sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from technology (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SufficientlyAnalyzedMagic).
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: Tova on 26 May 2017, 17:43
That formulation makes no sense to me at all.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: retrosteve on 27 May 2017, 05:37
Since we're still on this topic, and there have been no new posts this week, I'll break down what I'm thinking. Clarke's Law and variants are all very nice, but there is an element of sentience here, not just technology. It's not a matter of whether a given technology is science or 'magic'. That's, as Clarke points out, a matter of knowledge.

What I keep seeing, to my surprise, is the idea that sentient creatures (whether the sentience is artificial, natural, or magical) can be somehow "programmed", the way the genie of the lamp was in the Arabian Nights stories. And it totally rings false to me, regardless of the source of the intelligence. Unless it's a genie-type fantasy, which has not been a thing for a few centuries really.

Sentient creatures have self-awareness. In my view, that self-awareness can examine itself down a layer or two, but no further. So you can be aware of your emotions, of your body, of your thought processes. But you cannot be aware of how many neurons are firing or where in the brain they are firing right now.  And if someone wanted to hypnotize or brainwash you, they wouldn't know those things either -- they'd have to program you at the level of emotions and thoughts.

Similar observations have been made about artificial intelligence programs. Once they reach a certain level of sophistication, their creators generally admit that they don't really know how they work anymore. Assuming that such an AI became fully self-aware someday, neither the creator nor the AI would know, at the neuron level (or its equivalent) how things were working. Too many independent levels of processing are going on in between, and self-awareness does not penetrate that deep.  Even AI, the science, doesn't try to.

And that's why I don't believe it's possible to "program" an AI to be guaranteed loyal, or guaranteed non-violent except in certain circumstances, or any other such thing. It's a mixing of levels that, in my experience, is likely to be far beyond either human or artificial intelligence to accomplish.  It's also, my intuition says, impossible, on the same level of impossibility as Turing's Halting Problem. If a program cannot tell you if another program (or itself) will ever halt, then a program cannot tell you how to circumvent its own programming.

Intuitively, I'd guess that no program can "brainwash" a working AI program without impairing its function down below the level of self-awareness.

Since Church and Alice, whether AIs (which I seriously doubt) or modified organic creatures, are obviously sentient, including emotions, impulses, and full self-awareness -- they cannot be programmed, only damaged. Maybe brainwashed, but that is traumatic, damaging and can still be broken out of.  But applying laws like Asimov's, or the if-then rules discussed above, would be a fatal mixing of levels. It can't happen, same as they can't tell you how their own intelligence functions.

All of this is unproven, but I firmly believe it, and I also really think it's unlikely that any decent modern SF story would attempt to break it.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: pwhodges on 27 May 2017, 05:39
What I keep seeing, to my surprise, is the idea that sentient creatures (whether the sentience is artificial, natural, or magical) can be somehow "programmed", the way the genie of the lamp was in the Arabian Nights stories. And it totally rings false to me, regardless of the source of the intelligence. Unless it's a genie-type fantasy, which has not been a thing for a few centuries really.

Have you not read 1984?

Or just watch the news - what else is the radicalisation that leads to terrorism, and notably suicide bombers?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: retrosteve on 27 May 2017, 05:45
What I keep seeing, to my surprise, is the idea that sentient creatures (whether the sentience is artificial, natural, or magical) can be somehow "programmed", the way the genie of the lamp was in the Arabian Nights stories. And it totally rings false to me, regardless of the source of the intelligence. Unless it's a genie-type fantasy, which has not been a thing for a few centuries really.

Have you not read 1984?

Or just watch the news - what else is the radicalisation that leads to terrorism, and notably suicide bombers?

Yeah, brainwashing is possible, but traumatic! It tends to be Skinnerian. And not as simple as "if someone saves your life they can dominate all your decisions forever."
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: Pilchard123 on 27 May 2017, 09:23
That formulation makes no sense to me at all.

That would be because I mis-typed it. I meant to say 'sufficiently analyzed magic'.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: jwhouk on 27 May 2017, 14:23
It sounds like things before The Blink had, indeed, devolved to the point of 1984-like proportions. In fact, with technology being one side of the argument, I'd say that it was definitely 1984-like.

Now, imagine IngSoc if suddenly Big Brother was shut down permanently because of the decision of an AI - or the main computer frame running Big Brother was destroyed.

That would have been a perfect sequel to 1984, IMNSHO.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: brasca on 27 May 2017, 15:59
And that AI who realized the futility of endless war was named...  Joshua.

And now you know the rest of the story. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: jwhouk on 27 May 2017, 19:17
And that AI who realized the futility of endless war was named...  Joshua.

And now you know the rest of the story.

"A strange game. The only winning move is to not play. How about a nice game of chess?"
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: brasca on 28 May 2017, 10:20
Strip is up! 

And apparently I was partially correct about my genie theory.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: BenRG on 28 May 2017, 10:27
Yeah, I figured that there might be some kind of 'find a commander and follow him' gene programming in the combat units. What's interesting is that Alice has been able to fool it by choosing to serve the whole world rather than a single commander.

In some ways, she's evolved in the same way R Daneel Olivaw wanted the AIs of the Caves of Steel/Empire/Foundation universe to evolve: She's no longer obeying or protecting a single person or faction. Rather, she's somehow implemented a 'Zeroth Law' in herself where all of humanity1 and its best interests as a whole are her cause.

P.S.:
Whilst it's possible Alice has lost an eye, it is also possible that she's already regenerating, which is almost frightening in its implications.

----------------------
1. Not only does this give her the ability to destroy any individual faction or person she regards as a threat to the greater community of humanity, it probably means that there are some post-humans who lie outside of her 'protect and serve' criteria. Gavia and Ardent are probably hovering on the very edges of that.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: brasca on 28 May 2017, 10:36
I wouldn't worry about Alice's eye.  It looks like Church's eyes match again.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: pwhodges on 28 May 2017, 11:13
You mean Church's, I guess.  But maybe one of his abilities is to change the functionality of his eye (and its appearance changes with it).
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: brasca on 28 May 2017, 11:21
Thank you.  Just corrected that and speaking of eyes Gavia's are red again instead of blue and glowing I hope that she hasn't relaxed her defenses and removed the knife.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: pwhodges on 28 May 2017, 11:25
It was also interesting that Sedna's spiel put Alice and Church in the same bracket.  So why did Church appear to have the upper hand?  Just the slightly varied capabilities of different models?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: brasca on 28 May 2017, 11:33
Probably a subclass.  The question is whether Alice was an earlier model and Church was an overpowered prototype they had trouble controlling or an enemy faction.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: BenRG on 28 May 2017, 11:56
It was also interesting that Sedna's spiel put Alice and Church in the same bracket.  So why did Church appear to have the upper hand?  Just the slightly varied capabilities of different models?

Several upgrades down the line, I'm thinking.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: Kugai on 28 May 2017, 12:53
My guess is that Alice, while strong herself, requires a connection to a 'Command Center' or something similar in order to cal down strikes to augment her abilities along with that giant Warhammer weapon  to operate at 'Full Power' so to speak, while Church may be one of those operatives who is designed to operate without such a 'Back Up' need, consequently, he's now in a position to be able to overmatch Alice after The Blink.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: Morituri on 28 May 2017, 13:20
As I read it:  (Conjecture, really)...

Called it.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 28 May 2017, 21:06
"Things like Alice and Church" ...

Sedna calls her own former lover a "thing".

Uh, Ardent, did you actually fail to see that Alice was serving the village?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: Tova on 28 May 2017, 22:15
"Things like Alice and Church" ...

Sedna calls her own former lover a "thing".

Uh, Ardent, did you actually fail to see that Alice was serving the village?

She also called herself a "thing."

"We were designed to be strong. ... You don't create something like that without giving it a failsafe."

It's quite possible that Ardent was indeed aware that Alice was serving the village, but at that particular moment incorrectly narrowed his interpretation of "serving" to serving an individual, as was the case with Church.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: brasca on 28 May 2017, 22:22
"Things like Alice and Church" ...

Sedna calls her own former lover a "thing".

Uh, Ardent, did you actually fail to see that Alice was serving the village?

She also called herself a "thing."

"We were designed to be strong. ... You don't create something like that without giving it a failsafe."

It's quite possible that Ardent was indeed aware that Alice was serving the village, but at that particular moment incorrectly narrowed his interpretation of "serving" to serving an individual, as was the case with Church.

Service can be a subjective thing.  Church most definitely acts as a servant, but Alice has been known to threaten and rebuke those she serves.  We've never seen Church do that, but ultimately she does what she thinks is best for her people and in doing so serves them.  Perhaps this is a defect in her programming or maybe it evolved after the Blink.  She may have roamed the Earth for years looking for a superior officer like that last Dalek that didn't know what to do when it found out it was alone.   
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: BenRG on 28 May 2017, 23:50
"Things like Alice and Church" ...

Sedna calls her own former lover a "thing".

By extension, she also called herself a 'thing' too. With exceptions like Church, I suspect that the surviving super-soldiers are horrified by what they were made to be and by the fact that they were literally engineered to be slaves.

Uh, Ardent, did you actually fail to see that Alice was serving the village?

Ardent didn't previously know that Alice had to serve anyone. There were a thousand and one possible reasons for her to do what she was doing and, frankly, I doubt Ardent cared very much so long as she didn't kill Gavia or interfere with his vacation.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: Case on 29 May 2017, 00:53
Uh, Ardent, did you actually fail to see that Alice was serving the village?

Was that a serious question?

(To be scrupulously fair to Ardent, a casual observer could have gotten the impression that the villagers were serving Alice ...)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: cesium133 on 29 May 2017, 06:15
This thing about serving the village reminds me of one of the strings left over from the early plot: the villagers don't actually need Alice. They seemed to be doing fine without her. Especially considering she specifically gave them a device to notify her if they needed help. That device hasn't been mentioned at all since.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: Castlerook on 29 May 2017, 12:02
Guess I was partially right about why Church is serving Pate. He needs a commander.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: brasca on 29 May 2017, 20:56
This thing about serving the village reminds me of one of the strings left over from the early plot: the villagers don't actually need Alice. They seemed to be doing fine without her. Especially considering she specifically gave them a device to notify her if they needed help. That device hasn't been mentioned at all since.

We've seen her help out and provide advice so it appears the villagers need her especially if they are attacked by someone like Gavia or perhaps some brigands or raiders.  However, the village doesn't appear all that old.  If it existed for 5000 years there would be a lot more development so either Alice has purposely kept it small and manageable or she's gone through this process many times before which could explain a lot about her outlook.  She serves everyone and in an emergency leads, but because she is compelled to serve she never takes power on a permanent basis and rules as a queen, but that's just what we know in the present.  Perhaps she felt it was in the people's best interest for her to rule over them and reigned as a queen for some time until she found herself facing a rebellion from the very people she was supposed to serve.  This may have lead to some actions she still feels a great degree of guild over since Sedna mentioned she still can't forgive herself.  Perhaps her town is just the latest attempt to fulfill her compulsion after previous failures.   
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: sitnspin on 30 May 2017, 12:37
It's been heavily implied that she purposely keeps them at a low technology level to keep their civilisation sustainable. She stated as much when Ardent upgraded the water pump.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: derech on 30 May 2017, 13:26
Sedna counts both the others as like her yet.... more complex.   Sedna as a support class non-leader type more happy with more limited goals, with the tasks to which she was designed for more like.     Perhaps this leads to explaining why she harbored some anger towards Alice.   And might also explain why it's taken a while for her to self-repair (not instantly or within minutes) because she's not front-line.   Which would then seem to suggest that it could be extended to the other two that they would be faster to heal and from even more extensive injuries.   

As far as the differences between Alice and Church .    Alice seems more refined and thoughtful, with more latitude in choices of what to do and how to do it.  Less of a compulsion going along with less power and more intelligence.  Is that because she's a more advanced model, or a less advanced one?  Seems like more, could be less.     It would appear that whichever it is, she was in a level of more responsibility/power in whatever hierarchy there might have been.  Also aligned with a more stereotypical or traditional female gender-role for the form she has?   Seems pretty clear he's more so some  brutish testosterone type, which appears to also match stereotypical/traditional male gender-role fitting his form.    Beauty and beast,  thoughtful motherly type and meathead bodyguard.     Sophia and Demiurge ish even.

Alice certainly appeared to not want the village to outstrip its own ability to exist.    Guardian and judge.   More maternal, caring but open to discipline when needed.     Protecting them from themselves but mostly hands off except in matters they couldn't reasonably be expected to handle.   Them aware of it to the point they jokingly call her a witch (but not 100% a joke).   

Church as the bully.   Won over by a less physically-imposing bully in Pate?  Or even Pate as a person more matching the type of Church's victims.  It's interesting that Pate didn't say yes to Sedna suggesting (accusing) he was the big meanie back home, but simply didn't  disagree with it.   Given his reactions since space, it appears either way to have been more of an act.   

Well whatever we might say about the two regarding sex and gender in how they look and how that might lead to how they act, and their levels of power and intelligence.  She appears to have disciplined him in some way for some reason, and now he was looking for might makes right.   
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: Method of Madness on 30 May 2017, 17:05
Quote
We were designed
Welp, it's official. I was wrong.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: brasca on 31 May 2017, 06:50
It's been heavily implied that she purposely keeps them at a low technology level to keep their civilisation sustainable. She stated as much when Ardent upgraded the water pump.

Alice understands the perils of too much technological progress all at once on account of how depleted the Earth was after the catastrophic wars, but to keep her town at the level it's at in perpetuity would require among other things population control.  Eventually that town would grow to a size which would require improvements to its infrastructure and smaller satellite towns and villages surrounding it, but from what we can tell Alice's town is the only settlement for miles around.  How she does it if she even does remains unclear.  As I previously stated she may repeatedly try to help a community until things go wrong beyond her ability to fix and she wanders over to the next settlement to begin the process again or she resorts to measures of keeping her town just the way it is which leaves her feeling constantly guilty.

Another matter that's not entirely clear is why she and Church fought all those millennia ago.  There were 2 factions the AI and augmented humans.  According to Alice the AIs disappeared so unless she was providing misdirection she and Church either fought for the augmented faction or the AIs also produced immortal soldiers too with similar designs and compulsions.   
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: BenRG on 31 May 2017, 07:06
Another matter that's not entirely clear is why she and Church fought all those millennia ago.  There were 2 factions the AI and augmented humans.  According to Alice the AIs disappeared so unless she was providing misdirection she and Church either fought for the augmented faction or the AIs also produced immortal soldiers too with similar designs and compulsions.

I still think that Church was a runaway and Alice (along with many other super-soldiers) had been sent to stop him. Maybe Church's designated commander was killed after giving him a disturbingly broadly-interpretable order like: "Kill them! Kill them all!"
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: Castlerook on 31 May 2017, 08:04
Alice understands the perils of too much technological progress all at once on account of how depleted the Earth was after the catastrophic wars, but to keep her town at the level it's at in perpetuity would require among other things population control.  Eventually that town would grow to a size which would require improvements to its infrastructure and smaller satellite towns and villages surrounding it, but from what we can tell Alice's town is the only settlement for miles around.  How she does it if she even does remains unclear.  As I previously stated she may repeatedly try to help a community until things go wrong beyond her ability to fix and she wanders over to the next settlement to begin the process again or she resorts to measures of keeping her town just the way it is which leaves her feeling constantly guilty.
There's a lot of things we don't know about the world of Alice Grove, specifically the level of technology among the Humans on Earth. All we know for sure is that there are electric wind generators, hand operated water pumps and horse and carriage set-ups. Which means we can't infer whether medical technology exists or has that knowledge regressed to "leeches for what ails ya, which is everything". But that likely means we're looking at an M. Night Shyamalan film and I don't think we really want that.

It's possible that the village maintains zero population growth - "Old Man Gottfried passed away, so we'll let the Smith couple conceive a child". It's also possible that the village itself is self-sufficient to a degree where it doesn't need to trade with other villages, allowing to be spread out, but not so far that the villages can't send people, be it to get Alice for help or to send people to marry into another village.

At the end of the day, we really know next to nothing about the setting and what happens behind the scenes and we can't really infer what's going on.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - MAY 2017
Post by: A small perverse otter on 02 Jun 2017, 06:58
As far as the differences between Alice and Church .    Alice seems more refined and thoughtful, with more latitude in choices of what to do and how to do it.  Less of a compulsion going along with less power and more intelligence.  Is that because she's a more advanced model, or a less advanced one?  Seems like more, could be less.
I like this theory. If Alice were a very high-level commander, she'd have a far broader service mandate -- a general doesn't serve any one entity, but the polity as a whole. That couls also explain why Alice was burying Church back in the past: she was enforcing discipline and he served her at the time.

(Also, totally called it, up to the reasoning behind the compulsion.)