Jeph Jacques's comics discussion forums

Comic Discussion => ALICE GROVE => Topic started by: brasca on 30 Jun 2017, 01:49

Title: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: brasca on 30 Jun 2017, 01:49
Ardent may or may not have been lying when Alice questioned him, but I don't think he can deceive Laridia or the Praeses now.  If he's telling the truth then there must be either a rogue element among the Praeses or the elusive AIs will finally make their move. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: BenRG on 30 Jun 2017, 03:11
ARDENT: "Why shouldn't a complete stranger give me what I've always wanted? I mean... I deserve it, don't I? Why shouldn't I trust a complete stranger like that? I don't get why you're all looking at me as if I'm an idiot!"
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Thrudd on 30 Jun 2017, 12:31
There is one option that I just thought of and nobody has mentioned it - as far as I can recall but that is a very small subset.

What if Ardent is the root cause?
There are no other players in the game outside of those that were always there.
What factor that may have been overlooked but has been an ongoing theme in a lot of scifi anime and manga is humanities next quantum shift in evolution once they become spacers. aka Newtypes
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Tova on 30 Jun 2017, 17:01
That is possible.

The one as-yet unexplained factor is The Night Walker (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/114099419089/moooooooon).

So maybe this being will somehow be associated with the root cause.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: brasca on 01 Jul 2017, 00:25
There is one option that I just thought of and nobody has mentioned it - as far as I can recall but that is a very small subset.

What if Ardent is the root cause?
There are no other players in the game outside of those that were always there.
What factor that may have been overlooked but has been an ongoing theme in a lot of scifi anime and manga is humanities next quantum shift in evolution once they become spacers. aka Newtypes

Ardent was willing to let Alice kill him if it meant averting the apocalypse she envisioned.  Either he's so good at reading people that he knew she could never go through with it or he's a sleeper agent, and if he is then it would have to be a third party that implanted that as well as his upgrade ability. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: blt on 01 Jul 2017, 09:35
I just noticed that last strip Pate is confident that Church versus a giant space tree might "almost be a fair fight" (I assume in favour of Church).  But compare that to the most recent one and SpookySap considers all three supersoldiers combined and gives them a hard meh.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Neko_Ali on 01 Jul 2017, 16:52
That is because Pate was a moderately sized fish in a small pond up until now. And he had control over the largest shark around. He just hasn't realized yet that he's stepped into a much larger body of water where he's not even a minnow, and his shark is nothing compared to the megalodons out in the deep dark.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Castlerook on 01 Jul 2017, 16:56
I still think Pate's going to be turned into Pate by the end of this story.

But yeah, Pate is in for a lesson on humility, there's always a bigger fish.

Or Roy Scheider with a rifle and a sinking boat...
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: A Duck on 01 Jul 2017, 19:25
I'm convinced there's a third party behind all this, and I'm sure we're about to find out who. It would make narrative sense to be someone we know, but I can't think of anyone.

Except for that one guy who appeared at the very beggining looking for Alice. I'm onto you, Jack.

I still think Pate's going to be turned into Pate by the end of this story.
Don't you mean Paste?

Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: cesium133 on 01 Jul 2017, 19:36
Paté
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Castlerook on 01 Jul 2017, 20:10
Don't you mean Paste?

Nope, Cesium133 got it right.

Although I imagine you might find the idea of fois gras horrifying and hard to swallow.

 :claireface:

I'll see myself out.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: A Duck on 02 Jul 2017, 03:19
Don't you mean Paste?

Nope, Cesium133 got it right.

Although I imagine you might find the idea of fois gras horrifying and hard to swallow.

 :claireface:

I'll see myself out.

I don't need to "swallow" the idea of foie gras. It's a sad reality I internalized long ago and must liver with everyday  :psyduck:

I need sleep
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: retrosteve on 02 Jul 2017, 07:08
I just noticed that last strip Pate is confident that Church versus a giant space tree might "almost be a fair fight" (I assume in favour of Church).  But compare that to the most recent one and SpookySap considers all three supersoldiers combined and gives them a hard meh.

The giant space trees have had 5000 years to work up good defenses against the supersoldiers. And they've known about them all this time. The supersoldiers, up until Alice starting researching the Praesides, may not have known about them, and probably never really thought much about fighting them.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: bhtooefr on 02 Jul 2017, 08:31
I don't need to "swallow" the idea of foie gras. It's a sad reality I internalized long ago and must liver with everyday  :psyduck:

I need sleep
Fun fact: Ducks are cannibals.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: retrosteve on 02 Jul 2017, 08:35
Fun fact: Ducks are cannibals.

Cannibals with explosive corkscrew penises.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0EbkDNKN-E
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: A Duck on 02 Jul 2017, 11:04
Fun fact: Ducks are cannibals.

Cannibals with explosive corkscrew penises.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0EbkDNKN-E
:psyduck:
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: cesium133 on 02 Jul 2017, 12:18
 :venonat:
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: bhtooefr on 02 Jul 2017, 12:36
Why don't we just use the summary video? (NSFW, obviously.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1v_EcjeIkg
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Castlerook on 02 Jul 2017, 12:57
You guys need help and lots of it.

Preferably the professional kind.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: TinPenguin on 02 Jul 2017, 13:02
Okay, Laridia, you've lost me.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Castlerook on 02 Jul 2017, 13:13
Oh god, it turns out they're all plugged into a variant of the Tranquillity Lane program!

QUICK! Someone get Liam Neeson and activate the failsafe before Betty finds them!
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: BenRG on 02 Jul 2017, 13:15
New Comic Up!

O... kay, so what we're seeing here is:
(click to show/hide)

So, yeah; definitely a third party involved here!
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: LKR1009 on 02 Jul 2017, 13:36
The Praetrix  :clairedoge:
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: JimC on 02 Jul 2017, 13:54

O... kay, so what we're seeing here is:
(click to show/hide)

So, yeah; definitely a third party involved here!


Hmm, not sure. I think it may be more complicated than that.  I have to admit I'm not entirely sure what our author is on about here, but if we are talking about multiple realities that are equally real, and beings can be transferred between them,  then it seems to me this is a mechanism for the blink: one reality having been rendered uninhabitable the survivors were transferred to another.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: sitnspin on 02 Jul 2017, 13:57
I think it goes beyond just a computer program. I think they literally have multiple realities within the Praesides.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: pwhodges on 02 Jul 2017, 14:03
I'm guessing wildly that at some point Jeph watched the (little known - good luck finding a legal copy anywhere!) anime series Zegapain, in which people's consciousness gets moved between a true reality and a simulated one, and a group of people in the simulated reality are trying to save the true reality from the invaders who forced the retreat into simulation.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: brasca on 02 Jul 2017, 14:09
Ardent and Gavia believe that is what happened so my interpretation is that these two are clones and completely unaware of this.

Ardent may have had the desire to go to Earth so a mysterious third party or disgruntled praeses acting on their own sent an Ardent clone to fulfill this desire and created a Gavia doppleganger to pursue him.  I think that's why they are shocked.  This is like Bruce Willis finding out he was dead the whole time.   

Interestingly enough is that Pate knows enough about this to even ask. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: pwhodges on 02 Jul 2017, 14:14
So if there are multiple realities, Laridia's statement that Ardent's request is "impossible" presumably doesn't apply in all realities (given that we, at least, have no reason to disbelieve him).  So how did she decide which reality to refer to when making that statement?  Has she been materialised from one specific, maybe "primary", reality?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: BenRG on 02 Jul 2017, 14:24
What is 'impossible' is that Ardent's consciousness could have left his home environment and entered the 'outer' reality of the physical universe occupied by Alice and the others without the Praeses being aware of the process.

What seems to have happened is that Ardent and Gavia were somehow diverted out of their reality into the subjective 'real world' through some kind of 'backdoor' that wasn't monitored by the Praeses. This was interpreted by their consciousnesses as someone teleporting them to Earth although I suspect it was actually a lot more complex a process than that.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Case on 02 Jul 2017, 16:35
Methinks Laridia needs to brush up on her ontology: There's a difference between "simulations indistinguishable from reality" and "reality" - the latter is the one that doesn't disappear when the Admin pulls the plug ...
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: bhtooefr on 02 Jul 2017, 16:43
Unless her implication is that this is also a simulation.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Kugai on 02 Jul 2017, 17:16
If Morpheus shows up, I'm gonna really be worried.


Something definitely going on in the Praeses 'Perfect World'.

Revolution??
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Tova on 02 Jul 2017, 18:36
Listen Laridia, don’t try to out weird me, I get stranger things than you free with my breakfast cereal!

So, this casts the blink in a new light, doesn't it? Praeses intervention into their hosted realities?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: jheartney on 02 Jul 2017, 21:39
It's probably worthwhile to listen to what Laridia actually is saying, without bringing assumptions (so far as we can). For example, in the previous strip, Laridia talked about Cupressaceae bringing Ardent & Co. "into its network." I assumed this meant allowing them physically into the areas where people live. But apparently that's not what she meant: instead of physical habitats, the praeses are gateways to different realities. She'd told us this, but it was easy to ignore the words and assume something else.

BenRG supposes that we're talking about a matrix-style situation, with a computer-simulated reality operating inside a non-computer reality. But that's not what Laridia is describing. She specifically says that the reality of our characters is exactly the same as those hosted by the praeses. Also, she seemed to actively consider the idea of bringing the whole party into the hosted reality. Thes isn't really possible if the hosted reality is a matrix and the outer reality isn't. At best you could clone the external characters and run their copies in the matrix-reality. I guess you could imagine knocking out the "real" characters and connecting them to an avatar in the simulated reality, but I don't see any of the stuff you'd need for that, and in any case it contradicts Laridia's claim that both realities are of the same type.

Assuming we take Laridia seriously, then I see two possibilities:

1. That both the internal hosted realities as well as the external reality (Earth with giant tree-beings orbiting) are simulations. This would suggest the Blink consisted of all of Earth's population being recreated in a giant simulated reality, with some of the Earth parameters changed. If this were true, then the ruined Earth might still exist outside the simulations. Perhaps Ardent was transferred from praeses to simulated Earth by agents on the non-simulated Earth running a hack on the simulation systems. Further, his abilities are an augmentation to his program that the praeses can't deal with.

2. (More likely.) That when Laridia talks about the hosted realities being identical to the external reality, she's not kidding. Perhaps the hosted realities are in fact real in the same way both old and post-Blink Earth are real. (How this work technically I have no idea.) You could imagine a multiverse, with praeses mediating between universes.

Note that Laridia refers to Ardent's "discontinuity." We'd imagined that Ardent's magic touch was the result of nanomachines doing an on-the-fly rebuilding of tech. But what if that's not what was happening? What if Ardent's ability is to actually change reality itself? Rather than having nanomachines turn a toy into a bird, what if the bird was brought into existence through a reality shift? This would tie into the notion of the Blink, which was an apparent reality shift on a global scale. And it would be properly referred to as a "discontinuity." The praeses would be quite right to not allow it to operate inside their hosted realities.

If this second possibility is what's happening, then we have the question of where Ardent's new reality-shifting ability came from. Is it related to the Blink? (probably). It could be what warped Ardent to Earth, and allowed his sister to follow. And of course it'd be interesting to see if Alice could have really killed Ardent, if he's that powerful.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: JimC on 02 Jul 2017, 22:11
It would probably help if I could read various on line descriptions  of philosophical ontology ive found and understand what on earth they are on about, but it seems to me that in one strip the AG universe has transformed into something deeply weird and complicated - unless it turns out Laridia can't be taken at face value.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: BenRG on 03 Jul 2017, 00:26
BenRG supposes that we're talking about a matrix-style situation, with a computer-simulated reality operating inside a non-computer reality. But that's not what Laridia is describing. She specifically says that the reality of our characters is exactly the same as those hosted by the praeses. Also, she seemed to actively consider the idea of bringing the whole party into the hosted reality. Thes isn't really possible if the hosted reality is a matrix and the outer reality isn't. At best you could clone the external characters and run their copies in the matrix-reality. I guess you could imagine knocking out the "real" characters and connecting them to an avatar in the simulated reality, but I don't see any of the stuff you'd need for that, and in any case it contradicts Laridia's claim that both realities are of the same type.

Please refer to the Tron movies for examples of technology that can modify physical living creatures to software entities with the same characteristics within the limitations of the digital environment.

Just because a reality is software working on a city-sized biocomputer doesn't make the entities within it any less 'real'. It just means that their physical nature and the environment needed to keep them alive is different from ours. Also, remember that Laridia is at least going to be pushing out the 'party line'. The Praeses may have been programmed by their creators to believe (and tell their inmates) that their perfect paradise (and there are likely several different software enviornments, to cater to different world-views and expectations) is entirely as real as the physical world; maybe even better. So, Laridia as Cupressaceae's communications avatar, will reflect that. It is not necessarily be relaying fact, only what Cupressaceae believes to be true.

However, Ardent really wanted to know the world outside the Praeses' environments. Someone found that useful, as they did Gavia's need to take responsibility for and protect her brother.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: A Duck on 03 Jul 2017, 05:12
Considering the "Blink", I'm assuming the "outside world" in itself is already a simulation in the same way the praeses apparently are, that's probably what Laridia meant.

And it all runs inside Pintsize's head
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Castlerook on 03 Jul 2017, 05:26
Turns out the Blink was some final apocalyptic blast and the cast of Alive Grove are now in a version of Lost.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: A Duck on 03 Jul 2017, 05:41
Considering a simulated reality, the "Blink" could simply have been a boolean variable switching values.

Also, the dreams Ardent had, with him as a whale and Gavia as a bird, could be a link to their original realities, maybe.

Why don't we just use the summary video? (NSFW, obviously.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1v_EcjeIkg
(https://i.ytimg.com/vi/IBTL4lvaXA4/hqdefault.jpg)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: jheartney on 03 Jul 2017, 10:51
Wow. New comic. Completely undermines everything I was thinking. OK, whatever.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: BenRG on 03 Jul 2017, 11:48
I think that we're about to find out just how big a stick the Praeses are bringing to the party.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Stoutfellow on 03 Jul 2017, 12:43
"Mr. Church, I do believe you're off your leash." And what, pray, does Pate think Church should do? There is a new party present, of unknown capacities and motives; what on Earth (yeah, yeah) makes Pate think Church's brand of elemental violence is even useful at this moment? More than a bit, mm, rash, I'd say.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: hitmiccs on 03 Jul 2017, 12:52
Considering the "Blink", I'm assuming the "outside world" in itself is already a simulation in the same way the praeses apparently are, that's probably what Laridia meant.

And it all runs inside Pintsize's head
After the last two strips, I'm getting a similar impression.
What if the destruction of the environment, the surface of earth through the entire war, was so devastating (the strip, when Alice buries Church in Lava) that something somewhere flipped the switch for a global reality shift to let those who survived live a life without having to suffer on a devastated earth? Rebuilding everything, recultivating everything... The Praeses just paused life on earth as long as it would take the environment to heal itself again.

Maybe it's still devastated, maybe earth is what we've seen in Alice's village, ... maybe all of earth's life is suspended in an alternative reality, stuck in a giant computer on the moon. And the Nightwalker sent the signal for them, that "It's time to wake up", after those who were living "in the trees" (Praeses' Matrix) are finally able to leave them and go back to earth again.

I'm a little bit sad, that this is coming to an end so "soon" - I'm spoiled by QC :(
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: pwhodges on 03 Jul 2017, 12:58
So if Church is off the leash, and the only target he is interested in is Alice...

But if he tries that within the Praeses, I imagine we will see some overwhelming force prevent him ... or an alteration of the simulated reality which has an equivalent effect.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: WareWolf on 03 Jul 2017, 14:31
"Mr. Church, I do believe you're off your leash." And what, pray, does Pate think Church should do? There is a new party present, of unknown capacities and motives; what on Earth (yeah, yeah) makes Pate think Church's brand of elemental violence is even useful at this moment? More than a bit, mm, rash, I'd say.

I suspect the Praeses has the power to simply edit Mr. Church out of existence. No muss, no fuss.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Kugai on 03 Jul 2017, 14:35
Mr. Pate, I think you just made a big mistake.

Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Tova on 03 Jul 2017, 15:27
Seeing as we all love to speculate around here, I'm going to take a long shot.

Church, being off the hook, and being a fellow with simple needs, will move to finish Alice off.

Contrary to popular opinion, I am not all that sure that the Praeses will make any move whatsoever to intervene.

Gavia, however, will recover enough to have her own Matrix moment, and will intervene. And that's when we will all discover that she has become more powerful than we could possibly have imagined.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: brasca on 03 Jul 2017, 15:57
Never expected to get a new strip in the same week or just one day after the previous one.  Thanks Jeph!   

So if Church is off the leash, and the only target he is interested in is Alice...

But if he tries that within the Praeses, I imagine we will see some overwhelming force prevent him ... or an alteration of the simulated reality which has an equivalent effect.

It would make more sense to attack Gavia first since she's the one that has the capability to hold Pate hostage in a way Church is powerless to stop.  Once she's neutralized Alice would be at his mercy again.  Maybe it's an animation error, but I thought as long as Gavia's eyes were blue the energy knife was in place so it might still be there, but because her concentration is diminished it shrunk to the size of a razor.  As such she's still capable of killing Pate at any time.  However, I don't think the Praeses or Laridia will permit this.   I theorized before that the countermeasure against a super soldier might be sap and since this is a very large tree I can see Church immersed into a river of it until it hardens into amber.  It would be just like lava only since it's clear Church would at least be able to see the world around him pass by.  That might be a greater torture. 

While I can understand Gavia's existential crisis after all of her experiences she might be considered more interesting than the original which could make her more popular. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Sorflakne on 03 Jul 2017, 16:33
So I've been confused on something for months now.  Remember back when Gavia got her powers back and incinerated/popped the ship an they're all trying to grab onto each other and not fly off into space?  What was the deal with Church seeming to suddenly turn on Pate and get ready to flatten him before Alice came in and knocked him away, leading to their fistfight?  Why did he momentarily turn on him, and now why is he back to being loyal to Pate?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: FunkyTuba on 03 Jul 2017, 16:42
Then there's this:
[tweet]881910590993772544[/tweet]

*makes a bucket of popcorn*
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 03 Jul 2017, 16:44
If I were Laridia I'd have a lot of questions for Alice and Gavia. I would want them alive and conscious. I would object to Church trying to render them into any other state. I would have home court advantage.

I wonder if this is a Well of Souls universe (Jack Chalker) where all reality is a computer program.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: sitnspin on 03 Jul 2017, 16:58
So I've been confused on something for months now.  Remember back when Gavia got her powers back and incinerated/popped the ship an they're all trying to grab onto each other and not fly off into space?  What was the deal with Church seeming to suddenly turn on Pate and get ready to flatten him before Alice came in and knocked him away, leading to their fistfight?  Why did he momentarily turn on him, and now why is he back to being loyal to Pate?
He didn't turn on him, he was trying to get ahold of him to guard him.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: brasca on 03 Jul 2017, 16:58
So I've been confused on something for months now.  Remember back when Gavia got her powers back and incinerated/popped the ship an they're all trying to grab onto each other and not fly off into space?  What was the deal with Church seeming to suddenly turn on Pate and get ready to flatten him before Alice came in and knocked him away, leading to their fistfight?  Why did he momentarily turn on him, and now why is he back to being loyal to Pate?

Church wasn't turning on Pate.  He was protecting him from the flying debris and the the energy bolts fired by Gavia.  It's just like in a situation where the Secret Service might throw the President down on the ground if shots are fired.   
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: OldGoat on 03 Jul 2017, 17:48
Perhaps Elmer (I still think that's his given name) Church is about to realize he owes Alice.  She was dispatched with the War Hammer to dispatch him but, just as 5,000 years later she couldn't go through with destroying Ardent (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/127192611909/those-were-some-really-cheerful-images-i-had-to) when he wasn't presenting an immediate danger, she opted to imprison him instead.  (Recall that Gavia was bombarding the town when Alice pounded the snot out of her.)  That might be enough to send Elmer into a meltdown.

Jeph made a point of calling our attention to the War Hammer, so I'll not be surprised it we see it again, maybe quite soon.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: jwhouk on 03 Jul 2017, 19:01
Never expected to get a new strip in the same week or just one day after the previous one.  Thanks Jeph!   

What you didn't see was the comment below that he is "going to do these as fast as I can until we reach the end."

:(
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: DaiJB on 03 Jul 2017, 20:02
I have realized what it is about Pate that annoys me - he is so, so stupid.

I mean, here is Pate, who - just by sheerest chance - has gained access to an old world killing machine.
Suddenly, he's all "Fools! I will destroy you all!" - yet he is apparently utterly oblivious to the fact that there's a big, unknown Universe out there - and despite the new Unknowns that keep being thrown at him, he still hasn't exercised his wits enough to think "Whoa, wait a minute, maybe I'm out of my depth here..."
Pate proved that he knows next to nothing about the Praeses - ("magic space fairy"??) - yet he expects (without any real thought) to just unleash his thug and walk all over anyone in his way.

Stupidity. Grrrr. So annoying.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Castlerook on 03 Jul 2017, 20:09
Hence my belief he'll soon be changing his name to Pâté
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: BenRG on 03 Jul 2017, 23:30
I, personally, suspect that the Praeses will just be hands off until their interests are directly threatened. For example, they won't want Ardent or Gavia killed until they've answered the question of who is responsible for all of this. I also hope that Alice is the one to kill Church using a 'brain over brawn' approach.

It's quite possible that Jeph has been setting up Church's eventual destruction as a way to demonstrate the full terrible power of the hidden hand behind all these events but I think that would be a bit predictable as far as plot devices go.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Wildroses on 04 Jul 2017, 06:19
Well, a lot of early conversations when Alice meant the space kids make sense now. Like Ardent saying back at the beginning he asked a total geek to hack the console then next thing he knew he woke up on Earth makes more sense now. So does Alice saying: "But you can't fool a Praeses! Why did they let you come?" and Sedna thinking that shouldn't be possible. And so does the fact that Gavia thought they could go home by just asking a praeses out loud, and instantly knew something was wrong and they were trapped on earth when nothing happened. And so does their characters. The fact they were used to easily getting what they wanted and not used to problem solving always confused me.

I can't help wondering what Gavia and Ardent are going to decide when they have a chance to process this, which will be after Pate discovers Mr Church is not the all powerful superweapon he believes him to be in all situations. Will they go back into their simulation which is the only home they know or decide they can't bear the thought of being disembodied? I notice Ardent is only saying to Gavia you can still go back and not we.

Also, what is Pate's endgame now he knows that the space people leading idyllic lives in the orbital rat cage he was so mad about are actually blips in a simulation? I'm sure short term he just wants the upper hand again because he doesn't like not being in control, but now he knows they are simulation runners does this change his plan for using their powers for galaxy domination? Perhaps not, they do have the technological capability to create some pretty incredible bodies to transfer consciousnesses into. Ardent has and Gavia had some amazing powers when they first came to Earth.

Do we know what the consciousnesses that call themselves Gavia and Ardent are? Were they naturally created people once, or simulations of naturally created people, or did the Praeses create them from scratch?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: BenRG on 04 Jul 2017, 07:17
I suspect that Gavia and Ardent were MI (notice that I used 'Machine Intelligence', not 'Artificial Intelligence' - that matters) algorithms, created by meshing the algorithms of their 'father' and 'mother' and creating something new in a way that mimics how a child's genetics are created from their parents' genetics. Whilst they are code on an electronic media, they are still naturally-developed rather than the product of a deliberate and directed manufacturing process like Bubbles or Pintsize. This level of randomisation is what leads to personalities that the Praeses cannot predict or control beyond very limited levels.

I'm wondering if the Praeses were originally meant to be arks - designed to carry the intelligence of billions of humans to some new home upon which time they would have been re-embodied on the target world. When you think about it, digitising the crew and colonists makes a lot of sense. You still have a full active crew but you only need power to maintain the electronic environment and you can have as many unsuitable target systems as you like as the crew presumably would not age. However, the Praeses decided that they didn't want to go anywhere and just hung out in GEO instead. Maybe they thought that the throw-backs on Earth would die out eventually and they could reclaim the planet.

Then, maybe someone decided to kick them out of their holding pattern, one way or another.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: A Duck on 04 Jul 2017, 07:30
It looks like this might very well be the last Alice Grove monthly thread.

I'm sure Pate's transformation into Paté shall happen next, as he realizes Mr. Church is just a small fish in this pond.

I'm still convinced the "outer" reality is also a simulation, as Ardent's powers can be easily explained as rewriting code.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: OldGoat on 04 Jul 2017, 09:30
I'm even more convinced it's a coming of age story.  The three modified humans are pretty much static with little room for change in their personalities, while Jesper is now and ever shall be a weasel.  Ardent and Gavia, however, have all kinds of room to grow as they mature.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: OldGoat on 04 Jul 2017, 11:33
New comic up!  Damn, Sedna, I always knew you were more bad-ass than you let on!  Same arm Church crushed, too.  Nice irony.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Daniel Patrick Moynihan on 04 Jul 2017, 11:43
New comic... You know, Alice Grove turned into Uber so gradually I didn't even notice.

So this is all very metal and all, but if Sedna was considerably slower and weaker than Alice and Church was a blur to Alice, I don't think she'd even be able to reach Pate before Church was on her.  Maybe that'll give Gavia an opening though?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: sitnspin on 04 Jul 2017, 11:45
I think I just fell in love with Sedna.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: retrosteve on 04 Jul 2017, 11:51
Unless her implication is that this is also a simulation.

That is precisely what I took "ontologically identical" to mean!
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: OldGoat on 04 Jul 2017, 12:00
New comic... You know, Alice Grove turned into Uber so gradually I didn't even notice.

So this is all very metal and all, but if Sedna was considerably slower and weaker than Alice and Church was a blur to Alice, I don't think she'd even be able to reach Pate before Church was on her.  Maybe that'll give Gavia an opening though?

Or will Sedna attack Church directly?  Driving her bone knife into the base of his skull (I reckon she knows how to remove his helmet) will disrupt his functioning even if it doesn't kill him, and it'll buy Alice, Gavia, and even Ardent some time.  I wonder what would happen if Ardent picked up Sedna's arm?  (Sick pun intended.)  And then there's Laridia.  Will she put a stop to it, or stand by then take out the survivor?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: KevxD on 04 Jul 2017, 12:27
Sedna is now...

Armed and Dangerous
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Daniel Patrick Moynihan on 04 Jul 2017, 12:47
New comic... You know, Alice Grove turned into Uber so gradually I didn't even notice.

So this is all very metal and all, but if Sedna was considerably slower and weaker than Alice and Church was a blur to Alice, I don't think she'd even be able to reach Pate before Church was on her.  Maybe that'll give Gavia an opening though?

Or will Sedna attack Church directly?  Driving her bone knife into the base of his skull (I reckon she knows how to remove his helmet) will disrupt his functioning even if it doesn't kill him, and it'll buy Alice, Gavia, and even Ardent some time.  I wonder what would happen if Ardent picked up Sedna's arm?  (Sick pun intended.)  And then there's Laridia.  Will she put a stop to it, or stand by then take out the survivor?

Could be, I was assuming Sedna was going after Pate because going after Church directly would be futile.  Part of the problem with Church being so much faster than the others is that he could conceivably have killed Alice, Gavia and Ardent before Sedna even has her shiv ready, let alone cross the open space to threaten Church.  Alice was able to sucker punch Church when he was distracted in space, so maybe Sedna thinks she'll be able to do something similar, though I doubt armor that can stand up to orbital lasers, a war hammer and encasement in lava would get pierced by a bone shiv.  But who knows, maybe this is standard combat procedure for the superhumans and their bones are designed to break into super sharp shards. 

I'm hoping it's all moot and Laridia makes his head asplode.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 04 Jul 2017, 13:13
To make the rest of the super-soldiers's bodies work the way they do, the physical properties of their bones must be remarkable.

If it were an attack on Pate that Sedna was planning she would not have had to escalate that far. A punch like the one that disabled the carriage, into Pate's skull? Game over.

Time for Laridia to act, though. There's no need for a Prime Directive on your own territory. Most governments find it advisable to prevent others from breaching the peace.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: brasca on 04 Jul 2017, 13:59
Ouch!  I'm hoping Sedna didn't do that for nothing if Laridia has everything under control.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: BenRG on 04 Jul 2017, 14:08
So, am I the only one who thinks that Sedna has Wolverine-levels of bio-regeneration?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: sitnspin on 04 Jul 2017, 14:24
Pretty sure they all do. Alice is already recovering from having her skull crushed.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Tova on 04 Jul 2017, 14:46
That's been firmly established for some time, no?

I'm a bit surprised that she can attack with her arm ripped off ("it's just a flesh wound!") when a crushed shoulder incapacitated her previously, but I can roll with it.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Castlerook on 04 Jul 2017, 15:07
I get the feeling that the way Alice, Church and Sedna are engineered, they're pretty much made to keep active until they are completely destroyed. I mean like Terminator levels of chasing after someone.

And they probably have a much higher resistance to pain that normal people. A crushed shoulder for us would probably require some strong anaesthetics, but for Sedna its a case of "Just let me keep my arm from moving. I'll be fine in a while."
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: pwhodges on 04 Jul 2017, 15:18
I note that it's her right arm that she's torn off; so she's wielding it with her left hand.  I suppose it's reasonable to assume that part of the enhancement of the super-soldiers is to minimise or remove "handedness".
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: sitnspin on 04 Jul 2017, 15:21
As someone who has had severe shoulder injury, it's moving the arm that causes the pain. It's reasonable to me that removing the arm entirely would be easier to bear.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: A Duck on 04 Jul 2017, 15:52
Well, Sedna has been disarmed  :claireface:

Wait, but she's actually arming herself... by disarming herself. Weird.

My favorite thing about AG has been seeing Jeph doing stuff QC normally wouldn't let him. This is a rather extreme example.

Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 04 Jul 2017, 17:21
'Op in, you look 'armless.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Kugai on 04 Jul 2017, 17:27
And here we were thinking that Sedna was basicallv 'armless  without a gun :claireface:
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Wildroses on 04 Jul 2017, 17:34
I think Sedna knows she is not fast enough to stop Church before he reaches Alice, which I am sure is his first aim. As well as being the most dangerous there it is also personal.  But I do think Sedna is fast enough to encapacitate him with her newly armed self before he can do Alice permanent damage or death.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: DaiJB on 04 Jul 2017, 18:00
Jeph: "This is the most metal thing I have ever drawn"

Me: O.O "This is probably the most metal thing I have ever seen"
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: cesium133 on 04 Jul 2017, 18:10
Jeph: "This is the most metal thing I have ever drawn"

Me: O.O "This is probably the most metal thing I have ever seen"
This is the most metal thing I have ever seen:
(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/92/Gallium_crystals.jpg)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: brasca on 04 Jul 2017, 18:59
So, am I the only one who thinks that Sedna has Wolverine-levels of bio-regeneration?

I hope so.  This seems like something she'd do as a last resort because it might be impossible to grow back a limb.  She mentioned earlier about cutting off Church's head as if there was a way.  Maybe their bones are equally strong and she can use her forearm to cut through his neck.  Even if it can be done I don't know if there would be enough time since Church is faster than her.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Welu on 04 Jul 2017, 19:09
Holy shit!
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Sorflakne on 04 Jul 2017, 22:01
Well.  Now this comic is going places.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Castlerook on 04 Jul 2017, 22:10
Well.  Now this comic is going places.

Like A&E!
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: SubaruStephen on 04 Jul 2017, 22:34
I was absolutely NOT ready to see that..... :-o :-o
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Case on 05 Jul 2017, 02:43

Supersoldiers. How did humanity ever manage without them?  :mrgreen:

I have realized what it is about Pate that annoys me - he is so, so stupid.
...
Pate proved that he knows next to nothing about the Praeses - ("magic space fairy"??) - yet he expects (without any real thought) to just unleash his thug and walk all over anyone in his way.

Yeah ... right there with you - if his adversaries were average, un-augmented 21st-century humans, he'd be pâte before he'd finish his first Bond-villain speech. However, judging by the tactical genius he has been confronted with so far, I think he might be correct in his belief that he's practically Alexander III of Macedon by comparison.

P.S.: Yes, Alice appears to be the Napoleon to his Alexander not a complete dolt, either. Too bad she's so busy keeping the kids from breaking their necks tripping over the odd pebble sneaking up on them ...
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: TinPenguin on 05 Jul 2017, 05:04
Me, reading this strip: "Woah, Sedna, are you really tearing off your own arm to use as a club?"
Sedna: "No, I'm tearing off my own arm to use as a dagger, I'm not a barbarian.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: brasca on 05 Jul 2017, 09:35
Strip is up and Church is down and I fear Sedna is too.  It looks like they deflated so is their anatomy that of an extremely advanced Stretch Armstrong?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: BenRG on 05 Jul 2017, 09:42
The only way to destroy one immovable object is by hitting it with a sharp point of something else similarly immovable, as Sedna demonstrated here. I'm not sure whether she is dead (or even Church for that matter). Given how durable the super-soldiers seem to be, it is quite possible that both of them just need to lie down for a few months so they can regenerate.

No, on second Sedna definitely stabs Church in the head in panel 4. I'm assuming that the brain is the only really vulnerable spot on one of these beings if you can penetrate their outer layers. If so, he's down for the count.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: sitnspin on 05 Jul 2017, 10:22
At worst, she collapsed from bleeding out. Easy enough fix for someone like her. If Alice can repair a crushed skull, regenerating from blood loss should be no problem.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: OldGoat on 05 Jul 2017, 10:23
She mentioned earlier about cutting off Church's head as if there was a way.  Maybe their bones are equally strong and she can use her forearm to cut through his neck.

You called it, Brasca, right down to the slice.

Now, Laridia, we need you to generate some fresh garlic to stuff in Elmer's mouth and an oaken stake to drive through his heart.  (Didn't the Highlander series have the decapitation motif?)  If Pate is smirking, we'll know he has reason to believe Church can recover.

I really hope Sedna can regenerate.  She's become my favorite character. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: KevxD on 05 Jul 2017, 10:35
Pate's hand isn't looking quite as strong anymore
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: A Duck on 05 Jul 2017, 11:16
Turns out Sedna WAS fast enough to stop Church, although apparently at the cost of her own life.

Although she did heal from heavy wounds before, so I wouldn't be surprised if they were BOTH still alive, only incapacitated.

Next I think someone will deal with our Paté friend.



Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: hakko504 on 05 Jul 2017, 12:19
Turns out Sedna WAS fast enough to stop Church, although apparently at the cost of her own life.
I think that may be because he was so focussed on something else, most likely Alice, that Sedna was able to get to him. She did take him down from behind.
Although she did heal from heavy wounds before, so I wouldn't be surprised if they were BOTH still alive, only incapacitated.
Me neither, but I sincerely prefer both dead to the alternative. And the fact that Jeph is trying to end this story, I don't think Mr. Church will survive this encounter.
Next I think someone will deal with our Paté friend.
Oh yes, I hope so.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Castlerook on 05 Jul 2017, 13:48
Honestly, I'm a little bit disappointed that no one has commented on the fact that Sedna has made....a boning knife.

 :claireface:

I'll see myself out.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: WareWolf on 05 Jul 2017, 14:11
At first I thought "now wait just a goldurn minute here" (yes I do actually think like that). Church is so invulnerable that Alice originally had to bury him in lava to stop him, so Sedna just stabs him  a couple times and he falls over? Then it hit me: just as only a diamond can cut a diamond, perhaps only a jagged bit of super-soldier can cut another super-soldier. That is some SERIOUS material they're constructed out of.  If Alice had been willing to use a chunk of herself as a weapon, maybe she could have taken down Church earlier.

 I too hope Sedna survives, but that's not the way to bet. Perhaps her sacrifice will impress the Praeses.

Pretty sure Church is toast after that brain strike through the eye, unless they keep their brains elsewhere.

Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 05 Jul 2017, 14:16
Whatever the effect I am sure Sedna's intent was to kill.

So what keeps Pate alive after this? He's still needed for the plot.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: pwhodges on 05 Jul 2017, 15:09
No one has any need to kill Pate - he's lost his weapon and is now powerless.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: sitnspin on 05 Jul 2017, 15:11
Pffft, need.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: pwhodges on 05 Jul 2017, 15:16
He'll be more hurt by being ignored.   Boo-hoo.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Castlerook on 05 Jul 2017, 15:19
No one has any need to kill Pate - he's lost his weapon and is now powerless.

As can be inferred from Sitnspin's comment, at this stage its not so much need as more like a cathartic release for him being such a colossal douche with all the charm, likeability and personality of a diseased slug and that popping his head like an overripe pimple would be doing the universe a favour.

Really, just such an insightful comment Sitnspin, thank you for that.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: JimC on 05 Jul 2017, 15:39
No one has any need to kill Pate - he's lost his weapon and is now powerless.
Mmm, remember Pate was the only one Laridia didn't list as being potentially dangerous...
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: sitnspin on 05 Jul 2017, 15:49
Really, just such an insightful comment Sitnspin, thank you for that.

Always happy to please.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Celly on 05 Jul 2017, 15:55
Sedna's thinkyblob is intact and Church's isn't.  She has a better chance, depending on resilience to exsanguination.  Might not be a whole lot though.

Also, when he was sealed in magma, his armor was fully up.  The stabbyholes were in exposed flesh. Sorry, first stabbyhole was through armor.  Still penetrated, but the kill shot is the second.  Church is gone gone, Sedna still bleeding out which may or may not be kill.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Tova on 05 Jul 2017, 16:26
As can be inferred from Sitnspin's comment, at this stage its not so much need as more like a cathartic release for him being such a colossal douche with all the charm, likeability and personality of a diseased slug and that popping his head like an overripe pimple would be doing the universe a favour.

It's like you just described Renee.  :-P

I know Renee is unpopular, but surely comparing her to Pate is a bit much. She's not a psychopath.
edit: brain fart
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Celly on 05 Jul 2017, 16:28
Where is Laridia in all this?

Also, subscribing to the idea that the "real" world is just another simulation.  See also: "ontologically identical to the reality we currently inhabit"

But are they layered or parallel?  Embodiment is simple if the Praeses have admin access to the "outer" reality...  Are the Praeses manifestations/extensions of higher reality being(s), or have they "hacked" the outer reality from within to control it at a fundamental level?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: WareWolf on 05 Jul 2017, 17:05
He'll be more hurt by being ignored.   Boo-hoo.

He is not even a little fish in this sized pond. More like a bit of algae.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Method of Madness on 05 Jul 2017, 17:23
Wow. I...missed a lot in this past week or so. Just caught up on this thread. I wonder why Jeph is so ready for this to end.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Wildroses on 05 Jul 2017, 17:40
The only thing that disappointed me about this comic was we didn't get to see Pate's face as he realises he has lost all his power and leverage. I cannot wait for the next comic for this reason. Honestly he is so use to being in charge and powerful I can see him still acting like he has the upper hand and everyone should be afraid of him because he runs a little town back on earth.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: OldGoat on 05 Jul 2017, 17:49
Where is Laridia in all this?

The eight frames since Pate told Church he was "off his leash" represent only a few seconds in real time.  Laridia hasn't had time to respond.

While Jesper may not be the most obnoxious autocrat around, it's a cinch that he has plenty of enemies back home, and his life isn't worth a plugged nickle if he returns without Church.  If Elmer is dead or too damaged to be useful Pate will be begging Laridia for asylum, even if it means being discorporated and reduced to JESPER.EXE.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 05 Jul 2017, 18:27
He'll be more hurt by being ignored.   Boo-hoo.

Everyone there was a witness to Ellie's death, if memory serves. Gavia was threatened with torture. Alice was enslaved.

Ignoring Pate is not on their agenda.

Sparing his life would require an out-of-character surge of spiritual enlightenment.

He's an imminent corpse unless someone saves him.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: brasca on 05 Jul 2017, 18:29
At first I thought "now wait just a goldurn minute here" (yes I do actually think like that). Church is so invulnerable that Alice originally had to bury him in lava to stop him, so Sedna just stabs him  a couple times and he falls over? Then it hit me: just as only a diamond can cut a diamond, perhaps only a jagged bit of super-soldier can cut another super-soldier. That is some SERIOUS material they're constructed out of.  If Alice had been willing to use a chunk of herself as a weapon, maybe she could have taken down Church earlier.

 I too hope Sedna survives, but that's not the way to bet. Perhaps her sacrifice will impress the Praeses.

Pretty sure Church is toast after that brain strike through the eye, unless they keep their brains elsewhere.

That's why I fear the worst for Sedna.  If this was a possibility then why not do it sooner?  Sure the immortals have survived some seriously lethal damage, but perhaps losing a limb or piercing the brain is the Achilles Heel or silver bullet.  That could be why Alice didn't do this during the last fight because if she failed she'd die and no one could hope to stop Church.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Method of Madness on 05 Jul 2017, 18:31
Wow. I...missed a lot in this past week or so. Just caught up on this thread. I wonder why Jeph is so ready for this to end.

I think it's a pacing thing. Take the simulation bombshell, or Sedna killing Church. If these were drawn out as weekly comics, we as readers would suffer due to our habit of overanalysing things and forming expectations or interpretations. Daily comics let us experience the comics as they come, which is closer to how they would be read in print. Waiting for the pay-off of Sedna ripping her own arm out wouldn't be nearly as exciting if we had to wait until next week to see her do Church a murder. That's important in webcomic writing, where sections which would be fine in print can drag when you're waiting for updates.
No, I mean, I wonder why he's ending it at all.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Kugai on 05 Jul 2017, 18:33
HOLY SHIT!!!


That is all
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Castlerook on 05 Jul 2017, 18:38
No, I mean, I wonder why he's ending it at all.

If I remember correctly, back when Alice Grove started, Jeph said that it was a story he had rolling around his head for some time. It was always going to be a side project rather than something on the scale of QC, and its getting to the point where the story has been told and there's no reason to continue it.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Case on 05 Jul 2017, 18:42
He'll be more hurt by being ignored.   Boo-hoo.

Everyone there was a witness to Ellie's death, if memory serves. Gavia was threatened with torture. Alice was enslaved.

Ignoring Pate is not on their agenda.

Sparing his life would require an out-of-character surge of spiritual enlightenment.

He's an imminent corpse unless someone saves him.

TL;DR - He needs killin' ...
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Method of Madness on 05 Jul 2017, 18:43
there's no reason to continue it.
There are so many reasons! But alas, 'tis his story.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: jwhouk on 05 Jul 2017, 18:44
My problem is that I'm getting a real "rocks fall, everyone dies" feel for this ending.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Castlerook on 05 Jul 2017, 18:48
there's no reason to continue it.
There are so many reasons!

No, there aren't. The only reason one tells a story is to let it be known. And Jeph probably feels that he has told the story he wanted to tell. Why continue when its completed its sole purpose? A good story and a better storyteller knows when to end and this has been a very good story and Jeph has been an even better storyteller.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: brasca on 05 Jul 2017, 18:52
Where is Laridia in all this?

While Jesper may not be the most obnoxious autocrat around, it's a cinch that he has plenty of enemies back home, and his life isn't worth a plugged nickle if he returns without Church.  If Elmer is dead or too damaged to be useful Pate will be begging Laridia for asylum, even if it means being discorporated and reduced to JESPER.EXE.

Well it's good enough for Corpse Witch.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: OldGoat on 05 Jul 2017, 19:01
Sparing his life would require an out-of-character surge of spiritual enlightenment.
Enter Ardent.  He's the most dynamic character of the bunch and Jeph has him moving from foolish youth to wise young man.  If anyone advocates for clemency for either Pate or Church, it'll be him.

That's why I fear the worst for Sedna.  If this was a possibility then why not do it sooner?

This is the first time Church has dropped his guard.  Sedna's been watching and waiting (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/154586478449/sedna-maintains-a-positive-attitude) since he killed Ellie.  He let himself get distracted by his desire for revenge and Sedna struck.

Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Celly on 05 Jul 2017, 19:04
Where is Laridia in all this?

The eight frames since Pate told Church he was "off his leash" represent only a few seconds in real time.  Laridia hasn't had time to respond.

While Jesper may not be the most obnoxious autocrat around, it's a cinch that he has plenty of enemies back home, and his life isn't worth a plugged nickle if he returns without Church.  If Elmer is dead or too damaged to be useful Pate will be begging Laridia for asylum, even if it means being discorporated and reduced to JESPER.EXE.
Laridia is the embodiment of an AI that is running multiple universe simulations.  "A few seconds" is an eternity with that processing power.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: WareWolf on 05 Jul 2017, 19:05
At first I thought "now wait just a goldurn minute here" (yes I do actually think like that). Church is so invulnerable that Alice originally had to bury him in lava to stop him, so Sedna just stabs him  a couple times and he falls over? Then it hit me: just as only a diamond can cut a diamond, perhaps only a jagged bit of super-soldier can cut another super-soldier. That is some SERIOUS material they're constructed out of.  If Alice had been willing to use a chunk of herself as a weapon, maybe she could have taken down Church earlier.

 I too hope Sedna survives, but that's not the way to bet. Perhaps her sacrifice will impress the Praeses.

Pretty sure Church is toast after that brain strike through the eye, unless they keep their brains elsewhere.

That's why I fear the worst for Sedna.  If this was a possibility then why not do it sooner?  Sure the immortals have survived some seriously lethal damage, but perhaps losing a limb or piercing the brain is the Achilles Heel or silver bullet.  That could be why Alice didn't do this during the last fight because if she failed she'd die and no one could hope to stop Church.

Makes sense. This is Sedna taking a last desperate chance. A last extremity, even.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Celly on 05 Jul 2017, 19:07
Wow. I...missed a lot in this past week or so. Just caught up on this thread. I wonder why Jeph is so ready for this to end.

I think it's a pacing thing. Take the simulation bombshell, or Sedna killing Church. If these were drawn out as weekly comics, we as readers would suffer due to our habit of overanalysing things and forming expectations or interpretations. Daily comics let us experience the comics as they come, which is closer to how they would be read in print. Waiting for the pay-off of Sedna ripping her own arm out wouldn't be nearly as exciting if we had to wait until next week to see her do Church a murder. That's important in webcomic writing, where sections which would be fine in print can drag when you're waiting for updates.
No, I mean, I wonder why he's ending it at all.

I wish it would go on as well.  But I have a feeling that this was planned to the end before he even inked the first strip.  Read the early strips and you see him planting seeds for the bombshells being dropped here at the end.  I think this is part of the vision, it's going to form a complete story as intended.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: WareWolf on 05 Jul 2017, 19:13
Sparing his life would require an out-of-character surge of spiritual enlightenment.
Enter Ardent.  He's the most dynamic character of the bunch and Jeph has him moving from foolish youth to wise young man.  If anyone advocates for clemency for either Pate or Church, it'll be him.

That's why I fear the worst for Sedna.  If this was a possibility then why not do it sooner?

This is the first time Church has dropped his guard.  Sedna's been watching and waiting (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/154586478449/sedna-maintains-a-positive-attitude) since he killed Ellie.  He let himself get distracted by his desire for revenge and Sedna struck.

Suddenly Sedna's promise to Ardent "As soon as I figure out a way to put [Church] on a spike I'm gonna do it" takes on a horrifying new meaning.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: DaiJB on 05 Jul 2017, 20:14
Can't wait to see Pate's face... :D
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: mikmaxs on 05 Jul 2017, 21:08
Hmmm. :/
I'm kind of disappointed by this resolution, mostly because every part of it is so implausible that instead of feeling like "Oh, that's such a cool thing to do with the scenario presented!", I'm just thinking, "... What?"

Firstly, if Supersoldier Bones that were randomly broken into shards made a strong enough knife to punch through Supersoldier Armor, why wasn't Alice just armed with a bone knife when she fought him before the Blink? Don't bury him, stab him to death. (Or bury him, uncover the top of his head, THEN stab him to death.)
Second, we've seen that Church is MUCH faster than Alice (being able to cross several paces before Alice can move her arm two feet(, who in turn is - if not faster - at least stronger than Sedna. So either 1, why wasn't Church running at anywhere near top speed, or 2, how dod Sedna suddenly run faster than him?
Third, Laridia is clearly not scared of Church, even remotely: She views him as a minor potential nuisance. Based on this, it seems unlikely that a fight could break out at all.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: fayelovesbubbles on 05 Jul 2017, 21:09
Sedna...

I am heartbroken.  :cry:
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Sorflakne on 05 Jul 2017, 21:30
Was not expecting that...here I thought she was going to gut Pate.

Love the silhouette panels.

Quote
My problem is that I'm getting a real "rocks fall, everyone dies" feel for this ending.
We still haven't seen an inkling of what the laserblast to the moon was or what it did.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: A small perverse otter on 05 Jul 2017, 21:45
This is the first time Church has dropped his guard.  Sedna's been watching and waiting (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/154586478449/sedna-maintains-a-positive-attitude) since he killed Ellie.  He let himself get distracted by his desire for revenge and Sedna struck.
Also "Put on a spike" from that particular strip.  Evidently Sedna meant that a little more literally than it seemed.

But poor Alice. What is her reaction to Sedna's death going to be?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Castlerook on 05 Jul 2017, 21:46
Hmmm. :/
I'm kind of disappointed by this resolution, mostly because every part of it is so implausible that instead of feeling like "Oh, that's such a cool thing to do with the scenario presented!", I'm just thinking, "... What?"

Firstly, if Supersoldier Bones that were randomly broken into shards made a strong enough knife to punch through Supersoldier Armor, why wasn't Alice just armed with a bone knife when she fought him before the Blink? Don't bury him, stab him to death. (Or bury him, uncover the top of his head, THEN stab him to death.)
Second, we've seen that Church is MUCH faster than Alice (being able to cross several paces before Alice can move her arm two feet(, who in turn is - if not faster - at least stronger than Sedna. So either 1, why wasn't Church running at anywhere near top speed, or 2, how dod Sedna suddenly run faster than him?
Third, Laridia is clearly not scared of Church, even remotely: She views him as a minor potential nuisance. Based on this, it seems unlikely that a fight could break out at all.

I would say that if we were to crudely equate the super soldiers to something similar, then Church is a dreadnought, Alice is a cruiser and Sedna is a destroyer. Church is the powerhouse that needs to build up speed, Alice is the jack-of-all-trades, while Sedna is brings firepower beyond her comparative size. Essentially, The destroyer rammed the dreadnought and took it down.

As for Laridia? Easy. She's a modern day aircraft carrier compared to their WWI prowess. As in she's got the reach and damage potential the others can only dream of.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: A small perverse otter on 05 Jul 2017, 21:47
I wonder: was the blink the moment when the Praeces took over? Humankind had wiped itself out, and everything thereafter is a simulation intended to provide some form of life in a completely sterilized world?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: fayelovesbubbles on 05 Jul 2017, 21:51
This is the first time Church has dropped his guard.  Sedna's been watching and waiting (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/154586478449/sedna-maintains-a-positive-attitude) since he killed Ellie.  He let himself get distracted by his desire for revenge and Sedna struck.
Also "Put on a spike" from that particular strip.  Evidently Sedna meant that a little more literally than it seemed.

But poor Alice. What is her reaction to Sedna's death going to be?

That's part of what is just breaking my heart right now. Alice and Sedna go way back, knew each other for thousands of years, and now Sedna is just gone. Alice has lived so long and seen people she cared for pass away, but Sedna was still with her.

I'm sorry, I am probably the only one losing it over this but I am totally heartbroken, I didn't see this coming at all.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: fayelovesbubbles on 05 Jul 2017, 21:53
I wanted them all to be together and safe in the end, and clearly that just isn't going to happen.  :-(

I know that isn't realistic, but...sigh.

And what is it going to do to Gavia to know that taking the knife out of Pate's heart caused this to happen...
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: OldGoat on 05 Jul 2017, 22:08
Second, we've seen that Church is MUCH faster than Alice (being able to cross several paces before Alice can move her arm two feet(, who in turn is - if not faster - at least stronger than Sedna. So either 1, why wasn't Church running at anywhere near top speed, or 2, how dod Sedna suddenly run faster than him?

Both Pate and Church were anticipating an attack when Alice moved to kill Pate (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/153991037889/alice-is-fast-but-mr-church-is-faster) and were ready for her.  If Church's attention had been on Sedna, she probably would not have gotten to him in one piece - make that two pieces.  But, he was focused on (presumably) Alice and probably thinking up a 5,000 year torment to inflict upon her and didn't remember/bother to check his six.  (Note the contrast between Church's normal flat affect poker face versus his shark smile whenever he's attacking Alice.)  For Sedna it was now-or-never - she saw her chance to kill the bastard and went for it.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: mikmaxs on 05 Jul 2017, 22:49
Second, we've seen that Church is MUCH faster than Alice (being able to cross several paces before Alice can move her arm two feet(, who in turn is - if not faster - at least stronger than Sedna. So either 1, why wasn't Church running at anywhere near top speed, or 2, how dod Sedna suddenly run faster than him?

Both Pate and Church were anticipating an attack when Alice moved to kill Pate (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/153991037889/alice-is-fast-but-mr-church-is-faster) and were ready for her.  If Church's attention had been on Sedna, she probably would not have gotten to him in one piece - make that two pieces.  But, he was focused on (presumably) Alice and probably thinking up a 5,000 year torment to inflict upon her and didn't remember/bother to check his six.  (Note the contrast between Church's normal flat affect poker face versus his shark smile whenever he's attacking Alice.)  For Sedna it was now-or-never - she saw her chance to kill the bastard and went for it.
Take a closer look at that comic. It's hard to tell exactly the real distances, but based off of the character's scale relative to one another, Alice is a couple of paces - five or six feet- at most behind Pate, and Church is WELL behind either of them, at least ten feet behind Alice.
In the time it takes Alice to leap forward five feet at top speed, Church doesn't just cross all the way over, and grab Alice's arm, he does it like it's nothing. He blurs, and suddenly his hand is gripping hers with enough strength to stop all of her forward momentum, without having to exert himself in the slightest - He's not leaning into the grab, or pushing her, he's just standing there without any leverage and he's still able to stop her cold.

Given this, Church is at least three times faster than Alice, and it is implied to be much more.

Meanwhile, when Church dives after Alice, Sedna has time to - While standing in one spot a couple of paces behind Church - Rip off her own arm, break it into two pieces with her mouth, and then chase down Church, when Church is sprinting forward at top speed in order to (presumably) finish off Alice.

I'm not saying that Sedna couldn't have snuck up behind him and/or taken him by surprise while he pounded Alice in the face over and over, I'm saying that, given the information we have learned from the comic, she couldn't possibly have chased him down. (Also: It was apparently a very loud crack when she broke her arm in half, which would presumably be something worth checking out, even to him.)


I would say that if we were to crudely equate the super soldiers to something similar, then Church is a dreadnought, Alice is a cruiser and Sedna is a destroyer. Church is the powerhouse that needs to build up speed, Alice is the jack-of-all-trades, while Sedna is brings firepower beyond her comparative size. Essentially, The destroyer rammed the dreadnought and took it down.

As for Laridia? Easy. She's a modern day aircraft carrier compared to their WWI prowess. As in she's got the reach and damage potential the others can only dream of.
That doesn't really solve much, though. My point about Laridia was easily the weakest, so I could buy that she just didn't react quickly enough before the melee went down, but we've clearly seen that these characters are effectively indestructible, with Church being completely unphased by literally everything else up to this point. Alice uses a weapon that we can presume is specifically designed for her to use against other super-soldiers, and then hits him with an orbital space cannon exterminatus beam laser, and all it does is trap him Rita Repulsa style. A splintery bone should not be better at cutting through armor than an actual weapon.
And even if Sedna is faster than Alice, there's no reason for her to be THAT MUCH faster, and we've clearly seen that Church does not need to build up speed - He catches Alice without breaking a sweat, literally blurring through the air. According to the information given by Sedna, she's a support grunt, while Alice and Church are much more powerful. Sedna is not even a soldier, or at least not one that was designed to see front-line combat.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: brasca on 05 Jul 2017, 22:56
Hmmm. :/
I'm kind of disappointed by this resolution, mostly because every part of it is so implausible that instead of feeling like "Oh, that's such a cool thing to do with the scenario presented!", I'm just thinking, "... What?"

Firstly, if Supersoldier Bones that were randomly broken into shards made a strong enough knife to punch through Supersoldier Armor, why wasn't Alice just armed with a bone knife when she fought him before the Blink? Don't bury him, stab him to death. (Or bury him, uncover the top of his head, THEN stab him to death.)
Second, we've seen that Church is MUCH faster than Alice (being able to cross several paces before Alice can move her arm two feet(, who in turn is - if not faster - at least stronger than Sedna. So either 1, why wasn't Church running at anywhere near top speed, or 2, how dod Sedna suddenly run faster than him?
Third, Laridia is clearly not scared of Church, even remotely: She views him as a minor potential nuisance. Based on this, it seems unlikely that a fight could break out at all.

When Alice fought Church 5000 years ago it was probably before the Blink and her superiors might've ordered her to leave him buried in magma so they could reuse him later.  After the Blink there was no one that knew he was there except Alice who I doubt wanted to go to the trouble to kill him.  As for why he didn't move at top speed I believe Gavia was the target and there was no need to move so quickly.  She was the only one who could put Pate in check in such a way that Church could do nothing.  The rest could be killed at his leisure.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: mikmaxs on 05 Jul 2017, 23:01
Hmmm. :/
I'm kind of disappointed by this resolution, mostly because every part of it is so implausible that instead of feeling like "Oh, that's such a cool thing to do with the scenario presented!", I'm just thinking, "... What?"

Firstly, if Supersoldier Bones that were randomly broken into shards made a strong enough knife to punch through Supersoldier Armor, why wasn't Alice just armed with a bone knife when she fought him before the Blink? Don't bury him, stab him to death. (Or bury him, uncover the top of his head, THEN stab him to death.)
Second, we've seen that Church is MUCH faster than Alice (being able to cross several paces before Alice can move her arm two feet(, who in turn is - if not faster - at least stronger than Sedna. So either 1, why wasn't Church running at anywhere near top speed, or 2, how dod Sedna suddenly run faster than him?
Third, Laridia is clearly not scared of Church, even remotely: She views him as a minor potential nuisance. Based on this, it seems unlikely that a fight could break out at all.

When Alice fought Church 5000 years ago it was probably before the Blink and her superiors might've ordered her to leave him buried in magma so they could reuse him later.  After the Blink there was no one that knew he was there except Alice who I doubt wanted to go to the trouble to kill him.  As for why he didn't move at top speed I believe Gavia was the target and there was no need to move so quickly.  She was the only one who could put Pate in check in such a way that Church could do nothing.  The rest could be killed at his leisure.
HE GOT HIT WITH A SPACE LASER. That's not 'Let's leave him alive but incapacitated', that's 'We are hitting him with literally the most powerful weapon we have in our arsenal.'

Also: There's no frames of reference to be certain of this, but every single panel that shoes Church moving implies that he's rocketing forward at top speed, not taking his leisurely time. Keep in mind that he has to kill Gavia before she can get her nanobots inside Pate again - He'd be wanting to get that done immediately, before anything could slow him down. (It apparently takes no time to use the Nanobots, so he had until gavia saw him moving. That's a tiny window of time, and he seemed eager to kill.)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 06 Jul 2017, 00:32
What kind of kamikaze mode might the super-soldiers have?

Alice has some internal power source that can deliver enough energy to break large amounts of reinforced concrete, in a fraction of a second. Can it be shorted out?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: mikmaxs on 06 Jul 2017, 03:47
Two things:

1) I think that the Sedna arm rip comic showed something which in all likelihood took less than a second of actual time.

2) Nobody seems to have brought this up, but I think Sedna probably went full throttle after Church, and that exertion may have burnt her out. Otherwise, I think losing an arm would be nothing more than a flesh wound. She's not trying to conserve herself at this point, and I think that Church's general lack of restraint is a big part of the difference between him and Alice.
1: Well sure, but Church has been seen to pass fifteen to twenty feet of space in an eyeblink without effort.
2: If the super soldiers have some kind of 'Overclocking mode' that allows them to increase their capabilities somehow, that's really something that the author should explain before the climax of his story.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Celly on 06 Jul 2017, 05:22
Or Sedna is fast but weak.  Could be due to the support role she was designed for that they would prioritize allowing her to escape from bigger threats.  Dump all stat points in speed, possibly making her faster than Church.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: brasca on 06 Jul 2017, 06:31
Hmmm. :/
I'm kind of disappointed by this resolution, mostly because every part of it is so implausible that instead of feeling like "Oh, that's such a cool thing to do with the scenario presented!", I'm just thinking, "... What?"

Firstly, if Supersoldier Bones that were randomly broken into shards made a strong enough knife to punch through Supersoldier Armor, why wasn't Alice just armed with a bone knife when she fought him before the Blink? Don't bury him, stab him to death. (Or bury him, uncover the top of his head, THEN stab him to death.)
Second, we've seen that Church is MUCH faster than Alice (being able to cross several paces before Alice can move her arm two feet(, who in turn is - if not faster - at least stronger than Sedna. So either 1, why wasn't Church running at anywhere near top speed, or 2, how dod Sedna suddenly run faster than him?
Third, Laridia is clearly not scared of Church, even remotely: She views him as a minor potential nuisance. Based on this, it seems unlikely that a fight could break out at all.

When Alice fought Church 5000 years ago it was probably before the Blink and her superiors might've ordered her to leave him buried in magma so they could reuse him later.  After the Blink there was no one that knew he was there except Alice who I doubt wanted to go to the trouble to kill him.  As for why he didn't move at top speed I believe Gavia was the target and there was no need to move so quickly.  She was the only one who could put Pate in check in such a way that Church could do nothing.  The rest could be killed at his leisure.
HE GOT HIT WITH A SPACE LASER. That's not 'Let's leave him alive but incapacitated', that's 'We are hitting him with literally the most powerful weapon we have in our arsenal.'

And if her superiors wanted Church dead they would've given her a knife made out one of her comrade's bones.  They didn't which is why I theorize that like a lot of military organizations they wanted to capture a powerful weapon rather than destroy it. 

 
Also: There's no frames of reference to be certain of this, but every single panel that shoes Church moving implies that he's rocketing forward at top speed, not taking his leisurely time. Keep in mind that he has to kill Gavia before she can get her nanobots inside Pate again - He'd be wanting to get that done immediately, before anything could slow him down. (It apparently takes no time to use the Nanobots, so he had until gavia saw him moving. That's a tiny window of time, and he seemed eager to kill.)

I'll admit that I'm not entirely sure the position of everybody, but consider their location.  It's like a big tube or root.  Now if Church ran at Gavia at full speed he would squash her in a nano second, however, at such high speeds he would go up the wall over the ceiling and down the other like a motorcycle on one of those loops.  And by doing so there is the possibility that he would smash right into Pate at full speed killing his master in the process.  Because of their location I think he chose to attack at a speed that was faster than anything Gavia could avoid, but dangerous to the one person he's supposed to protect. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Daniel Patrick Moynihan on 06 Jul 2017, 07:18
I was trying to fanwank this resolution into coherence in my head before I decided to fall back on Hodgson's Law (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MST3KMantra).  Then I re-entered the wank zone and figured if the current reality is also a sim, maybe whoever is pulling the strings wanted Church's cut and Sedna was a handy and humerus option to do the cutting.  The fact that she got a very satisfying revenge leads me to fear a sadder turn in the next few days for the survivors. 

Baseless pondering:  I wonder if Ardent and Gavia are going to have to make a decision like at the end of Mass Effect 3 (and countless other things I'm sure, but I know Jeph is a giant ME fan) where they can direct the future of the simulations with their discontinuity.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: derech on 06 Jul 2017, 08:33
Whatever else, and whatever else  might occur, it could only be an assumption Pate  isn't needed for anything or that he doesn't have something up his sleeve.   

As far as that and more goes, Gavia has probably lost power and anger, Ardent is not too proactive or emotional to begin with.  Either way, seems Gavia and Ardent might kind of be out of commission while trying to think themselves out of the corner of the box.   Alice is rather not feeling well.     Sedna is if not dead is very used up for at least a long while, and it would appear Church has been firmly dispatched.   Laridia isn't really involved in this directly, and is a sort of ad hoc temporary interface system anyway.    The only one who is still largely untouched is the only actual human (probably maybe) but what can Pate do but be scared of his ex-hostages.    Maybe nothing else.  Or perhaps he thinks he can still get his answers without forcing others to do things and they'll do nothing to him.

What will Alice perhaps do to Pate, then.  Or will she just wait for Laridia (Ardent, Gavia) to do something or say something, or go to check on or help Sedna, or to make sure about Church.   Either way,  Pate seems no rush if he's no harm or just some revenge target.   Alice might only think of him as a joke who at one point happened to have a Church.  Or might think that he threatened her and hers, and now must be removed.   Sure, it's not impossible that  Ardent or Gavia will do something, or even Pate to them, or that something involving Laridia or the trees might happen, Pate involved or not.       
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: A small perverse otter on 06 Jul 2017, 08:34
Sedna was a handy and humerus option to do the cutting. 
Please tell me that was a brilliant pun on 'humorous".  Please tell me that...
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: brasca on 06 Jul 2017, 09:03
Or Sedna is fast but weak.  Could be due to the support role she was designed for that they would prioritize allowing her to escape from bigger threats.  Dump all stat points in speed, possibly making her faster than Church.

Remembering back to Alice and Sedna's fight Ardent remarked that she was fast, but Gavia countered that Alice was faster.  And seeing as how Church stopped her from ramming her hand through the back of Pate's head it  would seem that he is as fast as he is strong. 

And what is it going to do to Gavia to know that taking the knife out of Pate's heart caused this to happen...

If the existential crisis wasn't bad enough this could really cause her to snap.  She was shaken at the sight of Ellie's corpse and that was someone she just met and didn't care for much.  At the very least I got a mentor vibe between Gavia and Sedna.  Like X-Men First Class she'll have Pate exactly where Magneto had Sebastian Shaw and anything Ardent says will be ignored like Xavier's.   
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Verteiron on 06 Jul 2017, 09:35
The best part about this is that it probably all happened in bullet-time, so from the point of view of everyone else (other than Alice, maybe), two people just instantly exploded in fountains of blood and collapsed. It's gonna look like a Shrike attack.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: OldGoat on 06 Jul 2017, 09:46
Remembering back to Alice and Sedna's fight Ardent remarked that she was fast, but Gavia countered that Alice was faster.  And seeing as how Church stopped her from ramming her hand through the back of Pate's head it would seem that he is as fast as he is strong. 

Notice Jeph's artwork in that scene (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/153991037889/alice-is-fast-but-mr-church-is-faster).  It suggests something other than conventional movement, like teleportation or time-warp or whatever.  And, again, Church is in total dead-pan mode as opposed to the attacking shark when Sedna hit him. 

At any rate, "How could _____ have _____ when s/he's not as _____ as _____?" is irrelevant.  That's how Jeph  wrote and drew it so that's how it happened in Alice's grove.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: brasca on 06 Jul 2017, 10:35
Strip is up!   Alice seems more amused by the situation so maybe there's hope for Sedna.  Not much for Pate and I wonder who he's referring to. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Daniel Patrick Moynihan on 06 Jul 2017, 10:36
Sedna was a handy and humerus option to do the cutting. 
Please tell me that was a brilliant pun on 'humorous".  Please tell me that...

I'm far too scapulas to come within a 10 foot radius of a pun that foul. 

Ulna.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: A Duck on 06 Jul 2017, 10:37
Comic!

I'm betting Alice's (and Sedna's and Church's) eyes are like Kurapika from HunterXHunter's eyes (https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/6c/2a/dd/6c2add0e95e5d8b44c7f2d6b8fb2b2eb.jpg):

They're always red, but they have some sort of contact lenses hiding that. When enraged, said contacts "fail" in some capacity and the real color is visible.

Church probably destroyed some sort of contact lens and what we're seeing now is Alice's real eye.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Castlerook on 06 Jul 2017, 10:39
Are all Earthlings that violent?

Well, considering we've had quite a lot of practice for many thousands of years and keep inventing news ways to enact that tendency...yes, yes we are.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: OldGoat on 06 Jul 2017, 10:44
And Alice is referring to Church in the present tense.  Tell the coroner to disregard.

Edit - Whoa!  Dig the vertical pupil!  Lizard eyes and powers of regeneration - do the augmented humans have reptile DNA?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: BenRG on 06 Jul 2017, 11:12
What are they, Pate? I suspect that Alice has revealed the secret of their powers: The ability to totally control their fundamental particles with conscious thought. Invulnerable, unstoppable and moving at near-infinite velocity? It's all about observing yourself to have a certain quantum value.

As for the eye? Maybe she's regenerating by way of fast evolution - From a collection of photosensitive cells to a human eye by way of all its precursors, including the reptilian eye.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: OldGoat on 06 Jul 2017, 11:15
What are they, Pate? I suspect that Alice has revealed the secret of their powers: The ability to totally control their fundamental particles with conscious thought. Invulnerable, unstoppable and moving at near-infinite velocity? It's all about observing yourself to have a certain quantum value.
Given the beads of sweat on Jesper's face, he's thinking, "She's a lizard and I'm a BUG!!"
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: derech on 06 Jul 2017, 11:35
Pate is looking up?   It would seem he'd already know about Church, and Alice and Senda, being like that, and violence and speed, given that he knows-knew Church outclassed them and things like doesn't-didn't sleep.   And really, all three were moving around in space with no air source or heat/cold protection.  He's not too surprised about Sedna and Church either.  So why be surprised about Alice?    But Laridia not being concerned is almost like how Pate isn't scared apparently, how neither is particularly upset about Church or Sedna.    Maybe it's Alice's reaction, or Laridia's, or something new has shown up.  It's rather perplexing all in all at this point who or why Pate is asking about what.      Alice not caring is not that much different than Church doing what he did-does.    OTOH maybe Pate is simply perplexed Alice doesn't appear  happy about Church or sad about Sedna or relieved about the situation or angry at Pate or surprised about Laridia.   Like she's given up, or never cared.

All three can move fast in some alternate reality sort of physics way, not that Alice has been all that clear, perhaps she lacks some of it.   Where Church simply outclasses the other two combined, usually, in speed (or an added ability to also kind of teleport like that no sleep thing) and in strength, when he's paying attention at least.   Still nothing says that Senda isn't faster, but doesn't have that teleport thing going on too.   Maybe too weak to be of much use normally, without both the element of surprise and a weapon to fight fire with fire.    Past if not present tense. 

As to our ancient human-likes.   They're not human with these changes and additions they have are they, almost a new life form based upon humans, but obviously not entirely natural or purely organic.  Not with these powers to do decidedly non-human things, like moving in warp or ripping off and tearing apart your own arm or not sleeping, whatever each has or is able to get.  Overall they are adjusted by DNA manipulation, breeding, cloning; genetic bespoking, whatever.  During each individual's "construction" also apparently cybernetic augmentation, nanobot cells, bionics.  Super-strong, nigh-invincible, extremely long-lived/effectively immortal, self-regenerating,  not requiring oxygen or suitable temperatures.   Something that lives 250,000 years (or what have you), is genetically tailor-made to destroy, self-repairing supersteelish instead of bones, and with artificial fiber muscles, can survive at least near-orbit space.....  Humaniform somethings.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Sorflakne on 06 Jul 2017, 11:52
Are all Earthlings that violent?

Well, considering we've had quite a lot of practice for many thousands of years and keep inventing news ways to enact that tendency...yes, yes we are.
It's probably why the aliens haven't invaded yet.  Even if they vastly out-tech us, they know that taking our planet is going to be a massive slog and resource drain.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Verteiron on 06 Jul 2017, 12:01
As to our ancient human-likes.   They're not human with these changes and additions they have are they, almost a new life form based upon humans, but obviously not entirely natural or purely organic.  Not with these powers to do decidedly non-human things, like moving in warp or ripping off and tearing apart your own arm or not sleeping, whatever each has or is able to get.  Overall they are adjusted by DNA manipulation, breeding, cloning; genetic bespoking, whatever.  During each individual's "construction" also apparently cybernetic augmentation, nanobot cells, bionics.  Super-strong, nigh-invincible, extremely long-lived/effectively immortal, self-regenerating,  not requiring oxygen or suitable temperatures.   Something that lives 250,000 years (or what have you), is genetically tailor-made to destroy, self-repairing supersteelish instead of bones, and with artificial fiber muscles, can survive at least near-orbit space.....  Humaniform somethings.

Post-humans.
Also: Alice, sweetie, you've got uh... something in your uh... eye, there. You might wanna get that looked at. Or something?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: OldGoat on 06 Jul 2017, 12:32
Alice, sweetie, you've got uh... something in your uh... eye, there. You might wanna get that looked at. Or something?

The hungry gleam?  Jesper sees it.   :lol:
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: sitnspin on 06 Jul 2017, 13:12
Quote from: Sorflakne
It's probably why the aliens haven't invaded yet.  Even if they vastly out-tech us, they know that taking our planet is going to be a massive slog and resource drain.
Invasions in general are a huge slog and rarely worth the effort. If aliens want access to our rapidly depleting resources, there are much easier and efficient ways to get them than invasion.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Kugai on 06 Jul 2017, 15:57
I think Pate is not long for this world at this point.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: fayelovesbubbles on 06 Jul 2017, 16:05
I'm kind of hoping Sedna gets up in a second and groans "ohhhhh...man. that was intense."
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: GhostlyJorg on 06 Jul 2017, 16:10
Alice, sweetie, you've got uh... something in your uh... eye, there. You might wanna get that looked at. Or something?

It's the same thing that happened to Church here: http://www.alicegrove.com/post/152175316869/bravery
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 06 Jul 2017, 17:33
I have a dim hope that "What are you?" is going to lead to exposition.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Castlerook on 06 Jul 2017, 17:45
"What are you?"

(click to show/hide)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Tova on 07 Jul 2017, 02:03
I remember the days when I used to check the comic once in a handful of weeks to catch up, rather than every couple of hours.  :psyduck:
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: zmeiat_joro on 07 Jul 2017, 03:13
I'm starting to get a Glasshouse vibe out of the recent developments.

EDIT: and maybe praeses ≈ oankali?

Also, rereading old strips, Ardent is dreaming of a something that looks like a whale in a pink sky (gas giant? John Varley?)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: mikmaxs on 07 Jul 2017, 04:34
I really don't understand what Alice is saying here.
It's funny that... Sedna figured out... That they could kill Church by stabbing him in the throat with a weapon while his guard was down?
Like, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that the best way to kill people usually? Alice has clearly used weapons on Church before.
Or am I misunderstanding what she means by 'Force multiplier'? Is there a Jedi doing math just off-screen?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: sitnspin on 07 Jul 2017, 04:48

Quote
Force multiplication, in military science and warfare, refers to an attribute or a combination of attributes that dramatically increases (hence "multiplies") the effectiveness of an item or group
Sedna's inherent strength combined with the inherent structural integrity of her bones was more powerful than either factors we're separately. Alice is impressed Sedna thought about that before she did.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: mikmaxs on 07 Jul 2017, 05:11

Quote
Force multiplication, in military science and warfare, refers to an attribute or a combination of attributes that dramatically increases (hence "multiplies") the effectiveness of an item or group
Sedna's inherent strength combined with the inherent structural integrity of her bones was more powerful than either factors we're separately. Alice is impressed Sedna thought about that before she did.
But... That's still incredibly obvious. If that really is all that 'Force multiplier' means in this context, then Sedna's idea amounted to 'Use a weapon', which should not have been a surprise to Alice, because we have seen Alice use a weapon on Church pre-Blink.
(Also: It's worth pointing out that Sedna was strong enough to snap one of her bones in half while holding it with one hand and her teeth. That does not imply the kind of structural integrity that would make for a particularly imposing weapon against someone as indestructible as Church.)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Castlerook on 07 Jul 2017, 07:49

Quote
Force multiplication, in military science and warfare, refers to an attribute or a combination of attributes that dramatically increases (hence "multiplies") the effectiveness of an item or group
Sedna's inherent strength combined with the inherent structural integrity of her bones was more powerful than either factors we're separately. Alice is impressed Sedna thought about that before she did.
But... That's still incredibly obvious. If that really is all that 'Force multiplier' means in this context, then Sedna's idea amounted to 'Use a weapon', which should not have been a surprise to Alice, because we have seen Alice use a weapon on Church pre-Blink.
(Also: It's worth pointing out that Sedna was strong enough to snap one of her bones in half while holding it with one hand and her teeth. That does not imply the kind of structural integrity that would make for a particularly imposing weapon against someone as indestructible as Church.)

Force multiplication is a general term, the idea being that a force can take advantage of their environment/resources/abilities and use that advantage to do much, much more than they would without it. It doesn't have to be physical, but rather a mental advantage. In this case, you have Sedna ripping off her crippled arm and fashioning a bone shiv from it in a matter of seconds. Its not stabbing Church in the neck, its the actually act of ripping off her arm, tearing a chunk of meat off the bone and snapping a shard off. Its the sheer insanity of the act, because really, what kind of rational person with maim themselves like that to take down an enemy?! Who would think that someone would do that to themselves?! The element of surprise can be a powerful and devastating means of force multiplication.

Lets put it this way, if you have ever read Sun Tzu's The Art of War, he writes that the worst thing a commander can do is to drive an enemy force into a corner and giving them no way out. Why? Because the enemy has nothing to lose and will fight with even more ferocity under the belief that they are dead already.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: A Duck on 07 Jul 2017, 09:33
It occurs to me that Alice Grove will be the right length to be made into a movie without being horribly butchered. Maybe that's the idea?
I'm sure Jeph will at least collect it in book form
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: mikmaxs on 07 Jul 2017, 12:39
Force multiplication is a general term, the idea being that a force can take advantage of their environment/resources/abilities and use that advantage to do much, much more than they would without it. It doesn't have to be physical, but rather a mental advantage. In this case, you have Sedna ripping off her crippled arm and fashioning a bone shiv from it in a matter of seconds. Its not stabbing Church in the neck, its the actually act of ripping off her arm, tearing a chunk of meat off the bone and snapping a shard off. Its the sheer insanity of the act, because really, what kind of rational person with maim themselves like that to take down an enemy?! Who would think that someone would do that to themselves?! The element of surprise can be a powerful and devastating means of force multiplication.

Lets put it this way, if you have ever read Sun Tzu's The Art of War, he writes that the worst thing a commander can do is to drive an enemy force into a corner and giving them no way out. Why? Because the enemy has nothing to lose and will fight with even more ferocity under the belief that they are dead already.
Okay, but this isn't a case of 'A far superior opponent with more strength, training, and experience was taken by surprise by a desperate act'.
It's a case of 'An enemy who was shown to be impervious to literally everything else was killed by a weapon that has no demonstrable reason to have been sturdier than previous weapons.'
Church was strong enough to shatter Sedna's bones by squeezing his hand slightly, with neither buildup nor any leverage. This does not imply that her bones will make particularly strong weapons.
Later, we see that it takes him Consecutive Normal Punches to get through the faceplate of Alice's armor, and that his bonecrushing strength is so dampened by her body armor that she survives a massive pummeling and is able to stand a couple minutes later, implying that the armor is INCREDIBLY strong relative to unshielded Sedna bones. Chruch's armor is at least as strong as Alice's, and can take hits from orbital laser cannons and warhammers built to kill supersoldiers, but... Does absolutely nothing against a shrapnelly bone?

I'm saying that the physics of the thing don't make logical sense.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: OldGoat on 07 Jul 2017, 13:22
I'm saying that the physics of the thing don't make logical sense.
No, it doesn't.  Fictional stories are like that.  You can't be stingy with the suspension of disbelief when you follow them.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: WareWolf on 07 Jul 2017, 14:38
I'm pretty sure Pate knows what Alice is. ISTR that he noticed that she was like Church, just not as strong or fast. Which raises the question of who he's addressing his question to.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: mikmaxs on 07 Jul 2017, 15:07
I'm saying that the physics of the thing don't make logical sense.
No, it doesn't.  Fictional stories are like that.  You can't be stingy with the suspension of disbelief when you follow them.
YeaNo.
That's not how suspension of disbelief works.
Suspension of disbelief is "I'll buy that this world has magic in it, and that characters have superhuman abilities that don't really exist". Or it can be "I'll buy that this world is populated entirely be attractive people with razor wit and acute self-awareness".
Suspension of disbelief is NOT "I will ignore major inconsistencies within a story's internal logic."

I'm fine that Godzilla couldn't really exist because of the square-cube law. But if Godzilla was just fine for 90% of the movie, then took a bad step and broke both his ankles because of his weight being too much for them to support, the movie would be bad.


This is important, too, because a story lives and dies on setup and payoff. (To make a sidenote: Subversion is still a form of payoff, as are intentional anticlimaxes.) If something isn't properly set up, it risks coming off as a deus ex machina, and is never as satisfying as something with actual buildup. If something is set up, and then that setup is directly contradicted or ignored, it robs the scene of tension and robs the whole story of consequence.
The whole scene with Church's death has so many plot holes and inconsistencies and elements that are either yet-to-be-explained or are simply never going to be explained that it is effectively impossible for any reader to realize that it could have happened. It's a deus ex machina, and it removes the largest source of conflict from the story at a moment when the drama should be rising, not falling. It's a bad payoff that weakens everything around it and cheapens the supposed threat and tension of the current situation.

I'm not going to bother listing the multitudes of reasons why this was either implausible, implied to be impossible, contradictory, or just poorly telgraphed, but there are lots of them. As a reader, you'd need to make assumptions verging on fanfiction to explain them all away.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Castlerook on 07 Jul 2017, 15:20
Okay, but this isn't a case of 'A far superior opponent with more strength, training, and experience was taken by surprise by a desperate act'.
It's a case of 'An enemy who was shown to be impervious to literally everything else was killed by a weapon that has no demonstrable reason to have been sturdier than previous weapons.'
Church was strong enough to shatter Sedna's bones by squeezing his hand slightly, with neither buildup nor any leverage. This does not imply that her bones will make particularly strong weapons.
Later, we see that it takes him Consecutive Normal Punches to get through the faceplate of Alice's armor, and that his bonecrushing strength is so dampened by her body armor that she survives a massive pummeling and is able to stand a couple minutes later, implying that the armor is INCREDIBLY strong relative to unshielded Sedna bones. Chruch's armor is at least as strong as Alice's, and can take hits from orbital laser cannons and warhammers built to kill supersoldiers, but... Does absolutely nothing against a shrapnelly bone?

I'm saying that the physics of the thing don't make logical sense.

We know next to nothing about the Super Soldiers of Alice Grove; how are they created? Were they born and modified later in life? Were they grown in test tubes or in artificial wombs? Are they genetically engineered or modified with cybernetics or nanotechnology? Did different classes of super soldier get different levels of treatment/modification? Were they psychologically programmed to keep them in line (Sedna's compulsion to maintain machinery and Church's compulsion to serve)?  Or were they just giving drugs like Germany did with Pervitin (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_and_culture_of_substituted_amphetamines#Military_use) during the Second World War.

You're asking questions to something we have no clue about. Could it be that the bones of the Super Soldier are laced with some nanomolecular polymer and makes their bones that much stronger? Because we've seen Alice and Church deliver punches that should turn their bones to dust.

As for the physics, armour can be resistant, but not resistant. Armour that is resistant to projectiles and blunt impacts could potentially be vulnerable to bladed and piercing weapons (knives). When a projectile is fired, it's basically expending energy as it passes through the air. Armour basically works by slowing a projectile, usually by passing through layers of materials, meaning that it should transfer that kinetic energy before it can harm the person wearing it. Knives and other stabbing weapons are able to maintain constant energy as they pierce the armour, meaning that armour designed for projectiles are useless.

So given that we don't know the details of what made Alice, Sedna and Church, there must be some serious modifications involved if the three of them can suffer the insane damage they have and remain standing (well, until the latest comic) and at this stage it would make sense for them to be able to turn themselves into weapons.

And if that doesn't suffice, then might I suggest the MST3K mantra, which is also the mantra for the comic discussion forum.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: mikmaxs on 07 Jul 2017, 15:44
I've explained why this doesn't fall under 'Suspension of disbelief' (or the MST3K Mantra, if you prefer) and is a significant problem.
As for the physics... No, it doesn't make sense, unless you interpret every single possibility in the most generous way and ignore all the other problems. For a plot point this important, it should speak for itself, not require generous reinterpretation of the information given.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: JimC on 07 Jul 2017, 16:25

That's not how suspension of disbelief works.
Suspension of disbelief is "I'll buy that this world has magic in it, and that characters have superhuman abilities that don't really exist". Or it can be "I'll buy that this world is populated entirely be attractive people with razor wit and acute self-awareness".
Suspension of disbelief is NOT "I will ignore major inconsistencies within a story's internal logic."
That may be your, well, belief, but need it be true for everyone? Its funny, as I get older I spot more and more plot holes in stories I enjoy  but I don't let it spoil my emjoyment of the whole. As its probably next to impossible to create an absolutely consistent tale I think its probably just as well. Otherwise I risk ending up as the sort of sad git who writes scholarly papers about Shakespeare's errors but has forgotten about enjoying the plays...
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: FunkyTuba on 07 Jul 2017, 16:32
There's a class distinction between Church and Sedna within the military organization they derive from. Church is a front line fighter. Sedna's a maintenance/tinkerer resource. Rear echelon support staff multiply the effectiveness of the force.

She engineered her humerus into a super sharp, possibly nano-thin at the point katana while Church had written her off as a threat. I understand Alice to be saying that Sedna herself is the force multiplier.

I also think, given the title of the comic, we still don't know what Alice's true nature is, so Pate's question is valid.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: mikmaxs on 07 Jul 2017, 16:40

That's not how suspension of disbelief works.
Suspension of disbelief is "I'll buy that this world has magic in it, and that characters have superhuman abilities that don't really exist". Or it can be "I'll buy that this world is populated entirely be attractive people with razor wit and acute self-awareness".
Suspension of disbelief is NOT "I will ignore major inconsistencies within a story's internal logic."
That may be your, well  belief, but need it be true for everyone? Its funny, ss I get older I spot more and more plot holes in stories I enjoy  bit I dont letvot spoil my emjoyment of the whole. As its probanly next to impossible to create an absolutely consisyent tale I think its probably just ss well. Otherwise I risk ending up as the sort of sad git who writes scholarly papers.about Shakespeares errors but has forgotten about emjoying the plays...
Well... No, that's not my belief, that's what the term means. (And yes, I'm aware that at its most basic it is simply 'A willingness to believe the unbelievable', but in storytelling terminology the phrase carries more meaning than that.)
I'm not saying that the story can't be enjoyed with a flaw like this. One of my favorite films is Mad Max: Fury Road, which ends with a character who has displayed no supernatural strength up to this point (and neither has anyone else) ripping a bolted down, many-tons engine out of the War Rig. I'm saying that these holes make the story weaker. Alice Grove is not terrible, but this was a bad decision that took what could have been a really powerful, exciting moment of payoff and turned it into a neat bit of art that solves a problem in the story, I guess. It doesn't kill the comic, it just lessens it.

Jeph has never been great with this type of storytelling, but I was hoping he'd get better at it by the end of Alice Grove. So far, he hasn't.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: brasca on 07 Jul 2017, 17:29
I'm beginning to think we're not going to get a strip today.  I'm not complaining since we got almost a month's worth in one week, but I don't know if we'll have to wait a week to find out who Alice is. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: OldGoat on 07 Jul 2017, 17:50
I'm pretty sure Pate knows what Alice is. ISTR that he noticed that she was like Church, just not as strong or fast. Which raises the question of who he's addressing his question to.
I submit that Pate thought he knew what Alice is, but is surprised and dismayed that he isn't as well informed as he believed.  Or at least that's how I'm reading the facial expression Jeph gave him.

He's not a big guy and hasn't shown much in the way of any form of physical prowess, yet he's at the top of the food chain in the city state he rules.  That means he's pretty damn good at collecting, analyzing, and using information.  Realizing that his information is nowhere near as complete as he thought it was is terrifying, especially since it looks like his principle enforcer is down for the count* if not dead.  He's thinking, "Shitohdear Jesper, they might kill you!"

*Again, note that in panel 2 (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/162674462699/all-earthlings-are-basically-that-violent-yes) Alice speaks of the neck-pierced, brain-punctured, down-on-the-floor-in-a-pool-of-his-own-blood Church in the present tense.  He'll self-repair, but it's going to take him long enough that Alice feels no urgency with regard to dealing with him.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: LKR1009 on 07 Jul 2017, 19:33
@brasca: I am feeling super spoiled by all of these strips Jeph has generously posted consecutively! If it's going to wrap up soon, I think I'm happiest receiving them rapidfire so I have been habitually refreshing the page.  :-D
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: FunkyTuba on 07 Jul 2017, 20:12
Oh, and then there's this:
[tweet]882988422775832579[/tweet]
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Tova on 07 Jul 2017, 20:14
@emsilly

This is a comic discussion forum. If milkmaxs has a criticism of a plot point of the comic then they are entitled to air it here, just as much as you or anyone is entitled to talk about the points we liked.

Personal insults of other forum members, on the other hand, tend to get frowned upon.

There's no need to take any comic criticism quite so much to heart as you appear to have done. If it makes you this unhappy, I'd suggest refraining from engagement.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: mikmaxs on 07 Jul 2017, 20:51
I'm not going to bother listing the multitudes of reasons why this was either implausible, implied to be impossible, contradictory, or just poorly telgraphed, but there are lots of them. As a reader, you'd need to make assumptions verging on fanfiction to explain them all away.

If you're not, could you maybe shut up about it? Just a thought.

Your posts are so far the only ones that have made me not want to continue reading the discussion thread. Your posts basically just read like "it's shit because it's shit because Jeph is a shit storyteller".

Every single superhero movie or show I've ever seen is entirely physically implausible. I don't whine about it on internet forums though, because these shows by their very premise do not work on the same rules that the real world does. Since your posts read like a bad TV Tropes rant, here's a Tropes article for you:

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RuleOfCool

You have paid literally nothing for this content, but you are acting like an entitled child and insisting that the author should have written a story that you would find personally satisfying.

Grow up.
I wasn't going to list it all because I've posted many, many reasons in my various posts, just not in a list.
Also, again, being implausible is fine, but you need to be implausible and consistent. Superman is indestructible and can fly and is weak to a magic rock? Sure! But if he could suddenly pause time and read the future without an explanation as to why, then we'd have a problem.

Also also, this content was stretch goal on a Kickstarter that Jeph ran. So yes, I actually did pay for this content. That being said, I'd be saying the exact same thing if it hadn't been.
Also also also, this is a forum for discussing the comic. Are we only allowed to discuss happy things?


Like, I don't mind if we disagree, but you seem to have completely ignored all of my posts. I list reasons for why I'm not happy with the content. Very thorough, detailed reasons, both from a storytelling standpoint, and from a logical consistency/plausibility standpoint - If anything, I was worried that I was overexplaining. I never said that Jeph is shit. I never said that the story is shit.

Jeph is good at lots of things - Art, character dialogue, funny punchlines, personal character arcs. I'm glad that he's experimenting and learning new things. However, doing new things will almost always lead to those new things being initially bad, because you are still learning them. That's FINE. However, those new creations aren't immune to criticism because they're new, or they're free. If he's going to do something new, and risk doing it badly, I'm going to talk about what I like and what I don't like. Currently, all the potentially interesting/good elements of the story are up in the air, and their quality will depend on how well the reveals are executed in coming panels. The only thing that has a semi-solid resolution is that Church has been effectively eliminated.


Since I'm in a hotel room now and have nothing to do until I go to bed, I might as well compile that list now.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: mikmaxs on 07 Jul 2017, 21:56
Alright, list! (This isn't to make any point I haven't already made, I'm just compiling everything, so I'm gonna slide this in a spoiler. It's an infodump. The point is not that any one of these issues breaks the suspension of disbelief, it's that all of them combined create too much of a burden of implausibility.)

(click to show/hide)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: brasca on 08 Jul 2017, 00:18
I'm pretty sure Pate knows what Alice is. ISTR that he noticed that she was like Church, just not as strong or fast. Which raises the question of who he's addressing his question to.
I submit that Pate thought he knew what Alice is, but is surprised and dismayed that he isn't as well informed as he believed.  Or at least that's how I'm reading the facial expression Jeph gave him.

He's not a big guy and hasn't shown much in the way of any form of physical prowess, yet he's at the top of the food chain in the city state he rules.  That means he's pretty damn good at collecting, analyzing, and using information.  Realizing that his information is nowhere near as complete as he thought it was is terrifying, especially since it looks like his principle enforcer is down for the count* if not dead.  He's thinking, "Shitohdear Jesper, they might kill you!"

*Again, note that in panel 2 (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/162674462699/all-earthlings-are-basically-that-violent-yes) Alice speaks of the neck-pierced, brain-punctured, down-on-the-floor-in-a-pool-of-his-own-blood Church in the present tense.  He'll self-repair, but it's going to take him long enough that Alice feels no urgency with regard to dealing with him.

Perhaps, but they shouldn't dawdle for too long keeping Pate in check.  If Church can survive that attack then he'll be recovering shortly. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: JimC on 08 Jul 2017, 02:43
Well... No, that's not my belief, that's what the term means.
You appear to be on the borders of telling me what I should be thinking. Humpty Dumpty applies.

In this sort of circumstance I'm reminded of something in UK comics history. The comic 2000AD used to use, from time to time, an artist called Massimo Belardinelli, sadly no longer with us, who produced totally wonderful surrealist fantastic images, but had in some eyes the perceived fault that his 'human' characters tended to acquire some of the surreal features of his other characters. This offended those who for some reason thought that in fantasy comic artwork  every apparently human figure should have art school correct human anatomy. Think about how well that would have worked with say Picasso's art... Anyway, this art school correct anatomy way of thinking acquired an excessive influence on 2000Ads editorial policy at the time (something that they have gone into print as regretting with hindsight) with the result that Belardinelli was desperately underused, much to the loss of those of us whose suspension of belief included that we didn't much care how accurately the extensor carpi radialis longus muscle was portrayed in a story that included faster than light space travel...

I'll also venture to suggest that pointing out perceived plot holes to those who haven't noticed them is at least as much of a 'spoiler' as anything else one might do. So I fully support your decision to put your list in spoiler tags. For myself I tend to slide over such things, but maybe with hindsight there's some other things you might wish to edit and put in spoiler tags for future readers? I'm quite comfortable (as is obvious) with discussing aspects of the plot and story development, but I am much less comfortable with detailed criticism of plot holes and the like without spoiler tags, simply because such risks detracting the enjoyment of the strip from those who haven't spotted them. I recall decades ago someone voicing a specific criticism of a piece of music I loved. I don't think the criticism is valid, yet it still comes to mind, and detracts from my enjoyment of the music.

(click to show/hide)

Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: blt on 08 Jul 2017, 06:51
I never understood the idea of "you can't question it, because it was in the script".  When did you stop being allowed criticize art?

That being said I don't really have an issue, suspension of disbelief-wise, with Sedna's attack, since we know so little about the super soliders.  I just think it's a little rushed and could have been better handled.  Alice's explanation is a little lame too.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: mikmaxs on 08 Jul 2017, 07:18
To be clear, my problem isn't simply that it doesn't make sense, my problem is that it doesn't make sense in such a way that contradicts the established rules and stakes of the story. The story has gone to incredible lengths to show how indestructible Church is.

If there had been a moment where Alice said something like, "Our bones are the hardest objects on the planet, only another supersoldier can break them, etc," it wouldn't adhere to any set of physical laws that I'm aware of, but that wouldn't matter - The rules of the story would have been established in a self-consistent way.

By breaking its own rules (both literal and thematic,) the story undercuts itself and makes me unwilling to either care about the stakes or try and guess what's going to happen. Why should I bother? The story lied about what was actually a problem and what was possible.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: JimC on 08 Jul 2017, 08:21
If there had been a moment where Alice said something like, "Our bones are the hardest objects on the planet, only another supersoldier can break them, etc," it wouldn't adhere to any set of physical laws that I'm aware of, but that wouldn't matter - The rules of the story would have been established in a self-consistent way.
Can't help thinking that the bunker demolition in http://www.alicegrove.com/post/154299453294/bam would not have gone well with steel or carbon fibre bones.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: retrosteve on 08 Jul 2017, 10:44
Alright, list! (This isn't to make any point I haven't already made, I'm just compiling everything, so I'm gonna slide this in a spoiler. It's an infodump. The point is not that any one of these issues breaks the suspension of disbelief, it's that all of them combined create too much of a burden of implausibility.)


Agreed, and you've listed the sticking points out nicely, as I see it.

I am still hoping that there's another reveal coming that will make all of this bone vs. armor suddenly make sense. It has to be, at this point, a reveal based on a setup we've already seen (like the barehanded bunker busting), and is an unforeseen but logical consequence of that setup. 

I am losing faith that we'll see it, but I haven't totally lost hope.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: pwhodges on 08 Jul 2017, 11:32
I'm not worried by the bone-weapon, nor that the flexible part of Church's armour round his throat might be more vulnerable than other parts (yes, we can make up our own additions to the story's fantasies!); my problem with Sedna's attack is simply time - knowing how fast Church can be, for her to rip off her arm, clear the flesh off the bone, then come at him from behind, all before he even reaches Alice, is a combination of actions that just doesn't fit into the time available.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Isyrion on 08 Jul 2017, 12:23
I'm getting the vibe that Jeph really wants to have Alice Grove done ASAP (He has basically said so) and is now rushing his narrative a bit. I agree with a bunch of the above points that the story has contradicted itself and I am also willing to see it out to the end to see basically what Alice is and how the story resolves.  Alice has always been more of a side project with Jeph and I wonder if he will be focused more on QC once it concludes or if he has another project in the works and really needs AG closed so he can focus more on it.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Castlerook on 08 Jul 2017, 13:09
Let's not forget that Ardent and Gavia have learned that their whole life has been a simulation.

Whose to say that this isn't a simulation?

Inception-mode engaged!
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Kugai on 08 Jul 2017, 13:16
Well said


Mister Anderson.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Tova on 08 Jul 2017, 13:17
If it turns out that Alice was responsible for getting Ardent to earth in the first place, I'm not sure how I'll feel.

Maybe not as bad as the "it was all a dream" trope, I guess.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Castlerook on 08 Jul 2017, 13:18
Well said


Mister Anderson.

"My name....is Evil"
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: retrosteve on 08 Jul 2017, 15:02
Whose to say that this isn't a simulation?
Inception-mode engaged!

This is a crazy stupid idea but is consistent with Alice's "he's stronger and faster than us, but still tuned to the same physics". One interpretation of that is that yes, you're right, they're knowingly hacking the weak points of the simulation. But it's crazy until a better explanation comes along.

P.S. It's also the best explanation I can think of.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: retrosteve on 08 Jul 2017, 15:06
Unrelated weirdness: Since what, his first red-eyed sadistic psycho episode, I think Church's eyes have been the same color even when they're not red. What's up with that?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Method of Madness on 08 Jul 2017, 18:02
I don't get it. Why rush through to the end if you're not going to bother with an ending? Am I missing something?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: A Duck on 08 Jul 2017, 19:41
I don't get it. Why rush through to the end if you're not going to bother with an ending? Am I missing something?

What do you mean? It's not over yet.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: FunkyTuba on 08 Jul 2017, 20:07
I don't get it. Why rush through to the end if you're not going to bother with an ending? Am I missing something?

jeph's tweet I posted had 12 tabs on the top... I take that to mean there are 12 more comics to go, and then "that's it"
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: A Duck on 08 Jul 2017, 20:42
I know, but I don't get the implication that is "not bothering" with an ending. Things are wrapping up already, 12 comics is plenty. Specially if the last few ones are longer.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Castlerook on 08 Jul 2017, 21:01
Who says it needs to have a traditional ending? This isn't the kind of story that gets neatly wrapped up. To be honest, I wouldn't be surprised if this ends with the simulation looping back to the start.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: A small perverse otter on 08 Jul 2017, 22:04
I'm getting the vibe that Jeph really wants to have Alice Grove done ASAP (He has basically said so) and is now rushing his narrative a bit.
This. He's killed the narrative arc all at once, almost as if he's lost interest in the comic and just wants to shut it down.

I'm kind of disappointed -- this leaves a lot of plot threads hanging, and I've have liked to see them play out. (For instance, what's the history between Alice and Sedna? Why is the world a simulation? How did the decision to make that happen take place? What was the nightwalker, and why did it want Gavia's nanotechnology? I can go on...)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: A Duck on 08 Jul 2017, 22:15
This. He's killed the narrative arc all at once, almost as if he's lost interest in the comic and just wants to shut it down.

I'm kind of disappointed -- this leaves a lot of plot threads hanging, and I've have liked to see them play out. (For instance, what's the history between Alice and Sedna? Why is the world a simulation? How did the decision to make that happen take place? What was the nightwalker, and why did it want Gavia's nanotechnology? I can go on...)

According to Jeph, everything was planned out from the start. He's doing it fast because he's excited to finish it, not because he's bored.

Also, nothing says this fictional universe has to be dropped after AG is done.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: brasca on 08 Jul 2017, 23:47
I suspect that Gavia and Ardent were MI (notice that I used 'Machine Intelligence', not 'Artificial Intelligence' - that matters) algorithms, created by meshing the algorithms of their 'father' and 'mother' and creating something new in a way that mimics how a child's genetics are created from their parents' genetics. Whilst they are code on an electronic media, they are still naturally-developed rather than the product of a deliberate and directed manufacturing process like Bubbles or Pintsize. This level of randomisation is what leads to personalities that the Praeses cannot predict or control beyond very limited levels.

I'm wondering if the Praeses were originally meant to be arks - designed to carry the intelligence of billions of humans to some new home upon which time they would have been re-embodied on the target world. When you think about it, digitising the crew and colonists makes a lot of sense. You still have a full active crew but you only need power to maintain the electronic environment and you can have as many unsuitable target systems as you like as the crew presumably would not age. However, the Praeses decided that they didn't want to go anywhere and just hung out in GEO instead. Maybe they thought that the throw-backs on Earth would die out eventually and they could reclaim the planet.

Then, maybe someone decided to kick them out of their holding pattern, one way or another.

That's a good theory and perhaps to keep these billions of personalities are kept active in these simulations rather than remaining dormant for thousands of years.  They are seemingly born, live out a longer than baseline human life span, die, and begin the process again.  Ardent's full name is Ardent Cardamom Vicissitude XVI.  Perhaps that number is actually his 16th incarnation. 

http://www.alicegrove.com/post/100546047509/theres-nothing-higher-than-the-sky-stupid (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/100546047509/theres-nothing-higher-than-the-sky-stupid)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Method of Madness on 09 Jul 2017, 06:20
I don't get it. Why rush through to the end if you're not going to bother with an ending? Am I missing something?

jeph's tweet I posted had 12 tabs on the top... I take that to mean there are 12 more comics to go, and then "that's it"
Ahhhhh, I misinterpreted that as those being the most recent twelve, I thought it was over. Complaint withdrawn.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Sorflakne on 10 Jul 2017, 00:18
Quote
Armour that is resistant to projectiles and blunt impacts could potentially be vulnerable to bladed and piercing weapons (knives).
Little late to reply, but Kevlar is useless against arrows and a knife will go through it with a good stab.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: OldGoat on 10 Jul 2017, 07:18
Quote
Armour that is resistant to projectiles and blunt impacts could potentially be vulnerable to bladed and piercing weapons (knives).
Little late to reply, but Kevlar is useless against arrows and a knife will go through it with a good stab.
Or an icepick.  Or a very pointy shard of bone.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Castlerook on 10 Jul 2017, 08:14
Comic is up and holy crap that is one scary face!
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: pwhodges on 10 Jul 2017, 08:32
Maxwell's Demons......  O.......K........?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Welu on 10 Jul 2017, 08:42
I'm reading the wiki (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maxwell%27s_demon) and... Maybe I'm not versed enough but it's not helping. This was a well-arted comic though.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: A Duck on 10 Jul 2017, 08:43
Huh, that explains why Alice said Church is "attuned to the same physics" as she and Sedna.

Also, Alice is currently reminding me a lot of another certain super powerful being created by Jeph (https://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3412)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: OldGoat on 10 Jul 2017, 08:55
Alice, are you planning to dismember and/or ingest Jesper, or are you just trying to scare the shit out of him?

It's looking more and more like Sedna and Church are still with us.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Castlerook on 10 Jul 2017, 09:14
I'm reading the wiki (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maxwell%27s_demon) and... Maybe I'm not versed enough but it's not helping. This was a well-arted comic though.

Hopefully this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5niDIoptyIU) can explain it better.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Welu on 10 Jul 2017, 09:28
That did, thank you.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: USS Martenclaire on 10 Jul 2017, 09:30
Maxwell's Demons......  O.......K........?

Actually, looking at Alice's smile in that last panel, it makes perfect sense:

(http://img3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20140330212229/dont-starve-game/images/thumb/d/d5/Maxwell.png/300px-Maxwell.png)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: brasca on 10 Jul 2017, 09:31
Huh, that explains why Alice said Church is "attuned to the same physics" as she and Sedna.

Also, Alice is currently reminding me a lot of another certain super powerful being created by Jeph (https://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3412)

Maybe this is Spookybot after 5000 years of evolution or an offspring.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: BenRG on 10 Jul 2017, 09:41
Yipes! Quantum entanglement with a black hole? Towards the end of the Great War, technology must have been on a near-infinite rate of acceleration! Goodwin's Law meets exponential growth!
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: cesium133 on 10 Jul 2017, 09:42
My brain hurts.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Castlerook on 10 Jul 2017, 09:42
My brain hurts.

As I have been saying for some time - Space Magic.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: BenRG on 10 Jul 2017, 11:39
That aside, I am actually genuinely surprised to see that I was sort of right in suggesting that the super-soldiers' powers seem to be some kind of quantum trickery and that the secret of Church's defeat was that he was taken by surprise. :-o
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: WareWolf on 10 Jul 2017, 13:19
Huh, that explains why Alice said Church is "attuned to the same physics" as she and Sedna.

Also, Alice is currently reminding me a lot of another certain super powerful being created by Jeph (https://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3412)

Maybe this is Spookybot after 5000 years of evolution or an offspring.

I believe that may well be the case.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Method of Madness on 10 Jul 2017, 13:37
She seems nice!
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: LKR1009 on 10 Jul 2017, 13:44
This just leaves me wondering why she didn't regenerate her hair after the armor chopped it off.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Neko_Ali on 10 Jul 2017, 14:14
If I'm getting what Jeph is going for here, they are not unlike entropic mages. They can twist and bend the laws of physics but there is a price to be paid. Assuming what she said in the last panel is the unvarnished truth, they are pushing the paradox backlash onto their external power source(s), black holes. They are not so much  able to do anything, as they can warp physical laws around them. But that power will eventually come with a reckoning. So they tend to live as simply as possible.

Regrowing her hair quickly was probably not something she felt was worth spending energy on. It does explain the wide range of powers the immortals seem to have and why they don't make logical sense. They can change the rules as they see fit. Jumping or falling incredible distances, smashing nano barriers, being nearly immune to most damage short of another immortal. All through applied manipulation of entropic and physical forces. Same with their increased recovery rate. There is a clear hierarchy of strength though. Whether it's because they have different inherent strength with the power or differentiating access to the source Alice is more powerful than Sedna, and Church is more powerful than both. But not so much that they can't be overcome.

Seems that the villagers calling Alice the witch is a perfectly valid statement. They've probably seen her do things that did seem magical, rather than merely just being immortal to them and far more physically powerful and knowledgeable.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Kugai on 10 Jul 2017, 14:41
(http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f50/Kugai2/Memes/Shit_just_got_real.jpg)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: SubaruStephen on 10 Jul 2017, 15:52
So Alice, Sedna, and Mr. Chruch spend their time moving molecules around, one at a time?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 10 Jul 2017, 15:56
Global Moderator Comment It's not shipping if Jeph has explicitly shown us Sedna boning Church.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: brasca on 10 Jul 2017, 16:25

Seems that the villagers calling Alice the witch is a perfectly valid statement. They've probably seen her do things that did seem magical, rather than merely just being immortal to them and far more physically powerful and knowledgeable.

Except that they think Gavia is a demon.  Of course if they could see Alice right now they would probably think otherwise. 

I'm also wondering if the reptilian eye peeking out is part of her ultimate form. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Neko_Ali on 10 Jul 2017, 16:31
Well Gavia did show up screaming and throwing fireballs around town. Not a great first impression.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Castlerook on 10 Jul 2017, 16:35
If I'm getting what Jeph is going for here, they are not unlike entropic mages. They can twist and bend the laws of physics but there is a price to be paid. Assuming what she said in the last panel is the unvarnished truth, they are pushing the paradox backlash onto their external power source(s), black holes. They are not so much  able to do anything, as they can warp physical laws around them. But that power will eventually come with a reckoning. So they tend to live as simply as possible.

Regrowing her hair quickly was probably not something she felt was worth spending energy on. It does explain the wide range of powers the immortals seem to have and why they don't make logical sense. They can change the rules as they see fit. Jumping or falling incredible distances, smashing nano barriers, being nearly immune to most damage short of another immortal. All through applied manipulation of entropic and physical forces. Same with their increased recovery rate. There is a clear hierarchy of strength though. Whether it's because they have different inherent strength with the power or differentiating access to the source Alice is more powerful than Sedna, and Church is more powerful than both. But not so much that they can't be overcome.

Seems that the villagers calling Alice the witch is a perfectly valid statement. They've probably seen her do things that did seem magical, rather than merely just being immortal to them and far more physically powerful and knowledgeable.

Thank you for validating my long time theory that it was all space magic.


It's not shipping if Jeph has explicitly shown us Sedna boning Church.

That was painful. Just like Church's neck.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: WareWolf on 10 Jul 2017, 17:20
Anyone want to venture a guess as to why Alice seems to be suddenly giving off smoke, or maybe steam?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 10 Jul 2017, 17:28
Wouldn't you be steamed in her situation?

Wondering whether the reptilian eyes are her true form brings up the question of how you define the true form of a being that lives outside the laws of physics.

Was Alice ever human?

Why was Laridia only mildly concerned about the level of threat from Alice and company? Seems to me that anyone to whom physics is optional is existentially dangerous.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: retrosteve on 10 Jul 2017, 17:34
Anyone want to venture a guess as to why Alice seems to be suddenly giving off smoke, or maybe steam?
She's not. The drops of blood on her hair and clothes are evaporating very fast, because she wants them to.  And because she can violate entropy to do it.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: retrosteve on 10 Jul 2017, 17:46
To quote Faye: What the ASS?

This last cartoon is seriously risking losing the plot for me. Not because of the outlandish physics, or the difficult exposition.

No, because it's all wrong. This is the ENDING. In the ending, you resolve the questions and plot complications based on the physics and rules you ALREADY set up. You don't start setting up NEW physics and rules. 

Not only is it wrong from the writer/reader contract point of view, it's wrong from the 'let's just explain what we just saw' point of view. We just saw Sedna rip her own arm off and bleed out while shivving Church. And we just heard was that at least one of the participants' realities was actually a simulation, and maybe the current one too. The explanation we needed was "How did Sedna just go faster than Church and become stronger than his armor?". An explanation based on the last two things would make sense. What we got was just the opposite of that.  Plus Alice using a vague "we" about the ability to violate entropy at will is just...bleah.

FIrst, nothing any of the supersoldiers has done required entropy violation (up to, perhaps, Alice's self-cleaning blood removal). So saying they can do that doesn't really answer much. But it does open up a wildcard that Alice (and whoever else is a "Maxwell's Demon") has weakly godlike abilities and always has. Meaning anything can happen and can have happened if they did it. A plot hole big enough to drive a Praeses through.

Second, it's all totally irrelevant. It doesn't really answer the relationship between Church and Sedna and Alice, or the sudden ability for Sedna to be faster, or the reason the Praeses isn't really nervous about the supersoldiers, or how Ardent and Gavia escaped from a simulation, or the Blink, or the Nightwalker, or anything. It just makes things more complicated and handwavey.

Man I could rant all night about this. However things tie up now, the whole story is suspect!
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: A Duck on 10 Jul 2017, 18:16
I've reread all of AG up to this point today, and there are a few things that can be taken as hints to the whole "entropy demon" thing. Most directly, this (http://www.alicegrove.com/page/126) could be taken as Alice's view on the nature of her abilities

Even more directly, Sedna directly mentions putting Church's head "on a spike" at one point. From Alice's explanation, I'm guessing Sedna "broke the rules" harder than Church did. He probably didn't consider he needed that much speed to reach (I guess) Gavia on time, or simply didn't consider Sedna a threat.
By using her own bones, which seem to be already naturally strong, and applying all the force into a singular point, she was able to pierce Church's skin.

It seems their powers require a level of intent to be functional. If they're caught off guard, they aren't nearly as durable.

Also, it's not over yet, people. And I have a very strong feeling Jeph won't be done with this fictional universe after this story ends, either.

Maybe this is Spookybot after 5000 years of evolution or an offspring.
Jeph was pretty clear on saying that AG and QC do not share an universe, but these two are certainly drawing from similar sources of inspiration.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: retrosteve on 10 Jul 2017, 18:57
Even more directly, Sedna directly mentions putting Church's head "on a spike" at one point. From Alice's explanation, I'm guessing Sedna "broke the rules" harder than Church did. He probably didn't consider he needed that much speed to reach (I guess) Gavia on time, or simply didn't consider Sedna a threat.
By using her own bones, which seem to be already naturally strong, and applying all the force into a singular point, she was able to pierce Church's skin.

It seems their powers require a level of intent to be functional. If they're caught off guard, they aren't nearly as durable.


She doesn't just pierce his skin, she pierces his armor.  Then after it goes through his neck, it pierces his armor on the other side. We've seen Alice's similar armor bounce hundreds of machine-gun rounds. Is a hand-driven bone shiv likely to concentrate more force on a singular point than a 10mm round at point-blank range?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: A Duck on 10 Jul 2017, 19:09
When it's a normal bone, no.

When it's a bone from the same kind of being that resisted said point-blank range bullets, apparently yes.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Castlerook on 10 Jul 2017, 19:52
The thing is, Alice has just explained that she and the other super soldiers were the kind of nightmare that necessitated the Blink. They defiance of physics is, to all intent and purposes, the ultimate weapon. So if she and the others are able to survive that kind of damage inflicted on each other, well, the options for outright taking them down using the rules of the universe aren't possible.

In a way, it makes even more sense for Church to survive a blast from an orbital laser but to be finally taken down by a bone shard. Outside tech and rules can't hurt them, so if the rules of the universe can't do that why not use the ones who already break those rules?

Alice's mention of a thought experiment is more descriptive than it originally appears. They are literally demons, beings from outside our understanding of the universe. How can we really understand the rules that govern them when they are the embodiment of Clarke's Third Law?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Sorflakne on 10 Jul 2017, 20:51
So is Alice slowly losing it (judging by facial expressions), or is she just amused that she can reveal her and the others' true nature now?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: A Duck on 10 Jul 2017, 21:14
Alice had a few of those creepy-smile moments so far. The first one when she attacked Gavia way back at the start of the story.

I'm guessing Alice is just like Church in the sense she has a VERY strong impulse for violence, but she has learned to cope with it much better.

Now, however? I think whatever restraint Alice had is gone. Pate is screwed.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Sorflakne on 10 Jul 2017, 21:19
I was rereading some old comics to see if I could build on a hypothesis that came to me while writing my previous post when I saw this (http://www.alicegrove.com/page/87).  Not relevant to the hypothesis, but amusing nonetheless considering Alice and Church's history.  Which makes one wonder if the orbital laser is still up there and still functional...
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 10 Jul 2017, 21:24
Alice said once that single-handed she could inflict unacceptable casualties on a planetary invasion force. That was one heck of a hint at supernatural abilities.

But she couldn't defeat it, she admitted. That's not the only odd thing about their limits.

Shouldn't being frozen in solid rock be just a minor inconvenience for someone who can reverse entropy? Just cause an unnatural heat flow that chills the rock below and around you and heats the rock in a column over your head to the boiling point.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: OldGoat on 10 Jul 2017, 22:13
Which makes one wonder if the orbital laser is still up there and still functional...
We've assumed it was an orbital laser, but........??
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: mikmaxs on 10 Jul 2017, 22:16
To quote Faye: What the ASS?

This last cartoon is seriously risking losing the plot for me. Not because of the outlandish physics, or the difficult exposition.

No, because it's all wrong. This is the ENDING. In the ending, you resolve the questions and plot complications based on the physics and rules you ALREADY set up. You don't start setting up NEW physics and rules. 

Not only is it wrong from the writer/reader contract point of view, it's wrong from the 'let's just explain what we just saw' point of view. We just saw Sedna rip her own arm off and bleed out while shivving Church. And we just heard was that at least one of the participants' realities was actually a simulation, and maybe the current one too. The explanation we needed was "How did Sedna just go faster than Church and become stronger than his armor?". An explanation based on the last two things would make sense. What we got was just the opposite of that.  Plus Alice using a vague "we" about the ability to violate entropy at will is just...bleah.

FIrst, nothing any of the supersoldiers has done required entropy violation (up to, perhaps, Alice's self-cleaning blood removal). So saying they can do that doesn't really answer much. But it does open up a wildcard that Alice (and whoever else is a "Maxwell's Demon") has weakly godlike abilities and always has. Meaning anything can happen and can have happened if they did it. A plot hole big enough to drive a Praeses through.

Second, it's all totally irrelevant. It doesn't really answer the relationship between Church and Sedna and Alice, or the sudden ability for Sedna to be faster, or the reason the Praeses isn't really nervous about the supersoldiers, or how Ardent and Gavia escaped from a simulation, or the Blink, or the Nightwalker, or anything. It just makes things more complicated and handwavey.

Man I could rant all night about this. However things tie up now, the whole story is suspect!
This. So much this. This comic is like the 'Sedna bone knife' thing, only instead of weakening a dramatic moment, it is really kind of killing the whole ending. There are... What, 11 comics left? 12? 10? About a dozen. This should be the strongest part of the story, (Well, this and the introduction,) and yet it's just throwing bad twists and curveballs in the audience that I really, really doubt can be satisfiable tied up by the end, and that for the most part make the rest of the story irrelevant. If she can ignore the laws of physics, why doesn't she just... I dunno, jump into space to talk to the Praeses herself? Would that really be so difficult? She can apparently move around in a vacuum just fine, and would survive re-entry, so...
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: BenRG on 10 Jul 2017, 23:58
So is Alice slowly losing it (judging by facial expressions), or is she just amused that she can reveal her and the others' true nature now?

I think that she's trying to pressure Pate to fold by doing the whole 'creepy post-human nightmare' thing on him. I also think that she is worried enough about Sedna that she's trying to deal with it by bullying a primitive.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: JimC on 11 Jul 2017, 04:13
Honestly chaps. It should have been obvious since she fell off the wind generator that Alice wasn't subject to normal physics. One needs to consider not only the mechanical properties of the bones, but also of the flesh and skin that surrounds them. Alice ain't natural, as the old man said.

The troouble with creating unreasonably strong materials, as Larry Niven has said about his stasis field, is that you then have huge limitations forced on you by their nnature, since once they exist they cut down your options.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: WareWolf on 11 Jul 2017, 04:41
Today's xkcd seems relevant:

(https://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/quantum.png)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: WareWolf on 11 Jul 2017, 04:48

This. So much this. This comic is like the 'Sedna bone knife' thing, only instead of weakening a dramatic moment, it is really kind of killing the whole ending. There are... What, 11 comics left? 12? 10? About a dozen. This should be the strongest part of the story, (Well, this and the introduction,) and yet it's just throwing bad twists and curveballs in the audience that I really, really doubt can be satisfiable tied up by the end, and that for the most part make the rest of the story irrelevant. If she can ignore the laws of physics, why doesn't she just... I dunno, jump into space to talk to the Praeses herself? Would that really be so difficult? She can apparently move around in a vacuum just fine, and would survive re-entry, so...

It's strongly implied that violation of the rules (like all Magick)  comes with a price, and violation on that scale might well be a price Alice is reluctant, if not totally unwilling, to pay. Not sure what the price is. Fraying of reality, maybe?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: pwhodges on 11 Jul 2017, 05:11
I expect we will be told or shown the price shortly.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: WareWolf on 11 Jul 2017, 05:57
I expect we will be told or shown the price shortly.

It might be the secret to Church's power. He's willing to incur a higher entropic debt for less justification. Still doesn't explain why he didn't just magic himself out of the lava encasement.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: BenRG on 11 Jul 2017, 06:13
I expect we will be told or shown the price shortly.

It might be the secret to Church's power. He's willing to incur a higher entropic debt for less justification. Still doesn't explain why he didn't just magic himself out of the lava encasement.

There may be an upper end to the amount of energy one can dump into the entropy sink in one time and, therefore, an upper end to the amount of energy one can use without it causing catastrophic damage to one's body's cellular structure.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: mikmaxs on 11 Jul 2017, 06:31
I think it's time to start asking the hard questions.
Like...
Why was there a wind turbine at the beginning? I don't think I've seen a single electrical implement this entire comic.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Castlerook on 11 Jul 2017, 06:45
I think it's time to start asking the hard questions.
Like...
Why was there a wind turbine at the beginning? I don't think I've seen a single electrical implement this entire comic.

Probably grinding grain. Technology that lead to the Blink might not be in use anymore, but the fundamentals would still be there, a windmill grinding grain would probably still be a necessity.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Neko_Ali on 11 Jul 2017, 06:52
To quote Faye: What the ASS?

This last cartoon is seriously risking losing the plot for me. Not because of the outlandish physics, or the difficult exposition.

No, because it's all wrong. This is the ENDING. In the ending, you resolve the questions and plot complications based on the physics and rules you ALREADY set up. You don't start setting up NEW physics and rules. 

Not only is it wrong from the writer/reader contract point of view, it's wrong from the 'let's just explain what we just saw' point of view. We just saw Sedna rip her own arm off and bleed out while shivving Church. And we just heard was that at least one of the participants' realities was actually a simulation, and maybe the current one too. The explanation we needed was "How did Sedna just go faster than Church and become stronger than his armor?". An explanation based on the last two things would make sense. What we got was just the opposite of that.  Plus Alice using a vague "we" about the ability to violate entropy at will is just...bleah.

FIrst, nothing any of the supersoldiers has done required entropy violation (up to, perhaps, Alice's self-cleaning blood removal). So saying they can do that doesn't really answer much. But it does open up a wildcard that Alice (and whoever else is a "Maxwell's Demon") has weakly godlike abilities and always has. Meaning anything can happen and can have happened if they did it. A plot hole big enough to drive a Praeses through.

Second, it's all totally irrelevant. It doesn't really answer the relationship between Church and Sedna and Alice, or the sudden ability for Sedna to be faster, or the reason the Praeses isn't really nervous about the supersoldiers, or how Ardent and Gavia escaped from a simulation, or the Blink, or the Nightwalker, or anything. It just makes things more complicated and handwavey.

Man I could rant all night about this. However things tie up now, the whole story is suspect!


Actually, to the contrary, this revelation does explain all of their abilities to me. Up until now I haven't done a whole lot of examination of the 'why and  how' of their abilities, only the observable effects. We were missing key facts as to their nature, so any speculation would inherently be faulty, and any conclusions reached would be suspect, if not wholly inaccurate.

Now however, we have the final piece we need to explain how they do what they do. And we can get some sort of handle on their strengths and weaknesses. Alice can jump high, even propel herself in space via local manipulation of gravity. She can survive falls, bullets and other attacks by altering her own density. Church can move himself at incredible speeds by warping physics. Their abilities only seem to affect themselves though. They couldn't reduce Pate to a puddle with a glance or teleport the kids back to space.

In a way, they are a bit like Green Lanterns. They have incredible, possibly unlimited power. But their power is limited by their imagination and their will. Church is the strongest outright of the three. Faster, physically stronger, more durable... Yet he was taken out by Sedna, the weakest of the three. Because she thought tactically, unlike Alice who was just using brute force. Sedna knew she wouldn't be able to take Church on head on, instead she bided her time, saved her energy and threw it all into one strike. She was able to speed herself up even faster than Church, pulling off her own arm to forge a weapon and putting everything into it to take him out, then collapse afterwards.

Rather than offering up more questions, for me this explains a lot of the things they did earlier on that I filed away into the 'awaiting explanation' box. Much the same as the revelation that the spaceborn colonies were not colonies the way we thought, and the colonists don't have physical bodies typically. They are all part of the Praeses... Possibly this was originally supposed to be an intersystem colonizing attempt? But it explains why Alice was so sure none of the Spaceborne could just telport down to Earth without the praesis knowing. They don't have bodies unless the praeses create them. Gavia expected the Praeses to just hear them because they've always been an omnipresent fact of their lives, because they live within them.

Really, Jeph is closing up the explanations of all the hows... what's left now are the whos, the whys and the what comes next. How did Ardent and Gavia get sent to Earth? Who did it, and who gave Ardent his upgrade powers? What is the reason any and all of this happened, who is running this and for what reason? And what will happen now that the truth is out? What will be the final fate of the others up here... Will the survivors have a way to make it back to Earth? Will the kids have to go with them since they're now contaminated and the Praeses won't take them back? What's the status of Church and Sedna? Alive? Dead? In a coma and regenerating? How thinly will Pate be spread over the walls when Alice is done with him? Important questions yet to be answered.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Neko_Ali on 11 Jul 2017, 06:55
I think it's time to start asking the hard questions.
Like...
Why was there a wind turbine at the beginning? I don't think I've seen a single electrical implement this entire comic.

Probably grinding grain. Technology that lead to the Blink might not be in use anymore, but the fundamentals would still be there, a windmill grinding grain would probably still be a necessity.

The water pump was powered before Ardent upgraded it. That was clearly an electric power windmills. A mechanical windmill is different. It's possible that they still use some sort of powered grinding wheel, but that's nothing like a Dutch windmill.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: JimC on 11 Jul 2017, 08:02
The water pump was powered before Ardent upgraded it. That was clearly an electric power windmills.
'xactly so. A more interesting question is where the wind turbine came from, since its clearly of a size and scale requiring much higher strength materials than wood or steel. but I was assuming Alice (and Sedna for weapons repair) have some access to industrial capabilities way beyond that available to the baseline humans.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: JimC on 11 Jul 2017, 08:04
Good bye Jasper...
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Castlerook on 11 Jul 2017, 08:10
I wish more would-be tyrants met their end through the use of a super soldier's hand through their face.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: BenRG on 11 Jul 2017, 08:35
So, yeah: The pre-Blink powers built super-soldiers; they built super-soldiers so powerful that no-one and nothing could stop them; even their own kind could only beat them with difficulty. They built weapons so powerful that they literally laid waste to the world in pursuit of what I suspect were carefully-indoctrinated objectives.

Only at the very end, with humanity eye-to-eye with extinction, did some of the Super-Soldiers realise what was at stake (it's more than possible that Alice led that group, given the self-loathing described by Sedna). They acted to take those who were still true to their factions' cause (like Church) out of the game and then they combined their powers to rewrite the world into something that was 'better'. 'Better' defined as 'unlikely to ever start off down the path to self-annihilating conflict ever again'. Those who wanted to live in harmony with nature were put on a post-industrial Earth and those who would not give up ultra-high technology were entrusted to the Praeses to live their hyper-civilisation fantasies as data entities within virtual realities.

Tyranny? Maybe; but Alice and her peers had seen such horrors as to defy the imagination. Can she truly be condemned for wanting to ensure that this would never be inflicted on her mother race ever again?

However, now someone is trying to break the balance. It isn't the Praeses, so the question is: Who is it and what is their objective?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Castlerook on 11 Jul 2017, 09:04
Well maybe Alice just wants an end to 5000 years of self loathing and the post-Blink simulation. After all, who really wants to live forever?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: retrosteve on 11 Jul 2017, 09:07


Tyranny? Maybe; but Alice and her peers had seen such horrors as to defy the imagination. Can she truly be condemned for wanting to ensure that this would never be inflicted on her mother race ever again?

However, now someone is trying to break the balance. It isn't the Praeses, so the question is: Who is it and what is their objective?

Well, it was Jesper, but not any more. It was also whoever instantiated Ardent and Gavia outside the Praeses, and that is an unanswered question. Along with the receiver of the Nightwalker's message. And the current fate of Sedna.

You seem to be assuming that it was Alice et al. who set up the Blink compromise, but it need not have been....
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: pwhodges on 11 Jul 2017, 09:08
"How many of the deaths were your responsibility?"
"Most of them."

Well, I don't suppose we've ever thought that Alice was not a part of whatever happened way back when, but - right, we get it.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: OldGoat on 11 Jul 2017, 09:43
The water pump was powered before Ardent upgraded it. That was clearly an electric power windmills.
'xactly so. A more interesting question is where the wind turbine came from, since its clearly of a size and scale requiring much higher strength materials than wood or steel. but I was assuming Alice (and Sedna for weapons repair) have some access to industrial capabilities way beyond that available to the baseline humans.
Is there an engineer or architect in the house?

The city-scape in the window behind Pate's desk (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/148839923804/i-hope-to-get-back-to-2-updates-a-week-soon-thank) shows four or five buildings (including City Hall or whatever they call it where Jesper has his office) that look to be ten stories or so.  I'm thinking that would require a steel framework, not just stacked up brick and mortar, so there's some industrial capacity.  There's probably plenty of pre-blink steel around, so then don't necessarily have to be smelting ore.  We were putting up buildings like that a few years after the Civil War, so it's not like they'd need 20th Century technology levels.  They do have an educational system that generates professionals with advanced degrees (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/106565561614/shes-gonna-ebay-her).

I see Alice's world as possessing much of the technology we have today, but it's use is dialed 'way back to sustainable levels.  Kinda like a techno-hippie commune.

On another matter, did Alice smash Jesper's face in, or only his nose?  I can see her maiming him just enough for a rebooting Elmer (Church) to register her as the Ichiban Badass and submit to her control.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: USS Martenclaire on 11 Jul 2017, 09:46
Well, fuck.  :-o
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: bhtooefr on 11 Jul 2017, 09:53
Jesper Pâté living up to his name, I see.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: dutchrvl on 11 Jul 2017, 09:57

... then they combined their powers to rewrite the world into something that was 'better'. 'Better' defined as 'unlikely to ever start off down the path to self-annihilating conflict ever again'. Those who wanted to live in harmony with nature were put on a post-industrial Earth and those who would not give up ultra-high technology were entrusted to the Praeses to live their hyper-civilisation fantasies as data entities within virtual realities.

Hmm, I like most of your summary and agree with most, but the Blink appears to me as not instigated by a supposed "faction of remorseful supersoldiers et al. looking to create a better world", since Alice seemed to indicate in the beginning of the story that she did not know how/what had happened during the Blink.

Of course it is very well possible that Alice simply did not want to divulge the truth back then.
And indeed, while re-reading it, she says that "armies" vanished and that the world appeared to have been edited to kinda 'restart'. If that is the case, why would the supersoldiers like Alice have been left on earth, unless they were behind it themselves?

It may even have been a collaborative faction between some of the supersoldier on the biological end and the most powerful AIs (praeses?) on that end, agreeing on taking (uploading, if you will) the AI-favoring humans into the praeses above earth and simulating a typical human-like existence (i.e. ontologically indistinguishable from the real world), while leaving a small biology-favoring human population on a fresh earth. The encasement of Church may have been Alice collaborating with AIs who provided the laser beam technology.

Definitely questions that arise though: how was the earth edited? As pointed out by others, the capabilities of Alice & Co. seem to be limited to their own bodies, which makes it unlikely that they could change the earth.
Also, if the AI-favoring humans were uploaded to live simulated lives in the praeses, why would there be humans in that society like Ardent who favor biology? This could be a hint that you cannot keep the 2 separate even if you try, i.e. on earth humans will start desiring AI, in the praeses humans will start desiring biology. Compare it to the Matrix where a too perfect world failed as humanity refused to accept it as real.

My most stinging question as of now however is: who was behind Ardent/Gavia teleporting to earth? What is the connection with the nightwalker? And what is the meaning behind the nightwalker using Gavia to destroy/signal something/someone on the moon?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: bhtooefr on 11 Jul 2017, 09:59
I'm also wondering now if Alice might actually be the villain.

By her own admission, she's singlehandedly responsible for the worst genocide in human history, and that's even assuming that this is in a future version of our universe, where World War II and the surrounding events happened.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: retrosteve on 11 Jul 2017, 10:03
"How many of the deaths were your responsibility?"
"Most of them."

Well, I don't suppose we've ever thought that Alice was not a part of whatever happened way back when, but - right, we get it.

We partly get it. We're still not sure how the Blink worked, or if she is responsible for it.
Two scenarios are suggested:
1. The war was so horrific that 6 billion people died, and Alice was largely responsible for a lot of it. The 200 million remaining AI's were disappeared or repurposed in The Blink, leaving Alice looking around in horror. (Alice's original story, not necessarily accurate)
2. The war was so horrific that Alice, compelled to serve everyone's greater good, decided this had to stop. She and her pals made the Blink happen, recording and then killing everyone but the supersoldiers, and then entering their recorded consciousnesses into simulations which the Praeses run. (BenRG and dutchrvl suggestion)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: derech on 11 Jul 2017, 10:24
According to Laridia, the realities both within and without are not facsimiles, approximations or falsehoods.   They're all equally as "real" and whatever real is, they are identical in the nature of being, however metaphysical it may be.  It could be instead a matter of the relationships between concepts, in a subject area like managing and manipulating energy and entropy.   Embodiment and transfer, moving matter from one state to another.  Perhaps even an answer to where spacetime comes from, what it is in, and what is beyond.  What's in the middle of the material of existence, maybe this is just as real, a bunch of atoms that may or may not actually exist beyond their own isolated system.

Either way, we have an answer as to why the three of them could do things that seemed to us to be against the laws of physics.   They ignored them to something between small and large extent.  If you want to go faster, use more energy and store the entropy.   To hear Alice describe it, something like offset it via the energies of deformed spacetime.  Perhaps somewhat akin to lighting paper on fire with a magnifying glass.

So the idea there with Maxwell's thought experiment is that a worker (mediator, moderator, daemon) sorts the fast and slow into zones.  Faster warms and slower cools the respective zones, which decreases thermodynamic entropy, and thus apparently violates that the total entropy of an isolated system can't decrease over time.  Were a heat engine between these zones, that temperature difference would then extract work from "nothing".   Yet in implementation, this identifying and separating of slow and fast molecules must need more energy than that which could be gained by a temperature difference, there can't be less than zero sum.   This worker then generates more entropy doing the task of sorting/separating than it eliminates creating the difference in potential.   

There's a few ways around that though, at least in the realm of ideas.   Sort of.    If you're measuring gas speeds, getting that information uses energy, and it also makes you a part of the system.  The entropy, as the gas and you together.  Using energy increases your entropy a larger amount than the gas's entropy is lowered, alone.  But add in another element to the system, and put your increased entropy there.    Something like the combining of thermodynamic and information entropy together, offloading the data gathered on the gathered molecular states, storing so no energy is used erasing it.   Make the isolated system larger.  Singularities as storage space and battery; infinite density, to what extent useful in a practical way.

That would certainly appear to bring up another much larger issue to deal with though, if even a black hole can't store or provice an infinite amount of data, if even the universe isn't enough to offset the energy that must be spent when deleting this data or reversing the process of storing it.  What then, if you can't expand the horizon any longer, when the isolated system is truely isolated because it's unexpandable.    This might explain one reason none of these three arbitrarily or constantly went full force whenever they wanted to, because there isn't a limitless storage space to offset limitless entropic shenanigans.  This also might help explain the blink itself; perhaps the reckoning day when the storage is cleaned and all the increased entropy is released at a single point.    Seasaw teetertotter, extract heat and use it to do work, the costs of entropy get shoved someplace else until they have to be dealt with, perhaps to offset the opposite actions built up some other way someplace else.   Inside a black hole, on the other side of a mirror, even within a simulation set up to sink entropy.  That should also fit into some notion of not just counting thermodynamic entropy, even gives a reason for these realities being spoken of, perhaps.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: OldGoat on 11 Jul 2017, 10:39
According to Laridia, the realities both within and without are not facsimiles, approximations or falsehoods.   They're all equally as "real" and whatever real is, they are identical in the nature of being, however metaphysical it may be.
This is sounding like Vishnu's dreams.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: A Duck on 11 Jul 2017, 10:45
Alice seems to be more unhinged by the second.
I wonder if use of their powers makes them get more and more violent.

That would explain why Church is so violent (getting out of the magma pit Alice lovingly made for him probably required a lot of energy).

In fact, almost every time Alice or Sedna started fighting they eventually had to be pulled back to reality. Alice back when she attacked Gavia; Sedna when she almost attacked Ardent and Gavia...

Also, by Alice's admission of being responsible for "most" of the deaths, I think there weren't any other frontline super soldiers in the blink war other than Alice and Church. There were probably other minor super beings like Sedna, but it seems each side had only one armored combatant.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Neko_Ali on 11 Jul 2017, 10:50
They were soldiers designed and condition to fight and kill. Not trained, but killing is a core part of their make up. Sedna said they programmed into them conditions and quirks to keep them occupied and not killing everything around them when they shouldn't be doing that. So it makes sense once they get into the mindset where they are allowed to fulfill their primary mission of murder they need something to pull them back out of it.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 11 Jul 2017, 11:32
I give the late Pate credit for courage. He was sweating but never backed down knowing fully what he was up against.

This is starting to remind me of David Weber's Safehold series, about a human society carefully engineered to stay in technological stasis.

Jeph is on a roll about getting me to make sudden loud intakes of breath. That deadpan "Most of them" left me thinking what it would feel like to have that on my conscience. Alice apparently sentenced herself to five thousand years of community service. Was killing herself even physically possible?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: OldGoat on 11 Jul 2017, 12:08
On Alice and Sedna.

We've speculated as to their prior relationship, up to and including lovers.  But I'm wondering if Sedna wasn't a non-comm (sergeant) and Alice her commanding officer.  Sedna uses lower social class speech patterns than Alice, like, "Listen, Ellie's death ain't your fault." (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/154586478449/sedna-maintains-a-positive-attitude) and in that same strip she's talking to Ardent like a good platoon sergeant to a scared private.

Sedna's anger with Alice comes from the latter being what one of the characters in Bernard Cornwell's Richard Sharpe stories calls a "murderin' officer."

Quote from: Sgt Patrick Harper in "Sharpe's Rifles"
There are two kinds of officers, sir: killin' officers and murderin' officers. Killin' officers are poor old buggers that get you killed by mistake. Murderin' officers are mad, bad, old buggers that get you killed on purpose - for a country, for a religion, maybe even for a flag. You see that Major Hogan, sir? That's what I call a murderin' officer.

I see Sedna as a combat engineer - not front line infantry, but immediately behind them and sometimes out in front, punching a road through or blowing obstructions up, and just as apt to be right up where the shooting is happening.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: brasca on 11 Jul 2017, 12:25
I give the late Pate credit for courage. He was sweating but never backed down knowing fully what he was up against.

Agreed.  And to his credit he could've just lived comfortably as a feudal lord, but wanted to restore mankind to the place it once held.

For Alice's sake Church better be dead or she has a backup plan since he's still off the leash.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: dexeron on 11 Jul 2017, 12:25
Tyranny? Maybe; but Alice and her peers had seen such horrors as to defy the imagination. Can she truly be condemned for wanting to ensure that this would never be inflicted on her mother race ever again?

Yes.

Pate might have been an amoral asshole, and Church deserves whatever fate he gets, but ultimately Pate was a product of his environment.  Put everyone in a cage, no matter how gilded it might be, and you're going to have at least some who will want to get out of it - and they're not evil for wanting that.  That cage might be for the greater good, but it's still morally wrong to force people to stay there if they want something better.

What made Pate evil was that he reacted to his dreams being sacrificed for the greater good by being willing to sacrifice the lives of others to achieve his own "greater good." Like Church, he deserves whatever he gets, but that doesn't make him wrong.  The system that was set up to prevent another war (if that's really why things are the way they are) is not a real solution.  Taking away free-will isn't the answer, and the fact that Alice (or whoever is actually in charge) hasn't been able to envision a better solution than "just lock everyone into stagnation" is more a function of her own guilt, fear, and lack of imagination than anything to do with the current state of things being morally superior.

From what we've been shown, Alice seems at her core to be fundamentally racked by guilt and fear, and her desire to enforce the current status-quo because of that makes her a villain too.  Perhaps not as much of one as someone like Pate or Church (Alice did refrain to outright murdering Ardent when she had a chance to) but villainous in her own way - and not just because she engaged in unspecified atrocities thousands of years ago.

(Also, it appears that she just murdered a defenseless opponent, so there's that...)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: dutchrvl on 11 Jul 2017, 13:23
It occurs to me that some of Pate's dialogue doesn't make much sense to me. He says " Is that what all this is about? You atoning for whatever you did...", but Pate was the one that forced her to come up with him, so it's not like any of the currently ongoing circumstances/actions are part of something preplanned by Alice.

In fact, the only way Pate's questions make sense is if Alice was (at least partially) behind human consciousnesses digitally sequestered in the Praeses, and earth being reset at a more or less agricultural age. There is no way of Pate knowing this though, so he is assuming an awful lot about history and Alice's role in it, or (more likely) Jeph has here given away the info that Alice was indeed behind the current circumstances.

Another thing I was wondering: Alice and Ardent behaviors and actions and how they talk about their digital lives inside the praeses seems to indicate that the praeses can host realities and house the digital consciousnesses, but not actually alter or otherwise affect those consciousnesses.

 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: JimC on 11 Jul 2017, 13:25
That cage might be for the greater good, but it's still morally wrong to force people to stay there if they want something better.
Arguably every legal system is a cage in which people are forced to stay for the greater good.

(Also, it appears that she just murdered a defenseless opponent, so there's that...)
Possibly executed?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: dutchrvl on 11 Jul 2017, 13:41
That cage might be for the greater good, but it's still morally wrong to force people to stay there if they want something better.
Arguably every legal system is a cage in which people are forced to stay for the greater good.

^This. You can get into endless philosophical discussions about what is good and evil, but in a nutshell the concept of good and evil are simply societal constructs device by majority opinion and not absolutely defined.

In a way, pretty much everybody lives in some 'cages', albeit most consist of societal/familial morals/ethics and legal systems. Countries' borders are another example, is it morally wrong to keep people from crossing borders if they desire to do so?
Is the cage that was created in AG for the greater good morally wrong? Who is to say? Was the majority of earth inhabitants for or against this construct?

I would also like to point out that the argument "you should not force somebody to stay in the cage if they want something better" hinges on what constitutes 'better'....Is what Pate is interested in 'better'? If everybody in the world is wellfed, safe, and taken care of, one could argue that colonizing other planets does not constitute 'better'. Is colonizing planets better for whoemevr inhabits those planets?

Anyway, we could go on and on, but you get my drift.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: BenRG on 11 Jul 2017, 14:27
(Also, it appears that she just murdered a defenseless opponent, so there's that...)

Possibly executed?

"For Ellie. Because Church would have used 'restrain or immobilise' if you'd told him to but you thought him murdering someone would make sure we were paying attention to you. Mr Pate? You have my attention."
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: A small perverse otter on 11 Jul 2017, 15:43
(Also, it appears that she just murdered a defenseless opponent, so there's that...)

Possibly executed?

"For Ellie. Because Church would have used 'restrain or immobilise' if you'd told him to but you thought him murdering someone would make sure we were paying attention to you. Mr Pate? You have my attention."
If Path knew (or should have known) what would happen to people like Ellie, then, yes, he's a murderer. Given that Pate knew what would happen when he let Church off his leash just a few comics ago, I guess that's probably true.

I'm not sure that I'll let Alice off the hook that easily, though -- she can't be judge, jury, and executioner in my mind.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: dexeron on 11 Jul 2017, 15:54
Yeah, can't really mourn for Pate.  Alice's actions (assuming she actually has killed him here) are more revenge than justice, but honestly, dude knew what Church could do, didn't bother to tell him to rein it in, and in fact seemed almost pleased when Ellie was killed.  He could easily have said "Church, no violence.  Let me lay out my case and we'll see if they're willing to cooperate."  Instead, he made it a game, waited and let Church respond with maximum violence, likely as an example to force compliance.  Dude's a monster.

(There's a difference between cheering Pate's fate and cheering Alice being the one doing it.  He might have deserved what he gets... but her dishing it out still says something about her, and it's not necessarily something very nice.)

Anyway, I don't even fully disagree with what people are saying above, but there are a couple things that just bother me about the solution "whoever" came up with.

- There's a concept in American law (so obviously this isn't some universal moral absolute, but I think it's a good idea) that if some fundamental right has to be violated because the state has a compelling interest, then that violation should be done in the least restrictive way.  So: we need to prevent a future war, what's the "least restrictive" way to do it?  Is it ensuring that humankind never achieves the level of technology it did last time?  Is it ensuring that no new beings like Alice can ever be created?  Is there a better way?  If a "cage" is required, there are many different kinds of cages

- I think we'd all agree that a nation preventing its people from ever being able to leave is violating those peoples' rights.  The fact that no "escape valve" was built into this cage (like allowing people like Pate who chafe at the restrictions to maybe maybe go live in a Praeses world) is just bad design, because it will inevitably lead to malcontents who could, theoretically, threaten the status-quo.

- We all live in "cages" of a sort, but we also have the ability and right to question those cages, to try to change them when we realize that they are unfair or toxic.  There doesn't seem to be any such recourse for people in Alice's world.  Again: this will inevitably lead to malcontents.

- There's no guarantee that humankind would make the same mistakes again if they did achieve high technology.  Sure, it's a risk, but there are also risks associated with the current solution: humankind stuck in stagnation is at risk for the next massive asteroid or superbug, and is inevitably doomed when the sun finally expands.  Even the Praeses, at least those we've seen, aren't any farther out than low-Earth orbit.  There's no indication we've ventured any farther than that.  Enforced stagnation might well prevent war, but it also forces all of our eggs to remain in one basket, and that's terrible for the long-term survival chances of humanity.  There's no guarantee that even the Praeses would be able to move enough of us off-world when the time comes for us to survive - and even if they did manage to move themselves and their inhabitants away, that still would mean abandoning all those remaining on the surface to a slow death.

Basically, I think "whoever" acted in a very understandable way in a terrible, horrible situation, and acted to prevent that horror from ever reoccurring, but in doing so, never bothered to consider that there might be other ways of accomplishing that goal that aren't so restrictive.  It's basically the same thing as with the Reapers from Mass Effect:
(click to show/hide)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: A Duck on 11 Jul 2017, 15:56
It's basically the same thing as with the Reapers from Mass Effect:
(click to show/hide)

(click to show/hide)

Also, someone on reddit posted THIS (https://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3183) in regards to Alice's powers.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Castlerook on 11 Jul 2017, 16:22
I'm not sure that I'll let Alice off the hook that easily, though -- she can't be judge, jury, and executioner in my mind.

A human in good conscience can't be judge, jury and executioner.
Whatever Alice started off as and has become since, its obvious that she hasn't been human for a very long time.

We're talking about a weapon that has been responsible for the death of billions, not a person - a weapon. What rules and morality that we hold to, all that changed with the war the preceded the Blink. It changed with the creation of the super soldiers. Alice was a weapon, one designed to destroy any enemies in her path. Pate was just another in a very long line of enemies.

Consider that before we judge Alice.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: sitnspin on 11 Jul 2017, 16:41
Also, someone on reddit posted THIS (https://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3183) in regards to Alice's powers.
So Emily created the supersoldiers to defeat entropy. Everything after flowed from that.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Tova on 11 Jul 2017, 16:44
Seeing as sympathy is swaying slightly away from Alice towards Pate right now, let's take another look at Church.

I wouldn't blame anyone for seeing Church as nothing less than an evil monster, and yet he is simply a product of his designers, built with a compulsion to kill, designed to gain positive reinforcement from the act. He is obeying his own nature. Is this more evil than a lion that is compelled to kill for its own survival?

And now we see Alice is fundamentally the same. Fortunately, she is compelled to serve humanity, but we can see here in the execution of Pate the same compulsion to kill along with the same maniacal expression that we saw from Church. They are more alike than different.

Pate, on the other hand, can more truly be held responsible for his actions, and in particular his ruthless exploitation of Church to achieve his agenda. Is he excused by his motivation of wanting to further humanity? Was this truly his motivation, or simply his justification for satisfying his own very human urge to explore, to expand, and even to conquer nature?

I await the final comics with interest, because I see Ardent and Gavia as the true protagonists of this comics, in spite of its title. The comic won't be over until it resolves the question that has existed almost since the beginning: who was responsible for sending them to Earth, and for what purpose?

I still have a sneaking suspicion it might be Alice, but I've been wrong about just about everything so far (except in suggesting that the Praeses would do nothing to intervene in the conflict that has played out).

Also, someone on reddit posted THIS (https://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3183) in regards to Alice's powers.
So Emily created the supersoldiers to defeat entropy. Everything after flowed from that.

Ha, nice insight! I guess Jeph was knee-deep in Alice Grove research when he penned that QC comic.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: OldGoat on 11 Jul 2017, 16:47
Yeah, can't really mourn for Pate.  Alice's actions (assuming she actually has killed him here) are more revenge than justice, but honestly, dude knew what Church could do, didn't bother to tell him to rein it in, and in fact seemed almost pleased when Ellie was killed.  He could easily have said "Church, no violence.  Let me lay out my case and we'll see if they're willing to cooperate."  Instead, he made it a game, waited and let Church respond with maximum violence, likely as an example to force compliance.  Dude's a monster.
It's a time honored (using the word loosely here) method by more sly autocrats, dictators, mob bosses, warlords, and such - make one spectacular example of one or two people and keep everyone else in line.  No doubt Pate employed his goons to do the same thing before he ever acquired Church.  It is (or was) one of Jesper's favorite tactics.

What was Pate before he assumed his role as mayor/king/regent/boss?  I'm guessing a school teacher a la Benito Mussolini.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Castlerook on 11 Jul 2017, 16:52
Also, someone on reddit posted THIS (https://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3183) in regards to Alice's powers.
So Emily created the supersoldiers to defeat entropy. Everything after flowed from that.

Then Hanners created the Praeses to combat her!
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: sitnspin on 11 Jul 2017, 16:58
What was Pate before he assumed his role as mayor/king/regent/boss?  I'm guessing a school teacher a la Benito Mussolini.
It would explain his interest and knowledge of history.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: RSDeuce on 11 Jul 2017, 17:12
I think it's time to start asking the hard questions.
Like...
Why was there a wind turbine at the beginning? I don't think I've seen a single electrical implement this entire comic.

Probably grinding grain. Technology that lead to the Blink might not be in use anymore, but the fundamentals would still be there, a windmill grinding grain would probably still be a necessity.

The water pump was powered before Ardent upgraded it. That was clearly an electric power windmills. A mechanical windmill is different. It's possible that they still use some sort of powered grinding wheel, but that's nothing like a Dutch windmill.

It's even easier than that. There is clearly stated electrical capability in the comic (solar panels.)

http://68.media.tumblr.com/8cb44e2cee5bc3e9e4609eda0f53bbaf/tumblr_nw6qlhu6dY1tl5t55o1_1280.png
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Kugai on 11 Jul 2017, 17:16
Things are definitely taking a turn for the surreal
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: moriastar on 11 Jul 2017, 18:19
So, sorry I'm late to this and I tried to read through everyones comments to make sure I'm not repeating. I apologize if I missed someone's post that said the same thing.

Concerning why they don't use their powers like crazy- the statement was the event horizon of the blackhole would simply get bigger the more they broke the rules around them. This means if they aren't careful a blackhole could get so big as to put their world in danger. Church may have been more crazy and a little more loose with his abilities because of relative distance to his world is far greater than the others, but still close enough to be somewhat careful. Alice's could be much closer (say center of our galaxy) and thus she wouldn't want to risk the power up needed to take Church on.

Now a theory on the death of most and everything going on. If my above theory is correct, then someone who's black hole was the furthest possible away of all would have the most power. Alice may know what really happened but didn't cause it. She may have indirectly caused it however. Perhaps someone cared for her very deeply that was on the same level as her and Church. This someone heard how Alice wanted the war to end. That there were only a few options that the human  race could live in peace. This person, with their black hole being so far away and their desire to make Alice be happy and at peace took those ideas and made them all happen in an instant. This would involve destroying the lives of everyone who could potentially create the path for this level of tech again. it meant Alice didn't have to worry... and possibly the person disappeared into what we would consider nothingness. Why nothing? Well, possibly they thought that Alice would then be able to make the others disappear. Perhaps they used themselves up TRYING to make the others disappear and couldn't because they can all bend reality too... meaning they didn't disappear because they thought they SHOULD exist. Or that one disappeared because Alice made them think they shouldn't exist by accident. Which means what Alice said would have been true minus her personal theories, but she'd feel responsible once she realized what her words probably did and the missing companion.

Which now takes me back to one thing we may have forgotten about by now. The Nanobots that shot off the beam to the moon could be a failsafe. If the two separate worlds should come together, perhaps the missing weapon then can try resetting everything again if they did not cease to exist.

I'm sorry my thoughts are a bit all over. These are just various theories I have.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: DaiJB on 11 Jul 2017, 18:33
I wonder - would Alice have let Pate live if he had just admitted that he had done things wrong?
But instead, his last words were just self-aggrandizing and finger-pointing... so, Goodbye Mr. Pate.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Stoutfellow on 11 Jul 2017, 18:36
Or, in the words of Cordelia Vorkosigan: Wrong answer.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: WareWolf on 11 Jul 2017, 18:41
Walker: "Oh, I get it. Moral ambiguity. The hallmark of all early 20th-century American fiction."
Texas Ranger: "Great analysis, Walker."
Walker: "Thank you."
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Tova on 11 Jul 2017, 18:54
I wonder - would Alice have let Pate live if he had just admitted that he had done things wrong?

Personally, I doubt it.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 11 Jul 2017, 19:14
Quote
Alice was a weapon, one designed to destroy any enemies in her path. Pate was just another in a very long line of enemies.

Consider that before we judge Alice.

She was able to spare Ardent's life even though he was an ongoing danger. She has free will to the extent any of us does. She could have refrained from murdering someone who had been consummately nerfed. She has probably asked herself why she didn't pull back during the war, before she became a thousand Hitlers.

Not that it's his fault or justifies his death, but Mr. Pate might have stopped to think that it reduced his chances of living to remind her of how many times she'd killed before.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: A small perverse otter on 11 Jul 2017, 19:37
I wonder - would Alice have let Pate live if he had just admitted that he had done things wrong?

Personally, I doubt it.
Yeah, me neither. I don't see Alice as being terribly obsessed with the notion of "redemption", her own or anybody else's.

Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: WareWolf on 11 Jul 2017, 19:38


Not that it's his fault or justifies his death, but Mr. Pate might have stopped to think that it reduced his chances of living to remind her of how many times she'd killed before.

"You're a mass murderer."

"Yes." DEATHSTRIKE.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: A small perverse otter on 11 Jul 2017, 19:40
If all the Praeses' simulations are equally 'real', then maybe Pate missed a key point: humankind is bound to this Hell in this simulation, but maybe not in all simulations? Perhaps there are simulations in which he becomes a dictator, and the outcome is not very nice.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: dexeron on 11 Jul 2017, 19:54
And now we see Alice is fundamentally the same. Fortunately, she is compelled to serve humanity,

That actually makes her more potentially terrifying than Church.  Her only moral compass is "that which serves humanity."  Any act, no matter how violent, no matter how depraved, is permissible if she can rationalize it as being ultimately in the best interests of humanity.

Asimov's "Zeroth Law." Leto's "Golden Path."  All serve the greater good.  All are, ultimately, necessary.  But all are freaking terrifying to the average person who might inadvertently stumble into the path of their unfeeling, pitiless, unstoppable wheels.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Castlerook on 11 Jul 2017, 20:07
Quote
Alice was a weapon, one designed to destroy any enemies in her path. Pate was just another in a very long line of enemies.

Consider that before we judge Alice.

She was able to spare Ardent's life even though he was an ongoing danger. She has free will to the extent any of us does. She could have refrained from murdering someone who had been consummately nerfed. She has probably asked herself why she didn't pull back during the war, before she became a thousand Hitlers.

Not that it's his fault or justifies his death, but Mr. Pate might have stopped to think that it reduced his chances of living to remind her of how many times she'd killed before.

The difference could simply be that Ardent didn't intend to hurt anyone, while Pate knew exactly the kind of damage Church could do. Otherwise why let the rabid attack dog off the chain, so to speak?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Neko_Ali on 11 Jul 2017, 20:15
Which is an important point to those leaping to Pate's defense. He literally just tried to murder all of them by proxy. In fact, it was that act and Sedna's sacrifice that left him without his protector. The very moment he realized he was no longer being stopped by Gavia's blade,  his first thought was to kill them all. No talk about his 'desire to help humankind' changes the fact that given the ability he wanted to kill them, again. What else were they going to do with him?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 11 Jul 2017, 20:35
Ignore him? Arrest him? As a baseline human with no weapons or combat skills he was only slightly more dangerous than a stuffed animal.

New caption for all pictures of Alice: "She doesn't seem nice".
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Castlerook on 11 Jul 2017, 20:58
Yeah, ignoring a problem doesn't make it go away. In fact, ignoring a problem like Pate just allows them to fester and become worse later on.

Imprisoning him? Do prisons ever work in fiction? Because I'm pretty sure most of them have revolving doors installed and are made from cardboard.

Pate knows just enough to make him very dangerous. Not a direct threat to Alice, but more than capable of danger through ignorance. Suppose he is returned planetside and let go. What's to stop him from using information he no doubt gleamed from Church to look for some old bunkers. Church was nuts enough to probably note the biochemical sites or viral sites if those weapons were used during the war. If note, well there's always that old demon of war in the shape of nuclear weapons. A little knowledge is a very dangerous thing. Especially in the hands of someone like Pate. So no doubt in Alice's mind, why let him get to that point? How many more people would have to die because of him? At what point would those deaths become her responsibility?



Now, all things being said. I'm beginning to suspect that the one in prison is Alice. Some sort of timeloop or something, where each time she gets just that close to getting out, the whole thing resets. Every iteration is slightly different to keep her from getting complacent. This time its Argent and Gavia, but the next iteration could see a different pair. 5000 years of time looping? Could lead to quite a high body count. And it starts all over again.

Meaning I think the final scenes we see will be almost the same as the beginning: Someone running and calling to Alice who is working away on something.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Neko_Ali on 11 Jul 2017, 21:03
Arrest him... and then what? The Praeses doesn't seem to care what the earthlings do. They're far out of the jurisdiction of Alice or Pate's domains. Pate may be harmless to Alice now, but what about the kids. Again, he just tried to have them killed, after kidnapping them and hauling them against their will and under the threat of killing them and/or the people at the dig site if they didn't comply? Ignore him? The last time they did that for a few seconds he tried to have them all killed. Just because his weapon is out of commission for now doesn't mean he won't try again if given another chance.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: dexeron on 11 Jul 2017, 21:55
Oh god I just had a horrible thought.

Church's different colored eyes.

Spoiler for gore:

(click to show/hide)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: brasca on 11 Jul 2017, 23:12
Wish I weren't so busy all of a sudden otherwise I could read through all of these posts since I don't want to be redundant. 

I think today's strip ultimately came down to a clash between philosophies and at the end of the day Alice is only marginally better than Pate.  Both have convincing arguments which I'm sure we could debate endlessly.  Alice believes humanity is better off being held back since she was there for the worst of it and perpetrated as much.  She's got more blood on her hands than all of Earth's worst tyrants combined.  Pate on the other hand believes that humanity is being unfairly restrained just because his ancestors made some mistakes.  He too is not without blood on his hands albeit indirectly and on a scale that's virtually nothing compared to Alice.  However, Alice now has qualms about killing needlessly.  If she ultimately decided that the end justifies the means she would've killed Ardent to prevent him from destabilizing the world.  Instead she kills Pate who was much in the same position Ardent was and with no remorse whatsoever.  http://www.alicegrove.com/post/126634213464/rip-ardent-you-were-very-blue (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/126634213464/rip-ardent-you-were-very-blue)

Perhaps things might've been different if Pate had demonstrated that he wasn't so ruthless to Ardent and Gavia.  If he ordered Church to restrain Sedna and Ellie he could've convinced Ardent and Gavia that Alice was the unstable one and that he was seeking to restore Earth to what it once was and would help them get back into orbit if he could tag along to chat with the Praeses.  Instead he had Church crush Sedna's shoulder, killed Ellie and was generally menacing once he dropped the facade.  And they in turn ultimately sabotaged his plans in such a way that lead to this eventual downfall. 

That being said there are a number of unanswered questions that I hope will be resolved in the few pages that remain. 

Alice, Church, and Sedna seem to be all that's left of the super soldiers which seems like a low number.  What happened to the rest?  Were they sealed away in lava or something else that could contain them indefinitely or did they conspire with Alice to save humanity from themselves and collectively used up all their powers to trigger the blink.  Alice, however, chose to remain behind to atone for what she did and keep humanity from making the same mistakes.  Or maybe the other soldiers became the Praeses. 

And what of Alice's mission to keep humanity in an agrarian dark age?  It's been 5000 years and this is all the progress there is.  Maybe Alice is responsible for killing other ambitious leaders and destroying strong kingdoms to prevent history from repeating itself.  Even if she tries to avoid a lot of collateral damage the pain and suffering she inflicts probably doesn't make her feel any better about herself. 

And who was it that sent Ardent and Gavia to Earth?  Was it a Praeses trying to test the waters or a faction we have yet to see?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: JimC on 12 Jul 2017, 00:51
Another thought to ponder is that Alice has stated ( http://www.alicegrove.com/post/101720779304/ardent-gets-it , http://www.alicegrove.com/post/126112043354/at-last-the-central-conflict-of-alice-grove-is ) that the world exists in carefully balanced harmony. Alice and Sedna can't have been doing that on their own, especially as they weren't even aware Church was active. Who (else?) was doing the balancing?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: starkruzr on 12 Jul 2017, 07:05
Pate is bad, but he's also not wrong. Holding humanity in stagnation is fucked up.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: JimC on 12 Jul 2017, 07:15
Holding humanity in stagnation is fucked up.
Who says? The balanced, sustainable non-destructive lifestyle of the post blink earth seems to resemble the ideals of the green movement, and if you take the Benthamitte idea of greatest good o the greatest number then an earth where no-one is in want, everyone has safe lives etc etc looks awfully good to what a lot of the world's population experiences now. One person's stagnation may be another person's blissful contentment.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: OldGoat on 12 Jul 2017, 08:22
Oh god I just had a horrible thought.

Church's different colored eyes.

Spoiler for gore:

(click to show/hide)

I'm not certain she didn't just slap Pate.  Enough to break his face, but still a slap.  We've seen Alice's  spear hand before, here (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/126634213464/rip-ardent-you-were-very-blue) and here (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/153991037889/alice-is-fast-but-mr-church-is-faster) - fingers all straight and parallel, wrist straight, hand in line with the forearm, elbow cocked back, arm pointed at her target.  This time her hand is pointing up, fingers more relaxed, wrist bent.  She's poised for a swat, not a stab.  That would serve to underline her point to Jesper, "Church isn't in any position to come to your defense."

Or she may have chopped into the bridge of his nose and killed the irritating little pipsqueak.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Mark7 on 12 Jul 2017, 08:28
It's basically the same thing as with the Reapers from Mass Effect:
(click to show/hide)

(click to show/hide)

Also, someone on reddit posted THIS (https://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3183) in regards to Alice's powers.

Observation. Jeph's a Look Around You fan
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: OldGoat on 12 Jul 2017, 08:41
Something I just noticed - Jeph usually draws Alice with quite a lot of expression in her face, but in the last two frames here (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/162865213794/wow-rude) she's wearing a flat affect like Church does most of the time when he's "on bodyguard duty." (The only time he lets any expression through is when he's prosecuting a personal grudge.)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: derech on 12 Jul 2017, 09:28
Well, assuming any of them are real real and assuming Pate is dead and no longer a danger to anyone.

Honor, justice, morality, being practical, and various  higher, advanced thought-pattern sentiments.   Clothing and feeding a freezing starving immature being of  one's species is likely fairly clearly on the side of some more absolute good, something just and desirable, as it would be the other way around should the recipient of such benefit murder their benefactor for some willful but arbitrary reason.  That's all somewhat more subjective at some times than others, certainly, requires awareness and intent and understanding.   Also, something like willfully torturing Ardent for hours for your own amusement is on the evil side of things, as would be betraying your closest ally on a whim or for an amount of money you'd consider trivial, even if it had been foretold, even had it been desired.      Not that some don't have a moral compass that works off of something more like anti-magnetism, not that some wouldn't agree with or side with such.

So then, what is the difference between an unwilling dupe harboring no ill-will and a knowing manipulator attempting to reach goals by any means needed regardless of who has to be hurt?  A cooperating potential danger in a somewhat known way versus a confrontational variable danger of unknown quality, there appears little correlate.   Not a fair thing to treat them equally, we might say.    Laws here and now, what system is that within?  Seems in this situation, Alice and her task of doing what she thinks best for everyone as a whole.   Altruistic, hopefully moderated by some higher goal rather than personal desire.    Her behavior seems so, at least out here.

Still, laws in general don't always stop all behaviors they ostensibly mean to, they instead (when they fail to guide and push into conformity) mostly codify the consequences of behaving in ways that are undesired.   Laws in a social context, behaviors that are damaging to society.   Although some societies have different ideas of what evil might be, and similarly, some other society may just come take them to task for how they operate.   Potentially put in something worse.    One has to have intent though.  Free will, choices, understanding of actions, seems required here in such abstract things.   Regardless of how interesting the idea of evil horses or chickens is.

In any case, executing Pate for unleashing Church upon baseline humans.  Seems potentially fair.   But wait there's more.  For kidnapping four others including yourself.  Even more so,  for just recently basically ordering Church to go kill you.     Perhaps what Alice probably just did isn't "good", yet maybe somewhat justified, and probably a sort of justice for at least one murder Pate could have been counted as responsible for.  Again too, if Sedna is permanently out from having to get rid of Church because of Pate.   Demonstrably, there are a lot of reasons to consider Pate a greater danger who simply isn't currently in a position to do anything more.   Call it preemptive.  Or simply a delay, a bit of explanation before the already moving executioner's axe hit its mark.

If Alice is whatever destroyed everything in the Blink, as she just said, it appears more and more like some expected result of bleeding off something like what might have been "the event horizon having no surface left to store anything" and Alice being the one who released it to even everything out.    Reversing the irreversible, reducing the number of chances that normally only increase, shoving the genie back in the bottle with a rusty spatula.   Not what she'd have wanted perhaps, but better than the alternative probably. Which if these habitats like what they're on were the arks of sorts put into place by her before carrying out  that unfortunate but necessary action of flooding the world, that doesn't necessarily make her a villain, and it could even make her a hero.   Not that she doesn't feel bad about being the one who crushed the car so its metal could make a new one.

Nothing is wrong with Pate wanting more for humanity, perhaps he is correct.  Maybe his idea was workable, and would have left the Earth some paradise.    Or maybe he and Church would have taken over what's on Earth and in space and made everything far worse, heaven run by cruel manipulative sadistic overlords.  At least until Pate died, and then only Church.     Either way, Pate's methods seem to have left much to be desired, and even if they were good and pure in intent,  he appears to have paid for the manner of their implementation. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: LKR1009 on 12 Jul 2017, 10:10
*refreshes once every 10 minutes*
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: LKR1009 on 12 Jul 2017, 10:30
Aaaaand there it is.

Thanks, Jeph! ♡
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: OldGoat on 12 Jul 2017, 10:31
Comic's up! (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/162906060764/theyre-all-like-oh-she-killed-pate-whatever)

Looks like Gavia is applying Nanobot Healing Mojo to Sedna's right shoulder, so I'm assuming she lives.  She does look pretty out of it, though.  If Church isn't dead, he's going to need some help recovering, too.

And Alice still has lizard eyes, but they're back to blue.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 12 Jul 2017, 10:50
Killing someone for their past deeds without legal process is the road to tyranny.

Killing someone because they might do something bad later is the road to evil.

Executing a POW is a war crime.

I have no argument with the temptation, but
Quote from: Gandalf
Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.

----

What motivates the Praeses?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: OldGoat on 12 Jul 2017, 11:03
Killing someone for their past deeds without legal process is the road to tyranny.
Just for the sake of argument:  What court will claim jurisdiction?  They're in orbit and the Praeses haven't shown much interest in anything beyond generating a border quarantine officer to deal with these newcomers.  If some constituted legal authority does elect to prosecute, Alice can (probably successfully) plea exigent circumstances.  It's looking like Pate's weapon, Church, will at some point revive which will again make Pate an active threat, and he has repeatedly demonstrated his hostile intent against her and her party.

Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Method of Madness on 12 Jul 2017, 11:06
After all, who really wants to live forever?
...me? Lots of people? I genuinely don’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want to.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: fayelovesbubbles on 12 Jul 2017, 11:25
Comic's up! (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/162906060764/theyre-all-like-oh-she-killed-pate-whatever)

Looks like Gavia is applying Nanobot Healing Mojo to Sedna's right shoulder, so I'm assuming she lives.  She does look pretty out of it, though.  If Church isn't dead, he's going to need some help recovering, too.

And Alice still has lizard eyes, but they're back to blue.

Nah, Church can rot.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: A Duck on 12 Jul 2017, 11:25
So it appears the praeses are actually alien. In fact, they act a lot like benevolent ME Reapers.

The "third party" theory some people were bouncing around here also seems to be true.

Now the question is: are they extraterrestrial aliens, or do they simply come from a dimension outside the "real" dimension?

After all, who really wants to live forever?
...me? Lots of people? I genuinely don’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want to.
I never understood that whole argument either. Immortality sounds like so much fun!

Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Castlerook on 12 Jul 2017, 11:35
After all, who really wants to live forever?
...me? Lots of people? I genuinely don’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want to.

Okay, lets just pick one person living forever and look at how it might go wrong.
- Everyone you know will eventually die, leaving you alone. This will colour your view of the world and the lives of those around you, after all, why form relationships when they're doomed to end with a headstone. Why love when you watch your partner age and die in the blink of a temporal eye? Or would you want to carry those memories with you forever?
- Immortality does not guarantee perfect health or eternal youth. Look at how the world's oldest people. Now imagine what you might become at 200, or 500 or 10000 years. Likewise there's no guarantee that you would completely immune to illness. Suppose you could not die from illness, but you still had to suffer it. What if you developed cancer and could never be rid of it? CJD? Parkinsons? Imagine an eternity where your body would not be under your control.
- There only so many places in the world. You can only see something new once. How often can one be struck with awe of the sunrise of the Serengeti before it becomes "Meh". After a couple of centuries, it just gets horribly monotonous and repetitive.
- You might see the fall of your civilisation. The ideas of your people, their hopes and aspirations will mean nothing in the flow of time. Their monuments, their art, literature and music will crumble to dust, leaving you as a living remnant. The last monument to a forgotten people.
- Would you want thousands of years of memories? There's a theory that why the human brain is far more powerful than most computers, there is a point where the brain cannot form those synapses for memories and that it actually can't keep memories in the long term. Suppose you have a child only to one day realise you can't exactly remember the colour of their hair? Or the fact that they died several thousand years ago?
- Let's say for a moment, that you can leave Earth and travel the galaxy and the universe. Even there in the openness of space, you will see the limits of mortality. Planets die. Suns will all go supernova eventually. Galaxies crash into each other. Eventually you will see the end of the universe. The Big Rip. Or maybe Heat Death. Possibly the Big Crunch. Who knows?
- Maybe your immorality will leave you immutable. Maybe you will see the Human species end and its descendants rise. You will be the one left behind. You will become as simple to them as Sahelanthropus was to us, an evolutionary remnant, left behind n the dust.

You think immortality would be amazing? Why? Because there will always be a tomorrow?
I think the limited time we have means that we must always look ahead because we can't guarantee we'll be here tomorrow. There are some fates worse than death, immortality is right up there.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 12 Jul 2017, 11:37
Quote
It's looking like Pate's weapon, Church, will at some point revive which will again make Pate an active threat

Ahh. There have been hints Church is alive. "Imminent and otherwise unavoidable danger of death or grave bodily harm" is a standard that Pate meets if Church is going to regenerate. It's the Anglo-Saxon legal standard for killing in self-defense. So that could be an ethical justification.

"He needed killin' " is not.

Quote

    Alice More: Arrest him!
    More: Why, what has he done?
    Margaret More: He's bad!
    More: There is no law against that.
    Will Roper: There is! God's law!
    More: Then God can arrest him.
    Alice: While you talk, he's gone!
    More: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law!
    Roper: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law!
    More: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
    Roper: I'd cut down every law in England to do that!
    More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast– man's laws, not God's– and if you cut them down—and you're just the man to do it—do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law for my own safety's sake.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: JimC on 12 Jul 2017, 11:37
After all, who really wants to live forever?
...me? Lots of people? I genuinely don’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want to.
You will when you get older. Swift's Struldbrugs are a very real curse. Multiple lifetimes worth of joys also means multiple lifetimes worth of regrets.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: brasca on 12 Jul 2017, 11:39
It looks like Alice is starting to feel more like herself now.

I'm a little confused by how the Praeses factor into this.  I thought the space habitats were created by the Blink.  Now it seems like they wandered into Earth's war and decided to imitate its human lifeforms in the most idyllic setting.  If that's the case then why did she suspect the Praeses were attempting to conquer Earth?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: RSDeuce on 12 Jul 2017, 11:45
I don't *know* that Jeph and Randall know each other, but they have linked to each other for pretty much forever, and if I were Jeph and had the option to run some sci-fi shit by XCKD I sure would.

Two comics in a row that seem particularly relevant. I really do think Randall is at a minimum watching with us, and possibly colored the world's physics back when Jeph was working on the concept.

https://xkcd.com/1862/
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: BenRG on 12 Jul 2017, 12:09
I'm wondering if the Praeses are like the Horatio in Endless Space 2: Attempting to extrapolate the perfect life-form and/or society by sampling as many worlds as possible and gathering data on every possible response by each species to every possible scenario. From this huge database, they intend to synthesise the perfect being that can take its place at the top of the universe's evolutionary heap.

However, I suspect that they underestimated the hacking capabilities of Earth's surviving AIs and have instead been synthesising the human race v.2.0 as part of the AIs plan to fix the current situation. Maybe Ardent is the prototype for phase 2 - Upgrading the real world. He's also an attempt at social integration with the planet-bound humans (much less successful).
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 12 Jul 2017, 12:25
>If that's the case then why did she suspect the Praeses were attempting to conquer Earth?

1. She's a soldier and likely predisposed to think of such things.
2. Laridia may be lying.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: OldGoat on 12 Jul 2017, 12:36
So it appears the praeses are actually alien. In fact, they act a lot like benevolent ME Reapers.

I was thinking pathogens.  We don't have enough information to know whether they're parasitic or symbiotic - maybe it differs depending on the system they colonize or infect, depending on your viewpoint.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: pwhodges on 12 Jul 2017, 12:46
He's also an attempt at social integration with the planet-bound humans (much less successful).

Struck me that he was doing just fine with that (perhaps a little bit too fine) until he got reined in.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: JimC on 12 Jul 2017, 12:47
  If that's the case then why did she suspect the Praeses were attempting to conquer Earth?
You don't think you'd find a bunch of mysterious space aliens turning up, settling themselves in orbit and abducting a sizable percentage of earth's population mildly suspicious?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: RSDeuce on 12 Jul 2017, 12:57
  If that's the case then why did she suspect the Praeses were attempting to conquer Earth?
You don't think you'd find a bunch of mysterious space aliens turning up, settling themselves in orbit and abducting a sizable perecntage of earth's population mildly suspicious?

Well, in that case I would say they have "Conquered", not so much are wanting to.

I am still a little perplexed by the core concept of Alice assuming that the Prases have an agenda (going way back in the comic.)

If they sent Ardent, why (at all) would they have sent him to her town. She has no capability of knowing what is going on even a few day's travel away. Although Sedna and her know each other they clearly had no ability to communicate, even in an emergency. Even if every settlement has a super-soldier care-taker, they obviously have no ability to coordinate on a planetary scale.

Unless there are lots of Ardent's on the planet (off camera) and Laridia (or the Prases she represents) is lying I don't see how they are anything except for being used here.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: OldGoat on 12 Jul 2017, 13:42
He's also an attempt at social integration with the planet-bound humans (much less successful).

Struck me that he was doing just fine with that (perhaps a little bit too fine) until he got reined in.
That little blue horndog will be hitting on Laridia as soon as he's not scared fecesless.

Although Sedna and her know each other they clearly had no ability to communicate, even in an emergency. Even if every settlement has a super-soldier care-taker, they obviously have no ability to coordinate on a planetary scale.
It's not the ability they lacked, it's the inclination.  I don't doubt Sedna could whip together something a damn site more sophisticated than a spark gap transmitter and a crystal receiver, but the do have better wireless stuff than that (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/132184652739/100-pages-wow-alice-will-be-on-break-for-the).  (I wonder if that red button is going to re-enter the story?)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: RSDeuce on 12 Jul 2017, 14:17
Although Sedna and her know each other they clearly had no ability to communicate, even in an emergency. Even if every settlement has a super-soldier care-taker, they obviously have no ability to coordinate on a planetary scale.
Quote
It's not the ability they lacked, it's the inclination.  I don't doubt Sedna could whip together something a damn site more sophisticated than a spark gap transmitter and a crystal receiver, but the do have better wireless stuff than that (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/132184652739/100-pages-wow-alice-will-be-on-break-for-the).  (I wonder if that red button is going to re-enter the story?)

That is a really good point. I just re-read everything and forgot about that button. Wonder if it works if she is in space?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: dexeron on 12 Jul 2017, 14:37
So many thoughts:

1. Look at Alice's hand over her eye.  I'm calling it now; she's TOTALLY popping a Pate eye in there right now to replace her old one.

2. So the Praeses are alien after all?  Why do I get a distinctly "Lavos" feeling from all of this?

3. So were the people in the... um... simulations real humans taken from the planet during the Blink (or perhaps their descendants) or are they completely "original" people created by the Praeses based on "data" from observing the planet below?

4. Did the arrival of the Praeses trigger the war, or did they arrive at/after its conclusion?  Did their arrival spark a philosophical debate as to existence itself that led to war over which direction humankind would go, or were they perceived as invaders (or WERE they invaders) who had to be fought? 

5. If Gavia and Ardent's simulation was based on a version of Earth without resource scarcity, are there other, darker, simulations, ones where everyone's lives are a living hell of endless, brutal Hobbseian conflict?

6. If the people in the simulations were "created" by the Praeses after all, how can we know that Gavia and Ardent even existed before they appeared in Alice's town?  How can we know that their memories are even real, and that either of them is any more than a few weeks old at this point?

7. Is this entire story itself taking place inside a Praeses simulation?

8. It's pretty clear that there's a third party at play here, and I'm guessing Alice has figured it out and is about to reveal who that is.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: FunkyTuba on 12 Jul 2017, 15:00
No particular order/ sorry if I repeat someone's point:

Jeph and Randall do know each other, have for quite a while

Not all black holes are created equal, their mass can vary by many orders of magnitude. Sedna is probably quantum-entangled to a black hole with maybe 10 times the mass of our sun, Alice 103, Church 105. That would explain the varying strength. I would also guess that they were originally human, which would account for their varying capabilities. Sedna=tinkerer, Church=grunt, Alice=command

Alice had to kill Pate to de-link Church's need to serve a master. From the magma-encasement scene, it looks like Church was trying to indenture himself to Alice after whoever was previously holding his leash was defeated, which she was having none of. When he recovers from the arm-sword injury, rather than being unleashed, he will have a desperate need for a new leader and will choose the dominant party. He probably won't choose Alice again, even though she defeated his master(again). Maybe the Praeses? Maybe Sedna since she defeated him?

Re:windmills, Alice has had plenty of time to redevelop new technologies if she wanted to, not to mention quantum-entangling them from thin entropy. Or maybe Sedna dug them up.

QC is one of the simulations running in one of the Praeses. For that matter so are we.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: jwhouk on 12 Jul 2017, 16:13
I would contend there is at least one fictional character who is in the midst of his own personal battle over whether or not he truly wishes to "live forever." Unfortunately, we have to wait until the Christmas Special to find out what happens.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: brasca on 12 Jul 2017, 16:20
  If that's the case then why did she suspect the Praeses were attempting to conquer Earth?
You don't think you'd find a bunch of mysterious space aliens turning up, settling themselves in orbit and abducting a sizable perecntage of earth's population mildly suspicious?

Well, in that case I would say they have "Conquered", not so much are wanting to.

I am still a little perplexed by the core concept of Alice assuming that the Prases have an agenda (going way back in the comic.)

If they sent Ardent, why (at all) would they have sent him to her town. She has no capability of knowing what is going on even a few day's travel away. Although Sedna and her know each other they clearly had no ability to communicate, even in an emergency. Even if every settlement has a super-soldier care-taker, they obviously have no ability to coordinate on a planetary scale.

Unless there are lots of Ardent's on the planet (off camera) and Laridia (or the Prases she represents) is lying I don't see how they are anything except for being used here.

I don't think I would call that abduction JimC since there's a lot we don't know about what happened during the Blink.  Considering that the Praeses took half of the survivors off a resource scarce planet meant there was more for the people that remained behind.  That probably helped a lot with the postwar stability and they were actually doing a favor for Alice. 

And that right there RSDeuce is why this whole scheme is so suspicious.  Out of all the places on Earth Ardent was sent to was the village protected by Alice.  Whoever did it could've sent him to Pate's city or the other side of the world.  By the time she figured out what was up it would be too late to stop it especially with Church guarding the operation.  I still think this whole scheme was to lure her away from Earth, but I don't know if the Praeses are behind it.  Laridia acknowledged the scarcity problem with Earth so it seems doubtful they would want to colonize it.  Life as the space dwellers know it is too good to venture out unless you're like Ardent.  Most people are probably like Gavia and want nothing to do with the planet they orbit so the Praeses would be hard pressed to find willing colonists.  Perhaps Alice's paranoia has convinced her that Earth is more desirable than it really is. 

After all, who really wants to live forever?
...me? Lots of people? I genuinely don’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want to.
You will when you get older. Swift's Struldbrugs are a very real curse. Multiple lifetimes worth of joys also means multiple lifetimes worth of regrets.

That and if you have no other immortal friends it would get lonely very quickly.  Friendship wouldn't be a lasting thing and even if you could have children watching generations of offspring eventually die would be depressing too.  The only other person like Alice is Sedna and they don't get along too well.     
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: RSDeuce on 12 Jul 2017, 16:35
I don't think I would call that abduction JimC since there's a lot we don't know about what happened during the Blink.  Considering that the Praeses took half of the survivors off a resource scarce planet meant there was more for the people that remained behind.  That probably helped a lot with the postwar stability and they were actually doing a favor for Alice. 

And that right there RSDeuce is why this whole scheme is so suspicious.  Out of all the places on Earth Ardent was sent to was the village protected by Alice.  Whoever did it could've sent him to Pate's city or the other side of the world.  By the time she figured out what was up it would be too late to stop it especially with Church guarding the operation.  I still think this whole scheme was to lure her away from Earth, but I don't know if the Praeses are behind it.  Laridia acknowledged the scarcity problem with Earth so it seems doubtful they would want to colonize it.  Life as the space dwellers know it is too good to venture out unless you're like Ardent.  Most people are probably like Gavia and want nothing to do with the planet they orbit so the Praeses would be hard pressed to find willing colonists.  Perhaps Alice's paranoia has convinced her that Earth is more desirable than it really is. 

I actually really like the 'lure her from Earth" angle.

Sedna is "weak", and presumably the most common type.

Church is more powerful, but must 'serve' and can be controlled.

Either Alice severed a need to serve a person, or maybe she is simply the most free-willed or most dangerous of her kind and the (Praeses, baddies, whoever) wanted her off-planet, or maybe just out of town for a bit.

Maybe that particular village is under her protectorship not because she likes it there, but because there is something there (or in her protection) that is very, very important.

Why would that odd beast of a NightWalker happen to be in that particular forest all of the time? Earth is big. Wouldn't it have roamed?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: retrosteve on 12 Jul 2017, 16:39
I don't *know* that Jeph and Randall know each other, but they have linked to each other for pretty much forever, and if I were Jeph and had the option to run some sci-fi shit by XCKD I sure would.

Two comics in a row that seem particularly relevant. I really do think Randall is at a minimum watching with us, and possibly colored the world's physics back when Jeph was working on the concept.

https://xkcd.com/1862/

Well, if you're bringing that up, I should mention that Jeph definitely knows Charlie Stross. (Here he is talking to Marten http://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=2394 ) and the Blink definitely bears some Stross influence (see Iron Sunrise). There is also some simulated world in space stuff going on in Stross (Accelerando). So there's an influence for sure.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Kugai on 12 Jul 2017, 16:40
I do hope Gavia is able to heal Sedna properly, I have a feeling we're going to need her.

It's going to be interesting to see how close to the truth Alice gets.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Neko_Ali on 12 Jul 2017, 17:03
I am beginning to think that the arrival of the Praeses or specifically Cupressaceae to Earth was the Blink. They arrived with an endless war over resources and territory going on, the population far outstripping the capability of the planet to provide. They absorbed the majority of life on the planet, forming internal worlds within themselves with the consciousness of the people, letting them think they live, grow old, reproduce and die but really just recycling the same minds, giving them the post scarcity utopia the people wanted, and subtly influencing them, reprogramming them to not be so greedy and self destructive. Alice says nobody knows what happened. One day they were at war, the next day there were space colonies and the war and most of the old world technology was gone. Presumably Cupressaceae didn't absorb or whatever the immortals, those that were left. Maybe it didn't see them as human.

The world has been on the road to recovery, while humanity is molded within the worlds the Praeses creates... To eventually be released back on the surface? Perhaps Ardent being sent to Earth was part of stage 2 of the plan, that Cupressaceae is unaware of. Or another yet known party is trying to force their way out of the inner worlds, Matrix style.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: LKR1009 on 12 Jul 2017, 18:37
Maybe Alice's village is like the Doomsday Seed Vault for Homo sapiens.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 12 Jul 2017, 18:43
So why not tell Mr. Pate "This way to the transwarp starships" and drop him into a simulation where he and his townspeople colonize the galaxy, without telling him it's a simulation?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: cesium133 on 12 Jul 2017, 18:44
Maybe Alice's village is like the Doomsday Seed Vault for Homo sapiens.
In which case, sending a horny blue teenager to poison the well with his genes makes sense...
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: retrosteve on 12 Jul 2017, 18:47
I am beginning to think that the arrival of the Praeses or specifically Cupressaceae to Earth was the Blink. They arrived with an endless war over resources and territory going on, the population far outstripping the capability of the planet to provide. They absorbed the majority of life on the planet, forming internal worlds within themselves with the consciousness of the people, letting them think they live, grow old, reproduce and die...


I can buy simulation worlds, but I have a much harder time buying living people being "absorbed" into a simulation. To do that, without the original person continuing to live on Earth, you kinda have to record and kill them.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Castlerook on 12 Jul 2017, 18:54
Or somehow record the information in their brains and transfer that into the simulation. Possibly even using that to seed the creation of another consciousness. Maybe not quite cloning them, more like copy and pasting the information and working from that.

Of course, that way you have the ability to put copies of that same consciousness into different scenarios and monitor how they react and develop. After all, how would a consciousness deal with being in a post-Scarcity scenario compared to a nuclear holocaust compared to a viral outbreak compared to an ideal utopia? Disturbingly enough, that would make for a very good control, comparing the base consciousness to the variant scenarios.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Neko_Ali on 12 Jul 2017, 19:37
I am beginning to think that the arrival of the Praeses or specifically Cupressaceae to Earth was the Blink. They arrived with an endless war over resources and territory going on, the population far outstripping the capability of the planet to provide. They absorbed the majority of life on the planet, forming internal worlds within themselves with the consciousness of the people, letting them think they live, grow old, reproduce and die...


I can buy simulation worlds, but I have a much harder time buying living people being "absorbed" into a simulation. To do that, without the original person continuing to live on Earth, you kinda have to record and kill them.

That is rather my implication, yes. Essentially the space tree ate 4/5 the population of the Earth or whatever and created a Matrix-style false universe for the memory-echos to live out lives within.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: DSL on 12 Jul 2017, 19:43
Makes me think of a rather intriguing boat Arthur C. Clarke just missed with "The City and the Stars." What if the memory banks of Diaspar weren't just databanks from which to populate the city, but were in fact the "real" city? Clarke gets tantalizingly close to this by having the embodied Diasparians play at interactive, immersive VR.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: brasca on 12 Jul 2017, 22:19
I do hope Gavia is able to heal Sedna properly, I have a feeling we're going to need her.


I hope she didn't accidentally seal up Sedna's arm before it could grow back.  Then again they are capable of some impossible things so she could still grow it back, but it might be a painful and messy process. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Tova on 12 Jul 2017, 22:58
So why not tell Mr. Pate "This way to the transwarp starships" and drop him into a simulation where he and his townspeople colonize the galaxy, without telling him it's a simulation?

Killing him might arguably be more ethical.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: mikmaxs on 13 Jul 2017, 00:04
So...
Here's a question. (And no, it's not a pedantic joke question about windmills.)

What's at stake here right now?
Like... Yes, we're going to learn the answers to the various mysteries of the story, probably, but... At the moment, the characters are pretty much safe, Alice seem sane and not like she's going off the rails, Church is dealt with. If there's another antagonist in the story, or some other conflict that has yet to show up, it only has nine or ten comics to actually show up, be explained, and then be resolved.
Right now, the only conflict comes from the fact that something weird happened with the Praeses. It's basically the same exact same question that was asked alll the way back when we first met Gavia: http://www.alicegrove.com/page/184

There's no apparent reason to be worried, because there's no reason to think that the characters are at any sort of risk now. Back when we first learned what the main question of the story was going to be, I kind of assumed that it was going to build to something. It was the inciting incident, after all: Why did they get sent down?
The implied conflict is that there's some nefarious or otherwise dangerous reason. The Praeses want to harm the people of earth, or there's some other dangerous thing that's causing trouble that the Praeses are trying to solve.
Then we learned about Ardent's nanotech, which begins to make good on that implied threat, and then they went off on a quest to talk to the Praeses because there was a threat of war, and then Pate stepped in with Church and the threat level of everything cranked up to 11, but the characters kept doing the exact same thing they had been planning on doing, just with a gun pointed at them now.
As far as I can tell, Church and Pate were mostly just a device to crank up the tension and allow for some exposition. And it worked! But now that they're gone... We're back to doing pretty much exactly what the story said we were going to do, the conflict has deescelated to where it was back when the comic was 29 pages old. There's still an implied threat, but it hasn't grown at all - It's just a vague 'Huh, there's something bad going on here'.


Since Alice and Church and Sedna's backstories have been crammed in the past 15 panels or so, I kind of ASSUME that it's going to play a part into whatever the finale is. But we have no tangible link between the two yet, so anything that does get included will be shoved into the last 5% of the story.

I guess at this point it's a 'Wait and see how Jeph resolves everything', but... Eh. It seems like he wrote himself into a corner and just wants the story to be over now.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: A Duck on 13 Jul 2017, 00:17
I am now 100% convinced that Alice Grove is just the beginning of Jeph's sci-fi universe.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Tova on 13 Jul 2017, 01:57
Hey mikmaxs, I think that the word you are searching for in that post is denouement.

denouement
deɪˈnuːmɒ̃/
noun
noun: denouement; plural noun: denouements; noun: dénouement; plural noun: dénouements

    the final part of a play, film, or narrative in which the strands of the plot are drawn together and matters are explained or resolved.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: JimC on 13 Jul 2017, 02:52
I am now 100% convinced that Alice Grove is just the beginning of Jeph's sci-fi universe.
QC is also a sci-fi universe. Stated not to be the same one, but more famous science fiction writers have succumbed to the temptation to weld entirely different universes into a single whole at a later date with varying degrees of consistency.

Its clearly a thing that both some writers and some fans are tempted to. I must confess I don't altogether understand the need myself. While there's something cute about the way Asimov welded his robot universe onto his Foundation universe, I'm not really sure it was the right thing to do as regards internal logic. I more admire the wonderful get-out-of-gaol free that pterry constructed when he had his past history shattered into pieces and glued together wherever the bits fitted, enabling him to permit inconsistencies if they better served the story.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: LKR1009 on 13 Jul 2017, 03:36
I wish Jeph would add on some sort of Patreon stretch goal that would get us 100 more strips of A.G. if met.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Sorflakne on 13 Jul 2017, 09:43
Quote
QC is also a sci-fi universe. Stated not to be the same one, but more famous science fiction writers have succumbed to the temptation to weld entirely different universes into a single whole at a later date with varying degrees of consistency.
Considering there's more than 5,000 years at minimum between QC (assuming it's just a '20 minutes into the future' of our world) and AG, the two could be joined with little to no issue.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: mikmaxs on 13 Jul 2017, 09:53
Hey mikmaxs, I think that the word you are searching for in that post is denouement.

denouement
deɪˈnuːmɒ̃/
noun
noun: denouement; plural noun: denouements; noun: dénouement; plural noun: dénouements

    the final part of a play, film, or narrative in which the strands of the plot are drawn together and matters are explained or resolved.
Well, okay, but... Does the word matter?

It doesn't change the fact that the only antagonist of the story thus far (Pate, backed up by Church) has had literally nothing to do with the actual conflict or inciting incedent. The real storyline has done nothing to raise the stakes or escalate the tension.

We're getting explanations and a wrap-up to the main storyline, but the main storyline hasn't really existed for most recent third of the story. We've got a narrative arc that escalates well in the first act and then is completely flat for the remainder of the story because the B-plot completely overwhelmed everything that was going on.
There are zero stakes in answering the mystery at this point, because the promise of escalating danger was never made good on.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: LKR1009 on 13 Jul 2017, 10:02
New comic's up!
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: retrosteve on 13 Jul 2017, 10:07
New comic's up!

And Alice's theory is really similar to my Stross-influenced ( http://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=2394 ) idea. The AI's caused The Blink to stop the war. In my version, the one remaining AI left the planet simultaneously and settled down nearby (probably the moon) to watch. In Alice's theory, ALL of them caused the Blink and left the planet. And sent Ardent to say "thanks for all the fish". 

The Stross book I'm thinking of, either way, is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singularity_Sky

W000 do I get to say "called it"?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: cesium133 on 13 Jul 2017, 10:19
The same moon that the Night Walker lasered?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: derech on 13 Jul 2017, 10:20
Alice just said she was the one who destroyed most everything.   Killed most everyone.   

But it appears there isn't any gathering of people or directly interacting with the planet that has been going on with the Praeses though.   Alice seemed to only think a lot of different things about what's up here, not from the interaction of them with anyone on planet.  Or any recent trips to space, whenever it was in the last thousands of years the seedlings showed up and found life.     Yes, Alice didn't seem to be all that much monitoring anywhere else, but in their travels albeit limited, it didn't seem there was any interaction on Earth by the Praeses  either.   She only had  guesses about what the Praeses are and what they want mostly.   Which what they want appears mostly nothing, after all they seem to have had to create a special interface specifically for this apparently very unusual or even unheard of event of visitors.  Visitors including two discontinuities, inhabitants of there embodied and transferred out of the inner realities.  These inner realities  are what the Praeses appear to usually only deal with.    The point of whoever started all this could only have been to get them out and talking.     Or whoever did this might have not at all had the Praeses in mind at all, the Praeses being Alice's supposed contact for finding out what and why,  but perhaps turning out to not be the source of anything related.  Which it could still be something else in the inner reality has also embodied themselves somehow.  Or at the least, a way to find out who is after learning it's not the Praeses.

If it's telling the truth, which its demeanor and knowledge suggest is likely largely so, Laridia gave an answer as to what the Praeses have been doing, and it's seemingly nothing direct.   When the traveling seedlings find worlds with life on them they root and start inner realities.   They extrapolate on the life they find, not harvest it or something.  That where they are in the inner reality, it's a more utopian version of what the planet might have become, not some attempt to make things on the planet that way.   They don't appear to tell those such as Gavia and Ardent about the source planet, they're just within another reality that appears to not normally be a physical one.


Depending on how quantum they are, Church might not be permanently out.  At least it's pretty apparent Sedna isn't, and Alice has certainly made a pretty quick recovery once she decided to shove some entropy away (etc).    For Pate and his apparent death/murder/execution, it might have been required in the scheme of things if Church isn't permanently out.     From our viewpoint it might not seem to be all that fair or just or legal, but that isn't here or now, and Alice isn't us.

If there was some sort of large-scale system of justice any longer in the post-Blink future, as there doesn't seem to be, who would be in charge?  What would they be in charge of?    Very possibly that would be Alice and to hear her say it, it's of everyone .   We have seen her show she's not arbitrarily disposed to just killing things for no reason, even when she had at least a partially potential reason.   On a more mundane level, while it might not in today's circumstances be possible to easily convict Pate of the murder of Ellie or the attempted murder of Senda, there has been coercion, battery, kidnapping, and more to the point,  essentially telling Church to at the least kill Alice if not everyone.   We're talking to Praeses, we don't need any of you any longer.    If you were a being like Alice, any of those things might have well established Pate as far too dangerous to live, or simply as a problem that must be removed.   It wouldn't though seem baseline humans in current times would be qualified to determine how legal or moral the behavior of an Alice is in a post-Blink world.  Or given what she said she is, if what beings like Alice do even fit into such concepts to begin with.   


Immortality, that might be horrid (especially given what we know about the chances of it and our mindset regarding its practical applicability) but on the other hand if you were immortal because you couldn't be damaged mostly and were quanta powered, you'd have some potentially limitless data storage and capacity for keeping yourself entertained.   If such things were possible for a more normal person, think of somebody from say 2500 BC.   All your friends and loved ones would end, and that would likely really suck at first until it just became a thing that happens that you'd have to deal with.   But you'd get to see and live 4500 years of history firsthand, which although similar in events happening (or they'd become similar to you) would be different in ways depending on how you thought of it over time.  Inventions, changes in culture and society and technology, political and governmental and social systems changing and modifying over time.   You could do all the things Connors did on Feb 2 and a whole lot more over thousands of years once you got used to things.  Yet still, as far as anyone knows, nothing like that has ever happened and isn't ever going to happen.  So there's no way to ask anyone or  know how you'd feel if you were.  We can only guess based upon our current limited mindset and where such things aren't possible.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Castlerook on 13 Jul 2017, 10:21
I'm more inclined to think that this might be more Arthur C Clarke, specifically Childhood's End. As in an outside influence wants Humanity to step out of the shadows, seemingly for its own purposes. Ardent even looks slightly demonic.

The question now becomes - is this about reparations for the War? Or a subtle way to destroy humanity once and for all, after all, look at the demands laid upon Ardent when his ability became apparent?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: BenRG on 13 Jul 2017, 10:26
The question now becomes - is this about reparations for the War? Or a subtle way to destroy humanity once and for all, after all, look at the demands laid upon Ardent when his ability became apparent?

In the end, the Great War was all about the direction that the evolution of human society and technology took. That struggle is not over, even if The Blink forced an armistice of sorts. Pate proves that humans still have the determination to seek power, wealth and further horizons; it's an instinctive need that can't be easily quelled. I suspect that Ardent is a part of an attempt to get things moving forwards in a constructive way. For example, I wouldn't be surprised if Ardent's powers don't work on weapons.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Castlerook on 13 Jul 2017, 10:29
The question now becomes - is this about reparations for the War? Or a subtle way to destroy humanity once and for all, after all, look at the demands laid upon Ardent when his ability became apparent?

In the end, the Great War was all about the direction that the evolution of human society and technology took. That struggle is not over, even if The Blink forced an armistice of sorts. Pate proves that humans still have the determination to seek power, wealth and further horizons; it's an instinctive need that can't be easily quelled. I suspect that Ardent is a part of an attempt to get things moving forwards in a constructive way. For example, I wouldn't be surprised if Ardent's powers don't work on weapons.

Ardent's power wouldn't have to work on weapons to make it dangerous. Suppose he uses his power to improve the solar panels of a village, granting that village a surplus of power, allowing the village to be more productive. Another village might become jealous of that fact and might attack them for that power.

Technology and knowledge that is given before it is earned is always dangerous. Always.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: retrosteve on 13 Jul 2017, 10:30
The same moon that the Night Walker lasered?

I prefer to think of it as "signaled". I didn't see the Moon blow up or anything.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: cesium133 on 13 Jul 2017, 10:37
That looks like more than just a signal... (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/143231640939/i-guess-it-hated-the-moon-that-does-it-for)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: retrosteve on 13 Jul 2017, 10:44
That looks like more than just a signal... (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/143231640939/i-guess-it-hated-the-moon-that-does-it-for)

It's about the minimum size to be definitely SEEN if whoever's receiving the signal isn't actually ON the moon.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: brasca on 13 Jul 2017, 11:18
Reparations seems like an interesting choice of words.  From what I concluded a few strips ago Alice was responsible for most of the deaths so why would the AIs want to do humanity any favors.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: cesium133 on 13 Jul 2017, 11:20
Perhaps Alice is an AI? If so, it would be telling that her description of the deaths in the war put the AIs before the humans.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: retrosteve on 13 Jul 2017, 11:22
Reparations seems like an interesting choice of words.  From what I concluded a few strips ago Alice was responsible for most of the deaths so why would the AIs want to do humanity any favors.

Alice THINKS she was responsible for most of the deaths. She's also a bit down on herself. I'm betting she had a notable part in whatever the disaster was, but I doubt it was entirely her.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: incurablygeek on 13 Jul 2017, 11:54
For example, I wouldn't be surprised if Ardent's powers don't work on weapons.

It worked on the Valkerie - whether weapon systems remained intact (or were improved) never got a chance for exposition, though.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: dutchrvl on 13 Jul 2017, 12:27

I guess at this point it's a 'Wait and see how Jeph resolves everything', but... Eh. It seems like he wrote himself into a corner and just wants the story to be over now.

Frankly, I am also getting more and more the impression that Jeph discovered that he inserted too many logical inconsistencies and unresolved issues in the story to properly resolve narratively (at least not within the timeframe that he is willing to still invest in AG), and therefore decided to get it over with rapidly by having each comic basically offering tons of exposition.

Although I enjoyed the story as a whole a lot and commend Jeph for the risks taken and continued development as an artist, I am currently not convinced that this experiment can be called completely successful (yes, I know an experiment with a negative outcome can still be successful).
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: retrosteve on 13 Jul 2017, 12:46

Frankly, I am also getting more and more the impression that Jeph discovered that he inserted too many logical inconsistencies and unresolved issues in the story to properly resolve narratively (at least not within the timeframe that he is willing to still invest in AG), and therefore decided to get it over with rapidly by having each comic basically offering tons of exposition.


I offer in support of this theory -- check out the variety of backgrounds Jeph normally draws for each new AG episode ( http://www.alicegrove.com/archive ) and then the backgrounds since May.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: dutchrvl on 13 Jul 2017, 13:06
Which, I might add, is fine by me. I would rather see him keep up the quality of QC and start a new project he's excited about then continue to spend time and energy on a comic that he is not terribly excited about anymore and therefore is unlikely to maintain quality anyway.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: WareWolf on 13 Jul 2017, 13:32
That looks like more than just a signal... (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/143231640939/i-guess-it-hated-the-moon-that-does-it-for)

It's possible the Nightwalker was an alarm. Perhaps there were a number of them, each in a different area. If someone with nanotech arrives back on the planet, the nearest walker finds them, follows them,  and sucks all the nanos out, which gives it the power to signal---whoever. The AI's presumably, and in a way impossible to mistake. THOOM! The signal having been given, wonder if something's on the way to appear and wind up the last few strips.

EDIT: Think of it as akin to the monolith buried in the Moon in 2001. When mankind was advanced enough to find it and dig it up, the first sunlight on its surface triggered an incredibly powerful signal to let the aliens know "won't be long now!"
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: WareWolf on 13 Jul 2017, 13:36
That looks like more than just a signal... (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/143231640939/i-guess-it-hated-the-moon-that-does-it-for)

It's about the minimum size to be definitely SEEN if whoever's receiving the signal isn't actually ON the moon.

Or felt if it was on the dark side. Or inside.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: LKR1009 on 13 Jul 2017, 14:21
Also wondering about Gavia's loon symbolism and the shape the Nightwalker took as it THOOMEd.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: zmeiat_joro on 13 Jul 2017, 15:10
I don't *know* that Jeph and Randall know each other, but they have linked to each other for pretty much forever, and if I were Jeph and had the option to run some sci-fi shit by XCKD I sure would.

Two comics in a row that seem particularly relevant. I really do think Randall is at a minimum watching with us, and possibly colored the world's physics back when Jeph was working on the concept.

https://xkcd.com/1862/

Well, if you're bringing that up, I should mention that Jeph definitely knows Charlie Stross. (Here he is talking to Marten http://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=2394 ) and the Blink definitely bears some Stross influence (see Iron Sunrise). There is also some simulated world in space stuff going on in Stross (Accelerando). So there's an influence for sure.

I don't want to jump ahead of any further replies now, but I know Jeph knows Charlie, and Charlie has since then changed his views.

EDIT: on the singularity, I mean; he wrote a book with Cory called "The Rapture of the Nerds".
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: dutchrvl on 13 Jul 2017, 15:54
Considering it has now been confirmed that the praeses are alien and seem to not have been directly involved with the war itself, I wonder if somehow the AI are behind the current story and wether they have set things in motion to somehow 'free' the original inhabitants of earth from the inner realities of the praeses?

I dunno anymore, frankly there are too many aspects to the whole story that don't really make sense to me, and those don't include the whole Maxwell demon thing.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: retrosteve on 13 Jul 2017, 16:12
I don't *know* that Jeph and Randall know each other, but they have linked to each other for pretty much forever, and if I were Jeph and had the option to run some sci-fi shit by XCKD I sure would.

Two comics in a row that seem particularly relevant. I really do think Randall is at a minimum watching with us, and possibly colored the world's physics back when Jeph was working on the concept.

https://xkcd.com/1862/

Well, if you're bringing that up, I should mention that Jeph definitely knows Charlie Stross. (Here he is talking to Marten http://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=2394 ) and the Blink definitely bears some Stross influence (see Iron Sunrise). There is also some simulated world in space stuff going on in Stross (Accelerando). So there's an influence for sure.

I don't want to jump ahead of any further replies now, but I know Jeph knows Charlie, and Charlie has since then changed his views.

EDIT: on the singularity, I mean; he wrote a book with Cory called "The Rapture of the Nerds".

True. I knew Charlie had changed view on the possibility of quantum entanglement communications since Singularity Sky due to the https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/No-communication_theorem but I wasn't aware he had also changed view on the Singularity. But it still looks like there was  a Blink. The only ways I can think of to edit reality on that scale involve either a "weakly godlike" entity (i.e. The  Singularity) or that the whole Alice Earth was already a simulation.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: OldGoat on 13 Jul 2017, 16:23
...or that the whole Alice Earth was already a simulation.

Given the description of the Blink sure sounds like the way I feel looking at a new and unfamiliar user interface upon restart after an update. 

(Yeah, Windows 10 is doing it again on my other computer.  Instead of looking forward to new and/or improved functionality my gut response is, "What did the sonofabitches break this time?"  One of these days I'm gonna be pissed off enough to move everything to Linux.)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Case on 13 Jul 2017, 16:32
EDIT: on the singularity, I mean; he wrote a book with Cory called "The Rapture of the Nerds".

Love that one! Each of them is quite capable of tickling my funny bone, but together ...
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Kugai on 13 Jul 2017, 17:33
That still leaves the question over The Nightwalkers actions to  speculate over.

Alice May be  closer to the  truth than she realises.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: brasca on 13 Jul 2017, 18:12
For example, I wouldn't be surprised if Ardent's powers don't work on weapons.

It worked on the Valkerie - whether weapon systems remained intact (or were improved) never got a chance for exposition, though.

We don't know what happened to the weapons, but it didn't seem to have any so maybe Ardent can upgrade and repurpose it for peaceful uses.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: dexeron on 13 Jul 2017, 19:47
Technology and knowledge that is given before it is earned is always dangerous. Always.

As a wise man once said: "He learned almost too late that man is a feeling creature... and because of it, the greatest in the universe. He learned too late for himself that men have to find their own way, to make their own mistakes. There can't be any gift of perfection from outside ourselves. And when men seek such perfection... they find only death... fire... loss... disillusionment... the end of everything that's gone forward. Men have always sought an end to the toil and misery, but it can't be given, it has to be achieved. There is hope, but it has to come from inside, from Man himself."

Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 13 Jul 2017, 21:18
Childhood's End, or The City and the Stars. Diaspar was set to equilibrium, not stasis, and was post-scarcity (Krell-level technology). A very clever, deeply hidden hack was installed to open it up to the universe later.

If there's someone out there who cares about humanity, will they arrange a war crimes trial for Alice?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Castlerook on 13 Jul 2017, 21:49
Although how can an outside influence deem itself right to judge Alice for war crimes?

We've spent the last century debating what classes as a war crime and that was just among ourselves. How many thousands of years ahead of us can the world of Alice Grove be? A world where advanced AI and transhumanism were part and parcel of the norm, I might add. How far had weapons gone and how primitive must our technology be in comparison? We fear the spread of anthrax and botulism and the deployment of nuclear weapons, but can that can compared to nanoclouds which generate lasers to blast at the moon? Or the demonic super soldiers themselves?

We judge each other for the weapons that were created to maim and destroy in blood wars based on old grudges, but can that compare to the cold pragmatism that comes in the face of near extinction? We can say war crimes from the safety of our homes, but what about the ones on the line, where every decision no doubt meant life and death? Should we judge them for doing what we made them do?

Alice and the others are merely weapons. The ones we should be judging have been dead for millennia.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Case on 14 Jul 2017, 02:03
Deus Ex Ardent?

Deus Ex, Ardent?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: zmeiat_joro on 14 Jul 2017, 04:13
Next: Arden repairs and upgrades Sedna?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Neko_Ali on 14 Jul 2017, 07:10
Unlikely, as he's holding her right now and clearly wishes she was better. If anything would trigger his ability, you'd think this would be it.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: bhtooefr on 14 Jul 2017, 08:01
Well, Sedna's apparently conscious.

Also, Gavia appears to have gotten a case of transparent hair. (Jeph must have forgotten to color it in fully?)

And, interesting.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: BenRG on 14 Jul 2017, 08:09
Just what sort of figures are we talking about here? How many scattered over how much of Earth's surface? It seems that Alice was correct after all, even though she didn't guess the correct culprit: The invasion, no matter how well-intentioned, has begun.

There is actually a pseudo-religious aspect to this, isn't there? An unknown higher intelligence sending Gifted individuals to the people to guide them, directly or indirectly, to an improved life. I wonder if there will be the historically-typical backlash from those in positions of authority whose opinions and assumed right to decide who gets what benefits were never considered by said higher intelligences?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: brasca on 14 Jul 2017, 09:28
Wonder if there are like minded guardians like Alice that weren't willing to risk them overturning the balance.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: OldGoat on 14 Jul 2017, 10:53
This suggests more supersoldiers, and that Alice and Sedna were not the only ones eschewing contact with their own kind.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: JimC on 14 Jul 2017, 11:04
And also strange, how did the other earth visitors get picked? Ardent and Gavia were under the impression they were travelling under their own volition, I wonder if they were brain washed into it or what?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Castlerook on 14 Jul 2017, 11:05
Programming perhaps?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: OldGoat on 14 Jul 2017, 11:16
Why not send Ardent and Gavia down together?  Maybe a screw-up, especially if they were the first team to make planetfall*.  Or it could be deliberate.  If the Alice-like community guardian doesn't make her/him self known with the first arrival, a violent outburst by the second will make the guardian break cover and appear.

*I loved that term "planetfall" when I was reading juvenile SciFi as a kid and today I got to use it in sentence.  Huzzah!!!
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: derech on 14 Jul 2017, 11:25
It seems then that however many Praeses are around Earth, however many seedlings took hold whenever, whatever is embodying those in the inner reality and sending them down is doing so on a large coordinated scale.   Them returning back doesn't seem to have been part of whoever's plan it is though, does it.     Perhaps this is the only set that has returned because they met up with one of or the main enhanced quantal, who reacted with some thought, determination and a particular goal of asking those she thought responsible.  Also had an idea of how to get into orbit, was pushed along by the intrusion of malevolent others forcing the trip, and assisted by a turn of events giving more of an ooomph than could otherwise reasonably be expected.    If none of the other pairs (or singles) even met something like Alice (assuming there's even more around than Alice and Sedna (and Church) in the first place) or something killed them or who didn't know about orbiters potentially around or didn't care enough to want to find out what's going on.  Then perhaps this is going to be the only return anyway.      Alice seems just moreso a random happening, that Ardent found the main one or only one, and if so, then the rest of those like Ardent are not going to show back up.   

Seems the AI would have to be the most likely answer so far, but why.  Amends, perhaps.    Do they know about Alice, or did they expect nobody would be there (or if there, able) to stop these technology-enhancing moles.    Which if so, all Pate had to do was wait to get what he wanted.   

Whatever Alice is, whatever they are, it would appear some q-entangled version of an bioengineered humaniform something or another, rather than an AI.   Their job being to keep some sort of order or assist those who do.     How many more are there, where are they.   We only know about 3 of them. And they all knew each other.

AI, Moon?   Might explain the moon signal, if those nightwalkers etc are like AI pets or something.   Maybe more Gavia helper types, some sort  of power source for the other, maybe expendable.    Hard to tell how many of the others are teams or groups or not, or why.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Skewbrow on 14 Jul 2017, 11:41
It seems then that however many Praeses are around Earth, however many seedlings took hold whenever, whatever is embodying those in the inner reality and sending them down is doing so on a large coordinated scale.   Them returning back doesn't seem to have been part of whoever's plan it is though, does it.     Perhaps this is the only set that has returned because they met up with one of or the main enhanced quantal, who reacted with some thought, determination and a particular goal of asking those she thought responsible.  Also had an idea of how to get into orbit, was pushed along by the intrusion of malevolent others forcing the trip, and assisted by a turn of events giving more of an ooomph than could otherwise reasonably be expected.    If none of the other pairs (or singles) even met something like Alice (assuming there's even more around than Alice and Sedna (and Church) in the first place) or something killed them or who didn't know about orbiters potentially around or didn't care enough to want to find out what's going on.  Then perhaps this is going to be the only return anyway.     

Perhaps on pre-blink Earth spacefaring technology was unevenly distributed (scattered even) on the (habitable) surface of the planet,  and Ardent & Gavia just happen to be the only pair within a few struthoweeks distance from an old rocket center?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: OldGoat on 14 Jul 2017, 11:58
Does a similar phenomenon (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/162979982854/i-hope-the-others-are-having-more-fun-than-these)" mean activity on the surface or personalities who had gone missing reappearing in corporeal form?  Since it doesn't appear that Cupressaceae was aware of what had become of Ardent until he arrived with Alice and company, I'm going with the latter. 

It is indeed interesting that they should all turn up in a relatively short period of time.  I'm wondering how the rest of the Away Teams made orbit?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: JimC on 14 Jul 2017, 12:38
Perhaps on pre-blink Earth spacefaring technology was unevenly distributed (scattered even) on the (habitable) surface of the planet,  and Ardent & Gavia just happen to be the only pair within a few struthoweeks distance from an old rocket center?
Its not unreasonable to assume that the general idea was that the mission was supposed to involve Ardent staying on Earth a lot longer, maybe even indefinitely, and that his return to orbit wasn't part of the plan.

Seems to me, BTW, that the whole Church/Pate subplot was in no way essential to getting Ardent and Gavia back into orbit, since if Pate hadn't turned up then Alice would still have broken into the bunker and Ardent and Gavia would have been back in orbit on around the same timescale, although quite possibly not with Alice with them.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Storel on 14 Jul 2017, 14:07
Does "a similar phenomenon (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/162979982854/i-hope-the-others-are-having-more-fun-than-these)" mean activity on the surface or personalities who had gone missing reappearing in corporeal form?  Since it doesn't appear that Cupressaceae was aware of what had become of Ardent until he arrived with Alice and company, I'm going with the latter.

I got the impression that Cupress was aware that Ardent and Gavia had, uh, left the building (so to speak) but simply wasn't able to question them about it until they got back. And since they're the first ones back, and they only just got back, that implies that none of the others have returned yet, but the trees know they're gone.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: OldGoat on 14 Jul 2017, 14:45
Does "a similar phenomenon (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/162979982854/i-hope-the-others-are-having-more-fun-than-these)" mean activity on the surface or personalities who had gone missing reappearing in corporeal form?  Since it doesn't appear that Cupressaceae was aware of what had become of Ardent until he arrived with Alice and company, I'm going with the latter.

I got the impression that Cupress was aware that Ardent and Gavia had, uh, left the building (so to speak) but simply wasn't able to question them about it until they got back. And since they're the first ones back, and they only just got back, that implies that none of the others have returned yet, but the trees know they're gone.
Lariadia says, "Your are merely the first to return home."  If there weren't more arriving, I'd expect her to say "only."  That or Cupressaceae tipped its...leaves?...and knows more about the operation that it's letting on.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Kugai on 14 Jul 2017, 15:11
Others there are

Interesting it is
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 14 Jul 2017, 18:30
Quote from: BenRG
Just what sort of figures are we talking about here?

How many Praeses are there? Gavia had a set of names she called for a ride back so we know of at least that many.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 14 Jul 2017, 18:46
Quote
Should we judge them for doing what we made them do?

If Alice pulls out the "just obeying orders" defense I will be disappointed in her.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Castlerook on 14 Jul 2017, 19:13
Quote
Should we judge them for doing what we made them do?

If Alice pulls out the "just obeying orders" defense I will be disappointed in her.

Why? It's obvious that each of the Super Soldiers has some sort of compulsion ingrained in their minds. Sedna has to maintain equipment, going out of her way to dig up weapons and restoring them. Church has to serve a commanding figure, seemingly giving him an outlet for his murderous tendencies. In the case of Alice, its quite apparent that her compulsion is to end any threat to humanity that she encounters (Gavia attacking the village, Ardent's upgrading of the water pump, Sedna targeting Ardent and Gavia, Pate at the digsite, Church when Gavia blew up the Valkyrie). Alice has subtly shown that she will do what it takes to maintain the balance and has been willing to use deadly force. She's a killer. So was Church. And Sedna. They were made that way. Made to fight in a war of such scale, that we can't even imagine the choices they had to make or the consequences.

So she killed Pate. Because its ingrained into her to kill a threat to humanity. Because Pate had dangerous ambitions and a willingness to go to any length to achieve them, even unleashing a maniac like Church. So maybe Pate had been defanged, so to speak. Would you have imprisoned him? Perhaps on an island like Elba? Put him up in the same area like Napoleon and just wait for him to escape. What Alice did was remove a problem before it could become worse.

And yes, she was following orders. The same orders she was following since the war.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: OldGoat on 14 Jul 2017, 19:49
Quote from: BenRG
Just what sort of figures are we talking about here?

How many Praeses are there? Gavia had a set of names she called for a ride back so we know of at least that many.
You can take "every other Praeses in orbit (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/162979982854/i-hope-the-others-are-having-more-fun-than-these)" at least three ways:It makes me wonder if Laridia is being deliberately ambiguous.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: BenRG on 14 Jul 2017, 23:43
Quote
Should we judge them for doing what we made them do?

If Alice pulls out the "just obeying orders" defense I will be disappointed in her.

"Just obeying orders" has a completely different aspect to it if you have been genetically hardwired to need to have a commander and obey their orders (as Sedna pointed out the combat-optimised units had). For Alice and the other super-soliders, it wasn't a choice or even a cultural tradition, it was a physical and psychological necessity without which they could not function or would possibly even die.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Skewbrow on 15 Jul 2017, 01:01
I am somewhat torn about judging whether Alice executing Pate was justified or not. Narrative imperative dictated that he had to die. Bringing him to a court of law would have been nice, but
Still. Not nice, Alice. Was it absolutely necessary?

Also, I am always a bit reluctant to judge war crimes committed by front line soldiers from the comfort of my arm chair. I don't think we ordinary people, unexposed to the strains of a prolonged war, are qualified to do that objectively. Admittedly that may not be entirely relevant here, but it does sound like Alice has, in a sense, been fighting a war for the duration of her existence.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: JimC on 15 Jul 2017, 01:10
If Alice pulls out the "just obeying orders" defense I will be disappointed in her.

That was always much more about victor's justice than anything else. 'Commit this atrocity or we'll kill you and your family instead' is a hard argument to resist. When its 'Commit this deed which isn't an atrocity because its vaguely in line with all the propaganda that's been drummed into you since you were old enough to understand, and by the way we'll kill you if you don't' then its even harder to resist.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: fayelovesbubbles on 15 Jul 2017, 07:03
Now I'm concerned that if Sedna is okay, Church might be too.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: fayelovesbubbles on 15 Jul 2017, 07:26
Pate had no problem killing every last one of them. "I'll have Mr. Church break Gavia's arms."

He didn't deserve mercy.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: BenRG on 15 Jul 2017, 07:49
Now I'm concerned that if Sedna is okay, Church might be too.

Sedna didn't have a quantum-hardened spear punched through her brain. I suspect that the brain is the super-soldiers' only weak-spot. The only way to kill them is to cause fatal neurological injury.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: OldGoat on 15 Jul 2017, 09:49
Now I'm concerned that if Sedna is okay, Church might be too.
He's dead or so severely damaged that healing/repair will take a significant period of time.  Either way, Alice feels no urgency in dealing with what's left of him.

We know little about his imprisonment other than that "It took a....long time to break out, (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/159906197084/she-really-meant-it-when-she-threatened-sedna-with)" and that he was in there for about five millennia.   He could have been burned to a crisp & taken 4,000 years to regenerate and still remain within the story narrative.

If he does survive, the story thus far suggests he'll be compelled to align with a strong leader, presumably Alice or Sedna (although Gavia is developing, too).  Sedna's a very capable tactician, but Alice probably has more strategic ability.  She may be planning to have a rebooted Church available to use against the Third Entity if need be.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: retrosteve on 15 Jul 2017, 10:52
OldGoat says:
Quote
You can take "every other Praeses in orbit (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/162979982854/i-hope-the-others-are-having-more-fun-than-these)" at least three ways:
  • Each and every one of the other Praeses in orbit,
  • "Every other" meaning one has reported, the next has not, the one after that has, and so on, or
  • There are other Praeses that are not in orbit.
It makes me wonder if Laridia is being deliberately ambiguous.

Doubt it. Laridia has already said that "There are many Prases. Seedlings travel, and when they find worlds with life on them, they take root and begin to make inner realities."
So 'Other Prases in orbit' likely just means "those in orbit around Earth, not the others travelling, or around other planets".  We already know that there are other Praeses not around Earth. And the "every other" meaning alternate is silly, but even if you take it as gospel, it only halves the number of Earth tourists and doesn't change anything.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: JimC on 15 Jul 2017, 12:10
...the story thus far suggests he'll be compelled to align with a strong leader, presumably Alice or Sedna (although Gavia is developing, too). 
The compulsions were intended to control the superwarriors, so having them able to server each other would be spectacularly unwise. They ought to have a compulsion only to serve humans. Of course that begs the question, what is a man "...that thou art mindful of him".
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: brasca on 15 Jul 2017, 12:39
Now I'm concerned that if Sedna is okay, Church might be too.

Sedna didn't have a quantum-hardened spear punched through her brain. I suspect that the brain is the super-soldiers' only weak-spot. The only way to kill them is to cause fatal neurological injury.

He could still be alive, but it would appear that Sedna left her bone shiv stuck in his skull.  I'm not entirely sure where, but it could be a part of the brain that won't allow him to function as long as the knife is there.  As such he could be comatose until it's removed which might be for the best considering it would only be a matter of time before he'd find another Pate to follow. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 15 Jul 2017, 14:38
Quote
Should we judge them for doing what we made them do?

If Alice pulls out the "just obeying orders" defense I will be disappointed in her.

"Just obeying orders" has a completely different aspect to it if you have been genetically hardwired to need to have a commander and obey their orders (as Sedna pointed out the combat-optimised units had). For Alice and the other super-soliders, it wasn't a choice or even a cultural tradition, it was a physical and psychological necessity without which they could not function or would possibly even die.

Alice herself feels culpable. Sedna said something to the effect "You haven't forgiven yourself in five thousand years".
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: LKR1009 on 16 Jul 2017, 18:47
Jeph's new QC blurb says AG should end this week. I'm not ready. :'(

Any final wishes for the comic?

I want Church's good eye to open up, years later, as a "to be continued."
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Castlerook on 16 Jul 2017, 18:49
Hold onto you breeches, we're looking at the last week of Alice Grove.

If all goes according to plan.

(And I want a Beneath the Planet of the Apes ending!)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: OldGoat on 16 Jul 2017, 21:22
Hold onto you breeches, we're looking at the last week of Alice Grove.

If all goes according to plan.
I hope Jeph proves me wrong, but if he does that he'll leave more story lines with slap-dash endings than Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.  (I've always wanted to know about Neville Longbottom's transformation from hopeless dweeb to guerilla general.)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Neko_Ali on 16 Jul 2017, 22:58
I also am rather doubtful of the story wrapping up in a week's worth of comics without a ton of questions left unanswered.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: BenRG on 16 Jul 2017, 23:05
Yeah, I'm expecting a "To Be Continued..." with a one-panel hook for 'Book 2'.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: blt on 17 Jul 2017, 05:31
Given that we'd have to be answering a question per panel with all the current loose threads I'll admit I'm not optimistic.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: cesium133 on 17 Jul 2017, 05:47
The last few comics have become walls o' text, which don't lend well to it wrapping up well...
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Castlerook on 17 Jul 2017, 05:47
Or we might not get the answers we want. Jeph might have to decided to leave the whole story a mystery, in that we only know slivers of history due to the perspective of the characters.

Or someone might decide "Eh, fuck it" and blow up the Praeses.

And Alice Grove ends with Bobby Ewing stepping out of the shower.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: cesium133 on 17 Jul 2017, 05:58
Church sinks his entropy and destroys the universe, perhaps?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: BenRG on 17 Jul 2017, 06:03
GAME OVER
Completion Stats:
Main storyline: 67%
Character arcs:
Equipment Unlocked - 20%
Items Located - 8%
Side Quests - 12%

* NEW GAME * LOAD GAME * OPTIONS * CREDITS * CONTACT US *
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: BenRG on 17 Jul 2017, 08:51
New Comic
Yeah, this is the work of someone well-intentioned but short-sighted. There will be chaos, at least in the short term.

I guess this leaves Alice with only one choice to fulfil her self-chosen directive to serve the best interests of humankind - the only viable one anyway, given that there is no way of knowing who is 'infected' with the upgrade virus - and that is to be a leader.

It is a fitting punishment for her sins.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: derech on 17 Jul 2017, 08:58
They apparently knew Ardent had gone missing earlier on, but seemingly not to where.   Given the question, they didn't know how he got to wherever he went missing to.  (25 Jun)    They also didn't seem to know (or at least had no record of) even becoming embodied/leaving (2 Jul).

Yes almost certainly all the Praeses in orbit are all the operational current deployed ones for this system.  At least those doing some sort of reality implementation.   Seedlings, deployed ones not working on this, things not around here, they wouldn't be applicable to the matter.   Praeses in orbit as all that matters as to what could or would report on the similar phenomenon.   Generically,  assuming others that went missing were also embodied and transferred.  That it's extrapolation.  Unless they have some way to find (see, track, monitor, locate) whoever is not properly within the inner reality now that they have a place to potentially look.   
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: pwhodges on 17 Jul 2017, 09:00
So Ardent was presumably engineered to be so randy!  He was an update dispersal mechanism*.

* I most often use that term in the sentence: "My dog is a couch-grass seed dispersal mechanism".
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: KevxD on 17 Jul 2017, 09:02
If the end of Alice Grove is just a tonne of exposition that wraps everything up I'll be very disappointed.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: USS Martenclaire on 17 Jul 2017, 09:27
So Ardent was presumably engineered to be so randy!  He was an update dispersal mechanism*.

* I most often use that term in the sentence: "My dog is a couch-grass seed dispersal mechanism".

Well, of the various things Cora Goodwell (http://www.alicegrove.com/image/131719375964") *could* have got from Ardent, magic nanotech is definitely one of the better ones.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Castlerook on 17 Jul 2017, 09:27
I would like to reiterate my previous point of too much too soon. Whether or not the Praeses intended this to happen, you now have an unready population that are about to gain tremendous power without the knowledge to use them nor the discipline that comes from earning that knowledge.

They've just planted the seeds of another devastating stage in humanity's history. If humanity survives.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: dutchrvl on 17 Jul 2017, 09:28
If the end of Alice Grove is just a tonne of exposition that wraps everything up I'll be very disappointed.

It looks like that's exactly what will happen, but probably with still quite a few strands left unanswered.
Although I was hoping for AG to continue longer, I definitely understand Jeph for wanting to wrap it up. I mean, it was just a stretch goal and he still kept the comic going for 3 years! As a side-project with low-ish number of followers (and thus not generating much if any income, not an unimportant aspect for a profesisonal web-artist), that's pretty good!

Yes, tons of exposition may not the greatest way to finish such an ambitious story, but it's still a pretty good effort compared to, say, Teahouse, where they simply suddenly stopped the comic and wrote a couple of paragraphs telling us the rest of the story.

Since he apparently had the whole story planned out from early on, I wonder if he really intended to be wrapping it up the way he is. I doubt it, considering the immense difference between the glacial initial pace of the story compared to the much faster pace the past months.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Undrneath on 17 Jul 2017, 09:36
This feels a little like Jeph has either gotten tired of writing AG or developed writers block and is trying to wrap it up quickly.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Castlerook on 17 Jul 2017, 09:40
Or this was an experiment in storytelling and artistic style that has run its course.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: BenRG on 17 Jul 2017, 09:44
What ending would I like? An epilogue page starting with the caption "Two Years Later".

'Mayor Alice' is leading the celebration of yet another town opening formal relationships with her town (the original town from the start of the story). We see the town doctor marvelling over Sedna's regenerated arm; she and Alice exchange a wink that suggests that there is still more to tell about their past and present. An annoyed Alice chases Jack off of Gavia, with whom he's getting a bit too familiar and the post-Scarcity virtual girl has a sufficiently permissive view of sex (Culture-like, basically) to not warn him off. "It's for his own good," Alice tells her foster daughter. "Folk in this town have a more... restrained attitude towards these things."

Finally, Alice catches up with Ardent and Cora (who are now married because of said restrained attitude and a lack of nanotech contraception in Ms Goodwell) as well as their cute daughter, who only looks baseline. Ardent is using a string-puppet horse to amuse her. The ~15-month old toddler excitedly reaches out to touch the puppet and it vanishes in a flash of white light to be replaced with a dog-sized robo-pony.

The last panel is Alice and Ardent looking 'down' out of the panel with astonished (Ardent) and grave (Alice) expressions. "It's begun." Alice announces.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: WareWolf on 17 Jul 2017, 09:55
I just want to know what was up with the Nightwalker.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: USS Martenclaire on 17 Jul 2017, 10:01
I just want to know what was up with the Nightwalker.

If I had to guess, it's tied in with this whole dormant tech thing and that when MegaBird shot the moon, it was a signal for the dormant tech to start distributing itself more widely.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: dutchrvl on 17 Jul 2017, 10:04
Hmm, in http://www.alicegrove.com/page/143 Alice implied that part of humanity was in orbit right after the blink. That implies that the praeses were already there during the war between the 2 factions. In addition, Alice and Sedna clearly knew a lot about the praeses, what they were doing and Alice thought initially that Ardent was sent down by the Praeses so that they could [bold]reclaim[/bold] the earth.
In addition, she basically said that she knew exactly what happened to part of earth's inhabitants, who 'looked down from their new homes in orbit' after the Blink.

Thus, the praeses at some point were to some extent in charge of the world, or at least situated ON earth instead of in orbit. Alice has previously implied that the praeses were forced in orbit and would like to come back to the surface, but from what we've learnt so far about the praeses being alien and simply simulating life (or having uploaded the consciousnesses of earth's inhabitants), that hardly makes sense at this point.

Frankly, based on everything Alice has talked about before, it doesn't make sense at all that the praeses are a third entity completely separate from the biological and AI factions.

Another question that likely will be left unanswered: what happened between Alice and Sedna 300 years ago? Alice mentioned that Sedna had still not move on after 300 years, which implies that something bad happened that caused Sedna to hat Alice...

Ugh, too many questions...
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: brasca on 17 Jul 2017, 11:19
So Ardent was presumably engineered to be so randy!  He was an update dispersal mechanism*.

* I most often use that term in the sentence: "My dog is a couch-grass seed dispersal mechanism".

Even if all of the Ardents and possibly a few Gavias were spreading this sexually I think this discontinuity is getting spread the same way the old world diseases were spread to new, simply by breathing.  Although this may work out better for everyone involved. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Storel on 17 Jul 2017, 12:17
Hmm, in http://www.alicegrove.com/page/143 Alice implied that part of humanity was in orbit right after the blink. That implies that the praeses were already there during the war between the 2 factions.

To me, it seems to suggest that "the Blink" lasted a lot longer than the name would imply -- as if humanity was in some kind of stasis or time-stop field for a few centuries while the environment was repaired. The Praeses could have arrived and set up shop during that time.

In addition, Alice and Sedna clearly knew a lot about the praeses, what they were doing and Alice thought initially that Ardent was sent down by the Praeses so that they could reclaim the earth.

Hmm, she did use the word "reclaim" (http://www.alicegrove.com/page/131). Intriguing. Maybe the Praeses were around before the war ended... perhaps created by the ultra-biology side, except for their claim to be aliens who just happened upon earth.

On the other hand, Alice says that after the blink "What was left of humanity looked up to see thousands of new stars in the night sky. Or looked down from their new homes in orbit..." [emphasis added]

The new stars and new homes in orbit have to be the Praeses habitats, and the fact that they are new to the inhabitants of Earth means that they were not present before the Blink.

Edit:
So Ardent was presumably engineered to be so randy!  He was an update dispersal mechanism*.

* I most often use that term in the sentence: "My dog is a couch-grass seed dispersal mechanism".

Sorry, what is couch-grass?  :?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: LKR1009 on 17 Jul 2017, 12:39
Sea level rise did a number on Madagascar!

(Edited to remove my geology derp)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Castlerook on 17 Jul 2017, 12:48
although sea level rise did a number on Madagascar.

That's just revenge for all those games of Pandemic ruined by Madagascar's remoteness.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: nipchee on 17 Jul 2017, 12:57
Nice to see plate tectonics has basically stopped, although sea level rise did a number on Madagascar.

I don't think 5,000 years is quite enough time to see much of a difference in terms of continental drift.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Thrudd on 17 Jul 2017, 13:13
Nice to see plate tectonics has basically stopped, although sea level rise did a number on Madagascar.
I don't think 5,000 years is quite enough time to see much of a difference in terms of continental drift.
We also don't know if some of the major stresses in the crust were mitigated before the war broke out or if the rezoning by the war took care of all that.
I wonder if the Yellowstone eruption ever happened?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Skewbrow on 17 Jul 2017, 14:08
More importantly, has Betelgeuze blown up? :-P
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Method of Madness on 17 Jul 2017, 14:11
Important to note: Blink was 5,000 years before the comic, but we have no idea how far in the future the Blink itself happened.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: retrosteve on 17 Jul 2017, 14:41
* Agreed, Jeph is wrapping this up way too fast with too much exposition and not enough plot.
* Note: the plot Laridia just revealed is essentially the one Alice said she feared here
http://www.alicegrove.com/post/125949754619/please-slow-down-and-explain-what-youre-talking
http://www.alicegrove.com/post/126112043354/at-last-the-central-conflict-of-alice-grove-is

The only differences are:
1. It is likely to happen much faster than Alice feared
2. The Prases claim they're not responsible, and they're very curious who is. It's not Alice or Pate either. Again, a new party seems most likely.

I gotta admit that this new party is really late on the scene arriving. If it arrives within the last week, the story looks too pat. If they don't, then somebody is seriously lying.

Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: pwhodges on 17 Jul 2017, 15:16
Sorry, what is couch-grass?  :?

Sorry, I mistyped.  Couch (pronounced "cooch") grass is an invasive grass that spreads by rhizomes, not seeds.  I meant Goosegrass (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galium_aparine), whose seeds have hooks and catch onto passing dogs for transport (like the larger teazle (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dipsacus)s); it's a right pain removing them all before taking the dog back home!  These "burrs" (name for seed cases with hooks on, whatever size) must be removed not only to prevent the plant being spread to your garden, but to prevent them getting the dog's hair seriously matted.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Tova on 17 Jul 2017, 15:45
Alice killed Pate and almost killed Ardent to prevent them from bootstrapping humanity.

And it's happening anyway.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Castlerook on 17 Jul 2017, 15:55
Alice killed Pate and almost killed Ardent to prevent them from bootstrapping humanity.

And it's happening anyway.

Pretty much what I though since Alice almost flattened Ardent's head.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Kugai on 17 Jul 2017, 16:06
The sleeper must awaken
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Welu on 17 Jul 2017, 17:23
A time jump/epilogue style thing might be a meeting in the middle of exposition dump and dynamic ending. It could also be used to see threads that could be continued on if that's the intention.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 17 Jul 2017, 17:50
Nice to see plate tectonics has basically stopped, although sea level rise did a number on Madagascar.

I don't think 5,000 years is quite enough time to see much of a difference in terms of continental drift.

Welcome, new person with accurate information!
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Castlerook on 17 Jul 2017, 18:22
The sleeper must awaken

The sleeper wants to stay in bed for another five millennia.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: brasca on 17 Jul 2017, 22:55
As much as I'd like this series to continue so far I'm satisfied with the resolution.  Even with the now rapid pace of storytelling I'm still getting more answers than I did in the last season of Lost.  So far we've gotten a lot of answers and the only questions I have is what was the purpose of the Nightwalker and did the Praeses arrive at the end of the great war and everyone was too busy killing each other to notice? 

My theory about the Nightwalker is it might have been left behind as a guardian to prevent this kind of discontinuity infection, but after enough pairs of habitat dwellers were attacked and stripped of their nanotech the Nightwalkers burned out completely.

Alice can't stop what she feared most from happening now.  Not unless she wants to go on an endless murder spree and she doesn't.  However everything that has happened seems like it's for the best because Alice can guide and if necessary control the people with this discontinuity without any opposition.  If Pate were alive and still on Earth with Church he could quickly gather together the affected people and bend them to his will.  At best Alice could create a rival group that could keep Pate's minions in check, but it would be very similar to the last great war with it's two great factions. 

It's funny that Alice says that if you spread enough trees you create a forest or grove hence the title, Alice Grove.   
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: BenRG on 17 Jul 2017, 23:08
@brasca,

Yeah, I'm pretty sure that will be the Praeses parting words to Alice - That Earth has become her grove to cultivate and care for just as the virtual spaceborne are for the Praeses. From now on, the planet below will be known as 'Alice Grove'.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Tova on 17 Jul 2017, 23:30
I'd be perfectly happy with an ending like that. Even though you've now spoiled it, if so!   :-o  :wink:
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: JimC on 18 Jul 2017, 07:03
Laughing? -> crying?  ??

Not excessive exposition in this one...
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: BenRG on 18 Jul 2017, 07:09
More than five thousand years old, a survivor of the war that ended human civilisation, which left her hands dribbling with innocent blood and someone who has been effectively alone for longer than most contemporary civilisations have existed. Now, at long last, with the news that the world she fought to maintain for so long is now doomed in a way that she can't fight, Alice has finally found what her last straw seems to be.

Or, as Jack Napier... The Joker... once put it:
Quote
You know what you and I have in common, Batty? We've both read the punchline and we've both realised that it isn't funny.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: moriastar on 18 Jul 2017, 07:21
I honestly feel bad for Alice. In her mind humanity has not progressed enough mentally and emotionally to handle that level of tech. Pate proved that to her by being willing to murder needlessly. A few years is not enough time to prepare the world. And in the meantime some towns will start fighting for the tech provided by the changers. Or be fighting for the changers themselves.
What concerns me is the world around her is turning white. If she can break the rules, is she about to cause another blink and not realize it? For that matter is breaking the rules causing other side effects... like the universe itself is trying to reset things to the way they were?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: BenRG on 18 Jul 2017, 07:27
@moristar,

I'll say this much: I'm certain that, in the next couple of strips, we're going to find out just who Alice really is, what she has done and why, in five thousand years, she has been unable to forgive herself.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: pwhodges on 18 Jul 2017, 07:37
Well, with only three-odd strips to go, we'd better!  Even so, this ending seems to me to be heading for something with the subtlety of "rocks fall, everybody dies".  I think the best we can hope for now is some hint of what the full planned story might have been if Jeph hadn't decided to do an emergency wrap-up to clear his desk.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Castlerook on 18 Jul 2017, 07:39
I think you're missing the bigger picture.

Alice has failed.

She has failed her mission.

She wanted to keep a delicate balance, to prevent another war.

Only that balance has been screwed up by beings with perhaps the best of intentions. And now her future is leading leading down to hell, a path paved by those good intentions.

So much effort, so much time and its all for nothing. And its the realisation of how easily she slipped into her old ways that finally broke her.

(click to show/hide)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: derech on 18 Jul 2017, 07:52
Laughing because Pate just could have waited, done nothing, and still likely gotten what he wanted.  Even if it took longer than he'd live to actually see the full results.  Rather almost 2112 protagonist-ic-ish, but kind of backwards-like.  Not giving up but forcing his own demise through attempting to get something already apparently well in motion. 

Crying because she thinks humanity lost and the AI won.   Or at least because this whole sequence appears unhaltable.       

Still, she could be wrong about either the short-term or long-term results of this.   

Maybe we'll find out.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 18 Jul 2017, 08:23
A being with Alice's powers having a psychological breakdown.

What could possibly go wrong?

And this just when humanity desperately needs the wisest leadership of its history.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: dutchrvl on 18 Jul 2017, 09:23
Hmm, she did use the word "reclaim" (http://www.alicegrove.com/page/131). Intriguing. Maybe the Praeses were around before the war ended... perhaps created by the ultra-biology side, except for their claim to be aliens who just happened upon earth.

On the other hand, Alice says that after the blink "What was left of humanity looked up to see thousands of new stars in the night sky. Or looked down from their new homes in orbit..." [emphasis added]

The new stars and new homes in orbit have to be the Praeses habitats, and the fact that they are new to the inhabitants of Earth means that they were not present before the Blink.

Yeah, the preases may have been alien, but they clearly were on earth (or even controlled it) before the Blink. That would also explain how Alice and Sedna could possibly know so much about the Praeses and their systems.

So, was the war really just between the 2 factions, or did the praeses also play a role? Was the Blink in part meant to force the Praeses off of earth?

Are the praeses the ones that enabled humanity to make the rapid progress (AI/biology/both) that it made pre-war?
Did the AI faction go someplace else, or did they simply 'place/hide' themselves inside the Praeses' realities, biding their time until they could sent all the embodied messengers?

 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: dutchrvl on 18 Jul 2017, 09:35
So far we've gotten a lot of answers and the only questions I have is what was the purpose of the Nightwalker and did the Praeses arrive at the end of the great war and everyone was too busy killing each other to notice? 

My theory about the Nightwalker is it might have been left behind as a guardian to prevent this kind of discontinuity infection, but after enough pairs of habitat dwellers were attacked and stripped of their nanotech the Nightwalkers burned out completely. 

Well, base on Alice talking about the Praeses wanting to 'reclaim' earth, they were clearly already on earth well before the war ended and presumably before it even started. That'd also explain how Alice/Sedna know so much about the Praeses.

I have many more questions, including:
1) The Blink seems to have moved the Praeses from earth to orbit, and Alice thinks they want to come back to earth. What has prevented the Praeses from coming to earth all this time?
2) Was the Blink indeed caused by the AI, and was it meant to get rid of the Praeses from earth?
3) What was the function of the nightwalker? My theory is also that it was left behind as some sort of emergency system (i.e. get rid of nanotech from earth). But were they left by the AI in case the Praeses indeed wanted to come back to reclaim earth, or somebody else? My thoughts are that they were left by the AI to remove Praeses-based nanotech, since they got rid of Gavia's tech and left Ardent with his pico-tech alone.
4) Are the Praeses benevolent/harmless aliens, as they seem to claim, or are they evil, do they want to take over/control earth? Did they simply 'simulate' realities, or did they upload the consciousnesses of actual humans in their networks, removing them from earth?
   
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: brasca on 18 Jul 2017, 11:21
Apocalyptic tragedy plus 5000 years equals comedy. 

Maybe this was the AIs form of reparations, but for Alice the AIs might as well have a holographic Nelson Muntz appear and laugh at her.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: USS Martenclaire on 18 Jul 2017, 11:57
Poor Alice. She's essentially about to watch history repeat itself.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: starkruzr on 18 Jul 2017, 13:26
Poor Alice. She's essentially about to watch history repeat itself.
Or, not. She probably THINKS that's the case. But there's no hope in Alice's ideology, no room for growth. The AIs apparently disagree.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Kugai on 18 Jul 2017, 19:00
Reminds me of Avon at the end of Blake's Seven


Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: SubaruStephen on 18 Jul 2017, 20:04
A being with Alice's powers having a psychological breakdown.

What could possibly go wrong?

Powers (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1851040/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1) (season 2)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: brasca on 18 Jul 2017, 20:23
There's still so much we don't know about the war and at the rate things are going any speculation could be quickly proven wrong, but here goes. 

The war was between a faction of humanity that believed in the advancement of artificial intelligence and another that believed in genetic engineering.  I think it's safe to say Alice was a part of the latter.  Now the AI faction would have been a mix of AIs and their human supporters which is why this AI that Alice suspects is behind all of this did this as a form of reparations.  They didn't want to forsake the humans that supported them, but probably realized that humanity was on the brink of extinction whereas they could just download their consciousness to one chassis after another.  Sure a few might be destroyed here and there, but by and large they'd live to fight another day.  Now perhaps at some point when it seemed like the genetically engineered faction was on the verge of victory because the AI faction was just feigning imminent defeat as a holding action as Alice speculates is when infighting began.  Why else would Alice be facing down Church 5,000 years ago?  Perhaps the genetically engineered faction splintered and started fighting among themselves.  Meanwhile the AI faction secretly made contact with the praeses who were just passing through our solar system and likely to keep on going when they saw what Earth had become.  The AIs wanted to leave, but they didn't want to abandon their human allies and probably realized that editing Earth would starve millions so they made a deal with the Praeses.  They edited Earth and deposited the consciousness of their human allies with the Praeses.  They probably knew how to do that since they are largely a conscious entity and figured out how to replicate the process.  Meanwhile the genetically engineered faction was left behind on a rejuvenated Earth, but had to start all over without any advanced technology.  Fortunately, the number of humans left on Earth was a manageable number so there wasn't massive starvation.  The AIs also might've considered it fitting since this was the faction that tried to exterminate them.  However, after 5 millennia they wanted to pay back the descendants of their allies and perhaps let bygones be bygones with the Earth dwellers by starting the restoration of humanity. 

Now it remains to be seen what the plan is or if any of what I wrote will come true, but perhaps Pate and Church were the real target all along.  There may be more people like Pate on Earth, but I would hope Church is one of a kind and if he can be permanently incapacitated then any other Pates who subvert the seedlings can be easily dealt with by Alice.  Although she's having a breakdown over the terrible possibilities of all this she is in a position she never had before.  She can serve humanity by leading it.  It's something she doesn't want to do, but will feel obligated to atone for all those she killed and prevent the mistakes of the past from repeating.   
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: dutchrvl on 19 Jul 2017, 05:44
There's still so much we don't know about the war and at the rate things are going any speculation could be quickly proven wrong, but here goes. 

The war was between a faction of humanity that believed in the advancement of artificial intelligence and another that believed in genetic engineering.  I think it's safe to say Alice was a part of the latter.  Now the AI faction would have been a mix of AIs and their human supporters which is why this AI that Alice suspects is behind all of this did this as a form of reparations.  They didn't want to forsake the humans that supported them, but probably realized that humanity was on the brink of extinction whereas they could just download their consciousness to one chassis after another.  Sure a few might be destroyed here and there, but by and large they'd live to fight another day.  Now perhaps at some point when it seemed like the genetically engineered faction was on the verge of victory because the AI faction was just feigning imminent defeat as a holding action as Alice speculates is when infighting began.  Why else would Alice be facing down Church 5,000 years ago?  Perhaps the genetically engineered faction splintered and started fighting among themselves.  Meanwhile the AI faction secretly made contact with the praeses who were just passing through our solar system and likely to keep on going when they saw what Earth had become.  The AIs wanted to leave, but they didn't want to abandon their human allies and probably realized that editing Earth would starve millions so they made a deal with the Praeses.  They edited Earth and deposited the consciousness of their human allies with the Praeses.  They probably knew how to do that since they are largely a conscious entity and figured out how to replicate the process.  Meanwhile the genetically engineered faction was left behind on a rejuvenated Earth, but had to start all over without any advanced technology.  Fortunately, the number of humans left on Earth was a manageable number so there wasn't massive starvation.  The AIs also might've considered it fitting since this was the faction that tried to exterminate them.  However, after 5 millennia they wanted to pay back the descendants of their allies and perhaps let bygones be bygones with the Earth dwellers by starting the restoration of humanity. 

Now it remains to be seen what the plan is or if any of what I wrote will come true, but perhaps Pate and Church were the real target all along.  There may be more people like Pate on Earth, but I would hope Church is one of a kind and if he can be permanently incapacitated then any other Pates who subvert the seedlings can be easily dealt with by Alice.  Although she's having a breakdown over the terrible possibilities of all this she is in a position she never had before.  She can serve humanity by leading it.  It's something she doesn't want to do, but will feel obligated to atone for all those she killed and prevent the mistakes of the past from repeating.

I was thinking along the same lines as your story, and frankly, it is more or less the only one that kinda makes sense. It still leaves some questions unanswered of course regarding the nightwalker and how Alice/Sedna know so much about the Praeses, but the story as a whole is pretty decent using this explanation.

Curious to see how Jeph wraps things up though! :)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: FunkyTuba on 19 Jul 2017, 08:17
Paraphrasing The Incredibles: When everyone is Alice, no one will be.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Castlerook on 19 Jul 2017, 11:42
Comic's up.

And while all this is going on, Alice is in a corner, rocking back and forth, quietly whimpering.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: BenRG on 19 Jul 2017, 11:56
Exactly. I can almost hear Sedna muttering something like: "Ah, she gets like this every now and then; you'll get used to it!"

Possible weird explanation: Because she won't play ball, Alice has just been edited out of reality or has been absorbed into one of the simulations to keep her out of the way. Because of this, none of the others realise that she should be there but isn't anymore.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: dutchrvl on 19 Jul 2017, 12:00
Exactly. I can almost hear Sedna muttering something like: "Ah, she gets like this every now and then; you'll get used to it!"

Possible weird explanation: Because she won't play ball, Alice has just been edited out of reality or has been absorbed into one of the simulations to keep her out of the way.

Other weird explanation: Alice is the only one currently NOT in the simulated reality....
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: JimC on 19 Jul 2017, 12:14
An interesting aspect of the internal reality is that it appears Gavia and Ardent cannot be transferred their without their pico/nano machines coming along, which suggests to me that the internal reality is something somehow physical, not a mere emulation in software.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: brasca on 19 Jul 2017, 12:21
So it's confirmed that some things like limbs can't grow back.

At least everyone involved are handling everything better than Alice.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: sitnspin on 19 Jul 2017, 12:27
An interesting aspect of the internal reality is that it appears Gavia and Ardent cannot be transferred their without their pico/nano machines coming along, which suggests to me that the internal reality is something somehow physical, not a mere emulation in software.
I assumed this from the beginning. When Laridia said the other realities, she specifically said they were not simulations. I think they actually create alternate realities.
So it's confirmed that some things like limbs can't grow back.
Or she just really wants a plant arm. Seems unlikely given everything else they can do that they can't regrow limbs. They can literally alter reality around them at will.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Castlerook on 19 Jul 2017, 12:42
So it's confirmed that some things like limbs can't grow back.

Considering that Church is still on the ground with a humerus shiv in his neck, its clearly apparent that regeneration wasn't in the Super Soldier agenda.

Why? Who knows. Maybe developing it was resource intensive and they just didn't have them to spare. Maybe its a failsafe, if a Super Soldier went rogue then you would want to bring one down without worrying about them coming back. Maybe they're so loaded with modifications that loading them with regeneration was ultimately too much, after all, how would you fuel that regeneration? Or it could be that regeneration takes more then 5 minutes?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: sitnspin on 19 Jul 2017, 13:13
They are powered by black holes.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Castlerook on 19 Jul 2017, 13:30
They are powered by black holes.

And yet Church is down, Sedna had to get nano treatment before she bled out.

Being fuelled by black holes might explain what they can do, but evidently there are still limitations. These aren't gods, but merely empowered individuals.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: OldGoat on 19 Jul 2017, 13:36
We have evidence of lizard DNA (Alice's eyes), so we can extrapolate limb regeneration.  Hell, one of Spider-Man's enemies, the Lizard, came about when a good-guy human tried regenerating a gimpy arm with lizard DNA.

However, doing so will probably take her quite some time.  A kewl plant-prosthesis will make a great substitute in the mean time.  Church may be dead dead, or he may have taken so much damage that repair will take him a hundred years or so.  After all, he recovered from being baked like a ham once.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: retrosteve on 19 Jul 2017, 17:20
So it's confirmed that some things like limbs can't grow back.


Not quickly enough to suit Sedna anyway. She can jigger entropy, so she can do it given enough time and energy. But a quick assist from the Praeses would be way easier.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Kugai on 19 Jul 2017, 17:23
And it's the least the Praeses could do considering she sacrificed her arm to remove a serious threat and  take down Church.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: blt on 19 Jul 2017, 17:38
Meanwhile Sedna is banned from the future version of this forum because she can't pronounce the Praeses' name properly.

She might also just be a big Adventure Time fan.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Method of Madness on 19 Jul 2017, 17:39
These aren't gods, but merely empowered individuals.
Sufficiently advanced individuals are indistinguishable from gods, are they not?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Castlerook on 19 Jul 2017, 17:49
These aren't gods, but merely empowered individuals.
Sufficiently advanced individuals are indistinguishable from gods, are they not?

Only if you believe in gods.

The difference between science and magic is understanding the concept. Whatever mystery the super soldiers might have possessed faded with the revelation that they operate on the principle of Maxwell's Demon and are powered by black holes. There's no magic. That's gone from the world. But the science and technology? That's coming back.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Method of Madness on 19 Jul 2017, 18:09
Only if you believe in gods.
What does belief have to do with it? I don't believe in gods, but if I saw a sufficiently powerful being, that's probably what I'd call it.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Truec on 19 Jul 2017, 19:22
Meanwhile Sedna is banned from the future version of this forum because she can't pronounce the Praeses' name properly.

Can't fault her, I've been trying to figure out how it's pronounced for months.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Neko_Ali on 19 Jul 2017, 20:07
And it's the least the Praeses could do considering she sacrificed her arm to remove a serious threat and  take down Church.

Except Laridia already dismissed all three super soldiers as barely a threat. Ardent and Gavia were only a threat to the inner realities, and that threat was neutralized by virtue of just not letting them back in. Honestly I get the feeling Laridia was embodied just because Cupressaceae was tired of them trashing it's outer form and decided to set things straight. All in all it's being pretty reasonable and accommodating. But it still would probably like these disruptions to go away now.

Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: OldGoat on 19 Jul 2017, 20:21
And it's the least the Praeses could do considering she sacrificed her arm to remove a serious threat and  take down Church.

Except Laridia already dismissed all three super soldiers as barely a threat. Ardent and Gavia were only a threat to the inner realities, and that threat was neutralized by virtue of just not letting them back in. Honestly I get the feeling Laridia was embodied just because Cupressaceae was tired of them trashing it's outer form and decided to set things straight. All in all it's being pretty reasonable and accommodating. But it still would probably like these disruptions to go away now.
Cupressaceae wanted to interrogate interview Ardent and Gavia to find out how they were materialized and transported down to the surface.  If A&G can't be readmitted to the internal reality, it has to generate an entity to communicate with them.  Hence Laridia.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: DaiJB on 19 Jul 2017, 21:02
Front-line super-soldiers were given a compulsion to serve.
Alice said "I serve everybody"

Maybe she started crying because everybody won't need her service anymore?...
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 19 Jul 2017, 21:19
If her mind works like a human's, she can sweep unpleasant memories under the carpet for a while, but once they get out they will cause havoc.

Pate confronted her about her role in the war. She has freshly reminded herself that she committed a thousand Holocausts.

She's having a hard time now.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: ysth on 19 Jul 2017, 22:40
But will Sedna's new arm be like Robot's or like Ysengrin's?

Also, apparently Pate should have been focusing on seducing Ardent.  (I don't think it would have worked in Gavia.)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: brasca on 19 Jul 2017, 22:58
An interesting aspect of the internal reality is that it appears Gavia and Ardent cannot be transferred their without their pico/nano machines coming along, which suggests to me that the internal reality is something somehow physical, not a mere emulation in software.

Perhaps, but the praeses may being overly cautious and want to limit their contact with 2 people afflicted with the discontinuity.  Unless transferring their consciousness out of their bodies and back into the simulation is all done wirelessly a physical connection with Ardent or Gavia could have some catastrophic side effects. 

Fortunately, they're both reconciled to this because they know the truth as well as other factors.  Perhaps the AI that picked these 2 to go to Earth didn't just cruelly yank them out of their world without studying their profiles first.  It knew Ardent is someone who wants an adventure and appreciates experiencing things through his own senses.  As for Gavia aside from the praeses she didn't have any friends on the space habitat and doesn't back down from a challenge.  Losing her nano technology was the worst experience, but she's since acquired new and improved nanotech and unless there is another Night Walker she's in no danger of losing it again.  She actually might've enjoyed most of her time on Earth, but didn't want to admit it because of Ardent.  It's also nice to see she's forgiven him since he really wasn't responsible for traveling to Earth. 

Although there's only a few strips left I'm quite intrigued with what they will do.  Even though plenty of people will gain similar abilities they and the others who went to Earth are pioneers so that gives them a head start and unlike the others they're friends with 2 of the most powerful beings on Earth so that's definitely a bonus.     
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: JimC on 20 Jul 2017, 03:49
Sufficiently advanced individuals are indistinguishable from gods, are they not?
I would say not. Sufficiently advanced individuals must still exist in space time, but the judeo-christian concept of an omnipotent creator at the very least implies existence outside space-time.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Tova on 20 Jul 2017, 04:42
I'm no theologian, but there are other concepts of gods, no? And I think there are those whose gods walk among us.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: avij on 20 Jul 2017, 05:44
The reason why Sedna might fancy a plant arm: http://www.alicegrove.com/image/146220974069
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Neko_Ali on 20 Jul 2017, 06:20
Well, it's possible that they have some low level of regeneration. We know it exists, Ardent regrew his delightful tail after losing it. Alice seems almost fine after having her head partly crushed by Church. Also, for being more than 5000 years the super soldiers all are pretty youthful looking. That speaks to me that they have some level of cellular regeneration to stop the aging process. So I'm guessing that it's not outside the realm of possibility that Sedna could regrow her arm, it just might take a while to happen or require a lot of entropy that she doesn't want to burn. Not when there are alternatives. Besides, cool freaky plant arm.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: retrosteve on 20 Jul 2017, 08:35
Only if you believe in gods.
What does belief have to do with it? I don't believe in gods, but if I saw a sufficiently powerful being, that's probably what I'd call it.

And you'd be making the same mistake as the Peruvians made when the Spanish Conquistador Pizarro arrived with better technology. They called the Spanish "Children of the Sun" and were so dazzled that they failed to object when their king Atahualpa was kidnapped, and despite the outrageous ransom being paid, was arbitrarily killed anyway.

You want to go mistaking good technology for godhood, please don't be my leader.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: derech on 20 Jul 2017, 08:49
There's often/usually some sort of large conceptual chasm between The God and a god, although perhaps that only depends on whose pantheon is being looked at by whom, and when in what circumstances.   "Obviously" since in the natural universe everything comes from something (there is entropy, if you wish) God would have to exist outside normal spacetime.  An all powerful creator of all would have to exist in a place where things (including their self, the place, and what its made of) come from nothing.  And also be able to move into another place where they don't and can't come from nothing.  This is seemingly somewhat akin what Laridia suggests to some extent, apparently without an ability to embody/unembody without changing the nature of what has been unembodied/embodied.  At least when it comes from moving to/from the inner reality.   

As is so often the case though, how some person or group thinks about something isn't in a vacuum, it's shaped by such things as their knowledge, experience, intelligence, wisdom, and ability to make connections and extrapolate.   Perhaps someone can't tell the difference between super-powerful and godlike (or between science and magic) at a given point through mere observation, but if there's a difference to be had, it doesn't mean nobody can make that differentiation.   

While we might think only the modern and sophisticated could possibly understand such as a handheld calculator (TI 1967) yet it might instead easily be identified as a created tool by most any conscious cognitive self-aware being with the equivalent of at least a double-digit IQ.     If you've ever seen a cannon (fire lance, 1132) in use, you probably get what sort of item an automatic rifle is even if you've never seen one.   If you've ever seen a Canon in use, you might just understand the concept of photography (circa 500 BC and before, earliest surviving photograph 1826 AD).     Magic may be a word used to describe science somebody doesn't understand or can't conceptualize,  but at least in our physical reality, there is no such thing. (Not in the sense of casting spells using mana and so on.)   You might still, after being transplanted to another reality which contains such unnatural nonphysical things,  recognize what a wand pointed at you might do, even if you'd never seen Wizard of Oz (MGM, 1939).
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Castlerook on 20 Jul 2017, 09:03
Only if you believe in gods.
What does belief have to do with it? I don't believe in gods, but if I saw a sufficiently powerful being, that's probably what I'd call it.

And you'd be making the same mistake as the Peruvians made when the Spanish Conquistador Pizarro arrived with better technology. They called the Spanish "Children of the Sun" and were so dazzled that they failed to object when their king Atahualpa was kidnapped, and despite the outrageous ransom being paid, was arbitrarily killed anyway.

You want to go mistaking good technology for godhood, please don't be my leader.

Thank you. History is full of people mistaking technology for godhood and paying for it later.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: LKR1009 on 20 Jul 2017, 09:32
Comic is up. Tomorrow's ending is on Patreon for $1 donors too.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: BenRG on 20 Jul 2017, 09:32
Well, suicide-by-black hole is probably the only guaranteed way for one of Alice's kind to kill themselves.

That said... Alice...? This wish says wonderful things about your conscience but... in the end, don't you think that you're running away from your crimes? It sounds to me that you're avoiding confronting a world where you are just another super-immortal rather that 'The Witch' and thus without the immunity your reputation has given you so far..
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: OldGoat on 20 Jul 2017, 10:16
Well, suicide-by-black hole is probably the only guaranteed way for one of Alice's kind to kill themselves.

That said... Alice...? This wish says wonderful things about your conscience but... in the end, don't you think that you're running away from your crimes? It sounds to me that you're avoiding confronting a world where you are just another super-immortal rather that 'The Witch' and thus without the immunity your reputation has given you so far..
Unless Alice does dive into the black hole, the door is open for a sequel should Jeph ever decide he wants to go there.  Hell, it might even start with Alice and her Veggicraft popping out in a universe on the other side.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: pwhodges on 20 Jul 2017, 10:51
Hmm - shades of Yui Ikari, even (though admittedly remote).
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: brasca on 20 Jul 2017, 11:32
Well, suicide-by-black hole is probably the only guaranteed way for one of Alice's kind to kill themselves.

That said... Alice...? This wish says wonderful things about your conscience but... in the end, don't you think that you're running away from your crimes? It sounds to me that you're avoiding confronting a world where you are just another super-immortal rather that 'The Witch' and thus without the immunity your reputation has given you so far..

If she wants to die it seems like it would be easier to tear off a limb and stab herself in the brain.  I can understand her desire to avoid repeating her own terrible mistakes.  Maybe she's choosing solitary confinement to atone.

I suspect the finale will have her make a decision.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: JimC on 20 Jul 2017, 12:00
Where did she go?
   out
What did she do?
   Everything.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: derech on 20 Jul 2017, 14:05
Meeting what she's entangled with (should she end up doing that) isn't necessarily fatal, although given that it's not sentient, wouldn't seem particularly all that interesting.   But maybe to somebody entangled to it, and that's a few thousand years of age, it's another matter entirely.



Only if you believe in gods.
What does belief have to do with it? I don't believe in gods, but if I saw a sufficiently powerful being, that's probably what I'd call it.
And you'd be making the same mistake as the Peruvians made when the Spanish Conquistador Pizarro arrived with better technology. They called the Spanish "Children of the Sun" and were so dazzled that they failed to object when their king Atahualpa was kidnapped, and despite the outrageous ransom being paid, was arbitrarily killed anyway.
You want to go mistaking good technology for godhood, please don't be my leader.
Thank you. History is full of people mistaking technology for godhood and paying for it later.


Although the specifics around all of that are quite a bit less exotic and mystical than we might have hoped for. 

  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_conquest_of_the_Inca_Empire

  https://www.thoughtco.com/conquest-of-the-inca-empire-facts-2136551
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Sorflakne on 20 Jul 2017, 14:57
So we're not going to find out what happened when the nano bird fired the laser at the moon, are we. :/
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: jwhouk on 20 Jul 2017, 14:57
That was... somewhat unsatisfying.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: cesium133 on 20 Jul 2017, 15:10
That was... somewhat unsatisfying.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Kugai on 20 Jul 2017, 15:28
So, she's heading beyond The Rim

Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: retrosteve on 20 Jul 2017, 16:34
So we're not going to find out what happened when the nano bird fired the laser at the moon, are we. :/

Far as I'm concerned, we never found out who did most of the stuff: the AIs are suggested by process of elimination, not by any actual evidence. And we don't know if it was one clever weakly godlike AI or a faction of them or the whole lot together, and whether their intentions are good or ill. And we don't know if they are responsible for the Nightwalker. Or why it was easier to reawaken Earth using Sims from all the Praeses rather than Earthlings. Or how they hacked the Sims's minds as well as bodies (Ardent still thinks he prevailed upon a friend.)

We also don't know if Alice's reality is more real than the simulations in the Praeses. Or who originally had the technology to link her and the other soldiers to a black hole. Or, if her reality isn't a simulation, how the Blink worked.

Laridia also seems to be claiming that all the Sims on the Praeses are generated, not uploaded from Earth people. And the Praeses don't seem to have any connection to the Blink guys. Am I misinterpreting that? If so, what happened to all the Earthlings at Blink time?

We don't really know how Alice zapped Church originally either. Or why. Or how many other soldier types are still around. Or what she really did to feel responsible for the deaths of billions. Or even if Church is going to regenerate, though that could easily be clear from a last panel.

I think we will be wondering and discussing most of these after tomorrow.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Tova on 20 Jul 2017, 17:17
I think I prefer stories that don't answer all of their own questions. They make for more interesting discussion.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Case on 20 Jul 2017, 17:31
There's often/usually some sort of large conceptual chasm between The God and a god, although perhaps that only depends on whose pantheon is being looked at by whom, and when in what circumstances.

Whelp, we do know she's got a hell of a burp! (1:39)

Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Otl1973 on 20 Jul 2017, 19:41
Well, suicide-by-black hole is probably the only guaranteed way for one of Alice's kind to kill themselves.

That said... Alice...? This wish says wonderful things about your conscience but... in the end, don't you think that you're running away from your crimes? It sounds to me that you're avoiding confronting a world where you are just another super-immortal rather that 'The Witch' and thus without the immunity your reputation has given you so far..

There have been several comments implying that everyone was going to turn into Alice. As far as I can tell, what Laridia actually indicated was that everyone was going to turn into Ardent and Gavia - powerful but not super powered, probably longer lived but not immortal, perhaps a master of technology but not a master of entropy.  Alice (and any remaining others of her ilk) would remain of a separate order...

I think I prefer stories that don't answer all of their own questions. They make for more interesting discussion.

Though this one seems to have left too many unanswered, unless Jeph plans to revisit it.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Castlerook on 20 Jul 2017, 19:45
4 years creating a tribute to Iain M Banks?

Bravo Mr Jacques, bravo. :-D
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: mikmaxs on 20 Jul 2017, 20:22
So... There was literally zero actual jeopardy in the entire main story. Nothing the characters did had any impact beyond their personal sphere. That's extremely disappointing to me, especially considering that the only real conflict in the story was introduced three quarters of the way into the story with only a single-page teaser that told us almost nothing before it and was dispatched in a way that the audience literally could not have seen coming without wild, unsourced speculation.
Honestly, everything here was just such an anticlimax. The only thing that was explained was the primary conflict, and it was... Well, not the MOST boring explanation, but one that doesn't really raise the good kind of questions. I do have questions, but it's all about things that were either explicitly left unresolved with no way of even guessing at an answer, or just questions of confusion about character motivation and plot holes.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Castlerook on 20 Jul 2017, 20:53
Or maybe the whole story is an examination of what it is to be human.

What truly defines humanity? You had a war on a massive scale between bioaugmentation and the use of technology trying to figure that out.

What values do we hold to ourselves? Be it in a seeming utopian tree in space or a technologically regressed society on Earth, yet no one really lacks for anything, community is important to the stage where matchmaking is still a done thing. Community and those we choose to live with.

What happens when we repress the humanity in ourselves? You need only look at Church and Alice to see, more weapon than human by the end. And yet even then, with the prospect of Humanity rising again and Alice tapping into the last shred of her humanity, she realises that she can't live there anymore, she's done too much and spilled too much blood to have a place there and in her last act as a protector of Humanity, she leaves, removing another weapon that would just end up hurting it in the future.

You complain that there are no answers and no definitive resolutions to this story, but that's the point. Humanity's story hasn't ended yet, we still don't have all the answers we're looking for, or maybe we haven't realised that we aren't asking the right questions yet.

Science fiction is the exploration of our nature. Right and wrong, good and bad, its the genre we look to when we want to examine ourselves. If we can garner some sliver of insight about ourselves, then Jeph has done his job.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Method of Madness on 20 Jul 2017, 21:00
Only if you believe in gods.
What does belief have to do with it? I don't believe in gods, but if I saw a sufficiently powerful being, that's probably what I'd call it.

And you'd be making the same mistake as the Peruvians made when the Spanish Conquistador Pizarro arrived with better technology. They called the Spanish "Children of the Sun" and were so dazzled that they failed to object when their king Atahualpa was kidnapped, and despite the outrageous ransom being paid, was arbitrarily killed anyway.

You want to go mistaking good technology for godhood, please don't be my leader.
I don't want to be anyone's leader! Also, sufficiently advanced goes a bit beyond good tech. Also, just because I think someone's a god doesn't mean I'm going to worship them.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: SmilingCat on 20 Jul 2017, 21:18
Well, it's possible that they have some low level of regeneration. We know it exists, Ardent regrew his delightful tail after losing it. Alice seems almost fine after having her head partly crushed by Church. Also, for being more than 5000 years the super soldiers all are pretty youthful looking. That speaks to me that they have some level of cellular regeneration to stop the aging process. So I'm guessing that it's not outside the realm of possibility that Sedna could regrow her arm, it just might take a while to happen or require a lot of entropy that she doesn't want to burn. Not when there are alternatives. Besides, cool freaky plant arm.

They have the ability to pull entropy out of a system, which is a vaguely defined concept, but suggests that they can force the existing matter of their body into an ordered state. That doesn't extend to creating matter, however. Alice can fix her crushed skull because all the matter stays in the same place. She just has to reorder it back to its proper state. Sedna's arm is gone, and incorporating sufficient mass of the right elements and compounds to regenerate it would presumably take time (and lots of bacon, eggs, and pancakes).

Also, their abilities appear to be tied to their ability to think about them. Sedna was bleeding out very quickly, with all the associated side affects and probably needed direct medical intervention to stop it before she could think clearly enough to even begin forcing it to heal.

Church can't do anything because he had his brain scrambled by arm bone. He's dead. We've seen nothing to indicate that the seat of their intelligence is located anywhere else.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Method of Madness on 20 Jul 2017, 21:26
seat of their intelligence
In their butts :parrot:
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Sorflakne on 20 Jul 2017, 21:27
So we're not going to find out what happened when the nano bird fired the laser at the moon, are we. :/

Far as I'm concerned, we never found out who did most of the stuff: the AIs are suggested by process of elimination, not by any actual evidence. And we don't know if it was one clever weakly godlike AI or a faction of them or the whole lot together, and whether their intentions are good or ill. And we don't know if they are responsible for the Nightwalker. Or why it was easier to reawaken Earth using Sims from all the Praeses rather than Earthlings. Or how they hacked the Sims's minds as well as bodies (Ardent still thinks he prevailed upon a friend.)

We also don't know if Alice's reality is more real than the simulations in the Praeses. Or who originally had the technology to link her and the other soldiers to a black hole. Or, if her reality isn't a simulation, how the Blink worked.

Laridia also seems to be claiming that all the Sims on the Praeses are generated, not uploaded from Earth people. And the Praeses don't seem to have any connection to the Blink guys. Am I misinterpreting that? If so, what happened to all the Earthlings at Blink time?

We don't really know how Alice zapped Church originally either. Or why. Or how many other soldier types are still around. Or what she really did to feel responsible for the deaths of billions. Or even if Church is going to regenerate, though that could easily be clear from a last panel.

I think we will be wondering and discussing most of these after tomorrow.
My focus on the nano bird is that the strip spent time building up to it, both with the foreshadowing of Alice saying it stares at the moon and a rather detailed visual of it capturing Gavia, absorbing her nanomachines, and then firing a laser (whether it was a signal or attack) at the moon.  Other stuff in the comic, such as the laser that made the magma Church was buried in, Alice and Sedna arguing about grudges, weird animal forms, Alice's flashbacks to the carnage and destruction, and the Blink itself (I feel it was sufficiently explained for the story's purposes; even Alice couldn't make heads or tails of it) were incidental enough to build the world up but not affect the story in a way that they needed resolution.  Even Sedna shivving Church to death with her own arm was satisfactorily explained.  The nano bird though...I feel too much was left unexplained here, and as a result it seemed to serve no purpose in driving the story, especially since Gavia got her nanomachines back anyway (in IMO a borderline deus ex), making their loss meaningless.

I dunno.  It was a good story, don't get me wrong, but I think I'm starting to agree with others that the ending was rushed.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Method of Madness on 20 Jul 2017, 21:28
I don't think Jeph would disagree about the ending being rushed, honestly.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Kugai on 20 Jul 2017, 22:01
It's been an interesting, fun ride as an aside to Jephs main work and I've really enjoyed it.

Who knows,, maybe he'll pick this up again sometime in the future - but whatever happens, I liked reading Alice Grove.



Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: BenRG on 20 Jul 2017, 23:41
Well, that struck me not so much an ending as an abandonment. The problem is not that Jeph didn't answer all of the questions he raised (maybe he wanted the whole thing to be a fanfic hook). My problem is that he never really bothered to properly identify a primary plot. Was it why Gavia and Ardent came to Earth? Was it who and what Alice really was? Both of those things were addressed but only as a quick exposition burst.

At the most we see the end of a 'Part 1' here. A 'part 2' is definitely needed where we address more of what the presumed responsible parties' (because they were never definitely identified) goals were and how they carried them out. Then there is the issue of the Praeses and why they do what they do. Alice could easily want to find that out too! Then there is her so casually dropping her responsibilities to her town and the people there, which is fully out-of-character, no matter what a traumatic experience she's had.

IMO, this is exposing some of the limitations of Jeph's developed writing skills with sequential art. In QC, it is always allowable (even necessary) to leave issues unaddressed because you want something you can write further strips about. However, in a distinct, self-contained story with a defined start and end, you can't do that. You have to be much clearer about developing plot, identifying stories and, if not wrapping everything up at least giving a clear pointer towards where things have gone. I think that Alice Grove would have benefited from being written out in script form from beginning to end and then to have had some friends read through it and encourage him to tighten and bookend the narrative.

Onto the positives: As always, Jeph's characterisation is excellent. He's good at creating three-dimensional characters out of whole cloth whom you quickly find yourself caring about. Alice is a very flawed, very tormented and very real heroine, you find yourself laughing along with Ardent's misadventures and you empathise strongly with the shaking of Gavia's previously rock solid understanding of history and reality.

Overall? This gets a 6/10 from me. It's a brave first attempt (especially given the fact it's self-published) but ultimately it exposes more things that needs work in his writing style than anything else - Something that he must address before he tries something like this again. I wouldn't recommend it to a new reader.

Well, onto the stip itself: Past Alice/Sedna confirmed and I doubt that will come as a surprise to anyone. Also, it looks like Gavia is 'going native'?

Now, why is Laridia in panel 1? Why should Cupressceae care about whether they reached Earth safely? I find myself wondering if plant lady has been assigned to be Alice's keeper or something. Maybe the Praeses want to know what's 'out there' and figure having a set of eyes and ears with Alice will help achieve that goal. After all, it's implied that the Praeses have forgotten their true past and they may be at least curious about it.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: pwhodges on 20 Jul 2017, 23:56
My problem is that he never really bothered to properly identify a primary plot. Was it why Gavia and Ardent came to Earth? Was it who and what Alice really was? Both of those things were addressed but only as a quick exposition burst.

The ending of Neon Genesis Evangelion similarly leaves one up in the air (especially the extended film ending End of Evangelion).  But that still generates intense discussion and strong opinions twenty years on (this very week saw the twentieth anniversary of the film) because it had a strong focus - not so much on the plot or the science fiction aspects in that case, but on character development.  Jeph does character development in QC, but there was next to none in AG and in the end it was missed.

Quote
Now, why is Laridia in panel 1?

Handing over Alice's spacecraft and making sure she actually does leave is a good enough explanation for me at this point.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Storel on 21 Jul 2017, 00:05
It's been an interesting, fun ride as an aside to Jephs main work and I've really enjoyed it.

Who knows,, maybe he'll pick this up again sometime in the future - but whatever happens, I liked reading Alice Grove.

Yeah, what Kugai said.

Sure, it left a lot of questions unanswered, and yes, that's going to be frustrating to those who like to have all the loose ends neatly tied up. Too bad, so sad, don't go away mad.

If it bothers you THAT much, write your own ending or continuation -- we have a fanfiction thread, use it.

But suggesting, as some seem to be doing, that leaving so many questions unanswered is bad writing on Jeph's part... that seems pretty rude to me. Jeph's already stated he did it that way intentionally, and I think you can find evidence even from early in the story to suggest that Jeph never planned to explain everything. Like the wind turbine that Alice was working on, way out in the middle of nowhere -- what was that for? Who knows? Maybe Jeph doesn't even.

So relax. Enjoy the things you liked, don't obsess about the things you didn't. This was a helluva good story for a free side project. Thanks, Jeph!
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: BenRG on 21 Jul 2017, 00:18
But suggesting, as some seem to be doing, that leaving so many questions unanswered is bad writing on Jeph's part... that seems pretty rude to me.

Why are we obliged to not say if we don't like something? That is incomprehensible to me.

Maybe Jeph always did intend to leave things unsaid (after all, what reason do I have to doubt him on this?) but to have major plot devices like the Nightwalker unexplained is just inexcusable. It just makes me think that he decided to do it because it 'looked cool' but didn't think about how to integrate it into the story. Maybe others (professional writers who write novels for a living or who work for TV and movies) have done that too. However, I wouldn't give them a pass for it either. Indeed, one of the reasons I gave up on Star Trek - Voyager was because there were too many instances of "'Cause we said so" plot devices where there isn't even an attempt to explain things from an in-universe perspective.

Now, I don't want to start an argument but I would ask others to respect that this is not the sort of story I like; it isn't the sort of writing style I like. I feel that, if you have a discussion forum for a story, that necessarily includes allowing people to be critical if they can explain it reasonably.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: sitnspin on 21 Jul 2017, 01:24
. In QC, it is always allowable (even necessary) to leave issues unaddressed because you want something you can write further strips about. However, in a distinct, self-contained story with a defined start and end, you can't do that. You have to be much clearer about developing plot, identifying stories and, if not wrapping everything up at least giving a clear pointer towards where things have gone
This strikes me as a particularly narrow and restrictive view of storytelling.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: BenRG on 21 Jul 2017, 01:36
. In QC, it is always allowable (even necessary) to leave issues unaddressed because you want something you can write further strips about. However, in a distinct, self-contained story with a defined start and end, you can't do that. You have to be much clearer about developing plot, identifying stories and, if not wrapping everything up at least giving a clear pointer towards where things have gone

This strikes me as a particularly narrow and restrictive view of storytelling.

Perhaps but it is the form of storytelling that I like.

[Edit]
I hope that I'm not coming across as too negative and confrontational because that's not what I want. What I want to emphasise is that Alice Grove really has exposed what I regard as rough edges in Jeph's ability to write a long, integrated narrative. Too many things were given too much emphasis or not enough emphasis. Too many character arcs were brushed over and not enough attention given to significant elements (like Gavia having to function without nanotech or a villain group being introduced and then having no clear and unique role).

I'm not saying 'must do better', I'm saying 'can do better'. Alice Grove is not something to which I will be coming back to re-read (a must, IMO, my favourite books I will read tens of times). In the end, what it needed was more depth (perhaps being about 50% longer). Maybe a little more work on the end to emphasise why Alice chose perpetual exile and how she handled the way this was going to hurt those she cared about.

I may try to novelise it on Fanfiction.net or somewhere (Jeph, PM me if you don't want me to do this; you have the final and absolute veto over publication of 'my version') and modify it considerably to deal with those problems that I feel it has. The ending may even be considerably different, especially if I can't justify things like Alice running away as I get close to that point.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: KevxD on 21 Jul 2017, 01:45
Such a disappointing ending. Really get the feeling Jeph just got fed up with it and wrapped things up ASAP. Such a strong contrast to the slow pace of things earlier in the comic is really jarring. I've no problem with leaving things open, but in this case you get the feeling it was an excuse to not flesh things out rather than provoke discussion.

Enjoyable comic, deserved a better ending.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: pwhodges on 21 Jul 2017, 01:55
This strikes me as a particularly narrow and restrictive view of storytelling.

Possibly, but I think that's overstating it; he and I are probably not alone in feeling that the main themes of a story should be brought to some point by the time of the ending, even if that ending leaves further explanation and development open-ended.

Still (@BenRG, who displays a talent at making story predictions), there is, as has already been said, lots of scope for fan-fiction, both to fill in the past and develop the future.  I don't personally feel any urge for that in this case, though.

Such a strong contrast to the slow pace of things earlier in the comic is really jarring.

The change from once a week to once a day made that more apparent than it needed to be.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Jeemy on 21 Jul 2017, 02:18
Registered just to post my thoughts.

I’ve lurked here for a long time as although I am interested to know what others think about AG, I always found the discussion a little too pseudo high-brow, I’ve never felt the point of this comic was to raise discussion about the exact physics of a situation, more the ethics.

I had to post my thoughts however as I am so surprised that a group of people who are accustomed to picking apart the holes in the viability of some of the writers’ conceits in terms of physics, quantum physics, logistics etc aren’t being more critical of this abrupt ending to AG.

I think it just doesn’t bear true that this was intentional from the beginning. The way in which the conclusion was presented, is nowhere near comparable to the way in which the introduction was presented.

I think this shows in so many aspects of the comic’s presentation:

Simple page numbers: What Alice Grove has given us is roughly 220 pages, approx 160 beginning, 40 middle, and 20 end.

Locations: Where the intro gave us 5 or 6 different locations and a fleshed out world, the progression of the story from then on gave us an underground bunker, the void of space and the lobby of the Praeses.

Ideas: where a lot of the ideas were fleshed out, given cliffhangers, had surprises thrown into them or were otherwise developed, the narrative style changed and the last 20 pages just gave us what I felt were hasty explanations.

The laughing: is it just me or do multiple strips where you see nothing but a character laughing maniacally seem like filler at best. Bad writing at worst.

…I could go on but I don’t want to write too much. You get the point.

And its either that bad writing is what this comes down to, or something worse.

I only really see two possible scenarios:

a) It was intended to be this way from the start. If thats the case, this was a badly planned, badly executed, badly written piece of work, for all the reasons mentioned above.

b) Something changed to make what was originally an open-ended, enjoyable piece of space comicry, become too much to want to deal with and AG was wrapped up in a rush.

I have to say, I strongly lean towards the latter.

- I don’t feel that one would commence all these plot points, introduce all these ideas, locations and characters, with the intent to swiftly kill them all and wrap up in this way.
- I find the whole Patreon system and the kick-starters to fund books, the constant advertising etc quite unpleasant. I get the strong feeling AG was killed because it was not worth it in financial terms, and that everything is for profit with this guy.
- At the end of the day the story just didn’t end up *being very good*! And given the quality of the ideas, concepts, art and writing at the beginning, the huge weighing of the content towards the start of the overall arc, and the speed/length of the conclusion, my inference is that it could have been much better, but was completely abandoned.

The final thing I don’t understand is when JJ has been happy to keep updates every 2 weeks or more for years, why now it was an update every day. If this was intentional and he enjoyed writing it and was proud to finish, I think it would have still been better received if the updates came weekly.

If there had been more story to write and more plans to develop, to produce it weekly, fortnightly or ad hoc wouldn’t have been an issue. Everything points to completely giving up on this project and I am really surprised there is a single person here who thinks this has been a satisfactory conclusion given the usual tendency to pick at even the smallest inconsistencies.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Otl1973 on 21 Jul 2017, 02:31
Maybe Jeph always did intend to leave things unsaid (after all, what reason do I have to doubt him on this?) but to have major plot devices like the Nightwalker unexplained is just inexcusable. It just makes me think that he decided to do it because it 'looked cool' but didn't think about how to integrate it into the story. Maybe others (professional writers who write novels for a living or who work for TV and movies) have done that too.

Tolkien did something of the sort with Tom Bombadil, who he explicitly said was a mystery, who didn't play any meaningful role in the plot, and whose absence wouldn't have impacted anything.  And he has taken heat over it ever since - to the point that many readers argue that Bombadil serves no purpose and really shouldn't be there, and most (all?) adaptations have dropped him completely.  Tolkien himself apparently couldn't explain why he felt Bombadil belonged there, just that he did.  But I think it is valid to argue that all Bombadil did was add 25 or 30 pages of atmosphere and padding to a book that needed more of neither.   The Nightwalker is arguably slightly different, since it did perform the significant act of stripping Gavia of her nanobots, but the act ended up temporary (and may or may not have really impacted the plot in the interim) and the reason for the action and its implications are never explained.

With regard to the overall story - as noted, Alice was basically an Indiana Jones character - not significantly affecting what (ultimately) will end up happening.  The only major thing that the entire action in the story after Ardent and Gavia arrived on Earth achieved was removing Church (and by her own choice Alice) from the field of play, and that seemed almost incidental.  The whole flight to space achieved only exposition (Church's demise(?) could have happened on Earth without really changing anything) - the readers (and the characters) learned some of what was going on, but it ultimately didn't really impact the outcome of the story.  I think Jeph created an interesting universe, stocked with a lot of characters, elements, and backstory that could have been much more deeply explored.  Whether because of lack/loss of interest on his part, lack of ideas of where those actually led, storytelling limitations, or possibly even financial reasons (the need to devote too much time to something with little return), Jeph didn't.  It's hard to buy his claim that all this was as he intended - that the dangling plot points, uninvestigated mysteries, and conclusion by wall of exposition and supposition was what he had planned from the start.  But it was his story, his comic, his choice to proceed and end as he did.  I personally think it could have been much more, but perhaps not in his hands, at least at his current level of storytelling skill?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: pwhodges on 21 Jul 2017, 03:20
- I find the whole Patreon system and the kick-starters to fund books, the constant advertising etc quite unpleasant.

It's a change from just buying or not buying something, I suppose - but for the artist it's a modern way to revive the old system of patronage (hence the name) that artists at all levels relied on for centuries as a means to put food in their mouths.

Quote
I get the strong feeling AG was killed because it was not worth it in financial terms, and that everything is for profit with this guy.

Of course it is - it's his job that he does to be able to live.  Do you not try to ensure that your job makes you enough money?  More famous artists than Jeph have dropped projects midway for financial reasons, and our regretting that is unlikely to change the pressures that caused his change of heart - which he is unlikely to explain to us in more detail.  The same applies if it was not a financial decision but an artistic one, or a life-style one.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Jeemy on 21 Jul 2017, 03:39
Quote
It's a change from just buying or not buying something, I suppose - but for the artist it's a modern way to revive the old system of patronage (hence the name) that artists at all levels relied on for centuries as a means to put food in their mouths.

I understand what it does. I understand its a business model that takes the onus off the artist to finance self-publication by getting paid on promises. What I find unpleasant is the fact this takes the risk from the artist, who does (could/should) profit from a self-publicised venture, to the buyer. When the buyer(s) are then left without the promised product or quality, this is problematic.

Quote
Of course it is - it's his job that he does to be able to live.  Do you not try to ensure that your job makes you enough money? ETC ETC

I'm sorry, measuring my words has perhaps implied I don't understand this simple point. The fact of the matter is, we aren't being told AG finished due to financial pressures (which is understandable). We are being told its being completed to the standards and quality and remit that were always intended by the author. And I don't think the facts bear that out.

I guess I better make it clear to you that I do understand AG was produced for free.

This loops straight back to the first point. Had it been produced under a traditional basis, one might have reason for traditional complaint.

As it hasn't been, all we can do is speculate. But when AG is something provided by JJ to his Patreon, Kickstarter and QC audience, to abandon it like this removes a hell of a lot of confidence in the guy. I just find it a surprise (but maybe more people will speak up) that so many here are saying things along the lines of "I am satisfied with how AG turned out".

I'm not, at all. Under this model JJ puts forward one is expected to give him Patreon money, buy books and T-shirts, and fund via kickstarter his sub-par musical dalliances and anthology publications. I'm well aware of production and publishing costs for both printed and musical material and I find the sums he has spent or asked for on these projects crazy.

Most of this is expected to happen due to our affection for QC. On the basis of QC we are expected to put some level of trust in JJ as an artist, whether thats graphic, story or musical, and then fund his projects upfront. I like QC, I've bought a few bits, but its a habit, not something I hold in high regard.

AG was a departure from all of this and to me was the first thing JJ was doing that might hint at his potential. Perversely, had it been completed instead of abandoned, or even kept going under the same format as QC, with not so much happening but something habit-forming, it might have encouraged me to invest either emotionally or financially with JJ, but after this, I'm seeing everything he does in a very different light.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: pwhodges on 21 Jul 2017, 04:13
You're expressing a typical modern very highly consumer-centric view, in which the supplier is paid not for their efforts or the quality of their work, but for whether it happens to tickle the consumer's fancy.  Yes, that's part of the transaction between supplier and consumer - but it's only one part.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: sitnspin on 21 Jul 2017, 04:21
This strikes me as a particularly narrow and restrictive view of storytelling.

Possibly, but I think that's overstating it; he and I are probably not alone in feeling that the main themes of a story should be brought to some point by the time of the ending, even if that ending leaves further explanation and development open-ended.
It's the "can't" and the "have to" in BenRG's post I object to. There's a difference between saying "I prefer stories that follow a traditional narrative structure" and saying "you can't deviate from traditional storytelling techniques, it's the only way stories can work."
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Jeemy on 21 Jul 2017, 05:19
Quote
You're expressing a typical modern very highly consumer-centric view, in which the supplier is paid not for their efforts or the quality of their work, but for whether it happens to tickle the consumer's fancy.  Yes, that's part of the transaction between supplier and consumer - but it's only one part.

I don't think we'll reach an agreement on this. I don't think I am expressing a modern or unusual viewpoint. I have tried to put forward that I think categorically the AG situation is not one of personal preference as to how a piece of art is produced, but a provable situation in which an ongoing piece of work has been abandoned. If this were a painting he would have painted with great diligence the first 80% of the canvas and then emptied the yellow paint pot over the remaining 20% and walked out - and now you are telling me that I don't think its a good painting because I don't like the colour yellow.

One could argue that the only reason I, or those of my opinion, am in anything approaching the situation you outline, is because the artist has placed us there.

We are asked to fund an artist on the basis they'll produce work that is to our satisfaction. This may be on the basis of previous work they've done or because we like the premise of what they promise.

In that situation, if we don't like the previous work or premise, we are free not to invest in future work. I think it therefore behooves an artist operating this model to either show good quality in previous work, or provide an exciting premise that makes the risk worth taking.

I don't think the music has been good quality, I don't think QC is amazing enough to warrant indefinite trust in JJ and I felt AG was an exciting premise that might encourage patronage, investment whether emotional or financial from fans.

And now AG has been (in my view, provably) abandoned, yet we are being encouraged on the last page to continue to fund JJ, to watch with excitement for a new sub-project and that everything is intentional and to plan.

So no, I don't think I do view things in the way you state, and if I did, it wouldn't have any different end result.

If we were paying JJ by effort, he stopped putting effort into AG. If by work quality, I wouldn't be encouraged to pay for the future, to buy merch, to provide future patronage or funding on projects, given this poor quality effort. And on the model you state, no, it doesn't tickle my fancy to have something clearly abandoned.

I appreciate the difficulties these guys face. But I've lost count of how many projects I've expended money on for parts 1, 2 etc only to find them abandoned*. When something has a high production cost, thats understandable but it still encourages me to think that the traditional model, where the publisher foots the bill until the work is finished, and then the public are allowed to choose whether to invest, is my preferred model.

I could argue till the cows come home on your quoted point above. I think its ludicrous. To suggest that a consumer should pay a supplier for objectively good work, which has taken time and effort, when they don't like the end result is not a very modern consumer-centric view, its abusing a very basic right of the buyer.

In the traditional sense either the self-publisher foots the bill and then the public buy and the artist/self-publisher profits/loses, or the publishing house foots the bill for production and then takes a cut of the profits or all the losses, and they make this decision based on the quality of the artists' work.

We the readers/fans are being asked to stand in the place of the publishing house and on the basis of the quality of the artists' work, provide a part investment to the production bill, with no cut of the final profits, and in this case I think the quality of the artists' work has been revealed to be pretty haphazard and its reduced to zero the likelihood of me patronising JJ, QC or the associated products again.

*Its one of the great problems with episodic work. I'm fed up with good creative ideas being put into production and failing after a few episodes, yet we the consumer have been asked to pay on the basis of completion. Its completely put me off investing any goodwill in an episodic production again, and if AG had been put together in its entirety and released to review, I don't think the reviews would have encouraged me to go out and buy the graphic novel, or a publisher to invest in it.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: brasca on 21 Jul 2017, 06:25
I didn't know the last strip would be posted last night.  I was at the Watch Out for Snakes tour last night so it's just as well or I'd be on my phone missing the show. 

I will miss getting a Tumblr alert about this webcomic.  It was always a highlight. 

I'll miss my favorite, Gavia, but she's in a good place now.  She has her nanotech back.  It looks like her eyes are blue now and I preferred red, but that's just me.   

First and foremost I have no complaints about the story.  Yes, there were things that were left unexplained, but not to a frustrating degree like Lost.  As far as I'm concerned the Nightwalker was a leftover booby trap that targeted AIs employing nanotech and Gavia's overloaded it.

While I would've liked Alice to remain behind to keep humanity from destroying itself again I understand that she really couldn't handle going through all that again and probably fears she'd commit more atrocities just to prevent something terrible she thinks might happen.  And while I think she'd be the best person to lead because she really doesn't want the job humanity cannot rely on a god living among them to solve all their problems. 

Alice might disagree, but her actions were not for nothing because without a weapon like Church someone like Pate cannot subvert this new beginning to suit their own ambitions.  On that matter I'm going to presume he is dead or incapacitated with a bone shiv stuck in his skull so the Praeses probably jettisoned his body towards Mars or deep space where he could never harm anyone.  Sedna's arm didn't grow back and Alice's left eye is still red so some injuries may be impossible to recover from even for Maxwell demons. 

Arguing over the story has been fun too and will probably be something I'll continue doing when I return from work later. 

If you are reading this Jeph Jacques thank you once again for so much entertainment and I will gladly buy a copy if you publish it during the next Kickstarter. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Castlerook on 21 Jul 2017, 08:33
This strikes me as a particularly narrow and restrictive view of storytelling.

Possibly, but I think that's overstating it; he and I are probably not alone in feeling that the main themes of a story should be brought to some point by the time of the ending, even if that ending leaves further explanation and development open-ended.
It's the "can't" and the "have to" in BenRG's post I object to. There's a difference between saying "I prefer stories that follow a traditional narrative structure" and saying "you can't deviate from traditional storytelling techniques, it's the only way stories can work."

Pretty much how I feel. A lot of the complaints I'm seeing here feel more like teddy has been thrown out of the pram, because the experiment in storytelling didn't follow a traditional style. Harsh? Maybe. Definitely true though. This was never going to be a traditional story, where the hero gets to live happily ever after and ride off into the sunset. Alice Grove was more like Shane (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shane_(film)), the job is over and the hero(ine) rides off, alone and dying in the saddle (or realising she's dying on the inside because she can no longer cope with the things she has done). There could be no other resolution and that became patently obvious when Alice broke down after nearly killing Ardent.

This story was never going to neatly tie up the questions it posed because each new answer raised more questions. And it reflects in the story, for all her strengths and all her abilities, Alice knew far less than she realised, a revelation that broke her and made her realised her time had long since passed.

So don't look for the answers that were never coming, but rather ask yourself what you can learn from Alice Grove; can you let go of the past? Can you survive realising you won't learn all the answers to what you were looking for? Ask yourselves, are you Ardent, Sedna and Gavia? Or are you Alice, Church and Pate?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: mikmaxs on 21 Jul 2017, 08:48
Here's the thing: I'd be fine with the unanswered plot points, I'd be fine with unsolved mysteries and strange quirks that never got explained, I'd be fine with just about anything if the story structure actually held up.

Buuut it doesn't, not even the slightest. The pacing is just not good, and as Jeemy pointed out, the story spends about 3/4ths of its time on introduction and setup. Assuming Jeph is sticking to a standard three-act structure here:
The setup begins with Ardent coming down. That's the inciting incident. We then add Gavia. We get to know all three characters, learn about the world, and get to know the stakes, risk, and what could potentially go wrong.
Then, we start the second act when they leave the town, which happens a full halfway into the story, page-wise. This is when Alice first takes real steps to try and resolve the issue presented. We meet Sedna briefly, raise the stakes with the nanobird, get to a new town, and then reach a no-turning-back point when Pate comes in with Church.
Up until this point, the story has been paced very well for a story, assuming that the first act is something that we can gauge the rest of the story on. If the first act is a quarter of the main story, then we can assume a twelve chapter with all chapters being about equal length.

Instead, though, something goes wrong. We get a story that's only seven chapters long, with the first four chapters being 143 pages and the last three being only 77 pages. (That's a difference in about ten pages a chapter, btw.) The pacing completely falls apart. In the time that it took us to get to know the main characters and start to learn about the setting, we have the primary antagonist introduced, the stakes changed significantly, the goal of the story is reached, the antagonist is dealt with, and the problems that kicked off the story are all explained. 77 pages in, we're learning just what the Praeses are and why there are no AI.

And no, Jeph isn't just forgoing the traditional three-act structure. Or, if he is, he's not DOING anything with the subversion. It's not that you have to follow a certain story structure. It's that Jeph DID follow the structure, and did a very bad job of it.

The ending is horribly rushed. We didn't lose explanations because it was planned that way, we lost explanations because he wanted the story to be done and couldn't find a way to do that well without rushing things badly... So he just didn't do it well.

I would have been happier if he'd literally just started to explain things, then had Church murder everybody and end the story there. That would at least have been a twist I didn't see coming but that makes sense and is plausible.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: blt on 21 Jul 2017, 10:22
Put me down in the same camp.  I'm fine with unanswered questions and mysteries that build the world, but the ending just felt extremely rushed, like it hit a turning point where Jeph just wanted it to be over for being over's sake.  I enjoyed the project on the whole but I'm still a bit surprised it ended this way.

However I think Sedna and her plant arm all awkwardly off to the side and then kind of finally having her reconciliation with Alice is pretty cute.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: OldGoat on 21 Jul 2017, 10:25
The whole thing was a side project, a protracted doodle on a napkin that you look at and say, "Y'know, that's not bad!" but isn't really ready for prime time.

Writing for a comic like Questionable Content is, no doubt, like writing scripts for a soap opera.  Let it go where in may - as long as you maintain continuity you'll be okay.  You can even get by with pulling an Evil Twin out of your nether regions once in a while.  Alice Grove was conventional SciFi novel writing, a format Jeph's not so familiar with, and it shows.

I suspect the same factors that led him to use a deus ex machina plot device in CQ were at work when he decided to wrap AG up, frayed ends and all.  He's made it clear all along that QC was the first priority.

What it does leave is a bunch of plot threads that can be picked up as sequels/prequels.  There's the backstory of Pate and Church, and Pateopolis could be the setting for all kinds of things.  The Nanobird.  Alice and Sedna.  The Lives and Times of ArcheophilesWildlife in the Post-Blink World.  And, of course, the Further Adventures of Sedna, Ardent, Gavia, and Laridia*.  Maybe Jeph will pick one or more of these up again - or not.  But they're there.

Disappointing, but not disgusting.  I'll still buy QC t-shirts from Jeph when they tickle my funnybone.

*She stayed on the surface with the others after traveling there in Alice's spiffy new Botanovalkyrie (which only Alice is seen boarding).  She, too, has been exposed to the "discontinuity" presented by Ardent and Gavia and cannot be safely reabsorbed into Cupressaceae.  OTOH, Cupressaceae and the other Praeses have an interest in what happens down here.  She's their agent in place.

Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Zono on 21 Jul 2017, 10:38
I do think this ending is objectively bad. But I don't think it's because Jeph is a bad writer. He's just done with it. It was a side project he's been working on for nearly three years, and he has another side project he'd rather do instead now, so he decided to end his commitment to this one. Seems perfectly reasonable to me. Nobody was paying for this comic, so it's not like he had any obligation to continue the story for three more years to resolve all the plot threads and give it a proper ending. To suggest that he was obligated to, that he shouldn't have dropped the project when he felt like it, would be pure entitlement.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Emperor Norton on 21 Jul 2017, 10:40
The thing is, it ends with no one accomplishing much of anything, and a whole lot of info dump at the end with a whole lot of telling and not a lot of showing.

The ending is rushed and feels wrong based on the pacing of the beginning. It is just bad writing. (not Jeph is a bad writer, the ending of AG is just bad writing. We aren't always on our A game).
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Jeemy on 21 Jul 2017, 11:22
Quote
To suggest that he was obligated to, that he shouldn't have dropped the project when he felt like it, would be pure entitlement.

From Mr Jacque's Patreon, today:

Quote
This Patreon funded the creation of my stand-alone sci-fi comic Alice Grove, and will fund more projects in the future. Contributors will get special access to all sorts of neat features like early comic updates, bonus comics not available anywhere else, Q&As, and other fun stuff.

People were most definitely paying for this comic. No, maybe he isn't "obligated" to provide them with a "proper" ending or to "resolve the plot threads" but if you are paying somebody to create, I don't think its unreasonable to expect things not to be abandoned mid-way. Its certainly not unreasonable to withdraw future patronage based on being told quite literally: Alice Grove is finished, and is as intended or I will drop projects whenever I feel like them.

That makes me feel that anything else produced by JJ will be to the same unfathomable yardstick. I am sure there is a list of people a mile long ready to continue paying the man and trying to support him but I am not one.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: mil on 21 Jul 2017, 11:30
Yep, I'm another lurker registering to throw in my two cents. Alas, I agree with the posters expressing negative opinions of AG's ending. I loved the story's original pace and writing: gentle, languorous, almost whimsical at times. I became hugely invested in Alice, Ardent and Gavia's lives, the growing conflicts set up and the seemingly near-impossible quest to get into space and reach the Praeses. Sedna's appearance was perfectly timed and added another layer of conflict and backstory-based intrigue, and the Night Walker's shot at the moon was a wonderful mystery to leave hanging until later. We then met Ellie and her gang, and the antagonists came on the scene.

Then everything went wrong.

From that moment on, everything happened ridiculously quickly - the exploration of the bunker, the literally instant journey into space, a quick fight scene then a rapid denoument that came out of nowhere was more gigantic infodump than carefully plotted story. The protagonists didn't do anything to EARN the cruicial revelations that explained the story's plot; they just showed up somewhere and things were described to them. I didn't have a problem with Church's death the way it was presented, BTW; it made sense to me. And then BAM! the story's over, just like that.

So, in short, a wonderful setup ruined by a dreadfully hasty and lazy middle and end. I read the whole thing through again last night, which only made the problem more obvious. I understand that some things can be left open at a story's end, but some of the plot points left unexplained were unforgivable - why devote so much time to the Night Walker and his assault on the Moon, then leave it hanging? Simple bad writing, alas. Jeph clearly gave up on this story, or found he didn't know how to carry it on the way he started. A dreadful shame, given its initial promise.

The point that he wrote AG for free isn't exactly correct, either. -Some- people read this for free, sure, but others paid for the privilege of him writing AG via the Patreon, which allowed everyone to read it. That's fair enough, obviously, but I agree with the poster above who pointed out that AG's rushed ending doesn't represent good value for money to his loyal Patreons.

I don't mean to be overly negative - I still enjoyed AG despite the huge flaws, and I continue to enjoy QC. I just feel a little short-changed. I was hugely looking forward to JJ writing AG, and so I paid money to give him the chance to do so. What was originally a good investment now feels rather hollow, and not because thae story was badly written - quite the opposite! - but because it was ultimately rushed to an untimely conclusion then abandoned (I also get the impression that the >$1 rewards have fizzled out somewhat too, but perhaps I'm wrong on that) OK, maybe AG was supposed to play out this way all along, but if so, it shows JJ's long-form writing craft needs a huge amount of work. Perhaps I should see AG as a worthy but flawed experiment, and look forward to what he comes up with next, but right now I'm not sure it's worth it :(
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Castlerook on 21 Jul 2017, 11:33
Quote
To suggest that he was obligated to, that he shouldn't have dropped the project when he felt like it, would be pure entitlement.

From Mr Jacque's Patreon, today:

Quote
This Patreon funded the creation of my stand-alone sci-fi comic Alice Grove, and will fund more projects in the future. Contributors will get special access to all sorts of neat features like early comic updates, bonus comics not available anywhere else, Q&As, and other fun stuff.

People were most definitely paying for this comic. No, maybe he isn't "obligated" to provide them with a "proper" ending or to "resolve the plot threads" but if you are paying somebody to create, I don't think its unreasonable to expect things not to be abandoned mid-way. Its certainly not unreasonable to withdraw future patronage based on being told quite literally: Alice Grove is finished, and is as intended or I will drop projects whenever I feel like them.

That makes me feel that anything else produced by JJ will be to the same unfathomable yardstick. I am sure there is a list of people a mile long ready to continue paying the man and trying to support him but I am not one.

Jeph is one of a handful of professional webcomic artists who earn their living through their comics. Meaning that much of his earnings come from what he makes through adverts or through conventions. Its not a very profitable business.

Know what Patreon usually covers? Flight costs, printing costs, accommodation, shipping fees. Which would probably be considerably higher since Jeph moved to Canada a couple of years ago.

So Patreon helped fund Alice Grove. It also helped fund QC and Deathmøle (even with the latter's kickstarter).

But you don't want to fund Jeph's Patreon anymore? That's fine, its your money, do what you want.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Jeemy on 21 Jul 2017, 11:57
Quote
Know what Patreon usually covers? Flight costs, printing costs, accommodation, shipping fees. Which would probably be considerably higher since Jeph moved to Canada a couple of years ago.

Keeping it brief as I have little more to say on the matter: Perhaps this seemingly patronising response is indicative of the fact that you think most people would not realize this.

I think most people would understand exactly this. I especially understand the costs involved for multiple reasons, I have decades of first-hand experience in many of the fields including printing, publishing, music recording and self-employment.

I would argue that every business owner in the creative or any other industry has to pay for their own flight & accomodation costs. Printing & shipping *should* be recouped by the sales made. There may be a shortfall between sales and costs, and that either gets funded by loans, profit from existing revenue streams, or funding whether that be Patreon, business loans or whatever. If that shortfall never reduces, its not a viable business.

I am sure 5,300 Patreons x between $1-5 per month does a pretty good job of covering flights to conventions.

A $200,000 kickstarter to print QC Vol 6 at $10 per person would be 20,000 copies. Printing costs on 20,000 160pp perfect bound books are under £20,000 GBP, so about $30,000 USD?

And you're right, I don't want to fund his Patreon anymore as I feel that this abrupt end to AG has not just been slightly odd, its been completely cut-and-run.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: derech on 21 Jul 2017, 12:00
How many people still wonder, often actively, such things as the actual architects of the Giza Plateau and its sturdiest buildings,  who Jack the Ripper really was, what happened to Amelia Earhart, the identity of the Zodiac Killer, and now, what was/is the NightWalker and why did/does it shoot the moon with stolen nanotech thousands of years ago/from now.   

I might read through AG again at a pace that flows the same from start to end, as having a timing-lopsided experience is not conducive to much in the way of gauging a whole lot of things.     A curious interesting side-project patronized by some and not by others.   Hopefully, at least in aggregate, everyone got their money out of it.   Although hopefully everyone realizes that whenever you pay for art, you are taking a chance you'll like it enough to justify to yourself its cost.       

As far as this ending, it, and a lot of other story elements, could have gone a lot farther in a lot more detailed ways.  So yes it's somewhat incomplete.  Sure the story is kind of rambling, and the end just an end.   A slice of story at a given time, in such a long time as Alice Grove herself has been around, maybe pretty accurate as to how she might see things.   But the ending, yes.  A little terse.      However, it's likely not so bad to make just about anyone and everyone never want to see any of it again at all.   

Chopping off any second reading/watching/viewing by the bulk of an audience, that's a real danger sometimes; in one case, you end up in a logical but somewhat depressing state, not bad itself.  But combined with how seemingly random so much of the bulk of the material preceding it is, and how in so many ways is pointless, gives not much reason (short of a real love of the situations and actors and actresses) to watch again.    For example, I felt that way about Six Feet Under.  Worth watching once, but that's about it.     On the other side of that, you can get an ending that is so amateurish and sloppy, so horribly and numbingly terrible, that you have a reason to not watch again even the "good seasons" if out of nothing more than spite, at best.    For example, I felt that way about Dexter.   Then you've got material that might be worth watching again even if that's just to remind yourself on how good filmmakers and storytellers would never do things, because unless you're a megafanboi willing to forgive anything, there's nothing but a smidge or two of coolness (or acting) to redeem a work.    Inglourius Basterds, here's looking at you.    On another side of that, somebody who almost never gets to finish anything plot-wise because they've apparently not thought of any way to tie things up (which often turns out okay, for them, as the shows get canceled anyway because all the threads snap at once), doesn't understand the material they're working with (because they are not a fan of the original) and surprise their characters are shallow hollow representations of the original, the work having none of the benefits of the original, the time-travel elements a mess.   Hi, reboot of Star Trek (movies).   But not everyone likes scifi to begin with.  Still, you hire a person who doesn't like the original to reboot it?   Seems rather odd.   Yet there you are.

Although there are probably plenty of people who are big fans of all of those things in spite of everything else, and that's okay too.       And who's to say here that if there was a reprinting of this in physical form that there might not be some additions or subtractions, or that other things might come out of it.   Not everyone likes instrumental heavy metal experiments, or one person bands, but there's plenty of jazz (pop, rock, classical, opera, etc) out there and lots of multiple people bands if that's your thing.     Perhaps the next side project (musical or comic or otherwise) will be better, maybe it will be worse, some will fund it, some won't. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: mil on 21 Jul 2017, 12:10
To highlight my suspicion that AG was ended abrubtly, I'd point out alicegrove.com/page/17, where JJ's text at the bottom states:

“That does it for chapter 6. We’re getting towards the end, I think. Not sure how long it’ll take but we’re getting there. Alice will be back in 2 weeks while I write the next stuff. Thank you for reading.”

I can't speak for anybody else, but when I read that I wasn’t expecting the end to come 16 panels later, i.e after less than 10% of the total artwork/script content and considerably less than 1% of that ineffable concept ’story time’.

Just one of the problems this rapid end brought writing-wise: in page 21, Pate ends up with Gavia’s energy blade in his heart. In page 18 Pate points out that killing him lets Church off his leash, and “you’ve got the tiger by the tail and you’d better not ever let go.” That’s a great moment of tension, but unfortunately it's utterly ruined by the fact that maybe 5 minutes of real time passes and no scene changes occur before Church’s leash is loosed.

In the interest of being constructive as well, I liked the fact that JJ left Alice's role in the pre-Blink war ambiguous. I also can't fully condemn her for the revelation that she caused most of the war's deaths; as she says in alicegrove.com/page/130, "I'm sorry Ardent. If I'm right, you're being used as a weapon. That's a terrible thing to be. I should know. I was a weapon once", then as good as bursts into tears. She clearly had the authority to make whatever bad decisions she made in the war of her own volition, but nevertheless, I feel like there was some bigger power there compelling her to do so in some way...
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Welu on 21 Jul 2017, 12:57
I thought Alice Grove was an interesting project. It's generally fun to see creators you like stretch their wings and enter new territory. I enjoyed getting to know these characters and seeing some of their stories. I'm unsure how I feel about the end.

I liked the last page. It felt appropriately bittersweet.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: mil on 21 Jul 2017, 13:56
Gifting Patreons a pdf of AG was a nice gesture. Thanks, JJ!

I liked the last page too, I have to say. The impact of Alice's departure on Ardent, Gavia and Sedna was very well done. Finishing up with the wind turbine prominent in the last frame called back to the start very nicely too.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: SmilingCat on 21 Jul 2017, 17:50
The meaningless thoughts of a psuedo-lurker:

I was left wanting more. And I hope we'll see more exploration of this particular universe in later stories.

The nightwalker bit had a sort of lovecraftian "things beyond our understanding doing things we can't comprehend", and in that context, I didn't feel bad about not having a payoff for that.

Still, left wanting more. Whether that's a good thing or bad thing is more a matter of personal preference. For me, it's a good thing.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Tova on 21 Jul 2017, 17:54
Obviously, you either liked the story overall or you didn't. It's kind of interesting to explain what you found satisfying or unsatisfying, but really, there's no need to bend over backwards to justify why you did or didn't like a story. It's not as though anyone can claim that you're mistaken about what is obviously a 100% subjective viewpoint. And it is interesting to read about what aspects of the story you did or didn't like.

Personally, I, like many others, did find the ending a little rushed. However, overall, I found the story reasonably enjoyable, and didn't find that the rushed ending soured the story for me. But for me, the enjoyment stemmed from watching the emotional arc of the characters, not so much in knowing concrete explanations of this, that, or the other. Hitchcock, for example, was famous for throwing red herrings into the story to bamboozle the viewer that never got explained. I am fine with all that. Again, whether you found there were too many loose ends is subjective.

I also agree with Welu's well expressed post above. The final page was nicely bittersweet.

There is something about fandom which occasionally I find perplexing or annoying, I admit, and this is something I've tried to approach before. One aspect of it is that while generally people will say "I enjoyed that," or "I disliked that, it's not my cup of tea." But it seems to be the fandom's bailiwick to say, "That was right," or, "That was wrong." This is what tends to provoke argument. But hey, if you felt that the comic was badly written, then as I say, that's fair enough. But unless you are a well regarded author yourself, forgive me if I don't take too seriously your ministrations on the right and wrong ways to tell a story.

If you're complaining about funding though Patreon a project you didn't like, I would have to point out that this is the very nature of Patreon - it's in a way speculative, in that you hold the artist in some regard, and you want to encourage their endeavours, but there is no guarantee that the fruit of the artist's work will be to your liking, and of course you are at liberty to cease funding at any time you choose.

The PDF was a nice gesture, and I personally will continue to fund.

Still, left wanting more. Whether that's a good thing or bad thing is more a matter of personal preference. For me, it's a good thing.

Yes, it's better to leave your audience wanting more than to overstay your welcome. :)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: retrosteve on 21 Jul 2017, 18:06
Quote
To suggest that he was obligated to, that he shouldn't have dropped the project when he felt like it, would be pure entitlement.

From Mr Jacque's Patreon, today:

Quote
This Patreon funded the creation of my stand-alone sci-fi comic Alice Grove, and will fund more projects in the future. Contributors will get special access to all sorts of neat features like early comic updates, bonus comics not available anywhere else, Q&As, and other fun stuff.

People were most definitely paying for this comic. No, maybe he isn't "obligated" to provide them with a "proper" ending or to "resolve the plot threads" but if you are paying somebody to create, I don't think its unreasonable to expect things not to be abandoned mid-way. Its certainly not unreasonable to withdraw future patronage based on being told quite literally: Alice Grove is finished, and is as intended or I will drop projects whenever I feel like them.

That makes me feel that anything else produced by JJ will be to the same unfathomable yardstick. I am sure there is a list of people a mile long ready to continue paying the man and trying to support him but I am not one.

I think ultimately this is the measure of satisfaction. The number of people who remain with Jeph's Patreon or join it anew will be the review of how well Alice did. We can argue about it all day, and I think that's important to do, but the feelings of the readers will determine the continuing Patreon.

Jeph should by no means feel guilty about abandoning the story early. He did what he promised, to a level of quality that satisfied him. That's his part of the contract. Our part is to keep funding him for more, or not, as we each see fit.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Case on 21 Jul 2017, 20:15
Registered just to post my thoughts. I’ve lurked here for a long time as although I am interested to know what others think about AG, I always found the discussion a little too pseudo high-brow, I’ve never felt the point of this comic was to raise discussion about the exact physics of a situation, more the ethics.

I had to post my thoughts however as I am so surprised that a group of people who are accustomed to picking apart the holes in the viability of some of the writers’ conceits in terms of physics, quantum physics, logistics etc aren’t being more critical of this abrupt ending to AG.
Quote
Know what Patreon usually covers? Flight costs, printing costs, accommodation, shipping fees. Which would probably be considerably higher since Jeph moved to Canada a couple of years ago.
Keeping it brief as I have little more to say on the matter: Perhaps this seemingly patronising response is indicative of the fact that you think most people would not realize this.

I think most people would understand exactly this. I especially understand the costs involved for multiple reasons, I have decades of first-hand experience in many of the fields including printing, publishing, music recording and self-employment.
And you're right, I don't want to fund his Patreon anymore as I feel that this abrupt end to AG has not just been slightly odd, its been completely cut-and-run.

Sooooh ... basically you registered to tell us that AG sucks and that our discussion of AG sucks - mostly because we're having some nerdy fun with ze Deus-ex-entanglementz rather than appreciating the frustration you just had to communicate to us. That about the size of it?

Uhmmmmh, so ... you stayin' for lunch?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Jeemy on 22 Jul 2017, 02:26
To Case (don't know how to quote people).

No, I didn't think AG sucked. The first 80% or so was great. It had loads of potential - the frustration is due to the fact I really feel its been abandoned, not finished as always intended, like we are being told.

I didn't think your discussion of AG sucked; I lurked here because I was always interested to see what others thought, but mainly you guys' thoughts were on the physics of the world and events, whereas I maybe took more of the history of the planet, characters and events as the interesting part of AG. So I lurked but never chimed in as I have nothing to say on the physics side. Sorry to have caused offence.

I don't know why you picked the 2nd or 3rd quotes as they don't seem to relate to anything you are saying to me.

I just found it interesting, and maybe did not phrase it right, that while for a random example, a hearty discussion was held on exactly how the super-soliders could propel themselves in a vacuum. Yet when things like Sedna suddenly being able to tear her arm off and kill Church, where he'd previously been too fast and strong, people suddenly started to justify why this, and many other things within the end, could/should fit within the world view, where I feel they've been shoehorned in to get rid of AG quickly and with little reverence.

Yes, I really felt I DID have to communicate the frustration with AG to you guys, whether you care for my opinion or not. I've been here since the beginning same as you, and who else am I gonna tell? I was very let down by it and as I say, I'm getting sick of the way a lot of content is abandoned mid-production when promises of whatever kind have been made and money has changed hands.

And no I likely won't stick around which I am sure doesn't bother you one way or the other. What would I stick around for? AG is finished, QC is a bit of fluff really, all good fun, but not a huge amount to discuss or think about. I really thought AG was going to create a good story, and instead its been abandoned, not finished. So I certainly won't be paying for anything else from this author again. And this is my issue with the Patreon system and the abandonment of AG; yes artists have the right to stop due to any kind of pressure, and yes you invest on the basis of potential not firm product, but we are told AG is finished and as it should be, and that doesn't bear out the quality and potential of the first 2 or so years, compared what we've been served over the last 2 weeks....

Thats all I really had to say. Sorry for any offence caused to anybody.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: USS Martenclaire on 22 Jul 2017, 03:18
It was a fun little universe and had giant birds in it.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: pwhodges on 22 Jul 2017, 05:34
(don't know how to quote people).

Try pressing the button at the top of the post with "Quote" written on it.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: OldGoat on 22 Jul 2017, 08:30
It was a fun little universe and had giant birds in it.
And I don't recall seeing any dogs, cats, pigs, cows, or horses.  Some lizards, a nasty-ass bat thing, and some goddamn big birds used as draft animals, but none of the domestic critters we share our world with. 

(Waitaminute, there was that spooky-eyed deer thing (http://www.alicegrove.com/post/112191942954/where-were-going-we-dont-need-eyes-to-deer) early on, too.)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: mikmaxs on 22 Jul 2017, 10:36
Registered just to post my thoughts. I’ve lurked here for a long time as although I am interested to know what others think about AG, I always found the discussion a little too pseudo high-brow, I’ve never felt the point of this comic was to raise discussion about the exact physics of a situation, more the ethics.

I had to post my thoughts however as I am so surprised that a group of people who are accustomed to picking apart the holes in the viability of some of the writers’ conceits in terms of physics, quantum physics, logistics etc aren’t being more critical of this abrupt ending to AG.
Quote
Know what Patreon usually covers? Flight costs, printing costs, accommodation, shipping fees. Which would probably be considerably higher since Jeph moved to Canada a couple of years ago.
Keeping it brief as I have little more to say on the matter: Perhaps this seemingly patronising response is indicative of the fact that you think most people would not realize this.

I think most people would understand exactly this. I especially understand the costs involved for multiple reasons, I have decades of first-hand experience in many of the fields including printing, publishing, music recording and self-employment.
And you're right, I don't want to fund his Patreon anymore as I feel that this abrupt end to AG has not just been slightly odd, its been completely cut-and-run.

Sooooh ... basically you registered to tell us that AG sucks and that our discussion of AG sucks - mostly because we're having some nerdy fun with ze Deus-ex-entanglementz rather than appreciating the frustration you just had to communicate to us. That about the size of it?

Uhmmmmh, so ... you stayin' for lunch?
What do you mean, "We?" I've been here a while. I agree with the people who think that the ending was kind of terrible, especially when compared to the mostly-pretty-good earlier story.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Case on 22 Jul 2017, 11:18
Registered just to post my thoughts. I’ve lurked here for a long time as although I am interested to know what others think about AG, I always found the discussion a little too pseudo high-brow, I’ve never felt the point of this comic was to raise discussion about the exact physics of a situation, more the ethics.

I had to post my thoughts however as I am so surprised that a group of people who are accustomed to picking apart the holes in the viability of some of the writers’ conceits in terms of physics, quantum physics, logistics etc aren’t being more critical of this abrupt ending to AG.
Quote
Know what Patreon usually covers? Flight costs, printing costs, accommodation, shipping fees. Which would probably be considerably higher since Jeph moved to Canada a couple of years ago.
Keeping it brief as I have little more to say on the matter: Perhaps this seemingly patronising response is indicative of the fact that you think most people would not realize this.

I think most people would understand exactly this. I especially understand the costs involved for multiple reasons, I have decades of first-hand experience in many of the fields including printing, publishing, music recording and self-employment.
And you're right, I don't want to fund his Patreon anymore as I feel that this abrupt end to AG has not just been slightly odd, its been completely cut-and-run.

Sooooh ... basically you registered to tell us that AG sucks and that our discussion of AG sucks - mostly because we're having some nerdy fun with ze Deus-ex-entanglementz rather than appreciating the frustration you just had to communicate to us. That about the size of it?

Uhmmmmh, so ... you stayin' for lunch?
What do you mean, "We?" I've been here a while. I agree with the people who think that the ending was kind of terrible, especially when compared to the mostly-pretty-good earlier story.

Sooooooh - you also have a problem with the "pseudo-highbrow discussions" hereabouts? (cf. the quote right at the top of your post ...)

Genuinely confused here: It looks a bit like your saying you're feeling excluded on account of being implicitly (but apparently erroneously) included?
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: OldGoat on 22 Jul 2017, 11:22
Sooooooh - you also have a problem with the "pseudo-highbrow discussions" hereabouts? (cf. the quote right at the top of your post ...)
"pseudo-highbrow?"  There's noting pseudo about it, and it's High Unibrow, if you please.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Case on 22 Jul 2017, 11:31
Sooooooh - you also have a problem with the "pseudo-highbrow discussions" hereabouts? (cf. the quote right at the top of your post ...)
"pseudo-highbrow?"  There's noting pseudo about it, and it's High Unibrow, if you please.

(http://orig00.deviantart.net/850e/f/2016/264/a/d/eyebrows_by_scottman2th-daiglda.png)

(My apologies to the resident ladynerds for the sexist erasure implicit in that pun joke meme thing - But ... it's Thufir Hawat!)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Castlerook on 22 Jul 2017, 11:33
I mean, we can go lowbrow if thats what people want.

Hey guys, did you see the...the...nope, can't do it. I need to go into full intellectual thinking mode and exercise my brain by sharing insight with the rest of the forum and hoping that other people agree, thus allowing a complex message to be disseminated to as much of an audience as quickly as possible.

(click to show/hide)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: mikmaxs on 22 Jul 2017, 12:32
Registered just to post my thoughts. I’ve lurked here for a long time as although I am interested to know what others think about AG, I always found the discussion a little too pseudo high-brow, I’ve never felt the point of this comic was to raise discussion about the exact physics of a situation, more the ethics.

I had to post my thoughts however as I am so surprised that a group of people who are accustomed to picking apart the holes in the viability of some of the writers’ conceits in terms of physics, quantum physics, logistics etc aren’t being more critical of this abrupt ending to AG.
Quote
Know what Patreon usually covers? Flight costs, printing costs, accommodation, shipping fees. Which would probably be considerably higher since Jeph moved to Canada a couple of years ago.
Keeping it brief as I have little more to say on the matter: Perhaps this seemingly patronising response is indicative of the fact that you think most people would not realize this.

I think most people would understand exactly this. I especially understand the costs involved for multiple reasons, I have decades of first-hand experience in many of the fields including printing, publishing, music recording and self-employment.
And you're right, I don't want to fund his Patreon anymore as I feel that this abrupt end to AG has not just been slightly odd, its been completely cut-and-run.

Sooooh ... basically you registered to tell us that AG sucks and that our discussion of AG sucks - mostly because we're having some nerdy fun with ze Deus-ex-entanglementz rather than appreciating the frustration you just had to communicate to us. That about the size of it?

Uhmmmmh, so ... you stayin' for lunch?
What do you mean, "We?" I've been here a while. I agree with the people who think that the ending was kind of terrible, especially when compared to the mostly-pretty-good earlier story.

Sooooooh - you also have a problem with the "pseudo-highbrow discussions" hereabouts? (cf. the quote right at the top of your post ...)

Genuinely confused here: It looks a bit like your saying you're feeling excluded on account of being implicitly (but apparently erroneously) included?
Your response to Jeemy painted with a pretty broad brush. If you were solely responding to his comment about high-brow discussion, I'd have stayed out of it, but you didn't. You included many quotes covering a wide variety of topics, most of which were not a comment about the discussion here being a high-brow physics debate.

Your post turned it into an 'us-vs-them' argument. "We people who have been on the forum for a while are in the right, and you newcomers disagreeing with us are not only wrong, but shouldn't be here because the things you want to discuss don't fit with what we do here."

That's how it came off to me. I was pitching my support behind the new guy because I agree with him on most points.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: pwhodges on 22 Jul 2017, 12:53
Global Moderator Comment This thread is for views on Alice Grove, not on each other. It is an established principle in this forum that we accept, welcome, and respect a wide range of opinions in the hope of enriching our own views rather than drowning ourselves in confirmation bias.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: mikmaxs on 22 Jul 2017, 15:22
To be honest, most, if not all of Jeemy's posts have come off as dismissive of the other points of view, or outright rude.

There's no "us versus them" on this forum. You have discussions that can sometimes run a little hotter than normal, but often the tone is considerate because you do want to foster an environment where people can share their viewpoints. So while there might be discussions that get a little heated, the views of others are considered, taken on board and hopefully something is learned by both parties.

That's not going to happen when someone comes in and just wants to crap over everything. There's no chance of discussion, nothing to be learned because they cannot allow themselves to be open to the idea that there are merits to the other side of the discussion. That kind of mentality isn't healthy and is not conducive to healthy debate.
Maybe it's just me, but I didn't see Jeemy's posts as 'Just wanting to crap over everything'. He was a bit smug at the beginning, yes, but then he posted opinions with reasonable, if rather long-form explanations for why and arguments backing up his opinion. I agree with most of what he had to say. He explained why he thought the ending was rushed, and why he felt like the Patreon system was bad for storytelling since it created an incentive to drop a story that wasn't providing immediate financial gains, at the cost of that story. (Whether or not this is actually why Jeph rushed the ending is a debate we can't answer, but it's an interesting idea that has some weight to it.)
There was then a reasonable debate about the merits of this funding, in which many good points were raised. He didn't dismiss other points of view, he provided lengthy arguments about why he disagreed. The only thing dismissive I saw in this part of the conversation was when Jeemy was accused of simply being salty for not getting something that tickled his fancy.

(It's worth pointing out that Jeemy's argument style and my own are quite similar: I also tend to favor overly long statements that cite sources and generally explain in too much detail what I'm trying to say. That may be why I saw fit to defend him.)

Jeemy didn't 'Crap on everything'. He pointed out what he liked - Namely, the setup and first 80% or so of the story and the ethical questions raised by various events. He simply has a very strong disagreement with the other more recent aspects (and the money-related implications with those aspects,) and was explaining thoroughly why he had those opinions and why he didn't agree with the people who didn't share those opinions. He was a little blunt and perhaps not entirely tactful, but neither were many of the responses to what he had to say.



After reading all this and interpreting what I saw in the way I explained above, I disagreed with :
1, The assertions both that Jeemy was just trying to say that 'our discussion sucks and Alice Grove sucks',
2, The implication that because Jeemy had signed up to join the discourse at this stage that he shouldn't have bothered sharing his opinions, and
3, The further implication that the ideas he was sharing were something that he was bringing into the discussion that hadn't previously existed and that without him the thread was just people having fun with deus-ex plot points, and nobody else shared Jeemy's frustrations.

With all that in mind, I posted in Jeemy's defense. I tried to keep it brief, but apparently my reasoning and point was lost, so now I'm reverting to my style of long-winded overexplanation so that my point can't possibly be lost.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Case on 22 Jul 2017, 15:56
Your response to Jeemy painted with a pretty broad brush. If you were solely responding to his comment about high-brow discussion, I'd have stayed out of it, but you didn't. You included many quotes covering a wide variety of topics, most of which were not a comment about the discussion here being a high-brow physics debate.

Your post turned it into an 'us-vs-them' argument. "We people who have been on the forum for a while are in the right, and you newcomers disagreeing with us are not only wrong, but shouldn't be here because the things you want to discuss don't fit with what we do here."

What the ... ?

I don't have the slightest idea how you could possibly arrive at that from what I actually posted, but that's your beer, not mine. What is important to me is that I'd appreciate your stopping to put words in my mouth.

After reading all this and interpreting what I saw in the way I explained above, I disagreed with :
1, The assertions both that Jeemy was just trying to say that 'our discussion sucks and Alice Grove sucks',
2, The implication that because Jeemy had signed up to join the discourse at this stage that he shouldn't have bothered sharing his opinions, and
3, The further implication that the ideas he was sharing were something that he was bringing into the discussion that hadn't previously existed and that without him the thread was just people having fun with deus-ex plot points, and nobody else shared Jeemy's frustrations.

With all that in mind, I posted in Jeemy's defense. I tried to keep it brief, but apparently my reasoning and point was lost, so now I'm reverting to my style of long-winded overexplanation so that my point can't possibly be lost.

I have the strong suspicion that was also an allusion to my post - see the quasi-citation in pt. 1 and the deus-ex reference in pt.3 - If so, same salad applies here: Your interpretations/impressions and my 'assertions' are very different things, and I'd appreciate your stopping to pretend they are the same.

P.S.: You can kinda tell the difference by the distinct absence of any assertion from my post above (https://forums.questionablecontent.net/index.php/topic,33787.msg1385887.html#msg1385887).
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Tova on 22 Jul 2017, 17:33
I am not a mod, but would like politely to request that this line of conversation finish three posts ago, thanks.

Edit: Well, four posts ago, now that I've posted.  :roll:
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 22 Jul 2017, 18:46
Global Moderator Comment I am a mod and will lock this thread if present trends continue.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: jwhouk on 22 Jul 2017, 19:35
Hey, we've never had an AG thread get locked before!

 :roll:

Bottom line is that the ending kinda left me - and it sounds like a lot of others - rather dissatisfied.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Thrudd on 22 Jul 2017, 21:27
Sadly I am also disappointed with the outcome.

Enter now the realm of disjointed ramblings if you dare.
(click to show/hide)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Timemaster on 23 Jul 2017, 03:41
Just for the record:

I liked AG and always saw it as a side project by Jeph. A little something he took interest in for a while. And now that while is over.
I too think, that the end feels rushed and I am a bit disappointed. But this is more a thing of the speed of storytelling in the end than of the end itself. The last chapter raised a lot of questions I would love to have answered. This would have been enough stuff for several chapters to fill with. But Jeph wanted to get to the end quickly and we have to accept the artists decision in this case.

And apart from the rushed storytelling and the open questions, I have so say that the end is pretty satisfying in my oppinion. I have encountered worse in science-fiction. For example the end of "Against A Dark Background" by Ian M. Banks.  :wink:
I am thankful, that Jeph took his time to bring AG to a decent end. If he had carried on, he could have reached a point where he complete loses interest and never finishes the story instead. But he didn´t and I have to express my gratitude for that.

Alice Grove is finished and I liked it. The story, the artwork and the characters (especially Sedna). The end feels rushed, but I can live with that.
Thanks Jeph, for sharing your little story with us.

Already curious for your next project:
Timemaster
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Celly on 23 Jul 2017, 06:46
Yep, ending was crap.  Damn shame.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: WareWolf on 23 Jul 2017, 10:13

I am a mod and will lock this thread if present trends continue.


And then AG will be truly over and soon forgotten.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: WareWolf on 23 Jul 2017, 10:16
Yep, ending was crap.  Damn shame.

Can't be more concise than that.

There's a lot of room for sequel or at least stories in the same 'verse. For example, there's apparently a crater full of stripped and stolen nanotech on the Moon. That can't be good. But Jeph hasn't given any indication he's going to turn any of those dangling threads into stories.  A pity.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: retrosteve on 23 Jul 2017, 13:12
 
But Jeph hasn't given any indication he's going to turn any of those dangling threads into stories.  A pity.

But we can do it ourselves!

For example, if you want to know the origin story of Alice, Sedna and Church, I nominate the fertile mind of Emily Azuma:
http://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3183
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Storel on 23 Jul 2017, 15:38
But suggesting, as some seem to be doing, that leaving so many questions unanswered is bad writing on Jeph's part... that seems pretty rude to me.

Why are we obliged to not say if we don't like something? That is incomprehensible to me.

Not what I said. Saying "I don't like something" is quite different from saying "this is bad writing". "I don't like something" makes it clear that this is my personal opinion. "This is bad writing" sounds objective, as if everybody could see and agree that it's bad, but it's really not; it's just "I don't like this, so it's bad writing."

Maybe Jeph always did intend to leave things unsaid (after all, what reason do I have to doubt him on this?) but to have major plot devices like the Nightwalker unexplained is just inexcusable. It just makes me think that he decided to do it because it 'looked cool' but didn't think about how to integrate it into the story. Maybe others (professional writers who write novels for a living or who work for TV and movies) have done that too. However, I wouldn't give them a pass for it either.

Fair enough.

Now, I don't want to start an argument but I would ask others to respect that this is not the sort of story I like; it isn't the sort of writing style I like.

All perfectly fine. That makes it clear that it is your personal, subjective opinion.

I feel that, if you have a discussion forum for a story, that necessarily includes allowing people to be critical if they can explain it reasonably.

Of course. I didn't complain about any of that, and I think it's perfectly reasonable to say "I didn't like this, and here's why."
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Method of Madness on 24 Jul 2017, 16:11
Was the ending rushed? Yeah, maybe. Was it disappointing? I think I was more disappointed that it did end than I was with the ending itself. Still a much better ending than Lost, though.

(Also, yep, renamed the thread)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: WareWolf on 24 Jul 2017, 17:53
Still a much better ending than Lost, though.



Well, yeah, if THAT's your standard...
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Method of Madness on 24 Jul 2017, 20:11
It's not, it was just depressing how much that show declined in the last three seasons.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: brasca on 25 Jul 2017, 19:55
Still a much better ending than Lost, though.



Well, yeah, if THAT's your standard...

Yes it is.  And for that matter I thought this ended better than Battlestar Galactica.  Yes there are probably some things that could've been explored more deeply, but Jeph Jacques had enough on his plate so at least we got a good ending instead of being left hanging or confused because the story went on for too long and the creator never really had an ending in mind. 

Personally I'd compare this to the 4th season of Babylon 5.  JM Straczynski didn't know if he'd get another season so he wrapped things up in such a way in the that season that if he didn't get a 5th at least fans would get some closure.         
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Method of Madness on 26 Jul 2017, 18:32
Oh god, Battlestar Galactica was a much bigger disappointment than Lost. That awful ending came as a surprise, since it was a damn good show until the last 45 minutes or so. It sort of gets better to me with my alternate interpretation, though.

(click to show/hide)
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Emperor Norton on 26 Jul 2017, 18:55
...so at least we got a good ending instead of being left hanging or confused because the story went on for too long and the creator never really had an ending in mind.   

I completely disagree on it being good. What we got was just a giant exposition dump then "THE END". The characters really accomplished nothing, other than killing Church, but even that was kind of... well he was just a late game villain in the grand scheme of the story. He just shows up to be menacing and then die. Yes, they got to space, and got answers, but what difference did it make that they did? The same things will now happen regardless of what they did, especially as they learn Ardent and Gavia were not unique at all.

And let's look at the mysteries set up in the series. Other than the mystery of who Alice is, which ones had any actual hints to the answers before Ms. Exposition just told them the answers at the end. There are no hints that Ardent and Gavia's reality was a simulation before coming to Earth. There are no real hints at what happened to the AIs. Every answer we get is just dropped in the last few comics by someone telling us the answer. And until that, we were stuck with wild guesses because zero hints or foreshadowing were present.

The whole ending is just plant girl Praeses person going "And this is what happened" with a bit of assumptions from Alice, and then boom. End. And that could have been fine, if while reading it my brain went "OH YEAH, cause of x scene or y dialogue or z thing that happened earlier, that makes total sense." But it didn't. Because while nothing in the rest contradicts the ending, nothing in the rest really supports it much either.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: brasca on 26 Jul 2017, 23:41
How would it be any different if the pace remained at one strip or two per week at best?  There might be more plot filler that could be interesting, but the resolution would remain the same. 

And killing Church is actually significant.  The world will change, but not through any direction of Pate since he's dead and his pet monster is incapacitated if not dead too.  Church through Pate's direction would gather together all the people with abilities and mold them into something to dominate the world, solar system, and wherever else advanced technology could take humanity.  At best Alice might rally people to her side and achieve a stalemate, but it would be the past nightmare she wanted to avoid repeating itself again.  Perhaps the AI behind all this intended for one of the sets of space dwellers to get captured and lead Pate and Church into space where they could be neutralized, but didn't feel it necessary to appear and give an exposition of its scheme. 

And so what if Ardent and Gavia aren't unique.  In time everyone on Earth will have abilities like theirs.  In the meantime they can be pioneers and they actually have Sedna as a friend so that does make them different than the others who were seeded on Earth before them.  As for not having any foreshadowing that Ardent and Gavia were from a simulated world it doesn't matter because it makes sense.  How else could so many people live in space with very few resources to draw from other than recycling what already exists?  Or why the rest of the solar system hasn't been colonized because even if Earth is off limits they could've terraformed Mars and Venus by now.  It seems the Praeses are content to just keep the minds of the humans they got custody of housed in simulations.  The only reason we thought the Praeses were up to something was Alice's paranoid suspicion.  This in itself is not unusual considering her past and the thousands of years she's lived since then.  It's a wonder anyone could be sane after all that time.   

I'll admit this last chapter was like reading an abridged version, but the story still holds up so the only thing I mind is not getting more side adventures and filler, but I understand that Jeph Jacques has other obligations and couldn't turn this story into a multi volume epic. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: BenRG on 27 Jul 2017, 00:00
If Jeph had kept to the slow pace, Jeph would likely have had time to say to himself: "You know, this needs to be expanded upon" and "How can I best put this across in something other than exposition?"

The rush makes the ending less palatable.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Emperor Norton on 27 Jul 2017, 06:43
The reason it matters that Ardent and Gavia are not unique is that it makes their journey and their purpose matter even less. What difference did everything they do make when nothing they did had any strong impact that wasn't already being done by all the other people sent to Earth weren't already doing?

And in regards to Church, remember there are multiple people of Gavia's strength on the planet that just got sent there from the Praeses, plus super tech about to become the norm. The fact that Church could die from a single bone through the neck when surprised, I don't think he could fight all of that at once.

(Plus there is the whole issue that Church and Pate are basically introduced with 1/4th of the pages left, they never really had room to breathe as villains before being killed).

Nothing in the comic they did really mattered, and nothing they did other than get to space actually gave them any answers. They didn't learn anything other than what they were told and what Alice then inferred from her knowledge (which we never get much of during the comic itself), to give us more exposition. And once they have the answers, there is nothing really ACTIONABLE to do with those answers. They just, oh, ok. Now we know. (And knowledge is half the battle!)

And the reason that it matters that there are no hints is that you want to make the whole ending about their search for knowledge, but the only thing that matters for that search is the last 5 minutes when someone tells them the answers. There is no slow reveal of bits and pieces of information, everything is just dumped on you at once. I can't believe people are defending Deus Exposition as good writing.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: mil on 28 Jul 2017, 04:08
Another issue with Pate and Church's late appearance in the story is that their presence and actions don't actually influence the unfolding plot in any material way. If Pate and Church didn't exist:

> Alice still would've punched through the concrete roof of the bunker (presumably that was the 'plan' she referred to)
> They'd have still found the Valkryie at the bunker's base (Alice would've punched through the blast door easily)
> Ardent would've touched the Valkryie at some point (inevitable, really)
> They'd have gone to space (and docked with the giant tree instead of accidentally breaking in), met Laridia (or the Praeses) and had the same exposition chat minus all the violence
> The end.

Unfortunately, that's not good writing.

Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: JimC on 28 Jul 2017, 04:59
Unfortunately, that's not good writing.

Debatable. There is a school of thought that has rules about how everything you write has to be essential to the plot, but frankly I think that's *******s. The intention of a story is to entertain, and if going off on a tangent that's completely irrelevant to the main thread of the plot entertains then its just fine by me. That's what real life is like: all sorts of things come from nowhere and go nowhere.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Thrudd on 28 Jul 2017, 12:33
All things said I would have preferred a "Krazy Larry" type ending but we have what we have unless we get a Speilberg sometime in the future.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Tova on 28 Jul 2017, 18:29
Another issue with Pate and Church's late appearance in the story is that their presence and actions don't actually influence the unfolding plot in any material way.

I don't completely agree, though I'm not sure what you mean by 'material way', or whether the material..ity? material...ness? of their influence even matters.

Pate and Church introduce what is arguably the central conflict of the story - that of Alice's desire to maintain the status quo versus Pate's desire for humankind to advance. This conflict was resolved at the end when Pate was stopped and the immediatge threat halted, but it was revealed that (most likely) Alice had failed and human kind would advance regardless.

We could have an argument about how compelling that particular thread of the plot turned out, or how well it was told (it's a pity it was told at the end purely via exposition, but that's horse has been beaten to death). But that central plot thread would have been missing if not for Pate and Church.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: brasca on 30 Jul 2017, 23:33
The reason it matters that Ardent and Gavia are not unique is that it makes their journey and their purpose matter even less. What difference did everything they do make when nothing they did had any strong impact that wasn't already being done by all the other people sent to Earth weren't already doing?

Ardent and Gavia are the only ones to make it back to the space habitats.  None of the others encountered any old super soldiers that tried to get them back into orbit and now they know the truth.  Moreover, their journey ultimately involved Alice, Sedna, Church, and Pate.  The last 2 were effectively eliminated as guides for humanity while Alice felt so discouraged by everything that transpired that she decides to leave Earth.  That's your impact.  Unless Sedna decides to interfere humanity will find it's way out of the dark ages on its own.       

And in regards to Church, remember there are multiple people of Gavia's strength on the planet that just got sent there from the Praeses, plus super tech about to become the norm. The fact that Church could die from a single bone through the neck when surprised, I don't think he could fight all of that at once.

(Plus there is the whole issue that Church and Pate are basically introduced with 1/4th of the pages left, they never really had room to breathe as villains before being killed).

Alice defeated Gavia easily enough and claimed she could do the same if the Praeses invaded and it wasn't a boast.  The only way to keep Church at bay was to put Pate in check.  That could easily be done, but if Pate managed to persuade or compel one of the people who develops abilities to protect him against others with similiar abilities then Church could eliminate everyone else that doesn't fall in line.  Or possibly one of the other Gavias usurp Pate and take control of Church with the dream of world domination.  However, with Church neutralized this is no longer a possibility. 

Nothing in the comic they did really mattered, and nothing they did other than get to space actually gave them any answers. They didn't learn anything other than what they were told and what Alice then inferred from her knowledge (which we never get much of during the comic itself), to give us more exposition. And once they have the answers, there is nothing really ACTIONABLE to do with those answers. They just, oh, ok. Now we know. (And knowledge is half the battle!)

I liked the theme of the futility of power.  Pate with Church at his command was the most powerful man on Earth, but ultimately got in over his head and died trying to achieve a dream that would've been his for the taking if he had waited.  And for all of Alice's extraordinary power she was ultimately powerless to stop the world from changing. 

And the reason that it matters that there are no hints is that you want to make the whole ending about their search for knowledge, but the only thing that matters for that search is the last 5 minutes when someone tells them the answers. There is no slow reveal of bits and pieces of information, everything is just dumped on you at once. I can't believe people are defending Deus Exposition as good writing.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and you cannot convince me otherwise.  I will, however, argue some of the plot points above you've taken to task. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Emperor Norton on 31 Jul 2017, 23:23
You missed the exact point I just made. Yes, Alice could defeat Gavia. But there isn't just one Gavia on the planet. And the planet is about to get crazy when super tech takes off. Plus remember the exposition at the end points out that the majority of humans will be able to do what Ardent does with tech very soon.

You really think Church will still be the same level of threat on a planet with massive amounts of super tech everywhere. Yes, he is still dangerous, but he isn't unstoppable. And there is no way he could stop all of that. You are correct about the futility of their power, because the mass amount of power that Church and Alice had mean nothing compared to the oncoming onslaught of power humanity is gaining. And of course, removal of Church only makes a difference if you assume that in the entire world, he was the only one of his kind. Or that Pate was all that unique in outlook.

And even if you do count killing Church and Pate as a big deal: having your characters only accomplishment be solving an issue that the audience didn't even know about until nearly the end of the story is kind of lame.

Also, getting to space ACCOMPLISHED NOTHING. That is the point I'm making. They, as individuals learn information, but none of that information is actionable. They now know that the world is about to become covered with supertech humans. (And considering that, it wouldn't have been long before someone reached the Praeses anyway). All they managed is to learn is something they would have learned in a couple of years anyway.

And "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" is just sidestepping the whole concept of mass exposition being a terrible way to end a story.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: SmilingCat on 10 Aug 2017, 22:24
Odd thought that popped into my head while contemplating a late dinner (don't ask me why, my brain is a rat maze).

But I had a thought about where the AIs went. They went into the people.

We have evidences of phenomenal levels of technology. Including nanotechnology that can perform something not dissimilar to magic.

We know the functions of the praesses were hijacked by something that allowed Ardent and Gavina to become embodied and travel to earth. From a basic data intrusion standpoint, that's easier to do if you already have network access rather than trying to force your way in from the outside.

We also know that the Praesses create virtual worlds from scratch, an "inner reality" that they populate with, for want of a better word, digital copies of humans. Their goal of making it effectively no less "real" than the outer reality suggests that these digital copies would be complete down to the finest detail.

So suppose the AIs, knowing that continued warfare would only push both sides closer to complete extinction, wrote themselves into the human genome and exist as just another part of human microbiota, borrowing from the body for whatever they need to function alongside all the other bugs that hang around on and inside us, maybe writing to our unused (junk) DNA for storage space, drawing excess thermal or bioelectric energy to power any major actions, communicating with each other through human interaction or physical contact. Maybe even influencing people to a degree by tampering with brain chemistry to facilitate communication between each other, and maybe to keep the peace. Humans lost their ambition, as Pate described it. Maybe that was intentional, in order to prevent another cataclysmic war.

So the praesses. They're alien, they'd have no frame of reference of what a human's genome and microbial hangers on are supposed to look like until they get a look at one. So they make their virtual humans, and inadvertently replicate the AIs along with them. These spaceborn AIs figure out where they are, what they are, and how they are, and they see an opportunity to fix everything. Since they're already running on the Praesses network, they gradually figure out how to subvert it to send their chosen agents to earth.

Apologies if someone's already suggested this.

Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: brasca on 12 Aug 2017, 09:01
Neat theory although it does remind me of the reimagined Battlestar Galactica where the Cylons were created by humans and eventually evolved into human like AIs.  Only difference is these AI descendants don't seem to be out to exterminate humanity.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: Method of Madness on 12 Aug 2017, 15:05
God, don't even get me started on that piece of shit ending, all the more frustrating that until the last hour or so, that show was mostly great.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: traroth on 25 Sep 2017, 03:29
This comic is full of interesting ideas, but nothing feels really developed. We don't see much of the world, even when the characters travel. The ellipses, for example when Alice, Sedna, Ardent and Gavia are travelling in a wagon, are frustrating. It feels as if each time we are placed in a position to see something interesting from this world, some event prevents it from happening. So we don't see much from the town in the beginning (beacuse Gavia arrives and starts to make things explode), neither from that other town in the pit (because Pate arrives), neither from the bunker (they rush through the tunnels) and almost nothing from the praesces at the end (because Laridia arrives). Most of what we know from that world we learned from discussions and not from actions, and the pace was so slow that the rushed ending makes it look like as if even Jeph Jacques got bored. At the end, to me, that comic really lets a feeling of frustration.
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: LKR1009 on 06 Aug 2018, 14:04
Anyone else still missing Alice Grove? :(
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: brasca on 07 Aug 2018, 16:34
Yes and I was thinking of revisiting the ending since it's been over a year since it ended.  I still think it holds up well.  I don't know if anyone else has reconsidered. 
Title: Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
Post by: jwhouk on 07 Aug 2018, 18:57
Someone may need to lightly prod Jeph about putting this in a dead tree format for purchase.