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Poll

The Fate of ArdentSis

Twenty years in an IsoCube - Judge Alice
- 1 (2.6%)
Assimilation - "We are the Alice, resistance is futile"
- 1 (2.6%)
A shock collar and no release till she cleans up her mess
- 3 (7.7%)
Flashback time
- 8 (20.5%)
Alice the Slavemaster
- 2 (5.1%)
We don't want to know
- 5 (12.8%)
Jeph surprises us
- 13 (33.3%)
Blue Ardent Dishwasher
- 6 (15.4%)

Total Members Voted: 39


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Author Topic: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015  (Read 24348 times)

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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #50 on: 05 Jan 2015, 17:20 »

It looks like it was cut off. He may have lost it in the excitement, or he may have jettisoned it to save weight.

Maybe he ate it for extra energy.

Looks like Gavia did assume explosions were a polite form of greeting, though she may just be one of those self centered types. If Gavia punches you, its as it should be. If you punch Gavia, that's just rude.

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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #51 on: 05 Jan 2015, 17:21 »

Those look more like various jams.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #53 on: 05 Jan 2015, 19:19 »

We haven't seen his tail for a while; this looks like the last time to me.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #54 on: 05 Jan 2015, 21:13 »

Bets on whether Jeph forgot to draw it?

Either way, it's a bloody stump now, so something probably cut it off.

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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #55 on: 05 Jan 2015, 22:53 »

Ah, poor miss Gavia: surprised when Alice wasn't a shrieking soon-to-be-corpse after engulfing her in roaring flames, surprised Alice struck back after her attempt at murder, surprised that Alice was playing for keeps after a surprise attack on an unsuspecting civilian population, and just all-around wtf by human standards.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #56 on: 05 Jan 2015, 23:19 »

I'm still thinking that, in panel 4, Ardent is thinking: "Why can't I ever meet normal girls instead of ones like... well, these two?"
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #57 on: 05 Jan 2015, 23:45 »

What exactly do you mean Zeb?

Have you seen Welu's current avatar?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #58 on: 06 Jan 2015, 01:20 »

Ah, poor miss Gavia: surprised when Alice wasn't a shrieking soon-to-be-corpse after engulfing her in roaring flames, surprised Alice struck back after her attempt at murder, surprised that Alice was playing for keeps after a surprise attack on an unsuspecting civilian population, and just all-around wtf by human standards.

I've already said it: I'm convinced that, to Gavia, it wasn't really lethal force. Almost any injury can be healed without even a mark by nanobots now that the people Outside treat even killing someone as trivial and easily reversed. Unless you do it in a way that was intended to beat the Nanobots, which is what Alice was doing.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #59 on: 06 Jan 2015, 02:26 »

Whether or not she intended to, Ardent's sister *was* an active threat to others, so Alice was justified to use whatever level of force needed to neutralise that threat.  Her gleeful smile whilst doing the beat-down is something else entirely.  I think a previous comparison to Granny Weatherwax fits well.  Good ain't always nice and all.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #60 on: 06 Jan 2015, 02:39 »

Huh. I must be more tired than I thought; I'm having to clarify again.

I'm not defending Gavia's actions. She could have hurt someone with the resulting stampede even if her attacks were not, of themselves, lethal force (and Alice's comment in panel 5 strongly indicates against that argument). The point I'm making is that, with even most forms of death easily curable, those from Outside might have a casual attitude to lethal force. Psychologically, Gavia likely viewed the attack on the town as being no more 'for real' than a raid in World of Warcraft or something similar.

For such a person from such a culture, to suddenly encounter someone who countered with force intended to kill her and make it stick must have been a nightmare. To Gavia, it was the approximate equivalent experience of going into a paint-ball tournament and suddenly realising that your opponent is armed with a fully-automatic AR-15 and had the clear intent to use it to its full potential.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #61 on: 06 Jan 2015, 04:30 »

Okay, so we knew from this one that Ardent is on vacation, at least according to him.  I think in the next comic or two, we'll get to learn whether or not that's actually true.  He might be a space-fugitive on the run from the space-police for space-crimes. 

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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #62 on: 06 Jan 2015, 05:05 »

What I do not know is how can she have the nerve to call Ardent a prick after trying to blow up a city.

That didn't make much sense to me at first either.
Remember, her first words in the story were "WHERE IS HE?"
It seems that Ardent has wandered off/escaped from wherever it is he was supposed to be (with her? on holiday?) to somewhere he definitely shouldn't be and she's furious about (a) having to go looking for him and (b) where he's gone.
I don't think we yet have the full story about why it's so bad (from Gavia's point of view) that he's there.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #63 on: 06 Jan 2015, 05:42 »

What exactly do you mean Zeb?

Have you seen Welu's current avatar?

Oh.

OOOOHH.

What I do not know is how can she have the nerve to call Ardent a prick after trying to blow up a city.

That didn't make much sense to me at first either.
Remember, her first words in the story were "WHERE IS HE?"
It seems that Ardent has wandered off/escaped from wherever it is he was supposed to be (with her? on holiday?) to somewhere he definitely shouldn't be and she's furious about (a) having to go looking for him and (b) where he's gone.
I don't think we yet have the full story about why it's so bad (from Gavia's point of view) that he's there.


While that's ok, "looking for my dumb brother" doesn't entitle anyone to blow shit up. Maybe Michael Bay, but that's it. Ardent might have been a PITA, but Gavia was verging on psycho.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #64 on: 06 Jan 2015, 06:53 »

I dunno, it seems like what Gavia was doing was the whole 'playing Angry God' for the locals. Come in, set off a few flash-bangy noisy explosions that didn't really have a lot of oomph behind them just for the sole purpose of scaring the townfolk. I can't really tell if her surprise after trying to explode Alice was 'you're still alive?' or 'why aren't you running?' yet. We'll probably find that out on Friday.  It just doesn't seem to me like either Ardent's or Gavia's actions are all that malicious... They just seem more like the actions of somewhat spoiled children, going off and doing what they want without concern about other people and how they might be affected.  Gavia's pissed at Ardent because her vacation is ruined too, trying to babysit her brother who went off the plan and has gone where he shouldn't be, now she's here (sent?) to bring him back. So she's feeling pissy about the whole thing. So she comes in, with her version of stomping her feet and yelling, only to find an older, and not very pleased Alice willing to beat her into the ground.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #65 on: 06 Jan 2015, 12:22 »

Still, with Alice's smile in that fourth panel -

Are we thinking Chaotic Good or Lawful Neutral?

I'm seriously thinking the latter.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #66 on: 06 Jan 2015, 13:45 »

Or she may just be a more sane and controlled version of Zintiel from Flaky Pastry


hell of a though huh?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #67 on: 06 Jan 2015, 13:52 »

Wouldn't 'sane and controlled Zintel' be an oxymoron though?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #68 on: 06 Jan 2015, 13:53 »

I'm not going to say the smile's not a possible weak point, but it doesn't denote an alignment shift.

That said, we're not sure what her alignment is yet. Evidence would suggest she cares about her folk, but whether as people or not (and whether she's very good at that, even if she does), well...
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #69 on: 06 Jan 2015, 14:12 »

Wouldn't 'sane and controlled Zintel' be an oxymoron though?

Probably

Bur just think how dangerous she is as insane and uncontrolled as she is now

Now add calm intelligence



Ohgodogodwereallgonnadie
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #70 on: 08 Jan 2015, 00:00 »

Hmm, Gavia is a loon.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #71 on: 08 Jan 2015, 01:42 »

I've just got to repeat this: Alice's smile reminds us that she's enjoying the fact that Gavia is now terrified of her. A troubling insight into her mindset, I think.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #72 on: 08 Jan 2015, 04:17 »

To be fair, we're enjoying watching it.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #73 on: 08 Jan 2015, 10:05 »

loving the sibling dynamic, vaguely concerned about what's going to happen when their Momma Bear or equivalent shows up... I think that's probably what's driving the high level of concern in Gavia too
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #74 on: 08 Jan 2015, 10:31 »

What exactly do you mean Zeb?

Have you seen Welu's current avatar?

I'm days late but I finally showed up.

I hope Ardent gets some additional clothes soon. Now that someone from his homeworld has shown up, it draws more attention to his being dressed differently.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #75 on: 08 Jan 2015, 10:39 »

The funny thing is.. Gavia's been out long enough for Alice to change out of her coveralls, but she didn't throw a shirt or something at Ardent? At least give the poor guy a towel! He's so cold he's turned blue!
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #76 on: 08 Jan 2015, 11:56 »

No, I'm pretty sure I see eyes of newt in one of those jars on the shelf.
Given how she handled falling from the wind turbine, I'm pretty sure those are eyes of Newton:claireface:

Wouldn't 'sane and controlled Zintel' be an oxymoron though?
Not as much of an oxymoron as 'sane and controlled Dilandau Albatou'.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #77 on: 08 Jan 2015, 13:25 »

Hmmmmmmm

Their momma gonna be pissed when she finds out.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #78 on: 08 Jan 2015, 13:40 »

No, I'm pretty sure I see eyes of newt in one of those jars on the shelf.
Given how she handled falling from the wind turbine, I'm pretty sure those are eyes of Newton:claireface:

Eyes of newt, on the shelf?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #79 on: 08 Jan 2015, 13:55 »

I'm really starting to wonder how old Gavia is. The line of reasoning that she offered to Alice in the 1/9/2015 strip is the sort of thing I'd expect a 13-year-old to say! Even her demeanour is that of a sulky teenage girl being forced to explain herself to an authority figure whom she knows had power over her but she she does not respect in the slightest!

Oh, and a confirmation from The Word of God: 553303920466870273[/tweet]]T. Stimac Tweeted that Alice Grove is "a Discworld witch in a sci-fi setting". 553305744075132928[/tweet]]Jeph replied: "That's a pretty good description I think".

So, Alice the Force Witch?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #80 on: 08 Jan 2015, 14:11 »

Jedi Alice
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #81 on: 08 Jan 2015, 16:53 »

No, I'm pretty sure I see eyes of newt in one of those jars on the shelf.
Given how she handled falling from the wind turbine, I'm pretty sure those are eyes of Newton:claireface:

Eyes of newt, on the shelf?
Indeed.  The jars are moving around or changing color, too...
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #82 on: 08 Jan 2015, 18:50 »

I'm really starting to wonder how old Gavia is. The line of reasoning that she offered to Alice in the 1/9/2015 strip is the sort of thing I'd expect a 13-year-old to say! Even her demeanour is that of a sulky teenage girl being forced to explain herself to an authority figure whom she knows had power over her but she she does not respect in the slightest!

And Ardent comes across as even younger. Not that I think they are necessarily young in terms of years - they may actually be much older than they seem. But they clearly come from a culture where great power means great immaturity. Think about it: if you're in a post-scarcity economy where you can basically have whatever you want on a whim, where's the pressure to grow up?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #83 on: 09 Jan 2015, 00:06 »

Question: Super advanced healing technology, or just Jeph not wanting to keep drawing bruises?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #84 on: 09 Jan 2015, 00:53 »

The former, I think.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #85 on: 09 Jan 2015, 01:14 »

I'm really starting to wonder how old Gavia is. The line of reasoning that she offered to Alice in the 1/9/2015 strip is the sort of thing I'd expect a 13-year-old to say! Even her demeanour is that of a sulky teenage girl being forced to explain herself to an authority figure whom she knows had power over her but she she does not respect in the slightest!

And Ardent comes across as even younger. Not that I think they are necessarily young in terms of years - they may actually be much older than they seem. But they clearly come from a culture where great power means great immaturity. Think about it: if you're in a post-scarcity economy where you can basically have whatever you want on a whim, where's the pressure to grow up?

This has intriguing comic possibilities for later on. Given Ardent is probably at Gavina's power levels, imagine Alice being in this situation: She uses the Quantum Entanglement Communicator in her basement to call their folks who, in the usual, spoilt manner of their breed, tell her that they're busy on holiday and they'll pick their kids up at the end of the week. Alice then has to brat-sit two super-powered tag-alongs who are fully physically and sexually mature but have the personality of spoiled 8-year-olds.

I'm betting that, when their parents arrive, both kids will be sitting completely still in Alice's cabin with beer cans balanced on their heads.
« Last Edit: 09 Jan 2015, 04:34 by BenRG »
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #86 on: 09 Jan 2015, 03:34 »

Quote from: Gavia
If I scared you primitives...

Well you got fucking carried away, what with *shooting one of them* you murderous twit.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #87 on: 09 Jan 2015, 06:17 »

Oh, and a confirmation from The Word of God: 553303920466870273[/tweet]]T. Stimac Tweeted[/url] that Alice Grove is "a Discworld witch in a sci-fi setting". 553305744075132928[/tweet]]Jeph replied: "That's a pretty good description I think".

So, Alice the Force Witch?

Quote
"Black Aliss" Demurrage is at once the envy of most Witches and a cautionary example. She may have been the most powerful of them all : she once sent a entire castle to sleep, unchanged, for a hundred years. Aliss's look and feel would become the standard for generations of Witches and the perception of the public. Her silhouette may still be seen flying across the moon on shop windows and schoolroom walls every autumn. She was known as "Black Aliss" long before her anti-social excesses; the nickname came from her fingernails. She came from the Forest of Skund, an intensely magical bit of the Ramtops neighbouring Lancre, and became famous across the continent for showy magic and some nasty fits of pique. Eventually, she went over the edge. She built the confectionery cottage. She cackled incessantly. Finally she was so out of touch with reality that two Überwaldean children could push her into her own oven.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #88 on: 10 Jan 2015, 01:53 »

:o I never noticed.

Quote
She was not called Black Aliss because of her exploits, which were the result of bad temper rather than actual malice. She was called Black Aliss because of her fingernails. And her teeth. She had a sweet tooth and as a result used to live in a gingerbread cottage [...]; this followed early experiments with broccoli and bran cottages, which didn't seem to have the same frisson and smelled a lot worse. At the same time, modern witches declare she never ate anyone. Well, perhaps a few people, but only rarely, and more or less by accident and short-sightedness, and that hardly made her a cannibal. A couple of kids shoved her into her own oven in the end.
She is generally spoken of by modern witches [...] with a sort of wistful disapproval.

(Turtle Recall: The Discworld Companion... so far)
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #89 on: 10 Jan 2015, 07:08 »

Oh, and a confirmation from The Word of God: 553303920466870273[/tweet]]T. Stimac Tweeted[/url] that Alice Grove is "a Discworld witch in a sci-fi setting". 553305744075132928[/tweet]]Jeph replied: "That's a pretty good description I think".

So, Alice the Force Witch?
That's Jeph's thoughts on the comic (or actually, his thoughts on someone else's thoughts), not the comic itself. Interesting, but hardly canon :roll:
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #90 on: 11 Jan 2015, 23:44 »

I've just got to repeat this: Alice's smile reminds us that she's enjoying the fact that Gavia is now terrified of her. A troubling insight into her mindset, I think.

I rather like this side of Alice. I hope to see more.

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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #91 on: 12 Jan 2015, 13:46 »

Worldbuilding is an ongoing process

You tend to start out with a general idea of what your Universe is, who may or may not populate it and how things generally work, but as time goes on, you tend to tweak things as you get more and more into it.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #92 on: 12 Jan 2015, 14:33 »

Well, now we have a bit of an idea that whatever it is we call where Alice lives is normally considered off limits by the people of wherever the troublesome siblings come from.  And I'm guessing the Praeses is some sort of AI given Alice referring to it as an it and not a he, she, they, etc.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #93 on: 12 Jan 2015, 14:51 »

CONFIRMED: The Town and its surroundings are a sealed environment/preserve of some kind.

CONFIRMED: Those from Outside are not allowed in there.

CONFIRMED: There are some kind of intelligences, the 'Praeses', who are at the very least in charge of/protect and guide individuals and may be in charge of everything.

SPECULATION: The use of the term 'down here' suggests either the lower levels of a structure (like a ultra-long-haul generation ship or maybe even a 'infinite tower' building where different levels are different worlds). However, it could refer to a 'garden planet' (to use the Mass Effect term) and the Vicissitude siblings are spacers.

SPECULATION: The 'Praeses' are monitoring/guardian AIs; everyone Outside has one looking out for them.

SPECULATION: The two Vicissitude siblingss are in the Bubble Environment for a reason. Someone or something in authority Outside wants to add a chaotic element to this Environment and they've been chosen to be it.

It is quite possible that things are about to get remarkably ugly...
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #94 on: 12 Jan 2015, 14:52 »

Ugly? More like awesome.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #95 on: 12 Jan 2015, 14:59 »

Ugly? More like awesome.

ALICE: "There's only one way to stop this disaster; we're going to the top."

ARDENT: "You think that you can get to talk to the Executive Board?"

ALICE: "No, the board are just pen-pushers and bean counters. There's only one being who can stop this now."

GAVIA: "You mean...?"

ALICE: "That's right, kids. Buckle up. We're going to get to the very top. We're going to see The Architect."
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #96 on: 12 Jan 2015, 15:07 »

Confirmed: Alice is formidable as hell. She knows when you are fucking with her and will demonstrate exactly why that is a really bad idea.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #97 on: 12 Jan 2015, 16:00 »

A "praeses" is a leader. Archaic meaning of provincial governor, derived from the latin for "he who presides." I suppose if you wanted to be inaccurately direct, you could say it translates to English as "president." But that's not quite it. Anyway, it came to refer to particular class of provincial governor. Basically the bottom rung of three.

In 18th century German, the title designated the equivalent of a PhD advisor/mentor.

In modern terms, it's used as title for "Chairman" in a handful of religious settings and student societies.

Speculation:

1. The Praeses is a machine. While very little is actually impossible--just extremely unlikely is some cases, computers breaking their coded rules is colloquially "impossible." It certainly the kind of thing you expect someone to say of computer, especially in a scifi setting. "TX71 killed Jones? But that would violate the first law! That's impossible!"

2. Alice referse to it with the genderless pronoun "it" rather than "they." In English, that's bad form. No one need assume they are speaking English, but it's a general rule of storytelling clarity that you don't go using words in non-standard ways without some kind of hint that you're going to be doing that.

3. They have transporters in the Outside. I'm hoping against matter/energy conversion, as that gets weird.

4. Alice is the local equivalent of a Praeses, or has been deputized by the same. She's too well informed. The fact that she can't directly, or via appeal to higher authority, send the Vicissitudes home suggests either a lack of ability or a rule that she can't break.

5. The Vicissitude Praeses is a singular entity, or a collective. It is not a "one of many" That's why Gavia calls it "the" and Alice says that Ardent tricked it then Gavia convinced it. Alice appears to be saying that they both interacted with the same one thing.

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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #98 on: 12 Jan 2015, 16:24 »

It could very well be a mix of both. 

Cybernetic 'Elite Class' types who are a benign, but stern version of the Borg and operate either individually or in concert as a Hive Mind when the situation requires it.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #99 on: 12 Jan 2015, 18:00 »

It'll be a several millennia old Pintsize.

Alice:  "By the Singularity, you're him!  The Butt King.  Pintsize."

Pintsize:  "Hey, I haven't been the Butt King since 2366!"

Alice:  "I've heard the stories.  Why would they put someone with your reputation in charge?"

Pintsize:  "Geez, make hippo anuses appear on every screen on the planet in 2021 and they never let you live it down!"
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