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What Now?

Alice goes on quest to send them home
Gavia and Ardent panic and cause mayhem (again)
Jack's back
Ardent regrows his Tail
Gavia challenges Alice - and gets her ass handed to her again
Everybody carries a Pokin' Stick
Miss Wheelwright strikes back
The 'Vacation' becomes permanant
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Author Topic: Alice Grove MCDT - February 2015  (Read 14680 times)

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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - February 2015
« Reply #50 on: 13 Feb 2015, 13:58 »

What about n! ?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - February 2015
« Reply #51 on: 13 Feb 2015, 15:34 »

Ahem:



 :parrot:
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - February 2015
« Reply #52 on: 13 Feb 2015, 15:49 »

Why is everyone taking it as a given the Praeses are AIs?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - February 2015
« Reply #53 on: 13 Feb 2015, 16:00 »

Why is everyone taking it as a given the Praeses are AIs?

Ardent did call one an "it", but maybe it could just be extraterrestrial
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - February 2015
« Reply #54 on: 13 Feb 2015, 16:02 »

Given the extent of tinkering with one's own body that is implied to be possible in this universe, the distinction between AI and human may be a bit arbitrary. Some people point to AI upgrading its own intelligence as a critical point, but I don't see the human equivalent of that scenario mentioned nearly as much. Such tinkering with the structure of one's own mind may have odd effects...
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - February 2015
« Reply #55 on: 13 Feb 2015, 17:19 »

What made me think the Praeses were an AI was that Gavia talked up to the sky (as opposed to the SF equivalent of a phone) and not only expected to be heard instantly, she also expected action to be taken instantly. It's usually AIs rather than humans who are capable of that sort of thing. Clearly this is the usual thing which happens when Gavia talks to a Praeses as when she got no answer within ten seconds she knew something was hideously wrong and got really upset.

Also, at one point Alice said it wasn't possible to trick a Praeses. I wondered if that was propaganda, but it could be considered another hint that Praeses aren't human as humans are very trickable.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - February 2015
« Reply #56 on: 13 Feb 2015, 20:56 »

Well, we know they're not Borg
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - February 2015
« Reply #57 on: 14 Feb 2015, 05:18 »

Still don't see why they have to be AIs. Plenty of mythical/scifi beings may be capable of what the Praeses are implied to be able of. Could be energy beings; could be a collective responsible for watching this particular habitat. Could be "the spirit of the world", for all we know.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - February 2015
« Reply #58 on: 14 Feb 2015, 06:45 »

My guess is that the Prasedes will turn out to be non-human and possibly non-physical intelligences. However, they are going to be so different and advanced that fitting them into neat pigeon-holes of nature is going to be difficult. They may be descended from what were AIs hundreds of generations ago but have been 'evolving' since then and have done so in such radical ways that the only thing that divides them from biological life-forms is the materials that make them up.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - February 2015
« Reply #59 on: 14 Feb 2015, 10:14 »

It would be interesting if it turns out the entire strip takes places with the Orion's Arm universe.  So far I see no evidence to suggest it doesn't besides the Praeses not having names of the major Archai.  But they could be lesser Archai after all. 

http://www.orionsarm.com/xcms.php?r=oaeg-front

I suspect it is not in the Orion's Arm universe, but I also expect it's setting which draws from many of the same source authors in hard science fiction.  Jeph has said that Iain Banks was the single strongest influence on his writing.  I'm definately getting a "The Culture" vibe from this setting. 

http://jephjacques.com/post/52576357846/iain-banks-1954-2013
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - February 2015
« Reply #60 on: 14 Feb 2015, 20:36 »

But is Alice human? She has never said so, and we have never seen her eat. Those jars may have been lab supplies rather than food.

Is Gavia a fish out of water visiting a witch out of fodder?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - February 2015
« Reply #61 on: 14 Feb 2015, 20:46 »

But is Alice human? She has never said so, and we have never seen her eat. Those jars may have been lab supplies rather than food.

Is Gavia a fish out of water visiting a witch out of fodder?

The Praeses are demanding a payment to the pun jar, as the scarcity economy needs to be explained to Ardent.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - February 2015
« Reply #62 on: 14 Feb 2015, 21:32 »

But is Alice human? She has never said so, and we have never seen her eat. Those jars may have been lab supplies rather than food.

Is Gavia a fish out of water visiting a witch out of fodder?
Well, we haven't seen her eat, but the fact there's an outhouse suggests she at least does other things humans do...
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - February 2015
« Reply #63 on: 15 Feb 2015, 13:05 »

Not convincing.  Others may have lived in the house before her.  Also, guests are more likely to need an outhouse than food.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - February 2015
« Reply #64 on: 15 Feb 2015, 13:22 »

Guys guys guys. Everybody poops.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - February 2015
« Reply #65 on: 15 Feb 2015, 19:11 »

So, what's the chance the flower in the latest strip chimes in with something next strip?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - February 2015
« Reply #66 on: 15 Feb 2015, 20:40 »

Hmmm.. Perhaps it's a Praeses remote terminal? Say, supposing the Praeses are named after genus of trees because they are actually intelligent tree caretakers. Each overlooking their own grove, but all interconnected via plant-fiber network. Actually I started this as a joke... but I don't know. It has some appeal as a concept, and fits what we know before. That they would be referred to as 'it'. They would be incredibly long lived, could easily be 'awake' all the time and so expected to respond. They would need volunteer caretakers to deal with things they couldn't do, being immobile plant life. They could be sufficiently alien in thought patterns that it would be thought impossible to trick them. Possibly Alice's Grove (and others like them) aren't like a zoo.. but rather a colony or reclamation project. The people 'up there' have become so dependent on the Praeses and  tech advanced enough to have super powers and changed your body on a genetic level, they've lost touch with nature. So you have these colonies, set down and left to develop naturally, with minimal tech for generations. An intelligent tree can certainly afford to take a long view planning approach. And the Viccisitudes have been tricked into coming down here so they can experience what natural life is like.


Talk about your literal epileptic tree....
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - February 2015
« Reply #67 on: 15 Feb 2015, 22:55 »

I kept banging my head and wracking my brains because it all sounds oh so familiar - then I looked at my anime shelf and the title jumped out at me - Tenchi Muyo!

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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - February 2015
« Reply #68 on: 16 Feb 2015, 12:45 »

But I don't think Alice is Tenchi
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - February 2015
« Reply #69 on: 16 Feb 2015, 14:57 »

Nah, that's Jack's job.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - February 2015
« Reply #70 on: 16 Feb 2015, 16:30 »

So does that mean that Alice is actually Ryoko?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - February 2015
« Reply #71 on: 16 Feb 2015, 23:37 »

New comic up!

Well, Alice is certainly mean enough to be Ardent' mum! I do see Alice's point, although I do wonder if there is an essential antisocial aspect of her personality coming through here. She doesn't want to go to town because she doesn't like doing that.

BTW - I loved Gavia in Panel 3! Any remaining doubt that those two are just kids has now been quashed!

Prediction:
Ardent is going to sneak off when Alice is distracted and go to town. He will drag Gavia along; she'll make a show of protest but she'll cooperate as she's tired of being stuck at the cottage too. They will run into Jack and Maggie 'big ass' Wheelwright, who will introduce them to some of the town's charms. After the two out-of-town kids relax, they'll do something to attract Alice's attention. She'll be shocked when the two locals beg her not to punish their 'friends'.

[edit]
Fix'd typo
« Last Edit: 17 Feb 2015, 00:04 by BenRG »
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - February 2015
« Reply #72 on: 17 Feb 2015, 03:58 »

I can see that Ardent at least, and possibly Gavia, are going to get bored of staying in the forrest cottage doing chores and wander off to do something more interesting soon, probably go to town. I'm surprised Alice can't see it coming. Although, considering how the townsfolk react to Alice, it's conceivable Alice might never have come across people who won't meekly do everything she says, trusting she knows best. The terrible twosome is about to put her through a steep learning curve if so.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - February 2015
« Reply #73 on: 17 Feb 2015, 04:08 »

Maybe that's what Alice is waiting for - Ardent and Gavia heading back to town and get hit with the reality of their new life.

Or something like that.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - February 2015
« Reply #74 on: 17 Feb 2015, 04:20 »

Maybe that's what Alice is waiting for - Ardent and Gavia heading back to town and get hit with the reality of their new life.

Nah, I think that Wildroses has hit the nail on the head. Alice is expecting complete and unquestioning obedience because, during her time in the Bubble, that's what she's got from the locals. Unfortunately, Ardent and Gavia don't have that level of complete awe for her that the locals have. Consequently, I think that they will wander off and end up causing trouble with the friends that they will make. Alice will come storming over after they cause a major disruption (say, Gavia showing off her telekinesis in the way a RL teen girl would show off the apps on her cell or Ardent launching a song-and-dance number in the town square).

Alice will probably be shocked beyond words when Jack stands between her and them and tells her that he won't let her hurt his friends. I can see her splutter, go bright red and rage; when that doesn't work, she'll turn her back, close her eyes and then smile, just a little. That will be the moment in which the two kids shift in her mind from being prisoners that she's monitoring until the Praesides come to collect them to being two youngsters who are her charges and responsibility to raise to useful adulthood.

I can see (many moons from now) a panel where Alice is doing something 'big sister'-ish like braiding Gavia's hair for a town festival or something whilst Gavia chatters excitedly about something Miss Wheelwright showed her in an illustrated paper. I suspect that the Praesedes' plan is for them to learn what a family really is and how to live in a close-knit community. The next level up of 'why' will probably be revealed at a later date.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - February 2015
« Reply #75 on: 17 Feb 2015, 05:20 »

Responding to a few posts on page one, why are we assuming Alice uses nanotech? When Alice discovers Gavia uses it, then easily overpowers it, my thought was that she had natural superpowers beyond the capabilities of nanotechnology.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - February 2015
« Reply #76 on: 17 Feb 2015, 05:28 »

Responding to a few posts on page one, why are we assuming Alice uses nanotech? When Alice discovers Gavia uses it, then easily overpowers it, my thought was that she had natural superpowers beyond the capabilities of nanotechnology.

It boils down to this argument: We have only seen three people in Alice Grove who have demonstrated more-than-human abilities. Of those, two have attributed these, directly or indirectly, to nanotechnology. Whilst it's conceivable that Alice has a different source of power, for now, Occam's Razor advises that we attribute all super-human abilities to the same means unless another source is specified in the text.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - February 2015
« Reply #77 on: 17 Feb 2015, 05:34 »

You may be right. It just doesn't seem that simple.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - February 2015
« Reply #78 on: 17 Feb 2015, 07:32 »

They will run into Jack and Maggie 'big ass' Wheelwright, who will introduce them to some of the town's charms.

I vote for a pool hall.

Though it seems equally likely to me the next story involve some other thing Alice has to respond to, and the complications of having the Vicissitudes with her justifying their name.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - February 2015
« Reply #79 on: 17 Feb 2015, 08:42 »

I'm sure it's been brought up before, but comparing this and this the only possible option is that this is post-apocalyptic Northampton and Penelope (and/or Pizza Girl) was the only survivor from pre-apocalyptic* Northampton.

*Seriously, autocorrect? I type pre-apocalyptic and your suggestion is pee-apocalyptic? WTF.  :psyduck:
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - February 2015
« Reply #80 on: 17 Feb 2015, 08:45 »


*Seriously, autocorrect? I type pre-apocalyptic and your suggestion is pee-apocalyptic? WTF.  :psyduck:

Yeah, I'd watch something like that.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - February 2015
« Reply #81 on: 19 Feb 2015, 13:41 »

I'm not sure I buy the Alice as Pizza Girl theory. It's just a little bit too out there.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - February 2015
« Reply #82 on: 19 Feb 2015, 13:45 »

I'm not sure I buy the Alice as Pizza Girl theory. It's just a little bit too out there.

Pen-Pen has lips, Alice doesn't.

Wait, Alice doesn't have lips?  She's trans right?   :mrgreen:
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - February 2015
« Reply #83 on: 19 Feb 2015, 18:10 »

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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - February 2015
« Reply #84 on: 19 Feb 2015, 18:26 »

Global Moderator Comment This is not an acceptable line of discussion
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - February 2015
« Reply #85 on: 19 Feb 2015, 21:01 »

Comic.
  • This is bothering Gavia more than anything.
  • I'm not putting much into the constellation splatter in the background, as any indication we're not on Earth.
  • There must not be a whole lot of room in the cabin if Ardent has to sleep on the floor next to Alice.
  • This may or may not confirm that Alice is a "real human" and not an AI.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - February 2015
« Reply #86 on: 19 Feb 2015, 23:38 »

I just love the sibling interaction between Ardent and Gavia. They're basically typical teens with Clarke-tech superpowers.

Jeph managed to make Gavia look really forlorn in panel 3. Poor kid is marooned far from home. Fortunately for her, she's got a brother to blame for it! I'm still thinking that they were tricked into this situation.

Regarding the sleeping arrangements, I think that Alice is hoping that Ardent and Gavia are only short-term guests, so she hasn't acquired extra furniture. We'll see if that changes with time. Also, Alice knows Ardent has sneaked out. I think that she probably trusts the kids more than she says; she just wants them to get to the point where they volunteer to do things her way to get what they want.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - February 2015
« Reply #87 on: 20 Feb 2015, 06:00 »

Alice may also be wondering if the terrible twosome really are as trapped as they claim and this isn't some elaborate plot against her town, so she wants to watch them while they believe they are unobserved. I bet she's hiding in the bushes listening to them talk.

I also think Gavia being mad at Ardent for their current situation is justified. Gavia wouldn't be down there if Ardent hadn't have gone, something everyone agrees is not allowed.

And as I was writing that I began to wonder...how did she know Ardent had gone to the forbidden world and who decided she should fetch him? Was it all her idea, or did someone else ask her to? Or was she manipulated into thinking it was her idea as part of a larger scheme?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - February 2015
« Reply #88 on: 20 Feb 2015, 06:19 »

And as I was writing that I began to wonder...how did she know Ardent had gone to the forbidden world and who decided she should fetch him? Was it all her idea, or did someone else ask her to? Or was she manipulated into thinking it was her idea as part of a larger scheme?

To me, I think it's pretty clear that Gavia was manipulated into going after Ardent.

I can see Cupressaceae saying something to Gavia like this: "Alas, my dear, your brother has done something rather foolish! He has gone into one of the Preserves against the law! I could have him retrieved quite easily but that would mean an official report being placed on his record! It could ruin him and anyone who is associated with him! Ah, if only someone could quickly pop into the Preserve and fetch Ardent back before anyone else finds out! Oh well, there's no possibility of that, I suppose! I will now take an over-exaggeratedly long time to make my official report whilst leaving behind a transporter programmed for his location and with all the security locks disabled for some reason. Don't do anything rash, my dear! Everything is under control!"

Gavia, either out of love for Ardent or a desire not to be tarred by his brush, took the bait and Cupressaceae then quietly shut down his/her/its signal receiver channel for the Vicissitude kids, thus ensuring that he/she/it doesn't get any recall requests for them.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - February 2015
« Reply #89 on: 20 Feb 2015, 09:49 »

What about n! ?

I read this as "ni," and immediately wondered if Gavia and Ardent were looking for a shrubbery.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - February 2015
« Reply #90 on: 20 Feb 2015, 10:17 »

Then they are in luck. Alice's cabin is surrounded by shrubbery.

Hm, hadn't noticed until looking at that first panel just now how close the outhouse is to the well. I suppose if the groundwater flows in the right direction it won't be a problem. I still would have put the outhouse farther away.

Anyway, back to today's comic: When I saw that first panel I thought Ardent was looking longingly at Alice. I mean, he did come down here to get laid, and he's had zero luck with that so far. Turns out he was just looking for a chance to sneak outside.

I wonder if Gavia has an altitude limit. And if it's a natural limit, or just whatever will keep her from getting in trouble with the FAA.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - February 2015
« Reply #91 on: 20 Feb 2015, 13:33 »

I think she's probably limited by how much her Nanotech can protect her from such things as Oxygen Deprivation or running into Birds.


I wonder if Alice will have to build an extension.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - February 2015
« Reply #92 on: 23 Feb 2015, 19:27 »

Next strip, Gavia and Ardent being chased out of town by villagers with torches and pitchforks.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - February 2015
« Reply #93 on: 23 Feb 2015, 21:17 »

"They didn't start until you turned on that chase music!"
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - February 2015
« Reply #94 on: 23 Feb 2015, 21:37 »

Thanks a lot, it's stuck in my head now (you know the one).
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - February 2015
« Reply #95 on: 23 Feb 2015, 21:42 »

I got news for these two

Alice ain't asleep
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - February 2015
« Reply #96 on: 23 Feb 2015, 21:45 »

I got news for these two

Alice ain't asleep

I'm expecting/hoping for more explosions. There's a reason why Michael Bay wins so many best director Oscars. Explosions, so majestic.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - February 2015
« Reply #97 on: 23 Feb 2015, 21:50 »

Michael Bay?

MICHAEL BAY??!!!


YOU GO WASH YOUR MOUTH OUT THIS INSTANT!!!!!!!

























 ;D
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - February 2015
« Reply #98 on: 23 Feb 2015, 21:56 »

He's a hero, don't you speak ill of him!

(sarcasm aside, I read somewhere that he's actually very respected by other directors for how he films things, it's just that he mayyyyyy love explosions and money much more than making good movies)
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - February 2015
« Reply #99 on: 23 Feb 2015, 23:35 »

There was an entire TV series just about watching him.
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