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Poll

Just who are the bad guys here?

Alice - Trying to create an agrican utopia
- 2 (6.3%)
Praeses - Trying to breach the peace agreement and threatening everyting
- 12 (37.5%)
Ardent and Gavia - Only pretending to be clueless
- 0 (0%)
Night Walker - Being made up of bits that are normally EVERYWHERE gives you influence
- 2 (6.3%)
Giant Birds - It's always the one you expect the least!
- 4 (12.5%)
The Unknown Shadowy Hand - Because there is always someone hiding behind the curtain
- 12 (37.5%)

Total Members Voted: 32


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Author Topic: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015  (Read 23251 times)

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Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
« on: 05 Aug 2015, 13:12 »

Firstly, New Comic Up early!

Well, it's increasingly clear that something is up. Possibly something apocalyptically up. From Alice's rant, it's clear that someone or something is not playing by the rules and either may be using the events of the Blink as an excuse or is trying to subvert/reverse it. I'm strongly feeling another few strips worth of exposition coming up as Alice explains who and why.

I'll make a prediction here - The Praeses seem to be the outcome of the Biotech Faction so it's unlikely that they'd be for bootstrapping/uplifting the Anti-Techs. I'm betting that the missing AI Faction are showing their hand and they have subverted both the space kids for their own purposes.

Finally:
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
« Reply #1 on: 05 Aug 2015, 13:18 »

It's the polar opposite of the useless broom made entirely of dicks.

Also I'd call this comic less early and more a few days late, but I'll take what I can get :roll:
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
« Reply #2 on: 05 Aug 2015, 14:09 »

I think we haven't thought of the full implications of this. If he had managed to get it on with the lovely lady at the water pump, what would've happened to the lambskin?

Crude jokes apart, this seems like someone wants to hypertechify everything and that might not be the best idea.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
« Reply #3 on: 05 Aug 2015, 14:12 »

It would've just become a 100% effective condom, I guess?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
« Reply #4 on: 05 Aug 2015, 16:23 »

what would've happened to the lambskin?

Ribbed, for her pleasure.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
« Reply #5 on: 05 Aug 2015, 16:49 »

If we see a giant, lidless eye wreathed in flame we'll know
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
« Reply #6 on: 05 Aug 2015, 18:05 »

Is Alice's house not technology?

Is Alice from the Ba'ku?

Quote from: Ba'ku Philosophy
Thanks for saving us with your technology.  By the way, we hate technology.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
« Reply #7 on: 05 Aug 2015, 18:07 »

I guess I'm not seeing why they need Ardent to deliver nanomachines. Couldn't they just seed the sky with them, so they'd float down and do their magic on any device they touch? We know from the Walker that nanomachines can perambulate, too. Once in place they ought to be able to spread wherever unassisted. Or, once they'd "infected" a given area, that area's inhabitants would spread the nanomachines anywhere they went.

In any case, if the "Blinker" is still around, it ought to be able to make quick work of any nanomachine infection.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
« Reply #8 on: 05 Aug 2015, 18:15 »

I assume that if you tried to "rain them down", the big-ass cloud of them that's around there would absorb the precipitating nanobots.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
« Reply #9 on: 05 Aug 2015, 19:33 »

We now know Alice Grove doesn't take place in the QCverse, via the note with the latest QC.



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Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
« Reply #10 on: 05 Aug 2015, 19:35 »

Ehhhh...I dunno if I believe him.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
« Reply #11 on: 05 Aug 2015, 19:56 »

Ehhhh...I dunno if I believe him.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
« Reply #12 on: 05 Aug 2015, 20:34 »

I'm not saying he doesn't know, I'm saying I don't know if he's telling the truth :P

(Also there's really no way of confirming that negative in-comic so as far as I'm concerned it'll always be possible)
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
« Reply #13 on: 05 Aug 2015, 21:06 »

We now know Alice Grove doesn't take place in the QCverse, via the note with the latest QC.

The next question is which of the two takes place in the Tommy Westphall multiverse.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
« Reply #14 on: 05 Aug 2015, 21:35 »

Our particular universe does, and Jeph resides in our universe, so I suppose anything he draws is covered under that multiverse as well.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
« Reply #15 on: 05 Aug 2015, 21:52 »

(click to show/hide)
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
« Reply #16 on: 05 Aug 2015, 22:55 »

Broom.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
« Reply #17 on: 07 Aug 2015, 12:02 »

New comic is up at last here!

I'm not sure if I believe Alice's fears are entirely grounded in reality but it definitely is a workable set of assumptions with which to start.

Now, Gavia has a lot of hard choices to make. Whose side is she on? More importantly, is she even sure that she knows which side is which? Does she accept Alice's word for it or does she even know for certain that she knows which faction wants what?

One thing is certain: Things are going to get ugly for the space kids!
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Neko_Ali

Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
« Reply #18 on: 07 Aug 2015, 12:25 »

I don't know, that seems an awfully subtle and long reaching plan for humans to come up with. If the Praeses really are trees or something akin to them then I could see that sort of long thinking. But Ardent upgraded one or two things to cause an eventual collapse is the kind of thing that would take decades, possibly several human life times to come to fruition. There are much quicker ways to get humanity to try and kill each other.  The biggest thing that throws this whole plan off though is how flashy the transformation was. If you want a subtle, long term plan to go into effect, you don't want to start it off with a pyrotechnics show, then a bolt from the blue... Alice removing the pump and replacing it with a new one fixes the problem... So was the pump a triple blind? Give Alice something else to deal with and not pay attention to the real threat, whatever that may be?

Or is it just something else entirely and Alice is over-reacting and using this as an excuse to justify her hatred of the Praseses and distrust of the spaceborne?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
« Reply #19 on: 07 Aug 2015, 12:28 »

Yes, but once Ardent's "power" becomes known, he'll get taken everywhere to upgrade their pump and whatever else; Alice's authority will be sidelined, and then what? 

At present, Alice the Witch is the world's stabiliser; discredit her in that role and the scenario she outlines comes to pass.

So now she has to control the children, benevolently by persuasion if possible, but by force if not.
« Last Edit: 07 Aug 2015, 12:33 by pwhodges »
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Neko_Ali

Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
« Reply #20 on: 07 Aug 2015, 12:44 »

That's kind of my point though. If whoever sent the sibs down knew enough about Alice to figure she would watch Gavia closer thinking she was more dangerous, then snuck a secret payload of nanomachines onto Ardent because she would think he was harmless. They should know her enough that she would react by isolating the cause of so obvious a transformation. A more subtle effect would be needed here so that Alice did not go into crisis management mode, the way she is now. It's like carefully planning out your evil death machine, then putting the off switch on the outside with a big neon sign pointing to it. I think either Alice is misinterpreting things, or there is something else here and Ardent's upgrade is another red herring.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
« Reply #21 on: 07 Aug 2015, 13:49 »

There are much quicker ways to get humanity to try and kill each other.

Hrmmm Ba-ra-roommmm now don't let's be hasty....

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Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
« Reply #22 on: 07 Aug 2015, 15:05 »

Understanding is a three edged sword

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Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
« Reply #23 on: 07 Aug 2015, 18:30 »

So humanity's downfall is indoor plumbing?

...Seriously?  :psyduck:
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
« Reply #24 on: 07 Aug 2015, 19:24 »

Earth is a ball (Oblate spheroid) about 6371 kilometers in radius. It's surface is, therefore about 510,072,000 square kilometers or 510,072,000,000,000 square meters. about 70% of that is sea surface, and not going to be considered (though certainly bio-intelligent trees could probably make use of that, we will leave it aside).

Alice seems pretty tall, but the Vicissitudes are pretty short. Compared to other people who have appeared in the comic, Alice appears to be of unremarkable height. One can assume approximately 1.65 meters plus or minus .1 meters. Alice's reach is thus about 2.7225 meters squared. Alice, however, is human and, therefore, mobile. She can move around. She is not limited to what is within reach of her arms from any one location. Alice, also, is superhuman. It is not unreasonable to suggest that Alice can move faster than a normal human. We know Alice has a pump. We know Alice has a windmill. We can infer, from Alice's speech, that she does not have transportation technology that she uses regularly.

This suggests three possibilities.

Option one. Alice is one of a significant number of witches left by the blink to patrol and protect the earth from the depredations of the space trees.

Option two. Since Alice lacks any reasonable ability to patrol the entire surface of the Earth, we could infer that Alice Grove is the last bastion of human survivors on the planet Earth. While the population is significant enough to prevent a total crash, it is also small enough that a single vector in the form of one person could potentially create an instability that would break its sustainability cycle. Whatever blinked made it clear that the trees could not have the Earth until all of the people on it were dead.

Option three. Insufficient information. Either not enough information to speculate about what's really going on or not enough information was placed in development and the plot makes no sense.

If it's option three, that's pretty run-of-the-mill for Science Fiction. If it's option two, Alice is humanity's last best hope for peace. One would hope that she does not go the way of the Babylon Project. If it's option one, logically the space trees would have sent down more than one Trojan horse.

All of this is predicated upon the fair level of unlikeliness that the Trojan horse would happen to run into a local protector who was specifically hostile to the aims of the trees if said protector was a rare occurrence in a large population. So either the population is not large or of the protectors are not rare.

This has been another mountain manufactured from a garden variety mole hill. Feel free to climb it.

A specific note.

It's certainly possible to someone else's already mentioned this, since I haven't been paying that much attention to all the comments in this thread. However, the Vicissitudes creepy night journey was interrupted when a cloud of nanomachines reached for them. Alice suggested that the nanomachines were reacting to Gavia's nano bots. Alice also said that the cloud is constant, and protects itself from UV radiation by hiding under leaves during the day. So there's no particular reason that that cloud wouldn't be able to find Gavia whenever it pleased.

Alice did not know about Ardent and he is Trojan horse payload. It seems more likely that the now about giant was reaching for him.

The question is, why? The easy answer is to assume that the children's assumption is correct and that the cloud was a threat. A mindless threat that has developed rudimentary distributed intelligence and spends that intelligence gazing wistfully at the moon.

It's also entirely possible that we are not seeing something formed of nano about evolution into a new class of animal life form but a system waiting for instructions. After all nano bots are high-tech. High-tech seems to be the thematic enemy. The thematic enemy lives in space. The nano bots gaze wistfully into space. Ardent is a vector for upgrading technology by touch. The cloud of nano bots is technology and could be waiting for an upgrade.

Assuming that this nano but cloud is a local phenomenon, which it seems to be, upgrading it would be one of the most effective means of distributing an upgrade of vector across a wide area in whatever option scenario exists in the actual Alice Grove plot.

Either way, I think that cloud of nanomachines is more important than simply set dressing for the setting.

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Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
« Reply #25 on: 09 Aug 2015, 18:50 »

So a windmill doesn't cause an energy imbalance, but indoor plumbing does?

This is bothering me way too much.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
« Reply #26 on: 09 Aug 2015, 18:54 »

There is apparently a limited quantity of potable water available to Alice's community. Use too much of it, and there are problems. But they aren't going to run out of wind no matter how much they use.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
« Reply #27 on: 09 Aug 2015, 18:59 »

But couldn't wind cause them to over-consume other resources?
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Neko_Ali

Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
« Reply #28 on: 09 Aug 2015, 19:40 »

Not if Alice is the one controlling where the power goes and what can use it. Unlike water, electricity is only really useful by devices that run on it. Since Alice is the only one who can build or maintain electrical devices in the area she can pretty easily control how much of it gets used and for what purpose.  That an as said, water for the town is still a limited resource, but that's something the townsfolk don't know and may not understand if explained to them. Over using it would benefit them in the short term, but eventually cause major harm.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
« Reply #29 on: 09 Aug 2015, 23:29 »

So a windmill doesn't cause an energy imbalance, but indoor plumbing does?

The pump is nothing; Alice is just saying that it is a bad precedent that led to cultural and social (and, ultimately, economic and political) problems in the past. Specifically that too much technology-enabled wealth and ease can lead to a runaway chain-reaction of greed and acquisition that inevitably leads to a major war.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
« Reply #30 on: 10 Aug 2015, 07:17 »

You know, by all indications the praeses could just send down a few cyborgs right now and easily take over most of the populated earth, no overtures and no bullshitting around with diplomacy.  In fact, it seems the only real complicating factor is Alice's presence in this part of the world.

So what if Ardent and Gavia are scouts?  Unknowingly selected for their curiosity and awful temper respectively, to A) Find Alice, and B) Cause as much collateral damage as possible in the process.

I realize everything I've said has probably been said before, but this is where things get crazy:

What if Ardent and Gavia aren't the only Ardent and Gavia?  They managed to find Alice, confirm she's a witch, and blow up a few buildings in the process almost immediately.  If the Praeses knew beforehand that sending these two to the surface would work so well, they might be one of many pairs of clones of the original Gavia and Ardent, sent down to the surface to do basically the same thing in multiple settlements.


Of course, this is assuming the Praeses have the goal of taking over the world at all.  Ardent and Gavia weren't TP'd back to the moon when Gavia requested it, despite having drawn out Alice.  Them living among and becoming acquainted with humans for any length of time makes them a potential complication when the invasion comes, so it seems like it would have been more efficient to bring them back, if maybe only slightly.  Assuming the Praeses are as wise and powerful and junk as they're supposed to be, even a minor potential setback, particularly one so easily avoided, would be unacceptable to them.  That Ardent and Gavia aren't back on the moon might be an indication that the Praeses have other goals.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
« Reply #31 on: 10 Aug 2015, 14:20 »

Back to the moon? It seems pretty clear now that the spaceborne live in orbital habit.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
« Reply #32 on: 10 Aug 2015, 18:28 »

So a windmill doesn't cause an energy imbalance, but indoor plumbing does?

The pump is nothing; Alice is just saying that it is a bad precedent that led to cultural and social (and, ultimately, economic and political) problems in the past. Specifically that too much technology-enabled wealth and ease can lead to a runaway chain-reaction of greed and acquisition that inevitably leads to a major war.

Isn't it a basic rule of science fiction that every problem caused by technology gets solved by throwing more technology at it?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
« Reply #33 on: 10 Aug 2015, 20:01 »

If Ardent is infested with undesirable nanobots, why would Alice think the bots would be affected by killing him?

"Ideological grudge"? Alice may be projecting here.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
« Reply #34 on: 10 Aug 2015, 20:06 »

Well, fuck.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
« Reply #35 on: 10 Aug 2015, 20:14 »

We could just take Jeph at his word; he's tired of Alice Grove and so he's bringing it all to a halt.

I have to agree with other commenters that this plotting doesn't make much sense, at least as presented. If the Praeses want to take over, why send down such an obvious agent? Why not just send someone that looks like another bumpkin from the next village? Alice would not even have noticed. Why have the nanomachines' effect be so obvious, if this is a covert takeover attempt? Why not infiltrate the everywhere first and then have them all attack at once? If nanotech is advanced as presented, why bother with a convoluted plot like this anyway? Just infect everything and kill everybody (including Alice). Assuming Ardent is killed, how does that stop his nanomachines? Can they even be stopped anymore? Etc.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
« Reply #36 on: 10 Aug 2015, 20:15 »

We could just take Jeph at his word
That'd be a silly thing to do.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
« Reply #37 on: 10 Aug 2015, 20:57 »

Decided it was time to finally register and stop lurking. My money is on Alice is testing her theory. If Ardent is infected with evil nanobots that can't live without a sapient host, it's logical they'll act to preserve his life, thus showing their hand. I doubt severely that Alice would have any serious intention to kill Ardent, considering that doesn't seem to be her style, plus Ardent isn't a conscious threat.
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Neko_Ali

Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
« Reply #38 on: 10 Aug 2015, 21:11 »

Killing children is not her style? She was going to beat Gavia to death shortly after they first met, for what is actually a lesser danger in her mind. Gavia was only threatening to burn down the town and had already been pretty much neutralized by Alice's anti-nanotech-tech. Right now to Alice Ardent represents a weapon in her long standing grudge against the Praeses and a threat to the future of her town and it's people, as well as possibly much further reaching effects. The fact that she hasn't just killed Ardent and is talking it out with Gavia makes me think that she doesn't actually want to do it, and the talk is more to psych herself up/talk herself into doing it. Not convincing Gavia.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
« Reply #39 on: 10 Aug 2015, 21:12 »

If Ardent is infested with undesirable nanobots, why would Alice think the bots would be affected by killing him?

"Ideological grudge"? Alice may be projecting here.

Actually, there's no knowing if the nanomachines in Ardent are smart enough to know if he's dead or not. Ardent is disposable to his handlers, so they may not have put a lot of thought into preserving his life. Dead ardent doesn't interact with technology.

Alice is, essentially, immune to Gavia's nano. She seems to disrupt it. She can probably do the same to Ardent's.

Now, if The SpaceTrees are David Xanatos, trying to kill Ardent will activate a different payload that CAN hurt Alice. Because you should always design your plans such that even if you lose, you win.

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Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
« Reply #40 on: 10 Aug 2015, 21:32 »

Killing children is not her style? She was going to beat Gavia to death shortly after they first met, for what is actually a lesser danger in her mind. Gavia was only threatening to burn down the town and had already been pretty much neutralized by Alice's anti-nanotech-tech.

It's not that she wouldn't kill someone who is attacking her or her charges (child or no), but I find it hard to believe she'd kill an innocent. She didn't kill either of them, even though their existence posed a massive risk to balance and tranquility. She was pounding Gavia's face in because Gavia was attacking first her town, then her. Ardent is dangerous, but he's not belligerent.
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ReindeerFlotilla

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Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
« Reply #41 on: 10 Aug 2015, 21:35 »

She only stopped beating Gavia because Ardent said she was his sister.

I think Alice is perfectly capable of killing Ardent. I just don't know if she intends to.

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Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
« Reply #42 on: 10 Aug 2015, 21:35 »

Question: Why didn't the Praeses send down, like, thirty people? To different towns? Or just send Ardent literally anywhere except where Alice is?
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ReindeerFlotilla

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Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
« Reply #43 on: 10 Aug 2015, 21:42 »

Question: Why didn't the Praeses send down, like, thirty people? To different towns? Or just send Ardent literally anywhere except where Alice is?

How do we know they didn't?

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Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
« Reply #44 on: 10 Aug 2015, 22:45 »

Question: Why didn't the Praeses send down, like, thirty people? To different towns? Or just send Ardent literally anywhere except where Alice is?

It's possible they did. There could be "Ardents" in "Peter Grove," "Jamie Grove," "Dana Grove," or other places where there are caretakers like Alice. I think the difference here is that Ardent draws attention because of his body modifications and Gavia went looking for him. I didn't buy into the twin theory until now but that would go a long way toward explaining why the Praeses allowed her to follow him. Her arrival may have mucked up the timeline.

I don't doubt that Alice believes what she says and that she will attempt to kill Ardent and will kill Gavia if she tries to interfere. Only sentience by Ardent's rogue nanotech would be able to save him.

What I don't get is why Alice is telling Gavia or Ardent any of this other than as an expositional device for readers. She could have played it cool, killed Ardent in his sleep and then dispatched Gavia. Sure the Praeses would have been pissed but it's not like she isn't risking bringing on their wrath by killing Ardent anyway. And does she just expect Gavia to shrug and stand there while she kills her brother?

While I don't think that Jeph is necessarily "tired" of this comic, I am wondering if we're headed to a "Most Dangerous Game" sort of solution where a large part of the action takes place off screen and we jump to some unspecified point in the future where things have been resolved and we have to infer just how that happened. It is possible that the next comic will see Alice shoring up her defenses and maybe Jack making a return and asking whatever happened to the blue boy with the tail and Alice giving him a glare and shutting him up.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
« Reply #45 on: 10 Aug 2015, 23:27 »

Y'know, Alice, Gavia might be able to believe you if you explained the source of your little hate-match with the Praeses; please start by explaining their alleged motive for wanting to take over the Earth. As matters stand, you seem to be treating them as a random bogeyman without any real cause. I know that 'explaining' isn't something that you like doing but, really, remember how good it felt to tell Gavia your story earlier on? It really might help you sort out your thoughts in your own head if you had someone to review them for you!

Seriously, I've been wondering for some time if living for so long without any significant emotional connection has turned Alice psychotic and this seems to be backing that up.

Oh, and Ardent...?

Run away.
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mikmaxs

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Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
« Reply #46 on: 10 Aug 2015, 23:28 »

I also have to wonder, since this is implied: Is Alice saying that, if they were to be invaded, she and she alone would inflict massive casualties? Gavia is just a random chick with nanobots, not some high level military agent, and she could have leveled a town on her own if not for Alice. Even Ardent, with no micro machines to speak of, has extreme healing powers that render him far more capable than the average soldier.

If Alice IS saying that, well... Damn. She's tough.

I hope the Praeses don't nuke her from orbit.

That's another question, can Alice fly? Or jump real high like Superman did in the early comics? If not, how would she deal with a fighter jet or a helicopter?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
« Reply #47 on: 10 Aug 2015, 23:46 »

I hope the Praeses don't nuke her from orbit.

It's the only way to be sure.

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Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
« Reply #48 on: 11 Aug 2015, 00:26 »

Regarding the plans which involve killing Alice: do we have any indication she can be killed?
I mean, longevity implies cell regeneration... and possibly a nano-bot enhanced immune system.

I may be projecting because Alice reminds me of Jones from Gunnerkrigg Court.

Spoiler:
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT August 2015
« Reply #49 on: 11 Aug 2015, 00:32 »

I'd actually expect she can't be easily killed, if she's not paranoid. That would imply the space trees have been trying to kill her for thousands of years.

That's why I said "hurt." Remember. If you can't kill them, cripple them.
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