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Ardent Vissicitude - Friend or Foe?

Innocent dupe of Dark Forces
Saint in a Blue Onesie
Someone sent to help but Alice is too paranoid to believe it
Someone who has found a gift that he never knew he had (and no-one gave him but time and luck)
A evil mastermind who is hiding behind a mask of innocence
An irresponsible idiot who'll do whatever gives him a thrill
A child in the body of someone much older who has yet to fully appreciate his place in the scheme of things
Gavia's bio-engineered teddy-bear... and a defective one at that
Just some blue alien kid who really likes pie.

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Author Topic: Alice Grove MCDT - October 2015  (Read 11249 times)

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Alice Grove MCDT - October 2015
« on: 30 Sep 2015, 23:28 »

So, we're into volume 3 now and things are starting to roll.

Just what is Ardent's deal? I'm saying 'pawn' but I'm not automatically convinced that Alice's worst fears are anything but paranoia coming from millennia of being the Town's sole protector and being totally socially isolated.

I'm serious. I'm wonder whether, if someone outside did give Ardent this ability, I'm wondering if it was out of misguided humanitarianism. "We want to help! What's that? You don't want or need this sort of help? Oh... er... Our bad?" It's just that, because the Upgrade only works when the carrier isn't thinking about anything in particular, they needed someone with Ardent's... unique intellectual qualities.
« Last Edit: 30 Sep 2015, 23:34 by BenRG »
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - October 2015
« Reply #1 on: 30 Sep 2015, 23:45 »

I'm beginning to wonder if Gavia is capable of walking at all.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - October 2015
« Reply #2 on: 01 Oct 2015, 08:53 »

I think Alice is overly paranoid due to being... whatever she is. I think her caution is justifiable, though, and I think her reasons for keeping Ardent away from machines are sound, but not the motives she ascribes to the Praeses. I think it more likely that the Praeses are trying very hard to reestablish some kind of contact with the surface world, and started off relations by sending what they thought would be a welcome gift: a solution to all the things the Praeses perceive as hardship.

Obviously, there is quite a disconnect between Alice and the "thinking trees", but I don't think her opinion can be relied upon, either.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - October 2015
« Reply #3 on: 01 Oct 2015, 09:29 »

I'm beginning to wonder if Gavia is capable of walking at all.

She's walking in this page.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - October 2015
« Reply #4 on: 01 Oct 2015, 21:15 »

Why am I suddenly hearing the theme from The Six Million Dollar Man?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - October 2015
« Reply #5 on: 01 Oct 2015, 23:10 »

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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - October 2015
« Reply #6 on: 01 Oct 2015, 23:28 »

That is the first laugh-out-loud moment that I've seen in Alice Grove for a very long time! The 'penny drops' expression in panel 3 was particularly funny!

In some ways, it's comforting to know that Alice is imperfect and can get her priorities in a mix because of heightened emotions, particularly fear and anger.


[Edit]
I just noticed Jeph's footer text. Assuming that he is serious (and there is no realistic reason for doing so), this means Alice can run at ~375mph or about the same speed on land that early-WW2 fighter 'planes could fly. She's definitely cybernetically augmented if this is borne out.
« Last Edit: 02 Oct 2015, 06:53 by BenRG »
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - October 2015
« Reply #7 on: 02 Oct 2015, 06:43 »

You know, I have been wondering since the Ardent-slap comic if she had done something about the pump. I mean she seemed pretty freaked out and her first thought was to evaluate Ardent and see if he was a threat, so letting it slip her mind that the upgraded pump was gushing water everywhere could be seen. But when she settled down to having the kids experiment I figured it was just assumed she had shut it off or destroyed it before returning to her house. It's actually kind of good to see that she can both be surprised and forgetful at times. It shows that she isn't as infallible as she likes to think. Now if only she takes that lesson to heart.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - October 2015
« Reply #8 on: 02 Oct 2015, 09:08 »

I'm beginning to wonder if Gavia is capable of walking at all.

She's walking in this page.

No longer. The URL of every page changes every time a new one is posted.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - October 2015
« Reply #9 on: 02 Oct 2015, 09:12 »

Since it's a Tumblr site, the URL you get in your browser isn't a permanent link. This is the permanent URL for that comic.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - October 2015
« Reply #10 on: 02 Oct 2015, 23:02 »

How did you find that URL?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - October 2015
« Reply #11 on: 02 Oct 2015, 23:46 »

How did you find that URL?

Click on the strip itself and Tumblr takes you to the actual art page with a unique permanent URL.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - October 2015
« Reply #12 on: 03 Oct 2015, 00:08 »

When I do that, I get http://www.alicegrove.com/image/110592245349 . A permanent link, I suppose, but nothing like  what cesium133 posted.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - October 2015
« Reply #13 on: 03 Oct 2015, 00:57 »

Just remove "image/".
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - October 2015
« Reply #14 on: 03 Oct 2015, 06:17 »

How did you find that URL?
There's a little gray link that looks like a chain link below the image. It's easy to miss with the color scheme Jeph is using on it.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - October 2015
« Reply #15 on: 05 Oct 2015, 18:50 »

She's definitely cybernetically augmented if this is borne out.
Not definite.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - October 2015
« Reply #16 on: 05 Oct 2015, 19:56 »

Ardent was panting from the run, she was not. She may have air-independent propulsion.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - October 2015
« Reply #17 on: 05 Oct 2015, 20:17 »

Well she might be able to fly, and she has super strength. I wasn't doubting her abilities, just not sure whether they're tech-granted or natural.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - October 2015
« Reply #18 on: 05 Oct 2015, 23:25 »

Never underestimate the human ability to work out how to make machines do the 'on' and 'off' thing. It shouldn't be an instinctive skill but it really does seem to be. Ah, the children are growing up, Alice! Maybe you don't need to always be so 'hands-on' and try to think for them anymore!

Meanwhile... Hey, Ardent! Is that your lungs you've just coughed up?

She's definitely cybernetically augmented if this is borne out.

Not definite.

I would say so. I can't see any biological structure, no matter how genetically altered, being able to handle those forces for long without shattering (rigid) or snapping (flexible).
« Last Edit: 05 Oct 2015, 23:52 by BenRG »
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - October 2015
« Reply #19 on: 05 Oct 2015, 23:45 »

Well, at least they managed to take care of the problem without her help and without things becoming a disaster area.

And Pie sounds good.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - October 2015
« Reply #20 on: 06 Oct 2015, 11:59 »

Ardent was panting from the run, she was not. She may have air-independent propulsion.

Yeah she was pretty obviously not worn out by that run... maybe Ardent never had to run up in their orbiting dwellings?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - October 2015
« Reply #21 on: 06 Oct 2015, 14:05 »

I would say so. I can't see any biological structure, no matter how genetically altered, being able to handle those forces for long without shattering (rigid) or snapping (flexible).
...dude. Superman. That's an extreme example, but they're equally fictional. So why is it silly to assume Alice is a metahuman of some capacity?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - October 2015
« Reply #22 on: 06 Oct 2015, 14:15 »

I would say so. I can't see any biological structure, no matter how genetically altered, being able to handle those forces for long without shattering (rigid) or snapping (flexible).

...dude. Superman. That's an extreme example, but they're equally fictional. So why is it silly to assume Alice is a metahuman of some capacity?

I'm trying to avoid invoking the argument that "It's magic, we don't have to explain shit". For all Jeph has been invoking a lot of Clarke-tech, it has managed to remain semi-plausible to date.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - October 2015
« Reply #23 on: 06 Oct 2015, 14:16 »

Dude, sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable yadda yadda. So is handwaving it as "nanotech" any less absurd than "she's naturally powerful"?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - October 2015
« Reply #24 on: 08 Oct 2015, 18:16 »

Thpathe pie!
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - October 2015
« Reply #25 on: 08 Oct 2015, 18:30 »

The sky color suggests it's evening, but their shadows are short. Unless the sky's orange for another reason...
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - October 2015
« Reply #26 on: 08 Oct 2015, 18:36 »

Just an autumn evening with a spectacular sunset, I'm guessing.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - October 2015
« Reply #27 on: 08 Oct 2015, 20:50 »

The definitely need Pie in Space

And I think that Alice is a wee bit jealous of what Ardent has done.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - October 2015
« Reply #28 on: 08 Oct 2015, 21:01 »

Yay pie!
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - October 2015
« Reply #29 on: 08 Oct 2015, 21:30 »

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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - October 2015
« Reply #30 on: 08 Oct 2015, 23:06 »

I invite Jeph to deny, if he dares, that the whole 'pie' thing had just been a set up for that punchline. :laugh:

Seriously, though, this is an interesting twist. I think that Alice is going to have to confront whether there really is any reason to 'control' the amount of technology in the world or whether she's she's acting out the fears and scars arising from the long-ago apocalypse.

"Orange O'Clock' eh...? Oh, that's why the colour balance seems off! Jeph has filtered everything with a little orange because the characters are outdoors in the evening!
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - October 2015
« Reply #31 on: 08 Oct 2015, 23:20 »

It's really confusing here because I run f.lux which sucks the blue out of my display before I go to bed.

Why didn't the townspeople ask Alice to fix the pump when it was "actin' up for months"? Too intimidated? They've relied on her for lots of things, why not this one?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - October 2015
« Reply #32 on: 08 Oct 2015, 23:23 »

Why didn't the townspeople ask Alice to fix the pump when it was "actin' up for months"? Too intimidated? They've relied on her for lots of things, why not this one?

They're a stoic, tough folk who don't complain or seek help easily. It was working (after a fashion) so they just collectively shrugged and got on with it rather than make a fuss over what is merely an inconvenience. I think that's a fairly common social trait of agrarian societies.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - October 2015
« Reply #33 on: 08 Oct 2015, 23:54 »

"Orange O'Clock' eh...? Oh, that's why the colour balance seems off! Jeph has filtered everything with a little orange because the characters are outdoors in the evening!

The colors remind me of comics in magazines.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - October 2015
« Reply #34 on: 09 Oct 2015, 00:39 »

It's really confusing here because I run f.lux which sucks the blue out of my display before I go to bed.

Hmm.  What's your normal colour temperature?  When f.lux isn't running.  I didn't have much of a problem seeing it under redshift (does the same thing), but the drop for me is only from D55 to 3700K
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - October 2015
« Reply #35 on: 09 Oct 2015, 06:08 »

Oh god, it all makes sense now.

It's all a horribly complicated plot by the Praeses to finally get their hands on some delicious pie.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - October 2015
« Reply #36 on: 09 Oct 2015, 06:11 »

That makes me wonder what trees would think of pecan pie.

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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - October 2015
« Reply #37 on: 09 Oct 2015, 08:11 »

Mmm, pecan pie. Now i want butter tarts. Or sugar pie, because I hate my teeth apparently.

The kids are growing up, Alice! They didn't want to ask mummy for help with a silly problem, but are grateful when a peer of sorts fixes it.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - October 2015
« Reply #38 on: 09 Oct 2015, 12:57 »

I want Cherry Pie

*Puts on trench coat and records that on protable tape recorder*
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - October 2015
« Reply #39 on: 09 Oct 2015, 14:16 »

I just remembered that sugar pie is made of maple syrup, which is distilled tree sap. That's an even worse thing to give to a tree person. Maybe that's why the Praeses are(allegedly) trying to restart the war..to save the Maples and Birches from having people harvest their blood.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - October 2015
« Reply #40 on: 12 Oct 2015, 23:32 »

I've just realised something - Alice, Ardent and Gavia are still sitting on whatever they're sitting on throughout the current strip. That means that either the guy who comes to thank Ardent is very short (I'm talking true Dwarfism short) or they're sitting somewhere elevated. At a guess, are they on top of the new enclosure built around the Upgraded pump?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - October 2015
« Reply #41 on: 13 Oct 2015, 02:38 »

The buildings behind them say yes.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - October 2015
« Reply #42 on: 13 Oct 2015, 18:12 »

Crazy Nolan was never the same after that mule stepped on his head

I had to look again: you can see the dent.
 :-)
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - October 2015
« Reply #43 on: 13 Oct 2015, 18:16 »

The other interesting thing is that there's solar panels in use as well - that's semiconductor technology right there.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - October 2015
« Reply #44 on: 13 Oct 2015, 18:20 »

Ardent to Whiskey Girl: "I can't fix your dad's still, but my powers have... many other uses!"
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - October 2015
« Reply #45 on: 13 Oct 2015, 18:44 »

Ardent's a teenage boy. He must have "upgraded" himself to the max by now.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - October 2015
« Reply #46 on: 13 Oct 2015, 19:05 »

The other interesting thing is that there's solar panels in use as well - that's semiconductor technology right there.

This stood out to me as well. So the townies apparently use electric powered machinery, but not much maybe? A solar panel isn't going to provide a lot of power, but we don't know if she only has one panel, or how common they are. But she knows what one is, and all the townsfolk are savvy enough to know Ardent could upgrade their stuff. That moves my estimation of their tech level up several notches. I was thinking they mostly lead an Amish level of existence before now.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - October 2015
« Reply #47 on: 13 Oct 2015, 23:15 »

I hope that Alice is listening here. Now, is this a  taste for more advanced technology in the populace or is it more a case that they're just thinking: "He can magically fix stuff" and haven't thought (or even are aware) of the 'Upgrade' end of Ardent's special abilities?

Note: Solar panel =/= solar-electric power generation. It could also be part of a heating system although that sight still have some electrical aspects to it if it isn't a solar thermal system. FWIW, solar-thermal is the sort of technology that I could see Alice trying to introduce.

All things said, though, I do think that Alice needs to wonder if her interdict about advanced technology is about protecting these people or if it's about protecting the scars she got in the Last War.
« Last Edit: 14 Oct 2015, 03:48 by BenRG »
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - October 2015
« Reply #48 on: 14 Oct 2015, 06:34 »

I wonder if Ardent might inadvertently have caused tensions between Alice and the townsfolk which could be nasty. Quite naturally they want Ardent and his magic touch to upgrade all their faulty technology, but Ardent is telling them all he isn't allowed to, and I'm presuming it is clear Alice is the one who has forbidden it. I'm impressed he's holding out and refusing to budge in that last panel when he is facing his greatest weakness.

The war is a very far distant piece of history to the townsfolk, not vivid and awful like Alice's memories. Being told: "No, you can't have access to more advanced labour saving technology because it might eventually cause a scarcity of resources and cause wars" may not go down so well. Alice certainly knows how to make people afraid and is not afraid to do so, but if enough villagers get annoyed they may find the courage to defy her.

Alternatively, maybe they should keep an eye on Ardent to make sure he doesn't get kidnapped and forced to touch things. I wonder if shoving his hands onto machines would cause them to change, or if it needs a subconscious prompt before anything happens.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - October 2015
« Reply #49 on: 14 Oct 2015, 13:34 »

The Nanos would probably need some form of focused programming in order to do the job that's required.

I wonder, was this the Praeses plan all along?
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