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What now?

Gavias Exorcism
They talk to The Night Walker and ..... learn things
Gavia becomes the Sauron of the Aliceverse
The Praeses appear.  This has been their plan all along
Ardent grabs Gaiva - Chaos ensues
This is where things get REALLY interesting
Naked Sedna Butts
Purple Monkey Dishwasher FROM SPAAAAAAAAACE!!!!!!!

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Author Topic: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016  (Read 23837 times)

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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
« Reply #100 on: 15 Apr 2016, 15:08 »

The nightwalker's gone loony!

I think it's just found what it's been waiting for all this time.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
« Reply #101 on: 15 Apr 2016, 15:39 »

And now we know why Alice didn't want them to wander off. It's dangerous to go alone!
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
« Reply #102 on: 15 Apr 2016, 16:04 »

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and guess that probably isn't good.

One of the skykids said earlier that nanotech needed a conscious mind to operate. Alice said the Night Walker is different, but... is it?

Also, no one ever said the conscious mind had to be willing...
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
« Reply #103 on: 15 Apr 2016, 16:22 »

Ah! I think finally I know what the Nightwalker is waiting for!



A 1978 Pontiac Firebird hood.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
« Reply #104 on: 15 Apr 2016, 17:20 »

Looks like the Nazca bird to me.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
« Reply #105 on: 16 Apr 2016, 02:48 »

I first thought of the Hylian crest.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
« Reply #106 on: 17 Apr 2016, 18:02 »

Just noticed it went back to January, but can someone tell me what the L in MCDLT is? I know what the other letters are.

Also, MCDL is 1450.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
« Reply #107 on: 17 Apr 2016, 18:41 »

The L is for lettuce.

(click to show/hide)
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
« Reply #108 on: 18 Apr 2016, 09:14 »

Thoom?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
« Reply #109 on: 18 Apr 2016, 09:49 »

That was almost certainly a beacon of some sort. Possibly summoning the Invasion Fleet.

"What's that?" I hear you cry, "What invasion fleet?" The robot invasion fleet that's been sitting on the Moon waiting for a summons from the Synth-Tech faction for about 5,000 years after being built by nanotech Von Neumann machines. Of course, after 5,000 years, they may not be functional anymore but the Night Walker doesn't know or care about that. It's just been waiting for the right set of circumstances to order the invasion, specifically the Praeses violating the Agreement.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
« Reply #110 on: 18 Apr 2016, 10:10 »

Maybe the nightwalker has merely returned Gavia (whose nanotech is proscribed on the surface) back to orbit whence she came, and so is fulfilling a duty of defence which Alice appears not to be.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
« Reply #111 on: 18 Apr 2016, 11:43 »

That was almost certainly a beacon of some sort. Possibly summoning the Invasion Fleet.

Why? did the population go over one million?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
« Reply #112 on: 18 Apr 2016, 12:01 »

That was almost certainly a beacon of some sort. Possibly summoning the Invasion Fleet.

Why? did the population go over one million?

No, the Praeses infected the planet with their technology, violating the agreement between the various factions' AIs that Earth will remain uncontested between them.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
« Reply #114 on: 18 Apr 2016, 18:48 »

A beacon doesn't need to be that bright and showy to do its job. A few watts of RF in a tight beam can cover astronomical distances.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
« Reply #115 on: 18 Apr 2016, 20:38 »

We don't know on what kind of perception the recipient is operating. What if it's visual?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
« Reply #116 on: 19 Apr 2016, 05:24 »

Alternatively Gavia - presumably the white spot in the Loon's chest- now has a communication capability the Praeses can't ignore... A few watts of RF in  tight beam may cover astronomical distances, but is easy to miss - or ignore. A huge laser blasting a hole through the atmosphere is certainly an attention getting way to say "talk to me you b******d..."
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
« Reply #117 on: 19 Apr 2016, 05:26 »

I'm with Kugai. The caption of the 4/18/16 strip should be: "The avalanche has begun; it is too late for the pebbles to vote."
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
« Reply #118 on: 19 Apr 2016, 08:55 »

...Or as Sedna puts it:  "Ohhhh, that can't be good."

I think it makes sense that the Nightwalker is an agent (perhaps the only agent) for whatever "weakly godlike intelligence" caused The Blink. And it has found something worthy of notifying said WGI of.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
« Reply #119 on: 19 Apr 2016, 09:13 »

Being next to an energy release that large might have crisped Gavia.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
« Reply #120 on: 19 Apr 2016, 10:48 »

Unless the mechanism understands that crisping her would ve bad in the long run and protects her.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
« Reply #121 on: 20 Apr 2016, 05:27 »

I don't why but after reading today's strip all I could think of was Yelling Bird.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
« Reply #122 on: 20 Apr 2016, 05:55 »

I don't why but after reading today's strip all I could think of was Yelling Bird.
In NanotechBirdEse, "Thoom" means "Cockgobbler."
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
« Reply #123 on: 22 Apr 2016, 14:34 »

Alice Grove chapter 4 ends!

Okay, as I'm the first to comment, I'm going to put my thoughts in spoilers:

(click to show/hide)

So, where from here? Back to spoilers:

(click to show/hide)

A great chapter ending, Jeph! We'll be on tenterhooks waiting for the next instalment!

A lovely final picture of the chapter too!
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
« Reply #124 on: 22 Apr 2016, 14:44 »

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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
« Reply #125 on: 22 Apr 2016, 15:37 »

You know what this means, don't you?

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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
« Reply #126 on: 22 Apr 2016, 16:25 »

Why couldn't the week break happen when I was away for a week? :P
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
« Reply #127 on: 22 Apr 2016, 17:08 »

It definitely looks like Gavia has been stripped of her Nanotech.  That's gonna change things for her if that's the case and life is gonna get a wee bit harder for her now.

That hit on the Moon was specifically targeted.  It's gonna be interesting to see what TNW hit before it dissapated and what effect that is going ot have on our heroes (and heroines) lives from this moment on

And it begs the question, was this the exact reason the Preaeses dumped both Ardent and Gavia on Earth?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
« Reply #128 on: 22 Apr 2016, 17:45 »

We're guessing Gavia's nanotech is gone, but what about Ardent's? Supposedly it's a payload of nanmachines that upgrade appropriate tech on contact, right? Why didn't the Walker go for Ardent too?

For the hit zone on the Moon to be visible to the naked eye, it must be quite large. Tens, if not hundreds of miles across. Even assuming total conversion of mass to energy, Gavia's nanotech wouldn't create enough energy to hit that hard. So where did all the energy come from?

Did the Walker dissipate permanently, or did its constituents just de-combine till needed again? If the Walker's purpose is a one-time use against invading nantech, how did its makers know the Vicissitudes woould be visiting thousands of years later? Why convert to a bird before doing its thing?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
« Reply #129 on: 22 Apr 2016, 17:47 »

As I said, my guess is that the Praeses intended for the Night Walker to eat Gavia's nanos and start a war. And I'm betting that Ardent's nanos are designed to help the other side.

Why help both sides? So that the Praeses can sit back and keep their hands (limbs? leaves? twigs?) clean while others do the dirty work. "Oh look! Our two worst enemies are destroying each other! How terrible!"
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
« Reply #130 on: 22 Apr 2016, 18:32 »

Ardent doesn't seem to have any active nanos, does he? Their eyes go red when they are relying upon nanos - i.e. Alice's did when she fought the nanobird, and Sedna's were when she fought Alice - and I expect Gavia's will no longer be red now that she has been stripped.

Ardent used technology to adjust his phenotype but as he said early on he prefers to otherwise rely upon his own biology form, his body, for daily living rather than upon nanotech as Gavia did. We have never seen Ardent use nanos nor have red eyes..
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
« Reply #131 on: 23 Apr 2016, 01:15 »

Ardent definitely has nanomachines, not that he knew that until they started upgrading things. But no nanos he uses for his own purposes, à la Gavia.

As for the red eyes, I'm not convinced it has anything to do with technology. So far there's little evidence for it being more than an artistic depiction of anger. It may yet prove more significant.

And that red light from the moon; is it an impact event, or a beacon in response to a signal? My first impression was actually it was simply the fading light of the "thooom" as the Night Walker still travelled.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
« Reply #132 on: 23 Apr 2016, 02:10 »

Ardent definitely has nanomachines, not that he knew that until they started upgrading things. But no nanos he uses for his own purposes, à la Gavia.

As for the red eyes, I'm not convinced it has anything to do with technology. So far there's little evidence for it being more than an artistic depiction of anger. It may yet prove more significant.

And that red light from the moon; is it an impact event, or a beacon in response to a signal? My first impression was actually it was simply the fading light of the "thooom" as the Night Walker still travelled.

Good point about Ardent's upgrade skills, I'd forgotten about that; I guess then in him they are entirely latent and seemingly co-opted by The Baddies. Or else he had no latent nanos and the Praeses / Baddies loaded him up like a pack mule pre-departure.

With the eyes, I had considered whether it were an anger thing except the shade was exactly the same as Gavia's all-the-time colour, and seemed too neat and tidy in how it suddenly turned on and off..

Moon thing is hella interesting - either something from NanoBird hit there, or just launched from there in response!
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
« Reply #133 on: 23 Apr 2016, 03:38 »

I make the 'impact' point on the moon about W 2, S20.  In the highlands a bit south and east of Arzachel. The red corona, or whatever it is, is about 20 degrees across, getting on 400 miles I reckon. Vaporised surface, ejecta, heated surface, who knows, but if the latter that's a mindblowingly huge energy release. The actual impact phenomenum, crater or whatever, well hard to be accurate about 3 pixels, but certainly not as big as Tycho. Could be 20 miles across?  That has, as they say, left a mark.

As for what it signifies, who knows, we shall just have to wait and see. I don't think I see an interplanetary/orbital war scenario though, it doesn't feel like the writer's style to me.
« Last Edit: 24 Apr 2016, 10:20 by JimC »
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
« Reply #134 on: 23 Apr 2016, 04:26 »

Ardent knew about some of his nano. Isn't that what fixed his delightful tail?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
« Reply #135 on: 23 Apr 2016, 06:19 »

Are we looking at a lunar impact, though, or an event in cislunar space? Say, something involving an orbital platform that just happens to be transiting the moon (Or perhaps at the Lagrange-1 point)? Guess we'll find out in a couple weeks.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
« Reply #136 on: 23 Apr 2016, 07:42 »

Jeph had the impact appear to be on the Moon when something confusing like the Moon being a background object was not strictly necessary. Also, he had Alice mention earlier that the Night Walker would stare at the moon all night and every night. It seems most likely that it was on the Moon.
« Last Edit: 23 Apr 2016, 13:17 by BenRG »
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
« Reply #137 on: 23 Apr 2016, 11:54 »

Are we looking at a lunar impact, though, or an event in cislunar space? Say, something involving an orbital platform that just happens to be transiting the moon (Or perhaps at the Lagrange-1 point)?
Unless I am much mistaken the L1 point wouldn't be stable in the long term? ( http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/mechanics/lagpt.html ). Unless a spacecraft were actively managed I think it would be unlikely to stay there.  Also I'm not convinced (although I haven't done the numbers or made a scale drawing)  that the drawn image is consistent with the L1 point.

But failing that, consider, assuming we have an actual event targeted on the moon, was it targeted at the moon in general, or at a specific point on the moon? And if at a specific point, because there's a desired target, or perhaps because there is or was nothing to hit at that point? We don't know much about the orbital civilisation do we. I wonder if they exploit the moon, mining maybe, and if so what the implications are...
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
« Reply #138 on: 23 Apr 2016, 13:04 »

Yeah, only L4 and L5 are long-term stable without active station-keeping.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
« Reply #139 on: 23 Apr 2016, 17:57 »

It's also possible that the NW's beam wasn't strong enough to directly inflict that much damage, but that whatever it hit on the lunar surface reacted by exploding violently.

I wonder if Gavia's nanotech can regenerate itself? Unless every single one of them was destroyed, they should be able to reproduce exponentially (assuming adequate source materials) and be back in full force relatively quickly. Hopefully a few survived or she's going to have a rough time of it. As reliant as she is on them she literally might not even know how to feed or clean herself...
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
« Reply #140 on: 23 Apr 2016, 19:21 »

Hell, she might not even be able to stand on her own without them.  Alice and co. might have to construct some crude leg/body braces until she builds strength.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
« Reply #141 on: 23 Apr 2016, 23:08 »

Gotta love the artwork (yet again). Alice's face is telling. It immediately reminded me of this painting. My cultural conditioning shows, apologies. Obviously there is no shortage of examples of the Pietà theme in the history of art.

Ardent does care about his sister. Sedna and Alice are worried about larger scale things.

But I really don't see Jeph bringing us another war? Not impossible plotwise, but IMHO not his style. May be we get to see a team of extraterrestrials coming to investigate what the hell that THOOM was all about, and Alice+Sedna's account of the event will be enough to defuse the situation? It's high time we get a scene of either the Praesides or the Blinkers convening.

Or may be the Thoom was much ado about nothing? Just NW following ancient code, and whoever was supposed to get the message long gone.

Or, may be NW just really hates the Moon :-)
« Last Edit: 24 Apr 2016, 11:39 by Skewbrow »
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
« Reply #142 on: 23 Apr 2016, 23:28 »

I wonder if Gavia's nanotech can regenerate itself? Unless every single one of them was destroyed,

Were they destroyed or reappropriated?  Gavia may have supplied the materials, either in quantity of nanobots, or perhaps in a different type, which has simply enabled the NW to complete a mission after all these years.  It could even be that the completion of its mission so long after the war is over (and the NW was perhaps assumed lost) will be an embarrassment which retriggers things.

As for Gavia, I'm sure she'll manage; I don't think Jeph would dump on a character like her by leaving her useless.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
« Reply #143 on: 24 Apr 2016, 02:27 »

But I really don't see Jeph bringing us another war? Not impossible plotwise, but IMHO not his style.

I don't see another war, but I can certainly see someone trying to start one. Someone trying to reset the playing field to just before the Blink.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
« Reply #144 on: 24 Apr 2016, 07:22 »

Is anyone else surprised by how quickly whatever-it-was got to the Moon? The Moon is over a light-second away, and very little time seems to have elapsed between launch and impact. (By way of comparison, the New Horizons launch in 2006 left Earth at about 10 miles/second (relative to Earth), fast enough to pass the Moon's orbit in about 6.4 hours.)

I'm inclined to think it had to have been a radiation pulse, not a missile of any kind.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
« Reply #145 on: 24 Apr 2016, 10:08 »

I'm inclined to think it had to have been a radiation pulse, not a missile of any kind.
Completely agree, I originally thought it was coherent light, but now I think of it isn't the central blue colour a reasonable facsimile of air ionisation blue?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
« Reply #146 on: 24 Apr 2016, 10:56 »

A sufficiently intense laser beam can ionize air, so I'd still guess it's supposed to be a laser.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
« Reply #147 on: 24 Apr 2016, 11:11 »

Is anyone else surprised by how quickly whatever-it-was got to the Moon? The Moon is over a light-second away, and very little time seems to have elapsed between launch and impact. (By way of comparison, the New Horizons launch in 2006 left Earth at about 10 miles/second (relative to Earth), fast enough to pass the Moon's orbit in about 6.4 hours.)
That's not much faster than the Apollos. You need about 11km/s to escape Earth gravity. And New Horizon was climbing out of the Sun's gravitational well to boot. I would have thought that starting from 1AU you would need something like 40 km/s (or 25 miles per second) to escape the solar system. Compare: to stay in a low orbit around the Earth you only need 8 km/s. The Earth is orbiting at 30 km/s, so a bit over 40 to get to Pluto is needed.

Edit: Hmm. I'm ignoring the fact that the New Horizon was piggybagging the Earth when launched. So that gave it an extra 30 klicks relative to the Sun. Nevermind.

Quote from: Stoutfellow
I'm inclined to think it had to have been a radiation pulse, not a missile of any kind.

Agreed. We were not given a real time video, but radiation pulse feels more logical. No projectile of any kind was launched. I'm not at all conversant with all the physics and material science involved, but my guess would be that NW doesn't have the means to launch anything that hit the Moon in a  matter of a minute or two at most. Also, whatever thoomed away had no rocket engine, so it would have needed huge acceleration. Speed of light, 1.3 seconds, and electromagnetic radiation is more like it.

May be the red speck is the point of impact cooling down and glowing as it gets rid of the excess heat?
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cesium133

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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
« Reply #148 on: 24 Apr 2016, 11:17 »

Is anyone else surprised by how quickly whatever-it-was got to the Moon? The Moon is over a light-second away, and very little time seems to have elapsed between launch and impact. (By way of comparison, the New Horizons launch in 2006 left Earth at about 10 miles/second (relative to Earth), fast enough to pass the Moon's orbit in about 6.4 hours.)
That's not much faster than the Apollos. You need about 11km/s to escape Earth gravity. And New Horizon was climbing out of the Sun's gravitational well to boot. I would have thought that starting from 1AU you would need something like 40 km/s (or 25 miles per second) to escape the solar system. Compare: to stay in a low orbit around the Earth you only need 8 km/s. The Earth is orbiting at 30 km/s, so a bit over 40 to get to Pluto is needed.


New Horizons also got a gravitational assist from Jupiter, which lowered the required velocity quite a bit.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2016
« Reply #149 on: 25 Apr 2016, 03:44 »

Looking at the angle of the walker's beam shot and Sedna and Ardent's line of sight while watching it in previous comics, and the Moon's position in the last panel of the current comic, I'm not sure the beam was aimed at it.  If anything, I think it was a signal, and now something on the Moon is activating in response.
« Last Edit: 25 Apr 2016, 03:50 by Sorflakne »
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