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How Will the Fight with Mr. Bad News End?

Alice just barely prevails, but she and Sedna will be temporarily incapacitated.
Alice is defeated, but she told Gavia to drive off with Ardent so at least they escape.
Gavia finds out that in situations of extreme danger she can still control her nanotechnology and uses the Night Walker to send Mr. Bad News to the moon.
Ardent recovers from his alcohol induced stupor and uses his ability to upgrade a weapon powerful enough to stop Mr. Bad News
Ardent surrenders rather than see anyone die.

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Author Topic: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016  (Read 15513 times)

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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
« Reply #50 on: 19 Nov 2016, 13:49 »

If he's not more powerful Church takes orders from Pate because of some hold over him that we have yet to see.

Maybe Pate has access to the command codes - a hypnotically or cybernetically-implanted trigger that forces super-soldiers of Church's type to obey him without question (originally intended as a safety override but later abused when the various factions realised that, given time, their perfect killing machines sometimes developed consciences).
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
« Reply #51 on: 19 Nov 2016, 14:04 »

Good theory and while I'm not sure how intelligent Alice and Sedna are it's possible that Ardent or Gavia might be able to crack the code and turn Church against Pate.  It would be fitting it Ardent was the one since he killed Ellie, but I have a feeling it could be Gavia.  Pate may not feel it's necessary to keep a close eye on her if he thinks she's been rendered a completely baseline human incapable of the mental faculties to crack codes. 
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
« Reply #52 on: 19 Nov 2016, 19:58 »

A more general comment, regarding the way Jeph uses names in this comic. He's not afraid to be pretty on-the-nose with them (the space kids are the "Vissicitudes;" the horny blue boy is "Ardent;"). Pate is a town administrator, i.e. the local government. His henchman is "Church." Church and State, geddit?

Also, if I may note, about two weeks ago I said this: 
If Alice went after Bad News, she'd end up like Sedna, or worse. For now though, we're into "villain monologues" mode, probably to be followed by "heroes imprisoned by villain" mode.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
« Reply #53 on: 19 Nov 2016, 20:34 »

It's likely that Pate knows about Ardent's upgrade ability since he likely has an informant in Alice's village so it wouldn't be wise to deceive him by omission, but what he cannot know unless he actually has her cottage bugged is that the upgrades are affected by Ardent's mood.

I did not realize this.  Where is the "mood" effect on his upgrade power discussed?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
« Reply #54 on: 19 Nov 2016, 22:21 »

It's likely that Pate knows about Ardent's upgrade ability since he likely has an informant in Alice's village so it wouldn't be wise to deceive him by omission, but what he cannot know unless he actually has her cottage bugged is that the upgrades are affected by Ardent's mood.

I did not realize this.  Where is the "mood" effect on his upgrade power discussed?

When he upgraded the wind up bird and it flew away Alice theorized that Ardent might influence the upgrade based on some subconscious desire.  This might not be proof that he can will something to upgrade based on what he wants, but it's not like he's been allowed to practice.
« Last Edit: 19 Nov 2016, 22:30 by brasca »
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
« Reply #55 on: 20 Nov 2016, 03:49 »


If he's not more powerful Church takes orders from Pate because of some hold over him that we have yet to see.

Or maybe Church just likes hurting people so why not get paid for it?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
« Reply #56 on: 20 Nov 2016, 04:22 »

If he's that powerful then he could simply take the money and still hurt people. 

The only explanation I have for him following Pate if he doesn't have any means of controlling him is Church is interested in hunting down other immortals and Pate provides the means to do so that he lacks. 
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
« Reply #57 on: 20 Nov 2016, 06:24 »

Might just be that Mr Church has continued to work for the established Government where he is.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
« Reply #58 on: 20 Nov 2016, 06:25 »

That's a good point, Jim. He may have a core directive along the lines of: "Obey the duly-constituted authorities". If Pate is legal leader of his settlement, no matter how weird (or even self-declared) the manner of that legality, Church might obey without question.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
« Reply #59 on: 20 Nov 2016, 12:28 »

Might just be that Mr Church has continued to work for the established Government where he is.

As I said, Church and State.

Having an extremely powerful henchman work for a seemingly less-powerful overlord is hardly unprecedented, either in fiction or reality. The Mountain works for the Lannisters, any of whom he could overpower easily. The U.S. military answers to a civilian commander-in-chief, whose authority is backed by tradition and custom, not by force. Of course Pate may have some other hold over Mr. Church as well.

BTW, what was Pate saying about Ellie "wouldn't have suffered for long"? Was Church going to murder her anyway?
« Last Edit: 20 Nov 2016, 18:11 by jheartney »
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
« Reply #60 on: 20 Nov 2016, 22:40 »

That line seemed a little odd to me, too, but I think Pate put it that way because he's piecing events together based on what's currently in front of him. He knows how Church operates and believes Ellie died relatively quickly. He's guessed that Alice wasn't present for this and is "comfortingly" offering this information.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
« Reply #61 on: 21 Nov 2016, 04:15 »

There was a pipe and a bone sticking out of her arm. She did not die quick.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
« Reply #62 on: 21 Nov 2016, 04:35 »

Pate's words were only a sociopath saying things that he knows he is expected to say, even if he doesn't understand or mean them. Even though he knew Ellie personally, I doubt that he cares very much about her death; I don't think he does 'care' about anything other than his own objectives at all.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
« Reply #63 on: 21 Nov 2016, 05:40 »

Considering the amount of damage Church can do, and how fast Alice can move Ellie probably did die quickly. That doesn't mean she didn't suffer during the process though.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
« Reply #64 on: 21 Nov 2016, 07:35 »

I think the meaning behind "won't suffer for long" is much more violent: Pate's planning to kill everybody that knows about this dig. Why? A. so that there won't be witnesses, and B. so whenever he extracts whatever he's looking for, no one will know where it came from. Twins remain alive because Pate's interested in the orbitals, and Alice and Sedna will stay alive as having more immortals at his command is helpful to Pate, so long as they cooperate.

As much Bad News as Church is, Pate is worse.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
« Reply #65 on: 21 Nov 2016, 08:44 »

Someone hit by a freight train won't "suffer for long". There's still going to be a lot of pain for that instant.

Same thing happened to Ellie.

She suffered, even if her death was near instantaneous. Pate probably thinks that Mr Church didn't get to have much "fun".
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
« Reply #66 on: 21 Nov 2016, 11:56 »


If he's not more powerful Church takes orders from Pate because of some hold over him that we have yet to see.

Pate definitely has some kind of hold over Church that we have yet to see. Note how he says "I will allow Mr. Church to indulge himself further"
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
« Reply #67 on: 21 Nov 2016, 12:43 »

Considering the amount of damage Church can do, and how fast Alice can move Ellie probably did die quickly. That doesn't mean she didn't suffer during the process though.

Someone hit by a freight train won't "suffer for long". There's still going to be a lot of pain for that instant.

Same thing happened to Ellie.

She suffered, even if her death was near instantaneous. Pate probably thinks that Mr Church didn't get to have much "fun".

Yep  :-(
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
« Reply #68 on: 21 Nov 2016, 19:01 »

What a dickweed.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
« Reply #69 on: 21 Nov 2016, 22:33 »

I think the meaning behind "won't suffer for long" is much more violent: Pate's planning to kill everybody that knows about this dig. Why? A. so that there won't be witnesses, and B. so whenever he extracts whatever he's looking for, no one will know where it came from. Twins remain alive because Pate's interested in the orbitals, and Alice and Sedna will stay alive as having more immortals at his command is helpful to Pate, so long as they cooperate.

As much Bad News as Church is, Pate is worse.

I doubt he'll kill the archaeophiles.  They may expendable in his overall scheming, but what reason would he have for covering his tracks?  He has Mr. Church.  Who could threaten his interests?  I believe Mr. Pate is making a thinly veiled threat about Alice's village.  Even though he couldn't sic Church on the people without being defenseless I'm sure he has a gang of baseline thugs who could ride in and burn it down if ordered.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
« Reply #70 on: 23 Nov 2016, 14:23 »

As has already been pointed out, the point we've just reached was inevitable from the moment Alice figured out what Church was. She underestimated Church, which Pate has also taken note of and therefore downgraded his estimation of Alice and Sedna accordingly.

Just a few notes on the visuals that have been striking me, especially given Jeph's now high-level skill at representing body language and subtle facial cues:
* Church (still "Loomis" to me) always appears totally bored, except when he's indulging in violence. This may be indicative of his relationship with Pate and may even be a wedge Alice can later use. Remember, he's a person, not an AI, certainly not a robot. He might be big and strong and fast and sleepless, but he still has motivations.
* Pate looks...cute. Even more so without his glasses. Young, innocent, boyish. Hardly like the pseudo-civilized psychopathic megalomaniac his words indicate. At one point he even sounds middle-aged, complaining he's not as spry as he once was. He should be greying, hardened, with a balding, er, pate, and perhaps stroking a Persian cat. Jeph doesn't draw looks by accident. The deliberate contrast must mean something, and I declare it a clue. (Even if he's really supposed to look like David Willis, he's younger than Willis too.)
* Pate appears totally at ease with the violence Church inflicts. Another clue.
* Pate's intelligence (or his reading of social cues) is scary good. He's figured out what Alice and Sedna are, but also which one is in charge, and their plan, all from pretty scanty evidence.
* Alice as prisoner and nursemaid to injured Sedna, being told she'll have to obey arbitrary commands, doesn't look scared or horrified. She just looks pissed off.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
« Reply #71 on: 23 Nov 2016, 17:04 »

Remember, he's a person, not an AI, certainly not a robot.

And now for my dumb question of the day. Do we know this for sure?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
« Reply #72 on: 23 Nov 2016, 17:53 »

Remember, he's a person, not an AI, certainly not a robot.

And now for my dumb question of the day. Do we know this for sure?

Pretty much. If Alice's exposition was right, then we know it for sure.

http://www.comic-rocket.com/read/alice-grove/73

If Alice was lying or deluded then all bets are off. Otherwise:
* Alice was there at The Blink
* All AIs vanished at that time but Alice didn't.
* So Alice isn't an AI.
* Alice recognizes Church as the same kind of thing as her and Sedna.
* Pate confirms that he knows this too.
* So Church is also not an AI.

Fer sure.

P.S. Reading through the comic linked above again, the Occam's Razor interpretation is that Alice, Sedna and Church are biologically enhanced humans. AIs were eliminated at the Blink. The other possibilities require a third type of entity not mentioned.

« Last Edit: 23 Nov 2016, 18:01 by retrosteve »
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
« Reply #73 on: 23 Nov 2016, 20:43 »

An enhancement that leaves someone uninjured after having a pipe bent around his head is Clarkean technology.

Mr. Church must be made of something other than protein.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
« Reply #74 on: 23 Nov 2016, 22:57 »

Remember, he's a person, not an AI, certainly not a robot.

And now for my dumb question of the day. Do we know this for sure?

If Alice was lying or deluded then all bets are off.

So.

Do androids dream of electric sheep?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
« Reply #75 on: 24 Nov 2016, 00:01 »

Remember, he's a person, not an AI, certainly not a robot.

And now for my dumb question of the day. Do we know this for sure?

Pretty much. If Alice's exposition was right, then we know it for sure.

http://www.comic-rocket.com/read/alice-grove/73

If Alice was lying or deluded then all bets are off. Otherwise:
* Alice was there at The Blink
* All AIs vanished at that time but Alice didn't.
* So Alice isn't an AI.
* Alice recognizes Church as the same kind of thing as her and Sedna.
* Pate confirms that he knows this too.
* So Church is also not an AI.

Fer sure.

P.S. Reading through the comic linked above again, the Occam's Razor interpretation is that Alice, Sedna and Church are biologically enhanced humans. AIs were eliminated at the Blink. The other possibilities require a third type of entity not mentioned.

Sedna said Alice doesn't lie so unless proven otherwise she's telling the truth, but there is the possibility that their memories may be falsely implanted or that they were in fact AIs who mysteriously gained super advanced organic bodies after the blink and just don't know it because of some programmed amnesia.  I'm sure the AI faction will emerge at some point in this story and it will probably be quite the plot twist.  Perhaps Mr. Pate will be revealed as one.  He certainly knows a lot about Alice and her kind.  Maybe he found a damaged Mr. Church and repaired and reprogrammed him to do his bidding.  As such he may be physically weaker than the other immortals, but if he can download his consciousness into a spare body he may be more difficult to kill than he appears. 
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
« Reply #76 on: 24 Nov 2016, 05:34 »

Pate is reminding me a lot of Hux from the new Star Wars movies. My suspicion, given how young he appears to be, his employment of Lurch, and the deference/fear we saw in the woman doing the briefing when Pate was first introduced, is that Pate is the latest in a line of dictators, possibly inheriting his "kingdom" from his forebears. Possibly, pre-Blink, the Pates saw the coming apocalypse and built themselves a bomb shelter to ride it out, emerged victorious and managed to carve themselves out a bit of power in the fallout. As we see him now, Pate is not the sort that anyone would just choose as their leader. It is possible that Lurch is an AI that doesn't know he is an AI but has been in service to Pate's family and now serves him. I'm not sure. I do think Pate is baseline.

The murder of Ellie puzzles me from a storytelling standpoint, but beyond that, I wonder what will happen next with her group. She was their leader. I feel like if Alice's little fiefdom is equivalent to, say, 17th Century Salem, then Ellie's was more mid-19th Century Wild West, as far as technological advances and Ellie's understanding that Sedna and Alice are powerful, but they are not "witches." That would indicate to me that her group has a similar knowledge base. It is very possible that the archeophiles, seeing that the strangers have brought bad trouble to their heretofore peaceful group, will raise a fuss. Obviously they can't go up against Lurch, but if Lurch truly is counterpuncher and cannot go on offense, Pate could very well whip the townspeople into a frenzy over Ellie's death and that would be big trouble for Alice.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
« Reply #77 on: 24 Nov 2016, 06:08 »

The murder of Ellie puzzles me from a storytelling standpoint

It shouldn't - It was admittedly heavy-handed but an effective narrative device that establishes the scale of the threat very clearly and concisely. He went to all this trouble to introduce and establish Ellie and then make us like her (and establish that she is someone Pate knows and does business with personally). Then he had her brutally and savagely beaten to death; then he had Pate stand in a pool of her blood and wave this off as 'shit that happens'.

Jeph has just told us just how dangerous Church is and just how amoral Pate is. He's also told us that no-one is automatically safe, no matter how well established the character.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
« Reply #78 on: 24 Nov 2016, 06:48 »

The murder of Ellie puzzles me from a storytelling standpoint

It shouldn't - It was admittedly heavy-handed but an effective narrative device that establishes the scale of the threat very clearly and concisely. He went to all this trouble to introduce and establish Ellie and then make us like her (and establish that she is someone Pate knows and does business with personally). Then he had her brutally and savagely beaten to death; then he had Pate stand in a pool of her blood and wave this off as 'shit that happens'.

Jeph has just told us just how dangerous Church is and just how amoral Pate is. He's also told us that no-one is automatically safe, no matter how well established the character.

I probably should have gone into more detail, but I'm rushing today. What you say is true, and that's understandable. What I meant is that Ellie herself was not neccessary to be used as the blunt instrument. She is the leader of this group. We have seen others - the gent who told her Pate was there, and the background peeps in the bar. It would have been an interesting tableau if, instead of Ellie, one of those other people had come to Sedna's aid. They still would have been just as mangled as Ellie became, and everything you mentioned in your post - Lurch's deadliness, Pate's sociopathology, the real danger that Alice feared - would have been established. The additional deal, though, would be Ellie's survival. To this point, she has seen Pate as a benefactor. He seems to travel with Lurch exclusively. Pate has come and gone from the community without any issue. Sedna is a friend/acquaintance who, we are told at the start of this arc, had not been seen at the community since they seemed to stop running into the guns she collects. Ellie likes her, but it is Pate who helps keep the community running by providing it with the goods and services it needs to carry on its work. So it's Pate that is the important one, in Ellie's view. And Pate - up to now - has show no signs of being a bloodthirsty maniac.

Had one of Ellie's people been killed, then Ellie herself would have been in a quandary. To my knowledge, she is never told by Alice or Sedna about their fears of Pate, so if one of Ellie's people had been killed by Lurch, then to save the rest of them, it's possible Ellie would have felt compelled to sell them out to Pate and offer up what information she gleaned from Ardent, Sedna, Alice, or all of the above.

But killing Ellie herself likely means that this community won't play a very large part in the narrative going forward. Save for Jim (?), the young boy we meet at the very start of the comic, Jeph had not introduced a person who had a substantial speaking role beyond serving as a punchline who did not end up playing a large part in the narrative. We had Ardent, then Gavia, then Sedna, then Ellie. Ellie is now dead when I assumed that whatever else happened, she would be a large part of the story going forward. So it just puzzles me, but not in a bad way, just in a "Huh, that's not what I expected" way.

I wasn't knocking on Jeph or the way he is choosing to tell the story, if that's what you inferred. It's just that I foresaw Ellie playing a big role, particularly when it became clear that she knew and liked Pate. With her death, those avenues are closed. Interesting choice.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
« Reply #79 on: 24 Nov 2016, 08:00 »

Just a quick point but everyone seems to think Mr Pate is baseline and goes off from there. Why?

Near immortal living weapons walk about from before the blink.

What makes anyone think that those with the money and power at that time before would not want to have that immortality for themselves but without the military baggage or responsibility?
For all we know he could have been one of those behind the wholesale death and mayhem that lead to the blink in the first place.

Think about it - Immortal Sociopath.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
« Reply #80 on: 24 Nov 2016, 13:43 »

Clever enough to lie about not being as spry as he used to be.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
« Reply #81 on: 24 Nov 2016, 14:00 »

I could easily be wrong about it, but I don't think Mr. Church is a robot/AI. A few clues:

Neither of the clues is conclusive, but I think that Church is another enhanced homo sapiens.

But how will our friends deal with him? Narrative imperative means that, after killing Ellie, there is no way for him to fully redeem himself and/or peacefully retire. He may see the error of his ways near the end, and turn against Pate. Possibly in a way that will lead to his own destruction (and regain his soldier's honor), but he has to perish. How to bring that about?

  • The idea that the Vicissitudes crack the code of his implant has a lot of appeal. It gives the space kids a nice role, and makes use of the tools available to them.
  • Another possibility would be that, as the enhanced ones are apparently sparsely scattered all over the place, they may manage to locate Church's former commanding officer. They would know how to trump orders from Pate.
  • As a last resort thet have their feminine wiles. Modesty Blaise used the tactic, when needing to beat a gang of thugs by herself, of coming to the fight topless. During the second or two that the dudes were ogling her she had the time to land three flying kicks. Not sure that would work on Mr. Church, nor does it sound likely that Jeph would go there as he's not into that kind of pandering.
  • There is still also the possibility that Alice and Sedna jointly would be able outmuscle Church. At this time it does look like Church cannot be beaten by direct force.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
« Reply #82 on: 24 Nov 2016, 15:09 »

We have no idea how quickly Sedna will heal to a level that will enable her to be an effective fighter again.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
« Reply #83 on: 25 Nov 2016, 16:09 »

An enhancement that leaves someone uninjured after having a pipe bent around his head is Clarkean technology.

Mr. Church must be made of something other than protein.

Human brain in an entirely synthetic body?

They could also be a human intelligence transferred or uploaded to a synthetic brain/body. Either could be considered entirely distinct from AI.

Alice also says that there are no thinking machines in the orbiting colonies, and no signs of the controlling AIs on the ground. Even if we assume Alice doesn't lie, neither statement entirely rules out the possibility of Alice's "kin" being AIs.

I'm leaning toward human intelligences in artificial bodies, though.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
« Reply #84 on: 25 Nov 2016, 18:51 »

I could easily be wrong about it, but I don't think Mr. Church is a robot/AI. A few clues:

Those buildings we see in the background are partially submerged in the water so Pate's city may have electricity, but there was no need to wire something derelict. 
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
« Reply #85 on: 26 Nov 2016, 02:09 »

An enhancement that leaves someone uninjured after having a pipe bent around his head is Clarkean technology. Mr. Church must be made of something other than protein.
As is Alice' ability to survive what looks like a well over 100ft fall from the wind turbine right at the beginning. Seems to me that both are in a vaguely similar order.
Incidentally Alice' wind turbine doesn't seem to make any sense to me as anything other than an electrical power generator, and judging by its size its perhaps megawatt level output - an awful lot of power to run a small cottage.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
« Reply #86 on: 26 Nov 2016, 05:52 »

I suspect that the wind turbine was intended to supply the Town. The pump at the well suggests that she has slowly been reintroducing technology at a rate at which she is confident that won't 'unbalance' the local society.

Possibly the whole 'witch' and 'magic' thing was intended to keep the ordinary folk from wanting to learn about these vicious complexities for  themselves and thus maintain their socio-economic innocence.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
« Reply #87 on: 26 Nov 2016, 16:14 »

Strip is up.

I'm actually surprised Pate would reveal his plan this quickly.  Nice of him to cut to the chase.  What remains to be seen is if he is underestimating the Praeses.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
« Reply #88 on: 26 Nov 2016, 16:26 »

More to the point, he doesn't seem to know about Gavia's situation and doesn't seem to care. The fact that she can photosynthesize makes me wonder if they have a direct connection to her and, right this minute, are making counter plans.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
« Reply #89 on: 26 Nov 2016, 22:19 »

Unless Gavia has some organic means of communication like telepathy with the Praeses I doubt they know what's been going on ever since she lost her nano-tech.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
« Reply #90 on: 26 Nov 2016, 23:46 »

Yeah, I'm starting to get the feeling that some people know as much about the post-Blink state of affairs as Alice, maybe even more. Either Pate wants to reignite the war or he's tired of being big man in a little patch of the world and thinks that the Praeses can help him (willingly or otherwise) to ascend to the position of global or even system-wide power that he thinks he deserves

I'm actually surprised Pate would reveal his plan this quickly.  Nice of him to cut to the chase.  What remains to be seen is if he is underestimating the Praeses.

Why should he hesitate? He thinks he's winning and that he holds all of the cards. In his mind, it would be inefficient not to tell his new slave precisely what he needs of her. What reason does he have to prevaricate?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
« Reply #91 on: 27 Nov 2016, 00:55 »

I'm actually surprised Pate would reveal his plan this quickly.  Nice of him to cut to the chase.  What remains to be seen is if he is underestimating the Praeses.

It's only what they would have worked out for themselves. You don't think he's put all of his cards down on the table, yet, do you?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
« Reply #92 on: 27 Nov 2016, 04:40 »

Yeah, I'm starting to get the feeling that some people know as much about the post-Blink state of affairs as Alice, maybe even more. Either Pate wants to reignite the war or he's tired of being big man in a little patch of the world and thinks that the Praeses can help him (willingly or otherwise) to ascend to the position of global or even system-wide power that he thinks he deserves

I'm actually surprised Pate would reveal his plan this quickly.  Nice of him to cut to the chase.  What remains to be seen is if he is underestimating the Praeses.

Why should he hesitate? He thinks he's winning and that he holds all of the cards. In his mind, it would be inefficient not to tell his new slave precisely what he needs of her. What reason does he have to prevaricate?

Well for the sake of storytelling villains tend to drag these things out. 

And while I understand this is a tense situation Alice could be a little nicer to Gavia.  She's not doing anything bratty or annoying and considering that she's never seen a dead body to say the least one mangled so badly and the guardian she thought was invincible neutralized she is justifiably terrified by all this. 
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
« Reply #93 on: 27 Nov 2016, 04:52 »

And while I understand this is a tense situation Alice could be a little nicer to Gavia.

Maybe you need to rethink just how tense this situation is.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
« Reply #94 on: 27 Nov 2016, 05:34 »

If it were anyone else it would be hopeless, but this is Alice so there is a better than average chance.  I can understand keeping her wits as well as those around her, but Gavia is deeply shaken by all this and not hysterical.  Telling her to shut up seems needlessly mean.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
« Reply #95 on: 27 Nov 2016, 08:33 »

If it were anyone else it would be hopeless, but this is Alice so there is a better than average chance.  I can understand keeping her wits as well as those around her, but Gavia is deeply shaken by all this and not hysterical.  Telling her to shut up seems needlessly mean.

To me it seems absolutely necessary. Alice's one remaining advantage is that Pate doesn't know all of her plans. When Gavia begins "...we can't let him" that's likely to be the beginning of Gavia blurting out information on their plans, and Alice really doesn't want to lose another advantage just then.

The fact that Pate seems well aware of their plans doesn't emerge for another few moments.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
« Reply #96 on: 27 Nov 2016, 12:24 »

I think Pate is going to be in for a few surprises if and/or when he gets into Orbit
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
« Reply #97 on: 27 Nov 2016, 12:26 »

If it were anyone else it would be hopeless, but this is Alice so there is a better than average chance.  I can understand keeping her wits as well as those around her, but Gavia is deeply shaken by all this and not hysterical.  Telling her to shut up seems needlessly mean.

I can't comprehend why you're empathising with Gavia's trauma but not with Alice being a bit tense in this extraordinary situation. Yes, she is better than average, which is the only reason she hasn't completely lost it as well. Yet you want her to be perfect. Cut her a bit of slack.

This is still an unprecedented situation for all concerned. Alice may not be baseline, but she's still human. People have died, people are being threatened, and you're fussing over niceties.

Gavia will cope with being told to shut up, I am sure.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
« Reply #98 on: 27 Nov 2016, 12:45 »

I think Pate is going to be in for a few surprises if and/or when he gets into Orbit

I'm not sure that they'll get as far as orbit. I wonder if just what they find in the bunker may be a bit too much for Alice and Church to chew, even fighting together.

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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - November 2016
« Reply #99 on: 27 Nov 2016, 14:10 »

If it were anyone else it would be hopeless, but this is Alice so there is a better than average chance.  I can understand keeping her wits as well as those around her, but Gavia is deeply shaken by all this and not hysterical.  Telling her to shut up seems needlessly mean.

To me it seems absolutely necessary. Alice's one remaining advantage is that Pate doesn't know all of her plans. When Gavia begins "...we can't let him" that's likely to be the beginning of Gavia blurting out information on their plans, and Alice really doesn't want to lose another advantage just then.

The fact that Pate seems well aware of their plans doesn't emerge for another few moments.

Pate seems to know just about everything at this point including Ardent's abilities.  The only thing he doesn't (unless Alice's cottage was bugged) is that Ardent might subconsciously influence what he upgrades which might come as a rude awakening if the computer on their upgraded spaceship flushes him and Church out the airlock.  However, I doubt it would end so easily.  Where Pate is literally in the dark about is space.  He doesn't know what the habitats are like which is what he's likely to ask Ardent and/or Gavia next.  It's easy enough to tell her to be quiet, but keep in mind Pate is calling the shots now and if he thinks they are lying he could kill another innocent person to show his displeasure.  Who among us would want that on their conscience? 

That being said Gavia may prove crucial if Pate thinks she's on his side.  She wants to go home and may have similar philosophies regarding technology so he might consider her the least likely to resist.  Moreover, she likes to learn new things and Pate seems like the type of villain who loves to bend people to his way of thinking and would be pleased to have an apprentice.  As such she could lull him into a false sense of security and lead him into a trap once they arrive at the habitat or if Church is controlled by some code as some have theorized she might be able to get close enough to break Pate's control over him.   
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