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If Pate succeeds in getting into orbit what will happen next?

He'll have words with the Praeses and find that he sorely underestimated them.
The Praeses will find they sorely underestimated the Earth dwellers.
Pate and the Praeses will reach a mutually beneficial deal since they have the same interests in mind.
Pate and Church will get sucked out an airlock because Ardent subconsciously programmed the spaceship's computer.
They'll be intercepted by the Mooninites who will book Alice and Gavia for crimes against the moon.

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Author Topic: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016  (Read 18257 times)

brasca

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Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
« on: 01 Dec 2016, 03:54 »

I'm actually hoping for option 5 although it doesn't have to be the Moonities.  Quite possibly the AIs have been living there all along and will make an appearance. 
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Castlerook

Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
« Reply #1 on: 01 Dec 2016, 17:48 »

I'm still hoping Pate will be turned into Pâté, so we shall have to wait and see.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
« Reply #2 on: 01 Dec 2016, 20:28 »

Well the inertial dampening field collapsing or possibly the artificial gravity malfunctioning could do that, but that could kill everyone else so the airlock is probably the best option. 
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
« Reply #3 on: 02 Dec 2016, 18:11 »

I'm thinking along different lines.

I'd speculate that the Praeses aren't as evil as Alice thinks.
Here's why. Imagine Earth pre-Blink. AI faction and biotech faction about to go to war. No alien encounters mentioned at all. Then suddently, all the AIs vanish and the Earth is instantly edited. At the same time, a bunch of orbital habitats instantly appear. This is the action of a godlike intelligence with (at least weakly) godlike powers. Let's call it "Bob".  Bob is the Singularity, an AI that has figured out how to improve its own intelligence, then repeat the process, until it's smart and powerful enough to easily shape worlds.  Bob eliminated the other AIs before they figured out how to compete with him.

The Praesides, whether they appeared that day or sometime not long after, were not players before. And they've taken the name that historically means "governor of a province".  I'm guessing they were living out their own intelligent treelike lives elsewhere in the galaxy, and Bob, before Blinking everyone, found them and cut a deal with some of them. He offered each one a chance to govern a new colony (or part of a colony) of intelligent but naive colonists, to have free reign in their education and care, in return for something they wanted. Some of them agreed, and got Blinked into place on a colony asteroid.

They're governors, and whatever it is they want, they got it, 5000 years ago. Presumably as treelike things, they're pretty long-lived and patient. They don't move around on their own, so conquering another planet doesn't seem like a priority. They already share their colony with a few other Praesides, so they're not really aggressively power-hungry either, or there would be just one left on each world (and that's not what Gavia implies.) Also, the colonies are not overpopulated (or Ardent would come from a scarcity economy, which he evidently doesn't!)

So from the Praesides point of view, they're doing what they want to do, and educating their charges to their own tastes. Their world is pretty much utopic. I think if they sent Ardent to upgrade Earth's technologies, they did it from altruism, thinking the Earth people might want to have nice things too. (Alternative suggested by a friend: Or they just got bored! Also likely.) The Praesides are likely naive, well-intentioned, and therefore dangerous exactly the way Ardent is -- because they don't think about unintended consequences.

My guess is that Bob wouldn't approve of this move, but never actually told them not to. Instead, Bob moved to the Moon, and placed the Nightwalker on Earth to send him a signal if any really higher technology appeared there. Which just happened.
« Last Edit: 02 Dec 2016, 18:47 by retrosteve »
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
« Reply #4 on: 02 Dec 2016, 18:33 »

Gavia argued that her people had no reason to conquer Earth since they have everything they need, but I doubt it's a coincidence that Ardent should go to Earth which is forbidden with an ability to upgrade machines that was implanted without his knowledge.  And then his sister goes off pursuing him and gets stranded too.  The Praeses wanted these 2 on Earth.  With Ardent's ability it's somewhat obvious, but with Gavia it's unclear.  Was her nanotechnology carrying some important programming for the Night Walker to absorb and if so what purpose did it have for blasting the moon?  The Praeses are definitely up to something, but it remains to be seen if they are as sinister as Mr. Pate.  They might prefer to modernize Earth covertly to avoid detection by Alice instead of outright invading, but if that is the case then why send Ardent to her village?  It would make more sense to target a place where immortals are absent and then let him upgrade their society until it was too late for anyone else to react.  I still think this is a trap.  They knew about Pate and how he controls someone more powerful than Alice so they scheme to get him to leave Earth with his bodyguard and unwilling companions and once they've reached the habitat they'll do something to nullify their powers or quite possibly use a device that directs their vessel away from Earth.  As powerful as they are they don't seem to have the ability to fly through space so they could be banished to the vacuum of space and never be a problem again. 
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
« Reply #5 on: 02 Dec 2016, 18:54 »

I still think this is a trap.  They knew about Pate and how he controls someone more powerful than Alice so they scheme to get him to leave Earth with his bodyguard and unwilling companions and once they've reached the habitat they'll do something to nullify their powers or quite possibly use a device that directs their vessel away from Earth. 

I can't see the Praeses being able to know that much about Earth. If they were powerful enough to know all that, and sinister enough to make such bold and devious plans, they wouldn't have been content to hang around babysitting space humans for 5000 years.

The guy who did the Blink, now that thing is intelligent. But I think the Praeses are just babysitters.

They may well have been bored and curious, though. And then sent Ardent and Gavia along to find out more about Earth, which they otherwise can't observe in detail.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
« Reply #6 on: 02 Dec 2016, 21:10 »

I still think this is a trap.  They knew about Pate and how he controls someone more powerful than Alice so they scheme to get him to leave Earth with his bodyguard and unwilling companions and once they've reached the habitat they'll do something to nullify their powers or quite possibly use a device that directs their vessel away from Earth. 

I can't see the Praeses being able to know that much about Earth. If they were powerful enough to know all that, and sinister enough to make such bold and devious plans, they wouldn't have been content to hang around babysitting space humans for 5000 years.

The guy who did the Blink, now that thing is intelligent. But I think the Praeses are just babysitters.

They may well have been bored and curious, though. And then sent Ardent and Gavia along to find out more about Earth, which they otherwise can't observe in detail.

I should have prefaced that with "if." I can't be certain that they know anything about Pate, but if they do and it seems likely that they would because of his interest in restoring lost technology.  I imagine that the Praeses first noticed him after one of his scientists tried to get a radio to work.  Once they detected such anomalies they would probably investigate and determine that he could be an ally or an obstacle to their plans. 
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
« Reply #7 on: 02 Dec 2016, 23:46 »

My vote is complex because I expect that Pate and the Praeses will come to a mutually beneficial deal... in their own minds. Basically, they'll both go to the negotiating table with the intent of manipulating and betraying the other for their own ideological (Praeses) or selfish personal (Pate) benefit. They'll shake hands, go their separate ways and, the very moment they're out of sight of each other, immediately put their plan to destroy the other into motion.

Lex Luthor 'teaming up' with the Skrull Empire is as close a pop culture parallel that I can think of.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
« Reply #8 on: 03 Dec 2016, 01:31 »

Perhaps, but I still think Pate will get the same deal Bruno Manheim got from Darkseid. 

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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
« Reply #9 on: 03 Dec 2016, 08:59 »

Hmm. Alice got may be 6 ft head start on Church yet he caught her more or less immediately. We now have a better idea of their relative abilities. No need to add extra for reaction time, because obviously Church was monitoring Alice very carefully all the way through Pate's little speech.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
« Reply #10 on: 03 Dec 2016, 09:33 »

Whatever that 'Mr Church' thing is, it is clearly pure Clarke-tech. In essence, he blink-teleported over to Alice.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
« Reply #11 on: 03 Dec 2016, 09:51 »

^ Yup! Church didn't move. He just arrived.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
« Reply #12 on: 03 Dec 2016, 10:01 »

^ Yup! Church didn't move. He just arrived.

I called it last month. He's not just stealthy. He's super-fast.  That's what Alice noticed when she first saw him.  She's aware of her surroundings, as any super-soldier must be. She knows he wasn't there, then he suddenly was.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
« Reply #13 on: 03 Dec 2016, 10:08 »

Sounds like Alice's brilliant plan to run away wouldn't have worked very well; how do you run from something capable of near-infinite speed?

Alice, as powerful as she is, has never struck me as particularly smart. She's going to have to outthink Pate/Church if she wants to get out of this. The key would have to be understanding whatever hold Pate has over Church. Mere force won't get you anywhere in this situation, and that's not a place Alice is familiar with.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
« Reply #14 on: 03 Dec 2016, 10:08 »

One thing that was interesting was the threat that Pate chose to make. Did he suspect that Alice would rather die than help him, so a threat against one of her charges was the only way to intimidate her? Or is it possible that, unlike Sedna, Alice really is practically indestructible, even for a being of Mr Church's abilities?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
« Reply #15 on: 03 Dec 2016, 10:27 »

Pate implies that Alice and Mr Church aren't so greatly different in their capabilities, in that he suggests the two of them break open the bunker together.  If Mr Church was so much more capable than Alice it would be pointless for her to help him.  So it seems that although Mr Church may be in some ways superior to Alice, he is still the same class of being.
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Castlerook

Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
« Reply #16 on: 03 Dec 2016, 10:56 »

Pate implies that Alice and Mr Church aren't so greatly different in their capabilities, in that he suggests the two of them break open the bunker together.  If Mr Church was so much more capable than Alice it would be pointless for her to help him.  So it seems that although Mr Church may be in some ways superior to Alice, he is still the same class of being.

Though Pate could be referring to an unstoppable force meeting an immovable object scenario, Church's brutal strength meeting Alice's armour.

And thinking along those lines, I would be surprised if we find out that Alice, Sedna and Church were weaponised aspects for some program during the conflict before the Blink, embodying one specific trait to be used as a weapon. Think the Ultimate Shield, the Ultimate Spear, the Artillerist and so on.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
« Reply #17 on: 03 Dec 2016, 11:48 »

Sounds like Alice's brilliant plan to run away wouldn't have worked very well; how do you run from something capable of near-infinite speed?

Alice, as powerful as she is, has never struck me as particularly smart. She's going to have to outthink Pate/Church if she wants to get out of this. The key would have to be understanding whatever hold Pate has over Church. Mere force won't get you anywhere in this situation, and that's not a place Alice is familiar with.

Until now outwitting an opponent wasn't necessary, but I think this attempt to kill Pate wasn't her losing her temper, but a test of Church's abilities.  Now if he is capable of teleportation as some have postulated there is still a limit otherwise he could appear on the space habitats.  It's also a test of Pate's temperament since he could've threatened or ordered Church to kill a random archaeophile, but since Ellie's death was not enough to dissuade her from attempting to kill him he's upped the ante to harming Gavia.  This may also reveal some limitations to Pate's intelligence gathering.  Pate may not know about Gavia's recent loss of powers and doesn't realize she can't heal from an attack as quickly as she did.   
« Last Edit: 03 Dec 2016, 12:18 by brasca »
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
« Reply #18 on: 03 Dec 2016, 12:33 »

I think Pate sees Gavia as entirely expendable, rather like Ellie. Sedna and Alice are useful as super-soldiers, and Ardent has his magic touch, but Gavia is just the gal that used to have nanotech. Alice and Ardent apparently care about her, so she's useful for applying coercion. But for herself, Gavia isn't important enough to not kill.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
« Reply #19 on: 03 Dec 2016, 12:42 »

And hopefully that may lead to his undoing.  If he thinks she's nothing more than a hostage he can threaten to compel Alice and Ardent to obey him he may keep her close enough that she could possibly figure out how Pate controls Church and break that link.  Or she may regain her ability to control her nanotechnology and if is now linked to the Night Walker that would give her an advantage.   

I also suspect that he decided not to fulfill that threat since he's probably going to use that threat against Ardent once he's awake and sober. 
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
« Reply #20 on: 03 Dec 2016, 12:59 »

I want rocks to fall on this bastard


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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
« Reply #21 on: 03 Dec 2016, 17:45 »

One thing that was interesting was the threat that Pate chose to make. Did he suspect that Alice would rather die than help him, so a threat against one of her charges was the only way to intimidate her? Or is it possible that, unlike Sedna, Alice really is practically indestructible, even for a being of Mr Church's abilities?

This is an easy one to answer. He needs Alice's help to crack the bunker open, so any threat to incapacitate her in some way would obviously be an idle one. So he threatened to hurt Gavia instead.

It's also obvious why he didn't threaten to kill Gavia. Once she is dead, that leverage is gone. After breaking her arms, however, he can threaten to break her legs next.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
« Reply #22 on: 03 Dec 2016, 21:32 »

I want rocks to fall on this bastard

Rocks are interesting.

How accurately can Alice throw?

We can be confident about her throwing far and fast.

Could Mr. Church prevent a supersonic rock from going through some vital area on Pate? It's a harder problem than body-blocking Alice.

He could follow Alice around 24/7 and never take his eyes off her. But Pate has to sleep sometime, and Gavia could hit him in the head with a hand-held rock if his bodyguard is away watching Alice.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
« Reply #23 on: 03 Dec 2016, 22:04 »

Don't forget that Mr. Church also appears to have an unnerving omnicience.

He probably doesn't need to watch either of them. Or, to put it different, he can probably keep an eye on both of them. Maybe that's the significant of the differently coloured eyes.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
« Reply #24 on: 04 Dec 2016, 00:52 »

Even Church must have limitations, otherwise there would be no story to tell.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
« Reply #25 on: 04 Dec 2016, 02:39 »

I suspect that neither Alice nor Gavia would be too keen in testing those limitations in that way, though. Not without knowing, at least.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
« Reply #26 on: 04 Dec 2016, 04:44 »

I'm still curious about what control Pate has over Church.  We've never seen him give an order so he may have some kind of telepathic control over Church.  Consider what just happened when Alice went to kill Pate.  Church grabbed her arm, but didn't crush it like he did Sedna's shoulder.  Even if Pate would intricately explained every single detail of his plans to Church to prevent a misunderstanding this would still make improvising impossible when things don't go accordingly.  I think Pate can see and act through Church and signaled him to stop her without breaking an arm that she'll need to dig out the bunker.  There is the matter of sleep which he claims Church doesn't do, but if that's the case then what happens when Pate sleeps?  Does Church become semi-autonomous and only if there is a disturbance telepathically wakes his master?  Then again maybe Pate doesn't sleep and is more than just a baseline human. 

On a somewhat related note if any of you have a subscription to Tumblr and follow Jeph Jacques you should check out Roko unwinds.  When I first saw it I thought it was bonus Alice Grove strip until I read it.  And why would I make that mistake?  Because in a black and white sketch Roko resembles Alice which makes me think that she is the AI that will eventually evolve into Alice, not Bubbles.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
« Reply #27 on: 04 Dec 2016, 09:06 »

I'm still curious about what control Pate has over Church.
Maybe none. Maybe he just pays Church's salary, and they talk a lot, so Church knows what Pate needs.

Pate is, as we've already seen, good at aligning his interests (at least temporarily) with those of others. Possibly he and Church have aligned interests.

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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
« Reply #28 on: 04 Dec 2016, 17:37 »

One thing that does interest me is that Pate doesn't even blink at the lightning-fast attempt on his life. He allows himself the very slightest smile, like it was just what he was expecting. I think that most people, even knowing they are being protected, might have at least flinched.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
« Reply #29 on: 04 Dec 2016, 19:16 »

He's not only been expecting Alice's attack, he's been taunting it out, trying to force it. Pate is well aware of at least the general level of Alice's capabilities and believes that Church can stop her. So he's been baiting her into attacking. Making threatening statements, issuing demands and taunting Alice, all while staying within easy reach of her. When she didn't take that, he turned his back on her giving Alice her best chance to attack, short of waiting until Pate was asleep.

He was trying to prompt that attack so Alice would know any kind of attempt on Pate would be stopped. He wanted to demonstrate his safety and demoralize Alice. She's more likely to grudgingly go along with Pate's commands in the short term and wait for a better opportunity now, instead of constantly be trying to undermine him.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
« Reply #30 on: 05 Dec 2016, 09:58 »

We had something approximately like a singularity event. In a relatively short span of time we went from the events precipitating the faction split, to the blink. It stands to reason that the super-soldiers would be iterated pretty rapidly towards the end.  We already know that Alice is somewhat improved from Sedna. Mr. Church seems to be an even larger leap from Alice (and she knew it). It is probably wise to assume that his offensive output dwarfs the tech level Alice is designed to hold up to.

Additionally, I'll predict that his intelligence is far higher also - that he's not under Pate's control at all, but that they have some sort of agreement. Or even that it's the other way around  and Pate is Church's puppet. (I just noticed, panel 3 of this page.)



I don't think he's meant to have legitimate teleportation - just speed that's darned near to it. There's a bit of a blur effect in panel three (and the bottom text can possibly be considered evidence also).
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
« Reply #31 on: 05 Dec 2016, 10:14 »

Now that I'm thinking about this puppet idea, I notice something.

So obviously Church's go-to move is the classic sneak up from behind while you're distracted. But, I don't think it's just a comedic gimmick. I think the author is employing it deliberately, and it tells us something about the character.

Pate is Church's pocket distraction. Three of the four sneak-up moves we've seen so far occur when the target is focused on Pate (the fourth being Sedna examining the carriage). Everyone assumes Pate is the brain behind the operation and so deals with him directly, while Church stands back and surveys the field.

And to the point of him being hyper-aware, so how did Ellie get the drop on him with the pipe? She didn't: She was absolutely no threat to him, he simply had no reason at all to avoid her attack. Sedna was the only relevant target for him in that scene.  (Once he verified her disabled, then he had his fun.)

In the same vein, he also had no reason to prevent Sedna from damaging the carriage. He hardly needs it for transportation. And all the assets he needs to execute his plan are already present.
« Last Edit: 05 Dec 2016, 10:26 by Samik »
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
« Reply #32 on: 05 Dec 2016, 10:23 »

Even Church must have limitations, otherwise there would be no story to tell.
I know it won't happen. But, I would be very lit-geeked if it turns out that Church is the main, or most important, character.


The way things went down before the blink never sat right with him. He's been meaning to have a word with the Praeses. And now, thanks to Ardent's payload, his long years of patience are about to pay off.

This summer, one man takes his vendetta to the stars.

Ron Perlman is

CHURCH

(click to show/hide)
« Last Edit: 05 Dec 2016, 10:29 by Samik »
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
« Reply #33 on: 05 Dec 2016, 14:51 »

When I first saw it I thought it was bonus Alice Grove strip until I read it.  And why would I make that mistake?  Because in a black and white sketch Roko resembles Alice which makes me think that she is the AI that will eventually evolve into Alice, not Bubbles.

+1 insightful
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
« Reply #34 on: 05 Dec 2016, 21:00 »

I  had a completely opposite hypothesis about Church: what if he's not really a separate being? What if he's a telepathic projection of Pate's? That would explain the instantaneous motion, and the lack of any need for communication. it would also explain his being indestructible.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
« Reply #35 on: 05 Dec 2016, 22:57 »

I'm still curious about what control Pate has over Church.  We've never seen him give an order so he may have some kind of telepathic control over Church.  Consider what just happened when Alice went to kill Pate.  Church grabbed her arm, but didn't crush it like he did Sedna's shoulder.  Even if Pate would intricately explained every single detail of his plans to Church to prevent a misunderstanding this would still make improvising impossible when things don't go accordingly.

Assuming Church is under Pate's control, the simplest order set, expressed during or before the carriage ride, would be something like:

1.) Protect me.
2.) If possible, do not kill the other soldiers.
3.) Do not harm anyone else, unless you're attacked.

I suppose 2 and 3 could be reversed, but this gets you the behavior we've seen so far. Pate says to Alice, "You will do exactly as I say from now on, or I will allow Mr. Church to indulge himself further, at your personal expense." Church enjoys killing, but is restricted from doing so unless he's attacked or instructed. That's why you get the ear-to-ear grin when Ellie hits him with the pipe - he's literally thrilled that she did that, because now he's "under attack" and therefore permitted to indulge himself.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
« Reply #36 on: 06 Dec 2016, 00:59 »

He harmed Sedna without being attacked, though.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
« Reply #37 on: 06 Dec 2016, 01:14 »

He harmed Sedna without being attacked, though.

That was a second-tier attempt to restrain her. She had ignored the clear warning when he put his hand on her shoulder (a first-tier attempt) and her continued violent behaviour released him to use... stronger measures to enforce the behaviour restrictions on her specified by his commander.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
« Reply #38 on: 06 Dec 2016, 03:20 »

I  had a completely opposite hypothesis about Church: what if he's not really a separate being? What if he's a telepathic projection of Pate's? That would explain the instantaneous motion, and the lack of any need for communication. it would also explain his being indestructible.

Not sure. Note that Alice recognised him *and* Sedna didn't.

I think at this stage we can think of him like a Pratchett Golem - Golem must work, Golem must have a master.  [and Golem can harm a human if instructed by duly constituted authority]
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
« Reply #39 on: 06 Dec 2016, 05:52 »

I'm still curious about what control Pate has over Church.  We've never seen him give an order so he may have some kind of telepathic control over Church.  Consider what just happened when Alice went to kill Pate.  Church grabbed her arm, but didn't crush it like he did Sedna's shoulder.  Even if Pate would intricately explained every single detail of his plans to Church to prevent a misunderstanding this would still make improvising impossible when things don't go accordingly.

Assuming Church is under Pate's control, the simplest order set, expressed during or before the carriage ride, would be something like:

1.) Protect me.
2.) If possible, do not kill the other soldiers.
3.) Do not harm anyone else, unless you're attacked.

I suppose 2 and 3 could be reversed, but this gets you the behavior we've seen so far. Pate says to Alice, "You will do exactly as I say from now on, or I will allow Mr. Church to indulge himself further, at your personal expense." Church enjoys killing, but is restricted from doing so unless he's attacked or instructed. That's why you get the ear-to-ear grin when Ellie hits him with the pipe - he's literally thrilled that she did that, because now he's "under attack" and therefore permitted to indulge himself.

It seems to me that all the immortals tend to go berserker when the opportunity presents itself.  Alice defeated Gavia quickly enough, but continued attacking her viciously until Ardent intervened.  Sedna was ready to attack the space dwellers until Alice stopped her.  And then there is the aforementioned Mr. Church showing any kind of emotion when under attack.  It could be some kind of leftover programming that still influences Alice and Sedna, but controls Church. 

There is still speculation as to whether Church can teleport and while the jury is still out on that I would say there is a limitation to his range.  Pate threatens to break Gavia's arms since she's the only person present Alice cares about and isn't vital to his plans, however, she would still be valuable on the basis of where she's from.  Pate could've threatened to send Church to Alice's town and kill one villager for every act of defiance.  She cares for them and they are completely expendable to Pate, but if Church's teleportation is limited then this would not be a credible threat. 
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
« Reply #40 on: 06 Dec 2016, 08:33 »

There are a number of other potential problems with the 'kill villagers' idea. First is that killing more people may make Alice less likely to comply. Hurting someone but leaving them alive and needing to be cared for is a scummy, but effective technique for dealing with enemies. There are also questions of whether it's teleportation or very fast movement, how far can Church go. And how could he prove what he had done. If he could travel with a human then Pate likely wouldn't have needed the carriage. Church could bring back just a severed head to show what he's done. We just don't know his capabilities.

The number one reason though is a soon as Church is out of what Alice thinks is his effective range for instant travel, she could kill Pate. It took several days to walk to Sedna's, then several more at least to travel by cart to the dig site. So we might be several weeks normal travel time from Alice's village now. Alice is capable of moving so fast that the kids couldn't make out what was happening when she and Sedna fought. Even if Church could instantly teleport to the village, it would take him at bare minimum several seconds to go there, locate and kill someone and return. Being almost absurdly generous with the time scale there, that's still plenty of time for Alice to knife hand Pate's heart out.

As far as why the immortals tend to go a bit crazy when the opportunity for bloodshed arises.. The three times we've seen it was when a fight or attack was already under way. As far as we can tell, they were specifically made or re-made as weapons. It's not a far stretch to think they were designed to enjoy or be used to killing. And they are far more powerful than everyone else around them. So we have a 'world of glass' Superman situation. It's not that they are aware that they can destroy things whenever they want... They have to actively work on restraining themselves and their programming, so as to not destroy whatever they touch or lash out with violence when surprised or stressed. And when a situation happens that they can cut loose... It's like releasing a huge amount of pressure they keep themselves under.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
« Reply #41 on: 06 Dec 2016, 12:10 »

He harmed Sedna without being attacked, though.
To a much more limited extent, and with a very different disposition. He dismembered Ellie with glee. With Sedna, he did the bare minimum to neutralize her as a threat, with perfectly flat affect.

That was a second-tier attempt to restrain her. She had ignored the clear warning when he put his hand on her shoulder (a first-tier attempt) and her continued violent behaviour released him to use... stronger measures to enforce the behaviour restrictions on her specified by his commander.
What he said.


His reaction to getting hit by the pipe just really suggests to me that he's under certain behavioral restrictions, and taking the hit, as BenRG puts it, released him to do his thing. He was genuinely glad that she did that, because he couldn't have had his fun otherwise.

Likewise with Sedna, her aggression was directed towards not himself or Pate, but their property - an asset that may impact their ability to achieve their objectives, but the loss of which doesn't place either of them in imminent danger. So, his order set probably permits him to disable but not kill her.


Now, he did less harm to Alice for attacking Pate than he did Sedna for destroying the carriage.  So either they knew the attempted assault was coming (or as Neko_Ali suggests, were deliberately provoking it), and Pate had already instructed him to just block it and nothing more, or Pate has already recognized that Alice is superior to Sedna, and given Church a higher aggression threshold for her preservation.
« Last Edit: 06 Dec 2016, 12:18 by Samik »
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
« Reply #42 on: 06 Dec 2016, 12:14 »

Okay, I've already given up on the Pate-as-Church's-puppet idea.  It was fun for the day it lasted.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
« Reply #43 on: 07 Dec 2016, 01:54 »

From the scant available data of Church's responses to stimuli I am beginning to doubt my earlier belief of him being organic.  He is shown as being very tightly conditioned to follow orders. So his undoing may become to find a conflict in those orders, and place him in a situation where the conflict freezes him into inaction. Not at all unlike those Asimov's three law obeying robots that Susan Calvin (and later skilled roboticists) incapacitated in the numerous short stories/novels.

It is not unthinkable that bio-engineered soldiers could be conditioned to follow a set of orders in a robotic fashion. So actually: bio-engineered or robotic, makes no difference? After all, the pre-Blink war created several models of bio-engineered soldiers (as well as AIs). May be Church was one of the latest models? Like a developed version of Alice that was discovered to not be flexible enough under some circumstances, and therefore abandoned?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
« Reply #44 on: 07 Dec 2016, 04:27 »

I never can seem to remember to check for a new thread. Also holy shit, Church is fast...does he teleport short distances?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
« Reply #45 on: 07 Dec 2016, 05:22 »

I've looked at the strip again and no, he wasn't teleporting; there is a motion blur in the panel in question. He's just so incredibly fast and is so without really giving any impression that he is in motion.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
« Reply #46 on: 07 Dec 2016, 12:14 »

Besides, I think if it were possible for Church to 'port, I think Pate would have used him long ago to take him for his little chat with the Praeses
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
« Reply #47 on: 07 Dec 2016, 12:19 »

Besides, I think if it were possible for Church to 'port, I think Pate would have used him long ago to take him for his little chat with the Praeses

Not if the space habitats are out of range and if they are shielded in such a way that block him.  All the more reason to get a spaceship to bypass that defense.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
« Reply #48 on: 07 Dec 2016, 12:22 »

point
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - December 2016
« Reply #49 on: 07 Dec 2016, 13:22 »

I just meant short distances as in line of sight, and not necessarily able to bring others.
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