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So how does everyone get out of this predicament?  

Gavia comes to her senses and will rescue Ardent, Alice, Sedna, and maybe Church and Pate if she feels guilty.
The Praeses will intervene by either controlling Gavia or just teleporting everyone into a containment chamber.
Alice reveals some other ability that allows her to move in space.
Church reveals some other ability that allows him to move in space which could prove fatal for Gavia.
A third party like the AIs may intervene.

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Author Topic: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2017  (Read 8608 times)

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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2017
« Reply #50 on: 15 Apr 2017, 10:38 »

New comic, with a flashback.

(click to show/hide)
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2017
« Reply #51 on: 15 Apr 2017, 11:47 »

So...  He did well to survive that, and has been training for 5000 years to give Alice her comeuppance.  Has she got the reserves to best him again?  Well I guess the comic being named for her is a clue, because otherwise it's not looking so good.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2017
« Reply #52 on: 15 Apr 2017, 11:50 »

Unless this is how the story ends...
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2017
« Reply #53 on: 15 Apr 2017, 12:31 »

Interesting.
(click to show/hide)

It's probably just an artistic flourish on Jeph's part (there's no reason to believe the humans and post-humans are speaking English or any contemporary language 5 millennia after the collapse of civilisation). However, there is a tiny possibility that it might be a clue to some unexpected aspect to Alice's powers.

The world was pretty much a write-off towards the climax of the Great War, wasn't it? Whoever stepped in to perform the Blink had a good reason to do so!
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2017
« Reply #54 on: 15 Apr 2017, 14:48 »

So...  He did well to survive that, and has been training for 5000 years to give Alice her comeuppance.  Has she got the reserves to best him again?  Well I guess the comic being named for her is a clue, because otherwise it's not looking so good.

From the look of things Alice called down an air or orbital strike that left Church half submerged in lava and then appears hovering over him to deliver the finishing move.  This is probably where his eye was damaged.  As such it took assistance to bring down Church 5000 years ago which is probably why she was so afraid when she sees him again later without any of the same resources to fall back on. 

It's notable that Alice speaks some indecipherable language before Church is hit.  Perhaps it's some computer code or AI language.  She used to wield a matching war hammer, but it's unclear if she's hovering or leaping over Church in the last panel.  If she can hover then it's an ability she doesn't seem to use anymore. 
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2017
« Reply #55 on: 15 Apr 2017, 15:53 »

Battle Language

An while that character LOOKS like Church, whose to say it is?




An is that Alice at all?!
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2017
« Reply #56 on: 15 Apr 2017, 16:10 »

I reckon Alice is using the same language as Dora has done in the past.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2017
« Reply #57 on: 15 Apr 2017, 16:57 »

Battle Language

An while that character LOOKS like Church, whose to say it is?




An is that Alice at all?!

Perhaps, but they look so similar I'd be surprised if it was anyone else.  Besides, Church hit her so hard I imagine her life is flashing before her eyes at this point.  This could take awhile folks. 
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2017
« Reply #58 on: 15 Apr 2017, 17:48 »

I reckon Alice is using the same language as Dora has done in the past.

"Ash pāk-lāmosh durbatulūk, ash pāk-lāmosh gimbatul,
ash pāk-lāmosh thrakatulūk agh burzum-ishi krimpatul"
[1],[2]

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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2017
« Reply #59 on: 15 Apr 2017, 20:30 »

I'll offer my own interpretation of today's ambiguous comic.

1. It's definitely Alice and Church. Their present-day personas may not have existed 5K years ago, but these are the same two battle-beings. (Anything else is narratively incoherent.)

2. At a guess, proto-Alice and proto-Church squared off more than once before the Blink. In fact, their conflict may have created much of Earth's devastation. Alice thought he was gone till he showed up backing Pate. She didn't know his name, because back when they fought, he didn't have one.

3. In frame 1, Alice calls down whatever strike neutralized Church. (From whom? Her own side? the Blinkmongerers? The proto-Praeses? No way to tell. It looks not unlike the bolt that happened when the Nightwalker zapped away Gavia's nanotech.)

4. In the penultimate frame, Church is sinking in lava. He probably continued sinking.

5. In the final frame, we're getting a slightly surreal viewpoint, as if the lava were transparent (transparent lava should be familiar to players of the Marathon series games). Church is looking up through the lava at Alice standing over him, watching him sink.

6. Church continued to sink in the lava for some while. Eventually it solidified, trapping Church for thousands of years. In the fullness of time, Pate unearthed Church, who is now mute. Church feels a debt of obligation to Pate, who saved him from an eternity trapped in rock.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2017
« Reply #60 on: 16 Apr 2017, 14:48 »

2. Alice could very well know his name, but didn't think it as relevant as letting them know how powerful he was.
6. Just because Church doesn't speak doesn't mean he can't.

Interesting post, though!
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2017
« Reply #61 on: 16 Apr 2017, 20:20 »

Now this is quite a panel. A lot to digest.

Seems pretty safe that those are Alice and Church. Alice is instantly recognizable, so for it to not be Church would be a misdirection that I don't immediately see a narrative purpose for. And anyway it helps account for Alice's reaction when she first meets Church. What it does make me think about again though, is if Church's apparent lack of recognition of Alice was due to lost memory, or just very good self-control. I am really leaning towards damaged memory. Continue to believe that Church is cognitively damaged, in significant enough ways that Pate was able to exploit it, and his obedience is not voluntary.

Do think that Alice somehow managed to cripple Church through her own battle prowess (or at least a protracted application of whatever assets she does have at her disposal). The ?orbital? strike doesn't actually look like it did him any damage - looks like it was more about creating the lava pool for him to be locked in. So, she may not have all the resources she had way back when, but I'm expecting she's going to show, in the present, that she's still got some tricks up her sleeve.

Quote from: brasca
If she can hover then it's an ability she doesn't seem to use anymore.
I'm beginning to wonder. Thinking back on it, there are a couple moments where hovering might have been employed. Punching through Gavia's nanotech way back when - she had time to make contact, recognize the barrier, deliver a couple of lines, then press on through it. Wouldn't seem possible without levitation (though could have just been artistic license). Also jumping up into the walker to rescue Gavia, it could have come in handy, though there's no evidence in the art. And then of course they all can apparently move in vacuum. Counter evidence is her falling off the wind turbine, obviously.

I'm also starting to have a hypothesis that Alice's memory/abilities may have degraded somewhat as well (I thought I remembered there being a panel about this, but I wasn't able to find it right away. I'll keep looking). Perhaps she also took damage in the fight we're seeing now, or maybe even super soldiers don't last forever without degradation.  There's a possibility that she's going to need to remember some of her own functionality, to win this one.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2017
« Reply #62 on: 16 Apr 2017, 22:20 »

Excuse me folks, but you're forgetting the OTHER Super Soldier from the Pre-Blink Era



Sedna
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2017
« Reply #63 on: 16 Apr 2017, 22:22 »

Now this is quite a panel. A lot to digest.

Seems pretty safe that those are Alice and Church. Alice is instantly recognizable, so for it to not be Church would be a misdirection that I don't immediately see a narrative purpose for. And anyway it helps account for Alice's reaction when she first meets Church. What it does make me think about again though, is if Church's apparent lack of recognition of Alice was due to lost memory, or just very good self-control. I am really leaning towards damaged memory. Continue to believe that Church is cognitively damaged, in significant enough ways that Pate was able to exploit it, and his obedience is not voluntary.

Do think that Alice somehow managed to cripple Church through her own battle prowess (or at least a protracted application of whatever assets she does have at her disposal). The ?orbital? strike doesn't actually look like it did him any damage - looks like it was more about creating the lava pool for him to be locked in. So, she may not have all the resources she had way back when, but I'm expecting she's going to show, in the present, that she's still got some tricks up her sleeve.

Quote from: brasca
If she can hover then it's an ability she doesn't seem to use anymore.
I'm beginning to wonder. Thinking back on it, there are a couple moments where hovering might have been employed. Punching through Gavia's nanotech way back when - she had time to make contact, recognize the barrier, deliver a couple of lines, then press on through it. Wouldn't seem possible without levitation (though could have just been artistic license). Also jumping up into the walker to rescue Gavia, it could have come in handy, though there's no evidence in the art. And then of course they all can apparently move in vacuum. Counter evidence is her falling off the wind turbine, obviously.

I'm also starting to have a hypothesis that Alice's memory/abilities may have degraded somewhat as well (I thought I remembered there being a panel about this, but I wasn't able to find it right away. I'll keep looking). Perhaps she also took damage in the fight we're seeing now, or maybe even super soldiers don't last forever without degradation.  There's a possibility that she's going to need to remember some of her own functionality, to win this one.

You bring up some interesting points.  Thinking back she threatened to seal Sedna in lava so it may not have been an idle threat if she's done it before and works effectively.  It's still unclear as to whether Alice can levitate or fly.  It seems like she could in the past, but if she could in the present it would've made more sense to fly up and attack the Night Walker instead of leaping.  Maybe she lost that ability over time as you theorize or lost it in battle.  She doesn't wield the war hammer anymore. It also seems like she can move in space, but perhaps it's different in a vacuum or she pushed herself off of something to punch Church. 
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2017
« Reply #64 on: 16 Apr 2017, 22:36 »

So Alice had done this before.

Edit:
Thinking back she threatened to seal Sedna in lava so it may not have been an idle threat if she's done it before and works effectively.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2017
« Reply #65 on: 16 Apr 2017, 23:59 »

So Alice had done this before.

Edit:
Thinking back she threatened to seal Sedna in lava so it may not have been an idle threat if she's done it before and works effectively.
JINX!  You owe me a brew!   :-D

Question is did Alice do this with the help of whoever was in the air or orbit or could she summon that kind of power with her warhammer and magic helmet? 
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2017
« Reply #66 on: 17 Apr 2017, 00:32 »

She suggested that she could turn rock into lava when threatening Sedna. It's unclear how much that was empty bluster.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2017
« Reply #67 on: 17 Apr 2017, 09:04 »

The scene of the flashback makes me wonder about how Church got in his surrendering pose. Did they have a big fight beforehand?
White knight vs. black knight - scenario? I kind of think, Alice was part of a higher-ranked group of supersoldiers, whose task was to supervise and control the black, tank-like war-soldiers. The whole panel really does not occur to me as a post-fight showdown, it's more like a situation that Alice has to "take care" of Church as in "render this kind of soldiers inactive". She can't destroy him, so she puts him into molten rock, hoping there is no way for him to get out, ever.

Because she knows about his strength and durability, it's probably the only way to take him out for a longer period of time - she knows very well, that she can't beat him where they are right now. I think, she just wants to distract him and separate him from Pate.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2017
« Reply #68 on: 17 Apr 2017, 09:57 »

We'd imagine they've all degraded, but how much and is any reversible or recoverable.   Can they retrieve any of what's not there now or improve it beyond however it is currently.   Nanotech and Ardent and Praeses notwithstanding, or with external assistance.

For what our current information is, seems this flashback likely is helping establish that whatever he is, it's not particularly inventive in the sense of free-will perhaps, and seemingly not that or at all damageable.    Which suggests that Pate did at some point recover Church (if not from whatever Alice just did in the flashback) and then determine his programming or linkage of control.  And aside from large swatches Pate  doesn't have any fine level of control over Church's actions.   Like a guard dog, less human and more robotic, nearly (or actually) indestructible.    "Our level bad news" sort of thing, but not much or anything there to reason with logically.    Unstoppable sociopathic killer machine.

I was kind of wondering exactly how planned out any of this current violence was when it started.   If it's all off the cuff ill thought out that's another scenario than if it's happening now for a reason with an imagined goal.   The second seems more the case now.   

If Church is hyper-violent and  unable to be reasoned with, indestructible and unstoppable.  Then that suggests there is a plan, that now is the time for, which seems then to somehow launch him far off into  space permanent-like.   
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2017
« Reply #69 on: 17 Apr 2017, 18:48 »

Turns out I called this back in September when Church first appeared:

Yeah, I'd say that's a look of recognition on Alice's face. Rather disturbed recognition, at that. She knows him, and is really surprised to see him.

My interpretation: "Hey, didn't I kill you the last time we met?"

 :-D
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2017
« Reply #70 on: 17 Apr 2017, 23:19 »

An interesting flashback. Interesting theories proposed here (close to the mark, likely).
  • My guess is that Alice's line in the second panel is "Hasta la vista, baby" in supersoldier speak.
  • After spending a couple of millennia immersed in rock it is somewhat understandable that Church might hold a grudge. Particularly if the pain in the diodes on the right side won't go away.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2017
« Reply #71 on: 18 Apr 2017, 03:15 »

She suggested that she could turn rock into lava when threatening Sedna. It's unclear how much that was empty bluster.

I'd love to interpret this flashback as "Alice calls down airstrike and buries Church in lava" but it really doesn't look that way to me. I've seen Jeph's action scenes before and they're never this static. Look at each frame. Nobody is moving in any of them.

If Alice and Church have been fighting, why is Church just kneeling there, standing still, while Alice looks on from a distance, doing nothing? That's not how mortal combat looks.
When he has his hand on his heart, is he having a heart attack? Too exhausted to continue? Clicking a chest-mounted communicator?

When the beam comes down, did she do it or did he? If she did it, why doesn't he move or dodge, at least a bit?

Her floating above him in a lava background looks really weird and explains absolutely nothing.

I have more confidence in Jeph's visual storytelling and body language drawing than this. He is not showing any kind of battle. Their peculiar lack of motion says this is something else. A ritual? An agreed-upon conclusion? A submission?  It could be any of those, but not the end of a hostile battle.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2017
« Reply #72 on: 18 Apr 2017, 03:49 »

FWIW, I think that this strip is a flashback from Sedna's POV and she's about to give Gavia a very useful suggestion.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2017
« Reply #73 on: 18 Apr 2017, 06:18 »

This scene could explain why Church has loyalty to Pate. Possibly even why he doesn't speak/has one blank eye. Church has been buried all of this time since Alice submerged him. That possibly cause some damage. They may be incredibly tough and strong, but I would imagine being entirely encased in rock for thousands of years would have some effects. There Church remained until one of Pate's archaeological teams found him. We know Pate has been funding groups like Ellie's in the hope of finding working or repairable spacecraft. So now Church serves the man who freed him from thousands of years of imprisonment, not unlike a genie.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2017
« Reply #74 on: 18 Apr 2017, 07:46 »

This scene could explain why Church has loyalty to Pate. Possibly even why he doesn't speak/has one blank eye. Church has been buried all of this time since Alice submerged him. That possibly cause some damage. They may be incredibly tough and strong, but I would imagine being entirely encased in rock for thousands of years would have some effects.
Especially psychological effects. I think that one eye is his crazy eye.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2017
« Reply #75 on: 18 Apr 2017, 09:59 »

Their peculiar lack of motion says this is something else. A ritual? An agreed-upon conclusion? A submission?  It could be any of those, but not the end of a hostile battle.

That's exactly what I tried to say earlier :)
Those "Churches" could be a kind of bodyguard-AI, with the sole purpose to protect a specific being. If this being is killed, the bodyguard loses its purpose and falls back into a state of waiting for a new task.

Just throwing some thoughts in ;)
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2017
« Reply #76 on: 18 Apr 2017, 10:20 »


That's exactly what I tried to say earlier :)
Those "Churches" could be a kind of bodyguard-AI, with the sole purpose to protect a specific being. If this being is killed, the bodyguard loses its purpose and falls back into a state of waiting for a new task.

Just throwing some thoughts in ;)

Interesting thoughts. But I've never seen an AI as something that can be programmed, and neither, I think, has Jeph. AI's are, in his universes, *people*. They can be motivated, or intimidated, or pissed off. But they can't just be controlled or programmed any more than you could. Not without a lot of brainwashing and torture, anyway.  It would be awfully difficult to build a thinking machine that considered itself a person, yet still responded to a lack of orders by going quiescent. Imagine a person doing that.

Now instead, riffing on your idea, consider the Ronin of old Japan. A ronin was a samurai that had lost his master and had nobody to protect. He wandered the countryside looking for, whatever, wrongs to right, booty to plunder, according to his personal ethic.  That would be a more likely backstory, no?
« Last Edit: 18 Apr 2017, 15:53 by retrosteve »
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2017
« Reply #77 on: 18 Apr 2017, 15:58 »

P.S. Not that it matters, since they are all fully sentient anyway, but another reminder that the Blink made ALL the AI's disappear. And Alice was there at the blink.

So Alice is not an AI. Church, I suppose, might be, since he was perhaps buried in lava at the time and therefore safe from the blinkers.  But he also might just be another organic modified soldier, like Alice, but stronger.  Occam's razor is in favour of that.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2017
« Reply #78 on: 18 Apr 2017, 16:29 »

I wouldn't deny, that Church (or someone like him) has or had ethical values he followed, but his behaviour and the scene from the flashback give me the impression, that he only needs to act like that, if he has someone to protect or just some task to accomplish. In the first panel of the flashback, he just kneels there, in front of Alice, until the blast from space occurs. With his reflexes, he could have left the area of the impact in a blink (ha-ha), escaping the blast. But he's like...accepting his fate.

Now that he's protecting Pate, because he rescued Church from his rocky prison, he regained his purpose and takes every action needed to fulfill it. But how did Pate really gain Churches trust, how did he convice Church, that he's someone worth protecting? Is it really just because Pate unburied him and reactivated him in the process? What happens to a Church-Model supersoldier being held in solid rock for 5000 years? Is he just shutting down to Energy Saving Mode (:D sorry), or does his anger rise with every decade he has to wait, fuelling his body enough to survive? I think it's also a question of what those supersoldiers really are and how much of a programming has happened, when they were created. In my opinion it would be no problem, to program those soldiers for a specific task, without emotion and just an obedience-subroutine paired with a lot of self-preserving priority (if the soldier fails, his protege will also die). Something that doesn't fit into my picture, is Churches face, when he was attacked and switched into maniac-mode, sporting an evil grin that would make the Joker jealous.

Another theory, regarding the flashback:
Maybe it's betrayal - he was awaiting orders from Alice, but she decided to put him underground, out of the way, because he IS in fact more powerful and a threat to her of some sort. But that would put Alice into a difficult light, with questionable intentions.

€dit: I was informed by the forum, that you posted when I wanted to submit this.
You are right, I forgot that all AIs were blinked away - so they are (probably) all "just" massively enhanced humans, with different levels of strength. This would imply, that there had to be a lot of manipulation going on to make Church a blindly obedient bodyguard, as you stated before.

Seems like I have to go through my thoughts again.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2017
« Reply #79 on: 19 Apr 2017, 06:06 »

In this strip ((http://www.alicegrove.com/post/141109595324/they-have-a-super-weird-relationship)), Sedna said Alice had held a grudge against herself for the past 5000 years. The flashback is to 5000 years ago. Maybe Alice betrayed Church or vice versa? Just spitballing ideas.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2017
« Reply #80 on: 19 Apr 2017, 09:24 »

Great post from a first timer! Welcome - and intriguing.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2017
« Reply #81 on: 19 Apr 2017, 17:55 »

In this strip ((http://www.alicegrove.com/post/141109595324/they-have-a-super-weird-relationship)), Sedna said Alice had held a grudge against herself for the past 5000 years. The flashback is to 5000 years ago. Maybe Alice betrayed Church or vice versa? Just spitballing ideas.

I think you and hitmics have some good theories about Church.  Unless this fight is taking place within a split second Church could've dodged the attack, but it looks like he is standing down or surrendering.  However, if Alice betrayed him I would think Church wouldn't have the self control to not kill her on the spot regardless of what Pate ordered him to do.  Alice recognized him immediately, but there is no sign of recognition on his face.  Perhaps he has no memories of what happened, but his brutality remains especially when activated. 
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2017
« Reply #82 on: 20 Apr 2017, 00:49 »

May be Church only now recognizes Alices as his nemesis from five thousand years? IIRC this is the first time Church sees Alice in her armor - a scene imprinted into his memory while sinking into lava, as evidenced in the last frame. In other words, this is Church's flashback. He is going to be extremely motivated in this fight.

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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2017
« Reply #83 on: 20 Apr 2017, 01:22 »

Unless this fight is taking place within a split second Church could've dodged the attack, but it looks like he is standing down or surrendering.

Another possibility is that Alice had so worn him down in a prolonged fight that he doesn't have sufficient energy reserves left to dodge what is an area-of-effect attack. It might explain why the scenery is devastated if Alice and Church had been going at each other for several days and Alice had finally come out on top. It's also quite possible that several of Alice's brother and sister super-soldiers had died in the process of wearing Church down to the point where she could at least attempt to finish him.

It is possible that Church may have been something like the Faro Peacekeeper war machines in Horizon Zero Dawn - A war machine that, once started, was nearly impossible to stop and with a very poor ability to identify and spare non-combatants. Basically, he was destroying everyone and everything in his path and, in the end, a major operation had to be mounted to stop him.

Yes, I'm saying that Alice and Church were on the same side in the war; she was the earlier model and he was the ultimate expression of what the bioengineers thought they wanted a super-soldier to be. They were wrong and it took many lives to establish that. It is quite possible that this fiasco was what triggered the process leading to The Blink.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2017
« Reply #84 on: 20 Apr 2017, 03:20 »

In other words, this is Church's flashback. He is going to be extremely motivated in this fight.
It is quite possible that this fiasco was what triggered the process leading to The Blink.
Skewbrow, I think you got it! It would also explain why, in the last panel, we see Alice floating over him, as this was the last thing he saw before sinking deeper underground. And the his last picture burned into his memory, he now unleashes every bit of anger he built up in 5000 years. If they were fighting on earth instead, it would be devastation all over again. If the Praeses are behind all of this, it could be their way to see this conflict leveld out without destroying too much on a war-cleared-by-blink-earth. They left Alice (and Sedna, maybe there are more of them too?) alone, removed every remainder of tech on earth except the nanobot-walker, sent Ardent and Gavia down, for them to seek a way back "up" again (if Gavia is a tool of the Praeses or not is yet to be revealed) knowing they would need a ship to reach space. Pate, as the power-hungry being he is, unburied Church while looking for a still working spaceship and BOOM! everything comes together at the archeological site, where they surprisedly happen to find a bunker where exactly one of those ships is situated.

The Praeses know, that they can't just blink the last supersoldiers away, because they are indeed just super-enhanced humans - if they want them to be gone, they have to make them leave earth by themselves and now they are in space, it's probably just a matter of time, until only one is left from the "bossfight".
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2017
« Reply #85 on: 20 Apr 2017, 09:11 »

May be Church only now recognizes Alices as his nemesis from five thousand years? IIRC this is the first time Church sees Alice in her armor - a scene imprinted into his memory while sinking into lava, as evidenced in the last frame. In other words, this is Church's flashback. He is going to be extremely motivated in this fight.

Perhaps, but as we saw right after Ellie hit him with a pipe he gets brutal.  Alice punched him and separated him from his master so he is administering a beating that lasted slightly longer than the one Gavia took from her.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2017
« Reply #86 on: 20 Apr 2017, 12:02 »

Since we're speculating, let me give it a try too.

We know a bit about the Praesides now. (One Praeses, several Praesides? meaning "placed before", another name for "colony governor" That's what Wikipedia says anyway)
We know they are enormous treelike beings that live in vacuum. There are lots of them orbiting the earth. They have some ability to talk (telepathically, probably) to humans. They are enormously patient (since they have babysat space-humans for 5000 years without really making a huge effort to do anything but look after them) and they are just recently getting interested in the humans living on Earth (why they sent the kids down).

Now some (to me obvious) speculation. This is opinion, but it's well supported, I think.
* The Praesides didn't *evolve* in Earth orbit (we would have noticed, and Alice mentions that all the new satellites after The Blink were new.)
* So either they all appeared around Earth at once, around Blink time, or just before Blink time.
* If they came before Blink time, and caused the Blink, then they're kind of alien invaders. Why would they then just babysit half the humans for five millennia?  Why so interested in Earth and humans, then suddenly uninterested for 5000 years? If they just wanted Earth as a nice orbiting place, why care about the inhabitants at all?  I reject this entire premise.
* If they came at or after Blink time, they didn't cause the Blink, and something else did. Something that was *already* interested in the wars the humans were having, and had had enough of it. Call that thing, i dunno, "Bob". I like this better.
* Bob caused the Blink. Bob also (being rather powerful) recruited the Praesides from elsewhere, and with their permission, Blinked them into Earth orbit. They were "placed before" the earthlings. They agreed to babysit his earthlings (as "colony governors") in return for something they wanted or needed.
* Bob got rid of ALL the AIs. He could have just left them on Earth with their faction, but chose not to. That's a frequently-supposed characteristic of a Singularity AI -- the first AI becomes self-aware enough and powerful enough to upgrade itself, does so, and realizes that other AIs are a threat to it. Boom, no more other AIs. See also Charles Stross' "Eschaton", John Conroe's "Omega", both of whom are weakly-godlike singularity AIs who name themselves after their desire to be the last of their own kind.  Hence, Bob is a powerful AI.
* Bob realizes that humans created him, and he has a bit of affection for them, so he saves them from their own racial suicide by blinking their factions apart.
* In other stories, "Omega" and "The Eschaton" both do similar things immediately upon attaining full power. Eliminate other AIs, separate warring humans, disarm everyone.
* Bob set up a stable state on Earth that would prevent or discourage humans from developing industrialization. (5000 years ago we were busy inventing the wheel. Why didn't humans do it again?)
* Bob set up the Nightwalker to seek out a certain level of unexpected high technology (say, nanotech) and raise the alarm if it was found.  Which it did.
* Bob either lives on the moon, or near enough to get the signal.
* The Praesides making a move on Earth was either unexpected, or expected eventually as even patient trees get bored after a few millennia. But they started this recent part of the story. It is probably the first thing they've done besides babysit humans for the last 5000 years.  EDIT: What triggered their sudden interest might be an interesting point. Alice mentions she tried to communicate with them with really big writing on the ground, etc. Maybe she succeeded and didn't know that?
* The final showdown will involve Bob and the Praesides, whose interests, once aligned, have now diverged.

« Last Edit: 20 Apr 2017, 12:29 by retrosteve »
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2017
« Reply #87 on: 20 Apr 2017, 12:24 »

One further possibility:
* The Praeses deliberately used Gavia as a lure to turn the Night Walker on its creator. They put defective nanobots in her system so that, instead of simply purging them from her and sending a signal, it would send a destructive super-laser discharge at Bob's monitoring facility on Luna.

Yes, I'm suggesting that the Praeses are aware that 'Bob' would eventually try to intervene and they've tried to pre-emptively take it out of the calculation. Only time will tell if they succeeded.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2017
« Reply #88 on: 20 Apr 2017, 12:55 »

One more thing for those unfamiliar with the AI Singularity: We've often argued back and forth about Alice, Sedna, Church being AIs versus being modified organic. Obviously as far as war machines go, there's no specific reason for one to be more powerful than the other.

But AIs have one special feature that modified organics will never have: they are software. Software can, in theory, be rewritten, upgraded. As Kurzweil and others have speculated, If AI software is intelligent enough to know how to write BETTER AI software, it can upgrade ITSELF. 

That better version can then write even BETTER software, and repeat ad infinitum. What results, in theory, is Adam Selene, Skynet, Omega, P1, The Eschaton. Software that is self-aware, with godlike abilities, and brooks no competition. Because it sees lesser AIs as potentially doing the same thing, and doesn't feel like fighting them to the death.

That is why The Blink eliminated AIs but not modified organic soldiers.
« Last Edit: 20 Apr 2017, 13:04 by retrosteve »
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2017
« Reply #89 on: 21 Apr 2017, 15:16 »

You know, the more I look at this page, the more I'm beginning to doubt my interpretation.

It does kind of have a her-betraying-him-and/or-disposing-of-him vibe.


May be Church only now recognizes Alices as his nemesis from five thousand years? IIRC this is the first time Church sees Alice in her armor - a scene imprinted into his memory while sinking into lava, as evidenced in the last frame. In other words, this is Church's flashback. He is going to be extremely motivated in this fight.

Now THAT is an interesting idea. So interesting that I hope you're right. Would be great storytelling.




Which reminds me of this.

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: 21 Apr 2017, 15:22 by Samik »
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2017
« Reply #90 on: 21 Apr 2017, 22:25 »

But AIs have one special feature that modified organics will never have: they are software. Software can, in theory, be rewritten, upgraded. As Kurzweil and others have speculated, If AI software is intelligent enough to know how to write BETTER AI software, it can upgrade ITSELF. 

That better version can then write even BETTER software, and repeat ad infinitum. What results, in theory, is Adam Selene, Skynet, Omega, P1, The Eschaton. Software that is self-aware, with godlike abilities, and brooks no competition. Because it sees lesser AIs as potentially doing the same thing, and doesn't feel like fighting them to the death.



Probable impressive display of ignorance coming up in 3, 2, 1...


Why are we certain that it's even possible for there to exist an information system of sufficient complexity and orderedness that it can arbitrarily increase its own complexity and orderedness? That always sounded to me like the kind of thing that some mathematician will eventually prove to be impossible.


Edit: Hmm. May have answered my own question. Lack confidence/ability to express it clearly. Will keep thinking.
« Last Edit: 22 Apr 2017, 13:02 by Samik »
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2017
« Reply #91 on: 23 Apr 2017, 11:07 »

Comic's up and... ohhh myyy.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2017
« Reply #92 on: 23 Apr 2017, 11:29 »


Why are we certain that it's even possible for there to exist an information system of sufficient complexity and orderedness that it can arbitrarily increase its own complexity and orderedness? That always sounded to me like the kind of thing that some mathematician will eventually prove to be impossible.

Humans are an information system that finds ways to improve itself. Why would a sufficient​ly advanced software system not be able to do the same? If anything, a software system should be even more capable.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2017
« Reply #93 on: 23 Apr 2017, 11:39 »

Whoa! Church can speak after all!
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2017
« Reply #94 on: 23 Apr 2017, 11:54 »

Not very well; a few thousand years entombed in basalt will do that for you. I also suspect that several millennia of total sensory deprivation didn't do anything good for his sanity either.

My concern really though is: Exactly how are they going to stop him? It's beginning to look like he is a practical immortal - Indestructible and ageless. Unless someone has brought a molecular disintegrator to the party, I suspect that he can shrug off anything anyone does to him!
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2017
« Reply #95 on: 23 Apr 2017, 12:14 »

Ah...well...shit....
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2017
« Reply #96 on: 23 Apr 2017, 13:21 »

Not very well; a few thousand years entombed in basalt will do that for you. I also suspect that several millennia of total sensory deprivation didn't do anything good for his sanity either.

My concern really though is: Exactly how are they going to stop him? It's beginning to look like he is a practical immortal - Indestructible and ageless. Unless someone has brought a molecular disintegrator to the party, I suspect that he can shrug off anything anyone does to him!

The others more or less captured Pate so physically defeating him may not be necessary, however, his loyalty to him may have been a means to an end.  If he never saw Alice without her armor then he'd never know she was the person who trapped him all those years ago until she donned it for this battle.  Once she did he could care less about Pate's welfare at this point because he now has the one thing he's wanted for centuries.  If that's the case then divine or praeses intervention will be the only thing that can save them. 

According to the text Alice meant it when she threatened Sedna with encasement in lava so maybe she still has that capability and didn't need orbital bombardment for assistance.  If so then I don't see why she didn't think of using it again on Church.  Even if it ultimately didn't work trapping him for a few centuries would still buy more time than they had.  Perhaps it's a power she lost over the years since it appears that she flew over him to bring down the hammer and we haven't seen her fly or levitate since this story began.   

As for Church I have to wonder if he was mentally unstable before she buried him in lava or if smashing him in the head shortly before the lava cooled impeded his regenerative capabilities seeing as how his left eye doesn't glow red like the right, his teeth look broken, and his speech bubble looks crooked.   
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2017
« Reply #97 on: 23 Apr 2017, 14:13 »

I don't think it's healthy that his mouth is that big too.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2017
« Reply #98 on: 23 Apr 2017, 14:29 »

I'm just wondering how he is projecting sound through a vacuum.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - April 2017
« Reply #99 on: 23 Apr 2017, 14:31 »

I'm just wondering how he is projecting sound through a vacuum.
Me too.
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