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What will Ardent's answer reveal?

Exactly what he said, a friend hacked the transporter console and he woke up on Earth.
It was actually someone no one ever heard of that promised this and Alice was wrong about the Praeses.
The Praeses are playing dumb and Laridia is just there to convince them they had nothing to do with Ardent going to Earth.
There's actually a rogue element among the Praeses in cahoots with a mysterious 3rd party.
Nothing.  Spookybot will wake up suddenly and realize this was all just a nightmare.

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Author Topic: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?  (Read 50881 times)

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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #50 on: 03 Jul 2017, 16:44 »

If I were Laridia I'd have a lot of questions for Alice and Gavia. I would want them alive and conscious. I would object to Church trying to render them into any other state. I would have home court advantage.

I wonder if this is a Well of Souls universe (Jack Chalker) where all reality is a computer program.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #51 on: 03 Jul 2017, 16:58 »

So I've been confused on something for months now.  Remember back when Gavia got her powers back and incinerated/popped the ship an they're all trying to grab onto each other and not fly off into space?  What was the deal with Church seeming to suddenly turn on Pate and get ready to flatten him before Alice came in and knocked him away, leading to their fistfight?  Why did he momentarily turn on him, and now why is he back to being loyal to Pate?
He didn't turn on him, he was trying to get ahold of him to guard him.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #52 on: 03 Jul 2017, 16:58 »

So I've been confused on something for months now.  Remember back when Gavia got her powers back and incinerated/popped the ship an they're all trying to grab onto each other and not fly off into space?  What was the deal with Church seeming to suddenly turn on Pate and get ready to flatten him before Alice came in and knocked him away, leading to their fistfight?  Why did he momentarily turn on him, and now why is he back to being loyal to Pate?

Church wasn't turning on Pate.  He was protecting him from the flying debris and the the energy bolts fired by Gavia.  It's just like in a situation where the Secret Service might throw the President down on the ground if shots are fired.   
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #53 on: 03 Jul 2017, 17:48 »

Perhaps Elmer (I still think that's his given name) Church is about to realize he owes Alice.  She was dispatched with the War Hammer to dispatch him but, just as 5,000 years later she couldn't go through with destroying Ardent when he wasn't presenting an immediate danger, she opted to imprison him instead.  (Recall that Gavia was bombarding the town when Alice pounded the snot out of her.)  That might be enough to send Elmer into a meltdown.

Jeph made a point of calling our attention to the War Hammer, so I'll not be surprised it we see it again, maybe quite soon.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #54 on: 03 Jul 2017, 19:01 »

Never expected to get a new strip in the same week or just one day after the previous one.  Thanks Jeph!   

What you didn't see was the comment below that he is "going to do these as fast as I can until we reach the end."

:(
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #55 on: 03 Jul 2017, 20:02 »

I have realized what it is about Pate that annoys me - he is so, so stupid.

I mean, here is Pate, who - just by sheerest chance - has gained access to an old world killing machine.
Suddenly, he's all "Fools! I will destroy you all!" - yet he is apparently utterly oblivious to the fact that there's a big, unknown Universe out there - and despite the new Unknowns that keep being thrown at him, he still hasn't exercised his wits enough to think "Whoa, wait a minute, maybe I'm out of my depth here..."
Pate proved that he knows next to nothing about the Praeses - ("magic space fairy"??) - yet he expects (without any real thought) to just unleash his thug and walk all over anyone in his way.

Stupidity. Grrrr. So annoying.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #56 on: 03 Jul 2017, 20:09 »

Hence my belief he'll soon be changing his name to Pâté
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #57 on: 03 Jul 2017, 23:30 »

I, personally, suspect that the Praeses will just be hands off until their interests are directly threatened. For example, they won't want Ardent or Gavia killed until they've answered the question of who is responsible for all of this. I also hope that Alice is the one to kill Church using a 'brain over brawn' approach.

It's quite possible that Jeph has been setting up Church's eventual destruction as a way to demonstrate the full terrible power of the hidden hand behind all these events but I think that would be a bit predictable as far as plot devices go.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #58 on: 04 Jul 2017, 06:19 »

Well, a lot of early conversations when Alice meant the space kids make sense now. Like Ardent saying back at the beginning he asked a total geek to hack the console then next thing he knew he woke up on Earth makes more sense now. So does Alice saying: "But you can't fool a Praeses! Why did they let you come?" and Sedna thinking that shouldn't be possible. And so does the fact that Gavia thought they could go home by just asking a praeses out loud, and instantly knew something was wrong and they were trapped on earth when nothing happened. And so does their characters. The fact they were used to easily getting what they wanted and not used to problem solving always confused me.

I can't help wondering what Gavia and Ardent are going to decide when they have a chance to process this, which will be after Pate discovers Mr Church is not the all powerful superweapon he believes him to be in all situations. Will they go back into their simulation which is the only home they know or decide they can't bear the thought of being disembodied? I notice Ardent is only saying to Gavia you can still go back and not we.

Also, what is Pate's endgame now he knows that the space people leading idyllic lives in the orbital rat cage he was so mad about are actually blips in a simulation? I'm sure short term he just wants the upper hand again because he doesn't like not being in control, but now he knows they are simulation runners does this change his plan for using their powers for galaxy domination? Perhaps not, they do have the technological capability to create some pretty incredible bodies to transfer consciousnesses into. Ardent has and Gavia had some amazing powers when they first came to Earth.

Do we know what the consciousnesses that call themselves Gavia and Ardent are? Were they naturally created people once, or simulations of naturally created people, or did the Praeses create them from scratch?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #59 on: 04 Jul 2017, 07:17 »

I suspect that Gavia and Ardent were MI (notice that I used 'Machine Intelligence', not 'Artificial Intelligence' - that matters) algorithms, created by meshing the algorithms of their 'father' and 'mother' and creating something new in a way that mimics how a child's genetics are created from their parents' genetics. Whilst they are code on an electronic media, they are still naturally-developed rather than the product of a deliberate and directed manufacturing process like Bubbles or Pintsize. This level of randomisation is what leads to personalities that the Praeses cannot predict or control beyond very limited levels.

I'm wondering if the Praeses were originally meant to be arks - designed to carry the intelligence of billions of humans to some new home upon which time they would have been re-embodied on the target world. When you think about it, digitising the crew and colonists makes a lot of sense. You still have a full active crew but you only need power to maintain the electronic environment and you can have as many unsuitable target systems as you like as the crew presumably would not age. However, the Praeses decided that they didn't want to go anywhere and just hung out in GEO instead. Maybe they thought that the throw-backs on Earth would die out eventually and they could reclaim the planet.

Then, maybe someone decided to kick them out of their holding pattern, one way or another.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #60 on: 04 Jul 2017, 07:30 »

It looks like this might very well be the last Alice Grove monthly thread.

I'm sure Pate's transformation into Paté shall happen next, as he realizes Mr. Church is just a small fish in this pond.

I'm still convinced the "outer" reality is also a simulation, as Ardent's powers can be easily explained as rewriting code.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #61 on: 04 Jul 2017, 09:30 »

I'm even more convinced it's a coming of age story.  The three modified humans are pretty much static with little room for change in their personalities, while Jesper is now and ever shall be a weasel.  Ardent and Gavia, however, have all kinds of room to grow as they mature.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #62 on: 04 Jul 2017, 11:33 »

New comic up!  Damn, Sedna, I always knew you were more bad-ass than you let on!  Same arm Church crushed, too.  Nice irony.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #63 on: 04 Jul 2017, 11:43 »

New comic... You know, Alice Grove turned into Uber so gradually I didn't even notice.

So this is all very metal and all, but if Sedna was considerably slower and weaker than Alice and Church was a blur to Alice, I don't think she'd even be able to reach Pate before Church was on her.  Maybe that'll give Gavia an opening though?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #64 on: 04 Jul 2017, 11:45 »

I think I just fell in love with Sedna.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #65 on: 04 Jul 2017, 11:51 »

Unless her implication is that this is also a simulation.

That is precisely what I took "ontologically identical" to mean!
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #66 on: 04 Jul 2017, 12:00 »

New comic... You know, Alice Grove turned into Uber so gradually I didn't even notice.

So this is all very metal and all, but if Sedna was considerably slower and weaker than Alice and Church was a blur to Alice, I don't think she'd even be able to reach Pate before Church was on her.  Maybe that'll give Gavia an opening though?

Or will Sedna attack Church directly?  Driving her bone knife into the base of his skull (I reckon she knows how to remove his helmet) will disrupt his functioning even if it doesn't kill him, and it'll buy Alice, Gavia, and even Ardent some time.  I wonder what would happen if Ardent picked up Sedna's arm?  (Sick pun intended.)  And then there's Laridia.  Will she put a stop to it, or stand by then take out the survivor?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #67 on: 04 Jul 2017, 12:27 »

Sedna is now...

Armed and Dangerous
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #68 on: 04 Jul 2017, 12:47 »

New comic... You know, Alice Grove turned into Uber so gradually I didn't even notice.

So this is all very metal and all, but if Sedna was considerably slower and weaker than Alice and Church was a blur to Alice, I don't think she'd even be able to reach Pate before Church was on her.  Maybe that'll give Gavia an opening though?

Or will Sedna attack Church directly?  Driving her bone knife into the base of his skull (I reckon she knows how to remove his helmet) will disrupt his functioning even if it doesn't kill him, and it'll buy Alice, Gavia, and even Ardent some time.  I wonder what would happen if Ardent picked up Sedna's arm?  (Sick pun intended.)  And then there's Laridia.  Will she put a stop to it, or stand by then take out the survivor?

Could be, I was assuming Sedna was going after Pate because going after Church directly would be futile.  Part of the problem with Church being so much faster than the others is that he could conceivably have killed Alice, Gavia and Ardent before Sedna even has her shiv ready, let alone cross the open space to threaten Church.  Alice was able to sucker punch Church when he was distracted in space, so maybe Sedna thinks she'll be able to do something similar, though I doubt armor that can stand up to orbital lasers, a war hammer and encasement in lava would get pierced by a bone shiv.  But who knows, maybe this is standard combat procedure for the superhumans and their bones are designed to break into super sharp shards. 

I'm hoping it's all moot and Laridia makes his head asplode.
« Last Edit: 04 Jul 2017, 13:05 by Daniel Patrick Moynihan »
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #69 on: 04 Jul 2017, 13:13 »

To make the rest of the super-soldiers's bodies work the way they do, the physical properties of their bones must be remarkable.

If it were an attack on Pate that Sedna was planning she would not have had to escalate that far. A punch like the one that disabled the carriage, into Pate's skull? Game over.

Time for Laridia to act, though. There's no need for a Prime Directive on your own territory. Most governments find it advisable to prevent others from breaching the peace.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #70 on: 04 Jul 2017, 13:59 »

Ouch!  I'm hoping Sedna didn't do that for nothing if Laridia has everything under control.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #71 on: 04 Jul 2017, 14:08 »

So, am I the only one who thinks that Sedna has Wolverine-levels of bio-regeneration?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #72 on: 04 Jul 2017, 14:24 »

Pretty sure they all do. Alice is already recovering from having her skull crushed.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #73 on: 04 Jul 2017, 14:46 »

That's been firmly established for some time, no?

I'm a bit surprised that she can attack with her arm ripped off ("it's just a flesh wound!") when a crushed shoulder incapacitated her previously, but I can roll with it.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #74 on: 04 Jul 2017, 15:07 »

I get the feeling that the way Alice, Church and Sedna are engineered, they're pretty much made to keep active until they are completely destroyed. I mean like Terminator levels of chasing after someone.

And they probably have a much higher resistance to pain that normal people. A crushed shoulder for us would probably require some strong anaesthetics, but for Sedna its a case of "Just let me keep my arm from moving. I'll be fine in a while."
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #75 on: 04 Jul 2017, 15:18 »

I note that it's her right arm that she's torn off; so she's wielding it with her left hand.  I suppose it's reasonable to assume that part of the enhancement of the super-soldiers is to minimise or remove "handedness".
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #76 on: 04 Jul 2017, 15:21 »

As someone who has had severe shoulder injury, it's moving the arm that causes the pain. It's reasonable to me that removing the arm entirely would be easier to bear.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #77 on: 04 Jul 2017, 15:52 »

Well, Sedna has been disarmed  :claireface:

Wait, but she's actually arming herself... by disarming herself. Weird.

My favorite thing about AG has been seeing Jeph doing stuff QC normally wouldn't let him. This is a rather extreme example.

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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #78 on: 04 Jul 2017, 17:21 »

'Op in, you look 'armless.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #79 on: 04 Jul 2017, 17:27 »

And here we were thinking that Sedna was basicallv 'armless  without a gun :claireface:
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #80 on: 04 Jul 2017, 17:34 »

I think Sedna knows she is not fast enough to stop Church before he reaches Alice, which I am sure is his first aim. As well as being the most dangerous there it is also personal.  But I do think Sedna is fast enough to encapacitate him with her newly armed self before he can do Alice permanent damage or death.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #81 on: 04 Jul 2017, 18:00 »

Jeph: "This is the most metal thing I have ever drawn"

Me: O.O "This is probably the most metal thing I have ever seen"
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #82 on: 04 Jul 2017, 18:10 »

Jeph: "This is the most metal thing I have ever drawn"

Me: O.O "This is probably the most metal thing I have ever seen"
This is the most metal thing I have ever seen:
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #83 on: 04 Jul 2017, 18:59 »

So, am I the only one who thinks that Sedna has Wolverine-levels of bio-regeneration?

I hope so.  This seems like something she'd do as a last resort because it might be impossible to grow back a limb.  She mentioned earlier about cutting off Church's head as if there was a way.  Maybe their bones are equally strong and she can use her forearm to cut through his neck.  Even if it can be done I don't know if there would be enough time since Church is faster than her.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #84 on: 04 Jul 2017, 19:09 »

Holy shit!
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #85 on: 04 Jul 2017, 22:01 »

Well.  Now this comic is going places.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #86 on: 04 Jul 2017, 22:10 »

Well.  Now this comic is going places.

Like A&E!
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #87 on: 04 Jul 2017, 22:34 »

I was absolutely NOT ready to see that..... :-o :-o
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #88 on: 05 Jul 2017, 02:43 »

  • "Grrrrrrh! I'm strong enough to rip off limbs, so I'm gonna RIP OFF MY OWN ARM AND STAB YOU WITH THE BONEGRRRRRRRRRHHHH!"

  • "Thank you, slow puny human, for pointing out to me that the stalemate that bound me has been broken by my adversary completely forgetting about me not ten seconds after you warned her not to. That was very observant of you - not bad for a lifeform not optimized for the rigorous physical and cognitive demands of the modern battlefield. If it's all the same to you, I shall now become a humaniform blur. Behold the amazing speed at which move my limbs and mind!"

Supersoldiers. How did humanity ever manage without them?  :mrgreen:

I have realized what it is about Pate that annoys me - he is so, so stupid.
...
Pate proved that he knows next to nothing about the Praeses - ("magic space fairy"??) - yet he expects (without any real thought) to just unleash his thug and walk all over anyone in his way.

Yeah ... right there with you - if his adversaries were average, un-augmented 21st-century humans, he'd be pâte before he'd finish his first Bond-villain speech. However, judging by the tactical genius he has been confronted with so far, I think he might be correct in his belief that he's practically Alexander III of Macedon by comparison.

P.S.: Yes, Alice appears to be the Napoleon to his Alexander not a complete dolt, either. Too bad she's so busy keeping the kids from breaking their necks tripping over the odd pebble sneaking up on them ...
« Last Edit: 05 Jul 2017, 07:22 by Case »
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #89 on: 05 Jul 2017, 05:04 »

Me, reading this strip: "Woah, Sedna, are you really tearing off your own arm to use as a club?"
Sedna: "No, I'm tearing off my own arm to use as a dagger, I'm not a barbarian.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #90 on: 05 Jul 2017, 09:35 »

Strip is up and Church is down and I fear Sedna is too.  It looks like they deflated so is their anatomy that of an extremely advanced Stretch Armstrong?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #91 on: 05 Jul 2017, 09:42 »

The only way to destroy one immovable object is by hitting it with a sharp point of something else similarly immovable, as Sedna demonstrated here. I'm not sure whether she is dead (or even Church for that matter). Given how durable the super-soldiers seem to be, it is quite possible that both of them just need to lie down for a few months so they can regenerate.

No, on second Sedna definitely stabs Church in the head in panel 4. I'm assuming that the brain is the only really vulnerable spot on one of these beings if you can penetrate their outer layers. If so, he's down for the count.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #92 on: 05 Jul 2017, 10:22 »

At worst, she collapsed from bleeding out. Easy enough fix for someone like her. If Alice can repair a crushed skull, regenerating from blood loss should be no problem.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #93 on: 05 Jul 2017, 10:23 »

She mentioned earlier about cutting off Church's head as if there was a way.  Maybe their bones are equally strong and she can use her forearm to cut through his neck.

You called it, Brasca, right down to the slice.

Now, Laridia, we need you to generate some fresh garlic to stuff in Elmer's mouth and an oaken stake to drive through his heart.  (Didn't the Highlander series have the decapitation motif?)  If Pate is smirking, we'll know he has reason to believe Church can recover.

I really hope Sedna can regenerate.  She's become my favorite character. 
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #94 on: 05 Jul 2017, 10:35 »

Pate's hand isn't looking quite as strong anymore
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #95 on: 05 Jul 2017, 11:16 »

Turns out Sedna WAS fast enough to stop Church, although apparently at the cost of her own life.

Although she did heal from heavy wounds before, so I wouldn't be surprised if they were BOTH still alive, only incapacitated.

Next I think someone will deal with our Paté friend.



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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #96 on: 05 Jul 2017, 12:19 »

Turns out Sedna WAS fast enough to stop Church, although apparently at the cost of her own life.
I think that may be because he was so focussed on something else, most likely Alice, that Sedna was able to get to him. She did take him down from behind.
Although she did heal from heavy wounds before, so I wouldn't be surprised if they were BOTH still alive, only incapacitated.
Me neither, but I sincerely prefer both dead to the alternative. And the fact that Jeph is trying to end this story, I don't think Mr. Church will survive this encounter.
Next I think someone will deal with our Paté friend.
Oh yes, I hope so.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #97 on: 05 Jul 2017, 13:48 »

Honestly, I'm a little bit disappointed that no one has commented on the fact that Sedna has made....a boning knife.

 :claireface:

I'll see myself out.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #98 on: 05 Jul 2017, 14:11 »

At first I thought "now wait just a goldurn minute here" (yes I do actually think like that). Church is so invulnerable that Alice originally had to bury him in lava to stop him, so Sedna just stabs him  a couple times and he falls over? Then it hit me: just as only a diamond can cut a diamond, perhaps only a jagged bit of super-soldier can cut another super-soldier. That is some SERIOUS material they're constructed out of.  If Alice had been willing to use a chunk of herself as a weapon, maybe she could have taken down Church earlier.

 I too hope Sedna survives, but that's not the way to bet. Perhaps her sacrifice will impress the Praeses.

Pretty sure Church is toast after that brain strike through the eye, unless they keep their brains elsewhere.

« Last Edit: 05 Jul 2017, 14:20 by WareWolf »
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #99 on: 05 Jul 2017, 14:16 »

Whatever the effect I am sure Sedna's intent was to kill.

So what keeps Pate alive after this? He's still needed for the plot.
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