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Poll

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 71067 times)

brasca

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Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« on: 30 Jun 2017, 01:49 »

Ardent may or may not have been lying when Alice questioned him, but I don't think he can deceive Laridia or the Praeses now.  If he's telling the truth then there must be either a rogue element among the Praeses or the elusive AIs will finally make their move. 
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #1 on: 30 Jun 2017, 03:11 »

ARDENT: "Why shouldn't a complete stranger give me what I've always wanted? I mean... I deserve it, don't I? Why shouldn't I trust a complete stranger like that? I don't get why you're all looking at me as if I'm an idiot!"
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #2 on: 30 Jun 2017, 12:31 »

There is one option that I just thought of and nobody has mentioned it - as far as I can recall but that is a very small subset.

What if Ardent is the root cause?
There are no other players in the game outside of those that were always there.
What factor that may have been overlooked but has been an ongoing theme in a lot of scifi anime and manga is humanities next quantum shift in evolution once they become spacers. aka Newtypes
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #3 on: 30 Jun 2017, 17:01 »

That is possible.

The one as-yet unexplained factor is The Night Walker.

So maybe this being will somehow be associated with the root cause.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #4 on: 01 Jul 2017, 00:25 »

There is one option that I just thought of and nobody has mentioned it - as far as I can recall but that is a very small subset.

What if Ardent is the root cause?
There are no other players in the game outside of those that were always there.
What factor that may have been overlooked but has been an ongoing theme in a lot of scifi anime and manga is humanities next quantum shift in evolution once they become spacers. aka Newtypes

Ardent was willing to let Alice kill him if it meant averting the apocalypse she envisioned.  Either he's so good at reading people that he knew she could never go through with it or he's a sleeper agent, and if he is then it would have to be a third party that implanted that as well as his upgrade ability. 
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #5 on: 01 Jul 2017, 09:35 »

I just noticed that last strip Pate is confident that Church versus a giant space tree might "almost be a fair fight" (I assume in favour of Church).  But compare that to the most recent one and SpookySap considers all three supersoldiers combined and gives them a hard meh.
« Last Edit: 01 Jul 2017, 11:31 by blt »
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Neko_Ali

Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #6 on: 01 Jul 2017, 16:52 »

That is because Pate was a moderately sized fish in a small pond up until now. And he had control over the largest shark around. He just hasn't realized yet that he's stepped into a much larger body of water where he's not even a minnow, and his shark is nothing compared to the megalodons out in the deep dark.
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Castlerook

Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #7 on: 01 Jul 2017, 16:56 »

I still think Pate's going to be turned into Pate by the end of this story.

But yeah, Pate is in for a lesson on humility, there's always a bigger fish.

Or Roy Scheider with a rifle and a sinking boat...
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #8 on: 01 Jul 2017, 19:25 »

I'm convinced there's a third party behind all this, and I'm sure we're about to find out who. It would make narrative sense to be someone we know, but I can't think of anyone.

Except for that one guy who appeared at the very beggining looking for Alice. I'm onto you, Jack.

I still think Pate's going to be turned into Pate by the end of this story.
Don't you mean Paste?

« Last Edit: 01 Jul 2017, 19:38 by A Duck »
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #9 on: 01 Jul 2017, 19:36 »

Patť
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Castlerook

Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #10 on: 01 Jul 2017, 20:10 »

Don't you mean Paste?

Nope, Cesium133 got it right.

Although I imagine you might find the idea of fois gras horrifying and hard to swallow.

 :claireface:

I'll see myself out.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #11 on: 02 Jul 2017, 03:19 »

Don't you mean Paste?

Nope, Cesium133 got it right.

Although I imagine you might find the idea of fois gras horrifying and hard to swallow.

 :claireface:

I'll see myself out.

I don't need to "swallow" the idea of foie gras. It's a sad reality I internalized long ago and must liver with everyday  :psyduck:

I need sleep
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #12 on: 02 Jul 2017, 07:08 »

I just noticed that last strip Pate is confident that Church versus a giant space tree might "almost be a fair fight" (I assume in favour of Church).  But compare that to the most recent one and SpookySap considers all three supersoldiers combined and gives them a hard meh.

The giant space trees have had 5000 years to work up good defenses against the supersoldiers. And they've known about them all this time. The supersoldiers, up until Alice starting researching the Praesides, may not have known about them, and probably never really thought much about fighting them.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #13 on: 02 Jul 2017, 08:31 »

I don't need to "swallow" the idea of foie gras. It's a sad reality I internalized long ago and must liver with everyday  :psyduck:

I need sleep
Fun fact: Ducks are cannibals.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #14 on: 02 Jul 2017, 08:35 »

Fun fact: Ducks are cannibals.

Cannibals with explosive corkscrew penises.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0EbkDNKN-E
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #15 on: 02 Jul 2017, 11:04 »

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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #16 on: 02 Jul 2017, 12:18 »

 :venonat:
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #17 on: 02 Jul 2017, 12:36 »

Why don't we just use the summary video? (NSFW, obviously.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1v_EcjeIkg
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Castlerook

Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #18 on: 02 Jul 2017, 12:57 »

You guys need help and lots of it.

Preferably the professional kind.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #19 on: 02 Jul 2017, 13:02 »

Okay, Laridia, you've lost me.
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Castlerook

Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #20 on: 02 Jul 2017, 13:13 »

Oh god, it turns out they're all plugged into a variant of the Tranquillity Lane program!

QUICK! Someone get Liam Neeson and activate the failsafe before Betty finds them!
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BenRG

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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #21 on: 02 Jul 2017, 13:15 »

New Comic Up!

O... kay, so what we're seeing here is:
(click to show/hide)

So, yeah; definitely a third party involved here!
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #22 on: 02 Jul 2017, 13:36 »

The Praetrix  :clairedoge:
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #23 on: 02 Jul 2017, 13:54 »


O... kay, so what we're seeing here is:
(click to show/hide)

So, yeah; definitely a third party involved here!


Hmm, not sure. I think it may be more complicated than that.  I have to admit I'm not entirely sure what our author is on about here, but if we are talking about multiple realities that are equally real, and beings can be transferred between them,  then it seems to me this is a mechanism for the blink: one reality having been rendered uninhabitable the survivors were transferred to another.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #24 on: 02 Jul 2017, 13:57 »

I think it goes beyond just a computer program. I think they literally have multiple realities within the Praesides.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #25 on: 02 Jul 2017, 14:03 »

I'm guessing wildly that at some point Jeph watched the (little known - good luck finding a legal copy anywhere!) anime series Zegapain, in which people's consciousness gets moved between a true reality and a simulated one, and a group of people in the simulated reality are trying to save the true reality from the invaders who forced the retreat into simulation.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #26 on: 02 Jul 2017, 14:09 »

Ardent and Gavia believe that is what happened so my interpretation is that these two are clones and completely unaware of this.

Ardent may have had the desire to go to Earth so a mysterious third party or disgruntled praeses acting on their own sent an Ardent clone to fulfill this desire and created a Gavia doppleganger to pursue him.  I think that's why they are shocked.  This is like Bruce Willis finding out he was dead the whole time.   

Interestingly enough is that Pate knows enough about this to even ask. 
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #27 on: 02 Jul 2017, 14:14 »

So if there are multiple realities, Laridia's statement that Ardent's request is "impossible" presumably doesn't apply in all realities (given that we, at least, have no reason to disbelieve him).  So how did she decide which reality to refer to when making that statement?  Has she been materialised from one specific, maybe "primary", reality?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #28 on: 02 Jul 2017, 14:24 »

What is 'impossible' is that Ardent's consciousness could have left his home environment and entered the 'outer' reality of the physical universe occupied by Alice and the others without the Praeses being aware of the process.

What seems to have happened is that Ardent and Gavia were somehow diverted out of their reality into the subjective 'real world' through some kind of 'backdoor' that wasn't monitored by the Praeses. This was interpreted by their consciousnesses as someone teleporting them to Earth although I suspect it was actually a lot more complex a process than that.
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Case

Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #29 on: 02 Jul 2017, 16:35 »

Methinks Laridia needs to brush up on her ontology: There's a difference between "simulations indistinguishable from reality" and "reality" - the latter is the one that doesn't disappear when the Admin pulls the plug ...
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #30 on: 02 Jul 2017, 16:43 »

Unless her implication is that this is also a simulation.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #31 on: 02 Jul 2017, 17:16 »

If Morpheus shows up, I'm gonna really be worried.


Something definitely going on in the Praeses 'Perfect World'.

Revolution??
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #32 on: 02 Jul 2017, 18:36 »

Listen Laridia, donít try to out weird me, I get stranger things than you free with my breakfast cereal!

So, this casts the blink in a new light, doesn't it? Praeses intervention into their hosted realities?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #33 on: 02 Jul 2017, 21:39 »

It's probably worthwhile to listen to what Laridia actually is saying, without bringing assumptions (so far as we can). For example, in the previous strip, Laridia talked about Cupressaceae bringing Ardent & Co. "into its network." I assumed this meant allowing them physically into the areas where people live. But apparently that's not what she meant: instead of physical habitats, the praeses are gateways to different realities. She'd told us this, but it was easy to ignore the words and assume something else.

BenRG supposes that we're talking about a matrix-style situation, with a computer-simulated reality operating inside a non-computer reality. But that's not what Laridia is describing. She specifically says that the reality of our characters is exactly the same as those hosted by the praeses. Also, she seemed to actively consider the idea of bringing the whole party into the hosted reality. Thes isn't really possible if the hosted reality is a matrix and the outer reality isn't. At best you could clone the external characters and run their copies in the matrix-reality. I guess you could imagine knocking out the "real" characters and connecting them to an avatar in the simulated reality, but I don't see any of the stuff you'd need for that, and in any case it contradicts Laridia's claim that both realities are of the same type.

Assuming we take Laridia seriously, then I see two possibilities:

1. That both the internal hosted realities as well as the external reality (Earth with giant tree-beings orbiting) are simulations. This would suggest the Blink consisted of all of Earth's population being recreated in a giant simulated reality, with some of the Earth parameters changed. If this were true, then the ruined Earth might still exist outside the simulations. Perhaps Ardent was transferred from praeses to simulated Earth by agents on the non-simulated Earth running a hack on the simulation systems. Further, his abilities are an augmentation to his program that the praeses can't deal with.

2. (More likely.) That when Laridia talks about the hosted realities being identical to the external reality, she's not kidding. Perhaps the hosted realities are in fact real in the same way both old and post-Blink Earth are real. (How this work technically I have no idea.) You could imagine a multiverse, with praeses mediating between universes.

Note that Laridia refers to Ardent's "discontinuity." We'd imagined that Ardent's magic touch was the result of nanomachines doing an on-the-fly rebuilding of tech. But what if that's not what was happening? What if Ardent's ability is to actually change reality itself? Rather than having nanomachines turn a toy into a bird, what if the bird was brought into existence through a reality shift? This would tie into the notion of the Blink, which was an apparent reality shift on a global scale. And it would be properly referred to as a "discontinuity." The praeses would be quite right to not allow it to operate inside their hosted realities.

If this second possibility is what's happening, then we have the question of where Ardent's new reality-shifting ability came from. Is it related to the Blink? (probably). It could be what warped Ardent to Earth, and allowed his sister to follow. And of course it'd be interesting to see if Alice could have really killed Ardent, if he's that powerful.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #34 on: 02 Jul 2017, 22:11 »

It would probably help if I could read various on line descriptions  of philosophical ontology ive found and understand what on earth they are on about, but it seems to me that in one strip the AG universe has transformed into something deeply weird and complicated - unless it turns out Laridia can't be taken at face value.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #35 on: 03 Jul 2017, 00:26 »

BenRG supposes that we're talking about a matrix-style situation, with a computer-simulated reality operating inside a non-computer reality. But that's not what Laridia is describing. She specifically says that the reality of our characters is exactly the same as those hosted by the praeses. Also, she seemed to actively consider the idea of bringing the whole party into the hosted reality. Thes isn't really possible if the hosted reality is a matrix and the outer reality isn't. At best you could clone the external characters and run their copies in the matrix-reality. I guess you could imagine knocking out the "real" characters and connecting them to an avatar in the simulated reality, but I don't see any of the stuff you'd need for that, and in any case it contradicts Laridia's claim that both realities are of the same type.

Please refer to the Tron movies for examples of technology that can modify physical living creatures to software entities with the same characteristics within the limitations of the digital environment.

Just because a reality is software working on a city-sized biocomputer doesn't make the entities within it any less 'real'. It just means that their physical nature and the environment needed to keep them alive is different from ours. Also, remember that Laridia is at least going to be pushing out the 'party line'. The Praeses may have been programmed by their creators to believe (and tell their inmates) that their perfect paradise (and there are likely several different software enviornments, to cater to different world-views and expectations) is entirely as real as the physical world; maybe even better. So, Laridia as Cupressaceae's communications avatar, will reflect that. It is not necessarily be relaying fact, only what Cupressaceae believes to be true.

However, Ardent really wanted to know the world outside the Praeses' environments. Someone found that useful, as they did Gavia's need to take responsibility for and protect her brother.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #36 on: 03 Jul 2017, 05:12 »

Considering the "Blink", I'm assuming the "outside world" in itself is already a simulation in the same way the praeses apparently are, that's probably what Laridia meant.

And it all runs inside Pintsize's head
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Castlerook

Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #37 on: 03 Jul 2017, 05:26 »

Turns out the Blink was some final apocalyptic blast and the cast of Alive Grove are now in a version of Lost.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #38 on: 03 Jul 2017, 05:41 »

Considering a simulated reality, the "Blink" could simply have been a boolean variable switching values.

Also, the dreams Ardent had, with him as a whale and Gavia as a bird, could be a link to their original realities, maybe.

Why don't we just use the summary video? (NSFW, obviously.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1v_EcjeIkg
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #39 on: 03 Jul 2017, 10:51 »

Wow. New comic. Completely undermines everything I was thinking. OK, whatever.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #40 on: 03 Jul 2017, 11:48 »

I think that we're about to find out just how big a stick the Praeses are bringing to the party.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #41 on: 03 Jul 2017, 12:43 »

"Mr. Church, I do believe you're off your leash." And what, pray, does Pate think Church should do? There is a new party present, of unknown capacities and motives; what on Earth (yeah, yeah) makes Pate think Church's brand of elemental violence is even useful at this moment? More than a bit, mm, rash, I'd say.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #42 on: 03 Jul 2017, 12:52 »

Considering the "Blink", I'm assuming the "outside world" in itself is already a simulation in the same way the praeses apparently are, that's probably what Laridia meant.

And it all runs inside Pintsize's head
After the last two strips, I'm getting a similar impression.
What if the destruction of the environment, the surface of earth through the entire war, was so devastating (the strip, when Alice buries Church in Lava) that something somewhere flipped the switch for a global reality shift to let those who survived live a life without having to suffer on a devastated earth? Rebuilding everything, recultivating everything... The Praeses just paused life on earth as long as it would take the environment to heal itself again.

Maybe it's still devastated, maybe earth is what we've seen in Alice's village, ... maybe all of earth's life is suspended in an alternative reality, stuck in a giant computer on the moon. And the Nightwalker sent the signal for them, that "It's time to wake up", after those who were living "in the trees" (Praeses' Matrix) are finally able to leave them and go back to earth again.

I'm a little bit sad, that this is coming to an end so "soon" - I'm spoiled by QC :(
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #43 on: 03 Jul 2017, 12:58 »

So if Church is off the leash, and the only target he is interested in is Alice...

But if he tries that within the Praeses, I imagine we will see some overwhelming force prevent him ... or an alteration of the simulated reality which has an equivalent effect.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #44 on: 03 Jul 2017, 14:31 »

"Mr. Church, I do believe you're off your leash." And what, pray, does Pate think Church should do? There is a new party present, of unknown capacities and motives; what on Earth (yeah, yeah) makes Pate think Church's brand of elemental violence is even useful at this moment? More than a bit, mm, rash, I'd say.

I suspect the Praeses has the power to simply edit Mr. Church out of existence. No muss, no fuss.
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Kugai

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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #45 on: 03 Jul 2017, 14:35 »

Mr. Pate, I think you just made a big mistake.

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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #46 on: 03 Jul 2017, 15:27 »

Seeing as we all love to speculate around here, I'm going to take a long shot.

Church, being off the hook, and being a fellow with simple needs, will move to finish Alice off.

Contrary to popular opinion, I am not all that sure that the Praeses will make any move whatsoever to intervene.

Gavia, however, will recover enough to have her own Matrix moment, and will intervene. And that's when we will all discover that she has become more powerful than we could possibly have imagined.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #47 on: 03 Jul 2017, 15:57 »

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

So if Church is off the leash, and the only target he is interested in is Alice...

But if he tries that within the Praeses, I imagine we will see some overwhelming force prevent him ... or an alteration of the simulated reality which has an equivalent effect.

It would make more sense to attack Gavia first since she's the one that has the capability to hold Pate hostage in a way Church is powerless to stop.  Once she's neutralized Alice would be at his mercy again.  Maybe it's an animation error, but I thought as long as Gavia's eyes were blue the energy knife was in place so it might still be there, but because her concentration is diminished it shrunk to the size of a razor.  As such she's still capable of killing Pate at any time.  However, I don't think the Praeses or Laridia will permit this.   I theorized before that the countermeasure against a super soldier might be sap and since this is a very large tree I can see Church immersed into a river of it until it hardens into amber.  It would be just like lava only since it's clear Church would at least be able to see the world around him pass by.  That might be a greater torture. 

While I can understand Gavia's existential crisis after all of her experiences she might be considered more interesting than the original which could make her more popular. 
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #48 on: 03 Jul 2017, 16:33 »

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?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #49 on: 03 Jul 2017, 16:42 »

Then there's this:
[tweet]881910590993772544[/tweet]

*makes a bucket of popcorn*
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