SFP

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  • Kid Chaos

    Breaking and entering, Allison? This had better be worth it.

    • Markus

      I think one of Allison’s character traits that we might see evolve into a flaw at points is considering herself above the law. Yes she exists in a flawed system, but an ounce of procedural correctness pays pounds in a lot of situations.

      • masterofbones

        >we might see evolve into a flaw

        HA! As if it hasn’t happened several times already.

      • Ian Osmond

        She IS above the law. She’s pointed that out several times. First, it’s simply practically impossible for her to be controlled by law enforcement unless she decides to go along with it. But even creepier, law enforcement just plain gives her a pass on stuff. She kills a guy in front of everybody, and she’s not even arraigned. Now, admittedly, it’s quite probably that ANYBODY who killed a dude who’d just flamethrowered a bunch of doctors and their patient wouldn’t be arraigned, but they would probably be taken into the police station and questioned.

        Yes, the questioning would probably consist of, “Are you aware of just how awesome you are? HIGH FIVE!!” but it’s still kind of important to have a process in which you actually have someone make an official decision not to charge someone because the homicide was justified.

        Alison gets to kill a dude and walk away. More important, she gets to throw a truck and threaten the entire crowd outside and walk away.

        She absolutely is above the law. Both because the law can’t be enforced on her, and because her reputation and celebrity are such that people wouldn’t enforce the law on her anyway.

        • Kid Chaos

          “I am the law!” -Judge Dredd

          • Ian Osmond

            Yeah, but Judge Dredd actually is. The hyperviolent, hyperpoliced, hyperfascist American society in Judge Dredd was voted in on purpose.

            And, disturbingly, more and more police departments appear to be modifying their uniforms to match him.

        • Markus

          She’s above the law in that she can’t be punished by being arrested. She super isn’t above the law as a system if she wants to be a political figure capable of enacting change.

    • Bakkonator

      If she does not open the door it would be peeping at best.

    • Donald Simmons

      Like Batman ever got a warrant before he busted into a place!

      • Ryan

        Batman had a secret identity. (So did Alison, but not any more.)

      • Kid Chaos

        Alison isn’t Batman; I’M BATMAAAAAAN!

    • Ryan

      It must be tough being Alison and deciding how to enter a building. She has so many options:

      * knock on the door
      * knock down the door
      * knock down a wall
      * jump through a window
      * fly through a window
      * pick up the building, then walk under it and put it back down

  • Lostman

    I have a bad feeling about this…

    • Kid Chaos

      Ahhhh! Jinx! 🙁

      • Wikimancer

        Jynx*

  • David Nuttall

    It sounds like somebody left the TV on, probably tuned to PBS or NatGeoWild or something like that. B&E without a warrant is definitely not called for. Is standing on the balcony, without opening the door, disallowed, even if on the second floor?

  • Markus

    Called shot: TV is on to fake being in the apartment. Second floor is low enough for someone with acrobatic training to jump and roll down to the ground or to hop to the first floor balcony and then hop down.

    • rpenner

      “It was a PBS documentary. That’s how I knew the apartment was unoccupied.”

  • ∫Clémens×ds

    Either the TV is on or Mary is practicing her “patriarchy is a flaw of nature” speech.

  • Steele

    You’re not gonna sneak up on the invisible person now that you’ve already knocked, silly girl!

  • danny in canada

    a mention of baboons makes me think…

    how sure are we that the somadynamism storm only affected humans? Could it possibly have affected near-human apes, like chimps, gorillas, bonobos, orangutangs?

    • What, you’re looking for psychic gorilla villains?

      • masterofbones

        OH MY GOD!

      • Nicolai Sanders

        Now that you mention it…

    • Hawthorne

      I submit the following scientific evidence.

  • “You’re secretly a TV? How could you trick me like this?”

  • Pol Subanajouy

    So it begins. Scenes like this either end up furthering intrigue or blowing up big. I can feel the tension mounting.

  • Rod

    C’mon… c’monnnn…

  • Sabriel

    At least it’s not one of those “sliding door with a railing in front of it” situations.

  • Perlite

    Something tells me either Mary’s not there or we are about to enter another debate about morals, humanity, etc.

  • Clare Lane

    I was curious if anyone else recognized that documentary. 🙂 Hehe.

    • Sage Catharsis

      Based on the context of the situation it took me about three or four words before I guessed it and I just stopped and posted.

  • Markus

    Fun, somewhat unrelated fact: high ranking female bonobos will often amputate the fingers and toes of males.

  • Mystery girl

    Sure, bang really loud on the door. That’s /really/ going to make her want to let you in.

  • Stephanie Gertsch

    I wonder if Mary has the tv loud on purpose…

  • StClair

    Not “people”. Aggressive alpha males don’t count as “people”. Obviously.

    • ApostateltsopA

      So she read Queen of the Dammed and went, “Oh good idea? “

  • Okay, I’m gonna try and predict the future here.

    Options:
    1. The apartment is really empty, but there’s some kind of message from Mary to Alison (IE, “This is why I’m doing what I’m doing, stop looking for me”).
    2. It’s a setup. Chris/Furnace is imprisoned there, and the cops are just about to show up. Alison has to prove in court that she is not the slayer.
    3. Mary is throwing a surprise party for Alison and everybody eats cake and doesn’t fight.

    As a fan of compelling stories, I’m rooting for Option #2. As a human being who cares about these characters because they’re also humans, I’m rooting for Option #3.

    • Rod

      Option 2 has gone through my mind.

  • Ian Osmond

    Yeah — but the baboon tribe thing shows that it WORKS. Kill the most violent people, and the rest of the people will maintain a lower level of violence.

    It’s just not ETHICAL.

    • Ehhh…

      1) It shows it *may* work for *baboons*. That doesn’t even get you to higher primates in general, let alone people. Bonobos and chimpanzees have radically different social structures, despite being far, far closer to each other than either baboons or humans. Is that cultural, or genetic? environmentally driven or contingent? Damn if I know.
      2) That guy sets off all of my “keep a close eye on this one” warning-signals. The presentation has “confirmation bias” written all over it. Questions I have for him: has anyone checked your work? Is this troop geographically or environmentally isolated? If not, what is keeping the troop shorn of its alpha males from being dismembered by neighboring, intact, typically aggressive troops?
      3) I offer the counter-example of Paraguay after the War of the Triple Alliance. They lost 70% of their adult male population, and were occupied by Brazil for a half-dozen years afterwards. Thirty years later, presidents of Paraguay were being regularly removed by coups; sixty years later, they fought the Chaco War with Bolivia, defeating the Bolivarians and conquering the Grand Chaco. Or, for that matter, the examples of post Franco-Prussian War France, post-WWI Germany and the post-Civil War South. Decimation of military-age males and defeat does not historically result in feminized pastoral paradises, but rather aggressively patriarchal societies with exaggerated hypermasculine mores, distinguished by a swaggering chip-on-their-shoulder pugnacity.

      • Ian Osmond

        Bonobos and chimpanzees can interbreed; there are some phylogenic differences, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they have somewhat different adrenal responses, with chimps being naturally more high-strung than bonobos; bonobos tend to slightly more gracile than chimps, but I wouldn’t be able to tell them apart by looking. My gut feeling is that most of the difference is cultural, not genetic.

        The troop in question has a number of unusual characteristics — most significantly, they were near a human settlement that threw out a lot of food, so they NEVER had any reason to have resource conflicts. And that proximity to humans also tends to scare off other troops. If you think about it, there could be something going on which is analogous to the current theories about semi-self-domestication of dogs: that a lower degree of fear toward humans allows closer proximity and therefore utilization of human leftovers, and it also tracks with lower adrenal responses, therefore lower aggression, and more gracile bone structure and other phenotypical changes.

        The guy’s work is solid. What relevance this has to anything else is open to debate.

        • StClair

          right, so we should all get to work on that “post-scarcity” thing and (further) domesticating ourselves.

          • Ian Osmond

            We’re frankly close enough to “post-scarcity” that we could make it work if we managed the “further domestication” thing. East African Hairless Plain Apes are more gracile that the other great apes, have much shorter muzzles, to the point that we have actual problems caused by too many teeth for the snout length, and lower adrenaline responses to novelty, so you can see that we’ve gone through a whole lot of the hormonal and phenotypical domestication changes. But if we could CONTINUE the process, it would be better.

          • StClair

            Today I learned a new useful phrase. Thank you!

          • Rod

            “and (further) domesticating ourselves.”

            Ummm… you go right ahead with that. I’ll continue to just advocate letting people be themselves as much as possible while rearranging society so that there are natural restraints and consequences for undesireable behavior.

            (“Domesticate” people? *shudder*)

      • Santiago Tórtora

        I don’t think you are characterizing Paraguay correctly in your counter-example. The Chaco war was clearly defensive: The Chaco versus Everyone. Seriously, I think the Chaco itself is cursed and hates people.

        The Bolivians wouldn’t have attacked if they hadn’t been so desperate to have some access to the sea. They still to this day complain about losing access to the Pacific in a war with Chile (“¡Queremos nuestro mar!”), but they never complain about losing the Chaco, because everyone hates the Chaco and the Chaco hates us back.

        As for the political instability, I believe it’s not because the population is very violent, necessarily. If anything, I’d say people here are too complacent, and that makes them vulnerable to the occasional violent tyrant. When the coup and counter-coup cycle stabilized, we ended up ruled by the same dictator for 35 years!. And it was the military, not the civilian population, that eventually rebelled and overthrew(sp?) him.

        • I admit I’m not expert on Contra-Andean military-political history, but the Chaco is the other way from Bolivia than towards the Pacific, and all of Brazil in between towards the Atlantic. The Grand Chaco war was a simple Paraguaian-Bolivian affair, unlike the semi-suicidal War of the Triple Alliance, which was a conflict between Paraguay and all of her neighbors, right? Anyways, Paraguay after the Triple Alliance was merely the most extreme example of the modern era of a population stripped of its “alpha male” surplus. The other three examples are sufficient demonstrations of what happens with the human species when the vast majority of the “alpha” braves get killed off by external events. Namely, the surviving alphas and the up-graded betas overcompensate for their lost peers, and double down on the reproductive strategies usually described as “alpha”. What actually happens in the modern context is that a lot of females just don’t end up reproducing, and you have a population crash that echoes the battle losses, judging from what happened in Britain, Germany, and Soviet Russia.

          • Santiago Tórtora

            I think the baboons scenario was different from human wars because (at least in the case of the war against the Triple Alliance) it was not just the “surplus alpha males” that died. Civilians casualties were common, and the women and children would often fight when the men died.

            Remember humans are much more clever than baboons, so the pack leader is more likely to send cannon fodder to the front lines, so the human alphas are more likely to survive than baboon alphas.

  • Kid Chaos

    “Kneel before Grodd!”

  • Sage Catharsis

    Is that the monkey troop where all the alphas were killed by food poisoning from human garbage and they all became like jerry Seinfeld funny betas and formed a new kind of baboon society because of it? That’s what I remembered first? Yea no?

    • Ian Osmond

      Yep, that’s the one.

  • Kid Chaos

    What, you want snakes instead?

  • Elaine Lee

    If I were Queen of the Universe, with godlike powers, and if I wanted to do something that would make the world a lot better, I would 1) stop time, 2) personally interview every person on earth (don’t want to eliminate people just by group association), and 3) send the most aggressive males and the most passive females to an alternate universe (or maybe separate alternate universes). We’d end up with a much more equal society. (After that, I’d spend some time rewriting the world’s religions, but that’s for another day.) So, yes… removing violent, or even non-violent Alpha Males (think evil CEOs) would work to make the world better. But actual “killing” is a problem. If you were the kind of person who would choose that job, you’re the kind of person we don’t want here at all. And if you’re assigned that job, the act of killing would certainly screw you up.

    • Stormy9

      How much of behavior is genetic and how much is cultural? If you (as queen of the universe) separate all violent people from a culture that encourages violent behavior was it the culture that made them violent, were they inherently violent or some kind of combination. In my own personal experience (which amounts to zero helpful data but I’m also pretending that there could be a queen of the universe so whatever) the institutions that reward and punish behavior play a huge role in what we deem culturally acceptable. For example a religious institution (not even necessarily the religious text) might come up with a law that says women should cover their breasts and then that law is enforced by a gov. institution which motivates people to cover women’s breasts. It’s not the natural inclination to cover oneself that makes people hide breasts from public spaces, it’s the cultural integration of what was once some highly enforced rule. Another more realistic example is racism, I think most people can agree racism is bad and makes things we don’t look back on fondly as a society in whatever society it occurs. Shall we eject all racist people from the planet? Some people have more exposure or respond strongly to racist ideology but it is not something we are born with. Where do we learn to value one human over another based on cosmetic differences? That’s the thing that we should eject from the earth because that is what is causing the behaviors we don’t want. People who hate have always existed everywhere and not all of them are a product of their environment, I get that. However if whenever someone tried to start something fugly they got smacked down by the pimp slap of consequence or there were more rewards in an alternative/better path maybe we would see different behaviors. Of course then we’d have to define fugly and define alternative/better but this is already way to long. To end my ramble I’m all for kicking some people of the planet, I just think the terms violent and passive are a little too broad to really encapsulate the people who we want to get rid of versus the people who are the product of a problem that can’t be solved by getting rid of those individuals.

    • Rod

      Sounds like that’s, at best, a temporary solution. Would you be prepared to spend to rest of eternity occasionally weeding out the undesirables?

  • Elaine Lee

    Thanks for posting!

  • KatherineMW

    Nice touch to make the TV nature-documentary voice mention some of the same issues that our characters have been struggling with in regards to human society (male aggressiveness and social stratification).

  • Mechwarrior

    Will his compliance be rewarded?

  • Emmy

    “Call NOW and get your very own world free of patriarchal violence for only 99.99.99!

    • Mechwarrior

      Well played

    • Kid Chaos

      Mike the TV! Reboot! Good times…

  • Chris

    Nope. “Breaking and entering” does not require any literal breaking.

    • Ian Osmond

      From what I vaguely remember and I totally could be 100% wrong — it varies from state to state. That sort of thing is a state crime in the United States, and different states can count the same things differently. While SOME states may count it as breaking and entering even if the door is unlocked, I think that some other states make a distinction between if the door is locked, unlocked, or open.

  • Rod

    Scarier thought: she has the video on loop, he’s already watched it once, and she’s already done him in. He’ll be found bound up and dead. Not a cool scene.

  • Rod

    No, her righteous indignation at him means she can’t be practical about such things anymore.

    (Although, really, to have done that would have meant that not only was she coercing him to assist her, but that she was physically forcing him to go on her mission with her, regardless of any danger. It would have added yet another level of wrongness on her part.)

  • Ehhh… prior to the post-modern period, the people who started the war in the first place usually lose all influence. Jefferson Davis, for instance, wasn’t at all politically important in the post-Reconstruction South, nor were anyone else of political stature before or during the war. The Redemptionist political regimes were dominated by surviving younger generals, notably Wade Hampton and Bedford Forrest, neither of which were big noises before defeat.

    Likewise, although Ludendorff was involved in the early years of the Nazi Party, he caught all the flak from the Beer Hall Putsch, and ended up getting side-lined in favor of the infamous “corporal”, Hitler. He ended his days as a pacifist opposed to Nazism. And even Ludendorff wasn’t at all important in pre-war politics, his fame and importance was entirely a creation of the war itself.

    In short, defeat tends to sweep the board of pre-war and wartime leadership, leaving surviving military leadership to take the reins afterwards. Like de Gaulle, for instance.

  • Ian Osmond

    I know. It’s sad that law enforcement in my country saw Terry Gilliam’s BRAZIL , JUDGE DREDD, and ROBOCOP, and went, “Yeah, sure, we can do that!”