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  • …he’s torrenting Physics from people’s brains. That is genius and yet really scary. He really does make a good supervillain.

    • Markus

      The least he could do is seed after he’s done.

      • Darkoneko Hellsing

        For all we know, he probably will.

      • Ryan

        Or, if he succeeds, seed before he’s started.

      • What’s seeding in this scenario?

  • Markus

    I’m still unsure whether Patrick brought these scientists here of their own free will.

    • Sage Catharsis

      Who cares. He could have just slepted in a hotel room next to theirs at a conference. It’s not like anyone was asked for consent when they were born or when these fictional characters were given super powers. Is he working on technology to block his telepathy? I bet he’s working on technology to block any blocks on his telepathy.

    • motorfirebox

      “Guys! Advanced theoretical scientist SLEEPOVER! My office! Doesn’t that sound fun? Also I’ll fund your research for the next decade.”

      I think they’re there ‘of their own free will’ inasmuch as Patrick knows exactly how to convince them to do whatever he wants.

      • StashaBoBasha

        I snorted while reading this. Also, truth! Why go through the bother of mental manipulation when you can just throw money at the problem?

    • JeffH

      Patrick said, “They’re all working in the same field of research… with all the resources Templar can muster.” That implies to me they are Templar employees of some sort, and likely saw the opportunity to sleep over in the millionaire boss’ mansion/headquarters as a great career opportunity.

      Now whether they were willingly sedated or not is a different story…

    • bta

      He can find everyone’s deepest desires. Convincing them to help him would be a piece of cake.

      But he probably doesn’t want them to spill the beans so there’s a high chance they won’t even know what he did to them.

  • Verdant_Samuel

    I’m gonna go ahead and assume that whoever murdered all those world-fixers (assuming that was true) dropped the ball on this one.

  • This is the most creative use of telepathy ever! My question is, what does Patrick want from time travel? And I agree with other comment: are the physicists here voluntarily??

    • Ryan .

      I disagree with the politics of the comic, but it is otherwise very well done and creative.

      • Someguy

        He could go back in time and save those supers that were eliminated. “The people who could save the world are already dead”? not anymore.

      • S.I. Rosenbaum

        Curious: what are the politics you disagree with?

    • Insanenoodlyguy

      Even if he can’t ever actually time travel, he’s still becoming one of if not the greatest
      experts on the subject (and the underlying physics, which probably is going to have some real applications). And since I doubt this is the first or only field he’s doing this with, that’s a lot of knowledge. This guy can probably do a lot more then anybody realizes.

    • masterofbones

      >what does Patrick want from time travel?

      Well, if you have time travel you can do pretty much anything. Omnipotence is a pretty tempting offer.

  • Finally, somebody who puts the “nap” in Napster.

  • Ryan .

    I’d be suspicious of someone who is kidnapping people.

    • Alepherson

      They all work for him. On his payroll. Technically any research they come up with is already his intellectual property.

      • GaryFarber

        I’ll keep in mind next time I have five people in my employ that I can drug them and dump them in sleeping bags on my office floor whenever I wish.

        I guess that was in their contracts.

        • Kittenbot Doomypants

          Just to be fair here, that may have been in their contracts. Not many people read those things in full. I mean, look at many of the mindless on Facebook. 🙂

        • Potatohead

          They work for a former supervillian. That is not outside the realm of possibility, considering the sort of bizarre stuff that gets shoved into the fine print of mundane real-world contracts.

        • Ryan

          Professors will do almost anything for tenure.

      • Darkoneko Hellsing

        in more ways than one.

  • Ryan .

    He clearly trusts her, at least.

    • Unillustrated

      He doesn’t trust Allison, he owns her. Maybe he’s fond of her too but he’s said himself that he was always careful to treat his ‘partners’ well.

  • David

    Let me be the first to explain what’s about to happen…or, more cryptically…what already did happen.

    Patrick does get this time travel thing working. Something that brings conflict with her. However, she doesn’t stop him, because of her feelings towards him…as this was his plan all along.

    Think about what made her first have a change of heart with everything…the conversation she had with him when he was Menace.

    He shows her files of superheroes who have been killed, and states that “Someone knew about us before we knew about ourselves”.

    That’s because their killer, is Patrick, from the future.

    • Insanenoodlyguy

      What’s his motivation though? He wants to change the world and has expressed disappointment that he can’t. Going back in time just to make sure the people who could cant seems overly petty (and pointless, unless he already saw that it was him doing it). A better option would be to fake their deaths and scoop them all up as kids, so he’s got all the world changing power in his own older experienced hands. Bring em all back at once in the present and he’s got a monopoly on… well, everything.

      • David

        Motivation: “I’m not powerful enough to be a villain”

        “That passive awareness of the conscious thoughts of others is truly the least impressive application of my anomaly. Who wants to stick around in the magazine section of the library of human consciousness. Skills, disciplines, languages, all available to be transcribed into one’s own personal collection.”

        • Insanenoodlyguy

          … None of those quotes you tossed out would explain why he want to go back in time and kill people. Unless we assume a time loop (and we have no reason to assume there is one right now) where he told a younger him he was going to do this, as far as he knows, those people are already dead. He doesn’t need to go back in time to kill them, because somebody did that for him!
          Now, if he wanted to go back to prevent their deaths, and/or find out who killed them, that’d make sense, since he could then consider himself the person who made the effort that made the difference. But simply going back and killing them does nothing but keep the current status quo in place. We know that (and so does he) because the current status quo is what happens in a world where those people die, and he is not satisfied with that status quo, which you’ve already quoted.

          • David

            He doesn’t “want” to kill them. He wants to go back and get their abilities before they can be killed.

            I think the application of his anomaly to take the skills of others, is what does kill them.

            When he told her about those heroes, who could actually change the world, being killed. He didn’t know it was him.

            He finds that out when it does actually happen.

          • Insanenoodlyguy

            That seems to be reaching a bit man, since everything we see so far is that his powers don’t work like that at all… I mean hell, if he can do that, why “manipulate” Allison when he could just do that to her? She’s out of the way and he’s now an unkillable juggernaut, which doesn’t exactly hurt his plans in any way, whatever they are.

          • David

            Patrick: “And for myself, my favorite schemes were the ones that flew under the radar until it was too late for anyone to do anything about them”

          • Insanenoodlyguy

            Well now we are going into wild speculations. I mean, any twist that we knew nothing about until it hits could be guessed at. I maintain skepticism about your theory.
            As far as wild theories go, I still prefer my own: If any time travel happents, it will be to go back and prevent Paladin’s murder bots from DESTROYING ALL. :P.
            I suppose time will tell.

          • David

            I wouldn’t really call it wild…as everything I listed above can indeed point to my theory. Convoluted maybe…but not wild.

            However, I will agree with you that it’s all just speculation.

          • Sendaz

            Or maybe rather than killing, he stages their deaths to plunk them safely away some where to use when needed.

          • Alepherson

            This would also not interfere with causality. This would be a non-timeline breaking interpretation of his motives. Even if, in the present “loop” they have already been saved, there is no distinction to be made if in a previous loop Justin/Menace witnessed the evidence for their murder and duplicated it during his time travel for the current loops menace to find and decide they were killed in order to have a closed timeline loop.

          • Classtoise

            Superheroes fight to “save” the world. He wants to “change” it. He bumps off superheroes so that they can’t “save” the world, and it disillusions folks like Alison (whose powers might not lend themselves too well to actually enacting change), so that there’s no one to tell him he might be crossing some moral threshold by changing the world to suit HIMSELF.

    • Omg, you just fully creeped me out!! (In a good way, meaning this is brilliant.) I really really hope you’re wrong, because I love Patrick as a pseudo good guy, trying to figure life out.

  • Given time and work, he’d be in the best position to evaluate the likelihoods. The neurobiological studies have been plagued by measurement issues and reporting biases. Hell, psychology in general has been crippled by the necessarily subjective observation at one or two removes of already intensely subjective phenomena. His panoptic telepathic anomaly is the closest they’d ever get to actual objective data.

    The only sticking point is that there’s still Patrick himself in the observation loop, and I still am not sold on how fundamentally rational the man is. He’s in a position to pull off the great-granddaddy of psychopathic mirroring techniques on Alison and anyone else he needs to influence or work with.

    • Chris

      Not just “in a position to” do it. He’s openly admitted that’s how he got people to do what he wanted.

  • motorfirebox

    You know, I’ve been mulling over just why Patrick would do the whole “Menace” thing and I think you might have hit the nail on the head.

    • ZBass

      I dunno, isn’t that giving teenage Patrick a lot of credit? I’d assumed i was the result of having both superpowers and prebuscent angst,

      • Ryan

        But Patrick has just revealed that he can illegally download other people’s knowledge, so you can’t assume that teenage Patrick was of average teenage intelligence.

  • Pol Subanajouy

    This only serves to make him scarier, but cooler at the same time.

  • KatherineMW

    With MIT making all their courses free and available online, you could legally download a physics degree now (the knowledge, not the credentials)…provided you had the brainpower to understand the material.

    • Still working on the direct-to-brain info dump…

    • Kid Chaos

      Ye cannae break the laws of physics!

  • Insanenoodlyguy

    He’s funding them. This might actually be in their contracts. I mean, it’s a pretty “evil” looking company still, I can totally see disturbing paperwork you gotta sign off on.

  • Unillustrated

    Kill him. Kill him now Allison. I don’t even care if he’s actually evil or not he’s too dangerous to live.

    • masterofbones

      I find it amusing that you are telling ALLISON this.

      Superheroes are too dangerous to live. Yes. Kinda something you have to ignore in a superhero story.

      • Unillustrated

        Eh, most superheroes are no more dangerous (on an individual level) than a rogue tank battalion. The one’s in this setting aren’t really even that high, for the most part. Nthere’s a handful of exceptions but only one of them is competitive with Marvel or DC’s worst.

      • GaryFarber

        No, no, no, no, no.

        You can *choose* to ignore something, but there’s absolutely no way you “have to,” and you can get great stories by using new spins.

        Not that, say, MARVELMAN/MIRACLEMAN is a new spin.

        • masterofbones

          Fair enough. But in a story where superheroes are accepted, that is one area that you either suspend disbelief or you don’t enjoy the story as much.

    • Maka556

      Allison can singlehandedly demolish an armored corps. Any building that she is in, during a combat scenario, immediately becomes nonsurvivable. At this point in time, the only theoretical way the US Government has of stopping Allison is through deployment of tactical nuclear ordinance. She’s not too dangerous to live?

      • Monochrome

        Actually, a quicksand or other goop trap could capture (super strength doesn’t help if you can’t touch anything) and drown her (if she can drown), so with preparation she isn’t that hard to capture/kill. And that isn’t including other solutions, like getting a teleporter to put her in orbit, or even better, out of orbit.

      • Unillustrated

        Not even close. The damage she can do is limited by her movement speed. Added to that, the nature of her ambition means that she’s still gathering info and forming her plan to ‘fix’ the world. That’ll last a long time. Patrick, on the other hand, is a menace.

  • Oh, that’s what Patrick is doing … well, if his intellect can handle the load and not break under the strain, he will soon have become the singular expert on every subject known to man.

    PS, had a good laugh at the idea of `Thought Piracy` … 😉

  • K. J. Hargan

    Interesting comments, but y’all are thinking too small. What if you could go back in time and download the minds of Einstein, Rembrandt, Da Vinci, Archimedes, etc?
    Patrick has always seen the larger picture. Merely killing off rivals is beneath him as he has already demonstrated.
    He wants to become something larger than the rest of us human apes.

  • Insanenoodlyguy

    I was kind of going devil’s advocate there. I don’t think he does. I think he considers all his power as a means to an end more then the end.

  • masterofbones

    Wasn’t this pretty clearly laid out earlier? I thought he pretty much said this word for word.

    • SirKaid

      So he claimed. Personally I think it’s more likely that he went with the whole Supervillain thing because he was a teenager making poor decisions and had an excellent power to be a bad guy with, then later on justified it with various “oh, it’ll keep the shadowy cabal of shadows off my back” excuses. Sort of like he lucked into it and then kept doing it because he could make the initially poor decision work for him instead of against him.

  • masterofbones

    And according to current laws/thoughts on consent, an argument could be made that if Patrick ever had sex, it would inherently be rape.

    Similar to how children/extremely drunk people are considered unable to consent, someone under the influence of a mind-reader would similarly be unable to consent. They are too vulnerable to manipulation.

    • Alepherson

      Any form of romance can be considered manipulation from that definition. If you know someone likes someone and do it for them repeatedly to make them happy, that is considered manipulation. Under the current cultural definition of rape, according to those who say 50+% of all women are raped, at least 50% of all men are raped as well. About 90% of sex is rape, under that definition, because someone is manipulated or coerced either against their better judgement or within it using emotional connections. It’s a bad definition. Now coercion using force or manipulating someones biology through drugs to change their emotional state or susceptibility in order to take advantage of them sexually is a definition which makes sense as motive and result can be easily and provably established in order to convict and remove problem elements from society and provide justice to victims. In the same way, the use or withholding of sex as a method of coercion is not something that can be proved so men and women who use this may be guilty of ethical and moral faults, but cannot be found guilty of criminal faults.

      Rape is a real issue which needs to be addressed. The idea that men and women think that they deserve sex or can take it when they want it or think that physical pleasure through sex is always welcome need to understand and be rehabilitated. Moreover, those who use sex as a means of dominance or demand sex as a form of personal gratification and affirmation of power from people not willing to perform it need to be rehabilitated, institutionalized or removed from society entirely. Those who say that someone cannot be raped or was asking for it are either trying to absolve themselves of a guilty conscious or attempting to minimize others burdens in order to make their own have greater impact and primacy in the minds of others. Men can be raped, by women or other men. Women can be raped in lesbian relationships, no matter what a certain well known V-day skit may say. Rape is never a good thing. The current thinking on consent needs to be tempered with an understanding of all of these facts, in my not-at-all-humble opinion.

  • Kid Chaos

    This is the crappiest slumber party I’ve ever seen.

  • GaryFarber

    So did these scientists volunteer for their naps on the floor?

    And why the floor, anyway? Can’t Patrick afford some cots or sofas?

    Presumably Alison isn’t okay with kidnapping, even if it’s for arguably benign reasons.

    • David

      I think her calmness through all this…is a direct result of his “controlling” her subtly.

      I understand she has feelings for him…but she simply asked “Are they…” and allowed him to cut her off and answer her…and then she thought nothing of it.

      • Dean

        Well, sure. Allison is aware that Patrick is constantly perceiving the thoughts of those around him, and therefore can answer questions before you ask them.

  • Dean

    I don’t know, being a champion martial artist or cellist involves a lot more than just raw knowlege. Reading every book about boxing in the world won’t make you Muhammad Ali.

  • D. Schwartz

    You may know it but your body still says hold on.

  • Adam McKinney Souza

    This is the most literal Thoughtcrime that has ever been.

  • Endless

    Yeah, but those reflexes would likely be body specific, no? It’d be like taking a NASCAR driver and putting him behind the wheel of a Formula One, his motor memory won’t be as applicable, his instincts might be wrong.

    Mind-pirating Kung-Fu might make Patrick a better fighter, but I don’t think it’d make him as good as the original martial artist.

  • Mystery girl

    …Does this mean that he can experience people’s dreams too?

  • I’m quite curious to see how it goes. But yeah, time travel always seems to end in disaster, fictionally.

  • Philip Bourque

    So, he’s downloading and installing their factual knowledge and understanding of the material. If he’ll be able to make use of all of that is another matter entirely. I know people who can write amazingly well and artists who have phenomenal abilities, but rely on others for purpose.

  • Classtoise

    Yes and know. If I suddenly gained perfect knowledge and muscle memory of how to do any kung fu move you’ve ever seen, this doesn’t mean my body stops being a doughy mass o’ crap. I still have to warm up and get in shape so I can do any of these moves without severely injuring myself.

  • Darkoneko Hellsing

    Thought piracy, hehehe.

  • Monochrome

    It reminded me of a quote from one of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy books:
    “The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don’t.”

  • Avery

    Really adds a whole new dimension to his “Thinking of You” slogan around the city.

  • SirKaid

    Oh sure, the Patrick of today absolutely has his ducks in a row. I just think that as a kid he was an irrational megalomaniac.

  • Ryan .

    The third-wave bolshevism.

    • MrSing

      That’s exactly what a communist spy would say. Don’t you agree, comrade?

    • KatherineMW

      Superpowered people as the ‘vanguard’ for social change, you mean?

      • Ryan .

        To be specific, the comic questions viewpoints that the authors only want to question. All mainstream ideas have substantial weaknesses in their logic or fairness.

    • ApostateltsopA

      Way to answer a question without actually providing an answer. Something moved you to comment, why get all cryptic about it now?

  • Urthman

    Time travel is only a problem if you want to change the past. If all you want is to go back and observe (that is, absorb the skills of) minds you no longer have access to, that shouldn’t cause any paradox.

  • Vadelent

    Or, or. He could go back in time to just before someone was brutally murdered and jump them forward in time to where he started from and have the timeline just do little hiccups instead of fullblown system shock. For like say, that kid that could make an endless amount of clean energy or any of those other ones that someone went far out of their way to make sure didn’t live.

  • So, is Allison just ignoring Paladin’s assessment of Menace? Because I no longer completely trust him after that enlightening speech.