Issue 1CoverPage 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21Page 22Break Issue 2CoverPage 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21Page 22Page 23Page 24Page 25Page 26Page 27Page 28Page 29Page 30Page 31Page 32Page 33Page 34Page 35Page 36Page 37Page 38Page 39Page 40Page 41Page 42Page 43Page 44Page 45Page 46Page 47Page 48Page 49Page 50 Issue 3CoverPage 1Page 2Page 3HolidayPage 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21page 22Page 23Page 24Page 25Page 26Page 27Page 28Page 29Page 30Page 31p 32Page 33Page 34Page 35Page 36Page 37Page 38Page 39Page 40Page 41Page 42Page 43Page 44Page 45Page 46Page 47Page 48Page 49Page 50Page 51Page 52Page 53Page 54Page 55Page 56Page 57Page 58Page 59Page 60Page 61Page 62Page 63Page 64Page 65Page 66Page 67Page 68Page 69Page 70Page 71Page 72Page 73Page 74Page 75Page 76Page 77Page 78 Guest ArtTuesdayWednesdayFriday Issue 4CoverPage 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21Page 22Page 23Page 24Page 25Page 26Page 27Page 28Page 29Page 30Page 31Page 32Page 33Page 34Page 35Page 36Page 37Page 38Page 39Page 40Page 41Page 42Page 43Page 44Page 45Page 46Page 47Page 48Page 49Page 50Page 51Page 52 Issue 5CoverPage 1Page 2NewspaperPage 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21Page 22Page 23Page 24Page 25Page 26Page 27Page 28Page 29Page 30Page 31Page 32Page 33Page 34Page 35Page 36Page 37Page 38Page 39Page 40Page 41Page 42Page 43Page 44Page 45Page 46Page 47Page 48Page 49Page 50Page 51Page 52Page 53Page 54Page 55Page 56Page 57Page 58Page 59Page 60HiatusPage 61Page 62Page 63Page 64Page 65Page 66Page 67Page 68Page 69Page 70Page 71Page 72Page 73Page 74Page 75Page 76Page 77Page 78Page 79Page 80Page 81Page 82Page 83Page 84Page 85Page 86Page 87Page 88Page 89Page 90Page 91Page 92Page 93Page 94Page 95Page 96Page 97Page 98Page 99Page 100Page 101Page 102Page 103Page 104Page 105Page 106Page 107Page 108Page 109Page 110Page 111Page 112Page 113Page 114Page 115Page 116Page 117Page 118Page 119Page 120Page 121Page 122Page 123Page 124Page 125Page 126Page 127Page 128Page 129Page 130Page 131Page 132Page 133Page 134Page 135Page 136Page 137Page 138Page 139Page 140Page 141Page 142Page 143Page 144Page 145Page 146Page 147Page 148Page 149Page 150Page 151Page 152Page 153Page 154Page 155Page 156Page 157Page 158Page 159Page 160Page 161Page 162Page 163Page 164Page 165Page 166Page 167 Issue 6CoverPage 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21Page 22Page 23Page 24Page 25Page 26Page 27Page 28Page 29Page 30Page 31Page 32Page 33Page 34Page 35Page 36Page 37Page 38Page 39Page 40Page 41Page 42Page 43Page 44Page 45Page 46Page 47Page 48Page 49Page 50Page 51Page 52Page 53Page 54Page 55Page 56Page 57Page 58Page 59Page 60Page 61Page 62Page 63Page 64Page 65Page 66Page 67Page 68Page 69Page 70Page 71Page 72Page 73Page 74Page 75Page 76Page 77Page 78Page 79Page 80Page 81Page 82Page 83Page 84Page 85Page 86Page 87Page 88Page 89Page 90Page 91Page 92Page 93Page 94Page 95Page 96Page 97Page 98Page 99Page 100Page 101Page 102Page 103Page 104Page 105Page 106Page 107Page 108Page 109Page 110Page 111Page 112Page 113Page 114Page 115Page 116Page 117Page 118Page 119Page 120Page 121Page 122Page 123Page 124Page 125Page 126Page 127Page 128Page 129Page 130Page 131Page 132Page 133Page 134Page 135Page 136Page 137Page 138Page 139Page 140Page 141Page 142Page 143Page 144Page 145 Bonus Content1234 Issue 7CoverPage 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21Page 22Page 23Page 24Page 25Page 26Page 27Page 28Page 29Page 30Page 31Page 32Page 33 Show Comments scottfree Welp, somebody with an enhanced sense of smell is sure to recognize the world’s most dangerous supervillain, right? Lysiuj Only if she’s ever had a chance to smell him before, which… honestly who knows? Rando AND remember his scent, from years ago and limited encounters. Abel Undercity Smell is a strong trigger for memory, so she just might. Eric Schissel He doesn’t have any madeleines on him, so he should be fine. (Yes, wrong sense- sorry…) Lisa Izo Did they ever meet in the first place for her to have anything to compare his scent to (through the vomit and blood)? Weatherheight And if he did much of his work himself and in person. I seem to recall proxies and robots was Menace’s modus operandi… “Proxies and Robots” – decent name for a band, better name for an album. Eric Schissel Or certain modern English symphonic poems, too… Tylikcat I kind of thought Feral was with more of a regional and maybe less approved sort of group, whereas Menace was a top tier villain? I mean, I don’t know who went organizing dance cards, but… Kid Chaos Well, there’s the way Menace introduced himself to the world, and then there’s Alison’s first meeting with Feral & co.; you tell me. 😜 Arkone Axon Wow… just wow… Looking back at the archives and their first teamup, I can’t help but notice what I didn’t see the first time I went through it. What a prima donna Mega-Girl was. Feral was incredibly smooth about handling the whole thing… which just puts Mega-Girl’s narcissistic behavior in even greater contrast. Weatherheight I periodically go back and re-read arcs, and good grief, the number of things I see now in a VERY different light given the story as it stands, as opposed to then. Craploads of foreshadowing I had missed the first time, as well – Brendan and Molly must have one mother of a plot-goes-this-way text. Kid Chaos It’s easy to be narcissistic when you’re super-strong and invulnerable. 😜 Arkone Axon She can’t smell that he’s Menace, obviously – but she can definitely tell that something’s up. And she doesn’t need a keen sense of smell to do it. Locolollipop But in the hospital she DID smell a man on her. So she might recognize that? 😮 Patrick_GETS_me Good call! I had completely forgotten about that. The jig’s up, Allison! screechfox Tara sees through your not-quite-lies-but-definitely-not-the-truth, Alison! She’s much too smart for this. Markus Tara has top tier eyes for staring daggers at someone. Tylikcat I was just reflecting on the decision not to do eye material transplants because her eyes were too distinctive and they didn’t want people to be targeted. I mean, if you had severe vision problems, and you could end up with eyes like that…?! (I am not surprised by the bioethcial call, but darn, absolutely no fun.) Weatherheight That guy who wants to be a tiger and has had all that alteration surgery? Can you imagine the cash he’d shell out for Tara’s eyes? Tylikcat Poor guy. I’d almost do it just for better vision. Well, okay, probably not, because I haven’t had laser surgery – but then I don’t entirely trust laser surgery, and my face without glasses kind of freaks me out. Arkone Axon Oh, I’ve had laser surgery. It’s NICE being able to get my face licked by affectionate dogs without having to clean my glasses afterwards. ^.^ DonSimpson I met him in person a couple of times at conventions; just briefly, never really talked with him. There were a lot of people around wearing costumes, but he was his own costume. bryan rasmussen does she have wolverine powers for smelling when someone is not telling the truth. Mechwarrior I get the impression that Alison is a bad enough liar that she doesn’t need them. Beroli She doesn’t need them. When someone actively moves their eyes to stare at nothing in particular off to the left while saying something, they might as well just yell “I’M LYING!” StClair (note – this is an actual thing, with roots in brain anatomy. really good liars can train themselves to cover it, but most people do it without thinking.) Evelyn Shea Even someone without extensive experience can get around it by telling the *right* lies. Make it something with just enough shame involved (but far less than the truth) that no one thinks you would be lying about it. Shame reaction is suddenly expected, and no one thinks you would shoot yourself in the foot as such for a *lie*. But then, the people who lie enough to have learned that and learned how to make it up on the spot are usually very good at what they do anyway. Most people, unless they’re coached, are going to just try and fail to lie bold-faced instead. Zorae42 Not necessarily. Some people are just bad at maintaining eye contact. APersonAmI Yeah, it depends on the person. I’m autistic, and while I use the methods available to me to show me I’m observant of the person I’m talking to, I’ll only ever meet their eyes in glances. If I start to say something while looking in your eyes, but move them to the side after a second or so while I keep talking, that doesn’t really mean anything except that I’m still autistic, big shock. Eric Schissel Same here; to focus on a conversation -and- to maintain eye contact is doubly difficult for me too, so I often just don’t. Christian H I’m not even autistic (that I know of) and I can’t bear extended eye-contact. I also slide my glance to the side during regular non-lying conversation. ampg The “I haven’t seen him in years” is a straight-up lie, though, right? She hasn’t seen him for about 6-12 months, if I’ve got the timeline right. Ray Radlein “I haven’t seen him in [0.75] years” Background Character Years? I can’t tell if Alison is exaggerating or if that time skip was really that large. It certainly didn’t feel like that much time has passed anyway. Lysiuj Maybe they’re aligning comic time with real world time? It’s been over two years since their scene in issue 5… juleslt Then that conversation in the park took many months 😛 Roman Snow It feels strange that it’s been that long. That conversation between them was just starting when I first discovered this comic. Background Character Out of curiosity, I checked back to the panel where she mentions the term “two years” and lord and behold http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-5/page-113/ it was two years ago. Lysiuj Nice! ZBass I’m pretty sure Al is outright lying. Feral might not be so sympathetic if she works out he’s Menace. Kid Chaos Yep; calling Patrick a “friend” is definitely stretching the truth to the breaking point. And good call with Feral! The Doc might not be able to keep a secret, but Feral can! 😎 Tylikcat Mm. Under other circumstance, I can imagine Feral being somewhat sympathetic to Patrick as a villain trying to remake himself (if probably less to to Alison lying.) But I don’t think Patrick sold his Templar stock to Lisa yet? Weatherheight New Avatar? Kid Chaos Yes! What do you think? 😎 Weatherheight I have mixed feelings… Bill Belichick has practically no sense of fair play and sportsmanship, as demonstrated by his behavior both on and off the field. He wins, demonstrating his skill as a coach, but his methods cast a pall on his ability and tarnishes the efforts of his team (which I find kind of annoying). On the other hand, Steve Grogan is the nephew of my former home-church’s minister, Steve was a heck of a nice guy, and when the Pat’s played an early game the Sunday sermon was direct and to the point. I was a Pat’s fan for a number of years for those reasons (except when they played the Eagles – I’m fum Philly, aftuh aw). I do rather like the Pat’s, regardless. Overall, I’m cautiously positive on your new avatar. 😀 Kid Chaos Interesting! I’ve been a Patriots fan since before the Bledsoe era, but not quite the Steve Grogan era. I like the classic “Old Pat” logo better than the new “Flying Elvis” logo. Brady’s arm was definitely moving forward (SEE: the “Tuck Rule” Game). And as the saying goes, he’s my coach, right or wrong. Now we’re on to Cincinnati. 😁 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gE5U0ZvmHIk Danygalw “That’s Patrick. I met him back in the day… I don’t think he has any other friends.” “He’s a friend of yours?” “I don’t think he has anyone closer to a friend. Arkone Axon He had LOTS of friends, actually. All the “henchmen.” Patrick stated emphatically that he never thought of them as such, he thought of them as “allies.” It’s why they were so loyal to him – and remain so. To quote the Dune series, “The Atreides buy loyalty with loyalty.” Danygalw Okay but, actual friends. With whom he has a reciprocal emotional connection. Arkone Axon I’m thinking he DID have a reciprocal emotional connection with them. The way he spoke of Cleaver -or rather, Daniel – implied that he was leading his guerilla/terrorist campaign against the establishment with his own “henchmen” as his motivation. To create a better world for… them. http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-3/page-45-2/ Xin Seems odd to give Manace’s real name, but ti wouldn’t really add up if Patrick himself started introducing himself either. screechfox I imagine she’s exaggerating, if only to try and help her case (somehow) that Patrick wasn’t a supervillain. Or, if Tara finds out that Patrick was Menace, saying years and not months makes Alison look a little better. (Edit: Or what ZBass said. That was shorter.) Rando Clevin is sweating in panel 4. Somethings up, he is worried Patrick is going to blow his cover or knows him from somewhere. Danygalw Or alternatively: there is a very drunk stranger in his bed, with some degree of unknown illness. He is worried about this. Also, less rationally, there’s a potentially hot guy of unclear acquaintance to his girlfriend in his bed. Zorae42 He’s also got well defined cheekbones and a lean face; sort of like Max and not like Klevin (and like that one random college guy she was drooling over once). Alison has a type and Klevin doesn’t really fit it, which may also be distressing. Not that it actually matters. All of the male celebrities I crushed on were basically of one type and my boyfriend doesn’t really fit it. But he’s definitely still attractive to me. Tylikcat Ha. I had totally sworn of long haired pretty boy musicians because they were nothing but trouble. Then I met a long haired pretty boy physicist, and ended up marrying him. TL;DR – he was nothing but trouble. (I think I’ve learned better.) Weatherheight Anyone too aware of how pretty they are is probably trouble. Got a friend who is model pretty and totally unaware of it. it’s both annoying and awe-inspiring at the same time, His wife is so wonderful a person it makes my head hurt. Tylikcat Maybe? He also might be worried about being collateral damage – again. Or marginalized every time BD business comes up. Heck, he’s a perceptive guy, and they just had their big I love you moment, and now there’s another guy in her bed, and all the body language and stuff has got to be pretty confusing. Tylikcat …and that’s if he’s not getting psychic leakage from Patrick, which could be super awkward. AdamBombTV C’mon Allison, tell the truth, this is your long time super villain turned sorta friend that has had a mental breakdown and head butted a door frame so hard that he split his head open to let the demons out. What’s so weird about that? Markus Here’s the bits I found that were weird: This is your long time super villain turned sorta friend that has had a mental breakdown and head butted a door frame so hard that he split his head open to let the demons out. I hope that was a helpful assessment! Lisa Izo You forgot the totally not weird part where this supervillain gave her info on another Biodynamic who she then tortured and threatened to augment you, Feral, without your knowledge and against his will. Totally not weird at all! Tylikcat Also, it’s the same guy who has been messing with your girlfriend. (I’m assuming the legal means make sense in world.) Lisa Izo I admire your optimism of thinking that things happening in this world make sense. motorfirebox This, or any world. palmvos you beat me to it…. ::bows:: Lisa Izo At least the real world tends to have people obey the laws of physics, if not the laws of humankind or morality 🙂 Good retort though, I commend you. Tylikcat Maybe I should say “make sense”. Jordan Wait, wouldn’t that be public knowledge? I don’t think he was stealth running the business, and it would be hard to at his age, so doesn’t the world know Patrick? Wouldn’t Feral know the man terrorizing her girlfriend because Feral is amazing? Tylikcat He has a figurehead officially running the corporation. MrSokar He very much stated he IS running it stealth. Officially he’s just an assistant. Arkone Axon Well, that was before she became Clevin’s girlfriend… but still, it IS her ex-boyfriend in his bed. Tylikcat Patrick has been messing with Lisa, Tara’s girlfriend. Not messing with in the exchange of bodily fluids sense, obviously. Nightsbridge I’m confused. Is the assumption here that Patrick used to be Allison’s boyfriend? Because he was not. And also I didn’t think we were talking about anyone who was part of the Allison/Clevin relationship? Arkone Axon Tylikcat pointed out that Patrick is “the same guy who has been messing with” Alison, i.e. Clevin’s girlfriend. And no, Patrick wasn’t Alison’s boyfriend, he was her friend and the subject of a mad crush – which ended when he deliberately said things he knew (because he could read her mind) would enrage her and push her away. So they never consummated their relationship, and her attraction to him may or may not have been reciprocated… but yes, for all intents and purposes this is “the really hot guy I used to date and couldn’t stop thinking about for years, and then we had a bad breakup, I dated ANOTHER hot guy and it ended badly, then I picked you up as a rebound relationship.” (Which is why I was unhappy to see Alison capitalize on Clevin’s crush on her; this is a really awesome guy who deserves a lot better than to be the “rebound guy” until she’s ready to dump him for someone she thinks is more exciting) Dan Nicholson I see the thing between Alison and Clevin as more like “Okay, two flashy guys I was attracted to have definitely been assholes under the hood. I should try something different. Oh! This is that.” I don’t think she’s after excitement. But she doesn’t entirely know what she wants. These are young folks! They’re trying, bless ’em. Thing I’m happy about, is that Clevin’s… actually not an idiot. He’s no vapid pretty fanboy. He’s got merit as a person. And I think he knows things might not work out. But… that’s life, you know? You live the bit in front of you. (Also, Alison’s the one that blurted out the “I Love… Your” first. That’s unexpected.) Tylikcat As I’ve already corrected once, I wasn’t talking about Patrick messing with Alison, but Patrick messing with Lisa. The last bit of Izo’s original post addresses Feral: “…who she then tortured and threatened to augment you, Feral, without your knowledge and against his will. Totally not weird at all!” So the your girlfriend was Feral’s girlfriend – Lisa. Arkone Axon Ah. Right, sorry. Ian Osmond No, Paladin is Feral’s girlfriend. dinner cat man the first panel is the face of a woman realizing there is no way she can explain this to her partner “Yeah he’s an ex-supervillain I had a crush on, but I got over it after he delivered an extremely bad take on the human condition. Your phone is on the coffee table hun.” Tylikcat Sadly, I think it might be the face of someone who is in someone else’s brain – only furthering Clevin’s freak-out. Arkone Axon …No. No, flat out no. Patrick is responsible for a LOT of bad stuff, but it’s really reaching to be scapegoating him for everything – including things happening when he’s unconscious and miserable. Give Alison enough respect to hold her accountable for her own actions. Tylikcat I’m not scapegoating Patrick for anything – Patrick’s clearing falling apart here. But the last panel on the previous page had that whole wall thing, which I think was a mental projection from Patrick? Which I think was where Alison’s attention was when Clevin walked in. I still wonder if it was an invitation, really. Lisa Izo It just means he supports Trump, don’t worry about it. Dean You know, considering that Patrick is the secret head of a major NY-based corporation, it’s entirely possible that he’s read Trump’s mind at least once. Lisa Izo Please… please you’re making the setup for the jokes too easy. 🙂 Ray Radlein Ew. Not sure what depths of villainy he would have been responsible for to deserve THAT sort of punishment Arkone Axon Actually, I’d think reading an empty mind like that would be… restful… :p Miri Waites Nah, it’s not empty. It’s full of anger and fear, paranoia and doubts. Not a fun thing to have swamp your perceptions and bleed into your own skull. Arkone Axon Funny, I would have thought the only thing in there was a running scroll of highlights from TV shows he’s been on. “There I am wrestling Vince MacMahon again! I am so awesome! I should wrestle Putin, I’m sure I could beat him!” (Yes, I’m suggesting that Trump A: thinks he could outgrapple a Judoka, and B: thinks pro wrestling is real ) Miri Waites That’s what he wants you to think – the affable fool gets away with tonnes and is treated with affection and given leeway. The nasty pathetic little man is just reviled Arkone Axon Do you hear anyone here expressing affection towards him? He’s a moronic sociopath. But you’re ruining the comedy here; if you can’t impeach them (especially since that would leave us with Pence), you can at least laugh at them. Miri Waites A) I have a toddler aka chronic sleep deprivation; B) I don’t think I’d see the funny side to somebody like that wielding the power he does even if I wasn’t permanently exhausted – he is too dangerous. I didn’t say people here treat him like that but I think enough people in the US think of him as a ‘real’ person rather than a career politician, somebody who makes gaffes like they do, somebody who isn’t afraid to say unpopular things that he thinks needs to be said – i.e. enough people who buy the persona he wants to project – for him to have become POTUS despite being an awful person. All jokes aside, I think Patrick would find echoes of his own ego, along with a living nightmare, in Trump’s skull – this could actually be what went wrong for him… Arkone Axon Oh, he makes “gaffes” all right. He’s a total imbecile. That’s actually why I’m glad he’s the one of the two “main” candidates to have won (and I say that as someone who voted for Johnson because I couldn’t vote for Stein because you can’t do write-in votes on an electronic machine). Every horrible and vile thing he’s been doing, or has tried to do… are things that Obama, Bush, and previous presidents have done. Except Trump is too STUPID to hide it or even just be discrete about it. And he’s aroused so much opposition to everything he does, that things are genuinely being shaken up. He’s horrible – but he’s stupidly horrible. He’s not just evil, he’s evil like a 1980s cartoon villain who throws tantrums after being foiled by a bunch of teenagers and their talking dog or magic alien toy or whatever the show’s about. He’s not just a horrible person and terrible president; he’s the latest and biggest crack in the whole rotten structure. And for the record: He is a truly awful, awful person. And despite the narrative that half the country suddenly morphed into a bunch of sexist racist white males all in opposition to the sainted First Female President (while ignoring the fact that Jill Stein was a superior candidate in every way), the fact is… a lot of female and minority voters who had previously voted for Obama decided Trump was still better than Clinton. Which, as I’ve said elsewhere, is like bribing the MLB to let you swing at a baseball set up on a T-ball stand to win the World Series, with all the bases loaded and you just have to hit a single… and you still manage to strike out. (And all jokes aside… look at Trump’s actual track record. “By their works shall ye know them.” Look at what he’s actually done. This is not the behavior of someone with a working brain. This is the behavior of someone who thinks that Invader Zim was a good role model to emulate) Lisa Izo It’s the most restful mind ever. It’s so restful, it’s the best at being restful. Better than anyone else’s at being restful, believe me about that. David Forrest But what did she say to Clevin? The pause in Allison’s story to Tara shouldn’t be there if she worked out an explanation for Clevin already. Wouldn’t she have practiced “This is … Patrick” to Clevin already? Lisa Izo “Yo…hipster pasta maker with the crush on me. Tend to the hot stranger with the headwound thats in my bed. Be back in a bit.” Lisa Izo “Also afterwards, make yourself useful and clean up the puke in the living room and I will let you continue to hang around me so I can exclude you from more speeches.” 🙂 Just being funny folks, no one get into a tizzy about it. palmvos I was formulating an extensive rebuke of your flippancy. then I read the final sentence of your post. so i came up with this garbage instead. Lisa Izo Preemptive Countermeasures were successful. Weatherheight ::hails a tizzy, opens the door, climbs inside, and speeds off into traffic while leaning his head out the window, his ears flapping in staccato counterpoint to the smooth purr of the tizzy’s engine:: Lisa Izo I’m just marveling at your post. Well done. Psile You lie to Tara, the high oracle of sexual tension? Bold move, Alison. Weatherheight I have to wonder if Tara has some degree of heightened perception. Rapid healing should also affect re-uptake limits, shouldn’t it? The part of my training that stuck least well – all that cognitive psych / biology overlap… Regardless, I should think some degree of enhanced body language fluency would ber reasonable. MedinaSidonia Oh yeah. She’s probably way off the human scale in terms of ability to read micro-expressions. Patrick_GETS_me If so, that makes her disregard for consent even more problematic… like that time she kissed Allison who was noooot into it. http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-3/page-10-3/ Shjade I think she figured out Alison was not into it pretty soon after getting decked through the wall. Before that, though, she looks like she’s having a good time, so what’s there to pick up on? Conversely, in the present situation, she’s not even being subtle about her discomfort. Heck, just the hesitation before giving his name is a pretty big red flag: why would she be hesitant about THAT detail, of all things? I’d be suspicious and I’m not superhuman. Weatherheight She was also way less experienced in the ways of the world – I’m pretty sure that was before her walkabout, and that, to my mind, was where Tara got her act together in a whole lot of ways. This doesn’t negate your point, though – it’s a good one. But young is not merely allowed to be stupid, it’s kind of expected. Blahorga Slisk OK, that didn’t disturb me at all. Nope, not disturbed… What it got me thinking about is how all that time she spent being a transplant donor has changed her brain. If I remember correctly they were unable to sedate her and she had to experience the pain of being basically butchered over and over again. And she had to motivate herself to go through it day after day… So how would prolonged exposure to that screw up her brain? Would her healing factor assist in rewiring her brain to make it easier to accept the ordeal, or would it work against changing the way her brain interprets intense pain? Either way would be scary… As I said, not disturbing at all… Patrick_GETS_me I think her brain had already changed the way it interpreted intense pain, after years of violence, the endorphins that must have come with all the fights and injuries, and the fact that she regenerates so pain no longer equates to “damage” in any lasting way. Remember, she once cut off her own foot and stuck it in an exhaust pipe just to keep a bad guy from getting away. palmvos i remember that. its too bad no bananas were available. ::proud member of the vegetable eater/ tormenter club:: MrSokar Just looking bad at Al and Tara’s first meeting now, she states “God damn that shit hurts” after getting shot up. So it seems she does or did feel pain, but her reaction to it did seem to be more of ignoring it than being crippled by it. Weatherheight As a rule, humans are pretty good at forgetting pain (PTSD notwithstanding). One of the Wolverine tropes has been the idea that he feels a heck of a lot of pain (since pain is related to re-uptake, as I understand it, and re-uptake efficiency is why his senses are so acute), but his pain threshold (that is to say, the point at which pain becomes incapacitating as opposed to merely noticeable) is remarkably higher and he isn’t as traumatized by it. Conversely, another seems to be that his healing factor (much as you suggest) slowly raises that same threshold over time – he gets rewired. One thing that we do know about people who experience intense pain – most learn to cope and report perceiving pain but less intensely over time, but not all. If Tara’s surgery time was pretty much constant before, then the new regimen of harvesting more material but less frequently would suggest that would give her more time to forget pain in those interim periods. Assuming her baseline interpretation of “pain” even resembles a baseline human’s version of pain… Chani Having experienced over a year of 24/7 pain… yeah, forgetting is right. My brain’s still resisting my efforts to remember enough to say something meaningful. 😛 It sucks, and it’s infuriating on a fairly regular basis. You block it out with distractions as much as you can; being undistracted is very unpleasant, but regularly necessary for pain management too. I do tend to ignore smaller pains a lot more now; I no longer assume pain means something’s wrong, or that anything could be done about it if it was. :/ But somehow, stubbing my toe still fucking hurts. WTF. On the other hand, short bursts of intense pain are even more forgettable. They leave you with a pretty strong motivation to avoid feeling that pain again, though. :/ I’ve tried some treatments that are themselves painful, and the hardest part was getting myself to not flinch when it started. The one where I had to keep my mouth still was the worst, because I usually distract myself with a steady stream of swearing. 🙂 Arkone Axon I’d say it has more to do with the fact that she grew up surrounded by untrustworthy types (including the ones she was killing as a teenaged vigilante), then wandered the world – not as a wealthy tourist but as a Ford Prefect style hitchhiker. Alison may have been hitting the books, but Tara’s got the practical experience. Francisco She has a sensitive nose: http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-3/680/ If her nose is that sensitive, then she could smell emotions. That’s how dogs and cats know who to trust. Weatherheight Heh – true that. On the other hand, she could have been playing Alison just to get a rise out of her and get information – kind of a thing between them I like the idea that the enhanced sense of smell is a truth though. Nice memory, by the way. Francisco I wish I could claim credit for a good memory. Someone posted to another part of the archives and I found myself browsing from that point forward. When I hit that page, I had a brainwave. Also other people had mentioned it but not linked to it. Urthman The “man” she smelled on Alison in that scene was Patrick, so she for sure knows Alison is lying to her. Ray Radlein Not necessarily. She said she knew Patrick from back when and that she hadn’t seen him in years. Since that conversation WAS years ago, there’s nothing there to contradict her. Arthur Frayn Taryn. Some guy You know Alison, you could just say “It’s complicated. I need him alive, for now.” and both conscious people won’t ask too many questions about it. Or Feral knows who he is from some undisclosed backstory, and your lies don’t matter anyway. Lisa Izo “I need him alive … for now.” Yes, that sounds quite heroic 🙂 Such a sentence could be followed with ‘Now take him… to the agony chamber!’ followed by a Dr. Evil laugh. 🙂 palmvos ::smiles:: Lisa Izo I’m picturing someone like Ming the Merciless saying something like that actually. DonSimpson Max von Sydow’s delivery of Ming’s lines in the 1980 Flash Gordon movie was amazing; totally the absolute ruler, and never cheesy. If I had only read those lines in a script, I wouldn’t have thought it possible. Lisa Izo Definitely one of my favorite movies. I don’t care how campy it is. It’s perfect. Plus the song is Queen’s best (maybe tied with Bohemian Rhapsody). Arkone Axon Plus it had Brian Blessed in it! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QtMulYBE-m0 Lisa Izo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyIIYerdlUA If you don’t start head nodding to this song or singing along or something, you’re clearly not human. 🙂 palmvos 14 dollars to stream in high def on amazon. wow. check your library. I remember when i was young watching this movie over and over again on HBO. then a friend of mine ‘loaned’ me a copy of the sound track. Ian Osmond Top-notch award-winning A-list actors for every single role… except the lead. …yeah. Lisa Izo *gasp* You don’t like Sam Jones?! Don’t tell Seth MacFarlane. Best part of the movie ‘Ted.’ 🙂 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_qI6LOc54w https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcTPhAp3Ax8 DEATH TO MING! palmvos ::smile broadens:: Jovial Contrarian >I need him alive, for now. Twisting people’s arms off doesn’t work when they’re dead, dammit! AshlaBoga Feral was a vigilante mass murderer. She might be one of the few biodynamics to have killed mdore than Menace. Arkone Axon Eh… not really “mass” murderer. But yes, a vigilante killer. In her defense, most of the people she was killing were trying to kill her right back, and generally in the middle of committing some sort of felonious activity when she confronted them and the weapons came out. Not saying she was in the right (she certainly no longer feels she was justified, hence her work to atone), just pointing out that she wasn’t nearly as bad as, say… Moonshadow. Jovial Contrarian >In her defense, most of the people she was killing were trying to kill her right back, and generally in the middle of committing some sort of felonious activity when she confronted them and the weapons came out. Don’t forget the “I’ve killed people just for sayin’ shit I didn’t want to hear” phase of her life :v Arkone Axon Yeah. I had to go looking in the archives to double check… yeah, you’re right about that one. One more reason why she was so determined to atone for her past. Rando Ah, “atonement”. Where she does good deeds, so the people she murdered for disagreeing with her can go, “Well, she killed me. But at least she is trying to be good now, and that’s all that really matters.” You can atone for stealing a car. You can’t atone for killing someone. Nothing you ever do will make up for taking that life, no matter how many people you save afterwards. Arkone Axon Oh, that’s very true. But there’s the flip side as well. 1: if you rush to judge and condemn everyone else… you end up with a whole lot of bad guys who need “punishment.” You turn into a Moonshadow – or a better analogy would be a Robespierre. Or a Torquemada. A Pol Pot. The reason (at least, the rational reason) we traditionally execute condemned murderers is less about punishment and more about ensuring they won’t repeat the act. These days there’s increasing debate about the death penalty, but the point remains: even diehard pro-gun “‘Murica” types like Robert Heinlein agreed that the point of hanging a child killer was so that they wouldn’t kill any more little girls. (That was from “Starship Troopers,” where a character is uncertain about whether the murderer was a willfully evil monster who knew what he was doing, or insane and needing to be put down like a sick dog. He knew he’d never know the answer for certain… but he knew the guy wouldn’t be killing any more little kids) But you shouldn’t be looking to punish them for revenge; then you’re just as nasty as they are, but with a self-righteous hypocrisy to your sadistic glee. You punish them to prevent future evil from being done… and if possible, without anger or hate while you do it. 2: One of the reasons for recidivism is that habitual offenders truly believe they are damned. That there is no redemption for them, no hope of being good ever again – and so they might as well be hanged for a sheep as well as for a lamb. As it is, Feral could have gone on murdering people on a whim. Instead, she’s trying to do better. It won’t make up for what she did… but it’s still better than the alternative. (Or as Granny Weatherwax would put it, “there’s no such thing as grey, only white that’s got a little grubby. And sin, young man, is treating people like things.”) palmvos ‘even diehard pro-gun “‘Murica” types like Robert Heinlein’ oh wow…. you are right about that scene in Starship Troopers. but he also wrote Friday, Job, Have Space Suit will Travel. (ok, there’s genocide in there), Stranger in a Strange Land (threatened genocide). Heinlein gets painted as a fascist because that was the ‘shut up and go away’ label of his time. I would say Heinlein is far more complex than you are giving him credit for. I learned much of my cynicism from Heinlein. and he also tried to teach hope. Arkone Axon Oh, I love Heinlein – I’ve read most of those and plenty other of his works. But… BUT. Heinlein was indeed “pro-gun,” “pro-America,” and very libertarian. In fact, in his later works he got a little… brittle about it. When I read “To Sail Beyond the Sunset” and the always sweet, loving, and empathic Maureen Johnson sneered at the idea of doing anything more with a suicidal person other than ignore their pleas for attention, it was a rather disquieting moment of a cranky old man speaking through the mouth of a character who would never have said such things ordinarily. (Not to mention that her son – Heinlein’s mary sue author avatar – had been saved from repeated suicide attempts. Not just “dying of old age,” but repeatedly pushing the suicide button in the hospital until they finally removed it) “Red Planet” was a book that marked his change to a different publisher because the old one tried to insist that he change things to show a girl getting her gun permit, instead of sticking with the doctor growling about letting a petty bureaucrat tell someone whether or not they can carry a means of self defense (and even a gun-control advocate ought to be able to acknowledge that this was set on a frontier world where that girl’s weapon could save her life against the very dangerous native wildlife). I gave him the convenient label of “”pro-gun “‘Murica” type” because he was an intelligent and well learned mind who also believed in the death penalty, and I wanted to emphasize that he was never, ever a “liberal nonviolent activist” type. But I’ve actually been thinking of Heinlein a lot during the last few chapters of SFP. Specifically regarding the way Alison demonized Max, and then how readers jumped in to emphasize how vile and evil Max is (even after Alison admitted she was wrong to demonize him). One of his quotes from “Time Enough For Love,” and a “from the journal of Lazarus Long” segment: “Your enemy is never a villain in his own eyes. Keep this in mind; it may offer a way to make him your friend. If not, you can kill him without hate — and quickly.” Tylikcat When Al went to visit Tara right before she began donating, she’d travelled with Patrick and probably smelled of him. What is the time line? zopponde IDK about Clevin but I’m not sure I could leave the building without realizing I didn’t have my phone. Patrick must have been watching the door waiting for Clevin to leave, and also determined to break some kind of record. Arkone Axon I can picture him mumbling onto the carpet where he puked, “…new… p’rsnl… bst…” Weatherheight Patrick is already a in-house, on-furniture, sweating-buckets passed-out-in-Clevin’s-space fait accompli. Clevin is dealing, but I have to wonder what the Patrick-expulsion-plan is that is going through his head just now. The jump cuts are really beginning to be irksome. I wanted to see/hear that conversation between Clevin and Alison, Even if it wasn’t a conversation. Hell, even if it wasn’t a conversation. Radon Yeah, I really think this page was… rushed. Possibly the “Al reacts to Clevin reacting to Patrick” and “Tara arrives home” pages weren’t big enough on their own, so they got smooshed together. Or they decided Tara’s ominous suspicion was the perfect cliffhanger to chew on for the weekend. Or they didn’t want to write/draw the scene, instead leaving it to the ~audience’s imagination~. Ah well. It’s what fanfic is for. MedinaSidonia Wh… what? This doesn’t track. Why is she lying about this? Harlequin The whole Menace thing is pretty hidden from the general public, AFAIK. Lisa Izo Generally you don’t want people to know if you have, for years, been friends with the world’s biggest terrorist who has tried to take over the planet and killed thousands of innocent people. It doesn’t give the proper public relations vibe that other actions get, like threatening to murder a crowd of civilians, plus a police officer. 🙂 AshlaBoga He’s as infamous and unpopular as Osama Bin Laden. Would you share that he’d quit terrorism and you’d just let him escape justice? Hell no! Lisa Izo I think Klevin’s hair gets poofier each time I see him. Eventually it will reach critical poof. Tylikcat His secret identity with be – Dandy-Lion! Lisa Izo I can’t think of anything to top your response. Merus I’m sort of hoping this spirals out of control because I’ve been wanting to see what happens when Alison’s friends realise that instead of fighting Menace to a draw she’s been friends with him the entire time. Now that I mention it, it’s funny how all of Alison’s friends got reintroduced earlier this episode And how he’s surprisingly vulnerable and therefore defending him from, say, Moonshadow is both the right thing to do and looks extremely bad And how he’s clearly not gotten any further on the international conspiracy thing, thus making the entire deception much harder to justify (But of course the good thing about this story is that it’s pretty good at going in unexpected directions that are much better than what you might anticipate given the setup) Francisco Or maybe he found something that rocked his world (like finding out his own parents were a key part of it)? Stephanie Well–if Patrick is to be believed, he’s not in Moonshadow’s target demographic. Lisa Izo Yes, he’s only a mass murderer and kidnapper. Him and Moonshadow have a lot in common. Stephanie Okay? But he’s not a rapist. Moonshadow specifically kills rapists, so it would never be necessary to defend him from Moonshadow. He and Alison already had this discussion. Lisa Izo Not sure what you’re arguing about. I just agreed with you. He’s not a rapist…. just a mass murderer and kidnapper. If Moonshadow also was a terrorist they’d have so much in common. Stephanie I mean, yeah, I just don’t really get what that had to do with my original comment. Lisa Izo It was me being snarky about how they’re both awful people. Literally, that’s all. MedinaSidonia Hey, is anyone else having a problem with Alison lying simply because of the overuse of the trope? I’ve seen this *so* damn many times in movies and TV shows (I’m looking at you, “The Flash”. I love you dearly, but godDAMN you people with your “OK, no more lies from now on!” *beat* *Lies to everyone*) that I just can’t judge objectively whether this particular bit of lying is at all reasonable. APersonAmI I don’t know about reasonable, but there was no actual need to lie. As Some Guy pointed out above, she could have said something along the lines of “he’s a former villian trying to make amends. He has the capacity to do a lot of good if he’s alive a bit longer.”, and then go on to be open about wanting to share too many more details for the moment. The overused trope I get bothered by is the massive amount of “relationship problems” in fiction that could be solved by five minutes of the people involved just talking to eachother. So many long storylines that would have ended the moment the characters went “this is how I feel.” “This is how *I* feel.”. Perhaps followed by “You too? Wow! I had no idea we had this thing in common!” or maybe “Hm. That’s not great, but now that we know, we can work together to sort this out quite readily.” Arkone Axon Actually there is a great deal of need to lie… mainly because she’s created a horribly byzantine house of cards for herself. It started when she confronted Menace and then failed to inform the rest of the team of what happened – and then quit in a very public fashion that disrupted their own lives and careers. More recently she’s committed some rather horrible crimes, and befriended Lisa while still being friends with Patrick. So she’s got a lot of dirty laundry that will piss off a lot of people when it all gets aired. That being said I do agree with you 100%. As bad as things are now, the more she continues to lie, the more they’ll all be pissed with her when the truth finally comes out (and they’ll be completely justified about it). As it is, she could still mitigate the damage by just… coming clean. Like in the penultimate episode of “Young Justice” in season 1. If you haven’t watched that show, I highly recommend it – it’s an excellent example of a show that DOESN’T need to rely on idiotic decisions to drive the plot forward. Stephanie It might be really big issue if everyone finds out she’s been buddying up to Menace, though. And “he’s a former villain” is easily enough for them to make the connection the instant they figure out he’s a telepath. Patrick_GETS_me So Feral is now unknowingly in the presence of the world’s greatest mind-reader, who is also the person trying to put her romantic partner out of business. Did Allison even think about how much danger she’s putting Feral and Lisa in?? I’m guessing THAT is what Feral is going to be the most mad about if she finds out. She should have called Hector. Magma Sam This is kind of a crazy situation and I don’t blame Alison for any mistakes she might make, but I will point out that Hector is specifically on a plane back to Europe right now. Even if she did “call him”, he’s a long way off. Patrick_GETS_me He could go micro and get in his tiny airplane and fly right back in a jiffy, though. Ben Posin I’d say Patrick is in a lot more danger by being near Feral than the other way around. pleasechangemymind …Clevin is holding an ice pack on Patrick’s head. Oh my god Clevin is amazing. I love this kid. He walks in on this really awkward situation with his girlfriend and guy who is passed out in her bed, and what does he do? He helps her put ice on his head because the dude is clearly injured and, regardless of what kinda weird shit is going on (biodynamically or romantically), that’s the right thing to do. *sniffles* Clevin… you are too precious for this world… Lostman He was much the trooper. Weatherheight Yes, he is much, much too precious for this world. Which leads to a sad but inevitable conclusion… Mwuhaha. Sendaz So what happens Patrick listens in on Clevin’s thoughts and finds he is deep down a really nice guy and the two of them hit it off because Patrick found someone he can’t find any dirt on which is like a welcome oasis in the mindstorm around him and Clevin experiences the Florence Nightingale effect resulting in the two departing hand in hand leaving a very confused Alison wondering what just happened? Okay maybe not…. 😛 palmvos this is a ship that will never die. it will be spit on, made fun of, compared to a turtle, it will have its parentage questioned, and it will be requested to do anatomically difficult activities. but it will never die. may you be rewarded appropriately for posting this ship. MrSokar Why would a turtle comparison be a bad thing? Turtles are awesome. palmvos its a pun. shipping is fast (hopefully) turtles are slow. (see eventual express) Jac True, but shipping of THIS kind is all about the journey, not the destination. Arkone Axon Patrick’s first conversation with Alison upon regaining consciousness: “I’ve been reading your boy Clevin’s thoughts while he was tending to me.” “…And?” “Keep your self-righteous hypocritical ass away from that boy. He’s too good for you.” “…He’s straight!” “Eh, I can change that. Remember, I can tell EXACTLY what he likes…” Cori J. I am ride or die on this ship Patrick Rochefort I want this to be true so badly. Well. The first part anyway. JohnTomato Feral cleans up well. As predicted, no smoochies for Clevin tonight. We’ll see how this develops. zellgato Dont’ flipping hide shit MORE SO AROUND THE MENTAL MANIPULATOR. who may or may not be in control of his own abilities nad powers. This is full tilt. call in the backup and a robot to observe and make sure things aren’t being manipulated. palmvos error cannot process requirements. robot requires authorization or explanation quote from command: “Alison, what the hell is going on over there?” backup is unavailable- remember Alison, you are no longer a member of law enforcement and your help will be specifically requested each time. please refrain from confronting mobs on your own! Weatherheight Master. Menace. Request. Parameter. Clarification. Proxy. Requests. Record. Generated. Of. Current. Conversation. Apply. Usual. Record. Modification. To. Conversation. Per. Plausible. Deniability. Protocol. Or. Per. Responsibility. Redirection. Protocol. Or. Per. Suitable. For. Framing. Protocol. Please. Select. Option. From. Menu. Templar Industries, providing the latest in advanced robotic support systems. (Not affiliated with anyone or anything named Menace. Honest. We really mean it.) zellgato Haha nice. but yeah.. she forgets that she’s just a citizen now…. and often tries to handle things on her own she shouldn’t (if she doesn’t wanna list towards being a dominator anyway) David Brown Lovely, lovely Feral again! Of course you’d see through everything. Even easier than that scene from Death Becomes Her. Which you could and have repeatedly recreated. Filthy Liar Hey good news Alison, Feral can literally smell your lies. That’s totally not going to be a thing. MrSokar Did Clevin forget to get the Advil be went out to get? Patrick could probably use some right about now. Darkoneko Hellsing mmHmmm.