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  • AustinC123

    ‘Don’t you hate people who only PRETEND at being cold and dispassionate? Now then, let’s smash this brain up.’

  • elilla

    Let’s add chaos and rupture to Patrick’s mind! What could possibly go wrong?¿

    • AdamBombTV

      Just a slight tangent, how are you guys able to do italic lettering and such?

      • elilla

        The comments here are outsourced to Disqus, which accepts a restricted HTML-style code for formatting. <i>This works for italics</i>, <b>this one for bold</b>, and <s>this does deleted/strike-through</s>. You can see more in this help article.

        • Gotham

          But now I want to know how you managed to write these ones /without/ it going bold and italics and struck through?

          • elilla

            That’s an HTML trick, too! Substitute < by &lt; and > by &gt; .

            How it works: In HTML the characters < and > are special, and used to set apart code from normal text. But then how do I tell the computer that I want an actual < character, not a code sequence? Well, there’s another special character for that: it’s &. & starts an “escape sequence”, where you name a character you want (like “lt” = “less than”, or “gt” = “greater than”), followed by a “;” to finish the escape. The computer will then substitute the whole thing by the character named inside it, as-is, without further converting it into code.

            But wait, you’re about to ask. How did I write “&lt;” above without it becoming an “<“? It’s simple: you can use the “&” character to escape itself, by naming the character “amp” (for “ampersand”) in the escape sequence. So, to make the example, I didn’t write “&lt;”, I wrote “&amp;lt;”.

            Is that confusing? xD Short story is, just replace the characters “” and “&” by the magic spells &lt;, &gt; and &amp;, respectively, and they’ll be converted into the former.

          • AdamBombTV

            I think we all learned something today, thank you elilla

    • Kid Chaos

      “Kid” is the name, “Chaos” is my game. *cracks knuckles* Where do we start? 😎

  • Gotham

    So, this doesn’t add up. It’s not Menace’s control that’s destroying the city if he was still in control even after he threw the towel in the real world. If everything started to break lose only when Alison threw his nihilistic self-loathing back in his face literally, then it’s girl!Patrick’s escape and disruption who’s causing the tyrannical order to become undone.

    I for one am always rooting for dissent, but there’s something about how convenient her plan is and how much she wants to convince Alison and the bold passion in her eyes in panel 4….

    Can’t wait for Alison to meet brain!Menace. “Don’t you get it? I was doing fine! I was making progress! I had clues, leads! That one over here puts that egotistical /us/ before all of our work and we are losing ground! Isn’t the Conspiracy what you came for? Isn’t it more important than the mental health of one boy whose very choice it /was/ to devote itself to that cause? I am willing to sacrifice Patrick’s happiness for this. The Patrick you know made his choice years ago. She wants to throw it all away, and for what? Because you once looked at us with misty eyes? Begone, Alison, and let us get back to work!

    Also on your way out would you please do something about the coyotes you’ve introduced here they’re everywhere this is an urban planning /nightmare/”

    • Tylikcat

      I basically agree, but it’s interesting that Menace dismissed the Anima.

      • We really don’t know if the Anima is a remotely reliable witness yet. Even the confrontation with the robots could have been a manipulation. It’s interesting that Allison’s getting a ‘trust me’ narrative shortly after Gurwara was emphasising the importance of understanding all viewpoints.

        • Tylikcat

          If you’re in someone’s head, and multiple fragments of their personality are fighting against each other, I don’t know if there’s much to be gained by taking sides with any of them unless you have an overwhelmingly good reason. Patrick has gone downhill. Rolling back the clock is probably not possible, and not even likely optimal, but I bet Menace has some pretty strong opinions, and I can’t imagine taking them as gospel (or acting to enhance the singularity of his hold) would be a great move either.

          Not talking to Menace, though, yeah, sounds like a poor choice. (I wonder how interested he is in talking to Al?)

          • Evelyn Shea

            Talking is Patrick’s strength. It’s how he’s gotten everything he’s wanted; it’s how he built a world dominating criminal organization, and it’s his only weapon. He’ll want to talk because it’s the only way he wins.

          • Tylikcat

            The only reasons I wonder is that he seems more interested in destroying her, and because his interactions with Alison seem to be key to the fraying of his personality. He might have reason to be pissed off and hostile, y’know?

      • Weatherheight

        The conscious personality always dismisses the sub-conscious.
        It’s an essential part of the job description.
        And so very rarely does it learn from its mistakes.

    • Jason Rivest

      We have a brain at war against itself. I doubt the answer is that one expression of the the brain must defeat the other. Rather, I suspect Alison’s role will be to reconcile the two.

      • StClair

        You think there’s only two. That’s cute.

    • Lisa Izo

      … gotta agree with Gotham here.

  • Vigil

    Ok, so “Anima” is actually the manifestation of all of Patrick’s self-loathing and self-doubt. Pretty sure her “defeating” “Menace” isn’t going to do anything good…

    • AdamBombTV

      C’mon, “whats the worst that could happen?”

    • Tylikcat

      If so, she’s the most chipper manifestation of self-loathing and self-doubt I’ve yet met. I think it’s a little more involved than that.

      • She’s claiming to be fighting fear and loathing in Patrick’s Brain, but we don’t know whether dream-Menace is a totalitarian autocrat, or a benign dictator. Patrick-as-Menace ran his crime network as pretty much a one-man-show, but behind the mask he was still fighting for right (or at least believed he was).

        The Anima could be telling the truth, she could be deluded, or she could be all the negatives that dream-Menace isn’t. The one thing that’s apparent is that she has the same utter certainty she’s right has the same willingness to manipulate as real world Patrick

        And we don’t know if there are only two factions, or if any of them are right.

    • Weatherheight

      The purpose of the Anima/animus is to get each of us to accept that part of ourselves which we don’t wish to face. This is not necessarily a bad thing…
      But its methods are often increasingly brutal if we refuse to heed it.

      • For Patrick the thing he might like least to face is self-doubt. His self-image is as the all-knowing oracle, that doesn’t leave room for the self-doubt that has to lurk somewhere inside hi.

  • AdamBombTV

    Maybe that’s a good rumble?

  • Dean

    Alison is now completely regretting her fight with Patrick. Girl just really likes mugs.

    • Olivier Faure

      Ahah, yeah. I like how Allison is obviously out of her depth here, and her mind catches on the most random details.

  • Arkone Axon

    “Would you kindly go and brain Menace with a golf club for me?”

    • GreatWyrmGold

      “…Don’t you guys share a brain?”

    • AshlaBoga

      If that’s Atlas, then Allison is Jack.

      • Arkone Axon

        Yes. That was my point. Do you think Alison will figure it out in time?

  • StClair

    Yes, “Patricia”. Unlike “Menace”, you are perfectly sane.

    • Gotham

      She named herself Patrick, without wanting to be a jerk about it, wouldn’t it be more appropriate to call her by her name of choice?

      • StClair

        I honestly forgot/did not notice.
        I can certainly call her by that name, but I foresee a problem if any (or all) other alters/fragments/personae choose to go by that name (and/or declare themselves to be The One True Patrick). But perhaps I should not concern myself with that until it becomes an actual issue.

        • Gotham

          I fancy the solution they came up with in trash scifi/fantasy stories with parallel dimensions and evil alter-egos, to do a AlternateUniverseName!CharacterName

        • GreatWyrmGold

          “I am Patrickus!”

          On a serious note, if the story doesn’t have all major aspects of Patrick’s personality call themselves Patrick and everyone else something else, I’ll be kinda disappointed.

        • CityFace

          That’s going to cause a little confusion. Mind if we call you Bruce to keep it clear?

          • Weatherheight

            Well said, Bruce!

          • Tsapki

            I’m still going by Patrick 63.

      • Rando

        Actually she said she WAS Patrick, not that her name was Patrick. The question was “What are you”, not “Who are you”.

        • Zinc

          Ah, of course. I guess her name is probably The Aged Aged Man, then.

  • Franklin J Gomes

    Yes Allison, that was a mug.

    And Looney-Toons fanwoy Watrick is wery wery disapwointed with you.

    • Eric Schissel

      Falling piano countdown already in progress.

  • Eli Pomerantz
    • Glotos

      Thank you. That saved a world of time archive-searching.

  • Patty, sweetie, even your slightly shrunk pupil and insomnia circles in panel 4 call BS on your own sanity

  • GreatWyrmGold

    I wonder how many aspects of Patrick’s personality are going to try to convince Allison that the other aspects are crazy by the time this is all over…

    • StClair

      Can I choose “all of them”?

      • tygertyger

        You probably should. The scary part is, what if they’re all right?

  • Walter

    “I know we’ve only just met, but you’ve got to trust me.”


    On the one hand, in SFP in any straightforward lady vs. guy question I’m generally inclined to think the lady will turn out to be correct. On the other, she sketchy. I’ll split the difference. I don’t think we can trust EITHER Pat, and guess that their division is what is driving the whole insane.

    • Weatherheight

      “Of course I have to trust you…
      “Or do I?”

      • palmvos

        :offers Weatherheight a really good looking apple::
        do you trust me?

        • Weatherheight

          Obviously you trust me, so of course I trust you.
          I mean, you’re still holding the apple in your hand, right?
          ::chomps his pearly whites together quite loudly::
          ::grins toothily::

          • palmvos

            I may have had smoke knight training…..

    • R Lex Eaton

      Yuuuuuup. That’s always been the thing with Pat. You don’t know.

      I’m hoping for a good resolution here. I’ll even take bittersweet at this point. I would be saddened if Alison got played a third time in that many issues.

  • Philip Bourque

    What if there is no ‘Patrick’ as an individual? What if everything we and Alison sees is merely whatever was cobbled together over the years from the various minds and personalities that were recorded? Would it matter?

    • Weatherheight

      And if it does matter, what are the implications?

    • Gotham

      Isn’t it the case for all of us anyway?

      • Mechwarrior

        Most of us aren’t parasitically absorbing the memories of everyone we get into proximity with. Our personalities are shaped by our individual experiences, not those of everyone we’ve ever met.

        • Gotham

          Of course we are, we interact with these guys and on the list of environmental factors dictating our behaviors and beliefs, social interaction is pretty much the most fundamental.
          If anything Patrick is the most individual there is because he is the only person on earth who can delineate between what others communicate to him and what they /want/ to communicate to him. He knows what’s lost in translation. He might not know what’s his and not but he knows what is and is not. It’s the one measly tentative step closer to the finish line on the light-years long path to Truth but that’s enough to get him ahead of any human that’s ever lived.

          • Mechwarrior

            Patrick is “more of an individual” than everyone else because he has powers that badly blur the lines where his consciousness ends and everyone else’s begin? What the hell kind of logic is that?

      • Philip Bourque

        Think of it this way: while the average person grows, develops and evolves due to their experiences, reactions to those experiences and other stimuli, ‘Patrick’ is Frankenstein’s Monster; pieces of other people that have come and gone, sewn together with no original pieces, nothing that is ‘Patrick’. At a glance, it looks grotesque, but functional. However, if you look closer, poke it a bit, you’ll notice that things are always on the verge of coming apart and as he encounters more people, ‘Patrick’ will sew on more things, extra fingers, an extra arm or leg, replace an eyeball. Eventually it becomes an incoherent mess, which is the point I think ‘Patrick’ is at now.
        This doesn’t mean that the average person is better off. We’re all mad here, after all.

    • ISTR that’s pretty much the current model of how the brain works anyway.

      • Philip Bourque

        Think of it this way: while the average person grows, develops and evolves due to their experiences, reactions to those experiences and other stimuli, ‘Patrick’ is Frankenstein’s Monster; pieces of other people that have come and gone, sewn together with no original pieces, nothing that is ‘Patrick’. At a glance, it looks grotesque, but functional. However, if you look closer, poke it a bit, you’ll notice that things are always on the verge of coming apart and as he encounters more people, ‘Patrick’ will sew on more things, extra fingers, an extra arm or leg, replace an eyeball. Eventually it becomes an incoherent mess, which is the point I think ‘Patrick’ is at now.
        This doesn’t mean that the average person is better off. We’re all mad here, after all.
        I know nothing of how the brain works and have only taken some psychology, so my viewpoint is amateurish and not to be trusted.

        • On the other hand, this is a Memory Palace, things sit there until you take them out to look at. Patrick may have absorbed the thoughts of everyone he’s encountered since he was 4, but have they had ongoing effects, or has he just partitioned them off into faces seen through a window, always repeating the same thoughts>

  • BadExampleMan

    “If you help me overthow Menace first, I can even…”

    …have terrible indigestion?

    • palmvos

      there are places to go to get indigestion.
      :: waits for list to follow::

      • Weatherheight

        “Across the road, a neon sign
        ” ‘All you can eat for a dollar ninety nine.’
        ” ‘Our Soul Food is the baddest in the land!’
        “But one dollar’s worth, was all that I could stand…
        “Sometimes… [sometiiiiimes] Sometimes bad is bad…”

  • Ben Posin

    I’m a big fan of this comic as a whole, but may have to take a break for a while. Not a knock on the writing, just pure personal bias/preference: I’m not a fan of this whole “let’s have a metaphorical adventure inside someone’s head” thing. And obviously I’ll reserve judgment until I see how it plays out, but I’m nervous about what appears might end up being an almost magical way of redeeming Patrick.

    • JeffH

      I couldn’t bring myself to take a break from SFP, but in general I agree. I just unsubscribed from an XMen book because it’s primarily taking place in the “astral plane” — aka “Metaphorical world with no real rules.”

      It’s not as strong as my, “Superheroes in space is always a bad story,” belief, but “no rules” usually means no expectations and no suspense.

      • Weatherheight

        Farouk/Shadow King should be used so, so sparingly…
        And he isn’t…

  • Rando

    So, shocking no one. Al is willing to let someone die, without even attempting to help, in order to get what she wants.

    Very heroic.

    • Walter

      I’m as on-board the ‘criticize Alison’s choices’ train as the next internet voice, but even I think you are reaching here.

      • R Lex Eaton

        Indeed. I was about to post on my own regarding how, well… callous Feral came across as in her priorities just before this little journey. But let’s not forget that Alison intends to do whatever good she can–the most, if possible. She’s out of her depth here, yes. But someone has to help Patrick here. And out of everyone here, she’s best suited for the task.

        Not ideal, but the situation calls for it. Even I can recognize that Professor Nilissimo had a point there.

      • Ben Posin

        Agreed. Alison doesn’t know what’s going on or whether she can actually help Patrick in any way. Patrick attempted to overthrow the U.S. government by force, with significant casualties—the only reason at this point he hasn’t been turned over to the U.S. government to be shot for treason is his work uncovering the conspiracy. I can understand Al’s priorities right now.

        • Rando

          Thats exactly the point.

          She doesn’t know what’s going on, she doesn’t even want to listen to it.

          She immediately jumps to, “Don’t care, let him die.”

    • Weatherheight

      Or she’s focused on the mission, making a morally ambiguous choice that nevertheless benefits the most people (theoretically).
      I think it’s likely that, if she can suss out a solution that accomplishes both ends while offering the greatest risk to her, she will choose that regardless of the risk to her.
      Not that accurate risk assessment is actually in her wheelhouse, but…

    • JeffH

      Trolly troll trolls.

  • Stephanie

    I immediately stopped trusting her when she said “trust me.”

    • Martin Cohen

      When someone says “Trust me”, I count my fingers after I shake their hand.

      • Pol Subanajouy

        I’m stealing that. That’s a good line.

    • Arkone Axon

      There’s a great piece of advice I learned a few months ago, and it very VERY much applies. “Whenever they tell you not to speak to a lawyer or the press, immediately talk to both.”

      • And from personal experience, that includes people theoretically on your side telling you not to get competent legal advice.

      • Evelyn Shea

        That’s a marvelous bit of advice I’ll hold onto.

      • M. Alan Thomas II

        Lawyer first. Sometimes there’s tactical legal reasons to not speak to the press, but only the lawyer would know them.

    • Bobo Chimpan

      Funny how that works. And how “believe me” from a certain person has an equally opposite effect…

  • Glotos

    Cold and dispassionate people don’t give mugs as signs of affection. Which suggests Menace wasn’t in control when Patrick gave it.

    FamPat claims to have escaped after the mug was thrown. Which suggests femPat wasn’t in control when Patrick gave it.

    I suspect there’s at least one more Patrick in there.

    • Or Menace isn’t the one-dimensional dictator he’s being painted. Anima-Patrick is being consistently manipulative, and trying to be subtle about it.

    • Graeme Sutton

      They do if they know it will get them what they want.

  • Cattya

    Is the marking on her face a scar from when the mug hit Patrick? I know his sleeping body doesn’t appear to have (that particular) one but it would be a nice touch.

    Also, order doesn’t usually make things fall apart. That’s the whole point of order, to keep things from falling apart, metaphorically and literally, right? but you know what breaks and makes messes of things? Chaos! Which, I guess, is her point, that she is now able to disrupt things. So how is the destruction she is causing Menace’s fault?

    • Weatherheight

      I refer you to the works of L.E. Modessit for a far better explanation of the the ramifications of order and chaos than I could ever give.

      Seriously, it’s pretty damned awesome stuff.

      • Khlovia

        Recommendation noted and bookmarked; thanks.

        Say, um, uh, I’ve been away. The comments on the next page have been shut down. Did things get too heated? or too spoilery?

        • Weatherheight

          Molly’s been pretty proactive about keeping us moving along and not dwelling on previous pages.
          Also, if she’s off-site (say, at a convention), she tends to lock the comments down from time to time.

          • Khlovia

            Oh, right, I forgot about that last bit; thanks.

  • Teka the Budgie

    I’ve heard “pretend to be” and “play at being” but not “pretend at being.” The phrasing is a little bit odd here.

  • JohnTomato

    Corinthian columns? So last century.

  • Darkoneko Hellsing

    That split of Menace doesn’t look too sane, either.

  • tygertyger

    Hmmm… the entity who’s glad that some chaos was introduced into the system is claiming that she wants to restore order. [sarcasm]Yeah, seems legit.[/sarcasm]