SFP

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  • Gotham

    To be fair, RK is the only viable choice left for now (lest she alters her sexuality or commit awful crimes) /until/ she meets Menace and his, I wager, sweet charismatic presence and authority.

    And sure RK might lack the arousing resolve of Anima, be easily flustered and generally non-intimidating, wear glas—

    Oh my God Patrick Prime modlled RK on Clevin.

    • Lheticus Videre

      HOW is this the first this is mentioned…let alone the first I’ve realized it?! XD

    • Insanenoodlyguy

      Hmm, I don’t really see it to be honest. And it seems Unlikely. He just met Clevin. RK has been around a lot longer then that. Though if I’m off and it’s meant to resemble him, it’s probably that he currently either because A. Pat has now met Clevin and he’s a good approximation of this part of his personality, or B. Allison is ultimately filtering this through her own perception to understand deep telepathic communion and assigned the cute librarian this appearance subsequently.

      • Gotham

        I knew I should have added “have ridiculous hair” to the list to make it obvious I was not taking this super seriously

        • Insanenoodlyguy

          Ah. I understand now.

  • Gotham

    I’m sure Record-Keeps will handle a confession with dignity and confidence indeed.

    That’s almost a loss: while the three others clearly have their distinct personalities, kid Patrick is barely anything more than regular Patrick. If RK managed to develop adorkableness why not this one to develop little-kid-ness?

    What do I know, maybe he was super smart before the power surge. No normal four year old uses the word “innocuously”

    • Incendax

      This seems like ‘Sentimental’ Patrick, or as close to sentiment as Patrick can get. The fact that he was here seems to suggest this Patrick was paying attention to the memory when Alison wandered in. It’s even possible this is Patrick Prime surrounded by his most core and fundamental memories.

      • Insanenoodlyguy

        I’m pretty sure he’s the Jungian archetype of the child, who focuses on beginnings and one’s own salvation.

  • AdamBombTV

    Ha! Alison’s got a type… and Patrick knows this… This whole damn thing is a trap isn’t it.

    • Weatherheight

      I believe I raised that possibility last post… 😀

  • Kid Chaos

    “Bring the adorable librarian back”; yes, please do. 😍

    • Callinectes

      Adorkable

      • Kid Chaos

        *Rereads* Totally adorkable. 😜

    • M. Alan Thomas II

      Here I am!

      • Kid Chaos

        Seriously? We have an actual librarian in our midst? *Mind Blown* 😵

        • M. Alan Thomas II

          Not only that, I work at one of about 200 public libraries with a copy of Strong Female Protagonist on the shelves.

          (Not actually my doing. Although now that I’ve taken over the HS/Adult graphic novels collection, Book Two will be entirely my responsibility!)

          • Kid Chaos

            Like, wow, man; awesome. 😎 And speaking of graphic novels, I was able to get “Shattered Warrior” (illustrated by Molly Ostertag) from my local library. Small world, huh? 😁

        • CityFace

          [Another adorkable (for certain values of adorkable) librarian raises his hand shyly]

          • Kid Chaos

            Woo-Hoo! Party in the library! (Shhhh!) *whispers* Party in the library! 😎

  • Incendax

    But… this version of Patrick has been the most direct and immediately helpful! All the others have been constantly distracted by their own agenda!

    • GreatWyrmGold

      You think this one hasn’t? We’ve barely spotted the tip of his iceberg…

    • Gotham

      You call that helpful?

      “I’m here for the Conspiracy. I’m assuming you know this shit as much as the others so start s—”
      “THAT REMInds me of the time you used to love me and wanted nothing more than to probe my mind and soul and body let’s get sidetracked some more talking about that while I have the form of a smol boy so that your embarrassment makes it so you completely forget both your question and that you were just trying to catch a thought thief”

      • Insanenoodlyguy

        I don’t think it’s so much a intentional distraction as it is difficulty with focus: All of these facets of Patrick have their own agendas and priorities. None of the ones so far line up with Allison’s agenda. Anima and Menace want to dominate the gestault, I use that term since we are almost certainly working with Jungian Psychology here, though it’s a bit difficult as depending on the person, they can have more then 5 aspects…

        That said, Anyway, if we roll with this, Anima’s name doesn’t seem to work right. While the Anima does embody the feminine side of a man, it is also the hidden “true” self (your false self or your Persona being what you must present to the world, as the true self can only exist fully inside of you free from other influence), considering Anima has stated she has only recently been freed and there is an active effort by the more dominante aspect of Patrick’s personality to suppress her, Anima actually seems to be more in line with the Shadow, the part of ones personality they want suppressed, the “dark side” as it were. In this case dark is not objective evil, but what we view as evil, inferior or unacceptable in ourselves that nonetheless is there. What you deny in yourself and project onto others. If “Anima” is the Shadow, then she’s named herself based on a belief she should in fact be the Anima. At any rate, the Anima’s in this story’s reasoning is flawed : The shadow only grows more hostile the more it’s ignored. Only by integration of the Shadow into our “True” self can we find healthy balance. Even if Menace is the Shadow (which is known to take over when we are debilitated) he cannot be truly surpressed, he must ultimately be accepted.

        I’m wondering what Menace actually is based on this. Mind you, I’m probably overthinking this a lot.

        • friendlymosquito

          Perhaps it’s possible to have more than one Shadow?

          • Insanenoodlyguy

            Depends on what interpretations you want to use. The shadow can be taken as the collective I described above, but also as a facet of each archetype that can hold you back.
            The saboteur, or the trickster, for example (one of the primary survival archetypes) can be your ability to think outside the box, to recognize traps and self entrapment, but his shadow is the parts of yourself that engage in self destructive behavior. Put in modern embodiment: He is Bugs Bunny, but he is also Wil. E. Coyote.

  • R Lex Eaton

    Okay, two things…

    First, Kid Patrick speaking with Adult Patrick’s cadence is creepy.

    Second, I don’t trust a thing in here. If Gurwara can alter any aspect of these memories, there’s no way of telling if anything is verifiable. Even by Patrick himself.

    That old @#$% deserves the most venomous retort Alison can Cook up.

    • GreatWyrmGold

      Assuming, of course, that Mind!Gurwara is Gurwara. Considering that Body!Gurwara is kind of an enigma at this point, that can hardly be certain.

      • R Lex Eaton

        Point taken. Gatdam X-Files villains…

        (Both Gurwara and Patrick qualify, natch.)

      • Weatherheight

        Glad to see I’m not the only paranoid bastard / Game Master posting today…

    • Insanenoodlyguy

      This begs the question though: if all powered people in this setting were affected fetus’, how the heck is Gurwara so much older?
      Of course, that is solved if Gurwara isn’t a flatscan with ACCESS to a memory fixer. Patrick’s unconscious might still manifest this tampering as “the man responsible” as it were, if that’s what we are looking at when we see him in the head.

      • R Lex Eaton

        To be honest, I’ve no idea at this point. Maybe he’s from the future? Maybe he ages rapidly? Maybe he’s a baseline human with access to special hypertech?

        At this point, we have no clue. He might be an old ally of Patrick’s, or an agent of this conspiracy, or some other faction altogether. He might even just be screwing around with them for no good reason. As much as I hate to bring up the X-Files again, he’s always struck me as the equivalent to Deep Throat. They even kinda look the same.

        All that aside, he earns my ire to this day for being the living antithesis of Alison’s mission. The nihilist who says her task is not Herculean, but Sisyphean.

        And he can go soak his head for that.

        • Arkone Axon

          Eh… I’ll grant him points for one thing. He’s the one who got her to acknowledge to herself that what she did to Max was completely wrong, morally reprehensible, and a short term gain leading to considerable long term losses. And then getting her to pick herself up and throw herself back into that Sisyphean task, because even though she stumbled doesn’t mean she can’t keep going, even if she did make the going much harder.

          He didn’t seem nihilist so much as an anti-nihilist: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheAntiNihilist

          “The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.” Albert Camus

          • R Lex Eaton

            To me, though, all that is secondary to the real issue. The idea that Alison is doomed to fail in her quest. That making the world a better place for everyone forever is a naive and foolish thing to believe. That even if it could, there’s nothing she herself can do to help out, since all she can do is break things. That the world would be a better place if she never existed at all.

            That’s what superheroes are out to do. The world might be unfair, but they’re here to help those not as fortunate live a more just life. If anyone is only as good as the world allows them to be, then the point of the fight is to make a world where everyone can be the best version of themselves.

            And yeah, it’s childish. So what? It’s not impossible. Alison even lives in a world where impossible has to be used conditionally, if it even has meaning anymore. That dedication to making things better–And herself better–is the central issue. It can be done. Anyone who says otherwise is afraid of the future.

            This conspiracy thinks that they can put this genie back in its bottle if they kill or convert all the right people. But they will fail. As David Simon said with irony, I say with conviction…

            Evil fails. Good prevails.

            Just no cut to commercial.

          • Arkone Axon

            I agree with you 100%. And… that’s actually what Gurwara was saying as well. The quest is doomed to fail. That doesn’t make it worth accepting and devoting her life to. Striving and striving and striving, getting a little better, becoming a little better. I mean, look at when Clevin timidly worked up the courage to point out that she’d completely forgotten to thank him in her speech. Instead of responding with anger and condescending dismissal the way she might have in the past, she admitted he was right and apologized and then they snuggled (and might have done more, if her ex hadn’t shown up to puke on the carpet).

            Or as Rock Lee put it more succinctly than I ever could:

            https://youtu.be/NdZNVfBHv0o?t=160

          • R Lex Eaton

            Ehh… I guess that’s fair. Not my bag as far as metaphysical paradigms go, but whatever works for us.

            I really do hope Alison gets lasting good done on a grand scale. The kind of compassion the eschews the general for the particular is perfectly acceptable–the norm in both superhero stories and film noir, and everything that came from them–just too defeatist for my tastes.

            Even if it takes a lifetime. Even if she loses her life or worse. Even if no one knows she helped out or gives a rat’s ass. It’s not enough to just get by in an uncaring world. I’ll take Kant over Nietsche any day, even if both want the same thing.

            People should be able to tell Alison–anyone, really–about their wrongs in trying to help. But no one should say it’s fruitless and give no reason besides “Forget it, Al. It’s Chinatown.”

          • Arkone Axon

            Yeah. Personally, my biggest concern is the ignoring of the particular for the sake of the general. Ideologies often tend to breed fanatics ready to do anything for the cause. Alison already demonstrated at least once that she’s prepared to throw away every single one of her principles for the sake of the “greater good,” and if she doesn’t make a point of avoiding a repeat of same, she runs the risk of becoming a Mary – or a Patrick (lest we forget that he’s a terrorist with the blood of thousands on his hands).

          • R Lex Eaton

            Quite right. Just like the other extreme results in a level of inhumane self indulgence. Joel from The Last of Us, for example. Perfectly fine with murder in the name of survival, for both himself and those he loves. To the point where he unrepentantly destroys the promise of fixing the apocalyptic state of the world and lies to Ellie about it because he fears being alone that much.

            The real answer is on neither extreme, of course. Far be it from me to figure out what it really is. I do truly hope Alison and her friends will someday.

          • Arkone Axon

            Well, that example sounds more like selfishness than compassion for the particular. But yes, I agree. I think that the best solution is to care about others… but have rules and limits that you won’t exceed. Because once you start breaking your own rules, you start going down the wrong path… a little bit at a time, one step at a time, until one day you realize you became everything you once fought against. (Or you ignore the realization and carry on being horrid)

          • R Lex Eaton

            Yeah, upon consideration, I guess Joel isn’t a good example. Maybe someone like Mr. Freeze would be better.

            As for that solution… I kinda want someone from this comic to paraphrase this Doctor Who quote:

            “Good people don’t need rules. Now is not the time to ask why I have so many.”

          • Arkone Axon

            Yep. And of course there’s the guidelines of Samuel Vimes.

            “And if you did it for a good reason, you’d do it for a bad one. You couldn’t say ‘We’re the good guys and do bad-guy things.”

            (Especially since “getting your hands dirty to do what’s tough but necessary” only works in escapist fiction written by authors fantasizing about being able to use violence against all their problems. In reality “tough but necessary moral compromises” results in unreliable intelligence, civil rights lawsuits, damaged credibility…)

          • R Lex Eaton

            You know, this reminds me of an old Star Trek episode I only just recently saw. It’s the one with the aliens who have been locked in a 500-year long simulated war with their neighbors, and process the casualties via mass execution in order to preserve their culture. By the end of it, Kirk has destroyed the computers they use, leaving no recourse but a peace negotiation… or an actual war.

            The alien leader says it won’t work, and that violence is in their nature, just like it is in humanity’s.

            And Kirk gives a speech I could easily see coming from Alison:

            “All right. It’s instinctive, but the instinct can be fought. We’re human beings with the blood of a million savage years on our hands, but we can stop it. We can admit that we’re killers, but we’re not going to kill today. That’s all it takes, knowing that we’re not going to kill today.”

          • Weatherheight

            I’ve loved that speech ever since I heard first it….

      • Gotham

        Gurwara does have superpowers, and it’s neither due to time travel nor a capacity to morph his body nor even any relation he might have with the Conspiracy (he in fact doesn’t.)

        You see, it’s very simple.
        It’s the duck.

        Puts all the pieces together, doesnit

        • palmvos

          be kind to your web footed friends
          for a duck could be somebodies mother…

          • Weatherheight

            Be kind to your friends in the swamp
            where they live it is always damp

  • Teka the Budgie

    Allison seems to have completely forgotten she left the library chasing someone in the first place.

    • M. Alan Thomas II

      Yep.

  • M. Alan Thomas II

    “Bring the adorkable librarian back.”

    Hi! You called?

  • Weatherheight

    See? Even Alison understands that talking to a an underage person about sexual feelings is just plain wrong.
    Even when the underage person seems to “get it”.

    Also, apparently Patrick can inhabit any of his avatars at any time and is aware of Alison’s presence near one of those avatars.
    Casts a new light on every interaction we’ve seen thus far, no?

    • Insanenoodlyguy

      I’m not sure why you came to those conclusions. Patrick isn’t “inhabiting” any one of these avatars, because that’s not what they are. They are manifestations of facets of essence. No one of them is the “real” Patrick because only together are they the being known as Patrick. if they were, they wouldn’t be in discord. Or at least 2 of them are in discord. Neither Recordkeeper or Kid have seemed very in tune with Anima’s agenda. I get the impression neither actually cares, in fact.

      • Weatherheight

        Young Patrick’s response is not that of a child. It is clearly keenly aware of and regretful of later reactions to Alison’s behavior. It is quite clear that he regrets screwing it up with Alison and it is quite clear this is both an emotional and sexual reaction. The sexual impulse is well documented in psychology as not appearing in children until after the beginnings of psycho-sexual development (usually after age 8 or so – Patrick’s response implies he’s 4-6 years of age here). I’ll concede that Patrick’s telepathy might spur this, but his statement suggests this is his earliest remembrance of his telepathy, so it seems unlikely that such a response is is reasonable.

        The Patrick that is talking to and recognizes Alison is not the young version of Patrick – it is an older version of Patrick (and several other’s have posted on how “creepy” that is). The cadence and vocabulary is utterly different. The visual referent of separation/standing apart from that younger version of Patrick reinforces this notion.

        Whatever is talking to Alison is not the apparent young version of Patrick – it references things the younger version of Patrick never experienced and thus cannot be equated with that younger version.

        • Gotham

          The younger version of Patrick is playing with his dog, unaware. Our kid Patrick /isn’t/ a younger version who wouldn’t be aware of everything Patrick Prime knows, he’s one of the Brain Patrol team. I get why you’d think our dear old Patrick is using him as a vessel right now, because he didn’t pick up traits that would follow his form, like all others arguably did. (Menace looks damn menacing, Anima is all fierce in her Tron cosplay outfit, RK looks and is the quintessence of nerditude)

          This one is weird on that regard. Why look like a kid when you’re not going to act like one even at all? Maybe it’s because he’s all about nostalgia (and distance from the nostalgic memories help draw out that theme) or maybe it’s because dammit some fucking exposition needs to happen at some point and a four year old couldn’t cut it so let’s throw cohesion under the bus.

          The theory that Patrick Prime is the one talking? Not impossible, but I’d rank it third on that list of likelihood.

          • Insanenoodlyguy

            I’d guess because the Jungian archetype (the psychological framework where “Anima” comes from) that looks at beginnings and years for Salvation is referred to as “The child.”

          • Gotham

            Wouldn’t necessarily prohibit childlike behavior, tho

          • Insanenoodlyguy

            No it wouldn’t. And the Child Archetype can be split into several subarchetypes (Wounded Child, Orphan Child, the Magical/Innocent Child, the Nature Child, Puer Eternis (Eternal Boy), the Dependent Child and Divine Child). Presumably since we only have Five Patricks this one will represent all aspects The Child can embody if my theory’s on the money here.

          • Weatherheight

            My point was mostly that, whoever this is, it isn’t Patrick at the same age as the memory. It’s clearly a more experienced Patrick than the kid happily playing (which once again, you’ve said better than I did), and, like the others we’ve seen, is most likely an avatar with an agenda.

        • Good point. However the Patrick talking also appears distinct from the Patrick lying unconscious and (possibly) stinking in Alison’s bed, so it’s not Real!Patrick, rather another aspect of the whole.

          • Weatherheight

            I’m not sure that’s a meaningful distinction, but then again I’m not sure it isn’t a meaningful distinction, so I’ll upvote your meaningful insight.

    • Zorae42

      “Knowing the darkest corners of this mind” isn’t really a sexual feeling. You can desire to know everything there is to know about someone without feeling sexual attraction for them.

      Granted, Alison also had sexual desires towards him at the same time as those desires, so it’s understandable she feels uncomfortable about that train of thought when talking to a child.

      I do find it strange that she’s apologizing for having those feelings when it was a totally natural thing to have. I can understand regretting having them because they clouded her judgement, but apologizing? That’s just weird to me. Especially since he seems to be expressing regret at making those feelings stop given his phrasing of ‘our stupidity’. Although it isn’t clear if he regrets it because he would’ve liked to return those feelings one day or if it was something useful that’s now ended.

      • Arkone Axon

        She’s not apologizing for having those feelings, she’s apologizing for being unable to handle the weirdness of the situation. She’s talking to an aspect of Patrick’s psyche about an adult issue… and which looks like a child. It’s too confusing and uncomfortable for her; she’d rather talk to an aspect/form that makes her more comfortable.

        • Zorae42

          I’m talking about the fourth panel where she literally apologizes for having those feelings

          • Arkone Axon

            So am I. She’s not talking about having those feelings, she’s apologizing for being unable to discuss them with what looks like a little boy covered in doggy slobber.

          • Zorae42

            ????

            “I’m sorry that… I had feelings that were…” is not apologizing for being unable to discuss her feelings.

          • Arkone Axon

            Oh, my mistake – the fourth panel, not the fifth. It seems more that she’s stumbling over her own words – I’d say she’s both expressing her regrets over things ending so badly (she’s not apologizing for that specific aspect, merely saying “I’m sorry things turned out so badly,” while also apologizing for how she lashed out violently at him at the end there. And since she’s having trouble articulating (since the memories are very painful, the emotions are very strong, and it’s a combination of being unhappy about his actions and regretful over her own), she can’t quite manage: “I had these strong romantic feelings for you for a very long time, and when you deliberately said things you knew would be hurtful for the specific goal of pushing me away it enraged me and caused me to revert to my bad old habits of violence as a solution. And between the things you said and the things I did, our friendship was destroyed and any hope of a romance died before it could blossom into existence. I truly regret that.”

            With the fifth panel being, “but I’m not comfortable saying that to a version of you that looks like he leaves out milk and cookies for Santa. Could I talk to the cute librarian version of you again, before I get back into any discussions of either romantic and erotic feelings, or the issues I came here for?”

      • Weatherheight

        She’s having some massive cognitive dissonance here. Her eyes and ears are telling her she’s talking to a child, but the way he’s talking and the language he’s using is like the adult Patrick, for whom I suspect she still has very strong sexual feelings. That strong urge to intense and rapid intimacy, “knowing the darkest corners of his mind”, is the hallmark of initial infatuation (something young adults do oh so well, at least as I recall my youth).

        “Although it isn’t clear if he regrets it because he would’ve liked to return those feelings one day or if it was something useful that’s now ended.”
        As I often say – “It can, of course, be both.” Mixed feelings are pretty common – being a telepath doesn’t put you above them. 😀

  • Lisa Izo

    At least she’s no longer talking about seeing Gurwara, who has clearly not been in the comic for a long time now.

    • palmvos

      We all know how much you love gurwara and that’s why you are still talking about him long after he’s gone.lets talk about more important things, like what some regular poster will have for breakfast. Or the price of eggs in Indonesia.

      • Arkone Axon

        He was last seen two pages ago. Or at least, his image was – which means that she was either tracking Gurwara INSIDE SOMEONE ELSE’S HEAD, or something equally significant which was taking on Gurwara’s appearance for some reason. Lisa’s comment is a very valid one (and don’t sneer about the fact that I do tend to agree with her; that would be resorting to ad hominem attacks rather than address the validity of her point).

        Pretentiousness is not intelligence. Especially since the rules used in competitive debates expect participants to argue against the opposing team’s arguments, not to attack the opponents personally: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debate

        (Or as Ron White put it, “I got kicked off the debate team for saying, “yeah? Well F–k you! …I thought I’d won – the other guy was speechless…”)

        • palmvos

          Lisa denied that sighting too.

          • Arkone Axon

            You mean when she was making a joke?

          • palmvos

            The same joke that started this thread? The joke I replied to? That I just rolled with and made more silly?

          • Arkone Axon

            …Ah… didn’t come across as a joke. There are people commenting on this forum who have a strong animosity towards both Lisa and myself for our stated opinions regarding Max in particular. At least one person has actually demanded to know if it’s possible to block or ban us from posting. On one of the previous pages someone started reporting literally every single comment I made. Which is harassment, but they felt justified because my opinions differed from theirs and that made me evil and a Nazi. Even though I’m Jewish.

            (And that’s not even touching on the people that we blocked for personal abuse and attacks. I know at least one of them is still posting, because even though I’ve blocked them I can both see the “This user is blocked” notice and their names when people and donkeys reply to them)

          • palmvos

            It has been said that sarcasm is a cover for anger. It also seems true that comedy is born of pain. (See Stranger in a Strange Land) so it’s not shocking that some jokes come off poorly. in many places I’ve been verbal abuse is supposed to be a sign of affection.

          • Arkone Axon

            Yeah. We both grok it. 😉

    • Arkone Axon

      A good point, that – she was there for a reason, and she seems to have forgotten that.

  • Blissex

    Is Gunwara actually Patrick? His boy form with short hair and less thin looks a lot like a young Gunwara.

  • Bruce Munro

    If it turns out “Gurwara” (whatever that was) stole the information on the conspiracy, I think I might spit up my liver. We’ve been waiting on some more solid evidence for _years_ now: having it stolen from under her nose at this point is just frustrating.

    To make a confession: up until recently I felt sure the conspiracy didn’t actually exist: it was a lie carefully crafted by Max to manipulate Allison and her sense of social justice. Because I don’t believe in conspiracies, at least not ones which are almost perfectly successful, perfectly secret, and global in scope (even in India, where people with superpowers are venerated – not that doesn’t have it’s own problems, as we’ve seen!) : most “conspiracies” are more a matter of a group of people clearly doing A, and the people who voted for them refusing to believe the actual evidence – apply to your own politics as you like! 🙂

    Unless the conspirators have, like, powerful mind-controlling and perhaps memory tampering powers. But they’d have to have them before anyone _else_ had powers.

    But now actually bits of Max’s own mind are saying it’s real, so I must change my opinion, right? Or is the bottom of the rabbit hole deeper than we imagine?

    • Weatherheight

      It’s also possible that Arjun is a construct embodied for the sole purpose to lure Alison away from the information of the Conspiracy and distract the hell out of her.