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  • Theobservantwolf

    Hmm, do we know anything about his parents? His expression there is… worrisome.

    • wahahahaha

      As a kid your parents are your rock, mainly because they seem to navigate life so easily and somehow know everything. But when you can read minds, that illusion is shattered (probably) and when you realise your parents are just going through life same as you,, that can be terrifying. He probably lost that bit of stability most kids have early on.

      • Masala Nilsson

        Shit, I never thought of that. That realisation is at least weird to have as an adolescent; it must be terrifying to a child.

        • palmvos

          there is a will full ignorance about that even for grown children. THANK GOD!
          and my sister once informed me that sibling sex is even grosser…

      • Theobservantwolf

        Ooh, good point. Knowing all the secret unsaid things in anyone’s mind is a frightening enough thought, but to have that knowledge of one’s parents is terrifying!

        • Weatherheight

          And imagine the first time he got to listen in to *both* of his parents in the throes of passion (a phrase I don’t get to use often enough…).
          Makes just seeing it kind of pale, huh…?

          • palmvos

            you are assuming that his parents are not having some long term argument possibly about him….

          • Weatherheight

            Nope, just trying to imagine what it would be like for Patrick at age 5 or so with his parents in the next room doin’ it and him not being able to shut it out…
            I had a room next to my parents until I was 15 and I hated it. I knew what was going down when I was 11.
            ::thump thump thump::

            That said, yeah, once his parents twigged into what was going on with Patrick, that would have been a slice of h*ck for them too, I imagine.

          • palmvos

            according to my parents, my sister found herself in the same boat. she somehow built up the nerve to say something ( I was living on my own at the time.) just imagine the conversation….. in any event the master bedroom was rearranged to fix the problem. (change the wall the headboard hits….) i’ve heard of couples who… choose to play only when the kids are away. this gives real impetus to get those kids launched!

          • Incendax

            Especially if neither of them are thinking about the other.

      • Mechwarrior

        And that’s assuming he had parents who were in a normal, stable relationship.

      • Ira

        >.> Unless you mean maybe a financial rock, I suppose there is bliss in ignorance to a degree, but I don’t know, I feel like I ended up better for knowing they weren’t to be relied on for much, but they sure relied on my brother and me.

        As an adult now, I look back and realized they, much like some teenagers(or so I hear), never consider that we helped them with anything; though our childhood was working with them on their investments, taking care of the house, cooking, and trying to take care of our baby siblings long before we could even consider drivers permits. They manage to forget and refuse to acknowledge that somehow babies got fed, changed, and dinner made every day between 3 and 8-10pm for years without ever having an adult in the house.

        All that said, it was never an earth-shattering revelation and there is no ill will toward them. I find that I’m usually just disappointed that they never learned to take financial responsibility and plan out their prospects. At some point, I just didn’t feel like helping anymore, and we’ve slowly developed a relationship that doesn’t involve, every time they call/visit they need something.

      • Tylikcat

        I’m so glad that other people are questioning this.

        When I was four… I don’t think my parents were my rock, but they were my parents.
        When I was six, that relationship was already cracking, but I kept going through the motions. (Hence trusting my mother through her rather inept attempt at poisoning or whatever TF that was about…)
        By the time I was eight… I wasn’t angry (sad and isolated, more) but I knew that at some fundamental level, they weren’t reliable, and weren’t adults.

        (Note: I came out pretty okay 🙂 )

        I’m tripping on the one of the earliest memories being around four. I mean… I know I’ve heard this from a lot of people, but… Really?

      • Kid Chaos

        Speaking of reading your parent’s minds (well, a parental figure, anyway), read this. 😵

    • Tylikcat

      I wonder if the focus here is that he’s worried about his parents as such, or that he doesn’t want Alison to see them. After all, this is all in the past (though it’s also memory that needs to be outside of the walls, which says something there).

  • StClair

    Don’t look back, Alison. You don’t want to see what comes next.

  • Gotham

    Before Patrick ran away from home, the last thing he heard his parents say was:
    Patrick? Are you still talking to your imaginary friends from the real world in the future? You better not be drawing conceptual art in the air again!”

  • AdamBombTV

    It’s “Other Mother” from Coraline, isn’t it.

  • Weatherheight

    How do you quantify something when you can’t measure it?
    You make something up, apply it until it doesn’t fit or doesn’t work.

    How do you decide what is inside and what is outside when everything seems to blend together?
    Draw a line in the sand, build a wall, and hope like h*ck you don’t need to move it later…

  • Fluffy Dragon

    Ooh, yeah… one of his most precious memories… relegated to component.

    • Dave M

      Yeah, this memory is something that Menace, Anima & the Record Keeper all seem to treat as at least “not useful”, “waste” at worst. Which is unsettling to say the least. Also, the “component” is treated as waste which brings up a question. See, I’ve recently ‘gone bush’ with my brother and his family, and our property is too far from the city to have a sewage pipe connection. So we have a sewage tank that needs pumping out every 2-3 years lest it overflow (which is just as unpleasant as you’d think). I wonder if part of the problem is that so much has been classified as component that patricks own “waste tank” is overflowing. Or just, by repressing everything that they have in common (even if it is painful), they’ve made it impossible to have any interaction with each other save conflict.

  • Darkoneko Hellsing

    On one hand, I’m really curious about what exactly is calling young patrick, but on the other hand, I expect it won’t be his mom. At least not in the normal form.

    • Dave M

      Freudian, Jungian, or Coraline. That’s the question isn’t it? Whatever “it” is, Lil’ Pat seems to regard it as “that which shall not be spoken of, or even acknowledged”.

      • Darkoneko Hellsing

        I’ll go with a velociperaptor wearing an apron and mittens.

  • Olivier Faure

    You know, the more we learn about the massive mental architecture Patrick had to build from a young age, the more surprise I am that he had he stable-relationship-followed-by-a-breakdown with Allison.

    He should either have been so dysfunctional that it permeated every interaction they had, or so rational, well structured and beyond bias that he’d never have given her his little “I’m a villain” speech.

    It seems kind of weird that he appeared as a just-slightly-nerdier-than-average person for most of the story.

    • OccamsTireIron

      He’s had a long time to learn how to deal, and a a LOT of “average” people to model appropriate behavior on.

      It only fell apart when he stopped having appropriate behavioral models to draw on.

      • Olivier Faure

        Ahhh… maybe. It’s at least the beginning of an explanation.

  • Pol Subanajouy

    Interesting, fractal memories. The texture of Patrick’s mine is very interesting. I imagine he’d be burdened with memories from differing perspectives as well.

    We ourselves have the luxury of remembering often pivotal moments that cast us in favorable lights, but imagine always having to see those moments from the outside. I guess it would be like having every flattering selfie you post online followed by another less flattering shot of you from another angle.

    • Incendax

      Board meetings at his company must be a PITA.

  • Lorraine Fryer

    Is it just me or is telepathy very different from having a perfect memory? If I could read other peoples’ memories, I’d still expect to forget them with regularity, just as I do my own.

    • Gotham

      I don’t think it’s about being crushed under sheer volume, it’s what he brought up when he was done changing in Alison’s bathroom: the difficulties he faced trying to organize his memories so that he would remember “which body was his”.
      Back in issue 3, Patrick also said he didn’t really identify as a person. I think we can gather that the problem with telepathy isn’t scale but the inability to construct his own sense of self and unique identity.

      Hence the potential for his mind to shatter.

    • Steele

      One common aspect of telepaths in various media is having a perfect memory. HOWEVER, this is contingent upon being able to read one’s own mind (instead of relying on memories being connected and accessing them through association), which we’ve been told Patrick CANNOT do. So… Who knows?

      • masterofbones

        I think its pretty inarguable that Patrick *can* read his own mind. The problem is that his mind is a *very* long book.

        • Dan Steadman

          I think it’s very arguable. If you examine what is happening closely you will see that the fractured components of Patricks mind are feeding their part of the equation into the responses his brain gives the world. They are not a) particularly cohesive; hence the signs of a breakdown or b)particularly cooperative; hence the running battle.

          Just as a thought experiment, imagine if he ‘could’ read his own mind…This is me>this is everyone elses thoughts in me>this is me with everyone elses thoughts in me>this is me with everyone elses thoughts in me with me with everyone elses thoughts in me. It would me like standing in a room with two mirrors except the images wouldn’t be getting smaller or a copy and paste post/thread with no cut off.

      • Dan Steadman

        I think Patrick has a strong case of ‘super brain’ and it works like a super brain in ways the story needs. In reality if somehow you could automatically soak up copies of nearby minds thoughts and feelings any and all thoughts of your own would soon be overwhelmed as new neural connections constantly stole/replaced old ones. All memories would become vague and muddied, all emotional connections would be miswired constantly. As a hypnotist I regularly make use of this particular mechanism of the human mind but I can’t see it being beneficial in Patricks case so I posit ‘super brain’ instead.
        Any useful telepath would need to be able to either massively restrict information that was taken on board or need some sort of ‘super brain’ mechanism.

    • Weatherheight

      Well, in most game systems, Telepathy is a different ability from Eidetic Memory, so that implies that it isn’t just you.
      Canon has been pretty clear that Patrick’s initial ability included the ability to make perfect copies of other people’s psychic structures and integrate them into his own, allowing access to their cognitive abilities and knowledge. I’m reasonably certain that the Eidetic Memory as regards those copied psychic structures is part of his power set.
      Apparently, he bought Eidetic Memory but took a Limitation that it only applies to those copied Knowledge Skills and Professional Skills.

      The other problem I see is sheer volume of material copied and getting it properly organized – much like it takes a lot longer to run a virus scan of your computer when you have a lot of files on it, I imagine Patrick has to ponder a bit more every time he adds someone else’s complete psychic structure. So far as I’ve seen, however, nothing in canon either refutes or supports that notion. Others might be more discerning than I am.

      • Tylikcat

        Just as a side note – eidetic memory is not actually something that’s rigorously defined in the real world. (I got into a fight with my advisor on this subject, some many years back. The fight had consequences elsewhere in my life, but I “won” for the above reason. 😛 – Yeesh, we’re both neuroscientists, don’t even try it!)

        • Weatherheight

          Heh. I am aware – cognitive psych gave me fits with definitions I thought I understood, but the passage of a week or two later clearly indicated I had no clue what I was talking about on far more levels than I was comfortable acknowledging. Missed an A by couple of percentage points but to this day I’m not really sure if I really understand any of it.
          I’m not even sure how you would factor out things like changes in the brain and how those changes affect recall, since the act of scanning the brain while performing the experiment could conceivably result in changes to the brain which could affect the very process you’re trying to measure.
          I admire the h*ck out of the people who work with the meat – the conceptual stuff is hard enough.

        • Xin

          Kind of an old thread now, but my computer is a dinosaur about sending Disqus replies:

          Haha, a friend and I had a similar occurrence with disagreeing with the eidetic memory thing.

          There’s so much that isn’t rigorously defined about biology, I’m surprised there are so many non-semantic disagreements about stuff.)

          I wanted to reply to your earlier comment:

          Ironically, on the topic of eidetic memory, memory at age 4:

          I’ve observed much younger than this with friends who do have stereotypical “photographic memories,” and it’s actually really common for them to have memories dating back to age 3 or even younger.

          On the extreme end, they can often do things like consistently quote three hours of conversation verbatim from 10 years ago, quote pages of legalese after a scan.

          Personally, I’ve seen enough externally verifiable stuff like that… or younger friends quoting conversations and train ticket costs from age 3, that I think it’s real and unsurprising.

          I don’t know why though, but I never encountered it just being the norm (and people not being superior about it) until I met friends from some academia circles.

          It seems like there’s a literal gulf of differing experiences, though… it’s really funny how my friends in other circles are still highly dubious of young memory and nonplussed.

          I think it’s absolutely an experience some people have.

          But I wonder why it’s often so dubious seeming to those who don’t have experience of that.

          I know some people can be jerks about it or conversely were bullied for being smart-alecks, so perhaps it’s just harder to find and get to know people who experience and talk about it?

          I agree with it being great that other people are questioning the “parents = a child’s rock” stereotypical idea… though I had a similar childhood and personally notice I didn’t relate as much to the rare few friends who didn’t have crazy parents until later in life.

          (I wonder, are crazy parents in fact the norm, by the way?)

          Hard to describe well, but it seems a very complex topic.

          I notice more independent spirits

          But, I become suspicious of my own bias whenever there is a bit strong a countercurrent response of “That’s completely unnecessary.” to “Parents are utterly necessary.” (though I would put myself more towards feeling that)

          I notice many people who agree on this thread mentioned realizing around the same age range that people aren’t infallible through neglect, etc. and think that itself actually is a sign of parents’ impact, albeit not in the stereotypical earth-shattering realization manner.

        • Tylikcat

          Xin? You replied, and I wrote back to you at at length and then you deleted you comment, and I have a sad.

    • Tylikcat

      I certainly wouldn’t expect the one to imply the other. Furthermore, as soon as you’re reading someone’s mind, you’re going to have to be coping with the general fallibility of human memory, if that’s part of what you’re reading. (Being a young child with some degree of eideticism, and telepathy, and being surrounded by people with the standard faulty human memories would be even more bizarre and confusing.)

      It looks like whatever is going on with Patrick’s ability to handle information in his own head – which may well by unusually acute, and certainly involves way more information than most people have to handle – there’s not only a lot of indexing and processing, there’s a huge amount of filtering / censoring. Especially around emotional information.

      (I wonder a bit if one of the things about ChildPatrick is if he harkens back to a time before Patrick’s mental processes were so rigidly controlled – before, as Anima put it, the walls went up.)

    • What makes you think he has a perfect memory? How do we know any of this happened at all, let alone the way he remembers it…

  • JohnTomato

    What point does Patrick fall on the Norman Bates scale where #1. is kept a locket of Mom’s hair to #10. Lenin’s Tomb?

    • Dave M

      Aye, that’s a very valid question. Whatever the answer, none of Patricks persona’s seem to want to acknowledge or allow to be seen whatever form the answer manifests as. “Mother-m-mother, what is the phrase? She isn’t quite herself today”. In spades.

  • Liz

    Reaaaaaallllly would appreciate a http://www.doesthedogdie.com entry for the next couple of pages.

    • Eric Schissel

      that’s an interesting name for a site…

  • Sounds like he’s suppressing painful memories to me. Makes me wonder if something bad happened with his parents (or with Skip) shortly after this.

    • UnsettlingIdeologies

      The memory is described as “unsafe for the Hall.” That combined with Patrick’s expression suggest to me that you’re right about something bad happening.

      • Dave M

        Even if his parents were a loving caring couple who honestly tried to support him and understand him, Patrick’s power would have stripped past the surface and unearthed all the petty irritations, the self serving lies and the truth that being able to read their memories (in fact being unable NOT to read their memories) filled them with fear and would make them unconsciously try and distance themselves from him. No wonder he loved Skip so much, his memories were simple, straightforward and affirming. The fact that the Librarian, Anima, and Menace all treat this memory as “component” shows that it’s something none of them want’s to deal with or acknowledge.
        On another point has anyone tried cataloguing the various “patricks” from either a Freudian or Jungian perspective? Can’t help having a sneaking suspicion, it might reveal a few things (maybe including “Gurwara”).

  • Dawn Smashington

    Man, that is a haunted kid. I feel like he’s about to witness a murder.

  • Fluffy Dragon

    Why must he bring Skip in for lunch?


  • Dave M

    Ok, I’m the slow one on spotting clever literary references usually, but has anyone noticed that Gurwara is playing the white rabbit to AliceAlison in this sequence. “Follow the white rabbit” indeed.

  • Dave M

    2 disturbing things.
    (1), This page is showing an ad (at my end) for “Brain enhancing smart pills that are stronger than Adderall”. Which is both relevant and creepy. 🙂

    (2) In the hotel room Patrick was pretty convincing that he’d never seen a Warner Brothers cartoon before. How can a Kid of 5 years old never see a classic Warner brothers short or encounter SOMEONE who has seen them? Either Patrick was lying in the hotel room, or he was isolated “for his own good and that of the community” from a young age and never got the chance to see them or be within range of anyone who had seen them. Troubling either way.

    • Xin

      (1): The AI overlords are taking over?

      (2) is really interesting; I’m surprised that hasn’t been discussed more here.

      Patrick must not have seen much television or interacted with many children, at least so far as he remembers.

      I believe Looney Tunes was fairly ubiquitous for children in the U.S. in the 90’s?

  • Xin

    Like a mirror of a mirror…

    No new page as usual today?