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 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 Show Comments Gotham I like how Alison is just as confused as we are as to who exactly constitutes the five member team of the Patrick Brain Patrol. Weatherheight Menace Psychic Super Sentai… “Sidekick WAaaaaaave!” Debbie Jackson Yes, was about to comment as much before I saw this one. Nice allusion to the confusion in the discussion board – I’d all but assumed the Sentinel counted, but now my mind is reopening! Arcian Also, nobody is trying to kill Alison in Feral’s mind, so that’s nice. Livingwish Yet…. Weatherheight Aye, be patient, wait a wee mo… Kid Chaos Feral has a beautiful mind. 😁 bryan rasmussen maybe feral is the fifth patrick here, the fifth patrick colonizes other minds and uses those minds as his communication method. zarawesome Maybe they’ve never left Patrick’s mind. Dean Maybe the whole strip to date has taken place in Patrick’s mind. It’s St Elsewhere all over again! Weatherheight Now there’s an obscure reference… Bob Stewart Not so obscure for my generation. You have no idea how cheated I felt when that cat flatlined. Markus I choose to believe that Feral’s mind has What’s New Pussycat playing on loop. Incendax This is insanely fitting and appropriate: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnkrL42R7gk Markus It’s not unusual to make John Mulaney references. Weatherheight My life is better for your sharing. Thank you. Lheticus Videre Omg I remember hearing this story on a stand up act on TV! Or something like that. And it STAYED with me, for sure. Awesome! Gotham Are you out of your MIND Thunder… Thunder… Thunder…!” Weatherheight Damn, that is pretty in high def… Kid Chaos There’s only one song for this situation… 😎 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nJ30dodvdc&app=desktop Weatherheight Is this really Butte Montana? Kid Chaos Is it schizoid paranoia? 😵 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMaIyBs-0ek&app=desktop GreatWyrmGold If it was, there’s no way Alison would be this content for this long. After a couple of loops, she’d be begging Feral to get a different song stuck in her head. Weatherheight “Understanding why he’s a bad person makes me want to believe that maybe he could be a good person. And I can’t tell if it’s naive and foolish to believe that or it’s naive and foolish not to” This is why I love Alison. I have thought exactly this about way too many people, and, dammit, I don’t have a freaking answer either. R Lex Eaton Indeed. I dunno about a lot of people, but I do think there at least IS an answer. Weatherheight I believe there is an answer. I believe it’s available to all. I believe we all spend a lot of our time getting in our own way. I believe that’s me, too, which means I’m not qualified to d much advising. This situation is disheartening. R Lex Eaton Human irrationality. Responsible for so much good and so much bad. But the process of Refinement has an endpoint. You are not obliged to complete the quest, but you are not permitted to abandon it. Walex B But she is saying it wrong — Patrick from his backstory is both “good” and “bad”: he has done a lot of crimes, but he also tried to do something good with Alison as to the “conspiracy”, and he somewhat had a feeling of solidarity for the other biodynamics that he has hired. The big problem Alison refers to is that he has been traumatized into wanting to be a psychopath (and a cute, dark, brooding one, so hot), but that is not what he is, and this is destroying his mind. The story of his childhood contains a big hole: we all understand why he escaped his mother (and it is amazing that a politically-correct comic depicts a woman as an abuser), but he also ran away from his father, who had good feelings for him, and Patrick did read them. How can he say that the world of adults was only monstrous when his father cared for him, and he being a telepath knew that with certainty? Incendax I’m really curious if Gurwara (or someone similar) has erased or changed Patrick’s memories such that he was destined to become Menace, or at least some kind of troubled deviant. It seems like an unnecessary amount of work when you could just kill the boy, but maybe they have a need to periodically manufacture bad guys? But it seems unlikely. Just being a telepath who can’t turn it off is enough to make anyone traumatized at that age, unless you are surrounded by saints. Devon Jolly The question is, will breaking Lord Boy(Ego?), Animus(Id?) and Menace(superego?) help or hurt him? Given the hints thusfar, I think the best way to save him would be to take Lord Boy and plunge him into the sewer so he can reabsorb his own emotions. He already has the wall and watchtower in place, so he’s defended. Reintegrate those emotions he’s in about as good a position as a Telepath can hope to be. As a sidenote, another thing he needs to do is clear out that city. Keeping all of that in there is no doubt wearing on his brain meats. Memory works by recording images sounds smells and sensations and then linking those recordings together. The more often a set of inputs are recorded, the longer they’ll last if left unused for a while, and the more connections are made between cells. What we remember of the past is based on this web of connections so what would normally happen with all of those peoples life experiences is that they’d assimilate under his own and become indistinguishable, reinforcing his knowledge base and available skills… probably to the point of instinct. Instead everything appears to be distinct which while it can be done with Eidedic memory, would be wasting TONS AND TONS of space with or without it. It’s little wonder he claims to have a section of his mind which is sheer undiluted chaos and insanity. Happyroach I think the best thing would be to strand him on a desert island, a thousand miles from any other human. That way he can go on dealing with his trauma- or not- in peace, without hurting anyone else. Happyroach I honestly don’t see him as having done a lot f good, just self-justifying what he did a lot. Are you sure we aren’t just making excuses for him, like we tend to do when a charismatic guy does a lot of shit? Zac Caslar Yup. And it’s heroic to believe in rescuing and redeeming bad people. Not always possible nor wise, but definitely heroic. Arianwen Everything you can think of is true, The baby’s asleep in your shoe Your teeth are buildings with yellow doors Your eyes are fish on a creamy shore Yirtimd2 And then they went into the mind of fly, sleeping near them on the bed… MaxArt Feral: “You have a mind-numbing crush, you know that?” GreatWyrmGold I firmly believe that this sort of empathy is an almost inevitable result of a reasonable person understanding another on such a deep level. Hate almost always comes from either a lack of understanding or a lack of willingness to understand (which may or may not be reasonable). It should be interesting to see where this goes. Gotham So Alison how about there is no such thing as people so easily and completely defined with “good” and “bad” did you think about that one it’s a shocker I know do I win did I answer the ultimate question did I solve your Patrick puzzle R Lex Eaton And what is someone supposed to do with that answer? How’s that help? Gotham …not… whine about it? Obtain a clearer focus about the battle plan moving forward? Decide with Feral what do to about their current predicament, regardless of whether the pointedly irrelevant binary variable assessing if “Patrick” = #bad is set to True? R Lex Eaton I don’t see how a painfully obvious observation would help with any of that. And that’s a simple answer, but it’s not satisfactory. It doesn’t seem to resolve the issue in her mind at the moment. Given the path that Patrick took to get to where he is and do the things he did… is gaining the knowledge he has more important than he is? Gotham See I agree with the first part, only the “painfully obvious observation” is the one displayed here that “it’s really really difficult to tell if people are good or bad!!!” But I see where our disagreement stems from, you seem to think that doing ethically questionable things is less complicated when we do it on “bad” people, and yeah I can understand why then the question of whether people are good or bad is important to you guys thinking like that. I don’t, because ew R Lex Eaton Well… That’s a good point, actually. Why does the situation have to play like a zero sum game? Find a way to work it all out, Al. We’ll be rooting for you. R Lex Eaton Addendum: sorry for giving you the wrong impression. I really try to keep perspective on things like this. Weatherheight Gaining that knowledge might be precisely the key to giving Patrick what he needs to redeem himself (insofar as he is able to do so…). JeffH Maybe she’s using simplistic language to describe a more complex problem that she’s considering: Should she try to help Patrick, or cut bait? Gotham It genuinely astounds me that the answer to this question whatever it might be would depend on whether he’s a “good” or “bad” person. Hey Al, remember when you said “saving everyone forever, that’s the plan”? Fucking commit to what it means. JeffH One of my favorite things about this comic is how interpersonal issues are depicted as being so much more complex than black and white decisions. It surprises me that you are so enraged by the fact that she’s thinking hard about this. She’s not being attacked, so I don’t see a problem with her taking a minute to gather her thoughts. It seems to me that deciding whether to attempt to save someone who’s actively trying to kill you isn’t as black and white as you are making it, and I think her stated conflict shows that she doesn’t think it’s a simple, binary decision, even if she’s using words that you assert are absolute. Gotham /I’m/ the one dissatisfied with how black and white Alison makes it out to be with her dumb points about are people good or bad! I wish I could get more enjoyment out of being so right people end up unwillingly using my own points in what they consider to be against me, but really it’s just annoying. Margot You could call her hypocritical, or you could say she’s wondering whether she should reconsider her approach, since trying to save Patrick has lead to her being trapped in his mind while he tries to kill her. Is it naive to think that she can ‘save’ him without getting herself killed, or is it naive to think that she can give up on him without losing an important part of herself? Gotham I’m not calling her hypocritical, I’m calling her clueless. (Although yes there is a underlying part of her authoritarian tendencies seeping through the cracks and that’s, as always, extremely worrying) Look, these are interesting questions to thematically coalesce with future plot, but I just think what we got is a bit underserved. here’s the overall feeling I wanted for this moment to convey, the global thought process for Alison I would have found interesting to be at: She braced herself for this. It’s been approximately one year since the mug throwing incident now, and she didn’t miss a day mentally preparing for when their paths would inevitably cross next. When they first met, just when she finally freaking had him, had the world’s most dangerous super-villain in her grasp, she let herself be conquered by mere words. She let him go. Do you realize how humiliated she would be if people knew? Not just discredited, distrusted and abandoned by everyone of her friends, /humiliated/. Mega Girl? The world’s strongest human and fiercest, most ruthless teenage girl there could exist, swooning over a boy who talks good? Focus on the guilt, the regret. Focus on the friends of yours he killed right in front of you. There has to be so many, she can’t remember them all. That sympathy she felt? That anger and hatred she repressed for so long? It will never happen again. Never. And oh, Patrick will try, and he will be very good at it. In the intervening time, he got to be one of her closest friends, he knows her better than she knows herself, and time only makes him better at mindreading, manipulating and charming his way out. So she practiced, every day. In secret. Got back in the very, very dark place growing up as a child soldier got her to. It was going to hurt, going back to these traumatic memories of distancing yourself from others, of getting used so fast to killing, and it would hurt, it would make her lose so many years of progress mental health-wise. But it’s necessary. Because Menace has to be stopped. She might be the only one who can. Because he might still harbor some affection for her. That’s the sole advantage she can have, that nobody else in the world can have, IF ONLY she manages to stop harboring some affection for him. So nope, these nights when she felt so alone and was dying to text him back, never happened. The part of her that wants to cry because she misses him, dead. AND AFTER ALL THAT… It takes her fifteen goddamn minutes in his brain to take an oath to murder his memory mom. So yeah admittedly most of it is fanfiction, but I’d like to see her grappling with this catastrophic failure and learning to deal rather than pondering if people are good or bad. You know what Alison? Patrick’s bad. I personally don’t agree, but let’s admit that according to her metric, he’s bad. Irredeemably. He’s bad, and she loves him. What now? How does she deal with this, and with herself? What we do have is a case of “oh thank god you’re a bad person thusly making it okay for me to not care that your inner mindscape is literally tearing down.” It’s just not great. R Lex Eaton I get where you’re coming from. I don’t want to see Alison played for a sap three issues in a row. And I fully admit I got a little tautological when I first replied. Because I’m just as frustrated as you are and as she is. I really don’t think Patrick has been playing some kind of long con since he hung up the helm of Menace. At least, not regarding her. If he were, I doubt he’d be in this situation right now. Watch me be super wrong about this, but I think his actions over the last three storylines are those of someone who sees his entire worldview in jeopardy and is doing everything possible to convince himself that every bad thing he’s done up to this point hasn’t been unnecessary. But there’s a better way. Alison and people like her showed that. And even if it’s hard to achieve–and to stick to in the face of a dilemma–it’s worth it. And knowing that you’ve done something terrible under the assumption that it’s for the greater good? And that nothing good can come of it? THAT SUCKS. It sucks so much that it’s a reoccurring plot point across multiple characters in Order of the Stick. Alison’s decision and subsequent mistake regarding Max Prescott had little enough good come out of it. Good that could prove unnecessary by the end. All she can do is carry that weight and try to not make the same mistakes again. So I don’t think she’ll be as quick and eager to abandon Patrick here, vile though his acts might be. It’s not a zero sum game. Patrick isn’t the real villain of SFP. Cynicism itself is. Todd More like knock off the kindergarten binary-thinking. You’d think after that bit with Moonshadow and Furnace she’d be a bit less willing to toss around good and evil with such ease . . . . StClair “… mostly plant sex organs, I mean, flowers.” Zac Caslar Feral is not coy. Weatherheight Where’s a Georgia O’Keefe exhibition when we need one? ::wiggles his ears suggestively:: Walex B Ohiohi, Alison has not yet mentioned Gurdwara in Patrick’s mind eliminating bits of the conspiracy wall. Has Gurdwara entered Alison’s mind and deleted that memory from her? Our author has to be careful: if the telepath characters are too powerful, then the plot dies. Grayson Towler Or the telepath has to be repeatedly removed from the story through various contrivances in order to make any plot possible (see Professor X… just about any X-Men storyline will suffice for a good example). George Talbot Isn’t it horrible that even people teeing to make changes in their life sometimes backslide, relapse. And have cheat days ? Weatherheight I don’t know if the tendency itself is horrible so much as human, but the outcomes surely sometimes are. Patrick_GETS_me What I’m wondering now is, which Patrick invited Allison into his mind in the first place? Was it Anima, hoping for help defeating Menace, deliberately ignoring The Boy’s wishes? Was it the record-keeper? He certainly seems to be the most fond of her among those we’ve met. I also like this theory that the Feral who Allison is talking to is actually the fifth Patrick, the only one who is able to enter other people’s minds. It might be the only explanation why Allison could enter Feral’s mind but none of the other Patrick selves could. It would make sense that the Patrick who can enter other people’s minds would be the most fond of Allison and the only one who could have invited her in. zellgato Gonna be real bothered if that connection makes him able to influence Feral somehow Though, again that would be the way for his death via the good portion of him I guess. Clevin.. its gonna be…. really awkward when you come bak isn’t it? Stephanie Those aspects of Patrick’s mind “burnt up”? I initially assumed they were just unable to follow Alison, but Feral makes it sound like they were destroyed. Weatherheight ::wiggles his ear happily at Stephanie:: Herwood So does Patric have less mental defenses now? If Sentinel and Menace burned up she might have a chance… David B Huber My take is that the Sentinel is a construct symbolizing safety to all Patrick’s aspects. The four fragments we’ve seen are schizophrenic but essential offshoots of the 5th. core personality which threatens Lord Boy’s hegemony. Patrick’s emergent concern for others is rooted in his awareness of the conspiracy which is apparently being dismantled by Gurwara. His breakdown is a symptom of the independence and conflict between his coping mechanisms, which are inadequate for theft of memories. Like the HAL 9000 he’s being reduced to “Mary had a little lamb”… He reached out to Alison for help, inviting her into his mind, returning the trust she placed in him. Which sustained his maturation and left Lord Boy outside the boundaries. But Lord Boy is most likely to survive Gurwara’s invasions so Alison must die so Lord Boy can reign… But Alison ducked into Feral’s mind when Patrick put Feral to sleep. Jshadow Firelord from Avatar was one an adorable little baby… that doesn’t make him a good guy. Philip Bourque Questions Al should be asking, but never will: what would it take for Patrick to be considered “good”? Does that negate or make up for all the “bad” he’s done? Will that stop him from doing more “bad” things? Does she really need to know the information she claims to? Is the conspiracy real or nothing more than a fabrication of Patrick’s fractured patchwork of a mind? Pomegranate Sooo..,. Feral can smell emotions :> I’d wager she knows more then she is letting on Umbrazoro I’ve just finished reading this entire thing in one sitting. Brad is definitely my favorite character. Tara is probably second.