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She’d visit each of those girls houses in a row, and sneak home, shower and sleep before Alison ever started to look for her :3 Feral has limitless endurance, somewhat Rens … Has Alison actually slept? Mujaki “Signs point to NO.” rpenner Gah. I guess as a young telekinetic biodynamic with a focus on volitional motor activity and flight, Alison can type comfortably all night on a laptop in that position but us older biostatic types need lumbar support. Tylikcat Usually a memory foam pillow behind me works just fine – though I like to have a pillow or two on my lap to raise the laptop screen up and improve the ergonomics… David Gillon My typical typing position, either flat on my back or inclined back at about 30 degrees, with the laptop on my chest. Keep accidentally hitting the touchpad with my chin… Tylikcat I don’t usually type in bed – I sit in hard chairs with straight backs, and have my laptop on my favorite type of laptop stand, and have pretty decent posture, because, uh, that’s how I roll. But I can type in bed. I just mostly save it for “home sick” sort of occasions. Things like the ridiculous discussion about whether there are wolves in our neighborhood* on our local Nextdoor is greatly improved by being able to look out the window from my library to watch a peregrine discomfit smaller birds across the street. (Yes, I live in a city. But we have porosity where other cities have density. Other notable sightings of the were seven wild turkeys. Oh! And I just heard an owl.) * Almost certainly not. Probably coyotes. Maybe coyote hybrids, but probably not Coywolves, they’re not out here yet. Or are they? Loranna Having just typed a post while lying in bed, I can concur, Tylikcat’s method of sitting in chairs works *much* better. Gah, as if I don’t make enough typos already. >.> Loranna Oren Leifer Having tried writing in bed, I agree that chairs are much superior for that. Also, about wild turkeys, please be cautious of them. They might not look like much, but a pack lives in my town and are vicious. I’ve seen them ambush and kill an peregrine falcon that ate a young turkey, and they’ve chased my friend and me for blocks. Tylikcat My experience is that writing in bed can work just fine with proper attention to ergonomics (though I could use a better lapdesk for providing ventilation for my laptop – pillows really to insulate too much for long term use.) It’s just not my fav unless I’m actually sick. It also probably depends on the bed. My arrangements are, um, somewhat minimalist. I’ve so far avoided interacting with the turkeys – actually, I’ve only seen the females and young. I’ve heard some pretty unpleasant things about the social habits of the males, and even the ones I’ve seen look enough like little dinosaurs to be disconcerting. (Right now my neighbor who is doubling down in his assertion that what he saw absolutely was a pair of wolves and not coyotes despite all evidence to the contrary is even more on my list of potentially volatile creatures to avoid interacting with.) martynW Good question. I’m not inspired enough to plow through old strips to find out, though. I very vaguely remember an old Superman or other superhero comic where it was established that the hero didn’t have to sleep physically, but without some REM sleep his mind started going bad. Weatherheight And it’s a nice new day, filled with possibilities! rpenner As a tourist, I was once out on the streets of Manhattan at the crack of dawn … for rare and popular pastries with a certain faddish fame. Is this a run for donuts or the once mentioned CAPECAKES? Weatherheight The town I live in is dead quiet from around 4:00 am to about 5:30 am. It’s my favorite time to walk downtown – so utterly peaceful. Down side is that I have to wait another hour for the good breakfast places downtown to open up. 🙁 Yirtimd2 It looks like beginning of one of those Noir Movies. Something like “This case was so wrong, that nobody would take it, but I did and employer paid full check as advance and offered triple sum if I will make it to the end. So I worked all night searching for clues on internet and with the first rays of sun I covered my beloved friend with blanket and went to the streets of that goddamn dirty city in my coat covered with red light of morning sun…” Sean Nathaniel Fisk “I snap out of my fugue when the first rays of dawn crept through my window. Their harsh light is baptism, catharsis, rebirth. Or at least they would be, if I had made any progress whatsoever. I hadn’t even realized that I had been slogging through the muck of these useless files all night. I sigh as I snap shut the laptop. Natural light had seen fit to strike me, no sense doubling my impending blindness with the artificial glow. If my corneas are even capable of being damaged, that is. I don’t know. Invulnerability’s a bitch sometimes, especially when you can only sit helplessly waiting to learn more about it when something finally manages to get through. The scar, hidden just underneath that one stray lick of hair, itches at the though. Heh. Can’t feel the pain anymore, but it still itches. All that, and the one who tells it to me straight? The scientist I let cut my hair and poke my unbreakable skin? She’s one of my only friends. She will never lie to me. I wonder if she knows that I remember she’s one of the ones that made a child soldier out of me. That’s irony for you. The unbreakable girl who never got a childhood learns to fly. Suck it, Pan. I throw on my coat, ready to brave the cold of the morning. Yet another unknown. I can feel the cold, but know that it can’t hurt me. Hell, I was a superhero. I’ve been frozen solid more than once. Never took. I’m getting nowhere on this. I need some air. As I pass the couch on the way out of my apartment, Feral’s gentle stirring reminds me of my visitor. Ah, Feral. I couldn’t give you what you needed, all those years back. I can only hope that my couch and my partner-in-crime can give you what you want. I almost regret that punch way back when. Almost… Another life, another time, and it might have worked out between us. But it was not to be. I can’t offer you that. All I can offer you is life. More of a life than you had on the operating table, anyway. My thoughts turn to the dark deeds that bought my friend the chance to sleep, and for a moment, my fists tighten at my sides. What I did haunts me, even in the early dawn rays, and that black pit in the back of my mind threatens to consume me constantly. And yet, looking at my grinning, softly breathing house guest, I can’t bring myself to despair. Seeing that girl… no, that woman smile, after everything she’s been through. She always was more mature than me. You tend to forget these things, when you’re the most powerful person on the planet. It’s enough to make this jaded cynic’s heart melt, just a little. I feel the corners of my mouth bending upwards in an involuntary grin as I reach down to cover Feral with the blanket. She’s inspiring really. Even when, all being said and done, all she’s doing is napping contentedly, decorating the couch with a thin string of drool. As I close the door behind me, I hear her stir and pull the blanket tighter against the early chill. My smile widens ever so slightly, and I lock the door. Down on the streets, I look about. There, the apartment complex. I can see the new brick, replacing the damage from where I put a Templar through the wall. No matter what the city does, that section of street always sags. Out of the corner of my eye, an alley reveals that ever-present graffiti of Menace. I shudder without thought, though whether it is the chill or the memories is anyone’s guess. All the same, Feral’s, no, Tara’s face keeps coming back to me. That black pit of despair is still there, but it seems distant, in the back corners of my mind. Almost bearable, even. I’ve made no progress on the case. I haven’t slept. This city is nothing but a patchwork quilt crudely sewn over the ugly wounds that I helped put in it. And yet… Seeing Tara smile makes it all worth it. Maybe not forever. Maybe not even for the rest of the day. But I’m going to go get some coffee. I’m going to eat some Capecakes. I’m going to go work with Lisa. And maybe, just maybe, I can make this stupid, selfish, patchwork world a better place. If Tara is still smiling at the end of the day, then it will have been a good day.” ClockworkDawn Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuude Pol Subanajouy Bravo! Bravo! JohnR And you aren’t doing this for a living because…? Well, maybe you are, but my point is made! Maybe! Yirtimd2 I think you need to write some detective novels dude, I think you have some talent Loranna Yep. I’m jealous. Nicely done ^_^ *prods herself to get some writing done now* Loranna JeffH Damn, that last paragraph is amazing… andrew I too have to say Holy Crap! Let us know when your novel comes out. This is the type of noir novel I’ve wanted in my cold, coffee black heart! Sean Nathaniel Fisk 0_0 I write a thing before bed, go to work in the morning, and when I come back I’m internet famous! Thanks all, glad you liked it! I do write on occasion, though very much not for a living. Not going to link my stuff though, sniping in another artist’s fanbase without permission is no bueno. strongfemaleprotagonist SFP readers sharing their work with other readers is 100% okay by me! Sean Nathaniel Fisk Oh, thanks! Behold, the word of Mod! I have a (currently inactive, starting up again in a few months) blog where I write about whatever catches my fancy at the time. http://lir.mmfcf.com/ The reason that it is inactive is a Forum Game set in the Legend of the Five Rings universe that I am GMing http://www.winter-court.com/wc5/index.php …Which I also wrote several thousands of words in History and Fiction for, taking off from the point the canon story ended. https://community.fantasyflightgames.com/topic/204755-rpg-winter-court-5/?p=2088051 Naturally, the last two links are full of fandom jargon, but feel free to check them out, as the game will be taking up all my writing time through basically March. Wikimancer well… Comments Section Famous – Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. This is, after all, the bottom half of the internet, where dwell only the trolls and those brave enough to face them. zellgato So not needing sleep is infact under her bracket of super durabaility and endurance then. also YAY. FERAL WASN’T FERALNAPPED. IE Weirdly, I love the little detail of Feral’s armpit being fuzzy. It’s so rare to see body hair drawn on women, and even more rare to see it not used as an example of their disgusting non-femininity. It seems totally in-character for her not to give a fig about razors and it’s those small details that make these characters very realistic to me, and probably why I’ve come to enjoy this comic so much. Chris Hubbard She might just be hairy because of the whole super fast healing thing. Her body wants to return to its natural state and thats with a certain amount of body hair. Callinectes Whereas Alison needs her pits hosed with liquid nitrogen so that the hair can be sandblasted off. Mechwarrior Body hair is considered unfeminine only because of marketing. Lysiuj GO. TO. SLEEP. Lostman She latterly working herself to death. Seven Circle I know you meant ‘Literally,’ but the argument could easily be made that her course of action is taking her sideways towards personal destruction. Simply because it seems Alison is taking her physical health and wellness for granted, and wearing herself out in so many ways. What CAN stop Mega-Girl, besides herself? RobNiner *angsts* AveryAves Hopefully Alison is taking some small steps… David Gillon Oh, oh. Up all night, and it looks like she’s written several letters. Confession time? Tylikcat I’m not sure about perspective, but I think those are just full sheets of paper? Honestly, I’d feel better if I thought confessions were forthcoming… I think. David Gillon Difficult to tell, but if she’s using a wordprocessor, why have paper and a pen lying there? She might be one of the scribble notes to yourself types, but they could equally be there because she’s been addressing envelopes. Darkoneko Hellsing You need to sleep sometimes, girl. Ellis Jones Alison is an absolute madman. When did she last sleep? Charles Moore “They introduce the bad guy for [the next chapter] after the credits.” If I had to guess, she’s on her way to see Patrick. Wikimancer So I guess that this chapter really should just be called “Alison Makes Bad Decisions.” JohnTomato Lovely shadows in the last panel! nat365 At this point, I am advocating for someone to shoot her with a tranq! Hell, I’m sure the government has secretly come up with *something* to knock her out… Alison’s lack of self-care is frustrating the hell out of me. Plus, after this long without sleep she should literally be hallucinating at this point – and she’s a super strong utterly invulnerable being! She has more responsibility than most people to *not let it get to that point*! One hallucinated hostile, and she’ll be killing civilians all over the place! ampg Needles don’t work on her. Maybe knockout gas of some kind? David Gillon This is what, two days without sleep, start of the third? Call it 48 hours without sleep. It’s pushing it, but it’s not necessarily into hallucination territory yet. Weatherheight Assuming this is the start of day three without sleep (call it 50 hours), yeah, she’s starting to get ripe for tripping. My threshold was about 64 hours in high school; my best friend in high school made it to 75 hours before the beetles came for him. We had a tendency to try to stay up far too long on the weekends anyway, and we wanted to see if sleep deprivation could be used as a substitute for drugs. It can, and it so isn’t worth it. On the other hoof, her brain / mind may not work like “normal people” anymore. She might have bought “Life Support: No Need To Sleep” during character creation. On the other other hoof, she might be very resistant to the effects of sleep deprivation due to having a ridiculous CON (Or Stamina, depending on the Game System). ::realizes he’s now standing on one hoof and slowly lowers his legs to the ground:: Julian Arce Where is my intro of the new bad guy in the Zulie line of movies??? Walter Hrrng. Alison didn’t sleep. That’s a bit worrisome. I choose to believe that inspiration struck, and she was up all night finishing her screenplay. Pol Subanajouy So this is the new normal ClockworkDawn “I saw the sun set and then watched it rise on the opposite horizon. It was surreal.” Weatherheight The sun is the east Even though the day is done Hmmm Two suns in the sunset Looks like the human race is run…. Incendax https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Ntv9R1She5A Mechwarrior https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PP7CYAD16sY Brosano I was freaking out that something would happen to Feral. I’m so glad to see her on Alison’s couch. Stephanie Gertsch I like how Allison and Feral’s faces compare every time we’ve seen Feral post organ donations. Anyone else would have the face of a ghost after going through that much pain. But because of her anomaly, Feral can’t show all that pain on her face. Allison looks much more torn down than she does. It makes me wonder if Feral is actually immortal and she’ll be Dorian Gray-ing it all her life. Arkone Axon Bear in mind that Feral has proven to be pretty much inured to pain. Constantly getting shot, stabbed, burned, etc… it’s like the notion of being damned to eternity in hell. After a week or so, the torment starts to become… boring. “Ho hum. Another day of being impaled on a spike while covered in feces. Maybe they’ll have me upside down this time, vary it up a bit.” It’d be the emotional/psychological pain that she still flinches from. Much like with Alison. Only difference is that Feral has handled things a bit better so far. Possibly because her own “horrible and definitely NOT morally righteous” behavior is something she long since got over doing; she killed people and she blew stuff up, and THEN she started soul searching and decided to become an organ cornucopia. If anything, it probably helped her – she found a way to help others with her self-flagellation; a penitent’s dream come true! So for her, the current situation is, “I martyred myself for others… and then I STILL got a happy ending! Imma sleep now and dream of that sexy brown skinned genius girl…” Stephanie Gertsch I read that Dan Ariely did a study on pain/pleasure over prolonged periods of time. He found that while people got used to being pleasure, the same just isn’t true of pain. Which is one of the reasons I can’t believe in a literal hell anymore. RDW0409 This feels ominous, to me… more like an ending than a beginning. 🙁 Lysiuj All right, time for a good old art analysis post, like Loranna taught us! (Cause she hasn’t written one yet >:D ) The page is bordered by two wide, narrow panels at the top and bottom, with four square panels in the middle. The top and bottom panels are catalyst and result – the light moving Alison to action, namely leaving the apartment to do something, and the bottom panel shows that happening. Inbetween, each row of middle panels shows a smaller cause-and-effect, or noticing-and-acting: first Alison notices the light and responds by getting out of bed and putting on her coat, then she noticies Tara sleeping and responds by covering her up. (Also some nice parallels between Al and Tara here – awake/asleep, forcing herself to staw awake/helping Tara to stay asleep, how Al covers both herself and Tara but for different reasons, etc.) The ‘wide-angle’ shots evoke a more distanced feel, focused on larger events/actions, while the ‘close-up’ shots focus on emotions and small details. There’s also a physical progression from up to down, as we move down through the panels – from sky, to apartment, to street. There’s also an interplay of light and shadow: the light in the first panel seems to be a (figurative) wake-up call for Alison, to do… something. It almost seems like Al was hiding in the shadows up to this point, takes one last moment to hide in them again while putting on her coat, and then in the last panel she finally has to step fully into the light, signifying how she’s more or less prepared to face whatever. All in all, this is a beautiful and fascinating page, so thanks Molly (and Brennan). Loranna Very good, Lysiuj, but you have missed the clever subversion of Aesop that this page demonstrates at nearly every turn. ^_^ Recall the tale of the wager between the Wind and the Sun, to see who could force a man to take off his cloak. The gentle Sun, with his beaming rays, could do what no violent gust from the raging Wind could accomplish. Yet, in this page, we see not one, but TWO cases where the light of the Sun prompts a woman to cover herself or a close friend, warding off the warming, cleansing rays of the morning with man-made fabric. The conclusion is as patent as it is inescapable. The Sun is, rightly so, associated with Truth, with bringing Shadowed Secrets to Light. Molly cunningly presents us with an example of how Alison symbolically seeks to armor herself against the Truth, hiding within the confines of a large coat, and how she, with all good intentions, means to shield Feral from that same Truth, no matter how it may try to shine its way into their cozy little apartment. In so doing, Molly not only reaffirms our deepest fears for Alison’s slow slide into tyranny, she also offers a compelling counterargument to a classic fable, too-long unquestioned in our ever-advancing society. And you all thought this was a touching moment where Alison showed her protective instincts and her joy for her friend’s happiness. Mwahahahaha >=D I now return to the icy winter cave where I await the coming of the celebratory feast, to utter dire predictions for any who wish to pass by my doorstep – at least until it’s time for mince pie and egg nog, which will placate my hollowed-out siren’s soul ^_~ Oh, and here’s some carrots for the burro, and cookies for the rest of you 🙂 Loranna Lysiuj Well I guess I couldn’t out-analyze the master… well done, and very interesting. Weatherheight Valiant effort, mind you…. And it’s also.. very pink… make of that what you will. 😀 Lysiuj Also – following from our theories in the last page, we can see who appeared right in the first panel, and now we know who the new villain is. And it’s THE SUN!!! Yes, the sun, infamous archnemesis, and ex-girlfriend, of the moon, has now come to take revenge on her enemy by attacking the moon’s new girlfriend, none other than Alison “Megagirl” Green! And Alison, as if saying to herself “I knew this day would come… also it’s literally a new day, funny how that turned out”, readys herself, dons her armor, and sets out to confront her opponent. Will the LIGHT triumph? Or will GOOD prevail? Find out on the next exciting installment of Strong Female Protagonist! Oren Leifer Do beware the sun, than unceasing, smiling god. FlashNeko At this point, the only advice I have for Alison is perhaps she should follow the words of the new classic bedtime story we all know and love that can only be appropriately read by Samuel L Jackson. ∫Clémens×ds 🐙 Get her arms out of under her head Alison! Lest she is going to wake up tomorrow and they will be all numb! Numb!! Numb I say!… That is a gorgeous looking dawn gradient. ALIBOT.THE.MURDEROUS.LESBORG ALIBOT.NEEDS.TO.REBOOT REMIND.ME • IN.TEN.MINUTES • IN.AN.HOUR • IN.FOUR.HOURS • IN.TWELVE.BILLION.YEARS • EVERYTHING.PERFECT.FOR.EVERYONE.FOREVER ✓ Manuel Simone I love how everyone freak out about Alison not sleeping and I was staring for a couple of minutes at the scene where Alison covered Feral to keep her warm and I was like: awww, this one is the cutest scene I’ve seen in SFP lately. She’s so damn caring and protective with her best friend, friggin’ cute. Hiram Alison, sweetie. . . if you start sleepwalking through lamp posts and buildings you’re apt to wake up in wreckage or tethered to a treadmill. Dan Nicholson Yanno, this is the first time I’ve ever been following a comic and started to worry if the protagonist is getting enough sleep… without it being explicitly mentioned. Magicat You know, I just realized that Cleaver/that bladearm guy who’s in prison could mutate in a way that would stop him from dying and/or being unable to touch anything if he’s given the magical sparkles. Rugains Fleuridor Holy crap… MAMA I MADE IT! It’s taken forever! for me to catch up to this comic, but I luuuuv every page. The story is great, the alt-texts were great, and the commenters just make it all better. There’s so many things to say across the whole story, and I’ve waited ALL this time to gush out a single comment, so I think instead of trying to purge all those thoughts I’m just gonna say this: Daniel is awesome. Weatherheight Congratulations! I hope you took it in manageable chunks and aren’t too sleep deprived. 😀 Let me see what’s on the snack table today… really? White Chocolate and Peppermint flavored Popcorn and cocoa.. ? Ooo.. peppermint-candy-coated carrots! Thanks you, whoever! ::trots off munching even more noisily than usual with happily waggling ears:: StClair “Can’t sleep, world needs me. Can’t sleep, world needs me. Can’t sleep, …” KevlarNinja ♪Just call me angel, in the morning, angel…..♪ Don’t know why, that song just came to mind when I saw this.