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  • Franklin J Gomes

    Here it is, the one time rock bested paper

    • Miri Waites

      The secret is, use magma

      • AbacusWizard

        Hey, it works in Dwarf Fortress…

  • MoonicaMusing

    Shit just got real

  • McFrugal

    Oh dear. Telekinesis can’t defend from psychic attack, it seems.

    • Weatherheight

      The TK may actually being doing the damage, psychosomatically.

  • Weatherheight

    Here we see Alison getting a brief but useful meta-physics lesson.
    “In Patrick’s brain, bigger may not be better but it’s definitely stronger.”
    And hey, he paid for the nosebleed option – noice.

    • Herwood

      I am so confused with her powers right now. She used super strength a few moments ago to deconstruct metaphors, is she not invulnerable to arguments now?

      • Kid Chaos

        It’s a giant-sized Alison; naturally it’s stronger than normal-sized Alison. At least, that’s how Dream!Alison sees it. I think. 🤔

      • MisterTeatime

        I don’t think her ability to express her powers here has changed since the previous fight- it’s just that the Sentinel is that much stronger and tougher than those drones.
        (A benefit of being derived from the image of Alison as described by someone who hasn’t lived through all of Alison’s failures. She’s literally fighting the Superman that people talk about when they say Superman is unbeatable and that makes him boring.)

      • Weatherheight

        I’m guessing this isn’t a metaphor…
        This. Is. Dogma.
        (Where’s James Earl Jones when I need a voiceover?

      • Arkone Axon

        It’s a psychic construct in a virtual reality, a dream. It’s as powerful as Patrick thinks it is, and Alison is as powerful as she thinks she is. It’s like how Charles Xavier is a paraplegic in a wheelchair, but on the astral plane or in a psychic landscape he’s built like Superman and can kick the ass of anything he encounters.

        Also, the damage she’s taking is internal – her invulnerability and her super strength are both the result of a kind of telekinesis (and ditto her flight; her strength and toughness get reduced now when she flies because there’s less power available). It stops at the surface of her skin, so damage directly to the brain is going to be… problematic.

        • Aqua

          It doesn’t stop at the surface of her skin, as seen with her bones being even more impervious than her skin. Rest seems like a good guess though.

          • Arkone Axon

            We don’t know that her bones are impervious. A telekinetic “shell” would protect everything at the surface of her skin or beneath said skin. That’s why she actually suffered damage after first gaining flight powers – her “power supply” was getting shunted to too many things.

            (Makes me think of Dilbert’s pointy haired boss. “Can’t we concentrate our assets across the board?”)

          • Weatherheight

            Umm… we do know that her bones are much tougher than her skin, actually.
            At one point Daniel cut neatly through her skin but got stopped by her bones (panels 2 & 3). Kind of a major plot point.


            The doctor also affirmed this to Alison as well, which is why Alison tried this stunt in the first place. (Panel 6).


            Not saying your analysis about her flight is wrong (because there’s no evidence to contradict it), but it could also be that the internalized stresses of using her flight early on might have been a result of her NOT knowing how to use the power correctly, rather than an issue of power distribution and relative power levels.
            Since she’s “pushing”/”pulling” all of herself through the air using TK, it’s possible that she might have gotten the pressure / drag mix wrong and either wrenched her shoulder too hard forward, relative to the rest of her body, or let it drag too much. I’m pretty sure it was a dislocated shoulder, not a broken bone, based on the remainder of the story arc and context. Bones might be super strong, but the ligaments and cartilage might not be relatively as strong.

            It’s also possible that she bought the flight with a 14- Activation Roll and Side Effects (1d6 PHKA, NND, Does Body) when she failed the roll to be able to afford it faster than she normally would have been able and bought off that Limitation fast as she could (Maybe that’s a little too Meta…). 😀

          • Arkone Axon

            I looked at your links and I thought three things in short order.
            1: You appear to be right and I appear to be wrong.
            2: The proportions really were better back then. Alison and the others are proportioned like adults, not like adolescents.
            3: You… might not be correct after all. We don’t actually the doctor affirming it, merely theorizing it. As the doctor herself points out here:

            She’s literally creating her own field of study, which is only seven years old at that point. It’s like how the Renaissance masters created the modern disciplines of chemistry and biology and physics… while also talking about mysticism and coming up with many theories that have been debunked for so long that we don’t even remember most of them anymore. The doctor is… pretty much in the same boat as we all are; she’s stuck making educated guesses to the best of her ability. You might be right after all, I might be right after all… we’ll just have to keep reading and see. 🙂

            (Also, what game system were you using there?)

          • Weatherheight

            Hero System, 4th Edition, with a few rules from very obscure rules sets that aren’t highly recommended for novice play. 😀

            And yes, I concede that I can be talking through my hat. That whole “flying full out for the first time and hurting herself” was so.. not in keeping with established canon that it left me scratching my head (it felt like “I need Alison at a disadvantage at this point in the plot so…” sort of thing to me).

        • Herwood

          Interesting… Thanks for explaining.

      • Lisa Izo

        She’s never been particularly good against arguments in general, as we’ve seen with Max and Gurwara. 🙂

  • StClair

    “Do you believe that my being stronger, or faster, has anything to do with my muscles, in this place?
    You think that’s air you’re breathing now?”

    • Scott

      “If you die in the Matrix, you die here?”
      “The body cannot live without the mind.”

      • MichaelMRT

        Trainman: You don’t get it. I built this place. Down here I make the rules. Down here *I* make the threats.
        Trainman: Down here… I’m God.

        • Arkone Axon

          “Watch out. I have powers… political powers!”

          (an episode of the Simpsons where Homer and Burns both started hallucinating)

    • GreatWyrmGold

      “I mean, me being stronger and faster doesn’t have much to do with muscles in the real world…”

      • Lisa Izo

        omg, that was hilarious.

  • Hawthorne

    Feral: “I’m comin’, pard’ner!”

    *burrows quickly into Alison’s nose*

  • Kittenbot Doomypants

    Puts new meaning to mind over matter.

  • Jshadow

    Typical Ali, “Violence will solve everything. They can’t hurt me- Oh wait.”

  • Ladon

    I guess she just can’t habdle being so safe and warm. On another note, this is strong evidence for my “Patrick lost it because he lost his only friend” theory. See? He clearly does care for and rely on her! Aaaand now that’s destroying him! And her! More literally in her case! How sweet!

    • Walter

      I mostly agree, but rather than ‘his only friend’ I’d phrase it as ‘his last remaining crutch’ or similar. ‘He’ is a gestalt of everyone that he’s met. Having someone who is so important that they got used as a pattern for the Sentinel suddenly and radically change their opinion of him was likely SHATTERING to his executive program.

      In particular, the part of ‘Patrick’ that is Menace was probably patterned off of something like ‘past Alison’s impressions of me’, and when those shifted it likely destabilized him.

      • Ladon

        Yeah, I agree completely. My “lost his only friend” thing was an oversimplification of just what you said. I went into it in greater detail a few pages back.

  • Gotham

    Due to my long history of interacting with hent— with media of Japanese origin and permeating with Japanese culture, sorry— I cannot stop thinking of the alternative interpretation of that last panel: Alison just found something as strong as she is, and she is turned on.

    • Ordinary Tree

      i dont understand where that cliche came from. People don’t nosebleed when they’re horny. What kind of weird evolutionary trait is that?

      • Merle

        I believe it’s *supposed* to be linked to a rise in blood pressure due to arousal…though I doubt there’s any actual truth to it.

        That said, the one and only nosebleed I’ve had in my life happened while (adult) Ruto was on screen in Ocarina of Time, so, uh…hell if I know.

      • Mechwarrior

        It’s a metaphor for having an erection, actually. Initially, at least, it wasn’t supposed to be taken literally,though I believe that it’s become such a trope in anime thatthat’s changed. Similarly, having an angry girl pull a hammer or giant paper fan out of nowhere and smack a guy over the horizon is a metaphor for shouting at him.

      • Weatherheight

        When aroused, blood pressure spikes (never mind the form of arousal).
        This can, in some people and / or at certain times and / or under certain conditions, cause nosebleeds. Extremely dry air and idiocy are usually the fundamental catalysts for me.

        One of the few times I have had a non-injury-related nosebleed was during a meeting at work when one of my “colleagues” said something so profoundly stupid, disrespectful, and uninformed that my supervisor later said, “I’ve never seen your vein throb at your temple before! I thought you going to lose your temper.”

      • Happened to me once. Seriously. It was already very dry out, and I was on the edge of nosebleed anyway. When I suddenly saw my wife being remarkably adorable, all the blood rushed to my head(s?), and I got a nosebleed.

        I have also hit my head and seen stars (that one’s pretty common for me, actually), hit my head and heard bells and birds a couple times, once seen red when I got mad, and my eyes change color when I get angry.

        I’m pretty sure I’m a toon.

        • Merle

          Stay away from turpentine!

          • I’m not THAT much of an alcoholic…

        • AbacusWizard

          Try standing in front of a mirror and have an epiphany–do you see any light bulbs that weren’t there before? Remember, this is for science!

          • My wife decorated her cube at work with a bunch of pictures of lightbulbs in order to help her come up with ideas; does that count?

    • Zorae42

      Oh jeez. She’s punishing herself

  • JohnTomato

    “Flame on!” – J. Storm

    • Herwood

      Or the even more campy equivalent:
      “The heat is on!” – Firestorm

      • Jovial Contrarian

        “Now we’re cooking Diablo style!

        Too obscure?

        • Herwood

          Yeah, whats that from?

          • Weatherheight

            Blue Devil?
            Red Devil?
            El Diablo?
            (One of these things is not like the other…)

  • Herwood

    Allison could deconstruct metaphors, but not hope.

  • Walter

    I’m not terribly surprised by this. The meta-entity that we call ‘Patrick’, the ‘much greater than human’ thing that the Anima was talking about, is generating both sides of this contest. I think if the Sentinel was going to be weaker than Alison it would have been smaller. The appearance of power probably IS power here.

    • Mechwarrior

      Or at the very least, Alison sees it that way. And she might be suffering damage to her physical body because she’s a TK and her powers are simply expressing the injuries because she’s expecting to have them.

      • Walter

        Yeah, Alison broke her arm when she was flying, right? She is able to harm herself. Presumably her power is messing with her body to try and make it more like her self image, which is getting messed up in Menace’s mind.

        This is quite dangerous for our heroine. Patrick is the threat that Menace never was.

  • In brains, we seem to use a different metric of physical strength, yes?
    So, for someone so used to relying on her powers…

    • Lisa Izo

      She might have to take someone else’s advice for a change 🙂 Even if that someone else is a Patrick mind essence thing.

  • Merle

    Well, this just got a fair bit less funny.

    • Lisa Izo

      But a fair bit more interesting.

  • Lostman

    Dang it Alison, your suppose to roll away from a enemy attack.

  • Rolf Soldaat

    Careful Alison, if you die in the dream, you die in real life.

  • jandesf

    The end

  • Jorb

    Well, Allison’s probably about to get shaken awake, since blood coming out of her nose was a stated condition to do that.

  • George Talbot

    Her invulnerability is usually represented as a telekinetic field, right? That’s what you get for an effect inside the field.

  • Hiram

    Alison, if you keep taking damage trying to save Patric’s brain you’re going to wind up needing to save his body from a savage Feraling.

  • Pyro

    Waiting for Al body to start shaking as she gets her ass kicked like in The Matrix

    • Arkone Axon

      Is this where Feral is supposed to say something that sounds dramatic and then kiss her before Alison beats the Sentinel? Because the last time Feral kissed Alison she got punched through a wall and broke her neck on impact. (Of course she got better. It’s Feral, after all)

  • RobNiner ♫

    If SFP ever does a Clone Saga it’s gonna get messy.

    • Arkone Axon

      HOPEFULLY they’ll handle it better. Just tell the clone, “look… you’re my sister. Which means you’ve got parents… c’mon and meet them. Dad’s not going to last long, so give him a chance to get to know you before he’s gone.”

      (Lois Bujold did something like that in her Vorkosigan series. The moment Miles met his clone, his immediate reaction was, “you’re NOT my clone. You’re my brother. According to my cultural traditions – which are YOUR cultural traditions, whether you like it or not – your name is supposed to be Mark Pierre. The people who created you told you lots of lies about our father… but did they ever mention our mother? She’ll want to meet you.”)

      • RobNiner ♫

        How cool is that? Must read those books.

        • Eric Schissel

          Happy to add my voice to that recommendation, and those in which Mark appears (especially Memory) in particular. Fine and _rereadable_ series.

          • RobNiner ♫

            Cool, thanks.

          • Arkone Axon

            “Mirror Dance” in particular. That’s the one that REALLY brings out Mark as a character in his own right. I actually like Mark more than Miles. Miles changes entire worlds – while supported by his retinue of adoring fans, ranging from awestruck worshipers to harried friends to annoyed superiors. Mark saves lives as well – singlehandedly, after being betrayed and abandoned… and with both hands literally tied behind his back.

            (That book is also why I was never really a fan of Eli Quin. Then again, even Miles found it difficult to forgive her for what she did)

          • palmvos

            it happened offstage but its arguable that mark has done more good and saved more lives since he managed to almost complete the quest that started mirror dance. hes also very very very rich.

            Ivan is also no idiot… though when miles is what you compare him too…

          • palmvos

            Cryoburn is… well a bit morbid.

  • Lisa Izo

    Ok…. this is an interesting storyline. Facing something in which she can’t just punch her way to victory.

  • AbacusWizard

    This reminds me of one of my favorite spooky bits from _Equal_Rites_ by Pratchett, in which a young girl in training to become a wizard is facing down some nightmare creatures inside her own mind. They threaten her; she says “I don’t think you can hurt me, here in my dreams.”
    The creatures say “Do you know what ‘psychosomatic’ means, little girl? It means we CAN hurt you, here in your dreams…”

    • Arkone Axon

      Yes! Pratchett gives a callback to that book later on in “Maskerade,” when Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg come to Ankh-Morporkh and Nanny worries about Granny being overly judgemental of the “Seamstress’ Guild.” Only to find out that Granny’s been here before… and if she knows what they’re on about, she doesn’t mention it and they greet her as an old friend.

      • Eric Schissel

        Lately I’m almost surprised I didn’t take to that novel – one of the first of his I ever read- the first time around. It has become a favorite since. The recurring question (what would you take out of a burning building if you could choose _anything_ at all) and the, well, winning answer was also telling, I thought.
        (It may have to do with the fact that I’m just not a fan of the Lloyd Webber that I’ve heard. I enjoy opera though I’m open to satire of what is, like most genres (e.g. mystery) – a genre and needs having its rules examined and at least bent at times, too (re mystery, see also Reginald Hill) — ok, now i am blathering… and repeating myself…)

        • Arkone Axon

          I’ve only seen one Andrew Lloyd Webber play… but it was “Phantom.” And I have to admit, it was pretty awesome. Especially the way they handled things in the show, with the chandelier on the stage being auctioned off at the beginning, then the auctioneer is encouraged to tell the backstory behind the chandelier, he connects two old massive power cables… and then the room plunges into darkness and the theme music blares out, and the chandelier slowly begins to rise up in three pieces before fitting into the top of the theater. There to dangle until the big moment in that particular scene…

  • Jovial Contrarian

    Stop hitting yourself! Stop hitting yourself!

    • Weatherheight

      ::rolls on his back, hooves flailing madly and braying hysterically::

  • Doc

    And Mega Girl has been defeated by the only force mightier than she! She!

    • Eric Schissel

      And where She is, Adam Warlock may be around too.

      • MisterTeatime

        Are either of them witches? Because that just introduces further questions!

      • Weatherheight

        Kismet / Her is probably of whom you’re thinking.

    • AbacusWizard

      “And Mega Girl has been defeated by the only force mightier than she! She!”

      Am I correct in thinking that this is a reference to a certain very very old Mad Magazine parody of Superman vs Captain Marvel? If so, bravo well done!

  • Callinectes

    Sleep nosebleeds are no joke for those with white linen pillow cases.

    • Sleep nosebleeds are no joke anyway, I’ve woken up choking on blood before.

  • Darkoneko Hellsing

    She seems to be having fun, nonetheless.

  • Harlequin

    Allison, you’re fighting Patrick’s mental image of you. It’s stronger than you ever were.

    • Arkone Axon

      I can just hear her responding with the voice of Beth from “Rick and Morty.”

      “Okay, ouch…”

  • bryan rasmussen

    So obviously what’s going to happen is Feral calls Paladin they hook up a quick transfusion to Allison of Feral’s blood and she defeats Patrick. After which she realizes hey I can take over the world if I just keep feral strapped to my back when conquering!