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 52 Show Comments 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. http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-2/page-42/ The doctor also affirmed this to Alison as well, which is why Alison tried this stunt in the first place. (Panel 6). http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-2/449/ 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: http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-5/page-124/ 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.” Ian Osmond 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! Ian Osmond 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! Ian Osmond 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? 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. K25fF 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. Snow Cat 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!