SFP

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  • Emmy

    Milk and cookies … OF DOOM!

    • AdamBombTV

      With chocolate chips… OF EVIL!

      • Kid Chaos
      • Eve

        I made triple chocolate biscuits (British cookies) for my partner’s birthday, and you’d better believe they were from the dark side. The lightest the chocolate got was 52% chocolate chips, and the rest was cacao nibs or bits of 100% chocolate. Also there were big chunks of fairly hot crystallised ginger, in case anyone thinks that’s evil or badass or what have you. No milk, though, I’m vegan. We had them with tea and Space Hulk.

        • Emmy

          Sounds delicious!

          Crystallized ginger is an amazing ingredient.

        • Todd

          Heh!

          “Tea and Space Hulk”

          The update po-mo version of “Tea and Sympathy” . . . .

          “Years from now, when you speak of this, and you will . . . TERMINATUS!!”

  • bryan rasmussen

    Allison looks like she would like to ask some questions.

    • This Guy

      This could be because one of the things Patrick told her face face, the moment she decided to start trusting him, was that he could not control minds, merely read them. While mind reading is an ultimate invasion of privacy, I think most people don’t consider it as bad as mind control, which takes away free will.

      • Gotham

        Assumedly this was being the green door for safekeeping and even he didn’t remember he could do it?

        • This Guy

          We can only wait for Tuesday at the earliest to get a concrete answer, if ever we get one.
          But the fact that it happened once, and that Patrick forgot, will do nothing to reassure Allison, who is only invincible skin-deep.

      • David Claughton

        Alternatively this could be fake. Patrick can’t do mind-control, but it’s been hinted before that there’s something of an Urban Myth about him that he can.

        If Mom is one of those people that buy into that myth, Patrick would know this and might have used that to his advantage. So Mom believes he has the power to make her love him and therefore believes that she now feels love – but in reality it’s all just a delusion.

    • Jovial Contrarian

      “Wait, so you CAN control minds?!”
      *twists his arm backwards, slams him into a psychic manifestation of a table*
      “Alright sunshine, we have a lot of minds to control and time is a factor.”

      • Weatherheight

        So dark…
        ::wiggles his ears humorously::

  • Background Character

    So a couple of theories:
    1) Pat’s mom has essentially been shattered mentally and will collapse into a seizure shortly due to her brain being rendered nonfunctional.
    2) Despite going behind the door, Patrick is still unable to deal with the whole truth and has added a false ending as a personal comfort.

    • Emmy

      If I might add … she may be faking it somehow, and will turn on him the instant he drops his guard, “forcing” him to kill her in “self-defense” despite the fact he instigated the whole situation. She put down the knife but is still within reach of the gun, presuming he returned it to the holster.

      Also, it kinda looks like he’s vibrating faintly in anticipation of how bad this is going to be.

      • Shjade

        Emmy…he’s literally a mind-reader.

        I’m fairly sure he’d notice if she were faking it.

        • Emmy

          Under normal circumstances, of course.

          But … we know Patrick’s inner world evolves to have a very complex relationship with emotions. And this event has been played up as the most extreme emotional moment of his entire life.

          Perhaps, not realizing his limits vis-a-vis intense, unfamiliar emotions and how it would really feel to witness the fulfillment of his life-long dream, he gets lost in what he wants to see from this moment and becomes overwhelmed.

          Even if it only takes a few seconds to regain his composure, he might not recognize what’s happening. And that would reinforce his belief that he needs walls and distance from others, even after he locks away the memory.

          SFP has a tendency to be a bit more subtle about its big moments, so I wouldn’t usually think so … but the last couple pages have really set us up for maximum melodrama.

      • Eric Meyer

        This is my vote.

    • bryan rasmussen

      I think she can’t deal with the new-found concept of guilt and commits suicide.

      • BadExampleMan

        I mean, she did just murder the guy she’s been married to for umpty years, the father of her children etc.

        • Skudplastr

          Yeeeeeeah, and now milk and cookies is happening while his body is still right there in that same room. It’s kinda creepy.

    • Arthur Frayn

      So either 2) This scene is a lie.
      or 1) Gurwara is a dissociative personality who invented the conspiracy in order to keep Patrick busy, and taught Alison to keep her from becoming a danger to humanity with any confused sense of morality.

    • Gotham

      3) He can’t really control it super well and he has too much of what he wants.
      The non-comedic version of “Patrick make sure to brush your teeth and look both ways before crossing the garden back to your helicopter also eat your vegetables and you should really do something about your skin also I hear you’ve been seen with a giant blade hands monster is he your boyfriend I would have no problem with that you know also is super villain a good job you should think about getting into college and that costs money you know I was never a fan of you dropping middle school but I understand you were going through a lot and I don’t blame you but I just want the best for my beloved son and I’m just an old worried mother also your father is leaking blood all other my bed are you sure you’re able to handle it do you need to see a doctor you know Ms. Stevenson told me her daughter couldn’t eat for two days after her rabbit ran away and eating healthy is so very important by the way you shouldn’t take more than two cookies plus it’s 3 in the morning why are you not sleeping mister”…

      …would result in a “I’ve made a terrible mistake” face.

      The other option resembling this one is that he realizes this is no better than murder. Who she was is entirely gone, even if she ends up a much better person without terrible consequences, and it can eat him up inside.

      • Philip Bourque

        Good lord… Did you have to have that massive run-on sentence?

        • Gotham

          Have you consistently been not reading my comments

      • Weatherheight

        Stream of consciousness indeed.
        Or maybe a babbling brook…

    • rpenner

      So .. is this like when spores forced Spock to “feel happy” and Kirk insisted it was wrong and eventually resorted to race-baiting to snap him out of it? Or is this more like when psychics forced Spock to start laughing and McCoy insisted that such abuse was killing him?

      http://memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/This_Side_of_Paradise
      http://www.chakoteya.net/StarTrek/67.htm

      PARMEN: We can’t let him die laughing, can we?

      • Todd

        Somewhat different, I’d say, as Spock’s training in emotion suppression was being brutally forced into abeyance rather than simply erased and “re-written” (if that’s indeed what’s happened).

  • Gotham

    Turns out…

    Patrick…

    HATES MILK AND COOKIES!

    • AdamBombTV

      HE’S A MONSTER!!

    • Aresius

      So, besides being lactose intolerant, he’s also a celiac? The drama! D:

      • anonymous

        this is actually how he discovers his dietary restrictions and it makes him kill his mother for showing him that he can never experience cookies and/or milk without the bubble guts

  • Thomas S

    Thus far it is indeed terriblefying …

  • Professor Harmless

    “The price of getting what you want, is having what you once wanted.”

  • Franklin J Gomes

    Prediction: She is gonna drop death for an aneurysm. Scrambling with a brain like that can be healthy.

  • AdamBombTV

    And they all lived happily ever after… You know, besides the whole murdering the father thing.

  • Roman Snow

    Right now it’s hard to see how this could be that much worse than her being about to stab him (besides the moral dubiousness of totally changing someone’s personality), but Patrick’s shaking has me on the edge of my seat.

  • This has probably been the hardest-to-read story arc for me, and it was so well done.

    Brava. I look forward to where this goes.

  • Axel_Celosar

    While the prospect and possibilities of this power is terrifying, I can’t help but see this as anything but a net positive for her. I mean, what if genuinely diagnosed psychopaths/sociopaths could just have that slight tweak made in their heads to fix them?

    • ObviousPuppetAccount

      She’s caked in her husband’s blood after having just murdered him and she’s dancing around and talking about cookies and milk. She’s not fixed.

      • Thomas S

        Neither is Patrick.

        • ObviousPuppetAccount

          Yeah, but she has main character plot armor. So Patrick will probably turn out all right while his mother will explode in five seconds or something, even though Alison and Patrick basically did the same thing.
          I really hope Alison will realize from this that she did a horrible thing.

      • Gotham

        I figure when forced into a brand new perspective to discover the world anew from, the order of priority goes:
        1. Your own self and how the new perspective alters it permanently
        2. The person your brand new perspective prioritizes above everything else
        3. AND THEN the dying man slowly leaking six liters of blood on your best sheets literally behind you in your shared marital bed of 20 years

        • ObviousPuppetAccount

          I don’t know, blood is in my experience a pretty decent attention grabber.

      • Todd

        Maybe, maybe not . . . .

        The murdering stuff was pre-“fixing”; it remains to be seen what happens next . . . .

  • Giacomo Bandini

    Wow. I’m speechless.

    The problem with getting what you want is getting what you want. My guess is that Patrick will soon realize what he has got. Not a human being, capable of complex feelings, loving her son, but at the very same time disgusted and guiltridden for having been forced to kill her husband, and also trepulsed of his son criminal activities; but a cold unfeeling sociopath who just happen to be geased into feeling ONE feeling. Who can offer his son milk and biscuits while still dirty in her husband’s blood.

    Sorry Pat… but the very fact that she loves you proves that she don’t.

    • Tom O.

      Yeah I expect this won’t satisfy him for long. If he tries to change her back, that’s when things really go south.

    • He’s definitely done a whole lot more, or something a whole lot simpler, than curing her of sociopathy.

      Geased is a really good term for it. She’s compelled to love him. Now think how we’d talk about that if he’d done it to a girlfriend, rather than someone we’re used to talking about as a sociopath who planned to murder a child. We’re definitely into mind-rape territory.

      The one hope for Patrick is that this is a memory that seems to scare him. But does it scare him for the right reasons?

      • Tylikcat

        I once again bring up the question of the timeline. Where does this fit in with what we know about Patrick’s life? Does this play into his discovery of the conspiracy? (Which we know shook him to his core, but maybe there was more to that.)

        • Very good question!

          All of Patrick’s life as Menace fits into a very few years (15-21?). We can probably put his emergence as Menace in mid teens. He needed to be physically large enough for an adult role, and this is obviously after that, but when he discovered the conspiracy is unclear. Was Menace a consequence, or the means of discovery*? We know from this chapter his criminal behaviour predates his emergence as Menace and likely doesn’t much postdate his escape from his mother.

          *My recall’s a bit fuzzy on this, I can’t recall how clear the narrative has been on this point.

      • Tsapki

        I am reminded of a Tales from the Crypt episode about a love potion and how it simply became too much to bear for the men who drugged the woman he wanted.

        • Tylikcat

          Isn’t there a classic tale about 1 gold for the potion, and a thousand to break the spell?

          • One of my favorite short-short stories was a man rubs a lamp, a genie shows up, and says, “What’s your third wish?” The man says, “What about my first two?” The genie says “Your first wish was so disastrous that you used your second wish to rewind to this point so that it never happened.” “Well, okay, I guess my wish is that I want to be irresistible to women.”

            “Funny,” says the genie as he disappears. “That was your first wish, too…”

          • Todd
          • Tylikcat

            …yes, the short story was part of a collection that was assigned in school.

      • Ophidiophile

        “He’s definitely done a whole lot more, or something a whole lot simpler, than curing her of sociopathy.”

        What makes you think he cured her? He said he could make her love him; he didn’t say he would make her love the man she just killed, or feel anything about anyone other than himself. He has simply added a little extra crazy to her by making her love him as a mother, which she has no experience with. If you think about how children can break a mother’s heart by slighting her, not paying attention to her as much as she would like, not responding as she would like, or making her feel guilty if something goes wrong, and then view it through the eyes of a sociopath, you can see how this might turn out badly. There is a alt version of the “if you love something” saying that goes “If you love something, let it go. If it doesn’t come back, hunt it down and kill it.” I’m not going to predict what happens (too many possibilities), but being loved by a sociopath cannot end well.

        • friendlymosquito

          …Are you saying he made his mom yandere?

        • Sociopathy is incompatible with the way she’s behaving, she’s demonstrating empathy and remorse, and Patrick would know if those were a manipulative facade (and she knows he knows).

    • Pol Subanajouy

      Well put.

    • Gotham

      A “be careful what you wish for” monkey’s paw situation, where dear Mother loves her son but to terrible secondary consequences, would be disappointing.

      Because then the intent of that story wouldn’t be to entirely obliterate Patrick’s belief that he did not just do the utmost terrible thing. If she turns out to love him to the detriment of her own health or something, he could always end up feeling like he could train his ability and do better next time. That’s the caveat of almost every wish fulfillment story.

      I dare you, webcomic. Make it perfect. Make her happy, whole, absolutely willing to repent and be better. Make it everything Patrick ever wanted and more.

      And then you won’t be able to go for the cheap and easy tricks to show us it was the worst mistake Patrick ever did.

      (If the webcomic goes my way, I predict a few more fiery debates about “should the powerful take control away from others with the greater good excuse” in the coming weeks)

      • Danygalw

        ??

        • Gotham

          yes?

          • ObviousPuppetAccount

            !?!

          • Danygalw

            I don’t understand.

          • Gotham

            If a character mindcontrols someone, the lesson shouldn’t be that this is a bad thing because the consequences are terrible.
            The lesson should be that this is a bad thing period.

            If it breaks her mentally, it leaves the door open for the interpretation to be “oh, I just have to mindcontrol people so as /not/ to break them mentally”

          • Danygalw

            tbh I wouldn’t expect that to be possible

      • Dave Huber

        I like your approach. Let’s assume Patrick did fix his mother’s defect, and she’s focusing on the positive feelings, trying to grant her son happiness for the first time in her life. Avoiding confronting the horror of having just been induced to murder the husband she can at last also love fully… So they go to the kitchen, where she washes the blood away, expressing love and gratitude while preparing milk and cookies for both of them! Joining in the feast as Patrick expresses new hope for a normal life, retiring from his Menace persona so they can be a family at last… “Mom? Why do you look so sad? What’s wrong?” as he discovers he can no longer read a mind he has altered…

      • Olivier Faure

        Ehhh, I think it’s going to be more a “pet’s cemetery” thing. I’m betting his mother isn’t going to be “exactly the same personality, except happier and willing to repent”.

        I think she’s going to this grotesque always-cheerful idealized mother that Patrick always wanted to have since he was a child, to the detriment of her ability to function in society, Clockwork-Orange-style.

        Whether that’s a cop out is up to you, but I don’t think we’ll get something that works for your “Should the powerful choose for the weak” debate.

        • Gotham

          I’m so tired of these stories. The prevalence of “be careful what you wish for” stories hinges upon the millenia old ingrained cultural trope that humans’ are meek in the presence of whichever gods’ plans and attempting to alter them is folly.

          I’m with Lisa on this. Punch that fucking sun in the face until it bleeds, Icarus. Lisa’s due to the downfall of her own beliefs later in her story arc and the great thing about it is that we’ve got the perfect set up for it to be entirely her own inner fault. No bullshit about gods’ wrath crashing down our sandcastles, no sudden and deeply unsatisfying deus ex narrow-mindedness at the critical moment—tell me you’ve never groaned in front of a “I just got everything I wanted and am all-powerful, now to become evil for no reason as a teachable lesson about hubris” oh hey the Hobbit movies how did you get there get the fuck out nobody likes you you’re trash—

          The lesson of these tales is that the status quo is Good and if you try to take control of your own fate, you will be burned by external forces. They are extremely popular exactly for that reason, because mainstream powers don’t like to be challenged and gigantic institutions like Christianity for instance are particular fans and distribute them like candies. “Things are very good as they are right now, well not for you but especially for me who happens to be the one telling that story but don’t focus on that, focus on your god given duty to suck it up and count your blessings because the fucking second you start to wish for something better, you will be struck by thunder.” Yes, this story is political agenda. Everything is.

          And it’s not true. Humans have agency. Over their own lives and those of others. Having to grapple not with the certainty of punishment for stepping out of line but with the uncertainty of where the line even is, that’s so much more important in this day and age. We’re enjoying a webcomic about the strongest human on earth wondering how to act ethically in the absence of an authority above her for that very reason. The story takes place in her twenties among a litany of other biodynamics because this is the time of their life where they first realize this world is theirs, and they should make it better, /and they can/. Because the world is ours (us youths, she said soon to be 30), we should make it better, and we can.
          We just have to tell each other stories to figure out how to.

          Stories like, having Patrick realize on his own that he can’t just mindcontrol everyone in the world to impose a totalitarian eternal peace. Even if it would work. How courageous a message it would be.

          but no let’s have another boring shit where oh oh oh turns out wishes come with consequences! man who could have seen this coming like i always say when watching and rewatching the classing masterpiece of horror wish upon 2017 “be careful what you wish for? wow what a masterstroke of a take”

          • Olivier Faure

            I ‘d really like to have more agency-driven stories with all the things you said, but I disagree with the “class warfare” part of your analysis. I think there are fundamental reasons these stories are so widespread, if though I’m not sure what these reasons are.

          • Gotham

            Heh, you’ll come around

          • Todd

            ” . . . but I disagree with the ‘class warfare’ part of your analysis”

            >sigh!<

            http://okra.stanford.edu/transcription/document_images/undecided/630416-019.pdf

          • Olivier Faure

            I skimmed through the speech, and I’m not sure what your point is. I’m not saying class warfare doesn’t exist, if it’s what annoyed you (though there are a million caveats I could add here).

          • Todd

            Just the “white moderate” thing . . . .

          • Olivier Faure

            Ah, shit. I don’t know what I was thinking, with my fancy “having an opinion” crap.

          • Gotham

            You mean, just like @Todd3:disqus has one about yours? Come up with a better defense of your terrible opinions

          • Olivier Faure

            Oh cut your superior attitude out.

            I’m not defending my points because Todd wasn’t attacking my points, he was attacking my right to make those points. Hence sarcasm.

          • Todd

            Your “right to make those points”?

            Leaving aside what that even means, no, that wasn’t on my mind. I’m just tired of hearing the same sort of moderate talking points repeated ad nauseam.

          • Olivier Faure

            Well, I’m not going to stop being moderate just because it annoys you, so too bad.

      • Todd

        “And then you won’t be able to go for the cheap and easy tricks to show us it was the worst mistake Patrick ever did.”

        I agree: it would be horribly bourgeois middle-brow . . . .

  • Arthur Frayn

    Yeah, I’d wall this off too. He’s a Whole Bunch more dangerous than his self-edited conscious mind thought. And having his mother turn into a childish puppet of his will is worse than her being a free-willed sociopath.

  • lightdefender

    I’ve not posted here before, but I wanted to raise an even more horrifying possibility for this scene.

    Thus far, the possibilities raised have been are (1) Patrick is faking the entire scene for Allison’s benefit (I don’t buy that one) (2) she’s faking it and will turn on Patrick as soon as his guard’s down (um, he’s a telepath?) or (3) she now feels love for one exact person (Patrick) and is still sociopathic otherwise (possible).

    But what if none of these is true? What if Patrick is directly puppeting her, making her say words and do things she otherwise wouldn’t, for which she still has no internal context? Or maybe he is imposing these feelings on her . . . temporarily. As soon as he leaves or loses concentration, she’ll go right back to the way she was before (and be even more convinced he needs to die for what he’s done to her).

  • trev006

    “It’s okay! I can just mind control Allison to forget this, and then she’ll love me, and then I won’t have to repress this memory because nothing horrible will happen!”

    Narrator: And so Patrick experienced what nerds call a “repression circle,” whereby terrifying dissociation is undertaken too late to erase the memory of the horrible event, but not too late to erase the prior attempt to erase the memory of the horrible event… and what begins in shame almost always ends in a planet scarred by nuclear fire.

  • Thrice.Great

    And the cookies were delicious.

    THE END.

    • rpenner

      Gary: I love cookies. What kind of cookies are we talking about?
      H.U.E: Butter-wheat crunch.
      Gary: That’s.. not a cookie. And you know that, H.U.E. You know that!

      “Final Space”, Chapter 8.

  • Eve

    Don’t all children of severely abusive parents fantasise about this in some way? That if they just do or say the right thing, they can magically turn the abusive parent into someone loving and normal? You can’t heal until you move on from that, because believing it keeps you trapped. In real life, that tends to mean cutting off contact (and the metaphor is always “cutting”, “severing” or “breaking”, perhaps because it’s so taboo in our culture to do this that people react as if it were actual violence). When it’s being played out as a fantasy in a book or film, it often means death, often a convenient death the protagonist isn’t responsible for. That’s when it’s not the version where there is forgiveness and a happy reunion, and all the child abuse survivors watching/reading are growling, “That wouldn’t work.”

    Although there’s a Pratchett novel which doesn’t go to either extreme, where the protagonist tells his abusive father to get stuffed and walks away from him at the end. That was rare and a relief to read.

    • This is absolutely true. This is still the dream of a child. It hurts to watch. Either she is lying (I suspect this is true) or Patrick is .Either way this won’t hold up much longer .

      Also The Truth, right? The one with the newspaper?

      • Eve

        Yes, my attempt at avoiding spoilers was to say the ending but not the name! There are better ways than that, but I’m groggy on pain meds and they elude me.

        People still hold into this dream in adulthood, sadly, but I think that’s due to continuing abuse, social pressure and so forth, and adults have a far better capacity to recognise the futility and escape.

        To return to SFP, my guess is that she’ll die, the death won’t be at Patrick’s hand, but he’ll bear enough fault to feel guilty about it, such as suicide or plain reckless behaviour due to the brainwashing.

        • Crap. Deleted the title. Also ,there’s a large part of Patrick that never made it to adulthood. How old is he here, anyway?

          • Eve

            Teens? There’s the question of what adults are meant to do if their parent is abusive. I think they’re meant to suck it up and forgive, sadly, and that’s why there are so many fantasising about the death of that parent. People like to pretend that abusive mothers in particular don’t really exist.

            Were you blown away by that ending as well? It shouldn’t be so rare in fiction, but it is, and it’s *healthy*. Normally you just get the retribution fantasy, as here, or the atonement fantasy, as feinted at here. Oh, Ibsen’s play A Doll’s House in 1879 (er, spoilers), that famously ended with someone walking out of an abusive marriage, which is vaguely similar. It was considered absolutely scandalous at the time. Arguably the film Labyrinth (spoilers) ends with walking away from a stand-in for an abusive parent. It’s iconic when she says, “You have no power over me,” and his magic shatters. Aimed at children too, huzzah.

          • Tylikcat

            The social pressure around relationships with parents can be so awful. One of the things that keeps happening since I moved from Ohio is that people will ask about my parents, and when I give them my level professional smile and tell them “We’re not close,” which I’m used to having people interpret as “Yo, don’t go there, let’s talk about something else,” I end up with people diving in and telling me why I need to be closer to my parents and how I can’t just cut off that relationship. And I’m very calmly (like, anyone who knows me knows that level of calm is not the best sign) am saying “Look, bad things happened, there are reasons,” and I get another lecture on why oh, noes, you can’t do that, not to your parents. Lather, rinse repeat, until I get frustrated and give them the most terse anecdote that I can think of that I’m sure will do the job, usually delivered in a pretty clinical tone… – and then it it’s *gasp* *hand over mouth* *clutch pearls* Oh, no, that’s awful. Of course you wouldn’t want such people in your life…!

            …which is what I started with. Thank you. Go away now.

          • Weatherheight

            Yeah, it’s amazing how often people cannot recognize the “Please don’t tap dance in the mine field” signs we put up.
            I have been (and probably will be in the future) that oblivious. I try to apologize once I realize I’ve been an ass, but at some level that’s cold comfort.

          • Tylikcat

            And I’m in the happy position where I don’t really mind talking about it, I just find the social consequences annoying as fuck. That’s not true for everyone.

          • Eve

            Yep, so familiar. Even, “I’ve had to have the police involved,” does not shut them up!

          • Tylikcat

            I’ve also run into times when people were… weirdly, possibly intentionally dense. There is a favorite colleague and good friend who I’ve been working with for something like ten years now. Between a lot of working on projects together, and traveling together, and just generally hanging out, we’ve ended up sharing a lot, and he knows more about my background than anyone else at work. Years previous, he’d been present for one of the uncomfortable family discussions, and I finally resolved it by bringing up that one of the relations in question was a pedophile.* So, fast forward, we were working on something and had been doing so far too long and were getting by on camaraderie that was consisting of increasingly bleak humor. And I made a really awful joke about my family (my sense of humor needs a warning label)… and my friend turned to me and said, shocked and horrified, “You mean he was an incestuous pedophile?”

            …and I just sat there, caught between wanting to laugh, and feeling guilty, thinking, oh, you dear sweet lamb, I, um, thought that part was obvious?

            * Which is sort of true? I do wonder if there’s a distinction between willing to sexually abuse children of the opportunity is available, and having a particular sexual preference for children, because I think it’s the former… He’s still probably the most amoral person I’ve ever met, and felt very strongly that his children belonged to him.

          • A paraphilia for power, rather than sex itself? It sounds possible (actually I’ve been writing something similar, which is why it came to mind).

          • “Safely distant”, maybe? It’s a bit stronger a hint than “not close”.

            Though given how prying people can be, there may be no safe answer.

          • The problem is that many times, there IS no resolution. Abusers don’t really change. In a story, many times there’s a desperate need for all loose ends to be tied. We all know that doesn’t happen in real life.

            Also – I was taught that forgiveness is so you can let go of your anger and move on. You don’t have to let that person back into your life so they continue to hurt you.

            As for the story – it’s the ‘milk and cookies’ line that gets me. It’s so idyllic and childish and it HURTS. Like, this is what Patrick always wanted, this is a a 5 year old’s dream of love. I feel that pain, even without the mind-reading and scary backstory.

          • Margot

            And it’s the dream of a 5 year old who’s never actually experienced love, so only has an idea of what he wants from the outside.

      • Gotham

        Can’t be lying, he’d know instantly. Unless he’s really letting his guard down, which wouldn’t be the Patrick we know. I suspect he had a contingency plan for the possibility this would have /absolutely/ not worked and she turned into a rabid killer with that knife.

    • Tylikcat

      I decided when I was pretty young that my parents just weren’t capable of it, and that it was inherent to who they were – but also inherent to who I was. So, y’know, differently fucked up, though it did protect me from a lot. (Though while I knew they weren’t good parents, I always thought they were more able to love my siblings than me. Yeah, I don’t know… but I was a kid.)

      • Eve

        Some are like that, sadly. I didn’t have siblings. I stopped talking to my father at 16, but that left me with my mother, who was actually worse in most ways, and I didn’t get free of her until I was 33. I think I pretty much switched off from my father, it wasn’t a difficult one, but breaking off contact with my mother was much harder and there’s a lot more to heal from. She always used to guilt trip me with the idea of her death, which apparently is quite common. Maybe that’s one reason why there are so many fantasies about that in fiction.

        • Tylikcat

          That sounds somewhat familiar? I cut contact with my father when I was fifteen – and I had the wherewithal to move out on my own, which was lucky. But I was also lucky in that it was a really easy decision to make – he was both threatening violence against me and otherwise refusing to respect my bodily autonomy… or any other kind of autonomy, and, just, no. (Of course, my mother wouldn’t change the locks to her house.)

          But within a couple of years I’d turned into general mediator for all disputes likely to results in tangible harm between my siblings and my mother. As soon as I bought a house when I was twenty-three, I took on being the host for all holidays (except Christmas – which is probably why we eventually cancelled Christmas, at least, any Christmas that involved my mother.) And generally I got to do most of the heavy lifting of holding the family together, and keeping mom from doing anything really awful (and intervening if my siblings were in any other kind of major trouble that I could help with…)

          I did want to have some kind of adult relationship with my mother – for the sense of normalcy, and I suppose to prove I tried. I’m pretty willing to let go of that past (certainly, my own past – my sibs get to make their own decisions, and I will back them). But I’m also boundary girl, and I just can’t end up feeling my relationship with my mother makes me complicit in her ongoing horrible treatment of one of my siblings. (She’s mostly too afraid of me to be awful to me in the same kind of way, and I’m a lot more careful about not leaving any vulnerabilities available to her. And I usually don’t get as upset about it when it’s me. But she can be pretty awful to me as well, if mostly just verbally.)

          • Weatherheight

            Just out of nosy curiosity, are you the oldest sibling?

          • Tylikcat

            Oldest of my crew (but of course). I have two older half sisters, and a half brother who died when he was eighteen. In many ways I think feeling responsible for my younger sibs got me through a lot. Though our family dynamics being what they were, I wasn’t always the easiest person to have as a sibling.

          • Weatherheight

            Cohort theory is kind of an obsession of mine – I’m the youngest of four, but my nearest older sibling is four years older than me (I was not intended). My three older siblings make up a cohort, while I’m functionally a separate cohort of one.

            The dynamics of the older three were very instructional to me. I committed many of the same errors of judgement that my older siblings did but did them is such a way as to assure not being caught and minimizing negative consequences. I tend to act as much like an oldest sibling stereotypically acts as much as I act like the stereotypical youngest sibling (and I’m a Gemini, too – the irony).

            Thank you. I always appreciate your candor.

          • Tylikcat

            FWIW, of living siblings, there’s a seven year gap between me and my next half sister, and between me and my next full sister. But there was a full sister who only lived to be a year and a half old who was four and a half years younger than me. (I was really attached, and protective and possessive of her – I’ve always wondered how that relationship would have progressed had she lived, because I suspect it would have been different. And a lot of shit when down around the time she died.)

            The full map is something like (from eldest to youngest, and yes, all my half sibs have the same initial, I don’t know what they were thinking) –

            m* (3 yrs) m (6 yrs) m (7 yrs) Me (4.5 yrs) A* (2.5 yrs) L (2 yrs) S

            (* for siblings who died young)

            Can’t swear I have the two eldest half sibs totally right.

        • Talina M

          OMG! Lightbulb moment. Pardon, not in the comic. You mean that”when I’m dead” thing is a standard part of it?

          • Eve

            Abusive parents guilt-tripping their children about “when I’m dead you’ll regret being so unloving” etc.? Yep, from what I hear it’s very common. I haven’t spoken to my mother in seven years, but every now and again she manages to get a message through to me that she’s dying. They’re all lies, as far as I can tell.

          • Talina M

            Mine always would go off on”when I die you have to take care of all these things” . When she would get mad at us,she would attempt suicide as a way to try and control me and my brother. After years of distancing ourselves, We totally stopped playing her games about 8 years ago. She just recently succeeded in her attempts.

          • Tylikcat

            Yeah, our mother regularly sends notes reminding my sister and I that our father has written us out of his will and she’s all we have left (she’ll do this to both of us, but when we both don’t respond, she does extra guilt repeated follow messages to my sister, which she knows not to try with me). (The first time she tried this, when I was still talking to her, I responded with “My net worth is higher than yours. Bite me.” Which shut her up for a long time, but just meant she went after my sister harder.) And when she recently had a health issue, her first reaction was to use it as an excuse to pull manipulative shit aimed at my sister – though we heard about the shit before we heard about the health problem so it was a little confusing.

            (She also used to tell me elaborate fantasies about how I would have to take care of her in her old age. Apparently she’s decided that’s not such a plan in the interim. #TeamColdHeartedBitch)

          • “My net worth is higher than yours. Bite me.” Tylikcat++

    • Elaine Lee

      There is something you can do that isn’t walking completely away. Once I became a parent, I realized I was healing myself by being the best parent I could be to my sons. You can never completely heal the family you were born into, but you can heal through the family you make. And as regards difficult members of your birth family, it helps to think of yourself as standing five blocks away from them, smiling and waving to them.

      • Eve

        I really don’t want to think of them that close, if you don’t mind. I iced hundreds of miles away over twenty years ago, and have to call the police if they get back in contact.

        It’s lovely to hear you’ve found that parenting has been healing for you, though. I’ve ended up too disabled to have kids.

    • Natsumeg

      That makes Patrick’s mind reading abilities all the more tragic and cruel considering he can’t even if he wanted to

  • David B Huber

    Let’s assume Patrick can’t control minds. Perhaps he only flooded his mother’s mind with echoes of all the loving mothers affection he has recorded over the years, imprinting her with an overlay? She loved her husband. Now she loves her son even more – in her own way…

    • Philip Bourque

      He didn’t control her mind. He rewrote it.

      • Dave Huber

        The most likely outcome is we’ll see Patrick’s mom preparing milk and cookies – served with blood smears from his murdered father on the glass and fresh garnish from the fatal aneurysm streaming from his mother’s nose…

        But from the expression on Patrick’s face I expect it to be much worse…

  • RobNiner ♫

    There are so many things wrong with this, I love it.

  • ObviousPuppetAccount

    She’s like a corpse that’s being electrocuted quite expertly to make it
    seem like it dances. At an unknowing first glance maybe it seems like
    everything is fun and fine, but when you realize what is going on you’d
    be rightfully horrified.

  • dinner cat

    So it’s hard to say where this will go but I’m thinking that maybe Patrick was telling the truth when he claimed he had no mind control powers. The same way he edited out his mother’s image before, he’s edited out (or is trying right now to edit out) how this encounter actually ended. Whether it was because she came at him with the knife or just the shock of seeing her mind, Patrick killed his mother and still doesn’t want to remember that.

  • that’s fucked up

  • JohnTomato

    Mistress Manipulator.

    To All Staff Sociopaths; You must wash any blood off of your hands before handling food.

    • Weatherheight

      Heh.

      “All staff must wash hands after committing murder.”

      Full marks, Mr. Tomato, sir.

    • Gotham

      Boyfriend would like to chime in: he might have antisocial personality disorder, but he’s not a /monster/

  • Ugh. The fourth panel had me hopeful that he’d simply made her neurotypical… but that last panel? Nope. She apparently has been enabled with just one emotion (love) and for just one person (Patrick). Ugh.

    • You can be neurodiverse and capable of the full range of emotions. Most of us are.

      • My apologies — my vocabulary on this topic is limited. Could you please suggest how I could’ve better written my statement?

        • Eve

          Try skipping the language related to mental illness and neurodivergence altogether, it’s massively ableist. We’re not monsters. “Capable of caring about other people” would do.

          • Thank you. I apologize for conflating this character’s circumstances with all manner of neurodivergence; it was not my intention. I appreciate you pointing it out and helping me understand how not to make this mistake again.

          • Eve

            I do realise that ableist language about mental illness and neurodivergence is the hardest to get rid of, much harder than stopping using “lame” as an insult. I still struggle with it myself. Thanks for making the effort.

          • Gotham

            My boyfriend (“as aneurotypical as you make’em, and I insist of the spelling of make’em”, as he forced me to write, reading over my shoulder like a jerk) jumps in to have me say he finds your respectful deference infuriatingly grating, while your fair terminology mistake above only made him chuckle and when I asked him why he said that made him think of a situation where Patrick did “make her neurotypical” (and saying as such as the green electric magic was in effect) to which Claudia reacts “I… already was?” and her personality is the exact same.
            And then eight pages of awkward silence between the two of them.

            When asked whether there was any point to his intrusive intervention that’s only going to confuse people only doing their best to spread kindness and understanding, he left without a word. …good luck with that?

        • I’d have simply said “cured her sociopathy”, no need to bring in neurodiversity, which is either distinct from mental health issues, or a larger grouping including mental health issues, depending on your position.

          There’s an overwhelmingly common fallacy that people who are neurodiverse, particularly those on the Autism Spectrum, are incapable of empathy, whereas the reality is we’re generally as empathic as the next person. So the combination of referring to neurodiversity and lack of empathy, where the case in question is sociopathy and either not neurodiverse, or atypical of neurodiversity, was unfortunate.

          • Thank you, David. I did not mean to conflate neurodiversity with lack of empathy — but it was my error to consider sociopathy as a form of neurodiversity. I appreciate you helping me understand the distinction.

  • Johnny Awesome

    Everyone seems to think Patrick’s created a puppet, but what if it’s real and he just went into her mind and cured her psychopathy? What if he’s capable of doing the same super-healing thing Feral does, but for the mind instead of the body?

    Also, even if it is fake… Patrick, I have money, and my mother-in-law’s name is….

    • He’s done far more than dealing with her sociopathy. If he’d just dealt with the sociopathy, it should have left her with the same fear of him, but without the amoral freedom to act on it. She would be terrified of him, not fawning over him. I don’t think she’s a puppet, but Patrick is definitely yanking her ‘love me’ string.

      What he’s done to her is little different to date-rape, it just happens to be mental rather than physical.

      • Eve

        Could we please not use rape as a metaphor for this sort of thing? It really doesn’t fit, you’re making all the people who’ve been raped feel crap, and I suspect you mean drug rape anyway. But that doesn’t fit either. Rape isn’t a thought experiment, it’s something a large number of people have experienced and are often traumatised by.

        • Philip Bourque

          “mind rape” rolls off the tongue more easily than “took a wrecking ball to her brain and then did a passable patch job to make her act like something resembling a person”. I’d qualify what he did as ‘reprogramming’ her, but I don’t feel that has the gravitas needed for the situation. Do you have any particular word or set of words to denote Patrick’s actions?

          • Eve

            Sometimes the short, snappy phrases need to be avoided because they’re crapping on a marginalised group, and we just have to put up with more unwieldy but more precise ones. Although I’m fine with “reprogramming”, I think that works. Understatement can be a good way of conveying horror, and if it’s anything like, say, the brainwashing done in cults, that is absolutely horrific. Plus the connotations of robotics and dehumanisation fit this situation well, and again are horrifying.

          • Reprogramming to me is a part of my job, absolutely no emotive force. Robotics ditto.

            Understatement has a role in evoking horror, you can let the mind paint in the details. But for analysing the horror of an act, I don’t think that works, particularly when some people were treating it in a jokey manner. You need to shine a light into the dark corner and see it for what it is.

          • Eve

            It’s also making me realise that this is one of the less sexualised depictions of telepathy I’ve seen, for which I’m grateful. Compare with Babylon 5 or The Left Hand of Darkness, for instance.

            It’s generally a good idea to avoid rape metaphors. It’s lazy writing and it’s hurtful as hell. Throwing rape terminology around lightly looks like you don’t think rape is serious, too. Neither date/partner rape nor drug rape involve magically making someone love you, and drug rape (which I suspect is what he meant) makes the victim semi-conscious or unconscious but without changing their identity.

          • Absolutely not something I would throw around lightly. I considered whether to use the term, but nothing less seemed adequate. I’ve never seen ‘drug rape’ used as a term that I recall, the UK tends to use ‘date rape’, but that was what I had in mind – and bear in mind rohypnol can cause memory issues, so is messing with the mind (I’d also argue a significant aspect of many rapes is messing with the mind of the victim as a display of dominance).

            There’s a violation of self in any kind of sexual abuse and I think violation of self definitely applies to what Patrick has done towards his mother. WRT ‘making people love you’, I’ve seen sexual fantasies that definitely had that as an aspect. From another perspective, it’s gaslighting turned up to 11.

            I accept it’s a term that people aren’t going to be comfortable with, but I think any lesser description, whether it be love potions or genie’s wishes or whatever*, falls short of adequately describing what Patrick has done.

            * In their original sense of cautionary tales, they can, but so many of our cautionary tales have been thoroughly bowdlerized that most of the audience will miss the point of their use.

        • Gotham

          I do agree that there are better ways to put it to accommodate people who suffered and still do because of it, but I’m not sure I agree with saying the analogy doesn’t hold. It’s the violation of agency in its most intimate aspects, of the worst effect. There have been a pretty neat (save for a few missteps) Jessica Jones season on that very subject, that many considered very cathartic because of it.

        • I thought about it before using it, but I’m really not sure that anything else covers the reality with sufficient vehemence. He’s taken her mind, stripped it bare and made it his own.

          Even if we’re talking about fictional characters, I think it’s particularly important not to gloss over the real impact of amoral acts. And that’s particularly true in a story where the morality of many actions, including the heroine’s, is open to question.

    • If “all” he did was cure her sociopathy, then you would think she’d also be a little concerned about the husband she just murdered whose blood is literally still on her hands.

    • Philip Bourque

      I don’t think he’s created a puppet. I think he’s created an automaton with a single directive: be a loving mother for Patrick. I doubt she’s capable of thinking of anything else anymore.

  • Merle

    Why didn’t he do this BEFORE he coerced her to murder his father?!

    • Possibly he saw her as the lesser of two evils. A sociopath can’t help what they are, but his father chose not to intervene in her behaviour.

      • Eve

        Eh, in situations I’ve known where one parent has been abusive and the other has signed off on it, both are to blame, although the one who’s actually violent is worse. People do make choices about violence, even if they’re sociopaths.

        • A sociopath may know something is morally wrong, but their conscience is impaired, making it easier to ignore. The parent who isn’t a sociopath both knows that it is wrong, and has a standard issue conscience. There’s a greater element of elective agency in the non-sociopathic parent choosing not to intervene.

    • OccamsTireIron

      Presumably because he only just realized that he COULD do it? That was my interpretation of the previous pages, anyway – that he didn’t realize he had this capacity until he went into her mind (which he hadn’t done since he was a wee child)

      We’ve seen Alison suddenly discover new applications for her powers. Same thing seems to be happening here: Patrick discovers a new application, is horrified by the implications, and promptly self-edits that memory RIGHT out of existence.

  • Daryl McCullough

    Has it definitely been established that this is an actual memory, as opposed to a psychological drama created by Patrick?

    • Weatherheight

      There are several of us that have brought up this very possibility.
      From within the story itself, how do we make that determination?
      Makes my head hurt a little, too…

      • Tylikcat

        Insufficient information, why fret about it?

        On a pure narrative analysis level, all the stuff with Patrick collapsing and multiple Patrick’s and current Patrick knowing that something bad is coming but not what – Sure, it could all be a set up, but it would turn it into one of those mind fuck “Oh, I am such a clever storyteller,” plotlines, that are mostly a PITA. (And mostly masturbatory shit done by white men, if I’m going to express my full opinion!) I’m sure there’s a way to do it well, but… it doesn’t really seem consistent with the style of story telling we’ve seen?

        • Weatherheight

          A lot of what I see happening in the narrative is showing one point of view and staying within that point of view’s perspective. Later, a different perspective is shown that completely changes how we the readers and/or a given character views the initial sequence of events. In one sense, that’s really what we’re seeing here.

          A bit like how the first episode of The Vision of Escaflowne becomes a completely different episode when viewed from the main character’s later (and broader) experience in the next to last episode (I think it’s that episode – been years since I’ve watched it).

          I’m hoping this is all truthful, but having it all be Patrick’s perspective (with all those biases distorting it) fits the story thus far.
          We shall see…

          • Tylikcat

            I like that interpretation. Hm. Trying to imagine a “True but this can be looked at differently-” version for this. It was fairly apparent that something like that was going on with Max. Here, the biggest gap seems to be what exactly Patrick did to his mom, and what were the consequences.

            (Bah – been working in the tank room, hands almost too cold to type.)

          • cphoenix

            The tank room – aquarium? physics apparatus? industrial chemistry?
            Also, appropriate gesture of sympathy for what you’ve written about your family. Mine wasn’t as bad, but … well anyway, sympathy.

          • Tylikcat

            Aquaria – neurobiology, and we work with sea slugs. As a side project, I designed a biologically diverse environment for our animals, so we now have more complicated (but easier to maintain) aquaria, and the healthiest and longest lived Aplysia in research captivity. And in theory, everyone takes turns at maintenance, but in practice J and I do a lot more than the rest, and I tend to go tinker with things when I need a break. (Or if I came into the lab only to find out that there will be no post-surgical data collection for me, so I might as well do something…)

            I’m pretty happy with the life I’ve lived, and the person I’ve ended up being, so that doesn’t leave a lot of space for regrets (for myself, anyway.)

          • cphoenix

            Congrats on the happy slugs!
            I’ve been bad at responding to your responses to me – at one point long ago you mentioned a stochasticity song, and now I kinda’ want to hear it. (Do you filk?)

          • Tylikcat

            I have filked, and might again someday? These days I’m more likely to just make up songs from time to time while I’m doing routine tasks. I… know there is a stochasticity song in here somewhere, but since there not particularly formal, they’re, um, not well filed, and I found the glycogenesis song first. (Which does not come from my biochem days, but from heavy training and eating bagels.)

          • cphoenix

            Ooh, so what’s the glycogenesis song? The nerdier the better. (My 2 year old can already recite the 2nd row of the Periodic Table, and much of the 3rd.)
            If you’d like to take this to email, it’s my handle here, at gmail.com.

          • Well, at least this time your fingers haven’t been nibbled on 😉

        • We actually are in an unreliable narrator piece, because that’s essentially what all the avatars were – Patrick’s Life version 2.0 with the emotions (and other stuff?) taken out (a hagiography?), and the truth we’re seeing is still only a partial truth because we don’t know the full context. SFP has regularly put us in positions where morally ambiguous decisions are made, then taken us off on a tangent that preserves the moral ambiguity, while leaving all our speculation in shattered pieces on the ground. At this point I’m inclined to trust the writers and wait and see what they have in store for us.

  • sammybaby

    …okay, yeah, I did not see that coming.

    But I particularly like that present-day Patrick is watching this exchange as if to say, “WTF?” My money is on this part never having happened.

    • Aresius

      Patrick knows the whole memory (he recognised his arrival on the chopper, and in the previous page he knew what he was going to do and was horrified) he’s just reacting to it as he recalls it for the first time in years. And he’s aghast. The one who does not have a clue is Alison, just look at her face

      • ampg

        It seems like he doesn’t know the details, though, just the broader outlines of what happened.

  • Aresius

    I think Alison is not as worried about what the HELL is (was?) happening in the memory as she is of Patrick’s sudden paralyzing terror…

  • crazy j

    It is so heart warming to see Patrick get the love that he has always wanted from his mother while his father slowly bleeds to death on the floor.

  • Ah yes, like handpuppets, but much more lifelike!
    All The Family You Need.

  • Yakk

    Memory-Patrick is bleeding out on the floor.

  • Pol Subanajouy

    His nervous shaking means it is about to get so much worse. Now, if he kills it, it can be a compounded tragedy and that’s a bit inspired.

  • Callinectes

    And the milk turned out to be….

    DUCK MILK! DUN DUN DUUUUN

    • Weatherheight

      Now you’re just being absurd… 😀

      • Callinectes

        Am I absurd? Or am I…. A BIRD?

    • Gotham

      You made me verify if birds even had milk and I felt so dumb I blame you

      • Callinectes

        Go suck a donkey’s egg.

    • Weatherheight

      I wish that I had duck milk
      And I can tell you why
      For if I had some duck milk
      I bet someday I’d fly!

      For clearly ducks can all swim
      And every duck can fly
      And if grew on duck milk
      Then surely so could I!

      • Callinectes

        It tastes like pooooond! *jazz hands*

  • Mouser

    We’ve gone into the realm of a false memory, haven’t we. His power really DOESN’T work this way; it’s “read-only”

    • Philip Bourque

      The one who made the claim that it was ‘read-only’ was Patrick himself.

      • Weatherheight

        … after he had locked this memory behind the green door. Wheels within wheels…

  • plainclothes supervillain

    I didn’t think this was going to go to such a dark place, or that it was even possible for this to go to such a dark place, and I am absolutely delighted to be proven wrong. Claudia talking about milk and cookies while splattered with her husband’s blood is absolutely ghoulish.

  • Joshua Petersen

    I firmly remember Patrick can’t control people’s minds (which likely includes altering them), only suggest things to him.

    My suspicion, she’s still firmly a sociopath, but she’s now putting on an act because she think it will save her.

    • Weatherheight

      The source of that assertion was Patrick himself.
      Villains have ben known, on occasion, to lie – although in this case, the sealing of the memory suggests that he actually was speaking the truth as he knew it at that time.

      He’s still a telepath – your theory makes sense if he is actively NOT reading her mind at the moment and if she is somehow aware that he is actively NOT reading her mind. Possible, but Occam’s Razor would argue against it.

  • zellgato

    ….Sorta hoping she poisons him in the next page……..

    also. I like how he looks far far more mortified over “altering” someone, than Alison’s facial expression does.
    Her expression sort of says to me “….is that all? what are you dreading? ”
    I think that is a nice touch, because to Alison, this likely isn’t that crazy.. because she has often tried to fix people. so “helping someone” doesn’t feel odd.
    Till she gets better context anyway.

    • Weatherheight

      Now-Patrick does look a little horrified at what is going down with Then-Patrick, doesn’t he?
      I interpreted Alison’s look as “Holy shit, what have you done? You said you couldn’t do this sort of thing…” but now that you said it, I can sort of see what you’re seeing.

      I don’t think the other shoe has dropped for Alison yet, though. I don’t think she’s thought it through and all the implications, that he might now be able to do this again, that he’s now a serious threat to society, and is now a valid target for the Conspiracy. Given she clearly still cares for him, she’s about to find out just how powerless she can be in the face of soft power.

      Assuming that’s where this goes…

      • Gotham

        If she goes hypocrite on us about using it for the betterment of the world I am going to be /fuming/

        • Weatherheight

          I hate to say it, but I can see that being a big plot line, although I’m hoping it’s the struggle of making that choice that occupies most of the text, rather than the eventual choice itself (if that isn’t a major sophistry on my part…)

        • Hiram

          It more or less was Alison’s fix for Patrick, wasn’t it? Granted, her method was was less clinically incisive and used the materials that were already there, but ultimately both decided to alter someone by forcing emotion on them.
          *Of course there’s more to it than that I’m just drawing the parallel.

          • Gotham

            Yep. She better not be preparing a lecture or Patrick will have to show her a wrecking-ball size hole in a pretty important wall.

      • zellgato

        I was expecting that face… but she’s given that sort of sentiment face a few times. LIke with Moon-…something? girl. She had that kind of face…
        this could certainly be a different version of that though.. It’ll be crazy interesting to see what her reactions are.

        Yeah. Though I’m actually still convinced Patrick is the conspiracy.

        Se.. what I think actually is going to happen is this.

        Menance has two aspects. Patrick and Menace (who is now brainwashing)
        That menance persona has full access to his powers, reading, and writing. Patrick can only read.
        This is the first time that Menace truly got to do what he wanted. Menace starts manipulating in the background away from Patrick’s mental awareness.
        Further. when he over wrote his mom, Menace inserted a lot of itself into the background. So.
        This whole conpsiracy is actually Menace, working through his pawns-the first of which, is the mother. who is now leading the dark conspiracy behind the scenes . The reason patrick broke and ended up at her house is likely because he realized it finally or was shown it. and broke. His brain went into lock down like that.. and he (or menace) wanted the walls broken down so they could take actual full control. Which is what they got Alison to do for him..

        The main reason I thnk this is.. how he used the power.. It was brief. and in general when he uses his powers its shown as “brief” thatm eans there is a lot that his subconcious mind is doing to support the “image” he imprinted on her. A lot that Menace can do what he likes with.

        • Weatherheight

          Interesting theory. Patrick needs the Conspiracy to exist to justify Menace, and Menace creates the Conspiracy so Patrick doesn’t eliminate Menace.

          • zellgato

            I’m thinking it is something like this…
            Because honestly, I can not see any way a conspiracy like that.. would not have elimted Patrick, or the power up guy in some way.
            amoung other things.. like holding Feral to make money

          • zellgato

            Also I just feel like with her mom’s lack of empathy. with the right backing and power, she could fairly strongly become a strong and rather powerful tool like that.

    • Gotham

      “Wait, you mean you /don’t/ think using your nigh limitless power to bend society to your will is the greatest idea? Ah! How quaint! Shall I introduce you to some guy with a sore arm I used to date”

  • JustHere

    So creepy, especially since his dad is still bleeding to death in the bed…

  • Dirka

    Everything about this is disturbing. So much more so than before.

    Didn’t want to get any sleep tonight anyway.

  • BMPDynamite

    I wanna say how this is horrifying, but … mostly it’s just really sad. To have to force the thing you’ve always wanted into existence, because it would never exist naturally.

  • Incendax

    Hrrm. Is this fake? Is he in denial again? Will Allison nudge him and say “this… isn’t how it happened.” Then Patrick heaves a sigh and shows her stabbing him, then him shooting her?

  • Tel B
  • Gotham

    NEXT PAGE:
    CLAUDIA: “I love you so much I could STAB YOU!” *stabs him*
    PATRICK: *slowly, painfully dying of being stabbed* “Wait what that doesn’t even make sense is this a clever twist is this irony is there wordplay of some kind I’m missing I don’t get it I mean I assumed it could end up being a bad idea but you’d have to set up and explain why it was a bad idea in a thematically satisfying and coherent manner and not just like go for shock for literally no reason plus how does this make any sense chronologically I’m supposed to live for at least a few more years and meet Alison and all oh god I see bright lights the pain is making me lose track of sense is this the floor I’m leaning on yes indeed and that pool of blood yep my blood plus wait mom would two childless bitter adults even find the need to buy cookies for themselves I remember I read somewhere the taste for sugary foods drops to near insignificance by your age also yes Daniel is my boyfriend and giant blade monster hands is my little nickname for him how did you kno—aaaand that’s all motor functions gone i’m still unclear on how the forced loving and the sudden stabbing are connected but well i literally had the worst expectations of how it could go and i’m still disappointed for the love of god will you please start stabbing me again repeatedly so i stop talking”

  • Vespayik

    This is so messed up, dude.

  • ColeB

    She’s playing him. It didn’t actually work.

    • Gotham

      Can’t work on Patrick!

  • a person

    Just took it in the colour from Patrick’s mind world (especially giant evil Al – light green actually seems to be the colour of light in Patrick’s mental city) is the same colour from his mind alter ability

  • Jordan Hiller

    OK, that’s seriously disturbing.

  • BGB

    I completely did not see this mind control thing coming.

  • Soqoma

    Her face is doing EVERYTHING for me right now

  • David Brown

    Brennan’s writing mimics far too much of my own mind.

    So, Patrick’s personality fragment (as all the Patricks, except the one with Alison, are) has just gone into full-on self-delusion, drunk in his own fantasy. I now understand a lot of the previous pages leading up to this- it’s all just in Patrick’s head, and he isn’t controlling anyone. He’s just self-reflecting while connected to Alison and maybe Feral.

    What we see here is Patrick forcing not his mother, but himself, to wrongly perceive his mother, leading him down the worst road there is- pretending your abusive relationship is a positive one, ignoring everything about the person except the rose-tinted glass version you make baseless opinions of. We’ve all seen this from the outside- a girl who gets beaten by her boyfriend constantly says how much he loves her, and doesn’t get the police involved. A child who protects a parent that regularly starves and poisons them. You see only the good, even if there isn’t any. That’s what this is. That Menace, who revealed itself as a Patrick, represents Patrick’s hope. A hope that has now become zealous in its own delusions.

    That isn’t Patrick’s mother. It’s his memory of her, which has now been rewritten from a monster to an angel, but none of the facts are different at all.

  • Gotham

    Hm… Brennan? Molly? What gives?
    Did I so correctly guess the webcomic’s future direction that I’m being censored? https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e12f93241cd7d029de63e4d107de4e54757227d85db749476b26a1dbc7cbff90.png

    • Tylikcat

      One of mine was picked up as spam. I assumed it was length based?

      • Weatherheight

        Or the website thinks we’re posting too much… 😀

        • Gotham

          That, my quadrupedal friend, I can’t deny.
          But it’d be a new rule then because this is far from my worst offense on this very site, historically.

      • Gotham

        Aren’t long non-random posts less likely to be spam, though? I struggle to see the logic, but it being automated than intentional would be a relief.

    • ObviousPuppetAccount

      It is really strange. It seems like the last few weeks one comment that is always harmless is being deleted every other page or so. I commented on it a few times, but never got a reply from the ones who decide if a comment stays or goes. As far as I know the comments are either deleted or “under review” ad infinitum.
      Either we have a bot that is bugged or a person is going around flagging one comment or so every other page for mysterious reasons.
      At least you can take some comfort in the fact that it isn’t personal or because you actually did something wrong. It’s been happening quite randomly regardless of length or substance of the comments.

  • I think maybe this is not what actually happened, Patrick is editing this scene with what could have been if his control then was what he has now. And seeing what he could be to help people who are broken like he and his mother were.

  • Kerlyssa

    what

  • Lucy Merriman

    Whoa. So, earlier in the comic, Patrick told Alison that he can’t control minds, just manipulate based on what he reads in people’s thoughts. Was he lying? Or did he delete his knowledge of this aspect of his powers along with the memory of his mom? If so, what is he more afraid of: his mother who tortured him, whatever he turned her into, or his own power? Is that the glimmer of his conscience then– that he fears having absolute power over someone’s mind, or even their whole self, because he thinks he cannot weild that power responsibly?

    • Darkoneko Hellsing

      likely chose to lock that information out for sanity purpose

  • [David Tennant] What [/David Tennant]

  • Johan

    Feels really wrong to see her looking at her bloody hands and not express remorse for that. It’s gonna get so much worse soon.