Terms and Conditions-Part 6

This one was worse than the pirate ship. Very complicated to set up. Final panel took me over two days to do from start to finish. Click for the larger version here: Usual Suspects I've gotten a decent amount of inquiry about how exactly Rebecca's suit works. Her design is basically Iron Man, Mystique, and the Flash thrown in a blender. What was planned for this strip is how you see it above, but I took a bit of extra concern to visually elaborate how she can fully pass through walls. Her boots condition the suit to the ground, the gloves can do the same, but provide balance against the suit if she's say, leaning and looking. What are the boots and gloves made out of? I've thought of several materials to name it, but you can just insert your own science fiction. But to fully pass through something, she just takes them off. It's imperative, of course, that she deactivate before hitting the ground on the other side (see sweat drop.) Ever seen Antman and he tries to pass through the keyhole. Pretty much, that. Also to confirm, she did pass into Tiredguy's apartment. The one he lives in. The eSymmetry business location is the apartment across from it. Screw it, I'll just draw it. Apartments Hopefully that clarifies things. I'm fairly sure I've had the characters verbally describe this in passing conversations, but I'm sure it's not the easiest thing to mentally keep up with. I'm sure most of you have lives. :D Next Patreon will be up soon. I've been slaving on that as well. I worked on it a lot as I worked on this one. It's not OVERLY complicated, but many of the poses are me trying to push perspective. Basically I'm just constantly challenging the hell out of myself. Hopefully up this weekend at some point. Lastly.. Alachia actually animated my art/fanart thing I made for her. The little circles swirl around at the end of this video. I wondered why she wanted the PSD file. Made my day. Glad she liked it.

171 thoughts on “Terms and Conditions-Part 6

  1. There are so many little details in that last shot, my god!

    So, is tired guy just the sort to keep tabs on anyone who he thinks has wronged him before, or is this level of obsession due to Quinn’s familial connections (General Nicks) or something else? The Dheu note in the corner is a bit of a surprise, along with the Easter egg invoice (wait, was THAT an Easter egg? How deep does it go?!?)

    And, unless anybody else has done so as of yet, I claim this first in the name of me (unless I hit submit & there’s already something up here…in that case ignore this last sentence)

    1. Your application for first is tentatively approved, pending arbitration by the official judges (wait, do we have official judges?)

      What amazes me is that there were two comments posted when I scrolled down. There are never that few when I find a new Shotgun Shuffle page.

      1. As the unofficial member of members not nominated for unofficial duties as the unofficially positioned unofficial official judge, I can officially say in unofficial words that the application for first has been unanimously approved by an marginally unofficial quorum of one from the Olympic application committee.

        1. I am so pleased with the quality of this first I’ve commissioned all of the forms on fresh paper. As soon as that forest is clearcut I will get them to you, printed with the finest endangered squid ink! It’s the least I can do!

    2. Yeah, that freaked me out too. What kind of children does an eldritch horror have? Does that mean Dheu wasn’t ALWAYS an eldritch horror that devours things and sends them to other dimensions? Does that mean he’s only OCCASIONALLY an eldritch horror and actually has a day job?

      If Dheu turns out to be Tim Curry in real life, I’m gonna just plain old plotz, I tell you what.

      1. I recall from the VS art Rusche did during the ComicMix tournament last year that it was mentioned that Ashliii is Dheu’s daughter. I think her last name is a hint at that too (shown in comic Down the Internet Hole, current post date of November 19, 2014 to have a full name of Ashliii Torii Abaddon).

    3. Actually, could Tired Guy be related to Quinn? His head shape is very similar to General Nicks’s, and none of the other characters in the strip have a jawline like that.

        1. If we throw time travel into the mix (which we can, since it was Tarra who dealt with Sister X way back when) then maybe Tired Guy is Quinn’s younger brother, but from like 60-70 years in the future (or more, medical technology advancing as it does) and despite his antagonistic behavior, he’s trying to keep Quinn safe from something/prevent her from unleashing something (ooh, post apocalyptic future because of further upgraded/mutated ratchantulas!)

          It’s the only logical explanation, now that I think about it.

    1. Breaking and entering, Juniper? Well, at least it’s just a misdemeanor. Lucky they didn’t get you on burglary.

        1. ‘Ditch’ is just a euphemism for ‘crashing on a series of couches until she eventually gets kicked out for being a mooch.’

          Also, I’m super cereal.

      1. I remember Ashliii being mentioned around that time too, but I just poked around through several comments and couldn’t find Rusche confirming it yet. I think maybe he mentioned in on Facebook or in chat or a Google+ and someone else mentioned it in the comments from that.

        Also, as another hint her last name is Abaddon.

  2. Looks like David has some interesting “accommodations” if he’s able to see enough to make his way around there without a cane or dog or other assistance.

  3. So, what I get from this is, that Suzy Q was, or is, the target of all this. Well, sort of? Clearly, investigations of the Buckingham clan are tentative. Yet, David (I’ll just call him David) and Dheu are also tied into this, but separately. And, with their connections with Tarra, things are tied in to the sisters that way. It’s all coming together.

    Into one big ball of “wait, what?”

  4. It’s that last panel that clarifies things, and opens up a whole new bunch of questions as well.

    Nice plot twist…

  5. Omg that last panel! So many questions on that, but I can’t help noticing that Mr. Stevens was in an accident at some point and that’s what took his vision. Also, we get to see Quinn’s mom! And I can’t help noticing, is it just a coincidence that both strings lead to Pumpkin?

      1. And Quinn’s 1st and 2nd roommates are noted. Ellie is noted as 3rd roommate, so Quinn is the focus of all this? Who is David actually keeping tabs on and is he actually working with Tired Guy?

        1. Indeed and what lake is it? It’s not Lake Hollingsworth where the girls were talking in an earlier episode. In fact, that doesn’t even look like a map of Lakeland. So, where is it?

        2. The string links Quinn to Pumpkin with a note of possible relationship that’s been struck out. This pin is in the lake to route the string around the map without crossing over too many photos.

        3. No. Something happened there. Each thumb tack may correspond to either a family member or place of interaction with tired guy. But string passes under Rosemary and Herb’s photos, suggesting significant happened at that thumb track. Maybe that was where Nena (the pudding cup girl Nena) trained gals to be shipped to Disney. Maybe it was something else.

      2. On the plus side when Ellie finally does get into a relationship at least she’ll have no strings attached. Not sure about baggage though.

      3. Quinn’s has a purple push pin and her family is connected with purple string with a snake down to Pumpkin. Ellie while not having a string has a red push pin and her family is a connected with a red string. Possibly that’s relevant.

    1. Looking at Quinn’s little brother in that shot is pretty much the personification of “that poor bastard.” Seriously, you look up “downtrodden” in Webster’s and that’s what you see. Do NOT let him near anything that even looks like a doomsday weapon or the whole planet is finished. This is like the archetype of Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds right there.

  6. Chris, that last panel is not only making it worth the wait. It also cements several reasons why you SHOULD be in the TWC top ten. TWC, or Top Web Comics is a webcomic ranking system via monthly aggregate vote. The link is located on the right side of this page below the login just beneath Ashliii’s floating texting head and just above the link to the current patron page for Shotgun Shuffle.

    Or, right here: http://topwebcomics.com/vote/14850/default.aspx

    1. @Rusche: I’d add that it might be worth considering taking a chunk out of this panel and using it as the TWC banner. The current one doesn’t really get across much about the comic itself or your current art level.

  7. The two items that caught my eye were “retiring” next to the picture of Ellie’s dad and “oldest” with a ? next to Ginger’s picture.
    I guess the Chief might be close in age to retiring but a question mark next to Ginger about being the oldest!

    This may refer to one of the “other” sister(s) we have met yet. May help explain Ellie’s online handle of “the9thsister”

      1. X would’ve been the oldest, but Rusche let us vote and Tarra won instead of Ginger, so X became future Tarra. Had Ginger won, X would’ve been Herb’s daughter from a previous marriage with a non-spice/herb-themed name (since that came from Rosemary). I don’t remember which was his original intention and which was the idea that kinda’ formed as he started thinking about possibilities, so I don’t recall if we voted for status quo or a change.

        @TSG – Rusche mentioned that the reason for Ellie’s AIM handle was he wanted one he could get, and apparently 5th through 8th was already taken. I’m pretty sure he isn’t planning on having four additional older sisters to make that correct.

      2. Well, Chronologically speaking, X would be the oldest since she did come from the future. How much older? How far from the future? Don’t know. However, Pumpkin has just or will be turning 16 relatively soon. Not sure exactly what grade she’s in, so we can see that there are three to four more years until she goes to college. And Pumpkin leaving for college is the projected end of the story.

        1. Sure, though if you want to look at it that way, she’s on what may be another plane of existence (possibly the river Styx). Heaven and Hell in Christian belief is beyond time (Eternity), though I think the Greeks believed it followed the same ebb and flow of time as Earth, so she could be in either type here. If partaking of Eternity, I think the question of her age becomes much more problematic (even with the Greek interpretation, it’s questionable if she’d physically age where she is anyway, though).

          Rusche mentioned that chapter 7 of the first major arc would have a year and a half time jump. So with Pumpkin about to turn 16 and appearing to have a spring/summer birthday it sounds to me like Pumpkin leaving for college might line up around the first major arc ends. While the third arc overlaps previous arc’s time, I wasn’t clear if the second one did or not. I was under the impression it did because I thought it was still going to include Ellie & Quinn as central where the third will shift to other characters (including KK) as central while Ellie & Quinn become cameo/background.

    1. Seeing as how some “horrific accident” was to blame, I suspect you are correct. Might she have been behind the subsequent special accommodation for him as a disabled teacher as well? It would be in keeping with her lustre as a star for charity… *strokes chin*
      Also, chalk up another one who had a good laugh at “Dheu owes child support.” Juuuust picturing him saying “Ladies?” with that oily grin….yep. Yep.

        1. As per comic [Patreon] Sins of the Mother (current post date ofJuly 16, 2015), Quinn walked in on her mom with some guy who has legs. So Dheu would’ve had to change significantly since then (which is a possibility since Tarra is involved with Dheu).

          @TSG – Rosemary did say “only a tutor” referring to Tarra’s obsession and Dheu mentioned David as the cleaner of her messes. So I’m thinking David was probably involved with quite a lot of Tarra’s superscience. So one of those experiments causing his blindness wouldn’t be surprising. Though I’m starting to think that maybe it’s less blindness and that something similar to what happened to her birthmarks may make him choose to keep his eyes hidden at all times (maybe they tried things on him first, or tried a different variation on him).

        2. I only said that because Zeus became a goose or a geese or some sort of sexy bird to start to get funky with Hercules’s father. Who knows what Dheu can do if he wants to go incognito?

        3. Blind Guy isn’t unlikable enough to be Cyclops, but I’m definitely on-board with Tarra being at fault for his blindness. It does leave open the question of who did the dumping though…

        4. I was thinking more along the lines of something like the his eyes are now possibly glowing green, vertigo-inducing spirals, or even 2D cat heads. He may be able to see out of them still, just want an excuse to keep them hidden.

        5. The above is me failing to remember this browser’s privacy settings means I have to remember to enter my name & e-mail every time…

  8. Of course, duh, it was said the comic would shift to Quinn as the main (Though, she lacks the shotgun tattoos for the title :p) so Tired Guy is more concerned with her than Elle and her family by the looks of it.

    1. Since Tired Guy’s primary interest seems to be in the apartment, not the occupants, it would make sense that he’d focus on Quinn, who’s been there for longer

  9. I love the level of detail. Am I right in assuming from the organization of items that Quinn is Tired Guy’s primary target, while David is next up on the Revenge List?

    1. … also, who is the “Transfer from Quantico” and why is there a picture near it of what I can only assume is Tarra’s stargate?

  10. So much to talk about. Where to start?

    Rebecca is super badass for pulling off a stunt like that.

    I’m pretty sure the map is of Winter Have, a municipality to the east of Lakeland.

    I’m assuming the CCTV footage is of Tarra’s fight with X and that’s why their not sure if Ginger is the oldest.

    Super unnerving that you felt the need to include Alex in that diagram.

    Tired Guy should totally have framed his Ellie picture.

    1. I’m going to check on winter haven.
      Be right back. (But it’s they’re)

      Sorry, I just realised something. The orientation that we are seeing on the map, has North to our right. We would have to rotate our computer screens 90 degrees counter clockwise in order to properly read the map. I found this out when I was trying to spot some of the oxbow lakes that are nestled between Herb and Juniper’s portraits. When I realised that, I tipped the laptop over and found a pixelated “Fish Lake” just above the space between Anise’s eye and left ponytail.

      Kudos to Chris for using a topological map to also throw us off of the search. It’s centered on Lakeland. If you cock your head to the right, you can read the town’s name.

        1. Yes, I’m wondering what happened in Lake Parker. However, what I’m curious about now, is there a possible meaning about where the two colored strings meet? Also, assuming the invoice for Easter Eggs may be an easter egg, how many easter eggs are hidden? How many are so far revealed?

          Is Cinnamon truely adopted?

        2. I highly doubt Cinnamon is adopted. I can’t imagine that being the case and her sisters not being aware of it especially considering the Tag situation.

  11. That panel was well worth all the days of effort, it looks amazing. Thanks for providing the link to the full size version.

    1. To help with the link brah. Do you remember those Lamborghini posters in the 80’s? The length of a bed, so about 6 feet by 2 feet of glossy poster thumbtacked to the wall?

      Well that’s what I want out of this. He’ll, I’d recreate it over a real map, on a wall, desk all that stuff. Oxygen tube laying there. ..

  12. Dangdiggity, there is so much on that posterboard there and I am entirely sure that there are plenty of hints there at what’s to come that won’t make sense until it happens. Maybe it’s wishful thinking, but looking at that board I’m starting to think that one of my wild theories regarding The Wandering Girl and Ellie may not be so wild after all.

    1. if positioned in reverse birth order, they spell GUNSHOT (or, if you must have it in correct birth order, they spell TOHSNUG)

    1. Okay, looking at it closer, the “tail” seems to be the hook of an anchor symbol, and both are in front of a big letter “L”, so I’m guessing that’s a Lakeland school background. Such attention to detail!

  13. Waitasecond! The headline on the article about Tarra says “Local Teen Wins Four Gold Medals At Same Event”, but the text in the article gives her age as “(22)”. Mistake, or did she bend the laws of space and time to win four simultaneous golds?

    1. No mistake or bending laws of space & time. As per comic Is this the one you never mentioned? (current post date November 22, 2013), Quinn asked Tarra how she won four gold medals in the same event in the same year (and they’re shown on the wall). Tarra stated her other three rowers got food poisoning and the reason they let her compete is that she can be very persuasive.

      As for age, bios under the comic comic Odds Are (current post date September 11, 2013, comic time 6-9 months prior to this comic) lists Tarra’s age as 27, so that clipping is 5-6 years old.

        1. Gibberish inaccuracies in news story titles don’t register with me any more. That just seems par for the course any more. Hell, I’ve found the whole articles to be garbage when I know anything at all about what’s supposedly being described.

          Now, it is uncertain if that was a mistake on Rusche’s part or a deliberate comment on newspaper headlines.

    1. Scratch that. I typed this comment only to realize “gravity slingshot” isn’t even a thing.

      But seriously, could she fall through the planet with enough momentum to launch up to the surface on the opposite side?

      1. Considering that Tired Guy lives on the second floor, she will pop up on the other side of the Erf at the same distance. However, she will there in about 42 minutes. And then another 42 minutes to pop back up over here. So if the batteries last that long, along with her oxygen supply.

      2. I forgot, but approximating the location of Tired Guy’s apartment, the opposite location should be -28.008357, 81.955465. Or somewhere in the Indian Ocean.

      3. We know that gravity affects her with the suit on and that she phases through objects. We don’t know if it behaves as frictionless or not. Technically atoms of other materials are passing through her, and the suit phases via vibration, so that’ll dampen momentum a bit too. If there’s any kind of friction-like reaction with her phasing, then she probably wouldn’t make it to the surface on the other side and would oscillate back to the core (or her corpse would if she suffocates first and there’s enough power to keep it phased).

        Kinda’ makes you wonder how many of her predecessors are around the core.

        1. The phasing should cancelling out the friction, along with the van Der walls force, organic and inorganic interactions between her body and any materials that she would be phasing through. The effects of the suit should keep her from picking up lead contamination, asbestos particles in her lungs. Copper should be electrocuting her every time she’s near an electrical conduit. Not to mention any molds, mildew and other nasty left behind in the walls.

        2. Phasing could either be frictionless or extremely high friction. From a physics stance, if you’re passing your atoms through the gaps in atoms in the material around you while somehow keeping coherence between the two objects, a resistance as objects are forced through each other is quite possible. That’s far from certain, but not impossible, especially when the type of inertia resisting reaction you’d need to slow momentum through the core to where you wouldn’t break through wouldn’t be a lot (and wouldn’t necessarily be noticeable in normal use).

        3. The thing is, either XKCD or minute physics suggested (a continuous hole) that, assuming enough oxygen for a round trip, no friction as well as no particle reactions or attractions between Rebecca and everything else, she would instantly have gravity interact with a normal effect.

          Gravity would have a diminishing effect on Rebecca until she reached the exact center. When she passed that spot, Earth’s gravity would slowly increase on her. Slowing her down to a point where she’d pop up on the other side, stopping at an apex of ten to fifteen feet in the air.

        4. Sure, as you stated with the assumption of no friction but sufficient oxygen (so your own portable oxygen supply or rebreather in a pressure suit and the tube is a perfect vacuum).

          That’s also why it’d fail if there was any friction. If said tube was pressurized at around 1 atm of normal surface air and your outfit was instead just heat ablative, then instead the drag would slow you down enough that you wouldn’t have the momentum to counteract gravity all the way to the other side and you’d oscillate back and forth until you settled at rest at the core.

          I’d bet the first pass would be slowed down a lot, as I think I remember hearing that people can reach terminal velocity in 1 atm air pressure jumping off a large skyscraper, so that’d be a lot of lost energy passing through the center of the earth (which is also why you’d need an outfit to that can keep quite a lot of heat off of you, I mean aside from the heat radiating from the mantle & core).

          Considering that vibrating the entire suit is moving things back and forth, I’m not convinced that the vibration of the suit itself wouldn’t cause more resistance. Also if it didn’t cause more resistance, then at a certain velocity the motion of vibration in the direction of velocity would be noticeably more than the direction back, so it’s possible that falling through the center of the earth would also break the phasing. Possibly a little at a time, which might be very quick or the worst way that suit could kill her yet.

        5. That seems to be the rub. But what if the effect of the suit is extremely localized against materials that have a firm resistance? This could allow for her to breathe while moving through walls. That, or the possibility that the atmospheric oxygen permeates through to her lungs anyway. But that point might be more of “The Outer Limits” than needed. What I’m suggesting that her suit would reduce the effects of atmospheric resistance by reducing the drag when allowing for the normal built up pressures to pass through her and the suit because the pressure would be greater than the normal one atmosphere of resistance.

        6. You have to assume the suit is frictionless or close to it, if you’re going to pretend it’s real. Otherwise moving through objects means every part of them would rub against every part of you (blood, blood vessels, brain cells, etc.), which would have terrible consequences whenever you stuck your head through something from the displacement (sudden localized blood pressure change) or the heat generated.

        7. You got something there. Not just frictionless, but something that would render the suit and the user completely unreactive to the substances/materials that Rebecca would be phasing through.

          And the heat generated. The suit would not only have to have a way to dispell the heat it generates, but also the heat generated by phasing the user, if the user’s molecules, organelles, cells, atoms are vibrated to a point in moving through something assisted by the suit. Because of the friction generated between the user’s cells as they alone vibrate back and forth.

        8. Close to frictionless would be enough to slow momentum from gravity to not pop out on the other side of the planet. It doesn’t have to slow down much to bleed enough energy on the downward and cooperate with gravity on the up swing to just barely not hit the surface on the other side.

          As a side note, an electromagnetic resistive force for passing atoms between the spaces would behave as a type of friction for our argument about making it through the Earth or not, but I’m not sure if it’d generate heat the same way normal friction does or not. I do definitely agree that dealing with any waste heat does seem like it would’ve been a critical point in developing the suit (another way some of her predecessors may have died horribly). Though that could also function as a safe time limit for using the suit, that after a certain time you have to stop using it and cool off for some amount of time to avoid being literally cooked.

          I do agree about air. Given the futuretech of the suit in general, a perfect rebreather seems reasonable, so she might just be breathing her own carbon dioxide with the carbon stripped. So it would be feasible to consider it might be a suit power and hydration issue rather than suffocation. Which would also make getting trapped in the core that much more unpleasant.

          While we’re talking about other novel effects from the suit, I wonder what kind of radiation bursts might end up being given off by the interaction of her suit phasing through different objects. That would be a very real possibility/danger for using that suit.

        9. I was thinking that the Van Der Waals force as the electromagnetic resistive force. But the atoms themselves shouldn’t have any attraction since they (hers) are being manouvered around the objects atoms. It seems that with such a simplistic statement as such should cancel out all of the inter atomic interactions that you suggested. If they weren’t then her nervous system as well as cellular functions should be interrupted as she phased through materials. The sodium and potassium should be stripped from the nerves as the impulses attempt to progress along the neuron.

          The sodium and potassium should interact with what ever moisture present in the materials that she’s phasing through. Not only stopping her nervous system as mentioned above, but stripping her of her electrolytes and killing her.

          However, is it not possible that with the atoms moving around each other, that no friction is made because they do not come into contact nor interact with the others because of the suit.

        10. I think you’re making an assumption there.

          The fact that we don’t know how the suit keeps objects separate as they phase through each other means we can’t say. With what we actually know, there’s just no way that you could redistribute atoms to pass one object through another and keep the objects discrete and as they were. It is certainly a good point that the small electrical current inherent in the nervous system would seem like an even easier thing to lose between objects (and she is primarily sticking her head through things). However, with all the other physical laws being broken, it’s hard to say which laws are “shielded against” and which might still be active against her. About all we know on that is gravity (and nuclear strong) still functions normally upon her. Since gravity & nuclear strong act upon her, if electromagnetic force did not, that would seem like a big setback for physicists looking for a theory of everything.

          The electromagnetic resistance seems like a strong possibility to me because as I recall the majority of the space taken up by an atom is its electron cloud, while the positively charged nuclei are much smaller. So from a physical stance of considering something like this happening, it seems like the nuclei would probably be avoiding each other and the electron clouds would intermingle somewhat. If that’s accurate, some degree of resistance, probably from a physical sensation stance similar to moving through water, seems plausible (but not certain, by any means).

        11. But isn’t your assumption that she stays 100% in this dimension? I’m thinking inorganic, organic reactions along with the Van Der Waals. I’m also thinking “Stargate SG-1” near the end of the series. The Merlin device and the one set of Jaffa, the Sodan warriors who had a similar device in a crystal. And there was one other device that I can think of, but it required radiation from the device to be passed on to others through direct and indirect contact.

          The users of Merlin’s device could not be seen by others and were able to pass through other people. The Sodan cloak hid the user while they were able to interact with other people. But only physically. However, the Jaffa could handle the radiation and the effects whereas humans could not.

          More layer from my laptop. Stupid auto spell is working against me and my phone interface here.

        12. I’m not arguing a certainty, I’m arguing possibilities. It’s certainly possible that she’s somewhat out of this dimension, though I don’t know that fits with the description of moving atoms to the side. The only place I remember that being used in fiction off the top of my head is in the Belgariad (I don’t consider my fictional exposure to be particularly comprehensive or anything, I’ve seen little-to-no Stargate SG1 or Atlantis so can’t mention to your point, just saying what I’m aware of and comes to mind).

        13. You can’t use atmospheric oxygen because it would just phase out of the lung without getting absorbed into the blood. Otherwise her lungs would fill full of whatever she was phasing through. Although that raises the question of what happens to the air she’s occupying the same space as when she turns the suit off.

          On a similar note I’m curious how talking works when the suit is on if she can’t interact with the air to transmit sound waves across.

      4. No she could not.

        Firstly, she would hit terminal velocity for her mass long before reaching the center of the Earth (a set value that wouldn’t increase further).

        Secondly, as she approached the center of the Earth, she would have increasing mass of the Earth pulling her back the direction she was falling from, and decreasing mass of the Earth pulling her the direction she is falling. The gravity of Earth does not come from its core exclusively, but from its combined mass. This would result in a slight decrease in velocity as she approaches the core, though after a significant distance traveled (she would slow down some from the set terminal velocity value before even reaching the center).

        Thirdly, as she passed the core, she would start to have more mass of the Earth pulling away from her direction of travel than she has pulling towards it. This pull difference would only increase as she gets further from the core. (set terminal velocity value, minus slowdown as approaching the core, then minus more velocity after passing the core).

        The end result would be her being pulled back to the core long before breaching the Earth’s mantle.

        If you want to drop an phased item through the Earth and have it come out anywhere near the same height on the other side, it would need to have mass sufficient as to not yet reach terminal velocity before passing the core.

      1. Yep, and as mentioned above, this was first revealed (and the medals shown on the wall) in comic Is this the one you never mentioned? (current post date November 22, 2013).

  14. Two days late to comment and first to mention that apparently Alex has been stalking Quinn or Ellie (or both, or someone else he ran into and started crushing on while dating Quinn)?

    So do we know if Ellie & Quinn’s new apartment is somewhere less prone to peeping, or more prone to them catching him and administering punishment until he stops?

  15. So, what is this lost object? It is the size of a paper clip and they were using a detector trying to find it. This suggests a silicon chip of some sort that emits a signal. A general is involved. Is it secret military technology that has gone missing?

    1. The item doesn’t necessarily have to emit a signal itself. It could have been something with an RFID sticker tag on it. That would only emit a signal passively, when exposed to an electronic field. There would be a limited range due to being inside a wall, which would explain why they did such a poor job pinpointing its location.
      There are a number of camera memory cards the size of a paperclip or smaller. Then again, it might be an actual paperclip.

      1. The thing I find curious is Tired Guy was concerned about keeping Blind Guy busy while Rebecca is looking for it, but apparently less concerned while Merrick & Wilf were looking for it. Considering she stuck herself out of the wall to glance at him in the hallway here without him seeming to notice, it’s apparently not her phasing that he notices. I’m curious how/why Blind Guy can presumably find and recognize about this object. I’m also curious about the consequences if he finds out D52 is searching for it (can he magically claim it from the apartment if he things to try, will he start a Tarra-style brawl and take it, will he report it to Gen Nicks, or something else).

        Memory card, secret chip, special material, mystical artifact, or even alien life form makes more sense than an actual paperclip. However I think pretending they’re just looking for one specific paperclip that’s absolutely normal in every way to be much more amusing, so I’ll be doing so until we find out more about what it actually is.

      2. Yes, like the chips put in pets. Now, how can Tired Guy afford someone in a super science suit to look for this thing? Does he have connections or is he working for somebody that can afford it?

        1. He owns (or is renting) all but one of the apartments in this complex and has his own dating website. It’s reasonable to assume he’s got money.

        2. Remember, Tired Guy/Mister Night is listed as number 2 in the D52 cast list. He may not be the leader of this operation. He may be working for someone who is much better connected and wealthier than he is.

        3. Tarra (either current or as X), David, or someone who hasn’t had much/any role yet are my top three guesses for the leader of D52.

        4. Tarra’s in the family, so I’m not sure why being in a birthday party picture negates the possibility of being an antagonist for David while leaves Tarra as still quite possible. Some antagonists have a certain degree of camaraderie (think Professor X & Magneto at times), and we really know very little about David or his motivations at this point.

  16. The giant splash pages are worth it (when convenient). Especially when you get so many references and Easter Eggs in them.

    1. If the suit can maintain the single vibrational wave form, then it should be possible that the suit’s waveform should be able to cancel itself out because it’s meeting the same wave form. The suit shouldn’t be able to phase through itself, and that would also preclude Rebecca from reaching inside of herself and possibly liquidating her internal organs in doing such.

      It’s just that the gloves and boots allow her to interact completely without worry. I suppose that could be an Occham’s razor for the Artistic License, eh?

      1. She didn’t say if it vibrates or not. She said it redistributed atomic particles allowing her to pass through different densities and the dial has different density readings on it.

        Regardless of any of that, if the knob was not usable while phased without the gloves, then an internal toe or tongue switch or something to turn it off would be an expected safety feature. So leaving her able to touch the knob to turn it off instead of those kinds of safeties makes for a better visual storytelling experience, so may as well.

        1. I can agree with the possiblity of your expected safety feature. However, there has to be an example of it already before she uses it in front of us.

          It may be necessary to point out the artist’s use of the Anime Bead of Sweat on the Forehead to pose the lack of such a feature being present at this time.

        2. I don’t think the features are there in the suit at present (due to the sweat bead and her not phasing back closer to the ceiling), I’m just saying that I think adding those features would seem like it would’ve been more important before allowing it to be used if the dial wasn’t usable by both the suit phased and gloved hand.

          But also, for the dial, if it wasn’t already fine all you’d need to do is put a thin layer of the glove/boot material on the outside of the dial and that’d cover it. I did go back to see if the dial stayed unphased like boots & gloves, but it doesn’t appear to, so it’d have to just be a thin layer or just the pointy part or something.

  17. I just get this feeling that this little trip is going to end TERRIBLY for her. Fall into the center of the earth terribly. She ditched the gloves for the booty call and now the shoes to go sneaking around. If that thing gets activated by accident she’s boned.

  18. Just so everyone’s aware, margins are apparently super-tight at the Top Webcomics vote right now. I walked in, we were 61, I voted and we went to 54. So it’s a great time for a vote.

    1. The first day of the month is beautiful in that way. I always make sure to check the site before and after voting on the first couple of days of the month.

      I think some of our regular voters are work voters who get in extra votes at work, so with a weekend approaching (and Monday holiday for US), we’ll need to work hard to avoid slipping too far.

  19. Quinn caught her mom with “someone” that broke up the family. And the pins go from Herb to TJ. Is it possible that Herb is the Father of TJ?

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