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The Chain Part XX

This is the last of The Chain series, as well as 4 tiers of makeup work. I'd like to promise another post for tomorrow or Saturday, but I'm still two posts behind on Patreon (which I'm planning to be up tomorrow, together or combined.) I'd rather make an effort to get my schedule back on track for next week, and need to stop underestimating how long it takes me to color these these days (which is ridiculous.) Also, my appreciation to everyone who's voted to make us tied for first place in the Round 3  Comic Mix vote, and those of you continuing to keep this comic high on the Top Webcomics list. Thank you thank you thank you. :D Lastly, got a great fanart from one of our readers, Boog. Unfortunately my slow ass couldn't get this up while the vote was going on, but nothing about the ComicMix vote has been timely. I do think we have a strong chance of getting to the final round, and that vote will be sometime in, like.. October maybe. :P Dresden

375 thoughts on “The Chain Part XX

        1. *snort* that was fast. And the diaper seems to have been somewhat sourced from the comments section. . .

          Pure gold applesauce of awesome.

        2. All I can hear in my head is that part from “Shaun of the Dead” where Shaun and Ed are outside of the pub singing the parts from “White Lines.”

        3. “There will be Blood”
          and epic adventure of revenge and murder in a small Florida community.

          Starring Ellie Buckingham and S. Quinn Nicks.

          Featuring in their first and probably last supporting roles as “THE VICTIMS”
          Danny Fleetwood
          Caleb McVie.

        4. Most of the lines are easy. Either: “mmmmmuurrrrrrrrderrrrrrrrr,” “AaaaIIIIIEEEEE,” “SHRIEEEEEEK” and “OOOWWW!!!”

        5. I don’t picture Caleb being one of the victims. I picture him already pummeling Danny before the girls even get to him.

        6. Fundamentally, the girls are broke. This discovery is very interesting in light of that for a couple of reasons.

          1. Dudes will pay to spy on them, a nontrivial amount. With Caleb here they might be able to talk past Danny and work out a way to keep this going, with them getting a large share of the profits.
          2. Alternately, they might sue Caleb and Danny. This probably wouldn’t work, the Danny/Calebs of the world are fundamentally not worth suing, but its worth a consideration.

          Beating them up would be satisfying, but ruin both possibilities. If they attack Caleb they won’t be able to work with him. If they commit felonies they lose the legal high ground. Ergo, violence would force the story back to its Pre-Danny state, which feels unlikely. Thus, I don’t think they’ll attack anyone.

        7. That depends.

          First of all Rusche doesn’t try to write them as perfect. They’re known to have flaws and to suffer from them upon occasion.

          Second, the current story is focusing on Ellie growing up. Growing up involves unpleasant things, and I think this storyline with Danny is intended to be a worse one than a lot of people deal with. Rusche did mention that Ellie was going to basically have a breakdown at some point, and some of us are expecting this to precipitate it. Finding herself on trial for assault of Caleb & Danny would certainly be difficult to get through for anyone, and with Ellie’s current social circle being Quinn (involved and likely to blame her at least somewhat), Danny (persona non-grata), & family (whom she may not feel fully comfortable around or talking to gauging by past reactions and Pumpkin’s storyline on Patreon) those psychological pressures are likely to rebound and magnify. Especially since it’d come out at trial that Caleb was essentially innocent on this site and was attempting to get things resolved himself, which would add some potential guilt on top of feeling victimized.

          Third, being fiction, certain things will be gotten away with which probably wouldn’t be in real life. Rusche doesn’t do that a lot, but it’ll happen at times. Kinda’ hard to tell a story without doing it, since you’d bog things down in all the explanations and justifications that aren’t that interesting but make up the lion’s share of motivating actions/behavior in real life.

        8. I’m sorry, I just don’t think that anyone who was being spied on would allow for their privacy to be sold just like that. I really do not think that the girls would sell out like that.

      1. Three delicious dimensions deny distastefulness during devouring dozens directly due delighted dazzling dreams of delectableness!

        1. (cue Sir Ruber’s song)
          Comments from now no one will bother,
          To count all the d’s that I authored,
          Because all of this will be MIIIIIIINE
          This will all be mine
          Ah, that brought back so many memories from that movie

        2. (cur Sir Robin’s song)
          When danger reared it’s ugly head
          He bravely turned his tail and fled!
          Yes, Brave Sir Robin turned about
          and gallantly he chickened out!

    1. I’m kind of betting on Caleb being smart enough to say “I didn’t know about this until today. He set it up using my money without my knowledge. I’ll give you all of the money he made if you don’t sue me, and feel free to kick his ass, too.”

      1. That seems too easy, and well, Danny boy may be stupid on the short end of the plan, but he does seem to be able to have some collateral that should ensure back splash onto Caleb, even if it isn’t true. Wow, that’s a lot of commas.

      2. Caleb will use his Canadian Ninja Skillz to hide in plain sight as a maple tree or hockey player. If that fails, he’ll employ the Innocent Canadian Schtick. Oh, I’m just collecting donations for poor Canadian orphans, eh? Would you like to contribute?”

      3. I suspect all those credit card charges are about to be reversed when the site disappears. I don’t think Danny’s going to end up having made any money at all.

        1. I’m sure that what ever account those charges went to was emptied into some other account, like Paypal, and that was dumped, via wire transfer, to several different Western Union locations, who turned them into Amazon Gift Cards (5% bonus), which were used to buy…

        2. I can agree with this. If Danny boy was going to be honest, he would have gotten Quinn’s signature on a contract as well as making sure that he had Ellie’s legal signature, BBB backing and even a tax id.

          So, I think that he’s already got the money where he can get it without too much worry. Unless Johnny Law comes around.

        3. Could be. It’s hard to determine where Danny will have made careful plans and where he’ll half-ass it.

          PayPal transfers aren’t reversible? I would’ve thought they would be. It’s generally my assumption for things like that is that if there’s an electronic record of fund transfer in such a way that it can be traced where it went, it can be reversed. It’s generally the transition to physical and back that was where I thought the money trail would potentially go dead for reversals.

          One of the things that makes me suspect he might not have laundered the money well enough to keep it is the $40k in Caleb’s account. It’s not clear to me he would’ve had time to play those types of games and get it back to an electronic form in the time frame he’s got here (which I think is 1-3 weeks, though I’m not certain of that).

        4. You can’t take back what isn’t there. The point is, he probably moved it all as soon as he got it, for that reason.

        5. Well, sure, but I’d think you could reverse charges at more than one level. For example, I’d assume that if I transferred money from a stolen account to my checking, that transferring it into my savings account (in a different bank) wouldn’t keep the charges from getting reversed, just make the authorities take more steps. Considering that everyone in the financial services industry loses a lot to fraud each year, I’ve always been under the impression that they’re generally cooperative for such things. Could be my mistake, and I’m sure there are loopholes that those inclined can find out.

        6. But if you were to withdraw it in physical form, that would be the proverbial running in the creek to throw off the scent before putting it into another account.

        7. Right. That or transferring it through other people’s accounts who you trick so they get the loss (money mule). The thing being there’s a minimum time for various transactions to clear before you can get to the physical form stage. Money mules exist but there are lots of people trying to exploit their stupidity, and they tend to either learn or not have useful amounts of money in their accounts to drain before long.

  1. I’m curious as to why Ellie still has some other phone when she’s already got the iCloud. Unless, the iCloud comes with a handy-dandy handheld device?

        1. Yeah, the SecDef (Secretary of Defense) one makes me wonder if that’s supposed to be an indication that Quinn visited her dad at the Pentagon and it was a public network there or if it’s someone being a smartass (which I assume SecWar is intended to be).

  2. I’m very happy to see that at no point during this did Quinn suspect or blame Ellie for what happened :) Just goes to show they really have become closer after all the time thats gone by.

    I also love how you showed Ellie being a bit on the tech savy side here, using her smart phone…wait, what happened to her iNimbus? Anyways using it to check for any signal in the area (and really Danny, not even trying to put up a WIP key? Thats just pathetic).

    Really all and all this was a great chapter that I enjoyed, almost as much as the inevatable BEAT DOWN thats coming soon ;)

      1. *face palms* IQ-10 lol, maybe the next comic should be titled ‘It was Quinn’s phone’ just so people get it, or perhaps an ‘update’ message in the comments about this so others dont keep making the same mistake we did lol

        1. Aside from the multiple moves during childhood, Quinn is a military brat. Allusions it’s her phone is the military time in the display, and SECDEF and SECWAR being old wifi options.

        2. Not particularly. The ones in range are those at the top of the list. Also, they’ve been to the place for the international kinds of pancakes, yet there isn’t a wifi for Denny’s. Chris has a ton of little clues in there in order to spoof real life into the aether of Erf.

          One of the many reasons that I love this comic. The first one was Ellie, but I realized via shipping with a certain character that it’s not meant to be. I just hope that when they go to see the penguins that they have some decent hat tricks during that game.

        3. And networks that were last or most often used. Note the small addendums under each network name.

        4. I LOVE THOSE. Mr. Blue has not seen the military time yet. And more than likely that those passwords have been changed at least on a monthly basis.

        5. Depends on what the networks are really for. Could just as well be that they’re still the same as some years prior.

        6. Then again it’s military, the password might be Guest1234, because it wasn’t in the budget to update the wi-fi security. We had to spend billions on a portable hexagonal-interface utility device.

        7. Very cool! I love that detail, I didn’t notice it the first time reading and went back to read it again after seeing your comment.

    1. I was figuring she’d blame Ellie in a mode roundabout way, but yes, Quinn does seem to be handling this in a remarkably stable fashion.

      1. I’m guessing that less than 15 minutes have passed since she dropped the pan and ran out of the kitchen. Right now she’s in reaction mode, transitioning to vengeance mode. Recrimination mode appears after initial adrenaline has dropped (and in this case, after the most guilty party either gets sufficient punishment or gets away to a degree they stop the active/immediate chase).

        1. Something like..?

          Quinn (inner voice): First we kill The Enemy. Then I deal with Ellie.

        2. Maybe, but I’m more thinking that her brain hasn’t had time to process everything yet. I was more thinking that sometime in the next couple of days Quinn’s subconscious would finish chewing on things a bit and toss an, “Ellie deserves some blame here”-type thoughts into her conscious mind.

          On the other hand, possibly she’s grown enough that she’ll decide that since Ellie was the primary intended victim and she was just collateral damage that she’ll let her have a pass. Start-of-comic Quinn wouldn’t have. She’s grown somewhat, but not sure if quite to that degree yet or not.

        3. I’m pretty sure no matter how it goes that Quinn will stay friends with Ellie. It’s just a matter of how Quinn’s going to vent once the crisis has passed.

        4. Certainly, I think Quinn values Ellie as a friend. The question is more how irritated she’ll be and possibly how much slack/support she’ll give Ellie during her previously announced breakdown (which I think we’re both assuming is coming up soon).

      1. No, that’s Kat’s event in the Horribleness Olympics. Quinn is not currently believed to be competing (and is too close to Danny’s entry to be unbiased enough to judge).

    2. Yeah! I think it’s really nice that they have stayed solid through this so far. I assume next will come a snuff strip. Assuming Danny and Caleb haven’t bailed out the window to safety.

  3. Super Sexy Jogging Quinn…She is most awesome. Smart too…most people wouldn’t know what the first about trying to hide where you are in the eternal interwebs. She’s got a pretty good handle on that, just doesn’t know how to track down said violator. Now Ellie, that was a smart move. As for Danny, unless he is really that stupid, he left his phone and high-tailed it out of the apartment and is currently running for said “pedomobile”. Caleb is currently trying to do damage control with Vu from a distance. “Shut Down everything!!! Everything!!!”

    1. D-bag has the problem of being unable to handle things not going to plan. He is quite devious, as long as things go the way he anticipates. When they don’t, his house of cards fall apart. He didn’t expect the Canuck to show up. He didn’t thing anyone would catch on to his location. He has no idea that Ellie can call in a tactical nuke.

      1. I think he expected Caleb to show up. His “not yetttt” bit when Caleb called sounded that way to me, at least. I mean, I suspect he would’ve eventually answered the phone if Caleb hadn’t shown up, but I think he was expecting the appearance.

    2. Quinn sounds more aware that it can be done and has heard people who have ideas talking about it. Her wording is off for understanding it herself, and she admits she doesn’t know specifically. I’m wondering if it’s geek friends or General Nicks (who might’ve done a stint in a cyber command for all we know, and might’ve talked at the unclass level about the difficulties of attribution to Quinn).

    1. Agreed! First reaction was “Oh, ye god! Those faces!” All the while trying to keep my laughter as quiet as possible. It’s already past one in the morning here.

    1. FBIMobileVan612 or some variation is pretty classic. Glad to see Quinn/Rusche went beyond the low hanging fruit.

        1. Nah, maybe someone who got tired of the piggy backing neighbors. But doesn’t a wifi signal degrade more vertically rather than horizontally?

        2. It really depends on how walls and ceilings are built. But since the latter are usually way thicker…

        3. People in an apartment building can trample on each other very easily. What happens is actually an expansion of older school ethernet (hubs) where a collision would be detected and then each side would wait a random amount of time (don’t want it to be the same and can’t coordinate) and resend. With wifi it’ll reduce the client’s view of the signal quality and make everything slower when there are a lot of collisions (that’s why sometimes you can be in an area on wifi and it has a strong signal but it immediately drops when you try to connect and use it). Additionally, the 2.4 GHz spectrum interferes with each other a bit too easily. As I recall using channels 1, 6, & 11 are an optimal spacing that was settled on from a politeness stance (2, 7, & 12 would be the same, so some convention is needed and I think it goes up to 14 if I remember correctly), however I don’t think that’s obvious in the wifi router setup, so people either leave it default (generally 1) or pick at random so have more collisions than they need.

          Also 2.4 GHz wifi is interfered with by using a microwave oven.

          5 GHz wifi doesn’t have a lot of those problems, but it also doesn’t penetrate building materials as easily, so it won’t generally go through your whole apartment/house.

          Also, to your original comment, it’s always worth the wait. When Rusche decides to delay posting to put more comics in one post, it always (as far as I can remember) seems like the right choice once the comic comes out so we can see what he sees ahead of time. This one definitely would’ve been worse broken into 4.

        4. Okay, the above comment was for you last paragraph in the above response. But I was suggesting that the building materials in the floors would be more restricted than the over saturation of wireless/wired signals. It seems that having different router nodes on different floors were needed in a classroom situation. Shouldn’t individual apartments with a direct link to their ISP solve some of that? But the offer lapping wifi was never seen before in a light that it could interfere with other signals in a concentrated area as an apartment building.

          So….. does securing the signal prevent that or…?

        5. The security keys old protect your data, not your bandwidth. Recall what TOG was saying about Collision Avoidance? Well, when multiple different WAPs are running on overlapping channels, they effectively end up dividing the bandwidth between them. That’s why 2.4 GHz WiFi is such a mess when lots of people live in close proximity.

          Hell, I just moved from a townhouse to a neighborhood with single-family homes, and I was floored to see 20+ networks on the WiFi Analyzer app on my Android phone! Mind you, that was for 2.4; when I switched the analyzer to 5GHz, I saw all of 3 other networks, none of which were in conflict. Guess which frequency I decided to go with?

        6. Let me think. I’ll put on my thinking cap here.

          2.4 Ghz Wifi times 20 doWAPs is better than 4.8x 10^WAP power of insanity, and can cause a deescalation of computer controlled “My First Oven” pastries.

          3 Nets * 5 GHz is roughly 1.21 Gigga hurts in the Noggian branch of computer nerdistry.

          So, if you wanted to watch November 5, 1955 without interference, you went with the 5GHz, with the copper wire for a lightning rod protection hooked up to your neighbor’s 2.4Ghz phone box.

        7. Correct, Channels 1, 6, and 11 will not overlap with one another provided you layout your access points using a hex grid. (Just did this 5 months ago when setting up the Wi-Fi for my company’s new plant.)

          Another fun tid-bit is that while Wireless B & G are compatible, the moment a B-only client connects to that access point, the speed for ALL clients connected to that WAP drops from G to B speeds. Better access points and routers will frequently have an option to prevent B clients from connecting for this very reason.

        1. Oh, I do love that, though I’d imagine that will happen after the door’s open. I was thinking more of the music to play as his cell phone rings and they slowly make their way to the door.

    1. I think that that particular kitchen implement left with a great amount of organic matter betwixt its tines while lodged roughlt between the cheeks of a dirty (ier) hippie.

      1. I’m sure Quinn could improvise with another kitchen utensil. Ellie would most likely go for a pair of scissors. I think Danny has earned a Buckingham haircut, at the very least.

        The question for me is, do they break in and mete out punishment personally, or call for backup from Daddy(s)?

        1. Unfortunately, we have to wait until the next exciting installment of creepo beatdown on Fox, or Shotgun Shuffle to see what happens next. Are the girls smart enough to not put the beat down on the punks?

        2. Why does everyone assume Quinn only has one whisk? I have four and they’re not even my Final Fantasy theme weapon.

        3. Poor college student in an apartment who doesn’t appear to do a lot of cooking from what we can tell (frozen dinners and ramen is what I recall seeing). She would likely have grabbed one whisk, but not had the time to accumulate several through the process that we all continually accumulate new items like that.

        4. Really? I’ve bought them in packs. The main reason I figured Quinn could have multiple is the only thing we know she knows how to cook is breakfast food. It’s good to have multiple whisks for that and they’re fairly cheap as far as equipment goes.

        5. Hmm, true. I wasn’t thinking about breakfast food. When I think of whisks I tend to think desserts, but they’re definitely heavily used for breakfasts as well. I now consider it 50/50 which way she went. I still think the not buying more than necessary and not wanting to get a lot of stuff just to have to move it to the next place (though Quinn is probably thinking of staying in that apartment through college, so not as frequent moving as my knee-jerk reaction was thinking).

        6. Yeah, you mostly use whisks with omelets/scrambled eggs, whipping air into batter, or whipping cream for pancakes/waffles.

          With all the Final Fantasy references, I’ve started thinking of whisks as Quinn’s theme weapon. The whisk thing will probably get more play in fan art, but I still default to thinking about it. If she broke a glass-front box and pulled out an Emergency Whisk it’d be completely in keeping with my expectations.

        7. Forks work well enough for scrambled eggs (and are easier to hand wash), it’s the air into mixtures that I’ve generally seen them used (angel food cake being the most common one). I’ve actually used them on dry ingredients before when I had trouble with some of them clumping in the final product too, but from what I can tell that’s more a sign of my ineptitude than considered a good practice.

        8. I tend to use a small spoon for mixing up the eggs when making scrambled eggs or an omelett. Works quite well, really.

        1. Oh. I forgot. It can remotely mash up to 1,500 pounds of potatoes from up to five miles. So, just think of what if can do to a dirty hippie.

    2. I see a gentle rapping on his door first.

      And if he were smart, he’d find a use for his window immediately afterwards. That is if Caleb lets him.

      1. Considering that Caleb appeared to have blasted the door off its hinges earlier in this same day, I don’t know that it’s actually held in by anything any more. A slight tap could cause it to fall inward.

  4. Oh Danny boy, the girls, the girls are coming!
    From door to door, to kick in your backside.
    The jig is up, and the deadly whisk approaching.
    It’s time, its time for you to run and hide.

  5. Haha, I can’t see this ending in any way other than in tears.

    On a different topic, I noticed that Quinn’s WiFi is “SQNicks.” Is this a reference to SquareEnix? The (modern name) of the company who created the Final fantasy series?

        1. Well my first guess would have been Saffron, except she already said she’s not a “Spice Girl” a while back. Is there an opposite to spice? No, I suppose not. An inverse? Hm. Maybe. That’d make her first name “Sandworm.”

        2. I’d say S. Nicks is close enough but since the singer’s first name is really Stephanie there’s room for interpretation…

      1. I go by middle name as well, not because I didn’t like it, just that there were too many of us with that name in one place. Did Quinn’s parents name her “Stevie Nicks”, and did Quinn get tired of it being a reference? I can imagine it as one more reason for her to feel angry at her mother.

        1. I think the argument over that just became my personal favorite “first chip” that led to the eventual downfall of the marriage of Quinn’s parents (obviously her Dad was pro-Harley).

          On a more serious note, I wonder if Quinn was named after her mom and that’s the reason for her distaste for her first name.

  6. Shotgun Shuffle so far is like the anti-Spaceballs. Here, evil is dumb. We’ve got Alex, Cinnamon, Katrina, and now Danny, none of whom are prize-winners in the brains department. About the only half-bright evil we’ve seen so far is Wheelchair Ninja, and he’s not so much evil as angry.

    1. Hmmmmmmmmmm….

      That’s thought provoking for me. What you said is true so far, but personally I lean less towards ‘dumb’ and more towards ‘sneaky.’ Evil is always undermining and working behind the scenes for me.

      1. Even Matthew! The phrase “his head’s not on straight” for him is a literal description of his appearance and mental structure.

        1. Hey, you’re the one who decided to rob a bank and take on Tarra Buckingham with nothing but a twelve-gauge. I have no sympathy. None.

        2. Old Guy seems to be the only mentally-promising antagonist so far. At least the only one who wasn’t [presumably] killed the same way we beat the British.

        1. Not as if evil was any smarter in that movie. At least the good side had some guys with common sense. ;)

        2. Something that probably applies to some people in the comic (Danny? Alex? Cinn?) as well.

        3. So you also often find yourself hearing the question “How many assholes we got on this ship, anyhow?”

        4. It does happen, yes.

          At least it’s more often in reference to the movie.

          Unfortunately still quite a lot of the time not.

        5. I tend to have to clamp down on the urge to turn around, raise my hand, and say “Yo!”

          Which would really confuse people as there’s no one else in the group and the first part of the quote only occurred in my head.

    2. Cinn is the only one that shows an abnormal level of stupidity compared to her peers, though she does show a high degree of cunning and strong instincts for preying upon weaknesses.

      The rest are within 1 standard deviation of the people around them (and a standard deviation above, say, Eustice). The good characters here show a lot of being dumb too. Which makes sense considering that a main theme here is a “coming of age” sort of thing.

      Alex shows more arrogance and an overpowered sense of entitlement/superiority which is what seems to lead him in the direction that later becomes dumb. Kat and Danny both suffer from the common problem of seeing the world the way they want to and underestimating opposition to their schemes, but honestly that’s all of us upon occasion (just not about things that icky).

      We see plenty of being dumb from our “good” characters, seeing as how Rusche doesn’t write characters to be perfect. So far the comic has been quite full of Ellie’s learning experiences (getting kicked out, various job troubles, trusting Danny). Quinn’s pre-fight attitude and treatment of Ellie and Ian definitely fall in the immaturity leading to stupidity realm.

      So really I think it’s more that we’re seeing a young cast living their lives.

  7. Even though I know that Quinn and Ellie can handle this well enough on their own, I kinda want Ellie to call in the Buckingham sister squad. I just want Danny to feel the ultimate wrath brought down upon him.

      1. Ginger: head, Tarra: torso, Anise & Juniper: legs, Ellie & Cinnamon: right & left arms respectively, and Pumpkin forms the robo-kitty tail.

        1. Glad you picked up on that. Also Sinister/Cinnamon for the left and all that.

          Also, I’m thinking that Pumpkin’s robot’s ‘special’ is the ability to replace any other sister’s robot if it’s damaged. Master of cosplay = jack of all trades.

        2. Definitely caught the Cinn on the left, as appropriate. I was seeing Pumpkin being the other arm and Cinn being a shield, though. With a lot of “Why do I have to be the one that’s always getting hit?”-type complaints. Responses generally indicating that head trauma couldn’t possibly make her dumber.

        3. Well Monopoly is competitive whereas forming Sistron™ is a team endeavor.

          Additionally, Ginger supposedly has a handle on Tarra, and Tarra can definitely dominate the rest. They GOT this!

    1. If he escapes from Ellie & Quinn, my bets for who tracks him down are Tarra, Juniper, & Quinn’s dad (in that order).

      1. No, they only have enough people for a cat. They will need at least two more to qualify for a dog, shark, or animate dune buggy.

      1. Heh, I had completely overlooked “SQNicks” and assumed that “secdef” and “secwar” belonged to Quinn, being allusions to her fathers position in the upper echelons of the military.

  8. Lets see the Mix March Madness turned into April Armageddon, are they gonna change it next month to ComicMix Mayhem?

    Also Danny is going to be tenderized and well seasoned.

    1. One of their things is the nsfw May Mahem. I’m kind of wondering just how often the guy sits in the VP seat at the place, or if it’s just on a schedule item for his rolodex folder.

      1. Yeah I’m just stating in response to the main post about the speculation of the final vote for march madness being sometime by October and trying to come up with names for the months between.

        1. May Mania (or Mayhem)

          June Jumble

          July Jihad

          August Anarchy

          September Psychosis

          October Omnicide

        2. How about September Slaughter to keep in line with the letters as well.
          (Also I have heard enough people saying psyche or psychosis with the p not or at least not fully silent to learn that it really depends on local idiom. So it wouldn’t really work either way imho.)

        3. Regional dialects can contain weird and fascinating things. For example, I remember a supervisor advising a coworker about to visit Georgia that in the South profanity wants to be a minimum of seven syllables.

        4. It’s hardly mispronounce if it’s a question of regional idiom. Else practically everyone would be mispronouncing they’re respective mother tongue.

          Of course for me it actually makes more sense that way. Seeing as in German, my mother tongue, the P in Psyche and it’s related words is anything but silent. Staying true to the word’s roots on this one at least.

  9. I await the pain that shall be inflicted upon him with bated breath. Also, it probably wouldn’t hurt to pursue legal action against him. In fact, just do that. It’s hard to get sympathy from a judge if you’ve already kneecapped the person you’re suing.

    1. Smart course of action and seeing through a red haze don’t always go together very well.

      The smart thing to do that would still give some visceral satisfaction would be for Ellie to call her dad at work (if she remembered Danny’s number when she would’ve been calling it from the iNimbus all the time, she’ll remember her dad’s work number) and request assistance in a way that doesn’t clue in Danny if he’s listening. Then proceed to let one of them yell and vent by the door and the other go cover the windows for escape.

      Actually, growing up with Cinn and a father on the local police department, it wouldn’t be surprising if Ellie knew all the niceties required for making a citizen’s arrest.

      1. Usually, calling the police department and informing them of the altercation and the statement of a citizen’s arrest should be sufficient. But I’m no expert, and basics of that procedure needs to be revisited.

        1. There’s a good chance Old Guy already called the cops as part of his plan to get them evicted.

        2. I’m not sure how big Lakeland is, but if the cops were called from the noise of Alex’s beating, it’s within margin of error that they might be showing up soon. I could see it going that way, but on the other hand I’d have thought that Caleb’s entrance and toilet bowl cleaning should’ve caused enough noise for Tired Guy to call the cops as well from that reasoning, and they should’ve already responded if that were the case.

        3. I’m thinking about it from a different perspective. Tired Guy has been gathering evidence against Quinn since before his introduction in the comic. The website was feeding him even more evidence. At this point, though, he’d reasonably suspect they discovered they’re being recorded, which means he won’t be getting anything else out of the site.
          It’s exactly the right time to call the cops about a disturbance from upstairs. He’ll have one fight on video and the cops showing up to deal with another one.

        4. While he absolutely has it in for Quinn, I wasn’t sure if Quinn had personally pissed him off or she was just too loud. If the latter, Caleb would’ve triggered his ire as well.

          Although that does bring another possibility. If the Lakeland P.D. is used to a large number of complaints from Tired Guy, they may not be terribly concerned on promptness in responding to his calls any more.

          We did see that Tired Guy’s nephew was watching the fight, but we don’t know if Tired Guy did. However there do appear to have been enough viewers that it might not be surprising if one of them posted it to Shotgun Shuffle universe’s YouTube equivalent. That being the case it could come back and bite them years down the line as opposed to immediately. As much as it’s morally deserved, I doubt that the tape appears to be a legally justified use of that degree of force, so they could be looking at criminal charges if it comes to that. Especially tricky if Alex doesn’t mind admitting it (and refrains from sexual blackmail attempts for dropping the charges) and his rich parents decide to press matters (not sure Herb could really ignore it at that point, which he might be manage if Alex doesn’t want to admit getting beaten that badly by a couple of girls and keeps quiet).

        5. Now that I think about it, I could see Caleb using that video as an attempt at leverage to try to get them to leave the matter as removing the cameras, shutting down the site, and beating Danny, but leaving him and his site alone. I wonder if he thinks that fast or not and what Danny has up his not-actually-a-sleeve to try to pin things on Danny.

        6. I was trying to decide where she might fit in here, but I doubt she’s left Canada and Caleb wouldn’t have been gone or out of contact long enough for her to decide to follow. So I think she’s just remote assistance (such as capturing the feed of the fight on a computer Danny doesn’t control and that’s relatively far away from pissed off roommates).

      2. Now that I just read that again, and actually got the gist of it. I can’t see Ellie doing that for too long, especially when she would be sleeping with the one that she’d be arresting or calling the cops on. That would lead to a ton of sister haircuts once the offender got back home.

        1. Where did Ellie sleeping with someone come from? I think I lost your train of thought.

        2. The first image (a chibi) that we had of Cinn was her holding Ellie down for a haircut. Also, haircut vengeance isn’t exactly a subtle thing that you could hide from your parents, so retaliation for calling police that might let Herb influence outcomes would probably get fairly strong punishment back from Rosemary & Herb. Cinn might or might not have learned on that one, but any of the other sisters would have.

          However, Ellie could’ve had practice with third parties. For example helping clean up some of Tarra’s messes, over-ardent admirers [cough]Mr. Doogan[cough], potentially abusive former partners of Juniper’s, or people assaulting Cinn who looked like they were going to go a little too far (I mean I’m sure she’d overlook a minor assault, it is Cinn after all). All of those things have room for getting practice with citizen’s arrests.

        3. While I would not suggest direct revenge, Cinnamon is shown shooting a hamster into orbit. So, if it was Ellie’s pet at the time, it would have been a relatively short time between the gifting and the shooting. I’d say less than a day or two.

        4. Maybe, but Cinn tends to be misanthropic enough that if she’s not doing something for revenge she’d do it for boredom. I’d figure growing up with someone like her you might get at most 10% less bad things happening if you just keep your head down, and personally I’d rather get some hits in back enough to be worth the 10%.

    1. I was impressed by that, actually. Caleb ripped it right out of the hinges. On the other hand, that may help Quinn & Ellie’s case if they attack him as it might fall inward the moment they try to knock.

  10. Congrats to White Rice for predicting that Danny’s phone would be his downfall a while back. Apparently those walls really are paper-thin.

    1. I cannot find the appropriate “Man With Two Brains” clip. There is one, though. It’s funny. Trust me.

  11. Lol their faces at the end are just great. So I noticed that Quinn’s wireless is “SQNICKS”. Does that imply then that Quinn is her middle name and she has a first name starting with “S”? If so, LET THE SPECULATION BEGIN!!

        1. Well, it’s not an incorrect description, but I don’t think it’d be in character for Quinn to name something that anyone else would hear/know that way. I could see Ellie doing it, but doesn’t seem like a Quinn thing.

        2. Maybe it’s pronounced “Squick” because the ‘N’ is silent? Quinn could be a TV Troper. I mean she’s already reading comics in wiki summary form.

  12. Clearly the best thing to do at this point is to call the police. I realize that due to the nature of the comic the story isn’t likely to go this way, but confronting the creepy-stalker man who wired your house with cameras is probably a good way for someone to end up getting stabbed.

    1. Danny backs down fantastically quickly. I don’t think there’s much danger of him hurting either of the girls. The larger danger, if this were real life anyway, would be the difficulty of avoiding going from being the victims to being the accused.

      On the other hand, if Ellie does know summoning, she might have Dheu on dimensional speed dial to get rid of the bodies (still kicking or not). That, if Tired Guy doesn’t obtain evidence to the contrary, would just be a couple of unsolved disappearances.

      1. First, I purposefully worded it so that it was ambiguous who would be stabbing who. And second, we know a bit more about Danny than Quinn does at least, and possibly more than Ellie, so they might not expect him to be anti-violence. And third, he seems to big on talking, but if he’s actually backed into a corner, you don’t really know how he might react, which is the point. People who are obsesses enough to wire your house with cameras and secretly move in next door aren’t really rational.

        If you’ve never worked with mentally unstable people before, it’s remarkable how quickly they can go from nice and friendly to “I’mma shiv you!!!”, often out of nowhere.

        1. Ellie saw at least some of the paying off of Magpies, so she should have some idea. Possibly more of an idea than us since she saw more of him in those two months of “conventions.” She’s also not shy about fighting.

          Quinn probably doesn’t have much of any idea, unless Ellie had been venting.

          I also wouldn’t describe Danny as anti-violence, that sounds more in the Ghandi direction. I think he’s a coward, has had a lot of experience getting his ass kicked, very little experience ever winning a fight/conflict, and possibly not very physically strong or coordinated.

      1. Depends on just how big the department is. I wouldn’t think the Chief of Police needs to be in attendance at every crime scene personally, so it depends on if he is used to violating protocol or doing by the book when it involves one of his daughters (because you KNOW this isn’t the first time one of them has been involved in stuff).

        1. If I were the chief in this case, and anything with or associated with my daughters address, I’d send the black cop guy (from the mall evacuation) and or stand in the background and let him talk to the incident commander because of the need for impartiality. And to hold the crying daughter if needed. Maybe Mr. Not-Mine if she glomped on for the same after Lavender.

        2. Yeah, we saw Cinn being escorted at her introduction, and I’d be surprised if Juniper hasn’t occasionally woken up in the drunk tank. I’m sure Herb already knows how he handles daughter-related calls.

          If Ellie calls, I’d imagine she’d just call him directly, though.

          Although I think it somewhat unlikely due to anger levels, I was seeing her maybe call the department being sneaky in case Danny’s listening through the door, “Hi, this is Ellie Buckingham, is my dad in? Yeah, something’s wrong with my apartment and I figured since he does it for a living I’d see if he could come out and get it fixed.” Rusche would probably come up with better ambiguous dialog, though.

  13. I thoroughly enjoy the immediate reaction of “let’s go torch it”. I am excited to see where the story progresses from this point on. Verily, even beyond the current situation in which they have been presented. Now that they bloody moon of Fleetwood’s fiasco is about to fall, what dawn shall arise? Will there be someone who can show them a new horizon upon which they can lift forth a brilliant sun, or shall foes further perpetuate the reign of the moon and eclipse all that remains? Shall the stars navigate them beneath the shroud of night to find a new land where discoveries may be made, or shall clouds of doubt usher forth storms upon which they are cast ashore and stranded? Will no passerby on the road be even as a good Samaritan to a stranger, or do thieves lie in wait to steal what little they have? Shall no errant roam forth from a distant domain to aid them upon his/her travel, or does a deviant wait to prey upon their misfortune and beguile them into a sullied deceit and further destroy their hope? Such is the journey of their lives, of our lives. For on the road ahead of us there can be only one thing that is certain, our destination. Even then we may not know what entails our arrival to it, nor what it even is. Yet we move forward, we progress. If ever there was a universal tradition of humanity it is the ability to take one more step towards what we do not know in order to know it, live it, and learn where it can lead us to next. Whom shall follow whom,and where do they direct them. Such is the burdens of leaders to make new roads upon which humanity shall traverse into a new age. Who follows you and where do you lead them?

    1. If I had to guess, I’d say Ellie finally having that nervous breakdown that was hinted at due to finding out how popular the violation of her privacy was. Odds are it’d get her together with Blind Guy. He’s the only person she knows who she can reliably assume wasn’t a viewer.

      … I mean unless there’s some touchable version of the site, in which case Danny would have made way more than US $40K.

      1. Rusche did say Ellie’s next job after Danny’s escapades were finished would be with David. I’ve been assuming the breakdown too, and that Tarra asks David to help find a job for Ellie (that or they work together and Tarra hires her) to help her get back on her feet and not be in that position to be preyed upon. I’m also assuming that Ellie & David start dating and that’s where we see Tarra’s Envy wake up (and her speech bubbles change color to X’s).

        I’m not sure if David is Blind Guy or not, though. There have been at least hints that he might be (and I’ll be sad his full name is not Stephen Estabon Stevens, XIV but I expect to be sad about that at some point anyway), but I don’t recall if it’s been confirmed one way or the other.

        1. Hm. Good point, though Ellie doesn’t actually have to date David for him to prefer her to Tarra.
          I don’t think Blind Guy is David or there’d probably already be weirdness from him being Pumpkin’s English teacher. On the other hand that would be another explanation for Pumpkin summoning.

        2. Well, I’m assuming the speech bubble change is a pretty significant emotional change. Not sure what would put Tarra to that direction, and maybe I’m underestimating the degree she felt on a downward spiral from Anise’s haircut while she was unconscious (and might be after double mastectomy too), but I was thinking it might take a bit more than just preferring. Also with there being a good portion of coming of age for Ellie as part of the story and the hints that she’s done little to no dating, it seems like something that would be likely to come up at some point.

          As for the David being Blind Guy thing, there was a comment Rusche made either here or Patreon that I couldn’t tell if he was serious or joking. Additionally there was the “just a tutor with Tarra” comment by Rosemary and Rusche including a BG on the spreadsheet he had of sister bedroom arrangements by age. We’re also not sure how he went blind and if it could’ve been something he and Tarra were messing with. Nothing solid, but enough things that could be either breadcrumbs or coincidence. As for him being Pumpkin’s teacher, I’m not sure what would satisfy Rosemary in that regard, but possibly she’s less worried due to Pumpkin not showing any particular interest in boys.

        1. I’d have to consult with The Last Outlaw before I could answer that. Maybe That one guy could step in. Erik for sure, or boog even. It has been too long since I flew that A Wing through a squadron of Stormtroopers to remember. But since Caleb doesn’t have the initiative roll, it’s all defensive against an attack with superior will, firepower and girly bits.

  14. I wonder what the friendly apartment landlord will have to say about the smack down that is about to happen…
    Too bad it won’t be caught online.

    1. I’m assuming she already permanently “gifted” that to Alex. She’ll have to go with another otherwise humorous but becoming horrifying object.

        1. The superhero who can always pull more whisks from thin air sounds like one from The Tick.

  15. I don’t know if this has been done, just got back from a U.S. Navy WAVES memorial service.

    1. Ellie’s exasperated face in panel one. Two thumbs higher than up.
    2. Danny boy’s stronger wifi signal on the foyer compared to Quinn’s.
    3. That is stupid, leaving the truck in an abandoned lot.

    1. 1. All the faces in this one are spectacular!
      2. It’s those little details that show that really show the commitment of the artist.
      3. And yet we all predicted he would do so.

    1. Curiously, Tarra got another bump in power upon her passing… (I believe there was Jet Li film about this sort of thing…)

  16. Mwahahahaha! He didn’t turn off his ringer…such a rookie mistake (which many of us saw coming) Good show, good show.

  17. Rusche – So is Ellie’s reasoning here seems a bit spotty. Is it supposed to be in the direction of:

    1) Tarra-level capabilities if she stops being lazy,

    2) drawn from evidence that wasn’t shown in-comic (i.e. noticing a wifi network available on Pumpkin’s phone that wasn’t showing up on iNimbus or laptop, calling or messaging him with a question about the laptop or something and kinda’ hearing something that sounds too coincidentally close, or thinking she saw him in the building when getting mail or something but him being gone when she went to get a closer look),

    3) a combination of assumptions and lucky guesses that verified in the end,

    4) compressed because a comic big enough for the full reason would’ve crashed Photoshop again,

    5) or something else I haven’t thought of.

    1. There’s been a whole helluva lot of groundwork establishing that Ellie has an internet addiction since the first comic. I’d just chalk this up as a junkie picking up extra knowledge to help get them a fix.

    2. I think it’s a large part the first one- Rusche did an after-comic-commentary a while back explaining that the second 3 sisters are kinda like copies of the first 3, except that they all have some bad trait turned up to 11 that holds them back.

      1. I thought it was more like there was a key point missing. Juniper was Ginger without the sense of responsibility, Ellie was Tarra without the ambition, and Cinnamon was Anise without the childlike sense of wonder.

        1. It could be a combination of both, I think. And in some cases it might be hard to tell- is Ellie lacking ambition or is she more lazy? If the end result is the same, does it matter?

        2. That was posted under The Honorary One (22 April 2014). Rusche’s statement was “Ellie is a lackadaisical Tarra.”

          We’ve seen Ellie show promise in that regard as well, she mentioned breezing through all the honors classes Quinn found more challenging, and she does a much better job of out-thinking people in various ways than you’d expect at first.

          So I agree it’s definitely a possibility (and the post was the reason I considered it), I’m just not convinced yet that it’s the intended one.

    3. I don’t think it’s necessarily spotty or anything. She’s thinking about what would be needed to pull something like Danny did here.
      He needs a base, obviously, and he had to have the gear ready nearby due to time constrictions. She knew he didn’t have anything ready in his car, so the question about that was probably more to ascertain him still being in the vicinity. Now since he actually mentioned getting an appartment, it wasn’t that big a step to the suspicion he’d already done so and was running the show from there.
      And while he could be running the cameras from their appartment’s electricity, he would most likely need to get the feed wirelessly. Seeing as there were no obvious cables going from their appartment and just about any way of installing hidden ones would have waked at the very least one of them.
      Checking on a smartphone which can easily double as a wifi scanner is pretty much the next logical thing to do.
      And turns out there’s not only a new wifi network around they never noticed before. It’s also named after Dannyboy.

      All that is simply a testament to Ellie being perfectly able to use logic thinking (she is quite smart after all, just often too lazy to really use her brain) and to Danny being, well, “exactly that stupid”.

      1. She doesn’t have any real reason to believe he must be nearby, and she saw his van after the Magpies, but didn’t see it when he stopped by to drop off the laptop (and install the cameras), so it’s a flaw of reasoning to assume that he couldn’t have equipment in it (he just didn’t have equipment in it while she was around to notice it). There’s no real grounded reason for her to make that assumption with what we have here. Quinn’s assumption that he’d make himself scarce to avoid retribution makes a lot more sense.

        Checking wifi networks does make sense as the cameras would likely be wifi cameras, and with the confirmation of Quinn seeing the van a couple blocks away for a week and the wifi network name, calling him to see if his phone rings makes sense.

        1. Oh, he could have gotten the equipment from a (further away probably) appartment or place and loaded it in the truck after they parted, yes. But that’s not the point I think. The point is that he isn’t running the show from inside the truck. For installing the necessary equipment for that, if you want to do it right, takes quite some time and Ellie would have been able to spot at least the beginnings of it in the truck when they met.
          And mind you: From what we see, she did not expect him to be that close. Not at all, in fact.

          As for the rest, we are in agreement from what I can tell.

        2. There wouldn’t be a need for Ellie to see the truck when he showed up. Allowing for his renting the apartment before that night, say a few days. And since he left after Quinn went off jogging, Ellie would just assume that he’s gone. And since the truck was not there if and/or when she left, she would not have seen it anyway.

          I would bet that he bought the stuff and stored it in the truck near to the day that he leased the apartment. He could have moved the items up to the apartment in the early morning hours. Also, his long term plans could have had barrel living up there after a while had passed, allowing for the management of the site and letting Danny boy flee the scene and scout the next website star.

          But, we do see the short term events eclipsing those plans.

        3. Buying the cameras before he needed to seems risky to me. As long as he knew of a place to buy them on short notice, it makes more sense for him to buy them after parting ways with Ellie but before showing up with the laptop. Minimizing the time for Caleb to notice that account drain (also speed for getting money back in the account if he drew into a line of credit as I believe it looked like he might’ve done).

          @Lukkai – Considering it unlikely he could be running it out of his truck is a reasonable assumption, but realistically as long as he had the power and Internet taken care of he could run the site from anywhere in the world once the cameras were up and functional. He didn’t seem to be replacing the cameras McFatFat ate, so as of yet it doesn’t look like he actually did have a need for continued close proximity and the only thing he appears to be using it for is the ISP connection for the cameras. The last part of Ellie’s reasoning and her diagnostic steps of checking networks and calling him make sense and would’ve been expected. It’s the first part that’s making a leap.

        4. Here’s the twist, he still had the boxes. However all of the feeds have names. So it could be possible he did not show up with the laptop until the home base was prepared along with the cameras. But the boxes would make it easier to bring multiple cameras at a time after they were set up. He did have to rely on an all-nighter to pull it off. The logistics seems to require the acquiring of the apartment before the equipment was purchased. This also allows for the set up of utilities and his workstation.

        5. The physical side would require more prep than the electronic. It’s not odd for network devices to have their MAC address on a printed label on the outside of the box, along with their serial number. He had the key before he walked into Ellie’s apartment, so realistically doing a ping scan of the wireless IP range, using arp to check MAC, and then match to predetermined label could be doable fairly quickly. If I were doing that I think my limit would’ve been my typing speed. A quick script to scan the range for cameras and assign a label with each IP for a given list of MAC addresses would take under an hour (for my typing speed). Finding and setting up the application to access and display all the camera feeds would probably take me longer (though it’s feasible he’s had one of those done/setup for months).

          He also could’ve been working on some of those bits from his van before getting the apartment, too. A test site could be tested with two laptops and two cameras. The laptops wouldn’t be suspicious to Ellie in the van of a guy who’s job is working on a website, so all he’d have to hide is the cameras.

          He could actually probably set up the site using other people’s security cameras. There are websites where people post the feeds from security cameras that are addressable from the Internet and use no or default passwords (I think I heard there were >80k of them a few months ago). That would allow the lion’s share of the work on the site to be done before he rented the apartment and have no suspicious equipment for Ellie to spot.

        6. He still needs to get the feed from the cameras to his base first. Now he could have done so over the internet itself. But that would mean getting a high speed connection there (needed for that amount of data). Not easy to hide such a thing if you’ll have to leech it off somehow on the house’s data line.
          It’s really more reasonable to assume, he’s close enough to tap into the camera feeds directly from his base if you ask me.

        7. Yeah, but he can still do that in multiple ways. One is he could’ve gotten Ellie’s apartment key (see previous posts about services to copy keys from cell phone pictures) and found a time she and Quinn would be out and schedule maintenance as the apartment holder and called to change billing address. Another is he could’ve gotten someone else in the building to do the ISP connection for their apartment (same as he’s been bribing other people). Alternately, with Tired Guy there, he could always pitch it as a program for Internet for the elderly for the reason he’s getting Internet that Tired Guy doesn’t have to pay for installed to Tired Guy’s apartment, and when you’re getting something free less issue/concern for slowdowns.

          There are also the ideas we were coming up with using directed signals to other buildings and whatnot. Considering the building’s wiring probably isn’t the best and they’re at the mercy of local consumer cable & DSL, he could actually probably manage faster connection if he could find a business-wired building close enough for that.

  18. zOMG… those faces in the last panel. Hilarious. Though Quinn’s looking a little like Ashliii– perhaps Pumpkin is a duckface carrier who doesn’t suffer the symptoms.

    1. This is kind of a last minute suggestion, Rusche, but you may want to consider giving that door a little battle damage. Maybe put a faint crack line on the front, and show it was mended back together on the other side but only repainted on the front.

      Either that or slip in a joke about how Danny replaced it so fast.

  19. Yea verily, did the Sisters of the Scattergun visit much injury and painful agony upon the Douchious Baggius, using the same Power Whisk of Painful Beatings they previously used on the Dirtbagius Cheatarius Hippius’s chastisement. The Emprehess looked upon the bloodbath and was impressed. Thus did she speak to Canoness Tarragon the Impressive and have her induct Sister Quinn the Sarcastic into the Inner Sisterhood, joining Sister Ellie the Idle .

      1. A follow up report. After altering things a bit for text legibility at reduced size, I posted it. I almost immediately got a “where is that from?” message.

        1. Wapsi does have a large share of busty female characters and a few bra blogs along with the webcomic links along the side.

  20. I just saw a slight problem. And it concerns the two dorks behind the door.

    1. The girls are arguing, right? That’s got to be a bit loud. And I don’t mean arguing as in fighting, I mean as in “HOLY %$*&$&^” and “WTF” and other such exasperations that are usually said at a louder than normal voice.
    2. The douche bag’s cell phone can be heard coming from inside the apartment.

    Okay, I allow for the probability that had been mentioned earlier that the guys are going through the “OH $H*T” moment as soon as they saw the girls bolt out the door. Would they be laughing their a$$e$$ off, or are they so paranoid as deer caught in the headlights that the girls might just be passing within a hair breadth of their door as they leave. Did they assume that the girls are still running for their lives while “Tired Guy” is looking for them to be running away from his viewpoint through his perv window so that he could crow that he was the last guy to see them on the website? Are the guys, as suggested above, attempting to find another escape route that is either as quiet as possible, or one that loses not only the security deposit but all equipment in the apartment because of the Landlord putting a lien on them for recovery of damages, etc.

    Oh hell, dumba$$ put the peep hole camera on there not to see who’s at his door, but to spy on the girls as they were coming and going. That seems to say that he had not placed a camera out there on the landing. He did put one in the, I assume, common laundry room. And more than likely, that one is there would look like a normal security camera, or may have replaced the one that was there. Maybe spliced the signal to a wifi transmitter…

    But I digress. If the girls can hear the phone, can’t they hear the girls? But I guess that would be if and only if they were as quiet as church mice. I’m going to guess at least two to three minutes of time has passed since the iNimbus crashed through the closet door. No, four minutes minimum passed outside the door. I’d have to see the pacing blocked and rehearsed a few times to adjust for dramatic pauses, tension, etc.

    What would the boys do?

    1. Ritual suicide sounds like a good option, at the moment. Spilling their guts out, with a can opener, may be a less painful way to go.

      The cannuck could try to appease the Girls, and Quinn, by serving up D-bag on a platter, and explaining his purpose in coming down.

    2. I expect that Caleb and Danny had a whispered worried conversation when the shock of Alex’s retribution wore off. They may or may not be in the apartment (Danny might’ve been drug off without his phone, or forgotten it in his panic), but if they are then when the saw the girls book it out of the door of their apartment (and them standing there on the peephole cam), they wouldn’t have wanted to present themselves for retribution. Apartment numbers in the 300’s suggest third floor, so there probably has to be a fire escape to rent the place out. They could be running down that. However that depends on a lot of factors, such as how much they’re still paralyzed from shock/worry or how much Caleb is intending to offer Danny up as a sacrifice to get away versus just getting away as quickly as possible.

      1. It is on the third floor, but we also have the real world source to examine. And upon looking at the building(s) that makes up the girls apartment complex, it seems that the local building codes have backstair steps so there is the possibility that the third floor also has a set of stairs in the back as well.

        1. Yeah, I think it’s common for building codes regarding fire escapes to require more than one possible route, at least for commercial property.

  21. It could be a combination of both, I think. And in some cases it might be hard to tell- is Ellie lacking ambition or is she more lazy? If the end result is the same, does it matter?

        1. no the spork is to good for him he need to feel true pain. mite i sagest a 9 pound bowling ball.

  22. [Cheerleader powers activate]

    Okay. Nothing new to report on the tournament. Round 4 has not started yet.

    On the Top Web Comic list, we are currently 29th with 1,595 votes for this month (25 days down). That means that at least 64 people are voting each day. Or five people. Mr. Blur, Mr. That one guy, Mr. The Last Outlaw, Mr. Rusche who has access to only one machine to vote with and Steve, who is able to make a complete pass at the 59 computers and brunch lunch beer and martini cafe. He also happens to mix a mean reuben cocktail. Only 365.95 for that after teeth brushing with rum drink. Tip extra.

    He’s located next door to the flagship store of “Wolfman Pat’s Stickers and $h*t”

    1. Dear Diary it has been a week since the last update to the webcomic tournament, I fear they have forgotten about us, If they do not post something we will surely fade into obscurity.
      Like Sisyphus I am in hell.
      I fear this may be my last entry.

      1. Not to sound worried, but the deadline is midnight TOMORROW!! And this is the smallest voting block I’ve seen yet for our comic.

        C’mon people. Get up and vote! There’s some stiff competition coming out now and I don’t want to see us falter like the Blues just did in the playoffs.

        1. It’s 10 – 6 at 11:31 AM EST, and Dragon Army’s up against Rat and Salamander. Come on, Dragons! The enemy’s gate is DOWN!

        2. 58 to 21 now. But we’re only 9th in overall numbers. I mostly blame ComicMix for that, obviously, but there’s gotta be more supporters than that!

  23. So will they be going inside right away or have one stand by the door while the other goes back for the wisp?

      1. You hit the sweet spot for making a second page of comments too (logic is based upon number of top level posts, though I don’t recall what it’s set to for here nor did I count).

    1. Welcome. From past history, I’d guess one of the following:

      1) Rusche may be trying to put some finishing touches on some art for the comicmix.com contest and may be trying to coordinate that. With the deadline of midnight tomorrow, that might’ve jumped to a “need to do faster” priority than he’d been expecting. I’m guessing this is less likely, though, considering the lead time between end of voting and this vote.

      2) Rusche will often post if delays occur, but when the delay is an underestimation of the time required to finish coloring a post sometimes that estimate gets away from him and there won’t be a notice.

      3) While he’s more likely to announce it if he thinks it’ll impact schedule, Rusche does vary his comic sizes a lot when he can’t get the story he’s trying to tell in a single row of panels (note the comic we’re posting on is ~4 rows compared to nominal normal size). That can definitely cut into posting time, but most of us consider it a good call in the end.

      4) This comic was all of last week and was posted on Thursday (as opposed to Mon/Wed/Fri). Patreon’s two posts were posted as a single comic late Saturday (as opposed to Tues/Thurs). He was probably running behind to start with for this week. I believe I recall him stating a year or two ago that usually he had the week’s comics drawn by Saturday and then started the inking and coloring after that (that was back pre-Patreon with him aiming for 3 comics/week and usually at least one would be a double).

      5) Rusche is a single parent of two young children. Along with the fact that emergencies for them (which have been thankfully rare) trump the comic, having young children does expose a person to a whole lot more minor illnesses than the general population.

      So those are the general guesses. Most of us find it worth it to stick around, even if there are the occasional delays.

  24. Mr Blue – Not related to this comic, but continuing a previous conversation if you’re curious.

    Regarding exploit paths and JavaScript, a good example would be to search for ‘Operation RussianDoll site:fireeye.com’ and you’ll find a (probably more technical than you’d want) writeup of a currently active attack campaign that uses a Flash exploit and a Windows privilege escalation (that is not yet patched as far as I’m aware). This campaign targets random innocent other sites and uses them to infect users. As a note, APT stands for Advanced Persistent Threat and generally means a very persistent and almost certainly well financed attacker (i.e. probably nation state or maybe large criminal enterprise).

    Something the article doesn’t mention, which makes things much less comfortable, can be found if you check wordpress.org/news and look at the security advisory for the release of versions 4.2.1 (announced today, includes the statement “A few hours ago, the WordPress team was made aware of a cross-site scripting vulnerability, which could enable commenters to compromise a site”) and 4.1.2 (announced last Thursday, includes the statement “WordPress versions 4.1.1 and earlier are affected by a critical cross-site scripting vulnerability, which could enable anonymous users to compromise a site.”). Note that while RussianDoll happens to be a campaign I ran across today looking through the weekly US-CERT roundup (the lone MS Windows vulnerability not on the normal week looked odd to me, so I checked what it was about), it’s far from alone.

    This is why some of us block JavaScript even from sites where we trust the people running them. This kind of crap can and does hit anywhere and everywhere and even knowledgeable and well-financed 24/7/365 support teams get hit. Expecting any site to never get hacked is just unrealistic.

  25. Okay people. Mr. Blue here, in mega cheer leader mode. The good news is that I don’t have the uniform on. So there is that mental image to be thrown away. Nothing like blue jeans, t shirt and socks on my feet.

    The better news is that the next round (Round 4) of the March Mix tournament is up and running. The bad news is that this round is up at midnight Tuesday April 28th, 2015.

    What is odd, is that the regular heavy hitters have been pulling in their numbers. However, in this battle Shotgun Shuffle is currently 27 points ahead of Looking for Group. POH, GG, SSSS and NAV are dominating their battles as well as the numbers. In addition, Gaia is also pulling in big numbers but holds less than half of POH‘s totals.

    So, let’s hit the vote people.

    1. Interesting detail: I’m reading 13 of the 16 remaining comics. And 1 more (Gaia) is on my list, I just didn’t get to it yet.

      The Property of Hate and Stand Still, Stay Silent are the only two I do neither read nor have on my list at the moment.

      1. I was reading Girl Genius before I started in on Shotgun Shuffle. I picked up Grrl Power before they won the tournament last year. I did the dive for Property of Hate and I think that it’s on a similar bent as Dresden Codak as a well written philosophical tale for the modern masses. I will admit to reading a few of the ones on the list. But this one here, is my #1.

        1. so true thow lfg has ALOT of readers and i dont now if i can decide on this comic on that one o-o richard is just that epic

    2. Geez talk about a stealth round! I just cross-posted news about the brief voting window to the latest Patreon strip’s comment section. Rusche needs to make some mention of it at the top of the page for those who don’t read comments to see…

  26. Round four of the ComicMix tournament is up, has been up since yesterday, and will end at MIDNIGHT TONIGHT.

    The current standings are:
    Not A Villain (209) vs. Spinnerette (41)
    Sandra and Woo (47) vs. Questionable Content (92)
    Stand Still. Stay Silent (336) vs. Manly Guys Doing Manly Things (193)
    Twokinds (42) vs. Misfile (116)
    Girl Genius (221) vs. Two Guys and Guy (45)
    Supernormal Step (40) vs. El Goonish Shive (50)
    Shotgun Shuffle(108) vs. Looking For Group (26)
    Gaia (205) vs. The Property of Hate (325)
    Numbers in bold indicate leading at the time of this post.
    Voting ends tonight at midnight.

    1. If Shotgun Shuffle is able to beat Looking for Group in both the vote count as well as the donation amount to catch and pass at this time the amounts are $16.60 to catch up and $16.80 to beat Shotgun Shuffle in this round. We may be needing some donations to ensure a decent lead separation for the win.

      The next contender for either element in this round does seem to be The Property of Hate. They have been a very strong contender in every match up in ever round. Beating their opponents by well over half of their opponents score. (POH = OPX + 1/2(OPX)>N)

  27. Quinn, m’dear. Prepare the whisk!

    Quinn: But the first one’s all bent out of shape…

    Me: I know. It’ll hurt even more. *evil smirk*

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