Seems like they could all use a “divulging important secrets” roundtable.
Those girls need to set up a wiki, and fast… 🙂
I don’t think Monica’s computer can tunnel through the reality barrier to here.
nope, they just need to goto the library, and get the right book from phix… 🙂
Shelly was stuck in the forest all that time for a reason. Things didn’t unfold the way they did unnecessarily. Not even Brandi could grasp the full scope of it. Hell, Shelly herself didn’t until the very end.
Well, Brandi may be brilliant… but she seems to have the same inability most of us have.
She can’t know everything, and when her plans are made in ignorance of some crucial facts, the results could be Less Than Wonderful.
And when her plans are aimed to achieve such huge and sweeping ends, that is a scary thought.
We’re forgetting something. Brandi hooked up with someone. From that last comment it could mean the plan belonged to the other and was only helped by BRandi. If the chesmaster sits inthe background moving pieces it needs a willing piece onthe board to help. Spawn many plans and the piece won’t know all of them. Right now I think the super planned could be Phix or Paul.
The Super Planner is the Eich.
Paul is the Eddorians.
The real planner behind the planner…
Ever read “Backstage Lensman” by Randall Garrett? It’s all about the strawberries…
Maybe they’re co-planners though. 🙂 That way Brandi’s not being moved around like a “willing game piece”, but she still may not be aware of all the facts.
I do agree though…I want to know who she made a deal with…
The real question about the deal is not just who she made it with but from which timeline she did it.
So–that means a plan that deliberately has some loose ends left open might be better (in most cases) than one without loose ends–so that the next plan/modification can use those loose ends?
Leaving loose ends gives you room to maneuver.
Any attempt to tie them all up will leave you inextricably bound to the results of the Law of Unintended Consequences and by extension Finagle’s Law.
OK I think a WTH? is appropriate. Has Brandy actually done some trans-temporal masterminding? Paul is truly a master of the mid-week cliffhangers.
Given the fact that Brandi had free access to the library -which apparently has a portal to the timeforest, and is outside time too- it is not inconceivable that she observed some loops, drew her conclusions and tried to find a solution that would fix all, her diary being only one part of all the cogs.
just my E0,02 though
Then how did she know Shelly could survive for 80,000 years under the right conditions?
Golem is crazy. Take her shopping for clothes. All better!
Of course… Bud probably avoided telling Brandi that Shell was a sphinx for a very good reason.
Yeah, I think You hit the spot here.
Bud&Brandi lived closer than even twin-sisters would, and that for aeons, so, yes, I guess Bud knew of Brandi’s intelligence, but also of her precarious mental state.
It seems logic that Bud -ever the practical one- kept things from Brandi, knowing that when Brandi gets too much info, shit starts to happen..
2 potential thoughts come to mind.
1) Brandi’s used to dealing with immortal beings, and it slipped her mind that Shellys don’t live that long.
2) Brandi’s visited the Sphinxes realm regularly (Phix’s library) and noone there ever seems to age, despite being mortal. Brandi may have forgotten/not-known that only Sphinxes don’t physically age in their realm, and assumed the not-aging effect would apply to Shelly during her stay as well.
3) Brandi’s playing dumb to throw-off Monica.
That was… three. But since this scene seems at least partially to be a critique of pedantry, I should not point that out. 😉
Yeah, it’ll be a warm Minnesota winter before Paul decides “I don’t like who I am” is his definitive authorial statement on women. Brandi needs help and is reaching out in the best way she knows how. Sadly, this involves manipulation, but she is honest about that part at least.
Still, “I have your back but can trick you into cutting out your tongue,” is not very conducive of… bonding. If her self-imposed loop of obliviousness has narrowed to cognitive dissonance within the same sentence, she needs help fast.
Aaand paragraph 2 belongs with your response in the thread below. QED Asperger’s!
Yeah, I worded that weird. I mean to convey the first 2 items = Sonicthunder’s thoughts coming to mind, but admitted the previously commented notion that Brandi’s just toying with Monica (stated by several others already).
I just in no way properly phrased that. My old HS English Teacher would be busting out the yardstick about now.
no… “42”… that’s much better than just plain ol’ “two” don’t you agree?
I think Paul has alluded that normal Sphinx like Phix are immortal in our world. Shelly is a hybrid like a mythical demi-god (In most stories they had a human span but super human powers) so she has a life-span anywhere but the time forest.
That’s correct. =)
Aw $#@%! And here I thought Jin was the most dangerous member of the three and here it turns out that Brandi may very well be the scorpion hiding under the rock.
Thanks to you I now am hearing a conversation that Brandi might have:
Brandi: And I shall call him Mini-Me!
Tepoz: That’s it, I’m out of here.
This almost sounds like Brandi is almost as unstable as Jin was. You know the old saying that one step beyond Genius is Insanity — only I’m not exactly sure which side of the line Brandi is on.
The line is irrelevant. It is merely a figment of your imagination. There is no line. There cannot be genius without insanity (although you can have insanity without genius). Muahahahahahahaha.
Casey: it’s a perception thing… most today would think you are mad to think the world is flat, but back in the dark ages (??) you would be thought mad for thinking otherwise…
It’s usually a good idea not to take my mad ramblings seriously. One guy took them seriously back in high school, and he woke up three weeks later in the middle of a desert, chained to a monkey!!
It’s like Schrodinger’s Box. We _really_ don’t want to open it and find out.
yes, well, the thing with schrödingers box is, the longer you wait, the worse the outcome for the cat will be.
..or not, and both at the same time 😉
No, there’s no question that there is a cat in Schrodinger’s box. It’s a thought experiment to bring quantum entanglement into a Newtonian scale.
But it’s about the moment of potential death for the cat. Trapped in the box long enough, the question about the cat’s life becomes moot.
That’s what I meant. Worse and not worse outcome at the same i.e. in-between state, not having looked if the isotope killed, or not killed the cat.
Only looking/observing will solidify either state. Buut..yes, just a thought-experiment, advanced calculus, so to speak 😀 , but very useful in visualizing.
Sadly completely misunderstood by the new-age community that ran away with the “observer” – bit. (And Yes, I read Brian Greene, Kaku, the never ending time of being dead etc. etc. all of them touching upon the false assumptions that laymen have about quantum physics.)
Shoot! I meant to say “Quantum theory is just advanced calculus..etc ” grrmbll..
I sincerely hope this is a cue for Brandi to go in for meditation classes and not just left as some statement that it’s for everyone’s good that smart girls should just try harder to pretend to be dumb.
On the other hand, the ploy to confess to then misdirect Monica seems to be working.
I don’t think it was meant so much to be a sexist bash against women. Especially considering the genius intellects we already see being passed around the group (Jin, May, Phix, and even Monica).
Brandi’s just the only one of the geniuses uncomfortable with her own talents. It’s her own insecurity. Similar to a “Good Will Hunting” scenario. She’s got enough natural talent and sheer genius to reshape the world, but she’s not comfortable using her gifts for fear of what she could possibly do or fail to prevent, and is far more comfortable and happy leading a simple, mundane existence.
She really does seem to be afraid of what she might do, if she allowed her intelligence free reign to work. She thinks she’s a potential disaster waiting to happen, a mental bomb waiting to explode.
A beautiful mind… mined.
[reposted from above for clarity]
Sonic Thunder: Yeah, it’ll be a warm Minnesota winter before Paul decides “I don’t like who I am” is his definitive authorial statement on women. Brandi needs help and is reaching out in the best way she knows how. Sadly, this involves manipulation, but she is honest about that part at least.
But, is it really a ploy? Brandi might still be rather in a state of shock from the unexpected things she has learned in the last day… and as has been noted, she may just be thinking out loud without real consideration of the impact on Monica of her mental maunderings.
In other words, she (Brandi) is confoosed… and therefore so is Monica.
Especially since Monica HAS to dissect everything she’s told until it makes sense, and she ALWAYS takes things to heart, Brandi’s just torturing her here, intentional or not.
yUP, SHE’S “MOTORMOUTHING”(OOH i LOVE THAT WORD, NOW i KNOW IT IS AN ACTUAL WORD)
aaaand i really really hate being ambushed by my caps-lock.. 😛
Brandi is just going on and on without noticing Monica’s bewilderment(yup, another aspie-trait)
I’m confused. So Brandi did not know about Shelly being a sphinx. What would she have said if that wasn’t the case?
I think that the case of Shelly being a Sphinx is important here because if Shelly had lived her normal mundane life in real time she would probably never have developed her Sphinx abilities and just lived a normal life. By spending the 80,000 years in the Time Forest C.G. (we really need to give her a name) and Shelly developed to their true potential and only in that way.
C.G. has a name, she’s Connie. (diminutive for Conscience)
I was also reminded today (when skimming the last couple of years’ strips in the archive) that there was an issue that was raised and hasn’t been resolved… and I suspect Shelly’s sphinx-nature may be important.
Bud and Shelly were getting ready to go to Ireland to search for the artifact, and Shelly wasn’t feeling confident about doing it. She had a short vision-conversation with Connie, in which Connie said that it wasn’t just about Jin… that there was “a little girl who saw the fire-wall” and became entangled in the Chimera, and who doesn’t even realize that she’s dead.
Connie suggested that Shelly’s quest for the artifact could be, in part, about saving that little girl… and that was part of what spurred Shelley to say “I’ll do it!”.
Have we heard anything about that, since then? Who was that (identity)masked little girl? Was that just a second reference to Jin somehow, or is there someone else out there left to save, and perhaps Shelly-as-sphinx is the one to do it?
Or am I (like M and Brandi) a bit confused, and missing something?
Yeah…I was wondering the same thing. I don’t understand how it was a good plan to send Shelly to the Time Forest for 80k years now that we know she’s sphinxy.
Then again, Maark30’s explanation has merit…
I think I’m with M on this one. I have no idea what’s going on anymore. (Quietly takes a comfy chair in Confusion Corner of Mucho Mocha).
Cheers. I was over in the Understanding Booth yesterday. but flipped that table out the bay window…
sorry Tina, I’ll pay you back in labor.
I suppose there are several reasons a person would suppress their own intelligence. Outside of fear of yourself, I have also seen a desire to still be surprised by life.
I can relate. I hate the fact that haunted houses don’t scare me like they do my friends, just because I’ve been the guy chasing them down the hallways before..
Whereas haunted houses still scare the poo out of me, even though I know that the “monsters” are just people in costumes acting a part…and even though I’m smart enough to figure out in advance where every “jump out at you” moment will be. Still scream like a little girl every time.
It doesn’t help that fear seems to be one of my stronger and less “influenced by intelligence and logic” kind of emotions. This may well be true for loads of people, but it’s definitely noticeably strong for me. I can’t watch movies or games that wouldn’t scare most people just because I’ll have nightmares for several days.
Oddly enough, love (the emotion that’s supposed to be blind) is something I’ve always disected in a cold, detached, and logical way. That’s the one that I end up being jealous of people’s ability to be swept up in…I never have been. 😛
yep. I get that way too. The Messengers, a mild horror/thriller and I couldn’t sleep well for almost two weeks. As for love, I fall hard, but then from that point on everything is a game of chess, and I suck at chess…
“Tina and you, would be dead”
Wonder how exactly this applies. Wager it has to tie back into the car accident between Monica+Bus+Tina that Brandi caused, but how exactly does that plug into Shelly’s transportation to Sphynx Forest and acquiring an alternate Vamina Cell for Jin?
Wait… between Monica’s “headlights”, both Monica’s and Tina’s already dying, the “empty shell” effect we’ve seen both Monica and Tina display when their demons are absent…
Pure speculation, but did Brandi keep Monica and Tina 2.0 alive in their ‘unique’ middleground states via the use of another Vamina cell? In which case, it’s removal from the equation would have resulted in both individuals dying?
Yeah, I’m grasping at straws. Brandi’s randomly feeding us a bunch of one-liners that’ll serve to entertain the next year’s worth of plot now. (>^_^)>
I am getting the idea that Brandi is getting flooded with information from her other selves and mixing up the events in the 57 time lines. Maybe a sort of Trans Temporal Dementia.
Dementia? More like trans-temporal buffer-overflow. The waiting is just for a Hyper-intelligent Golem’s blue-screen,(I will not jinx it by calling it a Blue-screen “of death”… 😛 ) barfing all bits&bytes out in one unitelligible mess..
That is an interesting form of mental clutter though. Unlike Jin, who has just actively experienced identical scenarios again and again and again, Brandi’s only experienced them once, but has the memories of other Brandis experiencing them to (to the extent her reading=memory has progressed, we’re not 100% sure).
And judging by Jin’s and Phix’s comments on the past cycles, people’s personalities differed from cycle to cycle. Meaning Brandi has memories of eras that didn’t happen from a point of view that wasn’t necessarily her own (at least, the her that she is now).
Finally, Brandi may have memories of past versions of herself having the memories of past versions of herself, who’s memories she also has. There’s got to be a some murkiness on which memory of which scenario is which cycle’s Brandi’s…
Oh no I’ve gone cross-eyed.
CM Loop Brandi in loop 56 conspired with Tina’s demons to get get those two into the accident, if she hadn’t done that, then Shelly would probably been found by Jin sooner than she was and C.G. wouldn’t have been created and then none of this would have happened, is the way I’m taking her statement. if Monica was dead way back then, then who got Shelly involved in all this NOW?, and consequently, Shelly would never even had to go to the time-forest in the first place, aaand no “irrelevant” 80K years there… etc., etc.
Very good. That sounds right.
See, crazy eyes waning by end of second panel. Pretty soon she’ll be right as rain, but probably not without some help from her friends (at least I hope so).
I do wonder if she was unaware of Shelly’s condition because time for her in the forest was running in the opposite direction. Convergence?
That is the idea that made me think that she is mixing up the information of the 57 timelines.
That and the fact that the first Shelly disappeared and never came back until this timeline so her notebook would have no information on this. I think that Phix might have been the only one to know the truth about Shelly.
That could be. For that matter, perhaps she is in contact with all 56 other versions of herself from all cycles. Sort of a Borg common mentality thing. Also, a golem is a very powerful entity. Could Brandi be actially manipulating reality in an on-going basis? Is her mind warping physical reality according to whatever her current plan might be? Not so much manipulating others, but controlling the timeline itself? If she thinks too much, things tend to start going wrong because she second guesses herself.
This would be about the time everything suddenly physically changes in most stories, indicating the controlling entity modified it’s “plan,” adjusting reality in the process. Hopefully not here, however.
😮 scary thought. Could be though. I’ve learned to expect the unexpected with our favourite minnesotan writer..
It could be that Brandi is actually happy there is something she didn’t know worked-out (“that plan”)
I would looove to see a heart to heart between a somewhat more lucid Brandi and Shellinx, both in their “beast-shape” Would make a great splash-page. 😎
So… Brandi knew nothing of sphinx-kind over the millennia? Or was Shelly’s armored-vehicle physique just not ringing any bells? Or is she lying today.
Maybe this is what happens when you strike a deal with your emotions instead of your intellect.
Anyway. Here’s a heart-to-heart between Brandi and Shelly I’ve always liked.
That is one of Paul’s best works. If you didn’t know anything about the story it would just be another monster chasing someone scene. But knowiing it’s actually a friendly game makes it all the better. Now we need an update with Shelly playing in her sphinx form.
We have to remember that the line-up of our team here was not always the same. In several of the timelines Monica did not exist since her Grandpa was with Jin and didn’t meet his future wife (and Monika’s grandma) in them. Jin has also mentioned the friendships were different in the other loops as well. That and only One Shelly turned into a Sphinx, all the others most likely disappeared and died in the Time Forest.
Well, technically Shelly 57 was the only one of which we know who turned sphinx. It’s possible others did as well but simply vanished from existance upon the next reset or went their own way at some point after turning. Could also be some are still lurking about in the TTF, having completely forgotten their prior existance.
Of course that’s all conjecture. The pile of skulls Paul showed in one panel back then may have been his way of indicating all the others died there in some way.
Shellinx sorta implied that the others had died in the Forest, saying that she;d been stuck cleaning up the mess afterward.
*eats muffin in cofusion corner*
i like muffins..
*joins Paula, while shaking head in exasperation, desperately trying to prevent overheating pea brain*
Yes, this seems to be one of those times to hand in your thesis, then just sit back and wait for the next comics (as well as getting your failing grade for being way off base). Things are so terse and disjointed here, further speculation seems pointless. Unfortunately there are only two more this week and things are likely to become even more complicated and confused, not less, as we get the Friday cliffhanger.
Oh … I’ll have a blueberry. Banana if you’re out of blueberry. If you’re down to okra muffins again, then just forget it.
I brought brownies! 🙂
I learned about Okra in world of Warcraft…
They put it in muffins too?
Try a zucchini bread muffin, That is a taste treat too.
Forget muffins, this calls for a deep-fried banana on a stick.
and a Carmel mocha, with milk, whipped, and rainbow sprinkles.
I’ll settle for a couple of aspirin and a glass of water to wash them down. For some reason, I have a headache …
Wait for it… waaaaiit for it… (ultimate shocker and Brandi total flip-out, that is..)
Her rambling seems to indicate that she is stuck in an infinite loop of choices she cannot make because of moral consequences, but has to make.. poor thing.
Curveballs make her freeze because they represent potential moral or ethical mistakes. Good call.
But there will always be curveballs, even excluding all other minds and living creatures. Brandi was not so hard to exclude from involvement, and the wiser versions of herself understood this.
Some refer to this as “toxic option shock”
Despite her flaws, Brandi is a sensitive soul, so I am expecting a serious break-down and some serious crying in a bit.
She is thinking outloud ,stringing all together, and will snap out of it, realizing what it al means. The suffering dealt to Shelly, Monica et all..
I got a feeling that she’ll get just as overwhelmed as when she and Bud found out that all destruction and suffering dealt through the Chimera wasn’t just a nightmare, but something they actually did.
Their crying and shock, and shame wasn’t feigned, it was very real.
This..well, this feels a bit like that moment. The sudden realization of what actually transpired ,and her role in it.
(Just before plasma wave)
Lanthian Priest 1: So the overthinker, the psycological wreck, and the pigeon-holer… good job on assembling the Chimera guys…
Lanthian Priest 2: I’M AB- *sizzle*
Lanthian High Priest: Nowww you’ve done it this time– *sizzle*
Junior underpriest in the Research department: “Uh, sir, that smudged spot on the scroll which we thought said ‘torture’? We managed to clean up the glyph and it actually says ‘teach her’. I hope this doesn’t reflect badly on what our annual performance review…”. SIZZLE
hahaha I can imagine that being the case. XD
“*self-loathe self-loathe* wait, what? oh, that’s alright then. :)”
Is it just me, or is it about time for a reset? “Byzantine” doesn’t begin to describe this nest of snakes…
Or, maybe, it is just me…
No, it’s not you… it is complex… but I don’t think we’re in for a reset. Paul doesn’t seem the type to fall back in that strategy (which is a bit of a copout).
I expect he has a path plotted out in his head to bring us through the brambles, and that he’s setting us up for that. Not unlike Brandi with her diary…
I agree that we’re not in for a reset, but I wouldn’t expect this to ever be completely explained, either. A lot of times things are explained only very vaguely. This bit even has a time travel paradox in it that is, of course, impossible to explain adequately. We’ll probably just move on.
Paul does seem to love the “Spaghetti Incident” trope.
Oops, I’m an idiot, I meant Noodle Incident. (that and I can never get the hyperlinks to work on this forum). http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/NoodleIncident
I mean I cant get them to work once I change the name lol.
(Just ignore the freak in the corner counting the tiles.)
Not to mention Calvin’s book: Hamster Huey and the Gooey Kablooie!
Yeah, well, Calvin’s dad did seem to get rather tired of having to read him the same story over and over and over and over…
Hey, did anybody check to see if Hamster Huey and the Gooey Kablooie, and Brandi’s diary, have the same ISBN code?
It seems Brandi might be suffering from the too many to choose syndrome. The more info Brandi has the more potential outcomes she can predict. When she has too much info, she sees all the things that can happen and has to choose an action or inaction. It must be a horrible problem for her when all the actions or inactions result in something bad happening to someone. So no wonder she wants to keep uninformed.
Oh thank goodness someone pointed it out.
She’s got the second guessing syndrome. Every damn time she choose something she jotted notes down in her book for how to fix it.
Now that the calendar machine is done looping there is no other chance to fix anything.
Her big question here is DID SHE GET IT RIGHT THIS TIME?
The machine is gone so she’s pretty sure this is the right outcome. No body count, CG, Sphinxing.
Sounds good considering all the other alternatives she wrote about in that book of hers.
If you think she sounds disjointed here, I can only imagine what it’s like to read it from the point of view from 57 other frantic various mental states of herself.
At least Brandi knows she doesn’t like who she is when she thinks too much–that’s often the first step toward change. Now comes the hard part–learning to make the actual changes needed.
Of course, she does have plenty of time.
She already knew that and already made a change, according to the story. She avoids thinking too much by remaining intentionally oblivious, according to what she said on the previous page. It would be better if she found another solution, though.
According to the cast page, she doesn’t have these problems in the first place.
One thing I’ve learned about web comic cast pages is that they are out of date. Even if the comic only started yesterday, the cast page is still out of date
That’s because the cast page web server is out in the time forest…
True, but normally they don’t get things so backwards. In this case, it had me thinking that Brandi was just faking the excuse about freezing up last January and that she probably had no excuse for not helping all this time.
Brandi, it’s good to see that the mantle of Roseann Roseannadanna has passed to a worthy recipient.
Interesting that Brandi is more concerned about the power of her mind than the power of her body. I think for that reason more than any other she should cultivate it. Her intelligence is still there. She can till connect dots. But by intentionally choosing ignorance, her biggest problem becomes not knowing what she doesn’t know, which is the biggest potential danger.
But she still gets to take it out on Bud when she finally finds out what was going on after the fact. 😆
I think you meant Emily Litella–that is, if you’re thinking of “never mind” and not “it’s AL-ways SOMEthin'”, which was Roseanna’s line.
You are quite correct. My bad.
Do the GGs have their own Confusion Corner?
Corner? With Jin’s financial scamming of the Politicians, I imagine that the GGs can probably put together enough cash to buy more than a Corner!
They could invest in a whole State of Confusion. Hell, I’d lease a corner of it from them… I spend enough time renting space there to make it a good deal.
The observant may have noticed that i have not been my usual chatterbox self in these comments.
That’s because the last couple of pages creep me right out.
Almost as much as the moment in John D. MacDonald’s The Girl in the Plain Brown Wrapper when Travis McGee, as part of taking down the villains, needs to conceal the death – an apparent suicide – of a girl who fell five stories onto comcrete.
He wraps her in heavy brown pper filched from a construction site next door to the hotel she fell from, and finds a place in the foundation where he can hide her body for a while.
To fit her in, he has to bend her sharply at the waist.
And then it hits him that he can’t recall if she was face up or face down…
Oh, thank you, I don’t think. I could have gone the rest of my life without that image in my mind!
It’s a great series.
“We had to snap him in half like a frozen dog to get him out of the capsule….”
-MST3K, Night of the Blood Beast
I think we are beginning to see the ultimate price of immortality. Brandi, Jin, and Bud have all had a number of moments in the comic where they seem to lose their sense of reality and they babble on about some the most painful, violent parts of their long ‘existences’. We also see what happens to an immortals sense of having a conscience. They all seem to develop God complexes, where they attempt to manipulate mankind for the ‘greater good’ even though that greater good seems to devolve into the deaths of million of people in just a very short time span. In the end…immortality is a curse.
I didn’t know Brandy was Polynesian. Look, she has rocker jaw.
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