O_O . . . Ugh, poor Brandi! 🙁
Wow. Every time we learn a bit more about what happened to them, it turns out to have been even more abominable than we had realized before.
If there’s a Hell of the classic sort in the Wapsiverse, certain Lanthian priests must be featured “guests” therein.
Wow again. I know it’s only a story, and I’m still gonna have trouble sleeping well tonight.
Oh I suspect her whole story gets worse. And I don’t just mean the parts we’ve already heard.
Her whole backstory gets worse, that is. I still trust Paul is a subcreator who shows favor on the pursuit of happiness.
i’d like to think the priest thought brandi would see the baby and stop…
Hmm … we posted the same thought at the same minute. All I can say to that is, GET OUT OF MY HEAD!
you have cookies 🙂
LOL! Thank you, Paula. I needed that this morning. 🙂
no, to not value human life, to the extent of using defenceless babies to save your own, THAT is really evil… 🙁 🙁
cookies??? cookie monster want!!!! 😀 😀
In the context of the time, it was normal practice. How many stories are there of the slaughter of the innocents? Slaying all the first born, for example. Wiping out villages of all living things. It’s even in the Bible. And this was often done by the so-called “good guys.” It would not be unusual for this or that soldier to carry out such things on orders. Regardless of his personal beliefs in the matter, he would do it. Heck, it was common practice for mothers to kill their female babies in times of famine. Life was cheap then, and now.
This tale is a bit odd, however, in that the priests came to arrest her? It seems like they would have brought some heavies along to do the actual capturing, while they stood safely in the background. To me, the likely events would be that one of the priests rushed forward and picked up a child to use as a hostage but inadvertly held it in the line of fire while attempting get Brandi to see it. To her this would be looked on as shielding. Remember, they have gotten the facts wrong before, as in Jin deserting out on them.
Hope you brought enough for everyone…
cookies, that is…
Aren’t mind cookies limitless?
If Illiad wants mind cookies, does that make him a zombie cookie monster?
what you mean?? cookies is cookies!!! nom nom nom…
what mind? ahhh, you mean think about cookie! 🙂 🙂 :p dont think, eat! nom nom nom…
mind cookies limitless? no, just make you hungry, so eat all cookies, as bad as Monica with custard… :p
even worse, no cookies left ! 😮 😮 😮
Huh? Waitaminit … The priests were male? I thought Lanthis was a Matriarchy… Was the whole Chimera thing some sort of coup planned by the lower caste of male clergy?
Yes! Definitely an “Oh, sh1t!” moment.
It wasn’t your fault…
In her head it was.
And always will be.
Hmm.. Might explain Brandi’s hesitance towards direct action, indeed… If an instinctual reaction has such a horrible result.
My goodness… What a burden to carry along for centuries.
Also, we get a better picture of Brandi’s “vow” to never, ever kill, or accept killing whatsoever. Which in turn makes her shame about wishing the priests gutted all the more poignant.
And conspiring with Monica’s demons to kill Tina, as i recall…
Which would most certainly add to her feelings of guilt.
Sjeezz.. The classic moral conundrum : is it allright to kill 1 to save many? ( whole time lines of people, no less)
tina and monica demons
i suspect tina was there simply to stop the bus from stopping quicker to ensure monica got hurt.
the fact she died – well… didn’t monicas demons say that they were trying to kill her or something? its their job.
I thought she worked with Tina’s Demons to chase Monica, in the result killing Tina. Thats why time stopped for Tina 2.0. She wasn’t alowed to kill anyone, but she did, she killed her host.
Jay-Em: It depends if the needs of the many outweight the needs of the one … or the few…
but of course, that one needs to have a reason to be killed…
you could go back in time to kill hitler at the age of 1 month, but someone else would eventually do the same deeds …
@Knighttrap: No, demons are allowed to mess with their own host. That’s their job. They aren’t allow to mess with any host not assigned to them, though. Tina’s demons were punished for helping Monica’s drive Monica in front of the bus. (If you think about it, if Tina’s fear was messing with Monica, maybe Tina wouldn’t be frightened enough of running into something while she was driving.) The rogue demons were also punished because they went through Monica to mess with other people.
Illiad, I’m rather of the belief that doing evil to achieve good always backfires. So, killing Hitler at age one (month, year, day) would lead to worse evil yet.
bmonk: do the research! 🙂
Adolf’s older siblings – Gustav and Ida – died in infancy, so his death at that age may not have been seen as unusual..
illiad, but what does the killing do to the killer? What if somebody else “steps up to the plate”?
What if that somebody else was a better general than the German corporal, and managed to win the war?
It took me a day, but I found the quote I was looking for. This one has Jin’s Doubt telling Monica that Tina’s Demons chassed Monica in front of the bus. http://wapsisquare.com/comic/funnyhuh/
Also a few pages before this, Shelly tells Tina that, the reason that Tina is stuck is because she hurt Monica.
As for the part where demons are assigned to a host and only interact with that one, we’ve seen Monica’s doubt mess with Jin and vice versa.
Where in the series did Brandi make said vow?
“Vow” in quotes. She’s been only eating veggies, and tried saving every fly she finds. ‘To be the person I would want to be,’ or some close paraphrase. But I doubt she’d try a literal vow, being a programmed golem. Just doing her best not to lose it under the gift of free will.
back when Brandi was talking to Shelly about her plan for “fixing” the CM, about the dagger/key thingy. all because she didn’t want to
Considering the job Brandi was being recruited for, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the priest did grabbed the baby on purpose–the first piece of ego-destroyed pain and degradation.
From Wikipedia: The predecessors of the flying vimanas of the Sanskrit epics are the flying chariots employed by various gods in the Vedas…
Its funny, cuse I’ve seen this popping up all over the history channel for the last few months. Always cool when I see something on TV and something I read talking about the same thing.
That is one of the most painful ways to be captured that I can think of. If that is what happened when she was last human, when she didn’t have the power to protect those who needed protecting, I can certainly understand her reluctance to go back.
And suddenly so much makes sense about Brandi.
The obsessive bit with the flies…
I didn’t know larvae needed a nursery, but I guess that’s how she started…
and the reason why she is the “House Mom” for the other GGs
And why she slept inside of Bud, forming an inverse maternal bound….
That never occured to me. Now that it does, I find the concept rather nauseating.
You just gotta love them Lanthian priests. Bunch of caring song souls they are……NOT!
And we thought Bud and Jin had problems with their past…
Bud, in her furious rage, killed many thousands and slagged a civilization.
Brandi, in fear for her life, inadvertently took an innocent life and betrayed a trust to protect.
I cannot even begin to fathom which of those two sorts of guilt would hurt worse. They’re both so… well, saying “huge” is so inadequate…
why do peeps say it was bud who did that?
do you not think maybe brandi might have been a tad miffed also?
At some point Paul explicitly stated that it was Bud’s rage that drove the chimera.
I didn’t see him say that, but this may be a hint that Bud’s rage and Brandi’s despair and horror drove the Chimera. Those emotions might have magnified each other.
Monica said that Jin couldn’t control the “anger and pain of the other two.” Maybe Bud supplied the anger and Brandi supplied the pain. I thought they both did both, but it might not have been evenly balanced.
@Paula – I was saying that Bud did it, because that’s how she sees it herself: in this strip she declares that she knows that her anger was what fueled the chimera’s destruction of the Lanthians and “blew the world back into the Stone Age.”
Brandi’s contribution to the mix seems to have been one of horror and despair… which is maybe less of a “striking out and destroying” sort of thing.
In a way, Bud reminds me of Kevin Uxbridge.
Bud and Brandi didn’t have any free will once they were turned into the Chimera so neither of them were responsible for what it did. They understand that now.
Brandi isn’t responsible for a priest using a human shield. It was doomed anyway, thanks to the Chimera. It happened 12,500 years ago. I realize that Brandi was shut down for some of that time, but at some point she needs to get over it.
Not to be snarky, but until you’ve killed an innocent or were unable to save one, you can’t say that with authority.
This is a link to my review of David Drake’s novel Redliners. Drake wrote it as a catharsis – for himself and a lot of guys like him – and i try to get at the underlying themes, one of which is a need for some way of letting things like that go.
Scroll about halfway down the page to the paragraph where i compare the cover art to a photo from Iraq…
Well heck, where this story is concerned we can’t say anything with authority. It’s supernatural fiction. Additionally, saying one has to experience something to render a valid opinion on it means we can’t have proper opinions on murder, for example, because we have not murdered anyone.
Oh my God…
Just… Oh… my… God…
I can’t even IMAGINE that kind of guilt… jeez, Paul…
Indeed. What a horrible, horrible burden.
It takes a special type of diseased mind to turn propriety into corruption.
Hugs for Brandi!
Huh? turn what into what?
De Sade 101. The forms of justice and authority used to imprision/deceive/corrupt the honest & innocent for power & kicks. See Gestapo, Stazi, similar hierarchies. Cf. Bailout/austerity fiasco.
Or for another reference in fantasy-fiction, look at Donaldson’s character Lord Foul the Despiser. He excelled in manipulating people into situations where their greatest personal strengths would be twisted in ways which resulted in the doing of great evil… loyalty, love, power, commitment to an ideal could all be corrupted. It would almost always break the person so corrupted if they survived long enough to realize what had happened to them.
I was thinking, in particular, of a recent story where some religious types were setting up young women to be raped. When they sought solace, they were told their only possible penance for their sin (tempting men) was to become a suicide bomber. The propriety of honest faith becomes corruption in the hands of evil.
Count your bessings, that you may never have to… and the same for all here!
Indeed. I was actually welling up (still am) on reading that.
Thing is if you commit to that kind of strike (a killing blow) then if you realise mid swing the target has changed there is almost no way a normal human will be able to pull the blow enough to prevent serious (fatal) damage to the child, however she probably managed to pull enough of the energy that the person who grabbed the new born probably survived… Bastard.. The ploy probably worked, and Brandi would have been in no state to resist further after that horror….
She was a normal human at the time, but still, and angry &desperate swing with a pole is quite enough to be fatal for a baby…
Gonna take way more than a busty mom hug to get over that.
Wow. I know the Lanthian preisthood has been established as amoral monsters, that they sought to corrupt and warp the girls into a doomsday weapon they could control. The thing I think I just realized was that Jin had to do what she did to give the Chimera free reign. She saw the sacrifice of an entire civilization (and all the innocents therein) as nessesary to prevent the Lanthian priesthood from gaining control of a weapon of that power. And after this little anecdote from Brandi, I agree with her.
On a personal note from Brandi, I can see why she’d have trouble giving up the power to protect.
Also, what was special about Bud and Brandi? Bud was just a farm girl from the outskirts of civilization. Now we know Brandi was a nurse. Was it thier innocence that was needed? Was there something specific about warping a caring heart like Brandi’s with pain, horror and rage that they had to have? Jin was almost an afterthought. I did not like the Lanthian preisthood before. I really don’t care for them now.
And while I’m at it, how complicit in all this was May? I know she was trapped in the demon realm when she attempted to fix the calendar machine. But the priests were following her plans when they created the Chimera. What if the reason that Brandi has been kept out of the loop is because, unlike Bud, she hasn’t really dealt with all the underlying issues she has with May. More than Bud, she may be a bomb waiting to go off.
Or not. At this point, I don’t know where Paul is taking us, but I’m sure enjoying the ride.
Dang Right! this comic and Girl Genius are the only two comics i have perma-tabbed in my browser, all the rest are just regular bookmarks. whenever i open up Firefox, these two are right there… Keep up the awesome storytelling Paul!
I think that it’s been explicitly stated that her only involvement with what happened to Bud, Brandi and Jin was to give the priests the technology. She wanted to be a golem herself and told them what to do with her ashes. They then made the intuitive leap on how to modify it for their purposes.
As to what made Bud and Brandi special. Their loving natures meant that the torture would cause more damage to their psyche’s than it would for a cynical person. They needed them broken so their experiences (both anger and guilt) would make them easier to control. Their guilt would make them obey orders and their anger would make them willing to attack.
Remember they were trying to create a weapon that they could use. Jin’s suicide did more than give them free will, it magnified Bud’s anger to the point that her guilt could not contain it.
This seemed odd to me, too. Bud has been presented as an ordinary girl from nowhere in particular, and apparently grabbed as a target of opportunity. If Brandi was an active member of Lanthian society, why did the priests come after her, rather than some other young woman who they’d have every reason to think wouldn’t be missed by other Lanthians?
From what I gather, Lanthis was a dictatorship. In dictatorships people “disappear” all the time. If you value your health, you don’t ask questions — you just accept what has happened. Even if somebody did ask a question then I’m sure they would say the Lanthis equivalent of “arrest” and “national security” (and it’d be accepted).
Attacking daycare is patriarchal tactic to keep women at home protecting the children, instead if out seeking their own living.
Modernly, it’s mostly attacked by rhetoric (though Satanic Panic of the 1980s went into full and literal witch hunt on daycare). Lanthian priests solidifying a victory over women would use this moment to shut down this potential source of women’s power and freedom, crushing hope further by pinning a monstrous crime on their chosen protector.
I don’t think Brandi wasn’t just snuck out of town, or grabbed by a well. I’d bet she was made a public example, and was marched out, under arrest.
Pardon the double negative. Had an image in my head of this dude just calmly lifting a baby out of its cradle into a strike zone, so I got distracted.
Wow!.. Good observation and elementary there.
Didn’t think of the patriarchal revenge-bit.
Seems all very logic, the way You disseminate the possible motivation of the priests :thumbs:
I would think that if they wanted to make an example of someone and they were willing to go all the way inside, they would have going after someone in charge or the kids inside, rather than a relatively young guard. IIRC, they were specifically going for 18 year old girls. That was why Jin impersonated a boy.
We don’t know enough about the work Brandi was doing or even the intent of the nursery to really say. It may have been secret or secluded for various reasons. Her charges may not even have been human.
All we know is one of the identifiable villains of the comic pulled a move from The Dead Zone, only with the finesse of a Karl Rove attacking an opponent’s strengths, and this act of his has tortured Brandi for over 12,500 years.
At some point all our deductions and speculation have to take a back seat while the lady bears witness.
Damn, just how many rabid feminist studies “Women as Victims” lectures have you attended? Or perhaps taught.
None! But don’t worry, I won’t ask you to keep count of your thoughtless dismissals.
Priests never seems to be just no matter what religion they hail from, do they?
Okay, just no. yes, many religious leaders have done horrible things, but many others have been great people. Think Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Reverend Martin Luther King Junior, or ordained minister Fred Rogers.
It’s never the job, it’s the person who’s in the job.
Take the Chimera, for example.
religion != justice
justice, evil, good, bad, right, wrong all are opinions and all depend on the context.
if it turns out that the priests were in some way forced, mind controlled, or drugged to do this then you become a bit more lenient with them. and always remember: intentions are worthless; the only things that matter are the methods and results.
justice is based on ethics religion etc 🙂
religion might be a passionate part of the justice system but it is not the same thing.
(and yea – wikipediad the word yesterday in regards to something else so my memory on the explination of justice is quite recent 🙂 )
If they had zero self-control, then the blame cannot lie upon them. This is not what Jin or Phix has recounted.
If they were merely being strongly influenced…
Well. Evil is human trait, isn’t it?
@Paula – there have been some interesting bits of research lately, which demonstrate that certain of the higher animals e.g. chimps and perhaps dogs, are capable of distinguishing “fair” and “unfair” situations, and deciding not to continue participating in an unfair scheme even if they might gain a bit by doing so.
It seems that an ability to sense “justice” is deep-rooted in our consciousness…
My parents two dogs understand (and believe in) sharing with each other. Never seen a dog take a bone or other toy from another dog’s mouth successfully without a great deal of fighting, but they do that to each other all the time (and are confused as hell when visiting dogs don’t act the same)….
All that to say, that’s an interesting and plausible thought. 🙂
You can’t knock all the people that have been priests because of the “evil” ones you hear about. The problem with the media, and history as well, is that usually the only things recorded are the horrible events and many many good events are missed on the record so it just seems like the horrible is the rule and not the exception.
i like to say
there is just as much good as bad in the world.
the bad just seem to have better press people tho 🙂
You may not be able to tarnish each individual priest with the bad content of their deviant brothers but you CAN hold to account any religion that gives any aid, comfort or shelter to any of their number who transgresses . And and virtually every religion, ever, is guilty of this. So while it is wrong to directly accuse all priest directly of these crimes, they are utterly complicit as they belong to religions that take pains to hide, obsfucate, shelter and immunise from prosecution those directly involved.
For example the Catholic Church’s continued policy of hiding child molesters behind the un just ‘privilage’ (to use it’s litteral meaning) of cannon law, renders every Catholic priest who has not tired to change the system or quit on principal on learning of this (and how many can be genuinely ignorant
of this after all this time) complicit in this atrocity….. Even if they themselves are not directly guilty of said crime.
I meant “you might not be able to tarnish each individual Priest ‘directly’…..”
Well, according to that logic, then if your country’s government does something wrong, and you don’t “quit on principle” (leave the country and renounce your citizenship) then you are directly complcit. Things are never that simple. Especially in large and complicated organizations. The Catholic church is working through this. Just because every priest doesn’t rise up does not mean nothing is being done. Just as in a nation, simply because every person does not rise up about every transgression does not mean matters are not being addressed.
Well, it does happen, this internalizing/accepting of common guilt. I only have to look at the way “Die Schuldfrage” was internalized by a majority of Germans after WWII.
Their whole cultural and political being is shaped around their “common”shame about how Nazism was able to corrupt a whole people.
Whether that is right, or even ethically defensible, is another question. Nucleus is that a large part of Germans accepted responsibility for the ’38 to ’45 -years, and shaped policy accordingly, laying the firmer foundations of the EU and the UN.
Thank you, SoWhyMe. I agree. You can’t hold individuals responsible for the corruption that takes place high up within their organizations. Yes, it’s easy to say that they should rise up or not align themselves with such entities, but how would a good priest becoming an activist against his own Church or quitting the religion he vowed to serve help the people of his parrish…you know, the people who aren’t being molested because he’s a good priest. The people who may need counseling and faith-based guidance…who need someone to perform their weddings and funerals.
There have to be individuals who don’t spend their time as activists against the flaws in the system they’re in…otherwise the rest of the world won’t get the positive services they need from that flawed system.
“All that the triumph of evil requires is that good men do nothing.”
Fine. You can be one of the good men who go about battling all evil everywhere. See how long you last. Good men also have to pick their battles. Just because all good men do not fight every evil, does not mean some good men are not fighting a specific evil.
As long as enough good men pick their battles, evil men have to waste more time hiding theirs.
•Disclaimer, I’m not Catholic.
•Until Henry VIII formed the Church of England, there was only The Church.
•All of Christendom was under the authority of the Pope.
•Church Law was superior to lay law. What the Pope said went, because he held the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. If he excommunicated you, you were on a direct path to Hell!
•Example, if you offended a Noble and he decided to put you to death, you could appeal to the Church. If you could read (and if they liked you they could fake it) the Church could overrule the verdict and set you free.
•The Church in effect held the definition of right and wrong and justice, because their authority came directly from God. God is always right, read Job if you don’t believe that outlook of Christians.
•The Church was used to dealing with problems their way, regardless of lay law. It is just and right in their view. They decided how to deal with the child molesting thing ages ago. The World turns and times change and The Church hasn’t yet come to grips with that.
•So the Church has a history of interfering with lay law and nothing is new except now the majority of people (unlike times past) believe lay law is superior to Church Law and therein lies the problem: The Church is no longer the Supreme dispensation of justice and they are having a tough time reconciling this. It is nothing new. The Three Musketeers was about the power of the Church v. the Crown.
I’m not saying I agree with this world view, but I understand where it comes from.
I feel the need to point out that while religions have done many terrible things and called them “good” or “just”, they have also actually done things that are good and just. As others have said, the negative just gets better press and is much easier to remember for some reason.
I also feel it should be noted that the Catholic Church isn’t the only Christian denomination that is guilty of having evil in the ranks of its clergy. They just happen to be the largest and most powerful of the denominations (even if they don’t hold the same power over the secular world that they used to). It’s always easy to demonize the people with power (frequently because they deserve it…power corrupts and all that jazz), but lesser individuals are fully capable of atrocities, and governments and other secular groups are just as capable of ignoring, approving, or pardoning the people who commit those heinous acts.
Good and bad are fairly evenly dispersed across the entire spectrum of humanity. I’d even wager that there were Lanthian priests who never harmed another soul and just served the people who needed them.
It was not my intention to denigrate religion. Culture and religion are the glues that hold societies together. If religion wasn’t important it wouldn’t be as pervasive as it is. That doesn’t mean I believe all cultures are equal or all religions are. My anthropology class from a few years ago introduced me to the concept of ‘cultural relativism.’ Because of my enculturation I believe my culture is superior to those that believe in honor killings and punishing rape victims instead of the perpetrators. I don’t believe religion should call for ripping the still beating hearts out of sacrificial victims. But, that is because I’m a product of my culture. Asking someone whose culture calls for that ,you’d get a different answer. I deal with it by recognizing that that particular culture was the answer to that particular region at that time in history. It doesn’t mean I agree with it, it just means I kinda understand why it exists or existed. Yes, it bothers me.
I’m ambivalent about orginized religion. On the one hand, there’s new evidence from a site in Turkey called Göbekli Tepe that the first temples predate agriculture and civilization as we know it.
If this is true, civilization didn’t create religion. In fact the opposite happened. Religion may have created civilization, and dragged humanity kicking and screaming out of the neolithic. So I can’t fault religion for that, because it may be ultimately responsible for the comfy modern life I live.
On the other hand, I can fault religion for the atrocities that can be lain at its feet. Human sacrifice. Crusades and Jihads to wipe out unbelievers. We were still burning witches three hundred years ago.
I”m glad religion has lost some of the power it held, at least in the western world. Evil men still crave and seek power, but at least in a secular system, they can’t claim divine right or some such nonsense when they get caught being evil.
It is interesting that, at the time, the Muslims were not too concerned about the crusades. They knew–and were spot on the money–that it would not take long to get rid of these invaders. It was only a few decades before the problem was mostly taken care of, and only about 200 years before they went away entirely.
The modern concern? If they are so angry, what’s the fear behind that anger? That Western cultural imperialism will destroy their Islamic culture?
Back in the latter 1950s, some time after we moved from Cleveland to South Carolina (a move i still regret in some ways), my Dad got involved in running the Boy Scout program at our (Episcopal) church.
He was an Eagle himself (as, more recently, are two of my nephews), and he became Scoutmaster, a role he truly enjoyed and fulfilled with energy and skill.
And then, one day, after arguing with himself for some time, he resigned – not just as Scoutmaster, but from any involvement with the Blue Ridge Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
In his letter of resignation, he said:
“…the Scout Law says ‘A Scout is a brother to every Scout’. So long as Scouting in South Carolina is segregated by race, I cannot in good conscience be a part of it.”
(The Blue Ridge Council was for whte folks; black scouts had a “separate but equal” organisation, just as they had “separate but equal” schools.)
(He did, however, allow the Scouts to continue the annual tradition he had established and camp on our land and he did participate in helping to set them up and in training.)
wow thanks for the reminder there fairport.
i always think of segregation happening decades ago. Martin luther king was killed 7 years before i was born.
nothing to do with the topic 😛 just you saying your dad did that in the 1950s was kinda a smack round the head 🙂
That’s an incredibly noble thing your father did. I still say it’s unfair to tarnish the people who don’t take that kind of action with the guilt of society as a whole or the leaders and decision makers of the organization.
In the case you present, you were living in a region plagued by the problem that bothered your father. It was so pervasive, and many of the people living in that area didn’t see anything wrong with it. That seems to me like a very different situation compared to priests who don’t leave the Catholic Church because of molestation that happens on a much smaller scale and frequency and is not considered socially acceptable anywhere that it takes place. Those who are called to serve the Church don’t easily abandon that path.
That story illustrates the difference between a a moral decision and a moral requirement. You *can* be a member of a segregated boy scouts without being tarnished by it.
But you can choose not to.
If you are so pure that you can’t give support to an organization unless it is without the blemish of human misery and exploitation, there is no nation on the globe you can be a citizen of. There is no business of any size you can do business with. You certainly can’t ever use the internet.
I think you have to choose your sins. Which you’re capable of accepting in order to live the life you want and which you won’t.
I don’t know. It seems to me he let down the boys in his troop. He also missed an opportunity to set things right, instilling a sense of the wrongness of the segregation in them at an impressionable age. He could have taken the tough path of integrating his troop regardless, and launching a drive for reform. Quitting seems like the easy way out. Nothing changes when you just quit. Like saying to the boys they didn’t matter much to him in the first place. That his “noble” principles meant more than positive actions for change. But it was his call.
I agree wholeheartedly.
oops that ended up badly placed.
Does this argument work if we change “priest” and “religion” to “adult” and “family”?
After all, most abuse happens in the family setting.
If you discover that a family member is abusing another, does that mean you leave the family? What if someone is covering for another?
No, the response is to uncover the secrets, and punish the guilty.
Sometimes punishment isn’t the answer. Sometimes neither is bringing everything into the open. Both actions can sometimes hurt the victim even more and do no real good. Justice isn’t always the solution.
Well religion is a sudo-family setup after all. The Clergy are the parents and the congregation are the children of varying ages infant to adult child.
I wonder if the priest miscalculated when he held up the baby? Was he holding it as an actual shield, or holding it up figuring Brandi would not do anything if he was brandishing child about? More of a hostage than a shield as such. Were it me, I would have grabbed something more substantial, like another equipment pole or basket, or whatever else was in the room that might actually stop a pole coming in my direction. The newborn would have been rather small and unlikely to protect him.
In any event, Brandi got an instant and bitter lesson in the folly of blind rage.
i’d like to think it was a hostage.
Hostage or shield, does not matter. In this case both were the same thing.
Not really. Shield would indicate something used to block a blow. Hostage would mean something used to prevent that blow from being launched in the first place.
Of course, whatever the intention of the priest, the result was the same where Brandi’s guilt is concerned.
You did get the memo that the priests were deliberately trying to wield the power of evil, right?
Of course you did!
Was that intended as a reply to Boxilar? It doesn’t address what SoWhyMe said.
Well, I do get that the priests were deliberatly setting out to create an abomination of horrible power to place under thier control. I guess untill I see evidence to the contrary, I’m going to take Brandi’s use of the word “shield” at face value. She used it deliberately. From her perspective, the preist intentionaly put an infant in harms way. And at this late date, Brandi’s perspective is the only one that really matters.
They were tying to wield power, period. It wasn’t evil to them, it was necessary. We don’t know all the reasons why at this point. Perhaps for world domination in order to bring civilization to all parts of it. Their idea of civilization, of course. That was one of the motivating principles of the Romans. Perhaps just for the sake of power and control. They may have had powerful enemies. We see it as evil, but hindsight is always perfect.
Since they’re in charge of most things, I’ll just let Brandi and Jin resend you the memo.
okay -i need a history lesson from someone 🙂
how was brandi as a protector in a nursery?
i always assumed them to be very young girls?
what age group did teenagers like her work? i always thought they got married really early like 12? so no work for them? least until they got preggers and popped a few out.
the more i hear of bud and brandi backstory the more i think they were chosen specifically for a reason.
hope we get to find that reason out 🙂
I always thought the girls were 18 at the time they were taken. You have to remember that the society they were part of is very prehistory to us. The Lanthian society was very advanced even to us. Comparing their world to our ‘accounts’ of the ancient world are invalid. They were far more advanced than we are today. It is just that the Chimera basically blew the world back to the stone age and humanity had to start all over again. All memory of the Lanthians was pretty much lost.
From what we have seen, they weren’t that advanced. Past episodes showed stone structures, horse drawn carts, and crossbows/spears. Torches in the dungeon and Bud’s little oil lamp, not electric lights or even kerosene or gas type lamps. They had certain “magical” things going on, but that stuff seems to have been reserved for wizards like May. They might have practiced more modern sanitation and the like and had decent life spans, but no skyscrapers or radio or guns, etc.
In WWII there were still at least one tribe isolated enough to know nothing of the industrialized world, and become the ‘christener’ of the concept of the cargo cult.
The Antikytheria mechanism still amazes archaeologists, but it puts in perspective how fragile complex information is. It needs wide dissemination to survive.
Just think. If Lanthis had just been more open source, everyone could have built invincible buddies to go shopping with, without all the tears and child massacre.
I still wonder where that plutonium came from originally? We’ve seen nothing in the snatches of Lanthian civilization shown thus far to indicate the Lanthians could have mined it or refined it. I tend to think that sort of thing is coming from someone or something else. Something we have yet to see. Perhaps time travelers going to the future to get advanced tech and materials which they keep to themselves to make themselves wizards in their time.
We went from agro to the moon in 12000 years.
There’s space on the timeline for another 12000 years and then some for another high civ to fit before the Chimera. No one can speak for Paul, but the Lanthian matriarchy might have begun like Mesopotamia, a central area of high culture surrounded by Neolithic tribes. Lanthis reached tech breakthroughs and kept their knowledge close (like Athens and Greek fire) while the surrounding cultures languished as tech backwaters. Bud seemed to make this point to Mon in the comeback to the ‘atomic apple-peeler’ rant.
Yes, the plutonium is a problem. Making plutonium in non-microscopic amounts is not a trivial problem today, even knowing that one can make a 94th element requires sophisticated knowledge, handling metallic plutonium is a hassle for a number of esoteric reasons, and four out of the six isotopes of plutonium would have decayed into other things long before 12,000 years passed (I think Pu-242 is your best bet for both ‘still noticeably radioactive’ and ‘still mostly plutonium). So…yeah, the plutonium is a problem.
@Wyvern – in this context, the half-life of various plutonium isotopes is a non-issue. Shellinx told Shelly#1 that the tube storing the plutonium in the Great Tree “recycles the gamma radiation” so “no half-life.”
Presumably, other vimana cells would have similar stabilization… however the Lanthians managed to refine and purify plutonium with their technology, they were apparently able to store it for really long-term use.
Or, more simply, Paul thought of (and eliminated) this particular objection via dialog back in May 🙂
Yes, I remember that vimana cell plutonium doesn’t act like real plutonium. (It still bugs me.) But you can read up on plutonium and its phase changes, and you’ll see that radiation is only the beginning of the reasons to use other metals if you can. It’s a tricky material to work with.
and they STILL use Yak-drawn carts today in Tibet, and the Amish here in the States drive around in horse-and-buggy… all while the high-tech I.S.S. serenely orbits overhead… so that doesn’t really prove anything either.
the only pictures we saw of the three that showed any real detail of the “general” outside world surroundings was Bud, who may have been from the equivalent a low-tech place like Tibet, Brandi seems to be from a relatively high-tech place since she was using terms like “nursery” and “equipment pole”, Jin and May are almost definitely from the high-tech Lanthis. as for the pics of the temples where the girls were “converted”… take a look at the Vatican, or the Kaaba that the Muslims worship in Mecca, and tell me those are “high-tech” places… ha! almost by definition they are relics of a by-gone time and preserved as such, the caretakers of which actively Resist change. so i don’t really see a problem with the temple scenes being portrayed as a dungeon-like setting lit by candles, etc… and if i recall, wasn’t the Male priesthood the underdog there? it was only after the takeover that the male was the top dog, so i could also see my way to thinking the temple complex we saw was an abandoned site the guys were using to stay hidden from the high-tech prying eyes of the female elite. and obviously for someone from a high-tech society, being thrown into a dark, torch lit dungeon in the middle of nowhere would tend to make one a bit more scared and uneasy than they would have been if they were locked up in the Ritz wouldn’t it? thus making the priests “jobs” a little bit easier to begin with, huh?
And maybe the Calendar Machine was the main part of the power grid. So when May stole it… Break out the torches!
Though she did mention “a” galaxy alernator. Implying more galaxy alternators.
They were… alternating galaxies. We are not alternating galaxies.
I think we should just accept that the Lanthians were not women who would be overthrown quietly.
Sorry, but that just sounds like rationalization to me, not to mention stretching things to a breaking point. Crossbows in the heart of Lanthis? Not guns of some kind? Even if civilization had collapsed during the transition from matriarchy to patriarchy, there would still have been lots and lots of guns about. No, nothing shown in any of the strips indicate anything really advanced as it is today. It’s all shown as period primitive.
Mentioning the “Vimana-Cells” and Monica babbling about flying machines, makes me wonder if Paul is about to unleash a serious bit of Vaimanica-Shastra (however much it seems like some early 20th. century forgery) and Mahabharata on us…..
Say, for sake of the argument, the Lanthians weren’t very advanced, but the priest-class had some ancient knowledge as the nucleus of their cult and “inherited”some useful goodies from ancient Indian “gods”.
The Mahabharatha certainly would fit in this comic chock-full of legends and magic.
Outhouses in the back yard were still not uncommon in suburban London until the second half of the 20th Century.
don’t forget, this was Atlantis… a high tech culture on par, or exceeding ours, to say the least. in all likelyhood they had most of the same need for day-care’s and such things just like we do now. although reading between the lines from her talking about newborns and nursery’s, i think Brandi was a nurse trainee (or day-care worker) working in either a hospital, or a specialist day-care for really young kids. as for being “chosen” yeah i guess they may have been selected for what seems to be their “innocence” (a back-woods farmer girl, and a nurse?) and Jin was ultimately thrown in as well because of her naivete for thinking she could stop the priests in the first place, otherwise i think the priests would have had zero qualms about just killing Jin to get rid of her, but her version of “innocence” was… useful… to the Golem Project, so they kept her.
It has been stated that the GG’s cannot change their appearance. Bud has complained about her hair and the fact that she cannot tan. The exception appears to be Jin can apparently change the length of her hair. So I think you can assume that the GG’s look the same now as when they were taken to create the Chimera was created.
So they were young women, not young girls.
Ooohh.. good thinking!!
When seeing Bud and brandi as little girls in the pit, it is only what we see through their memories. They possibly felt like little girls, all vulnerable and powerless, hence the appearance of child-like features in the drawings…
Makes even more sense then, because if Jin has some years on Bud/Brandi, even only a few, she could still view them as young girls, and thus this argument still works with her accounts of the event.
And, the only other ones to present an account, Tepoz (who may even have technically been younger than Bud & Brandi at the point of their golemification) and Phix, have spent far more time conscious of reality than Bud or Brandi, so in typical old-man/old-woman fashion would probably call them young girls as well.
Huh? The GGGs were all 18 years old, including Jin (second panel). Jin had much more knowledge than the other two seemed to, though.
Jin was 18 years old when she became immortal due to being in the room when the calender machine was started. It wasn’t until some time afterwards that she became a golem. So, she was physically 18 years old, but she had lived a bit longer than that.
It seems to me that the GGs all look like whatever age they were not when they were captured but when they died.
The girls were captured just to be tortured and burned alive to form the chimera, so there wouldn’t be a difference between those ages. I had assumed that things happened fairly quickly once the calendar machine was created, but maybe not. Once Maya was turned into a golem, thing probably happened rather quickly, though.
There was some sort of upheaval going on, so the nursery might have used her as a guard. (She said her job was to protect them.) I don’t know why she would have used an “equipment pole” instead of a weapon or why she would have been among the infants instead of at the door. Perhaps she had been fighting and had been driven back and had lost her weapon, but she didn’t say that.
If she didn’t have a weapon or wasn’t trained on how to use it, how the heck was she supposed to protect anyone? Yet I get the impression that she wasn’t. OK, then what happened is clearly not her fault. She understands not blaming herself for what the Chimera did, which was far worse, because that really wasn’t her fault, so why is she blaming herself for this? And why now after 12,500 years? And isn’t it a bit inconsistent that she laughed at how she used to terrorize people, but this bothers her?
I realize that people react emotionally in strange ways, but this is getting to be too much for my preferences.
I’d say she laughed about terrorizing people and is bothered by this because killing babies is on an entirely different plane of “wrong” than scaring people…probably adults.
And can you link to her laughing about terrorizing people? I don’t remember that…
“And can you link to her laughing about terrorizing people? I don’t remember that…”
I can’t find it right now, but Brandi and Bud were discussing their past and Bud wanted to see Brandi make that one face she used to make. Brandi didn’t want to. Bud started chanting “Do it. Do it. Do it. Do it. Do it. Do it.” and finally Brandi went into “I still look mostly human but I am definitely straight out of some horror movie” mode for a panel, and in the next panel the two were laughing over some incident that happened in some temple or something.
Oh yeah…I’d forgotten about that. Thanks!
I still say that what they did when they didn’t have free will is easier to deal with than what they did when in full control of their actions. Besides, weren’t they protectors once the chimera had been dismantled? Terrorizing people who are after someone or something that you’re protecting probably is more of a laugh.
Oh…and also, what you do as a controlled being is very different from what you do as an individual with free will. She didn’t have free will again until she was with Monica, so everything before that can be dealt with at an emotional remove. What she did when she had control over herself may haunt her for the rest of her life.
As for why we’re only hearing about this now…well, it’s already been pointed out that Brandi has avoided discussing her history in Lanthis with anyone other than a house fly up until now. She’s now has the option to become human again…it seems reasonable to me that she’d try to remember what that was like, and that would result in remembering some of her last acts as a human. *shrugs*
That’s a classic way to try to deal with a trauma… seal it up, don’t talk about it, try to forge a new life independent of what happened.
Sometimes this works well. Sometimes the trauma won’t stay buried, and eats away at you. Sometimes it all comes back at once in response to some new incident or experience.
Perhaps one of the reasons this is coming across badly to me is due to Monica’s reaction. First, it was obvious that Brandi was upset as soon as she showed up. After the hugs, Brandi calmed down a little, but at the end of the previous page, Brandi said, “I think that I would be afraid to be human again.” Monica ignored her and just geeked out instead. If this had been difficult for Brandi to talk about, why did she continue given that Monica was being such a ridiculously bad listener?
I think Paul is trying to be funny with Monica’s response, but to me it’s too weird to combine what Monica is saying with what Brandi is saying. What Brandi is saying doesn’t come across as real to me.
One thing that’s perhaps something to think about (I think I’ll repeat it below) is: Is her original failure the reason why she is afraid of being human?
Monica has been shown to be a bad listener, but they were both talking past each other in a way.
Paul isn’t using Mon’s fancy of flight as comedy. Structurally, it’s tragic irony.
Her revelation that the chariots of the gods were real sets off her sense of adventure again, and this is very natural. Her G’pa’s adventures were what spurred her into archaeology, and the field has, in a way, delivered adventure back. But the real stories physical anthropologists uncover are in the bones of fallen soldiers and forgotten murder victims.
Do you really think it’s glorious to look for a Fountain of Youth among the Caribe? Is it really such a high quest to try and find a lost cup of blood? And if you at last find and power up your ancient divine sun-chariot, are you going to want to be where it takes you?
I can see your point, but we also already know that Monica is a terrible listener. Then again, she probably expected Brandi to say she was afraid of being human again given the way Brandi entered in the first place. We might see a bigger reaction out of her when what Brandi said about killing a baby registers.
Also, it might be that Brandi’s okay with Monica not really paying attention because then she can give vent to her memories and fears without judgment from someone she cares about. This could kind of be phase 2 of her dealing with her trauma. Phase 1 was the fly. Phase 2 is a person, but one who isn’t listening at all.
*shrugs* I’m sure we’ll find out Monday. 🙂
I interpret her “I was supposed to protect them” as the sort of duty-of-protection that anyone in a job of child-care would have. She didn’t say she was a guard, or a fighter, or was defending them… she said “worked in a nursery… when the priests came for me”.
She was a young woman, caring for children, who was assaulted and kidnapped. She grabbed something handy to try to defend herself, and in defending herself an innocent child was killed.
In most jurisdictions today, I believe the priest’s action would be legally equivalent to murder. “Human shield” or “hostage who was killed” isn’t much of a distinction… in either case it’s a deliberate decision to put an innocent into harm’s way for a selfish purpose.
The true moral blame falls on the priest… but Brandi is the one who survives to bear the guilt and pain.
I would expect a nurse or caretaker to say, “My duty was to take car of them” or “watch over them” or something like that. She did not say, “One of my duties was to protect them.” The way she said it implies that her only duty was to protect them.
She would probably feel just as guilty if she had said, “My duty was to take care of them,” and it could be that she just wasn’t speaking clearly, but as it is it seems weird.
My guess is that she emphasizes that aspect of her duties because that is what she failed at. She undoubtedly had other duties, but they aren’t as relevant because they weren’t her greatest failure.
I would count killing someone as a major failure to take care of them properly (unless the killer was employed by the Mafia or something like that). I would expect a caregiver to be expected to be careful to not hurt an infant by dropping them, for example, but a protector wouldn’t normally handle an infant, so the issue wouldn’t normally come up.
Protecting the babies could simply mean they were in her charge. It was her duty to look after their well being, just as a nurse is today. Keep an eye on them, make sure no one abscounds with one, that sort of thing. Not to be prepared to fight to the death for them at any moment. I wonder if she even realized what they were after in the first place? That is to say, her and not the infants. If she knew it was her, then her best course of action to protect the newborns would be to do nothing. Starting a battle in a nursery seems like a bad way to protect them.
Sorry Dave, didn’t see your reply before posting mine.
On the one hand, yes. Doing nothing and allowing herself to be taken would probably have kept the babies safer. On the other hand, in situations of being attacked (be it for harm or simple abduction purposes) the instinctive reaction is probably fight or flight…and she instinctively went with fight. She very likely forgot about protecting the children in her attempt to protect herself…at least right up until the priest put a newborn in the way of her attack…
Or to put it another way, she panicked. 😛
(Yes, I have no room to talk. 🙄 )
One does not need to be wearing armor and wielding a weapon to ‘protect’ babies. Just being there to take care of them protects them from harm.
She may have been a caretaker, who felt like she was protecting them from how rough life can be for the helpless.
Well, it’s possible that there was some sort of genocide going on or it was just the effects of a war and the babies were being protected from that on an ad-hoc basis. In that case, the care giving and protection would probably be combined. Normally, though, there is some specialization among the staff. If you think of a modern hospital, the security staff and the nursing staff are separate. If a nurse or doctor accidentally killed someone under their care, they wouldn’t normally say, “My job was to protect them.” That’s not how they describe their jobs. They would probably say something like, “My job was to keep them healthy” or “my job was to care for them.” OTOH, a bodyguard certainly would say, “My job was to protect so-and-so”. A common police motto is to “protect and serve.” It’s a matter of how you view your primary responsibilities.
I wonder if people are objecting to the idea of Brandi being a guard rather than a caregiver because she doesn’t have the personality for it. She probably would have much rather been a caregiver than a guard, but that doesn’t mean it was her job at the time.
Of course, we only have one sentence to go on, so anything is possible.
Also, Brandi working in a nursery makes perfect sense – always the mother-figure.
If anything, this more or less caused Brandi to be the constant mother figure.
Constant unrelenting guilt is a strong motivator.
“well GOSH, brandi, was my geeking out interrupting your PTSD FLASHBACK? excuse the heck out of me!”
nah, she’s finally opening up and Talking about what happened, i’d say we’re making progress, granted, she’s kinda zoning out there, but still…
This is why we can’t have flying cars.
??? Cuse priest touch babies? Thats why we can’t have flying cars?
Yes. Because we would cry too much to be able to fly them.
I’m rather thankful we don’t have flying cars. Seeing the way people drive on the ground, do we really want them airborne?
No hiding from flying road/air-rage. Whatta’ revoltin’ thought.
we do want them in the sky
then i can have the roads 🙂
oddly enough i was thinking the opposite 🙂
monica should have seriously shut up when brandi mentioned she was afraid to be human.
FNAR, I always visualized the girls as much younger than 18 when they were captured – perhaps because it made the Lanthian priests easier to hate. To grab a child and use it as a human shield bespeaks total disregard for that child’s life, which cements that impression in my mind – a child killer would have no compunction about being a child rapist. These Lanthian clergy were the worst kind of bastards. Bud’s rage bolstered by Brandi’s guilt and Jin’s willingness to sacrifice herself? It’s a wonder they didn’t annihilate a galaxy.
Don’t forget, what put Jin over the top was when she discovered that the girls were being gang-raped by the priests as part of the process to break them in creating the Chimera.
Combine that with the ease with which one of the priests used a newborn as a shield and I begin to suspect that child molestation could have been a regular feature in their rites.
Rites, if we recall, they gained off twisting the directions of May.
May, the same person who still talks about Lanthian society in a positive light (even Jin doesn’t do that).
… just how innocent is May?
“Ancient Indian Flying Machines were real!”
Umm… am I the only one who feels like we missed a page of dialogue here?
And call me a sadist, but I love how every time Brandi (the beacon of positive energy among the immortals) ‘willingly’ talks about her past, its more morbid and horrific than anything Jin/Bud/May/Tepoz/Phix ever mention.
Heh. I like to believe that the little remark by Monica is just Paul, having a bit of fun on account of our former discussion about Vimana’s, where I went for the UFO-side, and others for the DC-superhumans-side.
Brandi is exactly this source of positivity because of her horrid experiences. It seems a conscious choice to refuse being determined by the horrors in her past. Contrary to Bud and Jin,she’s not wallowing on her horrendous past…
Makes me admire her even more.
I don’t think we missed a step of dialog. M is a cultural anthropologist, she would be well aware of the term and context for “vimana”, she knows that the artifact is an extremely powerful old-tech power source, and now she sees Brandi’s implication that it’s not the only one of its kind which existed. It would be surprising if she did not quickly come to the conclusion she did.
What about shellinx? (yes, I brought that name back from it’s grave.)
Grave? I could have sworn I and others have been using it rather regularly. (>^_^)>
Why do I see Brandi coming completely unhinged, and Jin having to sacrifice herself to stop her?
Because Hitler is dead, Mussolini is dead and You aren’t feeling too spiffy either? 😀
(Groucho Marx on depressing people)
Nah.. I seriuosly doubt it. One Word from M, (or possibly May) and Brandi is shut-down, not another sacrifice by Jin needed.
But… but… it would be so dramatic…
*snort* heheheh.. Yeah true dat……
Tsk tsk What a victorian way of thinking. Victorians loooved their gloomy doomy stories with tragic aendings..
you’ve just described eastenders.
and coronation street. and brookside emerdale – any soap on tv (barring doctors..haven’t made my mind up about that…)
i knew our society was going back in time with the death penalty being reinacted! i didn’t think we had already begun to slip towards the victorian ages 😛
What i meant was that victorians had quite the obsession with death, dying, and tragic endings ( read the original Frankenstein , or poetry from those days. Especially poets that were withering away on nasty diseases had the utmost attention)
A kind of romanticism with a morbid twist…
A trait I still see in many Britons….must be the weather…
people do seem to get depressed when it rains that’s for sure 🙂
they actually describe it as a ‘miserable weekend’ if its going to rain where as being boiled alive by the ball of fire which is slowly cooking us all is called ‘good’
Jay-Em–I once heard the Victorians characterized about death much as modern Americans (especially about 1950s) were about sex: they recognized that everybody did it, they were fascinated by it, but polite people never talked about it. At least not publicly.
That explains a lot.
Golem Girl with HUGE PTSS.
Golem Girl with looonnnnggg PTSS. 12,500 years long. And she’s finally talking about it now? (I realize that a lot of that time doesn’t count, but still it seems strange.)
Well, she did a damn good job of hiding it, acting all nonchalant about not protecting people that she was supposed to protect. That sure fooled me.
Most PTSS sufferers do hold onto it for a long time, sometimes for decades before it finally breaks the surface and is visible to others. It is easy to do when you are a person that tends to keep things bottled up all the time anyway.
Show up as drunken party girls, end up with the MOST HORRIBLE BACKGROUNDS.
new meme? could help spreading Paul’s work…
Well…drinking is often a way to blot out painful memories or emotions…
That was Tepoz’ reasoning for keeping them drunk.
though drunk people tend to go off on their own so many times it’s hard to control them..
tepoz needs to write a self-help book!
Go on paul! jk rowling did it with her quidditch books! do a cocktail/alcohol guide from Tepoz!!
then a pasty/cookie guide from bekky
then a festive holiday guide from tina
then a places of interest guide from monica
At least the girls were happy, playful (even horny) drunks.
Maybe Alan has two adventurous and virile friends…
@Wyvern: Are you implying something about Kevin?
Surprised? Didn’t your mother warn you about girls like that?
And yes, since Tepoz did it to them it’s not really a reflection on them or their emotional state.
First off, I need a new picture for my gravatar. Any suggestions?
Second, what a great cliffhanger, leaving Brandi as raw as she is, I can’t tell if she is about to break down and cry, or start flipping out. I really hope Mon chooses her next words carefully….
Paul, great work as usual. I miss monday already. 😀
I do not see her flip. She did the flipping-bit already by rail-gunning a basket of golf balls.
She starts to sound more like Jin, in that she seems to retreat in herself further and further.
Maybe she isn’t going for “humanization”, but instead will ask Monica, or May to shut her down, put her back into storage.
What I mean is that her sense of guilt can make her wish to end it. Not out of boredom (sort of) like Jin, but out of pure guilt. Although…I can see Brandy dealing with it through talking to Mom Monica.
Only problem I see, is that Brandy doesn’t have a close friend outside Bud. Bud became closer to Shelly, Jin has Alan, Monica has Kevin. Brandi has…well, no-one. Maybe Phix in a way, but that I am not too sure of.
..Or she’ll start crying inconsoleably..crying every now&then is good for a person.. 😛
Don’t know how good it is for a person, but it is unavoidable for anyone with a conscience.
You might find a good one in the series beginning here:
See my announce ment at the foot of the column.
*raises hand* QUESTION!
The first time we see Brandi and Bud, they’re a wooden cart being taken from presumably somewhere around North Africa (Bud is Greecian and Brandi is Nigerian, judging by their names).
What or how would Brandi end up working in a nursery for her kidnappers (Jin & Bud specifically say kidnapped)? Did they give them jobs before throwing them in a pit? Wha and huh?
Also, why specifically THEM? Were they prechosen or just convenient and anyone would do?
Bud and Brandi were kidnapped to be thrown into the pit and turned into the Chimera. Brandi might have grown up in Lantis. Maybe her parents were slaves or immigrants. Jin is Asian, so people from other areas were in Lantis. It was a major civilization, so there would have been a lot of trade.
I THOUGHT Jin was Asian but her mother’s name is Mayahuel (sp?) so apparently she’s not Asian and is Central American?
I thought Lantis was based in Central/South America?
No, South America is base on Lantis. 😀 The idea was that somehow the priests and Maya’s group became rivals. Maya helped create the calendar machine. The priests seized control of it. Many of Maya’s group escaped to the New World. Maya had the priests turn her into a golem, but she betrayed them and took the calendar machine to the New World. Jin was left behind. The priests created the chimera to get the time machine back. It destroyed Lantis. A “cleanup crew” returned to Lantis and separated the chimera into the three girls.
Some of that’s pretty fuzzy though. It’s been hinted that the portal cloths were used to help Maya’s allies escape to the New World, but it’s not clear if Tepoz was telling the truth about that.
Here is something to think about, maybe. How much is what Brandi said on the previous page about being afraid of becoming human connected to what she said today?
One possibility is that she failed to protect the infant and she failed to help Jin in the pit. Is she afraid that she couldn’t protect people if she became human again?
I don’t know. She didn’t seem to want to protect Jin from her mental illness. The GGGs were supposed to be Monica’s protectors, but the only times we saw them even try to do it involved Jin when Monica tried to commit suicide and Bud when Monica went to get the portal cloth. Did they ever stand guard at Monica’s house? Did they stop Dietzel’s pizza girl? Has Brandi been a better protector as a golem than as a human? This makes me think that’s not the issue.
Another possibility is that maybe Brandi thinks that she was such a failure as a protector that she didn’t even try as a golem when she had free will. If so, then is she afraid of being human because she knows that death can get you at any time and that she can’t count on anyone to save her because no one could count on her?
I don’t think that’s it because she seemed awfully flippant about not helping or anyone as a golem. She never said, “I would do it, but…” or anything like that.
So maybe there is no connection between the two?
if she had been a golem when the priests attacked there wouldn’t have been a fight.
they would have been splattered.
wouldn’t have come close to the kids.
i suspect there is a connection.
-You’d think so?? To parafrase Kat: they’d be less than fish-sauce. 😀
That seems to be the heart of Brandi’s trouble. She cannot stand the thought of being helpless again.
Some of Paul’s illustrations point at Brandi as being from a warrior-culture. Her chimera-self, a lion, also points to warriors, bravery and what not.
Instead she is a book-worm with not much of ” snap-decision” ( required for a good warrior/guard/cop etc..) capability.
Part of her could also be ashamed of her uselesness as a warrior, given her ( apparent) cultural background.
She could be on ” baby-guardian duty” because she wasn’t very good at being a soldier.
*shrugs* just my £0.02
Ugh! * to parafrase Monica to Kat: etc etc*
maybe she is a slow acting book worm because of the nursery 🙂
A question that’s been in the back of my mind is “Did Brandi ever want to be a guardian?” It seems as if she doesn’t have the right temperament for that at all. To me the reason is that she is too sensitive, not that she can’t make quick decisions, though.
It may be that her sensitivity is what got her selected by the priests. The chimera was powered by horror/pain and anger. Bud seemed to supply the anger and Brandi supplied the hurt. Someone less sensitive wouldn’t have been as effective, unfortunately.
I still don’t see her as freezing that badly though. Her cast page says, “She tends to find her way quite easily in almost any situation and normally will be the calm and rational one of the group.” That doesn’t sound like someone who has no ability to handle curveballs. And now we learned that she resisted the attack by the priests, although not perfectly, obviously. That still doesn’t sound that bad.
I agree with everything else you said. I don’t know if she is ashamed of not being closer to an ideal warrior, but it’s certainly possible.
..or, as Ash said to Rumisiel, they’d be beaten to a red paste and then boiled while still – technically – alive.
I think her fear of becoming human is highly connected to this one event. Like I mentioned in a comment somewhere else on this page…she realized she had the opportunity, thought back to her memories of being human, and was upset by what she recalled of her behavior and abilities.
The real question will be whether or not she accepts her past as unchangeable, learns to see past the catastrophic errors she made so she can recognize why she isn’t 100% at fault for everything, and grows into a better person…or will she just retreat from unpleasant things and stay as she is. Then again, there’s always a mystery door option 3 that Paul proudly brandishes after we’ve made all of our conjectures, so we’ll just have to see how this plays out. 🙂
I think we have to follow her line of thought, and say, whether or not there should be a connection, she thinks there is a connection, and so for her there is a link. Her fear of becoming human is closely linked to the horror of one of her final free acts as a human.
Actually, come to think of it, Bud had good memories of being human (I remember her trying to recreate the experience of lying on the floor near the lamp), but we don’t know if Brandi does. Even if she should, the bad memories might have more-or-less have blotted them out.
ATM, I’m thinking of this happening at more of a subconscious level. Her earlier memories may have been repressed (too painful to think of what she had lost?) and maybe they are becoming unlocked now. It may be that rather than wanting to not tell anyone about this earlier, she might not have even remembered it.
I got bored. I pulled up some random Wapsi Square strips and i made five pictures suitable for Gravatar use.
They’re up for grabs at http://electronictiger.net/avail/avatars.
As i say there, download one if you like it, and drop me an e-mail saying you did. If no-one else picked it before you (or if someone did) i’ll let you know and you can either use it ot pick again.
(I’ll take down the ones that are chosen and create new ones – not necessarily all from WS – to replace them, or simply to expand the choices over time.)
Very good. “Havatar” … love it!
That was very nice of you Fairportfan!
Paul would be such a phenomenal mythology professor. I’d love to take a class from him.
Has anybody besides me noticed that Brandi thinks that she would be *more* dangerous as a human than as she is now, with vast immortality, strength and invulnerability?
You raise an interesting concept.
More dangerous? or just less able to do any sort of good? I don’t think her “I think I’d be afraid to be human” necessarily implies “… because I’d be more of a danger”? Is there something else she’d said which tends towards this interpretation of her fear?
(Paul really seems to have stirred up a bunch of issues, with those simple few words from Brandi. It looks like this is going to be comment #200 for this strip).
No kidding. I think it might be best for me to just stop reading them until the new comic on Monday. I’ve already commented too much in this episode as it is.
i tried to get this sorted in my head yesterday and failed. think i have today 🙂
The last time brandi was human she indirectly cause the harm of another in her care. now yes it was a kid but even if it had been an adult the scars would still be there.
now she might have contributed to the partial distruction of the planet however she was being controlled (sort of) and if she ever was to come close to harming another person someone would stop her.
if she was human – they wouldn’t be able to.
I can see your point, but we also already know that Monica is a terrible listener.
Yes, that’s because she’s not a guy! 😛 Well, that’s the way it seems in the Wapsiverse lately. 😆 Since Heather and Jacqui haven’t been around much lately, it seems like it’s only the guys who are good listeners.
We might see a bigger reaction out of her when what Brandi said about killing a baby registers.
I’d say the Monica’s expression at the bottom counts. At least she’s listening in the second panel and I think she’s about to say something appropriate. Still, today’s page seemed surreal to me. I’m not really sure why.
Or maybe we’ll see what Tina’s been up to lately or what new hairstyles Shelly has been trying out or something like that. 😛
Um, that wasn’t supposed to go there…
damn… now that’s a heavy load of guilt to lug around…
Bracing for unhappy flashback next week.
One thing is certain: this page, and the consequences, certainly hit a lot of nerves! 230 comments, and it’s only Saturday!
I was thinking the same thing.
But it’s totally unsurprising. It such a shocking page.
1) Life sucks.
2) But wait. it gets worse.
Lather rinse repeat.
You have to admit it’s getting better (can’t get no worse)
We’re also making some assumptions about the nursery. What if it wasn’t human babies she was taking care of? What if it was a nursery for the boogers depicted on the side of the ziggurat in panel two, here:
I share your question about the species in the nursery.
The image on the ziggurat seems to read “CHIMERA FACTORY”.
Ah! Maybe that’s why the priest thought that one would make a good shield. I wonder how easy they would be to pick up, though.
Actually, I suggested earlier that maybe it was a nursery for flies since Brandi seems to have such a thing for them, but a single larva wouldn’t be good for blocking much.
You’d have to be going with the ‘ick” factor there.
Nah, I wasn’t thinking of flies as being particularly “icky”. It was just that they are the animals that Brandi keeps being associated with in the comic. In some cultures grubs and such are sold for food and larva could be used as bait for fishing or something else, so the idea of raising them intentionally wouldn’t necessarily be considered to be that strange or “icky”.
I thought you were just joking so I was just playing along.
I do believe that is a reaction to all the killing, making sure even the smallest thing does not die in your care… 🙂
Yes, probably. It’s just that the examples are always flies in the case of Brandi. IIRC, we never heard about her trying to save an animal crossing the road or worrying about stepping on ants or other things like that. She probably would do those things, but it’s always the flies that get mentioned, as if she is the Lady of the Flies or something.
If you wanted to use your imagination, you could come up with the idea that in a culture that worshiped animal spirits there could be a god that is a fly and worshipers of the god would always take care of flies or something like that. That would match Brandi’s apparent behavior just as well.
whatever, she was a nurse, duty of care, whatever the type, etc.. that was her job..
“CHIMERA FACTORY” – who’s to know they were supplying other planets, too??
It still happens today… 🙁
Other planets? In the Cold War, did the US supply its allies with atomic bombs? Let alone potential enemies.
No, the Chimera was plainly supposed to be the priests’ private superweapon of terror. Jin knew they could always make more than one, though, and so there was no turning back from her course.
@Boxilar: Jin thought it was necessary to stop the priests, but she didn’t mean to destroy the entire civilization. She thought she could control the chimera, but the anger and pain of Bud and Brandi were too much for her to control. Two pages later Monica talked about Jin punishing herself over what happened, so it’s not as if Jin thought it was justified.
I must remember to hit the right reply link….
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