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The Old Hack

Story Monday April 16, 2018

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Ok. This is just extending the cliffhanger, we still don't know what happened ... hopefully next time.

So, after dealing with most important place, Arthur thinks about who else needs to be warned (and presumably how).

Still, Arthur, if you are worrying about craters, you are thinking small. Think zoombie apocalypse, or some other infectious stuff.

And something is happening to the shards of diamond? And is important enough to warrant two images? Although it still may be red herring. The crate being opened, meanwhile ... which is on OPPOSITE side from the one we were suspecting earlier ...

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Things that go bump in the night.

7 minutes ago, Pharaoh RutinTutin said:

And with the box now open, a high-strutting bullfrog with a top hat and cane enters the scene singing "Hello My Baby".

Michigan Frog? From the dead? Oy vey.

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Hmmm. Guess those shards did still have some magic. But it's just going to evaporate, right?

The action in  Panels 3, 4, and 5 repeat the action in Panels 3, 4, and 5 of this comic from  new points of view--or camera angles if you're thinking storyboards. It's the  Thwoo-Thwump-oosh link in Dan's commentary.

As for the snide comments about crows having only weak alcohol

Image result for Old Crow

 

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Posted (edited)

So, it looks to me like the shards are giving off energy as they "evaporate"; perhaps that's powering up some of (or at least one of) the artifacts?

But what I find really odd is how one of the sets of fumes in panel four looks like a bird, and another like a simplified version of either another bird or perhaps a ghost. Rorschach's fumes, or are the shards actually releasing spirits? Would this have to do with the Dewitchery Diamond's powers, or some properties of the crystal before Abraham enchanted it?

Meanwhile, that is probably one of the silliest and most rambling of all of Dan's commentaries. It's practically a work of surreal art.

Edited by ChronosCat
fixing a typo

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41 minutes ago, ChronosCat said:

So, it looks to me like the shards are giving off energy as they "evaporate"; perhaps that's powering up some of (or at least one of) the artifacts?

Oh! That makes sense and explains the connection between the evaporating dewitchery diamond and other problems.

42 minutes ago, ChronosCat said:

Rorschach's fumes, or is are the shards actually releasing spirits?

Hopefully Rorschach's fumes. I mean, Ashley definitely should hope that.

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1 hour ago, hkmaly said:

Think zoombie apocalypse, or some other infectious stuff.

I wasn't able to find a link, but you reminded me of one of the cartoons in my The Far Side Gallery collections with the caption "Zoombies: The Driving Dead".

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1 hour ago, ChronosCat said:

So, it looks to me like the shards are giving off energy as they "evaporate"; perhaps that's powering up some of (or at least one of) the artifacts?

But what I find really odd is how one of the sets of fumes in panel four looks like a bird, and another like a simplified version of either another bird or perhaps a ghost. Rorschach's fumes, or is are the shards actually releasing spirits? Would this have to do with the Dewitchery Diamond's powers, or some properties of the crystal before Abraham enchanted it?

Am I the only one who saw that succession of panels, and interpreted it as the side of the box falling onto all the little spirit-birdies, squashing them flat?

Nice touch, Ellen being visible in the bottom right.

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1 hour ago, Pharaoh RutinTutin said:
2 hours ago, hkmaly said:

Still, Arthur, if you are worrying about craters, you are thinking small. Think zoombie apocalypse, or some other infectious stuff.

The government IS prepared for a Zombie Apocalypse.

www.egscomics.com/egsnp.php?id=265

... and it rarely happens. Meaning it already happened. Still, I think it's more dangerous than crater, especially considering the previous apocalypses were under limited set of magic rules - this one can work differently.

23 minutes ago, CritterKeeper said:

Nice touch, Ellen being visible in the bottom right.

Yup.

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Dan was right when he said perspective was a pain.

Anyway, comparing the perspectives of this last panel with the last panel from April 4th, we're looking from further to Ellen's left. The falling-down thing seems like it was one side of a crate, although Dan has not put drawn in any nails or staples to suggest that it was attached to anything else; maybe it's really a bunch of lids or something toppling over one-by-one? Also, the whatever on the floor is only half as thick as the two still-falling-over images and the falling over ridges seem to have a central reinforcing rib the one on the bottom doesn't and the bottom whatever shows planking that the falling two don't. All of them seem to be much taller than Ellen lying on the floor, so if they're supposed to be the side of one crate falling off, that's one tall crate, probably more than tall enough to hold one stoned Abraham plus pedestal, but not tall enough to hold Mighty Cthulhu or a Martian tripod.

Another unsolved mystery is what the heck is that white ovoid behind Ashley supposed to be? My first guess is that it's a speech balloon where Ashley's head-and-hair have covered up all the letters. My second guess is that Dan forgot to put in any letters or pasted over all the letters with Ashley and didn't realize it until he'd either already posted this comic, or said "screw it, I'm done!", or hasn't realized it yet. Or maybe it's actually an escaped artifact, perhaps from the crate of blank speech balloons that just fell apart...

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1 hour ago, Tom Sewell said:

Another unsolved mystery is what the heck is that white ovoid behind Ashley supposed to be? My first guess is that it's a speech balloon where Ashley's head-and-hair have covered up all the letters. My second guess is that Dan forgot to put in any letters or pasted over all the letters with Ashley and didn't realize it until he'd either already posted this comic, or said "screw it, I'm done!", or hasn't realized it yet. Or maybe it's actually an escaped artifact, perhaps from the crate of blank speech balloons that just fell apart...

I think it's the swish lines for Ashley's hair as she turns her head to watch the miniature Martian tripod march out of the crate.  ;)

8 hours ago, CritterKeeper said:

Am I the only one who saw that succession of panels, and interpreted it as the side of the box falling onto all the little spirit-birdies, squashing them flat?

Nice touch, Ellen being visible in the bottom right.

Perhaps not, but I got a big chuckle at the though of one threat being squashed by another.

 

9 hours ago, partner555 said:

Looks like the diamond was a prison for something.

This, this makes the most sense to me.  Now what if what was trapped in there is somehow related to the creation of Ellen and Magus Ellen's body?  What is the passing on the curse to others came from whatever this thing was, and Magus Ellen doesn't realize it, but he has this new ability as well.  What if Ellen's spell that chain-transforms those near her until the spell runs out of power is related to this?  And what if this thing can control beings touched by it's power?  Woo-ooo-ooo!  Or not.  Could just be little spirit birds that will fly away.

 Sheesh, an old artifact, perhaps prison for some kind of energy, being shattered while another artifact activates.  Look out Ashley!

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Okay, now the UOO (Unidentified Ovoid Object) behind Ashley's head seems more like a motion streak since it has a chunk bitten out of its top. And it's raining. And it's Monday.

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8 hours ago, Tom Sewell said:

Anyway, comparing the perspectives of this last panel with the last panel from April 4th, we're looking from further to Ellen's left. The falling-down thing seems like it was one side of a crate, although Dan has not put drawn in any nails or staples to suggest that it was attached to anything else; maybe it's really a bunch of lids or something toppling over one-by-one? Also, the whatever on the floor is only half as thick as the two still-falling-over images and the falling over ridges seem to have a central reinforcing rib the one on the bottom doesn't and the bottom whatever shows planking that the falling two don't.

LOD (Level of Detail). There are nails, but too smal to be visible, and there are more planking in still version ...

8 hours ago, Tom Sewell said:

All of them seem to be much taller than Ellen lying on the floor, so if they're supposed to be the side of one crate falling off, that's one tall crate, probably more than tall enough to hold one stoned Abraham plus pedestal, but not tall enough to hold Mighty Cthulhu or a Martian tripod.

Not necessary. The crate could be lot closer than Ellen. It can be same height as the one Ashley is hiding behind, and Ashley is NOT standing. Or maybe it's higher because perspective is hard :).

7 hours ago, Tuscahoma said:

I think it's the swish lines for Ashley's hair as she turns her head

Yes

7 hours ago, Tuscahoma said:

to watch the miniature Martian tripod march out of the crate.  ;)

No. Martian tripod is not magic artifact.

5 hours ago, Tom Sewell said:

Okay, now the UOO (Unidentified Ovoid Object) behind Ashley's head seems more like a motion streak since it has a chunk bitten out of its top. And it's raining. And it's Monday.

... are you implying the image changed? It's same since Monday 4:14 GMT ...

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Ok...been without power since 11:30am EST yesterday (power finally came back at 9pm EST today so 33 1/2 hours with no internet:( ).

 

And I called it, the Diamond had to have been created in an older magic system, turned inert with the change of systems, and then Abraham re-enchanted it. From the looks of it, maybe the Diamond was meant as some sort of prison, and now that it's shattered, whatever it contained in being released?

As for what's in the box that just opened, money's on Abraham.

And looks like there are other facilities in the country similar to the PTTAwhatever, and it would certainly make sense that other countries would also have to be warned, who knows maybe museums unknowingly have magic artifacts as well.

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1 hour ago, Scotty said:

And I called it, the Diamond had to have been created in an older magic system, turned inert with the change of systems, and then Abraham re-enchanted it. From the looks of it, maybe the Diamond was meant as some sort of prison, and now that it's shattered, whatever it contained in being released?

Still not proven. Also, it's weird: usually when one object is enchanted by two spells, there is some interference, but the diamond worked correctly on Magus ...

1 hour ago, Scotty said:

As for what's in the box that just opened, money's on Abraham.

Abraham wouldn't make Ashley do the 9E. I do expect he will show up, but maybe later.

1 hour ago, Scotty said:

And looks like there are other facilities in the country similar to the PTTAwhatever

Not similar, but still containing artifacts.

1 hour ago, Scotty said:

and it would certainly make sense that other countries would also have to be warned

Yup. At least the "allies". Enemies can explode I guess.

(Ok, realistically, they probably don't have any usable communication to enemies.)

1 hour ago, Scotty said:

who knows maybe museums unknowingly have magic artifacts as well.

Noone and it would be hard to warn them considering they are civilians and wouldn't know what to look for. Someone will need to check the museums eventually, but seems Arthur is now focusing on facilities with higher likehood of containing artifacts AND operated by someone knowing about magic.

 

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11 minutes ago, hkmaly said:

Still not proven. Also, it's weird: usually when one object is enchanted by two spells, there is some interference, but the diamond worked correctly on Magus ...

Magus did modify the effect of the diamond's splitting, probably the equivalent of patching the code in a program.

As for the two spells bit, the original enchantment probably not only had the equivalent of being written in Assembly while Abraham programmed in BASIC, but the originaly code was probably archived and hidden so that there'd be no interaction between the two.

But I will grant that it's weird that there was no interaction at the moment when Magus touched it because the meeting with the WoM had already concluded before then so the old enchantment should have been active. So we can either guess that Magus' modification prevented the original enchantment from doing anything, or we can assume that sufficiently crafted artifact can hold multiple enchantments just fine as long as the conditions for using one isn't the same as the conditions for using another.

11 minutes ago, hkmaly said:

Abraham wouldn't make Ashley do the 9E. I do expect he will show up, but maybe later.

She might not be "eeek"ing at whatever in the craft, but rather whatever it is coming from the diamond shards, notice the birdlike shape in panel 4.  THAT might be the "hawk" Pandora warned about.

14 minutes ago, hkmaly said:

Yup. At least the "allies". Enemies can explode I guess.

(Ok, realistically, they probably don't have any usable communication to enemies.)

Arthur might find it prudent to even try to warn non allies of this development, better that everyone be aware than have someone think they might be able to take advantage of something.

16 minutes ago, hkmaly said:

Noone and it would be hard to warn them considering they are civilians and wouldn't know what to look for. Someone will need to check the museums eventually, but seems Arthur is now focusing on facilities with higher likehood of containing artifacts AND operated by someone knowing about magic.

I left out a comma there, wasn't actually asking who would know.... And Arthur would be in triage mode right now, focus on the immediate concern (Moperville area in this case) while getting the word out to others so that they can handle things themselves rather than Arthur having to coordinate everything.

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5 hours ago, hkmaly said:

... are you implying the image changed?

55 minutes ago, hkmaly said:

Abraham wouldn't make Ashley do the 9E. I do expect he will show up, but maybe later.

No, I didn't notice the bite out of the top. And now I'm considering that maybe Mighty Mouse flew into the back of Ashley's head, causing the impact starburst.

The PTTAOLUTASF may be a three hour drive from Moperville, but it's a lot closer than the museum in Britain where Stoned Abe was when our Ellen was created. Besides, what's the first thing Abraham would see coming out of the crate? Ellen lying on the floor in front of him. Trying to kill Ellen is #1 on his list of sins to atone for, so he walks over to see if Ellen is all right. What Ashley sees is a big bearded man in chain mail going to Ellen carrying a big sword. "EEEEEEEEEK!"

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43 minutes ago, Scotty said:
53 minutes ago, hkmaly said:

Abraham wouldn't make Ashley do the 9E. I do expect he will show up, but maybe later.

She might not be "eeek"ing at whatever in the craft, but rather whatever it is coming from the diamond shards, notice the birdlike shape in panel 4.  THAT might be the "hawk" Pandora warned about.

I'm pretty sure Magus is the hawk.

44 minutes ago, Scotty said:
55 minutes ago, hkmaly said:

Yup. At least the "allies". Enemies can explode I guess.

(Ok, realistically, they probably don't have any usable communication to enemies.)

Arthur might find it prudent to even try to warn non allies of this development, better that everyone be aware than have someone think they might be able to take advantage of something.

It MIGHT be better if enemy is NOT aware they just got new weapon ...

45 minutes ago, Scotty said:

And Arthur would be in triage mode right now, focus on the immediate concern (Moperville area in this case) while getting the word out to others so that they can handle things themselves rather than Arthur having to coordinate everything.

I still think his concern about PTTAOLUTASF is not because it's close or because it's under his direct control (although both is true) but because it's the most dangerous place now. Or, at least most dangerous compared to how little security they had there ; artifact activating in facility which is SUPPOSED to handle dangerous artifact would be less dangerous because they are more ready for that.

And as I said, warning museums is not worth it: it would cost lot of time better spent on other stuff, because the people being warned wouldn't know what to do with that warning. Better secure other stuff first and check museums later, hoping that they won't explode meanwhile, literally or figuratively.

3 minutes ago, Tom Sewell said:

What Ashley sees is a big bearded man in chain mail going to Ellen carrying a big sword. "EEEEEEEEEK!"

I think he doesn't have the chain mail anymore ... sure he has his sword but otherwise he will be in modern clothes.

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18 minutes ago, hkmaly said:

I'm pretty sure Magus is the hawk.

Pandora's original warning might have been about Magus, but she wouldn't have expected that that Dewitchery Diamond would turn out to be a kind of egg as well, and that egg was just hatched.

20 minutes ago, hkmaly said:

It MIGHT be better if enemy is NOT aware they just got new weapon ...

Arthur did originally say "better the enemy we know". If the FBI would want to know what potentially dangerous stuff non allies have, and preferably before someone figures it out themselves first, sneaking around might not be the best way to go about it, of non allies catch wind of anything, if might make them react unfavourably,

27 minutes ago, hkmaly said:

I still think his concern about PTTAOLUTASF is not because it's close or because it's under his direct control (although both is true) but because it's the most dangerous place now. Or, at least most dangerous compared to how little security they had there ; artifact activating in facility which is SUPPOSED to handle dangerous artifact would be less dangerous because they are more ready for that.

And as I said, warning museums is not worth it: it would cost lot of time better spent on other stuff, because the people being warned wouldn't know what to do with that warning. Better secure other stuff first and check museums later, hoping that they won't explode meanwhile, literally or figuratively.

We have Arthur here worrying that their current system is incapable of handling a potential crisis of a global scale. He mentions how their information is compartmentalized, that he can only directly contact a few places and warn them, other places in the US sounds like a lot of bureaucracy involved and with allies and non allies, trying to convince them that there's a problem might get laughed at or something, it's a bad situation to be in, knowing a potential threat exists, but no proof of it so no one believes you, but you're worse off by not trying to warn anyone, you can only hope you can change some minds before it's too late.

 

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