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Comics Discussion => Flipside Discussion => Topic started by: mittfh on September 30, 2014, 11:57:26 pm

Title: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: mittfh on September 30, 2014, 11:57:26 pm
( Looks around, sees no-one's created the Chapter 42 thread, decides to be a devil and create it himself :D )

As I thought, we're back to Bern and Polly in custody in the Colosseum at Marvallo...

...and Berns got a visitor, fresh from her own ordeal in Lehm's Dark Cell...

This is going to be an interesting reunion :)
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: sunphoenix on October 01, 2014, 05:44:24 pm
...or is it a dream of desire and nothing more? :)
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Azure Priest on October 05, 2014, 01:46:55 pm
...or is it a dream of desire and nothing more? :)

A dream, certainly. What kind of dream is at question though.

1.) A fever dream as Bern is in a healer's care after her compound fracture thanks to the arena's "tester."

2.) A magical delusion deliberately exploited by Polly.

3.) A dream fueled by desire, again exploited by Polly because Bern has neither the ability nor the option to refuse.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: SparcMan on October 06, 2014, 06:46:15 pm
Can't say I can fault Bern. Polly is pretty damn awesome and (in my opinion) even more beautiful than Maytag.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Azure Priest on October 07, 2014, 05:55:45 am
So it was a normal dream after all. Bern, it's ok. Dreams go to strange places. Even lucid dreamers don't have 100% control over where they go. Besides, it's not wrong to have those feelings, Poly's really gone out of her way for you. It's how you act on them that could be problematic.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Daisuki-chan on October 07, 2014, 05:47:55 pm
Poly's really gone out of her way for you.
An interesting misspelling... ;p
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: sunphoenix on October 08, 2014, 07:01:07 pm
So it was a normal dream after all. Bern, it's ok. Dreams go to strange places. Even lucid dreamers don't have 100% control over where they go. Besides, it's not wrong to have those feelings, Poly's really gone out of her way for you. It's how you act on them that could be problematic.

I am a lucid dreamer.. and I can attest to that.. its hard to control your dreams..even when your aware.  The hardest part, I find, is staying asleep once you realize your dreaming.  I know some mental exercises to induce a lucid dream.. but its not a 100% thing!  Sometimes I just drift off and wake up in the morning.. other times I can induce a lucid state.. but it takes a lot of concentration and it still is not a 100% thing.  Especially, if I want to get some actual sleep that night and wake up in the morning rested and not spend all night trying to induce the lucid state.

I can't fault Bern either.. she loves Polly as well.

"A dream is a wish.. your heart makes..."
"When your fast asleep..."

"In dreams you will loose your heartache..."
"Whatever, you wish for you keep!"


- Thank you Disney.

But seriously, Polly is a hottie.. and an old friend of Bern... so it only likely she will feel an attraction to her considering her feelings toward women!

Polly is cute in that tough-girl but hot Goth kinda way... but I think I'd still prefer the Smoking hot blonde that is Maytag!
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: mittfh on October 13, 2014, 11:55:12 pm
So Polly and Bern have been separated, Polly's doing wonderful in her fights, but Bern's finding her reluctance to fight is rather problematic...

...which probably means they'll find some tough, mean opponents for whom, if she doesn't fight back convincingly, will ensure she spends plenty of time being healed and not earning credits towards her release...
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Azure Priest on October 15, 2014, 09:17:25 am
Hoo boy. In prison, weakness is something you dare not show.

Bern's in serious trouble now.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Abstract Vagabond on October 17, 2014, 04:35:29 pm
For what Bern is wanting, being passive obviously wasn't an option. As much as I hate the guy, he's right. Bern was given three chances. Sure, the third chance wasn't as fair as a one on one would be, but only as far as that the three on three gave her the opportunity to make the wrong choice in not fighting.

This isn't to say that she can't be passive, but to be so, she'd have to accept the consequences on that action. She would be willing to stay in the prison for however long it takes. To accept the label of being weak and a coward, truth be damned. Bern isn't wanting that. She wants out. And yet, she wasn't willing to show them that.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Azure Priest on October 22, 2014, 05:30:54 am
A bit late to realize that, Bern. If you had merely treated these fights as training, instead of stupidly crowning "honor before reason," you might have had a better time of it, but being a pacifist after being convicted for a crime of violence is really not going to work.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Stargoat on October 22, 2014, 11:30:22 am
Technically she committed that violent crime to save someone, and even then committed no significant violence, only imposed the threat thereof.  But this seems to be the legally sanctioned government's punishment.  I myself would argue that this government is likely corrupt enough that it would not be immoral to ignore its laws (aka escape).
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Azure Priest on October 24, 2014, 09:45:14 am
Technically she committed that violent crime to save someone, and even then committed no significant violence, only imposed the threat thereof.  But this seems to be the legally sanctioned government's punishment.  I myself would argue that this government is likely corrupt enough that it would not be immoral to ignore its laws (aka escape).

... Good luck with that plan. Even if she CAN get past all the guards, her fellow inmates, and whatever "police" might be nearby, she'd permanently be a wanted criminal, in every country, and would have a hell of a time living any kind of life because she'd never know who would turn on her, or when.

Granted, she may have been pushed beyond any human reason, but she DID break the country's one and only law and she must answer for it.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: sunphoenix on October 26, 2014, 05:12:49 am
Technically she committed that violent crime to save someone, and even then committed no significant violence, only imposed the threat thereof.  But this seems to be the legally sanctioned government's punishment.  I myself would argue that this government is likely corrupt enough that it would not be immoral to ignore its laws (aka escape).

Possibly, but at least the new arena administrator 'seems' to be treating her as fairly as he is allowed to... he's likely the least corrupt. But carrying the outlaw mantle is a lifelong thing that should not be taken lightly.  Bern has always struck me as a law abiding and good-hearted individual... so being declared outlaw would be something she would want to avoid!

And besides, sometimes... you have to fight for what you believe in and is dear to your heart that is!  Bern was ready to fight for her dad's life... so clearly she s NOT a true pacifist!
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: dg86 on October 27, 2014, 11:25:13 am
LOLz.

The Bronze is strong with Bern.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Azure Priest on October 28, 2014, 05:41:35 am
And the testing warden is actually HELPING them?
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Stargoat on October 29, 2014, 10:08:52 am
And the testing warden is actually HELPING them?

No, I think she's getting ready to propose the Triple Bloody Mary solution.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: SAGG on October 29, 2014, 02:01:44 pm
Bern, you know what? Just end it. Now...  ::)
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: SparcMan on October 30, 2014, 06:01:59 am
I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that she's not just there to rub it in. She's got a proposal in mind for Bern to get her out of the situation she's in. I have little doubt that it's not going to be easy though.
Why would she be helping Bern? I would guess that she's intrigued. Poly clearly believes Bern can hold her own in a fight so she probably thinks that there's some kind of task Bern could do that would at least be entertaining regardless of the outcome.

Maybe even an all-or-nothing situation where Bern either goes free (and Poly too I hope) or stays much longer.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Azure Priest on October 30, 2014, 07:45:20 am
There is also the fact that she was skilled enough to land not one but TWO perfect counter-punches on the warden before being shut down, and hard. That's worthy of a little respect, sure. The warden probably doesn't like the care-taker too.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Furcas on October 30, 2014, 06:40:09 pm
Bern sweating like a pig.

Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Daikun on October 31, 2014, 01:16:40 am
Page 15 is up.

And it's a...repeat? (http://flipside.keenspot.com/comic.php?i=2295) :'(
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Stargoat on October 31, 2014, 10:13:15 am
Yeah, Bern is somehow going to be ending the Triple Bloody Mary threat with the combined magic killin' swords that Frank Zappa gives her.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Azure Priest on October 31, 2014, 10:47:21 am
Bern sweating like a pig.

Sweat and tears.

I've done the math. At rank D, if Bern was getting three matches a week, she would need 166 weeks to pay off the remaining 498 marks.

Assuming the Flipsideverse has the same 52 weeks a year that we do, that would be three years, 10 weeks of brutal, bloody fighting three days a week.

The dungeon's 1 mark/ week would have her there for the better part of 10 years.

Now we have to see what the Warden has in mind and hope she wasn't there just to rub their faces in it.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Saratje on November 03, 2014, 09:43:33 am
Oh no! I bet it's Bernedette fighting Polly to the death, with a take-it or leave it condition. Polly will then without doubt accept, forcing Bernedette to fight her. Beat a rank A to surpass rank A. Hope not!
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Brion Foulke on November 03, 2014, 03:36:59 pm
Assuming the Flipsideverse has the same 52 weeks a year that we do, that would be three years, 10 weeks of brutal, bloody fighting three days a week.

It does indeed.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: sunphoenix on November 04, 2014, 04:53:32 am
Yeah, Bern is somehow going to be ending the Triple Bloody Mary threat with the combined magic killin' swords that Frank Zappa gives her.

Bwahahaha...{snicker}...he really IS isn't he!

Oh no! I bet it's Bernedette fighting Polly to the death, with a take-it or leave it condition. Polly will then without doubt accept, forcing Bernedette to fight her. Beat a rank A to surpass rank A. Hope not!

There is no doubt Polly LOVES Bern... and ths would be a very sad but possible end to her... cause though she might make Bern fight... there would be no doubt to us readers {at least}... Polly would let Bern kill her. 

I sincerely hope that is NOT what the Warden s proposing.  It would storywise be tragic... but also just a little too pat and easy a solution... though indeed Bern would never be the same again.  I think Polly should be allowed to be around for some time for the drama of the love triangle between Bern, Maytag and Polly.

Personally I would like to get a chance to see Bern and Polly take on ALL takers in a battle Royale!  That would be cinematic and awesome!!

Oh... and Rest in Peace Tom Magliozzi... 'now your safe from all your ex-wives alimony claims'.  You will be missed... especially your laughter! :(
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: IronSoul on November 05, 2014, 01:13:09 pm
At this point, I think any ultimatum the Warden would offer Bernadette would be "a pat and easy solution", though it might be hell for Bernadette. Of the speculations listed, I think it's far more likely for Bernadette to have to kill Polly. I can't see the Bloody Mary clones being in Marvallo.

Whatever happens, I hope Bernadette comes to her senses soon. I started disliking her when she first ended up in Marvallo, and I've been liking her less and less each time we've seen her since.

Also, hello everyone :)
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Abstract Vagabond on November 05, 2014, 07:01:30 pm
I sense that the warden can be easily disliked because she simply does what she's required to do. That part that I like about her now is that she doesn't have anything against Bern. She wouldn't give her this help if she did. It may not be much help, but is within the guidelines of what her job is. Another chance? Well, will have to see the next page or two to know how much of a chance it is.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: mittfh on November 06, 2014, 12:09:39 am
Things are about to get interesting :)

I think the Warden's intruiged by the pair of enchanted swords, so it's fairly likely she'll give Bern a chance to use them in something other than the bottom-of-the-pile matches she's scheduled for - albeit on the understanding that if she breaks out of her funk and actually shows some decent swords[wo?]manship, she'll be able to ascend the ranks quicker (besides which, effective strategies combined with double sword wielding are likely to be a crowd-pleaser so could be good for business). "You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours."
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Azure Priest on November 07, 2014, 11:05:41 am
Or she may have to take on Bloody Mary who has apparently killed quite a few inmates (if not also guards) already and rather LIKES the "marks" system because she keeps getting sent "free food," and she doesn't have to worry about the Phalanx coming after her.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Trennicus on November 07, 2014, 02:46:10 pm
There is a character from Book 0 that is supposed to make an appearance that hasn't yet, right?

Maybe that's who Bernadette will have to fight.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Furcas on November 07, 2014, 04:25:48 pm
There is a character from Book 0 that is supposed to make an appearance that hasn't yet, right?

Maybe that's who Bernadette will have to fight.

Good thinking! My guess is it's Ashley.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Azure Priest on November 10, 2014, 06:15:10 am
Or the "evil" sorceress whose name escapes me.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: SparcMan on November 10, 2014, 10:05:45 am
"The catch is, if you lose, you'll be my personal bitch until I tire of you."
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: mittfh on November 10, 2014, 01:17:09 pm
So what's the latest state of the betting pool on Bern's oppenent / the catch? :)
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Daisuki-chan on November 10, 2014, 05:50:33 pm
Other than Polly and the warden, there aren't many interesting (at least since almost no one is a good match against Bern) known possibilities, are there? No, I don't think it's likely to be a Bloody Mary clone. ;p
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Stargoat on November 11, 2014, 07:21:25 am
It'll be the entire Chicago Bears defense.  They're looking for someone to put them out of their misery.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: sunphoenix on November 12, 2014, 05:40:52 am
"The catch is, if you lose, you'll be my personal bitch until I tire of you."

Um... yeah.  This sounds possible... this could turn really dark fast.  The warden may like girls too...!  Especially, cute little fighters like Bern!

Sexual predators come in both genders... unfortunately!

It'll be the entire Chicago Bears defense.  They're looking for someone to put them out of their misery.

Bwahaha! {snicker}.. sorry.. I'll bet euthanasia is still illegal in that 'no force inflicted upon any citizen'.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Azure Priest on November 13, 2014, 06:28:43 am
And we have the answer. The "catch" is PORN! Bern is going to have to "sell herself" in front of witnesses.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: sunphoenix on November 13, 2014, 02:05:15 pm
And we have the answer. The "catch" is PORN! Bern is going to have to "sell herself" in front of witnesses.

OH how horrid... {hidden lascivious grin}... that's soo evil! {Clattering noise of VCR and DVR being set up to record}!

:)

No... maybe heh.. but I think it might have more to do with killing someone inconvenient who just happens to be in the penal-system with her who the 'powers that be' have asked the Warden to make sure they NEVER survive to pay off their marks... or possible even throwing a fight intentionally so the house can make a killing in the side betting on the matches!  Surely you understand gambling is not illegal here and I'm sure there is a healthy market for it here in the land of 'CASH is KING!'
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: SAGG on November 13, 2014, 03:06:43 pm
You know, it kind of looks like the warden wanted Bern to be a stripper...  ;)
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: SparcMan on November 13, 2014, 03:46:10 pm
You know, it kind of looks like the warden wanted Bern to be a stripper...  ;)
I don't think it's going to be as tame a stripping, but I think you're on the right track. I have a feeling Polly is going to have a part in this as well....

If I'm right, Bern's going to have to decide if it's worth sacrificing her decency and her monogamous  devotion to Maytag to get out of prison.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: mittfh on November 13, 2014, 11:47:19 pm
or possible even throwing a fight intentionally so the house can make a killing in the side betting on the matches!

That's quite plausible - after all, Bern's established a certain reputation (namely reluctance to fight), so it's likely the majority of bets would be placed on her opponent. If she loses, so what. If she wins, the house makes a killing and she gets a handful of points. Of course, that strategy does have one drawback: it can only be used once. Still, if it allows Bern to level up in the ranks, the rest of her matches will probably be win-win as people will want to watch them.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Azure Priest on November 14, 2014, 06:09:56 am
And we have the answer. The "catch" is PORN! Bern is going to have to "sell herself" in front of witnesses.

OH how horrid... {hidden lascivious grin}... that's soo evil! {Clattering noise of VCR and DVR being set up to record}!

:)

No... maybe heh.. but I think it might have more to do with killing someone inconvenient who just happens to be in the penal-system with her who the 'powers that be' have asked the Warden to make sure they NEVER survive to pay off their marks... or possible even throwing a fight intentionally so the house can make a killing in the side betting on the matches!  Surely you understand gambling is not illegal here and I'm sure there is a healthy market for it here in the land of 'CASH is KING!'

I see where you're going with this, and yes, gambling does occur on the matches. Polly went and told Bern that en route. (Either that or Mr. Proprietor did.) However, that would exclude "opportunities where certain people pay to watch certain things." because the fights are public.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Shazam on November 15, 2014, 11:43:09 pm
And back from my hiatus after my dismay from the 'reveal' in last chapter about Suspira and her parents. :)

This is an interesting chapter. In response to the comments above that the Warden is a fair player or likes Bernadette/sees her value, if she was being fair she'd have graded her above D when she landed a couple perfect counters. No one else in the testing even touched her. If she was being objective about skills, she'd have done something like 'Make her B... you've got the skills for an A rank, but you can't be so passive. You need to show a bit of aggression.' Note, I'm not complaining she left Bernadette as a rank D. Just saying, she's not an objective/friendly advocate. She's a part of the arena too, thus this entire current scene to get Bern to do something that will create value for them, possibly in part because she knows Bern has some real skills.

I do agree Bern had multiple chances to do what she needed to do. I can't imagine Polly who is a long time local wouldn't have given her more explicit instructions on what would be expected of her and how to perform to get out fastest. The only really odd thing is how surprised Polly has seemed in many scenes and how unprepared Bern is. When Polly decided to go to the arena with her, you have to assume they spoke a good bit off screen about Polly's plan and reasoning.

Overall, a good chapter so far Brion. Thanks for the entertainment.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Azure Priest on November 16, 2014, 06:13:10 am
The only answer I can think of as to why Poly has been so consistently caught "flat footed" is that the "insider" rules are different than what the public's common perception is. At least the change in overseers got rid of the rape. (Shudder)

Now I'm wondering what those three options are.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Furcas on November 17, 2014, 04:48:00 pm
Whew! Well, sacrificing an eye obviously isn't a good idea, since it will lower her chance to win her rank-up match (and subsequent matches). Being a sex slave for a few hours isn't so bad if there's no violence and protection against pregnancy and STDs is used, but Bern probably doesn't agree with me. Let's see what the third option is!

Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Kiran on November 18, 2014, 04:40:43 am
As option 1 I myself can't really imagine wanting to please a bunch of perverted guys for few hours straight as night lasts as their sexual toy where they could use me in whatever way possible, the trauma would be enormous, and the thought I sold myself for some easy gains would eat me alive, not mentioning the self-hate from cheating on a person I currently love very much and stay in monogamous relation.
Something like that could destroy a person who is not into such things.
I would assume Bern feelings would be similiar on this topic.

I would rather agree to option 2 so far than 1.

If the eye removal is only temporary it will hurt as hell for a bit short while and then they should regenerate it anyway before Bern A rank match, similiar like they heal up people who would lose their eyes or limbs during official matches so they would be fit to fight later.
I can't really belive it would be permanent.

On emotional but also physical level option 2 would be lesser evil for Bern knowing her so far.
May too was ready to cut off her limbs for Bern, and Bern out of love for May could do the same.

Also from how Warden said things the people with money pay to watch Bern do things, as with the rape past incidents, looks like the new administration thought a little and why to give something for free, if they can put inmates in such position where they could agree to do it "willingly". Seeing how this all played out, it looks to me that the Warden and new overseer just waited for Bern to put herself in no exit spot and in right moment they decided to push her further so she would agree to this and let them earn good pile of money. After all Warden was here and listened to Bern talks with Polly so she knows now how to play this right and she also knows that Bern with time with her abilites would jump the ranks anyway, and this might be the only time to force her into doing such tasks.

The most disappointing thing here for me is sadly Polly, how come someone who lives years in this Marvallo system and is part of enforcers is so naive and lacking any kind of real knowledge, I can understand Bern being shocked how things works here, but seeing Polly being as much surprised is just strange.
I don't belive that system outside the colloseum works differently than the system inside of what we saw so far, money rule and everythins else is secondary and doesn't matter. It's a sick system cause a guy who has tone of money could kill someone and then just make some of his family or friends or he himself could just pay off the marks with money.

And the tasks kinda gave us who the people behind are, option 1 some perverted guys who just want to have fun with prostitute for the night and we have to admit Bern is a redhead beauty, option 2 looks to be some psycho option who wants to see a girl mutilate herself or he wants to do the deed himself as some eye fetish go.

I'm a bit scared what option 3 could be with the gradation.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Azure Priest on November 18, 2014, 05:40:55 am
By "inside" system, I meant the subtle, not exactly obvious or public details of the system.

For example, Polly was under the impression that inmates are "entitled" to three matches a week. This was clearly not the case. In fact, prisoners are not entitled to FOOD if the staff is sufficiently offended.

Prior to actually being a prisoner, it would be understandable that Polly, who is an honest, law-abiding citizen, would not know about the "special services" that the arena offers for those extremely wealthy, and morally dubious clients, any more than you or I would know about "special services" being offered in nearby prisons unless word of them reached the news, and even then we might not know how far the rabbit hole goes.

Sadly, looks like I was right about the "porn" thing. This is one time that I wish I wasn't.

Cutting one of your eyes out? What the heck did the supplicant hope to gain from that?

I do hope number 3 doesn't mean fighting someone to the death. It could well mean a rematch between Bern and Bloody Mary, and this time without a sorcerer to help with the "fear vomit" curse.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: wowfood on November 18, 2014, 07:06:40 am
Well so far this seems like something my boss does.  "You have three options" where two of the options are the wrong choice, and the third option is the choice they want you to make,  I can't help but think that's the case here by the first two options given.

Bern is far too attached to be with anyone other than Maytag, and removing one of her eyes would ruin her fighting style, how can you counter without depth perception (or throw a brick accurately for that matter)

But I doubt option C is going to be a fighting one, she pointed out that these are opportunities outside of fighting after all. 

Warden appeared impressed by the perfect counter, but also commented she didn't have the strength, not to mention wardern seemed to counter her counter.  We could be seeing a training moment for option C. 

"Option C, you train with me for a month, if you pass the training, you'll enter a 3 on 1 rank up match, using these swrods" or something to that effect.

I also wouldn't be surprised if there weren't some secret S ranked fights for the most skilled people, (There may be and it may have been mentioned, I can't remember) Bern could probably hold her own very well in an A rank match with her normal weapons, who knows what these twin swords do. 
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Azure Priest on November 20, 2014, 06:23:01 am
"Torture and kill someone of our choosing." OUCH! And how would Bern NOT get marks for that? And since it's something that's being seen by "clients," it would be prime blackmail material too.

So far we have...

1.) Hurt yourself psychologically, and maybe physically (depending on how rough the clients like to "play.") As well as hurt your reputation, and destroy your virtue.

2.) Hurt yourself physically, and possibly cripple yourself. (We do not know if the healers would restore the eye afterwards or if she'd remain permanently half-blind.)

3.) Hurt yourself psychologically and destroy your reputation, as well as kill a defenseless individual through torture.

Bonus option: Ignore the "opportunity" and prepare to spend a good decade in jail trying to erase marks through matches at D rank.

There is simply no parallel in real world history for the barbarism on display here.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Shazam on November 20, 2014, 06:46:37 am
"Torture and kill someone of our choosing." OUCH! And how would Bern NOT get marks for that? And since it's something that's being seen by "clients," it would be prime blackmail material too.

So far we have...

1.) Hurt yourself psychologically, and maybe physically (depending on how rough the clients like to "play.") As well as hurt your reputation, and destroy your virtue.

2.) Hurt yourself physically, and possibly cripple yourself. (We do not know if the healers would restore the eye afterwards or if she'd remain permanently half-blind.)

3.) Hurt yourself psychologically and destroy your reputation, as well as kill a defenseless individual through torture.

Bonus option: Ignore the "opportunity" and prepare to spend a good decade in jail trying to erase marks through matches at D rank.

There is simply no parallel in real world history for the barbarism on display here.

First, I actually like that Option C wasn't a predictable (Bloody Mary) choice, or a 'here is a special task we want you to do' plot. Woot Brion.

Depending on the person, these are all terrible things, but the sorts of things you hear people doing in terrible times. Sometimes people will sacrifice their self value. There are a lot of people who turn to prostitution/selling their bodies just due to poverty or for protection in jail lets say. Other people will risk injury or actively choose injury (such as selling an organ) to take care of their families. The last is the amoral one, but for someone who doesn't have morals or empathy for others... or who thinks they don't (I could see someone finding torture harder than they expected. But then there is Millgram's experiment.)

This is an abusive situation, but it's also a test of what is important. Is your sexuality important, is your body, are you willing to hurt others to help yourself?

The big question is whether they'd heal your eye. I imagine you'd have to pay for the healing, just like you pay for most things. Though perhaps the arena has a healer on staff to help injured fighters recover so they can fight more. After all, it's how the arena makes it's money too.

I still find my main grievance is how shocked Polly is. Polly is essentially a cop. The Arena is the local for profit jail/punitive system. Cops are very aware of what happens in jails, because there is tons of talk on the street about what happens inside. She'd hear folk talking at the bars regularly about how it works. She'd also have been sure to prep Bern better, even as a sometime spectator.. knowing that it's how you fight as much as how well that impacts a fighter's popularity. (Ie, all the top ranked fighters are flashy/aggressive, while equally skilled but boring ones are lower ranked.)

Polly had a plan, she was exactly the sort who'd know what sort of stuff goes on in the arena. Her constant shocked expressions and Bern's passivity coming in are out of place. I suspect webcomics and the stories don't get an editor though, so it's all forgivable :) Now, where this might work is if Polly is working another angle, and is actually secretly gathering information about abuses in the arena that go beyond the law after the scandal with the last overseer, and thus is playing up her innocence. I don't imagine that's what's happening though. Still, a resolution of her clueless behavior. :P

Working around that issue, I find the test posed by the warden interesting. We know May sacrificed a finger and would have sacrificed a breast for Bern. I'd think given her presentation she might choose to lose an eye. That said, and horrific as a night of unwanted (and likely unpleasant) sex would be, it would likely leave her in a better position to survive and thrive and thus exit the arena. I don't see Bern as she's been portrayed choosing in however, nor torturing someone. Thus B or D would be my guess.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: SAGG on November 20, 2014, 06:50:38 am
If it's the option of choosing to torture somebody, who'd place their bets that it would be Polly herself? You'd clean up, I'd suspect....  ::)

These people are really messed up in this place....
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Stargoat on November 20, 2014, 07:46:44 am
There is simply no parallel in real world history for the barbarism on display here.

Oh goodness no.  The Romans were much harder on their prisoners than this and as systematic.  What about the triangle slave trade - two or more months on a hell ship?  The cruelties of pre-modern China were for decades assumed to be a myth - they weren't.  The Vikings weren't systematic, but were quite a bit more cruel.  And don't get me started on the Harkonnens.

As strange as it sounds, its not that bad.  She seems to have some basic rights, which the folks above did not.  She seems to have the right to choose her fate.  No one is being out and out violated.  She stole, she's in jail.  The punishment of being in jail for years seems unduly harsh to our sensibilities, but the choices she has been offered clearly have been simply stolen from the less powerful in the past.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Shazam on November 20, 2014, 09:42:51 am
There is simply no parallel in real world history for the barbarism on display here.

Oh goodness no.  The Romans were much harder on their prisoners than this and as systematic.  What about the triangle slave trade - two or more months on a hell ship?  The cruelties of pre-modern China were for decades assumed to be a myth - they weren't.  The Vikings weren't systematic, but were quite a bit more cruel.  And don't get me started on the Harkonnens.

As strange as it sounds, its not that bad.  She seems to have some basic rights, which the folks above did not.  She seems to have the right to choose her fate.  No one is being out and out violated.  She stole, she's in jail.  The punishment of being in jail for years seems unduly harsh to our sensibilities, but the choices she has been offered clearly have been simply stolen from the less powerful in the past.

Pretty much. One night as a prostitute, a painful but fixable injury or something violent and amoral but hurts someone else (which sadly we've seen many people are willing to do.)

It's only shocking in a modern sense, and because Bern is so utterly vanilla and without complex conflicts in her nature. It's why I like this chapter.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: sunphoenix on November 20, 2014, 01:21:59 pm
There is simply no parallel in real world history for the barbarism on display here.

Oh goodness no.  The Romans were much harder on their prisoners than this and as systematic.  What about the triangle slave trade - two or more months on a hell ship?  The cruelties of pre-modern China were for decades assumed to be a myth - they weren't.  The Vikings weren't systematic, but were quite a bit more cruel.  And don't get me started on the Harkonnens.

As strange as it sounds, its not that bad.  She seems to have some basic rights, which the folks above did not.  She seems to have the right to choose her fate.  No one is being out and out violated.  She stole, she's in jail.  The punishment of being in jail for years seems unduly harsh to our sensibilities, but the choices she has been offered clearly have been simply stolen from the less powerful in the past.

EXACTLY!  There are no crueler creatures in the world than mankind.. there is no depths to which men will not sink for sick perverse entertainment or callous cruelty!

North Korea of today, the honor maimings and murder in the tribal traditions of the middle east and India Asia, not to mention the brutality of Shariah law inflicted by zealots in the name of "righteousness", 'nuff said!

And we have the answer. The "catch" is PORN! Bern is going to have to "sell herself" in front of witnesses.

OH how horrid... {hidden lascivious grin}... that's soo evil! {Clattering noise of VCR and DVR being set up to record}!

:)

No... maybe heh.. but I think it might have more to do with killing someone inconvenient who just happens to be in the penal-system with her who the 'powers that be' have asked the Warden to make sure they NEVER survive to pay off their marks... or possible even throwing a fight intentionally so the house can make a killing in the side betting on the matches!  Surely you understand gambling is not illegal here and I'm sure there is a healthy market for it here in the land of 'CASH is KING!'

Guess I sort of nailed it!  Sheesh.  Not sure I like the idea that I can think like these twisted assholes!  :'(

THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT to these sickos in Bern's case!

They don't want a prositute... they could hire a willing and much more skilled whore than Bern would ever be. NO.  This is ALL about demeaning a proud and noble heart.  Some people get a kick out of hurting and defiling the purity of spirit in the innocent.  It is not lost on the powers that be WHY Bern is in this situation!  She is known to be a law-abiding upstanding warrior woman.. but she willingly broke the law for the sake of loving devotion to a father who hardly has been a sterling model of fatherhood.  Her actions in the arena showed her to be a gentle and unviolent young woman.  Yes she is a warrior, they know how good she is it can't have escaped their notice so for her to not give into anger or casual violence to save herself says something about her nature and heart.  She is a gentle soul without malice or cruelty or depravity in her heart...

To the twisted, jaded, and lascivious that is a 'choice' piece of meat to have fun seeing her whimper and the mental torment not to mention the shear look of shame in her eyes as her spirit is broken if she chooses option A of having to live with the memory of her flesh defiled by the perverse hands of lustful defilers; of the barbaric tasks they've set before her!

DO NOT miss the fact the Entertainment has already started.. they are likely already betting on which option she will take!

So eye guess its, 'say goodbye to the one Eye love!'
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: UmberIsSexy on November 21, 2014, 04:30:41 am
Those are really hard choices. Knowing Bern though I would say she'll CUT HER OWN EYE OUT (ew!)

The telling point is whether she would look cool with some kind of eyepatch, and...of course she would!
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Kiran on November 21, 2014, 07:03:25 am
Those are really hard choices. Knowing Bern though I would say she'll CUT HER OWN EYE OUT (ew!)

The telling point is whether she would look cool with some kind of eyepatch, and...of course she would!
Eh, now I really want to see her choosing option 2.

Option 3 is not possible for Bern.

Option 1 is, but it would mean she would give up on everything she is and what ideals she holds dear.

Backing now out towards option 4 would mean that the Warden would make her stay here a very, very long time giving her maybe 1 fight per week to punish her for again wasting her time and these "great" opportunities she gave Bern to do.

So option 2 would be the least harmless one for person like Bern.

And I agree just seeing Bern with a black eyepatch would be quite a cool thing to see ::)
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: SAGG on November 21, 2014, 11:14:43 am
You all seem to forget another hidden option: Escape....  ;D
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Azure Priest on November 22, 2014, 05:20:33 am
You all seem to forget another hidden option: Escape....  ;D

And how far would either of them get?

The warden alone has shown that she's more than capable of taking on either Bern or Polly with ease single handed. She might have a bit of difficulty with both, but there's a rather large contingent of guards there as well, plus, if push really comes to shove, there's a bunch of prisoners that could easily used as cannon fodder to help take them down. Not just because they might get marks removed or moved up the mark system, but because they would ENJOY beating up a "weak and cowardly" girl who simply refused to fight in the arena.

Then there's what to do afterwards. Even if they DID manage to actually escape the prison, what then? They'd both be wanted criminals, and have the enforcers of the entire country hunting for them, and sneaking out of the border wouldn't help much as there seems to be an "international" treaty where criminals in one country are considered criminals in ALL countries, and if you think the treatment Bern's endured at the hands of Escalon's knights, and the enforcers here is bad, you haven't seen ANYTHING yet. That's just for the law enforcement. We haven't even touched on vigilantes or bounty hunters.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: SAGG on November 23, 2014, 12:35:13 am
All the more to add to the story, don't you think? And haven't you forgotten that there's magic everywhere? Magic is...well...magic. Anything could happen in Flipside. Besides, where's all this info you're getting about treaties and the like? Bern and Polly would be criminals in that region, yes, but who's to say they'd be wanted in other regions? Heck, they'd probably be heroes somewhere else for what they did.  :P
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Kiran on November 23, 2014, 10:19:18 am
I can't really see them trying to escape, if author really wanted to play that card he wouldn't put so many pages on the whole horrible fate options which await Bern angle.

And he wouldn't use Warden to tell us how weak Bern is every time because she didn't want to be active and violent from start, which Polly by the way should tell Bern anyway is a way to fight here, but for "plot" reasons to put Bern into desperate situation like cornered animal, she kinda forgot that while herself fightning seriously.

Bern willingly choosing to become a prostitute, a torturer/murderer or mutilating herself...
I can't really see any of such options making her stronger or better, all in some way will make her selling part of herself for easy gain of A rank match which itself would show she is weak and needs the special Warden treatment.

It would be nice for Bern to say fuck you to Warden offer and trying to gain rank normally even if that would take more time.
Sometimes the biggest weakness of Bern is her love for May so I can't really see her wasting such "opportunity" to see May quicker even if that will mean hurting herself but also May in the process, cause I don't think May would be happy with any option here for Bern as a choice.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: mittfh on November 24, 2014, 12:24:00 am
There are merits to Option D - especially if Warden gives her the second sword. Sure it's the longer route, but given the fights are a spectator sport, displaying cool / unusual tactics (or badass levels of skill with the dual blades) could draw more than the average number of spectators for a match at that level, so over a month or two she may attract sufficient spectators for The Warden to consider bumping her up to C (or above). Use tactics that disable the opponent for a few hours, but don't cause lasting damage - thus playing to the letter of their law, but retaining the upper hand in terms of control over her own destiny.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: sunphoenix on November 24, 2014, 02:36:52 am
Huh.  Well... I hate to admit it.. but I can actually see the Warden's point, somewhat.  It does not legitimize these barbarous sick choices in anyway~ but I get what's she's getting at.

Though this is a rather extreme school of tough love... I do not agree with, but I at least understand her point she is making.

Option A.  Rape or perhaps submitting to an assault upon your body in a most intimate and personal way is a trauma.. many do not recover from.  But there are many male and female survivors of sexual assault that carry on, survive and do not let the terrible crime destroy the person inside that is them.  That is not to say those who cannot just 'carry on' are inferior or wrong or weak... every person is different and NO ONE should have to endure such a terrible traumatic experience.  But those who do steele their hearts to not let that event ruin the person that is them... that does denote a strong spirit that is not daunted by tempest or trail.

Option B.  There are many who would shrink back from any physical harm.  The fear of pain is a motivator that can make the strongest person endure a untenable situation to avoid physical harm.  But a willingness to harm/main oneself denotes a spirit that is not quailed by the spectre of raw pain.  A spirit that is not invested in their physical body, willing to accept pain understanding the ones body is not who they are, but the heart ans spirit inside are not changed by the how battered the package containing them is... That is a strong spirit!  That is what makes true love still passionate though age may bend the body and wrinkle skin... it is the heart and spirit of the person within that inspired the love to begin with ... and it never wavers or dims.

Option C.  To inflict torment and death on another at the command or whim of others to some is no trail at all.  But to the kind-hearted, to the noble of spirit, to a heart that is filled with devotion for justice.. such a deed is perhaps the worse of all to have to endure!  For it is not the superficial damage of physical scars, nor is it the trauma of the sexual assault inflicted upon your person NOT of your control or YOUR fault... but actually wickedness and cruelty inflicted consciously by your own hand upon another!  I... personally could not imagine a WORSE or more traumatic deed than to be forced to inflict suffering and eventual death upon another for no other reason than the sick cruel amusement of others.  It would take a VERY strong spirit to endure such a traumatic trail and not come out unchanged forever!

No, these trials, these choices were Very specific.. which I now see the Warden has taken a 'personal' hand in arranging!  But what her motivations for doing so are still nebulous?   
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Azure Priest on November 24, 2014, 05:20:31 am
All the more to add to the story, don't you think? And haven't you forgotten that there's magic everywhere? Magic is...well...magic. Anything could happen in Flipside. Besides, where's all this info you're getting about treaties and the like? Bern and Polly would be criminals in that region, yes, but who's to say they'd be wanted in other regions? Heck, they'd probably be heroes somewhere else for what they did.  :P

I haven't forgotten there's magic everywhere. That's why the Phalanx exists. Crest's home country is the only one that doesn't allow the Phalanx to patrol its territory. If Bern and Poly escape the prison, especially using violence, the country could (and probably would) petition the Phalanx for aid, and they would hunt the both of them regardless of region. If they flee to Crest's home country, the Knights would come after them, and if the Knights can't handle it, they MIGHT let the Phalanx deal with them, so no, they won't be "heroes" anywhere. Brion did post a basic diplomatic overview and the nation-states map at one point.

Point is, fleeing the country won't help much.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Shazam on November 24, 2014, 10:22:32 am
I find it interesting that many in the forum were on a similar page to the warden.

Bern has put herself in a tight spot, she's squandered Polly's sacrifice by continuing to be passive and unwilling to do what's needed in her situation. She now has a set of options that will assess her values for what is the least inimical option to help her get free in months instead of years.

Truthfully, I'd find it most interesting if she chose something other than B. B is boring. It's the 'I'm too pure and good and vanilla' choice. I couldn't bear to use my body for sex for a night, and can't actually torture someone, so I'll sniff sniff sacrifice myself.

It would be interesting if Bern has a bit of an epiphany and if she's going to step up, instead thinks, "Losing an eye here could be fatal as there's no reason to think they will heal it and I can't afford to. If I want to see May again, I'll just have to choose..." I'd assume A in that case, but who knows. Now she'll have made a real sacrifice to get out. Sacrificing some of her innocence. That's character growth. An eye is just something to get a healing potion, not a trauma for a warrior, or a vanilla goody two shoes.

We'll see. As I said, I'm enjoying this chapter a great deal. Conflict reveals character.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: SAGG on November 24, 2014, 11:00:34 am
All the more to add to the story, don't you think? And haven't you forgotten that there's magic everywhere? Magic is...well...magic. Anything could happen in Flipside. Besides, where's all this info you're getting about treaties and the like? Bern and Polly would be criminals in that region, yes, but who's to say they'd be wanted in other regions? Heck, they'd probably be heroes somewhere else for what they did.  :P

I haven't forgotten there's magic everywhere. That's why the Phalanx exists. Crest's home country is the only one that doesn't allow the Phalanx to patrol its territory. If Bern and Poly escape the prison, especially using violence, the country could (and probably would) petition the Phalanx for aid, and they would hunt the both of them regardless of region. If they flee to Crest's home country, the Knights would come after them, and if the Knights can't handle it, they MIGHT let the Phalanx deal with them, so no, they won't be "heroes" anywhere. Brion did post a basic diplomatic overview and the nation-states map at one point.

Point is, fleeing the country won't help much.

Okay, then, what would YOU choose? It's simply not in Bern's nature to do any of these choices given to her, based on what we know. Give me a definitive one you believe she'll take, and stick to it. If you're going to put down my position, then at least defend your option, whichever it is...  ::)
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: sunphoenix on November 24, 2014, 12:19:20 pm
Okay, then, what would YOU choose?

I know its not pointed at me... but it would be irrelevant for me to choose.. I would not be in this situation.  I would have fought good and hard to get out as quickly as possible.. being as merciful as I could but more interested in getting out than making a pointless moral show of false pacifism.

I'm a warrior... I don't like to fight and I despise pointless killing, but if I was ready to draw steel to save my father's life.. you can bet damn well I'd be willing to stand by that decision to the bitter or distasteful end!
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Kiran on November 25, 2014, 02:45:29 am
For me Bern choosing option 1 would be kinda stupid, she loves May and want to see her faster so to do that she will willingly cheat on her with random strangers for whole night to make that happen?

And we talk about a person who is a shy monogamous lesbian who so far had 2 sexual partners in the comic with who she was intimate which based solely on the romantic feelings they shared(we could also add Polly here as 3rd unrequited option), and who is also easy embarrassed by even her friends or associates seeing her nude body, and now such person would be forced to undress herself and spend whole night of becoming sexual slave(which means vaginal, anal and also possibly oral sex, or even double penetration and all that without considering her anything other than a piece of meat to fuck) by random group of guys.

Question is why Bern need to meet with May right away, I know Bern loves her, but that is childish and it's her biggest weakness, she should just grit her teeth, acknowledge that she fucked up and take the punishment as real warrior to climb the rank normally using only her skills and not the selling her body or injuring it or killing someone else for the shortcut promotion, choosing that would be showing she is indeed weak.

After all Polly will go out earlier than her, she just can ask Polly to give May a message and then they could go back here and pay for Bern marks if needed.
This whole drama if you will read from start is basically over nothing.
So what, Bern will see May 6 months or even later than with original plan(cause even if she is rank D with two magical swords and changing her attitude towards fights for real she will climb back fast), is Bern so insecure in her love with Maytag that she thinks May will find someone else during that time enough to accept one of the crazy deals which would make her giving important part of herself over literally nothing?
Cause even once Bern didn't think how this would affect her own life, just it's all over I will see May later than planned thing.
She needs to become a bit of selfish person. An individual should not degrade herself so much over love for another where it's not needed and it is not life threatening situation for both.

Seeing how Warden played this all out into cornering them, Bern and Polly should just take a break, breathe in or two and resolve this like thinking adults.
But seeing Bern reaction from last panel looks like the decision will be made soon one way or another.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Shazam on November 25, 2014, 08:43:05 am
Option D is valid too. Working it off the hard way, but it won't be 6 months, it'll likely be years, and there's no implication that she's getting those swords if she doesn't step up.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: maddhopps on November 26, 2014, 06:27:57 am
Unless she rejects those choices out right, option B seems the most likely for Bern to choose. 

Option C: She would probably reject outright because killing someone in cold blood is the one that goes most against her moral code, let alone throwing in torture. C probably won't factor in at all.

Option A: I just can't see Bern choosing to be a sex slave and a victim to other peoples whims.  Maybe if there was more immediate pressure and the stakes were higher, but yeah I just can't see her choosing that.

Option B: This option is the only one where the only victim and perpetrator is Bern. It fits in with Bern's willingness to self sacrifice, while not violating her morals. Also it seems like a moment like this was coming since Chapter 10 where Bern wondered if she would be able "mutilate" herself for the sake of May, throw in Polly's fate being tied to Bern's and I think we have the most likely option here.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Shazam on November 26, 2014, 10:57:48 am
Option B: This option is the only one where the only victim and perpetrator is Bern. It fits in with Bern's willingness to self sacrifice, while not violating her morals. Also it seems like a moment like this was coming since Chapter 10 where Bern wondered if she would be able "mutilate" herself for the sake of May, throw in Polly's fate being tied to Bern's and I think we have the most likely option here.


I agree. It's most likely, just also uninteresting. It isn't a stretching of the character, it doesn't raise any questions of moral conflict. It's just a self sacrifice, which offers no real character growth. It isn't even a sacrifice in this world except temporarily as they can regrow bodyparts. I've enjoyed this chapter so far, I hope there is more of a twist than that. Even if it's somehow a permanent loss, it isn't a very meaningful one in context of a story.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: maddhopps on November 26, 2014, 01:07:09 pm
I agree that B is the less interesting option, but I disagree that the other two options would do more for her character growth.  The other choices go so much against her character that it wouldn't really come off as character growth and more turning her into something she isn't. 

I think Bern's current arc is building to making her more assertive and aggressive while staying true to her character.  I think the moral conflict will come once she starts engaging in fights and finding out how far she will engage in that violence the closer she gets to freedom.

As a side note some interesting things that can come from B (at least in the immediate):
*She'll have tougher opponents to help her rank up faster, but she'll be a worst fighter to start off.
*In line with the above she may be forced to reevaluate and change her fighting style.
*Going back to chapter 10 doing something like cutting her eye out herself, she considered impossible, her resolving to do so could lead to a character defining moment.
 *It is possible that Bern would refuse to replace her eye. Like her scar she may keep it as a reminder of something or maybe because of her Knightly beliefs. (Orransong also has a missing eye)
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Azure Priest on November 27, 2014, 06:05:23 am
All the more to add to the story, don't you think? And haven't you forgotten that there's magic everywhere? Magic is...well...magic. Anything could happen in Flipside. Besides, where's all this info you're getting about treaties and the like? Bern and Polly would be criminals in that region, yes, but who's to say they'd be wanted in other regions? Heck, they'd probably be heroes somewhere else for what they did.  :P

I haven't forgotten there's magic everywhere. That's why the Phalanx exists. Crest's home country is the only one that doesn't allow the Phalanx to patrol its territory. If Bern and Poly escape the prison, especially using violence, the country could (and probably would) petition the Phalanx for aid, and they would hunt the both of them regardless of region. If they flee to Crest's home country, the Knights would come after them, and if the Knights can't handle it, they MIGHT let the Phalanx deal with them, so no, they won't be "heroes" anywhere. Brion did post a basic diplomatic overview and the nation-states map at one point.

Point is, fleeing the country won't help much.

Okay, then, what would YOU choose? It's simply not in Bern's nature to do any of these choices given to her, based on what we know. Give me a definitive one you believe she'll take, and stick to it. If you're going to put down my position, then at least defend your option, whichever it is...  ::)

I wouldn't be in that position, as I would have not refused to participate in the ranking test. Granted, I don't have Bern's level of skill, but if I was being tested for gladiatorial combat because I confessed to ASSAULTING somebody, I sure as hell wouldn't sit back and claim "pacifist" when it came my turn to be tested. Now if I got a "D" rank despite having done my best, that would be a different story, but Bern had THREE official chances to show her stuff and threw them all away.

And it looks like she took option "B." That's really going to hurt, both physically and her fighting ability.

Ooh, and Polly's got a point. The warden never did promise that the A rank-up match would be fair, did she?
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: SAGG on November 29, 2014, 05:16:09 am
All the more to add to the story, don't you think? And haven't you forgotten that there's magic everywhere? Magic is...well...magic. Anything could happen in Flipside. Besides, where's all this info you're getting about treaties and the like? Bern and Polly would be criminals in that region, yes, but who's to say they'd be wanted in other regions? Heck, they'd probably be heroes somewhere else for what they did.  :P

I haven't forgotten there's magic everywhere. That's why the Phalanx exists. Crest's home country is the only one that doesn't allow the Phalanx to patrol its territory. If Bern and Poly escape the prison, especially using violence, the country could (and probably would) petition the Phalanx for aid, and they would hunt the both of them regardless of region. If they flee to Crest's home country, the Knights would come after them, and if the Knights can't handle it, they MIGHT let the Phalanx deal with them, so no, they won't be "heroes" anywhere. Brion did post a basic diplomatic overview and the nation-states map at one point.

Point is, fleeing the country won't help much.

Okay, then, what would YOU choose? It's simply not in Bern's nature to do any of these choices given to her, based on what we know. Give me a definitive one you believe she'll take, and stick to it. If you're going to put down my position, then at least defend your option, whichever it is...  ::)

I wouldn't be in that position, as I would have not refused to participate in the ranking test. Granted, I don't have Bern's level of skill, but if I was being tested for gladiatorial combat because I confessed to ASSAULTING somebody, I sure as hell wouldn't sit back and claim "pacifist" when it came my turn to be tested. Now if I got a "D" rank despite having done my best, that would be a different story, but Bern had THREE official chances to show her stuff and threw them all away.

And it looks like she took option "B." That's really going to hurt, both physically and her fighting ability.

Ooh, and Polly's got a point. The warden never did promise that the A rank-up match would be fair, did she?

That's right, the warden didn't. So, I suppose we both had a point, didn't we? Bern could "escape" all of these options by not playing fair, whereas she's still also taking an option...
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: sunphoenix on November 29, 2014, 09:42:38 pm
... At least there's no raping.  ::)

But indeed it seems that no one official in this prison is going to act with any forthrightness... best answer/option is to show them your not going to play fool for their sick entertainment!
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Shazam on December 01, 2014, 03:41:54 pm
What's great is that each of our three 'mains', are separated and on quests that will challenge and change them potentially.



When and if they all meet again, they may be more interesting and tested individuals.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Azure Priest on December 02, 2014, 05:50:41 am
... At least there's no raping.  ::)

But indeed it seems that no one official in this prison is going to act with any forthrightness... best answer/option is to show them your not going to play fool for their sick entertainment!

AND doing exactly that is what got Bern into this mess in the first place, remember?

Eesh, three on one? That's tough even under the best conditions. So will Bern take option A or C? And who will she have to torture to death under option C?
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: sunphoenix on December 02, 2014, 06:19:04 am
AND doing exactly that is what got Bern into this mess in the first place, remember?

Eh.. that's not really in the same context.  And no it was acting to save her father's life that got her into this situation.  Weather she chooses one of their options or refuses them does not change her state from its current predicament.

However, three on one... could be tough but her 'obvious' handicap of one eye could also be turned to an advantage by a willy warrior. 

You know your opponents will see your side without sight as a opening.  Well~ use that to lure them into coming at you where you are paying the most attention feinting inattentiveness to draw them in and strike at their lowered defenses!  It will be hard.. but a very skillful and cunning warrior will find ways to capitalize on the obvious...

That coupled with some unexpected aggressiveness she could down one opponent before her foes realize she has been sandbagging all this time!  Remember they ALL think she is weak and timid! 

I would Focus on one foe immediately.. {preferrably the one most confident opponent} and striking that one down with unexpected ferocity will surprise them and hopefully stymie the remaining two's cohesiveness as they reassess their target.  Use that moment of indecision to hard press the second foe in a VERY Obvious and Aggressive Assault that can be easily defended against.  ALL to cover your actual tactic of drawing the third foe in toward your "Weak" side.. and when he takes the bait... DESTROY him also!  Then it will be a mostly fair fight of one on one!

If she is fast, aggressive, and cunning she can defeat them before they realize they ARE really facing a dangerous foe!

"Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak."

"All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near."

"Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt."
- All: Sun Tsu, The Art of War
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: maddhopps on December 03, 2014, 10:47:59 am
I guess good on Polly for getting clarification about the type of A rank match Bern would be getting into, but at the end of the day it probably doesn't change the choice much. It is still be her best chance to getting out as soon as possible.

I also lost sight of the title of this chapter, while Bern would be a weaker fighter to start with one eye, she'd have a stronger weapon that is suited for combating magic and maybe other enchanted weapons. The way the Warden phrased it she'll only give Bern those swords if its used in A rank matches.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: sunphoenix on December 03, 2014, 02:18:50 pm
Good ole' Polly is SO hardcore! lol! She makes me hot! :)
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: maddhopps on December 03, 2014, 04:02:20 pm
I just have a hard time buying her choosing option C. I imagine that the person they'll choose for her to kill would be Polly (which she would never do) and even if it isn't I can't see how Bern is convinced  to torture and kill someone in cold blood, unless Polly is seeing some loophole there.

I guess the story could be heading towards A, which would be the least interesting to me story wise, but, eh, I guess we will find out soon enough.

Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: nilinet on December 03, 2014, 05:56:58 pm
All choices suck... I wouldn't want option A, but it's the only one where everyone gets to remain physically intact and alive. But a woman would have to be psychologically strong, or plain callous in some way in order to deal with such an experience for the rest of her life.

I don't think any option should be taken. Bern needs to own the audience's attention- become the main reason why anyone watches. She could offer more than an ordinary fight, and be the misfit that challenges the system. ..But I think I'm thinking too much about the movie Gladiator. I'll have to wait and see how differently this plays out.

It would just be cool to see her become an anomaly that the colosseum has difficulty controlling.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Shazam on December 03, 2014, 09:02:23 pm
All choices suck... I wouldn't want option A, but it's the only one where everyone gets to remain physically intact and alive. But a woman would have to be psychologically strong, or plain callous in some way in order to deal with such an experience for the rest of her life.

I don't think any option should be taken. Bern needs to own the audience's attention- become the main reason why anyone watches. She could offer more than an ordinary fight, and be the misfit that challenges the system. ..But I think I'm thinking too much about the movie Gladiator. I'll have to wait and see how differently this plays out.

It would just be cool to see her become an anomaly that the colosseum has difficulty controlling.

There is this. While I was pointing out earlier that despite some forum posts, the Warden isn't on Bern's side and neither is the administrator. They aren't her enemies. She's just a tool for revenues for them. If she did reject the offer and started working to change her style and make very impressive fights, they'd react whatever they say. Why? Because it's money. If she starts being flashy in dispatching people, or breaks time records to finish fights people will get interested in her and they'll in turn promote her. It's the fans and bettors that drive matchups in fight sports. Become a fan favorite and she'll get her shots at promotion and even bigger fights. I doubt we're going to see her going through months of build up due to demands of plot, but it's IC valid.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: sunphoenix on December 05, 2014, 05:46:06 am
Hmmm... Polly has a point. 

And to the writer whose story I'm personally enjoying... please don't feel required to pander to all the criticism of forum posters.  I was perfectly find with the story as Polly not being familiar with the inner workings of the Marvollo's penal system. 

Even modern police officers know what our penal system "should" be like... but that sometimes is hardly the reality!

Polly's unfamiliarity is perfectly plausible at least to me.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Azure Priest on December 05, 2014, 06:56:53 am
AND doing exactly that is what got Bern into this mess in the first place, remember?

Eh.. that's not really in the same context.  And no it was acting to save her father's life that got her into this situation.  Weather she chooses one of their options or refuses them does not change her state from its current predicament.

However, three on one... could be tough but her 'obvious' handicap of one eye could also be turned to an advantage by a willy warrior. 

You know your opponents will see your side without sight as a opening.  Well~ use that to lure them into coming at you where you are paying the most attention feinting inattentiveness to draw them in and strike at their lowered defenses!  It will be hard.. but a very skillful and cunning warrior will find ways to capitalize on the obvious...

That coupled with some unexpected aggressiveness she could down one opponent before her foes realize she has been sandbagging all this time!  Remember they ALL think she is weak and timid! 

I would Focus on one foe immediately.. {preferrably the one most confident opponent} and striking that one down with unexpected ferocity will surprise them and hopefully stymie the remaining two's cohesiveness as they reassess their target.  Use that moment of indecision to hard press the second foe in a VERY Obvious and Aggressive Assault that can be easily defended against.  ALL to cover your actual tactic of drawing the third foe in toward your "Weak" side.. and when he takes the bait... DESTROY him also!  Then it will be a mostly fair fight of one on one!

If she is fast, aggressive, and cunning she can defeat them before they realize they ARE really facing a dangerous foe!

"Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak."

"All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near."

"Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt."
- All: Sun Tsu, The Art of War

Her official ranking challenge she explicitly said "I refuse to play your sick game." And here we are, looking at 3 years imprisonment MINIMUM unless we take one of those three options to "earn" the Rank Up match and win. Even then, she's at the proprietor's mercy in getting timely matches.

Poly's analysis does have merit. Lashing someone who has a LOT of marks to death could indeed count as torturing someone to death.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: maddhopps on December 05, 2014, 11:38:27 am
Polly's C gambit makes some sense, if it works like she thinks, since most people would only choose the lashings expecting to survive. Convincing Bern of that will  probably be a big challenge for her. ( Will Bern be able to complete it should she choose C would be the next big question.)
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: sunphoenix on December 06, 2014, 03:41:43 am
Is there something a little... manic or just a tad too eager in Polly's eyes?
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: das-g on December 06, 2014, 04:15:55 am
Is there something a little... manic or just a tad too eager in Polly's eyes?
My guess is, Polly's trying hard to defend her preferred option not just against Bern's conscience, but also her own.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: das-g on December 06, 2014, 04:35:22 am
If Warden so freely confirms Polly's assumption (that the person to be tortured would be a criminal who's chosen whipping as his penalty) to be correct, there must be another catch to option C, besides how its cruelty opposes Bernadette. (Assuming Warden isn't lying about this point, anyway.) Remember it's a person of their (Warden & co.'s) choosing. Whom are they gonna choose? To make this even harder on Bernadette, probably not some despicable person, but someone who got their points as (morally, though not legally) unmerited as Bern and Polly. Maybe even someone she knows and likes?
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: SAGG on December 06, 2014, 08:54:32 am
If Warden so freely confirms Polly's assumption (that the person to be tortured would be a criminal who's chosen whipping as his penalty) to be correct, there must be another catch to option C, besides how its cruelty opposes Bernadette. (Assuming Warden isn't lying about this point, anyway.) Remember it's a person of their (Warden & co.'s) choosing. Whom are they gonna choose? To make this even harder on Bernadette, probably not some despicable person, but someone who got their points as (morally, though not legally) unmerited as Bern and Polly. Maybe even someone she knows and likes?

Polly. Gotta be her...  :(
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Azure Priest on December 06, 2014, 10:30:10 pm
Poly didn't choose lashing. Bern's father, on the other hand, might have, especially if he was desperate and got into a bit of a tiff with the guards when he tried to have Bern's new sword delivered to her.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: SAGG on December 07, 2014, 05:01:36 am
Poly didn't choose lashing. Bern's father, on the other hand, might have, especially if he was desperate and got into a bit of a tiff with the guards when he tried to have Bern's new sword delivered to her.

Possibly. Didn't think about that. This would be a horrible irony, wouldn't it, since he was the one who put Bern in this spot in the first place...  >:(
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Kiran on December 07, 2014, 06:30:46 am
I have to admitt the Warden just is doing her job, and isn't anti-Bern here or anything as I initially thought.
They ask, she honestly replies, if they won't ask in detail first then it's their fault.

As for Polly finally finding her own tongue here, I really don't buy her reasoning, after all the person can be a murderer/rapist or just monster in human skin who would deserve nothing else than being killed and that would be ok with Bern moral code, like she changed mindset about Bloody Mary in the past, but in the end it also might be just a person like Bern who defended or fought for his/her family and just being poor or in some unfortunate event put his/her in such position, and he/she could be tricked into accepting the lashing punishment than doing something else.

Polly can't be lashed cause she had choosen colloseum route.
I doubt it can be the father cause Bern's already paying for him by her own fate.
So by logic it's just some random prisoner who first had agreed to such form of punishment thinking he/she can live through it so he would get out in the most quick way.

And for me Bern won't agree to it if she won't be certain that the person she would have to torture/kill is a really bad one, and I don't think Warden will tell her, but maybe I'm wrong. I think next page Bern will ask about this, she won't get an answer she hoped for, and she will ask about option 1 details how that would be played. Maybe it's similiar to option 3 where torturing and killing someone is just a way of usual punishment there through lashing, that sexual slave is not directly connected to intercourse but maybe to provide just some services like striptease for whole night, but we will see.

Obviously we already know author will not back out from this cause it would mean wasting so many pages and judging how little time passed from beginning of this story, then a few months-one year timeskip is not possible, I think. I wonder if prisoner can mix the usual punishment, let's say 50 lashes per week and after being cured to be ready to fight in colloseum each time than taking whole lashing deal all at once.

And like someone above said since we are in the middle of the chapter about swords(nice it will be 60 pages one than just 30), I hope we will finally move to that soon, judging by the name used and knowledge that the pair of swords are some anti-magical weapons, I bet when used in pair one sword can dispel enchantments/magic with what it cuts/touches, and other makes the owner resistant to magic base attacks/mind tricks etc. And judging by how A rank people fight where the magical weapons are the things making the difference, if Bern would be able to remove that factor from the fights she might have even bigger chances even against 3 opponents who would not know what her swords might do yet, but for not even Bern doesn't know anything about them.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Enkida on December 07, 2014, 09:27:47 am
I can't even read the latest page (page 31) - every time I open it on my iPad I am immediately shunted to the app store for a game of some kind, *usually* Star Wars Commander.  It is really, really fvcking annoying.  Can you check the ads you're running on the page please?
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: sunphoenix on December 08, 2014, 06:58:55 am
Boy!  I'm kinda at a loss here!  I got no idea what Bern will choose...!  I mean the obvious choices are... now so discussed in the actual comic between Bern, Polly and the Warden that... they almost seem too obvious! 

What if Bern chooses something completely unexpected?  It "seems" as if that is what our writer might be hinting at! 

I'm really not sure what Bern will choose!

The one option most have summarily dismissed is Option A, for clearly obvious reasons... but one has to wonder... just what does the Warden have in mind?

All of them have a catch... I'm sure of some sort.

"Would you prefer... to have your eye cut out to then be put into an unfair fight with three opponents, or torture and murder someone at random then fight that unfair fight with three opponents Both INSTEAD of having sex with a group of random strangers~ then fight that unfair fight with three opponents?"

A real "Hobson's Choice"... depending upon your personal ethics, dignity and honor!
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Andrea on December 08, 2014, 08:33:06 am
she will choose C

then she will have to kill either Polly or more probably his father.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: sunphoenix on December 08, 2014, 11:51:05 am
Been lurking all day waiting for that update, but I didn't think Bern would choose Option C.  She agreed to option B... will she "see" it through?

Or is the writer going to stun us with an option "A" choice... ahem.. there are 28 more pages in this chapter!  :-[  {...is my tone a little too eagar perhaps? lols!}

ElfQuest's, bloodthirsty, passionate Go-Back leader, Khavi, wouldn't bat an eye at the choice!

"Alright! Who I do I have to fuck to get a decent fight out of around here? And is ole' Whitehair Cutter involved? heh, I like a little 'roll in the furs' ...spiced with the taste of Blood!!"
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Kiran on December 08, 2014, 12:06:01 pm
Since the option A wasn't even taken into considereration both by Bern and Polly and they didn't ask Warden about it yet, then the author might be hinting it will be the real choice here, or at least it's time to discuss it now and then Bern will make a choice knowing everything fully.

To be honest I can't really see Bern doing it if it's indeed full night of becoming a piece of meat for some male strangers to use however they want.
Hell I can't even see her doing it even if it would be girl only event, even if that would be more comfortable to her sexuality.

Maybe Bern will choose it and will ask Warden for alcohol so she would just waste herself completely beforehand?

But it's also a bit sad seeing such plot choosen for a bit different reason, May plot - earn big pile of money and discover the secrets of the world, Crest plot - get magical sword, beat thugs right and left without any consequence at all and now go to save his princess, Bern plot - got locked up for doing right thing and saving her father and get a really ugly things done to her so she could see May faster.
One character would be bullied too much :P

And to be true if author wants to add some Bern changing her monogamous ways then I prefer her to do it with someone she has feelings already than with random strangers as her May/Polly dream a bit indicates.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: SparcMan on December 08, 2014, 06:52:18 pm
Well. With Bern turning down option C and option B being revealed as being basically a trap I guess that amounts to either option A or Bern will turn down the offer. As someone already pointed out, turning down the offer is probably the most sensible option since Polly will be able to get out before long and maybe find some way to bail her out from the outside - If a sentence can be paid off in cash, Maytag will be able to pay it if she can accomplish the Thinman's task.

I have a feeling that she's probably going to go with option A though.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: sunphoenix on December 09, 2014, 04:40:23 pm
I have a feeling that she's probably going to go with option A though.

How Terrible! {YES!!!}  ..er was that my outside voice?
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Azure Priest on December 10, 2014, 04:59:13 am
She outright refused "C" despite knowing that it's some suicidal idiot who wants to be lashed to death.

So it's either "A" or "B." She already chose "B" once already, but, unless the rollover pic is a lie, or she gets the eye healed in the near future, that seems out too...

Not looking forward to seeing "A" in action, to be honest.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: maddhopps on December 10, 2014, 09:14:03 am
I seriously doubt that option A will just be about sex and that it could be a bigger trap then B.  If the Warden had phrased it as being a sex worker for multiple people in one night that would be one thing, but saying Bern would be a sex slave to a group could have other implications.

We saw in an earlier chapters that sex workers were not in short supply in Marvallo and that criminals had no rights there. Someone who would want a sex slave specifically from the coliseum would most likely do it for the purposes of finding a loophole to Marvallos no violence rule, so her physical safety and ability to fight can still be endangered with that choice.

I'm sure they'll lay out what exactly the implications of A before she decides whether or not to go with it.

On another note Polly desperately wants to protect Bern, but it looks like a small bit of frustration with Berns hesitation is starting to creep in.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Nettlekid on December 10, 2014, 04:21:48 pm
Ugh, it's not just Polly who's getting frustrated. This is going at such a snail's pace, I feel like they should just get on with it. So many panels are filled up by ellipses and "You know what to do!" "No you know what I know I won't!" again and again.
I'm also just getting really annoyed with Bern's naivety. This whole thing started because she tried to use violence to her advantage, forcing the healer to heal her father. If she's such a pacifist, she shouldn't have done that. But now that she's being forced to pay for her crime, she'd rather be maimed than harm someone who deserves it (despite already harming or threatening to harm someone who was kind of a dick but didn't deserve it as much as someone who she'd lash.)
She's being so unbelievably selfish. She goes on and on about doing anything for Maytag (enough of that already, geez) and then won't actually do anything. She won't fight, she won't get her hands dirty, and she's so close to losing an eye for no reason (because Polly's right, she won't win the fight with one lost eye and so she'll be exactly where she is, minus an eye.) If she was actually any semblance of a capable character, she should have just fought properly the first time around. Or in any of the actual matches. Why does she think she'll be any better in a rank-up match after suffering some kind of physical or psychological trauma than she was to start with?
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: sunphoenix on December 11, 2014, 12:42:13 am
You are missing one important point...  Poor sweet-hearted Bernadette has been duped into thinking or more believing that she deserves this punishment situation she is in.  Partially that is true... but she is also dealing with a lot of psychological guilt.  In the form of ...was I a good-enough daughter '?', should I have left Marvello in the first place '?', and do I even deserve Maytag's love'?'.  That seems to me part of the psychological turmoil poor Bern is going through.

As a character I like... I hope she does not choose "A" as I think it will do more damage to her mentally - reinforcing her "I'm being punished because I deserve this~", than chosing "B".

But, the Warden has indeed reading Bernadette well... and she is feeding her internal feelings of self guilt... I believe with Polly's revelation about option "B", she is ... expecting Bern to choose "A".  She was not going to mention... the facts about option "B"... but when Polly brought it up.. it changed the dynamic of Bern's choices.

I'm still not certain of the Warden's motivations... we'll have to see.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: mittfh on December 11, 2014, 01:14:58 am
Given options B and C have been explained in detail, I assume in the next few strips we'll find out what A would entail. Just as B and C turned out differently from how they were initially described (B being worse in that it would be a 3-on-1 fight and no healing; C being slightly milder in that the form of torture and execution was set to be what some already go through), A might be different as well (although probably on the worse side).

As for the disadvantages of B, if she had both swords, would that help reduce the odds against her? I seem to recall there was something special about them, but can't remember what it was or where we were told about them.

Of course, if she'd had Suspira's sword of healing (now weilded by Crest), then B would have been the obvious choice :) Especially if she was agile enough to get the three opponents to unintentionally land most of their blows on each other.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: SAGG on December 11, 2014, 04:52:36 am
The warden's mistaken.  Bern certainly wasn't a pacifist when she made those people save her dad...  8)
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: maddhopps on December 11, 2014, 07:54:35 am
The Warden may lose some fingers thinking Bern is too much of a pacifist.  She may dislike violence, but she never seems to take it completely off the table. I think it may be the guilt of using violence to save her dad that is causing Bern to be more passive then usual, but it is kind of a stretch to say she is a pacifist.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Azure Priest on December 11, 2014, 08:08:30 am
The warden's mistaken.  Bern certainly wasn't a pacifist when she made those people save her dad...  8)

Actually, that healer had guards who drew steel on Bern first, and that's AFTER breaking her word that Bern had, if memory serves, 15 minutes to gather the needed funds, and then literally throwing her father in garbage after less than five.

Furthermore, the healer's father, after whining about how his business would be hurt after "giving in to a sob story" should have been informed on what happens when word gets out about the healer literally throwing patients in the trash, not being honest with clients, and having guards drawing steel on clients when they complain about being mistreated. Heck, Bern should have gotten a free healing out of that on the promise that word would NOT get out. "Right to be an asshole or not" those two may have gotten Bern into the dungeon, but they have done far more damage to their business than Bern, or her father's sob story, ever could. Really, if you have a choice, would you go to a doctor who treats you that way?

Sadly, the warden is correct. Bern's been a pacifist the whole time she was in the arena.

The official ranking test, Bern flat out refused to participate.

The first match... granted Poly took out their opposition too fast for Bern to actually do anything, but still.

Her second match, she stood back and let the other two "team-mates" do all the fighting.

The only time she fought was when the Warden attacked her, and that was self-defense. Even pacifists can defend themselves when cornered.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Kiran on December 11, 2014, 09:37:15 am
Did Bern attack anyone ever first?
I don't think so.

If I was Polly I would try to smack some sense into Bern in literal sense.

Would Bern even fight back in A rank promotion match or she would too just waited till they would defeat her first?

It's first time I already lost patience with Bern, it's just so slowly developing and again we are at the beginning situation when Warden says Bern is weak cause she is pacifist, wasn't it said already? I have to remember what takes week for us to read means just around a minute of conversation in comic itself.

Rethinking that choosing option A or B will enforce Bern way of pacifistic thinking, she will sacrifice her own body and mind or an eye well being just for the sake of not fightning for herself, it's indeed frustrating seeing that option C is in the end a good option if the person there had choosen the punishment willingly.

So what we will get, Bern starts crying and choosing A or B, going through either, then being emotionally and/or physically devastated and going for the rank A match which she will win with anti-magical swords hack?

Kinda shame that bern herself has Polly feelings and what she had done for her here in the ass, if she will agree to option A she will also betray May, who actually remained loyal to her for once in her part of story.

And judging by Warden reply everything is going as she expected and maybe even planned.
Just completely speculating maybe there aren't any rank up options and Warden came with this just to test Bern resolve, if she would have choosen correct option from start she would give her a chance, if not then Bern be damned.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: mittfh on December 11, 2014, 11:55:06 am
Bern's probably more a Technical Pacifist / Mama Bear. Normally averse to violence, but threaten someone she cares about and it's probably a good idea to start running away, pretty darn quickly...
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: maddhopps on December 12, 2014, 02:59:53 am
Bern has had a couple of moments were she engaged in unnecessary violence(knocking out Seraph after he killed Clairen and was walking away and smacking Suspiria after she used that truth spell). While you can make arguments for both those moments being reasonable and/or justifiable, neither comes off as things a pacifist would do. Also the bar for pacifism is high in a comic that has a character who advocates for a girl who ate her arm and befriends a guy who once tortured her.

I wonder what Polly's plan is now, maybe going for S rank? Don't think the Warden would go for Polly using her marks to pay off Bern's or letting her do one of those options in Bern's benefit. Maybe she figures she'll have a better chance to free Bern from outside the Coliseum. I can see her convincing the warden into giving her a chance for an S rank match by arguing Bern was holding her back.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Azure Priest on December 12, 2014, 07:37:06 am
Poly's forgetting that she's already an A rank. This "deal" is for an A-rank-up test.

Warden has a really twisted view of what a warrior is. A warrior fights when he HAS to.

Someone who fights only because he ENJOYS IT is not a warrior, but a sadistic thug.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Stargoat on December 12, 2014, 11:14:50 am
Poly makes an interesting point.  If the Marvolo rules are such that someone can always volunteer to take another person's debt under any circumstances, Poly could kill that fellow rather than Bern.

But more interestingly is the idea of guilds.  If a guild existed, then they could all agree to take 10 lashes and spare any individual member from too much punishment.  Say, a baker's guild that had additional benefits, like many medieval guilds did.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Shazam on December 12, 2014, 05:57:18 pm
Poly makes an interesting point.  If the Marvolo rules are such that someone can always volunteer to take another person's debt under any circumstances, Poly could kill that fellow rather than Bern.

But more interestingly is the idea of guilds.  If a guild existed, then they could all agree to take 10 lashes and spare any individual member from too much punishment.  Say, a baker's guild that had additional benefits, like many medieval guilds did.

The latter idea is interesting. But this isn't a debt. This doesn't pay anything directly. This is just a question of Bern's ranking and where they think she should be placed.

I still enjoy this chapter, though perhaps the pacing is a bit slow. On the other hand, this should be an important moment of crisis for Bern. The reason it may seem melodramatic is that till now Bern is frankly not a very deeply sketched char. She's trained all her life to be a swordswoman, has killed and maimed many people and yet is this sort of blandly pacifistic, sexually inhibited cut out. Hopefully out of this comes a more human character, and one that isn't so two dimensionally dull. She's seen and done many things, and again trained her whole life in a particular discipline that makes her unrealistic.  She needs some hard choices and some sacrifices of her improbable innocence. (I know this was a harsh paragraph, luckily she's a fictional character and won't be reading this, so hopefully haven't hurt her feelings :P)

I'm quite glad that both May and Bern are facing inconsistencies in their sense of self, Bern with her faux morality and May with her emotional issues. I'm curious to see what is in store for Crest similar as the mostly invisible co-main party member. It'll be nice to see him grow a bit.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: IronSoul on December 12, 2014, 07:48:16 pm
Poly's forgetting that she's already an A rank. This "deal" is for an A-rank-up test.

Warden has a really twisted view of what a warrior is. A warrior fights when he HAS to.

Someone who fights only because he ENJOYS IT is not a warrior, but a sadistic thug.

To be fair, Bern does kinda have to fight at the moment if she ever wants to be with Maytag again.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Kiran on December 14, 2014, 06:33:25 am
Poly's forgetting that she's already an A rank. This "deal" is for an A-rank-up test.

Warden has a really twisted view of what a warrior is. A warrior fights when he HAS to.

Someone who fights only because he ENJOYS IT is not a warrior, but a sadistic thug.
No offence but a warrior should be able to fight for herself especially in such situation when an alternative to it is to literally and intentionally hurting herself, mind or body alike, hurting Polly and also May feelings with A-B choices.

I really, really didn't expect for Bern to turn into such a weak willed person, I'm disappointed.

And I don't understand Polly action here, I know she's desperate but this promotion deals were only for Bern A rank test possibility. I could see Polly being able to offer herself to do them but that should only affect her own part of marks and her own quicker promotion, if Warden agreed cause for her position it would be better if someone did them anyway.

But I'm pretty sure Polly will want to do them instead of Bern to earn Bern's promotion so she would not have to suffer, and that I think Warden can't agree to, more I really hope the Warden will decline her if that's the case. Polly already took half of Bern punishment of 500 marks which means 10 years in prison in worst scenario, I don't want to see her now sacrificing herself again for that to bail Bern out again from tough spot.

Maybe I'm naive but if Warden would really agree to Polly taking Bern tasks, then I would really hope that Bern would step up and do things herself for once.
But for now Bern is just crying mess.

Poly makes an interesting point.  If the Marvolo rules are such that someone can always volunteer to take another person's debt under any circumstances, Poly could kill that fellow rather than Bern.

But more interestingly is the idea of guilds.  If a guild existed, then they could all agree to take 10 lashes and spare any individual member from too much punishment.  Say, a baker's guild that had additional benefits, like many medieval guilds did.
But wouldn't such rules be completely pointless?
If they would exist then Polly could take all of Bern's marks on her own account now, not only half, and with being in A rank she would be out in less than a year anyway while Bern could go out just now right away, trying to contact someone who could pay off Polly remaining marks so she too could go out quicker.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Stargoat on December 14, 2014, 09:29:21 am

Poly makes an interesting point.  If the Marvolo rules are such that someone can always volunteer to take another person's debt under any circumstances, Poly could kill that fellow rather than Bern.

But more interestingly is the idea of guilds.  If a guild existed, then they could all agree to take 10 lashes and spare any individual member from too much punishment.  Say, a baker's guild that had additional benefits, like many medieval guilds did.
But wouldn't such rules be completely pointless?
If they would exist then Polly could take all of Bern's marks on her own account now, not only half, and with being in A rank she would be out in less than a year anyway while Bern could go out just now right away, trying to contact someone who could pay off Polly remaining marks so she too could go out quicker.

Only if you were rich.  The poor people would still be screwed over.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Shazam on December 15, 2014, 03:34:43 pm
An interesting tact by Polly, not really relevant as the question isn't what rank she is capable of, it's what rank Bern is and Polly performing a task still doesn't address the question of Bern's willpower.

Mostly OOC I hope it isn't offloaded into some morally complex issue of Polly being faced with whipping Bern's father to death because that was the price he paid to have the blades delivered to Bern (or something similarly interesting, and yet a distraction from the chance for Bern to become more than a cut out prudish but likeable foil for Maytag.)

Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Shazam on December 15, 2014, 05:59:11 pm
Btw, Brion. I do want to reiterate (because my critique of Bern's personality may be harsh), that I enjoy what you're doing. Most comic characters tend to be a bit flat as we only see them within the limited environment of the context of comics. Also I imagine some of the idiosyncrasies crop up over time. It's nice to see some of that lack of cohesion coming together and seeing others frustrated when they finally are apparent. So kudos :)
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Azure Priest on December 16, 2014, 05:56:38 am
Poly's forgetting that she's already an A rank. This "deal" is for an A-rank-up test.

Warden has a really twisted view of what a warrior is. A warrior fights when he HAS to.

Someone who fights only because he ENJOYS IT is not a warrior, but a sadistic thug.
No offence but a warrior should be able to fight for herself especially in such situation when an alternative to it is to literally and intentionally hurting herself, mind or body alike, hurting Polly and also May feelings with A-B choices.

I really, really didn't expect for Bern to turn into such a weak willed person, I'm disappointed.

Perhaps I mistyped. Fighting for yourself is ok. Beating up a helpless individual who can't fight back is not. There is nothing "warrior" about lashing a guy to death who is neither a threat to you nor has done you wrong.

Now lashing a guy to death who is stark raving mad, foaming at the mouth, straining at his bonds, howling, snarling, and pounding on his cage like a wild beast, breaking the bars with a rather long rap sheet... that's a different story. Still nothing "warrior" about that though.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: sunphoenix on December 17, 2014, 12:52:58 pm
"I'll do all three!"

Er..wow.  Damn... now THAT'S devotion!  But, I'm Certain... Bern will NOT allow that!
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Shazam on December 17, 2014, 01:31:29 pm
"I'll do all three!"

Er..wow.  Damn... now THAT'S devotion!  But, I'm Certain... Bern will NOT allow that!

Or why the warden would even really care. Can likely get lots of people to do it, but it was a test for Bern. Plus all the same issues remain on B and survival. Lastly, yes... it would rather undermine this being a story for Bern's growth. I'm trusting Brion won't take us down that path :P At least hopefully it will galvanize Bern to stop whining and act to stop her.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Kiran on December 17, 2014, 03:01:50 pm
I hope Warden won't agree, but why not?

She sees that Bern is too weak to really do any of them, and that if one girl will do all 3 then her organisation will get quite a nice profit.
And we clearly see that Warden became bored and annoyed with them so allowing Polly to do it out of love and devotion for Bern will even more punish Bern here which she might allow for "fun".

Wouldn't that be a real character development for Bern, become a complete coward and ultimate pacifist who will sacrifice a woman who clearly loves her for her own personal benefit of seeing May quicker?
That would be quite selfish which many wanted to see Bern acting like, using someone else well-being and body for her own gains :P

And everything to stop it is just Bern saying either "I choose option C or D", cause as we see Polly is quite fanatically desperate to be again Bern saving angel, I bet even if Bern choosed A Polly still would want to cover for her instead. So now we can see that Polly is on the same level as May in love for Bern, she's willing to sacrifice her body for her like May did.

I just hope Bern is better than this to allow it.
Maybe this will finally push her to make a choice for herself.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Kamui on December 17, 2014, 03:52:06 pm
"I could care less about your problems."

Come on Brion, the phrase is couldn't care less.  Regarding the story, it's getting interesting, wonder what Bern's reaction will be.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Shazam on December 17, 2014, 07:31:52 pm
Wouldn't that be a real character development for Bern, become a complete coward and ultimate pacifist who will sacrifice a woman who clearly loves her for her own personal benefit of seeing May quicker?
That would be quite selfish which many wanted to see Bern acting like, using someone else well-being and body for her own gains :P

I suppose that's true. Would be an amusing turn. :P Not very protagonist worthy, but certainly would be char development!
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Azure Priest on December 18, 2014, 05:53:17 am
Polly. I know you're upset, but don't go there, just don't.

It won't help anybody. Not in the slightest.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: 9_6 on December 18, 2014, 11:11:22 pm
If she could care less that means she cares because she could care less you know...
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: sunphoenix on December 25, 2014, 06:05:05 am
Boy these intermission strips remind me of the joke...
"How do you keep an idiot in suspense?
I'll tell you later..."
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: SparcMan on December 29, 2014, 07:13:26 pm
Ok Bern, if you don't freaking grow a backbone and take on this challenge yourself, I'm going to be very disappointed with your weakness. Seriously, how does Polly bailing out Bern on everything help Bern's character development. She's a little kid that Polly is babysitting.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: sunphoenix on December 29, 2014, 07:16:13 pm
Ok Bern, if you don't freaking grow a backbone and take on this challenge yourself, I'm going to be very disappointed with your weakness. Seriously, how does Polly bailing out Bern on everything help Bern's character development. She's a little kid that Polly is babysitting.

I agree at this point Bern should get down right Fucking mad about the whole situation and challenge the Warden to a duel!  Winner take fucking all!
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Azure Priest on December 31, 2014, 06:23:27 am
"The price for you is ten!" TEN WHAT?! This is just ridiculous! Bern... really, prison is NOT the place to be a pacifist. Polly's been babysitting you since you got into the country. You're a grown woman, for pete's sake.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Stargoat on December 31, 2014, 09:36:54 am
Theory - The warden is a relative of Bern's, hoping to make her into a better warrior.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: sunphoenix on December 31, 2014, 07:22:12 pm
Theory - The warden is a relative of Bern's, hoping to make her into a better warrior.

An interesting postulation... we have been told Nothing of Bern's mother, but the warden seems too young, at least to me, to be her mother.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: SparcMan on January 02, 2015, 10:50:08 pm
Theory - The warden is a relative of Bern's, hoping to make her into a better warrior.

An interesting postulation... we have been told Nothing of Bern's mother, but the warden seems too young, at least to me, to be her mother.

Probably not her mother. But what about a sister? Or a half-sister?
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: sunphoenix on January 03, 2015, 01:22:41 pm
Well SEX it IS!  Bumping uglies~ all around... for everyone! {And honestly... we all seretly wanted option "A" ...even if we won't admit it in polite society! ;) }

--- I jest of course! LOLS!

But on a serious note... again.. Bern is playing into this~ "I deserve this.. this is my punishment for not being strong enough/ good enough/ better daughter/ better companion lover/ etc, etc, etc.. you name it~", mentality.

This is a development but I fear its deeper than that in that I don't think Bern has come to grips with the shame she feels for loving another woman.  I may be totally wrong about this ... but I 've always gotten the feeling Bern feels a little guilty for her attraction to Maytag.  Her thoughts of not being a proper daughter or knight etc all woundup in her heart that she has not decided to accept her feelings as 'normal' for herself~ because society seems to disapprove of such relationships or at least certain factions of society disapprove!  Maytag always takes the~ "No. I'm not playing by YOUR rules... rules are to be broken so I'll take option 'Z'... which is to say "Do whatever the fuck I want, regardless of what you think say or do!"  I'm not playing your Game.. I'm allowing you to watch me play mine!" 

Bern is too ...devoted to order and not rocking the boat to truly break free of her guilt of being a non-conformist {a lesbian} to the societal norms.  So she feels guilty and unconsciously believe she deserves to be punished for her choices.

... maybe I'm just pseudo-psychoanalyzing this too much but that seems to fit why Bern has not just said, 'Screw your rules... No! You've officially pissed me off and we're doing this MY WAY NOW!'!
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Azure Priest on January 05, 2015, 06:40:58 am
...Ugh. I just have no words for how utterly depraved this has all become.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: UmberIsSexy on January 05, 2015, 07:04:07 am
Yay!!! Bern chooses Option A!!!

Woohoo!!

Can't wait!

Can she bring Polly with her?
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: sunphoenix on January 06, 2015, 04:02:39 pm
No tears or sobbing this time. Bern has clearly made her decision.. her choice to spare her friend a degradation and trauma she would only accept for HER sake.  HERE is that Strong determined woman I knew was inside Bern all the time!  This is not a choice out of guilt... but to protect someone dear to her... Polly.

Come on Bern do the sweet thing and give Polly a long lingering kiss for her unshaking devotion...!!!  She really deserves something to ease her heart...
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Stargoat on January 06, 2015, 04:06:30 pm
...Ugh. I just have no words for how utterly depraved this has all become.

Things do seem to have taken a decided Game of Thrones bent.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: sunphoenix on January 06, 2015, 04:14:47 pm
...Ugh. I just have no words for how utterly depraved this has all become.

Things do seem to have taken a decided Game of Thrones bent.

Well the one unrepentant rapist in Game of Thrones.. "The 'fucking' Mountain Who Rides" ... got the 'shaft' his ASS so richly deserved!  So I don't see the comparison? 

Bern is in a way subjecting herself to the {rape} whims and desires of others for the sake of her friend... what could be any more noble or heroic?  I'm sure Sansa felt the same way when she was married off to Joffery 'The Monster'.

Plus it can't be too compaired to GoT as none of the main characters has yet been murdered at their wedding then beheaded and their body mutilated for sport!
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: ducky_worshiper on January 06, 2015, 09:09:09 pm
I'm not trying to be rude here, but coerced sex - which this obviously is - is still rape, and it kiiiiinda seems weird to me how many people are excited to see one of the main characters get raped =/
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: sunphoenix on January 07, 2015, 05:02:27 am
I'm not trying to be rude here, but coerced sex - which this obviously is - is still rape, and it kiiiiinda seems weird to me how many people are excited to see one of the main characters get raped =/

Rest assured your not being rude!  But for the record I'll be perfectly clear... NO, I have NO desire to see one of my favorite characters raped .. nor ANY one else for that matter!  In the throws of some passionate love-making perhaps... but non-consential is a BIG no-no for me!!!

I was the first to say Bern would not even consider option "A"... but to choose it to protect a dear friend from suffering the same but perhaps worse is a noble and self-sacrificing choice.  But I do hope this does not destroy the sweet gentle lovely fiercely independent woman I like in Bernadette! :(

Keep in mind Bern can STILL choose to do none of the above.  She is only doing this to keep Polly from doing the same in her behalf... no one is forcing or coercing Bern to do this {save perhaps in a round-about way Polly}.  Polly is only trying to help her dear friend get out of years of imprisonment for being a loving loyal daughter.

There are many ways in real life to end up in similar situations ... meaning, "you do what you think at the time is the right thing", but the laws and bureaucracy of the government or at least people in power place you in a situation that is completely out of proportion to the supposed 'crime' you committed!  You just have to look at journalists, teachers and health workers in the Middle East and Africa to find similar horrific stories of the miscarriage of justice.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Brion Foulke on January 07, 2015, 02:13:17 pm
I don't even watch Game of Thrones.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: UmberIsSexy on January 07, 2015, 07:39:54 pm
I'm not trying to be rude here, but coerced sex - which this obviously is - is still rape, and it kiiiiinda seems weird to me how many people are excited to see one of the main characters get raped =/

HOW RUDE!! No, just kidding.

I'm sorry, but it's a comic. Let's not take ourselves too seriously. In my mind it's like a classy party where Bern is...yes, forced to do sexual acts, and it's a hot idea to me. I get really turned on by the "nice girl" idea. I wouldn't try to see it from her point of view, because that would ruin the fun. Would I ever do it to anyone? Of course not. I'm a "nice guy" *devilemoticon*

And let's be honest, in the same situation certain girls would feel good, having sex with strangers with no strings attached, being told what to do, etc. Bern has sexual desires but often represses them because of her morals...just like she's been dreaming about Polly and hating herself for it. The fantasy of this situation, and why the people in the comic would pay to see Bern as a sex slave for a night, but for Polly it would have to be ten, is the idea that somewhere, deep down, she might enjoy it or get turned on in spite of herself.

I'm just sharing my own relationship to what's happening. In Brion's universe, these could very well be total mindless and/or evil sickos that will end up butchering her at the end of the night or whatever, etc. etc, and that's another aspect of this whole mystery.

Yes, forgive me but I am excited...I want to see what happens. However Brion is a great writer and is going to present this in some way which will probably not A) be a porno show or B) dodge the topic/feeling/fantasy I'm trying to describe entirely.

I would watch the porno show though (not the snuff film).

EDIT: big props to Brion for that comment, both on the fact that you don't watch Game of Thrones, which is in a way badass, and also just for the one sentence perfection.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Stargoat on January 08, 2015, 07:20:57 am
I don't even watch Game of Thrones.

Heh. You've captured the fantasy zeitgeist then. Good job.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Shazam on January 09, 2015, 06:14:10 pm
Hey all. Been wandering Asia for a little.

As one of the first to support option A (or really anything but option B), I'm glad to see Bern stepping up. I've said it before, the current arcs are interesting because they take the chars out of the existing party dynamic, letting us see them as individuals and addressing areas of their personality that need to be tested/fleshed out.

Bern just sacrificing for a 'new scar' isn't meaningful to her, and being willing to torture another is outside her bounds. We are defined in many ways by the challenges we face and how we do it, so I'm glad Bern is stepping up and hopefully will feel more plausible/fleshed out as a result.

That said, I personally have no real interest or need in a whole chapter of prurient exploitation of Bern and doubt Brion is going there. Obviously, can't just have Bern's need to follow through with her decision be 'saved', but I'm sure he has a path in mind. :)

Interesting here that Polly is making it harder for Bern to make her own choices, and actually more expensive. I don't see Polly's logic though. The Warden doesn't have to do anything. She gave Polly an option, but there is no contract involved here. What she wanted was Bern, and she got it. Lets see if Polly has just doubled the cost of Bern's owning up to her actions though.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Kiran on January 10, 2015, 04:47:42 am
Hey all. Been wandering Asia for a little.

As one of the first to support option A (or really anything but option B), I'm glad to see Bern stepping up. I've said it before, the current arcs are interesting because they take the chars out of the existing party dynamic, letting us see them as individuals and addressing areas of their personality that need to be tested/fleshed out.

Bern just sacrificing for a 'new scar' isn't meaningful to her, and being willing to torture another is outside her bounds. We are defined in many ways by the challenges we face and how we do it, so I'm glad Bern is stepping up and hopefully will feel more plausible/fleshed out as a result.

That said, I personally have no real interest or need in a whole chapter of prurient exploitation of Bern and doubt Brion is going there. Obviously, can't just have Bern's need to follow through with her decision be 'saved', but I'm sure he has a path in mind. :)

Interesting here that Polly is making it harder for Bern to make her own choices, and actually more expensive. I don't see Polly's logic though. The Warden doesn't have to do anything. She gave Polly an option, but there is no contract involved here. What she wanted was Bern, and she got it. Lets see if Polly has just doubled the cost of Bern's owning up to her actions though.
I have to say I'm getting a bit bored here, now we can bet it will turn into some kind of pissing contest between Bern and Polly who will sacrifice herself more for the woman they love, ironically I'm still kinda surprised that author didn't try to tackle this problem more openly from that angle.

Everything Bern is doing is done out of love for Maytag, to see her sooner, and being scared that if she was in prison for longer then Maytag for sure would find someone better than her, at least I see it like that, and from that comes Bern utmost desperation to do such options than trying to step on her two feet and fight normally and honest in choosing option D even if it would take longer. Like I sad I dislike Bern hipocrisy here that she can't hurt a random stranger who had choosen himself to be punished like that in option C, but by choosing option A and being an utmost pacifist out of the blue, she willingly will hurt herself both physically and emotionally, also will very much hurt Polly feelings of who she looks to be not caring at all or taking them into account, and indirectly will also hurt Maytag too who for sure would tell her not to do it for such little advantage.

If you look at it the slight possibility that Bern will be able to win against 3 trained warriors to get a rank up is for me very small and not worth the effort(but we know as readers that due to magical swords she will be able to do that anyway as plot goes), if it was certain promotion then maybe but it's not. And after such mundane forced scenario as option A gives to Bern I don't think she will be ready for such fight right away.

And it's a bit funny Polly loves Bern so much that she is willing now to sacrifice herself even more just so Bern would resign and wouldn't have to do it, well that's dedication and love. But I can understand her, she's now too as much desperate as Bern is here and too don't want to back down.

I bet Warden has a blast here, she just need to wait a little more, sit, eat some popcorn and soon instead of just of one night scenario Polly will be a slave for few months time of her remaining punishment and Bern one will change into weeks. better than she would bargin with and more money to her and the organisation.

But we also should try to imagine different scenario, would Bern want to see Maytag choosing option A just so she would have a slight possibility of seeing her earlier? I don't think so, Bern would gladly wait for her. So maybe Bern should start really thinking that her own actions here don't only affect her but also the people who love her the most. And should finally act a bit selfish and sacrifice a random stranger so she could get the best option for her and Polly who also loves her.  Also what if Polly said to Bern as last resort born out of desperation that she would hurt herself or maybe even kill herself if the love of her life meaning Bern would still choose option A and would be gone from the cell? People in love do the most insane things out of that feeling.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Furcas on January 10, 2015, 10:53:04 am
So now Bern will have to accept doing 2 nights! Polly will just have made things even worse for her.


By the way, I think this conversation has been going on long enough. Put an end to it already.

Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Shazam on January 10, 2015, 01:44:13 pm
So now Bern will have to accept doing 2 nights! Polly will just have made things even worse for her.


By the way, I think this conversation has been going on long enough. Put an end to it already.

I agree with that I suppose, a bit drawn out
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: SparcMan on January 10, 2015, 10:06:40 pm
So now Bern will have to accept doing 2 nights! Polly will just have made things even worse for her.

I disagree. I think Bern's smart enough to realize that Polly will just keep upping the ante by absurd amounts and give in at this point. Even if not, I'm sure Polly will end up pointing it out.

By the way, I think this conversation has been going on long enough. Put an end to it already.

Here, I agree. This conversation is an entire chapter already.

Also Polly sex scene?  ;D :D :-[
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Stargoat on January 11, 2015, 09:35:51 am
Also Polly sex scene?  ;D :D :-[

The first rule about the Secret Area.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: 9_6 on January 11, 2015, 03:30:23 pm
I don't think polly knows what "priority" means.
Your bitch ass pidgey will always go first and do 1 damage with its quick attack, no matter if you would do 10 damage with selfdestruct or 20 damage with suicide bombing.
Polly needs to learn some of that extremespeed with a higher priority or do a quick attack herself, if she has higher initiative.
Also that pure fighting type team compo is really one sided and could use some work.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: mittfh on January 12, 2015, 12:10:57 am
Polly - that's not helping matters. You really should have omitted that last clause ("...unless she's willing to do two days.")
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Azure Priest on January 12, 2015, 06:44:56 am
Polly, your "help" is only making things worse. STOP HELPING! NOW!
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Shazam on January 13, 2015, 07:43:24 pm
And after Polly's speech

"That's nice, but I'm an adult. I need you, my friend to support my acting like an adult, standing on my own feet, owning up to my own choices. You can offer your aid, but you can't step in for my responsibilities as if I'm a child. That's not being a friend. The Warden is right. Plus, if we want to work together to get out sooner, your taking ten times as long to finish the task that can get me to an A rank fight costs us time I don't want to spend here. I appreciate it, you're awesome. Now be a friend and help me instead of treating me as a weakling and child who isn't strong enough to take care of herself."

But with more wide eyed staring from everyone else involved :)
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Azure Priest on January 14, 2015, 05:56:56 am
Polly better have some damn good plan up her sleeve because making this an auction doesn't help either of them. Neither does "listen to me carefully. Don't fight me on this."
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: sunphoenix on January 15, 2015, 12:09:37 am
Bern - "Wha-Why are you doing this Polly?"

Polly - "Cause do you know how expensive it would be to pay for this prison fantasy sex-bondage in a place where 'no aggressive force can be threatened to any citizen for Any reason'Hell, I'm gonna enjoy this!!"

 ::)

{Creepy}... but seriously, Wow.. there is something ...not quite sane in Polly's devotion!
Her eyes are starting to lack that warm light of what we all call sanity!!

And I agree... Bern is a grown woman .. her decision's should be respected.

And I TOTALLY disagree... I'm by no means tired of this intense conversation!
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: SparcMan on January 15, 2015, 10:49:55 pm
Regardless if what Polly says next, her reason is that she's convinced herself it's totally her fault that Bern's in prison. That's not really true, but in Polly's mind, there's no doubt. Not only that, but of course Polly still has some deep feelings for Bern and she wants to make up for transgressions against Bern both new and old. It's not a rational point-of-view, but that's what's driving her to such an irrational decision.

Also, sex scenes with Polly...... Hmmmmm....
Have I mentioned that I think she's one of the hottest characters in the story?
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: sunphoenix on January 16, 2015, 03:34:14 am
Also, sex scenes with Polly...... Hmmmmm....
Have I mentioned that I think she's one of the hottest characters in the story?

...aheh. {Blush}...yeah ...Polly is kinda hot.  Goth chicks are Demons in the Sack!  :-[
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: UmberIsSexy on January 16, 2015, 04:20:54 am
 :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

(http://imageshack.com/a/img538/3091/lDjuOQ.png)
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: UmberIsSexy on January 16, 2015, 04:23:13 am
(http://imageshack.com/a/img661/2773/YiDTHq.png)
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Azure Priest on January 16, 2015, 05:43:21 am
Polly, you are seriously F*ed up! You realize that right?

That is all.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Brion Foulke on January 19, 2015, 10:29:35 pm
Polly, you are seriously F*ed up! You realize that right?

That is all.

Love can be fucked up sometimes, can't it?
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: sunphoenix on January 19, 2015, 10:47:55 pm
Polly, you are seriously F*ed up! You realize that right?

That is all.

Love can be fucked up sometimes, can't it?

No.  And ...Yes.

What Polly is doing is a ... profoundly personal self-sacrificing choice for someone she believes in and admires more than herself.  What she is doing is not blind devotion, it is deeply felt admiration for the heroic heart of someone she feels she could never be like but wishes she could. 
That speaks volumes of her own character.

It takes little courage, or strength to die for an ideal.. you don't have to face the consequences of that choice, but few are the souls with the forthrightness and resilience to live for an ideal. Because one's principles and actions must continually, day-by-day, defend and uphold that ideal... constantly questioning are you staying true... despite hardship and trail to your ideals and morals! 

It takes courage to live for a purpose, dying for a cause is easy.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: SparcMan on January 20, 2015, 06:53:43 pm

It takes little courage, or strength to die for an ideal.. you don't have to face the consequences of that choice, but few are the souls with the forthrightness and resilience to live for an ideal. Because one's principles and actions must continually, day-by-day, defend and uphold that ideal... constantly questioning are you staying true... despite hardship and trail to your ideals and morals! 

It takes courage to live for a purpose, dying for a cause is easy.

Bravo!
Would someone PLEASE explain this concept to the damn Muslim extremists?! Make a cartoon if you have to... er maybe not.
Actually, the same goes for the extremists of other religions as well. You know who you are.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: sunphoenix on January 21, 2015, 03:37:32 pm
GAH! You cad Brion!  New page won't show! :)
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: SAGG on January 22, 2015, 01:12:15 pm
The warden wants Bern to become like them. That about sums it up to me...
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Shazam on January 23, 2015, 12:30:18 am
What? Bern had no response to that? She let Polly put her on a false pedestal and once again sat back to let someone else take on the burden of getting things done, and suffering 10x what she would?

Say it isn't so
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Stargoat on January 23, 2015, 05:20:41 pm
Warden makes a fair point.  The infamous bagel story:

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/06/06/magazine/what-the-bagel-man-saw.html (http://www.nytimes.com/2004/06/06/magazine/what-the-bagel-man-saw.html)
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: sunphoenix on January 23, 2015, 09:51:07 pm
Warden makes a fair point.  The infamous bagel story:

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/06/06/magazine/what-the-bagel-man-saw.html (http://www.nytimes.com/2004/06/06/magazine/what-the-bagel-man-saw.html)

Read the entire article.. Thank you... very interesting.

"From a certain point of view..."

I'll have to contend that the warden is Wrong, and is confusing hard work and a resilient spirit with having no moral compass~ using that justification for taking the easy route by hurting or taking advantage of others to get ahead serving your own selfish interests alone!

"Life may deal you a hand of two strikes against you off the bat.. But we are ALL responsible for OUR own actions! YOU choose if you want to make that last swing or just take the easy strike out."

"WE Decide if we are going to be good people or if we are going to be bad people. No one else 'makes' us be evil... its a choice and a struggle... Every. Damned. Day. But it is always up to us. No one else."
- me, from another web comic forum.

 I'd prefer to live my life a little more upright.. not stepping on my fellow man just to serve my own benefit.  I know its an unpopular notion to some.. but I believe in a Grand Creator.. who made mankind for a noble purpose out of simple love... and I believe he is keeping score of how we treat our, at least, 'spiritual' brother's and sisters of humanity; even if everyone else thinks and acts like... "it's me or him!"

Not a criticisim of you Stargoat, just giving my opinion... and sorry if I got too preachy.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Stargoat on January 24, 2015, 05:39:59 am
No criticism taken at all. I'm entirely too honest for senior management roles, in fact was told off literally last week for it.

Doesn't mean what I propose is wrong though. I do see the Warden's view. The successful in life tend to be morally ambiguous. I believe in a society that abhors violence and guarantees 3 square meals, where promotion and welfare is based off the feelings of a few men, cheating pays.

By denying Bernadette the right to fight even though she knows Bernadette to be a skilled warrior, the Warden has effectively raped Polly herself. Warden has deliberately failed in her role in an effort to (presumably) increase her social standing by providing a (voluntary) sex slave victim. There will likely be no repercussions for Warden, as given her nonchalant attitude, we can guess that Warden has done this in the past.

I will not suppose the existence of a creator keeping score. All I can say for certain is that moral ambiguity can lead to advancement in many societies.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: sunphoenix on January 24, 2015, 05:55:53 am
:) Cool.. I can see your point.  Yes, the morally ambiguous do 'seem' to get ahead because a person willing to do anything for their advancement or benefit will do things even OUR society would condemn as immoral and in many cases illegal.  They will survive.

But I contend, "It's not enough just to Survive, one has to be Worthy to survive!"

A Morale system of right and wrong, Justice and Punishment is what has lifted mankind, 'mostly', out of savage barbarism & anarchy and given rise to civilization.

We do not have cultures centered around human sacrifice on top of pyramids anymore do we?  Why.. because a morale compass has told us such societies do not serve the greater good of mankind as a whole. 

I contend weather one believes or disbelieves in a 'God' watching an judging from above that a morale society is a much more stable and superior society than one bereft of such.  In fact I feel that every social advancement our race has ever made is because of a strive to be a morale and justice-minded species.  There are indeed a glut of profoundly Amoral people out there who would slit your throat as soon as look at you... but society in-general makes such misanthropes outcasts at best and criminals in common.

Am I postulating some 'inherant' goodness to mankind?  Far from it!  We are constantly driven by greed for more than we need or deserve... but ... taking the religious tact, we also know what is good and evil.. and we know we should be moral beings.

We are souls.. with the spark of divinity from our divine creator, made in his image... we are NOT just animals who can talk!  We are held.. and should hold ourselves to a higher moral standard than just... me first, survive at all costs!
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Wulf on January 24, 2015, 12:10:08 pm


We do not have cultures centered around human sacrifice on top of pyramids anymore do we?  Why.. because a morale compass has told us such societies do not serve the greater good of mankind as a whole. 

I contend weather one believes or disbelieves in a 'God' watching an judging from above that a morale society is a much more stable and superior society than one bereft of such.  In fact I feel that every social advancement our race has ever made is because of a strive to be a morale and justice-minded species.  There are indeed a glut of profoundly Amoral people out there who would slit your throat as soon as look at you... but society in-general makes such misanthropes outcasts at best and criminals in common.



I find these two statements rather bizzare when put together. I am fairly sure that most cultures that did the whole human sacrifice thing did not do so because it was fun or all that empirically productive, but because a narrative was created that doing such a thing would please some kind of God or otherwise Divine Being who would in turn provide some kind of nicety that would help the community. In this case, a God watching did indeed support what would be considered rather immoral today.

While it is true that societies that banned all kind of religions by force were certainly not very nice at all, I contend that most of them simply traded a God for another one. Lenin is great and Stalin is His prophet, or that whole Juche thing.

As for the whole divine spark thing, I am all to support the glorious Flying Spaghetti Monster who will decide in His/Her/It Infinite Wisdom if we will have delicious meatballs for eternity or if we will be stuck with cans of lukewarm Chef Boyardee, but I still think there is also a risk of elevating humanity a bit too high compared to what it actually is. Most people might have stopped throwing poop, but toilet humor is still quite popular, so I dunno if the fruit fell all that far from the tree.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Azure Priest on January 27, 2015, 05:44:46 am
And now it's time for Bern's A rank-up test. Is that her father there in the audience? Hmm. I wonder how he was able to afford a ticket.

Confirmed. It's him, and he somehow managed to scrape together enough money for it. And it's worse than he thinks. The arena didn't just force her to fight three on one, they had her friend pay a rather high price for it too.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: sunphoenix on January 30, 2015, 12:23:41 pm
I think I feel an ass-beating in the works... and not Bern's.  I think she's plenty mad enough now to whup some kieshster!
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Azure Priest on January 30, 2015, 08:45:02 pm
I think I feel an ass-beating in the works... and not Bern's.  I think she's plenty mad enough now to whup some kieshster!

Gah! She's fighting faceless golems! AAAAYYYYIIIEEEEE!!!
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Stargoat on February 01, 2015, 07:14:28 pm
SPOILER ALERT:

Brion based Bernadette's fight on the outcome of the New England / Seattle superbowl game.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Azure Priest on February 02, 2015, 05:35:49 am
SPOILER ALERT:

Brion based Bernadette's fight on the outcome of the New England / Seattle superbowl game.

You mean they're using illegally under-inflated balls under the direction of a coach who's a known cheater?

In other news, holy freaking cow feces! That's a rather harsh standard. Come on, Bern, you can do this!
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: SAGG on February 02, 2015, 09:04:08 am
Bold prediction: Bern will either win, or will put up such a ferocious fight that she'll gain the respect, adoration, and cheers of the crowd (as well as the warden). Bern will NOT die. Plus, recall that Bern's a DEFENSIVE fighter. These folks attack her, and Bern will have the advantage...
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: sunphoenix on February 02, 2015, 07:47:01 pm
Yeah, that IS pretty harsh... basically... 'Well you won't let us rape you so fuck you.. we'll just see you killed MURDERED!'

Yeah, this whole system is bented toward injustice and inflicting criminal harm under the guise of "law".
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Shazam on February 04, 2015, 02:46:22 pm
I just have the sads.

The results are almost irrelevant. We know Bern is a bad-ass with two swords, and now having the twin magic blades that drove her entire style of fighting and quest to be a swordswoman, of course she'll be even more of a bad-ass.

It doesn't compensate for the fact she turned out to be gutless and a coward. She let a friend sacrifice herself, taking on ten times as much pain and degradation as Bern would have had to. She didn't even try to argue. All the talk of morality and purity on the forums, all of Polly's saying how strong and wonderful Bern is, and we're still left with her being a milksop, with no backbone. Polly was willing to do 10x as much for a friend as Bern is, and it was Bern's actions that got them into this in the first place. Her crime, her refusal to prove herself once in the arena, and her unwillingness to confront Polly when Polly started treating her as the child who is unable to make difficult choices that she apparently is. Polly is the real one who has shown heroic traits in this arc, defending Bern, joining her in the arena and risking her life, sacrificing herself for a friend with this punishment, etc. I think she needs to also let Bern stand on her own feet, but it's up to Bern to show she can do that. Bern hasn't really done anything worthy of respect as yet.

It doesn't matter if she wipes the floor with these three, then challenges the Warden and wins. There is no hard choice in that. There is no character growth or depth. It's just 'Bern has PC glow and is sooper skilled'.

As for this last page, obviously the Warden disagrees with those above her who think Bern is about to be slaughtered. It's clearly others who set that up. I presume the Warden has a sense of Bern's skillset from their brief engagement, and is curious to see what she can do with these blades. In her way, she's giving Bern a chance that wouldn't be there otherwise. She's also right that Bern is weak, however skilled she is.

I still look forward to Brion showing Bern actually making some difficult choices/sacrifices or anything that makes her seem like more than a rather two dimensional sketch of a character. I mean, that has to be the point of these solo arcs, to give each character a chance to grow into themselves as individuals and reveal/explore their depths. Hope springs eternal :)

Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: sunphoenix on February 04, 2015, 04:22:49 pm
I think your being a little unfair in that assessment.  Bern DID choose to take option "A" after she learned the hidden pitfalls of option "B" and her outright refusal to compromise her ethics for option "C".  It was Polly who effectively held Bern emotional hostage over choice "A"... she made it clear she would keep out-bidding Bern if she tried to balk Polly in accepting taking the fall for her.  To fight Polly on it would only mean to inflict more harm on her devoted friend... THAT was not Bern's doing it was Polly's choice. 

I agree Polly should stop treating Bern like a helpless little girl and respect Bern for the woman of substance and ethics that she is.. to make her own choices and stand by them!

There were no 'winning' choices in the options that were given Bern .. that were morally acceptable to her.  THAT was also intentional... and punitive because the owners of the arena are blood-thirsty voyeristic and corrupt of ethics... OF COURSE a peaceful, modest, and moral woman would find herself at odds and distraught at the choices "offered" her... all because she just wanted to save the life of her father.

Was Bern naive about it all...?  Certainly!  But has Bern not shown her moral strength of character...?  I believe so... and she has indeed suffered knowing what her dear friend has to endure on her behalf.. knowing she cannot relive her of that burden. 

I think we just need to give Bern a chance to show her new perspective in the light of what she has learned about the callous apathy of people... and what true loyalty and devotion means to her now!
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Azure Priest on February 05, 2015, 06:39:50 am
I can see Bern winning the fight, turn to the audience and say "THIS is what your 'country of peace' is all about? Having three brutes beat a woman to death because she wouldn't let a couple of self-professed 'healers' cut her down? When she brought her DYING FATHER to them for treatment? And actually dared to complain when they LIED about her having a certain amount of time to gather funds, only to return and find her father IN THE ACTUAL TRASH?! I'm not even going to go into what prisoners are made to do here behind closed doors. If this is your idea of 'justice,' I have no words for the level of contempt your country deserves."
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Shazam on February 05, 2015, 09:54:46 am
I think your being a little unfair in that assessment.  Bern DID choose to take option "A" after she learned the hidden pitfalls of option "B" and her outright refusal to compromise her ethics for option "C".  It was Polly who effectively held Bern emotional hostage over choice "A"... she made it clear she would keep out-bidding Bern if she tried to balk Polly in accepting taking the fall for her.  To fight Polly on it would only mean to inflict more harm on her devoted friend... THAT was not Bern's doing it was Polly's choice. 

I agree Polly should stop treating Bern like a helpless little girl and respect Bern for the woman of substance and ethics that she is.. to make her own choices and stand by them!

So you're essentially rephrasing why I claimed Bern is a bit cowardly and without backbone, as compared to Polly. Polly is willing to endure 10x as much as Bern is. Bern could have spoken up and challenged Polly. She could have bid 3 days or even 20 days herself and shown equal determination and taken responsibility. Polly has to endure 20 days, where Bern wasn't willing to endure 3 and confront Polly.

The thing is you're right. None of the choices were 'winning' choices or at least good choices. They all involved a quandary, and some sort of sacrifice. A body part would likely have lead to death, or a much longer period in the arena. The other two rubbed up against different moral or personal virtues. But her goal is to get out, out of this country and back to May. Now she's letting Polly pay the price for her goal. That's not chivalric, or being any sort of friend. So she spent her life dedicated to becoming a swordswoman and knight. But she's a pacifist swordswoman, who will kill and fight... but only when she can pretend someone else forced it on her? And a knight who lets an innocent suffer for her deeds? Just a failure, no matter how skilled with the sword

Anyway, all my opinion and only that :)
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: TheCollector on February 05, 2015, 10:00:49 pm
Y'know, I really hope this fight goes well. And something good comes out of it, cause as much as I love this comic and it's characters, this Coliseum arc really has me down on Bern. She always seemed so great, but now, starting back when she refused to do the ranking ceremony, she's just pathetic.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: sunphoenix on February 06, 2015, 07:46:07 am
Y'know, I really hope this fight goes well. And something good comes out of it, cause as much as I love this comic and it's characters, this Coliseum arc really has me down on Bern. She always seemed so great, but now, starting back when she refused to do the ranking ceremony, she's just pathetic.

:) Though I would have done things differently.. I'm a guy, and even though I don't entirely agree with Bern's 'methods'.. I cannot fault her moral stance.  I STILL have faith in her heroic and self-sacrificing spirit!

Bern is NOT weak.. she may have been caught off guard about this situation... all mixed up with feelings of guilt and devotion and fear over her father expecting a fair and understanding justice system... but I don't believe she will falter... or fail to fight for her ethics.. NOW that she knows the stakes and that the only "justice" she will get here.. is By Her Own HAND!

Just MY opinion, of course!  ;)

Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Furcas on February 06, 2015, 04:25:31 pm
Warden is a total bitch CONFIRMED.

Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: sunphoenix on February 06, 2015, 06:20:42 pm
Warden is a total bitch CONFIRMED.

Probably a 'frigid' lay too.. {snort!}

At least Polly has passion...
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: TheCollector on February 07, 2015, 09:44:33 pm
Ok, ok ok ok. Am I the only one who's mind this crossed? What if Bern isn't looking all depressed and broken there because she believes she's weak and will lose, but because she realizes what she's gonna have to do to win this and is ready to do it, but at the same time is depressed over that fact.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Yeti on February 08, 2015, 03:00:55 am
I'm not sure she's looking depressed and broken so much as she's missing her left eye
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Shazam on February 08, 2015, 07:29:02 pm
I can't really tell if the Warden is malicious. I haven't gotten that impression. She does seem callous and cold about it, but perhaps it is more 'Your friend is going to die, based on what she's shown so far. She has to demonstrate real strength.'

It's implied multiple times that the warden has a higher impression of Bern than the other powers that be in the arena, but also disdain for being so weak willed. The others may consider this just a crowd pleasing slaughter, I'd bet the Warden sees it as a challenge/test. If she succeeds, she's in a much better position, if she fails.. ah well, the Warden was wrong.

I'm curious what's really going through Bern's head right now, if she'll be able to gather herself together on her own, if her father or Polly will say something, or even the Warden.

I'm still waiting to see this chapter's slow but gradual escalation (and the so far disappointing behavior of Bern) help strip her down and reveal a new kernel of strength at her core. A few more pages for character growth :) I'm really interested to see what crystalizes. Thanks Brion. Nice anticipation.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: TheCollector on February 09, 2015, 02:15:13 am
Good God Bern! Get your game up already! Think about what May would say! Geez...
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: SAGG on February 09, 2015, 04:24:57 am
Here we go...
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Azure Priest on February 09, 2015, 06:05:03 am
Remember, everyone. Bern's specialty is COUNTER-attacks. She's not "looking down" or depressed. She's clearing her mind so she can kick ass. The first of these three who goes after her will be used as a club against the other two.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: sunphoenix on February 09, 2015, 09:23:57 am
Fight! Iczer 1.. er I mean Bernadette!

(http://i1088.photobucket.com/albums/i333/sunphoenix72/goldw-3.jpg) (http://i1088.photobucket.com/albums/i333/sunphoenix72/IczerThree1.jpg)
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Shazam on February 09, 2015, 11:03:45 am
Remember, everyone. Bern's specialty is COUNTER-attacks. She's not "looking down" or depressed. She's clearing her mind so she can kick ass. The first of these three who goes after her will be used as a club against the other two.

Perhaps.

Perhaps she's down and will need a few blows to wake her up.

Perhaps she realizes she needs to change her approach to life and be more proactive both in fighting style (as the flaws in her style have been pointed out before) and in her approach to life and will surprise everyone by being the first to attack.

Perhaps Polly will do something foolish as she isn't very rational where Bern is involved

Perhaps it will cut directly to Bern swilling champagne over the piled up corpses of her three opponents yelling 'How do you like them apples' as gems and coins rain down from the crowd and we'll be left to imagine what happened.

Ah the anticipation. Properly roped in and waiting to see what will happen :)
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Shazam on February 11, 2015, 12:47:54 pm
You tell her Warden.

Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: sunphoenix on February 11, 2015, 02:57:22 pm
So.... basically the Warden is saying...

"That pretty red-head needs to get seriously laid... teach her a thing or two about being a woman!  She needs a man or perhaps several men or women to get that perpetual uptightness thoroughly FUCKED out of her so she can get her head screwed on right!"

...eww.  Maybe I'm being a bit... over-stated... but that's the impression I'm getting from the Warden's phrasing ..said and unsaid sentiments.

That's very ugly... and I do not agree.  There is no social-superiority to being without ethics, morals, propriety, or self-control!  Sex... especially wanton, promiscuous, lust... does not "Make the Man or Woman", some kind of mature paragon adult... it just makes you a slut... unable to control or show any discernment in controlling one's carnal appetites!  Its pure selfishness... and NOT attractive at all~ nothing more.  Sexual intimacy between to consenting adults can be upbuilding and fulfilling.. but uncontrolled lust is self-destructive.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Shazam on February 11, 2015, 04:50:42 pm
Nothing at all about that from my view. It isn't a moral question. It is a personal accountability question. A couple folk on the forum have been all about the morals of choice A. That's almost irrelevant from the Warden's perspective.

Polly took away Bern's ability to take responsibility for her own actions. Bern had a choice and chance to act like an adult and pay a price in order to make up for previous actions (and lack thereof). And it was a price. Unlike choice C however it was solely a personal sacrifice, not something she'd take out on a third party. As adults we often have to trade off costs vs gains. Polly said to Bern, you're not strong enough/mature enough/capable enough to do so. And by not arguing, Bern agreed. Right now she thinks she's weak and pathetic... and she is. Because she let a friend pay her debt, and pay 10x what she'd have had to pay.

I actually can't see where you think the Warden cares at all about anything sexual or prurient. Nothing she's said or implied hints at her having any interest in such. All of this is a test of Bern's mettle from her perspective. Yes, one of the options involved sexual degradation, probably solely because it has significance to Bern. If Bern had a different personality, the options would likely have been different as well. I also can't figure out what any of this scene would have to do with promiscuity or lust. Neither Bern nor Polly are making a choice based off titillation, it was solely a question of what is a chance to get out of the arena sooner worth to Bern (until Polly disempowered her).
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: IronSoul on February 11, 2015, 08:09:31 pm
So.... basically the Warden is saying...

"That pretty red-head needs to get seriously laid... teach her a thing or two about being a woman!  She needs a man or perhaps several men or women to get that perpetual uptightness thoroughly FUCKED out of her so she can get her head screwed on right!"

...eww.  Maybe I'm being a bit... over-stated... but that's the impression I'm getting from the Warden's phrasing ..said and unsaid sentiments.

That's very ugly... and I do not agree.  There is no social-superiority to being without ethics, morals, propriety, or self-control!  Sex... especially wanton, promiscuous, lust... does not "Make the Man or Woman", some kind of mature paragon adult... it just makes you a slut... unable to control or show any discernment in controlling one's carnal appetites!  Its pure selfishness... and NOT attractive at all~ nothing more.  Sexual intimacy between to consenting adults can be upbuilding and fulfilling.. but uncontrolled lust is self-destructive.

That's not the vibe I got at all. Option B is a trap, we all knew that, but Option C was too. For all of Bern's faults (and in my opinion, they have been nearly limitless in this latest arc), Bern is generally a character driven to preserve the well being of others. Option C would violate this, as she is hurting another for her own gain. Options B and C were each a poisoned apple. Option A would still really suck, but would be less physically or psychologically devastating based on Bern's mentality.

By Polly throwing herself under the bus for Bern, Polly essentially forced Bern to choose Option C, in the sense of harming another for her gain.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: TheCollector on February 11, 2015, 11:50:02 pm
Hmm... Can anyone remind me what Option A was again?

This whole situation is so just ugh to me that I don't even remember.

Only thing I gotta say, if Bern doesn't give me a reason to play Number One by Hazel Fernandes during this fight I will be done with her.

Well, for now anyway, I'll probably like her again one day.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Shazam on February 11, 2015, 11:58:47 pm
Options
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Stargoat on February 12, 2015, 08:16:21 am
I'd like to see how this turns out. Anyone want to go in with me on an extra day's comic?
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Shazam on February 12, 2015, 08:59:56 am
How does that work?
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: SAGG on February 13, 2015, 01:55:30 pm
Well, now. After reading today's entry, I'm convinced more than now Bern's going to obliterate these guys and prove the warden wrong--if nothing else for Polly's sake...
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Azure Priest on February 13, 2015, 07:08:15 pm
Nothing at all about that from my view. It isn't a moral question. It is a personal accountability question. A couple folk on the forum have been all about the morals of choice A. That's almost irrelevant from the Warden's perspective.

Polly took away Bern's ability to take responsibility for her own actions. Bern had a choice and chance to act like an adult and pay a price in order to make up for previous actions (and lack thereof). And it was a price. Unlike choice C however it was solely a personal sacrifice, not something she'd take out on a third party. As adults we often have to trade off costs vs gains. Polly said to Bern, you're not strong enough/mature enough/capable enough to do so. And by not arguing, Bern agreed. Right now she thinks she's weak and pathetic... and she is. Because she let a friend pay her debt, and pay 10x what she'd have had to pay.

I actually can't see where you think the Warden cares at all about anything sexual or prurient. Nothing she's said or implied hints at her having any interest in such. All of this is a test of Bern's mettle from her perspective. Yes, one of the options involved sexual degradation, probably solely because it has significance to Bern. If Bern had a different personality, the options would likely have been different as well. I also can't figure out what any of this scene would have to do with promiscuity or lust. Neither Bern nor Polly are making a choice based off titillation, it was solely a question of what is a chance to get out of the arena sooner worth to Bern (until Polly disempowered her).

It wasn't that Bern refused to argue. Polly made it impossible to argue. By making it an auction, Polly set it up so Bern's arguing would have only made things worse. Also, the Warden is right in that "Option A" isn't about lust or titillation, it's about pain and humiliation for Bern "to make her a survivor." By forcing Bern to let someone else take that humiliation, Polly has made things harder for her, not better.

This doesn't sound like someone with actual malice. It sounds like someone who has seen this countless times, over and over, and had any objections completely crushed out of her.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: sunphoenix on February 13, 2015, 10:24:05 pm
Well, now. After reading today's entry, I'm convinced more than now Bern's going to obliterate these guys and prove the warden wrong--if nothing else for Polly's sake...

Yeah I agree... the Warden is wrong.

Conviction.. is stronger than humiliation!  You can't conquer a free person.. a person whose mind is free... you can torture, you can oppress, you can maim... but you cannot break their free will when they have a free mind to decide their fate and realize that unto themselves!  The best you can do it kill them.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Shazam on February 15, 2015, 11:23:35 am
I am outspoken in my view Bern has to get some depth as a character, and have to be more than a mary sue uber-cute, uber-innocent, uber-pacific, uber-skilled swordswoman. However, I admit after the Warden's speech, it does make you want to see Bern show her up.

As for those still stuck on the sex part of choice A. I was thinking. Take that out of the equation.

Bernadette commits a crime for a loved one. This isn't uncommon in RL, people stealing to get money for family, mugging, embezzling, etc. Perhaps for food money, perhaps to get someone else out of trouble etc.

She's convicted and has to go to jail. (Now here we have the one oddity, which doesn't even really make too much sense in the Flipside world, but we'll go with it. Her pal Polly claims to have been involved.. or somehow volunteers to go to jail with her as part of what turns out to be a horribly conceived plan.)

Bern gets to jail and assess her to figure out what job she can do in the jail, work the kitchens, make license plates, bust rocks. Good behavior and demonstrating value to society with better jobs can get you parole sooner. Despite her pal Polly prepping her for this, Bern refuses to participate and is set to busting rocks. It's going to be a long time till she's out.

Polly again tries to help, and goes to bust rocks with her. In fact, she ends up doing her work and Bern's. It all gets done, but it's noticed that Bern once again did nothing. They separate Polly from her finally and let her know she'll be in jail for the max sentence with no real chance of parole. But hey, she has some choices. She can take 10 lashes, or lash someone else.

(I'm leaving out the mutilate element in this to keep things simple.)

Bern's primary motivation has always to be the moral, heroic savior knight type. Period. She obviously can't go simply lashing others. Then Polly steps in again and says, no no. Rather than you taking 10 lashes, I joined you in jail for a crime of your choosing, you refused to prove yourself at orientation, you slacked off when we were paired together, and now I'm going to take 100 lashes to your 10. But really, don't fight me on this because you're so special to me. And so Bern being weak doesn't fight her on it, doesn't take accountability, and lets her friend suffer 10x what she'd have had to for her transgression. That isn't very chivalric, no matter how you want to parse it.

There is nothing moral to letting your friend do this. And if you do want to dwell on the punishment being sexual, it's somehow okay for Polly who has done absolutely nothing wrong to have to suffer ten times as much as Bern in order for Bern to stay pure? Polly is worth less? Polly who is an actual and literal innocent in all of this and has only sought to help her friend at every step, can be sacrificed to a far worse fate and this can ever be justified on Bern's part? It isn't Bern's obligation to make sure her friend doesn't suffer any more than necessary due to her repeated bad choices?

I certainly don't like the Warden's speech in the last page and would love to see her wipe the mat with the three she's facing. Heck, it would be great to see her beat them and then challenge the Warden for a climactic denouement. However, no matter how skilled she is martially, it isn't in any way a mitigating factor. At least in this arc, she's weak, cowardly, unheroic, and in situations where she can't just beat people up to get her way (which is what got her into this mess) she'll let even innocent loved ones suffer rather than take personal accountability.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: SAGG on February 15, 2015, 11:48:47 am
I am outspoken in my view Bern has to get some depth as a character, and have to be more than a mary sue uber-cute, uber-innocent, uber-pacific, uber-skilled swordswoman. However, I admit after the Warden's speech, it does make you want to see Bern show her up.

As for those still stuck on the sex part of choice A. I was thinking. Take that out of the equation.

Bernadette commits a crime for a loved one. This isn't uncommon in RL, people stealing to get money for family, mugging, embezzling, etc. Perhaps for food money, perhaps to get someone else out of trouble etc.

She's convicted and has to go to jail. (Now here we have the one oddity, which doesn't even really make too much sense in the Flipside world, but we'll go with it. Her pal Polly claims to have been involved.. or somehow volunteers to go to jail with her as part of what turns out to be a horribly conceived plan.)

Bern gets to jail and assess her to figure out what job she can do in the jail, work the kitchens, make license plates, bust rocks. Good behavior and demonstrating value to society with better jobs can get you parole sooner. Despite her pal Polly prepping her for this, Bern refuses to participate and is set to busting rocks. It's going to be a long time till she's out.

Polly again tries to help, and goes to bust rocks with her. In fact, she ends up doing her work and Bern's. It all gets done, but it's noticed that Bern once again did nothing. They separate Polly from her finally and let her know she'll be in jail for the max sentence with no real chance of parole. But hey, she has some choices. She can take 10 lashes, or lash someone else.

(I'm leaving out the mutilate element in this to keep things simple.)

Bern's primary motivation has always to be the moral, heroic savior knight type. Period. She obviously can't go simply lashing others. Then Polly steps in again and says, no no. Rather than you taking 10 lashes, I joined you in jail for a crime of your choosing, you refused to prove yourself at orientation, you slacked off when we were paired together, and now I'm going to take 100 lashes to your 10. But really, don't fight me on this because you're so special to me. And so Bern being weak doesn't fight her on it, doesn't take accountability, and lets her friend suffer 10x what she'd have had to for her transgression. That isn't very chivalric, no matter how you want to parse it.

There is nothing moral to letting your friend do this. And if you do want to dwell on the punishment being sexual, it's somehow okay for Polly who has done absolutely nothing wrong to have to suffer ten times as much as Bern in order for Bern to stay pure? Polly is worth less? Polly who is an actual and literal innocent in all of this and has only sought to help her friend at every step, can be sacrificed to a far worse fate and this can ever be justified on Bern's part? It isn't Bern's obligation to make sure her friend doesn't suffer any more than necessary due to her repeated bad choices?

I certainly don't like the Warden's speech in the last page and would love to see her wipe the mat with the three she's facing. Heck, it would be great to see her beat them and then challenge the Warden for a climactic denouement. However, no matter how skilled she is martially, it isn't in any way a mitigating factor. At least in this arc, she's weak, cowardly, unheroic, and in situations where she can't just beat people up to get her way (which is what got her into this mess) she'll let even innocent loved ones suffer rather than take personal accountability.

And you suggest...what? The alternative that Bern should lose (i.e. die) to atone for her wussyness? I think what the warden's saying is actually what Bern's going to do--develop a thick skin, but Bern's going to do it BERN'S way. Bern has no choice but to fight, and fight now for Polly as well as herself. Bern's either going to win, or put up such a fight that the crowd (and the warden for that matter) will HAVE to respect her. Bern will in turn have her confidence built up and meet the warden's standard...
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Shazam on February 15, 2015, 12:02:14 pm
I'd like to see Bern have to show strength and earn success in a venue that doesn't involve martial prowess. I actually really want her to grow into the hero and knight she has dreamt of being. If all she does is win because she's super powerful now that she has the swords and a grievance over her treatment in the arena, then all we have a is a power up, not character growth.

Her character so far is very shallow and weak. Sort of a cut out. Good characters are complex, and are often defined by loss and/or sacrifices and the reaction to these things. Bern has never really been much more than the straightman for May. My hope for this arc (and the separate solo arcs for Crest and May) is to have the characters come out with a much greater depth and internal strength than they went in, and for us to have a better sense of the whole of the characters.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: SAGG on February 15, 2015, 03:09:50 pm
I'd like to see Bern have to show strength and earn success in a venue that doesn't involve martial prowess. I actually really want her to grow into the hero and knight she has dreamt of being. If all she does is win because she's super powerful now that she has the swords and a grievance over her treatment in the arena, then all we have a is a power up, not character growth.

Her character so far is very shallow and weak. Sort of a cut out. Good characters are complex, and are often defined by loss and/or sacrifices and the reaction to these things. Bern has never really been much more than the straightman for May. My hope for this arc (and the separate solo arcs for Crest and May) is to have the characters come out with a much greater depth and internal strength than they went in, and for us to have a better sense of the whole of the characters.

Going back to my point: How this will be achieved? What must Bern do to reach your point without the martial prowess? These people want blood. They're animals, basically, though the warden is at the least giving Bern a tiny chance. Bern has to win, or at least fight like mad to gain their so-called "respect"...
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Shazam on February 15, 2015, 03:37:35 pm
Good question I suppose. I'm looking forward to see how Brian manages to do it.

In a general way,  I'd have hoped she'd have stopped Polly from taking on more suffering to pay for Bern's choices.

From a story perspective,  we're now in a scene that requires martial prowess. If you're asking what I'd like to see her do in this scene,  I'd like to see her be successful. I'd also in a greater story sense like to see her save Polly by offering to take on something that will represent a cost to Bern and which will represent growth and a turning point.

Again,  I assume this is the point of this arc. I'm very engaged to see how Brion manages to do so.  We have the arena as forge,  and Bern is the steel.  What can come of this will determine the balance and temper of the blade.

What would you want to see?
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: SAGG on February 15, 2015, 05:16:59 pm
Good question I suppose. I'm looking forward to see how Brian manages to do it.

In a general way,  I'd have hoped she'd have stopped Polly from taking on more suffering to pay for Bern's choices.

From a story perspective,  we're now in a scene that requires martial prowess. If you're asking what I'd like to see her do in this scene,  I'd like to see her be successful. I'd also in a greater story sense like to see her save Polly by offering to take on something that will represent a cost to Bern and which will represent growth and a turning point.

Again,  I assume this is the point of this arc. I'm very engaged to see how Brion manages to do so.  We have the arena as forge,  and Bern is the steel.  What can come of this will determine the balance and temper of the blade.

What would you want to see?

I've pointed out that I expect Bern to win, though perhaps it probably won't be outright. Hence, I added that at the least she'll put up one heck of a battle so intense, that the crowd (and eventually the warden) will respect her, and she'll move up in rank. What I believe these so-called people really want is for Bern to fight like the others. Again, I don't expect her to die, for that would take out half the duo, which would drastically change the comic. If Bern doesn't win OUTRIGHT, it'll be because one of the others will hurt her by getting in a lucky blow, but I repeat, she WON'T be killed--unless there's some sort of spell I'm missing that would bring her back to life. Could Polly try to interfere? Doubt it, unless Polly wants the warden to take her out lickety-split...
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: SAGG on February 16, 2015, 04:56:14 am
Okay, who here other than myself thinks that page 59 is almost a duplicate of page 58?  :P Enough gab! Let's get it on, please!
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Shazam on February 16, 2015, 09:11:54 am
I now expect an errant blow to slice off one side of Bern's father's mustache, revealing more of his face and his true identity which will have greater ramifications as we find out he is also Crest's father, which will lead to some interesting questions of his triple identity and what's really happening at the core of the Flipside world.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Shazam on February 17, 2015, 07:19:36 am
As aside, hope Polly doesn't leap in to help Bern and get killed redshirt style in order to give Bern her motivation to win.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: IronSoul on February 18, 2015, 08:14:16 am
We're probably not going to find out for a while. Next chapter is probably going to focus on Maytag or Crest.

All in all, this chapter was really....slow to me. I understand what was being done, but it seemed to drag for way too long. Though in all fairness, it may do better in paper format.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Stargoat on February 20, 2015, 09:47:16 am
Bern doesn't look like she's in a forgiving mood right now. Hmmmm.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Brion Foulke on February 20, 2015, 11:15:11 am
All in all, this chapter was really....slow to me. I understand what was being done, but it seemed to drag for way too long. Though in all fairness, it may do better in paper format.

You're not wrong, but a requirement of suspense is that it is slow.  I think it'll read a lot better in paper format thanks to the pacing.  I'll try to make up for it with faster storytelling whenever I'm not going for suspense.
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: wowfood on February 21, 2015, 04:56:27 am
As aside, hope Polly doesn't leap in to help Bern and get killed redshirt style in order to give Bern her motivation to win.

That's actually kind've what I expect to happen in a way.  Warden just said that bern getting sexed would give her a hatred for the coliseum, a hatred she'd hone into a blade and become an unstoppable warrior.  Something that polly only helped dull further.

I reckon the fight is going to start and either polly, or berns father are going to step in and get cut down in front of bern at which point we'll see some kind of magic empowered super saiyan bern with whirlling swords of death and destruction.

And considering the point system they use for this, kill 3 s ranks, in a single battle, I imagine she'd rack up the points pretty quickly, and if she is that powerful they'd probably start hurling her into more slaughter matches, many of them vs one of her so she'd be paid off silly fast and out of there in no time.

Just my hunch (she can't stay in there forever after all)
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: mittfh on February 21, 2015, 06:09:53 am
And now Brion's been evil and left us hanging off the edge of a cliff for an interlude... :D

But, hey, at least he's giving us the chance to vote on whether we continue to see how Bern copes in the fight or flip back to the other two simultaneous arcs (Maytag in The Dark Cell, Crest finding Suspira and trying to make sense of what's going on)...
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: TheFinalFan on February 25, 2015, 06:37:50 pm
Hello, everyone!
I just wanted to know why everyone in the place Bernadette is stuck in are complete jerks, especially the woman with the odd tattoos on her face?
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Smiles on February 25, 2015, 06:53:05 pm
i'm just looking forward to bern kicking their asses. lolz
Title: Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
Post by: Pinkk on February 26, 2015, 12:05:51 pm
i'm just looking forward to bern kicking their asses. lolz

Agreed!