Author Topic: Chapter 44: Discussion  (Read 12617 times)

Abstract Vagabond

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Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
« Reply #60 on: November 11, 2015, 07:32:27 pm »
And the triggering idea didn't work because they weren't university students.

Sorry for going topical there.  :P

Desiree

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Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
« Reply #61 on: November 15, 2015, 03:41:43 pm »
I've been wondering about Bloody Mary as related to the Dark Cell.

The Thin Man said that he needed Mary for regeneration experiments, and that she was the ideal candidate because she would volunteer for the procedure.

He also said that he created Melter to try to get past the first phase (because Melter didn't feel emotions) but it backfired.

Well, what if Bloody Mary was an attempt to make a real person who knew fear (because she was afraid of death and pain) physically stronger and unafraid?  Bloody Mary's upgraded were designed to overcome fear and pain, meaning that, in theory, that should make her better suited to getting through the first two phases of the Dark Cell.  Since her new body is physically stronger and she's used to being afraid, she should have been able to overcome the first phase fairly quickly, and her new body could have also resisted the pain from the second phase, leaving only the third.

Of course, her need to eat human flesh probably screwed things up.  Since her memory was erased, we don't know if she tried to access the Dark Cell or not.  My point is only that I think that the Thin Man intended to create someone who could pass the first two phases and Mary was the result.

bulmabriefs144

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Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
« Reply #62 on: November 16, 2015, 06:59:16 pm »
I don't think that's it. The Dark Cell is only part of things, not the whole.

The Thin Man was curious about the source of magic, so he asked about it.

Brush told him about Qualia.

Discovering that magic was in fact not from supernatural cause, he recruited people who were willing to be studied, and experimented on them with the seed of power. This was to understand what exactly was going on when supposedly these people were unlocking seals.

Next he was curious about regeneration. Why? Because he wanted to see how healing worked. He also experimented on effects that could simulate fear and unhealable wounds, all effects that seemed strictly supernatural.  He found out these were mostly biological effects (fear demon is a mucous that releases pheromones, and the "curse" is simply a chemical that breaks down bonds to prevent closure of wounds).

I imagine there were a few other "monsters", experiments to understand various magical effects.

So then, he asks "if these things are have a framework that isn't magic, then why is it that people cannot see them as such?"

The brush showed him the Dark Cell.   
"この世界の悪があれば本当に、それは人類の心の内にあります."
(Truly, if there is evil in this world, it lies within the heart of mankind)
—Edward D. Morrison

Desiree

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Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
« Reply #63 on: November 17, 2015, 09:17:36 am »
Next he was curious about regeneration. Why? Because he wanted to see how healing worked. He also experimented on effects that could simulate fear and unhealable wounds, all effects that seemed strictly supernatural.  He found out these were mostly biological effects (fear demon is a mucous that releases pheromones, and the "curse" is simply a chemical that breaks down bonds to prevent closure of wounds).

I imagine there were a few other "monsters", experiments to understand various magical effects.

So then, he asks "if these things are have a framework that isn't magic, then why is it that people cannot see them as such?"

The brush showed him the Dark Cell.

Except that he has been researching the Dark Cell for more than 2 years, but Bloody Mary hasn't been active that long - a few months at most.  So clearly he didn't learn about the Dark Cell after creating Bloody Mary - he knew about the Dark Cell before recruiting/modifying her.  Moreover, he specifically said he created Melter to enter the Dark Cell, and Melter is the one who recruited Bloody Mary before she was bloody, so again, he knew about the Dark Cell first.

Now, that doesn't mean that your supposition about his experiments was incorrect either - just your conclusion that the Bloody Mary experiments led him to the Dark Cell.

It is, in fact, possible that he wanted to do regeneration experiments for both reasons - to see the limits of healing AND to create someone who could enter the Dark Cell.

bulmabriefs144

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Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
« Reply #64 on: November 18, 2015, 03:58:35 am »
She hasn't been active that long. When you study someone, you don't just meet them and ditch. We have. We have a healing test that may have at first seemed okay. She heal wounds, she had incurable wounds, fear demon. No problem. But that new candidate? They're not still there. While some may have been memory erased if they weren't useful, suppose some got eaten. At first, they go unnoticed, but then it's like "Mary!" Om nom nom, "hmmm?" "We're going to release you for our safety, mkay?"

We don't know the timeframe of events, including whether she went unnoticed outside for awhile too. We do know that he made a number of experiments leading up to the conclusion that the dark cell was at the core of whatever truth there is, and the sequence of events may be different than we think.
"この世界の悪があれば本当に、それは人類の心の内にあります."
(Truly, if there is evil in this world, it lies within the heart of mankind)
—Edward D. Morrison

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Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
« Reply #65 on: November 18, 2015, 10:22:57 am »
Great stuff Brion!

bulmabriefs144

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Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
« Reply #66 on: November 18, 2015, 11:32:31 am »
They're wrong.

It's not impossible. Yes, it is impossible to do this through lucid dreaming.

But I have a feeling she's going to do something even weirder.
"この世界の悪があれば本当に、それは人類の心の内にあります."
(Truly, if there is evil in this world, it lies within the heart of mankind)
—Edward D. Morrison

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Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
« Reply #67 on: November 18, 2015, 05:29:07 pm »

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Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
« Reply #68 on: November 18, 2015, 07:44:48 pm »
ok... maytag, I'm still going to marry you, but we're overlooking the obvious here

Dark Cell is entirely psychological.

Tie yourself to the tip of a battering ram measuring approximately 16m (50ft)

Have thinman and corona hold the ends of the battering ram and run forward.

You will not be distracted by stage three. You will be propelled into stage 4 like it or not. Why prolong the suffering?

Keneto

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Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
« Reply #69 on: November 18, 2015, 07:49:06 pm »
PS: If darkcell foils the batteringram, catapult ftw

Daisuki-chan

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Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
« Reply #70 on: November 18, 2015, 08:18:11 pm »
I considered physically forcing people to "pass", but I consider the same level and kind of cheese that just shoving more people in is (after all, you could just shove city after city of people in there until someone passes by virtue of there being no other physical option), so I assume that it is not a valid solution. If it is then I guess the people in the story have a mental block regarding this rather than the story having the "mental block". It would be nice if it was covered, but I'm used to stories skipping dull, technical options that almost never actually work in stories, so I won't really hold it against the story if it doesn't come up.

bulmabriefs144

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Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
« Reply #71 on: November 18, 2015, 09:46:08 pm »
Wouldn't work.

It is entirely psychological. But the nature of this effect means that the physical reality is negated.
This third one is an existential replacement.

Let me give an example of the effect:

Suppose I had a girlfriend (I don't, too shy). We are joined at the hip, finishing other's sentences, and cuddling every day. So ummm, one day, I decide I don't deserve her, and I treat her like crap. She leaves forever. This is an example of negative reality displacement, where one's current situation is displaced by one's outlook.

Of course, the opposite is also true. Suppose, I, as a shy person, have lived my whole life alone. Growing tired of this, I tell myself that I deserve a partner too. I find a sweet girl that I deeply admire, and even though she is currently seeing someone, I give her some reason to see that I'm a good person to be with. This is an example of positive reality displacement.

They are trying too hard to remember that this isn't real. Right, it isn't. But you don't concentrate on that fact, since your mind knows this but your body convinces you otherwise. You instead think of how to work to steadily improve your reality, and not fall further into despair.
"この世界の悪があれば本当に、それは人類の心の内にあります."
(Truly, if there is evil in this world, it lies within the heart of mankind)
—Edward D. Morrison

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Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
« Reply #72 on: November 18, 2015, 11:03:15 pm »
ok... maytag, I'm still going to marry you, but we're overlooking the obvious here

Dark Cell is entirely psychological.

Tie yourself to the tip of a battering ram measuring approximately 16m (50ft)

Have thinman and corona hold the ends of the battering ram and run forward.

You will not be distracted by stage three. You will be propelled into stage 4 like it or not. Why prolong the suffering?

I'm trying to imagine how the logistics of that would work.  First of all, how would you get the 50 foot battering ram inside the door?  Let's assume that the walls are not breakable.  In that case, you couldn't possibly manuever such a huge battering ram into that corridor.  And that's not even getting into how people would be able to hold up the weight while walking through the first 2 phases.

On the other hand if the walls *were* breakable, this is possible.  But in that case, there are actually easier ways to cheat. 

I considered physically forcing people to "pass", but I consider the same level and kind of cheese that just shoving more people in is (after all, you could just shove city after city of people in there until someone passes by virtue of there being no other physical option), so I assume that it is not a valid solution. If it is then I guess the people in the story have a mental block regarding this rather than the story having the "mental block". It would be nice if it was covered, but I'm used to stories skipping dull, technical options that almost never actually work in stories, so I won't really hold it against the story if it doesn't come up.

Interesting, I hadn't thought of this idea.  But there's a couple problems with it.  First of all, you'd need a ridiculous amount of people, several hundred at least.  Finding several hundred volunteers who are all capable of getting through the first 2 phases, and willing to put such a plan in action would be nearly impossible.  So you'd have to force people in.  That means they wouldn't be practiced at getting through stage 1, which means that it's going to be very difficult to force them in.  And stage 2 won't be any easier.  That means every single person you try to "force" in will be kicking and screaming to push the other way.

The problem is that in order for that plan to work, you need people who are trying to walk forward.  Otherwise you're just going to have a "traffic jam."  A better idea is a conga line of willing participants all pushing each other forward.  It's still extremely difficult to get enough people who can pass phase 2, seeing as how there is a small number of people who have ever done that.  But supposing you had enough people... there's still the point that phase 3 can change the illusion to account for outside things you bring in.  So, hypothetically, the illusion could be something that would make the person at the front of the conga line decide to immediately push back.  Now, a single person might be pushed forward by a conga line of 12 people, but once more of the conga line enters phase 3, the force pushing back will be stronger, and the force pushing forward will be weaker.  That means you're going to end up having a traffic jam anyway.

But still, the conga line is a good idea that I hadn't thought of until just now, so I might have to mention that at some point.

dekutree64

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Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
« Reply #73 on: November 19, 2015, 04:20:06 am »
I'm trying to imagine how the logistics of that would work.  First of all, how would you get the 50 foot battering ram inside the door?  Let's assume that the walls are not breakable.  In that case, you couldn't possibly manuever such a huge battering ram into that corridor.  And that's not even getting into how people would be able to hold up the weight while walking through the first 2 phases.

On the other hand if the walls *were* breakable, this is possible.  But in that case, there are actually easier ways to cheat.
If I were Lehm, I'd be too afraid to try breaking the walls because it might damage the whole thing to where the secret becomes permanently inaccessible. Or maybe the qualia would just teleport it somewhere else and he'd have to go searching the world for it. The current situation is pretty good, having it accessible all the time for thorough study, with nobody bothering them.

As for the battering ram idea, why not just tie the person to a cart and roll them through phase 3? That should fit through the door, or at worst could be assembled inside. I suppose it would be risky since you could end up trapped in there, so don't tie them so tight that they can't wriggle free in time, and put a timed release mechanism for added safety. But there could also be issues with the floor not being good to roll on the whole way. Large diameter wheels and rocket propulsion might help :P But there could also be bottomless pits to avoid, or walls to climb, or corners to turn...

For the conga line, I'd think the biggest issue would be preventing everyone from running sideways. I suppose it depends on the geometry of the whole thing. Is it a narrow corridor, or an infinitely wide open space, or just a fairly large room that could be filled given a large enough number of people who can pass phase 2? Regardless, it seems impractical to find enough people.

And on the lucid dream approach, it can't be replacing your reality entirely because it's basing the constructed reality upon your memories of loved ones. So there's still more study to be done, analyzing its algorithm for how it chooses which memories to use. Perhaps it would be possible to plant "trick memories" that it will attempt to use against you but will actually cause you to walk forward. Though it's probably smart enough to see that and try something else if you don't go the way it wants you to.

Oh, and how about having Corona and Maytag tie Melter up and haul him through phase 1 and 2, and then release him to attempt phase 3 without emotions?

And have they tested the effects of a blindfold and earplugs on the illusions?

Certainly is a fun challenge to ponder on :) I can't wait to see what the real solution turns out to be... if there is one.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2015, 04:29:46 am by dekutree64 »

bulmabriefs144

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Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
« Reply #74 on: November 19, 2015, 03:15:00 pm »
I'm pretty sure it has something to do with why Maytag is a candidate.
"この世界の悪があれば本当に、それは人類の心の内にあります."
(Truly, if there is evil in this world, it lies within the heart of mankind)
—Edward D. Morrison

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Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
« Reply #75 on: November 19, 2015, 04:13:44 pm »
I'm trying to imagine how the logistics of that would work.  First of all, how would you get the 50 foot battering ram inside the door?  Let's assume that the walls are not breakable.  In that case, you couldn't possibly manuever such a huge battering ram into that corridor.  And that's not even getting into how people would be able to hold up the weight while walking through the first 2 phases.

On the other hand if the walls *were* breakable, this is possible.  But in that case, there are actually easier ways to cheat. 
Just have a sufficient supply of interlocking ram pieces and you're good, right? ;p Surely there are ways to engineer something.

Interesting, I hadn't thought of this idea.  But there's a couple problems with it.  First of all, you'd need a ridiculous amount of people, several hundred at least.  Finding several hundred volunteers who are all capable of getting through the first 2 phases, and willing to put such a plan in action would be nearly impossible.  So you'd have to force people in.  That means they wouldn't be practiced at getting through stage 1, which means that it's going to be very difficult to force them in.  And stage 2 won't be any easier.  That means every single person you try to "force" in will be kicking and screaming to push the other way.

The problem is that in order for that plan to work, you need people who are trying to walk forward.  Otherwise you're just going to have a "traffic jam."  A better idea is a conga line of willing participants all pushing each other forward.  It's still extremely difficult to get enough people who can pass phase 2, seeing as how there is a small number of people who have ever done that.  But supposing you had enough people... there's still the point that phase 3 can change the illusion to account for outside things you bring in.  So, hypothetically, the illusion could be something that would make the person at the front of the conga line decide to immediately push back.  Now, a single person might be pushed forward by a conga line of 12 people, but once more of the conga line enters phase 3, the force pushing back will be stronger, and the force pushing forward will be weaker.  That means you're going to end up having a traffic jam anyway.

But still, the conga line is a good idea that I hadn't thought of until just now, so I might have to mention that at some point.

I guess your idea is that the world doesn't have many people that can pass the first two phases, regardless of Lehm's effectively infinite ability to pay them? Anyway, you could do various things to aid or "encourage" people to move forwards instead of backwards. The basic idea is just flooding the area on the basis of it being a fixed area that can be filled. I assumed this wouldn't work because it's cheesy and is generally not considered an option in scenarios like this in stories. I think if you engineer something or can communicate from outside phase one (and there is a limited area with no limit to the number of entities (human or not) you can send in) you can force things...in some extreme example you could simply start flooding the room with acid once you can't push any more people in...if they can perceive this they will run forward, right?

Desiree

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Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
« Reply #76 on: November 19, 2015, 09:42:44 pm »
I'm trying to imagine how the logistics of that would work.  First of all, how would you get the 50 foot battering ram inside the door? 

Easy!  Warp Box.  Put a portal door up parallel to the Dark cell.  The portal door connects to a large, mostly empty warp box where you've stored a large battering ram (or other long object with which to move the Subject).  You open the portal and have people in the warp box move the object (battering ram, etc) forward into the hallway, where you attach the subject.  Or just attach the Subject in the Warp Box to save time.  Either way, the object with the subject is moved forward with a series of rungs by strong people on the outside (in the Warp Box, to give them plenty of room).  Meanwhile, you have Corona enter with the Subject to guide the Object forward and make sure it doesn't hit the "edges" or the doorway or whatever.  Maytag could help too.  Then, when they get near the end of Phase 2, Corona (and Maytag) stop moving forward and use the handholds on the Object to keep it going forward, make sure things remain steady, and to observe what happens without crossing over into the Third Phase.

bulmabriefs144

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Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
« Reply #77 on: November 20, 2015, 09:26:07 am »
Tying a person to a cart would have them trying to get free. At complete amnesia/brain adjustment, they would immediately decide that someone was kidnapping them, and adrenaline would have them wriggling out and running backwards through the phases.

Even if you chained them, they would either dig in their feet (getting crushed) or get through, only to be chained up. Or they have a key to the chains which they use immediately.
"この世界の悪があれば本当に、それは人類の心の内にあります."
(Truly, if there is evil in this world, it lies within the heart of mankind)
—Edward D. Morrison

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Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
« Reply #78 on: November 24, 2015, 05:56:47 am »
"That man"? What is Maytag talking about?

Also, excellent comic.

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Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
« Reply #79 on: November 24, 2015, 02:37:32 pm »
It MIGHT be the person to Corona's right that she's blushing and looking away from in panel seven, whom she calls master. ;p

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Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
« Reply #80 on: November 24, 2015, 07:07:56 pm »
ok... maytag, I'm still going to marry you, but we're overlooking the obvious here

Dark Cell is entirely psychological.

Tie yourself to the tip of a battering ram measuring approximately 16m (50ft)

Have thinman and corona hold the ends of the battering ram and run forward.

You will not be distracted by stage three. You will be propelled into stage 4 like it or not. Why prolong the suffering?

I'm trying to imagine how the logistics of that would work.  First of all, how would you get the 50 foot battering ram inside the door?  Let's assume that the walls are not breakable.  In that case, you couldn't possibly manuever such a huge battering ram into that corridor.  And that's not even getting into how people would be able to hold up the weight while walking through the first 2 phases.


a) Yes... someone suggested a battering ram with detachable segments. Good!

b) Cart + ramp.
b1) Build a large ramp outside (and by large, I mean steep, not large)
b2) Grease darkcell by pouring gallons of animal fat down the ramp
b3) Tie yourself to a cart such that there is no way for you to get off or flip the cart over or in anyway prevent your forward momentum
b4) Roll to the end of darkcell. Say hi to level 4 because you're about to get there. And if not, you'll be tied to a cart in level 3 wishing you could get off

c) catapult... well let's cross this off as infeasible

d) Tell Bloody Mary there's fresh meat at the end. I bet she's immune to the fear

e) bow & arrow with rope
e1) place a generous dab of super glue on the end of the arrow
e2) provided you have half decent aim (read better than mine) shoot blindly into darkcell in the hopes the arrow will become glued to whoever or whatever is back there

f) if (e) fails to pull anything out but the rope is firmly attached, a clever inventor could make a wind up pulley and use the rope to pull himself in

bulmabriefs144

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Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
« Reply #81 on: November 24, 2015, 07:30:16 pm »
It MIGHT be the person to Corona's right that she's blushing and looking away from in panel seven, whom she calls master. ;p

Heh.  :-*
"この世界の悪があれば本当に、それは人類の心の内にあります."
(Truly, if there is evil in this world, it lies within the heart of mankind)
—Edward D. Morrison

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Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
« Reply #82 on: November 25, 2015, 07:22:48 pm »
As I see it.. there is one way to pass the third phase... perhaps it is too simple a solution.

Apathy.

The third phase puts you in a reality that re-writes ALL that you know.. that being the case.. I don't see how any 'physical' means of forcing someone through would work as Reality itself is being rewritten.  As physical reminders and written notes have no effect as if part of a dream.. or worse they are re-imaged to enforce the new imposed reality!

The only answer I can see it to just simply not care what reality is presented to you.  As the imposed reality plays upon your hopes desires and dreams...

As the Riddler of Gotham, put it quite succinctly... "A man who loves nothing in the world cannot be bargained with.  He cannot be betrayed.  He is answerable to no one but himself.  He is free."

Simply not caring what imposed reality is presented to you... only knowing that you must continue on regardless of what you see... feeling nothing for the reality presented.. might be the answer.

Its possible, May can do this.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2015, 07:24:34 pm by sunphoenix »
"...no amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free.  No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything - you can't conquer a free man; the most you can do is Kill him." - Robert A. Heinlein


Keneto

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Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
« Reply #83 on: November 25, 2015, 07:37:11 pm »

The only answer I can see it to just simply not care what reality is presented to you...

As the Riddler of Gotham, put it quite succinctly... "A man who loves nothing in the world cannot be bargained with.  He cannot be betrayed.  He is answerable to no one but himself.  He is free."

Simply not caring what imposed reality is presented to you...

Hmm Maytag cares very much because a some outcomes influence her radioshow / life dream.

Also, that level of uncaring, you might not care enough to complete the task. I mean, I don't care for ice cream (lactose intolerant). If faced with a difficult task to win ice cream, I would readily give up.

Now... a giant slide covered in bacon grease... that just says oh, yes!

bulmabriefs144

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Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
« Reply #84 on: November 26, 2015, 03:32:57 pm »
There are two types of apathy. Being apathetic about life in general. Or apathy about an event.

The latter allows her to move, but not the former. If she can shrug what the dark cell shows her but care about moving ahead, this might work.

Another option is to have an Erudite mind, and just be able to say "this isn't real." Even without a reminder.
"この世界の悪があれば本当に、それは人類の心の内にあります."
(Truly, if there is evil in this world, it lies within the heart of mankind)
—Edward D. Morrison

Desiree

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Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
« Reply #85 on: December 02, 2015, 06:25:42 pm »
Ha!  Well played, Brion!

... although there are ways to modify the plan to overcome an incline (a wheelchair can be pushed up inclines and up steps with enough force).  But still, well played.  And thanks for hanging a lantern on that.  At least we know they tried.

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Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
« Reply #86 on: December 04, 2015, 11:37:46 am »
Flood it and give the fellow water wings. (Life preserver.)

bulmabriefs144

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Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
« Reply #87 on: December 04, 2015, 02:20:16 pm »
I can think of some more. Bringing in magical items. We know they won't work outside, but we don't know what happens inside.

And what about a person being blindfolded in? Or ignoring what they see.
"この世界の悪があれば本当に、それは人類の心の内にあります."
(Truly, if there is evil in this world, it lies within the heart of mankind)
—Edward D. Morrison

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Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
« Reply #88 on: December 04, 2015, 06:47:57 pm »
On panel one here it looks like the top of the entrance to phase one is higher than the bottom of the exit to phase three. In that case it seems that one could just put a beam between those two points (probably slightly outside of the latter point if not both) and connect someone to a roller or similar connected to the beam such that they simply are pulled past phase three by gravity. Personally I would have it be that anyone that cheated was simply teleported back to before the start of phase one.

Desiree

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Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
« Reply #89 on: December 04, 2015, 07:16:44 pm »
All this discussion of cheating just has me thinking of more hilarious ways to try to cheat.

New idea: Slingshot.

Step 1)
Have Corona and Maytag head into Phase 2 with ends of a giant slingshot and a bucket of adhesive (non-magical).  Glue the ends of the slingshot to the walls of Phase 2 (near the end, right by the steps).

Step 2)
Have Corona, Maytag, and anyone else who can get through Phase 1 help pull the slingshot back.  In addition, strong people outside phase 1 pull back with a rope.  A heavy metal bar strong is laid across the door to the Dark Cell to create an anchor point.  Once the slingshot is drawn back to the entrance to Phase 1, it is tied in place on the metal bar via a short length of rope.

Step 3)
Melter (or some other small, light individual) is covered with pillows and equipped with a padded helmet.

Step 4)
Corona carries Melter into Phase 1 enough to get him into the slingshot "seat".  Melter will be paralyzed with fear and unable to resist (or could be drugged if that doesn't work).

Step 5)
Once Melter is in position, Corona moves behind the slingshot and cuts the rope with her sword.  Thus released, the slingshot fires Melter into the Dark Cell, carrying Melter into Phase 3 or beyond.  The padding (hopefully) prevents injury upon impact.

The ingenious part of this is we have no idea how Melter would react to Phase 2 or 3 (having never gotten that far).  His makeup makes it impossible for him to beat phase 1, but he might be better suited to the other two phases.  Even if the slingshot didn't fully work, it would at least get him beyond Phase 1.

....

This is fun.  ^^