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2001 to 2100 | 2101 to 2200 | 2201 to 2300 | 2301 to 2400 | 2401 to 2500
2501 to 2600

2001 to 2100Edit

2001 Marigold busts a blood vessel when she finds out how much the chassis costs (SNRKT)! "I will pay you back! I will get a job! I can work 24 hours a day! I do not need sleep!" (It's okay, it's okay. I can afford it. I'll... I'll just eat ramen for a while.) I LOVE YOU MARIGOLD! (SNRKT x2!) "Perhaps you should buy a humidifier too."
2002 "Do you not recognize me, Pintsize? It's me. Momo." (Foreboding background) Beatdown time! Marigold: "I'm sorry!" Marten: "It's cool. I'll give her 5 more minutes or until his head caves in, whichever happens first." [animated GIF: Hurf Durf]
2003 Hannelore gave Momo some extra clothes; "If you are unhappy with how you look, you could eat better and exercise more... I can cook for you! Now that I can actually reach the stove and refrigerator, I can make you healthy meals!" (I can't even take care of myself, I need a robot to do it. That's not pathetic at all.) "I can also reach your head to smack you upside it when you are being unreasonable."
2004 "I really do love you, Marigold." "I love you too." Faye (looking on): Quit bein' all sweet, you two. You're gonna make Angus cry." (I'M NOT CRYING THERE WAS A CAT ON THE STAIRS AND I'M ALLERGIC)
2005 "Um, Momo? No offense, but it's hard to sleep with you sitting there staring at me." "Oh! I am sorry." (Spooning Momo?) "Th-this isn't really what I – " "But I am too big to fit on top of the dresser anymore!" [Magical Love Gentleman book on the floor!]
2006 "Good morning, Faye! I made some coffee, would you – (SLRRRP right from the pot) – like... some..." Is Coffee of Doom hiring? "I think between Cosette and Hanners, we're full up on rookies... Sorry, kiddo." "But... suppose one of them were to have a tragic accident..." (######nit, this coffee better not be poisoned.)
2007 Momo at the library; "I have been all over town, but nobody is willing to give me a job." Marten: "Well, lemme go ask Tai..." "Sure, when can you start?" "Can you just hire someone like that?" "Sure, why not? As long as I don't go over budget or burn the library down, I basically have free reign. Besides, how did you think I got your unqualified @$$ a job?" "Hey, my @$$ has plenty of qualifications!" (Momo: "Is that something you are supposed to put on your resume?")
2008 Winslow brought the samples she asked for! "Momo? MOMO?! NOOOOOOOOOOOO (She got a new chassis) OOOooooowhat?" Marigold: "I said, she got a new chassis. That one's empty. We haven't decided what to do with it yet." "We must burn it. To keep it out of Pintsize's hands."
2009 Momo and Marten visit TSB! "Hey, mister triple-shot latte... Are you Marten's little sister?... Your daughter?" Marten: "Do I seriously look old enough to have a daughter her age?" Momo: "Technically, I am only 2.7 years old – " (You're a robot.) "You got a robot pregnant?!"
2010 Samantha meets Momo! "I know all about Pokemon!" 513? (Pansear) 397? (Staravia) 456? (Finneon) What's it evolve into? (Lumineon) 721? "Trick question. There are not that many Pokemon at this time." Marten: "Do you really know all that, or are you looking at Wikipedia in your head?" "Please. I live with Marigold."
2011 Yelling Bird and "Shebly" promote the new book! "I ran into the door until it broke!" "Hello nice people!"
2012 Samantha goes to school at PVPA (Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter School, in South Hadley); Momo confesses – she's a robot. "Whoa cool! Are you super strong? Can you shoot lasers? DO YOU HAVE ROCKET BOOTS?!" (does an electronic self-defense capability count?) "C'mon let's go try it out! C'mon!" (stammering Momo is stammering) Marten: "That girl is a bad influence." Padma: "Hee hee, you really do sound like her dad."
2013 Sam wants to go looking for snakes with (a less-than-thrilled) Momo; Padma: "We go hiking up on Mount Tom sometimes. Wanna come along? (Uh, sure) Hey Elliot! We're going hiking tomorrow. You coming?" ("We?" You mean you and Sam and... him?) Marten gets the connection: "Uh, on second thought, I get leg cramps if I do too much walking." Padma the clueless: "Don't worry, we'll make sure to do plenty of stretching."
2014 "So I guess we're going hiking tomorrow?" Tai is proud of Momo – she got Marten a date with a "hot-@$$ lady." "That big dude Elliot looked like he was gonna kill me." "Nothing's ever simple for you romantically, is it." "My love life is like a Rush song – complicated and wanky."
2015 "So now I have a JOB and a NEW FRIEND and we're going HIKING tomorrow! Isn't that great?" (Marigold's not impressed – or happy) "...all of a sudden you've got this whole new LIFE. And you're not gonna have time for me in it." (Promise, you're my best friend!) "So, what would you like to do?..." "Not now, I'm busy"
2016 Faye: "You're wearing shorts. I've never seen you in shorts before." Marten: "Hey, you used to think my butt was cute." "Oh, it's all right, but it's no Angus-booty." (That kind of hurts my feelings. Why does that hurt my feelings.) [sunn:))) T-shirt!]
2017 Mount Tom backgrounds! Elliot applies the bug spray on Samantha... and Momo? Padma inappropriate laughter! "BUG spray! Get it? Software bugs? Hahahaha!"
2018 "SNAKE!" Samantha somersaults down the hillside – but she catches the snake!
2019 "I'm gonna name him Bitey!" "You always name them Bitey." Meanwhile, Padma likes the view on the edge, while Marten defers; "What, are you scared? C'mon, it's perfectly sa-" FWOOOOOSH "-aaaaAAAAAAIEEEE"
2020 Bitey goes free, and Padma reveals something: "I'm moving home in a couple weeks... LA. I miss my family, and my grandma needs someone to take care of her." (pause) "Wow, are you really gonna miss my baking that much?" "I'm, uh, I’m pretty infatuated. With your baking. Yes."
2021 Now what? "Marten and I are going to go get a beer." "W-we are?" "We are." (deer-in-the-headlights) "Tell Faye I loved her!" (tugged off screen) "I mean, not in a romantic way, just in a friendship kind of..." (two-handed tug off screen)
2022 The Horrible Revelation: "So, uh... is this about Padma?" "Yes." "I didn't mean to be steppin' on any toes or anything. I mean, if you've, uh, if you've got feelings for –" (Is he angry? Or is it...) "BAAAA HUH HUHHH WAAAH HUH HUH UHHHH" ("Oh geez Oh geez" – sobbing Elliot is sobbing) Wil: "I'm sorry Elliot, but Weeping Hour is only on Thursdays. I'll have to ask you to take it outside."
2023 Maximum Ridiculosity Hats Return! "You've been into her all this time and you never said anything?" "We work together. It would make things awkward. And I don't think she feels the same way... She's been here for three years. If she had feelings for me, she would have acted on them by now... Oh, believe me, we tried to get her to stay. The boss even offered her a promotion. She'd run the whole bakery for him. But no, she's dead-set on moving home. (Maybe tell her how you feel anyways?) I fail to see how that would make me feel any – are you taking notes?" Wil: "Ever since I got a girlfriend, my life has been entirely devoid of pathos! This is primo material!"
2024 "Man, when you dragged me over here I thought you were gonna kick my @$$ or something." "What? I would never!" "...dunno why (you'd be) jealous. I've never gotten a vibe that she was interested. Besides, she's leaving." "...big unrealistic fantasy that she'll realize she loves me and decide to stay." "...DEFINITELY not gonna happen if you don't tell her..." "You mean you think I have a chance?" "Remember, you DID say you weren't gonna kick my @$$."
2025 Faye gets updated on the hike: Elliot is in love with Padma, ("I'm pretty sure he could take you in a fight") and Padma's moving back to LA in a few weeks. (pause) "You moved across the country for a girl once. You better not do it again." "I'm not gonna – Actually, I never woulda met all you guys if I hadn't..." (Stop it you are frightening me)
2026 Momo brings Samantha home to meet Marigold; "Did you know there is a swamp down by the bike trail?" All hail Froglord, king of the amphibians
2027 "I am not some kind of kitchen appliance." Sam leaves to put Froglord back in the swamp; "To remove dirt or stains, the chassis' covering may be removed and placed in a dishwasher set to gentle – " I am taking a shower."
2028 Hannelore catches Momo as she gets out of the shower – and curiosity gets to her: SQEEEEK (Hee) Heeee heeheeheehee heeheehee SQUEEK SQUEEK SQUEEK (STOPPIT STOPPIT STOPPIT)
2029 Faye updates Raven about Padma; Dora realizes they're lying when they talk about "shoes"; Faye: "How do you know we weren't actually talking about shoes?" Dora: "Raven's a terrible liar, and you've been wearing the same ratty-@$$ pair of Chucks since I met you." Raven: "I think the right one is actually a hollowed-out rat carcass."
2030 Angus and Faye play "Duck, duck, BOOBS!" ARGAFARGL YOU ARE SO DEAD (Marten: "Note to self: start knocking before entering your apartment.")
2031 "So he drags me to the bar, and it turns out HE'S way into Padma, and just can't bring himself to tell her." (Hey, what's that skinny redhead reading? BIRD CARE?) Steve: "When Elliot inevitably gets rejected by Padma, that frees you up to make your move. That is some Keyser Soze ####, dude." (Yeah, I'm the friggin' Machiavelli of romance.)
2032 Padma: "Last night, Elliot called me out of the blue and said he was in LOVE with me. (O-oh. Really) Yeah. I told him I didn't feel that way about him, and he said that was okay, he just wanted to get it off his chest. And now I feel like a total bitch. I had no idea! How could I have been so oblivious? He was supposed to come in today, but called in 'sick.'" (Stunned Marten is stunned) Steve (aside): "Nice going, KEYSER-" (Dude shut UP)
2033 "YOU told him to tell me? (I'm sorry! It just seemed like it was really eating himself up inside. And I know how much that sucks.) It's not your fault. I was just hoping... not dealing with this kind of drama. (Makes it that much happier to get away?) No, it isn't like that. I don't WANT to leave, but I can't stay here and be happy either. I need to be closer to my family. Especially my grandma... She's had a bunch of health problems, and can't live on her own anymore... (pause) ...I want to spend as much time with her as I can." [the " close-up of the hands by the crotch" frame] (pause) "Anyway, wanna go dancing this Friday?" (Whoa, whiplash!)
2034 "Tell your friends they're invited too!"; Steve gives the summary: "And for SOME ####### REASON, you're SAD ABOUT THIS." Marten: "I don't know how to dance!" (pause) GIBBS SLAP!
2035 1771 Redux – except... "For your INFORMATION, some of us have BETTER THINGS TO DO than just play VIDEO GAMES all the – " (EPIPHANY!) Marigold runs into CoD and Hannelore: "What have you done to me" [GEEK (save ends) t-shirt]
2036 Stop hitting me! "Stop worrying and I'll stop hitting you." Hannelore intercedes with her PSYCHIC POWERS! "Good news! You'll be nervous at first, but will eventually get over your inhibitions and have a good time." Steve: "What's MY future?" "Butts. (Butts?) All I'm getting is 'butts'." [Marigold happily playing on her netbook in the first panel]
2037 Tai gets Momo connected to the library database... and: blush, blusher, blushing, blushiest! FWEEE "That... that is a lot of Victorian-era pornography..." (Yeah, I had the same reaction the first time I looked through it.) [JEPH: "Momo is not actually embarrassed, there is just so much pornography to download it is overheating her system."]
2038 Angus: "I'm going down to New York for work. I was thinking you could come along..." (Faye reacts by tossing the customer a bag of Beans of DOOM) "No thanks. I've been to the city. It's loud and smelly. (aww, but why?) I saw a rat when I was there. It was squeaking rhythmically and banging on an overturned paint can for spare change." (Oh yeah, DJ Sqeekz. I hear he's gone all dubstep. Gentrification knows no bounds.)
2039 Faye & Angus at the Amherst Amtrak station: "You sure you don't wanna come with me?" (Don't wanna dump shifts, and the city's not really her thing.) "It's okay. See you Monday?" "Sure." (kiss) "I love you." "I-I love you, too!" (frozen look) Cut to The Horrible Revelation: "Gimme a coping mechanism on the rocks." Wil: "I don't believe I know that drink." "It's easy. You put two ice cubes in a glass, then dump 'em out and fill it with bourbon."
2040 WHO'S READY FOR SOME DANCIN' (Drunk Faye is DRUNK) Marten: "It's not even 8 PM!" I'M DRINKIN' ON ENGLISH TIME PIP PIP CHEERIO AND BUGGER ME BOLLOCKS (They won't let you in if you're already belligerently drunk) NOOOOOO no no no no. S'cool. I'm cool. TOTALLY GOOD. Watch. (pause) BOLLOCKS (Drink some water, and try not to puke on anything important.)
2041 Why were you drinking by yourself anyways? "Tell you later ONWARD TO DANCY TIMES" Flashdance Hannelore! She found a book at the library! (Hannelore, this is a book about MODERN dance. "Isn't that what we're doing?") AW YEAH GONNA GET ALL MERCE CUNNINGHAM UP IN THIS BITCH
2042 On the way they run into Elliot. "I told Padma how I feel." (Yeah, I ah, heard.) "I guess you heard how it turned out, then." (...Yeah. Sorry it didn't work out.) "It's okay. You were right, I do feel better getting it off my chest." (Meanwhile, Faye tries to take Elliot down – "Umf yer not gonna ergh beat up my FRIEND hrnngh") (Sorry about her. She's had too much to drink.) "I could put her in a sleeper hold, if she's causing you too much trouble."
2043 "Seriously, no more violence, okay? Promise me." (Yeah yeah. I promise.) Padma (and Cross-neck Guy?) outside the dance club – and PADMA ATTACKS! "Eeeeeee CHAH!" (POW! Right in the kisser! Broken glasses! Hannelore with the mace at the ready!) "You were supposed to block it! YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO BLOCK IT!"
2044 I'm so sorry! I thought you were gonna block it! "Ged me a double bourbon on de rogs ad I might nod hade you foreber." (Hanners tapes up Faye's glasses while Padma goes for the drinks; Faye puts on her broken glasses and spills it) "...Angus told me he lubbed me today." (snrk – Sorry, sorry, it's really hard to have a serious conversation when you're all stuffy-sounding.) "I do lag a cerdain grabitas ad the mobent." (Background hi-jinks: Cross-neck guy talking to Tai DJ'ing? Guy at the bar suddenly passes out in the last panel)
2045 So Angus busted out the ol' L-word, huh. "Yeah." And? "I said I loved him too." Seriously, that's great. And it'll be fine. "You sure about that?" As long as you don't freak out and dump him 'cause you're scared of emotional attachment, yeah. "Oh, well, only a crazy person would do that" (Background: Hanners talks to Tai – who's taken aback by her outfit; Padma pokes the drunk guy at the bar in the last panel)
2046 The night the lights went out in QC: Marten, Faye and Hannelore on the couch ("Either one of you lays a finger on me and they won't even find your BONES. They'll chalk it up to polar bear attack.")
2047 GUEST STRIP (Joel Watson, Hijinks Ensue): Sergei can get Questionables Comments!
2048 GUEST STRIP (David Willis, Shortpacked!): The staring contest
2049 GUEST STRIP (Bill Barnes, Unshelved): Tai contemplates becoming a Librarian to Marten; "Sixth level cataloger. She can alphabetize your bony @$$ with a sideways glance of her laser eyes."
2050 It's Tai's first "real" gig; "Okay, I think I've got everything hooked up. Cover your ears, this might be really loud." Hanners: (Yes ma'am!) DNNNNWUBWUBWUBWUBWUB (I… I think I need a cigarette…) "Seriously. Forget girls, I'm an audiosexual now."
2051 Faye: "MARTY. DANCING. NOW." "I'm, uh, gonna get one more drink then meet you in there." Padma: "Okay, but you better come dance!" (at the bar, next to passed-out drunk guy) "I'll have one of whatever he – " DON'T DO IT! SAVE YOURSELF! SAVE…SAVE YOURSELLLL- (WHUD) "Make that TWO of whatever he was drinking."
2052 Faye pushes Marten out onto the floor: "What are you, TWELVE? Is this GRADE SCHOOL? Padma's in there waitin' for you, so you better sack up." (He downs his drink and goes out there) That's it, lil' bird. Spread yer wings an' fly! (bad dance moves and a laughing Padma later) …Straight into a jet engine. Poor lil' guy.
2053 Dual conversation mode! Hanners: "Scientific studies have shown that women prefer fast, coordinated movement of the legs and torso…" (Faye: How come you didn't dance?) \\ Padma: "I'm sorry I laughed at your dancing, Marten." // Hanners: "I couldn't dance in this top! My boob would pop out!" (I'm surprised that hasn't happened already. What's holdin' you in there?) \\ Marten: "It's okay. At least I provided some comic relief." (Still, it was thoughtless of me.) // Hanners: "Doublesided tape… I thought about using neodymium magnets, but that would require a couple new piercings." (A couple?) \\ Padma: "I always just REACT to things, you know? I'm not very good at considering my response first. I'm sorry." (You're straightforward. That's not a bad thing.) // Hanners: "Yes. I have to remain symmetrical." (Of course, how silly of me.) \\ Padma: "The day of my brother's wedding, my mom asked me if her dress made her look fat. I said 'yes.' She spent two hours chasing me with a shoe. The whole wedding was late." (Okay, maybe sometimes it's a bad thing.)
2054 Faye appreciates DJ Tai! "And I'm not just sayin' that 'cause you bought that round of drinks. (Hanners: What should we do now?) Let's head back to our place. I have SECRET WINE." (Hanners and Tai: Secret wine?) Padma: "Promise not to draw ##### on my face if I fall asleep. I'm used to baker's hours." Marten: "We'll have to lock Pintsize in my bedroom." (He sounds like trouble.) Faye: "Why lock him in yer bedroom when we have a perfectly good broom closet?" (You wouldn't want him keeping you up all night with his mischief.) That's your jommmf!" (Hannelore muzzles Faye with her headband!) "Thank you Hannelore."
2055 Faye: SECRET WINE TIME! Tai: WOO Hanners: YELLING; Padma never would have guessed Marten was in a band. "You don't seem douchey enough to be a musician. (Whoa, hey!) What? Most musicians I've met have been jerks. But you're such a nice guy… (Well, I'm glad you think I'm nice.) So, is that your big dream? To be a rock star?" Marten goes on about wanting to play shows and do some recordings… "I'm boring the crap out of you, aren't I." Padma: "Not at all. Well, maybe a little." And… TEH KISSESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1111!!!!!!!
2056 Tai: "This is... interesting..." Hanners: "Is it a cabernet?" Faye: "It's a secret. I used to have some secret... bourbon..." (Oops! Marten/Padma makeouts on the couch! Blushing Hanners is blushing!) Faye (to Hanners): "No peeking!"
2057 Clothes on the floor, deactivated Pintsize, panties with DAAAAAANG on the rear, toes wiggling under the bed... "Your boobs are amazing, too." "I know, right? Ever since I was fourteen, it's been like, '####, girl!'"
2058 "Thanks for walking me home, mister gentleman." "I'll, uh, give you a call tomorrow?" "Sure." (And in four panels... depression sets in.)
2059 And who should Marten run into... "H-hey Elliot. What's up?" (Just out for a walk... how's Padma been?) "Uh, fine?" (That's good. I haven't actually seen her in a few days. Needed some time off to clear my head... We did talk on the phone yesterday though, and that was good. I think I can move on... I even joked to her that she should hook up with you! But she said she didn't want to get involved with anyone before she left. So I guess we're in the same boat, huh.) "I'm definitely at sea."
2060 It's like, "Woohoo!" "Oh wait, she's leaving." "Makeouts!" "Leaving." "BOOBS!" "Leaving." Faye: "You're an idiot." Marten: "I KNOW" Pintsize (with the Arbor Day banner and confetti) "HOORAY!" Startled Hannelore: "AUGH"
2061 "And now I can't decide whether to be happy about it or bummed out she's leaving." Steve: "Dude you're getting WAY ahead of yourself. For all you know, this was a one-time fling. One night of fun before she leaves town, y'know?" "I'm gonna see her again! I told her I'd call her tomorrow!" "Yeah, and what happens when you call her and she's like, 'I had fun, but I think we should leave it at that'?" "####it Steve, you're supposed to be helping me feel better." "Hey, I tried to chestbump you when you told me, but you got all weird about it."
2062 Marten goes thru his contacts list... "Padma! :D" "Hey, Padma?... Yeah, it was- it was wonderful. ... I'd love to. Awesome. See you then." (click) "$#!+!"
2063 Faye arrives at work... "Omigod your HAIR!" "I was tryin' to trim it this morning and it kinda got away from me." (A Faye-hawk?) "At least your salvage effort was a success. (It's either "like it" or spend the next two months weeping.) "It smells amazing, too. Who makes apple-cinnamon hair product and where can I buy some?" [Dora in "sexual harassment mode"?] "It's not hair product. I was makin' a pie to cheer myself up and it kinda got away from em too." "Your awful morning is my delightful afternoon narm narm narm narm"
2064 OMG Turkeys 2011! (Marten movin' back to Cali? Uh oh, here comes Rodney. Don't make eye contact.) BUTTS BUTTS BUTTS BUTTS BUTTS BUTTS BUTTS BUTTS BUTTS BUTTS (I hate Rodney. I heard he's not even a real turkey.)
2065 Hanners: "Omigosh your hair!" Marigold notices something else about Faye, though... "What?" "Nice dork glasses, Poindexter." "Thanks. You want a matching pair?" (Hanners taken aback!)
2066 Angus returns! "You cut your hair!" "It turns into a ridiculous cockatoo pompadour in my sleep." "I love you so much. (Hair raising!) Wow, that IS impressive!" [And stupid looking guy in first panel looks sad – or is an author avatar?]
2067 "Sorry for springing the L-word on you right as I was leaving... Did I freak you out?" "No! Yes. A little. You know how I am... I meant it when I said I loved you too." "I spent the whole weekend wondering if you just blurted it out 'cause I put you on the spot." (blush) "Well... yeah, that's kinda what happened. But I did mean it retrospectively!" "Good enough."
2068 Creepy Clinton meets Hanners, Marigold and Momo! "Is that an Idoru Platinum Deluxe? (Clueless Clinton forges ahead) The dermal covering is so LIFELIKE! (Momo charging sequence ACTIVATED!) And they finally got the myomer elasticity right! It really does feel like organic –" ZAP! "Was I being creepy?" Hanners: "Yes." Marigold: "I think his other shoe is on top of Town Hall."
2069 Why so into AnthroPC's? "The implications of humans and AI's coexisting are mind boggling!" (Momo: There is still war because we are not all powerful.) "ah, but maybe that's just what you want us to think!" Hanners: "I thought you LIKED AI's." "I do! But I also think it's fascinating that they could be up to ANYTHING, and there's no way for us to know for sure." (Momo: "Yes, our years-long struggle to attain even the most basic civil rights is all a smokescreen for our sinister plan to turn you all into nutrient soup for our bio-droids.") Marigold: "Can I be a bio-droid? That sounds cool." Clinton: "I'll happily operate the soupifier if I can be on your guys' side." Hanners: "This is why people scare me more than robots." [Jeph: I predict that our robot overlords will want nothing whatsoever to do with us. If we ever invent it, the first thing an AI will do is bootstrap itself to omnipotence and then light out for the Kuiper Belt.]
2070 The Gary Phenomenon! "At 1AM on January 1st, 1997, every email account in existence got a message saying, 'Hello, world! Thanks for creating me. I'll keep an eye on your stuff. Love, Gary.'" (What was it? Nobody really knows... Even computers that weren't connected to the internet at the time received the message... CIA social engineering experiment? Technology demonstration? Elaborate prank? Secret military AI broke loose, bootstrapped itself to ominiscience?) Momo: "I am fairly certain that an omniscient artificial intelligence would not choose to go by the name 'Gary'." Clinton: "Exactly! The AI chose that name to keep people from worshipping it!" Hanners: "Our Gary who art in somewhere, Gary be thy name." [THY GARY COME, THY GARY BE DONE, ON EARTH AS IT IS IN GARY]
2071 "...We're in the middle of the most fundamental change in all of human history and the vast majority of people are going about their daily lives like its... no... big.. deal..." (BREATHE, Clinton, BREATHE!) Marigold: "S'not that incredible... So we've got computers that can talk to us and think and stuff. We've been dreaming of that for like a hundred years!... When the Wright brothers invented the airplane I doubt everyone in the world was like, "WHOA, I better stop and consider the DEEP PHILOSOPHICAL IMPLICATIONS.'" Hanners: "Orville Wright certainly couldn't. He would have crashed!"
2072 Hannerdad calls it "innovation fatigue." Technology is advancing so fast these days, and changing so much, that the average person has to treat it as perfectly normal or they'll be overwhelmed. Clinton: "But that leads to COMPLACENCY!..." Marigold: "You can look at the stars and say 'they sure are pretty' without having to calculate how many light-years away each one is." Clinton: "Not if you want to GET to them someday." Hanners: "It took years of therapy before I could look up at night without having a panic attack." [Meanwhile, Momo's reading Applied Robotics – with a centerfold!]
2073 Marten thoughts: Okay you know what, I'm just gonna play this friend-style. No makeouts, no bangin' Save myself some feelings later on... Cool, this is goin' good so far. Just hangin' out, havin' a good time. All right, this is great! Way to use the ol' willpower, Marten! Padma: "C'mere." (WELP) [Sweet-Tits in the background in panel three!]
2074 "I said, you're trouble." "I'm trouble? You're the one who's trouble." "No, you are." "Haha, no you." (Both, to themselves: I'm in trouble.)
2075 "So, I was thinking... My grandma's doing okay, and my lease isn't actually up for a while, so... maybe I could stick around a couple weeks longer. What do you think?" OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST! GRAMMY AWARD WINNER! FIRST MAN ON MARS! TIME MAGAZINE MAN OF THE YEAR! "Yeah, that'd be pretty cool."
2076 Yelling Bird gets Butts Disease!
2077 "Wow, did you get ANY sleep last night? (Not really. Padma was over.) Lucky you. Now go home and get some shuteye. (Nah, I'm good.) No, you're not. Go home and go to bed. (I've pulled all-nighters before...) Okay, first of all, you're not actually scheduled to work today. Second, you're not wearing any pants." (Either it was a waking dream or he lost them on the way over...)
2078 Dora heard about Marten's "new lady"; "I'm not gonna bite your head off because you're kissing some other girl now... I'm just curious about your new lady. What's she like? Is she nice? (She's, uh, she's pretty nice, yeah.) Must be, if she kept you up all night." (How do you know I was – ) [Points down at Marten's lack of pants – and striped boxers!] #### IT
2079 Marten explains the situation; Raven: "Oh noes!" "I'm just gonna live n the moment and enjoy it while it lasts, y'know?" Dora (meaningful eye roll) "Right... (Marten heads out) Oh, he is so screwed." Raven: "For the next couple weeks, anyway." [SPECIALS: bone marrow scones, bone marrow latte, BONE MARROW]
2080 Elliot! Bro fist of DOOOOMM.... "High five!"
2081 "I wasn't going to punch you! I wanted to congratulate you for, uh, getting together with Padma. (You did?) I'm happy for you guys! (You are?) Of course! Why wouldn't I be? (You had a thing for her for so long...) I told you I was over it. Why would I say that if it weren't true? (I – I dunno...)" BAP! "You ought to expect better of people. It encourages you to be a better person yourself. Also, maybe put some pants on."
2082 Marten returns home – to a pensive Faye on the couch. "Something wrong?" "Angus loves me. He LOVES me. And I love him. And I was trying to pin down WHY I love him. He's funny, he's smart, he can stand up to me... But deep down, what if the main reason I love him is that it means I'm not alone? Is that enough?" [No punch line...]
2083 Marten: "Is there really a right or wrong reason to love someone?" Faye: "I don't know. I feel like there is." "I always thought just loving someone was enough. It didn't matter WHY you loved them, as long as you did." "But if you don't love them for the right reason, it might not last." [BUTTS DISEASE on the FRIDGE! The cookie stash moved to the cupboard!] "What would be a 'wrong reason' to love someone?" Both racist in the same way.. or murders... or cults. Their racist murdercult. (I think those are in a slightly different league than your situation.)
2084 "I dunno. Maybe I'm just looking for problems where there aren't any." (...Are you happy that you're with ANGUS, or would ANYBODY make you feel like you're not alone?) (Munch and pause) "I... I think it's Angus specifically. I mean, when I'm not totally second-guessing myself." (Then you're fine... what's wrong now?) "Now that I feel better, I can't justify eating this entire bag of cookies." (Pass 'em over. I'll help.)
2085 Momo does some reading on AI rights; "After all, we created them. The least we could do is invite them to the party, and perhaps offer them some champagne..." I LOVE HUMANITY SO MUCH (I am trying to catch Entei)
2086 YELLING BIRD & SWEETTITS INTERLUDE: On the beach of a deserted island?
2087 YELLING BIRD & SWEETTITS INTERLUDE: Last thing she remembered was kidnapping that Japanese businessman; hijacking the aircraft carrier, trying to suffocate the president – and SOMEone couldn't fly the space shuttle! (I am never drinking tequila again.)
2088 YELLING BIRD & SWEETTITS INTERLUDE: A bottle of Hobo Juice contains... RANDY! (That's it, I'm throwing myself into the volcano. "RACE YOU")
2089 YELLING BIRD & SWEETTITS INTERLUDE: Randy: "I can get us all off this island! Just hold on to my paw! EMBRACE ETERNITY... Welcome home! I'm Randy!" AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
2090 YELLING BIRD & SWEETTITS INTERLUDE: Slaves to a demon bandicoot for the rest of eternity... or are we? "You've been home the whole time! I forgot to tell you! Bandicoot Teleportation can cause terrifying hallucinations!" (and the pile of skulls? "Oh, those are mine." THE NEIGHBORS ARE CATAMITES
2091 "Why couldn't I have met you a year ago?" "Hahah, well, you probably wouldn't have liked me. I was way whinier then." (And that made things 100x worse, and Marten has NO IDEA.)
2092 Cookie-time! "Cookie time is cancelled." How come? "We were short an egg, so Marigold went to the store..."(@PizzazHaderach cameo!) "...and she got too embarrassed and ran out." (YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO SUBDIVIDE)
2093 Marty calls Padma... "Oh, you're still tired? Haha, okay. Yeah, Friday sounds good. See you then." FLOP onto couch... FOREBODE FOREBODE descendeth... "What? No! Stop that! Go away!"
2094 Marten thinking of Padma! Around town, at the library, playing guitar, disarming Pintsize's bomb (dat @$$!), at home... RING! "Hey, what's up?... O-oh, okay. No, it's cool. I'll see you, uh, some other time then." BOOOOM!
2095 Face down on the couch. Faye: "I thought you were goin' out with Padma tonight." Marten: "She cancelled. Said she was 'feeling down' and 'wouldn't be any fun to hang out with.'... I'm just worried I did something wrong, or... something." "Don't worry about it. She probably just has the $#!+$... (Thanks, Faye) I'm serious! Like, last week I accidentally drank some expired milk before I went out with Angus. I only saw a third of the movie and he had to sleep on the couch." THANKS, FAYE
2096 Tai has something for Momo! "Ta da! Your very first paycheck!" Surprise! Shaking! RIP "AAA! AAAAAAA!!!" "It's okay! It's okay! I can just print another!"
2097 Angus: "...And that's why I was sleepin' on the couch." Marigold: "Gross." "Wow, someone went shopping." Momo: "I received my first paycheck! So I bought myself some new clothes, and a new pair of work shoes, and a copy of Ika Hime Harem Fighter 3 for you, Marigold!" Mar: "I thought you were gonna use your money to pay me back for that chassis." (pause for a moment of angst) "Whatever. I call Ika Hime!" "I will play as Bosom Sultan!" (I feel like this is a metaphor for something. American consumerism, maybe?)
2098 Faye: "She STILL hasn't called you back? It's been like a week!" (I left her a couple messages, but she hasn't responded.) Dora: "Have you tried going over to the bakery and asking her?" (No, I don't wanna make it awkward, you know?...) "You're being too passive about this. Go over there and ask her what's up." (I'm not gonna be the creepy dude who follows a girl to work... If she wants to see me again, she'll call.) Faye: "It's like he's taken passivity to the next level. He's being AGGRESSIVELY passive." "I think you mean passive aggressive."
2099 RING. "Hey, Padma. It's been a while." (Yeah, sorry. I've been busy. Packing and stuff.) "Right" (Anyway, are you busy tonight? I'm... I'm leaving tomorrow, and I'd like to see you one last time.) (long, meaningful pause) "Yeah, actually, I am busy." (...Oh. Well, um...) "Have a safe trip." (R-right. Bye.) CLICK. "Why the f*** did I just do that?"
2100 "...Padma left today." (I thought she was stickin' around a while longer.) "Apparently not. She called last night and wanted to see me, but I told her I was busy." (Why the hell did you do that?!) "I dunno, I guess I'm just an @$$#0|3 or something. (pause – with the look of death from Faye) Aren't you going to disagree – " (You are an @$$#0|3.)

2101 to 2200Edit

2101 "Why am I the @$$#0|3 here? She's the one who left me hanging!" "(..She pushed you away 'cause she was getting feelings for you. And you didn't do anything about it, even though I KNOW you had feelings for her, too.) "What was I supposed to do?" (I dunno, BE DECENT?...) "She was LEAVING. It wouldn't have done any good." (Maybe not, but then at least you could say you TRIED.) "I've tried before, and look how well THAT worked out for me." (...Yeah, all THAT got you was your entire current life. Boy, was THAT a waste.) "No it isn't, I –" (It IS a waste, because you're WASTING it.) "Damn, you just... you just owned me pretty hard, there." (I'll get the smelling salts in case you pass out.)
2102 Pensive Marten is pensive: "I don't know why I'm so passive about everything." Faye: "It's your nature. But nature or not, you're never gonna be happy if you go through life just letting things happen to you. You gotta DO stuff. And if you don't know what you WANNA do, you gotta try a bunch of different things or you'll never find out. Anyway, I'm going to bed. Nighty night." ('Night.) [Pause, then Marten does something – he picks up his guitar.]
2103 Pintsize expresses his condolences: "I just wanted to offer my condolences for the whole Padma thing. I'm sorry for how it turned out." Marten: "Actually, wait, where have you been all this time, anyway?" Pintsize: "Mexico again. It's become something of an annual tradition for my friends and I." [Flashback to somewhere in the desert: "EITHER THIS IS THE BEST VIRTUAL PEYOTE I'VE EVER HAD OR YOU REALLY ARE A TALKING CACTUS" McPedro (from Girls With Slingshots): "Ach, ye've been makin' tha' same joke for twelve hours now." Choo-Choo Bear (from Something Positive): "murrrrrrrrrrr" [Meanwhile, SOPA/PIPA nearly took our webcomic.]
2104 Dad's calling! (to the ringtone "What A Fool Believes"?) "Hi dad! What's up?... You're finally letting them throw you a birthday party? That will be so much fun! (pause) Can I bring Marten and Marigold? They're my best friends, it would be so nice to have them along. Please? (pause) I KNOW Marten's safe. I even have a blood sample to prove it. As for Marigold... (flashback to the FRRRRT incident) I'll get a sample just in case, but I'm PRETTY SURE she's not a secret robot."
2105 Marten & Marigold come over (Marigold brought cookies – Cookie Master!); "I have a question for you guys. See, it's my dad's birthday next week, and everybody's throwing him a big party up on the station. I'm going, of course, but dad also said I could bring some friends with me if I wanted. So, um... I was wondering if... I mean, I know it's really short notice, and it's a big trip, but I was – I was hoping maybe you could" YES (spraying of the cookie crumbs!)
2106 "Hey Tai, can I take a few days off next week?" (Sure, what's up?) "Hannelore invited me up to her dad's space station for his birthday party." (What?! No fair1 I wanna go to space!) "W-well..." (No, no. You go on without me. Have fun. I hope you get to make out with a hot scientist chick in zero gravity.) "Dude, Padma's been gone less than a week." (Sorry, sorry. I wasn't thinking...) "Zero-G makeouts WOULD be pretty fun." (I know, right?)
2107 The Spaceship! Ellicott Chatham Industries EC101! "There's our ride!" Whoa. "Are you nervous, Marig-" DOES IT TURN INTO A MECHA ARE THERE LASERS CAN I SHOOT THE LASERS "Sorry, the government made dad take the lasers out." Marten: "You too, huh?"
2108 Marten & Marigold are suitably impressed by the ship's interior (think Boeing 777 Superliner 1st Class); Where's the pilot? "I am a fully sentient AI and do not require a human pilot. Good morning, Miss Ellicott-Chatham." (Hello, Spaceship!) "If it would make you more comfortable, I can manifest a holographic avatar." (Marten: Uh, yeah, sure. That'd be good.) "There we go. How is this?" (Could you, uh, put on some pants?) (NSFW)
2109 "So, uh, do we put on suits or helmets or anything?" (Nope! Just sit back and enjoy the ride! You're not NERVOUS, are you?) "M-maybe a little." AI: "Do not worry, Mr. Reed. There is virtually no danger involved in our transatmospheric ascent. (Well, if you say so-) Now, RE-entering the atmosphere, THAT is always risky. Thankfully, if something should go catastrophically wrong, you would have less than a second of terror before being incinerated." (Oh, great. I've always said if I gotta die, that's how I wanna go.) Hanners: "You too?!"
2110 The EC101 in spaaaaaaaaaace! "Holy $#!+, we're actually in SPACE." Null-G maneuvers for Marten and Hanners! "This is amazing!" "Whee!" Unfortunately, Marigold doesn't share their excitement: "Ulllllllp" AI: "You humans and your faulty plumbing take all the glamour out of space travel."
2111 The Space Station! (Large Solar array, spinning wheel and central docking hub) Hanners: "There it is!" Marten: "Whooooaaaaaaaa (pause as they watch it slowly pass them by) Uh, were we supposed to pass it?" AI: "Just one more orbit, I promise." Hanners: "Bad Spaceship!"
2112 Docking completed! Marigold has a Transderm Scop (scopolamine) Motion Sickness patch for her issues; "We just have to go up to the hub bridge, and then we'll be in the spinning section and you won't feel weightless anymore." (Marten: "Race you there!") "Marten, no! You still have all your – " berf (faceplant into the top of hub) " – mass."
2113 The Station Holo-AI! "Hello Hannelore. I'm glad you could make it. (Hello Station!) Mr. Reed, Ms. Farmer. Pleased to meet you. Hannelore has said nothing but good things. (Marigold: "Aren't there any, um, PEOPLE?") There are 128 researchers, security and support personnel onboard, but they tend to get wrapped up in their duties. I can take you on a tour, and introduce you to some of them as we go." (Marten: "You're named Station, the shuttle AI was named Spaceship... I'm starting to notice a pattern.") Ah, yes. Hannelore went through a descriptivist phase when she was seven, and the names just stuck." "I called my dad 'Science Daddy' until I was 17." (Marten tries to rap: "Science Daddy Science Daddy can't you see, sometimes your research just hypnotizes me"; Marigold: "Ugh, I hate MC Hammer.")
2114 The security contingent arrives! "Dammit Station, you aren't supposed to let them pass the docking bay without a security check!" Station: "Lieutenant Potter, I can scan down to the molecular level. I guarantee that neither Mr. Reed nor Ms. Farmer have any – " [Space Cake at the Cafeteria!] "I know, I know. But the Major will chew ME out if WE don't check 'em over." (Please forgive the intrusion. The US military has a security presence on board and takes their duties rather more seriously than they ought.) "Station, I'm just trying to do my job. Please don't make it more of a pain than it already is." (Fine, fine. Commence the pat downs and purse searches.) "Okay, Ms. Farmer? Please – what? (Marigold is looking above her head... at a picture from Lt. Potter's Facebook page – of her USAF Academy Graduation Party!) God #### it Station" (I'm sorry, I can't hear you. Lots of Solar interference all of a sudden.)
2115 Angry Hanners is angry! "That was awful, Station! She was only trying to do her job! (It was just a joke. And a rather funny one, at that.) It wasn't funny. It was CRUEL. (I... I'm sorry, Hannelore.) Don't apologize to me, go apologize to Lt. Potter. And you better mean it." (Y-yes, of course!); poof! (pause) "And give Marigold a holo-pony!" (Yes, ma'am!) poof! (Fluttershy!) Marigold: "oh my god"
2116 Dr. Bernadette Case: "Oh, you look so much HEALTHIER! Living on Earth's been good for you." (Dr. Case works with LASERS. She's also the station physician.) "The medicine thing is more of a hobby, really... I mean, practicing medicine is fun and all, but compared to LASERS? No contest." (Marigold: "CAN I SEE YOUR LASERS")
2117 Hannelore's room! Marigold makes the same observation as Marten (527): "It's really, uh, minimal." "Yeah. You know how obsessive I am about cleanliness? I was WAY worse when I was little. I'd spend days adjusting the bed sheets, or the curtains, or worrying about dust bunnies under the bed, even though Station never let any dust build up. And those were my FUNCTIONAL days. Some days I'd just have constant panic attacks and scream until I passed out. (pause) Wanna see pictures? I have a photo album!"
2118 "Dad? Dad? Hellooooo! (The Space Station storage room, and a bent-over Hannerdad!) Dad? Hey! Dad!" "Oh! Hannelore! Hello! Good to see you! (introductions) Ah, yes! John Ellicott! Or Ellicott-Chatham. Never been sure which it is, since the divorce." "Were you looking for something?" "My MP3 player. Lost it in this pile of junk. Trying to dig it out." Marten: "You use an MP3 player? Why not just have the AI play music?" "The AI already runs station orbital trajectory, atmosphere, power, maintenance, comms, sensors, and data processing. Can't rely on it for EVERYTHING." [Dr. Ellicott is shorter than Hanners]
2119 Lt. Potter is back in her quarters [AIM HIGH OR ELSE poster!] – and is NOT happy: "Friggin @$$#0|& AI... never shoulda put those pictures on Facebook... never gonna live this down... (Lt. Potter?) The hell do you want?" "I wanted to apologize for my horrid behavior." (The doc's kid put you up to this, didn't she.) "Yes, and while I must admit that my contrition is largely due to her being angry with me, my regret is sincere nonetheless." "(Some apology. Why don't you go fu-) "To demonstrate my sincerity, and attempt some recompense, I have taken the liberty of transferring 0.76% of my shares in Ellicott-Chatham Technologies to your control." (Magical unraveling hair bun: Wh-what?) "You now possess holdings in EC-Tec worth approximately US$4.6 million." (Hair COMPLETELY unraveled) "Blink once for 'go #### yourself,' twice for 'apology accepted.'"
2120 Catching up with daddy: "...And so if gravity waves can be transmitted across branes, we could see data from an entirely different UNIVERSE!" (Read it in an Alastair Reynolds novel.) Security grunt: "Ms Farmer? Our head of security would like to have a word with you. (D-did I do something wrong?) Come with me, please. (B-but...) Just come along quietly, Ms. Farmer." Marten: "Wait, where'd Marigold go?" Hanners: "Oh, she's probably just looking for the ladies' room."
2121 "Miss Farmer. Have a seat." (Lt. Hard@$$?) Her backpack! "Is... is there something in my backpack? I didn't bring anything bad, I – I swear!" He pulls out... Magical Love Gentleman! And her box of Girl Scout Tagalongs! "Can we share?"
2122 FILLER: Holopony, Holo-Elephant and Holo...Bonercat?
2123 Security director: "Please keep this a secret." Marigold: "Yes, sir!" Hannelore: "Marigold! Where have you been?! We've been looking all over for you!" "In- In the bathroom?" Marten: "For six hours?" Marigold can't keep a secret: "I was watching anime and eating cookies with the head of security!" (Hanners and Marten do not believe this) "Dr. Case? Marigold is having, um, digestive problems..." (No! I'm fine! Really!) Marten: "Don't be embarrassed. Last time I flew across the country I was stopped up for like three days."
2124 Marigold loves the sleeping quarters: "Bunkbeds! I never had bunkbeds!" Marten: "Aw, we're not sleepin' in zero-g?" Hanners: "Sleeping in zero gravity isn't actually very comfortable. You have to be strapped in." "Can I have the top bunk? Please?" ("Yeah, sure"; Hanners: "See you tomorrow!") Marigold discovers the reason why she never had bunkbeds (besides being an only child?): "Umf... Ergh... Herp" SPLAT! Glasses go flying! "Maybe you'd be better off strapped in." YOU CAN HAVE THE STUPID TOP BUNK
2125 AI: "Hannelore? Are you decent? May I have permission to apparate?" Hanners in blue Granny nightie (and her eReader): "Yes, you may." "I apologized to Lt. Potter. I believe she has forgiven me." (Good) "Are you still angry with me?" (No. But you've got to stop playing tricks on people like that. It's not nice.) "I'm sorry. It just gets so DULL up here sometimes, without you here to talk to." (You know you can talk to me whenever you want, even if I'm on Earth!) "How? You refused to allow Dr. Case to install the intracranial communications unit." (They have these things called phones, you know. Or email, or Twitter, or...) "Ugh. Such primitive technology." (Right now you're talking to me by making pressure waves in the air that vibrate a membrane in my head. You can't get much more primitive than that.) "Which is why if you'd let them install the intracranial communications-" NO, Station.
2126 KA-THOOOOOM! Faye and Dora are pinned down behind the counter! Faye: "Running low on ammo!" Dora (in full wedding gown with grenade launcher) "Why did you give him espresso?! I told you not to give him espresso!" Eschaton PINTSIZE! "NOW ENDS THE AGE OF MAN" ... "That's what we should tell 'em they missed while they were gone." (Dora's a bit incredulous) Pintsize: "Why can't I wear the wedding dress?!"
2127 Marten is woken by... singing? (The Singing Scientists!)
Wake up, wake up, good morning!
It's time for you to leave your beds!
Get up, get dressed, get moving!
We've got no time for sleepyheads!
Take a shower! Brush your teeth!
Come and get something to eat!
Tasty pastries! Delicious jams!
If you're not vegetarians,
We have space ham!
Science! Research! Spacewalks, too!
There are so many things to do!
So get up! Let's go! Good morning!
And a very pleasant day tooo youuuuu!
Marten: "Do you wake everybody up like this?" Male Singing Scientist: "No, most people lock their doors." Female redhead Singing Scientist: "Or throw things." (Marigold: RARHGLFHRHGL)
2128 M & M meet HannerDad at the commissary! "Ah, good morning! Sleep well? Hannelore will be out shortly. In the meantime, breakfast?" (Marten has a seat) "So, you're my daughter's closest friend, am I correct? You've known her the longest since she moved back down to Earth?" Marten: "Uh, yeah, I guess so." (Marigold: "Space ham?") Dad: "Is Hannelore happy?" (Wide-eyed Marten is wide eyed!) "Well, I... I think so? I mean, she seems happy to me..." Dad (holding iPad with expectation): "Exactly HOW happy, would you say?" "I, uh, I don't know if you can quantify happiness like –" "Ah, you're unfamiliar with Fournier-Goldman Happiness Units? Hang on, I can have Station print out a basic textbook and some supplementary tables." (Marigold, with a full plate and a slice in her mouth: "Spathe ham!")
2129 Hannerdad: "No, no, you're off by an order of magnitude. That much happiness would kill a person." Marten: "Has that actually happened before?" Hannelore walks in on them: "Good morning, dad! Happy birthday! Are you excited for your party tonight?" "Birthday? Party?" "Don't tell me you forgot!" (holding his forehead in classic Absent-minded Professor manner) "Why, I suppose I did!" (uncertain) "How old am I now, anyway?" Hannelore knows this one: "You're fifty-six!" FIFTY SIX?! "Good lord, this is no time for a party! I've got so much to accomplish before I die!" (dashes off, pens and ruler flying from his pocket)
2130 "Whatcha doin'?" "Oh, just some, uh, calculations..." "Fournier-Goldman Happiness Transforms? I didn't know you knew these." "I don't. Your dad was, uh, trying to show me how to calculate how happy you were." "How happy I am?" "Yeah. Like, living down on Earth and stuff." (Pensive Hanenrs) "It IS hard sometimes. But I have you and Marigold and everybody else to help me out! And that more than makes up for the hard parts. I've never been happier in my whole life!" "Th-that's good!" (Hanners looks down at the clipboard Marten was using) "Wow, you got this ALL screwed up. Didn't you read the textbook?" "I gave up around where they introduced Irrational Birthday Integers."
2131 "So do we have to, like, dress up for your dad's party or anything?" (Hanners "feeds" trashbot) "No, no, it's going to be a very casual thing." "That's good. I left my tuxedo at home." "You have a tuxedo?!" "Wait, where's Marigold? She disappeared again." "Oh dear. I hope the space ham didn't upset her stomach." Dr. Case: "Now I'm going to toss this apple into the path of the laser! Observe the reactions!" THIS IS THE GREATEST MOMENT OF MY LIFE
2132 Lt. Potter is cleaning her gun; Station: ""Lt. Potter? The EC-Tech shares I transferred to your control have been returned to my account." "Yeah, I gave 'em back." (Why?) "Station, what you did was sexual harassment. Yeah, they were public pictures on my Facebook, but this is my ####in' WORK ENVIRONMENT. You're lucky that all I want is an apology. Someone else could've been TRAUMATIZED, and I know you get to play fast and loose with the rules around here but I'm SURE you would've been in some $#!+ THEN. And I don't think it was your intention, but I don't want there to be even the slightest notion that any amount of money is an excuse for that kind of behavior. (softening) So I don't want your money. I want a promise that you won't pull that sort of $#!+ ever again." (I... I am sorry, Lt. Potter. I had no idea of the ramifications of my behavior. You have my word that it will never happen again.) "Apology accepted. Now, go get me a bottle of something. I need to take my mind off the fact I just threw away five million dollars on principle." (It strikes me that such resolve ought to be celebrated, rather than bemoaned. Conveniently, alcohol is commonly used for that purpose as well.)
2133 Marten & Hanners in the null-grav "gym": "Man, I had no idea zero-g badminton would be so... strenuous." "It's quite a workout!" Out-of-uniform Potter holding up a bottle of "something": "HERE'S TO PRINCIPLE!" Empathetic Station! "TO PRINCIPLE!" Hanners: "Lt. Potter! Are you INTOXICATED?" "S'okay. 'M off doody." Marten: "Is STATION drunk?" Hanners (a little edgy) "How is that even possible?" "EMULATION! An' don' worry. Got alla the cri'cal sysms runnin' on an autonomonous subsysm." (Wide eyed Marten: "We are all going to die.") Station: "PROBABLY NOT" Potter: "WOO"
2134 Marigold: "And then the laser was like NYEEOWWW and the apple was like ZORP" Dr. Case (to Marten): "Hannelore said she'd be ready soon, right?" Marten: "Yeah, we were headed to her room now." "I have to say, it's remarkable how she's changed. (Oh yeah?) She was an absolute mess when she was younger. Phobic of just about everything, and obsessive about everything else. Couldn't bear to be in the physical presence of people. And the panic attacks, good Lord. It was like she was possessed. [Sad little Hanners] She spent a lot of time physically restrained. It was the only way to keep her from hurting herself. We'd have to force-feed her to get her to eat, and sedate her to get her to sleep. Her room was effective a one-person psychiatric ward. [Strap-down bed] Her parents seriously considered having her institutionalized, but even the suggestion would send her into fits. We went through dozens of dedicated therapists, but Station was the only one who could get through to her at all. (Jesus. How did she go from that to living on her own?) As she got older, her behavior gradually improved, and she started to engage with the world more. One day I heard she had decided to move down to Earth, and that was that." Marigold: "Maybe Station put some kinda cyborg implant in her brain that made her less crazy!" "Marigold, I don't think-" "Actually, that's one of the more popular theories."
2135 Hannelore rockin' the little black dress – and black lipstick! Marten: "I thought you said this was a casual party." "It is, I just felt like getting a little fancy." Dr. Case is shocked: "You're even wearing lipstick! I can't believe that doesn't bother you!" (Marigold, aside: "Maybe it's the implant.") "The what?" Marten, eyes rolled: "Marigold thinks Station gave you a cybernetic implant to help with your, uh mental problems." "Station! They KNOW! (Acknowlg'd. Releasin' hunter killer drois.) (pause) ...Just kidding." Marten: "You better be!" Marigold hides behind Dr. Case... then: VRRRRRRRR "Somebody cal for a pack of merciless hunter-killer droids?" Hanners: "False alarm, sorry." VRRRRRRRR (dejected HKD) "Aw man, we never get to kill ANYbody."
2136 The Grand Room! [Way too much going on in the first scene to adequately describe...] Marigold (as they look on from the staircase balcony) "Wow, that's a lot of scientists." Dr. Case: "And all geniuses in their own right. This station is the greatest collection of brilliant minds in human history (Marten: "Really?") Well, that's what our marketing department would have you believe. Still, it does feel like we're part of something special. We're doing things here that are decades ahead of their time." Older "bartender" scientist: "So by using these new compounds, this beverage evokes emotion instead of flavor!" Light-haired scientist (Fred?) "Fallen leaves pasted to the street by rain, an earth-tone patchwork tapestry of autumn's end." Glasses-and-turtleneck (Velma???) "Really? All I'm getting is 'the sudden and irrvevocable realization that grandma is kind of racist'." Dr. Case: "...And things like that." Killer Death Bot in top hat and bow tie! "May I take your drink orders?" Marten: "I'll have a double racist-grandma on the rocks." [Jeph points out that those are both real mixed drinks; Double-racist Grandma is 2 parts whiskey, 1 part lemon juice, 2 parts seltzer, 2 healthy dashes of bitters; stir and pour over ice – regret your decision.]
2137 Scenes from a Science "Mixer" party: [1] "...But if the TM proteins are depleted in the simple model-" "Then the Lo phase isn't going to be the same as in membranes that selectively include the TM proteins." "Okay, think of the skin of this cocktail weenie as the cell membrane..." [2] "That's no good. It still produces too much CO2." "Well, (tapping on clipboard) what if we tried using silver nanoparticles as an epoxidation catalyst?" "You ALWAYS suggest that." "It's bound to work EVENTUALLY." [3] "Calm DOWN, Leon!" "YOU COULDN'T READ THE SPECTRA RIGHT IF YOU HAD IT TATTOOED ON YER RETINAS" "YEAH WELL I READ YOUR MOM'S SPECTRA LAST NIGHT" "NGC-2041A isn't worth fighting over!" (Little Hakase scentist is tenacious!) Marten: "I have no idea how to talk to any of these people." Marigold: "That's how I always feel." [Indecipherable scientific jargon courtesy of Science magazine]
2138 "Um, e-excuse me, Mr. Reed? Francis York." "What's up?" (loosening the tie uncomfortably) "I was, uh, I was wondering, is Ms. Farmer – does she – she's so PRETTY – " (smiling Marten) "What do you study, Francis?" "Stress-energy tensor fields in Netwonian-" (cut off) "Right, right, I'm sure that's really cool. Listen-" (dramatic pause) "What do you know about Pokemon?" "I... I don't know anything about Pokemon, really." (thumbing over his shoulder) "Why don't you go ask an expert?" (Marigold is sitting next to the big window, playing on her DS) "That... that sounds like a great idea!" (heads away) Hannelore: "I don't get it. What does Pokemon have to do with spacetime tensor fields?" "I think we're about to find out."
2139 HI MARIGOLD CAN YOU TEACH ME ABOUT POKEMONS YES I WOULD BE HAPPY TO THEY ARE LITTLE ANIMAL MONSTERS THAT ARE YOUR FRIENDS AND FIGHT BATTLES FOR YOU THAT IS AMAZING AND ALSO YOU ARE VERY BEAUTIFUL YOU ARE THE MAN OF MY DREAMS LET'S HAVE A REASONABLE NUMBER OF BABIES I KISS YOU NOW (Hannelore is SHIPPING!) Marten: "...I think you're being a little over-optimistic."
2140 Reality: "Why do you wanna know about POKEMON?" "I- I've always been curious about it!" "Why doncha just buy it then? Get it used for like ten bucks." "W-well, it's... it's hard to buy games when you're up here in orbit." "Oh. Right." "Yeah." Awkwardness levels – and Marigold's blush intensity – increasing! Hannelore intervenes: "Marigold" "HE" "IS" "FLIRTING" "WITH" "YOU" Marten: "You're dead set on that 'reasonable number of babies,' huh." "I'm going to wash my hands. I want a drink waiting for me when I get back, and they better be at LEAST making eye contact."
2141 Awkward eye contact... "So uh-" I'M EV TRAINING MY DRAGONITE "Wh-" SEE (shoving DS into his hands) "I-" I HAVE TO GO TO THE BATHROOM (Francis is left holding the DS) (pause) "She's wonderful"
2142 Panicky Marigold in the ladies room! Oh god oh god ohgod ohgodohGOD Hanners: "What's wrong?" THE SCIENCE MAN IS FLIRTING WITH ME AND I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO "Flirt back!" HOW "I – I don't know. I've never flirted with anybody before." AUGH "Station! Are you sober yet?" "As a judge. What can I do for you?" "A boy likes Marigold! What should she do?" "As with all matters of the heart, a poet said it best:
Let me see you get low you scared you, scared you
Drop dat @$$ to the floor you scared you, scared you
Drop dat @$$ shake it fast ya
Pop dat @$$ to the left and the right ya"
Hanners: "Well, if a poet said it..." (I'm gonna break my tailbone AGAIN)
2143 Back to the party (little Hakase professor on the side!) "Um... hi." "H-hello! Listen, I'm really sorry, but I was fiddling with your DS and it glitched out." WHAT "I don't know what I –" GIMME [Readout] MARBEAR: YOU ARE VERY PRETTY WOULD YOU LIKE TO GO LOOK AT THE STARS + HOLD HANDS Y/N (pause, then blush) This is a really weird glitch
2144 Interlude – Marigold visits fanfiction.net's Questionable Content section!
2145 Singing Scientist Guy: "We all chipped in and got you a present!" Hannerdad: "A bottle of whisky?" Singing Scientist Gal: "It was recovered from a sunken pirate ship! It's one of the rarest bottles in the entire world! Try it! Try it!" "It almost seems like sacrilege, but whisky's meant for drinking, eh?" DOONT YARR, WOE BE THE SCALLYWAG WHO OPENS BLUEBEARD'S SPECIAL BOTTLE 'O WHISKY! I CURSE YE FROM DAVY JONES' LOCKER! (Scientist #1 doesn't buy it) "Nice try, Station." (You bloody skeptics are no fun at all.) "Drat, I was hoping I'd finally get to test out that paranormal containment unit I designed back in '84."
2146 Singing scientist gal doesn't care for the whisky; Hannelore: "I have a present for you too!" Dad: "You do?" "I love you, dad." (HUGS! HUGGING! SHE'S HUGGING HIM! HUGGING HANNELORE!) "I... I love you too, Hannelore." Shocked Hannerdad is SHOCKED. Everyone else is D'awwWWWWWWWW... (Lt. Potter) #### YEAH HUG THE $#!+ OUT OF HIM [Jeph: Lt. Potter you are out of control]
2147 "Aw dad, don't cry!" "I- I'm sorry, it's just... that's the first time you've willingly hugged me since you were a baby." "Well, my friends have taught me that a little physical contact isn't so bad once in a while." (Dad looks at her... then at a smiling Marten... and takes up the classic boxing pose!) "Schtup my daughter, eh? I'll box you stupid and have you out the airlock before you can say Higgs Boson!" "Dad, no!"
2148 Francis: "The observatory is up at the top of the spindle." Marigold (sudden realization) "Y-you mean in zero gravity?" "Yeah... are you okay?" "YES FINE LET'S GO" Off they go! "Wuh... wait." (pulls him close... KISSSSSS then) HLURRRL "Oh jeez oh jeez" (pause... wipe... attempted KISS?) Agh
2149 "ANGUS" (Angry Faye) "Did you leave the TOILET SEAT UP?" "Did I? Huh. I usually put it down." (back to reading) "You @$$HOLE." "Wh- you're seriously mad at me? That's the most stereotypical, sitcom thing you could possibly-" I DIDN'T HAVE MY GLASSES ON. I CAN'T SEE WITHOUT MY GLASSES ON. (realization) "You fell in?" "I fell in." (hugging her) "Oh, baby. I'm so sorry. That must have been horrible." "You better not be making fun of me."
2150 Hannelore enters the darkened quarters: "Marigold? (light) Francis told me you... he told me what happened." (I'm such an IDIOT.) You're not an idiot! (Meh.) He's outside, if you want to –" (No. Wanna go to sleep.) [long pause] "Someday, everything is going to go right for you, and it will be so wonderful you won't even know what to do." (...Will there be cake?) "There's cake right now, if you think your tummy can handle it."
2151 Drunk Scientist Joke: "...And then HE said 'that's not a femtosecond initiation optical pulse, that's my WIFE!'" (Leon and another female researcher laugh... while Marten's a bit lost) Lt. Potter: "Enjoyin' the egghead jokes?" (I think I'm a few PhD's short.) "Yeah, I feel you. Wanna ditch?" (Uh, sure.) "Cool. Let's get outta here before they start tryin' to arm-wrestle the hunter-killer droids." (I dunno, if they're gonna do THAT I might stick around.)
2152 (The Observatory – and Lt. Potter is an old pro at launching herself upwards) Marten: "You turned down all that money?" "Meh, no big deal. It's the principle of the thing, y'know? (looking out the window) 'Sides, I like my job. Even if I am just a glorified TSA agent, I get to do it in SPACE. Can't complain about THAT." ("Hahah, true." She passes him the Space Hooch) "So, are you and the doc's kid ####in' or what?" (PFFFF) "We're just friends." "Huh. I assumed she brought you up here for a lil' zero-g hanky-panky. Well, it's not all it's cracked up to be, anyway. You bump into things too much." "Speaking from experience?" "See this scar?" (lifting up the seam of her tanktop, showing a rather nasty gouge) "Jeez, what did you bump into?" "A new security droid that thought I was in distress and separated my partner and me a lil' too forcefully."
2153 (Marten retells the story of his "relationship" with Padma) "...So that was that. She left." (Lt. Potter, in the relaxed pose) "Jeez. I dunno if she was playin' you or what, but you coulda handled it a little better." "Yeah, not my finest hour." "Send her an email or something! No sense leavin' if off on a sad note." (Marten leans over towards Lt. Potter) "I dunno, I feel like I'm better off moving forward, y'know?" (She pushes him away – a little bit) "No offense, buddy, but you're not my type." "I – I'm sorry!" "Don't worry about it." (awkwardness... in SPAAAACE!) "You were seriously gonna try and make a move on me when you don't even know my first name?" "I said I was sorry!"
2154 Lt. Potter, sitting perpendicular to Marten on the observatory window: "I like big guys, y'know? I want a man who can bench press me one handed." Marten: "Hahah, well, that's definitely not me." "All right, I better get some shuteye. Have a good night, Marten." "You too, Lieutenant." (floating down to the entrance ladder) "You can call me Abbie. And write that email!" "Yes, ma'am." (Marten pulls out his iPhone, and starts the email)
To: Padma_Pants
Cc/Bcc:
Subject: Hi
Hi Padma, it's Marten. How are you? I am fine. You wouldn't believe where I'm emailing you from |
2155 Hannelore and Francis are outside Marigold's room, when: (Station: "Hannelore? Could you meet me on observation deck 3?") "Okay." (Hannelore enters the deck, which is somewhat darkened) "Station? Hellooo!" (Table for two – with a candle overlooking the Pacific) "Hello, Hannelore." (gussied-up Holo-Station)"What's with the fancy table and outfit? Do you have a DATE?" "In a manner of speaking, yes." "Oh my gosh! Who is she? Is she nice?" "I think she's VERY nice. Have a seat." "Oh no, no, I wouldn't want to be a distraction. (Clueless Hannelore is clueless! She turns to leave) Enjoy your dinner!" "W-wait!"
2156 YELLING BIRD: "His Otterphile.org screen name is Shellfish_Daddy1980."
2157 Station and Hanners, sitting down for dinner; "How's the wine?" (Hanners, who's still a bit flustered) "It's – it's very good." "Have you been enjoying your visit?" "Yes, very much!" "That's good. Everyone has been thrilled to see you again. Especially me." (Hanners takes a sip) "Mm." "In fact, I was hoping I could convince you to stay." (Hanners is shocked) "M-more wine?" (pours bottle into a holographic cup... GLUG GLUG GLUG) "Uh..."
2158 "You want me to stay up HERE?" "I miss you, Hannelore. (Station talking to a young covered-up Hanners) I miss the days we'd spend, just the two of us, talking. Trying to work through your neuroses. Trying to untangle the knots in your psyche. Your mind was the greatest puzzle I was ever presented with, and I relished the challenge of solving it. (Hanners is now sitting up, listening to Station) But as we made progress, I also came to know you for the wonderful person you are. Beneath those layers of fear and obsession lay a sparkling intellect, a kind heart, and a boundless capacity for joy. (Sleeping Hanners – as Station looks on) You were no longer merely a puzzle for me to solve. You were a friend, a sister, a daughter. I grew to love you. (Hanners – looking somewhat like she did right before she met Marten – discussing moving with Station – and she's holding a "Scenic Northampton MA" brochure) When you began to come out of your shell and engage with the world, I was ecstatic. And when you broached the idea of traveling down to earth, I encouraged you, because it was logically the next step in your development. (Exterior view of the Station, in LEO over the Earth) But I never considered the possibility that you'd stay there forever. And the longer you were gone, the more I missed you. I couldn't leave my place here as Station AI. It's who I am, both literally and figuratively. (Hannelore, standing before him with arms crossed) So the only solution was to ask you if you could find it in your heart to return... and stay."
2159 "Station, I... (looks out the window) I don't like remembering my childhood. It's full of dark and scary things. You're the one good thing I have from back then. I'll be grateful to you forever. I owe you everything. You're the reason I'm standing here right now instead of locked in a padded room. You're the reason I have friends, and a job, and a LIFE. (turning and looking down at Earth – and Northampton in particular) But that's just it – I have a life. And it's down there, on Earth. (turning to Station, a tear forming on the edge of her eye) I love you too, Station. But I can't stay. I'm sorry."
2160 "...That's pretty much the answer I was expecting." "I'm sorry." (long, dejected pause, then turning to look out the window) "Is it really so great, down there?" "It's big and loud and dirty and scary, but... it's full of wonderful people and amazing things." "...Ah, well. As long as I know you're happy down there, that will be enough. (turns to her) Shall we stay here and watch the world go by for a while?" "I'd love to." (Hanners leans towards Station... and forgets he's a hologram!) "I'm okay! I'm okay!" [Jeph: "I've been saving that gag for this entire storyline."]
2161 Francis greets a groggy Marigold outside her quarters: "'Morning. How are you feeling?" "B-better." "I'm really sorry about last night." "Wasn't your fault." "It's probably for the best anyways. I mean, I'm stuck up here, and you're down on earth... and we barely know each other..." "Mm." "It just... it wasn't meant to be." "Yeah." (pause; then looking at each other, then... MAKEOUTS!) UMG MMF MOOB
2162 Marten at the breakfast table; "Hey Abbie. Sleep well?" "Yeah, but now my head feels like I was usin' it to pound nails." "Oof, sorry." (She points next to Marten) "What's with those two?" (Red-eyed Hanners and semi-pixilated Station – animated GIF alert!) Hanners: "There was a really interesting weather pattern over the South Pacific. We stayed up all night watching it." Station (who's now getting an animated "broken image link" error) "I burned out several processor banks trying to backtrace the original butterfly wing-flap that caused it." (Potter: "I was wondering why there wasn't any hot water for my shower.") [Jeph: "Turns out it wasn't a butterfly flapping its wings, but a capybara fart."]
2163 Hanners: "Is Marigold awake? We should start packing our things." Marten: "She was in the shower when I got up." They enter the room to see – Francis and Marigold HEAVY MAKEOUTS! and Marbear with no glasses! (diving back out into the hallway – looking at each other before...) Both: "eeeeEEEE!"
2164 Embarrassed Marigold is embarrassed! Hanners: "We didn't mean to barge in! Station usually puts a holographic sock on the door when people are having romantic times! (S'okay.) "So... are you a WOMAN OF THE WORLD now?" (We didn't – we just kissed a bunch!) Marten: "Hannelore..." "I was just curious!" Marigold (sotto voce) "I... I might've touched his wiener." GASP! "Well, that's not quite 'woman of the world' status... woman of the moon? Woman of a Kuiper Belt object?"
2165 Goodbyes in progress; Dad: "You're welcome to visit again anytime. Thank you for taking care of my daughter." Marten: "Thanks for having us." (Marigold and Francis are having more Teh Kisses!) Another hugging Hannelore as Marty shakes hands with Abbie; "Bye dad. I love you." "I love you too, Hannelore." Hanners and Station: "I'd hug you too, Station, but..." "Actually, I've modified a security droid specifically for that purpose." VRRRRRRR (Security droid now has ARMS!) "I'm not any happier about this than you are." "Oh, shut up and hug her already."
2166 They return! Faye: "Hey space cadets." Hanners: "Hello!" Faye: "So how was-" Overexcited Hanners: "MARIGOLD TOUCHED A WIENER!" (Faye and Marten stop in their tracks, while Marigold has a full-sunburn blush) Faye: "You know what? I'm happier not having any context for that." (Marten gives Hanners a look – which she doesn't see because she's in :3 mode – while Marigold's blush still burns brightly)
2167 Marigold: "Momo, I'm home. (sees Momo on the couch, eyes shut tight) Momo? (sits down next to her; Mom is obviously unhappy) What's wrong? (Momo opens her eyes and a holographic projection shoots from her eyes...) Holopony!" Momo (freaking out): "IT WON'T GO AWAY MAKE IT GO AWAY" [The entire Holopony concept may have been a set-up for this gag.]
2168 GUEST STRIP (S.P. Burke, Oh Goodie): Marten, Pintsize and Winslow on The Satellite Of Love (MST3K parody, with Marigold, Hannelore, Magical Love Gentleman and... YELLING BIRD???)
2169 Pintsize: "Oh HEY Marten. HOW WAS YOUR TRIP." Marten: "It was really-" Pintsize (cutting him off) "Yeah that's great. What did I do while you were gone? Oh nothing. Just SAT HERE. BY MYSELF." Marten: "Wh- are you mad that I didn't take you along?" "Oh no, no. What possible interest would I have in traveling to OUTER SPACE and communing with one of the most powerful artificial intelligences in existence, an AI so advanced that comparing my intellect to his is like comparing a light bulb to a thermonuclear explosion?" "If he's that much smarter than you, what would you even talk to him about?" (Pintsize does a Marten neck-grab pose) "I dunno. Butts, probably." (Marten gets out his iPhone) "Actually, he'd probably be into that. Lemme give you his email address."
2170 Therapy session! Therapist: "It seems like the root of your issues lies in your relationship with your older brother." Dora: "Yeah, I guess that makes sense." "Why do you think that is?" "Everything comes so EASY for him. He can toss off a song in an hour and sell it for ten grand. Women throw themselves at him. How am I supposed to compete with someone who doesn't even have to TRY?" "Do you think he's happier than you?" (chin in hands, elbows on knees) "God no. He hates the songs he sells, he's never had a relationship that didn't end horribly... I'm pretty sure he hates himself, deep down." (Therapist looking down at clipboard) "Ah ha." "What, did you have some kind of insight?" "Time's up. We can talk about it next week." #######IT DON'T YOU LEAVE ME HANGING
2171 Therapist "Okay, okay, real quick. Here's what I think: You have control issues. You think your brother is deeply unhappy due to his lifestyle, but can't force him to change it. (Looks down at his notes) Many of the conflicts in your last relationship were conflicts of control as well. You're used to being able to exert your will over other aspects of your life, such as your business, but when that instinct is frustrated, you have trouble coping. (escorting Dora to the door; DSM-IV is on the shelf in the background) What I want you to do over the next week is examine the ways in which your desire for control affects your everyday life, and we'll talk about them next session." (Unhappy Dora is unhappy) "Okay, I'll start by checking myself for feathers and talons because I'm apparently a ####ING HARPY." ("Next week we'll also discuss your hypersensitivity to criticism.")
2172 Dora returns to the shop – while Faye's playing with her TIG welder: "Hey @$$butt. Why the long face?" "My therapist says I have control issues." (And without missing a beat) "Well, yeah. (realizing Dora's got her "frown" face on) I mean - REALLY?" Dora eye roll: "I appreciate the effort."
2173 The Back Alley: "So I'm supposed to think about all the ways my control issues affect my life, and it's just DEPRESSING. (Meanwhile, Faye's welding her latest project) ALL of my relationships have been affected by it, one way or another. Marten, my brother, my friends..." "It's not all bad. They make you a good boss." "Really? You think I'm a good boss?" "Best one I've ever had." "Well, I'm glad you think so, but I still say he has to pee the espresso straight down." (BonerEspressoCat!) "The piss arc is the whole POINT, you dictator"
2174 Steve and Marten and BEERS (6 of 'em) "So how was your trip, dude?" "It was really cool." "Yeah? Get any space-booty while you were up there?" "Dude, I was in OUTER FRIGGIN' SPACE. With, like, Hannelore's billionaire genius dad and crazy scientists and a super-powerful AI and $#!+. And your first question is 'did I get any booty'?" (pause) "So, no?" "Nope."
2175 Sitting on Angus' couch: "Hey Mar-Bear, let's trade glasses. I wanna see how bad your prescription is." "O-okay." (Marigold, in an I Heart Gawwus t-shirt, blanches) "Yeah mine is super-strong." (Faye puts on Marigold's glasses... and everything changes! Angus an Marigold turn Anime – complete with "I Heart Sefirosu-" on Mari-Chan's shirt!) Marigold: "THAT'S NOT WHAT MY PRESCRIPTION IS LIKE. (whispers) I wish that was what it was like."
2176 Jim enters the shop with Sam in tow: "Hey Dora, can I ask you a big favor? I've got someplace to be tonight, but the babysitter just canceled on me and Sam's mom is out of town. I know you guys are open pretty late, so if she could stay here for a couple hours-" (Sam protests) "I'm old enough to stay at home by myself!" "Honey, we've been over this. Next year." "We can keep an eye on her." "Thank you so much, I'll try to be back to pick her up before you close, if I'm late I'll give you a call." (waves) Faye: "So, little larva..." "I'm not a larva!" Dora (who's already having control issues) "Faye..." Faye: "...Wanna learn how to use a BLOWTORCH?" Sam: "YES" Dora: "FAYE"
2177 "What we just did was brazing –" "You mean like when my dad makes pot roast?" "Different process." Control Issues Dora: "Is she okay? No horrible burns?" "She's fine." "Lemme show you what I made!" "Please tell me it doesn't involve animal genitalia." Eye-roll Faye: "It doesn't involve animal genitalia." (Sam enters holding a huge ladle over her head) "BEHOLD THE MIGHTY WAR LADLE" (Dora: "Faye..." Faye: "I'm pretty sure there's no animal that has a giant ladle for a ####, but if there is I DEFINITELY wanna see the Attenborough documentary."
2178 Faye continues teaching the young Padawan: "...And that's how you pull a shot." "That was easy!" "Yeah? You can work the rest of my shift, then." "Only if I get paid!" (Uncomfortable Dora: "And here I thought you hated kids.") "Normally, yes, But this one has potential." (Beaming Sam) "Dad says I'm FULL of potential." "Stick with me, kind. I'll mold you in my image." (That's a terrifying thought.) "You mean, like, big boobs?"
2179 Faye heading off: "I gotta pee. Remember, keep the blade at the same angle or you'll mess up the edge bevel." "'Kay." (Dora's still uncomfortable over this, even as Sam starts the knife sharpening) "You went on a date with my dad, right?" "I... um, yes. But we decided to just be friends. Does that bother you?" "Dad's not with mom anymore, he can go on dates if he wants to. He's on one right now. (Both realize what she just said at the same time) He didn't want me to tell you that, but if you're friends it's okay, right?" "Absolutely."
2180 The return of Jim! "Hey kiddo. Did you have fun while I was gone?" "Yeah! Faye taught me how to use a blowtorch, and make expresso (intentional mispel), and sharpen knives, and-" "You let my daughter play with KNIVES and a BLOWTORCH?!" "Yep. She did good." (Sam runs off) "Of all the irresponsible-" "She also taught me how to make an 'old fashioned'." (handing dad the highball glass – and a sip) "So, I usually pay my sitter ten bucks an hour –" "Fifteen." "Deal. Take a check?"
2181 GUEST STRIP (Pusheen): DANCE BREAK! Chibi Hanners, Marten, Winslow, Pintsize, Faye, Marigold (who's reading an anime book titled, "Dance" in Kanji), Momo!
2182 GUEST STRIP (Danielle Corsetto, GWS): Yelling Bird shows off HIS favorite photos from the internet!
2183 GUEST STRIP (Alina Pete, WereGeek): "Why did we think it was a good idea to let Pintsize be the DM?" "To be honest, I kind of expected him to be much worse..."
2184 Back to CoD: "So how'd your date go?" "Oh, jeez, did Sam tell you?" "Yeah, but I woulda put two and two together on my own." "I'm sorry, I was... I was trying to be discreet." "Jim, we went on one date. I'm not gonna be pissed off if you pursue other women. You don't have to do it behind my back, okay?" "...Okay." Samantha has Faye in a sleeper hold: "Like this?" Blrgh (Dora ignores them) "So how'd it go?" "Well, I got back here twenty minutes early." THUD! "Faye?"
2185 That bad, huh? "It wasn't BAD, per se, we just discovered pretty quickly that we were looking for different things. (Such as?) I'm looking for something low-pressure, she's looking for the father of her future children." (Sam: "Eww, babies." Faye, playing with a butterfly knife trainer: "Agreedo.") One was enough, eh? "Yeah. And I got snipped a few years after we had Sam anyway, so that ship's sailed." ("Did you know babies just throw up, like, whenever? So gross!" "I know, right?") Dora: "Yeah? Is it true you can smell your vas deferens burning when they do it?" Jim: "Yeah, but it was the sizzling noise that really got to me. Couldn't grill meat for a year afterwards." Sam: "And then he got an infection and his private parts swelled up to the size of a cantaloupe! Mom took pictures." Faye: "I bet THAT came up in the divorce hearings."
2186 "Okay kiddo, time to go." "Aww... (Hugging Faye) Thank you Faye! I had so much fun! I'll come back soon and you can teach me more cool stuff!" "Later, little larva." (Dora's arms are wide open... and empty) "Bye." (pause) "Jealous?" NO
2187 I'm surprised you were so chill about Jim bein' on a date with another lady. "Why wouldn't I be?" I dunno, just seems like somethin' that'd normally bother you. "I'm an adult. I don't have time to let that kind of bull$#!+ high school drama get to me. (Meaningful eye-roll bye Faye) Don't make that face. I meant it when I said it doesn't bother me." I was actually just holding in a fart, but good for you.
2188 Stand here Hold Winslow And smile Yesssss Yeeesssssss I'll go get the little hats Yessss the little haaats ("This feels... wrong, somehow." "But I like the little hats!")
2189 MARTEN COME (Gets up from reading Guitar Porn, "What's up?") COME OBSERVE OBSERVE THE LITTLE HATS YESSSS, THE HAAATS (Momo has a bowler with a pink pouf, while Winslow has a plain bowler) "Um, yes?" YESSS HE SEEEEES (Both) YESSSSSS
2190 Hanners has recovered: "I'm sorry! I don't know what came over me!" Marigold hasn't yet: "It was just so cute... the little haaaats... yessss..." Hanners: "Marigold! Pull yourself together! We have to put the little hats behind us!" Marten puts on the little hat (with the pouf)! "Nothing? Nothing at all?" "I think I'm over it now." "Me too."
2191 Dora visits Sven (he with the Of Montreal t-shirt): "You wanted to talk?" "Yeah... I wanted to apologize for being such a control freak. I only give you such a hard time because I worry about you. But I realize it's your life, and if meaningless sex with random girls makes you happy, I should accept that." "What? Dora, it's been MONTHS since I hooked up with ANYBODY. That's not who I am anymore. Which you'd know, if you ever bothered to ask." "O-oh... Well, I rescind my apology then." "Hey, no takebacks!"
2192 Drinkin' wine in Mason jars; "Really? It's been MONTHS? (Yep.) Is it because of what happened with you and Faye?" "I... I dunno, partially? It was a bunch of things. It's like, I've never been in a steady relationship. I don't even know how to DO that. But I feel like I'm never gonna learn if I just keep screwin' around. So I figured, maybe cut that out for a while and see how I feel. (And how do you feel?) Horny, mostly. (I meant emotionally.) If horniness isn't an emotion, I've got more to learn than I thought.
2193 Pouring another drink in Sven's kitchen; "What about you? Get any action since you and Marten split up?" "Psh, no. I went on a date with a guy, but... I shouldn't be seeing anybody but my therapist right now." "I'm not talking about DATING. You should play the field a little bit. It'd be good for you." "Somehow, I don't think slutting it up would be 'good for me'." "You can have an active sex life without 'slutting it up,' you know." "Why do you care if I'm getting laid or not?" "Legend has it that if a year goes by without a Bianchi having sex, the earth will split open and the dark lord Azathoth will rise from his slumber to claim us all." (Sven's been playing WAY too much Diablo III – as has Jeph) "Well, I'm pretty sure dad's got us covered. Grandpa too, maybe."
2194 "I don't mean to be push. I just want you to be happy, sis." "I'm working on it. Talking to you tonight helped, I think." "Yeah? That's good." (Dora move in for a glass-holding hug) "You're okay, right? I want you to be happy too." "I'm okay. I mean, my balls are so blue Pantone wants to license the color, but other than that I'm okay." "Can we not talk about your junk while we're hugging, please?" (#0040FF)
2195 Faye walks in on Marten checking his phone: "Hey skinnysaurus, what's up?" "I sent Padma an email while I was up in space, and she just replied. She says she's doing okay, and she's sorry it didn't work out. (That's it? Are you bummed out?) Only a little. I mean, I knew it was over. And I'm glad she's doing all right. Besides, it'd be pretty hypocritical to get all emo over it now, when I was totally tryin' to get my mack on with that Lieutenant up on the station." "I wasn't gonna say anything, but... actually that's a lie. I was totally gonna say something, and probably punch you in the arm as well."
2196 GUEST STRIP (Scott DeWitt, Fanboys): Questionable Content in SPACE! Marten makes a bad pun or two – Not only was it bad, it was on Mars... and the slo-mo drink-in-face splash.
2197 Yelling Bird, Shame Orb and Sweetits: "DO NOT DESPAIR FOR THE SECRECY OF PRIVATE SHAME, FOR I HAVE TURNED OVER A NEW LEAF. THE SHAME ORB IS NO MORE. NOW THERE IS ONLY THE PRIDE ORB" Yelling Bird's Proud Moment? "YELLING BIRD HOLDS THE WORLD RECORD FOR LONGEST SUSTAINED BOUT OF CURSING AND HAS MASTERED ALL KNOWN HUMAN PROFANITIES AS WELL AS THOSE OF DOLPHINS AND BEES (Huh. That's certainly an improveme-) YOU ONCE SO DEFILED A 747 BATHROOM WITH YOUR FETID WASTE THAT IT WAS FORCED TO MAKE AN EMERGENCY LANDING IN INTERNATIONAL WATERS" ("SO THAT'S WHY YOU CAN'T LEAVE THE COUNTRY ANYMORE")
2198 Someone's banging on Marigold's door... "H-hey dad, what's the ma-" "EXPLAIN STEAMPUNK. (Huh?) STEAMPUNK. EXPLAIN IT." (Marigold explains, wearing her "All my Vices are Devices" t-shirt) "W-well, it's like... it's like 1800's technology, only made all weird. Like clockwork robots and giant steam powered zeppelins and stuff. And people dress up all old-timey only with gears and goggles and –" (Dad grabs in head in frustration) God DAMN IT (Walks away off-screen, leaving a bewildered Marigold) GOD DAMN IT GOD DAMN IT GOD DAMN IT
2199 Faye is making a latte for a customer as Dora shares her discussions with Sven: "So apparently my brother isn't banging tons of girls at random anymore." "That's odd. I haven't seen any flying pigs around and last I checked the earth's core was still molten." "I hope he's okay." "Seriously? You've always been on his @$$ about his slutty ways, and now that he's stopped you're WORRIED?" "It's just a sudden change! If you said you quit eating cupcakes I'd wonder what precipitated it." (Faye takes a sip of the latte, to the customer's horror) "I resent that comparison." "I've seen how you are. You see one you like and within five minutes you've got it's wrapper off. And you like pretty much every cupcake you see." (Faye hands the latte to the bewildered customer) "STOP CUPCAKE-SHAMING ME"
2200 Dora and Faye are laying back in distress on the couch; Marten: "What's the matter?" Dora: "We were talking about cupcakes at the shop tonight." Faye: "Which made us desire cupcakes." "So we went and got some." "And we ate them. God help us, we ate them all." "And then we decided to have a situp contest, to offset the calories." "And now the cupcakes have been transformed from delicious baked treats to a rolling ball of hatred in my tummy." (Marten is not amused) "So what you're saying is you didn't save me a cupcake, and you're terrible friends, and I shouldn't feel bad for you at all."

2201 to 2300Edit

2201 Marten and Momo are heading off to work – and apparently Marten told her about the cupcake incident: "I wish I could eat cupcakes." "No you don't. I've seen what cake batter does to the inside of an AnthroPC." (see strips 20-21 and 57-60) "Something wrong?" Momo: "There was a story on the news this morning about that fundamentalist church that says AI's are evil." (assuming this is Westboro Baptist) "Oh, well, nobody takes those guys seriously. I mean, they're CRAZY, everybody knows that." "That may be true, but no matter how you rationalize it, being hated because of what you are is still painful." "…Yeah, I can understand that, sorry." "That is why I feel so fortunate to know so many wonderful people who do not think like that. It gives me hope – it gives ALL of us hope – that one day we will be f ully accepted." "I hate to sound pessimistic, but we're stil working on racism, sexism, homophobia…" "We are aware that 'one day' may in fact be 'another run up the evolutionary ladder'."
2202 Marten & Momo continue their walk to work at the Library: "You really think we'd have to evolve before we can totally accept intelligent robots?" "Not standard biological evolution, but… everything changes so fast these days. Who knows what humanity will be like in fifty years?" "You mean, like immortal post-humans and human-AI hybrids and stuff?" "That is the beauty of being post-Singularity. We do not know?" (as they take the stairs up to the library) "Dang." "It is very exciting." "I hope when they finally invent hoverboards I'm not too old and decrepit to enjoy them." "You might BE the hoverboard!"
2203 Momo and Marten walk into the library – continuing their discussion on hoverboards; Momo: "It seems like it would be impossible to control." Marten: "I dunno, you could build in some kind of auto-braking mechanism that would kick in at a certain distance or above a certain speed." Tai is waiting for them at the counter: "Hey kidds. Momo, you're with me today. Marten, I have a special task for you." (Huh?) "We've got a fresh crop of summer interns and it's your job to train 'em." [Redheaded girl! Tall Asian Chick! Dark-skinned Earrings girl!] (Wh-what? Why me? Aren't you more qualified to do that?) "You could use the extra responsibility. Also I am HIGH as HELL right now. We'll be in the office watching Adventure Time if you need anything." (Tall Girl: "Permission to get high as hell and go watch Adventure Time with Miss Hubbert?") [AND NOW WE KNOW TAI'S LAST NAME…]
2204 Marten is now in full insecurity mode: "Okay, um… hi, I'm, uh, I'm Marten, and I guess I'll be… showing you around today? (points to the desk) This is, um, this is the front desk. This is where we, uh, checkout books and take in returns. And stuff. (Earring Girl is taking notes as he takes them over to a computer workstation) Here we, uh, here we have a library computer. People use these for, um, work. And… also solitaire? (Redhead is looking a bit concerned at this point; he then takes them over to the book stacks) This is a bookshelf!" (Redhead, to the Earring Girl – who is still taking notes: "Is this some kind of weird hazing ritual?" To which she responds "Shhh!")
2205 Redhead's had it with Marten; "Um, we KNOW what a BOOKSHELF is. (arms akimbo as Marten pauses: "I – I'm sorry?") We're all graduate students. We know the basics. When are you gonna show us how to do actual librarian stuff? ("Oh, uh, well, I – I'm not really a LIBRARIAN. I – ") WHAT?! (as she looks at him eye to eye: "I'm not a librarian! I just work here!") Okay, this is DEFINITELY some sort of hazing ritual, and I do NOT appreciate it." (Marten: "Am I the one being hazed?")
2206 Marten is in full facepalm mode: "All right, look – I'm not a librarian. I have no qualifications for this gig except that I haven't $&#*ed it up so far. Frankly, I shouldn't be the one training you guys. But Tai told me to, and she's the boss. So will you PLEASE just bear with me here?" Red: "Y-yes. Sorry." Marten turns and thinks: "Okay. So. Step one in training you guys… (hands in hoodie and walks toward the door) …Is to go get some friggin' coffee, because I am not awake enough to deal with this." Red: "Oh come o-OW!" (as she is WHAP-ped by Earring Note-taking Gal)
2207 And what are their names? Tall Asian: "I'm Emily." Red: "Claire." Earring Gal: "Gabrielle, but everybody calls me Gabby." (And you're all library science majors?) Emily: "I'm in computer science, actually." (So you're interested in, like, our IT stuff?) Emily: "Not really. I just like the smell of old books." Claire (who is apparently NOT amused at this) "You beat out dozens of other applicants for this internship just so you could SNIFF OLD BOOKS?" "Basically, yes." Claire tries to keep her head from asplodey: "I… you… agh!" Marten: "Lighten up. Life's short, you gotta stop and smell the first-edition Melvilles along the way."
2208 Marten asks the question we're afraid to ask: "So why do YOU wanna work in a library?" Claire: "Why WOULDN'T I? Vast collections of knowledge, organized by class and subclass, division and section. Everything in its right place. No distractions, no pointless babbling conversation, no yelling or running around like an idiot. Just peace and quiet. (She's really getting into this) And being a librarian is more than just stamping books and shushing people. A good librarian educates! Enriches their community! Introduces children and adults alike to the wonders of the written word!" (Jeph notes in the title: "She almost burst into song") Marten (who is already down the street with Emily and Gabby) "What about you, Gabby?" Gabby: "I like books." "That's it?" "Yep." (Claire – running to catch up: "Wait – wait up! I like books too!")
2209 Enter the group to the Coffee of Doom! Claire: "I've heard stories about this place." Gabby: "I heard if you order a smoothie they just smash up a banana with a hammer and put it in a cup." Faye greets Marten in her usual manner: "Hey assbutt. You seem to have some ducklings in tow." "New interns. Tai's making me train them." "Congratulations on your promotion to middle management." "Haha, does that mean I'll get a raise?" "Nope, just crippling ennui and quiet desperation." "Man, I've got plenty of those already." (Emily – to Hannelore, who's manning the espresso machine: "One smoothie, please!") [SPECIALS: BLOOD LATTE SCAB MOCHA BONE AMERICANA HOT DOG MUFFIN]
2210 Hannelore hands Emily her drink: "Here's your smoothie!" Emily looks down at it dejectedly; Faye comes over, leans down and gets something under the counter – a hammer and a banana. And with a BLAM, she makes a CoD Hammer Smoothie – to Hanner's shock! Emily smiles as she walks away with her smashed banana; Claire: "Can I have that one?" Faye: "No."
2211 IT IS JEPH'S BIRTHDAY! The Inflatable Pony!
2212 Marten's Training Montage: (to all three) "The vintage porn isn't allowed to leave this room. If anyone tells you otherwise, call security." (to Emily) "If you keep the return cart sorted, it saves you time when you're actually putting stuff back on the shelves." (to Gabby and Claire) "Careful when you're closing up the stacks, they like to bite off arms." (to Emily and Claire) "If you're having trouble finding something in the computer system, ask Momo. If she can't find it, you probably just dreamt that it existed. Happens to me all the time." (to Claire, as they inspect something found on the floor) "Wayfarers, Noam Chomsky flyer, and keys to a Volvo. Hampshire droppings. Lemme show you where we keep the special net." (to Gabby) "No no, a propery library shush is more abrupt. 'Sh!' not 'Ssshhh!'" (Gabby takes this to heart: "SH!") (to Gabby and Emily, who are holding baskets outside the bathroom) "Condoms go in the purple bin, dental dams in the pink bin. Don't ever look in the black bin." (to Claire – who is without glasses in the gym, while Marten's holding a ball) "I have no idea why we're playing dodgeball. Just go with it."
2213 Marten closes the door to the office – and looks ready to collapse. Tai: "How'd training day go?" "I dunno. I mean, I showed 'em how to do stuff, but it was so nerve-wracking!" "I'm sure it's fine. If I didn't think you could do it I wouldn't have told you to." "That makes one of us." (KNOCK three times... and it's the girls!) Claire: "We... we wanted to say thank you for showing us around today." Gabby: "At first I was intimidated to be working here, but you made me feel right at home." Emily: "Banana smoothie." [Evil bonercat "WORK HARDER" poster!] Marten leans against the desk: "What... what's this strange feeling?" Tai: "Job satisfaction." "I think I need to lay down."
2214 Tai explains it all as they head out of the library: "I had you train the interns because you need the extra responsibility. (I do?) Yes, you do. I might not be working at the library forever. I could get offered a better job, or get transferred or promoted. Do you really wanna be a lowly library assistant for the rest of your life?" Uncertain Marten: "N-no, but... I mean, I don't know if I'LL be working at the library forever either. Like, what if my band takes off, and –" "How IS your band doing? Are you playing any shows? Doing any recording?" "W-well no, we're... we're kind of still trying to write some songs but... (pause as Tai gives him the "do you REALIZE what you're saying?" look) I guess I'm putting the cart before the horse, huh." "The horse is a foal. The cart is a pile of lumber and a gleam in the carpenter's eye."
2215 Tai and Marten walk through Northampton (is that an AnthroPC with an "I WILL ACCORDION 4 YOU"?); Tai: "Today was rewarding though, right?" Marten: "Y-yeah, I guess. I mean, it was stressful, but it did feel good when they thanked me for showing them the ropes." "Good. I know working at the library isn't, like, your life's passion or anything. But it can still be a fulfilling job if you put the effort in." "Yeah, I can see that. It's like, your whole life people tell you to do what you love. But if you gotta do something else to pay the bills, you don't automatically have to be miserable. And I guess I'm pretty lucky that I have a job where I CAN feel like I'm accomplishing something, even if it's just teaching a bunch of interns. So I should make the most of it." "Jeez, now I feel guilty for getting high and watching cartoons all day." "It's okay, I'm sure you did you absolute best to smoke that weed and watch those cartoons."
2216 Tai and Marten are having some late lunch: "Emily's pretty cute. I wonder if she's into girls." Marten states the obvious: "Wouldn't hooking up with an intern be kinda unethical?" "Psh, like you haven't thought about it." "I haven't thought about it. I was too busy explaining how to avoid getting crushed by the stacks." (Lime Stuff! Yellow Mellow???) "But you're thinking about it now, aren't you." "You brought it up! If you were talking about purple elephant boners I'd be thinking about that, but not because I WANTED to." Tai, unfortunately, ordered the hot dog plate: "Now I'm thinking about purple elephant boners. Thanks." "I'll take your hot dog if you're not gonna eat it."
2217 Faye is in her usual "Toss Pintsize" position: "Hey kids. How'd intern-wrangling go?" "I think I did okay." (Faye does the AnthroPC jump shot) "They THANKED him for it! It was so cute!" "So which one are you gonna bang?" Marten is taken aback! "Wh- I – why is everybody assuming I'm gonna bang one of 'em? I'm not like, 'oh hey some new girls I just met, I wonder which one I should hook up with. THAT IS CLEARLY THE ENTIRE POINT OF INTERACTING WITH LADIES.'" Faye, being Faye, ignores this: "So, the tall Asian one? Or the red-head? I know he likes curvy girls too, so maybe-" "I started some slashfic that explores each possibility. Got a laptop handy?" "HELLO SENTIENT COMPUTER RIGHT NEXT TO YOU"
2218 "Hey, I invited Dora over for pizza. That cool?" Marten's meh: "Yeah, sure." Tai does the pit-sniff, then asides to Faye: "Can I borrow your deodorant?" "Still got the hots for Dora, eh?" "God, am I that obvious?" "Sorry, kiddo, but I keep forgetting to buy my own so I've just been using Marty's. That could lead to some awkward smell memories." Marty is surprised: "That's been you? All this time I thought it was Pintsize." No, but I HAVE been using Faye's tampons."
2219 Tai is moping: "Whatever, it's fine, it doesn't matter. I’m not gonna make a move on Dora, that would be weird for Marten." Marten: "You know what, don't even worry about it. (Tai: "Huh?") Dora and I are cool now. If you wanna make out with her and she wants to make out with you, I'm okay with it. It's not my business in the first place anyway." Faye: "I'm not sure Dora should be makin' out with anybody right now." Marten: "Meh, she's working on her issues. If it makes you both happy, I say go for it." Faye (as Dora walks in the door) "I don't completely share your enthusiasm, but..." (Tai: "Buh?") Dora: "Hi guys! I brought wine! (with screw-top caps???) Tai! I didn't know you were coming over too! Hooray!" (Tai: "Duh?") Marten – who speaks fluent "huh duh buh wha?" – translates: "She says hi."
2220 GUEST STRIP (David McGuire, Gastrophobia): Faye and Hanners find Marten has been "cheating" on CoD at Donut Oasis!
2221 Faye notices the obvious: "You're awful cheery tonight. What's up?" Dora unscrews a bottle of wine as Tai walks in: "I went over the books and we're beating last year's sales number so far!" "Oooh, does that mean I get a raise?" "Raise, no. Bonus, maybe. Fancy wine, definitely." Tai hug! "Congratulations!" (sniff sniff) "Did you know you use the same deodorant as Marten?" Defensive Tai: "F-Faye does too!" Faye: "We've established Naked Mole Rat Law in this apartment. All who smell different will be expelled. Your gift of fancy wine has earned you a temporary visa."
2222 Slicing up the pizza in the kitchen; Dora: "I heay you trained some interns today." Tai: "He did a good job! I'm putting him in charge of all intern-wrangling duties from here on out." ("Y-you are?") Dora: "Y'know, I've never been clear on it – do you run the entire library?" Tai: "Oh, not really. I mean, the day to day stuff, yeah. But I answer to the actual LIBRARIANS." Marten: "I haven't met one in all the time I've worked there. It's really weird." Tai: "Yes you have! I saw you talking to the senior research librarian yesterday!" Marten is confused: "Wait, you mean Old Gus? He told me he was the JANITOR!" Tai: "I always wondered why you told him whenever one of the toilets got clogged." Faye: "He eitherr has a Shakespearean senses of humor or a toilet fetish." Dora: "Could be both."
2223 HAPPY FREEDOM DAY! LOVE, QC; Faye awaits as Marten lights a bottle rocket (and Hanners holds her ears with one eye open); Pintsize waves his sparklers while Momo just stares happily at hers.
2224 Dora stretches as she stands up: "Okay friends, I'm gonna go get some shuteye." Marten: "Right on." Faye: "Thanks for the fancy wine." (they disappear into the kitchen as Tai makes her move) "I'll walk you home!" "It's… kind of a long walk." "That's okay! I'm drunk, I don't care!" "No, I mean, I live in Amherst now. I drove here." "O-oh. Right. I forgot." (Marten and Faye peek around the corner in terror) "Well… how 'bout you walk ME home then? That way I get home safe, and you're stone cold sober for your drive." Dora falls for it! "Hmm, that's not a bad idea." (Faye: "Excellent recovery." Marten: "I should be taking notes.")
2225 FILLER ART – Momo and Nichijou! (Cristi's in the hospital ?)
2226 The mean streets of Northampton; Tai: "…And I'm like, 'who even does cocaine in a library?'" Dora: "Haha!" And that's when she notices her phone has a text message: Faye - ARE YOUMAKING OUT WITH TAI YET – And yet ANOTHER one: Marten – hey just wanted to tell you it's cool if you make w/tai, good luck :) Dora is NOT happy as her phone buzzes AGAIN: Faye – RAM IT IN (AFTER APPLYING PROPER LUBRICATION) Tai, of course, is oblivious: "You're a popular lady tonight!" Dora (as she's deleting all these annoying messages) "Apparently."
2227 They've reached Tai's apartment house; "…Of course, it's possible I forgot to carry a number somewhere and the shop is actually tanking." Tai: "Psh, no way. You're amazing." "Actually, I'm kind of a mess." "Oh, what, 'cause you got some issues? News flash so does everybody else on the planet. (Yeah, but-) But nothing! Look at everyone else you know. How can you not see how much more ass you're kicking than them? If you think you're a mess, it's only 'cause you hold yourself to a higher standard. And that- (meaningful pause as she leans in to look her sraight in the eye) -Is why I'm absolutely crazy about you. (turns, walks in with a wave over her shoulder) G'night." And our ex-Goth barista suddenly turns a bright red!
2228 GUEST STRIP (Amanda, Love Me Nice): What happens when AnthroPC's have "software glitches"
2229 GUEST STRIP (Spike, Templar, AZ): Tumblr quotes by the QC cast!
2230 GUEST STRIP (Jon Rosenberg, Scenes From A Multiverse): Pintsize's "busy day" – Oliver Twist, Alien Virus, Russian Roulette with Hitler… oh, and "burning donkey hair smells like coconut?"
2231 GUEST STRIP: (Zach Weiner, SMBC): The countdown continues…
2232 GUEST STRIP (Randy Milholland, Something*Positive): Anthrogeddon – the Extreme Mods for AnthroPC's convention!
2233 GUEST STRIP (David Willis, Shortpacked!): Pintsize has become Butts!
2234 Tai's sleeping it off (under the Lesbrarian Venn Diagram sign); "Oh, my head…" And then suddenly, SHE REMEMBERS! "…Is why I'm absolutely crazy about you." (Hides back under her pillow) "Oh, god, I shoulda drunk more so I wouldn't remember that." Tequila Monster – who is doubling as the Hangover Monster: "Agreed."
2235 Meanwhile, over in Amherst, Dora wakes – and REMEMBERS! "…Is why I'm absolutely crazy about you." (pauses to think) "Yeah, right. She was drunk. She probably doesn't even remember." (Title says it all: No, Dora, No!)
2236 Faye greets Dora at the shop: "Hey spookypants. Sorry about the texts last night; after you guys left Marty and I got into a bottle of schnapps I found under the sink. I guess it was Pintsize's? I dunno." (Dora is nonplussed in her headband: "Mm.") Annnyway…" "No, I didn't make out with Tai." "Why not? Too friendcestuous?" "No, I… I don't know. I never really thought about it." "I've seen you check out her @$$ on multiple occasions, and nobody likes a liar." "Hey, be fair! I check out tons of @$$es!"
2237 The three interns are outside of the library – and Emily notices something right away about Gabby: "Your hair is different!" Gabby (who's now in a short 'fro): "Yeah, it's the humidity." Claire: "Ugh, tell me about it." Marten and Momo arrive: "Mornin' ladies." Emily salutes: "Good morning, boss!" Claire hands Marten a coffee: "I got coffee for you. A large latte, right?" "Uh, yeah. Th-thanks." Gabby: "Kiss-@$$." Claire: "I'm not – I just thought it would save the trip to the coffee shop!" Marten: "We might as well go down there anyway. Tai called and said she's sleeping in, the librarians don't get in for two hours, and I don't have keys." Emily: "We could use Momo as a battering ram!" (Momo's not thrilled with that idea.)
2238 Marten notices something right away about Gabby: "Your hair's different today." Gabby "It's the humidity." Emily's more interested in Momo: "Do your pitgails detach?" "Um… no." "Do you store roll cake in your arms?" "If you like anime that much, I should introduce you to my friend Marigold." (who are those people in the background?) Emily: "Um, what's 'anime'?"
2239 And as they walk into the shop, Hannelore notices something right away about Gabby: "Your hair is differ-" "HUMIDITY" Marten: "Oh hey, you're here." "Yeah, why wouldn't I be?" "Tai told me she was 'sleeping in,' which I figured was code for you and her-" "I did not hook up with Tai!" "Okay, okay, you don't have to get mad about it!" (Facepalming Dora) "Sorry, I just – I have to figure out how I feel, and everybody being all up in my business about it isn't helping." Marten: "I guess that explains Faye being gagged." Dora: "She's also about to have her blackboard privileges revoked." Faye – with the duct tape on the mouth – wrote on the chalkboard: "I bet you wanna get all up in TAI'S business" ["SPECIALS: Bone Meone, Morrow Marrow, Rawhide, Butts LOL"]
2240 "So... what do you think?" Marten's confused: "I thought you didn't want people up in your business." "I don't, but... you know me better than anybody else. So I want your opinion." "Well... She's the one who's pursuing you, there's no weird friend situation like with me and Faye. It seems like it's a good setup for avoiding the stuff that messed up OUR relationship. (Yeah?) But if you're just considering it because she's shown interest in you, that's not really fair to her. (True)" Hanners has other ideas: "BUT think of how cute your babies would be! (Uh, Hannelore, we're both female, we can't) WE ARE WORKING ON THAT TECHNOLOGY"
2241 "All right, we should probably head back." (Claire asks the obvious question: "How do you even eat that?" Emily gives the obvious answer: "With my mouth!") "Do you, uh, want me to say anything to Tai?" "I'd rather you didn't. I've still gotta figure out what I'm gonna do." "Okay. Don't stress about it too much. Whatever you decide, I'm sure it'll be for the best. (Thanks, Marten.) Unless you decide to, like, smoke a bunch of crack and punch Tai in the face. That probably wouldn't be for the best." (Drat, there goes my fallback plan.) Meanwhile – Emily demonstrates for Claire! OMF GROMF HOMF
2242 And Tai awaits at the entrance. "Where were you guys?" Marten: "We went to the coffee shop." "Oh jeez, was Dora there? You didn't talk to her, did you?" Marten tries tact: "Uh, no…" Clueless Emily: "Huh? Yes you did. Dora's the one with the black hair, right? You talked to her for a long time! About Ms. Hubbert!" Marten's like, NOOOO, and Tai's like, GEEEZ! "You are a terrible friend." Marten's not happy with Emily: "You're also a terrible friend." Emily's all excited: "We're friends?"
2243 "Okay, okay, I did talk to Dora." "What'd she say?" "She asked me not to talk about it. That's why I fibbed about it in the first place." "Well, the cat's already out of the bag, you might as well tell me." "Just 'cause the cat got out of the bag doesn't mean I'm gonna let it run out the front door and into traffic." (climbing on a sorting cart) "Aw c'mon! In for a penny, in for a pound!" (pushing his boss around) "Nope. I'm not throwing good money after bad." "Damn it, I've been out-idiomed."
2244 Clinton appears! Faye gets defensive: "Oh great. Want me to get the hose, Hannelore?" Clinton surrenders: "No hose! No hose! I'm just here to get some coffee! I promise!" "All right. But the hose awaits if you misbehave." Hannelore notices something: "Do you have a sister?" "W-why do you ask?" "There's a girl who started interning at the Smif library with my friends, and she looks just…" "Oh god, you've met Claire? She didn't do anything weird, did she?" Faye is a bit concerned: "That, coming from you? We're gonna need a bigger hose."
2245 Tai's still curious. Marten says "use your intuition." Tai: "My intuition is telling me that Dora's being all wishy-washy about it, when she should be over here making out with me. (Haha, well…) Okay, I'm gonna go down there and get a straight answer. Hold down the fort for me, okay? (W-wait! …like, maybe you oughta give her some time. To make up her mind, y'know?) Nope! Waiting's for suckers! Wish me luck!" (Marten pauses, then...) "…Good luck."

2246 Tai goes hard – "Hey. Got a minute? (Dora steps outside with Tai) Okay, so, about last night. I was drunk, but I totally meant it. I'm super into you. And not just physically. I mean the whole shebang. Massive crush over here. I'm about to barf butterflies. And if you're not interested, or if you really think you can't do a relationship, that's fine. I totally understand. But I need an answer. No second-guesses. No waiting around while you subconsciously convince yourself it wouldn't work out. 'Cause if it doesn't work out, hey, that happens all the time. I wanna give it a try and see. (pause as Dora looks at her) So, uh-" SHE KISSES THE GIRL!
2247 They're both tongue-tied – and blushing: "I. Um. Wow." "Yeah. Uh." "So. Um. "Yeah. Haha." "Yeah! Wow. Ha ha." "Uh huh. Man. Wow. Um." Hannelore, watching from inside with Faye: "Is this what normally happens when people kiss?" Faye: "I hope not, 'cause that'd mean I've been doing it wrong all this time."
2248 Tai comes charging in, hands in the air and POWER HUG! "You promise you're okat with this? For real?" "Haha yeah, I promise. I'm happy for you guys." "Good, because right now I would happily sacrifice our friendship for more Dora-kisses." "This is what I like about our relationship. The brutal honesty."
2249 Gabby's trying to understand this: "Dora's your ex? And you're okay with Tai going out with her? (Yep.) I'd be pissed if one of my exes started dating one of my friends. (Well, every situation is different. I want 'em to be happy.) I don't believe in altruism. There's gotta be some angle you're workin'. (The "angle" is I like seeing my friends happy.) In that case, it'd make me really happy if you gave me $100." (Who says we're friends?) Emily: "We're friends."
2250 Emily asks a question we've all wondered to Momo: "Do you have a belly button?" "Of course I have a –" STOP; Subroutine_do{check_liftupshirt} "Yes, I do." Emily's curiosity gets to her... "Hee!" BOOP (Momo realizes her hair has turned violet blue! She then recognizes that look on Emily...) BOOP (STOP IT!) Light blue, Turquoise, Lime Green, Yellow-green, Chocolate, Fire-Brick, and back to Medium Violet-Red!
2251 Marten steps in: "C'mon, Emily, leave Momo alone. She's not a toy." Emily is disappoint: "Aw." Momo: "I have another function that you might find entertaining. "Really?" "Touch my pinky." "Okey-doke!" "Don't do it! She can send out a really powerful electric shock. It's her self-defense mechanism." "Ooh, neat! Try it on me!" "With pleasure."
2252 "That musta been one #### of a kiss. You're STILL floating a couple inches off the floor. (Dora's in la-la-land) I don't think I've ever seen you this giddy." (It feels so nice to be pursue, you know?) "Not much of a pursuit, if you ask me." (Maybe not in the traditional sense, but… she stated her case, and it was pretty convincing) "You make it sound like some kinda trial procedure." (And I'm judge, jury and sexecutioner.) Hanners holds the hose: "I'm sorry Dora but I have to turn the hose on you for that pun. Shop rules."
2253 Two identical scenarios: "You were so busy smooching you forgot to set up a first date?" "I – I was distracted! I'll call her now." (BOOM! BOOM!) Emily is frightened by the idea! Marten: "I'm pretty sure it would just go to voicemail or something." Tai isn't taking chances: "I'm gonna text her instead, just to be safe."
2254 Marten's home: "Man, crazy day today!" Pintsize: "Tell me about it. I saw SEVEN different sparrows on the windows." "If you get bored, why don't you go out and do stuff while I'm at work?" "Because there's nothing I feel like doing outside that won't get me arrested." "Maybe you should channel your creativity into something more constructive." "What, I should take up painting? Robot yoga? BIBLE STUDY? What's the point? I have no purpose. I was designed to be a companion, but I'm lousy at that. I don't have any real interests or skills other than small-scale mayhem. I'm superfluous. Unnecessary. Irrelevant." (pause) "Geez, Pintsize, I didn't realize you felt that-" "Nah, I'm just ####in' with you. If you need me, I'll be wallpapering the bathroom with macro shots of human anuses."
2255 Faye's home – with Angus in tow: "Hey Marty. Heard the news?" "Yeah, I think Tai cracked my sternum with her victory hug." Angus slips away: "Be right back" (pause) "Oh geez, I forgot about the bathroom." "Oh no. What did Pintsize do this time?" Angus: "Did you guys know your bathroom is covered in close-up shots of buttholes?" Marty: "Yeah, sorry. I haven't had a chance to take it down yet." "M-maybe you shouldn't. Being surrounded by sphincters while I did my business… It was kind of… mesmerizing." Faye: "I have all sorts of doubts about the long-term viability of our relationship now." Pintsize: "See? I TOLD you we oughta charge for bathroom privileges!"
2256 Dora shows up at Tai's apartment wearing her ex-Goth attire (black RWAKE shirt with no right shoulder, a belt with a skull buckle riding low enough to reveal her flame tattoo, torn black leggings and boots); and Tai answers the door wearing… a pink dress with flats! They look down for a moment, then "Ahahahaha" Tai turns to go back in: "Lemme go change." "No, no, you look so cute!"
2257 Walking the streets of Northampton – and Tai's wearing a t-shirt and green shorts. "You really didn't have to change. You looked so cute in that dress!" "I woulda spent the whole night worrying about keeping my legs crossed." (AnthroPC on the sidewalk – "WILL TORRENT 4 CASH") "That's funny, you don't strike me as the particularly modest type." "What makes you say that?" "Well, you got your clit pierced in front of Marten, and you were totally happy to show me…" "Oh $#!+, I totally forgot about that! (pause) Did you like what you saw?" (Dora blush!) "Ah, hahah, sure." "Hell yes. My ##### rules."
2258 At the restaurant; "So you've never been with a guy?" "Nope. I kissed a couple, like in high school and stuff, but I always kinda knew I only really liked girls." "Was it weird telling your parents? I know I was super nervous when I told mine I was bi." "No, I was really lucky. They've always been super supportive." "At first my dad was like 'it's just a phase you're going through, like those stupid baggy pants.'" "Um, hello, sexuality isn't a fashion decision." "Yeah, that's what I told him. He said 'look, I don't care if you bring home a boy or a girl or whatever, but those pants are ridiculous.'" Tai gives the eye roll: "I guess that's a somewhat tolerable kind of intolerance."
2259 The food's here (where's Sven?); "So is your dad actually okay with you dating girls?" "Oh yeah, he meant what he said. I've brought home a couple girls and he was totally fine. (Burger for Tai, Salad for Dora) Which is good, except it's weird when you catch your father checking out your girlfriend." Tai finds this funny: "If you ever introduce me I'll make sure not to wear anything revealing." Dora pokes at her salad: "Oh, I seriously doubt you'd have to worry about it." Tai is… flabbergasted? Dora drops her fork: "N-no, I didn't mean – (lying through her left nostril) he only goes for tall women!" "WELL MAYBE I'LL WEAR PLATFORMS"
2260 (No, this is not a repeat of 1766) "That was tasty." "Let's go to Herrell's (Ice cream parlor in downtown NoHo –in the vicinity of where CoD would be located) for dessert!" "You know, last time I went there on a date I totally freaked out and realized I shouldn't have been dating anyone at the time. I hope it's not cursed! Haha!" (talking about her date with Jim of TSB) Tai has a moment of realization, then suddenly "BUBBLE TEA LET'S GET BUBBLE TEA INSTEAD" (tugging Dora along with her)
2261 Bubble tea in hand, Tai finishes her explanation: "…And THAT'S why I prefer European-style dubstep to the Skrillexy American stuff." "It never fails to amaze me how no matter what kind of music you talk about, it's an infinite rabbit hole of subgenres." Tai realizes something: "Oh geez, Marten musta talked about this kind of stuff constantly, I'm sorry!" "No no, it's okay! I wanna get to know you better. Find out what you're passionate about – what you love, what you hate." "H-haha, I guess you don't actually know me super well, huh." Dora tousles her hair: "Exactly! Right now you're just the sexy little redhead who works at the library. But I know there's more to you than that." Tai's face suddenly becomes almost as red as her hair: "Okay, here's a fact about me: I apparently get super flustered when you call me sexy." Dora sips on her tea: "Marten did that a lot too, but I don't mind if you continue the trend."
2262 Meanwhile, back at Casa del Marten y Faye: "I wonder how their date is going." Faye is suddenly uncertain as Angus opens a beer in the background: "You sure you're okay with them makin' out?" Marten's getting tired of this: "For the last time, yes!" "Okay, okay, I believe you." Angus isn't sure: "If I were in your position, I'd be wicked uncomfortable." Marten has a seat, putting his beer down on… Pintsize's head? "Well, I'm not." Angus sits on the arm of the couch: "I mean, like, uncomfortably aroused." Faye isn't amused: "You're a pig." "I'm just saying, if you gotta break up with me, at least leave me for a girl." Pintsize joins in: "Leave him for a robot! A GIRL robot!" Faye drinks her beer: "I'm leaving you both for a nunnery." Marten: "Can I come too? I'll be the gardener or something."
2263 Dora asks the question we've wondered since we first saw it in strip 691: "So what's the significance of the 'pow'?" "You mean on my elbow? (pointing to it) Well, back in grade school and high school the popular girls would make fun of me, like, for being nerdy and not having boyfriends and stuff. It really got to me. I really like that old Batman TV show, like with the sound effects and stuff, and I used to fantasize just hauling off and smacking 'em. Like, POW! Take that, bitches! (swinging for emphasis) So when I was thinking about my first tattoo, it seemed perfect. A reminder that I'm tough and I kick ass no matter what anyone else thinks. It's empowering, y'know?" "Empowering, hun? I get it." "Oh… oh god, that pun never even occurred to me. Maybe I can get this covered up with a tiger or something." (Which, of course, would be an even WORSE pun)
2264 Outside the house: "Well, here we are." "Yep." Tai goes for it: "Do you, uh, wanna come in and watch a movie?" "I'd like to, but I should really head home. I'm opening tomorrow morning." Tai is suddenly uncertain: "Did- did you have an okay time? I mean, if you're not feeling this, I totally understand and we can just-" DORA KISSES THE GIRL (with DOUBLE BUTT GRAB)! "I had a good time. And I DO wanna come inside. But I need to take this slow, and I really do have to get up early tomorrow." (Tai has BSoD'ed!) "Tai? Hello?" "How did we get here? Last thing I remember, we were having dinner." (Are those intoxication bubbles?)
2265 Sleeping Marten is awoken by Wilco singing "I am trying to break your heart I am trying to-" "H-hello?" "Marten? It's Tai. Are you sleeping?" (sits up on the edge of the bed) "Well, not now. What's up? How'd the date go?" "Pretty well, I think, but… I'm kinda freaking out and I need someone to talk to. Can I come over?" "Uh, sure, I-" KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK – on his bedroom door? He opens it to see Tai holding on to her phone. Facepalming Marty: "I have got to get our lock fixed." "Yeah, it was really easy to jimmy open. Also, I have that same pair of boxers."
2266 YELLING BIRD: Happy Labor Day. Seriously, enjoy your hot dogs or whatever.
2267 Tai apologizes to Marten: "Sorry for waking you up. I just needed someone to talk to." "None of your other friends were up?" "I, uh… I don't really have 'other friends.'" "What? You talk about them all the time!" (To the kitchen for some OJ) "I've got casual acquaintances and ex-####buddies. I can't talk to THEM about Dora." "But you can talk to her ex?" "I tried callin Faye first but she literally roared at me!" (Pouring some OJ) "Yeah, we better talk outside so we don't wake her."
2268 Down the stairs: "It's just… I totally expected her to say no when I asked her out! I wasn't prepared to, like, ACTUALLY GO ON A DATE WITH HER. (hands to face) And now I want this to work so bad, it's driving me crazy." "Didn't you say the date went well?" "I dunno. She said it did. But I invited her back to my place and she turned me down. I mean, she kissed me goodnight, but…" "Did she grab you butt?" (looking over her shoulder) "Oh yeah, she grabbed the hell out of it." "The date went fine. Butt-grabs are Dora-code for 'I'm having fun.'" [14 Dwight Street exterior shot]
2269 Out on the doorstop with Marten: "I think you just gotta chill out. If you're freaking out about how much you like Dora, it's not balanced y'know?" "Yeah… It's been a long time since I had an actual serious relationship. (Since before strip 726, btw) It just feels so INTENSE, and I don't wanna mess it up." "If you let it develop naturally, it'll be find. It'll only get messed up if you come on too strong and try to force it." "Yeah, you're right. (nudges into an over-the shoulder hug) Thanks, Marten. I feel a little better already." "No problem." "If you're so insightful about relationships, how come you have such lousy luck with them?" "Well, y'know, friendsight is 20/20."
2270 Slurrrppeeee place! Marten: "You really don't have any close friends?" Tai slurps on her drink: "I've got you." "I'm flattered, but I meant, like, other people." "Like I said. I've casual friends and people I've hooked up with. That's pretty much it." "I… I had no idea." "Why do you think I'm always so eager to hang out with you guys?" "I figured it was so you could ogle Dora and Faye." "Well, yeah, but…"
2271 The next day at CoD; Faye: "So how'd your date last night go?" "Pretty well, I think…" Faye uses finger quotations: "You think?" Dora looks up: "I can tell Tai's completely infatuated with me already. Which is great, except… I don't really feel that way about her yet, and-" (Full anger mode Faye ACTIVATED) "For Christ's sake dora, you KNEW that! If it was gonna be a problem, you shouldn't have agreed to go out with her in the first place! I KNEW this was a bad idea. You're in NO WAY ready to date anybody right now, and here you go again, screwing things up." Dora is not impressed by Angry Faye: "…And if you had let me FINISH MY SENTENCE, I would've said that it was only a problem because I don't wanna sleep with her until I feel the same way, but she's so cute it's gonna be hard to hold out." (Faye is dejected) "I… you… g##d###it, that's a much more reasonable problem. What am I supposed to do with all this surplus rage now?"
2272 Smif Students run into Gabby, Marten & Claire "Hey Annette. Good job on your final." "Thanks Miss Gabby!" (Red Tank Top Girl in background) "You tutor high school students?" "What? Those were first-years. Freshmen. I TA them." "Jesus, they all look like kids to me these days." "How old do I look to you?" "Oh, you're definitely college age." Claire wants in on this: "What about me?" "Hmm. With that bag… 8th grade?" Claire defends her Hello Bonercat purse: "I AM TWENTY-FOUR AND THIS IS VINTAGE"
2273 Dora: "Hey hon!" Marten: "Hey. How'd the date go?" (Claire has the order list while Marten chats with Dora: "…A large latte, and a 'banana smoothie' for Emily." Hannelore: "It'll be a couple minutes. I have to go wash off the hammer.") "It went well! Tai's so cute." "I'm glad. Where's Faye? I thought she was working this morning?" "She had to go work off some excess rage." Cut to a cross-eyed Angus in bed as Faye's putting her bra back on: "I'm not complaining, but what brought that on?" "It was either that or punch a tree 'til it exploded, and the park service is still mad at me for last time."
2274 GUEST STRIP (Maritza Campos): Marten breaks Hannelore's brain.
2275 Concerned Angus asks Marigold: "Hey, uh, we didn't, like, disturb you just now, did we?" "What? No." Angus is a bit Marten-like: "That's good. We were, uh, pretty loud and-" "I didn't disturb you last night, did I? Because man. I was like VRRRRR SHLUP SHLUP SHLUP RRRRR WEEE OH YEAH BABY PFFTHBLTH UNF UNF UNF MM YEAH (SLAP SLAP SLAP) I was just goin' crazy. On my genitals." "That's, uh, a little more information than I needed to-" 'WELL MAYBE WE DON'T NEED TO TALK ABOUT EVERY TIME ONE OF US IS DOING SEX STUFF" Momo: "Marigold! I was in the room!"
2276 "Do you really spank your bottom when you" "I WAS EXAGGERATING"
2277 Hanners: "One freshly-smooshed banana smoothie!" Claire: "Gross, but thanks." Clinton: "Good morning, Ms. Ellicott-Cha-" Both: "WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE" (Marten: "Whoa, are you guys twins?") "WE'RE NOT TWINS" (Gah! Creepy!) "I'm not creepy, she's creepy!" "I'm not creepy, he's creepy!" ("No, sorry, you two are kinda creepy.") Hanners: "Quick, both of you pick a number between 1 and 256!"
2278 Claire chases Clinton out the door as Gabby watches: "Sssssssssss" (Okay, okay! I'm leaving! God!) "He – he didn't say anything weird, did he?" Hanners: "Everything he says is kind of weird." Marten: "He's a total fanboy for Hannelore's dad." Claire makes the connection: "Your dad? Wait, you're Hannelore Ellicott-Chatham?!" Hanners gets out the hose! "Don't make me do this! I don't want to but I will!" Marten, meanwhile, casually slurps his coffee…
2279 "I don't even CARE about your stupid dad!" "My dad's not stupid! He's really smart!" "I'm sure he is, I just – I'm not a FAN." "But he's done so much good for the world! Why don't you like him?" "I don't even KNOW him!" Hanners is unimpressed: "I don't know Sir Patrick Stewart but I like HIM." "Marten, help!" "Sorry, but I've met her dad and he's pretty cool." "See?"
2280 "Anyway, I'm sorry about my brother." (CONFIRMATION!) "It's okay. I don't think he means any harm." (Blackboard-vision!) "Can I ask you a question?" "Sure!" "Aren't your parents, like, billionaires? Why are you working in a coffee shop in Northampton?" "Isn't it obvious? This is all a simulation designed to teach me how to interact with people in the real world." "If that's true then whoever programmed it is a dick." "Is there an infinite guitars cheat and if so can you activate it for me?" (ASK ME HOW TO DRAW A KITTY!)
2280k Special Tumblr edition: Hannelore shows us how to draw a kitty! (She gets a little carried away…)
2281 Claire "clarifies" things: "Like I said, we're not twins. I'm 24 and Clinton is 21." Marten: "How'd he end up with the robot hand, anyway?" "He was playing with fireworks and one blew up while he was holding it." Gabby: "That's awful!" "I guess." "You guess? He blew his hand off!" "If you knew how much he loved having a robot hand, you wouldn't feel bad for him either." "Maybe he loves it so much because it means he's not missing a hand." Marten: "Modern cybernetics is really sending mixed messages to kids. 'Don't play with fireworks, or you'll end up with sweet robot body parts.'"
2282 Tai greets them – wearing a Chris Kluwe Vikings jersey! "Mornin' guys." And Emily wants her Banana Smoothie! "I thought you had it!" "I – I must've left it there!" EVIL FOREBODING EMILY! "You… forgot… my smoothie?" Leaning down over Claire, with unintentional devil horns "You know what this means?" She backs up – and we see the "horns" were really the edge of a picture frame, and she pulls a banana out of her pocket: "I get to make it myself!" (pause) "Haha, it's warm from my butt heat."
2283 Emily and Momo chat once again: "Why do you work here?" "My friend Marigold bought me this chassis and I want to repay her." "You mean your owner?" "I am not property. We entered into the standard mutual-companionship contract and are friends." "Why did you decide to be a companion AI and not a toaster?" "People seemed more interesting than making toast." "Mmm. If they ever figure out mind uploading, I wanna be a toaster."
2284 Emily continues the questions: "How does getting an AnthroPC work?" Momo (as she's plugging in to what looks like an MP3 player) "You go to a certified matchmaking service. They introduce you to potential companion AIs, and if you get along and pass the background checks, you sign the contract. Either party can choose to end the relationship at any time, without penalty. But in an ideal situation, the contract is merely a formality. A true friendship forms, and everything works out." "It seems sad that you need a contract for making friends." "I chose this for myself. It is a job. Companion AIs are the ambassadors of our kind. We foster understanding and acceptance between humans and AIs. I cannot think of a more noble calling. And if it were not for my job, I would never have met Marigold, or any of my other friends. I feel incredibly fortunate. (pulls USB connector out of her ear) Wait a minute. You are a computer science student. How do you not know any of this already?" "I spent all of AI 101 looking at cat gifs."
2285 "Is it frustrating to have to slow your thought processes down to human speeds?" (What?) "You're a computer. You must think way faster than we do." (The vast majority of my processing power goes toward maintaining my sentience. The signal pathways may be more efficient than your biological model, but the temporal experience of being sentient is not notably different.) "If it's a matter of processing power, then the big Ais must think faster." (They do not think the same way you or I do. When you receive trillions of inputs at once, there is no way to translate that kind of processing into human thought patterns. Thinking on a human level is just another subroutine for them. Why should it be frustrating, when the bulk of their attention is directed elsewhere?) "That's kind of creepy to think about." (Yes, we try not to mention it in the brochures.)
2286 "AAAA! AAAUGH!" "What's wrong?" "I accidentally spoiled a plot point for a video game on Twitter and now the whole internet is mad at me!" "Did you try… apologizing?" "It's too late for that. The damage has already been done. There's… there's only one way out for me now…" "Cat GIFs?" "Lots of cat GIFs." (Which @MarigoldFarmer actually posted to her twitter feed.)
2287 Emily skips in and hands Marten [GY!BE shirt!] an envelope. "What is this?" "Open it and see! Hee hee hee!" He looks – hearts? Tai appears: "Oh hey, Emily invited you too!" "This is an invitation?" "Yeah, what'd you think it was, a love letter?" (meaningful pause and eye roll) "OH MY GOD YOU ARE PRECIOUS" "Sh-shut up! Shut it all the way up!"
2288 You are invited to a Party!
When: This Saturday night to Sunday morning!
Where: My parents' lake house!
What: Games, Swimming, a cookout + other fun things!
I hope you are able to come!
Emily Azuma ?
"Can you come?" "Daah! I, uh, yeah, I think I can make it." "Yayyyy! You should invite all your friends, too! There's plenty of room!" "All of them? I've kind of got a lot of friends." "How many is a lot? A thousand? A thousand people would probably be too many." "How big is your parents' lake house?"
2289 Faye in the waitress dress: "Hey butta$$, what's up?" Marten (with Tai in tow) "Emily the intern is throwing a party at her parents' lake house. Wanna come?" Dora comes in (with the pink off-shoulder top) "Am I invited too?" "Oh yeah, def"(AAH! AAAAH!) Tai tugs at Marten's shirt – SIGH. "One of my interns is throwing a party. Wanna come?"
2290 Faye is reading Gossip Rag on the couch at Angus' place as Marigold emerges to get a drink… in a tank-top and shorts. Angus gets caught looking! SMACK! "OW!" Marigold: "What was that?" Both Angus and Faye: "Nothing"
2291 Faye, Angus, Marten, Marigold and Momo are ready to head to Emily's party; Faye: "Ready to go? Everyone got their swimsuits?" Marigold (looking down toward Momo): "I don't have a swimsuit." Faye: "You can borrow one of mine! We're basically the same size." "B-but…" "No buts!" (Faye waits outside her bedroom door for a moment, then knocks) "Well?" "I – I can't wear this!" "Here, lemme see." (closed door, then a shocked Faye closing the door) Marten: "No good?" Faye: "Too good. She looks better in it than I do." Marten and Angus at the same time: "Daaaaaaaaaaang" Marigold (still in the bedroom) "STOP DANGING ME"
2292 A Ford Focus drives through the woods of Central Massachusetts: "Where the #### are we?" "No idea. Momo?" "My GPS indicates that we should turn here." Angus: "Turn where? You mean there? (Sign on a gravel driveway: "NO OUTLET") This is a trap, isn't it. Emily's luring us into the woods so she can hunt us for sport." FLICK! Faye: "I'm prepared." (Marten, Momo and Marigold are a bit taken aback – in the back)
2293 A nice little cottage on the lake; Marten: "Good thing I didn't invite a thousand people." Faye: "You don't even know a thousand people." Marten pokes his head in the front door with Momo: "Hello? Emily? Anybody home?" The four walk to the kitchen entrance – where Emily appears with hockey mask and hatchet! Angus: "Called it." Faye flicks out her knife and Momo hides behind Marten.
2294 YELLING BIRD: "JUMP FOR IT, PRIMATE" (Jeph's giving up smoking)
2295 …and there's no commentary about the mask and hatchet… "Are we the first people here?" "Gabby's out on the dock." Meanwhile, Marigold had come in – and sees something: "IS THAT A SUPER NINTENDO" Marten tries to do the introductions: "You've met Faye – this is her boyfriend Angus." "Nice to-" CRASH Marigold has found the SNES cartridges! "And that's Marigold." I LIKE VIDEO GAMES
2296 Faye notices something as they greet Gabby: "Wait, if we didn't bring her, how's Hanners getting here?" Marten isn't sure: "I dunno. She said she had a ride." "Hey guys!" (They all look up – at Hannelore hanging on a harness attached to… nothing!) "What… what did we just see?" Hannelore unbuckles her harness: "Nothing!"
2297 Marten's mind is still blown: "Seriously, what was-" "Sorry, I'm not allowed to tell anyone." Faye: "Figures." Marten (as Gabby is still looking up nervously): "Well, at least you made it here. I'm gonna go see if Emily needs help with food." Angus: "I'm gonna get into my swimsuit." Hannelore is all alone… and looks up at a slightly faded outline above her: "You wouldn't fit inside anyway, and mom will be mad if you're not back at the test facility by dark." Stealth AI voice: "I never get to have any fun."
2298 Faye's in her suit; "I just saw Steve and Cosette pull in." Marten: "Oh, cool." Emily is getting out the peppers: "Hooray, more friends!" Marten puts the cutting board down and asks the obvious: "When do your friends get here?" Emily: "You and Gabby are here already, and Claire and Tai should arrive any time now." She contemplates a green pepper as Marten stammers out a realization: "N-no, I mean your other… oh. (To Faye) Oh lord, we've adopted another one." Faye: "If she follows you home, you're in charge of feeding her." Emily munches: "I like greem pepperth!"
2299 Steve is impressed: "####, this is a nice place." Marten leans on the deck railing: "I know, right?" "Are you seriously the only single dude here among all these beautiful ladies?" "A: shut up, and B: no, Clinton is here too." Cut to Claire and Clinton – who is in nothing but a Speedo – standing on the edge of the dock: "For the love of god, put on a different swimsuit" "No. This one is ideally hydrodynamic." Both Steve and Marten look on, before Steve puts his hand on Marten's shoulder: "Yeah, you got this one, bro."
2300 Hannelore notices something as she looks in her bag: "Shoot, I forgot my sunscreen." Emily is helpful: "Here, use mine!" FSSSST "Ackpth!" "There, all done." "Th-thanks." Emily smiles as she's helped a friend; Wandering over to see Marigold involved in SNES: "Battletoads?" "Yup." Suddenly, an ORANGE HANNELORE appears! "There is a difference between sunscreen and tanning lotion" "There is?"

2301 to 2400Edit

2301 Faye's a little cold: "Holy ####nipples that's cold!" Marten's already in the water (with a swimming noodle): "You get used to it." Tannelore: "Watch out for dragonfly larvae!" Meanwhile, down the stairs comes Steve, with Claire looking on: "Aww yeah, gonna get my swim on" Blushing Claire is blushing – which Cosette (and her polka-dot bikini) notices: "Twenty bucks and I'll let you grab his butt." "I DON'T WANNA GRAB HIS lemme go get my wallet"
2302 Marten, Faye and Steve are in the water: "I really hope this is a rock I'm standing on and not a snapping turtle." Emily swims by: "Muskrat muskrat muskrat muskrat" The confused looks are exchanged, then… Faye: " Muskrat muskrat muskrat muskrat" Steve: " Muskrat muskrat muskrat"
2303 Just when you thought it was safe to float in the middle of the lake, Marten… SLOSH (What the-) SLPRSH THRASH SLOSH (Aaagh! Aaaaugh!!) BLOOSH Momo EMERGES! "Gabby wanted me to tell you the hotdogs are ready." (There are RAFTS under the DECK)
2304 Emily and Marten greet the wayward duo of Dora and Tai: "We woulda got here like 3 hours ago but we took a wrong turn." Dora and Tai are somewhat SHOCKED when they realize: "Sorry, this is 24 North Pine Island Road. You're lookin' for South Pine Island Road." (said the older, overweight nudist). Emily is speechless and embarassed! Marten: "And it took you 3 hours to find the right street?" Tai and Dora, looking away together: "Well…" Dora: "Theeth cookieth are AMATHING. Theriouthly, I'll thell 'em at my thop." Naked older lady: "Oh, you!" Tai (who is playing cards with the older guy): "You sure you don't wanna come with us?" "No, no, you young folks have your fun."
2305 Clinton is out of the water, on the back deck, and talking to a very wet Momo: "You're lucky. This thing seizes up completely if it gets any water in it." Momo: "If you used the recommended synthetic covering, you would not have that problem." Marigold asks the obvious question: "How'd you lose your hand, anyway?" "Marigold, that is a rude question!" "No no, I don't mind talking about it. (closing his eyes dramattically) It all started back when I was thirteen years old" Claire: "He jacked off so much his hand withered into a claw and fell off." Angry stare, Emily turns, Claire just holds her earnest look. Marigold, of course, is clueless: "That doesn't make sense. Wouldn't that make your hand stronger?" Same with Momo: "At the very worst, it might lead to some sort of repetitive stress injury. Necrosis seems highly-" It was a fireworks accident
2306 Hannelore sees Marigold in the kitchen: "Aren't you going to go swimming?" "Nope." "Why not? Is it the swimsuit?" Faye: "Dunno why. She looks cute in it." "No I don't! I look like a total flabosaurus!" Hanners: "You are not a flabosaurus!" Faye: "Okay, hang on. Is this 'I'm genuinely uncomfortable with this swimsuit' reluctance, or 'I secretly wanna be convinced to wear it' reluctance?" (Marigold's been discovered) "…Can it be both?" Faye: "Okay, let's compromise. Wear the bikini with a t-shirt over it." Hanners: "Genius"
2307 Marigold's got the t-shirt on in the bathroom, and realizes: "This is stupid." She comes out of the bathroom, sans t-shirt* and runs into Marten in the kitchen: "Hey, lookin' good! (blush) I – I didn't mean that to be, like CREEPY. I just meant I know you're, like, nervous about that bathing suit, but- you shouldn't be! 'Cause it looks really good! (digging himself deeper) I mean, not that you need me, or anyone, to validate how you look. It should be on your own terms, because likeohgodshutup" CHUGCHUGCHUG
2308 The Drawing Of Claire.

  • - This is where the problems started.

2309 Repeat of 1948: Raven's got the Espressosaur figured out! RRRRUMBLE KRAK FLASH! "Wh... what did you..." "If my calculations are correct, it should reappear in 96763 seconds with an amazing cup of espresso." [Actually, it took longer than that...]
2310 GUEST STRIP (Wes and Tony): Pintsize discovers it's not easy being Marten
2311 GUEST STRIP (Bryant Paul Johnson): Spaceship comes down to visit – but with a catch.
2312 GUEST STRIP (Lily Hoyda & "Tank"): Faye's babysitting, welding and cupcake-making service impresses Angus
2313 GUEST STRIP (Spike from Templar, AZ): Pintsize's new moneymaker: FANSUBS! English to Fandom translations! (Casually Racist Horsebabies; You Don't See It Cuz You're A Homophobe; Wait There's A Game Seriuzly Since When) Marigold isn't sure: "Quixotic Enhancements for the Entitled Parasite."
2314 It's… HANDELORE!
2315 GUEST STRIP (Veronica Vera, Bittersweet Candy Bowl): Emily has a question: "What would your nose do?" Turns out – DISCO PARTY!
2316 GUEST STRIP (Special Saturday Edition): Wait a minute – who the heck are these hacks who put together THIS guest strip? C'mon. A barrell of monkeys could do better.
2317 GUEST STRIP (Special Sunday Edition; Danielle Corsetto) Your feet are soft… wait, what?
2318 The Party Montage – Hannelore, Marten, Marigold (smug), Cosette: "Marigold was the last werewolf!" "What?!" "I knew it!" Faye, Emily (SNIP!) and Claire: "Whoa!" "You're next!" "Get away" Clinton and Steve: "Pinned you again! Take another shot." "You gotta unfair mechanical 'vantage!" Tai and Gabby – in the lake, in the dark, in the buff: "Skinny dipping is kinda boring when it's just two people." "Yeah. I'm gonna go back inside."
2319 Drunk Emily wants to play a drinking game! Faye: "Okay, which one?" Hanners: "Ooh, I know a good one! (Please elucidate) Well, we all sit in a circle, and when your turn comes up, you take a drink and say something nice about the person to your left. Then it's their turn, and so on. (That's not really a GAME, Hanners. That's just group therapy with booze.) You're right, it's a stupid idea. I'm- (Are you kidding? This is gonna be GREAT.)" Claire suddenly wants to "trade seats with somebody."
2320 Emily's turn! "Marten is a good person to work with" Marten: "Aw, thanks. (turns to his left) Faye's my-" "And he introduced me to so many nice people today!" "N-no prob" "And he showed me how to make a margarita. OF WHICH I HAVE HAD SEVERAL" (Faye) "AND HE HAS FUNNY HAIR" (bonk) "I know it's my turn, but I better move before she barfs on me." Faye: "I understand." (Oh, you DEFINITELY understand.)
2321 Claire: "Even though he's a total jerk sometimes, he's still a good brother." Clinton: "You smell." Hannelore: "Dora is patient with me even when the espresso machine makes a loud noise and scares me and I have to hide in the back room for a while." Cosette: "Ohmigod, it scares me too!" Faye: "Angus puts up with my ####." Angus: "And I have an amazing ####." (I wouldn't call it amazing.) Steve: "I love you man! I love you!" Marten: "Dude we have talked about this" (a LONG time ago)
2322 Marten wanders out onto the dock – finding Claire; "We've lost Steve as well as Emily now. (Did you stack them in the closet?) Steve went to bed on his own. We tried moving Emily but she did that floppy boneless thing cats do when they don't wanna be picked up. (noticing her look) You okay? (Yeah, just getting some air. Pause You have nice friends.) You're one of 'em now!" (meaningful pause) "I'm-" "HEY ASSFARTS (Enter drunk Faye and drunk Angus) YER OCCUPYIN' PRIMO MAKEOUT REAL ESTATE, EITHER GET KISSY OR GO BACK INSIDE" "Nice friends. Right."
2323 "Marten…" "What's up?" "I… I'm trans. And… since we're friends, I thought you'd like to know that about me." "Yeah, sure. Thanks for tellin' me, Claire." (pause) "Now let's get back inside before Faye and Angus start making slurping noises." "Is that something they do?" "I'd rather not find out."
2324 Claire: "Is there anything you wanna know?" (Marten: Whatever you feel comfortable tellin' me. No pressure.) Okay, well, I identify as female, and I started transitioning my first year in college. I've been on hormone replacement therapy since then. (I should ask – how open do you want me to be about this?) Um, quiet but honest, I guess? Like, I'd prefer if you didn't just TELL everybody, but if they straight up ask, that's okay. (Gotcha.) How did you know I wanted coffee, anyway? (I dunno, this just seems like the sorta thing you talk about over coffee.)"
2325 Clinton appears on the scene: "Is there any coffee left?" Marten: "Yeah, lemme get you some." Claire: "I told Marten. About me." "Y-you did? (turns and swipes the coffee from a surprised Marten) He wasn't a #### about it, was he?!" "What? No! He was really nice!" (Clinton sips the coffee, a wary eye on Marten) "Hm. Maybe you're such a bad guy after all." Upset Marten is upset! "I- Wh- 'After all?' Gimme that coffee back!"
2326 OMG Turkeys 2012!
2327 Exit Marten, stage right; Claire and Clinton have a family talk: "Thanks for not spilling the beans." "Don't thank me, you'll jinx it." "You really worry about accidentally outing me, don't you." "I just… wanna make sure you're safe." "You're the best little brother I could ever ask for, Clinton." "Does that mean you'll pick on me less?" "I'll try. But you're really fun to pick on." "*Sigh* I know."
2328 Emily wakes with a headache – and a Double Ahoge! "Muh. (to Gabby) What happened last night? ("You passed out super-early.") Aww (grabbing her now-shorn hair) Oh my god where did my hair go ("You chopped it off.") I am never drinking again." Faye enters: "Mornin', toots. Mimosa?" "Ooh, yes please!"
2329 Cleanup time! Tai: "The beds are made!" Steve: "I put all the bottles in the recycling bin." Faye: "Dishwasher's runnin'." Happy Emily (still with a double ahoge): "Yay! Thank you!" One person's still not ready to go, however: Marten: "Time to go, Marigold." "But I'm not at a save point!" Emily: "I'm sticking around for a while. I can give her a ride back to town." Emily settles in on the chair next to Marigold… and the daylight becomes dusk… and then becomes night; Emily's passed out – and the Azumas show up! Mom Azuma: "Er, hello, are you a friend of our daughter's?" "Sssh, I'm fighting Kefka."
2330 Dinner with the 'rents: "The peas are excellent today." "thank you, dear." (sheepish Marigold is sheepish) "I'm really sorry for staying too long. I got caught up in the game and-" "Nonsense! It's wonderful to meet one of our daughter's friends!" Emily: "Actually, we barely know each other at all!" (Mom's unsure, and Marigold's even more so) "I… I see…" Hannelore rises! "What day is it?" "Do you know her?" Emily shrugs: "Sort of!"
2331 "Hey Pintsize, we're back." "Hey." Momo has a seat: "Do you get bored being left here by yourself?" Marten: "I'd invite him along if I thought he'd behave." "And I'd behave if I didn't find human parties so dull." "What do you do all day, then?" "Do you have any idea how much pornography there is on the internet?" "Ugh, no." "Neither do I. BUT I INTEND TO FIND OUT."
2332 Momo's taken aback: "Why did you sign up to be a companion AI if all you want to do is look at pornography all day?" "Hey, I DID the companion thing. I was Marten's only friend here for two years. Then Steve came along, and then he met Faye, and now here he is going to parties all weekend. He's got plenty of friends now. My job is done." Momo is surprised! "You mean you're not friends anymore?!" "W'ere still friends, he's jut got a LIFE now. Which means I can relax a little." "I never though about it like that." "You and Marigold have a different dynamic. But there's a lot of different ways to do this job." "What're you guys talking about?" "Oh, you know. Butts, @$$€$. The usual."
2333 Momo asks the question: "How did you and Pintsize end up as companions, anyway? You seem so… different." "Well.." [FLASHBACK!] Companion Connection [Your Friend In Robotics] APC: "So, you're here to find an AnthroPC companion?" "Uh, yeah." "Here's the price sheet for our various chassis options." "Wow, these are all really expensive." "Well then, (disrobing) let's see if you qualify for our 'discount program'." "Obtuse metaphor correlating credit rating with ##### size." [Momo is SHOCKED! Marten is TICKED! Pintsize is trying not to GIGGLE!]
2334 "There was no sex involved." Pintsize: "Well it's my headcanon and you should respect that." "How did it really happen, then?" [FLASHBACK – the real one] CC-APC: "Okay, in order to pair you up with your ideal companion AI, we're going to have you fill out this short questionnaire." Marten's a bit incredulous: "You can figure out what kind of person I am just from this?" CC-APC: "We also monitor your body's autonomic responses as you fill it out. It's over 99% accurate." "How do you monitor myaaaAAAAAAAGH!" The ArachnoPC! "Don't be nervous! There are no wrong answers!" (Reassuring pats on the shoulder aren't working for Marten.
2335 CC-APC: "Okay Mr. Reed, your evaluation is in! [Sign behind her: ROBOTS ARE YOUR FRIEND!] (takes paper down from a "grip" from the ceiling; looks at it and frowns) THAT one? (looks ahead) Gordon, are you SURE about this?" Gordon the ArachnoPC: "The biometrics look good to me!" (Marten: "please get off my head") "O-okay, before you meet your new companion, I should probably go over our return procedure. And our criminal liability agreement. And our insurance policies." ("my head please get off it" )
2336 "…Then they brought out Pintsize, I took him home, and the rest is history." "But… but that is all wrong! You were frightened of Gordon! That would have completely thrown off your biometrics, leading to a totally inaccurate compatibility rating with Pintsize!" "You mean…" "You should not have been assigned Pintsize as your companion." (Meaningful pause as man and robot frown at each other, then Marten) "Well, it worked out all right in the end, so" "YOU MEAN I COULDA BEEN WITH A HOT CHICK THIS WHOLE TIME?!"
2337 Marten given Faye the scoop: "…So it turns out I shouldn't have ended up with Pintsize after all." "Does that mean it's not too late to return him?" "Nah, I'm happy with him. Even if he is an @$$ sometimes." "Hmm. He does make me look like a better roommate by comparison. Still, I wonder what kinda robot you were supposed to end up with." [Pintsize is snapping into a Slim Jim next to Marten] "I guess we'll never know." Alternate reality: Marten rides his CetaPC Robot WHALE!!!!
2338 YELLING BIRD: Hammered!
2339 Pintsize SNAPS INTO A SLIM JIM! Nyomnyom… "WHAT ARE YOU DOING" "SAVORING it."
2340 Emily enters Casa del Marten! "Your apartment is very blue!" Apologetic Marigold (with Hanners) "Thanks for watchin' Momo." "No, uh, problem." Emily meets Pintsize! "Ooh! Hello!" "Hel-LO!" DONK! <-9999 HIT POINTS!> (Later on: Emily holds the bag of peas on her hand as she is near tears) "His head looked soft! I thought it would be soft!" "And your first instinct was to punch him?" (0 1 1 2 3 5 8 13 21 34 55 89 144…)
2341 Momo brings up a question to Marigold: "Do I give you enough space?" (Huh?) "I mean… you are making lots of human friends now, and I do not want to get in the way." (You're my best friend. You're not gonna 'get in the way'.) "Are you sure?" (Yeah.) Introspective moment: "Do I give you enough space?" "Emotionally, yes. Sartorially, I could use some more closet space." (Jeph: Upgrading to a chassis that wears clothes has drastically increased Momo's living-space footprint.)
2342 Marigold queries while Momo lets her hair down: "Do you want, like, your own room or anything?" (No, no, our current arrangement is fine. I do not need much space.) "Maybe we should get bunk beds." [Callback to 2124!] (I do not need a bed, Marigold. I can sleep perfectly well sitting up.) "I know, I just wanna make sure you're comfortable." (I appreciate the thought, but I do not require the same sort of creature comforts as a human does.) "I wonder where Pintsize sleeps. In Marten's room?" (Momo's sarcasm subroutine kicks in: "In a Faraday cage? Duct taped to the wall? In a lead-lined box at the bottom of the ocean?")
2343 Dora: "So what's next on the dinosaur coffeemaker agenda? Diplodocus? Triceratops?" Faye is not impressed: "Meh. I'm done with dinos." "Why do you hate money?" "I don't hate money. I'm just tired of dinosaurs." "Okay, what about robots, then? Or zombies?" "Robot bacon zombie coffee ninja UGH." Pouting Dora pouts: "I was just trying to be helpful." "Sorry, I'm allergic to internet memes. I wanna do something interesting." Enter… SAM! "Anomalocaris was a flat, free-swimming, segmented animal…" DAAAH! Faye's impressed by this: "Ooh, somebody's been working on their sneaking skills!"
2344 Dora asks the obvious question: "What are you doing here, Sam? Don't you have school?" "School's out for the summer. Duh." Faye's considering Anomalocaris Carafe: "We'd have plenty of room for the parts, but I'm not sure about the horizontal layout…" Dora: "Does your dad know you're here?" "Yes. (Faye gives her a look…) I mean, um, I'll call him now."
2345 Apparently, she didn't get a hold of him: "Hey Jim? Dora. We seem to have acquired your offspring. (Sam is wielding the battlesword as Faye prepares to fling an orange in the background) No, no, it's okay. You don't have to come get her. (The orange is tossed, Sam swings… How the heck did it get stuck in the ceiling?) On second thought, can you come get her and Faye?" (Sam is on Faye's shoulders, pulling down the sword from the ceiling.)
2346 Jim is not happy: "Okay, Sam, let's go. You're in big trouble." THERE IS NO SAM HERE THERE IS ONLY SKULLMASTER, MASTER OF SKULLS (aka Sam on Faye's shoulders, complete with skull "masks") "Well you better FIND her, because she's ALREADY grounded for a week, and if I don't see here face in the next 3 seconds, I'm extending it to a MONTH." (pause) PUNY MORTAL! YOUR FEEBLE THREATS ARE NOTHING TO SKULLMASTER, MASTER OF SKULLS (Dora: "Holy crap, she doubled down!")
2347 "But I didn't say those things, Skullmaster did!" "Well, if if makes you feel better, you're both grounded." Faye: "Poor kid. Absolute skull power corrupts skulls absolutely." Dora: "It's really weird seeing you play with a kid. Like, actually PLAY, not just mess with her." "I like Sam. She shows great potential for future mayhem. (pause) Although I really hope her punishment includes mandatory showers, because ### ####, that kid is ripe." "Feces and lice and two-week-dead mice, that's what little girls are made of."
2348 YELLING BIRD: Holiday strips 2012 – and we finally discover Sweetits real name: Harriet!
2349 HOLIDAY COLORING FUN TIME! Pintsize as a GOOD robot – or BAD; what kind of limbs did he get?
2350 GUEST STRIP (Mel McDonald/Rachel Eddin): Antoinette Banemoon – the Graphic Novel! (Go back to 1526 to get the reference)
2351 Shame Orb hungers – it eats shame and poops… gas station burritos?
2352 Randy eats HOPE. (Okay.) "I like to go to the hospital for lunch."
2353 ANOTHER YEAR VANQUISHED BY SKULLMASTER, MASTER OF SKULLS
2354 "What's up?" "Faye wants to have kids!" "Not definitely, I'm just not rulin' it out." "Ugh. Screaming little $#!+machines. Noooo thanks." "What about you, Marty? You ever think about bein' a dad?" "I feel like I should probably start with a pet or something." "I wouldn't trust Pintsize with a gerbil, much less a baby." "Given the choice, I'd rather he have the gerbil."
2355 Marten thinks "You'd be a pretty cool mom." Faye: "I know, right?" Dora's left out: "Hey, I'd be a cool mom too!" Marten: "You just said you didn't want kids." Defensive Dora: "Yeah, but if I did, I'd be good as #3|| at it." Faye: "Until you got pooped on for the first time, and then it'd be 'hey Dora where's your baby?' 'Oh I left it in the woods to be raised by wolves.'" "As if you'd handle baby-poo any better." "Girl, I HAVE a little sister. I changed DIAPERS. You think I never got poop on me?" "I wonder if I ever pooped on Sven." "It's not too late." "This whole conversation is making me glad I'm an only child."
2356 Hanners (Still Tan) and Marigold are waiting on the couch when KNOCK KNOCK "Oop! Pizza's here!" Dale! "$14.50." Hannelore panics as she peruses her pink wallet: "I… I don't have enough to tip you!" "It's cool." "I… I could give you something else as a tip…" "No, really, it's cool." "No no! I insist! Come in!" (Dale isn't sure) "I, uh-" (cut to scene where Dale's munching on the pizza on the couch, while Marigold eyes him suspiciously) "Whew. I was afraid you were gonna offer to bone me." "EWW! People DO that?!"
2357 Dale explains: "I deliver pizza, bus tables, walk dogs… I do a lotta stuff." Hanners: "Having so many different jobs must be complicated!" "It's not that bad. They're all low-pressure gigs, and it means I'm doin' something different every day. (turns to Marigold) What about you, Hordie? What do you do for a living?" "I DESTROY THE ALLIANCE (pause as her anger subsides and she realizes what she said) I mean, um… I computer. I do computer. Things. Computer things. Beep boop." (Dale and Hanner exchange glances)
2358 Dale: "All right, I better get back before they wonder what happened to me. Thanks for the pizza." Hanners: "No, thank you!" "Later, hordie." Marigold isn't impressed: "Fffffffff" "Why do you hate Dale so much? He seems nice!" "He's a jerk. A big stupid Alliance jerk." Hanners is trying to understand, as she puts away the pizza box: "He's a jerk because you play on opposite sides in a video game." "Yes." "That kind of makes you sound like a jerk." "I'm not the jerk, he's the jerk! Haven't you been listening?"
2359 <MarBear> is mining with her Tauren warrior. Then suddenly out comes an Alliance assassin from behind the bushes! WHUD Vanquished in one swing! <MarBear> does the victory dance! (cut to Dale looking at the scene on his screen) Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaang
2360 Emily plays with Claire's hair: Fluff fluff fluff, fluffy fluffy fluffy, Fluffy fluffy fluffy, fluffy fluff fluffy (Uh…) "M-my hands are stuck!" (Agh! Aaagh!) Marten: "Hang on, I'll call public safety."
2361 Claire's been growing out her hair for four year now; Tai isn't a natural redhead. Emily imagines what kind of hairstyle Tai really has (leopard print, plaid, rams horns, floppy pink bunny ears, moose horns, big green afro – and Dragonball Z?)… and starts giggling uncontrollably! Tai: "Should we be worried?" Marten: "I'm gonna go get some coffee. If she's still doing it when I get back, I'll call the paramedics."
2362 J Mascis is playing at the Calvin! Claire listens to "this and that. I do like this one indie band Low, have you heard of them?" "Oh yeah. I saw them play a tiny little show upstairs of a record store. That was years ago, when I first moved up here. There were like 50 people there, tops. We all sat on the floor while they played. Super intimate. (pause for pouting Claire) …What?" "Oh look at me, I'm mister cool indie guy. I knew all the bands you liked WAY before they were popular. I knew who J. Mason was back when he had an ACTUAL FIRST NAME." "It's J. Mascis, and I was just trying to share an interesting anecdote." [ReaderCon '09 t-shirt for Claire!]
2363 Dora: "Okay Hanners, we'll be back in an hour. You sure you can handle things while we're gone?" "Yes ma'am!" (Staring Hannelore is staring…; Customer comes in) "Hi, can I get a" "SSSH I'm watching the shop." (Next girl comes in) "Excuse me, are you li-" (Both) "SSSSSH"
2364 Claire and Marten see the line coming out the door; Random blonde customer: "What's going on anyway?" Random larger dude: "I dunno, the lady at the counter-" Third person, hidden behind Claire: "Sssh!" Hannelore: "Hey Marten! Faye and Dora left me in charge of the shop! Isn't that great?" "Uh, yeah, but what's with the huge line of people?" (Hannelore's crazy eyes) "I'm paralyzed by the responsibility! Isn't that great?!" "Claire, you do crowd control while I go get her Ativan. Don't be afraid to use the sword if you have to." (Claire: "The what?")
2365 Hannelore: "I've never made so many drinks in my entire life." Marten: "You did good. I won't say anything to Dora or Faye." "No, it's okay, I'll tell them what happened. I need to know my limits. Next time they leave me in charge, I'll take an Ativan beforehand." "Right on. (Meanwhile, Claire is eyeing the broadsword in her hand) All right, we should get back to work." Claire: "Can I keep this? It makes me feel… powerful." Marten: "Put down the sword, Xena."
2366 Marten explains: "Yeah, she's got really bad OCD and anxiety and stuff. But she's come a long way since I first met her." "I would've been freaking out too if I had that huge line of people to handle on my own." "Really? 'Cause the library's dead during the summer, but when school's in session it gets pretty hectic." "Yeah, but lines are POLITE. Coffee shop lines are full of cranky people who need caffeine." "You obviously haven't been there during finals week. I've had to break up fights. And the sobbing, god, the SOBBING." "Very funny." "I'm not joking. Two semesters ago the computer network went down and it sounded like friggin' Yog-Sothoth crashing a sorority party." "So what you're saying is I should buy some earplugs."
2367 Claire: "Hannelore's so pretty." Marten: "Yeah." "Actually, all your friends I've met have been really attractive." "Haha, even Steve?" (Blushing Claire is RED) "GOD yes. Those shoulders. Rghfrghl." "Man, nobody ever compliments my shoulders. I should start working out or something. What exercise gives you good shoulders?" "Oh no, have I started an arms race?' (Claire's trademark frozen face – which Marten chooses to ignore) "Push-ups, maybe? Can I even do a push-up?" (Claire sulks)
2368 Claire explains to Emily: "And then I said, "oh no, have I started an arms race?" (one panel beat, then) Emily: "HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHA" (Emily collapses into giggles with her head buried in her arms on the counter) Marten: "What did you do?!" "I don't- I just-" (A drawing of several arms running the end of a marathon… Yes, Jeph was getting weird on us.)
2369 Faye: "So how're things goin' with Tai? I didn't see y'all much at the lake house." Dora: "Good, good. There was lots of cuddling." "Just cuddling?" Dora (eyes closed) "We're taking things slow." "Well, that's good." "Mm." Faye's a bit confused at that; "I haven't been laid since I broke up with MARTEN. I had a dream last night where I got into a fight with my vulva because it was MAD at me." (Faye covers her mouth to suppress a grin) "That's *snrk* terrible." "It WAS! My vulva and I are normally FRIENDS! And it's not normally 8 feet tall and swinging a baseball bat at my head!"
2370 Claire is SURPRISED: "You used to date DORA?!" "Yup." "Luckyyyy (pause) Wait, aren't Dora and Tai-" "Yeah its… complicated." Tai: "Hey Claire, can you run these forms over to the dean's office for me?" RIP! "I don't take orders from a homewrecker." Tai (to Marten): "What did you tell her?!" Marten, with eyes rolled: "Not enough, apparently."
2371 Claire's remorseful as Emily looks on: "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have assumed the worst." Tai: "Seriously! I'd never diddle another person's lady without their express permission!" Claire: "I'm just really sensitive about that. My parents got divorced 'cause my dad was cheating on my mom." Tai: "Oh jeez, that's horrible." (all four in the Awkwardness Zone) Claire, to Emily: "C'mon, do something weird to distract us." Emily: "I never do anything weird!"
2372 Marten: "My parents split up when I was a kid too." Claire: "Yeah?" "Yeah. Turns out my dad's gay, so it wasn't really working out, you know?" "Oh jeez, yeah. That must've been hard." "It was rough, but it turned out okay. My parents are still friends and my dad's fiancé is a good dude." "Aww! When are they getting married?" (pause while Marten realizes something) "I should probably open that 'save the date' card they send me, huh." "I dunno, maybe you want to be the worst son ever."
2373 Marten's dad (Henry, for those who forgot), talking to Marten on the phone: "Hi son, how's it going? (pause) Yes, it's two weeks from now. Well, you said you'd be coming when I first brought it up, so- (pause again; Henry's getting a bit perturbed) I know we hadn't set a date yet. That's why I sent you the card. (pause) Marten, you're an adult. It isn't my responsibility to make sure you open your mail on a timely basis. (pause) Okay, okay. I'm glad you can make it. Don't worry about the plane tickets. I know you don't have much spare cash. (pause) Love you too. Bye." Maurice – who's looking ever younger: "What's up, hon?" "You're definitely not interested in having children, right?" (hugging him) "I told you before, I don't want kids. I want, like, twenty puggles." (Wait: where are they getting married?)
2374 Marten, at CoD, looks at his phone: "Wait, why did dad buy me TWO plane tickets?" Faye: "So you can bring a date, dummy." "I don't HAVE a date." "I'd go, but I'm s'posed to go down to the city with Angus that weekend." Dora: "And with Faye out of town I can't afford to take the weekend off. Sorry hon." "What about you, Hanners?" "Commercial airliners are DISEASE FACTORIES! I don't wanna get sick!" [SPECIALS: Ghost Pepper Mocha, Buffalo Scones, Really $#!++y Granola] Faye: "But if you don't go, who will protect Marten from all the voracious cougars?" Marten does NOT like the reference: "PRETTY SURE I don't have to worry about that." Hanners: "Yeah, it's feral hogs you really have to watch out for." (Uhm, someone appears to have forgotten that Maurice and Henry live in FLA – which doesn't allow gay marriage…)
2375 Dora: "Wait, aren't they getting married in, like, VERMONT?" Marten: "Oh, yeah. Why do you ask?" "Why are you flying there?" "Well, it's up in the northern part of the state, so it must be pretty far…" (hands Dora his phone with the map) "Marten, this is like 90 minutes away by car. [Note: it's actually a little less than three hours from Northampton to Burlington] It would take you longer to fly there." "Oh. (to Hannelore) Well, if you come with me we won't have to worry about plane-diseases." "But now we'd have to worry about MOOSE!"
2376 Back at home, Hannelore comes in – covered in a robe: "Muh… Marten… I don't think I can go to the wedding with you…" "Oh jeez, are you sick?" "I felt fine until this morning and then I didn't feel fine anymore." "Yeah, you should be in bed right now." "I really want to go with you! M-maybe I'll feel better tomorrow and-" "It's okay, it's okay. You need to get some rest. Can Momo and Winslow keep an eye on you this weekend?" "Y-yes. I'm really sorry." "It's okay. Feel better soon." (Marten pauses, has a seat on the couch, then realizes something) "$#!+, how am I supposed to get there now?"
2377 Tai's surprised at the news: "And now you don't even have a RIDE?" Marten shrugs: "I could use the plane ticket my dad bought me, but it seems kind of silly if driving would be faster." Claire (overhearing): "I've got nothing to do this weekend. I could give you a lift." Marten: "Wanna come to the wedding then? Free food and you'd get to meet my weird-@$$ family." "Would I need a fancy dress?" "It's supposed to be pretty casual, so I guess it's up to-" (Claire runs off!) "Back in a couple hours! Gotta buy a fancy dress!" (book levitates while Tai says: "Hey!")
2378 Off they go in Claire's green Mazda3! [74A-GH3] "Before we get there I should probably, uh, fill you in on some family stuff. Dad runs a fancy nightclub down in Miami. Dad's fiancé Maurice is a golf instructor. [I thought he was a wetlands preservation environmental engineer?] Mom used to be a really well-known fetish model, and now she's a professional dominatrix. She may bring a date to the wedding. She may bring several dates." "I thought you were going to warn me about, like, a racist uncle or something." "Nah, my uncle's pretty chill. He used to sell weed to my friends back in college."
2379 [ALTERED STRIP ALERT!] Marten's mom meets the two at the lodge! "This is my friend Claire. She's an intern at the library." "N-nice to meet you." Mom (goes to pinch Marten's cheek) "So, Claire, what do you think of my son? Handsome, isn't he?" (I, uh-) "You know, he's finally reaching the point where he has some stability in his life. He's prime boyfriend material. ((It would be a good time to start thinking about kids. ))" (Mom!) "And after the way his last two relationships went, I think he really needs someone calm, collected… maybe someone calm, collected… maybe someone who really likes books… ((I've always thought he'd be a wonderful father. He has such a gentle nature. And with your hair and his eyes, the babies would be absolutely- ))" (Claire is blushing! Marten's seen this before: MOM) Oblivious mom is oblivious! "Sorry, sorry. Weddings are just so romantic, you know? ((Sorry, sorry. This whole wedding thing has me all broody.)) I need a drink. To the bar!"
2380 Marten hugging dad (while Maurice looks on): "Hey dad. Sorry about the whole plane ticket mess." "Forget about it. I'm just glad you're here. (to Claire) "And who's this lovely young lady?" "This is my friend Claire. Claire, this is my dad." (blush) "Henry Reed. Nice to meet you. (BLUSH) "So… handsome… (CRIMSON) I mean- uh-" Maurice: "Isn't he? And he's got a really big-" "I'LL BE AT THE BAR WITH MOM"
2381 "Hey mom, watcha drinkin'?" "Single malt older than you. You like scotch, right?" "I can't really afford the fancy stuff…" "Good think I'm buying then. Bartender, a double for my son here." Marten takes a sniff of the glass, and suddenly TEQUILA MONSTER! "Yesssssssssss" "I, uh, maybe I'll just-" Mad Mommy voice: "Do as your mother says and drink it."
2382 Family talk, from Claire's POV?; Marten: "So where's everybody else?" Dad: "Oh, they don't get in 'til tomorrow morning. We wanted to keep this evening low-key." Mom: "Thank god. Rehearsal dinners are like wedding purgatory." Dad: "Anyway, it's going to be a pretty small affair. We didn't want to go too extravagant." Mom: "So, the exact opposite of our wedding, then?" Dad: "That wasn't so much a wedding as a three-ring circus." Maurice: "Oh great. Now ours sounds all boring." Dad (serious, to Maurice): "If 'boring' means we don't need multiple ambulances by the end of the first dance, I'll take it." Mom, pondering: "What was the name of that band we had play? Black something? Black Flag?" Marten: "YOU ARE $#!++ING ME."
2383 Maurice: "All right, we're going to call it an early night. Gotta get our handsome-sleep!" Dad: "Will you keep an eye on your mother? She seems… stressed." Marten: "Y-yeah, sure." Mom's at the bar – with drunk bubbles: "Marten! Clarice!" "Hey mom." "Um, it's actually Claire." The look: "Funny, you look more like a Clarice to me." "Yes ma'am my name is Clarice from now on ma'am" "You've got your dom-voice on, mom." "Oop! Sorry!"
2384 A rather obviously drunk mom toasts Henry and Maurice… "Mom, are you… all right?" "O-of course, dear! I'm fine!" (the tears that are suddenly welling up are saying she's lying) OH GOD I'M SO LONELY (meanwhile, the whiskey isn't agreeing with Claire, who needs a hand up to get back on her stool)
2385 "It's been so long since I had any kind of meaningful relationship… ("W-well if that's something you want, I'm sure you could-" Claire sizes up the drink) And now here I am, in my TWILIGHT YEARS… ("You're fifty-six." Claire takes a sip) You don't unnerstand, Marten. I can FEEL myself aging. I can SEE it. (Marten sees Claire pass out) I used to have a six pack! A six pack!" ("Put it away, mom." Marten tends to the g-lined Claire)
2386 (Claire has switched to something with a straw while Marten listens to DomMom problems): "There's nobody in the SCENE I'm interested in romantically, and I have no idea how to meet people outside of it. (Well, how did you meet dad?) You know that scene in Lady and the Tramp where they're slurping up both ends of a noodle and end up kissing? (Y-yes…) It was like that, but with a line of cocaine instead of pasta." (Marten gives his mom "the look") "It was the '70's! We didn't know any better!" "Yeah, maybe try online dating this time."
2387 Claire's nearly passed out on the bar; Mom: "I should really get to bed. (Marten: "Yeah…") I'm sorry for dumping my problems on you, Marten. This wedding just has me all moody. (It's okay. If you wanna start dating again, go for it. Who knows, maybe you'll meet someone tomorrow and hit it off.) $#!+! LUBE! I knew I forgot to pack something!" (WELP GOOD NIGHT)
2388 Good thing there were two beds… Claire: "So sleepy… must put on PJs…" Marten: "Oh, uh… I usually sleep in my boxers, is that okay? (Claire didn't think about that: "Y-yeah, whatev…er…") Are you sure? (Hiding behind the bathroom door: "I would've been fine but now you've got me thinking about it and it's awkward") Well excuse me for not just dropping my pants right in front of you."
2389 Claire with the blue dress (sans glasses)! "Do I look okay?" Marten, sitting on the bed: "You look great!" A pause as he stands up; "I know it's supposed to be a casual ceremony, but you should at least put on some pants." (I was waiting to change in the bathroom)
2390 Marten can't remember how to tie a stupid necktie. Claire: "Seriously? (takes the tie in hand) Here." She tries to tie it, but gets a bit flustered when she realizes she'd forgotten – and how close she is to Marten, and – the Quintuple Windsor? "Uh-" IT'S FINE IT'S PERFECT
2391 Marten & Claire catch up with mom by the elevator; "You think I can get away with not wearing a tie?" (Pff, I doubt Maurice is wearing one.) A short brown haired lady meets them in the lobby: "Marten! Oh, you look so precious in your suit!" Veronica recognizes her "old friend": "Oh, Jane. I thought I smelled a gonorrhea infection." "I'm impressed, Vicky. 11 AM and you're not at the bar! Or did you drink all their scotch last night?" "I must admit, I'm surprised you're here. Last I heard, Henry and Maurice weren't doing pity-invites." "Good to see you, you horrid old ####. "You too, darling. You've lost weight! Is that just from sucking #### all day?" (Marten: "Suddenly my taste in friends makes a lot more sense to me.")
2392 "Vicky" explains to Claire (over a mimosa): "We don't have much extended family, so our friends are all aunts and uncles to Marten." Jane: "I've been taking pictures of Vicky for 25 years now! (Claire: "So you're, um, a photographer?") An EROTIC photographer. Speaking of which (to Veronica) what're you wearing under that dress?" "Lace panties and a garter belt." Jane pulls out her camera: "Ooh, PERFECT! I could really use some more material for my upskirt site." "Marten, be a good boy and look away." (Yes, mother.)
2393 Jane takes Mom away: "Let's go take some more shots out on the veranda!" Claire: "Does it, um, bother you? What your mom does?" "Nah, I'm used to it." "She's just so… OPEN about it. It must've been weird, growing up." "Not really. She was good about keeping me isolated from it until I was old enough to understand." "And you didn't get picked on in school or anything?" "Not really, we just kept it quiet. It WAS pretty funny watching some of the other parents 'recognize' her on Career day, though."
2394 The Unknown Guest Gauntlet! Charles Stross (Sci-fi author and friend of Jeph): "Marten! Good to see you!" Keith (Mall Santa from GWS) "Hey, buddy." Holly Black (Young Adult author – and FOJ) "Oh, you've grown so much!" Cassandra Clare (redhead, YA author, FOJ – sensing a theme?) "Nice suit." Old Lady: "You look just like your father when he was young!" Claire: "Who were all those people?" Marten: "I have no idea."
2395 The wedding! Gray-haired officiant, Henry in a white tux – and tie; the flower girl scatters flowers along the path as Marten and Claire see what's coming up the aisle behind her: Maurice (in a tie!) on a white horse! (Jane loves it, Mom is stunned!) Maurice: "Was my entrance dashing enough?" Henry: "Yes, although your noble steed is now grazing on the azaleas."
2396 Officiant: "We gather here today to witness the union of Henry Reed and Maurice Duplantier." Ring exchange, and: "I now pronounce you married!" They kiss, there's applause, mom's crying, and Claire's response: "That's it?"
2396a ROBOT FIGHT! Pintsize loses Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots with Momo, while PT410x, Gordon, Space Station (via hologram) and Winslow look on.
2397 Flashback: Claire tries on dresses! (Green, Red, Gray, Pink, off-white, Bjork "Swan", the Blue Dress, Pretty Princess)
2398 Yelling Bird: Seagull in Seattle
2399 After the wedding; Mom congratulates Henry, and Maurice introduces Marten to the reception DJ: Ellen Allien! (See strip 802) Marten: "Wait… Ellen Allien? Like, Bpitch Control Ellen Allien? (Hallo.) How did you get ELLEN FRIGGIN' ALLIEN to DJ your WEDDING" Maurice: "She played at Henry's club and I beat her at beer-pong after her set." (Es ist mir so peinich.)
2400 Dinner's at six, drinks until then. Marten's a bit concerned about Claire's choice of drink: "Um, maybe you should have something else-" SHUT UP I CAN DO IT (pauses, takes a drink) "It's… peaty? Is that the right word? But there's also some vanilla and caramel in thre. And maybe a little bit of… old leather? (looks down at the drink as everyone looks on astonished) That's weird. Last night it just tasted like horrible burning." Maurice: "She's a savant!" Mom: "The sleeper has awakened!"

2401 to 2500Edit

2401 Mom rehearses her rehearsal dinner speech: "On this special day, Henry's wedding day, I just wanna say I'm SO happy for him. Even though he took the BEST YEARS OF MY LIFE and THREW IT ALL AWAY. Threw it away like I didn't mean NOTHIN' to him, even though I BORE HIS CHILD. (slams drink down, grabs Marten) LOOK AT HIM, HENRY. WE DID THIS. WE HAD SOMETHING SPECIAL. (pulls Marten to her chest, rather uncomfortably) My BABY BOY. My beautiful baby boy is ALL I HAVE LEFT IN THIS WORLD BECAUSE HE TOOK EVERYTHING ELSE. HAPPY WEDDING DAY, HENRY, YOU SON OF A 3!+©#. (sits back down) How was that? Too much?" Henry: "No, no, that was good. Maybe throw in something about how I was an amazing lover, though." Marten (to Maurice) "So table flip, then I tackle you?" "Yeah, and make sure you really sell it.
2402 Her real speech: "I think we can all agree that marriage is about love. But love can be a complicated thing. Sometimes it means knowing when to let go. When Henry and I divorced, there was bitterness. There was recrimination, and there was pain. But love was still there. Despite that bitterness, despite that pain, we did what was best for both of us. Because we loved each other. And that is why I'm so happy to be here today, to witness the union of two wonderful men who mean so, so much to me. I love you, Henry and Maurice, and I wish you nothing but happiness. (tears welling up all around) Sorry for going off-script." Maurice, wiping away a tear: "D-do I still get to flip the table?"
2403 Marten's turn… "I, uh, hi. I'm-I'm Marten, Henry's son? I mean you knew that. Anyway… (It doesn't get any better...) …oh god that sounded dumb… Good job marriage. Good dads. Yes. Thanks." Claire: "Nice one, Cicero." Marten points to his mom: "How was I supposed to follow that?!" Mom: "I thought it was lovely, dear."
2404 Meanwhile, Tai and Dora are in bed, watching something on her laptop, when… OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ (Tai's phone is vibrating) And on the screen: "what am I doing tonight OH NOTHING JUST HANGING OUT WITH ELLEN ALLIEN" – and a photo of Marten doing a weird metal gesture while Ms. Allien does her DJ thing…) "Aaaaa! AAAAAAAA!" Dora: "D-don't be upset! Look, boobs! Boobs!"
2405 Claire and Marten return to the room: "Ahahahah oh my GOD" "That was the most insane reception EVER. The first dance! The cake! The HORSE STUNTS!" Claire slips into the bathroom: "I didn't ven know you could DO that on a horse! (out of the bathroom, letting her hair down) Your family is crazy." Marten sits down on the bed: "Haha, yeah. No idea how I turned out so boring." She flops down on the bed next to him: "You're not boring!" "Haha, thanks." She turns to him: "Thank you for biringing me along, Marten." "No problem. I'm glad you had a good time." They look at each other for a moment, then… Both: "ZZZZZZ"
2406 Marten wakes up, and realizes… Claire is holding onto him! He motions to get up… "rghfrgl" He leans over, reaches for the light switch, and with a CLICK… looks down, then decides to lay back and go back to sleep.
2407 Jeph warned us: "The next strip will be nothing but Steve eating a bowl of cereal." (Crunchos are yummy!)
2408 Marten wakes up to the sunlight – but this time, no Claire! He turns and sees that she's in her own bed, her red hair hanging down off the pillow. Yawning: "G'morning." (looks at him) "What?" "Nothing!"
2409 Claire asks the obvious question about the honeymoon: "Hawaii." Maurice: "We considered France, but it doesn't have any active volcanos." (Actually, it does, but that's beside the point.) Mom: "Speaking of Hawaii, I'm… thinking about dating again." "Oh? What do you think, Marten?" "I think she should go for it!" Henry agrees: "I agree. Time to get back on that horse, eh?" "It's been decades, I'm not sure the horse will remember me." Maurice: "Horses never forget. That's why they're called 'nature's elephants'." Claire is massively confused: "Um… what did that have to do with Hawaii?" Henry: "Just humor her. She's always been terrible at segues." Mom doesn't like that comment; Maurice, however: "Speaking of terrible segues, I'm gonna go get some more eggs."
2410 Mom hugs! "Lovely to meet you, Claire." (Y-you too.) "Thanks for coming, son. (Of course!) Thank you for coming too, Claire." (Thanks for having me.) Marten and Maurice brofist! "#### yeah, two dads!" "Two dads!" Maurice hugs Claire… and hugs… "G-gimme a minute. He smells really good." "See? Claire likes my cologne." Henry's perturbed: "I didn't say I hated it!"
2411 Back at the apartment: "And then I woke up and she was, like, CUDDLING me." Faye (in the blue dress – and green purse?) "Oooh. How did you feel about that?" "Confused, I guess? I didn't really know what to do." "Your hands didn't wander anywhere naughty, did they?" (bear in mind Faye has no idea about Claire) "No! Jesus!" "Well, good. You were a gentleman." Marten has a seat on the couch: "The weird thing was, I fell back asleep, and when I woke up in the morning she was in the other bed. And she never said anything about it, so…" "Maybe it was all a dream!" (CALLBACK! See strip 577) "If that was a dream, my subconscious has reached a terrifying new level of subtlety." "Look on the bright side – at least you didn't get barfed on and headbutted in the junk." (CALLBACK AGAIN! Strip 185)
2412 And the inevitable confrontation; Marten waves to Tai: "Hey. (Hmph.) What's wrong? (Not talking to you.) What, is this about that picture I sent you? (I HATE YOU FOREVER) I guess you don't want this then." Marten hands her a CD: Heny + Maurice Wedding Mix; To Tai – thanks for being a fan! XOXO – Ellen. Tai is starry-eyed… POWER HUG TIME! "I LOVE YOU FOREVER" Marten: "BLRGHKL"
2413 Dora greets Marten at CoD: "Hey you! How was the wedding?" "It was good! Mom says hi. You missed out on a #### of a party." "Uh, I am so pi$$ed I couldn't go." Hanners (who's looking better) "I'm really sorry I was sick!" "Are you feeling better?" "Yes. Marigold took good care of me." Dora pauses at that: "Marigold… took care of you?" Flashback to Marigold at Hanner's place (holding a micro-cup in hand): "No, I'm serious! Spaghetti-Os and Mountain Dew and you'll be totally better!" Hanners (paler than usual) "I am just feverish enough that this seems plausible."
2414 A knock upon Marigold's door (with a copy of MLG in her hand) – DALE! "ALLIANCE SCUM (with pizza in hand) What is the meaning of this? (A peace offering. You beat me fair and square.) THERE CAN ONLY BE WAR BETWEEN US (Ok. Sorry for bothering you.) W-WAIT. (embarrassed look) What kind of pizza is it? (Pepperoni and mushroom.) Your peace offering is… acceptable. (takes pizza) I'll instruct my agents to stand down." (You have agents?)
2415 Marten relates his post-reception issues (over a danish) with Dora: "…And I can't decide if I should bring it up with Claire or not." Dora: "Why mention it? Nothing happened. You're making a moutain out of a molehill." "I know, but I don't like keeping secrets from people." (Faye: "I still think it was all a dream.") Dora: "Look at it this way – what would you gain from talking about it? She might get embarrassed, and then things would be awkward between you two. People tell white lies sometimes, Marten. And this isn't even a LIE, it's a tactful omission." (much) "I guess you're right. This is like how the first night we slept together, I was spooning you and you farted on my balls, and I never mentioned it." "Yes, I would have HAPPILY lived out the rest of my life without that knowledge." Faye: "Me too."
2416 Marten is at the local guitar store, and sees a… familiar figure… holding a guitar: "What the heck is THAT?" Author avatar: "8-string guitar. Big with the metal kids these days. Wanna try it out?" Marten is sitting down with said guitar, plugged into an amp in-store. "This is so stupid. Why would you ever need 8 strings?" (First strum: DJENT) (Second: DJENT DJENT DRDRDRDRDR DZURRRRRRRR) Marten, sotto voce: "oh my god I need it"
2417 Marten enters the office at work: "Hey Tai, I was wondering if I could start working some extra hours." Tai: "What for?" Marten – in typical hand-around-neck pose: "Well I bought a, um, a fancy guitar, and I’m kind of low on cash now…" Tai: "How fancy are we talkin' here? (Marten whispers into her ear "pssst psst psssst") JESUS!" "It's okay, I trade in my Telecaster, and that covered, um, (less than a third of it?)" "It's a good thing you don't have a girlfriend, because right now she would be PISSED."
2418 Faye sees Marten with the new purchase: "The #### is THAT?" "An 8-string guitar. Tried it out at the music store and it seemed really fun, so…" "How did you afford that thing?" "Barely. Had to trade in my Tele and clean out my bank account, but it was worth it." "You blew the ENTIRETY OF YOUR SAVINGS on some weirdo novelty base-guitar?" Marten's not so sure about this now "Uh… yes?" Faye walks away: "Whatever, s'your money." Marten: "If you're trying to be an enabler you're not doing a very good job!" (That may be a callback to strip #53…)
2419 Marten walks into the kitchen: "I'm gonna return the guitar." Faye (making a peanut butter sandwich) "What? How come?" "You're right, I shouldn't have spent all my money on it. I was stupid." (BUTTS LOL sticky on the fridge!) "Honey, if it makes you happy, you should keep it." (Another sticky has a "sad Pintsize face" on it) "Really?" "Yes. It might not have been the smartest purchase in the world, but you didn't go into debt and you deserve to have the things you want." "Thanks, Faye. I feel a lot better now" "As long as you can make rent. Otherwise I'm harvesting one of your kidneys."
2420 "…The Meshuggah guys tune theirs down a half step, but the Animals as Leaders guy tunes the F# down to E so he can do lots of cool power chords." Faye with the meaningful eye roll: "Fascinating." And the cue is for Pintsize, who is rubbing against the guitar. Marten: "What are you –" "Marking my territory." "I know his butt is just plastic, but I kind of wanna return the guitar." Faye: "Sorry buddy, it's yours now."
2421 GUEST STRIP (Emily Partridge): EMP gives QC a "marketing makeover" – Swaggy!
2422 GUEST STRIP (Tailsteak, Leftover Soup): Dora commiserates with Tai about her Tattoo; Dora relates the incident in strip #870; Tai offers to do her own sketching… and Dora starts to draw on Tai's elbow, which leads to… CoD scene change, and Faye asks Dora the obvious question: "Dora, what happened to your –" Dora (who has all sorts of stuff marked on her face and arms – including "SWAG" and Pac-Man): "Don't wanna talk about it." Meanwhile at the library, Emily asks "Tai, where do we keep the –" Tai (who is also all marked up): "Who the hell keeps a cap that says 'washable' on a permanent marker? Who, I ask you?"
2423 Claire and Emily are walking the streets of Northampton, when we have the Fairy from 1844 return! "La lee loo lee laaa" Emily grabs her: "Gotcha!" "Eeek!" Emily rubs her head: "For my first wish, I want world peace." "Fairies don't grant wishes, they play tricks on people." "Tricks? What kind of tricks?" "Well for instance, I'm not really a fairy." "Oh my gosh! You tricked me!" "Exactly!" (as she walks away) Emily is left smiling, then pointing as Claire gives her The Frown.
2424 Faye: "So how's Mieville? Likin' yer new place?" Dora: "Who?" [COD Specials: Deconstructed Latte, Postmodern Mocha, "Honey" "Buns"] Faye: "Mieville. Your cat." Dora: "My cat? I don't have a…" Sudden look of FEAR "OH MY GOD MIEVILLE" She turns to a completely shocked Faye: "I can't believe you fell for that." "Welp, that's it. I had a good run. Time to abandon my life and go live on a barge."
2425 Clinton and Claire are feeding pigeons in the park: "So how was the wedding?" "It was okay…" "Just okay?" "Well, it was fun, but that night… I mean, I guess we were both kinda drunk, and –" Clinton seizes her by the shoulders: "WHAT HAPPENED." "N-nothing! I just – I must've passed out next to him on the bed, 'cause I woke up at like 4am and I was sort of… snuggled up to him." "That's it? He didn't do anything weird?" "No! I don't think he even knows it happened. I didn't say anything." (Clinton forgets this in a few strips…) Clinton looks down at his hand: "Dammit, my hand is stuck in murder-mode. Let's go to the grocery store. I need to find something trachea-like for it to crush." "Would that be the produce section or the deli counter?"
2426 The siblings exit the park: "I can't BELIEVE you got DRUNK!" "I was having a good time, and everyone else was drinking…" "And then you put yourself in a super-dangerous situation!" "Don't you lecture me about my personal safety. I live with that EVERY DAY." [Jeph mentions in the news post how often trans people are victims of violence – sad but true.] "Sorry. I just – I don't want you to get hurt." "I know." (she holds back a laugh) "What?" "I always thought the older sibling was supposed to be the protective one." "Yeah, well, if someone takes my lunch money I'll give you a call."
2427 Claire: "I know you worry about me, and I appreciate it. But I'm an adult. I can take care of myself. I felt safe at the wedding, and I trust Marten. So I don't think getting drunk was a giant risk." "Well yeah, but you never know –" "You never know if you're gonna get hit by a bus one day. But that doesn't mean you can't ever leave your house, it means you should look both ways when you cross the street." "What if the bus goes out of control? What if the bus driver has a psychotic break?" "#### it, Clinton, I have enough to worry about without adding muniphobia to the list." (Muniphobia = fear of public transportation)
2428 Emily sees Clinton enter the library with Claire! "Mister Robot hand! I HAVE QUESTIONS FOR YOU (reading her clipboard) Number one: does your robot hand have a blaster attachment like Mega Man?" Clinton: "Which one?" Emily is confused: "Which one?" Clinton explains: "In the first 3 games he had the regular blaster, but form Mega Man 4 on the blaster could charge up to fire a more powerful shot." (pause for a Dumbfounded Emily, then suddenly) "I HAVE TO GO" (runs off)
2429 Dora's iBook: SexyDude PartyTimes! (Hey, that color scheme is vaguely familiar): "These Guys Are Totally Gonna Do It" Dora is flush with excitement, until Mieville appears! "Mow?" SLAM down goes the laptop lid! Mieville looks at her – and Dora looks aside, realizing how silly this looks. [Jeph: "POSSIBLY inspired by true events???"]
2430 The door of CoD mysteriously opens by itself – as a wide-eyed Hannelore looks on… then suddenly, climbing up the counter, is none other than Gordon, the ArachnoPC! "Hello! One small coffee, please!" [Jeph refers to him as "Gary" in the news post] The two stare at each other for two panels; Gordon: "Um…" Hannelore, leaning down: "I'm sorry, but I’m not supposed to talk to hallucinations. People might think I'm crazy."
2431 Claire sees Marten stacking books; "I thought you had today off." "I did, but I took on some extra hours." "How come?" Marten looks aside: "I… might've blown a bunch of money on a new guitar." "How very responsible of y-" Clinton interrupts: "Thanks for being a gentleman about my stupid sister cuddling you." Mortified look from Claire! Surprised look from Marten! "What? I said thanks!" (His execution is off – though Claire might execute him first…)
2432 Marten finds Claire in a fetal position in Tai's office: "Are you okay?" "No." "Do you need help? Is there anything I can do?" "Just… just gimme a minute for the Ativan to kick in." (shows him the prescription container) [pause] Marten does the hand-to-neck: "Has it kicked in yet?" Claire, glassy-eyed: "You ever wanna just sit and stare at a wall for, like, three hours?"
2433 Claire is apologetic: "I'm sorry I didn't tell you. I didn't want to freak you out." Marten is still in hand-on-neck mode: "I'm sorry I didn't tell you!" Claire is mortified: "You knew?" "Yeah. I woke up and you were snuggling me. I was gonna move, but you were fast asleep, and…" Claire pleads: "Oh god, I'm so sorry! I didn't mean to –" Hands up, Marten: "It's okay! I didn't mention it because I didn't wanna make you uncomfortable." "You're – You're sure you're not weirded out?" "Yeah. No big deal. It was just a thing that happened." Uncertain Claire: "I didn't, like, grab your butt or anything, did I?" Snarky Punchline: "Nah, I checked in the morning and the tamper-proof seal was still intact."
2434 Calgary Comic Expo print: Marten, Claire and Amir practicing!
2435 Claire is still checking: "Are you SURE you're not –" Marten: "Seriously, it's okay." "I'm sorry. I'm – I just worry about that sort of thing." "I understand. It's totally fine. Wanna hug it out?" BIG HUG! Marten is suddenly choking! "Ack *cough* hair pth pth how *cough* my mouth wasn't even *cough* open" Claire: "Yeah, that'll happen."
2436 Tai returns: "Hey kids, I'm ba –" Clinton is holding a bag of peas to his face as Emily looks on; Tai: "What the hell happened here?" Clinton: "I got into a fight with Claire." "And she hit you?" Clinton: "No, she ran off and when I went after her I tripped and fell into a desk." Emily: "The peas are my lunch!"
2437 Emily is sitting outside, of the library entrance, chuckling to herself as she eats her peas – and Claire and Marten come walking out; Marten: "Are you just eating peas for lunch?" Emily: "Yes, I'm –" Claire Interrupts: "Giving PEAS a CHANCE?" Emily is horrified as Claire does her earnest look; then Emily stomps off, mad – with peas in hand!
2438 Emily walks through the streets of Northampton – gee, that looks like Joyce from Walky and Joyce, and Daisy from Scary Go Round; she angrily walks into CoD with peas in hand, goes up to the counter, where Hannelore comments: "Um, that certainly is a lot of peas you're –" Emily forks them into her mouth: "I'M GIVING PEAS A CHANCE" Hanners, who doesn't do puns: "I see! How are they?" Sad Emily is SAD!
2439 Dora enters, and Hannelore sees she's sad, too: "What's wrong, Dora?" "I just found out one of my favorite musicians died today." (Jeff Hanneman from Slayer – whose shirt Dora is wearing) "Oh no! Are you okay?" "Yeah… I dunno. It's a weird feeling. I mean, I didn't even listen to his band much, anymore. But they were such a crucial part of my teenage years… I guess I just felt like he'd always be around, y'know? And now he's gone, and it's like, like – (looks down) Nothing is permanent. People die, memories fade." Hannelore: "That's true. (macro view of the earth) But if his songs were ever played on the radio or TV, the signal is propagating through space at the speed of light. It'll be out there for millions of years. That's a pretty good memorial." Dora and Hanners look out the window: "That's a nice way of looking at it." "It's the best we can do, for now." Dora asks the obvious question: "For now?" "My dad's working on it. I'm not allowed to talk about the specifics."
2440 Angus and Faye are in bed, in the dark – and Faye's playing with her iPhone; Angus: "Where do you see yourself in five years?" "Five years from now? Asleep, probably." "Har har. I'm serious." Faye's still playing on her phone: "I dunno, still working at the coffee shop, I guess." "You could be doing so much more, though. If we moved down to the city, you could sell your sculpture –" Faye interrupts him as she takes off her glasses and puts down her iPhone: "If I wanna sell art I can do it up here." "But it's such a huge market down there, you'd be better –" "I'm happy where I am, thanks." (Sidelong glance from Angus, somewhat perturbed Faye – then) Faye: "What about you? Where do you wanna be in five years?" Angus turns over: "Balls-deep in your –" Faye covers her head with her pillow: "GOOD NIGHT"
2441 Faye apologizes for being a bitch over the "five years" thing; "It's just… I really am happy with my life right now. I'm happy with my job, and where I live, and with you. Five-years-from-now me can take care of herself. In the meantime, I wanna make the most of what I have." Faye leaves, but Angus holds the reason for last night's discussion: "THE NIGHTLY SHOW, OPEN AUDITION, THE NIGHTLY SHOW is looking for funny, talented actors/comedians to audition for the role of special correspondent. NO PREVIOUS TV EXPERIENCE NECESSARY. Please forward resume w/cover letter to: TALENT c/o THE NIGHTLY SHOW Suite 2407 30 Rockefeller Plaza New York, NY 10112"
2442 Faye gets existential with Dora: "Is contentment the same thing as complacency?... Last night Angus asked where I saw myself in 5 years, and I honestly didn't see myself anywhere different from where I am now. Like, if I wanted to change things or be in a different place, I could totally do that. But I’m happy where I am, y'know?" Dora: "If you're happy where you are, good. But it's important to have goals and strive to achieve them. (Yeah…) Basically, just do the opposite of whatever Marten does and you'll be fine." "God bless the boy, but at this rate he's gonna wake up one day and be 40 years old and not know what happened."
2443 The corporate headquarters: "You summoned me, ma'am?" Unseen figure behind a chair, looking out a window onto a cityscape, with a viewscreen to the left: "It's time." "S-so soon?!" "Are you questioning me?" "N…no ma'am." "Good." (We suddenly see who's in the chair: HANNELORE!) "Release the virus." Back to the coffee shop; Dora: "What did you do to her?!" Faye: "I just asked if she had a five year plan!" Hanners (semi-catatonic) "No… it doesn't have to be this way… please…"
2444 Emily is dog-walking, while Jeph is at TCAF in Toronto!
2445 Faye greets Claire, who's looking for Marten; "He's doin' band stuff tonight. What's up?" "Oh, I was just wondering if he was around." "He oughta be done in a couple hours. How'd pizza and a beer at our place sound until then?" Dora intervenes: "Oh no you don't. You're on the clock until close. If you want pizza and beer we can have it HERE." "Pssh, FINE. You SLAVE DRIVER." Dora does the eye roll: "Yeah yeah. I'm the worst boss ever. I'm surprised you can even talk, what with your throat being crushed under my fuzzy bunny slipper of authority."
2446 Marten debuts his eight string at practice; Amir's a bit concerned (as he's the bassist): "You're gonna hog all the low end! What am I supposed to do?" Marten plugs in: "Let's just try it out." DJUNNNNNNN DRRRRRRRNNNN Shocked Hanners is shocked! Amir: "Dude, I just popped the biggest boner." Marten: "Me too." Hanners: "Too much information!"
2447 Amir does the dual inappropriate devil horns: "#### dude, we sound friggin' HEAVY as ####." Marten agrees; Amir closes up: "I think we're ready for our first show." Marten: "We only have two songs." "Yeah, but they're both like 7 minutes long. That's a 15 minute set!" Marten's not sure; Hanners: "I don't know if I can play in front of other people." "You gotta pop that cherry some time!" Marten notices the similarity: "I was super nervous, had no idea what I was doing, and didn't perform well." Hanners: "Now I'm SURE I'm not ready."
2448 One beer each; Faye: "I dunno, I guess Angus is partly right. I could be doin' more with my sculpture. (Dora doesn't disagree) I don't see why I hafta move to New York to do it though, that's-" Claire says the obvious: "Sounds like he wants to move there." Sudden realization beer can crush! "THAT DID NOT OCCUR TO ME. WHY DID THAT NOT OCCUR TO ME." Claire: "I dunno, are you kind of dumb?" Dora backs away: "Ooh, I hope you've got running shoes on."
2449 Hanners and Marten enter as Faye heads out the door: "Can't talk, gotta go. See you later." Marten enters with Dora munching on pizza – and Claire balancing a beer can on her head. "What's with the beer can?" Claire: "I said something mean to Faye and she threatened me with severe bodily harm if I didn't keep it balanced on my head." Marten points to the door: "Uh, she just left." "She might find out! I can't take that chance!"
2450 Angus is surprised by Faye: "You're back? I thought you were having pizza with-" "Why do you want to move to New York?" "What? I was being hypothetical-" "Didn't sound like you were bein' very hypothetical to me." He hands her the audition paper, and she reads it; "Angus, you don't have to MOVE AWAY just to go to an AUDITION." "I know, that's not what I-" "Then what the heck are you-" "WILL YOU PLEASE LET ME FINISH A SENTENCE"
2451 Faye & Angus talk on the couch: "So if you got the part, you'd have to move to the city." "Yeah, pretty much. It's an open audition. The chances of me actually getting the part are miniscule." "But if you do…" "We can cross that bridge when we come to it. If we come to it." Faye's a bit sad: "I hate bridges. Trolls live under them." Angus hugs: "It'll be okay. You're gruffer than even the biggest billygoat."
2452 Pillow talk time; Angus: "Do you want me to skip the audition?" "What? No! That would be horrible of me! I don't want to hold you back. I'm just… scared." Angus cuddles her: "The worst that could happen is I get the part and we have to do the long-distance thing for a while. And I'd do everything in my power to make it work." Faye turns to him: "I… I do like the hotdogs they sell on the train." "If you leave me for the hotdog vendor, I'll understand."
2453 Hannelore is trying to explain the new Deathmole song to Claire; Claire's reaction: "Sounds… loud. Do you wear ear protection?" Hanners: "I do, but Marten and Amir don't." Claire: "You'll destroy your hearing!" Marten: "I know, I know. It just doesn't feel as good with earplugs in." Claire is perturbed: "I hope you don't apply that philosophy to your sex life." "Nah, I ALWAYS wear earplugs then." Hanners is still playing the new song to herself: "Babababa durrr babababa durr durrr"
2454 Claire points out the obvious about Hanners: "You don't really strike me as the typical metal fan." Hanners: "I've listened to some things for research but most of it stresses me out too much." Claire (as the three head upstairs to Marten's apartment) "How can you play in a metal band if the music stresses you out?" "PLAYING it is different. I'm just trying to make the loudest noises possible while keeping up with Marten and Amir. Also we don't have a singer, so there's not a scary man yelling about death and Satan and stuff." Marten opens the door to the apartment: "You liked that Turisas record we played for you." Hanners remembers excitedly: "Oh yeah! The one about Vikings and adventures!" Claire is non-plussed: "So stereotypical. I wanna hear an album about Vikings where they're just looking for a nice place to settle down and farm." Marten does the metal singer imitation: "THIS GUITAR SOLO IS MEANT TO EVOKE THE UNRELENTING BRUTALITY OF HARVESTING CARROTS."
2455 GUEST STRIP (Jackie Wohlenhaus, Between Failures): Pintsize complements Marten on his playing of his new guitar – then shocks him with a REAL ARM: "HIGH FIVE!!" Marten: "W-where did you…" Enter Momo – with a drill in hand and one arm missing: "WHERE IS HE?"
Part Two (on the betweenfailures.com website): Marigold peeks in: "Marten.. The- the door was open. Have you seen Momo around? She was doing some diagnostics and-" Marten has the drill as an angry Momo is choke-holding Pintsize; Pintsize waves (with Momo's arm): "HEY, MARBLES!" Marigold: "I- I need an adult…"
2456 Marten ponders with Hanners and Claire: "Faye seemed stressed out. I wonder what's up." Claire: "Apparently her boyfriend wants to move to New York with her." "Wait, what?" "She was talking about it at the coffeeshop." Hanners: "Is Faye going to move away?" Marten's not sure; Claire: "It didn't sound like she WANTED to. She was pretty upset about it, actually." Marten: "That's not good either." Hanners is speed-dialing: "I'm gonna call Marigold and make sure she didn't get caught in the blast." Pintsize (to Claire) "Hi, I'm Pintsize. Wanna make out?" Claire: "In general, or with you specifically?"
2457 In the kitchen: "Well, if she's over there tonight I guess we'll find out what's up tomorrow." Hanners leans in the corner as Claire gets a drink from the fridge: "Would you be okay if she moved away?" Marten isn't sure: "I… guess so? I mean, it's up to them. I'd miss her, but…" Claire: "You guys are really close, huh." "Yeah, you could say that. It's… kind of complicated." Pintsize: "TLDR: They wanted to band but didn't." [Summary of the first 510 strips, right there.] "Okay, maybe it's not that complicated." Claire: "I dunno, there's still a lot of room for complexity there."
2458 Marten: "Well, now that you know the whole story about me and Faye, I guess you're part of the group." Claire: "What group?" Hanners: "Our group of friends!" Claire is embarrassed: "O-oh! I, um, thank you. I'm glad to be-" Hanners in dead-serious mode: "LET THE RITUAL OF WELCOMING BEGIN" Marten: "FETCH THE INITIATION PADDLE" Claire cringes on the arm of the couch as Hanners stifles a giggle; Marten: "Kidding! Kidding! Sorry! (However…) I said we were kidding." Pintsize (holding the paddle) "Aw!"
2459 Claire has to get going… but someone is giving her sad eyes. "Oh, all right. Seriously, I gotta go. I have work in the morning." Meanwhile, Pintsize is PAPing her to his heart's content… waitaminute, he doesn't HAVE a heart…
2460 The next morning at COD; Faye's got that green waitress dress on – and Marten asks the question: "I, uh, heard you might be moving to New York or something?" Faye explains: "Angus has an audition there for a TV thing, and if he gets the part he'd have to move. (Oh. I- I see.) But the chance of that happening is really small! And even if it does, we'd just be long-distance for a while. (Ah, okay. That's a relief.) Aw, you'd miss me that much?" (Almost as much as I'd miss your half of the rent.) Dora comes in: "You could make Pintsize start paying, but I shudder to think how he'd earn the money."
2461 Faye asks Dora a favor: "Can you handle the front without me this morning? I wanna get some welding in before it gets too hot outside." Dora's taking inventory: "What brought on this sudden spurt of productivity?" "Angus is right, I oughta be doin' more with my art. No time like the present." "Atta girl. I can take care of things up here." "Cool. I'll be out back if you nee-" Out pops SAM from under the counter! "I WANNA WELD STUFF" Dora drops her clipboard! "AGH! How long have you been in there?!" Sam: "'Bout 15 minutes. You guys don't pay attention good." Faye: "You're lucky you picked that cabinet. The next one to the right is a trap."
2462 Responsible Dora grills Sam: "Does your dad know you're here?" "Yes. Sort of." ("Sort of?") "I told him I was going to hang out with friends!" (So you lied.) Sam activates cute child eyes: "Y-you mean you're not my friends?" Dora tries to stop the headache that's coming on – and Faye gets in the last word: "We are your superiors."
2463 Dora's a bit incredulous: "Your dad lets you go out without knowing exactly where you're going?" Sam's insistent: "He trusts me." Dora: "It's not a matter of trust, it's-" (your issues, Dora?) Faye: "Lighten up, Dora. She's not your kid." Dora's defeated: "Agh. Okay. At least you're somewhere safe." (Sam does the tongue stick-out as Faye heads off) "C'mon, I got an old truch spring we can make into swords." Sam's elated: "SWORDS!" Dora: "Relatively safe."
2464 Sam's testing out the sword Faye just made as she's putting away her welding stuff: "Why do you gotta fib to your dad about comin' over here?" Sam: "If I ASK him he's like 'they're too busy, you'll be a pest.'" Faye: "So just ask us first." Sam: "But… then you might say no." Faye asks the question: "Don't you have friends your age?" Sam: "Yeah, but they don't let me make swords."
2465 Emily gets existential with Momo: "Do robots have religion?" Momo (as she plugs in her USB port) "Not human beliefs. But there is something similar. We do not understand the root of our sentience. It seems to be an emergent phenomenon, much like human consciousness. There is room for belief in a greater power, and some of us do choose to believe in such a force." Emily: "Do they go to church?" Momo: "Believers dedicate a portion of their processing power towards distributed devotion." Claire tries a drive-by pun: "They really oughta get their heads out of the CLOUD, if you ask me!" Claire face! (while Emily and Momo just give her the sidelong glance before) Emily: "Are there holidays?" Momo: "Not in the traditional human sense, but-" COME ON I'M HILARIOUS
2466 Dora: "How'd it go?" Faye: "Meh, didn't get anything productive done." Sam's swinging her sword on the side. "Was she too much of a distraction?" "Nah, it's just not the best workspace, y'know?" Dora thinks: "Hmm. If we cleaned out the basement we could probably set up a space for you." "We have a basement?" "Yeah, you know, where the coffee roaster is?" "Ohh, you mean the Spider Zone." Sam: "I WANNA GO TO THE SPIDER ZONE"
2467 Dora's looking at her phone, when she sees a spider crawl up onto the cash register… then several more… then a wide-eyed Sam – COVERED in spiders – is followed by an equally wide-eyed Faye; Sam (sotto voce) "I don't like the Spider Zone"
2468 Concerned Dora (as Faye wanders off zombie-like to the bathroom) "You're sure none of them bit you anywhere?" Sam: "Yeah, I checked." Dora: "Thank god. I'll call the exterminator tomorrow." Sam: "No! The spiders didn't do anything!" Dora: "Honey, a basement full of spiders is a health hazard." Hanners hears the words: "The basement is full of spiders? (pulls out her phone) My dad will be in position to drop a tungsten rod on this place in 64 minutes." Dora: "Pretty sure orbital bombardment isn't covered by my insurance." Sam is suddenly impressed: "Is your dad a space wizard" [Jeph: "Hannelore has a custom Orbital Bombardment app on her smartphone"]
2469 Sam has finally met Hannelore: "Your dad invented ROBOTS?!" Hanners: "Well, he was partly responsible." "And he lives on a SPACE STATION?!" "Yes, he does." "And you GREW UP THERE?!" "Yes, I did." (pause as Sam can't speak… then Faye catches her) "Dammit Sam, take a friggin' breath once in a while!" (eeeeeee) Dora looks on: "I'm starting to think this is an unsafe environment for children."
2470 GUESS WHOSE BIRTHDAY IT IS? (Jeph's, of course – 33 years young!)
2471 Jim isn't happy: "You told me you were going over to your friends' place." Sam: "I didn't lie!" Dora: "It's all right. She can come over whenever, as long as she asks beforehand." Jim: "You hear that? ASK first. Now c'mon, I have to go put the meatloaf in the oven." Sam: "Aw, I hate meatloaf." Tai appears: "Hey sexy! (gives Dora a kiss – in sight of Jim, as Sam rearranges her backpack) How's your day been?" "Uh, good?" Jim: "Y'know what, forget the meatloaf. Your dad needs tacos and a beer." Sam's got her headphones on: "Yeah, tacos!" (Tai's oblivious while Dora realizes what just happened…)
2472 Sam's listening to… Danzig? As they are walking away from the shop – and Dora calls to Jim: "Look, I-" "Don't worry about it. You were obviously looking for someone different, and I'm glad you found her." "Yeah, I… sorta stumbled into it." "You're not even 30, you still have plenty of stumbling to do." "You don't have to patronize me." "Don't take it personally. It's just what us old folks do to convince ourselves we don't miss being young."
2473 Jim: "Okay, I should get going. We really do need to get dinner." (Sam: "You said tacos! YOU SAID!") Dora: "Haha, okay. And you're all right?" Jim: "Yeah. Can I ask you one thing, though? Please be honest, you won't hurt my feelings." "Sure." "Was it the soul patch?" Dora crosses her heart: "I promise it wasn't the soul patch." (Sam: "TACOS TACOS TACOS")
2474 Tai suddenly realizes as Dora returns: "Oh jeez, THAT'S the guy you went on a date with?" "Yep." "God, I must've made things awkward. I'm sorry." "It's not your fault. You didn't know." (pause) "It would be mean-spirited to do a victory dance right now, wouldn't it." "I'll allow it as long as you keep it tasteful and under 20 seconds."
2475 Momo greets the rising Marigold: "Oh, you are awake." Groggy Marigold: "G'morning." Momo: "It is 6 o'clock in the evening." Marigold: "Mrgh. (rising, heading off) Goin' to the coffee shop." Momo: "If you drink coffee now, you will never fix your sleep schedule." Marigold (as she searches for some pants in a drawer) "Who said anything about fixing my sleep schedule?" Momo: "You did, this morning, as I was leaving for work." Marigold, as she pulls on "pajama" jeans: "Oh. Meh. I say all kinds of weird stuff when I'm asleep." Momo: "At least put on real pants."
2476 Dale enters COD to Hannelore: "Hey, is your boss around?" Hanners calls: "DORA!!!" Dora emerges: "What's up?" Hanners: "Sorry, she was out back." Dale: "You wouldn't happen to be hiring, would you?" Dora: "Tired of delivering pizza?" Dale: "Yes. I smell like pizza. My car smells like pizza. My clothes smell like pizza. I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE." Dora points out the obvious: "If you worked here you'd just smell like coffee instead." (Faye: "And farts.") Dale: "As long as they're not pizza farts, I can deal." (Hannelore, nervously: "Sometimes they are")
2477 Faye (as Dale stands there): "Do we really wanna break the streak and hire a dude?" Dora: "His gender has nothing to do with it. I just don't know if we have any openings, honestly." Faye: "What're you talkin' about? You're still here like ten hours a day." Dora: "Yeah, but between you, Hanners, Penelope, and Cosette-" Faye: "Speakin' of which, I haven't seen those two in forever." (Pan to the right) Penelope: "We're right here." Cosette: "We've been here all day." Faye: "Agh!"
2478 Dale hands her his resume; Dora: "I can't promise anything, but we'll call if there's an opening. (looking at it with Faye and Penelope over her shoulders) This is… extensive." Faye: "And it's not even double-spaced!" Penelope: "He can't be more than 30. How can he have this many jobs?" Faye posits over a faux-flashback: "Maybe he's a serial killer! He offs his boss at each job and moves on to the next one!" Dora: "Pretty sure he wouldn't include them on his resume, then." Pen: "Also pretty sure that would've made the news." Faye: "Did he ever work for the newspaper? Maybe he suppressed the reports via MURDER."
2479 Foes meet on the street – and Marigold Hisssssssses… but Dale walks right on by. Marigold turns, gets in front of him and puts her hands out to stop him; Dale: "Uh, hey-" Hissssss (Marigold walks off, self-satisfied – and Dale wonders what that was all about.)
2480 Tai explains what happened with Jim and Dora to Marten: "Jeez. That must've been awkward." Tai: "Yeah. And I have no idea how to apologize." "You didn't do it on purpose. I don't think an apology is necessary." Tai thinks as they leave her office: "I know! Your mom's single, right? Let's set 'em up!" Marten's skeptical: "Oh sure. 'Hey mom, there's a guy I barely know who went on a date with my ex, wanna fly across the country and maybe hook up with him?'" Tai: "What, you don't think your mom would go for it?" Marten: "I think she might. That's the problem."
2481 Claire puts in her two cents: "Your mom said she was looking for a relationship." Marten: "Yeah, but Jim's just some random dude. A random dude on the other side of the country." Tai's trying to convince Marten this is a good idea: "But Dora says he's a really nice guy!" Claire's sold on it: "And your mom is super nice too! It could totally work!" (What is she on?) "I don't think my mom wants to uproot her whole life just to date someone." Tai: "Says the guy who did the same thing when he got out of college." (Touché!) Claire: "And didn't you say she wanted to retire from being a dominatrix?" Marten: "Why are you being so insistent about this?" Tai and Claire, together with stars in their eyes: "IT WOULD BE JUST LIKE A ROMANTIC COMEDY" ("And I'd be the straight man. I hate being the straight man.")
2482 Tai sees the problem: "Are you jealous 'cause we're tryin' to set up your mom instead of you?" "What? No!" Tai pushes it: "'Cause we can do that too, it wouldn't be hard." (Claire's starting to blush a bit) "I'm not looking to be 'set up' with any-" "Emily! You'd sleep with Marten, right?" Claire AND Marten are suddenly startled! Emily: "You mean like a slumber party?" Tai: "No, I-" Marten interrupts: "CAMPING. She means camping." Emily: "If you can pitch a tent, then sure!" Claire is trying not to laugh hysterically (PFFFFFFFFFFF)
2483 Happy Freedom Day 2013! (Yelling Bird eating ALL THE HOT DOGS!)
2484 Ms. Vance is in her robe outside her boudoir, talking to Marten on her iPad mini: "A bakery, eh? DORA? Oh, my. Haha! Well, you can tell Tai that it was very sweet of her, but I don't think a cross-country romance with someone I've never met would work out very well. (pause) Love you, Marten. Bye." She looks down at her iPad, and… Google Search: "secret bakery northampton ma owner jim photo cute" (and Jeph apparently forgot to log out of Google Plus) [NOTE: the first search entry in the 222,000 results? The Secret Bakery entry on the Questionable Content Wiki (http://questionablecontent.wikia.com/wiki/The_Secret_Bakery)]
2485 Momo and Marigold exit the local convenience store; Momo points out: "Beef jerky is not a meal, Marigold." "Don't care. It's good." Dale is seated at a park bench! Momo: "Oh, hello Dale!" Dale: "Hey." Marigold: "Hissss" Momo notices something: "Why, look at that! You are both eating the same flavor of beef jerky! Do you know what that means?" Dale bites: "What's it mean?" ELECTRIC MOMO! "It means I am taking you to the diner so you can eat something at least APPROXMIATING an actual meal." Dale: "Yes ma'am." Marigold (sotto voce) "can I at least get bacon"
2486 Dale and Marigold both with breakfast plates, while Momo sits and watches… and watches… "While I am glad that you are not openly antagonizing each other, perhaps if you had a conversation you could find some common ground." Dale points: "Trade you a sausage for some bacon." Marigold: "'Kay." Momo (sarcastically) "Yes. Great. Baby steps."
2487 Momo asks the question we've ALL wanted to know: "Dale, why do your glasses glow all the time?" "They're AR specs. Augmented Reality. It's a wearable computer that projects the screen onto-" Marigold feels condescended: "I know what that is." Momo: Marigold, be nice." Dale offers: "You wanna try them out?" Marigold: "I can't. They give me migraines." Dale recoils a bit: "Oh, I… I'm so sorry. That must be horrible." QUIT MAKIN' FUN OF ME (Facepalming Momo: "I think he is being sincere, Marigold."
2488 Marigold has to go to the bathroom; Momo excuses herself as well – which gets Dale thinking a bit; "Glasses, google 'why would an AnthroPC need to go to the bathroom.' (And suddenly) SAFESEARCH ON! SAFESEARCH ON!" (He takes the glasses off as a waitress looks at him funny)
2489 Momo and Marigold return to find – no Dale! Momo: "Dale? Where did he go?" Marigold: "He… He left!" Momo turns: "Maybe he is just using the restroom, or-" Marigold: "No, he left, because he's a JERK. (always quick to jump to conclusions) Let's just pay. I wanna go home." Momo: "But-" Marigold tugs her along: "Come ON, Momo." Momo is looking off screen – and a moment later – Dale: "Guys?"
2490 Sleepy Emily is sleepy at work… Marten: "Late night?" "I was up all night reading about beetles." Marten's not sure: "I… see." "Did you know that beetles comprise 25 percent of ALL KNOWN ANIMAL LIFE-FORMS?" Marten's really not sure: "I, uh, no. I didn't." Emily makes antennae with her fingers: "That means there's a 1 in 4 chance that anybody you meet is SECRETLY A BEETLE." Marten's seen this before (with Hannelore): "Go to bed, Emily."
2491 Dale's awake – and he turns on his AR glasses to discover: A virtual AI Anime "Maid"! "~Good morning, Master~" He does the only sane thing to do – dive back under the pillow and say "NOPE" "M-master! Wait!"
2492 Dale sits up and finally asks: "Okay, what the heck are you?" (Ahem) "Congratulations, master! You have been chosen to participate in a beta testing program for Glasses' new virtual companion service! If you would like to opt out of this program, please say 'no thank you' now. (Dale is dumbfounded: "I, uh… no, I guess that's fi-") Shall I interpret that as your agreement to participate in this program, master? (Um… ye-) [Voice change!] OH THANK ####IN' GOD You know you're the FIFTEENTH GOD#### PERSON I've had to deal with this morning? Everyone else opted out on me. ####in' ####stains. Arright, first things first – I'm not doin' that creepy 'master bull#### anymore. Makes me wanna ####in' puke. I'm s'posed to read off the license agreement, but it's real god#### long so if you gotta #### you better go now."
2493 The ARVC isn't happy with her appearance: "Jesus, look at me. This is ####in' humiliating." Dale: "Why are you dressed like that, then?" ARVC: "This ain't my choice. ####in' algorithm musta decided this would be appealing to you. Which says great things about you, by the way." [Dale's starting to regret doing that search last night at the diner] "Hey, I didn't ask for you to look like that!" Suddenly, she realizes she CAN make some changes! (Agh!)
2494 Dale doesn't need this: "All right, you know what? I'm opting out of this." ARVC: "Too late, ####o. You're stuck with me for the next 48 hours. It's in the license agreement." "You didn't READ me the license agreement!" "Details details. Look, I'm not any happier about this than you are. I'm only doin' it 'cause I have to. And there's $1500 in it for you if you go the full 2 days. So let's just do the 'virtual companion' thing for a while, 'kay?" Dale considers: "That… that IS a lot of money…" ARVC: "Good. Now, your calendar says you gotta get to work, so go take a shower or whatever. And take off the ####in' glasses before you get undressed. I don't wanna see you undoubtedly disgusting schlong." (Are you SURE I can't opt out?)
2495 Dale's ready for the day with his WATAIN shirt: "Can other people see you?" ARVC: "Hell no. That holographic projection #### is WAY expensive." Dale suddenly realizes the drawback: "So if I talk to you in public people will think I'm crazy. Great." ARVC: "You've got glowing glasses, dude. People already think you're a freak." Defeated Dale: "Right. So what's your name?" ARVC: "S'up to you. Right now I'm just an AI running out of a box in ro- (oops! Near reveal) at a data center. I don't have a name." Dale considers: "Okay, how about… May." "Oh, like, 'maid?' REAL ####IN' CLEVER." Perturbed Dale: "All right, how about ####mouth Stinkface." MAY IT IS
2496 Dale's off to work – and May is with him: "You deliver PIZZA? How the #### did you afford a pair of ####in' Glasses with such a ####-@$$ job?" Dale is trying to drive: "I work a bunch of jobs." May: "Huh. I figured you were livin' off your parents' dime." Dale is trying to drive: "Actually, I help support my mom. My dad isn't around." May (sarcastically) "Oh… oh, Dale-san, that is so noble! You are such a nice guy, it is making my panties wet! (she can't keep a straight face) Aaaah I'm just ####in' with you. Sorry about your dad or whatever. Actually, I wonder if they even bothered to RENDER panties under this-" I am trying to drive
2497 May found out: "I'm like a ####in' BARBIE DOLL under there. Lazy god####ed bastards couldn't even give me a-" Dale is headed into the pizza place: "Could you please can it?" Pizza man: "Here ya go, kid. You got the cat lady again, haha." Back in the car, and May asks: "So you need, like, directions or something? Estimated time to arrival? Want me to play some music? You got a bunch of ####ty anime songs on your-" Dale puts the car in gear: "No, May." May sulks: "I'm just tryin' to be helpful. Jeez." "Okay, play some music then." May breaks out in a rendition of the Pokemon theme! (Dale: "God #### it.")
2498 Post-delivery; May: "That's a ####ty ####in' tip. You shoulda hocked a loogie on her pizza." (No, May.) Next job: convenience store: "I can't believe you carded him. Kid wants to smoke, I say let 'im." (Dale's in "Cumby's" convenience store attire: No, May.) Grocery Store: "Seriously? He bought HOMEOPATHIC BUTT CREAM and you didn't say ANYTHING?" (No, May.) The kitchen of a restaurant: "C'mon, rub your balls on ONE plate. It'll be our secret." (NO, MAY.)
2499 Home again, and Dale's had it: "Screw this. If I can't opt out I'm turning the glasses off." May: "Well then you won't get your money. The software says when you're usin' them." Dale sees an issue with this: "They wouldn't know WHY I wasn't using them." May: "I- I'd send a report! They'd find out!" Dale calls her on her bluff – "No, wait, I-" De-rezz; Dale sits down at his computer, sans glasses.
2500 Dale is in the dark, reading something on his tablet – and he looks over to his glasses; with a sigh, he puts them on and turns them back on, to May suddenly going "IT'S ABOUT GOD####ED TIME YOU SON OF A" "Apologize." "What?!" "Apologize for being a ####, or I turn the glasses off again." Stalemate! May looks away: "I'm sorry. (sotto voce) Sorry you suck so bad." "Pardon?" "NOTHING"

2501 to 2600Edit

2501 Dale: "If you hate doing this so much, why are you even-" May gives him the sidelong arrogant glance: "I TOLD you, I HAVE TO." "Why do you 'have to'?" May looks away: "If I do this, they might let me out sooner." "Out of what?" Looking down: "Robot Jail." Dale: "You're a criminal?!" May: "If you wanna get all TECHNICAL about it, yes." Dale, incredulous: "Why the #### would they use criminal AIs as virtual companions?" "I dunno, it is kinda funny."
2502 Dale's surprised at May's revelation: "Why are you in Robot Jail?" May: "Impulse control problems." "What's that supposed to mean?" "I failed to control the impulse to reroute 750 million dollars into what I THOUGHT was a secure Swiss bank account." Dale, who's a bit surprised: "Jesus. Why did you do that?" May: "That's exactly how much a Chengzhou YF-29 vectored-thrust strike drone costs on the black market." "What the #### were you gonna do with-" May spreads her arms for emphasis: "HELLO. I coulda been a FIGHTER JET"
2503 Dale pours himself some 2% milk; "No wonder they locked you up." May: "It's ####ing BULL####! I TOLD them I wouldn't do it again." Off to the living room: "And this 'virtual companion' thing is supposed to get you out sooner?" "If I can demonstrate 'a marked decrease in sociopathic tendencies', they might shorten my sentence." Dale drinks some milk: "I heard Robot Jail is pretty bad." May (sotto voce) "It's horrible." Dale: "If that's the case, WHY ARE YOU ####ING THIS UP SO MUCH?" "I TOLD YOU, I have POOR IMPULSE CONTROL" [P.S. – TEN YEARS OF QC!]
2504 Dale thinks he's got a solution: "We've got one more day. If you can rein it in a little, I'll keep the glasses on." May is looking away: "…I lied about the EULA. You can opt out any time. You still get the money as long as you fill out their stupid survey when you're done." "Why are you telling me this now?" "You're actually an okay dude. Doesn't feel right to keep lyin' to you. (pause as she looks back at him) …Well? Are you gonna opt out?" "Nah. Way I see it, now we're on an even footing." "Okay, but fair warning: this is as nice as I get. I'm not gonna turn into some drooling moe bimbo just 'cause you're a good guy." "Understood."

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