Comic 1082 - Return to "your room"

Posted on 21st Jun 2018, 12:45 AM in Hope
Return to "your room"

<<First Latest>>
Average Rating: 5 (7 votes) / Rate this comic

Author Notes:

Morgenstern 21st Jun 2018, 12:45 AM edit delete
You peek through the door at the left side of the hall. The door that would connect your room to the outside doesn't exist in your mindscape, usually, and you're still not sure how you're going to get the mouth to leave with the rest of you--

but as you poke your head in, you discover the door has manifested itself, and... the mouth is no longer a mouth.

The smallest you comes running, hugging tightly to you.

The other you, the... last you, glances aside. Her tone is dry, hollow. "This is really what you're afraid of, isn't it? Becoming him. The detachment, the fading humanity... you're afraid it's a spiral you won't recover from. Yet... you won't get rid of me. You can't. You don't have the stomach for it, to forcibly excise some part of yourself. You could drag me to that big, black hole downstairs... and be rid of me."

She inhales sharply. "That's the catch-22, though... isn't it? To use your powers to consciously remove some unwanted portion of your mind... to make the decision to restructure your identity, improve yourself by destroying a conceptual core of who you are. ...It's the sort of thing Thale's done. Removing Thale-esque thoughts, in itself... would be to act like Thale. You really can't win."

She smiles. It's a fake, vacant smile. "I'll always be here. Whenever you get hurt, whenever you suffer loss, regret, helplessness... you'll consider me. Consider... becoming me. Invulnerability. Absolute power. At the cost of disconnecting from your humanity, perhaps... but even that's a kind of power. Isn't it? You'll come around to me, eventually. When things get bad enough... you'll seek me, and I'll be waiting for you. It's only natural. To seek godhood, to crave immortality...

it's only human."


Toricon 21st Jun 2018, 1:00 AM edit delete reply
Perhaps we'll give in, eventually. Perhaps we won't. Fighting the inevitable is *also* very human.

So are hugs. Hug her.
Portal In Time 21st Jun 2018, 2:31 AM edit delete reply
Portal In Time
I really like this answer. We're all human in our own ways.
LytharWolfe 21st Jun 2018, 7:16 AM edit delete reply
I agree. To be human is to fight against fate to your dying breath, and when asked at the end, to say "it was worth it."

Maybe we'll give in, but I really, really doubt it.
lil Joshu 21st Jun 2018, 11:15 AM edit delete reply
lil Joshu
+1 to hug, +1 to "fighting the inevitable is also very human"...

Though my thought, why not both? God-Mine thinks we can't retain humanity and godlike immortality because we identify with our body. But we can regenerate our body. As long as there's -some- part of our body that remains to regenerate from, it's still our body. And if we drop just a few backup cells into the red, and since the red already has an imprint of our memories, we can just keep regenerating from near-nothing in absolute worse-case scenarios (kinda like deadpool but less murder-stabby and more hugs), and it's still our body. Thus, both desires can be in harmony.
echo 21st Jun 2018, 11:37 AM edit delete reply

I couldn't decide which gif to use, then it hit me.
Skullrama 21st Jun 2018, 12:04 PM edit delete reply
The problem is that if we are currently identifying as our body and our body dies... we are dead. The reason we didn't die last time our brain got splatted is because we were currently identifying as The Blood when it happened, and there are consequences to just doing that all the time.

We can try to come up with ways around that, i.e. switching to identifying as The Blood in an emergency, but that might be difficult to achieve.
Twelveseal 21st Jun 2018, 2:08 PM edit delete reply
Why not just recognize that Mine isn't just her body? I mean, especially now, when she's in ghost mode and is literally just energy, and in the face of other ghosts, it seems pretty clear that even as a human, she's not just the body. But Mine has even more to her than that, since she's also The Red, and thus her identity, her soul, isn't limited to her body or even her freed imprint. Her body is a part of her, but not all of her. It's just a part she likes and is comfortable in, a part she's known from the very beginning.
Skullrama 21st Jun 2018, 2:43 PM edit delete reply
That would take a pretty big reconceptualization of self and still maybe involve giving up some humanity.

Right now, Mine feels that being human is what makes her who she is - without those things, she is not herself, and thus she is dead. She gets those things as part of the human condition - you need a body and a brain to feel these things the way a human does.

To acknowledge that she could live without her body, she would have to not truly classify the parts of her that rely on her body as necessary to her being - they would have to be acknowledged as optional. This changes the context for her perception of self - what makes her who she is - quite a lot.
Twelveseal 21st Jun 2018, 3:08 PM edit delete reply
True. Though part of what I'm getting at is more about redefining what she thinks of as human. It's similar in nature to Caius's questioning of his identity after the body switch. He kept his brain, sure. But he was still questioning whether he was really himself. Add into that the fact that he's still Caius, and presumably still human, as a ghost sans body. So, to make things heavy, what is human? What defines the self? What is a man (besides a miserable little pile of secrets)? What makes Mine Mine? I feel like this is something she needs to contemplate. Not to abandon any part of herself, but rather to group hug all of the parts.
winger 21st Jun 2018, 10:39 PM edit delete reply
is a human a bunch of meat and bone? is it a mind with a body? or is it the soul that strives to do good?
rufiangel 21st Jun 2018, 1:09 AM edit delete reply
Having her around is just a solid reminder of what we never want to cave to. There's no escaping the fact we have this possibility open to us, so we just have to face it and own it properly instead of pretending it's something we'd never consider. Every time we consider it, we just come up with a 'but no'. As many times as it takes, because we're only human.

With acceptance comes renewed determination~ \o/
Cyanic 21st Jun 2018, 1:09 AM edit delete reply
That's okay. Give her a nice smile and pat her on the shoulder, (hugs come later)

Even if we don't really want to be you, we're still glad you're here

Let's let everyone talk to her. Even if we can't convince her/us, it'd be nice to hear everyone's reasonings to not embrace that power. From Rationality us to kid us, would be cool to hear what they think.

After that's done, let's peek into the door near our bedside because I thought *that* was the door to the hall
1977 21st Jun 2018, 1:54 AM edit delete reply
+1 to let's everyone talk to her.

+1 to check out the closet.
Guest 21st Jun 2018, 2:43 AM edit delete reply
Skeleton-Mine: Be in the closet.
Blue_Elite 21st Jun 2018, 3:14 AM edit delete reply
Twyll 21st Jun 2018, 1:16 AM edit delete reply
You're treating this far too much as an all-or-nothing proposition, Despair Mine.

Like a child saying "I'd be safer if I were a grown-up," when really, adults face plenty of dangers themselves-- just a different kind of danger, with a different kind of responsibility. We could go full eldritch god, and then realize that other gods now consider us fair game in their turf wars, or end up having to solve things like entropy.

Some distant day, we may still go full eldritch goddess, once we've done as much living as a human as we want to do. But we don't need to do that *now.*

It's probably wise to try to set up some kind of reflex that, if our brain is ever destroyed, kicks us into The Blood mode so we can fix it. Your fears are rational, and we should take steps to mitigate them. But your solution to those fears is *not* rational.

It's fine that you'll still be here. We wouldn't want you to go away. After all, you make some good points, and point out weaknesses that we need to deal with. We just don't agree with your solutions, that's all.

Now, hug time!
Cyanic 21st Jun 2018, 1:19 AM edit delete reply
good points, agree with this

cosmic-level turf wars are simultaneously the best and worst
Vahno 21st Jun 2018, 1:59 AM edit delete reply
Everyone needs a naysayer when planning. Someone to point out the flaws. The weaknesses and problems. Someone to argue against every move to help better weigh the options.

Someday, we may give in. And... we may not. Perhaps we are killed, well and truly before events come to their end. Perhaps we give in, and bring our full might to bear against Thale. And perhaps we survive, not as a god, but as Mine. Then what? Perhaps we choose immortality, living beyond any mortal. Or perhaps, now that Thale is gone, we abandon our power. Perhaps, we choose to live, not as a god, but as a human. Choose to be mortal. Finite. Temporary.

I have no idea how this may turn out... But until the end comes, we will continue. One choice at a time. One step at a time.
Akasha 21st Jun 2018, 1:27 AM edit delete reply
I've nothing to add to the conversation with this particular Mine, since you guys seem to have this down right.

All I'm wondering is if there's anything in the closet. May as well see if there's anything there.
Xylas_Incarnum 21st Jun 2018, 3:14 AM edit delete reply
Eh, Immortality doesn't require the complete and total cessation of being able to care about others. The grind of time's what really erodes empathy though that usually takes at least a couple hundred years. And THAT'S mostly due to the whole "loneliness on the peak" deal.

Besides, the big difference between Thale and Mine? Thale doesn't believe in using power responsibly. Mine is perfectly capable of doing that.

So long as Mine does use her power responsibly she won't become another Thale.... Though that in itself would be kinda hard due to the whole he's a pretender she's the real deal thing.

Anyways Go Uncle Ben.
PurpleKetchup 21st Jun 2018, 2:23 PM edit delete reply
With great hugs come great biceps?
Blue_Elite 21st Jun 2018, 3:19 AM edit delete reply
I wonder if we can convince fear!Mine to hug ┌_┌!Mine.
Gigafreak 21st Jun 2018, 7:19 AM edit delete reply
She's mimicking Patton Thale's facial expression. Though aside from that, I kinda see it as ಠ_ಠ-Mine. That's harder to type, though, so I think I'll just start calling her Thale-Mine.
Twelveseal 21st Jun 2018, 7:50 AM edit delete reply
She should just turn into Liz-Mine.
Cuttlefish 21st Jun 2018, 4:21 AM edit delete reply
Hopefully when everything is said and done with Thale, we can sit down and really ponder what the future looks like for ourselves. As inevitable as this Mine thinks claiming our Godhood is, we can take heart in the thought of Mine's mother. She had godhood and abandoned it in pursuit of what Mine has now. She, too, faced the same deillema and chose mortality. We can too, and this power could die with us. The cycle of stretching thin and devouring the universe could end. The Tradesmen and the Library seem to hope so. And just like Mine's mum, we have our loved ones to keep us in check and human as we continue.
Nayru9572 21st Jun 2018, 6:25 AM edit delete reply
Though it's also possible that Mine'll eventually have a child, who'll then be quarter blood-god. Given that it's Mine's child, however, I don't think we'd need to fear them destroying the universe or anything. Maybe trying to hug it, but no more.
Swagner 21st Jun 2018, 5:25 AM edit delete reply
You know what's better than quasi-magical auto-lobotomy? Learning how to feel emotions without necessarily acting on them.
Ablaze 21st Jun 2018, 6:07 AM edit delete reply
There's no reason to say you can't have immortality and humanity. Why treat this as a binary choice? You've been doing impossible things daily, why stop now.
Nayru9572 21st Jun 2018, 6:23 AM edit delete reply
Eh, she's part of our mind as much as Fear-Mine is part of our mind. And personally I dislike the idea of hiding our friends away more than the idea of non-humanity, yet I find her perfectly likeable. Just get the two of them out into the hall for a group-hug (no debating about it, mortality-Mine).
Also, make sure that Child-Mine is accustomed to the others' appearance before hugging. She might be Mine, but she's also still a child and might be a bit scared seeing all of them the first time.
Archon 21st Jun 2018, 7:56 AM edit delete reply
What is humanity, really?
I certainly couldn't say.
But I can say it's more then being a pile of viscera in the making.
That we are even having this conversation says we still have our humanity, whatever form we might take.

Besides, you aren't representing our powers, are you?
You represent our fear of using them.
Our fear of ruthlessly utilizing our powers to win, and losing everything we hold dear in the process.
Our fear that to embrace our powers is to become a monster.
So you know what?
We do need you. We need you to help us remember who we are, what we're fighting, why we haven't just ended this world.
A reminder to hold on to our humanity.

So, come on then. Let's go. The others are waiting for us.
Skullrama 21st Jun 2018, 8:19 AM edit delete reply
This. She seems to represent our concern for the consequences of abusing our powers as much as the temptation to do so.

Having her gone, and thise concerns banished, would be... Bad.
Leafia_Barrett 21st Jun 2018, 9:31 AM edit delete reply
I like this answer.
Twelveseal 21st Jun 2018, 8:12 AM edit delete reply
I agree that there's a lure to power, but to what end? Especially when we'd just be diving into the unknown world that Mrs. Ametsuchi came from without any of her knowledge or experience and at the expense of all of Mine's friends. To give up all she knows and cares about for an uncertain future, to just run from responsibility and even her own self, isn't something I feel Mine would ever voluntarily do. She's not one to deny that a part of her desires that, contemplates it, but she's not one to act on it. In fact, such thoughts help to define her humanity, as she considers them but does otherwise whenever possible. This God!Mine is a welcome part of her, even if she only seems to conflict with the consensus.

Now then, it's hug time.

Then we need to consider if there isn't an easier way to come chat with the rest of Mine's psyche, like we do with Red. Or getting them together for brainstorming. They might come up with interesting ideas for power uses, good backup plans, or just random fun with alien abilities.
ReikoLupus 21st Jun 2018, 10:47 AM edit delete reply
You are our desire for great power. Our fear to fail because of or frail life as a human.
But having desire for power isn't a bad thing. In fact, we need to have more and more power if we want to fight Thale, and maybe the others Gods that oppose us.
We simply need a balance between Human and God. Is better if we don't discard neither of those.
A Human and a God. Both at the same time. That's the way we can achieve what we want and need.
Guest 21st Jun 2018, 2:06 PM edit delete reply
Does it make sense to try and scour this mindscape for any trace of Nil?

Or to ask everyone what our thoughts are on our companions? Or on how we'll do this again for Faraday?
Twelveseal 21st Jun 2018, 2:14 PM edit delete reply
D: Hadn't thought of that at all. Maybe that's what lies beyond the closet... that empty void.
PurpleKetchup 21st Jun 2018, 2:18 PM edit delete reply
Mine already rid herself of Nil, at the cost of some precious childhood memories.

For Faraday, we might have to incident-F both Tesla and Edison so they're on the same scale as Faraday herself, then she may be able to pull herself together... not entirely sure though.
Hambone 21st Jun 2018, 2:20 PM edit delete reply
I'm sorry but "Angry Eyes Jane" is too cute. And ye gods, mini-mine's tiny pig tails/ twin-buns are just overload.