Chapter 3, Page 14

A trustworthy face~

Unrelated gif, but sort of in line with the overall aesthetic of the comic (warning: sort of in line with the aesthetic of the comic)

I’ve mostly been posting page previews for MI, but we’re overdue for an animal dump so I might put one up on Patreon in a few days. We’ve got another update here and one more on TM this week to round out the 12x updates for March, thank you all so much again for your readership and support!

Today’s closeup art: I just like this panel




  • Localized

    Crabs are essentially ocean spiders.

  • RichWalk9891

    And so we finally learn the name of our alien friend.

    And it’s interesting that Mike is concerned about living when he was ready to commit suicide in the beginning, though he is still making some life-threatening decisions such as potentially drowning trying to reach the LEVi.

    • Vert

      I think Mike’s main concern that he has the ability to make that decision on his own. His psychosis seems to revolve around perceived messages trying to control him (“do you want to keep trying?”), and he flat-out told Bex that being in control of his own life was the only important thing. He set out to die on his own terms, and that decision was taken away from him.

      Now, if he dives down to LEVi, realizes he’s not going to make it, and decides not to try… then I think he’ll be really pissed off when Armsh- Kallakore rescues him somehow.

    • shingworks

      Yeah, also Mike has a pretty solid track record of making extremely poor decisions, in the comic at least. If he wasn’t already fired, I’d fire him!!

    • Fridge_Logik

      It’s important to remember that emotion plays a large role in depression. Mike’s recent experiences have shifted his mental state away from sadness and the pain has caused his survival instinct to kick in. Ever since Mike fell down the hole he’s been riding a combination of pain, adrenaline, and endorphin’s (both from the wounds and the environmental stimulus).

      He didn’t like his previous environment but now that he’s in a new more hostile one the experience has given him a new appreciation for his old life.

      • David

        I think he’s just in a situation that’s so weird that he’s temporarily suspended any path his mind was following in the beginning

  • Mouse

    Visceral response to unrelated gif:
    Haaaugh aaaugh aaaghlaugh aggghhh aaaahhhh

    When I was little I fell into a shrub full of baby cane spiders.

    Aaaugh laaaaugh blaaaaugglhaaaaaahhhh

    • msouth


    • shingworks

      RIP Mouse

      • Mouse

        She died like she lived; covered in spiders.

        • Roc

          You should come to Australia. Then you can live like we live: covered in spiders.

    • Corbie

      That gif … warning or no, that was EVIL. :D

  • LostYooper

    Only if he still had his PLSS or thigh-friend.

  • Brad

    Did she just confuse mirror and pool/pond? Also, she’s not being honest about something. She knew Mike was expecting to do more than look at a broken Levi from a distance.

  • Mal-L

    Kallakore Armshark has a good poker face… Probably comes from not emoting the same way we do.

  • skay


    kallos – beauty (calli- comes from it)

    kore – maiden. could be referring to ancient Greek statues of maidens and very quick search pulls it up as another name for Persephone.

    now we need a kako someone.

    • DS

      Be interesting to know if Kallakore named themselves after encountering LEVi or before. Perhaps their name in Martian translates to “beautiful maiden” so they opted for the Greek version when speaking to Mike.

    • DS

      Also, regarding Persephone, she was called Kore primarily until she was abducted by Hades and then became Persephone. She went from being a virgin maiden to Queen of the Underworld and the name change reflects that, iirc. Hmm, they kinda are in a Martian underworld…

  • Toast

    Huh, in my language “Kalla kårar” roughly means a shudder caused by a gust of wind (or poltergeist). Ominous foreshadowing?

    Ps: If the thripping was a english dialect I imagine them as either very polite, russian socialists or incredibly rude scotts.

    • shingworks

      lol… oh no… I hadn’t considered that the thrips were actually hurled insults. If so, he’s been mouthing off for pages.

  • skay

    I’m relieved from the last comic. Kallakore seemed to be telling him that something bad would come from asking questions.

    Really great and creepy moments: 1) He asked for it, and 2) questioning things is a bad idea.

    I’ve had a bumpy ride with each page. Things seem like they could go way dark but then the next page jerks them back.

    • shingworks

      Ah, haha, no, Kalla was referencing this earlier conversation. Although generally I would agree that they do not come off as 100% friendly all of the time.

  • Lorenzo

    I can only imagine how fun it would be to watch those grass thingies create a pink wave as mike walks through.

    Also, Kallakore calling the lake a mirror is really interesting. I still don’t know if they actually know english or if the symbiotes in mike allow him to understand the martian.
    If Kallakore actually learnt english through LEVi, I’ll assume it means that they somehow retrieved the definition information from the robot and used it to learn.
    I can’t picture LEVi confusing the lake with a mirror and teaching the martian the wrong words, right? AIs are supposed to be precise, right? Or maybe you’ve been reading about Artificial Neural Networks, Der-Shing?

    This is all very interesting.

    • shingworks

      *looks at tabs*
      *open tab is Deep Learning*
      *it is scrolled down to Artificial Neural Networks*

      no… oo…

  • Ceceoh

    Or maybe Kallakore uses the lake as a mirror, so that’s what she calls it. She called the cave her dwelling, but doesn’t seem to have furnishings in the traditional sense. She has to have some way to get that updo of hers looking right.

  • Cthulhufish


  • That name fits nicely, especialy if you translate it to swedish:
    Kalla = cold
    Kore (kåre) = shiver
    Cold shiver. Down my spine. Yeaph :)

    • shingworks

      Dang, that is so interesting! XD I love that it has a meaningful translation (in a way I did not plan for)

  • Lar

    Can I use the bonus art close-up of Kallakore as my phone background?

  • Spav

    Kallakore is always going to be Armshark in my heart.

  • Dreampiper

    Hmm I dont think leading another alien species to the surface is going to be a good idea. Or at least it never worked out in human literature. But who knows! Maybe it will work out this time!

    • Vert

      Kallakore may be equally concerned about humans finding the mare, too. We don’t have the greatest history when it comes to contact to new cultures.

      Also… there’s never just one of anything. Where are all the other armsharks? Has Mike encountered another misfit in exile, or is the place crawling with them and big K here drew the short straw?

      • Sam

        Just because others of Kallako– dang. nope. can’t do it. Just because others like Armshark exist somewhere doesn’t necessarily mean that there has to be another one close by. Most earthly predators are territorial (ominous implications) and for the predators who are big and strong enough the top of the food chain, like bears and panthers, there are only more that one in a single place when they are breeding

  • Tindi

    Man, his leg does NOT look good.

    • shingworks

      I’m sure getting the open wound nice and soggy will work wonders.

      • Vert

        There are probably entire phyla of parasites he hasn’t encountered yet! So many new friends to meet!

        • StClair

          And so many internal and external passengers of his own that he’s introducing to them! Who will win in the end?

  • LameFox

    I wonder if it’s considered rude to drown in somebody’s mirror.

  • I could know where the highest point accessible by walking is, but there is no way there’d know a way to the surface itself. If there was, the atmosphere in the cavern would have vented, followed by any water and everything down there would have died.

    Seen that way, any sentient down there probably really hopes the hole the 2 humans fell in was plugged by tons and tons of falling rocks, else it’s gonna bode really bad for them in the long run.

    • LameFox

      He’s got the same problem now, too, so I’m curious what he plans to do at the surface even if he could get to it.

    • David

      If the path to the surface is narrow and convoluted, and the atmosphere is being actively replenished by organisms down there, then it could work.

  • David

    I think it’s interesting that this is the first time he indicates an awareness of the fungus thingies growing on his head

    • Vert

      He was going to examine them using the water of the Mare as a mirror but he was interrupted. By Kallikore. Hah, and that’s probably why she just now called it a mirror, that’s how she first saw him using the water, so for all she knows that’s what humans *do* with water.

  • Corbie

    Eergh I just remembered that one time I misjudged depth of clear water, and almost kicked the bucket (more like: gulped it down). Without reference on LEVi’s actual size, I believe he’s at least 5m down, more likely appears “only” 5m down, which is 3/4 of the actual depth. Plus further mindfuck the shape of the Mirror might come up with, and whatever Kallakore means (cool name btw.)
    7-8m in saltwater are tough without equipment like decent fins, no bulky suit, a mask and with the intention of grabbing and surfacing old, possibly rusty metal. Don’t feed the fish all your blood, Mike, you might need some.

    • Vert

      On the other hand, Mike’s a 1g critter operating in a 1/3g environment. His endurance and strength, even while weakened by parasites, is probably better than Kallikore is guessing, even taking that into account. If Mike is a strong swimmer to begin with, it *might* be doable. Just.


      • Aristatide

        Also thighfriend could come out and start whipping around like a propeller.

        What. It could happen.

      • Corbie

        Yeah, and he’s pretty trained too. It looks physically possible, just real tough, the sort of stuff professional / army divers train for. :)

        I’m not an professional diver, but I did accidentially grab the door of a sunken car one time, even with thin gloves. Some hope remains for Mike’s hands that LEVi is not made from anything that could rust. (I can’t stop making guesses how LEVi got in there.)

  • Lord Hideous

    Coincidentally, in an ancient dialect of Martian, old and forgotten, the name “Kal Lak Ore” means “Shark with Big Arms”.

    • shingworks

      That would be like me naming my kid “Pinkish Bipedal Stick,” which is a rad name. You might be on to something.

  • Graf

    Other than cold shivers and pretty ladies, Kallakore also immediately made me think of a re-garbled form of ‘karakol’, which is a somewhat out of fashion Dutch word for an edible whelk/escargot.

    And a ‘kalle’ is a hag in one of our dialects. Pfrt.

    Very interesting name, that’s for sure.

  • Twyll

    Guys, we’re forgetting something. Sure, it’d be normal to call a pool of water “mirror” on Earth, but this is *bioluminescent* water– it doesn’t WORK as a mirror!

    Unless the Kallakore has a strong enough light source stashed away somewhere to out-shine the glowiness of the water so that it reflects, I think…? I don’t know much about the physics of light and reflections and such…

  • CaveMonster

    I’m curious, has it been addressed about the thing growing on michael’s face? Did I miss a page?

    • shingworks

      They first appeared here and have done nothing but get fatty for the past howevermany pages. Although you should already know about them, CAVE MONSTER!!

      • CaveMonster

        Hey, now….that’s profiling. I’ll have you know that I live in a very stately, regularly cleaned, rent controlled cave. The closest thing to strange growths is when a roommate forgets to remove a leftover for long enough. XD

  • Sabrina

    I was shopping for plants right now and came across an image of an infestation of thrips

    which remind me of this thrip

    I’m just a little shocked that thrip is already a word, let alone a real insect

  • Android 21 3/7

    No idea why, but I find the cluster of crabs just so ootsie cutesie adorabibbles. Odd, since the cluster of harvestmen made my skin crawl.

  • Spongegirl Circleskirt

    Kallakore! You lying sack of Armshark! You do know how to get to the surface! You just want to keep Micheal for yourself so you can play with your food before you eat him!

  • kingleon

    Bah! The truly creepy spiders of the ocean are the ‘sea spiders’, aka the pycnogonids, whose anatomy looks all wrong and awful the more you learn about ‘typical’ arthropod anatomy. And those heads, ughhhh.

  • Chiro

    Oh, soldier crabs! Those are really hard to catch =| As a child I would chase armies of them across the beach until they all burrowed away.

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