Chapter 4, Page 23

Remember when Mike had a very bad day and said some mean things about LEVi? Cuz Threvi does :\

Also, apparently doesn’t mind if new Best Friend doesn’t trust him off-leash

I’m having a bona-fide Senpai Noticed Me moment with this Mike fanart from Notmusa, I am still processing that this awesome artist knows who I am and took time to draw this untrustworthy AWOL scientist ;__;

Reminder that you can nominate Mare Internum (and/or other comics) for this dealio if you’d like to help support comics in a relatively fast and easy way!

Patreon bonus stuff for today will be up soon, but I’ll post the page first and then come back and edit as I am wont to do. Will probably be streaming another page later today as well! Hope my US friends had a nice 4th of July and didn’t blow too many fingers off with explosives.


  • Spark

    Dun dun dun. Time for the moment of truth. Martians are friends, not food.

  • Glavos

    Well Bex, Where IS Kalla?

    • Gonfrask

      Well, is in the “bex-lly”

  • Luc

    I miss Kalla *sobs*

  • Margaret Hogg

    Terrible as it is, I don’t think the reason for Michael’s anger at Bex for abandoning her kids really clicked with me before. And LEVi is basically a kid being controlled and manipulated by his parent-creators. :( And Kalla is still gone. :( :(

    • shingworks

      I don’t think it would have been super obvious prior to the last page, or this chapter in general, since the LEVi we’d been hearing about was presented as more of a function-oriented robot. In reality he’s got two jobs of being a science robot and being a marketing tool to help fund a privately owned company. I started thinking about that after reading that the Cars franchise has made 10x more profit from selling toys than from the film itself, kinda crazy.

      • Margaret Hogg

        Yeah, I just realized the backstory starts just after that, as well. It’s just really interesting when the pieces start falling into place in your mind. I’m continually impressed by this story. Also, I love Bex, even though the plot has given me reasons not to. She might be my favorite character. Thank you so much for creating this comic!

    • Pylgrim

      Ahhh it took you to put it into words for everything suddenly clicking into place in my mind. That’s why they thought he was crazy, feeling personal attachment for what they saw only as a piece of machinery/marketing tool.

      • Ingrid

        Mike actually does suffer from paranoid delusions, though, unless I’m wildly misinterpreting some things.

  • Sharsarannon

    Anyone else thinking why Mike might kind of flip out over a group of adults “making” and then “mind controlling” what he considers to be a living small child? Taking away the autonomy of a child?
    Sounds familiar to Mike.
    Abuse is about removing autonomy through steady brainwashing.

    • Darcy

      Ooh, that’s a good point.

  • TorgueRND

    Oh, cool. I’m starting to warm up to this character, and something’s about to jab her in the throat.
    This is fine. Der-shing doesn’t hate me. Everything’s just fine here.

    • Esc

      Kalla’s death was BRUTAL. Affected me worse than many other narratives. Probably because it was so abrupt and happened right when things were turning around between her and Michael.

      I hold out hope that the processor will revive her.

      Maybe everyone will die and be reincarnated as a family of thrips.

  • DukeBG

    (by the way, this is the first time Kalla is refered to as “she” from in-comic)

    • Bradford

      Good point. Is LEVi supposed to “know” Kalla’s gender?

  • Bottas Heimfe

    ooooooooooo………… this is gonna result in a REALLY awkward conversation in a few pages

    • DukeBG

      I’m pretty sure this conversation will be completely derailed by something being flung to Bex’s neck.

      So uncivilised!

  • Luces

    I really miss Kalla!
    It is so rare to see a real alien, not the antropomorph Star-Trek-type, strange in mind as well in apperarance, really non-human and yet so very friendly, with a wicked dry humour, too. Not to forget she was the only person who maneged to bring a smile on Mikes face!
    That such an outstanding person has been killed simply to be slaughtered and eaten is still a blow. As she admitted being put together be the programm which span together the whole enviroment, maybe there is a small hope that she will be revived again!

  • HyruleSymbol

    Wait, Levi was shut down underwater because Mike told him to shut off at the lowest point he could find?!

    Also, Levi was underwater, but Kalla…. was bu- i mean Kille on shores, and was never returned to the sea, does this mean she can’t get rebuilt?!

    Please just tell me it was a case where the worm bro was out of the sea for too long and the effects last a few days or hours….

  • SlipspaceSurvivalist

    I’m sorry, I just… I see that little tic-tac looking thing on the end of that thing and it’s aiming right at her mouth, and I just lost my shit. It’s still early, give me a break. lol


  • Prismatism

    Wow. Binged this last night and went back through to re-read this afternoon. Storytelling and artwork are both incredible, and this has quickly jumped into my list of favorite comics.

    Quick question, the about says Mare Internum “will remain free to read until its completion” — does that mean at some point after it’s finished the comic won’t be available for free anymore? Just want to know how sharp an eye I have to keep out for books/PDFs in the future!

    • shingworks

      Thank you! I’m so glad you’re enjoying it :]

      The web situation is up in the air for now… I’ll be publishing the book via Kickstarter and an indie press initially, which will mean that I will likely keep my licenses 100%. Personally I think it’s better to prioritize accessibility over paywalling my stuff, and just have physical items available to people who really want them. But in the future if the licensing situation changes (a bigger publisher picks up this work for a larger print run, for example) the online version may go offline, but I have no idea if that will happen. But I guarantee you that the entire story will be fully posted and completed on this site as I finish pages, so feel free to keep coming back for that :]

      • Prismatism

        Thanks for the response, and good to know!

  • Bells

    Noooooo Kalla ;_;

  • james

    Shing you write such good motivation, and by good I mean “literally stomach churning”…
    As soon as LEVI said “exploiting” everything clicked into place – Mike being exploited as a child, his revulsion at them making a tool child-like, the fact that he couldn’t save his younger self but he *could* save LEVI…
    Well done, I feel dirty, take your filthy upvote…

  • strannik

    No life possible on Mars. On its surface, at least. We definetly need a Levi to check on the submartian parts.

  • Timp

    Great page as always. Though I hope we get back to Mike soon. As interesting as all the Bex stuff is, there’s only so much I can read about a completely irredeemable character without getting a bit bored.

    As always, I’m fascinated with people’s different perspectives in the comments, with how many folks are still sympathetic to her side despite her murdering the best character and abandoning her children. I guess that makes it good writing. One person can relate to the character, and another can think they’re the human equivalent of a dumpster fire.

    • shingworks

      Haha, well, it’s my job to make you care, so we’ll see what happens.

  • Sheridan

    …jesus christ. Was LEVi… SAPIENT?!?
    Did A.D. create a fully-functional mind and then SHACKLE IT?!? :o

  • October

    This page made me gasp. It hurts. It already hurts having Bex talk to a trusting child voice telling her that she is one of three best friends, but now Mike’s decision to effectively end LEVi’s consciousness seems as simple and brutal as a suicidal parent believing that death is merciful because we’re all being controlled and lying to ourselves about having something to live for. :( Maybe I’m reading too far into it but it reminds me of the darker stories of La Llorona trying to save her children from a life of slavery.

    I also have to wonder if people who see Bex as irredeemable make the same conclusion about the father in Interstellar.

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