Chapter 4, Page 42


For Patrons, a small post about Wollarian symbols

In case you missed it, habitable lava tubes have been in the news (but for the Moon, not Mars, so feel free to sniff derisively at it)

A nice mention from Ben of The Sword Interval, thought was also worth linking!

And general reminder that I upload pages at stupid times, especially lately, but the RSS and email list will notify you immediately if you care about such things! Otherwise I post updates to Twitter/ FB in the morning and evening PST.

Other than that… yeah just chugging along, reaching the final scene in this chapter about nowish, so I’m pumped :]


  • ObservantWolf

    Huh, how strangely welcoming, yet disconcerting.

  • Luces

    The second panel is pure Science Fiction. The unearthy light. The strange, obviously constructed area crisscrossed with irreal lines, contrasting hard with the arcane slopes. Just wow!

  • Charles

    I wonder if she’s excited to see what appear to be stairs up the next level… or if she’s inwardly groaning “staiiiirs” to herself

    Hopefully those stones near the next way up are ornamental and not some defense mechanism. Actually I’m surprised even Kalla didn’t know about the stairs to mention them. Either the way is somewhat/somehow blocked or the processor wipes memory of it when it regenerates things… alternatively, LEVi is getting some payback

    I think this really is the first sign we’ve seen of something unnaturally structured in Mare Internum. The only other thing I remember are some markings on a rock when Mike was looking for his reflection.

    • Charles

      P.S. I wonder if those steps are spaced for Walla. I guess anything Bex is about to run into will somehow be designed for their convenience rather than Humans.

      • MaxArt

        Judging from the second panel it looks like she could climb them just fine, more or less.

    • Glavos

      In defense of Kalla, she can’t understamd Levi’s speech so couldn’t add to the directions.

  • Kuggur

    Hahaha, “there are stairs ?”, I think I would not have put it quite as mildly as she did.

  • HyruleSymbol

    You have failed me you adorable shrimp map maker

  • Kyle

    Those darn GPS units, always giving you the “technically shortest” path instead of the easiest path.

  • SSR

    What’s she bitching about, there’s a convenient slip-n-slide water chute right down those stairs!

  • Unclever title

    Don’t be too hard on Levi. He’s never had human legs or arms.

  • Max

    I’m confused. Where are you supposed to type in “sudo make me a sandwich”…?

  • Thornbrier

    Those lunar lava tubes are freaking HUGE! I love it. Thanks for sharing, that will slightly improve my sci-fi writing.

  • Gaboris

    Hey! Who knows, maybe those stairs lead to a dead end. Maybe it collapsed or it just leads to some really-really “nasty” place. XD

    • awhorl

      My first thought was “the stairs lead nowhere in particular” because the processor is really that pool in the middle of the canals . . . turn around, Bex.

  • Alan

    Why do I get the feeling that she’ll be descending those stairs in the end? She’s not going home.

  • I think I’d have to take a good ten minutes to cry if I saw stairs after all that

    • Solanuma

      I mean bex already did that

  • SomeUnregPunk

    wow… I guess Levi really didn’t like her.

    • Alan

      Levi is pretty chipper and nice, but he snarked her good when he said, “Its easy right? For someone so driven?”

  • Alan

    So what’s everyone think the processor is going to look like? Some installation in a chamber, a mobile being of some sort?

  • JT

    Please help… I am so confused. For me the stairs look like they go up in the second panel, down in the third panel, and up again in the last panel.

    • Ron


      2 different stair cases. :)

    • Landis963

      Two sets of stairs. One in the amphitheater shape that Bex just climbed up, and one MASSIVE one that’s a straight shot going up and to the left.

    • Alan

      Correct. There are two sets of stairs, and Bex is at a sort of midpoint.

  • Folarx

    My biologist heart frolics at the sight of this, I feel like I’m in an Arthur-C-Clarke-novel!
    This is the first really non-natural formation that we get to see inside Mars, isn’t it? It is a secondary formation, carved from existing structures, with not only function but with aesthetics in Mind.
    These streams of enhanced water are a very elegant way of distributing information down-stream (literally), with further distribution through the artificial ecosystem.
    But it is, of course unidirectional, not a cycle. I wonder how the processor receives information back from the terminal units in the cave?

    • Tim F

      You have to think long term here. Most likely the system uses the natural hydrologic cycle plus unseen pumps to bring imprinted water back to the processor at the top. It’s space alien technology so who knows, but I would guess the system that lasts that long can work with a return cycle of a few months to years.

      • Sheridan

        Whatever is in the ‘water’ (nanoparticles?) seem to also update wirelessly, so strictly speaking there doesn’t need to be a return cycle for data, but probably just to reuse the raw materials.

  • Ytodd

    I am in awe.

    This webcomic gets under my skin like no other. It makes me feel extremely uneasy but in a very good way, does that make sense ?

    I can’t wait for you to post more.

  • DeltaOskarMike

    The 2nd panel, those lines, I’m not too sure if I see a Psi symbol or an Omega symbol on the floor? depends which way up you are looking at it..

  • StClair

    This is where she starts channeling Boston Low.

  • KigV2

    !!! woah

  • foducool


  • Sheridan

    If the set of stairs to Bex’s right are hanging in mid-air, that’s probably the single greatest piece of engineering in the entire cavern.

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