Chapter 5, Page 55

When a planet dies, does it become haunted?

Patrons, thank you for following along with the 3-days ahead viewing. We conclude the early access pages with Page 58, and will start in on the PDF/ development pages after this point, since I think I’d prefer all the live-update comics readers to finish here, together, the way many of us started. As usual, Meek pages are updating daily… pages 13 and page 14 are up for Weds and Thurs and page 15 will go up for Friday. 1/3 of the way through the chapter already! Comics go much faster when you take out the uh, rendering.

I’ve been spamming my store with a big blurb recently so I’ll just leave the link here without comment lol. Thank you for all your support be it through Patreon, orders/ pre-orders or simply by commenting and reading and enjoying. Got some big pages next week, see you then.

bonus meme nonsense that amuses me:


  • Nik
    • shingworks

      shit, they have a time machine and traveled to the future to rip off my tiny webcomic

      • Nik

        Don’t worry, their attempt failed miserably. So did that TV miniseries of Ray Bradbury’s novel.

        • shingworks

          I went on a big Mars fiction diet (to avoid derivative influences) when developing Mare so I didn’t hear about the film until recently, I think someone shared it in the comments before… figured no matter what I probably have concept overlap with other stories out there, but at least I have plausible deniability XD that reminds me, I still have to read The Martian, lol…

          • Eversist

            Oooh, I think you’ll love The Martian Chronicles if you read it. It’s one of my favorite books.

          • shingworks

            I read those back in middle school, broke my heart of course! That’s why I try to avoid derivative influences whenever I can… I hope not, but of course there’s always a chance I think Mars is emo cuz of Bradbury, haha.

    • HKMaly

      … what made them think the nuclear reactor will be able to kill the ghosts?

  • hell yes

    This is so awesome. I love what you said about ghosts. I hope you work that theme in.

    • shingworks

      Haha, well, the purgatory theme has been there all along. Just didn’t want to beat anyone over the head with it

  • Arianwen

    Ray Bradbury called, he wants his monopoly on tragic Martians back

    (holy shit this is a page. yes it certainly is that. a page. with colours on it.)


    (nitpick/tyop: can not is typically written *cannot)

    • Nik

      Unless you’re edging for that extra bit of emphasis, just below italicizing.

    • shingworks

      Yeah, my spellcheck said so too. I hemmed over that a while, but erred on the side of robotic tone/ inflection

      • mimz

        Since it wasn’t one word, I read it like Nik did, with extra emphasis on *not*. It works, imo.

      • Arianwen

        I’ve been fixing a bad translation these past couple of days, so I’m sadly in pure autocorrect mode -_-” which makes it really hard to read fiction


        • improbablybasil

          I quite like an AI where contraction perhaps does not sit well with their artificial origin sensibilities. Elision (or lazyness is that?) in speech feels like more of a human quality. Processor is able to though (has done so once maybe?), so must usually choose and prefer not to.

  • mimz

    Everything I was going to contribute about the page has already been said, so I just want to take a moment to admire Processkore’s beautiful beefcake arms. Look at those arms. So buff. So stronk. So powerful.

  • Some_Douchebag

    Oh shit! I get a chance to repeat myself!

    “We can help you propagate, you fool!”

  • Myk Streja

    It took me a while to see it all (not good with patterns), but I gotta say this is spot on. It’s like someone stamped PAID on Mike’s forehead cause his life’s not his own anymore.

  • Ben1

    So, a “Mars fiction diet” but not a “Melville diet”?

    Bex is Ishmael; “and I alone am scaped to tell thee”

  • JuaSaysHi

    This song. Last verse.
    “The adventure of a lifetime
    Our own little kingdom, a new paradigm
    And when we die, we’ll leave behind
    A planet inhabited entirely by
    And ghosts
    On Mars.”

  • RichWalk9891

    Damn, Kalla, you’ve been hitting the gym in Mars?

    And I’m surprised that Mike’s right eye is intact. I had thought that the fungal growth growth on his face destroyed his eyeball in the process.

  • Gonfrask

    Well, that last phrase is really sad. And its fears are true, because what bring the earthlings? Oblivion or remembrance to the old Mars…

  • Hima

    Aaaand here’s the part that I found super confusing.
    Before, it was implied that this Kallakore is an altered Kallakore. Here, Mike speaks to it as if it were the processor and not his friend. Well, maybe he’s confused too. Or maybe he thinks it IS his friend, but tries not to aggravate it so he admits it is the processor.

    What absolutely made me pause and frown was that, several pages before, a parallel between the processor and Mike’s childhood abuser (a liar, a selfish, a cruel man) had been made. That one scene made me think of the processor as a definite antagonist and enemy. Someone who, might theoretically want your wellbeing, but wants more than anything his own satisfaction, even if that includes others’ suffering in the worst possible form.
    (And, well, Bex pretty much called the processor out on exactly that) It, from Mike’s perspective, made the processor to look like a liar and a smooth-talker and absolutely someone you do not trust. It showed an inequality in power and knowledge and control.

    …So why on earth would Mike want someone who is so similar to his abuser to COME WITH HIM?? What if it was his uncle in the processor’s place? Would he want his uncle to come with him or to rot in Mars? Is he just saying that in order to survive?? Does he feel pity for the processor? Or does he feel pity for this non-processsor-although-similar-to-the-processor ghost of mars who tried to be his friend? Is it that I misunderstood the previous parallel, and that it did not attempt to compare the processor with the uncle, but Mike’s powerlessness in both situations?

    I am so confused…
    I would love to hear your explanation, but do not be disheartened by my confusion. This comic deals with things I am absolutely unfamiliar with, and have trouble understanding. There were a lot of times that I had to look at the comment section to understand what was going on and why, and I see the comment section in this particular comic as an inseparable part of the whole amazing experience and I am thankful for it!!
    Keep up the good work!

    • shingworks

      Thanks! I def don’t want Processor to be seen as exactly the same as uncle, but similar in the manipulative sense. Michael’s reaction in that scene was more him realizing that he was being naive and taken advantage of emotionally again. For me I think Mike is realizing that the Processor is Kallakore in some ways, and vice versa, and knowing what he knows about Kalla’s feeling of being trapped and helpless, he has decided to project empathy and have the convo he had wtih Kalla on this page with Processor directly.

      • Nyzer

        Yeah, that’s how I saw it too. The processor is manipulative, which is where the parallel is drawn, but it’s trapped by its programming and the billions of years of isolation. After so long of being able to endure, it doesn’t see new intrusions as an opportunity, but a threat. It’s got a lot to answer for, but it’s not necessarily irredeemable or unforgivable because of this, as opposed to the uncle’s behavior, which is just inexcusable.

  • Esn

    I’m not really following the processor’s logic here. What exactly does it mean by “saved”?

    First of all, I’d hardly call Mars dead if all of this exists underground. Seems pretty alive to me. Second, it seems like the arrival of a species from another planet (a planet that’s still thriving, moreover) would be just the chance to do something new.

    Probably the processor explained its thinking somewhere earlier, but I just don’t remember it?

    • Nyzer

      I think there’s the unspoken concern that humans could end up destroying the processor and the sanctuary, rather than being an opportunity. Or even just that opening the sanctuary to the outside world without even a good airlock would suck all the air out and kill everything in there.

      • Esn

        The processor seems pretty good at covering up massive air leaks, such as that one that caused Mike and Bex to fall in, or the smaller one that allowed Levi to get in before.

        I’m more worried that if this lava lake erupts, it would be too much for it to handle and causes everything to be destroyed. Although, considering the Processor is the one that caused the most recent chunks of rock to fall in… I can’t help but think that it’s acting quite illogical at this point. Certainly more so than Mike.

  • The processor’s logic is hard to understand. Maybe they\it’s suicidal a bit? It is trivial for even the humans to terraform Mars in order to make it a livable planet again, it just takes a bit of resources and a really long time from a human viewpoint, tens of thousands of years. No improbable sci-fi stuff is needed, just lots of spaceships to haul in lots of comets, and lots of energy to produce gases to buff up the planet’s atmosphere density. Even restoring the magnetic field is technically doable. The processor was living there for _billion years,_ few thousands should literally be nigh instant in comparison. And if the humans get to use all the fancy biotech of the Martians (Not to mention that the Processor, in essence, is LITERALLY a seed vault for the martian ecosystem so they can _marsoform_ the Mars), we would probably be able to do that in under a thousand years. Fast enough for even humans to be noticing significant changes during their lifetimes.

  • Kuggur

    For an entity that has spend something that is pretty close to an eternity in isolation I must say the processor is admirably sane and reasonable; and I don´t think the main characters have done nearly enough to try and reason with her/him/it/?, especially Bet.

    I think she/he/it/? is getting a bad rap here, I am rooting for the processor.

    • Zach

      There are plenty of stories of child soldiers being made to rape and kill their parents before being abducted. The ‘Evil’ people who force them to do it were often ‘recruited’ in the same way.

      I think the processor is just years too set in its ways to change. And super bitter.

      Evil doesn’t mean unsympathetic. it means selfish, callus, and greedy.

  • Alan

    You must be joking Prokalla. Everybody knows I’m the last ghost of Mars.

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