The ICC Espionage Massacre: here and here

XBox reference: here

Hope everyone had a good Super Bowl Weekend!

Patreon supporters at the Digital Onslaught level and above should have already received their full-rez Hauschild wallpaper and we’ll be making the recorded gChat of this page’s rough-draft session available to them shortly.

And for all Patrons at $1 and up, I’ll start including higher-rez versions of the pages themselves as well. We’re grateful for the support!


And more below!


Time For Some Gravity


UPDATE 2016-02-11 – Gravity wave detection announced! Congratulations to the physicists at LIGO, and somewhere in the afterlife my dad is cracking open a bottle of Cardhu.


We were a little concerned (as we were roughing out this page) that gravity waves and/or (by implication) their component gravitons might actually be discovered just before the page went live and we would look like opportunists who were trying to siphon off some of the publicity. Not that it would stop us from doing exactly that, but at least we could honestly say that it wasn’t our intention, because the script for this ep was written well prior to all the recent gravity wave buzz.

So we are not like a certain cosmologist who tweeted about their possible discovery by LIGO even though he had nothing to do with the project – thereby guaranteeing that if the LIGO research did confirm the presence of gravity waves, the media would plaster the cosmologist’s name all over the story despite his non-involvement in the research. It may have been unintentional; I hope it was. He could have just been excited, and I can understand that. But it was still a dickish move, so you will notice I’m not using his name here.

We, however, have a perfect right to babble about gravity waves and gravitons. My father was one of the earliest gravitational physicists, working with Joe Weber in attempting to detect gravity waves even in the 1960s, and I grew up with one of the family closets making whirring and clicking noises that were oddly soothing in their way. The closet contained a “gravity antenna” (also known as a Weber Bar) which was (if I recall correctly) a massive aluminum cylinder suspended in a vacuum chamber by ribbons of pure gold and studded with piezoelectric crystals. The whirring and clicking noise came from the recording mechanism making squiggles on a spool of paper as the bar flexed and distorted – hopefully by gravity waves passing through. Of course, any amount of other things could cause false readings; seismic activity, trucks passing by, children running full-tilt into walls, etc. But in theory, since there were several of these antennas scattered over the country, these false readings could be eliminated by comparing the recorded data. A gravity wave from a distant neutron star collision or something would affect all the antennas more or less equally; other lesser signals would not.

There were encouraging signs; and my father did in fact help invent the gravity gradiometer, which could detect changes in mass at a distance, and was subsequently used in submarine guidance systems and for detecting oil deposits from aircraft. He also postulated the use of gravity to create a time machine. As in our comic, this time machine had tremendous limitations; it would only allow time travel back to the time when the machine was first activated, and it likely would have ripped apart any physical object. About the best you could hope for was a coded signal. It also required a certain amount of technology that we don’t currently have as yet – but it wasn’t impossible.

Apparently, in our story, Nevada physicist Noel Crumbliss has worked out the issues and built a functioning prototype. Naturally, the first thing he does is start amassing funds. But with those funds will come a bigger machine, and bigger problems. So the UD3 has to make its move now.

In honor of my own childhood growing up with gravity wave detectors, the home pictured is based on the house where we lived at the time. Because why the heck not?

— Bob out