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Alice
Alice
First Appearance Comic 3
Species Unknown (likely bioengineered super-human)
Gender Female

Alice is the protagonist and titular character of Alice Grove. As of yet, her surname (assuming she has one) is unknown. There exists the possibility that her full name is "Alice Grove" as the title of the comic would suggest, but this has been neither confirmed nor contradicted by either the comic or the author. Little is known about her, but she apparently has a protective relationship with the nearby town where she is feared and respected as a witch. In Comic 51, Alice refers to herself as a witch, and hints that she is at least several thousand years old (assuming age has relevance for her).

Despite the apparent pre-industrial simplicity of the town and its inhabitants, Alice appears to have far more advanced knowledge. She has a familiarity with the world of Ardent and Gavia, including knowledge and understanding of nanotech, the rules governing access to the habitat and the function and capabilities of praesides. Additionally, she exhibits super-human physical traits, suggesting that despite her appearance she may either not be human or has nanotech enhancements.

Biography

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This section needs expansion.

Alice is a resident of the habitat who is recognised by those living in the same area as having special abilities. She has developed a reputation as a person who solves problems and fixes things; her more-than-human abilities has also led her to be described as a 'witch' by Jack's uncle.

Since they became trapped in the habitat, Alice has evidently become the guardian for Ardent and Gavia.

In Comic 51, Alice implies to Gavia that she may be thousands of years old. Then in Comic 70, she explicitly claims to to have lived through The Blink, which mysteriously expelled all advanced technology and its human supporters from Earth, as well as the escalating series of wars that led up to it.

Appearance

Alice is tall and slender, with blonde hair and blue eyes. She often wears her hair in a ponytail, and usually has a stern or serious expression. She wears comfortable, practical clothes that are significantly more modern than those of the townspeople. She possess a set of dark gray overalls for carrying out physical tasks such as maintenance.

In her home, Alice has been shown wearing a simple white vest-top and cut-off denim shorts, both clothing forms one would associate with real-life contemporary Earth.

Background

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This section needs expansion.

Alice was originally created by one of the competing factions from before The Blink to act as a super-soldier in their world-spanning war. Amongst her duties during her time as a super-soldier had been the attempted destruction of her fellow super-soldier, a being known only as Mr. Church.

In the approximately 5,000 years since The Blink, Alice has at some point had some manner of relationship with another of the genetically-engineered soldiers known as Sedna. The exact details of this are unknown but the relationship ended on a sour note due to Alice's apparent bitterness at her past role and a certain degree of apathy.

After parting ways with Sedna, Alice came across a population of post-technological humans living on the site of The Town and set herself up as their protector and technical adviser. Although she has clearly lived in the habitat long enough to develop an ambiguous but generally positive reputation with the townspeople, nothing is known of her origins or the precise nature of the abnormal abilities that she occasionally demonstrates.

At some point in the past, Alice appears to have had contact with and possibly dealings with the Praeses. A consequence of this contact is a lasting antagonism and distrust of their agenda and motives. She is sarcastically dismissive of the Praeses' explanation for the division of humanity between planet- and space-bound communities. Additionally, when Ardent demonstrates the ability to 'upgrade' advanced technology to even more advanced forms, she immediately suspects that they are responsible with malign intent.

Knowledge

Alice appears to possess knowledge far exceeding that of the townspeople. She knows of space travel and the existence of aliens, and is familiar with nanotech and its capabilities. She is also seen in her first appearance, Comic 3, repairing the mechanism of a wind turbine.

Alice's knowledge of what exists outside the town or habitat far exceeds Ardent's or Gavia's. She knows of the restrictions on access and travel to the habitat, and is familiar with the function and capabilities of praesides. She is shown to have a low opinion of these beings, claiming that they are deliberately misleading the humans under their care.

Alice is extremely familiar with the flora and fauna of the habitat, even of synthetic creatures like the Night Walker. Her knowledge extends to the scientific names of the various creatures including the taxonomical orders and families of which they are members.

In Comic 51, Alice tells Gavia that her knowledge of the habitat comes from "Years of observation and experimentation". When Gavia points out that this does not explain Alice's earlier assertion that the Night Walker is thousands of years old, Alice is evasive although there is a clear implication that Alice herself may be very much older than her appearance suggests.

The inhabitants of the habitat do not entirely trust Alice's knowledge. In Comic 67, Amos, the town elder and historian, notes that Alice is not 'natural'. He feels that her perspectives are different enough from a human's that her understanding of historical events is different from a human's and perhaps not entirely correct from a human perspective.

Physical Traits

Alice appears to be physically indistinguishable from a normal young woman in most respects. She has an outhouse and apparently uses it, evidence that she is either a biological entity or at least a construct specifically designed to act like one.

However, Alice possesses powerful super-human abilities. She has not given any indication how her abilities work. They could come from military-grade nanotech or other pre-Blink technologies.

Strength

Alice possesses unearthly strength. While fighting Gavia (Comic 23 & Comic 24) she punches through a nanotech shield. Later she smashes a large slab of reinforced concrete with a single punch.

In Comic 129, Alice makes a standing jump at least 50 feet upward, then falls back to the ground (which implies that she cannot fly).

Longevity

Although she appears to be a young adult woman, Comic 181 shows that Alice is at least 5000 years old, and was present in a devastating war between pro- and anti-technological factions and the subsequent disappearance of all advanced technology from the planet. She also claims by implication to have observed the Night Walker for thousands of years.

Durability

Alice possesses super-human levels of durability. In Comic 5 she survives a great fall with no injury or apparent effort. In Comics 108 & 109, Alice shrugs off machine gun bullets unharmed. She reacts with pain and/or annoyance only when a bullet strikes her in the eye.

In Comic 22, Alice survives a direct assault by Gavia's pyrokinesis entirely unscathed save for minor ruffling of her hair. Furthermore, as her clothing and hair are also unscorched, it would seem that this durability is either extended somehow to anything close to her, or that her clothing is not the simple cotton and denim it appears to be.

However, she is not invulnerable. A sufficiently powerful force can pierce her skin and presumably break her bones. She has red blood.

Hammerspace & Equipment

In Comic 109, Alice declares "Enough" and instantly she is wearing a white and blue armored bodysuit, including a sealed helmet. It chops off her ponytail, but then protects her from all further attacks, including a small missile. She doesn't explain where the armor came from, what happens to her clothing, whether she is able to spontaneously manifest other items, or anything else about this ability. Several days later Alice is wearing overalls again, which may or may not be the same ones as before.

The armor, or at least its face plate, is not completely indestructible.

Long ago, Alice wielded a giant hi-tech war hammer.

Personality

Alice is shown to be brisk and serious when dealing with a potential threat or problem, although she does possess a sense of humor and can be pleasant when not otherwise concerned. She is feared and respected by the townspeople to the extent that they appear extremely nervous in her presence. Her serious expression and aloofness might contribute to this. Despite the clear implications that she possesses super-human abilities, Alice demonstrates entirely human behavioural traits, further adding to the mystery of her origin and nature.

Despite this rather awkward relationship with the townspeople she is shown to be fiercely protective of "her town", as she describes it, and is willing to run straight into danger in order to protect it. She has been seen to be aggressive when the town is threatened, though she apparently is willing to try diplomacy before resorting to violence.

Alice has shown a very clear understanding of her role and displays a very abrupt manner when she feels that others are intruding upon it. She does not appear to feel the need to explain herself, even to authority figures like the town's doctor. She clearly considers herself unaccountable to the townsfolk. Comic 55 also demonstrates that she is not always tactful in how she phrases warnings. The fact that the townsfolk accept this behaviour and co-operate with her attitude that her affairs are 'none of their business' without protest is another indication of the awe in which she is viewed.

Alice is entirely at ease with some of the townspeople's characterisation of her as being a 'witch'. She even uses the label herself in an attempt to deflect Gavia's questions for her in Comic 53.

In Comic 68, she demonstrates considerable antagonism to the Praesides, implying strongly that she believed they were misleading Ardent and Gavia's people for reasons she did not specify. In Comic 69 she goes so far as to state outright that the history of the Spaceborne is a myth created for children.

Despite her antagonistic response to them when they first appeared, Alice is clearly at ease with Ardent and Gavia. She is quite willing to answer their questions, although these answers can sometimes be cryptic and raise more questions than they answer. She also clearly considers herself responsible for the safety, much as she feels she is for the town and its inhabitants.

Alice gives the impression of being quite capable of killing with dispassion when necessary. However, in comics 84 and 85, she fails to follow through with her intention of killing Ardent despite her fear that he is an unwitting dupe of a plot against The Habitat by the Presides. She subsequently admits that the long years of bearing the responsibility of protecting The Habitat alone my have impaired her clarity of thought.
Speculation — The following material is not confirmed.

Sadistic streak

Alice seems to possess a sadistic side to her personality. While she normally keeps it under tight control, note her identical expressions in Comic 24, Comic 28, and Comic 62. The "creepy smile" appears when she realizes she has a justifiable opportunity to "flex her muscles" and crush her opponent, either physically or psychologically. Even in Comic 55, she clearly enjoys frightening the children (though this may merely be one of Alice's steps in instilling fear/respect into a new generation of townsfolk).

It is possible that this smile is merely part of a show intended to intimidate her opponents, but Comic 25 clearly shows that Alice continuing her beat-down long after Gavia's threat to Alice and her town is neutralized. Given what we know of Alice's strength, it seems likely she might have even killed her had not Ardent begged for mercy.

In Comic 84, Alice appears to have some manner of flashback to war crimes that renders her unable to kill Ardent. Her subsequent confession to have been a 'weapon' once (in Comic 85) raises the possibility that she may have been responsible for atrocities in the war that preceded the Blink.

The underlying reasons for this facet of Alice's behavior are currently unknown and unexplored, but it is worth pointing out that even the author's notes refer to Alice as being "scary" in these scenes.
Speculation Ends

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