Rubbing in the salt

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I’m working on two additional projects after work and Replay so you guys will have to forgive me for being less chatty in the comments. It’s better that way, I’d totally spoil this scene for you hahaha~ It’s very hard to keep quiet and not join the conversation. And about those two other projects – I should be able to share some info soon!

From other things – I’ve got a fridge! And a washing machine! Life’s good!

Ok, gotta go back to drawing. Sorry! Enjoy the page! And Robert’s suffering!

93 comments on “Rubbing in the salt”

  1. NiWo21k Reply

    Hey, don’t apologize. As long as you don’t forget us, everything is good πŸ™‚
    But joking aside, even if i miss you sometimes, its great to hear you are doing well and don’t lose the fun in letting poor Robert suffer.

    I have to say, i enjoy this last pages, they are hard, but sometimes needed. I know that not everyone likes how this is going, but i think they work just for the reason because these two are so “strange” that they understand each other in one way, but when it comes to the basics they are still like kids, they have no clue how to do it. They need each other without knowing it,

    • bitflipper Camp dweller Reply

      I’ll tentatively grant that they’re necessary (alright, a lot more wholeheartedly granted than just “tentatively”; NI has proven herself to be an incredible story teller, in my eyes, and that means that, sometimes, the story has to go into upsetting places in order to properly tell the tale), but that still doesn’t make me want any less to smack Rob upside the noggin for being a jerk while also hugging him to try to soothe the hurt. And Ada, too, for that matter.

      Darn you, NI! Stop making me care so much about these people! ;-p

      • NiWo21k

        She just knows exactly what she needs to do to for us not knowing what to do πŸ˜›
        Now should i be mad at her or should i look up to her…… Darn, even here she knows how to play us XD

      • bitflipper Camp dweller

        We could form a support group: the NotImportant Victims and Fan Club. “Hello, I’m bitflipper, and I read NI religiously.” ;-p

      • Doom

        Angel costume Ada and Devil costume Ada sound like good vote incentive ideas to me!

  2. Amber Reply

    Sounds like some mad mixed messages… Did we see what happened that time or do we only have Robert’s words?

    • JW Reply

      As far as I know we only have Robert’s word; and Ada’s non-denial. We didn’t see it in the main story, and not in the “first steps” vote incentive series.

    • antrik Reply

      I’m not sure it’s mixed messages so much as conflicting desires… She wants (needs) his attention, but not in a romantic way. This is somewhat impossible, if he actually goes looking for romance elsewhere: there is only so much of his attention to go around… And perhaps even more importantly, it’s not something Robert seems to be able to deal with.

      • Amber

        I thought the “you had a lot to say about it” was a mixed message, but neither of them are elaborating on it, so I guess it could mean anything…

  3. Dragon Master Reply

    Things just got even more serious. I wonder if his Ex is that girl that was mentioned at the start of the chapter. I think she was a white wolf?

    • antrik Reply

      Interesting point about Julia possibly being Robert’s ex. On one hand, it would seem a strange coincidence if of all people, it would be her they’d meet — but on the other hand, it seems quite possible that they have been over at the cabin together at some point; so she would actually know the place…

      It would also explain why Robert conspicuously omitted her name while bringing her up right now πŸ˜‰

  4. Refugnic Reply

    Jeez, and to think that men are such simple creatures, Ada.
    Do or don’t. Yes or no. When it comes to this kind of thing, there is no in between, no ‘maybe’.

    See, that’s exactly what I saw coming up if he entered a relationship with Sofia.
    Being around the girl he actually liked (and still likes!) before Sofia hurts, so naturally there would need to be some distance to not put the fresh relationship in serious jeopardy…so yeah, you really should make up your mind.

    Take the man…or let him go.
    There is no in between.
    No ‘maybe’.

    And then, after the wounds have healed a bit, then there may be a ‘maybe’ once again.
    A ‘may be’ friends, but no more.

    Though you know what they say:
    ‘If you love someone, let them go. If they return, hold on to them forever. If they don’t, they were never yours to begin with.’
    Robert apparently tried to let you go…but you held on. You came back.

    So what does that tell us about you, Ada?

    • bitflipper Camp dweller Reply

      That, for whatever reason, she really does need Rob to be part of her life even in this half-way Limbo that he finds so tormenting. And that need isn’t entirely one-sided, either. Men may (or may not; we can argue that point, elsewhere) be simple, but Rob, too, needs Ada in his life badly enough that he chooses to live in that Limbo so that he can be near her. It’s not enough for one person to set another free; the other must be willing to walk away, or no amount of being set free will ever make a difference.

      They have different needs from their relationship. The question is whether or not they can reconcile those needs to find happiness, together. So far, they seem to have done a fairly good job of that, but maybe not a good enough job for the solutions they’ve found to last. We’ll have to watch this unfold.

      • antrik

        I don’t see in what way they have done a good job? She is suffering, as she can’t stand his absence any more than she can stand him courting her. He is suffering, as he can’t get close to her, but can’t give up his hopes either. Lose-lose all around as far as I can see…

      • bitflipper Camp dweller

        And yet they’ve both found that they can rely on each other, even trust each other with their lives and safety; there are lovers who don’t even achieve that much. Their trouble is that they both want something other than a comrade-in-arms, and yet they can’t give each other what they are looking for. They’re hiring each other with their conflicting expectations instead of accepting what they have found in each other.

      • bitflipper Camp dweller

        ,*hurting each other with their conflicting expectations

    • antrik Reply

      Alas, it’s never that simple when the other gender is involved πŸ˜‰

      It’s fairly common knowledge I guess that women tend to make a much stronger distinction between “I like him being around”, and “I want to get intimate with him”… And some (most?) guys just are not able to live with that.

      There’s a reason after all why the phrase “let’s just be friends” evokes cold terror in guys everywhere πŸ˜‰

      • abibliboop

        As a guy, I have quite a few female friends and we just enjoy hanging out and there isn’t any aspect of wanting to be intimate with them. They are fun, intelligent people that I share common interests with. I’ve always been the one to be willing to continue just being friends with those I’ve dated after breaking up. I’m a big believer in if someone was worthwhile enough to consider dating, they are still worthwhile enough to hang out with even if the dating relationship is not right for you both. So take heart, there is at least one guy who takes that phrase at face value and doesn’t have an issue with it.

      • antrik

        At face value or not, it’s a form of rejection, and as such tends to be painful… Though no doubt some people are able to deal with rejection better than others πŸ™‚

    • JW Reply

      Why choose?

      Besides, it may hurt like hell, but it keeps the wounds clean. Better than a festering infection.

      • bitflipper Camp dweller

        An affection infection? Sounds like some of my relationships. ;-p

        But, no, you’re right; they’re both causing themselves this hurt, and maybe they need to, in order to get to somewhere better.

      • antrik

        I see: the whole Apocalypse thing is just a pretext — the wind mills are what there are really after πŸ˜‰

      • Alex

        The answer my friend is blowing in the wind.
        The answer is blowing in the wind.

  5. Alex Reply

    Interesting. πŸ™‚ I can totally get behind the idea of wanting to enjoy someone’s presence without also wanting to date them.

  6. Potterkid522 Reply

    I’m kinda starting to hate ada. I Mean, look! She straight up said, β€œI didn’t want to date u!”
    If there crush says that, that’s about a mans worst nightmare.

    No spelling mistakes this time. Lol

    • Moon Dragon Reply

      I kinda of agree with you. Not only did she say that straight up but she also kinda friendzoned him, which in my opinion is even worse.

      • antrik

        And how is that her fault?

        As painful as it tends to be for the person being “friendzoned”, it’s not like the other party can do anything about it…

  7. JayCloud Reply

    I fear if I comment how I feel right now I might go into a cuss storm soo… no comment

  8. Alex Reply

    I just realized that I completely forgot about your birthday (19.01.). So I wish you a belated happy birthday! ^^

  9. Zero Reply

    This situation seems oddly familiar. She doesn’t want him, but doesn’t want him to be with anyone else. It’s kinda like that one kid in school that doesn’t want something from his lunch, but would do something to make it inedible before giving it to anyone else.

    • JW Reply

      Just because she doesn’t want to date him doesn’t mean she doesn’t want him in some other capacity, say as close and best friend. She also claims she doesn’t want to monopolize him, so if he dated someone else, but she could still be best friends with him, she might be ok with that. Whether his girlfriend would, I have my doubts.

      • antrik

        If his girlfriend doesn’t want him to be best friends with another girl, it means she is a very needy person, best to be avoided…

        Also, contrary to what Ada *claims*, apparently she was *not* actually OK with him having a girlfriend… Or at least she didn’t give him that impression.

      • JW

        As Robert said, he “couldn’t stand her fucking indifferent and wanted to move on”. I interpret that as meaning that he tried to forget about Ada by concentrating on his girlfriend and not hanging out with Ada any more. She might be perfectly fine with him having a girlfriend but not with losing him as a friend.

      • antrik

        To me it sounds like getting a girlfriend in the first place was his attempt at moving on; while Ada’s reaction was (part of) why he gave up on that.

      • JW

        Yes, I agree. He got himself a girlfriend to try and forget about Ada. So staying close friends with Ada was definitely not part of it of the plan, because that would have made it impossible to actually move on. And therefore I think it’s plausible that Ada had a problem, not with him having a girlfriend, but with losing him as a friend. Whether that’s actually the case, whether Ada is completely truthful with him, and herself, remains to be seen, but this seems to be what she’s saying: She was happy to have him back (as a friend) but doesn’t him all to herself, nor does she want to date him.

  10. Bryana Reply

    something’s not right… clearly Rob loves her (he flat-out stated it, and it seems like they had this conversation before because he said it as “You know I love you!”…key word being “know”) and Ada is close to him, so y is Ada trying to push him away? unless shes a lesbian, it seems like she does care deeply for Rob to the point of loving him…so it’s either self-loathing that she feels like he deserves better than her (hence y shes trying to hook Rob up w/ Sofia) or something happened to her that shes afraid of letting men close to her. these two obviously have a strong bond and they work well together as friends and comrades at arms, so they may work well together as boyfriend and girlfriend. Rob seems to think so, but Ada seems to think otherwise. hmm….

    • antrik Reply

      Well, going by http://replaycomic.com/comic/forgotten-presence/#comment-85672 , I guess we can pretty much strike out the idea that she’s lesbian?

      However, it *has* been stipulated that she might be aromantic. But it’s also perfectly possible that she just doesn’t have this kind of feelings for him specifically. Or that she has them, but isn’t aware of it, or for some reason doesn’t want to act on them… (Self-loathing has been brought up as one possible reason.) So there is quite a lot of possibilities really πŸ™‚

      • Bryana

        i dont recall seeing signs of Ada being an aromantic (except from, yknow, just now what w/ her straight up saying just because shes happy Rob is hanging out w/ her again doesnt mean she has romantic feelings for him; well…ALLEDGEDLY doesnt have romantic feelings for him). it’s been hinted in a flashback a few pages back she didnt have many friends and she was in fact bullied for “being odd” due to her act of dabbling in magic pre-demon apocalypse…then Robert came along. so perhaps it’s a mix of both: self-loathing because her self-esteem was shot down so many times during the period of time shes been bullied, and possibly because she had a boyfriend previously (or perhaps multiple) but he/they was/were using her or got frightened away by her magic usage and fell in line w/ everyone else who called her a “freak”. it could also be shes AFRAID to act on her emotions because they R in the middle of the apocalypse after all. maybe she just doesnt want to feel the heartache of losing him if, God forbid, Rob is killed by a demon. i mean, it’s kinda redundant either way (friends or lovers, it’s still going to hurt if he dies), but maybe shes afraid itll hurt MORE if they get together. whatever the reason, i feel like Ada is in denial and/or is purposely pushing Rob away for one reason or another. i guess we’ll see if Ada’s reasoning is revealed in the next page(s) of this scene or later in the story

      • antrik

        Indeed we haven’t seen any explicit signs of her being asexual — but on the other hand, so far we haven’t seen any mention of her *ever* showing romantic interest in anyone either… So I consider it a possibility.

        I’m pretty sure her reluctance is not related to the Apocalypse, since that started very recently, while the situation between these two clearly has been like that for a long time… (Also, I don’t believe anyone would break up with her because of an unusual yet harmless hobby.) Other than that, I’m much in agreement though that something along these lines might very possibly be going on. It kinda *feels* like something is going on (“methinks the lady doth protest too much”) — unless that’s just wishful thinking on my part, since otherwise it would be a very depressing state of affairs indeed πŸ™‚

      • JW

        Indeed we haven’t seen any explicit signs of her being asexual

        Well, we have seen her not have sex a lot. Like, every page she’s in; there she is not having sex.
        Though, I suppose that applies to a lot of characters.

        Anyway, on a meta level, I think it’s unlikely she’s asexual for the same reason she’s not lesbian. If NI is hesitant to write about the latter because she can’t draw on experience from herself and her friends, that probably applies to the former as well.

    • antrik Reply

      Well, let’s hope it’s that, since that would be something she might grow out of πŸ™‚

      • antrik

        Um… Or do you mean Robert? Or both? It would kinda work either way…

  11. Doom Reply

    My current theory: Ada wants Rob to be her Best Friend. Ada does not want Rob to be her Boyfriend.
    Rob wants Ada to be both Best Friend and Girlfriend.
    I expect the issue Ada had with Rob’s ex was that Ada felt like Rob was abandoning her, no longer being her friend. If he could both date another girl and continue being her friend, I expect Ada would be fine with it.

    I look forwards to seeing how much of this is accurate and how much is shown to be false!

    • antrik Reply

      See, that’s the thing: no matter how hard he tries to stay friends with her, getting a girlfriend *inevitably* reduces the amount of attention he can pay to Ada — and last time he tried that, apparently she didn’t react well. (Or at least that’s the impression he got.)

      As for the rest of your post, I’d say that’s all pretty much established as fact at this point πŸ™‚

      • JW

        getting a girlfriend *inevitably* reduces the amount of attention he can pay to Ada

        And if it doesn’t it would probably upset the girlfriend.
        Of course nobody ever said that what Ada wants it rational, or possible. Or that what she says or thinks she wants is actually what she wants.

        Rob should just get a girlfriend that’s also in love with Ada. Then a) they have something in common, b) they both want to hang out with Ada, c ) … d) PROFIT!

      • antrik

        So when they have sex, they would *both* scream Ada’s name? Now that would certainly be an interesting twist on the old trope… πŸ˜‰

      • JW

        Sometimes it’s eerie how well you read my mind. That’s exactly what I was thinking a few minutes after I posted it. πŸ˜›

      • JW

        I’m so very tempted to try and top that.

        Still, at least they’d find some solace in each other. And you never know, it might grow into something beautiful.

      • JW

        Who then at some point travels back in time, and turns out to actually be the Ada we all know and love. And that’s why she can’t date Robert. And maybe Sofia is actually her mom, and that’s why she is trying to get them together. It all makes sense now! That’s why she was already practicing magic in school, and why she went with Robert to Japan to get the magic katanas. She knew the apocalypse was coming!

      • NotImportant NotImportant

        Damn it, did the scenario leak out again….?
        Sighhh and I need to rewrite it all now :C

  12. Flogge Reply

    Been lurking a while here but feel it’s necessary to say something here.

    Ada is being horrible here. Rob has been childish, but I think he is hopefully recognizing that he doesn’t need to continue to be a doormat to get a girl worth having. “I didn’t tell you not to do it.” She doesn’t want to control him. She wants him to control himself on her behalf. She tried to start the conversation in a way that makes him the idiot who didn’t understand her feelings and then acts hurt when he brings up her selfish moves of the past. I know these immature games happen plenty in our society, but here it’s even more unforgivable. Death is one mistake or a bad stroke of luck away for everyone here and she is still trying to make him think that she gave him a way out. She used his infatuation to keep her toy close and usable. She needs to squash his hope of having her intimately, give a sincere apology and acknowledge damage done, and make every effort to step away so he can heal. If she does some or all of these things she has begun to mature.

    • JW Reply

      I don’t think it’s fair to call Ada horrible for being unable to deal with her feelings and their effect on people in the best possible way. Unless you’re okay calling everyone horrible. It’s easy for us all to say how they both could have handled things better, since we’re unburdened by all those feelings and not in the heat of the moment, which are both making it hard to think things through.
      They should both sit down, and take a moment, and be calm and honest, rather than reacting to each other off the cuff.

      • Flogge

        Previously she has shown in thought bubbles that she recognizes when she is wrong so she is aware. The main issue I have here is that she continues to double down on her mistakes and manipulate Rob. He tried to step away despite his feelings for her and she reeled him back in. I’m sure he was under the impression that when she was “happy to have him back” it meant she had intentions to move forward with him at some point in the future. Maybe she did at that time, but her actions now indicate that either never was the case or is not now. At this point she should have been straight with him about her lack of interest. She is semi-passively playing matchmaker when she should be quite aware that he is going to be messed up from their history and not ready to just drop the issue and move on. Like I said previously she needs to acknowledge damage done in order to redeem her mistakes.

      • JW

        I agree with a lot of that, but right now they’re in the middle of a fight / emotional roller-coaster. I’m not saying that makes it right to try to shift the blame to the other person, but it’s a natural response. I’m hopeful that after they calm down Ada will apologize and they can have a real talk about it. They’ve been friends for ages, so I’m sure they’ll weather the storm.

  13. Crestlinger Reply

    Surprised nobody’s mentioned the other angle in this: Her visions. Of the ones she’s had thus far some would have had to have had him in them. Laura’s proof of them being fairly accurate so her needing him is trying to keep things from deviating from what was seen mainly because they are both alive in the ones she has seen and anything different has a higher than usual chance of meaning that other factor either has Them dying or anyone else involved. Further to that if Sofia’s also been in them that would be why Ada’s rooting for her now.

    • Refugnic Reply

      Ah, the visions.
      Well, I will agree that they will have to continue being around each other, for these visions to become true, however I am still arguing that they aren’t necessarily glimpses of the future to come, but much rather they might be glimpses of a past that is no more.

      But okay, let’s assume they are glimpses of a possible future, is it really one to desire?
      I mean, we have the vision, where they are in that red desert after the entire world has been reduced to rubble. (Seemingly)

      Did they look happy in that?
      Is going to kill Faust going to solve anything?
      Do you think they are going to be happier after that point?
      Or are they just going to slowly fade away, because the world’s nothing more than a red desert any more with no survivors but these three?
      Someone calculated, that it would take at least 400 specimen (probably more, I’m not sure) and careful planning to ensure mankinds survival without getting all kinds of incest related mutations in the first few generations…so Adam and Eve just wouldn’t cut it, even if they tried.

      So you see, this future is one, where they have no future at all.

      We’ve also seen a vision, where Laura is an apt magician, which reveals that she has the potential to work magic.
      The potential is already there at their point in time and by teaching Laura the basic magic, this vision became ‘possible’, but not necessarily ‘likely’. We also know they are going to succeed acquiring the book, because otherwise Laura wouldn’t be able to summon angels or ‘making the unseen visible’.
      But again, is it a future to desire?

      Cause from the way I see it, that event is going to plunge Laura into a solid depression.

      To get back to the topic at hand: This is the apocalypse.
      Even if Robert got with Sofia, he couldn’t possibly just disappear from Ada’s life, even if he wanted to.
      The camp’s too small for that and even though they are powerful, they cannot survive all by themselves out in the wild.

      It’s not like he can just ‘change his workplace’ or ‘move to another town’ or something.
      So yeah, taking the visions as ‘excuse’ for ‘I need you to stay close to me’ can be easily torn apart. πŸ˜‰

      • JW

        Someone calculated, that it would take at least 400 specimen (probably more, I’m not sure) and careful planning to ensure mankinds survival without getting all kinds of incest related mutations in the first few generations…so Adam and Eve just wouldn’t cut it, even if they tried.

        You’d be surprised how far you can get with a fridge πŸ˜›
        You don’t need specimens as much as specimen-samples. And I think I’ve heard estimates as low as a hundred. But more is better (and human genetic diversity is pretty bad, especially outside of Africa).

        I remember a few years ago some homophobic US senator (yes, I know that doesn’t particularly narrow it down) asked “If you could decide what 40 people [to start a colony on mars] you put on the spacecraft that would save humanity, how many of those would be same-sex couples?”
        The correct answer is of course zero. You’d send 38 women and a fridge full of men’s most useful contribution. Once technology progresses far enough, we can do away with people making the journey entirely. (Much safer as well, because it’s easier to protect samples against radiation.)

      • JW

        I should proofread better. Where I said “zero”, I meant “who fucking cares”. Anything from 0 to 38 would work.
        I remembered the quote incorrectly and didn’t proofread it after quoting, blegh.

      • antrik

        Since we are playing “how low can you go”… πŸ˜‰ I heard that all Przewalski Horses living today go back to 17 surviving specimen.

        Of course, people wouldn’t be too happy about making mating decisions based on ancestry alone for generations to come πŸ˜‰

      • JW

        Yeah. That’s why you should just separate mating and conception.

        If science fiction is anything to go by, in the future we’ll probably just emerge from large glass cylinders, rather than from the gory procedure we’ve followed the last few millions of years.

      • JW

        According to wikipedia, all Przewalski horses alive today are descended from just nine captured in 1945. (There were 4 more in that population that apparently didn’t contribute.)

      • JW

        You can just leave it like that till summer, then change it to 2019 πŸ˜›

      • JW

        If I remember correctly, putting a copyright mark and date on something has absolutely no legal meaning. NI has copyright automatically by virtue of being both author and artist of the creative work. A copyright mark might be useful to remind people of that, but using a different year or calendar or script certainty won’t constitute fraud.

        ΢φκΡʹ Ξ΅.Κ. Β© JW

      • antrik

        I think you might be confusing different aspects… It’s true that absence of a copyright mark doesn’t mean a work is in the public domain. However, the mark certainly *does* have a legal meaning — otherwise, lawyers wouldn’t be so pedantic about getting it exactly right…

        AIUI, the date of original publication has to be there, so people would know when the copyright expires. Of course nowadays Disney makes sure that copyright expiring is not something that actually happens anymore… But formally, it still has to be observed I believe.

      • JW

        From what I can find, the only use of a copyright notice is so that, if you sue someone for damages due to infringement, they can’t claim they didn’t know.
        But you can only sue for damages (at least in the US) if you’ve registered your copyright. In other cases, you can still e.g. sue someone to make them stop infringing your copyright (and/or demand they license the work from you), but since the “I didn’t know” defense is irrelevant, the copyright notice is as well.
        So unless work is registered, I think a copyright notice is no more (or less) legally relevant than “please do not steal this”.

        And since copyright extends for 50 or 100 years until after the creator’s death, I don’t think the year of publication matters as far as copyright expiration goes πŸ˜›

      • antrik

        Well, copyright term differ between jurisdictions. In the US it’s indeed something like author’s death + 70 years IIRC, when there is a single, known author (and I think 95 years from publication otherwise) — but it might be different elsewhere.

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