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when we last left off, our heroes had just encounterest their greatest challenge yet:

are they brave? are they crazy? yes to both. but i was once brave and crazy.

hmm. Now I'm just one of THE TWO.

using their knowledge of the earth's movement and of acceleration to cross this mysterious world.

end of recording.

did you hear that?

everett, was that you?

hear what?

i swear some dude was talking about us.

whatever. this place is beautiful!

there are, like, trees and bushes and there's grass everywhere!

not sure how we woke up in these clothes, though.


CAW!

are you kidding? you've never seen a bird before?

everett, i think there's something wrong with --

I LOVE BIRDS!

really? but you're, like, a talking phone.

WAIT, a bird?!

so what? biology is my favorite science! especially ornithology, the study of birds!


huh. i didn't expect that from you.

Like, everything that’s alive is made of the same things. Every single thing that makes up living things has carbon in it, and carbon is just some chemical element that’s really good at bonding with other chemical elements.

How can you not love the study of life itself? when you break down everything that's alive, they're all made of the same basic molecules, just in different patterns and structures!

Then you unfocus the picture and everything gets complicated, but it still kind of stays simple. Carbon is just a piece of the programming of every living thing, DNA (or deoxyribonucleic acid if you wanna get technical).

Every strand of DNA is like a twisting ladder, and all the rungs that make it up form different orders of chemical pieces. The ordering of those pieces is the single most important factor of how life differs; DNA codes all of us, but the way DNA can be a little bit different can have huge effects on what we look like or how we function.

Hey, Everett, you got something to say about that? Like, “woah,” or something?

i could go on forever, but i won't because

yeaaaahhhh... hehe... ok...

THERE's a wolf over there!


WHAT?! everett, punch it in the face!

probably!

hey, that's no wolf!

that's a... pink poodle?

now i've seen everything!

good afternoon, young girl! I am dr. woofykins, the single smartest animal in the known world!

now i've heard everything!

but wait, i thought great apes were the smartest animals in the known world.

wait, i can translate!

they don't read as many books as i do.


oh, excuse me sir. you had me frightened and i thought you might be a vacuum cleaner. i see this is not the case, although i wonder if you are simply a vacuum cleaner poorly disguised.

anyhow, are you two on your way to the city of disc, capital of the gears?

yes, you are.

yes, I was.

splendid! so was i, until i heard a suspicious noise in the bushes. i'm sure it was just a small animal.

so you're a hyperintelligent poodle. what brings you here?

but i digress. when we reach disc, we can part ways. until then, let us keep each other company.

i'm sorry? i don't understand.

excellent question. i come to disc seeking one o the last relics of whatever world existed before all known life entered it: a robot.


a bit cliched, yes.

though those machines were a gift, nobody can operate anything. somehow, none of the people who were first brought here (and we don't even know how they were) had any mathematical or scientific skills.

well, neither does anyone else. this world was once empty of humanity and poodledom altogether. there was only machinery left by some old civilization.

geez, that's kind of scary. a bit.

that's why i need to find a robot, take it back to my poodle tribe, and learn to replicate it. then we can build more robots to give everyone walkies!

um, can't you guys walk yourselves? it's just not the same.


that's ridiculous. if i had a robot, i'd program it to play soccer or fight crime or make pudding.

You simply don't understand, human. poodles have sophisticate dneeds. we need someone to hold the leash while we go to the bathroom.

i mean, you can, but...

everett, you can't stay quiet forever.

hey, when did that get here?


welcome to disc --

i can take it from here, dawg.

what's his deal?

ruff!

ahem. welcome to disc, the capital of the gears. a city built from the peak of technology! the shiniest place... not on earth!

oh my god, it's all so beautiful.

he's probably off to find an android. maybe do some other dog nobody knows how any of it works, either!

you're joking.

nope. and if nobody knows how to maintain the machinery, the electrical stem, the programming, the architecture, anything...

the moment something breaks, everything will start falling apart.


but, can't you do something, stemford? you're, like, the perfect database!

people need to be willing to learn, hopper. they often need to be passionate about something to want to understand it. everyone here is content with nothing changing. at some point, they'll realize that the world can change with or without them.

stemford, that's really depressing and i'm really hungry. have i even eaten since i showed up in this weird place?

yeah, but if we showed that this comic would never meet its deadline!

i hope that's also true for going to the bathroom, hopper. don't be gross.

oh, there's a scrap heap!

look, dog, you can't just have that metal man! he's sleeping! ugh, does anyone speak dog?

i never understand the fashion in this world.


who would bother learning a new language? my friend speaks dog!

i speak poodle. don't get carried away.

that's true, learning anything is pretty dumb. look here, ruffian! my pack requires this android for the benefit of canine-kind!

get out of here, dog! we're not letting you touch the metal man! if it attacks us, we'll never be able to stop it!

we've already developed our own computers, but we need to study the design of this contraption so we can develop our own!

now git, or i'll vacuum the hide off you!

You’re not doing anyone any favors by being a jerk, dude! If you don’t want to figure anything out, that’s your problem.

ok, maybe walkie robots aren't that important.

Professor Fluffykins is trying to make the world a better place for his pack, and that means he has to experiment with the unknown! We all have to, whether in science or art or sports or whatever.

if we don't experiment, we'll never learn how to do anything new! so back off, because i bet you don't even know how to use that vacuum!


wow. look at you. so feisty.

aw.

psh, stop. Everett, you could stand to learn something from me once in a while.

everett? hey, where'd he go?

grrrr.

it's that bird... again!

not sure. that's odd.

hey... birdy... i don't want no trouble...

it looks weird up close. something about the way it moves. it's kind of... mechanical?


HELLO, AGAIN, GIRL.

CAW!

I'M PLEASED TO SEE YOU'RE HANGING IN THERE. BILL?

THIS IS ANOTHER RECORDING, SO DON'T BOTHER ASKING ANY QUESTIONS. YES, I AM VERY, VERY SMART.

AND YES, I ADORE BIRDS. I'M A BIT OF AN ORNITHOLOGIST IN MY SPARE TIME.

ANYWAY, I WOULD LIKE TO CONGRATULATE YOU ON YOUR PROGRESS, BUT YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO TAKE A SLIGHT DETOUR NOW.

DON'T WORRY, YOU'LL SEE YOUR FRIENDS SOON.

NOW SHUT YOUR EYES, HOPPER.

I MEAN, THERE HAS TO BE ANOTHER VOLUME NEXT SEASON, RIGHT?

OPEN THEM.

to be continued.


Hopper [Issue 5]