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Mind over matter!
It's a What Now?!


Starting from Comic #660: It's a What Now?!
It's a What Now?!
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: there are times when I have no freakin' idea where my ideas come from. This is just such a case - I'm not sure whether it's something that came to me at 4am (while groggy and delusional), or when I was out for a walk (possibly also while groggy and delusional), or just some random thing Artie and Gene were already up to that I happened to eavesdrop on; but the sheer rotated-at-ninety-degrees-to-normal premise behind this story makes me fear for my own sanity. Still, who else but Gene could randomly come across a facial hair-adorned piece of rock while running around in the woods (definitely while groggy and delusional!)? It's just the kind a' thing the man does, after all. And underneath Artie's perplexment, I'm sure the more cynical part him is thinking 'Ah, it's time for one of THOSE situations. Marvelous.' Good luck figuring it out, you two, 'cause I sure can't help you....

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I mean, considering we're approaching #666...
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Bromancing the Stone
Uh oh - is Gene about to form his own freaky little cult of 'stache rocked worship? I wouldn't put it past him, sadly. Once Mr. Ellis becomes fixated on something (usually some new piece of Star Wars-related shwag), there is little to stop his devotion turning just that little bit weird.... and that's when he's on his normal 'default' setting. The Mystery Rock, in particular, ticks any number of boxes in Gene's mental checklist of awesome: it's random. It's unexpected. It's bizarrely cool. And it represents a tantalizing mystery that maybe, maybe, he can bring to heel if only.... he stares.... long enough. Failing that, he gets to annoy all his friends by being utterly aggravating - that's always fun!
Unstoppable force, meet immovable object
You've got to wonder whether Artie, Macy, Ax and Jenny have started to wonder at this point 'Hang on, is Gene just winding us up?' Their good friend is well known for his elaborate, head-scratching psych-outs; and staging a 'find a mysterious object in the woods, and drive everyone to distraction philosophizing over it' scenarion would be exactly the kind of long game he might choose to play. Unfortunately, if they're thinking that, they'd be wrong.... justified in their paranoia, but, nope, wrong. The Mystery Rock is a genuine head-scratcher, and Gene's aggravating absorption in it might just be a bonafide power that he / she / it has over him! Has he gone to work in the last few days, for example? No idea. Gene is right on one thing, though - its composition is definitely closer to a Granodiorite than a basic granite: there's only 60% silica minerals (rather than around 70 as in granite), a much greater concentration of sodium-rich plagioclase feldspar, and slightly lower levels of quartz. That's what a degree in geology gets ya, folks....
The big ol' Stare-Down
What's more embarrassing here, Gene: the fact that you're engaged in a staring match with a freakin' rock, or the fact that you were one to blink first? There's on doubt that by this point, Mr. Ellis is being propelled ahead more by a sense of pugnacious stubbornicity than any spirit of scientific enquiry - when he goes all out in trying to come out on top, regardless of his opponent, logic and objectivity can just go jump themselves! Still, the Mystery Rock is looking pretty smug right there.... better pack a lunch, folks, because wearing it down is gonna be an all-day job....
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