The story took a few more turns the past week. Journalist Jebediah Jeter continued to explain to Mark his presence in the forest, due to threats from malevolent tech guru Sid Stump. Jeb said that “he knew too much,” so Jeb exiled him to the forest to be killed by a bear. But what did Jeb know too much of? Either that Sid Stump is using A.I. to flood the world with misinformation to create worldwide havoc, or that the A.I. scheme is really a scam and Stump’s real secret plan is to con rich people into investing money into the project. We learned that Stump was aware all along of the dangerous geology in the area and was selling the camp as an experience with the thrill of danger. At this point, I’m not sure where the STEM concept fits in, except as some kind of public “cover.” Maybe a phony public cover story makes a good proof of concept for his A.I. misinformation plan!
I presume the incentive for investors to support Stump’s A.I. scam—or scheme—would be finding ways to capitalize on the instability generated by the misinformation: Taking advantage of the stock market or seeking political gain, perhaps?
But Jeb is now stuck in the forest, unable to leave, but protected by the bear that was supposed to kill him. Apparently, Jeb never thought about simply walking through the woods to get away or walking out with his Bear bodyguard by his side.
Mark did offer to give Jeb a ride down the hill. Unfortunately, Mark’s ignorance of how light functions at night created a new crisis. Sid Stump and the two NFT Bros were able to track them down because Mark kept his flashlight on while pointing it upward, like a spotlight. Stump was kind enough to give credit to Mark for helping make their discovery possible. And that’s how we ended the week with a classic “cliff hanger.”
Another really good title panel! Box turtles were plentiful where I grew up. As little kids, we sometimes fed them wet dog food. They looked cool, and we sometimes kept them as pets for a while, but I remember they were too much of a nuisance to take care of, especially when you are around 8. They weren’t dangerous and they usually closed up when we approached. We also had snapping turtles in the area, sometimes big ones. Now, those dudes really were dangerous! We fed them sticks that they would bite down on, then we tried to raise them up by lifting the stick. They’d ultimately let go, dropping down into the swampy area where they live, with a big splash. We’d haul our little butts out of there real fast. Yeah, we were a bunch of very young, stupid kids, laughing at the excitement and our fear.
Mark forgot about the WWII searchlights auto dealers and shopping centers used to attract attention, though my guess is this version of Mark was born after 1980.
You’re right! I suppose it must have been Grandpa Trail who stepped out of WWII to evolve into the first generation of Family Trail nature photographers, and would have known. But yeah, millennials perhaps missed the “excitement” of all of those searchlight openings and special events.