I’ve been shopping for vehicles. I need something reliable, under 2k, and which is big enough to haul stuff (station wagon, minivan, van, etc). A camper would be sweet, but anything decent is pretty expensive. Anyhow, exhausting doing all this research. I haven’t bought a car in 15 years (and sold my last one 13 years ago), so I’m a bit out of the loop.

12/12/14 The Alien Promise

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  1. Hey, $2k makes a decent down payment on an old van or wagon, but all you’ll get for $2k at a dealership these days is buy-here-pay-here junk. Wrecked cars sketchily repaired and auctioned off to be sold, flood cars, stolen cars with forged data plates and titles, etc. By the time they get down to the $2k level they’re usually not only unreliable but not safe, either. It HAS been a while since you bought a car, eh? On the bright side there is the occasional gem to be had for $2k, but it will be an older, well-maintained car. Something a little old lady drove to church each week kind of thing. You’ll rarely find it at a dealership as when they get one like that they jack up the price.

    For example, if you can find a 2000 Chevy Malibu wagon with auto, heat, a/c and am/fm only, in good condition, it will cost you at least $2k and it’s gonna have a zillion miles on it and is 15 years old. Even in good condition it’s at about the end of its useful life and will soon start needing expensive repairs to engine and transmission. So for $2K anything newer will be a rusted out **it box unless you score one from a private seller, but that has dangers, too, as they are always “as is”. Good luck.

    • Look at late 80s (up to 91) suburbans. After that they became giant japanese SUVs. before that they were trucks.the 350 (5.7l) is the cheapest motor to fix, cause there are so many out there. mine has 200K miles and is still sweet. late 80s chevy wagons are good too. try craigslist, and follow your instinct.

      • I agree about getting something older, but would suggest go even older. Pre-smog chevys or fords. Anything with a ford big block straight 6 will run forever, no timing chain, just gears. For under 1K you can find old vans or wagons. With your other 1K, take it to a shop and have them check and replace worn steering and other safety equipment.

        • Yes, you _definitely_ should go with an older vehicle that has a lot replacement parts. The simpler the technology is, the easier it is to repair and keep running. The newest vehicles demand the replacement of $500 computer boards, and that’s NOT by accident…

    • All I can say is, don’t buy a Ford “F**us”. I had one, and discovered it’s amazing how unreliable the technology really is. And once it breaks, they want the price of a new car just to repair your old one. Not worth it…

  2. Is a lone human returning even a real option? It seems like there were some maneuvers on the outgoing trip that required multiple crew members.

    • I expect the aliens are advanced enough to program the ship to operate on automatic pilot, as well as automatic outs’n, ins’n, etc. They’re very good at puppetry. If they really want to scare humans, they can turn the dead crew into puppets.

  3. I got the council *to* agree to blahblah.

  4. That person sent back will need some proof. Otherwise the warning is useless, as most people will think the survivor just sent the others out the airlock and went home.

  5. Crown Victoria. Best value in America. If you need more cargo capacity get a small trailer.

  6. Honda Element – discontinued model, but well designed, with footprint of a civic but folding seta storage capacity of a minivan. If you find one without four wheel drive, it should be reasonable cheap but check to make sure the bushings and seals are in good shape.

  7. “Let’s send back Vagus!”

  8. Yeah, there’s basically no way this isn’t actually a secret test of character.

    • The question is, what is it a test of?

      Do they make a pragmatic choice – someone best suited to deliver the truth back to earth?

      Do they make a moral choice – Send the most innocent or ‘deserving’ of their fellow crew members to go home, to survive? Either one is a moral choice, though speaks to different judgement systems.

      If they end up with a ‘hung’ jury they obviously earn their ‘fate’.

      If they uniformly reject to choose who live and who dies, that is an interesting answer. I was going to say it’s the only good answer, but that’s only assuming a certain amount of unseen benevolence on the part of their captor(s). — suddenly getting the ‘alien’ is an AI surviving a dead civilization vibe.

      • If I was on the crew, I’d volunteer to stay behind and get killed.

        Because chances are it’s a test anyway, and if it isn’t, I sure as hell would rather be dead than return as the sole survivior.

        I mean, the government sent these guys off to die on purpose, and the aliens seem to forgot some of the *other* qualities of humans, such as our adaptability and drive. Declaring their system to be anathema and killing anyone that goes there is basically like issuing a challenge to mankind, hoisting the big red flag, as it were. And regardless of what it takes, you can bet mankind is going to rise to that challenge. If not tomorrow then 500 years later.

        And I sure as hell wouldn’t want to be the only person alive with any kind of knowledge of the aliens when that response comes.

  9. 2000-2002 Subaru Forester. anything under 100K miles is still young on those. 4WD, hauled, moved, camped, went across US, over MTns, thru deserts. Used it for kayaks, bikes, family, even aquariums full of seawater and sharks. Still have mine.

  10. @Dweeve — I read that too fast, and came away wondering why you’d want to take sharks camping…

  11. I’m really hoping these aliens make it seem like they kill most of the group, while really letting them live in a nice little garden on some forgotten world

  12. This is *SO* reminiscent of Pigs In Space. Good’un, Mister Dude. Soc201.

  13. King is showing the way out to the most manipulative left…

    …just because there are 184 bugging devices on everyone here(possibly since BIRTH) is no reason to think he is not better off with a test like this.

    And Orion sleeping a lot? She is probably on Dmitri’s human uplifting program, intensive class, and does not know it yet.

    That, or some OTHER alien managed to be paranoid sounding, secretive, ugly as heck, possibly handless, high tech more than seen in space trawler (teleporters would be a very, VERY Mirrgot-convenient thing and they can do it themselves), cynical about history and politics, patient, and known to insert memories of being tortured in people so the pointless torture before the killing would be part of his standard threat when it does not make sense?

    I smell King being in Vodka. Lol.

  14. Chris: In panel 3. “I got the council agree to” should probably read “I got the council’s agreement to”

  15. Thank you, @Seymour_Joseph! Fixed!

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