This is a transcribed copy of Paranatural: Chapter 3. Feel free to add to it, as long as the information comes directly from the comic.
|Previous: Chapter 2||Next: Chapter 4|
Alt text: Max clashes with the weirdest and wildest of his fellow students en route to a secret, spectral shortcut to the school.
Max: That... that is an AWESOME SUPERPOWER!!
Max: I guess this makes me a hero now, huh?
PJ: ...Well historically that's a villainish sort of ability.
Max: Hey eat fluff, buddy. There's no history of superpowers.
PJ: You are creating one. This is your first villainous act.
Max: Welp, this villain's gotta go evil on over to school. Goodbye men.
PJ: More like badbye, am I right??
PJ: Wow, how about never talk again, PJ? Ugh, awful.
Alt text: I meant in popular fiction but if you want to be a jerk and just kick me in the head that's cool too, I guess.
Mr. Puckett: OK, theory number six.
Mr. Puckett: In some sort of diabolic housewarming ritual, Mayview's local death cultists use an improvised splash 'n slide...
Mr. Puckett: ...to repeatedly slam their faces
Mr. Puckett: ...into the number eleven. Written in goat's blood.
Mr. Puckett: Because eleven is a prime number. That's a math thing, Zoey, look it up. Death cultists love math.
Zoey: I don't get it.
Mr. Puckett: Ha ha. You'll understand when you're smarter.
Zoey: Don't you mean older?
Zoey: ...Don't you mean older?
Alt text: Theory number five: a large, frog-like phantom breaks into the store, repeatedly eats itself, and is then slain by magical children.
Mr. Puckett: Son.
Mr. Puckett: Is that a friend, Max?
Max: In the loose sense of the word, sure.
Mr. Puckett: ...It's OK to have standards, you know.
Max: Not in this town.
Alt text: If by friend you mean he secretes the same colorful gas as me, then sure.
Max: Hey, how did you find my house? Did Isabel send you?
Isaac: No, I just happened to—This is your house?
Max: Well, then I don't know what's worse: that you're NOT here as sa bodyguard after last night's debacle...
Max: ...Or that every single one of your Activity Club weirdos now knows here I live!
Isaac: Wait, what happened last night?
Max: A ton! Crazy, supernatural things! And no one's telling me what I want to know!
Isaac: Man, join the club.
Max: Why, will that help?
Isaac: What? No, I meant...
Isaac: Like join the club of not... not being told what...
Isaac: ...No, joining the Activity Club will not help, no.
Alt text: I'd join your club, but I'm pretty sure it'd conflict with my mandatory Total Jerks Anonymous meetings.
Max: I thought learning was half your club's purpose.
Isaac: I mean, in theory, sure. But Mr. Spender's favored teaching mechanism is
Isaac: For the last two years I've been "taught" in sparse little prose nuggets, and then only when the information was contextually relevant.
Spender: (flashback) You know ,this reminds me of a curious little anecdote about spectral ethics...
Isaac: The context usually involves mortal peril.
Spender: (flashback) Isaac, fun fact: ectoplasm has semi-corrosive properties.
Isaac: The others, they don't care. Ed likes what Isabel likes and Isabel only likes fighting.
Isaac: That thing with the paper and the sunset? Probably reahearsed.
Isaac: ...Probably coreographed by demons.
Max: You're really not selling on the whole Activity Club lifestyle, bro.
Alt text: Demons not canon.
Isaac: Hold up. You've got uestions that I have answers to...
Max: Why isn't every inch of the Earth filled with the ghosts of dead bugs?
Isaac: And I've got questions Mr. Spender has answers to.
Max: "Why haven't you sold your magic students for mad black market greens yet?"
Isaac: Mr. Spender wants you to join the club...
Max: Wants it bad!
Isaac: ...So you use that as leverage to answer my questions, and I'll answer yours!
Max: Ah ha! One of those "you scratch my back...
Max: ...I threaten a teacher..." ...situations...
Isaac: Forget waiting for the bus. We can take my secret shortcut!
Alt text: Black market greens include jive chives, radesques, and drug carrots.
Max: Your shortcut is downhill? The school is in the opposite direction.
Max: At the opposite elevation!
Isaac: Just trust me, Max. It's a...
Max: Spectral thing.
Isaac: Yes. That.
Max: Does it have something to do with that key you were fondling dramatically?
Isaac: Yeah, we'll—Wha? Where'd it... Did I drop it?
Isaac: Give iit! Don't be a jerk!
Max: Haha, watch those hair spikes! I don't want gel poisoning!
Alt text: Isaac's hair has a bright coloration to warn potential predators of its venom.
Max: You're mad because this key's your "tool", right?
Isaac: Nope! Don't have one.
Max: What?! I broke my brooding persona for nothing!?
Max: So, what you do the club's... laundry? taxes?
Isaac: Please. I'm not useless. I could completely destroy Ed and Isabel together.
Max: Well that's a dark thought t've thunk, ya creep. Do you assess the murderability of all your friends?
Isaac: It's just a fact.
Max: Sooo... completely destroy them at... chess? competitive laundry?
Isaac: Shut uup Max
Alt text: Panel five's Max is just doing a regular speech balloon examination to make sure he's not suffering from chronic italicitis or Garfield's Disease, where all his words manifest as thought bubbles.
Isaac: Look, you don't need a tool to be powerful. Let me explain...
Isaac: When a resilient spirit is mortally wounded,
Isaac: ...it can stop itself from disappearing entirely by hiding inside an object.
Isaac: The possessed object lures a suitable spectral into finding it, then feeds off their energy.
Isaac: In return, the host spectral gets to wield the spirit's powers through the object. That's a tool.
Isaac: Once it's absorbed enough energy, the spirit emerges from the tool completely restored.
Max: Huh. I, uh.. don't think I'm old enough for a symbiotic relationship.
Isaac: There's more.
Isaac: If they can find one in time, spirits will possess a host directly.
Isaac: That works the same way, except the host gets to use the spirit's powers all on their own.
Isaac: That's me. I'm possessed.
Max: HA! You're a tool!
Isaac: Shut up.
Alt text: Yes, you too can obtain rainbow... bubble... powers by allowing a monstrous, phantom skelk to inhabit your genderless grey blob of a body.
Isaac: I'm not a tool, Max. I'm a medium.
Max: Yeah, I'm a large. BAZOWZOW! Huh-HA!
Isaac: Shut up shut up shut up shut up
Max: hehe. So you're trying to tell me that Ed's spirit just happened upon a huge, stretchy paintbrush to possess?
Isaac: A normal one. Tools start to look like their spirits as they recover. Mediums, too.
Max: Is your spirit a big ol' dork?
Isaac: Cut it out, Max. "You wouldn't like me when I'm angry" and all that. The only physical manifestation of my possession is my hair, which is
Isaac: SPIKY ALL ON ITS OWN!!
max: UH-HEH. HA. HUH0HA HA. HAHAHA!
Isaac: Don't laugh, it's serious. Like, what am I gonna do when this hairstyle goes out of fashion?
Max: *pfft* Yeah, whenver that happens.
Max: It still seems coincidental that a spirit with paint powers ends up in a paintbrush, and that a spirit with paper powers ends up... in...
Alt text: Retroactively invalidating the punchline three pages back.
Johnny: Heheyyy! If it sin't the Frown Prince of Wails!
Johnny: How them bruises healing??
Max: *sigh* Just fine, Johnny. Doctor says to avoid fists.
Johnny: Yeah boi yeah Gimme that skin
Isaac: Do you know these guys, Max?
Johnny: Hey there, buddy! Long time no see!
Johnny: Who the heck are you?
Alt text: The last panel's facial expression is known as ''anger gills.''
Johnny: Don't point your hair at me you chump elf!
Ollie: Don't star fights so quick, Johnny. Words before murds.
Johnny: ERNGHETSOME! YEAH! C'MON! RRG BRRG! OK! ...Ok. Ok, I'm good.
Johnny: Thanks for keeping me people, bro.
Ollie: Duhmension it.
Johnny: Pologies for my outburst, friends. Some Mayview Academy wannaboos were 'croachin' on our West Hill turf, so we had to brawl. I'm still in fight mode.
Johnny: There's not cheeks more punchable than rich cheeks, amd I right, Ollie?
Ollie: Sure. Reeeeal soft. Sometimes they spit out change.
Max: How is it you're able to talk without saying anything? It's like verbal moonwalking.
Johnny: Wuh-oh! Snark attack! Close the beaches!
Johnny: That enough words?
Ollie: Yeah OK.
Johnny: We're gonna beatchu both up now for because.
Isaac: ...You must be jok—
Max: NOPE, he's serious. We should go.
Alt text: Did you know more people are killed by vending machines than by snarks or something? Sheeeeyoot, I dunno. This alt text brought to you by Snark Week or whatever.
Max: Boost me! Boost me!
Gang Member: Punk's gettin' away!
Gang Member: Take his friend hostage!
Max: Oh shoot, I just ditched Isaac.
Gang Member: ...umpin' over!
Gang Member: WHOA!!
Ollie: Here, Johnny, get on my shoulders and climb—
Johnny: THE FRIENSHIP FUSION IS NOT A LADDER, IT IS A UNION OF SOULS!!
Isaac: Quit gawking and follow me.
Isaac: ...Max, what are you doing?
Max: A moment, comrade. I've got jerks to taunt.
Max: HEY JOHNNY!
Max: STUPID KINGDOM CALLED! THEY WANT THEIR LORD AND SOVEREIGN BACK!
Alt text: ''Well how about I just, like, throw you over-'' ''THE CAMARADERIE CANNON IS NOT FOR CLEARING OBSTACLES.''
Johnny: NO YOU
Max: NYEH HEH HEH HEH
Isaac: What meatheads. You sure attract some strange company, Max.
Max: Ghost-sight and spirit powers makes you Strange Company's CEO. Johnny's middle management at best.
Max: You fence-jumping phantom freakshow, you.
Isaac: "This is just in: Future Pot Calls Kettle Black!"
Max: "Boy Undergoing Horrific Transformation Into Pot Correctly Identifies Color of Kettle."
Isaac: After your powers come in and that bat starts summoning sentient metoers or something, in your eyes, I will be the patron saint of normality.
Max: I already gots powers.
Isaac: What?? Since when?
Max: This morning? Well, last night, I guess.
Isaac: Wow, you must have head a pretty boring first encounter with your spirit if me jumping a few extra feet still sets off your strangeness sensors.
Alt text: Pretty sure saints can't be CEOs. AT LEAST NOT GOOD ONES, AM I RIGHT!? HA HA PLEASE KILL ME
Sphinx: Flying awful low, little ghosts. You court consumption.
Sphinx: No, hold on. What's this? Still lugging around some meat? Spectrals! Isn't that just delicious.
Isaac: I can bounce this guy easy, so we might as well try and talk things out.
Sphinx: If you wish to cross my bridge, you must correctly answer 2 out of 3 of my riddles... Now then...
Sphinx: What has 4 legs in the morning, 2 legs in the afternoon, and 3 legs in the evening??
Isaac: It's man.
Sphinx: The answer is that guy.
Sphinx: Get one more incorrect and I eat you both.
Isaac: Max, loop around to the road while I spray bottle this sucker.
Max: But I wanna hear the second riddle—
Alt text: ''What, you thought I was using time of day as a metaphor for a human lifespan? That's really confusing, just absolutely terrible riddle construction.''
Johnny: Whoa, hold your horse. D'joo hear that.
Johnny: It sounded like a loser being thrown over a fence!
Max: (grumble) Isaac.
Johnny: Why you creepin' in people's yards, ya weirdo? Is that how you get your kicks, prostratin' on strangers' lawns like some kind of pervert lizard?
Johnny: Have you considered instead getting your kicks in the form of actual kicks? Cuz I know a guy.
Johnny: It's me. I'm the kick guy. Let me kick you.
Max: Johnny, I am picking up real subtle hints that you are a huge ludicrous oaf.
Max: I take it you still want to fight me?
Johnny: ON a scale of yes to no
Max: Wow, you just went full Zen Bully there. Pretty sure. I'm enlightened now. ...And therefore a pacifist. ...And therefore can't fight you.
Johnny: I'll pass a fist through your face
Gang Member: WHy you gotta play hard to beat up
Alt text: Zen Bullyism stresses the need to suffer and pay tithe in the form of lunch money in order to reach nerdvana.
Alt text: Max's Shred Eagle Big Air Soles only reveal their laces when the wearer is getting mad air/ when I need to show movement.
Suzy: Collin, this story is golden.
Collin: Yellow. You mean yellow.
Suzy: Oh, hush. We're not being paid to tell the truth.
Collin: We're not being paid at all! We are an unofficial middle school newspaper!
Suzy: Right, the truth is one of the many, many things we aren't being paid... for...
Suzy: Hey! It's Max! He's got a lot of nerve unknowingly appearing in my line of sight!
Suzy: Just the kind of nerve we could've used in the field!!
Suzy: Gotta get his attention...
Collin: What? Why? Suzy, just—
Suzy: Jeez. Dude knows his gestures.
Collin: WAS THAT YOUR PHONE!?
Suzy: Does he really think he'll catch up t—OH MY WORD
Suzy: Collin, give me your phone.
Alt text: Starchman Busted for Serial Jaywalking, Escapes Cops With Faerie Magic
Max: What in the what was up with that!?
Suzy: HEY THERE, BUTTLIEGE! Do any activities lately?
Max: SUZY. It was you!! You psychopath! You nearly chipped my flipping skull!!
Suzy: Oh chin up, scrub. I'm sure it's nothing that dumb hat of yours can't hide.
Suzy: No but seriously keep your chin up and maybe also put some ice on that
Max: YOU ARE A MENACE.
Suzy: Yes, well, know that I'm just as sorry about denting your forehead as you are about ignoring my invitation to hang out with us journalism folks yesterday.
Suzy: Which is to say... not very? Very a lot sorry? You tell me.
Max: I DON'T WANT TO JOIN YOUR STUPID CLUB. YOU CRAZED GOBLIN.
Suzy: I'm trying to help you find a new passion, Max. A life without passion is like a fish without a bicycle in a parallel universe where fish ride bicycles.
Max: You giving me advice is like an idiot giving me advice.
Suzy: Haha! So charming!
Alt text: ''Suzy, my health insurance doesn't cover crosshatching!''
Max: You barely know me, so I can forgive you for not picking up on this, but I'm kind of out of your league.
Max: I possess a plethora of popularity prerequisites.
Max: A natural aloofness. Good taste in music.
Max: A lack of interest in school clubs.
Suzy: You're a scooter skater, Max, you're NOT too cool for us.
Max: Yikes. Chipped my ego a bit there.
Suzy: Also I'm calling beans on your stated apathy for sch'lubs. Did you or did you yes spend yesterday afternoon with the Activity Club?
Max: Wha—I didn't... I didn't join or anything! They just—
Max: It's notchur BUSINESS suzy Leave me alone!
Suzy: Haha, squiiiirrrm!! Squirm like the mole I will compensate you to be!
Suzy: No but seriously I will pay you for information on the Activity Club.
Max: What? N—
Alt text: My uncle ran a successful notchur business.
Isaac: Is it that thing?
Spirit: All life is suffering
Sphinx: NO, it's an airplane! GOD you are SO DUMB at riddles!
Sphinx: NOW YOU'RE FOOD!!
Isaac: Why did I even bother?
Isaac: Don't pass out or something'll come along and eat you.
Sphinx: *HRRFF HACK* c-curse yooou, Spikeboy.
Sphinx: NYEH HEH HEH HEH HEHHH...
Isaac: Guh, what the—?
Sphinx: Having failed to solve my riddles, you cannot cross m bridge. Heh heh!
Alt text: Anybody who can reverse engineer that riddle and end up with something coherent gets a Starchman Star.
Max: H0hey, you best pop off, bro. I've got a bad attitude and I know where your knees are!
Johnny: haha, I'm just goofin' ya. I ain't gonna beat you up!
Johnny: Ha ha ha!
Max: THIS IS JUST AS BAD!
Johnny: Listen, we're not so different, you n' me. Like, our faces are very similar.
Max: I'm kind of on the phone, so...
Johnny: Point is, Max, we live in a world of similar things. Lots of stuff is the same as other stuff.
Max: Can I have my scooter back?
Johnny: I forget where I was going with this but the takeaway is your parents don't love each other.
Alt text: Erratic violence? More like e-RADICAL violence.
Max: JOHNNY I WILL SCALP YOUR WHOLE BODY!!
Johnny: Thug lieeefe
Max: Aw man no NO...!!
Sphinx: EAT YOU UP!
Isaac: GAH! Back OFF! I will hurt you!
Isaac: Hey man what's good
Alt text: Mo Johnny mo problems
Max: Suzy, are you there?
Collin: D-did we crash?
Max: I need you to open the emergency window across the aisle from you. WIDE.
Suzy: What?! Why?!
Collin: SUZY WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?
Alex: oh, well. excuse me.
Alt text: People hanging around Suzy have to get used to ducking a lot to avoid being punctured by rogue sound effects.
Bus Driver: Oy, what's goin' on back dere?!
Max: Here, catch!
Suzy: Haha, what even the heck!?
Collin: MY god, you're crazy like the rest of them.
Alex: this is all rather traumatic
Max: Hey man I'm being perfectly logical.
Max: Dude jacked my bat
Voice: WHO IS THAT!? I'll write you UP, DOWN, and AROUND!
Suzy: Collin, I got pics with both phones. DO you know what this means?
Suzy: 3D BLACKMAIL.
Alt text: Perfectly normal children holding polite conversation over loud alarms.
Max: YOU'RE DEA—
Max: I DON'T UNDERSTAAAND
Max: IT IS OVERTIME AT THE HORSE HOCKEY WORLD CUP, JOHNNY!
Max: GETTIN' REAL MAD
Johnny: What!? Sabotage!??
Max: YOU DID THAT
Alt text: As seen in panel 8, when angry, a tiny third arm emerges from Max's mouth. This is an involuntary defense reflex.
Max: DANGIT, JOHNNY! This avant garde bullyingchase shtick's for the birds!
Johnny: you're the birds
Max: How are you still riding that thing!?
Johnny: Grit n' grace, boyo!!
Johnny: Gah, my loot!
Alt text: You gotta keep your eyes peeled for Plot Rocks when scooting down Convenience Clearings.
Alt text: $1.00 (initial funds) - $.50 (extorted) + 1 (one) Starchman Star + $.25 (magnetized) = $500.75
Max: That is never going to stop being cool.
Max: Oh, uh, Johnny! There's a perfectly logical explanation for this that happens to be none of your business!
Max: Unholy molies, I've killed him.
Isaac: No, there'd be a ghost. He's probably just unconscious?
Max: Well that's incredibly convenieWHOA WAIT WHERE'D YOU COME FROM
Isaac: Um... the woods.
Max: What have you been doing this whole time?
Isaac: You know, woods stuff.
Alt text: What have you been doing this whole 5 to 10 minutes?
Isaac: So, um... what exactly happened here and should we call an ambulance?
Max: I got a little carried away with my
Max: MAGNET POWERS WHAAAT
Isaac: Oh, hey! Wow.
Isaac: A big magnet in the form of a big magnet. That's not lame at all.
Max: Cool, right? It's weird, I can sorta am it too.
Isaac: Dang, that could be useful. Shame any junk you toss around with that thing will probably pass through the spirits we deal with.
Alt text: Meanwhile, Johnny's organs begin to shut down.
Max: Whoa, uh... thanks for the save.
Isaac: THAT'S 3 STRIKES, FOOL! SPORTS LAW SAYS YOU'RE DEAD!!
Sphinx: How is it you are able to resist me!?
Max: Uh... I'm not really a cat person, so...
Isaac: UM, THE STRENGTH AND REFLEXES OF A 12-YEAR OLD CHILD?!
Isaac: YOU JOKE
Sphinx: You played against me and lost! The losing conditions must come to pass! Such is the power of the Sphinx of Games!
Isaac: DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY TIMES I COULD'VE POPPED YOU!?
Max: Isaac, I sphinx you should calm down.
Max: I'm just saying, you seem a riddle big mad.
Isaac: OK, OK. Point taken. We can still be smart about this.
Max: What? Oh, yeah.
Alt text: To get a license to practice sports law, you have to pass the bar 30 times. With your chin.
Alt text: Isaac has Polish Lightning Powers.
Sphinx: I-it doesn't matter! Answer my riddles or be devoured—those were the rules. Once you agree to play, my rules are law!
Max: I didn't agree to anything!
Sphinx: Participation is tacit agreement!
Max: Then you're about to agree to get hit with a bat.
Isaac: Your game's rigged. You shoehorned in eating us after the first riddle.
Sphinx: Wait, seriously
Sphinx: I'll be going then.
Sphinx: The others will hear about this!
Isaac: Tell them about how I shoot lightning.
Max: Tell me about how you shoot lightning.
Isaac: I can create and manipulate weather.
Max: ...Can we stop tumbling down hills looking for shortcuts and instead just make it a snow day?
Isaac: I can't do big stuff like that, only what you saw. Even then, sometimes it's...
Isaac: ...hard to control...
Max: Shut uuup
Alt text: Sometimes I try to make sleet and it comes out as freezing rain and I just cry and cry
Isaac: Well then, ready for the shortcut?
Max: Wait, I feel like I'm forgetting one or two things.
Max: ...Does 911 work in Mayview or is there some wacky and random alternative?
Max: Like, should I tap my heels together and believe in ambulances?
Isaac: No need. My power's half external materials, so it can be seen, felt, and heard by non-spectrals.
Max: What's your poi—Hey, whoa, no amateur deibrillation!
Isaac: My point is that his fleshy follower probably heard the lightning and is on his way.
Isaac: Speak of the devil! he can help.
Max: Uh, are you referring to Ollie, or was that imperative? 'Cause I'm not really down with Satanishenanigans.
Ollie: What have you done!? Nerderers!!
Isaac: Let him deal with it. C'mon!
Max: WHAT?? DUDE—
Ollie: Bro, are you OK!?
Johnny: Yeah man. I'm just chillin'.
Isaac: See? He's fine. Let's go.
Ollie: Dude, you're bleedin'—
Johnny: Oh, this ain't blood. My Impaht Krimson Deluxe Hair Dye liquefies upon collision for easy post-tussle reapplication.
Johnny: ...But that's neither here nor theer.
Johnny: I just seein some freaky sights, yo!
Alt text: ''But why aren't you hurt?'' ''Thanks to my BrainFortress hair gel from Bullique, my scalp is literally impenetrable and also I'm dying because it's poison''
Isaac: So just ask those questions and Mr. Spender might let something usefull slip.
Max: Uh, OK. Those are things I'd have asked on my own.
Isaac: Lo! The Slanted Manse! Herein lies our shortcut!
Max: It certainly... ...looms.
Isaac: Bizarre, right? I love it.
Max: I can see why. An architectural tribute to bad posture!
Isaac: MAX SCARED. MAX LASH OUT. MAX WORDS.
Max: Wow, that last burn was really enhanced by your bad posture.
Isaac: Ease up, Max. There's nothing to be afraid of here. It's abandoned. Pretty cool, huh?
Max: Eh, nto my kind of place. Too much fung, not enough shway.
Isaac: I like to come here to think and also teleport.
Doorman: Master! Have you succeeded—
Alt text: Nothing's more scary than an emaciated M. Bison.
Doorman: Young Master Isaac! I was... expecting someone else...
Isaac: Max, meet the shortcut! Shortcut, Max!
Doorman: You refer to me by my function. How... ...human.
Isaac: Oh, uh... I didn't mean anything by it, Doorman.
Max: If its name is also an occupation how is that not also referring to it by its function?
Isaac: SHUT UP, MAX
Doorman: ...Did you not, in exchange for my assistance, promise to keep me and my location a secret when first we met?
Isaac: Don't worry. Max won't tell. He's new and—
Doorman: Young Master Isaac. You have spoken of your vow to not use your powers to destroy, and to use violence only to defend. You do not s wear those things lightly... ...or without cause. This I know.
Doorman: You broke the promise between us because you did not fear the consequences of doing so. I have not the strength to stop you should you decide to reduce me to mere function... to make a tool of me. You have the storms. You have my secrets.
Doorman: In your heart, you knew these things, and allowed them to influence your behavior. This was in itself a small act of violence. Thus, our bond withers into a power relationship.
Max: Or it's just a man who looks like a door, that doesn't actually function as a doorman despite dressing like one? In which case, its name isn't its function, it's a description. Interesting.
Doorman: You have seen the damage a lightning bold can do. If you wish to be truly just, you must understand the destruction wrought by the shadow of a stormcloud.
Alt text: From the people that brought you Jokes(tm), it's Lectures (patent pending)!!
Doorman: Do not forget that your oaths of restraint are a means to an end, not the end itself. Learn to appreciate darkness in its more subtle forms, lest its influence deny you the redemption you seek.
Isaac: I'm sorry, Doorman... I wasn't thinking, I—
Isaac: No, I was... but only showing off with your power. Not about my promise to keep you secret.
Doorman: What is done is done.
Doorman: Now then... where shall I take you and your friend today?
Isaac: Huh? But I—
Doorman: I am always willing to assist...
Doorman: ...a true agent of justice.
Doorman: It is because your heart serves justice, Young Master, that such missteps as this torment you so.
Doorman: Ha ha. Well.
Isaac: I've got the key right here!
Doorman: And I the door.
Alt text: OW JESUS WHY WOULD YOU STICK A KEY IN MY FACE AAAH
Isaac: Let's go!
Max: The absurdity of this situation just hit me all at once.
Max: Look at yourselves.
Max: I'm sensing the implications and scale of this ghost stuff and it is making me queasy. How do you people take all of it in stride?
Doorman: It helps that I am not people.
Max: Oh jeez, everything's tilty.
Max: Isaac, tell your magic therapist to turn around. Light's makin' me dizzy.
Isaac: You're fine. Quit stalling and come on through. It's perfectly safe.
Max: What if the other side is a simulation in this guy's stomach? What if he's eaten us and we live out our lives mistaking extremely slow digestion for the aging process? What then?
Doorman: A moment, friend human. I am afraid our mutual companion's introduction did not take. You were... Young Master...?
Max: Oh, please. Young Master is my rapper name. Call me Max.
Doorman: I must discuss something serious with you, Max.
Max: Can I just get, like, the thesis statement?
Alt text: More like Boreman am I right
Doorman: For my own and others' safety. I am in hiding. Please, swear that you will tell no one about me or this place. Can you keep this promise?
Max/Scrapdragon: I'd laugh...
Max/Scrapdragon: ...but I didn't end up with the sense of humor.
Doorman: (high spirit) YOUR RETURN CHANGES NOTHING, SCHEMER. MY MASTER DOES NOT FEAR BROKEN GODS.
Max/Scrapdragon: She should. Would if she could. The comedy your ignorance breeds is wasted on my ears. Well, not my ears, exactly—
Doorman: (high spirit) ARROGANCE. YOUR POWER IS NOTHING TO BE AFRAID OF. RIDDLES AND WORD GAMES.
Max/Scrapdragon: From which speaking esoteric languages won't protect you. And I wasn't referring to my faction, though you do underestimate us.
Isaac: We'd better hurry. The buses are pulling in.
Max/Scrapdragon: Rolling tubes of screaming children, each as worthless as this sanctimonious fool's approval. If you must be pious, boy, choose a proper priest.
Max: Sorry, were you saying something?
Doorman: N-no. Please, proceed.
Isaac: Thanks, Doorman! I'll visit you later!
Alt text: Next time on Paranatural: Isaac gets amnesia, Glowy Eyes Max reveals he is Doorman's illegitimate child, Mr. Spender's evil twin comes back from the war
Max: So the Doorman's power is...
Isaac: Plug any key in his face and he'll take you through its door!
Max: The key you have is to this room, then? Are students allowed to have those?
Isaac: Is a school club allowed to bring couches up int oa class room?
Max: Um... probably not, no. Was that your point, or...
Spender: ABSOLUTELY NOT!!
Spender: Since when did B.L. start caring about the gut feelings of vigilantes?
Spender: If the Cousinhood wants to trail their greasy trenchcoats all over my town, the least they could do is habeas a gosh dang corpus!!...
Spender: ...EXCUSE YOUR LANGUAGE, TEXAS!!
Isaac: Hide, Max, hide!
Max: From Mr. Spender? Whyy??
Isaac: Mr. Walker?? Darn, I can tell this is juicy shop talk, but it's all Greek to me...
Max: Pretty sure that was Latin.
Spender: ...I'll half-swear all I want, you scallion!
Spender: OUTRANK MY FIST!!
Max: Hey. Hey Isaac. Ddi you know that eavesdropping is, in itself, a small act of vi-o-lencce?
Isaac: Sshhhhhhut up
Alt text: Anime Hatsweat
Spender: There are no monsters in Mayview. THe Cousinhood as no business here. I don't see why this warranted a phone call.
Spender: Honestly, it's bad enough seeing you in my dreams every night.
Max: I DO DECLARE
Spender: How'd you two get in here??
Max: Through the door, man.
Spender: Ah, umm! That was...
Spender: ...Exactly what it sounded like, I suppose.
Max: Aw jeez, Isaac. I think you broke my "your principles of nonviolence," uh, gland.
Spender: maxwell... you are uninjured?
Max: Yeah, I'm fine. Isaac's fists are like wet bagels.
Spender: I was referring to the incident last night. Ed mentioned something about a fight with a spirit...?
Max: Oh. That turned out all right too.
Alt text: ''I mean I suffered brain damage that prevents me from making coherent analogies but other than that...''
Spender: Well, I'm glad no one was hurt.
Max: I don't know about that. You should see the other guy.
Max: He's a toilet plunger.
Spender: ...I'm sorry?
Max: Apology accepted. You sent me home to a house full of spirits, you know.
Spender: I sent you home with a weapon and a warning, not to mention my best fighter's phone number. Fair safeguards, given your premature departure.
Isaac: Best fighter?? I shoot lightning!!
Spender: Still, I am sorry. Considering the situation, running was a realistic, if not well-reasoned, reaction.
max: I can't stay mad after all that alliteration, can you?
Spender: You two seem to be getting along. Friends already, I hope.
Isaac: In the loose sense of the word, sure.
Max: Wow, rude? Golden rule, Isaac.
Spender: I am sure Maxwell will round out our little group rather nicely, then. And quds again means squads again! Spectactical! Ho-ho.
Spender: Ah, you have decided to join the club, yes?
Max: Oh, sure.
Max: But I have a few questions first.
Alt text: Isaac presses his face into his hand and inhales deeply. ''Sesame,'' he whispers, and smiles.
Spender: I will answer to the best of my ability and/or the limits of your authorization.
Max: Wow, sounds promising. First off, what's a good place to learn about spectral stuff?
Spender: You're looking at him.
Spender: Well, it.
Spender: Whatever place I am in.
Spender: Is a good place.
Spender: Because of me.
Spender: I am, as it so happens, something of an amateur spectral scholar. I possess a respectable knowledge of possesion, the ins and outs of the grudge process... studied what little supernatural history there is to study... even dabbled in spirit linguistics.
Isaac: BLAH BLAH
Spender: Which is to say, we have come full circle, and you may ask any questions, and I will answer to the best of my considerably significant ability.
Spender: And/or the limits of you significantly less considerable authorization.
Max: no, no. I mean like besides you.
Max: That's what I mean, right?
Spender: ...I do own a small, personal collection of scholarly volumes written by spectrals, but—
Isaac: W-WHAT?! Since when??
Spender: Since most of my adult life and leading up to when it was eaten...
Max: Haha, don't explain that. I want it as is.
Alt text: It is possible that Mr. Spender's lament has nothing to do with Isabel the Activity Club member, and ''Isabel'' is just a swear word in the Paranatural universe. Which would make Isabel the Activity Club member's parents pretty hardcore.
Spender: Still, though, wouldn't it be logical to test your queries out on me before worrying about other sources?
Isaac: Didn't you have a question for Mr. Spender about Mr. Spender, Max?
Max: DID YOU?
Max: I DID!
Isaac: hate you
Max: Who do you work for?
Spender: ...The government.
Spender: I am, after all, a public school teacher.
Spender: I must say, Maxwell, these are strange questions for a beginner to ask...
Isaac: His questions make sense. I know I wouldn't want to unwittingly be doign spec work for some evil syndicate.
Spender: The purely hypothetical organization I may or may not work for is an unequivocal and entirely figurative force for good.
Isaac: Then why not acknowledge its obvious existence!? I've seen Mr. Walker, seen others in the same weird suits, seen those mooks at Isabel's place—
Spender: Isaac, I know you're frustrated, and I feel very [bad] about that, but [I am not allowed] to [discuss such matters] with [you for the duration of your possession]
Isaac: STOP DOING THAT!!!
Alt text: If you want to keep the fourth wall intact, just imagine the censored bits in the last panel are loud screeches. And that Mr. Spender whispered ''ellipsis'' sensually in panel 7.
Spender: These are questions you have posed in the past. If you wanted to test whether only you were being kept in the dark about certain things, you should have had Maxwell ask me them in private and then report back to you later.
Isaac: I don't know what you're talking about.
Spender: I'm saying your subterfuge is lacking.
Spender: Heh! You have a lot to learn before you can trick information out of me, Isaac!
Isaac: BIT OF A CATCH-22 THERE, SIR.
Max: This club seems like a positive learning environment
Spender: that being said... answers I can't give you... answers you can't read in a book... With evidence and insight, they can be assembled safely somewhere else, can they not?
Isaac: That's "figure stuff out on your own" in enormous jerklord, is it not?
Max: Are you on the drugs?
Spender: More than just that. Employ your imagination.
Spender: That was in response to Isaac. I am perfectly lucid. Exceedingly lucid, at times. Next question.
Max: Actually, about last night. There was a moment during the fight where, like, time froze for everything but me. Well, not just me... There was this big black... spirit I guess?—came out of nowhere—right outside the window...
Max: Or what was left of the window. Everything was ruined and covered in junk, and it was sunset all of a sudden, or something. Then all that stuff disappeared and time started moving again. So, like—
Spender: Time did not freeze. You were just in a state of heightened perception. Had you remeained in communion with your spirit for longer, you would have noticed objects moving, albeit ver yslowly.
Isaac: Ah, yeah! That's—
Max: My spirit...?
Spender: Whatever being you saw at that time is the spirit inside your tool, yes.
Alt text: That or it could be a spirit with the power to stop time for everyone but you, put junk everywhere, and make it dusk, and then undo all that and disappear. But that is highly unlikely.
Max: Heightened perception... so I'm seeing hidden things, like with ghosts?
Spender: No, no, it's in your head. Like a vision. Sort of.
Spender: Isaac, could you demonstrate?
Isaac: HMPH. I could.
Max: Why are you sitting like that
Isaac: You heard him. Pull me in alread—
Isaac: (gibberish)should be.
Spender: How long was that for you?
Isaac: Umm...little less than a minute?
Spender: So you see, time feels warped because your body and brain are moving so fast. Your percieved reality is similarly warped by your spirits influence. Hence junk, ruins, etcetera. However—Oh, er, may I see your backpack, Maxwell?
Max: Uh, sure.
Spender: Thank you.
Spender: However, the vision is essentially real to you, so if you were to, say, get your head bitten off by your spirit, that carries over to real life.
Max: WHAT?! H-H-OHW IS THAT—
Spender: It's a supernatural thing. I wouldn't worry about it.
Spender: About how it works, I mean. You should definitely worry about getting your head bitten off.
Alt text: Easy, 4chan, it's just random squiggles this time
Spender: Isaac, could you demonstrate?
Isaac: HMPH. I could.
Max: Why are you sitting like that
Isaac: You heard him. Pull me in alread—
Isaac: Wow, what's your problem.
King C.: TAKE a GUESS!!
Isaac: Uh, you've got a short temper and a long list of things that make you angry? We're just playing visual aid to Mr. Spender's talk. It's no big deal.
King C.: I COMMAND you to stop doing the GLASSES MAN'S bidding!
Isaac: I'm not making a habit of it. Our interests just happen to align while he's helping out the new spectral. If you don't like it, you can bum off someone else's spectral energy.
King C.: No vessel of MY power will be some PUPPET'S PUPPET!!
Isaac: Oh, hush up, ya blowhard.
Alt text: ''Don't tell ME what to DO! I'll not be some PUPPET'S PUPPET'S PUPPET!''
King C.: I don't care how MINOR the REQUEST, you will refuse the gLASSES MAN'S ORDERS as a MATTER of PRINCIPLE!
Isaac: Ooh, you have principles now?
King C.: I don't UNDERSTAND, ISAAC CHILD BOY. Why does my FEARSOME MIGHT not inspire the same RESPECT you give the DOOR CREATURE for outlining your INADEQUACIES in VAPID SERMONS?!
Isaac: Don't insult Doorman! He's helped me, unlike you!
King C.: HA! It is easy to prech NONVIOLENCE...
King C.: ...When you are WEEEEEEAAAK!
King C.: We are not so DIFFERENT, you and I.
King C.: The DOOR'S lessons weren't with you when you let loose LIGHTNING to scare that SPHINX, nor when you expressed your ANNOYANCE toward the GLASSES MAN with ELECTRICITY, though you knew it HARMLESS. You may be reluctant to BITE, but you BARE YOUR FANGS READILY.
King C.: Your fury is RIGHTEOUS! Your anger, DIVINE! OATHS of RESTRAINT are not for you! You are an AGENT OF JUDGEMENT!
King C.: Now here MY sermon! Let it have FEW WORDS as befits a GOD'S COMMANDMENTS!
King C.: "GOOD" is that which EVIL FEARS...
King C.: and JUSTICE is when you MAKE THOSE FEARS A REALITY!!
Isaac: I'm beginning to think that I've always been giving you more respect than I—
Alt text: The DOORS' lessons, on the other hand, were definitely with you. [Joke involving Riders on the Storm] [(literally) Light My Fire (with lightning??)]
Isabel: Morning patrol, reporting in!
Spender: Ah, just a moment, Isabel. I believe I've accidentally traumatized the new recruit.
Max: I've never gotten my head bitten off before man I don't wanna take that risk
Spender: Now Maxwell, there is nothin to be afraid of. If you feel you are in danger while in a spirit trance, simply distance yourself from your tool and the vision will end.
Spender: The boss of your connection with your spirit is a mental link. If it can't get at your mind, it can't hurt you. Or help you, for that matter.
Spender: That is hy I threw your backpack all the way over there. WHile you're close to that bat, your spirit will be sharing your senses, so it's wise to not give it any ideas it may not already have.
Spender: About murdering you, I mean.
Max: YEAH I GOT THAT THANKS
Spender: But look on the bright side!
Spender: Since your spirit can see what you see, it'll know the sort of tough customers it's going to have to deal with if it messes with you!
Spender: Edward, where is your face?
Isabel: Oh, it got erased. It'll come back. Mine did.
Isabel: Still waiting on some fingers though.
Spender: ...How is he breathing?
Max: I AM GOING TO DIE.
Isaac: So aren't we all. Life's about doing good with—
Alt text: Mr. Spender is a tough customer at at least three book stores and one sushi place.
Spender: But look on the even brighter side!
Spender: Meeting your spirit is a sure sign that its link with you is reaching maturity, which means you'll be getting a power of your own any day now!
Max: I already got magnet powers which is cool and all but not like to die for, y'knkow?
Isaac: But think of all the loose change you could find and then return to the people who dropped it.
Spender: Magnet powers, you say? That's stupendid!
Isabel: Isaac, is that an injury?
Max: Thank... you?
Isaac: Ah! it's just a scratch, don't—
Spender: You're all anxious about all this spectral business. I get that. Really, I do.
Spender: You've had a startling new world appear in front of you and there's a lot to learn. You don't know where to start or who to trust.
SPender: Still, at the same time, it's exciting! Ghosts and spirits and powers—a part of you wants to immerse yourself in it all and just see what happens.
Spender: But whether or not everything turns out for the better, you don't want to go it alone.
Spender: To which I say join the club. We all felt the same way. Still do! You won't find anyone more understanding of what you're going through than us.
Alt text: That was a nice speech but Isaac sort of unintentionally utilized that wordplay earlier in the chapter so I don't think it had its maximum possible impact
Spender: So what do you say, Max? are to throw your hat in with the Activity Club?
Max: I'll stick around for as long as it's logical. The hat stays where it is.
Isabel: Yesss! New member!
Isabel: Max, you and me are gonna spar.
Isabel: Spar means fight.
Ed: YAAAH!! INK ON MY EYEBALLS!
Spender: Wonderful decision, Maxwell! Welcome to the team!
Max: We understand I'm a reluctant member right? MOSTLY TOO COOL FOR THIS?
Spender: Ah, drat. There's the bell.
Spender: I'll write you a late pass. Who's your first period teacher?
Max: Umm, Mr. Garcia, but you should probably make it out "to whom it may concern."
Isabel: Very cool, Isaac. Very brooding antihero.
Isaac: You think?
Alt text: The Mayview Middle School bell is a recording of Mister Starchman screeching ''RING RING RING''
Spender: We can discuss your responsibilities later. For now all I ask is that you keep everything you learned a secret, naturally.
Spender: LATE PASS! Where's that pen?!
Isabel: Is a pencil OK?
Spender: Ah, thank you—
Isabel: Is a possessed pencil OK?
Spender: Please refrain from bringing tools near me until we've confirmed they aren't yellow. My mind is in a delicate balance and—
Isabel: Relax, it's the erasy spirit from morning patrol. It was frosty pink.
Isabel: Also Ed and Max mad e this last night. Grandpa didn't want it 'cause it isn't red. Said to give it to Isaac.
Spender: Your grandfather does not have rights of first refusal on tool secured by this clu—
Isaac: I don't want that.
Alt text: join the clum
Max: Before I go, I've got one last question.
Max: Are you more likely to find a ghost where it died or where she was buried? Or elsewhere?
Spender: The place of death is one's best bet, since that is where the ghost is produced.
Max: Thanks. Later.
Spender: That wasnt very subtle
Isabel: Four stars dead mom
Ed: You're on.
Spender: And here I was hoping for a low-maintenance member, like Ed.
Ed: You say that, sir, but you haven't watered me in weeks.
Spender: We'll help him however we can.
Alt text: Isabel's dialogue in panel 6: insensitive gambling proposal or bizarre hotel review?