There was a LOT I was thinking about setting up before Friday night, but I decided that would have dragged on AND made things less fun, so...
Sorry, Hope, BUT IT'S FRIDAY NOW.
I had actually planned to jump into things even faster than this, with Part 4 beginning with Hope leaving the room to go to the comic shop, but I decided I wanted these two pages because REASONS (that I'll undoubtedly elaborate on later).
And now, the continuation (Star Trek stuff)
I mentioned not buying that Dr. Pulaski in Star Trek TNG wouldn't have a gut "that's a living being" reaction to Data (even if she did go on to be prejudiced against him and double down on him just being a machine, which I would buy), which affected my suspension of disbelief.
Someone has actually resuspended my disbelief by pointing out that Pulaski lives in the space future where people talk to their computers, have holograms, etc, and that she's had essentially every year of her life to have it reinforced in her mind that AI aren't real people.
Data might be the first true AI she ever saw, but he's far from the first "AI" she's talked to. That easily explains her lack of the sort of "that's a guy" gut reaction I'd expect. Her gut didn't see Data as anything new (which was the problem).
So apologies to... (checks) the 1987 writers of TNG. Her initial reaction made more sense than I thought it did.
I mean, I still don't like her being mean to Data, of course. I'm just saying I can now buy her immediately seeing him as a talking toaster.