because a lot of people are having trouble with the idea of Ro-pets. or robotic pets. I thought I should clarify a few things. namely that BOE is set in the future. Not sure how far into the future though. 20 to 30 plus years at a guess. I apretiate I have not made this clear, as I did not have the confidence to depict this while we were out and about in an environment where this could be depicted. fearing that the inclusion of futuristic technology might detract from the enjoyment of the comic. This was clearly a mistake, and I will seek to correct it in future pages to make this fact clearer.
Q1) we don't have the AI to make a convincing Ro-pet
A1) this is true. Making a sutably advanced AI is proving remarkably difficult. However AI's are at last coming to fruition that CAN make the grade. However, these AI's only manage to do so in one specialized field at the moment. If you doubt this youtube search for asimo.
So while the AI technology does not exist at the moment, it is increasingly likely that it will do. and when it does they'll be looking for ways to capitalize on it's existence. Robotic pets will be one such avenue, (especially as this market already exists in japan)
Q2) one touch of Tia should confirm she's alive. why can't they tell she's alive. she has fur, body warmth and a pulse.
A2) once you have a robot body and an AI to guide it. all you'd have to do is wrap it in synthetic flesh. or for preference, genetically altered, real flesh, because that way it would self repair. Like the T1000 from terminator. this is not as far fetched as it may sound. artificial flesh already exists, fake hair has existed for hundreds of years and skin and flesh growing is a science of intrinsic value to the medical profession and is an area of intense study and research.
Q3) but surely Tia is a living breathing magical creature. it's obvious to me. why can't anyone in the comic see it?
A.3) Because you were told from page 1 that she's real. But they weren't and there used to creatures like Tia, and they are called Ro-pets. no one has told them she's real, and even if they were told, the prospect of someone altering DNA and creating a whole new species is still a bigger logical jump than, it's a robotic pet with a synthetic flesh covering.
I hope this helps.