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Comic 1296 - XV The Devil ( Upright )

29th Jun 2015, 12:00 AM
XV The Devil ( Upright )
Average Rating: 5 (17 votes)
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Comments:

Haegan2005 29th Jun 2015, 12:01 AM edit delete reply

well, well, well!

She is a rebel... Now how will this turn out I wonder?
velvetsanity 29th Jun 2015, 12:16 AM edit delete reply

Painfully for Malati, I suspect :(
Haegan2005 29th Jun 2015, 1:17 AM edit delete reply

Really Malati has only a few choices here.
1. Accept the price of disobedience from the inhibitor, which may or may not kill her. At the very least it will incapacitate her and let someone know that it has done so. Not really an issue as Max will likely defend her until the inhibitor can be dealt with.

2. Continue her assigned mission and permit Maxus to make her "damaged" reason to be true. However, I suspect that that is not what the devious duo will do as I think Malati has stuff yet to do in this plot.

3. Actually make a real attempt to kill Max. This is actually the least favorable option as at this point Maximus will not hesitate to actually kill her to defend himself or his lady.
HiFranc 29th Jun 2015, 1:45 AM edit delete reply

If Max and/or Irene have good instincts, then there's a 4th option:

One of them could call Acantha and ask her to countermand the orders.

{edit} After all, it does look like she has the authority.
mjkj 29th Jun 2015, 2:07 AM edit delete reply

She does - but only after douchie is taken care of...
Cperka 29th Jun 2015, 5:55 AM edit delete reply

Can there be option 4?:

4. She attempts to hurt herself enough to support impossible-to-complete-mission argument?
I wonder if their inhibitors are prepared for such a thing too
Sheela 29th Jun 2015, 7:38 AM edit delete reply

5th option : Approach Maxus very slowly and cautiously, since she has sustained battledamage.

*Malati starts to move like a snail*

And thus started the slowest battle any of them had ever encountered, a thrust taking minutes, a parry taking just as long, intercepted by the inhibitor shocking Malati for being slow, and Malati brushing it off as giving her a disadvantage in battle.

2 hours later, Doctor Silver arrives and is all like "WTF is going on here ? what ? Disable the inhibitor on the android ? Oh hell yes!"

And then they had tea and crumpets. :)
T1-G3R2501 29th Jun 2015, 8:29 AM edit delete reply
Option number 6: Pistols at dawn!

Now hear me out! Malatti and Maxus are both warriors and they could just pull a standoff waiting for the next morning's sun to rise to "Finish the fight".
If it worked on a vampire it'll work on an inhibitor.
Centcomm 29th Jun 2015, 9:46 AM edit delete reply

I cant really comment on this at all but I do like the discussion :D
Sheela 29th Jun 2015, 9:52 AM edit delete reply

Pfft .. you just liked the idea of Malati and Maxus having Tea & Crumpets! :D
Centcomm 29th Jun 2015, 10:06 AM edit delete reply

I actually do :D
T1-G3R2501 29th Jun 2015, 11:09 AM edit delete reply
I could see that now
Max: Let me tell you about (insert combat story here)
Malati: *Sipping on tea* Ho-ly-fuck you did what with his own arm?!
Lukkai 29th Jun 2015, 5:51 PM edit delete reply

I think so does Malati, Sheela. Alas it cannot be just yet.
Dragonrider 29th Jun 2015, 12:17 AM edit delete reply

Attack or die seems to be her only options. Unless she is able to over ride the programming.
Centcomm 29th Jun 2015, 9:25 AM edit delete reply

Looks that way.. and her time frame is quickly running out.
DLKmusic 29th Jun 2015, 12:25 AM edit delete reply

Dayammm! now I feel guilty about the "Psychopathic killer android" comment last page.

The char marks on Malati's face in the last frame, Cent, I got two comments.

1: that's a masterful bit of artwork there, you should be proud of that
2: OUCH!
Mark_L_A 29th Jun 2015, 1:03 AM edit delete reply

DLK I don't think those are Char marks. I think part of it is shadows, the other part is her on again off again tattoo.

I really hope Malati isn't forced to fight Maxus to the point either she or Maxus are injured/damaged.
Centcomm 29th Jun 2015, 9:26 AM edit delete reply

Yes the inhibitor effect does not actually damage them Malati has a sorta double half moon tattoo around one eye.. its been on the texture all this time.. most of the time the shadows from ray tracing hide it . along with her hair.

and thanks .. as for being forced.. well....
Stormwind13 29th Jun 2015, 1:05 PM edit delete reply

Don't feel bad about it DLK. She IS a
psycho killer. Just one that apparently had enough of another psycho's orders.
xpacetrue 29th Jun 2015, 12:35 AM edit delete reply

Back when Kali ran into Decimus in the palace and discovered that he had tried to force himself on Acantha, Kali seemed upset with herself for not predicting this and how this was ruining her carefully laid plans.

Kali is such a calculating individual - like a chessmaster who tries to predict a dozen or more moves ahead of an opponent. I wonder if Kali calculated the odds of Malati doing what she did. That is, when it comes right down to it, Malati would probably try to find an easy way out or abandon her orders rather than actually face Maxus. Maybe that's why Kali chose Malati and Hrist for this?

Considering how Malati was so outspoken against her orders, I would think Kali would have some idea of this.
anonymous coward 29th Jun 2015, 1:26 AM edit delete reply
She did just stand there as Noctis gave her a briefing on how to try to sabotage her orders. Perhaps we've been substantially overestimating their practical degree of free will... at least so long as Malati has a functioning inhibitor....
Pirtnac 29th Jun 2015, 1:27 AM edit delete reply
That's the problem... Kali is a logical strategist. She's been "playing" against someone with the logic of Deadpool, and she isn't allowed to win. Her best day is a stalemate against a murderous crazy dictator, and anything less than perfect means someone died.

On to Malati vs Maxus: Okay, it looks like he's just *now* getting up to speed on what the Cassians are trying to (not) do. That means:

1) He owes Hrist *at minimum* her insurance co-payment.
2) With Irene being very much not dead and Malati going through the wringer because of it, I hope Maxus can figure out how to incapacitate her without, well.... incapacitating her. Is she allowed to give up on a kill target to secure a fellow wounded Cassian?
anonymous coward 29th Jun 2015, 1:33 AM edit delete reply
Remains to be seen, I'd say it's a firm maybe except that Malati's trying and failing to claim inability to complete the mission against the inhibitor.
xpacetrue 29th Jun 2015, 2:31 AM edit delete reply

In the end, Malati may have to ask Maxus to grant her the mercy of removing her limbs, much like he did to Hrist. Without functioning arms and/or legs, even her watchdog program has to concede that she can't complete her mission.

If Malati continues to fight her inhibitor or watchdog program, who knows what the consequences would be. She may be shut down or enter some sort of logic cascade failure. Remember what happened to Ceci with her Watchdog? It was a good thing Dr. Silver fixed Ceci before her situation deteriorated...
Pirtnac 29th Jun 2015, 1:40 AM edit delete reply
Ooh, idea:

So New Troy inhibitors work like a game of freeze tag paired with a sternly worded letter. Just need a small chip to override signals. New Rome inhibitors are like having elective surgery with a cattle prod. That's got to be bulkier, and I doubt it can all be nested in her head.

Any easy / stabby way to knock out that inhibitor and keep her up and running? If all her watchdog can do is pop up messages on her HUD, Decimus is screwed.
Sheela 29th Jun 2015, 7:42 AM edit delete reply

That's actually an interesting idea.
If they could sever the conduit to the shocking mechanism, they'd be in business.
Centcomm 29th Jun 2015, 9:29 AM edit delete reply

Inhibitors work pretty much the same with varying effects.. in Luna Star Galina's was a raging scream of violation.. with Minx it was a total loss of the ability to move. well the Cassians dont exactly feel pain .. but they can be scrambled.. and thats the closest thing to agony they can feel - Inhibitors are covered on the Tech pages if you check em out :D
Sheela 29th Jun 2015, 9:54 AM edit delete reply

Yes, well, with this page you just made it canon that Malati's inhibitor discharges so much electricity that small lightnings arc from her body. >_<
Centcomm 29th Jun 2015, 10:06 AM edit delete reply

Yep .. so did Minx's .. remember?
Tokyo Rose 29th Jun 2015, 6:39 PM edit delete reply

The lightning arcs are a visual representation for the reader's convenience. They don't actually happen from an in-universe perspective. :D
DLKmusic 29th Jun 2015, 6:34 PM edit delete reply
I don't know about the insurance co-pay, Pirtnac, after all, Hrist WAS trying to kill Maxus. However, he DOES owe her an apology for doubting her honor!
Sheela 29th Jun 2015, 10:57 PM edit delete reply

Lies, Rose, utter lies !

The lightning looks cool, and must be canon! >_<
Outlaw 29th Jun 2015, 12:46 AM edit delete reply

This page is purely shocking....!

Get it?

<.<

>.>

I'm sorry...
anonymous coward 29th Jun 2015, 1:18 AM edit delete reply
Not enough, not nearly enough if you posted that.
Outlaw 29th Jun 2015, 1:19 AM edit delete reply

Haha, fair enough.
Haegan2005 29th Jun 2015, 1:19 AM edit delete reply

0.0

What did we ever do to deserve such pun ishment?!?
anonymous coward 29th Jun 2015, 1:29 AM edit delete reply
Just don't have the black ops budget for this one, let it go... let it go....
Centcomm 29th Jun 2015, 9:31 AM edit delete reply

Owwww thats horrible :D
Sheela 29th Jun 2015, 10:58 PM edit delete reply

Yes, we must stay grounded and not act so shocked everytime a bad pun strikes out in the comment section!
mjkj 29th Jun 2015, 2:05 AM edit delete reply

Awwww...

Poor Malati...

Centcomm 29th Jun 2015, 9:45 AM edit delete reply

I know ..
Draginbeard 29th Jun 2015, 2:28 AM edit delete reply

Personally, Im hoping she loses to her inhibitor, attacks and Max turns her into (itty bitty) spare parts.

She may be a gray area character to some, but I never bought into her 'misunderstood hero' act. She likes hurting people too much. Yes, she does what she is programmed to do, but somewhere along the way she developed a real taste for it.

I would still like to see her and Teedee go toe to toe.

xpacetrue 29th Jun 2015, 2:52 AM edit delete reply

I agree that she likes hurting people way too much. For that reason, I never did like her much, myself. She's creepy, even.

Though, as I recall it, I thought that the kind of people Malati likes to hurt are criminals with clear psychopathic tendencies - people like Dari.

We rooted for Dolly when she beat the crap out of Dari, didn't we? Dolly clearly used more force than necessary and felt quote, "good" afterwards. Granted, Dolly's feelings toward Lynn are like that of a mother or older sister. But do we hold that act of violence against her?
Draginbeard 29th Jun 2015, 4:28 AM edit delete reply

Hurting people isnt a 'go to' move for Dolly. She avoids violent response when possible, although she has no qualms dishing it out when called for.

Malati, on the other hand (perhaps motivated by product design), seems to get a real kick out of it. She can be quick and efficient, but I get the impression that given the choice, the boodier a kill, the more she enjoys it. Captives she cant kill outright, she terrorizes any way she can.
anonymous coward 29th Jun 2015, 6:02 AM edit delete reply
You're missing something: Product design. In this case we're talking about a custom series of gynoids built for purposes of violent enforcement and intimidation. Malati may compare roughly even with a scorpion for vicious brutality right now, but can she really be held accountable? You point out yourself that she was desiged as a violent tool in the first place, but then she has spent much of the last years forced to perform, and accept, actions any reasonable person from a healthy culture would consider to be unreasonable. I don't think it's really fair to judge someone for adapting to an unreasonable situation successfully when you're not even allowed to commit suicide.
Sheela 29th Jun 2015, 7:53 AM edit delete reply

Just like she doesn't have free will, she probably also didn't have a choice in her core likes & dislikes. Ie. if she likes killing, it was quite likely programmed into her, rather than being a personal development.

And I still question wether or not she likes it that much, or she would rather go for a non-violent solution first. After all, the targets she gets sent after often only have a violent solution to begin with, if you sent her out to handle a shoplifter, she would probably not kill him.
But the comic haven't focused on those stories, partly because they would be boring ... kinda like if you had to write a news article on an incubus demon, would you :

1) Write about the elderly incubus demon that started his own construction company and is donating generously to charity ?

2) Write about the ravaging good looking incubus that is causing scandals all over the country, with outrageous sexual acts in the public?

It should be obvious which one makes the better story, and which one would end up being portrayed.
By the same account, we don't get to see when a cassian saves a kitten, but we do get to see it when they kill a bunch of terrorists.
Our view of the Cassians, and Malati in particular, is colored by what we have been shown, we don't know the whole picture, and should be careful to condemn someone on such limited information.

That said, while Malati is out trying to not-fight with Maxus, Dolly is rescuing all the lost little kittens.

... ALL Of THEM !
velvetsanity 29th Jun 2015, 4:48 PM edit delete reply

@Sheela

How can Dolly rescue all the lost kittens when one f them is stuck trying to not-fight Maxus?
DLKmusic 29th Jun 2015, 3:22 PM edit delete reply
@dragonbeard: Dolly has made it very clear that she intends to kill anyone or anything that stands in her way right now, from guard to Cassian to innocent bystander.

This isn't an order, it's a choice.

Right or wrong, that makes what Dolly is potentially about to do far more repugnant to me than what Malati has done.
Centcomm 29th Jun 2015, 9:32 AM edit delete reply

Im honestly curious how many readers hate / like Malati .. I keep seeing it bounce back and forth - So im not going to say " she is this way and its right/wrong " Ill leave her actions up to the court of public. :D
Sheela 29th Jun 2015, 9:55 AM edit delete reply

That's a horrible court, y'know ?

They're all wishy-washy and subject to public opinion and they are easily swayed!
Stormwind13 29th Jun 2015, 11:56 AM edit delete reply

Put me in the remove her from the world category then CentComm. Freewill or not, her enjoyment of killing puts her at polar opposite from me.
anonymous coward 29th Jun 2015, 1:15 PM edit delete reply
But if you patch taht bug....
DLKmusic 29th Jun 2015, 2:13 PM edit delete reply
I'm firmly in the "Get her fixed, get her debugged" camp
Mark_L_A 29th Jun 2015, 3:24 PM edit delete reply

Fix and Debug Here.

Malati DOES have a sense of Honor and Duty.

I have the feeling if she could be fixed and debugged, she would be one of the Cassians who would think nothing of sacrificing themselves to protect anyone who needed it. Be it jumping in front of a out of control speeding Grav Truck, or doing CPR for hours to keep someone hurt alive. I think she would do so.

But her Inhibitor and her programming won't allow her some of those options.

I think she would kill without hesitation if it was necessary, but I believe she would hold herself back if the situation was confused. IOW she wouldn't instantly jump to Kill the Perp, if the proof wasn't there.

ETA: Remember Malati is the one "With a Sense of Humor", Which leads me to think she has grown past her original programming, and why she was able to question Kali, actually argue with her, about the Orders to Kill Maxus and Irene.
velvetsanity 29th Jun 2015, 4:51 PM edit delete reply

My impression of her isn't so much that she likes killing...more that she likes (a) the local equivalent of pro wrestling, (b) protecting innocents (even if it means killing terrorists, which IIRC is who the people we saw her kill were), and (c) trolling people.
Jack of Clubs 29th Jun 2015, 6:32 PM edit delete reply
I concur. Put me in the pro-Malati camp. I would totally trust her with my life if she weren't taking orders from a tyrant.
Lukkai 29th Jun 2015, 6:03 PM edit delete reply

I like Malati. But I never saw her as the "misunderstood hero" type. She's a specop/assassin through and through. But as much as she enjoys offing what she considers valid targets, it's also very clear that she has a very rigid set of personal rules as to what makes them valid. And that you basically have to be a good way worse than her to fall into that category.
Dexter comes to mind, truth be told, when I'm trying to find similar characters elsewhere. With the obvious difference that Malati's work is actually sanctioned (and ordered) by the state.
Haegan2005 29th Jun 2015, 8:25 PM edit delete reply

It is hard to really look at Malati and say "She is this..."

Like most people she is a complex being with both good and bad qualities. I would note that humor(good or bad) is often developed to deal with high stress situations and environments. Which is definitely something Malati has been dealing with for years.

I have many friends who I would say are good people, but have habits or pasts that have really thrown me for loops when i found out about it. The real test for Malati is what she chooses to do when not compelled by an outside force.

Something that I suspect will be coming eventually in the story.
This is true of all the Cassians by the way.
Sheela 29th Jun 2015, 11:03 PM edit delete reply

Oh and as for Dolly rescuing Malati, well .. she may be lost, but she's not a kitten.
More like a medium sized feline, like a Lynx, or maybe a Cougar.

Yeahh ... Malati the cougar, has a nice ring to it.
Aurora 30th Jun 2015, 5:39 AM edit delete reply
Cougar? Promising... But I imagine her as a panther.
VanEzzania 29th Jun 2015, 8:43 AM edit delete reply

This is promising...
Centcomm 29th Jun 2015, 9:32 AM edit delete reply

depends on how you mean that :D
Draginbeard 29th Jun 2015, 8:52 AM edit delete reply

Nope. Judge by action, not intention. Pulling a person apart and joking about it, no matter their crimes, is a horriffic act. Makes her just as bad as the criminal being executed. She did not do that by instruction. She was doing it because it amused her. And no, I did not forget about product design. I even mentioned it.
Centcomm 29th Jun 2015, 9:45 AM edit delete reply

I cant really defend Malati's actions.. shes done some truly horrific things in the name of the crown. She also sees herself as a defender. and Exicutioner.. remember She never "picks" who she kills or even maims. " I will say a lot of what she says is "bluster" words to help her deal with her own place in life.
Sheela 29th Jun 2015, 9:57 AM edit delete reply

That's the truly sad thing in this whole mess - She doesn't have free will.

Without that, a whole lot of morals and ethics become a whole lot more complicated than they should be.
DLKmusic 29th Jun 2015, 2:59 PM edit delete reply
Let's also not forget, Dragonbeard, that in the particular incident you are referring to, she was ORDERED to make it messy.

I agree that she does need work. but there's still a decent foundation that Malati is built on. She needs to be Debugged, absolutely, but remember, she was the only one of the group that spoke up against this particular action.
She is developing a strong sense of right and wrong, even within the framework of what she does. You don't destroy that, otherwise you're throwing the baby out with the bath water.
Aurora 29th Jun 2015, 3:35 PM edit delete reply
@Draginbeard Perhaps she tries to joke about it as a coping mechanism?
Haegan2005 29th Jun 2015, 8:26 PM edit delete reply

Humor is often used as a coping mechanism for people in high stress environments.
KarToon12 29th Jun 2015, 10:02 AM edit delete reply

This was how Captain Kirk usually fought robots. The dialogue would go something like, "you have failed to fulfill your prime directive, and you must therefore destroy yourself." XD
Centcomm 29th Jun 2015, 10:07 AM edit delete reply

Except a Cassian can go Uh no .. go stuff yourself.. LOL! :D The Nice thing about a synthetic brain is it cant be logic looped. unless its so badly damaged that its messing up like a stroke victim ..
Guest 29th Jun 2015, 7:24 PM edit delete reply
Malati: "say that again? *Snip* No more scantily clad green aliens for you!"
highlander55 29th Jun 2015, 10:38 PM edit delete reply

@ Cent...Like Minx was!
velvetsanity 29th Jun 2015, 4:57 PM edit delete reply

I thought he fought robots by saying 'Only sexy green-skinned alien women can defeat me' :D

That said, Kirk's reputation as a playboy really wasn't all that justified, if you actually watched the original series.
lalverson 29th Jun 2015, 8:45 PM edit delete reply
Malati- I like her. She is a character that seems easy to peg but in truth is far more complex which is why I think readers tend to think she's nuts or a sociopath. As far as the other Cassians go. she's the one that will say that which the others think about but don't. In a way she's kinda like Doc Holliday. It's easy to dismiss her as a nut or an evil creature. But in truth her loyalties and discipline is far more controlled. As in this panel. I tend to think she seriously respects Maximus and Irene. They represent a remnant of the old ways when things were good. That's why she flew off the handle when she heard the directives. The evil she knows that should be ended is using her and her sisters in a twisted version of the law that will lead to everyone dying eventually. Again something she would not want to allow. Personally I think she will fight her inhibitor until it kills her.
Reaver2180 29th Jun 2015, 10:25 PM edit delete reply
Malati get judged to harshly yes she has done questionable thing to she has been charged with dealing with. But We all have also seen a side of her that if allowed to be expressed would reveal a woman that cares greatly for those she is charged with protecting. Yes she may have a bit of a demented side in her sense of humor and a wild side when it comes to her off duty activities but that is what makes her lovable. Seriously what most consider cruel and unusual remember there are different coping methodologies and while Malati's may be a bit out there it does not make her bad it has been her way of coping with all the things she has been forced to do.
Kelon 30th Jun 2015, 2:48 AM edit delete reply
I'm actually curious how smart these inhibitors are. How can it interpret whether or not its wearer is not following orders? Is it piggybacking off the wearers understanding of the orders? As the order to kill Maxmus, seems it would have know who Maxmus is to determine whether the order is being carried out or not. And when would it determine that the order is no longer being carried out?
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