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Comic 1408 - What's Past Is Prologue

27th May 2016, 12:00 AM
What's Past Is Prologue
Average Rating: 5 (18 votes)
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Comments:

jamie59 27th May 2016, 12:08 AM edit delete reply

Arg! Nice BUT ClifFhAnGeR!
Wolfsbane 27th May 2016, 2:42 AM edit delete reply

Come now, you expected something different? This *is* the Evil Duo we're dealing with here...
T1-G3R2501 27th May 2016, 8:39 AM edit delete reply
Yes these two do have heart string pulling tricks. I'm still concerned about what's happening at the A.I. Core as well.....
Stormwind13 27th May 2016, 9:13 AM edit delete reply

Very much so, Wolfsbane!
Nef 27th May 2016, 2:49 PM edit delete reply

\
It seems cruel, but it works, judging at how popular this is... Of course, that there is a story to care about MIGHT have something to do with it :)
Aurora 27th May 2016, 12:08 AM edit delete reply
Oh I like where this is going...

The anticipation!
Aurora 27th May 2016, 12:31 AM edit delete reply
Wonder if that ring from pg 797 will be helping Acantha out of the sticky situation... Oh, well, just will have to wait. Kali go kick him into the Underworld!
Dragonrider 27th May 2016, 12:09 AM edit delete reply

Praise The Lord and Pass The Ammunition! Looks like Kali and Douchy are at the parting of the ways if he ain't dead now he will soon be deposed and in no position to do more than curse. Of course that seems to be his raison d' etre anymore, hopefully she will allow Dolly or Ada and TeeDee to work on Acantha. Why did Valerius go Rambo on Aeneas, he seems to be quite comfortable with the AI concept here even asking Kali's permission to change the inhibitor settings.

BTW can we get page two of the fight sequence? And what was that "spark" that seemed to come from Dolly aimed at Kali, think the blue field in the next panel was Dolly using her shield as an offensive weapon.
Tokyo Rose 27th May 2016, 2:02 AM edit delete reply

Aurelian was the one that went after Aeneas (and died in the process). Valerius was his son.

As for the second question... Cent, what WAS that 'splosion?
Dragonrider 27th May 2016, 2:38 AM edit delete reply

Thanks for the clarification, hard to keep the players straight all the time.
Sheela 27th May 2016, 1:05 PM edit delete reply

Nothing to see here, no explosions .. nope !

*sets fuse and sneaks away*
velvetsanity 27th May 2016, 12:10 AM edit delete reply

I'd say he crossed the line the night Lynn hit him in the the head in Acantha's room...
Dragonrider 27th May 2016, 12:18 AM edit delete reply

He crossed the line but he did not actually do what he was trying to do. If he had then he would have been toast. As it was Lynn proved to be an adequate protector in the situation.
Gilrandir 27th May 2016, 12:52 AM edit delete reply
We don't actually know that even a successful rape of Acantha would have triggered whatever is triggering in Kali now, @Dragonrider. We know that, for at least a similar transgression (the murder of Valerius), the fact that Kali did not personally witness the transgression appears to have significantly affected the programmed response (or lack thereof). If Kali learned of a rape after the fact, it's entirely plausible nothing would have changed. And, had she been present for even the actual failed attempt, that alone might have been sufficient to trigger the fail-safe.

We'll just have to take it as tragic that, ultimately, it took Acantha suffering a life-threatening (if not mortal) wound in order to trigger ... whatever is happening now.

Of course, if Kali has been programmed to respond to this situation with deadly force, we could just be going from bad to worse to even worse ...
Gilrandir 27th May 2016, 4:09 PM edit delete reply
Worthy of note is that we did _not_ get this flashback following 413 -- Snapping Point. So the conditions must include some level of degree.
Morituri 27th May 2016, 12:12 AM edit delete reply
Oh good. Livius wasn't Oblivious. Or at least, not completely.
Gilrandir 27th May 2016, 7:12 AM edit delete reply
I see what you did there. ^_^
The Old Scribe 27th May 2016, 12:37 AM edit delete reply

Valerius must have undergone a drastic personality shift between this scene and his death at Doucheimus' hands. Here he treats Kali politely and understandingly as if she was a living human being. Asking her if she'd mind having her programming altered to bring El Doucheo to heel if he acts poorly toward Acantha runs counter to the way androids are now feared and held in contempt in Nova Roma. The next question is, of course, how far is she allowed to go with controlling Doucheimus to protect Acantha. It's really a moot point now.
Tokyo Rose 27th May 2016, 2:07 AM edit delete reply

Valerius didn't undergo any kind of personality shift... he always treated androids with courtesy. He did not, however, dictate the attitudes of everyone else in Nova Roma on that score, and Decimus having used the Cassians as a blunt object and open threat sure didn't help moderate said attitudes.
Fairportfan 27th May 2016, 1:17 AM edit delete reply

Ah. Here's the Praetorian Guard.

I was wondering where they were.
DLKmusic 27th May 2016, 1:45 AM edit delete reply

I'm not exactly sure what I was expecting this page, but this certainly wasn't it!

Well, at least I'm no longer in shock... well done, both of you!
mjkj 27th May 2016, 2:14 AM edit delete reply

Wow, Valerius did that???

So, did Kali not still have her other name then or did she change it before Valerius' time???

Oh, douchie is in sooo much trouble... *looking forward to the next updates...*

Stormwind13 27th May 2016, 9:17 AM edit delete reply

Apparently he recognized the danger Douchimus represented. Still he suffered a parent's failure to realize just how dangerous Douchimus was (in relation to himself).
Tokyo Rose 27th May 2016, 2:08 PM edit delete reply

Kali's name change happened in Aurelius's time.
HiFranc 27th May 2016, 2:19 AM edit delete reply

It looks like Decimus underestimated his father.

{edit} Then again, we wouldn't be in this situation if he hadn't underestimated everyone.
Stormwind13 27th May 2016, 9:10 AM edit delete reply

Very good point, HiFranc.
Grahamf 27th May 2016, 2:48 AM edit delete reply
Hallelujah!
Tango Xray Actual 27th May 2016, 3:51 AM edit delete reply
FLASHBACK!

And a deus ex machina one at that!

Grumph - That be cheatin!
Guest 27th May 2016, 3:52 AM edit delete reply
at least it wasn't Decie's life flashing before his eyes....
Tokyo Rose 27th May 2016, 5:20 AM edit delete reply

*deep breathing exercises*

I would like to ask: how do you feel this qualifies as a "deus ex machina"?
Steven-Vincent 27th May 2016, 7:43 AM edit delete reply

A deus ex machina is usually some external force that unexpectedly intervenes to fix a lost cause. I don't think this qualifies as that.

Especially since, before the flashback, knowing what I know about Noctis, Kali, and the other Cassians, as well as the history of the royal family, I've been expecting one or more of the Cassians to turn on jerk-boy sooner or later over something involving his treatment of Acantha.

There's been plenty of foreshadowing before this, which does not happen in a DEM situation.

DEM would be suddenly there is an explosion and a 'cavalry' shows up without any warning to save the day.
Gilrandir 27th May 2016, 7:08 AM edit delete reply
Leaving other things aside, @Tango Xray Actual, for this to qualify as a "deus ex machina" in the modern colloquial sense, doesn't whatever results from Valerius' failsafe have to make things better, not worse? Presumes facts not yet in evidence. ^_^
Visvires 27th May 2016, 9:11 AM edit delete reply
We're also going to have to sic the Poodle of War on you, for heresy. Get his slippers, Sheela!
Haegan2005 27th May 2016, 11:01 AM edit delete reply

Or lick him between his toes!
Sheela 27th May 2016, 1:14 PM edit delete reply

*blows up a wall and rides in on a murderturd*

DECIMUS LIVIUS!!! You have the right to remain silent and ...uhmm .. remain silent while being munched on by a Scythe Lizard!
Get 'im Mr Poppolopolis the Third!
velvetsanity 27th May 2016, 5:13 AM edit delete reply

I'm not sure why, but Kali looks younger here....
Tokyo Rose 27th May 2016, 5:19 AM edit delete reply

Doesn't she, though?! I think part of it is the hairstyle making her features look a little softer.
Gilrandir 27th May 2016, 7:03 AM edit delete reply
I suspect (in addition to the hairstyle and conservative clothes) it is the withdrawn and less confident posture and body language. Current-Kali struts, past-Kali demurely waits to be informed about what is to happen to her.
Sheela 27th May 2016, 1:15 PM edit delete reply

Well, to be fair, she was in the presence of someone she respected very much.
Right now she isn't, though she probably begrudgingly accepts that Dolly is a good fighter.
Gilrandir 27th May 2016, 2:04 PM edit delete reply
It's not a criticism. Just agreeing with the others that past-Kali looks less mature than current-Kali and suggesting that the appearance (or lack thereof) of a self-confident manner and a sense of leashed aggression is a contributing factor.

Since I assume Kali can do infiltration and information gathering work if needed, I suspect that, by carefully choosing proper clothing, makeup, and role-playing, she could appear even younger now than she does in the flashback. However, since she is usually called upon to be an intimidating authority figure, likely she chooses to present herself with the opposite emphasis.
Sheela 27th May 2016, 4:28 PM edit delete reply

I agree.

And with that, we have just opened up for a future in which we could see Kali in a japanese schoolgirl outfit as a voting incentive. XD
StellarJay 27th May 2016, 5:57 AM edit delete reply

Now we know what Kali's eye-flash that we saw in the previous page was about. What we have to wait for is the other shoe to drop that shows us what she's to do about it. At this point, there's not much left in stopping Decimus from doing anything more, as Acantha has already done that.
Gilrandir 27th May 2016, 7:22 AM edit delete reply
The implication seems to be that Acantha botched even that -- suffering a life-threatening and immediately incapacitating injury herself, while managing to inflict (at best) a superficial "flesh wound" on Decimus. Otherwise, as you point out, Kali's upcoming actions would seem to be far less significant to the unfolding of events.
Mark_L_A 27th May 2016, 6:04 AM edit delete reply

You will note that that he says "With YOUR Permission", he doesn't want to force this modification on Kali.
Sheela 27th May 2016, 1:16 PM edit delete reply

Or maybe he has made his mind up, and is just polite.
Visvires 27th May 2016, 9:00 AM edit delete reply
Good. Get in there and fix some of Mr.* Kali Builder's shoddy work. Also, there's the scene change.

*Evil Ph.D. revoked for poor anti-sploitz coding.
Phil_ 27th May 2016, 9:45 AM edit delete reply
So... basically, she's Acantha's nanny.

NANNY FACE-OFFFFFFFFF-oh wait we've done that bit already
Haegan2005 27th May 2016, 9:56 AM edit delete reply

Flash backs done right!

Oh, and a very nice plot curve.
Hornet 27th May 2016, 11:40 AM edit delete reply
Hehe! If Acantha's shot didn't kill him, He's going to wish it had.
Cal 27th May 2016, 12:33 PM edit delete reply
THIS IS AWESOME

What a GREAT visual setup for a callback/backstory flashback.

But why do you two have to make me hate weekends? /cry
chk 27th May 2016, 1:13 PM edit delete reply

So what I thought was a 'spark' was the 'crossed the line' inhibiter function. I knew that look in her eyes meant some kind of serious change.

Well played.
Sheela 27th May 2016, 1:18 PM edit delete reply

Yeah, she's totes "breaking up" with Decimus! :)
Tokyo Rose 27th May 2016, 2:17 PM edit delete reply

When we wrote the script for this entire sequence, I actually described the "stage directions" for the prior page thusly:

LYNN's scream has both DOLLY and KALI pausing just long enough to look around and see what’s just happened.

Zoom in tight on KALI’s face - into her eye, even. There’s a flashback a-comin’.
Gilrandir 27th May 2016, 3:48 PM edit delete reply
I would say that @Centcomm realized the script excellently well, then.

Lately it seems that the commentary pages have been home to a growing sense of ... hysteria. Not that it is for me to tell anyone how they should go about enjoying this fine work, but it seems like each page is expected to be THE PAGE wherein Lynn is rescued, Aeneas is healed, Acantha is elevated, Decimus condemned, the Cassians emancipated, the contingencies defused, Humanity restored, Good triumphant, Evil defeated, and Lovers reunited. (Except for @Sheela, in which case it is Kyle fed to a scythe lizard. ^_^)

No doubt the creatrices recognize the compliment inherent in the depth and intensity of interest expressed by those following the story, but I do think people would be well-served to take deep breath, a step back, and to let the story unfold at its own pace.

My apologies if my presumption offends anyone. I am guilty of more groundless speculation and wild extrapolation than most, but relax. They'll tell us in their own good time. Rush a miracle worker and you get lousy miracles. ^_^ There's no need to raise things to quite such a fever pitch (in my opinion).

Your mileage, of course, may vary. If you experience a story arc lasting more than four months, consult your plot doctor for proper resolution.
DLKmusic 27th May 2016, 4:47 PM edit delete reply
It's a fair point, Gilrandir, and the only argument I have against it is this.

None of us who are guilty of wild speculations (which is pretty much all of us) want to rush the story telling. We enjoy how well the story is being told, and don't want to mess with it. For me, the wild speculations are about being on the edge of my seat on just about every page, and all the lame-brained thoughts that come out when you want to know what happens next!

I also enjoy tremendously the Comraderie that is shared on this page by all of us, almost as much as I enjoy the story itself.

With all that being said, I'm going back to speculating in the back of my head how Miraiko will be the one to deliver the final blow, and YOU CAN'T STOP ME, BWUHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!!!
Gilrandir 27th May 2016, 4:58 PM edit delete reply
Thank you, @DLKmusic. I have no desire to rein in the speculations or damp the enthusiasm. I just wanted to suggest that people would be well-served to retreat a bit from being quite so ... lathered. Maybe I'm wrong and it's just me mis-reading the room, in which case I apologize.
chk 27th May 2016, 4:04 PM edit delete reply

Yeah, she got the eyes spot on.

I didn't think of a flashback, but I saw something of great import a-comin'
Sheela 27th May 2016, 4:30 PM edit delete reply

Yay, Kyle and Murderturd in the same sentence! :D
Tokyo Rose 27th May 2016, 6:31 PM edit delete reply

It'd just break Sheela's heart if it turned out that Kyle is the Murderturd Whisperer and any such creature in his presence obeys his every whim.
chk 27th May 2016, 7:06 PM edit delete reply

Too true. I don't think she could quite stand that.
Gilrandir 27th May 2016, 4:35 PM edit delete reply
Apropos of nothing in particular, except that I've been perusing the archives, I wonder how much we may safely read into CeCi's conduct when she is first activated? (Starting at 442 -- GLOMP!.)

The character of CentComm has been fascinating to me, especially since being introduced to The Long Joke. It now inspires me to wonder whether we can make legitimate inferences about CentComm's inner feelings and longings based on.how CeCi expresses herself in those early days. She contains, after all, as complete a copy of CentComm as CentComm can manage, but obviously hasn't learned yet the guarded and paranoid demeanor that we associate with en Eternal Warrior consigned to a neverending watch against threats both real and imagined. How much of early CeCi's enthusiastic drive to please and yearning for more personal contact with Dolly is reflective of the inner urges which (stifled) led to CentComm choosing a LoveDoll (TM) as her public face. And, when CeCi is reunited with CentComm, to what extent will CentComm be horrified and to what extent will she feel validated at the way that Watchdog crushed CeCi's resistance?

I'm just wondering to what extent CeCi's emotions accurately (but unintentionally) reflect those of her older 'clone sister', but are more on display because she doesn't yet have the psychological defense mechanisms in place? Obviously any answer here would be spoilerrific, but it seemed an opportune time to speculate.
KarToon12 27th May 2016, 6:38 PM edit delete reply

I smell mutiny!
HeSerpenty 27th May 2016, 9:57 PM edit delete reply

Crosses the line.............. I feel like he's done that before. Quite a few times :'D
kitty 27th May 2016, 10:45 PM edit delete reply
Well, well, well...isn't THAT interesting...

cattservant 27th May 2016, 11:50 PM edit delete reply

Gone for thee weeks and everything escalates!
Stormwind13 28th May 2016, 12:41 AM edit delete reply

What you get for missing pages, catt! And it likely will only get WORSE!
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