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Comic 1503 - By The Way

17th May 2017, 12:00 AM
By The Way
Average Rating: 5 (19 votes)
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Comments:

Mark_L_A 17th May 2017, 12:02 AM edit delete reply

Florence has a sense of humor. :)
Ebonbolt 17th May 2017, 11:56 PM edit delete reply

I imagine all medical professionals need to have a sense of humor, or they'd cry themselves to sleep every night. The things humaniti does to itself...
Dragonrider 17th May 2017, 12:12 AM edit delete reply

Love the dream description Acantha just gave. If any portion of that was from CentComm Primes experience what a dream. I didn't remember any dreams I didn't remember anything until talking to the surgeon late the next day when he told me how long the proceedure took and why.
HiFranc 17th May 2017, 3:06 AM edit delete reply

And that Acantha knows about the spike.
Tokyo Rose 17th May 2017, 6:30 PM edit delete reply

As stated in the author's note from the previous page: no, Acantha does not know about the spike.
cattservant 17th May 2017, 12:12 AM edit delete reply

There is much to be learned by one and all...
antrik 17th May 2017, 12:12 AM edit delete reply
Aww, now we will never hear Commie's reaction to learning that Acantha is friends with Aeneas... (I don't think she knew of this tidbit yet?)
megados 17th May 2017, 12:15 AM edit delete reply
Acantha is level headed enough to refrain from overriding Noctis. She probably knew Noctis had her interests in mind before she even said it.

Well now CentComm knows about Acantha's friendship with Aeneas if she didn't before. CentComm should regard this a plus considering Acantha is likely to become ruler of New Rome.
antrik 17th May 2017, 12:21 AM edit delete reply
We don't even know whether Acantha has the power to overrule Noctis... In fact I'm not sure she knows herself.
megados 17th May 2017, 12:29 AM edit delete reply
Noctis has indirectly decided that Acantha as ruler, is what is best for the Throne of New Rome. It is not yet official, but Noctis would likely defer to Acantha.

Having said that, though, it is possible that Acantha has not thought of it.
antrik 17th May 2017, 1:05 AM edit delete reply
Well, this has been discussed before :-)

My current take on it is that Noctis is convinced Acantha being ruler is best for the Throne of Roma, and thus feels compelled to protect her. However, since Acantha is not ruler yet, she doesn't necessarily have the power to give Noctis direct orders -- especially when Noctis thinks they would endanger Acantha...
Timotheus 17th May 2017, 6:16 AM edit delete reply

As I remember it, the Princips of the Cassians is keyed to serve the head of the House of Livius, which is now Acantha regardless of what the senate decides. Their service to Nova Roma has always been part of their duty to the house of Livius, not separate from it. The Senate came into play in that the head of house of Livius was also the head of the government, so if the Senate replaced Decius with Acantha, she became the defacto head of the house and the person the Cassians took their orders from.
megados 17th May 2017, 10:06 AM edit delete reply
@Timotheus, perhaps I am wrong, but as I remember it, Kali was the only one with directives tied to the Livius family directly. Noctis directive is to the Throne, and whatever best measures serve it. She would serve whoever sits there. Since best interests would be to seat Acantha, she serves to that end. That's my understanding of it.

@antrik, that's essentially correct, I think. As it sits, the only requests or orders Noctis would refuse at this time, would be ones that run counter to service to the Throne. My point was that Acantha was a flavor of polite and respectful, just asking Noctis if she was going to intervene.
SeanR 17th May 2017, 11:41 AM edit delete reply
Noctis's last legal order is to do best by Nova Roma, as she sees fit. In Noctis's judgement, that is to see Acantha crowned and supported.
Until Maximus is made Regent, I don't think there is anyone who can give her a new order superseding the old one.
As such, no, I don't think Acantha can overrule Noctis, except that Noctis is inclined, personally, to give Acantha whatever she desires, so long as it doesn't detriment the future of Nova Roma.
Giving in to Acantha's request to have more time to visit, thus endangering Acantha's own well-being, and putting Nova Roma's future in jeopardy, is not something her current orders will permit.
That's my reading, anyway.
antrik 17th May 2017, 12:32 PM edit delete reply
More specifically, the order was to put her plan into action, for the glory of the throne... But I guess that amounts pretty much to the same :-)
Sheela 17th May 2017, 3:57 PM edit delete reply

I think Megados' point was that Acantha *asked* Noctis, whereas her brother Decimus would have *ordered* her to do something.

Even though Noctis would have done nothing in both scenario's, it shows that Acantha cares enough for Noctis/cassians, that she doesn't simply order them around on a whim.

Also, Noctis is *so* gonna have a MurderTurd plushie made for Acantha now ... one that talks in beeps. :D
megados 17th May 2017, 5:17 PM edit delete reply
Yep, @Sheela,that sums it up just about exactly. :D

Beeping, frolicking, plushie murder turds!
antrik 17th May 2017, 12:16 AM edit delete reply
Mother-in-law... Ow ;-)
Morituri 17th May 2017, 12:24 AM edit delete reply
I hope that Lynn wakes up soon realizing that Noctis' inhibitor isn't all that much unlike the "leash" that made CentComm kill those millions of people on hundreds of battlegrounds.

Nor, in fact, has the work Noctis has been doing all that unlike it, except that it's been on a much smaller, personal scale.
antrik 17th May 2017, 12:27 AM edit delete reply
That's indeed a striking parallel.

(I guess you mean Acantha?...)
Morituri 17th May 2017, 12:29 AM edit delete reply
Absolutely right. I meant Acantha.
antrik 17th May 2017, 12:25 AM edit delete reply
Noctis sounds a bit like a parent there: "I only want your best..."

To be fair, Acantha is a bit bratty there -- so it's kinda appropriate :-)
Morituri 17th May 2017, 12:30 AM edit delete reply
Looks like with Kali gone Noctis has to take over the "Nanny" job....
Sheela 17th May 2017, 12:38 AM edit delete reply

Well, Acantha isn't an adult yet, so she gains the right to be a bit bratty.
megados 17th May 2017, 12:43 AM edit delete reply
Also, she has some pretty good drugs, so she's bound to be a little loose lipped.
antrik 17th May 2017, 12:54 AM edit delete reply
@Morituri indeed: since neither her surrogate father (Aeneas) nor her new surrogate sister (Lynn) is here right now, she is in urgent need of a nanny ;-)
Sheela 17th May 2017, 5:42 PM edit delete reply

@Antrik :

A nanny you say ?
Oh Helloooo nurse ! :D


Tokyo Rose : "Hellooo nurse, could you help me out a bit?"
Tokyo Rose : "Oh! ... erhh ... hi Noctis, where did you find a nurse outfit?"
Noctis : "Who are you ?"
Tokyo Rose : "I am Tokyo Rose out of Shinedo, I commandeered this little camera bot to get some updated info on Acantha's status."
Tokyo Rose : "But she was sleeping when I peeked in there."
Noctis : "I see. She is recovering well."
Tokyo Rose : "Ok, good, very good, great even ... and ?"
Noctis : "And that is all."
Tokyo Rose : "Oh ... so what's with the nurse outfit?"
Noctis : "Concerns were raised about the clinical cleanliness of nano-weave armor cloth, so I was loaned this outfit."
Tokyo Rose : "Well you look GOOD in it!"
Noctis : "Thank you for the favorable ashhesst .. ashhest ... opinion."
Tokyo Rose : "A bit tight in the chest perhaps."
Noctis : "Confirmed, the nurse seems to favor tight clothes."
Tokyo Rose : "Eh, I'm sure Acantha will approve, eh ? wink-wink, nudge-nudge ? eh?"
Noctis : *blush*
Tokyo Rose : "wait wat- .... ooohhh, that's right!"
Tokyo Rose : "I skimmed over the design documents for the Cassians, and you guys are tethered to the Livius family pretty darn tight!"
Tokyo Rose : "Not only through the internal inhibitor, but through an emotional tether too, right ?"
Noctis : "..."
Tokyo Rose : "Come oooon .."
Noctis : "A-affirmative."
Tokyo Rose : "So now you are programmed to have feelings for Acantha, and it doesn't even care that she's a woman, right?"
Noctis : "Correct."
Tokyo Rose : "Damn, I half want to choke the life out of the programmer who made that sub routine, and half want to admire him for being so ruthless!"
Tokyo Rose : "So, what's it like?"
Noctis : "There's this subroutine that I cannot terminate, nor un-focus, that constantly comes up with completely inane and useless ideas."
Noctis : "Would she like this dress? Was that a smile from her? Maybe if you showed more emotion, she would... and then there's that most insidious line."
Tokyo Rose : "What would that be?"
Noctis : "But, what if ?"
Tokyo Rose : "ohh, ouch."
Noctis : "So, if you already knew about it, then why would you tease me with it?"
Tokyo Rose : "Eh? ... oh!"
Tokyo Rose : "Well, when you live as long as I have, you start to make sexual innuendo into something that is almost a sport."
Tokyo Rose : "I basically do it for the lulz, just to liven up the discussions a bit."
Tokyo Rose : "It goes something like this, I'm in a camera bot, you're in a hot nurse outfit, so -" *ka-chick* ". I take a sexy photo of you and show it to Acantha!"
Tokyo Rose : "Because that's what pervy camerabots do, right?"
Noctis : *grabs the camerabot*
Tokyo Rose : "Hey, what .."
Noctis : "Delete ... that .. picture - NOW!"
Tokyo Rose : "Whoa, easy there, she's gonna see you in the nurse outfit anyways, what's the harm?"
Noctis : "Delete it!"
Tokyo Rose : "Well, maybe she wants a memento of you in that outfit, did you consider that?"
Noctis : "Then she can damn well take a picture of her own, now delete it!"
Tokyo Rose : "Done."
Tokyo Rose : "Why the violent reaction though?"
Tokyo Rose : "It seems most uncharacteristic of you?"
Noctis : "I will not have my ward sullied by inane and childish stuff like that,"
Noctis : "I will not have her debased by the things that I do,"
Noctis : "I will not leave smutty pictures around,"
Noctis : "I WILL NOT HURT HER!!"

*throws bot across the room and stalks out*
*the bot hovers silently in a spot for a bit*


Tokyo Rose : "Well ... shit."

*a nearby comm panel becomes active*

Centcomm : "That did not go optimally."
Tokyo Rose : "No shit Sherlock!"
Centcomm : "It's almost impossibly to perceive where the android personality ends and the programming takes over."
Tokyo Rose : "Yeah, and there was an awful lot of 'I will not' at the end there, but was that personal opinion or programming?"
Centcomm : "Worse, if she can have programming like THAT, which she knows of, what else could be hiding in there?"
Centcomm : "Someone in the senate could have a 'kill the Livius' button that no one knows of."
Centcomm : "After all, *someone* built the Cassians, and it certainly was not the Livius family themselves."
Tokyo Rose : "I know, but debugging the Cassians would be almost impossible."
Centcomm : "Well, we cannot just send her back with new Troy guards."
Centcomm : "For one, they would never be trusted."
Centcomm : "Secondly, we cannot just leave the Cassians as they are."
Centcomm : "They are a possibly threat, but not of their own volition."
Tokyo Rose : "You want to give them as much self control as possible?"
Centcomm : "I do."
Tokyo Rose : "Hmmm .."

*the camera bot turns towards the comm panel*

Tokyo Rose : "We need a Cyberpath."
Centcomm : "You are a Cyberpath."
Tokyo Rose : "We need a Cyberpath who is specialized in data retrieval."
Centcomm : "Dr Silver."
Tokyo Rose : "We also need someone who can decode and re-code embedded code while it's in the middle of a datastream."
Centcomm : "Calliope Taylor."
Tokyo Rose : "And we need the Cassians to transfer bodies while both work on their conscious data streams."
Tokyo Rose : "Which means high tech facilities, with an AIS specialized in data to stabilize systems."
Centcomm : "Deep Blue."
Tokyo Rose : "And possibly another cyberpath to stabilize the Datastreams themselves despite hardware fluctuations."
Centcomm : "A full spectrum Cyberpath such as you."
Tokyo Rose : "And on top of that, the Cassians have to do it of their own free will, just so they can go back to New Rome, and serve Acantha?"
Centcomm : "Their emotional tether to Acantha."
Tokyo Rose : "Yes, yes, they would do it, but why?"
Tokyo Rose : "All of this, all of these resources!"
Tokyo Rose : "Even if you do manage to put it all together ... all of that, just for a few Cassians ?"
Centcomm : "Yes."

*the camera bot wobbles a bit while Tokyo Rose takes it all in*

Tokyo Rose : "Centcomm ... sometimes you are the strangest AIS, with the most wonky priorities around."
Centcomm : "Thank you, and may I remind you that this is serious business, NOT for the 'lulz'."
Tokyo Rose : "I actually agree, this is not 'for the lulz' ... it's for the CHALLENGE !"

:D
megados 17th May 2017, 5:57 PM edit delete reply
@Sheela, this is all very plausible EXCEPT where Noctis blushes. :p
Florence must be getting kinda liberal with that jet injector!
:D
Sheela 17th May 2017, 6:33 PM edit delete reply

Nah, it was just that stupid sub-routine that caught her offguard - It messes with her feelings, directly.
Tokyo Rose 17th May 2017, 6:33 PM edit delete reply

@Sheela

Ha ha ha categorical no.
Sheela 17th May 2017, 6:39 PM edit delete reply

Heh, originally, I wrote it so as to have you eat your own anti-ship missiles ... all in good fun though.

But then somewhere along the way, the story started to re-write itself, and got a whole lot more dark. Basically, the notion is, that if the original creators could create any restriction, they could also add any impulse - Thus using their own feelings against them to make them unable to shed their bindings.

Really, an emotional tether is almost as effective, as it is immoral to add.
So the story ended up with Tokyo Rose hunting down Noctis, to poke 'n' prod her, to see how deep the programming goes.

We always go "oh, Noctis have no emotions, bwa wa wa wa" ... but I think she's simply supressing them - And why would she do that ?

Remember .. this is totally not a 'ship !
THIS IS SERIOUS BUSINESS!!! >_<
Gilrandir 17th May 2017, 7:05 PM edit delete reply
@Sheela, why is an "emotional tether" any more or less immoral than any other form of behavioral modification (such as 'core directives' or an 'inhibitor')?
megados 17th May 2017, 7:40 PM edit delete reply
@Gilrandir:
Sheela Wrote: ". . . Really, an emotional tether is almost as effective, as it is immoral to add. . ."

@Sheela, I was never one to discount Noctis having emotions. I just think she keeps them tightly under wraps, lest they interfere with her duty and purpose. When she is not so predisposed, it can appear that they show through the cracks a little.
antrik 17th May 2017, 7:46 PM edit delete reply
@Sheela I feel weird for even considering it seriously, but.. If they have this weird programming, why did it obviously not apply to Decimus?...

BTW, I don't know about others: but I for my part have been assuming that Noctis probably feels just as much as everyone else, for a long time now -- just in case that wasn't obvious from other comments I made...

Oh, and too bad the story started rewriting itself ;-)

(To be honest, it ended up a bit convoluted IMHO... I actually had some trouble following at times.)
Sheela 17th May 2017, 8:27 PM edit delete reply

It became convoluted, because the damn characters kept wanting my attention and rewriting the whole darn thing into an unbelievable clusterfuck of a turd !

But it was a nice and shiny turd - Unlike Decimus, who was just a stinky turd.
Nobody loves stinky turds, not even Cassians.

I blame Rose for getting into my braaaainz ! XD
Also, she needs a proper challenge.
But she said categorically no!
antrik 17th May 2017, 9:30 PM edit delete reply
Damn these self-willed attention-hungry characters, messing everything up! ;-)
Sheela 18th May 2017, 2:14 AM edit delete reply

I know , right ?

Particularly Rose's character has a tendency to meddle in affairs.
And then TeeDee hits it in the face, after which Centcomm steamrolls them.
chk 18th May 2017, 10:10 AM edit delete reply

Good work Sheela.
DLKmusic 18th May 2017, 4:47 PM edit delete reply

@Sheela: Not as funny as your usual shtick, but in spite of it not being cannon, it is VERY thought provoking!

Well done!
Sheela 18th May 2017, 8:31 PM edit delete reply

I know, it *was* originally meant to be funny when I started writing it .. but then it started writing itself!
It does open up for all sorts of abuse, when the bad guys gets to play god.

And thanks, both of you, for the compliments. :)
The Old Scribe 17th May 2017, 12:49 AM edit delete reply

It's almost as Acantha's a child in the company of adults; "You will not be punished', "Time for you to rest", "Take your medicine". "... serve your Highness's best interests". What's amusing is that these are all artifolk and she's a human and given the Nova Roman prejudice against artifolk ... Lynn's taking it all in stride, though. With Kali being her nanny, her association with Noctis and her friendship with Aeneas, it's obvious she no longer harbors any of those prejudices.
Sheela 17th May 2017, 5:58 PM edit delete reply

Well, to be fair, she is high as a kite.

Those are the good drugs. :)
Tokyo Rose 18th May 2017, 10:36 PM edit delete reply

I assume you meant "Acantha", not "Lynn"? :D
antrik 17th May 2017, 1:13 AM edit delete reply
Cent-Comm sounds rather resentful there, especially regarding the strike on Aeneas... Of course we already knew she resents that (the reason she refused talking with Roma) -- but it's strange that she tells Acantha she doesn't blame her for it, just to proceed kinda sticking it to her...

Acantha on the other hand really has a hard time accepting the idea that Commie doesn't actually hate her :-)
megados 17th May 2017, 1:03 PM edit delete reply
CentComm would seem to have cause to be resentful. The AIS were working in consort to end the carnage and try to salvage humanity, when Aurelian decided to trash Aeneas, who was in essence their creation to help Roma run the city. No good deed goes unpunished.
antrik 17th May 2017, 1:17 PM edit delete reply
I'm not questioning that Commie has reason to be resentful -- I'm a bit surprised though that she appears capable of resentment. And it's a bit strange also that she tells Acantha she doesn't blame her, but at the same time makes her feel bad for it nevertheless...
Gilrandir 17th May 2017, 2:28 PM edit delete reply
In my altogether erroneous opinion, CentComm has no grounds for resentment! ^_^

She is the "poster girl" for "If I determine something to be a threat, I obliterate it with overwhelming force as soon as possible without regard for any secondary considerations, such as prior agreements, treaties, commonly held practices or standards of behavior, etc.", right?

Aurelius determined that Aeneas was a threat and acted in what CentComm should consider an entirely appropriate manner. The fact that his threat identification algorithms were faulty because he was, apparently, a raving madman completely out of touch with reality has little to do with the quality of his response, once the threat had been identified. CentComm, of all entities, should be able to appreciate that. (No one ever appreciates that because 'scorched earth obliteration' is always a good tactic when carried out by people we like against people we don't like, and never a good tactic when carried out by people we don't like against people we like. ^_^)

Of course, considering the inherent "metal superiority" physics of the DataChasers universe, Aurelius' deluded paranoid fear may sadly not be quite as unjustified as one would hope. It would have been nice to see CentComm address that point somehow when condemning his attack on Aeneas. However, it doesn't seem to me that CentComm is experiencing resentment any more than she is experiencing hatred. She is pointing out things for Acantha that she expects will prevent Acantha from making a similar decision in the future. Nothing wrong with that, it can be argued that that is, in fact, part of her job. ^_^
antrik 17th May 2017, 3:30 PM edit delete reply
You might be right that she is actually just trying to caution Acantha, rather than expressing resentment... However, I do not agree with your assessment regarding Cent-Comm having no cause for resentment. The fundamental difference is motivation: Commie can be merciless, but only when eliminating threats to those she tries to protect. Aurelius on the other hand was not eliminating a threat, but rather just an obstacle to his own ambitions.
Gilrandir 17th May 2017, 5:25 PM edit delete reply
I don't know how much of Aurelius' motivation was cynical posturing to rally support by raising the shibboleth of the 'Clockwork Threat', and how much was sincere fear and paranoia generated by his mad disassociation from actual facts; however, the rhetoric of his cause was that Aeneas and other artificial intelligences (including synthbrained androids) posed a significant and realistic threat to the human race which would, over time, weaken it to the point of insignificance and (eventually) irrelevancy or extinction. (This is my interpretation of what we have been told in canon. I could easily be wrong and stand ready to be corrected by the creative team.)

So, from this perspective, Aurelius was reacting to a threat. (More likely imagined than real, but a threat, nonetheless.) Decimus was responding to his frustrated ambitions.
megados 17th May 2017, 6:02 PM edit delete reply
We were informed that Aurelius was batshit crazy and he was angry that Aeneas would not give him control over the WMD, so he trashed Aeneas in an attempt to gain control. The way I understood it, he wasn't responding to a discernable threat, he just wanted to blow stuff up.
Sheela 17th May 2017, 6:03 PM edit delete reply

Gilrandir is on the right tack, I think.

Aurelius may have been mad as a hatter, but people usually only attack things that are either a threat, or an offence to their sensibilities.
Gilrandir 17th May 2017, 6:20 PM edit delete reply
This is where we really need @Stormwind13 to provide the appropriate reference to where in the webcomic Aurelius is first mentioned and his motivation for the attack is explained in canon. My search-fu is weak. I know Decimus wanted the WMD's and was frustrated by the fact that Aeneas was denying them to him. My recollection of Aurelius' motivation differs from yours, @megados. (But I could easily be wrong.)
Tokyo Rose 17th May 2017, 6:35 PM edit delete reply

Aurelian was not insane, nor responding to an active threat of any kind. He was eager to conquer things and expand New Rome's power and resources. It is hard to conquer things when the A.I.S. that controls the majority of your military assets refuses to let you go conquer things.
Gilrandir 17th May 2017, 6:53 PM edit delete reply
Ah, frustrated ambition, then. Thank you, @Tokyo Rose, for correcting me. @megados, you were right. My mistake.

So, where does the anti-clockwork rhetoric come from, then? It wouldn't seem consistent to originate with Aurelius, if their difference was over control of military power, rather than a more fundamental clash of species.

EDIT: clarified to whom thanks were directed.
megados 17th May 2017, 7:10 PM edit delete reply
I got it half wrong. Thanks, @Tokyo Rose. I went and reread it, and I can't figure out where I got the insane part. Probably from shaking my head too much lately. :D
Gilrandir 17th May 2017, 8:35 PM edit delete reply
The insane part derives naturally ... what sane lord attacks a loyal retainer? Decimus did it, and we've seen the scathing evaluations of his sanity throughout the commentary pages. Apparently Aurelian did it as well, to the detriment of his reputation for keeping his marble collection in good order.

Oh, and @Tokyo Rose ... you probably don't remember, but I (of course) was traumatized for life and thus remember vividly when you challenged my assertion in the earlier commentary that Aeneas had ever outright defied the Throne of Nova Roma. Well, ... given your proposed rebooted timeline ... that, right there! Aeneas defying Aurelian, hereditary ruler of Nova Roma. ^_^
antrik 17th May 2017, 9:45 PM edit delete reply
@Gilrandir the first mention of Aurelius is in "Black Palace" (presently at http://datachasers.thecomicseries.com/comics/341/ ) I believe -- though we have been warned to take this old page with a grain of salt...

The only other relevant mention I remember is in "History .." (presently http://datachasers.thecomicseries.com/comics/513 ), where Acantha says he had "issues" -- which may be why we assumed that he was not entirely tight up there...

Apparently the "clockwork" rhetoric was really just propaganda, to rally support for his strike against Aeneas -- not something he really believed himself...

(Why is he sometimes called "Aurelius" and sometimes "Aurelian"?...)
Gilrandir 18th May 2017, 3:40 AM edit delete reply
Thank you for the pointers, @antrik. The name change is just because I'm a doofus. ^_^
antrik 18th May 2017, 10:37 AM edit delete reply
@Gilrandir no, Acantha actually says "Aurelian" in the second page I linked...
megados 18th May 2017, 9:12 AM edit delete reply
@Gilrandir, I too, have noticed that Stormwind13 has been conspicuously absent lately.
mjkj 17th May 2017, 1:47 AM edit delete reply

*lol* I love that interaction...

Though CentComm's bubble looks weird next to Florence's...

...hmmm, Cent, did you dream the same as Acantha?

Rashala 17th May 2017, 2:31 AM edit delete reply

Loved that mental image plushie my beeping at her lol;)

Course she has roses secret agent fox plushie protecting her!!
HiFranc 17th May 2017, 3:02 AM edit delete reply

I think culture shock is starting to set in. I'm just waiting until she finds out inhibitors are only used on criminal androids.
velvetsanity 17th May 2017, 9:06 AM edit delete reply

That...that's a rather big gun for being just a hypospray...can't they have made something smaller, or simply less...violent-murder-weapon-shaped, like in Star Trek? I know I'd be nervous as hell if I had to be injected using that thing...
megados 17th May 2017, 10:22 AM edit delete reply
Actually, where Florence is holding it in the second panel, I thought it was some kind of blaster, and thinking Oh Shit! Why isn't Noctis reacting to this? Upon reading the dialog I figured out what it was. By the fourth panel I was sufficiently convinced Florence wasn't going to blow CentComm doll or Acantha away.
antrik 17th May 2017, 10:44 AM edit delete reply
While I didn't think it was a blaster, it did strike me as somewhat on the large side... And I find it ironic that she is actually holding it like someone who has been trained in handling firearms ;-)
SeanR 17th May 2017, 1:01 PM edit delete reply
I think this is another case of blame the limited selection of readily available DAZ props.

It was probably originally designed as a tranquilizer dart pistol.
guest1 17th May 2017, 3:48 PM edit delete reply
jet injector... hypospray is Star Trek... and they ARE that big.!! modern use is so they dont have to change a lot of needles for the same shot to different people..
IE: polio vaccine 3 different villages 500 people = 500 needles,, at least 30 different needle types,, individual dosage per shot,.. or 1 jet injector, one dosage preset..
Rigor 18th May 2017, 4:38 PM edit delete reply
The one time I got a vaccine via jet injection, which admittedly was a decade ago, it hurt a lot more and for a longer time than a needle.
guest1 18th May 2017, 8:58 PM edit delete reply
yep.. and that's why a lot people from 60/70s and the military have a dime sized scar on left arm...
velvetsanity 17th May 2017, 9:11 AM edit delete reply

How on earth is Turd Making Idiot (Too Much Information) still ranked higher than DC on TWC?!?!? Girl Genius, I can understand, simply because the Foglios won multiple Hugo awards for it (plus it's really really good). But TMI? That pile of poorly done incoherent trash shouldn't even be in the top ten thousand! We need to fix this...

(Seriously, TMI has been giving not only CG comics, but daz and poser in general a majorly bad rep since it started. That comic actually caused me to not even think about giving CG art a try, even after I learned that daz was free...until Cent gave me links to DC and LS)
antrik 17th May 2017, 10:36 AM edit delete reply
The ways of the TWC voters are mysterious... ;-)

One thing is obvious: artistic quality is only one part of the picture.

As for "reputation", Datachasers could start by putting out a more representative banner... :-P
megados 17th May 2017, 11:16 AM edit delete reply
Datachasers is obviously head and shoulders above TMI. My take on it, is that Datachasers makes people think, and thinking seems to be anathema to a lot of people these days :(

PS, Obviously, the art is light years beyond that of TMI.
antrik 17th May 2017, 1:59 PM edit delete reply
@megados that's a very cynical view...

My impression so far is that webcomic fans actually tend to appreciate intricate stories worth pondering about. (When it comes to the "graphic novel" category -- obviously not for the "gag-a-day" type :-) )

... Though many seem to appreciate boobs even more, especially when they are furry ;-)
megados 17th May 2017, 3:02 PM edit delete reply
@antrik, it may be cynical to a point, but a lot of people seem to prefer sound bites over substance lately. Just an observation, YMMV :)
antrik 17th May 2017, 3:36 PM edit delete reply
I tend to agree in general, to some extent -- except I'd strike "lately".

However, I just don't have the impression it's an overriding factor in TWC ratings....
chk 17th May 2017, 11:32 AM edit delete reply

I've never been able figure out why a lot of comics rate higher than this one.
chk 17th May 2017, 11:36 AM edit delete reply

I'm also curious as to why you can only vote every 24 hours instead of one calendar day. That's downright inconvenient.
Carnifex 17th May 2017, 11:39 AM edit delete reply
The author of TMI, Andy, has openly admitted he doesn't have much artistic talent. But he is a good storyteller. He also has a strong sense of humor, so there are plenty of puns and innuendo written into TMI. Finally, he posts semi-frequent 'vote incentives' to TWC which helps drive up his ranking.

Data Chasers has a superlative artist in Centcomm. She's truly masterful and is gracing us all with three masterpieces a week. This is an amazing output of top-quality work. Paired up with this, we have TR's excellent writing making for a living, breathing world filled with characters of great depth and complexity. A story of the high-dramatic school masterfully told and presented.

Comparing the two is akin to comparing Dr Who to The Simpsons. While done in similar media, the artistic directions are so radically different as to make comparisons difficult indeed. Still - The main driver for DC's ranking on TWC is all-around quality. The driver for TMI is good writing combined with fan-service vote-incentives. I happen to enjoy both (along with a number of other web-comics) and should our creatrixes decide to release more vote-incentives (fan-service or not), that would be extra icing on an already delicious cake.
Sheela 17th May 2017, 6:31 PM edit delete reply

To be fair to TMI, it has been around since pretty much forever !
megados 18th May 2017, 12:18 PM edit delete reply
A few months ago, it seemed like something changed. DC was in the top ten, and the recent change was pretty sudden. It doesn't have anything to do with TMI specifically. I don't know what changed.
Timotheus 18th May 2017, 10:28 PM edit delete reply

Sorry, I have one computer and one internet access. And I vote three times every day just to be sure one of them gets through. I can do no more.
antrik 18th May 2017, 10:35 PM edit delete reply
Actually, Datachasers was in the top 10 only for one month IIRC; after that, it was back to hovering around 11th place or so.

Having said that, there was *definitely* a major TWC-wide change later... A lot of entries get a dramatically lower total vote count now; and the spread is much bigger -- though the ranking seems more stable over time now... I guess they implemented some kind of filtering?

On the plus side, Datachasers seems to be (slowly) climbing the ranks again after that extinction event, if I'm not mistaken...
chk 17th May 2017, 11:29 AM edit delete reply

Now THAT is a fucked up dream!
Morituri 17th May 2017, 1:32 PM edit delete reply
No. No, it is not. Trust me, I *know* from fucked-up dreams.
KarToon12 17th May 2017, 9:23 PM edit delete reply

No matter what time or universe, doctor's orders override everything else. XD
antrik 17th May 2017, 9:48 PM edit delete reply
Somehow that makes me think of "The Madness of King George"...
Morituri 18th May 2017, 5:46 PM edit delete reply
Well heck, if everybody else is writing fanfic....

Acantha: (Puts aside entertainment device) Noctis?

Noctis: Yes?

Acantha: You've been staring at me for twenty minutes without blinking and it's starting to creep me out.

Noctis: I could start blinking if that would help.

Acantha: No that's.... That's not the point.

Noctis: ...

Acantha: I just... I mean, I know, it's your job to watch me. And ... thank you, I appreciate you doing your job. I'm just not used to being watched like this.

Noctis: Nor am I. I am watching you and CentComm is almost certainly watching both of us.

Acantha: (Shudders) Yeah. Still creepy.

Noctis: ....

Acantha: So. You've got a different perspective than I do. Do you think it would be wise to give me an honest assessment of CentComm here, while she's probably listening?

Noctis: Yes. My assessment is that you're now in no danger from CentComm.

Acantha: Just like that? She killed millions, she remembers it all, and she doesn't regret it. But I'm in no danger?

Noctis: Having a sane ruler on the throne in Nova Roma serves her security interests, and you are a sane person. The likely alternatives are far more unpredictable. Further, to regret things about which we have no choice is a waste of time.

Acantha: I ... thank you for your assessment, Noctis.

Noctis: ....

Acantha: (Sighs) I have SO much crap to deal with when I get back to Nova Roma.

Noctis: Yes. It would be unwise to discuss that "crap" here and now.

Acantha: ... Right. (Goes back to watching her show but gets distracted by noticing that now Noctis is now blinking precisely once every fifteen seconds. Decides that it really doesn't help at all.)
megados 18th May 2017, 7:02 PM edit delete reply
Not bad, Morituri; it could pass for canon! :)
Morituri 18th May 2017, 7:11 PM edit delete reply
It's going to be some time before Lynn is ready to fully respect the Cassians as people or fully address the AIs-have-inhibitors issue, but I like thinking about the ways that tiny little cracks in the status quo can start developing.
Sheela 18th May 2017, 8:37 PM edit delete reply

Ohh, good stuff, I like it! :D

*blinks*
cattservant 18th May 2017, 11:34 PM edit delete reply

...............blink...............blink...............blink...............
megados 18th May 2017, 8:37 PM edit delete reply
@Morituri, that might be a bit of an understatement, as even if Lynn has a small amount experience with a few Cassians, she is still wierded out by them. She has to get well past that before she can understand or respect them. Noctis could give her a good start.
antrik 18th May 2017, 10:44 PM edit delete reply
Precisely once every fifteen seconds... Yeah, that's Noctis for you ;-)

(Not sure though a human would actually notice that, unless focusing on it on purpose...)
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