Comic 1057 - IX The Hermit Upright

10th Aug 2014, 9:00 PM
IX The Hermit Upright
Average Rating: 5 (22 votes)

Author Notes:

Centcomm 10th Aug 2014, 9:00 PM edit delete
Don't forget you can see pages early on Patreon :D
Post a Comment


cattservant 10th Aug 2014, 9:02 PM edit delete reply

Helen of Troy perhaps?
mjkj 10th Aug 2014, 11:29 PM edit delete reply

Yeah, see alt text. :D
Centcomm 11th Aug 2014, 12:43 AM edit delete reply

Perhaps :D
Stormwind13 11th Aug 2014, 3:09 AM edit delete reply

Good catch, cat.

Helen of Troy was the cause of the Trojan War. The face that launched a thousand ships to recover her. Not sure New Troy has a thousand ships to launch, but what they have has been mobilized.
Centcomm 11th Aug 2014, 5:58 AM edit delete reply

hehe well cent is not on the war path as of yet.
Stormwind13 11th Aug 2014, 7:33 AM edit delete reply

Well CentComm might not be on the warpath, but Calliope sure was! At least when we last saw her 'discussing' it with CentComm she sure sounded ready to pound some heads (Queen of Staves - 5 February 2014).

After Lynn was taken, I would be surprised if CentComm didn't put her forces on alert. Ready to respond to any other moves by Nova Roma (or anyone ELSE for that matter). CentComm might not be launching them at Nova Roma, but they are probably on stand-by ready to be used if needed.
Centcomm 11th Aug 2014, 7:39 AM edit delete reply

Cent Currently is at what would be considered " High Alert Status " Meaning all leave is cancled - all air units are at warm stand by and she is activating and running checks on over twenty thousand Combat drones. She is also bringing all Turrets and Supplemental Power plants online to power the " war fields " Massive barrier shields designed to protect the city from Attack.

Cent isn't kidding around here.

The ordinary Citizenry of New Troy would be totally unaware of what is going on..
Stormwind13 11th Aug 2014, 8:06 AM edit delete reply

Maybe the ordinary citizen isn't aware; however, it is NOT going totally unnoticed (see Connie - 13 August 2012 and East Gate - 14 August 2012).
Centcomm 11th Aug 2014, 8:37 AM edit delete reply

Good Memory :D
Sheela 12th Aug 2014, 3:34 AM edit delete reply

Heck, most of the underground smugglers in New Troy have probably also noticed it happening.
Stormwind13 12th Aug 2014, 1:19 PM edit delete reply

Most of the smugglers have probably headed for the hills, Sheela. Too much EXTRA security sweeping for everything. :-)
Hydrargyrum 12th Aug 2014, 5:04 PM edit delete reply

"Cent isn't kidding around here."

Does she ever? The closest I can think of is bluffing Mira with two weapons hot combat droids and a chat about nuclear warfare.

A friend of Helen's may be no friend; depending on the story Polyxo of Argos either murders or attempts to murder Helen. There's Sheela's interpretation and Rashala's but I'm inclined to a more straightforward view: in most variations of the Iliad Helen is abducted by Theseus at an early age and taken to Troy. The congruence with Lynn's capture is hard to ignore (though in close interpretation Lynn has only Kyle as a nominal suitor with a single ship whereas Helen had someplace between six and 45 suitors and at least 222 ships depending on how one adds things up---Cent-Comm seems busy filling in the rest, though). There's also the possibility of a modern reference to Helen's friend as Xena: Warrior Princess. In Datachasers terms that could circle round to Ceci in much the way Odysseus tells Polyphemus is name is No Man. Too contrived, I think, however.

Good on the backref to pages 715 and 716, Storm.

EDIT: Or we can move on to the next page.
Calisa 10th Aug 2014, 9:10 PM edit delete reply

"I'll file it under guilty pleasures." Haha xD
TheD-Wrek 10th Aug 2014, 9:31 PM edit delete reply

The guilty pleasures line had me giggling as well. Heh. :3
Centcomm 11th Aug 2014, 6:03 AM edit delete reply

Im glad you liked it :D
mjkj 10th Aug 2014, 11:30 PM edit delete reply

Yup, great one :D

Thank you, Rose and Cent.

Stormwind13 11th Aug 2014, 8:34 AM edit delete reply

Agreed. That is a great line. And the expression Dolly has on thinking about it is great too. Take a bow, CentComm and Rose. :-)
Centcomm 11th Aug 2014, 12:43 AM edit delete reply

hey Dolly has some weaknesses :D
Sheela 12th Aug 2014, 3:35 AM edit delete reply

Like what ?

Booze and nice abs on men ?
jamie59 10th Aug 2014, 9:43 PM edit delete reply

Did Rose leave cookie crumbs
Centcomm 11th Aug 2014, 12:43 AM edit delete reply

mjkj 11th Aug 2014, 1:30 AM edit delete reply

More likely Aeneas, Rose would leave bread crumbs...
Centcomm 11th Aug 2014, 5:58 AM edit delete reply

:D- spoilers.
Rashala 10th Aug 2014, 11:15 PM edit delete reply

Hmmm I WONDER WHO....left that file *eyes a certain Masked AIS with his cookie of Friendship
Centcomm 11th Aug 2014, 12:43 AM edit delete reply

mjkj 10th Aug 2014, 11:27 PM edit delete reply


That should raise warning flags...

I wonder how Dolly will react to that.

...and who that friend is...

I would guess either Aeneas (most probably) or Rose (but she would have used a different ident).

...thank you for the alt text: it must have been Aeneas... :D

So, CeCi had her work cut out for her by Aeneas. I believe his snoopers have already alerted him to their presence. :)

Centcomm 11th Aug 2014, 12:44 AM edit delete reply

Cant say here .. spoilers you know .. :D
mjkj 11th Aug 2014, 1:29 AM edit delete reply

Yup, I understand - it seems pretty obvious though...
Stormwind13 11th Aug 2014, 3:18 AM edit delete reply

Rose has shown herself to be capable of invading computer systems. Aeneas, while obviously capable of dealing with his own systems, seems to seriously limited access.

For this reason, I'm thinking it is more likely to be Rose than Aeneas. And we know that Rose knows that agents are on the way from New Troy. Aeneas does not (seemingly) have that information path. Though it wouldn't take a mental giant to figure out that New Troy is likely to send agents to Nova Roma. So it could be Aeneas.
Centcomm 11th Aug 2014, 6:00 AM edit delete reply

Rose and Aeneas are the current faves .. what about Deep Blue.. or even .. *gasp* KYLE the hacker :D he also knows Troy is sending out rescuers. and knows how to manipulate Data
Stormwind13 11th Aug 2014, 8:19 AM edit delete reply

Deep Blue could do it, might be doing it; however, he didn't seem interested in taking a direct hand in the matter (see Deep Blue - 2 April 2009).

Kyle is possible for sure; however, I'm not sure he has had the time to set up the files. Especially considering the last time we saw him, he was STILL getting information from Rose (Bearer of good news - 5 March 2014).

Now it could be someone else entirely, maybe even the Loonies. Maybe Athena hired someone (if she lacked the skills to do it herself). I mean, if someone had kidnapped my granddaughter I would likely be pissed off and take steps. Of course, Athena isn't supposed to know about the situation (didn't want her to worry her about it). Since she was a diplomat though, I wouldn't be surprised if she has heard through her channels. And taken all steps she could to recover Lynn safely (rocks at the ready! :-D).
velvetsanity 11th Aug 2014, 11:48 AM edit delete reply

At this moment, where exactly is Kyle? Can we get a sync on who's where?
Stormwind13 11th Aug 2014, 12:50 PM edit delete reply

Kyle is inside Nova Roma, nominally working in the palace kitchen as the new kitchen boy. Where he is at this very second, is hard telling though (and one the EVIL duo is unlikely to clarify for spoilers).

After smarting off to the Kitchen Master though, Kyle is probably cleaning the fire pits in the lowest levels of Tartarus. :-D Unless there is a WORSE job the Kitchen Monster... errr Master can inflict upon him. :-D
Centcomm 11th Aug 2014, 2:15 PM edit delete reply

I have one word.. "Spoilers... "
Stormwind13 11th Aug 2014, 2:21 PM edit delete reply

I have one word back to you CentComm... EVIL! :-D
Tokyo Rose 11th Aug 2014, 3:07 PM edit delete reply

Kyle is working in the Black Palace. Acantha and Lynn are at Irene's. Team More Dakka is still en route.
velvetsanity 11th Aug 2014, 6:01 PM edit delete reply

Thanks, Rose! Umm. 'More Dakka'? (I do realize you're referring to Marcus, etc, just... never heard of 'dakka'...)
Stormwind13 11th Aug 2014, 7:01 PM edit delete reply

Me either, velvet; however, I think this might be the Dakka Rose is speaking of. Personally not a miniatures gamer. :-)
Centcomm 11th Aug 2014, 8:55 PM edit delete reply

Yep - got it in one :D
Sheela 12th Aug 2014, 3:44 AM edit delete reply

Orc machine guns from Warhammer 40k go "dakka dakka dakka" when they shoot, so they have upgradable skills like "more dakka" and "lots 'n' lots of dakka".

Also, their vehicle guys like the red ones best, 'cause "da red uns go fasta!"

This should all be mentioned in concert with the fact that the Orcs have a sort of low level talapathic ability, that works in a sort of hivemind, where the more Orcs that believe it to be true, the more likely it is to work out that way. Thus, even though their machines are crude and steampowered, they are still as strong as the elves high tech machines, 'cause the Orcs believe in them .. a lot !


Meanwhile, we should also not discount the possibility that there might be some actors in the city, that don't like Decimus at all, and would be smart enough to figure out someone might be coming along with an advanced hacking driod in tow.

For example, the Archpriest of the church of Purity has been mentioned as being not too .. fond, of Decimus. I'm sure he has a hacker or two in his ranks that would be smart enough to leave something like that.

Also, it's signed "a friend of Helen", probably meaning "helen of Troy" = Calliope Taylor. And we know she mentioned she had help from someone from the outside in building Dolly's new body. We also know that Dolly's new body had more biologicals than any android before it, to the point where Centcomm called it a bridge between humanity and androids.

And who's the master of genetic research, which is what is needed to make bio parts ?

Methinks, that a certain Archpriest of the church of Purity, would fit the bill, and he would also be the kind to put info out there, that could not be traced back to him. For certain, he's mixed up in all of this somehow, and helping build a bridge between pure human and pure android seems to be *exactly* the kind of challenge he would relish!

Of course, this is only speculation, but I cannot imagine him *not* being involved somehow, and he's smart enough to be on the forefront of things happening.
Centcomm 12th Aug 2014, 9:41 AM edit delete reply

Innnteresting ... :D
Stormwind13 12th Aug 2014, 1:22 PM edit delete reply

You might be onto something, Sheela. I can see how you arrived where you did, and it is POSSIBLE for sure. Not sure how PLAUSIBLE it is. Don't know enough about Setorius to be sure; however, it does make a kind of sense. :-)
Sheela 14th Aug 2014, 10:43 AM edit delete reply

Indeed, nobody knows anything about Setorius, except for Centcomm and Rose ... ok, ok, so, TWO people know ... BUT - If he's not fond of Decimus, he could do this out of simple spite.

Besides, if it ultimately improves his opportunities for research in the long run, he might also take an interest.

This tale is not only about a few persons in the limelight, but also about the people backing them, and there is a lot of unknown backers in Nova Roma, or Acantha would have replaced Decimus already.
shinka 11th Aug 2014, 3:52 AM edit delete reply

nice page :)
Centcomm 11th Aug 2014, 6:00 AM edit delete reply

Thank you ever so much! :d
DizzasterJuice 11th Aug 2014, 5:45 AM edit delete reply

hmmm... breadcrumbs ;)
Centcomm 11th Aug 2014, 6:01 AM edit delete reply

TOO bad its not stove top stuffing MMm stove top..
jas 11th Aug 2014, 7:32 AM edit delete reply

Excellent page! I love the fifth frame, it really drives home the visibility point from the previous frame.

Also this page makes Dolly even more human than usual. I love her reactions to Ceci's revelations. :D
Centcomm 11th Aug 2014, 7:36 AM edit delete reply

Thanks - yeah there will be a few more panels showing just HOW bad the snow fall is.
Stormwind13 11th Aug 2014, 9:16 AM edit delete reply

Stop it! You are giving me nightmare flashbacks of the last Winter! Making me COLD! Need to ship some REAL weather down to the Valley of the Sun... so you won't be so eager to inflict the bad memories upon the rest of us! :-D
Centcomm 11th Aug 2014, 9:57 AM edit delete reply

Sorry about that :P
highlander55 11th Aug 2014, 7:29 PM edit delete reply

I remember Phoenix in the summer riding cycle. Put your foot down at a red light and felt like it was melting the sole. Not to mention the heat blasting in your face.
Centcomm 11th Aug 2014, 8:55 PM edit delete reply

Yes we are currently in Phoenix's " Furnace season. LOL ( its still better than Florida )
Matt Knab 11th Aug 2014, 12:19 PM edit delete reply

I have a lot of pages to catch up on. What strikes me most on this page is all the great display designs!
Centcomm 11th Aug 2014, 2:06 PM edit delete reply

Thanks - I took a lot of the bases for those from vaious " future dash board designs " :D
Draginbeard 11th Aug 2014, 2:01 PM edit delete reply

Helen of Troy... I see what you did there!

Does Dolly mean that she thinks (knows) the sentries at the check points can better detect a fake/faulty collar, or is it something about Ceci she fears would give them away?
Centcomm 11th Aug 2014, 2:07 PM edit delete reply

Adjusts halo.. what me?!?.. wha did I do?

Little of both actually.
Stormwind13 11th Aug 2014, 3:10 PM edit delete reply

Take that tin foil halo off... We KNOW you can't have a REAL one... Not as EVIL as you are! :-)
velvetsanity 12th Aug 2014, 2:38 AM edit delete reply

I keep wanting to read that as 'tin foil hat' lol
Tokyo Rose 11th Aug 2014, 3:13 PM edit delete reply

She's not SURE they could detect it, but she feels that if they DID manage to notice that the collar wasn't working, it would be more of a red flag than just having an android that has an internal inhibitor. (Some Nova Romans who have androids with internal inhibitors DO put decorative/non-functional collars on them just to make it clear at a glance that they're "property", but Dolly wouldn't know about a cultural detail like that.)

Part of it is that she thinks the collars are flat-out disgusting and refuses to be a party to such behavior. Dolly can be VERY pragmatic and practical when it affects HER--she would have no hesitation to put a fake one on herself if the situation warranted it--but she's not so quick to subject others to such things. (Yes, Ceci's clearly willing to go through with the masquerade, but since it's not really necessary, Dolly won't do it.)
mjkj 12th Aug 2014, 12:11 AM edit delete reply

Wow, thanks for the info dump, Rose :)

Sheela 12th Aug 2014, 3:51 AM edit delete reply

Basically, CeCi is now a sort of adopted daughter to Dolly, ever since she professed personal singularity and that she doesn't want to "fuse back with Centcomm" or whatever black angels usually do.

And Dolly tends to go <RAWR> if someone threatens her adopted daughters, even if that adopted daughter have more military hardware in her than Dolly does!

tl;dr cersion :
Mama Bear go <RAWR> at the thought of a collar on her cub.
Stormwind13 12th Aug 2014, 1:25 PM edit delete reply

Kind of had similar thoughts, Dolly isn't seeing CeCi as her protector as much as someone she needs to protect. Especially when CeCi is calling her Mommy all the time. :-)
Tokyo Rose 12th Aug 2014, 2:11 PM edit delete reply

Oops, barfed some exposition there. Let me get some of that weird sawdust stuff.
Centcomm 12th Aug 2014, 9:38 AM edit delete reply

wish I could reply .. :P
Sheela 14th Aug 2014, 10:47 AM edit delete reply

Of course, noone knows if it was CentComm's plan to have CeCi call her mommy all the time, in order to abuse Dolly's maternal feelings towards her.

What a twist that would be !
Imagine if CeCi was the evil one ?
Stormwind13 14th Aug 2014, 1:48 PM edit delete reply

That IS twisted, Sheela. So it has a better than average chance of being TRUE... considering the writer/artist (EVIL) duo for this comic. :-D
Twistedfro 11th Aug 2014, 8:25 PM edit delete reply

Cool page :-)
Centcomm 12th Aug 2014, 9:38 AM edit delete reply

Danke !
Stormwind13 12th Aug 2014, 1:24 PM edit delete reply

Cool? No, downright FRIGID, Twisted! :-p
Twistedfro 13th Aug 2014, 3:29 PM edit delete reply

You're right, Storm...You're right! :-)
Mr. Whatever 12th Aug 2014, 7:48 AM edit delete reply

Really like how the dialogue flow in the page. Great work.
Centcomm 12th Aug 2014, 9:38 AM edit delete reply

Aww thanks - glad to see you here - :D
Rashala 12th Aug 2014, 2:43 PM edit delete reply

"Helen" of new troy hmmmmm the beauty that launched a thousand ships. If I did nto know better I would think Aereanas had a bit of a thing for Centy........Hmm *peers around her office for Roses*
Centcomm 12th Aug 2014, 2:50 PM edit delete reply

he called her " The uncrowned crystal queen. " I guess its a compliment..
JacobJSebastian 12th Aug 2014, 8:07 PM edit delete reply

Ok, I just got to say it: with that hair and the poofy jacket, Ceci looks like a couple girls I knew in the 80's. In alaska. :D
Stormwind13 13th Aug 2014, 3:50 PM edit delete reply

If they were that cute Jacob then you should count yourself LUCKY. :-)
antrik 11th Oct 2016, 11:05 AM edit delete reply
I kinda keep expecting to hear, "Say 'what' again. Say 'what' again, I dare you, I double dare you motherfucker, say what one more Goddamn time!" ;-)
Speedy Marsh 4th Feb 2017, 6:45 PM edit delete reply
I have a way out there theory. What if "Friend of Helen" is a literal, rather than (or as well as) figurative description?

If the Trojan War (at least in the DC universe) was historical, rather than mythological, then the sender of the message could actually have been a friend of Helen. Since that would be impossible for any Earthling, the only possibilities would be extraterrestrial.

Since we know that Dolly and CeCi made friends with a certain green thumbed gardener, and we know that the gardener's race has been here before, it's possible that part of the gardener's mother ship once walked the Earth with Helen of Troy, and now the entire collective of Epiphytes in our system wants to help peacefully resolve a situation with similarities to Helen's. And, at this point, they are in a much better position to be helpful, than they were years ago, thanks to an officially human's help.

I know I stretched this one past its elastic limit, but I figured it was just possible enough to make it one of those things that make you go "Hmmmm..." (Also, for some reason, after I had this really bad headache, I felt compelled to make this comment. Go fig.)
Post a Comment

Comic Basement - Webcomic Ranking Directory