Comic 1079 - Thoughts..

28th Sep 2014, 9:00 PM
Average Rating: 5 (23 votes)
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jamie59 28th Sep 2014, 9:10 PM edit delete reply

Thought Douchebag would do it personaly.
Sheela 29th Sep 2014, 11:04 AM edit delete reply

Nah, he's the kind of guy that tries to make a huge public viewing out of everything, so as to elevate himself even higher up the ranks.
Centcomm 29th Sep 2014, 2:32 PM edit delete reply

He might watch.. or he might take a personal hand on somethings.
mjkj 28th Sep 2014, 9:45 PM edit delete reply


Now you have done it, CeCi. You should have called her mommy at the end... Noctis got suspicious...

Yup, Maly, that is what dear Nocty said.

...and you are doing great there... :D

PS: Missing the alt text...

Sheela 29th Sep 2014, 11:04 AM edit delete reply

CeCi should have called Noctis "mommy" ?
velvetsanity 29th Sep 2014, 8:11 PM edit delete reply

Nah, she should have called Noctis 'auntie' :D
Centcomm 29th Sep 2014, 2:33 PM edit delete reply

I didnt add any alt text today. and love the comments :D
Hydrargyrum 29th Sep 2014, 6:11 PM edit delete reply

Mmm, I don't this one goes to Ceci. Dolly blew cover in the previous page and the last panel shows Noctis noticed. Madame Cassian is looking at Dolly there not Ceci, eh?
CptKerion 28th Sep 2014, 9:57 PM edit delete reply
More of my conjecture here

Hrm... yeah, this is about to take a turn for the worse for Dolly and Ceci.
Suspicions raised with people who have resources, and the cover has a number of holes cracked in it.
Add that the gutter getting fixed up and squealing about certain elements could add more holes.
Seems like the rescue team can add two important details to their agenda.

Another thought here, what if someone asks the following:
If someone is THAT good at precision ass kicking and in the bounty hunting business, why is this the first time Nova Roma has gotten wind of them?

The more questions like that start piling up the closer people start watching.

So we have one confirmed "bears watching" already and numerous sources of others.
Sheela 29th Sep 2014, 11:08 AM edit delete reply

Well, it will be a while before Dari is well enough so as to be able to speak, even with tomorrows technology.
Remember how long it took for Lynn's wrist to heal ?

But yeah, it is kinda suspicious that they have not heard of someone like Dolly, if she is that good.

Ofcourse, it wouldn't be the first time someone changed area because the locals became .. hostile.
Centcomm 29th Sep 2014, 2:53 PM edit delete reply

Ill handle a few of these questions :D

A highly skilled bounty hunter than operates on the west coast could go unnoticed forever.

" Delores Blue's " Bounty license is a fabrication from Cent-com with Luna-Com's help its pretty unbreakable.

Deloris Blue also has a complete past created by Cent comm and Dolly she has a few Aliases shes used in the past to keep things on the down low.

Noctis and Malati could be a BIG issue for them if they make a mistake but knowing they are androids both Dolly and Ceci know better than to use Speedspeak.. even if Noctis couldn't decode it she could pick up the sound of the bursts.

as for the Skill Dolly oozes the Bad ass .. they really arent going to ask about her skill.

we shall how our girls handle this :D
Sheela 29th Sep 2014, 3:04 PM edit delete reply

Dolly definately got skill, and cover story.

I was thinking more of the rumor-mill.
Someone of Dolly's caliber would have to be semi-famous in those circles.
Stormwind13 29th Sep 2014, 4:34 PM edit delete reply

Agreed, Sheela. People LOVE to tell stories (as judged by Dolly's dealing with gutters STILL making the rounds about 15 years later).

Unless, you are Jason McCullough. :-D Then you might sneak in under the radar, for awhile.
CptKerion 29th Sep 2014, 6:46 PM edit delete reply
Lucky for them Cassians (likely) are largely above the rumor mill, huh? I don't doubt that they are aware of it but I doubt they lend it credence.
Haegan2005 28th Sep 2014, 10:09 PM edit delete reply

Noctis is running on all cylinders here! fortunately for our heroes I suspect that nothing too interesting will occur before Lynn gets back. Course the meeting with Julia could be interesting...

I am still wondering what Dari may spill once she gets her ability to speak again. I am scratching my head to remember if Dari knows anything that may be compromising.
Centcomm 29th Sep 2014, 2:54 PM edit delete reply

Very much so :D
cattservant 28th Sep 2014, 10:18 PM edit delete reply

Yep, suspiciously cute.
Stormwind13 29th Sep 2014, 3:06 AM edit delete reply

Too true, cat.
Sheela 29th Sep 2014, 11:08 AM edit delete reply

And sweet too ... like honey!
Centcomm 29th Sep 2014, 2:54 PM edit delete reply

arent they :D
The Old Scribe 28th Sep 2014, 11:17 PM edit delete reply

CeCi's so cute and friendly, but you don't get chummy with the Nova Roma version of the Gestapo, sweetie. Noctis is programmed to be suspicious of everything and everyone, so any deviation from the norm as it relates to the Nova Roma culture bears watching.

I bet CeCi could beat Noctis like a rented mule too.
Stormwind13 29th Sep 2014, 2:07 PM edit delete reply

Good advice, Scribe. Unfortunately, CeCi is going to be CeCi. But she'll bury the bodies of those that try anything against her or Mommy.
Centcomm 29th Sep 2014, 2:55 PM edit delete reply

As for5 Ceci VS Noctis.. this may or may not happen.. Ceci is a top end package but so is Noctis and Noctis has YEARS of experience. sometimes its not raw skill that wins..
Sheela 29th Sep 2014, 3:06 PM edit delete reply

Funny enough, despite Dolly being in such a "weak" body as she is, even she could be properly dangerous for another android, if it came to a fight.

Of course, she has even more combat experience than most security droids. XD
Antonious 29th Sep 2014, 3:53 PM edit delete reply

As my fellow rogues would say "Old age and treachery will match or beat youth and strength.
Stormwind13 29th Sep 2014, 4:03 PM edit delete reply

Old age & treachery, Antonious? :-D
Stormwind13 29th Sep 2014, 4:44 PM edit delete reply

Well Noctis is an older model, while CeCi is the most advanced model that CentComm has available (it sounded like). And she packed CeCi FULL of all sorts of tricks. Plus, while CeCi is young, her designer is VERY old (and not telling anyone HOW old, just like a woman :-D). So Noctis might not have a real advantage there. :-)
Centcomm 30th Sep 2014, 5:42 PM edit delete reply

lets just say it could be spectacular ..
Draginbeard 28th Sep 2014, 11:56 PM edit delete reply

LOL oh Malati, what a delusional wack-a-doo!

Ive heard this 'Necessary Evil' rhetoric from every organization from religious extremists, and Government agencies, all the way down to street thugs and drug dealers!

You can justify your actions however you want, but at the end of the day, you still contibuted to a staggering body count, and had fun doing it.

You can hide behind whatever banner you like, but you're only fooling yourself.
rfaramir 29th Sep 2014, 7:44 AM edit delete reply
To advocate for a "Necessary Evil" is to advocate evil.

It is never right.
velvetsanity 29th Sep 2014, 8:08 AM edit delete reply

Since Noctis hasn't spoken of doing "necessary evil", are you assuming that she hasn't done it?

And do the Cassians have any choice at all in whether they follow orders to do such deeds?

Different personalities react to atrocity in different ways, particularly atrocity at their own hands that they have no choice in committing.
Perhaps Malati's attitude and sense of humor are a coping mechanism, or maybe the strain of the atrocities have caused her to crack.

We know Kali has no choice but to obey. Is the same not likely to be true of the Cassians?

Interesting how quick we are to condemn based on inadequate info...
CptKerion 29th Sep 2014, 10:46 AM edit delete reply
Often the difference between evil and the gray area in between is not what was done, but why... and sometimes to whom.
Sheela 29th Sep 2014, 11:12 AM edit delete reply

Velvet raises some fair questions here.

A lot of "evil" is declared so, because of the intent of the perpetrator. But if you don't have an actual choice in wether or not you do it (ie. she's programmed to do so), then it becomes much more of a gray area.

Wether or not Malati has "cracked" remains to be seen.
I'm not so sure she is as far out as she portrays herself to be.

Also, Noctis said that she was .. "sound".
Stormwind13 29th Sep 2014, 2:31 PM edit delete reply

I think the "sound" that Noctis was referring to, Sheela, was a dying scream. That is what I get from Malati.
Stormwind13 29th Sep 2014, 2:27 PM edit delete reply

There are always choices, velvet. Sometimes they take more time to realize that you had a choice. Following orders does not relieve you of responsible for your actions (Nuremberg Principles).

I have yet to see instructions that can't be circumnavigated, if the individual is determined enough. Having the will to be morally strong enough to risk their existence to ignore orders to commit atrocities. It might cost the individual everything. If enough individuals stand up and say enough though it can be stopped.
Tokyo Rose 29th Sep 2014, 2:48 PM edit delete reply

The Nuremberg Defense holds slightly more water when one is literally the physical puppet of one's commander, and has actual programming that forces one into obedience.

Resist, accept, embrace. Those are the choices that the Cassians have in dealing with what they are and what they do. Noctis, who can emotionally disconnect herself, accepts; Malati, perhaps as a form of psychological "flooding", embraces.

There were only a few Cassians who chose "resist" during the present regime. They're gone now.
Centcomm 29th Sep 2014, 2:59 PM edit delete reply

also the Cassians are programed from the start to be " Amoral " meaning that morality is a choice.. but the hard controls mean that they PHYSICALLY can not disobey without shutting down .. think robocop.. he couldnt fight the directives until a outside force helped.
Stormwind13 29th Sep 2014, 3:20 PM edit delete reply

So they already MADE their choice. They chose to continue to exist, even if it meant following evil. That is all I'm saying.

Luna Star showed us that it is possible for a machine to 'break' programming, Rose. Amy did, so if the Cassians were determined enough I wonder if they couldn't slip their bonds too.

In any case, I still say the Cassians can be held to principles, as they CHOSE before we first encountered them.
Tokyo Rose 30th Sep 2014, 3:34 PM edit delete reply

They chose to continue serving Nova Roma, hoping that things would change, as Noctis remarked. That isn't following evil, it's more putting up with evil until evil dies of terminal assholism or trips down an elevator shaft onto some bullets. :)
Sheela 30th Sep 2014, 5:10 PM edit delete reply

And lets not forget that Amy *couldn't* break her own programming until most of the restraints had been removed from her programming.

Add in another 700 years of science and development, and they should be perfectly capable of making androids now, that don't have a real choice, including not suiciding.
Stormwind13 30th Sep 2014, 5:41 PM edit delete reply

Okay, I can concede that on SOME of the Cassians, Rose; however, I don't buy it for Malati. She ENJOYS inflicting pain too much, in my opinion.
Dragonrider 29th Sep 2014, 11:54 AM edit delete reply

Ah Gentle Folk might I remind you "Evil is in the eye of the perpetrator." Some people saw slavery as evil, some saw slaves treated as equals as evil. One mans Gospel is anothers Book of Evil. There is no Black or White just Shades of Gray. (50 of them as I recall.)
Besides contributing to the body count can be such a tension reliever.
Sheela 29th Sep 2014, 12:17 PM edit delete reply

Well, there can also be an advantage in seeming to be a monster.
Sometimes a fight can be avoided altogether, if the opponent is afraid of you.

Ah do believe she's been working on her public image a bit.

Also, lets not forget that the Cassians was probably designed with certain traits in mind. Ie. they were probably not designed at random, nor were they a personal choice.

Noctis could have been designed with a strong superego and an analytical mind, whereas Malati would be her "handmaiden" of sorts. Meanwhile Kali has been designed as a leader that keeps the wider perspective in mind.

This would make sense if you were a scientist designing those androids to work for the "special police" branch.
Centcomm 29th Sep 2014, 3:00 PM edit delete reply

exactly Sheela .. you once again have nailed it perfectly :D
Sheela 29th Sep 2014, 3:09 PM edit delete reply

*wah* ... my nails !
*checks paws frantically*
But ... but all my nails are right here ?
Some Ed 4th Jun 2017, 4:58 PM edit delete reply
As I understand it, there was a book which claimed to discuss 50 shades of gray. But my wife went to law school, and I'm pretty sure they covered more than a thousand shades of grey in the three years she was there. You might consider some of those shades of white and black. But even without those, there's an awful lot of shades of grey.
anonymous coward 29th Sep 2014, 1:52 PM edit delete reply
Careful, you're stepping on the toes of pretty much every modern government when you say this. I'm not saying I disagree, but state sanctioned torture and oppression of some type or another is the norm throughout history and... current events.
Sheela 29th Sep 2014, 3:00 PM edit delete reply

And it still is.
Centcomm 29th Sep 2014, 2:56 PM edit delete reply

Well Whether or not Malati is *Evil* TM I still like her as a character ..
Draginbeard 29th Sep 2014, 3:51 PM edit delete reply

I like Noctis more, but then I find her a deeper thinker than Malati, or Kali, for that matter.

Kali still succumbs to over-reactions (killing a guard for being rude is a pretty distinct tell), where as Noctis, from what we have seen, is the poster child for professionalism and self control.

I think I like Noctis because she knows what she is, and owns her place in the order of things. No qualms, and no regrets.

Malati is the opposite, she still has to convince others, thus justifying her own actions to herself at the same time.

She enjoys causing pain and terror in her victims to the point she looks for ways to get around her orders so she can indulge in that behavior.

She was ordered not to physically harm Dari, but still found a way to keep traumatizing her.

She knew full well that what she was doing was above and beyond, because she actually felt the need to justify her behavior to Dari. She had to make Dari look worse than herself.

So yeah, from what we have seen, and heard from her so far, Malati may have started as a hard edged enforcer, but through her outward behavior and choices, she has become a fairly vile creature.
Centcomm 29th Sep 2014, 3:57 PM edit delete reply

Interesting Take on things.. :D thanks Draginbeard .. I cant really comment on too much .. but I really like how you summed it up :D
Stormwind13 29th Sep 2014, 4:14 PM edit delete reply

I agree about Malati, Draginbeard. And I'm inclined to think you have a point about Noctis; however, I have to disagree about Kali.

Kali is charged with protecting Nova Roma, especially the future of the city, which is Acantha. And then Douchebag tried to rape her, destroy her. Kali can't deal with him as he so richly deserves. When the guards came back though, she demanded answers and she got insolence from that one guard. In a military environment (and Nova Roma seems to be a military state), she was within her rights to 'punish' him. As the level of threat to the city's future was incredibly high, killing him was not really out of bounds.

The guard gave Kali a reason to punish him as harshly as she was allowed. His stupidity. The gene pool is better for it, I think.
Centcomm 29th Sep 2014, 4:20 PM edit delete reply

Kali was incredibly angry . Unlike Noctis Kali allows her emotions to sometimes get the better of her. The guard spouted off and Kali killed him out of spite and anger for endangering Acantha. however she killed him relatively quickly .. and quietly .. she didn't torture him .. much.
and she made sure ( to her thoughts ) he had time to consider why she killed him.

And yes Roma is a military city for the most part
Draginbeard 29th Sep 2014, 6:27 PM edit delete reply

Storm, Im not implying that Kali is always rash, but as Cent pointed out, she is not above lashing out in anger.

While Im sure she had the authority to discipline that guard, killing him was still excessive. Even in wartime, you dont usually execute a soldier for mouthing off, or not even for incompetence. Thats what the brig is for.

I was just saying Noctis is even more level headed than Kali, which puts Malati at the other end of the spectrum. And in a twisted sort of way, these two remind me of Ada and Teedee, only with fewer hugs, and way more blood.

Teedee vs. Malati, who doesnt want to see that fight?

Centcomm 29th Sep 2014, 6:34 PM edit delete reply

mememe - I want to see that fight !!! heheh
mjkj 30th Sep 2014, 5:51 AM edit delete reply

I rather would prefer a sparring match between them. not want either to be killed.
Sheela 30th Sep 2014, 11:29 AM edit delete reply

As long as either one can be flashed and reinstated in a new body, I have no issue with a bit of "death" on either side.
Out of curiosity, is there an "Ada" variation among the cassians in Nova Roma ?
Here comes the cassian with her fierce reputation, and she wants to hug you - scary stuff!
Stormwind13 30th Sep 2014, 2:22 PM edit delete reply

LOL Sheela, something like this?
Rashala 29th Sep 2014, 12:33 AM edit delete reply

DArn paranoid intelligence droids......
Sheela 29th Sep 2014, 12:28 PM edit delete reply

Yeah, they don't REALLY hope that you're comfy !!
Centcomm 29th Sep 2014, 3:00 PM edit delete reply

KarToon12 29th Sep 2014, 5:55 AM edit delete reply

Uh oh...Noctis knows something's up...>.>

Funny how her name looks like the word "notice". She literally "notices" things. XD
Sheela 29th Sep 2014, 11:14 AM edit delete reply

Noctis is latin for Night, she is literally the thing that go "bump" in the night.
Noctis sneaks in while you sleep, and steals your thoughts!

Meanwhile, Malati is the monster under the bed.
Stormwind13 29th Sep 2014, 2:08 PM edit delete reply

That is actually pretty apt description of these two, Sheela.
Centcomm 29th Sep 2014, 3:01 PM edit delete reply

yep .. good catch Sheela
CptKerion 29th Sep 2014, 6:58 PM edit delete reply
Hmm... that is a curious perspective.

Being a one time student of Latin night was where my mind first went. Comes quietly like the night, leaves in silence.

And, being curious, I went on a bit of digging on what Malati means...
it's another form of Jasmine... which is derived from the name of the plant.
It's interesting how the less innocuous one has the more innocuous name.
Centcomm 29th Sep 2014, 3:01 PM edit delete reply

that is a interesting perspective on her name - nice one :D
Stormwind13 29th Sep 2014, 4:18 PM edit delete reply

Didn't think of it that way, KarToon. You have a point though.
Sheela 30th Sep 2014, 12:14 PM edit delete reply

Even more curiously, Dolly is wearing Jasmine perfume.
Stormwind13 30th Sep 2014, 2:26 PM edit delete reply

Well she WAS, Sheela. That was a couple days and at least one shower ago though. It sure did a number on Breaker though.

Not sure Dolly brought any more with her. :-) Would be nice if she did though.
xrzer04 29th Sep 2014, 7:15 AM edit delete reply
I had a traveling friend tell too many jokes at a border crossing once. We were separated and searched, I was denied entry, and I have no idea what happened to him, to this day.
Stormwind13 29th Sep 2014, 2:09 PM edit delete reply

Um, I hope you mean at that time, xrzer. Not EVER. If so, tell me what border it is so I can be sure NEVER to get near it. =O
Centcomm 29th Sep 2014, 3:01 PM edit delete reply

im with Stormwind here..
CptKerion 30th Sep 2014, 9:22 AM edit delete reply
I second Stormwind's motion to avoid that border crossing.
rfaramir 29th Sep 2014, 7:49 AM edit delete reply
"I wonder how you'd enjoy being the entertainment."

This is key to the morality of the Silver Rule, "Do not do unto others what you would not have them do unto you," and why it is universal.

The rule's corollary is that anything you do to someone else telegraphs to everyone around you that you believe it perfectly permissible to be done to you. One of the ways people learn morality is to have what they do done back to them. It can be quite a shocking awakening, if they survive it.
Dragonrider 29th Sep 2014, 11:59 AM edit delete reply

Just remember the original corollary;
"Do unto others then split"
Sheela 29th Sep 2014, 12:26 PM edit delete reply

Lets not forget that we're also dealing with people capable of dealing out Diplomacy of Wolves style of Karma.

Diplomacy of wolves, is when you when you convince your enemies that they should go outside and kill one another, so as not to stain your carpets - AND - they still think they got the better end of the bargain.

It's also a book. :)
Centcomm 29th Sep 2014, 3:02 PM edit delete reply

hehe hey i like that term :D
Sheela 30th Sep 2014, 5:45 PM edit delete reply

Almost as futile as trying to photograph friendly wolves with a telescopic lens. :D
Someone's Ed 4th Jun 2017, 3:49 PM edit delete reply
The silver rule and the golden rule you think of are both flawed. They assume that we are all like cogs in a machine, and have the same wants and desires.

We might be cogs in a machine, or we might not be, but we do not have all the same wants and desires. I would not subject my neighbor to having to program a computer or my vegan food, and I certainly hope my neighbor would not subject me to their sports or their animal carcasses and excretions.
Outlaw 29th Sep 2014, 9:01 AM edit delete reply

Talk about piercing gaze... The girls all have eyes that kill!

Great story + Great Art = Great Work! Keep it up, my friend!
Centcomm 29th Sep 2014, 3:04 PM edit delete reply

yeah a lot of people find Malati's eyes scary but i love the way Noctis's eyes came out - Rose out did herself on designing her.
DizzasterJuice 29th Sep 2014, 10:11 AM edit delete reply

And I bet she likes pulling the wings off a fly for fun.
Tokyo Rose 29th Sep 2014, 2:38 PM edit delete reply

Prince Decimus de-wings his own flies, AS IS RIGHT AND PROPER FOR THE TRUE-BORN LORD OF ALL NOVA ROMA.
Sheela 29th Sep 2014, 3:02 PM edit delete reply

Yeah, but he keeps doing it with a plasma caster ... they keep patching holes in the walls after he de-wings his flies.
Stormwind13 29th Sep 2014, 4:17 PM edit delete reply

So Rose... does that make Decimus, Lord of the Flies? :-D
Centcomm 29th Sep 2014, 3:05 PM edit delete reply

yep what Rose said
Skweeee 29th Sep 2014, 11:58 AM edit delete reply

All of these girls make me nervous.
Sheela 29th Sep 2014, 12:29 PM edit delete reply


Not a whole lot of males in this adventure.
Tokyo Rose 29th Sep 2014, 2:41 PM edit delete reply

There are VASTLY more 3D resources available for female characters. >_<
Sheela 29th Sep 2014, 3:02 PM edit delete reply

'Tis true ... one might think a lot of males out there actually like the female form.
Stormwind13 29th Sep 2014, 4:47 PM edit delete reply

Probably because there are more male programmers, Rose. And they all have dreams which show up as files. :-D
Kitty 29th Sep 2014, 5:31 PM edit delete reply
That explains a lot, and also explains why I'll probably never do anything like this; all my stories have a fairly equal mix of men to women...
Centcomm 29th Sep 2014, 3:06 PM edit delete reply

I have really really *tried* to add more guys.. but this is also why i went with the oblivion Virus to change the sexes ratio - thats my story and im sticking to it..

(( and what rose said.. ))
Matt Knab 29th Sep 2014, 12:34 PM edit delete reply

These two are actually quite deep. I'm liking them.
Centcomm 29th Sep 2014, 3:08 PM edit delete reply

when do we ever make 2d charcters? never if I can help it :D Even Dari has a personality.. And the revamped Gavin.. in the reboot pages .. ( that we still need to get done )
Stormwind13 30th Sep 2014, 2:27 PM edit delete reply

All your characters APPEAR 2-D, CentComm... I don't have a holographic monitor! YET! :-D
highlander55 30th Sep 2014, 4:32 PM edit delete reply

@Stormwind13.. Not true 3D but with the lighting and shading it does come close to at least 2.4 to 2.5. Better than a flat look to the scenery and cast.
Stormwind13 30th Sep 2014, 4:54 PM edit delete reply

Oh, I think it looks AWESOME, highlander. But it isn't a holographic projection. That would be disturbingly cool with some of the story-lines (cough, Mockingbird, cough).

The depth of the story and the quality of the artwork keeps me VERY interested in the comic. :-)
Sheela 30th Sep 2014, 5:16 PM edit delete reply

While everyone is busy playing chess,
Dolly is playing Poker.
She is a wild card.
Stormwind13 30th Sep 2014, 7:05 PM edit delete reply

I have to comment on that last panel. The lighting from the energy field gives Malati a demonic look to me. Which seems appropriate to my mind!
Centcomm 30th Sep 2014, 7:14 PM edit delete reply

it really does :D
antrik 11th Oct 2016, 1:43 PM edit delete reply
Nice ominous shadow on Noctis :-)
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