Comic 1080 - The Puzzle...

30th Sep 2014, 9:00 PM
The Puzzle...
Average Rating: 5 (22 votes)
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JacobJSebastian 30th Sep 2014, 9:10 PM edit delete reply

um.. the lighting in this one isn't making noctis look any less creepy...
Centcomm 30th Sep 2014, 10:03 PM edit delete reply

shes ALWAYS creepy..
Thomas 1st Oct 2014, 6:24 AM edit delete reply
Creepy hot...
Tokyo Rose 1st Oct 2014, 1:32 AM edit delete reply

Mission accomplished!
Aetrun 1st Oct 2014, 3:30 AM edit delete reply
Creepy? Nah, just off from what humans are. To me Noctis is no more creepy than the Epiphytes are. Definitely more scary, but not creepy. Same holds true for the other Cassians we have seen so far.
Centcomm 1st Oct 2014, 11:22 AM edit delete reply

good.. im glad thats coming accross :D
Haegan2005 1st Oct 2014, 6:26 PM edit delete reply

it's the yellow eyes. (Creepy)
cattservant 30th Sep 2014, 9:11 PM edit delete reply

Deduction time.
Centcomm 30th Sep 2014, 10:03 PM edit delete reply

maybe she should have whipped out a pipe..
velvetsanity 2nd Oct 2014, 2:30 PM edit delete reply

And a hunter cap and magnifying glass? :D
Dragonrider 30th Sep 2014, 9:15 PM edit delete reply

Ooopsie too much thought here
Centcomm 30th Sep 2014, 10:04 PM edit delete reply

hehehe < insert evil laugh :D
jamie59 30th Sep 2014, 9:20 PM edit delete reply

Well Dolly's got them thinking she's a cyborg. (which is good??) And they're only scratching Ceci's serface.
Centcomm 30th Sep 2014, 10:04 PM edit delete reply

Yes all is so far good .. for now.
Haegan2005 30th Sep 2014, 9:21 PM edit delete reply

Things that make you go "Hmmmm"

Either Cent did not screen the tech as well as she thought, or the Cassians have Lunar upgrades.

Dari is probably agreeing with Malati about Ceci though. But Dari's opinion will not be "empty as a bag of chips". Nope. Dari knows better. Unless she really is just that dense?
Centcomm 30th Sep 2014, 10:05 PM edit delete reply

there are a few holes in cents info.. but she did the best she could. and no Dari isn't that dense..
Tokyo Rose 1st Oct 2014, 1:37 AM edit delete reply

Some tech bits are common, or at least unremarkable. It's like the sly old adage about knives--you always have one for them to find, and one for you to keep.* Allowing an observer to find a couple of things can act as a screen to stop them from looking for more. It's a risk, but one that can pay off.

*(As with most things, Mister Black takes this several levels deeper.)
Sheela 1st Oct 2014, 6:56 AM edit delete reply

I suspect that Dolly has enough experience under her belt (the one with the shield on it), to take this pretty far as well.
Centcomm 1st Oct 2014, 11:21 AM edit delete reply

Dolly is very straight forward in her approach .. she knows better but she would love going in guns blazing but she knows thats a BAD idea.
Draginbeard 1st Oct 2014, 3:28 PM edit delete reply

Small point of interest for you Rose, take it for what its worth but I can promise you, if we security folk find a hidden weapon on a person, no matter how easily, that person gets flagged immediately. They will get searched more thoroughly.

"Where there is a knife, look for its twin, which is likely going to be a gun." - Unknown Chicago Patrol Officer.

On the plus side, there is a good chance that while all attention is on the flagged suspect, someone else has better odds of getting past, but I wouldn't bank on that either.

Really like the lighting you did on this page Cent. I like how the cell bars glow like a barrier of dark side light sabers!

Centcomm 1st Oct 2014, 4:00 PM edit delete reply

thank you - it was a real trick getting that to look good :D and thank you for the info Dragin :D
DizzasterJuice 30th Sep 2014, 9:50 PM edit delete reply

More like "empty as a bag of pretzels"... 'cuz she's twisted!
Centcomm 30th Sep 2014, 10:05 PM edit delete reply

who Ceci?
Calisa 30th Sep 2014, 9:56 PM edit delete reply

I really like Noctis's hair. <3
Centcomm 30th Sep 2014, 10:06 PM edit delete reply

It is a really lovely hair .. and it fits her perfectly.
Tokyo Rose 1st Oct 2014, 1:38 AM edit delete reply

I wanted to use that particular one because it's quite feminine without being overly "salon-polished". I felt it caught a certain note of her personality :)
Calisa 1st Oct 2014, 6:43 PM edit delete reply

:) I think so too.
Mark_L_A 13th Aug 2015, 9:39 PM edit delete reply

Her hair reminds me of a busy mother or nanny trying to get all the kids ready and she just didn't have the time to put her hair up just right.

Also I wonder just how long it actually is if she lets it down.
plymayer 30th Sep 2014, 10:44 PM edit delete reply

Knew a lady who was over built. Very pretty.
Centcomm 30th Sep 2014, 10:51 PM edit delete reply

hehe :D
Rashala 1st Oct 2014, 12:06 AM edit delete reply


or just is CEci the black angel and Petter of kittens everywhere!!!
Centcomm 1st Oct 2014, 12:28 AM edit delete reply

i vote cuteness!!
Stormwind13 1st Oct 2014, 2:59 AM edit delete reply

I second that vote, CentComm.
Sheela 1st Oct 2014, 6:57 AM edit delete reply

She will destroy you with kindness ! XD
CptKerion 1st Oct 2014, 10:54 PM edit delete reply
Kindness and a well placed plasma charge.
xrzer04 1st Oct 2014, 12:23 AM edit delete reply
...Not Good.
extra attention is just what we didn't want...
Centcomm 1st Oct 2014, 12:28 AM edit delete reply

Stormwind13 1st Oct 2014, 3:02 AM edit delete reply

Oh $#!#. So VERY not good, xrzer! Yeah, if they believe CeCi is a combat gynoid Dolly has lost a huge amount of the 'surprise' she was planning on.

I knew that Dolly and CeCi needed to avoid the Cassians! Pity they couldn't do that.
Sheela 1st Oct 2014, 3:47 AM edit delete reply

Actually, it's not such a bad thing to have them think that CeCi is a combat 'droid.

If you think about it for a while, would a wastelander bounty hunter really have a pleasure android tag along with her, or would she .. more sensibly .. bring a combat model along for the ride ?

I think the latter makes a lot more sense, and might actually work better for her bounty hunter disguise.

Also, imagine a bounty hunter *without* a few tricks up her sleeve ?
She's be dead in a heartbeat in the wastes.
Dragonrider 1st Oct 2014, 8:32 AM edit delete reply

or a combat with pleasure up grades?
Centcomm 1st Oct 2014, 11:20 AM edit delete reply

not out side the realm of possibility ..
Pirtnac 1st Oct 2014, 11:46 AM edit delete reply
She needs your clothes, your boots, and your motorcycle. For several different reasons.
Centcomm 1st Oct 2014, 12:32 PM edit delete reply

And that guys leg...
Sheela 1st Oct 2014, 2:07 PM edit delete reply

She *will* make you talk to the hand .. and the boot.
Centcomm 1st Oct 2014, 2:22 PM edit delete reply

and the heel of her hand .. and the wall .. and the floor.. she gives new meaning to the words " Wall to wall counseling session..
Stormwind13 1st Oct 2014, 2:32 PM edit delete reply

A point, Sheela. I'm not sure though it is a positive.

Having the extra attention, especially from the Cassians as a group, is NOT good things for clandestine operations. Which could be bad for EVERYONE. Including Miraiko and Leo.
CptKerion 1st Oct 2014, 10:53 PM edit delete reply
I'm pretty sure that talking to the plasma bolt, the bullet, and in due course god are not so much out of the question either in some circumstances.
mjkj 1st Oct 2014, 12:49 AM edit delete reply

Very perceptive and pretty those two...

...and that lighting is great.

I hope Acantha will take over soon, so those can become friends.

Timotheus 1st Oct 2014, 1:16 AM edit delete reply

Of the two, I would guess that Malati is the better at data analysis and cold reasoning. She's the one with the sense of humor, which leads to rational and irrational analysis.
Noctis is the one who gets hints and feelings from events and then turns to Malatia for further confirmation to see if there's anything to them.
Tokyo Rose 1st Oct 2014, 1:42 AM edit delete reply

Noctis is very analytical and precise in her thinking. When she gets one of those annoying, illogical "hunches", she's learned to call on someone who's less rigid, more apt to make leaps that don't necessarily match all the data on the surface, but can help illustrate links and correlations that a flat read doesn't provide.
Sheela 1st Oct 2014, 7:00 AM edit delete reply

Ah, but her hunches may be based on many years of experience, even if they seem irrational on the surface, they may make a lot of sense if you had the time to run through all that experience and compare it to her current situation.
highlander55 1st Oct 2014, 4:40 AM edit delete reply

The " Enforced Loyalty" in the second panel is a future remark to look out for I think.
XMinusOne 1st Oct 2014, 6:26 AM edit delete reply
Exactly. Having the cognitive abilities to reason and analyze beyond enemy vs. not enemy is indicative of a rationalizing thought processing that her programmers never intended. Can a machine that sophisticated be capable of actually evaluating current conditions as they relate to their sense of duty; eg. Following the edicts of Prince Douchebag as they relate to the greater good of Nova Roma?
Sheela 1st Oct 2014, 6:58 AM edit delete reply

I suspect that they are as adept at twisting the prince's orders, as the devil is at reading the bible ... in his own way.
XMinusOne 1st Oct 2014, 7:58 AM edit delete reply
Heh! Truth, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.
Tokyo Rose 1st Oct 2014, 3:29 PM edit delete reply

Allow me to interject a fact that seems to have been lost in the shuffle: The Cassians are all fully sparked androids, not "machines" or "robots" by the general definition of the DC world. They are completely independent, thinking beings. They are effectively slaves, implanted with control devices to make them physical puppets and subjected to powerful conditioning regimens to make overt rebellion and disloyalty impossible.

Note: "overt". They are able to twist a very general order in a lot of ways--and they are very good at putting their own spin on things--but as an order becomes more specific, it narrows their ability to interpret. "Go kill this person" is a very general command; the Cassian MUST kill their target, but can choose any method or approach as long as the end result is one (1) dead target. "Torture this person to death" is slightly more restrictive, but still general enough that the Cassian could choose a lethal torture method that makes it relatively quick and quiet, or one that takes a great deal of time and inflicts a great deal of pain. "Torture this person to death, make it last at least six hours, and make it a public spectacle in the street in front of their house" is much more specific, but still allows the Cassian wiggle room like knocking the victim out or drugging them into insensibility, or choosing a time of day where there will be very few people around to witness the event, or setting up a whole little carnival to draw as much attention as possible.

Decimus has yet to learn that if he really wants something to happen exactly the way he wants it to happen, he's got to practically write his orders out in great detail, like a D&D player documenting a "Wish" spell to prevent the DM from screwing them over. :D
Centcomm 1st Oct 2014, 4:03 PM edit delete reply

and generally why he leaves ordering the Cassians around to Kali.. and even she is restricted to a degree.. although not as much as a Cassian..

again folks think Robo cop and his directives...
Stormwind13 1st Oct 2014, 5:00 PM edit delete reply

LOL Rose. Yeah, that was actually what I was thinking. I bet they GM his orders something FIERCE. :-D

I remember a GM that had a Wish Ring show up as a random magical item. The player that got the ring spent a week thinking up their wish and writing it down. The GM let him get to the 2nd page and then threw a random monster at the character. The character broke off his reading to cast a spell to deal with the monster. And that is where the wish activated. It was NOT pretty. :-D
Some Ed 4th Jun 2017, 5:13 PM edit delete reply
You know, I've heard of quite a few D&D players writing down wish spells in great detail to avoid being screwed by their DM.

I don't think I've ever heard of any of them not getting screwed by their DM as a result of their careful wording.

The last time I was playing a game of D&D, trying to have my character survive, and we came across a ring of wishing, I had my character immediately run away screaming. It would've worked well if it had been a game of Paranoia, as the guy holding the ring commented less than a minute later, "I wish I knew why Zandor ran away just now." And the DM chose to interpret that as a request for the rest of the party to experience all of the anguish the DM was aware of my characters having seen in various D&D campaigns. That's right - my character was the only one who survived. Well, at least until the next wandering monster check.
Dragonrider 1st Oct 2014, 8:35 AM edit delete reply

Wonder what will happen down the road when the enforced loyalty is removed.
Pirtnac 1st Oct 2014, 11:49 AM edit delete reply
And now we know why Dr Awesome Android Reprogrammer is there :)
Centcomm 1st Oct 2014, 12:34 PM edit delete reply

At Pirtnac..

Doc Silver is there for many reasons :D
Centcomm 1st Oct 2014, 11:20 AM edit delete reply

Yes it is...
Stormwind13 1st Oct 2014, 4:52 PM edit delete reply

Probably right about that, highlander. Wait and see how it turns out. :-)
Guest 1st Oct 2014, 7:54 PM edit delete reply
@ Stormwind. Like I've got a choice but to wait. LOL :-P
Stormwind13 2nd Oct 2014, 3:43 PM edit delete reply

Yeah there is a choice. You can throw LARGE sums of money at CentComm. And she could let you see things early. :-D Throw enough at her and she might show you at least an OUTLINE of where things are going, even if she doesn't have the final page ready yet. :-)
Stever 1st Oct 2014, 9:55 AM edit delete reply

An empty bag of chips is a great description.
Centcomm 1st Oct 2014, 11:20 AM edit delete reply

I thought it was funny when I read it too :D
Sheela 1st Oct 2014, 2:09 PM edit delete reply

Dolly got all the chips in her brain upgrade ? XD
Centcomm 1st Oct 2014, 2:21 PM edit delete reply

Tokyo Rose 1st Oct 2014, 3:31 PM edit delete reply

We've ALL opened a bag of Fritos or Ruffles or something and found that the top half or two-thirds was empty air! :D
Highlander55 1st Oct 2014, 7:55 PM edit delete reply
Ceci may come across as mostly filled with air but the rest is packed nice and tight! :-D
Centcomm 1st Oct 2014, 7:56 PM edit delete reply

LOL good one :D
velvetsanity 2nd Oct 2014, 2:35 PM edit delete reply

"Contents may settle during shipping"? :D
Timotheus 1st Oct 2014, 9:27 PM edit delete reply

Believe or not that is a packaging problem. The bag volume is based on how much room is needed for the loosely packed weight of chips when they are first inserted in the bag. After a short period of shaking and settling, the space occupied by the chips settles to 2/3rds or less of the original volume, but by then the bag is sealed and boxed. If the manufacturers could use smaller bags they would as it would save shipping costs.
This was one of the big selling points for the Pringles cans.
DLKmusic 1st Oct 2014, 7:28 PM edit delete reply
First time poster, just got caught up on both series, and I have to compliment you on 2 incredibly compelling stories, between Datachasers and Luna-Star.
My big thought on this one is where would a bounty hunter that no-one had ever heard of before get the kind of money to buy the grade of equipment that "Ms. Blue" brought into Nova Roma? there is definitely a "something is wrong here".
The real question is are the Cassians "good cops" or "bad cops". they are definately not "dumb cops".
Centcomm 1st Oct 2014, 7:55 PM edit delete reply

welcome to the fold ! ...

Dolly did think of this.. thats why there are a string of bountys in her name.. of course this is all digital magic on the part of a Luna com employee.. Cent has a few favors she can call on. also if Blue wasn't operating in the "area" is very possible that they haven't heard of her before. as for the Cassians.. lets just say they are .. dedicated.
Highlander55 1st Oct 2014, 8:00 PM edit delete reply
And I bet when they find out she is actually THE Dolly who is the body guard of the Taylor family.(think of when she kicked ass when she was fighting when Lynne was a child) Jaws will drop, ummm unless she broke it during a round house kick. (cough-Dari-cough)
CptKerion 1st Oct 2014, 10:37 PM edit delete reply
Dedicated, you know, like the KGB. Yeah, like the KGB... except possibly more scary.
Centcomm 2nd Oct 2014, 6:58 AM edit delete reply

hehe that might get a few peoples attention :D
Sheela 2nd Oct 2014, 7:35 AM edit delete reply

Ah, but if the cassians find out that she is the Taylor Guardian, they also find out that she is an android, which could be problematic.

On a sidenote, I wonder how many embellishments have been added to the Fallon Incident story by the time it reached Malati's ears ?

It would be hilarious is Malati was a fan of Dolly the Taylor Guardian (TM)!

.. who went up against 50 gutters with nothing but a rusty shovel and a half empty magazine in her heavy L-shard pistol ... and yet, by the time she'd killed half and chased the rest away, there was still 3 shots left in the pistol.

Maybe, Malati gets all gooey eyed and weak in the knee's, just by the thought of one day meeting Dolly the Taylor Guardian (TM)! :D
Centcomm 2nd Oct 2014, 11:18 AM edit delete reply

Why do I like this image :D
Stormwind13 2nd Oct 2014, 3:55 PM edit delete reply

Because it is an entertaining image, CentComm?

And I don't always agree with you Sheela, but you are ALWAYS entertaining. I would like to see that as a Sunday filler or something, at the least. :-)
velvetsanity 2nd Oct 2014, 2:41 PM edit delete reply

No no no, Sheela, it was 150 gutters, a plastic spork, and she *started* with only 3 rounds in her pistol. When it was over, she had 4 rounds.
Stormwind13 2nd Oct 2014, 3:57 PM edit delete reply

What do you mean 4 rounds, velvet? Dolly had like 12 GUNS by the time that fight was over... Taken from gutters that no longer had any need of them. :-D
Haegan2005 2nd Oct 2014, 5:49 PM edit delete reply

okay I had an image of this in my head...

Again, so glad I was not drinking anything!
velvetsanity 2nd Oct 2014, 2:38 PM edit delete reply

*attempts to sneak a Keystone Kops sequence featuring the Cassians into the plot after distracting Cent with a pile of potentially useful models and textures to sift through* :D
trickester 2nd Oct 2014, 1:33 AM edit delete reply
after a few nights of endless reading, I'm so glad to have finally caught up to recent updates. I am so in love with your comic! the characters have really neat designs and personalities, I really like probably all of them (although I am a bit suspicious of cent-comm still), they have such interesting designs! they're very fun to draw. I'm excited for future updates!
Centcomm 2nd Oct 2014, 6:58 AM edit delete reply

welcome to the fold trickster don't forget there is also Luna Star :D and. fun to draw? oooh interests peak ...
trickester 2nd Oct 2014, 4:16 PM edit delete reply
I'll have to start on that one next!
but they are certainly very fun to draw. their hair is the best part, it's really cool. dolly's hair is interesting
shinka 2nd Oct 2014, 4:27 PM edit delete reply

great work... nice lighting effect too
Mark_L_A 15th May 2015, 7:58 AM edit delete reply

Ok, I think I missed something. Malati USED to have a facial tattoo. Unless it like a Nano Tattoo from some other stories where it can be turned off or on. OR it was a type of makeup or paint which she applies to reflect her mood.

ETA: Oh and the lighting effects are MOST excellent.
Steven-Vincent 12th Dec 2015, 11:02 AM edit delete reply

Something tells me these 2 are going to be trouble for our intrepid rescuers in the near future.
Phil_ 24th Mar 2016, 11:42 AM edit delete reply
I like these two!
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