Comic 1128 - Cold Call

25th Jan 2015, 8:10 PM
Cold Call
Average Rating: 5 (21 votes)

Author Notes:

Centcomm 25th Jan 2015, 8:10 PM edit delete
brought to you despite power outages :D
Tokyo Rose 25th Jan 2015, 10:30 PM edit delete
Tokyo Rose
My entire apartment complex and the subdivision adjoining it lost power completely. It did so while I was in the middle of working on pages, and provided a valuable reminder to SAVE OFTEN. It also provided a convenient opportunity for me to erupt in a torrent of expletives, so, y'know, that part was good.
Centcomm 26th Jan 2015, 1:56 AM edit delete
New Top web comics and new Patreon Special goodie ! :D enjoy!
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Stormwind13 25th Jan 2015, 8:12 PM edit delete reply

Yay! Thank you CentComm and Rose.

Edit - I'm glad you got power back, Rose. And your 'power' words may have scared them into restoring electricity more quickly. :-D
Centcomm 25th Jan 2015, 9:19 PM edit delete reply

Rose is the one that had the power outage but she showed them!
Lurker 26th Jan 2015, 9:51 AM edit delete reply
If you cannot use a laptop for some reason, get a UPS. I survived regular brownouts for years that way...

Looks great btw! Love it all!
Sheela 26th Jan 2015, 4:27 PM edit delete reply

How the heck do you guys across the pond have so many power outages ?

If that happened here in Denmark, people would be in a rage.
Kitty 26th Jan 2015, 6:18 PM edit delete reply
Sheela, I'm not sure where these ladies are located, but if they're on the East Coast, it could be due to a very large winter storm that's currently making life "interesting" in that region.
Lukkai 26th Jan 2015, 6:25 PM edit delete reply
Maybe. But other countries do have harsh winters as well and a lot less outages. So the question'd still stand even if.
Antonious 26th Jan 2015, 9:53 PM edit delete reply

The answer is ... the utility companies answer only to themselves and give lip service to the customers.
Stormwind13 27th Jan 2015, 3:37 PM edit delete reply

Partly Antonious. Another reason is there are 316 million people in the US, 5.6 million in Denmark. The area of the United States is 9,629,091 km2, compared to 43,094 km2 for Denmark. And with that greater size comes a great deal of DIFFERENT threats in different regions of the country. Tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes, ice storms and blizzards as a partial list.

Anyhow due to the sheer size the US has a LOT more power lines. Over 850,000 km of high voltage lines... and probably close to 10 TIMES that in distribution lines. The system is so much more spread out that it just is more vulnerable to the different threats from storms to vermin (yes, I lived in a town that lost power due to a squirrel crawling into a power transformer blowing it off the pole in a fiery display) to traffic accidents to earthquakes and even volcanoes.

Comparing the two countries is unfair on so many levels. Not only for the disparate in population and land size, but also for the greater variance in conditions. The US also (stupidly in my opinion) has NO comprehensive plan for expansion of their infrastructure. In fact, that is a large part of the problem. In a lot of cities, the population boomed and they just threw up power lines to meet the demand without considering how best to protect it from future problems because of a general lack of long term planning.

Meanwhile, Denmark has one of the BEST systems for planning and expanding their infrastructure. Aided by the smaller size of their country and relatively small population they just have decided better ways of installing their infrastructure and stick to it. So it tends to stand up to the threats Denmark faces better.
Sheela 27th Jan 2015, 3:59 PM edit delete reply

First of all, the old "our system is bigger, so it's more vulnerable" doesn't hold. After all, with a bigger syetem, you also get more money to build it with. The end result is that the complexity vs. costs stays roughly the same.

Also, nature happens everywhere, we get winterstorms, hurricanes and lightning storms too. In fact, some of the thunderstorms in scandinavia, are among some of the most fierce ones that exists, to the point that Denmark put ALL our cables into the ground to avoid getting it fried all the time. That should say a thing or two about how bad it can get.
And lets not forget that Denmark is several small islands, whereas the USA is one big landmass, so it should be much easier to interconnect it.

Planning though, that is an important part, and I just can't understand how a superpower nation did not plan ?

It just makes no sense.
Stormwind13 27th Jan 2015, 5:35 PM edit delete reply

Actually Sheela, as bad as they are in Denmark, you don't even rank in worst thunderstorms on the planet. But despite the fact that I live in one of the worst regions on Earth, most of the power lines are STILL above ground. It cost too much to bury the cables, they say. :-p Ignoring the cost of lost productivity, lost product and lives from the loss of power and the cost of patching the system up every few months.

Oh, and you can't have a hurricane in Denmark. By definition, a hurricane is a tropical system... something Denmark isn't and that is tropical. :-D Though I have no doubt some of the storms are quite fierce. In fact, Anatol was about the top end of a Category 1 Hurricane in wind speed. And locally referred to as a hurricane, though it wasn't. Bad as that was trust me you don't want to see a category 5 hurricane. They are MONSTERS.
Lukkai 27th Jan 2015, 8:41 PM edit delete reply
My home country of Switzerland has a mixture of above and below ground power lines. With the main arteries and connections usually being above and local distribution in towns and villages being underground.
Now while we do not get storms to bigger hurricans power, they rarely cap 100 miles per hour here, 60-75 miles are quite frequent. Tornados do happen. Earthquakes are frequent and there's the constant danger from floods, earthslides and in many regions avalanches. As of heavy snow, sudden drops in temperature (not quite blizzard level I guess, but 15-20°C within a day may happen) and fires. So not as if nature doesn't happen around here.
(And yes, I've had that squirrel thing happen as well to a community nearby. Only affected a few square miles though and was fixed within about half a day.)
Yet within the last three decades, I can think of only one instance where an incident caused a collapse that affected several cantons, though only the train network of the SBB (Swiss Federal Railways). There was another one in Switzerland that led to blackouts in Italy, while our own country could deal with the consequences rather easily. (The Italian network isn't all too stable.) And that's pretty much it, at least when it comes to incidents afflicting more than one or two townships.

It might help, and I know that many people will heavily dispute this, that all the electricity companies are directly or indirectly majority-owned by the served municipalities and cantons. And the nationwide company servicing the high-voltage grid is owned by the electricity companies.
highlander55 27th Jan 2015, 7:08 PM edit delete reply

A Nor'easter is no fun either!
Sheela 27th Jan 2015, 8:02 PM edit delete reply

Ah, cyclones then .. my bad .. english isn't my main language, so I get stuff wrong from time to time.
We use another word for those kinds of storms here, that fits both categories .. sort of.

And yeah, not making your grid weather resistant, is kinda weird.
I guess I'll just be happy that we did this 30 years ago, despite the massive costs - It's quite nice to have a system that doesn't black out all the time.

In fact, I cannot remember my last brownout.
We did have a small blackout in part of the island Sealand (the copenhagen area) because a couple of swedish powerplants went down and took part of our grid down too as they are interconnected, so they had to be extra careful about restarting it - That was, uhm ... about 12 years ago and lasted about 6 hours. Ofcourse, telephone, (both landlines and mobile phones), radio, television and the internet still worked at large, so we weren't really that disconnected.

I cannot remember any other blackout, in regional size or bigger .. ever.

I have seen a couple of street sized blackouts, when someone dug over a cable, but I don't really consider those real blackouts.

Oh, and as Highlander said, a north-eastern storm can indeed be pretty nasty, especially in winter, as it'll bring cold air from arctic Siberia and Finland down across Denmark - Those can make the temperature go right down.

And then there's the "skybrud", which directly translated would be "sky-break" .. a very apt name indeed. Also known as a cloudburst. Darn things can be incredibly sudden here, as we have water all around and the air humidity can be retty damn high, which is what triggers it.
Some Ed 5th Jun 2017, 5:23 AM edit delete reply
The "our country is bigger" argument was more "more land per capita". Money goes up per capita, not per square kilometer.

Also, the cost of weatherproofing infrastructure goes up per square kilometer as well. For a short distance, you can bury lines and make them earthquake proof. For longer distances, however, the cost goes up worse than linearly, and at some point reaches a technology limit. If we did cost-be-damned solutions, we still couldn't have a single buried earthquake proof power grid.

At least, not with the style of buried power lines we use. For whatever reason, I've not heard of people having massive power line tunnels. Probably because building the tunnels with enough space for earthquakes to happen and the power lines enough slack they don't snap if the floor of one segment of the tunnel raises by half the height of the tunnel, and so forth would be ungodly expensive, especially since few people would be willing to use the tunnel for other acceptable uses: most people I know who like to drive like to drive above ground, and homeless shelters really shouldn't be coupled with high voltage power lines.

Building structures around the high voltage power lines could work, and would be much cheaper than burying them, but in the US, we require insurance for stuff like this, and I somehow can't imagine insurance adjusters being comfortable with intentionally building so close to stuff they currently insist be as far from everything as feasible. Even if they did, people wouldn't put the solar panels on the top of the buildings that really should logically go there. I mean, we should be putting solar panels all over the palace now, but the power distribution buildings would be a no brainer location for them. But I've talked to people. Admittedly, not a statistically significant number of power distribution engineers, but...
Rms2000 25th Jan 2015, 8:27 PM edit delete reply

You make me Proud, Cent. I just love it when people are able to work around their technical problems on their own.

Also, I can't see this going well...

P.S. actually that wasn't quite true: sometimes I like it when people pull me away from myself and give me something to fix.
Centcomm 25th Jan 2015, 9:20 PM edit delete reply

We do try.. and trust me sometimes its a pain in the BUTT to keep going :D
Sheela 26th Jan 2015, 4:28 PM edit delete reply

... in the butt ? :)
highlander55 27th Jan 2015, 7:16 PM edit delete reply

@Sheela.. Have to get power somewhere and now you know why TeeDee is so bitchy.
Sheela 27th Jan 2015, 8:05 PM edit delete reply

Oh my!
Kitty 28th Jan 2015, 6:50 PM edit delete reply
The continent of North America has more severe weather events than any other continent on earth (at least according to meteorologists). Also, it's an unfortunate fact that corporations prefer to pay their CEO's huge salaries instead of putting more money into their technology; plus, in many regions the power lines and related structures are old and should have been replaced years ago, but that would cost MONEY. And many Americans want things to be as cheap as possible, so are unwilling to pay higher rates even if they will then receive a better product or service.
jamie59 25th Jan 2015, 8:37 PM edit delete reply

Hello satan.
I'd like my daughter back.
No One piece please!
Stormwind13 25th Jan 2015, 8:58 PM edit delete reply

LOL jamie. I don' think she would be QUITE that calm about it if the conversation went that direction.
Centcomm 25th Jan 2015, 9:20 PM edit delete reply

heheh yeah no way i dont see that ending in tears..
Sheela 26th Jan 2015, 4:30 PM edit delete reply

Calliope : Hello Satan, I've sent an emmisary to discuss that treaty with you, he should be there any moment now!

*Mr Popolopolis crashes through wall and eats Satan's feet*
Dongaria 25th Jan 2015, 8:44 PM edit delete reply

I've been playing Shadowrun Dragonfall as a decker and this strip is helping feed my decking addiction right now. Thank you.
Centcomm 25th Jan 2015, 9:19 PM edit delete reply

HAH there are some parts to DC that are actual Decker fun times :D crap art but what can you do :D

I played Cyberpunk back in the day .. :D
DLKmusic 25th Jan 2015, 9:51 PM edit delete reply

Sorry to hear about the power outage, but I'm glad to hear you're both ok!

And now we bring add a few more spices into the stew! I am really curious what Prince Decimus's demands are. He's been very closed mouthed about that so far.
Centcomm 25th Jan 2015, 10:04 PM edit delete reply

He actually made some Demands early on.. :D It was Rose that had the issues ! hey it could have been worse .. trust me.
DLKmusic 26th Jan 2015, 1:25 PM edit delete reply

I went back and re-read. How did I miss that the first time????

Oh, and Rose, next time you need an opportunity to "Erupt in a torrent of Explatives" (still giggling over that) Let us, your loyal and loving fan base know! We will be happy to oblige, and it won't cost you your files!

Seriously, I'm glad it wasn't anything worse than that... for those of us living in LA, "Power Outage" isn't something we like hearing.
Centcomm 26th Jan 2015, 1:49 PM edit delete reply

Because there are over a thousand pages? its all good :D

Datachasers the Soap opera :D
xpacetrue 25th Jan 2015, 10:16 PM edit delete reply

The goings ons in Nova Roma have been interesting (and often hilarious). But I am glad to see a scene change.

I almost didn't recognize Calliope with the new hair. (Nice new look and outfit, btw.)

I can't imagine this conversation ending well, for either side. Calli must be extremely intelligent and she seems to have recovered from her depression. Still, I wonder if this is too personal for her to think clearly in conversation with the man who holds her daughter. (Q: Does she have much in the way of political influence? I thought she was merely Cent's "personal physician.")

I do not see Douchebag giving up his trump card without getting what he wants. And I'm afraid Calli has to fight a natural compulsion to beg or demand for Lynn's release, though she must know that would be a mistake. When Douchebag says "no", her blood pressure is going to rise.

PS: I almost forgot what Cent's new look was like. The look is fine, except it seems pretty close to human. More significantly, Cent's hair is less pink or "bubblegum" and more lilac or magenta now.

For a moment, I was confused at seeing Dolly standing next to Calli! :D What throws me off is how Dolly looks halfway between Lynn and Cent-Com. Dolly even has Cent's hair, though a different color. It would help to distinguish them if Cent's dolls had a different hair style.

From the Cast page, I see CeCi has gotten a makeover, too. Her face is quite close to the original. Though, again, the hair seems more lilac or violet to me than pink.
Centcomm 25th Jan 2015, 10:35 PM edit delete reply

Actually that hair style is somewhat of a popular style .. and Dolly never really got the chance to do more than color it. The odd color issue is for the life of me I can not seem to replicate the Pink color reliably.
Also Calli is wearing heels and Cents Dolls are SMALL! 5 Foot 4 ish ..
Dolly is 5'7" in bare feet and the fact that Dolly looks a lot like Lynn and Calli is not a coincidence.

This conversation will be very interesting .. to say the least. Also this is the latest iteration of Cents Dolls using the same tech as Androids .. shes always meant to look like this.. Humainish See Luna Star for more back story.. :D
Tokyo Rose 25th Jan 2015, 10:42 PM edit delete reply

The reasons why several characters use similar hair models go hand-in-hand with the reasons why so many characters have short hair. There are a finite number of hair models available, hair models with really good movement morphs aren't thick on the ground, and hair models that look right for a given character AND have good movement morphs are even scarcer. Cent really, really, intensely hates posing long hair, especially when the hair in question lacks extensive movement morphs, even more especially during action sequences. The spontaneous generation of hair elastics and/or bobby pins might as well be an acknowledged universal law for long-haired characters who wind up in action sequences; braids and ponytails tend to be far easier to work with, and bun-type styles are pretty much non-issues.

(Clarification: Cent's dolls are using the same type of chassis and the bio-plastic skin that an android could have--Cent is NOT using full-on androids or Model Fours as dolls. :D)
Centcomm 25th Jan 2015, 10:44 PM edit delete reply

Yep.. thats all I got to say about that. points at Roses paragraph...
Draginbeard 26th Jan 2015, 12:12 AM edit delete reply

Thoroughly enjoyed the Luna disclaimer! Nice touch, that. :)
Centcomm 26th Jan 2015, 1:46 PM edit delete reply

Luna Com doesn't have to say that every-time .. but they well know the situation here and do not want to get dragged into the middle of a ROMA / Troy spat... :D
Stormwind13 26th Jan 2015, 2:57 PM edit delete reply

Spat? No, no CentComm! Stealing Calliope's child, this could mean WAR (said in Bugs Bunny's voice). The end of the planet even. They might not want to get involved, but they better think about that. If Earth blows up (as bad as Calliope might blow it up if Lynn is harmed)... They could be going for a ride without brakes across the solar system. :-D
Dragonrider 26th Jan 2015, 1:12 AM edit delete reply

Not sure that talking face to face with a nut err douchebag like princey-poo while wearing that outfit is a good idea. He will decide she is coming on to him because he is such a virile man. Possibly her being dressed in either a very solid no nonsense business suit or a Mercenaries armor complete with heavy duty side arm might get some respect from douchie.
Centcomm 26th Jan 2015, 1:46 PM edit delete reply

For Calliope that IS her armor if she hid behind some meek little bisness suit then shes no one special she wants to make a impression here.
Lukkai 26th Jan 2015, 6:35 PM edit delete reply
Also I get the feeling that he's fully able to come to that conclusion no matter what Calli's wearing.
mjkj 26th Jan 2015, 1:42 AM edit delete reply

Yup, mama bear going to take a more active stance...

...and thank you, Rose, for making it despite the outage...

mjkj 26th Jan 2015, 3:28 AM edit delete reply

PS: great vote incentive :D (and nice legs...)

*blinks* wow, the patreon version... *voice fails*

Centcomm 26th Jan 2015, 1:47 PM edit delete reply

Yep Calliope is doing her part :D

Glad you liked the incentives :D I may do more Pinups like that.. :D
Stormwind13 26th Jan 2015, 3:02 PM edit delete reply

As Sheela said, mjkj - "RAWR" Momma Bear Calliope is NOT going to be silent any longer!

Edit - I love the vote incentive. MORE, please! :-)
Sheela 26th Jan 2015, 4:38 PM edit delete reply

Darn straight she isn't!

Lynn is HER cub, and noone gets to threaten it.
mjkj 27th Jan 2015, 5:18 AM edit delete reply

Yup, and if someone threatened then...

...he will not be there much longer - at least in one piece...
Centcomm 27th Jan 2015, 12:45 PM edit delete reply

hehe .. glad it was well received :D
Sheela 27th Jan 2015, 4:01 PM edit delete reply

On a sidenote - I'm getting quoted !

KarToon12 26th Jan 2015, 8:43 AM edit delete reply

Awesome work on this page. The backgrounds are amazing! 0.0
Centcomm 26th Jan 2015, 1:48 PM edit delete reply

Thanks ! Im glad the background does not look cheesy or over the top :D
Stormwind13 26th Jan 2015, 3:04 PM edit delete reply

Agree KarToon. The backgrounds are wonderful. Looks like a futuristic skyline for a city. Awesome work CentComm. :-)
Rashala 26th Jan 2015, 2:52 PM edit delete reply

...Momma Lion is Awake.....

and she is PISSED!
Stormwind13 26th Jan 2015, 3:09 PM edit delete reply

Can you blame her, Rash? She is ICY hot on the pissed scale.
Sheela 26th Jan 2015, 4:39 PM edit delete reply

TeeDee has lent her the ol' RageMeter ?
Kitty 26th Jan 2015, 6:18 PM edit delete reply
Maybe Decimus will take one look at Calliope and fall madly in love... emphasis on "mad" of course, but hey, you never know...
Stormwind13 26th Jan 2015, 6:25 PM edit delete reply

Ugh, do you HATE Calliope or something Kitty? That could be the WORST thing to happen to her, Kitty! I mean, Douchebag already tried to rape his own sister. I don't think ANY woman would want to be the target of his 'affections'. :-P
Kitty 28th Jan 2015, 6:55 PM edit delete reply
I didn't say she wanted that to happen or that she would be pleased about it, did I?

Although if she played her cards right, he could be twisted 'round her little finger and all kinds of concessions could be won, including Lynn's safe return. She'd just need to keep him at a distance and make convincing "promises" until certain people get ready to launch a coup. The possibilities are endless ;)
XMinusOne 26th Jan 2015, 11:28 PM edit delete reply
Prince Douchebag has already fallen madly in love ... with that guy in the mirror.
Centcomm 27th Jan 2015, 12:47 PM edit delete reply

heh wait for it :D
Sheela 27th Jan 2015, 4:02 PM edit delete reply

He is pretty narcissistic, isn't he ?
DizzasterJuice 27th Jan 2015, 8:31 AM edit delete reply

I love that background city scene! Is that an environment rendered in scene or is it added in post processing?
Centcomm 27th Jan 2015, 12:46 PM edit delete reply

its using the "background" layer in Daz no post processing needed :D
Boren 28th Jan 2015, 11:09 AM edit delete reply
you know Rose they do make battery backup units that will keep your computer going for several hours in the event of a power out
Centcomm 3rd Mar 2015, 5:48 AM edit delete reply

They do but I dont think she has one ..
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