Comic 1168 - Stacking the deck

19th Apr 2015, 9:00 PM
Stacking the deck
Average Rating: 5 (28 votes)

Author Notes:

Centcomm 19th Apr 2015, 9:00 PM edit delete
Centcomm
Enjoy!
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Comments:

jamie59 19th Apr 2015, 9:05 PM edit delete reply

Bring out the toys. Get ready to play!
Centcomm 20th Apr 2015, 2:11 AM edit delete reply

Indeed .. playing with the big boy toys :D :D
Vivocateur 19th Apr 2015, 9:06 PM edit delete reply

OOO!
Shiny :)
Centcomm 20th Apr 2015, 2:12 AM edit delete reply

so very very shiny :D
Haegan2005 19th Apr 2015, 9:07 PM edit delete reply

Things that go boom!

Okay, it's the boy in me...
Centcomm 20th Apr 2015, 2:12 AM edit delete reply

and zap .. and Pew pew pew :D
HiFranc 19th Apr 2015, 9:07 PM edit delete reply

I expect a certain mechanic from the wastes would be drooling over those bots.
Centcomm 20th Apr 2015, 2:13 AM edit delete reply

Mira would be .. um .. more than drooling.. She might be doing unmentionable things to these poor innocent drones :D
Stormwind13 20th Apr 2015, 2:42 AM edit delete reply

Mira would forget ALL about Vinnie, I think. These are sexier than poor, outdated Vinnie. :-)
mjkj 20th Apr 2015, 3:49 AM edit delete reply

She sure would have a harem in no time...

*sighs* what is Mira doing at the moment? long time since we heard of her...
Tokyo Rose 20th Apr 2015, 4:04 AM edit delete reply

Mira's role in the story is over. She's just enjoying the big city :)
Sheela 20th Apr 2015, 2:11 PM edit delete reply

Mira in the big city, huuh ?

Sounds like a vote incentive to me. :)
mjkj 21st Apr 2015, 7:08 PM edit delete reply

Awww...

I really do hope we see Mira again...

Greenwood Goat 21st Apr 2015, 1:42 AM edit delete reply
Drone: REMOVE YOUR... PERSON FROM THIS UNIT! OR ANTI... HANDLING COUNTERMEASURES WILL BE DEPLOYED! YOU WERE WARNED - ELECTRIFYING OUTER SHELL!

Mira: EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!! ...That was... something else! Hit me again! And d'you have a vibrate mode?

Drone: ...INITIATING PROTECTIVE SHUTDOWN LEVEL 2... ACCESSING DATAFILE: THOUGHTS OF ENGLAND

>:=)> ...which naturally leads onto this thought of Mira's doings in the big city...

Vinnie:
THIS ROYAL THRONE OF KINGS, THIS SCEPTER'D ISLE,
THIS EARTH OF MAJESTY, THIS SEAT OF MARS,
THIS OTHER EDEN, DEMI-PARADISE,
THIS FORTRESS BUILT BY NATURE FOR HERSELF
AGAINST INFECTION AND THE HAND OF WAR,
THIS HAPPY BREED OF MEN, THIS LITTLE WORLD,
THIS PRECIOUS STONE SET IN THE SILVER SEA,
WHICH SERVES IT IN THE OFFICE OF A WALL,
OR AS A MOAT DEFENSIVE TO A HOUSE,
AGAINST THE ENVY OF LESS HAPPIER LANDS,
THIS BLESSED PLOT, THIS EARTH, THIS REALM, THIS ENGLAND,
THIS NURSE, THIS TEEMING WOMB OF ROYAL KINGS,
FEAR'D BY THEIR BREED AND FAMOUS BY THEIR BIRTH,
RENOWNED FOR THEIR DEEDS AS FAR FROM HOME,
FOR CHRISTIAN SERVICE AND TRUE CHIVALRY,
THIS LAND OF SUCH DEAR SOULS, THIS DEAR DEAR LAND,
DEAR FOR HER REPUTATION THROUGH THE WORLD,
IS NOW LEASED OUT, I DIE PRONOUNCING IT,
LIKE TO A TENEMENT OR PELTING FARM:
ENGLAND, BOUND IN WITH THE TRIUMPHANT SEA
WHOSE ROCKY SHORE BEATS BACK THE ENVIOUS SIEGE
*shakes leg, trying to dislodge Mira*
OF WATERY NEPTUNE, IS NOW BOUND IN WITH SHAME,
WITH INKY BLOTS AND ROTTEN PARCHMENT BONDS:
THAT ENGLAND, THAT WAS WONT TO CONQUER OTHERS,
HATH MADE A SHAMEFUL CONQUEST OF ITSELF.
AH, WOULD THE SCANDAL VANISH WITH MY LIFE,
HOW HAPPY THEN WERE MY ENSUING DEATH!

Officer Thespienne: Now that was good! There was real conviction there! Mira, sweetheart, have you ever thought of becoming a drama coach?

>:=)>

Not to mention that this sort of thing was what came to mind in answer to the question "Where is Teedee", and I don't even know if she swings that way... >;=)>
HiFranc 19th Apr 2015, 9:13 PM edit delete reply

If they are clearly of New Troy manufacture and they are the latest versions then you don't need to have NT codes - either it's a New Troy op or their arms manufacturers are more leaky than is acceptable!
Centcomm 20th Apr 2015, 2:13 AM edit delete reply

Yes but .. not having any NT codes or insigna lets cent deny it existed ..
HiFranc 20th Apr 2015, 11:35 AM edit delete reply

I understand that CentComm plans to deny knowledge but, if I was an Intelligence Officer of New Rome, and we had captured some of the drones, my thoughts would be along the lines of:

All the drones are the latest versions.
All the drones are of NT manufacture.
Yes, NT does have a black market but CentComm is known to be very good at security, therefore, whilst older models may reach the black market it is unlikely that so many new models would. Therefore, it is likely that CentComm herself arranged this.

In short, if the New Romans twig that every single piece of equipment is the latest version then CentComm's denials hold as much water as Douchimus's denials that he was involved in Lynn's kidnapping.
DLKmusic 20th Apr 2015, 7:20 PM edit delete reply

Another thought that Nova Roma Intel SHOULD be having after all of that is...
"Good thing they didn't retaliate in force, we wouldn't have stood a chance in hell!".
Stormwind13 20th Apr 2015, 2:48 AM edit delete reply

The difference between a mercenary force, very well equipped mercenary force, and a direct invasion by the city state New Troy, HiFranc. The mercenary force can be disavowed by CentComm, the invasion by the New Troy forces couldn't be.
Marcus Ramesy 20th Apr 2015, 7:13 PM edit delete reply

thats prety much it, Cent Com can deny that she had any involvment, and that an outside mec corp was hired in to do the job... its all clean and neat and political like that.
Lukkai 20th Apr 2015, 7:37 PM edit delete reply
And even though the Nova Roma intel certainly will rightfully believe that Cent is behind the whole thing and the attacking people were actually NT spec ops, they can't prove it.
Politically that makes all the difference. Stupid as it may sound.
HiFranc 20th Apr 2015, 9:29 PM edit delete reply

If Decimus is still in charge after the op, I suspect that it won't make a difference to him. Even though he was counting on that fact when he took Lynn.
Sheela 21st Apr 2015, 9:24 AM edit delete reply

It's all about plausible deniability.
Lukkai 21st Apr 2015, 10:08 AM edit delete reply
It wouldn't to him, certainly. But if you want to declare war, there are rules and customs to be observed. Or else you'll have any number of additional parties pooling their assets together against you.
HiFranc 21st Apr 2015, 11:44 AM edit delete reply

The more I think about it the more convinced I am that he would prefer war to this course of action. In his eyes, *he* is the sneaky one, *he* is the one who knows how to play the great game of politics. If they succeed they would do something worse than kill him -- they would make him look stupid! Death in battle is a glorious end and if Nova Rome goes boom because of his contingencies then it serves the population right for not being able to stand up to a few machines. In his eyes it would be even worse because of the number of androids involved in the ops and the fact that the chess mistress is an AI herself.

I can't wait for them to disarm the contingencies and bring him down. I hope he doesn't die in the encounter.
Stormwind13 21st Apr 2015, 4:01 PM edit delete reply

I'm almost with you, HiFranc. I hope the teams don't kill him. Disable him, stuff him in a slow, self-guided ground car and program it to 'drop' him off at Aeneas' front door... Make sure he is awake for the trip... Let him experience the terror of being sacrificed to the great machine his grandfather tried to 'kill'.
antrik 12th Oct 2016, 11:40 PM edit delete reply
I doubt Roma has sufficiently detailed intelligence to know these drones are Troy's latest and greatest.
Haegan2005 19th Apr 2015, 9:15 PM edit delete reply

by the way, the heavy drones are really nice looking.
Centcomm 20th Apr 2015, 2:14 AM edit delete reply

thankys :D
antrik 12th Oct 2016, 11:49 PM edit delete reply
Agreed, the heavy drones look seriously impressive.

The orb looks fine in the shadow, on the rear angle shot; but not so convincing on the frontal shots. I believe it's mostly the polished paint job -- not something you typically find on military equipment, I think...

(Of course you could argue that there are technical reasons for it -- but it just doesn't look right to our early 21st century eyes ;-) )
Fairportfan 19th Apr 2015, 9:34 PM edit delete reply

"Zero? Really?"

Hurt his pride, huh?
Centcomm 20th Apr 2015, 2:14 AM edit delete reply

a bit :D
mjkj 20th Apr 2015, 3:50 AM edit delete reply

Yayy for IFF =D
Stormwind13 20th Apr 2015, 7:22 AM edit delete reply

LOL poor Marcus, not getting ANY respect. Be glad Marcus that they DON'T consider you a threat. I have a feeling that threats don't last long around those drones!
Marcus Ramesy 20th Apr 2015, 7:17 PM edit delete reply

its all in the name of good fun, at the end of the day as long as the job gets done I'm not concerned with my wounded pride.. Dr. Silver does amazing work and when it comes to mater tech, I trust her completely.. a snide joke here and there is all part of the way we all do business... and the two cells name amused me greatly.
Dragonrider 19th Apr 2015, 9:57 PM edit delete reply

Eighty Five pieces of heavy weapons plus one Android with a love of big guns that go boom-boom-boom, one deranged cyber weapons expert who just might like violence as much as TeeDee does, the assault craft, who knows what surprises the contract merchant has, all the arms, Armour and ammo sent to rebels, a nice 5th column force if Mamma Bear and Mercs are knocking at the front door especially with large heavy duty door knockers like low yield nukes.
Will make sure I rate each comment, I have a tendency to skip rating when I comment.
velvetsanity 19th Apr 2015, 10:35 PM edit delete reply

Why do you think I dubbed them 'Team Kill-Em-All'? :D
HiFranc 19th Apr 2015, 10:44 PM edit delete reply

Because of TeeDee and, to a lesser extent, Marcus? ;-)
velvetsanity 20th Apr 2015, 3:26 AM edit delete reply

Well, yes, but also Dr. Silver's toys, Franc
HiFranc 20th Apr 2015, 11:42 AM edit delete reply

I forgot aobut the death/admin bot.
Centcomm 20th Apr 2015, 2:14 AM edit delete reply

heh team kill em all :D :D
Sheela 20th Apr 2015, 1:20 PM edit delete reply

If TeeDee has anything to say about it, Team Kill-Em-All is about to grow larger with one cyborged out Murderturd. XD
Tokyo Rose 20th Apr 2015, 7:57 PM edit delete reply

Teedee: "He followed me home!"
Ada: "NO."
HiFranc 20th Apr 2015, 9:25 PM edit delete reply

TeeDee: But I'll look after him.
Sheela 21st Apr 2015, 9:26 AM edit delete reply

Aww .. Ada is still in the "NO!" camp ?
Tokyo Rose 21st Apr 2015, 3:08 PM edit delete reply

The one that rampaged got shot by an emplaced cannon and it was STILL ALIVE. Imagine trying to discipline it with a rolled-up newspaper after it craps on the carpet (and the downstairs neighbor lodges a formal complaint for the condition of his ceiling)!
MirrorField 19th Apr 2015, 10:16 PM edit delete reply
I have feeling that while high-tech and quite nice in anything resembling "surgical", they wouldn't fare too well against *really* heavy weaponry like ...oh, say those orbital cannons surrounding Aeneas' installation.
Centcomm 20th Apr 2015, 2:15 AM edit delete reply

ok those orbital A/M cannons are for taking down Asteroids .. hitting a drone with one is like hitting a housefly with a atom bomb.
Tokyo Rose 20th Apr 2015, 4:09 AM edit delete reply

There Is No Kill Like Overkill!
anonymous coward 20th Apr 2015, 7:48 AM edit delete reply
There is no overkill. There is only fire and reload.
Hornet 20th Apr 2015, 12:38 PM edit delete reply
Well to be honest those A/M cannons would have to be able to target a drone. Somehow I doubt they are equipped to do that. Larg3ly because the people that designed the A/M cannons would have never thought of using them on something as insignificant as a drone.
Sheela 20th Apr 2015, 1:21 PM edit delete reply

You underestimate the madness of weapon designers.

If they can target an orbital Laser canonn at a common housefly, then by damn, they want to be able to do so!
velvetsanity 20th Apr 2015, 6:49 PM edit delete reply

Weapon designers do have a tendency to be Sparky...
Hornet 20th Apr 2015, 7:05 PM edit delete reply
Lol they may be able to target a a tick on a dogs back, provided the dog and tick are holding still. Once the target starts moving, the massive systems that support their laser will work against them. After all why do current MBT's still mount machine guns? Because tracking moving infantry with a 120mm cannon is a light fired pain in the arse.
Lukkai 20th Apr 2015, 7:41 PM edit delete reply
Granted: The farther away your target is, the less an issue that becomes.
Mark_L_A 30th May 2015, 1:27 PM edit delete reply

You forget Canister Shot. Ala Faith and Trixie
antrik 13th Oct 2016, 12:39 AM edit delete reply
I'm pretty sure it's not just about tracking. Anti-tank rounds would do fairly little damage to an infantry unit, compared to a machine gun salvo. Also, reload times, and ammo usage.
antrik 13th Oct 2016, 12:41 AM edit delete reply
Well, since the cannons were able to "greet" Acantha's craft just fine, it's perfectly possible they could lock on to a drone as well...
Lukkai 20th Apr 2015, 7:40 PM edit delete reply
By the way: If enough people get into the Planet Mercenary RPG kickstarter, we'll be getting that 70 Maxims book along with it.

(For further info, just check on the Schlock Mercenary homepage.)
DLKmusic 21st Apr 2015, 12:51 AM edit delete reply

that sounds like a song from a broadway musical!

"There's NO kill
Like Overkill
it's the Only Kill I Knooooow!"
Sheela 21st Apr 2015, 9:28 AM edit delete reply

Curiously, most MBT's have coaxial machine guns mounted alongside the main cannon in their turrets, to shoot at small targets.

The machine guns mounted on top of the cupola, is mostly there to defeat people trying to get to the commander, while he's up there.
Lukkai 21st Apr 2015, 10:12 AM edit delete reply
The coaxial machine gun at least traditionally could also be used as an aiming help. Thanks to the tracer rounds you could follow even better where it was aimed. As soon as it was on target: Boom! the big gun follows.
Of course that only really worked on relative short a distance. Otherwise the difference in flight curve of the projectiles became too big.
cattservant 19th Apr 2015, 10:52 PM edit delete reply

All dressed up
and somewhere to go!
Centcomm 20th Apr 2015, 2:16 AM edit delete reply

oh yes :D the music should start soon ;D
velvetsanity 20th Apr 2015, 3:27 AM edit delete reply

Yakkity Sax? :D
Cperka 20th Apr 2015, 4:09 AM edit delete reply

Dressed up to kill
And all systems go!
You'll be staring in my late night show...
xpacetrue 19th Apr 2015, 10:57 PM edit delete reply

If those HUGE fighter-looking things are the Hammer class Heavy Drones, I can't imagine how they hid the components to build THIRTY-FIVE of those things, much less have the room to build them. We knew their freighter was very big, but... dang! This might as well be a small carrier with a full fighter complement.
CptKerion 19th Apr 2015, 11:06 PM edit delete reply
You make the crates out of the hull material. That's how I'd do it. The various electronic components are a lot more compact.
Centcomm 20th Apr 2015, 2:17 AM edit delete reply

There is a LOT of room on a Hercules class craft not the absense of all those containers and things .. other parts were hidden in the walls and everywhere else :D each of the hammers are about 8 feet long
Tokyo Rose 21st Apr 2015, 3:04 PM edit delete reply

psst, Cent. Percheron-class, not Hercules-class. ;D
Centcomm 21st Apr 2015, 6:20 PM edit delete reply

Ok.. Well the class name it was given by me was Hercules class ^_^ I forgot we changed it for the comic
velvetsanity 20th Apr 2015, 3:30 AM edit delete reply

If you'd seen the whole ship, xpacetrue...that thing is HUGE. Like, it could fit the Millenium Falcon inside it and still have room to walk around huge. (Ok, ok, I'm exaggerating, but only a little...)
HiFranc 20th Apr 2015, 11:52 AM edit delete reply

You can get an idea of just how large their ship is by looking at panel 3 of "A popular guy..."

Remember that that's a full sized fighter she's flying (i.e. a lot bigger than their drones) and, as the freighter is further away, it looks smaller than it really is.
Sheela 20th Apr 2015, 1:42 PM edit delete reply

Comic 970 - Disagreeable weather gives a pretty good indication of the size of the transporter, it's basically the size of a flying warehouse.

Plenty of space for a few disassembled drones.
CptKerion 19th Apr 2015, 11:07 PM edit delete reply
And these are evidence of why you always leave some low level security drone to watch the hanger bays.
xpacetrue 19th Apr 2015, 11:18 PM edit delete reply

Thing is, as far as I can tell, they're all inside the cargo bay of their hulking huge freighter. Even if there was a security drone (or three) roaming around wherever they're parked, they wouldn't detect what's going on inside their ship unless either the drone(s) do a thorough scan of their ship or the team opens the cargo bay door.

Remember, they already passed through customs. I'm sure their ship was scanned upon arrival. So why would NR Customs scan their ship a second time? BTW: At their earlier stop (before New Rome) it was revealed that their ship has scanner baffles to throw off scanners.
Centcomm 20th Apr 2015, 2:18 AM edit delete reply

Black played up the whole Connie affair so now pretty much the Military folks don't want to be anywhere near this ship.
Cperka 20th Apr 2015, 4:11 AM edit delete reply

And I bet they still fear he has another murderturd in the storage :D
CptKerion 20th Apr 2015, 12:48 PM edit delete reply
And now Nova Roma hits the problem with not differentiating your port security from your military.
That's why you have civilians to check things out too.
Stormwind13 20th Apr 2015, 4:48 PM edit delete reply

As much as it causes the military twitches, the best people to search for contraband are OTHER smugglers. :-D
Hornet 21st Apr 2015, 7:41 AM edit delete reply
Agreed, but they have to be honest smugglers, you know the type that once they're bought they stay bought. That type is really hard to find.
Sheela 21st Apr 2015, 9:30 AM edit delete reply

So Mr Black used Connie's misfortune to his advantage, huh ?

*looks angrily in Mr Blacks direction*
.... he now owes Connie a dinner in a very fancy restaurant !!
Lukkai 21st Apr 2015, 10:13 AM edit delete reply
I get the feeling he'll be happy to oblige as soon as this job's done and they're out safely.
Stormwind13 21st Apr 2015, 4:07 PM edit delete reply

I don't think he PLANNED on exposing Connie that way, Sheela; however, once they did it to Connie he was going to make them PAY for it and KEEP them paying for it as long as he can. He was WHITE hot with that one idiot... and was ready for full bore economic warfare on the city.
ProfEtheric 19th Apr 2015, 11:15 PM edit delete reply

Haha! Party favors! :)
Centcomm 20th Apr 2015, 2:19 AM edit delete reply

yep so very many of those party favors :D
mjkj 20th Apr 2015, 3:58 AM edit delete reply

nice fireworky party favors... ^_^
velvetsanity 20th Apr 2015, 3:32 AM edit delete reply

The only thing missing is flying weaponized armor suits and an AI named Jarvis :D
Stormwind13 20th Apr 2015, 7:19 AM edit delete reply

I'm not sure they ARE missing that suit yet, velvet. Don't know the capabilities of that shiny suit. Though, Dr. Silver would probably name her AI helper something besides Jarvis. :-D
DLKmusic 20th Apr 2015, 7:29 PM edit delete reply

Something more like, say "Hannibal"?
Draginbeard 19th Apr 2015, 11:57 PM edit delete reply

Oh yeah, ready to rumble!
Centcomm 20th Apr 2015, 2:19 AM edit delete reply

Starts the music :D
Stormwind13 20th Apr 2015, 2:52 AM edit delete reply

Alright Draginbeard with THESE additions to the small arms they can start a war. Those drones are probably worth a LOT of Nova Roma forces! And they fly too, so the air cavalry is in for a RUDE surprise.
mjkj 20th Apr 2015, 12:13 AM edit delete reply

Nice toys...


...and why would they stack deck? is douchie not stacked enough? (jk)


@alt text: indeed :D

Centcomm 20th Apr 2015, 2:20 AM edit delete reply

Black does not like fair games.. :D nor does Marcus . or Silver
Stormwind13 20th Apr 2015, 2:55 AM edit delete reply

Fair is a weather report, CentComm. They are ALL about winning, so there is no such thing as FAIR to their opponents.
Sheela 20th Apr 2015, 2:05 PM edit delete reply

Yeah, if you're fighting fair in a war, you're doing it wrong.
Howard 20th Apr 2015, 2:25 AM edit delete reply
Those orb drones with the 4 plasma turrets look a lot like the drones from that movie Oblivion.
Howard 20th Apr 2015, 2:29 AM edit delete reply
And I know New Roma is suppose to be behind the times and all. But they need some serious security upgrades if they allow a freighter full of ultra advanced weapons Tec into the city. Disguised or not!
Stormwind13 20th Apr 2015, 2:53 AM edit delete reply

I think we are finding out just how good, Mr. Black is at sneaking things past customs, Howard. He is BETTER than the guards are at finding it.
Tokyo Rose 20th Apr 2015, 4:18 AM edit delete reply

Oddly enough, I had this exact conversation with Cent and Mr. Black while working on the script for this page. I opened with the question of "How in the ever-living luminous fuck did they expect to sneak this shit past any customs inspection that went further than glancing at the crate labels?"

Their answers were frighteningly thorough, and I did my best to include a hint of it in the narration box. The drones were all broken down into components that could be passed off as completely harmless cargo--avionics parts for the grav-plates, survey equipment for the sensor suites, and so on. The parts that couldn't be passed off in that fashion were hidden in other ways. For example, the gun barrels can fit rather neatly into sections of piping that are spot-welded in place to blend in with the cargo ship's own pipe and cable runs...
CptKerion 20th Apr 2015, 1:53 PM edit delete reply
So I've spent several years playing various freetrader games with my friends.
I can speak to many, many methods of smuggling parts, and many more ways of beating them.

Key to beating the smuggler it to know the model of his ship. If you don't and they're competent, it's all over right there.
The next major part is to figure out how much of what things they officially have, and whether the spare parts match those the ship uses, and whether or not the number of them is reasonable. (learned this after someone got parts for a 'reactor bomb' past a security checkpoint I was playing, seriously, spare parts for the ship reactor supposedly, but it was for a freestanding one they melted down, damn terrorists)
Next step is to make sure the ship fits specifications, question all modifications that do not have an obvious purpose.
Next step is to do an ultrasound of the damn pipes, looking for any evidence of baffles that ought to not be there. Don't use fancy advanced scanners, use simple primitive stuff. You're not trying to catch what they did, you're just trying to figure out what is out of the ordinary.
Next step is to check the seat cushions. (Seat cushions with sensor baffling weave, I managed to smuggle a hundred AT mines and 3 suitcase nukes past port authority in the seating of a passenger shuttle under the grounds of 'going to extract refugees as part of a humanitarian mission' which I did as well).
Seriously, no one inspects seat cushions (except for my gamemaster, he does now).

Rely on primitive sensors that can't be foiled without it being evident in addition to the advanced stuff.
Sure it's not as detailed, but you can't do much to stop an mechanic with a stethoscope from going "there's something solid in this pipe".
Investigate all recent repairs and modifications, ESPECIALLY spot welds.
Make sure the reactor isn't loaded over capacity with a bunch of inactive-at-the-moment stuff (since we all know that will be used for a bomb)


Things to be included in any kit to foil smugglers.
A mechanic's stethoscope (my experience with them has usually involved finding things in pipes... which has included vermin. Figured out where a mouse nest was in the vent because when I tapped the ventilation housing, it sounded different, didn't know what it was at the time, but we stuck a periscope and a spotlight down the floor vent and figured out what it was)
A screwdriver (for consistent tapping noises)
A small collapsible periscope
multiple flashlights, including a battery powered spotlight of substantial power.
A paint brush
a 9 volt battery
some steel wool
a box of matches (matches, not a lighter, the neat lines of smoke you can get are great for finding ventilation irregularities)
an extremely sensitive compass (if there is a current going through the wires in the pipe, it will detect said current without fail)


Now, this isn't always proof to go tearing their ship apart to search it, in fact it rarely is, but it is evidence enough to, say, go check on them a few times. Maybe 'drop' your compass and go back to get it.


This is not the full comprehensive game of beating smugglers in sci-fi and are just a few pertinent notes. You need to be a lot more tactful than these would indicate on the surface.
Lukkai 20th Apr 2015, 7:49 PM edit delete reply
Seat cushions. That was actually one I hadn't thought of yet. Thanks for the idea. There'll certainly be an Edge of the Empire or Shadowrun game at some point, where I can use that.
Tokyo Rose 20th Apr 2015, 8:02 PM edit delete reply

Oh, God. I would forbid CptKerion and Mr. Black from talking about this kind of thing, but they'd inevitably find some loophole and the next thing you know they're walking out with the entire city in three shoeboxes and a backpack.
CptKerion 20th Apr 2015, 8:56 PM edit delete reply
Who is saying we haven't already done so?
Mwahaha

Honestly, if you guys ever want me to look for holes in a plan or ways to make them I'd be happy to be of assistance.
It's the least I can do to repay you guys for making my favorite comic of all time. Well, at this point.
I'm a poor college student so actually sending money via patreon isn't an option yet.
Of course I'm going into a well paid profession once I graduate, and I'll hopefully get a job that pays more than minimum wage so I'll be able to contribute via Patreon soon enough.

and anyone who sees my typos and accidental ommissions and regular edits to make my stuff, you know, readable knows exactly how brain fried I am.

That I managed to remember all the bullshit I've done to my poor gamemasters over the years is a miracle.
Sheela 21st Apr 2015, 9:37 AM edit delete reply

Lets not forget that you could scavenge the freighter itself for materials to build stuff out of.

Nothing is easier to smuggle throuhg, than stuff that is supposed to be there. :)
And that container the murderturd came in ? It could make a fine ram, with a bit of ballast in it.
CptKerion 21st Apr 2015, 3:18 PM edit delete reply
One of my favorites in smuggling things was to assemble a tramp trader, with the internal components of a lot of it actually being parts for weapons, then bring it in, drop of the completely harmless cargo, and start disassembling the ship and selling the parts to my contacts.
lalverson 20th Apr 2015, 5:23 AM edit delete reply
The only thing missing from the doc's equipment rundown was "And a Mk2 Partridge on a Mk1 pear tree."
Stormwind13 20th Apr 2015, 7:12 AM edit delete reply

LOL Ialverson. Yeah, Dr. Silver came WELL prepared for a party!!!
chk 20th Apr 2015, 6:55 AM edit delete reply

Sweeet.

Great toys.
KarToon12 20th Apr 2015, 8:36 AM edit delete reply

Has someone been playing Portal 2? ;)
velvetsanity 20th Apr 2015, 6:55 PM edit delete reply

How do you know that Dr. Silver isn't descended from both Tony Stark *and* Cave Johnson? :D
The Old Scribe 20th Apr 2015, 8:55 AM edit delete reply

Heh! Looking at this parade of weaponry reminds me, for some reason, of these lines from a Bob Seger song:

"The first one's birdshot, the next four are double-ought buck
The last one's a slug, just for good luck..."

Methinks Prince Douchebag's about to learn what the old saying 'Fuck with the bull and you get the horns' really means.
DLKmusic 20th Apr 2015, 12:11 PM edit delete reply

Ok, Dr. Silver, now you're scaring me....
Sheela 20th Apr 2015, 2:07 PM edit delete reply

She didn't scare you before ?
DLKmusic 20th Apr 2015, 3:39 PM edit delete reply

Intimidated me, absolutely... Scared me? not really!
Now though, I'm wondering if she's the incarnation of Shiva, Destroyer of worlds *lightning crackling in the background*. She is singlehandedly controlling enough firepower to level the city.

(of course, the fact that I'm an idiot and try to see the good in people first might be a factor)
Sheela 21st Apr 2015, 9:37 AM edit delete reply

No, no .. Shiva is a pet of mine. :)
CptKerion 21st Apr 2015, 7:26 PM edit delete reply
And that ladies and gentlemen is exactly why we should not object too loudly to slobbered toes.
Rashala 20th Apr 2015, 1:29 PM edit delete reply

Okay I got acall BS Here.......




Dr Silver's Chest was NOT that big before......that armor has to have two inbuilt Airbagss there to compensate for this discrepancy
CptKerion 20th Apr 2015, 1:56 PM edit delete reply
just some extra plating to make sure nothing gets through.
Sheela 20th Apr 2015, 2:07 PM edit delete reply

Well, where else does the Stealth Laser Turrets go ?
cattservant 21st Apr 2015, 12:26 AM edit delete reply

SLTs!
DLKmusic 20th Apr 2015, 3:42 PM edit delete reply

She's controlling enough firepower to start and end 2 wars, and you're thinking about her breasts?
velvetsanity 20th Apr 2015, 6:58 PM edit delete reply

DLK, it's Rash, and Dr. Silver has control of all that weaponry. Do you really expect him to not memorize every last detail about her?
DLKmusic 21st Apr 2015, 12:55 AM edit delete reply

I think he's missing a couple of details here... like that she's quite possibly a Heterodyne!

Let us please NOT annoy the nice Mad Scientist lady holding the Death Ray by asking her if she's a B cup or a C cup!

(edited as per Rose's Comments)
highlander55 20th Apr 2015, 7:01 PM edit delete reply

Well! Yeah DLK, Don't want the girls flopping around do ya? Extra padding keeps the nipples from poking out too.
Tokyo Rose 21st Apr 2015, 3:11 PM edit delete reply

I think Dr. Silver is a B-cup, or a C at most. Cent tends to design female characters with modest endowments. :D
Rashala 20th Apr 2015, 1:29 PM edit delete reply

Okay I got acall BS Here.......




Dr Silver's Chest was NOT that big before......that armor has to have two inbuilt Airbagss there to compensate for this discrepancy
Kitty 20th Apr 2015, 5:41 PM edit delete reply
Oh, look, someone's getting the party favors out!

*pulls out seat, sits down* This is gonna be good. Popcorn, anyone?
Stormwind13 20th Apr 2015, 6:17 PM edit delete reply

Might want to sit a LITTLE further back, Kitty. I fear this is going to be MESSY. Blood is so hard to get out of fur. :-D
CptKerion 20th Apr 2015, 9:08 PM edit delete reply
Maybe bring a parka too... and an umbrella... and maybe some detergent... oh, and a splatter shield for your face... anything else?
velvetsanity 21st Apr 2015, 4:33 AM edit delete reply

At least we haven't seen a Sledge-O-Matic yet :D
DLKmusic 21st Apr 2015, 7:22 PM edit delete reply

It's coming, Velvet, it's coming! And it's hair is blue!
Boren 20th Apr 2015, 6:10 PM edit delete reply
The victorious army first obtains victory, then does battle, the defeated army first does battle then seeks victory.
CptKerion 20th Apr 2015, 9:17 PM edit delete reply
Hey guys, I'm gonna point something out here.
This is going WAY too well for them thus far.
Something, not sure what, but something is going to get in their way.

Where would I put my money?
The janitor.
He or she will stumble on something he or she shouldn't have and will then raise the alarm.
HiFranc 21st Apr 2015, 11:58 AM edit delete reply

There's the old adage that no plan survives contact with the enemy.

I suspect, however, that you don't need a janitor to complicate things when you have a Dolly and a Ceci. There is no way that Dolly would let Lynn come to harm and I suspect something happens that make Team Kill-'Em-All think that CentComm's other order may be appropriate.

{edit} Reviewing their orders (datachasers.thecomicseries.com/comics/630 and datachasers.thecomicseries.com/comics/629, strip Stike Team and previous page, Of Mice and Men) I can see another potential problem. Given that CentComm disabled her ship and gave Ceci hidden orders, I suspect that Dolly is not in a rush to return to New Troy. Given that her daughter has expressed an interest in exploration/travel (datachasers.thecomicseries.com/comics/893) and that Dolly seems to be more emotional in this new body, I suspect that she may want to start living her cover. However much Ceci annoys her, I'm sure that something will happen that will let Dolly understand how much she means to her.

{edit 2}
I can just see it now. Ceci is out of her depth and, before Dolly knows what she's doing, Dolly's pulled out her gun and orders, "Leave my daughter alone!"

{edit 3} Changed URLs to links.
HiFranc 20th Apr 2015, 11:18 PM edit delete reply

I was looking at the archives last night: Marcus was told that Dolly and Ceci were on their way to rescue Lynn. It's clear that Marcus was monitoring their situation because he got Dr Silver to fix Ceci.

How much consideration is Marcus giving to Dolly and Ceci?
mjkj 21st Apr 2015, 3:05 AM edit delete reply

They did not know that it was Ceci...

They just helped a poor android in a difficult situation...

...well, Marcus received an alert and acted on that - if he really knew it was *that* Ceci does not become clear, though he knows very much about her - so, he might know...

Currently to find under datachasers.thecomicseries.com/comics/936 and following pages...

HiFranc 21st Apr 2015, 6:58 AM edit delete reply

True but, before that, CentCom tells Marcus that Dolly is attempting a rescue and has a black angel with her. Shortly afterwards Marcus comes up with this plan and says that he wants Dr Silver on his team.

I know that's only circumstantial evidence but I would be surprised if he doesn't know/suspect that there's another team.
mjkj 21st Apr 2015, 7:04 AM edit delete reply

Well, they know there is another team.

I was more doubtful he knew it was the black angel from the other team - though on hindsight - how would a black angel be out there without it being them...?

Stormwind13 21st Apr 2015, 7:25 AM edit delete reply

Marcus absolutely knew about CeCil, mjkj. I doubt Marcus would have had her password otherwise.

I'm thinking CentComm not only gave Marcus the password, but also knowledge of her REAL mission to delay Dolly. I think Marcus was further told that Dolly should be grounded in or near Joleet. I believe Marcus was just checking to make sure that Dolly was in fact in the area and found out CeCi had a problem. I don't think he expects to see them though. The problems that CentComm inflicted upon Dolly's transportation should keep them out of the way longer than the extraction should take.
Sheela 21st Apr 2015, 9:42 AM edit delete reply

Yeah, Marcus definately know about CeCi.

And as far as he knows, Dolly and CeCi are still back in Joleet with engine troubles.
Boy, he won't be happy once he realizes they are both in Nova Roma. XD

At least Kyle had the decency to get himself killed !
Hornet 21st Apr 2015, 10:22 AM edit delete reply
Dolly's going to have Kittens if she catches wind of Team-Kill'em-All
Stormwind13 21st Apr 2015, 11:11 AM edit delete reply

Dolly already had a kitten, Hornet. Her name is CeCi. She has sharp claws and fangs to chew up her opponents!!!
HiFranc 21st Apr 2015, 11:47 AM edit delete reply

Dolly is an experienced protector. She also knows that CentComm would never let Lynn stay in Decimus's hands so I would be very surprised if she hasn't worked out that there's another team on their way.
Marcus Ramesy 21st Apr 2015, 1:16 PM edit delete reply

Im not aloud to go in to details about classified systems but rest assured that Im am full aware of Ceci and her whereabouts.
Hornet 21st Apr 2015, 8:23 PM edit delete reply
She forgot to remove the battery from her cellphone???
Skweeee 21st Apr 2015, 9:08 PM edit delete reply

Love, love, love all the techy goodness of this page. I could use a couple of those drones... if they fold laundry.
Stormwind13 28th Apr 2015, 2:28 PM edit delete reply

Fold, spindle and MUTILATE whatever they are unleashed on, Skweeee. :-D
Tyris 26th Apr 2015, 3:08 AM edit delete reply

"Marcus Ramsey, tech four-nine."
++Beyoooooooop++
Mark_L_A 30th May 2015, 1:47 PM edit delete reply

As for Dr Silver's ah hem Cup size, If you look her entire body proportions are all slightly larger. Armor plus underpadding for shock absorption=larger proportions. Look at her derriere, It was not as quite filled out before nor were her thighs as large around. She is wearing some serious armor with proper padding underneath to take possible hits.

My Sister in law when she was in Iraq, looked like she weighed almost 200 lbs when she was wearing all of her gear and body armor. And Susan weighs maybe 115 to 125 lbs soaking wet. Front and back plates, side plates, thigh and crotch armor, then you add in mag pouches, radio pouches etc, it adds up and makes a person look much larger than they are.

I know when I wear my armor I look like I weigh over 300 instead of the 278 I actually weigh.
ehrgeiz0 15th Nov 2015, 6:36 PM edit delete reply
I see a nod to the 2013 Oblivion movie with those orb designs.
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