Comic 1248 - Lights Out

6th Oct 2015, 9:00 PM
Lights Out
Average Rating: 4.97 (30 votes)

Author Notes:

Centcomm 6th Oct 2015, 7:29 PM edit delete
Okay! all the reboots I have done are in the line up now ! go back and check em out - comment and let us know how we are doing!

the last batch starts here here
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Mark_L_A 6th Oct 2015, 9:01 PM edit delete reply

Dolly's taking no chances and is aiming for the head.
Centcomm 6th Oct 2015, 9:23 PM edit delete reply

yep- kinda...
sigpig 6th Oct 2015, 9:48 PM edit delete reply

Looks to me as if Dolly was aiming (and hitting ) just below Nox's head - the objective being that her spine would not be as armoured as her head.

With a decapitation, Dolly might still be able to interrogate her before Nox de-rezes...
Sheela 7th Oct 2015, 4:14 AM edit delete reply

Alternatively, it could stun the DAS, and effectively paralyze her.
Then you cut off arms and legs, and ask her pointed questions about ostriches !
Stormwind13 7th Oct 2015, 1:19 PM edit delete reply

Dolly hasn't been using a stunner, Sheela. I don't think she is going to change guns now.
Lukkai 7th Oct 2015, 4:06 PM edit delete reply

Mighty powerful handgun it is, truly.
That one guy 7th Oct 2015, 7:01 PM edit delete reply
I think Dolly's aiming for the M.A.C.C.S. which I also seem to recall is where Malati aimed with her blade to take herself out.
Centcomm 7th Oct 2015, 8:16 PM edit delete reply

That one guy nailed it.. Your correct She is aiming at the MACCS the one place that will kill a android in one shot. its a very hard target to hit.
Lukkai 8th Oct 2015, 5:56 AM edit delete reply

Though the target holding perfectly still helps a lot in that regard.
Centcomm 8th Oct 2015, 7:14 AM edit delete reply

True that.
cattservant 6th Oct 2015, 9:03 PM edit delete reply

Too caught up in the game...
Sheela 7th Oct 2015, 4:16 AM edit delete reply

Or deliberately ignoring the incoming danger, in order to fail the douchebags orders .. just to be contrary to the prince.

That's just the kind of thing she would do to annoy him.
Especially, if it gets him kicked off the throne and into the mob of revolting people. Nox would like that to happen.

Besides, she told him goodbye, and then starts to say "ah, yes" as Dolly shoots her.
If she had wanted to kill him, she would have done so long ago.
And she knew that another killer was stalking the palace, she even told Noctis so.
Asking for the code was just her way of stalling herself and allow Dolly to creep up.

She's effectively pulling a suicide by proxy here.
It may not be quite as flashy as Malati's "Long live Queen Acantha!", but it's effective.

.. or at least, that's my hypothesis.
Stormwind13 7th Oct 2015, 6:15 AM edit delete reply

That is my read too, catt. Nox got caught up in her torture of Democlus and lost her head.
mjkj 8th Oct 2015, 8:56 AM edit delete reply

She did not even hear Dolly and CeCi talking in fast speech...
Sheela 8th Oct 2015, 2:21 PM edit delete reply

Or maybe she did, and was hoping that someone would finally appear that could put her out of her misery.
jamie59 6th Oct 2015, 9:05 PM edit delete reply

That's going to leave a mark!
Big question. IS HE ALIVE!?!
Centcomm 6th Oct 2015, 9:22 PM edit delete reply

Thats going to leave a nasty mark!

as far as him being alive.. next page!
RoseOfPain 6th Oct 2015, 9:29 PM edit delete reply
Conidering I don't see a blood splatter over his face, I'd hope he's alive
Beltboy 7th Oct 2015, 4:10 AM edit delete reply
Even if he is this second, if she rag dolls, that blade is right over his face...
Draginbeard 6th Oct 2015, 9:06 PM edit delete reply

Nice shot Dolly!
Centcomm 6th Oct 2015, 9:22 PM edit delete reply

She is a marksman after all ..
revzet 6th Oct 2015, 9:12 PM edit delete reply

YYASSSSSS! Dolly to the rescue, finally! :D
Centcomm 6th Oct 2015, 9:21 PM edit delete reply

Just in the nick of time!
anonymous coward 6th Oct 2015, 10:02 PM edit delete reply
But then Nox's weapon falls point-first and kills Democlus anyway.
mjkj 6th Oct 2015, 10:24 PM edit delete reply

Oh, that would be just ... dramatic =P
Centcomm 7th Oct 2015, 8:18 PM edit delete reply

and a bit sad...
The Old Scribe 6th Oct 2015, 9:16 PM edit delete reply

Got the bitch! I'd imagine Nox's brain case is fairly well armored, but it sure rattled her cage. I'm guessin' the fight's not over yet and Dolly definitely has the advantage. I would think some dismemberment and possible questioning would be in order after this initial encounter.
Centcomm 6th Oct 2015, 9:21 PM edit delete reply

We shall see :D
T1-G3R2501 8th Oct 2015, 1:48 PM edit delete reply
Yeesh I just thought what Nox's gonna look like without like half of her skin and its all her skeletal all terminator and shit....
xpacetrue 6th Oct 2015, 9:17 PM edit delete reply

Nox: "My master was never worth dying for."
Nox: "Hoped you could do the job for me anyway."

Is Nox saying she was kind of hoping he would be worthy of slaying her (even if she doesn't have a master worth dying for, or perhaps because)? Does she have a death wish?!
Centcomm 6th Oct 2015, 9:21 PM edit delete reply

Yes - you are correct on all points.

I was hoping someone would catch that.
DLKmusic 6th Oct 2015, 9:56 PM edit delete reply

This was why I wanted a little backstory on Nox... there's got to be more to her than being a 2 dimensional Terminator
Tango Xray Actual 7th Oct 2015, 12:21 AM edit delete reply
Poor conflicted 'droids.... That just ain't right and 2) that implys an advanced self-generated/self-revising ethical system (code of honor) that is being colorfully overridden. Why CC's&TR's creation is a cut above!

Greenwood Goat 7th Oct 2015, 1:39 AM edit delete reply
So: "Kill or be killed... it's all good." And I wouldn't be surprised if, like the other cassians we've met, she'd also like to see the back of Emperor Decimus Livius... covered in exit wounds from heavy-calibre small arms fire! >:=)>
anonymous coward 6th Oct 2015, 10:01 PM edit delete reply
Sounds to me like the weapon Nox really should've been using was a Kafkacell cannon, heh.
Tokyo Rose 6th Oct 2015, 10:22 PM edit delete reply

Acantha inspires such loyalty in Democlus that he's willing to die for her. Nox would never, ever do that for Decimus if she had the ability to dictate her own actions. Yes, Nox does indeed have a death wish.
StellarJay 7th Oct 2015, 12:25 AM edit delete reply

That death wish of hers came through loud and clear. Obviously, she hated so much how she was used and what she had become that destruction would be a welcome relief. How sad for her, but it looks like her relief finally came.
Pirtnac 6th Oct 2015, 11:15 PM edit delete reply
Question: I know some / most of the Cassians predate Decimus taking the throne, was Nox one of the ones created after he did? All the rest can look intimidating in different ways, but this one looks purposefully evil, and is/was straight up sadistic. Malati could come close on enjoying killing, but it was always qualified as what she'd consider a "bad guy." I can see the prince demanding those traits.
Tokyo Rose 6th Oct 2015, 11:28 PM edit delete reply

All of the Cassians pre-date Decimus's accession to the throne. Roma law directs that all androids must be easily identifiable for what they are, and the appearances of the Cassians were designed to not only satisfy those regulations, but to enhance their psychological effect on the average citizen. All of them have a quality of "otherness" about them, but a few, like Nox, went for full-out intimidation tactics.
Sheela 7th Oct 2015, 4:26 AM edit delete reply

She and Malati were the ones they sent after the truly ghastly criminals, weren't they ?

I'm guessing that Nox would assault the front door, while Malati would sneak in from behind and assasinate the main guy while Nox mopped up the small fry. Meanwhile, Noctis would be emptying their bank accounts.

Frankly, I think Nox is happiest most contend, when she has nothing to do, and can live the life of a recluse.

Nox idle = everything allright with Roma.
Nox working = something wrong with Roma.
Thus, Nox probably hates her work.
And she hates her prince too.

If only Acantha had been the ruler, things might have been different for Nox.
Self-loathing, is a scary thing in a combat android like Nox.
Centcomm 7th Oct 2015, 8:20 PM edit delete reply

Yes.. Malati generally got take out this target quietly and very messily..

Nox generally got flat out " go here kill and terrorize everyone in this location. "
type Missions.

Nox was totally disgusted with Humanity. all of them .. even Acantha by this time. She had nothing left but contempt.
Lukkai 8th Oct 2015, 5:58 AM edit delete reply

Why do I get the feeling, that if Nox was able to send one final thought through the Cassian's network, it would have been "Finally..."?
Sheela 8th Oct 2015, 7:03 AM edit delete reply

In many ways, this makes Malati's love for humans even more impressive.
Kitty 6th Oct 2015, 9:29 PM edit delete reply
Go Dolly!!! Blow her head off!
Centcomm 6th Oct 2015, 9:56 PM edit delete reply

hehe :D
Sheela 7th Oct 2015, 4:27 AM edit delete reply

But .. but ... what of the ostritches ?
Haegan2005 6th Oct 2015, 9:33 PM edit delete reply

That is a bad way to loose your head. Just saying!

Nice karma there Cent!
Centcomm 7th Oct 2015, 8:22 PM edit delete reply

Your welcome!
Haegan2005 6th Oct 2015, 9:34 PM edit delete reply

Guys, Keep voting!
Sheela 7th Oct 2015, 4:28 AM edit delete reply

*throws vote at button*
Stormwind13 7th Oct 2015, 5:05 AM edit delete reply

Agreed Haegan. If you are enjoying the comic, please vote daily. Get Data Chasers higher up the list!
chk 8th Oct 2015, 7:08 AM edit delete reply

Guess what? You can rate all those sweet re-boot pages too. In fact, you can go back and rate any page you haven't already. I'm going back to 'Luna Star' to see what I missed there too.

Let's rack up those 5s.
Centcomm 8th Oct 2015, 7:12 AM edit delete reply

Dont forget comments! Comments help raise, popularity and traffic on those pages , Also it lets us know you are enjoying or hating what we are doing.
ProfEtheric 6th Oct 2015, 9:37 PM edit delete reply


(Is it bad that Dolly might just be my waifu? XD )
Centcomm 6th Oct 2015, 9:55 PM edit delete reply

damn right!

( Nope .. not at all! )
Sheela 7th Oct 2015, 4:29 AM edit delete reply

Dolly would be a difficult waifu, with her house full of lost kittens, and getting into trouble with the law and such.

Still, she is sweet .. most of the time.
xpacetrue 6th Oct 2015, 9:40 PM edit delete reply

BTW: My compliments on the debris scattered around, no doubt a result of the exploding barrels. Nice touch. Was that part of a model pack?
Centcomm 6th Oct 2015, 9:56 PM edit delete reply

Thank you! - its actually a combination of little bits and a "litter" plane i added to the floor - im glad the effect worked :D
Dragonrider 6th Oct 2015, 10:00 PM edit delete reply

OK Mama Bear just pissed off a Cassion with a death wish, doubt Nox is finished but is disabled. Maybe Democlus will get in another bash and knock her loose from him and her staff.

May the First Circuit have mercy on Nox because Dolly sure as hell won't.
Centcomm 7th Oct 2015, 8:23 PM edit delete reply

Truer words have not been spoken. Dolly well knows that a Cassian is a deadly piece of work.
mjkj 6th Oct 2015, 10:29 PM edit delete reply

...Dolly did that for you, Nox, - it seems...

Yup, @alt text. So true...

Sheela 7th Oct 2015, 4:33 AM edit delete reply

I kinda feel sorry for ALL the cassians.
They get a really raw deal, when their ruler is insane.
Stormwind13 7th Oct 2015, 6:06 AM edit delete reply

True Sheela, they have a truly RAW deal. Someone needs to fix that.
Sheela 7th Oct 2015, 8:54 AM edit delete reply

Paging Dr Silver, Paging Dr Silver.

We have a "Free Will" emergency in Nova Roma.
Please feel free to fix this.
Tango Xray Actual 6th Oct 2015, 11:57 PM edit delete reply
Nice Save and great dialogue... Once again the lighting effects in the artwork are excellent!

However.... who says a war/assassin-droid's 'brain' has to be in the head?? Mightn't inside an armored thorax be a better choice....
Tango Xray Actual 7th Oct 2015, 12:10 AM edit delete reply
The ReBoot pages are seriously good all round!! WOOT
Sheela 7th Oct 2015, 4:32 AM edit delete reply

I think it has been mentioned that their brains are indeed in the head, after all, the skull is easy to armor, since it doesn't have to be flexible.

And yeah, the reboot pages are fantastic!
Stormwind13 7th Oct 2015, 5:22 AM edit delete reply

Agreed Tango.

Go enjoy the reboot pages if you haven't already!
Centcomm 7th Oct 2015, 7:28 AM edit delete reply

yay .. wait till you see the next bunch! :D

and yes almost ALL androids the brain is in the head - this is just how the tech evolved. Bots and Mechs are not the same generally.
Rashala 7th Oct 2015, 1:28 AM edit delete reply

standard hostile territory rescue op proceedure

when in doubt, neutralize potential threats to the primary's recover
with maximumn force to ensure they are neutralized, and not a potential threat later during extraction

ie when in doubt in hostile territory. shoot to kill first and second
the mission is priority
anonymous coward 7th Oct 2015, 4:02 PM edit delete reply
Lurker 7th Oct 2015, 11:09 PM edit delete reply
Not sure what you mean by referencing the Geneva Convention. HOWEVER, hostile territory rescue operations tend to be quite lax on their concern. Why? Because their lives (and their mission) can be jeopardized by a single civilian making a phone call. (In fact, a US team in Iraq was compromised by a twelve-year-old shepherd boy that they did not kill.) Furthermore, spies pretty much ignore the GC, so if you have a spy doing the op, it doesn't matter. Finally, part of GC IV states that if a party has NOT signed the convention, that they party's non-combatants don't get treated nicely. Lots of folks ignore that part when criticizing anti-terror operations.
anonymous coward 8th Oct 2015, 1:06 AM edit delete reply
"The four 1949 Conventions have been ratified by 196 states, including all UN member states, both UN observers the Holy See and the State of Palestine, as well as the Cook Islands."
The Geneva Conventions are a standard of conduct in combat--in and out of declared war--which says (amongst other things) no violence against civilians, or enemy soldiers prevented from fighting. It's a little disingenuous to say that it only applies to signatory nations because that list includes North Korea, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria and Afghanistan. Accordingly, the declared S.O.P. of S&R in 'hostile territory' described above is murderous--perhaps genocidal even--according to well-established international legal norms. I'm not sure how else to interpret the above directions to kill people without clear necessity for self-defense or achieving legitimate military aims.
Lukkai 8th Oct 2015, 6:03 AM edit delete reply

Nevertheless it does not apply in this comic's situation. Since Nox is (or was) clearly an enemy combatant, quite able and willing to fight and (unintentional as it was) blocking their way. Which makes her a fully viable target.
Centcomm 8th Oct 2015, 7:11 AM edit delete reply

Like CHK said .. the Geneva conventions were tossed a long time ago. even before America fell and AM-COM took its place.
chk 8th Oct 2015, 6:54 AM edit delete reply

When the AIS took over mankind's weapons, ELEVEN CENTURIES after the Geneva Conventions were adopted, none of the signatory states even existed.

I don't think it's an issue.
Rashala 8th Oct 2015, 11:01 AM edit delete reply

also in this case she sure as heck ain't a unarmed civi now is she
anonymous coward 8th Oct 2015, 1:39 PM edit delete reply
Nox is an identified Cassian, armed and in the act of violating the fourth convention herself, that's not at issue. What's at issue is that your instructions would direct Dolly to then kill Democlus as well. Democlus is an enemy soldier who may retain knowledge and awareness of the movements, numbers, appearance and equipment of Dolly and Ceci after they've passed, which is a potential threat to their safety and the success of their mission. According to a literal reading of your instructions, that means that the doubt requires Dolly to err on the side of committing a warcrime and executing Democlus.
"when in doubt, neutralize potential threats to the primary's recover
with maximumn force to ensure they are neutralized, and not a potential threat later during extraction"
Stever 7th Oct 2015, 5:44 AM edit delete reply

Oh, dear. They're going to have to scrape him off the ground with a spatula.
Cal 7th Oct 2015, 6:07 AM edit delete reply
The Cavalry has arrived!!!

*exhales a breath he didn't realize he'd been holding*
CptKerion 7th Oct 2015, 7:37 PM edit delete reply
I exhaled a similar breath.
Centcomm 7th Oct 2015, 8:24 PM edit delete reply

hehe glad I could oblige :D
Cal 8th Oct 2015, 7:11 AM edit delete reply
Between you and Rose, Cent, you two have a very good flair for storytelling. The visuals are fantastic, of course, but for me at least, it all boils down to the tale, and you guys have me hooked.
chk 7th Oct 2015, 6:45 AM edit delete reply

Well, I'll be damned.
Sheela 7th Oct 2015, 8:55 AM edit delete reply

But only Slightly Damned!
Wolfsbane 7th Oct 2015, 2:20 PM edit delete reply

Like Phil, the Prince of Heck?
Lukkai 7th Oct 2015, 4:19 PM edit delete reply

As long as you're not changing into a bunny...
Sheela 7th Oct 2015, 6:36 PM edit delete reply

.. a bunny with a folding knife and a bad temper ?
Wolfsbane 8th Oct 2015, 2:31 AM edit delete reply

You mean like Boingo here?
Lukkai 8th Oct 2015, 6:04 AM edit delete reply

An angelic one actually. With a brother that turns into a dog.

(Is it bad that I read both of those comics?)
chk 8th Oct 2015, 8:22 AM edit delete reply

Uhhhhhh . . . . OK?
Centcomm 7th Oct 2015, 8:24 PM edit delete reply

hehe :D
DizzasterJuice 7th Oct 2015, 6:58 AM edit delete reply

I have to know how you did the effects in that last panel. Friggin way cool looking.
Centcomm 7th Oct 2015, 7:27 AM edit delete reply

the "Burst" is a 2d plane, the beam is a cylinder prop and a ball effect from Orestes Electromancy both are recolored and re-textured and then a " ocean ripple " filter applied to the beam - A linear Point light was added near her neck with full ray trace. and viola BANG!
KarToon12 7th Oct 2015, 7:45 AM edit delete reply

Looks like more than a few people are out of their minds today...literally. XD
Centcomm 7th Oct 2015, 8:24 PM edit delete reply

Yep seems that way indeed.
Hans 7th Oct 2015, 1:20 PM edit delete reply
Would be interesting if her vital organs (brain) are not located in her head. But Dolly's shot destroyed the inhibitor.
Can we hypothesize how Nox would have reacted in that case? Not longer bound to her unworty masters commands?
Tango Xray Actual 7th Oct 2015, 5:30 PM edit delete reply
Interesting thought about the inhibitor....

NOX walking around fighting for the Princess and herself with her head tucked under her arm (buetooth connection ;) )....
Sheela 7th Oct 2015, 6:38 PM edit delete reply

Well, if the inhibitor gets destroyed, but the brain survives, then yes, she would finally have free will.
Unfortunately, she would also be paralyzed form the neck down until she was repaired, as the inhibitor is part of the DAS that connects her bodys nervesystem with the brain .. hence why an inhibitor can take over motoric function of the body.
Lukkai 8th Oct 2015, 6:05 AM edit delete reply

Slight addendum: In the case of Nox, I wouldn't call it "unfortunately"!
Centcomm 7th Oct 2015, 8:25 PM edit delete reply

The inhibitor is linked to the Maccs the equivalent of the brain stem in a Human.

Yes Sheela you have it pretty much correct .. I see you have read Androids 101 :D
Sheela 8th Oct 2015, 2:17 PM edit delete reply

Well, yes, I have ... though it has been a whlie since I did so.
DLKmusic 7th Oct 2015, 4:51 PM edit delete reply

If Democlus does walk away from this (which I hope he does)... His entire paradigm has been turned upside down by this revelation. he's got a lot to think about.

anonymous coward 7th Oct 2015, 8:01 PM edit delete reply
Has it? Decimus is not particularly popular, to say the least. Just about the only thing he's learned is that he is not skilled enough at fighting combat droids to match a Cassian equipped for hand-to-hand. Nox shouldn't measure up favourably against a Cassian using appropriate ranged weaponry either, as long as we continue making more useful innovations in ranged weaponry than hand-to-hand weaponry in the future.
Centcomm 7th Oct 2015, 8:26 PM edit delete reply


also AC do you mean Democlus? or Decimus?
anonymous coward 8th Oct 2015, 1:18 AM edit delete reply
The subject is someone learning something, obviously we're not talking about Caligula II here. :)
I can see how what I typed was confusing though: I was dividing the possible lessons into learning about the minds and views of the Cassians and about the combat capabilities of the Cassians. It shouldn't be too surprising that even Cassians aren't too happy about following Decimus' orders since they seem to have human-scale intelligence. It also shouldn't be too surprising that someone who hasn't drilled against combat droids comparable to the Cassians may be surprised by one. Maybe there's something else there, but I'm just not seeing what would overturn Democlus' world-view.
DLKmusic 8th Oct 2015, 11:33 AM edit delete reply

I was referring to the epiphany that Democlus would/should/could have after hearing Nox tell him the she wished he could have killed her, AC.
anonymous coward 8th Oct 2015, 1:25 PM edit delete reply
I understood that much, but I'm not sure where the surprise is in one of them being suicidal when one considers the Cassians' existence. For Democlus to be surprised by that he'd either have to be unfamiliar with Decimus' rule and belief androids are sub-human, underestimated the intelligence and capacity for independent thought among intelligent androids, or failed to connect the dots.
Songgu Kwon 7th Oct 2015, 7:27 PM edit delete reply

Ooh, that weapon was not set on stun! :p
Centcomm 7th Oct 2015, 8:26 PM edit delete reply

Nope Dolly is doing the " shoot to kill " part of the song.
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