Comic 1266 - The Glory Of The Throne

12th Nov 2015, 9:00 PM
The Glory Of The Throne
Average Rating: 5 (24 votes)
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Stormwind13 12th Nov 2015, 9:18 PM edit delete reply

Wow. Noctis aiding Maxus to remove Douchimus... His position gets WORSE (which I didn't think was possible).

Good call Visvires. Douchimus does seem to have ordered his own demise.
jamie59 12th Nov 2015, 9:26 PM edit delete reply

Let me guess she can circumvent the contingencies.
Dragonrider 12th Nov 2015, 10:18 PM edit delete reply

She has the knowledge but is blocked from the technology by Veronica Silver. She can give Max the information for him to send to Veronica to allow her to initiate the shut down.
Tokyo Rose 13th Nov 2015, 1:09 AM edit delete reply

Decimus is the only one who can shut down the contingencies.
xpacetrue 13th Nov 2015, 5:34 AM edit delete reply

" Decimus is the only one who can shut down the contingencies. "

I find it a bit difficult to believe that it is quite impossible for any person or group of people to circumvent the contingencies, no matter their genius or natural abilities. How can any machine, doomsday or not, be that perfect? A massively complex failsafe that has absolutely zero weakness or fault? Something dreamed up by the insane Prince, no less? Humans are imperfect and I thought most machines crafted my man are imperfect to some degree, if you look at them close enough.

The effectiveness of encryption is largely limited by the genius of the system (and those trying to crack it) and the speed/power of the computer or network trying to decode it, right? If something is considered hacker-proof today, someone will eventually find a way around it. The thing about technology is that it is always progressing. Before you know it, something becomes obsolete.

If nothing else, I would imagine a technomancer like Dr. Silver (or someone even more powerful) would have at least a chance. For that matter, what is the sum-total computing power of a god-machine like Aeneas, if all available resources are devoted to solving a singular problem?

Oh, wait, that was "shut down"... I see.
Tokyo Rose 13th Nov 2015, 3:33 PM edit delete reply


Let me clarify: Decimus is the only one with the proper codes, access, and so on to shut down the contingencies via what one might consider "normal" channels. No one else possesses the knowledge to do so. This doesn't mean the system is utterly unhackable/foolproof, but rather that it's got very tight security and the access codes are not written on a Post-It note stuck to the Prince's bathroom mirror, or something of that nature. :)
Timotheus 13th Nov 2015, 9:39 PM edit delete reply

From what we know of his lowness, wouldn't the access code be something like, "1-2-3-4"?
Haegan2005 14th Nov 2015, 1:52 AM edit delete reply

It's the ides of march.. epic foreshadowing!
Tango Xray Actual 14th Nov 2015, 12:48 AM edit delete reply
"Decimus is the only one who can shut down the contingencies."

I do not see why people seem to have such a problem with this as a plot dynamic, the Ladies aren't without firm real life historical and psychological precedent for it. For instance in the last century alone....

Mao screwed up and damned near destroyed China's entire economy and killed as many as 35-45 million people with the Great Leap Forward alone, and was being "eased" out by the Party. Not willing to give up the 12 and 14-years-olds of his private 'opera troupe,' and other perks or possibly face the wrath usually reserved for a deposed revolutionary leaders, he gave his 'Notification' of 16 May ('66) which lead to the Red Guard and the unleashing of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution later that year (the 16 Points and a bit later the 'Four Olds'). Over 36 million additional people suffered persecution, beating, torture, imprisonment, internal exile, labor camps (all the usual things that can't happen in a proletarian paradise), etc, with between 750k to 1.5M known dead and about the same number permanently disabled. All orchestrated so the old revanchist could reconsolidate an iron grasp on power from his more 'liberal' political adversaries.

There's also Hitler, who took Germany down with him rather than negotiate, seeing the total annihilation of the German people and the laying to waste of Germany itself as a totally appropriate punishment for failing to fulfill his dreams.

Given Dec's megalomania and extreme narcissism, I can easily see him implementing an 'If I can't rule the world, nobody ever will' doomsday system to turn everything in it into his very own pretty funeral pyre. After all, it's only appropriate that no one should live after his glorious reign. He will decently spare them having to suffer the grief of his passage from the world.

As for why would people follow such orders? Well, consider what it is to live under an despotic regime where the psychopath-in-chief makes the rules as he goes, maybe not purely Lex Rex (King's Word is Law) but close enough.

First there are the true believers... usually about 10-15% (or more) of a given population - e.g. the SS or the Red Guards Cohorts. The WILL OBEY and will kill or otherwise terrorize the rest of the population into carrying out orders no matter how logically whacked or (self)destructive! Remember, even as Germany fell and teens and children fought on the front lines, major military reserves and assets including fuel, POLs, spare parts and ammunition, etc., were diverted from defense of the Fatherland to the SS-TV to keep the trains flowing to the camps and keep the camps working 24/7 even as the Allies closed in from the East and the West. One of the first results of the news of Hitler's death was a wave of suicides, both civilian and military, across Germany.

As for the rest, lots of folks have followed very crazy orders from innumerable dictators since the dawn of time and do so to this day (sometimes in the hopes of living 'just one more day'). Ask the North Koreans.

Dictators cannot stay in place without a WHOLE LOT OF HELP from underlings and other folks, most of whom have a very vested interest in preserving the rule of said dictator and the system which keeps him/her in place; even without something like Dec's Doomsday Device.
HiFranc 14th Nov 2015, 3:16 AM edit delete reply

Reading the debate, the posts you seem to be replying to don't seem to have any issue with the psychology of it, the problem is the technology. Now that I think of it, they might have a point.

1) The system can't be totally isolated otherwise:
a) It won't be able to do what it's programmed to do and
b) I don't see Decimus accepting a system that he needs to visit to enter his codes. After all what if he needs to enter the codes close in time to showing his population how brilliant he is?
2) Due to the isolation, New Rome is technologically backwards.
3) Both Ceci and Dr Silver's drones took seconds or less to hack into New Rome's systems (including military ones in the case of the drones).
4) Tokyo Rose has had agents in New Rome for years. That's a lot of time to work on the problem.

Then we have the real life examples:

1) Bletchley Park was able to crack both the Enigma and Lorenz cyphers (the German's thought them uncrackable) and cracked those of other countries.
2) Recently, a security expert said somthing to the effect of:
There are two types of businesses: Those who have been hacked and those who don't know that they've been hacked.

So the question isn't "Why would Decimus do that?" It's "How come none of his enemies have been able to disable them yet?"
Dragonrider 13th Nov 2015, 11:38 AM edit delete reply

In the words of the brilliant, I forget who, OH KRAP!!!
Pirtnac 13th Nov 2015, 1:18 PM edit delete reply
Can't they just replace everyone in the palace with actors?

Acantha can go live anywhere other than the Palace (which she is on track for doing anyway), we let our little tyrant think he killed Maxus because he'll be busy running the city and doesn't have time to deal with him. The attack on the palace can be blamed on New Troy, and while it will give Centcom a headache to pretend she can't instantly crush him she can probably simulate an entire campaign's worth of details to flood him with.

Then once the Prince's murder machine has been switched off we replace the door to his room with prison bars while he sleeps. Mission accomplished.

Also, random: If Acantha wants to go to school with Lynn, she'll need a badass bodyguard that can also pass for a 17 year old girl. Who wants to tell TeeDee? I'm sure she'll love it...
Stormwind13 13th Nov 2015, 2:49 PM edit delete reply

Only one problem, Pirtnac. TeeDee does NOT want to appear small and harmless. She wants a set of what Maxus is wearing. In a larger size (more weapon capacity, since she is smaller than he is). :-D
Hornet 13th Nov 2015, 7:41 PM edit delete reply
Actually I don't think she would want it, or not without being updated with New Troy toys and given a noticeable movement and agility upgrade. That is some clunky '80 style cartoon armor.
Haegan2005 12th Nov 2015, 9:35 PM edit delete reply

This can get ... interesting.

Outlaw 12th Nov 2015, 9:51 PM edit delete reply

just caught back up.
As usual, awesome art and story! Keep it up, my friend.
ProfEtheric 12th Nov 2015, 9:55 PM edit delete reply

YES! The snowball slowly grows as it rolls down the hill...
The Old Scribe 12th Nov 2015, 10:33 PM edit delete reply

I figured as much when Noctis received her 'escape clause' in her carefully constructed 'orders' from Prince Douchebag. Between his paranoia and his ego, he was as easy to manipulate as modeling clay and she did it to perfection. She's not being disingenuous and I think she can be trusted. Maxus does too. Now all that remains is to deactivate the Doomsday Machines and hang Douchebag by his nuts from a flagpole.
plymayer 12th Nov 2015, 10:36 PM edit delete reply

Seems to good to be true. Still not sure I'd trust her.
HiFranc 13th Nov 2015, 12:21 AM edit delete reply

Given her conversations earlier with Malati, and Dolly and Ceci, I think that we can. After all New Rome is likely to fall if Decimus remains in charge.
DLKmusic 13th Nov 2015, 2:24 AM edit delete reply

Trust her to do what? Her primary motive is to preserve the cassians, what is left of them. This is the most intelligent route for doing so.
velvetsanity 14th Nov 2015, 9:12 AM edit delete reply

No, preserving the Cassians is secondary to preserving Roma...
Mark_L_A 12th Nov 2015, 11:56 PM edit delete reply

Well. I surely didn't see THAT coming.
mjkj 13th Nov 2015, 1:06 AM edit delete reply

Yayyy, you go, Noctis!!!

You rock!

It is a pity that Malati is already gone...
cattservant 13th Nov 2015, 2:15 AM edit delete reply

Negotiations phase two.
DLKmusic 13th Nov 2015, 2:26 AM edit delete reply

hmmm... I suppose surrender and cooberation with the enemy could be considered negotiations, lol...
mjkj 13th Nov 2015, 2:44 AM edit delete reply

He is not an enemy, he is the head of military command (her own country's military after all...)
Stormwind13 13th Nov 2015, 12:09 PM edit delete reply

Who was determined to be an enemy of the state by Douchimus, mjkj. Maxus is an enemy of Douchimus' ego and stupidity, not Nova Roma though.
shpenat 13th Nov 2015, 2:55 AM edit delete reply
Is Malati actually alive? On the previous panel her eyes were clearly wide open. On this panel her eyes are shut. Does it mean she just injured herself so she cannot move, but is still reparable?
Matt Knab 13th Nov 2015, 3:09 AM edit delete reply

I approve this theory!
cattservant 13th Nov 2015, 5:18 AM edit delete reply

"Sleep well", she said.
Mark_L_A 13th Nov 2015, 5:15 AM edit delete reply

Or Noctis could have closed them to give peace to her sister.
Wolfsbane 13th Nov 2015, 6:57 AM edit delete reply

As much as we all hate to say it out loud, Malati is gone, regardless of what she looks like on the screen. She's passed on, rests in peace, pushing up the daisies. Her digital metabolic processes are now history. Off the twig, kicked the bucket, shuffled off the mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the choir invisible.

This is an EX-Cassian.
Visvires 14th Nov 2015, 10:12 AM edit delete reply

But there's a guy in Bolton that can fix her. Or was it Ipswitch?
Wolfsbane 14th Nov 2015, 3:45 PM edit delete reply

Neither, it's a pun.
JackOfClubs 13th Nov 2015, 11:47 AM edit delete reply

Noctis had her hand on Malatti's face in the second panel of the previous strip. Kind of hard to tell, because it is just a white blob between the bright red of Malatti's blade and the deeper red of the background, but I'm pretty sure Noctis is closing her eyes in that scene.
Tokyo Rose 13th Nov 2015, 3:35 PM edit delete reply

Mark_L_A and JackOfClubs are right; Noctis closed Malati's eyes in the previous page.
Tango Xray Actual 14th Nov 2015, 12:54 AM edit delete reply
Deader'n Apple DOS 3.0
sigpig 13th Nov 2015, 6:38 AM edit delete reply

THIS is why I have always loved Noctis. Aside from her appearance, of course... lol

Speaking of which, the whole "hands behind your head" thing definitely adds a certain, "je ne sais quoi" to her frame...

EDIT: I forgot to mention that I absolutely love the detailing on Noctis' sword. Is it just me, or does it look semi-transparent? The reflections on the blade are really impressive...
Hydrargyrum 13th Nov 2015, 6:56 PM edit delete reply

The camera angle and framing are great too. Lots of storytelling in one panel.
Stever 13th Nov 2015, 7:42 AM edit delete reply

Looks like she may be safe, for now...
Rashala 13th Nov 2015, 8:10 AM edit delete reply

Rashy have baaaaaaad feeling bout this
chk 13th Nov 2015, 9:40 AM edit delete reply

I thought that was what she had in mind.
Tango Xray Actual 14th Nov 2015, 12:55 AM edit delete reply
Great page Ladies, but a truly exquisite first panel!!!
Tango Xray Actual 14th Nov 2015, 1:10 AM edit delete reply
ps. Any word on Benjamin?
Tokyo Rose 14th Nov 2015, 3:43 PM edit delete reply

Ben is doing okay at this time; he hasn't even needed more than a couple doses of the new pain medication. His appointment with the oncologist is coming up on Wednesday. Thanks for asking. :)
Boren 14th Nov 2015, 6:13 PM edit delete reply

I want that suit as a power armor in FO4
mjkj 15th Nov 2015, 12:19 PM edit delete reply

Oh, by the way, Maxus' speech bubbles almost look like TokyoRose's... O_O
CptKerion 15th Nov 2015, 4:48 PM edit delete reply
Less solid the border is. Honestly, it captures the sense of it being broadcast through a mic-speaker system on power armor.
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