Comic 1302 - More Answers

26th Jan 2016, 9:00 PM
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Average Rating: 5 (21 votes)
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Dragonrider 26th Jan 2016, 9:04 PM edit delete reply

WHY do I NOT believe what Ceci just said?
Centcomm 26th Jan 2016, 9:32 PM edit delete reply

Hehe...
Dragonrider 26th Jan 2016, 10:09 PM edit delete reply

I still wanna know how Douchebaggus Giganticus knew exactly when, where and what course Lynn would be flying on. That information was on a need to know basis and the Livius family was NOT on that list. Centcomm would not have leaked it, Big Blue has not offered any help or support to either side, the Aliens have no dog in the fight,Luna doesn't either they could take over Nova Roma with ease if they wanted to. This still leaves only ONE entity with knowledge, means, reason and ability to leak that info to Prince Idiot, from behind Door Number 3 please step forward our Asian Spy Mistress. All denials by AIS sub routines and programs aside the facts are there.
Centcomm 26th Jan 2016, 10:21 PM edit delete reply

Answers are forthcoming I promise
Pirtnac 27th Jan 2016, 12:16 AM edit delete reply
She has pointedly avoided answering certain questions in absolutes, like when Dolly asked if they had ANYTHING to do with the (extremely convenient) kidnapping, they said the plan was Decimus. That is a very far distance from "no." Considering if you listened to Decimus long enough he'd probably say he was intent on doing damn near anything, it's pretty much a non-answer.

Also this leads me to believe there are at least tensions between the different AIS on earth. Rose & company know Aeneas is active and repairable, Centcom is in a position to feign ignorance / be actually unaware. That means Rose didn't share. Neither did Centcom, or else she may have been corrected. In fact, this is sound like the first information exchange the two have had in some time... and it's by accident.

Now I want to know what relations the different AIS have with each other. If we consider them a species they've got very few members, so the status of one of them should be Very Big News.
That one guy 26th Jan 2016, 9:33 PM edit delete reply
Could go either way.

All we know for certain is that she cares about getting to Aeneas core more than Lynn & Dolly at this point. We don't know if she's aiming to help or harm.

I think help makes a lot of sense, as Aeneas seems best suited to completely purging New Rome of any trace of Taylor DNA that might be used in any way to unlock the old weapons.

Well, help if possible and cooperating and complete and utter destruction if appearing to go mad.

Harm is certainly possible too, but seeing how CentComm doesn't seem to want to wipe New Rome off the map completely with the old weapons, I'm seeing intent of harm to a functional Aeneas as less likely motive.
anonymous coward 26th Jan 2016, 10:22 PM edit delete reply
You don't believe that Ceci is telling the truth because you instead believe it is likely that the AIs of the different, non-allied states are not a community.

Also, all the Nova Roma operatives had to do to track down Lynn's movements was to hire two P.I.s to look into Lynn's private life in both New Troy and New Sparta. That and a small radar deployment outside of the New Troy perimeter is all they needed once they knew that Lynn would likely be making civilian travels to New Sparta. It's just not that hard to analyze someone's life patterns if you're willing to do the work of sorting through their publicly available information and hire a few private investigators to stalk them.
Centcomm 26th Jan 2016, 10:24 PM edit delete reply

True
Dragonrider 26th Jan 2016, 11:03 PM edit delete reply

@anonymous coward:
The AI's have shown NO indication they are a community, if they were Centcomm or Calliope Taylor would have reached out to them as soon as Lynn was kidnapped.

I find the PI theory highly unlikely as the transmitter, radar would have lit up New Troy defenses when they were used.
DLKmusic 26th Jan 2016, 11:20 PM edit delete reply

I don't buy "PI with Radar" either, Dragonrider. But I do find it far more likely that a couple of Nova Roma spies in New Troy (Kali had mentioned that there were several) were able to gather the information.

One spy monitoring internet traffic between Kyle and Lynn, neither of whom kept the visit particularly secret, and a second spy that is within the Traffic Control system (either monitoring it or actually working as an employee) should have been able to get the flight plan back to Nova Roma without any notice.

All this information was done on "Public Channels". Counter Espionage is only helpful if it knows what to look for.

I would like to add a little weight to my hypothosis by mentioning that Prince Decimus DID know who Kyle was.
Lukkai 26th Jan 2016, 11:23 PM edit delete reply

I think you missed the "outside the New Troy perimeter" in his comment.

And I agree with him. The Taylors had good security. But they were not completely enclosing themselves, hiding any and all information about them as secrets of the state. Even less so in New Sparta.
So it would not take all that much to find out Lynn was flying that day and where she was flying. The number of possible routes, from what we know, being very limited. It might even be possible to smuggle a tracking device onto her craft that only activates after receiving a certain code. It would be pretty hard to detect that thing in time.

Now I'm not ruling out interference by our dear Specialist. Just saying that it might just as well have gone down without.
anonymous coward 26th Jan 2016, 11:23 PM edit delete reply
If they're busy trying to prevent the sort of empire building that leads to full scale warfare I suspect the AIs would be a community dedicated to keeping the most excitable of their local humans from creating big messy wars, or following ambitions that lead to those wars. If nothing else only the other AIs have similar scale of existence and length of history to each other, to be genuinely peers capable of having discussions on the level.

Also, the radar deployment guess is the weakest and least certain part of that theory but it isn't that weak. Why would Centcomm notice if they set up a hundred or more klicks outside their patrol perimeter? Centcomm doesn't watch all of the continent all the time.
It doesn't have to be radar though, to track down Lynn they just had to find the right car somehow. If they knew exactly what vehicle they were looking for (because the P.I.s told them) they only needed a guy with binoculars in the right place watching the right part of the sky at the right time. My first guess was personnel-free detector deployments, but it could have instead been one (or more) of many different possibilities for watchers/listeners sprinkled along the route paths between New Troy and New Sparta.
Mark_L_A 27th Jan 2016, 1:23 PM edit delete reply

There is also the possibility of others like Dr Silver being jealous of Calliope who would be willing to negatively gossip or to pass information thinking that anything that might take the Taylors down might help raise their own social prominence

Plus any building near the Taylor tower that over looked the "Garage" area could have been utilized to see the comings and goings, and sending an alert
That one guy 27th Jan 2016, 3:49 PM edit delete reply
Deep Blue seemed to know about the whole thing when Kyle questioned it. Since we're not really sure where in the world an AIS may be existing past the four we've seen in-story, it's hard to say what percentage of the community that is.
jamie59 26th Jan 2016, 9:10 PM edit delete reply

Is Lynn remembering a certain Biomovie she watched a wile back?
Centcomm 26th Jan 2016, 9:32 PM edit delete reply

Mayyybe ....
anonymous coward 26th Jan 2016, 10:32 PM edit delete reply
Lots and lots of bright stuff in the fourth panel! I am curious about the lighting and content choices there (what are those glowu green things?) but I know I'm not a specialist in 3D render composition who has the full background to understand a full explanation.

Figuratively, where is the other shoe, will it drop, and when will it drop if it does? My story analysis skills keep hinting at me that we've still got a fair number of crises and complications left to go still, and that we're probably pretty close to due.
Sheela 27th Jan 2016, 5:13 AM edit delete reply

Hollywood computers always glow in interesting patterns, they also explode if they download too fast - This is common knowledge!

As for the other shoe, some say it might have been buried in the backyard by a doggy!
mjkj 27th Jan 2016, 1:34 PM edit delete reply

Oh, you mean next to the big can of tuna? :)
Wolfsbane 27th Jan 2016, 3:00 PM edit delete reply

more like an *empty* can of tuna...
Haegan2005 27th Jan 2016, 6:53 PM edit delete reply

And next to my slippers?
Sheela 27th Jan 2016, 9:23 PM edit delete reply


... I plead the fifth !
Haegan2005 27th Jan 2016, 10:24 PM edit delete reply

The fifth slipper? Ahah! Caught!
DLKmusic 26th Jan 2016, 11:12 PM edit delete reply

I remember something Cent-Comm actual said way back when: "I hope that when the discover what I really have planned, that they will be able to forgive me."

I'm having a hard time believing that CeCi's hidden commands are all sweetness and light here...
Lukkai 26th Jan 2016, 11:31 PM edit delete reply

Right now I'm worrying not just about what that hidden objective in Ceci's programming might be.

But also how TR will react to her pursuing it. We might just get an erased, empty shell there.
anonymous coward 26th Jan 2016, 11:34 PM edit delete reply
Oh, well, if you want plausible guesses for ways Ceci's involvement could be severely fucked up, there are options. One way to keep the Taylor legacy from being a problem is to sabotage the Nova Roma AI and its associated stores of nightmare weapons. Sending in operatives to kill off all the possibilities of Decimus unlocking the closest vaults, and keeping sufficient explosives close by to atomize Lynn Taylor if it looks like she can't be rescued... would be a pretty good way to keep the ambitions of the nutjob-in-chief from getting out of hand.
Sheela 27th Jan 2016, 5:15 AM edit delete reply

I'm thinking that Centcomm is the one that helped facilitate Lynns abduction, so she could invade New Rome, with her drone army.

... then Dolly happened, and it all went pear shaped.
Centcomm 27th Jan 2016, 2:26 PM edit delete reply

I can safely say that it was not centcomm
Sheela 27th Jan 2016, 9:24 PM edit delete reply

Dolly still happened though.
Stormwind13 28th Jan 2016, 12:14 PM edit delete reply

I'm thinking that was for her complete and utter screwing around with Dolly's mission, DLK. CentComm knew that Calliope would NOT be happy with her interference. Dolly would be BEYOND unhappy. CentComm knew she would have to recover Lynn if she hoped to keep them from locking her down HARD! But the mission was more important than their 'feelings'.
velvetsanity 26th Jan 2016, 11:16 PM edit delete reply

Don't give Ceci anything even remotely hinting at vaguely resembling access to Aeneas until she goes back to calling Dolly 'Mommy' :P
Stormwind13 28th Jan 2016, 2:59 PM edit delete reply

Seconded, velvet. In Black Angel mode, too many unknowns for me to want CeCi with that kind of access.

I don't think CeCi could be here to supplement Aeneas though. As far as CentComm knew, Aeneas was 'destroyed' or so heavily damaged to be effectively destroyed. If the hardware isn't there then how would you put in your AI template to take it over? :-)
cattservant 26th Jan 2016, 11:20 PM edit delete reply

Someone hasn't quite got the 'subtle programming' fully integrated yet.
Visvires 26th Jan 2016, 11:22 PM edit delete reply
Oh yeah, she'll totally help fix him. Then, when the security systems are uncontrolled as he comes to, there'll be an unfortunate accident, and Decimus will be a pile of ashes.
sigpig 27th Jan 2016, 11:50 AM edit delete reply

(Sheela, look away).
I wonder if Cici's method of "fixing" him would be to excise certain... impulsive idea centres... from Aeneas' virtual anatomy...
Sheela 27th Jan 2016, 9:25 PM edit delete reply

Well, she is a pleasure model.
Book O Dragons 28th Jan 2016, 11:34 AM edit delete reply
So is centcomm
Timotheus 26th Jan 2016, 11:38 PM edit delete reply

I would like to point out that not everyone in New Troy and New Sparta are totally happy with the happy sunshine total equality of sentients status quo. We've met a couple. And large sums of cash in the right places can speak volumes. Centcom doesn't have all those White Angles, Security Forces, Police, ID cards, check points, etc. just for grins.
Also, considering the high degree of professionalism and security shown by both New Troy's and Nova Roma's Receiving Terminal Facilities can we truely expect their DMVs to be any more secure?
mjkj 27th Jan 2016, 12:47 AM edit delete reply

Hmmm, what happened? Where did our CeCi go? and that demeanor does not fit her - there is something off here...

Where does Lynn know the Specialist from?

HiFranc 27th Jan 2016, 1:11 AM edit delete reply

She knows her from the video about Galina's life.
DLKmusic 27th Jan 2016, 1:46 AM edit delete reply

@HiFrank Good call! I didn't even think of that!
Stormwind13 28th Jan 2016, 3:01 PM edit delete reply

Yeah, I think jamie mentioned that up near the top of the page too. Lynn apparently saw that movie a year or so ago. Recent enough it isn't implausible that she could connect the dots. :-)
TheSkulker 27th Jan 2016, 2:39 AM edit delete reply

A little late to the party but there are a few things still left unsaid:

1-Dolly should have a good idea of Kyle's personality but just in case she should be made aware that he was hell bent on going to Nova Roma and had a zero or less chance of succeeding or surviving. The "great deal of mental trauma" can be laid squarely on Kyle's misguided hero complex. Rather than "endangering a teenaged boy", the Asian contingent created the possibility of his survival. Can't fault them for trying to take advantage of the opportunity to make use of his skills.

2-If Cent-Comm truly believed that Aeneas was destroyed or had total loss of faculties why did she provide Ceci with "certain command codes"? As we have heard over and over, there was not a lot of spare capacity or transfer time in Ceci's creation and initialization. A bit suspicious, to say the least.

3-Given the non-refuted observations regarding non-sharing of info among the AIs, why in hell would TR and Kagami even consider allowing Ceci access to a most vulnerable and delicate operation. "Given the stakes" the risks are too high. They know almost nothing about Ceci - only that she is associated with Dolly and New Troy, and that she is highly weaponized. In light of TR's brilliant mind and strategic planning skills, I would be very disappointed (and think it out of character) if TR gave Ceci access.

One possibility is to test Ceci's motives and cooperation: ask her for the "certain command codes". If Ceci is willing to give them up and TR can verify their validity and usefulness, then maybe limited with oversight access.
Evervigilant 27th Jan 2016, 3:37 AM edit delete reply
My own opinion of TR from all the past story is that she playes chess, not just a few moves ahead but several games ahead. You just aren't going to outsmart her. She may be surprised from time and random luck obviously can play a part from to time about minor things but even her saving Kyle shows she thinks of everything. I think if Ceci is allowed to connect it's all part of the plan.
sigpig 27th Jan 2016, 11:54 AM edit delete reply

Re: #2 - One theory to overcome this is that the implanted codes are part of EVERY Black Angel (or White Angel) that is produced by CC...
highlander55 27th Jan 2016, 6:35 PM edit delete reply

Has everyone forgot when Dolly entered her new body that Cent Com Actual wondered who helped Cali her with advanced and unknown tech?
Evervigilant 27th Jan 2016, 3:43 AM edit delete reply
Cent, and Rose have either of you read any of the Post Human books by David Simpson? I ask because I like the depth of thought that goes into your portrayal of artificial intelligence and how it is different. I see both in your comic and the books and wondered if you had read them. I stumbled upon them and thought you might enjoy them as well if you haven't. I'm a voracious reader of science fiction.
Centcomm 27th Jan 2016, 1:30 PM edit delete reply

I haven't read that series , I tend to try and avoid things so I don't accidentally steal from them
Matt Knab 27th Jan 2016, 3:55 AM edit delete reply

Oh man, plots within plots.
Centcomm 27th Jan 2016, 12:51 PM edit delete reply

That's the name of the game!
TheD-Wrek 27th Jan 2016, 5:53 AM edit delete reply

*hides under the covers.... but peeks out with one eye* -_o ; Ceci....
Stormwind13 27th Jan 2016, 6:15 AM edit delete reply

Yes? ::Coming from CeCi next to D-Wrek::
::Snikt::
}:-D~>
Stever 27th Jan 2016, 6:28 AM edit delete reply

I could probably use a few of those nano-swarms in my body right about now.
Centcomm 27th Jan 2016, 12:52 PM edit delete reply

You and me both...
Sheela 27th Jan 2016, 1:03 PM edit delete reply

Who couldn't ?

I swear, the youth is wasted on the youth ... give it to me!
Mark_L_A 27th Jan 2016, 1:31 PM edit delete reply

There would be a problem with eternal youth. If someone could expect to be young and healthy for a long time, what incentive would they have to actually grow up and mature? Or even settle down, get married and raise a family?
Lukkai 27th Jan 2016, 9:27 PM edit delete reply

I don't mind growing older. But I could live with my muscles and joints recovering from strain as fast as they did 15 years ago.
CptKerion 28th Jan 2016, 1:22 AM edit delete reply
I'm only about 20 and could do with some repairs. Problems with my right knee courtesy of old injury being the main concern on that front. My roommate jokes that I am secretly a 60 year old man when my weathervane knee is combined with my love of reading the paper in the morning, my preference toward my old stick-shift, and how I listen to National Public Radio a lot.
TheSkulker 28th Jan 2016, 2:00 AM edit delete reply

Mature? Laudable.
Family? Not so much.

Actually, if most everyone were to live for a very long time you do NOT want a lot of breeders.
Lukkai 28th Jan 2016, 10:05 AM edit delete reply

That's actually what always irks me somewhat in all these stories where an author just arbitrarily throws in a race "living to centuries of age" without any kind of explanation as to why they haven't bred to cover every single piece of ground twice over yet.
Even worse, when they make the race in question rather open to sexual adventures.
Centcomm 28th Jan 2016, 12:16 PM edit delete reply

My opinion longer lived = crap fertility / long period between fertile period
PriorKnowledge 27th Jan 2016, 1:49 PM edit delete reply
I notice sometimes CentComm or Tokyo Rose adds comments. Do I need to read all the comments to fully understand the story and plot, or can I ignore the comments and lose nothing?
Centcomm 27th Jan 2016, 2:29 PM edit delete reply

You can safely ignore comments or ask any questions. Sometimes we even answer them truthfully
Timotheus 27th Jan 2016, 2:34 PM edit delete reply

Understand, no. Appreciate, maybe. It's the ongoing revision/rewrite from the start that causes the most confusion.
Stormwind13 28th Jan 2016, 9:20 AM edit delete reply

You can totally ignore the comments and still enjoy the comic; however, I think you would be missing out. Part of my enjoyment is reading the comments. Sometimes one of the people behind the comic is clarifying something. Another time people are speculating on what led to current events or where events are going to lead. Sometimes it is the fact someone caught something I failed to or remembered something I forgot.

All which increases my enjoyment of the comic. Makes me think, which is a good thing.
CptKerion 28th Jan 2016, 1:12 AM edit delete reply
What this tells me is that standard antipersonal ripper type rounds will not work on people with that kind of organ protection.
Decimus would've had better luck with standard rounds.
Centcomm 28th Jan 2016, 7:22 AM edit delete reply

He would have still needed AP rounds to kill him >_<
Stormwind13 28th Jan 2016, 7:45 AM edit delete reply

Or AT rounds. Regular rounds might not have sprayed as much blood, but they wouldn't have gotten thru that armor any better.
Lukkai 28th Jan 2016, 10:10 AM edit delete reply

Fourth one in the head to make sure?
Centcomm 28th Jan 2016, 10:41 AM edit delete reply

That ..... would be a mess >_<
Tokyo Rose 28th Jan 2016, 3:12 PM edit delete reply

I coated his organs in future-kevlar; what makes you think I didn't armor his skull to protect the soft caramel center? >)
Centcomm 28th Jan 2016, 3:30 PM edit delete reply

Ok point... heavyset armored collage kid evar
Stormwind13 28th Jan 2016, 6:18 PM edit delete reply

Figured you had, Rose. Which is why I suggested an AT round. :-) When you absolutely have to kill a Kyle, nothing else will do!
Lukkai 1st Feb 2016, 5:48 PM edit delete reply

Well, we could still nuke him from orbit!
chk 28th Jan 2016, 3:25 PM edit delete reply

CALLING ALL READERS! The nomination phase for the 2016 Hugo Awards has opened.

I really think 'Luna Star' deserves to be nominated by as many members as possible.
Stormwind13 28th Jan 2016, 3:33 PM edit delete reply

I'm in! :-D
DLKmusic 28th Jan 2016, 6:32 PM edit delete reply

me as well
Steven-Vincent 28th Jan 2016, 3:48 PM edit delete reply

I find it interesting that in the last panel, the way the shadows fall on Ceci's face make her almost look... evil.
Stormwind13 28th Jan 2016, 4:13 PM edit delete reply

Hmmm... Sinister shadowing. :-)
chk 28th Jan 2016, 4:16 PM edit delete reply

I'm thinking that's no accident.
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