Comic 1303 - Help and Information

28th Jan 2016, 9:00 PM
Help and Information
Average Rating: 5 (21 votes)
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kitty 28th Jan 2016, 9:16 PM edit delete reply
If there's a rat-hole somewhere, Dec is in it.
Timotheus 28th Jan 2016, 10:09 PM edit delete reply

Hey, we rats have standards.
xpacetrue 28th Jan 2016, 11:10 PM edit delete reply

Indeed. Let's not insult members of the genus Rattus by comparing them with the freakshow that is the Prince. (Hopefully, the soon to be "formerly known as Prince" Douchebag.) Anyway, I've heard that rats and mice can make nice pets.
Aurora 29th Jan 2016, 1:09 AM edit delete reply
I believe the 'fourth derivative' of a 'royal' is actually hiding out in a nest of vipers rather than a rat warren.
Hornet 29th Jan 2016, 4:01 PM edit delete reply
Yeah! Deci is in a Spiderhole playing poker with Saddam.
Centcomm 30th Jan 2016, 9:14 PM edit delete reply

Wonder if hes eating cheese :D
DLKmusic 28th Jan 2016, 9:24 PM edit delete reply

Did I read that correctly? Did Ceci just offer to disable ALL the cyber-security measures in place?

And nobody is mentioning how BAD of an idea that is?

Of course, I'm hoping that theres an off chance that the Evil Duo may have been pulling our chains about CeCi for the past 4 months or so, but that is admittedly a "hail mary"...
HiFranc 28th Jan 2016, 11:13 PM edit delete reply

I don't think so. I hope not. She said that she would do something to stop the security measures interfering with what they are doing. My interpretation is that, to use 21st century parlance, more like opening specific ports in a firewall than a full DMZ. However, if Decimus has skilled IT staff, they may be able to detect which ports are open.
DLKmusic 29th Jan 2016, 1:05 AM edit delete reply

It's not Nova Roma's IT that I would be concerned about. It's Doc Silver, who is emminently qualified to help, in a position and range to do so, and is probably the formost expert in AI programming within New Troy short of Calliope Taylor.

The amount of Damage Doc Silver could do to the current process, even if with the best intentions, is mind boggling. Further, Doc Silver's personality would NEVER take a back seat to someone else within her field of specialty, not even TR.

This may be way off base, but it's a very frightening possibility that hasn't even been considered by most of us.
Tokyo Rose 29th Jan 2016, 1:11 AM edit delete reply

This is rather outside Dr. Silver's specialty, actually. City A.I.S. is vastly different from android architecture.
Aurora 29th Jan 2016, 1:12 AM edit delete reply
Ave Maria, Mater Dei,
Ora pro nobis peccatoribus,
Ora, ora pro nobis;
Ora, ora pro nobis peccatoribus,
Nunc et in hora mortis,
In hora mortis nostrae.
In hora, mortis, mortis nostrae,
In hora mortis nostrae.
Ave Maria...

Oh it's not working is it? Shoot... Perhaps I should start preparing for a Lament instead at this rate...
Haegan2005 28th Jan 2016, 9:41 PM edit delete reply

So Deci is unaccounted for. I am betting he is not even in the palace any more. I bet he used his stealth catapult to get out...
Tango Xray Actual 28th Jan 2016, 9:42 PM edit delete reply
Dec's 'missing' Now there's a real Oh S*** moment! Why do I get the feeling he's gonna pull a 'jack-in-the-box' at the worst possible time and place....

You Ladies would never do that to your loyal & loving fans now would-ja? ;)
Timotheus 28th Jan 2016, 10:07 PM edit delete reply

No doubt he's lurking in some deep, dark, dank place with the other roaches ready to scurry out when least expected.
DLKmusic 28th Jan 2016, 10:11 PM edit delete reply

It's also possible that he's still in his quarters with Kali, because she has convinced him that this is the safest place to be until the dust settles. there's a communication blackout, so noone knows for sure, but that's where my money is riding,
chk 29th Jan 2016, 7:38 AM edit delete reply

Yeah. He's probably sitting in the throne room, spouting garbage, confident in his invulnerability and infallibility.
Mark_L_A 28th Jan 2016, 9:43 PM edit delete reply

Just a thought, but CeCi may be offering to route things through herself and her command codes, making her the fuse or circuit breaker in the link. It would allow for less time skip and increase reaction time.
sigpig 29th Jan 2016, 11:02 AM edit delete reply

I'm not so sure about that. ANY added processing/routing instructions WILL slow down the transfer rate - even if we are talking about the pico/femtoseconds involved. Enhancing the stability of the connection is paramount - you can have transfer rates measured in the tera- or peta bps range, but that is useless if it suddenly drops down to the 14.4kb/s baud rate due to connection issues...
grahamf 28th Jan 2016, 9:51 PM edit delete reply
I don't know how much we can trust Ceci. between her sparking, possible meddling by The Specialist and definite meddling by the neuropath; I'm inclined to believe watchdog won't cause a worst case scenario.
Just_IDD 28th Jan 2016, 10:08 PM edit delete reply
Also Ceci, by offering to strengthen the connection from their end, learns the path by which they are bypassing the security elements designed to protect against this exact type of connection. That will allow Cent-Comm-Actual to improve her own security. I'm betting that Ceci has a better than 80% guess that TR is involved or even could be the specialist based on the Shindo involvement. Also we just learned that Aeneas was designed by Cent-Com so TR may be working on loosening those ties in an attempt to gain another ally.

I hate to speak against Dolly, but she sounds like an over protective den mother about the status of people who have decided to start making their own bad decisionins and learning from them. Kyle has grown up considerably and Lynn as well out of her over protected cocoon of activity.
Visvires 29th Jan 2016, 12:45 AM edit delete reply
Well, she did only just recover a kidnapped charge. The "oh, just let her drive to New Sparta, don't be overprotective" mindset will be gone for the foreseeable future.
Centcomm 29th Jan 2016, 10:43 PM edit delete reply

Just a wee bit .. That will actually come up later :D
cattservant 28th Jan 2016, 10:49 PM edit delete reply

Dolly can contribute by keeping an eye on Ceci.
Stormwind13 29th Jan 2016, 12:58 PM edit delete reply

Needs BOTH eyes, whatever they have for packet sniffing and probably a combat radar on CeCi, catt!!!
Visvires 29th Jan 2016, 12:23 AM edit delete reply
They can't get a fix on Decimus. Well, that pokes a hole in my Steal-A-Turret theory. Short of smashing the whole building, can't kill him without a decent fix on his location. And with Shinedo watching like this, there'd be no stealth to it.

By the way, I've been going through the earlier comics and admiring the re-work. Is there any way to see the old versions? Both for comparison and for nostalgia.
Tokyo Rose 29th Jan 2016, 1:14 AM edit delete reply

Hilariously enough, I asked Cent to set up that exact thing--a site with the original panels--specifically to compare the old stuff with the reboots. Cent, y'all wanna toss that link out or something? :D
Mark_L_A 29th Jan 2016, 2:00 AM edit delete reply

I think this is the one Cent setup for the prior renders

My apologies if it is incorrect or if Cent thinks I've stolen her thunder :)
Hana 1st Feb 2016, 3:22 AM edit delete reply
Ive been seriously wishing for this! Im so happy it exists!!
Centcomm 29th Jan 2016, 7:04 PM edit delete reply

Um right I guess I actually need to upload the rest some time >_<
chk 29th Jan 2016, 7:13 AM edit delete reply

Yeah, Mark_L_A, that's the link. There are ten pages of the first draft.
Visvires 29th Jan 2016, 10:48 PM edit delete reply
Ah, yes, that's the stuff. What a difference. :D Thank you!

Can't wait to see the rest. Particularly looking forward to comparing the S&R mission.
anonymous coward 29th Jan 2016, 3:24 AM edit delete reply
Don't have enough new information to say anything new about what's going on in the story yet. Instead I will note that this is a comic Topwebcomics classes in the same content restrictions as 'The Cummoner (18+!).'

P.S. Abe Vigoda's dead, long live the Abe Vigoda death hoax.
Centcomm 30th Jan 2016, 9:13 PM edit delete reply

That is because we have violence and Language. :D LOL! and the occasional sexy body.
anonymous coward 31st Jan 2016, 4:59 AM edit delete reply
I suppose Tokyo Rose is known for verbing, nouning and adjectiving very adverbially.
mjkj 29th Jan 2016, 3:27 AM edit delete reply


Do not let fake CeCi in!!!

Stormwind13 29th Jan 2016, 5:50 AM edit delete reply

If CentComm and Rose are to be believed this is the real CeCi, mjkj. This is the Black Angel CentComm Actual created. The bubbly, curious and oddly vulnerable (for a weapon system) CeCi that the readers care about is the fake.

Life is NOT a malfunction. - Number 5
Tokyo Rose 29th Jan 2016, 7:43 PM edit delete reply

You hit it square on the head, Stormwind. This is what Cent-Comm intended to make; the other was meant to be a mere cover... but everyone, even Cent-Comm, can make mistakes when operating in a very tight time frame.
HiFranc 29th Jan 2016, 9:14 PM edit delete reply

That was true until she sparked. Now she is the one who makes conscious actions and decisions. Her current form goes against that personality. She's acting in a way she has little or no control over. Therefore, it's not the real Ceci.
Timotheus 30th Jan 2016, 2:26 AM edit delete reply

The situation here will be passive will versus active will. Normally a Black Angel's "surface" personality is just cover and will give in to whatever commands it is given by the core directives. Ceci's personality however is "live" and self regulating now with its own directives (morality). Therefore, as long as there is no conflict she will comply with core directives, but what is going to happen should her outer personality disagree with her inner programming is up for grabs. So far outer personality has beaten and incorporated inner elements on her terms creating a new composite Ceci mostly like the outer one.
HiFranc 30th Jan 2016, 5:00 AM edit delete reply

My understanding is that the Black Angel Directives have blocked access to her body of the sparked side of her. So her current situation is something more akin to this.
Timotheus 30th Jan 2016, 9:20 AM edit delete reply

I agree she could have been wired that way, but there would have been no reason to have done so normally. Without the "sparking" element to contend with such isolation elements would have just taken up lots of valuable space in a situation where it was at a premium. Right now Ceci perky has no reason to interfere with Ceci business, so she would remain quiescent (she would trust it's judgements). But what will happen when there is an actual break in goals will be interesting.
HiFranc 30th Jan 2016, 11:53 AM edit delete reply

We've already been told by the authors that once the watchdog activates, watchdog can and will override Ceci.
Centcomm 30th Jan 2016, 9:12 PM edit delete reply

Watchdog has been active for a while now.
HiFranc 31st Jan 2016, 12:56 AM edit delete reply

I know. I just making the point that Ceci is not herself at the moment.
Mark_L_A 31st Jan 2016, 3:57 PM edit delete reply

Well, no. She is herself, just not the self she had turned into. Instead she is the self that CentComm Actual intended.
Hana 1st Feb 2016, 3:30 AM edit delete reply
The mask has been lifted, and the mask is not pleased about it.
Matt Knab 29th Jan 2016, 4:21 AM edit delete reply

I have a bad feeling about this. Fingers crossed.
chk 29th Jan 2016, 7:33 AM edit delete reply

DON'T FORGET! The nomination phase for the 2016 Hugo Awards has opened. 'Luna Star' really deserves to be nominated. I'll probably be pretty obnoxious about this until the nomination phase is over.

If you're not already a member of the World Science Fiction Society, you have to sign up, at 'MidAmeriConII' by January 31st. (I did know that until yesterday. Not much time.) The link is A supporting membership which allows you to nominate and vote is $50.00 and is open to anyone in the world.
Centcomm 29th Jan 2016, 7:02 PM edit delete reply

Thank you Chk!!! hope we do get nominated then I get to force Rose to wear a dress!
Tokyo Rose 29th Jan 2016, 7:49 PM edit delete reply

Hahaha oh you're funny, Cent :P
Sheela 30th Jan 2016, 4:29 AM edit delete reply

Well, hey, don't forget that the comic Girl Genius has done quite well at the Hugo Awards in the past, and right now that comic is lingering at rank 14 on top webcomics.

Yeah, you guys are higher than them by far. :)
What, you hadn't noticed?
Guest 31st Jan 2016, 7:24 PM edit delete reply
So.... You have a chance to hob-nob with the likes of Anne McCaffrey, Robert Lynn Aspirin and Alan Dean Foster, and you refuse to wear a dress for the occasion????
DLKmusic 30th Jan 2016, 7:58 PM edit delete reply
This is a Vote we REALLY Need to get out!!!!
TheSkulker 31st Jan 2016, 6:13 AM edit delete reply

Thanks for the heads up. Your link is to their home page which does not have any links to registration! Somebody dropped the ball.

The link to registration info is:

The link to actual registration is:

The deadline for submitting nominations is Mar 31st.
Not sure what the Jan 31st date means. Sent them an email & hopefully will get an answer later today.

You forgot to mention that there's quite a bonus for your $50. Not only do you get to nominate Luna Star but you get digital copies of all the nominations (except for the movies). That's five each of novels, novelettes, short stories, graphic novels, fanzines, cover art, etc, etc. It's actually quite a bargain.

That said, it would be if the nominations were any good. I used to participate every year until a few years ago. I found the short stories and graphic novels that were nominated were so bad that I could not even finish reading some of them. (This was after Girl Genius and Digger had won their well deserved awards.) Very disappointing. Quite a letdown from the 60's and 70's. Total participation seems to have fallen off as well. IIRC, winning nominations required only tens of votes and award winners receive only low hundreds of votes. Kinda devalues the significance of the awards.

However, maybe after last year's voting fiasco this year will be better so I will pony up. If we can get Luna Star nominated it will be a sure winner.

BTW, Chk, PM me, I'd like to get you take on other works to nominate.

Mark_L_A 31st Jan 2016, 8:11 AM edit delete reply

I got my PIN in today's e-mail. I will be sending in my nomination ballot as soon as I fill it out.

From the Progress Report for MidAmerica Con II

Eligibility to NominateYou may nominate for the 2016 Hugo Awards and John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer if, on or before January 31 2016, 11:59 PM PST:•

you are an attending or supporting member of MidAmeriCon II (the 2016 World Science Fiction Convention).•

you are an attending or supporting member of Worldcon 75 (the 2017 World Science Fiction Convention).•

you were an Attending or Supporting Member of Sasquan (the 2015 World Science Fiction Convention).Note: Young Adult and military memberships count as attending memberships and are eligible to nominate. Child memberships, one day memberships, and hall passes do not.

I meet all 3 requirements, so I can nominate this year. However in order to VOTE you only need to purchase a Supporting Membership for MidAmerica Con this year. So if you wish to get in the nominating process you will need to also purchase either an Attendning or supporting membership for next years Wolrd Con and for the 2018 World Cons which hasn't been announced yet. It will be voted on this year.

All you need so you can VOTE for this years Hugo Awards is a Supporting Membership at Mid America Con, which is $50.00

ETA: You don't need to fulfill ALL 3 of the above just ONE of them by January 31st ie: midnight tonight.
Guest 31st Jan 2016, 11:04 AM edit delete reply
*#$#&#.... That means I won't be able to nominate Luna Star this year, only vote for it if it makes the grade...

Rose, what would be a good expletive phrase for me right now?
DLKmusic 31st Jan 2016, 11:06 AM edit delete reply
and I forgot to add my name to that post, so you can add "moron" to that phrase as well, if you don't mind!
TheSkulker 31st Jan 2016, 11:50 AM edit delete reply

That doesn't seem quite right: To nominate for this years' WorldCon you only need to be a supporting member ($50) of this years' event, not also next years' (although next years' would also work). Either - or, not both.

It's a bit obtuse but I read it as one must *register* by midnight tonight (Jan 31st), in order to be able to nominate but the nomination period itself is open until Mar 31st. Voting for this years' awards requires registration for this years' event: WorldCon74. So to help get Luna Star nominated and to vote to win, you need to register for WorldCon74 (MidAmerica Con II), today.

I got my registration confirmation but probably will not get my PIN for a week. If nominations closed today I wouldn't be able to nominate which would not make sense.

"To nominate you will need your Hugo PIN number (located on your Progress Report 2 envelope or via email from us) and your membership number. Hugo PINs are being emailed out between January 27 – February 5, 2016 to people who elected for electronic publications and are members of the eligible Worldcons."

"Nominations will close on March 31, 2016."

"The Hugo Awards voting process has two stages: a nomination period and a final voting period. During the nomination period ballots may be cast by members of MidAmeriCon II [WorldCon74] and Worldcon 75 (as of January 31) and members from Sasquan, the 73rd Worldcon."

"After the nomination period closes, only members of MidAmeriCon II [WorldCon74] are eligible to vote on the final ballot."

"The Hugo Awards voting process has two stages: a nomination period and a final voting period. During the nomination period ballots may be cast by members of the current and following years’ Worldcons (as of January 31) and members from the previous year’s Worldcon. After the nomination period closes, only members of the current Worldcon are eligible to vote on the final ballot."

"Hugo Pins and Membership Numbers will be emailed out, in batches, to the members of Sasquan, MidAmeriCon II and Worldcon 75 (Helsinki) starting on January 27, 2016 and going through February 5, 2016."

"As soon as the nomination period is open, there will be a separate nomination page where you can fill out your nomination ballots (2016 and 1941) online, in a savable format, so that you can edit and add to it up the end of the nomination period, which is March 31, 2016."
Mark_L_A 31st Jan 2016, 12:47 PM edit delete reply

I've already made my two most important nominations.

And DLK you have until Midnight tonight to sign up as a supporting member for this years World Con at Mid America Con, you can then nominate AND vote for Luna-Star.
DLKmusic 31st Jan 2016, 1:43 PM edit delete reply
I did sign up as a supporting member last night... I just didn't get my token number to nominate with.
Mark_L_A 31st Jan 2016, 2:46 PM edit delete reply

Send them an e-mail. They should respond very quickly and also get your member number and pin out to you before the 7th.
chk 31st Jan 2016, 2:31 PM edit delete reply

I got a confirmation eMail immediately after I joined a couple of weeks ago. My name showed up on the latest membership list and included a member number.

I assume I'll get a PIN soon.

I find their multiple web sites and voting requirements very confusing.
Stormwind13 31st Jan 2016, 6:13 PM edit delete reply

I don't have my pin either, even though I registered for MIDAMERICON back on the 19th of November last year (I also was a voting member for Sasquan).

So it isn't about when you register, but when they get it sent out. If I don't get it by next Friday then I'll yell at them about it. As soon as I get my PIN then I'll nominate.
Stever 29th Jan 2016, 7:51 AM edit delete reply

A picosecond sounds pretty small, but when I'm watching something even a small delay is pretty noticable.

Glad to hear that her friends have survived as well.
Stormwind13 29th Jan 2016, 9:25 AM edit delete reply

1 trillionth of a second IS small, Stever!!! Light only travels .0118 INCHES in that time! :-D
chk 29th Jan 2016, 2:04 PM edit delete reply

That's pretty quick.
Centcomm 30th Jan 2016, 9:12 PM edit delete reply

Yes any delay can be weird and bad in remote IT work..
sigpig 29th Jan 2016, 11:06 AM edit delete reply

Panel 2 - the work-bot is in it's finest C-3PO pose...
Centcomm 29th Jan 2016, 11:21 AM edit delete reply

Hehe helpers !
TheD-Wrek 29th Jan 2016, 12:13 PM edit delete reply

Lol, those bkg helpers. X)

Love the lighting in the last panel.

I'm still worried though... :'D
Centcomm 29th Jan 2016, 4:10 PM edit delete reply

it was suppose to be " yeppers " Stupid tablet >_<
Mark_L_A 29th Jan 2016, 8:13 PM edit delete reply

I just noticed CeCi's Nano's have mostly fixed her all the way up.
Centcomm 29th Jan 2016, 10:50 PM edit delete reply

Actually shes fully repaired .. the only blood your seeing is whats on her clothing.
Rashala 30th Jan 2016, 2:52 PM edit delete reply

Am I alone in Senseing More than just......AIS comradery between Centi and Aerie here? Hmmmmmmm Also Ceci better be back to normal Or I am flooding centy;'s person aBAndwith with Donald Trump Remix videos
Centcomm 30th Jan 2016, 9:11 PM edit delete reply

I think thats just you :D
Spelledeg 15th Feb 2016, 10:57 AM edit delete reply

Oooo boy. I do NOT trust Ceci on a gut level right now. Cent-Comm is definitely the sort to have her own ideas about what is best I think

However. ACANTHA YES <3. I'm digging this scene, Centy.
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