Comic 1323 - Restoring Communications

15th Mar 2016, 9:00 PM
Restoring Communications
Average Rating: 5 (16 votes)
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Dragonrider 15th Mar 2016, 9:05 PM edit delete reply

Covering bets here... Noctis has NEVER used the phrase,"You are welcome,"before.
DLKmusic 15th Mar 2016, 9:31 PM edit delete reply

I think that's a fair statement, Dragonrider, but I'm also willing to bet that this is the first time a civilian has ever said "thank you" to her as well...

and do I detect a hint of fear in Noctis's tone?
Gilrandir 15th Mar 2016, 9:43 PM edit delete reply
I will take that action.

I am betting Noctis has had at least one occasion to do something accommodating for Pricess Acantha, that Acantha said "Thank you" and Noctis replied with "You're welcome."

This is probably the first time Noctis has been thanked by a rebel against the Throne under arms, though. ^_^
Gilrandir 15th Mar 2016, 9:45 PM edit delete reply
Arrgh! Typos! "... Princess Acantha ..."
mjkj 16th Mar 2016, 12:13 AM edit delete reply

Hmmm, I believe that statement is not entirely correct. They do not rebel against the throne - but just the one that sat on it until an hour ago or so.

I am with you in that she might have said that to Acantha - but that could also be true concerning the lord general, or one of his troops - since they do not seem so cassian-phobe either.

But that could well be the first time she got a heart felt thank you instead of a polite one...

Gilrandir 16th Mar 2016, 7:45 AM edit delete reply
One of the features of a monarchy: the person with the Crown embodies the Throne, for good or ill. To quote Merlin from _Excaliber_, "You will be the land, and the land will be you. If you fail, the land will perish; as you thrive, the land will blossom."

At the moment, to rebel against Decimus is to rebel against the Throne -- just ask any Cassian.
Tango Xray Actual 16th Mar 2016, 8:57 AM edit delete reply
There is definitely no separation of the 'Scared Body of the King' from Nova Roma, the polity, in the mind o Dec.

Sheela 15th Mar 2016, 10:33 PM edit delete reply

Noctis is still properly creeped out by the Cyberpath.
I wonder if Noctis and Dr Silver will ever get along.
Pirtnac 15th Mar 2016, 11:31 PM edit delete reply
Considering she hasn't mentioned the sniper waiting to take Dr Silver out, I think Noctis is hoping to not need to.

Normally I wouldn't be very concerned, as as Team Troy probably have some plan to cover her retreat. But if they let down their guard after the fighting, a distracted / drained Doc might not protect herself.
Sheela 16th Mar 2016, 7:19 AM edit delete reply

Ofcourse, Team Kill 'em all, probably won't take it very kindly, if Doc Silver gets shot by a Cassian.
Speedy Marsh 1st Apr 2017, 3:20 AM edit delete reply
I have a feeling that the lady who came back to the communications center with coffee will take her last two steps, out the door of the center.
CptKerion 15th Mar 2016, 10:54 PM edit delete reply
And might I saw in relation to that last line...
"Awwwwwww" so adorable after an odd, slightly killy fashion.
Timotheus 16th Mar 2016, 12:03 AM edit delete reply

I believe my earlier comment on how the feelings between Cassians and cyberpaths is roughly that of werewolves and vampires is still valid. Kill on sight, no quarter, no mercy. Too bad the good doctor doesn't seem aware of this...
Politics has nothing to do with it, it's a matter of blood survival.
Centcomm 16th Mar 2016, 12:28 AM edit delete reply

Not a bad analogy
TheSkulker 16th Mar 2016, 12:31 AM edit delete reply

So, could you help a memory challenged fan and expand on why Noctis (or all/most Cassians), fear cyberpaths?

Does she fear that a cyberpath could take over her mind?

Is it an indoctrinated fear such as Ariana's fear of Aeneas?

Have we had any more examples of the powers of a cyberpath other than Doc Silver's take over of the comm lines?

Tokyo Rose 16th Mar 2016, 2:18 AM edit delete reply


The comic entitled "Terminate With Extremely Justified Prejudice" hints at the reasons for Noctis's reaction, and the comments section has further information. In a nutshell: Yes, Noctis fears that a cyberpath could take over her mind, or the minds of other Cassians.

Dr. Silver's ability to bridge the cut in the hard line is the only explicit exercise of cyberpathic powers thus far.
Guest 16th Mar 2016, 4:27 AM edit delete reply
TR: Thank you for the reference (page #1273 now but may change). It was very helpful, especially with the comments. It clarified why Noctis is so fearful and the abilities and limitations of cyberpaths (and Doc Silver).

Like I said, my non-volitle memory is not so non any more.

Timotheus: Thanks for the background on mythology. Our talented authors pull from so many sources it takes an encyclopedia to keep track.
TheSkulker 16th Mar 2016, 4:30 AM edit delete reply

Sorry, got logged out and didn't notice. Now can't change or delete post.
anonymous coward 16th Mar 2016, 12:44 AM edit delete reply
I thought the werewolves worked for Dracula... where are you getting this werewolves versus vampires thing?
Timotheus 16th Mar 2016, 1:03 AM edit delete reply

Traditionally, werewolves can be mind controlled by vampires, but they don't like it and resist it. This has translated into more modern times as a natural state of war between weres and vampires in fiction. Cassians would naturally fear anything that could compromise their self control and programming (they are ultimate control freaks). A cyberpath could open up their minds and alter their programming without their knowing it. This MUST not be allowed to happen. PERIOD. (At least that's how I see it.)
Sheela 16th Mar 2016, 7:45 AM edit delete reply

Ironically, a Cyberpath is also about the only thing that can free the Cassians from their programming, and allow them to say no to Decimus.
But even with that carrot dangling in front of them, they'd probably still not want any contact with a Cyberpath.

Kinda reminds me of a space opera novel, where a warlord was about to be interrogated.

So he was given a choice to be "read" by a mutant mind reader, or do it the old fashioned way.
He's all bluster and bravado, and shouts out, "No filthy mutant is allowed inside MY head!".
And the interrogaters go, "Very well, the old fashioned way then, this psychological profiler will handle you."
A man steps in, and faces off with the Warlord, and the warlord asks "Are you sure you're not a mind reader?"
"Oh no, I'm just a simple human." the man replies.
"Oh fuck me,a human?" the warlord says aggrevated, "Is it too late to bring the mind reader back ?"

I always thought that little conversation was pretty funny, that the human was considered worse than a mutant mind reader. :D
You just never know what is the worst outcome, in a space opera.
kitty 16th Mar 2016, 5:19 PM edit delete reply
Traditionally where? I thought this werewolves vs. vampires thing was entirely a recent idea that came into being when vampires suddenly became fashionable in books and movies.
Timotheus 17th Mar 2016, 1:22 AM edit delete reply

Okay, let's see if I can keep this short and not make it a term paper.
Modern fictional werewolves and vampires are both creations of the literary reworking of early European mythology. The various myth forms they are based on (beast walkers, returned undead, skin shifters, transformation curses, demonic or spirit possession, etc.) often had similar aspects and were not easily distinguished into two separate categories. There was a third category that was more distinct however, witches and sorcerers.
These beings were noted for being able to control the other forms of monstrous creatures (along with normal humans and beasts), but it was a dangerous thing to do as the more stronger and smarter ones would turn on their masters and slay them if given a chance. These plots or story forms can be found in myths going back to the Indus valley and Aryan migration.
The key point for how this effects the werewolf-vampire feud now is that when the revised vampires appeared they took on many of the aspects of the old sorcerers (controlling beasts, bats, and rats, shape shifting, mind control, etc.) When that happened they also took on the problem of what happens when the creature they are attempting to control is as strongly supernatural as they are. So while at first it was just human opposition, it didn't take long before the vampires were having to deal with demons, ghosts, and other haunts who didn't want to be pushed around and fought back. And since it was werewolves who seemed to have the most flair for doing it, they became the vampire's natural predator.
anonymous coward 17th Mar 2016, 6:12 AM edit delete reply
Interesting how this replicates the Apollonian versus Dionysian opposition. This 'werewolves versus vampires' notion also ignores all the other versions of werewolf/shape-changer and vampire/undead mythology that don't hold with this characterization. I admit I'm not familiar with any combination-story accounts from historical sources myself, so I would have to go searching for competing narratives which are adequately-sourced to fairly disagree with cited sources: The sources I would cite to disagree reference one or the other (and their closely related variants or cultural origins) singly.
Gilrandir 16th Mar 2016, 7:27 AM edit delete reply
Necessary Disclaimer: I have greatly enjoyed this comic. The works of its author(s), it's artist(s), and its unfolding storyline. I would not want them to change a thing.

That having been said, I am a Pure Strain Human (PSH). There are occasionally times when the innate 'superiority' of the 'enhanced' gets a little ... pronounced. In the comment area it can get downright strident -- though of course that can hardly be blamed on the creators. ^_^. A PSH in the world of DataChasers has little recourse if a Cassian or a Black Angel or a TechnoWizard should choose to take them in despite.

I find it wonderfully ironic that, to a Cassian such as Noctis, a Cyberpath represents to her the same thing she represents to the citizens of Nova Roma: an unstoppable and overwhelming force at whose sufferance they live or die with no recourse and no assurance save the innate ethical,code of the entity in question. Or, of course, the possible intervention of other 'enhanced' after the fact to provide some kind of a deterrent.

A delightful expression of the principle "There's always someone stronger than you out there somewhere."
Gilrandir 16th Mar 2016, 7:32 AM edit delete reply
All hail Democulus! Glory to his name.
DLKmusic 16th Mar 2016, 11:18 AM edit delete reply

Actually, Gilrandir, that's an incredibly insightful statement. Cyber-paths are to Cassians = Cassians to Humans.

I wonder how Noctis would react if someone pointed that out to her...
Gilrandir 16th Mar 2016, 1:09 PM edit delete reply
Thank you.

My guess is not all that badly. Noctis is a very just person: she doesn't love cyberpaths and she doesn't expect humans to love her. Her dislike is, as @Timotheus pointed out, rooted in a reasonably rational self-protection motivation. Unlike, for example, Arianna's dislike of the inspector-bot. If Noctis hadn't already realized it, I expect it would leave an "unpleasant taste" for a bit, but nothing extreme.

As always when I speculate about the characters here, the authors will know much better than I.
Gilrandir 16th Mar 2016, 6:09 PM edit delete reply
Actually, when I think more on it, the most interesting reaction to the Cyberpath might come from TeeDee. She is an irrational ball of rage and hate, delighting in carnage and mayhem wreaked upon those weaker than herself to whom she has taken a dislike -- whether she knows for certain that they deserve it or not as long as there is, at least, a tenuous pretext of justification for it. She appears to see the world very simply in 'us versus them' terms. Now she appears to know about Doc Silver and be all right with it, but I'm not sure why. I can imagine an exchange going something like this (exaggerated for comic effect):

Doc Silver: "TeeDee ... You know I'm a cyberpath. I could help you out with those body-image issues you have. Make it so you'd be comfortable with your current chassis and you'd never even know -" <BLAM!>. <BLAM BLAM BLAM>

TeeDee: "CentComm, you're going to need to get a replacement tech to support the Lynn Taylor recovery mission. By the way, did you know that Doc Silver used to be a cyberpath?"
mjkj 17th Mar 2016, 12:54 AM edit delete reply

I believe TeeDee knows - at least to some extent. And the fact she saved her - and especially Ada - is a mighty plus for her.
Stormwind13 17th Mar 2016, 7:03 PM edit delete reply

Can't see it Gilrandir. TeeDee knows that Dr. Silver CARES for Androids. She is going to do everything in her power to HELP them.

TeeDee watched her FIGHT to save Ada's life. No way in HELL would TeeDee attack Dr. Silver. That earned her TeeDee's loyalty right there, I believe.
Gilrandir 17th Mar 2016, 7:49 PM edit delete reply
True enough ... saving your best friends life will earn you a lot of slack. The mystery, though, if I am recalling correctly, is that TeeDee might regard Doc Silver as an extraordinary individual, but she didn't seem to regard Doc Silver as anything particularly special for being a cyberpath. Yet all the reasons for Cassians harboring fear and loathing for cyberpaths are just as valid for a society of androids. (One wonders, in fact, if CentComm Actual would welcome Doc Silver into her inner core -- or if she did, on what safeguards she would insist?)

There seems to be something fundamental I am missing here. Perhaps Noctis' fear of cyberpaths is based on an exaggerated notion of their capabilities and they are actually incapable of deep-core reprogramming against the will of the android? Or perhaps there's a magic tech device to counteract the magic tech powers of the cyberpath and Cassians don't have it, but it comes standard on New Troy androids? Maybe the explanation is a plot point not yet revealed? Maybe it is just the needs of the narrative? It's all good, but I feel like I am missing something.
Tokyo Rose 17th Mar 2016, 9:52 PM edit delete reply


The present storyline has had no real place for a discussion of the subject, but psionic powers in humans are studied and measured scientifically. (The Epiphytes have been very helpful in that area.) There's a slight general fear among humans and androids that the Psionics Among Us might do bad things, but the fact that the phenomenon can be studied and quantified removes a lot of the "eek" factor. Of course, there are still those who refuse to accept scientific evidence and scream panic anyway, just like the anti-GMO-foods/anti-vaccination hysterics of our present day, but they're in the minority.

Cent-Comm knows that Dr. Silver's a cyberpath, and what her capabilities are. Her ability is basically just communication, actual "cybernetic telepathy"; her wreaking of havoc on the palace systems comes about because she's directing the malware she'd already managed to get inside before the hard line was cut. If Cent were ever to allow Silver into her inner core (no one but a Taylor goes in there, and only under certain circumstances), she wouldn't be worried about the cyberpathy, because Silver can't do anything to her directly with it.
Gilrandir 17th Mar 2016, 10:41 PM edit delete reply
Fair enough. That suggests that Noctis' extreme reaction is born, at least in part, of false data and erroneous conclusions. If Noctis knew that all Silver could do was talk to her in her head as if using a radio, I doubt she'd have taken such extreme precautionary measures. Of course, given that Nova Roma has a track record of extreme and unjustified negative reaction to certain things technological, there's nothing particularly far-fetched about that.

Thanks for the reply.
antrik 14th Oct 2016, 11:27 PM edit delete reply
How nice of you to imply that anyone not agreeing with some of your political views is ignoring scientific evidence. (While there are perfectly good reasons to be sceptical of certain developments without questioning science.)
mjkj 16th Mar 2016, 12:03 AM edit delete reply

Oh, doc Silver really looks tired...

I hope they include the cassians into the cease fire...

Ah, the fear of the cyberpath...

Do not worry, Noctis, she will not kill you, nor harm you...

PS: her name Kat or Kath as Marcus is calling her?

Centcomm 16th Mar 2016, 12:28 AM edit delete reply

There is a Kat who is on page and a Kath who is one of the local leaders of the rebels.
mjkj 16th Mar 2016, 4:08 AM edit delete reply

Ah, thank you for the clarification, Cent :)
th3jimp 16th Mar 2016, 12:16 AM edit delete reply, ever. It is a foreign concept. Sad, given that these glass cannons understand emotion, but are, as a function of their programming, forced to ignore it, as a function of their occupation.
Centcomm 16th Mar 2016, 12:29 AM edit delete reply

Understanding emotions is helpful in her job even if she suppresses them.
anonymous coward 16th Mar 2016, 12:51 AM edit delete reply
"It is a cyberpath, Lord General."
Medicine for fixing severe problems is often scary, painful and dangerous itself. That said, isn't a cyberpath that will leave when she's done a better choice than a pathological house of cards lie for government presided over by a psychopath?
Tokyo Rose 16th Mar 2016, 2:23 AM edit delete reply

To Noctis? No. That means that a cyberpath in the service of New Troy will be running around who-knows-where doing who-knows-what to who-knows-whom.

Her perspective should be comprehensible if one considers what the general reaction might be to learning that someone out there (someone in the employ of another government, no less) really has the ability to read and control the minds of others against their will.
anonymous coward 16th Mar 2016, 3:38 AM edit delete reply
Reading and controlling minds is the point of public relations, advertising, polling, consumer research, political organizations, religions, formal education, and management/hierarchy in general. I know foreign and unusual forms of mind control in the real world generally frighten us much more than the ones we're more used to, but I find myself surprised. In this case Noctis seems more frightened of someone she doesn't know than Caligula Unclefucker the Zero, whose clear and unambiguous threat to her autonomy, identity, interests and existence is hard to overstate. That's codependent-human level overwhelming fear of the unknown, a marked preference for nigh-certain annihilation over an unknown alternative.
Sheela 16th Mar 2016, 7:51 AM edit delete reply

Yes, well, she has a plan in the works that might delete Prince Douchebag.
But she doesn't have one for the Cyberpath.
Thus the cyberpath is more scary.
Lukkai 16th Mar 2016, 8:36 AM edit delete reply

Actually she has a plan for the Cyberpath. Or had, as she'll probably have to cancel now.
Speedy Marsh 1st Apr 2017, 3:43 AM edit delete reply
It sounds like a cyberpath is to Noctis, as Kilgrave is to Jessica Jones.
HeSerpenty 16th Mar 2016, 12:59 AM edit delete reply

Centy this scene has been wonderful! I have fallen behind on all the comics this week X'D...I sorry about that. But I love it! Noctis is pretty bad a*s <3
Centcomm 17th Mar 2016, 4:04 PM edit delete reply

Thank you Serpenty! :D I know the feeling im behind on almost everything comics and comments >_<
Lukkai 16th Mar 2016, 8:38 AM edit delete reply

I'm sure that Noctis does not hear a thank you, especially one coming from the heart as much as this one, very often.

I bet that as much as it catches her on the wrong foot and as she usually suppresses feelings, it still feels good.
Lukkai 16th Mar 2016, 8:39 AM edit delete reply

Also I see Char is still standing in place with her hands raised. (Although you can hardly see it in panel one.)
Stormwind13 16th Mar 2016, 4:32 PM edit delete reply

Yeah the Deathbot is in the way, Lukkai. Since it has guns trained on Char can't blame her for keeping hands raised.
mjkj 17th Mar 2016, 1:00 AM edit delete reply

Wow, that is a feat - keeping the hands raised for about an hour...???
Lukkai 17th Mar 2016, 7:59 AM edit delete reply

I'd have to check back for the timestamps to accurately say how long.

I can figure though that should it be for a longer time, she'll be allowed to occasionally rest her arms at the least. Even if it means she'll have to ask Silver for it first.
Centcomm 17th Mar 2016, 5:33 PM edit delete reply

Actually me leaving Charlotte in the scene was a error. Not changing her pose was my second error sorry about that guys. :D
Lukkai 18th Mar 2016, 11:01 PM edit delete reply

I've just made it my head-canon that she's left in the meantime to get more donuts and coffee for Silver. And has just returned from the errant, waiting for the combat drone to green-light her. ;)
KarToon12 16th Mar 2016, 3:09 PM edit delete reply

"You are welcome." A new phrase to add to her vocabulary. XD
Centcomm 17th Mar 2016, 5:36 PM edit delete reply

one she has little cause to use normally.
Stormwind13 17th Mar 2016, 6:24 PM edit delete reply

Maybe if Acantha can win, she'll have more instances for using it.
Steven-Vincent 17th Mar 2016, 1:31 PM edit delete reply

I've gotta wonder... how often do people say 'thank you' to a Cassian? Gotta be pretty unusual.
Centcomm 17th Mar 2016, 5:35 PM edit delete reply

Ill say.. more like .. never. :D
Stormwind13 17th Mar 2016, 6:26 PM edit delete reply

Rare? Most people, even if they are INNOCENT, are busy hiding or running away. The Cassians just HAVE that kind of reputations. Stay out of their way... SIGHT... and live. :-)
antrik 14th Oct 2016, 11:40 PM edit delete reply
It's more than that, though. Not only is it unusual that someone has a reason to be thankful to a Cassian -- it's also unusual that Kat actually acknowledges her as a person.
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