Comic 1347 - Game On

5th May 2016, 9:00 PM
Game On
Average Rating: 5 (23 votes)
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ProfEtheric 5th May 2016, 9:05 PM edit delete reply

Why do I get the feeling this is going on at extreme speeds? I could be wrong there...
Centcomm 5th May 2016, 10:13 PM edit delete reply

No you are quite correct. I just didnt want to make the fight a huge series of blurs..
Greenwood Goat 6th May 2016, 2:26 AM edit delete reply
Too fast for Lynn and Acantha to intervene? They could take care of the unmoving target instead.

Lynn: Yes, drag him the other side of the door at least... now, how can we keep him down without, - y'know...?

Acantha: Oh, I've had lots of time to think about this, and research, and consult.

Lynn: Ah, yeah - your.. archpriest mentioned you were studying medicine and injury treatment and so on, right?

Acantha: Yes. And now you know why. Let's get to work. *grim smile*

JackOfClubs 6th May 2016, 11:23 AM edit delete reply

One of Decimus' teeth should be falling in slo-mo through the panels to give us a time reference.
Tango Xray Actual 5th May 2016, 9:10 PM edit delete reply
*sigh* Wasting all that energy that really outta be devoted to ol' Decpuss
Dragonrider 5th May 2016, 9:10 PM edit delete reply

Suprising Dolly lasted this long. Would not have been surprised if she had been disabled by the first attack. She may have a slim chance if Lynn or Acantha gets her gun and shoots Kali if the attack is not completely disabling, Acantha would survive doing it because she is royal blood but Lynn might not. A better scenario would be to threaten to kill Douchie unless Kali stands completely down.
DLKmusic 5th May 2016, 9:16 PM edit delete reply

I think you are understimating Dolly, Dragonrider. She may be organic, but she has a reinforced frame, she's wearing armor, and is the equivalent of being so cybered-up that as much as that first attack hurt, it is hardly disabling.

Add to that that Kali IS in a weakened state. She would still be a killing machine against humans, but Dolly isn't human, and Kali has yet to make an accurate threat assessment.

As it stands, the odds favor Dolly.

Book O Dragons 5th May 2016, 9:39 PM edit delete reply
This long! It has been under a second and Dolly only took 2 visible blows from Kali.

I think Kali can still put out maximum effort at least until the last few instants before her power runs out. I think that is the logical way to construct a combat android.
Centcomm 5th May 2016, 10:15 PM edit delete reply

Kali is a full out combat model. Steel bones and a regenerative power supply along with fiber Myomer. Dolly while tougher than a normal human is actually at a disadvantage when fighting Kali. Luckily Dolly still has her speed and the armor.

And a lot of years of training herself.
Stormwind13 6th May 2016, 4:20 AM edit delete reply

Uh oh. As fast as Dolly is, Kali seems to be her equal (or close enough that it isn't making a difference). This doesn't bode well for Dolly. I thought Dolly would have the advantage by being newer. Apparently that may not be the case. 0.o

Guess it comes down to skill, and that could go either way. Dolly is built to be a better 'human', not optimized for combat.
xpacetrue 6th May 2016, 6:31 AM edit delete reply

A "regenerative power supply"? How would that work for an android?

Regenerative power for electric and hybrid vehicles means regenerative braking (i.e., saving energy by using generators for brakes). Regenerative power for gas-turbine generators and such involves converting waste heat into electricity.

I can buy that Kali's power cells can partially compensate for a depletion of energy through capacitors or emergency/backup cells. Or, over a period of time, perhaps a process akin to a battery regenerator can partly recondition cell performance. But for Kali to suddenly get a second wind - i.e., more power - suggests a perpetual motion machine. That is, unless she's getting power wirelessly, it should defy the law of conservation of energy.
Hornet 6th May 2016, 6:42 AM edit delete reply
high efficiency thermocouples.
mjkj 6th May 2016, 8:16 AM edit delete reply

Hmm, xpacetrue, regenerative could be getting her energy resupplied by food?
Centcomm 6th May 2016, 8:31 AM edit delete reply

Kali uses a high energy fusion plant for her main power. And her high energy capacitors used for " Super strength " Can refill quickly even if shes under combat conditions.

Perhaps the term regenerative inst quite correct. Lets just say shes not at any major disadvantage.
chk 6th May 2016, 7:57 AM edit delete reply

I see blood but, fortunately so far, no teeth.
DLKmusic 5th May 2016, 9:12 PM edit delete reply

And now that we've dispensed with the introductions, let's get down to business.
Haegan2005 5th May 2016, 9:20 PM edit delete reply

I would note that neither are human so what would work against a person is merely annoying to them both.

Still fun to see though! And yes I get the Sherlock Holmes reference.
Centcomm 5th May 2016, 10:15 PM edit delete reply

heh yep thats Dolly's trademark.. Apparently Kali knows that trick too.
mjkj 5th May 2016, 9:22 PM edit delete reply

Outch, poor Dolly...

...after what you said in the comments, CentComm, I was expecting more douchie beating...

Centcomm 5th May 2016, 10:16 PM edit delete reply

Not yet..
mjkj 6th May 2016, 2:29 AM edit delete reply

But hopefully soon...
Aurora 5th May 2016, 10:00 PM edit delete reply
Nice Sherlock: Game of Shadows reference! Love that movie...
Centcomm 5th May 2016, 10:16 PM edit delete reply

hehe I liked them both. :D
Lukkai 7th May 2016, 8:42 PM edit delete reply

And that particular scene is really great indeed!
Mark_L_A 5th May 2016, 10:29 PM edit delete reply

Having a network issue so logging in from my phone. There was NO way I was going to miss this update.

Saying that, I think Kali actually regrets having to fight Dolly she herself is what could be considered a "Guardian " and knows all Dolly really wants is to remove her charge. If Douchie hadn't been so set on enforcing his will over Acantha and Lynn this battle could have been avoided
plymayer 5th May 2016, 10:47 PM edit delete reply

somebody throw a bucket of water on them.
DLKmusic 6th May 2016, 5:29 PM edit delete reply

Why? Neither one is wearing a T-Shirt?!

...sorry girls, I couldn't resist. I'll just go stand in the corner over here now...
Timotheus 5th May 2016, 11:41 PM edit delete reply

Okay, fine. You all win. (Puts on "Merry-Go-Round Broke Down")
Wolfsbane 6th May 2016, 9:45 AM edit delete reply

I *liked* 'O Fortuna'....
Cal 5th May 2016, 11:50 PM edit delete reply
Oh, shi-...

xpacetrue 6th May 2016, 4:31 AM edit delete reply

Ah, so you also noticed that in the bottom panel Kali is grabbing the hilt of the sword on her back?

I was wondering why nobody has yet mentioned the word "Sword" on this page. "Oh, shi-...", indeed!
Visvires 6th May 2016, 7:02 AM edit delete reply
And Dolly just lost her pistol. The arms race is not going well.
Stormwind13 6th May 2016, 11:43 AM edit delete reply

Which from previous accounts is where her greatest strengths lie. Dolly destroyed the gutters with two pistols. So losing her weapon of choice while Kali has hers still is very much OH SHI... territory!
Matt Knab 6th May 2016, 2:35 AM edit delete reply

Get her, Dolly!
Centcomm 6th May 2016, 8:34 AM edit delete reply

She is going to sure do her best!
Steven-Vincent 6th May 2016, 4:24 AM edit delete reply

I remember in the comic idea I had before going with LL, I was going to use that suit our friendly neighborhood Cassian is wearing. But it does not adapt well to G2F... especially the weapon belts, and eventually I gave up. Looks good here though.
Centcomm 6th May 2016, 8:28 AM edit delete reply

Heh.. Yeah the auto-fit thing in Daz sucks totally. SO I tend to keep outfits to the proper parents.
Steven-Vincent 6th May 2016, 3:16 PM edit delete reply

It works for some things but does a terrible job in things like belts and shoulder straps. I got the thing to fit in the zero position but put the character in a pose and the sheath and sword would warp. It was funny... and unusuable.
Tokyo Rose 6th May 2016, 5:18 PM edit delete reply

It tends to treat every part of an outfit as though it's shrink-wrapped to the body. Aggravating.
Steven-Vincent 6th May 2016, 6:14 PM edit delete reply

Yeah. D-formers and push modifiers can only do so much...
highlander55 6th May 2016, 4:27 AM edit delete reply

Dolly should calm down and not fight angry. It could dull her fighting instincts.
Stormwind13 6th May 2016, 4:36 AM edit delete reply

I'm not sure Dolly is 'angry' as much as showing her determination, highlander. She is in for the fight of her life, and knows it!
Centcomm 6th May 2016, 8:33 AM edit delete reply

She was also in the process of recovering her breath. Kali's stunt knocked the wind out of her.
KarToon12 6th May 2016, 6:22 AM edit delete reply

This is the part where they beat each other to a pulp, call it a draw, and decide to be friends.
Visvires 6th May 2016, 7:01 AM edit delete reply
If Kali didn't have an inhibitor, this would be on the table.
Hornet 6th May 2016, 7:03 AM edit delete reply
Only if Deci's gets beaten unconscious so Acantha can order Kali to stand down.
Stormwind13 6th May 2016, 7:19 AM edit delete reply

Actually from the earlier fight between Maxus and Hrist, if damaged enough Kali could potentially surrender. That may be the best we can realistically hope for.

This is the kind of fight that people don't walk away from. They are carried away afterward, either on a stretcher or their shield! :-7
Tokyo Rose 6th May 2016, 5:24 PM edit delete reply


I mentioned this in the comments string for the previous page, but I'll clarify: while Decimus is alive, Kali's inhibitor compels her to obey his orders, which overrule all others. He's long since ensured that Acantha can't give Kali actual commands. No one except Decimus himself can order Kali to stop fighting Dolly, who presents a clear and present danger to Decimus.
Morituri 6th May 2016, 7:38 PM edit delete reply
Kali is required to fight Dolly as long as Dolly represents a clear and present danger to Decimus.

Which, ya know, she doesn't, if we could convince Decimus to keep his damn hands to himself and let the Taylor girl go. Basically, if he were to stop being a dickweed .... Oh.

Well, I guess him not being a dickweed is out of the question, so Dolly really does present a clear and present danger.

Carry on, ladies.
Centcomm 6th May 2016, 8:34 AM edit delete reply

That would be the best option Kartoon..
Dragonrider 6th May 2016, 1:58 PM edit delete reply

Hate to disagree, but best option is if Teedee and Ada get reinforced by Ceci then the four of them beat Kali to tiny metallic slivers.
Morituri 6th May 2016, 1:56 PM edit delete reply
You speak as though you think they dislike each other. There's no reason to suppose they do.

Dolly despises gutters and thieves; Kali isn't a gutter or a thief. Kali has no reason to suppose Dolly's actions in response to a threat to HER principal are in any way less than honorable.

They are opponents on this battle, yes. But they harbor each other no ill-will; this isn't a personal conflict. They are each simply doing their duty with honor, and they recognize that in each other.
Gilrandir 6th May 2016, 2:45 PM edit delete reply
Alas, I came across this sentiment long ago, but can no longer recall or locate it for proper attribution.

"Tragedy is not when Good fights Evil. That's Drama. Tragedy is when Good fights Good."
highlander55 6th May 2016, 7:36 PM edit delete reply

If they both survive this fight they may be friends due to respect... and kicking the shit out of each other.
Nef 6th May 2016, 7:40 AM edit delete reply

First blood! Not first hit, but still first blood. Here is my take:

1) The person who draws first blood on hand-to-hand combat, has a 72.4% probability of winning the fight.

2) 87% of statistics found online are made up.
Centcomm 6th May 2016, 8:27 AM edit delete reply

Actually not sure its visible but they both drew blood.
Hornet 6th May 2016, 10:18 AM edit delete reply
Kali's just happens to be blue or blue-ish silver.
HeSerpenty 6th May 2016, 11:15 AM edit delete reply

O man talk about an intense fight...between 2 very worthy opponents! D:
Dan 6th May 2016, 12:46 PM edit delete reply
Two go in, one come out! Who runs Nova Roma? Master Blaster thats who...
lirvilas 6th May 2016, 4:27 PM edit delete reply

From now on, anytime I ever hear shit about "CG comics" and "uncanny valley", I'll show 'em Dolly's face in panel one... it is hatred and contempt, it is impending doom, it is beautiful.
DLKmusic 6th May 2016, 5:19 PM edit delete reply

Agreed. Lirvilas, although I could do a records dive through both DC and LunaStar, and find enough examples of Outstanding artwork that it would make whoever says that about CG comics not only eat crow, but eat so much of it that they would have to wash it down with humble pie!

What Cent does with her CGI work IS the bar that everyone should try to attain, and she just keeps getting better at it.
Kitty 6th May 2016, 6:43 PM edit delete reply
I have a question. I know Kali has to protect Dec, but is there possibly someone she can't harm even if that person harms Dec? If Acantha decided to take him out herself, would Kali try to stop her, or if she prohibited from harming Acantha because she's a member of the royal family? And of course, she's rather distracted right now.

I honestly don't know if Acantha would do something like that, unless Dec tried to grab Lynn or something; or if he grabbed Acantha and she fought back well enough to cause significant harm. Just wondering.
Visvires 6th May 2016, 10:22 PM edit delete reply
If Acantha killed Decimus, she'd be the new Imperatrix, and would thus be in command of Kali. We already saw such a scenario with Decimus and his father.
Gilrandir 7th May 2016, 8:38 AM edit delete reply
I know I should probably just let the creatrixes respond, but I can't help myself ...

Ancient Rome _invented_ lawyers. I strongly suspect that more is involved in the orderly transfer of supreme executive power in Nova Roma than "He's dead! Bow down and worship me!"

Are we barbarians? ^_^
Tokyo Rose 7th May 2016, 4:20 PM edit delete reply

If Acantha were to attack Decimus, Kali would have to stop her with minimum necessary force.

Also, no, flat-out regicide is not an acceptable method of transferring executive power in Nova Roma. :D
Visvires 7th May 2016, 10:10 PM edit delete reply
At least, not in theory? At the dinner, Kali thought that if Kyle shot Decimus that she could be ordered to stand down before she had to kill him. So, if not Imperatrix, at least Cassian command must transfer instantly?
Gilrandir 7th May 2016, 11:17 PM edit delete reply
I expect Cassians have a chain of command, not a single person in the "driver's seat". So, if Decimus becomes incapacitated or killed, his orders remain in force, but she can receive new orders from those authorized. It's likely that those new orders cannot contravene orders from the Imperator which are in-force, but they can adjust to new circumstances. Once a new Imperator has been confirmed by the Senate (or whatever the proper procedure is), the _new_ Imperator can probably countermand orders of the previous one. However, things to consider:

1) Per @Tokyo Rose, Acantha can have no part in any existing chain of command. So, until she gets approved by the Senate, she's not a candidate for giving orders to Cassians.
2) I expect Cassians have standing orders to deal harshly with rebels. Acantha standing over Decimus' corpse with a smoking gun in her hands probably counts as a rebel. If someone like Maxus were right there on the spot, he could _probably_ order Kali to take her alive for questioning, but there's no way she gets anything other than the prisoner treatment at best, and summary execution at worst.
3) Even if someone were in the chain of command, I expect that 'probable cause' to suspect them of treason or conspiracy to commit treason automatically removes them from the chain of command while the Cassian consults with proper authority. (Especially since they all have built-in walkie-talkies.)

As always, the above are just my opinions and the creatrixes will know better than I
Tokyo Rose 8th May 2016, 3:33 PM edit delete reply

We actually have two questions here. The first relates to control over Kali, while the second relates to transfer of executive power in Nova Roma.

1) Kali is constrained by her inhibitor to protect the House of Livius, and to obey the head of said house. Decimus is the head of the house at this time. If he keeled over of terminal asshole disease, Acantha could give Kali orders. If someone else killed Decimus, Acantha could give Kali orders. If Decimus is simply knocked unconscious, Acantha couldn't give Kali orders. If Acantha killed Decimus in front of Kali, she couldn't give Kali orders. If Kyle had shot Decimus dead over the dinner table, Acantha WOULD have been able to order Kali to stand down (if she'd spoken REALLY QUICKLY).

2) Upon Decimus's death, Acantha automatically becomes the new ruler of Nova Roma in name, because she's his official heir. She would then have to be confirmed in the position by the Senate to formally take the reins of power.
Gilrandir 8th May 2016, 3:58 PM edit delete reply
If Acantha killed Decimus in front of Kali, she couldn't give Kali orders.

I find this one interesting. Your point about Kali and the House of Livius, as opposed to other Cassians and Nova Roma is well taken. However, that being the case, why would fratricide make Acantha ineligible for elevation to the head of House Livius? Is kinslaying grounds for immediate expulsion from the family? This seems to me to be on a little more shaky ground. And it certainly does open the question, since legal channels are not involved, if Decimus is discovered to be a parricide after the fact, why would the same protocols not apply?
Dragonrider 8th May 2016, 11:31 AM edit delete reply

Why not? Douchie set the precedent.
Gilrandir 8th May 2016, 12:16 PM edit delete reply
Objection! Assumes facts not in evidence! What we know is that Kali believes Decimus to have killed the previous Imperator. There is no evidence to suggest that Kali was present at the time, or that Decimus was ever charged with the crime, or even that there was ever any evidence of the crime before Decimus was confirmed as the new Imperator. (Besides the dead body.) For all we know, it might only have been after Decimus was confirmed that he privately confessed (bragged?) to Kali, knowing he was now safe from arrest or retribution by the hardwired-for-loyalty Cassian. Knowing his penchant for cruelty, it might even have included such dialogue as "... And make sure you never fail to protect me in the same way you failed to protect my miserable, witless weakling of a father, you <insert several cruel and cutting adjectives here>."

We also don't know that Decimus didn't use intermediaries (though that seems unlikely). Certainly if _Dolly_ kills Decimus, there's no obvious reason for that to make Acantha unfit to be Imperatrix over the smoking, glowing hole in the ground that Nova Roma used to be before the contingencies were triggered. All surviving Cassians could legitimately pledge their loyalty to her as soon as an emergency session of the Senate could be convened from the remaining cockroaches and bunny rabbits to confirm her.

The only reason I don't suggest that Decimus might, in fact, be innocent of the crime is that we have commentary from the authors to the effect that he is guilty. But (as far as I recall) there's nothing in the canonical content to suggest that he might not be allowing slanderous (but untrue) rumors of his regicide circulate as a means of inflating his reputation for ruthlessness and solidifying his political power.

When you are constrained to follow rigid and uncompromising laws of behavior, there is (in my opinion) a very big difference between what you believe and what you can prove. And, similarly, a big difference between whether you can prove it _before_ or _after_ Decimus is confirmed as Imperator of Nova Roma.

All of the above are just my opinions, of course. The creatrixes will know better than I what the truth of the matter is.
VanEzzania 6th May 2016, 8:04 PM edit delete reply

She's reaching for her sword!
Wolfsbane 6th May 2016, 10:48 PM edit delete reply

Hitting the top ten... how long can we keep it there?
Romfire 7th May 2016, 7:36 PM edit delete reply
If Dec is KOed, Dolly could just remind Kali that she should tend to his care, and that she has no reason to hurt him as long as he isn't hurting Lynn. He can't do that if he is knocked out. Can a person take a hit like that and still be awake?
Also, his well being takes priority over tasks. Either he is much less hurt than the flying teeth and crunching sound would indicate, or Kali is flawed in her programing.
On a side note, could the girls use any of the dying blue shirts weapons? Would the princess have rights to use such weapons? Are they user locked?
I think I have exceeded my upper question limit for today.
Tokyo Rose 8th May 2016, 3:40 PM edit delete reply

- Kali has to disarm and incapacitate Dolly at the least to ensure that she can't continue to pose a threat to Decimus. She's not going to listen to anything Dolly has to say that is not "I surrender" accompanied by appropriate physical gestures of submission.

- Kali knows a whack in the mouth isn't going to do Decimus fatal harm.

- No, the girls can't use the Praetorians' weapons.

Did I cover it? :D
Romfire 8th May 2016, 4:21 PM edit delete reply
Gilrandir 18th May 2016, 12:57 PM edit delete reply
By the way ...

I was just perusing the archives at random a bit (specifically the immediate aftermath of Dolly's bio-conversion) and noticed something that spired a question: Why would Kali ID Dolly as "the Taylor Guardian"?

We know that Nova Roma has intelligence assets in New Troy, so Kali knowing of the existence of a Taylor guardian makes perfect sense. Even having a dossier including appearance and capability estimates is likely.

But that should be for Metal Dolly.

Given (in DataChasers) the unambiguous and overwhelming superiority of metal over meat, and the fact that Bio Dolly was designed to appear fully human to even deep scans as long as she doesn't demonstrate non-biological performance -- and we have seen from Maxus that the limits of biological performance can still be pretty extreme -- it seems a very far-fetched intuitive leap for Kali to assume that Dolly is THE Taylor Guardian, rather than just an enhanced Taylor operative.

Admittedly, it makes the introduction scene cooler if you just give Kali this moment of spontaneous enlightenment ... but is it really warranted?
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