Comic 1354 - Ai Uchi

22nd May 2016, 9:00 PM
Ai Uchi
Average Rating: 5 (24 votes)
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jamie59 22nd May 2016, 9:03 PM edit delete reply

Damm! You're abusing those girls!
Centcomm 22nd May 2016, 9:04 PM edit delete reply

Yep.. and its just as bad as it looks..
Mark_L_A 22nd May 2016, 9:04 PM edit delete reply

Not exactly what I thought was coming
Centcomm 22nd May 2016, 9:05 PM edit delete reply

good. we are being unpredictable :D
Visvires 22nd May 2016, 9:29 PM edit delete reply
The shooting I was half expecting. Chest Stabbing II, that was a complete surprise. I thought Lynn had knocked that knife away.
Centcomm 22nd May 2016, 9:30 PM edit delete reply

He kept it and switched hands.
Kafiroon 23rd May 2016, 2:18 AM edit delete reply
Either Douchie is a better man than is put out on him or Highly Skilled!
That blade hit the floor.
Sheela 24th May 2016, 11:20 AM edit delete reply

Last we saw the blade, he was still holding it with his regular fingers while his thumb was broken.

That said, dammit Acantha, you're supposed to use a gun at a distance!
Ah well, mutual destruction it is then.
DLKmusic 22nd May 2016, 9:05 PM edit delete reply

(I promised myself I wouldn't swear) WHAT THE LITERAL F....???????
Centcomm 22nd May 2016, 9:06 PM edit delete reply

Morituri 23rd May 2016, 5:30 PM edit delete reply
If there is any literal fucking to happen here it's going to be highly inappropriate. Aside from the fact that there's a great big hole in the only male that's present and every female in the room hates his guts, every single possible fem/fem pairing is also deeply problematic. Kali has like, fifty kinds of NOPE going for her w/r/t everyone in the area, Dolly has never shown any evidence of a functioning sex drive and is anyway too busy, Acantha appears to be mortally wounded, and Lynn is too traumatized for meaningful consent.

Nope. Absolutely no literal fucking.

Figuratively speaking though, they're definitely fucked.
Morituri 23rd May 2016, 5:36 PM edit delete reply
Almost forgot. Aside from the Trauma/Consent issue, we should likely rule out Lynn because she's apparently straight. With men being only about ten percent of the population, her choice of a boy as a lover probably isn't just coincidence.
Gilrandir 23rd May 2016, 5:45 PM edit delete reply
I will refer you to the story arc 820 -- Balancing Act, regarding Dolly's sexuality.
Morituri 23rd May 2016, 7:03 PM edit delete reply
So, to the extent she's explored the issue apparently she likes men. But she really dislikes Deck, and besides giant hole in him, and anyway she's still too busy.

Likely raping him would cause a diplomatic incident anyway.
Gilrandir 23rd May 2016, 7:09 PM edit delete reply
I confess I can think of no act less likely or more inappropriate in the current situation than for Dolly to abort her struggle with Kali and engage in carnal relations with Decimus. But I am a man of limited intellectual gifts and little imagination.
Sheela 24th May 2016, 11:21 AM edit delete reply

Hrm, I have to admit, that literal fucks are most unlikely in the given situation.
Dragonrider 22nd May 2016, 9:06 PM edit delete reply

This is not how a Mexican Standoff is supposed to end. It would seem Kali has no one to defend, kill or exist for, however it looks like Lynn was more accurate in her shot than Douchy was in his.. Will Max be the next To sit on the "Black Throne", or will Ada and TeeDee get there in time? Also what is the emergency warning sounding for? It was before Douchy got killed so it wasn't because the Doomsday Device went bang.

Edit Note:I really think all comments can be covered by three words. OH FUCKETY FUCK!!!!
Centcomm 22nd May 2016, 9:07 PM edit delete reply

The warning is due to the AIS reset thats going on in the background.
Wolfsbane 23rd May 2016, 4:50 AM edit delete reply

Is that reset done yet? Is Aeneas in good enough condition yet to stop the killing? I'd love to see some bots coming down the hall about now with laser sights trained on Dec and Kali...
Morituri 23rd May 2016, 7:10 PM edit delete reply
So Latin (sort of) is spoken on the ground here, and the Latin alphabet is used to write Anglish, but the warning sign is mostly in Kanji?

Did they get their AIS tech from Shinedo? And if so do Rose and the Treasures know things about it that the Nova Romans don't?
Tokyo Rose 24th May 2016, 4:05 PM edit delete reply

This has actually already been covered not too many pages back. Aeneas's construction was a joint effort; the Treasures (and Tokyo Rose) were part of said effort.
Fairportfan 22nd May 2016, 9:12 PM edit delete reply

Centcomm 22nd May 2016, 9:16 PM edit delete reply

Oops is a good word..
Visvires 22nd May 2016, 9:14 PM edit delete reply
She shot him! Finally! (Edit: Not a flesh wound. Not there.) Now, which organs got hit by that knife? All that conversation we had with the sword wound, only smaller.

Paging Ada. New Troy S&R, please respond.
Centcomm 22nd May 2016, 9:16 PM edit delete reply

Fairportfan 22nd May 2016, 9:17 PM edit delete reply

Not really - that's about a six-inch blade driven into her upper left chest to the hilt.

Even if it didn't hit anything instantly fatal, it's done Permanently Very Bad Things.
Centcomm 22nd May 2016, 9:20 PM edit delete reply

Very bad things .. indeed.
Visvires 22nd May 2016, 9:23 PM edit delete reply
So, best to hope for is one ruined lung and a conveniently missed heart?
Centcomm 22nd May 2016, 9:28 PM edit delete reply

That would be a good hope.. :D
Wolfsbane 22nd May 2016, 10:29 PM edit delete reply

That's what I'm thinking, @Visvires.

And it's a darn shame that she lost control of the gun and didn't empty it into him.
Timotheus 22nd May 2016, 11:02 PM edit delete reply

Judging by my anatomy chart, Decimus has a high probability of being hit right through the heart (unless he's got sub dermal armor), Acantha has a good chance of having her heart being missed but the aorta is far more questionable.
Fairportfan 22nd May 2016, 9:15 PM edit delete reply

I hate to be picky, but given the way he's holding the knife in the first panel and their relative positions at the relevant moment, i'm straining to accept that it's stuck into her at that point and at that angle.
Centcomm 22nd May 2016, 9:16 PM edit delete reply

It is.. And no its not a illusion..
Fairportfan 22nd May 2016, 9:22 PM edit delete reply

It seems as if, given the viewpoint we have at the relevant moment, his left hand would have had to be higher in the panel - like visible, which it isn't - to put the blade in that high and at that angle, which is somewhat downward.
Centcomm 22nd May 2016, 9:31 PM edit delete reply

Actually you are forgetting his height. ...
Fairportfan 23rd May 2016, 2:46 AM edit delete reply

No; i'm just saying that the positions that i see don't seem to line up with the final result.

Likely i'm just analysing incorrectly...
Stormwind13 23rd May 2016, 1:04 PM edit delete reply

To be fair, some of the angle 'problem' may be model issues. CentComm might have adjusted it as far as she could without breaking it completely. CentComm does amazing things with her manipulation of the models; however, there are limits.
Visvires 22nd May 2016, 9:20 PM edit delete reply
Why fire only one shot? You're already stabbed. Empty the gun.
Centcomm 22nd May 2016, 9:29 PM edit delete reply

because shes in shock.
Visvires 22nd May 2016, 9:31 PM edit delete reply
Same reason he stopped stabbing, I guess.
Centcomm 22nd May 2016, 9:33 PM edit delete reply

Visvires 22nd May 2016, 11:07 PM edit delete reply
He also stopped talking. Which is nice.
Wolfsbane 23rd May 2016, 4:52 AM edit delete reply

How many of his 5 seconds have we used up yet? Not enough...
Sheela 24th May 2016, 11:23 AM edit delete reply

i have to agree, he stopped talking, a welcome development. :)

... NOW can we kill Kyle ?
Lynn needs a bit more drama and trauma.
ProfEtheric 22nd May 2016, 9:36 PM edit delete reply

Oh damn... That...

What? I mean...


That is so not good...
Centcomm 22nd May 2016, 9:50 PM edit delete reply

Nope its not good at all!
Visvires 22nd May 2016, 9:40 PM edit delete reply
So, how does this fit into Kali's directives? Does that fact that he was shot in self defense means Kali doesn't have to finish Acanatha off? Does this mean she can back down? (Assuming Dolly allows it.) If Acantha outlives Decimus, even slightly, will she obtain command?
Centcomm 22nd May 2016, 9:49 PM edit delete reply

That question will be answered shortly!
TheSkulker 22nd May 2016, 9:42 PM edit delete reply

Well that removes all possible hope for Arianna. Even if Ada gets there in seconds, her first priority will be Acantha not Arianna.

Second question: What is Kali to do now? The directive to protect the douchbag is inoperative. If he is still alive she would need to do something to keep him so. If he is dead then that transfers to Acantha. If they are both dead then does/can she try to stop the contingencies?

Now, ***THIS*** is a cliffhanger!!! [And Friday's may be even worse!] Evilness incarnate! Thy names are Cent and Tokyo Rose.
Visvires 22nd May 2016, 9:47 PM edit delete reply
From what we've seen of the Cassians, I don't think she necessarily has any medical training, whatsoever. She visibly lacks Ada's trauma kit, because that thing was huge. I don't think Kali has much to offer but rapid transit to the nearest auto doc.
TheSkulker 23rd May 2016, 1:59 AM edit delete reply

Absolutely. But that doesn't mean she can do nothing. Getting him to a medical facility was what I was thinking but she could also try to stem the blood loss. Her attention and action would be centered upon the douchbag. She certainly would not stand around wringing her hands.
Centcomm 22nd May 2016, 9:50 PM edit delete reply

All these questions will be answered shortly.. Stay tuned!
Tokyo Rose 22nd May 2016, 10:05 PM edit delete reply

I will only make one statement here: Kali can't stop the contingencies.
Visvires 22nd May 2016, 10:14 PM edit delete reply
But the newly rebooted Aeneas, perhaps? How long does it take him to power on, I wonder. And what of Ceci's coup attempt?

Curse you, cryptic emergency alarm. You are the most subtle cliffhanger here.
HiFranc 23rd May 2016, 12:51 AM edit delete reply

If the contingencies aren't disabled then Ada's priority should be Decimus (however much that pains me to play into his hands).
kraznor 24th May 2016, 2:03 AM edit delete reply
if the contingencies need a code or brain activity to keep them from activating then there's a problem if it dose not then Ada can keep his body alive and allow the brain to die if she is close by :)
Sheela 24th May 2016, 11:24 AM edit delete reply

I don't think Ada knows about the contingencies, so her priorities would not reflect that.
HiFranc 24th May 2016, 12:57 PM edit delete reply

But Lynn, Dolly and Kali do so they can inform her (especially the latter two as I'm not sure Lynn's thinking straight at the moment).
Tokyo Rose 24th May 2016, 4:15 PM edit delete reply

The contingencies do require both telemetry of Decimus's vitals and regular active code transmission. He wasn't so stupid as to give anyone a chance to, say, put him into a coma or cripple him to stop him from ruling without triggering the contingencies. Readers have come up with some very creative suggestions to work around the issue, but while working on the concept, we went to considerable effort to make it airtight and loophole-free. Essentially, they won't go off as long as Decimus is alive, in full possession of his limbs, organs, and faculties (such as they are), and the active ruler of Nova Roma. If any of those factors change to a negative value rather than a positive one, the apocalypse ensues.
The Old Scribe 22nd May 2016, 10:05 PM edit delete reply

Set and match! It appears the knife went in high and to the left on Acantha and the shot went lower and to the left on Doucheimus. Her wound possibly nicked the heart and definitely hit a lung. His is solidly in the heart and a lung. If they leave the knife in until she can get treatment, she might make it. His internal damage is a lot more critical and open heart surgery is definitely in order.

This may very well be the end of the royal family since there are no heirs. Maybe it's time for a democratic government in New Roma with a newly repaired AI as watchdog.
justjoe46 23rd May 2016, 9:24 AM edit delete reply
What heart? The blast of the gun shot at that range would have obliterated his heart. He no longer has a heart, just a pulpy mass of dead muscle where his heart once was.
justjoe46 23rd May 2016, 11:24 AM edit delete reply
I should have said that his heart, diaphragm, spleen, lower lobe of his left lung, and anything else within say 6 inches of the entry hole are obliterated. They were all rent apart by the muzzle blast from the pistol. The giant cavity that was created is now quickly filling with blood, and that look on Decimess's face is one of death, not shock.
Morituri 23rd May 2016, 5:45 PM edit delete reply
It's clear that his armor wasn't good enough.

It isn't clear that it was completely useless. It would have to have been COMPLETELY useless for that much trauma from a single shot; you'd get that result if he were wearing a tee-shirt.
Tokyo Rose 24th May 2016, 4:22 PM edit delete reply

In the absence of living, able heirs of the Livius line, the Senate automatically takes executive power. A new house must be chosen as ruler from among the Senatorial families within thirty days.
Haegan2005 22nd May 2016, 10:15 PM edit delete reply

hah, maybe Lost In Translation is not what we think it is?

This is not what I expected. Though I am happy that some one finally shot him! Sheela May actually do a tail wag for this.

Course, there is the other side to this... I really hope Dolly has some first class medical stuff on her!
Visvires 22nd May 2016, 10:23 PM edit delete reply
I hadn't even thought of that. Acquired guardian habits should include patching up her charge, even if only from scraping a knee in a fall. No Ada kit on her, that giant box is a shield, but maybe some quick clot and a chest seal. That could be in a pocket.
Haegan2005 22nd May 2016, 10:31 PM edit delete reply

Well, the thought is that she did not know what condition she would find Lynn in or what they would go through getting out. A medical kit would have been a necessity that Dolly would have brought for her charge if only because you cannot predict what is going to happen or how bad(or good) a shot your opponent is..
Centcomm 22nd May 2016, 11:10 PM edit delete reply

Dolly is trained in first aid protocols :D
Visvires 23rd May 2016, 2:40 AM edit delete reply
I would expect her to be not only trained, but habituated to them, after three generations of children.
Wolfsbane 23rd May 2016, 3:26 AM edit delete reply

I would be ok with seeing Sheela wag her tail.
Sheela 24th May 2016, 10:45 AM edit delete reply

*wags tail stolen from a murderturd, hitting Decimus repeatedly with it*

Im helping! :D
HeSerpenty 22nd May 2016, 10:30 PM edit delete reply

Visvires 22nd May 2016, 10:50 PM edit delete reply
Here's hoping that they don't subscribe to same school of character development as George R. R. Martin.
HeSerpenty 22nd May 2016, 10:55 PM edit delete reply

Haha.. ain't that the truth :'D
Stormwind13 23rd May 2016, 7:17 AM edit delete reply

I've been saying Reservoir Dogs for awhile now. I fear we will get to see it play out now. ;-( Ada and TeeDee, heck the ENTIRE New Troy team caught in the contingencies.

Total wipe out and then the survivors (back in New Sparta and New Troy) get to start anew.
Centcomm 22nd May 2016, 11:10 PM edit delete reply

It .. might have?
Sheela 24th May 2016, 10:46 AM edit delete reply

No, no, the knife didn't miss, Decimus missed.
The knife doesn't care.
mjkj 22nd May 2016, 10:32 PM edit delete reply

Nöooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo, Acantha!!!!!!! *comforts, hugs and holds her carefully*

As long as the knife seals the wound Acantha still has some time to get saved... - it is high enough to miss her heart...

Did douchie not drop that knife?

I just hope that Ada and TeeDee arrive soon...

What is with that emergency warning??? I can hardly read it. Does it say an hour or just ten seconds?

Edit: after enlarging it is chinese/japanese characters not numbers...

Visvires 22nd May 2016, 10:51 PM edit delete reply
Kanji? Team Rose must have control then? That's good news.
Centcomm 22nd May 2016, 11:10 PM edit delete reply

He actually didnt drop it.
Stormwind13 23rd May 2016, 3:08 AM edit delete reply

NOOOOOOOOO!!!!! ACANTHA!!!!! How can you DO that to her?!?! I mean... that is the ONLY viable future for Nova Roma... And now she is critically wounded. Quite possibly dying from Douchimus' attack!
Timotheus 22nd May 2016, 10:45 PM edit delete reply

I guess the cat really does have a chance to be the new empress.
(Quietly mouthing the words to "O Fortuna" while I listen on my headset so as not to disturb anyone else.)

StellarJay 22nd May 2016, 10:52 PM edit delete reply

Ada! Where are you! You are needed now!

Acantha, please hold on and don't pull that knife out.
CptKerion 22nd May 2016, 11:04 PM edit delete reply
Yeah. And someone, anyone, please drop him. Miraiko, Maxus, Dolly, Steve the Janitor, anyone. Then get her sedated and to medical attention. Keep dickimus alive so the contingencies don't get in the way. NOTE: Alive=/=intact
Visvires 22nd May 2016, 11:08 PM edit delete reply
Anything but a head and torso is optional. And most of the sensory equipment on each is also optional. But I think he's been done in.

This really was the day to have a Taser.
Tokyo Rose 23rd May 2016, 8:21 AM edit delete reply

Ah, someone has finally called upon Steve the Janitor!
Centcomm 23rd May 2016, 1:53 AM edit delete reply

Yeah pulling out the knife would be BAD!
Sheela 24th May 2016, 10:48 AM edit delete reply

Steve the Janitor, TO THE RESCUE !!!!

Also, get uncle Avi to the operating room. :)
velvetsanity 24th May 2016, 8:49 PM edit delete reply

Nice Snatch reference, Sheela :D
Sheela 25th May 2016, 9:02 AM edit delete reply

Luna Star reference actually. :)
velvetsanity 25th May 2016, 11:52 AM edit delete reply

Oh, I recognized that, but IIRC "uncle Avi" was a character in the movie Snatch (starring, among others, Jason Statham and Brad Pitt)

Edit: Whoops, sorry, just looked it up to verify. In Snatch it was Cousin Avi.
hidden-ninjafist 22nd May 2016, 11:04 PM edit delete reply
it may just be both them going into shock... but rather than surprise, they both seem sad and resigned, particularly decimus, a strange look on him.
Gilrandir 23rd May 2016, 12:25 AM edit delete reply
Hypothesis: Just a release of inner demons. Each of them need no longer fear, after living with it for many years, that their sibling will also be their murderer. That question has been answered.

Now, with the fear gone, they just feel ... cold.
Centcomm 23rd May 2016, 1:53 AM edit delete reply

Very perceptive.. .. :D
Visvires 23rd May 2016, 2:49 AM edit delete reply
Is Decimus finally getting a reality check? The realization that he could've taken a different path and NOT died, sinking in? The narcissistic shield dropping with blood pressure?
grahamf 23rd May 2016, 12:10 AM edit delete reply
Quick! To the medibay!
Rashala 23rd May 2016, 12:20 AM edit delete reply

Given location of the wounds, caught like shock and collapsed lung ...ceci depending on angle same to peirces ventricle or spine

Either way. An oh F$%& moment
Centcomm 23rd May 2016, 1:53 AM edit delete reply

oh yes.. so very much!
Evervigilant 23rd May 2016, 1:33 AM edit delete reply
Love the looks on both of their faces and the blood spatter background. Cannot wait until the next page so we can see the proverbial other shoe drop. Something tells me it will be a really big shoe.
StellarJay 23rd May 2016, 1:38 AM edit delete reply

I wonder if Kali will suddenly no longer feel constrained to keep fighting or at least direct attention elsewhere.
Wolfsbane 23rd May 2016, 4:47 AM edit delete reply

Also Dolly. Did Dec's attack on Lynn distract her long enough for Kali to get in the killing blow? Only time will tell.
StellarJay 23rd May 2016, 1:41 AM edit delete reply

The storytelling duo have once again reminded me that bad things happen to people I know, and can happen any time to anyone. I've lost several friends and acquaintances to accidents, suicides, and murder. It happens. We can only go along with the story and see how it plays out, just like in life.
Centcomm 23rd May 2016, 1:54 AM edit delete reply

yeah. Sorry about that.
StellarJay 24th May 2016, 2:34 AM edit delete reply

My point here was that our society is used to stories with happy endings, but that's not how things really play out . Not always, anyway. This just means that because we really like a character in this story, that doesn't grant immunity from harm to said character.
Tokyo Rose 24th May 2016, 4:28 PM edit delete reply

Does it help to know that while I respect George R. R. Martin for being willing to break the "rules" of fiction, I won't read his books or watch his TV show? :D
Matt Knab 23rd May 2016, 3:29 AM edit delete reply

Egad! I hope it's not a double KO!
xpacetrue 23rd May 2016, 3:36 AM edit delete reply

Actually, a double knock-out would be one of the better scenarios. That is, it would be infinitely preferable to both or either of them dying! With Dec unconscious, he can't issue any more orders to Kali. And our heroes have at least a chance to save Acantha and flee Nova Roma.
xpacetrue 23rd May 2016, 3:33 AM edit delete reply

Why on earth did Acantha RUN TOWARDS Dec with the intent to harm him? He had a small dagger/knife, while she had a GUN. If she kept her distance, Dec would still be injured and she would be unharmed...
Centcomm 23rd May 2016, 3:53 AM edit delete reply

she was actually moving backwards .. he just caught her...
Sheela 24th May 2016, 10:51 AM edit delete reply

Ha ha, yeah, I was thinking "Dammit, Acantha, you're supposed to use a gun AT RANGE, not close up and personal."
Visvires 24th May 2016, 6:35 PM edit delete reply
He caught her monologing, twice.
Sheela 25th May 2016, 9:03 AM edit delete reply

Wait .. Acantha is the evil one ?
Hornet 23rd May 2016, 5:00 AM edit delete reply
Don't pull it out!
sigpig 23rd May 2016, 10:25 AM edit delete reply

That's what she said!
KarToon12 23rd May 2016, 5:55 AM edit delete reply

Panel four looks so awesome! :D

Somehow, I think she'll be able to survive a knife wound more than he'll be able to recover from a bullet wound. Plus, that looks to be more near her shoulder than her heart, so she might have more of a fighting chance.

But that's just me being optimistic for the princess.
Stormwind13 23rd May 2016, 6:10 AM edit delete reply

One thing to remember KarToon. Douchimus is wearing armor, Acantha is NOT. So we don't know how much it blunted her shot. We do know Acantha took the FULL (6" ?) length of the dagger though!
Gilrandir 23rd May 2016, 8:04 AM edit delete reply
Note 1: Centcomm saying it is as bad as it looks does not bode well for Decimus, as far as the shot having been blunted.

Note 2: To really assess Decimus' wound we should start by seeing if there's an exit wound. There are times when armor can work against you -- specifically when the projectile has enough penetration to defeat the armor going in, but not to get out. In that case, the bullet just sort of 'rattles around' inside the target and the full kinetic energy is transferred to the target. A 'through and through' is nearly always preferable to that.
Hornet 23rd May 2016, 9:05 AM edit delete reply
All I got to say is armors great when it keeps the bad things out. But it's usually a bad thing when/after the bad things have gotten in. This is part of what makes a .22 so deadly. If it isn't through and through. It ends up like a bumble bee covered in razor blades bouncing around in your innards.
justjoe46 23rd May 2016, 11:31 AM edit delete reply
At that range, and with the full power of the propellant behind it the bullet would have gone through the armor like it wasn't even there. Plus what is the chance that the gun was loaded with Armor Piercing ammo, thus rendering the armor useless.
Centcomm 23rd May 2016, 12:47 PM edit delete reply

Acantha's gun is a energy weapon.. remember that.
Gilrandir 23rd May 2016, 1:12 PM edit delete reply
Anything packing enough energy to (nigh-)instantly vaporize enough metal to leave the hole we see in the breastplate should be generating a fairly hefty steam explosion when it gets to the soft, mostly-water tissue that is living flesh. It's why plasma bolts cause bodies to explode in movies like "The Terminator". Also, an energy bolt would (theoretically) instantly cauterize the tissue, preventing the oh-so graphic blood trickle exiting the armor. Unless, that is, secondary damage from said steam explosion created a cavity that is now filling with blood, some of which is escaping.

DataChasers tech is DataChasers tech, but I suspect that, if physics is involved and a directed-energy beam defeated a shiny metal breastplate, Decimus' undertaker would be _wishing_ Acantha's pistol had been a projectile weapon. ^_^
Gilrandir 23rd May 2016, 1:19 PM edit delete reply
And out of curiosity, in panel 5, why do we have what appears to be propellant gases escaping from the barrel of an energy weapon? I can understand wisps of smoke (steam) coming from the wound, but not the gun barrel. Even if it were some sort of coolant, it should be venting from the side, so as not to diffuse the beam, rather than exiting directly into the beam's path.

Just my opinion, of course.
justjoe46 23rd May 2016, 5:51 PM edit delete reply
Could it be flash boiled internal organs leaking out of the hole in the armor. My guess is that since it is an energy weapon any thing in front of the muzzle to the point of energy dispersal would have risen several thousand degrees in an instant, and that Decimess is dead, and waiting to fall down.
Centcomm 24th May 2016, 7:48 PM edit delete reply

Aeneas made the gun out of a stripped down plasma pulse pistol. the " steam" you are seeing is a combination of factors one the heat dissipation from the power going though the barrel interacting with the humidity in the air ( its also colder in the tunnels. )

as well has vaporizing organic material from being right up against Decks chest.
velvetsanity 23rd May 2016, 2:05 PM edit delete reply

Being an energy weapon, that *could* greatly reduce the damage done, depending on the energy type. A projectile would have tumbled and bounced around after punching through the armor, not to mention cavitation damage (multiplied by expansion if it were a hollow point). And hydrostatic shock as well. His insides would be chunky salsa if not goo with a projectile.
Meska 23rd May 2016, 3:47 PM edit delete reply
The Steam is most likely the frying of blood splatter inside the barrel. Think water on a hot pan. Sizzles and steams.
Sheela 24th May 2016, 10:55 AM edit delete reply

I'm thinking artistic license, people understand what a smoking gun means.
Gilrandir 24th May 2016, 1:04 PM edit delete reply
I agree that artistic license seems the likeliest explanation. But l always want to account for the possibility that the creatrices meant to do it exactly that way for an in-story reason.
Tokyo Rose 24th May 2016, 4:30 PM edit delete reply

Cent? You're up. (Logically, there wouldn't be blood spatter inside the barrel, even though I like that idea.)
Greenwood Goat 23rd May 2016, 8:04 AM edit delete reply
Oh... dear. Those could be survivable. Possibly. Presumably Dec has his vitals monitored continuously, for contingency purposes. Does Kali have a line into this, and would she be able to break off and go to save his life? Or is everyone going to end up transformed into Little Ponies by the resulting apocalypse...?

Lady Roaming Reins: .... I'm... I'm alive! Is everypony else all right?

Princess Crystal Spire: I.. am. I think. My brother had just stabbed me and... I have wings?

Guardian Heart: Lynn! I... I mean Reins! Are you alright? Why did I just call you that? I was fighting with... with...

Slashing Blades: What is happening! And where is my... ah, would you step to the side, princess?

Slimius Sluggius: *inaudible gastropod vocalisations* *waves horns angrily*

Slashing Blades: My imperator... I think he would be best placed in a jar of some sort, one with a tightly-fitting lid. For his comfort and safety.

Shiny Collar: I... think I might have one here... *rummages in saddlebags* My princess, I don't know what happened... I remember a pain in my chest, then-

Princess Crystal Spire: Aha! *grabs jar from bag with unicorn power, opens, scoops up Slimius, shuts him in jar* And yes, I remember... I think you died...

Guardian Heart: Well, let us leave this dank cellar, and see if any more of our friends have come back to life!


Speedy Stabbity: What the hay happened?! This is Big Max's apartment, all right, and I was holding Precious Flower hostage and watching him rip the silage out of Cutting Edge...

>:=)> Seguing Goat tries to relieve the seriousness of this with a diversion to Equestria...
Tokyo Rose 23rd May 2016, 8:25 AM edit delete reply

I will have you know that I just about fucking died reading this.

Partly because of the mental image of "angry slug noises" and flailings. It made me think of "angry moth noises".
Centcomm 23rd May 2016, 12:46 PM edit delete reply

velvetsanity 23rd May 2016, 2:11 PM edit delete reply


+20% cooler internets in ten seconds flat
Sheela 24th May 2016, 10:58 AM edit delete reply

Ha ha ha ... oh that is precious! :D
Gilrandir 23rd May 2016, 8:23 AM edit delete reply
Oh, Decimus. you give Love a bad name!
TheD-Wrek 23rd May 2016, 8:44 AM edit delete reply

chk 23rd May 2016, 8:45 AM edit delete reply

Well shit.

I did NOT see that coming.
Stormwind13 23rd May 2016, 1:16 PM edit delete reply

I don't think anyone did, chk.
justjoe46 23rd May 2016, 9:18 AM edit delete reply
Dec is already dead, he just doesn't know it yet. The bullet, plus anatomy (lower left ventricle), plus expanding propellant gasses from the shot, have rendered Decimess completely messed up beyond any hope of recovery. Acantha could recover easily as long as the knife blade remains where it is until medical help is ready to remove it. The blade is currently keeping the hole that it created closed.
Centcomm 23rd May 2016, 12:47 PM edit delete reply

Acantha's gun is a energy weapon.. remember that.
Stormwind13 23rd May 2016, 1:13 PM edit delete reply

I thought it was, but hadn't had the chance to check. So it could have expended all of its energy getting THROUGH the armor and had nothing left to finish him off?
Gilrandir 23rd May 2016, 1:29 PM edit delete reply
Then why the blood trail? If the underlying flesh weren't completely undamaged because the armor completely absorbed/deflected the bolt, I would expect the underlying tissue damage to be thermal in nature from the residual and secondary effects of the beam.
justjoe46 23rd May 2016, 5:39 PM edit delete reply
Okay Acantha's weapon was an energy weapon. The damage to Decimess is still permanent,and he's still dead. It's just that his internal organs were vaporized by the heat of the bolt instead of being ripped apart by the shock wave of the gun going off.
Nef 23rd May 2016, 11:21 AM edit delete reply

I've read that a good author abuses his or her characters.

You are a great author...
Romfire 23rd May 2016, 11:49 AM edit delete reply
I have been an emergency medical technician for 25+ years. A knife wound like that would be hard to survive for several reasons.
1st: The need to breath. The movement of the lungs would cause more damage with each breath.
2nd: Air where it shouldn't be. While the knife might slow down the bleeding through the chest wall, the damage to the lung would allow air into the Pleual cavity. The lungs are not connected to the chest walls. They are inflated thanks to the vacuum in the Pleual space. When air gets into that space either through the chest wall, or escaping from the lungs, the lungs deflate and breathing becomes impossible. You can lose one lung and get enough air exchange from the other one, but if air pressure build in one side, it presses into the other. This is a tension pneumothorax. Air(and blood) must be released from the injured side to reduce the pressure and allow the other lung to function.
3rd: Blood and lots of it. That area is very vascular. You can bleed out into your chest cavity without any getting outside the body. This is a hemothorax(hemo = blood, thorax is of course chest). With out aggressive fluid(blood) replacement and quick access to a surgical team, the odds are pretty slim.
That being said, a vial of those nano bots would probably keep her alive until surgery could be done. Lets see how good of a girl scout Dolly was in packing for this trip.
Hornet 23rd May 2016, 12:21 PM edit delete reply
I'm going with an internal bleeder being the biggest problem. I'm sure Dolly could talk Lynn through inserting a chest drain.
velvetsanity 23rd May 2016, 2:13 PM edit delete reply

It's Dolly. She probably prepped for everything up to and including ground zero detonation of a dirty nuke.
Tokyo Rose 23rd May 2016, 4:13 PM edit delete reply

It strikes me that a great many medical problems boil down to "things are fine in the right places, but not at all fine in other places". Blood and air are great right up until they jump the tracks and go to places they're not intended to be.
Sheela 24th May 2016, 11:02 AM edit delete reply

To be fair, even if she does get blood and air "in the wrong places", it's probably going to take a while before she succumbs to the effects of it.

Hopefully Ada catches up to them soon, with some of that 38th century medikit goodness.
Visvires 24th May 2016, 6:36 PM edit delete reply
I think the last panel of Friday will be Ada walking in. We'll get a prognosis Monday, at earliest.
Gilrandir 23rd May 2016, 12:02 PM edit delete reply
"Hey, Aeneas! You know that brand new sanity upgrade we just installed ..."

"We have a little bit of bad news for you ..."
Sheela 24th May 2016, 11:03 AM edit delete reply

Oh yes he's not gonna be happy.
Well, he can always call her up on that sell-cast ring that hegave her and say "good bye" to her. :)
Gilrandir 24th May 2016, 1:06 PM edit delete reply
_If_ she hasn't already checked out before he finishes his reboot ...
highlander55 23rd May 2016, 12:35 PM edit delete reply

Well shit! All I can say is "HAIL CAESAR"
Greenwood Goat 23rd May 2016, 4:25 PM edit delete reply
How about "FAIL CAESAR!" His armour has failed, and the rest will likely follow...
Phil 23rd May 2016, 2:16 PM edit delete reply
Great ending! I love it!

People can now take their pick of the following three final lines:

option 1)
"Take up the bodies: such a sight as this
Becomes the field, but here shows much amiss.
Go, bid the soldiers shoot"

option 2)
"Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things.
Some shall be pardoned, and some punishèd.
For never was a story of more woe
Than this of Juliet and her Romeo"

option 3)
"Let the bodies hit the flo'!
Let the bodies hit the flo'!"
velvetsanity 23rd May 2016, 5:42 PM edit delete reply

My response to option 3

Just seems kind of appropriate.

Disturbed is awesome live, BTW. Got to see them at Kansas City RockFest
Sheela 24th May 2016, 11:09 AM edit delete reply
That one guy 23rd May 2016, 3:26 PM edit delete reply
Well, looks like that cut off a lot of channels of speculation.

If no more Livius line, I wonder if Kali will have free will, another set of directives binding her, or contingencies causing her to self-destruct. She'll at least have a microsecond or two to enjoy no longer being required to serve Decimus.

I do feel a little bad that his cat didn't get to help kill him, though.
Timotheus 23rd May 2016, 5:52 PM edit delete reply

Maybe they'll put him in suspended animation to fool the contingencies, and the monitor beeping will so distract her she'll knock the plug out of the wall and thus be the one who finally "kills" him.
Sheela 24th May 2016, 11:11 AM edit delete reply

It's genuinely an interesting thought :
"What would happen to the cassians, should the Livius line cease to be."

To be honest, I don't think anyone have thought of that.
That one guy 24th May 2016, 3:58 PM edit delete reply
If I'm recalling correctly, all the Cassians are bound to Kali and Kali is bound to the Livius line. As long as Kali lives, the rest of the Cassians should still be bound to her. If she's destroyed and there's no Livius line, I wonder if the Cassians will be bound to the new ruler, no one, or also be destroyed by a cascade from the failsafe that kills Kali.
Tokyo Rose 24th May 2016, 4:45 PM edit delete reply

The Cassians aren't "bound" to Kali in any way that would cause them to keel over if she were destroyed; they're just under her command. In the absence of a ruler from the Livius line, the Cassians answer the Lord General, or to the Senate.
That one guy 24th May 2016, 8:13 PM edit delete reply
Sorry if word choice seemed odd, I was thinking inhibitor in terms of bound. The whole inhibitor technology seems like it's presented as a form of slavery for an AI, so "bound" just feels like an appropriate word (partially because "enslaved" seems more likely to have people argue just due to the word, but also because bound covers unconscious actions better).

The potential for destruction would've been if Decimus' failsafes had reached that far, which I don't believe we have reason to believe that they do, just a "who knows" sort of thing. Same as we don't have reason to believe he fitted Kali with something to destroy her in case of his death (or that an ancestor did so in the event of the end of the Livius line).
Sheela 25th May 2016, 9:06 AM edit delete reply

You would be able to rebel against slavery though.
This is more akin to a geas.
Morituri 23rd May 2016, 6:02 PM edit delete reply
Just in case anybody's not noticing, that flare behind Deck in panel 2 looks like someone is cutting through that door lock with a torch.

Ada and Teedee are more likely. But a panicked squad of Praetorians desperately trying to stay ahead of a rampaging giant murderturd would be both more funny and more dramatic.
Tokyo Rose 24th May 2016, 4:47 PM edit delete reply

That's actually just the glow of the code/status panel, not a cutting torch. :D
TheSkulker 23rd May 2016, 8:15 PM edit delete reply

Do we know for sure (canon), whether the contingencies are controlled by instantaneous internal biometrics or by an external deadman switch that he has to reset periodically? If the latter, how much time before it triggers? If the former, then it would have meant he could never have left the vicinity of NR even momentarily.
mjkj 24th May 2016, 12:41 AM edit delete reply

Iirc it was both...
Sheela 24th May 2016, 11:12 AM edit delete reply

There hasn't been anything about how long it would take before activation though.
Tokyo Rose 24th May 2016, 4:48 PM edit delete reply

"How much time before it triggers?" is a really good question.

::wanders away::
Visvires 24th May 2016, 6:38 PM edit delete reply
It should be slightly more than the time required for him to get up and override a false positive. Otherwise he'd have run the risk of a biometric malfunction ruining his own day.
Romfire 24th May 2016, 11:09 AM edit delete reply
I was just wondering, since the sitting ruler was attacking the next in line, would the basic right to self defense still leave her fit to take the throne? (Assuming she lives)
I know you said that if she just flat out murdered her like he did his dad, that she wouldn't get the throne. This isn't murder, it is legal self defense. (In the USA anyway) So if she lives, would she be made ruler when she comes of age?
Sheela 24th May 2016, 11:16 AM edit delete reply

If he dies and she survives, I don't think she would have any major issues taking his place as Imperator.

A bigger issue would probably be wether or not the senate would want another imperator at all, or simply remove the position and do something else, like, say, a prime minister, or maybe a Triumvirate.
Phil 25th May 2016, 9:10 AM edit delete reply
in both war, and succession, the survivors get to make any rules they want.
Tokyo Rose 24th May 2016, 4:55 PM edit delete reply

Correct. It would be considered self-defense if Decimus dies from a wound Acantha inflicts in the course of protecting herself from his attack with a deadly weapon, and she would not be barred from taking the throne when she reaches legal adulthood.

The Senate would not remove the position of Imperator because if the House of Livius dies out, a new ruling house is selected from among the Senatorial families. They're not about to give up the chance to acquire supreme executive power. ;D
Romfire 24th May 2016, 11:11 AM edit delete reply
Sorry for the typo Him not her.
dpallee 24th May 2016, 2:17 PM edit delete reply

This entire page....great lighting! Bravo.
Timotheus 24th May 2016, 7:33 PM edit delete reply

Just an observation, but this access tunnel is going to be a rather awkward location for all the pertinent historical markers when the time comes.
Speedy Marsh 2nd Apr 2017, 10:44 PM edit delete reply
I wonder if Dolly can control her life signs enough to mimic Dec's and fool the monitors.

Acantha's blood loss - She's right next to three fresh supplies of potentially compatible blood, that are no longer needed by their original owners. And, I'm sure Lynn would give as much as she were allowed, to help Acantha. They might have ways of dealing with blood type incompatibilities, by that point. Also, medics probably carry a decent supply of synthetic blood. Not to mention Doctor Frankenstein Setorius might be able to revive Acantha, if she's not dead for too long.

What scares me, though, is that if there's any chance of saving Dec, they might have to treat him, to hopefully prevent the contingencies from triggering. If the New Troy rescue team shows up and starts trying to save Dec, Lynn would flip her lid, and she'd hate them forever, if Acantha died because of that.

If Aeneas gets back back, and sees what's happened to Acantha, he'll make Dec's contingencies look like a school kid throwing rocks. Maybe Ceci's mission is not to harm Aeneas in any way, but instead to block him from going nuclear. (at least until everyone from NT gets to a safe distance)

Enough stalling. I have to hit the Next button, now.
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