Comic 1364 - Bearer Of Bad News

14th Jun 2016, 9:00 PM
Bearer Of Bad News
Average Rating: 5 (17 votes)

Author Notes:

Centcomm 16th Jun 2016, 5:34 PM edit delete
At Denver comic-con Look for me if you are there. Ill be wearing a Datachasers shirt or a Luna star shirt.
ill try to check in !!!
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Dragonrider 14th Jun 2016, 9:07 PM edit delete reply

The moment of truth, did the "Armageddon Option" get routed out or not? My money is on, "There's A Hot Time In The Old Town Tonight."
TheSkulker 14th Jun 2016, 9:38 PM edit delete reply

So the next question is "how good is your communication?" What to do?

If no comm available, physically going forward or back will take considerable time.

Going forward would help Acantha by getting her to a trauma center but no help in disarming the contingencies.

Going back would not help Acantha much but might get Aeneas get started in preventing Armageddon. The good of the many should probably take precedence over the few - even if it is the princess. Besides, is there any other hope?

Alternatively, can Aeneas be contacted from New Rome?
odhrain 15th Jun 2016, 1:32 AM edit delete reply
If no comm is available at all, the interesting question would be, how the contingencies are triggered.
Timotheus 14th Jun 2016, 10:12 PM edit delete reply

The logical thing to try and do is to attempt to make contact with Dr Silver and the New Troy command and pass on this information there by warning their allies and setting any mitigating factors the rebels, the remaining government, and Dr Silver can set into motion. By then contact with Tokyo Rose and the Aeneas Rescue Rangers should be in some stage of being re-established and whatever has happened there will come to light.
(Too bad nobody wears traditional cloaks around the palace. They could make a temporary litter.)
DLKmusic 14th Jun 2016, 10:22 PM edit delete reply

I agree with you, Timotheus. First step should be to let people know. Hopefully Ramesy has an emergency exit plan stashed in his back pocket, but that doesn't help Nova Roma.

The question in my mind right now is "What did CeCi (aka Centcomm black angel) do that caught Aeneas and TR's attention, and was it benign or malignant.

Or did she do anything at all, and what Aeneas and TR noticed was actually the contingencies coming into play.

Whatever it is, it's excellent drama!!!

and it appears we have another cliffhanger on our hands... ahem, ProfEtheric!
Gilrandir 14th Jun 2016, 11:57 PM edit delete reply
As I recall, we've seen Ada and TeeDee in communication with Marcus from these tunnels when they were at one end of the tram line and Lynn's biochip was kilometers away at the other end of the tram line. So, letting Marcus know should be very easy once they have a moment to spare from keeping Acantha from bleeding out.

Countermeasures, however, are another story. As I recall, Nero destroyed infrastructure -- easiest way to do that is embedded malware in critical city functions. Nothing to intercept and not very easy to defuse on a widespread, short-term basis. Generators start spinning past their mechanical tolerance, waste treatments start putting toxins into the water rather than taking it out, fuel refineries start igniting their stored inventories, etc. I'm not sure how many places Dr. Silver can be at once.

Ahab turned the city's warbots against the residents -- that's something that Damnatio and the Praetorians and Civil Defense etc. might be able to do something about, given warning. However, the problem is scale and time. Nova Roma has been (as I recall) stockpiling warbots for decades. If the robots have been given a new set of targeting profiles, told to go to DefCon 1, and lock out changes ... congratulations you have yet another heavily armed and hostile force inside your walls. I'm sure Maxus et. al. would do what they could, but I expect the results will not be pretty.

Samson launches preemptive first strikes against neighboring nation states. That's the one people are likely most prepared to counter, since they've no doubt been eyeing Decimus warily for years. Also, they aren't doing anything else (story-wise) but sitting around waiting to be attacked, so they aren't distracted by the existing breakdown of civil order inside Nova Roma. Presumably the only big problem with countering these attacks on the outside is that they will have been designed with that very expectation in mind. So, best case (to quote innumerable war movies and books) "We can stop a lot of it ... but a lot of it's going to get through." At least that's my guess.

So getting the word out is definitely better than not getting the word out, but expecting a handful of New Troy SpecOps types to make a dent in the contingencies .... that seems pretty unlikely to me. If they had detailed specs about them and a plan coming in, expecting them to prevent the contingencies seems like it would be more in their charter -- but we know that's not the Intel they had and not the mission for which they were briefed.

Which doesn't change the fact that, if they don't call it in right away, Marcus will soon be demonstrating his full measure and command of cutting invective when he finds out what they didn't tell him as soon as they found out about it. ^_^
DLKmusic 15th Jun 2016, 12:11 AM edit delete reply

I agree with your assessment of Samson and Ahab, although I think WDM's such as nerve gas would be fairly easy to rig as part of Ahab, and that makes it an even bloodier mess if true.

In the case of Nero, I'm also thinking in terms of the psychology behind the psycho who set it up. I would imagine that Decimus would be more interested in a scorched earth effect that was immediate and noticeable, such as embedded explosives in key areas of the infrastructure, making the not only inoperable, but also unrepairable. I would also imagine that he would have some kind of "Stamp" on it that made it 100% clear that he was the one who did it and the rest of the world will pay the price for his death.

Either way though, this particular FUBAR is not going to win any beauty contests....
Gilrandir 15th Jun 2016, 1:09 AM edit delete reply
I'm not so sure a stamp would have mattered to him, since he seems to have been very nihilistic in viewpoint when it came to the contingencies. If the city's subway ate itself by having all the cars ram the end of the line at full speed, I don't think he'd particularly care if the rubble spelled out "Decimus was here" or not. I don't think he anticipated anyone being left alive to read it. But I may be giving him too much credit.

One thing I am surprised that no one (including myself) has commented on until now, is that there appears to be some gaps when it comes to outside knowledge of the contingencies. Tokyo Rose knew, but CentComm worked hard to give the impression she didn't. (Although she may just have been playing a deeper game.) Certainly the rank and file of New Troy and New Sparta appear to have no idea about the existence of SAMSON.

The problem with that being, as Dr. Strangelove tells us, that the entire POINT of having a Doomsday Device is that people know you have it. If people don't know about it, they can't be deterred by it. Rather more people seem to know about it in Nova Roma, but it still can't have been common knowledge, or people like Mr. Black would have sold that information to the other city-states long ago. So that's a bit of a puzzle. And it inspires the question: Is the only reason Decimus implemented SAMSON simply to ensure that the neighboring states would be too distracted or too angry to lend any efforts to relief of the victims of NERO and AHAB? Otherwise, why even bother with them, since you aren't trying to deter them and they are otherwise beneath your contempt?
sigpig 15th Jun 2016, 10:44 AM edit delete reply

#DLK - You're correct about FUBAR. Here is the hierarchy for those who may need a short primer:

SNAFU: "Situation Normal - All F@#$%^ Up";
TARFU: "Things Are Really F@#$%^ Up"; and
FUBAR: "F@#$%^ Up Beyond All Repair".

To my memory, there are no levels beyond FUBAR, unless someone has anything else to ad...
Stormwind13 15th Jun 2016, 2:07 PM edit delete reply

I've heard FUBAR as F@#$%^ Up Beyond All Recognition, sigpig. Kind of like Douchimus and Kali there, I wouldn't recognize them after that. Not without a lab and lots of analyzing at least.
Tokyo Rose 15th Jun 2016, 12:56 AM edit delete reply

I try to imagine what that discussion would be like, and after the initial calm exchange of information, I just picture this.

Pretty Much Everyone: "AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH"
HiFranc 15th Jun 2016, 4:19 AM edit delete reply

That's my reading of the reason for Samson as well.
sigpig 15th Jun 2016, 10:52 AM edit delete reply

This reminds me of that stupid Doritos commercial involving an ultrasound session...
HiFranc 15th Jun 2016, 4:21 AM edit delete reply

For me the 2nd step would be for TeeDee and Ada to take Acantha back to medical facilities, and for Lynn and Dolly to go to Aeneas.
Sheela 15th Jun 2016, 2:32 PM edit delete reply

After FUBAR comes BOHICA : "Bend Over, Here It Comes Again."

BOHICA can be applied many times, as needs dictate.
Marcus Ramesy 16th Jun 2016, 8:51 AM edit delete reply

At this time...Im finding out about the Contingencies at the same time that Ada and TeeDe are... this means that my team... nova roma, Maxus and my self have gone from having a bad day at the office to ... things just got fucked sideways..
mjkj 14th Jun 2016, 10:21 PM edit delete reply

Uh-oh... now the race against the time has started...

Wow, Acantha looks great and calm and beautiful in those panels - despite all that blood...
The Old Scribe 14th Jun 2016, 10:28 PM edit delete reply

If the Doomsday Devices are implanted in the city, them maybe Doc Silver or Aeneas can disarm them. If they're in the form of incoming missiles, again, Doc Silver's drones could take them out or Aeneas could disable them in flight. Does the S&R team have a comm link with any of the friendlies so they can pass the word along? I'm wondering how long they have before the Doomsday Devices go off?
plymayer 14th Jun 2016, 10:38 PM edit delete reply

Take his head with you.
Tokyo Rose 15th Jun 2016, 1:11 AM edit delete reply

Now I'm picturing them toting his charred skull out with his crown perched on it all cockeyed.


Heckler: "'Ey, that ain't Prince Decimus! Prince Decimus 'ad all of 'is teef!"
Gilrandir 15th Jun 2016, 1:19 AM edit delete reply
I do like that. ^_^

"How do we disarm the contingencies?"

"Well, the primary method includes a retinal scan ..." (looks at empty eye sockets in smoking skull)

"Yeah ... that's not going to work. Was there a backup method?"

"Yes ... but you're not going to like it."

"What? We're running out of time!"

"Dental impression."

Centcomm 15th Jun 2016, 2:29 AM edit delete reply

heheh gigglefits!
Tokyo Rose 15th Jun 2016, 3:21 PM edit delete reply

Followed by careful searching of the immediate area, trying to find all the teeth and hoping they're intact, and further hoping that just sticking them back into the sockets with a dab of glue will suffice.
Beltboy 16th Jun 2016, 6:29 AM edit delete reply
More like Decimus deadius :P
justjpe46 14th Jun 2016, 11:21 PM edit delete reply
I'm hearing Vera Lynn's "We'll Meet Again" much louder now.
Centcomm 15th Jun 2016, 2:28 AM edit delete reply

Awww ..
HeSerpenty 15th Jun 2016, 2:15 AM edit delete reply

Egads, cliffhanger much?? D:

Just when I thought things were looking up...
Centcomm 15th Jun 2016, 2:20 AM edit delete reply

Okay thats perfect! :D best comment :D
HeSerpenty 15th Jun 2016, 2:26 AM edit delete reply

LOL yessss!
Now if I die.. it can be said my life was successful X"DDD
Gilrandir 15th Jun 2016, 3:30 AM edit delete reply
If you die ON SCREEN, then that becomes "best comment". ^_^
Timotheus 15th Jun 2016, 2:31 AM edit delete reply

Maybe we can get Froggy to plunk his magic twanger and that will fix everything.
(Let's see how many people get that reference.)
Centcomm 15th Jun 2016, 3:26 AM edit delete reply

Heh i know but im not saying .. Spoilers! :D
Wolfsbane 15th Jun 2016, 3:32 AM edit delete reply

Froggy's Lament?
Stormwind13 15th Jun 2016, 4:38 AM edit delete reply

Sounds like you have a Gremlin, Tim. :-)
Fairportfan 15th Jun 2016, 3:44 AM edit delete reply

...and it's not even going to collect two hundred quatloos.
Mark_L_A 15th Jun 2016, 6:45 AM edit delete reply

Grab his skull, if necessary you can still pul DNA out of the marrow.
Phil 15th Jun 2016, 10:18 AM edit delete reply
Aeneas now has, or shortly will have, control over most of the weapons of mass destruction.

Move along, nothing to see here...
Tokyo Rose 15th Jun 2016, 3:24 PM edit delete reply

Assuming that nobody thought to set up separate control banks for the WMDs after Aeneas was crippled.

(This assumption would be incorrect.)
Nef 15th Jun 2016, 1:19 PM edit delete reply

Aw man! Writers can be so mean! (I know)
Haegan2005 15th Jun 2016, 5:32 PM edit delete reply

Now the Adrenalin hits and the Ohhh shit happens in everyone's heads.

I do find it interesting that the resistance decided to attack without an idea of how to stop the contingencies. Or having a team tasked to accomplishing that.

I grant that the devious duo are already tracking large numbers of characters and that the situation is probably well in hand(according to the devious plot). We also do not know all of what was said in the meeting that they had as well.

Just a point of curiosity ladies! By no means is it a criticism!
DLKmusic 15th Jun 2016, 8:23 PM edit delete reply

Actually, Haegen, it's my understanding that the resistance didn't know about the contingencies. This was pretty much a secret kept within the palace.

Of course I could be wrong about that, but....
Haegan2005 15th Jun 2016, 8:54 PM edit delete reply

This may well be true. My memory of a few months back gets hazy quick.
Dragonrider 16th Jun 2016, 2:01 AM edit delete reply

Yeah, think Douchy had it planned as SURPRISE~~SURPRISE
Gilrandir 16th Jun 2016, 2:09 AM edit delete reply
That could be a good thing ...

If he is wanting maximum psychological terror and is utterly confident that the contingencies could not be circumvented, then he might want them to take longer to manifest after activation and also operate in a more gradual fashion, in order to provide maximum time for the terror to build and spread.

After all, if the first thing some random citizen knows about the fact that Decimus is dead is that a war drone just put a round between his ears and two in the chest, he isn't going to be building much of a sense of doomed foreboding.
DLKmusic 16th Jun 2016, 3:39 AM edit delete reply

@Dragonrider: oh Lord... I had a Jim Nabors/Gomer Pyle flashback...

It wasn't pretty, I dunwannagothereagain...

(curls up in a corner)
Dragonrider 16th Jun 2016, 2:12 PM edit delete reply

*Smiles in satisfaction from a job completed to full task and standard.* That's what I intended.
Tokyo Rose 16th Jun 2016, 3:01 PM edit delete reply

Damnatio Memoriae had NO intention of killing Decimus. They intended to give him a very public, very nasty slap in the face to show him, the Senate, the city, and everyone in general that his control isn't absolute, and that the people of Nova Roma aren't going to put up with his abuses any longer. Messing with the power grid, invading the palace, sparking widespread riots--those things would have served their ends sufficiently.

Imagine what's going to happen to their spirit of cooperation with the New Troy team when they find out what's just happened, unless the news is delivered rather carefully...
Stormwind13 16th Jun 2016, 3:59 PM edit delete reply

What I could see happening Rose is Ada getting on the communicator to warn Marcus (and the rest of team Troy). Who else is currently tied into that communication net right now?

Handled carefully did you say, not blurted out over the (secure not private) net? :-O
Gilrandir 16th Jun 2016, 6:21 PM edit delete reply
I'm pretty sure that Maxus and Ada are not on the same channel, but that Marcus is tied into both. So, of course, he will know _just_ how to handle this. ^_^

Also, the New Troy team can say with all sincerity, "We didn't harm a hair on Maxus Valerius head. You said he was off the table, and we didn't hurt him at all. We're trying to work with him. He's not hurt in the slightest. ... You didn't say _anything_ about Prince Decimus. Not a word. We can play back the tape for you, if you like ..." ("How the f#ck did we kill Prince Decimus?!? Find me someone who knows f#ck all about what the Chr*st is going on and get me that intel!") "... Anyway, we're pretty sure we didn't kill him. Wasn't he supposed to be tucked safely away in the Palace anyway?" ("They sound pissed. We are so f#cked if we ended up killing this guy. Why? I don't know why! It doesn't sound like anyone liked him, but they're all sh*tting themselves over there and sounding _very_ unhappy.") "Maybe it was a body double or something? You guys have those in New Rome, right?"
Marcus Ramesy 16th Jun 2016, 10:18 PM edit delete reply

you are correct I am tied in to both com systems
Sheela 17th Jun 2016, 10:42 AM edit delete reply

Are you also tied into the rafters ? :)

As for the Decimus dilemma, it is easily handled : "Official statement as follows, a Cassian killed Imperator Desimus Livius, we repeat, a Cassian killed the Imperator!"
Gilrandir 17th Jun 2016, 1:52 PM edit delete reply
@Sheela, you're right! That would undoubtedly calm everything down and help restore the faith of the people in the new mecha-friendly regime that is no doubt likely to move in and fill the power vacuum. The fact that one of the prince's most loyal and trusted bodyguards turned on him and took his life during an insurrection will in no way enflame the paranoid fears of the populace against soulless constructs who are poor imitations of humanity and secretly long, in their vile loathesome mockeries of hearts, to thusly serve all proper humans. ^_^

For that astounding idea, you get a treat! How about a nice, crispy, rib bone? Still has a few bits of meat clinging to it. ^_^
Nystran 16th Jun 2016, 2:13 PM edit delete reply
Kali is in suspended animation? Of coarse her animation is suspended, she's toast until the authors decide to do a flashback.
Romfire 16th Jun 2016, 8:01 PM edit delete reply
Are you listed as one of the guests on Comic-con
Centcomm 16th Jun 2016, 8:15 PM edit delete reply

nope .. im not that popular yet... but you can always help raise awareness!!!! ask em!!
Mark_L_A 16th Jun 2016, 8:47 PM edit delete reply

Are we finally going to get pics? ;)

And remember if you ever want to do RealmsCon down by my way I'll help you out with hotel and such. The boys would love to help out also, especially if you can teach them some Daz tricks.
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