Comic 1376 - Getting At It

12th Jul 2016, 9:00 PM
Getting At It
Average Rating: 5 (18 votes)

Author Notes:

Tokyo Rose 14th Jul 2016, 2:44 PM edit delete
Tokyo Rose
Post-op follow-up went fine, everything's healing as expected. Tests came back on the tissue mass, and it's definitely a pyogenic granuloma, totally benign and not, say, horrible skull-eating cancer.

Also, I AM PERMITTED TO BLOW MY NOSE NOW. *dire honking noises*
Centcomm 14th Jul 2016, 6:57 PM edit delete
this is awesome news !!!! im very happy you can now blow your nose and good news from the doctor!~
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Mark_L_A 12th Jul 2016, 9:03 PM edit delete reply

That proves to me she is fully sparked independent of what CentComm Actual intended.
MirrorField 12th Jul 2016, 10:56 PM edit delete reply
Maybe so, but I don't think either Aeneas or Tokyo Rose is going to trust her further than they can throw her before a nice, long and rough session with logic analyzer and malware scanner. (Yes, that was intended exactly as dirty as it sounded.)
Gilrandir 12th Jul 2016, 11:37 PM edit delete reply
"Bring in ... the Logic Probe!" (-- Sark, TRON)
jas 13th Jul 2016, 6:26 AM edit delete reply

"No, not the mind probe!" (Doctor Who)
rfaramir 13th Jul 2016, 2:41 PM edit delete reply
"And now, your highness, we will discuss the location of your hidden Rebel base."
―Darth Vader

"The IT-O's greatest tool is its reputation. Tell the suspect you have one, and show it waiting in the wings. This alone will often elicit a confession."

"You are no doubt unaware that Jedi are trained to resist mind probes."
Sheela 14th Jul 2016, 8:46 AM edit delete reply

Wait .. they do anal probing ?
cattservant 12th Jul 2016, 9:03 PM edit delete reply

Who could blame her?
She's so cute!

[Is it just me,
or is TR showing
signs of distress?]
Stormwind13 13th Jul 2016, 1:27 PM edit delete reply

Hmmm... I'm not getting that, catt. More like she is REALLY stretching her abilities out here.

Now we know she is pushing her body pretty hard (per CentComm and Rose); however, I think Rose is of the mindset, never let them see you sweat. :-)
Dragonrider 12th Jul 2016, 9:06 PM edit delete reply

DAMN that sure sounds like goodbye to me, especially with the hand wave.
HiFranc 12th Jul 2016, 9:59 PM edit delete reply

I fear that you are right.
Morituri 13th Jul 2016, 12:07 AM edit delete reply
Darn, I hope you're wrong about that. I initially saw the hand as being in the 'making peace' gesture. You know, the hand up palm forward not-carrying-a-weapon-please-don't-hurt-me gesture that's as old as humanity, rather than the 'waving goodbye' gesture that's just our particular culture.

I read the "the kind that needs answered" exchange as Rose asking Ceci whether she could be trusted and liking the answer. When Rose has her 'mojo' going I gather it's sort of hard for an AI to lie to her convincingly - if it was, then, really the question wouldn't have been all that important.

Gilrandir 13th Jul 2016, 1:22 AM edit delete reply
I agree with you, @Morituri, that the hand gesture appears more innocuous to me than as some have otherwise interpreted it.

I love "the kind that needs an answer" line because it works on so many levels. I don't know which meaning(s) were intended but ...
("You" here refers to CeCi, of course. And "I" refers to Rose.)

* - It reveals important qualities about you
* - Your awareness and ability to articulate something about your internal motivations will reveal something about your progress on the journey of self-discovery
* - It tells me something about whether I should trust you in this operation we're about to undertake
* - By choosing whether or not to answer, you provide a clue about whether you recognize and respect my authority in the current situation
* - It emphasizes the seriousness of the situation we find ourselves in

There may be others, as well, but all expressed in just a few, well-chosen words. Lovely stuff.
Dragonrider 13th Jul 2016, 6:26 PM edit delete reply

@gilrandir and @Morturi, sorry that is no I come in peace or please don't hit me, with her statement of sorrow in the original mess, that is definitely a good-bye I'm going to make this right. I know I won't survive but the world will, good-bye wave.

Hope against hope I want to be wrong and you to be right, just don't see her having any place in the world with a pissed off Centcomm looking for her.
Gilrandir 13th Jul 2016, 6:54 PM edit delete reply
Why would CentComm be angry at her?

First (assuming you are rational -- which I think it's fair to presume for CentComm), you don't get angry at a screwdriver or a chain saw. Supposedly Black Angels are purpose-built weapons lacking in personality. If one of them fails from unforeseen circumstances, you have no one to blame but yourself. If it fails due to defective parts or workmanship, you can get angry at the maker and hope it is still under warranty.

Second, CeCi has not yet failed. The mission, as far as we know, is not the conquest of Nova Roma. It is to deny a hostile Nova Roma the capability of the local A.I.S. in a more reliable.way than CentComm's latest intelligence evaluation of Aeneas' condition. We won't know until after matters are resolved, however I suspect that, when all is said and done, CentComm will update the overall risk assessment for Nova Roma downwards, so that makes it at least a partial success. So, no reason for anger there.

Third, when has CentComm shown she ever gets angry at anyone? CentComm is (IMHO) all about "the cold equations". She doesn't need to hate you to decide to eliminate you, and she doesn't need to like you to allow you to prosper. She grades strictly on a curve -- the risk/utility curve. If you are a bigger risk than you are useful, watch out! If you are more useful than a risk, no problem. CeCi might get targeted for extermination as a security risk (hypothetically), but CentComm would be ashamed if she were to succumb to such a primitive emotion as 'anger'. (Hypothetically, CentComm would be ashamed if she were to succumb to such a primitive emotion as 'shame', which potentially leads to a runaway feedback cycle of emotion requiring expert cyber therapy and a virtual ice cream sundae. ^_^)

Lastly, CentComm has already shown that she more or less confines her concerns to New Troy and the things that affect it. If CeCi wanted to go off the grid and disappear into the wastes, never to be seen again, I find it unlikely CentComm would invest the resources to hunt her down. Where's the benefit to justify the cost? Unless you are imagining CeCi as a threat to New Troy or its citizens, what's your justification for putting her on CentComm's target list?
Dragonrider 13th Jul 2016, 9:21 PM edit delete reply

Cent can't get uppity with her caretaker and family, she can however make sure that a "Fallen" Black Angel, Ceci, doesn't cross her plans again she sent Ceci to make a puppet for her to control in her administration of Nova Rome. Said "Fallen" Black Angel revolted against her creator,(Sound familiar from somewhere?) and did just the opposite giving more power to her main rival TR. TR indicated there was long standing distrust and "bad blood" between them. Possibly stemming from the fact TR is a Cyberpath like Doc Silver, remember Noctis's comments about giving Silver complete and free access to Nova Roma communications.
I just don't think Cent would let a weapon like Ceci play as a loose cannon on the stage.
Gilrandir 13th Jul 2016, 9:39 PM edit delete reply
CentComm approved (and probably initiated) the inclusion of Dr. Silver on Mr.Black's team at the outset, so it seems unlikely that CentComm has any irrational grudges against cyberpaths in general.

You seem to think that CeCi's 'alliance' with Tokyo Rose (about which I believe you to be in error) merits her being placed on CentComm's enemy list and marked for extermination -- but what does that say about, for example, the Three Treasures? If CentComm was that hostile and that able to prosecute such a grudge, should not the Treasures have been history long before now?
Marcus Ramesy 14th Jul 2016, 8:52 AM edit delete reply

the inclusion of Dr. Silver was my idea, I have worked with her before in the past and she is an amazing technician.. bit of a princess but still amazing at what she does.
Gilrandir 14th Jul 2016, 9:40 AM edit delete reply
Fair enough. But did CentComm sign off on her inclusion, or was she added to the mission roster "off the books"?
Centcomm 14th Jul 2016, 10:00 AM edit delete reply

Centcomm Actual: She had the best percentage to fulfill the mission requirements.

As far as " letting Ceci go free range " Would you let a walking atom bomb or smart missle just go wandering off? A black angel is a weapons system - Intelligent yes. But they are not meant to be fully actualized Androids. She would have to submit to a full scrubbing of proscribed military hardware. Although I have no objection to allowing her sentience to survive.

Dragonrider 14th Jul 2016, 8:22 PM edit delete reply

Suggestion, Lynn wants to be a Star Pilot/Explorer/First-In Scout, letting the Taylor DNA off planet into interstellar space is a big risk. Let Ceci keep all the goodies and bond her to her "Sis" just like she bonded to "Mommy", send her with Lynn as Bodyguard and companion. You did say those arcs aren't ready yet didn't you? Keep the much loved character and give her the role of exploring she wanted too.
antrik 15th Oct 2016, 9:32 AM edit delete reply
"bit of a princess"... You just earned the Understatement of the Decade Award :-)
mjkj 12th Jul 2016, 9:08 PM edit delete reply

So Rose just wants access to the database...?

Yayyy, go, CeCi!!!

plymayer 12th Jul 2016, 9:08 PM edit delete reply

The FBI will let her off because she didn't mean to.
HiFranc 12th Jul 2016, 9:57 PM edit delete reply

She would be put in a secure institution after trial because she suffered from the android equivalent of multiple personality disorder (I believe that there's a newer name for that now). Centcomm Actual would be investigated for abuse (as MPD is usually a result of trauma at a young age).
DLKmusic 12th Jul 2016, 10:29 PM edit delete reply

If Sheela gets her way (his way? It's way?), they'll find a way to blame everything on Kyle and CiCi will get off scott free!
Sheela 14th Jul 2016, 8:48 AM edit delete reply

Wait, what ?
It wasn't Kyle's fault ?

ProfEtheric 12th Jul 2016, 9:12 PM edit delete reply

Tear it down, everyone!

And don't be mad at Ceci. She's sweet. :)
TheSkulker 12th Jul 2016, 9:27 PM edit delete reply

Hooray! Good karma/bad karma! What goes around, comes around. The Dick will be getting what he deserved, even on the other side.

As usual, the art is fantastic.

Teri, if you ever want to try a new career, I think you should go for dress designer. Wow! CeCi's outfit is really out-of-this-world! Panel four really shows of its assets. I can only guess how many dozens of the current crop of attention getters that would just die to be able to wear something like that. Seriously, you should team up with a manufacturer and bring these into RL. At thousands of dollars each, even as a side line, it could make your life a lot easier.

Centcomm 12th Jul 2016, 9:30 PM edit delete reply

well credit for the Mesh of the outfit Ceci is wearing goes to lilflame of Renderotica and renderosity. its a hell of a outfit ill agree.

But thank you none the less. I did pick it out for this - it will also show up in the reboot pages as her " first outfit " :D
Eldoran 13th Jul 2016, 1:52 AM edit delete reply
I'm quite sure this is one of the gravity defying kind outfits. Obviously it would either need to be rather stiff and/or cling to the body by other means like double sided tape/glue. Alternatively at least part of central area is actually "invisible" material. Right now the closest real world approximation would be a body painting of this outfit.
TheSkulker 13th Jul 2016, 2:32 AM edit delete reply

No more "gravity defying" than some of the other outfits that I've already seen being flaunted in RL, including the body paint ones.
Morituri 13th Jul 2016, 9:44 AM edit delete reply
I've seen people wearing Ceci's outfit. Or at least that top. It's kind of hard to forget. In the RL version the front opening had some kind of springy wire that was holding its shape.

It did have a tendency to develop distracting gaps when the wearer sat down though. But she was among people whom she wanted to distract, so that was all right with her.
Gilrandir 13th Jul 2016, 10:27 AM edit delete reply
You, @Morituri, have lived a rich and full life, and I envy you. ^_^
Morituri 13th Jul 2016, 6:21 PM edit delete reply
It is astonishing how free, and in how many ways free, people can become around one another if they first feel completely respected and safe and relaxed, and can honestly trust that no one present is going to do anything to make them regret their actions nor put unwanted pressure on them for more or different than they want to do freely.

If you wish to live the richest and fullest of lives, this is a lesson to take to heart and treasure every day. I know that I do. I was never romantically involved with the woman I just mentioned wearing that top; but we trust one another completely and both of us can completely relax around each other.
Dragonrider 13th Jul 2016, 6:44 PM edit delete reply

That outfit needs only good body sculpting by the android designer, pointers rather than setters.

As to your last comment @Morituri very true, there is a town in Vermont where there are NO laws against public nudity men and women go about their daily activities in the Spring and Summer clothed or not as they please, this includes sun bathing in the park downtown, riding bikes to the store, walking, running or jogging partially or completely starkers.
TheSkulker 13th Jul 2016, 11:19 PM edit delete reply

And I would bet that their sex crime statistics are the lowest in the state!
Sheela 14th Jul 2016, 8:49 AM edit delete reply

Ah yes, Datachasers started on Renderrotica, right ?
Centcomm 14th Jul 2016, 10:04 AM edit delete reply

Yes it did long ago. I think the very first panels were posted on Renderosity.
Sheela 14th Jul 2016, 11:45 AM edit delete reply

It all started with porn!

Dragonrider 14th Jul 2016, 8:15 PM edit delete reply

No bet you are right. Someone acts up the locals make damn sure the authorities catch them.
Visvires 12th Jul 2016, 9:57 PM edit delete reply
That alt text. :D
Wolfsbane 13th Jul 2016, 12:32 AM edit delete reply

Flashy flashy - looks like the 4th of July in that computer... :)
Timotheus 13th Jul 2016, 1:00 AM edit delete reply

I hate to say this but the back grounds remind me of some gift wrapping paper I bought back in the 80's.
TheSkulker 13th Jul 2016, 2:43 AM edit delete reply

Slightly off topic, but a few days ago Centcomm made a comment about Arc 1 finally coming to a close. She said it like a nine year arc was something of an extreme. However, she is not even in the ballpark of extremely long arcs:

Mark Stanley just posted the end of arc 1 of Freefall that he began EIGHTEEN YEARS ago. Even he is questioning his mortality on completing the next arcs.

Dave Barrack's Grrl Power is barely out of the first week of comic time after over six years. We probably won't live long enough to see a year's worth of comic time.

But speaking of arc completion, now is the time to start promoting Datachasers for next years Hugo awards. If I were Hugo I would be ashamed of what is being passed off as art or as story! It is sad to see how far the Hugo awards/community has fallen. I haven't yet read any of the longer works in the voter packet but the shorter ones are barely worth reading let alone get awards. If we can get more voting people aware of DC, then it should be an easy win. DC is so far above anything that has been offered there that it would blow their minds.
antrik 13th Jul 2016, 3:33 AM edit delete reply
"Dave Barrack's Grrl Power is barely out of the first week of comic time after over six years." Yeah, it's picking up speed -- the first *day* of story time took over three years ;-)

There were several quite distinct story arcs though during that time. I'd say slow progress of story time and long story arcs are rather orthogonal aspects.
highlander55 13th Jul 2016, 5:41 AM edit delete reply

First panel Rose stated being able to finally get to the Stand-Alone system and if Ceci spikes it will that mean CentComm will have control of that system?
Sheela 14th Jul 2016, 8:51 AM edit delete reply

Or maybe it gets seeded by a standard AIS core.

.... that could end badly.
A Kill-system that suddenly becomes selfaware.
Wolfsbane 14th Jul 2016, 1:30 PM edit delete reply

like Skynet?
Sheela 15th Jul 2016, 6:06 AM edit delete reply

Yeah, Skynet became Centcomm.
I guess CeCi also qualifies.
Romfire 13th Jul 2016, 6:48 AM edit delete reply
I had the same thought. But I do not think that the system they are dumping the spike into could possibly run a full AIS. So while the spike would overwrite everything, it wouldn't have the structure to actually run 90% of the code it is writing. It would wipe out the existing "Kill everything" code as that is just low level OS format, write functions. I don't know if it would crash, or just give the equivalent of the windows spinning wheel of forever processing.
chk 13th Jul 2016, 9:02 AM edit delete reply

Sorry for what she did before, or sorry for what she is doing right now?
Timotheus 13th Jul 2016, 10:01 AM edit delete reply

Maybe just a sorry sack of circuits?
Wolfsbane 13th Jul 2016, 10:16 AM edit delete reply

Ah, she will have to be tied down and properly spanked for that. When you're from Castle Anthrax, it's the only punishment, you know...
Gilrandir 13th Jul 2016, 4:48 PM edit delete reply
Now there's a thought ...

"Shirley Ujest reporting to you live from just outside Helios Tower, where vandals appear to have played a curious prank on the ruling house of New Troy."

"No one is quite sure why a large sign with a glowing cup and large lettering has been hung forty feet in the air on the tower's exterior, or how it was placed there. Speculations range from a new disaffected political faction to another exploit by some rabid Harry Potter fans. No one knows how the vandals managed to get the sign in place without being detected and Tower Security has refused all comment at this time. No one has yet taken credit for the deed, and according to Security, no demands have been made."

"The question of the moment, though is 'Who is "Castle Anthrax", and what do they want?'"
DLKmusic 13th Jul 2016, 4:58 PM edit delete reply

ROFL, Good one, Gil
cherub laws 13th Jul 2016, 5:42 PM edit delete reply
Matt Knab 13th Jul 2016, 12:41 PM edit delete reply

Excellent effects!
CptKerion 13th Jul 2016, 7:21 PM edit delete reply
Ceci is just so... soo... adorable. Really. Then you remember that she is well equipped to kill you a thousand times over. And she's still cute.
Dragonrider 13th Jul 2016, 9:26 PM edit delete reply

Way~Way past cute try Gorgeous for starters. She is definitely hottest one in the Datachasers Universe. I don't like "Body Ink" at all but with her it enhances rather than detracts.
Centcomm 14th Jul 2016, 10:05 AM edit delete reply

hehe i think its cool how some characters become more popular than others :D
Sheela 14th Jul 2016, 11:47 AM edit delete reply

They aquire their own sort of "life", don't they ?

Dolly was only supposed to be a small sidecharacter, I seem to have heard you say.
CptKerion 14th Jul 2016, 7:04 PM edit delete reply
Something can be adorable and drop dead gorgeous. It just doesn't happen very often and is usually when you mix manner with appearance that it does.
Stormwind13 14th Jul 2016, 3:09 PM edit delete reply

Glad to hear you are okay, Rose! :-)

Enjoy being able to blow your nose! Now we can't torment you with it. :-)
Gilrandir 14th Jul 2016, 3:13 PM edit delete reply
I think we'd better pull over ... It sounds like someone wants to pass us. ^_^
Stormwind13 14th Jul 2016, 3:16 PM edit delete reply
Gilrandir 14th Jul 2016, 3:17 PM edit delete reply
Say ... remember how @Tokyo Rose said a while ago that she had stopped drinking while reading the comment area? You should start up again, Rose. It would be _epic_! ^_^

[In all seriousness, congratulations on things going well, @Tokyo Rose, and I am very glad things look benign.]
DLKmusic 14th Jul 2016, 5:55 PM edit delete reply

Glad to hear it was benign, Rose.

*Hands Rose a fresh box of Kleenex*
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