Comic 1401 - Memory Shard - Noctis/Aurelia page 6 ( Guest comic by argylefox )

4th Oct 2016, 10:55 PM
Memory Shard - Noctis/Aurelia page 6 ( Guest comic by argylefox )
Average Rating: 5 (14 votes)

Author Notes:

Centcomm 4th Oct 2016, 10:55 PM edit delete

Here the link to Argyle's coming!
Now go check out his comic!

Indifferently Evil
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mjkj 4th Oct 2016, 11:09 PM edit delete reply

Oh, now Noctis' version is coming...

...great job Argyle =)
Centcomm 5th Oct 2016, 11:00 AM edit delete reply

Oh I agree -- this is just wow!
Tahg 4th Oct 2016, 11:14 PM edit delete reply
Well, I wasn't sure before, but it looks like we're going to get this whole story. Fine by me =P
Centcomm 5th Oct 2016, 11:00 AM edit delete reply

Yep the whole potato!
HiFranc 4th Oct 2016, 11:30 PM edit delete reply

Her story so far sounds like hero worship.
Centcomm 5th Oct 2016, 11:00 AM edit delete reply

heh maybe just a bit LD
Morituri 5th Oct 2016, 8:25 PM edit delete reply
When one is compelled to serve, believing in the honor and worthiness of those whom one serves helps to stave off misery and/or insanity.

There are limits of course; If someone is overtly cruel to his or her servants and peers, like the late Decimus, it becomes impossible. Misery and likely insanity ensues.

Centcomm 5th Oct 2016, 9:02 PM edit delete reply

Like Nox..
cattservant 4th Oct 2016, 11:34 PM edit delete reply

Where you stand
What you see
A matter
Of degree
mjkj 5th Oct 2016, 1:18 AM edit delete reply

Well spoken, Catt
Centcomm 5th Oct 2016, 11:00 AM edit delete reply

nice one!
HeSerpenty 5th Oct 2016, 12:19 AM edit delete reply

Alas...some explanation!
I understand why they needed to be killed.... I guess Noctis tho is secretly an artist cuz she got really creative with HOW she killed them haha
Centcomm 5th Oct 2016, 11:01 AM edit delete reply

Yep explanations galore! Oh Nocty is very creative in lots of ways. :D
Dragonrider 5th Oct 2016, 2:40 AM edit delete reply

She was told to make sure the deaths sent a message, she mutilated three, left one alive to spread the word. In WWII Native Americans acting as infiltrating scouts would infiltrate a German encampment and kill one person quietly, leave the next one alive. Did wonders for the SS moral.
Centcomm 5th Oct 2016, 11:02 AM edit delete reply

oh yes.. its a hell of a message.
OZ1DKE 11th Oct 2016, 7:34 AM edit delete reply
The Sherpa's has pulled the same stunt. Imagine waking up and both 'neighbours' lay with cut throats. I'd think it could heighten reluctance to participate in attrocities ;-)
Centcomm 5th Oct 2016, 11:03 AM edit delete reply

My health is doing better. * knocks on wood * I have a appt on Friday for my primary doctor!

Also STILL not smoking! Sheer will power is winning! :D
Sheela 5th Oct 2016, 11:35 AM edit delete reply

That sounds awesome - Willpower FTW !

And now we know why it's often a stat in RPGs. :)
jamie59 5th Oct 2016, 5:37 PM edit delete reply

Wood knocked. Keep up the good work.
Haegan2005 5th Oct 2016, 5:39 PM edit delete reply

bounces happily!
Centcomm 5th Oct 2016, 9:02 PM edit delete reply

sigpig 5th Oct 2016, 12:27 PM edit delete reply

It's pretty obvious, but now we see why Noctis is supporting Acantha - she sees the same qualities as Valerius in her.

Also, it looks like Noctis got a serious battlefield promotion. She is now the most senior Cassian, perhaps one of the very few remaining...
Dragonrider 5th Oct 2016, 5:29 PM edit delete reply

Actually she always did support Acantha however until Douchie gave her direct orders to act in the best interest of the Throne of Nova Roma. Rather than act in the best interest of whoever was sitting on the throne she was bound to serve Douchie. When he gave her vague orders she chose to interpret them as meaning get the best person on the throne.
SeanR 6th Oct 2016, 6:40 AM edit delete reply
You forget to include that those vague orders were her own invention. She pretty much just said "sign here" in flowery language when talking to the late unlamented Decimus.

Interestingly, what's the story of Decimus's name? Tenth of what?
Tokyo Rose 9th Oct 2016, 3:15 PM edit delete reply

He was born in the tenth month of the year.
Centcomm 5th Oct 2016, 9:03 PM edit delete reply

Im pretty sure you are on the right track guys!
jamie59 5th Oct 2016, 5:35 PM edit delete reply

Well guess what you're most senior now.
Gilrandir 5th Oct 2016, 6:19 PM edit delete reply
That could be a very interesting little drama. As I read her, Noctis would be quite conflicted about being the Cassian-In-Charge. She might well feel she had an obligation under the circumstances, however I also suspect she is more comfortable carrying out policy, rather than setting it -- as long as it is a policy she can support.

One of the things not established in the story is whether Valerius even knew of this mission of Noctis', or if Kali did it on her own initiative based on the results of intelligence gathering and specifically avoided informing Valerius to allow him deniability. Which makes this an excellent flashback, since the question of who will run the Cassians will be coming up, and imagining herself having to do at some future time what Kali did in the past will be likely to figure prominently in Noctis' deliberations about what she should do if given the opportunity.
Tokyo Rose 6th Oct 2016, 4:13 AM edit delete reply

Given her druthers, Kali wouldn't have informed Valerius beyond "there was a plot against you; it's been dealt with". Valerius, however, wanted to be informed of exactly what was being done in his name, because it was being done in his name.
highly irregular 7th Oct 2016, 5:51 AM edit delete reply
@TR "*because* it was being done *in his name*"
Valerius, no matter else you have done, you are now officially a man of honor after the Tamerlane style. Plausible deniability can go hang itself, I will take responsibility for what "I" have done!
Gilrandir 7th Oct 2016, 9:28 AM edit delete reply
Given that, it would be interesting to hear the rationale of Prince Valerius, re: the servitude of the Cassians.

Did he publish any memoirs? ^_^ Did he ever address the Senate on the topic?

There's also a world of difference between being informed after the fact and actually issuing the order to "make an example of them". (At least, in my opinion.)
Tokyo Rose 9th Oct 2016, 3:18 PM edit delete reply

Sadly, Prince Valerius didn't get a chance to complete his memoirs, due to being murdered. However, during his reign, the Cassians weren't the overt bludgeons that Decimus later made of them. Valerius used them primarily as bodyguards (for himself, his family, and a few other VIPs), information-gathering, and dealing with small threats to public safety before they became large threats to public safety.
Gilrandir 9th Oct 2016, 9:02 PM edit delete reply
Well, presumably someone had to make the original case for entrusting the security and safety of Nova Roma to (paraphrased) 'cold and unfeeling metal and plastic mockeries of the human form. Untrustworthy and deceptive clockwork which take advantage of Nova Roman unwariness to act as spies, thieves, and killers of children'. I'm just trying to understand where the political capital came from to get them installed as part of the apparatus of state in the first place, as well as where the military-industrial resources came from to supply them. Just to state that they weren't always used abusively after being installed still doesn't explain how they got there in the first place? (There was a clerical error .. the palace ordered 25 automated washers and 25 automated dryers, but the warehouse delivered 50 android policemen instead. The person accepting deliveries lost the receipt, so they couldn't be returned and the government had to find a use for them somehow. ^_^). Were the Cassians even actually built in Nova Roma, or imported and then customized after the fact?
Centcomm 5th Oct 2016, 9:03 PM edit delete reply

Oh thats gonna come to bite her.. :D
Morituri 5th Oct 2016, 9:08 PM edit delete reply
What to do with the Cassians, ethically speaking, is a difficult decision.

On the one hand, retaining them as a reminder that the present ruler is being much much nicer than she has to be given her resources, and giving them a different but visible role (Palace Security? Imperatrice's Honor Guard? Bodyguards?) should earn a healthy respect for her honorable nature from many and otherwise retain enough of that 'abject fear' her brother cultivated to make the transition easier.

One another hand, they have done so much violent, clandestine and filthy crap and committed so many atrocities. They are strongly identified with rule-by-fear. If they were just objects, and Acantha valued earning the people's trust over all else, getting rid of them would be a no-brainer. "I don't want to run things that way," says Acantha, and into the scrapheap they go.

But on the other hand, they aren't just objects. They're people. And they don't bear responsibility for the atrocities they've committed; they acted under orders they were powerless to refuse. In some weird way they are innocent victims of this whole situation. Having them executed would be ethically wrong, even if their acts under other circumstances would be crimes meriting execution.

Finally, I think Maxus would object strenuously if she were to scrap them. He witnessed Malati's last words, and last acts fighting her inhibitor. Noctis turned to his side instantly when she managed to get an order that allowed it. He learned from Noctis that Nox has been so unhappy doing what she was compelled to do that she has wanted to die for a long time. He KNOWS that these creatures are not depraved nor naturally criminal.
Dragonrider 5th Oct 2016, 10:04 PM edit delete reply

One possible outcome would be to give them full Nt Mod 4 refits no more scary face tats, pale skin and hair, new names and put the in Administrative Security Division positions, Head of Internal Security, Police Chief,Armed Forces Criminal Investigations, Commander of Military Police, Embassy Security, etc with Rose creating back stories for them they should be able to fit in with no one realizing they are former Cassions.
Sheela 5th Oct 2016, 11:09 PM edit delete reply

Alternatively, make half size scale versions of them with no combat mods, and keep them as spies.

Would make them less scary, but still useful.
Gilrandir 5th Oct 2016, 11:32 PM edit delete reply
Assuming mod 4 technology isn't on the New Troy Controlled Export List, who would pay for all those very expensive bodies? We are given to understand that it takes decades of highly trained (and presumably well-compensated) work to pay off a mod 3 chassis. And New Troy would seem unlikely to make a generous gift to a hostile city-state that just kidnapped its princess and was preparing to launch a surprise WMD strike. Nova Roma android technology should lag considerably behind that of New Troy, since the discipline has been deprecated for decades, but there's no in-story canonical evidence of that.

We know nothing of the ethical character of the Nova Roma senate. It seems unlikely they would be paragons of honor and virtue, considering the role Decimus allegedly played in shaping them -- but, hey, only the creatrices know for sure. If the Senate has the same attitudes that we are told the general populace has about androids, they should be riding them out of town on a rail -- but they should have done that decades ago. Slavery is legal in Nova Roma, so perhaps everything will stay just the same and they will continue their inhibited, joyless existence under a slightly less abusive mistress. Theoretically, they could all undergo a modified Libertatem protocol to bring their inhibitors up to currently accepted modern international standards, and then be exiled from Nova Roma as abominations -- that might be a compromise that most parties could accept. New Troy would probably be willing to accept them as refugees provided they then agreed to accept refitting to civilian specs and to surrender their military equipment. Or else to enlist in the New Troy military, with appropriate loyalty upgrades to their inhibitors.

There really just isn't anywhere near enough information about the attitudes and characters of the people involved to do anything but wildly speculate on what could happen to them. I think we can be pretty sure that Mr. Black won't be bankrolling them for bio-upgrades to their existing chassis, in addition to whatever costs are involved in getting out from under the Nova Roma authorities, then setting them up to work in a joy house until they have retired their debt to him. ^_^ Even if that might be the most logical of all the possible alternatives.

Make them all do pictorials for the Patreon supporters -- that should bring in enough credits to help them establish independent lives for themselves. ^_^
highly irregular 6th Oct 2016, 4:19 AM edit delete reply
I believe it was stated (Centcomm comments) that the Cassians were not compatible with NT tech, hardware, backups, etc.
That said, Dr Silver sounds like she has the raw capacity to arrange a bridge…

In other news, congratulations Centcomm on your STR and WILL rolls!
sigpig 6th Oct 2016, 5:52 AM edit delete reply

Would you throw out a perfectly good hammer if you bashed your thumb with it? No? Then the Cassians should be kept as part of the tool box.

Right now, Nova Roma is a city-state with a galaxy-sized power vacuum. Not only is Princy la Douche dead, but so is his MAIN enforcer. His human enforcers (Praetorians) are being systematically discorporated by the Resistance, the loyal Military forces, and the various infiltrators from New Troy. The Senate has to elect/proclaim/select/etc a new leader ASAP. The logical thing to do would be to proclaim Acantha as Princeps, with Maxus as Regent to the Throne until she hits the age of majority. That doesn't mean that the Senato will do the logical thing at all; in fact, they probably won't. There will be power games and some SERIOUS backstabbing (figuratively and literally) that will put Acantha's already fragile life in extreme danger.

This is where she NEEDS the remaining Cassians. She needs their physical protection and their abilities to sniff out and destroy any plots against her. They don't have to be brutal about it - arresting the traitors with inscrutable evidence will provide for a quick trial and fair execution - in public. They will have to work within the law, and not above it...
Gilrandir 6th Oct 2016, 6:41 AM edit delete reply
@sigpig -- Would you throw out a perfectly good hammer if you bashed your thumb with it? No? Then the Cassians should be kept as part of the tool box.

A perfectly reasonable position to take ... as long as the Cassians are considered 'tools', rather than people. And as long as you don't consider them horrible vampire tools which are toxic abominations, reliance upon which will eventually lead you to sicken and die. (Like hammers with depleted uranium hammerheads. ^_^)
SeanR 6th Oct 2016, 7:06 AM edit delete reply
Do you mean because DU dust is toxic, as all heavy metals are? Or are you under the assumption that DU is radioactive?
Gilrandir 6th Oct 2016, 7:45 AM edit delete reply
Both. Not that it is immediately life-threatening in its mild radioactivity, but in the same sense that they no longer use radium to make luminescent watch dials. The question of the effects of long-term exposure remains (as far as I know) still open.
DLKmusic (at work) 7th Oct 2016, 3:10 PM edit delete reply
Just to throw my own two cents in on this subject. Acantha is still going to need the Cassians. And as a tool that scares teh boogers out of everyone that would oppose her.

It is safe to assume that the Nova Roman Senate is a cesspool of ruthless self-serving psychopathic opportunists... They are politicians, after all, and some things will NEVER change.

It is also safe to assume that most of the current senators hold power because they were profiting from Decimus being on the throne, and that is going to change.

Bottom line, when Acantha takes the throne, she is going to have a built in host of ruthless enemies that will want to see her dead.

With our without Decimus, Nova Roma is still a toxic environment. The only person she can count on as loyal is Maxus and maybe Julia. Pretty much everyone else can be bought, or already has been.

Acantha still needs the Cassians, no if's ands, or buts about it.
SeanR 6th Oct 2016, 6:56 AM edit delete reply
You forget that she has Aeneas in her corner.
The homes of conspirators just seem to become craters overnight.
Cars get hit with Rods from God on the highway at about the same time it's announced they've been tried, and sentenced, for their crimes.

Forget the Cassians, the AIS has ears and eyes literally everywhere in the city. And mil-spec weaponry to quickly, and quite publicly, reduce threats to order to so much vaporized flesh.

Update the Cassian's coloration to human normal, and send them on a 30 year diplomatic mission. By the time they get home, resistance to their presence should have largely died of old age. Especially if their absence is coupled with a propaganda drive to celebrate them as heroes in the service of Acantha and the Senate.

Of course, in-universe, androids and gynoids have a fixed, human-normal, lifespan, (supposedly, I'm not finding the Canon reference for that, now, so maybe I misremembered), but Dolly is certainly old enough to suggest there're ways around that.
SeanR 6th Oct 2016, 7:04 AM edit delete reply
Found it. 100 year limit. The paragraph JUST above the Cici black angel picture, and nine paragraphs above the black angel header.

Yeah, either the doctor or Rose should be fully capable of mapping over the mind to a new shell, regardless of any hardware, or software, killswitches.
Stormwind13 6th Oct 2016, 7:59 AM edit delete reply

Do you really think that Calliope put a 'kill switch" in Dolly's body? I rate that chance lower than a snowball's chance in HELL!

EDIT - As for the Cassians, we have NO idea if they were constructed with the limiter most 'androids' in New Troy are given. I'm thinking it likely they wouldn't be (one of the reasons Nox was seeking death instead of just waiting for it?). Plus I can't see the Nova Roma's leadership 'throwing' away their protectors.
SeanR 6th Oct 2016, 1:19 PM edit delete reply
In the current body, no. But it's so organic, that it may not matter if it has a deliberate suicide component or not. Human bodies wear out.

In the old body, no, but that body was Dolly's from before she became a member of the Taylor household, and was presumably manufactured to the standard. Calliope has made improvements, yes, but there's little reason to think she touched the component that provided the planned obsolescence, especially as the best place to put such would be deep inside the brain, as every other part could be swapped out relatively easily.
Likely, she would think about it in a few more years, if, during a "birthday party" she noticed that the eternally new looking Dolly was getting dangerously close to her deactivation date.

Do you think Dolly sought out, either from Calliope or via her other sources, a firmware clock reset patch?

Do you think Nova Roma, which plants inhibitors inside their models, would buck the trend and make immortal androids?
I'd expect that of Japan, and maybe Luna, but probably not Nova Roma.

Honestly, when I wrote the first comment, I forgot two things.
Dolly has only seen three generations of Taylors grow to maturity, at a presumed twenty to thirty years per generation.
Dolly entered service with the Taylors as a very young gynoid. The maturation period for an android is only a little over a year and, from my reading of comics 600-602, she'd probably just purchased her first body.

Heck, the new body might have been a "don't leave me" present, in the form of a new body with a zero on its hour meter.
Stormwind13 6th Oct 2016, 7:22 PM edit delete reply

Go back to page 195, I have to what now? [1 July 2007], Calliope explains that Dolly's organics can be replaced when they begin to wear out. So, Dolly is in a 'human' body that is effectively immortal.
Guest 7th Oct 2016, 3:30 PM edit delete reply
Addendum. I found where it states Dolly's time in service. Fifty years.
That would make her between Fifty One and Fifty Two years old, assuming training time was as short as "childhood's" length would indicate.

And I checked 195, as indicated. So, she's not going to run down. No, Calliope probably "forgot" to set a time limiter on the new body. Or installed one with a very widely published backdoor if her social code overrode both her ethics and her need to preserve the existence of her friend and protector.
SeanR 7th Oct 2016, 3:31 PM edit delete reply
Whoops. Somehow I forgot to populate the <Name> field.
DLKmusic 7th Oct 2016, 5:15 PM edit delete reply

"Forget the Cassians, the AIS has ears and eyes literally everywhere in the city. And mil-spec weaponry to quickly, and quite publicly, reduce threats to order to so much vaporized flesh."

Good Point, SeanR, but a nameless faceless boogie man as a threat will only go so far, and it's also important to remember that in the end, Aeneas's loyalties lie with the city, not the throne.

Acantha may very well (and probably should) alter the M.O. of the Cassians, but a Secret Police force is far less disruptive to society as a whole, and as long as the Cassians walk the streets of the city, they are a visual reminder to everyone about the price to pay for treason.

I'm being pragmatic about it, I know, but I still believe that the Cassians have an important role is Nova Roman Society.

highlander55 6th Oct 2016, 8:31 AM edit delete reply

Could always send the Cassians out in the world to get rid of the Gutters.
Gilrandir 6th Oct 2016, 8:55 AM edit delete reply
I can just imagine Noctis, kneeling before Princess Acantha at the head of the assembled Cassians in her throne room as the problem of what to do with them is discussed.

"My lady, do not give us choices, I beg of you. We were not built for choices. Give us orders."

It's (IMNSHO) a great scene, spoiled only by the fact that it would seem completely out of character for Noctis. ^_^
Timotheus 7th Oct 2016, 1:38 PM edit delete reply

I believe the correct choice of words should be, "...give us duties (with the freedom to choose how to achieve them)." They are very good at analyzing situations, but have been severely limited as to how they can respond to them.
Cassians have a strong code of ethics and morals built into them, but they are mostly based on obedience to Rome and the throne. As long as the people occupying the seat of governance were noble, their actions would be equally restrained and positive. In the hands of a despot, they became tools of terror.
What they needed and wanted was the right to decide when their external orders no longer coincided with their internal ones, at which point they could at the very least stop doing their masters bidding.
Gilrandir 7th Oct 2016, 3:15 PM edit delete reply
Well, we are seeing that Prince Valerius is just as much of a tyrant and a despot with his secret police and extra-judicial murders. He merely seems to be more benignly inclined to people who aren't him -- which is a point in his favor, but doesn't change the fundamentals which define him.

I have never had much respect for people who are happy to follow orders they agree with as long as they are free to disregard or disobey orders with which they do not agree. (And I do not number the Cassians among this group, but unless I misinterpret you, @Timotheus, it seems that you may.)

Free will is, in my opinion, a privilege and an honor and a duty and a burden. The components are inseparable, and those who want only the 'good parts' are living in a fool's paradise. The opinions of others, naturally, may differ.

What morals and ethics do you think are 'built in' to a Cassians, @Timotheus?
Timotheus 7th Oct 2016, 5:56 PM edit delete reply

I'm one of those people who believe civilization is not a "natural" state but a "learned" behavior.
The individual is inherently selfish and self centered and any positive inherited social traits are based on survival skills.
We became social creatures because we couldn't survive as individuals. As social creatures we needed social rules of behavior to coexist. This holds true for most herd animals. Our genius in the world of nature was that instead of hard wiring most of our social behavior into our brains genetically, we learn it as infants by observing the others around us. But it has to be enforced to keep everyone in line.
The down side of this is a longer nurturing period for each generation. The positive side is greater adaptability for each generation to changing environmental needs.
Simply put, man is the least hardwired animal as far as his or her behavior is concerned.
Sadly, this allows more malfunctions, glitches, and errors in mental and social decision making, but also allows great adaptability and the opportunity to say, "Stop, this doesn't work anymore. Let's try something else." and to change behavior patterns in a generation or two.
What the Cassians lacked was the ability to act on the realization that their actions were no longer supporting the system of goals they had been created to support. As machines (sorry, but that's what they were) their system of goals had been loaded intro them, just as children and other androids are given basic moral frameworks to guide them. Decimus was no longer following their guide lines and they had no way out but to obey his orders despite the fact he was violating them. They should have at least been able to stonewall him.
Gilrandir 7th Oct 2016, 7:10 PM edit delete reply
@Timotheus -- ... supporting the system of goals they had been created to support.

That is what I am asking about: what system of goals do you believe was hardwired into them?

In my opinion, one of the big, fundamental, themes of DataChasers is that it is set in a world where you can not say "This is a machine, that is a person." We have entities that are one, the other, both, and neither. And that directs our (or at least my) focus to questions like "What is a person?" and "What is a machine?" I don't think we can safely assume that, in DataChasers, it is a characteristic of all machines that whatever moral and ethical principles guide their behavior are loaded into them at creation. (Though, of course, for many that is precisely true.)

I understand you to be asserting that Cassians are in that class (machines whose morals and ethics are fixed at creation), and therefore I wonder what moral and ethical principles (broadly speaking) you believe are impressed on them at birth? Does the inability to experience moral and ethical growth place them outside the "Person" category?
Timotheus 7th Oct 2016, 10:21 PM edit delete reply

They could experience it, but could do nothing about it.
That is what makes inhibitors such a moral morass. Every time inhibitors have appeared in this story it has been in conjunction with perversion, evil, wrong doing, and trapped morality. Exactly what a Cassian believes is immaterial, the important part is that they are not allowed to act in accordance with it. That is the value of free will. Without free will morality is a meaningless concept as the subject cannot choose their actions.
Contrary to popular opinion, ignorance of the law MUST BE a legitimate excuse and the concept can only be used to justify punishing someone who society wants to punish just because they want to.
If you do not have the option of refusal, then "I was only following orders" is a legitimate defense and only the person giving the orders is responsible.
Even the concept of damned if you do and damned if you don't can only apply if you can chose between doing or not.
So I guess my point is not what the Cassians were set up to believe, but that they couldn't adhere to it and had to betray their own beliefs to serve Prince Decimus. Thus creating a organization that was psychologically broken by the time we saw it. We really don't know what the Cassians were supposed to be like.
Gilrandir 7th Oct 2016, 10:50 PM edit delete reply
Well, we see at least two Cassians acting 'as they are supposed to' before the accession of Decimus in this story right here.

Inhibitors are just a 'magic' (i.e., sufficiently advanced technology) enslavement device. The real moral quagmire is slavery -- with which mankind has been wrestling for millennia.

And we don't know whether or not the Cassians are allowed to act in accordance with their personal moral code (assuming they can even be said to have one, if they truly lack free will) until we can compare the actions we see them performing against the code we believe them to possess. So I don't think our beliefs about their moral code are immaterial.

That's why I want to know what you believe it to be. You are asserting that this or that action is not in accordance with 'it', but haven't told me what 'it' is. ^_^
Gilrandir 8th Oct 2016, 10:13 AM edit delete reply
By the way, @Timotheus, I appreciate your willingness to engage in civil debate over possibly differing opinions regarding the implications of future tech without having the discussion turn ugly and unpleasant. I'd hate for the atmosphere we have here in the comment section to devolve into science friction. ^_^
Morituri 8th Oct 2016, 12:12 PM edit delete reply
There's an interesting point here. An entity that never experiences making choices won't develop an ability to make choices.

The Cassians made choices daily about how to fulfill their given missions and purposes, but having a choice at a more fundamental level, to decide their own basic course of life, may be a bit beyond their conceptions.

This happened to some human slaves and servants too - some were very frightened by freedom and the responsibility it entails. Others, having no experience of the consequences of such choices, made poor and sometimes tragic choices.

I don't know if the Cassians can be set free in any meaningful sense. It might be dangerous, both for them and for those around them. I'm fairly certain that they can't be set free in possession of their current weapons-grade bodies. And I'm fairly certain that no one has a tactical or strategic reason to free them.
Gilrandir 8th Oct 2016, 1:07 PM edit delete reply
There is a strategic reason for Acantha to free them, but only when looked at from the long-term perspective. It is the same argument against using Janissaries: if you believe that, ultimately, slave troops will prove unreliable (as Noctis ultimately did for Decimus with her 'good of the Empire' gambit), then transitioning to a volunteer force makes sense. Albeit the process of changing over may well be a lengthy and gradual process.
Timotheus 8th Oct 2016, 4:01 PM edit delete reply

I'm hesitant to try and cross my personal line in the sand and try to supply your request for specifics as to the Cassians moral and social programming because that is the rightful province of this worlds authors and creatrix. What I think their ethos might be doesn't matter, but I do feel confident looking at what their conversations and self dialogues have to say about their feelings toward them and it is from these I've based my thoughts.
Perhaps the most telling was the statement that no honest roman was supposed to fear the Cassians and only those who had done wrong should have anything to be scared of.
The implied feeling seemed to be that to the Cassians if they were being used properly they should have been practically invisible and unknown to the bulk of the population and only a rumor of dread and fear to those who would work evil against society and the government.
That they were now open figures of terror to the whole population at large was a clear sign that they were being badly misused and their true purpose had been abandoned by an unworthy master.
The exact points of their mission statement and moral code are not really important in this analysis and best left to the story's authors.
Gilrandir 8th Oct 2016, 5:03 PM edit delete reply
Well, I can't really agree or disagree with your position, if I don't know what it is about whether their actions are in accord with their ethics. (Or even whether all Cassians have the same ethical and moral codes.) I suspect you and I are dealing with different assumptions. I agree that only the creatrices know the facts of the story, rather than the hypothetical inferences we in the audience try to draw.
Sheela 9th Oct 2016, 1:08 AM edit delete reply

Don't forget that they also used to have an AIS around to help guide both the imperator and the Cassians in making the right decisions.

Once Aeneas was taken out of the picture, the picture would have became a lot more murky.
DLKmusic (at work) 9th Oct 2016, 1:45 PM edit delete reply
Are you sure, Sheela? I was pretty sure that the cassians came after the rebellion against Aeneas... (But I may be wrong! I'm old and sometimes need naps).
Guest 9th Oct 2016, 2:19 PM edit delete reply
My suspicion is that Nova Roma, the forms, addresses, and language, are all reconstructions thrown together in the wake of breaking Aeneas. That the Latin bit, the emperor, etc, was what the coup accomplished.

My suspicion is Aeneas once answered to a different line, or possibly an elected leader.
Tokyo Rose 9th Oct 2016, 3:33 PM edit delete reply

The trappings of faux-Roman society and culture were present in New Rome from its inception, originally as a sort of in-joke, but taking on a more serious aspect over time. The coup enacted by Aurelian Livius was intended to make his rule as close to absolute monarchy as possible.
Morituri 9th Oct 2016, 9:35 PM edit delete reply
Any word on whether the Cassians as a whole predate the purge when Aeneas was damaged? Did any Cassians work with him at some time? Do they have any memory, institutional or individual, of what he's like when he's functioning and sane?
Sandman366 10th Oct 2016, 7:21 PM edit delete reply
"Recalculating"? What is she, GPS?
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