Comic 1412 - Playing Nice

20th Nov 2016, 9:00 PM
Playing Nice
Average Rating: 5 (17 votes)

Author Notes:

Centcomm 21st Nov 2016, 2:18 PM edit delete
Just letting everyone know im doing well and feeling ok. Its still a bit painful but im feeling overall better than i did. So fingers crossed peoples!
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Stormwind13 20th Nov 2016, 9:03 PM edit delete reply

Yay! Another awesome page.

And Rose and Noctis agreed on something (not to trust CentComm) and aren't sure how to take that. :-D

Edit - Poor Dolly, events beyond her control have tarnished her standing as a guardian. I blame CentComm. :-p
Dragonrider 20th Nov 2016, 9:08 PM edit delete reply

They probably should take the head along and use it as a Magic 8 Ball.
Guest 20th Nov 2016, 11:09 PM edit delete reply
I now visualize someone shaking the head and asking a stupid question, only for Rose to reply with a very vivid retort.
Tokyo Rose 21st Nov 2016, 1:25 AM edit delete reply

Sheela 21st Nov 2016, 8:30 AM edit delete reply

The only one whom I can imagine doing something so morbid, is Ranger Logrin's "Cat", simply because she wouldn't fully understand how morbid it is.

*shake shake shake*
Dusty : "Tell me magic ball, does Logrin like me ?"
Tokyo Rose : "How the goddamn fuck should I kno.."
*shake shake shake*
Dusty : "Does Logrin like me ?"
Tokyo Rose : "Listen up you dimwitted, emptyhea.."
*shake shake shake*
Dusty : "Does Logrin like me ?"
Tokyo Rose : "Don't you fuckin' get it? I.. DON*T .. CAR.."
*shake shake shake*
Dusty : "Does Logrin like me ?"
Tokyo Rose : "As I said, WHO THE FUCK CARES?"
Dusty : *growls and bares fangs*
Tokyo Rose : "Erhh ... OK ! Sure! What the fuck ever, he does!"
Dusty : "He does ?"
Tokyo Rose : "Yeah, yeah, sure, he .. uhhh .. he likes you as much as I like to swear."
Dusty : *gasp* .. "HE LOVES ME?!"
Tokyo Rose : " ..... uhhmmm .... suuuuure."
Dusty : "EEEEeeeeek!" :D
Nox' Head : *marshmallow hell*

Tokyo Rose 21st Nov 2016, 3:27 PM edit delete reply


Tokyo Rose: *muffled swearing*
Gilrandir 21st Nov 2016, 2:09 PM edit delete reply
@Stormwind13, I apologize for missing something, but when you refer to Dolly's reputation as guardian being recently tarnished, are you talking about because of Lynn's being kidnapped in the first place, or something else?
Tokyo Rose 21st Nov 2016, 3:30 PM edit delete reply


I'm butting in here like a rude asshole (which is, amazingly, exactly what I am). Lynn got kidnapped, Acantha's taken a potentially fatal wound, and Arianna's dead. Dolly's guardian batting average is in the shitter right now.
Gilrandir 21st Nov 2016, 6:22 PM edit delete reply
Acantha and Arianna are somebody else's problem. (In my opinion.) Lynn being kidnapped is, of course, a horrible black mark because even when your brain-dead, moronic, spoiled brat principal does everything wrong, ignores every piece of advice you give her, and orders you not to do anything to prevent the horrible tragedy you know is about to unfold, it is still your fault when said tragedy ensues. (It being an unjust world in which we live.)

I was just wondering if @Stormwind13 had anything else relevant in mind. ^_^

(We even see in Comic 1340 - Planning The Escape Dolly warning Acantha that Lynn is her first priority. At the time Arianna and Acantha were wounded, Dolly had already been engaged by a superior opponent. Too bad the New Roman Senate couldn't scrape up the money to pay for Acantha to get a guardian of her own as dedicated as Dolly was. Guess it sucks to be a princess of a second-rate, banana republic city-state, rather than a first-world city-state that can afford properly elite bodyguards for your important citizens. <shrug> ^_^)
Dragonrider 21st Nov 2016, 9:00 PM edit delete reply

Cynical much?
Sheela 22nd Nov 2016, 12:23 AM edit delete reply

No, no .. all the lost little kittens are dolly's responsibility - ALL OF THEM !!
john 22nd Nov 2016, 1:01 AM edit delete reply
It became Dolly's responibility when she found the three women and put them under her protection. And she seemed to drop her guard with Kali and became damaged. So, yeah. Shes feeling bad about now, even if much of it was beyond her control. But when you're in charge you own ALL of it.
Gilrandir 22nd Nov 2016, 12:22 PM edit delete reply
@Dragonrider, allow me to share a quotation with you: "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it. --George Bernard Shaw" ^_^

That having been said, I suppose it would be fair to accuse me of having practiced cynicism once or twice. ^_^

@john, after Kali went to all that trouble to establish which of them was the better fighter, I suspect she would have been offended by the suggestion that the only reason she was able to damage Dolly was because Dolly dropped her guard. I agree with you, re: the doctrine of responsibility, but don't agree with you that Dolly actually took responsibility for Acantha and Arianna. (Which was why I provided the reference I did in my earlier post. ^_^) I also agree with you that, justly or not, Dolly is probably feeling like it was all her responsibility and that her reputation as a guardian deserves to be "in the shitter". However, I suspect that if you were to ask a dispassionate and skilled evaluator of such things -- such as Marcus, Maxus, or Noctis -- they would express a rather different opinion.

In fairness to the New Roman Senate (and to compliment the creative team in general and @Tokyo Rose's writing in particular) Decimus explicitly admits that he arranged matters to specifically deny Acantha any kind of loyal companion, sympathetic confidante, or reliable bodyguard. So, had anyone like Dolly actually appeared on the scene, Decimus would undoubtedly have acted to co-opt them, drive them off, or kill them. Which makes the role Aeneas played that much more important and subtle in the way things ultimately played out. Go Aeneas! ^_^
Sheela 22nd Nov 2016, 7:02 PM edit delete reply

And if you ask any of the Gutters hanging our in various bars, Dolly has become even more awesome, being able to cut straight through New Rome's defenses, to the point where the centurions would run away from the very sight of her!!
She didn't even have to show them her gun!
Speedy Marsh 5th Apr 2017, 2:13 PM edit delete reply
I think Dolly's greatest error was pistol whipping the Prince. With all of her years of experience as a protector, she would know that the best way to protect those in her care is to deescalate the situation. When she used what might possibly be a lethal attack on the Imperator, she dropped napalm on it.

Dolly probably knows numerous types of martial arts , and she could have prevented Lynn from getting hit, and broken her free from Dec's grasp without even touching him. She could have pulled Lynn away from the punch, while making Lynn's arm in a way that would break Dec's grip. She could have grabbed Dec's, while pushing herself between them.

She could have had a conversation with Kali, telling her that Dec's greatest threat at the moment was himself. They both could have used themselves as non-meat shields, ending the fight long enough to keep the meatsacks from rupturing each other.

She also failed by getting drawn into a battle with Kali, and forgetting to protect the girls. Kali failed the same way. They must both watch too many low budget martial arts movies, where everything else stops, when the boss battle begins. ;) They should have kept doing their jobs, instead of comparing the length of their... kicks.

The reason for her failure was most likely her new emotions. Emotions cause all sorts of irrational behavior in humans, and now also in Dolly. That might have been her first encounter where anger was a more dangerous foe than the enemy.

The first half of Dolly's mission was offense. But, for the second half, she's gotta get her mind in the game, and play defense.

Don't get me wrong. I loved seeing Dec getting his face smashed. I loved seeing Dolly do it. Just, not when she's on "babysitting" duty.

Wait a sec... Are y'all doing a parallel thing here? Ceci with Watchdog and Dolly with her emotions?
Dragonrider 20th Nov 2016, 9:07 PM edit delete reply

How is Terri recovering?

Logical, hate to see Cent Com having to face TeeDee, Noctis,Dolly, Lynn and Calliope, united. There ain't enough Black Angels to back her up.

For those excited to get into the spirit of the season here's some music to help you along,

Word of caution the lyrics ain't something you want the kids to hear on number 1&2 number 3 is fully G rated . Number 1 prominently uses Krissys favorite word.
Sheela 21st Nov 2016, 8:33 AM edit delete reply

You found a song that uses "fucknuggets" prominently ?
Dragonrider 21st Nov 2016, 11:08 AM edit delete reply

Listen to them.
cattservant 20th Nov 2016, 9:14 PM edit delete reply

Things are about to start moving again.
Stormwind13 20th Nov 2016, 9:37 PM edit delete reply

At high velocity and in several different directions, catt. :-D
jamie59 20th Nov 2016, 9:51 PM edit delete reply

TeeDee as snarky as ever.
DLKmusic 20th Nov 2016, 10:01 PM edit delete reply

LOL, Jamie! but I think TeeDee's "Pinky" comment actually helped seal the deal.
Dragonrider 20th Nov 2016, 10:18 PM edit delete reply

Actually I think Cent is about to meet our old Irish friend Murphy, and his law. The Bailiffs for the prosecution will be; TeeDee, Noctis,Dolly, Rose, Lynn and Calliope the Sergeant at Arms, Aeneas and The Three Treasures. BTW the deck is stacked against Cent in case you're wondering.
Ryu Santos 20th Nov 2016, 10:56 PM edit delete reply

So who gets to be Judge Stone?
Don't be to quick to count CentComm out yet. She's bound to have an ace up her sleeve.
velvetsanity 21st Nov 2016, 12:54 AM edit delete reply

Considering the people aligned against her, Pinky is likely to wind up with Judge Dredd sitting the bench.
Dragonrider 21st Nov 2016, 1:11 AM edit delete reply

Might be Judge Ceci if Rose gets real busy.
Sheela 21st Nov 2016, 8:34 AM edit delete reply

She may have an ace up her sleeve, but I buried the shirt in the backyard. :)
Ryu Santos 21st Nov 2016, 10:02 PM edit delete reply

"Facepalm" Great now we have a possible hostage taking war AI running around topless.
Sheela 22nd Nov 2016, 12:25 AM edit delete reply

.... I did it for the lulz. :)
DLKmusic 22nd Nov 2016, 4:01 PM edit delete reply

Thanks a lot, Ryu... No I have an image of 12 topless Cent-Comm dolls (with glowing crystalline gear boxes instead of breasts), doing the chorus line in "First Nudie Musical".

I hope you're proud of yourself!
Sheela 22nd Nov 2016, 7:03 PM edit delete reply

I don't know if he is, but *I* am ! :D

It's hard work to bury that many shirts!
HiFranc 20th Nov 2016, 11:17 PM edit delete reply

Hopefully, CentComm will see this as an opportunity to form an alliance (or, at least, peace).
velvetsanity 21st Nov 2016, 12:55 AM edit delete reply

Considering she tried to assassinate Aeneas? :P
HiFranc 21st Nov 2016, 1:01 AM edit delete reply

She thought that Aeneas was still crazy. Unlike Rose, she didn't have any recent data. Once she's up to speed, I think that she might have a different outlook. At least, I hope so.

{edit} I suspect that The black line... was CentComm's last news about Aeneas.
velvetsanity 12th Dec 2016, 7:45 PM edit delete reply

Under US law, the intent goes where the bullet goes, IIRC. Try to shoot someone, even in self-defense, and if you miss and hit an innocent bystander, the courts consider it attempted murder on your part, either deliberate or negligent.
Dragonrider 21st Nov 2016, 1:13 AM edit delete reply

As has already been stated when you are constructed to be a hammer, you see everything as a nail to be beat into lumber.
Gilrandir 20th Nov 2016, 11:17 PM edit delete reply
It is interesting (to me) that Noctis would nominate Tennyo when (as of Comic 1228 - Mission Control) she is apparently out of contact. (Unless I just missed where she gets back in communication with Noctis?)

I am also wondering who else is going to be part of Acantha's guard, since that is not a one-person job (IMHO), even if that person is a Cassian. I know ... let's get Democulus to do it. ^_^
StellarJay 22nd Nov 2016, 12:42 AM edit delete reply

But where is Democlus? He was last seen with Nox kneeling over him. What's left of Nox is here, but no sign or mention of Democlus. CeCi told Dolly that he couldn't be saved, or was that a lie in order to get to Aeneas as quickly as possible?
Centcomm 22nd Nov 2016, 2:47 PM edit delete reply

dont worry we have not forgotten about our guardsman
Stormwind13 28th Nov 2016, 6:17 PM edit delete reply

Actually, that was NOT the last report from Tennyo. She was trying to aid Samantha on page Turrets Online 7 December 2015 to boost her signal to bring her assistance.
Gilrandir 28th Nov 2016, 7:04 PM edit delete reply
Ah, so she is. Well recalled. Thank you.
mjkj 21st Nov 2016, 12:04 AM edit delete reply

Well, decision made... let us get Acantha to a hospital asap...

I love the last panel and how peaceful Acantha looks in Ada's arms...

Sheela 21st Nov 2016, 8:50 AM edit delete reply

Noctis in New Troy, huh ? Guarding Acantha ?
Acantha hangs out with Lynn ?
Dolly bodyguards Lynn ?


Dolly is totally gonna teach Noctis how to save lost kittens, isn't she ?
Noctis is gonna end up like a crazy old cat lady, isn't she ?

... actually, I think Noctis with a little feline in her lap would be awesomely cute. :)
Dragonrider 21st Nov 2016, 10:23 AM edit delete reply

@Sheela: That is one of the scariest images I can conjure up, mainly because the feline would be a lioness chewing on a bloody leg, with the remainder of the corpse at Noctis feet.
Tokyo Rose 21st Nov 2016, 3:31 PM edit delete reply

Noctis: "Satisfactory feline. Am I doing this correctly?"
Dolly: "...close?"
Sheela 21st Nov 2016, 4:31 PM edit delete reply

Well, at least the lioness looks happy. :)
Dragonrider 21st Nov 2016, 9:03 PM edit delete reply

At lease something got to be happy out of this whole escapade.
Centcomm 22nd Nov 2016, 2:46 PM edit delete reply

yep this cracked me up a lot.
Sheela 22nd Nov 2016, 7:04 PM edit delete reply

The best bit about it, is that Dolly takes Noctis' question seriously. :D
Matt Knab 21st Nov 2016, 2:06 PM edit delete reply

Sounds like a good plan. Make it so!
KarToon12 21st Nov 2016, 3:41 PM edit delete reply

Finally! We got a plan together that doesn't involve something on fire! XD
Dragonrider 21st Nov 2016, 9:04 PM edit delete reply

Krap, you know it's going to fail nothing is burning down.
Sheela 22nd Nov 2016, 12:27 AM edit delete reply

Oh, oh .. I can fix that!
*sets New Troy on fire*

Plan is saved! :D
Stormwind13 22nd Nov 2016, 1:09 PM edit delete reply

Noctis: Pauses, apparently listening to a relayed message. "I'm sorry to report that your plan has developed a snag, Lynn. Apparently someone let Sheela loose and now Nova Illium's medical facilities are on fire too."
Centcomm 22nd Nov 2016, 2:46 PM edit delete reply

Sheela 22nd Nov 2016, 7:05 PM edit delete reply

Oh c'mon .. it's .. it's only a little bit on fire!
Gilrandir 22nd Nov 2016, 8:01 PM edit delete reply
You didn't need to do that, @Sheela. We have been told that all the androids in New Troy are already sparked. ^_^ It is the place of CentComm-bastion. Her troopers are equipped with fuel-metal jackets, TeeDee is prepared (on her return) to deliver an excele-rant, and everyone is wanting Tokyo Rose to give CentComm a sterno talking-to.
Stormwind13 21st Nov 2016, 9:22 PM edit delete reply

Good to hear from you, Terri. Try and keep doing better. ::Crosses fingers and toes::
Gilrandir 22nd Nov 2016, 2:16 PM edit delete reply
If you think it would be less painful, @Centcomm, go ahead and uncross your fingers. We won't mind. ^_^
Centcomm 22nd Nov 2016, 8:09 PM edit delete reply

Thank you .. I cant cross my legs at the moment :D so and yes better is good!
HeSerpenty 22nd Nov 2016, 8:07 PM edit delete reply

Ohohoo YUSsss I can't wait to see Noctic in New Troy! Around Cent-Comm :3---- I'm lookin forward to this!
Morituri 22nd Nov 2016, 8:56 PM edit delete reply
I'm having fun wondering whether CentComm is going to fully appreciate how angry just about everyone returning from this merry trip is at her.

Just go around the room and count all the people who've got major grudges against CentComm right now.

Start with Dolly who is mad enough to chew nails and spit bullets. She's been sabotaged, deliberately delayed in getting to her charge, doesn't much care for the attempted assassination of Aeneas, and has had her role as guardian played as a pawn for the sake of delivering the weapon. Which weapon shared a body with a friend she cared about who died for it.

Then think -- really think -- about how Acantha's going to feel when she regains consciousness and realizes she's in the power of that soulless, pitiless killing machine that destroyed her city's entire army and a whole lot of civilians last time there was a war. And remember that Noctis is right there obeying Acantha's orders.

Then consider TeeDee, who woke up in the wrong chassis, had no say in getting drafted onto this mission, had to deal with reload trauma, and has a big fucking gun in her hand.

Just keep going around the room. At this point Lynn may be the only one here who doesn't want CentComm dead.
Morituri 22nd Nov 2016, 9:02 PM edit delete reply
Another interesting point is that inhibitor devices are illegal as hell in New Troy, and Noctis has a fully functioning Nova Roma inhibitor stuck in her head.

In American history, when some states allowed slavery, a slave became legally a free man the instant they set foot in a state that did not. I wonder if New Troy feels the same way about androids with inhibitors, and what Noctis would do on her own initiative if that's the case.
velvetsanity 23rd Nov 2016, 1:07 PM edit delete reply

What would Noctis do in that case? Pledge her fealty to either Acantha directly, or Nova Roma, either one being an act of her own free will and thus having far greater meaning.
Gilrandir 23rd Nov 2016, 2:19 PM edit delete reply
There are a whole host of legal and philosophical issues at play here, which I would love to address in detail. But, for some reason the creative team seems stubbornly and perversely determined to let them play out in the pages of the webcomic, rather than in the comments page. Go figure!

However, I will point out that if, in defiance of all we know about how the hardware works, Noctis did somehow become emancipated while on her visit to New Troy, she would be unable to legally return to New Rome until such time as the laws regarding androids there were changed. (Partially because I suspect that external inhibitors don't work on Cassians, since that port is already in use by dedicated internal hardware and partly as a security measure.) Not that Acantha wouldn't want the laws to get changed, but the legislative process is likely to take some time, at best.

However, all the other A.I.S.'s have super-android henchpersons with powers and abilities far beyond those of normal androids. Maybe Deep Blue will recognize the need and create an opening in his organization for her. I think they would be a good fit, temperament-wise. ^_^
Steven-Vincent 29th Nov 2016, 5:16 AM edit delete reply

So... it seems like Noctis is going to be Acantha's Dolly... This could be very interesting.
Rashala 1st Dec 2016, 12:55 AM edit delete reply

Like I said centy won't have a choice but to play nice.... I mean. Seriously once calli hears all this......yeaaah centys not gonna be able to sit right for a year. And that is BEFORE I and dolly and rose all get our hands on her!!!!!

I also for see ada laughing to herself a lot on the trip home.....see noctis and feeder in an enclosed space together for an entire flight!
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