Comic 1448 - Valuable Asset

9th Feb 2017, 9:00 PM
Valuable Asset
Average Rating: 5 (20 votes)
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Stormwind13 9th Feb 2017, 9:08 PM edit delete reply

The cyberpath isn't a rebel, isn't even Trojan... it is purely a monster and MUST be destroyed.

If Dr. Silver lives thru this, Marcus might NOT. She will not be HAPPY with him for dragging her into this situation.

LOL at the page text. Hide and seek with a SERIOUS twist. :-)
megados 10th Feb 2017, 4:43 AM edit delete reply

I'm pretty sure that is how Noctis sees it.

I hope that Dr Silver waits until they're clear of Nova Roma before she kills Marcus, or it will just add to the mess! :-D
Sheela 10th Feb 2017, 4:57 AM edit delete reply

The thing about playing hide & seek with your life on the line, is to change the game ... have the bots drill a hold in the ground with their guns, and hide in there, only one direction for the sniper to come at her from, so easy to cover.
megados 10th Feb 2017, 5:48 AM edit delete reply

That's a good idea, @Sheela.
robnot 10th Feb 2017, 9:16 AM edit delete reply
as i said before : Phobia.! .. short of a DIRECT order from Maxus she will do anything to kill it.!! (( an thats a new one for the books - - a doll with phobia's. ))
also.. even a direct order she will drag out.. "" ? are you sure? do you want me to order her to stop shooting? do you want me/her to not kill it? ""

omg.. hehe , Noctis has to go to Doctor Sliver for therapy..........
Gilrandir 11th Feb 2017, 11:09 AM edit delete reply
@Stormwind13, what do you think that Dr. Silver will be angriest about after the fact ...?
* -- That Marcus dragged her along and almost got her killed, OR ...
* -- That Marcus called her an "asset"? ^_^
megados 9th Feb 2017, 9:15 PM edit delete reply

Now it's more clear. Maxus did not know the cyberpath and Dr Silver were one in the same, hence he did not give a stand down order. Noctis only knows to eliminate the threat, and arguably did not know she was part of Marcus' team. Like shooting at a rat in the mess hall during a cease fire . . . I can't hold Noctis to blame here, nor Maxus.

Maxus has a decision to make, and make quick. Not only for the sake of this situation, but for Acantha's well being.

Re alt text: More exciting hide and seek!

Panel 3 = Two thumbs up.
Dragonrider 10th Feb 2017, 12:04 AM edit delete reply

As to Noctis and Maxus not knowing that the Cyberpath was part of Marcus team, bullshit Marcus needed her to work the comms to work and was in open mike discussion with her what was needed it very evident that she was a part of the NT team. Noctis objected but gave in. She will not give in this time and from the way the conversation is going Maxus will only order it to keep all out war from taking place. This was deliberate, with malice aforethought a False Flag of Truce violation and Noctis needs to be destroyed as does Astrea should Noctis not order the Stand Down, if Maxus does not order immediate stand down he is as guilty as Noctis.

Aaannnd it's Friday again making up for last Fridays sunshine and puppies weekend in spades.
megados 10th Feb 2017, 4:34 AM edit delete reply

As far as to whether they knew the cyberpath was part of Marcus' team, I can concede, but only partially. Maxus clearly shows here that he did not know that Silver was a cyberpath. Unfortunately, it is as much of a concession I can make.

My opinion differs some:

From Noctis' point of view, Silver is an abomination, a Monster, (capital M intended), as well as a grave threat to both the Cassian Sisterhood, and to Nova Roma. A threat to the Cassians is also a greater threat to Nova Roma in that were their fears to come true, it could mean that the protectors of the palace could be turned into its bane. That poses an even greater threat than just taking over electronic services. She poses a very real danger. Noctis sees Silver in much the way some people see the androids. She doesn't see a person, she sees a Monster. She doesn't realize that other people see her any differently, and Maxus' own reaction lends credence to this assertion. Maxus knew that Astraea was there, and had been with Noctis the whole time since, and did not give Noctis any instructions regarding the matter since then, save ordering her to allow the comms to be put back up. I think the way that Noctis sees it, she's killing a mutant animal that has outlived its usefulness. She doesn't see it as willfully shooting at personnel, she sees it as pest control, or destruction of ordinance, ridding Nova Roma of an abomination.

I don't think it is a false flag violation, at least from Noctis' point of view, because Noctis doesn't see Silver as a person. For it to be a false flag violation, to me, it has to be a deliberate, cognizant act of aggression against enemy personnel. To Noctis, Silver isn't a person.

Additionally, Maxus' reaction leads me to believe that he is surprised that anyone would use a cyberpath on his/her team. It gives more the feeling that in general, cyberpaths are frowned upon, or even loathed in Nova Roma.

The only thing I can really hold Noctis to, is a case of less than stellar judgement.

Maxus now has the facts in hand. My guess is that he'll order Noctis to stand Astraea down. I think Noctis will grumble, but do as ordered.

(I have to give myself an opportunity to be wrong again) :-D
Gilrandir 10th Feb 2017, 9:55 AM edit delete reply
I am amused by the cruel irony of a hypothesis proposing that Noctis -- a representative of a group that is systematically denied the status of 'person', and has been consequently subject to many cruel abuses in the past -- is denying someone else the status of 'person' to justify abhorrent and perfidious acts.

I suppose it should be gratifying to know that, karmically, the Cassians have been far more deserving of their fate than I previously supposed.

It isn't. But I suppose it should be.
megados 10th Feb 2017, 11:58 AM edit delete reply

I can see irony in it, yes. From our comfy chairs, we can overlay our own expectations on others, whose cultural paradigms are very dissimilar to our own. However, when I look at these scenarios, I am trying to view them through the eyes of those who are experiencing them, what their customs, laws, conditions, and circumstances are. When I do that, I find it much harder to define it in such black and white characterizations.

The Cassians operate under completely different rule sets than I do. Under their rules, what they are doing is perfectly normal and acceptable. If they act in accordance with what is considered acceptable behavior within their laws and rules, I cannot apply MY rules and expect them to conform to them. Throughout their lives they have operated by another rule set.

Because of that, I can't assign such adjectives as abhorrent or perfidious to their actions.

Under their rule sets, they are acting correctly, and honorably, no matter how well or unwell it fits into what I am used to. I can't condemn them for doing what they have been taught all their lives to do.

If I apply that to what Noctis is doing now, I have to say that according to the Cassians' code of conduct, she is willing to lay down her life for the good of Nova Roma, and the Cassian sisterhood. In her eyes, she is acting honorably, and if I judge her according to those rules, I have no choice but to agree. If that is to be her fate, I see it as tragic, and unjust. I think Noctis is completely trustworthy, if I judge her by whether she acts according to what would be expected of her under the conditions she abides by.

After all that, I think that if Maxus orders her to stand down, she probably will, and it might even lead to a certain loss of respect from her peers.

Stormwind13 10th Feb 2017, 1:12 PM edit delete reply

Very well said, megados.
Gilrandir 10th Feb 2017, 1:17 PM edit delete reply
There have been any number of cultures which embrace, endorse, and encourage such practices as ritual human sacrifice, sexual abuse of children, cannibalism, treachery, kinslaying, etc. Are you suggesting members of these cultures are indemnified from the consequences of their actions due to the shield of the culture to which they subscribe?
megados 10th Feb 2017, 1:21 PM edit delete reply

Within their own cultures, yes. Outside of that, no. When in Rome . . .
Dragonrider 10th Feb 2017, 4:51 PM edit delete reply

@mmegados: Using your own example of Godzilla the Korean could argue that it was only pest control, sorry pest though it may be it still is part and parcel of the forces included in the cease fire. Member of the Resistance or Trojan no difference she is a member of the forces included in the cease fire. Fairly sure if this were to be tried in front of The World Court War Crimes Tribunal a verdict of Guilt as Charged on all Counts, Death Sentence. Maxus would be found guilty as accessory for failing to insure all terms of the cease fire were enforced Sentence life in Prison forfeiture of all Asserts and Estates, Astrea as the one who committed the act would be sentenced to an inhibitor collar that removes all her enhancements and 25 years imprisonment.
Precedent for the rulings, WWII War Crimes Trials, "I was only following orders", was disallowed as a defense as was, "I was unaware of the programs administered by persons under my command and control".

Of course Cent Comm being the bitch she is would probably take a page out US History bring both Maxus and Astrea in house, subject both to reprogramming use Astrea as a Black Angel to replace Ceci and Maxus to replace Marcus because Marcus failed to actually complete his mission of rescuing Lynn Taylor. The Taylor Guardian who actually accomplished that, enabled the destruction of the Doomsday devices and survived the one on one with Kali, something Cent Comm did not think possible as she underestimated the power of love, Dollys Love for the Taylors.
megados 10th Feb 2017, 5:44 PM edit delete reply

I'm sorry, @Dragonrider the Godzilla analogy wasn't mine. However, this isn't covered by today's laws, and/or world courts. I think it would be held according to Nova Roman law, or whatever passes for diplomacy between there and Nova Illium some thousand years from now.

I personally do realize however, that the power of love is often underestimated.
DLKmusic 10th Feb 2017, 6:27 PM edit delete reply

The Godzilla Analogy was actually mine, Dragonrider. As well as repeating several times that I didn't condone Noctis's actions.

I hold Maxus guilty of not being able to put 2 and 2 together, although I doubt any of us would have done any better in his circumstances. However, how he reacts now would be the deciding point as to whether or not he is guilty of willfully violating the cease-fire.

I hold Noctis guilty of so extreme of a prejudice that she considers a cyberpath a WMD that needs to be disarmed before it goes off. And although by her own prejudices she did not, I also hold her responsible for violating the cease fire.

Regarding Astraea, She was given a lawful order prior to the cease fire (also worth noting that at the same time the other cassians were given the stand down order prior to the cease fire). There is nothing to indicate that Astraea even knows there is a cease fire in place, and if we are consistant with what we know about Noctis, such information would be irrelevant to Astraea's mission so there would be no reason to inform her. The only thing she's guilty of is having a bad hairstyle, and that is not a warcrime (although she IS overdue to have a long talk with Fifi the Fashion Cassian). Astraea's personal prejudices are irrelevant in this case.

I also hold that if someone doesn't do something quick, the "40 Heavy Assault Drone Gospel Choir" is going to start singing over the little town of Nova Roma, and almost every one of Noctis's prejudices against cyberpaths will become justified.

By the way, I hear they do a mean rendition of "Don't fear the Reaper".
robnot 10th Feb 2017, 2:21 PM edit delete reply
in Maxus defense, Noctis obscured who the cyberpath was/with. an Noctis told Maxus 3 times,, " that cyberpath is dead. " ( i will kill it )tho not plainly.
an as a Phobia "megados" is 100% correct. Noctis would see Monster to be DESTROYED.!
that severe a phobia, she would destroy the block to get the monster,, and collateral damage IS acceptable.!!
SeanR 11th Feb 2017, 2:09 PM edit delete reply
Maybe drawing a sword to kill a rat at a treaty conference?
SeanR 11th Feb 2017, 2:34 PM edit delete reply
Whoops. Sorry. I meant to say snake. Not rat.
DLKmusic 9th Feb 2017, 9:15 PM edit delete reply

and... back to friday cliffhanger!!!

Unfortunately, no new revelations on this page, other than Doc Silver is currently up a creek without a paddle right now...

hmmm... Maybe Doc Silvers "FOOLS, I will destroy you all" will come sooner than expected?
megados 9th Feb 2017, 9:31 PM edit delete reply

Well there is a little more information. Now we know how it came to pass that Astraea was not called off.

Yay Friday cliffhanger! :-D
DLKmusic 9th Feb 2017, 11:12 PM edit delete reply

Shhhh! Don't encourage them!
megados 10th Feb 2017, 5:00 AM edit delete reply

H'oh! I don't think they need any encouragement from me!
Stormwind13 10th Feb 2017, 10:13 AM edit delete reply

None at all, megados. They already have their (EVIL) plans in action!
Gilrandir 9th Feb 2017, 9:16 PM edit delete reply
Considering the discussion we recently had about the muzzle flash of the rail gun, I find the notion of any kind of camouflage field having any utility at all to be nigh ludicrous if the sniper keeps firing. It appeared to be a jet of flame at least six feet long, not to mention the thermal bloom.

I suppose it is plausible Astraea could get off a shot, recloak, move to a new location, then get off another shot while retaining some degree of concealment, but Dr. Silver should easily be able to get back inside in the interval between shots. Otherwise the drones should just be looking for the thermal plume and dropping FAE area denial rounds on the target.

Just my opinion.
Stormwind13 9th Feb 2017, 9:26 PM edit delete reply

Two problems... One, these are her personal drones that went inside with her. They aren't the 'heavily' armed drones. I don't believe (looking at the tech page) that they HAVE FAE on-board. Even the heavy war drones I don't think they have FAE. Too much chance of collateral damage.

Two, since Astraea had TIME she could have set up some kind of electronic blind. She is 3 blocks out, the blind is a block over but large enough to cover her position and an electronic ghost position (that the drones will shoot at). The flash is covered, and she isn't targeted. All because Dr. Silver stayed inside for long enough to allow Astraea to set-up a PROPER ambush.
Gilrandir 9th Feb 2017, 9:43 PM edit delete reply
We saw her, she was in the open -- no blind. Certainly nothing to muffle her weapon's signature -- which we also saw.
megados 9th Feb 2017, 9:46 PM edit delete reply

Technically, we only saw directly around Astraea, not what might be set up or extending further down range.
Gilrandir 9th Feb 2017, 9:51 PM edit delete reply
Do you mean 'obstacles in between the sniper and their target'? The short word for that is 'cover' as far as I know, and Dr. Silver would presumably be very glad if there was anything like that between her and the railgun. ^_^ All she'd have to do is crawl a couple of feet off-line and Astraea would no longer have a shot.
megados 9th Feb 2017, 9:56 PM edit delete reply

No, more like a cloaking/shield generator. No solid obstacles. It didn't seem like Astraea gave a rats ass about being behind cover.
CptKerion 10th Feb 2017, 12:02 AM edit delete reply
Cloaking-disruptor-stealth field generator on something capable of jumping what I believe to be over 10 meters in a single bound, in an urban environment, with plenty of alternate routes.

The sensors can't get a lock on the movement, only on where the tango was when it just shot.

Now, this doesn't exist in the real world, but it does in games.
Anyone ever played The Hidden? Think The Hidden with a railgun.
robnot 10th Feb 2017, 8:48 AM edit delete reply
unlike the movies,, a sniper sets up under cover an concealment.. IE: on the far side of a room. - - so you CAN"T see the muzzle flash or thermal bloom. - so yes she prolly has a cloaking device bout 10 feet in front, she's next to chimney ( to cover thermal. )
Gilrandir 10th Feb 2017, 10:13 AM edit delete reply
If you're in the line of fire, you can see the muzzle flash. Being in the back of the room only protects against observations from higher-angle deflections. If you have a tarnkappe, or a Harry Potter cloak, then you can (presumably) blaze away with impunity -- as long as you don't mind making holes in the cloak.

To block the thermal bloom, you need only repeal the First Law of Thermodynamics.
Gilrandir 10th Feb 2017, 12:01 PM edit delete reply
Alternatively, since per the Tech page the EW drone does have a full invisibility field, it could always just turn Dr. Silver invisible and then they make their escape.

But, you say, Nova Roma has camouflage field projectors that can track a target they are making untraceable and hide their location from a block away, while the New Troy drone's invisibility feature is personal only? (But they can project other kinds of effects, like protective shields.) Right, I keep forgetting we have established how superior Nova Roma tech is supposed to be over New Troy tech. Never mind.
robnot 10th Feb 2017, 2:39 PM edit delete reply
IF you are in the line of fire you are dead. ((usually ))
an the shield is 10feet in front ( an you can shoot threw your own shield. (( Ada an Tee did it))) which would cover the 6foot muzzle flash,, or obscure
not block ,, cover thermal . ie: chaff an flares,, have heat sources close by too cover your heat.!!
antrik 10th Feb 2017, 8:34 PM edit delete reply
I don't think the muzzle flash is even necessary. Given the supposedly advanced sensor technology on the drones, they should have no trouble determining the exact trajectory of projectiles moving at a few km/s, and thus any possible firing positions. (I wouldn't by surprised if that was doable even with today's technology -- or at most a couple decades out...)

A localised camouflage field would be useless against that; it would have to be something that can misdirect the sensors remotely, for all drones at once... And if they have that kind of technology at hand, that would mean the drones are all but useless toys, and the entire attack could have never played out like that.

Unless we are missing some crucial unexpected insights, this sniper scenario seems seriously implausible to me.
Gilrandir 9th Feb 2017, 9:20 PM edit delete reply
As far as ideas, Marcus should be telling her to pop smoke and retreat under its cover. And if her drones don't have any smoke grenades, that would seem to be a real oversight in their design.

Dr. Silver seems to be a lot further down the stairs and away from the door than when Astraea took her first shot.
Sheela 10th Feb 2017, 5:04 AM edit delete reply

Tell the drones to shoot straight downwards, dig a hole, and hide in it.
Stormwind13 10th Feb 2017, 9:06 AM edit delete reply

The ground MIGHT not stop all of Astraea's rounds, Sheela. In which case she would have only dug her own grave. :-7
megados 11th Feb 2017, 7:11 PM edit delete reply

That's something I hadn't thought of.
Haegan2005 9th Feb 2017, 9:52 PM edit delete reply


I rate it a 10!

Aww Rose, it only allows a 5...
Gilrandir 9th Feb 2017, 10:13 PM edit delete reply
Why is Dr. Silver "pinned down"? The only protection she has is the immaterial field of force being projected by her drone(s) and their ability to interpose. Shouldn't any and all of that be able to keep up with her runnIng pace? There would seem to be zero protective benefit accrued by lying prone in the open and waiting for your force fields to go down.

If she was behind some physical and immovable obstacle, that would make some sense, but as it is ... curious.
CptKerion 10th Feb 2017, 12:04 AM edit delete reply
Because if she's a moving target the formation gets disrupted.
Gilrandir 10th Feb 2017, 10:06 AM edit delete reply
But none of the drones are between her and the shooter anyway. They're all in a (ragged) line perpendicular to the axis of incoming fire, with Dr. Silver at one of the line's endpoints. That formation (marching doubletime towards the nearest wall) should be easy to hold.
The Old Scribe 9th Feb 2017, 11:02 PM edit delete reply

Where are Doc's big aerial drones? The ones that took out Nova Roma's air patrols. They might have sufficient avionics to sniff out the snipers position and strafe it.

Astraea may have additional remote controlled blast rifles to confuse the drones along with her camo field. I'm also wondering why they can't keep Doc shielded until she can get back inside. Is she that wounded?
HiFranc 10th Feb 2017, 12:14 AM edit delete reply

Good point.

Hopefully, Max allows them to be deployed against the cassian and / or use the New Roman air force against her.
Timotheus 10th Feb 2017, 12:55 AM edit delete reply

There's the needs of civil law enforcement, the military chain of command, and then there's the edicts of the Inquisition. They are often not mutually compatible.
megados 10th Feb 2017, 1:47 PM edit delete reply

True, dat!
jamie59 10th Feb 2017, 5:44 AM edit delete reply

"Monster" When is TeeDee going to pipe up with "Dr. Silver is the best meatbag I know" ?
DLKmusic 10th Feb 2017, 10:00 AM edit delete reply

With Noctis's prejudices, that would probably do more harm than good, Jamie... Absolute and demonstrated Proof that Doc Silver has the ability to brainwash androids.

Chasmj 10th Feb 2017, 6:28 AM edit delete reply
Noctis seems to have an issue with cause and effect. If she expends a NT citizen as a monster, while under a flag of truce, and then expects not to be categorized as a monster by cent com she is having data failure. No plausible deniability, she just admitted it in the presence of 2 other team members. And then , under a flag of truce, she is going to get medical care in new troy. Cent com is a monster too, by her own admission. Noctis would be expended on landing.
Stormwind13 10th Feb 2017, 9:03 AM edit delete reply

I think Noctis realizes that she might be destroyed by her actions, Chasmj. She might not survive to board the Dart. She just believes that destroying the MONSTER is worth the risk.

If Noctis survives to get to New Troy, CentComm won't TOUCH her! She would be there as a representative of another city state, along with the other city state's RULER. CentComm wouldn't risk the diplomatic tangle destroying Noctis would entail. Now if at another time an opportunity presented itself to 'repay' Noctis CentComm might take it.
robnot 10th Feb 2017, 9:36 AM edit delete reply
umm this IS Centcomm we are talking bout... she has history of kill it and every thing within a mile to prove a point...
Stormwind13 10th Feb 2017, 10:09 AM edit delete reply

I'm aware of her (deserved) reputation, robnot. Please remember though the mission to rescue Lynn was not OFFICIAL. Technically everyone involved is a mercenary, takes their chances for money. CentComm has to be careful how it is handled so as to not start ANOTHER war (that she doesn't want).
robnot 10th Feb 2017, 2:46 PM edit delete reply
jus a reminder : Centcomm wanted to god rod the city IF Lynn was harmed.!! an mom ( Calli ) was in agreement..
mom's statement was " all i want left is ash.!"
Gilrandir 10th Feb 2017, 10:01 AM edit delete reply
(Disclaimer: This isn't going to happen, of course.)

<If the Dart has not yet taken off:> Marcus: "Ada, we are betrayed. Put two rounds into Princess Acantha unless General Maxus calls off his dogs. ALL of them."

<If the Dart has already taken off:> "Ada. The New Romans don't want our help. Just let the princess off anywhere. Don't bother landing first."
megados 10th Feb 2017, 11:30 AM edit delete reply

Obviously, your disclaimer holds. Ada would never, IMHO, do either of those things.
CptKerion 10th Feb 2017, 11:17 PM edit delete reply
Nor would Marcus. Acantha had no part in this, she is an innocent bystander.
Chasmj 10th Feb 2017, 11:19 AM edit delete reply
Remember that this all started with an *accident* that happened to a civilian flier. And that the return is occurring in a civilian flier. And well, accidents happen, right...?
Stormwind13 10th Feb 2017, 11:32 AM edit delete reply

Not on Ada's watch! She is a preserver of life, only taking it if needed to preserve more of HER side.

Think about this, if Noctis survives (whether Dr Silver does or not) and goes to New Troy, she is going to be stuck with Ada. What will THAT conversation be like? :-D
Gilrandir 10th Feb 2017, 12:11 PM edit delete reply
Why in the world, @Stormwind13, would you expect New Troy to allow Noctis anywhere near their gates, much less allow her inside?

"What's that? Without a Cassian escort, you're not going to let us take the princess to New Troy for medical treatment? <shrug> Ok. But while you are on this Dart, it isn't going anywhere."
Stormwind13 10th Feb 2017, 12:42 PM edit delete reply

Why would CentComm stop the guard of the Head of State from traveling to New Troy for critically needed medical attention? The fact that ONE of her citizens went to another city state and died there has ZERO bearing on the guard. If CentComm wanted to refuse (which could have consequences on New Troy's relations) she will get overridden by Calliope <via Lynn> because that is her Sister's life you want to use as pry bar. Don't see it happening. Personalities might be more important than pure logic.
Gilrandir 10th Feb 2017, 1:05 PM edit delete reply
Nova Roma has Cassians other than Noctis. Are you saying that New Troy values Acantha's life more than Nova Roma, meaning Nova Roma gets to dictate terms to New Troy?

(Refresh my memory ... given the above scenario, exactly when does Noctis' inhibitor kick in?)
Stormwind13 10th Feb 2017, 1:29 PM edit delete reply

Currently, never. Noctis hasn't been given a command to counter her earlier order. Despite what you think or feel, Noctis has put Dr. Silver in the monster category. She isn't covered by the ceasefire. Until someone explicitly tells her, she will KEEP her in that separate category.
Gilrandir 10th Feb 2017, 1:51 PM edit delete reply
So, as a hypothetical, imagining Marcus has a pistol to Decimus head (Decimus being gagged, and therefore incapable of giving orders of any kind), Marcus tells Noctis "Drop your weapon and stand still, or I shoot the Prince." Under those circumstances, you assert that Noctis would be free to make a desperate attempt to disable Marcus and free Decimus, quite possibly getting Decimus killed in the process (Cyborg reflexes, after all), without any inhibitor activity, simply because she had not yet received any orders about the situation. Hmmm?

I don't think my understanding of what it means to be "programmed for loyalty" really matches that of anyone else here. I would have expected it to be somewhat different from "slavishly obedient to the letter of explicit authorized orders, except when I feel really, irrationally, strongly emotional about something."

Understand, my earlier example has nothing to do with affecting Dr. Silver's fate. Let's assume Dr. Silver is KIA. Noctis prepares to accompany Acantha and is informed that she is persona non grata in New Troy as a result of her actions. (A completely legitimate and measured diplomatic response to events, in my opinion.) You're saying she would refuse to debark, delaying or denying Acantha urgently needed medical treatment, and the inhibitor would remain utterly silent?
Morituri 10th Feb 2017, 3:15 PM edit delete reply
I don't think you've assessed the situation correctly. This isn't about feeling "really strongly emotional about something." This is a realistic threat assessment based on the amount of damage something with Dr. Silvers' demonstrated abilities could do to Nova Roma.

And, yes, "someTHING." That seems to be the category error here. A person is a soldier, covered by the ceasefire. A Cyberpath is a weapon of mass destruction and destroying it/allowing it to be destroyed is part of the necessary disarming procedure that shows good faith in the ceasefire.

And Noctis knows this down to her core; she and her sisters are also weapons-who-think-and-feel, and would expect no better treatment.
Stormwind13 10th Feb 2017, 3:22 PM edit delete reply

I agree with Morituri here. WTF?!? I have no idea where you got that Gilrandir. I'm not going to waste time trying to figure it out either.
Gilrandir 10th Feb 2017, 3:42 PM edit delete reply
So, @morituri, you would argue that, under other circumstances if Roma negotiated a cease-fire, the Cassians would not expect to be protected by it, because they are living weapons and not people? And that if they were to take fire from the opposing side, since the other side was not violating the cease-fire, they would not be entitled to return fire?

And, as far as I know, when you agree to a cease-fire with enemy combatants, you don't typically say "We won't shoot at any of the people with rifles and pistols, but we will shoot anyone with grenades, because they can do too much damage." You agree not to attack the enemy combatants, or you don't. To say you won't and then do so anyway is perfidious. If Noctis could not obey a legitimate order to cease fire, she should have been obligated to speak up immediately when the order was given.
Morituri 12th Feb 2017, 5:44 PM edit delete reply
If deployed on foreign soil, I believe the Cassians would expect that a ceasefire would apply to all humans. But not (at least not directly) to themselves.

It would alter their rules of engagement: Return fire OK, but being the ones to initiate the violence no longer OK because doing otherwise would endanger the units of Nova Roma protected by the ceasefire. So they'd make it a nonissue if the other force included them in the ceasefire.

That's an important distinction. If the other force does not regard a ceasefire as applicable to the Cassians, it implies that they regard the Cassians as a threat regardless of command from the forces of Nova Roma. That means the forces of Nova Roma are not assumed responsible for them, and therefore not culpable if they return fire.

Extending the analogy to Dr. Silver, she's being treated as an uncontrolled weapon- a threat in her own right independent of the forces of New Troy. The implication is that they don't believe in Marcus' ability to control her. So her return fire isn't violating Marcus' ceasefire because they don't think he has control of her.

If she was in the presence of the other Nova Roma forces... Think of the situation if there's a cease fire and a bunch of UN troops come across a bunch of rebel forces hanging around in the vicinity of an armed nuke. Do the rebels get to take the nuke home with them?
Gilrandir 12th Feb 2017, 5:54 PM edit delete reply
Well, Marcus obviously had enough control over her to get communications restored upon request. ^_^

As for the nuke analogy ... assuming the ordinary Laws of War are in force, and not any of the special DataChasers exceptions to which @Tokyo Rose recently alluded, then it depends. However, if they brought it with them in the first place, then the answer is "yes". If they're looting it from a storage facility of the nation they're invading, I believe the answer is 'no'.

[Of course, from there scenarios can get more convoluted and less clear-cut, especially when deception is involved. Consider the scenario of a troop from Country A, led by Captain Red, coming across a squad of invaders from Country B, led by Madame Blue. Captain Red notes that the invaders have, in train, what appears to be mortar tubes and nerve gas rounds bearing the official army markings of Country B. Captain Red also knows that there is an existing cease-fire in place but that, by treaty, Country B is not allowed to have WMDs. An ambitious Captain Red might well violate the cease-fire to capture the nerve gas, knowing he couldn't be prosecuted for it without Country B's treaty violation coming to light. Madame Blue's squad would have to be disavowed as irregulars and outside the scope of the cease-fire to avoid a potentially much more severe diplomatic incident. But as far as I can tell, nothing like that is in-play here.]
megados 10th Feb 2017, 3:53 PM edit delete reply

You do deserve an answer, @Gilrandir, so I will try.

It would depend on a number of factors. Cassians aren't stupid, and make decisions based on best outcome.

First, Noctis would likely assess just how far away she was. I pull this out of my ass, here, but Noctis is extremely fast, and although Marcus has cyborg reflexes, he also has a human nervous system component, with an appropriate biological latency. I believe Noctis' speed trumps that because the MACCS is faster than the human nervous system. Noctis would be able to assess her chances of disabling him, and I would guess, fairly accurately. She is probably going to weigh her options as to the best way to rescue Decimus, (as abhorrent, and heinous as that would be). If she is close enough, she could probably deflect his arm enough to prevent a kill shot, and if successful, maybe cut his hand, or something else, off. If she were too far away to have a chance of success, she would probably disarm, to see that he was spared (as abhorrent and heinous as that would be). IMHO, her inhibitor would only kick in if she decided, instead, to do an exotic sword dance around the room, ignoring her responsibility, (as interesting as that would be).

Be it known that this is completely pure unadulterated guesswork (except for the sword dance; that would definitely be interesting)
Gilrandir 10th Feb 2017, 4:02 PM edit delete reply
So you, @megados, assert that if she calculated her chances of failure to 'unacceptably high' (whatever that is) but decided to try it anyway (because of some phobia, for example), her inhibitor would activate and force her to instead disarm and stand still? That's what I would have expected, but my opinion is not (apparently) the consensus.
megados 10th Feb 2017, 4:08 PM edit delete reply

No, I think you misunderstand, and I apologize if I was unclear.

She would calculate her best chance of having Decimus come away unharmed. Her inhibitor would only come into play, if she failed to do one or the other in an attempt to rescue Decimus, and instead ignored her responsibility to the throne.

In other words, she would be compelled to do whatever she could to rescue Decimus. She would prefer, however, to disable the attacker if possible.

Again, I am relying on guesswork.

Also, I don't know where it started, but there have been speculations that emotional responses have an effect on inhibitor performance, and I don't think that is correct.

I forgot to talk about the second scenario. I think that if Noctis were to be barred from New Troy, she would assign another Cassian. Acantha's well-being would come first.

However, as always, I might be wrong . . .
Gilrandir 10th Feb 2017, 6:02 PM edit delete reply
People seem to prefer to consider the entity that is Noctis distinct from the apparatus that is her inhibitor. The impression provided (as I understand it) is that as an android goes about its business, evaluating its environment and making choices accordingly, the inhibitor is likewise evaluating everything and anything the android knows. If at any time an android attempts to choose an action (including inaction) which the inhibitor identifies as 'prohibited,' the inhibitor forces the android to behave differently than it would choose.

So, getting away from hypotheticals and back to actual, Noctis is aware that rebels are disrupting affairs in the city and around the palace. She issues orders designed to respond to those activities. Noctis then becomes aware that the rebels are working with a cyberpath. She issues orders designed to respond to those activities. She then becomes aware that the Lord General of Nova Roma has agreed to a cease-fire with those rebels and (presumably, though not shown) ordered all of his forces to recognize and abide by the cease-fire. Noctis is aware that certain Nova Roma forces are out of communication, except via channels available only to her.

The argument, as I understand it, is that because Noctis wants to see the cyberpath working with the rebels dead, she chooses inaction, rather than loyally relaying the order to recognize and abide by the cease-fire. For this choice not to trigger the wrath of the inhibitor, we must assume that the inhibitor also hates cyberpaths more than it likes following legitimate orders. That just seems ... dubious to me. Because we know that the inhibitor likes following orders more than it dislikes murdering innocent people or holding a regicide to account for a crime of which he is known to be guilty, but for which he cannot be proven to be guilty. So it seems like the inhibitor likes following orders a whole lot, but (apparently) not as much as it likes killing cyberpaths.
megados 10th Feb 2017, 6:46 PM edit delete reply

My understanding of the inhibitor itself is limited, but AFAIK, it neither likes, nor dislikes anything. It analyzes information, and behavioral responses. My interpretation, is that as long as an android is behaving "correctly" according to physiological responses on the MACCS, it remains inert. As long as the individual him or her self believes that what they are doing, (or not doing) is correct, and within specified instructions,, the physiological information that is read by the inhibitor along the MACCS tells the inhibitor that all is normal, and the inhibitor remains inert. But if an action, or lack of one is incorrect, it is reflected in the physiological information carried on the MACCS. Kind of akin to a lie detector, it compares the information to a baseline. Once the variation becomes great enough, a response is triggered. The tolerance window from baseline to initiation is tailored to eliminate false or nuisance activations. Once that threshold is reached, the response level would be proportional to the baseline deviation. It has been shown that responses can be in the form of pain, or more sophisticated responses, such as takeover of the individual's motor function's

At least that is how I would design it; I don't really have a canon design specification to go by . . .

OK now as far as Noctis goes, which is what I think you're aiming at, as long as she believes that what she is doing follows the guidelines and directives given her, and not superseded by some other directive, it would remain inert. If Maxus gave her a direct order to stand down, and she disobeyed, it should be triggered, but barring that, since she believes herself to be acting correctly it remains inert. A person knows when they're doing right or wrong, and so do androids. As long as Noctis believes she is doing what is best for Nova Roma, and that is not superseded by another order coming from a higher commanding source, her inhibitor won't activate, I don't think.

Or, I'm way out in left field.
Gilrandir 10th Feb 2017, 7:18 PM edit delete reply
@megados, you may substitute "does not punish" for "likes" and "punishes" for "dislikes", if you prefer. I intended it figuratively, rather than to suggest actual emotional content.

My interpretation of what we saw from CeCi and Kali suggests to me that the personal beliefs of the android are much less a factor to influence the inhibitor than your theory proposes, but you may well be closer to canon in this matter than I. Malati obviously believed not attacking Maxus was the right thing to do, but her inhibitor punished her anyway -- but at least your theory offers some possible explanation for why Noctis' inhibitor is (not) responding as it is.
megados 10th Feb 2017, 7:50 PM edit delete reply

Ceci was a special case. She had Watchdog, an entire second entity which took over completely. Kali, I believe, did anything and everything to keep her inhibitor from kicking in, and once the condition was met to deactivate it (Acantha's apparent death), she acted out of free will and toasted Decimus. Malati believed she was doing the right thing, but was disobeying a superseding direct order. That triggered the inhibitor.

I don't know if you can hang your hat on my theory of operation, as it may be completely different than what was intended by canon.
antrik 10th Feb 2017, 9:23 PM edit delete reply
It doesn't matter whether Noctis considers Dr. Bitchy to be a monster, un-person, WMD or whatever. Noctis is perfectly aware that she (or "it") is an asset of the other party to the cease-fire, and attacking her/it is clearly breaking the cease-fire. A cease-fire is a cease-fire, not just "stop shooting those you consider people, but feel free to continue destroying other military assets". That's not how it works, and Noctis surely must be perfectly aware of that. No, she is wilfully violating the cease-fire. Considering what she said earlier, "better by far that Roma burn to the ground than harbour such a monster", it's not even all that surprising -- it's just surprising that she appeared to play along (with the evacuation of Acantha etc.), all the while knowing that this these plans will break down, since she doesn't intend to honour the cease-fire...

(Or maybe not: she seemed surprisingly passive about Acantha getting the required medical care earlier -- if she knew all along that it probably won't matter in the end because of her own actions, that would at least explain this...)

I too find it surprising though that the inhibitor would allow her to put a higher priority on destroying the cyberpath than on the immediate threat to the life of the next in the line of Livius...
antrik 10th Feb 2017, 9:44 PM edit delete reply
Just to be clear: if it was apparent that the "monster" was out of anyone's control, such as a rabid Godzilla on the loose, eliminating would surely be appropriate even under a cease-fire -- but there has been no indication whatsoever that the Troy team doesn't have Dr. Bitchy under control. Shooting Godzilla on a leash for no other reason than that it's Godzilla *would* be a violation of the cease-fire.
megados 11th Feb 2017, 9:35 AM edit delete reply

A long as everyone is clarifying . . .

There are clearly differing interpretations of what is unfolding, and that's a testament to the story, and how it is being told, as well as those telling it, (you know who you are ;->)

First, No, I don't think Astraea should be shooting at Dr Silver. The cause of that, is an order from Noctis, who I don't really blame for giving it. I am kind of ambivalent about whether she should have rescinded it on her own. The part of me that sees it from her point of view says probably not, but I don't know how she's weighing it against the need to sort out the situation quickly for Acantha's sake. Only Noctis knows that. Then there's the part of me that says yes, if she does see Dr Silver as part of the opposing forces, and not strictly as Monster. Personally, I think Noctis doesn't see past Monster.

I don't condemn Noctis for this; I condemn the conditions in Nova Roma which define her rule set that creates the paradigm under which this becomes the choice she has to make. In one way, I applaud her for having the guts to make the choice. In another, I dislike the choice that has been made.

My hope? That Maxus orders her to stand down, and that Noctis, out of loyalty to Maxus, and the duty to prevent any more delay for Acantha's need, obeys. Possibly telling Marcus to "remove that THING from Nova Roma, or I WILL". That is how I think Noctis would decide this if she stays true to form.
Also, I want to add that this scenario has no mention of an inhibitor in it. Aww shit, now I mentioned it. :-)
Also, it can be totally wrong.
antrik 11th Feb 2017, 8:51 PM edit delete reply
Except that shooting at Dr. Bitchy right now is *hindering* her departure... I would have though Noctis smart enough to realise this.
megados 12th Feb 2017, 6:20 AM edit delete reply

Yes, I think you're right, and I think that Noctis is just now beginning to see this, or is about to. Up until just now, I don't think she realized that anyone would/could want to keep a cyberpath alive.
Sevian 10th Feb 2017, 11:37 AM edit delete reply

Hey... You're at #9 today. Keep it up.
sigpig 10th Feb 2017, 11:57 AM edit delete reply

I guess in Noctis' mind, Cyberpath = Murder Turd...
Stormwind13 10th Feb 2017, 12:02 PM edit delete reply

I think it is even WORSE than that, sigpig. Murderturds are (slowly) cleaning up the environment by removing/concentrating metals. Cyberpaths don't serve any such benign function.
megados 10th Feb 2017, 12:04 PM edit delete reply

Pretty much, yeah.
Gilrandir 10th Feb 2017, 2:21 PM edit delete reply
For the record, creatrices, speaking only for myself, to help you gauge the success of your effort to inspire and evoke an emotional response, I would rather have seen you get Noctis to cut off her own head than see her go down the path she's on. <sad smile>

I'm shocked and appalled you chose not to give her a death at least as rich, fulfilling, uplifting, and emotionally satisfying as CeCi's programmed self-destruct. (Not that Noctis is necessarily going to die. She may end up being richly rewarded and lauded for her actions, as best I can tell. Just have to wait and see.) But the notion that Noctis can be redeemed is growing more and more remote. In the same way that vile actions compelled carry little or no taint, so too (IMHO) do virtuous actions compelled provide little or no credit. There don't seem to be any plausible choices left for her to take, as best I can see, that would justify what we have seen to date. It's possible the negative consequences of her actions may be undone, but it is looking like they will be undone by others, and not by any efforts of her making.

Of course, I could be wrong.
DLKmusic 10th Feb 2017, 3:41 PM edit delete reply

I'm sorry, Gil, but I honestly don't see anything about Noctis's current actions regarding Doc Silver as being inconsistent with her character which has been wonderfully displayed by the evil duo.

This is exactly the same Noctis that placed a child on a doorstep. Exactly the Same Noctis that had reservations about Dolly when they first met, Exactly the same Noctis that suggested to Hrist, Malati, and Nox how they might go about circumventing Decimus's order to Kill Maxus, and Exactly the same Noctis that went into a panic (at least for her) when she found out they were dealing with a Cyber-Path.

It is also exactly the same Noctis that isn't sugar-coating her part in the current crisis.

What I find inconsistant (but only a little), was that Maxus didn't put 2 and 2 together about the Cyberpath. Although to be fair with Maxus, I doubt I would have done any better.

Well done, evil Duo, well done indeed... (grumble, grumble, grumble).
Gilrandir 10th Feb 2017, 3:57 PM edit delete reply
Hence, "speaking only for myself". I can see I have failed to make my case for most of the people here. Oh well. No need for me to go on about it any further.
megados 11th Feb 2017, 3:31 PM edit delete reply

@Gilrandir, I think the way forward for Noctis to redeem herself, if that's what you want to call it, would be for her to stand down, if so ordered. The reason I say that, is because it would accentuate three separate positive motivations.
1) She would be showing loyalty to Maxus, and aiding in maintaining the cease fire.
2) She would be showing that she recognizes Acantha's needs and the need for haste.
3) She would be putting others' goals before one of her own very large goals: ridding Nova Roma of Monster.
Don't you think that would show that she's a redeemable person?
Gilrandir 11th Feb 2017, 5:33 PM edit delete reply
(Note: I did say I wasn't going to belabor the point, but I do think it appropriate to continue an ongoing conversation with someone specifically soliciting my opinion.)

Recognizing that there's stuff going on I don't know about, based on what I have seen and intuited so far ... no. If Noctis stands down at this point, it seems likely to me it will be only because she was ordered to, and not for any particularly praiseworthy reason. And it won't change the fact that she will have been revealed to be loyal only because she has no choice, rather than because of any inherent virtue. I don't think that paltry action would be sufficient to offset her prior transgressions, much less suggest that she would do any better the next time she was allowed to indulge her proclivities, versus simply given very restrictive orders to obey.
megados 11th Feb 2017, 5:58 PM edit delete reply

If you'd rather not, I will respect that. I guess that I have also failed to make my case.

I cannot help but to weigh her actions according to the paradigm under which she was forged.
Gilrandir 11th Feb 2017, 9:26 PM edit delete reply
I don't mind. I'd just hate to be the cause of people saying to themselves "He said he'd shut up, but he isn't shutting up." ^_^

I believe I understand your assertion that the judgement and evaluation should be based on her internal standards -- I just don't agree. I don't particularly agree when it comes to people and I certainly don't agree when it comes to artificial persons whose cultural standards and beliefs are (to a large extent) artificially created and externally imposed. So, we'll just have to agree to disagree on that point. Especially since this is not about 'rightness' or 'wrongness', this is allegedly about how Turing-capable logic devices react, given a specific and explicit set of programs and a known set of stimuli.
megados 11th Feb 2017, 10:02 PM edit delete reply

Then I would suppose agree to disagree is where we stand. I had hoped that there was some alternative reason for Noctis to have left the kill order standing. There was not, but I don't really blame her, because of her unreasonable fear. At least that's how I'd characterize it. I think it affects her judgement. But even barring that, she is acting according to Cassian standards and beliefs. Noctis is being Noctis. She may yet rise above that, and I'm willing to stick with her. I don't necessarily like her recent action, but I'm not going to crucify her either.

I guess I'll wait and see . . .
megados 10th Feb 2017, 9:20 PM edit delete reply

Quote: " . . .creatrices . . . "

Speaking of, I haven't seen them. I hope all is OK . . .?
CptKerion 10th Feb 2017, 11:21 PM edit delete reply
I think they're desperately trying not to spoil.
DLKmusic 10th Feb 2017, 11:59 PM edit delete reply

agreed, CptKerion, although when they do leave a cliffhanger this juicy, they also love to sit back and laugh maniacally at us while we stew in our own juices!

Hence "Evil Duo"...

I can hear Rose now... "NEEDS MORE FUCKING SALT!"
Guest 12th Feb 2017, 3:51 PM edit delete reply
Tokyo Rose here. My desktop computer quit on me Friday morning, and I've spent most of the weekend on a netbook (and anti-anxiety meds). I currently have a new system up, but my data hasn't yet been ported over. (That includes my list of passwords, aggravatingly enough, so logging into most things--such as Comicfury--is no-go.) This may incidentally mean that we end up on hiatus for a little while; I'm going to have to get used to using a completely different version of Photoshop. We've got this week covered, at least, and I hope to be back up and running quickly.

Avoiding spoilers on this segment is pretty difficult.

Though we've had some very interesting and thought-provoking debates in the past couple of days, it seems that no one has, as yet, asked "Why does a prejudice so extreme as to override common battlefield traditions exist?"

Why would Noctis--who has been demonstrated, I hope, to be very intelligent, logical, and calculating--regard a cyberpath as being so utterly, catastrophically dangerous?

(Also, after several days of intense stress and anxiety, I am completely giving the fuck up on thoroughly explaining Astraea's sniper position. The story requires that she be able to shoot at Dr. Silver and Dr. Silver's uber-drones can't just instantly blast her ass in return. How's that.)
megados 12th Feb 2017, 4:54 PM edit delete reply

Rose, thanks for popping in to let us know! I was getting concerned, because usually, one or both of you at least stop in to crack us (me) upside the head here and there. I am glad, in that it's not something more serious.

The question you mention was on my mind, but I never asked it, because I thought that any sort of answer given to it, would be <spoiler> if given by you or Centcomm, and I maybe wrongly assumed you might be the only ones who could answer it. I think of it as an extreme phobia, but I am unaware of its cause, unless it is something I have forgotten. In my mind, I could leave it at that, because I know people IRL who have unreasonable fears (phobias) that exist for no apparent reason at all. The fear of a cyberpath is understandable for someone whose mind could be taken over. I know I would be terrified. *edit- I think you already know that I think Noctis is an intelligent, perceptive and insightful person. (Yes, I use the word person)

I was/am of the understanding that Astraea's position is pretty much unassailable, for whatever reason, and was/am satisfied with that.

Please don't stress yourself out. I can only speak for myself, but I will be patient, and hope that things work out for you. Take whatever time you need.

But most of all, thanks for letting us know!
Gilrandir 12th Feb 2017, 4:59 PM edit delete reply
Hello, @Tokyo Rose. Sorry to hear about your equipment failure causing you inconvenience and anxiety. For whatever I have done to contribute to your anxiety, I apologize and I hope things become easy and stress-free for you as soon as possible.

One of the questions I try to specifically avoid asking here is any kind of "why?" directed to the creative team unless I am reasonably confident you have no plans to answer it in the story, just because I know it will likely generate a <REDACTED> response. But, also, speaking only for myself, I consider the answer to that obvious: given the levels of technology shown, the amount of damage a cyberpath could do is (apparently) extremely severe. I presently regard each and every cyberpath on DataChasers Earth as the equivalent of a strategic suitcase nuclear bomb capable of entirely obliterating a major city-state if allowed to work unhindered for any significant amount of time. Threat magnitude was never an issue. And, if that's the reality of it, but you assert that Noctis' imagination has in fact, exaggerated the threat further, it really has zero significance.

The fact that threat magnitude could be considered relevant to the discussion puzzles me, and probably exposes some principles at work which have either been hidden from me or which I have not been perceptive enough to realize. Let's just assume, for the purposes of discussion, that any cyberpath can immediately slaughter, with no measurable effort, any and every man, woman, child, and android on the entire planet and go from there.
Guest 12th Feb 2017, 7:30 PM edit delete reply
This is gonna come across sounding a hell a lot bitchier than I actually intend it to be; I apologize in advance.

If you recognize the degree of threat posed by a cyberpath, why the scintillating heck are you apparently relegating Noctis to your Most Irredeemably Hated Character list, saying you'd have been happier if we'd had her cut her own freaking head off, and generally condemning her to the uttermost depths of hell for not calling off the sniper who's in position to neutralize such a colossal threat?
megados 12th Feb 2017, 7:41 PM edit delete reply

Holy shit, Rose! You said "heck"!! Now I know you're stressed!
Gilrandir 12th Feb 2017, 7:54 PM edit delete reply
I welcome the opportunity. No worries.

First, the triviality: not Most Hated. Decimus still comfortably fills that role.

Then the disclaimer: your characters, your story, your way -- these are just my opinions as a member of the audience. I am just thinking you may have ended up telling a story different than the one you intended. And, since it may be just me, I might be missing something really obvious, in which case no one will be more pleased than I when you point it out to me.

Now, to answer in all seriousness. (Apologies if this goes on overlong.) In my opinion, as noted, threat magnitude is irrelevant. Noctis had been a tragic and sympathetic figure who, for years and years, was inescapably condemned to obey the orders of a cruel and abusive madman. She was given an opportunity to operate under the command of a just, compassionate and considerate commander -- she didn't even last 24 hours. She even had a marvelous technological device to help her follow orders (the inhibitor) and it made no difference whatsoever. Not only does this have serious plausibility issues. Not only is it not established anywhere that, had Dr. Silver not been a cyberpath but carrying an actual suitcase nuke, Noctis would still have ordered Astraea to take the shot. But, character-wise it forces us to ask the question "If disobeying orders is so much easier for her than we were led to believe, why have she (and all the other Cassians -- except Malati) been loyally obeying Decimus all this time?"

I strongly suspect you didn't mean to make it seem like disobeying orders is easy for a Cassian, but that was the effect (for me). To me, this is as if her nightmare actually did come true -- something has reached into her brain and, without her knowledge, made her a disloyal threat to Nova Roma, all the while she remains convinced she is acting in its best interest. Only, of course, there's nothing canon to suggest anything of the kind has actually happened, leaving full responsibility for this entire scenario solely with Noctis. Now she's not nearly so tragic or sympathetic as she was when I really liked her. She expressed the sentiment that death would have been kinder to her than this fate. I was just agreeing.

I hope that was clear, articulate, understandable, rational, and well-supported by the details I and others have provided. As I say, I am hoping this wasn't what you had in mind, but you are such good storytellers generally, it's hard to credit any other explanation.

One of the reactions I periodically experience as I read the commentaries or re-read the strips -- which I wasn't going to share, but you asked (and it does seem a little funny to me, in my sick, twisted way) -- was "Can we just put Lynn's ovaries back in the story and fix Noctis instead?" ^_^

But, ultimately your characters, your story, your way. Maybe you will surprise me. Maybe the payoff you are building toward will be worth the price, or maybe I just need to move on and focus on enjoying the next story arc. But that is my reaction and the why of my reaction.
megados 12th Feb 2017, 8:10 PM edit delete reply

@Gilrandir, there seems to be a fundamental misunderstanding here. Noctis. Did. Not. Disobey. Any. Orders. That is why her inhibitor did not respond. The inhibitor is completely irrelevant at this time.

If in fact, I understand correctly, that is.
Gilrandir 12th Feb 2017, 8:21 PM edit delete reply
@megados, you and I have agreed to disagree on this point. Even though off-screen, I assert that Maxus did issue a cease-fire order, that the scope of this order clearly applied to Dr. Silver, that Noctis was aware of the order and that it applied to her and all other Cassians. Unless the creative team says otherwise, that's what I'm going with. You are, of course, free to hold whatever opinion you like.

I would ask, if you don't think he issued the order, why do you think everyone else has stopped shooting at each other?
megados 12th Feb 2017, 8:37 PM edit delete reply

Yes we did agree to disagree. We do seem to be holding to that agreement.

I do not think that Maxus gave Noctis a direct order to stand Astraea down. Barring that, all that could be said, is that it was inferred. If so, it was up to Noctis to interpret it however she saw fit, as long as it was within her directive as being in the best interests of Nova Roma. Maxus would have had to say it explicitly, and express it as an order.
Gilrandir 12th Feb 2017, 8:39 PM edit delete reply
Well, then there is no fundamental misunderstanding. ^_^

You have yet to answer the question about all the other troops. They weren't eavesdropping on the exchange, because communications had not yet been restored. They certainly aren't getting it relayed to them by the rebels. They are unlikely to have just spontaneously stopped shooting because they felt a Disturbance in the Force. So, they have nothing from which to infer it, no command ordering it, but they all stopped shooting. Why?
megados 12th Feb 2017, 8:52 PM edit delete reply

*shrug* Unless it's expressed as an order, it's open to interpretation. Maxus and Noctis both know this. Noctis believes the threat grave enough as to not be considered part of a ceasefire; for whatever reason she sees a cyberpath as that great a threat. There have been many cases in which "I was just following orders" has been used as an excuse to justify an even greater crime.

Noctis did probably relay it to all the others, but the freedom of interpretation allowed her to make an exception in the case of the cyberpath. There was no direct order concerning that.
DLKmusic (at work) 12th Feb 2017, 9:03 PM edit delete reply
Just to point out a salient fact, the Cassians were all ordered to stand down by Noctis except for Astraea the moment Noctis discovered she was fighting against a cyber-path. that was before Noctis weaseled permission from Decimus to take her current course of action.

It is very possible that Maxus never did order Noctis to stand down the Cassians, as there was no need... (again, not putting together 2 and 2).
Gilrandir 12th Feb 2017, 9:11 PM edit delete reply
As I recall, they were ordered to retreat from the Hub, not stand down. Several damaged Cassians were ordered to withdraw, while other Cassians were ordered to reinforce Cassians under fire. If they were ordered to stand down, I missed it. (Remember, we have been told there are many Cassians beyond the few names to which we saw Noctis giving orders on-screen.)

EDIT: We did see unassigned Cassians put in "Defensive Mode" before the cease-fire was agreed to. (In fact, before Maxus even linked up with Noctis.) You could make the case that that constituted an order to stand down, but since Samanta was later seen blazing away with multiple auto cannons, that would just make the disobedience an outright plague affecting Cassians.
DLKmusic (at work) 12th Feb 2017, 7:30 PM edit delete reply
Dang, Krissi! Sorry to hear about your computer! Sociological debates aside, take care of yourself, and don't overstress. If you need a little help with the computer, PM or email me and I'll see what I can do.

And in the meantime, SNARK at us!!!! you know you want to, and you know we deserve it, bwuhahahah... (a good snark always makes ME feel better when I'm stressed!)
KarToon12 10th Feb 2017, 3:46 PM edit delete reply

They're also throwing ketchup on my face so I look more injured than what I am! I need back up!!
mjkj 10th Feb 2017, 8:16 PM edit delete reply

So, can the drones not shoot the same trajectory the rounds come from?
megados 10th Feb 2017, 8:35 PM edit delete reply

They can, mjkj, but Astraea apparently keeps moving with each shot.
CptKerion 10th Feb 2017, 11:20 PM edit delete reply
I would also be utterly unsurprised if she was also using some sort of decoy mechanism.
megados 11th Feb 2017, 7:51 AM edit delete reply

Correct, CptKerion, Alt text specifies that she's using a camo field.
All the Pickles 11th Feb 2017, 9:51 AM edit delete reply

And so I'm finally caught up on this glorious adventure. It has been quite the journey reading what the characters and authors have been up to over the last 10 years. I love the characters and story, and hope everything is going well now in real life for Cent, Rose, and everyone else.
Centcomm 12th Feb 2017, 8:17 PM edit delete reply

Thank you Pickles! welcome to the comments section!
Nef 12th Feb 2017, 1:35 AM edit delete reply

Come on! I'm pinned here! Less talking, more saving?
Centcomm 12th Feb 2017, 8:18 PM edit delete reply

that would be a good thing!
Lurker314 29th Oct 2020, 10:59 PM edit delete reply
Don't know why it sometimes takes me three or so passes to get the comment down. What Dr Silver is doing is playing "How to not be seen"
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