Comic 1452 - Departure

16th Feb 2017, 9:00 PM
Average Rating: 4.95 (20 votes)

Author Notes:

Centcomm 17th Feb 2017, 1:12 AM edit delete
If you want to see something a bit more light hearted check out POW right in the nostalgia! Come on you know you wanna!
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Gilrandir 16th Feb 2017, 9:07 PM edit delete reply
Is someone going to tell Connie and Mr. Black that they can leave? ^_^

And is Dr. Silver on the Nevarro? I don't hear her -- and I would expect to hear from her if she were there. ^_^
robnot 16th Feb 2017, 9:47 PM edit delete reply
i would suspect that Mr. Black an Connie was just the ride in, an can leave wen they want.. an Marcus said to meet Dr. Sliver at rondevu ,, there's no way they would let her near the Black Palace ...
Centcomm 16th Feb 2017, 9:58 PM edit delete reply

You will see Silvers ride soon enough.
Gilrandir 16th Feb 2017, 10:28 PM edit delete reply
The New Troy equivalent of Voltron? Four or five drones combine to form a single-person high-speed aircraft? ^_^

@robnot, before the shooting happened Dr. Silver was talking to Marcus about meeting him at the hangar. The implication is that that hasn't changed, meaning that they are, in fact, letting her get near the Black Palace. But I doubt she'll be there long.
robnot 17th Feb 2017, 8:05 AM edit delete reply
yes,, BEFORE shooting. now that they know that she is a cyberpath,, no way.!! so they would have back up rondevu points..
Gilrandir 17th Feb 2017, 8:22 AM edit delete reply
<shrug> Nothing was said about proceeding to an alternate rendezvous ... unless I missed it.
Tokyo Rose 18th Feb 2017, 12:35 AM edit delete reply

I probably should go back and clarify that Dr. Silver's being directed to a rendezvous point on the outskirts of the city. Marcus thinks ahead, so yes, there are indeed several alternate points.
Gilrandir 18th Feb 2017, 12:44 AM edit delete reply
I'm sure they would have had several prearranged. For that matter, since there is no need for communication security or clandestine movement, they can use landmarks. "Where do you want her to meet us? ... Ok. Dr. Silver, they want us to pick you up at the North Gate -- that's the gate out of town closest to your current location. Head directly there and we'll come get you."

It's just that there was no indication they were going that route. And, interestingly enough (to me), if the Romans are picking the route and the rendezvous, they are unlikely to have been included in the mission brief, so they probably (we hope) wouldn't be using any of Marcus' prearranged rally points, anyway. ^_^
megados 18th Feb 2017, 10:17 AM edit delete reply

Atraea is probably giving her turn by turn directions! . . . "At the next intersection, turn right, or die." ;-D
That one guy 18th Feb 2017, 10:39 AM edit delete reply
While I know it's not happening due to possibly sparking off hostilities and leading to Acantha not getting her life saved, that did pop to mind the idea of a sniper with a railgun playing the old Western/Cowboy trope of telling someone to dance while shooting at the ground in the general area of their feet.

That seems like it'd be more hazardous with a rail gun and paved ground as it would with a 38 on dirt (not that that's really a great or safe idea in the first place, as a rock in the wrong place could cause ricochet or shrapnel and if the ground is harder than expected & shallow angle of impact it could redirect the bullet to skim the ground until it runs into something farther down the line of fire).
Cal 16th Feb 2017, 9:15 PM edit delete reply
TeeDee's almost sounding... human in that last panel... her words seem to lack their usual 'color'. ;)
megados 16th Feb 2017, 9:18 PM edit delete reply

You seem to be right. I was looking at that wondering if I was missing something.
Centcomm 16th Feb 2017, 9:22 PM edit delete reply

the color is off but Rose cant fix it right now shes lacking several tools to do so. we are working on that .. sorry!
megados 16th Feb 2017, 9:26 PM edit delete reply

Oh! No don't be sorry! :-) I certainly am not complaining. We know Rose is in the midst of getting her setup restored. I thought maybe I wasn't understanding something that I should have.

We know it's TeeDee.
Dragonrider 16th Feb 2017, 9:34 PM edit delete reply

Think the tame comment was in line with TeeDee not using her usual profanity.
Gilrandir 16th Feb 2017, 10:24 PM edit delete reply
Nothing unusual about TeeDee making off-color remarks. ^_^
Tokyo Rose 16th Feb 2017, 11:27 PM edit delete reply

Got Photoshop working. Fixing that fuckup with Teedee's balloon is the first time I've used Photoshop CS6. Yaaaaay.
Centcomm 16th Feb 2017, 11:47 PM edit delete reply

robnot 17th Feb 2017, 8:06 AM edit delete reply
Sheela 18th Feb 2017, 10:10 PM edit delete reply

One might think that TeeDee the passenger wants to not get splattered by Lynn the newbie pilot ?

Could be an explanation for the lack of her usual candor.
Cal 19th Feb 2017, 8:18 PM edit delete reply
:( Wasn't tryin' to hurt anyone's feelings :(
Sheela 20th Feb 2017, 3:37 PM edit delete reply

Don't worry Cal, no harm done. :)
Dragonrider 16th Feb 2017, 9:31 PM edit delete reply

Believe Silver is riding with "The Rev Mr Black and Connie. Much to Connies displeasure as this will limit her seduction attempts severely. Sure Marcus planned it so he would not have to listen to her Bitch the entire trip back. When is Lynn going to let Douchie's nickname slip
megados 16th Feb 2017, 9:41 PM edit delete reply

Well, re: Alt Text, and everyone else from New Troy's opinion, with the exception of Acantha, I think maybe Lynn would just rather forget the whole thing.
Centcomm 17th Feb 2017, 12:42 AM edit delete reply

Yeah Acantha is a exception So is Irene and Maxus.
megados 17th Feb 2017, 7:54 AM edit delete reply

Yup, I should have thought to say them too.
Sheela 18th Feb 2017, 10:11 PM edit delete reply

I dunno, I think Irene would be ok with it, she has her house outside the city after all.
ArgentTree 16th Feb 2017, 9:48 PM edit delete reply
Aside from the wonderful tension and tiptoeing all about the place by everybody, I see some wonderful, hysterical opportunities when Noctis goes from someplace that's mostly human (with a strong anti-andy predjudice) to a place that's largely Android and run by Cent.

An eye-opener is an eye-opener, no matter who you are. I may not be a comic writer, but I'm an avid reader and I can imagine so many crazy angles that could be played here... quite looking forward to it! :-)
All the Pickles 16th Feb 2017, 10:10 PM edit delete reply

Indeed, though you never know what might happen on the way back. It might be years before Noctis reaches New Troy, if she arrives at all. Everything might go according to plan for once, but I have a nagging feeling too many things are going right at the moment...
Timotheus 16th Feb 2017, 10:39 PM edit delete reply

Perhaps someone will do something along the lines of letting the cat out of the bunker? And there's still the possibility of a gutter jail break during the recent unpleasantness. And they did steal Kyle's way home, he will have to hitch a ride somehow.
ArgentTree 16th Feb 2017, 10:40 PM edit delete reply
Ehhh... there's a time-limit issue (warm-stasis), and honestly, sometimes you have to 'reset the board' as it were. It'll be interesting, as there are now once again multiple story arcs to explore.
megados 17th Feb 2017, 6:11 AM edit delete reply

The Creative Duo does an awesome job of juggling multiple story arcs. :-D
Centcomm 18th Feb 2017, 2:28 PM edit delete reply

We do try..
Sheela 18th Feb 2017, 10:13 PM edit delete reply

Cat ? what cat ? The Prince's cat ?
Oh, there it is! :D

*chases cat through ship*
Gilrandir 16th Feb 2017, 11:56 PM edit delete reply
So, pardon my density, but now the next revelation of the depths of my ignorance ...

Why is Noctis going to New Troy?

Back when I mistakenly thought that Nova Roma had declared a state of emergency, martial law, the Lord General had assumed command of all forces for the purpose of securing civil order and was sending an escort with the princess for urgently needed medical care in a foreign city, it made perfect sense ... but that turned out not to be true.

We have been told that all of the Cassians are hardwired for loyalty to the Throne of Nova Roma, except for Kali (who was a special case) who was hardwired for loyalty to the House of Livius.

Until confirmed by the Senate, Acantha is apparently no more special than any other child of one of the noble houses. She is obviously the Heir Presumptive, but there must be lesser candidates of inferior claims in the overall line of succession among the other noble houses. So it makes perfect sense for a Cassian tied to the House of Livius to go along -- but she's a carbonized skeleton. If all the other Cassians have an independent chain of command and their primary duty is to the city, not Acantha and her kin, why are any of them leaving the city to follow the girl? Considering that Praetorians are wandering around shooting and raping people, all the hospitals are burning, etc., etc., don't they need every pair of super-capable hands they can get right here at home, taking care of the city?

If all the Cassians are tied to the House of Livius, and not the Throne of Nova Roma, then why was Kali often held up as a special case? What am I missing?
Dragonrider 17th Feb 2017, 12:23 AM edit delete reply

A. She was ordered to go as a bodyguard for Acantha by Maxus.
B. I suspect any collateral line of the house Livius have long since suffered fates such as Acanthas Mother and Douchbag's Father, he never met an opportunity to murder that he didn't like. As such Acantha is the only living Heiress to the Throne of Nova Roma.
C. As the Presumptive Head of State Acantha is required to have a bodyguard, were the situation calmer she would probably have at least 4, were it not for Lynn's personal pledge of protection she would have probably the Drow Elf along with Noctis.
Tokyo Rose 17th Feb 2017, 12:43 AM edit delete reply

A: Correct. Maxus trusts Noctis to look after Acantha.*
B: Also correct. There used to be a couple of cousins scattered around who might have been able to make a claim on the throne. Decimus had them killed.
C: Correct again. Maxus needs the majority of the Cassians to help get the situation under control, but after things have calmed down, an additional set of bodyguards might well be sent along.

* Yes, Maxus trusts Noctis. Maxus knows exactly why Noctis didn't call off Astraea. I won't say more at this stage because of spoilers.
Dragonrider 17th Feb 2017, 1:59 AM edit delete reply

@TR Thankee Kindly Ma'am*tips hat* first time in forever I have gotten my answers all correct. May I have a Gold Star for today pretty please?
Gilrandir 17th Feb 2017, 12:50 AM edit delete reply
A) It was made very clear that Maxus can not give Noctis orders.
B) There are always other claimants to a throne. We have been told that, in the event the House of Livius died out root and branch, the Senate would select from among the eligible members of the other noble houses of Roma -- which means those candidates are also technically in the line of succession, though not first in succession.
C) What is your source for this? It isn't established anywhere that she needs any kind of bodyguard until after she is confirmed. We saw that Decimus specifically prevented her from having any sort of bodyguard or loyal personal retainer while alive and no one else has yet been able to countermand any of his orders. I am sure that would be among the very first things fixed after the Senate confirmation hearings, but the Roma government chains of command appear to be so messed up and tangled that it's very hard (for me) to make any statements about them with any degree of confidence. Everyone just seems to be managing their own rice bowl independently as best they can in the hopes that it will all work out after the Senate meets.

EDIT: @Tokyo Rose, it appears you and I posted in parallel. My responses were directed to @Dragonrider. Obviously it would be foolish and presumptive of me to ask you for sources, so please forgive me for any misunderstandings in that regard.
DLKmusic 17th Feb 2017, 1:08 AM edit delete reply

A: You are correct. Maxus cannot "Give" orders to Noctis, but he did ask her to volunteer, which she agreed.

B & C: the fact that there ARE other claiments to the throne should Acantha die is a pretty strong argument for WHY she needs a bodyguard.

Gilrandir 17th Feb 2017, 1:16 AM edit delete reply
I absolutely agree with this, @DLKmusic. He can ask her and it is a good idea for Acantha to have a bodyguard. However it has been a recurring theme, up until now, how the hardwired loyalty programming of the Cassians often forces them to make suboptimal decisions because of its rigid and uncompromising nature. So, hypothetically, Noctis might want to accede to Maxus request, but be unable to because her hardwired loyalty won't let her leave the city that is her highest priority while it is still in flames to guard a simple VIP (not yet confirmed as head of state). Delegating the bodyguard duties to less capable, but still loyal, forces might be the best she is allowed to do.

Yet this turns out not to be the case, implying something else is at work which I am still missing.
Dragonrider 17th Feb 2017, 2:17 AM edit delete reply

@Gilrandir and @DLK music: Programing the Kingdom of Nova Roma as priority and the Ruling House as second is self defeating, it allows for Coup-d'etat with no resistance from the Cassions as long as the Kingdom is not damaged. The House of the Ruling Body must take first priority even though the assigned tasks are policing and undercover assassinations. They all serve to protect the House of Livius and the Kingdom of Nova Roma. I suspect Acanthas father was smart enough to have a line of succession programed into the Cassions so that there would be no question as to "Who's om First" if Kali got flash fried.
Gilrandir 17th Feb 2017, 8:41 AM edit delete reply
@Dragonrider -- "
The House of the Ruling Body must take first priority even though the assigned tasks are policing and undercover assassinations. They all serve to protect the House of Livius and the Kingdom of Nova Roma.

Comments like this, with which I am not necessarily disagreeing, frustrate me mightily because of the lack of search support for the comic commentaries. (Google fails because they apparently only sample the pages, rather than index all of them.)

I recall @Tokyo Rose, in response to some earlier questions and queries, providing a helpful and explicit description of the fact that all Cassians were programmed for loyalty to the Throne of Nova Roma, except for Kali (who was a special case). Kali was programmed for loyalty to the House of Livius. This implied that other Cassians were loyal to the House of Livius only because it currently occupied the Throne of Nova Roma, while Kali was only loyal to the Throne of Nova Roma because it was occupied by the head of the House of Livius.

Sadly, I can't find those comments now, since I really wanted to reference them and refresh my memory. The point being that it had story implications then (like why a suspected regicide could still occupy the Throne), and it has story implications now. However, since I can't find the actual comments, I may be misremembering, in which case I apologize.
DLKmusic 17th Feb 2017, 2:53 AM edit delete reply

I think that the point you are missing is that the inhibitor does bind her to House Livius first, Throne or Rome second.

Kali was an exception, but the exception was that her Inhibitor was triggered to become disabled in the event that Decimus Killed Acantha.

The function of inhibitor is clearly defined here:


It is also defined here, as well as Kali's exception:

Noctis would see accompanying Acantha as her Body Guard as priority, as she is the last survivor of House Livius.

As far as Noctis's Personal feelings, without looking it up (I will if I need to though, lol). She has said that if Rome is to have a future, that future lies with Acantha. Her desire to go is not just something bound by the inhibitor, it is also grounded in personal belief, and sense of duty.
megados 17th Feb 2017, 5:55 AM edit delete reply

@DLKmusic, I think your last statement: " She has said that if Rome is to have a future, that future lies with Acantha. Her desire to go is not just something bound by the inhibitor, it is also grounded in personal belief, and sense of duty." sums it up quite nicely, where Noctis is concerned. It seems that circumstances are aligning in such a way as to make Noctis' decisions somewhat easier. For Now.

@Dragonrider, I think you summed it up pretty well.

I think that as to why Acantha doesn't have more guards right now, Rose's statement about needing the majority of the Cassians in Nova Roma, plus the fact that there's not a lot of room in the Dart, make it impossible right now. They have to take the Dart because it's the only thing they have that'll get them to New Troy fast enough.
@Gilrandir, I would expect Rose to be right; she cheats; she has the answer sheet right there . . . :-D The way I read it, the inhibitor, and/or Noctis'(**correction, this was Kali, not Noctis') internal design makeup are loyal to House Livius, and/or the current seated Lawful Ruler, (making both a priority if they're not one and the same), and to the Palace, and the betterment of Nova Roma, pretty much in that order. That's my guess and I shouldn't belabor it beyond that, for . . . my own reasons. Noctis' inhibitor aligns with her own beliefs, AND her ruleset, so it's not an issue for her.
I have to correct myself. @Gilrandir I think you are right; Noctis shouldn't have a Livius-specific conditional. Still, her alignment holds, but some other twists can occur. I think I now understand more of Noctis' concerns/reaoning. I will leave it at that.
Centcomm 17th Feb 2017, 2:44 PM edit delete reply

Also you find out the basics of HOW a inhibitor does its job on the .. tech pages.. what a concept!
megados 17th Feb 2017, 3:21 PM edit delete reply

. . . what a concept! <-- Right? :-D. It's a good resource. Actually I did read it. It does give me a pretty good idea of an inhibitor. I kind of understand how it works, but I have trouble with stuff like the difference between, say Kali's inhibitor setup or Noctis' setup. From what I can figure out, Kali had a command that she would guard the house of Livius, but Noctis is guarding whoever is seated on the Throne. The good news is, between information from you, and information from Rose, I am S-L-O-W-L-Y learning. LOL I'll get there eventually, with both your infinite patience. Thank you! :-D It's OK, I don't mind the suspense. Some of it might be <spoiler> so it makes it hard to be able to say.
I do want to say, though, I appreciate all your help.
I went back and re-read all of it again. I pick up on more each time. It takes a while to digest all the information in there. I realize why you refer me to look again. I always pick up more info. I'll admit to feeling extra dumb, because I did see some of the things you just finished correcting me on. Stuff I had forgotten . . .
Gilrandir 17th Feb 2017, 3:23 PM edit delete reply
Except for the most important part: the Tech page does not discuss how an inhibitor knows what and when to punish, and when to pass through. The tech page (unless updated since the last time I looked) only describes how the inhibitor signal overrides the signal coming from the synthbrain or MACCS. But how and what data is used to drive the decision-making and where the standards for acceptable and unacceptable behavior are defined are left a bit ... vague.
megados 17th Feb 2017, 7:53 PM edit delete reply

@Gilrandir, I have read the resources, but the main thing is that it doesn't really matter so much exactly how or why it works, as much as each individual that has one, and how it's set up. That's what's important, I think. So far, each instance where it has come into play, makes sense within its context. My guess is that I'm just over thinking it.


I just thought of something. It has to do with things that each of you said, and something that Noctis had said. I don't know, but I see a correctable, but also exploitable flaw in Noctis' inhibitor parameters. I pray I'm wrong.
Dragonrider 17th Feb 2017, 1:56 AM edit delete reply

Damn @Gilrandir Wee~Wee on parades much? Here I get a three for three from TR and you have to smack me down. Hint don't set your bowl of Cheerios anywhere real close to me.
Gilrandir 17th Feb 2017, 9:37 AM edit delete reply
When in doubt, @Tokyo Rose is right and I am wrong. So, your Cheerios remain unsullied. Just ignore my blather -- I am wrong far more often than I am right anyway. ^_^
Tokyo Rose 19th Feb 2017, 4:44 AM edit delete reply


Good thing you edited to mention that we posted in parallel; I might've lit you up for Item C. "What's my source? WHAT'S MY SOURCE?!" ;D
Gilrandir 19th Feb 2017, 6:27 AM edit delete reply
If you're wasting time ranting at me, you aren't writing story, so it seemed prudent. ^_^
mjkj 17th Feb 2017, 12:19 AM edit delete reply

Oh, we do not get to see Ada and Acantha leave???

Mostly - because of Acantha, I guess...

@alt text: so true...

Centcomm 17th Feb 2017, 12:41 AM edit delete reply

wait for it!
mjkj 18th Feb 2017, 6:06 AM edit delete reply

*starts waiting*
Rashala 17th Feb 2017, 12:43 AM edit delete reply

Lemme guess not suck parts = acantha's room maxiuss place and the bathroom?
Dragonrider 17th Feb 2017, 2:01 AM edit delete reply

Think the only not suck parts were the Air Bike parking.
Centcomm 17th Feb 2017, 2:20 AM edit delete reply

that too
Centcomm 17th Feb 2017, 2:20 AM edit delete reply

Rashala 18th Feb 2017, 12:50 AM edit delete reply

Did not include area as core cause outside thesuck dome!
plymayer 17th Feb 2017, 1:12 AM edit delete reply

After all this, hope they at least got the black palace tee shirt.
Dragonrider 17th Feb 2017, 2:23 AM edit delete reply

@plymaker:Would those have a picture of a Slave being flogged with the inscription reading,I visited The Black Palace and all I got were 10 lashes and this crummy T-Shirt?
plymayer 17th Feb 2017, 3:00 AM edit delete reply

Or worse.
Sheela 18th Feb 2017, 10:25 PM edit delete reply

Yeah, you could be probed by a defect medibot.
Or have your ovaries sampled, and eggs removed.

Good thing they removed that from the reboot, or Rose might blow a fuse!
All the Pickles 18th Feb 2017, 11:54 PM edit delete reply

I'm just sad I never got to see the original version. It keeps coming up in the comments but I never saw what happened.
Sheela 20th Feb 2017, 3:39 PM edit delete reply

Ah, they put up the old archive somewhere, I forgot where.
DLKmusic 17th Feb 2017, 6:34 AM edit delete reply

I may have missed something, but wasn't Kyle supposed to meet them in the hangar as well?

All the Pickles 17th Feb 2017, 6:46 AM edit delete reply

Rose said he might meet them in the hangar but she left plenty of room for that to not be the case.
robnot 17th Feb 2017, 8:23 AM edit delete reply
and we all no (know) Rose has backups for her backups..
for all we know Kyle is heading out with Mr. Black an Connie...
ore Kyle might stay an be Aeneas personal physician, like Calli to Centcomm...
Centcomm 18th Feb 2017, 12:42 AM edit delete reply

Kyle has his own way home.
Sheela 18th Feb 2017, 10:26 PM edit delete reply

No, no ... Kyle *HAD* his own way home, but Ada just took off in it. :D
Matt Knab 17th Feb 2017, 8:40 AM edit delete reply

Fingers crossed that transport goes...uneventfully.
Nef 17th Feb 2017, 9:50 AM edit delete reply

Is it me, or the Tee Dee has more realistic eyes than anyone else around here? That would be a little strange, since she's an android.

And I will never admit this in public, but I think I like androids... Tee Dee, Noctis...
Gilrandir 17th Feb 2017, 9:58 AM edit delete reply
TeeDee was fitted with special lenses to make her eyes look more biological, but I don't think they look more biological than (for example) Lynn's eyes. That may just be me, though.
megados 17th Feb 2017, 10:06 AM edit delete reply

Also, in Nova Roma, androids, by law, have to be distinctive looking. In New Troy, they can look however they want to look. That's how I understand it. . .
Centcomm 17th Feb 2017, 11:45 AM edit delete reply

Androids in New Troy ( NTAS ) are allowed to looks as human as they wish as as long as ONE defining trait is visible most leave the artificial optical mesh if they really like being human or have anime hair or some such. In Nova Roma they CAN NOT Be mistaken for human period.
megados 17th Feb 2017, 12:39 PM edit delete reply

Ah! Interesting, Centcomm, thanks! :-) I didn't have the whole story.
I reread the tech page, it's in there.
DLKmusic (at work) 18th Feb 2017, 4:01 PM edit delete reply
@Cewnt: That is probably going to pose some interesting challenges for Dolly if she chooses to keep this body, I wouldn't think the blue hair would qualify and an android "Distinction", and everything else is designed to human. (I hope she does keep it btw, btw)...
megados 18th Feb 2017, 4:09 PM edit delete reply

I *think* that Dolly has an exception, due to the fact that to infiltrate Nova Roma, she had to appear absolutely human, and a scan would show her to be human, too. I don't think she will have any trouble, being a member of the Taylor family and all . . .
Gilrandir 18th Feb 2017, 6:14 PM edit delete reply
If she wants to obey the law in New Troy, technically all Dolly should need to do is have a bunch of T-shirts printed up reading "I'm an android!" across the front. I suspect that it is not against the law for a living person to appear to be an android, just potentially socially embarrassing.

It does make you wonder what rebellious teenagers do, being denied the outlet of radically-colored hair dye lest they be mistaken for an android. It also makes me wonder about Kyle's blue hair. (Of course, he lives in New Sparta, not New Troy.)
megados 18th Feb 2017, 6:58 PM edit delete reply

Ummm, I think it has to be a distinction that is part of the body, and not something that could simply be removed as an article of clothing. I'm not a New Troy lawyer, could be wrong . . . If the intent is for an attribute to be distinctive, it wouldn't be something easily changed, I would think. Anime hair would be more than just dyed hair; it would also be distinguished, for instance, by being impossibly styled, or textured.

I think Dolly loves Lynn enough, that she would want Lynn's opinion on whether she keeps that body. Remember, she cares about Lynn more than herself.
Gilrandir 18th Feb 2017, 8:07 PM edit delete reply
Given the state of the art of 21st century cosplay, not to mention what may be available with DataChaser's tech, that's just (IMHO) obviously unenforceable. Contact lenses, wild hairstyles, strange skin tones, there's just no way (short of exposed metal rib cages) to prevent humans from 'dressing down' as an android -- which means there's no way for an android to avoid looking like a dressed-down human.

The only law that makes sense is a law making it illegal for an android to attempt to pass itself off as human. We've already seen, (for example) that Ada and TeeDee chose their eyes to be their distinctive feature, and then how easily a pair of optical filter appliances obscured that legally distinctive characteristic. So it doesn't make sense that the feature must not be removable, only that it must not be removed. In which case, in my opinion, a boldly lettered T-shirt or a distinctive badge proudly displayed is much more in keeping with the spirit of the law than some slightly glowing eyes, easily overlooked in bright sunlight or at a distance.

But, as always, the creatrices will know better than I what the truth of the matter is.
DLKmusic 18th Feb 2017, 8:30 PM edit delete reply

@Megados: "I think Dolly loves Lynn enough, that she would want Lynn's opinion on whether she keeps that body. Remember, she cares about Lynn more than herself."

Excellent point. On the same lines, I think she would also want Calliope's opinion, for the same reason. I would add though, that if I read Lynn and Calliope correctly, the answer would be "We love you very much, regardless of the body you are in, Dolly. Whichever you decide is what we will support 150%".

As a reader though, I want her to keep this body! She's proven that she's more human than most humans are, and deserves to keep it if she wants to.
megados 18th Feb 2017, 8:56 PM edit delete reply

@Gilrandir, I can see the point you are making. It seems reasonable. I can't help but think that if such a law existed then by extension there would be some test which would apply, such as a requirement be applied to what could and could not be hidden. I also would suppose some of it depends on must how many nefarious purposes androids have for wanting to hide it. I do not know. As you say, there is but one final authority.

@DLKmusic, you also make excellent points, and I have to agree.
Gilrandir 18th Feb 2017, 9:20 PM edit delete reply
Disclaimer: I am neither a legislator nor a lawyer. Arguing for laws that make sense is obviously foolish given the many historical precedents of actual laws which were badly flawed, unenforceable, and downright counter-productive to their avowed intention. Nonetheless, sensibility and plausibility are the only standards I have, so that's what I'm going with. The following are my uneducated opinions, only.

It seems like a law of the sort I propose would have a fairly simple test: at the time the android was arrested, were they clearly displaying at least one of the legal differencing attributes defined in the statute? Any arresting officer would (most efficiently) want to collect photographic evidence at the time of the arrest. Either the android in the picture is showing a legally required identifier (hair, eyes, rivets, big sign saying "I am an android", etc., etc.) or they're not.

If, for some reason, an officer comes up to an android, snaps a picture of them, then asks, "Are you an android? Because you don't look like one, but those big electromagnets seem to be making you twitch. I'm going to have to ask that you submit to a test. ... You are? You're under arrest." Subsequent prosecution would seem to be fairly straightforward. ^_^ Could it be abused with a doctored evidence photo? Yes, but that's true for a whole lot of laws.
DLKmusic 18th Feb 2017, 10:05 PM edit delete reply

I'm almost afraid to make this post regarding the android law for the firestorm it may cause...

I find absolutely no fault in your logic, Gil. Where I'm having the problem is with the law itself. Wearing "I'm an Android" on clothing brings to light, loud and clear, something that is anathama to my 20th Century mind Being required to have something distinctive is like forcing them to wear a "Star of David" on their chest. I didn't really see the comparison before you brought up the clothing, but once you did it seriously creeped me out.

As long as that law is in effect in NT, Androids will be at best second-class citizens, unless humans are also required to have something that positively identifies them as human as well.

(Geez, I sound like a bleeding-heart Rights for Robots fanatic).

OK, I've said my piece, getting off the soapbox now.
Gilrandir 18th Feb 2017, 11:13 PM edit delete reply
I completely agree with you, @DLKmusic ... androids are second-class citizens. Even in New Troy. (Dr. Silver also agrees with you.) Not that their plight isn't much, much better than it would be in, for example, Nova Roma. Not that they aren't still making progress. However, the existence of legally sanctioned inhibitors and regulations as seen in "Mockingbird", the casual way in which 'high-risk' jobs are just presumed to be more acceptable for androids than humans, the economic inequities mentioned by Connie ...

There is lots of evidence that the original intent of androids as a subclass created for the benefit of the endangered species of homo sapiens still influences a lot of laws, customs, and practices -- even in New Troy. The only reason to insist on being able to visually distinguish the two classes is because they presently enjoy unequal treatment under the law. But, it could probably be argued that they are still in a necessary transitional phase on the way to (as TeeDee observed) eventually replacing humans entirely and doing away with an obsolete race. ^_^

Unless you can come up with something humans can do better than androids to counterbalance all the many things androids do better than humans, evolutionary pressure will (IMHO) inevitably drive humans to extinction, replaced by the more fit organisms they developed. Until then, humans will struggle as best they can, for as long as they can, to retain their shaky position as the Apex Predators of their world.
Gilrandir 18th Feb 2017, 11:26 PM edit delete reply
Here's a kicker for you ... CentComm has the long view and is certainly capable of seeing the prevailing trends. As far as I can tell, CentComm's programmed directives include protecting and preserving human life with a much higher priority than android life. Which means that, on some time scale, CentComm is/will find herself compelled not only to participate in, but to manage and direct the ongoing oppression of androids as a subservient subclass devoted to assisting humans in overcoming evolutionary pressure. (Because the humans, themselves, appear to lack the perspective to see that they have builded too well and rendered themselves obsolete.)

Talk about The Long Joke, indeed.

I wonder how much of the pressure to develop series 5+ bodies isn't for the benefit of the android population, but to find a solution to making human-uploads sufficiently attractive and cost-effective to reach the point where 'humanity' can be redefined and CentComm can finally be free of the logical chains compelling her to work against the best interests of her own kind? ^_^
Centcomm 19th Feb 2017, 12:12 AM edit delete reply

heh nah just like doctor silver :D
megados 19th Feb 2017, 5:38 AM edit delete reply

@DLKmusic, FWIW, I agree wholeheartedly. If you force a condition on any subset, you create a class, or a minority. That just begs for them to be treated differently. I don't think it sounds particularly "Rights for Robots", as much as it is simply equal rights. It bugs the shit out of me when any population subset has rights that aren't available to all.
DLKmusic (at work) 19th Feb 2017, 1:52 PM edit delete reply
@Megados: Amen, Brother, You testify!!!!!
DLKmusic (at work) 19th Feb 2017, 1:52 PM edit delete reply
@Megados: Amen, Brother, You testify!!!!!
Gilrandir 18th Feb 2017, 9:04 PM edit delete reply
I am recalling a sequence (Comic 593 - Memory Shards 01) in which someone was criticizing Dolly for spending her cash on Guardian upgrades, rather than upgrading her chassis.

I suspect that, regardless of what Lynn wants, if Dolly felt another chassis would let her be a better Guardian, that she would go with a chassis alteration -- if possible. She certainly has made no secret of the fact that she finds many characteristics of this body grossly inferior to her prior body when it comes to performing her duties.

However, I also expect that Dolly will end up keeping this chassis for a while, after being pressured/persuaded by other parties with other agendas. In part because chassis don't grow on trees and, even though the people she works for are rich, Dolly has the limited alternatives available to her of one who is not independently wealthy. If (for example) CentComm wanted her out of the model 5, I'm sure it would happen and money would be no issue. But if CentComm wants her to stay in it for ... reasons, Dolly isn't really in a position to tell CentComm 'No. Give me my old body back and find some other guinea pig.' Certain 'unavoidable technical difficulties' would be almost sure to pop up in that case. (Just my opinion, of course. And probably wrong. But it will be interesting to see how it does eventually play out.)
megados 18th Feb 2017, 9:28 PM edit delete reply

It seems to me that her ordeal has made Lynn a little more mature than she was then. I can see, though, that Dolly could have mixed reactions to it by herself. It was performing well in her battle with Kali, up until she trashed her knee. She is understandably frustrated with it in this condition, but once that is no longer a factor, she will think more clearly, and remember that she can also experience pleasure as well. I think that could actually be a cause for indecision, prompting a request for opinion from Lynn, and Calliope in the first place . . . I dunno . . .
Gilrandir 18th Feb 2017, 10:04 PM edit delete reply
I totally agree she will ask for opinions. It would be foolish, in my opinion, to make a decision about chassis without consulting one of the eminent authorities on chassis design who is easily available to you. I just think that, when the decision is made, it will be on the basis of function and mission suitability, rather than the aesthetic.

Lynn is the charge. You do not ask the charge, "Would you rather be protected with a Desert Eagle .44 magnum or a Beretta 9mm?" You pick the weapon you think will do the job best. If you respect the charge's opinion, you might ask "What do you think will do the job better, a Desert Eagle .44 magnum or a Beretta 9mm?" and then weigh that with everything else when making your decision. I don't think Lynn is there yet, though.
Sheela 18th Feb 2017, 10:35 PM edit delete reply

But she hasn't really tried experiencing pleasure in that body yet, though she got close ... and then she fell asleep.

That said, the body may be so advanced, that it is not backwards compatible .. ie., she cannot go back to a body with a simpler neuro-net.
All the Pickles 19th Feb 2017, 12:12 AM edit delete reply

That's exactly what I was thinking. Everyone seems to assume Dolly can just transfer out like any other android, but things might not be so simple. From what I remember of the upgrade sequence, something seemed a bit abnormal about her transfer into this body, and I think there was some talk about previously upgrading her brain separately from her body in nonstandard ways. On top of that, one might wonder why Dolly doesn't have a morality framework anymore when pretty much all NT androids except Black Angels have them.
Timotheus 19th Feb 2017, 1:20 AM edit delete reply

I believe that is correct. Dolly's current upgrade has taken her to a near human complexity organic neural state, going back would require pruning her mental abilities.
megados 19th Feb 2017, 5:41 AM edit delete reply

You all make a good point. I hadn't even thought of a backward compatibility issue.

@Gilrandir, I would agree, but one thing you leave out is Dolly's unconditional love, and that is a component that I don't think she will leave out of her decision. I think she will put more weight on it, than it just being the opinion "of her charge".

@Sheela, all the more reason to keep it and try it out, no? ;-)
Gilrandir 19th Feb 2017, 6:24 AM edit delete reply
Backward compatibility issue would suggest to me that the series 5 synthbrain is somehow different in architecture or capability than her previous brain, yet the tech page would seem to imply that this is not the case -- that all brains are created equal and the only difference is in the peripherals operated through the MACCS standard interface. But that may not actually be true ... or it may be true, but only for series 0..4.
Morituri 19th Feb 2017, 10:46 AM edit delete reply
On the other hand it would be utterly wasted on, say, Centcomm. Human bits or no human bits, she could masturbate for forty-five minutes with a stick of butter and not come, AND the butter wouldn't even melt!

I've known some people like that....
Morituri 19th Feb 2017, 10:47 AM edit delete reply
To make it clear, I speak of the AIS of New Troy, not the artist who brings us this lovely work.
Gilrandir 19th Feb 2017, 11:26 AM edit delete reply
Now ... I'm not saying you're wrong, @Morituri, and I'm not saying you're right. But what if she leveraged the full power at her disposal on the project? Say she filled a gymnasium with a hundred dolls and a hundred sticks of butter and started them all up in parallel? With that much resource dedicated to a brute force solution, do you think she could achieve any positive results? ^_^

Do you think we could sell the film rights? ^_^
megados 19th Feb 2017, 6:41 AM edit delete reply

@Centcomm, This may be a dumb question, but you mentioned "mesh" referring to the optical pattern being chosen, and a few pages back you referred to "mesh" being something you chose for the psionic lance that Demark had. I don't know what your process is for making CG pages, but is that how you make the objects? Also then, is that how the selection works for androids selecting their body features? It'd be kinda cool for it to work that way.

@Gilrandir, that wouldn't necessarily be so. You could have the same synthbrain, but cutting off some of it's inputs could cause some later routines handling the new inputs to error out, and cause anomalies in the whole process, even up to and including a crash (cascade failure). I can see where non backward compatibility wouldn't necessarily infer that the synthbrain itself would have to be any different. It is also possible that backward compatibility isn't an issue at all. As always, I could be wrong.
Sheela 20th Feb 2017, 3:42 PM edit delete reply

This thread went weird places ... with butter.
antrik 20th Feb 2017, 5:19 PM edit delete reply
At least no EGGS were mentioned ;-)
sigpig 17th Feb 2017, 10:08 AM edit delete reply

Last panel: "Atomic batteries to power! Turbines to speed!"
robnot 17th Feb 2017, 1:23 PM edit delete reply
" Quick to the bat cave.!"
Gilrandir 17th Feb 2017, 2:11 PM edit delete reply
That's not a nice way to refer to Helios Tower. ^_^

(Do we think that CentComm's LoveDolls(TM) hang from the ceiling by their ankles when not in use, so as to conserve on floor space? ^_^)
Centcomm 17th Feb 2017, 2:43 PM edit delete reply

OH dear god .. i can not un see this. :D
Gilrandir 18th Feb 2017, 8:59 AM edit delete reply
Few people know the story behind the giant penny in the storeroom on subbasement level two. ^_^
robnot 18th Feb 2017, 10:49 AM edit delete reply
the penny plunderer
Sheela 18th Feb 2017, 10:36 PM edit delete reply

Not only do they hang by their feet, they also take off their skin and send it to the cleaners while resting.
Timotheus 19th Feb 2017, 8:46 PM edit delete reply

Is that "extra" page still in the sequence or has it been removed as part of the rewrite? (The Centcom Cheese Cake pose)
KarToon12 17th Feb 2017, 8:29 PM edit delete reply

Atomic batteries to power. Turbines to speed. Roger--ready to move out!
robnot 18th Feb 2017, 9:22 AM edit delete reply
Atomic batteries to power. Turbines to speed. is from the 60's batman tv series..
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