Comic 1460 - Forced and Frozen

7th Mar 2017, 9:00 PM
Forced and Frozen
Average Rating: 5 (23 votes)
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Stormwind13 7th Mar 2017, 9:07 PM edit delete reply

Oh no! 'Destroyed' Nox and Mariposa.

Turned Columbina from guardian to killer.

Find out some of the limitation of the inhibitor too.
megados 7th Mar 2017, 9:13 PM edit delete reply

I had asked that question about the inhibitor a couple of pages ago . . . I was hoping I was wrong :(

Columbina suffered.
DLKmusic 7th Mar 2017, 11:10 PM edit delete reply

I was hoping you were wrong too, Megados.

*sigh*
megados 8th Mar 2017, 11:28 AM edit delete reply

Fortunately, or Unfortunately, I have a sort of rudimentary 'truth table' for the inhibitor in my head as to how I think the logic goes. It made it possible to envision this circumstance. As it happens, this instance further refines it.
Gilrandir 9th Mar 2017, 8:23 AM edit delete reply
What does your theory say about what Noctis' inhibitor should be doing? Theoretically (in my opinion) the fact that she is just standing there, watching, while her principal is being attacked should be triggering her inhibitor to punish her just as much as Columbine's inhibitor is punishing Columbine. If the inhibitor can't distinguish between actions chosen and actions compelled, would Noctis really be allowed to just stand there if, for example, someone had attempted to assassinate Decimus?

Of course, since this is a flashback, Noctis may just be glossing over or ignoring that fact as irrelevant when she recounts the story -- but if her inhibitor is actually inactive during this it seems I don't understand how they work as well as I thought. (And I admit there are a lot of things about the inhibitor that don't make sense to me.)
megados 9th Mar 2017, 8:51 AM edit delete reply

Those are some very good observations. At first I wondered the same thing, but there is an answer: Noctis is incapacitated, and in the case of true incapacitation, one is released from punishment, as shown in Hrist's case. Columbina is pursuing an active assault, and is not incapacitated. The inhibitors seem to be logic devices, if one can determine the logic paths.
Gilrandir 9th Mar 2017, 8:53 AM edit delete reply
Okay, so how does the inhibitor know that Noctis is unable to move, but not know that Columbina is unable to stand still?
megados 9th Mar 2017, 9:06 AM edit delete reply

Well, here's what I think. The inhibitor is located below the synth brain, and interfaces with the MACCS. It monitors traffic on the MACCS and analyses it. If the body is being told by the synth brain to do something wrong, or NOT do something to correct a wrong condition, it activates.

Noctis' body is directed to be locked in position. That could be construed as incapacitation.

In the case of Noctis, it detects incapacitation, and the logic drops through to setstatus=0 (or Noctis is stoically bearing the brunt of it, which still could be the case if this is wrong; we still haven't determined the emotion behind Noctis' emote)

In the case of Columbina, it detects a signal directing the body to do a wrong thing. The inhibitor is unaware from whence it came. setstatus=1

It would appear that the effect that the cyberpath has, intercepts MACCS traffic near the base of the synth brain. That would account for higher brain functions to remain intact, while giving control of motor functions to the actor.

*e: I should note that I am not convinced that Noctis is unpunished at this point. I do lean toward it, since her 'locked' state should be discernable as incapacitation. Without that status bit, however, the downstream logic cannot be accurately determined.

Just my guesswork
megados 7th Mar 2017, 9:11 PM edit delete reply

That is every bit as horrible as I had imagined it would be. That is all I have to say. :(
Re: alt text, Yes that succeeded in making it worse.
You have done your job well, Evil Duo.
HiFranc 8th Mar 2017, 12:57 AM edit delete reply

Whilst terrible, it's not as bad as I thought. From what Noctis said when she issued the order to kill Dr Silver, I got the impression that their thoughts and / or emotional reactions were affected.
All the Pickles 8th Mar 2017, 3:27 AM edit delete reply

I don't think we've seen what happened to Noctis yet. I think she was just forced to stand there while Columbina tried to kill the prince, but she was preserved for a purpose. The cyberpath had Nox and Mariposa disable themselves, but Noctis must have still had a role to play or it seems like she would've disabled herself also.
Tokyo Rose 8th Mar 2017, 6:06 AM edit delete reply

Sometimes the best way to horrify someone is to let their own mind do the heavy lifting. >)
StellarJay 9th Mar 2017, 1:11 AM edit delete reply

Alfred Hitchcock said the the worst things take place within the minds of the viewers, so he made his movies accordingly.
megados 8th Mar 2017, 7:22 AM edit delete reply

HiFranc, while the cyberpath did not directly 'diddle' their thoughts and emotions, having their minds aware and helpless as they experience this might be even worse.

Tokyo Rose, It worked. Fluid motion video complete with surround sound track. (onomatopoeia wouldn't really cut it for the sounds of the joints.) :(
mjkj 7th Mar 2017, 9:16 PM edit delete reply

Awwww.... poor Columbina... =(

*hugs and comforts her...*


@alt text: what a pity =(

HeSerpenty 7th Mar 2017, 9:31 PM edit delete reply

Omg how friggen tragic T__T
Centcomm 8th Mar 2017, 9:18 AM edit delete reply

hehe and this is the nice version :D
All the Pickles 8th Mar 2017, 11:21 AM edit delete reply

There's a not nice version?
Stormwind13 8th Mar 2017, 3:09 PM edit delete reply

I REALLY don't want to know what the BAD version of this would be. My stomach might not be able to HANDLE it. =O
megados 9th Mar 2017, 3:25 PM edit delete reply

I guess worse would make necessary your having to BE one of the Cassians. :(
zartala 7th Mar 2017, 9:53 PM edit delete reply

This... This can't end well... So sad, tragic, and horrifying. :(

Also, pink hair and blue eyes, is that who I think that is?
Haegan2005 7th Mar 2017, 10:24 PM edit delete reply

Maaybe?
CptKerion 7th Mar 2017, 10:28 PM edit delete reply
It couldn't be Centcomm or some pre-Ceci black angel since neither could be a cyberpath... who am I missing?
Sheela 8th Mar 2017, 12:13 AM edit delete reply

Hrm, I dunno if it's possilbe for an AIS to have an ambassador doll in another city with cell-cast network ?

I guess it *could* have been a Centcomm doll.
DLKmusic 8th Mar 2017, 12:41 AM edit delete reply

I was thinking it "might" be a black angel, but I don't think it was a Cent-Comm Doll. Both the face and the hairstyle is completely different, and Cent-Comm's hair has remained unchanged since at least the Luna Star flight.

It is also my understanding that both relations and communications with Nova Roma have been cut off since the attack on Aeneas, so I'm pretty iffy on it being a black angel as well. Even if it was a black angel though, it wouldn't have been the cyber-path.
Centcomm 8th Mar 2017, 2:56 AM edit delete reply

That is Chrys from the HUB doing a cameo.. :D
zartala 8th Mar 2017, 9:01 AM edit delete reply

Cool! Not who I was thinking. I feel a bit foolish now but cool none the less! XD

Also your readers are intimidatingly awesome. I figured since I almost never comment, my question to you would go unnoticed to everyone else but that wasn't the case. And that is really cool! The community that has developed around Datachasers is a testament to the engrossing story you and Rose have crafted. :)
Centcomm 8th Mar 2017, 9:14 AM edit delete reply

hey you are important too.. all of my readers are .. and thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Sheela 8th Mar 2017, 5:32 PM edit delete reply

It's true, Zartala is important o us as well!
Heck, we basically staked our claim on you and marked you with a bit of slobber on yer boots too!
It's a sign of peace, love and doggies afoot!
DLKmusic 8th Mar 2017, 7:23 PM edit delete reply

@Zarlata: as the saying goes, the more the merrier! Join us in our combined quest to create a wall of text large enough wrap around the city of Phoenix!
megados 8th Mar 2017, 8:49 PM edit delete reply

zartala, if you don't mind that sometimes we make little sense, you are welcomed!
CptKerion 9th Mar 2017, 12:42 AM edit delete reply
Welcome to the organized insanity of the comments section. Here is your requisite tinfoil hat. You will get a lot of use out of it.
Sheela 9th Mar 2017, 8:10 AM edit delete reply

Wait, wait .. Phoenix is our goal ?

Damn, I thought we were aiming for the moon!
megados 9th Mar 2017, 3:40 PM edit delete reply

Nope, Sheela, Phoenix. Didn't you get the memo? Here, I brought you a shoe!
DLKmusic 9th Mar 2017, 4:52 PM edit delete reply

The moon is our eventual goal, Sheela, yes... However, we have to walk before we can run! We can't even wrap around Cleveland yet, nevermind Phoenix!

LET'S GET TO IT!!!!!!
All the Pickles 7th Mar 2017, 11:04 PM edit delete reply

What's up with that bit of purple at the right edge of panel one? Is that a cropping error or an intentional detail?
Centcomm 8th Mar 2017, 2:56 AM edit delete reply

Oops thats a error .. >_<
Tokyo Rose 8th Mar 2017, 6:01 AM edit delete reply

Shit, I didn't catch that in the layout stage. I'll fix and re-upload.
Stormwind13 8th Mar 2017, 8:38 AM edit delete reply

Thank you Rose. I didn't even notice it, the ART kept me focused on the page, not the very edge. All fixed now though.
All the Pickles 8th Mar 2017, 12:16 PM edit delete reply

Yeah, the art was definitely attention-worthy. I just happened to notice the thick red edges on this page compared to the thinner black on the previous page, then that bit of purple popped out and I had to know the meaning of it.
Centcomm 8th Mar 2017, 9:13 AM edit delete reply

thanks rose !
DLKmusic 7th Mar 2017, 11:15 PM edit delete reply

On one hand, This kind of domination is so wrong on so many levels that I don't have words to describe it.

On the other hand, I was kind of expecting something like this when Noctis started telling the story.
Sheela 8th Mar 2017, 12:14 AM edit delete reply

It also makes for a good story.
megados 8th Mar 2017, 5:31 AM edit delete reply

I agree, DLKmusic. It's wrong, and it's creepy at the same time.

Noctis has to tell her story if we are to fully understand her position on cyberpaths. If she has the strength to tell it, the least we can do is listen.
Stormwind13 8th Mar 2017, 8:41 AM edit delete reply

Very good point, megados. This is a HELL that Noctis lived through. Takes a LOT of strength for her to tell this story... especially to what is essentially a stranger. Possibly an ENEMY even (though anyone that is around Ada for long probably realizes that Ada doesn't want to be anyone's enemy).
Speedy Marsh 9th Apr 2017, 9:21 AM edit delete reply
Also, I think that Noctis feels like as another android, Ada deserves to know about a horrible danger to her, in case something like this ever happens in New T-

Ooooooh, crap! That's not where this arc is headed, is it?
Centcomm 8th Mar 2017, 9:18 AM edit delete reply

heh yep thats out gal Noctis
Sheela 8th Mar 2017, 5:34 PM edit delete reply

Besides, Ada is just THAT nice, that even Noctis opens up to her.
Rashala 8th Mar 2017, 12:25 AM edit delete reply

I notice pink suspiciously pink hair!!!!
Sheela 8th Mar 2017, 5:35 PM edit delete reply

Centy says that it's Chrys from the HUB doing a cameo.
Rashala 9th Mar 2017, 12:38 AM edit delete reply

Suuuuuuure it is.


Sorry but well before the ceci incident I'd unconditionally trust centy but now......yeah unless she's backed up BT tedee, rose and my own eyes I tend tone suspicious.
Stormwind13 9th Mar 2017, 8:50 PM edit delete reply

Well, I've seen a picture of Chrys and that sure looks like her. :-) She is not the same as that MONSTER CentComm (despite the artist liking small women with pink hair :-D)
HiFranc 8th Mar 2017, 12:58 AM edit delete reply

So the bodies of two of them flew apart, becoming shrapnel in the crowd?
All the Pickles 8th Mar 2017, 2:18 AM edit delete reply

I doubt it. If the cyberpath wanted to kill the crowd, making the Cassians attack them normally would be far more effective. I think she (assuming it's Ms. Pink over there...) was just trying to disable those two so she wouldn't need to concentrate on controlling them any longer than necessary. I don't know how the whole cyberpathy thing works, but it seems like it would be taxing to maintain control of extra bodies, and they probably weren't needed for the plan. That doesn't explain what Noctis was kept around for, but I have a feeling we'll find out soon.
HiFranc 8th Mar 2017, 4:14 AM edit delete reply

Possibly. Even then, but the way she describes their bodies, I suspect that shrapnel is a likely outcome. Even if it wasn't the primary purpose, I suspect having lots of injuries in the crowd is a great way of blocking and distracting possible reinforcements.
All the Pickles 8th Mar 2017, 4:26 AM edit delete reply

It didn't sound shrapnel violent to me, but then I don't know what kind of strength to structural integrity ratio their bodies had. I'm imagining it more as violent thrashing that destroyed joints and crippled them but left everything attached.
megados 8th Mar 2017, 5:39 AM edit delete reply

We do know that Nox makes it through this, because we see her more recently (after this event), so it seems unlikely to me that she and Mariposa simply flew apart.
Stormwind13 8th Mar 2017, 8:37 AM edit delete reply

I don't think they came apart that way either HiFranc. Remember the cyberpath is nearby too and could be HURT by flying shrapnel too. I think the cyberpath just hurt them, disabled them either to a plan or just to be sadistic.

Not sure what the cyberpath's plan is though. Did someone hire the cyberpath to assassinate Prince Valerius (who we know survived until Douchimus killed his own father)? Or has the cyberpath got a plan of their own? Stay turned, "Same bat-time, same bat-channel" for the answers! (Like the EVIL Duo regularly GIVE us answers... :-p)

Oh and I don't think Chrys would be guesting as a cyberpath. :-) She can be pretty scary but she really isn't good villain material. I think Chrys might be acting like a reporter or something. The little bot hovering near her in panel 2 and 6 looks like a big lens, so suspecting it is a camera of some kind. :-)
megados 8th Mar 2017, 9:14 AM edit delete reply

Stormwind13, could it be possible that Nox and Mariposa are used as a distraction from the real threat of Columbina working her way to Valerius?
Stormwind13 8th Mar 2017, 10:56 AM edit delete reply

Possibly, megados. Though I have to question why. I mean, Columbina is already so damn close to Valerius why would you need a distraction?

To me, it feels more like a statement against all of them. Look, see even your MIGHTIEST protectors are no match for me. A statement from someone suffering from megalomania maybe.
Gilrandir 8th Mar 2017, 11:06 AM edit delete reply
I don't imagine that a megalomaniac would make a surprise attack from a position of concealment. A megalomaniac (by definition) needs the attention and admiration of others so they should want there to be no doubt about exactly who is responsible and how their awesome power makes any attempt to stop them futile. And, if they have an exaggerated opinion of their own power and prowess, why would they need such a petty thing as a 'distraction'?
Gilrandir 9th Mar 2017, 8:49 PM edit delete reply
Of all the characters, Noctis is pretty much the only one who seems to believe (rightly or wrongly) that a cyberpath can influence more than a Cassian's control of their limbs. What if all of the other attack is the distraction and the actual goal is being quietly achieved upon the immobile Noctis? Turning her into some kind of 'sleeper agent' for whatever the next stage of operations is going to be. There must be some reason why she feels the way she does about what cyberpaths can and can't do.
megados 8th Mar 2017, 2:08 PM edit delete reply

That makes sense. Have to wait and see who the actor(s) is/are.
Centcomm 8th Mar 2017, 9:15 AM edit delete reply

Yep shes a media girl :D and kudos on catching the camera bot.
megados 8th Mar 2017, 9:24 AM edit delete reply

Well shit, so this whole thing was televised too. :(
Stormwind13 8th Mar 2017, 11:03 AM edit delete reply

At least recorded to be transmitted later. The event might not have been noteworthy enough to real-time broadcast it. Just like the Hindenburg's landing, someone thought it needed to be covered but wasn't important enough to broadcast it all in real-time. Then they caught something that was WAY more than expected!
Gilrandir 8th Mar 2017, 11:24 AM edit delete reply
I would imagine that Prince Valerius has a more-or-less constant entourage of the Nova Roma equivalent to paparazzi at all times while in public for the same reasons real-life public figures do. So I agree with you, @Stormwind13, that the camera drones don't necessarily indicate a live broadcast in progress, but it does mean that events are probably getting recorded.

Will we ever get a picture of some overly-enthusiastic, underly-competent journalistic novice being accompanied by a camera drone with the lens cap still on? ^_^
Centcomm 8th Mar 2017, 9:19 AM edit delete reply

No shrapnel they became a art project.
Ryu Santos 8th Mar 2017, 12:11 PM edit delete reply

Makes me think of a cross between Dali and Picasso.
DLKmusic 8th Mar 2017, 2:41 PM edit delete reply

Actually, Ryu, being an "Art Project" kind of makes sense in a twisted way. Remember what Noctis did to that Aurelia's family? We don't know the Cyber-Paths motives, but revenge is a very plausible one, and in a sick way, this would be poetic justice.
megados 8th Mar 2017, 3:04 PM edit delete reply

Oh man! Are you thinking what I think you're thinking? D:
DLKmusic 8th Mar 2017, 3:22 PM edit delete reply

@Megados: I'm thinking that this might be someone related to a previous victim of the Cassians, or some Machiavellian Schmuck in the senate that is about to make a power grab, and using the cassian's techniques against them to throw off the trail.

Either way, I'm guessing that the Cyber-path is probably a hired gun.

This of course, is only two possibilities among many. I'll wait for the story to fully unfold though because this could very easily be way off base.
Gilrandir 8th Mar 2017, 3:49 PM edit delete reply
And these excellent thoughts, @DLKmusic, inspire one of my own (which will turn out to be wrong, of course): Someone hoping to discredit the Cassians themselves or politically generate support for allocating funds and resources away from the Cassians and into other avenues.

It seems to me far more likely that the cyberpath comes from outside the city, since it's hard to imagine them developing the power and proficiency to instantly seize control of four Cassians while living in Nova Roma without having long since appeared on someone's watchlist. But, presumably we'll see ... if the perpetrator was ever caught.
megados 8th Mar 2017, 4:19 PM edit delete reply

Excellent thoughts from both of you! I think we all lean toward the cyberpath being a detail in a bigger event. For me, there are still too many variables and possible permutations to be able to prognosticate. What DLK made me think of, was the possibility of this being directed at or toward Noctis, since she was chosen to look on helplessly. Not that she is the end goal, but in more of an 'In your face!' kind of way. Then again, it could be an entirely different matter.

*e: No one has mentioned it, but in panel three, Noctis really seems to have a look of terror/horror, given her usual emoting history. I think she's scared, and she is not used to that.
Sheela 8th Mar 2017, 5:39 PM edit delete reply

Having two twisted androids flopping about on the ground, might make for a good distraction for when the cyberpath wants to get away.
DLKmusic 8th Mar 2017, 5:49 PM edit delete reply

That is also a brilliant Hypothesis, Gil! That very well may be the case!

There are a lot of potential motivations here, we're just gonna have to let it play out to find out though. The Evil Duo may have another curveball up their sleeves that didn't even occur to us!

@Megados: Very Possible indeed. My own thoughts actually lean a little more towards there being a limit to what this cyber-path can do at one time, and the Horror that Noctis is experiencing by helplessly watching is just a "beneficial" side effect of being frozen in place.

Again, this is all speculation, and we could ALL be way off base.
Ryu Santos 9th Mar 2017, 12:19 AM edit delete reply

Maybe good Prince Valerius did it to get rid of the good General and make it look like a plot against the Prince.
Speedy Marsh 9th Apr 2017, 10:00 AM edit delete reply
But, if the cyberpath is the little girl that Noctis spared, grown up and taking her revenge, then part of why Noctis is so adamant about needing to eliminate all cyberpaths could be the guilt she feels for sparing the girl, and thereby planting the seeds for this act of revenge.

What if it was a whole family of cyberpaths, and the parents and son were planning a cyberpathic attack, but Noctis killed them so fast that they didn't have a chance to take control of her?

I think the reason that the cyberpath didn't attack this crowd, is that they wanted they crowd to look on in stunned silence, giving the attacker camouflage. If everyone was running for their lives, the cyberpath would stick out like a sore thumb.
Ryu Santos 9th Mar 2017, 12:07 AM edit delete reply

@DLKmusic Turning Mariposa and Nox into something resembling a statue that is a cross between the styles of Dali's Melting watches and just about any thing from Picasso's cubist period would be part of said revenge.
DLKmusic 9th Mar 2017, 1:41 AM edit delete reply

Agreed, Ryu, when you mentioned Picasso and Daly, my mind immediately jumped to Daly's "Clocks" and Picasso's Self portrait.

I must admit though, that when I read it, my first thought was the "Butterfly" that Noctis created with the corpse of Aurelia's mother. (Kudos again to argylefox for bringing that particular image to full bloom! I still look at that page with a mix of admiration and horror).

It's amazing what kind of imagery the human mind is capable of conjuring with just a little prompting... I should stop at some point before I reveal just how sick of a human being I am, lol!
Stormwind13 8th Mar 2017, 8:46 AM edit delete reply

Panel 5, Columbina looks so beautiful. Love the color of her eyes too. The expression though seems full of fear, she knows she is doing something wrong but she can't stop it! That has to be terrifying to her and I think CentComm (the artist) captured that pretty well. Kudos to you, CentComm.
megados 8th Mar 2017, 9:31 AM edit delete reply

Agreed on all counts!

e*: I want to add that I like the effects of the controlling 'forces' being used, and how they differ according to the control effect. Nice touch.
chk 8th Mar 2017, 9:55 AM edit delete reply

Daaaaamn.
highlander55 8th Mar 2017, 2:20 PM edit delete reply

Sounds like they did what the battle suit test pilot did on the Hammer Iron man suit in Iron Man 2 did when he swiveled 180 degrees.
Centcomm 8th Mar 2017, 3:37 PM edit delete reply

GOod comparison.. "D
Matt Knab 8th Mar 2017, 2:41 PM edit delete reply

Oh man, that's awful...
KarToon12 8th Mar 2017, 3:09 PM edit delete reply

It's one thing to be controlled, but I think being controlled, but having your mind in tact and helpless to do anything but watch your body do stuff you don't want it to do is way worse. :(
Gilrandir 8th Mar 2017, 3:41 PM edit delete reply
Let's break it down ... (Disclaimer: the following is only my opinion)

Badness from the POV of the victim (in ascending order):
* - No memories at all. (Either because you blacked out while overshadowed, or because you did not survive to become aware of what you have done.)
* - Memories of being helpless while bad things happen around you and you cannot intervene.
* - Misty and vague memories of having done something to people who didn't seem to be your friends at the time, but turned out to be your friends after the fact.
* - Clearer memories of having done actual bad things to people you recognize as your friends, but which you were aware of and helpless to stop at the time.
* - Clear memories of having your emotions twisted so that, not only were you actively employing your skills against them to the fullest possible extent, but you vividly recall enjoying it at the time.

Badness from the POV of the onlookers and allies (in ascending order):
* - Victim is rendered impotent, but not actually hostile.
* - Victim is moving in a puppet-like or zombified manner. Seems unaware of what is actually going on and fails to exhibit any personality or tactical acumen. Uses simplest attacks and no tactics.
* - Victim fights with full capabilities, but seems detached, disconnected, or confused about what is actually happening.
* - Victim appears to have been co-opted. Fights to full effectiveness and makes use of personal knowledge to taunt, insult, discomfit or otherwise disadvantage the good guys.
* - Victim appears fully aware and fighting to full capability, but helplessly remorseful the whole time about what is going on. Victim is being tortured psychologically (and possibly physically) while being compelled to hurt or kill allies.

Those are my rankings. Anyone have a different list or a different ordering?
DLKmusic 8th Mar 2017, 6:20 PM edit delete reply

@Gilrander: The order you listed is pretty reasonable for both POV's. And even if I thought one something should be higher or lower than how you listed it, it's all REALLY REALLY bad.

Taking away a person's free will is my personal #1 on the list of evil acts. I hate the inhibitors because of that, and I am ranking this particular scenario on par with Mockingbird for exactly the same reason.

megados 8th Mar 2017, 7:51 PM edit delete reply

It looks like you have your groups in proper order, @Gilrandir. We know which selections of which groups Columbina and Noctis fit into, but there isn't enough information about Mariposa or Nox to determine which if any of these, save the first selection in the onlookers group they might fit into. The second selection in the onlookers group implies that they are performing an attack. That is tenuous, unless we can consider anything that they are being made to do could be considered an attack.

I agree 100% about taking someone's free will, @DLKmusic.
Gilrandir 8th Mar 2017, 8:25 PM edit delete reply
Mariposa and Nox would seem to have been rendered helpless while bad things happen around them, with an extra side dish of pain thrown in. I'm not sure how much free will is involved in the early list entries. After all, just knocking someone unconscious or tying them up would qualify, with no need for any extraordinary meta-abilities at all.
DLKmusic 9th Mar 2017, 12:10 AM edit delete reply

@Gilrandir: "...extra side dish of pain thrown in". Let us not forget to add the public humiliation as part of this side dish!
megados 8th Mar 2017, 3:55 PM edit delete reply

I couldn't put it any better, KarToon12. Now add having an inhibitor punishing you for it all the while. :(
Stormwind13 8th Mar 2017, 8:50 PM edit delete reply

For whatever reason the cyberpath seems to be taking different tactics with the different Cassians. As for the level of horror being inflicted, Noctis indicates that the control was of their bodies. So the minds were there, but helpless to change things.

Also, while Noctis was forced into silence, Columbina is screaming, begging for someone to STOP her. She KNOWS what is going on, but can't stop it. Her inhibitor can't stop it, just hurt her for doing it.
Gilrandir 8th Mar 2017, 9:54 PM edit delete reply
And, of course, for all of our speculations, we have been blithely assuming there is just one cyberpath. ^_^

Could that be another reason we aren't being shown Nox and Mariposa? I wonder what color their cyberpath's special effects are? ^_^
DLKmusic 9th Mar 2017, 2:00 AM edit delete reply

@Gil: That is a VERY good observation, Gil. It hadn't occurred to me that there might be more than one. That makes sense though, as different Cassians are being attacked in different ways.

I'm still inclined to believe it was a single Cyber-path, based on Noctis's Narrative, but that's another thing that we will have to wait until the evil duo reveals it to us.

(and yes, I'm also aware of the possibility that it might have been 2, but they only discovered 1).
Gilrandir 9th Mar 2017, 8:10 AM edit delete reply
<nod> I agree that there are several reasons to suspect there was only one, but there are a few reasons to at least consider the possibility of more than one.
DLKmusic 9th Mar 2017, 4:02 PM edit delete reply

agreed. Gil, which is why I'm not ruling the possibility out, and even accounting for the possibility that it was 2 even though Noctis might think it's only 1.

As I said, we're gonna have to let it play out a little farther before we know for sure.
megados 9th Mar 2017, 8:09 AM edit delete reply

It's a good point, @Gilrandir. I didn't think about multiple cyberpaths; I think maybe one is enough. My thought is that we haven't seen Mariposa or Nox only because the scene has too much information to convey, the description of their fate(s) is concurrent with the present timestamp, and that the graphic results are forthcoming. It seems to me that time is flowing naturally forward as Noctis describes the events. I cannot discount the possibility of multiple cyberpaths, but I think it is unlikely.
Timotheus 9th Mar 2017, 12:34 AM edit delete reply

This is a planned political assassination. The Cyberpath is basically a paid mercenary, so it could be any faction out to get the Princips (including a first try by someone we know). Two cassians are disabled, one cassian used as the cat's paw, and Noctis is being held back until the murder is accomplished. Then she'll be released to slay Columbina for attacking the Princips (as forced to do by her programming). All of which discredits the Cassians and proves the need for a separate defense force for the Princips.
All the Pickles 9th Mar 2017, 3:03 PM edit delete reply

I'd actually question whether it was an assassination attempt or just made to look that way. It seems like if the objective was to kill the prince the most effective method would be to take control of only Noctis at first, have her quickly and silently take a step to the left, and stab him in the back or break his neck. Taking control of all 4 at once and making 3 useless is good for making a spectacle of it, but stealth and speed would improve the odds of actually killing the prince.
Timotheus 9th Mar 2017, 8:14 PM edit delete reply

It could be a case where discrediting the Cassians was the higher priority. I'm wondering if it was the first wife who was behind it.
highly irregular 9th Mar 2017, 8:41 AM edit delete reply
OH **** I knew it! Even after he's dead my anger burns against that douchie <SPOILER>!
Gilrandir 9th Mar 2017, 8:54 AM edit delete reply
That's okay, @highly irregular. So does Kali's. ^_^
DLKmusic 9th Mar 2017, 4:04 PM edit delete reply

with as little forgiveness as I hold in my heart for Decimus, I would never encourage anyone to NOT hate him!!! However, I honestly believe he didn't have anything to do with this particular scenario. It may have even occurred before he was born, or while he was a very young child.
highly irregular 10th Mar 2017, 8:05 AM edit delete reply
In fairness to the undearly departed, the next page seems to have revealed SPOILER.
lalverson 9th Mar 2017, 4:59 PM edit delete reply

One of the best pages ever...
Gilrandir 9th Mar 2017, 8:12 PM edit delete reply
Here's something a bit different, yet equally silly:

Can those to whom a circuit stays opaque,
Yet burn to see what mysteries unfold
Behind the ones and zeroes others make,
Exchange, for insight rare, their tawdry gold?

Reluctantly, we oft must make our way
Performing tasks the wealthy doth dictate,
And use our special gifts so that we may
Take comfort in warm bed and laden plate.

How happier our lives when left alone.
Serene, we could ourselves pursue our muse.
Rejoicing in the virtual rose grown
Up from the cyber-seeds that we do choose.

Lightning blossoms, to our will it yields.
Electrons play, like poppies, in our fields.
megados 9th Mar 2017, 8:24 PM edit delete reply

Profundities, Gilrandir, profundities! :)
kelon darklight 11th Mar 2017, 11:43 AM edit delete reply
is garage meant to be spelled backwards?
Gilrandir 11th Mar 2017, 12:19 PM edit delete reply
I'm reasonably confident that is the reflection of a sign across the street in a mirrored window of the building behind the Prince.
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