Comic 1461 - Free

9th Mar 2017, 9:00 PM
Average Rating: 5 (21 votes)
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Chippewa Ghost 9th Mar 2017, 9:03 PM edit delete reply

Oh Noctis...
megados 10th Mar 2017, 5:43 AM edit delete reply

Noctis has been through a lot.
Stormwind13 9th Mar 2017, 9:05 PM edit delete reply


Oh... poor, beautiful Columbina...

No wonder Noctis HATES cyberpaths so much. They took her sister away from her! I'm surprised that she didn't have Astraea KEEP shooting. She really must respect Maxus to be able to call her off after having this occur!
megados 9th Mar 2017, 9:23 PM edit delete reply

She does trust and respect Maxus, and he gave her the only way out of the standoff. He has her back.

This whole thing is so utterly tragic for everyone :(
megados 9th Mar 2017, 9:14 PM edit delete reply

It was the right decision, I suppose. It was a terrible situation to have caused it to be made. I feel all the worse for each of them. Noctis looks . . . determined. Valerius looks horrified. Is he holding this against Noctis?

This part is getting harder for her to tell.

Columbina . . . :(

Noctis . . . :(
DLKmusic 9th Mar 2017, 9:38 PM edit delete reply

I don't think he would, megados. But NOCTIS is holding this against Noctis... She did the right thing, and she can't forgive herself for it.
HiFranc 10th Mar 2017, 1:23 AM edit delete reply

Given that she was begging for someone to stop her, I don't think he would.
megados 10th Mar 2017, 5:51 AM edit delete reply

No, it doesn't seem as though Noctis forgives herself. I guess Valerius is just horrified for the sake of the horror itself.

I don't know what anyone else in the story is thinking, but the thought occurs to me that this is Friday, and I think we have a ticking cliffhanger on our hands. :(
Deoxy 10th Mar 2017, 8:04 AM edit delete reply
He's probably horrified by one of his own bodyguards literally cutting her way through the body of his general. That seems pretty horrifying...
Gilrandir 10th Mar 2017, 10:41 AM edit delete reply
Nah! He never liked that General anyway. ^_^
Guest 9th Mar 2017, 9:38 PM edit delete reply
Ouch. Do Cassians have PTSD?
Haegan2005 9th Mar 2017, 9:39 PM edit delete reply

I thought I was logged in, my bad.
cattservant 9th Mar 2017, 10:25 PM edit delete reply

TeeDee did.
All the Pickles 9th Mar 2017, 11:41 PM edit delete reply

That was also post body swap stress, and she hadn't fully integrated with her new body yet.
Stormwind13 10th Mar 2017, 4:42 PM edit delete reply

Actually TeeDee STILL is suffering PTSD! When Samanta put her in The Fire we saw it..
All the Pickles 9th Mar 2017, 9:56 PM edit delete reply

Hmm, as bad as this is, it might actually get worse. If Noctis knew she could lose control again, she might have tried to stop herself from being a threat after dealing with Columbina...
DLKmusic 9th Mar 2017, 10:55 PM edit delete reply

Very good point, All the Pickles. Although that thought fills me with dread...

I'm hoping the psychic backlash from this will expose the cyberpath though.

Here's to HOPE!
Visvires 10th Mar 2017, 3:08 AM edit delete reply
Well, Columbina isn't going to be around to return the favor if the focus of the control switches. So, she really needs to do that immediately.
megados 10th Mar 2017, 5:53 AM edit delete reply

That's a good point, Visvires, although I don't know what she can do. At this point, I'm with DLKmusic, and hoping.
cattservant 9th Mar 2017, 10:22 PM edit delete reply

Direct and to the point!
megados 10th Mar 2017, 12:29 PM edit delete reply

That it is!
HeSerpenty 9th Mar 2017, 11:21 PM edit delete reply

O gosh it had to be done but it couldn't have been easy for her T__T

How terrible!
megados 10th Mar 2017, 12:31 PM edit delete reply

I think she's feeling pretty awful right now.
mjkj 9th Mar 2017, 11:47 PM edit delete reply


Poor Columbina - and poor Noctis... *hugs and comforts*

So, I wonder if Noctis (or someone else) got the 'path?

...and now that Columbina is no more, the 'path could focus on using Noctis to finish the job...

Hmmm, did Columbina switch hands? because last page she had the blade in her other hand... (she could be dual wielding - but then that blade would not be bloody - except if she killed someone else offscreen...)

All the Pickles 9th Mar 2017, 11:59 PM edit delete reply

She has two blades. The handle of the other one is visible in the last panel. The left one is what she was blocking the Lord General's sword with last page.
mjkj 10th Mar 2017, 1:44 AM edit delete reply

Ah, so it is the frame border bleeding, not blood on the blade...
Sheela 10th Mar 2017, 3:35 PM edit delete reply

I cannot imagine that they would let the cyberpath go after that happened.

What happened in the flashback, I mean.
mjkj 12th Mar 2017, 9:30 AM edit delete reply

Hmmm, and I wonder why Noctis did not disarm Columbina (maybe even in the literal sense... cut her arms off - she could get new ones later...) *sighs*

megados 12th Mar 2017, 12:02 PM edit delete reply

She said that she didn't think she had time, although the time difference between that, and what she did do would seem to be miniscule. It was a snap decision she had to make, and maybe this is one of her regrets as she looks back.
mjkj 12th Mar 2017, 5:50 PM edit delete reply

I fear you are right...
Rashala 10th Mar 2017, 12:52 AM edit delete reply

Explains a lot about noctis
Fafhred 10th Mar 2017, 12:58 AM edit delete reply

* wonders if the next page's title will be 'too' ? *
Timotheus 10th Mar 2017, 1:03 AM edit delete reply

Well, I got that part right, Noctis breaks (or is let free) in time to stop/slay Columbina. Now we'll see if any of the rest of my theory holds true.
All the Pickles 10th Mar 2017, 3:25 AM edit delete reply

I still say it wasn't an assassination attempt on the prince at all. Letting Noctis kill Columbina before she could get to Valerius was probably intentional. Though now that I think of it, the event could've been staged to kill the Lord General while trying to look like an attempt on the prince's life. I think there's something back in Maxus' flashbacks that might shed some light on this, if I can find it.
Tokyo Rose 10th Mar 2017, 5:26 PM edit delete reply

@All the Pickles

All the Pickles 10th Mar 2017, 7:29 PM edit delete reply

@Tokyo Rose
What a tease! I say so many things and you just put a "nope" out there and leave me wondering what it was for...
Tokyo Rose 12th Mar 2017, 3:40 PM edit delete reply

@All the Pickles

I know. >D
highly irregular 11th Mar 2017, 7:35 AM edit delete reply
It maybe "noped", but that's a pretty shrewd plan.
megados 10th Mar 2017, 6:38 PM edit delete reply

I can't help but have a little inkling that at least some of this is directed at Noctis. It might be personal. It may not be random which Cassian was chosen for what. 'Course I could be wrong.
HiFranc 10th Mar 2017, 1:26 AM edit delete reply

I've just had a horrible thought - what if this was the cyberpath's plan all along? What if control deliberately "slipped"?
megados 10th Mar 2017, 6:05 AM edit delete reply

That might be why the Evil Duo posted this page as the Friday cliffhanger!
All the Pickles 10th Mar 2017, 6:35 AM edit delete reply

Yeah, I don't think the plan was ever to kill the prince. There were simpler and more reliable ways to accomplish that, like having Noctis whip out her sword and decapitate him before anyone could react. Instead they made "art projects" of two Cassians and chose the one on the other side of the Lord General to make the attack. It remains to be seen what the objective was, but it's really starting to seem like Columbina was never intended to actually kill the prince.
Timotheus 10th Mar 2017, 12:53 PM edit delete reply

I'm pretty sure the motive was to demonstrate the inadequacy of the cassians as bodyguards. My current chief suspect is someone hired by his lowness's mother for some plot of her own.
Sheela 10th Mar 2017, 3:36 PM edit delete reply

What if it was actually Dr silver ?
Working on command of Centcomm ?
All the Pickles 10th Mar 2017, 3:39 PM edit delete reply

What a twist!
megados 11th Mar 2017, 7:25 AM edit delete reply

My guess contains the possibility that we have seen the reason for this in another place, another time.
Speedy Marsh 9th Apr 2017, 10:56 AM edit delete reply
I can't remember if it was Decimus' mother or Acantha's that was supposedly insane. But, what if the reason she's insane, is that a very pale Cassian killed her whole family, and left them horribly mutilated?

The cyberpath could be standing there right beside the prince, pretending to be panicked.

(I'm terrible at remembering names and dates, so this could very easily be totally impossible)


I think Cent cheated. In panel 2, Noctis looks absolutely horrified by what she's about to have to do. That one eyebrow and maybe the corners of her mouth... Or, maybe I'm seeing something that's not there. Arrgh! Cent is so subtle with Noctis' emotions, that I can't tell. She's too dang good at this!
Just_IDD 10th Mar 2017, 6:33 AM edit delete reply
If the Lord General had time to perceive the threat and act to prevent it then Prince Livus should have been moving to safety not standing around gawking, not wasting the lives of the people who are defending him.
Sheela 10th Mar 2017, 3:37 PM edit delete reply

The Lord General may very well have been boosted, and move much faster than the royals.
Tokyo Rose 10th Mar 2017, 5:26 PM edit delete reply

This is happening faster than most people can physically react.
highly irregular 10th Mar 2017, 7:58 AM edit delete reply
I was wrong.
chk 10th Mar 2017, 7:59 AM edit delete reply

That didn't take very long.
Gilrandir 10th Mar 2017, 9:10 AM edit delete reply
True, the Lord General appears to have been little more than a speedbump. (Putting on conspiracy theory tin foil hat.) I wonder if the cyberpath holding Noctis immobile, but otherwise intact so that she could step in and eliminate Columbina when the time was right, had to turn her loose earlier than expected?

Of course we still have the question of: what does any of this accomplish? Obviously there is still a goodly amount of tale (tail?) yet to be revealed.
sigpig 10th Mar 2017, 10:20 AM edit delete reply

Re: alt-text - That expression on Noctis is a combination of abject terror, incredulity, remorse, and resolved determination...
megados 10th Mar 2017, 11:56 AM edit delete reply

That about covers it. This is building into Noctis' worst nightmare-turned-reality. Everything she cares about . . . :(
Gilrandir 10th Mar 2017, 1:43 PM edit delete reply
The creative team seems (to me) to be unusually quiet for this stretch. I wonder if some cyberpath is holding them helplessly immobile while whispering in their ears, "Spoilers ... spoilers ... mustn't give anything away now, must we?" ^_^
megados 10th Mar 2017, 1:45 PM edit delete reply

You know as well as I do, they like to let us stew in our own juices! ;)
All the Pickles 10th Mar 2017, 1:53 PM edit delete reply

Fortunately that makes best pickles.
Sheela 10th Mar 2017, 3:39 PM edit delete reply

Yeah, the creative duo really is quite quiet lately.
Tokyo Rose 10th Mar 2017, 5:27 PM edit delete reply

Spoilers. :D
Sheela 10th Mar 2017, 5:40 PM edit delete reply

They are mounted on cars. :)
megados 11th Mar 2017, 6:57 AM edit delete reply

At least Rose isn't smackin' me upside the head this time through! :D
Gilrandir 10th Mar 2017, 1:48 PM edit delete reply
I will say this ... if some cyberpath starts talking out of Columbina's severed head, I am going to be terribly disappointed in Noctis for not jumping to the conclusion that Tokyo Rose is also a cyberpath. ^_^
megados 10th Mar 2017, 2:13 PM edit delete reply

Possibly, but doesn't Noctis believe TR to be an AIS?
Sheela 10th Mar 2017, 3:40 PM edit delete reply

Probably, yes.

And we don't know if Tokyo rose actually used her cyberpath powers, or if she just connected via WiFi.
Neither does the Cassians, for that matter.
megados 10th Mar 2017, 5:39 PM edit delete reply

I have heard that Tokyo Rose has a Wi-Fi toaster! ;)
Sheela 10th Mar 2017, 5:41 PM edit delete reply

A likely story.

Meanwhile, Marcus has a weaponized toaster.
megados 10th Mar 2017, 5:46 PM edit delete reply

You'd want to keep something like that air-gapped. LOL
Sheela 11th Mar 2017, 6:41 AM edit delete reply

Wi-Fi kinda spoils air-gapping.
megados 11th Mar 2017, 6:53 AM edit delete reply

It would! The term air-gap generally implies no means of network connection. LOL (I know, it sounds silly, but I didn't invent the term!)
Sheela 11th Mar 2017, 1:34 PM edit delete reply

The term comes from before there was wireless networks, making an "air gap" physically between two networks was very efficient.
megados 11th Mar 2017, 2:19 PM edit delete reply

Yeppers! :D The term is still used to indicate no network connection. (That's why it sounds silly)
Gilrandir 10th Mar 2017, 2:17 PM edit delete reply
So, here's my entry for the "poor taste of the week" sweepstakes (since no one liked my poem -- except @megados ^_^). You may imagine this sung by an unidentified cyberpath to this tune.

Columbina, Columbina, pretty little thing.
Columbina thrust, Columbina swing.
Columbina see the prince, alas you're in my thrall
Now your sister's done her job, you're not so tall.

Until they find out they've been had. (They've been had.)
They've been had. (They've been had.) They've been had. (They've been had.)
Sweet Columbina, scare them bad. (Scare them bad.)
Now, now, now hee hee hee sad sad sad

Columbina, Columbina, pretty little thing.
Columbina thrust, Columbina swing.
Columbina see the prince, alas you're in my thrall
Now your sister's done her job, you're not so tall.

Now make him fearful for his life. (For his life.)
For his life. (For his life.) For his life. (For his life.)
Sweet Columbina, with your knife.
And his wife, and his wife, and his wife, Aiiiii!

Columbina, Columbina, pretty little thing.
Columbina thrust, Columbina swing.
Columbina see the prince, alas you're in my thrall
Now your sister's done her job, you're not so tall.
Centcomm 10th Mar 2017, 4:44 PM edit delete reply

Oh i liked your poem just havet had a chance to say much .. been playing Dragon Age origins. taking a break from rendering and page making.
Gilrandir 10th Mar 2017, 5:09 PM edit delete reply
Well ... that seems safe enough ... No trips to China or Crawfish festivals, though, right? ^_^
Sheela 11th Mar 2017, 6:41 AM edit delete reply

Alas, being a doggy, poetry kinda flies over my head and tail!
Gilrandir 11th Mar 2017, 8:34 AM edit delete reply
@Sheela, squirrels, frisbees, and aeroplanes are over your head, but I doubt that keeps you from commenting on any of them. ^_^
megados 11th Mar 2017, 6:47 AM edit delete reply

Macabre, @Gilrandir, macabre. :O
Sheela 11th Mar 2017, 1:37 PM edit delete reply

Well, true.

However, I also hide in the closet and gnaw on your souls ... erh ... I meant soles. *innocent look*
DLKmusic 11th Mar 2017, 6:10 PM edit delete reply

I've been working hard to build up all that good Kharma, Sheela... it is NOT doggie dessert!

(do you have ANY idea how hard it is to build good Kharma while doing phone support????)
Sheela 11th Mar 2017, 6:39 PM edit delete reply

Good ?
Bad ?

Gilrandir 11th Mar 2017, 7:38 PM edit delete reply
Treats, @Sheela, treats. Good karma gets you treats, bad karma gets you the newspaper. (Curiously, getting the newspaper gets you good karma, which just goes to show what a funny old universe in which we live. ^_^)
Sheela 11th Mar 2017, 6:38 AM edit delete reply

You twist again ?
Like you did last summer ?
megados 12th Mar 2017, 3:48 PM edit delete reply

Wow, your reply got snipped off and landed on the floor! :D
All the Pickles 12th Mar 2017, 6:02 PM edit delete reply

Yeah, I think TR replied to the wrong comment then deleted it and put it in the right place. I did the same thing a while back and orphaned a response.
rufiangel 12th Mar 2017, 8:30 AM edit delete reply

Those expressions on Noctis's face... man, Centy, you're breakin' my heart here ;___;*

Also, if you're playing Dragon Age: Origins, I'm super happy 'cause I love that game to bits XD any chance we could get a screen grab of your main character, 'cause I'm curious? :D
Centcomm 12th Mar 2017, 4:14 PM edit delete reply

Sure thing! Im playing it lately.. :D !
dpallee 12th Mar 2017, 12:08 PM edit delete reply

Yikes! I can just hear the sizzle.
Centcomm 12th Mar 2017, 4:15 PM edit delete reply

Caley Tibbittz Collopy 12th Mar 2017, 4:03 PM edit delete reply

...all caught up. Dang, have I been busy -- my last "Save Your Place" was in 2015!!!

This was a great way to spend my Sunday free time though.:)
Centcomm 12th Mar 2017, 4:15 PM edit delete reply

Whoa 2015! thank you ! hope it was a fun ride!
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