Comic 1463 - Finale

14th Mar 2017, 9:00 PM
Average Rating: 5 (19 votes)

Author Notes:

Centcomm 16th Mar 2017, 2:11 PM edit delete
Wel this is annoying it looks as though the computer may be going out and according to Marcus. ( my tech person ) he said it could be heat or hardware or software. the only parts that are left from the old computer are my CPU , Motherboard and Case. But we are going to try the cheapest solutions first. replacing the thermal paste or the heat sink. sadly im as broke as a church mouse at the moment. SO any additional donations would be helpful! Thanks
Marcus Ramesy 16th Mar 2017, 3:12 PM edit delete
Marcus Ramesy
This weekend... I will be starting the migration of her pc to expand the storage.. so here I am slumming for donations for her..... will need a SSD (looking at the evo 850 pro 256) and am going to need a copy of windows 10 home for her.....

for those that are tech savy you will understand the monumental task of setting up a new os.. moving user data between 4 hard drives.... consolidating data to a larger 5TB drive and then... making daz and all the libraries work again.... a task I have been dragging my heels on for some time because of lack of 2 things.... Ill know more about her computer problems this weekend as I dig in to it friday.. unable to look at it till then due to other commitments that I have tonight... but thuse far.. it is one of 3 basic problems... heat.... os corruption.... or hardware... first problem with the heat may be resolved by re applying the dialectric goop.. (arctic silver) and cleaning out the heat sink that is being used... (alternitvly woudl rather put her on a self sealed self contained watercooler/radiator and just call it a day but... needs must when the devil drives.... so.. this weekend will be full of fun.. adventure... and .... watching progress bars move.....
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cattservant 14th Mar 2017, 9:09 PM edit delete reply

Sometimes there are no good answers...
megados 15th Mar 2017, 7:32 AM edit delete reply

This might be one of those times.
That one guy 15th Mar 2017, 4:04 PM edit delete reply
Well, as far as Doc Silver goes, Ada could mention that she uses her abilities to assist in restoring corrupted emergency AI memory transfers and about her attempting to help rehabilitate/treat the one Mockingbird arc victim.

Not to say Noctis would magically think it's all good from that, but it'd certainly help her feel better about Doc Silver specifically. Also the entirety of the Mockingbird story might potentially be interesting to Noctis on multiple levels (differences in manner of dealing with those sorts of problems and also AI rights in New Troy).
All the Pickles 15th Mar 2017, 7:28 PM edit delete reply

If I were her I wouldn't mention the memory transfer bit. If Noctis is already this suspicious of Doc Silver, how do you think she would react to knowing she was all up in Ada's brain?
megados 15th Mar 2017, 8:01 PM edit delete reply

My gut reaction would be that Ada is doing best by being honest with Noctis. I think Noctis would rather have honest and forthright information. Let Noctis weigh it on her own. Ada, is honest and forthright, and I don't see a reason for her to change that now. Noctis is going to have a lot to absorb very soon. Give it to her straight.
That one guy 16th Mar 2017, 2:48 PM edit delete reply
Well, she could mention the pact or whatever it was with TeeDee in terms of verifying that she was still really herself.

Really, the entity that's going to end up on Noctis' shit list regarding trustworthiness is obviously going to be Pinky.
megados 14th Mar 2017, 9:19 PM edit delete reply

So this was televised. Everyone saw it. Good to know he was dealt with quickly after that. The narrative makes it clear that Valerius was a good and caring man. We never did find out what became of Mariposa, nor how the situation came to be, though.

I think Ada understands Noctis' concern now. She doesn't know how she would react if it had been her. I am glad to see that Ada seems open minded about it, if a little unsettled. She makes an interesting distinction between cyberpath, and cyberkinetic . . .
Haegan2005 14th Mar 2017, 9:49 PM edit delete reply

Ada is highly empathic towards others. She tries to see all sides and walk a mile in their shoes. She is, in short, a good person. But I do not think we can call her an innocent. She has seen too much while doing S&R.
megados 15th Mar 2017, 8:48 AM edit delete reply

I wouldn't think innocent would be the word, but she comes as close to altruistic as anyone, I think.
Haegan2005 14th Mar 2017, 9:57 PM edit delete reply

As a side note, we don't know what caused the assassination attempt. Was it a paid hit? I don't really think so.

The guy was not armed and he had no backup if something went sideways. I have the feeling he was young, had explored his abilities and had no real idea of their effective limitations. Like they are worth shit against guards who are not Cassians.

The more I think of it, I am not even sure he thought about what would happen if he actually killed Valorius. Maybe they would make him king? Probably what he thought, but first he would have to survive the human guards and then fight the entire senate to see who was to be crowned. Yeah, he is/was probably in his early twenties or even late teens and was probably sheltered or a bully mentality pathos.

Makes me wonder about his parents.
All the Pickles 14th Mar 2017, 10:53 PM edit delete reply

If everything had gone according to plan and Noctis hadn't charged at him, there might have been nobody to know it was him. Depending on how he disposed of any Cassians who might recognize his mind, he could've gotten away clean.
antrik 16th Mar 2017, 5:31 PM edit delete reply
He was certainly old enough to understand that offing the Prince won't benefit him, unless it's part of some elaborate ploy -- and as you pointed out yourself, it doesn't look like an elaborate ploy at all. Probably just some personal vendetta.
Gilrandir 16th Mar 2017, 5:46 PM edit delete reply
Not even personal, as I understand it. Based on "Motivation" it would appear he was the John Hinckley, Jr. to Prince Valerius' Ronald Reagan. With, of course, a very different outcome.
antrik 17th Mar 2017, 7:58 PM edit delete reply
Yeah, for once I replied before reading the rest of the comments. (Which I usually don't do... Precisely because of situations like this :-) )
Gilrandir 14th Mar 2017, 9:58 PM edit delete reply
So ... how long ago was this?
Just_IDD 14th Mar 2017, 10:22 PM edit delete reply
We should have enough information to figure that out if we go back to the story of Maxus being made Lord General. It would have to be that time.
Gilrandir 14th Mar 2017, 11:04 PM edit delete reply
I didn't think we had been told when Maxus became Lord General. He was still a gladiator when Irene was hurt. Valerius freed him, but I didn't think he went straight from the arena to the Lord Generalship. I'd like to imagine he spent at least some time in the ranks working his way up -- but Irene in the flashbacks didn't look that much younger than she does in the present day. Nor does Maxus, in my opinion. I suppose it could all be anti-agathics, incredibly extended lifespans, and genetic engineering.
All the Pickles 15th Mar 2017, 12:49 AM edit delete reply

According to the cast page Maxus is 36, so I'd say this was at most 15 years ago, probably less than 10.
HiFranc 15th Mar 2017, 12:42 AM edit delete reply

From what I recall of Irene's story, the previous Lord General was about to lose his job. That doesn't match up to this recollection.
Tokyo Rose 15th Mar 2017, 3:52 AM edit delete reply

Maxus didn't become Lord General as soon as he was freed; Valerius offered him the position of Prefect of the Praetorian Guard, as the old prefect was retiring.
mjkj 14th Mar 2017, 11:19 PM edit delete reply


*hugs and comforts Noctis*

@alt text: indeed...

DLKmusic 15th Mar 2017, 12:17 AM edit delete reply

Wow. This still leaves a lot of unanswered questions. I personally don't believe for a second that the Cyber-path was alone, I still think he was a pawn in a much larger game, albeit a rather nasty pawn.

@Rose: If it doesn't wind up giving a lot of spoilers, is there any chance of of you doing another short story, giving us the full picture here? Maybe from the perspective of the "bad guys"?
HiFranc 15th Mar 2017, 12:38 AM edit delete reply

Could be to make the population wonder if the cassians could be trusted.
All the Pickles 15th Mar 2017, 12:52 AM edit delete reply

The flashback doesn't necessarily have to be done. Ada could ask what happened to Mariposa (yes, please do!) and get more of the story.
DLKmusic 15th Mar 2017, 3:06 AM edit delete reply

@all the pickles: A while back Rose wrote a short Vignette titled "Ever Wonder?". It can be found on the blog page here. This was brilliant, brought insight to the troubled life of a minor character, and wound up being the nightmare fuel that inspired Argylefox's brilliant yet disturbing guest pages. You are already familiar with the story, but it's still worth reading because Rose is one Hell of a writer.

If the story can be told without adding spoilers to the current arc, I would love to see Rose post another short story, and strut her Prose "Chops". that way, we get answers, and it doesn't bog down the main story line.

Besides, I am a glutton for more of her work!
Tokyo Rose 15th Mar 2017, 3:55 AM edit delete reply

It's now on the blog, entitled "Motivation".
mjkj 15th Mar 2017, 4:49 AM edit delete reply

Wow, thank you, Rose... =D
highly irregular 15th Mar 2017, 4:54 AM edit delete reply
Thank you!
megados 15th Mar 2017, 5:19 AM edit delete reply

Thank you very much @Tokyo Rose! (and thanks @DLKmusic for the suggestion)
Stormwind13 15th Mar 2017, 5:21 AM edit delete reply

Thank you Rose!
All the Pickles 15th Mar 2017, 5:30 AM edit delete reply

Ahh, things make so much more sense now. It's also amazing how much less planning went into it than I thought. I expected some elaborate plot, not impulsive insanity.
sigpig 15th Mar 2017, 6:25 AM edit delete reply

Amazing. Thank you Rose!

And as megados mentioned - thank you to DLKmusic.
DLKmusic 15th Mar 2017, 8:59 AM edit delete reply

@Rose: Thank you!!!

Like Pickles, I was expecting something more elaborate, but creepy works too!

And... Once again, incredibly well written!
Tokyo Rose 16th Mar 2017, 6:08 AM edit delete reply

I actually already had that piece written and ready to go; DLKMusic's dead-on suggestion tickled me greatly. :)

I have to admit that I was quite entertained and intrigued by the comments section erupting in conspiracy theory and conjecture; y'all are DEVIOUS AND SINISTER PEOPLE. :D
megados 16th Mar 2017, 7:16 AM edit delete reply

". . . y'all are DEVIOUS AND SINISTER PEOPLE . . ."

Pot, kettle . . . :D
Stormwind13 16th Mar 2017, 4:42 PM edit delete reply

Pot, kettle... black... Mr. Black... This is ALL Mr. Black's fault!!! ::Points at him:: :-D
DLKmusic 16th Mar 2017, 1:15 PM edit delete reply

@Rose: Serendipity in action!!!
chk 15th Mar 2017, 8:20 AM edit delete reply

That is awesome. I need to check out the blog more often.
Steven-Vincent 15th Mar 2017, 4:21 AM edit delete reply

I like the idea of an artificial being talking about 'praying'. It is very... human.
Tokyo Rose 16th Mar 2017, 6:08 AM edit delete reply

Interesting for Noctis to use that wording, isn't it?
megados 16th Mar 2017, 10:22 AM edit delete reply

It is. Her occasional use of unexpected terms is intriguing.
Speedy Marsh 9th Apr 2017, 12:46 PM edit delete reply
Whoa, whoa, whoa! Rose saying that Noctis using the word "pray" is interesting?!?

Are we talking Church of the First Circuit, here?

Curiouser and curiouser!
Gilrandir 16th Mar 2017, 11:17 AM edit delete reply
It seems very apropos to me that Noctis use that phrasing. Religion is often found among the slave pens, the downtrodden, the abused, and the helpless. And even though they may have been very well treated by Prince Valerius, nonetheless the Cassians are slaves to the Throne.

It was Marx who described religion as "the opiate of the masses", and who is more likely to use (or have need of) an opiate than someone in long-term, chronic pain? "No Atheists in foxholes" is another way to express a very similar sentiment. Considering the upshot of Noctis' account is that a horrifically destructive monster can spring up out of nowhere, with no warning, and start destroying people for no good reason. Wouldn't someone turn to religion -- even one they made up themselves -- in the hopes of making some kind of sense out of this? What other possible answer could there be? "Stuff happens, deal with it!"? Not very comforting, in my opinion.
megados 16th Mar 2017, 12:24 PM edit delete reply

You could be right, @Gilrandir, and I think that speaks to a side of her personality that she mostly doesn't talk about. They say that everyone has three sides: The one they let everyone see, the one that only people they are close to see, and the one known only to themselves. She, of course, would never openly volunteer anything about it, but some of it shows through the cracks at times.

Unless I miss my guess, recent events would have her dwelling more in that part of herself. It is more than religion, although that could be a part of it.

Right now with Ada, she has a chance to explore it a little, without someone having preconceived notions about her, as Ada would take her at face value.
megados 15th Mar 2017, 7:17 AM edit delete reply

After reading Rose's 'Motivation', it makes the loss of Columbina, and the Lord General, and Mariposa's fate (wherever she may be), all the more tragic and senseless, and in a sense, worse than if some grand plot were involved.
DLKmusic 15th Mar 2017, 12:33 PM edit delete reply

Amen, Brother!
antrik 16th Mar 2017, 6:48 PM edit delete reply
Well, yes and no. Those closest to the victims might feel worse, because they are powerless against a terrible injustice: there are no real culprits to take vengeance upon. (The insane perpetrator is more of a victim of his own insanity than a real culprit... Executing him is cold comfort.)

But considering the actual victims, I'd say it's much worse to be a casualty of unscrupulous atrocities performed for someone's personal gain, than being befallen by something that's more like a tragic accident...
megados 16th Mar 2017, 8:11 PM edit delete reply

In thinking about it, I have to consider it from a number angles. I think the most pertinent here might be that Noctis was both a victim, and an accessory, since she had to make the choice to kill Columbina. From her point of view, her sister died both because of this senseless act, and because of a decision she had to make as a result.
Gilrandir 16th Mar 2017, 8:56 PM edit delete reply
I wonder if Noctis is claiming (apparently falsely, according to the creatrices) that a cyberpath can suborn the will and motivations of a Cassian, rather than simply take control of their limbs, as part of a coping mechanism designed to let her manage her own guilt about ending Columbina? We certainly haven't yet seen anything to justify (in my understanding) the specific fears she expressed in Comic 1234 - Terminate With Extremely Justified Prejudice. (The level of fear, yes, but not the type of fear she seemed to be having.) However, if she believed her own will to have somehow been compromised by its contact with the 'unclean mind', then she might imagine that it mitigates her guilt about not finding a way to save Columbina and still negate any threat to the Prince.
megados 17th Mar 2017, 6:27 AM edit delete reply

I don't remember ever being told exactly what Noctis believes a cyberpath can do. If so, it may have slipped my mind. She doesn't seem to be making claims about it; at least I didn't see it that way. She seems more to be acting in response to her experience.

Noctis seems to act according to what she believes is true. If she thinks that a cyberpath can do blah blah blah, she acts to prevent blah blah blah. She has insufficient information; she is not omniscient.

I don't know whether she believes her guilt is mitigated by having been affected by the 'unclean mind', but I would guess she does not. I think it weighs on her.
Sheela 15th Mar 2017, 11:17 AM edit delete reply

Noctis really looked up to Valerius, didn't she ?

And Noctis finally get to talk to someone, seems like she's wanted to do that for a while - A bit of cathatis.
megados 15th Mar 2017, 1:18 PM edit delete reply

It seems to me, that most looked up to Valerius, Sheela. Noctis possibly more so, since she presumably knew him better, knew more about him than the average person on the street.

You may also be right about it being a sort of a catharsis for her. AFAIK, she has never had to, or wanted to tell the tale. Hearing herself tell it, or thinking about the details as she assembles the story, might assuage some vestiges of forgotten, repressed emotions that a person like Noctis would be well rid of.
Sheela 16th Mar 2017, 5:29 AM edit delete reply

There's also the part where she gets to open up to a complete stranger - Telling the story to someone who was there, is just not the same.
megados 16th Mar 2017, 7:26 AM edit delete reply

Very true, and Ada is the perfect 'complete stranger' to get her to do it!
Stormwind13 16th Mar 2017, 8:57 PM edit delete reply

Of course Noctis looked up to Valerius, Sheela. She is only 5'-4" (163 cm), while Valerius was at least 6'-0" (183 cm) tall! :-D
KarToon12 15th Mar 2017, 2:02 PM edit delete reply

I see so many narratives where a person is telling a story, and then the other person tries to relate to it (when they really can't) just so they can try and say something nice to comfort them. So I appreciate the honesty here---she really can't relate to what happened and just says it right out, rather than try and sugar coat things.
Centcomm 15th Mar 2017, 6:53 PM edit delete reply

Thats why we love Ada.:D
Tokyo Rose 16th Mar 2017, 6:19 AM edit delete reply

With some people, you try to find a common point or relate to their situation to come up with the right thing to say to comfort them. With other people, you're better off just being up front and saying "I can't imagine what I'd do in that situation, but I'm very sorry it happened to you".

I'd never try to say "I totally understand, man" to, say, a veteran suffering a bout of PTSD. I *don't* understand. I've never been up to my ass in the corpses of my friends with total strangers doing their level best to fucking murder me while artillery blows chunks of terrain and human body parts 80 feet in the air to rain down like the world's most horrific ticker-tape parade. Even trying to claim that I can relate to their situation would be viciously offensive and shameful, in my own eyes.
megados 16th Mar 2017, 7:14 AM edit delete reply

Right on, Rose!
Stormwind13 16th Mar 2017, 3:56 PM edit delete reply

Very good point, Rose. Colorfully stated too.
guest 16th Mar 2017, 8:48 PM edit delete reply
others brought this up... @ Tokyo Rose. ? do you have any books out?? or planning on putting a book (s) out??
megados 15th Mar 2017, 3:21 PM edit delete reply

@Centcomm, I'm still lookin' out the window! In panel six it looks like some atmospherics out there! Are they past midway and coming back down? The atmospherics give a good sense of speed there.
Centcomm 15th Mar 2017, 6:52 PM edit delete reply

Yep they are on the decent :D thats thermal flaring against the shield.
All the Pickles 15th Mar 2017, 7:30 PM edit delete reply

You didn't notice that their hair isn't floating anymore? With the number of times it has been mentioned I'd think that would be a big clue.
megados 15th Mar 2017, 7:50 PM edit delete reply

Haha, well Noctis' hair hasn't settled all the way yet in the last panel, and I was distracted by the FX! (which are cool!) :D
Timotheus 16th Mar 2017, 1:02 PM edit delete reply

"Hey, I can see my house from here."
That one guy 16th Mar 2017, 3:02 PM edit delete reply
@Centcomm - You can get lots of free tools to monitor temperatures on your system. For Windows several years ago I tended to use HWinfo32 (or 64 now too) or CPUz. I believe both of those will give you CPU, GPU, & hard drive temps. Running that and doing simple things to exercise that particular component (I generally used prime95 for CPU, but I'd actually recommend finding a bitcoin mining program that's GPU-enabled and just test both at once). Try running on a working computer of a similar age and yours both and see if the rate components heat up is much faster or cool down much slower, and if it's in the same ballpark you don't have a heat issue. Also I'd clean fans & vents & generally try to get rid of excess dust before I'd take the heat sink off the CPU and redo that (cleaning thermal paste off completely and redoing it doesn't always work as well as the original, so verifying it's necessary is a good idea).

I've had a lot of luck with my home built computers since I started paying a bit more and getting gold or platinum power supplies. While the cost savings from power efficiency (which is what the rating is intended for) doesn't make up the cost, it does seem they're somewhat better constructed/QCd and that's helped me a lot.

Remember the bathtub curve with regards to computer problems. You have a lot of failures early from manufacturing defect-type issues, then things generally run well for a while, then as they age they start failing too. So keeping some suspicion of the newer components is likely wise too.

Also if you've replaced your entire computer piece by piece and have to do mobo & CPU too, remember that you might also have to deal with problems with Windows losing its activation status.
Centcomm 16th Mar 2017, 4:33 PM edit delete reply

The CPU and MB are the last of the old parts. >_> and a couple of the Hard drives.
Morituri 16th Mar 2017, 9:16 PM edit delete reply
In case of computer overheating I find that among the best solutions is using a shop-vac to suck dust bunnies out of the power supply - from the back, where the muffin fan runs air intake.

I have, in fact, heated my house this winter mostly by the heat from my computers. We turned on the actual heater for four weeks in December and January. Repeated compiles interspersed with training neural nets is like that. As are high-end graphics rendering, in your case.
antrik 17th Mar 2017, 8:05 PM edit delete reply
You need to be careful when doing this not to spin up the fan too much, as that damages the bearing.
Speedy Marsh 9th Apr 2017, 2:36 PM edit delete reply
Just as the dart passes the apex of its flight, the stereo starts blasting music for the reentry:

[url=]Light My Fire[url]
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