Comic 1473 - Holding Steady

6th Apr 2017, 9:00 PM
Holding Steady
Average Rating: 5 (20 votes)

Author Notes:

Centcomm 6th Apr 2017, 10:35 PM edit delete
Whekp .. I have survived another year. Despite 2016's murder spree. and as of next July ill be smoke free for 1 year! ( that's also the day i had my heart attack., The first one. April 6th was my b-day! ...
Centcomm 8th Apr 2017, 10:29 PM edit delete
Okay .. I just watched the new Ghost in the shell movie. And I personally loved it.

And thats the end of it. :D i dont want to spoil it for anyone. Treat it as a " NEW Movie. " Not a rehash.
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Dragonrider 6th Apr 2017, 9:06 PM edit delete reply

It does sound as though Noctis would have derived great satisfaction removing Douchie from the gene pool before he reproduced. Possibly a bit of envy and admiration that Kali was able to do it.
velvetsanity 6th Apr 2017, 9:16 PM edit delete reply

And clearly Ada wishes it had been accomplished long ago.
megados 6th Apr 2017, 9:21 PM edit delete reply

Ada does not like suffering, and she sees that Acantha has greatly suffered.
Just_IDD 6th Apr 2017, 10:05 PM edit delete reply
Wait...he --was-- removed prior to his reproduction. He was "fortunately" only really attracted to his own sister. He abused all of the women around him, there is no indication any came to term. Not that that absolves his actions in any way.

I wonder what reaction Mirabe will have to Noctis, and vice versa. Mirabe is as has been discussed a product of the Roman Church.
Timotheus 7th Apr 2017, 12:00 AM edit delete reply

I thought that plot line got keboshed by the editorial board.
HiFranc 7th Apr 2017, 12:57 AM edit delete reply

My reading of it is that he only considered his sister because he thought that the only reason his sister would oppose someone as brilliant as him was because that she was secretly attracted to him.
Tokyo Rose 7th Apr 2017, 1:47 AM edit delete reply

(Decimus was as sterile as a mule. This fact really pissed him off.)
Timotheus 7th Apr 2017, 2:10 AM edit delete reply

Well, that might help explain his outlook on the importance of the future of things after he was gone.
Morituri 7th Apr 2017, 11:04 AM edit delete reply
I don't buy it. You're saying that as though there were things that didn't piss him off. :-)

Dragonrider 7th Apr 2017, 11:14 AM edit delete reply

Reminds me of a character in the Foundationseries by Asimov The person ofThe Mule the head of a country, bent people to his will against theirs and Sterile.
cattservant 6th Apr 2017, 9:13 PM edit delete reply

Many threads are in the loom,
the weaving goes well.
Thank you!
megados 6th Apr 2017, 9:18 PM edit delete reply

That is profound. Well said.
Centcomm 6th Apr 2017, 10:21 PM edit delete reply

yep... You are very welcome!
Stormwind13 7th Apr 2017, 2:53 AM edit delete reply

Yes, catt. The weaving makes very complex patterns, some of which remain hidden even now.
Rigor 8th Apr 2017, 8:45 AM edit delete reply
A few more syllables and that would be a haiku
Gilrandir 8th Apr 2017, 12:11 PM edit delete reply
Stately syllables,
Awesomely and artfully
Placed, produce poems.
cattservant 8th Apr 2017, 9:39 PM edit delete reply

such complex patterns
many threads are in the loom
the weaving goes well
Gilrandir 8th Apr 2017, 10:01 PM edit delete reply
@Tokyo Rose spins yarns.
@Centcomm renders to produce
A loom with a view.
Gilrandir 6th Apr 2017, 9:25 PM edit delete reply
Apologies, but I am getting confused again ...

When CentComm told Amy that Noctis was to be watched at all times, was she intentionally telling the one android in the hangar that could be expected not to follow Noctis?

Noctis, after all, can be expected to stay with Acantha. Anne is attached to Acantha as part of her duties. Ada's decision to stay with Acantha, for all that CentComm apparently disapproves of it, doesn't seem all that unexpected. But if Amy is in this hallway somewhere watching Noctis, I am missing her. If robots counted, why bother telling Amy? Why not just instruct the robots (like the black-haired hall monitor we see here) directly? Amy, as part of Tech Services seems likely to still be in the hangar cleaning up the toxic, flammable, hazardous mess that was Kyle's Dart -- does this mean she'll be looking for a new position?

Of course, CentComm is there, watching Noctis herself, in the person of one of her other dolls. Still not understanding how Amy becomes involved. Perhaps it will become clear as events unfold? Maybe Amy is sitting in a security room following Noctis on a variety of different security cameras, providing for remote observation -- but that seems contrary to CentComm's intent and extra-risky, given what we suspect of Cassian capabilities.
Centcomm 6th Apr 2017, 10:20 PM edit delete reply

Amy is setting up remote surveillance and notifying half a dozen people. She can actually do all those things from the tablet shes carrying.
Gilrandir 6th Apr 2017, 10:23 PM edit delete reply
Ok. Thank you.
antrik 7th Apr 2017, 7:36 AM edit delete reply
The black-haired one looks just like Lexine (see "Confused Lynn...", currently ), i.e. a Luna-make android (not a bot) -- and I think it likely she's "medical equipment" as well, not a "hall watcher"...
Gilrandir 7th Apr 2017, 8:05 AM edit delete reply
There are several points to be raised regarding similarities and differences between Lexine and the unnamed figure here, but those are really just subtle nuances. Ultimately you are, of course, correct that she could be medical personnel (because androids are people in New Troy), medical equipment (because robots are not people in New Troy), security personnel, security equipment, or all of the above (because fabricants do lots of different jobs in New Troy). My use of the term "hall watcher" was simply to recognize that (as yet) we have no idea what she is or what she is doing, except to say she is probably not pure-strain human. ^_^

Maybe she is a paparazzi for NTNN (New Troy News Network)?
antrik 7th Apr 2017, 8:14 AM edit delete reply
I highly doubt Commie would tolerate paparazzi :-)

(In fact she has systematically taken down news station when the big fuck-up started... Though admittedly that was before the A.I.S. rebellion, and she probably shouldn't be considered the same person now.)
Gilrandir 7th Apr 2017, 8:41 AM edit delete reply
A free press is an important civil liberty, and the suggestion that CentComm arbitrarily suppresses it indiscriminately implies things about New Troy society we haven't yet seen much evidence for -- although the fact that this particular hospital complex appears to be wholly within the confines of 3C (and therefore, by implication, exclusively for the use of the six or so living persons attached to the Taylor family) would provide more justification for restricting access by members of the public-at-large.

I agree with you that actions taken during the Time of Troubles and the Armistice Rebellion are not necessarily indicative of the personalities and principles currently in force. Difficult Times ... and all that. ^_^
antrik 7th Apr 2017, 8:47 AM edit delete reply
I think you are confusing 3C with Helios Tower?

As for civil liberties, they seem to be somewhat limited from what we have seen so far -- with Commie ruling more or less as a "benevolent dictator"...
Gilrandir 7th Apr 2017, 9:08 AM edit delete reply
Quite probably. I am unclear on the specific distinction. If 3C is large enough and populous enough to serve a large human community, it wouldn't seem all that unusual for Dr. Smolens to be called to respond to a case there and we have that 'access to the public' issue. If it is smaller and more private, that goes away, but then we are left with what looks like a very extensive facility that seems as if it would be severely underutilized.

Civil liberties in New Troy is a whole 'nother can of worms. ^_^ I agree we have seen nothing either way to explicitly indicate whether a free press is among the rights they enjoy. And there would seem to be many here in the forum who would question just how 'benevolent' CentComm's tyranny actually is. (Or would be, if it did constitute a tyranny.) My own opinion is that there are some checks and balances on the Taylor regime (of which CentComm is only the iron fist within the velvet glove) which just haven't come up because that's not what the story is about. But that is more of a subjective impression, rather than something for which I have hard evidence. And it cannot be denied that CentComm appears to wield vast power with an immense capacity for that power to be abused shamefully.
Timotheus 7th Apr 2017, 9:36 AM edit delete reply

Based on previous events shown in New Troy, with its reliance on android and robot labor, the inner city is grossly over built with far greater (human) capacity than needed. (Over optimism perhaps.) A fully equipped medical facility just sitting there, "just in case" would be a normal situation.
There are large functional areas within the city with only a few robots or androids scattered about for essential maintenance duties while a large populace of "outsiders" lives just beyond the city limits trying to siphon off power and water.
antrik 7th Apr 2017, 4:28 PM edit delete reply
My assumption from "Connie..." (presently ) and the following page, was that the "fringers" actually live more or less within the city limits -- though not as an official part of its society...
antrik 7th Apr 2017, 4:35 PM edit delete reply
@Gilrandir well, in "East gate" (presently ), there is mention of a "Council", which apparently has some say in civic matters -- so Commie apparently doesn't decide everything on her own... I'm curious how much say this Council has on anything important.

On the same page there is also mention that there was nothing on the news channel about the major things obviously going on -- which seems a pretty clear indication that there are no free media.
antrik 7th Apr 2017, 4:44 PM edit delete reply
Oh, and regarding the "benevolent" part: I think it's pretty clear that Commie *does* try for the best outcomes for Troy's citizens -- even though her methods; and her making the decisions what's "best" -- are questionable...

(That's not unlike some of the more "honest" ones among socialist regimes in the recent or recent-ish past I'd say...)
Tokyo Rose 8th Apr 2017, 2:37 AM edit delete reply


The Council is composed of elected human representatives. They're basically the legislative body for New Troy.

And the reason why there was nothing on the news about the stuff that had Connie curious was because information on Lynn's kidnapping was NOT being leaked to the media. Similarly, Decimus's threats weren't being made public knowledge.
antrik 8th Apr 2017, 4:54 AM edit delete reply
I see... This sounds way more democratic than what it appeared like in the story so far.

As for the media, Connie's wording sounds like there was no mention of the whole thing *at all* -- while with free media, I'd at least expect reports along the lines of "large movements of military equipment across the city; officials refuse to comment"...
Tokyo Rose 8th Apr 2017, 2:36 AM edit delete reply


3C is a restricted building--it's basically Cent-Comm's military command center. The medical facilities are not a public hospital; they're used only for very high-profile patients, like members of the Council or, say, foreign diplomats.

Also, um... there's no "Taylor regime". The family doesn't run the place like the Livius family runs New Rome.
Gilrandir 8th Apr 2017, 8:56 AM edit delete reply
Thank you, @Tokyo Rose. I rather had thought 3C was more exclusive and private.

As far as the "Taylor Regime" ... you know your universe best, of course, but I think there may be room to quibble. I am aware that DataChasers is not intended as a scholarly treatment of political theory in a post-apocalyptic, post-contact, post-AI world, so the details I have to work with are necessarily incomplete and possibly distorted through the perceptual lens(es) of the characters from which they come (and my own flaws and biases). And, everyone knows I hate to quibble. (Disclaimer: I have been known to tell the occasional untruth for comedic effect. ^_^) Still, if you will indulge, let us examine the facts ...

CentComm occupies a position of measurable power within New Troy. We know this because, among other things, CentComm is credited with the power to levy a variety of taxes over the citizens. Now this may just be the inexactness of people speaking, but this degree of power is very consistent with the overall theme of the webcomic (in my opinion), so we'll go with it until corrected. We weren't told "the Council taxes {X} heavily", CentComm is not, as far as I know, an elected position. ^_^

Members of the Taylor family enjoy a certain amount of control (or influence) over CentComm, allowing them to direct CentComm's aforementioned power (undoubtedly within certain limits) or halt certain abuses. This is a hereditary feature, but no less a real power in New Troy. As far as I know, being a Taylor is not an elected position. ^_^

Even if these were elected positions, 'regime' could still be correct because the usage applies to whoever is currently occupying a position of executive power, without regard to how they came to that position. In the same way that we speak of the "Trump Administration" or the "Obama Administration", we can talk about a "Taylor Regime". Is there someone who outranks Calliope on the Council or in New Troy? If Calliope is currently the chief executive of New Troy, then it seems to me that "Taylor Regime" is fair, even if her rule is not autocratic and absolute, as was that of Decimus in New Rome. And it seems, from hints and implications we have seen, that the actual differences "under the hood" about how things work for city states possessed by A.I.'s may not be all that large. When it comes to actual power, the meat appears mostly irrelevant, except for the fail-safe core directives, which are keyed to hereditary gene-lines, and not any political process.

But I could easily be mistaken.
Timotheus 7th Apr 2017, 9:22 AM edit delete reply

As I recall, from a conversation in the light ship, Centcomm wasn't the one who was taking down the news outlets. It was her overseers, whom she later rebelled against to end the conflict.
megados 7th Apr 2017, 10:06 AM edit delete reply

Really, we know only bits about specifics regarding the socioeconomic, and political climate in New Troy. Most of what information we do have comes from inferences gathered from conversations, and what can be gleaned from interactions and circumstances as they unfolded.

We will learn more alongside Acantha and Noctis as they experience it, I'll wager.
antrik 7th Apr 2017, 3:48 PM edit delete reply
Well, it was probably 3C commanding the drones that actually physically took down the stations... But you are right: the order was not from 3C.
Timotheus 7th Apr 2017, 7:28 PM edit delete reply

I think a point that just occurred to me should be made here. A free press is important as an independent oversight on those who would CONTROL the machinery of power and government. If you already ARE physically that machinery and beyond external control, all the oversight in the world won't make any difference to how you control yourself. So a free or controlled press would be a matter of indifference to Centcomm, she already controls the machinery of communications (except for LunaCom).
Gilrandir 7th Apr 2017, 8:56 PM edit delete reply
I would not express it that way, @Timotheus, and so I do not agree with the conclusions to which you have been led. In my opinion a free press keeps informed the general public about matters which interest or affect them so as to enable the public to act in its own and the public interest. If CentComm is doing things that interest or affect the general public, then the press has a role to play. If they are prevented from playing that role, then they aren't a "free press".
Timotheus 7th Apr 2017, 11:46 PM edit delete reply

The point I wasn't clear on was, the press is free to cover what it wants. It just has no means to report it to the masses with. An investigative reporter can uncover the scoop of the century, but if there is no paper, tv, radio, bulletin board, town crier, blog site, wandering ministral, or bathroom wall to communicate it to the masses with, what's the point? Centcomm doesn't have to overtly censor the media, she physically IS the media and can just not pass it on. (Except for Lunacom, thank you for your patronage.)
Gilrandir 8th Apr 2017, 12:13 AM edit delete reply
We have not heard that paper is a controlled substance or that a printing press is proscribed technology, so an old-fashioned newspaper would seem easily accomplished, even in spite of CentComm's disapproval. Theoretically the InterNet is the domain of Deep Blue, not CentComm, so newsblogs should also be free from all but covert interference. I don't agree that CentComm enjoys a monopoly on available media, based on what we have seen and been told so far. And obviously, if you argue that town criers are outlawed, that's the same as imprisoning people to restrain free speech (which is a different thing than a free press, though related). When the medium of a town crier or wandering minstrel is person A talking to person B, how does CentComm insert herself into that?

I suspect the issue of CentComm's accountability is likely to be touched on some time in the future. We'll see where the creatrices go with that.
Tokyo Rose 8th Apr 2017, 2:29 AM edit delete reply

I'm giggling in quite an immature way at the "bathroom wall" idea...
megados 8th Apr 2017, 7:29 AM edit delete reply

There once was an AI named Centcomm,
Who took all the stuff that we vent on.
So we sit in the stall,
And face, toward the wall,
Which we write with our pencils, or pens on!

(This is the PG version)
Timotheus 8th Apr 2017, 11:41 PM edit delete reply

Although the situation is completely different in most ways, an example of what I'm trying to say could be summed up with, "The cake is a lie."
Getting a message out would face a similar process.
Also, while the media is not censored or restricted, there is no profit motive to go looking for ways to improve circulation. The New Troy media should be thought of as a public service office of the government, providing news, weather, and entertainment and paid for by your tax/service dollars. There is no incentive to go looking around for stuff the government doesn't want you to find out, you'll only get caught and get into trouble. (And it won't be broadcast anyway because the government IS the broadcast media.)
Gilrandir 9th Apr 2017, 12:09 AM edit delete reply
I'm not sure why you say that, @Timotheus. Are you saying no one is allowed to send private broadcasts or rent air time? Or are you saying the citizens would refuse to support a private news service? Because you are not entitled to a free press at government expense -- if you have a free press, it is always a private enterprise. A government news service is simply an office for the dissemination of state-sponsored propaganda. (This is not a value judgement. Said government may choose to disseminate 100% factual and correct information. It is still being done in support of a group, cause, or idea, and hence, propaganda.)

It's entirely possible the citizens of New Troy are unwilling or unable to support an independent news service (though, given the levels of personal wealth and education we see per capita that seems vanishingly unlikely). But, if that's true, the lack of a free press is not CentComm's fault, but the fault of those who fail to see the value of having such a system in place. It's only if CentComm specifically puts barriers in place to keep a private citizen with a message from communicating it to other citizens that you can say CentComm is inserting itself (using its 'control of the medium') between the source and the recipient.

You could argue that no one would pay to support a news service because CentComm makes sure that nothing interesting is ever found that people would pay money to hear about. That seems unlikely to me. Just turn @Rashayla loose in New Troy with private press credentials for six months (for example), and I guarantee the rants would flow. ^_^. And, if that didn't work, we can always turn to @Sheela -- they're good at digging up dirt. ^_^
Timotheus 9th Apr 2017, 6:26 PM edit delete reply

Let's try one more time. You have a totally independent investigative news agency with its own agents and sources. It finds its own facts by sending out its own drones to observe the city and report back what they see. Now, how do they tell people about it? They have to rent time from the city network to send their broadcasts to their customers who are paying them for this service. There is no independent means of transmission, everything goes through the various municipal run cable and transmission nets, meaning everything is instantly being monitored by the central authority. Which to some degree IS Centcomm, thus she doesn't have to censor the press she already controls what passes through her to the people so the press is already self monitoring themselves to avoid whatever would interrupt their broadcasts and cost them money. The press is free to cover what it wants, but if the information office says don't report on this they won't, because it won't get out anyway except by word of mouth.
I will add that I have no doubt that scandal sheets, crime, personal graft and corruption stories, and even political dust ups all get covered with no problems. Centcomm could care less about that aspect of media control. It's only when she feels that information must be sealed for political or military security reasons that the iron curtain comes down.
Gilrandir 9th Apr 2017, 7:24 PM edit delete reply
So @Timotheus, to use your example, the independent news agency (NTNN) regularly licenses a half-hour of general broadcast time on a weekly basis. One of their investigators discovers that CentComm is conscripting androids against their will and sending them to take up prepared positions to assault New Rome. They prepare the story for broadcast. There are many possibilities about how this could play out. (We'll ignore the ones where CentComm makes a polite request that the story be delayed and NTNN willingly agrees, since that's not all that interesting.)

* -- CentComm, using covert espionage, discovers the report's content before it airs and acts to prevent it from going out over the airwaves. (For example, by refusing to accept the news feed.) NTNN can tell immediately that their show is not being seen in its regular timeslot (because they have viewers as well), and all the other citizens can tell that NTNN is being censored. They tune to NTNN's website (controlled by Deep Blue, not CentComm) and get the story there. Or, wondering what is going on, they visit an NTNN kiosk the next day and pick up a printed copy of the story.
* -- CentComm does not have advance knowledge of the report's content, but after reviewing the first few seconds of the report interrupts the feed and blacks out the remainder of the report. All else more or less as above.
* -- CentComm attempts, in real time, to corrupt the content of the news program, changing it from what she doesn't want people to,see into something she does want them to see. NTNN can tell because (again) they have their own viewers so they can see the broadcast as it is received. They start a new expose' on censorship and government fraud and start looking into independent distribution channels.

After getting blacked out often enough, NTNN buys its own transmission tower and starts selling its own viewers. Or, alternatively, starts its own cable network, running fiber to the homes of subscribers directly. They can also send their reports, in encrypted form, to satellite offices outside New Troy, which can then serve the webpages and transmit the contents on request (via LunaComm) to those citizens who seek it out. Or they can always, as noted, buy a press and print their own hard copies, employing a system of delivery persons to reach subscribers. The more CentComm censors them (presumably) the more the citizens of New Troy will be willing to spend to find out what CentComm doesn't want them to know.

Just some conjectures on my part, but consistent with historical actions of humanity from the time before the discovery of the printing press to the present day. Censorship on a systemic level is really hard to do consistently and (nearly inevitably) very bloody. At some point CentComm is going to come up against her own core directives about how many of the citizens she is supposed to be protecting she has to murder in order to protect her citizens.
Timotheus 9th Apr 2017, 10:00 PM edit delete reply

Except NTNN can't buy it's own transmission tower, it's stuck with city services, and citizens must access Deep Blue's intra web through the local city web aong with NTNN having to broadcast out to it through the local system. And there are no NTNN kiosks, only local net terminals you can access NTNN through. No matter how you try, NTNN has to go through Centcomm's system to get its message out other than rumors and word of mouth. Which if you've ever played telephone is not too efficient. From what we've seen New Troy is not a very leaflet friendly environment and electric notice boards are probably part of the local net.
Gilrandir 9th Apr 2017, 11:28 PM edit delete reply
What's your canon source for this? If you can have a private storefront (and we know you can), you can have a privately run news kiosk. You can build your own LAN using nothing but Wi-Fi routers, so you certainly don't need a municipal communications network to create your own dark web, if that's what you end up driven to. There's nothing I have seen to suggest you can't just run cables of your own, and nothing to suggest the Council would permit CentComm to capture and censor each and every individual personal communication over the entire telephony communications network for a city of multiple thousands of persons. And what have we seen in any way that suggests New Troy is not leaflet friendly? (Litter friendly is, of course, a completely different issue.)

You're talking about CentComm establishing a government monopoly on all communications hardware and expertise, which means imprisoning or shooting the technologically capable people who import their own from outside or build their own. Rent a penthouse, build a transmitter, you have a transmission tower. Once you begin executing people summarily as a preemptive measure for them talking to each other in ways you don't like, the level of discussion can only increase.

On the plus side, you would start making the Cassians feel right at home. ^_^

Timotheus 10th Apr 2017, 3:01 AM edit delete reply

You've got me there, there is no canon on this, I'm just expounding on how I see the situation. New Troy was built around Centcomm, she is integral to its very infrastructure. The government functions through her (which for better or worse means at her sufferance). In general she maintains a hands off posture toward most civil liberties (and there is a sort of check and balance system involving the Taylors) but when it comes to certain security issues she is rather tyrannical.
While it might be possible to work around the barriers the systems has in place for avoiding Centcomm's monopoly, I can't see an independent news group raising the billions it would take to build a competitive information network within an urban setting to compete with an existing and fully function one that already has the backing of all the urban power structures. I might add, that if people are not used to a open press, they are not likely to miss it and definitely not going to spend big bucks on it if it doesn't pay them back somehow.
antrik 10th Apr 2017, 9:07 AM edit delete reply
I'd like to point out that it doesn't really matter whether censorship is done through legal or technical means -- either way the result is, no free media.
megados 6th Apr 2017, 9:31 PM edit delete reply

Re alt text: Yes. Now she gets a first hand look at what was only rumored.

Okay, here we go, Acantha! *crosses fingers*
Just_IDD 6th Apr 2017, 9:54 PM edit delete reply
I appreciate the different colors used for the different speakers, however, I keep getting confused between Anne & Dr. Demark. Probably because Demark was wearing the same white suit and had the same hairstyle in her S&R uniform.
Centcomm 6th Apr 2017, 10:19 PM edit delete reply

You know .. Rose had that same issue with her. There IS a diffrence in the hair styles I promise!!
Mark_L_A 7th Apr 2017, 5:09 AM edit delete reply

Besides the hair style, their hair is different shades.
guest1 7th Apr 2017, 7:14 AM edit delete reply
so bout Sarah & Anne,, have them say they are sisters ((twins ?)) .. ore have Anne's frame modeled off of Sarah
Gilrandir 7th Apr 2017, 7:29 AM edit delete reply
Except, as I recall, Dr. Sarah Demark is Human (Mutated Within Acceptable Limits), while Anne Droid is ... an android.
antrik 7th Apr 2017, 7:38 AM edit delete reply
She has (more or less) the same eye colour, too... Maybe an avid fangirl ;-)
Fafhred 6th Apr 2017, 10:09 PM edit delete reply

The android looking at Noxis in the second panel looks a LOT (with just different colors) like Ready in TMI ( ).
Centcomm 6th Apr 2017, 10:18 PM edit delete reply

except .. you know .. i put actual shaders on it and actually used it correctly.

( i have nothing constructive to say about that comic.. Sorry )
antrik 7th Apr 2017, 8:03 AM edit delete reply
Huh, touched on a sore spot there?...
Lee 7th Apr 2017, 11:55 AM edit delete reply
TMI started out kind of bad and doesn't seem to have improved at all over the years - she probably just doesn't like being compared to someone who makes 3D comics look lazy and hard to look at. TMI's creator uses his medium and his lack of training to excuse not even trying to produce quality work, which is a little insulting to 3D artists.

(Didn't TopWebComics rankings used to be an indicator of quality?)
Centcomm 7th Apr 2017, 3:34 PM edit delete reply

it is very insulting .. actually according to his own words.. " I dont want to put forth the effort. ... " HUH>!>!! this really pisses me off because every damn time someone brings up CGI comics they think of that .,.. ( redacted ) so yeah .. sorry
megados 7th Apr 2017, 4:58 PM edit delete reply

I can't blame you for feeling insulted, Centcomm, but for what it's worth, people who care about what they are looking at, know the difference. It is the difference between Art, and pasted together pieces; between caring about what you do, and not giving a damn. We, here, know you care, because of this very thing. This bothers you BECAUSE you care. You take the time and make the effort to put out art that is worth looking at. When I think of CG art, I think of this.

I hope you can try to look at in perspective, and you have nothing to be sorry for.
antrik 7th Apr 2017, 5:02 PM edit delete reply
Seems to me you are taking this a whee bit personally. Just because someone points out the apparent use of same model for something, doesn't mean they are comparing the quality of your work.

As for putting in the effort, many authors just want to tell a good story; and if they don't have the means or inclination to make it look perfect, that's their call. A lot of readers (myself included) can appreciate a good story even if the graphics are lacking. (Whether TMI specifically is a good story or not is an orthogonal question :-) ) This has no bearing on what *you* do -- live and let live, you know?

(CGI comics are not special in that regard -- there are more than enough bad or even horrible examples of web comics in other styles. Most people are able to realise that this doesn't reflect on a style as a whole. And if some dimwits can't, it's their loss.)
Fafhred 8th Apr 2017, 6:19 AM edit delete reply

As antrik said, I was only noticing the use of same model, and had no intention beyond that; I am really sorry that Centcomm took this as some insult.

As for stories, I do look at quality work first, but over the years I also starting to follow webcomics of poor graphic quality because I simply liked their story (not referring to ANY specifically); there are also some I followed for a while, from either quality, then wrote off when the story went sideways or the author simply lost track of it (happens too often).
DLKmusic 8th Apr 2017, 4:38 PM edit delete reply

For what it's worth, Centy, There's no comparison between TMI and Data Chasers. DC is an addictively compelling story masterfully told and illustrated, and the artists take pride in there work.

If I were going to sum up TMI, I suppose there will always be people who are interested in stories af how a nerd gets a harem.

(although in fairness, TMI does have one bright spot... the "Grampy Says" pages (and the like) are usually pretty cool, and give the comic some semblance of substance: I wish I could filter it so those were the only pages I saw!).
antrik 9th Apr 2017, 8:15 AM edit delete reply
I'm not sure the "nerd harem" aspect is that important... I actually totally forgot about it in the half year or so since I read through the archive. What I *do* remember is that it seems to have been set up as a sitcom initially; and while it swayed from that quite a lot over time (in weird ways...), there are still some pretty funny scenes IIRC. I suspect that's what keeps people interested in spite of all the shortcomings...
Gilrandir 9th Apr 2017, 9:36 AM edit delete reply
In the interest of giving unsolicited, but well-intentioned, advice which will (no doubt) offend everyone and just make matters worse (because, hey!, it's me ^_^) permit me to observe that this is a DataChasers comment page and that continued discussion about other webcomics -- especially when one discussion partner has expressed strong emotional feelings on the topic -- might be contraindicated.
DLKmusic 9th Apr 2017, 9:58 AM edit delete reply

Point taken Gil, and if I offended, then I will stand in the corner over here.

I've said it many times before... The artwork on Data Chasers is the bar that other CGI artists need to aspire to, and it's really cool seeing other CGI artists who acknowledge this, and watch them as they in turn improve their craft! That makes the internet as a whole better, and brings validity to an art-form that is still relatively new.

Then we add the story and the writing, which is Every bit as well written as anything [insert name of favorite SF Author here] has ever done. Further, it has inspired a whole novel's worth of fan-fiction tidbits in these comments "from Greenwood Goat's and Sheela's Dialogs, to the various Satira-Lyrics done by yourself, me, and others (the Current king of that hill remains "Modern Android Factory" btw).

Like I said, there is no comparison between the two comics...
Gilrandir 9th Apr 2017, 10:49 AM edit delete reply
Well, ... no one's offended me. ^_^
megados 9th Apr 2017, 11:10 AM edit delete reply

Gee, Gilrandir, you make it sound as if you feel slighted! XD

Long story short, we're here because of quality entertainment, and good company.

Funny thing is, before this all went sideways, I was going to comment that I like the hall monitor 'droid. I thought she looked good. But then a cloud came, and . . . well . . . Anyway, I lack any knowledge of how pages are laid out and created, but I know when I think something looks good.
Gilrandir 9th Apr 2017, 11:29 AM edit delete reply
I have reasonable confidence it is more likely to be a robot than an android. Why, you ask?

It isn't wearing clothing. Not that it is needed for modesty, but we have seen almost all androids affecting personal garb. Paradoxically this appears to be for one of three reasons:

* -- Because they need pockets to hold their stuff. (This is non-paradoxical, but included for completeness.) Because android chassis seem to gravitate towards more general-purpose designs, androids always seem to want to have more specialized equipment suitable to their chosen activities than could be conveniently implanted. Why spend vast amounts of money and engineering effort when you can just buy a harness or cargo pants?
* -- To express their individuality. Androids have egos and probably prefer to assert their individual identity, even though there are lots and lots of Model 3C chassis out there. There is only so much differentiation you can accomplish with hair and eyes, not to mention regular changes to those features could well grow time consuming, expensive, and become confusing to one's associates. However, a modest wardrobe with a robust suite of accessories inexpensively allows the robot on the go to declare "I am me, and no one else." (Paradox, part one)
* -- To embrace their uniformity. Androids (like other persons) can be joiners. Many join groups and associations and can use clothing to inexpensively express unity and allegiance to a group, in spite of superficial cosmetic differences caused by chassis variations or legacy differences. (Paradox, part two)

However, the hall watcher appears to have no clothing or equipment, implying that she is content exactly as she is built to be doing exactly what she is doing (whatever that is). Lexine, on the other hand, did wear clothing, for whatever reason, as (apparently) do most other androids we have seen in most situations. (Obviously excluding maintenance, medical, and social scenarios where the lack of clothing is clearly explained by circumstances.) To me, that suggests the hall watcher is a robot.
megados 9th Apr 2017, 11:50 AM edit delete reply

Oh, that is most likely true, Gilrandir. The only thing I could offer in the slightest defense of my choice of designation, is that it has been said that some androids give no care as to how they look, ala Francine. The likelihood of your assessment being the correct one is high.

I just wanted to give mention that she looked good. The lighting, and highlights give testament to her having a very reflective and polished surface, as well as a nice highlight on her hair. It is very convincing. As a whole, she looks 'cute'. :)
antrik 9th Apr 2017, 12:14 PM edit delete reply
To me it looks like she actually *does* wear some clothing -- though it's not very obvious, because the colour scheme is the same as the uncovered parts of her body...

Also, as far as I remember, we have never seen a robot with hair :-)
Gilrandir 9th Apr 2017, 12:22 PM edit delete reply
CentComm's dolls have hair, and they are much closer in design to a robot than an android. (IMHO)
antrik 9th Apr 2017, 3:34 PM edit delete reply
The dolls qualify as a kind of drone I'd say, which is yet another thing. Drones have very diverse forms, adapted to their respective uses -- the dolls have a human form, adapted to communicating with humans.
megados 9th Apr 2017, 4:45 PM edit delete reply

I could be wrong, but I was under the impression that the dolls were operable as a sort of drone, but also capable of a measure of autonomy.
antrik 10th Apr 2017, 8:47 AM edit delete reply
Well, in the original pages, Commie initially described Ceci as a kind of doll ( ) -- but that was mostly a cover-up for the fact that she was actually a Black Angel AIUI; and furthermore, that part has been ret-conned in the new pages ( ) to avoid the confusion.

According to , the things the dolls can do in bot-mode are extremely limited -- Dr. Bitchy's military drones, or Marcus's censor-drones err I mean recon drones, actually seem to have more autonomy than the dolls...
Gilrandir 11th Apr 2017, 5:29 AM edit delete reply
My understanding is that androids have synthbrains, and are sentient. Robots (including the advanced drones) generally have positronic brains and may be capable of complex autonomous behavior approaching the level of passing the Turing test, but are not sentient. Dolls have a Wi-Fi unit where their brain should be and are capable of about as much autonomous behavior as a Roomba. But that's probably a gross over-simplification, and wrong to boot. ^_^
Timotheus 6th Apr 2017, 10:17 PM edit delete reply

"The long and winding hall, that leads to O-R,
always seems to end, with people waiting 'round."
guest1 6th Apr 2017, 10:46 PM edit delete reply
ohh well then ,, HAPPY BIRTHDAY...
Centcomm 7th Apr 2017, 3:34 PM edit delete reply

thank you!
Sheela 11th Apr 2017, 3:14 AM edit delete reply

A belated happy birfday from me as well. :)
mjkj 6th Apr 2017, 10:47 PM edit delete reply

Yeah, poor Acantha...

...*lol* indeed Noctis, they are...

Happy belated birthday, Terri...

Centcomm 7th Apr 2017, 3:35 PM edit delete reply

mjkj 8th Apr 2017, 11:03 PM edit delete reply

You are welcome *hugs*
Rashala 6th Apr 2017, 11:45 PM edit delete reply

Happy birthday Terri now no more scaring us this year like last!!!!!
Centcomm 7th Apr 2017, 3:35 PM edit delete reply

im ok with this.. for reals
Rashala 8th Apr 2017, 11:45 PM edit delete reply

*meanwhile Rashala enters PC heck as his systems video card .....may have fried itself :(*
Centcomm 9th Apr 2017, 4:45 PM edit delete reply

aww HUGS!
antrik 10th Apr 2017, 8:51 AM edit delete reply
Do I also get hugs next time I run into hardware woes? ;-)

(In fact my graphics card has been fried for almost a year now... It only works when I completely disable hardware acceleration, which is fine for *most* of the things I do, but quite painful in some situations :-( )
HiFranc 7th Apr 2017, 12:39 AM edit delete reply

Happy (Belated) Birthday!
Stormwind13 7th Apr 2017, 2:50 AM edit delete reply

Happy Birthday CentComm. Hope you had a great one!

Oh and congratulations on being smoke free. Keep it up!
Mark_L_A 7th Apr 2017, 3:20 AM edit delete reply

Happy birthday again M'lady.

The level of detail, especially panel one with Anne, Ada and Noctis running in the background and Dr. Smolens tablet having the scans is AMAZING!!!!

Cent you get better and better every update, and Rose the speech bubbles are placed so we can see ALL of the action, thank you ladies for EVERYTHING you do.
Stormwind13 7th Apr 2017, 4:31 AM edit delete reply

I said it before, I expect Noctis (and Acantha when she wakes up) to be kind of thrown by New Troy. It is so DIFFERENT than Nova Roma. The ratio of meat to machine is just the tip of the iceberg.
megados 7th Apr 2017, 7:19 AM edit delete reply

I also believe they have a lot to take in. There is a whole new way of seeing things that awaits them. They have, no doubt, heard rumors, but this is first hand!
velvetsanity 7th Apr 2017, 4:03 PM edit delete reply

Culture shock, here we come!
Deoxy 7th Apr 2017, 7:29 AM edit delete reply
So, the alt-text... just treat "trip" as meaning the usual meaning instead of some variation of "mind blowing", and all of sudden, beverage-spewing situation...

Then I read it the right way, and things were much better.
antrik 7th Apr 2017, 8:05 AM edit delete reply
Interesting that Noctis counts androids as "machines".
megados 7th Apr 2017, 8:43 AM edit delete reply

Interesting, yes. Unexpected, not really, since the place she comes from accentuates the distinction so drastically.
Deoxy 7th Apr 2017, 9:41 AM edit delete reply
Ah, but she doesn't count the androids are "not people", she counts them as "not meat", which is perfectly accurate, whatever your thinking on "personhood".
Tokyo Rose 8th Apr 2017, 2:42 AM edit delete reply

Deoxy's got it. Of course Noctis counts androids as machines--they ARE machines. This doesn't reflect on their mentality or degree of "personhood"; it's a plain fact of their physical origin.
antrik 8th Apr 2017, 5:02 AM edit delete reply
My impression is that "machines" (in the way the word is being used today) are generally considered "soulless", and I think most people wouldn't apply that label to sentient beings with a (more or less) free will -- even if they are of artificial rather then biological origin... Might just be my own interpretation, though.
megados 8th Apr 2017, 6:16 AM edit delete reply

In the DC universe, the distinction refers only to the method of creation. Sentient beings, regardless of creation means, are thought to have souls, hence prayers to the First Circuit, etc. That's how I interpret it.
chk 7th Apr 2017, 8:35 AM edit delete reply

Happy Birthday Terri and congratulations on not smoking It ain't easy.
Gilrandir 7th Apr 2017, 8:48 AM edit delete reply
Best wishes to you, @Centcomm, on the occasion of your birthday. Congratulations to you on your accomplishments and triumphs during the past year and sincere hopes for joy and fulfillment to you in the year to come.
Highlander55 7th Apr 2017, 1:26 PM edit delete reply
Happy Birthday Terri!
Haegan2005 7th Apr 2017, 5:13 PM edit delete reply

The "stretcher" being used to take Acantha to the surgery is likely capable of emergency surgery itself. Or even stasis of some kind just in case someone is already on the edge. 3C does not spare the credits for its medical gear for many reasons. Not the least of which the humans that work there are highly skilled and difficult to easily replace.

Having said this, NT seems to have a high bar for the medical care it provides its human population. There may even be a reason why the "outsiders" at the edge of the city are provided with services, however basic they are. Cent is not out to kill humans. Even a little energy expended means that more will live. NT citizenship is likely held out as an incentive to draw some in and make sure they are kept healthy if possible. Citizens then let their family know about how good it is inside the city and the idea is that you get more recruits...

But then you need to make the humans useful in the society and that means education. An Android can learn years of information in minutes compared to a human. There are also prejudices that new citizens have that must be dealt with as well as the prejudices of natural born citizens as well.

I think that part of the point of New Troy was to establish a protective oasis for humans shortly after the war and Centcomm has not changed from that pov. Humanity may not be endangered anymore, but it is not yet populous throughout the solar system enough to survive its own stupidity and tendency to kill itself.

It will likely need to be spread across several solar systems before that happens.
antrik 8th Apr 2017, 5:04 AM edit delete reply
AIUI the "fringers" are androids, not humans.
Sheela 11th Apr 2017, 3:19 AM edit delete reply

There's likely some human alcoholics and junkies among them as well.
Along with the touch-addicted androids, and discarded positronic bots.

... heck, it could be a story in it's own.
antrik 11th Apr 2017, 9:41 AM edit delete reply
Considering the shortage of humans in Troy (because of shit fertility rate), and also Commie's high-handed approach in general, I have a hard time believing humans would be allowed to end up as social outcasts...

(Also, with the price of alcohol in Troy, I doubt an outcast could even get drunk there...)
Gilrandir 11th Apr 2017, 10:44 AM edit delete reply
Well, I'm sure that you can't prevent everyone from becoming an outcast, because some people seem determined to make themselves that way in spite of all efforts to the contrary.

On the other hand, we are told the Church of the First Circuit has a Mission ... ^_^
antrik 11th Apr 2017, 12:11 PM edit delete reply
In this worlds though, those who choose to quit society, can become wasters and live real anarchism...
antrik 10th Dec 2017, 7:22 PM edit delete reply
On a later re-read, I noticed that I was entirely wrong on this: in the discussion of the page that originally introduced the Fringers ("Connie...", presently at ), there is a Word of God statement that these are indeed humans...

(And I even commented on that conversation -- so I actually already read this before... [sigh])
KarToon12 7th Apr 2017, 7:28 PM edit delete reply

Happy Birthday to you!! :D
Romfire 7th Apr 2017, 8:27 PM edit delete reply
I am a little confused about the time frame. As an EMT we would call ahead and they would be ready when we got there. We often wheeled right through the ER to the Cath lab. the pt. would be under and they would be in the heart with in minutes of arrival.
Is there a reason for the twenty min wait having to do with the suspension?
On a side note, the cut was made with a sharp knife. the clean edges may be able to be "stitched" back together. I guess we will see what they can do once they get operating.
Haegan2005 8th Apr 2017, 2:14 AM edit delete reply

Acantha has been stabalized and is in a form of suspended animation. They have time to make sure they get all the right equipment together and plan out the major points of the surgery. They just don't have days to do it.
Tokyo Rose 8th Apr 2017, 2:52 AM edit delete reply

Dr. Smolens is not being 100% precise in her wording because frankly, that's not how people talk... especially professionals working with other professionals in the same field, where everybody knows the jargon.

Acantha's in a state of suspended animation, which has to be reversed; a human body in hot cryo does not react the same way in a surgical setting as a non-suspended body, and that is not good. She will be prepared for surgery (clothing removed, surgical site cleaned, IV lines inserted, anesthesia started, etc) as the team goes about the reversal process. By the time she's fully "revived" and out of suspension, the surgeon will be at work.
Timotheus 9th Apr 2017, 6:45 PM edit delete reply

Break out the surgical tape!!
Steven-Vincent 8th Apr 2017, 6:13 AM edit delete reply

Testimony to a great leader. 'Why did he live so long?' 'Because we weren't allowed to kill him.'
Matthew Paulin 9th Apr 2017, 9:07 AM edit delete reply
Why does it look like Mirabe has 3 breasts in the last panel? Is that a common procedure in New Troy?
megados 9th Apr 2017, 12:45 PM edit delete reply

I think that is on the front of her clothing. It also runs down her torso; looks like it's thicker or padded. That's how it looks to me, anyway.
Centcomm 9th Apr 2017, 4:41 PM edit delete reply

she only has two.. sheeesh you pervs :D
megados 9th Apr 2017, 4:50 PM edit delete reply

LOL Centcomm! I was trying into explain that I thought it was her clothing, and there was only two. Hehe, sorry, I guess I worded it kinda badly. XD
DLKmusic 9th Apr 2017, 1:23 PM edit delete reply

The Latest contribution to the ever-growing pile of crap that I submit for everyones pleasure!

I Present... The Wizard of DC!!!!

Centcomm: I'll get you and your little Livius Too, Bwuhahahaha! Have some FIRE, Scarecrow!!!
Scarecrow: "...."
Noctis: Nuuuuu!!! *grabs pail of water and throws it to put out fire*
Centcomm: "Eeek"... buzz "does not compute"... crackle "error, error, 404"... BOOM
Chorus: Ding Dong, the AI's dead, the wicked wicked AI's dead, Ding Dong the wicked AI's Dead, Hi Ho, away we go"
Android 1: "Sing it High"
Android 2: "Sing it Low"
Chorus: "Ding Dong the Wicked AI's Dead!

Android 3: "we represent the lollipop guild, the lollip..."
Scarecrow: "...."

Noctis: "But now I will never get back to Rome, What are we going to do, little Livius Acantha?"

Good witch ADA: "But Noctis, you had the power to go home all along... just click the heels of your ruby slippers and say "there's no place like Rome, There's no place like Rome"

Noctis: "I'll miss everyone sooo much!" *Hugs Dolly, Hugs TeeDee*
Noctis: "But I think I'll miss you most of all, Scarecrow, sob *Hugs Scarecrow*
Scarecrow: "...."

Noctis: *clicking heels* There's no place like Rome, there's no place like Rome..."

Musical Interlude
"Somewhere, over the the Wastelands, way out there,
There's a city where humans and androids love and care

Somewhere, wildlife wont mutate beyond all hope
Adapted to radiation, they all learned to cope

Some Day I'll wish upon a star and Luna comm won't charge my card
a million cred...
Where sunshine falls upon rooftops and people are not so messed up
in the head

Somewhere, out in the wastelands bluebirds fly
They fly towards the rainbow, So our hopes would never die"

*fading violins*

Scene Change, Nova Roma

Acantha: "What? Where are we? I had the strangest dream that I was a scottish Terrier!"
Noctis: "..... We are in the Black Tower, Princess"
Decimus: "NOCTIS! This asshole shook my hand and has sweaty palms! I want him DEAD! THAT'S an ORDER!"
Acantha: "There's no place like Troy, there's NO place like Troy..."
antrik 9th Apr 2017, 3:39 PM edit delete reply
The whole thing is amusing, and the punch line is HILARIOUS :-)
megados 9th Apr 2017, 3:51 PM edit delete reply

Nice, DLKmusic! :D
Centcomm 9th Apr 2017, 4:41 PM edit delete reply

dies laughing .. well done!
Gilrandir 9th Apr 2017, 7:30 PM edit delete reply
Very nice. But did you really need to give the Scarecrow that extreme accent? ^_^
DLKmusic 9th Apr 2017, 7:51 PM edit delete reply

Thanks everyone, although after Gil's Modern Android Factory, I thought I needed to step up my game a little. MAF is still better IMHO!

@Gil: Of course! How else would Noctis be able to relate to him?
Gilrandir 9th Apr 2017, 8:43 PM edit delete reply
See, now you have me wondering why the professional likes "Modern Android Factory" better than "Let It Glow"?
DLKmusic 9th Apr 2017, 8:55 PM edit delete reply

Let it glow was good, but we are innundated with "Let it Go" parodies, and I was already half over it when I saw what you did...

Modern Android Factory was hilarious, but at the same time was respectful to the intent and spirit of what Gilbert & Sullivan originally wrote. That's not an easy thing to do when you Satirize something, especially when you bend it all out of shape!

You've done some pretty good ones, but for my money, MAF if heads and shoulders above the rest... which also includes "Rock the Oak", which I dearly loved!

Or, to paraphrase the Scarecrow: "...."
antrik 10th Apr 2017, 8:56 AM edit delete reply
DLKmusic 10th Apr 2017, 6:01 PM edit delete reply

Modern Android Factory
Let it Glow
Rock the Oak if you aren't familiar with this strip, those are moving giant oak trees...

@Gil: I revisited Let it glow, and I was unfair in what I said. You also respected the spirit of what was originally written, and I apologize for that. However, I still like MAF better, lol.
Gilrandir 10th Apr 2017, 9:34 PM edit delete reply
No apologies needed at all, @DLKmusic. You have been generous with your praise and I'm certainly not going to object to you having your own honestly held preference for any reason, or no reason at all.
Sheela 11th Apr 2017, 3:36 AM edit delete reply

Oh hell, "Somewhere over the wasteland" would fit perfectly in a Fallout 4 playlist. :D

Also, the Lollipop Guild, has been replaced with the highly militant Lollipop Liberation Front, and has laid siege to the evil wizards castle!

And how lucky are we to have creative people like DLKmusic and Gilrandir in the comment section ? :)
DLKmusic 11th Apr 2017, 8:08 PM edit delete reply

thanks Sheela, and don't forget, you fall in that category of creative people too.
antrik 13th Apr 2017, 4:12 AM edit delete reply
Nah, Sheela doesn't fall in the category of creative people... Sheela is a creative doggy :-)
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