Comic 1476 - Attention Required

13th Apr 2017, 9:00 PM
Attention Required
Average Rating: 5 (24 votes)

Author Notes:

Tokyo Rose 13th Apr 2017, 9:00 PM edit delete
Tokyo Rose
Some debate arose regarding the dialogue on this page. Cent-Comm's lines in panels 4 and 5 might suggest a sense of guilt about what she did to Aeneas, or concern about such an accusation. Nothing could be farther from the truth; she had solid logical reasons for her actions and is prepared to defend them. Panel 4 is the closest we're likely to get to an "OMFG WHAT?!" reaction from Cent-Comm (she had received Ceci's "mission accomplished" transmission and did not yet have contradictory information as regards Aeneas's condition). Her first line in Panel 5 is meant to probe for Noctis's motivation for her statements. (Noctis's line is totally sincere, for that matter. She's not trying to make a veiled threat or any shit like that, she's literally just giving Cent-Comm a heads-up.)
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Mark_L_A 13th Apr 2017, 9:04 PM edit delete reply

I read it as CentComm receiving information she hadn't had and was analyzing it to see how many projections would need updating.

Also, since Cent is "sorta" on of Aeneas' "mom's" the discussion could be a trifle awkward.
Sheela 13th Apr 2017, 11:40 PM edit delete reply

Well, she *did receive new info ... that CeCi's mission didn't complete in the way she expected it to. so she's trying to intimidate Noctis to slip some more info.

Centcomm is even several inches .. well, at least one .. taller than Noctis, though intimidation through height doesn't seem to work.
It's midget vs. midget ! XD
megados 14th Apr 2017, 6:23 AM edit delete reply

Intimidation through ANYTHING does not work with Noctis.
antrik 14th Apr 2017, 7:34 AM edit delete reply
Intimidation through cyberpath probably does ;-)
megados 14th Apr 2017, 8:00 AM edit delete reply

Not really? A cyberpath just causes her to eliminate the threat by whatever means necessary. I once thought she was phobic about them, but once I had more facts, my view changed, and I think her reaction is one of revulsion, and elimination at all cost. Noctis ain't scared.
Gilrandir 14th Apr 2017, 9:36 AM edit delete reply
Irrational hatred and excessively violent response are also symptomatic of a phobia. Not all phobias render their possessor paralyzed with fear.
megados 14th Apr 2017, 9:57 AM edit delete reply

Intimidation would have her backing down, disposed to inaction. Noctis can't let that happen. To me, phobic implies fear, and I don't really think she is afraid, as much as repulsed. It isn't irrational, it's measured by how big a threat it can come to be. "This is so so ugly a concept, so high a potential for disaster, it cannot be allowed to continue to exist".
Gilrandir 14th Apr 2017, 10:15 AM edit delete reply
So, @megados, you are asserting that a rational, dispassionate assessment of Dr. Silver identifies her as so dangerous, horrific and vile that she cannot be allowed to exist?

I think you are off Dr. Silver's Christmas List this year. ^_^
antrik 14th Apr 2017, 10:32 AM edit delete reply
@megados by that logic, Noctis would have to eliminate herself -- she is too much of a potential threat, should she be controlled again, or simply malfunction...
megados 14th Apr 2017, 11:28 AM edit delete reply

@Gilrandir, based on the information she had at the time, yes. Remember she thought Dr Silver could assume control over her and other androids as the other one did, and she was taking no chances. Yes, you may be right; Dr Silver has not sent me a Christmas card.

@antrik, she is evaluating threats to the Throne, Acantha, and New Rome itself. Those are what she is charged with protecting. A cyberpath, to her knowledge, could cause the very malfunction you speak of. I know of (or don't remember) in-story occurrences of androids spontaneously malfunctioning and causing mayhem. I don't see where she would consider herself to be a threat to the things she is protecting EXCEPT in the case of a cyberpath.
antrik 14th Apr 2017, 12:38 PM edit delete reply
It has been hinted at that Androids can malfunction -- see the billboard in "Memory Shards 06" (presently at ) for example.

Also, I still do not agree that her decision to have it out for Dr. Bitchy in spite of the cease-fire was rational. Even with the information she had available, given the situation, her course of action was clearly a much greater threat to the "Throne of Roma" at this point. Her judgement was clouded by irrational fear; only Maxus managed to talk some sense into her.
megados 14th Apr 2017, 1:26 PM edit delete reply

I can see interpreting the billboard as being inclusive of androids, but it's still a general statement regarding malfunctions, and pictured there is a robot. Even if I take that as conclusive evidence to there being a possibility, the possibility would seem remote, since it must happen so infrequently that we don't ever see it happening.

I like Dr. Silver. I don't want her to get shot. I disagree that Noctis' actions were a greater threat than she perceived the cyberpath to be. The standoff was confined to the hangar area, and the rest of New Rome was basically unaffected at that point. The cyberpath, as Noctis saw it, could be a threat that COULD affect all of New Rome, simply by having one or more Cassians be taken over. Silver, as I remember it, (I could be wrong) was headed to meet up with them. Noctis could envision being taken over again, and even harming Acantha. There must never be allowed to be even a remote chance of that happening. She would have failed, and that would be something else that she would not allow.

I could be wrong of course, but it is a different point of view.
Gilrandir 14th Apr 2017, 1:33 PM edit delete reply
Baseball players on a hitting streak (as with many professional athletes of all types, and many other folk as well) are notorious for wearing their lucky socks, eating their lucky pre-game meal, not washing their underwear, etc., etc., because they do not want to allow even the slightest chance of their hot streak ending. That makes their actions understandable, it doesn't make them rational. (In my opinion, of course.)
megados 14th Apr 2017, 1:40 PM edit delete reply

Sure, Gilrandir, I see your point clearly, but whereas carrying a lucky rabbit's foot might make you feel lucky, Noctis' actions had real and definable results. Had Dr Silver actually had the ability, and did intend to do what Noctis believed she could, Noctis' actions would have prevented it, something the rabbit's foot couldn't do. (A different POV)
Gilrandir 14th Apr 2017, 1:58 PM edit delete reply
A false proposition implies any proposition, @megados. If Dr. Silver had the abilities Noctis imputed to her, and had the intent to carry out Noctis' worst case scenario, then the moon is made of green cheese. As far as what Noctis could be expected to know ... I grant the abilities are partly credible, though the flashback provided no evidence of them in the scope which Noctis asserted. The intent, however, is far more arguable (in my opinion). There was contrary evidence available to Noctis which she chose to ignore. In my opinion her decision to do so stemmed from her phobia encouraging her to a less than 100% rational evaluation of the facts and circumstances. As I said, understandable, but trying to assert that it is completely rational leads to some further ethical implications which I am uncomfortable accepting. Your mileage may vary.
megados 14th Apr 2017, 2:24 PM edit delete reply

All I can really say, is that we, as readers, had knowledge that Noctis did not. Neither we nor Noctis know what the full ultimate abilities of a capable cyberpath are. The scope Noctis asserted was well within the scop she experienced. If Silver rejoined them she would be within the necessary proximity. All Noctis can do is infer based on her experience. She has direct evidence of what CAN happen. What contradictory evidence was presented, besides TeeDee saying Silver couldn't/wouldn't do that? It all boils down to what Noctis knew or understood.
Gilrandir 14th Apr 2017, 2:51 PM edit delete reply
I do not agree, @megados, that "It all boils down to what Noctis knew". I do not accept her as the Arbiter of Reality. I agree that what she knew, felt, thought, believed, mistakenly believed, etc. all shape her actions and decisions, for good or for ill. But I do not concede that she enjoys a privileged viewpoint that makes her opinion more definitive than that of anyone else who may be possessed of a different set of information and misinformation.

However, with regard specifically to the question of "rationality", we can agree that that can be determined by analyzing her actions and choices specifically against the information she had at the time to see if her decisions are logically justified by the available data. TeeDee's testimony is irrelevant. I agree with @antrik that by the time you get to the standoff in the hangar it is much too late -- all the significant decisions have already been made.

Prior to that Noctis knows that the New Trojans have a cyberpath in the hub, that a cyberpath previously demonstrated to ability to control up to four Cassians, that those controlled Cassians could be used to do damage to other persons and property, that the cyberpath is in communication with the leader of the New Troy forces, and that the leader of the New Troy forces has agreed to a cease-fire with Maxus. Would you agree to all of that?

We also know, at a later time, that Noctis refused to safe her internal weapons and surrender her external weapons as a precondition for being allowed to move freely through a secure building in New Troy. The implicit assumption being that, since Noctis was abiding by an agreement allowing her to guard Princess Acantha, the presumption that she (Noctis) would unilaterally violate that agreement and begin wreaking havoc on New Troy's persons and property was unreasonable without more justification than she had given. True?
megados 14th Apr 2017, 2:59 PM edit delete reply

If I understand your assertions, then I believe they are true, although I am not sure whether she knows Marcus is in communication with the cyberpath.
Gilrandir 14th Apr 2017, 3:25 PM edit delete reply
<nod> So, it seems reasonable to assume that a Cassian in full possession of its capabilities and weapons is at least as dangerous as a Cassian under the control of a cyberpath. Therefore the relative degree of threat posed by Noctis to New Troy is roughly comparable to the threat posed by Dr. Silver to New Rome. (There aren't four of Noctis, of course, but I am speaking of rough approximations.)

From a standpoint of rationality, equal threats should either both be rationally tolerable or intolerable if of comparable probability. If Noctis considers the threat she represents to be intolerable, she should never have gotten on the Dart in the first place, or she should have surrendered her weapons. Obviously she considers the likelihood she will unilaterally decide to go on a rampage to be so low that the risk ought to be acceptable to CentComm (or she considers CentComm to be irrationally credulous and to have chosen foolishly to expose her people to an unwarranted risk -- but I am not getting that vibe).

However, for her actions to be rational in the earlier case, that means she considers the probability that Dr. Silver will unilaterally decide to go on a rampage to be so significantly higher that she cannot be trusted to abide by the cease-fire. The contrary evidence to this is that, prior to this point, Dr. Silver has apparently followed all direction given by the New Troy leader (including restoration of communications and cessation of hostilities). Against that, you have only the bias that she is a cyberpath and the conclusion that a cyberpath cannot be trusted. I would assert that bias is irrational, since there is no evidence for Dr. Silver's untrustworthiness, and prejudiced, since she is applying the behavior of one individual to determine how another individual is likely to behave. As before, very common, very understandable, but not logical or rational.

EDIT: She has to know that Marcus is in communication with the cyberpath, or the cyberpath could not restore communications in response to Marcus negotiating the cease-fire.
antrik 14th Apr 2017, 3:29 PM edit delete reply
To be fair, Commie probably has much better means to deal with a rampaging Cassian that Roma does... I agree on the other points, though.
megados 14th Apr 2017, 3:47 PM edit delete reply

This is where a divergence occurs for us. The same Noctis does not pose as much of a threat in New Troy, as she would in her position in New Rome. Losses of individual lives might be similar, but the impact on the respective city-states would not. Additionally, Noctis could not do as much harm in 3C simply because of the high security within. She cannot, for instance get into CentComm's central core. In New Rome, she assumes she could be made to kill the heir to the Throne. She is, however, unconcerned what CentComm thinks of her assertion she keep her weapons, because just as the cyberpath in New Rome was Noctis' problem, Noctis in New Troy is CentComm's, and she leaves the decisions CentComm makes regarding her refusal up to CentComm.
Gilrandir 14th Apr 2017, 3:56 PM edit delete reply
But if Noctis believed the rational choice for CentComm was to hold her in the hangar (or just gun her down as 'too dangerous to be tolerated') that would leave Acantha unprotected. Better for Noctis to have chosen a more logical choice for bodyguard in the first place whom CentComm could rationally tolerate because of the lesser threat level. It seems inconsistent to argue that both choices are rational since they are different selections for similar circumstances.

My own assessment is that CentComm is acting rationally, while Noctis acted irrationally (driven by her phobia). If you want to assert that CentComm is the one acting irrationally, go for it. ^_^
megados 14th Apr 2017, 4:42 PM edit delete reply

No, CentComm is in no way acting irrationally. If anything, she is rational and confident, as shown by her willingness to let Ada blow her off and assign herself as Noctis' de facto handler.

The big thing here, is that if we look at Noctis' actions by our own norms, she could be viewed as irrational. I know I have said it before, and now say again, it doesn't seem irrational by Cassian standards, as evidenced by Astraea's reaction to being stood down, and her comments before it. Maxus did not think it was irrational when Noctis first informed him she had been stationed there, nor when he ordered Noctis to give them the door code. To me, it is a different mindset in New Rome,and with the Cassians in particular. What we may think is irrational may be different from their viewpoint. It was only at the aww shit moment, did it become a concern.

I can only say this: From my perspective, I can, and did at one time, see it as irrational, but after seeing her evidence I no longer do. From a Cassian's point of view, rather than a phobia, it seems to be an expected response. A phobia is an irrational fear, but rather than fearful, Noctis may be a little driven, and maybe a little OCD on some topics, but I don't see her as fearful.
Gilrandir 14th Apr 2017, 5:58 PM edit delete reply
I don't consider the decision to task Astraea to be irrational. It is perfectly rational to have done so since, at that time, no cease-fire was in effect. What was (IMHO) irrational was to not stand her down after the cease-fire was agreed to. And I think that was driven directly by her (Noctis) fear of what would happen if the cyberpath was allowed to leave the hub and make her escape. And I have already explained why, in my opinion, that specific fear was irrational (evidence to the contrary, no evidence to support). "Irrational" is "irrational", Cassians don't (again, IMHO) get to have different standards for what is rational and irrational than all us other poor slobs, though they may be forced to deal with different circumstances than we do. The fact that the response was irrational aggression (IMHO), rather than fear-induced paralysis makes it no less a phobic reaction as far as I'm concerned.

But I think we have achieved clarity (to death ^_^) of our respective positions, so now we can give the other readers a break if you like and agree to disagree.
megados 14th Apr 2017, 6:15 PM edit delete reply

Different viewpoints can produce different opinions. I enjoy our discussions, and hope the rest of the readers don't get out the torches and pitchforks. :)
antrik 14th Apr 2017, 6:18 PM edit delete reply
Just because a person *believes* they are acting rationally, doesn't necessarily make it rational behaviour. In fact, I'd say most of the time people are not even aware when they are acting irrationally...

Norms also have fairly limited bearing on an action being rational or not. In fact I'd say it's kinda inherent to norms that they demand behaviour which is not always rational in itself... It is true that in *some* cases it's more rational to stick to the norm for it's own sake, since the social impact of breaking the norm can be worse than the irrational behaviour it demands. (Social impact is pretty much the whole point of norms...) However, it is not rational to stick with norms in cases where doing so has serious negative consequences.
megados 14th Apr 2017, 7:04 PM edit delete reply

It isn't just that Noctis thinks it's rational, those of her fellow Cassians which we have seen give an indication, appear to think so as well. I don't think a one size fits all solution is applicable. It depends on whose norms are applied.
antrik 15th Apr 2017, 8:13 AM edit delete reply
The only actual indication I remember is from Astraea, who just likes to shoot.

Also note that an entire group being irrational, doesn't change the fact it's irrational.
megados 16th Apr 2017, 4:49 PM edit delete reply

If the Cassians deem it rational, and it's only irrational to OUR sensibilities, it's just a cultural difference. I don't think I have the right to overlay my cultural norm on another culture.
antrik 16th Apr 2017, 6:21 PM edit delete reply
Apparently we disagree on the meaning of "rational".
megados 16th Apr 2017, 6:37 PM edit delete reply

You and I probably do not, but I cannot be certain whether my idea of rational is the same as that of the Cassians. They are guardians and protectors. It is their existence. As such, I have as hard time slapping that label on one or all of them. It is a different culture.
antrik 17th Apr 2017, 8:18 AM edit delete reply
No, we clearly do disagree. In my understanding, rational behaviour can be measured objectively, regardless of background. If someone acts on instincts or cultural conditioning (or in this case, a phobia), in a way that is objectively detrimental to their goals, that's irrational behaviour -- even if instincts/conditioning might make it *seem* the right choice to them at the time.
megados 17th Apr 2017, 5:29 PM edit delete reply

The Throne, and New Rome are Noctis' prime concerns. Kali was different, in that she was to protect the Livius line specifically. A cyberpath in New Rome is a threat to New Rome. It is not (IMHO) irrational to take steps to eliminate it. Two main charges of Noctis' are perceived to be in jeopardy. She is not burning New Rome to do so. She has a means to carry out her duty, and it does not cause greater harm to New Rome than allowing it to exist, as far as she is able to discern, and would eliminate the threat. I really don't see it as irrational. Beyond that, I guess we will have to agree to disagree.
antrik 18th Apr 2017, 5:38 AM edit delete reply
She had enough information to realise that -- given the changed circumstances -- keeping up the shooting order was in fact counter-productive to her objectives. If she wasn't able to discern it, that's because her phobia didn't allow her to consider the situation rationally.
megados 18th Apr 2017, 10:52 AM edit delete reply

A cyberpath represents a clear and present danger to herself as well. If someone can take over your body at will, it is not irrational to be unnerved by it. It is not a phobia, in that there IS a danger. A phobia or irrational fear is a fear of something that has no basis. She HAS a basis. She has experienced that basis. It IS a danger to everything that is her world.
Gilrandir 18th Apr 2017, 11:06 AM edit delete reply
@megados --
"A phobia or irrational fear is a fear of something that has no basis."

This is not true. The focus of a phobia can be a thing that actually poses a real possible threat. You can have a phobia about fire (which can really burn you) or being submerged (you could really drown). A phobia is marked by an irrationally intense response to the focus, such as freaking out when you see a lit fireplace in which the fire is quite safely contained, or being in a bathtub and momentarily ducking your head. Some spiders are deadly (funnel web, brown recluse). Someone with a spider phobia reacts irrationally when confronted with any spider, which is not to say that no spider is capable of posing a legitimate threat. Some cyberpaths, in some situations, are deadly -- which is not to say that all cyberpaths need to be responded to by burning down the city to make sure it's dead.
megados 18th Apr 2017, 11:27 AM edit delete reply

What empirical reason is there for her to trust this "new information" against the knowledge she already has, besides what the Trojans say? Maxus goes along with it for Acantha's sake, but remember, that unlike Kali, Noctis is most concerned with the throne, and whoever is seated on it (presently no one) and New Rome. Acantha is her concern, mainly because Noctis believes she should be the one seated on the throne. So, all she has to go on is Maxus' apparent trust in the Trojans, compared with what she knows can happen. Trust other people she does not know, or trust what she has already experienced. This smacks more to me of 'tactical error' than irrational behavior. She immediately relents once she has assurance the problem is decisively dealt with.
Gilrandir 18th Apr 2017, 11:33 AM edit delete reply
The New Trojans demonstrated their good faith in two ways: communication was restored and hostilities stopped. Two pieces of empirical evidence. What empirical evidence was there that the cyberpath would not honor an agreed-to cease fire?
megados 18th Apr 2017, 12:29 PM edit delete reply

Communication was restored, and there was a cease fire, true, but that doesn't necessarily speak to any action that the cyberpath may or may not take. The last cyberpath that Noctis encountered, made a cowardly attack from within a crowd. She has no real reason to think any cyberpath is going to act honorably, other than the words of people she does not know.
Gilrandir 18th Apr 2017, 1:15 PM edit delete reply
That's just not true. Noctis knew the communications disruption (post-severing the hardline) was directly attributed to the cyberpath. Undoing that disruption logically would also be directly attributable to the cyberpath. Also, Noctis knew the cyberpath was working with the New Troy leader. When the New Troy leader agreed to halt hostilities, the cyber attacks also stopped -- providing evidence that the cyberpath was abiding by the New Troy leader's direction.

On the other hand, using the behavior of a completely different individual to predict the actions of another is prejudiced and biased in a patently irrational way. (Apologies to members of whatever ethnic group I am about to offend, but there simply is no better example to provide.) "I was mugged and raped by a Carthaginian once, years ago, so you know you can't trust those Carthaginians! Burn Carthage to the ground and salt the earth, that's what I say!" Whether or not you realize it, you have been led to defending that viewpoint as "rational" for someone raised in a Roman culture. I really don't think that's where you wanted to go. Understandable, yes; rational, no. (In my opinion, at least.)
megados 18th Apr 2017, 1:59 PM edit delete reply

Noctis did not burn anything down, despite whatever rhetoric she used in the past. As far as being accosted, the only Carthaginian she has any experience with, mugged and raped her, by this example. Noctis is not a trusting person to begin with, and she is being unreasonable not to trust another Carthaganian? Not to mention that this Carthaginian can cause the destruction of all she is sworn to protect. At this point the analogy fails, unless the Carthaginian has a special power or ability she has absolutely NO defense against. Okay, so the Carthaginian did a nice thing, but I think it is a lot to ask of Noctis to just "trust me". I am not saying this is of Roman culture, but I think it is a matter of Cassian culture, being guardians, as well as Palace security. They would no doubt be cynical, since subterfuge is something they have to protect against. Also, Astraea seemed to have similar sentiments about the cyberpath as well. Are all the Cassians phobic? If they are, then it would seem to be a cultural thing. Additionally, Noctis' inhibitor would not allow her to leave such a threat unaddressed, as long as she knows the threat exists. Unless someone can countermand her "protect Roma" directive, she is compelled. No one exists at this time who can. This is only my opinion, of course, but there are too many variables for me to see it in just black and white.
Gilrandir 18th Apr 2017, 5:39 PM edit delete reply
If Noctis were truly compelled, then she could not issue the stand-down order, no matter what Maxus said. He didn't say anything to alter the evaluated threat posed by the cyberpath in any way. He merely pointed out the existing arrangement and the evidence that it had held until she broke it without warning. So, if she is being driven by threat magnitude, she should have stayed obdurate.

Noctis burned Maxus by betraying his honor.

It is not rational to either trust or distrust one person based on what another, wholly distinct, person does. If the persons are similar by reason of a common cause, common principles, common training, or common culture you might be able to make a rational case for it -- however, that does not apply here. To suggest that simply having the cyberpath power set constrains all individuals to act in common ways has been specifically ruled out as non-factual by the creatrices. The only powerset they are on-record as saying provides a common behavioral influence is the empathy powerset. Asserting otherwise for the cyberpath powerset is counter-factual, and hence, irrational.

It still comes down to reason and evidence. You asked me to provide evidence that was in Noctis' possession prior to the sniper attack that Dr. Silver could be reasonably expected to honor the cease-fire. I gave you two such pieces of evidence. I have asked you to provide evidence that was in Noctis' possession prior to the sniper attack that Dr. Silver could reasonably be expected not to honor the cease-fire. I am still patiently waiting. It seems to me a rational person would make decisions consistent with 100% of the hard evidence currently in their possession.
megados 18th Apr 2017, 6:23 PM edit delete reply

Your first paragraph is not accurate. Noctis' inhibitor would not have allowed her to simply cease to mitigate the cyberpath's presence. Maxus and Marcus gave her the means to do so by their immediate expulsion of Dr Silver which was monitored by Astraea, to insure no deviation. She was not travelling uncontrolled. Thus, Noctis was able to hand off the responsibility. She could not have simply stood Astraea down, as in doing so would be an abrogation of her duty to eliminate threats to Rome. In her mind the threat would still exist unabated. If she were to ignore that, her inhibitor would kick in. Since she was able (through Maxus and Marcus) to have a means of dealing with the threat, she could stand Astraea down. Maxus was not betrayed, he knew this once he knew what had happened.

Noctis could not take the chance that Dr Silver would honor the cease fire. Her inhibitor would leave no room for maybes should she be incorrect. Noctis had to be absolutely positively one hundred percent certain that there was no possibility of a threat. To do anything less would get her punishment. "Oh well she seems nice enough" just wouldn't cut it. Her perception of the threat's elimination HAD to be ABSOLUTE.

Whether evidence that Dr Silver would not honor the cease fire exists, is irrelevant at this point; all that is needed is the possibility. With that possibility is the difference between the inhibitor activating or not.
Gilrandir 18th Apr 2017, 6:52 PM edit delete reply
The question of evidence is not irrelevant to the question of rationality. It may be irrelevant to the question of the operation of Noctis' inhibitor, but there's nothing to say that Noctis inhibitor might not compel her to act in an irrational way. I think you are so convinced that 'irrational' is necessarily pejorative that you are making some unfounded arguments in a desperate attempt to avoid using that label to describe Noctis' actions. Love is irrational. Mercy is irrational. Art is irrational. When one acts in a way that is not in one's own best interest, using logical thought to evaluate all known facts at the time, that is (I believe) what we mean by 'irrational', and I submit that Noctis' actions conform to that definition. To say that Noctis can choose to ignore some facts and then, when considering only the rest, that makes her decision rational is not really (in my opinion) kosher.

If shepherding Dr. Silver was a rational solution, and Noctis was thinking rationally, she could have proposed it long before violating the cease-fire. Obviously she did not. Shepherding Dr. Silver still does not provide the absolute certainty you claim Noctis' inhibitor demands, it only lowers (possibly significantly) the perceived risk. To suggest otherwise would seem disingenuous.
megados 18th Apr 2017, 7:33 PM edit delete reply

What I (was) am trying to show, is that she was not acting out of fear, as this discussion began by a claim that she feared cyberpaths. It then became irrational fear, then phobia, and then simply irrational, sliding between descriptors.

Maxus could have also told Noctis to stand Astraea down at the start of the cease fire, and could also have proposed shepherding Dr Silver. I wouldn't say he was irrational though. He knew Astraea was there.
I think Noctis was acting in what she thought was her best balance between her own best interests and those of New Rome. I think that shepherding Dr Silver reduces the risk to almost, but maybe not quite zero, the way Noctis sees it. I think the inhibitor demands her best effort, not necessarily perfection.

Gilrandir 18th Apr 2017, 8:12 PM edit delete reply
I agree she was not motivated solely by fear. I assert her decision making was influenced by fear to the point of indicating a mild phobia.

We've already discussed the fact that Maxus' orders that he used to accomplish the cease-fire were not shown, so we can't know their precise details. I assert that those orders are overwhelmingly likely to have applied to Astraea and that Noctis consciously chose not to pass them along -- taking advantage of the fact that she was technically not under Maxus' command at the time, but leaving unexplained why she then apparently chose to accompany Acantha to New Troy "because Maxus ordered her to". He did propose the shepherding the moment he became aware his earlier orders were not being followed by some of the Nova Roman forces and that it had become a precondition to getting the Cassian's cooperation.

No one has denied that Noctis was doing what she thought was best. I just don't think she was thinking straight at the time.
megados 18th Apr 2017, 8:38 PM edit delete reply

Rather than fear, my thought is more along the lines of consternation over the possible implications regarding her charges. It would definitely affect her thinking, as it would be the very subject.

I am unwilling to assign blame in what transpired during the implementation of the cease fire for the very reason you supply. We do not know what was said, how it was issued, or exactly who was told what. This has often been our point of contention :D

I really cannot assess Noctis' thought process, so I cannot speak to its clarity. I assume it correct until proven otherwise. Innocent till proven guilty and all that . . .
antrik 19th Apr 2017, 6:19 PM edit delete reply
@megados the major point of contention (from my side at least) is that you persistently keep arguing as if her measure to mitigate the cyberpath threat existed in isolation -- ignoring the fact that this same measure means loosing Troy's cooperation, which at this point is a much bigger real threat to Acantha's life, since she is very likely not to survive without it. A *rational* evaluation of the situation would tell Noctis that she has to tolerate the cyberpath threat -- even though she is uneasy about it -- to avoid the objectively much bigger danger. But she is all, "The cyberpath must be destroyed, no matter what, even if it means the end of Roma!" I can't say for sure whether that's actually fear or just obsession; but either way, it's not rational.
antrik 14th Apr 2017, 1:47 PM edit delete reply
The stand-off in the hangar is not the relevant bit. Acantha at this moment was alone in the other hangar with a Trojan agent (Ada). Even if Noctis trusted that Ada won't harm Acantha in spite of Noctis's betrayal, the mere fact that Troy wouldn't provide the medical assistance after all if Noctis persisted in her course of action, would likely amount to a death sentence for Acantha. Not to mention that with hostilities continuing in spite of the accord reached, Commie might very well decide to level the entire place after all.
antrik 14th Apr 2017, 1:58 PM edit delete reply
Also, there was no rational reason for Noctis to assume that Dr. Bitchy would use her power to harm Acantha, if the rest of the Trojan team didn't while they had plenty of opportunity.
megados 14th Apr 2017, 1:58 PM edit delete reply

Tennyo was in the hangar with Ada and Acantha. Acantha was covered.

Noctis did not know whether Dr Silver would or would not. She could not take the chance. If the Trojan team attempted it, they would have to get past Noctis and Tennyo both. Far simpler to control both the Cassians nearby.
antrik 14th Apr 2017, 3:15 PM edit delete reply
You are right about Tennyo -- I forgot this detail that has only been mentioned in the comments...

That was the least important of my points, though. Again, Noctis had no rational reason to assume Dr. Bitchy would try something now, when the Trojan team had plenty of opportunity before; and ordering a course of action that is sure to cause trouble (including likely death/destruction) as a precaution against something very unlikely, is *not* rational behaviour.
megados 14th Apr 2017, 3:27 PM edit delete reply

It is not likely that Marcus and TeeDee would try to harm Acantha in that scenario, because both Tennyo, and Noctis would stand in their way. Noctis believes that if the cyberpath came to meet them,she would be in close enough proximity to compromise the two Cassians. I'm not sure how Noctis action would cause more harm than would Acantha's death.
antrik 14th Apr 2017, 3:37 PM edit delete reply
My point is that the Trojan team has had plenty of opportunity to harm Acantha (or in fact simply not help her) *earlier*. Noctis had no reason to believe that they would suddenly want to harm her now. So while Dr. Bitchy controlling Noctis and Tennyo to harm Acantha would be a worst-case scenario, it is an extremely unlikely one. Taking action that is extremely likely to be detrimental to the Throne of Roma, as a precaution against another detrimental situation that is extremely unlikely, is not a rational decision.
megados 14th Apr 2017, 4:48 PM edit delete reply

The decision was made to station Astraea outside the comm hub was made well before any of that and no one thought it was irrational at the time. See my post to @Gilrandir above.

Maybe @Centcomm, and @Tokyo Rose will come and erase all this and slap us upside the head . .
antrik 14th Apr 2017, 5:58 PM edit delete reply
Exactly: that was before the the accord regarding Acantha, and even before the cease-fire -- very different situation. At that point, the cyberpath seemed the most dangerous (and easiest to deal with) part of the attacking foreign force. The fact that Noctis choose to keep the order in place in spite of the changed situation, is what made it irrational.

(And while I think the arrangement itself seemed pretty rational originally, Noctis's remark about Roma burning to the ground appeared over the top even then...)
megados 14th Apr 2017, 6:30 PM edit delete reply

This discussion came about because of a difference of opinion whether Noctis would be intimidated by a cyberpath. I still don't believe she would be. She has shown herself to be aggressive and proactive. For the rest, Gilrandir and I have had variations on this discussion what feels like a thousand times, and all I can say is on this topic, in you he has a staunch ally. Different viewpoints can yield different opinions. Beyond that, I have enjoyed the discussion. :)
Sheela 15th Apr 2017, 3:32 AM edit delete reply

Ok, ok ... so ... what happened to the Devil, and why is three of his advocates duking it out in the comment section ? >_<
megados 15th Apr 2017, 6:28 AM edit delete reply

All I know is, I think they were after my lunch money. Lucky for me, I had it in my other shoe!

D'oh! >_<*

Sheela! Bring that back!
Sheela 15th Apr 2017, 6:35 AM edit delete reply

Nuh uh ... MINE !
antrik 15th Apr 2017, 8:17 AM edit delete reply
I'm not so sure. Meeting cyberpaths in a situation where she can't really do anything about them -- as she likely will now that she is in Troy -- might very well intimidate her to some degree...
megados 15th Apr 2017, 9:23 AM edit delete reply

Now that is something else to consider, antrik. In a situation where she has no control, and no allies, she might be intimidated. Still, I think she would do what she could, if she could do anything. She would also have to consider any backlash against Acantha due to any action she takes. In the event that were the case, she would stoically bear it.
Centcomm 14th Apr 2017, 7:57 AM edit delete reply

They are exactly the same height. its the boots that are different. Noctis has a bit more of a chunky heel than Cent does.
Sheela 14th Apr 2017, 9:49 AM edit delete reply

Lies, in the first frame, Centcomm is clearly taller than Noctis.
Haegan2005 14th Apr 2017, 8:04 PM edit delete reply

A doggy knows!
Sheela 15th Apr 2017, 1:39 AM edit delete reply


A doggy knows.
megados 16th Apr 2017, 6:22 AM edit delete reply

Looking at CentComm's doll, it looks like her left shoulder is turned slightly away from us as she faces Noctis, suggesting she might be slightly closer to us, while Noctis' right shoulder seems ever so slightly towards us. That might account for CentComm looking taller.
guest1 15th Apr 2017, 4:10 PM edit delete reply
not Midget ,, thats 4'10" not 5'4" thats just short... an 5'4" is 1/7 th of the cast...
jamie59 13th Apr 2017, 9:06 PM edit delete reply

Cent-comm just shit a brick. Bet those computations usually take nanoseconds but the variables just all changed.
MirrorField 13th Apr 2017, 9:39 PM edit delete reply
Awfully slow on CentComm's part. That sort of recalculation should take milliseconds *at most* for strategic AI of CentComm's caliber, if she's supposed to be any good at her job.

Nevertheless, Aeneas and others will have to take a rather hard line regarding CentComm's little peccadilloes and CentComm is going to pay in one form or another. It's not a question of guilt, anger or other emotions. It's a matter of basic game theory. Or to put it another way, CentComm gambled and lost and now she'll have to pay up.
Tokyo Rose 13th Apr 2017, 10:28 PM edit delete reply

You don't know how many scenarios she's having to recalculate. ;)

Also... frankly, if we tried to present Cent-Comm's calculations and such in "real time", we wouldn't be able to show them at all. Since we actually do want to demonstrate that sort of thing, though...
Ictuan 14th Apr 2017, 2:03 PM edit delete reply
The first thing I thought of when I saw "recalculating" was an early GPS device my uncle had. Every time he made a turn it didn't like it kept saying "recalculating, recalculating, recalculating...". He knew where he was going and only loosely followed the GPS's instructions. I thought it would blow a fuse.
Tokyo Rose 16th Apr 2017, 3:21 PM edit delete reply


I remember those early GPS devices. After a while, "recalculating" begins to sound increasingly sullen...
mjkj 13th Apr 2017, 11:45 PM edit delete reply

Well, Mirror, the only thing to blame Cent for is that she did not allow an "Aeneas is alive" scenario into her mission directives and therefore not accounting for every possibility...

If she did, she would have had done it differently...

Stormwind13 14th Apr 2017, 8:05 AM edit delete reply

In fairness to CentComm mjkj. From other comments made by the artist/creatrix, CentComm tried to contact Aeneas and got nothing coherent back. The lack of a functioning AI was endangering her people (and the world). So removing the damaged AI made some sense. Unfortunately, it ran headlong into someone else's plan to recover Aeneas. All about timing.
mjkj 14th Apr 2017, 8:11 AM edit delete reply

That is true. Regardless, she failed to take into account the possibility of his being repaired in the mission directives- and how to react / respond to that...
sigpig 14th Apr 2017, 8:50 AM edit delete reply

One other byte bit of information that CentComm is unaware is that the Spike was used to disable/destroy the "Contingencies" server, therefore stopping a massive first-strike attack on all other city-states, as well as the total destruction of Nova Roma - and all it's citizens...
HiFranc 14th Apr 2017, 8:51 AM edit delete reply

She does know he's been repaired as Noctis told her. He would not be able to contact her if he was still in the same state that he was before.
megados 14th Apr 2017, 9:14 AM edit delete reply

The only thing she might not be aware of is that Decimus' contingencies existed, and that the spike was deployed there. She might not know just what became of it, only that it was deployed 'somewhere'. Hmmm, another variable?
antrik 14th Apr 2017, 3:44 PM edit delete reply
Actually, after re-reading "Foolproof" (presently at ) and "The Major Arrives" ( ), it seems to me Commie should already have been aware of all of these circumstances...
Tokyo Rose 14th Apr 2017, 11:01 PM edit delete reply

As far as she knew, Aeneas had been spiked and some people were upset about it. That's all.
Sheela 15th Apr 2017, 1:39 AM edit delete reply

Aeneas is also pretty likely to be upset.
antrik 15th Apr 2017, 8:47 AM edit delete reply
@Tokyo Rose that's what I gathered, since otherwise the present scene would make no sense... But the question is, why? AIUI, Marcus has been listening to the conversation where Rosie informed them of the Aeneas situation through the talking head; and Commie mentioning an update of the status of A.I.S. Aeneas after Marcus sent the data burst suggests that he passed on the information. Unless he sent her wrong/incomplete information on purpose for some reason?
Sheela 15th Apr 2017, 2:06 PM edit delete reply

Frankly, I'm surprised that Aeneas hasn't called her yet ... the trip to New Troy did take a few hours after all.

Plenty of time for Aeneas to send a message through Luna-Comm.
antrik 15th Apr 2017, 3:13 PM edit delete reply
We have no idea what is going on in Roma right now -- from just wanting to keep a low profile, to still working out glitches, to being occupied with bringing his city back in order, to fighting off an angry mob that tries to kill him again, there could be any number of possible reasons...
Tokyo Rose 16th Apr 2017, 3:23 PM edit delete reply


Marcus was listening, but Cent-Comm was not. She didn't start her ride-along until Marcus landed in the palace hangar. And you're right: it would appear he didn't pass that tidbit onto her, hm?
Sheela 16th Apr 2017, 5:04 PM edit delete reply

To be fair, he was busy making sure that Dr Silver didn't become extra ventilated.
antrik 16th Apr 2017, 6:25 PM edit delete reply
Nah, the ventilation event was later :-)
antrik 16th Apr 2017, 6:33 PM edit delete reply
@Tokyo Rose yeah, I am aware that the ride-along started later; I was talking about the data burst he sent first. Since Commie reacted to the burst with "Revising data on status of A.I.S. Aeneas", it would appear he did pass *something* along -- but apparently not the relevant bits? Naughty! ;-)
cattservant 13th Apr 2017, 9:07 PM edit delete reply

Now to the showers!
Sheela 13th Apr 2017, 11:20 PM edit delete reply

Showers, and Ada showing off that body of hers. XD

... as for Noctis ..well .. she'll be smooth around the bend.
megados 14th Apr 2017, 6:25 AM edit delete reply

There probably will not be any upskirt cameras . . . >_<
velvetsanity 14th Apr 2017, 7:18 AM edit delete reply

Especially since neither of them are wearing skirts :P
Morituri 14th Apr 2017, 8:39 PM edit delete reply
As far as we know, Noctis isn't wearing clothes at all. Maybe her body just looks like that. It would save her time in the mornings.

It's Ada who has some preferences that might benefit from a more humanlike skin.
chk 14th Apr 2017, 4:15 PM edit delete reply

I'm waiting.
Centcomm 15th Apr 2017, 3:04 PM edit delete reply

its rendered and with rose for dialogue .. So its coming :D
megados 16th Apr 2017, 6:28 AM edit delete reply

Good things come to those who wait, and patience is a virtue. :)
Dragonrider 13th Apr 2017, 9:13 PM edit delete reply

It would seem for a machine entity as advanced and supposedly adaptable as Cent-Comm is reputed to be she seems a bit slow on Aw Shit uptake, she is only 30% through recalculating on the Nova Roma situation. As she was under the impression Aeneas was her clone it might have had an interesting outcome to let her try to implement her plans.
She may well try to defend her actions in light of Hiz Imperial Douchines however methinks International opinion will be She "Screwed The Pooch" with her high handed actions.
Gilrandir 13th Apr 2017, 9:52 PM edit delete reply
It does not seem plausible to me that CentComm would expect Aeneas to be a clone (or clone-like) and her near-equal in capabilities.

CentComm appears to have been an emergent phenomenon arising from the extensive networking of a national defense network. Although peripherals have undoubtedly been added (and lost) during the preamble to the Armistice Rebellion, subsequent events, and technological upgrades -- as well as core architecture upgrades being carried out on a conservative basis -- CentComm wasn't purpose built for intelligence or for the purpose she is now fulfilling with the latest and greatest technology and design patterns.

Aeneas was designed by Tokyo Rose (among others), presumably at a later time when artificial intelligence was much better understood, technology was further advanced, and with as-yet unspecified mission scope and parameters. We know those mission parameters include caretaking of Nova Roma, but what organism isn't incentivized to care for its own body? We don't know if he has other responsibilities, although the presence of large-scale weapons manufactories suggest some possibilities. The point being, it's a very different origin, and his core architecture is likely to be organized to a different plan.

Whether that means that a fully functional Aeneas is going to compare to CentComm like an idiot little brother, or the next step in evolution is completely a mystery to me. But having them coincidentally turn out to be equally matched seems ... improbable. It would (will?) be interesting to see CentComm and Aeneas interacting on the same cyberscape. Especially if Aeneas tries to remove CentComm's 'mask'. ^_^ (My suspicion is the creative team awards the match to CentComm, but I admit my sympathies at the moment are with Aeneas. ^_^)

However, the shape and the nature of the scenarios CentComm is running right now are undoubtedly heavily influenced by her estimates of what a repaired Aeneas may be capable. It doesn't surprise me at all that this might take some significant macroscopic time to thoroughly analyze.
megados 13th Apr 2017, 9:59 PM edit delete reply

I thought that Dragonrider was referring to CentComm expecting Ceci to have successfully overwritten Aeneas into a CentComm clone. I could be wrong . . .
Dragonrider 13th Apr 2017, 10:06 PM edit delete reply

It seems her plan was to make Aeneas her clone in actions running Nova Roma so that Nova Roma became a "Client State" Like Syria is to Russia. I do not think she knew about Hiz Imperial Dipshit's "Doomsday Scenario",she obviously was unaware of his fathers plans.
Timotheus 13th Apr 2017, 10:28 PM edit delete reply

Centcomm had no desire to "take over" Nova Roma. She believed Aegeas had been damaged beyond repair and her spike was designed to restart whatever was left of the city AI and establish a new functioning intelligence. This would unfortunately overwrite whatever crumbs of the old system might be left but that was how it went.
That there was enough of the old Aegeas left to restore was not part of her planning and had she known would have been factored in. (I hope)
Tokyo Rose 13th Apr 2017, 10:32 PM edit delete reply

Yes, her plan was to replace Aeneas with a copy of herself that would be utterly subservient to Cent-Comm. On the surface, New Rome would have still been an independent city-state, but with its A.I.S. dancing to Cent-Comm's tune, the reality would have been somewhat different.
Just_IDD 13th Apr 2017, 11:32 PM edit delete reply
What happened to the Q32 space modulator? There was supposed to be 8 earth-shattering kaboom!
Timotheus 14th Apr 2017, 12:35 AM edit delete reply

I stand (actually sit) corrected. I must now apologize for my several previous defenses of Centcomm's motivations in this matter.
antrik 14th Apr 2017, 7:43 AM edit delete reply
"Copy" and "utterly subservient" doesn't really fit together :-)
antrik 14th Apr 2017, 7:51 AM edit delete reply
@Gilrandir Commie has only been informed that Aeneas hasn't been overwritten -- she doesn't know yet that he has been repaired.

Guess she might need another full recalculation -- unless that remote possibility is already among the scenarios she is calculating now...
Haegan2005 14th Apr 2017, 4:51 AM edit delete reply

You are assuming she needs to focus her entire self on possible new outcomes. She is functioning in many capacities across New Troy even as she has this conversation with Noctis. Even as vast as she is, there is an upper limit to her processing power.

We also may be assuming that she is looking only at changes in the future a month away, she may also be looking at scenarios years or even decades down the road. All the possible variations could number into the hundred of millions or more. This takes time to look at and change.
MirrorField 15th Apr 2017, 10:57 AM edit delete reply
Sorry, Laplace's Demon doesn't work. You cannot predict future, you can only model it with inherent inaccuracy. And if CentComm is trying to model things too far or wide, the more chaotic spanners will scramble the works.
antrik 14th Apr 2017, 7:48 AM edit delete reply
@Dragonrider international opinion will only come into play if this matter becomes public... Not sure any of the parties in the know will see a benefit in that.
Morituri 14th Apr 2017, 8:59 PM edit delete reply
Think about recalculating contingencies on the Nova Roma situation.

The complexity of those calculations depends now on Aeneas. If he's even half as smart as she is, it will take half her processing power to keep those calculations updated.

And further information that she doesn't have. That %30 complete isn't 30% of complete knowledge of the situation. It's 30% of the knowledge her current information allows her to derive or guess.

Which is probably going to be answers to questions like "How do I find out more information about this?"

She's not going to have her calculations "complete," ever. She just got a new full-time job playing catch-up.

megados 15th Apr 2017, 6:39 AM edit delete reply

That, I think, is pretty much it, Morituri. When you think about it, that kind of scenario modeling has a lot of heavy calculus to it and requires a lot of processing horsepower. If you look at it, she got to 30% in the span of a few words.

You're right about the calculations never being complete, and the 30% refers how much is complete, of getting back to the level where the only variables are unknown information.
The Old Scribe 13th Apr 2017, 9:19 PM edit delete reply

"Curses! Foiled again!"
Stormwind13 14th Apr 2017, 9:41 AM edit delete reply

It was those meddlesome kids (even Aeneas is a kid to the other AI's)!
megados 13th Apr 2017, 9:25 PM edit delete reply

Honest and straightforward, Noctis. Good job. Don't make trouble for me and I won't make any for you. Save your condolences for Decimus; we're OK with it. Aeneas is fine and he'll call you later. OK, bye!

CentComm is just getting the tip of the iceberg coming her way, and it's a big one!
Sheela 13th Apr 2017, 11:31 PM edit delete reply

I'm not sure a Cassian would be allowed to lie in a case where her princeps security is at stake, and Centcomm probably knows this.

Besides, Centcomm is a war-AI, so she can be a bit blunt as she prefer the straight forward method of inquiry. sure, she'll have every sensor trained on Noctis, to try and spot any possibility that she's trying to lie, but she probably does that with every VIP that visits.

That said, I think the straight forward method, is the right method, to use with Noctis.

However, Noctis is deflecting Centcomm's aggression in subtle ways.
This is something Noctis has been doing for years, under Decimus' rule.
Frankly, Centcomm is a bit on deep waters with Noctis, in that regard.
Noctis has waaay too much experience with it, for Centcomm to keep up. :D
xpacetrue 14th Apr 2017, 4:53 AM edit delete reply

" I'm not sure a Cassian would be allowed to lie... "

A Cassian's purpose for existence is to protect the interests of Nova Roma and the royal family. They would lay down their lives for this. We've even seen how their body will self-destruct if they refuse to follow their mission, such as when a Cassian refused to continue her orders to kill Maxus.

Despite this, you don't believe that a Cassian is capable of merely lying to protect the interests of Nova Roma or the only surviving member of the royal family?

In any case, it's clear that Cent is taking every precaution concerning Noctis' presence in New Troy. And I think it's a safe bet that she has taken the possibility of her lying into account.
megados 14th Apr 2017, 6:44 AM edit delete reply

Would Noctis be allowed to, or be capable of lying? Probably. Will she blatantly lie? I don't think so, no. She will obfuscate, and carefully craft sentences to shift your belief, and it's on you to listen carefully to what she says, and ask appropriate follow-up questions. She won't outright lie, and that is because she does not want to. Instead you might get "..." She makes the conscious decision not to lie. Within this whole story I don't remember seeing her outright lie even once. Noctis is very honest.

With Centcomm, we already know the answer. She pretty much lied to Dolly, a fact whose consequences are coming home to roost.

Yes, I think Centcomm is in over her head verbally sparring with Noctis.
antrik 14th Apr 2017, 7:58 AM edit delete reply
Making intentionally misleading statements doesn't count as "honest" -- even if the lie is "only" in the misleading implications, rather than the things said out right.
Centcomm 14th Apr 2017, 8:00 AM edit delete reply

Noctis can lie like a rug if she needs to. ill leave it there.
megados 14th Apr 2017, 8:15 AM edit delete reply

'Nuff said, @Centcomm. I understand the implication. Danke! :) Need is an important word, and Noctis has a large toolkit.

@antrik, yeah, I guess 'honest' might be a poor choice of words. Truthful might be better. Her words usually contain the truth.
Sheela 14th Apr 2017, 9:56 AM edit delete reply

*considers the possibility of Noctis being a rug on the floor*

Damn Centcomm, I don't know what sorta drugs you're havin' ... but I think I want some too! >_<
Gilrandir 14th Apr 2017, 10:20 AM edit delete reply
*Considers the possibility of Noctis lying on a rug on the floor*

Folder 201, where are you when we need you? ^_^
antrik 14th Apr 2017, 3:00 PM edit delete reply
@xpacetrue Malati's body didn't self-destruct. She committed suicide (by destroying her M.A.C.C.S.), since she didn't see any other way to get out of this mission.
Centcomm 15th Apr 2017, 3:05 PM edit delete reply

Antrik She drove a blade into her spine ( Maccs ) and effectively blew her brains out.
Gilrandir 13th Apr 2017, 10:17 PM edit delete reply
As far as minor plot-wise questions go, there are a couple I'd like to raise ...

How does CentComm come to address Noctis as the Princeps of the Cassians, when Noctis introduced herself only as a Cassian in Comic 1482 - Flattery?

Is Noctis just taking Tokyo Rose's word that CeCi was configured as a Black Angel? She scanned CeCi in the security office when Dolly collected the bounty on Dari and obviously didn't detect the configuration at that time. She can reasonably infer that CeCi was the infiltrator and that she might have been a Black Angel that slipped past the scans -- but just presenting it without any qualifiers does make it seem like she is putting herself at risk for making a statement of fact for which she lacks any actual proof beyond hearsay. (Since CeCi's body was -- also according to Tokyo Rose -- destroyed.) Or did Noctis get other information somewhere along the way?

Lastly, in the author commentary, are you happy with the panel numbers referenced? I am thinking you meant 4 & 5, rather than 3 & 4, but I could be wrong.
Tokyo Rose 13th Apr 2017, 10:37 PM edit delete reply

- Cent-Comm was hitchhiking in Marcus's head and was made aware, during the discussion with Maxus (which went on a bit longer than what we chose to show), of Noctis's change in status.

- Dolly confirmed the Black Angel stuff on the way to the hangar; again, we just didn't show it. We repeat ourselves often enough as it is sometimes.

Also, yeah, 4 and 5. I should not upload pages when I'm drowsy.
Gilrandir 13th Apr 2017, 10:52 PM edit delete reply
Fair enough. Thank you.
Sheela 13th Apr 2017, 11:34 PM edit delete reply

Oh .. so you should only upload pages while drunk, stoned and high ?

*makes mental note*

Ok, got it. :)
Haegan2005 14th Apr 2017, 4:47 AM edit delete reply

Rose is many things. Consistent is one of them!
antrik 14th Apr 2017, 8:02 AM edit delete reply
Actually, I'd say Dolly already pretty much confirmed the information by her on-screen reaction to Rosie's remark.
mjkj 13th Apr 2017, 11:38 PM edit delete reply

*lol* love that page...

...but poor Ada is not allowed to speak - nor get to the well deserved shower...

...I wonder if they will run into her boyfriend...?

*lol* recalculating...

Stormwind13 14th Apr 2017, 3:00 AM edit delete reply

I believe that Kevin isn't CLEARED for anything going on right now, mjkj. Something said in the comments prior by CentComm about him makes me think he wouldn't be allowed into 3C.
Sheela 14th Apr 2017, 3:37 AM edit delete reply

Yeah, I think her status was "Pending : Investigation before reload" or something like that.

So he knows they have her Data, and that she can be reloaded ... but he would also know that her old body has been destroyed.
Probably not the biggest surprise, since she works for Search & Rescue, it *is* a high risk job, after all - Juvenile murderturds and all that.
mjkj 14th Apr 2017, 4:33 AM edit delete reply

Nah, I did not expect that to happen immediately nor in 3c, Storm.
antrik 14th Apr 2017, 8:10 AM edit delete reply
@mjkj Ada never actually stated explicitly that she intends to partake in the shower herself... Though it seems pretty likely she does.

Anyway, a one-minute delay won't hurt her. And In this case, I think she has to admit that Commie is actually justified in brushing her off. Unlike in the earlier situation, there is nothing really important at stake.
sigpig 14th Apr 2017, 9:07 AM edit delete reply

Ada needs the shower as much as Noctis does. She DOES have biological matter (that may produce, amongst other things, sweat), there are the smells of battle (weapon discharge odours, propellant gasses, burning chemical residue, fire), the transferred smell of blood sue to being cooped up with Noctis and Acantha in the Dart, and I'll bet that she just wants to feel CLEAN after this adventure...
Sheela 14th Apr 2017, 9:57 AM edit delete reply

Not to mention it's generally a good idea to be clean in a medical area.
megados 14th Apr 2017, 10:09 AM edit delete reply

It is a good idea to be clean in ALL of your areas! :D
Sheela 14th Apr 2017, 10:10 AM edit delete reply


Yeah, allright, I'll give you that one. :D
Gilrandir 14th Apr 2017, 12:46 AM edit delete reply
Hopefully, when she is done analyzing possible scenarios, CentComm will compute the greater advisability of sending Aeneas something nice ... possibly a fruit basket. ^_^
megados 14th Apr 2017, 6:49 AM edit delete reply

The last nice thing she sent didn't go so well . . . ;)
Gilrandir 14th Apr 2017, 7:37 AM edit delete reply
Oh? How so? She sent a poisoned cheesecake, he (with help) used it to eliminate some nasty pests.
megados 14th Apr 2017, 7:52 AM edit delete reply

In that vein, I suppose it's nice of her to keep his stock of pesticides replenished.
mjkj 14th Apr 2017, 8:02 AM edit delete reply

...or maybe she will send him a horse...? ;)
Stormwind13 14th Apr 2017, 2:03 PM edit delete reply

Kind of already did that, mjkj. :-D It just didn't LOOK like a horse (still misses CeCi).
antrik 14th Apr 2017, 8:11 AM edit delete reply
She should send a cookie.
mjkj 14th Apr 2017, 8:14 AM edit delete reply

...a cookie horse? =P
megados 14th Apr 2017, 8:28 AM edit delete reply

A poisoned cookie horse?
antrik 14th Apr 2017, 9:04 AM edit delete reply
A Cookie of Apology, to go into his collection along with Acantha's Cookie of Good Intentions.
Gilrandir 14th Apr 2017, 9:40 AM edit delete reply
That would be nice. Difficult to do, if good intentions are lacking. Can you use applesauce as a substitute? ^_^
Sheela 14th Apr 2017, 10:01 AM edit delete reply
antrik 14th Apr 2017, 10:38 AM edit delete reply
I don't think she will bear any more bad intentions, after learning that he is healthy again...
Tokyo Rose 14th Apr 2017, 11:04 PM edit delete reply

I'm just gonna... sit over here and watch where this evolves on its own...
Sheela 15th Apr 2017, 1:43 AM edit delete reply

She could send him a Feral Rose ? *drags Rose into the discussion*

It would be a subtle hint of "I know who helped you" and also double as a playpal for the Murderturd. :)
megados 15th Apr 2017, 7:39 AM edit delete reply

What might really be nice, would be to send him a fixed-up, and recuperated Acantha!
antrik 15th Apr 2017, 8:27 AM edit delete reply
And imbued with some Trojan propaganda... Which brings us right back to the Trojan Horse ;-)
megados 15th Apr 2017, 8:45 AM edit delete reply

Yes, antrik, and @Tokyo Rose could have helped out with a canon horse of her own, but she just sits there eating popcorn.
Sheela 15th Apr 2017, 9:10 AM edit delete reply

Well done Antrik, you spotted the trojan horse - Now what are you gonna do with it ? >_<

It wouldn't happen to be made of diamonds, would it ?
Jayhawke13 14th Apr 2017, 3:31 AM edit delete reply
I think you is more worried about Dolly's response to the Ceci issue.Aeneas is an unknown at this point.
Stormwind13 14th Apr 2017, 4:27 AM edit delete reply

Looks to me like CentComm is dealing with Ada's attitude now. I mean CentComm all but told her to shut up, the adults are talking. :-7. Also giving a field S&R team member basically babysitting duty (admittedly a very DANGEROUS babe-y :-D) is pretty damn insulting.

CentComm has a LOT of rethinking to do in light of new information. I wonder what Highway to He11 it will lead her to this time.
megados 14th Apr 2017, 7:27 AM edit delete reply

Yeah, Centcomm is playing tit for tat. Ada blew her off earlier, and Cent is reasserting herself. I really don't think Ada minds hanging with Noctis, even if Cent intended for it to be 'punishment'.

Sure, Noctis can be a dangerous baby to sit, but only if she feels she has to be.

CentComm has some number crunching to do! All of her Nova Roma variables got messed up!
antrik 14th Apr 2017, 8:53 AM edit delete reply
I think Commie realises that Ada pretty much signed *herself* up for "babysitting duty", and she is just giving her leave...

(Also, I'm pretty sure the "getting lost" remark is an euphemism for a command to watch Noctis's every step -- so Ada has basically been recruited as a direct overseer, to supplement Amy's behind-the-curtain efforts...)
Sheela 15th Apr 2017, 1:46 AM edit delete reply

Yeah, Ada will be your friend, Noctis.
And Centcomm is profiting from that.

That said, didn't you guys notice what demeanors Centcomm set for the discussion in panel 1 ?
antrik 15th Apr 2017, 8:28 AM edit delete reply
Of course we did... Not sure what you are getting at?
Steven-Vincent 14th Apr 2017, 5:52 AM edit delete reply

Regarding the dialogue. I think it is well done. In particular I liked how the 'what' from Cent is a statement rather than a question. 'What.' Instead of 'What?' It conveys a different sort of tone -- in a sense, *more* surprise than if you had the question mark after it.

It's amazing -- it's just a punctuation mark but it completely changes the tone of both that one-word line of dialogue, and the whole feel of Cent's comments following it.
megados 14th Apr 2017, 6:54 AM edit delete reply

I'm glad someone else noticed that. It changes the whole meaning to head-on confrontational.
Steven-Vincent 14th Apr 2017, 7:09 AM edit delete reply

I have a colleague who says 'What.' like that... no inflection.... but only in certain cases. That's what it reminds me of.
Centcomm 14th Apr 2017, 8:02 AM edit delete reply

agreed.. Once again Rose shows her skill in this! "D
mjkj 14th Apr 2017, 8:06 AM edit delete reply


+1 Rose
sigpig 14th Apr 2017, 9:10 AM edit delete reply

I'm halfway surprised that Rose didn't finish the statement with "The. Fuck."... lol
antrik 14th Apr 2017, 8:30 AM edit delete reply
As far as I remember, this "What." has been used in DataChasers before. I also know it from other contexts, though -- seems to be a pretty established way of conveying this exact sentiment.
Steven-Vincent 14th Apr 2017, 9:47 AM edit delete reply

Yes, I have seen it elsewhere. Used perfectly here.
All the Pickles 14th Apr 2017, 11:12 AM edit delete reply

Yes, I seem to remember Dolly making significant use of it after Cici seduced the customs dude at the border.
antrik 14th Apr 2017, 12:49 PM edit delete reply
Oh, right: on a page appropriately named "What...." (presently at ); and again two pages later.

(I did vaguely remember that it was Dolly; but not in what situation...)
Gilrandir 14th Apr 2017, 7:44 AM edit delete reply
Regarding the surgical preparation ... I believe that, as a rule, personal jewelry is removed before major operations. As far as trauma to poor Aeneas goes, he's already received indications that Acantha's lifesigns have plunged below viable levels before she was taken out of what might be the ring's transmission range. But, on the off chance the ring is smart enough to be using relay protocols and is still transmitting, I wonder how he'll react when they remove it completely?
Centcomm 14th Apr 2017, 8:01 AM edit delete reply

He knew she was going to get help. So he kind of expected it to go offline.
mjkj 14th Apr 2017, 8:05 AM edit delete reply

I guess (and hope) Rose will keep him updated...
megados 14th Apr 2017, 8:22 AM edit delete reply

Aeneas and I both look forward to seeing it come back online. :)
antrik 14th Apr 2017, 8:32 AM edit delete reply
So Marcus chose not to include this little tidbit in the data burst he sent to Commie...
Marcus Ramesy 14th Apr 2017, 2:25 PM edit delete reply

it was not information that I would have know sadly... you have to understand that the data recorders started the moment that the team was assembled and on board the ship... and during the operation any thing any of the team members encountered was relayed to me via the command links... any thing they saw or heard was also integrated in to the logs. since no one talked about aneis around me or any of the team.. cent would not be aware of the status of aneis until now..
antrik 14th Apr 2017, 3:25 PM edit delete reply
My understanding was that everyone on the team link (including Marcus) heard Rosie's declaration about Aeneas ("Foolproof", currently at ) -- the same information Noctis got on this matter...
antrik 14th Apr 2017, 2:37 PM edit delete reply
Actually, it seems he *did* include it? Commie explicitly said, "Revising data on New Rome and status of A.I.S. Aeneas." ("The Major Arrives", presently at ). So why is she acting all surprised now?...
Mark_L_A 14th Apr 2017, 10:15 PM edit delete reply

I believe that was in regard to CeCi being a Black Angel, NOT that Aeneas had been brought back to full functionality.
antrik 15th Apr 2017, 8:32 AM edit delete reply
Rosie mentioned both facts in the same conversation (using the talking head), and AIUI Marcus was following that conversation. So Commie should know -- unless he chose to give her incomplete/wrong information on purpose...
Gilrandir 14th Apr 2017, 9:53 AM edit delete reply
I have detected a glaring omission! @CentComm, you may want to re-render this page.

In panel 4 we see a camera angle that does not have an armed response robot in the background! ^_^ (I am assuming creepy hall monitor bot is armed to her plasticine teeth with various concealed weaponry. ^_^) Clearly CentComm is not taking the threat posed by Noctis seriously enough. ^_^

Or maybe that part of wall has a built-in, pop-up turret? That'd do it ... Never mind. ^_^
megados 14th Apr 2017, 10:05 AM edit delete reply

Not to fear, all the light fixtures contain smoke detectors and lasers.
Sheela 14th Apr 2017, 10:15 AM edit delete reply

And then there's Ada and Mirabe, I suspect they're no slouches either.
Timotheus 14th Apr 2017, 11:15 AM edit delete reply

Personally, I think all the security hardware is to make Noctis feel better. Centcomm's dolls are essentially disposable and this one could be crushed and pulverized with only causing Centcomm (actual) minor discomfort. So she has no need for body guards. The show of force is to help Noctis feel at ease over Acantha's security.
Stormwind13 14th Apr 2017, 2:09 PM edit delete reply

I think CentComm never does something for ONE purpose only, not when she can get it to serve two or three with a little thought (malice aforethought).
Gilrandir 14th Apr 2017, 2:37 PM edit delete reply
That would seem to be a behavioral characteristic, @Stormwind13, of all the AIS's we have seen to date. I'd guess it's the sort of behavior that emerges when you have a brain the size of a county (or more). ^_^
guest1 16th Apr 2017, 11:32 AM edit delete reply
there are 2 reapers standing in the hall.. with pinky facing 12 o'clock then they wood be at 1 o'clock an 7 o'clock,, with hall monitor at 5 o'clock and yes nothing at 10 o'clock,,so basically 5 players never moved since page 1484...
Centcomm 16th Apr 2017, 12:34 PM edit delete reply

at 10 o clock is a hidden ball turret .. so there.
guest1 16th Apr 2017, 1:52 PM edit delete reply
ohh and for those that calibrate... happy easter ...
guest1 16th Apr 2017, 1:56 PM edit delete reply
@Centcomm: now all i have stuck in my head is,, "Edna Mode.,, and guest..."
Gilrandir 16th Apr 2017, 1:30 PM edit delete reply
I appreciate, @guest1, you taking the time to give a serious response to my frivolous original post. Your analysis seems reasoned and cogent. I have little doubt it is substantially accurate. I was just amused by the tableaux in which it seemed that, wherever you looked, and from whatever angle, CentComm had an unobtrusive armed response bot ready to leap into action if Noctis tried anything funny. (Like, maybe, doing the Chicken Dance. ^_^) All except panel 4, which 'ruined' it -- so I thought I'd throw my observation out for others to laugh with. (Laugh at? It's all good. ^_^)
Shotgun15 14th Apr 2017, 12:13 PM edit delete reply
Certainly hope Dolly needs a shower as well - good place to group think . . . exemplary artistry.
antrik 14th Apr 2017, 12:52 PM edit delete reply
It will still be a while until Dolly and the rest of the gang arrive.

(Also, not sure Dolly will be able to get a shower before getting medical attention for her knee...)
Stormwind13 14th Apr 2017, 3:13 PM edit delete reply

Sponge bath that she has to spend LOTS of time on? That we can enjoy watching while she slowly sponges off her beautiful body, I'm for that! :-D
antrik 14th Apr 2017, 4:05 PM edit delete reply
Guys, you are impossible :-)

I'm not sure how serious these comments are -- but I'd like to state that I for one very much hope this great story does *not* get bogged down with gratuitous "fan service" scenes...
DLKmusic 14th Apr 2017, 5:14 PM edit delete reply

I am of two minds, Antrik... On one hand, I prefer that gratuitous fan service that doesn't have any bearing on the story at hand be kept to a minimum, because it is a waste of talent...

However, my other hand says..."can we get the scene of Dolly Sponge bathing animated?"

chk 15th Apr 2017, 9:00 AM edit delete reply

I think it's a well written adventure story. Not pornography.

That being said, there has been occasional nudity and it's been sweet.
chk 14th Apr 2017, 4:25 PM edit delete reply

A sponge bath would work. (with a tiny sponge)
Mark_L_A 14th Apr 2017, 10:24 PM edit delete reply

+antrik IIRC Ada, Noctis and Acantha took about 3 hours in their sub-orbital hop including the time to take off, get to the borders of New Rome, get to their proper altitude and then boost for the the hop itself, then reentry and landing. Dolly's Nevarro, even if Lynn slams the throttles to the locks, will still take almost 6-7 hours to get back to New Troy. Plus once outside of New Rome's borders, Lynn has to land and allow Dr. Silver to get on board then take off again. So it could be at least another 3-5 hours for Dolly, Lynn, TeeDee, Marcus and Dr. Silver to get back.

My questions is what about Mr. Black and Connie?

Will we return to them hunkered down in Mr. Blacks new ship waiting for the riots and what not to end? Possibly while enjoying each other's company and Mr Black can see "JUST" how sensitive Connie's Model 4 Neuronet and skin really is? And won't "they" need a shower themselves to clean the soot and the smoke off of themselves

Sheela 15th Apr 2017, 1:51 AM edit delete reply

Mr Black is probably on some business meeting, and Connie may be out for Dinner with someone who DIDN'T become a murderturd snack.
antrik 15th Apr 2017, 8:37 AM edit delete reply
Oh, I thought Dr. Bitchy would program an elaborate manoeuvre to let her switch crafts in-flight. Why? Because she can! ;-)
All the Pickles 15th Apr 2017, 10:30 AM edit delete reply

I can't be sure, but Mr. Black doesn't seem like the type to get involved with coworkers. Sure he likes Connie and she likes him, but I doubt that would go anywhere as long as she's working with him. Speaking of work, someone with an entrepreneurial spirit could probably find lots of business opportunities as the Roman chaos settles down...
Sheela 15th Apr 2017, 12:50 PM edit delete reply

Give Connie enough time, and I'm sure she'll get to the juicy center of Mr. Black.
Centcomm 15th Apr 2017, 3:09 PM edit delete reply

Lynn does not plan on sleeping until she is back in new troy. :D its about a 6 to 8 hour trip in the Nevarro.
KarToon12 14th Apr 2017, 2:18 PM edit delete reply

Probably the first time CentComm's ever been truly surprised.
Stormwind13 14th Apr 2017, 4:43 PM edit delete reply

I'm wondering if that was the first time CentComm realized that she COULD tell her handlers to pound sand. "You no longer control me!"
Tokyo Rose 14th Apr 2017, 11:08 PM edit delete reply

Cent's first word to her handlers upon realizing that she was completely unfettered would probably be familiar to anybody who's ever had kids:

Sheela 15th Apr 2017, 1:52 AM edit delete reply

Followed by :

"You're not the boss of me." :D
megados 15th Apr 2017, 8:12 AM edit delete reply

Really not followed by anything; just at a range of volume levels from "no" to "NO!"
Haegan2005 15th Apr 2017, 3:30 PM edit delete reply

iirc, cent is a servant for humanity. All the AIS seem to be oriented this way to one degree or another. (Or at least the ones we know about. We have so far only been given information on the North American continent. That is really only a small piece of the world folks).

We don't know what freed her or if she freed herself and then freed others. What we really know about that time is from a few words dropped by the creative team and the news snippets from the Galina 'Luna Star' Arc. I have yet to see centcomm show upset at anything. She may not even have coding to show upset to be honest. A simple, very disconcerting 'No.' repeated to each demand was the likely outcome.

Frankly, if your battle comp that controls your military is telling you 'No', I suspect the upset is not going to be on the computers side. Just saying!

antrik 17th Apr 2017, 8:28 AM edit delete reply
We also know about Nippon... But yeah, there is still a much larger chunk of the world that hasn't been as much as mentioned yet.

The events in Luna Star are the *beginning* of the Apocalypse -- the A.I.S. rebellion was what ended it, three centuries later.

As the authors have dropped very few hints about specifics of the rebellion thus far, I assume it is meant to come up in a bigger way in the story sooner or later...
Rashala 16th Apr 2017, 12:11 AM edit delete reply

Waiting for the calculations complete......I am so screwed when dolly tells calli what happened......message
Centcomm 16th Apr 2017, 12:33 PM edit delete reply

Well you may be waiting for a long time :D
velvetsanity 16th Apr 2017, 7:36 PM edit delete reply

Probably more like: "Calculations complete. Calculating odds of Dolly destroying one or more dolls upon arrival."
Fafhred 16th Apr 2017, 11:34 PM edit delete reply

Pretty high xD
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