Comic 1477 - Gardener

16th Apr 2017, 9:00 PM
Average Rating: 5 (21 votes)
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DLKmusic 16th Apr 2017, 9:04 PM edit delete reply

That's an interesting perspective that Noctis has. I wasn't expecting it, but in retrospect it makes perfect sense that Noctis would think that way about Cent-Comm.

I remember Malati (Glory to her name) used a very similar analogy regarding the Cassians Here

megados 16th Apr 2017, 9:14 PM edit delete reply

I have often said that I view the Cassians to have a different sort of cultural mindset. I could be wrong, but as a whole, I think the Cassians have a better chance of understanding CentComm.
DLKmusic 16th Apr 2017, 9:16 PM edit delete reply

Good point, Megados. this Cassian outlook also bodes well for Aeneas as he starts to Integrate with Roman society.

That's a whole 'nother can of worms that I can't wait for the Evil Duo to open, lol
megados 16th Apr 2017, 9:26 PM edit delete reply

When it comes to pass, Aeneas may have many allies; the Cassians may well be, and Acantha had developed a rapport with him when he had no one, and he would not likely forget that, either. Like you, I would like to see how things are going, and we will get there eventually. There are already many threads being spun in this second arc! It keeps things interesting!
antrik 17th Apr 2017, 9:55 AM edit delete reply
@DLKmusic note that Aeneas is quite different in nature AIUI, since he has been designed primarily as a civic overseer, not a war machine. It has been mentioned that he is meant to be approachable...
DLKmusic 18th Apr 2017, 11:45 AM edit delete reply

Aeneas being approachable is a ship that has LONG sailed away. If you recall, Arianna feared him so much that being caught by Decimus was a better option than meeting Aeneas. That is the way that most of Rome actually feels. And a sane Aeneas? one that remembers what happened to him? doesn't sound very approachable to me...
there is gonna have to be a lot of bridgebuilding in Nova Roma now that Aeneas is in the picture again.
Gilrandir 18th Apr 2017, 11:52 AM edit delete reply
It would be an amusing twist to have Aeneas pretend to be a post-spike CentComm clone, reintroduced to Nova Roma as a replacement for the 'evil, insane, old Aeneas', while actually being a sweet and jovial fellow who just wants everybody to get along. However, his distaste for masks probably precludes that solution. ^_^
antrik 19th Apr 2017, 12:28 AM edit delete reply
Well, sure, we know Aeneas doesn't exactly have many friends in Roma, thanks to Acantha's grandpa... My point is since he doesn't have the same callous nature as Cent-Comm AIUI, the Cassians' outlook on Cent-Comm's demeanour is probably not of much consequence.

Also, considering that the Cassians' own reputation is about as good as Aeneas's, I'm not sure how their outlook should bode well for his integration either way...
Dragonrider 16th Apr 2017, 9:04 PM edit delete reply

when did Noctis get her official Cent-Comm clone badge issued?
Sheela 17th Apr 2017, 1:37 AM edit delete reply

Oh she didn't.

It's just that she has been a sort of "gardener" herself, and she has weeded out many a weed in the garden that is New Rome.
As much as she can fully understand an AIS, that aspect at least, she is familiar with.
Morituri 18th Apr 2017, 7:37 PM edit delete reply
More to the point of the analogy, she's been the shears that the rulers have been using to tend the garden of Nova Roma. She has had a while to consider her purpose and what the distinctions between wielding the shears well and badly are.

Or, you know, maybe she's been taking a correspondence course (Does Deep Blue offer correspondence courses?) in preparation to become an AIS herself, either to replace Aeneas, or since he seems to be okay now, maybe planning her own little garden in someplace like Ahta or somewhere... which, of course, makes me wonder whether that would be a nice place to live with her in charge.

megados 18th Apr 2017, 7:53 PM edit delete reply

Well Morituri, we will be getting our best chance of seeing what sort of person Noctis is, because right now, she has the most freedom she has ever had. The responsibility of New Rome is in the hands of Maxus and Tennyo for the time being, so she will have Acantha to keep safe, but otherwise is free to make her own choices. Maybe she will show us something.
jamie59 16th Apr 2017, 9:06 PM edit delete reply

Ada is getting the point of view from the other side. This seams a point of view Noctis is familiar with.
HiFranc 17th Apr 2017, 1:06 AM edit delete reply

It's hardly surprising that she understands Centcomm - Noctis is Princeps (and before her deputy). She sees the bigger picture. She's also part of the security services so has that perspective.

On the other hand, Ada is a medic in a dictatorship. She's only used to seeing her world, is warm person and has empathy for those who get trampled on by the powers that be.
megados 16th Apr 2017, 9:09 PM edit delete reply

Damn, Noctis, that is well put! (@Tokyo Rose you've outdone yourself again) I still feel bad for Ada though, regardless, Maybe Noctis was successful at making her feel a little better though.

The hall monitor bot may not be taking hall passes, but she sure seems interested in Noctis' speech! (Probably not really, but that's what it looks like)
Sheela 17th Apr 2017, 1:39 AM edit delete reply

Centcomm has said that Noctis will be observed at all times, hall-bots may have been programmed to pass by at opportune times, to ensure this happens.
Stormwind13 17th Apr 2017, 5:45 AM edit delete reply

May, Sheela? I'm willing to bet the house it HAS been done! Even the damn toaster has been told to keep an eye on Noctis!

And agreed megados, great job Rose (and CentComm too) on conveying the feelings on the page.
megados 17th Apr 2017, 6:57 AM edit delete reply

Behind those thousand-mile-stare eyes probably sit a couple of decent sized ion particle precharge chambers . . .
guest1 17th Apr 2017, 8:23 AM edit delete reply
hehe,, But WHY would you weaponize a toaster..!!??
Stormwind13 17th Apr 2017, 2:02 PM edit delete reply

Talk to Marcus about that, guest.
Marcus Ramesy 18th Apr 2017, 5:02 AM edit delete reply

special NTC security model.. it listens to your breakfast and neutralizes any threats to your health.....
antrik 17th Apr 2017, 9:59 AM edit delete reply
@Stromwind13 A toaster with eyes? Creepy ;-)
MirrorField 17th Apr 2017, 8:40 AM edit delete reply
If Noctis is not assuming that she (and Acantha) will be monitored in full panopticon style 24/7 while in New Troy, she's remiss in her duties.
Sheela 17th Apr 2017, 11:49 AM edit delete reply

@guest1 :

Less why, and more of a "when" did they do it.
After all, Marcus seems to have firsthand experience with weaponized toasters.
Timotheus 17th Apr 2017, 2:54 PM edit delete reply

As I was implying earlier, this may be for Noctis's comfort level. As long as she knows that Centcomm is behaving as expected (paranoid levels of surveillance) she can relax (as far as she will permit herself) that everything is normal.
Sheela 17th Apr 2017, 3:29 PM edit delete reply

They're weaponizing toasters for Noctis to feel home ?

... Noctis is a toaster ?
antrik 18th Apr 2017, 3:53 AM edit delete reply
More like a slicer/blender I'd say ;-)
megados 17th Apr 2017, 3:34 PM edit delete reply

@Timotheus, it may indeed help Noctis' comfort level, but CentComm's, and the Doctors' as well. Noctis would feel some normalcy, CentComm has the security she feels she needs, and the Doctors and Mirabe can go on about their business, reasonably assured that no 'drama' is in the offing.
Pirtnac 16th Apr 2017, 9:13 PM edit delete reply
For the record, I had previously thought of New Troy as Centcomm's human terrarium. However, that was mostly in the context of what I felt Centcomm would do to people who threw rocks at it.
Gilrandir 16th Apr 2017, 9:18 PM edit delete reply
There are many fans of the musical theatre of Gilbert & Sullivan. (I am one of them.) I just have to hope they don't all catch up with me in a dark alley some day to make me pay for my crimes. ^_^. This musical snippet comes from a slightly less well-known bit of The Pirates of Penzance, but I hope it will be recognizable to many and enjoyable to all.


When you had found Acantha, cold,
You tried to make her hale and fit;
But settled for, so we are told,
Warm stasis from your kit.
But that, alone, did not suffice.
Her time was short, by all the clocks.
Until to somebody occurred
This startling pair o' docs

A pair o' docs?

A pair o' docs.
A most ingenious pair o' docs
We've heard of traumas, wounds and shocks
But none to beat this pair o' docs

A pair o' docs, a pair o'docs.
A most ingenious pair o' docs.
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
This pair o' docs.

You knew that for most transport ships
Her time was short, her end was near;
Yet, ere from Life to Death she slips,
You rushed to bring her here.
You said that Kyle would play his part
To get her to a doctor's care,
So helped yourself and with his Dart
Made it with time to spare.

A pair o' docs?

A pair o' docs.
That most ingenious pair o' docs
We've heard of traumas, wounds and shocks
But none to beat that pair o' docs

A pair o' docs, a pair o'docs.
A most ingenious pair o' docs.
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
That pair o' docs.

For some ridiculous reason, while surrounded by those who should have been loyal,
Some person stabbed this girl, even though she could be considered royal.
And, as a rule, extensive chest trauma like that should be unavoidably fatal,
But, blessed by a fortunate star in the heavens on the day of her occasion natal,
Medical personnel were on hand to render timely assistance,
In spite of the threat of hostile forces offering armed resistance.
Thereby allowing us the present opportunity to discover
If, through diligent application of our skills, she will recover.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha
Ho ho ho ho

Dear me!
We'll see.
At least she can afford the fee!

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

How quaint this helpful pair o' docs.
In classic scrubs and kitty smocks,
Advanced degrees and healing arts
To save Acantha will contrive.
And, with modern replacement parts ...
Yes, with modern replacement parts ...
She has a chance to stay alive!

She has a chance to stay alive!

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
A pair o' docs, A pair o' docs,
A most ingenious pair o' docs
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
A pair o' docs
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
A curious pair o' docs
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
A most ingenious pair o' docs
DLKmusic 16th Apr 2017, 9:24 PM edit delete reply

I just got one question... Did that take you most of the day to do, or did you whip that off in 15 minutes?

if it took you fifteen minutes, I have one more thing to say..... pfffffffffffft!

(well done, btw)
Gilrandir 16th Apr 2017, 9:28 PM edit delete reply
It did not take fifteen minutes. ^_^. Thank you for the compliment.
megados 16th Apr 2017, 9:35 PM edit delete reply

Well done, once again, @Gilrandir! Quality entertainment!

@DLKmusic, you can tell by the timestamp that it was eighteen minutes! :P :D
Gilrandir 16th Apr 2017, 9:48 PM edit delete reply
<shakes head> I admit, I did this a couple of days ago and held it until the new page posted. I have learned that, when I post something at the bottom of a wall of text just before the page updates I get less of the commentary and praise for which I hunger in my selfish and small-souled way. ^_^

I also try not to post more than one per page or too many too close together, for similar reasons. ^_^
Centcomm 16th Apr 2017, 9:40 PM edit delete reply

... picks up jaw.. wow.. Just wow.. Nicely done!
Gilrandir 16th Apr 2017, 9:49 PM edit delete reply
Thank you.
Timotheus 16th Apr 2017, 11:56 PM edit delete reply

You're going to make me dig out my copy of the complete Gilbert and Sullivan song book aren't you (that things heavy, you know).
Gilrandir 17th Apr 2017, 8:58 AM edit delete reply
No, @Timotheus, but I will make a note to avoid going down any dark alleys with you. ^_^
The Old Scribe 16th Apr 2017, 9:21 PM edit delete reply

Centcom Mary, Quite contrary,
how does your garden grow?
With humans and clones,
cyborgs and drones.
and murderous robots all in a row.
Sheela 17th Apr 2017, 1:53 AM edit delete reply

Centcomm the Gardener, writes "Dear Diary,"
"Why is it that the weeds grow better than the peas?"
"Why do they strangle all the pretty flowers?"
"Why do the trees complain that I'm callous with the shears?"
"And why is TeeDee stuffing a Koala into the ventilation ducts near 3-Cee?"
" ... near the Q-racks..."
" ... that is my core ..."
"Stop it TeeDee, STOP IT!"


TeeDee : "Make Ada cry, will you?"
TeeDee : "Still won't let her contact her boyfriend, huh ?"
TeeDee : "Run free little koala, run rampant in the server rooms below!"
TeeDee : "And will you do me a personal favor"
TeeDee : "Pull every circuit board you find out ... ok?"
TeeDee : "I'll get you strawberries and Ada hugs afterwards, if you do well."
Timotheus 16th Apr 2017, 9:31 PM edit delete reply

Interesting way of depicting how frosty Ada's quiescence is. I suppose with an android that could be achieved holographically.
Tokyo Rose 16th Apr 2017, 11:16 PM edit delete reply

The protoscripted page specified that Ada's comment should be "chilly". I went with a literal visual :)
StellarJay 17th Apr 2017, 1:38 AM edit delete reply

Ada's response does come across as chilly, but perhaps with a very false affection of cheeriness that icicles would not have had. I really liked it portrayed this way.
Stormwind13 17th Apr 2017, 5:22 AM edit delete reply

As Mira said. "...'At yer service' stuff, that's how androids say 'fuck off'." (Page Er... from 19 November 2013). I would say Ada just blasted CentComm with that. Probably had as much effect as water on a duck though against CentComm.
guest1 18th Apr 2017, 3:26 PM edit delete reply
page 950 title " Er.." last panel
cattservant 16th Apr 2017, 9:34 PM edit delete reply

Agrarian philosophy...
Gilrandir 16th Apr 2017, 9:45 PM edit delete reply
One of the more interesting (to me) aspects of the exchange between Ada and Noctis is that (perhaps due to excessive dryness) they don't seem to be recognizing that both of them can be correct.

Ada cites CentComm for cruelty, and defines 'cruelty' (causing suffering without remorse). Noctis replies in such a way as to make it seem she is disagreeing and proceeds to explain (justify?) why CentComm finds it necessary to cause suffering and why she is unlikely to feel remorse, given her circumstances and perspective. This doesn't actually refute any part of Ada's claims (in fact it endorses them), but seems to suggest that Ada should be more understanding and accepting of CentComm's cruelty. But, it is presented in such a typically dry, multi-leveled way as to create the impression that she might be disagreeing with Ada.

The question I have is: Is Noctis consciously aware that she is, in fact, not disagreeing with Ada, but endeavoring to convince Ada to revise her opinion of CentComm for Ada's own peace of mind; or, is Noctis convinced in her own mind that pragmatism is so important that cruelty out of pragmatic necessity is sufficiently justified that it is only pragmatic and therefore not cruelty at all?

It's well-written dialogue for Noctis which, as is often the case, can be read many ways while actually revealing next to nothing about Noctis' own opinions. However, in this case (and based on past interactions) I think Noctis has become (to an extent) desensitized to cruelty if convinced of its necessity. And, given her experiences with Decimus, one can see how that attitude might well be a coping mechanism. There was, after all, so much unnecessary cruelty to draw attention to itself.
Gilrandir 16th Apr 2017, 10:00 PM edit delete reply
We even have a counterexample to Noctis' analogy in Tulip, the Epiphyte gardener who (apparently) does ask the opinions of the plants she tends and does feel individual empathy (presumably) and remorse even for the pain she causes when she cuts away harmful and excessive growth or the deaths she causes when it is needful to remove a weed.

Of course, given sufficiently advanced horticulture and psychic powers, one can use vegetative birth control to keep weeds from being conceived in the first place, rather than having to remove them after they have fully sprouted.
megados 16th Apr 2017, 10:03 PM edit delete reply

I do not know whether I am able to answer your question, except to give my impression. To me, it appears that Noctis is attempting to relate an explanation of how she sees CentComm's actions and position, in the hopes that helping Ada to understand her reasoning process, will make Ada feel a little better. Ada sees CentComm as just being callous just because she doesn't care, (she doesn't), but I think that Noctis feels that if Ada understands that there is a reasoning process behind it, that although it is cold, it is not arbitrary. I think Noctis does want to help Ada here.

edit: To your counter example, I submit that the Epiphytes really can't be compared to CentComm, because they're approximately the polar opposite. They are strongly empathetic, whereas CentComm his anything but. You as much as said that.
Gilrandir 16th Apr 2017, 10:09 PM edit delete reply
So, in your opinion, if we ask Noctis "Given that cruelty is defined as intentionally causing suffering without remorse -- yes or no, do you consider CentComm to be cruel?", do you think Noctis would answer "yes" or "no"?

(I agree that, no matter how she would answer, what she appears to be doing here is to aid Ada in coming to terms with CentComm and her actions.)

EDIT: it is precisely because they are so different (in my opinion) that they can be compared. We can learn things by comparing them and identifying the differences and the similarities. We just need to compare them only in meaningful ways, and not to misconstrue what we discover. There is no point to only ever comparing things that are identical to each other. ^_^
megados 16th Apr 2017, 10:12 PM edit delete reply

I think she would say yes, but possibly add "But it is sometimes necessary".

edit: You have a point, a comparison could be made, if only to point out the difference between a real gardener, and a computer model of one. Compare, but in this case, maybe more importantly, contrast, and possibly show some better ways of accomplishing the gardening. Maybe CentComm would benefit from an Epiphyte advisor.
xpacetrue 17th Apr 2017, 12:13 AM edit delete reply

@megados wrote,
" ...I submit that the Epiphytes really can't be compared to CentComm, because they're approximately the polar opposite. They are strongly empathetic, whereas CentComm his anything but. "

You're not exactly wrong. Though, we've seen Cent-Comm's personal involvement with and empathy towards the Taylor family. We've even seen her share a tender moment with Calliope, begging her forgiveness and seeking solace in her arms. She's not exactly an emotionless husk, despite her behavior and despite the cold and professional exterior she always keeps in public.

Anyway, that does not preclude the possibility that Cent-Comm could benefit from having a long talk with an Epiphyte. In particular, I'd like to see CentComm have such with an old or even ancient Epiphyte. Cent might learn a few things since Epiphytes are master gardeners.

Also, I get a 'grandparent' vibe from Epiphytes, like they view humans as a very young race that still has considerable learning and growing up to do. I don't doubt most older Epiphytes could give useful, sage advice to just about anyone, even an AIS.
guest1 17th Apr 2017, 8:45 AM edit delete reply
i agree with exceptions ,,emotion, as a "War" AIS she is a bully an has to be, ( you made a concession for them why not me whaaa...)so all have to look like SHE begrudgingly public
Epiphyite : yes an probably tried, since they cant read pinky, it was (probably) one sided...: seed an tide,, old or young all know the knowledge.. but yeah who wouldn't want to talk to a really old one...
antrik 17th Apr 2017, 12:47 PM edit delete reply
@xpacetrue regarding that hugging scene with Calliope and Commie, I too initially thought that Commie was "seeking solace in her arms"; but upon further re-readings, I realised that it was really just submitting to Calliope's gesture.

Having said that, the things Commie says there give off hints that while she does what she things "needs" to be done, she might not actually be without remorse about it. And I tend to think that is actually what Noctis is getting at.

(And I also think that's *precisely* how Noctis sees herself... She too does whatever needs to be done, though she doesn't always feel happy about it.)
guest1 18th Apr 2017, 3:37 PM edit delete reply
ok? did everyone forget pinky is "sparked" / aware ..?? she haz emotions,, she dont use em much cuz she dont want em stomped on.. i think the ONLY time she can truly show emotion is with Calliope...
antrik 18th Apr 2017, 6:32 PM edit delete reply
She is aware, but we have been told she doesn't feel emotions the way we do. Which is very vague, but it's what we have to work with.
xpacetrue 17th Apr 2017, 12:19 AM edit delete reply

Isn't Cent-Comm one of the oldest (if not the oldest) AIS? Her age is measured in centuries, if not millennia.

How many humans and androids do you think she's personally known? Mortals die, but nigh-immortal AIS live on.

Imagine getting emotionally attached to countless mortal, short-lived people as centuries come and go. Even if they didn't have to put their nation before the individual, they can't afford get too emotionally attached to individuals. Don't some people harden and grow bitter as they age? Isn't this a form of emotional defense, to avoid pain?
HiFranc 17th Apr 2017, 1:15 AM edit delete reply

From Ada's perspective, she is also immortal but chooses to care about the ones she knows. She can't see why Centcomm "can't".
xpacetrue 17th Apr 2017, 1:37 AM edit delete reply

Androids are very different from AIS, with a definite lifespan, like humans - shorter, even.

If you are referring to how Ada believes in spiritual immortality, I don't see how that qualifies her as having the same perspective or emotional context as Cent-Comm and other AIS. Ada is so young compared to Cent-Comm. She's only 28. Cent is probably 40 to 50 times older than that, perhaps more. And while Cent-Comm's exact age is secret, Ada is well aware that she is ancient in comparison.

Perhaps your point is to emphasize how Ada thinks - making her seem all too human? Perhaps, like Noctis says, it's not easy for Ada to things from Cent's perspective?
Sheela 17th Apr 2017, 2:10 AM edit delete reply

Centcomm is not being mean out of cruelty per se. (ie. cruelty can be a goal in itself - But it's not the case with Centcomm.)
That said, she does not mourn the weeds, which is pretty darn callous in its own way.
In nature, even weeds have the right to live, and they add to the bio-diversity.
But in the ivory tower that is New Troy, Centcomm is busy pruning an ever more sterile garden.
Ictuan 17th Apr 2017, 12:17 PM edit delete reply
What is a weed but a plant growing in the wrong place.

The thing that struck me about Ada's comments is that she complained about Cent-Comm being cruel after not being allowed to call her boyfriend for several more hours to make sure everyone else makes it back safely. I found it particularly ironic given Noctis had to serve a barbarically cruel ruler. A ruler that was so cruel that only moments earlier Noctis felt compelled to tell Cent-Comm that condolences for said ruler's passing were not needed.
xpacetrue 17th Apr 2017, 3:19 PM edit delete reply

" I found it particularly ironic given Noctis had to serve a barbarically cruel ruler. "

Good point. Though, what I found ironic is that Diabolical Decimus was human, now deceased, while Cent-Comm is an immortal god-machine. And Cent-Comm is more humane and far more preferable as a ruler.
HiFranc 17th Apr 2017, 2:27 AM edit delete reply

I forgot that androids have a limited life.

{edit} Then again, with Q drives, they can transfer to another body.
Gilrandir 17th Apr 2017, 2:59 AM edit delete reply
And android lifespan is a matter of statute, not technology -- which may make it specific to New Troy. Since we know nothing about who made the Cassians, or with what technology they are constructed (except for the fact that "they cheat"), there's no reason to assume they are subject to the 100 year limit.
Sheela 17th Apr 2017, 3:29 AM edit delete reply

I thought their main issue was progressive ego collapse as they reached old age ?
Gilrandir 17th Apr 2017, 3:48 AM edit delete reply
Not so far as I have gleaned from the commentary or tech pages. As I recall, we have been told that androids could be constructed with nigh-endless lifespans, but as a compromise to allay human concerns, they have life limits designed in. The New Trojans seem to have spearheaded this and, presumably, most other androids to be found in DataChasers are of New Trojan design because (as presented) they have the best android technology. But there's no reason I can see to think that original design LunaCom, New Sparta, Shinedo, or Epiphyte synthbrains could not be designed with a design life measured in millennia, if someone decided they wanted to go that route.
megados 17th Apr 2017, 5:46 AM edit delete reply

@spacetrue, "Though, we've seen Cent-Comm's personal involvement with and empathy towards the Taylor family. We've even seen her share a tender moment with Calliope, seeking solace in her arms. She's not exactly an emotionless husk, despite her behavior and despite the cold and professional exterior she always keeps in public." You have a point, although unlike the Epiphytes, she does not seem to allow herself the luxury very freely. It makes one think that CentComm and Noctis do have some common ground.

@Gilrandir, I think Sheela is right; I remember seeing a comment by @Centcomm or @Tokyo Rose that an android can suffer a kind of dementia as the synthbrain breaks down. I can't remember exactly where I saw it though. The lifespan limit was also tied to that, IIRC. There was also something about the Xerox effect, such that making copies of copies limited them in that way also. I could be mistaken, though
Gilrandir 17th Apr 2017, 7:31 AM edit delete reply
On the Tech page, under "Androids", the last paragraph before introducing Black Angels, it specifically says they could operate indefinitely with proper maintenance. Since that's a general statement, it doesn't rule out the possibility that specific individuals may well suffer personality breakdown and dementia, either through lack of proper maintenance, the aforementioned built-in lifespan limit, or occasional defects in workmanship or materials. The Xerox effect (as far I know) was only mentioned in the commentaries as an example of an extra consideration that would need to be accounted for in response to the proposal for an android to evade the built-in limitations by body hopping. Note that the Xerox effect does not apply to purely digital copies, thanks to the existence of measures such as CRCs and other data verification techniques (including bit-by-bit validation).
megados 17th Apr 2017, 7:50 AM edit delete reply

Like I said, I could be mistaken. That which I refer to, was a comment by one of the creative duo, saying that the synth brain would degrade over time, and that the android's lifespan was related to terminating to avoid a sort of dementia, as well as it being a social reason to avoid giving them that unfair advantage.

As far as the Xerox effect was concerned, at the time I understood it to be unrelated to the transfer itself, but rather, the degradation that occurred during degradation of an aging synth brain. The synth brain OS, if you will, would be essentially self-modifying code, and I could see where compromising self-modifying code could have a cascade effect such that when it is loaded into a new synth brain, however accurately, it would continue to degrade due to existing corruption. I may have misremembered the whole thing, but I remember myself trying to think this through at the time.

edit: It was in a discussion about android longevity, and lengthening a lifespan by extraordinary means.
antrik 17th Apr 2017, 11:27 AM edit delete reply
The lifespan discussion was recent: it was in the comment section of "Favors" (presently ). Since it was recent, and quite in-depth, I actually consider it more canon than the remark on the tech page.

Having said that, it was still not *entirely* clear whether this is actually about signal degradation (accumulating bit errors -- "Xerox effect" might or might not fit, depending on whether the errors happen during propagation or during storage); or whether it's more about software errors creating inconsistencies.
megados 17th Apr 2017, 11:44 AM edit delete reply

Yes, antrik, that was it, thanks. I also remember having been unclear on the exact mechanism at the time. I guess what my brain came up with, was how I ended up rationalizing it to fill in the gaps, since before then there wasn't as clear a canon explanation. So now if there's a proper explanation, it would be nice to know.
xpacetrue 17th Apr 2017, 11:36 AM edit delete reply

" {edit} Then again, with Q drives, they can transfer to another body. "

Even assuming that androids would not suffer dementia or mental breakdowns (as has been discussed), the use of Q drives -still- would not make an android immortal. That's because each time an android attempts to transfer to a new body they are rolling the dice. There is a not-insignificant failure rate. It's like playing Russian Roulette since each pull of the trigger brings them closer to an inevitable fate.

Also, remember how careful Dr. Silver had to be with TeeDee's and Ada's personality matrices - how worried she was? Remember how, after recovery and waking up, TeeDee asked Ada several questions, testing her to make sure that Ada was still Ada?

Aside all that: Consider what would happen if androids -were- immortal. Having a short lifespan like humans and male and female genders like humans makes it easier for androids and humans to empathize with and relate to each other. If they were immortal, they may grow jaded and emotionally distant with old age. Also, city-states like New Troy could not manufacture many new ones, else the population would grow out of control.
Sheela 17th Apr 2017, 12:19 PM edit delete reply

Interestingly, I struck upon that dichotomy myself, when i made my own headcanon about the Copenhagen city state and it's AIS : Ariel.

There they had very limited metal resources available, so the production of things like robots and androids was very stunted, so instead the androids there were even more organic and as such reacted better to anti-aging medicines (originally made for humans) than regular androids.

That meant that they could reach ages up to 160 or so (same as their human counterparts, Copenhagen has good anti-agatics), but during their latter years, they would have to "prune" their memories to avoid overflow.

Also, as an aside, since they were so rare in Copenhagen, you could not "buy" an android, you would have to befriend it, and they also tended to befriend for life, so androids were a big commitment.

Add into this confusing mix 7 androids that are essentially immortal because they were created by a mad scientist in a military experiment that allowed for full regeneration of the brain. (The other 1493 androids from the experiment went mad and then on a rampage)

Now imagine a combat android with several hundred years of combat experience, a veritable hero among androids in your city state!
... and your 7 year old daughter just befriended him!

... for life!

megados 18th Apr 2017, 7:09 AM edit delete reply

Sheela, this: . . . "but during their latter years, they would have to "prune" their memories to avoid overflow", reminded me of Dima at Acadia in Far Harbor. (As an aside, I liked those puzzles in retrieving his memories)

". . . Now imagine a combat android with several hundred years of combat experience, a veritable hero among androids in your city state!
... and your 7 year old daughter just befriended him!

... for life". This could be either good or bad depending on your family! ;)
TheSkulker 17th Apr 2017, 11:42 PM edit delete reply

@xpacetrue, I, and many others, do not have to imagine it. We have experienced it. While not exactly the same, many humans do have analogous experiences - namely with our pets. Their normal lifespans are much shorter than ours and many die young. We very definitely form emotional bonds and grieve when they pass on. I have never met or heard of anyone getting jaded or blase` over the experiences. We welcome new companions with short lifespans knowing full well that there will be pain ahead but appreciating the time spent together. And even the possibility of having to someday put a pet down doesn't prevent forming those emotional bonds.

Previous pets stay in our memories, even while we bond with new ones. That is a well that never gets full.

Sheela 18th Apr 2017, 10:05 AM edit delete reply

@megados :
Oh she would be very safe, but imagine the awkward !

@TheSkulker :
Yeah, but imagine calling your creators "pets" ?
Gilrandir 18th Apr 2017, 10:25 AM edit delete reply
I think there may be another reader of Freefall or two out there, and for them, this will be redundant. But, since it seemed amusingly relevant, I thought I'd offer it. And, for what it's worth, I enjoy the strip. Just FYI.
Sheela 18th Apr 2017, 11:06 AM edit delete reply

Oh god yes, I read FreeFall religiously !
It's the first comic I check in on !

It is *seriously* underestimated !
john 16th Apr 2017, 10:31 PM edit delete reply
Does Ada seem to be getting larger? Or is Noctis getting smaller?
Centcomm 16th Apr 2017, 10:47 PM edit delete reply

Noctis IS small .. and no Ada didnt change. :D
Sheela 17th Apr 2017, 2:11 AM edit delete reply

Being small can be an advantage.
Small targets are less likely to seem threatening, that may be useful during negotiations.

Also, big targets attract more gunfire.
Stormwind13 17th Apr 2017, 4:51 AM edit delete reply

Anyone that saw Noctis' eyes would know she was NOT to be taken lightly, Sheela! Of course if you are that close to her, you are already in serious trouble!
megados 17th Apr 2017, 5:49 AM edit delete reply

Being small also allows for greater speed - One of Noctis' key advantages.

Seeing Noctis' eyes doesn't necessarily spell automatic doom, if you haven't deserved it. If you have, you're probably toast, whether you can see her eyes or not . . . :)
Stormwind13 17th Apr 2017, 9:08 AM edit delete reply

Automatic doom, megados? No, didn't say you were doomed (unless as you pointed out you've done something to deserve her doom); however, as Dust found out <Non-Answer 24 February 2016> being on the receiving end of Noctis' eyes can be disconcerting! :-D
megados 17th Apr 2017, 9:54 AM edit delete reply

I can understand that, Stormwind, epecially the first time a person meets her! :D

PS, I particularly liked that page!
Sheela 17th Apr 2017, 11:53 AM edit delete reply

Yes, yes, it's all true Stormwind .. hoewver, if you are close to Noctis, you could honk her nose!

antrik 17th Apr 2017, 1:33 PM edit delete reply
That would be amusing. Though I guess it wouldn't have any effect whatsoever beside a footnote in her "humans are weird" file...

Actually, I guess she might find it amusing in a way too -- in particular how it would freak you out when she just keeps staring at you with no change in expression :-)

(And now I'm suddenly wondering why it didn't occur to me earlier that "Poker Face" should totally be her theme song ;-) )
velvetsanity 18th Apr 2017, 6:07 AM edit delete reply

*comm static* "Omega Base to Agent Sheela. Status green. I say again, status green! Commence Operation Nose Booping!"
Sheela 18th Apr 2017, 10:03 AM edit delete reply

Woohoo! :D
antrik 18th Apr 2017, 10:17 AM edit delete reply
[Sheela boops Noctis's nose]
Noctis: ...
Sheela 18th Apr 2017, 11:09 AM edit delete reply

*comm static* Miss..*comm static* ..eted..*comm static* ..zzraakk.. *comm static* Johnny bruger ikk' gummistøvler! *comm static* Kom ind Finn!
*long comm static*

Oh come on! At least give the doggy with no opposable paws a way to work the comm unit! >:(
megados 18th Apr 2017, 2:12 PM edit delete reply

*hooks up a foot pedal for Sheela*
Rms2000 16th Apr 2017, 11:47 PM edit delete reply

What would TeeDee say, if she were present for this exchange?
Sheela 17th Apr 2017, 2:12 AM edit delete reply
Tokyo Rose 17th Apr 2017, 2:27 AM edit delete reply

And then Sheela almost killed me because I aspirated a Cadbury egg while reading comments.
Sheela 17th Apr 2017, 3:35 AM edit delete reply

A Cadbury egg, huh ?
"But what flavor is it?"

And as it turns out, Tokyo Rose is ... naturally aspirated? XD
antrik 17th Apr 2017, 11:33 AM edit delete reply
@Sheela and here I was thinking she was turbo-charged -- once she revvs up, she seems pretty much unstoppable ;-)
Stormwind13 17th Apr 2017, 5:06 AM edit delete reply

I'm not so sure, Sheela. With all of the military presence around, the outcome could be VERY different this time.

CentComm says (as TeeDee starts in motion), "I understand you are wanting a different body, TDE-K132-3F. Here let me help..." as warbot opens fire cutting her in half. "There, now you are ready to be transferred... "
megados 17th Apr 2017, 6:37 AM edit delete reply

LOL, @Sheela!
xpacetrue 17th Apr 2017, 3:47 PM edit delete reply

Hilarious, Sheela! Thanks for sharing!

Though, every time someone mentions a boot to the head, I'm instantly reminded of The Frantics' "Ti Kwan Leep". Also, this "Boot to the Head" short film.
chk 17th Apr 2017, 8:32 AM edit delete reply

Rose mentioned an egg? In front of Sheela? Damn.
Gilrandir 17th Apr 2017, 9:03 AM edit delete reply
See, now I can imagine @Mr. Black taking away all of @Tokyo Rose's chocolate eggs and, when she asks why, he replies "They weren't very credible, anyway. I have an idea which will significantly improve the plot line, but I have to get rid of these, first." <smile>

(Note to @Mr. Black: You will know best, of course, but this may not be the best idea on those occasions when Easter falls on Shark Week. ^_^)
megados 17th Apr 2017, 9:50 AM edit delete reply

Oh Jeezus >_<
antrik 17th Apr 2017, 11:41 AM edit delete reply
@Gilrandir that might be the best egg comment ever... Such a lovely (lightly) veiled jab ;-)
Sheela 17th Apr 2017, 11:59 AM edit delete reply

@Gilrandir :
Aha, but when Mr. Black eats Tokyo Rose's eggs, does he do it the naturally aspirated way, or the turbocharged way ?

Meanwhile @ Luna-Comm : "Here with the latest news : According to credible sources, Tokyo Rose is in fact NOT a regular mammal - She is, the Easter Bunny!" >_<
And then millions of kids got little easter eggs that swore at them.

@antrik :
No no, if she was turbo-charged, she would have a small turbine that shoots Cadbury eggs into her mouth every time she farts.

@Stormwind :
That sounds like a messy method, when she could just inform TeeDee where to find her new hexaflow body!

@chk :
Mentioning eggs in front of me is perfectly safe, apart from a bit of drool on your shoes.
Mentioning fish on the other hand ...
antrik 17th Apr 2017, 1:06 PM edit delete reply
LOL... I'll totally use that line if I ever get to explain to someone how a turbo-charger works :-)
Sheela 17th Apr 2017, 3:27 PM edit delete reply

Warning : It makes you fart MORE !

Especially if you had beans.
*sage nod*
chk 17th Apr 2017, 4:29 PM edit delete reply

Sheela, you are a bona fide trip.
Sheela 17th Apr 2017, 11:28 PM edit delete reply

Only because your shoelaces are tied together!

... which I had nothing to do with!
Tokyo Rose 18th Apr 2017, 12:05 AM edit delete reply

"And then millions of kids got little easter eggs that swore at them."

I will have you know that Tokyo Rose is actively going "YES, YES I WILL DO THIS" and the Treasures are already planning how to defuse the situation.
velvetsanity 18th Apr 2017, 6:10 AM edit delete reply

Since when does Shinto acknowledge Christian usurpation of pagan holidays? O_O
antrik 18th Apr 2017, 8:47 AM edit delete reply
Contrary to popular belief, Easter is actually of Jewish, not Pagan origin.
guest1 18th Apr 2017, 8:58 AM edit delete reply
acknowledge. no not really..they do it in some places "around" military bases cuz their kids military friends do it( an get invited too )most of the kids are to young to know whats it about..but these "holidays" we get free Futenma we would let "friends" on base for the Egg hunt,, kids loved it, parents just shook their heads...
Sheela 18th Apr 2017, 9:59 AM edit delete reply

Lets not forget that according to canon, Tokyo Rose is not of Shinto origin.

As for it's origin, that one is more difficult, I have heard of Ancient Egyptian and Babylonian ties (painted eggs was used as motif for resurrection), and of course of Pagan German origins (Eostre heals a Bird and turns it into a rabbit, thus we get a rabbit that lays eggs, but those were not painted), and even a bit of christian origins (the empty shell = the empty tomb) .. but never of Jewish origins.
Centcomm 18th Apr 2017, 8:48 PM edit delete reply

Tokyo rose is.. rose.. LOL shes a meat popcicle.
Rashala 16th Apr 2017, 11:48 PM edit delete reply

I can see centys perspective but still this plant is still mad she cut down the pink rose Bush that was ceci to try and plug a gopher hole!
Sheela 17th Apr 2017, 2:12 AM edit delete reply

... a gopher hole that was in another garden, even.
SeanR 17th Apr 2017, 1:14 PM edit delete reply
Well, the entrance was in another garden, but just recently, trails of raised earth had started to cause havoc in her garden.
megados 17th Apr 2017, 2:37 PM edit delete reply

Caddyshack in the DC Universe!
Sheela 17th Apr 2017, 3:28 PM edit delete reply

Well, to be fair, the other garden was about to throw dirty dirt EVERYWHERE!
SeanR 17th Apr 2017, 4:57 PM edit delete reply
I have never seen that movie.
Tokyo Rose 18th Apr 2017, 12:06 AM edit delete reply


Next you'll be telling us you've never seen "Airplane!" or "Spaceballs" or "Blazing Saddles".
velvetsanity 18th Apr 2017, 6:12 AM edit delete reply

I haven't seen Caddyshack or Blazing Saddles...that said, I want a Spaceballs the Flamethrower.
guest1 18th Apr 2017, 8:36 AM edit delete reply
..excuse me. i speak jive..
.. they've gone plaid...
.. the sheriff is a .. .. near...
.. dont be afraid mr. go-fur its jus me friendly mr. (ack-pth) squirrel.. (thud)
Sheela 18th Apr 2017, 9:41 AM edit delete reply

"The Princess Bride" - Rodents of Unusual Size !
"Life of Brian" - "You are all different!" "I'm not!" "Shh, shut up."
"Blues Brothers" - "We're on a mission from God!"
DLKmusic 18th Apr 2017, 3:47 PM edit delete reply

@Sheela: You forgot...

Bill & Ted: "Be excellent to each other, and PARTY ON DUDES!!!!"
SeanR 20th Apr 2017, 7:07 PM edit delete reply
I haven't seen "Airplane!", and have only seen part of "Blazing Saddles".
I'm not one to sit through a movie unless it's in a theater, and I rarely go to the theater.
mjkj 17th Apr 2017, 12:19 AM edit delete reply

Wow, so insightful, Noctis...
Stormwind13 17th Apr 2017, 4:57 AM edit delete reply

I was surprised by how insightful Noctis was here. Actually more by her example than by the ability to analyze the subject. That sounds more like an Epiphyte than a Cassian! :-)
megados 17th Apr 2017, 1:48 PM edit delete reply

Actually, I was a bit less surprised, since Noctis does a bit of "pruning" herself. She relates it so well to Ada, that I think if anything, Ada might be a little surprised. Even the hall monitor seems to be surprised! :D
chk 17th Apr 2017, 8:25 AM edit delete reply

Cent-Comm cruel? No way.

She's just misunderstood.
Gilrandir 17th Apr 2017, 9:07 AM edit delete reply
It can be both, @chk. She says she's accustomed to playing the villain, but to the weeds, the Gardener is the villain ...

... and it's a slasher flick! ^_^
antrik 17th Apr 2017, 11:44 AM edit delete reply
Actually, she said she is accustomed to being cast in the role of villain... That's a significant difference IMHO, since it's passive vs. active.
Gilrandir 17th Apr 2017, 1:07 PM edit delete reply
True enough, @antrik. I failed to get the quote correct.
Phil 17th Apr 2017, 2:11 PM edit delete reply
"Please allow me to introduce myself..."

The song lyrics dont match this episode very well, but the song title does ;)
Phil 17th Apr 2017, 2:27 PM edit delete reply
Hmm.. then again, maybe they do match :)

I stuck around St. Petersburg
When I saw it was a time for a change
Killed the czar and his ministers
Anastasia screamed in vain

Steven-Vincent 17th Apr 2017, 2:27 PM edit delete reply

How interesting that Noctis is the one who sees things from Cent's perspective.
megados 17th Apr 2017, 3:13 PM edit delete reply

Well, Noctis has done a little pruning of her own, so maybe she has some insight.
KarToon12 17th Apr 2017, 3:38 PM edit delete reply

In which Noctis becomes a shrink and a poet.
Sheela 17th Apr 2017, 11:34 PM edit delete reply

Noctis cannot afford to shrink, she's already small enough as is!
Poetry rehearsals would become something else with a group of Cassians appearing!
What would she write ?
Gardener in the Dark ?
Tokyo Rose 18th Apr 2017, 12:09 AM edit delete reply

Poetry Night in the Cassian barracks was indefinitely suspended. Malati had far too many filthy limericks memorized.
velvetsanity 18th Apr 2017, 6:13 AM edit delete reply

I miss Malati...
Sheela 18th Apr 2017, 9:31 AM edit delete reply

We all do.
DLKmusic 18th Apr 2017, 3:24 PM edit delete reply

@Velvetsanity: Glory to her name
Gilrandir 18th Apr 2017, 10:55 AM edit delete reply
Malati on her prey quickly swoops.
She had special ways with the troops.
She was quite unafraid,
And her plans were well-laid
To take them one by one, or in groups.
DLKmusic 18th Apr 2017, 8:17 PM edit delete reply

There once was an android in Rome
who liked watching fights in the dome
if the wrestlers impressed
in their state of undress
she would invite the poor fools to her home!
Gilrandir 18th Apr 2017, 8:39 PM edit delete reply
I like it ... but out of deference to your sensibilities, I won't throw my panties at you. ^_^
Sheela 18th Apr 2017, 11:07 PM edit delete reply

Nice little limerick there DLKmusic.
Also, being a doggy, I don't wear any underwear to throw at people. :(
antrik 19th Apr 2017, 12:35 AM edit delete reply
Just steal some out of the laundry basket.

(And don't tell me you haven't done *that* before :-) )
Morituri 18th Apr 2017, 5:22 PM edit delete reply
I hope everyone realizes here that Centcomm has more than one style of doll. She uses the one with pink hair for giving people orders.

The plastic-shelled hall-monitor bot style, she uses for watching....

Not being a sexbot, it's probably cheaper to replace.
antrik 18th Apr 2017, 6:46 PM edit delete reply
I don't remember any mention of other types of dolls. Where did you get that from?

BTW, I just realised that the "hall monitor" model is literally the first thing shown on the tech page -- listed as a "model zero" android.

(Though the other pictures there are seriously outdated, so not sure how reliable this is...)
megados 18th Apr 2017, 6:56 PM edit delete reply

I originally had used the term android regarding the hall monitor for the same reason. Others disagreed, saying it was a bot. *shrug*
Gilrandir 18th Apr 2017, 7:06 PM edit delete reply
Tokyo Rose uses what seems to be a doll to position the camera drone in 1351 -- Rose's Reveal. Not evidence that CentComm uses more than one type of doll, but certainly evidence that more than one type of doll exists.

Theoretically, you could have a doll, a robot, and an android that were physically indistinguishable from each other. Not sure why you would, though.
antrik 19th Apr 2017, 1:12 AM edit delete reply
Well obviously other A.I.s use different looks for their dolls (we have seen Aeneas, for one) -- would be kinda confusing otherwise, considering that the whole idea of the dolls is to provide the A.I.s with faces... And for the same reason, it would make little sense for a single A.I. to use different faces.
Morituri 18th Apr 2017, 7:30 PM edit delete reply
Technically, speculation. But it's obvious, isn't it? As far as Cent is concerned, any relationship Ada has with Noctis is an unknown factor and has to be observed.

So she just made a big show of ordering Ada to watch Noctis. This is manipulation of Noctis, to impress on her that if she's going to try anything, the first step is to trick Ada.

Centcomm must now observe their interaction to see if a relationship that could become a security problem exists between them.

The plastic-shelled hallbot has the eyes that are watching them. Therefore, I expect that Centcomm is behind those eyes.

Keep in mind that she runs dozens of dolls at a time. She gets to pick which face people see, or whether most people are even aware that it's her at all.
antrik 19th Apr 2017, 1:26 AM edit delete reply
First of all, I would be quite surprised if Cent-Comm (or her agents) needed any androids/bots to watch Noctis and Ada inside 3C, as opposed to "ordinary" surveillance cameras etc.

In general, I think Cent-Comm is more likely use UAV for watching, rather than any kind of humanoid drone -- such as the one she used to watch Mira. (See "Mira's mission", presently at ; also visible on some of the following pages.)

Last but not least, if the "hall monitors" indeed *are* watcher drones, it seems more likely to be Amy (who has been tasked with watching Noctis) -- or someone under her command -- sel-casting here, rather than Cent-Comm herself. Note how in the Mira episode, it was Cella acting undercover as Krystal, not Cent-Comm herself; while Cent-Comm watched through the UAV.
Gilrandir 18th Apr 2017, 8:48 PM edit delete reply
@antrik, your point about the model 0 on the Tech page is well taken, with two caveats:

1) The model 0 lacks cosmetic hair, while the hall monitor has hair.
2) All of the android model examples on the Tech page are shown without clothing but, as noted before, in the actual story pages we almost never see androids nude, except for clearly conveyed story reasons. On the other hand, we almost never see bots wearing extraneous clothing. There are (as yet) no apparent story reasons for why the hall monitors should not have clothing. One imagines that familiarization with clothing is an early part of the socialization process and that Zeroes are discouraged from leaving the training facility before learning to be at ease with clothing.
antrik 19th Apr 2017, 1:37 AM edit delete reply
As I mentioned before, the "hall monitor" actually looks like it has some kind of clothing... The fact that it's depicted the same way on the tech page, suggests that this is actually an integral part of the body after all -- but either way, the design doesn't look to me like it's meant to be covered with clothing.
Gilrandir 19th Apr 2017, 2:09 AM edit delete reply
Well, in Comic 660 - 3c Recovery... we see an instance of what looks like the same model operating as more of a nurse, and TeeDee (in the next-to-last panel) refers to it as a "bot". Not necessarily definitive, of course. And, as previously observed, we could have drones, dolls, robots, and androids all in identical chassis. But it is another data point.

Intriguingly, it is implied that, even though this robot is capable of independent operation (unlike a doll), that it can be overridden for remote teleoperation by CentComm in some way -- although that also may have been intended more figuratively than literally.
antrik 19th Apr 2017, 3:04 AM edit delete reply
Good find. Apart from the different colour scheme, it's indeed the same model -- and going by the font, it's definitely a bot. (Even ignoring the other indications.)
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