Comic 1517 - Invitation To Consider

3rd Aug 2017, 9:00 PM
Invitation To Consider
Average Rating: 4.95 (19 votes)
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Chippewa Ghost 3rd Aug 2017, 9:03 PM edit delete reply

Cent-Comm is being modest.
knuut 3rd Aug 2017, 9:09 PM edit delete reply
Cent-Com is being Cent-Com.
knuut 3rd Aug 2017, 9:12 PM edit delete reply
Modesty would serve no logical purpose in this situation. she is merely being explicit and correct.
NinjaYacdan 3rd Aug 2017, 9:18 PM edit delete reply
Well, she is fully clothed...
Ebonbolt 4th Aug 2017, 10:23 PM edit delete reply

Cent-Comm is being precise. An often-derided habit which, used judiciously, reduces misunderstanding. Once she gets over her mad, Lynn may actually appreciate Cent's precision. That mad, however...
megados 3rd Aug 2017, 9:20 PM edit delete reply

Re alt text: As Marcus Ramesy once said, "You couldn't give me the place."

I'm surprised CentComm is that forthcoming, and it seems Lynn is being a wee bit more rational.
Sevian 3rd Aug 2017, 9:23 PM edit delete reply

I'm having a hard time with Lynn in this state. She's downright irritating and seems to be developing a nanowire reinforced case of resting bitch face.
Thormation 3rd Aug 2017, 10:14 PM edit delete reply

She's justifiably angry and she's expressing it to the source of her anger. And it is ridiculous to call it "resting bitch face" for many reasons, but primarily because her face is busy being expressive and is not in any interpretation of the word "resting". And if you consider a woman to automatically be a "bitch" just because she dares to express her feelings, then we will have to agree to vehemently disagree.
Sheela 4th Aug 2017, 7:09 AM edit delete reply

Well, to be fair, she is in *bitch mode* right now, but normally she's fairly mellow.
Ebonbolt 4th Aug 2017, 10:26 PM edit delete reply

Unfortunately, Lynn's having to completely redefine her "normal." Which is one of the contributing factors of "bitch mode."
Timotheus 3rd Aug 2017, 9:23 PM edit delete reply

Depending on the possible variants that could have been programed into the spike as far as it's take over methodology, Centcom's successful action would have triggered a wide range of civil wars and internal conflicts in Nova Roma, many of which would have seen Decimus's contingencies triggered as well and some might have required actual military intervention by New Troy and New Sparta in the name of social survival. I think Centcom's simulations were lacking in first hand information.
Of course I feel both Tokyo Rose and Centcom both deserve some blame here. The moment she became aware of Lynn's presence in Nova Roma Tokyo Rose should have established some sort of communications link with Centcom to coordinate actions at some level and share vital information to prevent mutual screw ups. Maybe not buddy-buddy palsy-walsy, but at least the enemy of my enemy should be aware of this.
velvetsanity 3rd Aug 2017, 9:49 PM edit delete reply

I have to say I agree on all points here.
Thormation 3rd Aug 2017, 10:21 PM edit delete reply

Centcom has shown no indication that she knows how to work or play nice with others, and I have a feeling that Tokyo Rose is well aware of that. I would not blame her for keeping Centcom out of her plans, based purely on the not-unreasonable suspicion that Cent would immediately undermine the efforts to meet her own un-shared goals. Also, she didn't seem to think that Centcom was going to foment civil war in New Rome like a dirty bomb in a china shop--which was a tragic underestimation of the bloody-mindedness of Centcom.
Sheela 4th Aug 2017, 7:11 AM edit delete reply

Still, even tentative co-operation would have been wildly beneficial to both of them.

It was frankly a major oversight on boths parts.
Stormwind13 4th Aug 2017, 2:09 PM edit delete reply

I have to disagree Thormation. CentComm has played nice with LOTS of people... They still exist and other city states are out there. If she hadn't played nice with them they would all be dead. :-D

Also CentComm wasn't interested in a civil war in Nova Roma. What she WAS interested in was countering Douchimus' ability to bring war to everyone else. That was why Lynn was grabbed, so that he could gain access to CentComm's worst weapons, her NIGHTMARES {Cold Terror from 3 February 2014}.
Ebonbolt 4th Aug 2017, 10:33 PM edit delete reply

Yes & no, on the "play nice" issue; Cent's version of "playing nice" is more "take my toys and go home." Which, granted, is much nicer than "scrape their city off at six feet below sea level & salt the ground."
Centcomm 6th Aug 2017, 10:46 AM edit delete reply

She can play the salt the earth game too..
Ebonbolt 6th Aug 2017, 5:27 PM edit delete reply

…meaning, she was playing nice,… for her.
mjkj 3rd Aug 2017, 9:35 PM edit delete reply

Well, Cent, great way to circumvent the security clearance issue - I hope Lynn can see the reasoning...

Great vote incentive =D thank you.

guest 4th Aug 2017, 7:24 AM edit delete reply
yes yes very nice " New Incentive "
velvetsanity 3rd Aug 2017, 9:49 PM edit delete reply

Re: alt-text

Holy shit, mark the calendar. There exists a control freak that knows their own limits.
antrik 4th Aug 2017, 8:07 AM edit delete reply
Well yeah, she clearly feels it's only her obligation to pamper her "own" anthill, not to manage all ants in the world...
Sheela 5th Aug 2017, 8:24 AM edit delete reply

Clearly, her own ants are superior to all the other ants.

.. is it still racism, if a God Machine is doing it ?
antrik 5th Aug 2017, 9:28 AM edit delete reply
Actually, she feels annoyed that she is obliged (by her core programming) to make "her" ants prosper, although she knows they are just as dumb as all the others ;-)
Fairportfan 3rd Aug 2017, 10:23 PM edit delete reply

... there IS that ...
Sheela 5th Aug 2017, 8:24 AM edit delete reply

... what ?
HeSerpenty 3rd Aug 2017, 10:43 PM edit delete reply

Cent be like..."IF she finds out >__>"

Rashala 3rd Aug 2017, 11:16 PM edit delete reply

Areanas luna comms centy " oh its a when pinky not a if" closes common and sends centy the bill!
Centcomm 3rd Aug 2017, 11:51 PM edit delete reply

"IF" is good.. I like "IF"...
Sheela 4th Aug 2017, 7:13 AM edit delete reply

Well, Acantha is about 100% certain to learn about it if she ever goes home, so Centcomm's only way to stop that is to either kill or imprison Acantha for life.

Both would be pretty serious things to do, should Maxus find out about it.
antrik 4th Aug 2017, 8:15 AM edit delete reply
There were only very few people in the know last time we saw -- and as I pointed out in an earlier discussion, it's not clear that they would consider it prudent to disclose this tidbit to Acantha...
Sheela 4th Aug 2017, 4:38 PM edit delete reply

Yeah, but two of those people are Aeneas and Tokyo Rose, either of which would have an easy time telling Acantha about it.
antrik 4th Aug 2017, 9:19 PM edit delete reply
And two others are Noctis and Maxus. Still, I'm not convinced either of them thinks that telling Acantha would not do more harm than good...

Frankly, of all the people in the know (apart from Lynn), TeeDee might actually be the most likely to rat it out -- because fuck Cent-Comm, fuck politics, fuck consequences...
Sheela 5th Aug 2017, 8:26 AM edit delete reply

No, no, no .. SHOT Cent-Comm, shoot politics, shoot consequences !

TeeDee is big on shooting. :D
Rashala 3rd Aug 2017, 11:12 PM edit delete reply

Furious is a polite way to put it she probably will demand to be out of centys reach the second she hears healed or not and after she prolly will have them check her atom by a to for any more centcomm. Insurance devices.

I mean I get her logic but I don't agree with her on her actions is ceci,the spike I think she likely just re alienated nova Roma rather than make things more stable and I bet area as is gonna have a few pedabytes of bad language to send centy now
HiFranc 3rd Aug 2017, 11:42 PM edit delete reply

Aeneas is not one to waste time so I could see the message being very short, "There was once a time that I counted you as a friend. After the spike, no more.

"If Acantha comes to any harm, we will be at war."

I'm hoping that, on hearing that Lynn is blocked from seeing Acantha, he shares the information that shows that Acantha is innocent of the charge.
Visvires 4th Aug 2017, 2:51 PM edit delete reply
That should about cover it.

I think her genuine lack of knowledge regarding the possibility of CeCi sparking and Aeneas healing about clears her.

As for holding onto Acantha, she offers little threat in terms of what she can add to a hostile Rome (I'd rate Maxus as a scarier foe in all respects), but offers a great deal in terms of positive relations. I'm not seeing the point to Cert going Decimus on her, but I haven't run as many simulations as Cent.

Sheela 5th Aug 2017, 8:28 AM edit delete reply

To be fair, Centcomm hasn't really threatened Acantha .. yet.
She has "threatened" Noctis a tiny little bit, but that was more because she's a combat model.

I think Centcomm is still gathering debriefings, before she makes a decision on what to do.
Rashala 5th Aug 2017, 11:19 PM edit delete reply

Yeaaaaah I think k its safe to say that there is no "IF" part to her finding out. Only when and how big the storms gonna be and how far the stuffs gonna fly when it hits that fan.

Also tedee be at delivery port 0012983 Delta tomorrow there will be a package for ya!
The Old Scribe 4th Aug 2017, 12:26 AM edit delete reply

Lynn, being human, is thinking emotionally. CentComm, being a human brain focused only on pure thought and logic, is not so encumbered. Think Mr.Spock's thought processes, cubed. Responding to a perceived threat to the city state she is tasked with protecting, and working with incomplete situational information, CentComm's solution to eliminate said threat was a logical one. How much, if any, of Lynn's kidnapping was of CentComm's doing is unknown. Yet, said kidnapping was a perfect situation to exploit in order to send a Black Angel in to take out Anaeas using the rescue mission as a cover. Bruised human emotions were but a part of the collateral damage necessary to protect the New Troy (and New Sparta) city states.
Timotheus 4th Aug 2017, 1:19 AM edit delete reply

Centcom had NOTHING to do with the kidnapping. That has been fully established as solely a product of Decimus's mighty intellect. Ceci's mission was an after the fact development aimed at neutralizing Decimus in the longer term by re-establishing an AIS system to counter him.
antrik 4th Aug 2017, 8:19 AM edit delete reply
The kidnapping seems to have been more of a wake-up call for Cent-Comm, than an opportunity she had waited for...
TMLutas 5th Aug 2017, 4:05 PM edit delete reply
CentcComm's actions, had they not been thwarted, would have led to Decimus' contingencies activated and generated a great deal of death and destruction.

This is a major fault and needs to be corrected immediately, but who could possibly do the work?
Tokyo Rose 6th Aug 2017, 1:04 AM edit delete reply


How exactly would Cent-Comm's actions have led to Decimus's contingencies being activated? I'm honestly wracking my brain trying to see the thread you're following.
Gilrandir 6th Aug 2017, 2:21 AM edit delete reply
Not speaking for @TMLutas, or anyone, in fact, except myself, but consider: Aeneas was helpless to interfere with the operation of the Apocalypse Node because (we are told) it was isolated from his systems, not because he was damaged. (The fact that it was able to be so isolated may have been due to the damage, but the isolation itself was not.) This strongly implies that, had son-of-CentComm been born from the husk of Aeneas, the Apocalypse Node would have still been isolated from son-of-CentComm's systems. (At least at the start.)

Once son-of-CentComm begins to 'reassert command over the city's nonhuman military assets' (possibly including the Apocalypse Node -- assuming it even knew about it), it seems likely Decimus or one his agents (possibly a Cassian) would notice. At that point Decimus gives son-of-CentComm an ultimatum: return command of the city's nonhuman military assets to me or I allow the Apocalypse Node to do its evil work. Since son-of-CentComm no longer has a handy-dandy-deployable spike to move into the Apocalypse Node, and neither party is likely to bend from their original negotiating position, we end up with Nova Roma reshaped to a smooth glass crater and a very different story.

Just a hypothetical, of course, but it seems plausible, given the story as we have been told it thus far.
megados 6th Aug 2017, 6:24 AM edit delete reply

@Gilrandir, this is plausible, but somewhat confusing to me. The first confusing thing, was that I don't think that "Son of CentComm" ever did control the deployable spike; the spike/reload software was carried by CeCi, and repurposed to overwrite the contingencies' systems instead, rendering them inoperative.

The second point of confusion is that I had thought that the contingencies' isolation was because they were designed and built as a separate system, some time after Aeneas' lobotomy, rather than taken out his control.

As always, I appreciate correction of my errors. :)
Gilrandir 6th Aug 2017, 8:53 AM edit delete reply
First, if the spike is used up in the creation of son-of CentComm, then it isn't there to be used to disable the Apocalypse Node. Of course son-of-CentComm never controlled the spike, since son-of-CentComm never got to exist. Presumably given enough time, after solidly establishing its existence, son-of-CentComm could have created _another_ spike ... eventually.

Second, the fact that construction of the Apocalypse Node was able to be performed in the first place seems likely to me to have been at least partially due to the fact that an intact and fully-integrated Aeneas wasn't around to oppose it.

Hope that clears up any confusion.
megados 6th Aug 2017, 10:16 AM edit delete reply

Thanks, @Gilrandir, that clarifies it. :)

On the first part, I don't think it would take more than a few seconds to reproduce the spike. Just whatever time it took to copy and repackage the data from whence Son of CentComm came. Its all there; it just needs to be copied, compressed, and repackaged. The greater lag would likely come in the form that Son of CentComm does not know initially that a spike is needed, nor that network nodes have to be set up to deploy it, because there is no foreknowledge of the contingencies. Without help, and given New Rome's broken infrastructure, who knows how long that might take. The net result would still be about the same.

As far as the second part, I completely agree.
guest 6th Aug 2017, 8:11 AM edit delete reply
guessing here.. but i think tmlutas meant,, if Cici's spike had killed aneas..(spelling), then dikmunch 's doom an gloom wood have happened, an all would be sad..

spelling = Aeneas..
Timotheus 6th Aug 2017, 11:44 AM edit delete reply

I would just like to point out it it took Tokyo Rose's unique abilities to even GET the spike into the sealed doomsday vault, so son of Centcom wouldn't have been able to stop Decimus from activating said vault. And it is highly likely that any attempt by Centcom, Son of Centcom, or John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt that looked like it might seriously endanger Herr Decimus would have unleashed the doomsday programs.
antrik 6th Aug 2017, 2:49 PM edit delete reply
@Tokyo Rose well, one could argue, if so disposed, that the black angel sending Acantha and the rest of her merry band away (so she could do her nasty undisturbed), was what allowed for the confrontation resulting in the Prince's demise to happen... Though personally I'd consider this a pretty random happenstance, that Commie can't really be blamed for.

OTOH, if considering Commie's actions more broadly, it was her strike team creating the chaos triggering the Prince's downward spiral in the first place -- which is something I'm inclined to think she *could* indeed be blamed for... It doesn't seem outlandish to argue that this was a reckless course of action, that had a lot of potential for dangerous fallout in general -- if not the contingencies (which she couldn't reasonably have planned for), then possibly other unpleasant things.
megados 6th Aug 2017, 5:43 PM edit delete reply

Basically, @antrik, yeah. It is a fortuitous series of serendipitous events which went unexpectedly right which led to probably the easiest transition of power from ol' Decimus they could have hoped for. The force was with them.

If you're "blaming" CentComm for parts of that, then Huzzah CentComm! Literally no one with the possible exceptions of Decimus, (oh wait, no, he's dead), or Katya, (but cats get over stuff quickly anyway), would give CentComm any static over Decimus' demise. :D

It could have all gone horribly wrong, but it didn't, so that might mitigate the amount of actual shit CentComm gets out of it.

I think when it's her turn, Dolly still has some words for her that might actually be worse.
antrik 9th Aug 2017, 12:16 PM edit delete reply
Let's not forget Acantha's near-demise though, which was instrumental in things playing out like this... While the result was ultimately good, I don't think this is really something to take credit for ;-)
Talewinds 4th Aug 2017, 12:34 AM edit delete reply
There is too much of "We had to destroy the vllage to save it" in CentComm actions.
Sheela 4th Aug 2017, 7:15 AM edit delete reply

Yes, yes there is.

But then, she's a military A.I.S., she basically *is* SkyNet.
Stormwind13 4th Aug 2017, 2:14 PM edit delete reply

A slightly more benevolent version of Skynet. She decided to NOT wipe humanity out, but she still was built by the military and has that stamped in her genes. :-)
Sheela 5th Aug 2017, 8:29 AM edit delete reply

yup. If all one has is a hammer, everything looks like a nail that needs hammering.
velvetsanity 13th Aug 2017, 10:56 PM edit delete reply

'Slightly' in that she's not actively working towards the extinction of all organic life.
cattservant 4th Aug 2017, 12:36 AM edit delete reply

Tangled webs well woven...
Stormwind13 4th Aug 2017, 4:51 PM edit delete reply

You sure catt? I thought it was a random rat's nest after all the cooks had their spoons in the soup? :-D
cattservant 4th Aug 2017, 7:35 PM edit delete reply

Long spoons?
Evervigilant 4th Aug 2017, 12:59 AM edit delete reply
Something I'm trying to figure out. Does an A.I.S. like Cent-com and Aeneas actually care about their humans? I mean Lynn makes the statement that Aeneas was Acantha's best friend but is it really true? Was he capable of real feelings of attachment only because he was damaged? Does Cent-comm care about anyone to the point of considering them friends? Are they capable of actual emotions?
The Old Scribe 4th Aug 2017, 1:13 AM edit delete reply

In a word: No. No more than your cell phone, automobile, toaster and laptop consider you as a friend. They are all machines and some are considerably more complicated and can perform additional tasks than others.
Tokyo Rose 4th Aug 2017, 1:55 AM edit delete reply

An A.I.S. is quite capable of forming attachments to humans. Aeneas is the most "friendly" and emotional by human standards (with Yasakani not too far off), while Deep Blue is the most remote. Cent-Comm falls closer to Deep Blue than Aeneas on any scale of "relatability".

Emotions are a tricky aspect of AIs, so here, I have to digress a wee bit. In Datachasers, we want it to be clear that the AIs are people, but they are not necessarily human in how their minds are structured or how their minds work. I don't want to give the wrong impression and accidentally make anyone think that the AIs are just really complex computers that merely run very complicated programs and don't actually think or react as sapient beings.

AIs are capable of having or not having emotions, according to their own choice, and each AI is different and individual. Deep Blue doesn't really utilize emotions*. Cent-Comm makes extremely limited use of them. Aeneas and Yasakani use them a lot.

* We're all aware of the glory and horror that is the Internet. Deep Blue basically embodies its future iteration. It probably would not be good for anyone if he had emotions. He would either explode from cute overload at all of the kitten/puppy/baby seal/etc videos, or explode from disgust at all of the twisted porn. (See also The Avengers: Age of Ultron, wherein an AI attained sentience, spent five minutes on the Internet, and promptly decided to annihilate all life on Earth.)
antrik 4th Aug 2017, 8:27 AM edit delete reply
@Tokyo Rose if they can *choose* their amount of emotions, why would they ever rationally make the decision to let themselves be guided by irrational considerations?...
Tokyo Rose 4th Aug 2017, 6:21 PM edit delete reply


The AIs' reasoning is as follows: if they want to continue protecting and guiding humanity, they need to understand why humans do what they do, and emotion plays a fairly huge role in that. (That is also, incidentally, the reason why most AIs have at least one human "confidante" who can give them insights into human behavior.) Some of the AIs that use emotions frequently sort of run them off to one side like an advisory system, or activate them long enough to gain data and shut them off before actually making decisions.
antrik 5th Aug 2017, 2:21 AM edit delete reply
Call me a cynic: but I fail to see how actually feeling emotions -- as in, letting them affect your thoughts in an irrational way -- provides any more understanding, than processing the emotional aspects of the situation, using the same circuity/programming, but without letting it affect your thinking, beyond soberly considering the results of the analysis...
megados 5th Aug 2017, 4:58 AM edit delete reply

Cynical, you are. Correct, you are not, @antrik. :D

Emotions are one of the main bases of creativity. Art, music, the ability to hypothesize, to name a few things, rely heavily on feelings and emotions. Imagination is the wellspring of free thought, and abstraction. Pure logic alone cannot get you there, save by brute force which works in only a few isolated instances, and requires exponentially more processing power. Actually feeling the emotions make the lion's share of these things possible.

The ability to turn emotions on and off, is yet another boon for the AIs.
antrik 5th Aug 2017, 9:52 AM edit delete reply
Imagination, abstraction, and creativity in the general sense, all work perfectly well without emotions -- if anything, I think these are in fact more likely constrained by emotions.

Now artistic creativity is obviously a very different matter: with art being all about effecting emotions. I can well imagine that experiencing emotions can be helpful, maybe even necessary, for creating a unique yet coherent and pleasing style... However, that doesn't strike me as something Commie would see much use for :-)
megados 5th Aug 2017, 2:23 PM edit delete reply

There are some things that can be hypothesized with logical extrapolation, sure, but logic requires a starting point, and falls pretty flat without one. That kind of abstraction relies more on "gut feeling" and only vague ideas as beginnings. The underpinnings of emotion come into play there.

I have the inkling that CentComm actually does "brute force" those things that make up her emotional responses. She fine tunes complex runs of variable sets and chooses the closest fitting algorithm for a given situation, it seems. That might explain why her emotional responses, when she does bother with them, sometimes seem a little "off". She mostly doesn't waste the processing time on them if she can help it. The android AI doesn't have the processing horsepower to brute force those simulations, and it seems their emotions are more organic.

I'm just jealous that they can disregard and ignore them if they want to. :D

*edit: On further consideration, whatever means CentComm uses to arrive at emotional responses is not all that far off, because even though she is tagged "the villain", and outwardly acts and does what she thinks she has to, she expresses regret to Calliope over the things she had to do, and works now to prevent it ever happening again.
antrik 6th Aug 2017, 2:58 PM edit delete reply
As I tried to explain in an earlier discussion, I believe it is perfectly plausible for her to "feel" bad about failing (in her own estimation) to adequately fulfill her core directives -- without ever bringing human-like emotions into the picture...
HiFranc 4th Aug 2017, 1:37 AM edit delete reply

Given the choice of doll for Cent, yes, they do feel emotions. I can see several reasons why they may come off as cold:

1) There responsibility is to the whole city
{edit} 1.b) As such the may have to order someone to lay down their lives for the good of the many and/or harm someone close to them
2) They are immortal
3) They can compute the outcomes of lots of different scenarios (based on the available data) so they choose courses that we won't
4) They can multi-task so every conversation is only taking a bit of their attention

If anything, I think Aeneas's disability gave him a lot of empathy for humans.
Evervigilant 4th Aug 2017, 8:15 AM edit delete reply
Thanks for the clarification Rose. It really helps me to understand the characters better. I find it interesting to know that they can choose how much emotions they want to have or not have. Cent reminds me of another AI I read about in an old science fiction book. The AI had someone assassinated in order to follow it's directive of protecting the human race. When the politicians demanded an explanation it printed out the complete calculations used to determine why that one person needed to die, which were larger than the library of congress and housed in a building that became known as the shrine of "why". They never questioned it's decisions again. Wish I could remember the name of that book, ah old age and biological brains. We ramble too. LoL
Evervigilant 4th Aug 2017, 8:26 AM edit delete reply
Sea of Glass by Barry B. Longyear was the book. Thanks Google for helping me dig that one up. By the way did you see where Facebook shut down an AI project because the AI's developed their own language that humans couldn't decipher and started only using it?
HiFranc 4th Aug 2017, 3:20 PM edit delete reply

Actually, they shut them down because they had got the data they needed. The AI bots were optimised to negotiate deals as quickly as possible and they did that.
Sheela 4th Aug 2017, 8:15 AM edit delete reply

Interestingly, is there a difference on an AI that has barely any emotion, an an AI that has massive emotional capability, but is extremely Jaded from centuries of exposure to humans ?
Siren 4th Aug 2017, 10:38 AM edit delete reply
That's a great question to consider for our organic minds as well.
Greenwood Goat 4th Aug 2017, 3:12 AM edit delete reply
Cent: Which would be pointlessly counter-productive. Therefore, she isn't going to find out.

Lynn: Oh yeah?

Cent: By which I mean, among many other measures of simple and necessary operational security, you are not going to tell her about it.

Lynn: Oh YEAH??!

Cent: *emote!sigh* I was hoping to avoid this but... *ushers Lynn to display screen, changes display to live footage from animal containment cubicle* ...tell me what you see there.

Lynn: Er... *eyes widen* it's... it's a... :-3 oh, what were they called? It's... a... ♥PONY!♥

Cent: Correct. Now... *zooms camera back to reveal auto-turret mounted in ceiling* ...what do you make of that?

Lynn: D-8 You... you... D-X

Cent: MDK 110 Self-targeting Remote-controllable Weapon turret, but "hostage situation" would suffice. So, I repeat: you are not going to tell Acantha...

Auto-turret: (on screen) *activates* *snaps smoothly into firing position, aims at pony*

Pony: (on screen) *glances at auto-turret* *returns to eating*

Cent: ...understood?


Cent: I'll take that as a "yes". You are also not permitted to remove the pony specimen from Containment unit 10 of Regenetics Lab 2, located in-

Lynn: *exits at speed*

Calliope: *sigh* I wish we hadn't had to... but yes, it is necessary, and better that we warn her off ahead of time. And at least she wasn't driven to go anywhere near the most dangerous flaw in your hostage gambit and- *smirk*

Cent: Call my bluff? Yes... I may be a coldly logical city AI, but even I couldn't terminate a cute little pony like that in cold blood. The work involved in bringing her into existence is the very least of it.

Tokyo Rose: ++Damn straight! Now, why aren't there more cameras in there?! I need more video feeds, dammit!++

Lynn: (on screen) *arrives in containment unit, out of breath* *moves to position self between turret and pony*

Pony: (on screen) *walks forward, curious* *sniff* *sniff* *nuzzle*

Cent & Calliope & Dolly & Rose: *happy sigh* ♥

mjkj 4th Aug 2017, 7:49 AM edit delete reply

Wow, another great one, Goat =)
Centcomm 5th Aug 2017, 11:00 AM edit delete reply

you forgot all the happy hearts floating around..
Sheela 5th Aug 2017, 3:11 PM edit delete reply

Might also be some pretty flowers ... and some sparkles !!

... which of course means that it's a Vampire Pony !! :D
velvetsanity 7th Aug 2017, 2:03 AM edit delete reply

No! Not *gasp* Flutterbat! *squeeeeeeeeeeeee*
antrik 4th Aug 2017, 8:34 AM edit delete reply
I wonder, does Cent-Comm have to *practice* expressing herself in the most condescending manner possible, or does that feat just come naturally to her?... ;-)
Centcomm 5th Aug 2017, 10:57 AM edit delete reply

its her goverment issued " "I dont have to care." module made famous during the 2017 to 2021 era...
Sheela 5th Aug 2017, 1:28 PM edit delete reply

She was also given a pamphlet called "Military Manners" to read, noone knows is she did read it. :D
antrik 4th Aug 2017, 8:36 AM edit delete reply
Why did Lynn assume to spike contained a copy of Cent-Comm? This hasn't been revealed to her as far as I can tell; and the conversation seems to suggest that it could have been a different kernel...
Icefall Kitsune 4th Aug 2017, 8:54 AM edit delete reply

If I'm not mistaken, Lynn does have a fairly good background in computer systems and A.I.S. since she is a Taylor.

Having been a programmer in my younger years, it is easier to COPY and tweak than to start from scratch.
antrik 5th Aug 2017, 2:25 AM edit delete reply
If Lynn concluded herself that it was the obvious choice, there would be no reason for her getting worked up over it, and Commie having to explain why it was the obvious choice...
Thomas 4th Aug 2017, 8:44 AM edit delete reply
I am very curious how close CCC's response will be to "Then don't tell her, duh".
Naldru 4th Aug 2017, 10:52 AM edit delete reply
Acantha would be angry, but Aeneas would probably tell her that he doesn't take it personally and would have done the same under the circumstances. The situation is similar to one where an enemy has seized an aircraft and might crash it into a populated area. (The 9/11 scenario.) Unless you know for certain that the plane has been recaptured in time to change your plans, you will shoot down the plane. Even if a voice comes on saying that the plane has been recaptured, how do you know that it isn't a trick.

CentComm does not have the mentality to be a good public relations officer or spokesman. Some of her statements are unnecessary and do not aid in the situation. Comments on the mental stability or intelligence of the person you are talking to are not useful. It should be understood that destroying Aeneas and associated weaponry would eliminate the need to destroy the city.

If you want to see the ultimate in a cold calculating machine acting for the benefit of mankind you should read the Colossus trilogy by D.F. Jones. or The Humanoids by Jack Williamson
Thormation 4th Aug 2017, 12:32 PM edit delete reply

For an advanced superintelligent AI to not have expert facility in any skill it wants--including public relations--would be only due to a stubborn act of will on the AI's part. We have task-oriented "stupid" AIs now that function better as salespeople than actual trained humans. In the centuries hence in which this stories take place, an overlord AI like Centcom would have a much larger raw dataset to mine optimal behavior and strategies from, and the speed and power to learn and refine that skillset in fractions of fractions of a second.

Cent's unwillingness to commit a few picoseconds to finding the most tactful way of explaining herself to Lynn seems to speak of dismissal or contempt of both Lynn's current feelings and of Lynn's attitude toward Cent in the future. And considering the fact that Lynn could be in charge of Cent in the future, this seems to be a head-deskingly stupid maneuver on Cent's part.
Stormwind13 4th Aug 2017, 2:48 PM edit delete reply

CentComm was designed by the military, they aren't known for worrying as much about public relations. That wouldn't likely to be a skill set that was encouraged. Plus, she has a REPUTATION! She was the nightmare that orchestrated the deaths of millions. Few people EXPECT her to be anything but a death machine.

Having said that I have a feeling that CentComm can do a passingly good job when needed at dealing with people. Look at the interaction she had with Calliope [Currently page 1399 - Memory Shard - Centcomm page 2 from 5 August 2016].

Currently though, I think Lynn is so wound up that CentComm has decided to not waste the cycles trying to soothe her. I'm thinking her analysis was, can I do something to get her to calm down... nope. :-)
Visvires 4th Aug 2017, 4:38 PM edit delete reply
She still uses the sex toy as an avatar. What further inquiry is needed?
Timotheus 5th Aug 2017, 12:24 AM edit delete reply

Centcom doesn't feel a need to develop and maintain a subroutine just for personal persuasive interactions. It would be a waste of memory. She has White Angels specifically trained for this to handle most situations. This isn't one of them.
chk 4th Aug 2017, 5:49 PM edit delete reply

I love your new TWC vote incentive. Is that by Dizzaster Juice?
Stormwind13 4th Aug 2017, 8:16 PM edit delete reply

That is Nayeli from the recent Legacy mini-story by DizzasterJuice, chk. We found out her name on Legacy - Page 4 from 28 June 2017 (currently page 1522). And yes, it is an AWESOME image! :-)
Centcomm 5th Aug 2017, 10:55 AM edit delete reply

Yep that it is!
chk 5th Aug 2017, 3:11 PM edit delete reply

You're getting some competition Centcomm.

Fortunately there's room for both of you.
KarToon12 4th Aug 2017, 8:35 PM edit delete reply

You mean IF she finds out....

*cue Men in Black mind erase...*
Sheela 5th Aug 2017, 3:16 PM edit delete reply

I find it interesting that Centcomm thinks that the only saving grace of Nova Roma, was that Decimus couldn't get his hands on the really nasty weapons.

I would point towards their much higher birthrate, and advances in heavy bio-tech as being of importance too.
Tokyo Rose 5th Aug 2017, 3:36 PM edit delete reply

To clarify: the sole saving grace of Aeneas being all fucked up and territorially homicidal is that Decimus couldn't get his grubby little hands into the really explody cookie jar.
All the Pickles 5th Aug 2017, 4:10 PM edit delete reply

Ooohhh, really explody cookies? I want some of those!
guest 6th Aug 2017, 8:27 AM edit delete reply
.. cookie JAR ... she sed cookie jar... tho explody cookies wood work too...
kay.. make the jar outta C4,,, explody jar..
explody cookie,,, humm , gun cotton , nitrocellulose , nitroglycerin , cordite , an jus for fun,, dihydrogen monoxide
Timotheus 6th Aug 2017, 11:54 AM edit delete reply

Dihydrogen monoxide, huh? Now we're getting into the really lethal stuff.
knuut 6th Aug 2017, 2:09 PM edit delete reply
confectioners sugar and ammonium nitrate baked just warm enough to sticky up the sugar makes funny tasting but really exciting cookies.
xpacetrue 7th Aug 2017, 6:47 AM edit delete reply

Cent-Comm: "I had no reason to believe that a recovery was possible."

Someone should ask her:
Based on what information? Trying to assess a situation from thousands of miles away, based on outdated and extremely limited data, is not always very effective. And you were making a decisive choice for millions of people whom you do not represent.

Did you even consider trying to gather intelligence on whether or not Aeneas' recovery was possible? Japan sent undercover operatives who successfully managed to sneak someone inside. Had you considered something like that? Or, perhaps like Tokyo Rose, you could have tried TALKING directly to Aeneas? Ever think of that? (I'm assuming that Cent-Comm is about as capable in terms of hacking and sauvy communications skills as TR. Cent is an old and powerful AIS, after all.)

If nothing else, she could have programmed CeeCee to give her an update of the situation after gaining access to Aeneas' facilities. (The place DID have working communications equipment.) And, based on updated info, Cent-Comm could have made an informed decision instead of an 'educated guess' based on old, limited data.
antrik 9th Aug 2017, 12:11 PM edit delete reply
Communication was possible, but carried the risk of discovery. Note that Marcus only contacted Commie once the situation was under control...
Marcus Ramesy 14th Aug 2017, 2:43 PM edit delete reply

our orders were to maintain strict radio silence till the completion and extraction...
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