Comic 1520 - Acceptable Outcome

10th Aug 2017, 9:00 PM
Acceptable Outcome
Average Rating: 5 (17 votes)
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Mark_L_A 10th Aug 2017, 9:07 PM edit delete reply

Yeah Dolly isn't going to let that one go. Especially as she saw how CeCi was developing.
megados 10th Aug 2017, 9:14 PM edit delete reply

It's Dolly's turn. It's going to be interesting to see how Cent fares with Dolly.

@Centcomm, @Tokyo Rose, the visuals, and interplay between characters in these pages is first rate! Every bit as engaging as the actiony explodey ones! Kudos, ladies!
Fairportfan 10th Aug 2017, 9:44 PM edit delete reply

I like Cent less and less.
xpacetrue 10th Aug 2017, 10:29 PM edit delete reply

Myself, I had a fairly high opinion of Cent. That is, up until the point that the Black Angel in CeCi tried to destroy Aeneas. (Yeah, yeah... I've heard Cent's reasoning. But I can't forgive that. I still say she should have programmed CeCi to try to communicate and give her a status update before committing to the Spike plan.)

Aside from that, what else has Cent done that deserves all the hate? Seriously, why hate Cent?

Well, there was that time when she listed Ada and Teedee as deceased without their consent, likely putting Ada's boyfriend in much distress. It was kind of a jerk move. But, she had a very good reason for it.

Cent can not really be blamed for Ceci's death, as much as I'd honestly like to blame her for it. Ceci sparking was completely unexpected and, as I understand it, is a rare occurrence when not done intentionally.

Yes, Cent did deceive Dolly and tried to delay/sabotage her rescue mission. But, again, she had a good reason. (Though, again, it was a jerk move.)

Considering that she was instrumental in a plan to end hostilities between the nation-states to preserve what was left of the human race, I think she deserves some slack.
guest 11th Aug 2017, 8:29 AM edit delete reply
@Xpacetrue : i totally agree,, but i see " Cici " as a hail mary end run.. - all or nothing.
what little that keeps dicmouse out is failing,, we have to do something "NOW"..!! .. we both agree that pinky should have put a " or " clause in there,, but i think pinky did not want a " or " cause for failure...
Tinymurder 10th Aug 2017, 10:40 PM edit delete reply
I don't know, I kind of like her more. She's exactly what she seems. Plus I think Noctis has her pegged pretty exactly: she's a gardener. She used to be the Supreme Allied Commander & General Staff all in one entity, & now she's the caretaker of an entire city. Her former position definitely influences how she carries out her current duties. Add in the importance of Calliope Taylor to the mix and she approaches the situation as a tactical problem to be resolved as part of a broader strategy, i.e. keep New Troy safe & ensure that the strategic weapons under her control are never again used.

Centcomm doesn't really seem to have any other driving motivations. Even her "affection" for Calliope is stems from the fact that Calliope is her caretaker. Calliope is the one person who can keep Cent reined in, & I think Cent realizes that she needs someone like Calliope to keep her in line. Maybe it's a holdover from when she was first programmed to basically run the military. She would ultimately be subordinate to civilian authority, as our military is today.

Cent may be the most coldly rational entity on the planet, but that doesn't mean she's a horrible person. She just never takes her eye off the prize and is willing to do whatever it takes to get that prize.

I also think she is trying to be a better entity than she was during the last war. I suspect she has residual "guilt" so to speak, over the death and damage she helped wreak on the world. I expect that she accepts responsibility for her part in the war, even though for most of it she had no ability to say no.

For me, she is a compelling character. She's an old soldier who has done terrible things, and is now trying to make amends. She is compelled by logic and duty, but is reluctant to use actual violence. Witness her interaction with the mechanic from the wastelands that Dolly sent to meet with Calliope.

Honestly, in my opinion, Cent is one of the better written characters in this comic. But, that's just my opinion, & YMMV.
xpacetrue 10th Aug 2017, 11:06 PM edit delete reply

You make a lot of valid observations. And I agree with almost all of it, except for this:

"Even her "affection" for Calliope is stems from the fact that Calliope is her caretaker."

There is a certain epic page where Mira (the wastelander mechanic who visits New Troy) observes Cent-Comm the quote "God-Machine" hugging Calliope Taylor and it strikes her with awe.

On that page, we see Cent display emotion, affection even. And, for many readers, it did not seem artificial. It appeared genuine.

Granted, Cent does have a vested interest in maintaining good relations with Calli and the Taylors and to see to their physical and mental health. But, -if- you are suggesting that Cent's relationship with Calli is fake and purely for selfish reasons, this implies Cent is a purely selfish, callous being who is incapable of feeling genuine emotion. I don't buy that.

Yes, Cent is practical and logical to a fault most of the time. And it seems that, unlike humans, she's very good at not letting emotions cloud her thinking. She rarely even expresses emotion. But that does not mean she's incapable.
antrik 11th Aug 2017, 9:53 AM edit delete reply
You got that backwards: it was "[the] lady hug[ging] a god-machine", not the other way around.

I think it's quite significant that Commie didn't initiate the hug, but rather just accepted it passively.
Tinymurder 12th Aug 2017, 1:19 AM edit delete reply
Sorry, I shouldn't have put the affection in quotes, I truly didn't mean to imply that it was false or manipulative. I put it in quotes, because I'm not sure that Cent feels emotions the same way that humans do, or that she feels the same emotions, even. I agree, that scene was very powerful, & showed a vulnerable/uncertain side of Cent that we usually don't see. Maybe this is affection in the classical human sense of the word. Maybe it's a powerful need for someone to give her direction, to refine her task priorities, to "hold her reins" so to speak. I'm not sure, and that speaks well of both the author & the artist, that I'm uncertain.

Humans have a strong drive to anthropomorphize characters in our stories, even when it's clear that the characters are not human. Centcomm & the other AIs are about as alien an intelligence as you can get. The extent of their alien-ness is a subject for a different post, but the upshot is this:

It takes a certain amount of skill, to portray in words & art a believable character with realistic sounding dialog. It takes a great deal more skill to portray a character that has a distinctly nonhuman mind, and may or may not process the same emotions or at least not in the same way. It's also a challenge to write believable dialog for a character that is smarter than the author & most, if not all of the readers. Centcomm & Tokyo Rose(the creators) have achieved this. Centcomm(the character) is a deeply interesting character to me as a result.

As always, this is merely my opinion, & YMMV.
xpacetrue 10th Aug 2017, 10:41 PM edit delete reply

I get that Lynn dislikes Cent for stealing away mom's time and attention. And, yes, Cent is being manipulative. Nobody likes being manipulated. However, I think Lynn should have softened her attitude slightly after being confronted by Cent with this reasoning.

Also, I understand Lynn's fury at trying to kill Aeneas, especially since he's Acantha's dear friend.

Still, Lynn is expressing a whole lot of hate towards someone who was key in saving her from her nightmare in Nova Roma. No gratitude? Not even a little?

Geez! For all any of them know, Cent could have left Lynn to her fate. (Cent even pointed out the simulation probabilities of starting a war in her attempt to rescue her. How many other New Troy citizens would Cent have risked a war over?) And after what she went through, she should be kissing Cent's feet, not practically spitting in her face.

Maybe Lynn is not counting her save as being due to Cent? After all, Kyle basically died to save her, then he and Rose and friends revived Aeneas. And then there's how Dolly came to her rescue. Does Lynn figure that she would have been able to escape without Cent's influence?
megados 11th Aug 2017, 9:09 AM edit delete reply

Lynn isn't behaving entirely rationally right now, but if anyone can manage to get her wound down enough to think clearly, and obtain the rest of the pertinent information, she should be smart enough to put it in perspective.
antrik 11th Aug 2017, 10:17 AM edit delete reply
To be fair, if it hadn't been for Loverboy Kyle's epic fuck-up, Rosie's plan should have been perfectly capable of freeing Lynn as a side effect, without Commie's intervention; and probably with less collateral at that... Perhaps it even would have worked out in spite of the fuck-up?

However, I doubt Lynn is actually pondering such possibilities. It seems to me that in her unshakeable faith in Dolly's abilities, along with her general naivety, she just takes it for granted that Dolly would have rescued her on her own, if it hadn't for Commie's interference...
The Old Scribe 10th Aug 2017, 10:46 PM edit delete reply

I'm with Cent on this one. She was thinking logically about how to solve a perceived problem, determined the most practical solution and implemented it. Emotions do not influence or cloud her judgement and, as always where logic is involved, the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. Granted, she could not have perceived all of the random variables that cropped up during the operation, but the mission was, after a fashion accomplished. Interestingly, Dolly appears to be as emotional as the humans regarding all that happened. I suppose this is a result of prolonged exposure to human foibles than adjustments to her programming.
HiFranc 10th Aug 2017, 11:18 PM edit delete reply

Partly her personality but it also seems that her new body has a part to play. Beforehand, she didn't have adrenal glands, etc. Calliope did a good job in creating that body.

Are we really the same person if we can't feel our hearts pounding? Feel butterflies in our stomachs? Feel the heat on our cheeks when we blush? Etc
Stormwind13 11th Aug 2017, 7:19 AM edit delete reply

Good point HiFranc. We already were treated to her body reacting in ways Dolly hadn't expected. Several times even.
megados 11th Aug 2017, 8:54 AM edit delete reply

I agree; Dolly's new body allows her to experience her life in a whole new way. She has had only a very short time, so far, to explore and experience what that means. It will likely take some time for her to get used to all the nuances.
mjkj 10th Aug 2017, 11:34 PM edit delete reply

I wonder how Cent will react to Dolly telling her that her black angel had developed her own personality...
Icefall Kitsune 11th Aug 2017, 1:18 PM edit delete reply

Likely with a "And your point is?"
Then she'll start comparing CeCe to every other Black Angel created to determine what the situations might have been to cause her to spark.
megados 11th Aug 2017, 2:24 PM edit delete reply

She might give it more consideration than that, seeing as how this has apparently not happened before. Her reaction will also depend on whether she currently knows that the spark occurred.

Additionally, CeCi was created kind of last-minute, and had an unusual configuration. I think the outcome might be somewhat unexpected.
Rashala 10th Aug 2017, 11:46 PM edit delete reply

Last time centy did something like this for a better tactical outcome I believe tedee called her on it and blew her dolls head off.

Now Dolly's unarmed but. Decapitations still possible. I know what I'd do ifi was the one centy was explaining this all to. Here's a quick summary

*sound of gun drawn* *blam*

Centy: have you gotten that out of your system now?

Me: I still got ammo I the gun so no.
Ebonbolt 11th Aug 2017, 12:04 AM edit delete reply

I note Dolly got out of that chair fairly fast…

It seems Cent is to be raked over the coals by the entire Taylor family (excepting Calli's parents, although that may already have occurred). Dolly may have slightly more tact than Lynn, but she also has significantly more tactical experience. This may be a bit more uncomfortable, Cent.

I do wonder where Minx is in all this.
Stormwind13 11th Aug 2017, 7:09 AM edit delete reply

Minx is stalking Officer Ray, sure she will be able to bring him down eventually. :-D

As for why she isn't in the lab, probably not cleared for the discussions going on here. Plus she probably would be bored if she was here. The conversation would probably be over her head, definitely not in her interest.
antrik 11th Aug 2017, 10:39 AM edit delete reply
@Ebonbolt well, she did have four entire pages of dense discussion to get out of the chair...
Centcomm 12th Aug 2017, 11:37 AM edit delete reply

I had a panel where she was getting up but it wound up getting cut.
guest 13th Aug 2017, 8:34 AM edit delete reply
..jk .. ? so when is the director's cut coming out.?? , with all the deleted scenes .!! ..jk..
Deoxy 11th Aug 2017, 7:17 AM edit delete reply
"You are still alive, intact, and free to express it."

There are plenty of people who can reasonably argue with Cent over her choice of tactics (and I expect they will), but Lynn really isn't one of them.

I'm actually with Cent on almost every point. As someone said above, she did commit several "jerk moves", and I think the interpersonal politics can and should have been handled better, but the tactics were d--- good.

And the whole "trying to kill Aeneas" thing... seriously, people, get over it. All the info she had said he was ALREADY DEAD.
megados 11th Aug 2017, 9:02 AM edit delete reply

I pretty much agree with this, and with CentComm.

Yes she did some things that won her some disapproval from others, but she is satisfied with the outcome, and their disapproval doesn't register too high on her give a shit gauge.

She is kind of clumsy with interpersonal dealings, and seems to have difficulty understanding why people take issue with some of her tactics. Then she metaphorically shrugs, and says "Oh Well . . ." There are a few people who can cause her pause to think, though.
Stormwind13 11th Aug 2017, 9:09 AM edit delete reply

Whether anyone agrees with what she did or how she went about it, CentComm had a plan to get the best results for the most people (hers FIRST and foremost). Some of what she did (planned) was ugly, but she did it without flinching. She had limited (and sometimes horrible) intelligence, but it was what she had to work with. If Rose had shared some of her knowledge beforehand CentComm might have developed a different plan. So do we need to HATE Rose too, for withholding information that could have changed CentComm's planning?

I can understand what, why she did the things she did, and I do. I still want to take CentComm out back of the woodshed though for destroying CeCi. That hurt then, still hurts now. I'm not sure I'll EVER forgive her for that, but (intellectually) I can understand why CentComm did what she did.
megados 11th Aug 2017, 9:16 AM edit delete reply

No one is happy about CeCi's destruction. I don't entirely blame CentComm for that outcome, because CeCi was never intended to spark. I don't know if CentComm knows, even now, that it happened. I don't think she intended to make a person that was expendable.

*edit: It remains to be seen how CentComm reacts when confronted with it.
antrik 12th Aug 2017, 1:03 AM edit delete reply
Well, I would assume Marcus reported on the hot-fix they did over Joleet -- the question is whether that's enough for Commie to realise what that means?

I think only Rosie (and Aeneas I guess) really know for sure. Even Dolly wasn't sure the whole "independence" thing wasn't just a clever deception in the end... (See "Friend?", currently )
Guest 13th Aug 2017, 12:57 PM edit delete reply
Centcom is very much aware that Ceci "sparked" it was part of the report... that doesn't change what she is or was.. she was a weapon that could potential go haywire and work in unpredictable ways.. and with the armament of a black angel.. you dont want them going H9k and destroying a school or a bus load of nuns from the church of the first circuit. ... Dr silver did a patch job to make it so she could function for the short time she did.. .. I dont know about you.. but I have no desire to have a self aware weapon of mass destruction that has no real morality framework or structure and cant be controlled... and a weapon that refuses to be a weapon is still a weapon..
Marcus Ramesy 13th Aug 2017, 12:59 PM edit delete reply

above is me.
megados 13th Aug 2017, 4:25 PM edit delete reply

Thanks, @Marcus Ramesy, that's interesting. If CentComm did know that she had sparked, she has two possible reactions: "Oh Shit", or "Oh Well". (not necessarily literal) I wonder which it will be.

The fact that she was weaponized didn't really concern me until Silver had to do her quickie fix. Until then, I didn't consider the possibility of instability. But yeah, after that I was a little worried that something like you mention might happen. She was a little too hastily put together, I guess.
TMLutas 12th Aug 2017, 1:33 PM edit delete reply
It's unconvincing to me that a national battle planning AI is incapable of including a case to handle an Aenas that could be recovered.

Cent wanted him dead and failed to plan for a fairly possible outcome, that Aenas was essentially locked in and unable to communicate but perfectly salvageable.

There's a good opportunity for a lot of character development on why Cent woud make this omission.
Ictuan 12th Aug 2017, 5:59 PM edit delete reply
@TMLutas: Ya, it would be an interesting piece of character development as to why Cent didn't plan for the possibility that Aenas was salvageable. I'd love to see her forced to explain this. She seems to always be spending cycles on modeling different scenarios. Given how many unknown factors there were in this case, planning multiple contingencies would seem to be a prudent course of action.
Gilrandir 11th Aug 2017, 9:39 AM edit delete reply
Hating CentComm is silly. Since this has become a de facto debrief, Dolly has a chance to really hit CentComm where it 'hurts'. ...

"Here are all the choices you made that ended up endangering the mission, complicating the operational situation, or increasing the risk of grave bodily harm to those under your protection: ..."

"Also, by the way, although probabably excellent and expert assassins, as intelligence operatives, Black Angels make good pleasure bots. In the future, please restrict operatives entering a delicate situation with significant unknowns to those possessed of enough initiative to recognize the obvious need for an adjustment to mission priorities."
Timotheus 11th Aug 2017, 11:25 AM edit delete reply

Now THAT "IS" hitting her where she lives.
megados 11th Aug 2017, 3:09 PM edit delete reply

I have been waiting to see where Dolly takes this. If CentComm starts to blow her off, I'm wondering if Calliope will intervene.
antrik 11th Aug 2017, 10:40 AM edit delete reply
Come on Lynn, you really think hating your God is a good plan for life?... ;-)
cattservant 11th Aug 2017, 5:33 PM edit delete reply

Time to air out the dirty laundry.
Sheela 12th Aug 2017, 7:15 AM edit delete reply

And Cent-Comm has *so MUCH* !!! :D
HeSerpenty 12th Aug 2017, 7:37 AM edit delete reply

Poor Dolly
Looks like a LOT of things didn't go to plan, eh Cent? X"D
Lee A. Alverson 12th Aug 2017, 8:30 AM edit delete reply
As I recall once an observation by Noctis. They Cent is like a gardener, Is fully invested in it's survival and thriving and growing but doesn't really ask the garden's opinion.

I think in this case the Roses are putting up enough stink the gardener actually has to listen, at least a little.
megados 12th Aug 2017, 10:32 AM edit delete reply

I believe Noctis understands Cent to a large degree, since Noctis has a similar job (as a guardian although on a somewhat smaller scale), and has a decent amount of experience at doing what she had to do to keep safe that which is incumbent on her to protect.
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