Comic 1521 - Destabilization

13th Aug 2017, 9:00 PM
Average Rating: 5 (19 votes)
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megados 13th Aug 2017, 9:15 PM edit delete reply

I'm confused. CentComm says here that CeCi was "able to carry out her mission", crediting Dr. Silver, but earlier was surprised to learn that Aeneas was alive, and more recently, indicated she would need to communicate with him.

This would not be the case, had CeCi carried out her mission.
Fairportfan 13th Aug 2017, 9:32 PM edit delete reply

Cent says here that Ceci was supposed to restore the AI to functionality, not kill him.
cattservant 13th Aug 2017, 9:43 PM edit delete reply

By replacing the core with her duplicate.
cattservant 13th Aug 2017, 9:34 PM edit delete reply

CeCi planted the spike, just in a non-viable location.
megados 13th Aug 2017, 9:41 PM edit delete reply

CeCi's mission was to overwrite Aeneas with a copy of herself. That spike was to accomplish that. Instead, Aeneas was restored by Tokyo Rose and Kyle. CeCi deployed her spike, but not in accordance with her mission plan, instead deploying it to disable the contingencies.

She did not carry out the planned mission as I understand it. Had she done so, Aeneas would be no more. Hence my confusion.
xpacetrue 13th Aug 2017, 9:43 PM edit delete reply

I was confused, too, megados.

Although... It's possible that what Cent meant by "able to carry out her mission" was how Ceci was physically and mentally able of carrying out her mission thanks to Dr. Silver's patch job. That is, it makes more sense if one stresses the "able" part of her sentence - capable but not necessarily successful.
megados 13th Aug 2017, 9:53 PM edit delete reply

That is a possible explanation, xpacetrue. It bothers me, then though, that the otherwise logical and precise CentComm would suddenly use such a loose interpretation.
Miyto 13th Aug 2017, 11:16 PM edit delete reply
I think you guys are confusing what CentComm viewed as "means" and "ends."
If I am not mistaken, Cent viewed replacing the malfunctioning Aeneas with a copy of herself as a "means" to the end of having a functional AIS running New Rome.
Since there is now a functional AIS running Nova Roma, thanks in part to Ceci's endeavors, Cent is calling Ceci's mission a success.
megados 14th Aug 2017, 4:40 AM edit delete reply

"Since there is now a functional AIS running Nova Roma, thanks in part to Ceci's endeavors, Cent is calling Ceci's mission a success."

CeCi had nothing to do with Aeneas' being functional, really. That was due to Tokyo Rose's and Kyle's efforts. CeCi's deployment of the spike rendered Decimus' contingencies inoperative, which was not at all what CeCi's mission was purported to be. I do not think CentComm even knew about Decimus' doomsday device, or was misleading about it.
Marcus Ramesy 14th Aug 2017, 7:56 AM edit delete reply

Centcom got the mission completed code from ceci as she self destructed... that information was sent directly to her.. and to my hud... there was no way for us to confirm if she was actually successful other than the fact that she reported back a success .... it wasn't until Centcom was informed that aneis was still functional and being repaired that she had received intelligence contrary to what she had....
megados 14th Aug 2017, 8:29 AM edit delete reply

Understood, Marcus, however right now, CentComm does know that Aeneas was not overwritten, as per the purported mission spec., but she still uses the phrase "was able to carry out her mission".
Marcus Ramesy 14th Aug 2017, 9:02 AM edit delete reply

I believe she is referring to the first part of cecis mission.. wich was to protect dolly and assist in rescuing Ms Taylor.....
Stormwind13 14th Aug 2017, 9:05 AM edit delete reply

I'm thinking that CeCi's mission was really set up to get a functional AI in Nova Roma. She had a spike to destroy and replace him; however, note it was not deployed until AFTER he attacked Tokyo Rose. Up to that point CeCi was actually was HELPING them repair Aeneas.

I think that if Aeneas could have been repaired, that would have fulfilled her mission objectives. When he turned on those trying to help him, like a rabid animal, the other option (the spike) kicked in.

In either case, CeCi was destined to destroy herself, so as not leave exploitable assets around. Or evidence of CentComm's involvement, if things had gone as she had planned.
megados 14th Aug 2017, 10:05 AM edit delete reply

. . . And as I said, this is why I am confused.

As I had understood it, CeCi's mission was stated as:

* To assist Dolly in Lynn's rescue.

* To deploy a "spike", the intent of which, was to overwrite Aeneas with a copy of CentComm, which would have then evolved into an entity unto itself, but would not be Aeneas.

She did carry out the first part of the mission, and sent word that the spike had been deployed, but it wasn't done in accordance with the mission spec.

To me, "carry out" implies "completed within stated parameters".

I must be incredibly dense.
Tokyo Rose 14th Aug 2017, 3:19 PM edit delete reply

Would it clear up the confusion if I change the wording from "carry out" to "continue"?
megados 14th Aug 2017, 3:39 PM edit delete reply

It would, @Tokyo Rose, if that change would not affect the actual meaning you want to convey. As a reader, I am not privy to your actual intent, except by what I read, and I don't want you to have to change away from your intended meaning. If that would be the case, I will just shut up, and accept it as it is.

You have my thanks for the consideration.
Tokyo Rose 14th Aug 2017, 4:03 PM edit delete reply


Change made. My original thought on the wording was that Ceci was okay, then Ceci went wonky, then Dr. Silver did a thing to un-wonky Ceci, and then Ceci kept going on her mission. "Continue" is clearly the better choice of terms here.
megados 14th Aug 2017, 4:34 PM edit delete reply

Yes it is, now that I know your original intent, @Tokyo Rose. Again, thanks.
Tokyo Rose 14th Aug 2017, 7:34 PM edit delete reply

I occasionally forget that people can't read my mind. Probably for the best, what with the wall-to-well profanity.
megados 15th Aug 2017, 6:03 AM edit delete reply

Profanity really doesn't bother me, but the spoilers would.
antrik 15th Aug 2017, 9:06 AM edit delete reply
@Tokyo Rose maybe "carry on" (with the mission) was the wording you were actually after? :-)
CptKerion 15th Aug 2017, 7:15 PM edit delete reply
Well, if it weren't for the wall to wall profanity you just wouldn't be the same magic spikey hate ball.
Thormation 13th Aug 2017, 9:27 PM edit delete reply

Yes, everything was based on pure logic. Cent was certainly never crying on Callie's shoulder about how the bad people would come and take her dark secrets.

And creatures of pure logic don't have regrets for having once been used as a war machine. Regrets, qualms, desires, motivations, preferences--all of these are formed from or driven by emotions, which are non-rational. If Cent were really working on pure logic, she would have never have sparked.
Tokyo Rose 13th Aug 2017, 11:16 PM edit delete reply

*innocent whistling*
Rashala 13th Aug 2017, 11:42 PM edit delete reply

FYI folks logic does not care. Logic basically takes people and makes them well assets, in this case disposable ones with no value beyond their use to the being who is logically in charge.

Side note had I been there when you refered to ceci as " that aberration I'd have like broken my hand slapping your doll there across the face before saying " she was not that aberration, her name was Ceci!, ". Then I'd hand broken my other hand punching the wall for having been provoked into striking a woman.

Yes there are still guys out there who will never strike a woman.
Sheela 14th Aug 2017, 12:06 AM edit delete reply

*notices Tokyo Rose whistling*
*pulls excitedly on Tokyo Rose's dress*

Your butt was showing !! :D
guest 14th Aug 2017, 7:06 AM edit delete reply

the Japanese saying, instead of " your butt is showing."
Sheela 14th Aug 2017, 2:14 PM edit delete reply

... there were no pantsu ! o.O
guest 14th Aug 2017, 5:46 PM edit delete reply
still a polite way to say it...
Timotheus 13th Aug 2017, 9:46 PM edit delete reply

I would suspect that Centcom is not aware of the degree to which Cecee had developed a functioning self identity and sense of independence. If she was I don't think she'd be quite as blase' about terminating what was no longer a normal drone but a living innocent agent. (Not that she wouldn't, she'd just be more worked up over it.)
MirrorField 13th Aug 2017, 11:35 PM edit delete reply
Maybe, maybe not.

It's not exactly new for a military commander to send people to certain death in order to accomplish some greater purpose.
Timotheus 14th Aug 2017, 1:04 AM edit delete reply

Well, I did say, "not that she wouldn't".
Marcus Ramesy 14th Aug 2017, 7:57 AM edit delete reply

Ceci was a malfunctioning weapon... had she returned to New Troy... what do you think would have happened to her???
xpacetrue 14th Aug 2017, 4:03 PM edit delete reply

@ Marcus Ramesy
Yes, had Ceci returned to New Troy, she probably would have been terminated by Cent-Comm. But, aside from being a "malfunctioning aberration", a greater reason would be how she somehow escaped the self-destruct that was hard-coded. That should be impossible and, as such, would be seen as something dangerous. (Though, I suspect she would be quite curious to learn how such a thing could happen.)

I see a different possible scenario, though:

At the point when Ceci self-destructed, Maxus' forces and Marcus' team had already joined forces. They were working together. And Decimus was dead. While there were still pockets of resistance, Decimus' Pretorians and loyal forces were dwindling and losing control. The Cassians were on Maxus' side. And, between Dr. Silver and Noctis, they had complete control of communications. (Whereas remaining Pretorians had to rely on runners, as we saw.)

Ceci's "End Of Line" occured right before Dolly, TeeDee and Ada encountered Maxus and Noctis, resulting in an impromtu debriefing of the situation. Had Ceci been alive still and had Cent evesdropped on the conversation...

By that point, there was little risk of Ceci being captured. Maxus would not have cared about Ceci as a New Troy android any more than he did the presence of Dolly, Ada, or Tedee.

Is there any reason why Ceci could not or would not engage her self destruct if she was captured? Isn't that standard procedure? Is there any reason why Cent-Comm could not have sent a code to trigger Ceci's self-destruct? We saw Kali initiate her self destruct when she killed Decimus.

So, assuming Ceci was built in a way that a watchdog program didn't automatically trigger the self destruct on completion, why couldn't she have accompanied Marcus and company back to New Troy? The watchdog could have been designed to at least attempt to get a confirmation from Cent-Comm before triggering self-destruct. And if... (and this is key)... -if- Cent had been kept fully abreast of everything that happened up to that point, she might well have chosen to spare Ceci.

We know that Cent has the capability of getting firsthand information from Marcus' team. We -saw- that when Cent went 'ghost' and witness events through Marcus' eyes, through his suit's helmet and sensors. Cent could have gotten a rather accurate picture of the situation through Marcus, Ceci, and others.

Then, (in this imaginary scenario) if Ceci returned to New Troy, Cent could have analyzed her thoroughly. For one, this would've allowed Cent to learn why Ceci malfunctioned. Surely, Cent would consider this valuable data, particularly in regard to failure-proofing future black angel models. For another, she could determine whether Ceci's mind was unstable and a danger to society, or whether she had the potential to be a productive member of society.

If determined safe, Cent could transplant Ceci's mind into a civilian-model frame and treat her like other New Troy androids. (Or, perhaps, Cent would have transfered Ceci into a white angel and keep her inside C3 to keep her secrets close and keep an eye on her?)

Yes, one may argue that all of Ceci's memories should be classified information and be treated as dangerous at the risk of it getting out. But, it's not like Ceci's mission is entirely unknown to anyone, especially now. Dolly knows the details and, now, so does Calli. Marcus and Cella (INT-SEC counter ops) know all about it. Maxus, Noctis, Lynn, Dolly, Teedee and Ada were there when Tokyo Rose explained Ceci's black angel origin, the attempt to kill Aeneas, and the fact that Aeneas is functional. (See this page for confirmation.)

The secret is pretty much out at this point. So, killing Ceci would not have been necessary just to keep it secret.

Clearly, Cent treated Ceci as an expendable resource or tool. And that is understable, given Cent's nature and background. However, because of the unusual circumstances, it would have been more appropriate to treat Ceci as not just a soldier, but an innocent civilian. Ceci was not given a choice on who she became or her fate. Indeed, she was a few days old and had the mind of a child.

I think Cent owed Ceci at least her respect, if not a moment's consideration on whether it was worth the risk of trying to spare her. She created her, after all. Shouldn't Cent have at least tried to own up to the responsibilities?
Marcus Ramesy 14th Aug 2017, 9:03 PM edit delete reply

nicely worded.... Ill give you a small bit of info that goes with the spike.... by activating the spike.... it destroys the carrier... ie.. ceci seting off the spike is what terminated her... the self destruct is a secondary action that takes place to destroy what was left of the body after ceci activated the spike... the amount of power that was necessary to activate the spike is tremendous and burns the unit out.... so would have still ended up dead..... and though i can appreciate the sentiments and attachments that people had to the persona that was cecis cover... there is no way she would have been alowed to stay active and functional once she got to new troy... and as a malfunctioning unit neither myself nor cent woudl rely on her for intel ... . the other thing is that even if cent knew that aneias was able to be repaired.. scored earth is the standard action... unknown entities are tempting to gain access to aneis.. for unknown purposes.... terminate.... she had her orders and they were very specific with no need to question an alternative.... no mater what happened with ceci... she would not have survived new troy.. she would have been terminated... and then examined for how what and why that happened... Black angels are not people.. they are tools/weapons and are not afforded the same consideration that androids have... its like your toaster one day starts to talk to you and ask the meaning of life.. cent is going ot give ceci the sentiment and consideration one would give to socket wrench or a jig saw.... because thats all she is.. and relocating her in to a new body would not address the intell that she had in her head and skills that were there that shouldn't be and even striped of her weaponize body.. she is still a weapon... and the intell that she knows... yes is known by a few selected... but those select are not going to be talking..... its still classified information... (actually had this conversation with rose the other night about what could and would have happened) the information inside of ceci is still highly classified and we are not just talking about the stuff from this mission..

the main thing is that every one is looking aat ceci as a "person" and centcom is looking at a weapon... one does not lament the loss of a launched missle do you...its tallied and marked as used... and removed from the inventory...
xpacetrue 13th Aug 2017, 9:47 PM edit delete reply

"...Ceci might... change? Grow beyond her purpose?"
"...the unit destabilized..."
"...dangerous aberration..."

Why...? Why has Dolly avoided addressing The Elephant in the Room? It's almost as if she is deliberately avoiding the use of the phrase "she sparked". Is there some reason why Calli or Lynn should not be made aware of this fact? Did she avoid saying it because it would bring back the sorrow at this loss of a young and innocent sapient life that she became attached to?
megados 13th Aug 2017, 9:58 PM edit delete reply

I was thinking that Dolly might have been easing into the subject, but CentComm is entirely avoiding acknowledgment of the fact. Hearing this, Dolly may still address it more directly.
cattservant 13th Aug 2017, 10:02 PM edit delete reply

She may do so 'later'.
Sheela 14th Aug 2017, 12:09 AM edit delete reply

Technically, she was sparked the second Cent-Comm activated her.
That's how she had intuition and all of those good things.

Telling Cent-Comm that she sparked would be redundant, after all, it was Cent-Comm that sparked her.
Tokyo Rose 14th Aug 2017, 12:55 AM edit delete reply

*editor creeps softly in*
thank you
*editor creeps softly away again*
Timotheus 14th Aug 2017, 1:10 AM edit delete reply

I might add that Tokyo Rose (the author) has stated she wanted to avoid the term "sparked" in future discussions because it was causing misleading arguments. So exactly what it is that happened to Ceecee is no longer a fully explained phenominon, only that she began to transend her programming.
Sheela 14th Aug 2017, 5:25 AM edit delete reply

Heh ... "only" ... trancending your programming is a big ol' thing, y'know?
But then, I guess computers are kinda like that.
They're basically rocks, that we have convinced into thinking for us.
Well ... ok, ok .. first you flatten the rock a lot, and then put lightning inside of it. :D

*pounces on the creepy crawly*

Hah, got it ! :D
megados 14th Aug 2017, 6:56 AM edit delete reply

In the hopes of clarifying terminology, might one say that "sparked" might refer to the capability of transcending one's programming, independent of actually doing so? The actual transcendence, and the degree would/could be a distinct and separate event.
guest 14th Aug 2017, 7:13 AM edit delete reply
sand... very little rocks.. and we melt them not flatten... and yes we put lightning and magic smoke inside ...
antrik 14th Aug 2017, 12:34 PM edit delete reply
I'd say melting is a perfectly valid way of "flattening"...

However, if we play the pedantic card, neither is really correct, since beside changing the form, more importantly the silicate (SiO2) rock is turned into pure silicon.
antrik 16th Aug 2017, 12:17 AM edit delete reply
More specifically, I should have said "quartz sand" rather than "silicate rock", since the latter is a much broader catergory, and in fact doesn't even include quartz by some definitions... While all silicates obviously contain silicon, quartz (which is pretty much pure SiO2) is the raw material used industrially.
antrik 14th Aug 2017, 1:39 PM edit delete reply
I for my part still believe the confusion does not really stem from the concept of sparking per se, but rather simply from the fact that Dr. Bitchy used the term in a very misleading way regarding Ceci, and there is absolutely nothing in-story to make it clear that it was not correct usage. (Only Sisyphean attempts at clarification by @Tokyo Rose in comment discussions...) I'm pretty sure most of the confusion would go away if this was fixed in-story.
Tokyo Rose 14th Aug 2017, 3:21 PM edit delete reply


I can most definitely go back and change that, and it occurs to me very belatedly that I'd have probably saved everybody a surprising amount of time if I'd done so as soon as the colloquial misuse began causing confusion in the first place.

EDIT: Change has been made. See, entitled "Conflicts", for revised page.
antrik 15th Aug 2017, 9:24 AM edit delete reply
Great, thanks :-)

(I believe you also tweaked the other bubble, to make it clearer that Dr. Bitchy didn't actually know of it happening before; but rather just saw the possibility?...)
Tokyo Rose 15th Aug 2017, 3:29 PM edit delete reply


Yes. Seemed like a good idea to clarify that a little, since that's also been discussed as confusing.
Stormwind13 14th Aug 2017, 9:09 AM edit delete reply

I'm thinking that Dolly is letting CentComm put forth her arguments so she can address them with her observations.
The Old Scribe 13th Aug 2017, 10:08 PM edit delete reply

Cent's of the "You can't make an omelet without breaking eggs" school of logic; which, in the face of it, is exactly right. Any leader sending troops into battle knows that not all of them are going to make it, but it nevertheless needs to be done to accomplish the mission. In this case, the safety of New Troy is/was paramount. Besides, Decimus and his bullyboys really needed killing.
velvetsanity 13th Aug 2017, 10:44 PM edit delete reply

Cent is proof (for any who might need it) that Leonard McCoy's favorite 'green-blooded pointy-eared bastards' actually do have emotions.
megados 14th Aug 2017, 4:47 AM edit delete reply

Good point, velvetsanity; I might take it further, extending it to all the AIs. Many androids use their emotional capability, while others, (like Noctis) keep them tightly in check.
antrik 14th Aug 2017, 12:38 PM edit delete reply
I don't think this is a helpful extension. It has been made plenty clear that androids have pretty much human emotions, but the city A.I. systems are an different thing altogether.
megados 14th Aug 2017, 6:04 PM edit delete reply

Are they that different? They are certainly more complex, and what is known of their emotional capability tends to portray their emotions as being distinct from their human or android counterparts, but not nonexistent. If I look to Aeneas, he is not at all emotionless. In CentComm's case, I think it's more a case of keeping emotions in check. The androids also seem to have control over emotions as they so choose. Any differences I see seem more related to relative complexity.
antrik 15th Aug 2017, 9:49 AM edit delete reply
'cause Logrin said so: see "back in the kitchen .." (presently ).

Admittedly, he doesn't appear all that knowledgable (part of his cover?); but he stated this particular bit as a fact -- so I took it as canon exposition...
megados 15th Aug 2017, 10:52 AM edit delete reply

Yes he did say that, and at the time, I thought the same thing. After seeing Aeneas*, and some of the segments with CentComm, I began to question his authority; I don't know what he based his statement on.

You could well be right; I don't know, but I just don't feel it.

*edit: I forgot to say, that to me, Aeneas provides a sort of example, in that he seemed (before the repair) to be what an AIS might be like if stripped of logic, and only emotion remains. YMMV
velvetsanity 13th Aug 2017, 10:47 PM edit delete reply

Imagine if Teedee were in the room. "'Destabilized'? Fucking 'aberration'? MALFUNCTION?!?!? She fucking SPARKED!!! She was a PERSON, you heartless fucking psychopath!"

Actually, I could almost see *Ada* saying that, while having to forcibly restrain Teedee. Or vice versa, Teedee restraining Ada.
MirrorField 13th Aug 2017, 11:37 PM edit delete reply
More to the point, I'd like to see Dr. Silver to have this conversation with Cent...
Sheela 14th Aug 2017, 12:11 AM edit delete reply

I don't think Dr Silver would react so badly, she has some soldier training, she understands the role of a sacrifice ... intentional or not.

Rather, I think she'd be more angry with Cent-Comm over how sloppily it was done. The Black Angel should not have changed to begin with.
antrik 14th Aug 2017, 12:50 PM edit delete reply
I don't think she actually has had any real soldier training? AIUI, she has been taken along on some military operations as a civilian expert, and that's it. Her princess attitude doesn't fit with soldier training...

Also, I doubt she is so relaxed about what happened to Ceci (if she actually took in that bit...) -- she is a "total rights-for-robots bleeding heart" after all; and she specifically insisted on calling Ceci a "she" rather than "it", because of her development of an independent personality...
Tokyo Rose 14th Aug 2017, 3:55 PM edit delete reply

Teedee and Ada have some idea of what a Black Angel is capable of. Consequently, if the situation had arisen, either of them would have shot Ceci dead (or tried to) without hesitation.
mjkj 13th Aug 2017, 11:06 PM edit delete reply

*sighs* poor CeCi...
HiFranc 13th Aug 2017, 11:33 PM edit delete reply

Did Dr Silver put that she had sparked in her report? I'm guessing "yes" but we don't know.
Gilrandir 14th Aug 2017, 12:20 AM edit delete reply
In my opinion, CentComm's statements here do not bear scrutiny. She would appear to be directly lying to Dolly (and, by implication, to Calliope) about the nature of CeCi's mission.
megados 14th Aug 2017, 4:55 AM edit delete reply

A good possibility, @Gilrandir. It opens the possibility that CeCi's mission actually was to disable the contingencies as a prelude to an assassination of Decimus. Kali may have unwittingly accomplished the second part of the mission.
Tokyo Rose 14th Aug 2017, 3:58 PM edit delete reply


Ceci's mission had absolutely nothing to do with Decimus's contingencies or with assassinating Decimus.
megados 14th Aug 2017, 5:14 PM edit delete reply

I . . . well I guess I should preface posts like this with a "WildAssedSpeculation" tag. :D
Tokyo Rose 14th Aug 2017, 7:37 PM edit delete reply


We could sure use one of those sometimes :D
guest 15th Aug 2017, 12:49 PM edit delete reply
@megados . so from now on we use,," WAGS ",, as a precursor to one of our guesses..
so instead of my,, im guessing here ,,

WAGS : wild asses guess / speculation. :)
Haegan2005 14th Aug 2017, 5:03 AM edit delete reply

I don't really see Cent-comm lying. Leaving out bits here and there yes. But lying? Not really.

She does not need to lie. not with these people.
Gilrandir 14th Aug 2017, 5:38 AM edit delete reply
If, as she explicitly claims here, CeCi's mission was to restore functionality to the Nova Roma A.I.S., that mission was completed successfully the moment Tokyo Rose et. al. completed the reboot (after, apparently, extensive physical repairs to the A.I.S. hardware which CeCi appears to have been neither capable nor competent to have carried out). Theoretically that should have triggered the 'mission complete' transmission and nano-shutdown long before the spike was ever deployed. Obviously the mission success criterion was something other than 'functionality restored', meaning CentComm's statement here is factually inaccurate.

To knowingly make a factually inaccurate statement for the purposes of deception is a lie. The purpose of this statement seems deceptive to me, implying that CentComm did not include extermination of the 'Aeneas' persona as part of the mission complete criteria. That CentComm would be ignorant of the actual mission complete criteria for her own mission is not credible, hence 'lie'. As to her reasons for same, or her needs at this moment, I cannot speculate. Maybe she harbors a deep-seated resentment against Aeneas because the human race always loved him best? ^_^
Marcus Ramesy 14th Aug 2017, 8:13 AM edit delete reply

the deployment of the spike was the missions success trigger.... followed by cecis self destruction since the spike was deployed.. that triggered the mission complete...
Gilrandir 14th Aug 2017, 8:32 AM edit delete reply
Which means the purpose of the mission was to deploy the spike, not to restore the A.I.S. functionality. In the same way that the spike destroyed the Apocalypse Node by loading a program onto hardware that could not contain or sustain it, it seems likely that (given no Tokyo Rose) using the spike to overwrite Aeneas would have just caused son-of-CentComm to irreversibly crash later as cascading memory failures overwhelmed the system. (Comic 1314 - More Answers without the spike, but Comic 1341 - Personality Matrix with the spike, meaning Aeneas is out of the way and Decimus can move forward uninhibited after CeCi completes her mission. Copying data is copying data, after all.)

If all it took was one cobbled-together Black Angel to restore the Nova Roma A.I.S., why did it take Tokyo Rose, the Imperial Treasures, Kyle Lamar, and "many years" of work to have a chance of success?
antrik 14th Aug 2017, 1:11 PM edit delete reply
@Gilrandir it has been clarified in comments that Ceci also carried nanites capable of restoring the connection to the repair core, similar to those Rosie put in place through Cyborg-Kyle. And as for why the procedure carried out by Rosie's team was so much more complex, that has been made pretty clear in-story (most notably "Answering Questions", presently ): they were trying to fix him without making him lose his memories. Like trying to fix an OS installation after severe disk damage, instead of just reinstalling from scratch on a repaired disk...
megados 14th Aug 2017, 8:32 AM edit delete reply

As I mentioned above, the databurst sent that indicated mission success is contradicted by a fully repaired, functional, and aware Aeneas, and CentComm knows this.
Marcus Ramesy 14th Aug 2017, 9:33 AM edit delete reply

the spike would have set in motion an AI sead that would have formatted all systems and rewrite it using the ai see that centcome would have planted... that seed would have then started the process of repairing the damaged systems and then start the process of dismantling the weapons that are still functional .. Dr Taylor.. or Dr. Silver may be able to answer better the technical aspects of this... but it would be a separate entity... but still thinking the same... eventual it would evolve to its own ai... and be incredibly annoyed by the fact that it has to play janitor for a broken facility ... but im sure it would fall in line with centcoms way of thinking
Gilrandir 14th Aug 2017, 10:09 AM edit delete reply
I'm surprised that the technology of the time allows the equivalent of repairing the failing RAM on a motherboard by installing the latest version of Windows. But, ok.
All the Pickles 14th Aug 2017, 10:34 AM edit delete reply

Well remember that Aeneas controls a lot of hardware including repair systems. That connection was broken and had to be repaired by Ceci and/or Kyle, but once it was the AIS could initiate its own hardware repairs.
Gilrandir 14th Aug 2017, 10:53 AM edit delete reply
And crash once the reboot started. Again, if only Kyle (and his highly specialized payload of impossible to replace nanites) was needed to start Aeneas on the road to successful self-repair, why were the Treasures and Tokyo Rose there, risking exposure? Why go to all that trouble, needlessly?

Maybe CeCi embodied all the processing power of Rose and the three Treasures, plus hidden cyberpathic abilities as well? Seems unlikely, though.
Marcus Ramesy 14th Aug 2017, 12:22 PM edit delete reply

not necessarily.. what happens is it formats all available systems and rewrites every thing.. as its doing that its runing a diagnostics on what systems are viable... much like a scan disk on computers in the 21st century... marks the bad sectors and labels then unusable... from there it knows what it has to work with.. if there wasnt enough ram to do any thing with... the process woudl have failed and aneis would have been erased.. and the facility completely dead... the system woudl have installed its self in to "good ram" and once the system go the automated repairs back online it would have put them to task to repair the remaining damaged components...
antrik 14th Aug 2017, 1:26 PM edit delete reply
@Gilrandir and again, you are accusing Commie of lying... Seems to be a recurring pattern ;-)

There are actually two ways of reading this. Literally, the angel's mission was to deploy the spike (that is what triggered the "mission complete" signal) -- which she did, even though not quite in the way intended...

On another level, the *object* of her mission was restoring a functional A.I. system in Roma (I think Commie chose this wording here on purpose): and that object has been achieved (with some help from the angel) -- even though not quite following the planned course of action...

Either way, I don't see Commie trying to do any deception here. She glosses over the details of Ceci's mission, since this conversation is not about those, but rather about Ceci's ability to function (more or less) despite the botched design.
Gilrandir 14th Aug 2017, 5:15 PM edit delete reply
I made the statement once, the rest has been amplification, clarification and discussion I appreciate @Marcus Ramesay's responses and the fact that opinions may differ. I also appreciate the fact that the creative team carries all before it when it comes to story issues. I reserve the right, however, to retain my own opinion. You will, perhaps, note that until this very specific page, I had made no such assertion.

CentComm has, in the past, been a stickler for the literal interpretation of words and used that to her advantage. Having her suddenly flee to a more figurative interpretation smacks of hypocrisy -- which I do not associate with CentComm.
Marcus Ramesy 14th Aug 2017, 8:35 PM edit delete reply

@gilrandir.... you play devils advocate and any one who nows me knows that I respect that position... its one that I take my self more often than my associates care for me to do so.... the joy of opinions is that you are welcome to have your own opinion... all I will ever do is present you with the facts so your can make an informed opinion ...
antrik 15th Aug 2017, 10:26 AM edit delete reply
@Gilrandir you *did* suggest Commie was lying before, on "Historical Insight" ( )

You have a point though that she was overly literal there, while she seemed to have used hyperbole here...

Of course that discussion is moot now, after the wording has been clarified :-)
Gilrandir 15th Aug 2017, 1:22 PM edit delete reply
Your point is well-taken, @antrik, that I did accuse CentComm of a lie in the referenced strip. Well-spotted, and I had forgotten that. I'm not sure, now whether to be flattered or exasperated that people are running around fact-checking my comments. However, since I have the choice, I think I will go with 'flattered'.

And I don't consider it moot since my argument hinges on whether responsibility follows the chain of command or not. Literality of interpretation is, to my mind, irrelevant to that far more predominate issue. But I also won't re-open it here.
antrik 15th Aug 2017, 2:20 PM edit delete reply
I guess it was a memorable comment?... ;-)
Cowhand 14th Aug 2017, 5:42 AM edit delete reply
Okay, she's a drunk just down off of a multi-year bender, but why does Calli look like a street walker?
All the Pickles 14th Aug 2017, 10:36 AM edit delete reply

At least she's not wearing a thong and transparent dress...
Sheela 14th Aug 2017, 2:20 PM edit delete reply

I'm guessing she looks like that because of all the recent stress.
She needs time to recouperate, before she'll look her best again.
Stormwind13 14th Aug 2017, 2:26 PM edit delete reply

I think Calliope is home, she has people she loves around and feels no reason to dress up. Add that to the hell she has been thru, giving her a rundown appearance. As the old saying goes, Don't judge a book by its cover. :-)
Tokyo Rose 14th Aug 2017, 4:35 PM edit delete reply

Are you talking about Calli's face, or about her clothes? Because if it's the latter... well, I'd say "are you shitting me?" but I do realize that not everyone is aware of what sort of outfits are commercially available. I've complained about it extensively, but there's not a damn thing we can DO about it, since we can't create the models ourselves. A midriff-baring but loose-fitting and otherwise modest shirt with some lace on it is FAR from streetwalker territory.

(And if it IS the latter... then, Terri, I would like you to make a pic with as many of the female cast as you wish to include, and dress them all in the goddamn worst-of-the-worst in the Whoredrobe. Not the lingerie or bikinis--the stuff that's SUPPOSED to be sexy--but the so-called "regular clothes" that would get someone arrested or propositioned if they tried to wear them in public in the real world. We'll put it up on Sunday or as a vote incentive or something.)
megados 14th Aug 2017, 5:23 PM edit delete reply

I agree with Stormwind13. I don't think the intent was about her outfit, but Calli's careworn appearance. She has been through hell, and she looks it.

Personally, I kind of like her outfit, and it seems appropriate for this setting.
antrik 15th Aug 2017, 10:38 AM edit delete reply
I'll repeat myself on this point: I think Calliope's outfit here is rather nice, and indeed the most suitable we have seen her in yet. (Neither whoredrobe, nor dressed up for a a ball...)
Icefall Kitsune 14th Aug 2017, 8:03 AM edit delete reply

With everything going on, I am now wondering if Cent set Rose up to handle any "unknown contingencies" that could not be calculated or deduced based on current knowledge of Nova Roma, Aeneas & Decimus. Meanwhile, Cent put together a team to operate as she logically believed things were.
Gilrandir 14th Aug 2017, 10:11 AM edit delete reply
So, I put together another fractured filksong that people may want to ignore. I put it here, because it seemed more directly relevant, but I provide this notice in the hopes of shamelessly garnering commentary and feedback, because this is where the action currently is. If you have trouble finding it, you can search for 'delicate sensibilities' in the page, and that should take you to it. Enjoy.
Tokyo Rose 14th Aug 2017, 4:07 PM edit delete reply

Holy shit, that was fucking amazing and cracked me up! (And I just saw "Moana" a few days ago, courtesy of Netflix!)
Gilrandir 14th Aug 2017, 5:15 PM edit delete reply
I am very glad you enjoyed it. Thank you for the kind words.
megados 14th Aug 2017, 5:33 PM edit delete reply

I also enjoyed it. Good one Gilrandir!
Gilrandir 14th Aug 2017, 6:20 PM edit delete reply
Thank you.
Timotheus 14th Aug 2017, 4:10 PM edit delete reply

Within all this discussion, I just thought I would point out that Centcom had no clue as to Decimus's "Contingencies Program" and if her spike had downloaded as planned and started to wrest control from Decimus, he would have probably employed said contingencies and caused vast set backs to planetary recovery. I feel this should eventually be pointed out to Centcom as a failure in her plan's ability to adapt to new conditions.
antrik 15th Aug 2017, 10:46 AM edit delete reply
I don't think so. The purpose of the contingencies was for everything to go to hell after his demise. I don't think he had any intention of destroying everything (including himself) merely because his ambitions were frustrated...
KarToon12 14th Aug 2017, 7:33 PM edit delete reply

Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but I really like the fourth panel and how Cent's face is half in the light and half in shadow. Showing her seemingly-benevolent intentions, but there's also that dark side....
Tokyo Rose 14th Aug 2017, 7:40 PM edit delete reply

I liked that panel too. The lighting/shadow system in DAZ Studio can do some odd things at times, but I appreciated this effect. :D
Rashala 14th Aug 2017, 11:29 PM edit delete reply

After reading Marcus comment I see his point.....I'd still deck him like tedee did for saying them but I see his point, after all I am just human and prone to irrational outbursts of punching peoples blocks off.
Marcus Ramesy 15th Aug 2017, 6:58 AM edit delete reply

@rashala, and you are welcome to your irrational outbursts
Rashala 15th Aug 2017, 11:38 PM edit delete reply

Thankyou though if I do decide to do a tedee to you Marcus I will call ahead so the trauma centers prepared for me and the mourgejust in case.
Timotheus 15th Aug 2017, 8:06 AM edit delete reply

You know, I'm just going to throw out the possibility that what we're seeing here is not the coldly logical god machine explaining it's actions but the all too "human" emotional response of a entity trying to cover up it's supreme embarrassment for having nearly FUBARed the mission all by herself in the grand tradition of all military high commands.
Centcom knew Ceci was flawed from the start. She was a patched up programming job that was intrinsically an untested jury rigged job and was behaving outside of parameters from the moment she was activated and Centcom knew it. Centcom still chose to green light the mission and lost control of her Angel mid mission, needing a fortuitous repair job by Dr. Black to help stabilize things (as she sees it now).
I could go into it further, but I'm suggesting that maybe Centcom is doing the old military, "Everything worked out in the end, so the plan was successful except for some minor details." , like a real person.
megados 15th Aug 2017, 8:21 AM edit delete reply

Possibly, @Timotheus. There's nothing concrete I could point to, to counter this hypothesis. There should be an answer coming soon!

One minor nitpick: It was Dr. Silver that patched CeCi. :)
Timotheus 15th Aug 2017, 11:36 AM edit delete reply

You're right. I'll leave it so your correction will remain valid.
antrik 15th Aug 2017, 10:51 AM edit delete reply
This makes me wonder: had the angel not stopped the reports, would it also have reported on the unexpected status of Aeneas up front, asking for confirmation whether still to drop the spike?...
Marcus Ramesy 15th Aug 2017, 12:35 PM edit delete reply

I can tell you that the spike was going to happen.. no mater what outcome there would have been... Centcoms intell stated it was dead.. unstable at best..... this is a case of strike wile the iron is hot because you may not get another chance at this and not going to risk it.. especially if there is an
unknown group attempting to "repair" the system and bring it back online... no way to know for what purpose or how much control they will have on it...
... if ceci had reported back what was going on.. cent would have carried on with the spike... hence the reason that the black angle had no need to contact centcom for any reason.. its task was to format the core.. no mater what. ... angels are very good at their job.. and when they are not malfunctioning ... very efficient... they are able to think and analyze for them selves what needs to be done... Cecis orders were very specific... go here.. do this.. end of day..

the only way the spike would not have happened is IF and I do mean *IF* there was proof positive that Aneis was being repaired correctly.... and since there was not a lot of time... and Tokyo Rose is a big wild card in regards to motives and skills... the only person who could give Centcom proof that aneis was being properly repaired would be either Centcom... Dr Taylor... and Dr Silver.... in that order...
antrik 15th Aug 2017, 2:16 PM edit delete reply
I'm sorry to say that I see issues with the logical soundness of the reasoning here...

With the whole no-hostage plan based on intel which turned out to be completely wrong, there is *every* reason to try to re-evaluate the course, if the possibility exists.

It's not really true that there was little time. There was plenty of time after the agent first learned that the intel on Aeneas's status was wrong; and there was still quite a lot of time (in A.I.S. terms) after she connected to the system and got a first-hand picture of the whole situation.

Also, questioning the combined competence of Professor Akaibara, Kyle Lamar, and the A.I. systems of Shinedo -- or the motives of the agents from several supposedly friendly states -- is quite preposterous. It's basically saying, "I'm not entirely convinced you did it right, so I'll rather destroy the work you did on restoring things to their proper order, and instead attempt a hostile takeover in front of your very eyes." Quite frankly, I think this would amount to an act of war, if it was done under explicit orders.

In short, the *only* justification I can see for proceeding with the spike, is that the agent was totally incapable of making judgement calls itself, *nor* of contacting Cent-Comm for updated instructions.
Marcus Ramesy 15th Aug 2017, 3:17 PM edit delete reply

Ceci had her orders, and Centcom is truly the only one that knows why she gave the orders the way she did... the cold reality and sad reality of things is that Ceci was dead the moment she was activated and put on this mission... it is unfortunate that a malfunction happened causing her to become unstable and though Centcoms choices may not be popular choices but they were the choices that she determined best for the city of New Troy based upon al intell that she had.. I know Cecis orders and the orders of my team.. tough decisions have to be made... one can look back at things after the fact and think hmm... perhaps I could have done something a bit different *IF* I had just known X.. radio silence was enforced to keep Nova Roma from knowing we were there... the original mission paramaters were to minimize the exposure of new troy assets so that our actions in nova roma could not be traced back to New troy.... wich sadly went out the wind and now opens an entirey new political song and dance... as for questioning the competence of several city states.... thats exactly what we are doing.. why are they there.. why do we have no intell on them being there.. what are they dong.. why havent them informed new troy of what they are doing... and though Shinado is "friendly" they are a LONG way from their jurisdiction ... just as you say what we did could be considered an act of war... so could theirs ... on top of that.. Nova roma is the one that struck at New Troy first by kidnapping Ms Taylor.... had we not been successful in retrieving her war would certainly have happened....
guest 15th Aug 2017, 5:41 PM edit delete reply
also.. the rebellion was going to happen.. the time table was jus pushed up a little...
antrik 16th Aug 2017, 11:02 AM edit delete reply
@Marcus Ramesy yeah, that's in line with my original thinking: I always assumed that the agent didn't keep in contact with Commie because of the danger of detection, and that was why she wasn't able to ask for updated instructions on the changed situation. Commie's mention that she stopped sending reports due to the malfunction, however made me wonder whether she was actually meant to keep in contact even while in Roma, in which case she surely would have asked for an update, if it hadn't been for the malfunction... (Except that things would have played out quite differently if it hadn't been for the malfunction -- so this is a rather hypothetical consideration :-) )
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