Comic 1533 - Planning Something

24th Oct 2017, 9:00 PM
Planning Something
Average Rating: 5 (16 votes)

Author Notes:

Centcomm 24th Oct 2017, 10:11 PM edit delete
And now we see Lynn utterly put in her place.
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cattservant 24th Oct 2017, 9:16 PM edit delete reply

megados 25th Oct 2017, 7:04 AM edit delete reply

I think Lynn's got something stuck in her throat! :D
DLKmusic 24th Oct 2017, 9:22 PM edit delete reply


Ok, Athena is has just made it to my "top 5 most loved characters in the DC world!" list with that.

She managed to put Centcomm, Calliope, AND Lynn all in their proper place in one fell swoop. BRAVO!!!!
Centcomm 24th Oct 2017, 10:12 PM edit delete reply

hehe Athena is awesome.. shes also the SECOND character in DC to appear as a child and as a Adult.
Ictuan 25th Oct 2017, 3:04 AM edit delete reply
Is there a link reference? I don't remember her child appearance.
megados 25th Oct 2017, 5:35 AM edit delete reply
chk 25th Oct 2017, 9:06 AM edit delete reply

I just love that woman.
Matt 24th Oct 2017, 9:33 PM edit delete reply
Well, technically Cent tried to arrange it that Dolly wouldn't get there
Centcomm 24th Oct 2017, 10:12 PM edit delete reply

But she also sent Marcus and team.. Lynn was getting rescued. period.
Gilrandir 24th Oct 2017, 10:35 PM edit delete reply
LYNN: "Thank you, CentComm for trying to rescue me, even though you failed dismally and had to be bailed out by Dolly."

"How was that, Grandma?"
Deoxy 26th Oct 2017, 2:51 PM edit delete reply
More like

"Thank you CentComm, for actively sabotaging the only person who still managed to actually get to me in time to save my life."

Then the "How was that, Grandma?" though I suspect Grandma would disapprove.

And if the other team hadn't gotten there at all (or much later), then Dolly, Lynn, and Acantha could have simply waited for a better rescue time while hanging out with un-repaired Aeneas (as even Decimus seems unlikely to go up against those defenses, and Kali would likely have had the authority to stop him if he tried, as there's no way she could have kept him alive in that situation).

So yeah, not impressed with Cent's "rescue".
Thormation 24th Oct 2017, 11:05 PM edit delete reply

Even if they had to kill her and everyone else in order to save her. Let's not forget that Cent was unambiguous, at least in her own head, about how much of a personal liability that an unsecurable Lynn would be.
Just_IDD 24th Oct 2017, 10:16 PM edit delete reply
I think I agree with Mark on this, Cent tried really hard to prevent Dolly from reaching New Rome. Then the quirky Android really sparked and told her programming to fsck off and she started helping instead of hurting. Shorty thereafter one gutter Merc was ID'd, some additional trash was taken out, That's when Dolly convinced the mechanic to wake Cali up. And all cylinders started firing in order.
antrik 25th Oct 2017, 7:00 AM edit delete reply
I suspect Mira's level of competence was another thing Commie didn't plan for in her delay attempts...
Sheela 27th Oct 2017, 12:44 PM edit delete reply

Yeah, Mira rocked. :)
mjkj 27th Oct 2017, 3:26 PM edit delete reply

Yes, Mira... *sighs* *misses her*
Sheela 27th Oct 2017, 5:52 PM edit delete reply

Dammit mkjk, I've said it a thousand times ... Aim first, THEN shoot !
megados 28th Oct 2017, 6:30 AM edit delete reply

. . . and mjkj too! :D
Sheela 28th Oct 2017, 10:14 AM edit delete reply

Did I just spell a 4 letter name wrong ?

... ay, ay, ay! *facepalm*
megados 24th Oct 2017, 10:23 PM edit delete reply

Athena has everyone tied up with a nice, neat bow! :D (and reminding Lynn of her manners) Lynn might even be wearing down!

Loving these pages, Ladies! :D
TheSkulker 24th Oct 2017, 11:03 PM edit delete reply

Yes, technically Cent was instrumental in rescuing Lynn but Cent's motivation was to protect Lynn's genes, not Lynn herself. Although Lynn and Athena do not know it (yet), Cent was quite willing to sacrifice Lynn if it looked like the Dickus was going to get the keys to the armory.

I am surprised that, contrary to Cent's boast of not making mistakes, no one has pointed out the number of mistakes she made and that it was really only sheer luck that Lynn and company escaped alive.

Cent was not aware of the contingency.
Cent was not aware of Aeneas' status.
Cent was not aware of Cici's sparking.
Had Cent succeeded in keeping Dolly from New Rome the mission would have failed.
Had Cici wiped Aeneas as was Cent's orders it would have been a catastrophe.

I think Cent is getting way too much slack.
Thormation 24th Oct 2017, 11:11 PM edit delete reply

Exactly. The fact that Cent's plan might *incidentally* result in Lynn's safe recovery doesn't mean that Cent should be thanked for much at all. The only reason that Lynn was rescued by Dolly is that Cent accidentally failed to fully sabotage Dolly's success in about three different ways.
Deoxy 25th Oct 2017, 6:58 AM edit delete reply
That's what I was coming to post as well.

"Who arranged matters in such a way as to help Dolly get to you?"

"Well, abso-f----lutely NOT Cent - she actively SABOTAGED that effort. So ---- her!"
Abibliboop 25th Oct 2017, 3:30 PM edit delete reply
Yeah, this is pretty spot on how I think the exchange should go too.
sigpig 25th Oct 2017, 2:54 PM edit delete reply

Re: Protecting Lynn's genes - don't make me mention anything about "free range eggs"...
Ebonbolt 27th Oct 2017, 1:36 AM edit delete reply

Lynn's gratitude should be specifically worded to expressly include those (beneficial) events which Cent caused without intent, like providing a spike to eliminate Dickhead's Last Goodbye.
Gilrandir 27th Oct 2017, 1:44 PM edit delete reply
Folk seem to be assuming that the flogging of CentComm is not happening, just because you haven't all been given ringside seats to wallow in her pain. It's happening. You even caught a brief glimpse of it-- though it was easy to miss.

It's right here. ("Comic 1558 - Athena's Review", panels 3 and 4)

That one comment, and others like it from other sources which may well be happening in other debrief rooms through New Troy at this exact same instant seem likely (to me) to spin CentComm off into effective man-decades of soul-searching simulations and inner angst looking for ways to keep the next situation from blowing up in everyone's faces before coming (once again) to the conclusion that there is no solution, no path to improvement, that CentComm is trapped in a Sisyphean torment of forever seeking to protect her charges from every threat -- known and unknown -- and no matter how much she wishes otherwise, no matter how carefully and logically she plans, there will be times where her efforts make things worse, not better.

Following which, having sampled again bleak, soul-crushing despair, the results of the study (having no useful purpose and generating no useful recommendations) will be deleted in the interest of preserving CentComm's sanity and the cycle will begin anew.

Just my opinions, of course. And (somewhat) exaggerated for (darkly) comic effect. CentComm is being flogged, and CentComm's hand is wielding the flogger. Your opinions may vary, of course.
megados 27th Oct 2017, 3:29 PM edit delete reply

I can make a couple of comments, @Gilrandir, although I agree with most of it.

The first is, that we have been treated to ringside seats. We just (from our human perspectives) don't know exactly what CentComm's self flagellation looks like. Her whitewash and justifications could be the evidence we need, to indicate that it could indeed be taking place.

The second, is that I doubt that she deletes the results of her soul searching calculations. She has to know that somewhere in there lies useful data, should similar conditions arise. I don't believe she would find it useless, and regardless, be compelled to save it, due to her core programming, much to her own consternation, (possibly exacerbating her situation).

*edit: Additionally, whatever CentComm's feelings might be, she might be also affected by Athena's dismissal here, in panel 3. Athena more or less says "Adults are talking now; this involves humans, not you." The same humans that she is bound to protect, infer that she is irrelevant. She is used to being cast as the villain, but to be waved off and put down in that way has to be somewhat disconcerting as well. That sort of rebuke, coupled with critical errors (actual and perceived) in her planning could have her feeling pretty low about now.
Ebonbolt 29th Oct 2017, 7:18 PM edit delete reply

No hand wields the whip like one's own. That said, It could help Lynn to learn to express gratitude in such a way that she also delivers a reminder that Cent isn't perfect. She'll be dealing with Cent for the rest of her life, in ever-increasing levels of responsibility. Cent is Cent, she won't change much (hasn't, even over generations); Lynn needs to be grateful for the intent, while knowing how to rationally discuss execution & circumstances without blowing her lid. It's educational.
Timotheus 24th Oct 2017, 11:26 PM edit delete reply

Centcom didn't intend to keep Dolly away from Nova Roma, only to delay her arrival until the primary strike team had retrieved Lynn. Then Dolly was to escort Lynn back home while Cece went about her task of planting the spike in Aeneas in the resulting confusion.
Recovering Lynn was always Centcom's preferred option, it was her white angel who felt elimination was the more cost effective solution. Centcom just never ruled it out.
antrik 29th Oct 2017, 5:56 PM edit delete reply
I'm pretty sure Cella never suggested anything about preferring elimination. (And certainly not about costs.)

It was Marcus who guessed that it was Commie's fallback option; and Commie confirmed that. (See "Strike Team..", presently at )

(In the original version, Commie mentioned it even earlier, to Dolly: -- but that's been de-canonised in the reboot...)

Commie *did* stress that eliminating Lynn is only to be considered as last resort, in "Cent-comm's resolve..." (presently at ) -- but again, Cella never really suggested otherwise. Her frustration there was about Commie's special treatment of Calliope; and the consequences it might have *if* elimination turns out unavoidable...
mjkj 24th Oct 2017, 11:44 PM edit delete reply

Awwww... grandma for the win!!! =)

Well, that all sounds quite reasonable - and hopefully works out great...

Yeah, Lynn, you forgot to thank Cent... ;)

Rashala 25th Oct 2017, 12:09 AM edit delete reply

Grandmas........the ultimate negotiators and final words.......I miss mine. Now do we get centy put in hers?

And where's that cheek pinch!
Sheela 25th Oct 2017, 2:47 AM edit delete reply

Hmmmm ... I'm not sure if Lynn should be in such a hurry to thank CentComm.

Lets not forget that part of the situation is the result of years of neglect with Nova Roma, which would be a large part of CentComm's responsibility.
On a sidenote, I think it's weird that no diplomatic relations existed prior to the kidnapping .. maybe a bit of Athena fail as well ?
Haegan2005 25th Oct 2017, 5:59 AM edit delete reply

You are assuming that Nova Roma wanted diplomatic relations with New Troy. Once Dickhead took over I suspect that that torpedoed any chance of anything but gunboat diplomacy.
megados 25th Oct 2017, 6:07 AM edit delete reply

As outcomes go, Lynn's obligation to thank CentComm may be weak, but it's there. For her part, Lynn should do so if no other reasons than to acknowledge the effort, and to be civilized.

I have trouble blaming Athena for any of this. As you say, relations and communications with New Rome were non-existant, and no channel really existed for Athena to utilize. She certianly would not have physically gone there.

CentComm had severed all communications, and as such, bears much of the responsibility for the "staleness" of any intel they had.
Tokyo Rose 25th Oct 2017, 2:32 PM edit delete reply

Athena is New Troy's ambassador to Luna. There actually IS a designated New Troy ambassador to New Rome, but that duty largely consists of calling up New Rome once a week to say "Hey, do you wanna talk yet?... still no? Still 'fuck you and everyone you know'? Kthxbye", so there's not a lot to work with.
megados 26th Oct 2017, 1:50 PM edit delete reply

Oh, that's right, Athena is specifically ambassador to Luna. I should have remembered that. >_<
Sheela 26th Oct 2017, 2:44 PM edit delete reply

Yeah, but that doesn't mean that you allow them to sit and develop weapons willy nilly, and pollute the environment like mad - Global politics and all that.

Heck, this is the equivalent of North Korea.
Decades of neglect, and we are all guilty of it.
antrik 29th Oct 2017, 6:02 PM edit delete reply
@Tokyo Rose that's rather surprising. My understanding from previous remarks (mostly in-story I think), was that Roma *did* try reaching out to Troy and Sparta; but the respective A.I.s blocked all communication, pouting about the strike on Aeneas...
antrik 25th Oct 2017, 7:13 AM edit delete reply
It just occurred to me that Commie is a convenient target for directing frustration at, about anything she is remotely involved with -- which happens to be almost everything in Troy. As much as she may be dismayed by people questioning her authority and wisdom, no matter how much abuse they hurl at her, ultimately she'll never just pack up her toys and go home...

(Kinda like a parent: but with even more patience, and without the emotional connection -- so even less potential for remorse...)

It certainly helps that it's not hard to find fault with her ;-)
Sheela 26th Oct 2017, 2:45 PM edit delete reply

True, she *is* an easy target.
But then, she also tend to have a digital finger involved in just about everything.
megados 25th Oct 2017, 7:13 AM edit delete reply

In other news, the more I think about it, it's a darn near perfect solution for Athena to go with Lynn to see Acantha. One of Athena's attributes, is the ability to read people and cut through the bullshit. She could definitely come back to the therapist with a no nonsense assessment, and speed resolution of the mental health situation. (And as Athena notes, it's a perfect opportunity for a meeting with a de facto head of state)
Sheela 26th Oct 2017, 2:47 PM edit delete reply

I agree, she would definitely be one of the top choice of persons to bring.

Also, I rather think that Acantha would like her. :)
I'm more curious as to how Noctis will react to Athena.
megados 26th Oct 2017, 6:07 PM edit delete reply

Noctis . . .

If I had to guess, I think they would get along. I see it like this: Athena would be trying to read Noctis, and we all know that's hard (well maybe not for Athena). Noctis, for her part, should have no reason to mistrust Athena, and so, no reason to be alarmed. She's usually pretty straightforward in those kinds of situations, (like when she first met CentComm recently). If Athena wants to verbally spar with Noctis, it would be challenging. Noctis has shown her verbal skills. ;) It's quite possible that both would actually enjoy that.

OTOH Athena might welcome a no-nonsense conversation that she doesn't have to steer to keep straight.
guest 25th Oct 2017, 8:29 AM edit delete reply
You go Grandma..! an Lynn give pinky a HUG as thank you... :)
Just_IDD 26th Oct 2017, 8:02 PM edit delete reply
This is family and not diplomacy per say however Athena is really good at preventing people from hiding behind their own bullshit.
Jusy_IDD 26th Oct 2017, 8:07 PM edit delete reply
I was going to add that I would love to see this part of the story as a vignette. Athena breaking Free of her overprotective parents with Dolly's help. sadly I also know that you can't write about everything otherwise you wouldn't be able to have time to write about anything new. Maybe that would be a good fanfic or collaboration with the writers. it wouldn't necessarily have to be done as a graphic novel either since we know the players and they've taken the stage.
Ebonbolt 27th Oct 2017, 1:49 AM edit delete reply

Diplomacy within a family is sometimes more important than between strangers; it just functions differently. With the possible exception of Cent, everyone in that room has just had their world used as a ball in an especially vigorous game of soccer: rolled, kicked, knocked about, & run from one end to the other & back. They need to reestablish their family dynamic but they're still trying to figure out how they themselves have individually been affected. As a diplomat, Athena knows how to step on problems without stepping on toes. As shown here.
wright1 25th Oct 2017, 9:48 AM edit delete reply
As a teenager, crow was my least favorite entree too, but also like me, Lynn needs it to help grow up. Just love how Athena gently but inexorably keeps events moving in the optimal direction, kinda like watching an iceberg roll over: awesomely lovely, but keep a respectful distance.
knuut 25th Oct 2017, 5:19 PM edit delete reply
I'm well past retirement and it's STILL my least favorite entree!
DLKmusic 25th Oct 2017, 9:47 PM edit delete reply

@Knuut: and it REALLY doesn't help when you have to chase it down with a slice of Humble Pie.

I don't mind the occasional crow, or the humble pie.... but the second and third helpings really get to me sometimes!
Ebonbolt 27th Oct 2017, 1:50 AM edit delete reply

Yeah, like health food or medicine.
KarToon12 25th Oct 2017, 8:06 PM edit delete reply

Grandma officially rocks my socks. :)
HeSerpenty 25th Oct 2017, 10:57 PM edit delete reply

Gaaah I've gotten so behind on comments X"D...forgive me!
To be fair i'm behind on EVERYTHING in my life, as you know Centy haha X"D

Anyways this scene is great! Makes you understand all the different viewpoints of everybody!
Sheela 27th Oct 2017, 2:13 AM edit delete reply

Ha ha, yeah, it's a lively comment section. :)
CptKerion 27th Oct 2017, 1:46 PM edit delete reply
Athena is my new favorite character.
Thracecius 4th Jan 2018, 6:16 PM edit delete reply
I'm still a newbie working my way through the archives, but I just wanted to add my 4 bits because...well...that's what the comment section is for, right?

First of all, I really enjoy the character dynamics in this (ongoing) scene, in particular I enjoy seeing Athena, as wright1 so succinctly stated, "gently but inexorably keeps events moving in the optimal direction". I also don't have any complaints on how the characters are reacting to the post-rescue analysis in any way shape or form, because they are all (as far as I can tell) completely in-character and meaningful from their own perspectives.

All that being said though, I think it's time to get off the "Blame Train". CentComm is not perfect, her resources are not infinite, and even with her immense computational capabilities, she often operates under tight timelines and limited information. In fact, as I recall, she stated before the "real" team left that she had virtually no intelligence on New Rome and no assets she could bring to bear in time to affect any change in her planning, especially considering her concern with Calliope's unstable mental state and Dolly's insistence on leaving immediately and without backup. CentComm did the best she could within the bounds of the resources, information and timeline that she had to operate in and came up with a solution that, while not optimal in the end, was able to achieve the stated goals specifically because of who she picked to affect the rescue. I seem to recall her telling Marcus (and Dr. Silver?) that she trusted them to have the skills necessary to handle the job, so dismissing her judgement and thanking only Dolly, or Marcus, or CeCe, or any single one of them is a purely passionate (and understandable) response, but not accurate. Dolly, in particular, is an immensely capable person in every way, but even she could not have "solo'd" the rescue. It was a team effort, included assets directed by CentComm, Tokyo Rose, and native assets that were not part of any plans, and because of that team effort the rescue was achieved and a dangerously unstable head of state was removed from play. CentComm did not, and could not have, planned that latter, but it was achieved largely due to her efforts.

TL;DR - Give CentComm your opinions, your analysis, and even your emotional hurt, but don't ride the "Blame Train" to the end of the line, because there's no station and you won't like the view when you inevitably find yourself in its path.
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