Comic 1541 - Rumors

5th Dec 2017, 9:00 PM
Average Rating: 5 (14 votes)
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Chippewa Ghost 5th Dec 2017, 9:40 PM edit delete reply

Keep your enemies close and your senators closer!
megados 5th Dec 2017, 10:05 PM edit delete reply

Referring to Decimus' using (abusing) the Cassians to quell dissent in the Senate? That's not hard to imagine.

Re: alt text, I don't know, I thought it came out well; I liked it :)
Ebonbolt 6th Dec 2017, 3:40 AM edit delete reply

Ah, but look at how Fabian refers to the Cassians: "what" rather than "who." It bodes ill for the Cassians that a member of the legislative body unthinkingly objectifies a loyal supporter of the stability of the state, merely because that loyalty-programmed loyalty-was misused by a narcissistic abuser who should never have been allowed to rule in the first place. Who was it, again, who must approve & confirm the new ruler? The Senate?
megados 6th Dec 2017, 7:09 AM edit delete reply

That's partially what I'm getting at. Virtually no one in New Rome accepts androids as sentient beings, or just sees them as 'lesser'. Just about everything in New Rome bade ill for the Cassians under Decimus, and the uphill battle falls to Acantha and Maxus to change that, if it is to be changed.

Decimus used any and all means to further his agendas, so this really comes as no surprise.

In the last panel, I kind of feel bad for Tennyo, who seems a little upset at being called a "what".
antrik 6th Dec 2017, 4:26 PM edit delete reply
I have a hard time imagining she'd still be getting upset after decades of this kind of treatment?...

(Also, I'm unable to read anything from her expression, with her freaky eyes, and from this angle...)
Tokyo Rose 6th Dec 2017, 4:57 PM edit delete reply

Hilariously, this is what I wrote in the scripting for this page:

FABIAN: Just look at what’s standing beside Maxus right at this moment.
(shift camera angle to TENNYO, who’s just watching with a faint smile on her face, completely unoffended)

Tennyo has long since learned that if people think of her as an object, they don't often remember to guard their words around her. She considers that an advantage.
megados 6th Dec 2017, 6:17 PM edit delete reply

LOL! Oh man, I really misread that. She didn't read 'smile' to me, and I just saw that she had a subdued reaction. I should have realized that she wouldn't react that way. :D Thanks, @Rose
Ebonbolt 8th Dec 2017, 2:32 AM edit delete reply

@megados (re: above): My point above was that Fabian was taking the blame for the threat away from Decimus (where it should belong), and placing it on the Cassians while simultaneously dehumanizing (de-peoplizing?) them.
@Tokyo Rose: I had not caught the smile, although the "I'm just furniture" tactic certainly does have some advantages. It also has disadvantages, but one plays with the hand one is dealt. Regardless, I'm sure most of the Cassians have "poker-face" down to an art form, when they need it.
megados 8th Dec 2017, 7:07 AM edit delete reply

You may be right, @Ebonbolt; I don't know. I took that to infer that the Cassians were one of Dec's weapons against any dissent or insurrection. I don't think he was shifting blame from Decimus, but rather, pointing to Tennyo as an example of Dec's interference.
antrik 8th Dec 2017, 8:40 AM edit delete reply
@megados while I mostly agree, I think the wording also implies a complaint about the fact that Maxus seems to be "friendly" with those "things"...
megados 8th Dec 2017, 12:59 PM edit delete reply

If so, that could cause difficulty if Maxus is to become Lord Regent.
Ebonbolt 9th Dec 2017, 10:28 PM edit delete reply

@megados: I think Fabian is trying to move the blame. A lot of people (including a lot of senators) are going to be afraid of the Cassians for a long time; Fabian is playing on that, trying to set them up as boogeymen, inhuman monsters with unnatural capability. If the blame lies with Dec, then the threat is dead with him, but if the blame lies with the Cassians, then the Senate needs to act to neutralize the threat they represent. Not incidentally, this places more power in the hands of the Senators, while reducing the power of Maxus, the regency, & the throne/crown. It also reduces the guilt of the Senate for confirming Decimus in the first place, if they can argue it around to the Cassians having "corrupted" Dec instead of the other way around (& I'm sure someone will try).
megados 10th Dec 2017, 3:08 PM edit delete reply

It's an interesting hypothesis, @Ebonbolt. A few things come to mind that I would point to. One is that I think it's more or less common knowledge that the Cassians, while respected, (and somewhat feared by many, especially subversives) under previous rulers did not participate in systematic wholesale murder, among other things, which became more widespread under Decimus, and that Decimus himself, was unstable when he assumed the throne.

Having said that, though, we really don't know much about the Senate, or the Senators, nor do we really know how many there are. It would be hard for me to gauge whether (a) member(s) would try to hatch such a nefarious plan, or whether others are mis/un-informed enough for it to work. It might, if this recent exchange is any example.

Setorius is definitely knowledgeable about these issues, and he appears to be well respected, and seems the sort of person who would not allow inaccuracies to persist. If that sort of disinformation began to spread, he would likely work to correct it and discredit those spreading it. Additionally, I think he and Maxus have a somewhat mutual respect.

In the end you may be right, though; all it would take, would be for Fabian to believe it would work. :D
Ebonbolt 11th Dec 2017, 1:14 AM edit delete reply

I think the operative word in my argument is "try." It may or may not work, depending any number of factors, from opposition response to audience reception to simple timing (& many more). Still, these kinds of tactics are used in the real world (sometimes successfully), in politics, business, and advertising (I'll not name any names here, it's too widespread to single out any one group). Politically speaking, a gambit that, if it fails, only damages relations with an opposing group is worth the effort if it has any possibility of even marginal success.
Rashala 8th Dec 2017, 12:08 AM edit delete reply

I would have decked him.
Hornet 12th Dec 2017, 6:32 AM edit delete reply
I could see me using "what' in reference to a person in a case like this because I'm not referencing who they are but what they are and what they are capable of.
megados 12th Dec 2017, 7:36 AM edit delete reply

Actually, that's a pretty good point. If it were, for instance, a heavily armed/armored soldier, I might say 'what'. A Cassian would have such a presence.
Haegan2005 5th Dec 2017, 10:06 PM edit delete reply

It is true that Decimus had his own personal cabal of assassins. That would deter a lot of people from acting openly.
Haegan2005 5th Dec 2017, 10:07 PM edit delete reply

Cent and Rose, the entire conference has been masterfully done. The work and effort shows. If a half blind nut like I can see it, then for others it rings true.
DLKmusic 5th Dec 2017, 10:54 PM edit delete reply

Re the alt-text, I wholeheartedly concur with Haegen and Megados! the conference came out perfectly, and we even got a good grasp of the personalities of some of the senators! (interestingly enough, my opinions have altered considerably from what my preconceived notions where when you started this conference).

As far as slapping you, no, I won't do that... But I might take away all your chocolates, because I'm just an evil human being!
Tokyo Rose 5th Dec 2017, 11:41 PM edit delete reply

Some people have commented that it's really confusing and hard to follow, and even though that's kind of what I had in mind, I'm sad that it's not working out as well for everybody as I hoped it would.

Altered your opinions, eh? :D
DLKmusic 6th Dec 2017, 12:15 AM edit delete reply

@Rose: well, yeah. Calavius, who was a Dec supporter in the senate, I was prepared to hate at the get-go! But so far, he seems to be perfectly reasonable, and whether or not I would agree with his opinions on expansionism, his reasons for his voting record seem sound. I would like to hear him finish what he has to say on this point though.

Pedius on the other hand, I think you mispelled his name. it should be spelled Putzius!
Tokyo Rose 6th Dec 2017, 5:01 PM edit delete reply


*tiny fist pump* YES. Good. That's what I was hoping for. I didn't want the Senators to all be cardboard cutouts.
Evervigilant 6th Dec 2017, 1:49 AM edit delete reply
While I speak for myself only, I do not find it too terribly confusing. It is only the panels where we do not see who is speaking where I sometimes have to reread to make sure who is saying what. If I may humbly suggest, simply giving each speaker a text color would probably help immensely to clarify who is speaking. I'm not sure how hard that would be to change but I think it would make it smoother for some readers.
antrik 6th Dec 2017, 3:52 PM edit delete reply
Colour-coding human speakers would break with the conventions used throughout the story...

Some other comics use tiny icons inside or next to the speech bubbles to identify off-screen speakers. I think that would work here too.
megados 6th Dec 2017, 7:58 AM edit delete reply

It seemed to me that the number of readers having real problems was in the minority. For me, problems following the dialog were very minimal. If this were a RL situation, one might expect to have some difficulty, as some of the conversations would literally be on top of each other. Beyond that, in reading books, one sometimes comes across conversations in which characters are not named over and over within a conversation, and who is saying what relies on the reader to mentally alternate between characters. I didn't really see a need for color coding, or additional means.
antrik 6th Dec 2017, 3:55 PM edit delete reply
Depends on how you define "real" problems, I guess. I for my part am usually able to figure it out from context -- but nevertheless it's somewhat tedious at times...
robnot 5th Dec 2017, 10:08 PM edit delete reply
@Centcomm: under no circumstance, do i see a reason to "slap /or hit a female"..!!!
so that wood be a no from me,,, ill just point to this.!
Tokyo Rose 5th Dec 2017, 11:39 PM edit delete reply

Sorry, that was me. :D
robnot 6th Dec 2017, 10:19 AM edit delete reply
..don't be sorry.! .. mission complete.! you wanted confusion , you got confusion. you portrayed this really well WITH confusion..
an @ spiky ball o hate : statement STILL stands.!
also... Right.! wonderful words, Rose.. wonderful Art, Centcomm.
antrik 6th Dec 2017, 4:11 PM edit delete reply
I can come up with any number of extreme situations where sticking to this stance unconditionally would be a very bad idea.

Also, applying it to females only is kinda sexist... :-P
robnot 7th Dec 2017, 8:52 AM edit delete reply
then i guess im sexist.! ..
even in a few extreme situations ( i have the scars.!)still did NOT hit the female.!!
mjkj 6th Dec 2017, 12:35 AM edit delete reply

I doubt Acantha will be as expansion prone as him...

...and I wonder what those gutters will do now that their income is cancelled...

@alt text: uh, nope, no slapping...
HiFranc 6th Dec 2017, 1:23 AM edit delete reply

I hope that someone makes clear that the new regime will not support the way Decimus ran things.
Lurker314 6th Dec 2017, 2:35 AM edit delete reply
Senator Calavius is showing that he's planning ahead. The gutters are going to be getting either nervous or ambitious when they hear about changes in Roma. He's trying to establish a formal policy before that gets out of hand. The fact that he's bringing it up right now instead of privately means that he thinks he can get a policy more in line with what he wants than if others had time to get their own ideas figured out. The way this conversation goes is going to say a lot about the morality of the Senate, methinks....
DLKmusic 6th Dec 2017, 3:05 AM edit delete reply

"morality of the senate"...

I understand the words individually, but the sentence as a whole does not compute!
Lurker314 30th Oct 2020, 12:52 AM edit delete reply
Well, sure, but, you know... Hope springs eternal and all that...
Sleel 6th Dec 2017, 4:34 AM edit delete reply

Didn't really have a problem following the com call. Seeing as it's not really needed to specifically know who is talking over who. But since everyone involved does know, since they presumably recognize each other voices, never mind their own com banks, then perhaps coloured trim around the bubbles to indicate who is who more clearly. Even if the names don't matter, keeps the face to the voice. But still politicians talking over each other and taking stabs as they come. Sounds like any given day in Parliament to me. Just the topic differs.
xpacetrue 6th Dec 2017, 12:14 PM edit delete reply

What about Aeneas?

Of all the subjects that the Senate has and could be discussing, I'm very surprised that foreign agents bringing Aeneas back online isn't one of them. (Tokyo Rose and a mysterious agent as it is unlikely that any of them could identify Kyle beyond the fake name he used. Rose altered his face during the trip to Nova Roma.)

Could it be that the Senate doesn't know just yet? Perhaps Aeneas is keeping a low profile and Maxus hasn't told them about it? Maxus does know, doesn't he?
antrik 6th Dec 2017, 4:16 PM edit delete reply
Yes, Maxus knows. As for the others, it's one of the many many things we don't know yet regarding what transpired between the Trojans leaving and the present scene...
sigpig 6th Dec 2017, 1:10 PM edit delete reply

I'm guessing that the Gutters and bandits on Douchie's payroll are his blewbs.

Re: Alt-text: Slap - no. Spankings however...
Guest 6th Dec 2017, 1:49 PM edit delete reply
yeah, always with informed consent
antrik 6th Dec 2017, 4:18 PM edit delete reply
@sigpig that's an interesting point. So far, we heard of them being Roman criminals -- but I guess it would make sense for Decimus to also employ outsiders exhibiting the same fine qualities...
Don B. 6th Dec 2017, 5:17 PM edit delete reply
If nothing else Antrik, with the gutters Decimus wasn't as likely to hear "You want me to WHAT?!!" from them. "I'm getting paid, right?" or "Sure, no problem" sounds about right.
Ebonbolt 8th Dec 2017, 2:49 AM edit delete reply

Sadly, paying off the gutters was likely one of the better (or at least, less expensive) methods of staving off attacks. Take a payout instead of risking your life to steal/raid/rob? A lot of people would go for that, improving both their own lives and those of their potential victims. Some would still be inclined to violence & cruelty, but it would cut down the numbers. Decimus may or may not have operated thus, but the base concept is sound under the right set of conditions. Heck, even outright employing them could be a good idea, in some ways. The problem lies in how Decimus likely used such "employees."
Hornet 12th Dec 2017, 11:39 AM edit delete reply
Pretty sure you won't find any outsiders in the Praetorian Guard. They would be in Border Garrisons and the like.
robnot 7th Dec 2017, 8:58 AM edit delete reply
@sigpig: RE: Alt-text: what you do behind closed doors...
Centcomm 8th Dec 2017, 9:49 PM edit delete reply

not exactly .. but close!
sigpig 13th Dec 2017, 11:46 AM edit delete reply

What part? The gutters or the spankings? ;)
antrik 6th Dec 2017, 5:28 PM edit delete reply
"It's for their best, they cannot rule themselves..." Always a favourite justification with imperialists.
cattservant 6th Dec 2017, 7:28 PM edit delete reply

Quarreling over the remains...
Morituri 7th Dec 2017, 12:18 PM edit delete reply
What happened to Tennyo's left ponytail in panel 1?
antrik 7th Dec 2017, 2:24 PM edit delete reply
Uh-oh... [Cue ominous music] It's the agony; the terror; the bane of every 3D artist's existence: CLIPPING!
Centcomm 8th Dec 2017, 7:51 PM edit delete reply

gah! forgot to move it back over her back.. damn it ...
Oni-neko 9th Dec 2017, 4:41 PM edit delete reply
to be fair, it's not all that noticeable. I didn't notice until it got mentioned specifically.

It always amazes me how good you are at keeping such issues from interfering with our enjoyment of the story you two are weaving.
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