Comic 1550 - Ulterior Motive

30th Jan 2018, 9:00 PM
Ulterior Motive
Average Rating: 5 (17 votes)
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jamie59 30th Jan 2018, 9:20 PM edit delete reply

Complicate! For one she is the only bodyguard for a head of state. Noctis is very understaffed.
antrik 31st Jan 2018, 9:03 AM edit delete reply
Well, Noctis being a one-droid-army per Word of God, she is not *that* understaffed... ;-)
megados 31st Jan 2018, 10:13 AM edit delete reply

She can *almost* be in two places at once! :D
Speedy 5th Feb 2018, 1:06 PM edit delete reply
That would put her in a superposition to defend Acantha.
megados 9th Feb 2018, 5:39 AM edit delete reply

Indeed XD
Speedy 5th Feb 2018, 1:09 PM edit delete reply
Besides, Noctis would be deadly even with just a quarterstaff.
Lurker314 3rd Oct 2018, 9:16 PM edit delete reply
But _surely_, Noctis has a buck and a quarter quarterstaff? No need to tell anyone, though.
megados 30th Jan 2018, 9:20 PM edit delete reply

Re: Alt text, Noctis has a lot of experience, too, and she's pretty good at it. Listen to her, Acantha. She just wants to come away from this without a lot of "hitches".

Once everything is cleared, it might be possible for Lynn to stay there with Acantha, no?

I really like the dialog on this page! :D
TMLutas 31st Jan 2018, 8:50 PM edit delete reply
It's best when the person being guarded doesn't make plans that endanger security. That means they have to be taught what not to do, while they are doing their own job.

School just got called into session.
Rigor 5th Feb 2018, 7:30 PM edit delete reply
Of course... but she should have learned this stuff about 5 minutes after her father died.
DLKmusic 30th Jan 2018, 10:40 PM edit delete reply

looking for a hidden agenda, Noctis? Cent flat out stated why she would cooperate on this issue IIRC. Acantha on the throne is the best hope for New Rome, and best hope for a stable relationship between New Rome and New Troy.

Or am I missing something important?
PaulRein 31st Jan 2018, 2:29 AM edit delete reply
Sure, Centcom said she would cooperate but what guarantee is that? Of course Noctis is keeping an eye out for a hidden agenda ("Trust, but verify."), it is just one of a hundred possible developments I sure she has considered by now.
Gilrandir 31st Jan 2018, 6:34 AM edit delete reply
You're missing CentComm's ulterior motive. She's secretly shipping Lynn and Noctis, and hopes that spending enough time together will cause each to realize the other is perfect for them. ^_^
antrik 31st Jan 2018, 8:50 AM edit delete reply
This must be the first time I see shipping brought up as an ulterior motive ;-)

Are you suggesting Lynn and Noctis are polar opposites, and it would benefit them both if they rubbed off (ahem...) on each other?
Phil 31st Jan 2018, 11:23 AM edit delete reply
but.. what if it isnt lyn and noctis...
what if it is...
noctis and CENT?

*GASP* !
Centcomm 1st Feb 2018, 12:54 PM edit delete reply

oh god dear me..
Speedy 5th Feb 2018, 4:03 PM edit delete reply
Noctis and Cent? Sparks would fly!

Not to mention that all the male androids would get Large Hadrons!

"Hey, I would collide her. Both of them, actually."

"No way. You know that we male androids are terrible at multitasking."
megados 5th Feb 2018, 4:44 PM edit delete reply

Gilrandir 31st Jan 2018, 1:15 PM edit delete reply
I see what you did there, @antrik. ^_^
megados 31st Jan 2018, 7:22 AM edit delete reply

Like the Alt text says, it's her job. I'm thinking she's right to be suspicious; the first thing Cent did was to put trackers in Noctis' clothes. ;)
Centcomm 1st Feb 2018, 12:55 PM edit delete reply

that was almost a game. She wanted to see if Noctis could find them. She did :D
Lurker314 1st Feb 2018, 5:31 PM edit delete reply
I was thinking it was almost professional courtesy. I'm assuming that you check your clothes for bugs--so I'm giving you something to find.

Like there's any chance in **** that Noctis can so much as twitch without being recorded from five angles....
megados 2nd Feb 2018, 8:31 AM edit delete reply

Maybe a practical joke or a test? A game would suggest both of them knew they were playing. :D It might turn into a game if Noctis starts doing things back to tweak Cent! That might be fun if they start a string of one-up japes! XD Noctis could sneak in and shrink-wrap one of her dolls!
Sheela 2nd Feb 2018, 5:42 PM edit delete reply

No, no, putting bugs on each other is more akin to .. flirting, amongst security droids.

Like, handing someone some pretty flowers, except they are little nanite based transmitters. :D
And if the other is good enough to follow the signal back home, it doubles as an invitation for a cup of "hot coffee". ;)
mjkj 30th Jan 2018, 10:46 PM edit delete reply

Awwww... poor Noctis...

...and yeah, Acantha, you are now a head-of-state - not a simple girl who just wants to hang out with friends... =S
PaulRein 31st Jan 2018, 2:24 AM edit delete reply
Technically she is only the presumptive head of state, the Senate has not, to my knowledge, confirmed her as the new Imperator.
megados 31st Jan 2018, 7:17 AM edit delete reply

Acantha is sixteen years old, and can't be named Imperatrix. As I understand it, she would rule by proxy; Maxus has to be installed as Regent by the Senate until Acantha reaches the age of majority. But yeah, there's a lot on her shoulders now.
antrik 31st Jan 2018, 8:53 AM edit delete reply
The Senate could probably change that law though if they wanted?...
Zeev 4th Feb 2018, 3:26 AM edit delete reply
They could change it...but why would they?

Changing core aspects of governance in a state tends to have drastic consequences down the line and is generally avoided for this reason.

Roma has a capable heir (Acantha) as well as a well liked and respected Regent who is unlikely to try and hold power (Maxus). While the current social situation in Roma is difficult the overall body politic is comparatively stable as both the Imperial court and Senate are functional.
antrik 4th Feb 2018, 3:26 PM edit delete reply
Yeah, it's probably for the better... I was just pointing out that the claim she *can't* be made Imperator is not necessarily true :-)
megados 4th Feb 2018, 7:29 PM edit delete reply

I don't know if the Senate could unilaterally change the law, though, without action by the throne, but the point is moot, because apparently the law is already written that way. :)
PaulRein 31st Jan 2018, 9:13 AM edit delete reply
As I interpret Noctis in "Noctis Summarizes", Acantha can ascend the throne now (given Senate approval) but would, as you say, need an adult proxy, the Regent, until she comes of age.

Presently, neither of these appointments have been made so New Rome is under Martial Law until order is restored.
megados 31st Jan 2018, 9:43 AM edit delete reply

@PaulRein, I stand corrected :)
Centcomm 1st Feb 2018, 12:55 PM edit delete reply

Correct, Acantha ISNT ruler of Roma yet.
antrik 31st Jan 2018, 12:10 PM edit delete reply
@mjkj why "poor" Noctis?
mjkj 2nd Feb 2018, 12:58 AM edit delete reply

Because of those complications - I am sure a few of them will catch her... ;) (...and we are talking about CentComm...) =P
Sheela 2nd Feb 2018, 5:44 PM edit delete reply

She IS, however, a princess.
.. a bratty, sassy, princess!

Who has been known to run away from home, and offer cookies to strangers.
Ebonbolt 30th Jan 2018, 11:10 PM edit delete reply

Acantha has so much to learn. Here's hoping she doesn't have to learn it the hard way (she's already had so much she had to learn the hard way). Likewise for Lynn. Maybe Athena can make some suggestions to ease the way.
chk 31st Jan 2018, 8:47 AM edit delete reply

Now, why would Noctis be suspicious of an ulterior motive from Cent Comm?
antrik 31st Jan 2018, 9:05 AM edit delete reply
Indeed. Commie is the last "person" known for ever having ulterior motives, right? ;-)
Sheela 2nd Feb 2018, 5:46 PM edit delete reply

ALL motives from Centcomm are either Ulterior, Interior or Posterior. :D
Ictuan 3rd Feb 2018, 7:13 PM edit delete reply
There is a reason I don't drink anything while reading the comments here. That reason is the risk of Sheela making me spew across my laptop.
Sheela 3rd Feb 2018, 8:11 PM edit delete reply

I plead the fifth !
Deoxy 6th Feb 2018, 11:50 AM edit delete reply
A fifth of what?

Oh, that's not what you meant, is it...
Sleel 31st Jan 2018, 12:00 PM edit delete reply

It's a good thing I wasn't taking a sip of my coffee. If I had I'da been spewing over my keyboard at the 'intended as humour' bit. Given the way I broke out at it. Cent with a hidden agenda? Noo. Qu'elle Suprise!
Lurker314 31st Jan 2018, 12:30 PM edit delete reply
"Maybe she's just being nice."
"I assume that was intended as humor, Miss Taylor"


So far as I can tell, Noctis is speaking on behalf of EVERYONE that has significant interactions with Cent-Comm. Lynn's comment is the comment of someone who wants what they want & doesn't care about anything else. Sigh. Kids.

I agree with DLKmusic, however. Cent-Comm benefits immensely from stable relations with the other city states. Building goodwill is part of that. Given that Noctis is all business, Cent-Comm is going to cooperate.

Now, if Cent-Comm's reputation is such that complete cooperation tweaks Noctis' paranoia just a bit...why NOT have a just a little fun?
Gilrandir 31st Jan 2018, 1:11 PM edit delete reply
I wonder if Lynn is hampered in her ability to comprehend CentComm's nature by her stubborn refusal to see CentComm as anything but a rival for her mother's attention.

Lynn keeps trying to 'humanize' CentComm by attributing human emotions and motivations to her. Good ones, bad ones -- it doesn't seem to matter, she keeps making the same mistake over and over again, even though she isn't really a stupid girl, and being corrected by ... practically everyone around her. (I will forbear enumeration of Lynn's many personal failings, faults and shortcomings as I see them, but 'stupidity' is not among them.)

You can't be rivals with a toaster. Or a rocketship. Or a battle management, command, control, and communication (BMC3I) system. You can only be rivals with a peer, and since CentComm is a rival, she must be a peer. (However humbling that would actually be for CentComm.)
megados 31st Jan 2018, 5:24 PM edit delete reply

Taken in this context, one might decide that a person could still be rivals with a toaster, in that Calliope's time and attention were what were desired. Working on, perfecting, servicing, and testing the toaster becomes all consuming, and the fact that the toaster is sentient, fades in relevance compared to the perceived slight. Lynn is vying for time against this toaster.

But this IS a sentient toaster, and that adds another layer of dislike to the situation, such that to Lynn, CentComm will always be wrong, weird, mean, stupid, or whatever, because Lynn has an inherent bias, so she humanizes CentComm to give her bias some tangible anchor points; to be able to rationalize it.
antrik 1st Feb 2018, 8:14 AM edit delete reply
That's an interesting analysis; but in this instance, don't you think Lynn was really just joking?...
Gilrandir 1st Feb 2018, 9:48 AM edit delete reply
Even the jokes we tell say something about our attitudes.
Sheela 2nd Feb 2018, 5:49 PM edit delete reply

I knew a guy that was a total workaholic .. I would definitely say that his wife had to compete with his job for attention. It was a very real rival, in a sense.

She was NOT happy!
Ebonbolt 2nd Feb 2018, 6:55 PM edit delete reply

To compound the rivalry issue, Cent uses dolls to facilitate communication & personification (worse, there would rarely be more than one in a given location at a time), and those dolls have a definite "cute" look (being on the small side of human average). How do you compete with a super-smart, well-connected, cute rival whose problems (those that come up in family discussion, anyway) are always of vast importance to the safety & security of the entire city?
sigpig 31st Jan 2018, 2:54 PM edit delete reply

Noctis is paranoid, but is she paranoid enough?
Ictuan 1st Feb 2018, 5:02 PM edit delete reply
The truth is, Noctis probably can't be paranoid enough.
HiFranc 31st Jan 2018, 5:16 PM edit delete reply

Also, even if you could trust CentComm, everyone knows that there’s a whole in Cent’s security - after all the gutters knew exactly where and when to intercept Lynn. An organisation that could is that resourceful, probably could get through security at 3C.
Lurker314 31st Jan 2018, 7:49 PM edit delete reply
A man was in jail, but he knew that he wood get out. First, he looked around and saw what he could see. He took the saw, and sawed the would in half. The two halves made a hole. He placed the whole in the wall and walked out.

Sheela 2nd Feb 2018, 6:35 PM edit delete reply

Heh, that's a funny wordplay - And the assumptions made.
Kinda reminds me of the joke that the Joker told Batman at the end of "The Killing Joke", it goes something like this.
Ictuan 3rd Feb 2018, 7:12 PM edit delete reply
That joke needs to be delivered by Jack Nicholson.
KarToon12 31st Jan 2018, 7:44 PM edit delete reply

Of course they should be suspicious. The fact that Cent-Comm is being nice is weird enough.
Centcomm 1st Feb 2018, 12:56 PM edit delete reply

sheeehs cant a city AIS be nice and not be accused of plotting .. >_>
Timotheus 2nd Feb 2018, 12:20 AM edit delete reply

Speaking as a long time DM, there is nothing more entertaining than to be actually plotting nothing while everyone is convinced you are.
DLKmusic 2nd Feb 2018, 12:58 AM edit delete reply

I agree, Timotheus... and some of the better ideas that the players can come up with for nefarious scenarios that I may be planning to use against them can always be noted down and used later!
Sleel 2nd Feb 2018, 2:31 AM edit delete reply

A reputation has been earned, and established.... So no. :}
Sheela 2nd Feb 2018, 6:37 PM edit delete reply

I dunno man, does City AIS' use plotters, or printers ?
Gilrandir 2nd Feb 2018, 7:06 PM edit delete reply
Of course it can, @Centcomm. It helps if it occasionally babbles, makes obscure references to long-lost entertainment media, and has a fondness for cookies.

CentComm, however, does none of those things and tried to kill the nice AIS that did. She's a plotter, that CentComm. ^_^
megados 3rd Feb 2018, 7:16 AM edit delete reply

OK, plotter it is then, @Sheela! XD

The nice AIS with the nice cookies was nice to one, then two, but the rest faced certain destruction. It is true that there is good reason, but still . . . At any rate, the nice AIS is on the mend as we type, and I'm sure we'll learn more! :D
Gilrandir 3rd Feb 2018, 12:00 PM edit delete reply
My point is simply that no one (as far as I know) ever accused Aeneas of 'plotting'. Being a homicidal death machine scary beyond all rational belief, yes; plotting, no. ^_^
Sheela 3rd Feb 2018, 8:13 PM edit delete reply

Curiously, Aeneas was much more well-informed than most, despite being insane at the time.
Gilrandir 4th Feb 2018, 1:15 AM edit delete reply
Didn't even say he wasn't plotting -- only that no one ever accused him of it. ^_^
Rashala 1st Feb 2018, 12:37 AM edit delete reply

Oh this is a can of murderturds acantha is gonna wish she left stasis sealed
megados 1st Feb 2018, 10:45 AM edit delete reply

That may be so, but this is something she will have to learn sooner or later anyway. Might as well start now; it's not like she has much else to do! (Lynn might also benefit)
HiFranc 1st Feb 2018, 4:53 PM edit delete reply

Part of me can’t help but wonder if CentComm let the gutters have the information to smoke out the spy, see what New Rome was planning and give her an excuse to send a team in?
Lurker314 1st Feb 2018, 5:35 PM edit delete reply
That's a ******* high-risk gambit to have taken. Acantha has the genetic ability to override Centcom. It was for this reason that the rescue team was given "rescue or kill" orders. Remember, the breakdown does not need to have been deliberate on the part of anyone at New Troy. They could have been hacked. For that matter, the communication between Acantha and Boy Wonder might have been hacked.
megados 1st Feb 2018, 8:31 PM edit delete reply

@Lurker314, might you mean Lynn, instead of Acantha?
antrik 2nd Feb 2018, 8:42 AM edit delete reply
@Lurker314 which breakdown? Lynn didn't break down. The only breakdown I can think of, is Dolly+Ceci -- and that one was *definitely* arranged by Commie. She admitted to it outright in "Two of Coins" (Presently at )
robnot 4th Feb 2018, 10:40 AM edit delete reply
@antrik: i think he meant , breakdown = communication leak, .. ore , that the gutters/rome found out where Lynn was by happen stance not direct foul play...
Lurker314 5th Feb 2018, 2:04 AM edit delete reply
Uggh. Unclear communication is unclear. And naming things is hard.
1) Yes, I meant Lynn. Sorry.
2) Yes, by "breakdown", I meant "security breakdown". My point is that networked communications systems present a lot of ways for security to be compromised that don't involve traitors.
oldastronomer 5th Feb 2018, 6:29 AM edit delete reply
It strikes me that, in parallel with the situation today, social media would have provided all the info needed for Lynn's kidnapping.
Scenario: Decimus to chief snooper - kidnap me Lynn Taylor..
Chief snooper hires/bribes/blackmails bodies to monitor social media emanating from New Troy, plus whatever can be gained from traffic analysis of monitored LunarComm traffic. Chief snooper will rapidly gain an appreciation of the situation: Teenager nearly 18, about to go to College in New Sparta, has boyfriend there, will probably spend 18th b'day there, watches Lost in Translation, gossip, gossip, etc etc.
More than enough info to set up a pair of gutters on the flight path, with overwhelming intercept capability, and set them to watch and grab. Its the sort of thing that companies today like Control Risk have to deal with.
megados 5th Feb 2018, 7:07 AM edit delete reply

Lynn would have actually given away her position here.
robnot 6th Feb 2018, 9:14 AM edit delete reply
@megados: i think we were talking bout 6 months ago or there bouts,, cuz an hour or so is not enough time to plan an get assets in place...
but,, yeah it is enough time if you already have the plan an assets , an now know where to place em..
megados 6th Feb 2018, 9:40 AM edit delete reply

Sure, they most likely would have had to start planning the whole kidnapping earlier. The gutters would have already been in the area, but it was lucky for them, (and UNlucky for Lynn), that she decided to log in to Luna Comm at just that moment. I thought that made their plan a whole lot easier.

On the other hand, though, it could also be possible that the gutters were already in that area for some other reason, and the call came in that New Rome wanted Lynn brought there, and they were just discussing how to go about it, when suddenly there she is broadcasting for a Comm node. No plan needed; she just shows up! Improbable, sure, but possible. :D
antrik 6th Feb 2018, 8:16 PM edit delete reply
If the leak indeed involved Luna-Com(m?), it seems more likely they just intercepted her communication when making plans with Loverboy Kyle?

(Unless they are using some other communication channel, I guess... It's kinda unclear how far "as if there are any other options" really goes.)
megados 6th Feb 2018, 8:47 PM edit delete reply

Maybe both? I wasn't trying to implicate Luna-Com (I guess I had it spelled wrong), I was mostly thinking signal interception. It's possible, I guess, that they have "someone" in Luna-Com. All I'm saying is that surreptitious signal interception was all that was needed, as you say.
antrik 7th Feb 2018, 6:26 AM edit delete reply
You are excused for getting the spelling wrong, since last they were mentioned, TeeDee got it wrong too :-) ("Riotary Considerations", presently at )
Romfire 6th Feb 2018, 3:27 PM edit delete reply
I think Noctis should be feeling like things are much more as they should be. With Grandma all into the formal diplomatic, mode and Acantha getting actual deserved respect. She gets do do her job with a real sense of pride for the first time in a long while. She has always been real good at her job, but now with a renewed sense of optimism, her attention to detail will be unmatched. (Except perhaps by Cent)
megados 6th Feb 2018, 4:43 PM edit delete reply

I agree completely!
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