Comic 1558 - Intact and Offline

27th Mar 2018, 9:00 PM
Intact and Offline
Average Rating: 5 (20 votes)
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That one guy 27th Mar 2018, 9:09 PM edit delete reply
While this isn't the most positive turn of events, I was getting to like our newest Cassian so I'm glad she's not gone.
Sheela 29th Mar 2018, 11:45 AM edit delete reply

Well, we need a new deadpan snarker to replace our lost Malati, can't loose our newest one just yet.
antrik 29th Mar 2018, 2:59 PM edit delete reply
I don't think Malati really qualified as a Deadpan Snarker? I'd say most of the time she was rather the opposite of "deadpan"... And her quirky humour wasn't all that snarky either I'd say.

(She *was* deadpan for the purpose of playing with Damocles -- but it was just that, with no "Snarker" part in there as far as I can tell.)

I'm not sure Ophelia quite qualifies either -- but at least she seems closer...
Centcomm 29th Mar 2018, 3:19 PM edit delete reply

we do have a deadpan snarker .. also if anyone wants to add to the TV tropes page for Datachasers feel free if you are a member there.

Link is at the bottom
plymayer 27th Mar 2018, 9:17 PM edit delete reply

Not so easy.

Why do I think these folks don't know what they are working with...?
Hans 28th Mar 2018, 5:33 AM edit delete reply
They might be smart enough to use an inhibitor before they fully activate her. I doubt moral issues would stop them from that.
Guest 28th Mar 2018, 8:55 PM edit delete reply
she might be smart enough to bypass their more primitive inhibitors. who knows?
Sheela 29th Mar 2018, 11:46 AM edit delete reply

Well ... even if she bypass the inhibitor, she has no arms or legs anymore.
Ebonbolt 31st Mar 2018, 1:41 PM edit delete reply

Two words here, Sheela: "robo fights"
If they plan to go there, some kind of weapon is going to be necessary, even if it's just a rock on a stick. Give a Cassian a weapon & an enemy, the Cassian will almost certainly be able to give you a dead enemy. And Fee already has two enemies, right here...
antrik 29th Mar 2018, 3:01 PM edit delete reply
If it was Noctis, I'd call it quite possible... Ophelia on the other hand hasn't exactly struck me as the subtle type.
megados 27th Mar 2018, 9:19 PM edit delete reply

Hmm, I didn't expect whoever these people are! Scavvers perhaps? Their small minded plan doesn't bode well for them.

I get the inkling that ultimately, Feelie's gonna be pissed. (I'm glad she sorta made it)

Stuff's happening indeed!
Sheela 29th Mar 2018, 11:48 AM edit delete reply

Scavenger goals have often been ... adjusted downards, until they meet with reality.
Morituri 31st Mar 2018, 10:14 AM edit delete reply
Not coincidentally, @Sheela, Scavenger _heights_ have also often been adjusted downward, frequently at the same time.
Centcomm 29th Mar 2018, 3:16 PM edit delete reply

LOL yep at both of you!
CptKerion 27th Mar 2018, 9:20 PM edit delete reply
fixer-upper for Robo fights? I smell WASTELAND! Specifically, assholes in the wasteland!
Also, I think I smell a new protagonist for our upcoming arc!

I am excited.
Centcomm 29th Mar 2018, 3:15 PM edit delete reply

Morituri 31st Mar 2018, 10:17 AM edit delete reply
So far, we are certain of at least one asshole who is also an idiot.

The other character in the conversation is not clearly an asshole, nor clearly an idiot. It could be that she's just got the poor judgment to be hanging around with an asshole idiot.
Morituri 27th Mar 2018, 11:13 PM edit delete reply
Replacement MACCS.



Holy crap.

This is a Nova Roma Cassian, and somebody out in the waste has the appropriate keys and codes to install a replacement MACCS. Neat trick, if you can do it. Sort of like taking over a fully kitted aircraft carrier without firing a shot.

I'm guessing somebody in Nova Roma had codes nobody knew they had and now has enough money to retire off-planet.

Uh, correction: This "was" a Nova Roma Cassian. A Replacement MACCS means no more compulsory service to Nova Roma. But the beginning of a whole new career of most likely compulsory service to something or other.
Gilrandir 28th Mar 2018, 5:55 AM edit delete reply
The "Black Angels and Stuff" page of the Blog suggests that Inhibitors exploit MACCS design, but the inhibitor function does not reside in the MACCS. So, replacing the MACCS should not affect the built-in inhibitor of a Cassian -- which is theoretically a separate device located elsewhere. It is not clear how an internal and an external inhibitor would interact and which one would have priority. That might be interesting to see.

Naturally, if our unknowns are tech-savvy enough to do all these other things, they may well have removed the built-in inhibitor. (Or that might have been a casualty of the battle damage, and they just didn't repair/replace it.)

From a story perspective, it seems a more obvious path to show the travails of a Cassian whose built-in loyalties have been usurped, than to show the conflicts of two inhibitors in one android. But we know that inhibitors can 'spark' too, apparently; so, it could just get very crowded inside Ophelia's head. ^_^ There could very well be interesting story stuff either way. Of course, if Noctis hears about it, she may decide that any human with a screwdriver is too dangerous to be allowed to live. ^_^
Gilrandir 28th Mar 2018, 6:05 AM edit delete reply
That would be an awesome anti-android weapon: a large caliber rifle firing slow projectiles carrying a wireless inhibitor payload. You shoot the android, the round attaches wherever it hits and attempts to override the MACCS and paralyze the android for as long as the battery holds out -- giving you time to rush up and slap a full-blown inhibitor collar on them.

You could, theoretically, also just have a vastly overpowered electronic 'screamer' that just radiates immensely powerful inhibitor signals over a wide area, freezing any MACCS-equipped android in place for as long as the device operated.
megados 28th Mar 2018, 7:09 AM edit delete reply

@Morituri, it might be possible that no codes or input is needed. Could it be an automatic startup self-diagnostic at play here? Since the MACCS is mainly a data highway, Ophelia's synth brain may be auto-detecting their data hookup, and attempting to determine the status of a body it doesn't yet know it doesn't have.

@Gilrandir, I also wondered why there wasn't some kind of inhibitor weapon as you describe. Especially in New Rome, where androids aren't well regarded, and all androids must have inhibitor, one might think this would be a standard tactic, should they wish to stop a rogue android.

As near as I can tell, the inhibitor's location, if what I could glean from the diagrams is correct, is near or below what would be the medulla oblongata in a human. If so, it might still be there, as there is a certain amount of Ophelia's upper torso components still attached to her head in the last panel of the previous page. All I can say is it may be present, and may be functioning. In other words, she may or may not still have an active inhibitor. :D

I don't think CeCi's Watchdog could be considered an inhibitor though. I believe it was a separate persona from the beginning. That was why CeCi had all her initial problems, as two entities vied for control. CentComm had her put together that way, in a sort of a slap-dash fashion, which as it turned out, was a mistake. YMMV :D
robnot 28th Mar 2018, 8:25 AM edit delete reply
i wood say,, in new rome that if any bot ( android, cyber, or just robot.) went rouge. they would just destroy it.!! IE: ion rifle.
AND, if New Troy has that tech,. pinky ( Centtcom ) would keep that on a short leash, and on a need to know basis...
antrik 28th Mar 2018, 10:56 AM edit delete reply
@megados considering that Androids without Inhibitors aren't allowed in Roma in the first place, and they keep a tight watch on Androids in general, I don't expect uninhibited Androids to be a common enough situation to deal with, that they would develop special weapons just for that...
megados 28th Mar 2018, 12:27 PM edit delete reply

Probably uncommon, yes. Absolutely never happen, I wouldn't be so sure. If a slipped or damaged collar would leave it in question, and this hypothetical uninhibited android was among a large group of humans where we couldn't just start shooting ion cannons at them, this might be the exact thing I would be looking for. Police and public safety officials have specialized context-oriented equipment, even today. I don't see a reason why that type of preparedness can't exist in the future as well.
antrik 28th Mar 2018, 3:09 PM edit delete reply
The design of the Roman inhibitors doesn't make them look like they are particularly prone to slipping... ;-)
antrik 28th Mar 2018, 11:28 AM edit delete reply
@Gilrandir IIRC the Cassian inhibitors are an integral part of their MACCS, per Word of God. "MACCS offline" thus suggests that she is not longer under the control of her original inhibitor.

(At this point it's not clear BTW whether the "replacement MACCS" is simply a new standard MACCS, or some sort of diagnostics device attached temporarily instead of a real MACCS...)

As for having seen inhibitors "talking", I'm pretty sure that's not the case. As @megados already pointed out, Ceci's watchdog didn't seem to be working anything like an inhibitor. The other case we have seen of an Android arguing with a voice in their head was Kelly ("Clockwork revenge.", presently at ) -- but that was *not* an inhibitor either. (Officer Ray already had disabled the inhibitor.)
Gilrandir 30th Mar 2018, 4:33 PM edit delete reply
It would seem, @antrik, that the Word of God has been ... clarified. ^_^
megados 30th Mar 2018, 7:01 PM edit delete reply

It's no longer Schrödinger's inhibitor. :D
antrik 30th Mar 2018, 7:21 PM edit delete reply
Turns out the comment(s) I had in mind were not *actual* Word of God, but rather just others recounting earlier Word of God remarks from memory... And apparently, some inaccuracies had crept in in these recounts ;-) None of the actual Word of God comments I can find on the topic ever had any suggestion that the Cassian inhibitors were part of the MACCS. Oh well.
Centcomm 30th Mar 2018, 3:33 AM edit delete reply

The inhibitor in a cassian is located in the brain case itself. Changing the maccs does nothing to it. the inhibitor is fully integrated with her neural net.
Morituri 31st Mar 2018, 10:23 AM edit delete reply
So if Ophelia now has a replacement MACCS and there is a "standard" inhibitor interfering with it, she's got the Nova Roma inhibitor in her brainpan restricting what the replacement MACCS will see as her 'voluntary' or attempted actions, and the inhibitor on the replacement MACCS filtering or replacing *those* actions before they get to whatever her new body is?

This does not sound like a happy place to live. One way or another this leads to something like reload trauma, doesn't it? And if we thought TeeDee was dangerous when pissed off....
megados 31st Mar 2018, 10:55 AM edit delete reply

Having two inhibitors acting on two sets of instructions would be very bad indeed. At this point, though, it's unknown whether they have added another one besides her built-in one. Also, although her built-in may be present, it hasn't been mentioned whether it is properly functioning, although odds are that it is.
mjkj 27th Mar 2018, 11:28 PM edit delete reply


I wonder if we learn who caught Ophie - and if it is the same ones trying to revive her now... =S
Centcomm 29th Mar 2018, 3:14 PM edit delete reply

yep stay tuned!
Rashala 28th Mar 2018, 12:47 AM edit delete reply

Morons....all I gotta say here
Centcomm 29th Mar 2018, 3:14 PM edit delete reply

Oh whys that?
Sheela 30th Mar 2018, 1:16 AM edit delete reply

Probably playing with things they don't fully understand.
Just_IDD 1st Apr 2018, 6:57 AM edit delete reply
That seems to be stupid to complain about. If humans didn't play with things we didn't understand, we wouldn't have any invention or knowledge whatsoever.
antrik 2nd Apr 2018, 1:26 AM edit delete reply
I'd say this was meant more as *meddling* with things they don't understand... Which is a very different thing.
megados 2nd Apr 2018, 6:06 AM edit delete reply

I'd have to agree, @antrik. In this case, I think, it's more of an example of knowing just enough to get in serious trouble. What could possibly go wrong? XD
Guest 28th Mar 2018, 1:11 AM edit delete reply
Get her home, collect reward money.

Host robo-fights, bear risk of horrible consequences upon being found out.

If these were genre savvy techs, they'd quietly alert new rome, leave her someplace with a bank account number in which to deposit the reward money, then flee. Or just the last part.
Morituri 31st Mar 2018, 10:30 AM edit delete reply
You assume things about Nova Roma which are not in evidence.

More specifically, "Get her home, collect reward money," might read more to a pair of scavengers out on the waste like "Walk into Nova Roma, alert them to the fact that you've had a chance to get at high-level classified intel about Cassians, and see whether they kill you to prevent you selling the intel to someone else."
Fafhred 28th Mar 2018, 1:58 AM edit delete reply

If she wakes up with a splitting headache, does that mean she will start splitting things around her?
Sheela 29th Mar 2018, 11:54 AM edit delete reply

Well, that probably depends on how much her head has been split apart.
Centcomm 29th Mar 2018, 3:13 PM edit delete reply

antrik 28th Mar 2018, 2:23 AM edit delete reply
This is evil: I can clearly see that it's C source code; and I can *almost* read some of the symbols -- but just not quite...
Deoxy 28th Mar 2018, 8:36 AM edit delete reply
centuries in the future, and still using a C-derived language. Truly, they ARE savages.
antrik 28th Mar 2018, 11:45 AM edit delete reply
Well, the vast majority of languages in use today have a fairly strong C heritage -- including very modern ones such as Rust, Swift, and Kotlin... And that's not a bad thing: the original C was for the most part quite an elegant language in its way -- Rust is actually the first language I generally prefer over C.

This listing is not in anything C-derived though as far as I can tell, but in fact just plain old C. Which would indeed be kinda strange -- unless this particular software component dates all the way back to the 20th or early 21st century ;-)

(I wouldn't even be surprised about that, if the component in question was Linux -- but the strange indentation style doesn't fit this as far as I can tell...)
Sheela 29th Mar 2018, 11:58 AM edit delete reply

Had a chat with one of the guys that made the C++ language, he works as a professor at the local technical university, and he jokingly said that "Programming languages don't really develop along a single tangent, as they try to run amok in any given direction, sometimes all directions at the same time." :D
Very fitting, I think.
antrik 29th Mar 2018, 3:07 PM edit delete reply
I wouldn't give much on the opinion of anyone involved in the creation of C++... :-P

While the recent revisions have been done very carefully, the language is beyond repair from the completely fucked up early (lack of) design.
Centcomm 29th Mar 2018, 3:13 PM edit delete reply

hehe you arent suppose to read it.. "D
antrik 29th Mar 2018, 3:32 PM edit delete reply
I know I'm not supposed to... But you know what happens when you tell kids they are not supposed to do something ;-)
Sheela 30th Mar 2018, 1:18 AM edit delete reply

They run in all directions at the same time ? :D
Morituri 31st Mar 2018, 10:45 AM edit delete reply
C is unreasonably effective.

It's annoying as hell to use, the programs are fragile and hard to debug, the runtime is different on different hardware.... but the systems that run FOREVER, that are completely bug-free or at least haven't had any bugs found in decades, are all written in C.

It really really upsets the language design people, but the fact is that the same language which is absolutely horrible because it does not create any safe abstractions, where people with long experience still make horrible mistakes, where common idioms are just plain wrong in known and exploitable ways, and the development of reliable code takes inordinate amounts of labor and is an utter black art...

Is the same language where that black art can finally be mastered all the way down to the bottom level, if people pursue it rigidly, with inhuman discipline, for long enough.

Somewhere God is finally explaining the joke on us all to Niklaus Wirth. I hope it's got a good funny punchline.
antrik 31st Mar 2018, 11:45 AM edit delete reply
I wouldn't say writing reliable programs in C is a black art... For the most part, it "just" requires the right mindset.

(Though getting into that mindset is hard; and it doesn't avoid the problems entirely -- just makes them less common..)

The reason C maintained such a firm grasp on certain areas of software development, is that all the other languages that were touted as alternatives, either simply don't fit the same use cases (anything having garbage collection and/or dynamic typing -- i.e. almost every new language that came after C...); or came with only limited benefits, while introducing a host of new problems. (Most notably C++.)

Rust is the first language that actually offers really substantial advantages over C, while having very little downsides.
antrik 31st Mar 2018, 12:06 PM edit delete reply
BTW, don't get me started on Wirth... For some reason, this guy seems to be credited with the invention of structured programming -- but as far as I'm aware, Algol-68 for example had all the useful aspects too, without the academic nonsense of Wirth's creations.

My impression is that all this guy actually can take credit for, are preachy circumspect languages, that annoy their users for no good reason.

I tend to think his contributions on the whole might have done more harm that good. They are probably responsible in part for the situation where for a long time, language designers with an academic background tended to create impractical languages that nobody wanted to use; while the only alternative were more or less poorly designed languages created by amateurs... He probably deserves part of the blame for why it took such a long time until finally the right people came together with the right mindset, to create a language that is both well-designed *and* practical.
Just_IDD 28th Mar 2018, 4:53 AM edit delete reply
Nobody else has mentioned this yet so, that oxygen supply is a bad thing that's also a limit on her brain functioning getting that hooked up would be rather important than worrying about her vox, and that is something they should be able to tell from the Diagnostics connection.

As for somebody asking about the MACCS, we have similar things for fried Electronics called JTAG.I don't think the replacement MACCS will allow them full control. Although I'm worried that they don't recognize the difference between an Android and a bot.
antrik 28th Mar 2018, 11:50 AM edit delete reply
I was assuming the O2 supply is only for the bio-components... Might be wrong though -- who knows what kind of requirements a synth-brain has? :-)

As for not recognising the difference between an Android and a Bot, I don't think that's possible: Bots don't even have a MACCS AIUI.
Centcomm 29th Mar 2018, 3:13 PM edit delete reply

your correct Bots do not have a Maccs interface.
Lurker314 28th Mar 2018, 10:21 PM edit delete reply
Every JTAG that I've seen existed explicitly to put the part in question in any state accessible from software--and then some.
Sheela 29th Mar 2018, 12:13 PM edit delete reply

The scavenger techs probably don't give a damn about her O2 supply, they are just testing if the brain still works, and if that burns most of the leftover O2 supply, then so be it.

After all, if the brain still works, it'll be easy-peasy to give it more oxygen.
Guest 28th Mar 2018, 6:45 AM edit delete reply
cut to a few hours in the future:

Feelie: "thanks fer the new shiny frame, cobbers, going walkabout now and yer can't come."

Feelie's massive new weapons system: "Frzzzttt!!!"

Rebuilders: "Arrgghh"

Fade to rear shot of an oversized MadCat with Feelie's head on it stalking away.
robnot 28th Mar 2018, 8:34 AM edit delete reply
me personally.. i wood say "ED-209" for robo fight,, and the MadCat for robo jox... jus sayin..
Oldarmourer 28th Mar 2018, 8:53 AM edit delete reply
or a T-75000 frame :)
MadCat was the first image that popped up when in a hurry with no caffeine or reference material
Centcomm 29th Mar 2018, 3:12 PM edit delete reply

Heh - remember guest you can sign up for a free accound with Comic fury and have a neat icon!
Oldarmourer 30th Mar 2018, 12:49 PM edit delete reply
missed adding the name in the first post ;)
robnot 31st Mar 2018, 7:08 AM edit delete reply
grumble , mumble , hisst , spit,, comic fury....
xpacetrue 28th Mar 2018, 8:01 AM edit delete reply

We'll just have to wait and see the direction the writers are taking this. However, I've been hoping to see a story - even a short side story - with a romance between an android and a human.

Granted, there have been hints of such in the story. But such has only been glossed over. For instance, we know that Ada is in a relationship with a human boyfriend. But we have yet to even see the guy, much less see them together.

There was also that New Roman guy who was an agent helping Kyle get into the Black Palace with a cover story as Roman student. We saw him pretend to be tough on his android "slave". Rose explained how they're actually married, how they're both her operatives and how she (the android wife) will probably give him hell later for getting a bit carried away with his act. But those were very minor background characters who we never saw after that.

Aside from those two couples, what have we seen or heard of? In contrast, we have seen several human couples together. We've seen Maxus and Irene together. We've seen Julia asking Miraiko to marry her. And, though (strangely) we've not seen them actually together, we know that Kyle and Lynne deeply care about each other. We've even seen the beginnings of an android/android relationship between Dolly's friend and that brave android cop who barged into a dangerous situation and got injured.

Hmmm... Maybe Luna Star spoiled me and that's what I'm missing? Time for a re-read? Perhaps what I'm really looking for, though, are android opinions on what they think of humans - i.e., things they like and dislike about us, how they think we're foolish, things about us that they might envy, etc. That is, a Spock or Seven-of-Nine analysis of humans as an observer.
Gilrandir 28th Mar 2018, 9:15 AM edit delete reply
As I understand it, @xpacetrue, we've seen the couple to which you refer in two (admittedly brief) previous appearances: Comic 990 - BUMP! and Comic 799 - Omake-P1. But obviously not much of the story of their romance, like we got in the Maxus/Irene flashback, for example.
xpacetrue 28th Mar 2018, 10:24 AM edit delete reply

Nice job finding the right page. However, you are mistaken in believing that the human-android couple in Comic 990 is the same couple in Omake-P1. For one, they look quite different. For another, they have different names. The guy in Comic 990 is Ellis and the gal is Reiko. Rose explains to Kyle that she recruited them out of New Troy. In the Omake, the guy is Jas and the gal is Yugasa - at least, that's what they call each other. And the Omake takes place in Shinedo (what's left of part of Japan). Furthermore, I'm fairly certain that both Jas and Yugasa are androids. At least, Rose seems to imply this in the later Omake story arc.

Edit: Here is the second Omake where it clarifies that both are androids.
Tokyo Rose 4th Apr 2018, 11:28 PM edit delete reply

Those two androids are Jasper and Maddy, actually. Yugasa is the phoenix robot. :D
antrik 28th Mar 2018, 12:00 PM edit delete reply
Note that Galina was not exactly an "ordinary" Android -- she was a true hybrid, based on actual human DNA. While some of the technological breakthroughs (such as the MACCS) have become staples of Android technology, AIUI nobody is actually creating more true hybrids like Galina.

(Though the new Dolly, while not based on actual human DNA, seems to be blurring the lines to a similar degree...)
Centcomm 29th Mar 2018, 3:11 PM edit delete reply

Galina was a true hybrid the only ones made even remotely like her are the Epiphite speakers made in her image.
megados 28th Mar 2018, 7:35 PM edit delete reply

To speak to the last item first, I don't think it is ever a bad time to reread Luna Star. Because there was a lot I had forgotten, I have also done that recently.

I think that the almost couple of Charlie and Ophelia has highlighted the feeling that human-android relationships haven't been explored to great extent in DC; made it noticeable.

You touched on something that I would also find interesting: the androids' opinion of humans. I would assume different opinions would be expected from different individuals, but it might also be interesting to see what common opinions are held. What stereotypes might they have, and what they have divergent opinions about.
antrik 29th Mar 2018, 3:19 PM edit delete reply
Almost-couple? I didn't see any hint that they were more than comrades?...
antrik 29th Mar 2018, 3:28 PM edit delete reply
As for Android's opinions on humans, I'd say the varying stances actually have been demonstrated quite a bit. On top of some more or less explicit discussions, there were so many instances of certain aspects being shown indirectly, that I can't even begin listing those I can recall from the top of my head...
megados 29th Mar 2018, 4:07 PM edit delete reply

Voluminous, to be sure, in depth, not as much. :D
Siren 28th Mar 2018, 11:36 AM edit delete reply
SHE LIVES!!! I liked her a lot, so I'm thrilled she's not dead. Although, I imagine her new "friends" are going to regret bringing her back online and repairing her.
Centcomm 29th Mar 2018, 3:10 PM edit delete reply

glad you are happy! :D
Speedy Marsh 28th Mar 2018, 2:00 PM edit delete reply
So, BattleBots is still around, though now called Robo Fights. I imagine the contest went underground, when the bots' AIs got sentient/sapient enough to complain.

Are the people working on Ophelia with whatever it was that blasted her? If her backup power source wasn't damaged when she was blasted, then she's used up 55% of it since the attack. She might've been offline for quite a while.

I'm wondering if Ophelia's attacker was an extraterrestrial in an environment suit. There are alien races besides the Epiphytes, that we've only heard of in passing.
xpacetrue 28th Mar 2018, 2:30 PM edit delete reply

It seems unlikely that the attacker was an extraterrestrial in an environmental suit. It seemed very bot-like in behavior, talking very robot-like with comments like "threat sufficiently neutralized". Not to mention: Many alien races would probably steer clear of Earth. After all, humans are the primitives who have only barely achieved space travel and who very, very nearly wiped themselves out - even going so far as engineering a doomsday virus to ensure their own extinction. Who would want to visit such a hostile, dangerous, ugly place?

Well, there are the Epiphytes. But they are an elder race who has lost their homeworld and who seem interested in trying to revive Earth's native plant life and ecosystems. That, and they understand how young races tend to go through a self-destructive phase. Also, they probably felt a bit responsible for the conflict and Galina made a good impression on them.
antrik 28th Mar 2018, 3:14 PM edit delete reply
Nitpick: there was no mention of a particular "doomsday virus" -- just extensive use of various bio-weapons in general.
xpacetrue 28th Mar 2018, 3:29 PM edit delete reply

Sorry, I did not remember the proper name for it. By "doomsday virus" I'm talking about the Oblivion Virus, which killed many and made most of the survivors infertile. It was released by a doomsday cult during the Great War. See the entry halfway down the page on the Tech page. The Helios retro-virus created by Helios Taylor saved the human race, but only barely. Even now, human fertility rate is in the shi**er and many humans can't have children.
Centcomm 29th Mar 2018, 3:09 PM edit delete reply

wow love it when people actually read all that crap i put in there thank you Xspace!
antrik 29th Mar 2018, 3:45 PM edit delete reply
OK, I have to admit that I totally forgot that bit, since it hasn't been mentioned in-story as far as I'm aware... While I *did* read "all that crap" on the Tech page at least once, I tend to forget those bits that are tangential to (or sometimes even somewhat conflicting with) in-story canon...
Sheela 30th Mar 2018, 1:22 AM edit delete reply

Interestingly, I consider the birthrate one of the important bits in the overall story, after all Nova Roma has a lot of it, and the others don't (well, we don't know about Copenhagen, there's no "word of god" on those guys yet, though I'd guess they're doing pretty well, but Nova Roma may still have a leg up on them).
Also, maybe that was originally why they wanted to steal Lynn's eggs originally ?
Of course, that's not canon anymore ... unless Rose shot the eggs out *of* a cannon. >_<
megados 30th Mar 2018, 7:26 AM edit delete reply

In New Rome, higher and more robust birth rates might be attributable to the work of The Church, and Setorius, as I interpret it. New Troy and others seem to more heavily depend on Helios Taylor's work. I could be misinterpreting, though. I am not certain as to how events might have affected Copenhagen, although I could guess that they might be faring better due to other independent reasons.
antrik 30th Mar 2018, 7:36 PM edit delete reply
@Sheela I totally agree that the birthrate is a very significant plot point. However, the in-story explanation only mentions nuclear and biological warfare in general as the reason, with no hint at a particular "Oblivion Virus"... And to be honest, I prefer to stick with that. If one particular Virus indeed played such an all-decisive role, it makes no sense IMHO that it would be omitted when recounting the events that created the current situation...
xpacetrue 31st Mar 2018, 6:41 PM edit delete reply

Granted, there many not be a mention of the "Oblivion Virus" by name. But, I have to disagree with you that the story had quote, "no hint" of one particularly nasty virus that, single-handedly, nearly wiped out humans. Again, I'm too lazy to archive binge to find the exact pages. But I swear there is a mention or at least actual hints of it near the beginning of the story. (Look for the pages where it first talks about the Taylor family history and it should mention Helios.) Also, I seem to recall a hint of a particularly nasty virus in Luna Star, somewhere.

Keep in mind: The cure for this disease was created by Helios Taylor, who is mentioned rather often for a guy long dead, almost as if he were famous... Even some New Romans refer to Calliope and/or Lynn as a descendant of Helios instead of their actual name. (I know Aeneas referred to Lynn this way. And I seem to recall Prince Douchebag referring to either Lynn or Calliope that way, too.)

Is it any wonder, then, that Cent-Comm - and New Troy as a whole - treats the Taylor family with special regard if not superstardom? Heck, I've heard Dolly (and perhaps others) exclaim "Helios" as if they were swearing - i.e., "By Helios!" as an equivalent to "By god!" Also, we've seen Dr. Silver go on a tirade about Calliope 'riding the coattails' of her family name, suggesting that Calliope's fame has more to do with this than the merit of her talents/skills. Heck, Cent-Comm herself is DNA-locked to obey commands issued by the Taylor lineage. (Though, this is ultra-secret and it seems most Taylors don't even know this.) Was this coincidence? Or did it have something to do with Helios' accomplishment?
antrik 31st Mar 2018, 9:39 PM edit delete reply
@xpacetrue just reread the intro, i.e. the very fist two pages... It's all in there really.

I'm not at all contesting the importance of the Taylor retro-virus. What I'm saying is that the intro describes it as a fix to the general degradation of the gene pool through years of nuclear and biological warfare -- not as a cure to one particular virus...
antrik 31st Mar 2018, 9:42 PM edit delete reply
Regarding Lunastar, while I haven't reread it recently, it would seem strange if it would indeed mention such an Oblivion Virus, considering that the events of Lunastar are taking place at the very beginning of the apocalyptic war...
Morituri 31st Mar 2018, 10:58 AM edit delete reply
I would not be at all surprised to discover that wiping yourselves out is par for the course for every intelligent species, survival of the homeworld is very rare even for those who survive to become interstellar civilizations, and that even having a homeworld that is still habitable, however marginally, puts Humans head and neck above the crowd in terms of a status symbol eventually putting them in the position of "wise elders who are nicer and better than everyone else" if they happen to make it through.

Hell, not even the Epiphytes managed to have their homeworld survive and remain habitable, and they're considered to be a "wise elder race."
antrik 31st Mar 2018, 11:17 AM edit delete reply
The Epiphytes didn't cause the destruction of their home world, though. You can't blame them for their star going bust...
Centcomm 3rd Apr 2018, 11:24 AM edit delete reply

THe Epips home star went nova. they couldn't fix that. They kept the star alive far longer than it should have exsisted.
DLKmusic 30th Mar 2018, 5:55 PM edit delete reply

Just wanted to say congratulations for finishing out the month at number 8 on TWC!

Party On!
megados 30th Mar 2018, 6:26 PM edit delete reply

Seconded! Cheers! :D
antrik 30th Mar 2018, 7:41 PM edit delete reply
That's three more places to go... We might yet see that date happening! ;-)
chk 1st Apr 2018, 12:44 PM edit delete reply

Yep. Very cool.
xpacetrue 1st Apr 2018, 5:48 PM edit delete reply

Yep, congratulations.

On a related note:
I'm pleasantly surprised to see that Luna Star still ranks #56. It's not like it gets any updates anymore, so... ??
megados 1st Apr 2018, 6:37 PM edit delete reply

A number of people like, and still vote for Luna Star. ;)
StellarJay 2nd Apr 2018, 12:42 AM edit delete reply

That's because we liked it so much that we want others to notice it and read it too.
antrik 2nd Apr 2018, 1:30 AM edit delete reply
I wish TWC had a separate list for completed comics. That would be much more useful than having them vying for attention with ongoing ones...
megados 2nd Apr 2018, 4:43 AM edit delete reply

It's as StellarJay said. We like it. TWC is about popularity of well liked comics, not which ones have updated most recently.
antrik 4th Apr 2018, 2:20 AM edit delete reply
@megados yes, I like Lunastar too; very much so. There are a lot of completed comics I like very much. I wish they had a separate list on TWC, so it would be easier to find them. Your point?
megados 4th Apr 2018, 5:14 AM edit delete reply

My point, I guess, is that it's how TWC works. If you don't like how they do things, you should contact them. You could, alternatively, put together a comic ranking site which makes that distinction.
chk 3rd Apr 2018, 12:15 PM edit delete reply

Hell, I still vote for 'Staff & Sword.'
antrik 4th Apr 2018, 2:25 AM edit delete reply
Why? I don't understand it. You think it's a good thing to direct people to a promising-looking beginning of a story, just to have them disappointed?...
Mark_L_A 2nd Apr 2018, 11:56 AM edit delete reply


I'm back. Hurricane Harvey screwed me up royally.

I've been able to read but not login for over 6 months.

Hello Everyone
chk 2nd Apr 2018, 12:06 PM edit delete reply

Welcome back. Glad you could, at least, read.
megados 2nd Apr 2018, 12:17 PM edit delete reply

Sorry to hear about that, but Welcome Back!
DLKmusic 2nd Apr 2018, 9:54 PM edit delete reply

Welcome back, Mark! I was wondering what happened to you!
antrik 2nd Apr 2018, 10:32 PM edit delete reply
Heh, funny timing: only a few days ago, when checking out some old discussions, I saw old posts of yours, which made me notice that we haven't seen you here for quite some time...
Mark_L_A 5th Apr 2018, 5:12 AM edit delete reply

Well, I'm back now. I'm having to use an el cheapo laptop with 2 gb of RAM instead of my former server with 32 GB. 450 GB of HDD instead of 8 TB.

If anyone has a line on an inexpensive former full case 4 core servers please let me know.

What really upsets me is I had just replaced all of my RAM with 65 NS ram from the 90 NS it came with. Now that is all ruined from being under 7 feet of water along with my house.
megados 5th Apr 2018, 6:25 AM edit delete reply

Well shit, man :(
(All I can really do is feel bad for ya!)
Mark_L_A 6th Apr 2018, 1:25 PM edit delete reply

Thank you, any good thoughts are appreciated.

We've gutted my house, tarped the roof and the parts of the walls that are damaged. I just need to come up with the $$ to rebuild it.
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