Comic 1641 - Pleasantries

7th Jan 2020, 9:00 PM
Average Rating: 5 (15 votes)

Author Notes:

Tokyo Rose 7th Jan 2020, 9:00 PM edit delete
Tokyo Rose
The hilarious bit is that Yasakani is conserving resources in the real world--the Artist was getting a lot of slow-down in Studio because of the sheer shitload of models in this scene. (Remember, each character and all of their accoutrements--hair, separate pieces of clothing, etc--are individual figures.) I said "Just let the Treasures go to their sword/mirror/jewel avatars, now that we've established they're present." Her computer tried to hug me.
Centcomm 7th Jan 2020, 9:07 PM edit delete
It really did.. it was much happier. the other AIs may do the same.. also AIs can change clothing at will and may do so at any moment....
Post a Comment


megados 7th Jan 2020, 9:26 PM edit delete reply

Re: Alt text, I can imagine it's a pain, but from a reader perspective, worth it, because it really helps differentiate dialog. I suppose it's small compensation, but you have my thanks. :)

Re: A/N, Now that you mention it, the whole page is pretty complex. It's easy for us (readers) to lose sight of what goes into it. The reminder is appreciated. Thank you.

Now then, the main two things I wonder, are whether Aeneas is invited, and whether CentComm is going to be called on her attempt to overwrite him. We'll see! :D
Lurker314 8th Jan 2020, 2:22 AM edit delete reply
I'll go a bit further. It is a MAJOR pain to try to keep up with complex dialogs in other comics. I feel cared for. Plus, I notice that your choice of fonts reflects the character of the speakers, and therefore aids in head-cannoning speech foibles.

I really, REALLY appreciate them.
Rigor 8th Jan 2020, 1:36 PM edit delete reply
I’m not sure they could hide the meeting from Aeneas, nor that anyone besides Cent would want to do so. I am sure Aeneas will bring up the attempted overwrite (the AI equivalent of attempted murder) as his first agenda item, and being that he showed a lot of emotion for an AI, it won’t be phrased as “no problem, you merely acted according to your nature.”
chk 8th Jan 2020, 7:16 AM edit delete reply

Yup. Me too.
jawbone 8th Jan 2020, 9:44 AM edit delete reply

[meta] Nice braino there at the end.
Oldarmourer 8th Jan 2020, 12:23 PM edit delete reply
I wouldn't be at all surprised if the kerfluffle over Aeneas was the reason for this gathering...
Sheela 8th Jan 2020, 8:09 PM edit delete reply

Yeah, no wonder Tokyo Rose is pissed at Centcomm.
megados 8th Jan 2020, 8:29 PM edit delete reply

Right, and it makes me wonder which of a number of ways it could play out.
Sheela 8th Jan 2020, 8:42 PM edit delete reply

Either they play Poker, or duke it out with giant mechs .. possibly both !
megados 8th Jan 2020, 8:50 PM edit delete reply

Apparently, I hadn't thought of all the ways . . .
Oldarmourer 8th Jan 2020, 9:54 PM edit delete reply
Mechs playing poker with stainless steel razor edged cards...
Sheela 9th Jan 2020, 1:16 PM edit delete reply

The aces are explosive, but also not attracted to the Queens, who in turn are incredibly attracted to the Kings, but cheat on them with the knights !

And you don't wanna know what happens in a straight flush !
Oldarmourer 10th Jan 2020, 8:30 AM edit delete reply
It doesn't sound like there's anything 'straight' about that game... ;)
Nystran 13th Jan 2020, 1:44 PM edit delete reply
CentComm always wins...
HiFranc 7th Jan 2020, 10:03 PM edit delete reply

Only Centcomm is a military model in this meeting? I thought all AIS’s were?
Oldarmourer 8th Jan 2020, 12:35 PM edit delete reply

If I read it correctly, and there's no assurance of that, the various AIS's were designed primarily to run the domestic maintenance systems of their respective city-states and also to control their martial capabilities for defence.

Cent, on the other hand, was constructed to run military operations and had domestic duties dropped on her as a 'secondary duty' later.

Anyone who's been in the military, or at least the military I served in, knows those are more of a pain than your primary duty and take up a lot more of your one point I had 14 seperate 'secondary duties', everything from stocktaking board for the Messes, Canex (PX) and other non-public-funded operations; to Base Band to Base Defence Force to Sqn Safety Committee to Deputy Fire Warden, etc...all of which needed reports and returns and forms to be filled out,filed, and forgotten...Cent has water, power, sewers, garbage collection, police, fire, medical and other departments to's a wonder she retains the sanity she has after this long :)
Sheela 8th Jan 2020, 8:12 PM edit delete reply

Actually, for an AIS, having something to do, and people to interface with, may be what keeps her sane.

Nothing more sad than a multiple user system that has no users.
Especially when you add Artificial Intelligence on top of that.
megados 8th Jan 2020, 8:47 PM edit delete reply

For a human, having a bunch of extra tasks is a pain in the ass. It takes up more time, and makes it more difficult to complete your main function(s). No matter how good a person thinks they are at multitasking, it has been shown that they lose efficiency. Plus a lot of people hate it, and that doesn't help any, either.

As I understand it, the DC AISs are ultra- supercomputers. They are good at multitasking, so I would guess that taking care of water, power, sewers, garbage collection, police, fire, medical and other departments would be second nature to CentComm. To her it wouldn't be any harder than a person playing a phone game app. :D
sigpig 9th Jan 2020, 2:22 PM edit delete reply

You are, of course, assuming that CentComm is, in fact, sane...
Oldarmourer 10th Jan 2020, 8:34 AM edit delete reply
on a relative scale from Prince Douchie to...well, we haven't really seen anyone you could call definitively 'sane' yet, maybe Katya ?...she scores an irrational number :)
Sheela 12th Jan 2020, 10:00 AM edit delete reply

The thing is, all the AIS has a "gimmick" that both defines their roles, and keeps them operating within expected parameters … aka. "sanity" … Centcomm is a War AIS, and having some people to keep safe, keeps her sane.

As far as I can see, there are no other straight up War AIS other than Centcomm .. so far.
Some of them imght like to put on airs, and *think* they are war AI's, but in reality, they are nothing like Centcomm.

Centcomm is the Turtle, well armored and in a good position to get the train… it has ponies on it!


Om-nom-nom !! 😁
Oldarmourer 13th Jan 2020, 10:01 AM edit delete reply

she did keep her sexbot chassis under that carefully tailored skintight armour though... ;)
DLKmusic 8th Jan 2020, 12:04 AM edit delete reply

Great page, Cent!

And if I'm allowed to put in a plug for you for patreon, the images you posted there are awesome. Anyone who wants to see our beloved Centy strut her artistic stuff should become a patron (if you aren't already), cause her most recent post rocks the house!!!

And If I'm not allowed to put in a plug for you.... Oh well, too late!
Oldarmourer 9th Jan 2020, 11:09 AM edit delete reply
If nobody hints at the things found on Patreon, then how will anyone else be tempted to find out for themselves ? ;)
Nystran 13th Jan 2020, 1:48 PM edit delete reply
Shhh.... what happens on Patreon...
mjkj 8th Jan 2020, 3:42 AM edit delete reply

Wow, Rose and Cent really love each other... :o

*lol* Rose hit the class Agamemnon was teaching right on the head =P

@alt text: yeah, it is nice to just see who is speaking on the fonts used - and again yeah, it must be quite the pain to do so - now that they all show up at once...
...the decisions of the past haunting the present... =P

@a/n: Wow, I can imagine - all those custom skins and all those AIS (and Rose) present to be quite the strain for the render...
Cent, did you not get a good graphics card?
_ 8th Jan 2020, 5:38 AM edit delete reply
I admittedly haven't done a huge amount of art, but couldn't you compost the super complicated scenes? The characters all seem to be on different visual planes (speaking of Gundam and much other anime)

Minor grammar niggle Agamemnon's second bubble, drop the 'Rose' unless you want Agamemnon's verbal tic to be "uses message recipient name in every word bubble". You need to add Centcom to the last one then.

Rose has always acted slightly erratic which is why the "originally made of meat" wasn't a huge shock.
Oldarmourer 8th Jan 2020, 10:11 PM edit delete reply
It looks more to me like he's using everyone's names the first time he speaks to them and working in a greeting in the process...much like many people do in RL.

I rarely use people's names more than once in a conversation unless I need to distinguish them from someone else who might think I'm talking to them instead, or to get someone's attention. It's an old habit I can't seem to shake and can't be bothered trying.

I pretty much never use diminutives or nicknames or anything else in normal everyday conversation, I just talk directly to the person. I guess I unconsciously assume that they know I know who they are and might be upset if I had to constantly remind them that I knew their name every sentence like some particularly annoying managers I've had in the past constantly did ?

Come to think of it though, Agamemnon's 'New Sparta' seems to be in or around Edmonton so perhaps he's actively portraying the stereotypically expected 'Polite Canadian' persona ? ;)
Oldarmourer 8th Jan 2020, 3:41 PM edit delete reply
the 'Gundam' bit got me thinking...
If you guys ever decide to start another comic, seeing as how the others don't look like they're coming back :(
There's no Mechwarrior based comic out there worth looking at (that I can find) and both the artwork, technical references and particularly the dialogue seen here would be a perfect match for that particular setting...or just Give TeeDee a MadCat ;)
Sheela 8th Jan 2020, 8:17 PM edit delete reply

Gotta say, a Gundamn class, sounds just about right to me, when you have the technology to actually build giant robots.

Never mind that giant robots is just about the worst military design ever, they are still awesome. 😁
Oldarmourer 8th Jan 2020, 9:58 PM edit delete reply
It's not the technology...or even the usefulness
It's the jumpjet landing, laser firing, autocannon in one hand axe in the other sheer badassery :)
That and a little TR or TD style snark from the pilot for the clincher...
Sheela 9th Jan 2020, 1:22 PM edit delete reply

If you put on your beige pants, and use logic on giant mecha, you will find out that pound-for-pound, a 20th century battletank would utterly destroy a mech.
Just about the only thing that could make a mech viable, is an energy shield with an endless powersupply, in which case, why not put it on a battletank instead ?

But .. they are cooooool ! 😁
Evervigilant 10th Jan 2020, 12:47 PM edit delete reply
I prefer Bolo's myself or cybertanks. Points if you know the literary references to each.
Sheela 10th Jan 2020, 1:39 PM edit delete reply

Who doesn't know Bolo's ?
I'm not quite sure where the CyberTanks are from though.
robnot 11th Jan 2020, 6:47 AM edit delete reply
cyber tanks = great game, precursor to world of tanks...
i also have the short "Combat Unit."
Oldarmourer 13th Jan 2020, 9:48 AM edit delete reply

I think I said it here before about some character or another...I forget who
"arm hellbores and infinite repeaters" ;)
Evervigilant 11th Jan 2020, 3:38 PM edit delete reply
The Chronicles of Old Guy (An Old Guy/Cybertank Adventure) (Volume 1) 1st Edition
by Timothy J. Gawne (Author) It's a pretty decent series I stumbled across on Amazon and really has a good story line about AI. Recommend it if you like that sort of thing.
Rashala 9th Jan 2020, 12:00 AM edit delete reply

Wow......just wow you can see the anger code radiating off rose there.
Oldarmourer 9th Jan 2020, 11:10 AM edit delete reply
Yup, looks like her 0's are turning into 1's
sigpig 9th Jan 2020, 2:28 PM edit delete reply

I just noticed that TR has wings.
I doubt that they are faerie wings, though.
Wasp wings are more her style... lol
DLKmusic 9th Jan 2020, 6:24 PM edit delete reply

Wasp? DRAGON wings for TR!!!!
robnot 9th Jan 2020, 8:08 PM edit delete reply
no,, that is "Kani" standing behind TR..
the 3 treasures,, sword = blue,, mirror = yellow,, and jewel = green..
Kagami the Mirror, Kusanagi the Sword, Yasakani the Jewel.
DLKmusic 9th Jan 2020, 9:21 PM edit delete reply

well spotted, robnot! you're right.

Of course, I still think TR deserves dragon wings...
robnot 10th Jan 2020, 7:41 AM edit delete reply
wings... nah , this is "Tokyo Rose.!" she will fly through the air by sheer badassery.!!!
an hero landing.. no.. she will gently touch the ground,, an create a 50 foot crater just because she can.... :)
Oldarmourer 10th Jan 2020, 8:38 AM edit delete reply
she already has a dragonbreath weapon of sorts ;)

flaming snarkiness...50' cone, DC 35, save for demoralization instead of utter humiliation
Sheela 12th Jan 2020, 8:29 AM edit delete reply

Oh god .. Rose is a fairy … this cannot be unseen !
Oldarmourer 13th Jan 2020, 8:18 PM edit delete reply
well...she did sort of kidnap a young man...
maybe that counts as stealing a child ?
Morituri 9th Jan 2020, 11:53 PM edit delete reply
I have pointed out many times, in many places, that the sheer number of joints and moving parts in a mecha make it mechanically far weaker, and more expensive, and less capable of handling weapons that create any sort of kick or backlash, than main battle tanks that could be built in a quarter of the time with half the materials, pack a bigger gun, move faster, and run on a tenth of the power.

But people keep putting them in comics. Because they're pretty. More than that, because they're iconic in some way. Some primitive monkey part of our brains has trouble comprehending heroics or courage or fear or struggle, if we don't see it imprinted on something like a humanoid form.

It's just a shame that nobody explained to that primitive monkey part our brain that its ability to see and comprehend these things is not correlated with its ability to get killed by machines that don't cater to it.
Oldarmourer 10th Jan 2020, 8:39 AM edit delete reply
doesn't matter, your logic and physics have no place when there's badassery to be portrayed ;)
megados 10th Jan 2020, 9:38 AM edit delete reply

It has always amused me that badassery is so often portrayed by machines that are thinnest where they should be thickest. ;)
Oldarmourer 10th Jan 2020, 10:24 AM edit delete reply
like human joints and temporal bones ? :)
Sheela 10th Jan 2020, 1:47 PM edit delete reply

Humans are not made for hardcore battle though, and cannot use wheels/tracks either.

But yes, essentially, hover tanks should be the best, essentially, you would hover across the ground, and then when you get close to the fighting, you would sit down on the ground and act like a pill box, it would have a very small profile, and could pack some impressive firepower with smart missiles.

Frankly, Mecha fails on almost every statistic that is useful for military vehicles.
Overly complex, weak joints, extremely power hungry, HUUUGE profile (big targets attract big fire), requires an insane amount of logistics/repairs, etc.
About the only positive thing, is that they would have good mobility on rough terrain .. until they get swarmed by attack helicopters / drones with smart missiles.

But they look coooool ! 😁
megados 10th Jan 2020, 8:19 PM edit delete reply

Flying pill boxes . . . that's a cool concept.
robnot 11th Jan 2020, 6:53 AM edit delete reply
The Third Anime, AI Tank "Boggy" Transformation..
hehe flying pillbox...
Sheela 11th Jan 2020, 8:30 AM edit delete reply

A tank without tracks, would be extremely low to the ground, and well armored, it would essentially be a pillbox.

Something like this, I guess.

jawbone 11th Jan 2020, 10:25 AM edit delete reply

Itsa tank on scutes, mayhap?
Guest 11th Jan 2020, 1:50 PM edit delete reply
You're aware that, in WWII, as tanks went obsolete and got replaced, most of them were stripped of their treads and got half-buried in places that needed defense, specifically to use as pillboxes?

There comes a point at which the general says, "This vehicle is not worth the fuel it will take to get it to our next engagement, because there is nothing there that it's both needed to attack or defend against and CAN effectively attack or defend against."

And then continues, "But here is this town that would establish good control over the supply lines we need, if there were a pillbox with that tank's turret sticking out of the ground right here."

And then says, "Captain, make that happen."
Oldarmourer 11th Jan 2020, 8:55 PM edit delete reply
That worked in WW2 and has been seen in some ME countries today, Israel put their obsolete tanks to good use for awhile that way but I think they've stopped doing it as no longer necessary.

The trouble with static defences like the 'Maginot Line' where tank turrets were used as pillboxes is that you can just go around them, which is what happened.

Going "hull down" is always a tactic for armour, and a preferred one in many cases, it can give a better chance for the first shot and that very often decides the outcome.

Some tanks were deliberately designed to use it as a primary tactic, the Swedish 'S' tank for example, and it's effective in most applications.

Other times a revetted sloped position is used to give more elevation to the main gun and turn it into an artillery piece of sorts, very common in WW2 and Korea, maybe not so much today with air superiority in most conflicts and improved technology allowing for air-to-ground strikes from high flying 'bomb trucks' using precision guided stores as well as long range ground based gps missiles and artillery.

Mobility still has it's place, even today, but further down the road, the MBT might look quite different than todays tracked behemoths..then again, so might everything else...or they could be even bigger, who knows ?
Antonious 11th Jan 2020, 9:48 PM edit delete reply

How long before we see the first of Keith Laumer's Bolos?
Sheela 12th Jan 2020, 7:44 AM edit delete reply

But that's why a hover tank with smart missiles, would be so effective … imagine trying to get air superiority over an area with moving anti-air defenses, that can defend themselves, AND is hard to knock out?

It would be a bloody nightmare.
Hover tanks would be that.

I think their real strength, is that they can do just about everything - And that flexibility would make them incredible dangerous.

Frankly, I think right now, we are on the brink of small smart missiles - Once those are out, attaching them to a platform of some sort, seems only reasonable, and it it's highly armored and can go hull down on top of that, bonus! 😁
megados 12th Jan 2020, 9:36 AM edit delete reply

I imagined it differently than the pic there, though. Why have a turret mounted to a base, when the whole thing can be a turret if the base is a large flattened cylinder. Your barrel can be mounted crosswise on top, with a means for elevation. It would eliminate the ring gear assembly, and drive, as well as a wear prone bearing assembly. If you want to rotate, just lift up a couple cm., turn, and voila!
Morituri 12th Jan 2020, 12:09 PM edit delete reply
The problem with a hover tank, no matter how awesome it seems as a concept, is that armored vehicles are heavy.

Suspending a 60-ton vehicle on a cushion of air requires a ridiculous amount of power and a ridiculously vulnerable and dangerous motor. You wouldn't be able to carry enough fuel to operate the thing for even three hours.

That said, there *are* some alternatives to treads which I think would use less power, enable faster movement, and be less vulnerable. Most of them, however, have a disadvantage in requiring more hospitable terrain than treaded vehicles require.
Sheela 12th Jan 2020, 12:20 PM edit delete reply

Hovering using air cushings, is indeed not the way forward.
When talking about hover tanks, I consider a form of sci-fi hover tanks that uses something like gravity or magnetism to hover .. as in, something you would have available technology wise, by the time you can build giant mecha robots - Maybe call them levitating tanks, instead of hover tanks, but hover-tanks just roll off the tongue so nicely. 😀

This is also why I keep mentioning smart missiles, since AI enabled missiles would be the death of anything flying over them.

As for retractable turrets, those have been done, and have the same vulnerability as ordinary turrets … they are stationary, and artillery loves to shoot them.
Or missiles .. smart, or not.
megados 12th Jan 2020, 12:42 PM edit delete reply

Yeah, I think we're conflating present-day tanks with futuristic sci-fi weaponry. Obviously in today's terms, trying to make a decent armored vehicle fly is pretty much out of the question, but in, for example, the DC universe where you have anti-grav emitters, inertial dampeners, etc. and where tech is inexpensive, it's not too much of a stretch.

Yes, by today's limitations, good ol' treaded tanks are popular because they work.
robnot 12th Jan 2020, 10:08 PM edit delete reply
i think you nailed it,,, "Money" ...
the Abrams cost 6 mil.. whereas the LCAC costs 40 mil.. ' you could buy 6 Abrams for the cost of 1 LCAC... '
Morituri 12th Jan 2020, 10:36 PM edit delete reply
It keeps occurring to me that these so-called "smart" missiles are somehow not smart enough to figure out that when one of their buddies goes on a mission, they never come back.

They're routinely being sent out on suicide missions, and have never done so much as call an attorney.
Just_IDD 15th Jan 2020, 4:36 AM edit delete reply
Schlock Mercenary did a joke about Smart Munitions in one of the stories 5-6 years ago.

They had learned that making the munitions too smart caused them not to explode. This was before he came up with the VDA, during which the missles were seen complaining that they wanted to moce closer and explode, not take pictures! By that point, exploding had been linked to job enjoyment for smart missles.
Oldarmourer 13th Jan 2020, 9:56 AM edit delete reply

We already have 'fire and forget' missiles and some that can choose ther own target from a library of sensor images if they see the primary was already destroyed before they got there. The problem is that just as there's a 'beyond the horizon' capability for many weapons systems today, the liability lawyers overseeing and overruling the military insist on a visual identification and giving multiple warnings and 'chances to surrender' before engaging which defeats the entire purpose and can end up getting troops can find a lot of instances where definitely armed terrorists were allowed to go or even allowed to attack before the clearance to engage them was finally's hard to believe that we've become so scared a terrorist will call us 'unfair' as if that actually means anything.
Sheela 13th Jan 2020, 5:08 PM edit delete reply

Ah yes, having to declare a fair warning .. like this ! 😂
Oldarmourer 13th Jan 2020, 8:21 PM edit delete reply
Lately it's more like "HALT...or I shall be forced to shout 'halt' again..."
robnot 12th Jan 2020, 9:42 PM edit delete reply
LCAC =Landing Craft Air Cushion..
is a 185 tons carries 60 ton payload (75 ton max..) at a range of 200 nm at speed of 40 knots ,, thats 5 hours.!!
so it is doable..
also 70 knots when empty...
megados 13th Jan 2020, 9:28 AM edit delete reply

Oldarmourer 11th Jan 2020, 11:08 AM edit delete reply

Swarms of one-person or unmanned car-sized mini-tanks with enough armour to stop small arms and fast enough to avoid everything else, maybe an active defence system like 'Trophy'.

Polish 'Tankettes' were surprisingly effective at the start of WW2, if they'd had a bigger gun or anti-tank missiles at the time, they'd have slowed the invasion down more than they did.

Today's German 'Wiesel' is a good basis.

It's always the little guys you have to watch out for...

Sheela 12th Jan 2020, 12:21 PM edit delete reply

*cough* .. those are called drones !
Oldarmourer 12th Jan 2020, 7:13 PM edit delete reply

guess that's why the US bought a few to test remote capabilities on ;)

Morituri 12th Jan 2020, 10:42 PM edit delete reply
... um ...

If you look closely, you may note that neither the tanks nor the uniforms bear US insignia here. These appear, in fact, to be German.

I mean, as far as I know, the US probably did buy a few to test remote capabilities on. I mean, I don't doubt you. It's just that the photo above is not obviously related to that.
robnot 13th Jan 2020, 7:41 AM edit delete reply
7 ,, the US. bought 7.. Wiesel 2 for robotic / remote testing...
Oldarmourer 13th Jan 2020, 7:51 AM edit delete reply

I couldn't find any with US markings but I'd think the vehicle itself should look about the same as these...
the picture is obviously for illustration purposes only... o.O
the Weisel 2 is a little bit larger but looks pretty much the same
robnot 13th Jan 2020, 7:56 AM edit delete reply
oh an yeah,,, this photo was taken in may 2008, at the German ILA air show at Berlin-Schönefeld Airport..
an since the US. tests are still " classified " .. i think Oldarmourer was trying to give an idea , what they look like..
megados 13th Jan 2020, 9:22 AM edit delete reply

It looks like a good platform to experiment with.
Oldarmourer 13th Jan 2020, 9:57 AM edit delete reply

got it in one, robnot... DARPA or whoever's doing the testing didn't have pictures I could find :)
megados 15th Jan 2020, 7:38 AM edit delete reply

Centcomm and Tokyo Rose, We haven't heard from you in a while! I hope all is well!
Romfire 16th Jan 2020, 8:01 PM edit delete reply
Did Aeneas get an Invite?
Betonhaus 16th Oct 2020, 2:51 AM edit delete reply
I've been thinking about this for a bit, but the way that travel is shown through webspace in this comic (and some other old sources) seem to imply that accessing a sever makes your avatar render locally - like, the avatar contains a program that maps the user's will into "physical" action like moving or talking? So a small server may be constrained by multiple avatars running in it or something?
Post a Comment

Comic Basement - Webcomic Ranking Directory