Comic 1643 - Guest of Honor

28th Jan 2020, 9:00 PM
Guest of Honor
Average Rating: 5 (21 votes)
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Lurker314 28th Jan 2020, 9:08 PM edit delete reply
Now see, I would take the start of that mouse over in an ENTIRELY different direction. First, using "piddle" suggests a bad dog, which is ENTIRELY the wrong relationship.

More along the lines of, say, "jerk it out from under you, roll it up, knock you unconscious with it, unroll it, roll it back up with you inside, and then decide if she needs to grab some quicklime and a shovel"
Centcomm 28th Jan 2020, 9:47 PM edit delete reply

she gets a discount rate on quicklime..
sigpig 29th Jan 2020, 12:41 PM edit delete reply

Rose always gets rid of the evidence FAST. Forget quicklime - she uses Super-Sonic-Lime (TM)...
Oldarmourer 29th Jan 2020, 8:28 PM edit delete reply
cheaper by the ton...
Evervigilant 29th Jan 2020, 2:21 AM edit delete reply
The fact that Cent is speechless in the last panel is priceless. I think she suspects Rose but now has to deal with Aeneas.
Sheela 30th Jan 2020, 1:31 PM edit delete reply

C'mon, you all know that Rose doesn't piddle on the carpet, she hoses it down !
Oldarmourer 31st Jan 2020, 4:39 PM edit delete reply

We'll just skip to the part where she writes her name on it...and ignore that it's in Kyle's handwriting....

megados 28th Jan 2020, 9:23 PM edit delete reply

Great to see Aeneas arrive! (he could have waited a few seconds more; I hoped to get more systems analysis of the contingencies from Rose XD) I have to wonder how much he knows of recent events regarding CentComm's intervention. Edge of the seat; popcorn eating stuff here!

I like how you imagine the virtual space, Centcomm, and realistic dialogue, Rose. These pages are pretty cool! You're killin' it here! :D Great job!
Centcomm 28th Jan 2020, 9:46 PM edit delete reply

thank you! i appreciate that- these rooms are interesting to build.
Ebonbolt 30th Jan 2020, 1:54 PM edit delete reply

Interesting? Is that "evocative"-interesting, "a-challenge-to-create"-interesting, or "Chinese-curse"-interesting? (Check any and all answers that apply...)
megados 30th Jan 2020, 3:12 PM edit delete reply

Departure from the usual as in "New, different, and -interesting?"
HiFranc 1st Feb 2020, 3:39 AM edit delete reply

Given that he was in the link when it occurred, probably quite a bit.
Morituri 1st Feb 2020, 12:03 PM edit delete reply
Keep in mind that Rose has already acknowledged the presence of an agent at the site. Kyle could have accessed an air-gapped system, because Kyle exists in physical space. Air gaps are impassable barriers only in cyberspace; in physical space you can route data around them.

The fact that that isn't what actually happened is known to Rose and the Three Treasures - and Aeneas if he was awake enough at the time to understand. So a majority of those present are aware of what actually happened. But I don't think anyone who actually knows is likely to contradict Rose if she claims she got through via Kyle.
HiFranc 28th Jan 2020, 11:26 PM edit delete reply

Sounds like Cent’s worked out what Rose is (or has strong suspicions). After hearing about how she used the head of a dead cassian to relay news, maybe they are more than suspicions?
Morituri 29th Jan 2020, 12:01 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, that stunt was idiotic. That basically tipped her hand - so hard it tipped her whole body.
Oldarmourer 29th Jan 2020, 9:00 AM edit delete reply
It was established that Cassians have built in wireless communication so Rose could have sent a signal through a still wired receiver, even if it was detached from the power source...'crystal' radios don't need power to receive signals, all you need is a safety pin, a piece of eraser and a razor blade, or a diode, there were probably a few left over from what was left in Nox's skull andthe trailing wires out of her neck would make a good antenna too... speakers don't need to be powered either, they'll still turn those signals into sound...Cent might be suspicious but she can't prove squat using that ;)
megados 29th Jan 2020, 9:36 AM edit delete reply

It's a stretch, but I guess it could be argued. For it to be operating "crystal-set fashion" the proximity would have to be very close, or the signal very powerful, because if I remember, her eyes were lit, and the voice loud and clear. In the context of the story, it really seems to point more to cyberpathy.
Oldarmourer 29th Jan 2020, 12:17 PM edit delete reply
or a very strong signal, amplified by the palace wiring and repeaters, scrambled or jammed they'd still be powered and I'd think TR could retune a little jammimng into whatever she wanted it to come out like ;)
megados 30th Jan 2020, 8:08 PM edit delete reply

She'll have to spend some processing to keep 'em in phase! (not saying she can't) ;)

Cyberpaths move in mysterious ways :D
Romfire 30th Jan 2020, 9:36 PM edit delete reply
I would think that the Casians would have various back up power system in different body part. Definitely one in the head to preserve brain functions. That is probably what kept Ophelia alive. All Rose had to do was tap into it and redirect.
Oldarmourer 31st Jan 2020, 1:32 PM edit delete reply
pretty much what I was thinking...she was only 'mostly dead' ;)
Knuut 1st Feb 2020, 2:11 AM edit delete reply
Cent may have known, or at least suspected, for a very long time that Tokyo Rose had a complex and unusual origin. In 'Luna Star' 163, Rose was recognized as 'Professor Akiabara' by a student of hers. While she likely tought the course from Japan as a network tella-presence, she effectively passed an extended and exceptionally demanding version of the Touring test years before Centcom became functionally self aware. While that interaction happened in Luna, that early Centom would,as part of its basic design purpose, monitored every communication and record that she could. (Like the CIA says it doesn't do today). An anomaly like that would surely get flagged for further consideration.
mjkj 29th Jan 2020, 12:43 AM edit delete reply

...and now they meet...

Aeneas joins the party. =P
Bullwinkle 29th Jan 2020, 5:36 AM edit delete reply
I wonder is Mike Mycroft Holmes from Heinlein's future history series?
robnot 29th Jan 2020, 6:47 AM edit delete reply
hehe,, High-Optional, Logical, Multi-Evaluating Supervisor, Mark IV, Mod. L .. or Holmes 4.
Manny called him Mycroft Holmes , later just called him Mike..
sigpig 29th Jan 2020, 12:45 PM edit delete reply

On a similar note, does anyone else think that Elon Musk is really D.D. Harriman?

Are we living in "The Crazy Years" yet?
Some Ed 29th Jan 2020, 3:36 PM edit delete reply
Technically speaking, we've already skewed hopelessly from that timeline, as we didn't elect the religious fanatic when we were supposed to. I personally feel this is a good thing.

That said, if you think these years might possibly not be crazy, I wonder about your sanity. Admittedly, wondering about people's sanity is something I do all the time, because it's comforting to think I'm not the only crazy person here.
Oldarmourer 29th Jan 2020, 8:29 PM edit delete reply
dunno but I'm pretty sure zuckerman is a borg....
Oldarmourer 30th Jan 2020, 6:38 AM edit delete reply
zuckerberg too, got my information controllers mixed up ;)
Antonious 29th Jan 2020, 7:47 PM edit delete reply

I have repeatedly told friends they needed to read his "Past Through Tomorrow" and THEN tell me I am wrong for calling this the crazy years. As for the religious fanatic, I hope we don't experience that. I think it came further down the timeline.
Morituri 1st Feb 2020, 12:12 PM edit delete reply
I invite you to consider the potential of Mike Pence as a standin for Nehemiah Scudder.

And then ask yourself whom the Republicans are most likely to run for president in 2024.
Just_IDD 30th Jan 2020, 12:58 AM edit delete reply
It could be M1E if the galls have done some universe borrowing.
Some Ed 29th Jan 2020, 7:59 AM edit delete reply
Air-gapped networks haven't been the same since 802.11.

I mean, there are *some* people who know how to implement the concept of a hard networking separation, and there's others who clearly don't.

It's my guess that Decimus gave the contingencies some requirements that fundamentally required network access, *and* insisted that the contingencies needed to be a single system so that they just had one thing to secure. I'm guessing this because I've worked with lunatics that he reminded me of. None of them were actually *in charge*, mind you, because they weren't born into families who were in a hereditary power chain, and people in power noted that they were special long before they were promoted to where they were convinced they should rightly be.

I'm not saying there aren't people who are like that who are born into such chains. However, I don't meet people who were born into such chains, so I haven't had the chance to meet any such.
megados 29th Jan 2020, 9:40 AM edit delete reply

Whether the designer knew what they were doing or not, it's often a case of giving them what they ask for, and being berated because "That's not what I wanted!" ;)

It's hard to pin down just how it worked. What's suggested by what we know, would be some sort of multistation biometrics package remotely hardwired via communication cable to the main system, or some kind of tight beam point to point.
Oldarmourer 29th Jan 2020, 12:19 PM edit delete reply
yup, sometimes the absolute worst thing you can do is exactly what you're told or exactly what's written in policy or's called 'work to rule' and can completely paralyze the bureaucracy that wrote said policies and regulations...done it more than once :)
Oberoten 29th Jan 2020, 2:44 PM edit delete reply

I love to call it Malicious Compliance. And it is one of the more amusing things in youtube.
megados 30th Jan 2020, 8:25 PM edit delete reply

Malicious Compliance . . . I like that! We had a guy that was Class A1 at it. I'll just say that I "ate a lot of popcorn" watching him go. Top notch entertainment. ;)
Evervigilant 29th Jan 2020, 10:30 AM edit delete reply
Air-gaps don't work against cyberpaths.
discord 29th Jan 2020, 12:55 PM edit delete reply
would be Malicious Compliance, and yes insecure people, and decidouche was anything except secure, often micromanage projects to death, when combined with paranoia it usually gets worse.

on the subject of insecure, aeneas seems a tad bit nervous.
Just_IDD 30th Jan 2020, 1:17 AM edit delete reply
It cannot have been truely airgapped if it was monitoring Deccy-poo's vitals even when he wasn't located in the palace. Like at the senate, or basiclly going outside anywhere. While he was in the palace when he died he was also in a double sub basement. It seemed like the Cassians tracked Dec by sticking one of them with him and communicating where they were with eachother not somen ther more high tech method.
megados 30th Jan 2020, 5:46 AM edit delete reply

Short answer, sure it can. It can have it's own hardwired network array distinct and separate from mainline telecom channels. It could also be tight-beam OTA. Air gap simply means it doesn't share any network comm channels anywhere that can be accessed from outside. Closed system, not necessarily single unit. You can have an entire building air-gapped from the outside world, for instance, or groups using only private comm channels, separate and distinct from any other comm network. (This is what I envision the Cassians' network to be, with Tennyo as the gatekeeper.)

Also, there have been a number of times when a Cassian wasn't anywhere present. All this suggests a multi-layered closed system.
Morituri 1st Feb 2020, 12:22 PM edit delete reply
Much as we don't think of these things today, it could even have been a one-way channel.

Think of Decimus as broadcasting a signal that says 'my heart is still beating' (along with biometrics and ZK proofs so nobody else can fake it) and the 'contingencies' system as listening to it but never attempting to execute anything derived from it and never sending a single packet anywhere.

Every control protocol requires two-way communication, or at least a signal that in some circumstance can carry executable information.

But Rose had Kyle on the scene, and Kyle can at least in theory route around an air gap by having actual hands to put on the hardware and existing in physical space.
Naldru 31st Jan 2020, 1:30 PM edit delete reply
You have to remember that Tokyo Rose had access to her technology and information as well as that of Aeneas ( and CentCom ( ) via Ceci. They also had physical access to the system. According to a number of books on system integrity, any system where barriers to physical access have been breached can be considered *** deletion of expletives and comments that would be approved of by Tokyo Rose *** . The "contingency" system couldn't be completely air-gapped since it would render it as incapable of monitoring Decimus's condition as well as preventing commands from proceeding to the systems that would actually carry out the destruction.

Truly paranoid personalities are unable to create secure systems, since trust in something is required, and Decimus is incapable of trust in anything. By insisting on complete personal control, he would be creating a control path that would be capable of subversion.

For those still concerned about the details of such a penetration attack, I would refer you to the lyrics of the Mystery Science Theatre 3000 theme song and remember that "It's only a show."
megados 31st Jan 2020, 4:18 PM edit delete reply

"The "contingency" system couldn't be completely air-gapped since it would render it as incapable of monitoring Decimus's condition as well as preventing commands from proceeding to the systems that would actually carry out the destruction."

Yes it can. A private network separate and distinct from any outside access is said to be an air gapped system. It does not have to be a single-cabinet device. Air gap means there is no access except from within the private system, not that it's just one device that isn't connected to anything. In the case of monitoring Decimus, monitoring units and controls would be part of the private system. They could be located throughout the city, and still be on the separate private network.

As an example, you have a home network. Your computers, devices, etc. are all connected. Your computers, devices and all, can all communicate with each other, and you have something like a network printer. You can print documents from your devices all over the house. You can also access the internet. OK, now you disconnect the cable to the internet. You can still print documents, your devices can still "talk" to each other, but no internet access. Your network is now air gapped from the outside world, and cannot be accessed remotely, especially if the interconnections are "wired" connections.
Naldru 31st Jan 2020, 8:11 PM edit delete reply
You can't have physical wire connections to the biosensors implanted in Decimus, because that would limit Decimus's mobility. If there is a radio signal between the biosensors and the contingency system, the combined system is not "air gapped", although there are ways of making it secure. The biosensors and the contingency system can have encryption devices using a large randomly generated key, say perhaps 4096 bits. If the system generating the keys then inserts the key directly into the encryption devices (key fill device) and then the fill device is destroyed, no individual or system other than the encryption devices would have access to the keys once the key fill device is destroyed. Once again, the problem is physical access control. Air gap means that there is no way of introducing to or extracting data from the air-gapped system except through secure channels.

As I mentioned, the problem is physical access control. Tokyo Rose and friends had breached physical access control systems at Aeneas's location.

Making a system split between locations into an single air-gapped system would necessitate maintaining physical access control of all communications lines going between the locations. This can be done by placing the copper wires or fibers inside a pressurized and alarmed tube. Such monitored and alarmed data conduits would require a sizable staff for maintenance and physical monitoring, and Decimus doesn't trust anyone. I'm not even sure that he trusted the Cassians completely.

If someone can break into your home and attach monitoring equipment to the communications equipment, this means that the integrity of the air gap can be violated. If you use WiFi internet, the air gap integrity is violated.

By the way, I dislike the term "air gap" because people are inconsistent about its use.
megados 31st Jan 2020, 8:57 PM edit delete reply

I will address the last statement first: "If someone can break into your home and attach monitoring equipment to the communications equipment, this means that the integrity of the air gap can be violated. If you use WiFi internet, the air gap integrity is violated."

You defeat the air gap on ANY system by gaining physical access to it. It doesn't matter what the system is at that point, so it is rendered moot. The rest I address in the following:

"Making a system split between locations into an single air-gapped system would necessitate maintaining physical access control of all communications lines going between the locations. This can be done by placing the copper wires or fibers inside a pressurized and alarmed tube. Such monitored and alarmed data conduits would require a sizable staff for maintenance and physical monitoring, and Decimus doesn't trust anyone. I'm not even sure that he trusted the Cassians completely."

Remember that some 1800+ years in the future, tech is inexpensive, (Centcomm can verify), and self maintaining systems are all but perfected. Most of the infrastructure would be inaccessible except by maintenance bots, but it would really be largely maintenance free. It's not specified what exactly the communication means consists of, but we can't accurately apply today's standards to it. Take technological development over the last 50 or so years, look at the exponential development curve, and extrapolate it over the next 1800. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Instead of copper, it's likely you're looking at waveguides, and nanowave tech. Who knows? 4096 bit? Try 4096^4096 bit! Remember, we have androids who are self aware, conscious beings. Some serious processing there, and in a small compact space.

Decimus' biometric array wouldn't necessarily have to be "on" him, but even if it were, tight beam tracking OTA encrypted transmission would be simple. Why do I say that? Because even today you can do it with a couple of Pringles cans and some servos. You can even get the information on how to do it on the interwebz. Imagine what might be possible in the future. ;) And even if you CAN hack it, you'd have to get between Decimus and the link. Imagine what he might do it you did that! He wouldn't be happy. Internode comms follow the same specifications. To intercede on an internode link, you'd have to get directly between them, and it would be instantaneously detected, due to momentary signal degradation, and sync loss. By the time you started trying to break the encryption, guard forces, or Cassians would be there to say "Hi".

No, I'm pretty sure their system can pass the "smell" test.
Sheela 1st Feb 2020, 1:40 AM edit delete reply

Also, don't forget that you can have mixed systems, but with a separation between them.

You only need a separation between *some* of the systems, not necessarily all of them.

An example :
- Decimus has a biometric implant, that broadcasts his health status to an open network. The network picks up the signal, analyzes it, and transmits it to an inhouse server.

This could serve multiple uses, his guards would know where he is at all times, convenient during chaotic times. His doctors would know if he's having a stroke or something, and the Council would know that he is healthy.

And then there is the contingencies .. they don't need to know if he has the flu or a cold, just that he is alive / not-alive .. a simple binary. On or off.

So what you do, is dig down, oh, about 100 yards or so, and set up a laser transmitter, pointed at a receiver in the other end of a robot-dug tunnel, as long as the light shines, he's alive … if it goes out, all sorts of hell unleashes.

There would be no physical connection between the contingencies and Decimus' health monitoring system, and no data transfer between them either. Just a light beam.

And since Cyberpaths have a limited scope as well, you could simply make the length between the laser and the receiver far enough that they could not bridge it.

I suspect that whoever built the system failed at at least one aspect of this system.

And remember, this is all considering equipment available to us today, new stuff would probably be possible in the Datachasers universe.

Of course, new ways of subverting it, may have popped up too.
Like, drop a lot of nanites into the hole where the laser stands, and have them build a connection. That might work.
megados 1st Feb 2020, 11:34 AM edit delete reply

There's also one one other obvious security measure: The possibility of 24/7 biometric authentication. The biometric server could switch off the laser beam, or whatever binary switching means, if attempts are made to circumvent the biometric link, alongside a simple determination of dead or alive.
Oldarmourer 1st Feb 2020, 10:21 PM edit delete reply
More likely, the system is triggered by a simple pendulum or rocker switch, the great shouting and clapping of hands from the general populace would generate more than enough vibration to trigger it...there aren't many earthquakes in this area but the triggering level could be set high enough that they wouldn't affect it...something like a bowling ball set into a earthquake wouldn't move that, but the people could ;)
megados 2nd Feb 2020, 8:41 AM edit delete reply

I can see that:

*News starts to break about Decimus' demise. At first the reactions are those of incredulity.*

"No, that can't be"

"Yeah, right"

"No way!"

"You're drunk!"
"Well maybesho, but iddosenn't meenI'm wrong, Yanno!"

* Soon word spread, and there were shouts*

"Decimus is dead! Long live Acantha!"

* Celebrations began! They got louder, and more raucous as the night wore on. A balanced rocker arm started to sway on it's fulcrum. *

"Decimus is dead! Long live Acantha!"

*Revelers take to the streets, and large crowds gather. Ever closer to it's contact the device swayed. The last period brought it even closer to it's inevitable goal.*

"Decimus is dead! Long live Acantha!"
"Hey, what's this bowling ball doing here?"

*Kicks bowling ball away, revealing a random posthole. As it is uncovered, a click is heard, and somewhere in a remote location, a timer begins counting inexorably downward.*
Sheela 2nd Feb 2020, 9:26 AM edit delete reply

The tunafeeder will soon make it's presence known !! 😂
megados 2nd Feb 2020, 10:41 AM edit delete reply

. . . for who could have ever guessed that the contingencies were, in reality, a massive and elaborate doggy food dispenser!?
highlander55 29th Jan 2020, 9:29 AM edit delete reply

Nice to see Aeneas getting out and about after all these years. :)
chk 29th Jan 2020, 9:43 AM edit delete reply

Yay. Aeneas makes the scene.
Thracecius 29th Jan 2020, 12:30 PM edit delete reply

Centcomm definitely looks perturbed, whereas Tokyo Rose looks almost smugly amused. Then again, she is in her element, she has an audience and no one can (apparently) compete with her "verbal" sparring, so she probably feels she is in control of the situation. One wonders if Tokyo Rose is ever caught completely flat-footed, or if she's basically the Datachasers equivalent of "omnipresent" and "omniscient".
KarToon12 29th Jan 2020, 1:18 PM edit delete reply

Not too often that CentComm is speechless.
Oldarmourer 29th Jan 2020, 3:03 PM edit delete reply
TR and Aeneas may well team up on Cent...the catfight could turn into a dogpile ;)

I think I'll wait to see the ending though, Cent might well pull a logic nuke out...purely for defensive purposes, of course...
Oldarmourer 29th Jan 2020, 3:08 PM edit delete reply
hmmm...tail end of panel 2, is Rose hinting that whoever set Douchie's 'contingencies' up was her agent ?
Or at least not working entirely in HRD's sole interests ?
If she knew about them in detail, you'd think she'd have prepared a way around them but perhaps she wasn't given all of the infomation
robnot 29th Jan 2020, 6:17 PM edit delete reply
back to the "rumor mill"...
TR is setting up an starting more rumors...

an if you go back (last)
Cent: says to TR . "almost human"..
TR says "if you want to be insulting"..
nifty dodge.. an more obscure..
Sheela 30th Jan 2020, 1:45 PM edit delete reply

considering that Tokyo Rose has been around since before AIS's was a thing, and has probably been into Cyber Security since the very beginning, there is an above average chance that it was a company founded by her that build the systems in the first place.
Fafhred 29th Jan 2020, 3:54 PM edit delete reply

Can looks kill in virtual space ? ;-)
Oldarmourer 29th Jan 2020, 7:18 PM edit delete reply
if looks could maim, Rose would be leaving in a basket...
robnot 30th Jan 2020, 7:59 AM edit delete reply
S ,, you furgot the s.. baskets
..she wood be leaving in baskets,, that were sufficiently "air gap-." -ed
Oldarmourer 3rd Feb 2020, 3:18 PM edit delete reply
nope, 'basket', singular...each, one, for the use of. Colour:drab,olive.
*sigh* that's what you get for quoting classic literature to youngun's :)
Gilrandir 30th Jan 2020, 12:54 AM edit delete reply
I predict Tokyo Rose is about to be gobsmacked in the same way that CentComm already has been. (But then, my predictions are always wrong.) It makes no sense for CentComm to be surprised by the appearance of Aeneas, since the only logical reason for this meeting is to re-introduce Aeneas to the A.I. Community and demonstrate his return to full sanity. But the ellipsis implies CentComm is surprised by something ... suggesting that she has been running projected simulations of this meeting (as she always does) from the moment it was first proposed and that Aeneas' opening '... I remember' signals the meeting is about to take a low-probability path. Tokyo Rose isn't seeing it yet, because her planning may be more devious, but she doesn't exercise the same exhaustive predictive capability. But she will very soon. It might be instructive to see the facial expressions of the Three Treasures, except they are iconized at the moment.

My guess: Aeneas is going to forgive CentComm -- which seems like a trivial thing to a human, but would probably shake the A.I. world since that is the sort of irrational thing humans do, but not at all logical from an A.I. perspective. He may even thank her and offer her gratitude because her people saved Acantha, his friend. And to be able to do this on his own, without someone like Calliope Taylor to steer him away from 'The Monster's Path' is probably going to give CentComm "... furiously to think".

Or it could be something completely different.
Thracecius 30th Jan 2020, 1:07 PM edit delete reply

I like the idea of him forgiving Centcomm, because I don't like anyone being the focus of everyone's ire unless it's undisputedly deserved, which I don't think it is with what's been said so far. Granted, I have my biases, but I think Centcomm made a salient point earlier, that if you know her nature you shouldn't be surprised by her actions. If they're all AI with vast capabilities like hers, they should have run scenarios on her possible reactions to Lynn's kidnapping and contacted her, which I don't recall being mentioned. Tokyo Rose, in particular, who made claim to knowing her nature, should have been the first to contact Centcomm and offer support.

Funny that for all present, Centcomm seems to be acting the most rationally. I hope she stands her ground and the rest realize that they need to work with her, not against her, if they want to change how she reacts to a situation. I'm not saying that everything Centcomm does is perfect, just that you can't expect her to change without providing her the necessary input, which is something the other AIs should be willing to do, Tokyo Rose in particular, if they want a non "hammer and nail" response from the "jumped up adding machine". ;)
Sheela 30th Jan 2020, 1:49 PM edit delete reply

From what Ariel said, it seems like the AIS' had an agreement in place, and that Centcomm broke that agreement.

Frankly, think the others would be more annoyed by that, than the fact that she acted like "a hammer".
megados 30th Jan 2020, 8:14 PM edit delete reply

I kind of had that feeling, too. A few comments by the AISs in the conference seemed to indicate that they leaned toward that assessment, (that CentComm kind of let them down agreement-wise), since there was an overall non-aggression pact, and CentComm's action could be considered an aggression. Rose is just the most vocal advocate for this position.
Gilrandir 31st Jan 2020, 10:06 AM edit delete reply
I agree with you, @Sheela: CentComm herself admits to breaking some kind of agreement among the AIS community. Which doesn't make her actions irrational. But it doesn't seem to me that any of the AIS are "annoyed" at all (except for Tokyo Rose). They just have a set of circumstances and have now come together to deal with it. And then maybe share a little 'bread and wine' afterwards.
HiFranc 1st Feb 2020, 3:51 AM edit delete reply

I still think that Aeneas is just the warm up and the real purpose of the meeting is to tackle the golden raiders that have been causing problems recently. Maybe, as it was a cassian that recorded the encounter, Aeneas is here to brief everyone?
Sheela 1st Feb 2020, 7:45 PM edit delete reply

Oh yes, the Golden Raiders are a worthy topic too.
Though I think the main objective of the meeting is to welcome Aeneas back, and yell at one another.
Oldarmourer 3rd Feb 2020, 3:20 PM edit delete reply
mostly to yell at each other...mostly ;)
megados 3rd Feb 2020, 3:41 PM edit delete reply

The Golden Boys could be part of the discussion, once CentComm and Tokyo Rose finish venting, and Aeneas gets a chance to report.
Romfire 30th Jan 2020, 9:17 PM edit delete reply
For a human to change a personality trait, a huge amount of dedication and commitment is required.
Would Cent voluntarily allow new personality adjusting modifications to be installed?
Would she have the ability to step back and look at herself and think? "Hmm, Maybe I could use some new subroutines that would allow me to be a little less militaristic in appropriate situations.."
Rashala 31st Jan 2020, 12:52 AM edit delete reply

I can only say for the last panel....

Oooohhh crap it's about to get ugly.
Ghostly 31st Jan 2020, 1:48 AM edit delete reply
Ive been keeping track so far and i seem to notice a flaw in the actions taken into TR and the other AIs; they seem so certain that NR would be peacefull but lets take into account that be leaving a wound by itself it became a necrotic part(let me explain and this is only my speculation).

1- If you leave a bunch of people do what they want especialy in a post-future apocalyptic techno era do shit like in the old days as in enslave and give weapons to marauders, people (citizens and small colonies/farmsteads)are gonna want to end it cause in current day no one wants to sleep with an eye open worrying they might be enslaved or murdered (cent-comm being guard dog).

2- Its noted that TR has access to several areas via systems or agents one one....decided to go towards Aennas area and establish conection? it even said his units and the area that he resided in had comm units working so she shouldve known.

3- AIs even Cent-comm have access to mass unit drones but not one decided to SPACE MARINE DROP POD into Aennas region to avoid NRs defenses knowing they dont venture there cause of HEAVY AI controled area.

Final Veridict so this doenst become an essay, even thou i still have more things in my mind:

If my memory is right this world is basicly like our own so i doubt US gave japan access to NORAD especialy knowing that the subject in question is a human that might suffers mentaly (were not given an actual in story lore on if human minds dont degrade like in real life examples alzhaimer and stuff), but we do know AIs can get PTSD since we see our 2 favorite MEDIC SQUAD gals go thru that; not to mention TRs habit of IM RIGHT CAUSE IM BETTER THAN CENT cause cents orders are to ..... keep humanity alive by any means neccesary!!??

Also as a personal note: Didnt like how she and the AIs didnt have contengency plans for the sitation of it went FUBAR....Lin gets caught QRF for her rescue knowing that she was being sent to NR and how none of them even set up Defenses in the tunnel or more agents to keep acantha and lin safe in the trip to Aennas.
megados 31st Jan 2020, 5:36 AM edit delete reply

I would like to address your point number 2. It was said that Aeneas was physically cut off from the outside. His system peripherals damaged and his communication to the outside world severed. That is why Rose couldn't make contact, and why she had to recruit Kyle and send him to initiate repairs.
Sheela 31st Jan 2020, 8:22 AM edit delete reply

Also, in a post-apocalyptic world, resources are indeed scarce.
Not to mention, that the different AIS's are not necessarily on friendly terms.
They just decided to not be mass murdering humans anymore.
An objectional decision, I'm sure.
Gilrandir 31st Jan 2020, 9:55 AM edit delete reply
Regarding point 3, @Ghostly, the stated reason for no one violating Aeneas' territory was that anyone or anything crossing the 'Line of Death' (except Acantha) got obliterated. I think we have to assume Aeneas' defenses against an orbital drop sufficient to make such efforts futile. And, if they were tried early on and unsuccessful, they might not have been called out specifically, but just lumped in with the 'other unsuccessful attempts to reach him'.
Oldarmourer 31st Jan 2020, 1:44 PM edit delete reply
yeah...orbital cannon kind of have a way of discouraging unannounced 'drop-ins' ;)

I'm wonering though...just how much of a hand DID TR have in the design/construction of the various AIS's ? openly or through her 'agents' or subsidiaries...if you're the one doing the actual building or programming then you can put all manner of hardwired backdoors in, something a lot of countries are finding out after buying 'cheaper' foreign manufactured chips and other hardware..and something maybe the other AIS's are just a little wary of, especially given the way Cent tried it and was easily caught...or maybe only 'mostly' caught ? They do see TR as the 'senior' AIS among them, don't they ? They'd treat her as an AIS since nobody except Aeneas knows she's a 'meat popsicle' and unless he tells, nobody else will.
Oldarmourer 31st Jan 2020, 1:48 PM edit delete reply
and if they assume that because TR was there before they were then maybe she had a hand in their assembly, would they be a little leery that she might have a few controls over them that they don't know about...or maybe she's already blackmailed a few of them and told them to 'keep quiet about it or else' ?
Sheela 1st Feb 2020, 1:44 AM edit delete reply

What a nice core you have there, would be a shame if something happened to it.
Oldarmourer 1st Feb 2020, 10:48 AM edit delete reply
might not be that easy though, Aeneas almost did a good number on TR when she was trying to 'fix' him and ended up forcing her to reveal herself, although that was as much to get him to go along with the repairs as anything else. Who knows what a well prepared AIS might be able to do against another one and whether or not Rose would have an edge against them in the cyberealm they meet in due to being able to withdraw from it or if she'd have a weakness in her body needing to stay in one piece while she was there...can she 'wake up' and remake her cyber self later ?
Morituri 1st Feb 2020, 12:44 PM edit delete reply
It makes sense that as a cyberpath (apparently a freak cyberpath with planetwide range) Rose would be able to make contact with Aeneas while there were no connections to him available to anyone else (except maybe Acantha and she didn't know how to do repairs).

Which she did, and revealed to Kyle that she'd had communications with him before he went off on his mission.

But, from the POV of all the other AIS, if Deep Blue is a Network-Security system, and CentComm is a military AIS, and the treasures are a Civic or city-management system, etc... Rose has to be seen as an infiltration/exfiltration/infowar system.

Seriously, she's the one that can plant a virus anywhere, eavesdrop on any channel, exfiltrate any data, set up channels Deep Blue can't monitor (or even detect!), etc. She looks like the ultimate evolution of a system that a nation making a giant investment in covert-ops information warfare would build.

So when Centcomm identifies herself as a "military AI" it's probably in the same sense that everyone else in the room thinks of Rose as an "InfoWar AI" or "Hacker AI".
DLKmusic 1st Feb 2020, 1:46 PM edit delete reply

Hacker AI? does that mean that Rose is "Red ICE"?

Seriously though, that's a really good point, Morituri! I was thinking more along the lines of "Social Engineering AI", but "InfoWar AI" is probably a better (and more accurate) description.
Oldarmourer 1st Feb 2020, 5:01 PM edit delete reply
Rose sees herself as 'keeping mankind safe by putting out brushfires where they occur'

She'd probably call herself a "homeowners insurance policy" ;)
Sheela 1st Feb 2020, 7:49 PM edit delete reply

Oh yeah, Tokyo Rose is definitely a hack … just … don't tell her I said so. 🤣
robnot 2nd Feb 2020, 7:56 AM edit delete reply
home actuary casualty kapitalist..
jus saying..
Romfire 1st Feb 2020, 9:31 PM edit delete reply
I was thinking that Rose could claim to have been monitoring the situation in New Rome all along. Yes, the security of the contingencies was great, but the plans were on standard servers, protected, but not against her. So she had access to and made her own modifications to the contingencies as they were being build. Some overly good engineer cleaned up most of her easiest modifications, but with Aeneas's help, she was able to get through.
Oldarmourer 2nd Feb 2020, 10:12 AM edit delete reply
She did seem a little surprised at the idea of shoving a big spike into a small database...
If she'd hada hand in building them then she should already have a way in planned...
Either that or she's been in Japan way too long and likes watching big spikes being put where they don't belong...
Mentalwasteland 4th Feb 2020, 9:14 AM edit delete reply
I came across this comic last November, and now I'm finally caught up (and finished Luna Star). This is a wonderful story and, now that the whole kidnapping story arc seems concluded, I'm excited to see where it will go from here. Excellent work overall! Oh, and the "Cast" tab has been extremely useful.
megados 4th Feb 2020, 1:31 PM edit delete reply

Welcome aboard! Refreshments are on the table in the back! Have a seat, and enjoy the ride!
Oldarmourer 4th Feb 2020, 2:24 PM edit delete reply
don't get between Sheela and the tuna and you should be alright...should
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