Comic 1666 - Surprise

26th Aug 2020, 12:00 AM
Average Rating: 5 (15 votes)

Author Notes:

Centcomm 26th Aug 2020, 10:12 PM edit delete
Special treat for you guys on Patreon, new story! Go check it out!
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Ryu Santos 26th Aug 2020, 3:26 AM edit delete reply

Okay, I'll go set up the interigation room.
Just_IDD 26th Aug 2020, 3:46 AM edit delete reply
Damn good page.

I got to the bottom and without thinking I hit next.

I really want to see the next page. Good job!
Oldarmourer 26th Aug 2020, 4:46 AM edit delete reply
"Believe nothing you hear...including what you just heard"
Looks like it's finger sandwiches for Feelie...maybe cucumber and watercress...or Vegemite...with a nice cuppa.
Sheela 31st Aug 2020, 5:57 PM edit delete reply

Aw man, finger sandwiches are good .. you just have to be careful what fingers you use in them.
Oldarmourer 31st Aug 2020, 8:12 PM edit delete reply
or whose...ladyfingers, perhaps ? hmm they make bearclaws wonder if puppy paws are on the menu too...
megados 26th Aug 2020, 5:12 AM edit delete reply

It seems that they already surmised they had been lied to. It makes one wonder how many of them actually know. That surely must be somewhat of a relief to Ophelia, though.

There's more; Maxus said ask questions, not interrogation. ;)

Nice handling of Ophelia's dialog here, @Tokyo Rose! Good realistic rendition of someone trying, with limited success, to hold their tongue! (fargin' from Johnny Dangerously?) :D
Oldarmourer 26th Aug 2020, 7:19 AM edit delete reply
Been's very stop yourself from saying what you're thinking...
Especially when dealing with weapons grade stupid, which Feelie, thankfully is not.
Looks like our Cassian might, just might be off the hook...for now
She just needs to maintain decorum and keep the heat off herself...something easier said than done for her ;)

"Sir ? would you be offended if I asked you to smarten the fuck up ?"
"Yes, I believe I would!"
"Hang on a minute then, I gotta think of something else"
Luckily the situation resolved itself safely with much laughter and a "that was your only chance to do that"
Oldarmourer 26th Aug 2020, 7:22 AM edit delete reply
Ref: hover text...
Doesn't everyone lie to their calender ? that's what they're there 'to do' list is generally pure fiction
knuut 26th Aug 2020, 9:06 AM edit delete reply
Also, in most cases, unread fiction.
Just_IDD 26th Aug 2020, 4:42 PM edit delete reply
I know mine is unread fiction. I have legitimate thing scheduled on my calendar that people ignore to set up meetings.
robnot 26th Aug 2020, 9:42 AM edit delete reply
O.M.Godess. .. you mean to tell me the two techs in the wastes , know more bout Feelies brain actions (thought process) than any in Roma....
hire em quick.! top pay an a decent lab.!!
Gilrandir 26th Aug 2020, 10:20 AM edit delete reply
“HAL 9000 synthbrains use holographic memory, so chronological analysis will not work.”

Of course, they could always just invite Dr. Silver back to Nova Roma and put her in charge of Cassian debriefings. Until someone decides to shoot her in the head for ... reasons.

One does wonder how the illusion of Cassian memory download was preserved in the face of one incontrovertible fact: it is orders of magnitude more efficient to have the involved party fill out a basic after-action report first, then use questions to fill in blanks, resolve ambiguities, and address details of particular significance than to execute every debriefing ‘cold’.
Oldarmourer 26th Aug 2020, 10:25 AM edit delete reply

This page and particularly the last panel where you almost see the wheels turning in Feelie's head has me thinking
This is generally considered to be 'a bad thing' :)

Maxus is most assuredly not stupid, he thinks two steps ahead of everyone else and has laid out a few premises...
Premises which may be true but which may have left out a few details, or not...he is a chessmaster after all, unlike douchy
He states that Roma can't scan a synthbrain, probably true, but I'd be very surprised if there weren't other information sources

I'd think it quite likely that there was an onboard hard storage system, probably in more than one location for redundancy
That system would, if I were designing it, store at minimum the last half hour of audio, visual, and mechanical functions
I'd have it pick raw data feeds straight from the sensors, before it even hit the synthbrain
A 'black box' if you would, even cars have those today and I can't see an Android frame not having that ability

I've found that most times when a superior asks you a question they either already have the answer and want to hear yours
Or they want to watch how you answer it and see if you're being upfront or trying to minimize your involvement.

From what we've seen so far, Feelie is impulsive, headstrong, doesn't think far in advance or consider consequences
But, she doesn't seem to have a deceitful chip in her body, she's told the truth at every turn, even when it didn't help her.
Was that just because she assumed she would always be caught in a lie ? Will this new information make a difference ?

One little admission on Maxus' part changes the entire realm of possibilities in so many ways...
Evil, I say EVIL Creatrixes !!
You're making my head hurt but at least it's taking my mind off my arthritis...
Gilrandir 26th Aug 2020, 10:54 AM edit delete reply
@Oldarmourer ... what’s a pain like you doing in a joint like this? ^_^
Oldarmourer 26th Aug 2020, 1:19 PM edit delete reply
Overstaying my welcome, just like the's what I do ;)
megados 26th Aug 2020, 11:46 AM edit delete reply

" I'd think it quite likely that there was an onboard hard storage system, probably in more than one location for redundancy
That system would, if I were designing it, store at minimum the last half hour of audio, visual, and mechanical functions
I'd have it pick raw data feeds straight from the sensors, before it even hit the synthbrain
A 'black box' if you would, even cars have those today and I can't see an Android frame not having that ability"

Apparently, you'd have been a better engineer than they have. :)

"I've found that most times when a superior asks you a question they either already have the answer and want to hear yours
Or they want to watch how you answer it and see if you're being upfront or trying to minimize your involvement"

Honestly, that has not often been my experience. The most common reason has been that they don't understand the problem or solution well enough, and wanted to sound intelligent to their superiors. Involving superiors who did fully comprehend, the other, second most common reason, was to help in honest collaboration on a solution.
Oldarmourer 26th Aug 2020, 12:45 PM edit delete reply
You are correct, but for the Department I worked in, it was also incumbent on senior management to lay blame directly on the lowest level possible by any means possible and to protect any higher level at all costs...this isn't supposition, many managers admitted it, some in writing, which explains why my department has the highest grievance rate of any federal dept, and the highest successful rate. I myself won a substantial settlement when it was proven that a senior manager was not only deliberately misinterpreting policy, he was making his own, and lying about it...and while it did make my retirement a little easier, nothing directly happened to him because he 'took one for the team'.
Played the game for almost 45 years, went out on a 'win', doesn't make me feel any better about it.
Centcomm 27th Aug 2020, 11:37 AM edit delete reply

Isn't that what we are supposed to do
Oldarmourer 27th Aug 2020, 12:55 PM edit delete reply
and you never disappoint us...shock, astound and amaze ? yes, disappoint ? no.
Sheela 31st Aug 2020, 6:03 PM edit delete reply

It would make sense if all Cassians had something like modern police have, y'know .. body cams and such.
But a camera does not interpret a situation, which a human, or android, can do.
What I think Maxus wants here, is her Opinion and her Loyalty !
Both of which can be massively helpful for a commander.
Lurker314 26th Aug 2020, 12:15 PM edit delete reply
I just noticed. Regarding the video screen in the third panel, I have two words: "Ready! .... Fire!"
mjkj 26th Aug 2020, 12:50 PM edit delete reply

Wow, that explains the query for the report =P

@alt text: yeah, that would be expected... =P
KarToon12 26th Aug 2020, 2:47 PM edit delete reply

So the Prince lied to everyone. What else is new?
Oldarmourer 30th Aug 2020, 10:20 AM edit delete reply

I'm just wondering if that admission's given Feelie carte blanche to try and lie about what happened...
Especially now that she knows there's no real way to prove her wrong since none of her squad can contradict her
It's been said that "Two people can keep a secret...provided one of them is dead" ;)
I don't think she's truly deceitful but fear of consequences do give a certain urgency...
And she's well aware of what the consequences of failure were...up until now
Those consequences are ingrained by now so I'm doubtful she'd think otherwise quite yet
megados 30th Aug 2020, 5:57 PM edit delete reply

In and of itself, it might make it easier to lie, but it shouldn't be taken as freedom to lie. Feelie doesn't strike me as a prevaricative sort. In a situation like this, she might be reluctant, but I think she'd come clean.
Oldarmourer 31st Aug 2020, 11:54 AM edit delete reply
We're only seven pages into this arc so maybe we'll get to find out before the camera switches away... maybe
Sheela 31st Aug 2020, 6:11 PM edit delete reply

Lets not forget, that she is a Cassian, and all Cassian androids have probably been created with strong loyalty settings in their base seed - I think it's fair to say, that truth and protecting Nova Roma runs deep in all Cassians, including Feelie ... it runs all the way to the synthetic bone, I bet !

And right now, she has a commander that is NOT lying to her, AND is treating her as the expert that you would consider her to be.

I have seen soldiers drag themselves across a bloody battleground for less than that. Yes, she could lie, but it would put Maxus in a weaker position, which could eventually hurt all of Nova Roma itself.

Would she do that?
I doubt that.
Oldarmourer 26th Aug 2020, 3:05 PM edit delete reply
I don't know if it's in the eyes or the way she's holding her mouth but particularly in panels 2&4, Feelie has that 'look'
The slackjawed one someone gives you just before they start licking the nearest window...
Maybe her transfer didn't go perfectly after all ?
or...her synthbrain might have 'developed on it's own and couldn't be adjusted directly' ;)
From all we've seen, she does have her good points and she's probably a barrel of fun at parties...
but sometimes it does look like 'she ain't the brightest bulb on the tree'
If the art is meant to convey that, it's working...if not, it's still working :)
Sheela 31st Aug 2020, 6:12 PM edit delete reply

Maybe future windows taste better than the ones we have now ?

... banana flavored windows ! 😄
Morituri 26th Aug 2020, 3:42 PM edit delete reply
For the first frame or two, I was thinking Max might be laying out new policy intended to treat the Cassians more as people.

"Yes, Douchimus did that because he had no respect for you, and I intend to avoid doing that because as part of the changes around here I'd like to treat you like honest soldiers."

But, honestly, this angle he took:

"Yes, Douchimus' stunning stupidity left him so fixated on the importance of lying in order to assert his dominance that he failed to gather needed battlefield intel. I do not have time for such idiocy, so make your report."

In terms of notifying people of a little bit of respect that's been due them for a long time, that goes nearly as far.
Lurker314 26th Aug 2020, 10:07 PM edit delete reply
I think you are missing the broader political climate. Max is a placeholder for a few years until the princess reaches majority. He does no good for NR, the princess, or himself if he attempts any substantial changes. Certainly, he is under no obligation to be a _replacement_ for PD. But NR culture is something he won't go near.

Don't forget, under most legal systems, slaves are not persons. NR has human slaves. Don't expect non-humans to be treated better.
Oldarmourer 27th Aug 2020, 10:25 AM edit delete reply
Maxus is Regent for Acantha and thus has pretty much the same authority as the Imperator or Imperiatrix

If, however, he wants to keep favour with Acantha when she comes of age, he likely won't be doing too many things she doesn't either already approve of or that he thinks she would agree to given a valid explanation and will most probably do what she asks him to unless it's something extremely unwise and she can be shown that

Acantha does recognize that there are slaves in Roma and changing that isn't necessarily something she might want or indeed be able to do immediately

She seems comfortable with the concept having been brought up in it and may not see any need to change it

However, she does seem to want to treat them fairly and well and might crack down on any obvious abuses

This isn't today or even here, it's thousands of years from now ( perhaps even in a parallel universe ? )

What we know, or think we know, about our society doesn't really apply in this world and doesn't need to be compared to it
megados 27th Aug 2020, 11:31 AM edit delete reply

One thing to mention, is that the Senate has something to say about any changes that Maxus, or Acantha might want to make. Decimus seemed to be able to disregard that aspect, because Senators who opposed him might have an "accident" afterward. I would think that Acantha, at least, might want to act for the benefit of slavery, but there also exists, within the Senate, factions that were loyal to Decimus. I don't think Acantha or Maxus wants to do what Decimus did about opposition. Sooo, that makes for a long process, even if they were to start right away.
Oldarmourer 27th Aug 2020, 12:54 PM edit delete reply
Accidents still happen. We've only seen a little bit of Acantha, mostly on the defensive.
Lynn may or may not have been a convenient 'useful friend to have' or she might have turned into a real one.
Acantha doesn't have the same 'crazy gene' that douchy had but her ancestor was crazy enough to attack an AIS
She could end up wearing the dominatrix ensemble Lynn modelled before 'dinner and a shooting'
This story can make a complete turn in less than it's own length, believe nothing you see and only half of what you hear
These two are evil I tell you... e-v-i-l !!! with a capital EVIL !!
Morituri 27th Aug 2020, 9:57 PM edit delete reply
It is my opinion that even people who are fine with owning slaves ought to be able to understand that they deserve respect for their service. Too much to expect, I know, but not too much to hope for.

It is my further opinion that an officer exercises a very similar degree of power over the troops in his or her command, and a good officer knows that the troops deserve respect for their service. You command them as you must; they do as they must; and if you don't appreciate what that costs them I don't think you can be a good officer.

So, I see Max and the Cassians in a situation not too unlike Max and any other elite squad. And, like any other elite squad, he's not going to release them from service, but I do expect him to show them some measure of respect.

I mean, we know already he's not a complete dick. Troops under his command are actually loyal to him and respect him. They don't all necessarily like him, but they do trust him to be fair within the bounds of military necessity, and not spend their lives foolishly.
Sheela 31st Aug 2020, 6:19 PM edit delete reply

I think Maxus wants their Loyalty from their own will, not from threats.

Also, he is in a position, where I think that if he really *wanted* to be the imperator, he could probably find a way to become one, even without killing Acantha. He does have a lot of political influence.

However, if Maxus is anything like I think he is, he would probably want to be a childrens show clown, rather than be the imperator, with all the duties and work that entails - I bet he has no interest in that.

Frankly, I think he can't wait for Acantha to grow up so he can retire from that position!

But, at the same time, he probably also wants the change of power from him to Acantha to be as smooth as possible, if nothing else to avoid there to be extra work for himself when the time comes.
But more importantly, because it will be better for Nova Roma.
StLOrca 26th Aug 2020, 8:11 PM edit delete reply

Ophelia cracks me up. God, I love her.
Rashala 26th Aug 2020, 11:08 PM edit delete reply

Ophelia....and teedee I could see these two as drinking buddies easily.
Oldarmourer 27th Aug 2020, 6:45 AM edit delete reply
Up until the point where Feelie found a free roaming Gladiator... ;)

And speaking of TeeDee naturally brings up weapons, which prompts me to ponder...
What is Feelie's close-in weapon of choice ?
We've seen most Cassians use a melee weapon that doesn't need ammunition.
Noctis' power sword and razor-nails..apparently Android skin doesn't get an itch ?
Malati's wrist spikes
Nox's double bladed sword-staff
Hrist's oversized Japanese blade although I still see her as a Valkyrie, so a spear would suit her more in that regard ;)
Tennyo's polearm
Samanta's sonic blast vox
What would Feelie's be ? a great big "THIS is a knife !!" tucked in her boot ? a razor edged boomerang ?
She never got to go hand to hand with the Goldiebot and I don't see anything obvious at the moment.
Elegant weapons for elegant ladies...then there's Feelie in a perpetual barfight..maybe a broken beer bottle ?
Oldarmourer 27th Aug 2020, 6:48 AM edit delete reply
I do see her wearing a superfluous belt with that jumpsuit...maybe it's concealing a Ferengi force whip ?
Now that would be interesting...and suit her Aussie character as well ;)
A web belt with a sharpened buckle was the weapon of choice for many a soldier out on the town in years gone by
robnot 29th Aug 2020, 8:13 AM edit delete reply
as per Feelies character sheet.. she prefers standoff fights (assault weapons) BUT. if she has to goe melee ,, she is a brawler.. so hand to hand, or whatever.! so yeah,, the broken beer bottle..
just a side note,, on Mr, Rapeface.. she went easy,, she did not want to "hurt" (permanently) she just wanted a example..
Sheela 31st Aug 2020, 6:49 PM edit delete reply

Seeing as she prefer guns, any melee weapon would have to be small and light weight so she can carry more ammo for her primary weapon.

Now, if she has her rifle and ammo on a strap that can be removed with a snap-buckle, she could drop her weight down and focus on speed in Melee - In which case ...

A pair of DurAlloy Knuckle Dusters would fit the bill just nicely. 😁
Oldarmourer 31st Aug 2020, 8:24 PM edit delete reply
and what could be better suited for her than these ?
quiet and concealable for those intimate moments when you want to leave a lasting impression ;)
robnot 1st Sep 2020, 10:17 AM edit delete reply
i just have a tiny issue with a BLADE,, in my palm every time i punch....
tho,, movie quote. "Can't beat a classic.!"
Oldarmourer 1st Sep 2020, 10:23 AM edit delete reply
I stumbled across the picture first and thought it was a fitting memento to her ill-fated'Scorpion Squad' :)
This is only the sales brochure from the outfitter, I'd think the actual item would be more rounded in the palm bar open handed slap with a sharp blade has it's own qualities...
Maybe she wears gloves with it or her Android skin is much tougher than a human's ?
Oldarmourer 1st Sep 2020, 10:19 AM edit delete reply
Painstakingly crafted of a tritanium carbide scorpion figure, harder than diamond yet tougher than steel, molecularly bonded to an Iridium-Ferrite palm bar and finger rings for maximum heft and punching power, She could easily carry two in pockets inside her belt for those 'social encounters' where quiet is needed or just for 'bustin' some fooker's shithole' :)
Gilrandir 27th Aug 2020, 8:19 AM edit delete reply
I must make a clean breast of it and confess my ineptitude: I am a Patreon supporter and I am not finding this new story. Please help.
robnot 27th Aug 2020, 8:50 AM edit delete reply
notified Terri,, she is checking , as i type this...
robnot 27th Aug 2020, 9:03 AM edit delete reply
she sed ,,"check now."
Centcomm 27th Aug 2020, 9:03 AM edit delete reply

It should show up now..
Oldarmourer 27th Aug 2020, 9:18 AM edit delete reply
looks nice Cent, well worth the price of admission..hint-hint ;)
Just don't over stress your hand, unless it's ready for that level of work, then stress away !!
Gilrandir 27th Aug 2020, 8:41 PM edit delete reply
Thank you, @CentComm. Very nice.
Oldarmourer 27th Aug 2020, 9:11 AM edit delete reply
I just assumed it was Patreon being Patreon and was going to check later after it decided to play nice.
Oldarmourer 27th Aug 2020, 3:39 PM edit delete reply
I always feel guilty about mentioning another comic here, but we have the whole rest of the week to get through and even with the new Patreon comic (sign up now) the entertainment bug still needs to be fed ;)
Besides the artist seems friendly and might cough up some fanart if asked nicely the next time it's needed.
I kind of like this one, the heroine would get along well with TeeDee...
She likes guns fights and creative cursing almost as much ;)
Oldarmourer 27th Aug 2020, 3:58 PM edit delete reply
He rebooted his series too, seems to be a lot of that going around ;)
I don't think really it needed it but the dialogue gets quite a few extra lines and they're pretty good...
To start at the new version without spoiling yourself since it hasn't caught up to the old version yet, start here:
robnot 28th Aug 2020, 8:12 AM edit delete reply
sigh,,, another comic to the List..
jawbone 27th Aug 2020, 9:14 PM edit delete reply

Curses of the Timelords be upon you for what you've done! You made me subscribe, and I et the whole thing in one sitting!
Oldarmourer 28th Aug 2020, 5:40 AM edit delete reply
Only the finest for DC readers ;)
robnot 28th Aug 2020, 8:18 AM edit delete reply
wont let me comment on "Jane"..?
Oldarmourer 28th Aug 2020, 11:29 AM edit delete reply
I saw yours there, sometimes you have to reload the page
Oldarmourer 28th Aug 2020, 1:45 PM edit delete reply
I found it from the artist's comments on this one
it's worth a look too
jawbone 28th Aug 2020, 1:50 PM edit delete reply

Mindfold and Tusk are both worth the effort.
Oldarmourer 28th Aug 2020, 3:36 PM edit delete reply
Found them quite awhile ago, it wasn't until a couple of years ago that I found out you didn't need to make an account to's all gone downhill since then...for you people, I'm having fun :)
DLKmusic 28th Aug 2020, 10:34 PM edit delete reply

Love the page, but I have nothing productive or witty to add...

Right now I'm just typing to hear myself talk.
Centcomm 29th Aug 2020, 9:54 AM edit delete reply

and thats ok too!
Oldarmourer 29th Aug 2020, 10:53 AM edit delete reply
That's my shtick, get your own ;)
DLKmusic 29th Aug 2020, 11:33 AM edit delete reply

well, I suppose I could go back to "Old Man" jokes...

I'm NOT getting old and I'll argue the point after my nap.

They say there are 3 things you lose as you get older. The first is your memory, but I forgot the other two

I bought a book on how to improve my memory, but I can't for the life of me remember where I put it.

At my age you realize that you can only go around once in life... sometimes twice with a little Viagra...

(I got a lot of these, you have been warned)
Oldarmourer 29th Aug 2020, 1:10 PM edit delete reply

It's been said that as you get older you begin to lose your senses...
The first one I lost was my sense of decency, I hope to lose my sense of humour last...
There's little point to anything after that

As for viagra...that's mostly to stop you from rolling out of bed at night...
Ebonbolt 29th Aug 2020, 1:09 PM edit delete reply

Decimus obviously lied to himself constantly.
Oldarmourer 29th Aug 2020, 1:11 PM edit delete reply

For practice if nothing else, not really much of an exercise though, he was pretty easy to fool...
Oldarmourer 30th Aug 2020, 6:39 AM edit delete reply
It's still a long way to Wednesday...
I don't know why but I laugh out loud at this one every time I read it, there's something about the writing
Sheela 31st Aug 2020, 7:09 PM edit delete reply

Aw man, I totally forgot about Elven !
I love that comic. 😁

This one is my favorite !
Oldarmourer 31st Aug 2020, 8:25 PM edit delete reply
My favourite is always 'next week's' same as here :)
Oldarmourer 31st Aug 2020, 5:24 PM edit delete reply
Another month over at TopWeb and DC came within 50 votes of 5th place well done
After the digit counters roll over tomorrow, let's aim for higher than that, vote early and vote often.
megados 31st Aug 2020, 7:57 PM edit delete reply

As of this posting, this timestamp, the counters have already reset, and DC is indeed in 5th.
Oldarmourer 31st Aug 2020, 8:18 PM edit delete reply
Getting above 6th is going to be pretty difficult, the top 4 is pretty much set in stone
Unless someone shows up with an extra 25,000 votes out of nowhere...again
But it can be done...we were only short 40-odd last month
Give 'em Hell !!
jawbone 1st Sep 2020, 11:29 AM edit delete reply

Twice a day[0], need it or not ...
[0] I need a few more sock puppets for that.
Oldarmourer 1st Sep 2020, 5:17 PM edit delete reply

I went to vote just after the 'new day' started and about half of my 'favourite' list had dropped back to 0
A lot of others were at 1 and I know they were above that last night
DC seems to have shed a substantial number of votes but the others did too so it balances...I suppose
Just proves again, never vote the evening of a new month, always wait until the actual 1st before voting
It's said to "Never attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity, but..."

In case the staff hadn't noticed, there's this new section on Top Web now, probably should get added there too ;)

I don't know if it means you have to put up a new vote incentive each month but anything to get votes ;)

Latest News: Have you notice the new active list button? This list is a new feature designed to help webcomics reach new readers. We realized that a lot of our top comics are able to stay in the top 50 without updating their incentives very often due to their high number of followers. Therefore, in an attempt to level the playing field, we’ve create THE ACTIVE LIST! This new list is a participation list so creators must choose to be part of this new listing.

Active List

Any webcomic on Topwebcomics is able to join the active list. As a creator, all you have to do is click on MANAGE WEBCOMIC in the user menu.

On the far right of your series, you will notice a red circle where it says Active List. All you have to do is click on this circle to activate it. The circle will turn green with a check mark to certify your participation.

In order to stay true to the premise of an active list, you will have to reset your participation every month.

Hope it helps and we’re looking forward to seeing who will reach the top of this new list!
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