Comic 1670 - Incredulity

23rd Sep 2020, 12:00 AM
Average Rating: 4.88 (17 votes)

Author Notes:

Centcomm 23rd Sep 2020, 3:46 AM edit delete
if anyone wants to throw some coins my way i could use the help :D smiles at everyone!
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Lurker314 23rd Sep 2020, 12:08 AM edit delete reply
Hey, she's pretty quick! Even figured out to drop the cussing!

Actually, she's been so far out of the loop that it looked like a dot to her. Not surprising that this is hard to believe.
mjkj 23rd Sep 2020, 1:10 AM edit delete reply

Well, dear Ophie is quite stunned there with the sudden change of policy... 😛
Ryu Santos 23rd Sep 2020, 1:33 AM edit delete reply

Stunned, more like flabbergasted.
sigpig 23rd Sep 2020, 12:19 PM edit delete reply

It gave her a bamboozle...
HiFranc 23rd Sep 2020, 1:34 AM edit delete reply

I take it that she’s been given an update about what happened to the city. I wonder how detailed it was?

I am beginning to wonder if there is a secondary mission of being a way for Acantha to process recent events by telling her story to someone who doesn’t know much about it. That has the benefit of briefing Ophelia about why the policy changed.
megados 23rd Sep 2020, 4:52 AM edit delete reply

Ophelia is having a hard time accepting good news. Like the Alt text says, it's been shitty there for so long, she might not remember a time when it wasn't so.

Maxus must hold her in some manner of fairly high regard to be sending her to NT in the first place, so it makes sense that he's being thorough in assessing her present stability.
Oldarmourer 23rd Sep 2020, 6:15 AM edit delete reply
I'm sort of thinking that Feelie's biggest problem is in saying out loud what others think to themselves...
I've been guilty of that before ;)
Someone has to say it and not looking for, wanting, or needing any more promotions than you have helps a lot.
oldastronomer 23rd Sep 2020, 8:53 AM edit delete reply
It could also be that Maxus is juggling assets, loyal assets, of which there may not be many. We have had hints that not all in Nova Roma appreciate Acantha's accession to the throne. He has to keep friends close, enemies closer, and send utterly loyal persons far out to keep things going. Not an enviable position.
megados 23rd Sep 2020, 11:42 AM edit delete reply

Indeed, Maxus is juggling assets while keeping relative loyalty in mind, to be sure. The Cassians, by design, are loyal to the Throne, (not Decimus, for instance) meaning loyalty to the well-being of Nova Roma. Noctis, being princeps, can count on the loyalty of the Sisterhood, and Tennyo, by extension, as acting princeps has as well. Noctis is loyal to Nova Roma, and by extension, to Maxus, who is working for the greater good of NR. Maxus' Red Armor forces are loyal to him, for the most part, or they wouldn't be part of his forces. In the Senate, I would guess, would be where disloyalty or rather Decimus loyalists, might be found. At this point, Maxus probably has a fair knowledge as to whom he might trust. Just my own guesses!
robnot 24th Sep 2020, 10:21 AM edit delete reply
why.? why can it not be.? the right tool for the right job.!?
all the Cassians were made with a purpose.. an why as too Feelie not fitting in, she is the "squad leader." not a stand alone Assassin..
i bet IF, Noctis sent Feelie an 3 Cassians to do the same job.. out come would have been way different.!!
robnot 24th Sep 2020, 10:25 AM edit delete reply
squad leader = shocktrooper spearhead.
megados 24th Sep 2020, 10:36 AM edit delete reply

I wasn't implying that people weren't being selected according to skills. I was mostly trying to speak toward loyalties.
sigpig 23rd Sep 2020, 12:25 PM edit delete reply

A one-on-one debriefing, especially in a relaxed atmosphere, can be much more beneficial than a "by the books" one.
This way, Maxus can assess Feelie's feelings, her gut instincts, the reasons for her actions/reactions, etc.
Also, Ophelia's pondering a defection?
Sheela 23rd Sep 2020, 4:10 PM edit delete reply

I doubt she is.
More likely that she's probing Maxus to see how he reacts to such openly rebellious thoughts. Even if they are not really her thoughts.
sigpig 24th Sep 2020, 11:01 AM edit delete reply

On the contrary, I think Feelie got a taste of how androids are treated outside of Nova Roma. Even in the Wastes, they are treated more like people than "at home". I am sure that she knows that androids are full-on CITIZENS in New Troy.
With the way that the Cassians have been treated by the Reigning family, is it any wonder that she might wish to "stay" in New Troy? I'm sure Maxus/Acantha/Noctis will be evaluating her on this current assignment. She could be in for a surprise - how about Permanent Ambassadorial Aide or Ambassador Plenipotentiary to Nova Illium?
Marcus oterra 23rd Sep 2020, 1:02 PM edit delete reply
is it just me or does look like her pupils are dilating in response to the idea of being honest and forthright in negotiations it could just be her optics expanding to search his face for any signs of wrongdoing or deception
Sheela 23rd Sep 2020, 4:11 PM edit delete reply

Well, it *is* pretty weird !
KarToon12 23rd Sep 2020, 5:54 PM edit delete reply

Yes, this time, we're going to rule with honesty and kindness.
Oldarmourer 25th Sep 2020, 6:33 AM edit delete reply
Until we don't...
No matter how good your original intentions, someone else has different plans...
Gilrandir 23rd Sep 2020, 11:08 PM edit delete reply
I suspect Ophelia is high on Maxus' List of "Cassians Needing Rehabilitation, But Not Yet Lost Causes", and this is his way of giving her a change of scenery and a sympathetic ear whose judgement he trusts (Noctis). Maxus is probably working hard to shore up the most critical supports of the Throne as quickly as possible and the endemic and systemic damage done to the Cassians, individually and as a group, by Decimus is no doubt giving him more and more concern the more he learns about it by interacting with them.
megados 24th Sep 2020, 6:46 AM edit delete reply

I was under the (perhaps mistaken) impression that the DC androids, and the Cassians in particular are markedly more resilient than their human counterparts in that regard. The likelihood of PTSD-like symptoms would be substantially lower?
Gilrandir 24th Sep 2020, 7:36 AM edit delete reply
Just because “Metal is always better than Meat”, in every way?

It is possible, I suppose. “Being Human is more than what you are made of.” I presumed that, in general ... on a psychological playing field ... strengths and weaknesses are roughly equivalent. Having a built-in inhibitor to serve as an impartial, on-board ‘moral compass’ might give Cassians an advantage. After all, the less Free Will you have, the fewer moral dilemmas you confront. But that doesn’t seem to me to be the approach the storytellers are taking.
megados 24th Sep 2020, 10:03 AM edit delete reply

No, I didn't meant to give an impression of "metal is better than meat". My speculation comes from the overall difference in how androids experience emotion, and their seeming ability to decide to what extent.
sigpig 24th Sep 2020, 11:03 AM edit delete reply

As seen in the "Mockingbird" story arc, we see that Androids do indeed suffer PTSD.
megados 24th Sep 2020, 12:12 PM edit delete reply

Quite so! I didn't say it was impossible, just that it might be less likely.
Oldarmourer 29th Sep 2020, 7:19 AM edit delete reply
Not to mention TeeDee's newly aquired pyrophobia...
DLKmusic 25th Sep 2020, 9:11 PM edit delete reply

I kind of like where you're going with this, Gilrandir, but I don't think "Rehabilitation" would be the right word. What Ophelia needs is self discipline, and this is a perfect opportunity for her to get some.

She knows how important this is, she knows her own shortcomings, and she knows she will need to learn to adapt, quickly!

On the plus side, Ophelia is a lot more socialized than most Cassians, so that alone makes her a viable candidate for this. if she can just learn to reign it in...
Gilrandir 26th Sep 2020, 12:08 AM edit delete reply
I suspect Ophelia has plenty of self-discipline ... and no motivation to exert it. I believe the adage is “There are no bad soldiers, only bad officers.” I further suspect a lot of the Cassians developed personal ‘tics’ and idiosyncracies while being wielded by Decimus ... all of them reducing their independent judgement and capability in the field in different ways, and to different degrees. Depending on the individual, of course.

Maxus, not being a dummy, will see this right away, and divide them up into those that are still combat-effective, those that need retraining or rehabilitation, and those too far gone to be relied upon without major work. There’s nothing that says useful, meaningful duty can’t have a salutary effect on a soldier who has been starved for same.

(Disclaimer: I am not, and have never been any kind of soldier. My respect and gratitude go out to those who have served. The above are only my opinions, except for the part belonging to Napoleon.)
DLKmusic 26th Sep 2020, 12:23 PM edit delete reply

You may be right, but my opinion (certified as correct by half of the voices in my head, with the other half dissenting) is that I fail to see the difference between not having self-discipline and refusing to practice the self-discipline you do have.

Don't get me wrong, I really am a member of the Ophelia fan club, and I'm actually pretty glad that Oldarmourer's predictions about this talk failed to come through, because he was right.... she COULD be in some serious sewage right now, and she's isn't... based largely on your point about Maxus.

Similar disclaimer: I also am not and never have been a soldier, but my hat goes off in respect for those who have!

btw, one of those voices in my head is saying "Burn them, burn them all", but I think we can safely ignore it's opinion! (grin)
Gilrandir 26th Sep 2020, 5:32 PM edit delete reply
The difference between riding a bicycle and learning to ride a bicycle, of course. ^_^
Oldarmourer 27th Sep 2020, 4:50 AM edit delete reply
and I was kind of looking forward to her trip to the gladiator barracks in the Pauline body too :(
DLKmusic 27th Sep 2020, 6:47 AM edit delete reply

@oldarmourer: ROFL
Oldarmourer 28th Sep 2020, 4:41 PM edit delete reply

from the looks of it, she was too...she suggested it as 'punishment' ;)
Oldarmourer 29th Sep 2020, 12:22 PM edit delete reply
We have to remember that Maxus was a gladiator and was appointed straight to the post of Chief of Staff for all the Nova Roman military...or what passes for a military there.
Gladiators and soldiers are a slightly different thing, it may be 'kill or be killed' for both but gladiators don't have to coordinate with air support, conflicting commands or the supply chain.
It speaks well of Maxus that he's taking a better approach than many directly appointed 'leaders', especially given the competing factions within the forces, but being a General without ever having been a Lt or even a Pte, means a lot steeper lerarning curve (and some do make it all they way to the top, the CDS when I joined in the 70's started as a Pte in WW2). Plus he had to work around douchy to get things done so maybe there's a different approach that's actually working...
That and, as mentioned on the cast page, his being able to tear the arms off of an insubordinate does help... ;)
Oldarmourer 29th Sep 2020, 7:23 AM edit delete reply
"there are no bad soldiers, only bad officers"...
I'd disagree slightly with that only because I've known bad soldiers, it happens.
Most times they can be retrained and salvaged but occasionally the effect on others is so bad that they have to be removed
Officers do have more responsibility and are held to a different standard since they're responsible for so many others
One thing to remember is that Feelie is apparently an Officer...probably the equivalent of a contemporary Lt
Gilrandir 29th Sep 2020, 8:39 AM edit delete reply
That quote is attributed to Napoleon, so there’s not much I can do about it. I have to figure he knew more about soldiering than I do. ^_^

Also, it is a bit of a ‘cheat’ because you can always argue that, with a genuine ‘bad apple’ in the ranks, responsibility still lies with the officer for not cashiering the cancer before the damage done becomes too severe. Hence no ‘bad soldiers’ without ‘bad officers’. But see my earlier disclaimer: I have never been a soldier, much less an officer, so all my thoughts and opinions are deeply suspect.
Oldarmourer 29th Sep 2020, 12:33 PM edit delete reply
Napoleon was right about a great many things but he still lost in the end ;)
Many of the quotes atributed to him such as "an army travels on it's stomach" were spot-on.
It's said that Lt's handle tactics, LCol's handle strategy and LGen's handle logistics.
In other food, no fight ! ;) Beans, bullets and benzene; run out of any and you usually lose.
The goal is to turn liabilities into assets and that includes manpower.
By the time someone definitively proves that they're a hazard to themselves and others, a fortune has been invested in them and their training.
We had one such on my crew many years back, he eventually ended up doing 90 days in military prison for stealing personal property from others, when he came back you couldn't have asked for a better man and he eventually earned several promotions.
That's what the system is for, even the civilian penal system is intended to 'turn people around' and 'assist and encourage offenders to be come lawful productive members of society''s up to the individual whether or not that happens or how many times they have to go through before it sinks in, sometimes it just doesn't and unless and until they ended up on a murder bit, we called it 'doing life on the installment plan'.
Gilrandir 29th Sep 2020, 10:36 PM edit delete reply
Your anecdote would seem to be an argument supporting Napoleon’s contention: that soldier appeared ‘bad’, but the action of the officers and the system transformed him into a ‘good’ soldier. Whereas a ‘bad’ officer would have just washed their hands of him and flushed him from the system.

Call it “extra-intensive remedial training”. ^_^
Speedy Marsh 29th Oct 2020, 10:46 AM edit delete reply
I don't think Maxus considers Feelie anything near a lost cause. I think he knows that she needs to recover from the traumatic event she experienced, and that being part of the team that's hunting the new threat could help.

Feelie feels like she failed somehow, but if she's able to help track down the gilded SPAM cans and kick their shiny metal asses, it should do wonders for her self esteem.

I think her "no BS" attitude makes her perfect for this assignment. When Feelie tells the New Troy military types about how she almost got "decommissioned" for flipping off Douchemas, TeeDee will probably wanna shag her on the spot! xD

I hope Feelie and TeeDee get to work together a lot. The similar traumas they experienced and their similar personalities could lead to a great friendship and could help heal their emotional scars.
Gilrandir 29th Oct 2020, 11:00 AM edit delete reply
I completely agree, @SpeedyMarsh. Maxus is too sensible to willingly invest more time and effort in someone he considers a ‘lost cause’. I did not mean to suggest anything of the kind. Rather that Maxus considers Feelie to be soldier now under his command whose effectiveness And utility is presently less than it has been in the past but which can be enhanced by a new set of tasks and responsibilities, rather than returning her to her previous assignment.
megados 29th Oct 2020, 11:48 AM edit delete reply

I think, rather than Maxus' having determind Feelie's capacity to be diminished, he is presently assessing whether that is true. Her previous assignment was mostly a retribution for her attitude. Either way, I agree that this new assignment will help her.
Rashala 24th Sep 2020, 12:09 AM edit delete reply

I forsee this talk being repeated alot in nova roma
Morituri 24th Sep 2020, 10:04 AM edit delete reply
I have the impression that Ophelia is very young. She's talking as though she doesn't remember a time before Decimus. The way Androids are "born" as adults that may be literally true.

If she came online during Decimus' reign, would her inhibitor have her loyal to the throne? Or loyal to Decimus? We can guess which option Decimus would prefer. And with her comment about staying there, she's giving a hint that maybe she's not actually inhibitor-bound to Nova Roma. But Maxus thinks Decimus didn't get his way here. Why?

And if Nova Roma has no capability to make (and read) android brains, then where are they getting brains with built-in inhibitors? Malati's death shows they're real. But Nova Roma's not getting android brains with built-in inhibitors from New Troy. New Troy would regard such a request as obscene.

Besides which, Nova Roma wouldn't trust New Troy for a critical defense asset.

I gather Edo feels the same way about inhibitors as New Troy. If the capability is beyond the reach of a significant nation state like Nova Roma then nobody out there on the wastes is doing it.

That leaves New Sparta, Luna, or some yet-unknown player. And I doubt New Sparta. So who is making them, and no matter who it is, why does Nova Roma trust them?
megados 26th Sep 2020, 6:38 AM edit delete reply

That's the impression I got, that Ophelia hasn't had much experience with a non-Decimus world.

I have a memory of it being said that Kali was the only Cassian who was directly loyal to Decimus. All of the rest are loyal to the Throne, and by extension, whoever is presently seated there. I could be wrong.

That brings up an interesting point: What is the origin of the inhibitors? If NR doesn't produce synth-brains it raises more than one question. Do the synth-brains arrive with inhibitors, or added later? How hard is it to add an inhibitor? Does anyone in NR have whatever tools and skills needed? Do they have a "vendor" specializing in custom mods? Maybe an independent in the wastes?

Another thing comes to mind, in that inhibitors are illegal in NR, so what, (if any) special dispensation is needed for the NR androids to even visit?
sigpig 24th Sep 2020, 11:31 AM edit delete reply

Your writing has been kicked up a notch recently, TR!
I am loving the interplay between Maxus and Ophilia. It reminds me of a similar scene in one of David Weber's books, actually.
FEELIE: "So, are you going to demote me?"
MAXUS: "Oh no, Ophilia; I'm going to do MUCH worse than merely DEMOTING you...
FEELIE "..."
FEELIE: "?!?"

The scene I am referring to is in the book "Flag in Exile", one of the Honor Harrington novels. In it, Honor (by then a Senior Captain in her home system's Navy, but currently on administrative leave) is being offered a position in the Grayson Space Navy (in her "adopted" system). Honor is expecting the command of a ship, but the Protector promotes her to full-Admiral and gives her a FLEET of Super-Dreadnoughts.

Thanks for the smiles, TR!
Guest 29th Sep 2020, 2:31 PM edit delete reply
Archive is too deep to dig this out, but I'm pretty sure that Howard Taylor did this more than once...
(Schlock Mercenary)

*WARNING* Daily strip with NO fillers for just over twenty years. *WARNING*
DLKmusic 24th Sep 2020, 3:47 PM edit delete reply

Great page as always, but I got one minor nit-pic...

The tile in this room is giving me flashbacks to the tiling in my Junior High Bathrooms...

Oldarmourer 28th Sep 2020, 8:33 PM edit delete reply
Makes you wonder how Irene let him get away with choosing them...
Unless of course she made those tiles with her own two hands then the 'choice' part goes out the window ;)
Sandman366 25th Sep 2020, 8:57 AM edit delete reply
Imaging that coming up in conversation between Feelie and anyone NT-based (like Centcomm, or maybe Teedee.)

"You're not here to act covertly in any capacity?"
"I know! I thought that sounded weird too!"
robnot 25th Sep 2020, 10:21 AM edit delete reply
even Noctis might say that...
Gilrandir 26th Sep 2020, 12:38 AM edit delete reply
It is possible I missed it or am not recalling it, but I just realized I am looking forward to the first ‘on-camera‘ meeting between Maxus and Aeneas.
megados 26th Sep 2020, 6:45 AM edit delete reply

I don't think it happened yet, or I missed it too. Really, that would be interesting to be sure, but more broadly, 'live' meetings between Aeneas and anyone besides AIS and meatsicle mucky-mucks in essentially 39th century virtual Zoom meetings.
robnot 26th Sep 2020, 9:38 AM edit delete reply
HAHA.!! they got all the feeds in the throne room.. but missed the ones in Maxus es room...

Oldarmourer 26th Sep 2020, 4:50 PM edit delete reply

Still a half -week to go before we see more of Feelie's 'debriefing', she's done well so far, let's see if there's a 'but' ;)

While we wait, if nobody minds me sharing some comics I think haven't been given the interest they deserve, much like DC...

I kind of enjoy this one for some odd reason, especially the writing although the artwork has a certain appeal ;)
There are two comics here, the first one ran for years and sort of leads into the second one but they're both stand alone
I'm finding the current one to be a lot of fun and has an intriguing take on 'what comes next'

The artist also has a seperate one running Mon-Wed-Fri instead of daily
no idea how he manages it, just pleased he does.
robnot 27th Sep 2020, 10:39 AM edit delete reply
do i know you.? we/you seam to follow the same comics.. i mean i see you about all the comics i follow...
have read both,, but follow "6gunmage."
Oldarmourer 28th Sep 2020, 4:40 PM edit delete reply

great minds think alike ? or is it 'fools seldom differ' I always get those mixed up ;)
robnot 28th Sep 2020, 9:44 PM edit delete reply
with us,,, a little of both...
Oldarmourer 29th Sep 2020, 7:29 AM edit delete reply
sooo...'fools think alike' ?
There are a few regulars here that I frequently see in other places
I don't comment on a lot of comics because I'm not making accounts for them or using my facebook account
I read this one for years before I figured out that you don't need to subscribe to comment
That opened a floodgate that probably should have stayed shut...tightly shut.
I like the CF system where you't need to make an account but you can if you want and use a 'burner' e-mail :)
Oldarmourer 29th Sep 2020, 7:31 AM edit delete reply
You do, however, need an account to edit your comments o.O
I hereby officially claim and copyright in perpetuity the word "you't" as an abbreviation for "you don't"
That'll save dozens of keystrokes a year.
Ebonbolt 3rd Oct 2020, 2:07 PM edit delete reply

A somewhat appropriate addendum in similar vein: It is better to be silent & be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.
And I will readily admit that I just (twice, on this page alone) removed all doubt of my deserving of the label fool. Make of that what you will.
Ebonbolt 3rd Oct 2020, 1:57 PM edit delete reply

Further proof (as if it were needed) that Feelie is, indeed, an @$$hole, stage 2. (For those who think this is an unfair label, please recall the proper purpose of that particular portion of the anatomy: regulating & disposing of the crap the rest of the body produces. Stage one is those who haven't learned to properly do the job; they spew crap all over the place, make someone else clean up the mess, need to be diapered, & often end up chapped because they sat in the crap they spewed for too long. Stage two is mature enough to put the crap where it belongs. Stage three is functionally identical to Stage one, because they're worn out and refuse to hold on to the crap anymore.)[/rant]
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