Comic 1698 - Topics for Discussion

19th May 2021, 12:00 AM
Topics for Discussion
Average Rating: 5 (12 votes)
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Lurker314 19th May 2021, 12:27 AM edit delete reply
Okay, this is another level of slime...although I'm not at all certain what kind. Any significant attempt to "reclaim" the Cassian's brains would be a Casus Belli, and any assertion that something along those lines should be considered is a direct insult to Roma. Just what game is 5-1-6 playing?

Marcus's shutdown of that thread, however, looks more like personal ethics than diplomacy. If it were a diplomacy play, he would just ask her straight up why she was trying to create a permanent rift with NR at this juncture.
Some Ed 19th May 2021, 8:51 AM edit delete reply
Not necessarily. If one explicitly discusses a diplomacy play in a diplomatic encounter, that is a different sort of diplomacy play. It leaves open the question of will that diplomacy play be considered viable at a future point in time.

As Marcus is not the sovereign ruler of New Troy, his statement does not bind New Troy to not seeking any sort of compensation for that hardware in the future. However, by making it a personal ethic choice that someone important in the New Troy government takes, he's indicating that New Rome at least has a potential ally if this developed to something more serious. He's claiming to be someone they can trust enough to have a discussion on the topic.

I wouldn't be too surprised if it was a planned ploy. That said, I'm guessing that it wasn't - 5-1-6 is the assistant of a New Troy councilor, specifically a business man with a very extensive business. He probably has at least a partial ownership interest in the hardware in question. As such, 5-1-6 was likely attempting to assert that ownership interest since there was an apparent opportunity to point it out.

I'd like to think that an assistant to a city-state Councillor would know better than to incite war, but if she primarily works as an assistant to a business tycoon, may not think about things in those terms most of the time.
Morituri 19th May 2021, 11:24 AM edit delete reply
From a diplomatic POV I'd say it's more topical that Centcomm said absolutely nothing to indicate that New Troy reserves the right to do that.

She also said nothing to indicate that New Troy does not claim that right in some eventuality or circumstance, but letting Marcus' statement stand is a strong indication, in Diplomat-ese, that the idea of "reclaiming" those brains is a non-starter.

Meanwhile, Acantha is making a note that Nova Roma needs to have some legal argument that the Cassians' brains at least possibly *could* have been sourced legally. From Edo, maybe, or Luna, or from some the inventory of some legally licensed dealer that was liquidated at auction, or .... whatever, that could be presented if New Troy attempts such a thing or asserts such a right.

But for now, as Lurker314 indicated, she probably ought to make clear that Nova Roma takes the position that New Troy has no such right and that Nova Roma would regard it as an act of war.
Lurker314 19th May 2021, 6:49 PM edit delete reply
You misread me on the final point most seriously. For now and the near future, our Princess has 0 formal power. She absolutely should NOT make any formal declarations on by NR at all until she has the formal authority to do so. "When I take the thrown"-class statements are one of the weakest diplomatic ways to go.

"That is an interesting claim. I will personally ensure that Regent Maximums is appraised that you have suggested that a historic base of power of the government of NR is subject to such...frivolous rantings." If, and I do mean IF she is willing to allow this entire discussion to be derailed.

My surmising regarding Marcus' handling the matter at the "diplomatic" level is that I read him to be a man who really hates BS. Of course, him calling out this nonsense as I suggested would be a very undiplomatic thing to do--which is why I suggested it. ;)

The simplest answers (and Occam was NOT dealing with diplomats while he was shaving) are that either she was testing the Princess, or that she was wanting to derail the conversation.

Slime. Ball.
Sheela 20th May 2021, 6:39 PM edit delete reply

It is interesting that neither Centcomm nor Councilman Ward spoke up on the subject, neither to support or stop Mara 5-1-6.

It is entirely possibly that she is meant to be a "soundboard", so her boss can get an idea of what the others think about it. And same with Marcus, but for Centcomm.
Andrew_C 22nd May 2021, 1:24 PM edit delete reply

No formal power, perhaps. But as the heir with the support of the regent, Praetorian Guard, Cassians and Aeneas, a hell of a lot of soft power. Even if all the hard power remains in the hands of the regent
Lurker314 25th May 2021, 10:07 PM edit delete reply
Soft power is by definition the ability to influence outcomes when you lack hard power. All of the sources you mention are power centers which are "friendly" to her. But none owes her anything at this point. The only leverage that she might gain kicks in if Max wants her to use her popularity to get support for some action where the Senate is being...recalcitrant. But Max is way to smart to go there. He is much more of the head of an extended interim government than anything else. For the sake of NR, he wants our Princess to be well and truly loved, (and feared) which means that he keeps her out of anything problematic at all. And after all, he has "that thing" at his side at all times...
mjkj 19th May 2021, 12:28 AM edit delete reply

Wow, killing the Ophie, would she?

I am glad Marcus shot her down immediately...

...yeah, I hope that they can stop the menace of the wastes!

...and I think the ranger can confirm Ophie's account...

...when will we be getting more info about Cyana (the little one) and how she is now?
Guest 19th May 2021, 12:28 AM edit delete reply
Such riveting action!
Gilrandir 19th May 2021, 1:01 AM edit delete reply
I’m not quite sure what Mara’s agenda is here, or why she is ‘taking the lead’ away from Ward when she was introduced as an assistant, not a player in her own right; but, I definitely agree with @Guest that I find this stuff engrossing.

As for ‘poor Marcus’, I suspect he is enough of a warrior to know that ‘War is the continuation of politics by other means’. Especially with Mara stirring the pot.

I do wonder if Mara has considered the logical extension of her arguments. If those brains are stolen property which should be returned to New Troy, even after being ‘occupied’, then aren’t any Nova Roma escaped androids currently living in New Troy similarly ‘stolen property’ that should be returned to the owners in Nova Roma? Given that, I think she might be more receptive to a more ethical and equitable redress of the black market situation.
Evervigilant 19th May 2021, 1:50 AM edit delete reply
I get the feel 5-1-6 is playing "bad cop". I know for some folks they will use any advantage they can in negotiations. It may have been a way for 5-1-6 to justify Cent-Comm just taking the data from the brain scan without permission or pressure to persuade the princess to give permission.
me 19th May 2021, 2:12 AM edit delete reply
If it's about "privacy" than the princess should not be in a position to give that permission.
Gilrandir 19th May 2021, 2:32 AM edit delete reply
It’s possible Mara was trying to put Acantha (Nova Roma) at a disadvantage to ‘force’ Ophelia to give up the surveillance data — but if so, in my opinion she played that card way too quickly, since Ophelia hasn’t even refused yet. It is just going to raise antagonism levels. I do think — Cassians being wired the way they are — Acantha probably could compel Ophelia to give her consent or face the wrath of her inhibitor ... but that would probably also be a violation of the trust between liege and vassal and it doesn’t seem to be in character for Acantha.

That having been said, I don’t think we have seen anything that would give Ophelia any reason to withhold consent. It seems likely to me she will readily volunteer the information if it leads to payback for Cholly and the rest of the Scorpions.
Guest 19th May 2021, 5:55 AM edit delete reply
If they know Ophelia, it is also possible they are actually trying to piss her off and make it so she will refuse to share. I don't trust those two one bit.
Some Ed 19th May 2021, 8:57 AM edit delete reply
I've heard of instances where the assistant of a business tycoon in one meeting is the CEO of multiple of the business tycoon's holdings in their ordinary life. Such assistants tend to be used to taking a more active role than other assistants.

If Mara 5-1-6 is in charge of a company that make brains and have incurred significant business expenses due to thefts of said product, depending on how significant those thefts are, she could potentially feel that loss somewhat more directly.
Morituri 19th May 2021, 11:40 AM edit delete reply
This is somewhat clumsy diplomacy. Mara 516 made a claim that would have soured the negotiations if her boss made it. That's her job, and she probably got instructions from him to do it before the meeting started. It was a "test balloon" to see how the Nova Roma contingent, and, importantly, Centcomm, reacted. Her boss really *wants* that information - and if Centcomm had accepted the gambit, he'd be pressing forward with it.

Instead, Marcus reacted. The Nova Roma contingent and Centcomm both remained silent, which pretty much spoils the plan. Now all they know is that Centcomm neither shut it down nor said anything to indicate it was out of the question - but let Marcus' statement against it stand, which is an indication that she'd shut it down in most circumstances.

I'm just guessing that none of you guys have ever been in a boardroom? And that our dear writer has? This is a pretty normal negotiating gambit. This is *WHY* the principals in these meetings don't come alone.
DLKmusic 19th May 2021, 1:33 PM edit delete reply

@Morituri: Well reasoned, and I agree completely.
I would add that there is no incentive for either Acantha (or Noctis as her secondary) to add to this string since Marcus shut it down effectively. The lose no position, or even have to state one at this time.
MirrorField 19th May 2021, 2:13 AM edit delete reply
"Aquila non captat muscas", Mara. Few stolen black-market android brains are irrelevant in the big scheme of things here and just a distraction.

Also, Acantha is IMHO definitely one person whose permission is required for release of extracted data in question. And while she probably could straight-out order Ophelia to give same permission, that's one heck of a can of worms any sane person would want to keep closed. (Note: Douchimus was not a sane person...)
megados 19th May 2021, 5:02 AM edit delete reply

Either Mara Five-One-Six is trying to make a case for forcing Ophelia to give consent, or to discredit her account. My guess is that she wants to force the release, and probably to shield Ward from having to try it. Either way, she jumped the gun with her attempt and, she was promptly and properly shut down.

It's evident that Ward and Mara are here because the attacks in the wastes are 'bad for business'.
DLKmusic 22nd May 2021, 7:45 AM edit delete reply

Something I didn't understand at the time, but I think is significant. Illyana pushed Dr. Teruhashi pretty hard about that information, and was happy that she didn't succeed.
That information is important, sure, but Cent is up to something, and at least for the nonce, guaranteeing the right to privacy for the Cassians is part of what she's up to.
**Get's more popcorn** Got some Zebra left if you want any.
megados 22nd May 2021, 1:07 PM edit delete reply

The laws in New Troy are such that androids are considered to be people, and have the same rights as biological people. Those rights would also apply to visiting guests and dignitaries. That could explain Cent's being "hands-off". Plausible deniability?

Surely, Illyana gave Cent a full report as to her "interview", and Cent stood quietly back during Mara's ham-fisted attempt. On the surface the point would be moot if Ophelia gives consent to the release. One difference, might be that Ophelia would give consent to the release of only the part dealing with the attack, and Illyana, and Mara's attempts might be to secure the entire scan, secrets and all.

Thanks for the popcorn!
DLKmusic 22nd May 2021, 1:46 PM edit delete reply

I'm not sure, but I think you missed my point though... Illyana was actually glad that she didn't get the information, and that Dr. Taruhashi could be trusted to keep it confidential....

Although, phrasing like that in light of Mara's probe here kinda answers why she was glad now that I think about it...

I still think there's more under this particular cover that we haven't seen yet though... ***Eyes the Creatrix's suspiciously***
megados 22nd May 2021, 2:57 PM edit delete reply

Illyana was glad that the good Doctor would keep confidentiality, but she might be glad for herself, not necessarily for CentComm. If she was given the task, and didn't necessarily agree with it, she might be relieved that she was unsuccessful. I do wonder how this will play out.
megados 23rd May 2021, 5:29 AM edit delete reply

Occam's Razor suggests that another possibility is Cent is quietly testing security, if indeed CentComm is up to something.
DLKmusic 23rd May 2021, 1:34 PM edit delete reply

Testing security is what I was thinking here myself, actually, but I'm also thinking that we will soon find out why there was a need on this particular issue.
megados 23rd May 2021, 3:00 PM edit delete reply

What set me off on my other scenario, was Mara's reaction to being quickly shut down. My impression was that she expected to get somewhere with it. Maybe there's more than one thread here.
Oldarmourer 19th May 2021, 6:44 AM edit delete reply
hmmm this guy and '516' seem to be turning into people we're going to love to hate:)
Huge business interests that benefit from being able to influence the creation of gov't regulations
Already has an 'in' with Luna
Completely detached from othr people's interests or even their lives
Pure politicians, there should be a bounty on them..a small one.
Just_IDD 19th May 2021, 7:09 AM edit delete reply
Bounty IS the quicker picker upper.

I don't know why that joke didn't occur to me before now.
DLKmusic 19th May 2021, 1:35 PM edit delete reply

@just_IDD: where's the like button when you need it?!?
One-eyed Mike 19th May 2021, 12:40 PM edit delete reply
@ Oldarmourer - In fact, Ward and Mara are not real politicians.

Politics is the art of the possible, a really difficult job trying to balance massively conflicting claims to limited resources. In government, whatever you choose will disappoint someone, maybe everyone.

Ward and Mara are actually industry lobbyists. They push their claims on New Troy resources (which may or may not be valid claims).

It is not clear how Ward has got onto the NT council, but it is clear that he represents business, not the average voter.And he is not a politician.
megados 19th May 2021, 12:58 PM edit delete reply

I haven't seen anything that specifically indicates that Ward is a Council member. It was my impression, that he's there as Councillor of or to (an) interested party(s) to the goings-on in the wastes, since there's potential for a significant impact on business dealings there. If he were a New Troy Council member, by extension, one would think Mara would be more aware of the laws and statutes of New Troy, especially those concerning androids specifically.
One-eyed Mike 19th May 2021, 2:30 PM edit delete reply
@Megados - See 1745. He's introduced as a member of the NT Council, and called Councillor.

But, as I say, his self-description of his business background, and his attitude to the situation, do not seem to imply a normal political role.
megados 19th May 2021, 3:06 PM edit delete reply

Yeah I remembered where he was called Councillor, but didn't remember where he introduced himself as being on the Council. My mistake, but it's a disconnect easily made when I see his assistant seems totally unaware of NT laws regarding the personhood of androids.
Oldarmourer 19th May 2021, 3:29 PM edit delete reply
Oh they're politicians alright, at that level 'politics' and 'business' are so intertwined in bringing the practitioners both wealth and power as to be indistinguishable.
I don't mind the billionaires who become politicians nearly so much as I mind the ones who didn't become rich until AFTER they were elected...
As for the word 'politics' the origin is usually considered to come from the Greek 'polys' meaning 'many' grafted to the word 'ticks' meaning 'blood sucking vermin'
One-eyed Mike 20th May 2021, 12:14 PM edit delete reply
I guess you are an American, and used to right-wing politicians who are owned by wealthy donors. Other countries are certainly not perfect, but frown on the US level of right-wing corruption.
megados 20th May 2021, 2:32 PM edit delete reply

Nothing personal or against you, but it's kind of an unwritten rule, that Cent and Rose would rather keep political discussions out of their comments section.
Oldarmourer 20th May 2021, 2:48 PM edit delete reply
That and he's so completely wrong on all counts ;)
Never assume, binky.
Politics may be a touchy sublect on the board, but politicians are part of the world and I would assume fair game for comparison, even if only in generalities.
megados 20th May 2021, 3:05 PM edit delete reply

Actually, One-eyed Mike is not far off, although he missed your location. No matter how many politicians there are, real-world politics, even comparing real-world politicians isn't something the creatrixes want. They have as much as said that discussions about the politics of the DataChasers world is fine, but keep real world references out of it. Even generalities such as right or left policies can lead to the kinds of arguments that Cent and Rose would rather avoid.
Tokyo Rose 21st May 2021, 5:52 AM edit delete reply

*prolonged silent ominous staring*

*lollipop for megados, though*
One-eyed Mike 21st May 2021, 7:02 AM edit delete reply
Yes, Ma'am.

Oldarmourer 21st May 2021, 10:08 AM edit delete reply
Careful Megados, she's trying to give you the dia-beetus
megados 21st May 2021, 11:50 AM edit delete reply

Well the silver lining here, is that it's nice to see Rose pop in once in a while, even if it's only to glare. :)

Hi Rose. Cherry, please. XD
DLKmusic 21st May 2021, 2:46 PM edit delete reply

@megados: you will take green and you will like it! (grin)
megados 21st May 2021, 5:08 PM edit delete reply

Well if that's what's available, sure, but are you gonna tell Rose what to do? :P LOL 😂

*goes and gets popcorn*
robnot 19th May 2021, 7:46 AM edit delete reply
Marcus, Marcus,.. "back on topic." all ways the military..
the Topic is what Pinky an the 'committee' can do for each other , with out the "adults" looking over the shoulder..
UNLESS.. these two showing up derailed all that..

also kudos on the A.A.A. :)
Centcomm 19th May 2021, 7:48 PM edit delete reply

the AAA?
Sheela 20th May 2021, 7:01 PM edit delete reply

AAA battery ? 😆
megados 20th May 2021, 7:08 PM edit delete reply

AAA roadside assistance?
Oldarmourer 21st May 2021, 10:09 AM edit delete reply
Anti Aircraft Artillery ?
The SLT's seem to be unarmed and in stealth mode ;)
CptKerion 22nd May 2021, 1:30 AM edit delete reply
Alcoholic American Assholes?
Just_IDD 20th May 2021, 3:46 AM edit delete reply
In New Troy, Pinky IS The Brain. Yes she is ""

I seem to be missing lots of really obvious puns lately.
Just_IDD 19th May 2021, 8:18 AM edit delete reply
I would wager that Ward Drakestone has 'family' all over. Its possible 516's clumsy attempt could have been a diversion
Oldarmourer 19th May 2021, 9:13 AM edit delete reply
he might look 'familiar' to Acantha if she'd seen him visiting Douchimus..maybe setting up a kidnapping ?
I also can't help but wonder if he was the 'shadowy figure' stroking Silver's ego way back before this all started.
Rashala 19th May 2021, 10:46 PM edit delete reply

Shut her down pretty quick...thankfully
Gilrandir 21st May 2021, 8:49 PM edit delete reply
I wonder how Dr. Teruhashi and Dr. Silver get along. Are they amicable rivals, venomous rivals, complete strangers, close friends, secret lovers or just two identities for the same individual? (All of the above? ^_^)
DLKmusic 23rd May 2021, 1:38 PM edit delete reply

You just mentioned "Amicable" and "Doc Silver" in the same breath... really?
Best line I can think of for Doc Silver regarding other people is an old peanuts joke...
"I LOVE Humanity, it's PEOPLE I can't stand!"
Gilrandir 23rd May 2021, 1:48 PM edit delete reply
Ah, but @DLKmusic, we have seen Dr. Silver be amicable to androids in the past. And it is an important theme in DataChasers that androids ARE people. Therefore she is (presumably) amicable to people all the time -- just off screen. And only the 'right sort' of people. Her people. Like any good magnate from the Deep South. ^_^
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