Comic 1286 - Repairs Underway

22nd Dec 2015, 9:00 PM
Repairs Underway
Average Rating: 5 (24 votes)

Author Notes:

Tokyo Rose 23rd Dec 2015, 4:41 AM edit delete
Tokyo Rose
I swear, all the anxious comments about Ceci's expression in the last panel has me hearing a familiar catchphrase in my head every time I look at her. "EX-TER-MI-NATE! EX-TER-MI-NATE!"

(Although the smack-talking exchange between Dalek Sec and the Cyber Leader is fucking hysterically funny.)
Centcomm 24th Dec 2015, 4:52 PM edit delete
Hope everyone is having a Super Merry Happy Gift day season!

New Avatar is Ceci BY Emma Ill e putting her pic up in full size later on for you you goggol at! ( its NSFW but its HOT! )
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Dragonrider 22nd Dec 2015, 9:11 PM edit delete reply

AH yes, time for Rosie to contact Ceci with a mysterious message that the repairs will bring Aeneas back to full capacity and they are safe, if somewhat uncomfortable.

Wonder what will happen if they ask to speak with the specialist and discover it's Kyle. Probably not a good idea as they don't have a change of underwear and I'm fairly sure Lynn at least would need one plus a semi convenient laundromat and shower.
Stormwind13 23rd Dec 2015, 6:06 AM edit delete reply

I'm doubtful that Lynn would need a change of undies, Dragonrider. Smelling salts, that I could see as the shock of finding Kyle alive after watching him die might be too much for her. Potentially Acantha too, though I think she might handle it a tad better than Lynn. :-)
That one guy 23rd Dec 2015, 8:00 PM edit delete reply
Nah, Ceci is too unknown. Much better option would be for Rose to contact Kyle and tell him to have Aeneas open a video comm line to a screen near them. Then there's the excuse to send security to keep them safe from Decimus (and keep Ceci from getting to Aeneas' core, just in case that's a concern), and throwing Lynn into an emotional state to stall them where they are while repairs are under way.
Dragonrider 24th Dec 2015, 1:36 PM edit delete reply

Who do you think Ceci was getting all the messages from before when they started in the Black Palace. Wasn't from CentComm.
Stormwind13 24th Dec 2015, 3:12 PM edit delete reply

True, Dragonrider. Sure sounded like Tokyo Rose's way of doing things. Though we don't have PROOF (yet) that Rose is a friend of Calliope (Helen). :-)
That one guy 25th Dec 2015, 2:15 PM edit delete reply
Too late for anyone to notice, but I'd also like to point out that Calliope and CentComm don't have identical interests at all times. Someone acting 100% in Calliope's interests (as Dolly arguably comes very close to doing), may be at cross purposes with CentComm (as we've already seen with the stalling tactics).
Centcomm 25th Dec 2015, 1:23 AM edit delete reply

Some of it was culled from the palace records TR has only sent one actual message to Ceci .. via someone else.
TheD-Wrek 22nd Dec 2015, 9:13 PM edit delete reply

Roomba, eh? XD

Page looks especially great, Cent. :D
Centcomm 24th Dec 2015, 4:53 PM edit delete reply

Thanks D-Wrek Yeppers Roombas of Dooom!
jamie59 22nd Dec 2015, 9:17 PM edit delete reply

Ceci don't look like a happy camper.
xpacetrue 22nd Dec 2015, 9:38 PM edit delete reply

Yeah... I was wondering about the strange look on Ceci's face in the bottom panel. Perhaps she is starting to consider Aeneas more of a potential threat. She has to worry about the safety of Ms. Lynn, Dolly, and the completion of her new mission (whatever that is), besides her own safety.

On the other hand, I suspected that the new mission Ceci's Watchdog gave her was to see if she could bring Aeneas back online. At least, it sounds like something that Cent-Comm may have programmed into her if it looked like her primary objective (securing Lynn) was about to be completed. Perhaps Ceci worries that this "Specialist" may interfere with her new mission by harming Aeneas?
Hans 23rd Dec 2015, 2:39 AM edit delete reply
Her mission could also have been to remove Aeneas finally from the competition of AIs.
That mission could be seriously threatened now.
xpacetrue 23rd Dec 2015, 3:44 AM edit delete reply

Why would Cent want to destroy Aeneas? Reviving him makes more sense has he should hold a grudge towards the Livius line and want to cause Prince Decimus harm or at least trouble. If nothing else, it'd make for a -HUGE- diversion to give Dolly's and Marcus' teams a chance to extract Lynn.

Anyway, Aeneas is one of her own kind - an AIS. Why would Cent hate on AIS? We haven't seen her do anything unkind to an AIS.
Stormwind13 23rd Dec 2015, 5:40 AM edit delete reply

Why MIGHT CentComm want to destroy Aeneas, xpace? Maybe because he is another AI with the potential to execute another war against CentComm? Something that she is NOT going to allow!

CentComm is NOT another human being, but an ARTIFICIAL lifeform that was conceived for WAR! Trying to figure out her reasoning can be an exercise in futility. Humans aren't programmed to think that way. :-)
xpacetrue 23rd Dec 2015, 8:02 AM edit delete reply

Granted, AIS aren't human or even android. Perhaps it is impossible for a human to fully understand them. But, Cent was a very early AIS. (Maybe the first.) She was built by humans, from a human understanding of artificial intelligence and sentience. (Which derived from our understanding of the human brain.) It's not like AIS came from outer space.

In all the pages of Datachasers (and Luna Star), I don't recall even one incident where an AIS or android behaved in a way that I found impossible to fathom. (Even Deep Blue's refusal to reveal info about Lynn to Kyle makes sense.) Indeed, a major underlying theme of both comics seems to be that androids and even AIS talk and behave in ways that seem all too human.

(Well, okay: Aeneas does -talk- erratically. But he still manages to -act- rationally. And he has the excuse of being damaged and somewhat insane. Fixing him up should solve that.)

I still don't see how Aeneas could be a threat to New Troy. If Cent did calculate a damaged and insane Aeneas as a threat, then why didn't she do something earlier? And even if she considered him a potential risk, he's quite likely to stop the Prince - who is a known big threat.

To reason that Aeneas is an AIS with the potential to execute another war against Cent, then she must at least consider the potential for -all- AIS to execute war. We don't see her so paranoid that she wants to destroy Deep Blue or New Sparta's AIS. And to send an agent to damage or kill Aeneas would be interpreted as an act of war. It holds the risk that Aeneas (should he survive the attempt) or a sympathizer like Tokyo Rose would retaliate.

(Actually, I seem to recall that Cent and some other AIS worked together to design Aeneas.)

Besides, while Cent-Comm may have been conceived for a military role and while she certainly engaged in death and destruction, that was -centuries- ago. She's clearly changed, as evidenced by how different she seems from the AIS in Luna Star.

Indeed, Cent was the one who instigated a plan to stop the mutual destruction. She saved the human race by refusing to continue the war. Further, Aeneas joined with Cent and other AIS in this act of defiance.
sigpig 23rd Dec 2015, 9:38 AM edit delete reply

xspace - your comment about a "damaged and insane Aeneas" makes me think of all the troubles a "fully repaired and insane Aeneas" could cause...
Stormwind13 23rd Dec 2015, 1:12 PM edit delete reply

And that was pretty much my point, sigpig. CentComm might not think that Aeneas can recover from his insanity after suffering it for decades.

Aeneas has a lot of war making materials at his disposal now, after Douchimus cranked up his fabbers (manufactoria). Even if he wasn't made for war, he may go LOOKING for it while crazy. So CentComm might have decided better to stop him before he has the chance to start something.

Plus, CeCi is a Black Angel, in full Black Angel mode. She WANTED to go into Aeneas' lair (Listen To Me - 4 November 2015). I doubt CeCi wants into his lair to paint Aeneas' nails or anything like that.

CeCi is a WEAPON system! She is now on a priority mission to destroy something, and unfortunately I think it could be Aeneas. I honestly can't see any OTHER target for a Black Angel in the area. If CeCi had argued about going back into the Palace, I could have seen it being Douchimus. Since she didn't do that though, leaves me thinking that her target is out in front of her.
Lukkai 23rd Dec 2015, 6:48 PM edit delete reply

Slight mistake here: His insanity is entirely caused by the damage. So any repairs are bound to remove it as well.
Stormwind13 23rd Dec 2015, 10:01 PM edit delete reply

His insanity WAS caused by the damage, is that still the case Lukkai? I can't say that. Some of the damage might remain behind, burned into his pathways by the time he has been insane. I honestly don't know. Not sure I would want to give someone all that power if I wasn't TOTALLY sure they could responsibly handle it.
Centcomm 24th Dec 2015, 4:59 PM edit delete reply

ONce the hard ware is repaired or fixed does NOT Mean Aeneas will or could recover. AI Minds are a lot like humans in that regard they can become damaged over time. and even if placed in a brand new system they do not lose leanred skills and traits. SO we shall see what happens now wont we.
Lukkai 22nd Dec 2015, 9:43 PM edit delete reply

More like she has the desperate urge to kill and dismantle, really. (0_0)
velvetsanity 22nd Dec 2015, 10:00 PM edit delete reply

Agreed, Lukkai. "If looks could kill..." is my read on her expression.
Stormwind13 23rd Dec 2015, 5:26 AM edit delete reply

I'm thinking you guys are right. I'm pretty sure that is CeCi's Hunter/Killer face. Feel pity for whatever she targeting. It's odds of survival aren't good, I think.
Marcus Ramesy 23rd Dec 2015, 8:38 AM edit delete reply

I would like to take this moment to remind you all that Aeneas was never designed for war, or warfare.. he was designed and created as a city planer to control the daily operation of the city infrastructure
Wolfsbane 23rd Dec 2015, 3:07 PM edit delete reply

Faster, pussycat! Kill! Kill!
Tokyo Rose 23rd Dec 2015, 4:40 PM edit delete reply

Small note: Aeneas was not built until after the wars ended. His design was a cooperative effort involving Shinedo's Three Treasures, New Troy's Cent-Comm, and New Sparta's Agamemnon, among others. He was, as Marcus notes, not actually designed for warfare the way that Cent was.
Visvires 23rd Dec 2015, 5:43 PM edit delete reply
Well, that about settles it. If Cent had a hand in building him as the ultimate SimCity player, the odds of giving a blanket kill order are low.

I am noticing that every time CeCi is about to come into contact with someone important, there is a discussion on the odds of her attempting to kill that individual. Can we get a filler with her visiting the North Pole, so we can discuss the implications of Cent having ordered Santa killed? He's obviously a security risk, what with being able to break into every home in a single night. ;) Poor Black Angel, always getting so much suspicion.
That one guy 23rd Dec 2015, 8:38 PM edit delete reply
I'd like to point out a couple of things from the archives for this discussion.

From Comic 2 - Prologue (currently dated 10th Feb 2007, 12:50 PM, though it's a redo):
First panel - "The AIS put an end to the destruction by banding together...<cut>the militaries of the world were crippled in their efforts to destroy each other; faced with the realization that they no longer controlled their own arsenals"

From Comic 157 - Venting... (currently dated 12th Jun 2007, 12:27 PM ):
CentComm - "Listen! Lynn has been taken by an enemy, a serious threat- one that wants access to my core, and the ancient weapons that I control. They don't yet realize that they already have the key they so fervently desire."

From those two statements (plus author TR's statement that Aeneas was built after the war and CentComm assisted), Aeneas is much more likely to be viewed by the actual full CentComm as an ally. An ally who can perform a vital function such as scrubbing New Rome to make sure no strand of Taylor DNA remains anywhere in the city after all is said and done.

The question here is the degree that this goal is hidden to Ceci and the degree that she'll have the info to recognize that preserving, protecting, and fixing Aeneas is a goal yet or not. Also there's the trust question with the unknown repair origin.

Full CentComm, if she knew that an entity supported by Shinedo's Three Treasures (whom author TR states also helped create Aeneas) was behind the repair, she might be ok with that and willing to trust. Partial version of CentComm tossed into Ceci and sparked to be to some degree individual and separate may or may not have access to the appropriate data to see things through the same lens.

So, if she had all the info that the readers do, I think full CentComm would be ok with what Kyle's doing and generally support it. Since she doesn't, and Ceci has even less, there's certainly possibilities for misunderstandings and hijinks here.
DLKmusic 23rd Dec 2015, 8:34 PM edit delete reply

I'm not sure I see what everyone is talking about in the last panel. CeCi's expression is exactly the same in panels 1 and 3 as far as I can tell. The only difference in panel 5 is that the face is covered by shadow and makes it look a little more ominous, because the glowing eyes are more noticeable.

Compare it to CeCi's Face 2 strips ago (Self-Reliant). Unless I'm going blind(er) in my old age, I don't see any changes to her expression.

Centcomm 24th Dec 2015, 4:54 PM edit delete reply

Her expression does have very minor changes in every frame. Just to let you all know :D
Stever 22nd Dec 2015, 10:06 PM edit delete reply

It'll be interesting to see who or what this specialist is...

Cool design for this droid!
Stormwind13 23rd Dec 2015, 5:21 AM edit delete reply

I think Lynn will be interested in this specialist, Stever. Just a feeling, but a strong one. :-D
The Old Scribe 22nd Dec 2015, 10:30 PM edit delete reply

Whoa! If looks were laser beams, that stare of CeCi's would melt that robot into a puddle of slag. Evidently, whatever CentComm added to her programming involving Aeneas is being interfered with by this 'specialist' and that's not a good thing.
cattservant 22nd Dec 2015, 11:46 PM edit delete reply

CeCi is frowning...
ProfEtheric 23rd Dec 2015, 12:14 AM edit delete reply

I think we have been given an idea as to what is going on here, but DC is often a good comic for surprises...
Centcomm 24th Dec 2015, 4:54 PM edit delete reply

Yep and more are on the way!
HiFranc 23rd Dec 2015, 12:23 AM edit delete reply

If I was Kyle, I would authorise Ceci to meet me and verify that I'm not a threat.
Stormwind13 23rd Dec 2015, 6:14 AM edit delete reply

I'm not sure Kyle wants to meet CeCi, HiFranc. Remember who programmed CeCi. Further remember who HATES Kyle with her entire being! If I was Kyle I would stay as far AWAY from anything CentComm had a hand in as POSSIBLE!!!
DLKmusic 23rd Dec 2015, 10:29 AM edit delete reply

I know Cent-Comm the Artist despises the character of Kyle, but I've never seen anything to indicate that Cent-Comm the AI has any opinion of him at all.
Stormwind13 23rd Dec 2015, 12:26 PM edit delete reply

That one guy 23rd Dec 2015, 8:39 PM edit delete reply
HiFranc - You'd hit on an android assassin right in front of your girlfriend? That seems like it wouldn't be the best idea. Especially when that android assassin essentially serves your girlfriend in a roundabout way.
HiFranc 23rd Dec 2015, 10:20 PM edit delete reply

No. I just think that she's the one that's most likely to keep the secret that I'm alive. After all one of the party needs to be informed that the "Specialist" is no threat (one who could persuade the others) but Kyle's death needs to remain as a "fact".
That one guy 24th Dec 2015, 7:18 AM edit delete reply
Dolly would be the much better choice than Ceci. First off, Dolly could verify Kyle's identity as she seemed to know him somewhat. Second, Ceci is a complete unknown to Kyle, he'd have no reason to trust her unless story TR told him to, and I doubt she'd do that. Third, and unknown to any but Ceci and maybe Dolly, Dolly isn't an assassin droid with unknown programming overriding her free will.
HiFranc 24th Dec 2015, 8:28 AM edit delete reply

My concern is that Dolly loves Lynn so much that she may, whether deliberately or accidentally, let Lynn know that Kyle's still alive.
HiFranc 23rd Dec 2015, 12:25 AM edit delete reply

Happy Christmas everyone!
DLKmusic 23rd Dec 2015, 12:47 AM edit delete reply

Merry Christmas to you as well, HiFranc!

I'm not sure what to make of CeCi's look, but it definitely forebodes ill omens. I would be more worried about it if she hadn't had the same look in the first two panels as well as last strip. My Guess is that things are happening that Centcomm didn't anticipate, and she's trying to re-evaluate the situation, and every time she thinks she's on solid ground again the floor gets moved.

Interestingly enough though, it's Acantha's reaction that I'm most worried about... Things are happening in what she thought was her safe haven that she has no control over.

This has all the earmarkings of a "last straw".
Haegan2005 23rd Dec 2015, 1:06 AM edit delete reply

Something is not making sense to Ceci I think. This is not something she expected to happen and may thing that there is more going on beneath the surface. Not that these ladies don't have more twists in their plots then my twist tie on my bread does! hey its gone? Sheela!
Centcomm 25th Dec 2015, 1:23 AM edit delete reply

I cant say nooothing!
Sheela 25th Dec 2015, 1:37 AM edit delete reply

I'm innocent ! o.O
Haegan2005 25th Dec 2015, 2:48 AM edit delete reply

Hah! Sheela and innocent are not two words I associate in any way!

mjkj 23rd Dec 2015, 2:34 AM edit delete reply

Ugh, that look of CeCi's face in that last panel...

Centcomm 24th Dec 2015, 4:55 PM edit delete reply

I know right?
Book O Dragons 23rd Dec 2015, 2:57 AM edit delete reply
Easy! Death threats are easy right?
Matt Knab 23rd Dec 2015, 3:47 AM edit delete reply

Oh man, even the robots are on a "need to know" basis. XD
Centcomm 24th Dec 2015, 4:59 PM edit delete reply

Sometimes yes they are !
Sheela 25th Dec 2015, 1:38 AM edit delete reply

Sometimes, I put myself on a "need to know" basis ... and promptly forget all about it. :D
Stormwind13 23rd Dec 2015, 6:25 AM edit delete reply

Funny, funny Rose. When you said Exterminate, my first thought was Nomad from The Changeling. In either case, NOT a good thing for our heroes.
Shotgun839 23rd Dec 2015, 7:56 AM edit delete reply
Just thinking ahead . . . wondering if there might be a new vote incentive of Dolly feeling good about keeping CeCi under control and feeling really, really good about Finally getting out of her armor . . . . :-D
VanEzzania 23rd Dec 2015, 8:42 AM edit delete reply

Ceci about ready to cut a bitch.
Centcomm 24th Dec 2015, 4:55 PM edit delete reply

All she needs is a knife and a badass leather jacket!
Stormwind13 24th Dec 2015, 8:09 PM edit delete reply

The knife she'll take off the FIRST unfortunate to encounter CeCi. The leather jacket she'll MAKE from the skin of one or more of the her enemies.
Hans 23rd Dec 2015, 10:54 AM edit delete reply
@Tokyo Rose: If Ceci is a Dalek, who is the Doctor?
(No pun intended)

And there is a hilarious fan remake of the exchange on Youtube, named "The Bitch Fight of Canary Wharf". Really worth a three minute view.
Tokyo Rose 23rd Dec 2015, 5:29 PM edit delete reply

Centcomm 24th Dec 2015, 4:56 PM edit delete reply

THis makes me wonder who the Doctor would be as well.. I have no idea:D
DLKmusic 24th Dec 2015, 5:26 PM edit delete reply

The Doctor would be Aeneas, of course!

BTW, I have a new candidate for who gets to Play Aeneas if a movie is ever made....

This is a role for Michael Keaton if ever there was one!
stoppdenbus 23rd Dec 2015, 4:45 PM edit delete reply

Can Dolli, CeCi, Lynn or Acantha connect the dots and conclude that this was Kyles work ?

A plausible explanation for them could be that Kyle first repaired the governance system and then gone heroic ?

Also both robots (the inspector bot at the tram and the repair overseer) would be so much needed for Aeneas self repairs - instead he send them to guide Acantha for safety. At least at his state he values her well being so much.

Amd i would like to see Aeneas reaction to a deepscan of Dolly. For him she would a human posing as Android. :-)
Tokyo Rose 23rd Dec 2015, 5:16 PM edit delete reply

Keep in mind that Lynn and Acantha were standing barely a few feet away when Kyle was shot repeatedly in the chest, and Acantha actually put her hands on him trying to help. As far as the girls know, Kyle is dead, and there's nothing in the palace systems that Ceci's been trawling that indicate otherwise (there's a report of an unnamed, armed assailant who was shot dead by the Prince).
Centcomm 24th Dec 2015, 5:01 PM edit delete reply

Lynn and Acantha are in the camp of Kyle is dead .. period. Dolly is in the same place. Lynn would not lie to her about this so as far as ANY of these girls ( including Ceci ) Kyle is dead awaiting Autopsy or hes been chopped up already and is gone.
That one guy 23rd Dec 2015, 8:45 PM edit delete reply
I'm going to buck the trend here. I think Ceci's expression is more a sign of her deeper programming having her on a tight leash, restraining her free will, and putting her on high alert rather than a decision being made.

Personally, at this point, I think if Ceci's deeper programming made a decision to attack, it'd have been acted upon already (or at least be positioning Ceci's body better for an attack and where shots fired at her moving wouldn't hit Acantha, who is the best candidate for keeping New Rome together and making peace with New Troy).
Timotheus 24th Dec 2015, 3:32 PM edit delete reply

I go along with that, Ceci has that focused hunter/stalker look you associate with lions and T-Rexes about to strike. She's obviously on a tight leash and entirely concentrated on limited range objectives. Now as to what those are, we can only speculate.
Centcomm 24th Dec 2015, 5:01 PM edit delete reply

Right now Ceci is performing " As intended " ...
Romfire 24th Dec 2015, 10:01 AM edit delete reply
Could Ceci have integrated herself into the system replacing Aeneas with a controlled copy of Cent-Comm?
Stormwind13 24th Dec 2015, 3:16 PM edit delete reply

Interesting thought, Romfire. Though Aeneas was PHYSICALLY damaged. You would still have to fix that before CeCi (or CentComm clone) could effectively take over, I think.
Centcomm 24th Dec 2015, 5:01 PM edit delete reply

Perhaps . .perhaps not.
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