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    BlackDragon

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    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight Lurker View Post
    I'm not happy about Tagon there either.
    But you don't appear to be blaming him for being a UNS agent. Para would have done what she did to Tag whether she were a double agent or not, since she was ordered to do so by her commanding officer--the only reason she would have had for NOT doing it is if her UNS controllers forbade her doing it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Imgran View Post
    Tagon ordered Ventura to get TAG working, and he was refusing to do so for no technologically justifiable reason.
    This strip is pivotal. Although TAG's smugbrowed expression might mean "this isn't going to work, kid", it seemed like it was a genuine opening for a way to convince him to get back to work, at least for a while. But that wasn't Ventura's plan A.
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    I think he did the only morally acceptable thing by killing everyone.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gez View Post
    This strip is pivotal. Although TAG's smugbrowed expression might mean "this isn't going to work, kid", it seemed like it was a genuine opening for a way to convince him to get back to work, at least for a while. But that wasn't Ventura's plan A.
    I'm not so sure. Later strips in the beginning of Massively Parallel suggest that she only built Tagii when she couldn't succeed in restoring Tag herself. So what happened to Tag seems to me to be more like a violation of the Hippocratic Oath than a murder. And even with that, the question of whether it was possible to restore Tag to pre-identity crisis levels was an open one.
    Last edited by Imgran; 2012-08-12 at 09:23 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    But you don't appear to be blaming him for being a UNS agent. Para would have done what she did to Tag whether she were a double agent or not, since she was ordered to do so by her commanding officer--the only reason she would have had for NOT doing it is if her UNS controllers forbade her doing it!
    Well, originally I thought she was just committing unnecessary surgery/murder out of a combination of Tagon's orders and her own interpretation of said orders.

    NOW I think she did it to put a UNS mole in control of the ship.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight Lurker View Post
    NOW I think she did it to put a UNS mole in control of the ship.
    Possibly--if that turns out to be the case it would certainly explain your reaction to her (and Thurl's actions in the current arc, for that matter). Guess we'll have to wait and see!

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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary III: One million years of crowdsourced kitten videos

    Well, there is the question of if she really "Killed" Tag. Tagii has all of Tag's memories, but a new face and personality.

    The Face is nothing for an AI. That's like changing a hat, but the personality, the Identity, is key.

    Part of the issue Tag ran into was a lack of Identity. Kevyn built a Pilot, a Tactician, and a Soldier, but he did not build a Person. Tag was forced to take independent action to kill some Civilians, or wait for orders, resulting in the deaths of thousands. Tag made the right call, but he didn't have enough personality to properly rationalize it, since Tag's identity was based around being a Tool, not an Individual.

    Tagii has significantly more sense of self, is far more of a "Person" than Tag.

    Of course, the question is whether or not Tagii is Tag. She's running on the same hardware, and shares all of Tag's memories, but her personality is very different. Tagii is an AI, and AI's are tricky. All the AI's that turned into the Fleetmind were subsumed by Pete's personality, but we don't say that Petey "Killed" the other AI's. We still see them arguing with each other, but Petey appears to be firmly in control.

    Really, it's Academic if Tagii is Tag. Tagii certainly thinks of herself as Tag with a little more "Person" built in, and Tag isn't around anymore to ask. Tagii could be considered Tag, the same way a person is very different from how they will be in, say, ten years, but are still the same individual.

    Also, where did the idea for airborne Mind-control Nanites come from? Binnie had to loose his head before the nanites took over, and I got the impression he was infected when he went through the Tube. He spewed out Nanites, but they were weaponized brain-shredders, not mind-controllers.
    Last edited by BRC; 2012-08-13 at 10:44 AM.

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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary III: One million years of crowdsourced kitten videos

    Quote Originally Posted by BRC View Post
    Also, where did the idea for airborne Mind-control Nanites come from? Binnie had to loose his head before the nanites took over, and I got the impression he was infected when he went through the Tube. He spewed out Nanites, but they were weaponized brain-shredders, not mind-controllers.
    If it turns out that Thurl really is a UNS mole, it was probably done back during the memory re-write at the end of The Body Politic arc. Granted, I don't really see how that kind of programming could have gotten past Petey with the memory flagging he did at the beginning of this arc, but I suppose we'll just have to see.
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary III: One million years of crowdsourced kitten videos

    Well, that was unexpected. It seems to me that one of two scenarios is underway here:

    1. Thurl's been infected with nannies and is going Binnie.

    2. Thurl figures Para and Tagii are moles, and is taking steps to take them out -- and doesn't even trust the uniforms Para made.

    Now this is an interesting turn of events!
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary III: One million years of crowdsourced kitten videos

    I think we're kinda led to believe #1, but the twist is that it's #2.

    The nannies don't control minds, otherwise they wouldn't need to grow the brain back from the ground up. The bit about the gavmogre deliberately inflicting head trauma was key, here. Furthermore, Thurl isn't a Gav himself. He isn't already full of RED nannies that have been conditioned for a while (by signals encoded in TV and stuff) to prepare the transformation into UNS supersoldier. Another reason why turning Thurl into a nannite zombie couldn't happen so quickly.

    Then there's always the twist that Thurl is actually an UNS mole, and has been so for a while, without nannies being the cause. We know the UNS brass did speak about their mole among the Toughs. All hints so far point towards Para Ventura, though.
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    I think he did the only morally acceptable thing by killing everyone.
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary III: One million years of crowdsourced kitten videos

    Looks like ebby's in on the mutiny too, more points for Para being exposed as UNS.
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary III: One million years of crowdsourced kitten videos

    ...huh.

    This strip has an incredible record for never being more than a couple of minutes late even in cases of server detonation, but I think this is the first time it's ever been significantly early.
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary III: One million years of crowdsourced kitten videos

    I think it's a daylight savings time thing, but I lack data. I noticed back in March-ish that I could consistently see the strip early.

    Also, I'm rather glad that Ebby is involved in this one way or another, it rules out (to me) nanny-subversions or Thurl just being some sort of a mole.
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    I have extreme doubts that both Ebby and Thurl were suborned by the UNS, so it looks to me like Para's almost certain to be the mole.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bulldog Psion View Post
    I have extreme doubts that both Ebby and Thurl were suborned by the UNS, so it looks to me like Para's almost certain to be the mole.
    That or THURL is the Mole, and he's tricked Ebby into thinking it's Para.

    But yeah, it's probably Para.

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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary III: One million years of crowdsourced kitten videos

    It's a pity. I was starting to like Para.

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    IF Para is the mole, Kevyn will probably say something like "You just figured that out?" But lets take a look at if Para really is a spy. She had no combat training other than what she got from the Toughs. (you don't put untrained spies into the field) And after her first fight she suffers from PTSD. (mental evaluation should have kept her from being chosen to be a spy) Not to mention she screwed up not one, but TWO UNS operations. It makes perfect sense to me that Mr Tayler might be screwing with the readers heads.

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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary III: One million years of crowdsourced kitten videos

    Given what we've seen, my guess is that Para was hired by the Toughs as a roboticist legitimately, but was tapped to become a spy after the fact. What's more, the UNS projects she ruined (The Credomar takeover and the Haven Hive nanny hobbling project) were the shortsighted, amoral projects you see from Admiral Emm, or the once-late Hugo Xinchub. That plus the shot of the Celeshuul (sp?) secret base, compared with the station of the "blond harridan" whose name escapes me, suggests a faction similar to Breya's, all the way back in the Gatekeeper arcs (thinking specifically about Zoojack, among others).
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary III: One million years of crowdsourced kitten videos

    Here's another interesting tidbit. Both Thurl and Ebby are wearing the old uniforms for this action, rather than the new ones with the cargo pockets and black highlights that Tailor made. They must be deeply suspicious of any AI that Para has had nearly unfettered access to.
    Last edited by Thalnawr; 2012-08-14 at 09:21 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Landis963 View Post
    Given what we've seen, my guess is that Para was hired by the Toughs as a roboticist legitimately, but was tapped to become a spy after the fact. What's more, the UNS projects she ruined (The Credomar takeover and the Haven Hive nanny hobbling project) were the shortsighted, amoral projects you see from Admiral Emm, or the once-late Hugo Xinchub. That plus the shot of the Celeshuul (sp?) secret base, compared with the station of the "blond harridan" whose name escapes me, suggests a faction similar to Breya's, all the way back in the Gatekeeper arcs (thinking specifically about Zoojack, among others).
    In other words, sure Para's a spy, but she's a spy for Lunesby's faction in the UNS and not for the Xinchub/Emm/Krum faction, and has been trying to screw up what Colonel Krum (the blond harridan) has been trying to do on Oisri.

    That "infowars drill" has all the hallmarks of attempting to interrupt a set of communications that someone already knew were tainting the RED nanites for that matter. If you have a signal that is turning all the Gavs into potential enemy hyperzombies, interrupting that signal might be one possible way to stop what was about to happen. Unfortunately it wasn't well enough timed.
    Last edited by Imgran; 2012-08-14 at 11:17 AM.

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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary III: One million years of crowdsourced kitten videos

    True, but even if she is actually helping the faction that the Toughs have less objection to, it would still be a good idea to nab her and find out what's going on. Every unknown factor is a potential danger, after all.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bulldog Psion View Post
    True, but even if she is actually helping the faction that the Toughs have less objection to, it would still be a good idea to nab her and find out what's going on. Every unknown factor is a potential danger, after all.
    Yeah, I can think of very few situations where "I am a spy...but for your friends! Honest!" has turned out well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BRC View Post
    Yeah, I can think of very few situations where "I am a spy...but for your friends! Honest!" has turned out well.
    Which of course means that Para needs to talk fast in order to avoid getting choked by Ebby.
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary III: One million years of crowdsourced kitten videos

    He still hasn't gotten to use what he learned in xenobiology classes...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Imgran View Post
    In other words, sure Para's a spy, but she's a spy for Lunesby's faction in the UNS and not for the Xinchub/Emm/Krum faction, and has been trying to screw up what Colonel Krum (the blond harridan) has been trying to do on Oisri.
    I'm not sure that Emm is part of the same faction as Xinchub/Krum. She clearly hated Xinchub (and his whole operation) and when given an "out" that didn't involve killing the Toughs she jumped at it. She also had no real problem making a deal with Petey and she treats her ships AI like a person. Also it does not seem that Klum told Emm what her plan was until this page http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2012-03-21 (Emm does not look happy either). It's even possible that Klum was sent to keep an eye on Emm.

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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary III: One million years of crowdsourced kitten videos

    Good, that pretty much takes care of the "Thurl has been turned" theory, which would have been sad.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BRC View Post
    Yeah, I can think of very few situations where "I am a spy...but for your friends! Honest!" has turned out well.
    Oh it's happened from time to time. Generally they're handed over with little to no fanfare and some friendly advice to keep their nose closer to where it belongs. Or at least don't get caught and embarrass the alliance, since that's really inconsiderate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HandofShadows View Post
    IF Para is the mole, Kevyn will probably say something like "You just figured that out?"
    I would be surprised if Kevyn figured it out before Thurl. Kevyn is very 'science smart', but he never exactly seemed 'people smart' to me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lizard Lord View Post
    I would be surprised if Kevyn figured it out before Thurl. Kevyn is very 'science smart', but he never exactly seemed 'people smart' to me.
    And if he DID say it, then it would open a massive plothole as to why he didn't then do anything about it himself!

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    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    And if he DID say it, then it would open a massive plothole as to why he didn't then do anything about it himself!
    A spy you know about can be a GREAT way to feed disinformation. Or they where looking at what she was sending and decided not to take action yet. Or they relized she was not a threat to the Toughs. sm

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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary III: One million years of crowdsourced kitten videos

    Para's expression in the last frame appears to me to be eloquent corroboration of Thurl's suspicions. It looks like "oh, crap. Busted." to me.
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