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    memnarch's Avatar

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    Default Schlock Mercenary IV: Chrome and Punishment

    Schlock mercenary, the daily comic about the misadventures of Tagon's Toughs, a valiant band of mercenaries. Currently, they have explored a long dead abandoned space station, classified some of the fauna that took up residence inside, and disturbed the sleeping, crazed AI that ran the station.

    Also, that same AI has become Tagon's newest ship AI (but with less crazy). As well as the rest of the fleet that came with it. Even Petey seems impressed. It will hopefully be interesting to see how it inevitably gets lost/destroyed.

    Previous thread here.
    Comic here
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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary IV: Chrome and Punishment

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    Now what is that fleet needed FOR? And why go to Petey of all people for help?
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary IV: Chrome and Punishment

    They are not going for help.. they are going to help.. or at least offer it in their usual style
    thnx to Starwoof for the fine avatar

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary IV: Chrome and Punishment

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    They are going to assist in the investigation that other branches of UNS are committing unspeakable horrible and treasonous crime. You know, basically investigating the events of the last ten years of comics that we've read

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    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary IV: Chrome and Punishment

    So.. that's it?!?!

    I mean.. that's what the current book's plot been leading to?! There is no more resolution? No more character moment?

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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary IV: Chrome and Punishment

    Quote Originally Posted by Kornaki View Post
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    They are going to assist in the investigation that other branches of UNS are committing unspeakable horrible and treasonous crime. You know, basically investigating the events of the last ten years of comics that we've read
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    Don't need a fleet for warships for that, do you? And what is Para's reaction going to be? You know, since they tried to kill her a couple of times.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary IV: Chrome and Punishment

    Quote Originally Posted by HandofShadows View Post
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    Don't need a fleet for warships for that, do you? And what is Para's reaction going to be? You know, since they tried to kill her a couple of times.
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    You need warships if for example you are executing a search or even arrest warrant on a battleplate whose commanding officers are less than willing.

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    memnarch's Avatar

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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary IV: Chrome and Punishment

    There are some questions I'd still like to have answered; what happened to bristlecone, what's going to happen to all the things in the can of sky, is tagii really safe to be around now, and are the rest of those ships crewed or are they "remote controlled"?
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    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary IV: Chrome and Punishment

    What happens to the ship's COOKS, how Kevyn got out of trouble. What's the matter with all the fauna. Why was the Swarm of drones waving at Schlock.

    I mean, have I missed a page? I'll soon have to apologize to the poster I chided over criticizing the comic for reaching a conclusion to soon.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary IV: Chrome and Punishment

    Quote Originally Posted by HandofShadows View Post
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    Don't need a fleet for warships for that, do you? And what is Para's reaction going to be? You know, since they tried to kill her a couple of times.
    She was an intelligence asset, in the hands of potential if not current enemies who have demonstrably little qualms at mind-ripping sophants and storing their brains in neatly labelled jars. To say nothing of sheltering an entire race that have been creating, interrogating, and eliminating them en-mass fer a few hundred thousand years and are likely very good at it. She knew the risks, and said so. If she didn't know about the C4 as well, in her own words "The first rule of AI kill switches is 'Don't talk about the AI kill switch!'"

    Compare that to the people here who think she should have been introduced to the far side of an airlock forthwith even before knowing what she doing. Which by the way, is trying to prevent the Red-hack FUBAR that actually occurred.
    Last edited by ChowGuy; 2014-03-09 at 05:08 PM.
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary IV: Chrome and Punishment

    What I want to know is if this fleet is sufficiently close to being an ancient superweapon that I can claim to have called it.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary IV: Chrome and Punishment

    Quote Originally Posted by John Campbell View Post
    What I want to know is if this fleet is sufficiently close to being an ancient superweapon that I can claim to have called it.
    When is the last time they didn't find something that could be called an ancient superweapon if you stretch the definition?

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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary IV: Chrome and Punishment

    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post
    What happens to the ship's COOKS, how Kevyn got out of trouble. What's the matter with all the fauna. Why was the Swarm of drones waving at Schlock.

    I mean, have I missed a page? I'll soon have to apologize to the poster I chided over criticizing the comic for reaching a conclusion to soon.
    No it's not just you, the readers have apparently been expected to guess at a ton of stuff. Like...

    Kevyn probably got stabilized by the Oafa med team, with some sort of regeneration occurring in there too.

    The fauna doesn't seem to be descended from the Oafans, because they are referred to as having 'died out'. Evolution ex nihilo seems unlikely, so the presence of metallocytes in local fauna is therefore curious. Did they eat Oafans prior to the extinction? Did the metallocytes persist in the environment after the death of their host organisms (in this case the Oafans)? Or were metallocytes present in the original progenitors of the megafauna, with the assumption being that the Oafans imported lifeforms from their homeworld, and all lifeforms on their homeworld had metallocytes. I don't know here.

    I've got nothing for the hive-mind of the drones that was apparently sophisticated to distinguish a weapon from Schlock and determine that Schlock's hostility would be negated with the removal of the weapon. Not even a guess here.

    Hopefully there are a few more explanations coming down the pipe before we close out this storyline.

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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary IV: Chrome and Punishment

    Quote Originally Posted by Kornaki View Post
    When is the last time they didn't find something that could be called an ancient superweapon if you stretch the definition?
    Maxim 24. "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a big gun."
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary IV: Chrome and Punishment

    Basically what Tagon just did was allow the fleetmind to be the broker for the ships he just obtained, now we're going to be getting the gang back together and probably using/losing most of these ships in very horrible ways.
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    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary IV: Chrome and Punishment

    Quote Originally Posted by Fjolnir View Post
    Basically what Tagon just did was allow the fleetmind to be the broker for the ships he just obtained
    I still disagree with that assessment--Tagon is using the fleetmind to broker the services of his mercenary company, which just happens to come with a small fleet of warships. I don't think he's selling the ships separately at all.

    Leaving us hanging with regard to what's happened to various entities is nothing new, I should point out--we still have no idea what Thurl's status is after the Tagii incident; we haven't seen him since his head got twisted off. Hopefully the meeting that Tagon is talking about having with Int-Aff-Int and the rest of his crew will answer some of these questions.

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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary IV: Chrome and Punishment

    Plotwise, this arc mostly struck me as setup. We've reached the end of several major arcs; this to me appears to be setting up several more down the line, ready to go. So, we should be expecting fewer immediate conclusions.
    Last edited by Loreweaver15; 2014-03-10 at 06:32 AM.
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary IV: Chrome and Punishment

    What I'd like to know is what criteria Petey uses to determine whether he uses his A.I. hologram maraca or his biological husk-thing to speak to any given person. There doesn't see to be a pattern, and since they're both the same being it makes little sense to not just set one P.D. to do all the speaking.
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    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary IV: Chrome and Punishment

    Quote Originally Posted by Marnath View Post
    What I'd like to know is what criteria Petey uses to determine whether he uses his A.I. hologram maraca or his biological husk-thing to speak to any given person. There doesn't see to be a pattern, and since they're both the same being it makes little sense to not just set one P.D. to do all the speaking.
    I would assume he uses the biological entity when he needs to perform negotiations with important clients, because they probably expect it. To everyone else, he uses a maraca (and I suspect he has more than one of those).

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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary IV: Chrome and Punishment

    Huh. Well, I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels like he doesn't have a clue what's going on.

    At least, broadly. Obviously I can read and see the stuff in the strips, but they do seem to have prematurely skipped to "And they all concluded their contract happily ever after."
    "Simon Ten Broek loves to draw attention;
    Simon Ten Broek spent years in bleak detention;
    Simon Ten Broek, with crimes too vile to mention;
    Simon Ten Broek won't live to see his pension."

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    ElfRangerGuy

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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary IV: Chrome and Punishment

    Quote Originally Posted by Kane View Post
    Huh. Well, I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels like he doesn't have a clue what's going on.

    At least, broadly. Obviously I can read and see the stuff in the strips, but they do seem to have prematurely skipped to "And they all concluded their contract happily ever after."
    No, you certainly aren't.

    Until about here it seemed fairly typical - lots of things were happening on a dramatic scale without obvious connections, but that's par for the course during the build-up phase of a story. I didn't know what the ancient ship or the megacan or the metallocytes were, or how the Oafa, Prabstdi and the can's constructors were related, but there was obviously scope for the escalating chaos to bring it all out in the wash.

    And then it just...stopped. The Toughs aren't being shot at anymore, Tagii doesn't want to kill them, the station decided (off-panel!) not only to stop attacking but to take orders from them (EDIT: And seems to be saner after 10,000,000 years than Tagii was after 10 minutes).. We don't know what exactly the Oafa are up to but they just ended the need for haste regarding the Prabstdi, Xeno Team has apparently forgotten all about finishing their 'sample collecting', Kevyn is unshot and no-one's mentioned the damage to Bristlecone.

    To me it seems as if the story spent exactly a year setting the stage, and then almost all the local plot points were just handwaved away off-panel in a fortnight. Nothing they've done since entering the can seems to matter - the 'samples' are forgotten, the environmental hazards are irrelevant and the immediate danger has evaporated. The historical implications are still wide open and the Toughs suddenly have a fleet for some reason, but none of it seems linked to anything that happened on-panel.
    Last edited by FLHerne; 2014-03-10 at 05:43 PM.

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    Eldritch Horror in the Playground Moderator
     
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary IV: Chrome and Punishment

    Howard is spending that trust-currency I mentioned earlier at an alarming rate with this wrap-up.
    Quote Originally Posted by GungHo, on Battletech
    The Atlas is also goofy but it has that whole "Stay Puft Marshmallow Man" menacing smile thing going for it. The guy who drew that one up was obviously taken to the Nutcracker when he was a child... and he was screaming in terror the entire time.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary IV: Chrome and Punishment

    At this moment, seems he was really in love with his ideas for the Can of Sky (not that they themselves aren't interesting/entertaining) even though it's a little side-story in the grander scheme of things of how they swapped AIs around. Some of the details might still be important, but I'd say right now it's like a chase or action scene that as it turns out just went on and on without plot importance. That's just a preliminary hypothesis and initial reaction, however.
    Last edited by BannedInSchool; 2014-03-10 at 05:36 PM.

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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary IV: Chrome and Punishment

    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    Howard is spending that trust-currency I mentioned earlier at an alarming rate with this wrap-up.
    The thing is, this entire plotline could be shot and we could start a new and completely unrelated storyline, and I'd be able to get over it and move on.

    The only thing I'm really worried about is this being relevant and important, but in some kind of halfway-state, just enough to remind me that this all happened, and also that the conclusion sucked.

    As is, the most important thing that I see is, A), the protagonists have a warship instead of a gunship now, (Maybe multiple. Is Tagon finally an admiral now? His father will be so proud.) and B), the ancient Oafa were the/a entity at war with the dark matter beasties. I'm expecting that to have some kind of significance, if only as more data for Petey to fight 'em with.

    And those... I can live with that. That's just below the lower bound of the 'kind of half-way state' I mentioned that I'd hate, but if it's just that, I'll be able to shrug and ignore it presuming we get back to the usual quality of storyline.

    Though we might be jumping the gun a bit here. It could always turn out that this is some kind of elaborate, godlike-AI-constructed-hell that is about to get torn apart piece by piece just to torment everyone. I think that's a bit too blatant, though.
    Last edited by Kane; 2014-03-10 at 07:14 PM.
    "Simon Ten Broek loves to draw attention;
    Simon Ten Broek spent years in bleak detention;
    Simon Ten Broek, with crimes too vile to mention;
    Simon Ten Broek won't live to see his pension."

    10:07 PM [Matthias] And the Kohr-Ah are all "GIT THEM DUKE BOYS!"

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    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary IV: Chrome and Punishment

    I am still expecting some sort of mind-alteration, where Tagon is somehow locked in a virtual reality where everything turns out the way he wants.

    Please realize that since the unpleasant resolution, we haven't focused on anybody else than Tagon.

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    Eldritch Horror in the Playground Moderator
     
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary IV: Chrome and Punishment

    Except for right now? Unless this is also part of the hallucination.
    Quote Originally Posted by GungHo, on Battletech
    The Atlas is also goofy but it has that whole "Stay Puft Marshmallow Man" menacing smile thing going for it. The guy who drew that one up was obviously taken to the Nutcracker when he was a child... and he was screaming in terror the entire time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enterti, Cogidubnus
    Glyphstone, out of all the playground I think you scare me the most...
    Quote Originally Posted by Zombimode
    Glyphstone, you are an evil person :D

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary IV: Chrome and Punishment

    Quote Originally Posted by Kornaki View Post
    Yeah. Heh. Not an ominous turn of phrase at all from someone with the newly expanded consciousness of a race that would go to war with the Lightless Wind for galactic dominance.

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    What happens to the ship's COOKS
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    Oooo... art upgrade!
    Last edited by ChowGuy; 2014-03-10 at 09:49 PM.
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    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary IV: Chrome and Punishment

    Quote Originally Posted by Kornaki View Post

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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary IV: Chrome and Punishment

    When they got Petey we didn't learn about the details until much later. The results were interesting. The toughs just released in the Galaxy a race who could build the can of sky and fight the dark matter beasties, and gave them an homicidal AI who is a tactical genius. Xeno team was already important, they turned the childish Oafa into something way more sinister.
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