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    Default Re: Star Power VI: Shooting Stars (VORP VORP VORP)

    And the thing that everyone saw coming a mile away happened. It's almost like Mookie is predictable or something.
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    Default Re: Star Power VI: Shooting Stars (VORP VORP VORP)

    Quote Originally Posted by Gez View Post
    All these slaves were smuggled to Hymn's estate, weren't they?

    I mean, the A-plot and B-plot are going to be linked somehow, and Hymn got a lot of people on his choir that he can murder with full impunity, so they have to be people kept out of the grid somehow.
    Sweet vindication. I'm a veteran of Dominic Deegan snark threads; I know how Mookie works.
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    I think he did the only morally acceptable thing by killing everyone.
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    Default Re: Star Power VI: Shooting Stars (VORP VORP VORP)

    That seems to kill my clone theory. #Sad!
    But I guess the slave trade explanation makes more sense since it conserves narrative element.
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    Default Re: Star Power VI: Shooting Stars (VORP VORP VORP)

    ...so they let the slave cargo go after they arrested the smugglers? That isn't very human.
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    Default Re: Star Power VI: Shooting Stars (VORP VORP VORP)

    Quote Originally Posted by Vinyadan View Post
    ...so they let the slave cargo go after they arrested the smugglers? That isn't very human.
    IKR? I thought Burke mentioned that he saved those people! How did they end up with Hymn(noun)?

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    Default Re: Star Power VI: Shooting Stars (VORP VORP VORP)

    Quote Originally Posted by Elanasaurus View Post
    IKR? I thought Burke mentioned that he saved those people! How did they end up with Hymn(noun)?
    Because there probably wasn't just one shipment.
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    Default Re: Star Power VI: Shooting Stars (VORP VORP VORP)

    Well, this explanation went about as well as could have been expected.
    If they are all slaves... Are they brain washed or do they have bombs implanted or... How is he running this? Also, if they are just random slaves... Why are they all human?
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    Default Re: Star Power VI: Shooting Stars (VORP VORP VORP)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kato View Post
    Well, this explanation went about as well as could have been expected.
    If they are all slaves... Are they brain washed or do they have bombs implanted or... How is he running this? Also, if they are just random slaves... Why are they all human?
    I'd say they're high end market slaves, or special niche. They all need to be musical (perfect pitch, good singing voice, fast learners), human and look like Hymn, at least in hight, weight and coloring.

  9. - Top - End - #279
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    Default Re: Star Power VI: Shooting Stars (VORP VORP VORP)

    Quote Originally Posted by guttering flame View Post
    I'd say they're high end market slaves, or special niche. They all need to be musical (perfect pitch, good singing voice, fast learners), human and look like Hymn, at least in hight, weight and coloring.
    This is why I think Hymn might be an idiot. You'd think clones would be a lot easier, since some of singing ability is probably genetic to a minor degree, but you gotta start somewhere! Also, lot easier to hide, and also educate. And who is to say that for a single dude, uterine replication isn't a legal and acceptable way to gain children? Also, if he wasn't cloning, why was he doing the creepy shower thing?

    Through the idea of smugglers stalking karaoke bars to find drunk singers does amuse me greatly.

    Edit: Also, can someone tell me what the hell is wrong with Dr. Brightman's hair? Is it straight in the front and some sort of weird frizzy mess in the back?
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  10. - Top - End - #280
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    Default Re: Star Power VI: Shooting Stars (VORP VORP VORP)

    Quote Originally Posted by Honest Tiefling View Post
    This is why I think Hymn might be an idiot. You'd think clones would be a lot easier, since some of singing ability is probably genetic to a minor degree, but you gotta start somewhere! Also, lot easier to hide, and also educate. And who is to say that for a single dude, uterine replication isn't a legal and acceptable way to gain children? Also, if he wasn't cloning, why was he doing the creepy shower thing?

    Through the idea of smugglers stalking karaoke bars to find drunk singers does amuse me greatly.
    Clones are what? Easy? When you need to grow them up for years before they look similar to you? And then the clones may still not be loyal to you!
    Nah, mind-programmed goons are easier. And because nobody may recognize them at concerts, Hymn provided facial masks.

    Why would slavers go for Karaoke Bars? The training is provided by Hymn himself. By now that was even shown in-comic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Onyavar View Post
    95% of us, if motivated and trained, can sing at least decently, even when most claim that they can't sing. But Hymn doesn't want decent singers, he wants perfect ones. Until now, I assumed he was having a regular choir, recruiting only the best singers (applicants) and killing them if they didn't fit his standard. That made no sense, as I pointed out several times.

    Forcing or training prisoners to sing a jolly song, and killing them when they don't, is really messed up. Actually, it has been done before in reality. But again, Hymn wants perfection. To achieve perfection, his applicants would just need to train harder and then try again. Instead, Hymn killed them off. Which still makes no sense, unless...

    Yeah. Naturally, he isn't having slave labor in his choir. He is doing perfect mind control. All those singers who sing in The Choir, are simply instruments. Extensions of his will. He buys them as raw material, does some hard work shaping them up until they are at the peak of their singing capacity - an applicant. As a perfectionist virtuoso, he then performs tests until he detects a flaw in new instruments. A flaw means that this particular instrument is inherently broken and thus worthless. That is the only explanation that I have for those killing scenes that makes sense to me.

    So, I wonder why the chief needed to tell the same old story again, right at this point. He can't possibly know what Hymn does with his slaves...
    Oh, right. Another chapter goes by, and then Mookie lets the chief tell the astonished reader that Hymn DID re-program his applicants. Because nobody could tell from those ugly number pages.

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    Default Re: Star Power VI: Shooting Stars (VORP VORP VORP)

    Quote Originally Posted by Onyavar View Post
    Clones are what? Easy? When you need to grow them up for years before they look similar to you? And then the clones may still not be loyal to you!
    Nah, mind-programmed goons are easier. And because nobody may recognize them at concerts, Hymn provided facial masks.

    Why would slavers go for Karaoke Bars? The training is provided by Hymn himself. By now that was even shown in-comic.
    Training yes, but...There are still some issues with grabbing random people. Getting a crop entirely full of baritones for one, even if this magical program could fix range and hearing issues. If he could somehow do that, why not just hold Space Idol and get the goobers to come willingly? Not to mention, some of the cargo looked like they didn't resemble Hymn. That's what you get for getting third rate human trafficking, you get all of the wrong colors and height and eeeeeewwwwwwwww.
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    Default Re: Star Power VI: Shooting Stars (VORP VORP VORP)

    Well, I guess brain washing takes the cake.
    So does he only order male humans of slim stature with black hair or does he some adjusting if necessary? Or are there actually women in his choir we haven't seen yet?

    Also.. So is this just a look at a random applicant or is this the guy who escaped? I guess the latter doesn't make much sense if he already screwed up back then.
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    Default Re: Star Power VI: Shooting Stars (VORP VORP VORP)

    Doesn't this page imply that these people lack socialization skills if they shoot people this quickly? Does no one talk to the choir or try to interview them? No gossip channel wants the scoop on Hymn?

    I mean, if Lady Gaga started sequestering her back up dancers and refused to let anyone talk to them, I don't think she could really get away with it.
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    Default Re: Star Power VI: Shooting Stars (VORP VORP VORP)

    Quote Originally Posted by Honest Tiefling View Post
    Doesn't this page imply that these people lack socialization skills if they shoot people this quickly? Does no one talk to the choir or try to interview them? No gossip channel wants the scoop on Hymn?

    I mean, if Lady Gaga started sequestering her back up dancers and refused to let anyone talk to them, I don't think she could really get away with it.
    Does Lady Gaga and all her dancers live on a very remote island? Are her back up dancers masked and hooded? Do they all refuse to talk to the media (apparently voluntarily)? If all these questions are answered "no", then the situation is just not comparable.
    By the way, I would rather compare Hymn's choir with, hmmm... The Gregorians, but led by Mozart. The media wouldn't approach the humble ordinary choir singers, when there is a vain, eccentric music genius who is much more talkative (and if not himself, then his press agency and his secretary).

    But, apparently, this isn't a sci-fi story about mysteriously enslaved mind-controlled puppets. Instead it's a simple brainwashed cult. With this development, the situation has both become a LOT less scary - but it has moved into the realm of sheer implausibility, again.
    If Hymn had a success rate of 50% or even just 20% to raise a smuggled slave into a singer (with technical, chemical or musical means, I suspected), then I could see how this would work.
    But it's a lousy old cult hierarchie with (slaves and total newbies <) Applicants < Singers < Hymn. Prospective cult members are forced into service as young men against their will. This should really ramp up their resistance against the sort of totalitarian regime Hymn presses them into. As they are executed at the slightest sign of imperfection not only in music, I wonder how Hymn has so many of loyal cultists. The success rates must be so ridiculously low that Hymn shouldn't have been able to train his first singer in a lifetime. How many singers have we seen so far - 30? 50? How many instructors and supervisors does Hymn need in his Estate staff? How many of them are dedicated studio-teachers all day long, by the way culling the nervous applicants? A hundred or much more, by my estimate: We have seen his crème de la crème singers - as waiters and as lab rats!
    There must be (TENS OF?) THOUSANDS of bodies that the cult has disposed of over the years. In a criminal sense, the business model is not sustainable, seeing that the MillFed has outlawed slavery and is supposedly peaceful (void angels and biker gangs aside). Or is it???

    My reasoning goes like this: Hymn buys his slaves (in bulk!) from the same crimelords that control drugs and weapons. A dozen slaves per week, just to keep his numbers stable. Which implies well-organized human slave traffic, because he can't be the only one to buy. Which implies dozens, hundreds or even thousands of humans are abducted every day. Which implies that some other species should also be targetted. Which implies that the MillFed is rife with crime. (Which is also implied by the sheer existence of GalDef! Why else would they need Destroyers and Battle Cruisers when there is no external threat? To battle crime. Not fight... battle!)

    I may be off in some calculations - but I guess Mookie just wanted to remind the audience how slight imperfection leads to death at Hymn's Estate. He seems incapable of thinking what that means for his comic world. So far, he never considered the larger numbers. The power of the void angels and the wormhole invasion fleet was first exaggerated as galaxy-shattering: Only to have them shredded by MillFed-GalDef, because it was all robotic anyway. Then the biker gang and BHB arc was a total joke in comparison to the Countess. Danica rescued a group of three dozens of "salad people", who all celebrate instead of mourn the countless fellows who are still trapped between the fronts at home.

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    Default Re: Star Power VI: Shooting Stars (VORP VORP VORP)

    It is immensely stupid. You generally get better by performing mistakes and learning from them. If someone makes an error you should spend another couple days training him past that, instead of months training a replacement.
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    Default Re: Star Power VI: Shooting Stars (VORP VORP VORP)

    Drat. I had hoped for cloning. Brainwashed slaves is so.... mundane.

    And, as others have noted, not very believable with the rate he goes through them.

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    Default Re: Star Power VI: Shooting Stars (VORP VORP VORP)

    Seeing that being afraid is sufficient „imperfection” to warrant a death sentence I'm guessing a good part of Hymn's applicants are disposed of for stuff like their sleeping position, handedness or diet.
    So much for that joke...

    Also, this scheme makes less sense than the frigging Slaughterhouse Nine.
    Unless Hymn has a secret, horrifically evil, conspiracy (doing all the wrong things for kinda right-ish reasons) covering him too.
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    Default Re: Star Power VI: Shooting Stars (VORP VORP VORP)

    Quote Originally Posted by Onyavar View Post
    Does Lady Gaga and all her dancers live on a very remote island? Are her back up dancers masked and hooded?
    Pretty sure they are in some videos. But even Mozart probably had people trying to find dirt on him on a semi-regular basis. That sorta happens when you are a celebrity, so I don't see why no one ever found something fishy when they wanted to investigate him for the next big story or blackmail. Especially since the Chief figured it out in what, two days!? Dude isn't exactly Mr. Subtle here.

    But what if the slaves are those who are non-Millfed, or those who slipped through the cracks? Grex mentioned that was a problem for her, but we don't know if that prejudice is constrained to her species. Could be possible he's buying cheap knock-off slaves.

    Also, human experimentation was kinda hinted at to be a rather common place thing until recently, (where both the Chief and Dr. Brightman thought it was a credible possibility) through that might be clunky writing trying to write themselves out of a corner and refusing to give Starpower a real challenge. Could be that criminal organizations also dabble in that, so you have a lot of humans you might need to off-load quickly.
    Last edited by Honest Tiefling; 2018-05-14 at 05:46 PM.
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    Default Re: Star Power VI: Shooting Stars (VORP VORP VORP)

    Quote Originally Posted by Honest Tiefling View Post
    But what if the slaves are those who are non-Millfed, or those who slipped through the cracks? Grex mentioned that was a problem for her, but we don't know if that prejudice is constrained to her species. Could be possible he's buying cheap knock-off slaves.

    Also, human experimentation was kinda hinted at to be a rather common place thing until recently, (where both the Chief and Dr. Brightman thought it was a credible possibility) through that might be clunky writing trying to write themselves out of a corner and refusing to give Starpower a real challenge. Could be that criminal organizations also dabble in that, so you have a lot of humans you might need to off-load quickly.
    Are there non-MillFed human colonies??

    I did a reread of the first chapter/book and the wormhole invasion fleet. On glancing through the pages, I didn't find what I remembered (and searched): Mention that the MillFed is actually comprised of all known sentient civilisations. But I also couldn't find any mention of left-out civs, which should mean the same thing. United Earth is especially considered a part of the MillFed, and as we know from the Traveler arc and even a lot earlier , constructing a jump gate takes decades and even exploration is not done lightly. Even the notorious slavers, the Graidan are part of the MillFed. Also, it stretches over a truly vast portion of the galaxy (even if the red part is only a ten-thousandth of the galaxy, it's still several million solar systems) That last bit also means that the MillFed is at least a few thousand years OLD, and that is only if they had one hundred Traveler-like exploration ships when they started exploration.

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    Default Re: Star Power VI: Shooting Stars (VORP VORP VORP)

    Quote Originally Posted by Onyavar View Post
    Are there non-MillFed human colonies??

    I did a reread of the first chapter/book and the wormhole invasion fleet. On glancing through the pages, I didn't find what I remembered (and searched): Mention that the MillFed is actually comprised of all known sentient civilisations. But I also couldn't find any mention of left-out civs, which should mean the same thing. United Earth is especially considered a part of the MillFed, and as we know from the Traveler arc and even a lot earlier , constructing a jump gate takes decades and even exploration is not done lightly. Even the notorious slavers, the Graidan are part of the MillFed. Also, it stretches over a truly vast portion of the galaxy (even if the red part is only a ten-thousandth of the galaxy, it's still several million solar systems) That last bit also means that the MillFed is at least a few thousand years OLD, and that is only if they had one hundred Traveler-like exploration ships when they started exploration.
    Maybe they started with pre-existing jump gates from a previous civilization. They needed their strong MillFed force to root out any competing states in their gate system. Otherwise those enemies could send their military forces to the heart of the federation through the gates. They needed to expand their Federation to cover the entire pre-existing jump gate system before they were safe. That could also explain why they're a federation rather than a republic for example. The strong star faring civilizations in the area united for common interests in a loosely held union. After they formed they added more systems (say 50) over time.
    Last edited by guttering flame; 2018-05-15 at 06:10 AM.

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    Default Re: Star Power VI: Shooting Stars (VORP VORP VORP)

    Quote Originally Posted by Onyavar View Post
    But, apparently, this isn't a sci-fi story about mysteriously enslaved mind-controlled puppets. Instead it's a simple brainwashed cult. With this development, the situation has both become a LOT less scary - but it has moved into the realm of sheer implausibility, again.
    If Hymn had a success rate of 50% or even just 20% to raise a smuggled slave into a singer (with technical, chemical or musical means, I suspected), then I could see how this would work.
    But it's a lousy old cult hierarchie with (slaves and total newbies <) Applicants < Singers < Hymn. Prospective cult members are forced into service as young men against their will.
    Wait, how does this follow from the latest strips?
    There could be any amount of surgery, memory modification, and what-have-you between "smuggled slave" and "applicant preparing for audition."

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    Default Re: Star Power VI: Shooting Stars (VORP VORP VORP)

    Quote Originally Posted by Onyavar View Post
    Are there non-MillFed human colonies??
    1) I'm really just assuming that the author is going to pull things out of their butt.

    2) It doesn't need to be a human dominated colony, just a colony with humans.

    3) Criminals are hard to track, and essentially would be under the radar. Humans like the void angels or supernova dragons might be considered citizens, but functionally aren't. They probably recruit heavily from others who fall under the radar or are on the run.

    Quote Originally Posted by AMX View Post
    Wait, how does this follow from the latest strips?
    There could be any amount of surgery, memory modification, and what-have-you between "smuggled slave" and "applicant preparing for audition."
    We don't know the level of genetic/flesh restructuring that the setting can do. You can't just rearrange some bits and call someone a dude after all. There was a famous experiment where they tried the opposite and it did not work in the slightest. Through that might be one way to get counter-tenors?

    (Note: That isn't a remark against the transgendered in real life, but more that you can't force a gender onto someone and expect it to work out well.)
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    Default Re: Star Power VI: Shooting Stars (VORP VORP VORP)

    Quote Originally Posted by guttering flame View Post
    Maybe they started with pre-existing jump gates from a previous civilization. They needed their strong MillFed force to root out any competing states in their gate system. Otherwise those enemies could send their military forces to the heart of the federation through the gates. They needed to expand their Federation to cover the entire pre-existing jump gate system before they were safe. That could also explain why they're a federation rather than a republic for example. The strong star faring civilizations in the area united for common interests in a loosely held union. After they formed they added more systems (say 50) over time.
    Quote Originally Posted by Honest Tiefling View Post
    3) Criminals are hard to track, and essentially would be under the radar. Humans like the void angels or supernova dragons might be considered citizens, but functionally aren't. They probably recruit heavily from others who fall under the radar or are on the run.
    Maybea combination of that? if the gate system is older than the MillFed there might be a lot of systems that are habitable but not settled, with outcasts and adventurers going there to life "off the grid". These communities may or may not be short lived. If the MillFed is advanced enough much population growth is unlikely if they have at all. They same happens in advanced countries like in Europe or Japan.
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    Default Re: Star Power VI: Shooting Stars (VORP VORP VORP)

    Quote Originally Posted by Welf View Post
    Maybea combination of that? if the gate system is older than the MillFed there might be a lot of systems that are habitable but not settled, with outcasts and adventurers going there to life "off the grid". These communities may or may not be short lived. If the MillFed is advanced enough much population growth is unlikely if they have at all. They same happens in advanced countries like in Europe or Japan.
    The Lore of the humans states that they are unified as a part of United Earth, but...Well, as you say, that isn't exactly how humans in our times work, is it? Being off the grid is a trend where I am in the States as well. Add in the idea that plenty of scientists are probably chomping at the bit to go out and explore, and you have another source of people wandering off from the Millfed to explore.
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    Default Re: Star Power VI: Shooting Stars (VORP VORP VORP)

    1) I'm really just assuming that the author is going to pull things out of their butt.
    Experience teaches that this storage area does not obey the laws of man. Any sort of horror may be pulled out from here..
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    Default Re: Star Power VI: Shooting Stars (VORP VORP VORP)

    I didn't follow this recent discussion, but if there is a concern with obtaining slaves under the radar, then this is something that I will actually not fault the story for. In any sufficieny urbanized envionment, there will be plently of people who fall through the cracks. The homeless, the unemployed, even people who live off the radar. We have over seven and a half billion people on Earth right now, and the comic galaxy likely has billions more. Even if only .001% of the population is unaccounted for, that is still millions of people available for Hymn to pull from, and I'd bet the numbers are far higher.
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    Default Re: Star Power VI: Shooting Stars (VORP VORP VORP)

    It seems our applicant managed to talk himself out of being shot.
    Without noticing the danger it seems.
    And he gets some special lesson out of the deal.

    Huh. wasn't there some infiltrator or something running around?
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  28. - Top - End - #298
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Default Re: Star Power VI: Shooting Stars (VORP VORP VORP)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kantaki View Post
    Huh. wasn't there some infiltrator or something running around?
    Previous page had "some time ago" in the upper left.
    So it's hard to know the sequence of events and it is possible that this guy is the one that tries to run away, or that they will both meet the infiltrator soon outside.

  29. - Top - End - #299
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Celestia's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Canterlot, Equestria
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: Star Power VI: Shooting Stars (VORP VORP VORP)

    I am now definitely shipping those two. There's some "extra attention" happening off panel.
    Last edited by Celestia; 2018-05-17 at 11:31 PM.
    Princess Celestia's Homebrew Corner
    Old classes, new classes, and more!

    Thanks to AsteriskAmp for the avatar!

  30. - Top - End - #300
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Kato's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Germany
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Star Power VI: Shooting Stars (VORP VORP VORP)

    Quote Originally Posted by Celestia View Post
    I am now definitely shipping those two. There's some "extra attention" happening off panel.
    Aw, that's cute indeed.
    But.. Well, it just seems weird he'd only care about that one applicant dying if there probably were many before him.
    "What's done is done."

    Pony Avatar thanks to Elemental

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