The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #1231
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibrinar View Post
    Btw I can't remember did schlock have some cannon reason to have flesh and blood mercenaries? The far superior thought speed should make robot soldiers just better than most and comics that allude to non AIs slowing things down tend to remind me of that.
    I believe the crux of the issue is that if you make an AI smart enough to be better than meat mercenaries, it is legally a person and you cannot force it to do mercenary work for you.
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  2. - Top - End - #1232
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibrinar View Post
    Btw I can't remember did schlock have some cannon reason to have flesh and blood mercenaries? The far superior thought speed should make robot soldiers just better than most and comics that allude to non AIs slowing things down tend to remind me of that.
    I dunno about cannon reasons, but as for canon reasons, I'd expect it's a combo of distrust, social inertia, and the requirement to build the robots in the first place which would require substantial manufacturing which would bring the comic into areas much less likely to be using cannons.
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  3. - Top - End - #1233
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Well, I don't recall us ever having seen any sort of "robot"...AIs all seem to run ships or just float around like Ennesby. Maybe they just still can't build a robot that's as effective as an organic?

  4. - Top - End - #1234
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    We've seen a few combat robots, Tar feathers and Tarball when Sanctum Adroit showed for the first time in Force Multiplication
    They were extremly efficient at fighting indeed
    .. and then their obvious flaw became apparent as well when both Max and Ventura hacked them for their own needs. Including making their annie plant explode for massive potential damage.

    (Also the shipyards fabers all employ robots as we've seen several time. We'll leave both Enesby's macara and all the anobot ever out for the purpose of the discussion but y'know they technically all counts as 'robots' who can fight.)

    The fact that the only force I can remember deploying bots are either the techno fairies (they had those weird mecha tank suits whhich were shown to have their own perspnality when Venture reprogam one later) or Santum Adroit, the 'best of the industry' when it coms to security, let me thinks that the reason most armes don't use more robots is simply mix of costs/efficiency (as power armor is so common in this setting and comes all kind of extra guns, auto aiming and all kind of option that kinda level the playing field) and distrusts of AIs.
    Last edited by smuchmuch; 2019-10-13 at 04:59 AM.
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  5. - Top - End - #1235
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    We've also seen weaponised nanite swarms before. Not exactly robots, but they do seem to be effective weapons against soft targets and are presumably able to be AI controlled.

    EDIT: We also saw Petey use fabber bots for sabotage and fighting, and Tailor was pretty handy with his scissor hand in combat with a bit of reprogramming, and he's not exactly designed to military specifications.

    Also Captain Landon's sentient gun/girlfriend. I recall they used a lot of drones fabbed by the gun to put down the nannie-hacked law enforcement agents.
    Last edited by Grim Portent; 2019-10-13 at 07:24 AM.
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  6. - Top - End - #1236
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by smuchmuch View Post
    We've seen a few combat robots, Tar feathers and Tarball when Sanctum Adroit showed for the first time in Force Multiplication
    They were extremly efficient at fighting indeed
    .. and then their obvious flaw became apparent as well when both Max and Ventura hacked them for their own needs. Including making their annie plant explode for massive potential damage.
    In the robots defense, we've also seen humans get hacked in that one arc with the gavs. But that's a more recent technological development.

  7. - Top - End - #1237
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by Kornaki View Post
    In the robots defense, we've also seen humans get hacked in that one arc with the gavs. But that's a more recent technological development.
    And essentially a built in back-door in the nannies Gav's used. If the modification hardware was not compromised from the beginning, it would be much harder to hack into people. Still, recent rediscovery of personality teraport leaving the body behind might prove that organic beings are not less vulnerable to hacking anyway.
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  8. - Top - End - #1238
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by Radar View Post
    And essentially a built in back-door in the nannies Gav's used. If the modification hardware was not compromised from the beginning, it would be much harder to hack into people. Still, recent rediscovery of personality teraport leaving the body behind might prove that organic beings are not less vulnerable to hacking anyway.
    We have already seen this: the All-Star "hacked" the meatforms of four Urtheep Industries employees with exactly this technology. Perhaps the tech for this exact application is currently beyond most non-Strategic Engineers in the galaxy, but it'll get there pretty quickly, especially with Petey on the case.
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  9. - Top - End - #1239
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by Radar View Post
    And essentially a built in back-door in the nannies Gav's used. If the modification hardware was not compromised from the beginning, it would be much harder to hack into people. Still, recent rediscovery of personality teraport leaving the body behind might prove that organic beings are not less vulnerable to hacking anyway.
    The uploading and downloading of sleeper agents like Mako seems to indicate that this has been going on for a while, probably via snatching people and forcibly exposing them to compromised nannie hardware. But yes, removing all of the 'souls' of enemy combatants via terraport, or switching someone's personality via terraport would be a lot more efficient and require less set up.

  10. - Top - End - #1240
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    I'm calling today's flashback the longest distant to the present, that actually as plot-relevant information.

    Assuming the Schlock storyline happens 13 billion years after the big bang, this flashback takes us back by 6 billion years, that is 4 billion years earlier than the creation of the all-star.

    Roundabout. Also, the dinosaurs died out roundabout yesterday, on that level of magnitude.

  11. - Top - End - #1241
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Perhaps more importantly, though, the implication is that the Pa'anuri were originally created entities rather than coming into existence naturally. They were also created in the Milky Way, so presumably at some point they got kicked out and journeyed to Andromeda?

  12. - Top - End - #1242
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Or the pa'anuri traveled all the way to the milky way to see what their baryonic brethren were up to, only to discover a horror show of dark matter enslavement and torture.

  13. - Top - End - #1243
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    Perhaps more importantly, though, the implication is that the Pa'anuri were originally created entities rather than coming into existence naturally. They were also created in the Milky Way, so presumably at some point they got kicked out and journeyed to Andromeda?
    The DMB moving to the Andromeda Galaxy was part of the treaty with the Gatekeepers.
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  14. - Top - End - #1244
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by HandofShadows View Post
    The DMB moving to the Andromeda Galaxy was part of the treaty with the Gatekeepers.
    I forgot about that.

  15. - Top - End - #1245
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Am I the only one disappointed with this VERY IMPORTANT exposition being delivered by an omniscient narrator in the midst of an interlude? Is it so much of a foregone conclusion that this is the case that we can just gloss over the foundation of all plots in the comic like this?
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  16. - Top - End - #1246
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    The only beings who would have been alive back then and capable of delivering the exposition would be the DMEs themselves, and they're not really the chatty type. So omniscient narrator is the only option he's left himself.
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  17. - Top - End - #1247
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    The only beings who would have been alive back then and capable of delivering the exposition would be the DMEs themselves, and they're not really the chatty type. So omniscient narrator is the only option he's left himself.
    Well, no. It could've still been the civilization that made them and left the Galaxy in a hurry, and has been warning the newer arrivals about their mistakes all this time. Or the dinosaurs could've relayed the story, with the preceding explanation for how they know.

    He just... didn't do that.

  18. - Top - End - #1248
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by HorizonWalker View Post
    Well, no. It could've still been the civilization that made them and left the Galaxy in a hurry
    Assuming any of them survived, which I'm suspecting they didn't if they blew up their own sun for jollies.

  19. - Top - End - #1249
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    Well, I don't recall us ever having seen any sort of "robot"...AIs all seem to run ships or just float around like Ennesby. Maybe they just still can't build a robot that's as effective as an organic?
    For what it's worth, Ennesby has (briefly) been a humanoid robot.
    Last edited by FLHerne; 2019-10-21 at 03:56 PM.

  20. - Top - End - #1250
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    Assuming any of them survived, which I'm suspecting they didn't if they blew up their own sun for jollies.
    Eh. One of the problems with Superman is that any spacefaring society that can travel to other star systems is pretty much impossible to destroy with just one supernova. Sure, the survivors are going to be very different people from the idiots who blew up the sun, but different in the sense of "Horrifying trauma has deeply changed who we are and what we're afraid of."
    Last edited by HorizonWalker; 2019-10-21 at 08:17 PM.

  21. - Top - End - #1251
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by HorizonWalker View Post
    Eh. One of the problems with Superman is that any spacefaring society that can travel to other star systems is pretty much impossible to destroy with just one supernova. Sure, the survivors are going to be very different people from the idiots who blew up the sun, but different in the sense of "Horrifying trauma has deeply changed who we are and what we're afraid of."
    Krypton in most Superman origin stories is not a interstellar society. While the have the technology, for various reasons they didn't expand out to other start systems or if they did they withdrew back Krypton. In one version they were genetically tied to Krypton and leaving it would eventually kill them. (Clark was altered so that he could leave the planet and live)
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  22. - Top - End - #1252
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Hmmm, so apparently they had an actual reason to blow up the sun...

  23. - Top - End - #1253
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    FYI, the lastest Kickstarter for hardcopies is up and running.
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  24. - Top - End - #1254
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    I'm getting the feeling that the point of this interlude is that all these matrioshka brains? They predate the Pa'anuri. Metastable dark matter entities are (relatively) new on the galactic scale.
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  25. - Top - End - #1255
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by tonberrian View Post
    I'm getting the feeling that the point of this interlude is that all these matrioshka brains? They predate the Pa'anuri. Metastable dark matter entities are (relatively) new on the galactic scale.
    This is the origin story of the Pa'anuri we're seeing, I think, and it goes back seven billion years, which is an odd definition of "new" even with the (relatively) modifier!

  26. - Top - End - #1256
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    I thought this was going to be about Oisri's early precursor rather than a world sphere. Oisri itself is only 10 million years old, but clearly, the tech existed well before that.

    But, looking at white dwarf stars, they seem to be in volume comparable to an Oth-like planet, and Oisri is only about the size of a small moon.
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  27. - Top - End - #1257
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    https://www.schlockmercenary.com/2019-10-24

    So that's why they found Boloceade along the ring.
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  28. - Top - End - #1258
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Personally, I wish Howard would be more consistent about whether these pseudo-dinosaur-looking aliens wear clothes or not. What, are Paranoid Red and Goggles Blue just nudists or something? What's going on here?

  29. - Top - End - #1259
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by HouseRules View Post
    https://www.schlockmercenary.com/2019-10-24

    So that's why they found Boloceade along the ring.
    I still wonder why these people are orbiting the galaxy like this rather than finding somewhere new to live. Eventually Boloceade will run out of one resource or another, especially power, and there's nowhere they can get more.

  30. - Top - End - #1260
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    I mean, in theory, but in practice white dwarves expected lifespans are, like, 20 orders of magnitude longer than the current lifespan of the universe. That's a pretty long battery. And even THEN you could set up annie plants to consume the remaining mass of the star. It's pretty much as close to "forever" as I can think of.
    Last edited by tonberrian; 2019-10-24 at 01:51 AM.
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