The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #151
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    You really seem to have it in for Petey right now? Not only is he shooting his own cities, he's now leading the Toughs into a trap, because he has nothing better to do with his time, what with the Pa'anuri not being a threat anymore...for reasons?
    Petey is fictional, I have nothing against him.

    A city is destroyed before his eyes, and his only reaction is to be snarky. If you don't find that suspicious, then ...

    'You're my best friends in all the world - do you mind coming somewhere unspecified, for unspecified reasons, and please leave your weapons and armor and ships behind ... trust me, it's fine!'

    If you're still not suspicious, I can only say this: Since time out of memory, whenever anyone ever asks the protagonist to leave behind their means of protection ... there are only two options: They are being betrayed, or we're meant to think they'll be betrayed.

    I can guarantee you this much: I'm right - or wrong. One of those two. 100%. :p

  2. - Top - End - #152
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Well, when he was interacting with the monstrous lost archive, I had a certain fear Petey would slowly turn murderous.

    But nothing happened, and the entire time, he is shown as a very stable persona. Can't he be benevolent and snarky?

    And being a highly functional AI, he already took steps to tera-evacuate his entire orbital framework (probably into some sort ot Buuthandi where no annie plants are needed), right the moment when he spoke that comment to alt-Kevin.

    And, Petey (as well as Tayler) really LIKES to be a "big-surprise-revealing jerk". I am one myself: in conversation often dragging out the point of my meaning until it is no longer funny. Getting the kicks out of shocking others with strange witticisms that only make sense after the big reveal.

    The right thing of Petey to say would have been: "Tagon and friends: We are under attack by the Pa'anuri. You remember Zoojack? So, I am taking precautions, and these are..."
    Instead, he goes: "Hey friends, would you please do some unreasonable things, I am waiting for your hilarious reactions to my demands, which will provide a good joke every day and make you look like fools. Then expect me to fully explain everything within the next weeks, you will understand it all in hindsight."

    That's so common in Tayler's storytelling that it's already aggravating: The reading audience already knows that there is a badass protagonist who has a shocking truth to tell. The reading audience either knows or has long ago correctly guessed the truth (like Pa'anuri are bombing the milkyway), and it all knows about the hidden qualities of the protagonist, anyway (e.g. Elf or Schlock).
    There is no fun in reading such a story where you already know all the stuff it's about - unless the author is presenting a stooge audience that can and will be flattened by the most dramatic and show-off re-reveal of that same truth.
    ("Mr. Satan" from Dragonball Z is such a stooge - thinking he is the greatest and knows all, but proven wrong twenty times in short order. And we find it hilarious, until that joke has been also ridden to death.)

  3. - Top - End - #153
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by Onyavar View Post
    Can't he be benevolent and snarky?
    Sure. His complete lack of surprise or any other significant reaction could mean nothing at all. It certainly doesn't have to be yes, organic - tell me more about your interesting theory about these attacks. Tell me all about how clever you are.

    Quote Originally Posted by Onyavar View Post
    he already took steps to tera-evacuate his entire orbital framework
    You don't know that. At all. What you know is that Petey said so. He'd hardly say the opposite.

    Oh and .... why would he destroy them? Because he's done uploading the inhabitants. Maybe. Again, just pulling that out of my hat, but it's certainly a theme.

  4. - Top - End - #154
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by Onyavar View Post
    Well, when he was interacting with the monstrous lost archive, I had a certain fear Petey would slowly turn murderous.

    But nothing happened, and the entire time, he is shown as a very stable persona. Can't he be benevolent and snarky?

    And being a highly functional AI, he already took steps to tera-evacuate his entire orbital framework (probably into some sort ot Buuthandi where no annie plants are needed), right the moment when he spoke that comment to alt-Kevin.

    And, Petey (as well as Tayler) really LIKES to be a "big-surprise-revealing jerk". I am one myself: in conversation often dragging out the point of my meaning until it is no longer funny. Getting the kicks out of shocking others with strange witticisms that only make sense after the big reveal.

    The right thing of Petey to say would have been: "Tagon and friends: We are under attack by the Pa'anuri. You remember Zoojack? So, I am taking precautions, and these are..."
    Instead, he goes: "Hey friends, would you please do some unreasonable things, I am waiting for your hilarious reactions to my demands, which will provide a good joke every day and make you look like fools. Then expect me to fully explain everything within the next weeks, you will understand it all in hindsight."

    That's so common in Tayler's storytelling that it's already aggravating: The reading audience already knows that there is a badass protagonist who has a shocking truth to tell. The reading audience either knows or has long ago correctly guessed the truth (like Pa'anuri are bombing the milkyway), and it all knows about the hidden qualities of the protagonist, anyway (e.g. Elf or Schlock).
    There is no fun in reading such a story where you already know all the stuff it's about - unless the author is presenting a stooge audience that can and will be flattened by the most dramatic and show-off re-reveal of that same truth.
    ("Mr. Satan" from Dragonball Z is such a stooge - thinking he is the greatest and knows all, but proven wrong twenty times in short order. And we find it hilarious, until that joke has been also ridden to death.)

    As much as I like Howard's work, you've really hit on something here.


    (As an aside, the stuff like "Mr Satan" was part of what made DBZ so unwatchable for me.)
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  5. - Top - End - #155
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    "This doesn't have annie plants" :-)
    So you'll insert the horse into the Large Hadron Collider next?
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  6. - Top - End - #156
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by keybounce View Post
    "This doesn't have annie plants" :-)
    "I'm banning it for completely unrelated reasons." How many nice, pleasant towns has Schlock destroyed with that thing?
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    Rockphed said it well.
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  7. - Top - End - #157
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by Rockphed View Post
    "I'm banning it for completely unrelated reasons." How many nice, pleasant towns has Schlock destroyed with that thing?
    Like Two. Tops. Nice and pleasant don't pay well.

  8. - Top - End - #158
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by keybounce View Post
    "This doesn't have annie plants" :-)
    So...how exactly is it powered if it's not via annie plants?

  9. - Top - End - #159
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    So...how exactly is it powered if it's not via annie plants?
    I seem to recall that it has a fusion reactor that it vents to provide the plasma stream.
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  10. - Top - End - #160
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    So...how exactly is it powered if it's not via annie plants?

    Microfusion plant.

    http://schlockmercenary.wikia.com/wiki/Plasma_Cannon

  11. - Top - End - #161
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Not a single one of you is convinced yet, right?

    He's pulling this entire explanation straight out of his rearside - and Cindy is suspicious, but doesn't know enough about Petey's capabilities to be sure.

  12. - Top - End - #162
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    Not a single one of you is convinced yet, right?

    He's pulling this entire explanation straight out of his rearside - and Cindy is suspicious, but doesn't know enough about Petey's capabilities to be sure.
    Oddly, I am accepting Petey's explanation at face value. Would you care to explain why you aren't?
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  13. - Top - End - #163
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Sorry Petey, I do knot no how that works.

    Seriously. 21 minutes, and most of that spent unrolling the spool. Unless there's something going on I don't know, you need to start at the center of mass, and spin out thread in both directions otherwise your whole system will move.

    And the time to bring the spin up to speed? Constructing/powering/doing something with the engine that spins the city/counterweight pair?

    21 days seems more reasonable than 21 minutes.
    So you'll insert the horse into the Large Hadron Collider next?
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  14. - Top - End - #164
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by Rockphed View Post
    Oddly, I am accepting Petey's explanation at face value. Would you care to explain why you aren't?
    Why. Well, because he doesn't even flinch when that first city died. Take if you will a moment to consider the contrast between the reactions of Petey, and ... what his name again? Petey knew, very well, because he was the one killing that city. That's why.

    Everything we've seen after that - ask you self why we're seing this? Why is it relevant to show Tagon teraported - naked, no less - to an undisclosed location? Why is it relevant to see Petey explain to Cindy how he teraported the cities, and provides them with power via 'counterweight fusion'?

    Tagon is in a trap, and Cindy is being given a credible excuse to doubt Petey's word - so that later, when Cindy is somehow involved in freeing Tagon, it's not a complete surprise.

    Of course I'm guessing here - going ever further out a tangent of my own making. I'm pretty sure Petey's lack of reaction to the destruction of his city is significant. The rest is pure speculation. And more speculative, the further I get.

  15. - Top - End - #165
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    Lizardfolk

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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    A.I.'s have freaking super brains that analyze things in nano seconds, and Petey is one of, if not the, smartest and most advanced A.I. in the galaxy. Petey very well could have gone through all the stages of grief and reached acceptance by the time he said that line. Also I am pretty sure the real reason for it is because Taylor still has that policy of always ending a page with a joke.

  16. - Top - End - #166
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    Why. Well, because he doesn't even flinch when that first city died. Take if you will a moment to consider the contrast between the reactions of Petey, and ... what his name again? Petey knew, very well, because he was the one killing that city. That's why.
    I don't believe that for a second. Petey has always taken safety measures to not become a crazy or malevolent AI. There are issues with manipulation and free will of his human subjects, but Petey doesn't do evil, he has proven that time and again.

    If he didn't flinch visibly there, it's probably because he can revive any victims of the attack, and because he was already furiously thinking on countermeasures.

    The conversion of Spindle Cities towards Pendulum Rotators probably didn't take too long because he had planned in advance for emergencies like this. I wouldn't put it past him to construct Buuthandis and Dyson Spheres and Matryoshka Brains of his own design. Just in case he needs a place to hide galactic civilization. And if he hadn't done it before the All-Star was revealed, he probably started projects like that when he learned of them. (And he builds quick)

  17. - Top - End - #167
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    Why. Well, because he doesn't even flinch when that first city died. Take if you will a moment to consider the contrast between the reactions of Petey, and ... what his name again? Petey knew, very well, because he was the one killing that city. That's why.
    Petey has been a deadpan snarker practically since we met him. If you pay attention, the city that got zapped was the one under construction, so there might not have been anyone aboard. For pretty much everything else, I think we are going to have to disagree. Where you see evidence of some nefarious plot on Petey's part, I...I don't.
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  18. - Top - End - #168
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by Rockphed View Post
    If you pay attention, the city that got zapped was the one under construction
    I hadn't actually noticed that, but good catch--the city that got long gunned was clearly incomplete. That doesn't actually disprove Kaptin Keen's theory, but it *does* mean that Petey didn't callously slaughter millions of people if it *was* him that took the shot.

    On an unrelated note--is it weird that all I can think about at the moment is what the tensile strength of Petey's "string" has to be in order to support the entire weight of a city spinning around like that?

  19. - Top - End - #169
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by Onyavar View Post
    If he didn't flinch visibly there, it's probably because he can revive any victims of the attack, and because he was already furiously thinking on countermeasures.
    Petey has billions of instances of himself running and thinks billions of times faster than humans do. Outside of 'in virtual space' conversations, he should only flinch when he needs to telegraph to his human conversation partners that he was surprised. That really didn't seem necessary, since alt-Kevyn wasn't even remotely looking at him at the moment.

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    On an unrelated note--is it weird that all I can think about at the moment is what the tensile strength of Petey's "string" has to be in order to support the entire weight of a city spinning around like that?
    Not at all. Certainly I was thinking that that would be the first point-of-failure the next battle/terrorist act near one of those things will exploit. However, this is a universe with space elevators, so we know they have material of a similar capacity.

  20. - Top - End - #170
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie the Duck View Post
    Not at all. Certainly I was thinking that that would be the first point-of-failure the next battle/terrorist act near one of those things will exploit. However, this is a universe with space elevators, so we know they have material of a similar capacity.
    They built a space elevator on Earth's moon. I think you can do that with bog-standard steel.
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  21. - Top - End - #171
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    It's really not a question of how fast Petey is.

    It's a matter of the author showing, deliberately, that Petey isn't fazed in the very least by the loss of one of his cities.

  22. - Top - End - #172
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by Rockphed View Post
    They built a space elevator on Earth's moon. I think you can do that with bog-standard steel.
    No, I believe it would take Kevlar for the moon space elevator. Still, I'm sure PTUs are more than enough to build a tether for the cities.

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    I would say that's the dumbest theory Grey Wolf's heard, but, let's be honest: It's Grey Wolf. They've probably heard dumber theories today. Point is, neat idea, but it's a real stretch.
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    No, I believe it would take Kevlar for the moon space elevator. Still, I'm sure PTUs are more than enough to build a tether for the cities.

    Grey Wolf
    That link is for a lunar elevator that stretches to Earth/Moon L1 or L2. In Schlock Luna has had its rotation spun up to a 24 hour day.
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  24. - Top - End - #174
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    No, I believe it would take Kevlar for the moon space elevator. Still, I'm sure PTUs are more than enough to build a tether for the cities.

    Grey Wolf
    Or polyethylene, according to that link, which is just one more example of how weird the sheer magnitude of material changes depending on molecular weight are.
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    We just don't see surprise on Petey's face when the panel is angeled that way. When the explosion happened we see from Petey's silhouette that his arms are spread out when both right before and right after they were folded behind his back. This explosion did, indeed, catch Petey off guard.
    Last edited by Lizard Lord; 2018-08-07 at 02:32 PM.

  26. - Top - End - #176
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Aha! I was wrong =)

    How amusing, and also slightly disappointing.

  27. - Top - End - #177
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    So, why would the Psychobear Datacruncher make Kevyn run the numbers on teraporting the city into spin-gravity mode?
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  28. - Top - End - #178
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by Mando Knight View Post
    So, why would the Psychobear Datacruncher make Kevyn run the numbers on teraporting the city into spin-gravity mode?
    Because Kevyn invented the thing in the first place and has more knowledge than anyone else alive about how it all works? Heck, given how brilliant Kevyn is supposed to be, he might have come up with the spin idea himself before Petey ever thought of it.

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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Prediction: Petey dies during schlolcktoberfest.
    I'm mostly here for Warframe and a tiny bit of RWBY.

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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by McDouggal View Post
    Prediction: Petey dies during schlolcktoberfest.
    Schlocktoberfest has been discontinued due to storytelling creep. The last one, where Tagon was feeling old, was particularly boring.
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