The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #241
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by Grim Portent View Post
    Yep.

    Hell, I think she's technically been beaten off panel twice in so many pages. We didn't see her defeated in Eina-Afa itself or the mobilisation of a fleet to hunt down her drones, just Putzho mentioning in one panel that he could track her drones based on targeting data and then an oafan ship shooting one of her long guns. We've seen none of the actual effort that went into beating her and it makes it seem like she just kind of stopped being a problem.

    I'm not sure if she even managed to kill anyone come to think of it.
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  2. - Top - End - #242
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie the Duck View Post
    Unless I skipped a strip, we've seen no exercising of any kind of might. For all we know, the cyberofans simply came out of hiding and stated, 'hi! We're alive! Uh, what happened to our stuff?' and everyone sheepishly said, 'oh, yeah, you probably want that, don't you?' If they have been exercising might, militarily or legally, we might learn about it in upcoming strips, but as of yet we can only guess.
    It sounds like they've taken control of the remaining ships, including a lot of long gun corvettes. Putzho was talking about how many long guns they had last week. The book title itself references maxim 69, "Sometimes rank is a function of firepower".

    Quote Originally Posted by HandofShadows View Post
    Considering an that an ancient Ofan linked to Iafa and decided that Iafa was moving to slow in killing everyone, I don't think Iafa was wrong even in hindsight. I just think that Iafa couldn't take it despite it being the right/only thing to do. https://www.schlockmercenary.com/2018-07-28
    The Oafan who took control of the station, then killed and uploaded everyone in the prologue was the big librarian who got resurrected a few books back (contrary to the instructions encoded in his soul-foil). The AI he took control from may also have been the xeno-archaeologist from https://www.schlockmercenary.com/2018-07-27. Iafa wasn't present in the prologue.
    Last edited by lesser_minion; 2018-09-16 at 10:57 AM.

  3. - Top - End - #243
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by lesser_minion View Post
    The Oafan who took control of the station, then killed and uploaded everyone in the prologue was the big librarian who got resurrected a few books back (contrary to the instructions encoded in his soul-foil). The AI he took control from may also have been the xeno-archaeologist from https://www.schlockmercenary.com/2018-07-27. Iafa wasn't present in the prologue.
    I think most of us are referring to this:

    https://www.schlockmercenary.com/2018-05-27

    (A sequence that also establishes that Chinook's madness now is a result of running on the system Iafa designed to hide from its own guilt.)
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  4. - Top - End - #244
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    I think most of us are referring to this:

    https://www.schlockmercenary.com/2018-05-27

    (A sequence that also establishes that Chinook's madness now is a result of running on the system Iafa designed to hide from its own guilt.)
    People appear to be conflating the original murder-upload that left the Oafans extinct in meat-space with what Iafa did.

    The prologue to this book shows the murder-upload, and we can see that Iafa isn't present: the two people responsible are called Mnelalae (who appears to be the xeno-archaeologist from before) and Yaeyoefui.

    It seems like Iafa came after the Oafans were already extinct in real-space, and "imprisoned" them by confining them to the hardware that Putzho found.

    All of that said, I don't know whether or not we know what Iafa was like ten million years ago, so it's still possible that Mnelalae really is the same person. Iafa remade himself when they were reactivating Breath Weapon, and the previous incarnation was implied to be female.
    Last edited by lesser_minion; 2018-09-16 at 04:06 PM.

  5. - Top - End - #245
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    T'kkkuts Afa might have called itself something different when it was still sane.

    Edit: Something else I found in an archive dive is Karl's shirt. I'm trying to figure out how "Failure is mandatory" relates to "A little trust goes a long way."
    Last edited by Rockphed; 2018-09-16 at 05:50 PM.
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  6. - Top - End - #246
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by Rockphed View Post
    ...

    Edit: Something else I found in an archive dive is Karl's shirt. I'm trying to figure out how "Failure is mandatory" relates to "A little trust goes a long way."
    It's got a logic operator that looks like it's "!=", or doesn't equal, but I can't think of a pithy phrase or meaning from saying mandatory failure isn't from having a little trust.
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  7. - Top - End - #247
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    M70
    !=#30

    ... I don't get it?

    Which ones are 70 and 30 again? Wasn't 70 "Failure is a given, how you respond to it is what matters"?
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  8. - Top - End - #248
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by keybounce View Post
    M70
    !=#30

    ... I don't get it?

    Which ones are 70 and 30 again? Wasn't 70 "Failure is a given, how you respond to it is what matters"?
    It's the 'cryptic last page' in the Seventy Maxims book, interpreted something like "The end is not the end" or something. I'd remember more but I've misplaced the book.

  9. - Top - End - #249
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    OK, so the Oafans have found a supposedly hidden UNS battleplate--wonder if that means that Breath Weapon has a tracking device aboard? And presumably they're just there to retrieve the ship and the Toughs can go hang, given the way this plotline has been unfolding.

  10. - Top - End - #250
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Probably. I wonder about what other mission the battleplate is on that it is running dark.

  11. - Top - End - #251
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie the Duck View Post
    Probably. I wonder about what other mission the battleplate is on that it is running dark.
    I thought it was the "Not get shot by Andromeda" mission?

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  12. - Top - End - #252
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    I thought it was the "Not get shot by Andromeda" mission?

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    Well they really didn't know who was firing off the shots. And hiding like there are still means that the ani plants are still up and running so it wouldn't hide them from the DM.

    I suspect that the Ofans will (politely) grab the ship saying it was theirs/stolen property and leave the Toughs hanging and the UNS "displeased".
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  13. - Top - End - #253
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by HandofShadows View Post
    Well they really didn't know who was firing off the shots. And hiding like there are still means that the ani plants are still up and running so it wouldn't hide them from the DM.

    I suspect that the Ofans will (politely) grab the ship saying it was theirs/stolen property and leave the Toughs hanging and the UNS "displeased".
    How this plays out is going to turn my opinion of the reawakened Oafans.

    If they're here to grab this ship and leave the Toughs and embassy staff in a lurch, then they're just another "powerful idiot" faction.

    If they're here to free up the ship and crew so that the Toughs can carry out the contract they (the Oafans) have with the Toughs that's been referenced by Tagon, then at least they're not total idiots.
    Last edited by Max_Killjoy; 2018-09-18 at 12:31 PM.
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  14. - Top - End - #254
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    How this plays out is going to turn my opinion of the reawakened Oafans.

    If they're here to grab this ship and leave the Toughs and embassy staff in a lurch, then they're just another "powerful idiot" faction.

    If they're here to free up the ship and crew so that the Toughs can carry out the contract they have with the Toughs that's been referenced by Tagon, then at least they're not total idiots.
    If the contract is actually paying the Toughs to fix what they ignorantly broke, then I think my opinion of the Oafans will go up.
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  15. - Top - End - #255
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    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    OK, this no longer seems likely to just be a "retrieve our stuff" mission, because they wouldn't need to send 15,000+ ships to do that...

  16. - Top - End - #256
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    It seems suited when they are retrieving their stuff from the largest ship in the U.N.S. What's a retrieval mission without making sure you can handle things just in case people don't want to give you your stuff? The line in the last panel leads me to believe they would prefer to accomplish their mission (no matter what it is) without fighting.
    Last edited by Lizard Lord; 2018-09-19 at 04:21 AM.

  17. - Top - End - #257
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    OK, this no longer seems likely to just be a "retrieve our stuff" mission, because they wouldn't need to send 15,000+ ships to do that...
    Let's see... Maxim n: If you bring enough firepower to a confrontation, you can be paid to carry it home.

    Yeah, that's a pretty poor paraphrasing.

  18. - Top - End - #258
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    In reference to this?

    28. If the price of collateral damage is high enough, you might be able to get paid for bringing ammunition home with you.
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  19. - Top - End - #259
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

    Verisimilitude -- n, the appearance or semblance of truth, likelihood, or probability.

    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

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  20. - Top - End - #260
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    At this point I fully expect Andromeda to spontanously combust offpanel.
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  21. - Top - End - #261
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Now the Oafans are just showing off.

  22. - Top - End - #262
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by PraetorDragoon View Post
    At this point I fully expect Andromeda to spontanously combust offpanel.
    Quote Originally Posted by JavaScribe View Post
    Now the Oafans are just showing off.
    Honestly, at this point I'm both bored and annoyed. The oafans are supposedly pissed about losing 3 to several hundred ships while possessing over 15,000? Bull****. Pure and utter bull****.

  23. - Top - End - #263
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Cardew View Post
    Honestly, at this point I'm both bored and annoyed. The oafans are supposedly pissed about losing 3 to several hundred ships while possessing over 15,000? Bull****. Pure and utter bull****.
    Hey, Howard Taylor has to explain why the Toughs are poor again and have to do missions for the Oafans over a nonsensical debt somehow!

    Honestly, Delegates and Delegations was the last book I found interesting.

  24. - Top - End - #264
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by JavaScribe View Post
    Hey, Howard Taylor has to explain why the Toughs are poor again and have to do missions for the Oafans over a nonsensical debt somehow!

    Honestly, Delegates and Delegations was the last book I found interesting.
    Great. How about, "Our fortune is built on the inaccessibility of PTU's. We found the ancient oafans secret methods of production that let them make it so efficiently/quickly. But to effectively combat the EDMB in Andromeda, we have to release it to the galaxy without patenting it. Again. Thus crashing the market for PTUs and rending ourselves dirt poor again." Heck lean into and full lampshade it with comparisons to Kevin releasing both the teraport and teraport denial systems for free. At least then it's consistent with past behavior even if it's self-derivative.

    Or let the gate keepers go full production using their instant creation wormhole tech and render the Tough's fortune irrelevant that way. Or Petey gets the Osiris non-sentient slave labor farm going. But then I suppose we can't have half-assed arbitrary resource scarcity stories.

    Or shake the crew up again and make it clear that the people who are staying are here because they like the life not the monetary benefits.

  25. - Top - End - #265
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Or at least say "The Oafans have a cultural taboo against grave robbers, and since they have thousands of longguns, we might want to keep them happy" rather than "We're obviously thieves who now need to return what was never ours".

  26. - Top - End - #266
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    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Cardew View Post
    Honestly, at this point I'm both bored and annoyed. The oafans are supposedly pissed about losing 3 to several hundred ships while possessing over 15,000? Bull****. Pure and utter bull****.
    That's kind of like saying "This rich man won't be angry that I just stole his car because he has plenty of money to buy another one!". While I agree that the current plotline with the Oafans classing the ships the Toughs took as "theft" is cobblers, it's not because "it was only a small proportion of their fleet, they can afford to do without them".

  27. - Top - End - #267
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    https://downforeveryoneorjustme.com/...kmercenary.com

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  28. - Top - End - #268
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    It was definitely up when I did my normal morning comic binge about three hours ago.

    [EDIT] Update from Howard on Twitter: "Good morning. Site is down, I'm on the road, and the tech is in New Zealand. We'll figure something out, but it's gonna take a bit of time."
    Last edited by factotum; 2018-09-20 at 10:03 AM.

  29. - Top - End - #269
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    That's kind of like saying "This rich man won't be angry that I just stole his car because he has plenty of money to buy another one!". While I agree that the current plotline with the Oafans classing the ships the Toughs took as "theft" is cobblers, it's not because "it was only a small proportion of their fleet, they can afford to do without them".
    Alternatively, it's comparable to the U.S. Navy sending out 1-3 modern carrier battle groups to reclaim 3 dinghys off WWII aircraft carrier that had been left floating in the Pacific for the last 80 years. Or Toyota headquarters sending an army to repossess three cars that the idiot son who took over his dad's dealership gave away to his friends without reading the fine print. Or Bill Gates personally hunting down someone who pirated a copy of Word 2013. Analogies aren't perfect, the whole situation is patently absurd for a whole lot of reasons.

    Forgetting even normative arguments about like : Do the toughs deserve a reward for saving them? Is letting a few (possibly hundreds) of ships go a worthwhile investment in good relations with the existing galactic civilization? Etc. 3 out of 15,000 isn't even rounding error. Th oafans probably lost more than that accidentally parking too close to a star that was going to go supernova 5,000 years ago, thinking "eh we'll move in 3000 years or so".

  30. - Top - End - #270
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    I'm personally thinking that the "Brute Force" approach is for something else. Possibly, to deal with the inevitable retreat into darkness that the Long Gun presents for all civilizations, Oafans are countering it with keeping an absolute list of everything everywhere in the galaxy that they'll publish and keep updated. Dragging everyone into the light by force, so-to-speak, and preserving galactic civilization.

    An approach entirely contrary to the All-Star which chooses to hide and aggregate.
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