15 thoughts on “Page 289

  1. Thracecius

    Wow, Vestine’s fine shooting her pet android multiple times and then pretending there’s nothing wrong with that, but she gets someone else to do the torture?

    Lisa can’t end her soon enough if you ask me. The only problem is, who will take over afterward and will they be any better? This is why vigilantism is such a slippery slope. There are times I agree with it, but I don’t know that I could ever be comfortable with it, there’s too much inherent responsibility when you take such actions. Fortunately, this is a work of fiction, so I can cheer on Lisa’s efforts. 🙂

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    1. steven Post author

      I should have made it more clear, but that is Vestine there, just dressed a bit different, I suppose these would be her everyday work clothes as a general or whatever rank she is… yeah she can dress weird in her own house but when she walks into the Pentagon building she puts her pants back on… 🙂

      About vigilantism, I agree, and this story isn’t meant to say it’s good for humans to take the law into their own hands sometimes. Rather it’s to show what can happen if we program androids to be protective of humans, and then on top of that give them abilities above and beyond what a normal human can do. it’s more about android vigilantism, than human vigilantism I suppose. People joke about “but I for one welcome our robot overlords” but could it be that humanity might be better off ruled by AI, than by themselves? I don’t know

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      1. One-eyed Mike

        I understood that it was Vestine, but I can see how someone might get that wrong. It’s not clear from the profile face.

        Can you turn her round?

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        1. steven Post author

          hm it might be easier to add a text bubble something like “Meanwhile in Vestine’s basement” or something like that… anyway we can see her face more clearly on the next page

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      2. Thracecius

        I should have looked closer at the figure holding the prod, I can see that it’s Vestine now, I just thought she was off screen before. Sometimes I don’t spend as much time looking at the details as I should. Either way, she’s a piece of work, and her treatment of Maddie is very likely indicative of her overall personality. I’m not exactly fond of Maddie, but I also suspect she was programmed, to whatever extent that is possible, to behave as she does, which still doesn’t excuse Vestine’s callous disregard for her well-being. I don’t know if androids are considered sentient beings in this setting, it seems as though they aren’t, but I can’t help myself from anthropomorphizing Lisa and Maddie based on their very real seeming behavior.

        This is why I love sci-fi, you can explore difficult topics of ethics and morality without necessarily drawing direct parallels to our reality. As for whether AI should rule us? I will always come down on the side of “No” for the very simple fact that it necessarily negates free will. Sure, people do stupid things all the time that are not in their own best interest, but what’s the point of living if you aren’t responsible for your actions, good or bad?

        Love your work and your commentary, Steven!

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        1. steven Post author

          Thank you! I also appreciate all comments (especially long apropos ones like yours) even if I don’t reply to all of them all the time 🙂

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  2. Tymo

    I have to say the composition on this page is just superb. It may even hint at Maddie rebelling?
    Been watching this comic for a while and it keeps getting better!

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  3. Observer

    I’m a bit confused by the ladder. Is the lake tidal? Or so seasonal that the summer/winter level varies by five meters? Otherwise there is no technical need for it to be so long since Lisa can swim to any level, though the image of her climbing is very tasty and I guess that that is reason enough! 😀

    (At first I thought it was a swimming pool!)

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    1. Observer

      I see that Lisa is walking along the bottom, which I guess means that she doesn’t have neutral buoyancy ‘out of the box’? Or, having ‘swallowed’ a load of water to sink deep enough to be out of laser range, she can’t go back to factory settings under water?

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      1. steven Post author

        I think she’s made mostly of tightly packed carbon atoms, that’s basically like a diamond material, even though the atoms aren’t in a 3-dimensional lattice like they are in diamond, but rather in single atom-thickness sheets like in graphene, or in some other configuration that hasn’t been invented yet (maybe interconnected sheets or tubes), still I think the material overall would be heavier than water, perhaps even much heavier. She could maybe fill some expandable spaces inside her with hydrogen, but her nanobots would have to make it from the water atom by atom, and that takes a bit of time. Yes she can’t really swim very well at all I’m afraid. Lucky she can’t drown at least. 🙂

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    2. steven Post author

      yeah I know, it’s not tidal but maybe level varies in this river for other reasons, I don’t know much about this river unfortunately… I just needed something for her to climb on as she’s too heavy and too wounded to swim… I guess she could have swam, maybe I’m over-thinking it…

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      1. Observer

        It’s not really a problem except that my first impression was of a swimming pool that i struggled to shake.

        Long ladders like that are very common on sea-side harbours, where a trawler deck could be from three meters above the jetty to the same (or more) below it. Maybe it is I who is over-thinking it and just being pedantic. As I said to someone a few pages back, it’s a graphic novel, not a physics textbook.

        I loved the image of Lisa climbing the ladder. That alone forgives everything.

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        1. Observer

          I wonder if it is the flat grey wall where the ladder attaches that causes the swimming pool effect? At a real harbour side, the big stone blocks are evident, even when encrusted in barnacles and algae. Second, ladders are set into a vertical slot, not sticking it where they would create a hazard to shipping.

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