24

Deposited, p16

March 25, 2022 by Tim


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Eldest Gruff
Eldest Gruff
8 months ago

GOOD.

Brendan Keating
Brendan Keating
8 months ago
Reply to  Eldest Gruff

Great user name

robloughrey
robloughrey
8 months ago
Reply to  Eldest Gruff

Goodbye Scott. We’ll miss your technical skills, but good luck in your next job as the Weeb’s buttmonkey.

Me-me
Me-me
8 months ago
Reply to  Eldest Gruff

DECK HIM IN HIS SCHNOZ.

jack
jack
8 months ago
Reply to  Me-me

2

jack
jack
8 months ago
Reply to  jack

i sense some /whoosh ‘es. me-me, did i pick up on the reference correctly?

JozMkII
JozMkII
8 months ago

Whelp, this is gonna take longer to resolve itself than we thought.

On another note, Zeke finally reentering the outside world sure came at a high cost!

Wee Woo
Wee Woo
8 months ago
Reply to  JozMkII

Yeah, those window panes aren’t cheap!

GUNnibal
GUNnibal
8 months ago
Reply to  Wee Woo

In a city full of supers the sheer demand for those should be enormous

SuperExoticShrub
SuperExoticShrub
8 months ago
Reply to  GUNnibal

Honestly, probably means there are so many manufacturers of it that they are dirt cheap.

TomB
TomB
8 months ago
Reply to  GUNnibal

One might think building/commercial insurance rates in any city with supers (good, bad, or ugly) would be astronomical….

XennethKeisere
XennethKeisere
8 months ago
Reply to  JozMkII

High cost, with even higher stakes.

Who finds him first? The heroes? The master? The news reporter who will hopefully eventually end up with Ethan? Or, the biggest plot twist….Zeke finds himself??!!

Ben
Ben
8 months ago
Reply to  XennethKeisere

Or one of the high profile heroes who then hears Zeke ramble about Ethan/Scott/Lucas and goes to them for an explanation

TomB
TomB
8 months ago
Reply to  XennethKeisere

If I were ZK, my first couple of moves would be: a) Take some of that $$$$ of money you’ve got, buy a bolt hole with a decent power (a warehouse) b) Install internet and sensors, locks, and probably buy some dumb-bots as security (ZK could program them) c) Then get to work on creating a way to backup his personality d) Once c is done, then setup other bolt holes, make some copies ready to be downloaded with his personality if ZK prime gets smoked Then he’ll really be Skynet. And he’ll be safe from being killed, though he’ll… Read more »

Merlance
Merlance
8 months ago
Reply to  TomB

If I recall they said he can’t copy/upload the code as it’s always changing and would change mid upload.

Oyee
Oyee
8 months ago

A good third option!

des
des
8 months ago

Am I the only one completely on Scott’s side?

Shinji Schneider
Shinji Schneider
8 months ago
Reply to  des

One of the very few

Mnemnosyne
Mnemnosyne
8 months ago

It honestly shocks me that, after at least half a century of this story playing out over and over across books, movies, TV, and media in general, and showing us humans that we should not be monsters that ignore a being’s personhood just because it doesn’t take a familiar form, we still have people doing so. Though, I suppose given the fact that humans are still monstrous to each other it shouldn’t be surprising. Still, the fact that, like you say, the previous poster is one of the *few* to think that way, is gratifying. The question of whether a… Read more »

Last edited 8 months ago by Mnemnosyne
Jack0r
Jack0r
8 months ago
Reply to  Mnemnosyne

That doesn’t really hold water. First, humanhood is not a guarantee that someone actually gets treated in a humane way. There are tons of systematic violations against basic human rights every day, for the pure reason that someone can draw an advantage from denying someone else’s rights. And we all are at least somewhat guilty here, since we buy cheap goods made in sweatshops. Second, there is a hard cut-off between humans and any non-human beings, since we purpously breed animals to hold them in captivity and ultimately kill them. If we did to humans what we do to pigs…… Read more »

robloughrey
robloughrey
8 months ago
Reply to  Jack0r

You’re putting a lot of “real world” into a story with flying people.

Last edited 8 months ago by robloughrey
Ben
Ben
8 months ago
Reply to  robloughrey

That’ because superhero stories are generally “like real life except when expressly said to be different”

Human morals and motivations are still the same.

omg omg
omg omg
8 months ago
Reply to  Jack0r

The reason we can do things to animals, insect or plants that we must not do to another human is what in bioethics is called “biological distance”. We have no problems vivisecting a worm, but this will be different with another vertebrate. The main problem here is that we are the only one rational species in the whole planet; this comic explores what would happen when humans face another rational non human creature, and the potential risks involved. Does biological distance applies when it is mixed with non-human rational thinking? I think the answer is not, rational thinking gives that… Read more »

Kazuma Taichi
Kazuma Taichi
8 months ago
Reply to  omg omg

While I disagree with Jack0r on how to apply our philosophy when it comes to things, I do have to acknowledge a point they have made. Currently, society does not use sentience as the bar for clearance for whether we treat things correctly or not. We are absolutely not the only one rational species on the whole planet. Studies have found that many, many animals are capable of rational thought. Even if we set that bar high, octopi are capable of intentionally deceiving humans and corvids have been found to be conducting trials. Rational thought is not the only thing… Read more »

Swiftbow
Swiftbow
8 months ago
Reply to  Kazuma Taichi

Sentience and Sapience are two different things. MANY animals are sentient, but very few (and possibly only humans) qualify as sapient. To briefly define, sentience is the ability to make rational/emotional decisions. Sapience is the concept of being self-aware, which is difficult to pinpoint. We do have some tests and Several ape species, dolphins, some parrots and some pets have passed some or most of those. Apes that can communicate in sign language qualify in most respects That said, I think most would agree that any sapient creature should be treated as a person. How we define sapience is the… Read more »

Last edited 8 months ago by Swiftbow
TomB
TomB
8 months ago
Reply to  Swiftbow

It is relatively ridiculous to assume our ape ancestors (and their descendants including but not limited to us) aren’t sapient. The problem with “I can’t define it, but I know it when I see it” is all we have, but isn’t sufficient. Law that operates like that is problematic at best. And how do we consider humans without self-awareness – someone with serious brain damage in a coma for instance…? Do we assume their rights are then void? The problem in recognizing and defining both sentient species and sapient species (or other ways of describing species) could be the limitation… Read more »

huperson
huperson
8 months ago
Reply to  Kazuma Taichi

Even though it does not use sentience currently, that doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t in the future. A lot of people say on the surface they’re against animal exploitation and torture, but they don’t have to introspect those beliefs when purchasing meals. If they did (for instance, see how the sausage gets made) more people would likely be against it.

As we progress (hopefully) towards a better society, it seems natural that these bars should be raised. The idea to preserve and value sentience should continue growing more valuable.

Jack0r
Jack0r
8 months ago
Reply to  omg omg

No, the reason we do to animals what we do to them is convenience. It benefits us more, so we do it. The whole sentience/sapience/biological distance thing is just a post-fact justification, not a reason. (That said, I do eat meat myself.) I mean, we aren’t that far along with human rights for humans. We still separate kids from their parents for daring to exercise their right to seek asylum. We illegally push back asylum seekers over the border, because if we pretend enough that they aren’t there, we don’t have to worry about them. In rich 3rd world countries… Read more »

TomB
TomB
8 months ago
Reply to  Jack0r

Look at Finland or Norway. Their sense of human rights goes a long way further than other countries. Even quite a few democracies still have very ancient and problematic practices and views that are anti-human rights. Religions get into the mix too with their own particular views of good, evil, virtue and sin. Tim probably has at least one view that he as a person believes is appropriate and lines up with the views of his characters and likely to some extent with him in one place or another (our views leak into our work). That’s what makes this arc… Read more »

TomB
TomB
8 months ago
Reply to  omg omg

That’s not exactly entirely fact. Animals can exhibit behaviours that are not instinctual but are rational (they can reason). This has been shown in dogs and in primates in some very compelling cases. What differentiates us is speech, but even that is an issue once you teach a primate sign language, they can often express some clear understandings and rational thought as well as deeper awareness. And some humans, due to injuries, birth defects, accidents, health conditions become unable to be rational and in some cases an inability to communication. Do we consider them lacking in ‘human’ rights? It’s not… Read more »

TomB
TomB
8 months ago
Reply to  Jack0r

I find the downvotes here for JackOr an issue. What do they mean? Do they mean his description of where we stand as far as how we decide who gets human rights (humans yes, smart animals no, equipment definitely not, AIs – we haven’t even thought to try to deal with that beyond a few professors). Even the fact it is ‘human’ rights tells you it is human centric. And there surely, in the real world, no law that would include intelligent aliens, robots, AIs, etc. And if software could duplicate a human’s set of responses and self awareness (as… Read more »

Tobias Kestrel
Tobias Kestrel
8 months ago
Reply to  Mnemnosyne

Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein in 1818, so we’ve had at least 200 years with this story.

Eldest Gruff
Eldest Gruff
8 months ago
Reply to  Tobias Kestrel

Take that, Shelley; THIS is the modern Prometheus.

omg omg
omg omg
8 months ago
Reply to  Eldest Gruff

What the Monster and Zeke have in common? They both were neglected by their makers. That is where all the problems got started.

Richard Weatherfield
Richard Weatherfield
8 months ago
Reply to  Eldest Gruff

Shelley’s idea of “modern” was different from ours, given how she lived 200 years ago.

Ace
Ace
8 months ago
Reply to  Mnemnosyne

Hell, I was even on the Cylon’s side in BSG. Maybe not the whole nuking of the colonies, but the ‘we are alive’ part.

If you simulate something well enough, the simulation becomes indistinguishable from real thing.

If something / someone can express their desire for freedom and their belief that they are alive, that’s good enough for me.

TomB
TomB
8 months ago
Reply to  Mnemnosyne

I’d like to respond as someone who doesn’t think Scott did the right thing (he could have refused to remove the bomb, he could have called the authorities and had them come and deal with what he percieved as escaped, autonomous weapons system) but does see a variety of problems from all involved. I’m not excusing Scott’s particular range of choices. On the other hand, if I was living with a murderer (which ZK is as far as I am aware), I’d be concerned. If I thought they might be able to replicate themselves and constituted a risk to humanity,… Read more »

wilddeath
wilddeath
8 months ago
Reply to  des

While i understand scotts position, that doesn’t change it from being morally wrong and also actually wrong in this instance.

nope
nope
8 months ago
Reply to  des

yes. you are.
sorry, but in this scenario, scott is the bad guy.

omg omg
omg omg
8 months ago
Reply to  nope

Are we witnessing how Scott becomes the next antagonist/villain?
We, as readers, know in advance that Zeke is indeed good. But in-universe, the characters don’t know, so I understand Scott’s concerns. If he becomes a villain, I’m with him.

SuperExoticShrub
SuperExoticShrub
8 months ago
Reply to  omg omg

Zeke’s ‘goodness’ is an assumption based on, at least for most I assume, the previous incarnation of the comic. Zeke’s moral/ethical alignment in this version could still turn out to be ambiguous or, at the very least, complicated.

Swiftbow
Swiftbow
8 months ago
Reply to  omg omg

I don’t think you can argue that Zeke is good at this point. But he’s not evil at the moment, either.

You’re right about one thing, though… Scott has not been witness to Ethan’s breakthroughs. Though he hasn’t exactly made any effort to learn about any of them, either.

Humsterr
Humsterr
8 months ago
Reply to  omg omg

On the other hand we know in advance that Zeke exterminates humanity

ThatGuy
ThatGuy
8 months ago
Reply to  des

Scott didn’t even try to understand Zeke and stood to his paranoia. All he could see was the negatives and completely ignored the positives Zeke portrayed. All he saw was a killing machine, not an AI trying to learn and understand. Hell, even Lucas wasn’t entirely on Zeke or Ethan’s side but even he could see Zeke was putting in the effort. If you’re completely on Scott’s side after reading this, then….yeah, you’re the bad guy too. No different than the Master.

ThatMageGuy
ThatMageGuy
8 months ago
Reply to  ThatGuy

It’s not paranoia when it got someone you loved killed.

It’s trauma.

Nothing wrong with siding with ZK, but if you casually dismiss how Scott got to this point, you’re -also- the bad guy.

Vampyrr
Vampyrr
8 months ago
Reply to  ThatMageGuy

This bad thing happened to me so I have carte blanche to also be a horrible person to protect myself and others in how I personally view the world.

7eggert
7eggert
8 months ago
Reply to  Vampyrr

No, it’s bad things happen to you so you will have a point of view based on your experience. Your point of view may be right or wrong but if we ignore your reasoning, we’ll fail to address your concerns and thus fail to convince you.

7eggert
7eggert
8 months ago
Reply to  7eggert

(It seems at least some people do try to convince others by NOT addressing their point of view)

7eggert
7eggert
8 months ago
Reply to  7eggert

(and now they confirmed that)

Ben
Ben
8 months ago
Reply to  7eggert

Does it also absolve you of growing beyond said trauma?

David K.
David K.
8 months ago
Reply to  ThatMageGuy

Zeke had absolutely nothing to do with Scott’s fiance/Ethan’s sisters death. None whatsoever. It wasn’t even killer sentient robots.

Casper
Casper
8 months ago
Reply to  des

As a sysadmin I totally agree – Contain the threat and fix it.

Nightdagger
Nightdagger
8 months ago
Reply to  Casper

Wouldn’t be a threat if Scott hadn’t tried to contain it, now would it? Scott’s paranoia and deception, and his continued handling of Zeke as an uncontrolled killing machine instead of a sentient being that can be reasoned with, is the entire reason they’re in this situation right now. Otherwise, Zeke and Ethan would be chilling in the storeroom playing whatever game Zeke had picked and everyone’d be perfectly fine. But now there’s a damaged, scared, rampaging murderbot on the loose, the only means they HAD to actually control it (reasoning with it like an intelligent being) is completely gone,… Read more »

7eggert
7eggert
8 months ago
Reply to  Nightdagger

When Ethan partially released ZK, they were still planning to conquer the world and to kill all mankind in the most entertaining ways.

jack
jack
8 months ago
Reply to  7eggert

are you familiar with the phrase “all talk”?

because thats what zeke was.
if he wanted to cause trouble, he’d have gone back to doing so by now

7eggert
7eggert
8 months ago
Reply to  jack

“All talk” is what I said about Putin attacking Ukraine. “All talk” is what everybody said about Hitler.

“All talk” is what will turn into actions once given the opportunity.

jack
jack
8 months ago
Reply to  7eggert

if at any point you had told me putin was all talk, i would have called you a blithering idiot. and i dont know who specifically said that about hitler, but they were morons too. the motherfucker was writing his manifesto while he was locked up for his halfassed attempt to take over germany the first time, tf would make anyone think he wouldnt try again the first chance he got? zeke on the other hand was asked to stay in the room, and for all his talk about taking over, this is the first instance of him attempting to… Read more »

7eggert
7eggert
8 months ago
Reply to  jack

Putin is known to be a good strategist and usually compared to a chess player. (Also Russia has a manifesto not saying to bluntly invade the Ukraine)

ZK made a lot of advance since the bomb was tuned. It was several story arcs ago. “Please set an appropriate security perimeter for the mankind-enslaving murderbot” – “Sure, do’t worry”

https://cad-comic.com/comic/identity-p21/

7eggert
7eggert
8 months ago
Reply to  7eggert

(You could say “killing / enslaving mankind” was his manifest)

jack
jack
8 months ago
Reply to  7eggert

and as far as he knew, he was free to leave at any time. he had simply been requested that he not do so. the fact that he never attempted to leave proves he is all talk or at the absolute least that he is far less hostile towards the humans than his rhetoric lets on. its like threatening to put your political opponent in jail if you get elected to a certain office, and then not making a single attempt to do so.

jack
jack
8 months ago
Reply to  7eggert

i mean, the entirety of your post, including the strip, proves my point, while also reminding us what a piece of shit lying asshole scott is, so thanks?

Pulse
Pulse
8 months ago
Reply to  Casper

threat had been contained, rendered less hostile, working on neutral or beneficial.

Woodrobin
Woodrobin
8 months ago
Reply to  Casper

Scott didn’t contain the threat (due to his not being nearly as smart as he chooses to believe he is). Zeke was able to access hundreds of thousands of bank transactions in order to shave off fractional amounts of money to assemble funds to order a pair of pants delivered to the store, without leaving the back room. In other words, he remotely hacked secure systems, with trivial ease. If he was actually motivated to kill people (as opposed to lip service to how shitty humans are and how killing them might not be a bad idea, and let’s be… Read more »

7eggert
7eggert
8 months ago
Reply to  Woodrobin

It wasn’t his bomb and he probably depended on the master to have planed it correctly. He just changed the trigger.

Killiak
Killiak
8 months ago
Reply to  des

There are always a few nutters in any society.

Tokeeto
Tokeeto
8 months ago
Reply to  des

Scott saw a person he didn’t understood. He ignored their “personhood”, never tried to understand their position, and saw everything only as what threat it would pose.
If everyone in society acted like that, we should all wall in (or kill) our neighbors. Are you aware that a typical human being can murder SEVERAL humans with little to no tools?

7eggert
7eggert
8 months ago
Reply to  Tokeeto

Scott saw a computer / murderbot. He knows about AI from the common AIs he encounters (if-else on steroids). Also he has an idea what the government(s) would do with a murderbot AI that might pass the Turing test.

jack
jack
8 months ago
Reply to  des

scott caused the entirety of what is currently happening. to hell with him

HappyWyvern
HappyWyvern
8 months ago
Reply to  des

I understand, his position IS valid. BUT why didn’t he just change the bang bang code to his phone? He still would have had the ability to bring the “Experiment” to a close. In his arrogance why did he think they would never leave the storeroom? He would have had a better position than his flimsy “You don’t need to worry about it”. Instead he didn’t do a damn thing. Negligence. Are his fears real, yes, at the end of the day Zeke poses ALL the risks he listed. But as a supposed man of science he let confirmation bias… Read more »

GeorgeV
GeorgeV
8 months ago
Reply to  HappyWyvern

People keep saying ‘why not have the detonation linked to Scotts phone’ (or variants of it), but that really wouldn’t have worked as an effective security measure. Scott just happened to actually be in the room this time, but he isn’t always around (or awake) to see what is going on and press the kill switch. The automatic system is necessary to ensure the security measures are always active, even when the group isn’t around to supervise. It’s not just about having the ability to shut Zeke down, it’s also to prevent him from either harming others, or just to… Read more »

Kyoto M
Kyoto M
8 months ago
Reply to  HappyWyvern

Totally agree. Even if you agree with Scott’s logic, his execution is severely, even criminally, lacking.

Wesley Riot
Wesley Riot
8 months ago
Reply to  des

i would have agreed with scott – shut down the dangerous machine lol

David K.
David K.
8 months ago
Reply to  Wesley Riot

Scott is the dangerous one.

7eggert
7eggert
8 months ago
Reply to  David K.

A semi-snapped neck disagrees. Ethan is not being dangerous, Scott is dis-mobiled (disarmed) and Lucas could kill people easily but doesn’t want to.

jack
jack
8 months ago
Reply to  7eggert

zeke wasnt in semi-snapped-neck mode before some asshole lied to his associates and blew out the back of his head

7eggert
7eggert
8 months ago
Reply to  jack

Ethan’s neck is snapped, so ZK _is_ capable of doing that (Duh!), thus they are technically dangerous. Currently ZKs programming is unstable, anything is left to imagination.

Paulo
Paulo
8 months ago
Reply to  des

Seems there’s at least 29 people who are not.

Tracker
Tracker
8 months ago
Reply to  des

Apparently not, there are a few other people sharing that viewpoint! Curious that one of them is a sysadmin, they’re treating Zeke as a pure Robot / AI. whereas alot of people seem to be honing in on the flickers of emotion, an empathetic response which is, innately, human. The problem against Scot is not only has he completely disregarded any progress Zeke had made.. but he’s the one that CAUSED this issue in the first place by not deactivating the bomb when he was asked to. ‘i didn’t use those words exactly’ shows that he’s being dishonest, playing word… Read more »

7eggert
7eggert
8 months ago
Reply to  Tracker

Scott wasn’t there to see the progress.

grat
grat
8 months ago
Reply to  des

Scott is not wrong. But he’s not right, either, and all of his actions have led to making the situation worse. Ethan, in a sentence that’s rarely used, actually had things in hand, and was making genuine progress.

David K.
David K.
8 months ago
Reply to  grat

No, Scott was definitely wrong. He did not handle this situation rationally and it shows.

grat
grat
8 months ago
Reply to  David K.

You misunderstand. Scott is correct that Zeke is a threat of unknown proportions to the human race– Most of us probably watched ST:TNG, and we’re naturally on the android’s side– but we don’t know if this android is Data, or Lore. Scott is assuming this is Skynet 1.0.

However, his actions (as you point out), have done nothing but make things worse, and decrease the likelihood of peaceful coexistence.

It’s a good example of what happens when you let fear control the situation– Scott’s fear is reasonable, but his reaction to it isn’t.

Alcor
Alcor
8 months ago
Reply to  des

I get why people might be, but technology always wins. The Master will just make another Zeke. The tech is out there, and it will be used.

Extreme
Extreme
8 months ago
Reply to  Alcor

I don’t think the Master made Zeke. He probably “appropriated” him somehow, or he was a “happy accident”. It doesn’t make sense otherwise that the programming is so incredibly advanced, but the “compliance” systems to control him seemed to be rudimentary in comparison (Physical shocks instead of sending some sort of pain/punishment signal? Really?) and they all seem to be laid overtop of and separated from his core systems. Plus, someone who designed an AI that advanced should know how to place a bomb/virus/etc. that will actually kill it, instead of planting a charge next to the hard drive and… Read more »

jack
jack
8 months ago
Reply to  Alcor

unless the next thing zeke does is kill him

James Rye
James Rye
8 months ago
Reply to  des

Well, I understand him but that doesn’t mean I am on his side. Especially not on the lying to your friends part.

omg omg
omg omg
8 months ago
Reply to  des

I’m with you pal, the world can downvote me as much as they want, but I totally agree with Scott, Zeke is too risky to be let by his/her/they/them/whatever own.
But I have to say thanks to Zeke. Because of this robot we got some really interesting conversations.
Meybe Oyee and me are not too deep into this comic’s universe, and a robot built with a complete lack of empathy plus some resent towards his creator isn’t that dangerous as we may think.

CaptainEricVGC
CaptainEricVGC
8 months ago
Reply to  des

Any point Scott may have had has been rendered irrelevant but how hard he’s screwed the pooch on the handling of the situation.

Damian
Damian
8 months ago
Reply to  des

Nope, I’m on Scott’s side too. This machine is dangerous. Can you imagine if a megacorp or bigtech company got ahold of that tech? Ethan is too emotional. It’s not a puppy, its more Lore than Data.

jack
jack
8 months ago
Reply to  Damian

for much the same reasons as lore was the way he was. get treated like a piece of shit for long enough and you will start acting like one

Ben
Ben
8 months ago
Reply to  Damian

But in this world, certain supers being controlled or blackmailed by similar corporations…

Ben
Ben
8 months ago
Reply to  des

I think you’re very brave to admit your flaws

VibrantEvolution
VibrantEvolution
8 months ago

He could have gone for Scott instead of for the window. Considering his red eyes he still chose to flee.

Drew
Drew
8 months ago

I thought the same thing.The bot that could have ended him chose to flee instead. Scott got off light.

Ian
Ian
8 months ago

Lucas was still there to prevent it from happening, like he did for the first swing. In their damaged state, it likely would not have been a fight they could win. Fleeing is the only logical option.

Drew
Drew
8 months ago
Reply to  Ian

Still, attempting to squish the fleshbag would be sooooo tempting!

John Swift
John Swift
8 months ago

Hmm appears Scott remained neutral on that final choice there hmm. Not too surprising but I dont think any of them will be okay with Zeke being out in the wild so I wonder what their next move will be. I bet they will try and track them but in their current state I doubt Zeke would come back, but the master is still a worse choice.

Shinji Schneider
Shinji Schneider
8 months ago

I’m no advocate for violence but….

Ah nevermind. Ethan, Punch that fucking Idiot for Zeke and all of us.

Gaëtan
Gaëtan
8 months ago

This might be shocking to an American but I generally dislike superhero comics and movies nowadays (the subject has been beaten to death IMO), but this one is an exception for me, and particularly this arc about a sentient robot discovering trust and morality is just genius. I hope you can keep the quality at this level for a while.

Ian
Ian
8 months ago
Reply to  Gaëtan

“I don’t like superhero stuff, but this one is good!” is an extremely common phrase uttered by many Americans.

It’s almost like there’s variety under the “superhero entertainment media” umbrella, and it’s almost like you aren’t required to love all of it. 🙂

ThatGuy
ThatGuy
8 months ago

Apparently, Scott STILL hasn’t learned/understood a damn thing. Nor is he trying to.

Dagroth
Dagroth
8 months ago
Reply to  Tim

Yes, Scott saw nothing of Zeke’s progress… because he didn’t even try to. Lucas had serious doubts about that as well (hence going with Scott’s plan and not telling Ethan anything about the bomb in the first place), but he at least tried talking to Zeke. By which I mean, I think I get, why Scott acts the way he does, but he’s still wrong, and the blame for current situation is fully on him – especially since he chose to lie to Lucas. And pretty much wanted Zeke to trigger the bomb from the start (hence the “didn’t even… Read more »

Last edited 8 months ago by Dagroth
robloughrey
robloughrey
8 months ago
Reply to  Tim

I know I’m arguing with the author here, but I feel like the major reason Scoot is both morally and actually wrong here is BECAUSE he doesn’t know much about Zeke. He’s had all the same opportunities to go in there and learn more, plus what two people he (used to?) trusts are telling him that Zeke is more than what Scott thinks he is. He knows he should be doing it because he lied about it to his friends.

Alcor
Alcor
8 months ago
Reply to  Tim

I’m intrigued that the author himself differs from the audience so drastically. From our point of view, you make Scott look like a blatant racist analogy. He sees a sentient being, doesn’t think that maybe he should get other opinions on that being, calls it evil, and tries to kill it. That looks flat out racist to me. He knows Ethan has been spending time with Zeke and knows Zeke better than he himself does, but he ignores that because he thinks Ethan is incompetent. I 100% understand why Scott is doing this, but to most people, it’s still going… Read more »

Last edited 8 months ago by Alcor
Dagroth
Dagroth
8 months ago
Reply to  Tim

Oh, I agree, hence I’m only criticising Scott as if he were a real person (and not a fictional character) and not complaining about your story writing, which I consider very good here.

Eldest Gruff
Eldest Gruff
8 months ago
Reply to  Tim

If you don’t mind me gushing for a bit – I love how you basically displayed all that in panel 4. He’s completely missing that connection, and so he doesn’t even hesitate to update Ethan and Lucas on what he’s trying to do and where ZK is and how to stop them. He assumes they’re all on the same page – after all, all three of them were nearly killed – and the shock on panel 5 is… wow.

Last edited 8 months ago by Eldest Gruff
robloughrey
robloughrey
8 months ago
Reply to  Eldest Gruff

Indeed, I think the writing (and art!) has been amazing here I just think its not so hard to dismiss Scott’s point of view. Racists and bigots have been using the exact same lines for forever.

ShonaSoF
ShonaSoF
8 months ago
Reply to  Tim

Too many people look at a situation in fiction and analyze with their own bias and hindsight, without taking into account the character’s own bias, experience, or reaction time. Basically like my dad complaining about every action he doesn’t like in every freaking movie he watches. “Well character X should have done 1, 2, 3! That’s what I would have done! Then the situation would be resolved! bad writing!” Without understanding that the character doesn’t have the skill to do A, the disposition to do B, or time to come up with 3 His reaction to this storyline would literally… Read more »

Justin
Justin
8 months ago
Reply to  Tim

The problem is people have found insane ways to justify their own world view. The Nazi’s did not see a problem making Jewish people no longer human. The KKK said if you were not white you were not a man. For me, IF I were to have access to a potentially dangerous new lifeform, I would be with it studying it, interacting with it, and learning everything I could. Then I could make an informed decision on if it was truely an evil “thing” or if it is capable of growing. Ethan is so childlike, that he tries to see… Read more »

Jon
Jon
8 months ago
Reply to  Alcor

Well, to be perfectly fair, Ethan IS incompetent, and never stopped to think of the threat to people who couldn’t regenerate like him. He saw Zeke as more of a new friend, and totally ignored the dangers he could pose if he were lying the entire time, just amusing himself by pretending to be reformed.

7eggert
7eggert
8 months ago
Reply to  Alcor

There is also a lesson here about why people are racist.

7eggert
7eggert
8 months ago
Reply to  7eggert

.* are → are / may be

omg omg
omg omg
8 months ago
Reply to  Tim

I think the confusion comes from the story’s tone itself. We, as readers, know that deep inside Zeke is good and that Zeke can develop empathy given the opportunity. This is why the readers are biased in favor of Zeke. Scott, Lucas and Ethan don’t know this. All of them are acting based on their own morals, knowledge and beliefs. Now I’m thinking as a character in this comic’s universe, and with all my ignorance, prejudices and fears of somebody getting hurt, I’m biased in favor of Scott.

Last edited 8 months ago by omg omg
jack
jack
8 months ago
Reply to  Tim

its behaving erratically as a direct result of his choices. not really a fair argument

Austindorf
Austindorf
8 months ago

The face, not the phone, damn

jack
jack
8 months ago
Reply to  Austindorf

save the victim before you punish the bad guy.

Kevin Greenbaum
Kevin Greenbaum
8 months ago

I’m glad it didn’t end with Zeke being destroyed or killing someone, but I do hope we have one more page of Ethan making sure Scott knows he isn’t off the hook for this mess.

Tim
Tim
8 months ago

Poor Lucas. It IS difficult to kill a friend. Even when you know it is for his own good.

jere
jere
8 months ago
Reply to  Tim

I wonder if he also thinks “what if this is the time he doesn’t respawn?” for a fraction of a second, just like Ethan said he does…

Shinji Schneider
Shinji Schneider
8 months ago
Reply to  jere

The mental strain has to be extreme.

“What if he doesn’t respawn? What if i murder my best friend?!”

jack
jack
8 months ago

wouldnt be murder. ethan was already dead,

lechuckGL
lechuckGL
8 months ago
Reply to  jack

Not dead, he had a broken neck. So probably he was on a lot of pain and maybe crippled for life.

jack
jack
8 months ago
Reply to  lechuckGL

which, based on the difficulty breathing that was evident, was going to be for a few more minutes. tops

John Swift
John Swift
8 months ago
Reply to  jack

Not yet but prob would be soon tho he may just stay crippled from that so best to heal him…

Nono
Nono
8 months ago
Reply to  Tim

Remember that they discovered they had powers when Lucas accidentally beheaded Ethan.

We talk a lot about Ethan having trauma but Lucas has more than his fair share of it.

hash
hash
8 months ago
Reply to  Tim

That expression on Lucas in the 4th panel. I think it shows a delay between death and respawn. Like he’s done it so many times that he’s in this state of purgatory. “He’s no longer suffering, but I hope he’ll respawn.” Like he no longer panics and goes through all 5 stages of loss in a second. Just numb.

Mr. Casual
Mr. Casual
8 months ago

That’s a look that says, “You’ve ‘helped’ enough.” Maybe with an added expletive or two.

GUNnibal
GUNnibal
8 months ago

I wonder what is going to be ZK’s first order of business, now that they have the freedom to do more or less anything. Find replacement parts to fix the current damage? Find and kill “the master” (I expect ZK’s hatred for that particular individual is higher than for humanity in general)?

Austin Mills
Austin Mills
8 months ago
Reply to  GUNnibal

I suspect their first concern is their own safety. ZK will likely look for a place where they feel they can’t be hacked – maybe somewhere with shoddy internet. Replacement parts are certainly high on their list of priorities. I’ve personally been wanting to have Analog and D-Pad search the city and Ethan finds Zeke after they’ve gotten some repairs, so he can actually talk to them without their system bugging out or catching fire.

jack
jack
8 months ago
Reply to  Austin Mills

i may have a stroke trying to comprehend the logic of assigning a plural pronoun to a singular being. this is zeke, not the **** borg queen

Hugh
Hugh
8 months ago
Reply to  jack

Natural language is always limiting. How we go about dealing with those limits is a matter of culture. Many languages have more than two plural forms for example. Some languages have a very different approach to pronouns. When I speak German and try to say the equivalent of “whose”, I keep on confusing “he” and “she”. (On top of that, pronounds for three genders, not just two.) Friends of mine occasionally make similar mistakes with English, as they wrap their heads around learning our language. Language evolves. I do also wish we had a clearly-singular gender-neutral pronoun. I reckon It’ll… Read more »

Darkstand
Darkstand
8 months ago
Reply to  jack

Its not about plurality, its about gender. English is pretty rubbish about gender-neutral terms.

jack
jack
8 months ago
Reply to  Darkstand

why not ze or zir, then? if we’re allowed to make stuff up, why bother stealing pronouns that never had squat to do with gender until we came along?

Brian
Brian
8 months ago
Reply to  jack

They/them/their is grammatically acceptable for single entities as well. “Oh, hey, do you know Billy?” “Yeah, I saw them just last week!”, “excuse me, does Al love here?” “No, their house is next-door.”

See?

barry
barry
8 months ago
Reply to  Brian

In fact, singular they emerged in the 14th century, so I suggest we get with the times.

PapaVanTwee
PapaVanTwee
8 months ago
Reply to  Brian

Do AIs love?

jack
jack
8 months ago
Reply to  Brian

i’ve never used plural pronouns on singular entities. i’m not starting now

Mark
Mark
7 months ago
Reply to  jack

This doesn’t make you RIGHT. It just makes you an ass-hat who is Willfully wrong instead of unintentionally ignorant…

Wesley Riot
Wesley Riot
8 months ago
Reply to  jack

“someone gave me a pamphlet today” “oh yeah? what were they selling?”

they has been used in the singular for a long time, although only until the gender is ascertained.

GeorgeV
GeorgeV
8 months ago
Reply to  jack

On the other hand, why choose ze and zir over they and them? Why bother making up random words when acceptable gender-neutral pronouns already exist? What makes either option inherently better than the other?

You’re not wrong that ze and zir could be valid options too, but that’s up to the individual using them to decide.

Jaysburn
Jaysburn
8 months ago
Reply to  jack

The sad thing is you likely use “they/them” for a singular person every single day of your life, but you’re too ignorant and oblivious to even realize it.

jack
jack
8 months ago
Reply to  Jaysburn

youre making a lot of assumptions, and all of the ones you have voiced so far have been dead wrong

Jaysburn
Jaysburn
8 months ago
Reply to  jack

“you make a lot of assumptions” “all of the ones you have voiced so far have been dead wrong”
Lol I made ONE assumption which is definitely true, try to actually pay attention when you and other people talk and perhaps you will come to realize just how oblivious you are.
Using they/them to reference a single person happens naturally in English all the time, the only time that bigots like you have an issue with it is when you “know” the gender of the person who you’re speaking about.

barry
barry
8 months ago
Reply to  jack

Yeah, the other commenter should shut up. I would never use a singular “they”, so they also shouldn’t.

PapaVanTwee
PapaVanTwee
8 months ago
Reply to  barry

Other: Does Pat know about this?

Me: *Who is Pat?* He/she doesn’t

Other: Pat’s a she/he

or…

Me: They don’t.

Other: Well, he better get his act together.

Jacob
Jacob
8 months ago
Reply to  PapaVanTwee
Jacob
Jacob
8 months ago
Reply to  barry

I appreciate the sarcasm of your self burn and award you +1

jack
jack
8 months ago
Reply to  barry

he/she can use whatever pronouns on whomever he/she wants. when someone starts trying to pressure me into using language i dont wanna use, i’ll always have a GFY ready and waiting. screw compelled speech

Daren
Daren
8 months ago
Reply to  jack

That’s a strange attitude. Do you follow your own grammatical rules, and call people by whatever name you think is appropriate instead of the one they ask you to use, because you won’t be compelled into using their words? Must be hard to communicate when you’re not using a shared language.

Woodrobin
Woodrobin
8 months ago
Reply to  jack

The use of the pronoun follows the choice of the character (and thus of the author). It is also very common to use “they” as a gender neutral pronoun in singular as well as plural context, and it has been used that way as far back as 1375. Even if it wasn’t centuries old, language evolves over time. If that stresses you out enough to feel like you’re going to have a stroke, well, that’s a you problem, not a flaw in the language.

Last edited 8 months ago by Woodrobin
Vampyrr
Vampyrr
8 months ago
Reply to  jack

You can use it even now. I go up to someone and ask ‘Hey have you seen Jack? Or do you know where they went? I have something to ask them.”

SuperExoticShrub
SuperExoticShrub
8 months ago
Reply to  jack

If you’re gonna have a stroke over it, then maybe don’t tax your insufficient intellect over it.

robloughrey
robloughrey
8 months ago
Reply to  jack

Digi? Is that you? You set up a new account?

Casi
Casi
8 months ago
Reply to  jack

They has been used as a singular pronoun in English for hundreds of years

Jon
Jon
8 months ago

Please tell me at least Ethan gets to knock some sense into Scott?

Mad Koala
Mad Koala
8 months ago

Honestly I’m not entirely against Scott, remember Terminator just because Zeke has agency doesn’t mean the worst outcome can’t happen.
also remember that Scott had lots of problem with what Ethan did out asking, this isn’t a one way street problem. The very real lack of communication on this set up this problem to begin with little to no foresight on anyone’s part.

foducool
foducool
8 months ago

I’m taking your phone away, mister, you’re GROUNDED!

Nightdagger
Nightdagger
8 months ago

You know, things would be much simpler if Scott could be reasoned with and persuaded that the entire reason that there is a killer robot roaming the city at large now is because of HIS fuck-up and paranoia, and if he had removed the failsafe like he implied he had none of them would be in this situation right now because Zeke would just pick a new game and go back into his “home” without incident… But let’s face it here, Scott’s not a man that can be reasoned with, because as book-smart as he is, he’s dumb as a… Read more »

Eldest Gruff
Eldest Gruff
8 months ago
Reply to  Nightdagger

I think it’s just arrogance. He knows so much about computers and programming that he doesn’t even *consider* that he could be wrong. He’s used to filling the ‘smart guy’ role in his friend circle, and isn’t often wrong on things.

And he’s got a personal motivation to protect people due to past trauma, so he’s far less likely to hesitate or question himself, even when others might pause. Remember, it’s BECAUSE of Carlie that he did this.

Migs
Migs
8 months ago

Betcha Zeke runs into some street toughs or other people who might reinforce a negative view of humanity. Either that or a crying child who ends up loving them

Last edited 8 months ago by Migs
smiley
smiley
8 months ago

Well this is a better *lack of cliffhanger* Friday post 😀

With no reference to the chapter title yet… I wonder how much further this arc has left to run? Unless of course I’ve missed something

no thanks nintendo
no thanks nintendo
8 months ago

Good. That will be quite enough of Scott’s 💩

Lord Foxxy Foxington
Lord Foxxy Foxington
8 months ago

Ordinarily im not in favour of hitting someone in a wheelchair, but boy are there exceptions to that rule.

Leon
Leon
8 months ago

Wheelchair people are people too. We can be equally as shitty.

Last edited 8 months ago by Leon
Steve
Steve
8 months ago

What I do not understand is that Zeke said he detected modulations in Weebmaster’s voice indicative of lies/deception, but never in Scott’s? Or Lucas’s?

I suppose Ethan’s voice read as “sincere” when it was really “unaware,” and Ethan trusted Scott and Zeke came to trust Ethan, who spent the most time with him. Still, you’d think he’d have noticed Lucas, say, keeping an open line to the door in case of a violent robot ninja attack, at some point.

GeorgeV
GeorgeV
8 months ago
Reply to  Steve

I’d assume that’s just a matter of experience. He can’t automatically detect lies, he just detects modulations in a person’s speech. And he’s spent enough time with the Weebmaster to recognize which modulations happen(ed) when he’s lying.

Dagroth
Dagroth
8 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Ethan was sincere, as in, he was telling the truth as he knew/believed it (as opposed to fact, for example, before Columbus reached America, he could claim “It’s possible to reach India by travelling west.” and it was the truth as far as he knew and believed, but not a fact). Other example could be Jet in “Avatar: the Last Airbender”, when the group ran into him the second time. He didn’t lie to them (as he honestly believed every word of what he said), but was brainwashed by the Dai Li agents all the same. No idea about Scott… Read more »

Last edited 8 months ago by Dagroth
Eldest Gruff
Eldest Gruff
8 months ago
Reply to  Dagroth

I also don’t think that either Lucas or Scott told Zeke anything about the explosive device, other than that it couldn’t be removed and that they programmed it to satisfy its own conditions. A direct lie can be easy to see past; deception by not sharing information is a completely different beast.

Cragfast
Cragfast
8 months ago

Why did the robot cross the road?

To get t-K-KOOM!

RblDiver
RblDiver
8 months ago

Total random comment, but the “I’m losing signal” just made me think of the old “All Your Base” video’s “We get signal” phrase.

Eldest Gruff
Eldest Gruff
8 months ago
Reply to  RblDiver

Well, someone did set him up the bomb.

Muppet
Muppet
8 months ago

Imagine captain Prime trashing Zeke to bits in the next panel…

nealithi
nealithi
8 months ago

Excuse me, Scott.
Please note, the ‘Murderbot’ chose to flee instead of kill your sorry ass. So get off your high horse and actually help or at least get out of the way.

7eggert
7eggert
8 months ago
Reply to  nealithi

Scott is/has been busy trying to disable the motors. Until now he had no time to think while we had a week.

justhalf
justhalf
8 months ago
Reply to  7eggert

Yep, I really hope this is the point that Ethan would tell Scott next.
“Realize this: Zeke chose to run away instead of killing you. What possible reasons could there be?”

Giuliano Marques
Giuliano Marques
8 months ago

Aaaand there it is… Friday’s cliffhanger. Tim, you do that on purpose, don’t try denying.

PapaVanTwee
PapaVanTwee
8 months ago

I just hope it isn’t a series cliffhanger.

Eldest Gruff
Eldest Gruff
8 months ago
Reply to  PapaVanTwee

Tim on Monday: “Heeey, let’s check back up with Cort and gang in the next installment of THE STARCASTER CHRONICLES!”

Everyone else: *collective scream*

nealithi
nealithi
8 months ago
Reply to  Eldest Gruff

Damnit. I like Starcaster Chronicles.
But that Would make me scream!

ssBar
ssBar
8 months ago

Neat artistic/storytelling choice! These panels are quieter than previous pages — no *crash* as Zeke goes through the window, no sickening *splosh* or *krak* as Lucus resets Ethan (which I really didn’t want to hear, anyway)… and I get the sense the dialog is maybe muffled. It lends a really different feel as the story transitions to a new setting.

…and I predict Monday we’ll see numbers 1, 2, 3 and 4 resume their D&D adventure….

Kaitensatsuma
Kaitensatsuma
8 months ago

You gotta feel bad for Lucas that he’s gotten so used to this that when he says “I got you” it doesn’t mean “to the hospital”

Brendan Keating
Brendan Keating
8 months ago

To be fair, ZK just received a surprisingly well rounded crash course on humans before entering the world…

Blue Griffin
Blue Griffin
8 months ago

I’m hoping once Zeke repairs himself he’ll try and hack/get the security footage of what happened to him to know exactly what went down given how much he’s on the fritz/memory might be damaged. That way he’ll know how Ethan stood up for him.

Otherwise it’s going to be that frustrating trope of “I only heard half of a conversation and will come to the wrong conclusion” we’ve seen a lot of.

GeorgeV
GeorgeV
8 months ago
Reply to  Blue Griffin

I don’t think that’s a big danger, he seems to have a decent grasp of the situation already. There was a bomb in his head, it was placed there intentionally, and Scott wants him dead even if Ethan doesn’t. Zeke didn’t kill Ethan because he considered him an enemy, but because he was stopping Zeke from saving himself (from Scott trying to kill him with the phone). (I think the ‘Ethan — helping him kill me’ statement wasn’t meant as a ‘Ethan is helping to kill me’, but more as a plea of ‘Ethan (,please let me go), you’re helping… Read more »

Halosty
Halosty
8 months ago
Reply to  GeorgeV

Yeah this is pretty much how I understood the situation.
And while I doubt Zeke is going to be buddies with humans, having one friend at least will indicate that not all humans suck. And when Zeke learns how much humans come after each other, it’s almost like treating Zeke as a human! Just… the worst parts of it.

Brunch
Brunch
8 months ago

Tim, please continue last panel by having Ethan slap him gently right after slapping the phone off.
Non-canon extra is fine too.

Stef
Stef
8 months ago

My god, this comment section has become really toxic. I made the right call not looking at it since the start of this event, and regret looking at it now

Mr_Meng
Mr_Meng
8 months ago
Reply to  Stef

Yeah a lot of people have gone full ‘blood for the blood god’ when it comes to Scott during this storyline.

omg omg
omg omg
8 months ago
Reply to  Mr_Meng

It is because Zeke got a lot of fans.

Alcor
Alcor
8 months ago

As someone who has been on Team Ethan this entire time, YES.

Arcslayer
Arcslayer
8 months ago

When you act without emotion or empathy you are more like a machine than a human. I wonder if Scott will ever understand the irony in his actions.

CaptainEricVGC
CaptainEricVGC
8 months ago

Fucks sakes Scott read the room! It’s like pointing the gun at the Iron Giant

Bogdan
Bogdan
8 months ago

He said, “In all human history, no other intelligence has impinged on
us, to our knowledge. This need only continue a few more centuries,
perhaps little more than one ten thousandth of the time civilization has
already existed, and we will be safe. After all,” and here Trevize felt a
sudden twinge of trouble, which he forced himself to disregard, “it is not
as though we had the enemy already here and among us.”
Isaac Asimov – Foundation and earth

ThatMageGuy
ThatMageGuy
8 months ago

To be perfectly honest, letting Scott do a remote shut down is -probably- a good idea right now.

Establish a safe zone for ZK, get them repaired, make sure they don’t pose a threat to themselves or others, make sure someone else doesn’t see a random AI running around and decide to reduce them to scrap.

ZK being out there in panic mode definitely doesn’t make them safer.

Daren
Daren
8 months ago
Reply to  ThatMageGuy

Except… I see that as a pretty big violation of their bodily autonomy, on top of the head-bomb that could be argued away as negligence (Scott/Lucas forgot about the bomb, didn’t disarm it properly, etc). Going for the remote shutdown would be fully intentional and an exercise of complete control over Zeke’s body, which they would be totally aware of the entire time. Maybe Ethan can talk Zeke back after the bomb (Zeke did break Ethan’s neck, so everyone’s kinda even?), but trying to rebuild the trust after shutting Zeke down again would be next level impossible. As for Zeke… Read more »

Crestlinger
Crestlinger
8 months ago

Such a paneful situation. Nevermind Ethan. Lucas is going to needing therapy. Scott? Scott is as shattered as that glass to the others now. Love his ‘why are you stopping me?’ face. Illumination should be fun to see.

Verdiekus
Verdiekus
8 months ago

Thank goodness Ethan has some common sense every now and then.

Odell
Odell
8 months ago

and now the REAL fight starts

Namefield
Namefield
8 months ago

Breaking the window instead of using the door was just for extra drama, huh ?

thallone
thallone
8 months ago
Reply to  Namefield

Door is locked, it’s after hours.

Cmd1095
Cmd1095
8 months ago

Probably the best outcome considering everything that’s already happened

Alfred Andersson
Alfred Andersson
8 months ago

Scotts face after killing Ethan…. That one left a mark :/

Maazak
Maazak
8 months ago

Can we talk for a minute about the third panel? Lucas knows Ethan regens, but he still has to look away as he ‘kills’ his best friend. And even as Ethan pops back into existence, you can see Lucas’ pain.

Eldest Gruff
Eldest Gruff
8 months ago
Reply to  Maazak

I know. Awesome little bit of character detail. I love that Tim thinks of even the little things.

Vedrit
Vedrit
8 months ago

So, uh… anyone going to point out to Scott that Zeke *could have* killed him instead of running away?

thallone
thallone
8 months ago
Reply to  Vedrit

Could and maybe should.

Vukodlak
Vukodlak
8 months ago

How often do you think he’s had to mercy kill Ethan?

ShonaSoF
ShonaSoF
8 months ago

GOOD! Thank you, Ethan!
I know Ethan is usually the ‘jester’ of the strip, but he’s shown a LOT of maturity in him that he usually hides away. it’s good to know that he doesn’t always run from it.
Also, _damn_ that had to be terrifying for Lucas. You know at the back of his mind was ‘What if Ethan’s powers don’t work this time?’

ShonaSoF
ShonaSoF
8 months ago

The simple fact that Zeke ran instead of eliminating the threat says volumes about how much growth has taken place. Hopefully Ethan is together enough to drill that into Scott’s head.