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24

Tipping Point, p17

May 22, 2024 by Tim


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nb_gamer
nb_gamer
1 month ago

Ruh roh

I love how before the unauthorized signal ZK was thinking about it, Ethan really has gotten through to them.

GeorgeV
GeorgeV
1 month ago

We may have found the way Scott can make this worse.

Brian
Brian
1 month ago
Reply to  GeorgeV

Right, he had access via his phone…

Eldest Gruff
Eldest Gruff
1 month ago
Reply to  GeorgeV

I was wondering why his one hand was hidden in the last page. Jesus Christ, Scott.

Kevin Greenbaum
Kevin Greenbaum
1 month ago
Reply to  Eldest Gruff

Could’ve just been how he fell, I didn’t put much thought into it until now. I am curious though if ZK had the master disable those shut down options though, making the attempt worthless. ZK had already gotten an upgrade to avoid the EMP from working twice, the master really didn’t have anything as a bargaining chip aside from being useful for repairs and things so for his sake it wouldn’t surprise me.

robin
robin
1 month ago
Reply to  Eldest Gruff

except that scott had the cattle prod in that hand when he zapped the minion, so I doubt that he also had his phone available

jack
jack
1 month ago
Reply to  GeorgeV

still trying to kill zeke, and people are still defending his right to continued existence

Steve
Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  jack

Could be trying to immobilize, not kill. And immobilizing the person trying to murder you seems pretty justified self defense, even in ‘proportional response’ jurisdictions vs. ones with more leeway.

The access just shuts down motor functions. There is no second bomb that we know of. I doubt Scott could kill Zeke here, in this situation, even if he wanted to.

jack
jack
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

perhaps, but zeke has no way to know whether this is a shoot to kill attack or not. so if he kills scott now, would that not be justified?

Mike
Mike
30 days ago
Reply to  jack

If somebody points a gun at you, there’s zero obligation to consider he might try to shoot non-fatally. Case-in-point: that felon fool who pulled a illegally possessed gun on a 17-year-old boy with a legally possessed AR-15 and won’t be making the same mistake ever again, at least not with the same arm.

jack
jack
28 days ago
Reply to  Mike

i mean good for the kid and i agree with you here, but how is a 17 yr old in legal posession of a firearm? isnt the age requirement for a license 18?

omg omg
omg omg
1 month ago
Reply to  GeorgeV

In the page before this one, Scott’s arms were in a funny position, I don’t think that was an artistic license.

Oyee
Oyee
1 month ago

Scott, for the love of-

Anyway, I guess we now have a high chance of finding out how squishy Ethan is.

The Legacy
The Legacy
1 month ago

Interesting observation that Zeke wasn’t squeezing Ethan’s neck hard enough to strangle him. If Zeke truly wanted to suffocate him, Ethan wouldn’t be able to talk.

As for the signal, I wonder if it’s Scott, or the Master? Either would be compelling to say the least.

GUNnibal
GUNnibal
1 month ago
Reply to  The Legacy

Well, it would be a bit silly to ask someone a question while squeezing their neck so tight they can’t even breath, let alone answer.
To steal a joke from a completely unrelated comic:
-Ok, 13 letters across: “Humans scream this when they are in great pain”. Let’s see…
-AAAUGH!
-Don’t lie to me! That’s not enough letters.

Giggity Goo
Giggity Goo
1 month ago
Reply to  GUNnibal

Makes me think of Monty Python. “Look, if he was dying, he wouldn’t bother to carve ‘aarrggh’. He’d just say it!”

Eldest Gruff
Eldest Gruff
1 month ago
Reply to  Giggity Goo

He’s not dead, he’s just resting! Norwegian Blues tire easily. Beautiful plumage.

drew
drew
1 month ago
Reply to  GUNnibal

But, “motherfucker” only has 12 letters…

Soeroah
Soeroah
1 month ago

Scott that better not be you I swear to god

Daniel
Daniel
1 month ago

I’m quite sure it’s not Scott, unless he’s starting a full villain arc, which seems unlikely. Besides, he never wanted this field trip anyway, and we already had two cliffhanger of “Did Scott planned ambush?” in this very conversation.
I guess it’s either the signal from the beacons, which Zeke accidentally understand as trying to reactivate the bomb, or the master trying to gain control back. Either way, just kill Ethan! We all know it’s going to happen.

GUNnibal
GUNnibal
1 month ago
Reply to  Daniel

I’m not about to start a Scott fanclub, but I feel I’m missing something here. Does trying to save a friend, who you believe is currently in mortal danger, count as villainy now? Have I woken up in the wrong dimension again?

Daniel
Daniel
1 month ago
Reply to  GUNnibal

Of course not, but they can’t have this argument again. Scott already tried to kill Zeke because of danger, Ethan was already angry at him, a lot of fair points were risen and now they are in sort of peace. If Scott tried to override Zeke again behind the back of Ethan for his own good, there can be no more talking: Scott will move out and try to capture Zeke by his own, and since Ethan likes Zeke and is the hero, Scott will become briefly a villain.
Luckily, I can’t see Tim going this way.

GUNnibal
GUNnibal
1 month ago
Reply to  Daniel

I can see two issues with this reasoning. First, wasn’t that the crux of Ethan’s argument? Potential danger vs actual danger? Unless I’m misinterpreting everything, Ethan didn’t like the idea of sentencing a sentient being to death based only on what said being may or may not do in the future. Currently ZK is choke-holding Ethan – this isn’t potential danger anymore, that’s current real danger. And Ethan said that if ZK persists with the idea of hurting people, he would be there to stop them: https://cad-comic.com/comic/brannigan-p12/ Second, the thing that hurt Ethan the most in that story was the… Read more »

Daniel
Daniel
1 month ago
Reply to  GUNnibal

Those are valid points, but while I agree that Zeke might be an acutal, urgent danger from Scott’s POV, I believe it is artistically clear that Ethan (and Tim) will see it as a needless escalation as it could be solved by talking

ChibiAcer
ChibiAcer
1 month ago
Reply to  GUNnibal

It’s still just potential danger, since they are still “negotiating”, and it’s presumed that Ethan still has his respawn power even if they can’t prove it. Ethan pledging to stop ZK if needed isn’t the same as giving Scott permission to try his own way again.

It also feels unlikely that Scott would be able to attempt a control hack on the fly during this conversation, and having it prepared in advance but not telling Ethan about it would be a repeat of his previous mistake.

GUNnibal
GUNnibal
1 month ago
Reply to  ChibiAcer

“Potential danger” – I don’t know about that. If a person points a gun at you while talking, do you really need to wait for them to actually pull the trigger before deciding whether the danger is real or not? It IS possible that the thing isn’t loaded, but I’d say that will decide only whether any actual harm comes from this. Harm and danger are not the same. I’d argue that when ZK grabbed Ethan by the throat the danger became real. I don’t know much about the legal system, but I believe this is exactly the reason why… Read more »

MyBigPony
MyBigPony
1 month ago
Reply to  GUNnibal

Yes but the escalation is arguably Scott’s fault, again.

jonathan corbett
jonathan corbett
1 month ago
Reply to  Daniel

Scott WANTS the robot dead, because he’s looking at the big picture, something Ethan and Lucas seem incapable of doing. ZK has no real reason to trust humanity. He’s honestly a threat. What’s stopping someone from making an unstoppable army of intelligent robots?? I’m on Team Scott, here/

Richard Weatherfield
Richard Weatherfield
1 month ago

Even though the evidence continues to mount that ZK doesn’ actually want to kill anyone?

PhobosRising
PhobosRising
1 month ago
Reply to  Daniel

Maybe his phone has a penguin background on it?

Jedi
Jedi
1 month ago

I really hope that he’s talking about their ‘feelings’ and not about Scott doing something very stupid…

Nightdagger
Nightdagger
1 month ago

Goddamn it, Scott!

Marvin
Marvin
1 month ago
Reply to  Nightdagger

I somehow heard that in Aubrey Plaza’s voice XD

Dehnus
Dehnus
1 month ago

Another one of Scott’s “WOOHOO SCOTTY TIME! FUCK EVERYBODY ELSE!” moments.

Gonfrask
Gonfrask
1 month ago

And that unauthorized code will be just the beacon sending it signal…

chargersfan
chargersfan
1 month ago
Reply to  Gonfrask

Supposedly they’re out of range of the beacons. They went to the last known ping, and then Ethan had a theory that had them travel away from it to investigate a point of interest.

Ashi
Ashi
1 month ago
Reply to  Gonfrask

Would the beacon have to access them to activate anyways?

Darkhorse
Darkhorse
1 month ago

I see everyone going off about Scott. I didn’t think about him trying to turn off Zeke’s motor functions. I thought the ‘signal/code’ was the emotions Zeke felt shortly before a bomb went off.

Stephen
Stephen
1 month ago

You never know: – Scott might be using his mobile to text Zeke “I’m sorry” 🙂 It kind of beggars belief that Scott doesn’t have a mobile with a prepared script ready to run to disable Zeke, at least physically Whether or not Scott has taken into consideration that Zeke can simply order the remote controlled bots to simply step on said mobile is up for grabs though My prediction would be both parties end up leaving due to either Scott or Eugene’s interference; and Zeke and Ethan will continue this conversation at another Bat-time on another Bat-channel On the… Read more »

Giggity Goo
Giggity Goo
1 month ago
Reply to  Stephen

Ooooh… the idea that Eugene is trying to hack his way back in and Scott ends up saving Zeke is indeed interesting. Also – it’s honestly much more likely for it to be the code of The Master as the only code of Scott’s (unless I’m forgetting something) that Zeke really had access to would be the code which reprogrammed the bomb to be activated by proximity. Meanwhile, all of Zeke’s original coding would have been written by Eugene. To recognize Scott’s (in my opinion) would be similar to recognizing someone’s accent based on that one time you heard them… Read more »

Dagroth
Dagroth
1 month ago
Reply to  Giggity Goo

Zeke is a robot though, they can probably literally compare the code for similarities.

Or the voice/accent, if it came to that, too.
Like the “Good luck” in Taken, only Zeke wouldn’t need to listen to it over and over to remember exactly how it sounds.

GeorgeV
GeorgeV
1 month ago
Reply to  Giggity Goo

You might be missing the override Scott used to disable Zeke’s body. An event Zeke probably analyzed many, many times during however long they were trapped in sensory deprivation. It would make perfect sense for them to recognize the same hack being used.

Though it should be noted Eugene was also present during that event, also had reasons to analyze whatever happened to ‘their’ robot, and could have copied Scott’s work.

jonathan corbett
jonathan corbett
1 month ago

Ethan, it’s touching that you value ZK so much, but… let it go, man. He’s too dangerous to allow to live.

GeorgeV
GeorgeV
1 month ago

ZK did actually stand down multiple times now.

If anything, your sentence makes a lot more sense from ZK’s point of view. Every time they do try to be civil, humans keep trying to murder them anyway.

Matt
Matt
1 month ago

I don’t think it’s Scott, he’s literally laying on the ground just behind Ethan in the panel before this one. So unless he has some kind of invisible computer I don’t think he’s got the equipment to hack ZK from the ground and I don’t think they have been talking long enough between this and the last panel for him to have gotten to the car to get one.

Danidias
Danidias
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt

It could be an automated script running on his cell phone or the beacon to try and remote shut down/attack ZK. Which could of easily been rigged up by Scott before driving in. With the goal of luring ZK into range for long enough to take effect.

Aka an automated ping followed by a preprogrammed virus designed to utilize an array of preexisting vulnerabilities. Which Scott found in ZK’s systems in the past the first time he hacked him. In the hopes that ZK hasn’t figured out a way to reinforce his security to close said vulnerabilities.

Helldemon
Helldemon
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt

He was able to do it from his phone last time. His left hand is also hidden in the previous strip.

Bo F
Bo F
1 month ago

Ooohh .. Will Ethan sacrifice himself to save ZK from harm (that potentially The Master or Scotty would do to him).. Is that how this might go ?!

Bo F
Bo F
1 month ago
Reply to  Bo F

them*

Figgly
Figgly
1 month ago

everyone is saying Scott, or maybe the Master trying to hack into Zeke’s systems somehow.

… personally i interpreted it as Ethan accidentally triggering some kind of codeword or phrase with the sentence “i think you can appreciate more then anyone how precious life is”.

What that is, does, or why it would exist, idk. that’s just where my brain went initially. wouldn’t be surprised if that’s not the case.

D00Dm4n
D00Dm4n
1 month ago
Reply to  Figgly

“Would you kindly…..”

Ben
Ben
1 month ago

Scoooootttttt? What are you doing?

jonathan corbett
jonathan corbett
1 month ago
Reply to  Ben

“Saving you from yourself, Ethan. This THING will hurt other people, and it will be YOUR fault for being too in love with the idea of a robot buddy to realize this THING has no empathy!” -Scott

Rolan7
Rolan7
1 month ago

Except ZK is constantly demonstrating empathy…
I do actually sympathize with Scott’s fear, but he’s wrong. ZK is dangerous but so are people. As ZK knows VERY well.

Barmem
Barmem
1 month ago

what signal? what code? i dont get it

GeorgeV
GeorgeV
1 month ago
Reply to  Barmem

Some kind of signal is apparently trying to gain unauthorized access to Zeke’s systems. And Zeke recognizes it, probably from the last time he was hacked with it.

Nik
Nik
1 month ago

Well… Scott’s gotta Scott.

Luc
Luc
1 month ago

People are very quick to jump on Scott here (understandably so). My first thought went to the “master”, even though this would be weird as Zeke probably has him tied up somewhere or something.

Also, kinda surprised Zeke doesn’t have one of the goons restraining Scott at this point. So if this does end up being a “Scott” thing, it could have been extremely easily avoidable. I don’t think it’ll end up going that way though. Maybe I’ll stand corrected and we’ll repeat the last several comics of Scott and Ethan being enemies again.

Kaitensatsuma
Kaitensatsuma
1 month ago

Is it Scott completely misreading the situation, or is it this thing called….love?

James Rye
James Rye
1 month ago

I so bet he was gonna say “Well, that’s stupid since I consider my life precious, not necessarily yours.”.

Kevin Greenbaum
Kevin Greenbaum
1 month ago

Damn it Scott, he was still debating on choosing violence, why’d you have to flip the switch for him. I understand your reasoning, Ethan might not be able to respawn, Lucas isn’t there to save you guys, robot is distracted and you might be able to shut down his motor functions again. Your inability to see Ethan actually making a point and getting through to him slowly is gonna result in injuries that were potentially avoidable.

Reshad
Reshad
1 month ago

Did I miss something? What made Zk appreciate life in this timeline?

Darkhorse
Darkhorse
1 month ago
Reply to  Reshad

Zeke was called into life by the ‘Master’, but only on threat of ‘death’ by an explosive in their head to do the Master’s bidding. This already shows Zeke their value to continued existence, or ‘life’. After being captured and thinking the bomb was not a threat any more they found more emotions than hate. They enjoyed video games, as well as learning a ton on morality, identity and more. All this made them appreciate life as they knew it in a different way. They then had a bomb go off that seriously damaged them, causing a whole new and… Read more »

Pyre
Pyre
1 month ago

I can understand the motivation. Zeke is holding a possibly mortal Ethan by the neck and is screaming that humans are a lesser species. In any other story, people would be screaming “Scott, do something!”

And, yet, my gut reaction is still “Goddammit, Scott.”

Killiak
Killiak
1 month ago

Going to wait in the next page before passing any judgement.

Jaysburn
Jaysburn
1 month ago

Ideally, it’s Eugene trying to regain control over Zeke, and Scott will end up helping to put a stop to it.

Unfortunately, it’s probably just Scott doing it.

None of this story line has gone how I’ve thought it would, though, so we’ll see!

West
West
1 month ago

Poor Ethan… trying to negotiate peace between his two untrusting friends with itchy trigger fingers

Rudfud
Rudfud
1 month ago

I really hope that’s not Scott, that would be so incredibly frustrating and start making it real difficult for me to not support Zeke killing him. Hoping it’s the Master making the last dumb move he can.

Darkhorse
Darkhorse
1 month ago
Reply to  Rudfud

What I don’t understand is the callousness how people view human life (in comics). Is Scott’s action really worth murder? From Scott’s point if view, an decades ahead of their time ChatGPT in a robot body is danger enough that could disrupt world politics and cause mayor strife and death simoly by existing, especially if caught by a government or company. ChatGPT is still a program, so no problem to shut it down. He was scolded for it, and promised to help undo the damage. He was trying, until the robot build to specifically deal with Analog and Dpad (and… Read more »

Jaysburn
Jaysburn
1 month ago
Reply to  Darkhorse

You make very valid points, and are by and large correct.

Unfortunately, if it is indeed Scott doing this, it will most likely lead to another issue of broken trust between Ethan and Scott. Scott didn’t trust Ethan’s judgment with Zeke before, and if Scott is hacking Zeke right now it means he’s not trusting Ethan to control this situation either, despite what he definitely knows Ethan wants.

Dookie
Dookie
30 days ago
Reply to  Jaysburn

Ethan won’t have long to be upset about broken trust if Scott is doing this. Zeke is about to kill him.

Mr_Meng
Mr_Meng
30 days ago
Reply to  Darkhorse

A *lot* of the fandom refuse to see Zeke as anything more than basically Wall-E, just like Ethan, instead of an extremely dangerous existential threat to humanity as a whole(we’ve all seen either Terminator or The Matrix). To be fair to a certain extent Zeke is a victim having suffered slavery and abuse at the hand of The Master but on the other hand once Zeke was freed from his clutches Zeke did very little to assuage the fears and concerns that Lucas and Scott had such as when Zeke continuously voiced the desire to either wipe out or enslave… Read more »

Jaysburn
Jaysburn
30 days ago
Reply to  Mr_Meng

Actions speak louder than words.

Zeke made – fairly joking – insinuations towards his desire to eradicate humanity… While hanging out with (a) human(s) in a small room playing video games and waxing philosophy.

Boof
Boof
1 month ago

This keeps skirting the reasonability line for Scott, if in fact he is the one missing with his phone and trying to mess with Zeke. The cattle prod incident is a reasonable reaction for someone being abducted. Scott using some sort of remote phone interface on Zeke is a reasonable action to seeing his friend suddenly put into a stranglehold. Perhaps this is a lesson of “a reasonable action doesn’t necessarily correlate to a good one.” Another point, Ethan does not exactly have a reputation for eloquence. Scott, with his previous assumptions, is probably certain that Ethan cannot talk Zeke… Read more »

Phire
Phire
30 days ago

You know what would be fitting? If he actually killed Ethan. And he didn’t respawn. All because Scott just couldn’t let go of insisting he’s always right. And then Zeke leaves Scott to live with that. Knowing that thinking he’s always right caused the death of his friend. Because honestly, that’s the sort of punishment someone who is seriously bordering on narcissism here deserves.

Pyre
Pyre
30 days ago
Reply to  Phire

Or, better yet, Zeke kills Ethan and it turns out that the signal was not from Scott at all. Then Scott can live with the notion that he could have done something and didn’t…..again.

Bonus in that this would also teach the fanbase a much-needed lesson

Crestlinger
Crestlinger
30 days ago

How much of a turn would things take if Zeke Did off Scott?
I mean there is certainly cause to do so right now…

BakaGrappler
BakaGrappler
30 days ago

Look. For all the people saying Scott is making things worse. He held off until Zeke had his hand around Ethan’s throat and was squeezing it, while talking about how worthless human life is. Negotiation sure as heck seemed like it was ineffective. Did you really think Scott would wait until his brother in law was a corpse before trying to do what he could to save him?

Entercoven
Entercoven
30 days ago

Scott I swear to RNGeesus if you’re over there trying to get yourself killed AGAIN for the, what, is he up to 3 now? Feel like one of those might be debatable, but we’ll go with 3. THREE TIMES!

If this keeps up, Ethan may very well step aside and just let Darwin do his thing.