24

Trust, p16

August 7, 2020 by Tim


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Richard Dain
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Richard Dain

What are the odds that he’ll need to leave for a good reason later, like a villain attack right outside or something, or maybe the store gets robbed? And then the bomb blows up but it doesn’t take him out, but it sours his whole path to becoming a better person.

TomB
Guest
TomB

There’s no odds on a foregone conclusion! On the other hand, I suppose Tim could do something shocking like have ol’ red-eyes leave for a good reasons, get his noggin’ blown off, and then the two conspirators would have to live with having killed a sentient being. The only problem with these story lines generally is they’ve been done in many ways in many places before – it is very hard to find a unique take on them. This same situation explains the plans to remake Blazzing Saddles and Princess Bride (among others). As time goes by, and we preserve… Read more »

Vampyrr
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Vampyrr

Hrm I would rather Scott monitor his movements if he leaves rather than explode him the second he steps out the storeroom door. Maybe he wants to go watch people without being forced to attack anyone

no thanks nintendo
Guest
no thanks nintendo

Great idea! Except of course if it does decide to kill people, in which case Scott, Ethan, and Lucas have that blood on their hands. Scott’s making the wrong call – the right one is to just hit the killswitch now and be done with this – but it’s the best plan they have considering this is the path they’re going down.

7eggert
Guest
7eggert

After all, we do that with everyone who is caught speeding.

TomB
Guest
TomB

Someone speeding might kill someone. Zeke has repeatedly assaulted people and (in a sense) killed Ethan. He isn’t an idiot who might someone, he’s a killbot that has.

That line matters.

Damion
Guest
Damion

That’s only the right move if you view Zeke as an “it” and not a “who”. Scott now views Zeke as a “who”, a “who” he feels he has to kill. But he knows it’s wrong now, so he is trying to mask his intentions from the other two – and himself. He is scared out of his kind. Literally.

John Swift
Guest
John Swift

Ya detonating it like this would be kinda bad, esp after what he said. Very interested to see what Zeke will choose to do.

Wiggles
Guest
Wiggles

I foresee two moments. One where Ethan sacrifices himself for zeke and comes back but it still moves zeke. Or 2, when Lucas stands in front of zeke and takes the hit, at which point zeke murders everything that might hurt his new meat shield.

BaufenBeast
Guest
BaufenBeast

The bomb is inside Zeke’s head, you can’t “take the hit” for him.

Vandril
Guest
Vandril

Oh dear. I hope Ethan doesn’t try to sneak him out at some point.

Robfather
Guest
Robfather

I have a feeling it’s going to end up that he tries to stop XB1, realizes the bomb is about to explode, and “sacrifices” himself to save XB1. Even though he respawns, it can show XB1 that Ethan does care enough.

Mime
Guest
Mime

Zeke could feel Scott poking around in his programming when he was “Unconscious”… Is there a chance he will be able to know about the new failsafe? Cause that wont go down well…

Shecky
Guest
Shecky

Not if it was designed correctly where it’s air gaped from the rest of him. I picture a separate unit with the explosive, like an Arduino or something that can hold a little bit of logic. Perhaps the robot would pick up on external cues… like the fact that the bomb is still there for one

Blue Griffin
Guest
Blue Griffin

I don’t think that would be a clue though as that would mean they opened him up while he was asleep. Given his build, one that would be an easy way to do damage not knowing his design and two I’d be more worried they opened me up rather than the possibility they took out the bomb.

7eggert
Guest
7eggert

He wasn’t asleep ever

Shecky
Guest
Shecky

Perfect time for a new threat too show up. Also GPS is not that trust worthy, it could waver while he’s just standing in the room. I can imagine Ethan or maybe even the robot is going to test things by asking for something simple, like a tour of the building. Forcing this truth to come up and leading to the drama contention if still not being free. Poor communication, the cliche and yet sadly realistic cause of so many issues. To be fair the robot has done nothing to build the two way trust relationship and it seems to… Read more »

7eggert
Guest
7eggert

He has refused to lie. What kind of trust can be built upon telling convenient lies?

Shecky
Guest
Shecky

His responses are pure logic short non-answers. There is a difference between not telling lies and not answering the deeper implied question. And his snark answers seems to indicate he understands the deeper points. So he’s being antagonistic – which is less than trustworthy.

7eggert
Guest
7eggert

“Non-Answers” to questions where a short truthful answer would condemn any honest man. There is no truthful “I won’t hurt people”.

If you want the deep and long answer, you have to listen, and maybe ask the right questions.

Arcatus
Guest
Arcatus

Oh, but Scott. You are creating an unnecessary complication right now.

Sayer
Guest
Sayer

Exactly. He’s pretending the conditions of Zekes captivity is “don’t hurt people” when the actual conditions are “don’t leave this room for any reason”

What is the plan exactly? There’s no way to be sure it will never occur to Zeke to hurt someone as long as he functions (as per his own testimony) so how long is long enough for him to hang out in the room. What is the pass condition where Scott decides he’s free to move about the country?

no thanks nintendo
Guest
no thanks nintendo

You’d rather he let the robot roam free and possibly kill people?

7eggert
Guest
7eggert

Of 1000 licensed drivers, statistically two will kill somebody. We take these kinds of risk.

Little smile
Guest
Little smile

Yeah, but i bet the two drivers are also the ones who say “I hate all other people and they should be flatten.” just saying.

7eggert
Guest
7eggert

Most likely they are the ones that say “my driving style will never hurt anybody”, because that’s what 90 % of the reckless drivers say. Incidentally some people expect Zeke to say “my actions will never hurt anybody”.

Shecky
Guest
Shecky

Scott does have the most to lose, he’s not apt to defend himself and the robot knows he is the only one that can mess around with his programming. I don’t blame Scott for feeling like he’s a dead man if he lets this thing loose. In fact he should be able to argue that to the logic driven captive and have no counter argument. Hence this experiment to build trust.

Stephen
Member
Stephen

Well this is going to lead to an extra-awkward conversation with Ethan when Zeke hears trouble outside and decides to go help.

7eggert
Guest
7eggert

Possible spoiler, but it’s just a guess: The perimeter needs to be at least 50 m (inaccuracy from my GPS waypoints near buildings), and there will be a notification first. Also Scott will happen to watch the life news reports and disable the bomb remotely just before team Ethan/Zeke chases the villain.

Blue Griffin
Guest
Blue Griffin

Well I get the range limit. Heck even allowing him the whole shop could be an issue if he suddenly decided a to go kill mode on them, but cutting him off to just that room seems… extremely limiting. I guess they’re imaging he goes on a killing spree or reveals himself to the public, but he’s spent his life not being seen, I don’t think interacting him more humans is on the top of his list, and there are so many reasons he could leave that zone either on purpose or accident. “We’re right to stop it before it… Read more »

Jacob
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Jacob

It would have been preferred if they could shut down his motor functions rather than use the bomb, we’ll just have to see how it plays out.

HonoredMule
Guest
HonoredMule

Any rational creature would choose leaving over voluntarily surrendering freedom to a distrusted overlord. Besides, no one knows what Zeke will do out in the world until he’s actually in it anyway. Now the heroes…they may have the best (or at least most pragmatic) intentions, yet the net result replicates all the worst qualities of the existing penal system: – Start by condemning the subject based on actions over which they had limited or even no reasonable control – Exploit subjects for personal gain/interest – Present authority as just another form of oppression – Encourage repeat offense by teaching subjects… Read more »

Stephen M Schaefer
Guest
Stephen M Schaefer

“Any rational creature would choose leaving over voluntarily surrendering freedom to a distrusted overlord.” That assumes rationale and choice. That hasn’t been established yet, most notably in Scott’s mind. The analogy breaks down when in this scenario we have something that truly is not human, so we have to start from square one in terms of determining sentience, having no basis for comparison. Zeke has been a CAD character for umpteen years, so we project onto him our affection for his character in the form of a presumption that he is equivalent to all other characters. But he’s not. The… Read more »

HonoredMule
Guest
HonoredMule

The “profit and exploitation” is Scott experimenting with Zeke for his own edification (rather than choosing a course of action focused on achieving Zeke’s conversion into a safe member of society). Also, the “may go on a murder spree” angle isn’t really any different than with any other entity capable of emulating apparent free will, which brings it very nicely in line with the same challenges and arguments we face with human incarceration. Truly the only new and interesting angle in this plot line is the possibility that Zeke is not sentient. And that’s a big gamble particularly when we… Read more »

Waerolvirin
Guest
Waerolvirin

It’s a mistake. One of the robot’s primary complaints and arguments against humans is being kept prisoner and treachery. This is just proof of concept. Not going to end well if the bot finds out.

HelloWorld
Guest
HelloWorld

I wonder if the logic within Zeke would make him try to test the boundaries by leaving the back room to see what happens? If I was in such a situation, I would perform leaving the room as a test to see if they are trustful. If I blow up, I may be dead, but I proved that I was still a captive (and hopefully cause some issues between the heroes, as Zeke could assume Ethan might think there was no contingency). If nothing happens, I might choose to stay around for a bit just to see what they have… Read more »

Richard II Weatherfield
Guest
Richard II Weatherfield

Awww….When he asked if Ethan would still hang out with him I saw a bit of the old Zeke shine through.

Sigh
Guest
Sigh

I was with the story until this point. They made it clear they have the ability to shut off the robot, and to disable its motor functions. There’s no reason they would need to kill him if he leaves the room, they could simply disable him. It’s also ridiculous to think Ethan won’t give Zeke a tour of the building at some point when no one is paying attention. No one would possibly think Zeke is writing off humanity just by checking out the inside of the building for a moment and going back into his room. But he’ll still… Read more »

Daniel85
Guest
Daniel85

I fully expect him to stay by argueing that they might’ve setup an ambush for him if he left the room, since he has no reason to believe that not following their orders would NOT result in death.

However, it would’ve been a much more interesting story if he left and the explosive device went off, but failed to do enough damage to kill him. He would never trust humanity again and it would make Ethan distrust Lucas and Scott, possibly disbanding the heroic team for a while, making them both run solo.

Nekopanzer
Guest
Nekopanzer

That would be interesting… XB1 is damaged, but not dead. Ethan takes him into hiding, then repairs him using spare parts from Weebmaster’s old hideout. Ethan and XB1 become friends, but both are now at odds with Scott and Lucas. Perhaps Scott, still believing that XB1 is a serious threat, makes a deal with Weebmaster to find and destroy XB1 and temporarily teams up with him.

Anon A Mouse
Guest
Anon A Mouse

No offense but it would be interesting if that wasn’t a subplot in about half the stories with this particular situation, and there are a large number of them. I’ve often enjoyed Tim’s writing because he plays around with tropes a little bit to amusing affect. This story, however, is disappointingly hitting all the standard points and this is just another one. I’m SERIOUSLY hoping something more interesting happens.

Detton
Guest
Detton

Kinda feel like Zeke’s being set up for failure here; offer the illusion of freedom , and punish him for taking it, unless he chooses to do what they want him to do (to stay) without telling him the consequences.. Even assuming Zeke can’t hear them – and there’s been enough speculation that he has VERY good senses – they’re ‘bargaining’ in bad faith, and even if they have good intentions, the consequences aren’t against Zeke HARMING anyone, it’s just their fear of him harming someone. Maybe he woudn’t want to be with THEM? Honestly, can’t blame him for that… Read more »

no thanks nintendo
Guest
no thanks nintendo

“the consequences aren’t against Zeke HARMING anyone, it’s just their fear of him harming someone”

Okay first of all, that isn’t Zeke. This isn’t CAD 1.0.

Second, this robot is very capable of murder. It has killed Ethan before (remember, even Ethan says his power is not that he can’t die, but that he can’t stay dead). If it does get out and kill more people, they’d be responsible for it. You all seem to forget about the innocent, non-super-powered people out there in this universe who would be unable to defend themselves against a killer robot.

7eggert
Guest
7eggert

The ultimate freedom is not _doing whatever you just happen to want to do.
The ultimate freedom is _not doing whatever you just happen to want to do.

If you just do whatever you please, you don’t ever chose what to do. Even if you always follow a law, you could be replaced by a mindless robot. But by giving yourself a law to live by, that’s freedom.

Humsterr
Guest
Humsterr

Isn’t it the way child upbringing works?

A child is free to do whatever, but punished if he/she doesn’t do chores or comes home by curfew.

Granted, punishment in this case is quite severe.

7eggert
Guest
7eggert

That’s the way upbringing to be a criminal works. “I can get away with …, so I may do that”

Paula
Guest
Paula

I really don’t like what Scott is doing. A failsafe in case Zeke attacks someone is one thing, but this? Too much. Specially because I can think Ethan going out the room with Zeke, with both of them considering that Scott’s conditions actually meant “don’t walk unsupervised”. I can see Ethan telling him “come, I’ll show how we do food” or something like that.
I don’t think that is going to happen, but it could, and Scott and Lucas should have thought this better.

Milkman
Guest
Milkman

I’m absolutely loving the interaction between Zeke and Ethan. 1 million internet points.

Bloomple
Guest
Bloomple

I have to ask, is there any reason they haven’t really talked about how quick-witted he is? I would have expected someone to comment on the robot that’s constantly cracking jokes, or at least an acknowledgement of some sort. I suppose you could easily write it off as just a “really complex banter box,” but it still feels odd that no one talks about it. You’d think at least one of his zingers would get a chuckle from them, or if nothing else, a request to “take things seriously.” I dunno, maybe I’m just more willing to laugh in serious… Read more »

Shecky
Guest
Shecky

The original evil mastermind programmed him using dialog from a web comic he follows about a talking robot 😉

tanonev
Guest
tanonev

Honestly, the root mistake was made a long time ago, when the three decided not to reach out to anyone else for assistance or guidance. It’s been established that there are other superheroes and organizations with far more resources and experience, and these three have never put forth the argument that said superheroes or organizations are fundamentally corrupt, just that the conclusions those organizations arrive at might not be the ones the three want. But that’s sort of the point: These three are limited by their resources and experience, which limits their perception of which outcome is best (or even… Read more »

Karrde
Guest
Karrde

He’s such a Tsundre

Humsterr
Guest
Humsterr

OK, so I definitely see Ethan crying over almost dead Xbot in a very near future

Damion
Guest
Damion

Scott is straight up pulling a villain move here. He WANTS to kill Zeke. He wants to very very much. And he knows that Ethan wants to make friends with Zeke and he knows Ethan will try something. He’s using Ethan to kill Zeke. This ain’t gonna end well.

Dagroth
Guest
Dagroth

I don’t know if Scott has this kind of plans, but I agree on it not ending well sooner or later.

Kevin Greenbaum
Guest
Kevin Greenbaum

Something about lying about his freedom to earn his trust seems like the making of a rogue anti-hero.

ravenofpoe
Guest
ravenofpoe

Is anyone else just really excited to have zeke back in the strip? I realize this isn’t the old comic, but I just can’t wait for the whole group to be assembled again. It’s probably a long time off and may not be the same way it was. Who knows what role Lilah and zeke will really play? But I’ve been reading this comic since 05 and I loved the characters. Funny anecdote. I remember I sent Tim an email asking when Scott would be back and if we could have a couple strips about him. Tim never replied, probably… Read more »