Comic 1647 - Vox Unpopuli

26th Jun 2019, 12:00 AM
Vox Unpopuli
Average Rating: 5 (11 votes)

Author Notes:

Centcomm 26th Jun 2019, 10:37 AM edit delete
If anyone can throw some coins at me it would be REALLY appreciated. Like grocery money appreciated.
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megados 26th Jun 2019, 12:21 AM edit delete reply
I am surprised. I would not have expected a voice print to even have worked to stand Noctis down, although in thinking on it, it might be only momentary until she assesses it.

The interrogation of these 'hostiles' should be interesting.

Noctis uses "Regent Maxus". Does this mean he has now been confirmed by the Senate? That's much quicker than I thought they would act, given the discord we saw before.

I forgive Noctis the pun, intentional or not, as it adds extra enjoyment to the dialogue. (Translation: I snickered). I also like the numerous angles; I get a good sense of the space.
Sasky 26th Jun 2019, 12:53 AM edit delete reply
Well there were command codes in there so that makes sense. They'd need a way to disseminate orders if the official lines of communication are unavailable (emergency) or too overt (spies). A 'stand down' with the right codes would work (temporarily) even without faking the voice print.

Of course things like protecting the imperial family are so fundamental that an override probably couldn't come through anything short of a direct in-person order from the emperor.
megados 26th Jun 2019, 12:59 AM edit delete reply
It does make sense until you realize that Noctis knows Decimus is dead, and under what circumstances. It also stands to reason that Maxus would have immediately eliminated his command codes, as Noctis affirms.
robnot 26th Jun 2019, 2:08 AM edit delete reply
as i sed ,, there were 3, that could give orders to a Cassian ,, an 2 are dead.. (dicmus & Kali) the 3rd is very limited,, tech/doc. only while being repaired..
an Maxus (had),, but only if it was military related..
an Now,, only Noctis controls the Cassians.. unless Maxus was/is promoted to regent (acting throne.) .. an sorta Acantha, cuz Noctis gave her that power...
megados 26th Jun 2019, 8:46 AM edit delete reply
I think that's right, @robnot. I'm still trying to figure out whether Maxus was confirmed as Regent, or Noctis is still acting on her own loyalty.
robnot 26th Jun 2019, 11:18 AM edit delete reply
agree, acting on own,, "I think" (until told otherwise.) that to cover her @$$ , she will use "Acting on Regents Orders."... to NOT let every one know that she IS a free agent, till some one is appointed to the throne...
mjkj 26th Jun 2019, 1:21 AM edit delete reply

Well, I wonder if we learn who is behind those abduction(s)...

Edit: sorry that pun flew right over my head... =S
...can somebody please point it out to me? Thank you.
(non native speaker here...)
The Sunny Side of Life 26th Jun 2019, 3:48 AM edit delete reply
She starts off her reply with the English phrase "in a manner of speaking" then talks about a voice print being used. (pun: speaking=voice)
mjkj 26th Jun 2019, 11:22 AM edit delete reply

Ah, thank you =)
megados 26th Jun 2019, 11:51 AM edit delete reply
It was a storytelling/wording serendipitous event, but it fit right in. When Acantha called her on it, she could have said, deadpan, "You wanted me to have fun, Princess.
HiFranc 26th Jun 2019, 2:28 AM edit delete reply

The person who planned it must have had access to those codes so we’re talking someone high up in New Rome society (and close to Decimus).

Either they underestimated Max or there was another objective behind the plan.
megados 26th Jun 2019, 8:30 AM edit delete reply
That's been bugging me too. We do know that there are/were Decimus' Loyalists within the Senate.
Oldarmourer 26th Jun 2019, 2:33 PM edit delete reply

Decimus loyalits would likely be trying to distance themselves as far as possible from him unless they think they can find someone else to take his place that won't be a little upset with their prior loyalties.

Acantha loyalists will be trying desperately to curry favour with her and/or Maxus, along with most of the former douchimus loyalists of course, but as in all politics the vast majority of the Senators will remain loyal only to themselves and Acantha has been around long enough, and supposedly groomed for her turn on the throne, to know that and expect it.

Some might even attempt to convince Maxus to make a move to elevate himself from Regent to Imperator, but I suspect that would be a bad move and he really isn't interested to begin with.

From what we've seen of the Senators so far, they're the usual bunch of back-stabbing or bored elites who see this as a game rather than anything for the good of the people, some maybe, but the rest are in it for themselves...and then there's Setorius...the machinations of others amuses him and while he might be tempted to let it continue just to see if he's correct in predicting what will happen next. he prefers the city quiet and intact plus he's pragmatic enough to know that pissing off New Troy much longer is, I can't remember just how he put it, but along the lines of "glowing craters don't make good hospitals" and he puts his research above all else.
Oldarmourer 26th Jun 2019, 5:54 AM edit delete reply

So his royal douchiness can't walk the walk anymore but he can still talk the talk...

I was wondering how anyone would expect anyone as professionally paranoid as a Cassian, and particularly Noctis, to believe she was receiving orders from someone she knew for a fact to be so deceased his ghost was still smoking.

His lingering 'command codes' should have caused no more than a momentary 'wtf' ? before being dismissed as rescinded and irrelevant and the source tracked for immediate investigation...which it was :)

I'd assume that confirming Acantha as 'crown princess apparent' and Maxus as Regent would have taken mere minutes and they'd have been in an 'acting capacity' the second douchebag ignited. In the society we see Nova Roma portrayed as, there's no place for a power vacuum, not even for an hour, you don't cancel the entire war because one of the generals dies, the next in the chain of command takes over immediately, and there had to have been a contingency plan in place for provisional promotions. ie:

Nova Roma Constitution
Section LVII

Unexpected Death or Incapacitation of Imperator/Imperatrix

Para XII (i)(b)

(i) "In the event of the death or incapacitation of the current Ruler, the next surviving member of the Royal Family in the line of succession shall immediately and without delay assume His or Her place in a provisional capacity, with full authority, until verified by proper procedures and protocols.

(ii)In the event that the next in line to the throne is underage, then the person previously designated to act as Regent will immediately and without delay assume that position until such time as the successor becomes eligible to rule in their own right or the Regency is shifted to a subsequent regent.

(iii)should the person previously designated as Regent not be available then the General of the Army will assume provisional command, with full authority, until such time as a confirmed Royal successor or Regent is determined."

(iv)In the event that no surviving member of the Royal family exists or can be located, then the General of the Army shall assume that position pending the determination of a successor.

(v) in the event that the General of the Army is unable to assume command, the next in the chain of command shall immediately wnd without delay assume the position of 'acting Imperator/Imperatrix' pending review.

(vi)In the event that no successor can be determined through seniority or position, 'Omnis Vir Enim Sui'.

Nova Roma may be a comparitively brutal society but it's very effective, this isn't the first time they've had an unexpected regicide.

I'll just fall back on my original postulation...

A) Gutters ain't all that bright.
B) People who hire gutters aren't any brighter

What we can look forward to now is just how fast these two gutters turn into songbirds and where that leads...should be a fun five or six years chasing that down :)

There's the possibility that this was a test using disposable test equipment to see if the concept was valid if someone did obtain functional codes, but the list of people who would actually have twatwaffle's codes would be very slim, given that his paranoia was only outdone by his ego.
Oldarmourer 26th Jun 2019, 9:54 AM edit delete reply
and we do see Maxus appointing Noctis as the new Cassian Princeps while bits of douchey are literally still drifting down the hallway and Noctis' immediate appointing of Tennyo as 'acting princeps' while she goes to New Troy with Acantha, so the succession protocol must be very quick, especially if there are witnesses to the necessity of implementing it. Communication at that level seems to be built in, or it's like Star Trek where all you have to do is speak to the ceiling and whoever you're addressing hears definitely works that way with Cent-Comm in NT and it seems Nova Roma isn't far behind in that regard.

Cassians, at least, have an internal comm system that allows them to talk to each other and I'd be very surprised if key Senators didn't have Cassians assigned to them personally, willingly or not.
megados 26th Jun 2019, 10:03 AM edit delete reply
Maxus does appoint Noctis, but I'm not sure how that works if he hasn't yet officially been named Regent. The Nova Roman military, and the Cassians are two separate branches, as I understand it.
Oldarmourer 26th Jun 2019, 12:09 PM edit delete reply
It was probably already in place, effective the moment douchimus wasn't able to counter it any longer.
megados 26th Jun 2019, 3:47 PM edit delete reply
Probably so. They all hold acting positions pending Senate confirmation. If Maxus were confirmed Regent, he would probably have authority to make Noctis' Princeps position permanent, and so on. As General, he likely couldn't.
Oldarmourer 26th Jun 2019, 6:31 AM edit delete reply

Question for Rose...

Have you ever watched the old British series "waiting for g-d" ? if not, why not ?
I can see some parallels between characters you might find interesting
Along with some general and not so general snarkiness ;)
Oldarmourer 26th Jun 2019, 7:36 AM edit delete reply

Is that 'codes' as in specific cyphers, frequency sequences and encryptions applicable only to douchimus ? or actual code words such as "blue wagon" for "stand down" ? Or most likely both ?

As I understand it, cyphers and encryptions can be broken if enough computational power is thrown at them, actual codes on the other hand, especially ones where the same word has a different meaning each time it's used in a transmission, need a specific key to decipher otherwise they're just an exercise in decrypting random words...which pretty much sums up His Terminal Crispiness' ravings at the best of times ;)
megados 26th Jun 2019, 8:43 AM edit delete reply
I interpret it as something like:

Directive: Stand down; Authorization, recognize Decimus alpha blue.

. . . so you'd have voice recognition, and the code words would change on a regular basis.
Oldarmourer 26th Jun 2019, 9:59 AM edit delete reply
Exactly, and His Royal Douchiness would have had his codes flagged as 'rescinded' virtually instantaneously, Tennyo handled communications and is the acting Princeps at the moment so I'm surprised even a 'stand down' order using his voiceprint/codes would be given the slightest bit of attention other than a "where did you get that ?" response at the pointy end of a power sword gripped in a pale but steady hand ;) I can see Noctis playing along as she did and would be surprised if she hadn't taken the opportunity to see what was going on, but her saying she would have accepted a 'stand down' command from a dead man without question is sort of mystifying...unless it's simply 'stand down long enough to verify this order'
megados 26th Jun 2019, 10:56 AM edit delete reply
That's kind of what I was alluding to above; Noctis, I would think, is constantly aware of the chain of command in most cases. She is aware that Decimus' codes have been wiped. Because of that, she technically should accept NO orders (even to stand down) purported to come from him.
Oldarmourer 26th Jun 2019, 1:04 PM edit delete reply
Tennyo would have been just as aware of the chain of command, since it was she who revoked the promotion of the one douchimus tried to make lord general over Maxus, seems that order was a little out of line, even for the she could have said, although Malati would have been better to say it, "the chain of command is the chain I beat you with until you understand who's in command"..although a very large blade worked just as well in a pinch ;)
Bullwinkle 26th Jun 2019, 10:22 AM edit delete reply
Acantha Oh an attempted coup *yawn*
Wait Nocts made a pun? WOW!
Oldarmourer 26th Jun 2019, 11:03 AM edit delete reply
Noctis has the most subtle, dry, brilliant humour of any of the Cassians that we've seen. Most times the people around her either don't catch on or they have to do a double take and since she shows virtually no expression at all they're left wondering if she said it on purpose...a girl after my own heart...just skip using the sword to get to it.
R.C. goofy 26th Jun 2019, 12:15 PM edit delete reply
It sounds like Noctis wouldn't have been affected by the voice commands even for the duration of the first sentence. Perhaps she was thinking something like ... Someone is trying to hack me. I don't have enough information to identify who, and if I do anything to show that the attempt failed they will try something else. Best to play along and set a trap for them.
Thracecius 26th Jun 2019, 1:36 PM edit delete reply

I'd say that's a bingo, Goofy.
Morituri 26th Jun 2019, 1:33 PM edit delete reply
So these gutters, possibly, didn't know Decimus was dead? The instant he's gone, nothing in his own voice is credible of belief so orders won't work.

In the words of another character in a different comic... "Sometimes I hear voices. Sometimes the voices tell me to kill people. When that happens, I tell those voices to fuck off."
Oldarmourer 26th Jun 2019, 2:49 PM edit delete reply

"the voices aren't real, but they DO have some great ideas" ;)
Morituri 26th Jun 2019, 1:41 PM edit delete reply
Another observation: Trying to subvert the will of a sentient android by force or compulsion is a MAJOR offense in New Troy.

So between the attempted abduction, screwing with the camera and data feeds from the park, and trying to activate Noctis' built-in inhibitor, I think these guys have managed to go from zero to the three-strikes rule in a single day.
Oldarmourer 26th Jun 2019, 2:21 PM edit delete reply

Oh yes, I'd imagine Cent-Comm will be very miffed, very miffed indeed...she will most likely speak to them quite harshly, she might have them repaint the benches in the park to atone for their sins, or maybe even go without dessert for their last meals.
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