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Poll

Pancake!Roko! What happens next? (Choose two)

Roko has to deal with a low-spec temporary body until Faye and Bubbles can somehow fix her original chassis
- 14 (21.2%)
Spookybot: "I can repair her although she may find the specification of the replacement a bit more... cutting edge."
- 10 (15.2%)
"Bubbles, that's not a humanoid chassis, it's a Transformer. A 30-foot tall one too!"
- 2 (3%)
Roko in Momo-tan
- 10 (15.2%)
Roko in iWinslow
- 3 (4.5%)
Roko in a robo-girlfriend prototype chassis
- 7 (10.6%)
Roko in an immobile sensor & communications pod that ends up being carried around by a main character
- 10 (15.2%)
Uploaded into the experimental town data grid. She now IS Northampton
- 4 (6.1%)
Other (specify in comment)
- 6 (9.1%)

Total Members Voted: 39


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Author Topic: WCDT strips 3606-3910 (31st December 2018 to 4th January 2019)  (Read 7546 times)

Storel

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Looks like everything will eventually turn out all right for Roko, but now I'm terrified of depressed nuclear reactors.

Depressed is safe. Manic on the other hand...

"Safe"? Um... what happens if a depressed nuclear reactor decides to commit suicide? Meltdown at best, nuclear explosion at worst? As Arthur Dent once said, this is obviously some strange usage of the word safe that I wasn’t previously aware of.

"Sarnt major, 681 Jones is in 12 platoon, isn't he? Just got word his parents were killed last night in a Zeppelin raid. Please break it to him gently, there's a good chap"
Later, on parade.
"COMPANY! ATTEN..wait for it you horrible little man..SHUN!
"12 Platoon! All those not orphaned take one step forwarNOT YOU JONES!"

 :-D Hah, love it! If that's his idea of breaking it gently...

Lemon means well, but her oblique speech about bodily damage rather fell flat.

I see what you did there...  :claireface:
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Cheetaur

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Seems Roko's body is out to lunch for awhile, lets hope it can repaired. This insurance job might just get Faye and Bubbles business in the black.
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traroth

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Poor Roko. Just when things seemed to turn around for her, a huge pack of trouble falls from the skies. Literaly.

Speaking of which, what happened to CrushBot? Where did he fell from?
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Neko_Ali


He slipped on the crate of banana peels backwards onto Roko, not from a height.
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Perfectly Reasonable

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So with a nearly-identical body, Roko would still have a foot sensitivity and her bread fetish -- since those are part of her reinforced core.

Do reactor AIs have to be in intimate contact with actively fissioning material? I'm guessing they must be literally on top of things because of the need for faster than faster-than-lightning response time. Lag not acceptable!

I'm pleased that Crushbot is not as insensitive as his first appearance made him appear.  I presume he sent flowers. Or whatever AIs do in such circumstances?
« Last Edit: 01 Jan 2019, 17:07 by Perfectly Reasonable »
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What would I do if I were smart?
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Castlerook


Crushbot sent a lovely bouquet of torque wrenches.
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brasca

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Strip is up!

Well Roko still slips into her Boston accent in stressful situations so she still has that.   

Even though she can get a chassis that may be superior to her previous one it would seem that she was attached to the previous one in more ways than one.  It's interesting because while I can understand how a human would react if their body was crushed beyond recovery AIs have the luxury of downloading into a new chassis making the effectively immortal.  Perhaps she's more sentimental than most AIs.   
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Texanhick20

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Strip is up!

Well Roko still slips into her Boston accent in stressful situations so she still has that.   

Even though she can get a chassis that may be superior to her previous one it would seem that she was attached to the previous one in more ways than one.  It's interesting because while I can understand how a human would react if their body was crushed beyond recovery AIs have the luxury of downloading into a new chassis making the effectively immortal.  Perhaps she's more sentimental than most AIs.

You buy a house with your significant other, raise your kids there, have parties, invite families over, make it into a home. Then a hurricane/tornado comes ripping through your house destroying it to the foundation.  Nothing you've lost is unrecoverable, but that home that you had made with your life has been destroyed.  That door frame into the house isn't the same one, it doesn't have the knife marks you made when you were measuring how tall your kids were growing.  The recliner in the living room that you bought from a second hand store when you first moved in doesn't have its cushions molded to the shape of your body.. It's just not home yet.. It'll get there.. but right now it's not home..

I suspect Faye and Bubbles will get her working in one way or another, maybe they will be able to preform a miracle of some sort on Roko's body..
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Greymoon

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Strip is up!

Well Roko still slips into her Boston accent in stressful situations so she still has that.   

Even though she can get a chassis that may be superior to her previous one it would seem that she was attached to the previous one in more ways than one.  It's interesting because while I can understand how a human would react if their body was crushed beyond recovery AIs have the luxury of downloading into a new chassis making the effectively immortal.  Perhaps she's more sentimental than most AIs.

Well she's already explained awhile back that she's very attached to her body, and she's had it from day 1. It's why she has that psychosomatic response to damage to herself or others. I remember when she had Faye work on her cranky ankle that she had A Very Bad Time, so this is gonna be pretty devastating to her. I'm wondering if she's gonna get stuck in a temporary crap body like what May is stuck in. I mean, she was already getting ready to start volunteer work for AI rights and stuff, and she's expressed distaste at the way May had been treated, so this is just another step toward either really getting close to May or really becoming a hella fawkin' good AI advocate.
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Killspree

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The message I get from this is, Bubbles can lift/move several tons. I personally prefer to believe she did it hastily by hand instead of using any other assistance such as a crane or jack from the the shop.
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A small perverse otter

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The message I get from this is, Bubbles can lift/move several tons. I personally prefer to believe she did it hastily by hand instead of using any other assistance such as a crane or jack from the the shop.
I'm sure she didn't go running in to grab a crane. The only question in my mind is whether or not she asked Crushbot's permission before she picked him up and threw him across the street to get at Roko's body.  Bubbles has shown herself to be...single-minded...when it comes to the well-being of her friends.
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Milayna

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Even if she did I doubt his feelings would be crushed. I'm sure he can handle it.
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St.Clair

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Gotta admit, I love "citrus-ass" as a label.
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BenRG

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Poor Roko! Of course, this is no surprise to us from our third-person perspective but it must be a horrible blow for her with her close core/chassis integration!

I had to think about today's strip for a bit and realised that it was necessary to do a whole strip to confirm what any reader ought to have guessed pretty much at once. Why? Because Jeph had to show Roko learning what had happened to her so we see her reaction and emotional development in a clear and continuous fashion. Basically, it would have been bad writing to 'tell not show' something as significant as this.
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DaiJB

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"Roko in an immobile sensor & communications pod that ends up being carried around by a main character"
I SO want this to happen - and PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let it be May   :evil: 

I also chose 'other', so:-
I like the idea of the only readily available chassis parts being the Robot-fighting Club spare parts - so she temporarily ends up looking mostly like Punchbot...  :-D

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pendrake

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For comic #3908...

1. Poor Roko, besides physical trauma, I am sure there is deep emotional trauma from a total body-chassis loss.

2. The real question is how much of a "very robust" insurance policy Crushbot has.

We know that even a "basic" humanoid chassis is significantly costly.  Whether Roko's body-chassis had something of higher-grade due to being Law Enforcement (besides her processor & memory core reinforcement-protection), which means something even more costly, we do not know.

And knowing insurance companies, I doubt Roko will not get much in the way of "satisfactory" coverage for a new body-chassis.  :(
« Last Edit: 02 Jan 2019, 01:16 by pendrake »
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Gyrre

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Very much unlike their minds, the bodies of QC synthetics seem to be manufactured assembly-line quality-controlled items.

Roko could presumably get a near-identical replacement.

Would that be good enough?

It depends to what level she'd fine-tuned her sensor settings and parts to her preferences; she could be in for months of monkeying around with her preferences trying to get the darn thing working right.

There is also the psychological problems that sci-fi occasionally directs towards cloning. It looks like her body but she knows it isn't her body. That could lead to disabling dysphoric issues.
Here's hoping she doesn't get an M$ model.
As soon asshe gets the preferences where she wants them, there'd be un update that screwed everything up! :-P
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and the universe said you are not alone
and the universe said you are not separate from every other thing

BenRG

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This arc and its implications reminds me of a Kim Possible/The Bionic Woman crossover that I read a few years back. In it, the titular heroine is horrendously injured in a bomb explosion and the only way to avoid her being left a permanently institutionalised cripple, barely better than a vegetable, is radical prosthetic surgery, replacing all four limbs, most of her sensory organs and skin with synthetic replacements as well as heavily augmenting her brain to interface with this amount of electronic appliances.

From there, the story starts going into Ghost in the Shell territory. Being comfortably over 75% synthetic, Kim starts questioning if she's still really is Kim Possible anymore or a sophisticated android that's using some of the late Kim's biological parts to function. There is also the more physical issue that she now weights around 250lbs because of the amount of titanium, coltan and plutonium in her rebuilt body including its micro-fission power system. Not being able see, hear, smell or even feel in the same way as a human anymore doesn't help very much.

I mention this because I think it gives something of an insight into what Roko is likely to go through in the medium-term. No matter how alike her new chassis is to her original, Roko is still going to have this feeling of dislocation - A sense that she is, at the very least, heavily changed from who she was before and, at the worst, that she is not really 'Roko' anymore but a totally different being that just has a copy of a dead woman's memories.

Additionally, Lemon and Roko's interactions in the virtual environment remind me of the early phase of the story. During the reconstructive process, the scientists use the bionic interface circuitry to 'jack' into Kim's brain and interface directly with her consciousness to help her prepare for what was happening to her and to enable her to assist them in testing all the systems to ensure they were interfacing properly with the remainder of her biological central nervous system.
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lawoot

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We know Roko has a bread fetish. Put her in a toaster until her new body is  ready.  8-)
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Pilchard123

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She makes bread fun!
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netcat

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I'm also thinking that we should all be fitted with reinforcement for our processors and memory cores.  Could someone please get on that STAT!

I would settle for a highly reliable, well-tested backup and recovery procedure.
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hedgie

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She makes bread fun!

Given the nature of her condition and bread fetish, she'd probably end up being more like "Talky Toaster" from Red Dwarf.
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Tyr

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I'm sure she didn't go running in to grab a crane. The only question in my mind is whether or not she asked Crushbot's permission before she picked him up and threw him across the street to get at Roko's body.  Bubbles has shown herself to be...single-minded...when it comes to the well-being of her friends.

I slept almost immediately after reading the page, and the following scene played out in my dreams:
Bubbles deadlifts Crushbot off Roko while Faye silently and perfectly in sync slides in and moves Roko's shattered chassis out of the impact zone. Panels 2-10 are Faye doing triage on Roko's chassis(making sure to safely render Roko unconscious if the Massive Physical Trauma hadn't done so) while Bubbles makes sure Crushbot A: isn't damaged from the fall and B: Understands what just happened. panels 11 and 12 are Faye picking up the parts that are still attached to Roko's AI Drive and running, presumably to the Intensive Care version of Union Robotics' Urgent Care Facility.
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BenRG

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She makes bread fun!

Given the nature of her condition and bread fetish, she'd probably end up being more like "Talky Toaster" from Red Dwarf.

Jeph has explained that Roko's primary relationship with bread is tactile and olfactory. It wouldn't be the same in any other way.

The nearest equivalent would be if the sensory nerves were cut to your most sensitive spot. It just simply wouldn't have any effect if you were touched there beyond a possible vague 'sense memory'.
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Castlerook


So I guess Roko won't be shipping up to Boston to buy her wooden leg.
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themacnut

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From what I'm gathering, Roko needs more than a replacement leg - more like a replacement everything. Except her brain/central processor of course.

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Cornelius

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She makes bread fun!

Given the nature of her condition and bread fetish, she'd probably end up being more like "Talky Toaster" from Red Dwarf.

Jeph has explained that Roko's primary relationship with bread is tactile and olfactory. It wouldn't be the same in any other way.

The nearest equivalent would be if the sensory nerves were cut to your most sensitive spot. It just simply wouldn't have any effect if you were touched there beyond a possible vague 'sense memory'.

On the other hand, of your putting an AI in a toaster, it's not hard to imagine you'd also put in some specialised sensors, to judge the doneness of toast by roach and smell as well as temperature and rolling. I find it hard to see the use otherwise. And well, having senses uniquely and specifically qualified for what you enjoy...
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Pilchard123

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She makes bread fun!

Given the nature of her condition and bread fetish, she'd probably end up being more like "Talky Toaster" from Red Dwarf.

I never said what sort of fun, nor who the fun would be for :angel:
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Neko_Ali


From what I'm gathering, Roko needs more than a replacement leg - more like a replacement everything. Except her brain/central processor of course.

Well by the sound of it the only reason her core survived was because of the extra reinforcement she got when she joined the police force. In the cliffhanger comic Crushbot had fallen on her entire body, you couldn't see anything other than a hand and her ponytail. So it seems Roko only very narrowly escaped death.
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A small perverse otter

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From what I'm gathering, Roko needs more than a replacement leg - more like a replacement everything. Except her brain/central processor of course.

Well by the sound of it the only reason her core survived was because of the extra reinforcement she got when she joined the police force. In the cliffhanger comic Crushbot had fallen on her entire body, you couldn't see anything other than a hand and her ponytail. So it seems Roko only very narrowly escaped death.
Even so, the incident was a crushing blow to her mental health. The rest of the cast is going to have to make sure she doesn't slip into depression and fall apart.
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brasca

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For comic #3908...

1. Poor Roko, besides physical trauma, I am sure there is deep emotional trauma from a total body-chassis loss.

2. The real question is how much of a "very robust" insurance policy Crushbot has.

We know that even a "basic" humanoid chassis is significantly costly.  Whether Roko's body-chassis had something of higher-grade due to being Law Enforcement (besides her processor & memory core reinforcement-protection), which means something even more costly, we do not know.

And knowing insurance companies, I doubt Roko will not get much in the way of "satisfactory" coverage for a new body-chassis.  :(

If Marigold could afford Momo’s upgrade then I think Crushbot’s insurance can provide a suitable replacement.
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syclick

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Cue storyline regarding identity & body/gender fluidity.
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oddtail

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Cue storyline regarding identity & body/gender fluidity.

I certainly hope so! That'd be fun to explore with non-human characters.
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Case

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Looks like everything will eventually turn out all right for Roko, but now I'm terrified of depressed nuclear reactors.

Depressed is safe. Manic on the other hand...

"Safe"? Um... what happens if a depressed nuclear reactor decides to commit suicide? Meltdown at best, nuclear explosion at worst? As Arthur Dent once said, this is obviously some strange usage of the word safe that I wasn’t previously aware of.


The word "depressed' is often colloquially used to suggest a state of melancholy, disappointment or unhappiness.

There are many people here more qualified than me, but IMO., those emotions have about as much to do with depression as being in a slight drizzle has to do with being shipwrecked. Yes, both involve water, and neither is pleasant.

It's like your soul running out of fuel.
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Thrudd

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"Roko in an immobile sensor & communications pod that ends up being carried around by a main character"
I SO want this to happen - and PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let it be May   :evil: 

Now if I was behind this little bit of temporary housing then there would be a few extra functions added to make it a bit more palatable than the white-space she is occupying at the moment.
  • Transportable pod with extended run time capability - possibly a transformable drone chassis - sits on the counter pod to hover-disk-drone-thingy
  • Virtual environment within the pod such that she can be herself and not have to deal with the trauma as directly
  • Sensor package equivalent to an external interface that acts as a window to the real-worldtm - think wall TV with a user interface like an MMO
  • Her presence in the real-worldtm would be a holographic projection - we actually have the tech right now so QC verse tech would make it more practical

If Marigold could afford Momo’s upgrade then I think Crushbot’s insurance can provide a suitable replacement.

I have worked at one time for a consultancy that did work for insurance adjusters.
Those guys may be specialists in labour, housing, automotive but computers and software has them totally lost.

With respect to the chassis issues, just because a model is no longer in production does not mean that exact same model series cannot be found on the open market.
Also the insurance company always makes the final decision and if a replacement is cheaper than a repair then the cheaper solution it is.
Most times the software had been registered so all was just a download away. Claimants either are very happy about this or cry because they cant get a free upgrade to anchient software.

As for the hardware, if a model was not available on any market at all then a like for like replacement would be sought out that met or exceeded the capabilities of the original system specifications.

As a consultant I had to find at least three alternatives that met the basic specifications of the original system yet at the lowest price points reasonably possible.
This is where the adjuster would then take your quotes, pass the numbers onto their boss and then consult with the claimant on whichever the bean counter allowed.
Most times the claimant was given the choice of cash equivalent to the replacement system or the replacement system.

Due to being within the computer and systems service industry the price points are very very different compared to the consumer market - if the insurance company liked the client they would give them a broader choice of options. After all that the claimant then finally becomes your client and they can pony up what cash they want to to add newer features they would like, at better than retail of course.

Only if it was spelled out fully in the policy that there must be no substitutions would that ever even be considered.
There are those conditions in some policies for reasons of compatibility with other hardware but most times it was proprietary software which limited the options to specific make and models of components.

Gah - I rambled on again didn't I?

Warning - while you were typing a new reply has been posted. You may wish to review your post once again and maybe not go that far down memory lane.
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There is a difference between spare parts, extra parts and left over parts.

The Venn diagram  for Common Sense and Good Sense has very little, if any, overlap.

hedgie

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I never said what sort of fun, nor who the fun would be for :angel:

Hopefully she'd end up in a real chassis *before* that Scouser commits toastercide (again).
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Inconsequential

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I don't recall any indication of how "old" Roko's mind and/or body are (other than "I've had it since I was born"), but it's obviously one of the higher-end models that appeared fairly recently, between Winslow's old iPod-ish chassis and his bubblegum incarnation.

Tech obviously moves fast in the QC-verse, and it'll be interesting to see whether Roko will ever feel "right" enough in a new body with presumably upgraded hardware (Will she still have the bread fetish thing?). Winslow and Momo were instantly at home in their new bodies, so what might keep Roko from experiencing the same?

She'll almost certainly insist on the same appearance. If that takes time to build, will she be too creeped out by a temporary body, or might she ask to be put in sleep mode for a while?

Should be a fascinating few weeks coming up here.



Also, Lemon's mismatched socks make me unreasonably happy somehow.
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War Sparrow

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Melon's wacky, but she's a good friend.
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Mr Intrepid

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One of Roko's hallmarks is her degree of body integration.  And Spookybot just visited her and gave  her a bit of teasing about .  Was that meant to be a portent of what was about to occur.  Not so much from Jeph, but do the Spookybot group perceive time differently, and was giving Roko a veiled warning?
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zisraelsen

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Im pretty sure thinking about melon, sitting in a server room, singing the only song she knows, to comfort her best friend, is the closest I've come to crying over a webcomic for a while. To be fair ive spent a long time hospitalized so i guess i empathize.

By the way, its probably just a throwaway number Jeph chose because its funny, but twinkle twinkle little star is about 25 seconds long (at least, the first stanza is, which is the only one i have ever heard. Im assuming its the only one melon is singing.) 25 x 1257 = 31,425 seconds / 3600 = 8.7 straight hours. I hope melon brought her charger.
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Wombt

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Im pretty sure thinking about melon, sitting in a server room, singing the only song she knows, to comfort her best friend, is the closest I've come to crying over a webcomic for a while. To be fair ive spent a long time hospitalized so i guess i empathize.

By the way, its probably just a throwaway number Jeph chose because its funny, but twinkle twinkle little star is about 25 seconds long (at least, the first stanza is, which is the only one i have ever heard. Im assuming its the only one melon is singing.) 25 x 1257 = 31,425 seconds / 3600 = 8.7 straight hours. I hope melon brought her charger.
Melon is a strange egg, but a good egg.

I am also emotional.
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brasca

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Melon is a good friend, but this seems like the kind of torment visited upon those in robot jail. 
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Storel

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By the way, its probably just a throwaway number Jeph chose because its funny, but twinkle twinkle little star is about 25 seconds long (at least, the first stanza is, which is the only one i have ever heard.

Ah, but how long does it take to sing it to the tune of "Bohemian Rhapsody", as Jeph noted under the comic? Since the lyrics to TTLS don't last long enough to fill up an 8-minute melody, does she start over from the beginning each time she restarts the lyrics, or does she just keep continuing on through the melody?

Just trying to imagine it, I now have "Twinkle, twinkle little star, Scaramouche! Scaramouche! Will you do the fandango?" running through my head...  :roll:  :laugh:
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zisraelsen

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"Scaramouche! Scaramouche! Will you do the fandango?"/
"Little-Star! Little-Star! How I wonder what-you-are!"
(If it takes her 8 minutes, she's been singing for 7 days.)
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BenRG

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I think that today's strip is really extra-sweet and beautiful. Although he plays it for laughs (and I bet she can't sing in tune), Jeph really puts a lot of emotion into Melon's expression and body language in panel 6. She's clearly very, very upset about what's happened to Roko and is desperately trying to help her in any way she can. It sort of establishes all over again in my head the way that Roko seems to be almost a big sister-like figure to Melon.

It also reinforces for me how young and innocent Melon seems. It's the sort of thing a young child would do for a beloved friend or relative who is in a coma or something. In some ways, it's as much to comfort herself as it is for Roko.
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ZoeB

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Cue storyline regarding identity & body/gender fluidity.

Yes. Trans people should be able to identify with the psychological trauma Renko feels.

Meanwhile, Onya, Melon. Renko is luckier than she knows to have you as a friend. Certainly luckier than I knew before now.
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ZoeB

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I hope Crushbot is getting some help too. He might have irrational guilt feelings. Maybe a talk with Renko would help both of them.
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DaiJB

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Just thinking - maybe it could have been a lot worse? At least Roko is repairable - but Crushbot could just as easily
have landed on an organic.......ewww.....

Also makes me wonder about the legal ramifications of plainly-unstable heavy machinery like Crushbot
just wandering the streets - maybe he should have flashing warning lights? Or an escort vehicle with sign?
You know, like "WARNING - OVERSIZE LOAD" ?   :-D
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Cornelius

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I wondered about that as well. I get that AI are people too, but that doesn't explain how a chassis weighing several tonnes is allowed on a sidewalk. Especially since over here not even bikes, once you're over 9 years old, are allowed on there.
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BenRG

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Also makes me wonder about the legal ramifications of plainly-unstable heavy machinery like Crushbot
just wandering the streets - maybe he should have flashing warning lights? Or an escort vehicle with sign?
You know, like "WARNING - OVERSIZE LOAD" ?   :-D

There's two things you need to remember. Firstly, it's clear that, given the way Crushbot was insured and the way his insurance company rolled over without a fight, they know just how potentially hazardous they are.

Secondly, I don't think that Crushbot is intrinsically unstable; if they were, they wouldn't be allowed onto the public streets. However, they stepped on a loose, low-traction and unanticipated high-grade slope (a broken crate of bananas. Any machinery would struggle to stay balanced and upright in those circumstances.
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