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Page 124 and 125, interesting times afoot. 
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Post Page 124 and 125, interesting times afoot.
So two pages are on Patreon right now, and I've never gotten to make one of these page threads yet, so I'm jumping on it! If you don't want to be spoiled before the pages go on the site, look away!






So. Some possible explanations of this come to mind.
  1. The stray was telling the truth, and they've figured out how to avoid farsight. Bad news for the Loroi if true.
  2. A new power is coming in, or maybe the Historians have decided to turn on the Loroi with AI ships or something like that. Bad news for the Loroi if true.
  3. Perhaps the Umiak have figured out a way to do noticeably longer jumps than normal, opening up otherwise unviable routes and letting them pass through stars the Loroi aren't watching. Bad, but maybe the least bad option of the lot, once the Loroi figure it out.
  4. Maybe there's a shortage of farseers for some reason(burnout from overuse, for instance) and the Loroi just haven't let the rank and file know, so coverage of the steppes is breaking down. Bad news for the Loroi if true.
Your thoughts?

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Last edited by Siber on Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:24 am, edited 2 times in total.



Thu Feb 01, 2018 10:54 pm
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Post Re: Page 124 and 125, interesting times afoot (patreon only
That I should wait for Monday before commenting.

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Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:11 am
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Post Re: Page 124 and 125, interesting times afoot (patreon only
1 and 3 both seem reasonable (and 3 is a very good explanation for how the Umiak are suddenly getting the drop on the Loroi, though that leaves out why they weren't able to tele-spot the Umiak in the accretion disk area). I'm not going to place my bets on #2 yet; it seems like we haven't really seen enough of the Historians for them to have suddenly turned on the Loroi, and I'd think if the Historians had betrayed the Loroi, they'd be attacking from their own borders with Loroi space.

Personally, I'm betting on #1, and that the Umiak have effectively gene-gineered some Loroi clone brains to serve as a "anti-farsight" barrier.


Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:34 am
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Post Re: Page 124 and 125, interesting times afoot (patreon only
Siber wrote:
So two pages are on Patreon right now, and I've never gotten to make one of these page threads yet, so I'm jumping on it! If you don't want to be spoiled before the pages go on the site, look away!

So. Some possible explanations of this come to mind.
  1. The stray was telling the truth, and they've figured out how to avoid farsight. Bad news for the Loroi if true.
  2. A new power is coming in, or maybe the Historians have decided to turn on the Loroi with AI ships or something like that. Bad news for the Loroi if true.
  3. Perhaps the Umiak have figured out a way to do noticeably longer jumps than normal, opening up otherwise unviable routes and letting them pass through stars the Loroi aren't watching. Bad, but maybe the least bad option of the lot, once the Loroi figure it out.
  4. Maybe there's a shortage of farseers for some reason(burnout from overuse, for instance) and the Loroi just haven't let the rank and file know, so coverage of the steppes is breaking down. Bad news for the Loroi if true.
Your thoughts?


Haven't read the pages so far, but I always thought the Umiak might just have developed drones/ai. It is the obvious choice to defeat telepaths & it would also make the ships slightly less combat effective (And allow the Loroi to hold out against them). Apart from that there is of course still the mysterious "third power" that destroyed the Bellarmine.


Sun Feb 04, 2018 12:44 pm
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Post Re: Page 124 and 125, interesting times afoot (patreon only
Arioch's reaction to discussions of drone warfleets in the past have led me to think it is unlikely to see them as a huge factor in the comic. Maybe that's a misread, and maybe the drawbacks to them that he sees will figure into the plot. The other counterpoint would be that if they were a practical solution, why has it taken the Umiak this long to deploy them? Maybe they lacked intel on exactly how farsight works, I suppose.

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Sun Feb 04, 2018 12:59 pm
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Post Re: Page 124 and 125, interesting times afoot (patreon only
The problem with non Sentient A.I. (read not self aware) is its complexity and how prone to bugs and glitches it is going to be. An A.I. that is tasked with the extremely complex task of running a warship in battle is going to suffer an unimaginable number of bugs and glitches even before enemy EW is taken into account. A Sentient A.I. should be theoretically able to self correct itself but then the question is one of trust and I doubt that the Umiak would be able to trust an artificial construct since all Umiak are loyal and subservient to the cause to a fault.
I doubt that what the Umiak are doing has to do with automation, the Loroi are too close technologically for that to work more than once. My wager is that they somehow secured a critical technology from the Historians who have failed to fully dislodge them from certain parts of their territory.

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Sun Feb 04, 2018 3:03 pm
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Post Re: Page 124 and 125, interesting times afoot (patreon only
My best guess is that it has something to do with the resolution or detection level of farsensing.
Maybe the Umiak were able to reduce the crews to such an extend, that the Loroi can no longer detect them over large distances.
But I guess we need more informations about farsensing and farseers in general to answer that.

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Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:03 pm
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Post Re: Page 124 and 125, interesting times afoot (patreon only
I'm going to guess that it's Umiak employing some form of hardwiring to essentially wire a few Umiak into the ships and using robotic drones to take care of the duties formerly performed by live crew. Alternatively, they're uploading minds wholesale, or modifying brains with cybernetics to such a radical extent that they are no longer detectable by farsight because they don't have the right telepathic signature.

They may also be using wholly automated small craft in place of gunships.

You've got to figure that they understand at least in conceptual terms how Farseers allowed for FTL detection of their fleets. Even if the Empire managed to remove/kill all the Farseer-potential Loroi from the Seren colonies before they were overrun, it's almost entirely impossible that they erased the knowledge of them, at least of their existence. Someone talked, one way or another, even if they had to get the Umiak version of Herr Doktor Vahlen to go to work.

(Actually, knowing the Umiak that might be their go-to interrogation. Skip the politeness, skip the brutality, just saw off the skull and get to work extracting information like you would from a broken hard drive.)


Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:41 am
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Post Re: Page 124 and 125, interesting times afoot (patreon only
We may be witnessing the beginning of the fall of the Loroi Union. The Umiak are assaulting en masse along a wide sector of the front and the Loroi are stretched very thin. The implied failure of their far-sensing net means they can't concentrate forces, which will only increase their losses, perhaps to a catastrophic degree.

For the sake of the Loroi, let's hope they have VAST reserves in the interior to draw on to stop this Umiak incursion. But then, the Umiak probably have vast reserves of their own and they're now employing the old WW2 Soviet tactic: attack along a wide front, wait for breakthrough opportunities to arise and then reinforce the sectors where successful breakthrough was achieved. Penetrate deep into the enemy's rear area and try to surround and cut off enemy units.

I foresee this will be the last fight for Stillstorm's squadron: they'll fight a delaying action to the last ship to give the reserves a chance to get ready further inside the Loroi territory. I guess this is the (meta)reason why all important characters we met on Tempest are now with Alex; those who stayed will die fighting.


Mon Feb 05, 2018 4:03 am
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Post Re: Page 124 and 125, interesting times afoot (patreon only
Your meta-analysis is very off, if for no other reason than that Arioch has said that Stillstorm's cabin is going to feature in the story (along with her rather impressive cutlery collection,) and that can't happen if Tempest goes kablooie.


Mon Feb 05, 2018 4:06 am
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Post Re: Page 124 and 125, interesting times afoot (patreon only
ShadowDragon8685 wrote:
Your meta-analysis is very off, if for no other reason than that Arioch has said that Stillstorm's cabin is going to feature in the story (along with her rather impressive cutlery collection,) and that can't happen if Tempest goes kablooie.


I am not aware of that. We'll see.


Mon Feb 05, 2018 4:08 am
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Post Re: Page 124 and 125, interesting times afoot (patreon only
Finally, some action 8-)

So, what are we looking at, except Beryl, who on Page 125 just saw a spider jump at her from the tactical display :D

We have 6 Umiak divisions (~450 vessels) overrunning the forces at Sala-128, 3 divisions (~220 vessels) at Sala-101 moving towards Leido and now 4 divisions-and-counting, that's another 300+ vessels, pouring into Leido from Rallis that noone knew about - that's about 1000 ships within jumping distance from Azimol base. I'd wager we will soon get contacts from Gora too, since there appears to be a route connecting Gora and Rallis and obviously the Umiak have prepared for this for some time now. This will be fun.

As for how the Umiak are evading Farseers, my bet is that they have gotten hold of one of the other Human scout vessels, have found the humans to be invisible to the Loroi and have found a way of using this to hide their own signatures. I imagine they had plenty of time, it has been at least a couple of months in-Universe since the First Contact mission began.

That being said, I tend to believe that the ship that attacked the Bellarmine was Umiak, or at least used the same weapons as the Umiak. And it would also explain why Kikitik was so keen on securing Bellarmine's wreck - he knew about it and he knew the wreck was important in ways the Loroi could not comprehend at that point, and wanted to specifically prevent the Loroi from investigating the wreck. He didn't care about SG-51 and steamed through and past them, when the wreck was destroyed. Somehow I do not believe it was the Historians, at least not directly.


Mon Feb 05, 2018 6:12 am
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Post Re: Page 124 and 125, interesting times afoot (patreon only
Actually this reminds me a lot of WW2. It is like the Loroi are the Germans always trying to keep strategic reserves while being ground down by the Industrial might of the Soviet and American war machine. The Loroi really needed a rapid victor or to go on the offensive like Israel but have been unable to get a leg up. From when the war started they lost the initiative and have never truly gained it back, not to the degree needed. Now it may be too late, they can only collapse so far back and even if they reach a critical mass to stop the offensive it still will only be delaying the inevitable.


Mon Feb 05, 2018 6:57 am
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Post Re: Page 124 and 125, interesting times afoot (patreon only
D1ff3r3nt wrote:
Actually this reminds me a lot of WW2. It is like the Loroi are the Germans always trying to keep strategic reserves while being ground down by the Industrial might of the Soviet and American war machine. The Loroi really needed a rapid victor or to go on the offensive like Israel but have been unable to get a leg up. From when the war started they lost the initiative and have never truly gained it back, not to the degree needed. Now it may be too late, they can only collapse so far back and even if they reach a critical mass to stop the offensive it still will only be delaying the inevitable.


They had the Semoset offensive, which is reminiscent of Stalingrad in that the crème de la crème of the Loroi military was cut of by Umiak pincer movement and annihilated. They're now somewhere in the 1943 stage: they may already have lost the war, but it isn't entirely clear to the military yet.


Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:02 am
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Post Re: Page 124 and 125, interesting times afoot (patreon only
Victor_D wrote:
D1ff3r3nt wrote:
Actually this reminds me a lot of WW2. It is like the Loroi are the Germans always trying to keep strategic reserves while being ground down by the Industrial might of the Soviet and American war machine. The Loroi really needed a rapid victor or to go on the offensive like Israel but have been unable to get a leg up. From when the war started they lost the initiative and have never truly gained it back, not to the degree needed. Now it may be too late, they can only collapse so far back and even if they reach a critical mass to stop the offensive it still will only be delaying the inevitable.


They had the Semoset offensive, which is reminiscent of Stalingrad in that the crème de la crème of the Loroi military was cut of by Umiak pincer movement and annihilated. They're now somewhere in the 1943 stage: they may already have lost the war, but it isn't entirely clear to the military yet.


The military is defeated. The ships are rife with fear, you can sense it in their actions especially Stillstorms behavior. They have all but lost the war but they can not afford to lose. Someone is going to have to come in and save them because they are failing somewhere; perhaps in production, acquisition of materials, lack of manpower.

Also I love Talons look in 124 as she sulks away like, "why do I have to leave the human, we even touched".


Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:18 am
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Post Re: Page 124 and 125, interesting times afoot.
I can also see this being bad news for Alex. These Umiak ships (we assume) are coming from a vector that leads to Humanity's space, across the Great Wasteland... how is he going to explain that, after his sudden appearance?

CJSF


Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:28 am
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Post Re: Page 124 and 125, interesting times afoot.
The Stray certainly seemed confident that this is "the final movements in this war". We are likely seeing a full offensive, perhaps the entire Umiak army is encircling the Loroi systems are are now streaming in. While things are looking grim, I think simple Loroi tenacity and determination will be enough to hold off the Umiak assault until Alex is able to provide some insight to counter the Umiak counter-measures. This is just my prediction.


Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:56 am
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Post Re: Page 124 and 125, interesting times afoot.
Damn, can't un-see massive cock-eyes on Beryl. Didn't notice them on the earlier unshaded page, but now I'm seeing it in both places. Am I crazy? It's like they're put in perfectly horizontally on a tilted face or something?

Dammit, this is gonna drive me nuts.


Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:06 am
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Post Re: Page 124 and 125, interesting times afoot.
Hmm...

I wonder what Talon is really bothered about, is it:

A) The realization that she jinxed it?
B) That she made a fool of herself in front of the male by repeatedly saying that all is ok?
C) That she will have to get away from the male?
D) All of the above?

And yes Beryl's eyes do seem a little off at page 125.

For some reason I also have the feeling that we are about to see a very pissed off Fireblade who is going to make sure that the alien with the Lotai who may be an enemy agent is always within killing distance.

EDIT: After a hard refresh Beryl's eyes are now right, although her shocked expression is something that I didn't anticipate

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Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:45 am
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Post Re: Page 124 and 125, interesting times afoot.
dragoongfa wrote:
I wonder what Talon is really bothered about


Well, her being the only true soldier and pilot in this conversation, I'd say her expression is that of dismissal on page 124 - "B.S.! It can't be the enemy, there must be some kind of mistake" while she's walking away from the tactical display and towards the cockpit and comms. On page 125 it has shifted from her dismissing the situation as a mistake to outright "oh s#!t this is for real" after the FoF confirmation came in and she's calling the Clearbrook. The frames are like one step and 3 seconds apart.

dragoongfa wrote:
For some reason I also have the feeling that we are about to see a very pissed off Fireblade who is going to make sure that the alien with the Lotai who may be an enemy agent is always within killing distance.


Indeed, probably both Fireblade and Tempo. Now that you brought it up, I could imagine the Fireblade with her marines entering the cabin in the next page and being "slightly upset".


Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:42 pm
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Post Re: Page 124 and 125, interesting times afoot.
Oh boy Oh boy Oh boy, things are really getting interesting now! :o

I don't think it's possible for the Umiak to reverse-engineer any Human advantage on such short notice assuming a scout got nabbed.
Instead I believe the Stray Fleet was doing a test run of whatever tech the Umiak egg heads came up with. Once they confirmed it worked they spent a few months positioning and mass-producing what ever necessary to cloak who knows how many divisions. Now we shall see how much resolve and adaptability the loroi have.

My bet is they either overrun/bypass Azimol and we see the Royal fleet engaged. Fingers crossed to see a wave-loom fire ! :mrgreen:


Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:57 pm
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Post Re: Page 124 and 125, interesting times afoot.
hi hi

Unfortunately for Talon, and the occupants of Highland-7, I believe the strategically correct move for the Clearbrook in this situation is to hit the proverbial afterburners and leave the system as quickly as possible in order to sound the alarm. Not, as Talon would like, maneuver for an earlier rendezvous.

Also, I would just like to say that the people at the academy were right, Alex is really intelligent. He's already reading the Loroi trade script on the fly.

I don't know what kind of forces the Umiak throw at the Loroi on a regular basis, but I suspect that Klicky-27 was at least not telling a complete falsehood. The Loroi are so accustomed to their farseers working, they must be pretty out of practice at anticipating enemy movements without complete intel. Lucky for them, they just happen to have found an expert. ;)


Mon Feb 05, 2018 1:31 pm
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Post Re: Page 124 and 125, interesting times afoot.
icekatze wrote:
hi hi

Unfortunately for Talon, and the occupants of Highland-7, I believe the strategically correct move for the Clearbrook in this situation is to hit the proverbial afterburners and leave the system as quickly as possible in order to sound the alarm. Not, as Talon would like, maneuver for an earlier rendezvous.

Also, I would just like to say that the people at the academy were right, Alex is really intelligent. He's already reading the Loroi trade script on the fly.

I don't know what kind of forces the Umiak throw at the Loroi on a regular basis, but I suspect that Klicky-27 was at least not telling a complete falsehood. The Loroi are so accustomed to their farseers working, they must be pretty out of practice at anticipating enemy movements without complete intel. Lucky for them, they just happen to have found an expert. ;)


Yeah. He must seem like a tactical genius of geniuses - but that might only make them trust him LESS, as he seems to be able to "anticipate" the enemy's moves that way. If he can convince the powers that be that he's not a hostile, he might just save the Union. IF.

CJSF


Mon Feb 05, 2018 2:17 pm
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Post Re: Page 124 and 125, interesting times afoot.
Victor_D wrote:
ShadowDragon8685 wrote:
Your meta-analysis is very off, if for no other reason than that Arioch has said that Stillstorm's cabin is going to feature in the story (along with her rather impressive cutlery collection,) and that can't happen if Tempest goes kablooie.


I am not aware of that. We'll see.


Easily solvable as a problem (I apologize to everyone in advance for this, those who want to skip silliness can avoid it):

Spoiler: show
Next page is Stillstorm in her cabin, polishing some of her knives. Hologram popup:
Voice: Commander, you're needed on the bridge.
Stillstorm: But you're on my ship. Why aren't you using Sanzai?
Voice: The script says "plot exposition", er, I, mean, I'm using words so as not to panic the crew.
Stillstorm: Very well, continue.
Voice: Commander? Are you crying?
Stillstorm: I'm not crying alone over having to send Fireblade away as the price of getting rid of that annoying Tempo and Beryl and that Umiak spy Alex of the plants or whatever his name supposedly was. I'm clearly cutting the Loroi equivalent of onions. Yeah, that's it.
Voice: But we don't have onions nor would we cut them... never mind. Why are you carrying the display around your cabin?
Stillstorm: I'm not showing off my swank cabin while drawing a nice hot bubble bath for a soak while I pout over losing Fireblade and my personal shuttle. I should have figured out how to send Ashrain with them as an escort to get rid of her too.
Voice: Large enemy force emerging from Rallis. Also, way too much information in the dialog.
Stillstorm: Freaking readers speculating on the comic, you should see what they gave me to work with. I mean, they didn't even figure out what character you should be.
Voice: Ah, sorry commander.
Stillstorm: Rallis? Well, guess that shell wasn't lying. Time to go fight a desperate holding action while we wait for our ship to go kablooie.
Voice: Commander? Sometimes I wish you'd be a little less direct and honest with us.
Stillstorm: I will not be party to the vocal instrument of lies and deceit! Who cares about our human readers? Probably all spies like flower boy or whatever.
[Author's note: Ironically, the Tempest would have survived but for the bathtub overflowing and shorting out the defensive shields at a critical moment of really badly foreshadowed plot]


Mon Feb 05, 2018 4:13 pm
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Post Re: Page 124 and 125, interesting times afoot.
dragoonfa wrote:
For some reason I also have the feeling that we are about to see a very pissed off Fireblade who is going to make sure that the alien with the Lotai who may be an enemy agent is always within killing distance.


I wonder what the reaction will be. I could see Tempo wanting Fireblade closer in case she needs to kill Alex with the thought that Alex is an enemy agent but I don't think Tempo's convinced yet. I imagine Tempo's thinking "he's either the smartest enemy agent, or the dumbest, or the most unlucky innocent third-party ever."

Scary thought: What's if the Loroi get concerned that Alex has some kind of anti-telekinetic ability he has not revealed yet in addition to his Lotai. Though maybe Fireblade would still be confident in her pyrokinesis?

dragoongfa wrote:
After a hard refresh Beryl's eyes are now right, although her shocked expression is something that I didn't anticipate


I think she truly believed that everything Kikitik-27 said was a lie and is just now realizing how far the Umiak might be penetrating with hidden fleets on what the Loroi considered "safe" regions, and she has just internalized how bad that could be.


Mon Feb 05, 2018 4:26 pm
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