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WIP Discussion (Part 1!) 
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Post Re: WIP Discussion (Part 1!)
Tempo: That if you were a Loroi rather than a Human, she would have grossly overstepped customs of seniority and initiated an unsanctioned male encounter. Since you are not a Loroi, let me assure you I am the oldest on this shuttle.

In all seriousness though, do you guys expect Beryl to have broken through to Alex or not? He looks a bit too shocked for just a weird touch.


Sat Jun 09, 2018 7:52 am
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Post Re: WIP Discussion (Part 1!)
Werra wrote:
In all seriousness though, do you guys expect Beryl to have broken through to Alex or not? He looks a bit too shocked for just a weird touch.


I started my first posting to this with a " :shock: " - and that describes it very well. Beryl spoke about simple "hand holding" when she referred to Alex and Talon. Nothing could have prepared him (and us) for Beryl going far beyond that. So yes, Alex being quite flustered is totally understandable, even if there's no telepathic component involved.


Sat Jun 09, 2018 8:39 am
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Post Re: WIP Discussion (Part 1!)
I think that he is actually confused in more ways than one, if any attractive woman was touching a man like that it would be for one reason only and he would have to give up his man-card if he didn't go through with it (with the usual caveats of course). In fact Beryl's body language towards Alex so far has been very 'seductive', all men have instincts which instantly translate such behavior from a woman into her being interested in having sex with him.

In this case however Alex is CERTAIN that Beryl isn't pursuing him that way (as certain as a man can be with an alien and all that) and even if he wasn't he knows nearly nothing of Loroi cultural norms and as an ambassador he knows that he will have to abide by certain rules of behavior. For all he knew when he agreed Beryl would just be happy of just shaking his hand but instead he may have consented into a basic mental probe that involves physical contact that is borderline sexual from a human perceptive. His instincts are screaming to just get the dirty deed done while his mind is screaming that this is NOT what his instincts believe it is and even if it is what it looks like he must NOT act on it and must put a stop to it without making too much of a scene.

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Sat Jun 09, 2018 8:40 am
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Post Re: WIP Discussion (Part 1!)
dragoongfa wrote:
I think that he is actually confused in more ways than one, if any attractive woman was touching a man like that it would be for one reason only and he would have to give up his man-card if he didn't go through with it (with the usual caveats of course). In fact Beryl's body language towards Alex so far has been very 'seductive', all men have instincts which instantly translate such behavior from a woman into her being interested in having sex with him.

In this case however Alex is CERTAIN that Beryl isn't pursuing him that way (as certain as a man can be with an alien and all that) and even if he wasn't he knows nearly nothing of Loroi cultural norms and as an ambassador he knows that he will have to abide by certain rules of behavior. For all he knew when he agreed Beryl would just be happy of just shaking his hand but instead he may have consented into a basic mental probe that involves physical contact that is borderline sexual from a human perceptive. His instincts are screaming to just get the dirty deed done while his mind is screaming that this is NOT what his instincts believe it is and even if it is what it looks like he must NOT act on it and must put a stop to it without making too much of a scene.


^ Yeah, fun as it would 'seem'... this is the most sane and professional approach...

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Sat Jun 09, 2018 9:30 am
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Post Re: WIP Discussion (Part 1!)
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sunphoenix wrote:
His instincts are screaming to just get the dirty deed done while his mind is screaming that this is NOT what his instincts believe it is and even if it is what it looks like he must NOT act on it and must put a stop to it without making too much of a scene.


^ Yeah, fun as it would 'seem'... this is the most sane and professional approach...


Who knows. For all Alex knows, Loroi could have a wierd tradition to 'offer' their women to rivaling/neighboring clans to foster good relations. And Beryl volunteered for this position. For science, of course.

In essence, he cannot know if him rebuffing her would be even more disastrous or not. All he can do is quietly say that this is quite an intimate situation by human standards as well.

As for "professional"... Alex does have the reputation of being quite a maverick, with some demerits to his name. So if it helps the long term goal - fostering understanding and perhaps an alliance between Loroi and Humans - he might go for a bit of less-than-professional behavior. After all, while the Scout Corps may have its rules and regulations, every human on board is trained for and required to make snap decisions when there is need 'out there'.


Sat Jun 09, 2018 11:57 am
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Post Re: WIP Discussion (Part 1!)
Werra wrote:
In all seriousness though, do you guys expect Beryl to have broken through to Alex or not? He looks a bit too shocked for just a weird touch.


I would certainly like to see Beryl making some sort of telepathic contact with Alex and him also being able to "sense" her in return, that the human lotai is not absolute and one can at least sense the presence of the human mind if you don't brute-force it like Fireblade & Co did earlier. It would certainly help with human-loroi relations in the future.

novius wrote:
I started my first posting to this with a " :shock: " - and that describes it very well. Beryl spoke about simple "hand holding" when she referred to Alex and Talon. Nothing could have prepared him (and us) for Beryl going far beyond that. So yes, Alex being quite flustered is totally understandable, even if there's no telepathic component involved.


*Alex, much later in his life* "..and that is, in short, how I met your grandmother, kids."


Sat Jun 09, 2018 12:36 pm
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Post Re: WIP Discussion (Part 1!)
novius wrote:
As for "professional"... Alex does have the reputation of being quite a maverick, with some demerits to his name. So if it helps the long term goal - fostering understanding and perhaps an alliance between Loroi and Humans - he might go for a bit of less-than-professional behavior. After all, while the Scout Corps may have its rules and regulations, every human on board is trained for and required to make snap decisions when there is need 'out there'.


I think this is a misconception most people have; Yes, Alex is a known wisecrack and a prankster, sure, but he has also been consistently represented as extremely competent. The man would have been class valedictorian if not for his joker side -- he clearly knew what he was doing, and was dead set on doing it.

I think that he is painfully aware that the fate of humanity may very well be on his now Loroi-full hands, and he will most definitely not screw around this time. He has already shown considerable restraint of his part, in pages 35 and 63, for instance, when it was needed in order for diplomacy to proceed. I think this time will be no different.

Addendum: I do agree with you that his approach might be rather unconventional, though. He is an inventive and cunning individual, after all -- the very traits that got him accepted into the Scout Corps.

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Sat Jun 09, 2018 12:48 pm
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Post Re: WIP Discussion (Part 1!)
entity2636 wrote:
I would certainly like to see Beryl making some sort of telepathic contact with Alex and him also being able to "sense" her in return, that the human lotai is not absolute and one can at least sense the presence of the human mind if you don't brute-force it like Fireblade & Co did earlier.


I thought that was a given already, since Jardin did notice Fireblade probing his mind. So presumably she received some feedback as well.

Edit: Jardin might be otherwise professional, but his body language towards Beryl says otherwise. There are few jobs that allow one to be professional while feeling up a butt.


Sat Jun 09, 2018 1:53 pm
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Post Re: WIP Discussion (Part 1!)
In Alex's defense, that's a pretty natural place to rest your hand in that position. I honestly don't think he's trying to cop a feel.

Is it weird that I find myself wondering what is in Beryl's hip-mounted fanny pack?


Sat Jun 09, 2018 2:13 pm
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Post Re: WIP Discussion (Part 1!)
He is talking about how good life is with Beryl in his lap. Just saying.


Sat Jun 09, 2018 2:17 pm
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Post Re: WIP Discussion (Part 1!)
Werra wrote:
He is talking about how good life is with Beryl in his lap. Just saying.


Yeah, but with a sarcastic, or at least sardonic look on his face.


Sat Jun 09, 2018 2:27 pm
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Post Re: WIP Discussion (Part 1!)
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I thought that was a given already, since Jardin did notice Fireblade probing his mind. So presumably she received some feedback as well.


I don't think that Fireblade and the other Teidar got any short of feedback out of him for the simple reason that Tempo had to dig for information the 'peaceful' way. Tempo is by far the best Telepath of the bunch, Fireblade is stronger in terms of raw strength when amplified but Tempo runs circles around her in terms if skill and training.

If three Teidar, one of whom an amplified Fireblade, couldn't brute force through the Lotai until Alex became unconscious then there would be no other way for Tempo to get any sort of information out of Alex short of going diplomatic. If Fireblade had gotten some feedback then it stands to reason that Tempo would have tried to telepathically interrogate Alex herself because in the end of the day that's the only way that a Loroi would ever be certain that someone is telling the truth, especially considering the circumstances of Alex's appearance.

Alex and Humanity in general is still suspect in the eyes of the Loroi, these suspicions will be availed only after a grand gesture of aid from Alex/Humanity. The no neutrality doctrine that the Loroi follow offers no protection to suspected foes and I repeat myself but in the end Loroi trust telepathy over words in every way that matters. Tempo took a gambit of peacefully getting Alex to talk, in order to let his words and demeanor betray the information that Tempo wanted, would she have done so if there was an other and better way to make sure? I doubt it.

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Sat Jun 09, 2018 2:29 pm
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Post Re: WIP Discussion (Part 1!)
I find it hard to believe that the Teidar just pumped him full of psionic energy without knowing where to aim. Data seems to flow in at least one direction , as seen in the interrogation scene. So at some point the Loroi should run into some kind of tangible resistance, which I presume would be felt.

Tempo made sure on the bridge that Alex truly does not appear on her senses, but she did not touch him. Since touch greatly enhances Sanzai, I don't think it's a stretch to assume Loroi can sense something when touching a human. Unless of course human sanzai is both inborn and literally perfect.

There are quite a few possible reasons why Tempo did not choose to interrogate Alex psionically. Her training may be great, but perhabs a group of Teidar is always better at it than a lone Mizol. She may judge the possible dangers too great to attempt it. She may use ranged techniques. (check page 66, where she goes in close) She may actively try to keep open diplomatic channels, which would be spoiled where she to go in with force.

Then again, perhabs our Lotai is this good. I mean, it must be amazing if it works even while unconscious or asleep.

I guess we'll see on Monday what is happening. That WIP image better not be a cliffhanger!


Sat Jun 09, 2018 3:12 pm
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Post Re: WIP Discussion (Part 1!)
hi hi

Werra wrote:
There are quite a few possible reasons why Tempo did not choose to interrogate Alex psionically.
Assuming she didn't take a turn after Alex was rendered unconscious. Who knows how long he was out before he woke up in the cell? Perhaps that's what Stillstorm was talking about right before she got cut off on page 68. ;)


Sat Jun 09, 2018 4:24 pm
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Post Re: WIP Discussion (Part 1!)
C'mon guys... it's not like they are anywhere near an intimate setting - even for a Loroi! They are in the middle of a shuttle, with two pilots, two guards and a... scary person, about to do some really hairy maneuvers. Take some cold showers. Sheesh.

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Sat Jun 09, 2018 6:03 pm
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Post Re: WIP Discussion (Part 1!)
cacambo43 wrote:
C'mon guys... it's not like they are anywhere near an intimate setting - even for a Loroi! They are in the middle of a shuttle, with two pilots, two guards and a... scary person, about to do some really hairy maneuvers. Take some cold showers. Sheesh.

CJSF


First, we see nowhere an indication that Loroi have the same compunction about such things in (semi-)public settings. On the other hand, we didn't see any indication that they don't. Apart from their "touch barrier" we know nothing about what Loroi would treat as private matter and what not.

Could very much be that, say, even sex under surveillance is a rather common thing, since male encounters are regulated. And to enforce regulation, one needs to control adherence to.

Second, Beryl herself seemed to be quite "tuning out" the others since pg. 133. And in that picture she concentrates on establishing mental contact. Or is already past that. What happens on the "outside" is far down on the list of her priorities.

Alex... well, he does look rather shocked enough to assume he's painfully aware that with Humans this would definitely be quite a breach of propriety. But, again, there's the question what Loroi deem to be proper behavior.


Sat Jun 09, 2018 10:12 pm
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Post Re: WIP Discussion (Part 1!)
cacambo43 wrote:
C'mon guys... it's not like they are anywhere near an intimate setting - even for a Loroi! They are in the middle of a shuttle, with two pilots, two guards and a... scary person, about to do some really hairy maneuvers. Take some cold showers. Sheesh.

CJSF


I’m inclined to agree. There’s certainly a level of unease for both of them (not toward each other, mind you), but I think the genuine look of surprise of Jardin’s face counterpoints well with what may potentially be Beryl’s likewise focused actions, as though he’s taken aback by how gentle the gesture appears to be.. It looks very intimate, but I suspect that the gesture, being of such significance in Loroi society, is shown to us as something ritualized, capturing the deeper intent. Talon exhibits a somewhat blasé attitude in general, so she may not think of the gesture the same way when she clasped hands with Jardin (her surprised face when he extends his hand out to her the first time is probably one of my favorite panels in the comic thus far. She’s taken completely off-guard!).

Ultimately, I’ve been rather pleased with the discipline and professionalism that has been demonstrated by all of the characters in the comic thus far. You have your banter, some off-kilter comments, but generally everyone who has a job to do gets to that job and does it with a high degree of competency.

Refreshing, really, coming from a military background and usually seeing the complete lack of professionalism displayed by characters in such comics, shows, etc. Arioch I’ll pay the complement again no doubt in the future, but excellent job keeping the characters grounded in the very real concept that they all have responsibilities, and they overall exhibit a task-oriented approach to their roles in the story.


Sat Jun 09, 2018 10:16 pm
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Post Re: WIP Discussion (Part 1!)
Corpsman_of_Krieg wrote:
Ultimately, I’ve been rather pleased with the discipline and professionalism that has been demonstrated by all of the characters in the comic thus far. You have your banter, some off-kilter comments, but generally everyone who has a job to do gets to that job and does it with a high degree of competency.

Refreshing, really, coming from a military background and usually seeing the complete lack of professionalism displayed by characters in such comics, shows, etc. Arioch I’ll pay the complement again no doubt in the future, but excellent job keeping the characters grounded in the very real concept that they all have responsibilities, and they overall exhibit a task-oriented approach to their roles in the story.

Thanks. I think too many writers take the lazy road of using stupid characters to generate conflict or drama, and it's especially egregious when the characters are supposed to be members of a "best of the best" organization (like a supposedly elite military unit, or NASA or, y'know, Starfleet), and yet they act like unprofessional morons.

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Post Re: WIP Discussion (Part 1!)
Y'all should sign up for Patreon, it would shed a lot of light, and just as much dark, on the topic~

orion1836 wrote:
Is it weird that I find myself wondering what is in Beryl's hip-mounted fanny pack?


Snacks of course.


Sat Jun 09, 2018 11:50 pm
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Post Re: WIP Discussion (Part 1!)
fredgiblet wrote:
Y'all should sign up for Patreon, it would shed a lot of light, and just as much dark, on the topic~

orion1836 wrote:
Is it weird that I find myself wondering what is in Beryl's hip-mounted fanny pack?


Snacks of course.


The bombed-out husks of 28-hour rations past, certainly. Show some respect to the Imperial Fleet's food labs. :P

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Sun Jun 10, 2018 12:43 am
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Post Re: WIP Discussion (Part 1!)
Regarding Tempo and her ability to read Alex; I was re-reading the comic yesteday, and when seeing it all in one go, I got the distinct impression that in page 112, the face Tempo makes is due to her beying extremely exhausted.

My interpretation is that during that whole exchange between them, she had been using all her Mizol might to try to break Alex's Lotai in any way whatsoever, and it strained her to the point where she could no longer keep her facade when she thought Alex wasn't seeing her.

Since I've thought of this, I've become very suspicious of Tempo. More than diplomats, her caste is that of Spec/Psi Ops Intelligence Officers -- her priorities are to the Empire, not to some pink fleshbag who claims not to be a spy, and I don't think she'll be above jeopardizing Alex to get to uncover what she was ordered to find out.

She is not to be trusted.

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Post Re: WIP Discussion (Part 1!)
GabrielGABFonseca wrote:
Regarding Tempo and her ability to read Alex; I was re-reading the comic yesteday, and when seeing it all in one go, I got the distinct impression that in page 112, the face Tempo makes is due to her beying extremely exhausted.

My interpretation is that during that whole exchange between them, she had been using all her Mizol might to try to break Alex's Lotai in any way whatsoever, and it strained her to the point where she could no longer keep her facade when she thought Alex wasn't seeing her.

Since I've thought of this, I've become very suspicious of Tempo. More than diplomats, her caste is that of Spec/Psi Ops Intelligence Officers -- her priorities are to the Empire, not to some pink fleshbag who claims not to be a spy, and I don't think she'll be above jeopardizing Alex to get to uncover what she was ordered to find out.

She is not to be trusted.


I got that impression even earlier on. She definitely has at least a basic education in interrogation techniques. Her all of a sudden getting into his private space is geared to unsettle Loroi (and since Humans are that similar she might try that one as well on Alex) in hopes of making them spill their secrets, for starters, and several times she cut off people who are prone to say things she'd like to keep under the wraps. The Barsam Ambassador's comment on seeing him, or Beryl describing the fields of duty of a Mizol, for example. With the former of the two examples, even Alex himself picked up on the fact that there is more to it than she likes him to hear.

Another interpretation about her being seemingly exhausted all of a sudden could be that she feigned it. Alex made it quite clear that he is a bit suspicious about the Loroi motives in general and hers by extension, so she might use that ruse to take herself away from his immediate scrutiny. Perhaps one of her powers which still have to be declassified on her character sheet would be something like 'remote listening'.... Something she might come to use while Alex is suitably distracted by - and more open towards to - a certain Listel Tozet.

So yes, I read her as that type of woman who has very few scruples to achieve her goal. She might not go with blunt force, but intimidation, mind games, disinformation, perhaps seduction might be her tools of trade and she'd have little qualms of throwing him under the bus if it helps furthering her cause.

Alex is well-advised to be wary around her.


Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:05 am
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Post Re: WIP Discussion (Part 1!)
And here I'm just wondering if it's just me or if Beryl's hand and forearm are a bit out of alignment in an anatomically improbable way.

Heh.


Sun Jun 10, 2018 11:35 am
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Post Re: WIP Discussion (Part 1!)
novius wrote:
I got that impression even earlier on. She definitely has at least a basic education in interrogation techniques. Her all of a sudden getting into his private space is geared to unsettle Loroi (and since Humans are that similar she might try that one as well on Alex) in hopes of making them spill their secrets, for starters, and several times she cut off people who are prone to say things she'd like to keep under the wraps. The Barsam Ambassador's comment on seeing him, or Beryl describing the fields of duty of a Mizol, for example. With the former of the two examples, even Alex himself picked up on the fact that there is more to it than she likes him to hear.

Another interpretation about her being seemingly exhausted all of a sudden could be that she feigned it. Alex made it quite clear that he is a bit suspicious about the Loroi motives in general and hers by extension, so she might use that ruse to take herself away from his immediate scrutiny. Perhaps one of her powers which still have to be declassified on her character sheet would be something like 'remote listening'.... Something she might come to use while Alex is suitably distracted by - and more open towards to - a certain Listel Tozet.

So yes, I read her as that type of woman who has very few scruples to achieve her goal. She might not go with blunt force, but intimidation, mind games, disinformation, perhaps seduction might be her tools of trade and she'd have little qualms of throwing him under the bus if it helps furthering her cause.

Alex is well-advised to be wary around her.


My thoughts exactly and I also got a pretty clear picture of what kind of a person Tempo is the first time I saw her in the comic. She's a political officer (commissar) and spy/counterintelligence par excellence and a woman who will use everything at her disposal short of blunt force to get what she wants and she will not shy away from killing or making someone who's in her way disappear. She'll do it silently, cleanly and with tact, not with blunt force. She's extremely dangerous if you get on her bad side but can also be extremely helpful (at a price, of course).

I'm pretty sure Tempo can telepathically listen in on others' conversations and that she can mind control people (Arioch avoided my question on this so I assume it's true). I like to believe that Tempo put Beryl to sleep back before Talon came out of the cockpit and, who knows, maybe Tempo's pulling Beryl's strings right now.

I like her as a character very much and would like her to have more screen time so she can demonstrate how good at the cloak and dagger game she is.


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Post Re: WIP Discussion (Part 1!)
Arioch wrote:
Thanks. I think too many writers take the lazy road of using stupid characters to generate conflict or drama, and it's especially egregious when the characters are supposed to be members of a "best of the best" organization (like NASA or, y'know, Starfleet), and yet they act like unprofessional morons.


Star Trek has some pretty heinous examples for sure.

Also, you got us good! We were all thinking he was surprised by something Beryl was doing, but in fact it was him being jarred into reality by news of incoming toroedoes.

In that regard, what kind of acceleration profile do the Umiak torpedos have? Since most of their fleet ships seem to be in the mid-20s for G-range, I’m guessing a much larger amount than that to allow for overtake.


Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:55 pm
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