Author Topic: RIP Brad  (Read 8312 times)

Peter Ahlstrom

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Re: RIP Brad
« Reply #15 on: March 07, 2009, 08:33:16 PM »
Do we have any evidence that laz'r'us nannies have anything to do with wiping memory? I was assuming they wiped their memories through some other process. Do we know that there is no other way to wipe memories? We do know there are ways to copy one's memory into a machine, and altering it doesn't seem a big stretch to me.

Also I doubt that they infected Schlock with nannies because he could have resisted, but they did wipe his memory somehow.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2009, 08:36:58 PM by Ookla The Mok »
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ryos

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Re: RIP Brad
« Reply #16 on: March 07, 2009, 09:35:08 PM »
Are you talking about mindripping? I'm pretty sure that requires removing the brain of the victim a piece at a time.

Go back and read the memory-alteration story again. IMO it's absolutely, unambiguously clear that the Laz'r'us nannies are what's doing the memory wiping.

Remember that the whole point of altering their memories is to erase the knowledge of project Laz'r'us they gained through interrogating a rebuilt Xinchub. Given that that's the case, why would they then leave each and every Tough in possession of a full complement of Laz'r'us nannies - the very thing they worked so hard to prevent them from knowing existed? And if they were going to remove the nannies from the Toughs' systems (as I'm rather sure they did), why inject them in the first place, unless it was to alter their memories?

As for Schlock, I have a couple of theories:
1. As his post-alteration retrieval of memories from an eyeball suggests, he may have realized that consenting to the memory alteration (and not blabbing about his preservation of unaltered memories in an eyeball) was the only way to keep the UNS from killing the lot of them. He therefore would have simply allowed the nannies to do their dirty work.
2. Petey gave them "recipes" to adapt the nannies to all of the alien races in Tagon's crew...including, presumably, Schlock. It's possible that this allowed them to make the nannies resistant to Schlock's immune system.

While 2 is possible, I find 1 more likely.
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Peter Ahlstrom

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Re: RIP Brad
« Reply #17 on: March 07, 2009, 11:05:56 PM »
Petey mindripped that one gatekeeper without removing his brain.

ryos, starting at which strip should I read it so I get the whole thing? Since as far as I can tell I've read it and don't see anything other than what I've been saying here. Infecting them with the nannies in order to wipe their memories seems like using an atomic bomb to swat a fly. You use a tool for its primary purpose; if all they wanted was to wipe their memories they would have used a much easier and specifically targeted method.

I think they all still have the nannies for some reason of Emm's which she will reveal in some future job (and maybe wipe their minds again later). She wants them all to be super laz'r'us soldiers without knowing it. That's why they were injected with laz'r'us nannies and then got their memories altered. Occam's razor.

You make a good point in #2. Maybe Schlock is infected still but stuck some of himself in the eye beforehand and kept the eye from getting infected just so he could pass on that memory.

[EDIT:]

Okay, I've read through them again, and you could be right. If so, though, I still don't understand why they used the nannies to alter their memories instead of a more targeted method. But the sequence of events seems to have been 1. Decide to kill them all, 2. Decide to rewrite their memories, 3. Decide to give them all the nannies, 4. Decide to hire them. If it was the way I have been thinking it was, then the order would have more likely been 4, 3, 2. But even in the order it was, they could have decided in the middle to have them keep the nannies secretly and hire them for a future job where they would come in handy. If not, I am not sure why Emm keeps hiring them.

In the panel where Petey says which species he has adapted the nannies to, he does not mention amorphs. This would suggest that he didn't adapt them to amorphs, and Schlock's memories were rewritten using some other method (I don't know what would have worked that did not involve some kind of nannies though).

I don't think it's unambiguous.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2009, 11:29:48 PM by Ookla The Mok »
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ryos

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Re: RIP Brad
« Reply #18 on: March 07, 2009, 11:21:13 PM »
The storyline in question begins here.

I still just don't see the UNS sending a secret as valuable and well-guarded as Laz'r'us with a group as volatile and uncontrollable as the Toughs. However, if I were to further argue the point, I'd just start repeating myself, so I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on this one.
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Peter Ahlstrom

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Re: RIP Brad
« Reply #19 on: March 07, 2009, 11:41:22 PM »
Also, who's the one who did want all of them to have laz'r'us nannies? Petey adapted them to Tagon's crewspecies specifically. We don't know what kind of deal he and Emm made. Perhaps he convinced her of this plan.
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happyman

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Re: RIP Brad
« Reply #20 on: March 09, 2009, 06:23:16 PM »
What happyman said, although I disagree that Brad could have Laz'r'us nannies and be dead. Remember that they brought Xinchub back after his head had been completely vaporized.


True, but Xinchub knew he was going to die, and he knew the blood nannies were activated.  They were working overtime to move his memories and create his super-soldier body.

If Brad had nannies in him, but inactive ones who weren't trying to help, eventually his body would rot and the nannies would get destroyed.  At the very least, if they didn't store his memories, it wouldn't matter if they could restore the rest of his body.
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ryos

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Re: RIP Brad
« Reply #21 on: March 09, 2009, 06:52:05 PM »
Okay, I've read through them again, and you could be right. If so, though, I still don't understand why they used the nannies to alter their memories instead of a more targeted method.

In my view, the simplest reason is that they have no other method. I can't think of another in-world technology that would do the trick. (Note I'm not sure none exists, just that I don't recall reading about one in the strip.)
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happyman

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Re: RIP Brad
« Reply #22 on: March 10, 2009, 01:07:13 AM »
As far as the mind-rip goes, the relevant strips are this one

(note how the Gatekeeper thinks that he would rather not die at this point) and this Sunday strip
http://www.schlockmercenary.com/d/20050710.html,
which has an extended discussion of the matter in the note.  Note that the green version of the mind-ripped gatekeeper is actually a simulation.  The "real" gatekeeper is quite dead at this point.

I think it is safe to say that mind-rip would not have been an effective option for the UNS.  Simple interrogation and execution would have been just as good.  The Laz'r'us nannies gave the UNS the option of sparing their lives, testing their technology, and keeping them out of the loop.

Also, it seemed to clear to me that the reason Petey adapted the nannies to other species was so that the UNS could take that option.

Altogether, these make the case that the reason the Toughs were injected with the Laz'r'us nannies was to wipe their memory.  Whether they would leave them with the nannies or not is a different question.  In any case, I think that Brad is dead either way; the nannies were clearly inactive when he hit.  After enough time and without preparation, I suspect he will stay dead, nannies or no.
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Peter Ahlstrom

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Re: RIP Brad
« Reply #23 on: March 10, 2009, 02:12:16 AM »
Quote
Note that the green version of the mind-ripped gatekeeper is actually a simulation.  The "real" gatekeeper is quite dead at this point.
Er, he's floating upside-down in a tank of green fluid. His brain is still working, so he's still alive. The simulation is the part in the first 3 panels. He does have a probe feeding him that simulation sticking in one side of his head and out the other, though, which is more invasive than I had remembered. So even if this is something you could recover from, laz'r'us nannies probably do a cleaner job.

I'm coming around to Brad being permanently dead, but mostly because of plot presentation reasons. After the big memorial statue and all, bringing him back someday would seem cheap.
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happyman

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Re: RIP Brad
« Reply #24 on: March 10, 2009, 05:10:08 PM »
Quote
Note that the green version of the mind-ripped gatekeeper is actually a simulation.  The "real" gatekeeper is quite dead at this point.
Er, he's floating upside-down in a tank of green fluid. His brain is still working, so he's still alive. The simulation is the part in the first 3 panels. He does have a probe feeding him that simulation sticking in one side of his head and out the other, though, which is more invasive than I had remembered. So even if this is something you could recover from, laz'r'us nannies probably do a cleaner job.

I'm coming around to Brad being permanently dead, but mostly because of plot presentation reasons. After the big memorial statue and all, bringing him back someday would seem cheap.

Maybe you're right about the gatekeeper.  I'm just trying to reconcile that image with Howard's description in his note at the bottom of the Sunday comic.  Whatever else happens, the gatekeeper does not survive after the fact.

Edit:  And yeah, frankly the narrative needs are more compelling than any of these arguments.  Combine that with the fact that Howard has shown significant restraint in bringing truly dead characters back to life (Tagon and Kevyn being notable exceptions) and well, it doesn't look good.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2009, 05:12:12 PM by happyman »
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douglas

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Re: RIP Brad
« Reply #25 on: March 11, 2009, 04:08:24 PM »
Petey mindripped that one gatekeeper without removing his brain.
Read the note.  No, he didn't.

Also, see this strip.  The doctor suggested the memory alteration based on the observed capabilities of Project Laz'r'us in Kevyn and Xinchub, and the reply she mentions clearly states that altering memories at all is both time consuming and experimental.  In context, this strongly implies that the Laz'r'us nannies are the only method available.  Petey then adapts them to Tagon's entire roster and gives that to the UNS, and he has no reason to do that other than to ensure that the memory alteration scheme - the only alternative the UNS will consider to killing Tagon - is fully viable.

Peter Ahlstrom

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Re: RIP Brad
« Reply #26 on: March 11, 2009, 07:02:42 PM »
Thanks, douglas. I wasn't connecting the dots earlier, but I think your analysis is right.
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