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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2015 8:24 pm 
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Holy hell. I probably should have seen that coming, but it still snuck up on me. I wonder what he's gonna do now?


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2015 8:31 pm 
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Loyal wrote:
Holy hell. I probably should have seen that coming, but it still snuck up on me. I wonder what he's gonna do now?

Admiral Emm is the one who should have seen that coming. And since she was facing him, at the very end she probably did see it coming.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2015 9:23 pm 
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Tuning up my best approximation of a Munchkin voice...

Ding Dong! The Witch is dead. Which old Witch? The Wicked Witch!
Ding Dong! The Wicked Witch is dead.
Wake up - sleepy head, rub your eyes, get out of bed.
Wake up, the Wicked Witch is dead. She's gone where the goblins go,
Below - below - below. Yo-ho, let's open up and sing and ring the bells out.
Ding Dong' the merry-oh, sing it high, sing it low.
Let them know
The Wicked Witch is dead!

On the other hand, there's probably a copy somewhere.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2015 9:24 pm 
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Loyal wrote:
Holy hell. I probably should have seen that coming, but it still snuck up on me. I wonder what he's gonna do now?

Join Tagon's Toughs (or possibly some other "fortunate" mercenary group)?


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2015 9:28 pm 
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Loyal wrote:
Holy hell. I probably should have seen that coming, but it still snuck up on me. I wonder what he's gonna do now?

If he has any sense, jump into a prearranged !Kowalski-shaped hole and pull it in after him. I wonder how long he's been planning this.

BTW, my writing this post had to wait until I stopped laughing. Been a while since I was last in London, but I have seen The Gherkin with my own eyes. :wink:

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2015 9:30 pm 
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Loyal wrote:
Holy hell. I probably should have seen that coming, but it still snuck up on me. I wonder what he's gonna do now?


Get arrested and/or eaten by three captains and an amorph out to collect some bad milk, who know they're up against nothing more than small arms and have the element of surprise.

One can hope at least. I imagine pushing two brains all the way through is pretty distinguishable if you're looking for it, and Breya et al definitely expects trouble out of Emm's battleplate, so a couple massive datastreams coming from it to the planet they're on probably raises all kinds of red flags.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2015 9:50 pm 
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Grashtel wrote:
Loyal wrote:
Holy hell. I probably should have seen that coming, but it still snuck up on me. I wonder what he's gonna do now?

Join Tagon's Toughs (or possibly some other "fortunate" mercenary group)?
That's the thing, though. Previously it was assumed that he was Emm's "enforcer". With him murdering her, we now have no idea what Kowalski's endgame is. He seems to have always liked getting into the thick of things, which a mercenary job would provide, but it's not like working for Emm gave him any shortage there, either.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2015 11:28 pm 
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Loyal wrote:
Grashtel wrote:
Loyal wrote:
Holy hell. I probably should have seen that coming, but it still snuck up on me. I wonder what he's gonna do now?

Join Tagon's Toughs (or possibly some other "fortunate" mercenary group)?
That's the thing, though. Previously it was assumed that he was Emm's "enforcer". With him murdering her, we now have no idea what Kowalski's endgame is. He seems to have always liked getting into the thick of things, which a mercenary job would provide, but it's not like working for Emm gave him any shortage there, either.

A mercenary job would give him freedom of choice.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 12:13 am 
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If he's been socking away a nest egg he could retire to some out of the city and just murder people for fun instead of profit.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 1:03 am 
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Honestly, Kowalski. Your third point is wrong, simply because you started killing people Emm didn't want you to kill two panels ago. Not "From here on out", it's "as of five minutes ago".

Still, it's a hell of a resignation letter. I'm sure Emm got the point of it, though.

evileeyore wrote:
If he's been socking away a nest egg he could retire to some out of the city and just murder people for fun instead of profit.
Leaving a trail to himself is probably less of a thing he wants. It's a lot more dangerous than earning his own nest egg with his own skills, I'd wager.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 3:22 am 
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Seems like a kind of unnecessary move. Kowalski could have simply made Emm not arrive at all by dumping the stream into /dev/null. Now his new identity has a body to get rid of, and possibly some shots fired to explain.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 6:08 am 
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I'd say that Kowalski wanted to actually kill her, but he seems too pragmatic for that. There would probably be some other reason. (Note that he didn't necessarily permakill her, nor intend to: There could well be a copy left in the system. Killing her might have been no more than a very emphatic warning to stay off his trail when she gets a new body.)

I wonder what this (and their escaping, and Breya dismantling Emm's former agency) implies for their response to the Schuul, though. Is that trail going to go cold by the time the UNS gets around to replacing its intelligence apparatus?


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 6:42 am 
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Emm's agency wasn't the only intelligence apparatus the UNS had, note the UNS Foriegn Secret Whatever - type agency that first traced the money trail to the Schuul (with some help/prompting from the Planet Mercenary raptor-exec). Remember, the UNS is still quite factionalized, a fact the Schuul (or whoever was behind them/setting them up) used to foment the crisis just passed. So there's probably multiple UNS intelligence agencies, competing with each other for influence and funding. With Int-Aff-Int keeping an eye on them all and trying to keep them from going too far (whatever that may mean).

As for the former Kowalski, I think he is enough of a sociopath that he wanted to see the look on the former Emm's face as she died, which was why he went to the trouble of downloading her selfstream to a new body, then shooting her in the face instead of just making sure her selfstream went into the bitbucket. IMO, he wanted that last bit of satisfaction before leaving his old life behind forever, and I'm sure he has a plan to dispose of the body before he disappears. However, like Aroduc, I don't believe he'll get the chance to carry out that plan, I don't think it's a coincidence that our illustrious captains and sergeant got sent on this mysterious "sour milk run" right before we see what became of Kowalski and Emm. I think we are also seeing Kowalski's final moments.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 6:48 am 
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Fishman wrote:
Seems like a kind of unnecessary move. Kowalski could have simply made Emm not arrive at all by dumping the stream into /dev/null. Now his new identity has a body to get rid of, and possibly some shots fired to explain.
Not with Gus looking over his shoulder watching him destroy evidence. After they left the battleplate she was fair game.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 10:03 am 
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Reaver225 wrote:
Not with Gus looking over his shoulder watching him destroy evidence. After they left the battleplate she was fair game.
I think Gus COULDN'T see it. That is why he said they were probably destroying evidence, because that's the kind of thing they would be doing if they were in an area the AI could not see. Otherwise, this escape plan would not work because the AI would have known.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 10:29 am 
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Grashtel wrote:
Loyal wrote:
Holy hell. I probably should have seen that coming, but it still snuck up on me. I wonder what he's gonna do now?

Join Tagon's Toughs (or possibly some other "fortunate" mercenary group)?


I believe that is what he is going to do. What better concealment a la purloined letter than being inside the group tasked to find him and Emm. Also, since entering into the Toughs include highly illegal nanites, he gets a free upgrade.

The "sour milk run" is probably because the bodies of Emm and Kowalski have already been found. Emm's new corpse is probably a nobody who got randomly murdered.

I bet Kowalski had planned his escape for a long time and also probably wanted to see Emm's face when he killed her.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 11:16 am 
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Their location might already be known, those two bodies are part of the London wetwork team that Kowalski was going to activate in http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2014-11-23 and Gus would have been aware of that even if he didn't know what Emm and Kowalski were doing.

I wonder if Mako's gestalt with its memories of being incinerated made it back to Kowalski yet?

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 12:29 pm 
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Given the heavy jamming and the near-instantaneous incineration, I doubt very much that Mako's final moments (or even her last few hours) were able to get backed up anywhere. Kowalski anticipated only getting back a gestalt if he was lucky, under ideal conditions, and these weren't.

As a side-note, I finally got the joke in that architecture and the name Gherkinopolis.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 12:43 pm 
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Fishman wrote:
Reaver225 wrote:
Not with Gus looking over his shoulder watching him destroy evidence. After they left the battleplate she was fair game.
I think Gus COULDN'T see it. That is why he said they were probably destroying evidence, because that's the kind of thing they would be doing if they were in an area the AI could not see. Otherwise, this escape plan would not work because the AI would have known.


But people needed Emm's attention, and when he knocked on the door (or whatever), and nobody responded, that's a very good excuse to open it up. Even if Emm and K scrubbed things clean on their end, they'd raise the flag to the rest of the UNS that two people with lots and lots of dangerous secrets are now unaccounted for in the wild somewhere.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 1:46 pm 
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The permanence of Emm's death is really dependent on if the two agents they were streamed into were equipped with RED number 2. Terrible for plausible deniability unless they came with a user-activatable self-destruct function, but seeing as how it's related to RedHack, it certainly wouldn't be out of the question.

If their current hosts had been updated without Kowalski knowing (need-to-know-basis after all), he could be in for a surprise.

On the other hand, maybe he does know and is about to incinerate Emm's corpse before she can be restored.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 3:39 pm 
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If Admiral Emm has retroencepladerm #2 in her system, shooting her is just a strong insult.

But she would be unresisting long enough for a truly mortal wound to be struck, perhaps feeding her to a shark or swarm of piranha. The Thames is lousy with piranha since a few years after global warming made them scarce in Brazil.

So Emm might or might not be out of the picture, what I want to see is whether Kowalski has the latest "Morph" upgraded nannite package.
http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2014-09-02

He could become the fish he needs to dispose of Emm's body.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 3:54 pm 
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It could also be that he knows about the package, and is simply killing her so that he can get away. While leaving her for the authorities to take care of later. (him?)

Leaving Emm with the check of 'you dun goofed', while he does sociopath things unhindered elsewhere.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 4:40 pm 
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Kowalski picked the new hosts, apparently without her having any idea who they were, and she didn't have a good idea how the self-stream transferring worked at all. I think it's a pretty safe assumption that if Kowalski, who's been using this stuff for a long time, set up a scenario to kill her, she's dead.

Or you're putting a lot of stock on her pretending to be ignorant about a lot of things, many times over.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 5:23 pm 
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*ahem*

I would like to point out the tiny question marks around Admiral Emm's 'dead' symbol in panel 8.

That is all.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 5:44 pm 
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Stanistani wrote:
*ahem*

I would like to point out the tiny question marks around Admiral Emm's 'dead' symbol in panel 8.

That is all.


I think they are representations of the human tibias that are used in the skull and cross bones.

If these bodies were the London team that would get murderous without their chewing gum, then I doubt that RED #2 was part of their enhancements. After all, these agents had the characteristic of being disposable and their survival was not required.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 7:36 pm 
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Zeus67 wrote:
these agents had the characteristic of being disposable
In fact, labeled "burnable trash", it seems.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 8:00 pm 
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Hm. I hadn't considered the possibility that he'd be that close to the toughs when he did the deed. An oversight on Kowalski's part, perhaps?


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 8:13 pm 
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Well, at least my observation that Emm was putting herself at Kowalski's mercy turned out to be accurate.

Presumably if Kowalski had just sabotaged the programming of Emm's streaming it could have been spotted or prevented (by Gus?). Or maybe he just finds it more satisfying to do this way.

I doubt that Emm is coming back. Why would Kowalski make an enemy of her and leave her in a position to do something about it? He knows the capabilities of the body she downloaded into... if it had RED, he would make sure to do something about that.

Emm's dead baby, Emm's dead.

As for Kowalski... we may have seen the last of him as he finds a dark corner to hide in until events have blown over, or he may come back for one final act of redemption. Dunno yet how Howard wants to play that character. He's not the gestalt Mako, but there have certainly been signs that Kowalski himself is not entirely comfortable with everything he's done on Emm's orders.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 8:21 pm 
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Arky wrote:
Well, at least my observation that Emm was putting herself at Kowalski's mercy turned out to be accurate.

Presumably if Kowalski had just sabotaged the programming of Emm's streaming it could have been spotted or prevented (by Gus?). Or maybe he just finds it more satisfying to do this way.

I doubt that Emm is coming back. Why would Kowalski make an enemy of her and leave her in a position to do something about it? He knows the capabilities of the body she downloaded into... if it had RED, he would make sure to do something about that.

Emm's dead baby, Emm's dead.

As for Kowalski... we may have seen the last of him as he finds a dark corner to hide in until events have blown over, or he may come back for one final act of redemption. Dunno yet how Howard wants to play that character. He's not the gestalt Mako, but there have certainly been signs that Kowalski himself is not entirely comfortable with everything he's done on Emm's orders.


Probably the reason why he killed Emm. He's a pyscopath, but one that has standards hence why he saved Libretti's family by sending them on an all expenses paid trip.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 8:53 pm 
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Loyal wrote:
Hm. I hadn't considered the possibility that he'd be that close to the toughs when he did the deed. An oversight on Kowalski's part, perhaps?


It didn't occur to me either. Definite oversight. He's going to get a big surprise in a moment.

I wonder if Gus was able to follow where Kowalski was streaming he and Emm, and tipped off Haban.


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