Comic 179 - The Luna Star...

24th Apr 2014, 12:00 AM
The Luna Star...
Average Rating: 5 (14 votes)

Author Notes:

Centcomm 24th Apr 2014, 12:00 AM edit delete
Yep things are going to really start rolling now :D
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Rose of Pain 24th Apr 2014, 12:16 AM edit delete reply
"A virus called Oblivion"
Oh crap D:
Centcomm 24th Apr 2014, 2:22 AM edit delete reply

I take it the shoe just dropped?
Sheela 24th Apr 2014, 3:22 AM edit delete reply

Ack, don't drop your shoes before I get to gnaw a bit on them ! :(
Centcomm 24th Apr 2014, 8:31 PM edit delete reply

gets out newspaper no chewing on shoes! bad doggy! LOL :D
Stormwind13 25th Apr 2014, 10:42 PM edit delete reply

I hope you hid the steel rod in that newspaper, so when Sheela chews it up she gets a SURPRISE. :-D
Sheela 27th Apr 2014, 12:35 PM edit delete reply

*pulls off newspaper*
*chews on steel rod*

jamie59 24th Apr 2014, 12:28 AM edit delete reply

She looks more mature with her hair loke that. Looking good girl.
Centcomm 24th Apr 2014, 2:22 AM edit delete reply

That was kinda her goal .. to not look like a teen as much. or a two year old .. >_<
Sheela 24th Apr 2014, 3:22 AM edit delete reply

Tween !
Centcomm 24th Apr 2014, 8:30 PM edit delete reply

yep tween is right!
velvetsanity 24th Apr 2014, 12:39 AM edit delete reply

And the oblivion virus is at the same time, too? Ick...

When it rains, it pours, I guess...
Centcomm 24th Apr 2014, 2:21 AM edit delete reply

yep .. its that time.. :D
Sheela 24th Apr 2014, 3:24 AM edit delete reply

I wonder, do we get to see old man Helios too ?

I suspect he's something of character, if he manages to make offspring like Calliope and Lynn. :D
Stormwind13 24th Apr 2014, 6:59 AM edit delete reply

Not happening, Sheela. He 'appeared' after all the damage. Which according to the DC timeline was in or after 3080. It currently is like 2911, so I can't see him being alive right now. :-)
Centcomm 24th Apr 2014, 8:30 PM edit delete reply

Like Storm said .. Helios Taylor would be not even born yet :D
Aetrun 25th Apr 2014, 6:17 AM edit delete reply
Do we get to seen an earlier ancestor of that family line? Or, have we already seen one?
plymayer 24th Apr 2014, 12:42 AM edit delete reply

Moving quickly now.
Centcomm 24th Apr 2014, 2:20 AM edit delete reply

yep things are about to get Surreal :D
cattservant 24th Apr 2014, 12:42 AM edit delete reply

Belief always lags behind reality.
It's always a looser consensus.
Centcomm 24th Apr 2014, 2:21 AM edit delete reply

so very true cat .. so very true :D
Sheela 28th Apr 2014, 12:45 PM edit delete reply

Eh, can't let reality get too much of a lead though.

If it does, you gotta run after it and bark at it.
Maybe even bite it in the tires. *sage nod*
DizzasterJuice 24th Apr 2014, 12:43 AM edit delete reply

I like these log entries and how it's setting things up.
Centcomm 24th Apr 2014, 2:20 AM edit delete reply

Thats why we prefer to think of it as a graphic novella :D Im really glad your enjoying it :D
mjkj 24th Apr 2014, 3:20 AM edit delete reply

She is looking beautiful there with the contrast of the earth, the details are better visible...

...oh, and Galina looks beautiful, too. *hugs her* I like her new do

@alt text: Oh, it dropped? I hope you did not lose it... ;)

Stormwind13 24th Apr 2014, 7:05 AM edit delete reply

The way the images are put together with the Luna Star getting bigger almost makes you think that Luna Star is going to crash into the Collins Station. :-D
Hornet 24th Apr 2014, 9:41 AM edit delete reply
"Luna Star is going to crash into the Collins Station. :-D" Agreed even though they're probably still a really really far apart, think its the clarity of sight through space that fuddles the depth perception.
Isn't one-gee what we normally feel on earth?
Like the new looks.
Don B. 24th Apr 2014, 12:14 PM edit delete reply
I don't think lunar residents spend all of their time in one gee. I believe that CentComm stated that the lunar base rotates to simulate gravity. That being the case, not all of the base will have one gee.
Centcomm 24th Apr 2014, 8:28 PM edit delete reply

This is a station and yes it rotates likewise the Luna Star is moving sideways and forward at the same time. its Geo linking into the station its a very tricky manuver :D

The center of the station is at zero Gee.. and it increases as you go outward.
xpacetrue 24th Apr 2014, 9:53 AM edit delete reply

I find the notion that this doomsday group developed the Oblivion virus with the full intention of releasing it on the public to be even more disturbing that all the other attrocities - worse than the war robots killing civilians, or the political takeovers, or the alien signal driving folks insane, or even the fusion bombs. In a way, it'd be a small comfort if one could blame the alien signal for such madness. That doesn't explain it, though. It must have taken a team of absolutely brilliant scientists a number of months, years, or decades to develope Oblivion.

Another words, these scientists had to be super smart. And they KNEW FULL WELL that they were engineering the COMPLETE AND TOTAL extinction of the human race (at the time, that'd be the only known civilization in the Universe). That's beyond insane. YET, they were not completely out of their minds. They had to know what they were doing to pull off that kind of superweapon. All the warcriminals and psychopaths throughout history PALE in comparison to such malicious intent. (But then, maybe they thought they were doing God's work?)
Stormwind13 24th Apr 2014, 5:42 PM edit delete reply

While I agree with you that it is beyond stupid, xpacetrue, I've seen it applied in another work of fiction. Fanatics can justify about anything if they want to.

Might I suggest you look into Emergence by David Palmer. It STARTS with a disease that virtually wipes out humanity. The reasoning behind the disease's release was both fanatically frightening and coldly logical.

I would recommend it to anyone reading Data Chasers/Luna Star as it was a good book, in my opinion. And it might be a partial (or complete) answer to your question. :-) You can frequently find a copy in used bookstores in larger cities, or you used to be able to at least. :-)
xpacetrue 24th Apr 2014, 7:26 PM edit delete reply

"Fanatics can justify about anything if they want to."
Sad, but true. :(

I've made a note to check out Emergence as I'm sure I haven't read it. But I think I can imagine. It might go something like:

Mad Scientist: "The human species is like a disease, reproducing until we crowd each other out, violently competing with each other for limited resources, and making a toxic mess of their host environment. History has proven how insane, illogical, and unethical we can be. It's inevitable that we'll eventually kill ourselves off. All species eventually becomes extinct. Nothing lasts forever. But what we're doing... we're giving our descendants a chance..."

Hero: "A -chance- you say?! By engineering our certain doom? By making sure we won't have -any- descendants?"

Mad Scientist: "Nothing is certain. And you're not seeing the whole picture. Right now our petty differences and greed is having us devour and kill ourselves, much like the Ouroboros swallows it's own tail. And our reliance on technology is making us weak. We've been taught that disease is the enemy. But by vaccinating and wiping out diseases we've made ourselves vulnerable to -new- diseases. But Oblivion will save us..."

Hero: "You're mad!"

Mad Scientist: "Don't be so closed-minded! Oblivion will drastically reduce the population to a level the planet can sustain. Eventually, there will no longer be a desire or need to fight each other over scraps. And this gives the planet time to recover."

Hero: "But you plan to make us all sterile!"

Mad Scientist: "We engineered it that way. Because, right now, the world is better off without us. Evolution is survival of the fittest. There's a small chance -some- will survive the plague and be fertile. If the survivors stop fighting and work together to find a cure, they might reverse Oblivion some day. But if what's left can't manage even that... then they're not worth saving. What's important is that this will stop us turning the planet into a toxic toilet. I shudder to think what our species could do to the rest of the Universe if we escape the Solar System."
Stormwind13 24th Apr 2014, 7:44 PM edit delete reply

Read it and you might be surprised, xpaceture. :-)
Centcomm 24th Apr 2014, 8:27 PM edit delete reply

you forgot.. about less than 2 seconds after the last line the Science guy shots the hero 15 times and two in the head. ( just to make sure. )
Stormwind13 24th Apr 2014, 8:38 PM edit delete reply

No, no CentComm... The science guy is NOT supposed to shoot anyone... That is what MINIONS are for. :-D
xpacetrue 25th Apr 2014, 1:34 AM edit delete reply

BTW: There's something about some post-apocolypse fiction that bothers me. I'm talking about stories where the population is reduced to a very small number - like a few hundred fertile humans, or less - yet the story implies there's still hope for the species. A good example might be certain episodes of The Outer Limits, like that story where an unmanned time machine goes back to lure a mere handful of very healthy teens and brings them to the future to repopulate the world. (A disease wiped out humans due to a vulnerability from unbridled genetic enhancements.)

To those who know better, that's not believable. Humans are one of the most INBRED species on the planet. Some discriminate based on ethnicity. But genetics has shown that the ENTIRE species, down to the last person is... we're more closely related to each other than a single family of chimps or gorillas! Farmers, pet breeders, and those who've studied biology know that most animals can and do inbreed to some extent, but this does not usually cause problems as long as it doesn't get out of hand. But humans are another matter.

Indeed, research suggests that all humans are descended from a single pair of common ancestors. (Look up "Gene Eve" or "Mitochondrial Eve" and "Y-chromosomal Adam".) So if the population gets reduced too much, we'd become far too inbred to survive. It'd be a bit like trying to perpetually clone ourselves ad nauseam.
Tokyo Rose 25th Apr 2014, 7:01 AM edit delete reply

We cheated. Major population centers have advanced gene-tailoring technology in play to counter environmental mutation, congenital conditions, and so on during fetal development--or even earlier, in the case of in-vitro fertilization. Oh, there's most certainly several cases of "The Hills Have Eyes" lurking out in the Wastes, but under the majority of circumstances, you just won't find ghastly cases like, say, King Charles II of Spain.

(Also, no, the people who developed Oblivion did not believe they were "doing God's work". There are all kinds of fanatics out there, and not all of them are religiously motivated . . .)
Stormwind13 25th Apr 2014, 7:09 AM edit delete reply

There is an indication that about 70,000 years ago the human population was reduced for real to about 10,000. That is just about the minimum to keep the population as viable.

The cause is believed to be the super eruption of Toba. It is an interesting theory, consistent with what a super eruption is supposed to do to the environment. Not sure we will ever know for sure though. :-)
Hornet 25th Apr 2014, 8:26 AM edit delete reply
You raised a good question. Simple answer is 80 breeding pairs. With controlled breeding you could cut those numbers even further and sustain a genetically viable population.
xpacetrue 25th Apr 2014, 9:57 PM edit delete reply

I'm not sure what the lower limit would be. But there's just no way 80 breeding pairs would be sufficient to maintain the species. That'd be very close to extinction for -any- animal species, let alone a species as inbred as humans. Stormwind13's estimate of 10,000 sounds about right to me in order to avoid crippling birth defects (that is, without the assistance of stuff like fetal screening and gene-tailoring).
Hornet 25th Apr 2014, 10:28 PM edit delete reply
I had heard a hunred pairs before, but here is where where at now.
velvetsanity 25th Apr 2014, 7:34 PM edit delete reply

No, no. Mad scientists *always* use their own death rays and doomsday devices. They *never* leave such wonderfully ingenious and valuable examples of SCIENCE! in the hands of minions to get broken. :D
Stormwind13 25th Apr 2014, 8:05 PM edit delete reply

Okay, granted velvet; however, their Death Rays are designed to take out CITIES or small countries... Not one puny hero. That is what the minions are supposed to be there for. :-)
velvetsanity 25th Apr 2014, 10:41 PM edit delete reply

Taking out the city is just collateral damage :D
Stormwind13 26th Apr 2014, 12:25 AM edit delete reply

LOL. Yeah, but trying to shoot the hero with the Death Ray tears up your lair too. Why you shouldn't use the Death Ray at close range. :-)
velvetsanity 26th Apr 2014, 9:42 AM edit delete reply

Any real Mad Scientist worth their salt would need to be politely *reminded* of that, Stormwind :D

Even those Mad Scientists that are considered to be "the good guys" such as the Lady Heterodyne
Stormwind13 26th Apr 2014, 9:47 AM edit delete reply

LOL too true, velvet. Good point. :-D
Tokyo Rose 25th Apr 2014, 7:06 AM edit delete reply

Nope. 2 seconds after the last line, the Mad Scientist goes into an abrupt seizure, collapses to the floor, expels blood and other fluids from various bodily orifices, and expires hideously, having been accidentally exposed to Oblivion in a seemingly harmless background event in a small panel 249 pages previously. The hero, who has an acquired immunity, then gets the fuck out of there after activating the self-destruct sequence to immolate the lab and everything in it, cauterizing the core of the infection in a fiery inferno.
Hornet 25th Apr 2014, 8:30 AM edit delete reply
Except the Hero now becomes the "carrier"
Mister Black 25th Apr 2014, 10:09 AM edit delete reply

Why look in fiction, when we have at least one ghastly real-world example? Do a quick look around the net for "Dead Hand", or "Система". The USSR had their entire nuclear arsenal wired to a 'dead man switch'. To make it worse, they had warheads programmed to target every nation on Earth (including some of their titular allies), on the theory that if the USSR survived, there would be no competition in the post-nuclear world, and if it didn't, nothing mattered.

I don't know if the US had/has something similar (I doubt it), but that system, and the thinking behind it, come perilously close to the thinking behind the Oblivion Virus...
Hornet 25th Apr 2014, 1:18 PM edit delete reply
Lucky for us the USSR wasn't led by some of the crack-pots currently running nations.
Stormwind13 25th Apr 2014, 8:03 PM edit delete reply

Well from what I've heard of that system (called Perimeter) Mr. Black it may not have functioned exactly that way. The reports on it seem to be somewhat contradictory.

What you proposed was at one extreme of the capabilities for the system; however, from what I know of Russian leadership they didn't like letting systems be that autonomous. The Soviet leadership had a real problem letting go of their control that much to allow a machine to make that important a decision. The leadership from Stalin onward seemed to distrust their own machines. :-)

The version I heard that seemed the most likely was a system that when activated passed that control to a triumvirate of missile officers buried in a secret location. They had all the sensor data and would decide if Russia was truly under attack. If so then they would decide how to respond with the Soviet arsenal. And the Soviets believed in MASSIVE overstock so that if they lost some of their weapons, they would STILL have enough to retaliate with.

Oh and one more piece of good news, the system (if it in fact exists) is said to be still up and running. :-O So the nightmare may still be out there.

Just HOW automated the Soviet leadership would allow it to operate is the question that remains.
xpacetrue 25th Apr 2014, 10:18 PM edit delete reply

Let's assume, for a moment, that Russia still has such a Dead Hand system 3000 years in the future, right up to the time of Luna Star. And let's assume that it's just as automated and dangerous as Mister Black says it was. With that 1st, single fusion device detonated in Moscow, it'd no doubt trigger a chain reaction that'd turn the rest of the world into the Wastelands of Datachasers. Nevermind the potential for war and atrocity by AmCom and all the other Powers That Be and AIS, that Dead Hand system ruined the world ahead of them.

On the other hand, what if said system relied on a triumverate of missile officers like Stormwind13 suggests? Then it'd probably depend on how trigger happy they are and whether they wait to hear reports of it being an isolated terror attack (assuming they believe that). If 2 out of 3 are anything like Captain Viktoriya Perov, then the world just might get a nuclear enema. But if 2 out of 3 are anything like Dr. Kotko, then reason might just spare the rest of the world.
Stormwind13 27th Apr 2014, 11:00 AM edit delete reply

Knowing the Russians, xpaceture, I think that different factions would have gotten to pick one of the officers and they wouldn't always get along. It would be unlikely they would be friends for sure. So getting all of them to agree, or even two of them would likely take extreme proof. Which is likely what the Russian leadership wanted anyhow.
Sheela 28th Apr 2014, 7:16 AM edit delete reply

Knowing the russians, they will somehow manage to turn their offroad trucks into airborne denial of space attack vehicles, and then accidentally turn their space shuttles into waste going expedition vehicles. XD

Meanwhile, everyone will have forgotten about the silly nukes, they just don't have enough awesome in them. :D
Johninaustin 26th Apr 2014, 9:57 PM edit delete reply
Keep in mind my computer skills are pretty much at the "push the lighted button to make it go" level, but I'm amazed at what you guys do with the hair detail.

Just as an aside, I spent my very early adult years guarding and transporting nukes in Germany. (US Army) If you knew what the standard doctrine for deployment of tactical range weapons was (and still is) you would hide under your bed at night. :O
Antonious 27th Apr 2014, 5:14 PM edit delete reply

John, I was in the Navy and served on a fast attack nuclear powered submarine. I know all too well how scary nukes are. I would hide under mt bed at night ONLY if that bed was located in a reality where nukes did not exist.
Johninaustin 27th Apr 2014, 6:14 PM edit delete reply
Antonius, the nukes you dealt with and the ones I did are a matter of scale. Yours is horrifying to contemplate and are a "total war" concept. . Mine on the other hand, people thought of as limited" yield. (5kt or so) . 8" and 155mm artillery along with Pershing missiles. Perfectly fine for everyday use.

Warsaw Pact Scenarios using 20-30 in one engagement were not unusual. One I remember involved 20 weapons along a 10 mile front, 1/2 mile either side of the Czech border. It would obviously stop the Russians, not such a good deal for the locals. :( Every war game I ever participated in while in Europe went nuclear by day five. Some on day one.

What is going on in the Ukraine right now is not any different than those days.
Antonious 28th Apr 2014, 8:15 PM edit delete reply

Yeah. Every time I read the news, I go online to see if any former hardened missile sites are on sale cheap. Anyone want to chip in on buying and refitting one?
Stormwind13 28th Apr 2014, 11:51 PM edit delete reply

Here Antonious, knock yourself out. :-)
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