42 thoughts on “Chapter 5: Lit, page 114.”

  1. One blasts of the horn means a new page.
    Two blasts of the horn means an awkward social situation.
    Three blasts of the horn means…JAKE’S KIN.

    1. Such a terrible encoding scheme. High-threat warnings take longer to send than lower-threat ones, there’s no end-of-transmission marker, so you can never know that you’ve actually received the full transmission, incomplete transmissions are indistinguishable from other, completed transmissions, and, for the bonus poor-design points, interrupted transmissions fail *down* the threat scale. And that’s not even to mention the complete lack of any kind of sender authentication… which is, admittedly, difficult to accomplish via the horn medium.

      I mean, just imagine, you hear one blast of the horn, and, after waiting tensely for whatever undefined period of time it takes you to conclude that there isn’t going to be a second or third, you throw open your browser and rush to read the new page… only to discover that the dude with the horn got his throat cut by some Jake after the first blast but before he was able to blow the second one – because he was too busy messing with the horn to run away – and the Jakes are lying in wait for people coming to read the new page, and there you are, unprepared even for an awkward social situation, say nothing about having brought the dragonglass daggers and Valyrian steel zipguns you need to handle Jakeskin…

      1. I figured it was either a practicality thing, or they just let standards slip. Using our Templar analogy, there are going to be a lot more updates than Jakeskin, so rather than have to have watchers give the horn three long blasts for every update, it’s just one. It’s only when you hear two blasts that everyone stops what their doing and starts panicking. Or there haven’t been Jakeskin for so long that they just changed the system to save time.

        Also, Sunny is clearly The Prince that was Promised.

        1. Everyone stops what they’re doing and waits for that second blast anyway. The difference is that there isn’t any way they can know to *stop* waiting and get back to what they were doing until they actually see the update load… or they hear the second blast, in which case, the time spent waiting was time wasted in an emergency. You can afford to waste a few seconds grabbing for weapons and stuff when it turns out that it is just a new page.

          And if it is just a new page, you’d probably actually waste less time between the first warning blast and the third “all-clear” blast than you do between the first blast and deciding, without any way to actually *know*, that, yeah, okay, I guess there really isn’t going to be another one.

          On the other hand, as we saw earlier, seconds wasted standing around dumbly waiting to hear a second blast will get you killed when Jakes kick open the door of your squat with knives in hand.

      2. The sender authentication is a dude with a horn sent this message. Keep the dude with the horn safe and no transmissions will be interrupted.

      3. what about the difference between a sh’varim and a t’qiah? (aka, a double or triple sound that lasts as long as the single longer-held sound). Then you wouldn’t be waiting around to hear a second, they’d be easily auditorily distinguishable (though two and three might not be). You hear one long note — you do X. you hear a series of trilly short notes, you do Y (or prep for Z, which could be bad)

    1. Or maybe Spike would rather update than fill in crowd scenes. I figure it’s full of people, but they’re all crouching behind the camera.

      1. “Aw **** it’s that nosey webcomic author goin’ around following people with her camera again. Hide guys or you’ll get a Wiki page ’bout cha!”

        1. I just thought this was her building that she’s paid to inhabit. Yano, totally deserted but she flushes the toilets and such and turns the lights on and off to keep away the squatters? I just figured this was how she got to the area that she gets to live in.

    1. Yep. Looking at that small wall she is grabbing to I was a bit confused because the upper corner of that wall ends where a lot of other corners meet.

    2. I thought she pulling herself up and was confused. Sliding makes more sense, if that’s an unfinished train tunnel, rather than an unfinished exit to the surface.

  2. MangaStudio and a Cintiq are some of the greatest drawing tools any digitally-minded artist could hope for. :3c I’d been using Celsys ComicStudio (The original Japanese version) for quite some time, and then I won a copy of MangaStudio last summer.

    I also use Celsys IllustStudio, which is like Comic/MangaStudio for full-color screen-ready art. (And costs a fifth what it’s print-oriented counterpart does.)

    Hey Spike! You see the Wacom Inkling?? I imagine that’d be an amazing tool for anyone who does a lot of random sketching wherever they go. If you missed the news about it the other day, hit up Youtube for Wacom’s videos about it. Hell, I want one and I got a Cintiq _BECAUSE_ I hate drawing on paper.

        1. Maybe he’s just reading the newest book in the series…all the same, wouldn’t it be better to appreciate the fact that he’s reading a good book, no matter what book in the series it is?

          Judge not…

  3. Oh man, Spike, I love you but you fucked this one up.

    Unless Templar’s AZ is so big it has bits of what should never have been Texas in it, it’s mega silly for it to have a subway. One, there’s basically only tuff rock under most of the Colorado basin – about as easy to bore through as reinforced concrete. You’d need to dynamite tunnels out a meter at a time and when you’re dealing with a redirected river basin, that’s basically asking for landslides and sinks.

    Two, cities in the Southwest tend to be enormous decentralized sprawls, and those tend to be serviced by buses and light/cable rail rather than fixed high-volume transit for the simple reason that traffic demand tends to spring up and evaporate at a moment’s notice. A TAZ subway system built in the Stevenson Administration would be useless by 1980.

    And three, and probably most important, subways have ventilation and heating problems to begin with. A city-sized tube system in Arizona would have to deal with temperatures 20 to 30 degrees too hot for safety in the summer, would be slick with dew and rime in the winter, and would be a real bitch to ventilate anything even slightly noxious from.

    Basically a TAZ subway would be a monument to hubristic engineer-think, like a Pharos lit by constant explosions or plunging downwards into the sea, and Adlai-chan is probably exactly the right name-drop because it fits in perfectly with the era in which we genuinely wanted to dam the Grand Canyon, flood half of Alaska, and nuke natural gas out of the earth.

    In which case being there is around as good an idea as hanging around in an abandoned nuclear plant, but we both know Patty doesn’t make the best choices, so.

    1. I don’t think it’s a subway, just underground. “The Tunnels” (a.k.a. Pakhom 3 – whatever that is) could be an underground “building” (residential + light commercial maybe?), which would make a bit of sense in a desert environment. Underground places are much easier to keep a steady comfortable temperature, at least when you don’t have subway trains pushing hot surface air in and out of them.

  4. Wonder why I’m getting the feeling that when she stalks off into the darkness, she’ll do an insane giggle, which turns into a full-blown maniacal laughter, once the “camera focus” has moved away from her.

  5. http://templaraz.com/?p=335

    Well, it’s been established a longish time that there’s something called the “Underground” and it’s considered a viable alternative to other modes of transportation for a getaway…. Whether it’s a subway or not remains to be seen.

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