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 Post subject: Sasha
 Post Posted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 2:59 am 
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So, at it again.
I really hope we this time will get an explanation to why Sasha works for hC.
In short, every other high-level cH operative has been comic-book villain material.
With the meetings in a dark room, evil smirks and all that.

Sasha don't fit the bill. She seems so human and reletable. And she seemed to genuinely be sorry when she confronted Torg.

My earlier spec was that she is working covertly for someone higher-up: The gods, or the interdimensional police. Maybe sent to save the timeline like Berk was back in the days. :sasha:

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 Post subject: Re: Sasha
 Post Posted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:54 am 
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I agree with you! Sasha's first betrayal stunned me! I was so sad and wanted it not to be a true betrayal.

I like your theory too. Somehow it makes the betrayal a bit more palatable if it's not for hC

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 Post subject: Re: Sasha
 Post Posted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:04 am 
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Well, if she's Kusari (like some think she is) she has no choice but to work for hC.

I think the Berk connection is a better idea though. Probably not right but better than her being Kusari.

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 Post subject: Re: Sasha
 Post Posted: Mon May 01, 2017 4:04 am 
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Once again we have an "almost-conversation" about why Sasha turned on the gang - and what made her work for hC in the first place.

This time it is the gagged hostage "because she can't be allowed to use magic". I get a strong flashback to the times Chaz has been trying to explain some critical plot-point, only to be interrupted by a Torg pun.
Dangeling the answers right in front of us, just to make us remember there are some questions we don't have the answer to... :sasha:

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 Post subject: Re: Sasha
 Post Posted: Mon May 01, 2017 1:50 pm 
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From the Reactions forums:

Spirantz wrote:
Sasha is a total psychopath, in the truest sense of the word. I'm sure she genuinely didn't mind being friends with the gang, but as soon as it got in the way of something she wanted, BAM. Gun to the head here. Attempted murder on Riff. I'm sure the whole bit about Sasha and the senator was there just to emphasize this aspect of her personality, while pushing the plot forward a bit.


Your idea prompted me to look up Psychopaths:


According to Psychcentral, "Psychopaths, in general, have a hard time forming real emotional attachments with others. Instead, they form artificial, shallow relationships designed to be manipulated in a way that most benefits the psychopath. People are seen as pawns to be used to forward the psychopath’s goals. Psychopaths rarely feel guilt regarding any of their behaviors, no matter how much they hurt others.

But psychopaths can often be seen by others as being charming and trustworthy, holding steady, normal jobs...They will carefully plan criminal activity to ensure they don’t get caught, having contingency plans in place for every possibility."


Certainly seems to fit many of Sasha's actions, right? But maybe Torg counts as someone who she did form an emotional attachment to, seeing as she seemed to come to apologize here: http://www.sluggy.com/comics/archives/weekly/130109

Charming and trustworthy, yes, so much so that I still want to trust her! I want there to be some legitimate reason for her actions... but I have no idea what that would be...

Spirantz wrote:
Makes you wonder: What is it that Sasha wants? She seems too intelligent to be happy with being just another HC pawn... what is she getting out of all this? What's motivating her? I think she's much more interesting than Oasis.


If she is a psychopath, whatever it is, it's to her own benefit...but indeed, what is it? Certainly, in the short term, the benefit could have been fun with the gang early on, interesting times with Torg under Minion Master--it didn't matter that she was betraying them--she was having fun! In the long-term, I'm not sure...

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 Post subject: Re: Sasha
 Post Posted: Mon May 01, 2017 1:53 pm 
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my first Sluggy experience was during the Great House War. So i was a fan of Sasha from the beginning. I went back into the archives and was like "who's this Zoe chick" for a long time. When she left the group it was a shock. When she turned coat it was even worse for me. I hope there's a good closure to her story with some flashed back to her time away from the group and such.

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 Post subject: Re: Sasha
 Post Posted: Mon May 01, 2017 2:06 pm 
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gregnier wrote:
my first Sluggy experience was during the Great House War. So i was a fan of Sasha from the beginning. I went back into the archives and was like "who's this Zoe chick" for a long time. When she left the group it was a shock. When she turned coat it was even worse for me. I hope there's a good closure to her story with some flashed back to her time away from the group and such.


I would love that as well. Her betrayal felt like a punch in the gut. I felt like this: "Wait...What...No...What? WHAT? NO!"

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 Post subject: Re: Sasha
 Post Posted: Tue May 02, 2017 12:36 am 
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As much as I would absolutely hate this to be the reason, it's possible that Sasha might not have a choice but to do the things she's doing. It's been shown that hC does have some sort of "loyalty" tech.

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 Post subject: Re: Sasha
 Post Posted: Tue May 02, 2017 1:22 am 
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I wasn't exactly shocked by Sasha's betrayal. It's not that I was expecting it, mind you, but I guess I never really trusted her and always felt there was something "off" about her character. I also seem to be in the minority in that I never really liked her. I wasn't eagerly anticipating her return to the comic, so it certainly wasn't devastating to see her betrayal. If anything, revealing herself as a villain made her more interesting to me.

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 Post subject: Re: Sasha
 Post Posted: Wed May 03, 2017 10:35 pm 
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On reflection I think what excites me about Sasha is that she's one of those touch-points that speaks to how old Sluggy Freelance is and yet how deep and far its continuity runs. She disappeared for *years* and then returned. While characters like Oasis had made some more punctuated appearances, it was the return(s) of Sasha that made me feel "whoa, yeah I've been reading Sluggy for a long time, seeing that face really takes me back". And because she wasn't there at the start it makes the story feel even longer, "wow this character that I feel so nostalgic about was preceded by a ton of stuff".

So perhaps I like her character for entirely the wrong reasons. She has felt a bit flat lately without a clear motive - as a goofy side-character it was fine for her to be a bit undeveloped but as a villain it's hard to keep rooting for or against her without knowing what her deal is. I'd be keen to see her story in more depth.

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 Post subject: Re: Sasha
 Post Posted: Wed May 03, 2017 11:46 pm 
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No kiddin. She left the strip for the first time nearly fifteen years ago, but Sluggy celebrated its five year anniversary just a few days later.
Then she doesn't show up again for another seven years, which is the lifespan of many long-running webcomics in itself. Despite this absence, the forum held a smilie vigil for her through that entire time and onward :sasha:


(it still waits for the day an alternate dimension :bert: makes his triumphant CROTCH)

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 Post subject: Re: Sasha
 Post Posted: Thu May 04, 2017 2:13 pm 
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What if Sasha is a double agent? Perhaps she's working undercover at hC and while she's done some bad stuff it's only been just enough to put her in a trusted position... When she shot at Riff, she very likely knew damn well that the glass was bulletproof, and the shot was only meant to make them believe that she really does work for hC so that they wouldn't suspect that she's actually working for someone else. She probably was helping Torg et al., when she was spying on them for hC, and yet siphoning off just enough info to keep hC happy. That's why she showed up in Torg's room. She didn't say a word, but it was her way of showing that she does regret what she felt she ultimately needed to do, and that is to work against hC while apparently working for them. The reason that she didn't say anything is that she could not afford to blow her cover.

I'm not sure why I want this to be true. I was never as much in love with Sasha as many of the Sluggites were, probably because as Alecat pointed out she was never really developed as a character. But perhaps that's what makes her so attractive. Pete has always drawn her as "cute", even before his artistic talents had more fully developed, and her personality is 'unflappable' and pleasant - occasionally charming. So you can imprint almost anything that you want onto that... ...whether it's true or not.

I don't necessarily want her to end up being a good-guy after all, but I would like to see her be something more than a simple psychopath...

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 Post subject: Re: Sasha
 Post Posted: Thu May 04, 2017 6:29 pm 
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swmartian wrote:
What if Sasha is a double agent?

You mean triple agent. She's already a double agent

I wouldn't put it past her to betray HC, but not for Torg's group. That wouldn't add up. It would have to be for some other organization, like the demon cult Wilcott's still operating. Or maybe she's got a personal reason of her own. Or maybe she's just a horrible human being who hides her sociopathic evil behind a charismatic face, like Dr. Chen.

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 Post subject: Re: Sasha
 Post Posted: Thu May 04, 2017 10:07 pm 
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swmartian wrote:
I'm not sure why I want this to be true. I was never as much in love with Sasha as many of the Sluggites were, probably because as Alecat pointed out she was never really developed as a character. But perhaps that's what makes her so attractive. Pete has always drawn her as "cute", even before his artistic talents had more fully developed, and her personality is 'unflappable' and pleasant - occasionally charming. So you can imprint almost anything that you want onto that... ...whether it's true or not.


I think she was possibly also the most "normal" of the bunch (which incidentally made her very weird, because to maintain a facade of "hey things are cool and groovy" when all of the wacky hijinks were afoot is... very weird). She pointed out just how crazy things were getting but still shrugged her shoulders and stayed along for the ride. She's almost an analogue for us to project ourselves into the Sluggy world.

I like your theory, too. As for why I would want it to be true - it has the potential to add all of the depth, backstory and motive that the character has been lacking so far with very little storytelling effort. With the amount of time left for major storytelling I feel it's probably our best bet for seeing the character fleshed out, but it could also be executed poorly so I'm nervous about it.

PS. I did like Yodimus' link where she says of the breakup, "It doesn't bother me". Much like when she shoots at Riff, "I don't have time to give you closure on this betrayal, but it doesn't bother me". As you said, unflappable.

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 Post subject: Re: Sasha
 Post Posted: Fri May 05, 2017 5:10 am 
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Man, today's strip with her shooting the HC agent really surprised me. In spite of all of our recent discussion, I want there too be a reason for what she did, what she has done.

So I like your theory too, swmartian, and hope it too be true.

I think perhaps part of the reason I feel this way is that all these years happened from my perspective, reading 2005-present for the first time, in the last 8 months or so

I haven't had the time that some of you have had to come terms with it.

Torg seems to be often subject to the same optimism in terms of characters with "bad" actions as I am, so whether it's a ploy or the truth, he might be drawn in.

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