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 Post subject: Re: And Kusari is...
 Post Posted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 3:54 pm 
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MerlinOfChaos wrote:
Well today's comic sure puts a lot of fuel on the Sasha clone fire.

Really? I'm not sure why y'all are leaping to that conclusion! I thought today's strip confirmed the exact opposite. Note that when Bun-Bun slams Kusari's head into Riff's that Kusari is taller than Riff. Whereas, Sasha is shorter than Riff (http://archives.sluggy.com/book.php?cha ... 2000-11-13 - for example)

So what are you guys seeing that I am not?

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 Post subject: Re: And Kusari is...
 Post Posted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 3:56 pm 
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Just Riff's "That's impossible" reaction. It really shook him.

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 Post subject: Re: And Kusari is...
 Post Posted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 3:58 pm 
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I'm not sure you can come to a height conclusion in today's comic. Kusari kicked him in the head and he's in the process of falling down; and it LOOKS like she might have actually yanked his head back up with her kusari and then bunbun did the bunbun.

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 Post subject: Re: And Kusari is...
 Post Posted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 4:07 pm 
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MerlinOfChaos wrote:
Just Riff's "That's impossible" reaction. It really shook him.

Well, Sasha growing about 6 inches would invoke a "That's impossible" reaction. LOL
MerlinOfChaos wrote:
I'm not sure you can come to a height conclusion in today's comic. Kusari kicked him in the head and he's in the process of falling down; and it LOOKS like she might have actually yanked his head back up with her kusari and then bunbun did the bunbun.

Well, I don't see anything being yanked, first of all, but if she did yank his head UP, that would make Riff even taller...?

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 Post subject: Re: And Kusari is...
 Post Posted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 4:33 pm 
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I've been a huge Kusari=Sasha theorist for awhile now and I haven't poked the Kusari=Gwynn theory with a stick in at least two years, but she's the only member of the main cast (besides Kiki) who isn't in the storyline at the present moment (besides Sasha who is "dead"). and I just get a Gwynn vibe from this. (and I don't know why because really, I'm usually barking up the Sasha tree).

Either Riff's recognized who Kusari is behind the mask, or the head-crack did it. Now I can't remember if Gwynn ever head-cracked him but I'm tempted to dig through the archives and look. She certainly kneed him in the groin a bunch amongst other bat induced violence and this just-I dont know I'm getting Gwynn vibes!

As to the how/whys, All I can think back to is timeless space and Tyler.

Or she is a Sasha clone and I've given up my many year rants for a vibe ;)

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 Post subject: Re: And Kusari is...
 Post Posted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 9:06 pm 
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I think it's pretty obvious that Riff was reacting to Kusari with that "Impossible!" And I think I've changed my ideas on her now. What would make Riff say that when all he could see was Kusari's eyes?

What was that Schlock line? Something like "I've seen what's under that mask. Don't you feel any kind of shame?"

What would Riff have to freak out about from just seeing her eyes? Eye color?

Or maybe that fact that her eyes are different colors? FAMILIAR different colors?

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 Post subject: Re: And Kusari is...
 Post Posted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:43 pm 
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Pink Freud wrote:
What would Riff have to freak out about from just seeing her eyes? Eye color?
?


We know there's something "weird" about Riff's eyes.

We don't know much more than that other than the nanites considered them part of him and didn't change them.

My money is on Kusari having the same weird eyes Riff has.

Not sure what that would mean, but that's where my mind went to.

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 Post subject: Re: And Kusari is...
 Post Posted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:45 am 
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NUKLEARAXIS wrote:
We know there's something "weird" about Riff's eyes.

We don't know much more than that other than the nanites considered them part of him and didn't change them.

Riff's eyes are bad because he's a descendant of Symachus, whose lineage was cursed with blindness for all time.

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 Post subject: Re: And Kusari is...
 Post Posted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:29 am 
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adnoam wrote:
NUKLEARAXIS wrote:
We know there's something "weird" about Riff's eyes.

We don't know much more than that other than the nanites considered them part of him and didn't change them.

Riff's eyes are bad because he's a descendant of Symachus, whose lineage was cursed with blindness for all time.


I really should read Mohkadun again, feel like so much of that didn't sink into my memory deep enough.

So yeah, basically I think Riff recognised the Symachus eyes in Kusari.

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 Post subject: Re: And Kusari is...
 Post Posted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 4:31 am 
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I thought it was revealed at some point that he had different colored eyes. One of them was like freaky red or something and that's why he wore the shades? Maybe my memory is bad.

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 Post subject: Re: And Kusari is...
 Post Posted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:52 pm 
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So now given today's comic, I'm wondering if Kusari is actually K.U.S.A.R.I., and if so, what significance the letters have that are in both names.

They both contain "A", "S", and "I".

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 Post subject: Re: And Kusari is...
 Post Posted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:59 pm 
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gevmage wrote:
So now given today's comic, I'm wondering if Kusari is actually K.U.S.A.R.I., and if so, what significance the letters have that are in both names.

They both contain "A", "S", and "I".


Others have noted that Kusari is an anagram for Ikarus, which is interesting considering that Daedalus is in this story, and indeed had Kusari created. Just another thought on what her name might mean.

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 Post subject: Re: And Kusari is...
 Post Posted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 7:35 pm 
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So since the next comic will very likely reveal something about Oasis or Kusari, I want to post some very incomplete thoughts about the two. However, since they are long and rambling, I will tuck them away in a spoiler tag. But first I want to give my thoughts about the speculated Kusari-Sasha connection. Most things past this point are speculation; I tried to make it clear what is in the archives and what is guessed, but sometimes it's not. Most things here have been speculated by others before as well in bits and pieces, but I am attempting to make the pieces a little more coherent.

So the first idea is that there is not only one Kusari. Daedalus perhaps saw the value in the resurrecting agent but didn't have the capacity to replicate Oasis' condition, so there are several bodies which are potential Kusaris. This is why she is a limited resource, as Schlock said.

The next is that Sasha is very close to what Oasis is supposed to be as an ideal spy. She spent years spying on the gang, being weird in general but normal enough for their standards. Later she got married to a senator's aide, implying that she can handle deep relationships with people other than Riff. She is loyal to Hereti-Corp to the death, and has some combat training, though we have not seen any fighting at the Oasis or Kusari level. Consider Dr. Steve's boast about Oasis (from http://archives.sluggy.com/book.php?cha ... 1999-10-10):

Dr. Steve wrote:
Oasis can be anyone I want her to be, anything to anyone I want! And at the same time she will follow my every order without hesitation or fail!


We know that Kusari is another attempt at Oasis; the fact that Sasha seems to fulfill some of the purposes that Dr. Steve had for Oasis seems to link Kusari and Sasha. Sasah even, like Kusari, assumes that Oasis fulfills her role imperfectly. At the restaurant, she notes how Oasis' hair hinders her blending in.

Finally, we know that just after Sasha died and her body disappeared, we saw Kusari for the first time since she (Kusari) was killed by Urja. Then Schlock rakes Kusari, for no apparent reason, about her emotions about Sasha. This timing seems suspicious.

If Sasha was a potential Kusari, and now is Kusari somehow, this resolves all discrepancies about them being in the same place at the same time. Fleshing this idea out was one motivation for the following ideas:

Spoiler: show
So to start with, we know that Kusari was 'made in [Oasis'] image'. We do not know for sure when this occurred, but it seems likely enough that this happened after Dr. Steve "stole" Oasis from Hereti-Corp (which was itself stolen from Dr. Steve) as a response. They are similar in that they are forced to obey orders and in that they have fighting ability beyond most humans, and Kusari refers to Oasis as her sister.

I have some ideas about Oasis that I am going to post in her thread, but since Kusari was apparently created as a sort of replacement Oasis, most likely using similar technology, and likely with the aid of Dr. Chen, some of the things we know about Oasis apply to Kusari, too. Of course, there are also crucial differences, so we have to guess which things we know about Oasis also apply to Kusari.

Dr. Steve said that Oasis was a 'controlled mind made human', but never explained what he meant. This is what prompted Torg's belief that she might be a robot, which Pete has gone to great lengths to contradict (she scars, was a child, has survived an EMP blast, and seems to be connected to ghosts; also her blood powers a sword which feeds on the blood of the innocent). Oasis has shown both evidence of control and humanity. Kusari, for the most part, has only exhibited the control. However, Pete has allowed subtle hints of her humanity to show through. Both Oasis and Kusari (maybe - http://archives.sluggy.com/book.php?cha ... 2008-12-09 is a good example) seem to be caught in a battle between their humanity and their orders, trying to interpret their orders to show human desires while their orders use their human desires in order to become accomplished. This last sentence isn't obvious at first glance, but I don't want to provide evidence now; maybe in a later post.

In the Sluggyverse, real artificial intelligence seems to be quite rare, but possible. Pete may not have firm limits to what he does and does not consider possible at a given level of technology, but we can get a sense of what he considers plausible. In the ghoul dimension, humanity had created artificial intelligence that was powerful enough to be a threat to humans. In the DoR, there was an A.I., apparently calling itself 'the Lynx' that controlled 4U City along with Schlock and Riff and seemed to be gaining an alarming degree of autonomy. Riff had no problem programming his robot to attack specific targets and move around, but it didn't go farther than that. There was also the Mecha-Easter Bunny, although I don't know how much I want to take that seriously, and even that displayed only rudimentary intelligence. Also in the vein of half-organic half-machine creatures in Dr. Crabtree, a once-scientist who somehow became mostly composed of nanites, changing her personality and giving her intelligence and abilities. However, while the nanite queen form was able to process information more rapidly, she was more predictable.

One thing that is very significant is that although Hereti-Corp has their hands on Kusari, they don't seem to be able to create more people/robots/tools/whatever-she-is like her. It would certainly be advantageous to Hereti-Corp to have multiple Kusaris, or to be able to resurrect employees or board members, but it only happens for Kusari. This suggests that there is some technology (or magic) about her that they cannot duplicate. Even in 4U City, there is only one Harbinger (who is clearly connected to Oasis, and perhaps Kusari). This is apparently after Dr. Schlock and Hereti-Corp obtain complete control of Oasis.

I am guessing, as others have speculated, that that Oasis is, or is partly, one of Dunaloa's synthetics, or at least that her mind is. In Gywnn's vision in The Bug, the Witch, and the Robot, the border text near the Oasis puppet reads 'from heaven' (in the same comic - http://archives.sluggy.com/book.php?cha ... 2001-02-03, I believe, which says that the puppet is the puppeteer, possibly indicating how Oasis 'is' in some sense Sin'thea, a puppeteer via fate-magic. Note that the fate spider who noted that Oasis is not governed by the fate web, possibly as a result of being 'sentience where not expected' (synthetic sentience), also insisted that there are rules which govern her - this could be the web that Sin'thea weaves). This would seem to indicate that she is descended from or created by the gods, whether of Mokhadun or later gods. We also know that Dr. Steve described her as a controlled mind made human; this would also fit that.

If she such a synthetic, how Dr. Steve gained access to her is unclear, but it is possible that Dr. Steve somehow became of Dunaloa or vice versa, and one contacted the other in order to obtain mutual benefit in their research. Or maybe Dunuloa is dead or disinterested in mortal affairs, and Oasis is Bast, adapted by Dr. Steve and others into a new form or some such. We know that Chen was involved with the project from very early on. In fact, we know that Chen knew Oasis before we know that Dr. Steve did, although Dr. Steve may have known more than has been revealed earlier. Sin'thea is also clearly connected, and Chen knows her, and we know that Chen knows something of the fate-web, so it seems likely that Dr. Steve does too; they may also know about Mokhadun (sp?) and/or Timeless Space.

That is how she can be a controlled mind made human. We have seen Dunaloa appartly using dead bodies as materials to build with, resulting in Bast. There have also been hints about Mr. Styx (spelling?), since we know that Dunaloa is identified with the moon twin, and a hint of conflict between Rana and Dunaloa on the subject. Dr. Steve's description of it being easy to teach anything to kill seems inspired by the likes of Bast and Kusari.

Dunaloa was unable to bring her father and brother back from the dead, but in the Sluggyverse it seems very possible to do so, given prior preparation. Consider the Deus Ex Ova, which could bring the dead holidays back to life, and the nanite 'rebooting' by which Zoe escaped death. It seems possible, by magic, technology, or some combination of the two, to restore someone to a 'save point'. I think that this is what was happening with Oasis, presumably facilitated by some magical component provided by Dunaloa. I think Dr. Steve's breakthrough was to some how pair the synthetic mind with a living human so that the synthetic human could learn how to adopt human mannerisms, while still being controllable. This partially involved finding technological means to control organic human minds.

When Dr. Steve escaped with Oasis, Hereti-Corp retained much of the technology he had developed, including a partial or prototype synthetic mind created by Dunaloa, more along the lines of Bast. This became Kusari. They also had much of his mind control equipment (which may be connected, quite literally, to Roberts), and moved to realize his design of superb spies/assassins, resulting in a variety of skilled agents who were almost completely under Hereti-Corp control, including Sasha. They also knew about Oasis in general, and were able to develop a system where the synthetic mind/AI learned somewhat from the experiences of these agents, which are transmitted to Hereti-Corp

Hereti-Corp does not have the resurrection technology. When one of Kusari's bodies is destroyed, it is recovered, and the synthetic mind is re-implanted in another body. My original thought was that these bodies have to be one of the controlled spies, but I'm not quite sure why this would be. There are some possible explanations; maybe the synthetic mind that controls Kusari needs some kind of interface to connect to the body, and it takes a lifetime of following orders and transmitting information to HQ to prepare a body. Maybe this could theoretically be any body, but not all bodies are similar enough to Kusari's to avoid suspicion, and even Hereti-Corp cannot just off any agent to become the new Kusari, so often there is no Kusari until an agent dies. This would fit with the variable amount of time it takes to get 'a replacement Kusari'. The first explanation would fit better with how she is a 'finite resource', as Schlock said.

As to what Shlock meant about poor kids that included Kusari, in this line of speculation it would have been the kids that were raised from birth to become first Hereti-Corp spies, then Kusari, including Sasha.

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 Post subject: Re: And Kusari is...
 Post Posted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:04 am 
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Oh here I go again......how about this one to fire the Sasha is Kusari fans:

http://archives.sluggy.com/book.php?cha ... 2001-02-18

"We're sisters! I mean, I'm his sister!"

and

"Get your hand off my butt."

"Hello, sister." The Kusari butt fan club? I'll get my coat.

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 Post subject: Re: And Kusari is...
 Post Posted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:31 am 
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NUKLEARAXIS wrote:
Pink Freud wrote:
What would Riff have to freak out about from just seeing her eyes? Eye color?
?


We know there's something "weird" about Riff's eyes.

We don't know much more than that other than the nanites considered them part of him and didn't change them.

My money is on Kusari having the same weird eyes Riff has.

Not sure what that would mean, but that's where my mind went to.


Which sent my mind to...Riff recognizing his own eyes in Kusari's face. Perhaps Kusari is a Riff clone? Heavily modified, o' course...

Yeah, I know - way out there, past left field and into the parking lot.

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