TSH #336 • Betrayal


Kaye Haychold's ambitious plan

TSH #336 • Betrayal

Postby Monocheres » Thu Mar 26, 2009 8:27 pm

The Creatrix pulls yet another twist out of her bag of tricks!

Well, so much for my theory that Virtue was going do the "aesthetic" thing and play the hero, following Pho's plan to sneak in through the atma probe port, and inevitably find himself in that fatal spot across from the front door. And so much for seeing Virtue's internal struggle leading to that decision.

So then, a couple possibilities for what might be going on here:

(1) All of this is occurring immediately after the last two strips and we can take everything at face value: Virtue ... uh, Texto is pulling a Vola, and figures that if the others get stranded on this splay, then the future is changed and he can safely reboard. Poor little WaiWai is totally devastated at his hero Virtue turning coat. The stark change of style in the third frame is meant to crystallize the emotion for us. And perhaps ... perhaps that little scene we saw was Pho and Ngo on one side versus Kaye ... and Texto ... on the other side. So that it's not Kaye who offs Texto, but rather one of the other two, incensed over his betrayal.

(2) Alternatively, there's been a considerable amount of whispered skullduggery going on among the three boys between strips #335 and #336. (Wouldn't be the first time the Creatrix set up a noir-style red herring by skipping over some spoiler action.) Pho has revealed to Virtue that this is his low-tech home splay and that they are probably going to be marooned here, and has proposed his plan. Virtue clings to the possibility of changing the future and refuses to crawl in through the atma probe port with them. Instead, he proposes to pretend to betray them, get Kaye to let him in through the front door, and attempt to distract her (while keeping away from that fatal spot), thereby providing a diversion allowing the other two to sneak in through the port. WaiWai is hamming it up for Kaye and laying it on thick. The flat style of the third panel is meant to indicate how fake the whole drama is. (I keep thinking of Kirk in Wrath of Khan, chewing the scenery and screaming "Khaaaaaaaaan!" into the communicator, all in an effort to get Khan to believe Kirk was really stranded.)

Well ... (1) is a much simpler theory so Occam's Razor would favor it. On the other hand, it seems to be contradicted by Strip #296. Why would WaiWai ever idolize Virtue of all people? Isn't Pho the guy he really looks up to?

Curiouser and curiouser and curiouser ...
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Re: TSH #336 • Betrayal

Postby Skatche » Thu Mar 26, 2009 10:27 pm

Your option 2 would work even better if WaiWai wasn't even let in on the plan, for whatever reason. But I find option 1 far more appealing: Texto sets up his own death by the very fact of thinking he has escaped it. Not particularly novel for a time travel plot, but the emotional undertones here add a nice twist of hubris.
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Re: TSH #336 • Betrayal

Postby Monocheres » Thu Mar 26, 2009 10:56 pm

What do you want to bet we're looking at a Quentin Tarantino style ending for the whole story ...
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Re: TSH #336 • Betrayal

Postby Anna » Thu Mar 26, 2009 11:52 pm

That's for you, Pajama Man.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDkdFmunXjE

Farewell.




No, no Kaye as "Smilie". She's becomming evil. I vote for a new character.
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Re: TSH #336 • Betrayal

Postby Coffeefox » Fri Mar 27, 2009 6:30 am

Monocheres wrote:Why would WaiWai ever idolize Virtue of all people? Isn't Pho the guy he really looks up to?


I've been quietly listening until now, but I just have to point something out. :blush:

I don't think Wai idolizes anyone, although there's definitely some kind of bond between him and Pho. However, assuming it's not more playacting, I'm strongly reminded of his dedication to the memory of Vola. No, the first Vola. And remember his reaction to seeing 'the temporal crossover'? And when I recall how unhappy he was when he asked Virtue if he was Really a sociopath? Poor Wai is just the kind of person who believes the best in people. Wonderfully intelligent and good with machines, but naive and trusting. Not emotionally jaded and suspicious...yet. Unfortunately, everyone he trusts (Kay, Vola #1, Vola and now Virtue) has let him down or died, except Pho. Maybe because of how mature he acts, we overlook the fact that Wai still really is a child.

I see similarities in Wai and Kay. (the majority of Kays.) Both are innocent and trusting. Both are sensitive. Both are often born in the wrong gender. And both see a lot of tragedy.

Well, that's how I see it, anyway :D
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Re: TSH #336 • Betrayal

Postby Monocheres » Fri Mar 27, 2009 8:08 am

Coffeefox wrote:I don't think Wai idolizes anyone, although there's definitely some kind of bond between him and Pho. However, assuming it's not more playacting, I'm strongly reminded of his dedication to the memory of Vola. No, the first Vola. And remember his reaction to seeing 'the temporal crossover'? And when I recall how unhappy he was when he asked Virtue if he was Really a sociopath? Poor Wai is just the kind of person who believes the best in people. Wonderfully intelligent and good with machines, but naive and trusting. Not emotionally jaded and suspicious...yet. Unfortunately, everyone he trusts (Kay, Vola #1, Vola and now Virtue) has let him down or died, except Pho. Maybe because of how mature he acts, we overlook the fact that Wai still really is a child.


Good points. Yeah, poor kid's been through the ringer, all right. Heck, he saw his whole world-plate smashed to bits. Everybody he ever knew, gone. As much of a hard-a$$ as his Pa was, it's got to be devastating to know that your parent is dead, and to see it happen (even from far off). It's not hard to characterize the special bond Wai has with Pho, he's obviously acting as a surrogate father figure for the boy. But of course a kid needs more than just a dad; he's got to be able to look to the other adults around him for support and example too, especially in such close quarters. Chalk it up to Stockholm syndrome, or tribal loyalty, or a child's instinct to obey elders. But look what a den of vipers he's been thrust into! The adults around him range from jadedly self-serving at best to downright evil at worst ... except for Pho. Pho, at least, has been the model of a noble warrior, a paladin, an honorable samurai. Although he's a master of espionage, I've yet to detect in him even a hint of anything but the highest motives. At least, so far ...

I hope to Godel Pho doesn't let Wai down too ...
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Re: TSH #336 • Betrayal

Postby Nai_Calus » Fri Mar 27, 2009 10:36 am

Knowing how Jennifer's comics tend to go, I'm willing to bet that it's #3, 'perfectly logical and clever explanation we never thought of'.

Now I'm wondering when WaiWai is going to have the opportunity to put his shirt and suspenders back on, looking back at the temporal crossover strip and what he's wearing now.

(Oh, hi, chances are good nobody knows me, I used to post on the old UJ forums years and years ago as Ian-KunX. I registered a while ago but it would never let me log in before. XD; )
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Re: TSH #336 • Betrayal

Postby Rachel » Fri Mar 27, 2009 1:43 pm

Maybe I'm just as naive as Wai, but I'd like to believe that Virtue is still Virtue and has his own plan (with noble intentions) in mind. Correct me if I'm wrong, but if Kaye's plan succeeds, won't it be the same as if she had killed them? They will no longer exist as they do now, right? This provided the perfect opportunity for Texto to ingratiate himself back into Kaye's good graces without her suspecting a thing. Whose to say whether or not Texto had the time to let Pho or Waiwai in on his plan (or would have)?

*Hopeless optimistic dreaming* :( :( :(
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Re: TSH #336 • Betrayal

Postby Monocheres » Fri Mar 27, 2009 5:03 pm

Anna wrote:No, no Kaye as "Smilie". She's becomming evil. I vote for a new character.


But the emoticons aren't Kaye -- the evil transgendered Kaye Haychold of TSH. They're Kay -- the nice, sweet, self-sacrificing (gay?) Kay Wai of UJ. Don't forget we've got an infinity of alternate splays here.

I know it can get confusing. It can even drive you crazy if you let it. Why, the very thought that there could be so many of me out there makes me wonder if "Eye am not eye!"

//]
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Re: TSH #336 • Betrayal

Postby SilverFeathers » Fri Mar 27, 2009 8:15 pm

Monocheres wrote:
Anna wrote:No, no Kaye as "Smilie". She's becomming evil. I vote for a new character.


But the emoticons aren't Kaye -- the evil transgendered Kaye Haychold of TSH. They're Kay -- the nice, sweet, self-sacrificing (gay?) Kay Wai of UJ. Don't forget we've got an infinity of alternate splays here.

I know it can get confusing. It can even drive you crazy if you let it. Why, the very thought that there could be so many of me out there makes me wonder if "Eye am not eye!"

//]


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Re: TSH #336 • Betrayal

Postby meatwhichdreams » Fri Mar 27, 2009 9:36 pm

Poor Wai is just the kind of person who believes the best in people.


Ironic then, isn't it, that Wai Wai's called Kaye -- with the most affectionate of intentions -- Miss Monster from the start?
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Re: TSH #336 • Betrayal

Postby Wizard CaT » Fri Mar 27, 2009 9:55 pm

Rachel wrote:Maybe I'm just as naive as Wai, but I'd like to believe that Virtue is still Virtue and has his own plan (with noble intentions) in mind. Correct me if I'm wrong, but if Kaye's plan succeeds, won't it be the same as if she had killed them? They will no longer exist as they do now, right? This provided the perfect opportunity for Texto to ingratiate himself back into Kaye's good graces without her suspecting a thing. Whose to say whether or not Texto had the time to let Pho or Waiwai in on his plan (or would have)?

*Hopeless optimistic dreaming* :( :( :(


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Re: TSH #336 • Betrayal

Postby Mitsukara » Sat Mar 28, 2009 7:39 pm

In regards to KayWai's gender, I think the thing is that jellese are genderless in the first place, so whether, like the majority, the one in question feels female, or like ye olde character sheet for UJ read that apparently one felt male- it's all just as "gay". Of course, Jellese are at least spared the whole orientation question, so they cannot be double-gay like some of us humans.

I don't think Kaye Haychold's intentions are truly nasty nor malicious. We've seen her motivations and reasons from her home splay; her drive to "fix" everything she perceives as wrong, and indeed was a bit tragic and probably not wholly necessary in light of what one could fix up with higher tech and time travel and such, very much blinds her to what's horribly wrong with this idea, especially when you take into account her jellese nature of not being as open to the "unthinkable" and improbable as humans (due to the nature of trysylmaistan itself; it's supposed to be a pure, redundant pattern, but these clumsy messy random oafs keep getting copy-pasted in and messing up Mr. Monk's paradise).

I seriously doubt she specifically wants to kill anyone; the most malicious I've ever seen her get was in killing Only, and she had admittedly given him a chance to stop trying to attack her previously; from her viewpoint this was really self-defense. Second to that, she's done, what... neglected her Chou clone in a tank and taunted her a bit? This is how she treats the person she sees as the murderer of so many of her alternate selves? That's not terribly brutal.

If she were to shoot Virtue, it'd probably be an accident or self defense... I think.
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Re: TSH #336 • Betrayal

Postby marinschild » Sat Mar 28, 2009 7:52 pm

Jellies do have two separate genders. There are males and females. End.
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Re: TSH #336 • Betrayal

Postby Plasman » Sun Mar 29, 2009 12:18 am

Don't forget, it isn't merely that Kaye wants to change gender. She also wants to change species, and that makes her such an outcast (and causes Ms. Haychold to try and destroy human intervention in Trys). She isn't strictly a monster as such; she's just been driven to monstrous action by her experience.
:depressed: Poor Kaye times infinity...

Mitsukara wrote:Of course, Jellese are at least spared the whole orientation question, so they cannot be double-gay like some of us humans.

That's a new one to me... how does someone double-up on gay? Does that mean they cancel out and go back to straight? :boggled:
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Re: TSH #336 • Betrayal

Postby Skatche » Sun Mar 29, 2009 12:02 pm

Plasman wrote:
Mitsukara wrote:Of course, Jellese are at least spared the whole orientation question, so they cannot be double-gay like some of us humans.

That's a new one to me... how does someone double-up on gay? Does that mean they cancel out and go back to straight? :boggled:


I think Mitsukara meant either being trans and attracted to your own biological sex (which is the opposite of your gender), or being trans and attracted to the other sex (which is your own gender). Except I'm not sure which she meant.
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Re: TSH #336 • Betrayal

Postby Monocheres » Sun Mar 29, 2009 5:00 pm

Mitsukara wrote:I seriously doubt she specifically wants to kill anyone; the most malicious I've ever seen her get was in killing Only, and she had admittedly given him a chance to stop trying to attack her previously; from her viewpoint this was really self-defense. Second to that, she's done, what... neglected her Chou clone in a tank and taunted her a bit? This is how she treats the person she sees as the murderer of so many of her alternate selves? That's not terribly brutal.


Interesting point. And for the record Kaye didn't actually kill Only directly, she set up a watchdog defense that would be triggered by him if he attacked her. However, I don't think the jury's out on Kaye's potential brutality. This is noir. In everything she's done, she's had an ulterior motive.

When Pho was in the med unit, and Only was attacking Kaye, she was clearly about to recycle Only right away. But then she saw him react sentiently to the button, and realized he could be rationally controlled. She spared him, not out of niceness, or even squeamishness, but because, as she said herself, she needed Pho, and Pho needed Only.

She hasn't killed Virtue/Texto, because he's from an even more advanced splay than her own. As he pointed out himself, she still needs his help to accomplish her plan. And he's just perverse enough, even quasi-suicidal enough, to want to help her.

Then there's Chou. Kaye doesn't yet know that Chou is ... offline. I'm assuming that the only reason she hasn't decanted her and let her resume her basilisk crystallization is that she still needs her to be her high-tech slave. Whatever device Kaye found at the Museum, Chou still appears to be necessary as an interface.

What about the others? She's used their atmas to find Chou, she's used their skills to build the tank, retrieve Chou's head, regenerate her, and plug her into ... whatever that device was. At this point, she presumably doesn't need them any more. So, why hasn't she offed them yet? Perhaps it was just that she needed to keep the mover tidy. When you shoot it, red-life tends to spew out a lot of ... red-life.

Okay, so why not just plug them the second they walked out the door, let them bleed out on all of that disgusting green-life on Pho's splay? Why maroon them? It could be because of Virtue or Chou. If she were to set a precedent of treating others as tools to be callously destroyed once their usefulness has ended, it might jeopardize her ability to get Virtue and/or Chou's compliance. Virtue just said that that he was over all of his doubts. Doubts about whether he wanted Kaye to succeed? Or doubts that Kaye would let him live once she did?

Then there's my theory about why she needs Pho intact: She wants to wreak her pre-venge on early-Only, and intends to use Pho as bait to lure Only out. She wants Pho morosely wandering about in a sentimental search for his lost pet, not mounting his own enraged campaign against her to avenge the wanton murders of WaiWai and Vola.

Edit: As always, the above is all guesswork and supposition. Let's see if any of these theories pan out...
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Re: TSH #336 • Betrayal

Postby Monocheres » Sun Mar 29, 2009 5:37 pm

Skatche wrote:
Plasman wrote:
Mitsukara wrote:Of course, Jellese are at least spared the whole orientation question, so they cannot be double-gay like some of us humans.

That's a new one to me... how does someone double-up on gay? Does that mean they cancel out and go back to straight? :boggled:


I think Mitsukara meant either being trans and attracted to your own biological sex (which is the opposite of your gender), or being trans and attracted to the other sex (which is your own gender). Except I'm not sure which she meant.


@,@

Is this like that old stand-up gag of Steve Martin's, where he claimed he was a "lesbian in a man's body"?

//]

Edit: Aw, strike that ... that's only funny if you're a conventional person who naturally assumes that such a situation must be patently absurd. But it's clear that there are folks here whose very existence refutes the assumption that gender-identity (what sex you feel you are) must be coupled to sexual orientation (what sex you're attracted to). So, I revert to my original reaction:

@,@
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Re: TSH #336 • Betrayal

Postby Tychomonger » Sun Mar 29, 2009 8:25 pm

Skatche wrote:
Plasman wrote:
Mitsukara wrote:Of course, Jellese are at least spared the whole orientation question, so they cannot be double-gay like some of us humans.

That's a new one to me... how does someone double-up on gay? Does that mean they cancel out and go back to straight? :boggled:


I think Mitsukara meant either being trans and attracted to your own biological sex (which is the opposite of your gender), or being trans and attracted to the other sex (which is your own gender). Except I'm not sure which she meant.

It's both. You're gay for being attracted to your birth sex, and gay for being attracted to your own gender. Hence, double gay!
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Re: TSH #336 • Betrayal

Postby Monocheres » Sun Apr 12, 2009 9:12 pm

Monocheres wrote:... for the record Kaye didn't actually kill Only directly, she set up a watchdog defense that would be triggered by him if he attacked her.


I take that back. Well, a bit. Looking back at TSH #318: Payback, Kaye did directly issue the "action init" command to the recycler. It was just like pulling a trigger.
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