09/21/11 Memory Dump


Phew. Bus back to Massachusetts again. It’ll be Boston this weekend with TopatoCo for the MICE convention. Cambridge is a sweet town, and I think this’ll be a really fun show.

So, traveling is going well. I love traveling, visiting friends, meeting new people. I was so happy to see my friend in NY who has a new baby, and to cook food and wander around aimlessly with old friends. But I’m also really looking forward to my girlfriend, the cats, and my own pillow.

Skin-Horse has a new site design, looking sharp Shaenon and Jeffrey!


  1. Eris Lobo

    Oh shiiiiiit … is right.

    And when Yuri’s done with Flineous, she might just be a bit annoyed at a certain bar/therapy bot for what he did to her memories … although I hope not tooooo annoyed, as his circuit-board-equivalent-of-a-heart was in the right place when he mucked with her mind.

    Uhh …

    I take that back. I hate it when anybody mucks with anybody else’s minds. Memory erasure is a nightmare for me. I dread the idea that someday I might have Alzheimer’s or something.

    So, yeah, Yuri has EVERY right to be EXTREMELY pissed at the therapy/bar bot after she deals with Flineous. (And Martina should be pissed at it as well for what it did, or she isn’t the Martina I know.)

  2. And fade to black!

    Scary Yuri is back!

    I don’t know if Flineous was stupid–even at the very end he knew he was playing on borrowed time until she figured it all out–but he was a sadist driven by murderous revenge and that made him take risks.

    Notice that I’m speaking of him in the past tense.

  3. Tarnagh

    First post for me but I just had to comment on the look Yuri has on her face in the 3rd to last panel. I hope that look is at least partly due to seeing the memories of the things she did to herself and others… it’s the only thing that might save her. I really like her character and don’t want to see her go completely off the deep end again. No matter what, I think Flineous is about to have a very, very bad day.

  4. Libby

    Love love love the last panel. Flineous has that perfect, “uh-oh… my human figured out I screwed up and now I’m in trouble” look cats get when, well, they’ve screwed up and they know it. The first sign is usually that their ears are lowered, but you were able to convay it even though Flineous has no ears! Totally.Awesome.

  5. Herandar

    A bit weird that she doesn’t realize her arms are bionic until Barbot opens her hand up.

    But I do have an issue with the memories… As far as we know, Yuri’s brain is still organic (human+Eeb), unless I am forgetting a strip or two. So it isn’t like barbot downloaded Yuri’s memories and then deleted the files. It stands to reason that the memories she gains are from Barbot’s databanks. Still horrific in regards to Flineous, but, and I ‘m hoping here, not totally batshit crazy.

  6. Night-Gaunt

    Yuri just took Flineous’ outer ears not his hearing organs. I wonder if Yuri will dismember him the way he did her? Flineous knows he is a walking dead man now. “Oh shit!” is appropriate. I don’t like the idea of removing memories even though some would want that for they have gone through things they don’t wish to remember ever again. Like torture.

  7. Lotta talk about “Scary/Vengeful Yuri” coming back, but I think we’re in for something different, because Yuri is different. Something tells me she’ll be a lot saner this time around — and hence, more dangerous. Now she better understands what she’s been through, which means she better understands how to deal with it. Bye bye loose cannon, hello Predator drone.

  8. Christopher

    @Frank, same spot in same room (the bridge) but at a different angle. Look at the computer bank he’s sitting behind, and see how much of a angle shift it is between the two panels.

  9. The antepenultimate panel is a bit of a tear jerker. All that trauma probably flooding back into her mind must add a great degree of horror. But the last panel, on the other hand was the chuckle inducer.
    Curses, now that I’m caught up with the series, I have to wait like the rest of us!

  10. Prairie

    @Matt – awesome point about Mondays. Everyone should have good things happen on Mondays…. paychecks should come on Monday! Puppies and kittens should be made available to play with and snuggle! And bacon. Mondays should have bacon.

    (unless of course you’re a vegetarian, in which case Mondays could have kale.)

  11. @Herandar,

    Not really wanting to drag Chris’ completely awesome strip into boring hard science fiction minutia but, here’s how I can rationalize this memory editing and sudden recall in a quasiscientific way.

    After getting her smashed on booze, Barbot could have easily taken Yuri to the ship’s sickbay and scanned her brain with something a lot like an MRI machine with molecular level resolution. Assuming that we accept that the mind is the result of all the electrochemical activity in the brain, taking a molecular resolution snapshot of someone’s brain via MRI (Or whatever magic device they use.) essentially snapshots a copy of someone’s mind.

    It would be much easier if Barbot somehow got a snapshot of Yuri’s brain just prior to her being captured. Maybe one of the medibots took one of these as standard procedure after fixing her wound from the Bollyck boarding attempt back in 4-7-2010.

    If the latter is true all Barbot would have to do is wait for Yuri to pass out from booze and then inject nanoscopic robots into her brain to literally push and edit all the molecules around until they resembled the earlier molecular snapshot. After the nanobots do their work, they either biodegrade or get recovered for reuse via one of the pottybots.

    If Barbot has no earlier snapshot to work from, then it gets tricky because Barbot would then have to have very detailed knowledge of how human brains work to edit that snapshot in such a way as to remove all the memories Yuri had after she was captured by Flineous and Shuar.

    In the case of the sudden revelation we see in panel 14, that’s probably easier to explain.

    It’s not that Barbot is suddenly copying Yuri’s old memories back into her brain that suddenly. That’s just not possible. Organic neurons don’t work at those speeds, and if they did, they cook poor Yuri’s brain. More likely is that Barbot is just started a run of a copy of Yuri’s mind in its own, much faster brain, and then synched it up with Yuri’s hardware. So for that brief time, for lack of a better phrase, Yuri’s mind spread from her brain and into Barbot’s hardware. When she retreats back into her own brain, she’d forget all the details–because long term memories take a while to write in organic brain–but she’d retain all the pertinent stuff in short term memory.

    It may also be that Yuri has an auxiliary brain in her cyborg limbs someplace that can assimilate all those memories that quickly.

    But doing in this more plausible way is overly convoluted when we can just say, it’s magic Eeb technology that makes it all possible!

  12. Fish

    @Nemo: Those are just his outer ears, I’m assuming. They amplify sound, but their absence does not preclude hearing.

    @Paul: Imperfect sealing? Maybe he punched a hole? Maybe the ear canal wasn’t actually stitched over?

  13. plane

    Barbot might not have ever erased any memory, if he had made them inaccessable that would work as well, but would allow access in case of need, as now.

    In computers eraseing a file seldom really erases anything , the file adress is changed from assigned to availible and the memory space gets overwritten often “deleated files ” can be found again if it is worth the trouble and not too uch has been overwritten.

    In humans ,repressing unpleasant memory happens pretty often naturally, Barbot must have had to combine mechanical and organic tecniques of memory sequestration for such a Chimera as Yuri, but the repressed memory was never really gone either way.

    Now Flineous, anyone taking bets on whether he gets turned into a fur coat?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *