11/09/11 The Detonator


Thanks for the kind words from Michael Rawdon.


  1. Eris Lobo

    Okay, somebody please remind me … cause either I missed something from the start or I’m just naturally confused … but what is this place again and why might they want to blow it up and how is being there helping the fight to free the Eebs and all that?

  2. Eris Lobo

    @Snow_Cat – Thanks, but that had me puzzled when I read it when it was first printed, and I thought I had missed something then as well.

    What I’m confused about is — why are they at the place where Spacetrawlers are made? What’s there that they want? Why do they wish to blow the place up? THAT’S what I’ve either forgotten or missed the first time through (and missed again upon re-reading it all, but I’ve missed obvious plot points as well in the past … )

  3. Iris

    @Eris Lobo – Space travel is impossible without spacetrawlers, and spacetrawlers are impossible without eebs (literally). Blow up the spacetrawler facility and you’ve destroyed the GOB power base.

  4. Eris Lobo

    Thanks, Chris!

    The thing is, I knew all the background plot from those strips you listed — but I thought there was something else that explained it all in a less vague sense.

    So what we’ve got is —
    1) Only Eebs know how to make spacetrawlers.
    2) Remove the only spacetrawler production facility in existence, and you make eebs extra valuable.

    I still don’t follow the logic of how that helps with the goal of Eeb liberation. All that would do would be to cripple shipping and transport in the known galaxy until a new production facility can be set up using Eebs already in captivity (or breeding more just for the process).

    The other concept were:
    1) making spacetrawlers is a horrible process, but in ways we’re not privy to
    2) stopping production of spacetrawlers is essential for the liberation of Eebs

    Okay, how does (2) automatically follow (1)?

    For all we know, making spacetrawlers involves the equivalent of repeatedly watching The Star Wars Holiday Special while having a root canal done by a blind, drunken gorilla. Or maybe it’s morally horrible, and it involves the equivalent of extracting the souls of innocent kittens and putting them in torturous stasis tubes forever — while making them repeatedly watch The Star Wars Holiday Special. Or maybe it involves having the Eebs put themselves into those torturous stasis tubes and repeatedly watching … well, you get the idea.

    Or maybe it’s not horrible at all. Maybe Yuri was given false information.

    Let’s assume, though, that Yuri was told the truth, whatever the truth may be. And I’ll assume that the act of making spacetrawlers has direct horrifying effects on the Eebs who are making them. And I’ll jump to the conclusion that making spacetrawlers is the primary purpose of Eebs in the G.O.B. — because otherwise, how could stopping spacetrawler production have any real impact on the overall quality of life for Eebs in general unless most Eebs were actually involved in the spacetrawler-production process?

    But maybe I should take back the conclusion jumping, because I’ve never gotten any indication that most Eebs in the galaxy are at work in the only spacetrawler production facility in existence. And the fact that Martina has a little device that could easily blow up the facility at a moment’s notice, and she seems to have no qualms against doing that to benefit the cause, and wiping out most Eebs in the universe likely would NOT benefit the cause of Eeb liberation very much, then I’m assuming that most Eebs are NOT at the spacetrawler production facility.

    So let’s say our heroes blow up the facility, or simply stop it from working. So what? It simply means a shortage of spacetrawlers for awhile until the G.O.B. can get a new facility built, and it simply means that Eebs won’t be involved in the horrifying process of building spacetrawlers — at least, until the new facility is built.

    Now do you understand why I’m so confused as to why the crew is here, and how what they’re doing will have any effect on the goal of permanetly liberating the Eebs?

    I love the strip, mind you … but I do like things to make sense, and this doesn’t really do that for me yet.


    *sits quietly, stops my head from spinning, and lets out a breath*

  5. I don’t see how Martina can avoid pressing that button.
    Red Nine can’t order her not to while there is any possibility of loosing.
    But what elese could she do if Red Nine were running rampant with a hugely potent wepon?

    A thousand directed spacetrawlers could carve a planet hollow and burn the remaining shell with the resulting energy.

    Either Red Nine understands nothing of human nature , or maybe he isn’t smart that way.

  6. Christopher

    @Eris_Lobo, hard to answer that really. The process of making them is part of the reason, and hasn’t been revealed. But yes, it would bring the empire somewhat to a halt, but the empire could build back up with time. Not all victories are total victories.

    But I’d say, go with it, and ask me again in January. Hopefully I’ll hit most of these points for you by then in the strip.

  7. Actually I think this is the first we’ve ever seen an Eeb assemble a complicated device telekinetically–which is pretty neat–shades of Dr. Manhattan!

    And I think I kinda see what Martina’s getting at. Without her captain uniforms, she does seem somehow reduced in stature and authority. She may be a clotheshorse but that gal can pick some good uniform layouts.

  8. Barkeron

    @Prairie: How about all of that being correct?

    They will find Qwahntoo in the system/station/planet Norbus Norus; Eebs are full of misery and torture and will let it out on the galaxy once sufficient numbers of unclamped have amassed; the battle of yaddayadda was staged and will become plot-important; the Eebs really are Conjoiners; kumquat woman knows all this because she was a member of the inner circle once; Kennedy was an alien.

  9. Eris Lobo

    @Barkeron — You and I are thinking on the same wavelength!

    Regarding Brekt’s rantings …
    1) The wills of Eebs were taken by the mystical beings of Norbus Norus.
    Verdict: Apparently false. They were brain-clamped, according to Red-9. But maybe the clamps were mystical devices created by the beings of Norbus Norus?

    2) The Eebs are full of misery and torture.
    Verdict: Seemingly true, at least from what people have said about their murderous way of life when they ran their own planet. Also seemingly true based on the fact that people consider them to be non-sentient slaves, and likely do anything they want to them, including things that involve misery and torture.

    3) The one successful but bloody battle for Eeb liberation, the Battle of Nir, was set up by the G.O.B. to create a backlash against the Eebs.
    Verdict: Possibly true. Governments tend to run disinformation campaigns like this, and I can imagine the G.O.B. doing the same.

    4) When making a spacetrawler, an Eeb myst be sacrificed, killed and its spirit put into the machine.
    Verdict: Very possibly true, even to the point that it’s something some of us have suspected for a long time, and it would fit in with why Yuri feels stopping spacetrawler production is central to Eeb liberation.

    5) The G.O.B. is controlled by a secret society which has a firm fist in everybody’s gut.
    Verdict: Hmm. Maybe a secret society controled by … Qwahntoo?

    6) The fugitive and shapeshifter, J.F.K., was a former secret society member until he browke with the order. They framed him and he escaped to become the ruler of a “dark” planet until he was tracked down and assassinated.
    Verdict: Definitely true. Without a doubt.

    @Chris — Oh, you can count on the fact I’ll go with it to see what happens! *smiles* I have to apologize if some of my probing was asking for things that would have spoiled future plot points and surprises — I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing some logic that everybody else understood.

    And, yes, I agree with Corpore Metal — watching Red-9 do his stuff with the gizmo was kewl, indeed. But where did he get the parts he used to create the device? They seemed to materialize out of thin air! Or did he just strip them from other devices that happened to be nearby?

    Yeah, yeah, I ask too many questions — but I’m curious!!!! *bites my lip and smiles*

  10. JKCarroll

    @Barkeron, NO! Kennedy was NOT an alien! Those stories about his having been born in Ireland are just rumors! And I don’t care if his birth certificate was faked, that proves nothing, except that he could have used some classes in Photoshop!

  11. @Eris Lobo,

    I think Red-9 must have had the parts on hand, and did not, in a godlike way, make them appear from nothing. Martina and Red-9 are in the station’s central control room so, perhaps there are some emergency electronics lying around for repairs. Red-9 could have just hacked these to build a simple radio detonator.

  12. TB

    Looks like our McGuffin has gotten a bit obscure?

    If you want the ultimate Boom Button, go to “Forbidden Planet.” There, Morbius pulls up an irreversible planetary destruct switch from the floor of a room we had earlier been told was the equivalent of a Krell kindergarten. I guess their kids were a bit more disciplined than ours.

  13. Huttj509


    The normal phrase is “a wolf in sheep’s clothing”, yes, to indicate a danger in a safe disguise. Martina’s saying she feels like she seems dangerous, but really isn’t, thus a “sheep in wolf’s clothing.”

  14. Pingback: Spacetrawler - 01/30/12 Martina Decides

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