Comic 647 - Say something

22nd Jul 2022, 6:00 PM in Chapter Nine
647 - Say something
Average Rating: 5 (4 votes)
rufiangel 22nd Jul 2022, 6:57 PM edit delete
Hello dear readers, I hope you're all having a wonderful start to your weekend!

Thank you so much for your patience and kind words. My wrist has improved substantially after resting for some time.

I will aim to have the next page up next week as per the usual schedule. I hope you enjoy today's update, and see you guys next week >3<*
Stever 22nd Jul 2022, 7:50 PM edit delete reply
Glad to hear your wrist is feeling better!

Lovely page. I love how you break things up with your borders. This one almost has that broken glass feel.
rufiangel 29th Jul 2022, 12:45 PM edit delete reply
Thank you Stever ;v;* <3 I'm trying to be careful with the wrist!

I'm happy you noticed the borders <333
megados 22nd Jul 2022, 8:41 PM edit delete reply
Yay for wrist being better!

More assumptions. Being a craftsman doesn't necessarily mean it's part of the war.
Gilrandir 22nd Jul 2022, 11:46 PM edit delete reply
There are many people who will argue — especially if you are crafting munitions or military supplies — that it may mean exactly that, however.
megados 23rd Jul 2022, 12:42 AM edit delete reply
That is very true, however in this case, I would think his craft is more an expression of an art form, in that each creation is a one-of-a-kind expression, rather than a mass-produced weapon 🔪 to supply the army hordes.
A. Moose 24th Jul 2022, 9:04 PM edit delete reply
Mass production is not a useful yardstick in this context. The people we've seen all run around with handcrafted weapons, even pocket anvils (have you tried lifting even a small one?).

It may be worth noting that in our world, troops with gunpowder weapons displaced archers not because they were better, back when they weren't, but because you could drill a man to use a hand-cannon in about three weeks. As opposed to having to just about breed your archers since the training pretty much took a lifetime. We haven't seen large armies and what there was doesn't have easily-trainable weapons. Nor does Archeia seem to have mass-production facilities.

So you have professionals like Kylie and non-professionals like Nemi and should they be treated differently, because one has warrior training and the other doesn't? They've been running in the same party, doing very similar things. Even going as far as training up the party's laggard cleric. For a tournament that featured all sorts of champions in their various arts of combat. That's very individualistic. A world apart from large armies with mass-produced weapons. Doesn't mean there are none, but it does mean that tailor-made weapons are likely rather important.

What constitutes "being part of the war" is an interesting question, too. Our modern rules discern "combatants" and "non-combatants" and they're to be treated differently. Whether the non-combatants are making children's toys or munitions makes little difference. (We go get a bit huffy if those end up overlapping. We really don't like when booby-trapped "toys" kill or maim children.) But even with our Geneva conventions in force, "Bomber" Harris did a number on Dresden and he had the full support of Churchill, to name just one example. (This is not a value judgement, mind. Just an example.)

It all depends on just what the local rules are and whether these guys are inclined to follow them.
megados 25th Jul 2022, 6:19 AM edit delete reply
"Whether the non-combatants are making children's toys or munitions makes little difference."

I disagree here. Non-combatants making toys doesn't rise to the level of furthering the war effort as making munitions does. My point here, though, is intent. The assumption was made that he was purposefully making supplies for the war effort. If he was indeed making swords with the intention of supplying them to those involved in the fighting, then yes, he's guilty, If instead, he makes swords simply because he likes to make cool swords, and did not intend for them to be used in the war, it's a different matter. Secondarily, the assumption was further made, that Nemi aided him, knowing that he was making weapons for the war effort. These are assumptions made by these guys here. The secondary assumption is one we, as readers, know is untrue. All Nemi knew was that he's a Danrir.

Mass production isn't the real issue here; the real issue is intent.
A. Moose 25th Jul 2022, 7:52 AM edit delete reply
I'm going to have to disagree with your disagreement, for two reasons.

Second, what counts is not our assessment or even our rules (hello Geneva convention) but what the applicable rules of war of Archeia are. Or really what the wossname Kijini goons are making of these rules. Assuming they're at least somewhat lawful. So your value judgement is just that, and you can make those as much as you like, but it's no blip on their radar.

First, war is a fairly strongly non-optional activity. Someone with the "best of his generation" title making weaponry? Nobody is going to give him a pass. He's not going to be let off to play doctor, farmer, caretaker of orphans. He's going to have to be a weaponsmith, at least for the duration.

Thinking about it, I'm really quite surprised he told anyone, unless there's some other way people would've found out anyway.

So the goons are making a few assumptions here, one being that Nemi aided and abetted an enemy. And "best weaponsmith of the generation" is a bit of a dead give-away that he's involved with the war somehow. He's going to be, whether he wants to or not. Given this, the more interesting question is why his people's ruler(s) would let him near the border, nevermind allow him the possibility to end up on the wrong side.

Even if Nemi could clear herself of all other suspicions, and that that's not going to be easy, there's still the trying to get someone across the border. The border to the country they're at war with. Someone who, er, is obviously an enemy unless proven otherwise, and good luck with that. It's really quite natural for the goons to presume she's a spy, too, and quite hard to refrain from doing so. Presumed innocent until proven guilty is a good principle but in wartime really a luxury that you cannot count on to get granted. So yeah, the goons are going to push hard to try and get her to admit and/or let slip anything useful. I'm not condoning their actions, but were I in their place in that situation I can see I'd be doing exactly those things.
megados 25th Jul 2022, 8:58 AM edit delete reply
You have your right to disagree, but you're missing my point entirely, which is that this whole debacle is based on assumptions the 'Kajini goons' (and their handlers?) have made, seemingly on purely circumstantial, evidence, where Nemi is concerned, and quite possibly with Stiles craftsman as well.

Whatever conventions there may or may not be, they are assuming the worst. If we base actions purely on assumptions, almost anyone can be assumed guilty of something. Do you believe Nemi should be found guilty?
A. Moose 25th Jul 2022, 3:54 PM edit delete reply
These guys are first on the scene, probably security forces rather than police forces, and if the latter, likely closer to pc plod than to di sniffabout.

As to the inquiry, we have seen them being not that very keen on fact-finding. But for some reason the fetchers seem to have been quite lenient with Nemi, letting her run with a party for a goodly while. As to what I think the inquiry should find, I think that's not a reasonable question to ask at this point. Your question is needlessly loaded at that: Guilty of what?
megados 25th Jul 2022, 8:14 PM edit delete reply
That is my point. They are not at all concerned with fact-finding. I don't think they "let her run with" at all. They seem more to find them together after a fashion, make assumptions, and knee-jerk react to them.

I didn't think the question was loaded at all, but I will clarify: Do you think Nemi is guilty of anything besides trying to be a good Samaritan?
A. Moose 25th Jul 2022, 9:09 PM edit delete reply
There is a difference between these guys in the flashback, and the court of inquiry. These guys' failure to focus on impartial finding of fact can be excused for the moment. The court's, less so.

I still don't think it's a good time to ask me to play judge here, plenty we don't know yet. But consider that "giving aid and comfort to an enemy" is a likely accusation that even given the full story may well stick, and consider that it amounts to treason under US law. Good Samaritan or no.

Of course, US law does not apply here. Nor am I in the US for that matter. And as to the applicable morals, which is what the form of your question suggest, I'm going to not answer that.

But if you ask if I think whether there is anything Nemi could be found guilty of, without knowing details of applicable law and assuming for the sake of argument their laws are not entirely unlike our countries' laws, even "rah rah rah freedom and liberty!" countries' laws, even then: Yes, there is plenty.
megados 25th Jul 2022, 9:48 PM edit delete reply
Well, see now, that's the thing. My original comment on the previous page, and this one, on this page; at this point in the flashback is that here, they are clearly making assumptions, some completely baseless, about Nemi's role here. One such baseless assumption is that Nemi would know anything regarding the existence, or even the whereabouts of any alleged weapons cache. Another, is, at this point in time, that she is a person who was helping him. During this discussion, I believe, we have a case of scope creep, as to the breadth of my original comment. This point in the flashback isn't about the trial or laws, or conventions, but about the actions of those who are currently assuming Nemi of having perpetrating crimes, and in a violent way. No questions, and no attempts at fact-finding beforehand.

So in this context, what is it that you believe Nemi is guilty of?
A. Moose 25th Jul 2022, 10:46 PM edit delete reply
I wanted to say this is McDuff stumbling into a situation but they apparently have been on the look-out for, well, this Styles guy and are assuming he has to have had help and since that turns out to be Nemi they're assuming she's complicit. As a working assumption this is entirely understandable if not the friendliest possible. But hey, there's a war on.

You keep on asking whether I think Nemi is "guilty" but your repeating the question doesn't make it less silly. In theory that's that the court of inquiry is for. In practice, this may yet turn into a disaster and likely a plot point.
megados 26th Jul 2022, 1:06 AM edit delete reply
Really, that's what begat this whole discourse: assumptions. I had not intended for it to be a statement of whether I agreed or disagreed with the assumptions, but having had it discussed this far along, I would have to say that "Hey there's a war on", to me, isn't enough for this ham-fisted approach. YMMV

I don't think it's a silly question, seeing as how you seemed inclined to want to justify the way the situation, and particularly Nemi, is being treated. Seriously, sending, or being jackbooted thugs on what should be a security issue, and having it handled in this way shows a lack of good judgement. I would think I'd want more information/evidence gathering.

Of course it's a plot point, and the story will play out as Rufi sees fit. I'm just commenting on how I interpret these guys. :)
A. Moose 26th Jul 2022, 3:19 AM edit delete reply
Ah, I'm not saying anything that's happening is right and proper. I'm saying that from their perspective, their assumptions and thence their actions make sense.

As in, were I in that situation with that job, knowing what they know, I might well do the same, rightly or wrongly. Probably wrongly because this is a long-running border conflict with lots of old wounds festering on all sides.

Pointing out that such a ham-fisted approach is to be expected in situations like these isn't justification, it's observation. Just like noting that it's in line with the thuggery we've seen before, at the border.

Doesn't make me like it or agree with it. If it is up to me I stay well away from places like that.
megados 26th Jul 2022, 10:29 AM edit delete reply
Right. I can see how they come to their assumptions; but it's pretty clear that not a lot of thought went into them. In the Stiles craftsman's case it's easier to make the case if in fact they do know he's the guy. It doesn't make the assumption right, just easier. Just because someone can make a weapon, it doesn't necessarily mean they are working to supply the war effort. In Nemi's case, it's a bit further leap to that conclusion. She's simply implicated by proximity. It's an even greater leap to assume she knows anything about an alleged weapons cache. It's as if their paradigm is guilty unless proven innocent. I just think their efforts would be more fruitful using guile toward information gathering, rather than smash-and-grab. But it is what it is; the story is as written. It's not a complaint, just an observation.
rufiangel 29th Jul 2022, 12:45 PM edit delete reply
megados 29th Jul 2022, 8:17 PM edit delete reply

I love this!
mjkj 22nd Jul 2022, 8:47 PM edit delete reply
Uh-oh... too ashamed to tell?

...poor Nemi, poor Naru... *hugs them*

@alt text: ...and here I wondered where that line would fit in with Syles...

@R/N: Yayyyy, great to hear that your wrist is better 🥳🎉

Edit: that look Syles gives the stirring guard... - ...might be that his next actions are to mitigate and minimize any repercussions towards Nemi and her family...
rufiangel 29th Jul 2022, 12:46 PM edit delete reply
Mmhm, Nemi's impression of the Danrir has unfortunately been consistent :'D well, at least until that point she said that line. ;)

And thank you, I'm trying to not overexert the wrist! :'D
melaredblu 22nd Jul 2022, 10:49 PM edit delete reply
Welcome back!

Oh dear. This could explain why her mistrust of his people was alive and well back when she first joined the party...
rufiangel 29th Jul 2022, 12:47 PM edit delete reply
Thank you mel! <3

She's definitely got a huge chip on her shoulder :'D
sigpig 23rd Jul 2022, 1:41 AM edit delete reply
Nemi doesn't realize it, but Syles is trying to save her life (and that of the kittens) by knocking her out. She can legally say that he assaulted her and her memory is woozy.
rufiangel 29th Jul 2022, 12:47 PM edit delete reply
Hehehehe ;D