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I'll have some Patreon goodness later on today. Thanks all. :)

185 thoughts on “Shhhhhhhhhhh!

      1. Shouldn’t “second” be a stand-alone post rather than a Reply? You can post a Reply any time…

        1. But they waited up till 3am just so they could be first and sexond. So that way they would not have to have an original post.
          While the rest of us were sleeping or pretending to sleep that is.

  1. And while it was being surmised that this might be the trigger that causes Ellie’s breakdown, she’s being awfully level headed about this at the moment.

        1. As has been mentioned before, this is legally tricky.
          Putting aside the fact that a suit could take a while, there’s no guarantee Ellie and Quinn would walk away with anything. And, as a general rule, you can’t sue someone for more than they’re worth.

          Given Danny hid the money back in Caleb’s bank account, it might be difficult to get out of him, and implicating Caleb may be impossible. They don’t know that, but still.

          Basically, Caleb is settling on the small chance that this could wipe him out if it went to court. Quinn and E should settle on
          the large chance this would get them nothing.

          All that said, I wish Danny would sit in jail for a time at the end of this.

        2. Yeah, totes. People in Ellie/Quinn/Danny/Caleb’s echelon of life are pointless to target in a civil suit. Rule of thumb is that two poor people sueing each other results in a modest payday for the lawyers invovled and 2 bankrupt poor folks. (which isn’t a big change).

          If Caleb will pay to make this go away, or better yet give them control of the site and its income stream, that’s about as well as this could go.

        3. I generally agree, but I think you forget that Ellie’s dad is the local police chief and Danny broke the law. Ellie and Quinn wouldn’t need to spend a dime as they could allow the criminal justice system (possibly requiring Herb to call in a favor to make sure it goes to trial, nothing dishonest, just not dropping it due to probability of success concerns) to bankrupt Danny & Caleb, possibly jail Danny, and possibly they get a little bit of a payout at the end.

          Now they could probably get more than they could possibly get from criminal damages from Caleb in a settlement, and it would be a better deal for him too.

          The thing I’m surprised he didn’t mention is that Danny had admitted that even he hadn’t seen the girls naked less than 12 hours ago. I think adding that as part of this would really help make his case to convince them to settle.

          Another thing that the girls could negotiate with Caleb is for him to bring criminal misconduct-type charges against Danny in lieu of them pressing charges against the company. I can see Caleb agreeing to that very easily, and that plus some cash plus a page replacing the site stating that the individual responsible for the site had broken the law and turned over to the criminal justice system and the girls had not concented to it is something that I would consider a good, and reasonably just, deal for the girls.

        4. I don’t know. I’m thinking of that one commercial where a court session is over, and the plaintiff’s attorney is telling the defense attorney that his office will be in contact. The defense attorney told his clients that every thing that they’ve got is circumspect and possibly forfiet.

          However, the types of damages awarded may or may not be taken into account with an ability to pay the fine. The statements are: you can’t get blood from a turnip, don’tdo the crime if you can’t do the time, insurance is always a good option.

  2. I like how during this whole conversation the characters can still hear the whirring sound of the mixer. I wonder if the mixer increases in speed the angrier Quinn becomes.

    1. Emphatic cooking utensils: a proud history going back to the first rolling pin and cook pot. *nods*

    2. It was turned off for a bit. Quinn actually relaxed a bit facially until caleb suggested making it go away. It seems that his voice is the instrument to temporarily sooth her savage temper.

      Syrup slingin. . . Heh heh

    3. That would indicate a quantum entanglement stronger than one implied by the finger/trigger causation complex.

  3. (Posting from phone, wonder what avatar I get with on email)

    I’m wondering if Ellie is thinking solely financially, or if she’s also thinking about reviewing the sit code from backend to find all the cameras and/or other info on the site. Caleb’s statement is sufficiently open-ended to allow some things along those lines. Even if not planning to let them off, it might be possible to use the opportunity for some information gathering (and/or call Tarra or Herb to start investigating the site while they distract and gather info in person).

    Good to see Ellie’s rational functions grabbing the reins back from her anger.

    1. hrm… while I can certainly appreciate the humor of that, it kind of erodes the moral high ground. There’s a old story about Winston Churchill drunkenly discussing moral relativism with a woman that went something like:

      Churchill: “Would you sleep with me for a million pounds?”
      Woman: “Hmm… Probably, yes.”
      Churchill: “What about for 100?”
      Woman: “What?!? Of course not! What kind of woman do you think I am?”
      Churchill: “That, madame, has already been established. Now we’re just negotiating the details.”

        1. > Put up with crap from society matrons

          >Get Britain through World War Two

          Pick one…

        2. Mr. Blue is somewhat conflicted over the success of MI6 breaking the German Enigma machine. He had to balance the fate of the war vs. the fate of those who … wait, he didn’t launch those attacks. But he might have had to have carried the burden of the loss of his countrymen in those V2 attacks.

          I wonder who had it worse, Truman for dropping the bomb, or Churchill for allowing them (V2s) to be dropped onto his people. I mean, my grandfather was over there with Patton. His battalion was coordinated with Patton’s movements. That’s how my grandmother told it, she knew where he was when she read about Patton. On one hand, allowing the German’s to think that their Enigma codes were unbreakable vs. the slaughter of U.S. Troops in attempting to invade the Japanese mainlands. It almost seems like a tie.

        3. I think I agree with whoever it was I heard describe Churchill as the type of man who could shine and lead and do a tremendous job in a trying time like WW II but would’ve likely been arrested in a calmer period of history.

          Not to say I don’t appreciate a lot of what he apparently said and did along those lines (I think my favorite is the story of him running out of a bathroom naked to respond to FDR about something, explaining his nudity with a comment about the British Prime Minister having nothing to hide from the President of USA, though I’m definitely quite fond of the one Jee mentioned too).

        4. I always liked this exchange.

          Bessie Braddock: Winston, you are drunk, and what’s more you are disgustingly drunk.

          Winston Churchill: Bessie, my dear, you are ugly, and what’s more, you are disgustingly ugly. But tomorrow I shall be sober and you will still be disgustingly ugly.

      1. My best friend who has more money than god. Always tells me That every one has a price. Some people are just more expensive than others.

    2. Meh, they’d be giving up on the royalties, and Ellie could be a realtime internet star… maybe. Four to dix years of rent aren’t enough.

      Rent x 3
      Electric x 2
      Utilities x 2
      Cell phones paid in full.
      Work clothes
      iNimbus for Quinn, paid in full.
      Food, drinks, home and in restaurants.
      New cars. Plural.
      Company credit cards.
      Royalty checks.
      Merchandising rights
      Producer credit
      30% equity in both their asses and Vu’s. Along with a similar percentage in their assets.

      1. Um, that seems like more than they can get.

        They can’t threaten criminal proceedings, because Ellie just assaulted Danny.
        They can’t threaten civil proceedings, because no one here has the cash necessary to make that worthwhile.

        Caleb is offering, so its certainly worth seeing what he’ll give, but asking for hundreds of thousands of dollars seems dubious. Why would he pay? How would he pay?

        1. They have a bit more leverage for threatening criminal proceedings with Herb being police chief, especially with these two not being rich. They, and we, don’t know the degree Herb would bend the law or not, and a smart cop with a grudge ignoring the law can be a very nasty thing to deal with. That would have to be part of any reasoning by Caleb & Danny.

          I’m also not sure that this degree of assault would do a lot for Danny from a legal shield sense. If she’d broken his legs or something, sure, but just cuts and bruises seem a bit more difficult. Especially with the girls witnessing Caleb overturning the table and him falling on all those beer bottles a minute ago, it might be hard for Danny to prove what injuries came from Caleb and what came from Ellie.

  4. I’m going to pretend its Ellie hugging Quinn out of joy for your winning the March Madness (that ended in May) lol

    Still interesting development, I was expecting it to be the other way around with Ellie pissed off about how casually Caleb mentioned if it were up to him she’d never have had a job in the first place. Quinn’s reaction makes me think there is something personal here that set her off, her choice of wording about being bought off namely has my attention.

    I look foward to seeing where this is going ^^

    1. Years ago, in the early days of World of Warcraft, the guild I was in at the time had a Canadian in it. We’d frequently joke about driving up there to melt his igloo.

  5. Is it just me…or does anyone else feel Quinn should be “pointing” with her middle finger? Thought that’s what I was seeing at first, lol.

    I also love how Ellie is trying to calm Quinn down….for either safety reasons, legal reasons, financial reasons, or all of the above.

  6. *sees SS in his RSS feed while drinking his first cup of coffee




    1. In other news, with her apparent upper body strength, Ellie could always get a job lacing women into corsets at a ren faire. Hell, with her figure, she’d be a good spokeswoman too, “Yar, these models ‘ave been *personally* stress-tested by yon Dread Pirate Buckingham! Rest assured, yer royal ladybits, ‘at treasure chest o’ yers be staying buried in ona these garments. Yar…”

      1. Let’s be honest: If Ellie were to wear one of those garments, you could use the top of her bust a as a table!

        And yes, I know someone like that who has worn such garments to (vampire) larp.

        1. ^.^

          Now there’s a webcomic that demands a crossover – I can just picture Tarra joining ARC

        2. I can also see Pumpkin demanding Tarra give her the hook-up so she can get exclusive rights to producing a cosplay line for their fans.

        3. See, I see Tarra walking up behind Deus gloating or maniacally laughing in the first panel. He turns around and looks a bit guiltily embarrassed in the second panel. Third panel is the same level look from Tarra as she tells him that this is the reason she refuses to sell him any of her good stuff.

        4. Never mind, I had to scroll up to see what was going on. Did he get that window fixed yet, or did he finally figure out the remote control?

        5. Actually I’m now imagining Tarra doing her own best impression of maniacal laughter.

          Somehow it seems like something she could pull off terribly good.

        6. Even better if she undoes her braid and lets her hair flow around her like snakes.

          I was thinking that might be a lot of effort at first, and then it occurred to me that she could probably just will her hair to re-braid itself.

        7. Not really, no.

          Just a pont to be considered.

          An oh so very very distracting point.

  7. Caleb may be coming off as sleazy to some here, but as he didn’t want or do anything wrong and actually wanted it shut down as soon as he saw it wasn’t on the up and up, I’m not so sure it’s him being sleazy.

    He’s someone with a business. No one wants to lose their business for something that was totally out of their control. Yes it happens, but it’s not the fault of the one, for what the other did behind their back. Now, if Caleb had seen it, saw it wasn’t on the up and up and then said “Just don’t get caught” it would be a different story.

    I feel what most people are upset about is that Caleb didn’t storm right over to their place and tell them what was happening :p

    1. I think it’s more the implication that Danny might get off without serious legal or bodily harm-type consequences that upsets people.

      Caleb certainly has his flaws, but on the whole so far his reactions have generally seemed somewhat irresponsible in terms of trusting Danny, but otherwise not out of hand.

      As a sysadmin, while I’ve never had to deal with something like this crap, as a sysadmin I have had to deal with things that fall in the far-from-ideal category, some of which required going and reporting what was going on to management (happily none have required reporting to law enforcement). To me, gathering all the information I can (in a less than 24 hour period) before escalating makes good sense, and that does involve playing along and getting Danny to argue for the validity of his actions.

      Now, we don’t know how much Caleb’s doing that or not, but so far, it’s still a possibility.

      1. I get the impression he zonked out due to travel fatigue catching up with him. He had given orders for the site to be closed down ASAP before snoozing. But, a certain somebody didn’t do it. :P

        1. Definitely incoherently phrasing by me yesterday.

          But Caleb did state upon waking that his job was to get drunk and pass out and Danny’s job was to take down the site (ref Comic 400 – 28 April 2015). Rusche did state in a comic that Caleb had at least some alcoholic tendencies, so possibly Danny deliberately stoked those fires a bit, but with Caleb owning the action, I’m going to consider it an additional point of irresponsibility on his side.

        2. These are things that would be resultant if, and only if, these two were occupying the same room before he came down to the states. But then again, how do we know that Danny boy hasn’t gone North of the St. Lawrence River/Seaway.

        3. If Caleb does a lot of drinking, Danny might have noticed from voice or typing when contacting him (or being contacted by him). He wouldn’t have actually needed to spend a lot of time in his physical presence.

        4. Okay, I’m going to call a bit of a stereotype on that. There would have to be a difference in the many conversations had at various times in the day and even if multiple calls in a single day were made.

          I’m sure that Stephen Hawking sounded drunk while he was succumbing to his illness at one time or another.

  8. Ah, bribery. When you can’t PROVE you’re not wrong, but you want everyone to AGREE that you’re not.

      1. It’s bribery if there is no paperwork to document the agreement and said paperwork is filed in civil court.

        1. Caleb would be very dumb to give them money without getting anything in writing to protect himself.

  9. Oh, and if anyone else had a moment where they wondered what a “shuk” is, it’s NOT “an open air market.” After checking Urban Dictionary, it’s a portmanteau. You can imagine of what from there.

      1. Still waiting for someone to use “numpty.” It’s been one of my favorite insults since I first heard it.

      2. Obviously it’s a mash up of shoes and stuck from the old country habit of insulting those who have tar or gum stuck to their shoes and track it everywhere. That is so annoying, there really ought to be a law.

        1. Though “dragging dirt into everything he walks through” kinda describes Danny pretty accurately.

        2. That’s not dirt. Dirt is so much cleaner than organic soil. And the organic soil is higher up, layered on top of dirt. Really is ripe.

      3. Caleb is also the person who said he was here for murder, and got let in anyway. Yes, I’m still laughing about that, mostly because it makes a good point.

  10. Those who are supprised by Ellie’s responce should remember the history of the sisterhood. I imagine that the sisterhood has been on both ends of this conversation many times, so this standard practice for Ellie. I hope she takes Caleb to the cleaners and then some.

      1. Danny injured 3, caleb is attempting to makeva restitution on behalf of two of those three, considering he’s one of them. He’ll have the full right to Danny boy’s butt if those two agree to his (Caleb) terms.

      2. Caleb is negotiating. Danny is still potentially a chip in the negotiation.

        It’s bad negotiating to hold out to get something you don’t actually care about to the exclusion of getting what you wanted plus a bonus on the side.

        Also, negotiations expose information. No reason to shut those down before you squeeze all the info out of the transaction.

  11. HAH! Clean ’em out, Ellie! Looking forward to the patreons. AND CONGRATS AGAIN!!!

  12. So hey, I’m another Minnion visiting SS as a result of that votey thing last week.. I read the entire archive this past weekend and am still checking back on Wednesday to read it.. and now I’m posting it!

    Scandinavians and Nords are rubbing off on me.. “Hey, competitors? Let’s all be friends!”

    1. Welcome to the fold, I think there’s currently a motion to combine Minnions and Shufflers into Mufflers, but there’s been nothing official yet. Have some cheap American beer and stay a while!

        1. *ahem*

          There is a motion on the floor that needs to either be seconded or failed to be seconded. And it’s the motion to amend the motion that amended the previous motion to create the name of the newly described group that co-habitates between Lakeland Florida and the Silent Lands that are not in a Steven Segal movie.

        2. Nah, we’re still in the brainstorming mode. Official motions come at the end of the proceedings. Otherwise real concensus is usually not reached.

        3. “Minorken”, I like that!

          Sounds like a badass group from a bad scifi or fantasy story. :D

        4. Another plus: it certainly sounds like it can do sneaky… or neva enuff dakka! Depending. xD

        5. Best thing about the old Kommandoz figures (don’t know if the new ones are the same on that account): They were carrying Swiss Army Knives.

      1. Please, not Mufflers. -_- I don’t want to be what idiot joy riders take off to try to sound like a Harley. Too damn depressing. <_<

      2. Having put down a lot of Tuborg in my time, I can attest that the USA is not the only source of cheap crappy beer

    2. Welcome, ambassador!
      Things were getting a tiny bit tense, and I’m glad things didn’t degenerate into vicious anarchy like they did with Gunnerkrigg Court vs. Goblins.

    3. Welcome you are.

      (also please note that shitty beer offers are references from comic The Chain Part IX and comments there, and not an attempt to drive you off)

      1. *looks at the empty bottle of wonderfully delicious Stadtguet Schwarz he just drank*

        Indeed it does!

      2. Oh, I should point out that I’m as American as they come.. but yeah, I call “Budweiser” “Pisswasser”, unless I’m around a veteran with fond memories of the stuff… and even then, they know full well it’s crappy stuff. Kind of like how some eat marshmallow peeps on Easter.. not necessarily because they taste good, but for tradition. :p

        Also, forgive me if my statement about Nordic culture was inaccurate.. but from the natives I’ve met both IRL and online, they seem like an overall friendly bunch!

        1. Yeah, drinking bad beers has been entirely social politeness from my stance (I couldn’t manage to drink an entire beer of any sort until I was out of college, anyway).

          Though, to be honest, my younger brother can actually drink bad beer (and his salary comparable or higher than me, so not a financial consideration), and I kinda’ envy him that sometimes.

        2. Yes, quite right. I am not found of such low-grade beverages. Yet I have found it is more acceptable to order some equivalent in response to the social atmosphere.

        1. There are absolutely good breweries in the USA, they just aren’t the big names that you’re going to find half an aisle filled with at your normal grocery or gas station. They’re the ones that you find in the equivalent of about a shelf’s worth in a grocery store that tries to claim to have a good beer selection (or maybe two different varieties that count otherwise) and that you won’t find in a gas station unless it’s local.

  13. Smart man. I was worried he’d come into this page with some sort of threat, but a bribe is a whole ‘nother matter. It’d be a hoot if she used this opportunity to bully him into giving her a full-time job.

  14. I have to say panels 2 & 3 both really jumped out at me here. Something on the expressions and body language hit just the right point. Excellent job.

    I also agree that an attempt in the bribe direction is much smarter than I expected from Caleb here.

      1. Slight voice of critique though. I know perspective and her arm covering up a part play into it. But Quinn in last panel looks awfully thin around the waist.

        1. I noticed that too (and didn’t notice the arm hiding part of her waist that Rusche mentioned), and I had taken that to be an indication of Ellie trying to shut her up, actually. Kind of a “limit the air supply she can use to talk for the moment” sort of concern.

        2. Quinn’s expression was my favorite of the three, but it was followed closely by Caleb in panel 2. There’s that air of thinking he’s entered his negotiating mindset and that he’s a bit smoother than he actually is.

  15. Okay. Well. I would like to welcome everyone here today (Since this post is EST at this time)

    First order of business on the agenda, is the TWC vote: Please refer to the comments replying to this root post for links.

      1. So, since this was previously posted, Shotgun Shuffle is still #38 in the TWC rank. We have gained over 18 1/2 hours a total of 57 votes at this time of posting. We need three more votes to hit the daily average. Our current total is 837 votes for a 14 day average of 59.8 votes, or 59 votes. The day is not over yet. :D Link above.

      1. So, since this was previously posted, Stand Still. Stay Silent is still #6 in the TWC rank. We have gained over 18 1/2 hours a total of 409 votes at this time of posting. SSSS is 40 votes below the previously posted daily average of 449. Their current total is 6,253 votes for a 14 day average of 446.6 votes, or 446 votes. Their day is just starting. :D Link above.

      1. So, since this was previously posted, A Redtail’s Dream is still #15 in the TWC rank. Over an 18 1/2 hour period, a total of 98 votes have been added at this time of posting. Their daily average, from yesterday was 103, off by five so far. Their current total of 1,448 votes to date results in a 14 day average of 103.4 votes, or 103 votes. Link above. :D

  16. Ahhhh…

    Looks like Danny is going down hard no matter what, and it is therefore safe for me to resume reading this comic without being furious and frustrated.

    Good to be back.

    1. Welcome back.
      Now, have you taken care of the front? Because if you haven’t, then Captain America is going to yell for all of you all to assemble, then you’ll be behind again.

      1. Hunh? what’s the “Geeeeeeeeez :P” about?

        I get too invested in stories. Too much dramatic tension in a story raises my anxiety levels. If it’s a brief wait, like with a book or movie, I can grit my teeth and ride the emotional roller coaster. But with a slow story form, like a webcomic, a manga, or–god help me–the cliffhanger season finale of a TV series, I can get anxious about the resolution for weeks or months at a time. It’s my mental issue, and I deal with it be walking away and then binge consuming the backlog when it is “safe” to do so.

        You shouldn’t have any complaints. After all, it’s this same issue that drove me to make you the only person I support on Patreon. I just couldn’t bear not having some sort of resolution on the whole Pumpkin almost-kiss storyline. Plus, it gave me a venue where I could ask people if it was safe to start reading the main strip again. (And also let me hear from people who told me I wasn’t alone in my ailment.)

        Take it as a compliment. It means your stories are gripping and engaging, and that people care what happens to the characters.

        1. I hear you man. I hear you. That ruckus over the webcomic tournament was doing that to me. I used excel to create a spread sheet, track the votes, track donations, track trends in the voting, and all of the posting of the current vote levels during each contest at each round. It made me wonder about the # of voters per hour, maybe even the quarter hour, but I did not get into that aspect of tracking. Mostly once or twice in the morning, same in the evening (maybe more) and more as it got closer towards the end/deadline to perhaps guess what the polls were thinking.

          But, if you want another comic to jump around on, Stand Still. Stay Silent is a good one, but it will aggravate your triggers as well. So, binge one after turning one off, or something like that.

        2. *twitches* It’s not that bad. I can deal with the cliffhangers. *twitches again* It’s not like with Berserk. Or Hiatus x Hiatus. Or ASOIAF. *rocks in place*

        3. I did remember to let you know on Patreon, but I wasn’t sure this qualified yet. There are still a lot of variables at play.

        4. Yeah, because of the bit in the Patreon story that mentioned how Quinn and Ian were getting along in the main story, I became curious enough to research that one point, and wound up reading everything, despite myself.
          Oh well. Daniel is on such a strong trajectory to being a sacrificial animal, that if Rusche manages to launch him on a last-minute escape vector, I want to see how he manages it.

        5. I still think that the images on Danny’s hat and Caleb’s laptop are connected. It wouldn’t surprise me if Danny pulled something similar on Caleb as he did on the girls. Not sure exactly what, but I’m guessing Danny’s next move is going to be to try to use Caleb as a shield in some way.

  17. Is Ellie thinking, “One-time payday,” or has she put it together that they could have a multi-year income by keeping the site up on their terms? Caleb could (and should) throw in a little Danny humiliation to sweeten the deal :-)

    1. I’d like to think maybe she’s going to negotiate an equity stake in the rest of Caleb’s business, but I doubt that’d happen.

      1. In some ways I’m less concerned about what she’s thinking than the fact that she is thinking again and not just being blindly enraged. There are so many ways in this situation that they could go from victims to accused. Calm is good.

        1. Calm can do a hell of a lot more damage than psychopathic rampage. Unless someone has a fertilizer bum, then it’s more chemical warfare and human rights violations every time they visit Taco Bell.

    1. Ah, then I take it you missed out on the glorious celebratory gopher video from Rusche’s prior post? ;-)

      1. Nope, I rocked out joyously to the song and video but Chris never linked to the actual announcement page.

      1. Testing for minnion beast/troll compatibility. Locking in gamma ray oscillators, flux capacitor, little red corvette, TinTin.
        Generators to full, christmas tree in the green. Go/no go set.

        1. I’m not letting Kat’s taste in heroines spoil my enjoyment of Chris’s epic fan arts of a long time favorite character (I’ve liked the question before he was a she.)

  18. After incident report. Generators blown, the little engine that could – couldn’t, TinTin crashed, Little Orphan Annie – found in a bucket of dirty floor water. It appears that the grimms capacitor failed killing the goose, destroying the cupboard and scattering six months of provisions, as well as evicting that little old woman from that shoe that now belongs to Scott Chamberlin-Bird-Jordan.

    Pigs are also flying. In other news Get-Mart Union representatives have come to an agreement with upper ma…..

  19. Vodka and pink lemonade looks a tad girly but tastes delicious. Plus it’s free which is nice.

    1. That concoction does sound good despite my usual libations. When it comes to liquor, I have a preference to have it chilled, served with a single cube of ice (depending on the size of the glass), and straight. Generally, vodka is not in my selections, but I am surprised from time to time with its flexibility and often surprisingly good mixes.

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