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WMG / Schlock Mercenary

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Petey and LOTA will go to war for control of the galaxy.
  • Petey has one Ultimate Weapon (which harnesses the energy of the galactic core), LOTA has the other. And though LOTA has no target as of yet, LOTA says "every weapon advance, no matter how horrible, is inevitably followed by a situation in which that weapon must be employed." LOTA's got the galaxy's largest Chekhov's Gun, and LOTA knows it.
    • One problem (for Petey at least); all of the galactic core's power is currently getting thrown at the Paa'nuri in Andromeda.
      • And the Chekhov's Gun has since been fired. Of course, there's nothing to say it isn't actually a Chekhov's Boomerang...
    • Unlikely. They both seem smart enough to know that a galaxy-wide war between AIs could only have one conceivable outcome: the beginning of the reign of Empress Para Ventura.
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    • More seriously, they know that a war between them will wind in the inevitable victory of Dark Matter.
    • Petey is a massively distributed and exceptionally powerful mind with substantial military experience and a vast manufacturing capability. Lota can only shoot what Lota knows about, and Petey is only currently limited by his need to fight the Paanuri. My money is on the fuzzy one.
  • Book 18 ("Mandatory Failure") has had both Petey AND Lota targeted by Chinook, and it looks like war; they possibly go to war on the same side.

The creator of the Laz'r'us nannies used them on himself

Petey is following his programming
He has realized that the Ob'enn are on a path to self-destruction, so to save them he has to conquer them.
  • During the short arc where the Tough's were fighting the Ob'enn for him he said that POWs were being taken to a multi-species resort habitat to try and form a less xenophobic culture.
    • He was hijacked by a group of Ob'enn who wanted to stop the war of the Tause system a few centuries ago, maybe he gave their ideology a few thoughts between simulations of the probability that he was haunted.

Brad will be back.
  • Brad is either alive right now or will be revived sometime in the future, since Petey used the immortality nannies on Tagon's crew.

Kathryn will join the Toughs
  • Because there's not enough dry sarcasm yet!
    • Confirmed

Colonel Jacksmouth is still alive
Despite being shot in the head. Y'see, Xinchub stated that Jacksmouth and he are both immune to mindripping. This is the same (or a very similar) mechanism that kept Xinchub alive despite being decapitated. So Jacksie probably has gone through the Lazarus project and thus is nigh-invulnerable.
  • Given that his corpse was tossed into space that may not be a good thing. Though Petey may have retrieved him before sending the Toughs after Xinchub (which would explain how he developed those non-human nannies so quickly).

Kathryn will become the Toughs' new archenemy.
She's been built up too much over the last two books to be left by the wayside, or even just added as another grunt. Book 6 ended with a pretty major paradigm shift with the formation of the Fleetmind and Petey's war with Andromeda; what will book 12 end with?
  • Fairly Jossed. It would take a massive shift for her to become an archenemy now.

Kathryn will eventually marry Tagon.
  • Word of God was that we'd meet Tagon's wife in the current arc...
    • Which arc was this?
    • If it was this arc, almost certainly Jossed by the 7/24 update.
    • Depending on which arc this was about, could is have been a reference to Karl Tagon's wife? Because we met her...

Major Murtaugh will eventually marry Tagon.
  • See the above strip.
  • As of book 15, they do have the same rank...

The Hencke/Ventura scale is named after Para
  • Or rather an ancestor. (Para is around eighteen years old, and the scale was mentioned many years ago.)
    • Not that many years ago, and it's entirely possible that a prodigy with such skill in robotics would be renowned since at least 2 years ago, if not longer.
    • Given the amount of brain-overwriting in the current story-line (Random Access Memorabilia), I see no reason that Para couldn't be the brain of the (presumably) famous person for whom the scale is named, written into the body of a teenage girl to make it easier for her to get into the Toughs and thereby investigate the faction of the UNS that is causing the Toughs such heartburn.

Para Works for the UNS.
Max Haluska's favorite speech code is the "Aunt Amy Uncle Bob" code, which was lampshaded (for lack of a better term) by Kathryn. When he tries it again, here, Para responds "No relation", "relation" being one of the signal words. When Max tries to out her, Bristlecone goobers him and she says "And bob's your uncle."
  • This would also explain the behavior of the Morokweng ship-botthe exchange was scripted so as to make hiring Para appeal to Tagon's mercenary instincts.
  • More confirmation: Max Haluska suborned Tarfeather with nanites hidden in a tooth. Later, Para comes up short one tooth. She probably used the same trick to suborn Bristlecone, albeit with better nanites that wouldn't wipe their personality.
  • Para's "friend" who had the pull to grant citizenship to the Tarnation probably just so happens to be Admiral Emm.
    • How is this even WMG? She clearly works for the UNS.
    • Para's friend can't be Admiral Emm - Int-Aff-Int had an agent on Morokweng, and when he was offered the a promotion to intelligence chief, Int-Aff-Int were pleased he turned it down, as it would increase his risk of exposure.
  • Para, though working with at least one UNS faction, will end up liking the Toughs enough that she colours her reports and only reports enough information to keep her UNS employers from guessing her new allegiance.
  • Although Para is working for the UNS, there are multiple factions within the UNS, and the faction she's working for is opposed to the one the Toughs are fighting. "The enemy of my enemy" and all that.
  • Finally, officially, confirmed in-strip. She says she works for the "UNS Internal Affairs Intelligence Corps."
  • And now she's a fugitive from her previous employers, just like all the Toughs.

There are far more than 70 Maxims
  • Part of the original joke prior to the Franklin Covey–induced retcon was that although the book was called the "7 H*bits" there were clearly far more than 7 rules included. Having more than 70 maxims would maintain the original joke.
  • If the author continues to release Maxim-themed calendars, and stops at 70, this would leave two blank pages in the 2017 calendar. Being famous for planning ahead, I'm sure that this is something that has crossed Howard's mind at some point, and having more than 70 maxims would be one possible work-around.
  • Alternately, there could turn out to be fewer than 70 maxims, inverting the original joke. The highest-numbered rule revealed in canon is #37.
    • It's gone higher since.
  • All Maxims are published now, Quotes has a copy.

Doythaban is alive...
  • ... and he's working for the UNS Int-Aff-Int. He's one of those people always talking under Europa, but that we never see directly.
    • Makes sense because he has a lot of experience with nannytech, and it's unlikely that he's died because if he were likely to be executed after his arrest, Haban would've figured that out. But he went willingly, even though Ennesby told him he could evade capture if he wanted to.
      • This is why we never actually see the Int-Aff-Int people talking, it'd ruin the big reveal!

Pi is a big fan of ancient sci-fi
He signed one of his job applications "God-emperor Pi the first", and Star Wars has done the whole "space habitat is really a hyperspace death ray" thing.

The 'Toughs have accrued enough enough karmic debt to destroy a planet
This is less a "wild mass guess" and more an "obvious in hindsight", but at the wedding of the Reverend and the Doctor, Ennesby declares that due to Petey's firefighting they've been part of the perfect wedding and "[t]he karmic debt [they're] accruing could destroy a planet" (last panel) - eleven months later... well, just read the fifth panel.

With the deterioration of recent events, the Schlock crew will meet their darkest hour come 12/21/12 much as the world will.
  • The Real Life world didn't reach its "darkest hour", and the 12/21/2012 strip not only didn't feature anything bad happening to Tagon's Toughs, but it featured something that should be good for them, at least on average (assuming "high-level UNS operative who is actively trying to kill them dies" outweighs "higher-level UNS operative who is sick of dealing with their messes probably survives").

The most recent arc will end when Petey swoops in and saves everybody.
It's connected to his fight against the Paanuri and it endangers his friends. This is the sort of thing he would intervene in if he could... and he can! And how else is anyone going to get out alive?

A Gav snuck in milspec nanoassemblers into Osiri base
When Pibald made his theory, his idea was that the supply chain had been suborned somewhere, and nano-assemblers were smuggled in. Who could suborn a GavCorps operation so effectively except another Gav?
  • Doesn't one of the INT-AFF-INT officers in this strip look familiar?
  • Zig-Zagged, because while one one of the INT-AFF-INT personnel is a Gav, it's not known if he was responsible for subverting the Osiri base.
    • Int-Aff-Int were clearly a separate faction from those based on Morokweng, and the command staff of the Morokweng are clearly the ones who planted the genocidal nanotech.

Para Ventura is way Older Than She Looks.
It's already been revealed that she signed up as a spy for the UNS Internal Affairs Intelligence department, and if she made up enough of her backstory to cover that up, there's not much reason for her to not have had certain records altered so that she's even more unassuming and able to infiltrate enemy agencies by being just barely old enough to legally join. It's even possible that she had work done, but I don't think she has (or if she did, her superiors didn't tell her the extent, and she dislikes looking so immature because it was more than she bargained for). She was (rightfully) expected to pass through enemy red tape by showing off the skills that would make her an invaluable asset to the target association while being considered just a prodigy, and not a former prodigy with a decade or more of post-collegiate and military-quality training under her belt. While the Toughs would accept an 18-year-old prodigy as a foot soldier with potential for being left in a lab far behind the front lines, it seems highly unlikely that the U.N.S. would take a (relatively) trusted extreme prodigy in robotics and AI construction/classification (the latter assuming the Hencke/Ventura Scale is named after her and not a relative) and throw her behind enemy front lines instead of also sticking her in a lab somewhere... maybe with a gaggle of baseline Gavs, if any of them were put in AI development, to give them a dissenting perspective or let them work out Artificial Intelligence problems (which seems to be within their qualifications but outside of their specialty).

Celeschul is going to be important
It's come up a few times. Firstly, Tagon used to serve in the infantry there. Much later, he does some security work at Mall One for someone with strong ties to Celeschul, who appears to have hired the Toughs anticipating that they would do something violent. What's more, that miracle cure project on Haven Hive the U.N.S. tried to sabotage? Haven Hive is orbit around Celeschul.
  • It was important enough to be a Pearl Harbour type target in the Terraforming wars, so its coming back up again is likely.
    • I always understood the Terraforming Wars to be specific to the Celeschul system, which has at least three habitable planets, and at least two indigenous species. Then the Humans came along and settled one planet (the planet with the aquatic aborigines), but didn't hit it off too well with the land-dwelling aborigines from the other inhabited planet (Borthwogs, IIRC). The third habitable planet was terraformed by Human settlers, and contested by the Borthwogs, hence the Terraforming Wars. Or something...
      • The only time I can recall a reference to other inhabited parts of the Celeschul system was when Petey bombarded Celeschul, Elltoo, and Ellfive, and previously in that arc Elltoo was shown to be a space habitat so presumably Ellfive is as well.
      • Elltoo and Ellfive are almost certainly space stations sitting at the L2 and L5 Lagrange points around Celeschul.
  • More or less confirmed: Schuul are planning on overthrowing Earthian government.

The Pa'anuri only turned the core into a bomb after the teraport is re-invented
The timing is awfully suspicious. Ten thousand years of peace, the teraport is re-invented, and a few years later the core generator is "revealed" to have been a weapon all along. Also, when it was very first spun up, it looked right, then some Pa'anuri arrived, and then the trouble started. I guess the core generator would have done what it was claimed to if they hadn't intervened. That does mean it was designed as leverage, but not a declaration of war. From the Pa'anuri perspective, the Barionics broke their word by starting to use teraports again, so scorched-galaxy vengeance was called for.
  • Since the Pa'anuri had probably been there from the beginning it had probably been the plan all along. Also, they needed it to be up and running so that they could use it, because as with a nuke, you need the system to go critical (in this case self-sustaining) before it can actually explode.

The ghost in PDCL was Petey
Some fraction of the AI remained active and guilty. It couldn't think straight because it was physically cut off from the rest of itself, so it used the artificial gravity to play the sewer pipes like pipe organs.

The mastermind(s) behind the "Broken Wind" arc...
Is a rebel faction of Pa'anuri. The impossible space habitat is so incredibly old, it could very well have drifted from Andromeda. The "enemy" has a strong enough dislike of annie power to take out every annie power source of any size they find, suggesting they are Pa'anuri, but they also do it with such surgical precision as to leave a human unharmed when their suit's annie has been shot out, suggesting they do not actively wish harm towards the Toughs.
Furthermore, this could explain the existence of the habitat itself. If there is a faction of Pa'anuri who do not wish to harm Baryonic life, they could very well have built the habitat to preserve Andromedan life from the machinations of the more violent Pa'anuri.
  • Partly confirmed, in that the Pa'anuri are involved. The "mastermind" is an ancient AI formerly known as Synthetic Wind, now Broken Wind. She was tasked with hiding the Oafan station from the Pa'anuri, who the ancient Oafa were at war with. Fast forward to the comic, Broken Wind is simply continuing her task of hiding from Pa'anuri, by removing annie plants, teraports and artificial gravity. After being informed of the true situation, she ceases all attacks, restores gravity and stops jamming comms and teraports.

"Pandora's box" is the magic cryokit.
  • Breya doesn't get to play Pandora, she has to bring Pandora. Pandora could be Haban, for his experience with both the cryokit and the old doctor.
    • Confirmed in general, jossed in details: Pandora's box is a life-preservation and logevity treatment based on that cryokit. Breya plays Pandora, deciding whether to make this information public and technology itself available to masses now, while Haban is unrelated and mostly offers moral and fire support.

'Mako' will complete her Heel–Face Turn and live on as Mathilde.
  • There have been an increasing number of moments in this storyline like this where Mako has made unguarded statements — statements that are detrimental to her guise as a member of the Jurisindependent Security Covenant — suggesting that she (or he, possibly) is unhappy with her/his life. And, importantly, the current situation is such a clusterstrophe that Mako might actually be able to maneuver into a situation where Kowalski's handlers don't kill her/him off. (Or escape into Petey space, either one.)

Tagon isn't dead after trying to blow himself up to defeat the Essperin.
Petey was able to pull him out in time, but is letting everyone think he died to get Schlock motivated, as well as start a few pieces on the board moving where he needs them with a minimum of direct intervention on his part.
  • Zig-Zagged. Tagon did die, but his brain was backed up forty minutes before his death. It takes a few weeks to arrange for a new body to be grown, we are currently (2017-01-04) seeing what pieces moved and where.

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