Story arc: Security Shenanigans
SONAIS 49 - Monday, April 1, 2024 link
Comic 49
Characters have deformed hands.
Alana: What the heck? We appear to be mutating!
Steve: I seem to be having a few too many fingers…

Max has an arm too many, and Adil has googly eyes and too many fingers.
Max: I thought this comic was supposed to be manually drawn, but this looks like the output of some generative A.I. thing. Those often have problems with hands and other appendages.
Adil: I wouldn't mind having 3 arms, could come in handy!

Zhang's head is offset from his body.
Zhang: I think the main problem is that hands are just quite difficult to draw, even for humans.
Heidi: Then how do you explain your head being detached?
Zhang: OK, then the artist must simply be totally inebriate or something.
Story arc: Faceworld – chapter: Prelude/Arrival
SONAIS 50 - Tuesday, April 2, 2024 link
Comic 50
Woohoo, color! Don't get used to it, it takes a lot of work and will only be used for special occasions.
References: movie ‘Westworld’ (1973); SR.N4 ‘Mountbatten class’.
Title overlay: “FACEWORLD”.
Close-up of pilot's face wearing a headset, with sunglasses reflecting a fast-moving landscape.
Pilot: SR-N4-3 calling FW control. Come in, FW control.

Max, Heidi and Zhang are sitting in what looks like airliner seats.
Max: I'm not worried at all, I'm just curious. What do we know again about this theme park?
Zhang: Well, it's the first attempt of the Facescroll company to venture into the amusement park business. But, the first iteration was quite the flop.
Heidi: So, they hoped to spice it up with A.I., more specifically using our toolkits.

Max: We still don't know exactly for what they're using our tools?
Zhang: No, they went a bit crazy with the whole “need to know basis” thing.
Max: Something obviously went wrong, and it has somehow also cut their communications…

Zhang: They don't seem to be short on money though. Building the place in the middle of a desert is one thing, but providing a shuttle service using hovercrafts is something else.
Heidi: Yes, but still… I feel they skimped a bit on that part.

Outside view of the hovercraft, which proves to be an SR.N4 as was used on the English Channel.
Max (implied): You're right, they probably got a bargain on these Mountbatten class antiques that were doomed for the scrapyard.
Story arc: Faceworld – chapter: Prelude/Arrival
SONAIS 51 - Friday, April 5, 2024 link
Comic 51
Setting: office lunch area.
Caption: A few months earlier…
Alana: Great news everyone: our first truly big contract is in.
Steve: So, Adil can actually achieve more than merely getting us into trouble… What's it about?
Alana: It's a project from the Mesa conglomerate.

Heidi: Mesa? The owner of Facescroll?
Alana: Yes, and actually the project is related to it, it's for their Faceworld theme park.
Zhang: Wasn't that a commercial disaster?

Alana: It was, but they have bold new plans and want us to be one of the subcontractors to help implement them.
Steve: In other words, they want to jump on the A.I. bandwagon.
Max: Luckily we happen to offer a nice range of such wagons…
Story arc: Faceworld – chapter: Prelude/Arrival
SONAIS 52 - Tuesday, April 9, 2024 link
Comic 52
Max: I still find it strange that they decided to launch a physical theme park, given their ambitious virtual universe and all.
Steve: If you see how stagnant ‘Dual Existence’ has become, betting on more than a single horse could be a wise business plan.
Heidi: So, what will they use the A.I. for?

Alana: That's where it gets a bit weird, the contract is covered in a thick “need to know” sauce. The main use case is “an autonomous system to naturally interact with customers.”
Steve: Vagueness ahoy!

Heidi: Will on-site presence be required from us?
Alana: Normally not, only if they run into some major problem.
Steve: Anyone want to place bets how long before that happens?