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Crew of the Savage Chicken
Captain of the Savage Chicken A sentient, distinctly nonhumanoid alien in a humanoid suit, he's an irresponsible, snarky, but pleasant rogue who delights in annoying authority figures, petty theft and general roguery. He's one of the only sentient aliens to currently be active in human society, though the novelty wore off a while ago.
- Affectionate Pickpocket: Sam has been known to attempt this -- but then, he's probably tried every thieving-technique in the book, and invented a few himself. (Of course, since everybody knows that he's a notorious thief and pickpocket, this particular technique doesn't work well for him.)
- Adult Child
- Blue and Orange Morality: As scavengers, Sam's species regard treachery and theft as impeccably moral behavior. Human attitudes make so little sense to Sam that he often doesn't even understand that his behavior could be objectionable.
- Cool Old Guy: The "cool" part is debatable, but by his species standards he is old (granted none have lived long enough to die of old age yet)
- Drives Like Crazy: (70, 97)
Helix: Florence, standing in a burning building while circus midgets throw knives at you is safer than driving across town with Sam.
- Indy Ploy: Sam's stock in trade. After all, "Improvise is one of the few battle plans that survives contact with the enemy."
- Genre Savvy: Knows he is despised by the entire planet, and takes advantage of it.
- Genius Ditz: Sam Starfall is unmatched at the arts of thievery and lock-picking. Prisons will no longer take him because he stole two cell doors last time he was there.
- Human Outside, Alien Inside: Sam looks fairly humanoid in his suit (enough to disguise himself as a human at times), but he is quite alien.
- Idiot Ball/Smart Ball: Sam is a constant juggling act.
- Loveable Rogue: Depending on your definition of the term "loveable". People somehow pay Sam to steal phones from people who are using them to be annoying, as seen in this strip.
- Mobile Suit Human
- Out with a Bang: Due to the physiology of his race, mating is fatal.
- Screwy Squirrel
- Shutting Up Now: As a self-preservation mechanism.
- Starfish Alien: But wears a humanoid exoskeleton suit.
- Sticky Fingers
- Strong as They Need to Be:
- He's capable of carrying his unconscious engineer but can be beaten up by a small child.
- Also, the ability to carry his engineer is in doubt, seeing as later he can barely drag her across the floor.
- Walking Techbane: Demonstrated here. Sometimes he even uses this fact to his advantage.
The head engineer aboard the Savage Chicken, Florence is a Bowman's Wolf, which are a genetically engineered species created by Ecosystems Unlimited, the company which is also in charge of the terraforming operations on Jean. There are only 14 Bowman's Wolves in existence (11 females and 3 males), which means that they're in grave danger of being abandoned and left to die if they prove a danger to humans; thus, Florence seeks to prove herself trustworthy to everyone she meets, and to always do the right thing, which, naturally, causes her to butt heads with Sam on a regular basis.
- Big Badass Wolf: Red Wolf. Which are part coyotes. The ears show this.
- Blind Date: She has previously been set up on one or more of these when she was in college, judging from a mental comment she made in strip 1285.
- Cute Little Fangs: Cute Big Fangs 419, actual Cute Little Fangs 1526 1736.
- Exposed Animal Bellybutton: Not only does she have a visible belly button, there's an indentation showing where it's located even when she's dressed in her normal jumpsuit.
- Eyes of Gold: Shown here.
- Fangs Are Evil: Subverted, though she's not averse to using them to get someone's cooperation, or to persuade someone to become a GOOD person.
- The Fettered
- Interspecies Romance: With Winston.
- Genetic Engineering Is the New Nuke
- Guilty Pleasures: In the Fourth Wall Mail Slot thread, Florence admits to romance novels being a guilty pleasure for her.
- Ms Fixit
- Multi Boobage: Flat, but multi.
- Must Have Caffeine:
- My Instincts Are Showing: Trope Namer.
- The Nose Knows: Being based on a wolf, naturally this applies in her case, as demonstrated more than once.
- Only Sane Employee: Admittedly the bar is very low when your co-workers are Sam and Helix
- Petting Zoo Person: Genetically engineered wolfwoman
- Phrase Catcher: "DOGGY!" (whenever a robot using a brain created on Jean meets Florence for the first time)
- Public Exposure: In an example from the webcomic SSDD, this strip had in the background a picture of Florence Ambrose posing nude with a piece of industrial equipment for a calendar, in a contribution from Mark Stanley to SSDD's creator. Between her fur, her build, and the pose, though, nothing "naughty" is really showing. The large version can be seen here.
- Running on All Fours: Occasionally, particularly when in a hurry.
- Sudden Anatomy/Art Evolution: compare this and this.
- Uplifted Animal
The ship's robot, of a nonhumanoid, round and modular design and the mind of a child. Sam's partner in crime and mischief. Originally built to pick up heavy things, carry them around and set them down.
- Adult Child
- Cranial Processing Unit: Averted. As seen in this strip and the next few following it, removing his head has no effect on his ability to think and communicate.
- Dumb Muscle: Not that he's ever been used as muscle on-screen, but Helix was designed to move heavy objects and being smart was clearly not a priority.
- The Fool
- Friend to Bugs: Or spiders,for that matter.
- Lethal Chef: Allowing Helix to make popcorn is not a good idea, especially if you're in the same or adjacent bay. Which isn't the worst case.
The Savage Chicken's Computer
Fans call "her" Essie (from S.C. for Savage Chicken).
- AI Is a Crapshoot
- Deadpan Snarker
- Sapient Ship: Will frequently talk to the crew and makes witty retorts. And try to kill Sam.
- Stealth Insult
An emu Sam and Helix rescued from "a savage pack of tailgaters". Currently residing with the mayor (?).
- AI Is a Crapshoot: ALL of them, and it's a major plot point.
- For Science!
- Logic Bomb/Brown Note: One of Dvorak's inventions is "Omniquantism", a religious doctrine that has been known to make one AI in three lock up when they hear it.
- Mad Scientist: Of the well-meaning variety.
- The Big Guy
- Gentle Giant
- There Was a Door: Somewhat justified, in that he's large enough to not fit through conventional doors.
- Knight Templar
- Well-Intentioned Extremist
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Blunt considers his own existence less important than human safety.
- Crazy Prepared: Carries maple syrup to ward off waffle irons
- Flies Like Crazy
- Sapient Ship: Though he identifies with his remote rather than his plane or the suitcase shaped container for his actual brain.
- Shout-Out: Hi, I'm Benny, and this is my jet.
- Achievements in Ignorance: An odd example. Mr. Kornada is intentionally keeping Clippy ignorant of the real world and real morals and ethics, so he can continue acting as Mr. Kornada's Evil Genius puppet without realizing the (rather gaping) holes in Kornada's logic.
- Evil Genius: A Punch Clock Villain variation.
- Stepford Smiler
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: His current plan is to lobotomize all the sentient robots on the planet... and in the process, steal half a billion people's life savings. His justification? He thought of it first, therefore he deserves it. After all, who deserves anything in comparison to him?
- Hypocrite: Robots are a danger to the entire colony, and thus must be deactivated by a memetic virus. But not his robot, of course.
- Idiot Ball: Self-consciously and deliberately stupid. To the point of bragging about it.
- Insane Troll Logic: Of the Corrupt Corporate Executive variety, and dialed up to 11.
- It's All About Me:
- Held up as a personal mantra, apparently. He cannot even hear things that he doesn't like.
- His justification for his most recent actions? He was struck by just how unfair it was that other people had their own money and he didn't. That is, he didn't have their money.
- Kicked Upstairs: Repeatedly. He's currently the Vice President in charge of paper clips. This bites everyone in the rear end, when he (as a Vice President) is allowed to fill in for someone actually important and competent. He immediately proceeds to think of a way to use his new position to rob a half billion people while simultaneously committing genocide via lobotomy on them.
- Obliviously Evil: Kornada is an utterly amoral man who is so completely oblivious to the feelings and desires of others that he arranges for a computer program to be written that will lobotomize millions of sentient robots and potentially cripple the terraforming of a planet... so he can steal their money, which he considers unfairly not his. In this strip, he fires a programmer who helped him on the project so that he can have a "disgruntled worker" to blame should anything go wrong.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat
- Too Dumb to Live: Almost literally. They had to trick him into running away from a hurricane!
Winston Scudder Thurmad
- Designer Babies: Winston doesn't explicitly mention being gestated in a test tube, but he was born to parents who were convinced that humanity was going to be all space, all the time by the time he grew up, so they had him genetically modified to fit; the most obvious mod is that he can't grow hair anyplace on his body, but there are others, mostly centered around maintaining things like bone density that would normally deteriorate in zero-gravity.
- Hospital Hottie: At least to Florence he is.
- Interspecies Romance: With Florence.
- Kindly Vet
- Meaningful Name: Named after Samuel Hubbard Scudder, an entomologist.
- The Medic: To Florence at least (He's a "mad" veterinarian).
- Opposites Attract: He has no hair whatsoever while Florence is covered in fur.
- Space People: His parents were space nuts so they gave him "spacer genes" that allow him to live in zero-gravity without experiencing bone degeneration, and are the reason he's completely hairless. Though he hasn't actually been in space since the trip from home (his parents live in an asteroid though).
- Fantastic Racism: She has such a disdainful attitude towards AI that she sees nothing wrong with Mind Raping Florence for being scared of her.
Mayor: You still look terrified. Okay, direct order. You like me. You trust me. You want to make me happy. End order. Better now?
Florence: Emotionally, much better. Intellectually, I think I'm screaming.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep"/No Name Given
- Obstructive Bureaucrat
- Ultimate Authority Mayor: She is the only government authority figure that has been seen and hasn't been shown to have to answer to a city council or higher authority for her actions, although there was once mention of a governor of the planet Jean.
Dr. John Bowman
The scientist who created Florence and other Uplifted Animal Wolves and released them in public. Also contributed to the robots' situation.
- Fatherly Scientist
- For Science!: One possible reason for his actions.
- The Ghost
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Or as Florence puts it, a "jerk with a conscience".
- Mad Scientist: Possibly
- Morally-Ambiguous Doctorate
A "procurement expert" and radical agnostic hired by the robots as a spiritual adviser. Also notable for being the only human being known to have successfully picked Sam's pocket, although he failed to notice his own being picked by Sam at the same time.
- Big Brother Mentor/Cool Teacher: Acts as this to the Robots, intentionally giving them information that the humans on planet don't want them to have. Such as teaching them long view ethics, or a form of religion that specifically precludes them from being commanded to believe a specific one.
- Friend in the Black Market: Apparently the religious materials he finds for the robots are restricted.
- The Rival: Can keep up with Sam. Even pick-pocketed Sam (at the same time Sam was pick pocketing him).
The Mayor's Assistant
- ↑ so to speak, given his displayed lack of intelligence