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The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy Chapter Two—Page 39

1,250 Comments on The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy Chapter Two—Page 39

OK, I’m no math whiz, but I’m just counting one key there, Buster…

I had a great time at APE 2013 this weekend. Awesome to have the chance to meet so many of you and hear that you’re enjoying The Young Protectors. Thank you so much for stopping by to say hi! 🙂

We have new Fan Art by Kinzie K. called “Prisoner” which asks “Who’s your demon?” Do check it out! 🙂

Oh, and

***THIS IS A BONUS PAGE!***

Our fourteenth bonus page in a row! And look below! We’re already at $82 towards the next bonus page!

Special thanks go out to long-time supporter William A. (who makes their third generous donation to The Young Protectors!), and a warm welcome and grateful bow go out to new supporters Yohan B., Jason W. & David G. for their generous donations over the last few days!

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Thank you all so much for your generous support!

So! The Annihilator is offering Laampros the “keys to Paradise”, huh? Hmm. Our hero Kyle doesn’t seem too happy about that. Will Laampros accept The Annihilator’s generous offer of our world?

Tune in this Saturday to find out! Hope to see you there!

DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! Edit 10/18/13 9:23 AM: YOU’VE DONE IT AGAIN! Y’all just BLASTED past the donation target. So that means that in addition to our regular update this Saturday (page 40) and next Saturday (now page 42), there will be a bonus update this upcoming Wednesday, 10/23 (page 41!) Thank you all so, so much! Y’all totally ROCK! Hope to see you there! 😀

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  • This can go several bad ways right now.. Kyle looks so outraged.

    • Sapfo

      Hope you feel better soon!
      Virgins are good for your health 😉

      • *lol* It was merely seconds, so I had to refresh to see who was first. Had to finish couging up a lung.

        • Take care of yourself, Danish. Glad you made it to the new page.

        • Sapfo

          Damn finger still getting in my way. I hope it will heal soon. Its hard to type with a bandage finger.

    • Holly

      FEVER STRENGTH!!!!!

  • Sapfo

    I´hv got the power! But I dont have the virgin ;_;

  • Holly

    YOU LIED TO ME! *cries*

  • Holly

    Kyle’s face is SO WTF right now! I love it! Wow that keys to paradise?

    Also he said the American Contient. Does he mean ALL of the americas like North and South? Or just The continental United States of America? Because why give up Hawaii?

    Also, There is not George. My plan for tonight is RUINED. *cries more.*

    • Jakk Anthony Guzman

      He said the “American CONTINENTS”. That means North and South America.

      • You beat me to it.

      • Holly

        As the Synthetic Humanoid Protector of Canada I must say I do not agree with this agreement. *crosses arms*

  • dereule101

    On Saturday my jokey inner dialogue was “I’m offering you…THE MISSING PIECE OF YOUR MAGIC AMULET THAT WILL ALLOW YOU TO RULE THE WORLD.”

    Guess I wasn’t too far off!

    Now the question is where the hell did Duncan get that?

  • Ahahahahahaahah…. he is true to form…. Now where is my douchecanou?

  • Jakk Anthony Guzman

    He can’t be serious. I hope he’s trying to trick the demon somehow into getting what he wants and then screwing him. Otherwise it’s just a very stupid move on his part. Duncan doesn’t seem to be stupid man, but a manipulator.

  • Hmmmm….

  • CH

    Okay, that right there is probably going to get Duncan his showcase, and maybe the other one too.

  • George’s night off and D-wolf was feeling poorly due to the eye…. Alex isn’t heartless….

    • Holly

      My PLAN IS RUINED SANS GEORGE!

    • I’m not sure this is better. Who knows if Laampy brings it along.

  • Wait… no puppies…. are they hidden by the shadow of his penis?

    • Was wondering the same thing. Bouncing robo-puppies in the background?

    • dereule101

      The shadow of your peenis, when you are gone//
      Will color all my dreams and light the daaaaaaaaaaawn

    • Steven K.

      I just got this image of demons keeping poor frightened puppies hidden tucked up under their gigantic peeners like the Ghost of Christmas Present kept the brother-sister figures of Ignorance and Want tucked up under his robe and whom he “flashes” to Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol”. I know – weird.

      • Yes… I’m sorry Steven I know it’s your birthday, but yes… that is weird. LOL.

        • Steven K.

          I don’t know why that image suddenly came to mind – I guess the idea of very unexpected things being hidden on someone’s person or under their …whatever.

          • LOL… Hey happy birthday and welcome to Duncan-land U.S. of A.!!!!!!

          • Steven K.

            I just realized Kyle is still having his birthday today as well. I wish I could cast a counter-spell and whisk him away to a castle in the mountains of some different and peaceful and beautiful mythical realm or dimension where I’d help him recover, and we’d celebrate together while I teach him all about what true trust and caring and affection and love really is.

      • dereule101

        LOL. “Oh these? This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Aren’t they adorable?”

      • Adam Black

        that is complex.

        I bet crotch puppies chew

  • silibub

    It’s terrible of me, but my first reaction was to start laughing at Kyle’s expression.

    Anyway, I’m not exactly shocked by this development (although pleased that I guessed correctly for once!), but still — Duncan, didn’t you say something about world domination being enough for you? Like, the whole world, not just one landmass? Way to settle, maggot.

  • Well this right here could be why he wanted Kyle silent. 😐

    I will say that this is getting very very angsty. And angsty. And angsty. Did I say angsty?

    I need to think about this.

    • Holly

      You forgot, Angsty.

    • Jakk Anthony Guzman

      Duncan seems to be a master manipulator. He must be trying to manipulate the demon. He doesn’t come across as a stupid man, which is what this move is…very stupid.

      • It is very very very stupid. We shall see what happens in the next couple of pages.

      • Adam Black

        Maybe the keys bind him to Duncan?

        • That would be some twist. Like a magic lamp.

          • Adam Black

            He’s a fool to trust Duncan.

            “old Rules” were for Binding Demons to do work

          • Yes, he would be. I was just thinking that it might be a way for Duncan to steal the demon’s power for himself.

          • Sorry Admiral, I tried, but Adam is right and I’m getting douchecanou out of dry dock tonight….

          • I have snicker bars.

          • Join me dear one and we shall dine on them in the douchecanoe together….

          • What in that leaky thing? (yes, I’m aware of the irony)

            *clicking heels three times* Weekly coffee meetings, weekly coffee meetings, weekly coffee meetings

          • You may tell me I told you so if I end up a bloody broken mess at the end of it all. Deal?

          • Awww… I fear it will be obvious for both of us.

            I don’t have Sonny’s knowledge of all the “old laws” and it presupposes Alex is basing his story on ‘Solomon’ type-stuff… so… back to who knows? All I know is Kyle birthday stilllllll sucks. 🙁

          • I will agree on that. This is the shittiest birthday ever.

  • is it just me or does this plan has a flaw: ascend to the most powerful entity on the planet by inviting a more powerful one?

    • Holly

      My brother always said “A man can’t walk the whole of this island in one day, why do I need the world?” So basically, I think they the whole of the American Continents are enough of a “world” for Anni.

      (Yes I grew up on an island.)

  • Excuse me has he had that chest with him all along? So Kyle’s orgasm brought the two of them AND the chest??? WOW… he’s a powerful little spunker isn’t he? Now I know he’s getting out of this alive. Dang!

    • davefragments

      I think it brought everything inside the circle of flame that burst out of Kyle.

      • No side tables? Night stands? Kleenex box. Books? lamps? rose petals? Ahem…….

        • Holly

          The chest is probably fireproof, maybe even magic. I assume the rest burnt.

          • Magic kleenex?

          • Holly

            …. YES

          • Adam Black

            best kind

          • Never run out……..

          • Steven K.

            And infinitely absorbent. For all those “major release” moments.

          • Holly

            Bloody noses and other liquids that come from seeing sexy people.

          • See guys understand what magic is really for! Immortality … Meh…

          • Holly

            Does that mean that Duncan is NOT a guy?!

    • Jakk Anthony Guzman

      Look at Pg 32, panel 2. The chest is next to the bed. Duncan is getting his clothes out of it. The sphere was probably inside it as well.

    • That chest has to be magic, because I don’t remember it there when Laampros was kneeling by Kyle’s head. 😐

      • Holly

        I HAVE A MAGIC CHEST! ;D

        • I’m trying to decide if that’s innocent or not. o.O

          • Holly

            Double Entendre all the way ^^

          • Then I will say. *whine* I want a magic chest

          • Holly

            What would you do with it?!

          • *somewhat evil laugh*

          • Holly

            Only somewhat?

            TELL ME!!!

          • I’m still thinking. That’s my thinking laugh. I’m trying to decide which side of the entendre I’m on.

          • Holly

            Okay in the mean time did you see the thing I made for the staring? sadly george is hidden today.

          • Must go look at it.

          • I think I’ve partially decided regarding the magic chest. I like the whole disappearing act. That would be so awesome.

        • Should I go for it??? should I? should I?

          • Holly

            Why would you go for it Chris? You are gay? Not much in there for you.

  • Sapfo

    No puppies and no ninja-robots. This comic is not going where i thought it would.
    And Duncan, eternal youth for you and for PP, power over the American continent… are you not asking for a little bit to much?

    Oh Key! It´s so shine! Can I hold it? Pretty please!

    • Holly

      Why am I more scared of Sapfo having the Keys of Paradise than Laampros? O_O

      • Sapfo

        Oh but it so pretty and girly! It´s the one thing I always needed but did not know existed. I not only want it, I need it! O.O

        • Key to paradise are pretty and girly… and I’m gay… that soooooo figures.

          • Sapfo

            Hey, hands of! The key is Mine! JUST MINE!…and I´m not giving it back.

          • *Chris licks key*

            Sorrrrry it’s got gay boy cooties on it now, it’s MINE! Bwaaaaahahahahahahah…..

          • Adam Black

            I don’t think saliva will stop a women.

            ….You are going to have to go WAYYY gayer than that.

          • Sapfo

            Mr Black is right. I have dealt with worse things. I have seen thing you could not imagine! And I lived thought it all! ¤_¤

          • How do you feel about sticky?

          • Sapfo

            Chris you do remember that I am a nurse. Right?
            I have cleaned an entire room covered in blood. Your saliva don´t scare me.

          • Holly

            I have a great story about blood! The nurse inserted my Migraine Medicine IV improperly and there was a FULL LITER of my blood on the ground.

            I GOT MANY CANDIES FROM THE ER DOCTOR!!!

          • Sapfo

            That nurse must have done a lousy job!
            Yeah for candies!

          • Holly

            Yeah. People tend to not do a good job at placing IVs on me. The amount of bruising is horrifying. Except my gallbladder removal, that went smoothly…

          • Sapfo

            Bad Holly! Are you not giving the nurses access to your veins? 😉

          • Holly

            When I was having oral surgery, just before I went under the surgeon or the anesthesiologist turned to anesthesiology nurse and yelled “How did you manage to go THROUGH the vein? Place it in her hand.” Hours later when I looked at the crook of my arm I had a bruise the size of my palm.

            My veins are shy I guess

          • Sapfo

            My experience of veins is that people are very different. Sometimes you can inserts a needle in just a few seconds and sometimes it just is not done. Sometimes it is patience and sometimes with luck.

            but to rush to get in a needle is just nonsense. If you take the time it usually works better.

            Sometimes my patients tell me that it has never done so well and skillfully as when I did it. I usually just nod, but I am think “Just lucky enough”

          • Holly

            It is more than luck. YOu have skill and patience.You also have skill WITH patients. *cheesy grin*

          • Sapfo

            ^_^ Oh thank you Holly-person how I never meet in r/l an most likly don´t know my nursing skills….
            Holly, have you been spying on me? o.O

          • Adam Black

            that is awesome..

            I had one I took out once—- bad idea.

          • Shhhhhh Dammmmmn…. I forgot about that little detail you ladies have handy-wipes for everything!

          • Adam Black

            Ever wonder why?
            stick your hand in womans purse and it comes back stuck to bank lollipops , old mysterious notes written in lipstick and what have you…

          • Sapfo

            How would have a lollipop in there purse. Lollies should be eaten at once!

          • God you are so right and you’re stuck to old tissues, so you can’t lie about it… it’s like a built in alarm. Damn.

          • Adam Black

            stuck on with lollipop Glue,

          • The ultimate after invisible duct tape… yep.

          • Holly

            My purse is actually very neat. But it is an endless hole as well…

          • Adam Black

            LOL… ( Should I take the bait ?) LOL…..

          • Holly

            …. Dirty adam.

          • ohpleaseohpleaseohplease….

          • Something’s wrong with my purse then.

          • *takes a clean tissue and picks up the key, wash it and skips away with it*

            Problem solved. It’s mine now, none of you get it.

          • Sapfo

            Danish that little bright is not going to stop me. I´m coming your way 😉
            And Chris, its true, all women have tissue in there purse. All of us!

          • Adam Black

            no, no, no,

            They secretly Like sticky…

            She’s a nurse, she probably has a glove ready in case you try and hide it.

          • Holly

            A COLD GLOVE AND TONGS!

          • Adam Black

            LOL…

            Hmmmm YP Interude: The quest for the KeY

          • So many places to hide it… so many interesting places to look!

          • Sapfo

            LOL, we have a kids game in my country named “Hitta nycklen” = find the key XD

          • And …. that’s … bad ???

          • Sapfo

            Yes, I do have gloves!

          • Again… and that’s BAD?????

          • Sapfo

            “Turn your head and cough Mr Dangerfield!” 😉

          • Adam Black

            That is your Only real protection. That its your plan all along

          • Oh that’s right… the purpose is to keep the key… I lost the plot for a moment, but I’m back now. Thanks.

          • Adam Black

            I can see why you’d get distracted

          • I never said I was deep…. (wait) that sounded wrong… erm….

          • No kidding… wayyyyyyyy gayer…

          • Sapfo

            Hey Only girls have cooties!
            But I’m a practically inclined woman and I know that cooties will wash right off. When I use this super detergent. It will remove all kinds of stains and leaves a lovely scent.

            So next time you need to wash a key, use this detergent for greater results. ^_^

          • Holly

            *draws two circles on Sapfo, then pokes twice* Circle, Circle, Dot, Dot. Now you have a cooties shot. My bill is more cookies. ^_^

        • Holly

          Well I’m pretty sure we all want the KoP now that we know they are there. All shiny and pretty and powerful and nice. We could make a necklace.

          Still why does it scary me more to think of YOU having the keys…

          • Sapfo

            Muahahaha!
            What, did some one tell you anything you should not know? ¤_¤
            Holly, would you like a cookie? ^_^

          • Holly

            COOKIE! *rushes to Sapfo* Wait….*pauses* Is this a trap?

          • Sapfo

            THE HOLLY IS MINE!!!
            So, would you like one with chocolate or something else? Did I tell you that my brother is a baker?

          • Holly

            I am captured! But there are cookies.

            ….

            YAY! ^_^ Yes chocolate please. Oh really?

          • Sapfo

            Jup! Lots and lots of cookies. Until you cant eat any more. o_o

          • Holly

            … Why must you be vaguely threatening the moment I start to trust you? Why…

          • She learns from Duncan… lulls you and then….!!!!!!!

          • You’re an android. You can’t get fat and you have a skeleton key that works on any door. There is no capture for you. 😛

          • Holly

            That is why I am not fighting over the KoP. I have magic keys to all already. ^_^

          • Hey buddy ol’ pal o’ mine. You remember all the muffins I fed you and the time I put your head back on right? 🙂

          • Holly

            Yes Muffins are nice. ^_^

        • Alex needs to sell it in his shop so we can wear it around our necks, shiny-like on a delicate chain.

        • dereule101

          We’ll make you one out of polymer clay or something.

        • stickfigurefairytales

          This is my favorite comment thread.

    • Key…. honestly… it could be to his garage… Laampy don’t be a suckah!

      • dereule101

        You need two tickets to get into paradise, not keys! It’s in the Bible! The gospel according to…Eddie Money.

        • Holly

          I thought it was a Stairway to Heaven. It says so in the Book of Zepplin.

          • dereule101

            Yes, but you need two tickets to get in! It’s like a carnival ride.

        • Holly

          Then again, Fool’s Heaven is a place on earth according to the annointed St. Belinda of Carlisle

        • Adam Black

          pack your bags and leave tonight.

  • Holly

    Why do I imagine OTHER demon lords are going to be MAD about this development? *worried face turns into a delicious smirk* Oh…Oh that would be very good.

    • Other demon lords…hadn’t thought about that and they’re a jealous lot…unless Big Red is all the demons rolled into one.

      • Holly

        No Gryph you are ruining my awesome internal demon battle of awesome.

        How can Laampy be ALL the demons?!

        • I’m just messin’ with yer head, Holly. *sits up brightly* I’m with you on the internal demon battle of awesome. Unleash those Legions!!!

          • Holly

            YES BATTLE FOR THE KEY!!! And Kyle will just be tied up the WHOLE TIME!

          • Seems a bit of a shame, really. I mean he’s almost in his element with the fire n’ stuff.

          • Holly

            Maybe he escapes. Super daring awesome coming into his own powerful escape, and no one notices because demons are squabbling.

          • Yes! Fan service: a visible naked Kyle running, tumbling through hell. That market in Hong Kong was nothing!

          • Holly

            Adam using all his his creative junk hiding skills. ^_^

          • stickfigurefairytales

            *cues Benny Hill music again*

  • Damn the monologue that must be going in Kyle’s head right now.

    • I imagine it to be something like wtf? wtf? W.T.F!!!!??????????

      • Holly

        WHERE DID YOU EVEN GET THOSE?!

        IT’S MY BIRTHDAY DAMMIT!

        • And he got socks which burnt up during lousy sex. WORST BIRTHDAY EVAH!!!!!!

          • I hope Alex makes up for the lousy sex later…this is yaoi after all.

          • oh please!

          • Holly

            Can’t tell if you were begging or rolling your eyes. I shall assume the later.

          • Nope, sorry. It was begging…

          • We’re all begging here.

          • Holly

            I don’t beg. I make people beg. *cracks*

          • *giggle*

          • Holly

            Happy, amused, or nervous giggle?!

          • Happy AND nervous!

          • Holly

            That is what happens when attractive men with Scottish accents (Or most of the UK, Ireland, NZ, and Aussie) talk to me.

          • Oooooo! I don’t even need them to talk to me, just hearing them talk to the camera is good enough. I will say attractive Swedish men have the same effect ESPECIALLY while talking to me.

          • Holly

            I get happy when they talk to the camera, but only giggly if they talk to me. IT made my old job very hard. Also my accent thickens when I am nervous. So it sounds like i’m making fun….

          • But you were having fun, right?

          • Holly

            At my job? OR when I get so nervous my accent gets bad? 50% of the time I was having fun. But people thinking I’m mocking them when I’m not is not fun

          • Ahhhh…I see now.

          • I get stupid. Brain just shuts off.

          • Holly

            sample
            Them: *talking about something*
            me: *giggles the whole time*
            Them: Alright what’s so funny.
            me: nuffin atall.
            Them: are you making fun of me?
            Me; No, em nawt
            Them: *angry*

            The alternative is to tell them cute accents make me giggly.

          • You could indeed do that. Especially if they’re just on the phone. They won’t see you getting red faced.

            So what sort of accent do you have (asks the person to whom everyone else has an accent but me.)? I know you’re in Canada but I don’t want to assume it’s typical Canadian as seen on tv. (Man that sounds so very bad)

      • Duncan said that not being able to speak might be what would save Kyle – but it saves Duncan for a tongue lashing of epic rage proportions.

        • Kinda with you on this one… and it saved Alex from having to think up a bunch of worthy swear words… lazygrumblemurphlefutzsputter….

        • stickfigurefairytales

          Yeah, all I can think of saying in Kyle’s position at this point would be an unending stream of profanity.

    • Sapfo

      “I wonder if Laampros tasting like strawberries or cherries?”

      • LLOOOLLLLL!

        • Holly

          FRUIT PUNCH!!!!

      • CH

        cinnamon definitely

  • Feverfew_M

    Wait, you’re giving me away to Laampros??? I resent that, Duncan! A lot!

    • Why… he looks like a decent lay and Dunkers is with PP so that’s out. Can’t leave Kyle lonely now… right?

      • Feverfew_M

        If you put it that way… *looks at Laampros*

        At least, I guess, cold feet will be a thing of the past…

        Still, no cookies for Anni!

  • Elin Gregory

    Is it really bad of me to be giggling about this? How much worse can this night get for Kyle? A nice little dose of lover’s measles from all that thingy smooshing?

    • Oh naughty bad Zoot! A demonic STD for Kyle… that would be the last straw… honestly!

      • Holly

        What does a Demon STI consist of?!

        • Adam Black

          Puddle crotch. The fire won’t stay lit

          • Holly

            that sounds squishy and sponge like…

          • That’s stage 2

          • What about the chewy crotch puppies?

          • Holly

            That is is less an STI and more like lice. but you know…doggie like

    • stickfigurefairytales

      You know, if it had been Fluke in Kyle’s position, his powers would now have reached unstoppable levels.

      • You are so right… this is sooooo Alex’s fault. He’s telling the story about the wrong hero! Kyle should have had cake and a nice game of pin the tail on something or other and then gone out with friends to see the latest film or something.

        FLUKE… it so should have been Fluke. One hell trip for him and his tank would be so full. Yeah baby! And lets talk turkey… Fluke would not have settled for shyly stopping with thingy rubbing. Nope, he doesn’t seem like a guy to hold back. In fact, Dunk might have learned a few things… *grins*

        (Remember to send note to Alex re hero selection process…)

  • oh. now this is getting good…i mean…aahhh….so excited. umm…better. it’s getting even better!

    Three way!

  • Adam Black

    This page should be Titled: The Truth Revealed.

    After twists, turns, and dashed hopes, we know EXACTLY what the story is about.

    We have a Hero, we have a Villain, and we have a back-stabber who plays both sides for gain….

    And we have comic Relief , a very worried Finnegan Eyeball, who narrates every turn …

    • Holly

      SCREW IT PLAN GOES ON!

      *Stares at George Finnegan. He stares back. We stare together. Always*

      Just because no one else is watching GF doesn’t mean I stopped staring. LOOK what I did. HAHA

      • *Staring always staring*

        • Holly

          Which is more powerful?

          • George has nothing on you.

          • Holly

            *laughs evily* GOOD. GOOD.

          • *Staring always staring*

          • Holly

            *Always…Staring*

          • Must look away. *offers nutella*

          • Holly

            HOORAY! *noms*

            You know my brother’s eyes are also interesting. Some say more some less. Pure Crystaline Blue with not other colour. I do not have a picture. *noms nutella*

          • Oooh pretty. *offers more nutella*

          • Holly

            *gives back cupcakes with nutella frosting* Are you still trying to borrow my keys?

          • *blink* No, I’m trying to escape… *Staring always staring*

          • Holly

            *puts on aviators.* better?

          • Yes! Okay, now I can enjoy my cupcake. Okay, no thoughts of stealing key, just thought you know you could leave the door open a crack so I could slip through.

          • Holly

            Which one?

          • The one to a tropical beach where my sexbot harem awaits me.

          • Holly

            *touches keys to your glabella* okay ^^

          • Yay! Of course I had to look up glabella 😛

          • Holly

            At least you have one. Some people need to groom better.

          • can’t stop laughing. can barely type. hahahaha

          • Holly

            XD yay

  • Jakk Anthony Guzman

    Well we now know one thing, Laampros is not going to ask for Kyle to stay behind as part of the bargain with this magnificent “gift”. If it is a gift and not just some ruse. With this he doesn’t need Kyle. One thought, If this Key works, why didn’t Duncan use it instead of Kyle?

    • Oooooh, good question.

    • Holly

      Sometimes you need different locks for different sides of the door? Or one door is entrance only while the other is exit only?!

      • Hikaru Takemori

        Could be that demons and humans need different types of doors. But I think Duncan didn’t use a door to get ‘here’, it seems more like a bungee jump: you can only stay for so long before being yanked back.

        • Maybe he went in that way as a safety precaution, in case things went wrong.

    • Steven K.

      But Duncan said “keys”, and there is only 1 key in the sphere, from what I can tell. What if Kyle is the other key?

  • Now is the time to gain control of your powers young Red Hot. Feel the rage.

  • This is a little silly, but I’m somewhat equally amused and impressed about Adam remembering to add Kyle’s foot in the view angle in panel 1.
    It’s a great detail to remember, but.. foot xD

  • Jeabro21

    the demon would most likely betray Duncan and take the entire would world for himself, kill Duncan, fool around with kyle, (and wen i say fool around i mean torture), kill him, and then make the world his bitch

  • KryX

    Love Kyle’s foot in the first panel. I can’t make out what type of keys we’re talking about here. If Duncan is trying to pull one over Laampros, how could he think he could keep his immortality once Laampros figures it out?

    Side note:Duncan sure looks interested in something in panel 3, and it’s not Laampros’ face.

    • davefragments

      Does Duncan think he’s the first person to offer the demon the Keys to Paradise?

      • KryX

        It can’t be that simple. All our comments aside, Duncan has played it pretty well up to this point. I think if there is a real hole in his plan, it will be something we haven’t guessed yet.

        • Jakk Anthony Guzman

          Or Kyle will screw it up for him.

          • Holly

            Naw it is totally going to work. Kyle will spend the rest of the story trying to fix it. ^_^

  • Xalun K

    Duncan, you moron. Seriously; you’re trying to deal with a demon, who are about as well known for breaking their word as you are.

    Alex, come on now… I thought your characters were supposed to be smart! Or at least, smarter than *this* guy. o_O *snort*

    • Omar Cantu

      Actually I think the stereotype with demons is that they are for the most part lawful evil (particularly Lucifer-like figures). They MIGHT twist what you wanted but they will most likely follow the words in the agreement.

      • Ellen Harman

        That is right just exactly what was said, which you notice did not include Kyle. Since Duncan failed to list him, that may lave him hanging. They wish for immortality, so the demon grant it, but by giving them the lifespans of everyone else. So now they will live forever on a dead planet. Just an example.

        • Holly

          Remember kids, Attend a prestigious Law School BEFORE making your demonic deals. You need to know all the small print.

      • Jamie Dutton

        You know he may just give them EXACTLY what they ask for….of course that usually doesn’t turn out well 😀

  • I LOVE THAT LOOK ON KYLE’S FACE!!
    It just screams “What the fuck, dude!? What the fuck!?”

    • stickfigurefairytales

      “What the actual fuck?!”

  • Also, Kyle’s foot in the first panel made me giggle.

  • Go into your discus profile. You can change your name there.

  • I’m going to Yaoi-con next year and I hope to meet Alex at last AND cosplay as the eye-in-the-sky. Never cosplayed in my life but now I’m inspired.

    • Holly

      If you cosplay as George Finnegan I will come stare at you!

      *I stare at gryph in cosplay.Gryph stares at me. We stare together. Always*

      (LOOK AT THE THING!)

      • Can I? Can I like this 50 times over?!

        • Holly

          WOW you really like?!

          • Like-eeee!

          • Holly

            They are real. No edits just good lighting. XD

    • Picture please… that’s a good costume!

  • Ellen Harman

    By his groveling before Lampros is he not telling him that he holds power over him? Therefore what is to keep Lampros from altering the deal after being released on the world? Duncan is making a deal with the devil (so to speak) and will get the short end of the stick, especially since he did not make sure to close the loop holes. There are consequences to wishes, you get only exactly what you asked for not what you meant.

  • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

    Dunks is scheming big time. Look at his face when he’s offering the “keys”– it’s like “Take it sucker. You are so screwed.”— You can’t tell me Big Red doesn’t notice. I almost want Laampy to laugh, smack the shit out of him, save Kyle, take the other key and boot Duncan back to earth to stew about what a moron he’s been. Technically Duncan stole at least one of those keys, so they aren’t his to give in contract– at least by most mystical systems I know. Anything given in contract to a spirit has to be paid for somehow– by money, trade, sweat or blood. Kyle’s horror has rescinded his trust. It nullifies the gift (if the spell wasn’t extending his orgasm, I imagine the portal would have snapped shut instantly). Now this could be part of Duncan’s plan— Laampy gets too excited, goes to Earth and is killed instantly by the protective wards. Duncan can live the rest of his immortal life in relative peace (maybe, if plats isn’t a bitch and kyle doesn’t try to make a paperweight out of him), apologize to Kyle (say good game, we won! and get righteously punched in the face) and be content in knowing that he pantsed one of the kings of hell.— But I believe that Laampy is more clever than Dunks is arrogant. Duncan isn’t getting anything he wants the way he wants it; Laampros is going to get everything he wants.

    • Jakk Anthony Guzman

      Something is going to go wrong somewhere, that’s for sure.

    • Maria White

      Demons are never to be trusted to bargain with. Like seriously? You trust something wholly EVIL to hold up his side of the bargain? Think again. They will triple, quadruple, mega, slashfic cross you. And there isn’t anything you can do about it since you are the one that made the deal.

      Where have you seen a deal go right? I mean seriously. WHERE? No where that is where. The demon is going to royally screw you over and there is no turning back.

      Also, the key thing, if he got it, even stole it, it would be his to give since it is a ITEM not something that is sentient and is someone, rather then something. Only if it is someone, can he not give it away without the ‘items’ consent. But since it is an artifact, then yes. He can do what he damn well pleases with it.

      Lastly, Anni, you have gotten the last bit of empathy from me. You are going to unleash a DEMON upon the world. Something that would love to hurt children. I hope Alex has the worst possible death planned for you, like for example, being trapped in hell forever. Since you just asked to remain forever pretty and young… I can assume that with your powers… the demons are going to LOVE your ass. Literally.

      • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

        We don’t know what kind of demon Laampros is. There are demons and then there are DEMONS. It depends. Historically, they come in more flavors than you can shake a stick at and not every one of them is a moustache twirler bent on WORLD DOMINATION. Demon =/= evil. If Laampros is greek, for example, he might be related to the Furies (or be a Fury, they could assume different genders at will)— which would mean Dunks has more to worry about from him than Kyle ever would.

        There are lots of places they did, it’s just tricky as hell and requires a guile hero (Maybe Dunks is our guile hero to Kyle’s paladin and this is a giant, unpleasant gambit to get something he hasn’t even let us -or Kyle- get wind of yet) of sufficient skill. Almost all of Solomon’s deals went right, for example, and he’s our model for spirit control in this universe. Spooky also offered to summon one for a prank– this lends more credence to the pretty stable Solomon-style control of spirits.

        How something is acquired is very important in “real”, historical magic. Especially magic-by-contract. You have to actually own something by a given set of standards to turn it over to a spirit. That’s how IRL the argument came up that you can’t actually “sell your soul”, it was a fabrication of the church’s Dominican inquisitors like witch’s marks, because -by the laws of magic- you don’t actually own it by the standards of magic (at best, you’re borrowing it, like the air you draw into your lungs). A spirit might want you to think that you can sell it as a dupe to obsess your mind or possess your body, but if you follow out the laws to their natural conclusion– you can’t. As far as Kyle not being a “thing”- Slavery laws still function as magic (because magic gives not two f—s for modern sensibilities), so you could sell your slave’s body or abilities (in the form of actions or something) to a spirit— the “deal” Duncan brokered was contingent on Kyle’s trust, which he no longer has– which means the deal is nothing, but you still don’t own the slave’s soul. Souls aren’t ownable things. You can trap them. You can negotiate with them. You can drive them crazy. You can’t own them. That’s the beauty of free will (the idea of which predates Christianity by a good long while).

        I think Dunks is going to do something awesome. I’m still pissed at him, but I’m actually heartened by his “I’ve got you now.” expression. It’s best to keep in mind that Duncan is an anarchist– not only does he want to be free, but turning others over for service to a monster is not something an anarchist would do. I think this is a very dangerous gambit, not the entire truth. I do think it’s going to bite Duncan in the ass, but I don’t think he’s actually trying to do what he says he is— I think it’s part of the ruse to convince Laampros that he’s desperate and stupid enough to make a deal he’ll get the short end of sooner rather than later.

        • Oh good, maybe what I’m feeling then isn’t so delusional. I’m glad someone was able to say some of what I was thinking regarding what Duncan might be doing.

          That’s not to say I don’t think he needs a boot (or several) in the ass because well I think he does.

        • Steven K.

          I think this is a very interesting analysis.

        • I have no idea if you are right, or just interesting, but that right there is an interesting story… regardless of what we got going on here.

        • Maria White

          I was talking about the key, not Kyle himself. If that needs to be clarified, if it is a item, then he can give it to whomever, whatever he wants.

          I don’t think the key IS KYLE, Kyle is just acting as a battery sustaining the portal.

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            He said keys.

  • Jakk Anthony Guzman

    Either Duncan is planning on getting what he wants and screwing the demon, or Kyle will do something to prevent it from happening.

    • Screwing or getting what he wants or both? Sorry, couldn’t resist.

  • Maybe Duncan has a way of taking Big Red’s power when he takes the key.

    • Jakk Anthony Guzman

      Hmmm, if that were to happen then it would be the same as Laampros crossing over himself. Duncan would be unstoppable.

      • Which would be what Duncan wants. He could then make himself young.

        • Jakk Anthony Guzman

          I know that’s what he wants, eternal youth and power. I meant that whichever of them it is, he would have to be stopped eventually somehow. So it wouldn’t make any difference whether it would be Laampros or a new and improved Duncan.

          • true

          • Although it would depend upon if Duncan became Laampros 2.0 or stayed Duncan.

          • Holly

            The new Laampros 2.0 now with {FILL IN THE BLANK}

          • Super secret lazer eyes!

          • Holly

            Sexy British Accent!

          • I thought he already had a sexy British accent?

          • Holly

            Duncan does. Laampros does not. So yes…

          • Oh right. I got lost. Not only does he wear fire, he breathes fire.

          • Holly

            He has mastered the Interdimensional AND intergalactic Karma Sutra

          • Karma Sutra? That’s somewhat twisted.

            He sparkles!

          • Holly

            Humans are already bio-luminescent our eyes are just too weak to see it. SCIENCE!

            He speaks all language.

          • He smells of cookies.

          • Holly

            He tastes of Nutella

          • Nutella frosting.

            he has buns of platinum

          • Holly

            His tears cure all .

          • And his laughter fuels the world

          • Holly

            No purchase necessary! He is already your immortal Overlord!

          • You mean everything is free now? *as seen on tv*

          • Holly

            That’s right, AJ! everything except your will of course. *fake tv laugh*

          • So close! *quickly hanging up phone*

            Although free muffins are appealing.

          • Holly

            Acceptance of Laampros 2.0 as your demonic overlord is compulsorary and has already taken place. Thank you!

          • But…*zzzt* All hail Laampros 2.0

            But isn’t Laampros 2.0 supposed to be one possibility in Duncan’s future? *zzt* All hail Laampros 2.0

          • Holly

            IN the event this future time line does not occur all free will shall be returned within 10 miliseconds of the possibility ceasing to be possible.

          • So, we need to go about the world and in form everyone that on this date at this time in one year we all need to start calling for the Doctor….er for Duncan.

          • Holly

            Disclaimer: All person’s who have joined a “fandom” have already sacrificed their Free Will And are not eligible for a free will refund.

            Addendum: Being a member of Team Free Will is an irony and will not allow you to regain your Free Will.

            Amendment to the Addendum: Free Will refers to ones ability to live life without predestiny. Free Will refund will not allow Will Graham to get out of jail.

          • Addendum to Amendment to the Addendum: All those who tore the tag off their mattress have also lost refund to free will because they already showed bad judgement of free will.

            All those who attempt to contact the Doctor… Stop it!

          • but not in America! _…we’d probably end up Hunger Games ala Ani style…like hold the key non-American wealth holders hostage-style with the following: “You can give me 99% of your wealth and come live in America under my rule but you also have to fight to prove your fitness.’

            But not if The Young Protectors have something to say about it, right?

  • KrisYWC

    The pain on Kyle’s face.

    • Jakk Anthony Guzman

      Looks more like total shock to me. He can’t believe what he is hearing.

  • KryX

    Plural keys! I get it. That includes our Kyle.

    • Holly

      DAMN Kyle may be a key. Darn

    • Way to end the world at chapter two dude!!! Gad now what do we do?

      • Holly

        Post demon apoclypse fights?!

    • Jakk Anthony Guzman

      It may just be a sample. He might say that he has other keys that he could give him once he gets what he wants.

  • Sapfo

    Must go now, ladies and gentlemen. And what do you think I have in my pocket? XD

    • Holly

      COOKIES! Because I have the KoP! 😛

    • Bet’s it’s really sticky…. Bwaaaahahahahahahaha

      • Sapfo

        HUUU! No Chris! The keys to my new apartment 😉

        • Bet they’re really stickkkkky… wait … what?

          • Sapfo

            Chris, did you lick my appartment keys… Do litle Chris have e thing for keys? 😉

          • Only to paradise… Hey it was late. I got confused. 😛

          • Sapfo

            Well no more licking of keys paradise or other! 😉

          • Well I forgot nurses aren’t afraid of cooties. But I promise nothing when it come to staking my claim to the Paradise Keys! Mwaaahahahah…

            I’ll find my anti-Sapfo substance and then… they shall be mine… (Oh and I will not be relegated to Greenland either. Me and Laampy are not giving up the US nor anywhere else neither! So there. 🙂

          • Sapfo

            Oh dont you worry, I asked for the Paradise Keys as either a birthday gift or for Christmas. And I know that I have been a very good girl this year.

            And Chris, nurses are afraid of somethings, but I am not allowed to tell…. ssssh!

          • Oh yeah all good and sweet smelling and we boys are left with snails and puppy dog tails. So unfair!

          • Sapfo

            ….but you are a gay boy, don´t that means a free pass from icky stuff?

          • YA THINK? *snort*

          • Sapfo

            One of my male friend (since we were 4-5 years old) he liked sparkles and and other cute things… Well none was surprised when he came out. (there were other signs)

            But he is the only gay man in my life that I have known since childhood. Maybe I should do a survey and ask the others I know….
            “So Chris, did you play with snails or did you play with cute sparkley things growing up?”

          • (smells trick….)

            Cute and sparkly like… perhaps the KEYS TO PARADISE!!!! Yes I’m on to you, sneaky one. Gay does not mean dopey!

            And to answer your question… cute sparkly snails… I like to keep my options open. 🙂

          • Sapfo

            I think many kids go though a sparkly snail period. And I did have a small dead animal period also. (=I buried every small dead animal I found, from small mice to dead flies)

            “Here lies dead mouse No. 2, he was found behind a the big oak and is his final resting place is beside the dead mouse No. 1. The 10 flies that father killed. And the fish that would be our dinner.
            Rest in peace dead mouse No. 2.”

            I have to tell you that growing up in a forest, you are bound to find a lot of death small animals. Mother was not happy that i buried the dinner 😉

        • Holly

          You have a new flat?!

          • Sapfo

            Yes I do ^_^

          • Holly

            yay

        • Congrats!

        • Oh…. never mind then… enjoy.

  • jreed3842

    Wow! I didn’t even have to camp tonight! I had so much homework to do that by the time I got it done the new page was up! Lol!
    This is a great page! I love the grin on Laampros’ face in panel 3, the horror on Kyle’s in the last panel, and Duncan’s grin of “I’m about to get what I want” throughout. So much info is revealed and it just looks beautiful. What an exciting page!

  • If this plan is set into motion then no matter what part of the world they’re from, people are gonna have a hot ‘monarch’ with a nice ass and a fuzzy chest.

    • Holly

      Not true. Duncan is probably splitting the Americas with PP.

      • She get’s the south? What? Howzat work?

        • stickfigurefairytales

          Maybe she likes rainforests.

          • You went further…

            I was just thinking Shreveport… but that’s all good. I could see her harvesting still beating hearts from whomever she considers her current batch of devoted worshipers. She sort of dresses Aztec chic already anyway and doesn’t wear much, so she’ll probably be good with the humidity…

            ‘Cause you know… it’s not the heat… it’s the…

    • KryX

      When you put it that way, it’s not that bad after all. Lucky people outside the Americas get a naked ‘regent’ on top of it;)

      • Sure but Laampy is hung like a… well… demon?

        • KryX

          And that’s a bad thing?

          • Noooo actually…. You just sounded a little misty about not being in the US… so I was trying to perk you up… but you’re right it’s all good. You get more fur in American but Laamp has the goods…

    • TwilightDreamer

      Hmmm…gaint demon lord…or older man…..
      ……..
      ….I’m moving to America!! XD

  • Steven K.

    Probably turning in soon – thanks to everyone for their well-wishes!!! (And puppies and day-geckos ……. still waiting to see if I can trade those in for one of those virgins though – as much like pre-Duncan Kyle as possible please, though dark haired would work as well).

  • The look on Kyle’s face of just utter disgust and horror is absolutely priceless. Flawlessly captured by the artists, Alex you are blessed.

  • Marcus Dionte Scott

    *Looks at Laampros* Bitch, you can use your key enter my world ANYTIME…oh, and feel free to come to Earth, too!

  • Jakk Anthony Guzman

    Is it just me or is Duncan still looking at Laampros endowment on panel 3? He seems to be fascinated by it since he has been looking in that direction in many of the previous panels.

    • Cid Highwind

      Given the height comparison… It’s, perhaps, the size of his entire leg? …Or more.

    • Have to agree with you on that, Jakk. Duncan appears to be momentarily mesmerized.

      • Holly

        OOO SHINEY!!!! I assume he sparkles.

    • TwilightDreamer

      Probably more used to looking down since it’s usually him towering over everyone else 😛
      XD

  • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

    You know, this also makes me think that Kyle’s powers are those of a seraph. What stands between paradise and the rest of creation? A seraph with a flaming sword… Kyle’s sword has been on fire for panels now.

    • Holly

      I mentioned flaming swords a few pages ago. I like this idea

    • I like this idea too!

    • TwilightDreamer

      lol, pretty cool thought :D…lol, love the thought of a seraph being involved.

    • Super fun idea, I like it. Unfortunately for us, our Seraph seems to be consistently chained to a no longer existent bed and is being used to provide taxi service for rather skanky villain dude. I’m thinking we’ve got upgrade our world’s protections, ’cause right now we’re in a bit of trouble. LOL. Mmmm, maybe the point of the story. Where did I put chapter three?

  • Time to turn in…another good night of camping. See you all in a couple of days!

  • Sapfo

    I just realized that Duncan says Keys, not key. Then, holding him up the key so that it hides Kyles key … Wondering if there is any deeper meaning to this gesture?

    • Jakk Anthony Guzman

      It could be that he’ll try to convince Laampros that he has other keys to offer and that he just brought one as a demonstration.

      • stickfigurefairytales

        The first one’s free–wait, no it isn’t.

  • You know that’s the same smile Duncan wore when he would turn away from Kyle those times he manipulated him. Fascinating.

    • Jakk Anthony Guzman

      I noticed that too! He’s up to something devious.

  • Hours

    Laampros is about to get duped methinks. Duncan can charm the pants off even a demon lord. (Even if said demon lord doesn’t technically wear pants.)

    • TwilightDreamer

      Yeah I recon Duncan’s got more planned than he’s letting on…but I’m also trying not to underestimate Laampros…

  • Finooola

    Wow, I love Kyle’s horror expression, Duncan’s evil expression and erm, Laampros’ sexy thigh.

    I presume Duncan knows what he’s doing and that demon can’t just take the key from him? He is so clever. Can I move to his anarcho paradise in N or S America, preferably somewhere nice and warm?

    Also, what colour hair is Duncan going to have if he gets youth, I wonder? I’ll miss his silver hair.

  • Holly

    I currently have 69 disqus messages. XP

    Also do you think Kyle would try to WARN the laampros about being duped?Were he able to speak?

    • Not warn. I think he would be yelling at Duncan, calling him all sorts of names.

  • TwilightDreamer

    Ok, first thought off the bat…”Aaaahh, so THAT’S what he’s offering in return…what a good offer! Didn’t see it coming…”
    Second thought….”Don’t laugh, don’t laugh…oh how can I NOT laugh at the positioning of that orb!?” XD
    I LOVE this!! I’m such a sucker for a good plot twist! 😀

  • Holly

    Okay everyone. That is it for me for now. It’s past 4am and i would like to get up before 1pm. Night all.

  • Thanatopia

    Wow… THIS couldn’t come bite someone in the ass at some point.

    Also, I see what Ani did with the placement of that key. Clever! 🙂

  • i could not so secretly but sort of kinda maybe secretly camp…no…that would be a bad bad idea…

  • Jakk Anthony Guzman

    Kyle must be feeling great listening to all this while helpless and powerless to stop it. Probably feeling that if it succeeds he helped make it happen.

  • Jason Arilani

    WHOA! Awesome plots and stuff, yet still no Laampros package. Darn… Ah well. I knew I was looking forward to my birthday falling on a Wednesday, because I knew that I would get a deliciously awesome YP page today!

    • SofiaT

      Happy birthday! :0)

      Edit: my birthday this year will fall on a Wed/day too, hehe.

    • Feverfew_M

      And a happy birthday from me, too! 🙂

    • Steven K.

      Happy B-day Jason. Mine as well today.

  • Rafael

    Now, duncan’s terms are a bit ….. demanding? I mean, eternal life, and the whole american continent!. I’m sure that laampy may say “Yes…I ‘m interested..and I’ll accept your terms…for now” and then turn on aganist sircea and duncan later after he travelled to our world.

  • vessto

    Wow, that’s indeed a very, very good offer!!! So, keys to the Paradise? But… one of the keys now and the other(s) after finishing the deal.:D Anni, I like how your evil brain works!

  • Sargon

    oh wow, I didn’t expect this. I thought it was more a growing up story with superpowers. I didn’t expect this element to enter. I hope this means that we get to see more of other superhero and super-villain teams.

  • Jamie Dutton

    By the devious look on Annihilator’s face there, I’ve got a feeling he has something up his gauntlets. But won’t Lampuru-kun see straight through him?
    Poor Kyle…no wonder Lust is considered one the seven deadly sins!

    • Sargon

      Think it’s possible that he expects Lampie to loose to superheroes? That way, he gets his eternal youth and a chance to rule the world. He cleans up the mess that the demon left behind, taking his spoils.

    • Klaus

      What does this -kun mean?

      • Jamie Dutton

        It’s a nickname that someone on the last page came up with. I liked it better than Laampy, but I think I misspelled it.

      • Cydney Sabin

        It’s a Japanese honorific. You usually tend to see/hear it for young men, though that’s not always the case.

      • Takehai

        A Japanese honorific, used by someone of more senior status addressing a male (usually) of more junior status, or between close (male) friends. As a general rule, women will only address men such if seniority is well established or if they are family, or if they are very friendly (ie, lifelong friends or romantically involved). Any other use is considered rude or even insulting.

        The equivalent for a female is -chan.

        • Klaus

          Thanks. Web search was useless, since “kun” is the word for “only” in my own language.

        • @takehai:disqus

          May I ask your advise?

          I did quite a bit of research for two Japanese partners in a story I wrote. They were in a long term relationship. One was forty and one fifty years-old. All the research I could find said that ‘-chan’ could be used as an endearment between lovers in private… I didn’t find anything saying the gender was limited only to women anywhere.

          Basically…

          Chan (ちゃん?) is a diminutive suffix; it expresses that the speaker finds a person endearing. In general, chan is used for babies, young children, grandparents and teenagers. It may also be used towards cute animals, lovers, close friends, any youthful woman, or between friends. Using chan with a superior’s name is considered to be condescending and rude.

          So I had the senior of the two append ‘-chan’ to his younger husband’s name only when they were alone.

          Since you clearly know more… was this completely wrong… should it have been -Kun? Or, in this context of ‘love-talk’, could you use this with a male lover of long duration?

          Thank you for any advice.

          – ChrisD

          • Takehai

            That is fine. Japanese honorifics are not a simple subject, and trying to explain the entire system in a short post in a comments section is not really possible. I was just giving a quick explanation.

            What you posted is correct, -chan is usually used with children as well. It is a diminutive, and so not usually used when speaking of an adult male, but there are exceptions, such as yours. Think of it as the equivalent of calling someone named Michael, Mikey; or someone named Jonathan, Johnny. So your usage was not improper at all. In fact, you could really say that the way you used it helped indicate how close they really were. 🙂

          • Thank you kindly. It was a long story and they were important to my main characters, so I spent a long time trying to get a gay relationship of men that age to feel just right.

            Knowing this helps a lot. Much appreciated. 🙂

    • Feverfew_M

      So, in that case he wouldn’t just be bargaining with a demon, but also trying to cheat him? Talk about biting off more than you can chew…
      Wouldn’t put it past him at the moment, though.

  • PFG9000

    There are two keys there. One in Duncan’s hand and the other laying behind him looking terrified.

    • Feverfew_M

      That’s actually true. Now I’m looking terrified as well.

  • SofiaT

    Since I didn’t have the chance to comment on the previous page, I’ll say it now. Duncan, I love you boy, but you disappoint me.

    Immortality? Really?? How cliche. I mean, we figured it had something to do with youth about a chapter ago, but still… I hoped for more from you.

    And allowing a demon to run free in our world? Yeah, I can see that not turning ugly at all. Unless you plan to screw him over -I wouldn’t put that beyond you- but you know what they say about making deals with the devil.

    Tsk, tsk, tsk.

    • The look on Duncan’s face in the final panel…it might mean something. (I’m feeling delusional here)

      • SofiaT

        Nah, that’s what made me think that he plans to screw Laampros over. But I imagine Laampros to be a fairly ancient being, no matter how smart Duncan is or thinks himself to be, I bet Laampros can outsmart him.

        Don’t go against beings that are as close to gods as it can get Duncan, you’re only (super)human after all…

        • @disqus_FidZAwLkzS:disqus was saying further down that the “old rules” dealt with binding demons. Duncan might be attempting such. Or maybe there is some other purpose he is after other than what is just written on the page, some grander scheme. This is getting nail bitey

          • SofiaT

            Ha, you mean to say you weren’t biting your nails before now? 🙂

            Adam may have a good point there btw.

          • I’ve been worrying my nails, this is betting bitey. And I just clipped them too. ha!

            Yeah, I was thinking so too, which will only make his head (the one on your shoulders Adam) swell.

          • SofiaT

            Irrelevant but the Clara Kent outfit was a great success at the conference. Need to show you a pic.

          • That’s great! I didn’t think you could go wrong with it.

          • SofiaT

            There were a few really good ones, like the Bubble-Man and (my favourite) SoupMan (wearing a Campbell soup t-shirt and holding a ladle). But I was definitely in the Top 10. 😀

          • Sounds like you work with a creative bunch. I like that, SoupMan.

          • SofiaT

            They are very creative! Well, it’s their job to be 🙂

            Here’s Clara: [URL=http://s762.photobucket.com/user/SofiaT_R2D2/media/1378342_10151926853047744_1490719056_n_zps47fa665d.jpg.html]

          • That’s awesome!

          • SofiaT

            I do what I can for world peace. 😀

            A colleague commented though that it’s a bit disturbing how much superhero gear I have (that when I showed up that morning for breakfast wearing my Wonder Woman sweatshirt. I had arrived at the conference the previous day wearing a spiderman t-shirt).

          • How is that disturbing? 😀

            I need to get me some superhero garb. As a wee little kid I used to have wonder woman and batgirl underoos. I did love those.

            Though my brother and SIL gave me a collectable Thor figure for xmas.

          • SofiaT

            I’m still waiting for my Thor Omnibus to arrive.
            *sigh*

            Although I got a card on my mail box today, need to go pick up a parcel from the post office. I’m pretty sure it’s Artifice!!

          • Fingers crossed. I got my keychain. I realized I don’t really use my keys much and so attached it to my purse as a decretive fob.

          • SofiaT

            *thumbs up*

            About the “disturbing” comment, I told her I find disturbing that she doesn’t know Wonder Woman comes from Paradise Island.

            But I don’t think she cared much.

            I got a flash-back to high school.

          • Some folks…*shaking head* It’s their loss.

          • SofiaT

            She was the only one who didn’t have a superhero outfit (seriously, it was a superhero-themed conference. How do you show up without even the smallest prop to make it at least seem like you tried?)

            So she could just be jealous, hehe.

          • A good thought.

            She might just be a stick in the mud too. Bet that had to be awkward though, the only one without anything superhero related.

          • SofiaT

            Me too. It’s only 9.20pm but it was a hectic (although highly entertaining) week and today was the day from hell. Will have to tell you about it tomorrow.

            Good night!

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            Adam said something too? I thought it was just me… *goes to see*

          • Yeah, near the bottom of the page, I think

        • That sounds suspiciously like just plain good common sense…

          Sooooo… is there a reason one can posit that makes it worth Duncan doing all this? I agree with you that the immortality thing has such a clichéd sound to it that it’s hard to accept. Also that Sircea is part of it, well I don’t know her well enough to imagine, but it does sound a bit hackneyed for her also.

          The dividing up of continents just sounds silly. Hmmm, I wonder?

          • stickfigurefairytales

            The continents-dividing thing reminds me of the game Risk. And anyone who’s played that knows how any alliances ultimately end up.

          • The game risk is a funny way to look at it and you are definitely right… alliances… erm… not so much. LOL.

    • Jakk Anthony Guzman

      I think he’s planning on cheating the demon. His plan may or may not work. But one thing Duncan can’t afford if he’s planning on cheating the demon, is to have a pissed off Lampros on the other side where Laampros can come after him.

    • Feverfew_M

      Yeah, I’m a bit dissappointed of him, too. Giving a demon reign over the world and claiming a chunk of it for himself is a really evil thing to do. Until now, I’d thought that Anni couldn’t care less about rules, but I was kind of ok with that, because he seemed morally ambiguous rather than really evil. But immortality and partial world domination at that cost? Pure megalomaniac madness!
      Maybe he is already too far gone on the path of supervillainy, after all. But when with youth comes also the mental state of a younger Anni, he might well be horrified at what his older self did, and be redeemable after all…
      Of course I may be just as delusional as the dear Admiral. 😀

      • Klaus

        He may not want to rule America. Maybe he just wants to keep it out of L’s hands.

        • SofiaT

          As a European living in Australia, I have to say I feel like punching Anni at the moment.

          • Feverfew_M

            As a European living in, well, Europe, I feel exactly the same way!

          • As an American living in America, I’m not thrilled either. I smell a lose lose situation here.

      • Jakk Anthony Guzman

        Don’t underestimate Duncan. He’s never shown to be stupid, but the contrary. He seems to be a master manipulator. I’m sure he plans to stab Laampros in the back just as he did Kyle.

        • Feverfew_M

          But does he have what it takes to outwit a demon? Can’t tell.
          Hey, maybe the rub is that Lampy’s body will turn into something small and harmless, like, a lizard on entering our world. — Now I’m imagining a tiny red lizard angrily biting people’s toes. 😀

          • ShaedowDancer

            “FEAR ME DAMNIT FOR I AM THE GREAT LAAMPROOOOOS!” *chomp* “Ah sunnova –! Jacked up lizard.”

          • stickfigurefairytales

            “Who’s a little fear demon? Come on! Who’s a little fear demon?”
            “Don’t taunt the fear demon.”
            “Why–can he hurt me?”
            “No, it’s just…tacky.”
            (with thanks to BtVS)

      • I have muffins! Muffins and delusion go together pretty good. 😀

        • Feverfew_M

          I knew signing up on this ship it was the right thing to do! Muffins, hurray!

    • vessto

      Not only immortality but immortality in an young shape.:) Now my best expectations are Kyle and the young Anni to end in HEA…

  • Syncx

    The look on lyles face just screams “dah fuq” 😀

  • Syncx

    The look on kyles face just screams “dah fuq ” 😀 but really can anything a guy who has spent weeks romancing you just so he can trick you into being an elevator to literal HELL still surprise you ?

  • Jakk Anthony Guzman

    How is Duncan planning on bringing all these keys back to Laampros? By using Kyle against his will again? Do the keys work only one way? Because if they work both ways then why not use one of the keys instead of using Kyle? Why go through all the trouble of seducing Kyle when he can just easily have used one of the keys? That seems to indicate that they only work one-way.
    If Laampros decides to test this key how is he going to get back, if it only works one-way? Of course, Laampros might not want to get back, but still he will want to use the other keys to bring more of his people over. So how are the other keys going to make their way there? Kyle again?
    I’m thinking that if Duncan is planning on tricking Laampros (and I’m sure that he is), he can’t afford to have Laampros on the other side where a pissed off Laampros can come after him. So whatever his plain is, it has to be something that tricks Laampros into staying on his side while he (Duncan) returns to his side with eternal youth and health. Assuming that his plan works at all and something doesn’t happen to screw it up.

  • Klaus

    And the ship sinks. Betraying Kyle in a way that does not really harm him may be forgiven. Not so selling the world to the Devil.

    • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

      Depends on if you believe Duncan is that transparent.

    • SofiaT

      Nah, it ain’t over till it’s over.

      …where’s my bucket, it’s a bit wet where I’m standing.

      • Got it right here. *passes bucket* We also have snickers bars now.

      • Feverfew_M

        And muffins, last time I checked.

    • vessto

      What’s bad to be sold to such big and hot man which is curious to explore more from the mortal pleasures??:p

      • Feverfew_M

        Erm, dunno, maybe the “exploring the limitations of human flesh”-part??? Sounds like a one-sided amusement to me…

        • vessto

          Yeah, I smell BDSM here… @_@

          • Feverfew_M

            And not necessarily the safe, sane, and consensual sort.

          • SofiaT

            Not safe or sane or consensual BDSM… No, Alex is too classy to serve us 50 Shades of Shit -I mean, Grey.

    • Steven K.

      MAY not harm him, and at least PHYSICALLY. If Kyle is not harmed very deeply by this emotionally and psychologically, then there will not be a ring of truth to anything. Otherwise, I do rather agree with that – about time to search for and try to rescue the castaways.

  • SofiaT

    Um, I’m probably the only one not obsessed with Laampy’s private parts but I have to ask: what is Anni staring at, in panel #3?

    • Klaus

      You are not.

      • SofiaT

        Not the only one?

        • Klaus

          Yes. You are not the only one not obsessed with L’s private parts. And I can say that with certainty.

    • Jakk Anthony Guzman

      The same thing he has been staring at in many of the panels, Sofia. Laampys well endowed appendage.

      • vessto

        Mhhhhhh….. *giggles* Absolutely right!

    • Well, I had the thought that maybe he’s just sorta looking in that direction (it pretty much is at eye level) mostly holding the orb back from Big Red.

      • Jakk Anthony Guzman

        Wouldn’t it make more sense to look at Laampros when one of them is talking to see the facial expressions? Nothing going on in the crotch area. At least, I don’t think so.

        • Someone else mentioned that maybe Duncan is just used to looking down because most folks are shorter than him.

          • SofiaT

            *snort*

          • 😀

          • Jakk Anthony Guzman

            Why not just come out and say it? Laampros has a hell of a demon dick and Duncan is mesmerized by it!

          • Just repeating what I read. And I did say it was at eye level. That thing is hard to miss really.

        • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

          The demon wouldn’t have human facial expressions enough to be a guide, and Duncan wouldn’t want him looking at his face much lest he give his plan away. Besides, the view is nice. It has the added benefit of Laampros possibly thinking Duncan is distracted by his impressive package.

          • Klaus

            His expressions have looked quite human so far.

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            We’ve seen a few expressions, because that’s all a comic has space for. During a conversation, a human’s face is constantly in motion. Eyes move, muscles tighten-etc, indicating everything from emotion to where a memory is stored in the brain. A demon who is not flesh as we understand it would not logically have most of those, nor understand the use of them. Duncan would gain nothing from watching his face because Laampros does not share the communal human experience that makes watching each other’s faces for information useful.

            Kyle is a different case. Even if he’s not human (still not sure he is), he was ‘raised’ around them and assimilated the expressions culturally. Duncan watching Kyle has benefit, because Kyle has “tells”.

        • Pup Ruff

          I’m smelling a fundraising idea here. 😀

    • vessto

      Obsessed one here.^^ And yes, Anni is looking exactly that.:p Nahh, I’m envy!!!

    • Sapfo

      Honestly I did at first think about the fact that he was naked, But now it is no more strange then my uncle mowing the lawn in dressed in boots and a hat….

      • You Uncle looks like that in boots and a hat… Wow. Is that a family trait?

        • Sapfo

          Well not really. But if you took away the hat and boots they would have the same amount of clothing on them…. Oh and he is bald and have a beard!

          • Okay fine… I just refuse to think of you with a beard and that’s final! 🙂

      • vessto

        And nothing else? How old is he?

    • Steven K.

      I’m not really either – but I also did notice that, and a few others have brought that up – it seems unusual that he would be glancing “down” into that area at that moment instead of looking up to Laampros’ face.

  • Jakk Anthony Guzman

    Thinking more about it, I think the Keys are just a ruse. Duncan is probably going to try and bind the demon somehow and use him to get what he wants. There can’t be any Keys they just don’t make much sense. One-way keys? Who’s going to bring them? Two-way keys? Why didn’t he used them then instead of going through the trouble of seducing Kyle? So the more I think about it the more likely I think it is that Duncan will do something to Laampros like he did to Kyle. Or at least try to.

    • John

      It could be simpler than that. maybe Duncan can’t USE the keys; it may require more magical skill than he or sircea possesses.

      I do agree this situation is off though; what’s to stop Laampy from just TAKING the key right now? It seems somewhat short-sighted of Anni to bring what he’s offering with him and I don’t think he’s become the pre-eminent arch-villain of the world by being short-sighted.

      • Jamie Dutton

        That could be what the orb/shield thingy around the key is for. If it really is a mystical key, then it might not be a good idea for anyone to touch it randomly. Either that or its warded against demonic entities until the deal is made. I’m pretty sure Sircea wouldn’t let a detail like that slip by.

    • Steven K.

      They are the “keys to PARADISE”, not the keys to the Hellish-Realm, so they couldn’t be used to get Duncan where he is, but supposedly can be used to get Laampros IN to our plane. And you have to remember (and I have to keep reminding myself of this), in a fantasy-story like this, things can be whatever/however the author wants according to the laws of his created world – lots of things that would or would have to make sense to us here in our reality, may not have to in that other conception. No reason to suspect that, in Alex’s version of reality – with superheros and supervillains and super-powers, and over-sized horny demons in humanoid form, and giant hovering eyeballs, and gay-virgin-birthday-trust-sex-pleasure-orgasm-betrayal-bondage-flame-power-energy-explosion-portal-opening-transdimensional-teleportation into a demonic world – then who is to say that “keys” of whatever nature into our world or “paradise” from that of Laampros can’t exist, or that they don’t even “make sense”. Otherwise, I usually think that you have lots of great points 🙂

      • Jakk Anthony Guzman

        Steven, I say that they don’t make sense because of the man who Duncan is. The keys seem to me to be a trick, probably to cast a binding spell on Laampros. Duncan has to tempt him by appearing to give him something that Laampros can’t resist. Just as Duncan tempted Kyle by offering to Kyle something he couldn’t have with any other man. He told Kyle that he was not interested in ruling the Universe, but that the Earth would do. I think he lied there too. I think he wants it all. Do you think he wants to give most of the Earth to a demon, while he only has two continents? You saw how Duncan very easily betrayed someone who trusted him completely and was starting to care for him. I think that he is planning on betraying the demon just as easily as he betrayed Kyle. I think that Duncan wants more than just youth and eternal health, he wants as much power as he can get. And I think that Laampros better watch out, or he’ll end up just a tool as Kyle did. Whether those keys actually work or not, I don’t know.

        • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

          Duncan is an anarchist. They only want to rule themselves.

  • vessto

    Hm, what about Laampy to agree to give Anni youth but this youth to be sucked from Kyle? Anni receives immortality and youth and Kyle is left on 58…. o_o

    • stickfigurefairytales

      Not such a bad fate it it’s the Duncan version of 58. Although, of course, the rest of everything would still suck beyond belief.

  • StarrySkyDancer

    Am I the only one who finds Kyle´s expression in the last panel hilarious?:P In my head I am sticking his face on mental pictures with all sorts of other uncomfortable situations XD

    • John

      No, you’re not the only one 🙂

    • Hours

      No, it is truly amazing. Plus, I love his random foot sticking out in the first panel.

    • Pup Ruff

      Not at all. That look is priceless.

  • Shasarazade

    I’m smelling sabatoge, from both sides. For one thing, though Anni might crave immortality, that also means eternity under the thumb of a demon. I’m going with others who think Anni will try and capture Laampros to use as his personal weapon.
    As for Laampros…maybe he’ll go along with Anni’s request, but he’s not going to give Anni exactly what he wants. He’ll find a loophole in the request Anni just made, and apply it in such a context that he’ll completely screw Anni over. Because that’s how demons work. They’ll never give you what you really want, and that’s why you’re not suppose to “make a deal with the devil” as they say. Especially since Anni has obviously been trying to maintain control of this situation over Laampros,; controlling the pace of the conversation, and controlling the conditions of their deal.
    I think Laampros will end up getting out to the living world, but completely screwing Anni over in the process. And while I’d like to see Kyle kick Anni’s ass, and to see Anni grovel and beg for forgiveness, it would give me more satisfaction to see Kyle just walk away from him and not look back.
    My overall prediction is that Laampros becomes the Big Bad of the series and both heroes and supervillains either allign with him or are forced to work together to take him out. I’m probably wrong though, lol.

    • John

      That WOULD be a good story but it’s a shades of grey story (not the stupid romance novel; moral ambiguity paradigm) and I’m not convinced that this IS a grey-shaded story. The good and bad guys are clearly defined in this.

      • SofiaT

        Are they? Because I always viewed Duncan as being grey. How dark grey is yet to be revealed but I still believe he’s not “eeeeeeevil”.

        • Kalic0

          Can’t really agree with you there. Of course, I believe that selfishness, greed and lack of compassion are the worst evils we have, as, together, they motivate the most horrible acts. Though Ducan may have shown some compassion for Kyle, I think that is just favoritism on his part. Only someone truely greedy and selfish would think of trying this. Even if still has some trick up his sleeve that he thinks will allow things to turn out in his favor, it is clear he is missing some details now that he appears to close to his goal.

          • SofiaT

            I’ll quote one of my favourite fantasy authors: Evil is bad that believes it’s good.

            And of course there are the psychopaths too.

            Duncan is not the first and maybe he is the second but I won’t know that till I see what happens next. For now, he’s still grey for me.

            If being selfish, greedy or exhibiting lack of compassion at times makes you evil, then I don’t know a single person that doesn’t fit that description, myself included.

          • Well all that makes a certain dry logical sense.

            Listen, if this is all because you sold out your last boyfriend to get to hell and then sold the local demon there keys to get back here to earth and divided things up with him and then blew it by getting distracted by his giant demon-business and mistakenly only asking for Australia…

            Well, I suppose I’d feel the way you do about slicing and dicing the ‘E-word’. However, I think, at some point when Dunk starts munching on puppy hearts, you may have to break down and trot out the big “Evil” word for him and accept that some people, like our dear Dunkman, were just born cranky and aren’t much fun. Call it what you will. Hey, I know I’m not inviting him to any of MY birthday parties, not even with dat hot ass of his.

            Don’t worry… we’ll wait for you to come around on this issue. And, in the meantime, you rule Australia and that’s pretty cool… right? 😀

          • Steven K.

            On occasions I may act selfishly though strive for better, and I really try not to act greedy, but any exhibiting of a lack of compassion on my part is reserved for those who *ARE* TRULY evil – or just really selfish and greedy and non-compassionate buggers.

          • Steven K.

            Yep!

        • Steven K.

          It pains me to say this, but Yeah – at the BEGINNING he was grey, maybe-really-not-that-bad (or anymore), maybe misunderstood, maybe reformed, maybe re-evaluating his life in light of an interest in Kyle, maybe willing to put his past behind him to pursue his affections, etc., etc. But, since he cast that spell on poor Kyle, and betrayed him and violated his trust and his person, used him to transport to a hell-realm/plane, let a demon ogle and fondle him, and now asking for THIS, well…um….he’s now shown himself to be pretty firmly toward the black end in my book now (and with every additional page lately). To me, what he’s done and is doing is pretty evil – though I guess we must have different definitions of evil.

  • Jakk Anthony Guzman

    Another thought, Sircea spoke of the “old rules”. Could Kyle be related to demons in some way? Maybe they tested something on him and if it worked then assumed it would work on Laampros too?

    • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

      If we’re staying in the judeo/christian setup— then yes. Demons are just fallen angels (of which there are many different types, it’s not just Lucifer’s bunch who got pissed they had to bend knee to mankind. The Grigori fell because they found humans comely and wanted to live as mortals do, sleep with them and sire children who would bring their order to the world– this is where the nephelim –half Grigori, half Human beings– came from.) and a seraph is a kind of angel.

    • John

      A theory has already started floating around that Kyle is only part-human. Whether the other half is demonic, angelic or something else entirely seems to depend on the person.

      His parents ARE going to be a reveal, all hero’s who grew up without parents have a big reveal about it. Personally I don’t think he IS part-human butI could as easily be wrong as right.

      • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

        He may not be human at all. He may be clothed in flesh, but not have parents as such.

  • Amy

    Last panel, Kyle in the back: “What the fu*k!?”

  • Sargon

    I just realize that after he gets out of this, he’s going to go through alot. I mean try explaining to your teammates and every other superhero in the world, how he got involve in this big mess has got to be traumatizing.

    • Powell

      and why you are naked

      • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

        Given his powers, the naked is easier to explain than the rest.

        • Steven K.

          I’m just hoping Kyle can hide any parts he wants with his self-created flame in strategic areas.

  • DarkFeanix21

    Kyle should be careful, lest his face get stuck that way.

    Then again, I suppose he has quite a bit else to worry about right now.

    • That face is worth a thousand memes.

  • xLizardx

    Wow… what happened to Duncan in Britain to make him hate it so? I mean, yeah, ok, the weather’s a bit shit, but Brighton has awesome shops. I know America’s bigger, and I’d certainly like to visit, but I reckon if I was going to allow the entire planet to fall to demonic tyranny *except* for one area under my own jurisdiction, then I would include my country of origin in that area… unless I had some REEEAAALLLY bad memories there.

    Also – where’s he going to go for truly authentic dim sum now? 🙂

    Loving Kyle’s expression in the final panel, the horror and indignation really come across. 🙂

    • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

      LOL, Dunks has a Ruso-Brooklyn accent in my head because I thought Alex meant Brighton Beach, NYC.

      • xLizardx

        …Oh. I’m going to go back and check now, but I have to admit, I keep picturing him speaking like Sean Connery, which would be neither a south coast English nor a Brooklyn accent, haha. But yeah, I thought he was supposed to have a pretty BBC/ Thames Estuary English accent.

      • xLizardx

        Well, it doesn’t specify – he just says “Duncan Wells, from Brighton”, so I guess it’s up to us! [Well, obviously it’s up to Alex, but until he specifies. :)] I had no idea there was a Brighton in NYC, so naturally, I thought of the city I’ve actually visited.

        • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SiBhYthuF4

          If this comes up, it has an overview of various ruso-brooklyn male accents (from very faint to heavy) with all the interviews. Video is about drug addiction, so be warned.

          • xLizardx

            But… but…. “Duncan Wells”? His name doesn’t sound Russian at all. The accent is pretty cool, I’ll grant you – Russians always sound good as villains – but then so do Brits. 🙂 Thanks for showing me the video though, because I’ve never heard an NYC accent like that.

            I don’t know of any actors specifically from Brighton off the top of my head, but I could imagine Duncan speaking sort of like Hugo Weaving in LOTR, maybe? Or perhaps Damian Lewis [his natural accent]? Or Luke Goss? [Why do I keep coming up with people who’ve played elves?]

            I don’t know, I think Duncan would have quite a deep voice, smooth, but just slightly gravelly on the odd word, with perfect elocution, very cultured. Huh, sounds like I’m describing Christopher Lee, haha.

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            Duncan’s family could have Americanized their names– many immigrants do. Ex: Jack Kirby (born Jacob Kurtzberg), the King of Comics, was Austrian and lived in Brighton Beach most of his life.

            I don’t think smooth, English and elfin when I think of Dunks. (He doesn’t look English to me, for one.) I think carefully leashed violence, extremism and sorrow. The deep rumble of a lover’s voice, low, dark, teasing and just out of reach. For me that’s Ruso-Brooklyn, given where Duncan said he came from.

          • xLizardx

            He looks pretty British to me. Granted, that’s not saying much – there are British people of a great variety of ethnicities. I don’t think he looks Elfin at all, but I do think that he would speak with a certain gravitas, and Elrond certainly had that. It’s difficult to think of actors in the right sort of age group who still play active roles, that don’t consistently Americanise their voices.

            I really can’t imagine him talking in a thick NYC/ Russian accent. If he was American, I’d imagine him sounding more like a slightly psychopathic version of Kelsey Grammar 🙂

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brighton_Beach_%28disambiguation%29

            I’m sticking with NYC with the comic connection (and personal preference for sexiness level of accent. Slavs beat English, hands down for my ears. The state of Brighton Beach gives Dunks a ready-made backstory of strife, extremism and problems with a global system of poverty.), but according to this— he could be a Canadian, an Aussie, or even from Minnesota. There’s a lot of Brighton out there to be from.

            Far as the British, eh. I just can’t see Duncan coming from a place billed as the sunniest spot in England– even if the Sussex folk have a reputation for kicking people’s teeth in when they’re pushed ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/We_wunt_be_druv ), they’re still a resort area.

            Kelsey Grammar… really? With that barrel chest? I don’t hear it and it would look strange to hear that voice come out of my mental picture of Duncan. It’s like imagining Tsunami sounding like anything but the original Kono from Hawaii 5-0. It’s not happening for me.

          • xLizardx

            But… but… if an English accent isn’t sexy, then how the hell will I charm random Americans? 😀

            Russian does sound pretty awesome, granted. And yes, I suppose there are multiple Brightons [though I still suspect the British one came first :P]

            The “sunniest spot in England?” Reeeeally? Whoever described it as such clearly went on a different day to me… mind you, “sunniest spot in England” is kind of like saying “coldest place in hell”. It’s ALL miserable – I suppose some places are just slightly less miserable than others 🙂

            I said Kelsey Grammar, because he has a deep voice, and sounds slightly pretentious. Duncan, I believe, would definitely have a deep voice, and he seems slightly pretentious, so…

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Duncan strikes me as too built to be an elf. No offense, elves.

          • Niggle

            Unless you’re Maedhros or something. 😉 ~hopes that’s not too obscure~

          • stickfigurefairytales

            I haven’t read The Silmarillion yet, so I had to look up this reference. *sheepish*

          • Niggle

            heheh, Don’t be sheepish. Not everyone reads The Silmarillion, it’s not like reading a novel. Everyone in the family has read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, but my brother and mother have never gotten around to reading the Sil.

            I, on the other hand, have read it more than once. 8D And Maedhros is the favorite elf of a friend of mine. XD

          • You have my admiration. I clawed my way through the Silmarillion a hundred years ago ONCE. It reminded me of the parts of the bible that go on for about a million pages… “and Sheboah begat Salmonilla who begat the twin elves Kulath and Kulon who begat the half men of somethingorother who begat…

            Well you get it. All some of the greatest books ever written and I promise I read the first two like a million times and then read the Sil. once and had to stop.

            I just wanted one long story about THE FALLEN ONE… (smiles) Morgoth. He would have used Duncan as a footstool.

            (See what I did there? I brought us right back on topic like I knew what I was doing and wasn’t blathering on like a daft part…)

            Best,
            ChrisD

  • Steven K.

    With every page I’m losing my wish to see Duncan and Kyle as a couple again, which is a super-shame, since I was REALLY in love with the idea of them as a couple. But the chances of circumstances changing now in ways that would make that possible or even acceptable are becoming more and more remote.

    • Jakk Anthony Guzman

      Me too. I think Duncan crossed the line when he betrayed Kyle’s trust and used him as tool. And not caring about what happened to him emotionally from all of that. You can’t love someone and do that to them. He’s used Kyle in the worst way, without any regards to his feelings at all. I think what Duncan has done can’t be called bad, but evil.

      • Steven K.

        Yea – I feel the same way. I do wish they could have been together though – that would have made me happy. (And investigating all the conflicts and prejudices that such a pairing (young + older, hero + former villain) would have induced in both Kyle’s team-mates and even Duncan’s associates as well – and proving what the power of love could overcome, and Kyle plus Duncan being a great superforce on their own together against the world, and Duncan helping, along with Kyle, to save it to make up for his past sins, etc., etc.)

        • Jakk Anthony Guzman

          That’s exactly what I was hoping for. But unfortunately, it looks like it’s gone too far now in the wrong direction. Too much abuse of Kyle. How could Kyle ever trust any words that come out of his mouth?

          • Steven K.

            Yep – that’s exactly the case.

          • I would feel really worried for Kyle’s sense of self worth if he ended up taking Duncan back.

    • Maus Merryjest

      I am definitely looking forward to seeing Duncan’s deal come back to bite his head off.

      If Faust has taught us anything, it is that you can’t sign deals with hell. There’s always a loophole.

  • DiDi

    *stares*

    All right… Kyle. When you get out of this, you best get your ass a bad ass mentor. Because this fucking idiot needs to get GOT.

    • stickfigurefairytales

      Now accepting nominations for said bad ass mentor!

      • Excuse me? Did I hear you say Kyle’s ass needs mentoring? Erm… I’m afraid I put my bid in for that job several days ago… via the Tardis. So that job is currently filled (and I mean that literally… by me).

        So you can take this job-card off the bulletin board. *smug smile*

        • stickfigurefairytales

          Not so fast! First we’ve got to establish your badass credentials.

          • Credentially, my ass is bad, old and evil enough even for Duncan to respect. However, I just want to gently mentor Kyle’s young and more tender posterior to a more worldly and wise place… experientially speaking… so he doesn’t mess up like this again.

            Let’s be honest… one birthday like this is enough! Don’t you think? Boy needs him some help.

            So you see, I have only our young and tender heroes’ best wishes at ass… erm.. I mean at ‘heart’. Yeah that’s what I meant. (heh heh heh)

            You can trust me… *big honest smile*

          • Steven K.

            Isn’t that what *I* was saying? (Though as sincerely as possible.)

          • Well yeah… I was kinda hoping you wouldn’t notice my cockweasling there… (ahem) Didn’t the Admiral say something about chocolate biscotti? *tries hand at misdirection…*

  • Lotys

    I know it seems like Duncan and Kyle may never get back together at this point, but I still think it has a big possibility to happen. Duncan will have to go through a lot of redemption, but that is what makes a good story. Making the situation seem hopeless then finding a way to make it work in a believable way. It can be done!

    • Jakk Anthony Guzman

      Up to now Kyle has been just a tool to Duncan. I think that he cares a little bit about Kyle but does not love him at all. How can you love someone and do that to them? You can’t, especially an innocent teenage boy. It’s so uncaring that it’s downright evil.

      • Steven K.

        Ditto!

      • Pashakitty

        Downright evil? Hello did you forget he’s a bad guy? Evil is what they do.

    • Tina

      I’m with you! I don’t care what anyone else says but I still have hope in my heart they’ll end up together some day!

      • vessto

        Me too.^^ Any other final would make me sad for months.:(

    • SofiaT

      I really don’t care so much about them getting together -although that would be nice if it was possible- as about Duncan being saved from “the dark side”.

  • Jakk Anthony Guzman

    I’m now hoping that Sircea turns out to be Duncan’s wife, to end any possibility of a romantic relationship between Kyle and Duncan. I think that Kyle deserves better. Kyle needs to put all of this behind him and move on. He needs to find someone who truly loves him and be in a healthy relationship, not an abusive one.

    • Steven K.

      I wish I could volunteer for that. Story of my life, though – all my loves are unattainable – this one trapped in a 2-dimensinal fantasy world of someone else’s creation. I’d show Kyle how being with someone intimately for the first time – and all others – SHOULD be.

      • vessto

        These would be interesting bonus pages.;)

      • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

        Steven, a word of advice– The best way to find a partner is not to look for one. I may have a bad track-record of crazy exes, but I do know that the more dangerous lunatics show up when you start talking like this. It’s like waving a vulnerability flag. Predators want prey. Don’t be prey.

        • Holy crapola… truer words were never spoken.

          It’s absolutely true, you just have to work on being happy with yourself. People want to be with happy fun confident people. Then, you’ll draw the good folk right to you.

          Sonny is perfectly right in that post. Seriously, read it like seven times. Never be prey. You’re good people and deserve better than Kyle on your birthday!

          Excellent post.

          (Sorry, I’ll stop talking like an emo-prat now, promise)

          • Steven K.

            Nothing I haven;t heard before – the 2nd paragraph type stuff – kind of an overused bit of unintentional patronizing, but appreciate the GOOD intentions of it all! Other than some recent surgical but necessary “alterations” in my body due to my condition, that I totally hate and fear will freak people out if they ever saw me without anything to cover them with, I actually am happy with myself – just not my circumstances. I think I’m a great, wonderful, reasonably-goodlooking-for-my-age, intelligent, kind, thoughtful, generous, sweet, sympathetic, empathetic, cultured, wise, sophisticated, talented, well-spoken, well-written, witty guy with great tastes in art and music and nice eyes and a nice singing voice. (Nose is a little big and the *AHEM!* a bit too “average”, but other than that – lol).

          • Apologies… I had an emo response and typed too fast and thus sounded way too patronizing.

            You are clearly a wise man and need no help from the peanut gallery. Take care Mr. Steven K. and all good wishes to you.

          • Steven K.

            No need to apologize to me – like I’ve said before. You know I really sincerely do think you’re the bestest! (And my favorite commentator here.)

        • Steven K.

          Oh – I’ve gotten VERY good over the years at filtering out the crazies – BELIEVE me. And also over the years I’ve gained a lot of wisdom in certain ways, and know how to protect a lot of myself (though not always my feelings) – but in general I have no intention of becoming prey. My heart may have a number of “childlike” qualities, but I’m no child.

    • vessto

      Nooooooooooooo! I won’t allow that! Anni will be good at the end, young, memory whiped out and he and Kyle will live forever in HEA! In Paradise!

      • Maus Merryjest

        Nah, Kyle deserves someone who actually deserves him. This guy isn’t worthy of tying Kyle’s shoelaces, and there’s almost nothing he can do to redeem himself.

        I sense another character appearing in the long term.

        • vessto

          Even if disagree with me and Kazy Reed that doesn’t mean to vote us down. We’re here to make fun and until noone of us said anything rude you voting us down is immature. As you can see the only votes down till now were for rude comments. That is why I ignore your comment, it seems you’re not here to have fun but to seek scandals. I’m sure Alex also would agree that having different opinion doesn’t mean to rate some comment down. Rating and puting down someone because is different or thinks different is the root of the evil we see in the real world.

          I rate your comment down for you being immature and ignoring the fact we are here to have fun.

          • Maus Merryjest

            Nono, I apologize. I didn’t mean to vote your comment down. I thought I was doing the opposite.

            I haven’t slept in about two days completely because of dental procedure recovery, so I really apologize. I should have PAID ATTENTION to what I was actually doing.

            Totally and completely my fault.

          • vessto

            I’m so sorry you have dental probs, that is really bad and painful.:(

            Seriously, I thought you meant it.:/ So then I also apologize for taking it so deep and personal. It also happened few times at me to rate down in the fast way I rate but good it becomes in red and I correct it in the same time.

          • Maus Merryjest

            I totally understand, it was a misunderstanding caused by vicodin and carelessness.

            I blame Duncan for it.

          • vessto

            Yes, his spell this is.:)

            In some way I’m glad I lose many teeth and the other are dead. They may be unhealthy but don’t hurt.

            I removed my rate down of your comment and will reply to it.

          • Maus Merryjest

            How do I remove a rate down? I am afraid to click on the comment I downgraded by mistake for fear of voting it down again.

          • It’s how you undo it – click on you downvote again and you remove it. You can’t vote for something more than once, so it won’t count twice.

          • Maus Merryjest

            Thanks I’ll go and see if I can remember which ones I screwed up with. Now that I know I can undo them.

            GAH, it didn’t work… for some reason it added a second downvote. I quickly undid that….

          • If the downvote arrow isn’t showing up as red for you on a comment, then the downvote didn’t come from you. Someone else downvoted her comment.
            (Unless Disqus screwed up. Happens sometimes)

          • vessto

            Clicking again the same button removes a vote and nulls it.:) This also is useful if you rated up something you don’t ime and later decide to take down your positive vote.

            If only this could be used in elections….

          • But doesn’t the karmic stain of the rate-down remain invisibly darkening your soul until you save a puppy or something and you only know in your next life? *lights in room dim momentarily* Just askin’?

          • vessto

            I’m used to avoid to rate down in places like this comic. But in some news forums with mean hateful comments, in those places I voted down.

            Is this you on your avatar, just asking (for 3rd time)?^^

          • Ahahaha, sorry, offing to bed thus misreading… sorry, but long long ago. I haven’t worked out that hard in quite a while. Now I just want one of Admiral’s muffins. So there is the truth. Now I’m going to find the poster with the cool Cthulu avatar and borrow that one. 😀

            G’nite.

          • SofiaT

            That’s you??
            And you’re sure you’re gay? Absolutely, 100% sure?

            Damn.

          • SofiaT

            That’s you??
            And you’re sure you’re gay? Absolutely, 100% sure?

            Damn.

          • No worries… you’d need a Tardis. I should stop being a cockweasle (I learned a new word today) and update the avatar… I just like a good armpit… yeah… what can I say.

          • SofiaT

            I’m actually more fascinated by your jaw.

            Jaws/necks and forearms are my favourite parts to drool over on guys.

          • vessto

            Thank you for th info!!! Goodnight!

            Here’s noon and I’m at work.T___T

          • vessto

            If you receive more notification for comments it is probably because I edited my previous ones.:)

          • Adam Black

            Duncan is responsible for all the evil here!

          • Adam Black

            I wish Google+ had vote downs.

            When I vote down a comment, I am not down-voting a person. Sometimes its fun to be “bad”. Go, ahead, Vote this comment down. It will make you feel better.

          • Liar… I feel just the same… so can I vote you down again for THAT?

          • vessto

            No, I won’t rate you down. I never liked to be “bad” and I’m not in a game mood. I still have cold and I’m at work now.

            I had a little misunderstanding with Maus Merryjest and later we saw what the other meant and appologized to each other. I’m happy it turned out to be this way because I saw they are very nice person.

            If you use Mozilla you could search G+ vote down button. I saw someone made dislike button for FB. But I dunno if these votes are visible for everyone or only for the ones that has this addon.

          • Maus Merryjest

            Nono, I apologize. I didn’t mean to vote your comment down. I thought I was doing the opposite.

            I haven’t slept in about two days completely because of dental
            procedure recovery, so I really apologize. I should have PAID ATTENTION
            to what I was actually doing.

            Totally and completely my fault.

          • Adam Black

            LOL, this board is so funny

          • Adam Black

            http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-24531486

            This article made me do that 😉

          • Apparently it is

            Just remove the spaces.

          • Don’t tell him that! It just increases his dark powers.

          • But he has chocolate!

            Besides there is still bold and italics and underline.

          • Whew *wipes brow*. Learn from Kyle and hold something back.

          • That’s bad. 😛

            But still funny

          • vessto

            Spice Girls.

            It was from a very useful site SofiaT sent me:

            http://www.tizag.com/htmlT/htmlstrikethrough.php

            Although for strikethroughs I use “s” in .

          • *ducks and covers* You just gave him the keys to ruling the world.

          • vessto

            Adam Black will rule the world??

          • I would be prepared for such an instance. But he does have chocolate so there is that.

            @disqus_FidZAwLkzS:disqus You still have chocolate, yes?

          • vessto

            If he shares the chocolate with us then he probably would be a good ruler?

          • Faultless reasoning… again, I say, I’M IN!

          • Now that is the question. Will he share it? Fingers crossed

          • If he says yes then I’m in… tell Laampster that unless he has BETTER chocolate there’s no discussion and Duncan hasn’t mentioned chocolate even once so I’m HIGHLY suspect there. And even if he did there’s is the “Duncan Trust Factor”… Sonny might try and tell us he’s denying us chocolate for our own good.

            We can debate that later, but it may take a bit. My money is with Adam Black for the short minute…

            (since you gave him all the HTML keys to controlling the universe coughADMIRALcough, there’s not a lot we can do about this).

            ChrisD

          • I only gave him strikethrough. ‘Twas Vessto that gave him the rest! But chocolate does sound pretty good. But then again it might matter the type of chocolate. I’m rather fond of dark myself.

          • Of course, wise people like dark chocolate. That’s just a fact.

          • I’ve always thought so. 😀 Gimme a Scharfen Berger 70% and I’m happy happy.

          • You mean he doesn’t already? Then I lost the plot somewhere. *grins*

        • vessto

          I admit, this would be the last plot I’d like. In general I’m for relationships between two protagonists. I don’t believe much in redemption (in real life mainly) but they are too erotic as a couple that I can’t accept new one for Kyle. And Anni being forgiven and purified will be like Star Wars moment.

          • Maus Merryjest

            It would be interesting, of course it’d be one hell of a redemption– he has a long way to go for redemption.

      • I’m with you. I want them together. Maybe this’ll be a Darth-Vader-thing where Duncan vanquishes the devil at the last moment and redeems himself… maybe. Wishful thinking.

        • vessto

          Ignore the stupid vote down of your comment. Immature people just take the pleasure as a matter for fight.

          I love this Star Wars parallel. If we count Laampy for Palpatine we have the same trio of the ultimate evil person; someone who knows the both sides and choosing the side which gives him the strength and the young, naive and pure person. I’m sure Anni can have his redemption and Kyle’s trust again. Laampy won’t rule the world and I suggest he to receive Sircea.:) Not that this would be a gift in any way, even the opposite, he could be her toy.:D

        • Maus Merryjest

          Please look down at my reply to vessto below. I didn’t mean to vote down, I wasn’t paying attention to where I was clicking. I apologize most sincerely!

          • Not a problem, really. I think we all need to realize that our thoughts are exactly that: OUR thoughts. I appreciate both you, Maus, and vessto, for being kind with your responses, whether we agree or not. I’m just on here to have fun and see what other people think… and to read this freakin’ awesome comic.

          • Adam Black

            you can change your vote

        • Steven K.

          I still say there’s no way Vader can truly be redeemed just by turning against his even-more-evil master and throwing him to his demise – that doesn’t make up for slaughtering all the young innocent Jedi and being involved in exterminating the populations of entire planets via the Death Star, etc.

          • lol. True. But I’m a happily-ever kinda girl, so I put blinders on to all of Vader’s nine gazillion sins.

      • Steven K.

        Two things I hate in any kind of fiction – time travel (particularly backwards) and wiped-out memories to fix or advance plot-lines.

        • vessto

          I don’t like them either. But if this is the price for Kyle and Anni being together…

      • vessto

        Whoever voted this down, HEA would be the final of this comics!:p

        • ’cause that’s irony!

          • vessto

            I can’t stop staring at these abs.:)

          • Oh well that I understand… but that’s not ‘irony’. That’s ‘hormones’ and regardless of the packaging, I think we share them because those are SOME abs! (staring staring….)

          • vessto

            I meant your avatar.:)

          • hehe-

            Demonic abs!

            i never thought it’d get to use those as a paired phrase…oh…i wonder how many points i’d score for that…

          • vessto

            Indeed I meant the abs from Chris Dangerfield’s avatar but he changed it now.;)

          • well now i’ve obviously overplayed my enthusiasm again…yes, Duncan is still chopped liver that pushing to the side of my plate in favor of Kyle and Lampy.

            still…i’m sad i missed the other abs…sadness my life is full of sadness 😛

          • vessto

            But of course, Laampy’s abs are beyond of demonic.:D

          • should it be Laampy or Lampy?

            we’re so bad. i’d imagine people running away, screaming in terror, “A giant red demon is here!”

            and we’d be “We know, we’re trying to figure out if he likes “Laampy” or “Lampy.””

            i could go either way 😛

          • vessto

            Laampy for me, Lampy is too disrespectful toward such a gorgeous Demon.;)

          • Laampy then…if your head gets bitten off then I’ll point out that I thought maybe he’d like, “Lampy” ….

            i was just thinking for ease of typing lol ;-P

          • vessto

            Easy? Then only Mr. L is perfect imho.

          • L –

            ha…i just got a warning that comments must be at least 2 c…

            if i was Kyle, I’d be like, “Whoa why is he so- ”

            lol.

            Mr. Lamp works well too…

          • vessto

            And S. L. from Sexy Lampy.:)

          • Mr SL

    • Jay K

      I’m honestly surprised at all the people who still want them to be together at this point. Putting aside the fact I saw this coming miiiles away, I really don’t buy the whole “I wasn’t in love with you at first, but now I am” plot device (then again comic books are notorious for that) and I really feel if there is ever a line drawn against people you shouldn’t continue a relationship with….it’s this.

      • I so agree. What does poor poor Duncan have to do so everyone will stop trying to force him together with Kyle?

        Clearly the Dunkster is NOT into 18 year-olds. ‘Kay? Thass cool. Kyle’s not everyone’s cuppa tea surely?

        If we just left Dunk alone, then maybe he wont have to rip Kyle’s heart out and eat it for breakers just to prove to all of us wishful thinkers that he REALLY ISN’T INTO KYLE’S BIZ.

        Hey just sayin’ there are other fish in the sea and I think JayK is right with this one. 🙂

        • All I want are weekly coffee meetings. Is that too much to hope for?

          PS And I actually mean just meeting for coffee.

          • No, unless you are in hell. If you’re in hell there’s no coffee allowed, ’cause it’s hell… after all.

            Otherwise, that is a very reasonable request, Admiral, and I second your call for regular coffee meetings.

          • I thought hell ran on coffee. Everything runs on coffee. I will not believe otherwise lalalalala I can’t hear you lalalala.

            Of course it’s a reasonable request. Supervillain and Superhero meeting regularly for coffee would be awesome.

            “Did you have to set that building on fire? Again?”
            “It was a different kind of fire and it keeps you on your toes. Did you have to stop that bank heist? It was only a few bonds?”
            “You don’t need anymore money.”
            “I just gave to charity. And donated blood.”
            “And I’m very proud of you, but you still don’t need the money.”

          • Steven K.

            ONLY if Duncan is the one serving the coffee to Kyle, on a tray, bowing as he slowly backs away, saying: “Enjoy, my Lordship.”

          • No, at a little cafe down the street where they serve biscotti on the side.

          • Chocolate biscotti? (he says hopefully?)

          • Every type of biscotti.

            Which reminds me, I should make some at some point. Not this weekend. Trying the apple upside down cake again.

          • OMG… how is it that I don’t live next door to you? I mean seriously. Not that I need the extra pounds, but honestly…. 😀

          • Ha! The funny thing is, I’m not a bake-y type person (I’m lazy at heart), but every so often I get this urge to be crafty in the kitchen, especially when I look at the ingredients or the price on the package and go oh hell no.

          • How do you feel about 110 degree summers? 🙂

          • And then is IS true that muffins can be shipped, as can Snickers Bar, and yummy things of all types. This bears more thinking. You are made of stern stern stuff Admiral… but they do say it’s not the heat… (collective groans) it’s the humidity. (ta da!)

          • Muffins yes, snickers no (melted moments after leaving the store). Yes, it requires more thinking. Because this summer was pretty close to hell.

            Well, at least there aren’t any fleas here.

    • Me too. Sure, I can buy that there will be a way for Duncan to redeem himself, e.g. giving up his immortality+youth to save Kyle’s life at the end, but that does not mean Kyle should take him back. I can’t emphasize that enough. NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!

    • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

      Welcome to Team Pitchfork Tar & Feathers! There’s always room for more people in the club. On the menu for Duncan and Sircea: Vengeance served cold and Just Desserts.

    • Steven K.

      Mostly agree with that, except the wife part. If PP was his sister, that would be acceptable, but if she’s his wife or main squeeze, that would just be ….icky.

      • Jakk Anthony Guzman

        I said his wife so it would be impossible for him and Kyle to ever have something serious. Kyle would realize that and move on. I don’t want Kyle tied up emotionally to Duncan if Duncan is so cruel, which could happen if Duncan is gay and Sircea his sister.

  • Niggle

    Okay, time to stop censoring myself and say: what the bloody fuck is going on?! Well, I know what’s going on, but damn. I kinda knew things were going downhill, but I really did not expect Anni to be quite THAT evil. He’s signing the death warrants and enslavement of over 6 billion people all so he can be forever young and rule a couple continents. (And how could he even know his terms would be kept? How trustworthy are demons?) Selfish jackass. Argh! But I guess he wouldn’t be the ultimate supervillain otherwise.

    No wonder Kyle is going to be a big damn hero, he’s going to be up against that and he’ll be wanting to redeem his involvement, no matter how involuntary it was. Alex, please be kind to the rest of the world before Kyle can save it, I’ve got friends outside of the Americas.

    Last panel is sad panel, that look at Kyle’s face. 🙁

    • Mychyl

      I was losing my faith, but imagine: a demon, out of its native realm (and thus vulnerable) — who’s to say Duncan keeps his end of the deal once the demon is on Earth? For all that, who’s to say Laampros wouldn’t be stepping foot into the middle of a trap designed to slay him?

      No, I think there’s more afoot yet, more that neither Kyle nor Laampros fully comprehends.

      • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

        I’m feeling more and more that Dunks is as slippery and deceptive as Odysseus– which would fit him. Sircea and all.

      • Maus Merryjest

        It’s a good point. Once Laampros is on earth, how much will he be a ‘fish out of water’? He needs safe passage into our world… could someone slam the door behind him?

  • Call me crazy, but I’m having a hard time figuring out how this plan could possibly be thwarted. Damn it.

    • Klaus

      Well, for one thing, it seems that someone is keeping an eye on Laampros.

      • I know! That eye is creepy. I don’t know why, but I find it more frightening than Laampros.

      • Awwww, don’t be mean. It’s not like George Finnegan has unlimited options.

        • Klaus

          I don’t get it. Who is George Finnegan?

          • The eyeball. His name is George Finnegan. I can’t remember his last name though.

          • Klaus

            Yes, I got that. But is that name a reference to some real or fictional character outside the comic, or was it chosen randomly?

          • Ahh. You would need to ask @disqus_qKyvE1hhPZ:disqus that. But I think it just might be random.

  • Sophia

    Er… Wow. Talk about evil!

    • Yes… lets… and HIS NAME IS DUNCAN!

      (sorry, forgot to use my indoor voice)

  • Acheron Hades

    Oh snap!

    • I was trying to think of how to describe the look on Kyle’s face in that last panel… and I think you just did.

      Perfectly!

      • Acheron Hades

        If this place had ‘Like’ buttons… <3

        • They do sorta… they’re little ^ up arrows and down arrows, but no one uses the down arrows since no one can decide if that’s like saying you don’t like the person or don’t like what he/she is saying… so I can’t be arsed to go down…. (wait that sounded wrong).

          Anyway, you can up vote anyone’s comments once… at least on my computer.

          Take care.

  • AliceVenturi

    Alrighty then. I suspected that this would involve passage to our world. One heaping bowl of extreme, possibly-world-ending peril, coming right up! You know the old play-writing admonition: if you show the audience a demon in act one, you better have put the world in peril by act two! Or something like that.

    And here we have a handsome young superhero right on the front lines of this conflict. And isn’t it just so very lucky that his team has a kick-ass magic user on it.

    :::sniff sniff:::

    I smell a nice dish of romantic character development there on the back burner. I wonder when Mr. Woolfson intends to bring it to a boil?

    • I am forced to agree with everything you say because of the sheer awesome power of your avatar. *bows* I thank you.

      Now I can chill, have a Snickers and wait for boil-age in Chapter 47.

      • AliceVenturi

        My avatar would thank you, but she’s too busy being appalled at, well, everything. Guess I’ll have to thank you instead. Thanks!

  • Pashakitty

    Oh… bad move Duncan, bad move. So much for my hope of them resolving their issues, I don’t think Kyle could ever be okay with selling out most of humanity.

    • I would have thought so too, but now that I think of it… if you could guarantee to get him off that damn ever-burning bed, and also to throw in some really good oral sex for his truly awful birthday… he just might… he jussssst might. (?)

      • Steven K.

        I know the feeling.

      • Pashakitty

        Highly doubtful, and I wouldn’t like Kyle so much if he was willing to sell humanity so cheaply.

  • Cat Astrophe

    Man, I miss Kyle. I want him to in the back, yelling and struggling and mad enough to beat Duncan’s ass! Unfortunately, there does not seem to be much one can do when bound by super fancy, magic fire chains.Well, besides look surpised

  • SofiaT

    This whole dividing of Earth offer reminds me of Lex Luthor. And not the badass, formidable scientist/businessman Luthor of the comic books, but silly-Gene-Hackman-Luthor.

    Again, you disappoint me Duncan. I thought you could do better than this. First immortality, now a piece of land? Pfft.

    (But I still won’t give up on you because I’m loyal that way).

    Edit: I have to say this: “Kneel before… Laampy!”

    • vessto

      Immortality, youth and two continents.:) I wish the same.^^

      • Klaus

        Would you really like to rule America?

        http://xkcd.com/1274/

        • Sadly, I live here and yet that letter is awesome. Thank you for sharing.

        • vessto

          Fema? And I thought Illuminati and The New World Order are a same thing.

          Yeah, who’d choose such fossils before hunk like Anni.;)

    • I know everyone loves the old Superman movies with Christopher Reeves, but Gene Hackman really was a lousy Lex Luthor. He made Lex into a laughing stock, bumbling fool.

      So what I’m saying is, I’m glad to see your comment on that. I don’t feel so alone.

      • SofiaT

        I’ve watched the old Superman movies so many times, I’m convinced I learnt English from them (I wasn’t in school yet so I couldn’t read the subtitles, and even though I hadn’t started English lessons yet either I knew exactly what was going on and could repeat all dialogue. True story).

        But while I adored them as a kid and they still have a special place in my heart (only taking about Superman 1 &2 of course), I can admit now they’re pretty campy. And Lex Luthor was ridiculous.

        I liked Kevin Spacey’s Luthor in Superman Returns much more.

        • Cool story!

          At the time, when I was a youngling, they were great. I just…now watching, I can’t. I just can’t and I think it’s because Lex was such a bumbler. I prefer to remember them through my childhood memories.

          In 4 you could see the strings flying him around.

          Would it be bad if I said Kevin Spacey freaked me out in that role?

          • SofiaT

            No, wouldn’t be bad at all. He was the right amount intense, scary and evil.

            The guy really did think he was doing the world a favour carrying out his plan. Now that is what I call pure evil.

            I have Superman II on dvd (the Richard Donner cut) and I went to watch the first Superman on a retro movie theater a few months ago. Margot Kidder was there so I got a photo with her an an autographed black&white still from the movie 🙂

            Campy or not, they really were awesome for their time.

          • Yes, yes they were. So was Clash of the Titans. 🙂

          • SofiaT

            I avoid all Hollywood productions based on Greek mythology because they make me wanna tear my hair off but I’ll take your word for it 😛

          • That one, the original, I think followed Perseus pretty closely, at least mostly, but I could be wrong. It’s the new one that veered, good grief did it veer. Anyway…

            Watching it now… HA! The claymation and Harry whatshisface who played Perseus… Yeah… Never mind. 😛

            I guess what I meant is that there were movies from my childhood that were the BEST THING EVAH! and now I’m wondering what was wrong with my 10 year old self.

          • SofiaT

            *sigh* The “Clash of the Titans” aka “Titanomachia” is an actual chapter in greek mythology -it was the war between the then rulling Titans (Cronus) and Cronus’ children, the gods that would later become the Olympians (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Titanomachy). Perseus took no part in it as he wasn’t born yet, so I hate how Hollywood has just taken the story and messed it up completely.

            At least tell me Pegasus wasn’t in it? 🙁

          • Well isn’t that typical of Hollywood, misnaming things. I think they just thought it sounded cool, in the hey these gods and other things are clashing kinda way. This was just followingish Perseus and Andromeda coming together. Okay, I’ll shut up now. It was just a bad movie that at the time was a favorite of my little brother and me.

            Ummm….Pegasus wasn’t in it? *running away*

          • SofiaT

            No, Perseus reached Andromeda by using Hermes’ winged sandals. The hero that tamed and rode Pegasus was Bellerophon, no relation to Perseus whatsoever 🙂 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bellerophon

            I’m sorry if I’ve begun teaching Greek Mythology 101 again, I can’t seem to help myself.

          • That’s okay. Don’t mind. I get to learn things. I like learning things. 🙂

            It’s just another case of rule of cool for Hollywood. Apparently flying horse trumps flying sandals. I mean FLYING HORSE!!!

          • Awwwww (gargles with lust) Harrrrrrry Hamlin, when I saw him in that short (greek skirt tunic thing) with those legs… as Perseus, I though my little gay boy brain would fritz out. Hokey as crap and yummy as all get out. I’m sure for accuracy SofiaT would die, but I loved (and still have fondness) for that dear version of the CLASH. It doesn’t take itself too seriously. Sir Lawrence Olivier is geniusly perfect as the sly and all knowing naughty Zeuss and it’s filled with the best of the great British actors. Rather like when Sir Ralph Richardson played THE SUPREME BEING in the Time Bandits… no one else could play god like that Brit.

            Any just a swell dear film. And all those sweet classic special effects done 100 years before today when that is all that seems to matter. 🙂

            Thanks for making me think of it!

          • Well it truly was a favorite for me and my little brother. That and Beast Master. I gave Tomm (little brother and yes he spells it with two m’s) a copy of the original Clash of the Titans. He forced his wife to watch it. I don’t know if she appreciated that, but he wanted her to see all the lovely badness of it.

            Oooh Time Bandits. May have to find that one on DVD.

          • Ohhhhhh TIME BANDITS… one of the best films ever made.

            And tell your little brother’s wife she’s a lucky lucky lady… just in case she’s not clear that she’s married to an art appreciator! 🙂

          • Actually I think they’re both lucky to have found each other, they both are rather quirky. I’m sorta nervous for when they start having children. HA!

    • Jakk Anthony Guzman

      I’m thinking Duncan is using the same trick he used with Kyle to bind the demon and get everything he wants. He offered Kyle something Kyle couldn’t have with any other man. He now is offering the demon something the demon wants to trick him. I think Duncan wants the whole Earth. He told Kyle that he was not interested in ruling the universe, just the Earth. I think he lied. I think he wants it all, youth, perfect health, and all the power he can get.

    • KiannaLeigh

      Kneel before Laampy!

      LOL

      • With that piece of demon business hanging there, I can think of lots of folk who’d be happy to…

        (whoops, sorry *taps mic* is this thing live? … err… I didn’t mean to say that out loud….)

  • Gosh, Duncan, you really are a cockweasel, aren’t you?

    • Wow… thank you that word is as good as “douchecanoe”. Now I have a choice, both worthy of Dunks. Thank you.

      • Adam Black

        Cockweasel sounds like a compliment to me

        • Yeah… I know… I’d be lying if I said it didn’t. Kinda sexy in a furry way.

          • Steven K.

            Cockweasel sounds better than weaselcock.

        • It’s the new honeybunches.

  • Yup.. or at least I try to 🙂
    Don’t want to miss any of the greatness (and hotness*lol*). I’m more around than most know. I read several comic where I don’t/rarely comment.

  • Tina

    GAH! TOO MANY COMMENTS! Anywho. Wow. This is… interesting. Lol of all the questions I got, the biggest one is, isn’t that chest where he got his uniform from…? So… was the orb hiding under the uniform the whole time? Or did it magically appear?

    • vessto

      Hmmmmm, didn’t think at all (this is 2D universe and things here appear and disappear as they want XD). Maybe it was under the bed?

    • SofiaT

      We never saw the full contents of the chest so it could have been there the whole time. Or, you know, this is a universe where people emit fire, are invulnerable, can fly and play with magic. It could have just appeared -and this chest is like Mary Poppins’ bag 😀

      • The chest, it’s the TARDIS’s little cousin! One day it plans to grow up and see the universe.

        • Tina

          That. Sounds awesome. And Duncan would be the Doctor while Kyle his companion. Actually… that’d be bad… because bad things always happen to the Doctor’s companions…

          • I was trying to think, surely not all of them. I think Martha escaped with just a bruised heart.

            I could see Kyle being the Doctor. 😛

          • Tina

            Eh true but still thats like 1 in 10.

            Ha! Then the doctor would finally get his wish of being ginger!

          • So he would! I was rooting for the guy who played Bill Weasley to be the next Doctor.

        • Adam Black
      • Tina

        Le Gasp! Duncan is Mary Poppin’s brother! Everyone knows all English people are related to her! It all makes sense now!

      • You know, anything could be in that chest. We all have to store our sex toys somewhere. If Dunc. keeps rooting around in there we might see almost anything. Could be gooooood.

      • Adam Black

        Sapient-Pear Luggage …

        • WarGoddess

          OMG, I love Terry Pratchett’s books! The Colour of Magic is my favorite! XD

          • Agreed. Nothing heals what’s ailing you faster than a good dose of TP (and one of those wee free men yelling, “Crivens! Ma kilt’s on fire!”)

          • I love the wee free men!

          • Oh, like soooo much. All those Tiffany Aching books make me so damn happy. (well all of them really).

          • I have the first two, I need to get the other two.

  • WarGoddess

    Now that I can finally comment (phone’s being a moron) lemme just say:
    CALLED IT!!! XD
    The keys to paradise, indeed!! Now, the question is, is this just another Duncan ruse? Methinks it is. Duncan is the big fish in our world, I really don’t think he’s actually going to give up most of it just for immortality and eternal youth. This may be his way of tricking Lampurru-kun into being bound to him. At least, that’s what I would do if I were Duncan. I’m just gonna sit back with my popcorn and wait! 😀

    • SofiaT

      Pass some popcorn please? I’ve ran out. 😀

      • WarGoddess

        Oh definitely! *passes a bucket of virtual popcorn over to Sofia*
        It has the added ingredient of pure AWESOMENESS. 😀

        • SofiaT

          Pure awesomeness tastes um, awesome!

      • Here………. do you need something to drink?

        • SofiaT

          A chocolate milkshake would be nice, thank you! 😀

          • And you certainly deserve it for your kind and thoughtful support of Sonny’s suppositions. That was the best thoughtful fun I’ve had exchanging plot and story ideas in an age. People like him need milkshakes also! I believe I’ll make two. 🙂

          • SofiaT

            *nods* He has been writing some very thoughtful comments and I find that he articulates a lot of what I’m feeling in a way I’d probably never be able to. Looks like -once again- I missed a very fun discussion.

            Put some whipped cream and a cherry on top of his mikshake, will ya? 🙂

    • SofiaT

      The whole “immortality and a nice continent to go with it” request is so trite, I hope Duncan has some aces up his sleeve or I’ll lose all respect for him.

      That said, Duncan is a smart guy, he most likely does have a bigger plan he’s not revealing at the moment. Maybe he’s trying to lull Laampy into thinking he is indeed a little maggot.

      • I’ve shared this comic with my mom (yes, I know, gasp) but the first thing she thought was that asking for just the American Continents was rather stupid of Duncan. I mean, what supervillain does that? Hey you can have the rest of the world I just want this little space here. Big Red is not going to just share the world with some maggot.

        • SpookyDomme

          Seriously.
          All I can imagine is some guy in tights going, “Gosh, I want to rule a large land mass…but I’d like to do that without giving up quality resources like Taco Bell and Mall of America.”

          • Adam Black

            maybe Laampros weakness is Nukes

          • Just because a demon likes to shoot up atomic waste… let’s not judge. Okay?

          • I suppose Duncan could give him a microwave oven.

          • For slightly stale muffins? (he says hopefully)

          • Wouldn’t that make them more stale? But sure, if you don’t mind it, then for slightly stale muffins. Just so long as they’re not made from coconut flour. I just can’t…

          • SpookyDomme

            That or pants.

          • Sure. If he keeps gaining weight…

          • You can’t give up Taco Bell, you just can’t. Aren’t they the official sponsor of the Villain Games?

          • SpookyDomme

            Of course! Can’t have Villain Games without ’em. When you’re a mover and shaker hustling up the ladder to world domination, you need food that you can hold in one hand while firing the Ultimate Death Laser 5000™ in the other.

          • And in a pinch, a packet of hot sauce is a deadly weapon.

        • SofiaT

          The mediocre, unambitious kind? Duncan is neither so I have high hopes this is just “smoke”.

          • That’s been my thinking. Duncan’s not stupid.

          • That’s been my thinking. Duncan’s not stupid.

      • WarGoddess

        Oh, look right here Mr. Demon sir, I’m being so humble and shit! It’s so incredibly believable! Do you believe in my humbleness? Do ya? Do ya?! DO YA?!!
        Fuck yeah I’m just a little maggot. A little maggot who’s about to blindside you with my sheer AWESOMENESS. SUCK IT. XD

      • Adam Black

        The Solomon Plan,

        Bind the demon as a servant. North America isn’t going to conquer itself.

    • I have fingers and toes crossed that this is some sort of ruse for Duncan. That look on his face in the last panel surely means something. Just what there are a few theories playing about my head, though binding Big Red seems to be the foremost possibility.

      • Klaus

        That look might just mean that he is certain that the demon will accept his offer.

        • He may want to watch it then, he wouldn’t want to tip his hand.

      • WarGoddess

        Yeah, because anybody who’s read or watched ANYTHING about demons or supervillains knows that they are SUPER untrustworthy. Expect Laampurru-kun to just be satisfied with one half of the world? I don’t think so, buddy!! You need some extra insurance if you expect that sorta plan to work out! And Duncan definitely a man with a plan. 😀

        • What, they’re untrustworthy? Never say so!

          • WarGoddess

            I wish they could be trusted, but if they could be, we wouldn’t love them as much. Being dishonest about everything is the thing that villains and demons do best! 😀

          • You girls love the bad boys… I’ve always heard that and here I see it’s true right in front of my eyes. Wow. 😀

          • WarGoddess

            In fiction, not RL. I don’t think I could stand a man who was dishonest with me as my significant other. 😀

          • LOL… duplicitous vixen to fool thy fictionary friends with welcome arms that are only for those not of the “real-world”… ahhhhh women… tricky things. 😀

          • WarGoddess

            Yes, yes we are very tricky. 😀

          • No, I don’t suppose we would. They would be *gasp* boring. And who really likes boring?

          • WarGoddess

            Not me!! 😀

          • Seconded! Shall we take it to the floor for a vote?

          • WarGoddess

            Of course! It moves to the floor! All votes unanimous? XD

          • Aye! Motion is passed. Boring villains/demons are boring and no one likes them. 😀

          • WarGoddess

            HUZZAH!!! XD

          • HUZZAH!! 😀

            Muffins and coffee in the breakroom. Good job everyone.

          • WarGoddess

            Now if only the U.S. government were that efficient. 😀

          • I know! If only the promise of coffee and muffins would work for them.

          • WarGoddess

            I would personally bake them cupcakes if it would get them to stop being ignorant. 😀

          • Now, if that isn’t the best quote ever…

            “I would personally bake them cupcakes if it would get them to stop being ignorant. :D”

            I think I need this on a t-shirt, just for general and constant wearing. I mean the US government needs it most, but I see an all-purpose good in this statement.

            Me likes!
            – ChrisD

          • WarGoddess

            You know, I think I might actually design a t-shirt like this. My friend Traci’s mom has a t-shirt making scanner thing that prints pictures off of the internet onto the fabric. 😀

          • Zazzle! You can make them at Zazzle and then sell them.

          • I think we all would gladly don a bakers hat and apron and bake them anything they wanted if it would fix things. *imagines everyone in those tall chefs hats*

          • WarGoddess

            Cupcakes are like duct tape. They fix EVERYTHING.

          • Yes, yes they do! There is nothing that cupcakes can’t fix. I refuse to believe otherwise.

  • Allyne David Marins

    Damn it Kyle, SAY SOMETHING XD

    • vessto

      He’s still under the spell and silence keeps him alive as Anni warned him.

  • Maus Merryjest

    Australia could totally take Laampros on. Hell’s got nothing compared to the natural threats you find there!

    • SofiaT

      I can attest to that. I think I’d rather take on Laampy than some of the spiders I see here.

      • No fricking joke…

        Acrachnophobes look the hell away… The Australian Huntsman made me scream like demon!

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uN3uR0J-Jqk

      • No fricking joke…

        Acrachnophobes look the hell away… The Australian Huntsman made me scream like demon!

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uN3uR0J-Jqk

        • SofiaT

          Ironically, the Huntsman is pretty harmless.
          The Funnelweb on the other hand, can kill you. You need to be pretty quick in calling an ambulance or you’re gone. And there’s a tiny, innocent looking one, the Redback, that can give you horrible pains for days if she bites you.

          • See that is why both Laampros and Duncan are leaving you alone SofiaT… you think it’s because they’re being nice to you, but nooooo I say! It’s not! It’s because all your flora and fauna wants to kill and eat people.

            I have friend’s living in Melbourne area and I don’t know HOW you folk do it? 😀

  • b3nc0

    Ther’s got too many words, too many comments♪
    That I’ll never read, and I’ll never reply to♫
    I’ll never reply to, ‘coz I’ll never find time♪

    (something page-related will come tomorrow night orz)

  • Tragically_Unhip

    Duncan, really? Really? Son… I AM DISAPPOINT.

  • bronakopdin

    Oh, Duncan just wants to play catch!
    Get the ball Laampros, good boy!

  • davefragments

    If you look closely at the panels and think about the movements that Duncan makes as he takes that orb out of the chest, steps back and turns, dropping to one knee in that cheesy obeisance he thinks is great, this is all one fluid and rehearsed motion. It’s the gestures that he thinks is going to win over Laampros and convince him how wonderful the offer really is.

    Now let’s see if Laampros laughs at him or see through the gesture.

    • bronakopdin

      reading this movement description could also be kind of a bowling move xD

      • davefragments

        Sort of. I grew up in bowling alleys and that’s not a move I would have made nor my Dad (the manager of many lanes) or Mom both of whom bowled over 200 averages. HOWEVER, those not so “gifted” (maybe “cursed” or “inflicted” are better words) might have those moves with their 125 averages.
        😎

  • EldrinSMP

    Oh Duncan… Anyone else see the “Oh HELL no” look in Kyle’s eyes? I think someone might be about to break a spell.

    I have to wonder, what could Spooky do to Laampros?

  • Jakk Anthony Guzman

    If Kyle could talk he’d be saying: Watch out Laampros! He’s got a trick up his sleeve!! Look over here! This is what happens when you trust him!! 😛

    • Nah, I think he wouldn’t be warning Laampy, but cursing out Duncan.

      • Awwww come on… I’ll bet by this point Kyle’s got enough swear words stacked up to work them both over, mutha f*ckahs!

        • Most likely, but at this point, I think his ire would be focused solely on the Duncanator

        • Adam Black

          Alex,

          you should sell a page where Kyle can speak for one frame.

  • Jakk Anthony Guzman

    Kyle wanted to be in a relationship and have sex, which is normal. But he couldn’t. And because he wanted it so much he let his guard down. That was his weakness and Duncan found it and use it against him. I believe that the demon has a weakness too. He wants to cross over to “paradise”. Duncan is probably thinking that if the demon wants it really bad, he may let his guard down just like Kyle did. I think that is why Duncan is offering him “paradise”, it’s the one thing the demon really wants.
    Duncan doesn’t strike as a man who shares his toys….don’t see him sharing the Earth with a demon.

    • WarGoddess

      Exactly. 😀

    • Adam Black

      I think the offer is genuine.

      He has just conveniently left out the part where Laampros serves bound as Duncans’s Champion.

      • Jakk Anthony Guzman

        The offer may be genuine, yes. The best lies are the ones based on the truth. But there is going to be catch there somewhere. I can’t believe that Duncan is going to unleash a demon, or demon army on Earth.

        • Samurai Jack

          I can’t believe anyone thinks a demon will keep its word…

          • rgleon9986

            Although, if demons don’t deal straight with people, who the hell will deal with them at all? 😛 I laughed hard when I heard this on Supernatural, but it makes sense, in a way.
            Crowley: There’s a reason we don’t call our chips in early; consumer confidence. This isn’t Wall Street. This is Hell! We have a little something called integrity. This gets out who’ll deal with us? Nobody! Then where are we?!

  • KiannaLeigh

    World domination. Well doesn’t that just take the wind out of your sails?

    Okay so the big question is this: What land would be better? Laampy’s Empire, or Anni’s? Yea. Think on that. I vote Anni. Somehow I think Laampy will fill his side with scary things. Better to serve your immortal overlord on human terms, I say.

    • Didn’t you hear? Anni is going for god-hood. With his evil sow-queen at his side. We were told so a page ago I think. So I’m not so sure about Anni-land being the better locale. And after what he did to Kyle? I don’t think it’s going to be rainbows and puppies for any of us… I’m currently looking into a nice new sub-division on the moon.

      Come with. There are still lots of good lots left, with some nice earth views. We can watch it burn… together. It’ll be cozy. *delirious smile*

      • KiannaLeigh

        You said muffins? In space? While the world burns? I am there.

  • Amanda

    Watch out world!! Laampy and George are hitting us! Next time we see them they will be featured on a poster like this http://0.static.wix.com/media/5be4a1_189e0615b2f9b69abedb70bdbd7247f0.jpg_256 !
    Except George cant wear cutoffs, but who am I to judge, neither can I!

    • That is pure awesome! George is wicked hot in boots… wait? Can George WEAR boots? Hell I’d go anyway.

      • Amanda

        We’ll just tape them somewhere!

        • GENIUS!

          • Amanda

            Its George. That giant gay eyeball has inspired my creative genius.

      • Steven K.

        He could at least wear some really nifty scarfs, to keep him warm while he’s away from the climate he’s used to, although they’d have to be VERY soft, so as not to be too itchy to that sensitive tissue.

    • Hmmm. This is seriously making me rethink my planned cosplay of George at Yaoi-con next year…I mean I can’t wear cutoffs either or people won’t want to SEE me in cutoffs with all the “staring always staring” thing going on.

  • Wayne Lunkwitz

    It is true that Kyle can create fire and I assume also control it….I think with enough anger built up he might be able to break the chains…..unless anger fuels the fire the chains are made of….in that case he will have to supress all anger to break the spell and win the “game”.

  • Soubi

    Awh, shit. If this whole thing wasn’t a deal breaker for Kyle THIS is definietly it. Bad Anni, bad. BAD! Laampurru-kun’s gonna rule Japan.

  • Dark_Otter

    Paradise? That’s a bit of an oversell. It’s in the boonies–next half-decent real estate is way out in Alpha Centauri. The place is filled to capacity, the tenants fight with each other non-stop, and the HVAC is starting to give out.

    Also, I agree with Admiral Jane that it’s dumb for Mr. and Mrs. Duncan to trade away 92% of the operation. I don’t think Lampy will appreciate any efforts to expand their holdings… or shy away from trying to do that himself. #buyemorbreakem

  • SpookyDomme

    Duncan, m’dear. Perhaps, back in your schoolboy days, you shouldn’t have merely skimmed “Faust.”

    • Cliff notes ARE evil… they told me, but I didn’t believe. Ahhh youth… wasted on the young!

      • I did a term paper on Moby Dick using only cliff notes. Not the best idea.

        • Jamie Dutton

          Um, a friend used Google translate to pass her French mid-terms. Lol, the teacher didn’t have a clue ><;

          • LOL! I didn’t get so lucky. Although come to think of it, my teacher only said I was repetitive. That’s what I get for choose something about metaphors and something something of Moby Dick. We weren’t given a very broad list of topics/books we could do.

  • fujoshifanatic

    What nefarious fuckery is this? If Anni gets some some sort of redemption/reconciliation arc after a plan like this, it would be a VERY HARD SELL for me. I would forever see Kyle as some dumb kid falling for a true dick, even if Anni had some brief misgivings about his plan. And I agree with SpookyDomme; Anni would have benefitted from a more in-depth study of Faust before he decided this was a gambit he could seriously benefit from and control. :-

    Oh, and the look of horror on poor Kyle’s face in the last panel is so distressing! I feel so bad for him! 🙁 At the very least, I hope Anni can get him out of there and unscathed soon. Then Laampros can rip Anni’s head off if he wants–since that’s what he deserves.

    • Jamie Dutton

      Here good sir or madam, have a brownie for that awesome use of word-play!!
      *writes down awesome phrase for future use*

  • WarGoddess

    Laampros: How does it… um… how does it work?
    Duncan: I know not, my liege.
    Laampros: Consult the Book of Keys.
    Duncan: Book of Keys, chapter two, verses nine through twenty-one;
    And the Dark Priest raised the mystic key up on high, saying, “O Dark Lord, bless this thy mystic key, that with it thou mayst gain access to the mortal world and blow thine enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy.” And the Dark Lord did grin. And the people did feast upon the lambs and sloths, and carp and anchovies, and orangutans and breakfast cereals, and fruit-bats and large chu…
    Laampros: Skip a bit, maggot…
    Duncan: And the Dark Lord spake, saying, “First shalt thou insert thy mystic key into thy mystic keyhole. Then shalt thou count to three, no more, no less. Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then turnest thou thy mystic key towards thy left in thy mystic keyhole, gaining access to thy mortal world, filled with mortals who, being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it.
    Laampros: Right. One… two… five.
    Duncan: Three, sir.
    Laampros: Three.
    A little bit of humor to lighten up the seriousness of this page, everyone! XD

    • Ahhhh you quote the fine key-book of Antioch. Thou art wise as the book of Python is always appropriate for the lightening of moods…

      A choir shall sing in thy name… 😀

      • WarGoddess

        Yay!! As long as the choir doesn’t bring along a killer white bunny rabbit, I’ll be happy. XD

        • Steven K.

          Perhaps Laampros has an army of such fell beasts that he’ll bring along with him to carry out his mayhem upon gaining entrance to the mortal realm (but they will be red with white eyes instead of white with red eyes).

          • The Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog… sure… I’d like to see Laampros try and master that foul beastie. Fat chance of that!

          • WarGoddess

            Lol!! XD

          • WarGoddess

            Lol, death by adorable demonic bunny rabbits. XD

    • Steven K.

      Aww – that was a nice diversion.

      • WarGoddess

        Glad you liked it! XD

    • Jamie Dutton

      Lol, thanks for the laugh.

      • WarGoddess

        You’re welcome! XD

    • SofiaT

      This was pure awesome! 😀

      • WarGoddess

        Yay! Glad you liked it! XD

  • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

    You know, I just had a thought. The Crisis of Infinite Thingamawhatsit that’s going on right now. You don’t waste dialogue on things that aren’t important. Maybe Sircea foresaw something that set Duncan down this path. Hell with him looking more and more like Odysseus, her name looks less like sister (certainly not wife) and more like sinister to my mind now. We know that Laampros and she have had contact– so her hands have to be all over this gambit. I want her to be Duncan’s sister, but she might be manipulating him. Circe and Odysseus keep circling my mind like sharks.

    PERHAPS– Duncan had to do this for the sake of the world because of the Crisis (a world that is enough for him) — not to rule it, anarchists aren’t interested in rule, but because everyone else is fighting for stupid reasons elsewhere. It’s left up to him and Sircea and a handful of halfway trained youths (Duncan knows all about them) and their tutor. They stayed behind. Kyle’s horror may have been necessary to break any contract they’d formed as a failsafe– Kyle’s rejection had to be genuine, Duncan had to look like a jerk and hurt him, because there was no other way to make it believable—- because Kyle couldn’t lie and magic has rules (which Dunks seems to know). Kyle is too sweet and forthright to be a guile hero– he’s a “spotless champion of the meek” sort of paladin. Duncan may have given up all hope of being with Kyle during the “different man” speech— he just wants to complete his task now, and is in the zone because I do believe that Duncan enjoys overcoming incredible odds. It’s a rush.

    Several things to keep in mind— 1) how many of us end up with our first loves? really? 2) Duncan and Kyle might never end up together, but it doesn’t mean they won’t be friends and end up happily with other people. 3) Duncan is not a stupid man. 4) Duncan has performed good deeds independent of Kyle

    • WarGoddess

      I like this theory a lot! XD

    • KryX

      This sounds good and logical to me too.

    • I second/thirded liking this theory!

      I had wondered several pages back if Duncan might be trying to save the world somehow from some obscure threat. You state it much better than I ever did or could. So bows down to you!

    • Really interesting thinking, but you clearly and repeatedly want Duncan as ‘anarchist’, the way others want ‘redemption’ or that he isn’t ‘evil’ or the hope that these two crazy kids can end up in love together. It just worries me because it all hinges on him fitting your ‘anarchist’ framework and not the super villain mode he’s been fitted for over the last forty plus years… and that he’s reportedly been well known as. So this appealing ‘anarchist’ is actually quite a change from the Annihilator the world has known for many years.

      Hope you’re right, but it sounds like the new anarchist-Duncan is a different guy. I wonder what spurred his change? Mid-life crisis?

      • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

        Anarchist is a word used in the text itself and it wouldn’t be there if it didn’t have a purpose.

        Also— I’m not sure if I’m ready to buy a black/white hero and villain world. Even Kyle sees there’s something wrong with that. After contemplating Hunter and Killer and what they mean in the story (heroes in name only, good guys because they say they are and are registered with the appropriate authorities. Duncan may have even called on them *because* they offended him– and they would offend an anarchist, being entitled servants of a corrupt system.), I’m leaning more to this being revealed as a very grey world.

        Just because people believe something of someone, doesn’t make it true (and I know this for a fact.). Doubly so if media and fame are involved. Anarchist Duncan is only a change from the media representation of Annihilator– and even then some of his less questionable work still makes it on air (described as robin hood). Good acts that harm the interests of the rich and powerful may be reported as evil.

        That’s not to say that Dunks is innocent. He’s hurt people. He’s a self-admitted thief. He needs a boot to the head, even if he had a good reason for this, because he still broke Kyle’s heart. But I really identify with some of the things I see in Duncan– moreso than with Kyle. You asked me on the other page about my experiences, and I wasn’t quite sure which ones would fit. Being bisexual gets you objectified as a toy early on, I was treated like a promiscuous joke long before I even lost my virginity. You’re suddenly expected to service other people’s desires and be content with whatever they throw you (especially if you refuse to be ashamed or deny who you are) and I was the quiet queer boy who went berserk. I was just lucky enough to scare the bullies so badly it didn’t happen often (you don’t expect the pencil-necked nancy geek to put your face through a window).

        I look back on that now and I could have handled it better. Violence has rarely been the answer I thought it was. I could have blinded that kid, or killed him, by acting the way I did- but I was terrified and angry. If Duncan has come to that point in his life too– then yeah, this suits even better. Good doesn’t have to be nice and it doesn’t have to explain itself.

        • Oh, good response. Okay when I re-read last time, I was clearly in Kyle betrayal angst-love-mode and not catching nuanced ‘political philosophy’ language. So I’ll apologize for missing ‘anarchist’ in the text. I’m not sure if I’m up for an emo-re-read just now. Sometimes it’s just too much to watch a betrayal come at you for the third time, particularly when you know it’s coming.

          But I believe you, for sure.

          And surely we have all had some of that behavior in our pasts, as you refer to it. You are not alone. I was certainly no angel, and big and smart enough to hurt people in lots of ways both physical and other than physical. I try not to spend too much time re-thinking my younger self, but rather just remembering the person I no longer wish to be.

          That said, I get your point.

          Re: Duncan and the idea of ‘good not having to explain itself’. Okay, I’ll wait and see. I will say that I’ve rarely enjoyed having good done to me against my will. There’s always something about someone deciding that they ‘know better’ and the removal of free will for MY OWN GOOD that always goes against my grain and removes any supposed benefit of those ‘for my own good actions’.

          If Duncan is certain he’s doing this for Kyle’s own good (or the world’s) and that gives him permission – (?) Don’t know if I’ll ever feel the rightness of that theory. It’s just too dictator-speak for me. Our world history is filled with that kind of evil… and I mean that ‘E’ word exactly as it’s normally defined.

          We’ll see… for sure. Take care and thanks for the interesting thoughts.

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            I don’t think he thinks what he did to Kyle is good. That’s just pragmatism- the last chance left open to him. I was referring to his other acts prior to Kyle– particularly in South America. I think he knows it was wrong to hurt Kyle.– but if the choice is broken heart or world destroyed (thus everyone’s deaths), broken heart is going to seem like a cheap trade in the long run. Right now, all Kyle has had to endure is emotional trauma. That’s horrible, it’s going to affect him deeply and Duncan needs to pay back some hurt for it, but looking at it from Duncan’s pov– he’ll survive. Kyle is strong, he’ll survive. Everyone’s heart gets broken sometime. Is it sad it happened to someone as lovable as Kyle, yes– I think Duncan even told us that. I don’t expect he’s thinking of being forgiven. He probably expects Kyle to hate him (and might think him safer and healthier for it).

          • Fair enough. We’ll see if it pays off in the pleasure of the read. For at the end of this, that is all that will matter. Take care.

          • SofiaT

            *nods* Well said, dear Sir.

        • SofiaT

          May I say this is one of the best comments I’ve read on this site so far?

          Putting your bully’s face through a window included.

    • Steven K.

      Yes – very interesting, but maybe a bit too unparsimonious?

      • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

        Magic clearly exists in their world, and Dunks is right now talking to a demon. I wouldn’t include the magic bit if it didn’t have some bearing on the story already. Unparsimonious means that the outcome wouldn’t change– when I said it would. We already know solomon’s work is in play, so it’s reasonable to assume the rest are, even if they’re considered “Old”– which they are.

        • Steven K.

          Unparsimonious to my way of thinking was intended to mean unwieldy, with too many convoluted parts and suppositions – unnecessarily complex/complicated and contingent – lots of suppositions and assumptions that there may not be enough of a basis for yet with which the ideas are constructed in a very unstreamlined fashion. Gee – didn’t mean that critique to sound that bad – glad you are a god sport about it. Usually like a lot of your ideas and theories – that one just seemed a bit unnecessarily …er…how about we substitute the word “baroque” for “unparsimonious”.

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            I’ve mostly seen the word used in religious and spiritual arguments to describe the superfluous nature of adding faith to muddy a scientific statement– so pardon me for misunderstanding you a tad. The more you know, and all.

            I throw my theories out there mainly as “what if” (some of them have even contradicted each other in the same post) based on digesting the material and coming up with counters (that include more of the story pieces that people forget– because you do not waste drawn or written space in a comic) to the things others have said. I don’t think for a minute I can read Alex’s mind.

            Now, clearly, I think Dunks is awesome– but I admit the bias. I’m not ashamed to say I would retire it with a heavy and disappointed heart if I were proven wrong– and that Duncan is indeed just the flat, uninteresting, two-dimensional bastard he can seem to be. I’m not wowed by the badboy effect as far as relationships go. I only prefer Duncan because I see myself in him– my flaws and mistakes, and how I’ve tried to fix them. Often this doesn’t work and I make it worse. I can relate to Duncan. I was never as nice as Kyle.

            Life is baroque and unparsimonious, under your definition, once you scratch the surface. Butterflies making hurricanes. Plans never surviving contact with the enemy. The organism doing whatever the hell it wants under lab conditions. It’s not enough to learn how to argue in ethics– The same actions and words from different people may have endless motivations that one would know nothing about. Even if you asked, the person may not feel like telling you for even more complex reasons. Behaving like the world is a nice neat pile of certainty isn’t healthy in my experience. It gets you caught flat-footed and unprepared.

          • Aughhhhh, I must go to bed… but the comment is too interesting and am drawn irresistibly back for one more round… sure to embarrass myself due to sleepyheadness….

            You graciously throw out wonderful ideas and theories and suggestions and suppositions and then retract them and suggest they may or may not be so and then slam them down with certitude all while sliding them gently to the side to offer other yet more intriguing ideas.

            And… I don’t disagree with a one. Nope, not a one. I’m just a much more reluctant Duncanite than you are. I have more Kyle in me, so I feel the betrayal as personal stupidity (good storytelling that is too). But, I do agree that Dunks is a purely awesome character.

            Where I’m going to have to let go and agree to disagree for tonight (head too tired to really engage with your rich posting) is your telling quote in the last paragraph, “The organism doing whatever the hell it wants under lab conditions.”

            That takes me full circle to you saying earlier I think that Duncan isn’t doing evil, because he doesn’t believe he’s doing evil…

            Thus he’s doing good TOO me. In spite of ME. FOR MY OWN GOOD.

            For me these ideas while very true in a real world way, do come around to the ego-centric plan that I THE MASTER DUNCAN am the only one who sufficiently understands ‘Solomon’ and the grand designs of what is happening (wherever… in Alex’s head for all I know) and thus I shall enact MY master plan for the good of all………

            BECAUSE we all know that there is ONLY ONE solution to any situation. Right? Duncan’s. If he were to confide in another? Enlist someone else’s advice or help? Well they could NEVER be so smart as to actually have a MODIFICATION on said all or nothing plan. Or offer a different idea. No that can’t be. ONLY DUNCAN can save the world and ONLY by betraying Kyle… a betrayal that MUST happen because Duncan can’t come up with a different plan by himself that might allow events to play out, and thus save the world in another way.

            Does that make any sense or should I off to bed to debate grand schemes another day.

            I just keep coming round to the idea that as cool as the dude is… it all seems so ego-centric. ONLY DUNCAN CAN SAVE THE WORLD. Really? As this way is IT???

            Great fun Sonny and thank you again!

            – ChrisD

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            I’m a snake, am I? All that graceful and slippery language. I’m not displeased with the comparison. It begs a trouser snake joke as soon as I can think of a good one though. It is getting late.

            Well, he did enlist help– Sircea. He may even have other friends he’s discussed bits and pieces of this with– they just aren’t relevant to the story yet.

            The organism line is a quote from a biology professor I had many years ago. Surgeons perform much the same way– doing good to you, in spite of you, for you. It even hurts and you could possibly die. Sometimes you don’t even get to consent.

            Duncan has a huge ego. He’s indestructible and active anarchists aren’t known for being humble. If he feels like he’s the only one who can clearly see the trainwreck coming, he may feel compelled to rush ahead and stop it. Doesn’t make him right.

            And Kyle is the main character. Somehow this is all involved with Kyle’s progression forward as a man and as a hero. I don’t lose sight of that in all this.

            Sleep well, Chris, then come back and try to catch me up again. We’ll see if my mind can wriggle out of your grip. XD

          • Steven K.

            I, more than just about anyone, know how complex and complicated real life is, and how labyrithine and convoluted its many paths. I’d evenn go far as to say that real life is more complicated than any fiction, no matter how detailed and fully fleshed-out is the created world.

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            Well, there you go then.

            Creators rarely have the time, effort or energy to waste on things that aren’t essential to the story in a comic. If we have seen or heard it, expect it to be important somehow. Now how that is, I don’t know. I can only grab the threads that Alex is throwing and guess at what’s on the loom from the information they give me.

            If you have different ideas, bring them on.

      • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

        Reply to your edit– I refuse to take people at face value (that’s dangerous) and I’ve already admitted a shameless emotional investment in Dunks. At worst I’m engaging in an alternate character interpretation from yours until it’s proven otherwise. At best, I’m right– or close to it.

        • (Sorry… ) “At best, I’m right — or close to it.”

          No sir… at best my penis gets larger and more adorable young men, like Kyle, become interested in it.

          That’s ‘AT BEST’.

          HEY? I just wanted to make sure my definitions were completely clear. 🙂

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            LMAO– touche! Great talking with you, btw.

          • Likewise. A good evening to you, for sure!

            Best,
            ChrisD

          • This is one of the very best discussions I’ve read in a comments section. Interesting, thought provoking, on topic with the story, and even moving. Good job, guys!

        • SofiaT

          While this does look pretty bad, the story can take so many twists in the next 3 and a half chapters that to make now any assumptions and final judgements about anything is -to put it mildly- premature. Some readers have admitted that they were quick to decide that Anni and Kyle made the perfect couple last chapter and now are disappointed and have turned their pitchforks on him for destroying their dream. I never thought it was all going to be easy sailing, nor that Duncan was an innocent white dove, so I’m not disappointed with what’s been happening in the last few pages; but I also like to be contrary -when things seem to go well I’m suspicious and when things go south I’m full of optimism 😀

          All I know at this point is that I like Duncan. He is a lost soul but I don’t think he is so lost he can’t find his way back (with some help -aka “ass kicking”- from Kyle). While the evidence is all against him at the moment, I have seen enough hints to keep me hoping.

          I have no freaking clue what’s going to happen and how this will end up, I just know that this is a character worth every bit of my fascination (and I’m not taking about dat ass). I want to see him grow and I want to see him become a better person.

          It may be proven that my emotional investing in him is as premature and futile as other readers’ previously investing in his and Kyle’s HEA -and I may be as disappointed in him then as they are now. But it’s a risk I’m willing to take and if by the end of all this (key word: “end”) I’m proven wrong, I’ll bow gracefully and admit my error in betting on the wrong horse -but I’m sure I will have still enjoyed the ride.

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            Sofia, your risk assessment could be applied to my view of relationships in general. It’s the only way for me to stay optimistic at all when they fail. I look at them all as lessons learned, no matter how painful, and hope the next is kinder.

          • SofiaT

            My boldness in defending questionable characters only applies in fiction.

            In RL, after having been burned a couple of times, I’ve now established a status of perpetual singleness.

          • Ah HA! You weren’t reading our wise pontificatory statements earlier.

            See, now that you have stopped LOOKING for such relationships in real-life… a sentient being that you cannot perceive, who is much wiser than you, shall drop said relationship into your lap. Trust me. That’s the way this stuff always works.

            True example: My guy (now, of many years) and I met and went on totally typical gay-sex bender… then said ‘later’, convinced we’d never see each other again. Typical gay, right?

            Six months later, having spent most of every spare minute (read: and every night) hanging out together or at one of our homes and, without mentioning “RELATIONSHIPS” once… Well one day, we were riding somewhere in my car and he turned to me out of the blue and said, “We’re not really ‘dating’ anymore are we?”

            And I thought… nope… we really are NOT. And we’ve been happily together ever since. So clearly a supreme entity was involved, because guaranteed I would have f*cked things up in 24 hours or less if I’d tried to say anything. Seriously, guaranteed. *grins*

            So just look away and it will happen. 🙂

            Best,
            ChrisD

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            It’s good-natured pontificating!

            But Chris is right. I realized I loved the man I was in a relationship with the longest while we were discussing pipelines in bed at 3am. He mentioned that if his station blew, he’d be vaporized before he could feel anything so he didn’t really worry about an accident. It wouldn’t do him much good. I felt cold all over. I realized that was the last thing I wanted, not because he was my friend– but because I’d fallen in love with him somewhere. We were together for three years. Despite the way it ended, entirely my fault– I had a nervous breakdown and he couldn’t deal, I point to it as the best relationship I ever had.

          • I like that statement a lot. If I may add one thought… from a guy who has been in a monogamous relationship for a decent amount of time:

            It’s just the same… you love, you debate, you ignore, you’re sorry, you love, you cherish them madly, you behave like a prat, you something fantastically shitty, you forgive each other, you get over it, you love, and on… ad infinitum…

            So, it’s just the same as you say above. Just lots of work in mini-bite-size days, with hard lessons learned and if you work really hard and hope… (to quote Sonny slightly off kilter) the next day a lesson is learned (no matter how painful) and hopefully the coming day is kinder.

            (I promise this post made sense in my head)

            Best,
            ChrisD

          • Adam Black

            My personal fury was not that i thought they were a perfect couple. I assumed it was temporary and was in it for the …. fan-service.

            I wasn’t expecting anti-fanservice, and now it seems that extreme must mean something plotwise.

            Now who is this Kyle person you keep talking about?

          • LOL, this board is so funny

          • SofiaT

            Fan-service?

    • Jakk Anthony Guzman

      I’ve thought that if there was any excuse for Duncan doing this, it would have to be something to do with saving the world or humanity. Only something of that magnitude would excuse his behavior towards Kyle. Also thought that he might have a good reason for not telling Kyle and not enlisting his help and getting him to do it willingly. As for Sircea, she seems to be a powerful enchantress, so there are lots of possibilities there.

      • Steven K.

        Exactly – he could have explained it all to Kyle – about needing his help to travel to the hellish dimension to carry out a very important bit of intrigue – save-the-universe-type-important – and how it will be scary and difficult but he’ll protect him and make sure no harm comes to him, etc. and he wouldn’t have had to be mean and heartless and abusive, etc. – and Kyle may very well have helped willingly, especially if Duncan was honest and comforting and wise and empathetic and protective, etc.

        • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

          Not if he needed to make sure that they broke faith to ensure the deal couldn’t actually be completed. if Kyle knew everything would be okay, it might ruin the plan. Also, Duncan had to get his emotions stirred up– that’s how the power works. Lust and love are good– but combined with terror, pain and rage, it’s explosive. Duncan had to have enough time to convince Laampros– so he had to have Kyle endure a huge, unfettered emotional explosion.

          • Steven K.

            OK – I can understand the second part of that, but forgive me, I’m a little slow to understand what the “needed to make sure that they broke the faith to ensure THE DEAL (?) couldn’t actually be completed” part is all about. Why would “Kyle’s horror may have been necessary to break any contract they’d
            formed as a failsafe– Kyle’s rejection had to be genuine, Duncan had to
            look like a jerk and hurt him, because there was no other way to make
            it believable.” I’m not really understanding that part. What contract who had formed as a failsafe to what? (etc.) I really do want to understand – lol.

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            You want a crash course in traditional occult stuff and magic. I don’t have space for that. LOL

            The Deal is Duncan’s Deal with Laampros.

            If he no longer has Kyle’s consent (remember, he got Kyle to consent– he was very pointed about that, even pointing out the plan wouldn’t have worked without it later), he can’t broker a deal with him. You can’t own a soul, not even your own, and submission of trust is an article of slavery. The giving over of trust from Kyle to Duncan was a contract between them, magic-wise (doubly so if Kyle isn’t human). It’s even set up that way in story, so I have no reason to believe Alex didn’t intend that.

            Because Kyle has a loving, trusting heart– he might actually work it out if he wasn’t horrified and somehow give Duncan’s plan away to Laampros– thus leaving them and the world open to being screwed by Big Red. Dunks had to ensure that Kyle was so furious with him and disgusted that he wouldn’t notice. This breaks the contract. Kyle can’t be given over, if we’re following the rules we seem to be. This makes the keys and their offering even more of a trap than Dunk’s face suggests.

          • Jakk Anthony Guzman

            I still don’t like what Duncan did to Kyle. Duncan couldn’t be sure that the demon wouldn’t kill Kyle or both of them. He hurt Kyle and put him in danger without his consent.
            It was a very shitty thing to do to him. I don’t care if the fate of the whole universe was in danger.

          • Steven K.

            OK – that’s a little more clear – thanks. Oh, and btw, I’ve been investigating occult and magical texts on and off for the last 35 years or more.

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            No worries.

            Lots of it out there to research.

          • Adam Black

            It has occurred to me that the set-up betrayal of Kyle may also be more phony manipulation to work counter-magic.

            Trust to make the spell work.

            Distrust for a boomerang effect.

            Whether Duncan is really an asshat, may hinge on if he was LYING when we said he set the fires.

            I have a suspicion that Laampros could ( might ) end up bound to Kyle. Thats one way to make Kyle Earths greatest Hero.

            But I after these plotwists, I suspect Alex is going to go for a straightforward Hero narrative.

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            I think this is a good theory.

            Maybe, but if Alex doesn’t have our boxers in a twist every week, I’d be surprised.

          • LOL… indeed.

  • Interpolation

    Okay… that’s pretty damn evil. Kyle’s initial impression of Duncan is looking more and more accurate.

  • Becky

    Duncan, you’d best be up to a scheme of some sort, because this plan seems like the worst plan.

  • KaBoomBOX

    Duncan has that look on his face.

  • A more modern day avatar… 🙂 G’nite.

    • SofiaT

      NOOOOOOO!!!!

      …Bye-bye eye-candy. *sniff*

      (p.s: g’nite Chris!)

      • 🙁 So sorry. Hadn’t thought of the avatar in years, and then you guys looked at it and thus, made me look at it too, and I thought… awwww that’s not fair.

        At least yours is you more today-ish. I have a bit more salt and pepper in that jaw-line you noticed *squares chin proudly* ALL TRULY EARNED (LOL), but still something new seemed called for. So I’ll try this for a bit since it makes me smile.

        But thank you kindly for being so swell.

        ChrisD

        • SofiaT

          *sigh* Now you make me feel bad.

          My avatar is from 5 years ago… I was 25 then and I’m the big three-o now. 🙁
          I guess I’ll have to search for a more current one myself.

    • I’m with Sofia. NOOOOO!!

      And yet, the new one is so perfect.

      Goodnight, dear sir.

      • Awwww thank you… just don’t cut off my muffin supply dear Admiral, and I promise everything will seem just like normal in no time!!! 🙂

    • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

      I laughed. Night

    • WarGoddess

      Lol that’s a good one! 😀

    • Sapfo

      Hello Stranger! Have you seen a hot gay avatar around these parts? Goes by the name Chris Dangerfield. You see, I think he have my Key, my shiny Key….my precious… o.o

      • Oh dear lady… do you mean the suspicious looking avatar with the shiny stuff in his hand… yes just follow the path that-a-way, and I’m sure you’ll catch the gay fellow in no time.

        What? In my pocket? (drips innocence) Oh nothing fancy, just the keys to my environmentally correct new car. Why, YES THEY SPARKLE AND GLOW! It’s a new car… erm…

        Excuse me I have to run… late for my massage… Ta! 🙂

        • Sapfo

          HEY! I know you anywhere Mr Dangerfield, and I want my… massage…. I want some massage to.

          Key vs. Massage! This is just like “Sophie’s choice”! I finally understand that movie.

          • LOL!!!

          • Sapfo

            You seem to have created a trend. Now Sofia T also change her avatar and I feel like the strawberries are so last year.

  • Vincent

    Noooo! It’s a time share trap! Don’t do it, Hellboy! I mean Lamparos…
    Also I find it some how ironic that he called Sircea a “sow” on the last page. Just furthers the connection between her and Circe, in my eyes.

    • You are definitely not the only one refreshing on Miss Circe… hmmmmmm… no indeed.

  • Jakk Anthony Guzman

    Has anyone thought that maybe if Duncan has a greater purpose in doing this, that perhaps he’s not after youth and perfect health? That even that may be a ruse to trick the demon into thinking he wants to be god-like, because that’s something the demon would expect someone to ask for?

    • SofiaT

      Yes. But I don’t like to hope too much for a specific thing, a number of things could really be going on here. I prefer to keep my hopeful thoughts towards more general scenarios rather than specific ones. 🙂

  • TheManBehindTheCurtain

    Why have a taste when you can take the feast??
    I suspect Anni is about to trick Lammpros. The last trick he pulled (on Kyle) required consent, and here he is holding out the ultimate temptation in the palm of his hand.
    I suspect that if Lammpros takes it, it will be another form of consent, and Anni will be able to steal all of Lammpros’s power for himself. Anni knows you cannot trust a demon and if he gets to earth he will find some way to get around Anni’s ruling the Americas and try to take over everything.
    Or maybe he intents to use Kyle to absorbe Lammpros (who is a being of fire) like Klye absorbed all that fire from the appartment fire Anni set earlier on in the strip. Boosting Kyles powers so he can help in the events happening back on earth.

    • Jakk Anthony Guzman

      He’s definitively planning on tricking the demon. Is it for personal power? A greater good? We can’t tell yet.

    • Mikki

      Interesting thought, but wouldn’t that be somewhat predictable for him to try and trick the Demon? But at the same time, if he isn’t trying to trick the Demon, I guess he doesn’t watch many movies to see that making deals with Demons generally doesn’t work out as planned. I am still hoping that Anni has the heart to try and save Kyle from the Demon’s clutches and “curiosity”. I can almost imagine Anni’s plan not going the way he wants and then he ends up having to free Kyle for his help (along with his other hero buddies) in defeating the Demon, and in the end, Kyle has to reach a sense of closure and maturity from Anni’s betrayal, and ends up saving Anni’s ass or something. So many thoughts and possibilities!! >_<

      • Jakk Anthony Guzman

        I’m not sure how that would work. But I’m guessing that if he can bind the demon to his will and make him serve him, he won’t have to make a bargain with him and therefore won’t end up getting screwed in the end.

      • TheManBehindTheCurtain

        Acually, I was thinking a bit more about this and it’s entirely possible that Laampros will refuse the offer.
        After all, there is a second “key” back to earth and that’s Kyle!
        Laampros could just refuse and then take and use Kyle to get to Earth without giving anything up.

  • Jakk Anthony Guzman

    Can you imagine the terror and horror that Kyle must have felt when he saw that 12 foot demon coming at him and running that gigantic clawed hand over him? He must have thought that the demon was going to rip him open any second.
    And after Duncan’s betrayal he couldn’t know if Duncan meant to leave him behind in that place with the demon, as gift to the demon maybe or just abandon him there. He must have been terrorized out of his mind.
    If it was me, I don’t think I could ever forgive him even if it was to save the whole planet. Intellectually I think I would have understood if it was something like saving the planet, but emotionally that would be a different story.

    • We are all having this same “betraying Kyle issues” So let me just put it on the table like this…

      Me: Honey, I saved the earth. What’s for dinner.

      (silence)

      Me: Honey?

      My Guy: Do youuuu know what tonight is?

      Me: Erm… me saving the effing earth night? Hello?

      MG: Nope… try again.

      Me: Like saved a beeeeeeellion people today AT WORK!

      MG: Nope… wanna go for broke?

      Me: Don’t waste that tone on me. I worked my ass off today to save the world for WHO?

      MG: Uh–

      Me: Ngggggg! No! Sorry. Wrong answer! I saved the earth for you… HONEY… yes YOU! And now I get home and I do NOT smell a nice dinner for your loving exhausted super-hero. I smell a cold dark house and a fricking lot of selfish attitude!

      MG: (tears) BECAUSE YOU BETRAYED ME!!!!!! IT’S OUR ANNIVERSARY YOU SACK OF SH*T. You told me you would never forget our Anni (see how I did that?) again! And you did. So just go save everyone else’s world because mine is totally ruined.

      (runs from the room)

      Me: (puts cape back on and yells over shoulder while leaving) FINE! I’M FLYING DOWN TO THE BAR AND HAVING A BEER AND SOME FOOD WITH PEOPLE WHO APPRECIATE HAVING THEIR ASSES SAVED! (stomps out muttering).

      And that’s basically how we have to work out this whole betrayal thingamawhatsits out. It’s not going to be pretty and I smell a therapist and a few counselors getting rich… but that’s the way it goes.

      Ciao,
      ChrisD

      • Umm… Your last line, I’ve recently used something similar. Granted it didn’t have anything to do with superheroes, but the guy was yelling about going down to the pub where folks (read serving wenches) appreciated (loved) him.

        I have feeling he’s sleeping on the couch for a while.

        • Couch-sleep happens to the best of us sometimes. It’s part of life rich weave… (did you buy that?).

          • Not particularly. 😛 But it’s a good try.

          • If he brought you really good chocolate you’d cave in a minute you softy, and let him off that couch. I know this tough front is just a pretense and he that brings you treats… will find his way to paradise!

            (wow… that sounded kinda salacious didn’t it?)

            🙂 Ooooops…

          • I suppose some really really good chocolate… 😛

            In the instance of the storyline? Chocolate wouldn’t really work considering her family makes it… 😐 He’s got some groveling to do methinks.

          • Sapfo

            If my partner said that to me, he would not get to sleep on the couch. He would get the whole bed and the whole house for himself. (and as a precaution I take the car with me ;)…alone for as ever long it took him to apologies.

            But if they behave so, I usually dump them well before we share a bed and house

          • (She didn’t buy that)

          • Sapfo

            not without a receipt and warranty! Or a promise of a big refund and ability to exchange for better model.

      • vessto

        “hot dude wearing just and apron”

        http://s21.postimg.org/ifku64e2v/311272_435726759821079_1817329942_n.jpg

        What about two hot guys wearing just aprons?:p

        Bon apetite!

        XD

        • Nice. Home Ec. class was never that good when I was in school. 🙂

          • vessto

            You probably had inappropriate chosen teachers.;)

    • Steven K.

      Yes – there are at least a handful of us who feel that way – yourself, me, Chris, and a few others.

  • Anna Calloway

    This can only lead to bad happenings. I don’t suppose either side would even keep to any deal made, and this would probably end up destroying any world the two “shared”.

  • Simba Hutchison

    All I have to say is: Why isn’t the Next button woooorkingg?!?! T~T;;

  • SofiaT

    Is this a normal crystal ball? Does it show the key Duncan is offering Laampros but the key is not really there?

    Not that it matters much, just something (else) to wonder about.

    • Jakk Anthony Guzman

      Hmmm, I always thought that it was some sort of sphere with a key inside it. But your suggestion makes much more sense. Why risk bringing a key to Laampros. On the other hand how is Laampros supposed to know if the keys work or not? He would want to get his hands on one to test it. He’s not just going to take Duncan’s word for it. I guess Duncan will do what he will do before that happens. I’m waiting for Duncan to lay his hand on Laampros as he did Kyle and cast some spell, or maybe when the demon touches the ball.

      • TheManBehindTheCurtain

        I think that it’s the real key, it’s just protected so that Laampros cannot use it until Anni releases the protections on it.
        An image can be faked, but I would think Laampros would be able to sense its the real deal when it’s in his presence. The chest is totally undamaged from Kyle’f fires and the passage over so it probably hid the keys presence up until now.

    • You’re more lofty than me.

      I went back a number of pages and took a screen grab of that big down shot of a very naked Duncan kneeling over Kyle where we get that great shot of dat ass and we don’t have to see Duncan’s lying pre-betrayal face so I just look at that bit and spin fantasies not worth repeating… LOL.

      • SofiaT

        Ha! That was a very good panel >:D
        Although have you noticed Anni’s face on the second panel of this page? For some reason he reminds me of George Clooney there.

  • Jakk Anthony Guzman

    Does anyone think it would have been best for Duncan and Sircea, assuming that they are doing this for a greater good, to get Kyle’s consent beforehand and then make him forget so he wouldn’t give the plan away to Laampros?
    If they didn’t then this is going to be really, really tough on Kyle even if it’s to save the world or something like that. In real life something like this would leave him emotionally scarred for life. I know this is not real life and writers can make their fictional characters superduper strong physically and mentally.

    • Trust me… don’t ask complicated magick questions unless you’re fully sure. Sonny can explain this, but it involves dark magick, the power of betrayal, something about souls not really being transferable (sorta), Solomon (lots of Solomon), old stuff, anarchy, ego, Circe (aka Sircea), Odysseus, Paladin’s of the Meek, hero development, parsimonious baroqueness, The Crisis of Infinite Thingamawhatsit (I shit you not) and he’s following a pattern, that may (or may not) be on the backs of his eyelids… (jury’s out on the pattern… but still…)

      So consider yourself warned.

      And yet I will say it was by far the most interesting and fun set of suppositions I’ve enjoyed yammering about in forever and a day. So, go for it… just be warned. 😀

      And Sonny… I’m trying to think of some interesting plot so I can lob said wrench into the clockworks, but real-life doesn’t seem to understand that demons are trying to take over our world and thus it keeps wanting me to work for a living and pay my rent, which is totally effing up my plot-philosophizing time… but I’ll get back. By land or sea… I’ll get back.

      “Men! HOIST THE MAIN SAIL…”

      – ChrisD

      • Steven K.

        No more sexy armpit-bearing/baring avatar? :_(

        • I’m sorry… the scrutiny made me look at an avatar I hadn’t paid attention to in a while and, there’s more silver in that fox than there used to be. I don’t want be a liar and falsifier. Although my pits are still decent and appreciated by the essential… thanks for understanding that. But it WAS time for an update. And, to be honest, I didn’t have a super cute Cthulhu avatar (well he/she says it’s not an ‘OLD ONE’, but it’s got a great tentacle mouth… so… you know.

          Anyway, I felt the need to move forward and be one with the times. We can’t all look like SofiaT with her Mykonos tan, or have the muffins of the Admiral.

          You know?

          And then there’s Sonny’s BIG GUN and also the mysterious avatarlessness of the one and only Adam Black… and, and…

          Okay I’ll work on an updated arm pit for the future for I’m with you in that appreciation, but for now, it’s the best I can do. 😀

          (of course no one can surpass the motordog… ahhh well.)

          – ChrisD

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            Overcompensating? Me? NEVER!

            Big Guns are things of beauty.

            http://geographicalimaginations.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/wwii-bombardier-calisthenics.jpg

            I mean just look at all this ammunition… Sex bombs. Makes my hand cannon want to shoot all night. XD

          • No, never would I imply such a thing. 🙂

            There are several WW2 photography books that are pure genius for views of young men gone to war in a time of purest innocence. All of them as innocent and quizzical as Kyle at his purest. Great stuff. I’ll dig up the titles if people need them, but it’s astonishing the innocence of that age… our grandfathers and great-grands.

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            This is very true. A lot of my preferred recreational material includes photobooks of the period (I would love those titles, btw). Have you ever seen some of the German ones? Der Mensch und die Sonne has some very beautiful photography in it, though it predates WW2 by a hair. http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m0ete5LuvJ1ro1f2qo1_500.jpg Now I admit, there are a few women in it, which suits me fine, but if you can slog through there are wonderful shots like this– http://monash.edu/library/assets/images/collections/exhibitions/fifty-books-fifty-years/photo49.jpg (Nothing horrible, but there is a luscious male ass on display– very arty)

          • Sorry, Sonny, forgot to do this…

            There are two large photo books (now it’s all men, so it’s not bi, just sayin’) but what’s lovely is, that like your links, they are of a less self-aware and self-conscious time. It says that in the intro, most of these seamen were 18+ and away from small rural American homes for the first time during WWII and mostly were very bored floating around exotic seas.

            So the camera man who had, shall we say, a specific eye, documented lots of great stuff. It really made me think about time periods and media and self awareness and our new-age internet brains and how different it all is today. Anyway…

            AT EASE – Navy Men of World War II – by Evan Bachner
            http://www.amazon.com/At-Ease-Navy-Men-World/dp/0810948052

            MEN OF WWII – by Evan Bachner
            http://www.amazon.com/Men-World-War-II-Fighting/dp/0810992876/ref=pd_sim_b_1

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            Thank you. The warmth and genuine feeling in the pictures is what draws me, other than the sheer erotic value. It’s the same reason I prefer amateur porn. There’s so much in a silly smile, or a near miss of elbows, or a poorly aimed kiss, or spontaneous laughter — an essential, beautiful humanity, that you miss with the more robotic, perfect, posed forms of erotica. Does that make me old? I don’t know.

          • Sonny, no I understand completely, not old at all.

            I don’t want to put a link down here that is porn (and this is, in it’s beautiful way). This is a very BI and a very sweet Tumblr site called “Sex Is Not The Enemy” — Totally amateur, hot, fat, sweet, happy, laughing, vanilla, kink… all of it, but with great joy and great self acceptance of an infinite world of body types. This is not a model site of beautiful people, but it is happy people. Thus why I liked it (and its title).

            NSFW (at all) — just take out spaces if you really want to see it.

            http:// sexisnottheenemy .tumblr .com /archive

            Best,
            ChrisD

          • SofiaT

            That was a Spetses tan thankyouverymuch.

            Also, in the spirit of honesty, I must say I’m normally a brunette. The blond highlights were temporary and courtesy of the mediterranean sun, don’t let them fool you.

            …hm, should definitely change this avatar myself.

          • vessto

            Oh, but it was you on your old avi? It seems I understood not correctly and I thought it is some modela called Cthulhu. My English is not as excellent. Which kind of cute avatar you want? I lov to collect avatars and I could suggest some.

          • Steven K.

            Well, as a long-time fan of the periodic table, the new one has its appeal as well.

        • vessto

          Yeah.T___________T

      • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

        *dies laughing*

        Aww, I just don’t have the energy to create the universe to bake apple pie is all. I have to be content to tell you the pie is available due to similar constraints (work, not wanting to drag all my books to the table and give quotes, etc). Putting yourself in magic “mode” requires knowledge of the texts I’d be talking about– like the Lambspring, etc. (Not all of which are available in PDF form.) Or the arguments between the Franciscans and the Dominicans during the Inquisition (soul ownership being a prime one). If I were teaching a class on arcane theory I’d be passing out the booklist first and seeing who came back to class after reading all of them. XD Most people don’t have the attention span for “real” magic. They prefer the new age wiccan sort which is more a very pale theurgy.

        I await your wooden shoes in my diabolique machine.

        Can I sail too? All those rugged, sweaty, shirtless… I mean, I tie a mean knot!

        • Kinbaku 緊縛 —

          Good knot and rope work is art and never to be dismissed lightly. So, good for you. Art is art… now this isn’t strictly NSFW, but it does involve rope work on the human body as art…

          http://twistedmonk.com/

          I don’t think I’d ever make it past your reading list. I’d be the guy in the back row who’s spell accidentally opens the gateway to the sixth circle and the Dean would be called in and my scholarship would be in question and then… no more lab time for me in the arcanum… calling my parents and… DAMN!

          x, CD

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            For a moment, when I clicked that link, I hoped for full habit monks in bondage. Then I clicked it. I am intrigued by the concept of a deluxe matching clothespin. Exactly what makes it deluxe? Woodstain? Unicorn farts?

            Oh, god. Harry Potter. I’d be a poor Dumbledore. My patience runs out way too quickly.

          • Steven K.

            Totally relate to Dumbledore here – old and wise and talented but alone and sad over the past and what could have been and the tragic circumstances of what happened with the one love of his life (G.G.), etc.

          • vessto

            OMG!! Great link and I found other interesting stuff trough it!

          • Steven K.

            Maybe NSFW, but is so tame – baby mammals tame – compared to some of the incredible (and intesely hot) gay bdsm stuff out there. In order to help me accept what is happening to Kyle, I sometimes have to assume that Alex is, in reality, a big gay bondage bottom, and that he, due to this nature, sees what is happening to Kyle (what HE, in a sense, is putting Kyle through) as something which is, or would be, actually not all that unpleasant – more exciting and titillating than horrifying – and that’s why he could put Kyle through all that so easily.

          • LOL! If that works for you. Go with it. Original, but I could see it might be effective for you. A new take on transformative art appreciation.

            Good one. Best, ChrisD

        • Steven K.

          I’d love it if some place around here offered a class like that.

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            Well, if you give me a few months, I can cook up that book list. I need to reread some of them so I can direct you to the appropriate sections without you having slog through endless blah blah or things intentionally inserted as lies. That’s one thing people don’t get about old magic books. Most of them follow a definite pattern of lies. Once you know what to look for, you can take a highlighter and mark everything you should be suspicious of easily. Read the rest of the book first, digest it, then come back and take apart anything in the highlighted sections. Generally, I’ve found, they’re the standard lies meant to keep people safe. If they fall outside that list, then you have to really ponder over why they were included. That will, invariably, send you out after another book lol.

    • Well, my thought on the matter was if Duncan asked him permission, and maybe, just maybe Kyle believed him and said okay, there would still be lingering doubt and the first part of the spell required absolute trust. At least that’s how I figured it.

    • Steven K.

      Yyyyyyyeeeess….but….better if they didn’t need to make him forget, and have him be strong enough in character and resistance to not give the plan away. The whole “memory-erasing” thing seems a bit too rigged/complicated for me, and/or just plain not satisfying. Otherwise, I think most of your comments are so cute and endearing – I relate to them in such a fond and cuddly way (maybe the puppy avatar helps as well – lol).

  • WarGoddess

    LOL that would be absolutely hilarious!!! XD

  • So there was an almost full moon here tonight and for just a second, the tiniest of seconds, I found myself checking to make certain it wasn’t George Finnegan. O.O

    • Jakk Anthony Guzman

      And just for that second, did you feel it was staring back at you? 😛

      • I just that second. 😀

        • Jakk Anthony Guzman

          I was just out and decided to stare at the moon and just for a second there… 😛

          • Full moons are just never going to be the same after meeting George Finnegan.

    • Klaus

      Why do you call it that? What has the Eye in the Sky got to do with a boxer who died in 1913?

    • Steven K.

      🙂

  • SofiaT

    I got my Artifice book today and spent the afternoon re-reading it. It feels so different, the story, when you hold the book in your hands. I can’t wait for the TYP to be published too!

    I also particularly enjoyed reading the writer’s notes and artist’s notes on the back. My belief that there’s more to Duncan than meets the eye was also re-affirmed, when I read Alex’s thoughts about what makes a good story and a good villain. 😀

    I skimmed through the Kickstarter backers’ names as well, and Neil Patrick Harris’ name caught my attention. I love the guy, good to know he’s a fan of Alex!

    • Jakk Anthony Guzman

      I believe that there will be many surprises and twists to the story too, at least I hope so. But if we just go by we know now, then I wouldn’t want to see Kyle get back together with Duncan after all that abuse and betrayal, not even if it was to save the Earth. Of course, the story will most likely give us many surprises. So I will hold my judgment until we know much more.

      • SofiaT

        While I like Duncan and I want to see him be happy -because I don’t think he has had much true happiness in his life- as much as I want to see Kyle be happy, them ending up together isn’t my main concern. For that to happen it will have to be believable anyway and the more Duncan acts like an ass, the more remote that possibility becomes (but never say never). I just want Duncan to be the complicated person I’ve imagined him to be, not a cardboard cutout villain in a black & white world.

        • That’s why I like the idea of weekly coffee meet at an out of the way cafe. 😀

          • SofiaT

            “Out of the way cafe”? Well, I guess we can arrange to meet half-way between continental US and Australia… how about Hawaii? 😀

          • Hawaii would be lovely. 😛

            I suppose that’s what Duncan and Kyle would have to do to meet for coffee anyway.

          • SOLD! *slams hand down on desk again*

          • SofiaT

            Huh. Are you coming too? …Are you trying to infiltrate Team Redilator or are you in just for the coffee and muffins?

            Even if you’re a spy, just come unshaved and shirtless and all will be forgiven. 😀

            Btw, that’s a question I’ve had bothering me for a while: do gay men, with no interest in women whatsoever, get upset when they’re ogled by females? I know I hate having strange guys I have no interest in staring at me…

          • It’s the coffee and muffins.

          • SofiaT

            thank you 🙂

          • Jakk Anthony Guzman

            There is a difference Sofia. Women are usually smaller and not as strong as men, so they feel more threatened by a strange man staring at them. Men tend to feel less threatened because they are more even in size/strength/aggression. I’m just talking about averages, of course there are lots of exceptions. As for me, anyone can ogle or stare at me. 😛

          • SofiaT

            Well, one reason a woman may feel uncomfortable in such a scenario is the implied and possible threat -but also there’s the “eew” factor. Makes you feel dirty, having people staring at you and having naughty thoughts about you.

            I would hate to make someone uncomfortable like that. Even if they look like Matt Bomer (you can’t escape the inevitable drool and dazed eyes when you look at Matt Bomer, lets face it).

          • Jakk Anthony Guzman

            Men tend to have bigger egos. If they see someone staring at them, they would think something like: “Wow, I’m so hot. They simply can’t resist me!” 😛

          • SofiaT

            Women have big egos too. We like to be admired, we just don’t like getting leered at.

          • I can attest to the power of Matt Bomer.

          • Jakk Anthony Guzman

            Hot, hot, hot. And HOT.

          • Jakk Anthony Guzman

            This and that.

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            I understand unwanted gaze in terms of having been raped. I didn’t leave my apartment for months, grew a beard, and dressed in dumpy hobo clothes for the longest time. That was hard to get over. Being male gives you privilege only until it doesn’t.

            I try to draw on that feeling when dealing with women, and the vulnerability that my unwanted advances might cause because they can’t just step out of their houses with a reasonable expectation of safety. Example: If I don’t flirt, it may not be because you aren’t attractive. I may already be having little naughty thoughts. I’m a man with a healthy libido, it’s what we do lol. But I would want to get to know you better so I’d know that my advances were welcome before I made them. It’s not fun to feel like a toy. I don’t wish that on anyone.

          • SofiaT

            Would I feel threatened by a woman staring at me with a sexual interest? (Btw, most women stare at each other anyway but that’s because we tend to compare what we see to ourselves: “is my ass that fat?” “wow, she has awesome legs, I wonder what kind of work-out she does. I need to cut back on the nutella”. That sort of thing.)

            No, I don’t think so. Not threatened. But I could feel awkward or annoyed.

            A good friend of mine is a lesbian and I love hanging out with her, but I don’t know how confortable I’d be around her if I felt she was checking me out. Just as I don’t feel comfortable having male friends checking me out, even though I know they’re not a threat and they’d never hurt me. You just don’t want people you don’t see “that way” to see you “that way” because it’s weird. And when it’s strangers it’s doubly weird, especially if they look like creeps.

            I guess women can look like creeps too.

            So that brings us back to my original question: would a gay guy be creeped out by a woman drooling over him?

          • Steven K.

            Interesting that no one has replied to that yet. I don’t get ogled too often by anyone – male OR female (well, at least not that I know of or notice) so it’s difficult for me to say. I think there may have been a couple female students of mine who were interested in me (from the way they always stayed after class, would follow me out in the hallway, want to discuss all kinds of rather unrelated things with me endlessly, etc). Anyway, for me, I don’t think I’d be so much upset as frustrated, thinking: “Now, why can’t other guys react to me like that??” Actually, I have to say I have always been on Team Redilator, probably deep down inside as much as anyone here – but have just found it impossible lately to see how that could ever happen in a believable and acceptable way now, after what Duncan has done to Kyle and how he has done it, and not seeing much REAL affection in him anywhere for Kyle at all at this point. But your comments and being reminded of Motordog’s posting (and that reminding me of my own wishes for those types of scenarios to be played out here) have increased my tiny wavering spark of hope a little bit more!

          • Part 1 — I’m still in the Duncan Douchecanou and, for now, I’ll just row close enough, thank yew, for the Admiral to lob me a fresh muffin. I promised I will give Duncan the opportunity to review his case and possibly… possibly I say… have my size 11 Doc Martin surgically removed from his anus… like you I’m taking a wait and see avenue, but my eyes are still watching the snake closely (ChrisD puts finger to eye then point them at Duncan, then back, then back at Duncan and so on…) I’m still watching him closely and if he can’t provide sufficient reasoning for previous behaviors than he shalt simply have to get use to walking funny with my boot lodged up ‘there’.

            Part 2 — I’m no spy. I’m entirely above board. If you can trust Duncan, I’m sure you can truuuuuust me. 😀

            Part 3 — It’s a good question and I’m not sure there is one answer because “gay guys” are as varied as “guys” are as varied as “people” … you get it.

            But for me personally it’s probably the same issue as it is for a lot of women (and men of any preference). There is a difference when someone leers — looks at you with assumption or does it, not caring if they’re making you uncomfortable with their ‘attentions’ or at in improper time and place vs. a true look of friendly appreciation.

            Assumption in the negative sense is the look that assumes that the gay man who attracts you can change his stripes just for your convenience because you’re so unique. It puts the gay man in an uncomfortable situation of have to try to politely reject something that they can’t sincerely deliver on (unless they are bi and find you attractive and that’s a different question… and one I can’t really answer). Nothing wrong with a pleasant look or offer from anyone IMHO as long as they accept a respectful rejection.

            My husband and I noticed this. That most any of us get a little boost from a moment of honest sincere appreciation from anyone, man or woman. You just feel nice. It just appreciates that something about you is attractive enough to get you a second look… and that’s a pleasant feeling.

            We’re also very conscious of never wanting to be one of ‘those’ creepy gay men who flirt with heterosexual men knowing we’re making them uncomfortable. I often want to punch those gay men out. Creeps me out as much as I’m sure being mentally undressed by a creep bothers many women.

            One interesting thing is that the really straight guys are so secure in who they are that you really can’t make them uncomfortable by being gay. My straight friends just laugh. They can joke and be joked back at. They’re the funny ones who if you politely don’t look in a locker room will say, “what? don’t you think I’m awesome enough?” You have to laugh.

            So, you know the difference between a friendly appreciation look and an icky leer. I suspect it’s all in that. I hope that answers the questions… at least a bit.

            Fun question. Thanks.
            -Chris D

          • SofiaT

            That answer covers me completely, thank you for taking the time to be so thorough in explaining your thoughts on the matter 🙂

            It was a question I had in mind for quite a while, but it kind of came to me again the other day when we were discussing your previous eye-candy of an avatar -and those abs you have now deprived us of 😛
            I had the nagging feeling that our joking -while well intended- might have made you uncomfortable. And I really didn’t want that to happen.

            So I apologise if any boundaries were crossed.
            …If you are still ok with it on the other hand, please do come shirtless in Hawaii, I’ll have a pina colada waiting for you, with a tiny umbrella on top 😉

            I hear pina coladas go well with muffins. 😀

          • No worries at all. The Avatar journey just set a chain reaction of thinking that’s all. Avatar’s are funny things, since we pick them for odd reasons and then forget about them and then… you get it.

            Long yack for another day. No boundary problems. Thanks for asking. And I’ll bet Admiral knows how to make Pina Colada Muffins… just seems likely doesn’t it?

            😀

        • Jakk Anthony Guzman

          Agreed! But they would also make an interesting couple because they are SO different. Also Duncan is much older than Kyle and can easily manipulate him. There is a power imbalance there. That’s a problem Kyle wouldn’t have with someone his own age. And yes, at the moment it’s looking very unlikely that they will end up a couple…and shouldn’t from what we know at the moment.

          • SofiaT

            Motordog had written a few pages back a beautiful comment, listing all the reasons why he wished to see Kyle & Duncan together -and I completely agreed with him. But a bittersweet ending with Duncan dying while sacrificing himself (*sniff*) or him ending up alone but reformed/redeemed and a strong, confident Kyle, I would also like. Or maybe Anni is not really that bad a guy afterall and there are bigger things at stake, who knows? As long as it makes sense story-wise, I’m on board! I’m sure Alex won’t disappoint.

          • Jakk Anthony Guzman

            One possibility would be if Kyle volunteered for this and knew ahead of time what he was getting into but has his memory of the plan blocked by a spell so as not to give anything away to Laampros. This would make him a participant and not a victim, and would negate all the bad that Duncan has done to him. This is something that could work if Alex wants to make them a couple. Anything can happen, we’ll have to wait and see all the twists and turns.

          • Jakk Anthony Guzman

            Thanks for the link, Sofia. A very interesting post. 🙂

          • OMG… thanks for sharing that comment. MotorD says everything I say above about the good in imbalanced gay love & romance, but he does it in a beautifully emotional way. Ha! Wish I’d written that.

            MotorD nails why we all wanted that coupling so badly. Arg. I’ve been inoculating myself to the desire for their coupling and you just reignited it… SofiaT thou art cunning in thy wiles… LOL.

            There is a story in a written series, where there are four dear gay friends who come from wildly different places, but Motor’s last bit about thanking the older man at the end reminds me of a scene I loved…

            As a gift the one of them, with artistic talent, does a portrait of the younger lover — of the other two — as an older man and the painting is so beautiful that his older love has to turn away. He won’t let them see him cry, because he knows he won’t ever live long enough to see his young true love as a man of full age. It’s amazingly emotional.

            And so is Motor’s post. I’m with him, whatever happens to YP… that right there is some good potential fanfic.

            HA! So just how Joss Wheden IS our Alex? 🙂

            ChrisD

          • SofiaT

            Joke:

            Joss Whedon, Quentin Tarantino and G.R.R.Martin walk into a bar.

            Everyone you’ve ever loved dies.

          • LOL. *goes and saves that for later use…*

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            Sofia, I snorted tea on my paperwork.

          • SofiaT

            …Aaaaand my job here is done! >:D

          • Steven K.

            Even now, I very much agree with you on that.

          • Odd aside… for gay men, IMHO, the power imbalance dynamics in relationships are different… I think. (Like anything this can be good or bad, but this post points at the good, since we have Duncan for exemplifying the bad already).

            A power imbalanced relationship’s success doesn’t ride in balance (of money, experience or age or…) it’s all about complimenting each others needs.

            Gay men’s needs can vary extremely widely, depending on background and age, by the time a tough world get’s done beating on young gays, an older more secure man can offer strength, maturity and support and a myriad of other things to a younger gay man that can be joyous and wonderful and SAFE. While a younger man can offer inspiration, energy, joy of the new in art and music, and keep an older man vital and in tune with a fast changing world.

            Sure it may mean that, like in any relationship, it seems the senior has more ‘power’ in the relationship, but that can be just fine if it provides the right kind of emotional safety net for a few critical years for a young unsure gay boy.

            Sometimes we gays don’t get what the world thinks of as a typical sexual/relationship adolescence until our 20s. I think this is where the reputation gays have for sex comes from. They’re often catching up with what their het counterparts did in their teens. So that sexual/emotional ‘growing up’ can come at wildly different times and it leaves us gays (i.e. Kyle) very vulnerable to predators for a while.

            My current relationship is only two years apart, but I dated quite a few “older” (okay ha ha, I thought 35-45 was super old – sexy, but old – when I was 18) men and guess what…? *whispers* They know good stuff in bed. I learned a lot.

            When young sometimes it’s great to dine or travel with someone who knows what they’re doing, can afford what you never could, shows you which spoon to use, especially if you don’t come from money or your family has abandoned you. You’re all alone and you lack certain life experiences.

            So, I’m just sharing that for a gay-babe like Kyle there would be nothing wrong or less than healthy than with spending some time with a man like Duncan… if they complimented each other and… (yes, sorry) there was love and trust.

            Just some thoughts to share.

            Best,
            ChrisD

          • Steven K.

            WOW/OMG, etc. etc. – another one of those posts like I was referencing above. Totally amazing. C>D. – you should start writing gay psychology and self-help books. Your 3rd (+ 4th) paragraph – so amazing and beautiful and informed and inspired (not to mention I totally agree and feel that way myself). The 5th paragraph I have emotional difficulties with. So many people in general, and so many gay men themselves – assume things about the sex lives of young gay men. You talk about the time in their lives where they get to be very sexually active, but catching up with what young hets get to do in their teens, etc. This brings up why there is so much sexual hurt and pain in frustration in my life – everyone assumes that’s what happens and that is what is natural – or that it’s the usual thing. It’s THAT which maybe gives me a lot of low self-esteem – not my feelings about myself as a person – it’s that that makes me feel abnormal and deprived and frustrated. You even mentioned your own experience falling into that example – or going on a TYPICAL gay-sex bender at the beginning of your relationship with your current partner, or getting to have sexual experiences with “quite a few” older guys even when you were just 18 (and I imagine lots of similar-aged as well) and getting to learn lots of good things from them, etc. In my late teens and early 20s, I never got to experience that – getting to have lots of sexual experiences with lots of guys – nor later getting to have lots of sexual experiences with any one single guy. NOTHING – not even jacking or oral or kissing – with anyone till 18 – then just only one guy that I wasn’t even that attracted to at 19 for awhile, then no one – nothing – again till 23. By best, most attractive years were totally lost in perpetual non-experience. You have no idea what I’d give up now to go back and have those “typical” experiences that you and it seems most else have had. Because it is the assumption that it IS the typical situation, it makes me feel like I’m the abnormal one – why was I not able to experience what every other young gay man seems to find? What was wrong with me, or what stupid (though safe) choices did I make that maybe indeed kept me safe but led to a life of sexual bitterness and frustration and regret and the feeling of being inadequate – since I obviously didn’t have the “right stuff” to get all that sex that every gay kid gets to have. I mean that’s all in my head and I know, rationally, that I shouldn’t think that way, but the feelings are there. And when I’m “reminded” that the hets get to have all this sex experience in their teens, and the gay guys get to do it in their 20s, then it makes me think how painfully I have been deprived. Now I KNOW I shouldn’t feel the way I do about a lot of that, but I am pretty DARN sure that, if I had got to have more of, as you say, a “typical” set of sexual experiences in my youth, I’d feel much happier and fulfilled and well-adjusted today – impacting positively on just about every other aspect of my life (assuming I did things safely and got through it all with my health in tact). Now that I’ve lost my health due to a genetic condition anyway, I think I should have taken a lot more (hopefully informed) risk and dived into all that stuff back when I had the chance, like you and so many others got to – and got to do it to such an extent that it is considered the norm – and enough so to make someone like me that is so outside the norm really feel it. Sexual experiences starting at 19, with one guy for a year that turned out to a real chat and user and all-round jerk, then NOTHING else till 23 (not even a little mutual jo or oral with anyone, then rather sporadically and few-and-far-between in the 26 years since then. When I hear about all the sexual and relationship success of most others – the norm or “typical” – that’s what makes me feel odd or different, in addition to, of course, just the HUGE wish that I had gotten to have and regret that I didn’t get to have, all that experience, since there are of course hundreds and hundreds (and hundreds) of men/guys/lads that I’ve seen/met that I would loved to have experienced in an intimate way. And when I know that there are those out there that actually DO have intimate encounters with hundreds of guys a year – that is so difficult to relate to, but also so envy-producing. I think it would have been nice to even experience sex at maybe a rate of, say, 10 guys a year. Or hundreds (or even just dozens) of times a year with just one guy that I really liked. The fact that I do think I’m a wonderful, loving, caring, reasonably attractive, smart/intelligent, witty, sophisticated, cultured, talented, caring, sweet, kind, thoughtful, guy, with so much to offer someone, makes me puzzle all the more that I haven’t been able to find more with at least a few more people – or at a bit of a higher rate. Maybe the fact that I’ve had a HUGE sex drive all my life that I’ve never much gotten to act on or fulfill – or for the oddest reasons haven’t been able to act on or fulfill – makes that all worse for me – since it’s not like I didn’t do stuff cuz I didn’t WANT to – Gott in Himmel have I wanted to! I question every day why it has been my fate to live the punishment of Tantalus in Hell for my current life in this living world. I’ve always like the fact that in so many ways I’m different or eccentric or atypical, but, in this case, I HATE being outside the norm and not having experienced what is considered “typical”, and the fact that I’m constantly reminded of that wherever I go and whatever I do, though especially on line and in the other media – tv, film, etc. If I had had more of that experience, there would be so much more in the world of film and tv that I could watch without it emotionally bothering me or sexually frustrating me to the point of depression, despair and desperation. I then just have to immerse myself in work or in other hobbies just to get all that off my mind and prevent me from having dark thoughts about why even bother to go on and live with such pain and frustration – and maybe to just let my condition “take me”. But it’s the tiny spark of hope left in me that it still might be POSSIBLE for me to experience a little bit more – with maybe a few choice or exceptional people, if my luck changes, before I pass out of existence, that I guess keeps me hanging in there. This story here at the beginning offered me more of that hope – that I might be able to find what Duncan found, even at his age. But then things changed and hope turned to, well, pain and a whole lot of other emotions. Also anger that someone could have the pleasure and honor of finding/getting what Duncan, even at his age, got to have – i.e., a potential wonderful experience with Kyle – but then, after obtaining what I’d consider the “Holy Grail”, didn’t even appreciate it, abused it, threw it away. So many reasons why such things make me react the way I do. By the way, perhaps it’s not good, as some have suggested, to talk like this or utter these kinds of things or admit them and what I’ve gone through or am going through, but it helps me. It helps having a hopefully-not-too-judgmental forum in which I can confess and vent – and know that there just might be a few more “atypical” people here – somewhere – like me who can understand. It’s like a therapy session to even be able to talk about or mention my frustrations, instead of keeping them all bottled up inside eating away at my mind and heart and soul like acid. So I apologize to those who might find this disturbing, and thank those that are willing to let me post something like this without being too angry or upset.

          • Steven K.

            I would someday like to see a gay relationship with such an age difference be portrayed – portrayed as something possible but also positive – in such a way that it actually works out and both parties are enhanced and feel loved, etc.

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            http://www.amazon.com/Two-People-Classics-Donald-Windham/dp/1595691030

            Try this. It’s not exactly what you’re looking for but it’s close. If you don’t get teary at some point I’d be surprised.

    • Yay! I’m glad that got to you OK, Sofia! And yep, while The Young Protectors Volume One will be regular comic book size (and a bit longer in terms of page count), it’s going to be printed on the exact same premium glossy paper with the same high-quality printing, so you’re getting a good “preview” of what’s to come.

      I’m also glad you enjoyed reading the notes in the back. (And you’re right, I do like a complicated villain… 😉 )

      Thank you so much for buying the books!

      • That’s nice to anticipate. I have a (couple, 1 gift) of the Artifice books Sofia is talking about through Amazon (easy in the US I’ll bet). It’s very beautiful and very moving and much easier to handle when one doesn’t have to wait to turn the page.

        It makes you wish you could be patient and read YP all in one go at the end, but I’m not sure I could give up my weekly/bi-weekly fix. Ah well…

        Neil Patrick Harris… one of the most consistently interesting men working in entertainment, does constantly interesting things, hugely talented and very supportive of his community. They don’t get much better than that.

        I’m not sure I like Maven. Ha. But she is hugely interesting (why certain people left her alive… he he he). But then again I’m not at all sure she’s the only villain. That’s a complex world. So I’m quite sure the jury is well out on Duncan. It will all come down to how much victimization of Kyle a reader can forgive D. for. How much did people forgive Maven?

        Good stuff Alex. Thank you.

        • SofiaT

          I may be a hypocrite but I never liked Maven. She was smart, very smart, but that’s all she had going on for her.No trace of empathy and not a second spent to consider the moral dilemma: if Deacon can feel so deeply, doesn’t that make him human?

          She was ice cold -even her anger was controlled and used for specific purposes- and I can’t relate to or like that. A formidable villain for sure, a hard one to trick, but was she a likeable one?

          Duncan has a lot of things going against him but you can see he has a passion for life and you can see he’s capable of strong emotions, whether he likes that fact or not. We also know a bit of his backstory, which makes it easier to sympathise with him. Maven is nothing to us outside of the corporation. No hint of her personal life or interests.

          In many ways she was more robotic than Deacon ever was.

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            I think that’s something you have to pity about Maven. It’s easy to imagine being a human machine, raised in the corporation– trained to believe that the corporate interests were your own. It’s why I want to see her again, now that her world has been stood on its ear.

          • SofiaT

            In that case you could pity all people in that future Earth, they’re all a product of their society. Affluent and well put together, but clinical and cold. Even the dead scientists on Da Vinci 4, you can’t feel sorry for them because Jeff doesn’t. They’re just numbers, not real people -and they treated Jeff horribly so it’s easy to put them out of your mind and forgive Deacon for their deaths.

            Thing is, I can’t imagine Maven go home and hug her children or hold a parent’s hand on their deathbed. And I believe that was intentional from Alex’s part, to present as an antagonist a human that is so like a machine when the hero of the story is a machine that acts like human. The more you like Deacon the more you dislike Maven.

            The way Maven is in my head, I don’t think she’d be softer in a possible Artifice 2. She’d still be the villain, going after our heroes with a vengence, probably even more now because 1) she was made to look like a fool, being tricked like that by a machine and 2) because smart as she is, she must realise that Deacon with his deep emotions and selfless sacrifice is superior to her in all the ways that matter. She must hate that.

          • Steven K.

            Great point/analysis in that second paragraph.

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            I’ve known people like Maven, who could do both. It’s very easy for me to imagine her going home and laughing with her children, guilt free over the pain she’s caused.. — It depends on how you read Maven. I always hope for catharsis- particularly given the dramatic nature of Deacon and Jeff’s escape. And no to 2, flat out. That realization often never connects once you’re put in the “not human” box by someone– especially if they think they know how you work. With a machine you’d even have schematics.

            Jeff already has my love. He’s adorable. I feel bad for him– but I could never understand why he connected with Deacon so quickly (cute =/= safe). I’m not that nice. I would have ruined the story.

            Why can’t I pity an entire society with Maven as the exemplar, if their lives end up petty and robotic? Everything decent and human stripped from them to the point a machine outclasses them at every step, including love.

          • Need to NOT be at work and free to think.

            Great post. I’m ashamed to say I hadn’t thought of the flip flop of hero/non-human, villain/human representations and how contrasts with their behaviors in every way. That’s so clear and it’s certainly what I felt when reading it, but I didn’t articulate it nearly so clearly in my head.

            Great post. Thanks.

          • That’s not hypocritical. What’s to like? You describe Maven well. The villainy in that piece is diffuse and systemic and represents societal treatment of the gay and disenfranchised (erm… and bunch of other very well rep’d stuff) shockingly well for such a complex concept. You are right that she’s just a face for that larger villainy.

            The two hard things in YP for people to wrestle with TODAY IN CHAPTER 2… are all about relationship, love-betrayal and vulnerability. Those are oddly different than any other kinds of betrayal. There is much more emotion in what Duncan did to Kyle on this board than the idea that Duncan might “sell” part of the world to Lammpros. Think about that oddity.

            And unlike Deacon and Jeff, many many of us went directly through Kyle’s phase in our own lives and also the phase of Duncan’s backstory… so Duncan was bullied… boo hoo… what gay boy wasn’t? So backstory isn’t buying Duncan any reader sympathy so far.

            You LIKE Duncan. Hell, I like Duncan. We all liked Kyle.

            The end question for readers is can they excuse what Duncan did to Kyle’s innocence… it’s like child-abuse in a way. Shockingly common, but never not horrifying. Just one of those things.

            It was a hell of lot more emotionally intimate and cruel in a way than what Deacon does (was programmed to do) to/with Jeff and while Deacon’s programming eventually “breaks down?” Duncan is not programmed. He chooses.

            I’m so NOT disagreeing with your smart statements about where we’re ultimately going. Just sharing some compare and contrast and pointing out what might seem like a very odd disproportionality in the Duncan-Villain anger for some readers… Ironically it’s not selling the universe to Laampros, it’s breaking Kyle’s baby-heart.

            Duncan may have his excuses. Deacon did. If Deacon had to torture Jeff more than he did, would we have excused it? If he’d betrayed him in the end to return to the company and we’d ended in bleak… (where we are TODAY in YP) how would we feel? ARTIFICE ends in love and he does rescue Jeff, so we forgive and are happy (happy ending-ish), so the parallels of reader’s desires there and here are obvious.

            Time will tell. I’m certainly willing to wait with you. But I still holding on to both personal options. Betraying a closeted gay virgin in this manner is hard hard stuff for gay men who lived it. S’all I’m saying. You saw my silly joke. We’ll all have to decide if saving the world allows us to forgive Duncan for his action to Kyle… irrationally it may not be for some. If Deacon HAD TO abandon Jeff to the interrogators in order to save the world, would we forgive him?

            The parallels aren’t exact, I know, but it’s fun thinking. YP WON’T be less than a great story, I’ll absolutely give you that.

            Great new avatar btw! 🙂

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            The bit about values and experience is a good point. I have less of a problem with the offer than Kyle, because I believe the offer is complete bullshit. Duncan’s face is telling me it is, and hints dropped so far seem to indicate that it is– so I’m not worried yet. Kyle is traumatized. That is real. That is now. As much as I want Duncan to have a good reason for terrifying him (because sometimes bad things happen for good reasons), I’ve never excused him. There isn’t an excuse for this– only reasons that make it less horrific. Shades of evil. I’m hoping for a light shade– evil done with the best intentions.

            Could I forgive Deacon, if he had to sacrifice Jeff for the greater good… no. But I would understand it. Deacon being so in love with life, and the love that Jeff showed him, that he would choose to save that life— all the other Deacons and Jeffs out there, innocently going about their lives– rather than be selfish and choose a few last moments of happiness with the man he loves. I think the noble sacrifice is too engrained in the heroic journey to ever reject it outright. I don’t like it with queer characters though because it usually goes hand in hand with “too good for this earth” and a ham-handed attempt to make some kind of tired point about equality.

          • All good and interesting points. BUTT… it brings us back around to:

            “…he would choose to save that life— all the other Deacons and Jeffs out there, innocently going about their lives– rather than be selfish and choose a few last moments of happiness with the man he loves.”

            This is similar to what we were discussing previously, about having good DONE TO and FOR me, because CHARACTER X feels he knows better. It makes me realize another facet re my feelings on this subject.

            (This argument does require us to think of Deacon as cognitively human)

            I’m not sure I believe WE humans have the overview, the wisdom, the knowledge to see our cause and effect actions that broadly or accurately. We are just not omniscient enough to say, “I’ll save this one, better than saving that one.”.

            Okay we also have to split the issue of this as a real-world ethics discussion and a discussion about good dramaturgical story-telling. Because I do understand that this is caught between the two.

            So, for example, if Deacon “thinks” that saving all those faceless others will result in a happier universe for “them” then golly that’s cool… hope he’s right. He’ll NEVER know and Jeff is dead. Deacon might FEEL okay about his actions, but he can’t know. And I hope those “others” are really happy, because well… Jeff is DEAD in this sacrifice scenario.

            Similarly, Duncan can never KNOW if stomping Kyle’s heart was the only or best option to solve this problem he perceives. His ego may inoculate him from any doubt and that’s neat for him. Less neat for Kyle. But my point is that Doctor Duncan can’t KNOW if surgery is the only option (they never know for sure) and, in this case his patient is definitely NOT CONSENTING.

            And there is my problem about humans with limited awareness doing selective good against the will of some… or, to put it another way, sacrificing some for others that they deem more worthy. They don’t have the knowledge to make that decision, IMHO.

            Interesting stuff. Thank you.

            Best,
            ChrisD

          • Jakk Anthony Guzman

            I will abstain from speculating anymore on Duncan’s actions against Kyle until I know more. Up to this point it’s inexcusable no matter what reason he had for doing it. There could be dozens of good reasons why it has to happen this way in the story. So I’ll wait until this part of the story is over and Duncan explains to Kyle why he did it in this way before commenting anymore on it. But if it turns out that the reason for it was just that Kyle was convenient taxi to hell for Duncan, then I will say a LOT about it.

          • Jakk… smart plan!

          • Steven K.

            Oh Jakk, so often when you comment it just makes me want to come and give you a little hug of empathetic and sympathetic affection.

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            I think that’s a good point. We don’t know. We can only make guesses and hope. Sometimes the stakes are so high that guesses are all you have left. Revolutions and disasters of varying kinds are a good example. Eventually you run out of time and you have to do something. Sometimes that thing is horrible, it’s a sacrifice, it may hurt people, it’s something that can’t be undone and there’s little guarantee it will work. It doesn’t make me happy to say that, even if it plays in Duncan’s favor as far as motivation goes because it makes his intent less malicious– it’s a lie he can tell himself. It’s a sad thing. It will not help Kyle.

            I will say again, no matter how bullied I was– I was unpleasant as a young man (and the tendency to be cold is still there). I wanted to be forgiven and be a better person but that took 30 years. I don’t excuse myself. Not even now. I was never as nice as Kyle.

            (With Kyle– if he is the seraph then he had to be the door, making him a target. If he’s the only living key, it had to be him as well. Also, meta reason, he’s the main character. At the moment, this is all I have to go on, so I go with it.)

            Duncan needs to be punished. You won’t get an argument out of me over that. I know I deserved a few of the beatings (emotional and otherwise) I’ve had. If I’d been indestructible, I imagine that phase of needing to be brought up short would have lasted a lot longer than it did. We’re all wired differently. Some of us are wired to be assholes. If I didn’t choose to put
            others before myself, I wouldn’t (and it makes me lean towards sacrifice as a way to balance out my flaws- if I’m suffering and giving up something I enjoy for someone else then I feel better). This is another reason that I have no business having children.

            Knowing that I’d survive, that would have been nice. That is one thing I have in common with Kyle even if I try to forget. It’s hard to see it as the same too– given Kyle’s experience is mild and crammed in the space of a few hours. It’s in bright sparkly colors with something as crazy and interesting as a demon (which I would have been fascinated by)— and Duncan seems to be doing something other than enjoying Kyle’s pain. That last part may be self-delusion, in wanting Duncan to be more like me than he is because I see other ways we are alike. I’ve admitted it before.

            Surgery is the only option with things like dying organs. The dead organ has to come out– new organ or replacement device has to go in. Not so much with stuff like cancer– you can’t really tell until it would be too late to operate. Organ failure is pretty obvious if you know what to look for. In emergency situations where threat of death is involved, a doctor can act without consent. We don’t know the whole circumstance with potential “Doc Duncan”, just this one string of events that looks pretty bad right now. I’d throw up another theory that just occurred to me, but I’m tired.

            Always good to talk, even when it hurts.

          • Steven K.

            Very much like this post as well.

          • Steven K.

            Why oh why must you write such long wonderful posts? – lol. Not only is there so much to which I’d like to respond had I the time, but it kind of frustrates me that you are able to put into such perfect words and expressed thoughts practically all of the thoughts and feelings I have and have had about the situation in YP, and I agree so strongly with what you say that I’m in such a constant state of “I wish I had said/written/posted that, since it’s EXACTLY ow *I* feel TOO” – But I’m so busy with work and health-related stuff that I rarely have the time (nor the same writing abilities) to reply and comment and give my opinions in the ways I like. So, I guess, on another hand it’s even better that you are here to do so and I know that, if I don’t get a chance to express my feelings regarding things here, you’ll be here to do it for me, in a way, seeing that your views and reactions and feelings have uncannily paralleled my own. I will chip in a couple more cents regarding why “there is much more emotion in what Duncan did to Kyle on this board than
            the idea that Duncan might “sell” part of the world to Laampros”. I think it’s partly because we all know the latter will never and can never happen. On the other hand, what happened to Kyle (granted, minus the magical and explosion-into-another-dimension and giant humanoid demon elements) can and does happen to people, and to such a frequency that it hits home to a majority of readers. I have never been raped or physically sexually abused, but I have suffered an uncountable number of betrayals and sexual disappointments and situations gone very wrong and more emotional hurt and pain that I can even begin to dwell upon lest I can’t sleep at night once again. Also, someone whom I was incredibly close to and emotionally fond of – someone who could have been one of the major loves of my life – was the victim of a horrendous sexual crime where he was assaulted, captured/kidknapped, drugged, then bound and insidiously sexually tortured with various medical implements and other devices (some of this, he groggily remembers, in front of an audience), then brutally raped AND infected with HIV. And. one of the most painful things I’e ever heard, other than him recounting this to me just in general, was first, that he would up in this situation after going to a bar because I was not in town with him one night, but had gotten him so physically “worked up”, that he had to go out and try to relieve some tensions. Not to blame me at all, but he said if I had been around, he would have never gone out that night. Also, the pain of his telling me that it was only by thinking of me during his TRUE-LIFE hellish assult that he was able to endure it abnd get through the almost unspeakable ordeal. He can’t even describe it without breaking down. And furthermore, the pain of the fact that, after the ordeal, he was so broken emotionally by what happened and by being infected that he broke off our plans to further our relationship. This was a man that I would likely have become lovers with, but he said to me that he now felt so damaged that he could never give himself to me in the same way – that I deserved better – I deserved someone whole and healthy, etc., etc. Of course I didn’t agree – I felt we could still work something out – I still wanted to be with him, I wanted to heal him and make him whole again – I wanted to be for him the opposite of everything that he experienced and show him it could still exist, etc. But he eventually removed himself from me several times – after periods coming back to me at least in communication, but finally disappearing for good, and never returning my anguished tear-filled calls or e-mails. The perpetrator ruined this man’s personal life, but also, though he will never know it, forever scarred and damaged a part of me and my life as well, by ultimately depriving me of a person who very well might have otherwise become my life partner – or at least a very close and special relationship. So, what Duncan did is perhaps for some people something relatively minor in that it happens all the time – but I agree with you Chris, on the severity and heinousness of such acts. For me, what he did to Kyle, under Kyle’s circumstances, was the type of thing that is just unforgiveable (unless there are some extremely huge and far-reaching and significant ameliorating circumstances at some point).

          • Can I Instapaper this wonderful long posts? There’s gotta be a way to do that so I can go back an re-read them from time to time.

          • Adam Black

            Follow on discus?
            it will be on your dashboard

          • Good point, thanks!

          • Adam Black

            welcome

          • Oh StevenK. you write so deeply that all I can do is extend my firmest well wishes for a better future and good times to come.

            Just one observation — when you see a post with an example and think — oh I wish I’d had that. Well, I admit I’m a lucky man and many good things have happened to me in life, but I’m only sharing a tiny fraction of examples. Between any good date, and I definitely had some good experiences, I also had some really REALLY crappy dates also. I just may not be including them to make whatever point I’m making.

            Please don’t assume it was all joy and rainbow farts, because boy oh boy it sure wasn’t. I dated some really wrong guys (okay maybe they didn’t ACTUALLY TAKE ME TO HELL SOFIA!… oh sorry… I digress), but some were quite bad and took some ‘getting over’ and (he says wryly) learning from.

            I look at dating like theatre. You have to see a certain number of mediocre to bad plays to see that great piece of theatre (or film or book or?).

            So it’s all true for everyone. I have straight male friends who are happily married, but married quite young and sometimes wondered what they missed by doing so…

            So, no preaching I promise, but you are definitely not alone in having some really stinky times in the love department and in wondering what you might have missed also. We’ve all had them, in fact I’m sure quite a few on this list could contribute to a nice coffee table book that no one would buy… called “CRAPPY DATES I HAVE HAD!” (Kyle will get the foldout in the middle). 🙂

            Take care of yourself.
            Best,
            ChrisD

        • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

          Maven is a subtle character. For all her insight, I don’t think she actually realized Deacon was a person until he screwed her so completely at the end.

          Maven is an odd comparison to Duncan– the people she was tormenting were machines and a rebel that already had a death warrant. She could be a lovely person in normal life to people she considers “people”, but because of compartmentalization be capable of horrific things. Deacon did her a favor, kicking down the compartment wall and showing her what she couldn’t see before. If we see Maven again, I want to know how having the blinders ripped off changed her.

          Unless Kyle not being really human is something Duncan is fooling himself with (and it may be) I can’t really draw a parallel between the characters other than that they’re complex.

          Maybe Duncan will explain a little of his motivation afterward, and lessen the sting for Kyle.– but victimization depends on Kyle too. His reaction is going to be the deciding factor. If he allows himself to remain a victim, to linger in this until it eats him away, he’s going to be in a bad place. I’m hoping he’s going to choose survivor.

          • I hope you like God’s Demon. FYI – forward is by Guillermo del Toro if he intrigues you. Very dark fantasy, set in an interesting and yet traditional feeling Hell… The main and best characters are Demons major and minor… and yet… it’s all about hope and redemption.

            It’s prose, and it couldn’t be more different than YP, but it seemed apt to our biblical references in some of those earlier posts. I rather loved it for being such an idiosyncratic, unusual and visually exciting book.

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            I’m looking forward to it.

          • Adam Black

            Maven is a sociopath. It was almost to easy for her to accept a good soldier ( sociopath ) got a carried away with new emotions and went on a killing spree. and her talent was enough to depersonalise * ( i.e re-sociopath a trained killer ).

            How could she possibly understand the mystery and depth of a first love that is true?

            * I mean depersonalise in the psychological sense. not in the legal sense.

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            I think sociopath gets tossed around a lot with people thinking of TV drama sociopaths. There are a lot of them out there and most sociopaths don’t harm anyone. Some are even self-aware of their condition and try to circumvent it to be normal. Also, you won’t find a sympathetic ear in me in regards to saying all good soldiers are sociopaths and that being the reason they’re killers.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antisocial_personality_disorder
            You only need three of these to be a sociopath. I think what you’re aiming for is squarely in TV land territory.

            The best soldiers on Earth miss more than they hit because humanity is hotwired not to kill each other. We do a good job of it anyway, but there’s something in most of us– even the best soldiers– that says “stop.” Crazy people do not have this and you can kill it in a person with youth, trauma, disease or dissonant but convincing ideas… but to roll out the condemnation blanket over soldiers or sociopaths like that is not something I’m comfortable with.

            I think Maven is the way she was raised– and I agree with your breakdown of what she thought, if not with the language of it. I think she believed herself there to correct a machine and didn’t realize that her clever and insightful tinkering amounted to nothing. Not until the very, bitter end. That is exactly why I want to see her again. How did she cope with the very real, painful moment that she realized she’d made a huge mistake? She’s a smart woman. Did she reflect on that mistake? Did she see cracks everywhere? Did she question? The potential in Maven is why I want to see her– not because she was a confident drone parroting the company throughout the story. If nothing changed with her, there’d be no point in going down her road again.

            In a lot of ways Maven reminds me of the therapists who’ve tried to cure queerness as if it were a disease. Not the demented ones, but those doctors who genuinely believed that their abuse was better for all concerned. There have been some stunning reversals with those people. Granted, this doesn’t help what they’ve done, but it is very human to regret. It’s also human to try to right your mistakes. I think, in seeing Maven come to the same point and choose beautiful, imperfect humanity rather than hiding in the folds of the corporation, I’d be very satisfied.

          • Adam Black

            Maven, the psychologist who sees nothing wrong with massmurdering innocent humans?

            I definitely wasn’t blanket condemning soldiers.
            I am not sure if you thought that, so I want to clear that up. I was only referring to this story; where the soldiers were artificial humans that are programmed and trained not to have full emotional connections with humans.

            Its a metaphor for sociopathy.

            Deacon transcends his programming and gets punished for it. Maven wants to strip him of his achieved humanity. That’s the irony of the story. There was no “error” in Deacon, it is solely with the Corporation.

            Maven was a professional psychologist who knew the full truth and knew exactly what she was doing.
            This can be ascertained by simply asking yourself “How would Maven feel about the companies role in this affair being exposed AND her role afterwards?”

            I took a college course on “The Psychology of Good and Evil” which covered research on how ordinary people could be socialized to do prosocial and antisocial behavior. But the latest research on sociopathy is extremely fascinating. Even human empathy isn’t always a good thing. Its ON-state can be become disfunctional and even drive antisocial behavior. ( Why does a baby crying cause so much stress beyond the noise? or This
            http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x7mj99_the-simpsons-electric-shock-aversio_shortfilms )
            This might be a clue to how and why it gets shut off in sociopaths. It might actually be a normal adaptive response to high social stress.

            She is there as a “Fixer” .
            If you want to argue that she doesnt know right from wrong, that is a legal definition of insanity. and the type of insanity leads one to sociopathy. I think she knows quite well killing innocent people is wrong. That is what she is accusing Deacon of.

            I agree with your statements regarding the distribution of sociopathic traits. I think they actually support my conclusions. I liked Maven as a character, and frequently said so, and why.

            I am in G+ group on sociopathy and have shared a posts on it. sociopathy, alone doesnt make a person evil. That takes antisocial actions. There is even new FMRI research that a sociopaths empathy circuits can be switched back on. They are just off by default.

            I think we agree a lot more than we disagree. I would also like to see Maven again. I suspected that she is a not-so-subtle reference to robopsychologist Susan Calvin
            ( I, Robot ) Is she capable of true remorse? I don’t know.

            Even though I completely disagree with you, about whether I have a superficial understanding of sociopathy, and are using it incorrectly re Dr Maven, I appreciate that you cared enough to write such a detailed thoughtful response. Although I am familiar with most of the examples you gave, other people reading this may not be.

            Here, I think you might appreciate this post-script update to a popular TED: https://plus.google.com/108177944448520252638/posts/jLVzk2M2CXJ

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            I’m going to be answering this out of order as it flows—

            I didn’t catch that I, Robot reference, but you’re right. I bet that’s exactly what Alex intended.

            You’re assuming that Maven’s society is well enough collectively to know right from wrong– their definition may be entirely different than our own. We can Meta this, step back, and know that the corporation run society is insane. Being inside it, they can’t– not even smart people like Maven. If you need examples, think about slavery or the state of early psychiatric research. It takes a very strong person to be in the midst of that kind of stuff, not just a smart one, and put on the breaks and say “This is insane. You people are all insane. I’m not going to participate in this crap anymore.”— it’s easier not to fight the dissonance. Most people, smart or not, will take the easiest available route. Hell even experiments with AI have proven that machines are lazy too.

            How would Maven react? She’d be afraid and either try to escape once she was well enough, or displace blame and cover her ass. Because the reveal has already happened– this clouds her reaction. In the last few panels we see her, she’s terrified, but we don’t know how self-aware she becomes over the reason.

            I’m also not sure she thinks the colonists were innocent. Certainly she knows the corporation lied, but that doesn’t mean she considers them to be somehow stainless or worthy of her sympathy. We can see this in real life with people’s reaction to criminals and former criminals.

            Empathy isn’t some grand shield, I’ll grant you that. I think it gets overplayed by the media as well, without any real understanding of what it means.

            I’m glad research has come that far forward.

            You’re quite right about me being interested. One of my minors in college was psychology. Good talk, and I’m going to look at the links.

            Part of your first post was used on me once upon a time by a pacifist who insisted that all soldiers were sociopaths– and I admit that colored how I read what you said. My bad. Her diatribe goes against the grain as a sociopath is not a man you want in a team exercise. It’s more difficult for them to judge the emotional states of their teammates for one, especially under stress (and the excitement problem. All the stress in their teammates would cause many sociopaths to become very excited and giddy- potentially making them less accurate), and that’s very important in a fighting group. If you have a sociopathic soldier: if he’s active or hyperactive, he needs medical treatment and a discharge, if he’s passive and aware and isn’t hyperactive, he needs to have a job he can do by himself or mostly by himself– sniper, researcher, cryptographer, radar engineer, etc. Generally sociopathy is more a burden to the military than a boon. They want desensitization on certain subjects, not extraction of empathy itself. — and actually the fact that the Corporation made themselves an army of mechanical sociopaths points more in the favor of it being an insane society.

          • Adam Black

            I was making a few assumptions about Maven.
            (1) That she must have access to all the same information as Deacon to do her job properly

            (2) That she knew the colonists were illegally killed by the corporation for having negative information about company crimes.

            (3) That she knew what these crimes were,
            that people in the company could be held responsible or hurt its stock price
            (4) that covering up information about the stocks value is illegal
            (5) That the society wouldnt allow the mass murder of the colonists to go unpunished
            (6) That Maven is now complicit in all these crimes as an accessory

            I will grant you that some of these things may not be true, but the narrative leads me to believe that Maven knows she is involved in covering up multiple crimes.

            Its possible that they live in such a Feudal Corpocracy that Maven feel loyalty to her tribe—But I am betting against because i think she is an outside contractor.

            We have a problem when discussing sociopaths and psychopathy because the terms are loosely defined. Some of the differences are purely cultural and stylistic.

            Nevertheless, some of the tendencies you describe among military sociopaths might better be considered psychopaths OR other “Cluster B” type personality disorders. There is a large overlap ( Narcissistic Disorder versus Borderline Personality Disorder )

            The latest research shows that sociopaths can seleectively feel empathy. The empathy ( may ) circuits light up but they don’t get processed.

            ( Although there is a another brain pattern with less connections between empathy circuits and frontal lobes that put makes this phenotype highly vulnerable to psychopathy. If say they have a bad childhood . I’ll try and find a link )

            I predict they will find that this was to HELP the individual under stress. Like a fuse to prevent psychosis. The problem is most humans have these circuits on by default all the time. Just like you said, with soldiers compulsively missing Kill shots. Sociopaths aren’t necessarily antisocial. They may be capable of Highlevel moral reasoning. Sociopaths are often well-liked. They may have be superficially charming and be able to read other people well. They have a theory-of-mind, and their mirror neurons work. That is what makes them great liars. But they are driving without brakes.
            But ironically non-psychpaths can’t read psychpaths correctly. Its the normals that end up empathy impaired. That sense of “no brakes” gets misread as freedom. It trips the dopamine circuits of people around them. Falling feel like flying until you hit the ground. But that is the charisma* that some sociopaths give off. I called Duncan a sociopath a few pages back too. It does hinge on how much recent antisocial admissions are factual— Like Burning a populated building to get a date.

            Are you familiar with the ethical question where you have to kill someone to save other people? There are a few active and passive versions. A minority of people will allow someone to die if it stops a runaway train. A Sociopath could look at it coldly as saving the greatest good, and their brain doesn’t freeze up if if he must push a few people onto the tracks to save the lives of the whole train. They have seen the difference In FMRI.

            Oddly enough Heroes and psychopaths share a lot of traits. THey are more similar than non-comic book readers might think. Both share a marked ability to actively disregard common rules in society and act without permission to peruse a goal.

            “Corporation made themselves an army of mechanical sociopaths points more in the favor of it being an insane society.” I kind of disagree here. Or I think our own societies corporations are equally calculating, and we would be therefor equally insane. and Sociopaths tend to rise in organizations where decisions like that are rewarded. If our corporations are just as bad, with sociopaths in management, then Maven as sociopath is holding up a mirror to out disfucntional culture

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            Well another problem in our discussion is that I graduated college years ago and time has marched on– when I went to college things were even less well divided than they are now. I really appreciate the links. There were a lot of disorders and such that seemed like dumping grounds for things that didn’t fit other places.

            Duncan’s psychopathy is up for grabs until we know how much of what he said was true. The initial read of his “house on fire to get a date” line did remind me of a test for psychopathic thinking– the funeral test. Abbreviated for the folks at home: A young funeral attendant falls in love with one of the mourners during the viewing and subsequent wake. He doesn’t have her contact information, but he’s seen the rest of her family. How does he get the girl’s attention again? A psychopath’s answer usually falls in the realm of “kill another family member and wait for her to arrive to the funeral.”– Psychopaths want to repeat behavior that has provided positive results for them without considering the impact on others (a sociopath will consider practical impact, simply not in emotional terms). Death in her family made her arrive, and him feel loved, so if he kills another family member, he will experience that again– so he thinks.— the thing is, with Duncan, very little of his other behavior seems mentally uncoordinated enough to be psychopathic. He has a firm grasp of impact, for one, moving him closer towards sociopath if everything he says is true– at least by my count. Like you said, we’ll see what happens.

            With Maven, I don’t think we can assume too much– particularly since most information at such a high level in military, government or corporation is need to know. She doesn’t need to know about the colonists (particularly if she is, as you say, a private contract who could be hired by someone else), only that Deacon was told to kill them. Who the colonists were hardly matters in the long run. All she needs to know is Deacon. In fact, I will take this a step further. I’d say she didn’t know anything substantial about the colonists really, or she’d have been prepared for the possibility that Jeff reprogrammed Deacon. She knew nothing of Jeff’s skills– only what Deacon told her.

            On reading emotions and sociopaths– reading and picking up cues doesn’t allow a sociopath to understand the emotion. He has “through the window” view. In a tight knit group, this can prove problematic especially in cases of a fellow soldier needing guidance or sympathy. Adopting the wrong posture would out the sociopath for what he was, simply playing at understanding a comrade’s feelings, and cause discomfort among the others. And yes, you’re right about the freefall being mistaken for charisma, that’s exactly what I was stabbing at. Stress and excitement around them make it more difficult for a sociopath to control themselves- making inappropriate behaviors more common and self-control difficult. This can be mistaken for bravery, charisma or any variety of positive things by non-sociopaths — and the sociopath is certainly enjoying himself– It’s like Christmas. The thing is, as you pointed out, there is no “stop”. This is why sociopaths need to be more isolated in high stress jobs like soldiering. You have to retain their interest with complex and rewarding activity, which they are frequently good at being as perceptive as they tend to be, while removing the temptation to spiral out of control in response to becoming drunk on other people’s emotional overflow.

            Sometimes self-aware sociopaths get shoved into cluster-B (looking at the disorders) by caregivers that are unprepared to deal with them. They’re frightened of the self-awareness and rather than try to appeal to the logic of being social, moral and acceptable (which a relatively normal sociopath is quick to pick up on if given a reason– efficiency, comfort and gain = success), they’re very quick to condemn and dole out unnecessary medication or high-handed punishment. I know of several “therapists” taking my classes that were vocal about destroying all sociopaths in the womb– prolifers, no less. They also wanted to exterminate autists and the asperge among other “undesirables”– and of course, we queers were not exempt. Not only was it terribly creepy and distressing to listen to, it seemed like a huge waste– all the nuances and shades of human behavior gone simply because they don’t fit what’s currently acceptable by mainstream society.

            I can’t agree enough times that sociopathy itself is not a problem, usually, it’s the comorbidity with other anti-social or violent behaviors that’s a problem.

            That morality question was given to me once. I advocated autosacrifice, cannibalism and recycling urine to provide more rations to save more lives in a survival situation. I was the only one in the class who did. I did have the highest survival rate and the healthiest survivors, but it lead to me being in a group of one for the rest of the exercise because my solution was morally repugnant to everyone else. The more I tried to explain the history of such decisions (they really didn’t like my bringing up that communion was symbolic cannibalism that most of them practiced every week), or the practicality of my plan — the worse it got, with one student calling me a freak and ordering me to shut up. The professor told me later that I wasn’t the first person he’d had be that clinical, nor would I be the last– and that he would have rather have been in my survival group, personally. Creepy or not, I did save the most people, who went on to be rescued in our scenario (as they were well enough to survive the next trials and get to the extraction point). I think there’s something to be said for having the luxury of self-flagellation over eating another person who gave their life for you rather than being dead. Being dead only benefits the scavengers.

            Yes. This comparison between heroes/sociopaths is true. It’s all about point of view. And guilt.

            The military, in general, is becoming more sensitive as time goes on. It depends on which corporation you mean as to if sociopathy is rewarded– it may be fun to imagine them as all cutthroat, but it practice, this is frequently not so. And our society is dysfunctional. In some places in the world its extremely dysfunctional. I’m not sure if Maven needs to be a sociopath to hold up that mirror you’re talking about. The entire setup seems geared to it anyway.

          • Sonny, very interesting stuff you and Adam have going and I’d by lying if I said I understood much of it (at least not without reading it many times), but really thought provoking. Love the sociopath stuff. Having never studied it, it’s clear to me that previously I’ve been understanding the term at it’s most simplistic, at best.

 However, you mention your class “morality question.” One that brought you technical success and yet also a highly negative emotional response. It made me think about some of our far ranging conversations about Duncan’s actions towards Kyle and ‘anarchist’ and ‘for the world’s good’ and motivations, etc…

            Also D’s justifications for actions in general (which we mostly don’t know yet) etc… and how, even though your arguments mostly make great intellectual sense to me… sometimes I can’t quite let myself go to your expressed POV… and I wasn’t totally clear on why. I’m not religious, am a bit spiritual in a vague human way, so it’s not about any ruling hierarchy of outside moralistic law. So, I was wondering what it was pulling me this way.

            I’m (truly) guessing, but I think it’s all about how we value ‘consent’ in our big picture. How we prioritize it in relation to “survival” and other issues on that big big list. I think there must be a slider bar where we all land on some of the ethical/moral priorities. Just as we all slide between gay >< het (or some are off that slider entirely). I think it may be the same in this case.

            
This is more than a little half baked but, for example, I think I probably put ‘consent’ and ‘free will’ higher on my priority slider than ‘survival’ in a number of instances. Where you might choose differently. I must say I’m curious (at a younger college age) what side of your ‘moralistic question’ argument I’d have been on and if I would have felt emotion about your having that POV. I can have hypothetical discussions infinitely more cleanly today than I could at 20.

            So, when you couple my bias toward consent & free will and, on top of that, with my belief that that a person (example here: Duncan or Deacon) just can’t KNOW what’s best for various people (i.e. not omniscient). Under all those circumstances, I fall on the side of not approving the betrayal and the using of Kyle for any reason he can come up with. If Duncan can’t find way to get my consent or do it differently, than in my opinion he doesn’t deserve to do it. (You notice I say ‘deserve’… clearly he has the power to force it, I’m only talking about being in MY right).

            But then again I might be one of those people who would die in the avalanche rather than eat my team-mates and that both sounds alternatingly understandable and daft. I get the idea of running away to live to fight another day… and spreading that idea all around. I just don’t feel it in this instance. I might not want to be that person who could do that. I do realize that’s impossible to now until faced with death, but there it is.

            I promise I’ll happily eat these words if Alex proves me wrong. But it’s about my view not Kyle’s, since we all decide only for ourselves. Alex may do a spanking good job of having Kyle forgive Duncan believably, and I may still feel Duncan’s actions were wrong. And it will be all about ‘consent’. NOW… let me be clear, I say all this hypothetically while supporting our author 110% to express what he feels best. I’m only noodling in my own noodle house here. I have Alex’s back (picture Sonny’s avatar). *grins*

            If consent were LESS important to me, I’d clearly find it easier to make an allowance and say (just an example), “Hey at worse the kid (Kyle) will be bruised, at least he’ll be alive to get over it.” And, that is technically all true and that seems to make an intellectual sense. However, you as well as most of us are an accumulation of the baggage both good and bad that our lives are made up of and Kyle will be our age one day and this betrayal wont be gone… no matter how grand a hero he is. So, it’s permanent regardless… and the choice was taken from him.

            And that for me is the clincher. Always ‘consent’.

            I certainly don’t have your ability to shift so quickly and cleanly into logical thinking. I often wish I could, but I feel like I’m always trailing a little bit of emotional baggage into my arguments like toilet paper stuck to my shoe and following me about unbeknownst. I’m influenced by how I FEEL about Kyle, paralyzed (in my mind) and him still bound there thinking, in sheer horror, that he’s about to sold into torture and misery by the first man he romantically trusted and it’s all his fault for being weak and trusting. How could he not feel that? And that lack of consent creeps into every intellectual argument and makes me want to throw down unreasonably and say, let the world burn, you don’t get to betray and torture because then what is the world you’ve saved look like.

            Is this kind of behavior the first step on justifying a world that reasonably looks like Maven’s?

            In art, I value this button pushing highly. It gets me to thinking. Hey, between YP and these ‘discussions’ it’s been some of the most interesting interior/exterior thinking I’ve done in years.

            Thanks to both of you for continuing this discussion. I value it highly.

            Best,
            ChrisD

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            Consent is very important. Absolutely. I wouldn’t play the games I do if I didn’t value and uphold consent (I certainly know what it’s like to have my trust violated and wouldn’t wish that on another). However– I deeply enjoy being alive and have been in situations where I didn’t believe I would live— so survival trumps many other things in my value hierarchy. Live now so you can argue morality later. While I’m not as cold as I was 20 years ago, 30 years ago– I am still, at heart, a pragmatist. That doesn’t mean I can’t be carried away by feelings, I most certainly can– guilt and affection being big ones, it’s just that it doesn’t happen as often as it does to others.

            I can forgive a violation of my consent if it was done with a very good reason. I’m not so egotistical that I believe I have informed enough consent to say “no” in certain situations (not all of them, certainly, that would be idiotic– but some yes. Example: If I clearly cannot understand the danger I’m in, like being drunk and wanting to stay at a party that’s going downhill. If a friend hauls my ass into the car against my consent, it’s for my own good– no matter how pissed I might be at the time.). If someone wishes to “help” me against my will from pure good intention, I can get mad at them later if it’s still worth it. If they’re just being assholes, that’s another story– which Is why, for me, a certain amount of behavior I find objectionable can be forgiven IF the reasons are good enough. Example: I have no problem with protestors at Pride events who tell me they want me to experience the “fullness of god’s love”, “throw off the shackles of satan” that are making me queer, and hug me– never once referring to me with a slur etc. Their hearts, no matter how misguided, are in the right place. I know the power the image of hell holds– and how it tormented me as child (in part why I’m fascinated with it now, maybe?)– a deeply empathetic person who truly believes couldn’t sit still and let others go there. That kind of desire to help I can’t frown on, though one wishes it were directed somewhere productive and less likely to do harm. The asshats who try to throw things at me I have no sympathy for. They’re clearly not concerned with my welfare. I do not buy ‘destroy the body to improve the soul’. As you pointed out, I (Duncan and Deacon too) am not omniscient. You aren’t either (enough to give or rescind consent on some things- for example, whose scope may be so large as to be unfathomable). I think it’s a series of partially informed guesses we all have to navigate with the intention of doing the least harm. Consent. Freedom. Intent. Help. Knowledge. Sacrifice. and the list goes on… it’s driven greater men than us mad trying to resolve it, so I think the best we can seek to do about it here is be friendly and talk- as we have been. Challenging ideas is a way to broaden thought.

            Perhaps it was for my good that something occurred. I know I wouldn’t be the person that I am today without the negative experiences I’ve gone through. Given the frequency I’ve been harmed in my life, I think at least a part of that is a coping mechanism. Being angry and lashing out made me sick in more than just body, isolating myself made me feel depressed, so if I must come in contact with other people I have to accept being hurt. This is very true for relationships, but also true of every other personal contact. If I don’t like what’s going on, it’s easy enough to leave. If I’m prevented, I do my utmost to extricate myself. If that fails, I seek other means. Survive. Survive. Survive.

            I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t the way I am– though I was more trusting before the hammer incident. I do remember if I showed emotion at all as a child, which wasn’t frequent according to my older siblings, it was an overwhelming need to cry– like when my dog was hit by a car. This infuriated my father. It’s just a dog, he said, save your sobbing for people– you can have another dog– etc. I watched her suffer before she died, looking at me like I was supposed to help. The fact she had didn’t seem to matter to him.– I know this couldn’t have helped my disposition, but I hesitate to say my father did it all. My siblings aren’t like me so I had to have some differences already before my father tried to mold me. And my mother has always been kind, ineffective against my father, but kind. — and before assumptions are made, neither of them were mad at me for being queer. “Can’t help what you like, boy” has been my father’s single comment on the subject– the cries of “you’re going to hell!” and dragging to church came from other family members. — Maybe my father sensed weakness in me from the start, or a similarity (I have no idea if he’s queer, he may be), and overcompensated to try to protect me. He’s not a big talker, so I don’t know. I don’t think I could ever get it out of him. I do know that I was angry at him for a long time for a variety of things. I could have, for example, done without the nightmares that church gave me.

            Things relating to the morality question.
            1) You are the leader, unquestioned, in the scenario. It’s even prefaced that you decide who lives and who dies because none of the others feel capable and you were given the job. The first question I asked the professor was if anyone was going to fight me for leadership. The answer is a flat no.

            2) if you choose not to kill anyone, there aren’t enough rations of water and food for the group. Everyone will die before they can be rescued – there is air enough to cook (and a draft, I asked about that, if cooking would smother us), light from flashlights if you ration batteries and the cook fire, but there’s no way to get more rations as you are blocked by a massive landslide that takes a certain amount of time to dig out in any direction (though you do get to choose which direction you dig and that has effect on events that happen after you breach the rubble, or if you breach it at all). Some people did choose to die rather than try to escape.

            3) I advocated autosacrifice, which is suicide with a purpose– it is definitely consent. I even suggested that those who chose death (I simply selected a list of candidates unlikely to survive already and rolled dice to simulate whom was aware enough of their limitations to give themselves up, and who didn’t– I had two exceptions, an elderly engineer and the doctor, whom I excused when the number came up because their skills were far too necessary to the group) to save the others get a good look at the people they were dying for, to get to know them, tell them their names and make peace. In my group, these people would have been held up as the real heroes in the situation (I was only the person who had the unpleasant but necessary task of making decisions. Without a calm decision maker, people tend to go batshit when faced with their impending doom). I also prefaced the eating of the dead as a way to carry them with us, rather than leaving them to rot in the grave we would have all shared. Their lives had forever become part of ours. We should thank them continually. (This ritualization got me morale points I’d lost at the cannibalism scenario, according to the prof. It gave the survivors a way to see their actions as acceptable in this situation, even if they wouldn’t agree otherwise.)

            Given the right words and the need, I’ve found that people can justify anything to themselves. History holds multiple excellent examples. Whether or not those justifications hold up to scrutiny is the real issue. Most people don’t want to scrutinize their own actions, I’ve found. It’s too scary to ask themselves “why?”.

            Always fun, Chris and Adam, I look forward to our next round.

        • Thank you, Chris. I’m really glad you liked the quality of the book… and the complexity. 🙂

      • One small add — he’s not kidding — the “graphic novel” quality of the book is out of this world good. I haven’t seen better quality in production (I’ll let everyone write scads of fan mail to Alex about content and stop now.)

        – CD

        • SofiaT

          I can attest to that. The best quality comic book I had before Artifice was Absolute All Star Superman. A gorgeous harcover in a box, fantastic quality and equally glossy paper with Artifice. Yet the pages don’t feel as thick in your fingers when you turn them as those of Artifice do. And we’re talking about damn DC here.

      • SofiaT

        You know, I’ve never had anything sent to me so well-wrapped. Sturdy box, bubbles around and in between, they were well protected, that’s for sure! They could have been made of glass and they still would have arrived alright! 😀

    • Sapfo

      Sofia T, do you have a secret you want to share?
      Love the new avatar of yours! XD

      • SofiaT

        Secret? I’m just a mild reporter, I have no secrets.

        • Sapfo

          Really… could you take of those glasses. I´m just checking for something…. (there is something fish will this Sofia, what could it be? 😉

          • Wait a dog-gone minute! Are those strawberries really YOU. I had no idea you were fresh fruit!?! Well, I knew you could get ‘fresh’ with folk but… well… you know.

            Are these strawberries current or are these old strawberries posing as current strawberries?

            Come on people want to know all about Sapfo!!!

            *grins*

          • Sapfo

            Well the strawberries became me, like three years ago. So fresh I might be, but the strawberries are the once how gives me the strength to carry one. One day more, and so on.

            Hmm.. more about Sapfo….My biggest secret is that I’m only 30% strawberry. The rest is mainly watermelon and dreams.

          • SofiaT

            Take of my glasses? Why would you want me to do that? I’m almost blind without them! Such silly ideas you get sometimes Sapfo, hehe…

            …Uh, hey, would you like a hot dog? I see a vendor over there. And some OJ? Frsehly squizzed of course… *secures glasses on nose and hurriedly walks away*

          • Sapfo

            DO THEY HAVE BACON?
            Why she had to run?

            Edit: NOOOOOO! This was my 2100 comment and I wrote that!?! I was suppose to be wise and show my brilliant analyzing skills, and this is what I give people? I have never been so embarrassed -_-

          • SofiaT

            Never be embarrassed for bacon.

          • Sapfo

            Trust the bacon, the bacon is good 😉

          • So wise…

            Pork is patient, pork is kind. It is salty, but it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
            ~ Porkinthians

  • Sapfo

    Alex, my feet are cold!
    Could you not open up a portal to that dimension so that I could warm my feet. I promise and do not interfere with the plot of the comic. I really won´t! (Keeps fingers crossed behind my back)

  • Katie Chambers

    Kyles face. I s a perfect mirror of my reaction to this deal!

  • Tina

    Woot camping from work tonight! Gotta work overnight but it’ll be dead so I can keep checking

  • davefragments

    I plan to camp and see the next page. I had a replacement window installed today. Boring day doing much of nothing but waiting and watching.

    However, I think that tonight we get to see Laampros’ reaction and one rather ferkakta Duncan (to borrow from my good Jewish friends who feed me matzo ball soup and other goodies when I get sick)… Yes, I think that DUncan’s swirling, shiny ball is hiding nothing like the Keys to paradise.

    On the other hand, perhaps he has found the Keys to Paradise and is foolishly giving them away to a demon. In that case, we may hear SPOOKY say “but I only summon small demons to eat things not big demons breathing fire” … (pooh, another ellipsis)

    On the third hand, or perhaps the first foot, maybe There is a grand scene in your future where Kyle unleashes his full fiery fury on Duncan and the Platinum Priestess opening a portal beneath them and sending them to Laampros’ realm never to return.

    On the fourth hand (second foot) perhaps we have a page of two fire creatures battling over a flaming patch of earth — our hero and Laampros — with the other Young Protectors holding The Annihilator and the Platinum Princess at bay…

    On the final appendage (the naughty one, of course) Laampros falls in love with Kyle and well, modesty forbids I describe that scene. The fountains at the Bellagio in Las Vegas and the Trevi in Rome would seem like water pistols compared to those two…I hope you got asbestos drapes that don’t show stains.

    • KryX

      I’ll take a ticket to the final appendage show.

      • davefragments

        I’d like to handle the ticket concession on that…
        😉

  • YangYueLan

    One question, where did the box come from? I went back and looked at all the pages in this chapter and no box!

    • SofiaT

      Next to the bed, it was sitting there the whole time. I suspect that everything within the fiery circle was transferred to that dimension/universe when the spell was activated the second time.

      • YangYueLan

        You are correct, I went a triple checked. I agree that everything within the circle was included in the change of scenery.

  • Amanda

    Teahouse has destroyed me. Now I am reading all the lines and adding “….my dick” to the end of them. But hey!!! I gotta new hobby!

  • Cookie

    And Kyle’s just sittin’ in back goin’ “We freakin’ rubbed dicks just so you could unleash a monstrosity and live forever??????”

  • SofiaT

    ….are we there yet??

    • how bout now?

      • Jason Equality King

        Now?

        • stickfigurefairytales

          Are we there now?

          • Sapfo

            Kids! If you keep this going we are never going to get there……¤_¤ More coffee!

          • Jason Equality King

            But Maaaa, Anni’s not touching me!

          • Are we there yet?

          • Sapfo

            Anni, will touching you in time, you just have to wait like everyone else……Mooore cooofffeee, #_#

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Laampros is on my side of the planet!

          • Sapfo

            He have just as much right to be on the planet as you do, now go out and play with him and you see that he is just a nice kid….. coffee, coffee, coffee @_@

          • I got the coffee. I got the coffee. Can I sit in the front seat?

          • Sapfo

            Yes Admiral, you are a good kid, give me the coffee and you can sit in the front. But watch out for the fire, it´s very hot….. mmmm coffee ^_^

          • *passes extra large coffee* Yay! Front seat. I got the front seat. I got the front seat.

            Are we there yet?

          • stickfigurefairytales

            *kicks feet against the back of your seat*

          • Stop it! Ma, she’s kicking the seat!

          • Sapfo

            Stop complaining or you get to sit the back again…. Jup I`m the best mom in town *sip coffee* only the best 😉

          • But I got the coffee! *swinging feet*

          • Sapfo

            Have a cookie, kid. ^_^
            and you better eat it all before having any salad.

          • Mmm, cookie! I got a cookie. I gotta cookie.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            I WANT A COOKIE TOO!

          • 😛 I have a cookie!

          • stickfigurefairytales

            😛

          • Sticky stuck her tongue out at me!

          • Sapfo

            Sorry, I´m not momy anymore! Cookies ^_^

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Cookies and anarchy!

          • Nothing goes better with cookies.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            At least if you’re lactose-intolerant. And established-forms-of-government-intolerant.

          • Very true.

          • Cookies! 😀

          • Sapfo

            are you going to play with nice with Laampros?

          • stickfigurefairytales

            …okay.

          • Sapfo

            COOKIES FOR EVERYONE. YEEEEAAAH!!!!
            *run around in a circle* COOKIES!!!
            Okay, now someone else get to be momy.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            COOKIES!!!!! OM NOM NOM NOM NOM

          • Holly

            MOM!!! AJ said that since i’m an android that you aren’t my real mom!

          • Sapfo

            You will always be my Holly! *Big hug*

          • Holly

            YAY! ^_^

          • I did not! 😛

          • Holly

            LIAR LIAR PANTS ON FIRE! *lights AJs pants*

          • Holly

            do you think Kyle ever did that?!

          • Lit someone’s pants on fire? Haha… After the fire, probably squelched that urge.

          • Holly

            aww tragic pasts ruin all the fun.

          • Yes, yes it does. 🙁

          • Holly

            “My mother was MURDERED by a bouncy castle!”
            “Dude…really? I mean…how? I just….Dude I want to play in the bouncy castle.”

          • Not the bouncy castle!

          • Holly

            I LOVE BOUNCY CASTLES!!!

          • Bouncy castles are like trick or treating. One is never to old!

          • Holly

            I feel like bouncy castles get a little more slack. But yes ^^

          • You’re less likely to be ridiculed for bouncing in a bouncy castle at 40 than trick or treating. Sigh. It’s a shame really. But then again, it seems so rare that kids trick or treat. They’re all going to parties and such.

          • Holly

            not where I’m from. I can’t wait to have kids. I will use them to get candy. I will be the chaperone parent ^_^

          • YES!

            “Sorry, Jr. you can’t eat that.” Eats fun size snickers.
            “Sorry, you can’t have that either.” Steals reeses cup.

          • Holly

            No more like I go with the kid so I want to get a piece from the houses as well. I will train them to be sad if I don’t.

          • A candy tax.

            “You want to go trick or treating. I get a piece ever other house. Yes, it’s unfair. But I used to have to give three pieces of candy each house and do this all during a blizzard uphill both ways, carrying my little brother on my back.

          • Holly

            haha. I wouldn’t tax my kids. that’s mean. I would make them guilt the neighbours into giving their mommy candy. After all, I’m the one taking them around the neighbourhood.

          • Just make them look extra cute. Then they will automatically get extra candy. Or take them out while it’s raining. Hooboy, that year was a haul.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            *laughs and laughs*

          • Holly

            “My brother was murdered by laughter!”

          • *pours coffee on fire* 😛

          • Holly

            Yes put out the fire with the scalding hot liquid. You are so very logical AJ.

          • It was just the pant leg. And it was an iced latte. 😛

          • Holly

            OH well yeah ice caps tend to be better for fire than normal coffee

          • See I am logical.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            But I’m on the North American continent and Duncan said Laampros said he’d stay away from the Americas! Make him move!

          • Sapfo

            Well, Europe was tiered of him, so now you get him for the rest of the week. It´s only two days and Duncan have already taken Annies bed in Europe. AND I AM NOT CHANGING THE SHEETS AGAIN!

  • Sapfo

    the time is 5:59 now. Time for some camping. (did you know that the time in Sweden have a gender. It´s female)

    • SofiaT

      Got s’mores?? :0)

      In Greek, time (cronos) is male but the hour (hora) is female.

      • Sapfo

        Thank you!
        Time is funny ^_^
        Would you like some bacon?

        • SofiaT

          …I thought sausages are more traditional when camping, but sure. Pass me the bacon please!

          • Sapfo

            As you showed me yesterday, Bacon is never wrong

    • Plum Soda

      Camping with you, honey! I’ll bring the hot chocolate.

      (It’s female in german, too!)

  • Holly

    CAMPING TIME CAMPING TIME ^^

    • *camping dance camping dance*

      • SofiaT

        Is camping starting later and later every time or is it just me?

        • stickfigurefairytales

          Sometimes it’s been earlier, though the most recent ones may have been on the late side.

          • Jakk Anthony Guzman

            later today for me, though usually earlier.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Yeah, same.

        • It has seem later recently. Maybe closer to the time of the comic?

          • Holly

            I forgot it was Friday. Last night was kind of…. yeah. It was a good night. Lots of…stuff.

          • I kept thinking yesterday was Friday. Lots of stuff, huh? Shall I ask for a definition?

          • Holly

            A definition or an explanation?

          • Either one is good. But an explanation would be better. 😀

            Yes, I’m nosy.

          • Holly

            Short Version: It was my friends birthday party. We went to a bar/restaurant and then to a dance club. *smiles evilly at fun omission time.*

          • Short version is good. And sounds ridiculously fun.

          • Holly

            …. NO! You are bad at being nosy. be more nosy. *pouts*

          • Okay, so what was the long version? Didya get lucky?

          • Holly

            HA! GOOD ONE! Yeah…no. That does not happen ever. Such is my life.

            Let’s see; I met many people. Kissed two girls. HAD MANY OF THE ALCAMABOOZE. (Seriously we went to a high end club that serves three dollar drinks until midnight. *evil smile*) Um…birthday girl got her two ex boyfriends to make out many many times at the restaurant. Had a guy offer to “hire me” after a weird conversation, that none of us are sure what it meant. Didn’t even dance but it was amazing.

            Downsides: No boy kisses or anything of the sort. Not even hit on.

            OH!!! And I invented sexual hot potato.

          • $3 drinks. Umm, I’m thinking that sounds rather cheap for a high end club. Still fun night all the way around.

            Do I want to ask about sexual hot potato?

            PS – I commiserate on the not getting lucky.

          • Holly

            The place has a lot of incentives on week days. Students get in for free before 11pm, drinks are 3 dollars until midnight. Mostly because people don’t hit the club until after midnight. Okay so maybe not highend but NICE.

            Um…it’s a little graphic. are you sure?

            In terms of getting luck I am a mirror getting broken by black cat accidentally opening an umbrella indoors.

          • Oh trust me on the luck thing. You forgot walking underneath a latter at the same time.

            Can you do it using purple prose? XD

          • Holly

            Walking under a ladder and accidentally spilling salt so that it forms the number 13.

            Multiple gentleman play this game with a lady, or mulitples men with another man. Each man may have one lusty thrust at the lady’s womanhood. Then the next lad will take his turn. The man to finish first is the loser. the winner is the man who is pleasuring the lass when she reaches her own climax.

          • While a second mirror is broken while stepping on the black cat’s tail and then stepping on a crack.

            Okay, that sounds dirty. And fun. Man, I’m unlucky

          • Holly

            I have a mathematical calculation based on decomposition regarding when I will get kissed by a male person the next time.

          • Tell me this math. I would know this math.

          • Holly

            Well the time between my first and second kiss was 5 year 1 month. The time between second and third was 2 years 2 months. So fourth should happen about 11 to 12 months following the third kiss.

            If this pattern stands true, then once i get my fourth.There should only be 6 months between that and my fifth. Then three months. six weeks. three weeks. 10 days. 5 days. Two days. One day. etc until Kisses all the time.

            So hopefully without two years I will be getting regular kisses.

          • Lucky you. *grumble*

          • Holly

            *head tilt* it’s mostly just wishful thinking.

          • No no, stick to your math! It’s just the hermit grumbling.

          • Holly

            Well I’m not PLANNING it like this. If a male person wants to kiss me BEFORE a year that would be great. Seriously, 5 years and 2 years is a HUGE amount of time. 🙁

          • yes it is. But then it can be like your first over and over agin.

          • Holly

            …. i don’t think it works that way.

          • I don’t see why not. XD

          • Holly

            Because you can only do something for the first time once. It’s very hard to explain.

          • Once with each individual. 😀 Yeah, yeah, I’m being silly. 😛

          • Once with each individual. 😀 Yeah, yeah, I’m being silly. 😛

          • Adam Black

            it would be harder to play this with all men.

            Its generally a process ( sometimes very, very slow )
            , for me atleast , joining and leaving home base.

          • Holly

            In all male scenarios perhaps just frottage?!

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            I don’t think the “wheel of cock fortune”, that game up there, sounds like something I’d play. One- my personal limit for playmates at a time is three. Two- it doesn’t sound very satisfying. It sounds more potentially insulting. I don’t want to be the guy who lasts one go because he’s already worked up and has a moment where his self-control slips— forever to be known by the asshole among those friends as “limpy. We all have that one asshole friend– you know what I’m talking about. That’s just…. no. Why couldn’t it be something nice with ropes, metal and electricity, where I can make these prospective playmates feel like their blood is champagne tickling and teasing under their skin… now that’s a game I would play. I like to expand senses and go exploring. Everyone wins and nobody looks foolish unless they want to.

            Frottage is sometimes more exciting than penetration, depending on what’s going on at the time– or there are some really nice clothes to dirty up and ruin on the playmates.

          • Holly

            It should be mentioned that this was a joke. The sexual Hot potato thing. I forget how we got to that point exactly, but the whole party was very touchy. Like everyone was making sex jokes, and orgy jokes, and talking about the philosophy of sex.

            So I made joke about Sexual Hot Potato, and we kind of just filled in the blanks.

            Honestly, I think of a lot weird sex stuff. It comes from now having anyone else to play with. So I don’t really actually understand it at all.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Were space aliens involved in the long version? And time travel?

          • Holly

            …. Nothing ruins a good story more than having to compare it to an episode of Dr. Who. No no aliens or time travel.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Well, what about pirates?

          • Holly

            I do not recall pirates…

          • Adam Black
          • Holly

            OH RIGHT. of course

    • stickfigurefairytales

      *camping percussion camping percussion*

    • Allyne David Marins

      I got marshmallows :3

  • Maybe we can entice the update out with s’mores…
    *hangs out s’more like a carrot on a string*
    C’mon lil update. C’mon, we don’t bite…

    • Allyne David Marins

      I totally approve this epic technique ;3;

    • Sapfo

      I don´t think you can get the page to come faster that way, But if you give it to Alex he might work faster.

      Alex would you like some s´mores? ^_^
      And if you don´t like that, we also have cookies and bacon.

      • I’ll even throw in some fanart~ *wiggles pencil*

        • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

          Oh, no! It’s a triple threat! XD

          • And it’s about to get worse.
            I offer up my little brother as a blood tribute. *tosses into the pile*

          • mogoskier

            I have 6 month old kittens will that help.

          • Ha!

            What does your little brother think of this plan?

          • SofiaT

            Probably what Kyle is thinking of Duncan’s plan…

          • …I may have drugged him. We’ll ask when he wakes up.

      • Mmm. S’mores…

        Kneading the dough right now. Not sure when it’ll wind up in the oven. But I’m pre-heating as I type. 🙂

        • Sapfo

          Yeah, freshly baked page for breakfast, coming soon.

  • KrisYWC

    Soooo soooo excited for the new update (like always)

  • jreed3842

    I enjoy camping on Friday nights… No homework, I don’t have to get up early for classes… It’s just me, you fine folk, and the fictitious s’mores! Speaking of which… Who wants a s’more… I’ve got plenty! 😀

    • Mememememe!

    • SofiaT

      Me, me, me!!

      I only got nutella but I’m out of bread. Oh well.

      *goes in search of a spoon*

      • I wonder if you could make s’mores with nutella.

        • jreed3842

          I’m gonna have to find out… It sounds DELICIOUS!

          • But would it work best with real marshmallows or fluff?

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Hmm…I vote for real marshmallows, but you could try it both ways to see.

          • I’ll have to vote real, cause fluff seems almost like cheating. 🙂

          • stickfigurefairytales

            It also feels like it would require too much spreading.

          • And that stuff is sticky.

            Although if you mix cream cheese and fluff together… So divine.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            I’ve never tried that!

          • You wouldn’t think so, but yeah, so good.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Do you put it on anything?

          • Strawberries mostly. I’m trying to remember, it’s been years since I last did it, but strawberries definitely

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Mmmmmm…

        • Holly

          You just you hazelnut chocolate it tastes the same.

          • Then you’ve done it?

          • Holly

            Yeah. If you use hazelnut chocolate (not chocolate with hazelnuts in it) it tastes like nutella. and YES the SMORES ARE AMAZING!!!!

          • I’ll have to some day try that. If I can find it all without corn syrup. (marshmallows and graham crackers)

          • Holly

            Ew corn syrup.

          • I know. The only time I can find marshmallows here without it is during Passover or if I make them myself.

        • bronakopdin

          this sounds so crazy (for a German) I need to try that!
          though it can be hard to find “REAL” marschmallows over here in my city…

          • You could always make some marshmallows. There are some simple recipes out there.

            But if you do make s’mores with nutella, we want a report!!

    • stickfigurefairytales

      I’ll take one!

    • Sapfo

      Can you get fat by digital s´mores? If not, then pass some of at my place to ^_^

      • jreed3842

        This is a magical world where you can eat whatever you want… and it DOESN’T go straight to your thighs! So s’mores all around!

    • I’ll take one! I’m about to be in University, won’t have the money to get fat haha.

      • jreed3842

        Ah… I know the Ramen and peanut butter diet all too well, my friend. It’s what I’m on right now. Haha! Enjoy these s’mores while you can! I made plenty!!

    • Holly

      YAY SMORES!!!! ^_^

    • what are these fictitious s’mores made of?

  • OK. In the oven. Won’t be long now. 🙂

    • Holly

      Someday the page will catch fire and Alex will blame Kyle, not the oven.

      • Sapfo

        Says you pants burner 😉

        • Holly

          I was not the liar who’s pants needed to be on fire. 😛

          • So you admit to lighting the pants on fire though.

          • Holly

            What is there to admit? you all saw it…

          • Y’all crack me up. You really do. 😀

      • Kyle’s fire can do that?

        I want one…imagine…characters that could burn their writers back…that would be funny…

        • Holly

          Creator vs Creation is a fun medium

          • i don’t see it in published works much…i really actually can’t think of any other than “Preacher”

  • Jakk Anthony Guzman

    page is up!

  • Jeffrey McLaurin

    😀 😀 😀

  • vessto

    I dunno why but coming today here the first panel sent me thoughts about foot fetish…

  • AHHHH!!! WTH??? NOOOOooooooo

  • Ree

    I started reading this comic like, “Oh, fun! Cute star-crossed superhero love!” And now I’m like “OH GOD OH GOD NO DUNCAN WHAT ARE YOU DOING, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE, WHAT IS HAPPENING, WHAT IS GOING ON WITH THIS PLOT.” So, I’m twice as hooked as I was before. jfC.

  • Skyler

    holy shit he looks offended in the background