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The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy Chapter Three—Page 58

407 Comments on The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy Chapter Three—Page 58

I believe by this point all the minions have scurried into hiding…

We had our sixtieth bonus page in a row on Wednesday. And, thanks to your generous donations, and in addition to our regular Saturday updates, there will also be bonus pages on Wednesday, September 10th (page 59!), Wednesday, September 17th (page 61!), Wednesday, September 24th (page 63!), Wednesday, October 1st (page 65!), Wednesday, October 8th (page 67!), Wednesday, October 15th (page 69!) and an additional bonus page (page 71!) on Wednesday, October 22nd! And look below! We’re already at $177 on the donation bar towards the bonus page after that!

Special thanks go out to long-time supporters Rebecca A. (who makes their second generous donation to The Young Protectors!), Ilona F. (who makes their eleventh generous donation to The Young Protectors!), & Saxon B. (who makes their 111th generous donation to The Young Protectors!) for their generous donations over the last few days!

Big hugs go out to long-time friends of The Young Protectors Robert B., & Hannah K. for their super-generous $25 donations! And this makes Hannah’s sixth, & Robert’s eighty-third super-generous donations to this comic!

And finally, HUGE FIREWORKS ACROSS THE SKY and grateful, joyous trumpets go out to long-time mega-friend Christopher D. for their stunningly generous $100 donation, their one hundredth (!!!) stunningly generous donation to this comic! Thank you so, so much for your amazing, continued support, Christopher! You truly are the wind underneath our wings! 😀

Thank you all so much for your generous support!

So! Is that it? Is she serious? No more ritual? Problem solved? Or is this more of those “insane-level mind games” I was reading about in the comments of the last page?

Tune in this Wednesday to find out! Hope to see you there! 😀

If you particularly enjoy any of these pages and use Facebook, please click the Like button on that page. It’s useful to know what’s working and it helps me get the word out!
  • confrontation!

    • Congratz! .. And dayum, Disqus, I only thought I was fighting Doki about it, and then your comment showed up xD

      • We were all within seconds of each other. -_-

      • WOWES!!!

        My first V! So excited. I just started refreshing like mad. Timing was on my side.

        • Sapfo

          It is?!
          Well then I dont feel so bad about not getting it today. Happy V day!

          • *raises tea cup to Sapfo*

            Indeed!

          • Sapfo

            If you want tips on virgin care, just ask me and Danish. I am sure to give you some good advise….

          • Oki. Keep in a nice box and let it out sometimes for air or would letting them run free be better? Tho I’d probably have to v-proof the apartment.

          • Sapfo

            Well I got a few more then you do. And I keep them in a harem. I do like that style and it seems to keeps them calm. Now, when you get one more, do not be afriad to let them play with each other. They enjoy it and so might you.

          • *determined* Sounds like I need to step up on the v-hunt.

            They sound very social, maybe even have a hierarchical social structure. Will get started on harem plans this weekend!

          • Sapfo

            I now want to write a fic about V´s in a harem XD

          • DO IT!!!

          • Sapfo

            Oh they would not stay V´s for very long. 😉
            Besides the shyest of them all. He blushes just by looking. And Chris! Are you reading this?
            He have eyelashes that never ends. XD

    • silibub

      Your first one? Congrats, Gryph!

    • Congratulations!!! (Sorry for missing it!)

    • stickfigurefairytales

      Way to go, Gryph! 😀

  • *roar*

  • Sarcasm PP?

  • Oh she is a Master.

  • Sapfo

    Hello!

  • silibub

    …Uh huh…

  • The minions aren’t stupid, of course they fled. But they’re probably behind the tree line with bowls of popcorn taking down bets.

    • I really like this image.

    • Jac

      “I’m putting 20 on the broad.”
      “Dude! Don’t call her that. She’ll KNOW.”

      • Tahir Raines

        “I meant the broad-shouldered man,” the minion quickly corrects.

  • Sapfo

    They are very much alone on this page… where did everyone go? Is there a party that I was not invited to?

    • silibub

      Yeah, it is kind of dead…hmm. Suspicious.

  • silibub

    Another test, I suppose. Hold up the idea of just quitting after all their years of effort and see if he backpedals.

  • She’s bluffing right?

    RIGHT?

    • Heh

      Sircea 1 x 0 Duncan

  • Richard Grant Muir

    Oooh… a bluff, by Sircea…? Lord knows she does NOT want to call this off! I sense a truxican standoff here 🙂

  • Hmm. I wonder if PP has a backup plan in case, Duncan decides to bail on her. Would such a thing be possible?

    • Choreocrat

      Sircea definitely seems the sort to have a back up plan for her back up plan. And maybe some surety for the back up plan.

    • silibub

      If he does bail, she might be banking on Kyle and the team showing up. She might capture Kyle and use him as leverage against Laampros.

      • Choreocrat

        And there’s the idea I didn’t have.

      • Whoa! Maybe she doesn’t need Duncan after all. MAYBE SHE REALLY NEEDS KYLE! And plans to capture him just like you said.

        • silibub

          If that’s the case, and this has been her long game, what if she knew about Kyle’s demon parentage this whole time and just let Duncan think he was the one who figured it out, so he wouldn’t suspect she was planning anything extra for Kyle?

          • PP is tricky, that’s for sure. Conning the con man?

        • Choreocrat

          Seems logical. After all… Duncan doesn’t have a huge amount of mystical power. Kyle (and Spooky) do.

        • Choreocrat

          And Duncan is probably going to get hammered by Laampros no matter what.

    • Choreocrat

      What that back up plan is, well… actually I have no idea.

    • silibub

      Or, now that she knows that Kyle’s important to Duncan, she might threaten Kyle’s safety just to keep Duncan there — easier than masterminding a hostage situation with a demon’s offspring.

  • silibub

    If he really wanted to fuck with her, he could just say, “Excellent. I’ll order the minions the pizza we promised as payment and we can just pretend this never happened. I’m thinking movie night, are you up for it?”

    • That would be awesome.

    • Steven K.

      I’m sure the transdimensional portal could pull in a TV transmission signal or two and could be used as a “big-screen” for viewing.

    • Elrohir

      You just reminded me of the Dresden files where Harry pays the wee folk in pizza. I do so enjoy that series. 🙂

  • Nate

    “Well, that was fun. Who wants Chinese?”

    • Steven K.

      Exactly.

  • Second panel, Sircea looks ready to shoot laser beams from her eyes.

    And last panel, well if that’s not smug. She is confident she has him right where she wants him.

    • silibub

      I figure, if she doesn’t have a contingency plan in case he flakes, she’s banking on him feeling like he’s come too far to back out now. But he could still surprise her!

      • I’m crossing my fingers that Duncan will surprise everyone: PP, Kyle, the team, Llaampy, maybe even the world.

        • Dang it, I should have read your post first. Arg! But I agree. 🙂 Maybe with both our fingers crossed…?

      • At this point, I have my fingers crossed he doesn’t fall for her manipulations, but I fear he just gave away his whole edge.

        • silibub

          Yeah, I mean, if he leaves…then what? Kyle and the team still view him as a monster, he won’t get his youth or immortality, and he’ll have dissolved an alliance with someone very powerful. He doesn’t stand to gain much by bailing.

          • He’s definitely damned either way.

          • davefragments

            I think Alex is a romantic and Kyle and Duncan end the story in each others arms.

          • It’s a possibility. I’m rooting for at least weekly coffee dates.

          • silibub

            Even if they don’t have a romantic ending, I hope they reach some sort of resolution — maybe with the certainty that they’ll work together in the future.

          • Tahir Raines

            I hope not. Plus, I ship Kyle with Spooky.

          • silibub

            Not to mention, he’s marked — if he doesn’t follow through on the contract, he’s in for some real torment at Laampros’s hands down the line.

          • Thrice damned! Duncan just don’t break a mirror. And I’d step away from the glass box if I were you.

  • Steven K.

    Somehow I just knew that this next page wasn’t quite going to resolve anything or provide any answers.

    • silibub

      Gotta keep us on the hook somehow!

  • I want to take a moment to also give a HUGE thank you to Chris Dangerfield for his support in helping us all getting a page twice a week for over a year *hugs and love*

    It’s a support to Alex and the artists, but your generosity benefits all of us. I wish I could contribute more often myself.

    • silibub

      Seconded! Chris, and Saxon too, have both been so generous, and all these double uploads have made reading the comic that much more exciting. ♥♥♥

      • silibub

        (And I love all you other donors, too, naturally!)

        • Absolutely! Everyone who can/do donate is awesome 😀 It’s all that comes together that makes us have the pages coming so fast.
          Any amount when someone has the possibility to donate is awesome, and a help.

      • Saxon_Brenton

        Thank you, Silibub. And thank you to everybody else who has donated.
        And for the sake of surreal conversation, I will tell you my donating secret: dieting. I am a chocoholic, and this is the reason I am something like 25 kilos overweight. So several days of the week I tell myself “If I’m going to donate $10 to Young Protectors, I must forgo that chocolate chip chocolate muffin for morning tea.” It’s a process that works, kind of sort of. Well enough, anyway.

        • silibub

          That’s not weird at all, it’s actually pretty brilliant! I might have to adopt that strategy to encourage myself to cook at home more often.

    • Sapfo

      Yes, Chris!
      Thank you for being here. You are a great person to hang out with. And thank you for the many pages you helped getting up faster.
      Lot´s of hugs!♥

    • Good one, Danish! Thanks to Chris and everyone who donates towards these extra pages.

    • An amazing superpower to Chris & everyone who donates to the comic! Thank you for bringing joy to so many!!!

  • CH

    “… of course then you will have betrayed the boy and accomplished nothing…”
    Mad mind game points to Sircea.

    • silibub

      Got it in one!

  • silibub

    All my ♥s to Sircea’s cool disdain in the first panel, by the way — no one should look so good while being so bad. Got me again, Adam! *clutches chest*

    • She does look utterly amazing.

    • Sapfo

      I think all the Sircea fan-service is getting to you. You better sitt down and breath Silibud!

      • silibub

        Trying…*wheeze*

  • Sapfo

    But if there is not going to be any ritual, what am I to do with all the goats?

    • silibub

      “All these goats, Duncan. Wasted. Who do you think is going to herd them? Because it sure as hell isn’t going to be me.”

    • davefragments

      stew

      • Sapfo

        But I don´t eat meat…. so anyone knows how to milk a goat?!

        • silibub

          Yes, actually!

          • Sapfo

            Yay! You come here and do it. I will be sitting here looking on while you do it.
            Is it not great so see others working?

          • silibub

            Watching other people work is one of my favorite things. So you’ll have no choice but to learn from me and milk at least one of them yourself! Bahaha.

          • Sapfo

            Dear Sili, will you show me how. Please put your hands on mine and demonstrates how….

            (sorry Sili, but I could go on like this for a long time. Hope you dont mind to much. as you know I am not the sane one here ;D)

          • silibub

            You think you’re going to psyche me out? Well…maybe. Eventually. But I can get through one demonstration, if you don’t mind me just…getting all up in your space here…yeah, that’s comfy.

          • Sapfo

            Leaning my head gently against Sili. Yes this is nice 😀

            Thank you for showing me.

          • silibub

            Wait a second, though — how the fuck did we end up taking care of these goats and not the minions?!

          • Sapfo

            Darn minions! It is hard to get good minions now adays.
            Let´s go and tell Sircea. Might at least enjoy her going all dom over them.

          • Sapfo

            I am very close to posting my milk porn, BUT @DanishWolf:disqus would skine me if I did XD
            *runs and hide*

          • silibub

            I don’t even want to know.

          • Sapfo

            I can show you on twitter later if you really want to see it. (and when I say porn…. well there is no naked bodys in it and no sex going on, but it is still porn for me XD)

          • silibub

            Is it dudes pouring milk on themselves?

          • Are they wearing kilts?

          • Sapfo

            Oki, You and @Gryphongirl2:disqus go to twitter. @DanishWolf:disqus close your eyes. You know which vid I am talking about.

    • Klaus

      Pecorino.

  • Duncan might be very good at manipulating people but he’s up against someone who had 6000 years to become a prominent player in this game of words. He’s so out of his league.

    • silibub

      It must be kind of difficult to comprehend that, since she acts so normal — I can see how it might be easy to “forget” that she’s older than empires and has had all that time to hone her cunning.

      • Yes, I agree. Just after I wrote previous comment I actually realized I might be wrong though. She’s a master of this kind of word-game, but I spot a potential weekness: That she IS this good at it, and her arrogance in knowing so.

        It could be the one thing that makes her miss (small) thing that she doesn’t notice. It’s going to be interesting to follow 🙂

        • silibub

          True! I guess we’ll find out if her abundant confidence ends up being her weakness. This has been a great scene with all the mind games, so I hope Duncan keeps neutralizing her attempts to push him.

      • Mathew Cole

        Occasionally, the mask slips…

        “Women and children receive no special dispensation.”

  • strangeangel24601

    With that expression of cool disdain in panel one, she’s never looked more like Dr. Maven.

  • silibub

    And one last observation before I go: funny how Sircea characterizes a shaken moral foundation and/or unexpected feelings for the demon-son target of their plot as a “mood.” Wife, we need to have a chat…

    Okay, goodnight, and thanks so much for the page! The dream team is as on point as ever!

  • SofiaT

    You should only gamble if you can stand to have your bluff called.
    Is Duncan gonna call it?

    • Sapfo

      Well when you are thinking of the mod, she appears.

      This is kind of funny, In english the say is “When you speak of the devil”; But in Swedish it is “When you think of the trolls.” But it migth not be a good thing to call a mod a troll 😉

      Nice to see you Sofia.

      • Klaus

        “When you talk of the sun, it shines.” That is how we say it in these parts.

        • Sapfo

          That is nicer then all the others I have seen.
          Let the sun shine today 🙂

        • Elrohir

          Which parts are those Klaus? It’s a lovely saying.

          • Klaus

            Denmark.

          • Klaus is a fellow Dane .. and talking about the sun, it DID just start to shine in the part of Denmark where I live 🙂
            The short version of the saying Klaus wrote is ‘Talking about the sun’.. but we know the unsaid ending and meaning.

          • Elrohir

            Ah, indeed. A saying I had never heard before. I like that it doesn’t have the negative connotation (or teasing) of our use of “Speak of the Devil…”

        • Ian Rocha

          It’s funny how it seems like every culture has a saying like that. I remember seeing that for the chinese it’s ‘Speak of Cao Cao’ (Three Kingdoms era, see Romance of the Three Kingdoms and the games based there upon.)

        • In Spanish it’s usually “hablando del Rey de Roma…” (“speaking of the King of Rome…”) but I have no idea of the origins of the phrase.

        • SofiaT

          We say “with the yell, there’s the donkey”.
          There’s a story about the origins of that saying but not sure if it’s real or just folklore.

          The legend has it that the ancients believed a donkey yelling before a battle was a sign of the gods for a sure victory. The Athenian General Fokion was about to engage in battle with Philip II’s army, waiting for reinforcements from Athens but they were late. Just as he was about to order a retreat, a donkey yelled so he shouted “there’s the donkey!” -went right ahead and won the battle.

      • SofiaT

        You were thinking of me? 😀
        I’m on the road, going to a fundraising event and discussing feminism with a Serbian guy and an Italian girl 🙂

        • Sapfo

          Yes, I was missing you in the comments.

          You have a good fundraiser. You rock them all! 🙂

      • Garnasha

        Speaking of trolls, what’s the deal with a spellbound audience being called (roughly) trollbound in Swedish? And some other stuff. Got to the point where I just started assuming the Dutch root “tover” (forms: tovenaar/toveren/tovenarij/betovering meaning resp. wizard/to do magic/magic/enchantment) wherever I saw “troll” in a Swedish word.

        • Sapfo

          I apologize if this gets a bit muddled commentar, but I’ll try to stick to the topic.

          First of all Trolls are an major part in Swedish old folklore. I have to say that I did not belive in Santa growing up, but I did belived in trolls.

          One of the reason might be that in Sweden unlike in other countrys, Santa is usally a person who really comes on chrismase, and with that I mean a person dress up as Santa and comes knocking on the door, instead of burglary which he has a habit of do in other countries. I wonder if the Swedish Santa is a little more polite in this way

          However most kids hears storys of trolls growing up. It is storys about changelings and people become bewitched. These are creatures that nobody sees but everyone heard about. And when you live in an older house where things are creaking and the wind rushing outside, then these invisible beings are so much more believable than a man / woman which dresses up as Santa.

          Oki, that was all about reliability of trolls. (should be noted that not all trolls are bad trolls. most of them just want to live their lifes and not make a fuss)

          The word “troll” and the word “trolla”. thouse are two diffrent words. Troll is a creature and the word “trolla” is a verb, and it means conjure. But both words have something to do with the supernatural.
          So I guess you are right about the base of the word being the same.

          And this comments is a good reason why I should never do a comment right after waking up. 😉
          I really do need some tea now. And hope I did not confuse you to much with my rambeling XD

          • Elrohir

            But Sapfo, you didn’t mention Moomintroll! 🙂
            **Sorry, couldn’t resist, there is a 2 1/2 year old Swedish Princess around the house for the next 10 days or so. So it’s either that or “Pettson och Findus”.**

          • Sapfo

            Pettson och Findus everyday! Used to be my favorite. The artwork in Sven Nordqvist books are so good. Still love to read them for my brothers kids.

            And what can I say about Moomintroll…. Snufkin (snusmumriken) You can rock my world any day 😉

            Sorry, I got asked a question the other day, when did I have my first geeky sexual awakening. And I have to say Snufkin och Jessica Rabbit are …. well I don´t really know what to say about them. They did something to me xD

            Sounds like you are having a lot of family/friend fun then. 2½ year old have so much energy. I don´t know where they get it from.

          • Elrohir

            Nice. I’m glad you get to share the stories with your brother’s kids.
            My equivalent awakening was probably Greek and Roman mythologies though. So many times the story doesn’t care if it crosses genders. It’s just there as either love or sex or both (and of course as violence as well). Followed up with Andre Norton’s “Witch World” series and Marion Zimmer Bradley’s “Darkover”. You love who you love. Gender is just one facet of the package.
            Yes the visit is going well and 2+ year olds have amazing energy. One day I hope to invent a human jumper cable (equivalent to car batteries) where the parent can just drain off a touch of that energy to themselves. I suspect it would make me the wealthiest man on the planet! 🙂

          • Sapfo

            Yes, school was good that way. got to read all about the Greek and Roman myths and gods. I don´t know how many different adaptions of the Illiaden I have read/seen, but I still have a soft spot for it. Even if my view of the work have change during the years.

            Once you’ve done that, I expected you to take me on a journey around the world. Just so you know 😉

            Have fun!

          • Sapfo

            Just going to say that you been missed.

          • Garnasha

            Ah, ok, thanks. Leaves me wondering though… trollar troll? (and here’s hoping that’s the correct tense/tempus/tidsform)

            The KTH has a nice dictionary, but that doesn’t teach rules of grammar nor does it tell you which word in a set of (almost) synonyms is the common one a native will generally use.
            Good fun, trying to puzzle together something with the help of a dictionary and being told by a native speaker that a word you used has been out of fashion for a hundred years (although my grammar was correct, go me :P).

    • Mathew Cole

      Who’s to say she -can’t- afford to have her “bluff” called? You don’t live to be her age without having backup plans atop backup plans. I strongly suspect her “backup” gets the job done, but doesn’t give her the rest of what she wants – which is to say more power for herself.

  • TwilightDreamer

    oh great, now she’s trying blackmail….
    Really curious to see Duncan’s response.

  • Stubbylegs

    It should be an easy bluff to call, because they both know Kyle’s daddy wouldn’t like it too much if they called it off.

  • Dennis Grace

    Oooooh, passive-aggralessive Sircea. Call her bluff, Dunc. Don’t let her reverse pal such you into obedience.

    Meanwhile, back with the heroic teenagers, Mom and Dad’s little crisis-of-conscience spat has given them time to arrange and execute Kyle’s Coming Out Orgy, replete with pre-copulatory doobies, personalized condoms, post-ejac tobac, and a lovely commemorative highlights DVD.

  • Sapfo

    This page does make me think of powerbalance. Who got the power and who have the most power. And at the moment I have a hard time telling which one of these two have the most power, and the most to loss if this goes bad.

    I have a feeling this is a high risk game, and calling it a game is not the right thing to do. They are not only risking themself (which seems to be the most important to them), but also the world.

    But there have also been talk about them having to do this. Building up new walls.

    Well I am of to talk to some of the minions, maybe they can fill me in on the whole drama behind this. Everyone knows minions love gossiping.

    Thank you to Chris, you are a good friend and makes this place fun to be in.

    Thank you to Alex, Adam and Veronica. You are making me use my brain. That is when I am not making silly jokes in the comments 😉

    Now I am of to clean my place up for the CA party. (virgins are all nice and all, but they suck at cleaning).

    Have a good weekend! (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧

    • We love you, Sapfo. Have a lovely CA party!

    • Wow Sapfo you live such an international glamour life. It’s all about Sapfo and the glitterati! No wonder you are so popular. HINT: Since you have so many extra virgins, just de-virginize a few of your virgin-stash and they’ll start being better house cleaning. 🙂 xo

      • Sapfo

        I thougth you knew this already. I am a wild women, a women on the go and I go to work…. jupp that is a long 15 min ride every day. Get to see a lot of cows and all 😉

        De-virginize the virgine? I will see what I can do about that, and in the mean time…. WHEEeeeee….!

        http://itoc.cfw.me/comics/

  • Mike W

    Time for a flounce-off!

  • BurstThrough

    WOW PASSIVE-AGRESSIVE ATTACK!!
    She must really hate not winning an argument cause pretty much all she said here was basically bull, she just want him to say he’ll bury his conscience in a dramatic way…¬¬
    Loved pannel 3 though her expressions never fail to entertain!XD

  • Elrohir

    Hats off to Team TYP again. Adam you’ve done a wonderful job in the progression of Sircea’s expressions:
    In P1 it’s the “gunfighter” stare. “Reach for your gun and I’ll drop you where you stand.”
    In P2 it’s the parental anger face. “That’s enough young man! I am losing patience with you and I don’t have time for this!”
    In P3 it’s the nonchalant “Fine, if you don’t want to play by my rules then just leave.”
    In P5 it’s the he can’t see me smirk “We’ll just call the whole thing off!” knowing that Duncan can’t/won’t allow the world to be engulfed in Demons (no matter how mad he made me with what he did to Kyle) and he can’t get away anyway if she does call it off because a King of Hell marked him with his sign and I’ll bet he can find him anywhere now. And the look on Duncan’s face in P5 says, “Wait a minute, this is a total con”
    Veronica’s color scheme does a really nice job of keeping definition in that pale complexion (on Duncan too) and provides nice depth to the character’s expressions.
    Alex, I do love your storyline, but I’ve also come to very much look forward to the way you “break the fourth wall” and talk to the audience in your forwards. You’ve a twisted sense of humor about you blended with a depth of history and knowledge of the genre. I admire that (especially the twisted sense of humor). 🙂
    To Chris and Saxon B. and all the other donors my sincere thanks. Such consistent ardor in service of art is to be much admired. Well done.
    **Apologies for my prolonged absence. And very much looking forward to continuing the journey with all of you.**

    • Nice to see you back 🙂

    • Very glad to have you back, Elrohir! Always enjoy the play-by-play. 🙂

  • Reverse psychology – works every time.

  • Saxon_Brenton

    Well I’m back from gaming, and… Oh, what’s this? A comparatively subtle passive-agressive approach after her over-the-top sarcasm last page? I wasn’t expecting that.

    Ah, but more importantly… Chris Dangerfield! Hello, welcome to the Hundred Donations Club! Come on into the tree house. Make yourself at home. You know the drill: pull up a chair and call the cat a bastard…

    • Elrohir

      Wait! Your tree house is “Liberty Hall”? Awesome!
      **An awesome classic Science Fiction reference, I haven’t read any A. Bertram Chandler “Grimes” series in maybe 20 years. Thank you for recalling it to me.**

    • Thank you so kindly Saxon. I can think of nowhere more fun to be. I promise I won’t be a mooch. I’ll bring a cooler of cold beverages and some good snacks with me. The treehouse sounds uber cool, I can’t wait. Thank you! (If I swear at the cat… will it kick my ass? Just checking *snerk*) Thanks for the welcome!

  • LimpBiskit

    Little afraid to see what would happen if he agreed and tried to leave, she has that Annie Wilkes look about her…

  • It’s ironic to watch..
    For some who so masterly manipulated and played with Kyle, Duncan has a lot of (minor) reactions and expressions so similar to Kyle’s in his reactions to Sircea here.
    And Sircea, it’s almost like seeing Duncan on the pages in the end of the prologue.

    Will Duncan jump in with both feet, like Kyle did, or will he see through her manipulative antics?

    Making a comment about at his conscience just to make it his decission to call it all off in the next sentense. She’s like that raptor in Jurassic Park that manages to set up a smarter trap to catch her smart prey..

    Clever girl.

  • Toli Bera

    I hate seeing Grannie and Grampie fight like this 🙁

  • Pikinanou

    If this keeps up, one of them is going to change their Facebook status from “In evil Partnership to take over the world” to “Suddenly widowed”

  • WarGoddess

    Well, here’s where she starts listing off the horrible things that will happen to Kyle if they don’t seal the walls. Preying on Duncan’s weakness like a bully taunting a fat kid with a twinkie.

  • Garnasha

    Either either, neither neither, let’s call the whole thing off…

    Now, how’s Duncan going to get out of this one? Theoretically, I think he could somehow complete the contract or get it properly cancelled (and the walls restored) with the help of Spooky and Kyle, but he has no way of knowing that.

    • stickfigurefairytales

      I have definitely had that song stuck in my head since I read Sircea’s line.

  • Cman65

    poor poor Annie you made a deal with Big Red Daddy and if you lose or even draw he gets your arse on a plate, and I think he is going to take PP just for fun

  • LL

    Ah, she just went with the passive aggression approach. After the “it would be wise…” comment last page, I thought Sircea would get much, much angrier.

    • Tahir Raines

      I’m sure she knows that anger wouldn’t be the best tool to constantly use against Duncan.

  • Terri Sutton

    I know this page has the PP pulling the passive-aggressive BS on Duncan, so why am I left with the impression that it is Duncan is the one pulling the strings?

    • Garnasha

      Ooh, that would be so awesome, if Duncan were actually manipulating her. To what end, though?

      • Terri Sutton

        I don’t know, it’s just that I can see that PP is manipulating Duncan and I don’t have the advantage of knowing her for a number of years and working closely with her for a while. And Duncan was able to expertly manipulate Kyle (and us) for quite a while.

        Oh, here’s a thought. Duncan is looking out for himself, why else would he do anything.

        • Garnasha

          So he’s looking out only for his own best interests. Let me rephrase my question: What are Duncan’s best interests, right now?

          Oh, and Sircea has been around a bit longer than Kyle. Maybe longer than any redhead (rather rare and minor variant on the genetic level, could actually be really recent). I doubt being able to seduce a sexually frustrated teen translates well into deceiving evil demi-goddesses.

          • Terri Sutton

            What about being able to trick the collective hive-mind of a genre-savvy audience?

  • stickfigurefairytales

    Who even cares what you do, Duncan?

  • Aziza Johnson

    Given how she was talking before, would it be wise to trust her words Duncan? This is when your better wisdom should override your desire to get the heck outta there! I don’t think she’s letting you off that easy if she NEEDS YOU!

  • bronakopdin

    …. now this kinda talk reminds me more on kindergarten kids xD

    sorry… I know but…. yeah, can’t help to think that ^^

  • It’s really quite understandable why The Platinum Priestess would be indignant about The Annihilator’s second thoughts. I can sympathize. They have been planning this for years, they have agreed how everything should go long ago and at the last moment he expresses his doubts and puts everything they’ve been working for at risk.

    If Kyle was straight Sircea would have been the one to seduce him. She certainly wouldn’t have done something as stupid as developing feelings (and let all the drama interfere with their plan).

    Duncan is letting her down here. I wouldn’t dream of blaming her for attempting to make him feel appropriately – in her point of view – guilty about it now.

    • Tahir Raines

      I agree. It’s not like Sircea tricked Duncan into this. Plus, at this point if he doesn’t go through with it, everyone is screwed due to the eventual collapse of the walls between worlds.

    • Garnasha

      That’s… actually a very good point. I mean, she’s still a manipulative crazy bitch that needs to be put down, but her being pissed at Duncan getting cold feet now is actually not strange at all.

      Of course, there’s a very real chance Duncan never was a full partner in this, in which case: raging at a lackey/minion/sucker because they’re starting to free themselves from your manipulation is understandable as a tactic, but no less reprehensible for that understandability.

      • Mathew Cole

        The fact that Sircea set herself up to have a 70%+ chance of having to seduce a teenage kid (squick) to get the plan done means that she’s certainly willing to do the spadework herself when the situation demands it.

        Which in turn argues that she’s not entirely being “Ms. High-and-Mighty” here – she’s really pissed that someone she needs on her side is wobbling at the last moment.

  • The Platinum Priestess has discovered an obstacle – Duncan’s conscience – and she is attempting to use it to her advantage, trying to guilt The Annihilator into going through with the plan. (I think)

  • Wayne Lunkwitz

    Not sure exactly what will happen , but I would say that if she does allow him to go, she will proceed without his knowledge to do something that will hurt him badly in some way…..I feel that very strongly right now.

  • Wayne Small

    Maybe because Duncan still in love with Kyle

    • Steven K.

      Was he ever actually in love with Kyle initially or in the first place?

      • Tahir Raines

        I think it may now be a mixture of guilt+growing to like Kyle’s personality while they were “dating”

  • Epistasthai

    Right, like she’s gonna let him quit now. And I wonder if Duncan is really hesitating, or if he’s got something else in mind.

    • Dakejev

      Duncan won’t have a choice but go with the ritual, unless he wants his ass being owned by Laampros – the whole deal with the devil stuff.

      • flame821

        That and calling the whole thing off would mean he did all that to Kyle for absolutely no reason. He wouldn’t have an ‘out’ to explain his behavior. But I really, really hope Spooky gets there because I want to know how much of PP speal is truthful and how much is her ‘version’ of events.

  • L. Bellamy

    I’m interested to know exactly how long Sircea and Duncan have know each other. I mean, this relationship could have started when Duncan was a naive, insecure, 18-year old(like Kyle) and he is being manipulated by an older lover that needs him to complete her plans. (It would explain why he has a hard time going against Sircea and his expression in panel 4 at the mere suggestion that Sircea doesn’t need him). Sircea may be preying on Duncan’s need to belong and feel accepted(as suggested by the flashback a few pages ago and the information Duncan told Kyle) to get what she wants—her youth and restoration of her powers.

    From what we’ve been shown of Sircea and Duncan’s relationship, it seems to be based on emotional attachment instead of fear or some mutual beneficial arrangement. I feel that it’s this way because Sircea found it easier to control Duncan with his feelings than with outright force. After all, if her powers are in fact diminished, she might not be much of a match for Duncan in a physical fight. Somehow, Sircea managed to gain Duncan’s loyalty, but I’m fairly sure that it isn’t mutual. After all, why didn’t Sircea make the deal with Laampros? And if Sircea is still a powerful enough sorceress to single-handedly restore the walls between realms, couldn’t she have just changed herself into a man to seduce Kyle? It doesn’t seem like that much of a stretch if she can create dimensional portals and what not.

    As the climax of the story nears, I have the feeling that Sircea will realize that Duncan’s feelings for Kyle may override the feelings he has for her(they might actually be real instead a manipulative illusion) and that loss of control over Duncan will make her FURIOUS. She might even hurt/use Kyle to make Duncan do whatever it is he needs to do to fulfill their plan.

    Basically, I just have the feeling that Duncan and Kyle are about to have a whole lot more in common.

    • Mathew Cole

      Just one thing: Sircea doesn’t have the power to mend the breach on her own. If she did, she’d have done so, rather than coming up with a high-risk idea like this at all.

      • L. Bellamy

        Hi Matthew, I was just referencing that Sircea can do it on her own, with her full powers or with the magical “jump” from this ritual that she and Duncan are preparing to do.

        A couple of pages ago, she completely shot down the idea of Spooky helping her with this endeavor, so I do think that she is still pretty powerful(she’s Spooky’s adversary so she must provide some challenge). If she thought that she was weak in any sense, wouldn’t she have taken the extra help in such a high-risk endeavor? Assuming of course that she’s not too proud to ask for it. And if this endeavor will in fact save the world(as she proclaims), isn’t it a bit selfish to let one person’s ego get in the way?

  • Sanbai

    Holy crap Christopher D! You have officially donated $10,000 DOLLARS TO THIS COMIC! Good job bro!

  • Gergana Maltchanova
  • Alt+F7

    Hmmm. Either she’s bluffing and reminding him that this is, or he thinks this is, the best way to protect the world, or she does have other plans in place. Plans which may be much less … generous to the existing populace.

    I mean, Platinum Priestess must have other plans, she’d never put all her eggs in one basket. But whether she has plans she could enact without some serious extra preperation is something I doubt. She does seem heavily invested in this one so any other plans might just be ways to keep herself safe during the coming collapse so she can claw out a sphere of influence once the dust clears.

    • Mathew Cole

      I think Sircea (and isn’t -that- a name to watch out for?) does most certainly have a backup. And while I doubt she has much concern for the lives of humans, -this- plan gives her enough power to take back her “rightful” (YMMV) immortality. With some to spare.

      It’s entirely possible that her backup plan(s) doesn’t have enough juice to leave that much left over.

      • Alt+F7

        Yeah, with her reported age, it’s entirely possibly the recorded spelling was corrupted over time and she *is* Circe, or the source of the stories about Circe.

  • Steven K.
    • I have a dumb question. I thought people liked red headed people. I thought it was black haired girls no one really looked for. But there was always a blond and red head that you wanted. Granted, they never really showed the guy version since girls where suppose to ‘party’ that way, but I thought it was a given. So when did this start or was a think to not like red headed guys?
      Oh another question. Why do you call red heads ginger? Ginger isn’t red.

      • Steven K.

        I, for my own part, probably can only give my limited personal point of view on the first question by saying I’m not sure, although:
        I’ve never been super-attracted to a lot of red-haired guys, and my favorite or ideal has always been for lads or men with black or dark brown hair. However, that’s not to say that I don’t often come across some unbelievably gorgeous and stunning blond boys, and every once in awhile some smokin-hot red-head fellows that just leave me panting (like a number of the guys in that book).
        As to why red-heads are called ginger, and your assertion that ginger isn’t red, I’d say, well, the hair on “red”-headed guys (or gals) isn’t actually red either – it’s more orange, to my conception of color. Also, I think, to some, “ginger” became more associated with the orange or orange-ish color of the hair of red-headed guys/gals, I believe, from the fact that the term had often traditionally been used for a sort or certain sorts of cat varieties whose fur was various shades of orange-ish color. Then the term was adopted from orange-“ginger” cats to orange-haired people. At least that’s my theory.

        • Klaus

          But how did the cats get to be called “ginger”?

          • Steven K.

            Here is a pretty good summary article:
            http://pets.thenest.com/ginger-cat-8970.html

          • Klaus

            I do not see any explanation in that article.

          • Steven K.

            Yeah – they don’t say specifically why they are called that, but more of what a ginger cat IS. (Also mentions sometimes called marmalade.) But, if you look at dried or dried/candied ginger, it has a yellow-ish orange or an orangish-yellow color to it. If you do a Google search with “candied ginger”, and then look under images, you’ll see this very clearly. It is similar to the coloration of those cats, and also the hair of “red”-haired or ginger persons. When a person is called “ginger”, as in the case of the cat, I think it is because they have an all-around more orangish appearance – not just the hair on their heads, but their whole bodies, due to the commonly greater prevalence of freckles, etc.

        • DC

          In Australia there is a comic strip that dates back to the early 1920’s about a mischievous red haired boy, his name is Ginger Meggs.

          • Elrohir

            I’ve seen the Dutch version of Dennis the Menace (Dennis De Bengel) portrayed with reddish hair instead of the American version with blonde hair too.

      • bronakopdin

        Sadly no, I remember I once shared the story here already but redheads are not considered beautiful just like that.
        I’m not a redhead but I had a girl in my class in elementary school that had – quoting myself – the most beautiful curls I have ever seen in my whole life! I still remember her very clearly, but she was often bullied just because of her haircolour… I was friends with her and she was also very shy, and couldn’t really defend herself. One day she moved away and we lost contact but I always told her how much I loved her hair 🙂 and I think I did good to do so!

        so it’s not only that not even girls are considered beautiful with red hair, I think boys are even more disadvantaged… somehow if you hear “beautiful” most people think on girls in general, not boys. And if THEN you such a characteristic as being a “redhead” which people consider “not beautiful”…

        I love redheads 🙂

        And the reason I think why people often don’t might be that the red hair in way looks unnatural. Often those people also have very light skin which in combination looks even more unnatural and also lots of them have freckles (which can look good or bad depending on the person) those are all things that come together I fear 🙁

        • Klaus

          My brother came home from his first day in school and told that there was a redhead in his class. Even little kids find it noticeable. Not so noticable that he had noticed his own even redder hair, though.

          And I wonder about “ginger” too.

        • Elrohir

          And I did NOT know about this one until a redheaded friend of mine just posted it to Facebook:

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redhead_Day

          Alex, has Kyle ever been to Breda?

      • Elrohir

        Not an authoritative answer. But I believe that the use of the term “ginger” for redheaded people used to be more of a UK thing. At least until the folks who write South Park started doing episodes using the term (including Cartman’s famous Ginger-vitis episode). You hear the use more in the US now.

        When I was growing up, a good portion of my home town was of Irish descent (workers who had come to build the Erie Canal) so we had a few red heads in school. I always though it was a cool hair color. But in general, the connotation seems to be unfavorable. Red heads are supposed to have a terrible temper for example. As a line from an old movies says, “Oh, she’s a terrible temper on her. That red head is no lie.” There are even a series of phrases in English about the “red headed stepchild” as if the combination of being both red haired and a step child was somehow additive towards being bad. The OED online returns the definition:

        Red Headed Stepchild

        noun

        a person or thing that is neglected, unwanted, or mistreated:

        “audio has always been something of a red-headed stepchild in the PC world”

        So it seems a pretty ingrained issue somehow. I always sort of associated red hair with Celtic backgrounds. At points in both England and the US there was a lot of anti-Irish sentiment but I don’t know that any of that leaked over to red headedness though the Irish do seem to have a higher incidence of red hair color than most other cultures that I’ve been exposed to. But I believe that the Naples region of Italy also has a reputation for fiery redheads. The car Testarossa is actually the Italian term for red head; Testa = head and rossa = red. Little Orphan Annie was also a red head. But then again, I’ve seen depictions of Queen Elizabeth I of England as a red head as well.
        I can’t say that I’ve ever been super attracted to very many red headed guys. But man oh man did I have a thing for Maureen O’Hara back in the day. Just sayin’…

      • DC

        The ginger root is not red but some ginger plants have an orange or red flower.

  • Keneu

    To me, she looks like she wants the Annihilator to decide and make up his mind once and for all, and face the consequences his decision will bring upon himself and the world. We’ve seen she doesn’t care a bit about morality or conscience, she considers them hipocritical and potential weaknesses. From her point of view, she wouldn’t want to have weak people around her. Now, we have yet to see if she would really let him go just like that, and waste the efforts of years, or it’s just a trick to pressure him into staying.

  • Saxon_Brenton

    (Phhbbtt. Another lengthy dissertation. Sorry)
    I’ve been thinking about what Annihilator is likely to do next. It’s always difficult to predict what Alex will do (he’s tricky; I’m sure you’ve noticed this) but we can say that Annihilator has three broad options. They are: give in to the Platinum Priestess’ ultimatum and go along with her plan; pretend to give in to the Priestess but act on his idea to get Spooky Jone’s help; and leave right now and go to Spooky.

    I see a tangle of factors possibly influencing events. The one that I would like to be first is Annihilator’s conscience and altruism. Unfortunately I have no freaking idea how much of an influence it has on the others, if any. Now, let me be clear: I am part of the ‘Annihilator should be redeemed (and getting a happily-ever-after with Red Hot would be a bonus’ part of YP fandom. I would dearly love for a significant part of Annihilator’s motivation to be that he sees a chance to solve the problem in a way that prevents most of the Earth’s population from being handed over as demon chow. The problem is we’ve had at least three different statements from Annihilator about his feelings on altruism (both pro- and con- ) and on each occasion there has also been evidence that he was being disingenuous. The first was when he was telling Red Hot that the hero made him want to be a better person, but later events strongly suggest that was all just another line to trick Red Hot into trusting him. The second was when he had Red Hot captured and was monologuing about how his main motivation was selfishness, but there were hints then that his villainous speech was at least partly an attempt to psyche himself up. The third was when he told the Priestess that he was having second thoughts about the ends justifies the means, whereupon the Priestess accused him of being more interested in winning back Red Hot. My assessment: I need more information.

    The second is ego. The Annihilator is a supervillain with a large ego, and it’s just been bruised by the Platinum Prietesss. My gut reaction is that his ego isn’t quite so big (nor does he suffer from impulsiveness) that he would turn on the Priestess on the spur of the moment as a form of “Up yours”. But if he forsaw something like this coming, then he might make advance plans…

    This leads to the third factor. A number of commentors have observed (even if I missed this at first) that Annihilator’s expression suggests that he’s only just now realising how much of a difficult position he’s in. But after thinking about it, I would caution that this may or may not be true, depending on how good an actor he is. Admittedly he kept pulling villain-face during the time he was manipulating Red Hot – but Kyle was young and naive, and Annihilator might work harder to keep his true feelings hidden when he’s trying to trick the Priestess.

    By contrast the idea that I prefer is that Annihilator and the Priestess are scheming against each other. Now I admit I have no solid evidence for this other than both of them have the type of personality for this. And of course, Annihilator might not have been scheming against the Priestess because he’s been distracted by hubris or desperation or some other factor.

    Nevertheless, the equation I prefer runs like this: Let us assume that both supervillains have egos that are large enough that when irritated that they will do something self-centred and petty if they think they can get away with it. Let us further assume that they have egos that are not so large that they will fall into the mistake of thinking that everyone will automatically agree with them and do whatever they say. In other words, they are both prepared to backstab one another, and they know perfectly well that the other knows that they know. Further, we already know that Annihilator is both intelligent and a schemer, so he’d be inclined to act that way. The Priestess I’m not sure about – but I’d be inclinded to say she’s much the same, simply because the chances of her having survived 6,000 years and have gotten the Annihilator into his current predicament by accident seem pretty small.

    As people have been pointing out, the Priestess must have a contingency plan in case the Annihlator bails on her. Maybe the Annihilator explictly storms off on the next page, or maybe he pretends to go along and then
    sneaks away further into the story when the time is right (although time is running out, so he doesn’t have that long). In whichever case, if the Priestess has any grasp of tactics she should have anticipated and prepared for that. In the immediate term this would involve a zap-and-paralyse spell to use against Annihilator. More esoterically, I suspect she hasn’t told him the full truth of the mechanics of the spell, and she could indeed pull off the ritual without his help (and again as others have suggested, this might involve knowing what Red Hot is, and using it to her advantage).

    And for his part, the Annihilator should be able to figure this out as well and have prepared accordingly. Personally I keep circling back to the cute notion that Annihilator has something that acts as the Priestess’ weakness (maybe another bag of powder to throw in her face?) and then just super-leaps away to try to contact the Young Protectors. That would be a bit out of left field, but not a total deus ex machina given the nature of the characters. The other obvious option is that he plays along to get himself more time. The problem is that if he foresaw this situation coming then he should have already taken the step of contacting Spooky in advance!

    Side note: ARGHH!!! This is the problem with trying to write/anticpate the writing about characters who are schemers. At what point do their plans become so complicated and uber competent that you’re dealing with writer fiat? Alex commented with the Artifice comic that he had to rework the interaction between Deacon and Dr Maven so that Deacon didn’t win their encounter because Maven ended up holding the Idiot Ball. And as we saw, this involved Deacon putting a lot of effort into playing to Dr Maven’s professional ego by pretending to slowly having his excuses and rationals stripped away. So what are the comparable weaknesses of the villains in Young Protectors? At this point we only know that Annihilator says he doesn’t think of himself as a villain and has some pangs of conscience for harming innocents, plus his soft spot for Red Hot. We really aren’t sure what the Platinum Priestess’ psychological blind spots are. At a guess, the arrogance of being a 6,000 year old super mage?

    Anyway, back to the main point. I think the final two factors would be the Annihilator’s desire for Red Hot (in whatever form it actually takes) and his fear (both fear of mortality, and probably a justifiable fear of retribution from Laampros should this deal go bad). I’m guessing that these two are probably a bit more important to the Annihilator that the abstract concern for most of the world’s population being used as demon chow. After all, Annihilator is a supervillain. He’s selfish.

    At the moment, providing there’s no interference, then the Priestess’ plan almost certainly gains the Annihilator two things he wants – to save the world from the collapsing-dimensional-walls problem and personal immortality, but at the price of a lot of the world’s population being doomed and him never winning the respect of Red Hot. But if he takes a risk and gets help from Spooky, then he wins saving the whole world and possibly winning the appreciation of Red Hot, but at the price of not getting personal immortality, of earning Laampros’ emnity, and also the possibility that the whole plan fails and the dimensional walls collapse dooming Earth in its entirety. In either case he does not gain something that he wants. (An amusing thought just occurred to me: what if Annihilator is not thinking straight enough at the moment, and he hasn’t realised that he has to chose? [facepalm and shake head] Oh, Duncan.)

    So the final analysis comes down to this: What are the Annihilator’s priorities, what is he prepared to give up, and what is he prepared to risk?

    • SofiaT

      Let us assume that both supervillains have egos that are large enough that when irritated that they will do something self-centred and petty if they think they can get away with it. Let us further assume that they have egos that are not so large that they will fall into the mistake of thinking that everyone will automatically agree with them and do whatever they say. In other words, they are both prepared to backstab one another, and they know perfectly well that the other knows that they know. Further, we already know that Annihilator is both intelligent and a schemer, so he’d be inclined to act that way. The Priestess I’m not sure about – but I’d be inclinded to say she’s much the same, simply because the chances of her having survived 6,000 years and have gotten the Annihilator into his current predicament by accident seem pretty small.

      Right. So, they are both expecting to be tricked by the other, but the ultimate trick would be to not be tricked! But since they are both smart enough to predict the other to trick them by not tricking them, tricking them is the only option.

      I think that, from the above, it becomes clear this is the question we need to ask: where is the iokane powder?? (And is either of them Sicilian?)

      • Ha! That’s some great trickery.

        • SofiaT

          I know! My mind is blown!

    • Steven K.

      One possible thing to ponder that might have an effect on some of those options you relate in your last paragraph (including the one where Duncan might earn Laampros’ emnity and some possible appreciation from Kyle, etc.) is the question of how much of a soft-spot Laampros has for his son – i.e., Kyle. (That is, if we take his words to Kyle at “face-value” as literally true and not just somehow symbolically or metaphorically true – in other words, is Kyle truly Laampros’ “biological” [for lack of a better term at the moment, though granting that there might be some metaphysical aspects to the reproduction of demonic personalities or the birth/production of their offspring] son, or are beings that are powered by or have an origin in metaphysical fire simply referred to as “sons of Laampros”, just as Christ may be naturally and metaphysically the “son of God”, whereas men could be referred to as “sons of God’ though not literally be His direct offspring through quasi-metaphysical/quasi-biological means as Christ is seen to be {my Christian theology is a little weak at the moment regarding remembering the exact manner of the impregnation of Mary – was it via the Holy Spirit – though that is another part of the Trinity, which just complicates the question of actual parentage – or through some spiritual version of Holy semen / God “potency” / reproductive will / divine reproductive energy, etc.?})
      Anyway, if Laampros has “feelings” (e.g., familial love, if demon-lords can have such emotions) for Kyle, and if the happiness of his son is important to him, then who knows what additional dynamics this may introduce into the equation. Laampros’ attitudes may be swayed in one direction or another – toward or against Duncan – depending on how Kyle’s feelings are swayed by or toward or further against Duncan, which in term may hinge on – coming back around again – Duncan’s own motivations and reasons and future choices of action AND HIS true feelings for Kyle.
      Damn this is complicated convoluted stuff.

    • A very fun, thorough analysis, Saxon. Nicely done. 🙂

  • Heh

    If duncan calls the whole thing off for real, what will PP do with all the minions? I bet she paid for a full day already!

    • Terri Sutton

      I vote for eating them.

      I think I may have gotten the minions confused with the sacrificial goats.

    • I bet they’re on zero hours contracts. Sircea doesn’t seem the type to care about employment law.

  • Organic With Attitude

    Yeah… like anyone believes that in the slightest.

  • Lindsey Amethyst Hampton

    I like PP so much right here: “Put your money where your mouth is.” It is both amusing and terrifying how much I’m like PP. >.>;

  • Dave Nguyen

    Damn, PP makes me both glad and disappointed that I’m so incredibly gay.

    • John

      True Dat Brudda! (I’m one of the whitest guys you’ll ever meet; can you tell? 😛 )

  • Codeless Emerald

    Knowing when to scurry into hiding is part of being a sucessful minion,

  • Saxon_Brenton

    You know, I just realised. During that lengthy bit of babbling I posted yesterday? I completely missed something important.

    Annihilator is thinking of going to Spooky Jones to get his help in saving the world.
    Cut that down to: Annihilator is thinking of going to Spooky Jones.

    There you go: The basis for a whole new ship. Utterly tenusous of course, but that’s never stopped fandom. Now, what do you want to call it? Spootinator? Annky?

    • SofiaT

      Ouch. That one hurts us, my precious.

    • Heh

      How about Dooky? Maybe Spunck?

      I don’t even care anymore, i already ship spooks with half the YP characters. [Yes, even the minor ones.]

      • Saxon_Brenton

        [facecious] You know, considering I paid good money to get a cameo appearance in the bonus comic, I guess I count as a minor character. I’m not sure how I feel about you shipping Spooky and myself, Heh 😛

      • So what is your TYP ship?

        Spooky and almost everyone….including the villains…

    • HA! Headaches R Us…

  • Mixter

    “But OOOOOOOOH, if we call the whole thing off then we must part… and OOOOOOH, if we ever part then that might break my heart.”

  • Ditzite

    Argh just read this from start to now…. I need more, but I will just have to wait.

    • I know the feeling! But you’re in luck! if you can make it through tomorrow, the following evening the comic updates. 🙂

  • stickfigurefairytales

    Mmm, just made myself some chocolate cake-in-a-mug which turned out rather nicely. I’m all set for camping!

    • That’s good stuff. My dad made a spice cake in a mug that was pretty excellent.

      • stickfigurefairytales

        Ooh, sounds good!

  • You know, I really love that first panel and Sircea’s: Or what? No wonder the minions disappeared.

    • stickfigurefairytales

      She’s just so utterly unimpressed and out of patience.

      • Exactly. It would be no skin off her back to snap her fingers and be done with it.

  • davefragments

    Right now, I could take a bloody mary without the tomato juice. It was a supermarket day.

    • stickfigurefairytales

      *passes you a virtual vodka*

      • davefragments

        I had to “avoid” and maneuver a cart around at least three women who had EARPHONES and were gossiping to their lady friends. I mean real spacious gossip and the saddest thing is that I have the ears of a bat and could listen in. Do you have any clue what happens to a man’s brain who is forced to listen to one side of a gossip stream? ARGH!! ! ! !!! !

        • stickfigurefairytales

          I guess I’m pretty old-fashioned, since it still strikes me as rude to be talking on the phone while you’re shopping in a store.

          • What’s really weird is when someone is using the bluetooth headset and it’s covered by their hair and so they look like they’re talking to themselves. Or worse you don’t know if they’re talking to you.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            It has definitely become a lot harder to determine at a cursory glance whether someone is crazy since the advent of bluetooth technology.

          • You just can’t make that assumption anymore..

          • davefragments

            hey, be careful. I talk to my food in the store – I praise it with tiny love poems -“come here my little cupcake. I want you so bad” things like that.

          • Well talking to food is different. Because well it’s food. 🙂 And now I want a cupcake.

          • Terri Sutton

            That is actually less creepy than the middle-age men I constantly see talking to random children.

          • Steven K.

            My mom used to always talk to children and babies at the supermarket when she was trying to come out of her long-term clinical depression – I think it was a way for her to concentrate on life or new life or the future – AND the fact that her two only children had let her down and never gave her the grandchildren she always wanted, as I’m gay and my brother has not had any children with his gf, and so I think she kept looking for very short-term “substitutes” while out at the grocery. There were times when she got a little over-zealous in this (she was still a little not-quite-healed mentally) and kinda freaked out and/or disturbed a few mothers upon occasion, and myself and/or my father would have to intervene and explain the situation and that she meant no harm and was indeed harmless but just a frustrated would-be grandmother.

          • Terri Sutton

            I see women of all ages talking to random children. It is just in now days in the “Great Pedo Hunt of 20/21 Century”, you automatically think its weird/creepy when you see a man talking to a child.

            Also it doesn’t help when we constantly have people raising money via raffles in my city’s malls and markets and the seller of those raffle tickets have no problems talking children out of their pocket money.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Aw, that’s not cool to pressure kids.

          • Terri Sutton

            Actually raffle ticket sellers don’t pressure kids. It’s more of a; “hey do you want to win a hamper filled with [insert object here]”, you tell them no and they just moved on to pitch to the next person. But the kids are like; “hey for $2 I get 3 tickets, I am so going to win that thing” because kids are just like kids and just don’t think.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Still, poor kids.

          • Terri Sutton

            If you leave you (read that as the metaphorical “you”) child/ren alone in a mall or market, them blowing all the pocket money on stupid worthless stuff is the best thing that can happen. If they are of an age where you don’t have to worry about them being alone in public and they don’t know the meaning of responsible spending then perhaps you need to go over a few key parenteral lessons.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            I suppose so.

          • Terri Sutton

            I don’t like children, can you tell.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            A little bit, yeah. 😀

          • Terri Sutton

            But you then make assumptions that it is on and working.

          • Steven K.

            Oh exactly! That REALLY bugs me.

          • silibub

            It’s really weird when people talk on the phone in the bathroom, which seems to happen a lot for some reason. Like 1) Ew, come on, and 2) it’s so incredibly disconcerting to hear a “Hey, how’s it going?” from the next stall over and have that brief oh-shit-are-they-talking-to-me panic. (I tend to flush the toilet a couple times in hopes of blowing the bathroom-chatter’s cover, because again — gross.)

          • Yeah, had that happen. That’s just… Yep, ew!

          • Steven K.

            Oh yes – agree with that as well!

          • ….as someone who used to work in a food store, sometimes employees will go to make a quick call in the bathroom so they don’t get caught on the phone while they are at work. One of the few places we didn’t have cameras.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            That actually makes sense.

          • silibub

            I can see that, and it doesn’t gross me out because I figure you aren’t actually using the facilities at the same time you’re making the call like the people I’ve overheard.

    • Was at the store today myself. Bought an apple fritter to make it up to myself.

      • Steven K.

        Those can indeed be somewhat helpful.

    • silibub

      Man, I feel you. What is it about the grocery store that just sucks the life force from your body?

      • stickfigurefairytales

        I don’t know. Maybe a combination of the lights, the layout, and the overload of choices?

        • And dodging other shoppers to avoid crashing. Or dodging around slow shoppers.

          • Steven K.

            I don’t like it when people bring their dogs or babies to art fairs/festivals – and then when they are looking at the wares/works of particular artists, their strollers and/or pets hog the space for other people to look or to see stuff. The babies and pets cannot appreciate the art, and most of the people don’t even themselves have any true interest or appreciation of the art, let alone are looking to actually purchase anything (whereas I’m a collector and go with intent to appreciate and often purchase, but all the people with their darn babies and dogs are in the way) – most just use the art fairs as an excuse to get out of the house with the kid or somewhere different to walk the dog. People – if you are going to an art fair or some similar show, PLEASE leave the babies and dogs at home or with a responsible sitter, etc. Sorry if that offends anyone – has just peeved me for a looong time.

        • Steven K.

          Alvin Toffler all the way back in 1970 in his classic “Future Shock” talks about how the phenomenon of “overchoice” will be one of the most common hallmarks of the future, now contemporary, society.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            One of the psych professors at my undergrad, Barry Schwartz, wrote a book about how having too many choices tends to lower happiness.

          • davefragments

            over analyzing the choices is a good way to never be satisfied with a purchase.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Very true. Then you become focused on the idea of whether or not you are getting the maximum amount of pleasure possible from your choice (and feeling bad if you decide another choice might have been better), rather than just whether or not you like it.

          • Steven K.

            That could be true, though I’d say having too FEW choices would lower it even more.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            I depends on the choices, I think. The problem is that having to make constant choices about very trivial things tends to get exhausting over time, and there’s also the issue of maximizing (trying to pick the single best option and being unhappy if you feel you didn’t pick it) as opposed to satisficing (being content with what you picked if you like it, rather than worrying that you might have liked another option more).

      • davefragments

        $15 a pound for the cheap steaks and $22 a pound for the good stuff. THAT is what sucks.

        • Steven K.

          Well, at a half-way decent restaurant a good steak is about 22-24 dollars for 6 ounces. That’s a bit frustrating to me.

    • Terri Sutton

      I like calling it the day “I bitterly regret that I can taste alcohol and am therefore not a lush”.

    • Steven K.

      I know how you feel. I could use something like that as well – lol – something to help me relax after a stressful beginning to the week. Not too fond of either vodka or tomato juice, and don’t think they are too great together. I had a nice bowl of tomato bisque soup earlier at Grand Traverse Pie Co. (Michigan chain) – now I just need to find some pleasant spirits to help out this evening. Have a new bottle of creme de cassis – maybe time to open that.

      • davefragments

        Did you know that in South Korea, a store is forbidden by law to sell garlic in packages of less than 50 bulbs (not cloves but bulbs). I said that out loud in my bathroom and three bottles of cologne died of fright.

        • stickfigurefairytales

          Really? I wonder why.

          • davefragments

            their cuisine is hot and spicy

        • Steven K.

          They do like their garlic – I suppose the govt. wants to make sure that people aren’t stiffed out of a good/fair/necessary quantity of garlic when they make their purchases?

          • davefragments

            We had a visiting Korean scientist who’s wife made Kim Chi once a week and I swear he could sweat garlic in the summer.

  • Joins camp side. I’m hoping we soon get to see a human vulcano about to explode from tension.

    And a good morning, day or night to everyone.

    • davefragments

      HI! and “Good Evening,” near to bedtime here.

    • Good morning!

    • stickfigurefairytales

      Good morning to you, and I accept your good evening/night for me!

    • silibub

      Hi Danish!

    • Morning Danish! I just got home! Went out to see a new store in the area and mother treated to dinner. ^_^

    • Steven K.

      I’m not sure I want to see Kyle’s “membrum weirillis” functioning literally as fire-hose again quite yet. Or did you not mean sexual tension?

      • Oh no, I meant either Duncan or Sircea’s temper going off full speed. /headdesk.. I should have remembered that old reference xD I blame just waking up.

        • Steven K.

          OH! That’s very different – lol. When you said “human volcano ….explod[ing]”, all I thought of at first was Kyle and his fire and emotional state.

  • Starfighter just updated.

    • stickfigurefairytales

      Hi Doki!

      • Hey Stick! I have sooo much to catch up on from where I was out of the house for so long today….

        • stickfigurefairytales

          Yeah, I know how that goes! Good luck.

  • Sorta not camping. Too much to do between now and the weekend. I’ll try to pop in a little later.

    • stickfigurefairytales

      Good luck with all of your stuff!

    • silibub

      Hopefully you’re the good kind of busy!

      • Yes! Going to Yaoi-con this weekend and trying to get my stuff together. Laundry, etc.

        • stickfigurefairytales

          I hope you have so much fun!!

        • silibub

          That’s so cool! I hope you have an awesome time!

        • ….Lick Starr’s ear for me! ;-P ^_^

        • Have lots o’ fun

        • Will try to tweet some of the goings on while I’m there.

    • May the force be with you! 🙂

  • silibub

    So when the Protectors’ plane get within sighting distance, I wonder if Sircea and Duncan will notice it first, or if one of the minions will actually speak to tell them about it.

    • silibub

      (I’m curious how the minions address Duncan and Sircea — Boss? Sir? Priestess? Or do they just make expansive reverent gestures?)

      • Maybe Master or Mistress?

        • silibub

          It’s interesting how different options suggest different kinds of subordination.

          • Different levels. Bob’s a level one minion and must be upon hands and knees and avoiding eye contact never uttering more than Master or Mistress. While Carl is a level three and only needs to genuflect twice before saying All Hail Platinum Priestess and Lord Annihilator.

          • silibub

            Level six minions get to use facial expressions other than “frightened and devoted awe.”

          • Level 8 get to actually laugh when the boss laughs. And level 9 can smirk and boss around levels 1& 2

          • silibub

            …But not in the presence of the bosses, who have first priority in ordering around all minions.

          • Well of course. But they can, if the bosses offer an order, to turn around and make the lowerlings do it instead.

          • silibub

            Level 10s get one hour of free time per day.

          • silibub

            (No one is a level 10)

          • Ha! Usually something happens right before the promotion.

          • silibub

            “Happens”

          • He just “happened” to trip into a raging pool of Parana.

          • silibub

            The trajectory of that bus just “happened” to meet his as he left Starbucks. Just as Pumpkin Spice Latte season started, too. Brutal.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            His head just “happened” to wind up thirty feet from his body.

          • silibub

            All his limbs just “happened” to spontaneously detach.

          • He just “happened” to catch fire on the day the fire extinguisher just “happened” to be out for refilling.

          • silibub

            A chainsaw-wielding murderer lurking in his backyard? Weird how these things “happen.”

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Someone just “happened” to tell the boss that he was the one who left a red sock in with her laundry.

          • silibub

            Heinous! Red socks are absolutely forbidden contraband and its inclusion in the laundry was a calculated act of terrorism!

          • To ruin the platinum drawers of Her Great Platinum-ness, indeed an act of terrorism. Not that Bob could ever afford to replace them. As they were spun from the tears of the gods and goddess that Her Platinum-ness had made cry uncle

          • silibub

            Hahaha sounds about right!

          • A stampede of cattle through the busy streets of New York

          • davefragments

            That’s called a subway entrance. I’ve seen the cattle pour out of the subway 20 abreast and determined to get back to their apartments.

          • Ha!

          • davefragments

            Years ago before Disney opened a store – Every Friday night near midnight a hairy man in a ballerina outfit (pink tutu) would arrive in Times Square and cross 42nd street “en-point” . . . then he’d go home (wherever that was)

          • Tell me it’s on youtube!

          • davefragments

            I dearly hope not. It was the year that man walked on the moon.

          • Will wonders never cease. 🙂

          • davefragments

            The initiation to Level Ten is a real killer. It requires lots of sacrifice.

          • silibub

            You have to give a lot of yourself.

          • And their robes are now made of cotton instead of scratchy wool.

          • davefragments

            What Would Dilbert (the god go management) Say . . .

          • Good question…

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Bob has it rough.

          • Entry level Minions have it worse. Belly crawls and can only nod. They better hope the bosses see that nod.

        • Terri Sutton

          I’m pretty sure it’s the only the ones wearing gimp masks that call them that.

          • silibub

            (snerk)

      • Steven K.

        “Your Villainousness”

        • silibub

          “Your Hiney-ness…uh…”

      • Ant-Man

        I think it would be fun if the interactions were similar to how Glory ( from Buffy The Vampire Slayer ) & her minions communicated. She/He was a great villain. I think she shared the body/mind of a male med student who was a decent guy. Loved he/she

    • stickfigurefairytales

      “It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s–no, wait, it actually is a plane.”

      • silibub

        “…So…who has to tell them?”

        “Where’s the new guy? I don’t think he was here when they broke Bill’s arms, he’ll do it.”

    • Saxon_Brenton

      If/when the plane turns up, I want to see whether Annihilator does a villain-face secret-smirk, indicating that he’s been planning this all along and his scheme is proceeding as expected.

      • silibub

        Alternately, Sircea might be expecting them and will be secretly pleased that her future hostage has arrived.

        • Saxon_Brenton

          Ooo! Ooo! Both villains are pleased – but for completey different reasons – and Alex gets to draw out our highly strung anticipation for another few pages as we wait to see which villain is correct and actually has the upper hand in the duel of wits.

          • silibub

            That does sound like Alex…

      • Terri Sutton

        Hell yeah!

        Duncan been allowing PP to play him like a fiddle, at least that is the impression I had gotten.

  • My disqus is acting weird, and it’s ruining my camping *grumbles* It’s not on purpose if I miss a reply.

    • stickfigurefairytales

      Oh no, that sucks!

    • silibub

      Damn, Disqus is being a huge rear end to you lately. I wonder what’s up with that.

      • Yeah, it’s pretty annoying. At least it’s not spazzing completely out as earlier, but it doesn’t load every comment right now or rather it’s kinda delayed.

        • silibub

          Still frustrating though, since the whole point is to be able to follow comment threads.

  • Sapfo

    Good morning People!
    Strawberrie with a headache here XD

    • stickfigurefairytales

      Oh no, poor Sapfo!

    • Aww .. no bad head for Sapfo xD
      Go rub it on the new SF page. Maybe it will help.

    • Morning Sapfo! Did you see the Starfighter page?

    • *whispers* Good morning. Sorry about the headache.

    • silibub

      Oh, that sucks! You could try giving yourself a head massage?

      • Sapfo

        I am giving it the old fandom rub right now 😉
        It´s just a small one. It will most likely be gone soon.

  • *Points* A quick reminder of you guys to click and vote on the little black box to the right —>

    • stickfigurefairytales

      Thanks for the reminder!

    • Terri Sutton

      Do it every time I’m here.

      Why did my mind immediately go to masturbation jokes?

      • Dennis Grace

        I can’t imagine–unless that’s another thing you do every time you’re here. No judgment.

        • Terri Sutton

          I’m blaming Sarah’s “Dark Pit” and “Other Jacob” over at DoA.

    • Dennis Grace

      Black box? Where? What black box?

      • Right there ——>

        It’s just under the facebook box 🙂

      • The one for Top Web Comics that says ‘Vote’ at the right side at the top of the comments.

  • Sapfo

    Oh goodness twitter ate all my time. There was so much to read there this morning. And I need to make something to eat soon. But the tea took away the headache 😀

    • stickfigurefairytales

      Hooray for the powers of tea!

    • silibub

      Glad your headache’s gone! I just left you the weirdest response on twitter and I’m sorry in advance.

      • Sapfo

        Oh I look forward to reading it XD

  • Dennis Grace

    Yeah, Sircea positively OOZES sincerity in that final panel.

  • Sapfo
    • Terri Sutton

      All these comic updates and yet I’m still waiting for the next instalment of Ensign Sue Must Die.

  • Saxon_Brenton

    I’m heading home now. I’ll probably see you all on the next page.

    • safe travels!

    • stickfigurefairytales

      See you later!

  • stickfigurefairytales

    Okay, I need to head off to bed. Have fun, everybody!

  • Page up shortly…….

  • davefragments
  • karmakat

    god she needs a boot in the ass…

    • OnyxLight

      I agree!

      • karmakat

        glad am not the only one thinking so

  • Do these folks collect protection money for their living and proffit?
    Regards Knut Holt
    http://www.abicana.com

  • Mrs. Morpheus