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The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy Chapter 4—Page 13

196 Comments on The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy Chapter 4—Page 13

Finally!

Earlier this month, I let February’s Patreon backers know that they were getting a very special treat — a sexy, safe-for-work romantic pin-up of the Young Protectors’ leader herself!

Commander SFW Sexy Pin-Up

But that’s not all February backers are getting! When the Height Chart was unlocked, there was much celebration – but there were also those who said full-frontal nudity was all well and good, but what would the male heroes of The Young Protectors team look like from behind? Thus, the Shower Scene pin-up was born!

AMW_Comics_TYP-ETE-V1-KS-Shower-Scene-Colors-v2_PREVIEW_1200

Cleanliness is definitely a virtue.

Of course, the full image shows a whole lot more… 😉

$5+ Patrons for February will get to see the full version of both these pin-ups once their pledges clear after the first week of March. $10+ Patrons will get sent a high-res version of that with over double the resolution!

There are lots of great benefits to being a Patron (you can see them all here along with an explanation of what the heck Patreon is), and you’d really be helping me out if you became one too. If you’re enjoying our work here and would like to see it continue (and would like to get access to all kinds of special benefits),

please take a moment to watch the video on my Patreon page and consider becoming a Patron.

So! The Annihilator rejected Commander’s offer, but then he turned around to let Kyle know how he felt. And now Kyle is talking to him again! What will this mean? And what’s going to happen?

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

  • Hmm, this is a twisty road.

    • Tyler Griffin

      A very thorny branch indeed to carve a broom handle from.

  • o.O Wait, what?

  • I really really think you shouldn’t be listening to Sircea, Mr. Wells. Seriously. She’s 6000 years old and holds little regard for humanity. Seriously, just don’t do it. You’ll feel better in the morning.

    • Tyler Griffin

      The thing is, i actually WANT Sircea to be telling the truth about all of this (Not the WHOLE truth mind you, never that). I mean, sure she could be lying or scheming, or flat out using Duncan, and this would still be a great comic, but if she’s actually shooting totally straight about the bits that she has shared, then it’s COMPELLING. If at the end of the final chapter, last page, final sentence, full stop; there genuinely was no other viable option for saving the world, this is (to quote Danish) a “Very twisty road.” Just like V: for Vendetta. A monster, who was the victim of monsters, doing monstrous things, in an effort to fix stuff in the only way it understands how. Still a monster, but a very compelling and thought provoking monster.

      • Oh we know that some of what she’s saying is true. We know the walls are weakening. Spooky has confirmed this. We know something must be done. I just don’t believe that there wasn’t another possibility. She refused to find way to gain help from anyone else but Duncan. Really?

        So, yeah, I think Duncan shouldn’t allow himself to be fooled and seduced by promises of immortality and power. Sircea’s in this for herself and only herself. Does it strengthen the walls, sure, but it also grants her back her immortality, as well gifts her with all of her lost power.

        • Tyler Griffin

          Not at all unreasonable requests for saving the world. After all, theoretically, if the walls weakened and needed repairing once, they will again. What better way to ensure that than an immortal goddess hanging around ready to do what no one else can conscience when the time comes.

          • But I’m sure there were other ways and other people who could help. It’s a selfish thing and Duncan should run not walk away from Sircea and her madness.

          • Adam Black

            Hes got that brand on his arm.
            Sircea checkmated him.

          • Tyler Griffin

            But, my whole statement is that I hope the narrative reveals that there actually WEREN’T any other people who could help. Unless you propose having Spooky proofread Sircea’s interactions for context changing typos. I just think it would be a really interesting thing if this really *IS* the only way to save the world.

          • I will give you that and always a possibility.

      • syllibub

        Completely agree! …Nothing substantive to add, just that.

  • davefragments

    Duncan is so hoping that Kyle professes undying love for him.
    I think Duncan is in for a letdown.

    • Tyler Griffin

      “You’re not a monster. I understand why you did it, I don’t hate you, but I don’t ever want to see you again.”

      • davefragments

        Not that… I have in my mind a string of vulgarities that would make the proverbial sailor blush…

        • Klaus

          I trust Kyle to come up with something better thanj that.

          • davefragments

            I think you’re more right than I am but an outburst of profanity would be emotionally satisfying. Solves nothing, but the satisfies the ego.

  • Chris Dangerfield

    Heeeeeee… everyone is exactly what you KNOW they are.

  • Looks like my suggestion on last page, about Duncan’s thinking, wasn’t far off.

    This is a debate time page *misses her popcorns*

  • Chris Dangerfield

    If Kyle’s line on the next page isn’t as eviserating as I think it should be, then maybe I’m reading a different graphic novel then everyone else. To tell that boy that you did this while still respecting him is so gross… I have no words.

    I bid you good day sir… I said, GOOD DAY!

    • Tyler Griffin

      I agree, it is simultaneously potential character development for Duncan, while also being very exactly what abusive spouses say when they realize they’ve crossed a line and are about to loose their punching bag. I can be glad that Duncan does seem to have a conscience about his actions, while still feeling slimy about him saying that to Kyle soon after the actual happening.

      • SofiaT

        Is nobody considering that he’s saying this to Kyle not to make Kyle say “ah, ok, I forgive you” but because he hopes that will make *Kyle* feel better about what happened? That he wasn’t a fool to think Duncan was interested in him because he genuinely was, but that Duncan’s motives were darker through no fault of Kyle or lack of anything?

        He’s already said that he’s explaining himself to Kyle because he wants him to find some peace, knowing that -unlike himself- Kyle can’t find comfort in hate.

        • Tyler Griffin

          Thing is that whith abuse and harassment, the intent of the perpetrator is not relevant to this aspect. It’s how the victim perceives things that determines how the victim is affected. Psychologically speaking, what Duncan said, this soon after the actual act, before Kyle has had time to go through healing process, is damaging. Because it complicates and mixes the feelings, thus making the recovery process more difficult.

          • SofiaT

            I find that getting some answers -closure, if you will- speeds up the healling.

            Duncan is offering Kyle closure. Considering how he played him, that’s the least he can do.

          • Tyler Griffin

            There is that possibility, but to me it just still reeks of the cycle of abuse.

          • Chris Dangerfield

            This, is no way, relates to the concept of “answers or closure.” That’s… unbelievable to even consider.

      • syllibub

        I don’t know how apt the comparison of Duncan to an abusive spouse is. Actions can be abusive, but that doesn’t mean the person performing them is necessarily an abuser. That’s not to say what Duncan did is okay or even forgivable, but I think the frankly hideous cycle of abuse is a completely different thing than what Duncan’s doing here. His use and betrayal of Kyle isn’t part of an established pattern of behavior; Duncan isn’t trying to manipulate Kyle into letting him back in so he can continue to hurt him.

        Duncan’s done a terrible thing, and we’re all reacting to it in our own way, but ultimately it looks to me like Duncan is being written as a sympathetic character. We don’t have to like him, but I think we’re meant to consider and understand his motives even if we don’t agree with them. Duncan didn’t betray Kyle because he’s callous and enjoys hurting people, but because he saw it as an awful but necessary step toward a larger goal. And if I’m reading this correctly, that goal was altruistic by the time Duncan actually betrayed Kyle — if he hadn’t become more concerned with saving the world after spending time with Kyle, but was only interested in carrying out the plan for his own sake, he wouldn’t have been able to go through with the betrayal. That seems to be the direction of his development.

        I don’t know, the “abusive” label rubs me the wrong way when applied to Duncan, because I think it’s both a very harsh word and a misinterpretation of his character. Duncan seems to be using this conversation to let Kyle go — to accept that he did an unforgivable thing and he’s now a monster in Kyle’s eyes — whereas an abuser would be perpetuating the cycle because that’s what makes them feel powerful. I agree with Sofia that Duncan’s most likely trying to explain himself so Kyle can find closure — not necessarily in the moment here, but after he’s had a chance to think about it. The justification is probably more self-indulgent than Duncan would like to admit…but I think he’s trying to do right by Kyle for once. Is the timing awesome? Absolutely not, but it’s not like they’ve got the luxury of discussing this at an emotionally stabler time.

        • Klaus

          Doing evil for the greater good. I am reminded of Huck Finn, utterly convinced that he is comitting a great moral evil by helping Jim escape. He is even convinced that he will go to hell for it. But Jim is his friend, so he does it anyway.

        • Kit the Coyote

          A very good summation, I agree Duncan is not an abusive type and if his intentions were as he says there may even be a TINY sliver of hope for this relationship. But given the nature of the betrayal and the difficulty of regaining any level trust after it, what you would normally see is a tragic ending for this couple. 🙁

        • Chris Dangerfield

          I’ve shocked myself by (somewhat) disagreeing with your post. That is so unusual. 🙂 Some of this IS inline with how I perceive things and some is not.

          I realize my view isn’t how ‘romantic tropes’ are typically handled — Man is bad. Man has sex with good-woman. Man is redeemed. HEA!

          However, Alex writes (for me) in a manner the gives the sense that this AU is our world so I read it that way and apply my real world standards. Thus Duncan is who he is to me due to his choices in action.

          Preface: I’m a person (in real life) who is all about the idea that, “Your choices and actions comes first in defining you in my eyes — and your (post-explained) intentions, wishes, intellectualizing, etc, come second.” So, if you treat me abusively, I will judge that as YOU, even if you follow it up with lots of sound reasoning and apologies.

          After all this time, I do get it. People who like Duncan will look for ways to point at his good intentions and possibly kind-feelings and us that to justify or ignore what he actually has done with his life (criminal, mob enforcer, etc), his actions to Kyle, the slaughter of the Kontari, the possible deaths of those people in the glass sacrifice-box. In addition, Duncan apologists NEVER mention his and Sircea’s bargain for youth and health with Laampros. Not to mention half the world dying.

          So to be fair, I do feel it works both ways. People, like myself, point at his dark acts (HEY! I didn’t say dark-side, give me that.) While, those who want him to be a good guy point at possible justifications for said acts. Or, said another way, we can’t help but go around about this forever. To Duncan lovers he meant well… and that excuses and thus those issues must be forgotten. For myself, it doesn’t excuse and they can’t.

          Cycle of abuse — I would actually say, “yes, in its own way, there is one.” True, not a single spouse in the short-term, but a long-term complex plan that severely abuses (harms) multiple people. Semantics.

          The facts signal that Duncan and Sircea started this plan ‘at least’ six years ago. We don’t know if it goes as far back as aiding in Kyle’s birth, but they both play the long game, it could. If so then the abuse started at birth with the lack of family and continued in foster-care. However, that is unknown and probably an unfair argument.

          Then Duncan starts to “clean up his act” six years ago, with one goal, to convince Kyle he’s gone legit (LIE) and he’s just a poor misunderstood dude. Sircea tests Kyle when she changes his clothes and then, via several meetings and a date in Hong Kong complete with a theatrical fake rescue… Duncan works to deceive Kyle and to prove what a good guy he is.

          Duncan spends years preparing to abuse this kid. Even worse, Duncan may not have expected it, but the preparation is clearly a pleasure for him which is actually icky, because he still commits the abuse. It’s a cycle of abuse on an scale it’s hard to fathom.

          The point in your post I agree with most is, “Duncan is being written as a sympathetic character. We don’t have to like him, but I think we’re meant to consider and understand his motives…” There is no doubt. Alex has crafted him superbly and we are meant to love/hate him. In book-one (pre-hell date) some of his expressions, when Kyle isn’t looking, are positively diabolical. Then, on the date some expressions are absolutely charming. He says one thing… then says the opposite. He is absolutely written to create this very conflicted discussion. Major kudos to Alex.

          I think the only thing that changes, is US … female POV, gay-male POV, etc, etc… It’s awesomely good writing.

          Finally, I read almost every word of Duncan’s speechifying to Kyle in these pages as a self-serving desire for absolution. This IS NOT about Kyle or closure. If it was, Duncan would be dusting his hands off and moving on to get that hell-ring back up. Done is done. He can’t be so stupid as to believe Kyle will give him what he wants, so it’s just selfish behavior with a (once-again) bound helpless kid, who ultimately feels horribly AND RESPONSIBLE for enabling this plot. It’s actually pretty cruel. He’s not going to emotionally fix this in five minutes, and I feel he knows that. So, what is the point. Move along lil villain.

          I understand that most of these posts are ways of trying to soften the ACTIONS of a character people want to like but, as much as I’d like to like a handsome charming man like Duncan… I always circle back to what he DOES. And that’s evil and I can’t convince myself that he’s stupid enough to have convinced himself that his entire SERIES of horrific actions (and we’re not done yet) are anything but those of a selfish, self-justifying, abusive man.

          Thank you for letting me grumble… I always enjoy your posts. Sorry for feeling the need to rain on this good one… I clearly need more coffee.

          Best, Chris

          • syllibub

            Look buddy, according to this contract you signed that says you’re obligated to agree with me on all things, you’re in severe violation of — oh wait, you never actually signed that. Huh. Okay, huge oversight on my part, but what are you gonna do?

            No, but this is a great response and I’m glad you addressed my post so thoughtfully. I think you’ve hit right on the crucial point when it comes to interpreting Duncan’s character: your opinion of him is largely going to depend on whether you consider intentions or actions equally important. And I think we agree that the fact that the personal experience we bring to the story will hugely affect how we read Duncan is a great testament to the complexity of his character — he isn’t being spoon-fed to us at all, and I really appreciate that.

            I guess I want to clarify that I don’t believe Duncan’s actions should be glossed over or excused just because his motivations are understandable and in some cases very sympathetic. I think hating Duncan for what he’s done is a completely valid reaction; my main complaint was with the term “abusive” being applied to his entire character as well as his behavior, because my personal reading of Duncan is that his abusive treatment of Kyle — included the manipulative buildup to the betrayal — wasn’t part of a general pattern, and was in fact so distasteful and upsetting for Duncan to carry out that it caused him to reevaluate all his choices up to that point. If he were a person with a pattern of abusive behavior, or derived enjoyment from a feeling of power from abusing others, this would just be another round, and wouldn’t have affected him as deeply as it did. I don’t want to overlook his past actions at all, but my opinion is that the tragedy of his character derives from the fact that he’s regretting his choices and rediscovering his old desire to be a hero right as he’s reached the villainous point of no return.

            I’m also not sure if Duncan’s relative good behavior for the past six years was for the sole purpose of looking like a better person to Kyle, and therefore an aspect of abuse. At the time, he couldn’t have anticipated what kind of values Kyle would have by the time he turned eighteen and known that staying off the villainous radar would earn him brownie points. My guess is that he was laying low to avoid drawing unnecessary attention and conflict his way while he and Sircea began preparing a very delicate and secretive operation. Without knowing more about his past and what it entailed, it’s hard to draw any definitive conclusions about this.

            I definitely agree with you that his “rescue” maneuver in Hong Kong was deliberately staged to impress Kyle and win his approval. No arguments there.

            I also agree that there’s a self-serving element to Duncan’s justifications now. To me that speaks to his humanity, though, not monstrosity — he’s not so cold and lofty-minded about his goals that he can shrug and leave Kyle to draw whatever conclusions he will (unlike Sircea). Kyle’s opinion decidedly matters to Duncan. I think he does genuinely want to give Kyle some peace of mind however he can before shit gets extra real — that objective can exist alongside his desire for absolution — but the timing is definitely bad. I’m not sure, though, whether it would be kinder to say nothing and leave Kyle strung up there with his defeated team without acknowledgment.

            This got super long, so let me just reiterate that I really appreciate hearing your thoughts — your pesky, independent thoughts! — and I’m glad we can agree that Duncan is a wonderfully/infuriatingly ambiguous character. (Check it out, he’s even manipulated us into writing multiple paragraphs about him — diabolical.)

          • Chris Dangerfield

            Okay my man-crush on Amanda has now extended to you @syllibub:disqus . Sorry about that, but you’re awesome.

            I appreciate all you say, but I always come back (very personally) to this ‘manipulation’ and, at this point, we know it is…

            http://webcomics.yaoi911.com/typ/ete-ch1-page-60/

            followed by this manipulation…

            http://webcomics.yaoi911.com/typ/ete-ch1-page-61/

            The fact that it’s part of a long planned plot with Sircea to achieve a questionable series of outcomes from their personal immortality to possible bloody world saving???? We don’t know.

            I can’t help but feel that it’s the worst and most venal manipulation of a very vulnerable gay boy and (for me) the ends can’t justify the means even if I remind myself this is fiction.

            Okay, thank you so much for your wonderful reply. I’ve said my piece, yet again. This is Yaoi. I need to shut up.

            All my best, Chris

          • syllibub

            Trust me, I completely understand your position. This is yaoi, sure, but it’s also a mature story that addresses some really difficult topics, and my main concern here is that I not invalidate your feelings (or the feelings of other, similarly-minded readers) by appearing to callously handwave Duncan’s actions. We’ll see where the next page takes us. Be well!

          • Klaus

            The part about youth unending was necessary to make the deal plausible to Laampros. Also, it in no way increases the harm done to anybody.

    • Klaus

      Since Duncan would not consider a day when he let a demon army into the world good, that wish might even be sincere.

  • SofiaT

    “I think you’re a lunatic!”

    • syllibub

      “You’re not a monster. Just a huge idiot.”

      • SofiaT

        I personally hope he”ll say something like “you’re a fool and I feel sorry for you”.

        Truly the worst thing you can tell Duncan. Having people feel sorry for him is ten times worse than having them hate him.

  • SofiaT

    Btw, Alex, double “is” on the last panel. One of them needs to go. 🙂

    • Thank you, Sofia. I’ll fix it. 🙂

      • SofiaT

        Np 🙂

  • Alt+F7

    Good on Kyle for qualifying his statement.
    If you truly think this, Duncan, you’re not a monster, you’re naive and stupid.

    • Mikey

      He’ll say “coward.”

  • syllibub

    As bad as it is for…most of the world…from a character standpoint I’m glad to see that Duncan has a sense of conviction about this, and I believe that he does feel the weight of responsibility. Besides, it would have been too easy if Amanda had been able to talk him around in a matter of minutes, no matter how much Duncan was wavering before.

    I still think his turnaround at the end of his argument with Sircea in Chapter 3 was suspiciously abrupt, and it makes me wonder if he has anything surprising planned for when Laampros arrives. Whatever his reasons were for deciding to go through with the spell, I doubt it was Sircea’s subtle persuasiveness.

    • SofiaT

      I’ve been betting he has a surprise planned for a while now.

      He’s The Annihilator. His plan B will probably have a plan B.

      • Tyler Griffin

        Wait, Kyle’s pregnant!?! ;P lol. I’m sorry, I just couldn’t resist.

  • Yay! Pencils! I like when we get pencils! ^_^

  • davefragments

    I just realized, Duncan is walking away. His back is to Kyle. He’s trying to get the last word in the discussion by physically walking away.

    • Tyler Griffin

      “That’s it! I’m leaving!” *Stalks out of room and slams door shut* *waits 5 seconds* *Slams door open* “Why aren’t you following me!? I’m DISTRAUGHT!!”

      • davefragments

        It’s always somebody else’s fault.

    • Chris Dangerfield

      Alex… it’s missing a “door slam” for verisimilitude! 😀

  • Mir

    “I was wrong about you being a monster. You’re fucking insane! Someone get this man to a nursing home!”

    Diggin’ these pencils. So when Duncan says his feelings for Kyle was true i’m not sure if he means that he cares about Kyle or does he love him. Either way, it doesn’t matter to Kyle ’cause what he did was screwed up.

  • Wayne Small

    Alex it’s looks like Duncan stills love Kyle

    • Chris Dangerfield

      Good. And with his hell-bought longevity, like Sircea, he can watch Kyle wither, age and die. It will be a wonderful learning process for Duncan… as he learns what suffering is really all about. Now THAT is a story.

      • Kit the Coyote

        I have an Inuyasha type demi-god character I use for fanfics. After reading so many fanfics that where the writers just hand waved a magic solution to Inuyasha and Kagome likely aging at different rates, I decided to purposely do a more realistic story. My protagonist is not immortal but he has a long enough life span that he practically is from a Human viewpoint and because he is a unique half-breed nobody really knows this. I wrote a story of his entering into the modern Human world, a young playful man, after his sheltered upbringing among an elven community. He meets a young woman, they face dangers and challenges and when it is all done get married to live happily ever after. Then I ended with a tear jerker epilogue of him still young looking sitting with her as she finally dies of old age. A depressing end cap I know.

  • Kit the Coyote

    IF all the IFs are true…hehehe

    I think it shows an amazing amount of maturity on Kyle’s part to be able to consider that Duncan’s intentions might be honest in this. Of course that is still a LONG way from forgiveness and reconciliation. And trust might simply be a bridge too far.

    • Mir

      This makes the next page exciting. We don’t know if Kyle is going to follow up with an insult or he genuinely feels like he does have a better understanding of Duncan’s reasoning.

      • Tyler Griffin

        Both! I vote for both!

        • Chris Dangerfield

          Oh but Tyler, we know that you are a trouble-maker of the first order! We must ignore your post or all is lost… LOST I say! 😀

          • Tyler Griffin

            I am but a humble (HA!) servant of Chaos. Here to ensure that peace and order never reign.

          • Pietro7

            Don’t forget honest. A humble honest servant of Chaos. Got to mind the details. 🙂

          • Tyler Griffin

            You keep right on believing that I’m just as honest as they come *eyebrow waggle*

  • The eternal debate of actual evil, or evil in the eyes of the beholder. It’s been a debate going on for a looong time.

    It’s going on in real life even as we speak, and the answer is most often based on how up and personal we feel to who we sees as victims.
    Example. It’s like the situation of torture and ‘killing of the few’. Most despise the thought of torture, but surveys show that a (surprisingly large?) amount of people would accept the torture, and possible death, of some unknown person or group of people, if it meant that the one doing it would save a bunch of people.
    ‘That person just went out of the way to save all these people around me, incl. myself. A lot of potential victims were saved by killing a few. We were going to be killed. A heroic act’.

    Except for the ones who just lost their life, or a loved one to that person. For them that ‘hero’ may just look like a world of evil. So who is right? The would-be victims who was just saved, or the victim who was just killed by the ‘hero’ to save someone else? Personally I still struggle with an answer to this.

    That’s why this was a debate I had with myself, about Duncan, (some also voiced in comments) already in chapter 2 when we went through the pages after the hell date, and it’s an internal debate I’ve had ever since.

    Feeling close to Kyle (and the rest of the team), Duncan and PP’s actions towards Kyle was despicable. They hurt him, and we suffered with him. EVIL! ..and yet, based on expanded knowledge, I find myself with a foot on that other side as well – the side that can’t exactly hate Duncan for what he did due to the intentions behind this (necessary?) evil.
    I don’t include PP just yet here, because I’m still unsure of how much of it is an act of selfish desire/purpose vs. good intentions (wrapped in a 6000 year old mindset).

    Kudos to Alex for continuing to keep that debate alive in me, and now adding the twist of the one victim, Kyle, maybe taking a personal step towards the other side of that evil vs. ‘evil’ – a step I don’t think the people in that glass box will take with him… see where I’m going here again? XD
    I want to get the next page, and his further respons, asap!

    (And for the other team members to wake up, and get their reactions, as well as the over all reactions from all in this wholevsituation).

    • Tyler Griffin

      I agree. It’s a very thought provoking and complex issue and Alex does it justice. I don’t even have a problem with PP bargaining for her immortality and lost powers back. I can totally understand wanting to advance herself in the course of saving the world. As Alex said about his patreon goals, why should an artist HAVE to starve? Why should doing what has to be done ALWAYS have to cost you something in order to be acceptable?

      • Except PP doesn’t have anything laying on the line in that bargain. Duncan’s ass is on the line right now.

        • Tyler Griffin

          That’s just the mark of good planning 😛

    • Chris Dangerfield

      We had this arguement two years ago. “How many people do you have to save, to make rape an acceptable thing?” It was an argument that never came to resolution because the idea of M/f rape and yaoi m/m rape could not be resolved with this audience.

      But that’s all it is. If your sister needs to be raped and violated to save some unknown number of people (on different continents) …. then how many people do you think are required for you to accept it as worthy?

      1,003 or 2,002 or……..? That’s your decision how many people can Duncan violate, if it’s in a good cause.

      You figure it out?

      Me? I found Kyle, to be one too many. As far as I’m concerned, Duncan can burn with Laampros for a loooooong time.

      • That’s just it. My point. Kyle was one to many for you. This was enough to make Duncan the ultimate evil-doer. No grey area here. For someone else, heck, maybe even for Kyle himself, this could be seen as an ‘acceptable’ act/sacrifice when/if knowing what it means, and how it will save many others. Kyle is still alive. That’s something.
        The more personal you are, and feel, about the victim, the more you tend to see the evil-doer as real evil rather than someone doing a necessary evil act to become a hero for others. That line is so fluent that it can change constantly.

        As for Kyle, one thing is forgiving it, and change how he feels about what has been done to him. Another is to decide to accept it for the lives of others. I think Kyle (right this moment with what he knows right now) is on his way to do the last.
        He can hate the betrayal and violation, but if needed he’d give his life to save the world.

  • Zephyr10101

    wait for iiiit

  • Klaus

    What is Kyle going to say next? What is worse than monster?

    • Jeldenil

      Ooooh. I hope you’re right.

    • bandanajack

      not a monster, delusional, or deluded.

  • timemonkey

    I’m starting to wonder how the power dampener works, can we be sure it’s blocking telepathy? I mean, sure it seems like they’re trying to talk Duncan out of it but he’s not really the one driving the situation and it’s not like he can just walk over and call everything off even if they did convince him. Are they stalling for time, until everyones awake and they can try for round 2? Keeping them distracted until the army shows up?

    • Klaus

      There is no point in stalling for time. The victims get sacrificed when that timer runs down.

      • Kit the Coyote

        I had this funny thought about this today, what if the what happens when the timer runs down isn’t really lethal? Like they all just get doused with Nickelodeon slime or something? Not that I really expect that to happen but it would be funny.

      • timemonkey

        That depends on how much time they need. They’re actually in a pretty good position for a second attack, if they could get free. Duncan and Sircea are separated and off their guard, the portal’s already been attacked so they could focuss their attacks on one then the other.
        Or if the army’s on the way to bomb the area keeping Duncan distracted might prevent him from noticing and alerting Sircea so she can stop it.

  • Jeldenil

    No Kyle. Don’t forgive him.

  • Sapfo

    Wonderful drama Alex!
    Thank you for a great new page.

  • bandanajack

    not a monster, delusional…

  • Wyrmidon

    I have an ugly feeling that on the next page Kyle will add something absolutely devastating to his final statement from the last panel here. Something that will crush my hopes for this pairing forever. I so hope I am wrong! Anyway, I’ll be in my corner, chewing on my fingernails until Wednesday…

  • Saxon_Brenton

    [sigh] My first reaction was going to be: Don’t forgive him Red Hot! Let the hate flow through you! It’s the only way you’ll be able to overcome the power dampener!

    But then my inner peanut gallery leaned forward. It had been sitting in an overstuffed chair, dressed in a dressing gown and cravat ensemble just like Cookie Monster wears when he present Monsterpiece Theatre. It takes the pipe it had been smoking out of its mouth, and says, “They’re still playing good cop/bad cop with you, Duncan. If the ever-so dangerous Commander can’t take you around, then Red Hot will try to emotionally manipulate you.”

    • Chris Dangerfield

      3-billion points for a muppet interpretation. Regardless of it’s accuracy. Awesome.

  • xLizardx

    He’s going to say “I think you’re a fool”, instead, or something of the sort. 🙂

    • I have an annoying/weird thing about checking SF for a new page, because I suddently feel like checking, see none, and then come back to find out it updated right after I checked (though sometimes I AM spot on when it happens, and page is there) xD
      8:17 I checked today (it’s now a little after 9:30 here), and there was no page. I closed down my ebook in middle of page to do that. I know because I looked at the time right after I closed the tab, before opening book again. Around 10mins after the page must have been up. I’ve done something similar so many times with that comic. So. Many. Times *lol*.

      • Klaus

        HamletMachine is watching you!

    • D. G.

      Thanx doki.

  • bronakopdin

    oh WOW
    Ofc I never expected Duncan to accept Amanda’s offer…
    but I expected way LESS that Kyle will already turn around this fast.
    Sure, taking back the “Monster” is quite far from “forgiving” but it’s a step in this direction! I thought he’ll need way more time! This shows how mature he is already 🙂
    I’m proud Kyle!
    Too bad I don’t have the time to think about this more as I came home laaaate only from the late shift (security system of the market refused to activate) and already have to leave again for a mid-day shift but I really love this page!
    I’ll come back in late afternoon xD

  • Kate G

    Hmmmmm, it’s hard to truly think about Kyle’s turn about until the next page.

    On one hand, it could be he’s trying to gain back a sense of rapport with Duncan by agreeing with Duncan again. He wants to get trust back so Duncan can get him out of the power dampener. This way he can get his friends out, regroup and figure a way out of the spell.

    OR Kyle is about to squish him like a bug by saying something worse.

    OR Kyle is sincere because he sees this is the only choice. He’ll help but hopefully it comes with the help of his friends.

    MANY ways this could go. Hmmmmmm.

    • Klaus

      All of the above.

  • Duncan in panel 1. Sardonic amusement. I strangely like that look on him, like that ‘heh’.

    • SofiaT

      Or he’s being appalled for feeling tempted to believe (in) her: “My mother warned me about girls like you! Stay away!”

      • I see it kind of a mix between ‘damn, you’re good’ and self-irony because she does tempt him.

      • Klaus

        We are the people our parants warned us against.

        • Everybody are the people my mother warned me about.

          It’s called paranoid schizophrenia.

        • I have that sticker and I love it. ^_^

    • Tyler Griffin

      Icaught that as well, it’s a very good look on him

    • Chris Dangerfield

      Handsome aside — he’s been giving that look since pre-hell-date. That’s his Imma gonna fuck everything up look. Sure it’s sexy, but not arguably “good.”

  • I feel like this is a traaap…

  • TwilightDreamer

    Anyone else feel like yelling out, “wait for it…..!”
    XP

    • Klaus

      Zephyr10101did four hours ago.

      • Chris Dangerfield

        THAT is my Klaus!!!

      • TwilightDreamer

        haha! XD That’s awesome!

  • Shiny Gwilly

    MMMMM
    MMMMMMMMM
    that’s my general emotion about this page, i don’t know how to feel
    but i agree with others on this, there could be a chance that isn’t the last thing he’s going to say
    buttt at the same time, like Kyle mentioned, he’s had a lot of growing up to do in the past 24 hours, and he had just let out his anger earlier, and then listened to Anni and Amanda talk…..so it’s possible he has been taking that time to think on things? maybe…possible….maybe
    we’ll just see what happens with the next page

  • secret-alpacas

    i now pronounce you barely legal twink and pervy old guy. you may now kiss the twink and enjoy your happily messed up love until the end of the world. so the next five minutes.

  • Earl Patterson

    enough chat chit. Let’s get action going. I wanna see Demon King step though gate!

  • Toli Bera

    “I’m downgrading your title to price dumpster fire.”

  • Jason Moon

    So, ol’ Dunc thinks of himself as a Well-Intentioned Extremist. Well, I guess we’ll find out, won’t we?

    • Chris Dangerfield

      Duncan and the Twin Towers go together so well, don’t they?

  • sstogner1

    hmmm…got a feeling there’s a but…coming

    • Chris Dangerfield

      We can only hope…. 😀

  • lara

    “…you’re just an idiot.” XD jajaja! kidding, kidding.

  • Derkins

    Kyle may be the only person in the world who could get through to Duncan right now, in any way, shape, or form.

    • Chris Dangerfield

      Clearly not.

  • stickfigurefairytales

    Since my choices for how Kyle’s gonna finish his sentence have already been suggested, I just want to say that I love seeing how Duncan’s anti-dampner field changes the colors of what we see through it (particularly in panel 6).

  • No matter how I feel about the matter, I can see this as a possible scenario – that Kyle will already be ready to ‘forgive’ Duncan for his actions. He won’t like what has been done to him one bit more, but he will forgive it. If it was a necessary action/evil.

    Why? Because Kyle is a hero.

    That’s the mentality he works on. He will do what it takes to save someone else, and if it involves saving millions of lives, he’d give his life to do so. In comparison this is ‘nothing’.
    We can dislike, hate and despise what Duncan did to Kyle, but despite how it will affect Kyle afterwards, if it will save lives .. I think he’d actually let it happen again, if he was given the choice of going back and undo it.

    It’s how Kyle is.

    • Chris Dangerfield

      Heroes are masochist? WHAT? I never learned that rule.

      • Not saying that. I’m saying that I think Kyle will be ready to acccept sacrificing himself if it means saving someone else. He’d do what was needed if he felt it was only choice. Of course he’d do what he could to save himself if there was a way. That’s how I see him.

        If he believes Duncan, and that Duncan truly belives this was necessary to save the world, then he can accept why Duncan did this to him. Not forgive by a long shot (yet or at all), but accept it. Hurting someone else is an entirely different matter. That crosses Kyle’s line, just as Duncan hurting Kyle crossed yours (and many others).

        • Chris Dangerfield

          I still feel all these conversing posts use words differently. “Hurting” vs. “Accepting”… ????

          That’s exactly what I’m talking about. That IS masochism.

          I circle back to my base thought. How many people in YOUR family can die to justify (to YOU) any of these “acts” to supposedly save the world and provide life and health to Sircea and Duncan.

          I just don’t see it as that as complicated.

          • Klaus

            It is not masochism if he does not enjoy it.

          • Chris Dangerfield

            Actually, it is rather the opposite:

            mas·och·ism | noun
            the tendency to derive pleasure, especially sexual gratification, from one’s own pain or humiliation.

            I do not see Kyle gaining any pleasure or sexual gratification from what has preceded. (?) In fact, it’s clear he doesn’t even see it as any kind of altruistic action he was even unwillingly involved with.

            He was violated and feels his ‘stupidity’ enabled a greatly horrible thing to happen. Kyle blames himself. There is no justification in Kyle’s mind.

            As some of us may understand, it’s not that Duncan says something, it’s that regardless of what Duncan says, Kyle BLAMES himself for this horror.

            The world of murky brain gunk is entirely in Duncan’s head.

            Eventually, they will find Kyle’s frozen head in the freezer in Duncan (Ted Bundy) Well’s basement and it will become clear what “love” means to a man like Duncan.

          • Hey Chris,
            A little raised mod finger here. To remember to respect the opinions of other commenters even when they’re completely opposite your own. I know you’re very passionate about this topic, and I fully respect your view on it (and share a lot of it, as you know from earlier), but one thing is airing it, another is coming on very strong about it.
            Bringing Ted Bundy into this, or saying things as ‘As some of us may understand’, you’re taking this a few notches too far. Alienating opinions of others. Dismissing them.

            By no way should you stop commenting, we don’t want you to do that, but tone it down a little. This is a serious and hard topic, stirring many emotions, but there’s room for interpretations and various opinions.
            *hands Chris a basket of newly baked muffins*

          • Chris Dangerfield

            Fully understood.

            I get verbally passionate and cross lines. Thanks for sharing. It is a tough subject for me personally and I need to remember that my life experiences are not the same as other. Duly noted and appreciated. 🙂

            *chris noshes on muffins*

          • Adam Black

            For whats its worth, I thought it was a brilliant line.

            i’m ready for the side-story of ‘Villian Cribs’ , where we get the full tour of Duncans WineCellar/Dungeon/ walk-in freezer.

          • Chris Dangerfield

            Well, Duncan has admitted to having ‘dungeons” … I mean plural… dungeon(s). So I feel the truth of my post. However, I know that Yaoi lovers like the non-con lie that Kyle actually likes being violated so, instead of ‘abuse’ this is sorta ‘sex’ (NOT) … so I’ll let it be……. moving on.

          • And with that, I’m closing this thread. The points have been made. Let’s everyone move on, please.

          • Honest and personal reply, because I’ve though about this. I’m not sure. Could I sacrifice my sister to save a dozen other unknown people. I’m not sure. I believe I’d go for my sister first and then who else I may be able to save. Loved one will come first.
            If the deaths of my whole family tryly would be necessary to save the world… I hope I’ll never face the option, but I actually think I’d say yes and offer myself up too. I’d like to feel sure it would be necessary though.
            As for myself. Could I accept someone killing me, if it meant saving the lives of others? Yes. I’d hope it to be last solution, but yes.
            I would accept a hundred men violating me if it directly meant saving the life of one other person, one, and it was the only way. I would hate it, probably hate each and every man. I would hurt but possibly be alive, and so would the one who’s life it saved, so I’d accept it.
            Could I kill one myself to save another? Depends on the situation. That is probably all the answer I can give before I possibly face it.

            In this I wouldn’t care what it gave Duncan and Sircea, if it really did come with saving the world, and every other possible option was out of the question. I’m just not sure yet that it’s come to that, but (at least) Duncan seem to believe it. That’s why I can sort of accept his personal beliefs. Not condone, because I’m not sure it’s right, but accept. (This is what I think Kyle may have come to when he say that he doesn’t see Duncan as a monster – because he may truly see this as the way to save the largest amount of people and their future).

            As for the over all situation, they can both just go back to hell with Laampros for doing this. For the way they do it. That is what makes me believe this isn’t the last and only solution, because there’s obvious things they haven’t tried, simply for THINKING they couldn’t possibly work without eveb getting the opinions of others.

    • Mir

      I see your point. Kyle has always been completely selfless. Whenever he thought Duncan wanted the identity of his friends in exchange for not telling everyone he was gay he refused to do it. He would rather be outed than potentially hurt his friends. It’s just in his nature to be a hero and Spooky and Duncan both know that.

  • Nate

    “… you’re an idiot.”

  • I’m so unsure of what Kyle will do on next page. Will he be on the way to ‘accept’ what Duncan did to him, despite hating him for it, because it could have been necessary (despite way it was done).. or will Kyle cuss his (delutional) ass all the way into Laampros’ hell dimension for not trying to make this happen in any other way?
    There’s several ways it could go in between these two.

    In my mind there’s options that Team Silver may could have tried before this, but we don’t know what they actually have done/tried up until now. Still, why are Duncan and Sircea so locked on this being only usable end-solution? Is it really that?

    Kyle doesn’t think he’s a monster. But what does he think? Time ’til next page needs to move faster.

  • krissdevalnor

    “I think you are a lunatic”. I am pretty sure Kyle will not say something nice, but instead thinks of Duncan as a loco idiot. Looking forward to next page!

  • Columbine

    Too many trains- Too tired- Comic gooooooooooooood

    That is all.

  • D. G.

    I didn’t see that coming.

  • Diviana

    Kyle: “I don’t think you’re a monster. I think you’re an idiot.” or some other appropriate cuss.

    • Snorlaxation

      It’s what I’m waiting for.

  • Justin White

    “WHAT!”

  • Spekster

    After all this, I still ship them so hard.

  • Risa Megumi

    fuck i still want them to be together!!!!!

  • HoneyThistle

    What the what?? ….Kyle….don’t be naive….ok, don’t be MORE naive…unless you’re working an angle….please tell me you’re working an angle, Kyle!

    • Ruben

      He’s probably going to continue with.. I think you’re nuts.

  • syllibub

    I didn’t notice this before, but aren’t Kyle’s eyes supposed to be blue? They’ve only been brown since the start of this chapter.

    • I was wondering if it might be the thing holding him captive changing their color?

    • SofiaT

      Good observation skills. I’ve been reading the comic mostly from my phone lately and I never noticed.

    • Mir

      I love re-reading it all to see how much the art/coloring has improved and I noticed the color change. In a couple of pages they look greenish and then it transitions to blue. When we first see Duncan his eyes are blue but then it transitions more to the grey we see now.

      Honestly I prefer him to have brown eyes. When his eyes were blue he definitely had the more “young and naive” kind of appearance on him.

      • Klaus

        In my native language, blue-eyed (“blåøjet”) means naive.

        • Ruben

          That’s because all (caucasian) babies are born with dark blue eyes.

          • Kate G

            This isn’t actually true; it’s a myth. I was born with slate eyes which is common among Caucasian births. However, a vast majority of my cousins were born with brown or black eyes and are Caucasian (we’re mostly German.) Some changed to blue or green, but brown is the predominant color in our family. My nephew is the first person in my family that I remember to be born with bright blue eyes and to keep them.

      • syllibub

        I’m actually a fan of the brown as well — I just don’t know if it was a deliberate decision with story implications, or a variance in the art with no relation to the plot.

        • You mean like because the power dampner is on, and with out his power his eyes are brown?

          • syllibub

            Something like that, although I’m not sure why his power and eye color would be linked at all — especially since blue isn’t normally associated with fire.

          • But isn’t the blue bit the hottest part of the flame?

          • I suppose I would expect it his eyes to be maybe a gold color while his power is amped. Although I would associate blue with power.

          • Michael

            it is if the flame is hot enough.

          • SofiaT

            Fun (folk-lore) fact: in Greece we say that the Devil’s eyes are blue.

            …Coincidence?

          • Ooooh! Now that is interesting! I like it!

            And I would well believe it.

          • SofiaT

            It’s why it’s believed that getting the “evil eye” from someone who is blue-eyed is that much more potent.

            In the villages, old women will spit three times on their breast when thet meet someone with blue eyes, to ward away evil.

          • *looks in mirror* um…. But…. I guess I’m a devil. 😀

          • davefragments

            Brown eyes, green eyes, and the green/blue that seems to change all the time are in a family of eye color. Blue eyes are a distinct genetic modification. I have to go look for the article.

          • Cool!

          • SofiaT

            Ftou ftou ftou!

          • 😛 ha!

    • I didn’t notice it either, but now it looks ‘wrong’. I passed it on to Alex.

    • Kate G

      Blue eyes can look brown depending on lighting or background. My grams had china blue eyes that in low-light situations looked brown or depending on certain other lighting, would take on a more browner hue. My gramps has blue eyes too and they do the same thing.

  • Annieke van der Werf

    “I just think you’re a lying asshole”

  • D. G.

    Whoo hoo. Almost new page time!

  • D. G.

    Anybody here yet for camp. *makes big bon fire and sits next to it.

    • davefragments

      I’m looking into the TYP but I’m listening to the primary election results and trying not to fall asleep after dinner. I ate too much.
      I want to see if Kyle will say anything or the scene cuts back to the bad guys and their preparations for Laampros.

      • D. G.

        Hey Dave.

        • davefragments

          How’s it going? This area just got rain after a day in the high 60’s and sun (all the daylight hours). So I’m warm and happy.

          • D. G.

            That’s good. We have had light snow where I am. But I’m snuggled under a blanket.

          • davefragments

            We might have light snow tonight but I suspect that the snow flurries will be either north of Pittsburgh (well north of me) and East of the area near Uniontown and New Stanton — that part of the Appalachian mountains.

          • D. G.

            At least it’s light snow. I’m ready for spring.

          • davefragments

            I had to skip a haircut this month because the streets turned to ice. I feel fuzzy and shaggy and overgrown.

    • Doki woke up from her nap with a headache from hell, ibuprofen just started to almost kick in.

      • D. G.

        Hey. I’m glad ur getting pain relief.

        • I think the headache is stronger than the meds.

          • D. G.

            Maybe u should stay in bed.

          • I might be going back

            to bed for abit

          • D. G.

            Yeah. That’s probably for the best. We r pretty early anyway. Think I’ll do the same.

      • You’re probably still asleep but I hope your headache is better, Doki dear.

    • Michael

      My tutor was away today, so I am indeed here for a portion of camping.

      • D. G.

        Hey Michael.

  • davefragments

    I found this on Neil Gaiman’s TUMBLR.
    I can definitely say this — I don’t believe in ghosts but I do believe in goats…

    http://neil-gaiman.tumblr.com/post/140275378356/alienpapacy-averyterrible

    • I dated a guy years ago who liked to hunt ghosts for his hobby. He told me some weird stories. His credentials were identical…oh wait. Naw, it’s not the same guy.

      • davefragments

        Isn’t that fun.
        I never get anything printed without a proof.
        I advise everyone to GET A PROOF

        • Exactly! And that kind of mistake would have been so typical of him XD

          • davefragments

            Someone once told me — “It’s only two words, don’t bother to get a proof.” and they printed two words WRONG. Two effing words — and they got it effing wrong.

          • Haahhaa!

  • Landis963

    “… You’re just insane.”

    Anyone care to bet? 20 gil?

    • Michael

      Fool’s bet.

      • Landis963

        …Yeah, probably.

  • Hey all, how’s it going? Wait, it is camp night, right?

    Sorry, it’s been a while.

  • davefragments

    just in time, gryph

  • davefragments