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The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy Chapter 4—Page 9

281 Comments on The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy Chapter 4—Page 9

Alright-y then!

Speaking of saving the world, this month’s Patreon backers are getting a very special treat — a sexy, safe-for-work romantic pin-up of Commander!

Commander SFW Sexy Pin-Up

She’s a total knock-out!

Comments from Patrons have included: “Them delts… Nice work, really captures her athleticism and attitude.”, “She is ripped!! I wish I had a body like hers haha”, and “I love this! Especially since, as a romance card, it shows what anyone would get into if they plan on dating Amanda 😀 a strong one in mind and body! I love her expression! It’s like she’s challenging any prospect ^^”

$5+ Patrons for February will get to see the full version of this 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 is now taking the time to explain himself. What will Kyle do with this information? How will he react? And will there be hugs and kisses?

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

  • Oki then.

    • bronakopdin

      yeah, want a coffee to the chat?

  • Oh really?

    • davefragments

      Rats, you beat me to it

      • Missed it by that much! 🙂

      • *ahem* *points down* 😉

        • davefragments

          No, AJ was here when I scrolled down to type.

    • bronakopdin

      you DON’T say…

  • And we are just going to take your word for this? o.O

  • davefragments

    So there is a hidden plan. I’ll bet Sircea has one of those, too.
    I’ll bet she is going to do awful and ugly things.

  • I’m trying to decide if that’s an igloo you’re trying to sell me in Hell Proper or in Hell, Michigan.

    • bronakopdin

      come on, Hell Hoolywood or nowhere!

  • Only half of Mitch on this page, but for Spooky fans, just look at that glimpse of stomach!

    • Michael

      Sometimes teeny glimpses are better than the whole thing.

    • Big D is taking Amanda’s spotlight. But we do get to see Spooky again <3 I'd like him awake now, please.

  • syllibub

    Okay…that sounds fake but okay…

  • Michael

    Yes, I have no reason not to believe you, Duncan. I completely trust that you are indeed trying to save the world, and that you successfully lied to a servant of the father of lies.

  • Gregory In Seattle

    Those who do evil can always justify their actions by claiming that they are doing good. “I will gladly sacrifice millions if I can thus save billions.” That was the claim made by Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao, Idi Amin, Tojo, all of them.

    Maybe Duncan really does believe Sircea. But I am willing to put down a lot of money that her motives are nowhere near as pure as his.

    • Michael

      “the ends justifies the means” is just as bad as “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one”.

      • Adam Black

        There is Vulcan Corollary to that rule:
        This applies only in the event of Thin Mints Girl scout cookies.

    • Mir

      Yeah, it’s clear Sircea has some more motives of her own. I think she really does want immortality, power, etc, etc. Could care less about “saving humanity”.

      • Gregory In Seattle

        If she could care less, it would mean she cares a little. I thin, rather, she could not care less about saving the world.

        (Sorry, in a pedantic mood.)

        • bronakopdin

          nope you’re right it’s a common mistake and the more it is corrected the more people will do it right xD
          reminds me on the awesome vid by Weird Al Yankovic xD “word crimes” ^^

        • Adam Black

          “Hes a pedant . hes a Poet….”
          ( recent http://www.Oglaf.com

  • syllibub

    “No, but Kyle, I wanted your seething hatred of me to give you strength! Obviously not the strength to come out and try to kick my ass in the desert — that was a terrible idea — but the strength to…move on? Look, WE’RE SAVING THE WORLD.”

  • What did I say about the smoldering, Mr. Duncanator?

    • Chris Dangerfield

      Don’t make me sad.

    • timemonkey

      In order to get a good smolder he’ll need to be on fire first.

  • Chris Dangerfield

    Thank you, as always for amazing art.

    Duncan? Baaaaaaaaarf…

    • syllibub

      Major *side eye emoji* from me.

  • Stubbylegs

    I vote for more thingy-smushing! Ok, not sure that would work at all at this point in the story, but thingies! Smushing!

  • Hamish C

    Yes, because killing and torturing half the human race via a Hell-on-Earth scenario that isn’t even guaranteed to not go horribly wrong because, y’know, DEMONS, and being in league with an amoral 6000 year old sorceress-manipulator that you can’t be sure won’t backstab you at the most inopportune moment … *that* is how you’re going to ‘save the world’?

    Odd way to describe it.

    Twisted as Sircea may be, she’s right about one thing: Duncan is labouring under a few delusions. One hopes he figures out the true score before it’s a bit too late.

    • bronakopdin

      half the human race?
      I think a fourth live only in India and China, so I’d say 7/8 or sth is more precise even x’D
      Nothing but North America will be spared, was it?

      • Hamish C

        I was generalising. Half, three quarters, four fifths; however you spin it, it’s a LOT of people going to be playthings for demons.

        • bronakopdin

          I knew that but still I thought half was way understated so I felt like writing that xD

          • Hamish C

            well, if we did want to get into the morbid details of it: I believe Duncan said the Americas, so we’d be including both continents. A quick bit of Googling tells me the combined population of North and South America is a bit over 900 million people, versus the global population of 7.4 billion. That’s about 12% of the total, so your 7/8 estimate is very close to the mark. So yes, Duncan would have a horrendous amount of blood on his hands x_X

          • bronakopdin

            no I’m pretty sure it was only said North America… but either way I wasn’t about to nitpick just really thought half is a big understatement, no need to turn this into a research x’D
            funny enough that my random guess was accidentally right ^^ well IF it was North and South America… ah well… in any case it’s lots of people as you said already >__<'

          • Hamish C

            30 seconds of Googling and maths is hardly research. You should look at chapter 2 though; I quite clearly remember him saying it was both continents. I’m not sure why he cares as much about South America. Possibly Duncan enjoys holidaying in Brazil or something? Who knows.

          • bronakopdin

            I just went back and reread it and you were right they said “American Continents” twice ^^ I wonder why I was so sure about it being only the North? Oh well xD

          • Hamish C

            haha, no worries. I’m nothing if not pedantic about trivial details sometimes (autistic part of my brain in motion there). I’m sure we can agree that the Annihilator isn’t fooling anyone with his speech, however. No sir.

    • Aridas

      Is it better to save the few people you can with the power you have or to just let everyone die? Duncan’s fairly certainly working under a few delusions, sure, but… I, at least, wouldn’t knock him for being able to make hard choices between bad options, because, frankly, sometimes there really are only terrible options to choose between. All the moreso if one’s been branded as an official supervillain for a long, long time. I would be completely unsurprised if Sircea has manipulated Duncan and the sources of information that he could use to independently investigate to take advantage of traits like that of his from the start, either way. I would also be quite unsurprised if she directly caused the other magic-users to go crazy as part of her scheming to get her power back.

      Incidentally, I wonder how much Kyle’s existence and potential actions, as the son of that demon who can fix the problem, would affect the issue that’s supposedly being addressed, and about any insight that Spooky has on the issue.

  • Dude, Duncan. Really could use a looong therapy session or ten to sort himself out.

    • purplefoxglove

      Dr Maven to the rescue!

      • O.O … I’m now trying to imagine that…

        ….Oh gawd!

  • Saxon_Brenton

    And having had Annihilator admit to an expedient lie once, what is there to keep Red Hot from thinking that he’s lying again? Granted, at this point Red Hot is angry enough that he will probably automatically assume that Annihilator is lying anyway… so Annihilator will probably trying to explain until the Priestess looses patience and demands that he goes and helps her with the gate.

    And as I type this, a thought occurs. Maybe Red Hot is deliberately fishing for information for the benefit of himself and Commander. Maybe Red Hot is applying the screws on Annihilator in order to get him to spills as much info as possible.

    • davefragments

      Remember that the Commander is awake and listening.

    • syllibub

      I would love it if Kyle were deliberately goading Duncan into revealing more of his and Sircea’s plan, especially since Commander is conscious and happens to be awesomely talented at forming counter-plans. Still, I feel like Kyle isn’t trying to manipulate Duncan at the moment — or at least not yet. He’s got to work through some anger first, but I’m glad he can speak this time and is getting his fair share of words in against Duncan.

      • Chris Dangerfield

        Agreed. It’s make a it so hard to admire Kyle.

      • Saxon_Brenton

        [snerk] Picture this: Red Hot and Annihilator have a page or so of exposition as Annihilator tries to justify himself, and then the Priestess loses patience and calls Annihilator over to the bone gate. As soon as Annihilator is out of earshot Commander says, “Good job extracting all that information from him.” Whereupon Red Hot blushes furiously and scowls and admits, “I wasn’t doing it deliberately.”

        • syllibub

          That would be pretty adorable/funny.

  • syllibub

    I mean…even if we were to take what Duncan’s saying here completely at face value, I think it would undermine his depth of character if saving the world truly was his first priority all along. I much prefer the progression from fear/selfishness to concern for others, catalyzed by meeting Kyle and having his old desire to be a hero rekindled. (Yesss fire puns.)

    Of course, if Duncan is changing his story as I suspect he is, then I’m aggravated by his continued manipulation of Kyle. Sure, fine, acknowledge that the terrible thing you did was in fact terrible, but there’s no “greater good” explanation that’s actually going to make him feel better about this. Justifying it as a necessary measure to save the world is still a self-serving move — if it makes Kyle view Duncan an iota more favorably, Duncan can feel better about himself and his choices. It also sets Kyle up to look petty if he doesn’t accept Duncan’s reason for his actions — “Oh, so your hurt feelings are ultimately more important than the fate of the world? Hmm.”

    • timemonkey

      Saving the world is a perfectly logical motivation, after all he’s got to live in the world.

      • syllibub

        I’m not saying it isn’t logical, I’m saying it wasn’t Duncan’s primary concern when he formed his plan. Saving the world has always been the background justification for his actions, but I think until he met Kyle his primary motivations were selfish.

        • timemonkey

          Saving the world IS selfish.

          • syllibub

            Oh — you mean, because he benefits from saving it?

          • timemonkey

            Yes, Duncan isn’t PP,he’s strong and fast and all that but he doesn’t have magic, he needs an ordinary world to live in. He can’t allow the world to go to hell because he needs the world to remain intact for his own benefit. Gaining immortality and such is just extra.

          • syllibub

            I see where you’re coming from. I think Duncan’s broken it down in his head like this, though: saving the world = altruistic/heroic, while making a deal for immortality = selfish/villainous. To Duncan, saving the world isn’t a selfish action, it’s what a hero would do because everyone would benefit from it, not just him. Bargaining for immortality with Laampros was selfish because it benefits him and Sircea and no one else. I think he’s been justifying the immortality deal by telling himself, “Well, I’m saving the world, so that makes up for the villainous part.”

            I guess what I’m saying is that I think it’s the other way around — before meeting Kyle, immortality and perpetual youth were Duncan’s main goals, while saving the world was just extra. His priorities may have changed, but right now I think he’s lying to Kyle about how large a role his selfishness played in motivating him to carry out this plan.

          • And/or lying somewhat to himself after he got all, ehh, conflicted about Kyle.

          • Adam Black

            I think he was saving the world —for himself. Selfishly.
            To own, to rule.

            He even jokes earlier to kyle that he doesnt have to fight for the whole galaxy, etc. ruling one planet is enough.

            hes someone with massive ambition, yet a check on that.
            He wants to be able to break all the rules, not have them be imposed on him, but still have a place a planet to put his hat.

            I still think hes a sociopath. But hes had odd cold-feet about killing the hostages. He may be planning a Triple-Cross.

            When Duncan becomes MItch with amnesia , you can all say I told you so.

          • Adam Black
  • timemonkey

    Yes Duncan, keep talking, make him madder and madder. With any luck he’ll overpower the dampening device and reduce you to ashes.

  • Kyle is speaking perfectly well for himself, but I kinda want Amanda to chip in too, since she’s awake.

    I really want them all awake, alert and talking soon… at least awake.

    • My only problem with the rest waking up, is that they have a tendency to speak over Kyle. Right now he gets to speak without much interruption.

      • Saxon_Brenton

        But on the up side, that would answer some interesting hypothetical questions about how each YP member would react to Annihilator’s treatment of Red Hot.

        We already know how Commander’s reacting in the first instance – based on the way that the Priestess and Annihilator argued and generally aired their dirty laundry in front of their captured heroes, she’s being quiet and letting Annihilator exposit enough rope to hang himself (to mix two phrases together).

        • I would take a gander that Paul would be yelling about not to listen to the old man and possibly putting his foot in it deep.

      • True dat, though the ones to do that has been Paul and Gordon. Well, I just want them awake mostly.

        • Those two can stay asleep? 😀

          • No, but keeping their quiet. I think it would be hardest for Paul. He’d want to give Duncan a good tongue lashing, for what he did to Kyle, but in his temper he may forget that Kyle can and needs to speak for himself.

          • I think this would be impossible for Paul. Gordon would be grumbling and looking horrified and maybe a little snooty.

          • bronakopdin

            I never heard tongue lashing before… if it was out of context I’d imagine sth very different from it’s actual meaning I guess x’D

          • Oh it definitely depends on the context or lack there of. I have used it in that other meaning in my writings. >:D

          • bronakopdin

            what do you write and where? AO3? If so is your pen name the same as your disqus name? ^^

          • I write/self-publish fantasy romance (both m/m and m/f). The link to my website is in my disqus profile.

            But here is a link to a short I put up on my author tumblr. Just a small origin story.
            http://ajanefantasy.tumblr.com/tagged/golden+boots

          • bronakopdin

            I see you like ships/pirates 🙂

          • That does seem to be a trend for me. 😀

  • D. G.

    They need to be released soon. The position they r held captive in will cause pain if they remain like that for a long period of time.

  • syllibub

    I actually have to walk away and process this, that’s how much Duncan rankled me on this page. Great writing — I really liked this one!

    • Thank you, syllibub! 🙂

      • Adam Black

        Is this ship getting bailed out?
        ( somewhere @Sophie is smiling )

        I am NOT forgiving this monster until one of Spookys Dragons eats him, and poops him out. I pinkysweared it 2 years ago!

        Didnt you tell Spooky?

    • Chris Dangerfield

      I have to say that I think this is the best comment (for me) on this entire page. I wish I’d simply said this, instead of any of my other comments that seem to have floundered about a bit. Thank you @syllibub:disqus.

      I’ll post the rest of my thought on a new post.

  • I wonder if Duncan touching Kyle’s face allowed him to speak, what with the anti-damper field at full power. And why Amanda hasn’t said anything.

    But then again, Amanda is a listener, not someone who just opens her mouth without knowing exactly what to say and when to say it.

    • Kate G

      I’m thinking that’s why he can talk. He was struggling to move even an inch before; talking this much would have exhausted or killed him without some form of dampening effect.

      His arms have been up tied up for some time though. They are probably experiencing quite a bit of pain from being that way because the arteries can’t pump blood efficiently to the entire arm. 15 minutes or so would be causing them to start piercing pain (which is probably where they are at.) 30 minutes they’d start going numb. An hour you’re probably looking at losing the arms.

      • Thinking on it more, he is a Prince of Hell. I think he has a lot more strength than a regular individual would have. He was able to break through Duncan’s spell in hell.

        As for them hanging, I’m wondering if they are truly truly hanging or if the tech thingies are holding them up some.

        • Kate G

          You are still going to have pressure on your nerves and arteries and decreased blood supply (whether you have some support or not) so they are definitely going to be in some pain.

          I had a bad case of tendinitis in my shoulders and biceps about five months into riding because I wasn’t using the reins correctly (keeping my arms in, shoulders down and pushing them down when the horse went down and up when the horse went up.) It’s a common mistake, but doing it too long pulls and pinches at the nerves, muscles and crap at the shoulders (kind of like being suspended from rope.) I needed a steroid injection in one shoulder and months of rehab exercises (and practicing proper hold and movement at home on an exercise ball as well as in lessons.)

          I actually reinjured my shoulders plus my neck when I had a seizure in December. I had to go back to my exercises plus add neck exercises. I still a “zinger” (numb) area that we’re working on.

          • PFG9000

            There is a monk in India who has been holding his arm up since 1973. The arm is useless but he hasn’t lost it.

            My sympathies on your tendonitis. I have it in both my elbows and it is wretched. Mine comes from being me.

            Hopefully the gang are not hanging by their arms and are being suspended almost weightlessly.

          • Kate G

            Ow, why do that willingly? The nerve damaaaaage (I had meant to say “lose it” as in “be useless.”)

            I am a plethora of issues. Tendinitis is just another issue. I’m used to it, although the numb nerve really bothers me when it does pop up.

            Have you ever tried Tiger Balm on your elbows? That stuff is fabulous. I love that stuff. I use the Ultra version; my dad prefers the Red Xtra strength. Great for muscles that just won’t heal.

          • Columbine

            There’s a long tradition of that kind of spiritual practice in India. Things like keeping your fist closed until the nails grow through your hand. It’s connected to renouncing the physical world and trying to break the cycle of rebirth I think. The Buddha actually sort of spoke against it.

          • Kate G

            Okay, my shoulders just hurt thinking about that (and my hand. My hand hurt thinking about nails going through my hand. OW.) I’m familiar about Hinduism and the cycle of rebirth (Buddhism has it as well.)

            Here I thought going to church to do confession was horrible. Good Catholics do confession yearly. I haven’t done it since I was eight. I. Hate. Confession. But really, I should go do confession. I’ve had a lot on my mind. Maybe I’ll go find some hidey hole and pretend I like confession. (I HATE IT I HATE IT I HAAAAAATE IT!!!!)

          • Columbine

            As I under stand it these sorts of practices arn’t mandatory they’re just sort of seen as especially holy. The way that…..so in Christianity you’d probably be seen as pretty holy if you gave all your money to charity and devoted your life to helping the poor. It’s that sort of level of extreme commitment.

            A lot of religious practices are sort of weird to me.

          • Kate G

            In Catholicism, you have the 7 Sacraments. All Catholics do at least 3. The rest are seen as kind of voluntary by some Catholics and mandatory by others. My grams did the 6 that are most often seen as the ones most loyal to the faith do (everything by Holy Orders. Her “last rites,” which is now called anointing of the sick, was done before she died.)

            I actually have a funny story involving my grams and faith. When my grams was in the neurological ICU after her stroke, my aunt would ask for whatever religious person was there to bless my grams and just to talk to about faith (my aunt has her masters in Divinity.) So, my grams was blessed by a Catholic priest, at least two Protestant priests, a rabbi and a Buddhist monk if I remember correctly. I still laugh at the absurdity of it, but it’s just something that is so my aunt.

            And you know, now that you’ve got me stuck on the subject of faith, both PP and Duncan were raised differently, which means they were raised on different faith systems. PP may not see the reason to spare lives due to her faith system while Duncan (who may have eschewed his own faith system) still values life because of how he was raised. You can eschew your faith system as much as you want, but you still always contain some part of it in the end.

          • Columbine

            I don’t see the difference between Duncan and PP as necessarily faith to be honest, they grew up literally thousands of years apart so you’d expect them to have quite different attitudes to life (even if PP has changed a lot over the years). I mean…..the difference between the relatively modern culture Duncan grew up in and PP’s….I think she said six thousand years? That’s pre-Ancient Egypt. It’s bound to have been a vastly different culture with hugely different social norms and morals, regardless of religion.

            I appreciate the story about your gran getting blessed so many times it made me smile, so thanks for sharing it.

            I think I’ve got a strange relationship with faith. I don’t consider myself faithful to any religion and while I take your point about faith systems you’re raised in affecting you……I grew up in a country with strict Sharia law, in a family that went out of their way to try and make sure I was Christian. And, although I believe it made me feel deeply unhappy and inadequate, I considered myself Christian- right up until I emigrated around 10-11 and suddenly started being taught about other religions. I’m extremely interested in the Voodoo faiths, in animist ideas. I wouldn’t say I believe them though. Even if I did I doubt I’d serve any of those gods.

            I think the conclusion I’ve come to after decades of reading about a wide range of religions is….they are rooted in societies, every god is essentially asking their followers conform to a set of old fashioned (for the place they originated) social expectations. They all have positive and negative points, and traits they encourage. I am unacceptable to all of the ones I’ve encountered so far, often because of something fundamental to my body or personality. And I don’t want to make time for anyone who sees me that way. Of all the sorts of god the ones I enjoy are the Tricksters because (my interpretation based mostly on Norse and West African stories) they seem to provide a get-out-clause, an acknowledgement that people and things outside accepted social norms exist, and that we’re not evil.

            Hmmm I’m sorry if that’s off topic. I’m not even 100% on if I should be posting it but you were talking about your personal faith and well……I guess I felt I should offer my perspective rather than ignoring what you said.

          • Kate G

            Oh no, it’s interesting. I had a similar “parting of religion” when I was younger. I wouldn’t say I’m fully Catholic/Christian.

            Religion is very much rooted in society, but so is language, law, music and dance. Without one we cannot have the other. How they intersect with one another is always interesting.

            I have mentioned that I have tattoos which most Christian religions aren’t really okay with. I don’t really give a shit. My mom actually has one too and she’s very religious. Her tattoo is usually hidden; mine aren’t always (I have one behind my right ear and one on my inner left forearm. I’m getting another on the opposite forearm soon.) Hiding them for church when I go with my gramps can be a struggle, especially in summer. They are part of me so sometimes you just see them and I don’t care!

            (To tell you the truth, I love the tricksters too. The fox or wolf in most Native American stories are my favorites.)

          • Columbine

            I guess part of it for me is that religions change much more slowly even when there’s no written text. And when there is a written text then along with the ‘don’t kill people’ and philosophical musings on the nature and beauty of the universe, you get instructions on how to break prisoners of war. Language changes more quickly than religion and language doesn’t threaten to haunt you from beyond the grave if you learn another one-

            I dunno. I realise that religious groups do good things and that religion can be a hugely positive thing in people’s lives. It’s just not in mine.

            I’ll be getting my first tattoos (hopefully) in a few months once I’ve finished my thesis. (I’m going to have to poke my partner to work on the designs a little-) One’s going on my right leg and I haven’t decided for the other one but it’s a much less settled design. I though about putting it on my foot because I have a big mole there I could work into the design. But that’s probably gonna be painful.

            I don’t really know any Native American stories (why is it ‘Native’ American? Surely they are just American, or American Americans if you want to be super specific?) I’m incredibly fond of Anansi (Ghana) and I like Eshu (south west Nigeria). But Loki will always have a special place in my heart. He’s the first mixed race, gender queer, bisexual character I saw in fiction who wasn’t evil, depressed or subjugated. I didn’t even have words for half the things he was until almost a decade later but as a kid….I almost felt he gave me permission to exist and sort things out for myself.

            It’s funny, we talk about diversity in movies, comics, books etc, I use the Norse Sagas as my base standard. There are at least three racial groups (and a good portion of the characters are mixed race), a variety of personalities with good and bad points for both male and female characters, sexual minorities, gender minorities and multiple disabled characters (who are neither cosseted nor extra-special because of their disabilities). It’s incredible how many modern stories don’t meet the same standard of diversity that 1100AD Iceland hit without trying.

          • Kate G

            I’ve never understood why whites insist on calling them “Native Americans” or “Native peoples.” It’s odd.

            If you have looked at past posts on past pages, my tattoos are in their spots for a reason, the color they are for a reason and they are what they are for a reason. I don’t really get tattoos because something looks cool and I want to mark it on my skin. The one behind my ear says “strength” in cursive. It’s actually dedicated to my grams/the women in my family. “Strength” is sort of the word that I think of when times are tough and the word I think of when I think of my grams (she had lupus like me.) I put it behind my right ear because the last two or three years of my grams’ life she needed hearing aids (we swear she got them because she was always listening to our stories.) When I’m stressed out, I rub my right ear to calm myself down. It’s a reminder that I have more strength that I’m aware of and I come from a line of strong women.

            On my left inner forearm (wrist to half up) are four hoof prints. Three are black, one is dark purple. It goes black, purple, black, black. It’s first off an homage to how horses have affected my life positively. Second it’s the story of life: life isn’t a smooth road. You’ll hit bumps (the purple hoof) and you have to find a way around it. The hooves go up in the direction to my heart which means to embrace life’s challenges. The purple hoof is to symbolize my favorite color and my disorders: dark purple is the color for epilepsy, migraines and lupus. Autism is a puzzle piece of yellow, blue and red; blue and red = purple. Asthma is the misnomer and that’s dark grey. In ancient Celtic times, it was said that there was a vein that went from the left ring finger to the heart so I put the hooves on my left to represent my love for animals and adventure.

            The one I’m getting next is the most emotional and is going on the opposite side. It’s a dog wearing a superhero cape. It’s to represent how I see dogs. I have owned 4 dogs (Zena is my 4th) and they’ve either changed my life or saved my life. I had a Greyhound that saved my life countless times by warning my mom I was about to have seizures. It’s going on my right inner forearm to represent that dogs are my right hand.
            ———————————————————–

            If you like Trickster stories and don’t mind simplicity, here are some stories from various tribes (some are just American folklore like Davy Crockett) in North America that you’ll like. There are so many. I love anything that involves coyotes personally. They can be tricksters, creators of the earth, silly or even a warrior; it all depends on the story.

            http://americanfolklore.net/folklore/tricksters/

          • Columbine

            Tattoos should have meaning I think. But personally where I think about putting a design has much more to do with where I think it’ll fit then any deeper symbolism. I’m planning to get one based on a sugar structure, because my phd was on sugar chemistry. I link them to things I’ve written, things I’m proud of. The other one I’m getting is for something I wrote about the Arab Spring and the design is based on the Liberator from Blake’s 7 because that story spoke to me (the nuanced, detailed, morally complex way it dealt with….well terrorist vs freedom fighter I guess, it seemed appropriate). But the only reason I picked my leg for it is because it’ll look good there and fit. I’m small. I don’t have a lot of skin area for large designs. When I finish my novel I’ll get something for that- may be an Eshu, may be some Adinkra. We’ll see.

            I might take a look, thanks for the link. 🙂

          • Kate G

            I’m only 5’2.5″ and very slim (I never hit triple digits. I did in high school but not for long.) Finding space is kind of funny but I’m lucky in that I don’t like giant or very colorful tattoos on myself. I like really delicate, kind of minimalist tattoos on myself. If you actually knew me really well, you would be laughing at that idea. I am not a minimalist or primarily black person. I love color. You would think if I got tattoos, I would have them in bright colors and swirling everywhere. Nope, I like people taking a second look and then saying, “Wait, is that a tattoo?” HA HA.

            Here is the one behind my ear (my first one):
            https://scontent.ford1-1.fna.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfa1/v/t1.0-9/11535856_10204676928460167_2848473018359325481_n.jpg?oh=d06f280be7b6169e6ee01db2692e651a&oe=576A8AF4

            And my horseshoes:
            https://scontent.ford1-1.fna.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xtf1/v/t1.0-0/p206x206/11846646_10204948469648527_2192863442679296223_n.jpg?oh=3e1a887975a0e706b646591431e9e582&oe=572C0568

          • Columbine

            I’m 5 nothing and around 45kg. Dogs are larger than me! And the Liberator design is the size of my hand and well I know what I’m working on that’ll be ‘worth’ a tattoo when I’m done.

            For me black is partly a style choice and partly a health one. Tattoo inks don’t tend to be tested very well and the contents of coloured inks can be uh….well basically transition metal dyes. I don’t want to find out I’m allergic to one of them after several hours of tattooing. Black inks tend to be charcoal. I would have liked to get a few of them in reds or browns, so they’d look like birth marks or scars at a glance, but apparently those inks run and fade more quickly than the black and I want them to last as long as possible. It also means I wouldn’t have to worry too much about my tattoos clashing later. I like looking at colourful tattoos, but I’m not sure it’s for my skin.

            🙂 Thanks for the pictures. Did the ear one hurt? I understand the placement but it’s a bit of an unusual spot to get tattooed.

          • Kate G

            Pain is very relative. I have a very high threshold for pain. I felt no pain behind my ear, but that’s just me. I felt the vibration when he got to the t and h because he was on a skull plate, but that’s it. I got a pretty mean migraine after because of that. It’s not that unusual of a place (it’s becoming more popular of a place) but it’s an odd spot for a word. Most people just get stars or some other symbol back there.

            I have the same issue with inks. I do black just because I have such sensitive skin plus I have an autoimmune disorder. The dark purple actually healed faster and didn’t bother me as much as the black, plus it didn’t sting as bad. I thought that was weird.

            Something to note about tattoos: the more detail you want, the bigger the area you’ll need. So if you just want a silhouette of the Liberator, you can probably fit it on your forearm or upper arm. If you want it super detailed, you might need both shoulders, stomach, back, etc. You would have to talk to your tattoo artist.

          • Columbine

            Yeah I did have a catch with a (potential) artist who lives near by about the detailing. It’s a stylised sketch but reasonably detailed so I don’t think shrinking it too much would be a good idea. (I’m also a little worried about upper arm tattoos distorting if/when I start exercising more). I think the size I settled on works for the design and the artist seemed to think it would too, so I’ll go with that. 🙂

            Personally I’d love to get something on my hands but I’m not sure I’d be brave/foolish enough to mark public skin. I’ve also heard that they tend to blur more and wear off sooner.

          • Kate G

            My tattoo parlor does not guarantee or give a free touch up on tattoos on the hands or feet (nor do they usually do them.) You use them so much that the ink doesn’t stay they first time you get them.

            The one on my left arm faded significantly the first time because I was in the middle of switching prescriptions and had a lot of plasma leakage (despite my taking perfect care of it.) I still actually need it touched up a little even after the first touch up because of the switch which hopefully I’ll get done on Thursday. The one behind my ear only faded slightly and needed a minor touch up on the s and the t. That’s it.

            Do you still live in a Muslim area? I’ve never heard someone describe skin as “public” and “private.”

          • Columbine

            I’ve never heard a Muslim describe skin as public or private, it’s something I picked up from the tattoo scene in the UK. If a place here says (usually on a sign) they don’t tattoo ‘public’ skin it means skin that is generally not covered, ie your hands and face. A lot of the better/more responsible places will have rules and caveats about tattooing public skin, which are basically designed to make sure you really want it done. It’s partly because of it affecting your job prospects, partly to protect their rep and partly to stop people making stupid drunken/youthful mistakes.

            I had heard that hand and feet tattoos fade fast. But I see my hands as pretty significant an area, which adds to the appeal of decorating them. I’ve got a mole on my right hand that I’d love to turn into something….but it would probably blur back into a splodge.

          • Kate G

            Ah, see, we don’t have that in America. It just depends on the parlor or artist. My parlor very rarely does feet or hands. They’ll do permanent makeup for cancer patients.

            There’s an equestrian tattoo floating around on Pinterest. One heel says, “Heels” and the other heel says, “Down.” It’s so cheeky but I’d never get it done because of the constant maintenance.

          • Columbine

            Feet arn’t seen as that bizarre a place to get tattooed here, especially the top of the foot, because it’s easily covered you very much chose who you want to see it.

            Facial tattoos are sort of the big one, they’re becoming more popular but it’s still next to impossible to get a job with one. There was also a case a few years back when a just-legal teenager got a load of stars tattooed on her face and then went to the newspapers with a story. She said that she’d got the tattoo while drunk, asked for one small star, passed out in the chair and the tattooist had kept going around her face. A few days later the tattooist said that she’d been perfectly sober, showed him ID and asked for exactly what she’d had tattooed then come back a few days later to complain because she regretted it. I’m not sure what became of it but it can be pretty easy for a place to lose their rep and sometimes their license here.

            A few places here would probably consider your ear tattoo public skin, it’s not an area that’s generally easily covered, necks too.

          • Kate G

            My tattoo is pretty easy to cover considering I have longer hair. I can either keep my hair down, choose a style that covers it or use a makeup concealer (I mean, if I got a job that requires no visible tattoos. My lupus is so erratic that I stay home.) For men it would be more of an issue.

            Depending which state you are in, it is illegal to tattoo someone who is drunk. Good, reputable tattoo shops in any state won’t tattoo a drunk person because the blood is thinner, they have zero judgement, etc. I’m really quite lucky that when I was in college, I had the forethought of asking people where they got their ink and a piercer who worked at the parlor was in one of my classes. It was where I started my research for tattoo parlors and the one I ultimately chose. I wasn’t into getting ink at that time, but I like to know where people’s tattoos come from just to see the artistry.

          • Columbine

            I’m not sure whether it’s actually illegal to tattoo a drunk person here or not. As far as I know no one has ever been charged with it if it is illegal. It’s certainly seen as highly immoral.

            I’ve never really asked where people got tattoos, just commented on the style etc if I thought it looked nice. (I know a doctor here who has tattoos based on the plates from Grey’s Anatomy (ie the book)) I often ask how old a tattoo is because I’m interested in how they age. There are a couple of parlours where I live now but they’re……they don’t really make me feel as comfortable about going there as the one in the last town I lived in. Some of them don’t look clean, most of them don’t have clear policies about public skin or anything about ages etc (generally a sign that they’re kind of responsible)- I suspect I’m going to wait and then try and make an appointment in the place I liked before. Too many of the ones in this town look a little bit dodgy.

          • Kate G

            Yea, I did not go to a parlor in my town…or the town next to it (no, don’t go there. lots of crime.) *shudders* The one I went to has two shops; one 20 minutes from my house and another 40 minutes away. I got my first two tattoos in the shop 20 minutes away. I’ll probably get my third in the second shop.

            A parlor got scrapped from my potential list if the website didn’t state it had autoclaves on site, one time use needles, one-time use inks, and a sterile environment. When I whittled it down and went to check, I checked for certifications from artists, double checked for sterile and clean environments (ah, the smell of lysol!) and mentally checked off when they asked for my ID before I asked about my tattoo idea. Good customer service was the last requirement.

            To say I’m more than a little crazy about the sterile thing is an understatement. Lupus demands it.

            Here’s where I go:
            http://libertytattooparlor.com/

          • Columbine

            That is understandable. I tend to assume a certain degree of sterility because well….it’s the law and they have a license. Still doesn’t mean I’m going to pay anywhere looks less than 100% clean.

            One of the things I also use to decide is how much input/interest the artists seem to have in the designs. Having artists actually look at my first idea and say ‘Well it might be possible but I couldn’t do that’ gave me a lot of confidence in the place. It’s one of the few circumstances I don’t mind being IDed- Sort of…..considering a permanent change to your body is a totally legit reason to ask for ID. (My local cinema on the other hand -_-)

          • Kate G

            You have to be a certain age to get a tattoo here in America. You have to be legal. A good parlor will ask for an ID before conversing no matter what I find and that’s just a bonus for the feeling of safety for me. The artists I go to know each other really well and if one feels he/she couldn’t pull the design a client wants but knows the perfect artist, he/she will make sure a client will get the perfect artist. That’s just how they work and I like that. They make sure you get the right artist for your piece. Some of them really love traditional work, some really love watercolor work and one is on a mandala kick at the moment.

            Like seriously, a very big mandala kick. This is like his eight one here (it’s not my favorite, but I can’t find my favorite one atm.)
            https://www.facebook.com/59528177608/photos/a.434057672608.203501.59528177608/10152909103392609/?type=3&theater

          • Columbine

            *Nice*.

            There’s a legal age here too, I think it’s 16 or 18. But I mean generally if you look 25ish some places won’t bother asking, which is pretty normal. I’m pushing 30 but I still get mistaken for 12. Being constantly IDed bugs me, but in a tattoo parlour I’m more relaxed about it.

            I really want to go get those tattoos now after all this chatting. The designs still ain’t ready and I promised myself after the thesis but damn-

          • Kate G

            I’m 27 and get mistaken for 16. It’s like, “Okay, enough. Seriously? 16? I ain’t 16. Thank you Grams for the effing young genes. I don’t want them anymore. TAKE THEM BACK!” I’ve been told I’d appreciate this later in life but currently I still don’t appreciate it.

            You’ll never have a design ready by yourself. The other half is always your artist. My friends who are inked all say you will know when to get inked; it’s just an undeniable feeling, thesis, birthdays, whatever be damned. It’s just something that becomes important to you. I noticed a very weird trend when I get my tattoos. My grams died on June 5, 2014; my tattoo for her was done on June, 12, 2015 (this one was done on purpose.) My favorite great-aunt died on August 15, 2014; I got my horseshoes done on August 7, 2015 (total coincidence.) I went in on my nephew’s first birthday (February 18) to discuss my third one and I’m guessing it will get done around my grams’ birthday (the 27 of February.) I have no idea how that happens, but it somehow happens that way!

          • Adam Black

            Probably a jainist practice

          • Columbine

            I’m not 100% sure? The Jainists I’ve met were never particularly religious but they do tend to get a lot of rather extreme practices connected to their religion.

          • PFG9000

            Tibetan monks do all sorts of crazy things to prove their spiritual devotion.

            I get cortizone shots and take a plethora of medication for a host of chronic pain issues but…thank you for reminding me of tiger balm. I too like the red like your father, but my hubs hates the smell.

          • Kate G

            Ha! I think it smells like Big Red gum and that just bothers me. The Ultra is okay.

            I have chronic pain issues too (Lupus! Migraines! Autism!) and I have accrued a, uh, host of pain relievers. I have everything from Franklin balls to prescription Lidocaine to Tiger Balm. You name it, it’s probably in my house.

          • PFG9000

            Arthritis, ehlers-danlos, fibromyalgia,….. Can I go to your house? Hehehe

          • Kate G

            Ugh, I’m so glad I don’t have a connective tissue disorder. It’s bad enough to have be stuck with a few neurological ones, a developmental, and two autoimmune disorders. I really dislike people who don’t understand the concept of not coming to my house if they are sick or just got over something very contagious. STAY HOME! I don’t want to get it (because I can and will get it.) Ugh.

          • PFG9000

            Yup a common cold x chronic pain = absolute misery.

          • Kate G

            It’s horrible! And the worse part is, we get, like, the EVOLVED version. OR you get an illness on top of an illness. For example, last month, my brother (and his girlfriend) got norovirus. Instead of calling his girlfriend’s parents to take care of my nephew, they called MINE. My mom and dad came down with norovirus.

            Do you want to know who came down with norovirus next? That would be me….plus a bladder/kidney infection. I lost 9 pounds that I kind of needed. I’m still looking for them.

          • PFG9000

            I can give you my extra 9 lbs. I go through something that is a great deal like the norovirus 2 to 3 times a month, or more if I am unlucky. Its not contagious, it is just gastritis and IBS.

          • PFG9000

            Yup a common cold x chronic pain = absolute misery.

          • PFG9000

            Yup a common cold x chronic pain = absolute misery.

          • PFG9000

            Yup a common cold x chronic pain = absolute misery.

          • PFG9000

            Yup a common cold x chronic pain = absolute misery.

          • PFG9000

            Yup a common cold x chronic pain = absolute misery.

          • PFG9000

            Yup a common cold x chronic pain = absolute misery.

          • PFG9000

            Yup a common cold x chronic pain = absolute misery.

          • PFG9000

            Yup a common cold x chronic pain = absolute misery.

          • PFG9000

            Yup a common cold x chronic pain = absolute misery.

          • PFG9000

            Yup a common cold x chronic pain = absolute misery.

          • PFG9000

            Yup a common cold x chronic pain = absolute misery.

          • PFG9000

            Yup a common cold x chronic pain = absolute misery.

          • PFG9000

            Yup a common cold x chronic pain = absolute misery.

          • PFG9000

            Yup a common cold x chronic pain = absolute misery.

          • PFG9000

            Yup a common cold x chronic pain = absolute misery.

  • Mir

    Wonder if Duncan telling the reason he’s about to tell would’ve been better told from the beginning. Although, trusting the Annihilator to do good given his past would be quite difficult. But even so, why not gain his trust and then tell Kyle? I don’t know, anything really to prevent the crap he did.

    It’s clear Duncan knows what he did was wrong but does he feel any real remorse? To him it had to be done but did it not hurt him to do it? He continues to keep justifying it for the sake of humanity but damn I would still feel terrible and disgusted with myself.

    Today has been a good day though 🙂 Went to my first (and needed) therapy session, got my homework done, and the new page is up.

    • Columbine

      From the earlier hints it seemed to me like the plan might be one of those ‘So we have a choice between 6 billion people dying and 5 billion people dying’ plans. Duncan might well expect a hero to prefer risking everyone on the planet with a plan more likely to fail because there’d be a chance to save everyone. Or Duncan might honestly be more confident in his ability to lie and manipulate then convincingly tell the truth. This is a guy who’s been a criminal most of his life, his automatic assumptions might well be…different.

      There’s a discussion in Flash fandom at the moment about one of the villains, Captain Cold. The hero keeps insisting he *could* be a good guy if he wanted to, and we see that a few times with Cold’s actions. But Cold himself rejects that and insists he’s no hero, repeatedly. There’s a good section of fans that think Cold…hasn’t really got any faith in himself and in his own chances of redemption. Which stops him from even really trying and keeps him trapped. Obviously that’s not the same as Duncan (and Cold’s a lot more sympathetic right now) but Duncan might similarly think that the ‘good’ way to do something wouldn’t work for him. I dunno, random thoughts-

      • Mir

        I think you’re on the right track. I always think back (and always bring it up here in the comments lol) to how Sircea mentions Duncan at one point was “like Kyle” ’till he was shown the cruelty of the world; which is I assume the bullying that he tells Kyle he experienced as a kid. There is a lot more to Duncan than we know, and he is definitely more complex than just a bad guy. So I definitely could see him being in a similar self-conflict as Cold.

        Duncan is known as the biggest criminal in the world, it’s going to be hard for anyone to think differently so maybe it’s hard for him to really realize that he can change. Kyle gave him a glimpse of what he could of been/can be if he made different choices but it seems he chooses to ignore that.

        • Columbine

          Or perhaps Kyle gave him a glimpse and Duncan didn’t so much ignore it as….see it as a fantasy. ‘Oh sure it’d be great to have an idealistic young lover and try to reform myself….but it’s impossible.’ If everything in his life so far has convinced him that the life he actually wants isn’t possible….how long would it take for him to stop trying for it?

          I’m not sure that’s actually what’s happening with him but so far it seems a definite possibility.

      • Klaus

        The demons are not going to kill that many, even if the diabolic duo does not manage to evict them. That, I think, is part of the rationale behind the plan. PP and Duncan get to choose which demons to let in. If the walls come down, it would be much worse.

        • Columbine

          Yeeeeah but it’s still one of those ‘well we’re standing back and letting people suffer, but hey it’s less than it would be otherwise’ plans. There seems to be a pretty clear component of…sacrificing a proportion of people to protect some others. Or at least exposing a proportion of people to some horrible stuff in order to protect some others.

  • Cman65

    Nope I don’t trust Anni, you can’t trust a lie-ing old queen. I’m a queen and getting old so I do know better.

  • Shiny Gwilly

    “alright-y then” is a good way to sum up this page
    but really though, Anni, if you are telling the truth here, just going to put it all down right now, why should Kyle believe you
    though i am curious myself on the true motives of what’s going on….but still, will Kyle actually believe him? he is still pretty damn angry, i doubt he’d think too too much on what Anni will say….though maybe he will, i feel like he’s matured since the beginning, but maybe not enough….idk
    ANYWAY, you’ve fucked up Anni, i doubt even explaining will make Kyle forgive you or come close to it, you hurt him pretty bad, soo
    points for trying at least?

  • I wonder if Duncan will tell kyle something WE don’t already know – we had quite a lot of PPs mytho-babble about barriers getting weak before…

  • Jeldenil

    I only humilliated you to save the world. Sorry.

    • Klaus

      He had decided that the emperor should be poisoned and disolved in acid. For his own good, of course. Terry Pratchett.

  • TwilightDreamer

    Yeeeaahhh…I’m with Kyle, not buying it…. ;P truth or not.

  • bronakopdin

    OK… as many others said already at the moment in Kyle’s place I wouldn’t believe him one bit at this point…. but now it’ll be interesting to listen to what is behind all this!!! Finally!
    Well IF Duncan even knows the truth from Sircea x’D
    in any case: getting some popcorn ready for next page 😀

  • Wildroses

    Let the Exposition-a-thon begin! I am interested in hearing fully what is going on from Duncan’s point of view. We’ve had hints with his talk with Sircea, but there was a lot they were leaving out because they already had a shared bank of knowledge not accessible to the reader. But now Kyle is standing in for the reader, we are about to hear it all.

  • somebody

    Nothing is better than a Saturday morning. You wake up, eat deltious breakfast, drink some coffee when you finally realize it’s Saturday and you can read The Young Protectors.
    I love Saturdays
    And I love this page. Kyles angry face reminds me of my cat

    • LOL. Glad you like the page. Give your cat a cuddle for me — when it’s safe. 😉

      • somebody

        Actually I really did… it was a really bad idea… like throwing a Pokeball on the Platinum Priestess bad idea.

  • Tristan Black Wolf

    *sniff, sniff* …anyone detecting a whiff of Simon R. Green’s “Daemons Are Forever”…? Could it be that he’s going to pull a Drood trick? Daring… even more than trying to trick the Loathly Ones…

    • Adam Black

      drood?

      • Tristan Black Wolf

        Eddie Drood is a member of the Drood family who, according to the “Alternative Histories” series of Simon R. Green, has been working for centuries to keep humankind safe from the nasty thing that go bump in the night. It’s a great series of books! Just noting a possible parallel in this magnificent web comic. ^__^

  • Oh! I hope they’re going to slay the demon. That would be pretty wicked; but something tells me that things are probably not going to turn out that way… I feel another twist coming on.

  • Jason Moon

    “Saving the world.” Welp, THERE’S a phrase that’s open to interpretation.

  • Susan Simon

    I can’t wait. I really want to see those two together. flyboy and his friend, too.

  • Wayne Lunkwitz

    If Kyle allows himself to believe this hogwash…..he is in for big trouble!

    • Klaus

      I am convinced that Duncan is sincere. That does not mean that Kyle should forgive him, obviously.

  • *B

    This inspired a weirdly large amount of feels.

    • Adam Black

      was it a show-er , or more of a grower?

    • Agreed. I’m waiting for the next page to see where this is going. The amount of Gibbs-smacks I’ve mentally given Duncan are starting to hurt.

  • Austin King

    I mean I know The Annihilator did some crappy things, but I would forgive that beard anytime.

  • davefragments

    Every so often I look at Neil Gaiman’s Tumblr and this was a comic that he linked too… It’s well worth a read.
    Midnight Radio
    http://elcomics.tumblr.com/post/138514380764/midnight-radio-written-by-ehud-lavski-art-by

  • stickfigurefairytales

    “Oh wow, sounds totally reasonable after all.” Pfffffft!

  • stickfigurefairytales

    I made the mistake last night of letting myself lie down on the couch and close my eyes just for a minute before coming to start camping, and the next thing I knew it was seven hours later.

    • Adam Black

      UFOs . Time-stealing midget banditos

      • Klaus

        Time Bandits?

        • stickfigurefairytales

          I hope not. That sort of thing leads to weird, unsettling endings.

          • I actually found that movie amusing in someways.

    • davefragments

      I hope it was a good sleep.

      • stickfigurefairytales

        It got better when I actually went up and got in bed.

        • davefragments

          I’ve done stuff like that.

  • Adam Black

    Finally these meddling KIds, can stop with the stopping Team Smexy Silver , from saving the Sphere. https://youtu.be/zrvc9eMJOnU

  • Get ready for a flashback!!!

  • Nate

    Part of me hopes the next panel is Kyle laughing at him.

  • the suspense is killing me!

  • Abner Dwight

    You guys are doing an excellent job, can’t wait for this to be in kindle… or comixology.

  • Pinkfeiry

    i really hope he gives a full explanation the next page cuz i need to know

  • Shinashi

    Yaaaaaaaaaaaas Let’s find out!

  • Chris Dangerfield

    Below, @syllibub:disqus mentioned that this page rankled her and she’d take some time to think. So I’m left with a case of saying I wish I’d written that also.

    The writing is excellent and it’s because the writing, art and color bring these characters to life emotionally so well that I’m so affected by the interactions between these two characters.

    So…………

    • Whether Duncan’s simply a lying abuser having emo-fun with a former victim?
    • Lying now (yet again) for purposes unclear and having to do with Laampros?
    • Has emotionally changed, wishing to convince himself he’s sincere (now)?
    • Has succeeded in convincing himself and believes he IS sincere on this page?
    • Or is simply Sircea and Laampros’ dupe?

    Well, none of the options seem to matter anymore in regards to this little chat with Kyle. What’s the point?

    I keep revolving around: What IS the point? I can’t find any scenario that simply isn’t straightforward cruelty to Kyle, regardless of what Duncan imagines he’s doing. It’s like a prison guard repeatedly tormenting a prisoner for fun.

    It seems infinitely emotionally more cruel than Sircea’s simple and very logical motivation to kill Amanda. From her POV that made sense. I also get why she’s indulging, Duncan, the man with the Hell runes on his arms.

    However with Duncan and Kyle, at this moment, what’s done is done.

    Whichever scenario in the list above lives in Duncan’s head, it doesn’t seem to make any difference. So this monologue feels like just another moment to try and crush a stupid kid. I can’t imagine any motivation that isn’t inherently selfish or motivated by a power-rush. If he really cared about this kid he’d understand that all this is too late, shut up and go help Sircea pick up the hell-ring.

    So, to me, this chat still seems only about Duncan in Duncan’s special world.

    I remember reading Artifice and thinking how cold Dr. Maven was, but now it’s easier to see that she had an excuse in thinking Deacon wasn’t human, so her behavior was ethically justifiable to her no matter what our viewpoint was. Sircea is 6,000 years old and barely human anymore. More humans have died in those 6,000 years than will die in this endeavor. Laampros is a King of Hell. They all have motivations for behaviors that look like simple cruelty that can be understood.

    Duncan has nothing that I can find. Any attempt to call it “love” seems to me like the type of love that locks the object of its desire in a basement… we’ve all seen that film. So tough page.

    It is indeed superb writing and art, but boy doesn’t it push all my emotional buttons, I just have to remember that’s a good thing. :/

  • PFG9000

    With that dead serious look on his face, I just wondered if there is a possibility thar dear PP is playing Anni.

  • Cydney Sabin

    When your readers are entirely confused about what’s going on, you’ve either done something very right, or very wrong. You, dear sir, are doing it very, very right.

  • syllibub

    If the first panel of the next page isn’t Kyle screaming “BULSHIIIIITTTT” I’ll feel kind of let down.

  • stickfigurefairytales

    Caaaaaaampiiiiiiing time!!!

    • ♪Guess who’s back, back again?♫

      And I have mandarin cake for everyone!
      But half of my keyboard is numb, so won’t be very active, nor fast ^^;

      • stickfigurefairytales

        Ooh, mandarin cake! I’ve never had that before.

        • Not fancy though, grate the zest and put it in your fav batter and after the cake is baked and cold enough, glaze its smoother side with juice thickened with powdered sugar
          Dam, it /only/ took 20 min!

        • writing it not cooking it that was more like an hour and a half with the cooling

      • *hugs b3* missed you

        • missed you too, Doki (Ɔ˘⌣˘)(˘⌣˘)

  • davefragments

    Hi everyone.

    • Hi!

    • stickfigurefairytales

      Hi Dave!

      • davefragments

        If I fall asleep, wake me. I’ve been up since 6am

        • *laughing*
          5am now

          • davefragments

            We are well scattered around the world.

          • (≖ ̨≖) and either early or late

    • Good evening!

      • Good ‘v’ning

      • davefragments

        I haven’t watched CHOPPED in a few weeks because of the background music and the strange and rather awful ingredients.
        And guess what, they haven’t changed.

        • That’s the problem with cooking shows, they all begin to mash together. Especially if the chefs/show runners lack imagination.

          • davefragments

            “Age of Ultron” is on STARZ at 11pm. So that will be my good night movie.

          • We saw Deadpool today. So awesome.

          • davefragments

            My neighbor picked up my mail from the road and he has one of those big wheels farm carts. It slid and spun around once down the lower half of my driveway. Deadpool will wait for good weather.

            DEAD POOL had me from the first teaser trailer.

          • Deadpool had us all from the first teaser trailer.

          • davefragments

            I very excitedly told a friend to take her 2 boys (around 10 or 11) to see THE MARTIAN because of the science in it and then I remembered that there’s some language in it that they aren’t supposed to use.
            That was an oops.

          • Oh yeah. Whoever leaked that original test footage is the awesome.

            It was 80 here today, so perfect weather.

          • davefragments

            IT was close to forty but it rained all night and then froze and snows 1/2 inch. So underneath is all ice. However, Friday and Saturday are supposed to be near 50F

          • 90% of the snow we had disappeared overnight. It was very disconcerting looking out the window at 8 am and seeing all the snow gone that was there when the lights went off.

          • We had a flurry or two a couple weeks ago, but it lasted about two minutes and never landed. And now spring is here. Supposed to rain tomorrow or thursday.

          • It has snowed “a lot” twice in about a week, but both times the flakes were so small that there was only about an inch or two of accumulation, despite it snowing nonstop all day.

          • Boo??

          • It was disappointing.If it is going to snow all day the least it could do is pile up enough to make a decent snowperson without making the ground look bad.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            I can’t wait to see that!

          • From the opening credits we were laughing. And we were laughing still at the end of the movie which was hard because my bladder was full.

          • davefragments

            Peeling fava beans just ruined two chefs.

          • Ooops.

    • hi

      • davefragments

        How are you tonight. I hope better than before.

        • Unsure. I think I only had about four or five hours of sleep maybe?

          • davefragments

            Not good.

          • Doki had insomnia issues and didn’t go to sleep until after 10 am? Doki woke about about 3pm? ish?

          • davefragments

            I can’t do that. It just ruins me.

          • Doki crashed?

          • davefragments

            I have a schedule for sleep and awake … and I can’t easily adjust it.

          • Doki has no such thing and it constantly changes

          • can relate
            do U ‘micro-nap’?

          • D. G.

            Me too.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Poor Doki. I hope you can get more rest tonight! *hugs*

      • D. G.

        Hey Doki.

  • stickfigurefairytales

    All right, I need some tea. Be right back.

    • stickfigurefairytales

      Back with tea!

  • davefragments

    I don’t know how many people realize that in the first half of the AGE OF ULTRON when the Black Widow is take Bruce Banner back to headquarters in the plane, the aria he is listening too is Maria Callas (the greatest soprano of both the last and this century) singing “Casta Diva” from Bellini’s Norma.

  • I’d love to say things to people but copypasting it all is kind of a hassle… So, I AM here but wont reply even though I love you all XOXO

  • Sapfo

    morning People!
    Lets see how things can get worse…..

    • davefragments

      hi

    • Morning, Ms Berry!

    • Hi, morning side of the world, I’m in lurk mode ♥

      • Sapfo

        you been lurking long time now. Come out of the shadows and join the party ^^

        • Sorry about that… My keyboard was playing funky… I had to copy paste a lot of letters which were numb, so it was a bit strenuous.

          If it works alright, I should come out saturday morning (^^)/

    • Morning Sapfo!

  • stickfigurefairytales

    So, what else are people up to?

    • Sapfo

      Coffee drinking. Trying to remember why sleep is not more importent then work 😉

      • Coffee IS more importent than work AND sleep ;°P

        • Sapfo

          Yes, But I can drink coffee and work. When I sleep I can only sleep. I like sleeping.

    • Eating pizza!

      • stickfigurefairytales

        Nice! I had homemade pizza with my dad for dinner.

        • Nom nom nom. My parents wanted it for their anniversary dinner.

    • B-D mon-D cake frenzy help yourself

      • stickfigurefairytales

        I’m always up for some sweets. Thank you!

    • D. G.

      Eating blueberries.

      • stickfigurefairytales

        Good ones?

        • D. G.

          Yes

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Eeeeeexcellent.

          • D. G.

            🙂

    • Reading Snarry fanfic. ^_^

      • stickfigurefairytales

        Have fun!

        • It is a long fic. Harry ran away from home at 9. He pretty much lived on the streets until he was 17 and caught by DD. He had latent metamorph abilities that his magic forced to activate to keep him alive. Using said abilities he aged himself a few years to enter into D/S relationships as a Sub. They aren’t a hardcore D/S couple. Snape likes to feel like he has control and Harry likes to be cared for and by. Harry new Snape was magic, but Snape didn’t know about Harry being magic. Harry split when he saw DD going in to Snape’s apartment. Snape helped Harry escape DD’s clutches after they reunited and their magic bound them together.

  • D. G.

    Hey everybody.

  • stickfigurefairytales

    Oh man…I’m going to be so tired at work tomorrow. But camping!

    • Camping camping camping!

      • stickfigurefairytales

        Camping jamping stamping! Mamping lamping samping!

        • stickfigurefairytales

          (meant to be read in a sing-song voice, if that was not clear)