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A Night To Remember 26/33

A Night To Remember 26/33 published on 18 Comments on A Night To Remember 26/33

This probably holds the record for “most time spent writing on a single strip.” One day I spent a whole hour-long lunch break staring at thumbnails for it — and managed to jot down some dialogue, but then erased all of it the day after. The strip here isn’t even the first version I uploaded. (If you want to compare.)


Kale: I thought . . . It sounds so stupid now! The people in charge, where I grew up . . . they convinced me that I was helping.

I still feel responsible. Didn’t have to kill anyone. Could’ve known that. Should’ve. But I didn’t get there on my own. I was pushed. My handler says people aren’t born knowing how not to fall for that — and swears it’s not too late for me to learn.

Living in the city is part of that. The next stage in rehab. With more experiences and perspective, I’m supposed to get less, um. Manipulate-able.

They say I’ll be able to use my powers for public service, once they decide I’m not dangerously vulnerable anymore.

. . . and, I guess, once they determine I’m not likely to go out and kill more people just for the heck of it.

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18 Comments

I expect that somehow Kale will become friends with Thorn and by proxy, Leif, and that when Thorn goes off the reservation to go rescue Leif, Kale will either be the guy who Thorn talks to first that gets his head right with his choice, or will tag along/help somehow.

I mean, I can see Thorn having major ethics issues with the idea, and possibly comparing himself to what Kale did, and Kale shutting that down and going “what *I* did was nowhere near what you’re thinking of! as long as you leave civilians who aren’t involved out of this, no matter what you do, on your *worst* day, you will not go as far as I did!” or something similar. and I can see thorn choosing to vent about his desires to Kale instead of his unit out of an unwillingness to put them on the hook for what he does, even if at that time he’s not actually serious.

*Unfurls the banners: FUCK CEANNIS, steps up to microphones*

Welcome, I called this press conference to confirm the announcement of Ceannis’ own dirty dealings. I’ll take your questions now?

In fairness, you can hardly blame the entire country for the actions of the city-state-sovereign nation-whatever it is that Kalezu grew up in. If enough people in power are in on the dirty dealings for that particular region, then they could do things that keep other people from finding out that this is happening. Whether it’s just “not reporting to higher-ups about manipulating this Star Mage” or something as complicated as “we have this one guy who, if we pay enough, tells the people in the White House Equivalent that everything’s fine in our town”. There are people whose job it is to know what’s going on in all parts of the country, this much is true – but there are only so many things that one human being can process, and if it’s being covered up in the right (wrong?) ways, you could in theory go your whole job without even hearing about it until something happens.

In fact, as weird as it sounds, Kudzu going ‘crazy’ (or, probably more accurately, ‘getting to the point where he could no longer be covered and/or got too capable to be manipulated any longer so they cut their losses and put the blame on him’) might have been a blessing in disguise- Kale’s in a Witness Protection Program, meaning he’s being kept safe from other people who are being or have been investigated, so it’s entirely possible that the people he’s being protected from are “the entire section of government officials that thought manipulating a human person to do their dirty work was a good idea”.

There’s no reason to generalize the entire country as being bad for the faults of just a few people who ruined things for a lot of people. Things aren’t quite as clear-cut as that.

It’s really weird that there was nothing in news about this investigation, at least in a sense that it would be mentioned Kudzu didn’t acted alone. It’s possible they don’t have enough evidence yet and need to keep the investigation secret so those people won’t find out about it …

The hard work here paid off–this is very accepting of responsibility without going into victimhood, while still being very sincere and heart-wrenching.

I’d argue that Kale is still a victim, though. He was used as a tool, and admits that he should have known better… but that’s how it works.

Someone you trust tells you to do something harmless and it works out! then they tell you to do something that’s maybe a little skeevy, but you trust them, and it’s fine. and this happens again and again and again, darker yet darker every time… and then you’re killing on their word, because they can’t be wrong. They’ve always been right…

And then they’re wrong, and you’re on the floor in unimaginable pain, clutching your shattered arm(or covering the empty sockets where your eyes used to be before they melted…), and asking “Why?”

No, not at all. You fuck up, you get consequences for your actions. “Just following orders” is not an excuse. Plus, we’re only getting his side of the story right now. We have an admitted case of mental instability claiming a conspiracy. Until we see these people from where he was “raised” it’s entirely possible Kudzu was suffering from delusions when he went on his little spree.

“just following orders” is no excuse. I agree. but there’s a distinction between “I was just following orders” and “The people responsible for my upbringing instilled a warped set of values”. If that’s the case, Kale didn’t and couldn’t know any better, and he certainly knows now.

Expecting him to just intuit from birth what is right is like holding yourself to the standards Hyacinth was struggling with. You have to learn or be taught that it’s wrong to knock someone else down and take their food to sate your hunger. If someone taught you that you and they are above that because of your race or class or skintone or gender or sex or religion or orientation or because it’s a tuesday… What else is that child supposed to think?

he certainly knows better now, and we do not know HOW he was taught, and how long he spent in his prison/mental health facility, or what exactly was done to him before he was offerd Naimh and his current parole.

We’re getting his side of story, BUT he’s not in prison. The fact he’s out in city instead of locked or dead supports that someone quite high in judicature also thinks he’s victim.

We don’t know how big that conspiracy was, but it didn’t needed to be big to convince one person it’s big.

Ok, wait. Wait wait wait. Hold the phone.

Is Kale/Kudzu an AU version of Republic of Heaven Community Radio’s Kevin???

Coloring’s about right. Prosthetic eyes. It’s been a while since I read RoHCR but Niamh is–

-checks back through to Literally Their First Appearance-

…Oh. Not the first to call it. W-well. You’ve clearly reused more than just the appearances, I’m just saying!!!

Mmmmyep.

The thought process went something like this: “Wow, this is a really complex and tough character situation, lots of layers to unpack, the recovery process would make for some fascinating writing…oh, hang on, it’s not that complex in canon, and they don’t care about doing a recovery arc at all? Okay. Well. Guess if I want this done right, I’m gonna have to spend a few years building up an original-fiction scenario with the ethical and emotional stakes I had in mind, and then I can do it myself.”

I love decoding the soulbond animals’ body language. Tiernan has her back arched, still acting wary and threatening Kale/Niamh. Niamh is lying down with her ears pressed back, clearly very threatened and scared of Thorn/Tiernan.

Mirroring their people’s actions perfectly.

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