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A Bridge Too Far 23/41

A Bridge Too Far 23/41 published on 12 Comments on A Bridge Too Far 23/41


Leif: You remember the part of the conversation . . . a while ago . . .

. . . when I said Thorn would mince you for hurting me? I wasn’t quipping because it’s hot to think about an angry Thorn protecting me!

Leif (thinking): . . . at least, that wasn’t the only reason.

Leif: It’s probably never a great way to handle things . . .

But it’s not unforgiveable. At least, not for me.

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So. I know I’ve said this before. (Unlike that Sunday strip where I was told off for making effectively the same comment three different times at roughly two month intervals, eep.) But this one I know I’ve said before, but it’s looking pretty relevant, very much if I’m right, and perhaps more so if I’m wrong, because Popper. I expect I am wrong – usually am – but the more I think about it, honestly, the less sense it makes for it to be anything else. Since the quarantine arc (those of you who read the comments regularly have all seen this spiel before, I’m just putting it up exactly one time for this arc since it seems likely to be relevant).

A: Valrún is “(just) a wrecker,” i.e., she was imprisoned for luring ships into danger to loot them.
B: Whatever she did, Valrún’s debt is insurmountable, and her name is unspeakable.
C: Valrún “didn’t mean to hurt anyone” – for that reason, while her debt might’ve been accumulated by relatively minor incidents, her infamy must’ve come from a single one.

In short, Valrún’s infamy must have come from a single wreck. A wreck so terrible that the names of those at fault cannot be spoken, but to those who live for centuries, just a wreck. Nonetheless, what single wreck could be so terrible? We already know, don’t we? Yep, here comes the broken record: the Margaid.

She didn’t mean for anyone to get hurt – she probably meant the crew to run aground and flee to shore, but diverting them, she and her coconspirators must’ve accidentally sent them through an infested patch. The haul went down with the crew and passengers, and she consigned her son to slavery for not one mark. Of course, she did accomplish one thing: she killed his future lover’s mother.

Again, I’m sure I’m wrong, but honestly, I’m just not sure how. Maybe it’s a blatant red herring I’m the only one silly enough to fall for. I just thought while this arc is going, I should play the broken record exactly once, and Leif offering his understanding to Kale for his past… well, “misdeeds” seems too mild a word… seems as good a time as any.

Huh! My impression is that “wrecker” was meant as in “5. (Soviet Union, crime, historical) Someone accused of the formal charge of wrecking; that is, of undermining the state in intangible ways.” (source: Wiktionary) Like yeah, maybe you’re right on the money, but Sonheim gives me vibes of USSR-ness and it’s not just that it’s a far-northern country full of pale people.

Yeah. I get no nautical vibes on her crimes. They sound like they’re entirely crimes against the state, and I’m going to guess it’s something that most of us would not perceive as a crime.

Given Russia just designated the LGBT community as a terrorist organization there is a very real probability that the “crime” was not what we would call a crime. There is even the possibility that the deaths were the result of the state reacting to what was happening and blaming the victims ie:”look what you made me do”

From Valrún’s arc as a vampire servant, she also claimed to be stealing medicine and reselling it at affordable prices.

So, maybe it *was* a heist gone wrong. But also, she told several subtly different variants of the story, so maybe that bit was pure con artistry.

I think, given how messed up Sønheim is, I *want* it to be something like “stealing” a shipment of technically-not-slaves. That would make you (in)famous, instantly make your name as unspeakable as they could make it, and put you in debt for the the economic output of whatever slaves they couldn’t take back into service (escaped or died, either way).

What Valrún did claim is that there was an incident in which people got hurt, and some of them died, and it was out of her control. However, the courts held Valrún and “the people who were arrested with me” liable.

Art shows two others with her in silhouette, and similar silhouettes appear in the polycules culture notes, in which Lief reports that he had three parents.

My guess has always been an industrial accident, but that wouldn’t explain why the Vampires say she’s “just a wrecker”. If she had been wrecking airships I doubt she could have really believed that harm to the passengers was out of her control, and Sønheim is landlocked.

Leilac’s long-standing theory that they used the old Soviet meaning makes some sense, but I doubt it’s literally true. When Sønheim and Ceannis are contrasted, they are often stand-ins for conservative America and liberal America, respectively, but I’ve yet to see them stand in for any foreign dictatorship and America.

So I don’t believe that they were directly prosecuted for political views, Soviet style, but instead they were targeted for J. Edgar Hoover’s style of persecution. If I speculate correctly, Valrún et. al. were railroaded for an accident they genuinely were not liable for, to stop their political activism, which may or may not have been directly related to the incident in question.

Ludolf has instructed Lief that interest in his parents would be a “red flag” and in this scenario they have two reasons to fear him: First, he could carry on their “subversive” cause, and second, it may be possible to exonerate his parents, at which point Sønheim would owe him a prodigious amount of money.

The exact meaning of “wrecker” notwithstanding, I’m sure it was an accident which was classified as sabotage by the court. Slaves might’ve been involved – maybe the accident was somehow related to her refusing to dealing with servants like with slaves and giving them better living conditions instead.

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