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Early Retirement 21/35

Early Retirement 21/35 published on 8 Comments on Early Retirement 21/35

Embassy Guard HQ:

Birch: Okay, we all saw the authorization to open the gates for a med wagon . . . Do we know who . . . ?

Kokum: Yeah — was it Sir Thorn’s booty call? Or was it somebody we don’t care about?

Senna: Oi! We care about everyone!

Birch: Senna’s right, Kokum.

Kokum: Senna only thinks that because she’s a hoarder, Birch.

Senna: Am not!

Kokum: How many non-charged spelltech crystals do you have in storage?

Senna: Enough that if I need one, I’ll ‘ave something to charge!

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I know a lot of this dialogue is for humor value, but wow they’re doing poorly at reading how much distress it’s causing their commanding officer. 🙁

I know a lot of people who are poor at reading distress in other people. Thinking about it a bit, that includes pretty much everybody I know reasonably well who is or has worked in physical security. I understand that there are people in physical security who *have* to be good at reading people, I just don’t know anybody well who is in that particular physical security role. But that would explain why those people I know of who are in a role where they need to be good at understanding other people are so highly paid.

To be clear, Thorn is in one of those roles, but commanding officer isn’t the only physical security job that requires being able to understand other peoples’ emotional states.

As someone who worked in physical security and is bad at reading distress unless I really look for it, it’s easier to react in rational ways to genuine dangers, upsets, and circumstances and adopt a fact-based approach when you don’t pay overt attention to who might be stressed (or pretending to be) or calm, or otherwise. The extra information can get in the way and is an easy avenue for manipulators to exploit by distraction, which fails utterly when only the facts that matter in the moment are considered. There are probably security jobs where the emotions are facts that matter, but mine wasn’t one of them. I was guarding building, property, and mostly-asleep residents, and I didn’t have overlapping shifts with coworkers.

One could argue that Thorn’s coworkers are joking to maintain impartiality, or nudge Thorn a little on his lack thereof.

…Seeing Thorn’s reaction, combined with what Leif said on the last page..
And the fact that the chapter is called Early Retirement..

I don’t think Torsten took that fall quite well.. Might be that they’re not picking up an injured person..

I’m aware this comic tends to not get THAT bleak, but.. I’m left wondering nonetheless.

Me, seeing Kokum: *GLaDOS voice* Oh, it’s you.

In regards to Torsten’s status, when I really think about it, having him pass away earlier or on the way to/at the hospital makes more thematic sense. This isn’t a bleak comic, as Some Other Guy said, but it doesn’t shy away from serious topics and is realistic in regards to them, even if fantasy elements and a good bit of humor are involved. The modern day slavery aspect of Sønheim society isn’t exactly glossed over and it’s not that far-fetched for someone to lose their life as a result of it, especially an elder.

That said, the point can still be made without having him die! If his injury is serious enough for a call to the hospital, it should alter his life in a severe and negative way; not preferable to death but worse quality of life, even compared to servitude. I’m just leaning more towards the dead theory because I’m predisposed to imagine worst case scenarios and thinking about slipping in the bathroom is something I deal with a lot…

Anyway, I’m at the edge of my seat here! This isn’t as complex as the time travel stuff, but WOW is it tense! You really know how to start off a new volume lol

I just realized I’ve been mixing up Marula and Kokum, not just because of their similar appearances, but because they’re both TERRIBLE people. Yes, Marula doesn’t work here anymore, and Kokum is an asshole on PURPOSE, but at first glance (and first dialogue), I have consistently thought they were the same person.

I might have mild faceblindness (like Laurel, though not as severe) and now I’m wondering if it can carry over to comics…

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