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The Show Must Grow On (Act II) 43/55

The Show Must Grow On (Act II) 43/55 published on 13 Comments on The Show Must Grow On (Act II) 43/55

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Thorn: Kale, this is Sven Nibelungsen. I am bodying his guard today. Minister, this is Kale. He speaks better Sønska than I do.

Sven: Good for you! But we can use Ceannic.

Kale: Thanks.

Thorn: There’s no getting out through the vines by now, but don’t worry — there’s a mage on the way.

Kale (thinking): Okay, obviously Thorn didn’t agree to cut off the bracelets. Why can’t I remember how he turned me down? Was he sympathetic, just unwilling to break that much protocol? Or was he horrified on a personal level?

Violet: Did you say a mage? Where’d you get the intel?

Thorn: Um . . . weird, now that you ask, I’m drawing a blank.

Kale (thinking): I would’ve remembered if he was horrified . . . right?

Thorn: Must’ve been one of the people we ran into from the next box.

Audience member: Is she a friend of yours, or . . . ?

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Here’s a thought Kale, maybe you don’t deserve to lose those things ever.

Let’s have some empathy, eh?
Kale did wrong, but he’s out on parole. Hell, he’s working for the government living in housing for government employees and trusted in public unescorted. He felt morally square with “cut them off for now, save ALL the people, and I’ll submit to having bangles put back on later.” and now…
He’s still bangled. That’s okay. It was a long shot anyway…
“Why can I not remember? Am… am I suffering from memory loss? Is this another thing for me to constantly worry about on top of the hallucinations? Or did Thorn react so viscerally that I blocked the memory out?”

Tell that to everyone who knew the people he slaughtered less than six years ago.

As much as some may want, the victim’s family does not have the right to mete out their prefered form of ‘justice’, or harry someone who was found guilty, and has served or is serving their sentence. We have a justice system to keep punishment impartial.

I wouldn’t call Kale’s actions Slaughter until/unless we learn more. Slaughter is a stronger word than Murder. Slaughter implies things about the act. Slaughter is what the farmer does to his livestock. Slaughter is what the forest ranger does to a rabid animal. Slaughter is the wolf pack descending on the herd, cutting down the diseased and infirm.

Kale chose to call his crime ‘Murder’. he could have tried to softball it and say it was involuntary manslaughter or negligent homicide: frame himself as careless, not cruel. He is taking responsibility that may not be his. Thorn, in his own thoughts, informs us that canine soulbonds tend to be assigned to those whose trauma is related to manipulation. Kale says that the bracelets are still in place for a good reason, but when he commited the murders, he wasn’t himself. It wasn’t his PTSD, or the hallucinations, or anything else he still has.

Okay, c’mon, you’re starting to sound like a broken record. There’s no new information in this strip, so I already knew your opinion wouldn’t have changed…there’s no need to reiterate it on every strip just because Kale was in a panel, you know?

Yknow, it’s kinda interesting how we’ve all formed our own opinions based on things we’re just sort of assuming are true. We’ve gotten more information in this arc, yeah… but we still don’t know the full story.

On a vaguely related but different note, (cups Kale’s cheeks) who hurt you like this, you’re worth so much more than whoever or whatever broke your self esteem told you, it’s OK sweetie it’ll get better

…and on that note, you just gave me an idea for a new poll.

(It’s even more fascinating to the person who knows the Real Backstory, believe me…)

Having taken the poll, I found myself thinking about what “sympathetic” means. Even if his behavior in The Incident was entirely him under his own power and entirely him being the world’s most wrong-headed murderous jerk (the asshole at the aquarium dialed to 11 and with the power to back it up), I am sympathetic to his current status as someone who is making zero excuses for his past behavior, going to his court-ordered therapy, and generally trying to make good.

I have the utmost sympathy and respect for people who can admit their mistakes and make sincere attempts at restitution without any entitled demands for people to forgive and forget (which he has never asked for where we can see it). Not saying he should be taken off parole or that his victims’ families should be asked to make nice, just that he is behaving with honor and humility in a situation he can’t correct with time travel.

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