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Through Lights and Shadows 18/39

Through Lights and Shadows 18/39 published on 25 Comments on Through Lights and Shadows 18/39

Pas: What. What.

D10: Good! Keep him there while I —

Pas: No! Nobody moves until I understand what’s going on!

Dex: Pas, listen to me. That man over there — who’s trying to transform —

He needs to be killed, and it needs to happen now, and I don’t have time to tell you why!

Pas: I can see that! You obviously “haven’t had time” to tell me about a lot of things!

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Well Pas is gonna feel real silly when she realizes this was a “need to know” kind of job.

Having the excuse of “it’s need to know” isn’t going to magically erase years of having your sibling as a confidant, being there for them through what you THOUGHT was all of their big life milestones and trials, and trust that you knew who they are, what they stand for, how they think. This isn’t about a secret agent job. It’s about suddenly having a shady stranger living inside the skin of someone you confidently trusted. If you can’t trust this person, what else can’t you trust? Your friends? Your superior officer? Yourself?

That’s a funny way to phrase “unauthorized vigilante mission.” You really think she’s gonna feel silly when she finds out that the information she wasn’t supposed to have is information Dex wasn’t supposed to have either?

Watch as Pas was already read-in on the Secret Order of Monster Hunters and she’s cross that Dex blew their ‘cover’ in the abstract… But also angry that they used her as an ‘in’ without prior explanation?
“I mean, fill me in just a little, sib! I could have provided a distraction, or made excuses while you slipped away with your target after getting the blockers on him instead of falling back on ‘Stab all the witnesses!'”

Responding in order:

Kiwi: No, but it’s real. I had a great-uncle that couldn’t tell anyone in the family what he did for CIA, and even on his deathbed he didn’t say anything. As for trust, you’d be amazed at how malleable that concept can be.

Allan: Need to know as in, “You don’t have the authority or clearance to know your family is part of this group.”

Khyrin: Possible, but Pas is too much of a clean slate for the Secret Order of Monster Hunters usual schtick. Given her personality, she’s so much of a true believer in right that she’d blow the whistle the second she was read in.

My grandfather worked at Los Alamos immediately after WW2, setting up the computer lab, and he never said what he did. I only found one article that he published during that time, about the geometry of toroids if I recall.

On the other hand, although locations of offices and who works where were classified, spouses would wave at each other through the windows.

My website link is to a biography of Grandpa Hammer that someone put online in 2013. It is generally in agreement with my information.

Ok Thorn, go for the full truth dump (including Kale’s original identity). No way Dex could trump that (there probably could be a way they could trump that, but I just woke up).

The short version is probably better.

Kale is under the government’s protection because he has obvious useful potential, despite having been manipulated into doing some bad things. Some of those bad things happened to Dex’ wonderful husband.

Note that it starts out with asserting Dex is doing something contrary to the will of the government. Pas is clearly not someone who opposes what her employer decides, at least most of the time. It also is careful about the state secrets it reveals.

Erin probably has wording that’s more succinct and/or less revealing along these lines. But if Thorn went the way you’re suggesting,

1. It’d take too long.
2. It would give Dex more openings.
3. Thorn would get in trouble regardless of how this turned out beyond that.
4. There’s more risk of Pas deciding that Dex is right. I mean, Kudzu is a very well known major villain, so gut reactions are more likely.
5. Probably other issues I’ve not even considered.

The second-to-last panel’s closeup on Dex’s heartdagger is really neat. It implies to me it’s what Pas is focusing on, that her sibling who “works a museum job” in fact went through heartsword training and pulled the Sneaky Sneak Untrustworthy Spy blade, and this ties into what Pas says in the last panel.

Honestly, I feel like this could be explained with “That’s Kudzu, the mass murderer. He’s incredibly dangerous and can’t be allowed to live.” Maybe a follow-up of “specifically, that’s the man who hurt my husband.” That would probably make it clear the motivation is revenge, so probably not a good idea to lead with that but not hard to explain in a quick way.

There’d still be follow-up questions but it’d explain Dex’s motivations. I think the REAL issue here is that Dex is so used to lying that even a sliver of truth is hard to give out. And while that explanation probably wouldn’t be sufficient, it would definitely be better than “No time to explain!” when Pascentia definitely DESERVES an explanation. Pascentia clearly recognizes that this is a pattern, and giving some of the truth up front would have helped regain her trust…

Kudzu is not only known. He’s also known to be DEAD. Telling her it’s Kudzu is not just something she has no clearance for, it’s also not exactly convincing.

And I think Dex made a mistake telling her they want to KILL him. Pascentia would really want to know what’s going on if bad call may result in someone’s dead.

I’m pretty sure Kudzu is not, in fact, known/”known” to be dead.

1. In Level Up 3/14, Rowan uses present-tense “to be” for Kudzu’s affinity, right next to past-tense for Telga.

2. In Campaign Season and A Night To Remember 23/33, the phrasing is “organized the control of the Kudzu problem” and “got Kudzu under control”.

3. Kudzu being “known to be dead” would make it more complicated to later bring him out as Definitely Reformed And On The Side Of The Law We Promise, and that just seems silly when “in prison, undisclosed location” is a much less liary lie.

Even stronger confirmation: in the “wings” storyline Rhodey says “you know Kudzu isn’t really kept in prison, right?” rather than “you know he isn’t really dead, right?”

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