Undead Prince wrote:The first 2 panels show Jill and Tram both very eager to have a word with C (Xin did a great job with conveying the character and mood of J and T in these panels,
Hmm, I can agree with that. The art is in fact nice, and on second look I do like the contrast between Tramennis's smile and Jillian's scowl.
Great, so panels 1-2 are safe.
and from a storytelling POV this neatly ties up their preceding storylines).
This I don't agree with. The storylines will be wrapped up when the conversations with Charlie happen, and not before. These panels start a storyline instead of ending int.
What I meant was, this ties in
the storylines together
; they are not resolved yet, but they have converged into one place/one time.
Charlie, however, is "on another call" which is MORE important than talking to the leaders of his two greatest allies.
Either more important or just that it was there first. After all, as far as anybody knows, neither Jillian nor Tramennis's calls are urgent.
doesn't know yet how urgent the calls are. And judging from the situation, and the behaviour of the leaders, and the fact that Charlie's position is very precarious, they could be very urgent indeed. Yet Charlie prefers to focus on his ongoing communication instead of putting it on hold. Thus, it is more important than anything his two allies might have to say.
Hasn't the arkendish looked like this every time we see it? I didn't notice any difference between this image of it and the image on the wiki.
The wiki image is another rare instance of the Arkendish in action (it's being used to send Charlie's thinkagram).
Have a look at the iconic rendering of Charlie's stronghold here: http://www.erfworld.com/book-2-archive/?px=%2F2010-03-12.png
. Note that the Dish is not glowing.
Yeah, that's what he does. Uses the arkendish to do thinkagrams. That's not news. You're making a big deal out of Charlie's everyday MO.
Unless he's using it to intercept a thinkagram. Which is a big deal indeed, especially for Wanda's force.
Since thereafter we cut to Parson and Wanda having a thinkagram call, this strongly suggests that C's Arkendish can be used to listen in on other people's Thinkagrams, which is a very serious power as the discussion on this topic shows.
If that is the case, it is indeed important. I hope it's not, because I think it would make the story worse and not better; that certainly isn't a case for liking the update. (Especially since the implication is fairly weak; I certainly didn't read it that way the first time, I just saw two independent storylines. Though that could be wishful thinking.)
Well, the linkage between Charlie being on another call (more important than the rulers of his two allied sides) with the glowing arkendish, on one hand, and Parson sending Wanda the lowdown of his genius plan, on the other, is just too prominent to ignore.
It makes the story more interesting and involving, because it shows that:
a) Charlie has some aces up his sleeves, and is an opponent to truly be reckoned with; this is especially valuable after the decrypted Archons spilled their guts and much of Charlie's mystique has been broken;
b) Parson's ingenuity is not a panacea, it can be countered by the Arkendish's power of tapping communications. After all, if the enemy knows your plan, the plan's value plunges.
This creates higher tension and a more heated conflict, thus sharpening the plot. After all, it wouldn't be that interesting if Parson's plan simply went through flawlessly.
There is, however, another possibility: Charlie might be calling Wanda.
I find it less likely because Wanda is presumably engaged in a conversation with Parson. However, Charlie might be "on hold", or there might be a slight time discrepancy between panels 1-3 and the rest of the page.
This also points out, as has been noted, that Charlie can't do two things at once, and while he's using the Arkendish everything else has to wait.
The phrase "Please hold" has been a staple of Charlie's repertoire since we first met him. We're not learning anything new about his capabilities here.
If you are referring to B1P89, Charlie responded immediately: Parson wasn't truly put on hold but rather transferred straight away by the "telephonist" archon. Here, though, is one instance when Charlie would probably really want
to talk with both Tramennis and Jillian, but physically can't
due to being engaged with the Arkendish. So it serves as veritable proof that C is no Caesar and can't do stuff while playing with the Dish (as opposed to just being a jerk and letting his clients marinade a while before talking to them).
Charlie spent an entire *turn* out of contact with his archons, and the consequences weren't catastrophic at all.
When exactly was that? I'd assume all Archons are in reach of Charlie's thinkamancy. And in any case, Charlescomm wasn't under attack at the time, merely performing its usual mercenary duties. Nothing dangerous about this situation, and archons may have been allowed to deal with it using their own Leadership abilities (which some of them randomly possess).
A full-scale, coordinated assault on Charlescomm by a powerful force would be another bag of beans entirely. It would require a response that is both strategic and tactical, and insofar we know that Charlie doesn't have Warlords (including a Chief Warlord), or anything resembling Warlords (judging by the uncertainty with which the decrypted archons treated Parson). So in the absence of direct commands from Charlie, his entire force may be rendered helpless in terms of strategy and tactics. They might function as independent small units, but without the large-scale coordination needed to win a war.
We know that Archons can operate with autonomy, such as the group led by Jaclyn in TBfGK. Anything that we 'learn' here will have to be repeated more explicitly anyway, or already has been repeated more explicitly.
Again, this is the autonomy of a small elite unit given a specific task. We already know archons may be confused by some situations (e.g. how to treat a warlord). There is really nothing to suggest that without Charlie holding them together they'd be able to act like a real army.
Parson "emphasized" something that was already clear before. It kept the tension - of course it kept the tension, nothing changed so the tension stayed where it was.
All Parson said about the plan (page 36) is that it will be a bloodbath. Well, now we know exactly what he meant by that. Also, there's the plot requirement of transmitting the plan to Wanda (which is probably a corollary of Charlie intercepting the transmission). We needed to learn Wanda's reaction as well (i.e. would she be eager to follow Parson's unorthodox stratagem). Finally, Parson's heated description of the dangers further underscores his care for the units in Jetrock airspace. All things considered, that's a lot of info in a few small panels.
(Also, they're dwagons, not dragons
I've always felt a little uncertain about this mispronounciation thing. It's cute, but sometimes feels... a bit out of place. So I occasionally choose to use the "normal" spelling, e.g. "dragons" (since that's what they are, cuteness notwithstanding).
I'll quote the panels I'm referring to.
1) "She says this is fated to work. I hope she's right."
2) "But... I hope it does work."
How on earth do you get anything out of that about "how much he cares for the force"? All it shows is that he hopes he wins (duh, of course he hopes to win, every general in every battle ever hopes to win.)
You forgot the "Not really, no" between 1) and 2) - Parson's reply to Maggie, which is crucial in understanding the flow of the conversation. Parson shows that he hopes his plan will succeed not out of reverence to Wanda's fatalistic notions, but because he wants these people to make it out alive.
If anything, that's shown in the panels where Wanda has a conversation with Parson, not in the panels afterwards.
Yes, it's also shown in the panels with Wanda. There, Parson stresses he wants them out alive. WIth Maggie, he clarifies WHY he wants them out alive.
Fair enough, on second look I agree with that point. ... Okay, I'll grant you that one too. Panels 4-9 are in fact pretty good.
Great. That's 11 panels out of 12 so far. Only one left is #3 - the Arkendish, which is probably negligible. Good to see that you've adjusted your position regarding this page 8=)
Maggie's trouble with Wanda is that Wanda believes into predestination according to some divine plan, of which every person is merely a toy. After hearing Parson's conversation with Wanda, and realising how much he cares for that woman, Maggie is afraid that Parson may be swept by Wanda's idee fixe, and her skepticism is emphasized by the wonderful facial expression Xin puts on her.
I agree that there COULD be a deep point there, like the one you're reading into it. Unfortunately, the way the dialogue is structured, the point that comes across is a far more shallow one - Parson says "I hope she's right that we'll win." Maggie tries to take it in a philosophical direction - fate and predestination and all that - but Parson has none of it, brushing that off with a simple "Not really, no." When he said "she said this is fated to work, I hope she's right" he didn't have anything in mind about predestination or fate or all that. And goes back to what he meant to say - "But... I hope it does work."
I think you need to read into the expressions more, and also attempt deeper empathy with the characters. As it is, your perception appears to lack this depth sometimes. Like, you know there's a libretto for every opera; but if you only read the libretto, and ignore the opera, although you'll have a general idea of the plot you will miss the nuances of character and emotions which will actually ruin the entire experience and may lead to false conclusions and misunderstandings.
The dialogue in the final panels is purposefully laconic. Not everything has to be said in words - or can
be said in words, for that matter. Sometimes you have to decode the unspoken messages. And Maggie does it just fine, that's why her expression of dry sarcasm suddenly changes to one of genuine pity.
Nope, still disagree there.
You are entitled to the opinion, of course. On some aspects, future updates will show who's right. On others, it's a matter of personal perception.