Time to sink that ship. Sexual desire in Guilded Age often takes a back seat to matters of more pressing importance, and in Penk and Strulk’s case, it was only ever meant to serve as a marker for who he was and how he would change. A newly minted demigod has no more need to impress Regina George. Which is not to say the Fireseye pushes you beyond all sexual or romantic desire, as Penk will prove eventually and others will prove much sooner.

“I was chosen” was Payet Best’s line, once, but for Penk, the use of the passive is the important part. As I said to Phil then, “If there’s one distinguishing quality that Penk has that qualifies him for Captain America status, it’s humility. Captain America is a symbol, a living legend… to an outsider. Steve gets comfortable with that eventually, as Penk may. But in his own mind, he’s nobody special: he just signed up for this job because somebody had to and he couldn’t not.”

Rana looks like he’s even more closed off in that last frame than Goblaurence is. I think it’s because he’s posing for the benefit of the crowd like Auraugu is, but I’m not sure. Rana will be hard to read basically until he’s forced to end his denial of Yalaria’s fate and confront his grief.

After a week’s delay, I’ve published Act II, Scene I of Shakespeare’s Trump. It features Mark Zuckerberg, and returning cast members include “Karen” and a modern-day Russian spy. I’m aiming to have the next scene out sometime on the 6th, and I know what happens in it, but writing it’s going to be tough.