I wrote most of this chapter up to this point; Flo wrote most of the material that came after it. But this is definitely the most “me” page in this chapter: dense and efficient, with a vaguely Alan Moore-inspired layout and narration. All about thoughtfulness right when you’d expect to see some action, or at least heated verbal conflict.

But in this case, that’s the point. There’s no conflict left to have, except the final one. Penk and Gondolessa have both hoped to avoid or somehow avert that conclusion, but Harky knows better. As soon as he heard that the very Peacemakers he killed were now back in his land under flag of truce…he knew what that meant.

So the two trolls argue as little as possible now…there’s maybe a subtle joke about Gram’s stew here, a reference to the Corruptor Beast whom the “enemy” helped kill there, but they’re keeping it civil, enjoying their bond. One of them is a condemned man enjoying his metaphorical last meal, and the other is savoring a few more moments with a loved one before saying goodbye forever. But which is which? Neither knows for sure. In the end, Tectonicus will choose.

FB: Talk is only cheap when you aren’t worried it’s the last real talk you’ll have.