This was our actual eight-year anniversary page. We’d always stopped the story to mark the event with an Adventurer’s Illustrated before, but this time we didn’t want to lose the momentum. It ran without an FB ad.

As I said before, I wasn’t too impressed with Jarvis’ claims that he and the Altruists had engineered everything about Gastonia’s situation up to the Altruist coup. But the closer he gets to defeat, the more I find myself respecting him. He’s deeply flawed and arguably villainous, but he does have one heroic quality: he will never, ever yield to despair, no matter how hopeless things look.

If not for him, this war would probably have been over days ago. And if Taro’s coup had failed and Iwatani Sr. was still running things, who knows? The Rebels would still have the super-power advantage, but that’s a lot of their offensive capability concentrated in the bodies of a few poisonable people. Jarvis might’ve held the line long enough to hire a few assassination squads or figure out some other counter. He might have 1 in 10 odds of victory or an acceptable stalemate.

But there’s only so much that even the greatest generals can do when sabotaged by their own chief executives.