FB: ‘Twould bite the stock of Apple without sin, / ‘Twould bring a Heav’n to Earth through waters pure, / Or so she dreamt; but once that Choice was made / The woman nam’d for song was mark’d in dreams / And would descend, as sure as sun must set.” –John Milton, PARADIGMS LOST

Some of Carol’s efforts in panel 1 are about convincing herself as well as Shanna, which echoes the last time that she and Shanna talked face to face. She’s trying to find her courage, the borderline-fanatical faith that’s guided her through all this blood and nightmare. Surely the businesswoman in her knows that Shanna and Xan are the least receptive audience imaginable for that “transcends all paradigms” buzzwordese.

Recognizing this, she changes tacks mid-panel and appeals instead to Shanna’s practicality. But she’s working off old notes. The Shanna who was useless with a gun is no longer with us. And she hasn’t been for a while now.