The Cultist chapter’s cover had a tunnel theme, but here we have an escaping-the-tunnel theme with a benign settlement behind it, which might look vaguely upbeat until you realize that we’re seeing the perspective of that “Beast” everyone’s been talking about and not actually seeing for, geez, roughly four chapters and the better part of a year of your lives. It’s here! Finally! This is happening!

As I said, I was somewhat disengaged with Guilded Age after the row over the the last J.J.-Xanna scene, but we still did some back-and-forth on the outline and collaborative script. Generally speaking, the quieter scenes here are mine and the louder ones are Flo’s.

Admittedly, the whole chapter feels like one giant action set piece, but that’s only until you pull it apart a little. And that’s what annotations do best! They’re like matter-destroying tentacles, in that way.