Aha, I forgot that Rabbit did sort of sneak a little crush-confession into panel 2 here. In an earlier draft, Bandit noticed this and tried to gently discourage it: here, she might just excuse it as Rabbit being himself. (“Who knows, maybe he’s ac’shally talkin’ t’ the deer that just ran past us, wouldn’t put it past his whole free-‘ssociatin’ shtick.”)

In any case, this will be the high point of the Brandbit ship: mutual terror and slight suspicion will alienate them for the rest of their time alone together.

Between Byron strangling Brother Tom, Brother Tom’s death-laugh here, and a horror from the end of this chapter that we’ll reflect on in the next, I’m starting to think a little piece of the original host personality does shape the actions of berserkers. Not that that’s enough to keep them from trying to kill everyone, but it makes the whole thing that much more macabre.