Panel 1: Wait, not “rekt”? What was up with that?

Presumably, Iwatani retains some channels of communication with the Cultists. He had to have set this up with them, because otherwise his plan makes no sense. Brother Tom might say that Iwatani owes the Cultists their promised immunity after they already helped Iwatani out. They destroyed Pardo’s economic base, removing him as a political obstacle to Iwatani’s plans. But Brother Tom isn’t running things any more, and what Cultists remain are under new management.

Iwatani may’ve expected them to be without purpose and easily manipulated, but Brother Dedalus is as sure of himself as Tom was. However, the goal of eliminating the Peacemakers aligns nicely with both their interests at present. (Wish we could’ve worked in an Iwatani-HR scene, but with everything else we had going on, it never got past outline status.)