I appreciate the poetic paradox that Chrissie’s breaking out in panel 3, enough to say to her, “Yeah, that sounds like it can’t possibly be true, AND YET…”

But Xan, while more paranoid than I am, is strangely also chiller than I am, and panel 4 is one place where his low-key nature serves him well. Another kind of nerd would’ve doubled down on his general mistrust of authority and refused to give an inch until the other side conceded or the shouting match was exhausted. But as he did earlier with Shanna, Xan knows how to make peace with an individual by guiding them back to tasks that will help them with their goals.

It’s not that he doesn’t have emotions (and if he’s somewhere on the autism spectrum, he’s not as far into it as he comes across). But still waters run deep with him.