Stuff I like: The resolution of the E-Merl plot, which makes pretty apt use of his character. The Seinfeldian way the various threads of this tale are starting to intersect, with Bandit and Rachel’s little project making Byron do a pratfall and the garden work, rescued from the ash, then getting ruined by Syr’Nj fleeing her own experiment. The decision to do Rachel and Bandit’s scene as an illustrated song.

Stuff I don’t: I was shooting for a sort of experimental approach to narrative with the burning ash in the garden, almost making fun of the whole idea of planting and payoff… and I don’t think the result worked for anyone, not least because the reader doesn’t care about the garden that much.

Also, Fr’Nj and Scipio aren’t really delivering on the promise of this story much. Everyone else is doing stuff we rarely or never get to see them do otherwise, but Fr’ipio? Yep, they’re still fuckin’! Just like they were in that other big scene of theirs and will be in another scene after this! There are a few more chores involved, but that’s not enough to constitute a radical departure or much of a conflict, low-stakes or otherwise. I should maybe have paired Fr’Nj off with Kur’Ik and done a little “what Scipio does when no one’s watching” joke.