Syconium
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October 8th, 2017






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106 . by: November 10, 2017, 5:20 pm

Preposterous, if that's what they'd claim. The VD, selfish as he may have been, still cared just enough about his stock to sate his pred fetish.




I still believe the former a sound argument but no, however I feel about reformation over punishment does not mean someone just "Going Free" completely. To save others and one's self is like Eckhart's Hell to me. Reformation still requires the revocation of societal privileges until a time may come that they can appreciate what was taken.



But tragic as it may be for me, sometimes a person has to be killed if there is no other way to stop them in the heat of the moment. As against life sentences as I am, again, some people have caused so much widespread death that they can never re-enter society. Norway has no Life Sentence, but Andre Breivik is never leaving the confines of a prison.


But most people are not Andre Breivik. They do match either that will or ability to be that destructive. Toxic as Streaks may be, he is not that scale of monster. Abhorrent and needing to be stopped all the same, that ghoul is just an intimate malevolence in a very small corner.
105 . by: November 9, 2017, 6:21 pm

Yeah, but as you said, his past doesn't excuse an ounce of it. If "but they've been through so much" was a sound argument, a lot of dangerous people would go free.

But as far as what I meant by that post, my meaning was not as deep as you tok it. Someone was blaming the VD for Sherry attacking Fig, and for multiple other negative occurrences, refusing to believe Green is an antagonist. Now, with the VD gone, there will be no confusion as to who gave the order.
104 . by: November 5, 2017, 2:04 am

No.

Someone's influence doesn't just end after they die. What Streaks has perpetuated, his former pimp initiated in the first place.

As bad as all this already was, Fig Trees had his brother use his Rational connections to force his business proposal on them.

I am not excusing Streaks, but the point remains:

This society that built the circumstances which determined the instincts and nature of all the parties involved here, it does not favor altruism. Not kindness. Not humility nor grace.

It favors power built upon oppression. The sheer force of will it would take for someone like Streaks to ignore that, and be better than that, is something you'd be lucky to find in one out of a million people.

Especially for someone like him. Because when someone has been punished by the strong for their weakness for as long as someone like Streaks has, when they are not man enough to meet toxic standards of masculinity and must shoehorn posture themselves into a subjective definition of it to stop being a victim...

And then all of a sudden, they've got all the power that their abusers used to have...

Are you just expected to, in an instant, ignore all that control and privilege?

As good and beautiful as that would be, and for all the potential someone like Streaks has to do so, the simple truth about power is that it becomes so logical, so rational, so common sense, that it cannot be dismissed.

If one person, in a room full of hundreds says the world is not flat, they're wrong. If they argue while a gun is pointed at them that 2 + 2 = 4, the lead will win the argument. If you were too weak to protect yourself then you deserved what happened. And that's not how it should be. That's not even close to the reality of things. It's all wrong. But all that matters, is that it's accepted.


And you can tell yourself it's no measure of health to be well adjusted to a sick society, but at the end of the day you're still punished for it.

I'm not perfect. and as broken as I am, I cannot begin to tell you just how I'm still as intact as I am. I can't tell you how I'm not like Streaks. All I know is that the temptation is so strong, most people can't cope with it. I am incredibly lucky that I have.
103 . by: November 3, 2017, 6:39 pm

The VD's ghost is possessing Green!! It's all a plot!!!
102 . by: November 2, 2017, 10:51 am

At least now when terrible shit happens nobody can claim the VD was behind it lmao. It's all on Green now.
101 . by: October 9, 2017, 3:40 pm

@99, I think so, but for a different reason, I think. Green wants power. I'm pretty sure VD was doing it to "defend" the girls from the strict ideas his brother and Green have. Still, murder is murder.
100 . by: Blazic October 9, 2017, 2:10 pm

Question: Why does Greenie look green again, have they shed their winter coats or is it just the light tricking me?
99 . by: October 9, 2017, 11:18 am

so the VD was also trying to be the only boss as well?
98 . by: October 9, 2017, 12:30 am

Fig Trees is definitely going to shit now that he's in charge. The employees are going to be absolutely miserable.
97 . by: October 8, 2017, 7:28 pm

oh yeah, fig is definitely dead at this point.
96 . by: October 8, 2017, 6:40 pm

All I can think about is how much deep shit all of the workers are in, now that Greenie is in charge. Seems like AÁaŪ and Fig will be in for the worst of it.
95 . by: Budgie October 8, 2017, 5:49 pm

Zack has said before that one of his goals in making this comic was to have a webcomic that wasn't just glaringly obvious/stupidly easy to read; he wanted people to think things over and not have them just handed to them on a silver platter. To my personal reading, the scene very much implied VD killed off his own brother and tried to kill XY.

XY was on to this, with the remark about how stoat noses are better than rat noses, showing that he knew something was up, and he knew who had handled the poisoned liquor. VD's conversation with Battery, talking about how he expected XY and his brother to kill each other sooner or later, entirely set up the situation.

That said, there may be a plot twist later, but I think it's fair to assume that VD poisoned the liquor, just like even before Zack weighed in, it was fair to assume XX killed VD in this page.
94 . by: October 8, 2017, 12:15 pm

i think the fact that you can still argue about whether the VD or asshole-XY killed the old boss makes it pretty clear how ambiguous the scene was.
93 . by: Corvidophile October 8, 2017, 12:04 pm

Add on: itís also by inside joke, every important character at least shares a portion of their scent code with a body style of motorcycle, I think. Last comment was also me.
92 . by: October 8, 2017, 12:01 pm

I donít know the individual slots, but conceptually itís by narrowing down, like taxonomy: mammal/bird/reptile etc, then mustelid/ursa/canine/feline, then stoat/least weasel/polecat, then individual people.
91 . by: October 8, 2017, 8:34 am

Question: how does scenting work? Is it by species?
90 . by: October 7, 2017, 9:22 pm

Well, it's fun to theorize anyway, even if you think so.
89 . by: Furrama October 7, 2017, 8:33 pm

I don't think so. I think this is pretty clear cut.
88 . by: October 7, 2017, 8:23 pm

He does also say "Or if they even destroy each other" so I GUESS he could have played off them both lying dead from poison as them trying to kill each other, but it's a stretch.
87 . by: October 7, 2017, 8:21 pm

Also, VD was having a conversation with Battery about suspecting that Greenie was going to kill BossRat at some point. This could have been to set up an "alibi" of sorts, but how would he ever get away with BOTH of them dying? If Greenie had died there's no way VD could have put them blame on Greenie, like his conversation seems to be a set-up for.
86 . by: Furrama October 7, 2017, 8:01 pm

The "Is that all that smell is?" wasn't the VD being suspicious of (E)XY, it was seeing if he'd say anything else/do anything about it. And everything (E)XY basically says is "I know what you did, back off or I WILL tell."
85 . by: October 7, 2017, 7:49 pm

(Page 131) VD also asked, with a very suspicious look, "Is that all that smell is?" as if he were suspicious that Greenie did something. If you view his shocked look as merely being shocked that Greenie is standing outside waiting for him, alone, looking very angry, you can read the whole scenario as two people who both assume the other did something that neither actually did, rather than the other interpretation.
84 . by: Furrama October 7, 2017, 6:52 pm

He's shocked to see him alive because he assumed he'd drink the alcohol too. And he would have, if not for the interruption.
83 . by: October 7, 2017, 5:58 pm

iíve just read a lot of mystery novels and this is a classic murder mystery, thatís all
82 . by: October 7, 2017, 5:57 pm

... Dammit mobile, double posting. Sorry about that.
81 . by: October 7, 2017, 5:56 pm

The VD looks wide eyed and shocked to see Green still alive, so I think it's safe to assume. VD wouldn't be wearing that expression otherwise.
80 . by: October 7, 2017, 5:56 pm

The VD looks wide eyed and shocked to see Green still alive, so I think it's safe to assume. VD wouldn't be wearing that expression otherwise.
79 . by: Furrama October 7, 2017, 5:43 pm

.... okaaaaay....
78 . by: October 7, 2017, 5:16 pm

@Furrama yeah thatís the face value explanation if you assume zack didnít put in any red herrings and misdirections. i think it does him a disservice to just assume
77 . by: Furrama October 7, 2017, 4:26 pm

@73 Reread pages 129-131. VD tried to kill both his brother and (E)XY with poisoned pine alcohol. (E)XY was distracted by Acai and didn't drink. (E)XY hid Scarface's body offscreen once discovered. When the VD arrived they both knew exactly what had happened and both knew the other knew and so came to a silent understanding to never speak of it again.
76 . by: October 7, 2017, 12:42 pm

i hope this doesnít turn into a ďyou fell asleep on the job and look what you let happen!!Ē situation for RG... i canít imagine what will happen when fig wakes up covered in blood. is smoothie going to show up today?? iím so excited i love this arc
75 . by: Witticaster October 7, 2017, 12:30 pm

Greenie's node manipulation reminds me of the early Mirror Dreams.

Also, I'm so glad RG is alive.
74 . by: October 7, 2017, 6:18 am

So much for sentries being there for the safety of the client, I guess?
73 . by: October 7, 2017, 4:06 am

Yeah the whole thing with BossRat is so weird, it's always been weird to me that people just take it at face value. They mentioned that the alcohol smelled weird so it HAS to be that BossRat was poisoned? Why did Greenie hide the body if he found it and had nothing to do with it? Why would he set up the charade of pretending with VD that BossRat is just away? Why have none of the brothel workers ever questioned where he's gone, surely they used to see him around occasionally? He knew them well enough to know that Lemon was the comedian, at least. Did they announce that he died at some point? Was there a funeral?

My guess is that VD thinks Greenie killed BossRat but isn't too upset about it, or at least decided he could work with it, and Greenie thinks VD killed BossRat and developed major paranoia about it, leading to this scenario here.

As it says in the Clue movie, though,it could have happened like this:

BossRat died. He was old and he just died. The events that played out between VD and Greenie are the result of the chaos of the universe.

Or it could have happened like this:

The fact that VD bought the alcohol is a red herring, but the alcohol WAS poisoned, by Chestnut, in a rage just after Apple's death. Chestnut, who left the brothel and managed to find employment, who visited the brothel wearing a cereal, the type of plant beer is made from. If the cereal plant was a symbol of her employment, it means she could have had access to the murder weapon AND motive.
72 . by: Juna October 7, 2017, 4:04 am

On the mini-whodunit with RG and the nodes, I think the color of the shock makes it clearer, when I read this over again. The only person we've seen create that special brand of lightning is Greenie, who we've seen wield it in page 161. Purple or magenta, signalling his lived experience on both ends.
71 . by: October 7, 2017, 3:14 am

IDK, he presumably hid the brothel owner's body too, since we never saw it again (yet?)
70 . by: October 7, 2017, 2:00 am

Allow me to add to that :

He'd have to zap everyone in the brothel, lest he risk someone see him carrying the body.
69 . by: October 7, 2017, 1:57 am

Or Green shocked RG AND Fig? That's what I assumed.
68 . by: Furrama October 7, 2017, 1:54 am

"Question". Comment. Bah.

(E)XY shocked him unconscious through the node on the wall.

As for Zack's "4 different ways" comment, I think all it means is that he hasn't decided between several exact events and we aren't going to probably be directly told in the text. So, you get to fill in the blanks!

Let me see. Here's the crime scene: He has several bite marks going down his back and on his back foot. It appears the bite on the back of his neck paralyzed him because he seems to have bled out alive (there's no blood spattered all over the sheets, just under his body in a pool). She appears undamaged but very much passed out ((E)XY doesn't wake her laughing or carrying the body out).

(Gonna get a bit crude but bear with me.) My guess is that she: 1. She gets off on the power trip, climaxes biting him from above and both pass out. 2. She was wrapped around him in such a way (long stoat is long) that there was penetrative sex but she had his neck and back skin in her mouth and she climaxed and he got extra chomped. Same as before, climax for her or both, they both pass out. 3. The VD shocks her once crap gets real and both pass out.

I can't think of a fourth scenario but those be me guesses.
67 . by: Furrama October 7, 2017, 1:33 am

Question 9 had already answered it.
66 . by: October 7, 2017, 1:31 am

Anyone have an answer for comment 34?
65 . by: October 7, 2017, 12:35 am

Consider:

Warrior Cats but it's nofna's universe
64 . by: October 6, 2017, 10:08 pm

One thing about Streaks, is the morbid juxtaposition between the reality of the situation and that first look on his face. The childlike amazement and the vindicated gladness.

The same kind of face you could imagine Caligula made when he had Gemellus executed.

Tiberius' catamite is now undeniably the imperator.
63 . by: October 6, 2017, 10:03 pm

All he's doing is taking out the trash.
62 . by: Witch October 6, 2017, 9:26 pm

Zack........... you can't just say "I've thought of four possible ways that VD meets (or met) his end in this scene." and leave us hangin'....
61 . by: October 6, 2017, 9:05 pm

I know the future of NofNA is in peril right now due to real life issues so I don't mean to add undue pressure, but an arc set during the integration period would be the most fantastic bit of literature I think ever.
60 . by: Furrama October 6, 2017, 8:53 pm

....

"SIR?!?? I HAVE A VISUAL!!!!"

"WHAT IS IT PRIVATE?"

"IT'S... A TORTOISE, SIR."

"ARE YOU $*@&@^! TRYING TO TELL ME A TURTLE SET OFF A NUCLEAR BOMB IN THE MIDDLE OF THE *@#&$ DESERT?!?!"

"NOT BY ITSELF. THERE'S A RABBIT WITH A HAT NEARBY. AND A BUNCH OF WHITE MICE IN LITTLE BLACK COATS. THEY HAVE CLIPBOARDS SIR."

"WHAT THE $#!T???!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!111!"

----

And uh, sorry. I thought a war or was mentioned near the beginning of Solar System but I just now realized that it was something else. "Anti-Space Movement." My brain tagged it wrong. Something something conflict.
59 . by: Zack October 6, 2017, 8:23 pm

Hi Furrama,

I don't remember there being a war, but there sure is a lot of diplomacy. The merge comes around 2250. Battles and style usage between animals are getting too advanced and dangerous. A big nuclear explosion is what finally tips off the rest of the world to their existence. After that, it takes them another few decades to integrate.

A bit of trivia... The year 2495 was chosen for Solar System because it's a year in which all of the planets are relatively on the same side of the sun. (Just not sure about Pluto, seeing as to how it was demoted, the program I used to track this movement didn't include it)
58 . by: Furrama October 6, 2017, 7:52 pm

@57 I think the main difference was the development of the halo. Being wild in this would, I think, would be like a human continuing to live a hunter/gatherer, pre-agricultural lifestyle, with a city like, over there, in the distance. You're still just as intelligent as someone who is "civilized", you've just had different opportunities or have made different choices.

I think the halo descending from on high or whatever really mucked up what it is to be "wild", honestly. You're now more than your body, no matter how you choose to live. But I guess that's where denial comes in?
57 . by: October 6, 2017, 7:10 pm

@Juna- Thank you, you worded that much better than I did re: 'tribal/civilized' society. That is an interesting point that it could be more like going off the grid than living exactly as wilds do. Although it's always been a bit of a mystery what exactly 'being wild' entails and what sort of structure would be involved in their way of living/how similar it would be to real life animals.
56 . by: Furrama October 6, 2017, 6:52 pm

Solar System happens a lot sooner in the timeline than I thought. What's the date for "first contact" between humans and the animals and integration? (And wasn't there a war?)

That's an interesting last sentence ya threw in there. I'm not sure I want to know. And yet....

But hey, God said he's dead so we don't have to go through the "IS NUTSEDGE DEAD?!?!" thing this time around.
55 . by: Zack October 6, 2017, 5:11 pm

Hi,

The seat of society is in the east. It expanded west through missionaries and caravans. I tend to think of a US analogue for each region:

10%+ = California/the Baja (2108)
Secretary = New York or Connecticut (2008)
Solar System = Oregon (2495)
Lycosa = One of the Carolinas (2014)
Syconium = Virginia (2150-2170)

I've thought of four possible ways that VD meets (or met) his end in this scene.
54 . by: Juna October 6, 2017, 5:10 pm

Loving the discussion here! I do find it interesting that society condemns carnivorism and murder almost by definition (I imagine it was the first Golden Rule), but individual animals also play with the idea of going wild. Arguably I don't think It's even a matter of going from complex society to tribal society, because even small-scale societies have norms and knowledge to pass down. They're societies too. But going wild in nofna is rejecting capital s Society. It feels more fundamental... like you're relinquishing the opportunity to be somebody in -any- society. Going hermit or off the grid seems closest to that idea.
53 . by: October 6, 2017, 4:32 pm

One of the major plot points of 10%+ was how taboo it was for Meader to have murdered Rule, and examining whether halo brain removal constituted murder. (Did Rule murder the coyotes, was Meander murdered before his body killed Rule?) Murder is absolutely taken seriously in this society. SV was only going to get expelled from school after killing TY because they assumed TY's death was ACCIDENTAL, as a learning student they assumed SV accidentally used more power than necessary. But after he started mindfucking all the people who went down to deal with him (and mangling/possibly killing the advanced class rat teacher) they sent in that blind hedgehog assassin to execute him. Murder is outside the law, even back in Secretary times (hundreds of years before this story.)
52 . by: October 6, 2017, 4:08 pm

I know Zack mentioned that the dawn of animal society started in the west and spread east, and since this comic is set in the future but in the north east it's not as advanced as it could be. Don't quote me on that, but I'm pretty sure that's what we said?
51 . by: Dani October 6, 2017, 3:06 pm

Re the extent of MeanGreen's ability to zap, I think he can only zap someone from a single close-by node, but multiple nodes nearby will get the color change--maybe even all the nodes in the brothel. My evidence is from a past page where he demonstrates his ability, and XX sees the color change from another room (her room).
50 . by: October 6, 2017, 2:41 pm

I understand that this is set past 10%+, but their society is still very different, and very new compared to human society (I assume? considering we see a rocket launch in 10%+ and humans don't recognize animals' sentience I would imagine that humans achieved sentience and built their society many thousands of years before animals).

They still have wild animals running around picking off 'civilized' (is that the term here?) ones, and 'civilized' ones that choose to return to the wild. I would imagine our equivalent would be like tribal people killing citizens or citizens choosing to go live with tribal people, which doesn't really happen in society in its current form. Maybe it'd be more equivalent to how it was a few hundred years ago before any technology was ever introduced.

There are some key differences that I think are of note. Obviously this society doesn't approve of murder, but they are still grappling with society and overcoming their base instincts, as Smoothie has commented on. Hell, Smoothie's entire shtick is him trying to resist the base drive for sex.
49 . by: October 6, 2017, 1:53 pm

Mega spoiler alert: just as all hope is lost, the ending involves Pomelo busting in wielding Battery like an electric nunchaku and with the VD strapped to her back, and busts a hole through the labyrinth freeing them once and for all.

Chestnut drives the getaway car.
48 . by: Witticaster October 6, 2017, 1:02 pm

...also, I agree with Furrama. 10%+ was set WAY before this story, and everyone in the entire society was absolutely grossed out at the idea of eating meat. Quintet the cat, whose main character flaw was that she was volatile and reactionary, showed zero signs of temptation with mice and birds scurrying all around her.

These characters COULD resist their instincts. They just aren't doing so.
47 . by: Witticaster October 6, 2017, 12:59 pm

Even if a person has all the willpower in the world, they're not going to be "able" to do something that's impossible. And, unfortunately, society has decided that it's impossible to resist one's base instincts. Even her medical doctor told her that stoats go feral with aggression if they don't get 'relief'. Doesn't matter if that 'fact' is really true - in NofNA world, your beliefs become reality.

This is really sad.

Echoing my concern at Greenie seemingly being able to Palpatine from any node.
46 . by: Furrama October 6, 2017, 12:41 pm

And this comic from the start as well. I'm seeing a lot of details getting overlooked or misrepresented in analysis.
45 . by: Furrama October 6, 2017, 12:39 pm

I think some of you would do well to reread 10%+ and Secretary.
44 . by: October 6, 2017, 12:07 pm

I don't think killing each other is as taboo for nofna animals. Plum mentioned killing and eating rodents in the wild, and in Secretary SV was just going to get expelled for killing the rat before he went off the rails completely.

Like, we've seen in other stories that domestic animals like cats and dogs participate in society. If you're a whippet and a rabbit starts running, it would be very hard not to chase it no matter how polite you are. And you might be pretty distraught after seeing what you did!

Btw for a similar story (though without the humor or martial arts) you guys might like the Ratha's Creature series, which is about sentient prehistoric cats trying to form societies.
43 . by: kuu October 6, 2017, 11:50 am

@30 I thought so too!
42 . by: October 6, 2017, 11:08 am

I think it is important to remember that this is a relatively new form of society. Animals are still battling their 'wild' sides and instincts while building a society they see as civilized. Even in real life human society we don't have ourselves under control.

People murder, mass murder, assault one another, devastate entire populations, do utterly vile things to one another. Most of us can suppress violent impulses, or don't have them at all, but there are those in society that are extremely dangerous, even people in power. Fig may be a similar case to these kinds of people, unstable and prone to violent outbursts. You can still blame the person, because they had the consciousness to prevent this kind of thing, but what makes people WANT to do these things? What makes people, in some cases, UNABLE to not do these things? I wonder how common this sort of thing is in their society, as a new one, still battling to get society on its feet and overcome their old instincts? Maybe it's more common than we think that animals lash out and kill one another.
41 . by: October 6, 2017, 10:40 am

@38 yep, kudos to Zack for making me hate his guts. :p
40 . by: October 6, 2017, 10:33 am

VD seems to have a gaping wound on the back of his neck (the stoat kill zone), but since his eyes are closed it really is impossible to say for SURE. Open, unresponsive eyes would be a dead giveaway (pun absolutely intended).

That said, the ability for Greenie to carry him off does heavily imply poor VD is deceased.

I'm happy that Greenie has at least managed to develop this witness-chloroform technique and we don't have to witness the death of poor RG... yet.
39 . by: October 6, 2017, 9:55 am

We're all operating as if it's a foregone conclusion, but I'm not entirely sure Fig has killed VD on this page. The red lighting in her room and the way they've fallen indicates that whatever style Greenie used on RG was also applied to Fig and VD, knocking them unconscious. And before Greenie shows up, RG doesn't seem at all bothered ó even in the throes of a predation fetish, wouldn't there be some noise from VD which might tip RG off?
38 . by: October 6, 2017, 8:54 am

As much as I dislike Green, we can't deny he's a really well written villain.
37 . by: hazard October 6, 2017, 8:25 am

Small consolation in that VD probably had the best sexy times of his whole life. If he liked predation, he got it.
36 . by: natoon October 6, 2017, 8:02 am

That begs the question: are we responsible for being the person we turn out to be? Is XX's burden to remain civilized greater than her mother's, or any other stoat? Who was the one who fed this "wolf?"
I'm thinking Society may always be beyond her grasp because of her actions, but she still has time to gain control of Fig. But, I'm not convinced that's what she really, REALLY wants. Self deception is the most dangerous kind of lie.
35 . by: October 6, 2017, 8:00 am

jeez that villain laugh
34 . by: October 6, 2017, 7:41 am

Is panel 5 RG getting zapped and losing consciousness, or is it him signaling for help and losing conciousness.
33 . by: October 6, 2017, 7:10 am

Yikes, poor VD.

Yeah I'm not seeing how Fig is even partly responsible here. She was getting treatment ffs, not her fault Greenie went and undermined it.
32 . by: October 6, 2017, 6:38 am

I think a big difference between XX and Green is that given the choice, she would choose not to commit this violence. Green not only chose this situation, but went through weeks of planning to make sure it would happen. He chose this awful outcome and delights in seeing the destruction it caused, both for XX and VD.

Don't get me wrong, XX has always been violent towards people when she loses control and should have taken steps to treat this tendency long ago. She shares responsibility for this, but she's still more of a patsy than a mastermind. That's why I certainly feel more sympathetic for her.
31 . by: October 6, 2017, 6:28 am

something about fig reminds me of ďThe Bell JarĒ
30 . by: Juna October 6, 2017, 5:58 am

At first I thought RG saw and sent out a message, then looked away distraught. But the last panel makes it clearer, to me at least, that he plum didn't know what happened to him.

It's interesting to think how exactly I'd preside over this situation if I were a judge in nofna society, like i was roleplaying an aspiring lawmouse. If estrus were the barely-contained peril of individual will, is Greenie the instigator purposely stoking XX's sexual pathology? How much should XX be charged for her manslaughter? Would I as a legislator looking from outside try to lobby for the demolition of Fig Trees in it's entirety, courtesan be damned? And that's all assuming a case like this caught on to society at large instead of being smuggled into obscurity, like Greenie is doing here. And It's also assuming current society doesn't already treat Fig Trees like a de facto wild, for its regard for the people there.

But I mean, that's me imagining an end of 10+% kind of hullabaloo. The court episode was an interesting thing to follow the battle, because it was like society was trying to figure out what direction to go in light of the conflict, which even the people who were involved and survived were struggling to make sense of.

Looking at XX's face, asleep and not yet aware of what she's done, really does make me feel sad, like Furrama said. For all the dualism we've seen go on in XX's psyche, It's still all bound up in the one person, who has to answer for the actions of both.
29 . by: October 6, 2017, 5:57 am

He'll get his comeuppance.
I hope.
28 . by: October 6, 2017, 5:53 am

To those who are interested in other stories that explore the "instincts vs. civilization"/"id vs. superego" theme, I highly recommend the manga, Beastars. It's like Zootopia but with a strong NofNA bent. It's what I've been reading in between Syconium updates and I think they sync together really well.
27 . by: Kaidona October 6, 2017, 5:07 am

It looks like the second to last panel is the Green Bean carrying the VD off elsewhere into the labyrinth while RG is still out cold.

URL : http://kaidona.deviantart.com
26 . by: October 6, 2017, 4:36 am

Oh crap sorry! My browser glitched
25 . by: October 6, 2017, 4:36 am

Could someone help me with the panel above the last? I think it's Greenie but I can't tell what I'm looking at
24 . by: October 6, 2017, 4:36 am

Could someone help me with the panel above the last? I think it's Greenie but I can't tell what I'm looking at
23 . by: October 6, 2017, 4:36 am

Could someone help me with the panel above the last? I think it's Greenie but I can't tell what I'm looking at
22 . by: kuu October 6, 2017, 4:35 am

people like Greenie because if they see him as a villain, some people love the villain

I guess a good thing out of this killing, in her freenzy she did not eat or try to eat any of the VD. the thing the wilds do. going wild in her freenzy. a blow to society's power?
21 . by: October 6, 2017, 4:33 am

I mean, they're animals. They try to be human but xx is still a stoat, and stoats eat rats
20 . by: Botany October 6, 2017, 12:40 am

1 and all the others bout to ask the same thing:

I don't like him, XX / fig, smoothie, anyone in this story. I cannot speak for Zach, but for me, this page seems to make it certain that you're not supposed to like anyone.

Sympathy does not equal Liking, the same as Liking in kind does not equal Loving, or rationalizing, realizing, does not equal excusing or condemnation equal blame.

I can condemn, without blaming and sympathize without liking. The same as I can understand without excusing. And I can still wish better for everyone, and want better. The same as I can for the people in our own world, whose inability to cope with their environment is something we have to live with on a daily basis.

We have to live with people like XX or Green. There's no other way around it, we have to live with them and be better than them. And quite honestly, maybe we ought to start mastering that, the same as we've mastered the skies and oceans and even the very genes that compose life.

If we can be the keeper of all these things, then why can't we become the keepers of our own blood? We can destroy this world a million times over in the name of a petty fucking instinct, so why don't we try to finally extinguish it?

Einstein never said the quote, but in regard to technology surpassing humanity, take one look at the news and tell me we don't need a Virgo Dawn. Tell me we don't need to reach that point where our humanity surpasses our technology?
19 . by: October 6, 2017, 12:15 am

sweet fucking jesus chriiiiiiiiiissssssstttttttt

we're in the endgame here, folks
18 . by: October 6, 2017, 12:11 am

Here's to hoping VD is only unconscious and will show back up later.
17 . by: October 5, 2017, 11:48 pm

It is hard not to feel some sympathy for her as our protagonist, but it is firmly and thoroughly established that she is dangerous. When she mauled Greenie and the other stoat, what was her excuse then? She wasn't particularly being deprived, she just 'got too into it'. She isn't in control of her violent or sexual impulses, and that makes her a danger to herself and others. She is both sympathetic and frustrating for sure.

And it goes without saying that this particular situation wouldn't have happened without Green's manipulation, but it is still Fig's actions. Wonder how she'll take it.
16 . by: Dani October 5, 2017, 11:44 pm

Though RG was dead until the last panel, and was like reeEEEE!

Overall a really great page. The use of lighting color really set the mood, and synced well with RG's actions. And the panel with Fig and the VD was really powerful, how they were lying there in front of Greenie.
15 . by: Furrama October 5, 2017, 11:40 pm

Yeah. That's why this is so sad @14. She's ultimately at fault for his death.

I think Zack is doing a good job because I want to both hug her and deck her in the face.
14 . by: October 5, 2017, 11:34 pm

Thinking of Fig's situation, all I can think of is "Are we to say we aren't in control of our own bodies? Criminals may scramble to use this as a defense."

I hate calling her a criminal since this was forced on her - Green used her like a puppet in his scheme. But she did just kill.
13 . by: October 5, 2017, 11:28 pm

So he just left XX laying there covered in blood while he whisks VD away to who knows where... very classy Greenie. Real class act here.

Also, I am incredibly concerned that he can zap anyone remotely from the nodes.
12 . by: October 5, 2017, 11:17 pm

Rat Brother: Down
VD: Down
Green: You're next
11 . by: Mutt October 5, 2017, 11:13 pm

Wow, this is one of the darkest pages yet.
10 . by: camila sc October 5, 2017, 11:12 pm

who would'd have known satan could assume stoat form?
9 . by: October 5, 2017, 11:02 pm

#8,

I think Greenie shocked RG unconscious. He's waking up after the fact.
8 . by: October 5, 2017, 10:59 pm

PS: is it me, or RG looks downcast after he sends the notice?
7 . by: Furrama October 5, 2017, 10:53 pm

I didn't take him for the "villainous laugh" type but there you go.

This was inevitable. But I'm still sad.
6 . by: October 5, 2017, 10:53 pm

Like things weren't bad enough already. I feel very badly for the workers.
And yet, this cowardly POS is considered "heroic" by some?
5 . by: October 5, 2017, 10:51 pm

And man, this could've been Smoothie if he'd been her next visitor instead of the rat. Or maybe Smoothie is still under the gun? Though he'd likely be able to defend himself better than the VD could have.

What a messed up situation.
4 . by: October 5, 2017, 10:49 pm

Well, now he's officially pressured Fig into a state where she murdered someone. I can't imagine how Fig will react to this. Will she even realize if she passed out shortly after?

Can't imagine what kind of hell the brothel is going to become in Green's hands.
3 . by: Kai October 5, 2017, 10:47 pm

He couldn't even kill the VD himself. He let Fig do the dirty work. What a coward.
2 . by: Kanya October 5, 2017, 10:44 pm

Well I'm horrified.

URL : http://Theroamingredwolf.deviantart.com/
1 . by: October 5, 2017, 10:41 pm

... So why do people like Green again.