With any luck, this chapter will come out from an easier to read source, but a friend of mine pointed to a downloadable version that seems kosher.
The cover splash page scan seems to be missing part of Worick, but then again, that seems ominously appropriate to the events of the chapter.
The story picks up with the aftermath in Ergastulum (the name of the city, but also the name of a Roman building used to hold dangerous slaves.) As usual, there is chaos. Bodies of Twlights litter the streets and the Normal population is protesting.
In the police office, Cody seems to be attempting to call the Benriya. Chad tells him not to use that number ever again. Instead, Chad calls the head of the Twilight Guild, Gina Paulklee. Chad is angered that the Guild seems to have locked their gates to their own kind. She pushes him off, he keeps pushing, until she says (basically,) “Look, it’s out of your hands. You need to stop worrying about things you failed to protect.” (Cue: close-up on the wanted posters of Nic and Worick.)
Speaking of Worick, he’s still going down whatever weird preprogrammed path that “Storage” has laid out before him. We get a flashback to young Worick. Worick apparently disrupted some people involved in “slave trade.” I’m assuming Tags here. Big Mama has found him in a rain-drenched street and admonishes him for being on a fool’s errand, since his actions went unnoticed and nothing will ever change. He cuts her off and says he’s going to keep doing it anyway, because no one else will.
She calls him a foolish boy, but clearly is charmed by his determination to do what’s right. The flashback then transitions to the now with this lovely panel….
Then she says that Uranos (Corsica) is waiting and so she’s going to introduce him to “Storage.”
Meanwhile, Nic is still in rough shape. His hands are shaking and he complains to Dr. Theo that he’s anxious for his stupid body to work properly again. Theo tells him he should forget it and just sell his contract to him so that he can study his body for science. Nina is horrified by this proposal, but Nic is like, “Nah, he’s right. I’ll give it to him, but he has to wait. I have one last order.”
The last scene is Alex going back to the Benriya office only to find the beheaded body of Miles, Monroe’s second-in-command. She freaks out and sees Worick’s note that tells her to run, the precise words are “Get out of here.” As Alex laments the fact that they brought her into their lives, we get a close up of the words “Take care” having been scribbled out.
The chapter ends there.
There’s a heavily foreboding sense of doom in this chapter. The fact that Nic and Dr. Theo are certain enough that Nic is free of his contract is spooky enough, but Worick not even pretending to care enough about Alex to tell her to “take care” IN A GOOD-BYE NOTE pretty much cinches it.
It sets my teeth on edge, because I really want the Benriya to make it out of this alive. Despite the giant red arrows saying Worick is the doomed one in this chapter, I’m actually far more concerned about Nic. That scene of him talking so casually about his contract was deeply unnerving (though it was always Worick who hated any mention of it, more than Nic. Nic always seemed sort of resigned to the fact that he was disposable property.)
I’m super-glad to see Kohske-sensei back in the game. As I told my friend, I feel like the art is a bit off, a little flat–like, literally. Normally she cuts in a odd angles. (The art this time reminded me of the art of the spin-off, and I wonder if she’s getting a boost from that artist. Which would be fine, because I long found that art close enough, you know?) But I’m perfectly willing to give Kohske-sensei all the slack she needs. She’s been so sick for so long. I’m just happy that we seem to be right back into the story…. even if it seems deeply foreboding.
I really don’t want any of the trio to die, but I’m not holding my breath….