End of Infestation 11.5

This was a bit of a mixed bag for me.

There’s nothing really wrong with the chapter, but I personally didn’t really enjoy the in-depth exhibits of how awful the Merchants are all that much. It feels like… we get it. They’re awful people, horribly unsympathetic, rife with debauchery in every way. That had been fairly thoroughly established already. I’m not saying there shouldn’t be exhibits like this to be seen in this particular place, but

by the end of the second session, it ended up being grating. It felt like it was a bit much.

(I knew we were heading into this sort of territory, to some extent, ever since the idea of going to a Merchant arrangement first came up, but I thought Lisa would counterbalance it more than she has so far.)

But my third session with this chapter, this one, really salvaged it. There were three main scenes in that: talking to the rescued girl, talking to Bryce, and the beginning of the main event. All three were excellent: I loved Taylor’s outburst at the girl’s careless words and the juxtaposition of the girl’s bystanderism during Taylor’s trigger event with Taylor very pointedly overriding her group’s bystanderism to save the girl. I loved the twist that Bryce is a little, privileged shit who joined the Merchants without telling his sister. And I loved the way Upsilon and the Dealer are being brought into this by way of Skidmark having somehow gotten hold of super juice.

Huh, I suppose that’s why we established last chapter that Lisa knows about case 53.

So yeah: Bit of a mixed bag, markedly stronger in the latter half. My issues with the first half are highly subjective, though, so your mileage may vary.

Next chapter… I guess it’s in the Undersiders’ interests to get those vials before the brawl ends and the Merchants who win can drink them. Otherwise the Merchants, the Undersiders’ greatest enemy at the moment, become significantly stronger – plus five capes is nothing to scoff at.

It might be time for this to stop being a recon mission.

Wild idea: The escorts join the brawl (judging by how Skidmark’s power seems to work, it should be possible to enter willingly, though it might throw you into the air in the process) and fight for the price.

I don’t think that’s actually going to happen – a stealth mission to steal the prizes is probably better. Worth noting that they’ll presumably be guarded by the existing Merchant capes, though. Hmm, maybe a swarm of bugs could lift the vials or the cans?

However they choose to go about it, getting those vials away from the Merchants does seem like it should be top priority, at least. There’s also the matter of getting the rescued girl and maybe Bryce safely out of the building, though, which the two Undersiders might decide to do first.

See you next time!

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