Carol watched as the girl stepped out of the elevator.  She pulled off a gas mask and let it drop to the floor.  A small crowd was gathering around her, others from her cell block checking out the new resident.

I feel like some of the Brockton Bay inmates may treat Amy better than they would most new inmates. Amy has probably helped a lot of them in her day, including Lung.

How long would it take?

She would have asked Dragon, but her breath was caught in her throat.

I mean, if Marquis heard that announcement, I can’t imagine he wouldn’t come running, even if it broke with his usual calm and collected aesthetic.

He appeared two minutes later, as a woman who must have been the self-imposed leader of Cell block E was talking to Amy.

For a moment there I read “He appeared two minutes later as a woman” and was very confused.

Despite all the reaction images I have used from it today, this isn’t El Goonish Shive.

He looks older.

Well, yes.

Somehow Carol had imagined Marquis had stayed as young and powerful as the day they’d last fought.  The day she’d met Amy.  But there were lines in his face.  He looked more distinguished, even, but he looked older.

Sometimes we don’t realize things can change while we’re not looking at them. I suppose that’s the other edge of object permanence.

Not the bogeyman that had haunted her.

And that’s Lung behind him.

I hope they’re still good buddies.

Was Lung an enforcer for Marquis?  It was hard to imagine.  Or were they friends?  That was simultaneously easier and harder to picture.  But it was somehow jarring, as if it instilled a sort of realism in an otherwise surreal picture.

Because it makes them seem more human?

That’s this story in a nutshell, isn’t it. Revealing the humanity of both heroes and villains to instill a sense of realism in the surreal world of parahumans.

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