Ah yes, a 12 panel comic, just like old times… :/

As some of you expected, Sydney does indeed have a room on the base. I don’t show the layout very well here, but it’s basically a small-ish room, like 10×10 with a desk, comfy chair and probably some shelves, plus a smaller room that’s barely big enough for a bed and closet. No bathroom as there’s one down the hall, so it’s like a two room sub-efficiency. Certainly compared to the average military recruit, she’s being treated like god damned royalty, but the reason for this setup again goes back to the fact that supers are harder to recruit and retain, given they are enormously valued elsewhere, and in jobs that rarely have them getting shot at. Sure, some of them are there because they’re sold on the national pride/defense, honor/duty stuff that attracts many people to be soldiers, and would still be there with more spartan pay and accommodations, but some of them wouldn’t. I’m not sure how strongly Sydney’s desire to be a superhero would be able to counter having to barrack with 5 snoring Harems, the bunk above her straining precariously under Anvil’s weight, lusty noises coming from Dabbler’s corner of the room, etc.

This pampering will of course make some people in the other branches think of Arc-SWAT as a bunch of soft baby celebutards. Frighteningly powerful soft baby celebutards sure, but some people have a very Klingon view of toughness. The more rigorously you avoid creature comforts, the tougher you are. “One time I had to sleep on a pile of jagged rocks and the only thing I had for a pillow was a boiling hot engine manifold, and the only thing I had for a blanket were my own disemboweled intestines!”

Ok, the Klingons don’t go that far, but the TNG episode where Riker did a stint as first mate on a Klingon ship as some sort of exchange program, and they gave him a hard time over how soft his bead aboard the Enterprise probably was, so he was all “I’ll sleep on your metal slab of a bed with literally block of metal for a pillow no prob cholo.” Personally I would have brought the fluffiest fucking blanket 24th century science could create, then when they made fun of me for being soft, I’d be all “ah, you got me!” but when I’d inevitably have to kick someone’s ass for whatever since that’s how it works on Klingon ships, I’d remind them of how soft I was and make him go cry in the corner. You ever notice how the shows’ main character can pretty consistently beat the stuffing out of Klingons? Starfleet Krav Maga of whatever they use must be pretty good, cause it happened all the time. In an episode of DS9, Klingons tried to take over the station, and Cisco, Kira and Dax (maybe one or two others) just shellac the Klingons in mostly hand to hand combat, even though they’re the warrior race and supposedly much stronger than humans. The worst that happens is Kira gets stabbed in the arm or something and I guess Dax’s hair gets kind of messed up. Yeah, I know they have script immunity, but they still could have pulled through by a much narrower margin.

But I digress. Anyway, as Maxima says, when they’re not on duty they’re on call, and even though Sydney bargained to be able to keep working at her shop for a limited number of hours, in an emergency she’d still have to respond. “Guys, I know you want to buy that new polystone bust of Maxima, but there’s a meteor…”

Here’s the link to the new comments highlighter for chrome, and the GitHub link which you can use to install on FireFox via Greasemonkey.