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  • a_flemish_dude

    “you left me there with that thing you summoned” is apparantly fairbarnese for “after I knocked you out you were dragged out of there leaving me with the thing I explicitly ordered you to summon”, I didn’t think she’d lose that much sleep over it though

    also go ben, roll that will save!

    • Jeff Eppenbach

      Well, it can’t possibly be her fault, can it? She was the hero, and in the right, so anyone that got in the way was evil.

      • JWLM

        I thought we were talking about Ms. Fairbairns. When did we change the subject to Vee?

        • Jeff Eppenbach

          Heh, that does kind of applies to her as well.

      • billydaking

        Matter of perspective. Which is the fun of the unreliable narrator (just ask anyone who’s read Gene Wolfe).

    • The Wing

      Everything in this comment is pure win.

    • Emily

      >>you were dragged out of there

      Looking back at that scene, can we just take a minute to appreciate that it was Mal who dragged him out? That was before they’d even started to be the sorta-kinda-maybe-friends they are now, but Mal still went back into the burning building to rescue Ben.

      • Maria Gerasimova

        Always! :)

      • Qwefg Lockheart

        Like sao abridged… Can you even comprehend what it’s like to stay awake for three weeks without sleep! At that point I though the government was controlled by mole people and the janitor was god himself!

        Just be glade her level of sanity is still within the mortal bounds of this reality.

        • Daniel Demski

          You say “thought”… This really happened to you? How?

      • Heylir

        Mal dragged Ben out, V-gestured Fairbairn just after that, and tried (in his own way) to console Ben in his failure with “Win some, lose some”.

        Well, Ben telling Captain Barber some time before that: “I think what he’s trying to say is.. we seem to be going right now, whether you’re coming or not.. but, er.. please do..!” is a nice picture, too.

        And I see that as links of the same chain, Ben’s (a priori) “we” as he with Mal went for Wolfe and Mal going to look after Ben to Sloth’s circle. It isn’t friendship, but it is… something.

        • non_canon

          I think it’s camaraderie, the first link in the chain you mentioned that I feel is leading towards friendship.

  • Sleep no more! Thackerey does murder sleep!

    • Kaunisenkeli

      You’re a madman, you know?

      • I am perfectly sane, and have the release certificate signed by all four doctors at the Secure Psychiatric Hospital to prove it :-). Macbeth, on the other hand, was admittedly a little mentally uneven.

        • Kaunisenkeli

          I guess Babylon 5 references are a tad out of date. Oh well. At least you got a certificate.

          True, Macbeth was definitely out there, but got surpassed by his wife by the end of the play.

          • Well, I had to go and look that line up. Clearly, it has been far too long since I rewatched Babylon 5!

          • John

            What do you want, you moonfaced assassin of joy?

            • Siva Smith

              John, isn’t that icon a jaeger from Girl Genius?

            • Siva Smith

              Owait. These comments are all aligned so it looks like all responses are to Sturzkamf’s. Sorry!

          • Hurrah! They’be started reruns of Babylon 5 series 1 on UK Free view! Just when I’ve got plenty of time to watch it too!

  • She’s so creepy looking. ;_;

    • I think I would rather run into weird undead paladin dude than this lady. o.o

  • Haven

    Literally “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.”

  • Grey_Moment

    “Sleep well… forever.
    “B…but I’m not sleepy…”
    “…Really, Thackery? Really?”

  • Greenwood Goat

    Sleepless in Sloth’s Limbo starring Ben Thacks and Meg Fairbairn.

    Well, you know what they say: “There will be no rest for the wicked.” >:=)>

    And here’s Sleepless by King Crimson. Some of the visuals match the scene here.

  • Darkoneko Hellsing

    It’s not like you tried to kill them the same way or anything, you hypocrite~

    • Ocean Burning.

      Evil undead people can be so hypocritical

  • Maria Gerasimova

    It seems Ben has some idea… Bluish swirls have left suddenly his hands, though trembling.
    To help somehow this awful but awfully suffering hag?

    • Heylir

      > It seems Ben has some idea…

      Using Verity’s sleeping darts after all?

      • SjSmith

        I don’t think so just because it’s Verity’s stuff that saves the day. Ben Really Needs a win that comes directly from him to boost his confidence, otherwise I don’t think he’s going to be any help at all for the last two sins scampering willy nilly throughout town.

      • Sir. Orc

        I believe it has something to do with the lamp actually.
        While Fairbairn’s desire for rest may be fueling Sloth, she alone is probably not enough to supply Sloth with enough power to keep them there. The lantern also appears to be acting as a conduit of some form, and looks to be what’s infusing the fog with sloth.

        While getting Fiarbairn to sleep might help the situation, it alone is unlikely to be enough. It might be that while Fairbairn holds the lantern, she cannot sleep, and the lantern’s nature makes it so no one else can hold it. Regardless, I’m not sure the darts would be enough since her affliction is magical, and even if they are enough to make her sleep, it’s unlikely that alone would bust them out.

        • Heylir

          Yeah, I think, too, that the lantern should be broken. But I don’t think Fairbairn as she is now, under Sloth’s influence, let do that. So, putting her to sleep might help this purpose.

          On another hand, maybe, just breaking the lantern with a stone might help too… if there would be any stones and the lantern glass might be broken this way. But it a bit too much resembles the finale of “Green-eyed Monster”. :)

  • Ocean Burning.

    When your evil former boss appears as your own personal demon casting up your greatest failures to you…
    This hasn’t been a good day for anyone so far, but it’s really, really been a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day for Ben.

    • Emily

      Hopefully Vee’s pep talk has fortified him enough that he’s not as crushed by the reminder of those failures as he would have been a little while ago.

      • Sapphire altera

        I’m hoping that Fairburn’s unfairness might help, too. Righteous indignance can be an effective motivator (and I think we’ve seen this in Ben before)! :P

    • TheGorram Batguy

      What failures? I mean, there was a small failure of judgement about leaving a deadly sin spirit not unsummoned, but he was following his boss’s orders, he trusted her, and as I recall Ben said she had all the right forms filled out. When he tried to unsummon the deadly later, she stopped him. And as other commentators have mentioned, Fairbairn’s fate was sealed by her own lack of caution in her wording, in addition to various evil deeds on her part. It’s all on her.
      So Ben is pretty much blameless here, and I think even he’d realize that.

      • Heylir

        I don’t think he did realise that. He silently accepted Mal’s “Idiot” referring his summoning of Sloth, he was very upset with freeing of the Deadly, and just recently Ben followed his admission that Sloth was his summoning with “I’m worse than useless”.

        I really suppose that Wolfe should have told Ben the same thing he told Voss (“The Deadly would free itself even without your help”), and these words referring Ben would be more truthful.

        • Ocean Burning.

          I was just about to reference the place you mentioned.

 Ben did know better than to summon a Deadly — the look of guilt on his face says it all. He should have asked questions at the time (why was it being summoned? who was going to desummon it and when? and so on), but because she was his boss, with all the paperwork done, he really needed this job, etc. etc. etc., he just… didn’t. It’s a more subtle form of failure, I suppose, but still.

          (P.S. Heylir, I’m really sorry I haven’t finished editing your story yet — for the last few weeks I’ve been sick and had a lot of things to do for work. I should be able to finish it in the next day or two!)

          • Heylir

            Yeah, and I think it hurts Ben more to blame himself for this kind of negligence than for some “technical” mistake.

            (P.S. It’s OK, I have been a little ill myself for some time. I’ll wait your letter, eagerly.)

        • TheGorram Batguy

          Well, I’m saying he’s all but blameless regarding Fairbairn’s current unending hell existence. Yet she blames him.
          He does bear some level of responsibility for the whole deadly summoning, but that doesn’t make him responsible for Fairbairn’s part in it all.

          • Ocean Burning.

            Have you never had a boss who blames you for doing or failing to do something when it was mostly/totally their fault? In my experience, the fact that it’s not your fault doesn’t make you feel any better. It just adds anger on top of the panic and/or frustration.

            • TheGorram Batguy

              It’s certainly unpleasant, but most people can see through that kind of talk. They know the boss’s fragile ego is talking and that it’s not really their own fault.
              People like Ben are not very good at seeing through such things because he’s so ready to blame himself for everything, but in a case so blatant as this I think he’d see through it too.

              • Ocean Burning.

                I’m not disagreeing with you that he would know it wasn’t his fault. I guess I just don’t see why it matters whose fault it was.

            • John

              I suspect that in this case adding anger would be extremely useful as it would help him resist the lethargy that she’s trying to force on him.

              OTOH given Ben’s insecurities I’m not sure he has realized just how much Ms. Fairbairn is responsible for her own problems. While he does have some portion of the responsibility for some of what happened with Sloth, it’s a fairly small proportion when compared to the amount of responsibility belonging to Ms. Fairbairn. But Ben seems to have already accepted far more of the responsibility than can reasonably be considered his proper share due to his assumption that anything that goes wrong must be his fault if he was involved in it in any way.

  • Emily

    And who was it that bopped him on the head with a broom before he could finish desummoning “that thing”, Ms. Fairbairn?

    • Sanjay Merchant

      Oh, stop ruining a perfectly good grudge with such petty things as “facts” and “logic”!

  • Is the Fairbairn print-only, or something? FWIW, I don’t recall her from my original archive dive. (Also, my memory inhales vigorously.)

    • Emily

      Try chapter 2, No Rest for the Wicked. (You know, it only just dawned on me how appropriate that chapter title is…)

    • Haha a fair few people have forgotten her (she was a pretty paper-thin villain, so that’s on me) so I’ve gone through and tagged her in properly.

      • TheGorram Batguy

        Paper-thin? Nonsense.
        She wasn’t particularly deep, perhaps, but far more so than Macavity. Her plot was actually fairly sophisticated at that. You started the story on a lighter, simpler tone and have turned up the dial with each successive chapter.
        I certainly didn’t forget her, and neither did many others. Just seeing the edge of her clothing a few days ago was enough to bring back the memories.
        I mean, not everyone will remember. Not everyone has reread those chapters…a few times…

        • Maria Gerasimova

          I’ve got a suspicion that soon we shall see Macavity developed much deeper than he was in the chpt 1.
          I am juging by his face when in prison he spoke to Lei.

      • Ocean Burning.

        No way. Bureaucratic, political villain with a carefully-considered, rational plan for taking power through seemingly legal means? That’s the scariest kind… In fact, in terms of planning, I’d say only Mr. Lux is better.

        • AJ

          I hate that kind the worst, tbh. The ones that are doing wrong but YOU CAN’T FIGHT them because they’re legally in the right.

  • Brother Nightmare

    And all of a sudden Sloth becomes ten times nastier that I thought a blob fish could ever aspire to be. I wonder if she’s the only one out there like this though…

  • non_canon

    Seeing Fairbairn again makes me wonder about the communication between the cousins during the last year. Mal and Ben didn’t seem to recognize her, but we know she’s been in Widdershins at least once over the last year and I would find it odd that as close as they appear to be she wouldn’t know he was in Widdershins for an entire year. So how much of Ben’s history with Fairbairn does she know about?

    • Heylir

      Well, Ben only now told her that Sloth was his summoning, so Verity didn’t know that part before.

    • Emily

      (Psst – I think you mean Mal and Wolfe didn’t seem to recognize her.)

      • non_canon

        ….Yes, yes I did. Thanks for catching that, fixed now.

    • Ocean Burning.

      “as close as they appear to be” — They’re cousins. Their closeness isn’t based on amount of recent communication, but on shared family ties and childhood experiences. (At least, that’s how my experience of cousins is…)

      • non_canon

        True, and I think overall that’s what I’m curious about since the cousins are quickly becoming one of my favorite parts of the comic. Have they not talked in a year and this is the first time she’s heard about him and the business he’s running in Widdershins? Do they write often, exchange post cards at Christmas, and/or did she see any flyers advertising their business when she was in town before? Is there a missing scene wherein they met for tea/a meal while she was last in town and he made an effort to keep her and Mal and Wolfe separate because he knew she’d greet him by lifting him off his feet and calling him Benji? There’s just a lot of interesting possibilities there.

        • Emily

          I’d love to know about this too! Ben’s shock when Vee showed up (“What-? But-! What?!“) seemed to suggest that he wasn’t expecting her to be anywhere near Widdershins; however, that doesn’t necessarily mean they haven’t seen each other sometime in the past year. I’m going to imagine that they have, just because I love the way they are together.
          (Btw, on the cover page of Chapter 3, you can see posters for both the Malform Busters and Verity’s bounty hunting services: )

          • Anne-US

            Good catch! I definitely am going to have to go through these all again and look at the hidden gems.

            • non_canon

              I would encourage it, it’s rather fun. Like if you look at the background posters during the scene where Nicola is fighting Voss’s minions you can see posters for Harry Dresden and Angel Investigations, as well as one for Team Buggerup.

  • theophenes

    I wonder what Ben has up his sleeve for this one. This is going to be a hell of a thing.

  • Nightsbridge

    I’m gonna make a guess.

    Does that lantern she’s holding contain her sleep . . . ?

  • Rulebook Lawyer

    “Sleep, those little slices of death; oh how I loath them.” -Poe

  • Sanjay Merchant

    Anyone else think that, in the second panel, Benjy’s getting an idea?

    • Heylir

      Certainly you’re not alone. :) Especially Ben’s clenching his fist gives me this impression.

    • Ocean Burning.

      Perhaps. Perhaps something is occurring to him.