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(Transcript and visual captions below}

      A couple of days passed, and the three roommates helped Allison learn the rules of her new existence. She adapted quite easily, after having been on her own for so long there was not much new to learn. It was more a matter of what for her to NOT do, and Jack felt like he was continually doing a Vitus impression.
      Luckily Allison had not lived in Harlan proper, and the search for her was long abandoned since the discovery of her 'death.' Despite this, Jack insisted she come up with a pseudonym. Tristan and Darren had skated by not needing one, Darren since he was technically still 'alive' and Tristan rarely spoke in public. (Other than to start a fight.)
      "Okay, I've decided..." Allison said one evening, as Tristan set up a 'Dropcard' game on the kitchen table.
      "...Amaranthia Godcrusher Dupuis."
From somewhere unseen, Jack cackled derisively.
      "What? I mean, the middle name would only be for special circumstances. Like your middle names are sooo cool." Allison glanced around expectantly.
      "Todd," said Darren.
      "Jakob," said Tristan.
      "...Well?" Allison called into the further reaches of the flat.
Jack finally peered around a corner, "What?"
      "Middle name. Give it."
Jack frowned, "I don't have one."
      "What! No way! No one doesn't have a middle name."
      "Nope. Parents ran out of names by the time they got to me."
      "So like, John Ballard? That's it?"
      "No, Jack."
      "Not John? You don't even get a real first name? Well what about YOUR pseudonym? Did you give yourself a middle name?"
      "Jack Arnold Whitechapel?!" Allison laughed sharply, "J.A.W.?!"
      "Shut up! That was my Dad's name..." Jack disappeared behind the corner again.
      "Seriously, what's wrong with Amaranthia?" Allison complained.
Tristan flipped the cards on the table, "Your deal, Godcrusher."

In which Bifurcated Cock Gang don't run very fast.

As Jack stood on the rickety footpath waiting for Demetri to speak, he realized how uncomfortable he felt. Not just with Demetri in particular, but alone with someone who had surely murdered untold scores through the centuries. His interloper was acting strangely too, not with his usually direct and confident manner. Or was it all just another ploy?
      Jack sighed, "What. Just tell me what you want so we can go on with our night."
      "I only wanted to see you... I suppose if you are in a hurry, I would also like to know anything you might have heard about Theodore's whereabouts." Demetri stared into the bare trees, facing away.
      "Yeah, uh huh. What a shock. Well, he's not in town, that much I know. That's about it. I'm sure it was so worth the theatrics for that hot tip."
Demetri glanced back for only a moment. It almost seemed as though it pained him to look at Jack at all.
      "Hmm. Well thank you." he said after a moment, "Are you enjoying yourself with Tristan and friends?"
Jack groaned, "Ugh. Don't talk to me about Tristan."
      "Why?" Demetri asked, "I thought you two got on quite well?"
      "It's just.. he's flirting with this teenage girl, and I think it's completely inappropriate."
      "Isn't he a teenager still as well?"
      "What? No way, he's like twenty now. Anyway, she's way too young and--"
      "Nevermind. It just...I don't know what I'm expecting. If nothing's happened with us yet, maybe... I mean, he hasn't done anything, and I'm too chicken to... Ugh..."
Demetri turned around, ignoring his discomfort, and gave Jack a sympathetic but questioning look.

In which Bifurcated Cock Gang don't run very fast.

Demetri called after Jack, "There's one more thing I wanted to tell you..."
      "What?!" he glared, turning back.
      "There's been a bit of a... power shift in the Dragomir clan. This is between you and me, a secret. I wanted to tell you that..."
he blinked slowly, his mind racing to form the perfect words without giving too much away, "...what happened with Tomasz-- what he did to you, he will never do it again. -Not to you, or any one else. I promise."
      Jack shook his head slowly, throwing his hands up. "Really... That'd be nice if it were true but I know what your promises are worth."
Demetri watched him walk away, crunching over frozen grass.
      "That one doesn't need a promise to be true, mon petit."

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     July 9th, 2012
     By:  Kelly

Phew, sorry for the word-tastic pages lately, homies. There was a lot to get through this chapter, and I gotta get to the juicy bits ASAP! Sorry these have been rather ostentatiously late as well, I'm working on that. Thank you all for your sweet comments, even when I am slow in replying, I always read them and they always cheer me up. You make this work worthwhile. LUV U GUYZ! <3

             TRANSCRIPT:  This is the text of the comic, for purposes such as translation and internet searches.


(Tristan, Allison, and Darren play cards, while Jack, in the foreground, seems to be leaving. Behind the players, the window has a view of nothing but bricks of the building next door.)

ALLISON: Aw, not gonna play with us?

JACK: No... I have a date.


(As the door slams, Allison and Tristan talk. Clothes are strewn about in the background.)

ALLISON: I don't think Jack likes me.

TRISTAN: Jack is the nicest! He take you shopping yesterday... His favorite thing!


(Tristan, Allison, and Darren continue to play cards.)

ALLISON: Eh maybe that's why. I was being kind of a bitch.
He wanted me to try on all this cutesy girl shit. So not me.


(Allison looks angrily at Darren, leaning on her elbow. Darren is slouched over the table.)

DARREN: Maybe he's hot for you.

ALLISON: Ha. Wait, you sayin' I look like a boy?!



(Allison looks excited and Tristan slightly concerned.)

ALLISON: Oh man, Tristan... the Fuck Demons are playin' this week!


ALLISON: Bifurcated Cock Gang are the openers!


(Tristan smiles cheesily.)

TRISTAN: I dunno, those guys are so violent. I mean, anti-God stuff is okay, but...
Music should make you feel good, yeah?


(Allison clutches cards with black-polished fingernails, looking cross. Darren looks blank in the background.)

DARREN: Haha, 'cocks'...

ALLISON: (chilly) Oh...


(Jack walks alone in a park, on a bridge over dirt and trash.)


(A bat swoops in, transforming quickly beside Jack. Jack rolls his eyes.)


JACK: So cliché


(The bat has become sad-looking Demetri.)

JACK: Why are you looking at me that way?


(Demetri looks aside.)

DEMETRI: Nothing... just an unpleasant memory.



(Demetri gives Jack a sensitive look.)

DEMETRI: Oh Jack. Sweetie.
You don't think...?


(Demetri breaks eye contact again.)

DEMETRI: I forget how young you are. You haven't seen the world.

JACK: What?

DEMETRI: Tristan is not gay.


(Jack looks furious as Demetri continues to avoid eye contact.)

JACK: (angrily) How do you know? He didn't respond well to your molestation?

DEMETRI: Please, don't insult me.
He's from a different culture, perhaps you misunderstood.   He had a girlfriend before he died, I believe...


(Jack is walking away, his back to Demetri.)

JACK: (chilly) Whatever. Why should I believe you?

DEMETRI: (quietly) Why don't you find out for yourself?

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