If angered, she could simply express her grievance through communion with her ancient lusus of the deep, and turn its psychic devastation on her multitudes. The class hierarchy played into her hands politically in this respect. Killing off a haphazard swathe of the population, or an entire class, was suitable as a measure of last resort, but mass extermination does not lend itself well to practical governance. Its looming threat however is quite effective, especially while her empire was partitioned neatly into blood castes. She could use her leverage to delegate oppression to the subjugglators, whose unique abilities and exceptional brutality made them natural enforcers. They too would delegate in their governance, exploiting the pride and loyalty of dangerous bluebloods beneath them, and so on down the hemospectrum, until the enslavement of the common castes was inescapable, in spite of their genetic gifts and strength in numbers. As a self-governing body, the land dwelling portion of her empire was formidable. But her force of sea dwellers was equally formidable, and the two were kept in check not only with the threat of psychic annihilation, but their mutual hatred and distrust.
The only threat to her power was unification through uprising, a possibility made remote once she fully decentralized the race from the homeworld. She scattered all but the children throughout the galaxy after the most recent rebellion led by the Summoner. Upon doing so, she became so comfortable with her grip on power, she risked venturing deeper into space than ever before to grow her empire.
But the more space she put between herself and Gl'bgolyb, the more she risked weakening her bond with the monster. The bond she and her successor shared with it exclusively could sway, and become strengthened with the younger. Perhaps she grew complacent with the threat successors posed, after such a long history of killing them with ease. Heiresses upon reaching maturity were expected to challenge the Condesce for the throne. It was not merely expected of them by their people, but demanded by their shared lusus.
I like to think of her as the pet I gave to their race, at the dawning of their species' evolution. Like a sentience-warming gift. Again, it's just the sort of thing a good host does.
So what do we call this pause? I've been batting ideas around all day. We could go with the obvious choice, the MINIGIGAPAUSE. Or maybe, MEGAPAUSE 2: BACK IN THE MEGASADDLE. Or if that makes too much sense, we could always settle on the MICROTERAPAUSE. As you can see, there are so many incredibly intelligent and meaningful things we could call this pause. Deciding how to refer to the pause is an exercise that I will leave to the reader. Feel free to discuss the matter with friends. Or strangers. Anyone who will listen really. If they start to run away, I strongly recommend you chase them.
Why don't we say that A665 begins on 4/13. That's a fun number that we all can get excited about. I have a lot of catch-up work to do between now and then. Not the least of which is drawing the actual content to be posted. But also a lot of gamedev work. Game production is rolling pretty hot right now. Stuff is being churned out almost faster than I can keep track of. Did I mention? I accidentally started running a game studio a little while ago. Whoops, sorry about that. There are all these people being paid to make things happen, and I have to be like "Yeah, keep doing that stuff, everybody." It's getting pretty easy to lose track of how many people work for What Pumpkin. My last estimate was somewhere between 30 and 1000. The true figure is a very frisky moving target.
A6A6A5, a.k.a. Caliborn's Masterpiece, is actually done. It's probably better to hold off posting it until 4/13, when more content will soon follow aftewards. I am sure pausing on that note for months would mess with your head a lot more than the note we're already pausing on. I sometimes feel I have at least a modest responsibility to manage your sanity. It'll be tough sitting on this content though. Tougher than sitting on all of A664 for the better part of a year. I don't think it is out of line to describe it as the best material this website will ever exhibit. It will be all down hill from there, in every direction. Even up.
Speaking of sanity management, way back when, I was pretty on the fence about posting A664 spaced out over months like I did, vs. all at once. Doing the latter in hindsight probably would have been a fucked up thing to do to the internet though. The GAME OVER fallout alone was a bit much as it was. Including it in tandem with the rest of it? Not sure what to make of that. Let's review the CONTENT CRUSH that would have entailed. Bad Anime -> Game Over -> Sadstuck -> Lowas Quest -> 100 retconned panels of oil -> A bunch of other shit -> Punky Serket -> Fantroll Storytime -> 8 password pages -> The Kiss On Horse Mountain -> and finally -> The Punchline. You know, that's an awful lot of baloney to publish. I think the fell-swoop reaction to all that would have been quite a thing to behold, but also, perhaps an irresponsible thing to do to a hapless fanbase after a year in hibernation. I'm told that in 2015, young people are heavily susceptible to "the feels", and trifling with those forces could be injurious to their future development. Wait, did that just sound like something your grandpa would say? Mother fuck, where did I put my cane. Oh right, I snapped it in half from shaking it at the sky.
I may have been in the process of making a point there, but we're going to have to pick this up another time. The comic isn't going to pause itself!!!
Over the last couple months, I have been surreptitiously collapsing several update horses into single, bigger horses. This means A6A6I4 is going to end a little sooner than previously advertised. Same total page count, but finishing sooner. Please consult the important horse calendar below.
So what happens when A6A6I4 is done? I'm not quite sure yet. I'm still working on everything that comes after that. I've written it mostly, but haven't drawn anything yet. There will almost certainly be another pause, but I'm not sure how long it will be yet. I will let you know after 1/19.