Stuck in the Middle
Order of the Stick comic
Comic no. 592
Date published 16 September 2008
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Therkla faces the "hero's choice" and chooses option "C".

Cast Edit

Transcript Edit

Panel 1, Page 1

Kubota: What will it be, Therkla? Turn on me, and your would-be lover dies. Stay with me, and you may resume your position as my right hand.
Elan: Hey, let me go, and I'll show you a position with my right hand that I think will sum up her decision.

Panel 2, Page 1

Kubota: Really, my dear, you're a smart girl. I don't understand your loyalty to this buffoon.
Elan: Huh. That's what I was about to say.

Panel 3, Page 1

Elan: He doesn't care about you, Therkla. To him, you're just another disposable ninja mook.
Kubota: And to him you are yet another female villain to seduce to the side of Good.

Panel 4, Page 1

Kubota: He'll forget you when the next femme fatale comes around.
Elan: And he'll sacrifice you when the next opportunity to get ahead comes around!

Panel 5, Page 1

Kubota: He'll—
Therkla: SHUT UP!
Elan: But—
Therkla: Both of you!

Panel 6, Page 1

Therkla: I'm not choosing anyone! I don't know why this is so damn hard for everyone to understand.
Therkla: All I want is for everyone I care about to stay alive and safe. Why do I have to pick one of you to suffer?

Panel 7, Page 1

Elan: Because he's a villain! He needs to be punished!
Kubota: Because he's a hero! He needs to be eliminated!

Panel 8, Page 1

Therkla: Well TOO BAD!
Therkla: I am so sick of Good Guys and Bad Guys!
Therkla: I don't care who wins anymore! I don't care who rules Azure City—there isn't even a City left to rule!
Therkla: Everyone is just fighting for meaningless titles and nonexistant territories... and... and their inflated egos!

Panel 9, Page 1

Therkla: You want me to make choice? Here's my choice.
Therkla: Kubota, you are going back to your ship.
Elan: HA!

Panel 10, Page 1

Therkla: You are going to contact all your allies, and you are going to turn and sail away.
Therkla: You're going to go found your own city, or conquer someone else's, I don't care.

Panel 11, Page 1

Therkla: And Elan, you agree to go back to Hinjo and use your persuasive abilities to convince him to just let them go.
Elan: But he tried to kill—
Therkla: Shush!

Panel 12, Page 1

Therkla: And that's it. We split into two kingdoms, and everyone lives happily ever after. Or else.
Kubota: Or else, what?

Panel 1, Page 2

Therkla: Or else I remind you that I'm the highest-level character on your payroll by killing both your samurai before they can even blink.
Therkla: Really, I don't know what you were thinking with this "hostage" thing, sir. You know these guys can't stop me.

Panel 2, Page 2

Kubota: I'm sorry, my dear, but ruling over a few ships or some ragamuffin town simply will not do, not when Hinjo may already be dead.
Therkla: Well then... I guess I would rather see you both alive—and one of you in prison—than either one of you dead.
Therkla: So...

Panel 3, Page 2

Therkla disarms the samurai threatening Elan with a kick, "KATUNK!"

Panel 4, Page 2

Therkla stabs and kills the samurai holding Elan, "SHTICK!", while Elan grabs his weapon.

Panel 5, Page 2

Therkla throws a dagger and kills a ninja, "THUNK!"
Elan: Ha! Looks like I'm the hostage with the most-age!
Elan kills the other samurai, "schlurt!", and the other ninja flees.

Panel 6, Page 2

Therkla: Now come on, you know you can't fight us alone. Surrender, and we can—
Kubota hits Therkla with his hand, "skritch!", causing a wound on her shoulder.
Therkla: OWWW!!

Panel 7, Page 2

Kubota: Why take the bard hostage? Because I thought it might give me a round or two where your attention was elsewhere.
Therkla: What was that? A needle?

Panel 8, Page 2

Kubota: I may be a lousy swordsman, but I can still make a touch attack with a poisoned ring—
Kubota: —if my target is otherwise occupied by, say, rescuing the man she loves from evil samurai.

Panel 9, Page 2

Kubota: It's the sort of preparations one makes when one is told that the highest-level character on one's payroll has defected to the enemy.
Therkla collapses, poisoned.
Therkla: Unnnnhhh...

Panel 10, Page 2

Kubota: Now, let's see, Elan...
Kubota: I believe you recently expressed interest in wanting to face the "hero's choice" yourself?
Kubota: I think an appointment just opened up for you.

Trivia Edit

  • Stuck in the Middle with You is a 1973 hit song from Stealers Wheel's self-titled debut album.
  • This is the final appearance of Kubota's Samurai. They first appeared in #589.

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