Store sign reading Very Suspicious Supermarket, with the caption Secret Lairs: Try HarderI said in the original comments on this post that “If I had the time to remake BICP from scratch, I’d make it snappier.” (Also, that I’d like to redraw a bunch of things, which confirms I wasn’t working on the trade-paperback art updates yet.)

That was 2017. Now, having re-read through the whole thing several times since then…I don’t actually know how much snappier it could get?

There are scenes I’d rearrange. Foreshadowing I’d make more consistent. Parts of the worldbuilding I’d experiment with. And all throughout these annotations I’ve been talking about specific things I’d change, from “Miranda uses the Cats stage setup to descend from above in a cloud of smoke” to “Walker’s main evil base is a remodeled bank, and her secret Being prison is a repurposed vault.”

But to make it go faster, you’d have to cut out significant chunks of it. Probably lose a subplot or two. And no matter how many parts I’d rework, there’s really nothing I want to just outright axe.

Patrick suggests that Kara Lynn’s blackouts are because she hasn’t
fought enough recently. At first Jany reacts with suspicion, hostility, and fear (this is going to be a pattern).

Jany: You just want an excuse to beat her up!
Patrick: No! It’s required by our code, probably.

But they have a fight, and it works! Later, a storm grounds Jany’s flight home, prompting even more bonding between her and our helpful heroes.

Also, Patrick reveals he’s had access to Cohen’s money, and Bianca nearly has sex with–

Bianca: We don’t need to talk about that part!!

In less-awkward news, this is when Bianca finally makes a truce with Miranda . . .

Sparrow: And I use my power to show up in Being battles for awesome.
Bianca: You don’t need to defeat me to see Patrick! We can set up weekend visits!

. . . figures out that Patrick’s ex-Master is somebody they’ve heard of . . .

Patrick: I can say “Stu Cohen” now.
Bianca: How did we not know this?!
Sparrow: Seriously, turns out it’s on Google.

. . . and gets a human date.

Emma: Hi, I’m normal.
Bianca: Great!

Jany plans a less-chaotic return to the US, this one sponsored by a Being research institute. On Bianca’s advice, she decides to approach Walker, not Cohen. (Blake picks a new form to meet her with.)

Blake: I’ve deduced that I can appeal to her by being South Asian, busty, and glamorous.

When Jany accidentally lets slip that she’s been in contact with Patrick, Walker spots a chance to win her trust and find out more. So (and this is where the story really starts) she invites Jany to stay in the US and work for her.

Walker: Has it come up yet that I have a kidnapped Being in the basement so I can run tests on how to kill it?
Jany: What?
Walker: Nothing.