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There’s a bit more exposition in this chapter than I’d like. It’s one of those pivotal chapters that reconfigures the story and points it off in a brand new and unexpected direction, and I feel like I did that somewhat less gracefully than I’d have liked.
That said, it’s also serving as something of a breather, giving readers (and the characters) a moment to sit back, relax, and have a break from the continuing tension. Essentially, Kay and Marv have been on the run in one way or another for about two whole arcs and haven’t had proper downtime since leaving the farmhouse at the start of Arc 3. They deserve a moment of peace and reflection.
All that said, this is a chance to see Kay establishing the new paradigm in her relationship with Cal, much to his surprise. This is when he realises she’s not the same girl he abandoned back on Earth.
There are a lot of characters in ADoF who guest star for a single chapter – the world council leader being one here. That speaks to the TV-like episodic structure of the storytelling, where some guest characters become recurring but most are one-offs.
Next up is an interlude chapter with a big twist.