|Book 3: A Game of Oubliette||Page 12: Coping Mechanisms||
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Panel 1. Angstrom and Iris are walking along a sidewalk in downtown Broodhollow. Angstrom, holding his pipe and looking forward, says "With our revelations about the memory loss -- namely, that we can remember *for* each other --" Iris, looking at him and gesturing with one hand, says "--And that *fear* can bring back some lost memories?" Angstrom says "Less useful, but yes --" There's a 1930s-style car parked on the street near them, and they're passing a small tree growing from a hole in the sidewalk. Leaves from the tree are blown by the wind, and the sky is a bright blue. The buildings are colored in different pastel shades, giving the scene a cheerful look.
Panel 2. Angstrom is shown in profile, revealing his expression behind the large square glasses that usually hide his eyes. He appears anxious as he continues "-- I had hoped that Wadsworth would play a more active role in deciphering Broodhollow's peculiar *secrets*." Iris, looking over at him, says "We can't just... let him continue to study his quote 'patterns' unquote, can we?" Angstrom replies "I'm concerned that if we push too hard, we'll only drive him *away*." They're passing a bright yellow building with a colorful pink striped awning over a large plate glass window which reflects the bright blue sky, and a handful of green leaves blow in the air around them.
Panel 3. Angstrom is shown from the front again, hiding his eyes behind his glasses, but bags are visible underneath the glasses. He says "Mr. Zane has retreated to a *fantasy* in which he understands his condition. He copes by *believing* he is coping." Iris looks struck by the idea as she says "That is... actually really appealing?"
Panel 4. Angstrom's eyes are still hidden, but the bags under his eyes are still visible and his eyebrows are drawn together as he replies with a frown, "Indeed. The *easy fix*. It's the sort of quote 'self-help' unquote drivel that's becoming au courant in publishing circles. Why, I could publish a *successful book* on that mindset by the end of the *month*!" Iris looks at him, grinning and raising an eyebrow.
Panel 5. She smiles as she looks over at him and says "That sounds like it'd solve a couple of *your* problems too, Doc." We see Angstrom from behind as he says "Mein Gott. This idea is *insidious*." We can't see his face, but several short, thin lines appear around his head, indicating that the idea has struck him.
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