Fridge: The Dragon Doctors
- Early in Chapter 6, Tanica mentions that the only reasons the team of Trsanti assassins were visible was that Kili detected their approach en masse, and at the end of Chapter 9, she says that she -- a single, low-level Trsanti, with only fourteen missions under her belt -- could have killed all the Dragon Doctors if she had been sent to do the job alone. She's probably right. (And for extra credit, ask this: how much have the Dragon Doctors improved their security precautions since Smith's first operation?)
- Cary decided to build and activate the new harvest stone in reaction to Blue catching Frankie. By sheer coincidence, this was not long after Mori had the accident with the phoenix egg that restored her female essence. Given what happened to Mr. C (the only person we see with no female essence affected by a harvest stone), it is pure luck that Mori didn't suffer an sudden and horrible death then and there. (And that doesn't even get into questions like "what if someone like Lem were there?")
- When Kili summons the Capricious Spirit of Love, the reason the spirit trolls the heck out of her instead of directly answering her question is that Kili needed to realize that she, like her friends, can seek out love for herself, and shouldn't just wait for some random bolt from the blue to strike.
- In Chapter 2, when Goro releases Smith from the anesthetic, he wakes up instantly — probably because the powers of the temple guardian crystals bonded to him include becoming The Sleepless. In Chapter 13, after her fight with Goro, Smith wakes up slowly in the hospital after her eyes are repaired. Because the guardian crystals aren't attached to her any more.
- The "Healing Montage" page in Chapter 3 where Tanica gave a 168-year-old lifelong geek a run for his money in a game of Go isn't just a throwaway gag — for all that she doesn't believe in herself, Tanica is actually really smart. (I mean, honestly, four college degrees? And in a lot of practical majors — chemistry, economics, and engineering majors particularly — graduating with a low GPA is common.)
- Related to Tanica/Elka's four college degrees, there's two things very obviously missing from her story about being unable to get a job: experience and networking. There's no sign of her getting an entry-level job and working her way up, no sign of her getting an internship or co-op, and no sign of her asking friends or colleagues about open slots at their workplaces. It's much harder getting a job by just sending out resumes, and someone like the Elka and the Tanica who used to be would find it incredibly disheartening to get rejection letter after rejection letter.
- Further: rejuvenation is a relatively new technology — one that greatly expands the workforce. You should expect jobs to be scarce for a while as businesses adapt to the new employment environment.
- In Chapter 8, Kili and Goro meet Greg's old friend Terry, a victim of the valley curse who had taken it very badly. Now, go ahead and read through the entire encounter. Did you notice how Greg didn't use any pronouns to refer to Terry? Well, doctors, including the Dragon Doctors, make a habit of using the physical sex of the body as a guide, but Terry doesn't because the Gender Bender has actually left him as a transsexual. Greg's careful phraseology both foreshadows the latter revelation and displays, yet again, that his Ridiculously Average Guy facade hides a pretty sharp intellect.
- Another note on Tanica/Elka: for the longest time, I assumed that Elka assumed the name "Tanica" because the Trsanti wanted her to separate her new identity from her previous one. However, as is noted under Meaningful Rename, the Trsanti don't require any change of name — Lulu was Lulu to her mom and to her boss. Given what we know about Elka, she has a lot of reasons to change her name when she becomes a Trsanti, not the least of which is she saw "Elka" as a failure, so changing her name to "Tanica" gave her a chance to not be a failure. This doesn't just make her comment on murderers being failures more meaningful; this underlines the way in which her changing the name back represents a That Man Is Dead attitude towards her career in the Trsanti.
- It's been mentioned that Goro did surgery on a dragon, but it hit me that very well could have been the first (or among the first) patients that the team did. The Dragon Doctors are called The Dragon Doctors because they literally were doctors for at least one dragon.
- If you notice, Jack Coral doesn't show up in Blue's company until Chapter 9 — several weeks after the Dragon Doctors end the valley curse and settle in Tinto — with his own car and no job. In other words, he shows up in town as quickly — and with as little preparation for his future needs — as you would expect from someone who knew that Cary stole a harvest stone, knew that (s)he tormented his mother in the process, and saw a report of a harvest stone in Agri Valley in the news.
- In Chapter 19, a demon attacks Mori by asking a series of questions and stealing her memories of the answers, ramping up to this: "Last question, Mori. If you're a real person, or even a fantasy worth hanging onto, you can answer this: why does Sarin love you?" After Xelada gives her the boost she needs to return and fight back, she does so by retconning an entire history for herself to replace the stolen one ... so what does that mean about the story she tells about why Sarin loves her?
Why, nothing. Even if Mori was inserted into the story, even if Sarin never actually fell in love with her, the story she tells is one that works — Sarin would love her for her Heroic Self-Deprecation, and Mori's story has always been about not giving up when there is any chance she might succeed. Even if, in the world of the comic, Mori is not a real person, she is a fantasy worth hanging onto — and that makes the demon wrong.