Author Topic: Chapter 42: Discussion  (Read 42254 times)

SAGG

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Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
« Reply #180 on: February 02, 2015, 09:04:08 am »
Bold prediction: Bern will either win, or will put up such a ferocious fight that she'll gain the respect, adoration, and cheers of the crowd (as well as the warden). Bern will NOT die. Plus, recall that Bern's a DEFENSIVE fighter. These folks attack her, and Bern will have the advantage...

sunphoenix

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Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
« Reply #181 on: February 02, 2015, 07:47:01 pm »
Yeah, that IS pretty harsh... basically... 'Well you won't let us rape you so fuck you.. we'll just see you killed MURDERED!'

Yeah, this whole system is bented toward injustice and inflicting criminal harm under the guise of "law".
« Last Edit: February 04, 2015, 05:02:16 am by sunphoenix »
"...no amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free.  No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything - you can't conquer a free man; the most you can do is Kill him." - Robert A. Heinlein


Shazam

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Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
« Reply #182 on: February 04, 2015, 02:46:22 pm »
I just have the sads.

The results are almost irrelevant. We know Bern is a bad-ass with two swords, and now having the twin magic blades that drove her entire style of fighting and quest to be a swordswoman, of course she'll be even more of a bad-ass.

It doesn't compensate for the fact she turned out to be gutless and a coward. She let a friend sacrifice herself, taking on ten times as much pain and degradation as Bern would have had to. She didn't even try to argue. All the talk of morality and purity on the forums, all of Polly's saying how strong and wonderful Bern is, and we're still left with her being a milksop, with no backbone. Polly was willing to do 10x as much for a friend as Bern is, and it was Bern's actions that got them into this in the first place. Her crime, her refusal to prove herself once in the arena, and her unwillingness to confront Polly when Polly started treating her as the child who is unable to make difficult choices that she apparently is. Polly is the real one who has shown heroic traits in this arc, defending Bern, joining her in the arena and risking her life, sacrificing herself for a friend with this punishment, etc. I think she needs to also let Bern stand on her own feet, but it's up to Bern to show she can do that. Bern hasn't really done anything worthy of respect as yet.

It doesn't matter if she wipes the floor with these three, then challenges the Warden and wins. There is no hard choice in that. There is no character growth or depth. It's just 'Bern has PC glow and is sooper skilled'.

As for this last page, obviously the Warden disagrees with those above her who think Bern is about to be slaughtered. It's clearly others who set that up. I presume the Warden has a sense of Bern's skillset from their brief engagement, and is curious to see what she can do with these blades. In her way, she's giving Bern a chance that wouldn't be there otherwise. She's also right that Bern is weak, however skilled she is.

I still look forward to Brion showing Bern actually making some difficult choices/sacrifices or anything that makes her seem like more than a rather two dimensional sketch of a character. I mean, that has to be the point of these solo arcs, to give each character a chance to grow into themselves as individuals and reveal/explore their depths. Hope springs eternal :)

« Last Edit: February 04, 2015, 02:49:25 pm by Shazam »

sunphoenix

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Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
« Reply #183 on: February 04, 2015, 04:22:49 pm »
I think your being a little unfair in that assessment.  Bern DID choose to take option "A" after she learned the hidden pitfalls of option "B" and her outright refusal to compromise her ethics for option "C".  It was Polly who effectively held Bern emotional hostage over choice "A"... she made it clear she would keep out-bidding Bern if she tried to balk Polly in accepting taking the fall for her.  To fight Polly on it would only mean to inflict more harm on her devoted friend... THAT was not Bern's doing it was Polly's choice. 

I agree Polly should stop treating Bern like a helpless little girl and respect Bern for the woman of substance and ethics that she is.. to make her own choices and stand by them!

There were no 'winning' choices in the options that were given Bern .. that were morally acceptable to her.  THAT was also intentional... and punitive because the owners of the arena are blood-thirsty voyeristic and corrupt of ethics... OF COURSE a peaceful, modest, and moral woman would find herself at odds and distraught at the choices "offered" her... all because she just wanted to save the life of her father.

Was Bern naive about it all...?  Certainly!  But has Bern not shown her moral strength of character...?  I believe so... and she has indeed suffered knowing what her dear friend has to endure on her behalf.. knowing she cannot relive her of that burden. 

I think we just need to give Bern a chance to show her new perspective in the light of what she has learned about the callous apathy of people... and what true loyalty and devotion means to her now!
"...no amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free.  No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything - you can't conquer a free man; the most you can do is Kill him." - Robert A. Heinlein


Azure Priest

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Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
« Reply #184 on: February 05, 2015, 06:39:50 am »
I can see Bern winning the fight, turn to the audience and say "THIS is what your 'country of peace' is all about? Having three brutes beat a woman to death because she wouldn't let a couple of self-professed 'healers' cut her down? When she brought her DYING FATHER to them for treatment? And actually dared to complain when they LIED about her having a certain amount of time to gather funds, only to return and find her father IN THE ACTUAL TRASH?! I'm not even going to go into what prisoners are made to do here behind closed doors. If this is your idea of 'justice,' I have no words for the level of contempt your country deserves."

Shazam

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Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
« Reply #185 on: February 05, 2015, 09:54:46 am »
I think your being a little unfair in that assessment.  Bern DID choose to take option "A" after she learned the hidden pitfalls of option "B" and her outright refusal to compromise her ethics for option "C".  It was Polly who effectively held Bern emotional hostage over choice "A"... she made it clear she would keep out-bidding Bern if she tried to balk Polly in accepting taking the fall for her.  To fight Polly on it would only mean to inflict more harm on her devoted friend... THAT was not Bern's doing it was Polly's choice. 

I agree Polly should stop treating Bern like a helpless little girl and respect Bern for the woman of substance and ethics that she is.. to make her own choices and stand by them!

So you're essentially rephrasing why I claimed Bern is a bit cowardly and without backbone, as compared to Polly. Polly is willing to endure 10x as much as Bern is. Bern could have spoken up and challenged Polly. She could have bid 3 days or even 20 days herself and shown equal determination and taken responsibility. Polly has to endure 20 days, where Bern wasn't willing to endure 3 and confront Polly.

The thing is you're right. None of the choices were 'winning' choices or at least good choices. They all involved a quandary, and some sort of sacrifice. A body part would likely have lead to death, or a much longer period in the arena. The other two rubbed up against different moral or personal virtues. But her goal is to get out, out of this country and back to May. Now she's letting Polly pay the price for her goal. That's not chivalric, or being any sort of friend. So she spent her life dedicated to becoming a swordswoman and knight. But she's a pacifist swordswoman, who will kill and fight... but only when she can pretend someone else forced it on her? And a knight who lets an innocent suffer for her deeds? Just a failure, no matter how skilled with the sword

Anyway, all my opinion and only that :)

TheCollector

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Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
« Reply #186 on: February 05, 2015, 10:00:49 pm »
Y'know, I really hope this fight goes well. And something good comes out of it, cause as much as I love this comic and it's characters, this Coliseum arc really has me down on Bern. She always seemed so great, but now, starting back when she refused to do the ranking ceremony, she's just pathetic.

sunphoenix

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Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
« Reply #187 on: February 06, 2015, 07:46:07 am »
Y'know, I really hope this fight goes well. And something good comes out of it, cause as much as I love this comic and it's characters, this Coliseum arc really has me down on Bern. She always seemed so great, but now, starting back when she refused to do the ranking ceremony, she's just pathetic.

:) Though I would have done things differently.. I'm a guy, and even though I don't entirely agree with Bern's 'methods'.. I cannot fault her moral stance.  I STILL have faith in her heroic and self-sacrificing spirit!

Bern is NOT weak.. she may have been caught off guard about this situation... all mixed up with feelings of guilt and devotion and fear over her father expecting a fair and understanding justice system... but I don't believe she will falter... or fail to fight for her ethics.. NOW that she knows the stakes and that the only "justice" she will get here.. is By Her Own HAND!

Just MY opinion, of course!  ;)

"...no amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free.  No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything - you can't conquer a free man; the most you can do is Kill him." - Robert A. Heinlein


Furcas

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Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
« Reply #188 on: February 06, 2015, 04:25:31 pm »
Warden is a total bitch CONFIRMED.


sunphoenix

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Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
« Reply #189 on: February 06, 2015, 06:20:42 pm »
Warden is a total bitch CONFIRMED.

Probably a 'frigid' lay too.. {snort!}

At least Polly has passion...
"...no amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free.  No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything - you can't conquer a free man; the most you can do is Kill him." - Robert A. Heinlein


TheCollector

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Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
« Reply #190 on: February 07, 2015, 09:44:33 pm »
Ok, ok ok ok. Am I the only one who's mind this crossed? What if Bern isn't looking all depressed and broken there because she believes she's weak and will lose, but because she realizes what she's gonna have to do to win this and is ready to do it, but at the same time is depressed over that fact.

Yeti

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Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
« Reply #191 on: February 08, 2015, 03:00:55 am »
I'm not sure she's looking depressed and broken so much as she's missing her left eye

Shazam

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Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
« Reply #192 on: February 08, 2015, 07:29:02 pm »
I can't really tell if the Warden is malicious. I haven't gotten that impression. She does seem callous and cold about it, but perhaps it is more 'Your friend is going to die, based on what she's shown so far. She has to demonstrate real strength.'

It's implied multiple times that the warden has a higher impression of Bern than the other powers that be in the arena, but also disdain for being so weak willed. The others may consider this just a crowd pleasing slaughter, I'd bet the Warden sees it as a challenge/test. If she succeeds, she's in a much better position, if she fails.. ah well, the Warden was wrong.

I'm curious what's really going through Bern's head right now, if she'll be able to gather herself together on her own, if her father or Polly will say something, or even the Warden.

I'm still waiting to see this chapter's slow but gradual escalation (and the so far disappointing behavior of Bern) help strip her down and reveal a new kernel of strength at her core. A few more pages for character growth :) I'm really interested to see what crystalizes. Thanks Brion. Nice anticipation.

TheCollector

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Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
« Reply #193 on: February 09, 2015, 02:15:13 am »
Good God Bern! Get your game up already! Think about what May would say! Geez...

SAGG

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Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
« Reply #194 on: February 09, 2015, 04:24:57 am »
Here we go...

Azure Priest

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Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
« Reply #195 on: February 09, 2015, 06:05:03 am »
Remember, everyone. Bern's specialty is COUNTER-attacks. She's not "looking down" or depressed. She's clearing her mind so she can kick ass. The first of these three who goes after her will be used as a club against the other two.

sunphoenix

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Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
« Reply #196 on: February 09, 2015, 09:23:57 am »
Fight! Iczer 1.. er I mean Bernadette!

"...no amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free.  No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything - you can't conquer a free man; the most you can do is Kill him." - Robert A. Heinlein


Shazam

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Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
« Reply #197 on: February 09, 2015, 11:03:45 am »
Remember, everyone. Bern's specialty is COUNTER-attacks. She's not "looking down" or depressed. She's clearing her mind so she can kick ass. The first of these three who goes after her will be used as a club against the other two.

Perhaps.

Perhaps she's down and will need a few blows to wake her up.

Perhaps she realizes she needs to change her approach to life and be more proactive both in fighting style (as the flaws in her style have been pointed out before) and in her approach to life and will surprise everyone by being the first to attack.

Perhaps Polly will do something foolish as she isn't very rational where Bern is involved

Perhaps it will cut directly to Bern swilling champagne over the piled up corpses of her three opponents yelling 'How do you like them apples' as gems and coins rain down from the crowd and we'll be left to imagine what happened.

Ah the anticipation. Properly roped in and waiting to see what will happen :)

Shazam

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Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
« Reply #198 on: February 11, 2015, 12:47:54 pm »
You tell her Warden.


sunphoenix

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Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
« Reply #199 on: February 11, 2015, 02:57:22 pm »
So.... basically the Warden is saying...

"That pretty red-head needs to get seriously laid... teach her a thing or two about being a woman!  She needs a man or perhaps several men or women to get that perpetual uptightness thoroughly FUCKED out of her so she can get her head screwed on right!"

...eww.  Maybe I'm being a bit... over-stated... but that's the impression I'm getting from the Warden's phrasing ..said and unsaid sentiments.

That's very ugly... and I do not agree.  There is no social-superiority to being without ethics, morals, propriety, or self-control!  Sex... especially wanton, promiscuous, lust... does not "Make the Man or Woman", some kind of mature paragon adult... it just makes you a slut... unable to control or show any discernment in controlling one's carnal appetites!  Its pure selfishness... and NOT attractive at all~ nothing more.  Sexual intimacy between to consenting adults can be upbuilding and fulfilling.. but uncontrolled lust is self-destructive.
"...no amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free.  No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything - you can't conquer a free man; the most you can do is Kill him." - Robert A. Heinlein


Shazam

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Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
« Reply #200 on: February 11, 2015, 04:50:42 pm »
Nothing at all about that from my view. It isn't a moral question. It is a personal accountability question. A couple folk on the forum have been all about the morals of choice A. That's almost irrelevant from the Warden's perspective.

Polly took away Bern's ability to take responsibility for her own actions. Bern had a choice and chance to act like an adult and pay a price in order to make up for previous actions (and lack thereof). And it was a price. Unlike choice C however it was solely a personal sacrifice, not something she'd take out on a third party. As adults we often have to trade off costs vs gains. Polly said to Bern, you're not strong enough/mature enough/capable enough to do so. And by not arguing, Bern agreed. Right now she thinks she's weak and pathetic... and she is. Because she let a friend pay her debt, and pay 10x what she'd have had to pay.

I actually can't see where you think the Warden cares at all about anything sexual or prurient. Nothing she's said or implied hints at her having any interest in such. All of this is a test of Bern's mettle from her perspective. Yes, one of the options involved sexual degradation, probably solely because it has significance to Bern. If Bern had a different personality, the options would likely have been different as well. I also can't figure out what any of this scene would have to do with promiscuity or lust. Neither Bern nor Polly are making a choice based off titillation, it was solely a question of what is a chance to get out of the arena sooner worth to Bern (until Polly disempowered her).
« Last Edit: February 11, 2015, 04:55:39 pm by Shazam »

IronSoul

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Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
« Reply #201 on: February 11, 2015, 08:09:31 pm »
So.... basically the Warden is saying...

"That pretty red-head needs to get seriously laid... teach her a thing or two about being a woman!  She needs a man or perhaps several men or women to get that perpetual uptightness thoroughly FUCKED out of her so she can get her head screwed on right!"

...eww.  Maybe I'm being a bit... over-stated... but that's the impression I'm getting from the Warden's phrasing ..said and unsaid sentiments.

That's very ugly... and I do not agree.  There is no social-superiority to being without ethics, morals, propriety, or self-control!  Sex... especially wanton, promiscuous, lust... does not "Make the Man or Woman", some kind of mature paragon adult... it just makes you a slut... unable to control or show any discernment in controlling one's carnal appetites!  Its pure selfishness... and NOT attractive at all~ nothing more.  Sexual intimacy between to consenting adults can be upbuilding and fulfilling.. but uncontrolled lust is self-destructive.

That's not the vibe I got at all. Option B is a trap, we all knew that, but Option C was too. For all of Bern's faults (and in my opinion, they have been nearly limitless in this latest arc), Bern is generally a character driven to preserve the well being of others. Option C would violate this, as she is hurting another for her own gain. Options B and C were each a poisoned apple. Option A would still really suck, but would be less physically or psychologically devastating based on Bern's mentality.

By Polly throwing herself under the bus for Bern, Polly essentially forced Bern to choose Option C, in the sense of harming another for her gain.

TheCollector

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Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
« Reply #202 on: February 11, 2015, 11:50:02 pm »
Hmm... Can anyone remind me what Option A was again?

This whole situation is so just ugh to me that I don't even remember.

Only thing I gotta say, if Bern doesn't give me a reason to play Number One by Hazel Fernandes during this fight I will be done with her.

Well, for now anyway, I'll probably like her again one day.

Shazam

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Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
« Reply #203 on: February 11, 2015, 11:58:47 pm »
Options
  • A- Prostitute yourself for a night
  • B- Get mutilated
  • C- Torture someone to death

Stargoat

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Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
« Reply #204 on: February 12, 2015, 08:16:21 am »
I'd like to see how this turns out. Anyone want to go in with me on an extra day's comic?

Shazam

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Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
« Reply #205 on: February 12, 2015, 08:59:56 am »
How does that work?

SAGG

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Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
« Reply #206 on: February 13, 2015, 01:55:30 pm »
Well, now. After reading today's entry, I'm convinced more than now Bern's going to obliterate these guys and prove the warden wrong--if nothing else for Polly's sake...

Azure Priest

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Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
« Reply #207 on: February 13, 2015, 07:08:15 pm »
Nothing at all about that from my view. It isn't a moral question. It is a personal accountability question. A couple folk on the forum have been all about the morals of choice A. That's almost irrelevant from the Warden's perspective.

Polly took away Bern's ability to take responsibility for her own actions. Bern had a choice and chance to act like an adult and pay a price in order to make up for previous actions (and lack thereof). And it was a price. Unlike choice C however it was solely a personal sacrifice, not something she'd take out on a third party. As adults we often have to trade off costs vs gains. Polly said to Bern, you're not strong enough/mature enough/capable enough to do so. And by not arguing, Bern agreed. Right now she thinks she's weak and pathetic... and she is. Because she let a friend pay her debt, and pay 10x what she'd have had to pay.

I actually can't see where you think the Warden cares at all about anything sexual or prurient. Nothing she's said or implied hints at her having any interest in such. All of this is a test of Bern's mettle from her perspective. Yes, one of the options involved sexual degradation, probably solely because it has significance to Bern. If Bern had a different personality, the options would likely have been different as well. I also can't figure out what any of this scene would have to do with promiscuity or lust. Neither Bern nor Polly are making a choice based off titillation, it was solely a question of what is a chance to get out of the arena sooner worth to Bern (until Polly disempowered her).

It wasn't that Bern refused to argue. Polly made it impossible to argue. By making it an auction, Polly set it up so Bern's arguing would have only made things worse. Also, the Warden is right in that "Option A" isn't about lust or titillation, it's about pain and humiliation for Bern "to make her a survivor." By forcing Bern to let someone else take that humiliation, Polly has made things harder for her, not better.

This doesn't sound like someone with actual malice. It sounds like someone who has seen this countless times, over and over, and had any objections completely crushed out of her.

sunphoenix

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Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
« Reply #208 on: February 13, 2015, 10:24:05 pm »
Well, now. After reading today's entry, I'm convinced more than now Bern's going to obliterate these guys and prove the warden wrong--if nothing else for Polly's sake...

Yeah I agree... the Warden is wrong.

Conviction.. is stronger than humiliation!  You can't conquer a free person.. a person whose mind is free... you can torture, you can oppress, you can maim... but you cannot break their free will when they have a free mind to decide their fate and realize that unto themselves!  The best you can do it kill them.
"...no amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free.  No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything - you can't conquer a free man; the most you can do is Kill him." - Robert A. Heinlein


Shazam

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Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
« Reply #209 on: February 15, 2015, 11:23:35 am »
I am outspoken in my view Bern has to get some depth as a character, and have to be more than a mary sue uber-cute, uber-innocent, uber-pacific, uber-skilled swordswoman. However, I admit after the Warden's speech, it does make you want to see Bern show her up.

As for those still stuck on the sex part of choice A. I was thinking. Take that out of the equation.

Bernadette commits a crime for a loved one. This isn't uncommon in RL, people stealing to get money for family, mugging, embezzling, etc. Perhaps for food money, perhaps to get someone else out of trouble etc.

She's convicted and has to go to jail. (Now here we have the one oddity, which doesn't even really make too much sense in the Flipside world, but we'll go with it. Her pal Polly claims to have been involved.. or somehow volunteers to go to jail with her as part of what turns out to be a horribly conceived plan.)

Bern gets to jail and assess her to figure out what job she can do in the jail, work the kitchens, make license plates, bust rocks. Good behavior and demonstrating value to society with better jobs can get you parole sooner. Despite her pal Polly prepping her for this, Bern refuses to participate and is set to busting rocks. It's going to be a long time till she's out.

Polly again tries to help, and goes to bust rocks with her. In fact, she ends up doing her work and Bern's. It all gets done, but it's noticed that Bern once again did nothing. They separate Polly from her finally and let her know she'll be in jail for the max sentence with no real chance of parole. But hey, she has some choices. She can take 10 lashes, or lash someone else.

(I'm leaving out the mutilate element in this to keep things simple.)

Bern's primary motivation has always to be the moral, heroic savior knight type. Period. She obviously can't go simply lashing others. Then Polly steps in again and says, no no. Rather than you taking 10 lashes, I joined you in jail for a crime of your choosing, you refused to prove yourself at orientation, you slacked off when we were paired together, and now I'm going to take 100 lashes to your 10. But really, don't fight me on this because you're so special to me. And so Bern being weak doesn't fight her on it, doesn't take accountability, and lets her friend suffer 10x what she'd have had to for her transgression. That isn't very chivalric, no matter how you want to parse it.

There is nothing moral to letting your friend do this. And if you do want to dwell on the punishment being sexual, it's somehow okay for Polly who has done absolutely nothing wrong to have to suffer ten times as much as Bern in order for Bern to stay pure? Polly is worth less? Polly who is an actual and literal innocent in all of this and has only sought to help her friend at every step, can be sacrificed to a far worse fate and this can ever be justified on Bern's part? It isn't Bern's obligation to make sure her friend doesn't suffer any more than necessary due to her repeated bad choices?

I certainly don't like the Warden's speech in the last page and would love to see her wipe the mat with the three she's facing. Heck, it would be great to see her beat them and then challenge the Warden for a climactic denouement. However, no matter how skilled she is martially, it isn't in any way a mitigating factor. At least in this arc, she's weak, cowardly, unheroic, and in situations where she can't just beat people up to get her way (which is what got her into this mess) she'll let even innocent loved ones suffer rather than take personal accountability.