As Skullface queues at the check-in desk at Airport Schiphol, this familiar state of paranoia that rises on such occasions (they always regard her as if she’s some suicide-bombing prone death-cultist), combined with intense airport-specific boredom, triggers flashes of intuitions about the events of the last weeks. She might have been a little bit too busy being cool about the whole Alicja/Devyani thing, could it be that she ended up manipulating herself in fear of being manipulated?
Reaching the control desk after more queuing, she notices the panic look in the eyes of the security woman (who presses discreetly a red button on her walkie-talkie), and her peripheral vision fills with converging uniforms. No big deal, she doesn’t have much baggage but anyway she had her suitcase put in the luggage hold, since she doesn’t want to be controlled with her metal toys prototypes – she’d rather avoid prompting a small-scale post-porn Brancusi controversy. Also she’s not wearing her favorite steel-toe Doc Martens or any superfluous metal, so the metal-detector gate doesn’t ring, but she’s body-searched anyway and adopts spontaneously a resigned crucifixion pose. ‘So much for death-cult’ she broods, as usually in this situation.
While standing there with wide open arms and being thoroughly scanned, Skullface thinks that she now has a clearer understanding of what is wrong with Alicja. Not morally or psychologically wrong like it would appear at first, that she doesn’t give a shit about, but deeply disloyal. She had forgotten the nauseous feeling of betrayal, for many years she – softly – managed to make clear that she’s not someone you want to mess with. But Alicja’s lunacy makes her both difficult to read and quite blind to elementary signals.
Skullface doesn’t care about legality, but if she has to do something illegal, she wants to do it purposefully, in full control and for worthy reasons. She decided to keep remote from the law like from any other kind of institution, to avoid as much as possible any kind of grip society could have on her. Now Alicja not only selfishly endangered her social autarchy, but she didn’t make her know it at any moment, leaving her store in her workshop materials that – if you think of it – cannot have legal provenance. While unsettled with the whole project, she’s been unaware that what felt at first innocuous could be actually the source of trouble.
The control people seem even more nervous than usually, apparently because of the increasing amount of travelers wearing little mirror disks in badges or pendants that signal them as supporters of Johanna - supporters, followers, adepts, fans, it’s not clear. They reluctantly admit that Skullface is not a threat to airborne transportation, and actually the woman who gives her back her handbag slightly smiles at her, but she’s wearing dark red nail polish and a ball-ring in her left tragus.