|“Because Really, That Would Be Less Improbable”|
|Order of the Stick comic|
|Date published||24 January 2011|
|View the comic|
Haley's father assumes that Haley was the master manipulator who arranged for his rescue...which makes for a better explanation than the truth of sheer coincidence.
- Panel 1
Haley: Dad, I missed you so much.
Ian: Kitten, what are you doing here?
Belkar: "Dad"? Are you frickin' kidding me??
Roy: So, wait, when the guards called this empire "The Fatherland" they meant it literally?
- Panel 2
Haley: I came to rescue you.
Ian: How did you even know—?
Haley: They sent me a ransom note a few years ago. It, uh, it took a while for me to get here.
- Panel 3
Haley: I'm so sorry... Look at you, you look terrible. Like you aged twenty years since the last time I saw you.
Ian: Things are pretty lousy here. And that's not a figure of speech.
Ian scratches his hair and chest, "scratch! scratch!"
- Panel 4
Roy: Um, I don't mean to interrupt this heartfelt family reunion—
Belkar: I do! Stop talking to each other and service our curiosity.
- Panel 5
Haley: Roy, Belkar, this is my dad, Ian Starshine.
Ian and Roy shake hands.
Roy: Yeah, we've met, actually. Though you didn't mention your surname.
Ian: Can't be too careful, you know. I should have realized something was up, though.
Belkar: Come again?
- Panel 6
Ian: A powerful warrior shows up in my cell block who just happens to want to hear a long winded explanation about local politics? I should have known you were a plant.
Belkar: A plant, huh? That does explain the sluggish reflexes and wooden personality. Better not let the dwarf know.
- Panel 7
Ian: Pretty smooth inside job, Kitten. You get your lackeys into position here to learn all you can, then swoop in and bust me out.
Haley: Uh, thanks?
- Panel 8
Ian: That's my girl. And here I was trying to recruit them for my team. Well, the big guy, at least.
Belkar: You couldn't afford my current rates, anyway.
Belkar: What? I've had offers. You don't know.
- Panel 9
Roy: Actually, your daughter works for me, Mr. Starshine, not the other way around.
Roy: I'm the leader of the Order of the Stick.
Ian: Oh, I see.
- Panel 10
Ian (whispering): Good work, Kitten. Always let the stuffed shirts think they are in charge.
Ian (whispering): This way, you can subtly manipulate them into doing what you need without them realizing that you arranged it all from the shadows.
- Panel 11
Haley: No, Dad—
Roy: And for that matter, we didn't come here to rescue you. We're here in this region on a totally unrelated mission.
Roy: It's just a sheer coincidence that we happened to get thrown in the same cell block as you.
- Panel 12
Ian (whispering): Wow. You've gotten good at this.
- The singular of lice is louse.
- The title comments on the rationality of Ian's believe that Haley set up Roy and Belkar in the gladiator pit.
- Ian does look markedly different in the gladiator pit than he did in his three previous appearances in #93, #608, and #681.