A Bad Start is the twenty-ninth chapter in Gunnerkrigg Court. It starts .
Frustrated and angry with the Court and the robots devoted to Diego, Kat finds solace and inspiration while treating a baby pigeon and speaking with Paz.
The chapter begins with Kat working on building Robot a new body. Despite Robot being fine with the work done so far, Kat is angry and believes it to be wrong. A pair of robots turn up and offer Kat one of Diego's original designs, but Kat, still furious at the revelations in Chapter 25, throws them aside.
Hearing a strange noise, Kat discovers it is an abandoned baby bird. Seeing its parents, she leaves the bird alone, thinking its parents might take it back, but when she returns later, the parents are gone and the baby remains. She puts it in a box and drops a worm in the box with it to feed it, and takes the bird to Paz. At Paz's workplace, Kat shows her the bird, which Paz confirms to be a baby pigeon. Paz comments that the bird is hungry and tells Kat that the baby is too little to be able to feed itself. Paz's robot companion Bobby examines the bird and declares it to be unharmed, except for a twisted leg.
After feeding the pigeon milk, Kat discovers a room full of mice. She initially believes them to be pets, but Paz has to tell her that the mice are test subjects. Kat is distraught at this, despite Paz's reassurance that many of the tests involved are not invasive and a lot of the mice are simply studied concerning their behaviour and learning patterns. Kat says that the Court only does what it wants and doesn't care for others, but Paz says that she is trying to make things better for the mice.
Paz points out that the Court is not a selfish monster, it is a collection of people working towards what they believe to be right, and over time, when mistakes are made, others will eventually fix them. She says that when she found the mice, she cried, but she asked to help so she could make it better. Kat argues that one cannot simply walk in and make things better. Paz asks her why she brought the pigeon with her, since she could have left it to die or killed it, and nobody would have known or cared. Kat says she could never do that, and Paz says that that is the point- with her and Kat and Bobby's help, the pigeon will grow up to be beautiful.
While Kat is holding the pigeon, it shakes its wings, and she realises that the shape of the wing is what could be used to make Robot's body. Before leaving, Paz invites her to return any time she wants, which Kat assures her she will do. She thanks them both for their help, and Bobby calls her 'angel', which Paz corrects, confused.
In the warehouse, Robot and Annie converse as to the reasons Kat left Robot there. Robot reflects that it could be a test, but Kat walks in and apologises, saying it was simply her bad temper. Annie exclaims over Kat's new haircut, and Kat apologises to Robot for leaving him there. Kat tells Annie that she feels much better, and that she named the pigeon City Face. Finally, she meets the robots who had Diego's plans and tells them that she needs them to take care of the plans, as while she can't use them now, she might need them soon, as she had an amazing idea.
Characters and Places Introduced In This Chapter
Notes and Trivia
- On page the reader can see bright bubbles connecting Paz and the Pigeon's minds. This is the first time we see Paz communicating with animals.== Navigation ==