>Whatever happened with Emily Wong, intrepid girl reporter? Did she
>ever get her promised payoff?
Not completely, not yet, but only because the case is taking longer to come to fruition than expected. However, she is sort of de facto on the crime beat now, thanks to her connection to the Organized Crime Task Force. It doesn't pay as well as Section 4, on account of it's essentially freelance work at this point, but it's a damn sight more satisfying.
>Who's watching the old homestead(s) back in The Big Universe(s)?
Which ones? Tsuwabuki's chapter of the Order of the Rose has things pretty well in hand in Cephiro, the Jeraddo chapter has been getting along fine without the founders for several years now, the house on Tomodachi is basically in mothballs now, the World Wide Building has automated facility management, and Fritz has Kate's place well in hand while she's on her student teaching assignment in Sakuragaoka (particularly since Juri still lives there!).
>There's a strong appearance of the Trinity having pretty much given up
>on living or travelling Outside, and count on people coming to see
>them instead (hence all the techno-magic communication systems across
Given that Corwin spent the first week of Honest Hearts on Turing III and Utena went to the B'hava'el system twice in as many weekends in May, I'm not sure this is entirely in evidence.
>IIRC the baby World Engine automates most, but not all, of the
>Pillar's duties to Cephiro, so what's going on with the things the
>Engine doesn't take care of when the Pillar's spending massive amounts
>of time not just not in the same universe, but in a parallel dimension
The latter doesn't particularly make a difference - if he's out of Cephiro he's out of Cephiro, it doesn't matter how far out. As for the former, I'm not sure a couple-three months qualifies as "massive amounts of time," but even if it does, see the above remarks about Tsuwabuki and company. If anything comes up that requires the Pillar's personal attention, they'll let him know.
>Is this helping dear old Akio run around unchecked (and will
>Akio be checking out the old homestead(s) in The Big Universe(s)?)
Akio can't get into Cephiro, and if he were to turn up in person at e.g. Kate's place, well, you remember Professor X's old line about a great swell of pity.
>Akio aside, does anything happen in the Diqiu universe when the Avatar
>goes off to a non-Diqiu-ish Spirit World, such as Valhalla?
Not really known, that's kind of why it's taking more than a month to process her visa application. Probably it's no different than when she's out in the Big Universe - maybe slightly better, since it's much easier to get to the Spirit World from Asgard than from, say, New Avalon.
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