Hmm... lots of interesting theories floating around. Guess I'll weigh in on a few of them:
1) Regarding Charlie's motivation: I agree that taunting Parson has an ulterior motive, although I think the motive could be as simple as keeping him cut off from GK. Maybe blocking their signals requires him to be actively sending signals of his own. That's my actual take on it, but... as long as we're speculating, we do know that Charlie was keen on getting Parson and his Artifact over to Charlescomm. If Parson uses the scroll to go home, he'd no longer be an Erfworld unit with a Duty to GK... and if Charlie happens to have a new summoning spell on hand to bring Parson /back/, something we know he's familiar with from the Book 0 updates, wouldn't Parson then have a Duty to Charlescomm?
2) "Fate is Inevitable, but our Path to it is not."
Despite Jojo and Maggie and Parson all asserting the idea of free will as a possibility, we've never, to my knowledge, ever seen a Predictamancer proven wrong in the entire strip. Ever. Which means there's no empirical evidence that any Predicted event even /can/ be avoided (in fact we know Wanda actively tried for hundreds of turns before giving up), and if that's the case, we know Parson will remain alive and in Erfworld because of Marie's prediction that Parson and Janis will one day stack up together
3) Like most of you, I'm hoping that all of our speculation is dead wrong, but honestly I don't expect it. There are hundreds of us, all now at least lightly trained in lateral thinking, and we know the situation about as well as Parson does.
It'd be amazing if he came up with something that none of us thought of. I scoffed at the theory for a /very/ long time, but now I'm starting to think the most likely choice is that Parson will, indeed, spin off his own side. Arguments in support of that theory:
- His primary connections to Gobwin Knob were Jack (now croaked), Maggie (now probably seen with more than a bit of distaste, since she mind controlled her ruler and kept vital info from him), and Wanda (who we know Parson is seeing as more and more going down a dark road, after all he did refer to her recently as Cruella de Ville). Add self-preservation to the mix and his Loyalty stat to his current side is probably wicked low.
- He doesn't need to croak any unit to do this, all he needs to do is send the units out of the garrison, as I'm pretty sure it's only the garrison that needs to be uncontested for the city to be claimed (unless founding a new side is a special case, but even then, the decrypted are already doomed and red dwagons are ultimately just expendable animals, so I don't think Parson would have a very hard time ordering them to fall on their swords before switching sides). The doombat is highly unlikely to be an issue, I'm sure some dwagon ate it off panel by now, we already know it's not in the garrison or GK's control of Spacerock would still be contested.
- There is, however, one /huge/ problem: Parson's upkeep. More than a thousand schmuckers a turn, and his new side would not have any treasury to draw from. Of course, fleeing to the MK, I could easily see Isaac and the other Great Minds paying that upkeep in return for Parson remaining for his briefing, but it would put him over quite a barrel with them until Spacerock popped a few units to forage (assuming, of course, it wasn't immediately taken by someone nearby).
Now, the fun part, the reason why I decided to chime in: What would Parson's side be called?
Possibilities in my head include:
- Stupidside (irony at it's best)
- The Parsonage
I'm sure there's better ideas out there.