In A Cold Day in Hell, Scout has a debate with an imaginary Miss Pauling before getting laid (spoiler: he doesn’t). Aside from Scout’s utter stupidity and denial of Miss Pauling’s lack of interest, take a look at this:
Six years. Keep that in mind.
Now take a look at the Team Fortress 2 Comic Timeline. If you look through it, you’ll find that the Gravel War (aka the main setting) started around June 1968.
…but when did A Cold Day in Hell take place? Our best bet is early 1973 or late 1972, according to where Unhappy returns is recorded in the timeline. So let’s assume this scene happened in either 1972 or 1973. Which bakes the question…
Did Scout and Miss Pauling meet before the Gravel War?
So far, I’ve thought of two possibilities….and comebacks. >_>”
- Scout met Miss Pauling during training prior to the Gravel War. There hasn’t been any information on Scout’s history, let alone how long the mercs were trained before being deployed to TeuFort (or if there even WAS training).
- They actually met during the Gravel War: it just took Miss Pauling a very long time to locate Heavy. In that time, wouldn’t Miss Pauling have gone to search for the other mercs as well? Or if she spent two years in Russia searching until she gave the offensive classes the mission, would she have truly spent that much time on just one mercenary?
I might’ve overlooked something, but if anyone has any guesses on when they met, feel free to add ‘em. :D
The Cold Day In Hell timeline isn’t posted yet, but I really doubt it was that long after Unhappy Returns. According to the wiki, Ring of Fired and Unhappy Returns only took place a day apart. In fact the end of Unhappy Returns, Saxton and Mags are just meeting Charles Darling, and 7 pages into Cold Day In Hell, they’re still talking with him. Now if it was Scout, I could buy the “talked for ten months” being canon (and now I want that actually to happen, complete with the romcom like flashforward of the seasons as Scout is so into talking that he doesn’t even notice the snow coming down on him).
Other possibilities include:
1) Valve has continuity issues and three is their downfall. Remember, just last comic they said things that happened to BLU Scout and BLU Soldier happened to RED Soldier and RED Scout. Still no word on whether that was an intentional note that RED and BLU are actually the same and have some hivemind going on with memories or a continuity error.
2) Scout knew her prior to the TFI. I’ve done AUs with this, but I kind of doubt this one in canon. If he knew her, we’d get an exchange like “Hey Sophie!” “Dammit, Liam, I told you not to reveal my name at work!”
Because face it, if Scout knew her name, he’d be using it, and if she knew him, slipping up would be a way to reveal backstory, names and their relationship in one panel.
3) time travel was involved. Scout has reset the timeline multiple times just to flex for Miss Pauling, and maybe save her life a couple times while flexing.
4) Scout and/or Valve is bad at math. Considering that in Unhappy Returns Scout is seen reading a young readers edition of the Ghost Attorney script, it’s possible that he’s a high school dropout/never completed school. Scout is known to exaggerate things in canon as well.
5) This isn’t a mistake or a hoax, but something far more revealing about both Scout and Miss Pauling, we just don’t know what it means yet.
I was definitely taken aback by that statement too - and it made me wonder how old Scout was. Though after thinking about it, I kind of see it as a mistake or hyperbolic statement on his part.
Like, he can’t just say he’s been pining for her from a long time, it has to be “C’mon Miss P! It’s been SIX YEARS or somethin’! Just one date!?”
To which she would probably correct him with the actual amount of time that’s passed. : ) That’s just my theory though!
Though technically, six years does seem kind of small for hyperbole, especially as it’s only about 2 years off, I could see that happening.
I recently saw someone add up Scout’s timeline again. If we take The Track Terrorizer as canon, then at one point he was 23. The youngest he could be in the current timeline is like 24-25 if we take the 23 note to be in MVM timeline and assume he came into TFI about 18-19. the oldest he could be was around 28, though I have a hard time accepting that. Scout just seems way too youthful and immature to be nearing thirty. Though I could make so many 40 year old virgin jokes if he did turn out to be 28.
FFF reminds me of that running joke in Mr & Mrs. Smith where John was always getting how many years they were married wrong, and Jane was correcting him.