The truth is, this is truely one of those hiccup comics where some thiings needed to happen (specifically the cell phone bit) and piro needed to wander off leaving ping behind. I tried several variants of this compressing it more, but it didn't leave enough room to allow for piro's moping - also, i wanted to show that ping is so conscious of piro (the protagonist in whatever game she is playing inside, really) that she charged his cell phone first without thinking of her own.
The strip fails because it doesnt really pull off the mood right, and the way the story runs it really is an inbetween strip. As for the repeat issue, i just need to tweak "me? oh, just gonna take a walk." a little and it will work fine. There is a degree to which all MT strips must stand on thier own, and sometimes i have to repleat or show obvious things to avoid 'what was this? where did that come from?' and all other such questions. I sort of live in terror, after puting a new strip up, to see what didn't work. That's why i read the forums. Instant feedback.