Comment on Drawing Lines in the Sand

  1. "If you hurt him, I will end you."
    “I do love it when you drop your masks."
    Not only she. *grin* Alex is all about "live and let live", but if forced to... "live and let die" might fit him better.

    The sad thing is that from this moment on, there was no way that his father could come out of this with a postive view of his son. This wasn't only violent, this was deadly, personal and clearly a high-level fight about power. Neither Alex nor Deleo could go back, change things. This was it, and Alex's father was the witness...

    I love how you managed that Alex became *vicious* with his words. I think in the previous chapter, Drakh already commented how he ruthlessly uses psychology, and here he does it again to a greater extent.
    “Shireen was the strongest. Tobruk was the cruelest. I was the cleverest. But you? You were the one most desperate for Richard’s attention.”
    That made me think. Richard put Tobruk and Alex deliberately into a battle of life and death. - and did the same with Rachel and Shireen. What if Drakh thought Shireen would be forced to kill Rachel and would finally gain the edge a Dark Mage needs? And instead, Rachel managed to harvest her? What if that was the one thing that truly went against Richard's plans?

    If you keep this up, Cinder will die.
    I didn't doubt that he was telling the truth in that moment... but the way you let Cinder die still surprised me. I didn't expect it. *sniff* Cinder is probably my favourite Dark Mage and I keep hoping that he becomes Alex's Dark Mage ally in truth. In the books they certainly had some kind of dynamic.

    I saw what she intended, and I didn’t hesitate.
    Does he ever in life and death situations? Morals are something he learned, a luxury for him... something that can be discarded when the moment calls for it.
    But oh, his father. That hurt. He didn't understand the lights, didn't understand why his son would shot a defenseless woman on the ground. How could he? From his point of view, it looks so much worse. And hey, let's be truthful "I am the chosen heir of the guy that might be best buddy with Voldemort" isn't exactly a great thing.

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    1. icon by pensive1

      This chapter hurt me to write a little because of all the pain in it: Deleo losing Cinder and Alex losing his father. I really like Cinder too, and I didn't want to kill him off, but I wanted something that would drive Deleo past the point of no return, and Cinder seems to be the only thing she cares about (that and pleasing Richard). I actually like Deleo as well, not because she's a good person--because she isn't--but because she's dynamic, and I can understand what drives her.

      I wanted a scene that would drive Alex up to and over the lines he usually holds for himself because of the corner he was driven into. Some of his words and actions in this scene are cruel, but he's not at heart a cruel person, and he hated what he had to do, which I hope showed through in the writing. And his poor father... But, as I hope was clear in the story, what other choice could he have made?

      I *really* like your theory of Richard orchestrating Alex vs. Tobruk and Rachel vs. Shireen. I think Shireen would have been a good choice for him as chosen if, as you suggested, he managed to whittle her down enough to where she'd kill Rachel. But it didn't work out that way.

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      1. I wanted something that would drive Deleo past the point of no return
        I agree, Cinder or Richard... she doesn't seem to care about anything else enough. Do you think Cinder and Deleo are in a romantic relationship? He is always by her side, even if it's clearly something that's her matter like protecting Richard's castle.
        Are there any good persons in these books? I would say maybe Caldera...

        Alex isn't a naturally cruel person, yeah. That is what makes him appealing, at the same time he is capable of watching torture without being too affected by it. (Tells a lot about his time at Richard too.)
        But, as I hope was clear in the story, what other choice could he have made?
        It was very clear. :D good work!

        I think Shireen would have been a good choice for him as chosen if, as you suggested, he managed to whittle her down enough to where she'd kill Rachel.
        Taking this thought, he had two potentials, and two tools. Alex breaking point came with the girl, he failed to save her. Shireen's breaking point... would have been Rachel, I guess. Both, Shireen and Alex wanted out. (Because they were the intelligent ones.)

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