This is Stryke’s final reckoning, really – with himself. All his life he’s followed orders, followed his king, always on the assumption that he was on the right team. Throughout TMC he’s been forced to reconsider that, in the process having to come up with his own motivations and reasons for being. Once the legitimacy of royalty and of a military hierarchy are stripped away, who is he?
Here we get to find out, and it’s really very simple, looping back to his very first chapter and the friends he’s made in that little outskirts village near the glacier.
Unfortunately, what we also get here is a form of hyper-accelerated radiation poisoning – not that Stryke has any idea about that. As readers we’re treated to a nasty bit of dramatic irony whereby we recognise the symptoms and perhaps understand the (pseudo-)science better than our characters. I’ll talk more about some of this down the line, once spoilers aren’t a consideration.
What else? I’ve thoroughly enjoyed writing Stryke and Michels. Ever since that Heat-inspired two-hander halfway through Arc 6, they are an amusing pair that bounce off each other nicely. Michels being entirely unflappable even in the midst of all the chaos never fails to entertain me.
As for the title of this chapter: it’s largely because I imagine Stryke being a mixture of Vesemir from the Witcher games and Danny Glover from Lethal Weapon.
Mike Miller · August 4, 2019 at 8:27 pm
As soon as I arrogantly decide Michels is based on me, you kill him off! Typical!
The intimations of radiation poisoning came through. I’d not picked up on “hyper-accelerated.” I guess that can be taken as a small comfort. Better for these fictional heroes to die over hours or days rather than two years of agony after the book ends. For personal reasons you are aware of, the topic of quick vs protracted death has weighed heavily on my mind these past months.