Aha, Savage getting in the way, standard.
Oh. OH. A Memory Charm. Yeah, that would explain everything. Oh, thank GOD Jen's not involved at all because that would have killed me.
"'You know how all the protections at Stacey Whitman's office were ones you knew exactly how to break through, because they were done exactly the way you'd do them? And how the Scindo curse might have been popular amongst Death Eaters, but then the Lions picked up using it?'" I SAID ALL THIS AND YOU POO-POOED ME. But I forgive you because I know why you did it. And to think, I only leapt onto the idea of it being Tom because Tanith found being punched in the face familiar, haha. There were clues, but they were subtle. Enough to nudge someone in the right direction if they were noticed, but not in-your-face signs. Good work!
Anyway. Toby is in a bit of a pickle. Good on Tanith for having Wheezes at the ready, like a good student of Altair's. Ack, poor Annie. OH GOD if one of these kids dies then I will hate you forever, I hope you know that.
Everything Tom says has at least an element of truth in it. I mean, we excuse Tanith for killing Wilson because we know exactly what happened ... but at the same time he has a point, why should SHE get off for following orders? Why should anyone? And all of his points, all of them, even the points about Jacob doing nothing to stop the regime, are RIGHT, and have MERIT ... and then he starts playing around with Toby and Katie's lives and completely discredits himself because good god he's gone nuts. But seriously, kudos for creating a bad guy who's still believable and not demonised beyond belief, because it makes it all so much more REAL. And it's a genuine point - people got off last time when they shouldn't have, and if things are going to be different this time then surely people should be punished for their actions? But then, "only following orders" is always a minefield, especially when you add in the fact that Tanith wasn't just following orders, she was being threatened. DURESS YO (guess who's just learned about defences of criminal law!). So, yeah. Sticky situation.
And so much feels for the fact that Tanith still can't bring herself to hate the guy who killed her partner and nearly killed her. And on that note ... yeah, it was like a little punch to my gut when Tom pointed out that Jacob did naff all to help things and didn't come across too well in the June Enquiries. Because I adored him, and I don't think I realised how much I adored him until you killed him off. But he really didn't paint a very good picture of himself, did he? At least not in comparison to someone like Tanith, who like Tom points out, at least TRIED to resist as much as possible. And so, it's easy to see why someone like Tom would feel like Jacob was on the wrong side ... ugh SO MANY FEELS.
Oh god only Toby would try to correct his captor on an academic point. I love him.
And then Tom suggests killing Toby or Katie and that's the part where he loses one hell of a lot of credibility. He's nuts! Poor kid, the war's driven him crazy. He's so used to enacting justice and punishing the people who did bad things, that even now the war's over and things are done differently, he still thinks he has to do something more, to truly make sure these people pay. I have to say though, Katie's reaction to that part of Tom's plan was hilarious, and pure Katie.
Whoa Tanith WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
Author's Response: Savage is just a pain, isn't he? He originally had a bigger part in the entire story but... that got cut and trimmed down and his jobs got given to other characters and now he's just there to be annoying. Poor guy. Except that he is a berk.
YEP memory charm. Don't worry. Jen is not evil. Glad I had you going there for a second, though! And yeees, I poo-pooed your idea! Of course I did, because you were right! Actually, the hint about Tanith being punched in the face being familiar was meant to be a MISLEADING clue because she'd been punched in the face by Jen earlier on that very day. It was, of course, also an allusion to Tom but I'd expected readers to remember Jen attacking her outside the courtroom before remembering Tom punching her at Gullsmere. OH WELL.
If I killed someone right now it would likely be a very mean thing to do, killing them off in the final moments of the entire series. I assure you I wouldn't do that without good dramatic reason.
I can't promise I don't have good dramatic reason.
Tom has points - people got away, people weren't punished for the horrible things they did, and some people just didn't fight, which was in its way letting them go. He IS right about Jacob, and it's not because Jacob was a bad man, it was just that going against the government, even one he hated, wasn't in his nature. He didn't think it was possible and so he didn't dare. But Jacob wasn't a bad man and was still murdered by someone's arbitrary judgment. And at the same time - so was Mulready, so was Lackardy, and when it's been proven that Tom's judgment IS flawed, can we accept "all's well that ends well" in that they died? But he still took action. And Tanith still can't hate him for it. Because Tom WAS broken by the war, in his way - and we will get to that, we'll get to more on how this happened and why.
Toby is a pedant. And will get himself killed if he carries on, bless him. XD
Tanith is... well, Tanith is the master of the third choice. But we must always wonder what Tanith would do when the third choice wasn't necessarily presented to her...
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