The point where it all changes.

This was one of those 'tentpole' chapters; a spot in the book where something happens and the characters careen into a new reality.

 I really wanted to focus on the moment during this scene, especially taking time to delve into what Althea was feeling. Add to that the desolation of the environment as well as the unfeeling brutality by which the act was carried out. Reading aloud again, I wondered if I spent too much time trying to capture everything that was going through Althea's head, but again, it is a big moment. This is the moment that's going to send Althea on a collision course with the rest of the group so I didn't want there to be any question about her motivation.

In short, the Cythereans went and pissed off Althea. Now there's hell to pay.


In retrospect, this was a strange scene to cut away to in the middle of one of the turning points in the book. Isra is continuing to do what she came here to do, study Cytherean society.  But I think the contrast is important. Again, we are setting up the coming conflict and taking a moment to establish what is going on in the character's heads will help explain the shit show that's coming. And Isra, for me, is trying to do a deeply unpleasant job as fast and as effectively as possible. At the same time I like to think she is operating on another level. As despicable as she finds Cytherean society to be, it's interesting how she reacts. Althea is one who, after seeing how the game is played, is more likely to toss the board and walk away.

Isra, she's going to play to win even if she hates it.


I always love whenever Viekko and Althea go at it. The way their personalities bounce off each other practically writes itself. I don't write a lot of sex scenes, mostly because I don't find it that interesting. I mean sex is interesting but its more of a participation sport in my opinion and one I don't think I could translate terribly well to paper. Or at least in the obvious physical sense. I understand there is a massive and very popular genre that disagrees but there you have it.

Yet, on some level, this is Althea and Viekko making love. It's shouty and angry and is probably waking the neighbors. Even reading it aloud I am tempted to shout into the page, 'for the love of all that is good and holy would you two go get a room and get this tension out of your systems?! Please and thank you!'

And again, I like the turn events have taken. Now it's Viekko who's playing the voice of calm reason. As Althea points out things have gotten weird enough that it's Veikko who's preaching diplomacy. Shit has gone off the rails when that happens.

Still, not completely out of the question. Somebody has to reign in Althea's wild side.

Also a shout-out to Angela Vincent for wonderfully capturing this scene.


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