I get it. Iron Gold needs to set its pieces on the board. It started in a less-than-happily ever after place and only seems to be getting worse. But through the course of Part 2, we’ve seen some questionable decisions made. After his disastrous escape from Luna with Sevro and their team, which resulted in the death of Wulfgar, Darrow’s big plan was to break into the prison holding Apollonius au Rath — cruel elder brother to Tactus — and use him in his plan to take down the Ash Lord. The doubt and concern in Darrow throughout the whole execution of the prison break, finding the Minotaur and leaving a trail of blood (and eyeballs) as they took him away from the depths of the ocean is stirring. Darrow knows this could backfire in a major way. He’s giving Apollonius the chance to kill more people (possibly his own friends and family) in the hopes to carry out a plan he has almost no support on. What could go wrong? (SO MUCH!)
Granted, we never know everything Darrow is thinking. At this point, I sort of count on that if and when things go wrong. Sometimes he sets people up to be their own downfall, and we don’t see it until it’s happening. Still, Apollonius isn’t some crazed former prisoner who’s going to run around slashing necks and eventually be taken down. He’s been living a fairly luxurious life in prison, biding his time and working things out. He’s ready for this, even if he didn’t know it was coming. He could prove to be even more lethal and destructive than he ever was.
I know it’s crazy and probably wishful thinking, but some part of me hopes there’s a bit of what we saw in Tactus in Apollonius. That maybe some part of him wants to brutally right the wrongs done on him and possibly then retire and live out a semi-decent life as a snobby gold who’s tired of bloodshed and loss? It’s crazy, I know. But Tactus never got the chance to redeem himself, so perhaps another Rath will seize the opportunity. After all who really knows what’s really going on inside Apollonius’ head.
Fine, probably murder and destruction.
My hopefullness is only about 2% of my thinking. The other 98% is terrified that Darrow is going to regret bringing that man back to the worlds, and people will pay for it.
Moving on, Ephraim and Lyria’s paths crossed, as Ephraim used Lyria to unknowingly smuggle a drone onto a ship full of everyone who matters in the core, including Kavax, little Pax and Sevro’s kids, one of whom was taken by Ephraim along with Pax after the ship crashed down to Earth and everyone onboard, save Sophocles, was paralyzed by the substance the drone released into the air.
Kavax managed to overcome the drug and try to stop Ephraim and his team from escaping. Dano got his head caved in over that, while Ephraim got away, taking Pax, Sevro’s daughter and Lyria with him. He was supposed to kill Lyria. She’s evidence. But he’s developed occasionally-numbed feelings for the Red, and he couldn’t bring himself to do it. Well, he tried, then gave up trying immediately/ So now they’re on the run.
I’m not particularly worried about Pax and Sevro’s daughter (Electra?). If anything, I feel bad for anyone responsible for keeping any of Sevro and Victra’s kids at bay under a hostage situation. But I’m guessing their capture will result in Mustang having to make some tough choices, especially depending on who’s waiting to receive the package.
Last we saw of Kavax, he was shot in the chest, with a badly injured arm. But he was alive, so hopefully he recovers. And hopefully whoever else we love that was on that ship is all right.
Finally, we have Lysander and Cassius, who have been outed on the Rim. Seraphina says she has evidence related to the destruction of the Ganymede docks, and that she hid it in Lysander’s razor, which is in the safe on their ship. They know who Cassius is, and by the end of Part 2, Cassius was facing a fight as the Raa are determined to gain access to that safe.
I’m fascinated by Lysander. As much as I want to be in Cassius’ head as well, so far, Lysander is proving to be a great and presumably reliable narrator. We’ve always known him to be an inquisitive and observant person, and at times that trait serves us well. His analysis of Cassius’ reactions and deduction of what Cassius will do may be the closest thing we have to being inside the Eagle’s mind. At the very least, I feel comfortable in assuming that Lysander is at least mostly right about what he thinks Cassius is thinking. For now, anyway.
And what is Cassius thinking? Lysander is convinced that Cassius will do whatever he has to in order to keep that evidence from starting a war between the Core and the Rim. Lysander believes Cassius seeks redemption, and this might be a prime opportunity. So we’ll have to see how Cassius handles this situation, and whether or not these two manage to escape without the Rim gaining what they need to prove it wasn’t Roque who destroyed their docks.
Let’s talk about that evidence. What exactly is it? A recording of Darrow and Victra’s last words with Roque, and the last-minute decision to destroy the docks before Romulus knew they’d taken control of the Morning Star?
Or is it something vaguer that maybe implies the timeline of when Darrow made it onto the bridge was sooner than he’d claimed when he and Romulus spoke? If that’s the case, there’s some wiggle room, or more wiggle room than a video or audio recording of Darrow and Victra blowing up the docks. Maybe it doesn’t matter either way. Maybe there’s no room left for wiggle room at all.
Sidenote: I’m curious about Dido and Romulus’ falling out. Lysander says the couple was known to be very much in love. Perhaps things began to unravel when their daughter was killed at Darrow’s Triumph. And then, maybe it got worse when Romulus returned after the docks were destroyed. I always got the impression that Romulus knew — or had a strong feeling — that Darrow might’ve been the one to wreck his docks. At least, that’s the impression Darrow seemed to have, that Romulus would accept the lie in order to keep his people from war. Maybe that lie has driven a wedge between Romulus and his wife, who has suspected the truth but was unable to prove it. Perhaps she believed her husband knew more than he was telling her, and maybe their marriage suffered as a result.
The things people will do to protect their people.
I finished Part 1 feeling uncomfortable. Part 2 did nothing to assuage those feelings. If anything, discomfort has turned to stress. But that’s ok. As I said, the pieces need to be set on the board, and they’re starting to be pushed around. It’s hard to sit back and watch characters we love — or are just getting to know — make questionable decisions. But I’m trusting that it’s all leading to lessons learned and major comebacks when the time is right.
If you missed it, read my thoughts on Part 1 here.