Sunday, June 7, 2015
Warning: this post contains spoilers for the first 3 Slowpocalypse stories, and I recommend reading those novels first. Also be warned that this shows the ‘sausage-making’ aspect of writing the book, which some of you may not want to know about.
Not only would his relationship with Kat be an important part of this book, but Tony himself had grown quickly from a supporting (but key) character in the beginning to a main point-of-view character, giving him an important role in the story. And here he would have plenty of trouble to deal with to keep things interesting. If the protests and increasing violence weren’t enough (and at least those were properly part of his job) he would have to deal with a major bout of the flu (thanks to Miles and David) stress among his staff at Security (thanks to the Gravity Bug) and Kat.
While Tony is certainly capable of dealing with all the demands of the job, from taking down troublemakers to supervising his staff, we see him more out of his element as he struggles with being sick and not being there to do his job. But the problem that gives him the biggest headache is what to do about his feelings for Kat.
Of course we’ve gotten her POV all along, and it’s easy to chart the course of their relationship from her perspective. She’d had a crush on Tony that became something more, and she’d had to deal with her evolving feelings for him. On the other hand, we hadn’t gotten any inside insight into Tony’s take on their relationship until Threat Multiplication, when he’d begun to realize he had feelings for her that needed to be dealt with. Even then, his contained and controlled personality meant we didn’t see much of that struggle. But by this book, it’s become an issue he can’t ignore anymore.
How did he get to this point? In Certain Hypothetical (and Durable Impressions) he clearly hadn’t thought of Kat that way. At that point she was still just his student and the daughter of his best friends. He cared about her, but not in a romantic way – it was only when he’d started spending time with her as one of his officers that he began to see her properly as a mature (and attractive) adult. But he still tried to deny the developing feelings he had for her, even through Threat Multiplication when he was so worried about her safety and ultimately her survival. Even when events proved to him (and her) how much he cared for Kat, he refuses to consider the possibility of a romantic relationship. And that’s the place we find Tony at when this story starts.
But Kat’s not content to let him just keep pushing her away, and so she would push back to try to force him to confront the issue between them. She would be like the irresistible force meeting the immovable object, creating a difficult dilemma that would require Caroline riding to the rescue. Kat’s mother knew all about their problem, of course, and eventually she would end up with the power to do something about it. But before that, she’d have to deal with a number of other crises.
Next: Part 6 – Caroline’s Coup