Author Topic: Sicarius sense of security (or why I don't believe in "secret bunkers")  (Read 13083 times)

AKK

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 779
    • Before & After & Inbetween - Physicist on the Rampage
A lot of fan fiction was posted over the few weeks that the forum exists by now. Enough for general tropes ("fanon"?) to become recognizable. Among the more common tropes is one, which is truly beginning to irk me: the idea that Sicarius needs a secret hideout, bunker, spell bubble, whatever to feel safe enough to lie with Amaranthe. I don't think that is the case. Actually, in my eyes the idea belittles him!

[Before you all dug out your pitchforks, hot tar, and feather pillow contents to hunt me down (which may not be wise on your part ~-!), allow me to continue.]

The reason why I consider the notion of a fortified hideout as required safe haven offensive, lies in Sicarius's (not quite former) profession and his upbringing. Normal people, people like the majority of us I assume, consider safety to be a place, a home, a safe haven. That's why a burglar robbing your flat during your vacation takes so much more from us than just the new flatscreen and Aunt Tilda's bracelets! But Sicarius is not "normal" in that regard. For him, this kind of inherent, true safety does not exist. Remember, he's an assassin. He spent his life getting into his target's homes, hideouts, bunkers, palaces to take them down while they felt safe (or at least secure). No place, however fortified, guarded or hidden, stopped him. No place is safe. Period.

For Sicarius, safety is the result of being alert, being prepared (and able) to act in self-defense. Mana's beautiful short story Little!Sic (in the pre-canon section) shows a well thought out idea of how his upbringing, his conditioning resulting in this much more realistic concept of safety might have been. In addition, think of what we see of his sleeping habits in the books: of him sleeping in the pipe room in EE2, well out of sight but knives within reach.

Embracing, having sex with another is accepting being (more) vulnerable for a while. And I can truly see him considering it in terms of risk, of "is it worth it?", and that his answer will be "yes" eventually, however, not in a specific place, but for sure with his knives within easy reach (or even strapped on). The notion that he needs a safe haven to start anything smacks of cowardice in this context. More so, it implies that he forgot everything about how to be safe over it.

In this context, his extensive training with Amaranthe takes a deeper meaning as well. Safety comes from being alert, being prepared and able to defend yourself. The more she learns to defend herself, the safer she is with - and without - him, and the safer they will be together!

[And if you still want to bring out the pitchforks now, I'd like you to know that there may be more items than just books and an alarm clock on my bedside table. Thank you. ;) ]
"You are not cleared for that."

Mana

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1073
Re: Sicarius sense of security (or why I don't believe in "secret bunkers")
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2012, 05:41:28 am »
Awww, I got a shout out!

But seriously, I've spent (way more time than I should - I think about it all the time) on how the training he received would have affected his life as an adult.  I tend to agree that he wouldn't need a bunker or safe haven in the sense we give in our fan fiction but I do think he would find a defensible position somewhere where he felt confident that he would hear trouble brewing and be able to act on it. His life is such a constant state vigilance that I seriously doubt it turns off, even during a physical encounter. But, having that level of venerability is what draws us to those types of stories.  The romantic notion of being so engrossing and desirable everything else just disappears. 

I don't know, but the turmoil his character is experiencing in these last few books is really intense.  Some are saying "grow up".  I think he is already grown up and aside from the whole being extremely deadly, if he was plunked down in front of us we'd think he had some sort of learning disability instead of not being an adult.  His development was (and is) stunted.

I don't know about you, but I have kids and if the they even roll over in bed, we hear it! I think it would take some powerful good nookie for us not to!  ;)  I know, TMI, but I'm known for that. *sigh*
www.nault-findley.com
www.samantha-nolan.com

"In your haste to save the world, take care that you do not destroy it."

AKK

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 779
    • Before & After & Inbetween - Physicist on the Rampage
Re: Sicarius sense of security (or why I don't believe in "secret bunkers")
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2012, 05:59:32 am »
Awww, I got a shout out!

:) It was a lazy way to prove a complex point. Kudos for writing it.

But seriously, I've spent (way more time than I should - I think about it all the time) on how the training he received would have affected his life as an adult.  I tend to agree that he wouldn't need a bunker or safe haven in the sense we give in our fan fiction but I do think he would find a defensible position somewhere where he felt confident that he would hear trouble brewing and be able to act on it. His life is such a constant state vigilance that I seriously doubt it turns off, even during a physical encounter. But, having that level of venerability is what draws us to those types of stories.  The romantic notion of being so engrossing and desirable everything else just disappears. 

Yes, he will put conditions on the location, as in defensible, not easy to sneak up on, large number of options to respond (or retreat), but it will be geared towards "allowing response" not preventing assault. Anyway, my qualms are less about there being a place, but the general notion of making it a requirement. It makes him weaker than he is in my books. Ditto Am, actually.

I don't know, but the turmoil his character is experiencing in these last few books is really intense.  Some are saying "grow up".  I think he is already grown up and aside from the whole being extremely deadly, if he was plunked down in front of us we'd think he had some sort of learning disability instead of not being an adult.  His development was (and is) stunted.

I'd say altered or different. Not stunted. We tend to put group socialization as the norm, but it isn't. The problematic part is not that he keeps his distance, or that he considers everything in terms of threat,  but his choice of "solutions". Given his upbringing and profession, it's more fascinating how much personality is actually left, even if he doesn't act upon it.

I don't know about you, but I have kids and if the they even roll over in bed, we hear it! I think it would take some powerful good nookie for us not to!  ;)  I know, TMI, but I'm known for that. *sigh*

No kids, but general awareness is well developed.
"You are not cleared for that."

moldynotgo

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 896
Re: Sicarius sense of security (or why I don't believe in "secret bunkers")
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2012, 06:15:21 am »
Since we (this will come as a shock) tend to romanticize Sicarius (FOR REALZ?), we like to think that when he DOES finally, um, um, yeah with Amaranthe, it will be IMPOSSIBLE for him to have his guard up simultaneously.

We like to think of him as being so enraptured and focused only on her, he could not simultaneously maintain his rock-solid defenses at the same time.

In 'Stranger in a Strange Land,' the martian Michael is described as being able to fully grok a kiss, that is, when he kisses someone, it is the only thing he is thinking about at that moment. It's an incredibly sensuous idea, that you are singularly focused on One. Thing. Period.  And we'd like to see that with Amaranthe.

Some really genius Sicarius-POV has been written describing how he constantly scans his surroundings. You can't have that awareness when your eyes are closed, someone is breathing in your ear, your hands are... busy, etc, etc.

I don't see the bunker idea as a weakness, just a necessity. Just like when I'm with my husband and my kids are NOT home, there's a different quality to the experience since I am able to drop the watchfulness.

(To be specific, I think Sicarius could certainly smootch and defend himself. But we like to think that The Night will be when he is 100% perfectly focused on Am and only Am)

Mana

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1073
Re: Sicarius sense of security (or why I don't believe in "secret bunkers")
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2012, 06:30:32 am »
His character is fascinating. I think one of the reasons why is because we don't *know* what he is thinking.  So far, all the characters are readable.  There are underlying motivations but you can see them and understand them.  We don't know his underlying motivations unless he tells us what they are.  The books also portray him as infallible.  He's human (albeit a character, but still) so he can't be truly infallible. 

I think another part of his draw is the fact we are waiting to see the venerability that is there, lurking.  I'm not sure how successfully I have conveyed it in any of my fiction but I've tried to show that he doesn't have all the answers, even within what his training says is the answer. To show that he needed guidance and answers as a kid, to show he was a cocky arrogant teenager, to show that having a kid was something that touched him more than any 15 year old would ever be touched, and as an adult he is brimming with just as many insecurities as we all have, the insecurities just aren't related to death or killing.

Quote
Given his upbringing and profession, it's more fascinating how much personality is actually left, even if he doesn't act upon it.

I think there is probably a ton of personality lurking under the surface but he was taught to hide it so we don't see it.

I enjoy the fan fiction/art.  To see what other's think about certain scenes.  I don't think the forum is over run with or carried by it.  Maybe I misread your first post's line...  One of my favorite things is seeing the sharing and the discussion that results.  This thread is just an example of many thought provoking discussions I have read on here.  Well, except for some of the stripper tangents, etc. The "real" conspiracy thread was fascinating.  Some of the speculation was presented in a way that I hadn't thought of before and I think it shows how much depth is in Lindsay's work.

Your thoughts?
www.nault-findley.com
www.samantha-nolan.com

"In your haste to save the world, take care that you do not destroy it."

riamachia

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1599
  • Wait, what? Why am *I* getting blamed for this?
Re: Sicarius sense of security (or why I don't believe in "secret bunkers")
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2012, 06:48:06 am »
Given his upbringing and profession, it's more fascinating how much personality is actually left, even if he doesn't act upon it.
This is how he seems to me, too. 

Anyway, my qualms are less about there being a place, but the general notion of making it a requirement. It makes him weaker than he is in my books. Ditto Am, actually.
Feh.  If it meant getting his clothes off, she'd be happy with a corner in the Emperor's Maze.  Possibly because she has that much faith in his awareness.  So, agreed.
Maria
"Is that why you... appreciate me?"
"It's her eyes."

Sara M.

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 203
Re: Sicarius sense of security (or why I don't believe in "secret bunkers")
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2012, 07:13:09 am »
I agree that Sicarius wouldn

Cael

  • Plot Bunny Breeder
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1516
  • These Are Not The Krakens You Are Looking For
Re: Sicarius sense of security (or why I don't believe in "secret bunkers")
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2012, 07:18:35 am »
Hee hee, and this is why I tend to avoid fanfics involving Sicarius directly. The appeal is that he rarely lets his guard down or allows his thoughts to show. That, of course, makes us women want for that control to bend or break for Am cause ain't nothing more appealing to a girl than knowing you're awesome enough to be the reason for said bending/breaking.

But, that said, canon Sic would most likely never be so overcome, he put a mission on hold to get to second base. Even if it is hot. Super hot.

I haven't had my coffee, excuse the incoherentness.

;)
Once you've made sure that the signal gets through
There's one final thing that I want you to do
Put me where I'll see stars, so that I can see you
And I'll soar like a leaf on the wind

Mana

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1073
Re: Sicarius sense of security (or why I don't believe in "secret bunkers")
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2012, 07:23:23 am »
canon Sic would most likely never be so overcome, that he'd put a mission on hold to get to second base. Even if it is hot. Super hot.

*snort* "Sic! you have a mission..."   "No, I'm at second hoping for third here, its gotta wait." *snort*
www.nault-findley.com
www.samantha-nolan.com

"In your haste to save the world, take care that you do not destroy it."

Cael

  • Plot Bunny Breeder
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1516
  • These Are Not The Krakens You Are Looking For
Re: Sicarius sense of security (or why I don't believe in "secret bunkers")
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2012, 07:25:28 am »
canon Sic would most likely never be so overcome, that he'd put a mission on hold to get to second base. Even if it is hot. Super hot.

*snort* "Sic! you have a mission..."   "No, I'm at second hoping for third here, its gotta wait." *snort*

Well Am is rather cute lol!
Once you've made sure that the signal gets through
There's one final thing that I want you to do
Put me where I'll see stars, so that I can see you
And I'll soar like a leaf on the wind

Sara M.

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 203
Re: Sicarius sense of security (or why I don't believe in "secret bunkers")
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2012, 07:29:02 am »
I agree that Sicarius wouldn

What the heck? Stupid computers. Redo:

I agree that Sicarius wouldn't need a secret bunker before he could have intimacy. There's never been any indication that he wanted or valued that kind of setup -- in fact, he'd probably consider it a weakness, something that his enemies could use to track him. We know that he lived in the imperial barracks for years, and that's probably as far from private and secure as you can get. His sense of security lies in his abilities, not in his surroundings.

That said, I can see him wanting to be somewhere more easily defensible than, say, the middle of a forest or the maze. I don't think he would object to using a secret bunker if they happened to find themselves in a secure one.

I don't know, but the turmoil his character is experiencing in these last few books is really intense.  Some are saying "grow up".  I think he is already grown up and aside from the whole being extremely deadly, if he was plunked down in front of us we'd think he had some sort of learning disability instead of not being an adult.  His development was (and is) stunted.

Yes, I agree. I don't think it's a question of maturity, but rather of emotional growth. He's lived his life not factoring in his own emotions, much less other people's. If you don't have practice handling strong emotions, something like finding out your son is under a death sentence is going to throw you for quite a loop. He makes a lot of progress on that front, even just between books one and four.

Yes, he will put conditions on the location, as in defensible, not easy to sneak up on, large number of options to respond (or retreat), but it will be geared towards "allowing response" not preventing assault. Anyway, my qualms are less about there being a place, but the general notion of making it a requirement. It makes him weaker than he is in my books. Ditto Am, actually.

That's a better way of saying what I was thinking.

Sara M.

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 203
Re: Sicarius sense of security (or why I don't believe in "secret bunkers")
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2012, 07:30:09 am »
canon Sic would most likely never be so overcome, that he'd put a mission on hold to get to second base. Even if it is hot. Super hot.

*snort* "Sic! you have a mission..."   "No, I'm at second hoping for third here, its gotta wait." *snort*

Hee!

AKK

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 779
    • Before & After & Inbetween - Physicist on the Rampage
Re: Sicarius sense of security (or why I don't believe in "secret bunkers")
« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2012, 07:46:09 am »
His character is fascinating. I think one of the reasons why is because we don't *know* what he is thinking.  So far, all the characters are readable.  There are underlying motivations but you can see them and understand them.  We don't know his underlying motivations unless he tells us what they are.  The books also portray him as infallible.  He's human (albeit a character, but still) so he can't be truly infallible.

Actually, I prefer reading about characters I learn about by their actions rather than their thoughts. I prefer more distance instead being in the characters' heads 24/7. So I basically find the descriptions "refreshing", for lack of a better word. That's why I currently have mixed feelings about book 6. I absolutely, positively, YesYesYes want to know what happens and how everything concludes, but I'm wary about a probable loss of the distant perspective in it. We'll see, I guess. :)

I think another part of his draw is the fact we are waiting to see the venerability that is there, lurking.  I'm not sure how successfully I have conveyed it in any of my fiction but I've tried to show that he doesn't have all the answers, even within what his training says is the answer. To show that he needed guidance and answers as a kid, to show he was a cocky arrogant teenager, to show that having a kid was something that touched him more than any 15 year old would ever be touched, and as an adult he is brimming with just as many insecurities as we all have, the insecurities just aren't related to death or killing.

venerability? Are you sure that's the word you mean?
Actually, I don't even think that he is drawn as having all the answers. For me he is written like a character focusing on the things he can answer, thus avoiding / hiding effectively the issues he doesn't know how to handle (like the kid in EE3).

I enjoy the fan fiction/art.  To see what other's think about certain scenes.  I don't think the forum is over run with or carried by it.  Maybe I misread your first post's line... 

Maybe you have misread it. I definitely didn't want to imply that I'm against fanfic or that there is too much of it (is that even possible???). I totally enjoy the fanfic, though I'm not much into fanart. Maybe because I prefer to keep the twisted images in my head instead of trading them for somebody else's twisted images... ;)

I just want to discuss a trope that frequently pops up in the fanfics without hijacking one of the fanfic threads. I think its discussion is better done in a thread of its own, so that attention isn't limited to the readers of that specific story. I'm sorry, if that was misleading. :(

One of my favorite things is seeing the sharing and the discussion that results.  This thread is just an example of many thought provoking discussions I have read on here.  Well, except for some of the stripper tangents, etc. The "real" conspiracy thread was fascinating.  Some of the speculation was presented in a way that I hadn't thought of before and I think it shows how much depth is in Lindsay's work.

You thoughts?

Yes, though I usually hesitate to speculate about unpublished events. I prefer arguments about the material already available. For the same reason, a lot of my current EE story ideas are shelved until the canon is (more) complete. I hate going AU unintentionally (even in my thoughts). :)
"You are not cleared for that."

Lysana

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 70
Re: Sicarius sense of security (or why I don't believe in "secret bunkers")
« Reply #13 on: August 29, 2012, 08:08:54 am »
Actually, I prefer reading about characters I learn about by their actions rather than their thoughts. I prefer more distance instead being in the characters' heads 24/7. So I basically find the descriptions "refreshing", for lack of a better word. That's why I currently have mixed feelings about book 6. I absolutely, positively, YesYesYes want to know what happens and how everything concludes, but I'm wary about a probable loss of the distant perspective in it. We'll see, I guess. :)

Yes, exactly.  I tried to say this in another thread, and it didn't come across half as well as this.  And, thank you, I am glad I'm not the only one!

I think another part of his draw is the fact we are waiting to see the venerability that is there, lurking.  I'm not sure how successfully I have conveyed it in any of my fiction but I've tried to show that he doesn't have all the answers, even within what his training says is the answer. To show that he needed guidance and answers as a kid, to show he was a cocky arrogant teenager, to show that having a kid was something that touched him more than any 15 year old would ever be touched, and as an adult he is brimming with just as many insecurities as we all have, the insecurities just aren't related to death or killing.

venerability? Are you sure that's the word you mean?

"You keep using that word.  I do not think it means what you think it means."

(Sorry, Mana.  :-[  I couldn't resist quoting my favorite movie.  ::) )

Moondreamer

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1739
  • The plot bunnies, they will not leave me alone!!!
Re: Sicarius sense of security (or why I don't believe in "secret bunkers")
« Reply #14 on: August 29, 2012, 08:11:09 am »
Too long to quote, but I still wanted to add my grain of salt here :
 
First of all, I really do like your first point AKK. The thought of a bunker also always kinda bothered me, but I hadn't really put it into words until you started that thread. I do agree with you on how this probably wouldn't be his way. I was also thinking of the sheer praticality of it. Until 5-6 years ago, Sic lived at the Barracks when he wasn't sent on a mission. His whole days probably were regimented by this job, and I don't see him having the kind of time or inclination to find himself some other place to live when he would never be there himself. After he got kicked out, we know he's travelled quite a bit (protecting Sespian, we learn later). Sure, he most probably found places to live (after all, when we meet him, he's clean and doesn't have the look of a homeless person, so he had to have a least some place to sleep inside, but it might have been as simple as an empty building), but I don't see him ever staying at one place long. Safety for him isn't a place, because he has to know that no one place can be totally secure. Why take the time to fortify it when he can stay on the move instead. I just don't see it. He has no reason to want to stay in a single place.
 
As for reading from Sic's perspective in Book 6, I'm not really worried. If Lyndsay keeps the same model as the other books, he'll be a secondary POV and most of the book will still be from Am's POV. Actually, my biggest worry is that, for it to work, she'll separate them (the way for example that Mal and Am were separated for a good part of book 5 and the two POVS allowed us to follow both groups).
"You have a disturbing sense of humor."
http://www.nault-findley.com/