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    The only absolute is that there are no others.
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  1. While a vampire ON a plane THAT crashed would almost certainly survive? A vampire that a plane CRASHED INTO? Which is the example I gave? Would almost certainly still die. Vampire durability is described as enhanced healing or regeneration, meaning that if something was catastrophic enough to kill them instantly? They'd still die. A person who was crushed by a plane? Would be pretty much destroyed beyond recognition. And even if a vampire COULD come back from that normally? It would be an EXCEEDINGLY UNLIKELY set of circumstances for a human sized being to be hit by that large a plane and not have their head be crushed, and if their head was crushed? It would effectively be severed, which would kill them. As for a lightning strike? That's a trickier thing. That said? Lightning usually doesn't even kill human victims, so that was probably a bad example to begin with. However, you are also overly focused on accidents. I never thought that accidents were exceedingly likely to kill a vampire (though some, like being smashed by a large enough object, wouldn't be particularly more uncommon for a vampire than for anyone else). It was more to point out that death is not always something you can predict or control. It can happen randomly as a result of events that are entirely out of anyone's control. And even if this is exceedingly uncommon? It only has to happen once to any given individual. Once again? Thinking in human time frames. To a vampire? 2015 is pretty much as recent at 2021. 6 years is a drop in the bucket to a vampire (and frankly, even to humans, 6 years isn't that much from a weather trends point of view). And yes, it's true that there are aspects of fire that a vampire would be less affected by (most notably smoke)? Fire is extremely destructive and moves EXCEEDINGLY fast. If fire was moving such that it surrounded you? You wouldn't have time to dig a hole. And obviously, for a Vampire to be killed by a wildfire, they'd have to be either in the actual fire, or close enough to it that it would overtake them that rapidly (not that digging a hole is that realistic an option to begin with, since you'd have to somehow fill the hole while in it, as fires of the magnitude I'm talking about make the AIR hot enough to melt skin, so even if there was enough time to dig a deep enough hole? Being in a hole as your only protection is a gamble at best). The truth is? Though most accidents that could kill a vampires ARE exceedingly unlikely? Fire's unique combination of speed, unpredictability and resilience? Makes it probably the thing vampires should be most worried about. (Which is, admittedly, not atypical in vampire stories). I should probably add the caveat that we actually don't really know how fast and strong vampires have the potential to be, so all of this has to be taken with a grain of salt. We haven't ever had a vampire's super speed described except relative to other vampires, so we have no context for how much faster they are than humans. And, similarly, the only time we've really seen their strength depicted, it was in Dani's fight against the dogs, but since we have no idea how strong THOSE were, we similarly have no context for their scale. Though there's no evidence that I can see that they are on the scale of say, the Flash or Superman, it's technically possible, in which case you'd be entirely correct. I agree! As I said? While I do think that accidental death probably happens to vampires more often than you'd suspect? That's actually irrelevant to my point about Vinicius, since one of the major reasons WHY I think that he failed Dani is BECAUSE he was in a position where it should have been clear to him that people were trying to kill him. He was a powerful political figure in a chaotic aftermath of what was effectively a military coup that ended in the deaths of not just the royals in charge, but the ENTIRE royal line! One doesn't do that unless they think there are enough forces that might want to return them to power as to make them merely existing a threat. And if them existing is that much of a threat? Then the powers that might try to reinstate said monarchy would just be a GENERAL threat to anyone who doesn't want to return to that system who has the political power to resist it. As one of those people, Vinicius should have at least had an inkling that he might be a target, and prepared Dani accordingly. Who knows why he didn't. Maybe he was shortsighted (though that seems out of character)? Maybe he was arrogant enough to think it would never succeed? We may never know.
  2. That's a very human way of looking at it. Sure, within the confines of a single human life span, 50-90 years? Those things are rare. But if you are living for hundreds, maybe thousands of years? Even getting stuck by lightning becomes far more common. And sure, we haven't had planes for a while, but people get hit by cars or buses all the time, and cars and buses are more than capable of striking with enough force to sever a head. Especially in a situation where the only way you'd die is by being killed? Unless you are completely unafraid of death (which most vampires in this story clearly aren't), you'd be at least peripherally aware of the things that could kill you. And as technology "advances" accidents are more and more capable of causing the catastrophic damage required to kill a vampire. Heck! House or wild fires commonly burn for DAYS unless they are manually put out, let lone the 15 minutes it took to kill a vampire, and they spread extremely fast and are actually MORE common now than they were at other points in history. Interestingly, modern society has almost certainly made it so that vampires die far MORE often on accident than they ever did before, simply because the opportunities for that to occur are far more prevalent in this world we've constructed. Even if one isn't so worried about accidental death? They are living in a time of political upheaval where death for political reasons is not unheard of. Vampires literally killed an ENTIRE FAMILY LINE simply because of politics. Even the unborn children. It wasn't enough to just remove them from power, they had to be eradicated. And this event was extremely recent, by human, let along vampire, standards, so it should have been in everyone's recent memories. Vinicius was a powerful vampire with an attitude that was obviously unpopular with groups of people that were not afraid to make that opinion known. And the way everyone is plotting right now has a normalcy to it that tells me that it's fairly common place, and likely has been for a long time. In short? Vinicius should have been aware of the potential of being targeted, because it's not a huge logical leap to make given the circumstances. To not at least consider the possibility that he might be a target and prepare Dani accordingly? Was arrogant, foolish, or both.
  3. The failure is less getting murdered, and more failing to prepare Dani for the possibility that he might die. After all, he wouldn't have to be murdered to get hit by a plane or struck by lightning. (I dunno how powerful your vampires are, but from what I've seen, both of those things would probably have the potential to kill one).
  4. A fact that got him quietly murdered. (Remember, my whole argument is that Vincius failed. Getting yourself murdered on account of overly trusting your peers? Seems like a pretty big failure to me. 😛 )
  5. And I'd argue that in an underground world of VAMPIRES? That fact ALONE is Vinicius failing him. 😛 Demetrius may be harsh? But he's right in the sense that unflinching trust? Especially from someone as potentially powerful as Dani? Is as dangerous as leaving the big red nuke launch button unprotected and unattended. I'm not suggesting that Vinicius should have turned Dani paranoid? But a bit more general scrutiny wouldn't hurt. Especially of himself.
  6. Perhaps I'm guilty of false dichotomy myself here. It's not so much that Dani trusts her? As he has shown little evidence of active distrust of her, and though he doesn't like her (partially out of jealousy for Demetrius) he still takes what she says at face value, indicating that from a practical point of view, he wouldn't question what she told him simply on the grounds that she told it to him. In short, though one could argue that he's not on the "trust" side of the "trust distrust" spectrum? He is at least neutral enough that she could easily lie to him and he'd take her at her word. Mind you, if she told him something that he had any evidence was untrue? He wouldn't take her word OVER the evidence, so his trust of her has limits, but Vincent for example? He actually questions almost everything Vincent tells him. Distrust is a double edged sword after all. Once you distrust them, even the truth sounds like a lie. Really, it's mostly that Dani is an inherently trusting person. His "default" state is to take people at their word until and unless he has reason not to. And since trust is a question of behavior not analytics? No matter how much he might question her motives when he's scrutinizing her? If he takes her at her word in general, he ultimately is showing trusting rather than distrusting behavior.
  7. I actually saw this coming from the get go. Which isn't a complaint! It's what I wanted to happen.
  8. Interesting reveals here. So, more proof that Vinicius failed Dani. Dani blames himself for what he didn't do, and though I find blame without learning to be largely pointless, Dani is right that in the end he didn't live up to Vinicius. But, like I said before? I still think that's Vinicius' fault as he had plenty of time to learn how Dani ticked and realize that he probably needed to take a more forceful hand with Dani. Because if this chapter solidified anything about Dani? At least currently? It's that he's a follower, through and through. While he isn't a puppet, at least not yet, he doesn't take action, he invokes action in or reacts to action from others. Note that in ALL the thinking he did about whether to follow Vincent or work for Deadnus? It didn't OCCUR to him at ALL that HE could make his own choices. That he was trapping himself in a false dichotomy between two extreme options, when really, numerous other options already exist. It would be one thing if his own agency had occurred to him and he dismissed it as unrealistic? But the thought didn't even occur to him at all, and he spent enough time musing on it that if it was going to, it should have. And note that, one thing that was consistent about Vinicius' training technique? Both with Dani and with Demetrius? Is that he was trying to get them to make the choices and figure things out on their own. And while that worked with Demetrius, because Demetrius does take his own agency? And did so even while he was "innocent." Dani doesn't. And before anyone says anything: there's nothing WRONG with being a follower. Giving your agency to others is not a weakness. But it is a personality trait that greatly affects how you interact with others and how you see yourself, and Vinicius failed to realize that, actually? The best thing for him TO do with Dani? Was to stop getting Socratic and to firmly explain to Dani how he thinks things should be. He could still instill a sense of open mindedness and a sense of thought and all the other things he wanted to put in him. But he should have done so more directly, because that's what Dani responds to. You can see it in the story all over the place. What does he react badly to? All the misdirection and deception. And though Vinicius wasn't intending to deceive? The Socratic method is, from a behavioral point of view, a form of misdirection. The thing that is different is the goal, but the psychological manipulations are nearly identical. However, whenever something is told to Dani directly, whether it's good for him or not? He takes it at face value. Look at how he reacted to Maritoni? He just accepted the abuse from him. He didn't really question it until he had the realization that Maritoni did not actually WANT to teach him at all. That he was being deceived. But had he never had that realization? I think it's very plausible that he'd have just accepted that Maritoni had his best interest at heart, and that all the abuse was character building or something. Similarly, he reacted very well to Demetrius? Because for all that Demetrius was blunt and uncouth and even mean? He's always direct. Even when he won't tell Dani, he just states it, rather than beating around the bush. The only times he leaves things up in the air is either when he feels he can't say something, or when he feels like it's so obvious that Dani should be able to figure it out. And then he prods and prods until Dani does so, rather than leaving it up in the air for Dani to muse on like Vinicius did. The specials he immediately trusted? Were also similarly transparent about their goals (or at least apparently so, unfortunately Dani is extremely gullible). And I should point out that he TRUSTS them even when he doesn't LIKE them. Like Luciana, for example, he's never liked her. But he has shown little if any distrust of her. So I actually understand why Vinicius failed now. Vinicius was a bad match for Dani, and for whatever reason he never realized that certain critical things weren't getting through to the boy. He should have changed his tactics or found a different mentor, and in doing neither, he stunted Dani's growth, both as a special and as a person.
  9. Perhaps, but I actually find it more interesting that Vinicius DID fail. Vinicius is the sort of character who has the potential to be a Mary Sue mentor. Him having clear flaws? Makes him a much more interesting character AND it makes Dani's story more compelling as well. The fact that Vinicius failed Dani? Makes Vinicius indirectly a conflict Dani has to overcome rather than an asset, helping Dani be the overall focus of the story. Rather than acting Vinicius' will out, Dani gets to make a choice between his flawed but optimistic mentor and the other forces pulling at him. And maybe he still chooses Vinicius? But Vinicius not being perfect? Gives Dani the opportunity to make that choice, since if he was perfect and the obvious pick? Then Dani wouldn't really have any agency, Vinicius would just be another person pulling his strings.
  10. So, there's a lot to respond to here. While it is true that arrogance is a problem in powerful individuals, a lack of self esteem can be equally bad, if not worse. Not only does it make a person malleable, and thus easy to use by others who might take advantage, people with low self esteem are easy to traumatize, and trauma causes people to react emotionally rather than rationally, which in the case of someone with the sort of power Dani might have, could be disastrous. And confidence ISN'T arrogance. People say there is a fine line between them, but the truth is they are actually very different emotions. Confidence isn't thinking highly of yourself, confidence is accepting yourself as you are, both your strengths and your limitations. A truly confident person can say, "Yeah, I can't do that." And that's that. Bullying is not just something arrogant people do. People with low self esteem are just as likely to bully if not more likely to. Whether or not Dani was confident or not has no connection at all to whether he might take up bullying since, the simple truth is, ANYONE can take up bullying. But more to the point? There is a difference between humility and low self esteem. Like I was saying about confidence above? True confidence involves some level of humility. Some level of acceptance that you have limitations and weaknesses and there's nothing wrong with that. While one can be humble and have low self esteem? Similar to confidence and arrogance? They are different emotions/states of mind. I mean, yes. From Dani's perspective, he's just come from a tragedy, that's true. But, to be frank? Vinicius had ALREADY failed, and likely WOULD HAVE FAILED even had he not been murdered. Vinicius has had 17 - 18 YEARS to teach and instill the things he wanted to in Dani. And his time with Dani was almost up. While it's understandable that Dani would be traumatized by the death of his parental figure, outside of that trauma, Vinicius' death would have little impact on his ability to instill in Dani whatever values and feelings he might have wanted to, since he was only going to be with Dani for a few more months anyway. As for building alliances and making friends? There is little indication that Vinicius had anything to do with that. In fact, we have evidence that Vinicius actively kept him away from others. He didn't just not allow Dani to visit the other specials, he ACTIVELY kept FROM Dani when he did so. And we never really saw Vinicius talk about friends or anything, so while we can tell that Dani does have some social skills, if awkward ones, they easily could be in SPITE of Vinicius rather than BECAUSE of him. And there is every indication that Vinicius' death didn't kill Dani's self esteem. He's just as self conscious in the flashbacks, if not more so, indicating that his attitude and state of mind aren't the result of trauma, ergo, unless Vinicius was trying to make Dani nervous, indecisive and self conscious to the point that he lets other people walk all over him? Which I doubt is the case? He failed. And here's the thing. There's nothing wrong with Vinicius failing. Vinicius was clearly flawed. I mean, someone managed to kill him by somehow tainting his magic sunblock, when he invented it. Also, Vinicius didn't prepare Dani for his own death, which either means he was shortsighted enough to be unaware of it, or was arrogant enough to assume that it would never happen to him. But there is a darker truth to Vinicius' failure, and we have seen hints of it from the first chapter. Dani is a very emotional person and also very pliable to others. Vincent, for example, while we don't know for certain that he is actively manipulating Dani, there is no doubt that were he doing so? Dani was falling for it. And Dani immediately trusted the other specials, except Demetrius, who he distrusted for a similarly banal reason. In fact, had Demetrius' room not been right next to his? It's likely Dani would never have changed his views of him. And it's true that Dani being confident wouldn't necessarily make him immune to these things? But it's further proof that Vinicius was not amazingly effective at getting Dani to make good choices. From this we can also infer that he may have failed at many other things he was trying to accomplish, both with Dani, and beyond.
  11. I'm not suggesting that people consider Dani PERSONALLY important. I'm suggesting that they realize that his UNIQUENESS is inherently a form of power and importance, and that CONTROLLING that uniqueness is, itself, a form of clout. And since it's obvious that Dani does not have any love for Deadnus? It would be the perfect opportunity to undercut the fact that he'd work under Deadnus, and do so in a way that's COMPLETELY LEGAL! A rarity in the game of vampiric politics.
  12. I agree with you! And what I'm saying is that fact? Is ultimately a failing on Vinicius' part. Because he COULD have had the confidence. Vinicius utterly failed to instill him with it.
  13. This is what I just don't buy. Vampires are old, they think in long terms, and they have the benefit of long term experience. I don't think that an ENTIRE room of vampires would be so afraid of her that they'd let her totally run the show. Like... consider what I just said about Dani? It would have been extremely plausible for someone to support Dani when he stood up to Deadnus. NOT because they have any care about what Dani is saying, but because in doing so, they'd be gaining favor with him and cutting down a political rival, and doing so in such a way where all the political downfall would fall in Deadnus' feet. After all, Deadnus is obviously doing stuff that is legally questionable. If nothing else? No set of bylaws would allow someone to deny complaints until AFTER the fact, except perhaps in an emergency situation, which has yet to be declared. In short, as soon as Deadnus said that complaints can be put in after the summit? ANYONE could have stood up and cut her down simply by quoting a few bylaws. And not only would that DESTROY her political credibility? The combination of inquiries and scrutiny could keep her and the protection league tied up in red tape for months. And this is true regardless of how personally powerful she might be. And a room full of vampires who are presumably that ancient? Would realize this. But in this case, it would be even MORE beneficial. Because not only would they be cutting Deadnus down in a way that she, frankly, brought upon herself? They'd be gaining the FAVOR of someone who, whether they know it or not, has inevitable clout in the entire vampire world going forward. And a person who, clearly, will not bow down to fear. Sure, Dani may have just spoken up now? But he spoke up TWICE, meaning that as he grows older and more powerful as a special? There's a good chance that he will becomes more outspoken, not less. Basically, this is an effortless political GOLDMINE for ANYONE there. And no one takes it, not even for their own selfish personal gain.
  14. I think you are misunderstanding me. I'm not CRITICIZING Dani. I don't think he's done anything wrong or that you as a writer have failed him. If anything, I'm criticizing Vinicius. I have full confidence that Dani is right and Vinicius would have stood up to Deadnus. And as you said, that Dani stood up at all is pretty impressive? But I also think that Vinicius wouldn't have wanted him to stand down. One thing that was consistent in all the scenes in Dani's memory about Vinicius is that he wanted Dani to be confident in his humanity. To have confidence not in power, but in doing what's right. Dani may have spoken for what's right? But he didn't DO what's right, because he didn't have that confidence. And sure, you could say that about the other specials? But the other specials didn't speak up. And, to an extent, though the other specials were SHOCKED? I don't think they had the same humanity instilled in them as Dani did. But the last thing is, Dani isn't a child. He's almost 18. That's an age where a lot of people take action. Many members of the civil rights movement were his age. And for most of human history, he would have more or less been considered an adult. The point is? That by the time most people are that age, while they may not know what they want to be or what they want to do? They do typically, at least, have a sense of their place within their own situation, even if that understanding only serves to drive them to change it. I'm sure that most 17 year olds in Dani's position wouldn't stand up. But Dani DID stand up, and that comes with some caveats. Simply put? One phrase would have immediately put Daednus in her place, "I am a special, irreplaceable. You are not. If you do not sit down and say nothing for the rest of this meeting, you will not have me, because I will refuse to take any action on your or any other vampire's behalf." He could then continue with, "And with Vinicius dead, there is no way to create another me. So we can do this my way, or we can not do this at all." And I know Dani would never do this? But that's really a failing on Vinicius' part. Because, though I know Vinicius didn't want Dani to throw his power around as a Tyrant? He clearly DID want Dani to use it to further what's right, so the fact that Dani didn't when it wouldn't even have been that hard? Is telling.
  15. Honestly? This is the first scene where I don't feel it makes much sense. I feel like SOMEONE would speak up and actually be like, "Deadnus SIT DOWN! You are NOT in charge here." Because she's acting like she is, and I feel like the OTHER WORLD LEADERS would have a problem with this ON PRINCIPLE. I know if I was one of the others? I'd step on her foot? SOLELY to do so. Solely to tell her, "You are not in charge. Stop acting like it." In the game of politics? Letting someone act like she is is admitting defeat. Challenging someone isn't just about stopping them from doing things. It's about setting a precedent of checks and balances. Checks and balances that are important, even in a council of backstabbing, if for no other reason than the ability to USE them against the other people in the council. But on to a more frank evaluation of the scene for what it is. I do think that Dani? Is really showing his ineffectiveness. Dani knows what he's witnessing is wrong, and more to the point, it's obvious that a GOOD NUMBER of people in the room ALSO realize it's wrong. And yet, he's just letting them shut him up. It occurs to me that Vinicius is probably spinning in his grave right now, since he almost certainly would WANT Dani to throw his weight around at this juncture. At the very least, stand up to Deadnus and make it clear that, even if he can't stop her? That he doesn't approve and that nothing she says will make that untrue. I could say more, but I'd like to see how the rest of the scene plays out before I make any final judgments.
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