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The Tyrant Baru Cormorant Reading Notes Act Four In Progress

Posted on the 07 September 2020 by Cathy Leaves @cathyleaves
ACT FOUR: Yawa's Choice. 

 "Mother! Mother!” “Baru,” her mother said, “your hands smell like pussy.”

And thus, the tone for this final act is set. Baru reunites with her two remaining parents and get nostalgic about how this small Taranoki settlement reminds her of the home that, as Tain Hu said, she can never truly return to. She has forgotten words for things (it is always good to remember how very young Baru is, still even now). She gets teased, and then she has a more serious conversation with her parents about the atrocities all three of them have committed, her parents in the Taranoki resistance (that inevitable point where the situation was dire enough that the violence happened predominantly against those suspected to be collaborators), Baru in Aurdwynn. The next morning, Baru speaks with the local council of elders (who are aunts and uncles in both sense of the words) about her trade route plans, but they are very hesitant to agree, failing to see how Baru proposing this is any different from Falcrest doing this as their entire expansion strategy. Baru insists that the difference is that she is at the helm, and that she is working towards the destruction of Falcrest through her trade concern. Her parents express to her how proud they are of her, in spite of everything - and then a landing party from the Eternal arrives, and trading begins between this Taranoke enclave and the Mbo, like a version of what Baru has in mind in small. Except then Eternal begins bombing the landing vessels, and makes it clear that it is well in range to destroy the entire settlement if Baru doesn't come on board. Xate is horrified that Baru would even consider it, but Baru tries to calm her down, reminding her that in the end, it was always going to be only one of them surviving, and that Hesychast's whole purpose was for Xate to destroy  her. 
We can’t beat our masters, can we? They control the entire board. They have control of the money, the government, the ideology of sex and race. They have control of the context in which we make choices. They’ve written us a script and we have to perform it or be punished: destroy each other, or be destroyed. If we deviate, they will know at once. They have us in yomi.” “So you’re giving up?” “No! There are two ways to break yomi, Yawa. One of them is an external factor. Something they haven’t accounted for.” She waved wildly towards Eternal. “And the other one is you! You, Yawa!”Think about the secrets you’ve kept from Hesychast. He knows what you’ve done for him but he’s never understood your motives! It’s possible to do exactly what they require of us, Yawa, but for reasons they don’t understand! That’s how to beat yomi! Conceal our maneuvers inside their maneuvers! They think their yomi is maintained until the moment it is broken!”

So I suppose she is answering Tain Hu's question here: the difference is in the heart, in the motives, in the fact that both Yawa's and Baru's goal, in the end, is to destroy the masters that believe them fully in their hands. She will board Eternal, and once again turn the Brain down, and then explain in great detail that last bit of her plan that she has kept from everyone else: that the trade concern will soak up all of Falcrest's capital, that she will create a bubble, divert all of the money into Oriati banks because the Falcresti investors will want to avoid tax obligations, and then burst it, and feast on the carcass. And from the shadows, Aminata has listened to all the ways that Baru wants to destroy her beloved Falcrest. 
Random notes: 
  • "Solit! Solit, come down! We caught our daughter fingering some falca girl in the woods! She’s so embarrassed!”
  • Elsewhere (In Aurdwynn), a woman who perfectly meets the Incrastic ideal appears to Bel, whom Heingyl refuses to divorce, plays right into his jealousy about Heingyl Ri and his great ambition, and then leaves a bottle of something called Ant Juice, which has an effect like MDMA and coke combined. Bel overestimates himself and freely voices his jealousy of Heingyl Ri to an armsman who is so true to her that he takes it as a deep insult, and then, freed of any inhibitions, he insults the man's mother. Which results in his death. (also, back on Cauteria, it seems that Baru is trusting into Heingyl Ri maybe a little bit too much, and maybe because she is kind of into her). 
  • The Brain fails to convince Baru to take the cancer because Baru wants to stay alive to see things through (in fact, her whole plan only works if she stays alive), but she does reveal to her the source of the Kettling: Vampiric bats in the depths of the jungle. 
  • "What I carry is the image I’ve made of Hu, my record of her beliefs and the method of her choices. It’s the law of being Hu: and that is enough for me to carry and to tap for strength. Isn’t that a soul?"

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