It seems as though this interview is going on forever. I love the characters, but this chapter needs to come to an end so we can get to the Senate chamber. We might not get to see Satal’s reaction to Jeremy’s bombshell, but that’s ok because we’ve got places to go and people to see. Let’s unpack.
We’ve said in the past Satal is a politician who holds on to power, but nevertheless cares for the well-being of The Valleys. She felt she was managing Merkot’s maneuvers very well 1, until Walter threw his hat back into the political ring and caused a stir. This lead her to be extremely frustrated with the situation, as Merkot spun out of control shortly after the news of a new evercoal deposit reached The Ravine.
Walter has always been a wild-card in the managed world of Valley politics, and for a career political animal like Satal it’s a bit much. Her frustration stems from her knowledge Walter could play the political game very well, but chooses not to.
So why does she protect him? For several reasons. First, she already knows the lengths Walter went to prevent Highcliff from declaring an independent state, and is extremely grateful. Second, given a clash of ideals between the imprudent Walter and the paranoid Merkot, she believes Walter is clearly the person worth backing. Third, there is much about Walter she wishes she could be – Satal likes Walter, as infuriating as he is.
The guard’s dismissal
Satal has placed both Terrin and Michael under her direct authority. As such, she didn’t want them to feel pulled between their gratitude toward her, and their loyalty toward Walter. For this reason, she makes sure they are out of the room before she begins arguing in earnest.
The story about processing is, however, true. Once they are officially added to the rolls of the Presidential Guard Michael and Terrin will be out of Merkot’s official reach. Her offer to connect the two guards with their families springs from genuine care for their well-being, but she also knows how valuable a debt of gratitude can be.
“Our survival depends on remaining together, Old Fox.”
I was rather shocked to discover Satal uttering that statement. I find myself wondering what she might actually know. Is this part of the general cultural sentiment of The Valleys, or does the presidency come with a deeper insight into their history? She’s not really aware of what Merkot is up to, and if she had any understanding of their hidden history Satal would have flipped at the news, so I think it’s probably just cultural thing. But I could be wrong.
The Guardians have been aware of Merkot’s endeavors for some time. Even though they aren’t sure of the specifics of what’s in Satchwin Crevasse, they know the plans Merkot discovery launched into motion once he made it.
In fact, far from instigating Merkot into his recent moves, the broadcasted discovery of a new evercoal deposit actually delayed Merkot’s plans. Satal is being unfair on this point.
- In reality, she was not, as Sheilak revealed. ↩