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Discuss Poison Study > A life for a life

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message 1: by Alethea (last edited Oct 12, 2008 11:01PM) (new)

Alethea A (frootjoos) | 481 comments Mod
So a friend of mine who may be joining us on here soon brought up the Code of Behavior and how he can't believe the Commander and his Generals made up the law saying that if you kill anyone for any reason during peace time, your life is forfeit--the law that lands Yelena in jail--because the people writing the law were in his words, "raging revolutionaries!"

So, let me rephrase that. Seems people read it and didn't answer.

1) Does it bother you that the Code of Behavior, especially the law specifying no killing for any reason, came about after a revolution where the side that won did so by genocide (i.e. kill all magic users--including children--for reasons political). How is it incongruous? How is it not?

2) Does it bother you that there are loopholes in the Code of Behavior that allow Valek and the Commander to do as they please, in secret? While presenting the law-abiding facade to the rest of the world, including their co-government, and why or why not?

I'm saving my argument for after you guys weigh in...

message 2: by Meme (new)

Meme (mstylp) | 519 comments this is kind of a hard question because Valek does take spacial cases in hand, so if it really was a accident or self deffince as in Yelena's case, I think the code is a very good one because if you kill just cause you want to than that is were you belong (in the same place as the person you killed)and it also keeps them syco's in there place (most of the time)

message 3: by Emily (new)

Emily | 40 comments 1 – The whole "life for a life" principle really bothers me. There are too many gray areas involving giving and taking life to have such a hard and fast rule. It makes me wonder what drove the commander to enacting such a rule. He seems fair enough. Shouldn’t there be a trial and punishments dealt with on a case by case basis?

2 – Yes, it does bother me that the Commander and Valek do as they please and break laws while not being held accountable for their actions, but Ixia isn’t exactly a democracy. I do feel like the Commander’s rule is probably better than the prior administration, but there’s room for improvement.

message 4: by Liz (new)

Liz | 25 comments I have to agree. It doesn't seem fair that a person should die for killing someone without examining the reasons (such as self defense.) And, in answer to #2, I don't think there is anything worse than the people at the top "abusing" their power. Which is what the Commander does because of the loopholes in the code of behavior.

message 5: by Ari (new)

Ari | 48 comments I think that the reaction to one extreme is often the other extreme. If the previous regime is at one end of the spectrum people might react to that by going to far in the other direction. It takes some time for things to settle back to the middle, even in the fairest government. In this case, I think there were legitimate serious problems with the rulers of the previous regime doing whatever they wanted and not practicing any sort of justice unless someone high enough in the hierarchy was injured in some way, that the reaction would almost have to be, for lack of a better way to phrase this, "too much" justice.

message 6: by Liz (new)

Liz | 25 comments True. There doesn't seem to be any perfect government and there are always extremes. I think the key is balance and moderation in all things.

message 7: by Lexie (new)

Lexie (poisonedrationality) | 172 comments 1) Does it bother me that it seems a little hypocritical? Not really no. I mean Ixia and Sitia are obviously extremes of both types of governments, but in Ixia's case few if anyone thinks the old monarchy was a great way of things. Also, far as I could tell, Yelena didn't find fault with the law, just with the injustice of Brazell's (sp?) humanitarian facade.

What bothered me was that the Code of Behavoir didn't seem to acknowledge there were far worse things a person could do to another person then death.

As far as their genocide of the magic-users, after they took over and before I think it was necessary because if the corrupt magicians were anything like Mogkan, the Commander had very good reason to have them killed without exception.

In Present circumstances (as of Poison Study) I think that the Commander left such things in Valek's control for plausible deniability. If Valek doesn't TELL him he isn't killing off magic children or every single criminal then he doesn't know and doesn't ask.

2) Do as they please? That isn't fully true, anything overt that the Commander wants done he vets well, attempts to follow the code, then uses subterfuge. Valek is a Master Spy, that requires a certain level of illegalness and bending of the rules to be good. They're running a country--you can't run that on good faith and trust. Caution, skepticism and a certain amount of manipulation is required.

Also the other Council members all had their own secrets they were keeping (well most of which not so well from Valek) in order to run their Districts smoothly and efficiently. Valek at least, possibly the Commander, knew this and kept hush because they were minor infractions that if they got out of hand could easily be squashed.

message 8: by Liz (new)

Liz (jedimindreader) | 27 comments 1- From the Commander's perspective no I don't see that killing all the magicians were bad. First of all, if they hadn't killed off all the descendants there would have been a bunch of entitled Cahils running around trying to regain power and trying to create factions in Ixia against the Commander. Look what happened after Octavian's reign. Civil war and unrest until hoooorrrrriblllllee emperors took over and then there sons and there sons so on and so on. If you don't kill your enemies the WILL get together and KILL you. Its either you or them. The Commander chooses himself and his subjects. You can see Yelena's preference for the Ixian way of living over Sitia's. There are no beggars, everyone has a job, no favoritism, no corruption, etc.
From an ideal humanitarian's perspective, yes, the Commander did a very bad thing. Killing innocent children. But it's obvious that after things settled down he just used those laws as a front and secretly allowed Magicians to flee to Sitia.

to be continued...

message 9: by Lexie (new)

Lexie (poisonedrationality) | 172 comments Its sadly true--'the enemy of my enemy is my friend'. The Commander only did what was good for his people in the long run. Its no as if he vented his ire on the common people, merely the ones oppressing them. He gave the common people a fair shot at either joining him or leaving the country.

My dad and I fight over this topic a lot--is it better to kill a room full of people who you know or at least suspect of being killers or let them live and contain them somehow. My dad is less bloodthirsty, I on the other hand think the killing of all my enemies is the only way to stave off future troubles.

message 10: by Alethea (new)

Alethea A (frootjoos) | 481 comments Mod
I think fiction makes me more bloodthirsty and ruthless. My hubby prefers anime with fluffy magical creatures (My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Kiki's Delivery Service, Howl's Moving Castle) and I prefer ninjas, robots, and assassins (Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo, Ghost in the Shell). I mean, we like both types, and all of the above, but I get antsy when there's no kick-assery and bloodshed. I practically fell asleep during Steamboy.

I guess what I'm trying to say is I don't know what I would do about it if I were in Reality but if we're talking fiction, I say "Off with their heads!" in my best Red Queen impression.

message 11: by Lexie (new)

Lexie (poisonedrationality) | 172 comments I know what you mean--my anime trends have all been of the decidedly kick ass region then the 'slice of life' region. My boyfriend was shocked when I said i'd rather sit and watch Claymore then watch Victorian Romance Emma. My manga reading is different--I prefer less action (since so few mangas make it easy to follow imo).

I am very...passionate in my pursuits/obsessions. Never watch an episode of Heroes with me or read my LJ after I read a new chapter of Tsubasa--rampages ahoy.

Its much easier in fiction to be bloodthirsty--very rarely are bad guys painted with sympathizing features (in contrast to their evil deeds).

message 12: by Kristen (new)

Kristen Harvey | 511 comments For the first question, I really was a bit p.o.ed by the whole situation of the Code of Behavior. It's a code that is so black and white that it leaves no room for circumstances. Just think about what that does to self-defense...

message 13: by Lexie (new)

Lexie (poisonedrationality) | 172 comments well that was Yelena's issue, though not letting anyone know the whole story did a bad turn. it might have made the Commander (or Valek at least) investigate Brazell earlier.

And with Valek determining the worse offenders fates it didn't make things as bad. I am convinced the Commander knows what Valek is doing, but chooses NOT to know so that he doesn't have to do something about it.

message 14: by Kristen (new)

Kristen Harvey | 511 comments Yes, but all in all I'm glad of the way it flowed, involving me early on and getting me interested in the novel. I do agree about the Commander knowing...

message 15: by Lexie (new)

Lexie (poisonedrationality) | 172 comments heh MVS definately has a knack for keeping things just detailed enough to catch your attention, but lacking the defining key that would make the mystery solved too quickly.

message 16: by Kristen (new)

Kristen Harvey | 511 comments It is a very evil, but useful knack.

message 17: by Ashton18 (new)

Ashton18 | 3 comments Is it really a "life for a life" rule? i think i remember a part in the book where it stated that Yelena refused to speak in her defense. Doesn't this imply that there is a trial and you might possibly NOT get executed?

Another part is where Yelena kills Star's goons and is about to kill off Star but Valek scolds her, saying that she should capture Star instead of killing her. But if the "life for a life" rule applies here, Yelena would be executed for killing the goons. Only when Yelena mentioned that if she, a convicted criminal, brings in Star she would be executed did Valek realize that she did the right thing.

message 18: by Alethea (new)

Alethea A (frootjoos) | 481 comments Mod
I'm pretty sure it's your life is over no matter how you killed someone. There's that farmer who accidentally ran over his kid--his life was forfeit too. I think Valek said "wanna confess?" more in an info-gathering, future-employer kind of way and not a hey, maybe you've served your time kind of way. Or, like he did with the farmer, a sort of "well it's against the rules but I'm Chief Security Officer and who's gonna know I let you live" kind of way.

message 19: by Lexie (new)

Lexie (poisonedrationality) | 172 comments Actually didn't Valek expect her to beg for her life because she's innocent like every other criminal before her but then was surprised when she said she wasn't?

message 20: by Meme (new)

Meme (mstylp) | 519 comments Lexie wrote: "Actually didn't Valek expect her to beg for her life because she's innocent like every other criminal before her but then was surprised when she said she wasn't?


Yes he did expect her to lie and I think it really impressed him that she didn't so it made him think maybe she really did have a good reason for doing it, as for the other man Valek said that it was a worse punishment to make him live and take care of the other kids than it was to let him die.

message 21: by Kristen (new)

Kristen Harvey | 511 comments I think that she didn't regret what she had done, maybe where it had taken her to, but she knew that she had killed and probably glad to have done it.

message 22: by Meme (new)

Meme (mstylp) | 519 comments Kristen wrote: "I think that she didn't regret what she had done, maybe where it had taken her to, but she knew that she had killed and probably glad to have done it."

I cant say that I would feel bad for doing it if I saved my family form having to go thru the pain and humiliation that she went thru

message 23: by Kristen (new)

Kristen Harvey | 511 comments She was definitely justified in her actions.

message 24: by Meme (new)

Meme (mstylp) | 519 comments yes I think she was too because I could not imagine having to go thru all the things she has had to endure

message 25: by Thu (new)

Thu | 136 comments i think the first rule is unfair because they should find out why they killed someone like I don't think Yelena was at fault for killing Reyad -- and Valek kills people and he doesn't really get punished.

message 26: by Meme (new)

Meme (mstylp) | 519 comments Thu wrote: "i think the first rule is unfair because they should find out why they killed someone like I don't think Yelena was at fault for killing Reyad -- and Valek kills people and he doesn't really get pu..."

The question is would you try to punish Valek LOL

message 27: by Thu (new)

Thu | 136 comments NO!!!! I love Valek!!!

message 28: by Kristen (new)

Kristen Harvey | 511 comments In what way.. muahahaha. I'd punish Valek in naughty ways hehehehe.

message 29: by Meme (new)

Meme (mstylp) | 519 comments hey hey I like your thinking lady but I was meaning in a hurt you bad kinda way LOL

message 30: by Kristen (new)

Kristen Harvey | 511 comments I know.. but I always think naughty first and then violence.

message 31: by Meme (new)

Meme (mstylp) | 519 comments sometimes times you have to say slight violence and naughty can go together LOL

message 32: by Kristen (new)

Kristen Harvey | 511 comments Of course they can *wiggles eyebrows*

message 33: by Thu (new)

Thu | 136 comments ...hahaha

message 34: by Keelin (new)

Keelin | 96 comments you lot are even worse than me sometimes ....hahahaha

id have to say id agree with kirsten on the valek situation adn totally agree with the rest of you on the fact that u can kill someone in self-defence, especially if you had to go through what yelena went through

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