Having discovered the discrepancy of Dutch’s memories it’s time to see what that means. On utopia there’s an unpleasant guy who can use technology to turn your memories into a film (which he uses for all kinds of unscrupulous ways, of course) and they use this to get transcribe Dutch’s weird Khlyen memories.
First step is to send out images of the fake assassin to see who she is - though she doesn’t appear on any database. Which is suspicious itself.
But it is picked up by an Ominous Blond Guy. He also has a symbol on his neck which is also in Dutch’s Khlyen-vision-dream. Lots of ominous.
On Lucy we have the new Hullen child and Delle Sayah is leaving but not before she gives her son some basic lessons on proper etiquette. Including using the proper utensils (unlike his dad who uses hands) and a name: Ozzman Kit Rin, named after an honoured member of the Nine known for their cunning, greed and never being formally implicated in some terrible atrocity. Such is the accolades among the Nine
Which is where she is going now - the Nine are scared, confused and laying low. And cowards need a leader. Ozzman hugs her goodbye and she reminds him that physical contact is for the poor.
Delle Sayah - awful in the most perfect ways
D’avin isn’t a huge fan of the name since it lacks completely superfluous apostrophes but suggests that Ozzman should pick his own name and make his own choices. Which somewhat confuses Ozzman who rather thinks parents make the choices for kids and D’avin flails a little when confronted by this 2 day old who looks 16. D’avin is generally freaking out about what it means to be a dad and Johnny offers some vague reassurance (their own dad being terrible, D’avin was a father figure for Johnny but also kind of made some big fails there too).
Given what the kid is facing, Dutch suggests he needs training - D’avin asks if she’s offering and she says no, she’s insisting. So begins training with Dutch in weapons, assassination, protection et al which doesn’t mean wearing leather pants but does mean using the crowded Utopia station to teach Ozzman who to be aware of his surroundings even in a crowd
Which is where Ominous Blond Man catches up with them after killing the memory reader, knocking out D’avin and hunting down Ozzman and Dutch. Luckily Ozzman has Hullen woo-woo which alerts him to danger ahead of time letting him dodge some shots and go on the run with Ozzman wanting food and them randomly running through a sex worker’s session meaning Ozzman has lots of questions Dutch really really really isn’t going to answer. But she does insist he has a family with them
Ominous Blond lures them into a trap and holds Ozzman hostage - but it’s apparent he’s not actually there for him. And Dutch wants him alive to answer questions - especially since she recognises the Ominous Symbol on his neck from her Khlyen dream. So when he escapes Dutch then contacts him to invoke Ye Olde Assassin’s code. Which basically means you can invoke a truce so you can talk about assassiny things
Ominous Guy honours this and he and Dutch go alone to learn… very little beyond the fact he’s part of an ancient and important secret society with a divine calling, they don’t care about Ozzman but they do care that Dutch is looking for a woman who is apparently a member and they prefer to keep very very secret so everyone now needs a good stabbing. And when she mentions the Lady he forgets about that whole white knife and gets with the stabbing. He and Dutch fight and Ozzman, who followed illicitly, decides to join in and save/help Dutch so they capture Ominous Blond
D’avin is freaked out that his son was in danger and how he totally should never have been there. Dutch is more impressed and pleased that Ozzman did good but does manage to throw in a grudging naughty naughty you shouldn’t have followed - but she’s clearly more happy than chiding. Which is the start of the conflict between D’avin and Dutch
The real rift comes when Dutch decides she needs to torture Ominous Blond for whatever information he has and when Ozzman appears she decides to include him and show him how to properly torture someone… but Ozzman can’t bring himself to do it. Dutch tries to press him - and D’avin arrives and has a Grade 5 Oh Hell No to Dutch teaching his two day old son how to torture people.
She is convinced this is necessary, a war is coming, they can’t coddle him, he needs to be a weapon… which is ominous in that Dutch is seeing a weapon here not a person or a child. She also adds that Khlyen trained her like this and she was torturing people as a pre-teen as well. D’avin is outraged, he’s a kid, torture is evil and yes, Khlyen is an arsehole who abused Dutch. Dutch is outraged by this accusation - and I can see her being so angry that someone else dictates what her childhood was but equally… he’s not wrong? Even if Dutch declares that it was necessary, it’s clear her vision of what a normal childhood looks like and what is acceptable for children is vastly skewed
While they’re arguing Ominous Blond dies because of suicide poison, of course
Ozzman turns to D’avin worried Dutch is disappointed in him but D’avin gives him an excellent speech on how he’s not responsible for the decisions and opinions of adults around him… and Ozzman chooses the name Jaqobi instead: Jaq for short. Which is all touching and a prelude to D’avin and Jaq leaving… seemingly without telling Dutch
There’s also the issue of Pip. Zeph is sure that something is wrong with him and he wouldn’t just sell them out and kidnap Ozzman… Dutch and D’avin point out that selling out is kinda what Pip does. Dutch urges Zeph to fix Pip if she can… but he needs to be sedated until then and there’s an ominous undertone as to what will happen if they don’t cure him… so Zeph sneaks him off the ship heading to the Hullen armada hoping for a cure.
Because her experiments along the way show she can’t kill the evil brain spider - even with Pip pushing because he knows that no-one will be able to trust him if he can still be possessed (and he really wants a relationship with Zeph - enough to risk dying for). Killing the spider kills Pip. Even if the spider dies without being killed it will kill Pip - and these spiders don’t have a long life outside the Green.
Meanwhile Pree arrives on Westlery looking for his husband and working with Fancy to find the child kidnappers. He’s not in a good mood at all. But I’m unsure of his plan which involves basically setting himself up to be kidnapped and sending location information to Fancy and Turin… which works. The kids are being held on the Hullen controlled Rac and things do Not Look Good
We’re now heading heavily into the moral grey and it’s fascinating to see - and fascinating to see that we have Dutch and her upbringing not coming out unscathed. Which is something that I don’t think we’ve overly dwelled on - we’ve seen her sadness pain and fear but not how it has fundamentally changed her, what she considers necessary and what she considers acceptable. Her anger at D’avin and not even recognising how terrible and abusive her own childhood was are powerful markers of that. Even with that joky line about Dutch insisting on training Jaq is fraught because though it’s fun and clearly D’avin wants her help there’s also an edge that Dutch isn’t joking here. To fight the lady, Jaq will be trained… by her.
But we also see another branch of moral worry - while D’avin is worried about what Dutch will do to Ozzman/Jaq out of what she deems necessary and her own skewed idea of what constitutes a normal childhood, we equally see them both turning coldly ruthless eyes on Pip should he be a threat to the child. Jaq has a new family - but that family is extremely dangerous to anyone around him if they think it’s necessary to keep him safe. And while, obviously, Dutch's abusive upbringing doesn't in any way force her into abusive patterns herself, her entire life of abnormality without any real connection family or security until she met Johnny and that constant pressure of having to survive and being hunted has left their mark on what she considers normal and necessary.
The debate now is going to be how far any of them will go - and will they be able to stick together when they all have different ideas of where the limits lie. And this is before they get Johnny involved who is a) super loyal and b) the least willing to put up with torture, murder et al.
I’m going to call it now - Ominous Blond’s organisation is not actually in service to the Lady but is an ancient secret order dedicated to fighting her