In this chapter, we show Spook almost completely under Ruin’s power. This is the ultimate culmination of everything that the force has been working toward with Spook.
Ruin knows how to play off the lusts of mankind. Lust makes sense to Ruin, as he has lusts himself. He needs to destroy. It’s part of who he is and what makes him function. It’s the driving force of the power upon which his consciousness feeds to remain alive.
Things that don’t have to do with lust, yet are still human emotions, are more difficult for him to remember and empathize with.
Most of my alpha readers thought by this point of the book that I would make Spook’s storyline a tragedy—that he would snap here and become a villain. I won’t rule out my doing something like that in a novel, as I think it would be very compelling. I don’t know how many readers thought I would do that here. However, it wouldn’t work in this story. The problem is, if I showed this entire plotline just to end with Spook destroying the city, I think the sections would ultimately feel unfulfilling because they wouldn’t be connected to the rest of the book.
If this were a middle novel, and not the end of a trilogy, I would have been much more inclined to show a tragedy like this. Then it could have effects on the next books, and the pages the reader had invested would mean something to the overall story. As it stands, I was always intending for Spook to be redeemed. Partially because I think that’s who he is—he let Ruin urge him toward getting carried away, but he’s still a solidly good person. Also, I have a fondness for him since the first book. I couldn’t let him end that way.
Quellion Pleads with “Kelsier”
By the way, Quellion can in fact see Ruin here. When Ruin manifests himself in form, not just in voice, anyone who he’s corrupted with a spike can see him with their natural eyes. (Or at least, in the case of Inquisitors, with their Allomancy.) I tried to get this across as best I could, but some readers still had trouble with it.