For nearly a minute, they engaged in a tug of war over the three subjects.

Another thing about this: Is there actual hostility here, or is it just a semi-friendly sibling rivalry, testing their powers? If one of them did actually win out, would they then stop the attack?

“Seems we have a stalemate,” she said, finally.

Yep, looks like it.

“Did the dirty old man send you?” Alec asked.

Time to move on to the important stuff.

She shook her head, “Daddy?  I went my own way.  After a bit.”

Please… It’s only been 10 hours since Sharks made me look at this cursed screenshot:

It’s too soon for more of the word “Daddy” right now, in the unironic fatherly sense or otherwise.

One of the men fell to his knees.  His hands were clenched at his sides.  Beads of sweat rolled down the faces of the other two, tears appearing in their eyes.

…is he making them do that, or did she successfully overload them?

“While I’m doing this, you can’t tell them to attack me.”

…okay?

“Unless I’ve gotten stronger over the past few years,” Alec answered.

Ah, it’s a matter of Cherie figuring that even if her influence can’t make them attack Alec or break the control entirely, it can make it harder for him to control them.

The man who was still standing reached for a knife and started walking towards Cherish.

And by the looks of it, she’s wrong.

She hit the knife wielder with fear and indecision, saw him stop.

It’s kind of interesting how this is working. We’ve got direct body control, contested by indirect mind control in a way that just slightly bypasses his body control through automatic, subconscious reactions.

They didn’t budge.

Thought so.

“Cut it out, Cherie,” Alec said, “I’m controlling them.”

And, much like he was vaguely aware of Shadow Stalker’s emotions due to the ways the body tried to react to them but couldn’t, he can tell that she’s doing this.

“If I remember right, you lose control if they’re hit by enough emotion,” she smiled.  She turned up the intensity.

That is very interesting.

Has to take a lot, though. Sophia was quite intensely emotional under Regent’s control, what with her solar anger and mortal fear, and she didn’t break loose.

“If I’m farther away.  Seriously, stop.  It’s irritating.”

Oh yeah, I suppose it makes sense that the distance factor makes a difference for that.

“If we’re changing our names, I’m going by Cherish.  I wanted to make an entrance.”

Not a bad name!

Also, yeah, that’s… quite the entrance.

“Man.”

“You’ll find others.”

That’s… not really the issue here.

“Fuck,” he sighed.

She reached for the three people who stood between her and her brother, manipulated their emotions towards Alec.  Filled them with suspicion, paranoia, hate.

Why? You seem on relatively amicable terms, so why suddenly try to make people attack him?

Is it just to check whether or not he’s controlling them?

“Alec,” she smiled.  “Still sounds French.  I approve, little brother.”

It does?

I guess I don’t know much about French names, really.

Also, hey, confirmation! 🙂

“Cherie,” he ran his fingers through his hair. “What the fuck?”

Is he just using that in the sense of “dear” in French, or is that actually her name?

I’m inclined to think the latter. “Dear” is not really something I’d expect Alec to address someone as in any language, and it’s not in italics like the French “Ça va?” earlier.

Also that’s a very valid question. Cherie just killed six of Alec’s soldiers for pretty much no reason. Based on how calm Alec is acting, she probably would’ve gotten in without too much trouble if she’d just asked the soldiers at the door to tell Alec she was there.

“Jean-paul.  Ça va?

Jean-paul. Seriously?

Fair enough, I guess.

Maybe Nikos didn’t care and let Alec’s mother name her child, and she had French ancestry?

Then again, Newbie is not just calling Alec by a French name, she’s also talking to him in French. Maybe that’s just a humorous greeting, a poke at his name, but it might mean they’ve been raised with some French. That could still be from the harem, I suppose, but it’s also possible that I’ve misjudged where the name Nikos Vasil would come from (Greece).

“It’s Alec now.  Regent in costume.”

Alec what, though? Jean-paul Vasil before, Alec ??? now.

I mean, I called that he’d changed his civilian name a long time ago, but I’ve never learned what his surname is these days, whether it’s still Vasil (doubtful) or not.

So is Newbie going to address Alec as “Hijack”, if she doesn’t go for his civilian name?

Incidentally, it wouldn’t surprise me if the civilian name she knows isn’t the one he currently uses either.