One more shot at helpful suggestions, if I may?
1. I'd have liked to see more dialogue between Sugar and Heywood. I thought their interaction was very interesting, and I was disappointed that you didn't continue with it. In any case, more repartee is needed. You have wit, and that should be showcased more. Sugar could be even MORE of a smartass, to good effect, I think. Ever read Robert Parker's Spenser novels? Consider emulating Spenser's "attitude."
2. Schickler at present is a cartoon of Hitler, and that's trite. How about making him a pleasant-spoken Southerner whose father fled the Massa-cure? (very nice, that). That would go a long way toward explaining Schickler's violent racism, too. A villain who doesn't look and sound like a villain is a more effective villain, ya think? Lieutenant Rearden, for example, is a more interesting -- and ultimately chilling -- character than Adam or Adele -- a pleasant, gentlemanly mass murderer. By the way, if you named him after Rand's Hank Rearden, consider yourself b!tch-slapped. If you want to pay homage to St. Ayn, how about "Ferris?"
Noli illegitimi carborundum, tovarisch.
Recommended reading: The Most Dangerous Superstition, http://www.amazon.com/Most-Dangerous-Superstition-Larken-Ros...
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