First, purely external - John has said that Katrina CANNOT marry Mike at this time, in contradicts what he wants to do with the storyline. (More, I cannot say.)
Second, Mike HATES the danger he has brought down on the Keldara - see Unto the Breach, if nothing else, and the opening of A Deeper Blue to see how much he hates it.
Third, PAINT IT BLACK is a parallel story which will show lots of missing details that the Interludes hint at (but essentially, Mike is almost exposed to ALL the jihadists, well, those willing to pay - and wouldn't THAT be nice, having screaming lunatics descend upon the valley?).
Fourth, how long do YOU think Katrina etc will simply accept things? Yeah, about 30 seconds.
So. Here's my challenge to YOU.
If you hate the ending - and it seems that many of you do! - then give me a better idea. He won't simply walk away - okay, follow me on this. Mike thinks/feels/believes that he is the center of the maelstrom that is threatening to descend upon the Keldara. Given this, and that he doesn't want them wiped out, there is a certain twisted logic to him faking his death (again) and leaving the valley. Now, whether this is RIGHT or not, I can see how HE might feel it the ONLY choice. AND he knows that if he walks away, then the Keldara will search for him and get MORE of themselves killed, which will be on his conscience (or the bookkeeping system he has in place of one).
So. Give me a better idea - he CANNOT marry Katrina at this time. Period. Full Stop. I promise, I'll read ALL your ideas, and then, if ANY work, Dick and I will try to flesh them out.
You can send them to TheKildaran@yahoo.com, or you can post them as comments on here (depends on whether you want MY feedback or EVERYONE'S feedback).