Mark Reads ‘Feed’: Chapter 23

In the twenty-third chapter of Feed, the team heads to Sacramento for a vital appearance, and I am agonizingly cliffhanger’d. Again. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Feed.

Chapter Twenty-three

NOPE. NOPE. WHAT IS GOING ON. I AM SO FREAKED OUT AND SCARED AND WHAT IS HAPPENING.

Ugh, that fucking cliffhanger. You know what? I’m sure it’s one of like 100 more I’m going to have to survive. Damn it, why couldn’t I review these books like I did A Song of Ice and Fire? Right, because where’s the fun in that?

For the most part, chapter twenty-three chronicles the gradual decline in Georgia and Shaun’s mental state and general health as they try to navigate a world that is infinitely more complicated than it once was. Part of that comes from the sheer exhaustion of what they face. Buffy’s murder caused logistical problems on top of emotional ones, and we learn what those issues are here. Turns out Buffy hid recording devices everywhere she went. So on top of having to deal with that, the team has to rebuild all of Buffy’s work FROM SCRATCH to avoid any further implications from her actions.

Oh, right, and they have to work. Their job in Houston doesn’t go away, and they can’t turn down the trip to Sacramento. Up until this point, I’d never stopped to think that Ryman might have a stake in Tate’s terrorist nightmare. I assumed he was a good guy. Why on Earth would he be complicit in Tate’s horrific actions? Georgia had to spell it out to me:

Then again, Shaun and I were adopted to satisfy the Masons’ desire to prove the zombie war had been won by the living, and they’ve never stopped us from walking into the jaws of death – if anything, they’ve encouraged it, living for the ratings, because when they lost Phil, the ratings were all they had. So who are we to judge the sanity of parents?

Just… I don’t want this. Now I have to accept the possibility that even Ryman, who I enjoy very much, could have had a part in all of this. What if his whole persona is a facade? It’s not entirely out of the realm of believability. And that’s the worst part! I can’t look at the facts and say, “NOPE THIS ABSOLUTELY CANNOT HAPPEN.” It’s a possibility, as uncomfortable as it is, and now I can’t stop thinking about it. Fuck, can this not happen?

Regardless, everything is just messed up and awkward. The team can’t trust Ryman yet, so they distance themselves from him for weeks, and he’s bewildered as to the reason why the team has changed so drastically in such a short period of time. It’s an endless cycle of confusion, and until the team can trust Ryman or distrust him, they’re stuck. What are they supposed to do? They can’t reveal their hand unless they know he had no part in things.

So it was relieving to read that Shaun was at least getting out during their trip from Houston to Sacramento. I wanted to know what he did to get such impressive footage! Alas, I’m sure they’ve all seen enough trauma to last them a lifetime, so it was clear Grant was moving on to Sacramento pretty quickly. Which, okay… I haven’t lived in the Bay Area that long. It’s been just over two years, and I already support all efforts to talk shit on Sacramento. That place not only sucks moisture out of you because IT’S SO FUCKING HOT THERE, but it sucks out all hope. I’m sorry, I do not like that city at all. And it’s not like I’ve had any particularly bad experiences there or anything! I’ve had a few good meals, and once I went to a protest at the Capitol Building and THERE WERE SO MANY PUPPIES THERE. But it’s hard to enjoy anything there when Oakland and San Francisco are just over an hour away. Plus, my god, have you ever been there during the summer? Don’t. Don’t do it. This is your only warning.

I was kind of excited to see Steve again! He’s awesome. Georgia reveals that Ryman will be in Sacramento for seven days, so that means SEVEN DAYS OF STEVE. I approve of this itinerary. Plus, while Rick and Shaun go off to cover Ryman’s keynote speech, Georgia stays behind with the van. Oh god, THE VAN. Is it weird that I’m attached to it? It’s comforting when Georgia is inside of it. I feel like she’s home!

I should have known that this brief moment of comfort wouldn’t last long. This very brief chapter ends on a frustrating, terrifying note. Georgia decides to use a CHAT RELAY to speak with Dave, who had worked with Alaric to provide the team with files relating to what they’d discovered inside Buffy’s files. Like, okay, I am expecting the worst, but this?

Getting myself to stop hyperventilating took another twenty minutes. When my lungs stopped burning and I was sure I could control myself, I shut down my laptop, returned it to its case, and rose. I needed to get myself dressed; it was time to crash a party.

NOOOOOOO, what did they find out??? What would make Georgia react so dramatically? I NEED TO KNOW. It doesn’t help that there’s an UNPUBLISHED blog entry from Georgia at the end of this, and in it, she states that she regrets wanting to work in news. Some journalists – it’s unsaid – have clearly been involved in this nightmare. And I don’t know who. And I don’t know what they did. And I am FUCKING TERRIFIED of where this is going.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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