In the twenty-fifth chapter of Feed, Shaun, Rick, and Georgia quickly head back to their trailers to discover a surprise. This is a nice way of not spoiling you. H E L P. If you’re intrigued, then it’s time for Mark to read Feed.
The severity of what I just read is astounding to me.
Look, I thought the terrible thing that happened in this chapter was Lois being murdered. And don’t get me wrong, that’s fucked up. It’s incredibly awful! I can’t deal with pets being killed. It’s a punch right in the feelings, y’all. But after the events in the hall concerning Senator Ryman, I thought I had mentally prepared myself for the shitstorm to come. It was going to happen, right? I mean, look, Tate knew something had just happened between Ryman and Georgia, that much was clear. It was only a matter of time before everything came crashing down. Plus, I was just sad that Ryman was so upset. Truthfully, I do like him a lot as a character, and having him rebuke Georgia felt like having your favorite teacher scold you in front of the class. It was like your parents telling you that they’re disappointed with you. It’s the worst sense of shame!
So Georgia gets the hell out of their with her figurative tail between her legs, entirely uncertain about what’s going to happen to them. I totally misjudged Georgia’s trust of Steve, because in this chapter, she openly tells Steve exactly what she discovered while she’s relaying the information to Rick. Now this was a brilliant decision on her part. Steve lots his partner in Eakly, so now she has a very powerful and strong ally at her side. However, I can’t ignore what a shitty situation this is. I mean, at this point in the chapter, I saw this going one of two ways:
1) Ryman believes them, Tate is fired, shit gets real, but at least Ryman is still on their side.
2) Ryman does not believe, they get fired, Georgia releases all the files, shit gets real and everything is awful.
Neither option seemed all that great, you know? It’s not like there was a CLEAR path to righteous victory! They were in this deep, and nothing they did would get them out of it cleanly. Even before that thing happens, that’s how I felt. I assumed that this was why Rick’s cat was murdered. Lois was a very stereotypical sign from whoever made up the opposition force, a way to say that they were getting to close. In fact, it seemed too stereotypical, you know?
I’ll largely let the video reading attached to this post act as my real-time commentary on the events following the discovery of Lois’s murder. I don’t need to repeat myself here, but I want to talk about the implications of what has just happened. The terrorist attack on the After the End Times trailers is horrific in and of itself. It’s the brashness of it that frightens me. If Georgia is indeed correct and Tate ordered the attack once he realized that Georgia had revealed what she knew to Ryman, then we have reached critical mass. Tate and his group have gotten to a point where they can be blatant, obvious, and crass about their brand of violence. I’m sure that there were cameras in the Center. I’m sure that this was done without as much preparation to hide their tracks. And they do not care. It is so vital to them that this news stay hidden that they’re willing to murder an entire press team and any number of people who just happen to get in the way.
And while I correctly called the mosquito bite as something else, the horrifying reality of the end of chapter 25 hurts me to think about. It is absolutely possible that Georgia was hit with a live shot of Kellis-Amberlee. She’s not passing out, and she describes no change in how she feels. It’s not a tranquilizer. So what else would it be? It makes sense: blow up the trailers, cause bodily harm that might kill some or all of the After the End Times team, and then amplify one of them in the aftermath.
I don’t know how they can get out of this. They’re locked in a confined space. This is so fucking upsetting, and I’m not even done with it.
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