Mark Reads ‘Deadline’: Chapter 12

In the twelfth chapter of Deadline, I’m pretty sure my heart is not going to be able to withstand the sheer suspense this series is going to put me through. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Deadline.

Chapter Twelve

I am nearing the halfway point of Deadline, and I have no clue where this story is going, and this is one of the most tense things I have ever read. It’s one scene after another that makes me nervous because the stakes are so disgustingly high in Newsflesh. Mira Grant killed off her narrator, y’all, so not only can anyone else die, but things can always get worse. And guess how things can get worse?

BY MAKING AN UNANNOUNCED STOP AT THE PORTLAND CDC.

Oh my god, they’re really going for it, y’all. But there are a few things we need to discuss before we talk about my stomach hurting out of fear. First of all, I see no way that Dr. Kelly gets out of this scenario alive. None. This chapter in particular really highlights the ridiculous things she’s got to face. The After the End Times team treats her flippantly most of the time, threatening her with violence or a grisly end or the threat of being exposed. And I do understand that she represents so much of what they’re fighting against, so it’s one of the reasons they treat her poorly. If you pay attention to how they talk about her when discussing her fate, it’s almost like she’s an object or a perhaps a prisoner of war. It isn’t until later in this chapter that Becks and Shaun begin to understand just what her presence means to them and to Kelly’s safety.

For now, though, Shaun is throwing caution to the wind. His epiphany regarding his own desires and motivations earlier in the book has clearly influenced this very Irwin behavior in him. He’s essentially going to the hornet’s nest and poking it with a very large stick. At the very least, the group decides to get some sleep before following through on an unbelievably bad idea that will only end in disaster forever and ever times a million. Seriously, how can ambushing the CDC end well? It can’t. THIS IS ALREADY CANON, AND I HAVEN’T EVEN READ THE NEXT CHAPTER.

It was neat to find this out, though:

Technically I’m in charge of the site, but it can be easy to lose track of how big we really are these days. It used to be me, George, and Buffy. Now it’s dozens of people, half of whom I’ve never met and probably never will. Thank God for Mahir. Without him, we’d fall apart, becoming another fringe site clinging to the edges of extinction. He manages the marketing and merchandising that George used to handle, and somehow all the bills get paid. Even the ones relating to ammo supplies for the Irwins, which I know from experience can get pretty damn expensive.

Hell, I lost track of how big After the End Times has gotten. It’s nice that there’s an acknowledgment of their size. It actually creates an intriguing situation: can one of the biggest news sites take down one of the biggest conspiracies in American history?

In my dreams that night, George had coppery eyes that she didn’t need to hide behind her sunglasses, and we walked in the sunlight, and we didn’t have to be afraid. Everything was perfect. Those are the worst dreams of all, because in the end, I can’t stay asleep forever.

Just hold me, y’all. I swear. Also, so… Becks was sitting on Shaun’s bed. Waiting for him to wake up. Huh. Well. That’s not… well. I predict sexy times soon.

I was surprised (though I shouldn’t have been) that everyone aside from Becks was heading back to Maggie’s place. Alaric finally makes the point that Kelly might get kidnapped from them, something Shaun had never considered. What if she was worth more than they expected? What if she was hiding something else that they need? Regardless, her mere presence is a continued danger to everyone, so bringing her into the CDC? That would make an already bad idea the worst idea ever.

Watching the van drive off with Alaric at the wheel left me strangely numb, like somehow their departure meant I would never see them again, like this was some sort of an ending, rather than another step along the road to learning why George really died.

Oh, no, DON’T DO THIS. Ugh, why? Why would you tease me with this???? Goddamn it, can this please not come true?

I did my best to push this out of my mind, and thankfully, this was rather easy considering that Grant moved immediately into the scene at the CDC. It feels wrong, doesn’t it? I admit that part of me is thrilled about Becks and Shaun’s confrontation because they do have one thing to their advantage: the element of surprise. No one can prepare for them. By talking to… fuck, who the hell are they going to talk to? What’s the plan aside from surprising them? I think that is what made me nervous about this. Things were so loosely defined that it was definitely a reckless attempt at either getting information or riling up the CDC.

Also, holy crap, Shaun thinks Becks is pretty. IT’S TOTALLY GOING TO HAPPEN, Y’ALL.

I don’t have a whole lot of faith in the CDC right now, and while I’m not the biggest fan of people harassing lower-level employees for the sake of protest and whatnot, I understood the desperation. They had to get the director down as soon as possible if this was going to work. And for all intents and purposes, it looks like this did work on Director Swenson. He’s obviously caught off-guard by these two, and I’m sure he is aware of exactly who they are. I am a bit terrified of what’s going to happen to Becks and Shaun, though. For all the security the CDC provides, that means they have more doors to pass through to get back out in case something goes wrong.

Goddamn it, y’all, this just feels wrong, doesn’t it? Both the blog entries that complete chapter twelve make it clear that the story has come to a crossroads. Alaric’s blog hints at what the team is dealing with, and I imagine it’s only a matter of time before they start exchanging some of that comfort for the truth. But it’s Georgia’s unpublished blog that hurts the most. After Eakly, we knew that she was freaked out about survival rates. She knew how serious things were. So when she says, “I’m so afraid that we’re not all going to make it home alive,” the irony is eclipsed by how terribly relevant this is to what After the End Times is doing. They’re not all going to make it home alive.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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