In the fifteenth chapter of Blackout, I am just in awe of this book’s capacity for plot twists. AND I’M NOT EVEN HALFWAY DONE WITH IT. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Blackout.
It’s great that you can feel the same building terror that Georgia feels as she comes to realize that she may have to fight her way out of her room at some point. Now that we know that Dr. Thomas is accelerating Georgia’s tests so he can use her as a model, that means the EIS has even less time to come up with a plan to get Georgia out of the CDC. Because Grant has spent so much time giving us information about the physical arrangement of these places, I already know that this is pretty much impossible. With so many cameras and automatic safeguards in place, it’s too risky to try and just walk her out, even if there was a fake power outage or something. Or something. Lord, what could that even be? I’m honestly so goddamn stumped, y’all. How is Georgia going to get out of this?
I wasn’t comforted by the fact that everyone who came to see Georgia treated her like a communicable disease. Something was wrong. See, I expected more tests, and I expected them with a greater frequency than before. But when nothing happened? Oh god, what if Georgia had already been given approval as a clone, and they were preparing to dispose of her? WHY ARE HER MEALS GETTING WORSE? WHY IS NO ONE TALKING TO HER?
The only relief came from Dr. Shaw. I realize I have to be cautious with any of these people, but at this point in the chapter, I wasn’t willing to believe that the EIS folks were going to double cross Georgia. (Begins to sob.) It was too difficult to even consider. So when Dr. Shaw started to tell Georgia that she had been approved for Dr. Shaw’s sleep study, I assumed that everything the doc said was coded. It meant that for the time being, she’d be out of her cell. It meant that she could temporarily escape Dr. Thomas. It meant that she might be able to ask questions openly. I think I was most excited about that prospect because I’m horribly selfish, and I don’t know what’s going on.
There’s a brief hiccup when two armed guards insist they have to escort Georgia and secure her inside Dr. Shaw’s lab. Well, I didn’t think it would be that bad; as long as everyone cooperated, it would be over in a matter of minutes, right? So I was confused as to why the guards were so hesitant to take Georgia to a Level 3 lab until Georgia explained: there was a major biohazard risk in those labs. Okay, so would there be more privacy? Less of it? Would Georgia be closer to escaping or would she be stuck even further within the CDC facility? I didn’t know what to expect, and that somehow made this even worse than if I’d known one way or another what Georgia’s immediate future held for her.
Hey, ready for your heart to hurt?
For the first time, I felt myself feeling sorry for the Georgia Masons who had been cloned, studied, and killed before me. How many of them touched their ears, feeling naked and wondering whether they’d get the chance to be properly clothed ever again?
Welcome to Blackout, where clones are heartbreaking. Christ.
And then it starts. Then it starts, and my life is ruined.
“Do you want us to come with you, or do you want us to initiate cleanup procedures in lab bay two? You’re going to need it later tonight.”
What. What does that mean. What are you talking about?
She slapped her palm flat against the right-hand testing unit, cleared her throat, and said, “Identification, Danika Michelle Kimberley, authorization beta alpha zeta nine four nine two three. Designation, investigative physician. Affiliation, Epidemic Intelligence Service.” Her accent was suddenly British, softer than Mahir’s with a rolling edge that I’d heard only from bloggers who lived and broadcast near the Welsh border.
but that isn’t your name
I stared at her. “What â€“?”
NO, I’M WITH YOU, GEORGIA. I DON’T GET IT EITHER.
“This is Georgia Carolyn Mason, version 7c. Designation, electronic journalist, human clone, presently listed as deceased in the main network. Affiliation, Epidemic Intelligence Service.”
WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT ARE YOU EVEN SPEAKING IN ENGLISH.
Dr. Kimberley sighed. “Oh, yay,” she said, deadpan. “This is quite my favorite part. Is it Tuesday? It’s Tuesday, isn’t it?”
DID THIS BECOME A MONTY PYTHON SKETCH ALL OF A SUDDEN?
“Brilliant. In that caseâ€¦” Dr. Kimberley pointed to the girl. “Matriculate.” She turned and pointed to James. “Alabaster.” She turned again, pointing to the tall, dark-skinned man on the end. “Polyhedral.”
I DON’T KNOW WHAT UNIVERSE I JUST ENTERED. WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON.
“What?” I blinked at her. Maybe it was everything I’d been through in the past few days, but I was suddenly afraid I’d trusted the wrong people. “What are you talking aâ€“”
And then the syringe bit into the back of my arm, and the world, such as it was, fell away, leaving me in darkness.
I AM SO LOST, HELP ME. AM I READING THIS RIGHT? WHAT. WHAT?!?!?!
If Gregory is correct, and she is truly close enough to the original to be viable for our purposes, wellâ€¦
I can only hope she’ll find it in her heart to forgive us for what we must do.
I AM SO DONE. THIS IS UNFAIR. YOU ARE JUST TEASING ME AT THIS POINT. What the hell??? What is this? WHAT HELL DID SHE JUST STEP INTO???
My batteries are dying. I may not be able to write for much longer. Hurry.
Done. I am done with you. You are all laughing at my pain. This book has won. I’m done.
Mark Links Stuff
–Â I amÂ now on tour!!!Â I have 26 events spread out across the eastern HALF of the U.S. and Canada. They are all free and all-ages. Come see me speak about the Mark Does Stuff Universe and read terrible fanfiction live!
-Â Mark Reads Harry Potter and the Deathly HallowsÂ is now published and available for purchase!Â It’s available in ebook AND physical book format, and you can also get a discount for buying the ENTIRE SET of digital books: $25 for 7 BOOKS!!!
-Â Commissions are still open while I am on tour!Â There may be a day or two delay to get them done, but I am accepting them graciously to help fund my tour!