In the twenty-sixth chapter of Blackout, everything hurts, but the After The End Times team gets closer to their endgame. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Blackout.
This was difficult, but it needed to happen, and I am so glad that it happened.
If I was thrust into the same predicament as these characters, I can’t say I’d do things much differently. That goes for Becks, too! Her hostility and eagerness to shoot Georgia is just a sign that she’s aware of how devious the team’s enemy really is. She wants to protect these people, and she’s not going to let a sleight of hand do the team in.
Initially, though, Shaun is in this blissful, accepting state, and it’s clear that he was unwilling to view Georgia as anything other than the real thing. At the same time, we’ve got Mahir, who is taking his position seriously. Often, he has to remind the others that he’s in control, even if it means forcing Becks to sit down and shut up. By and large, it’s like Georgia has to pass a test with each person to gain their trust. Obviously, she’s passed Shaun’s test with flying colors. So how is she going to convince Mahir, Becks, and Maggie that she’s real and not there to kill them all?
She’ll do it real slowly.
Of course, that’s not the only issue here. How about the fact that Shaun still hears Georgia in his head. Oh my god, WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THIS? It wouldn’t make sense if this part of Shaun’s mind suddenly shut off. How is he going to tell Georgia about this?
First things first: Maggie. Oh, Maggie. I love that her response is so controlled and calm, when you KNOW she’s internally screaming. Can I also state that she’s my favorite rich person? She’s my favorite rich person, and I want to hang out with her and knit sweaters for her dogs or something. I don’t even know how to knit, but I’d learn it just for her. Also, I can’t deal with this exchange, and I may have screeched in my room while reading it:
“The hot tub seats eight, in case you wondered. According to my mother, I was conceived in a suite very much like this one, but thankfully, on a different floor. I’m pretty sure she told me that so I’d never have sex here, ever.”
“Did it work?” I asked, curious despite myself.”
She closed the door behind Mahir. “No. I brought Buffy here to celebrate when she first got the job working with the two of you. She wasn’t the first, and she won’t be the last.”
!!!!!!!!! I HAD TO READ THIS LIKE FIVE TIMES IN ORDER TO MAKE SURE MY EYES WEREN’T DECEIVING ME. OH MY GOD, MAGGIE IS CANONICALLY QUEER AND SO IS BUFFY AND OH MY GOD MY HEART ACHES AT THE SAME TIME IT IS EXPLODING FROM EXCITEMENT. Oh my god, MAGGIE. YOU ARE SO WONDERFUL. I love how she reveals this in a way that’s both casual and quite aggressive. Ugh, bless her heart!
“And we are now officially getting too much information,” said Becks.
NO, NOPE, WE COULD NOT GET ENOUGH. MORE. MORE.
And then Georgia passes one of Maggie’s tests: she asks for a Coke. Oh my god, Georgia wasn’t even trying. It’s just what she wanted. And it works, at least temporarily. It’s not long before that small burst of hope is awful in disguise, though. God, there’s so much that Georgia doesn’t know either! She doesn’t know about everyone who has died, what they died for, what’s happened since she diedâ€¦ oh god, THERE’S SO MUCH TO TALK ABOUT. And then Georgia casually tells the group that Rick was at the CDC, unaware of what a massive can of worms she has just opened. My god, Rick, what have you been doing? What’s happening? I’m hoping that final blog entry is a sign that he’s been secretly doing something to help out After the End Times, but what would that be? Why would he be seen as a monster?
Hey, let’s talk about this:
Maggie leaned close as she handed me my coffee, cutting off my view of George. “If she isn’t who she says she is, she can never leave this room,” she murmured.
LORD, THIS IS SO CHILLING. God, Maggie is consistently the calmest member of the team, which puts her decision to stay behind into perspective. If she was that upset publicly about the decision, then it was clearly a big deal to her. Regardless, she had to say this! She had to let Shaun know that their safety was more important than anything else.
Anyway, most of this chapter is a re-hashing of what we know, though it’s interspersed with some important character moments. It’s in Georgia’s explanation of what happened to her that Mahir and Maggie find some comfort, especially since they both know it’s technically possible for Georgia to exist in the state that she is in. I particularly liked the detail that Kellis-Amberlee kept a dead person’s brain alive, explaining how they could “capture” Georgia’s thoughts after she was dead. But after Georgia mentions that she met Dr. Danika Kimberly, I feel like Mahir was sold at that point. It was a quantifiable fact, one that comforted him enough to accept her. The rest of her story at least holds up to a casual scrutiny, so I’m hoping that there’s not something hidden within Georgia that even she doesn’t know about. I have no hint that this is the case, but still. I’m being cautious about my excitement here! I know that Georgia has information the team needs and vice versa. It’s refreshing and exciting that they’re back together, but I’m also nervous for what the future has in store.
Mark Links Stuff
– I have been nominated for a Hugo in the Fan Writer category! If you’d like more information or to direct friends/family to vote for me, I have a very informational post about what I do that you can pass along and link folks to!
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-Â Mark Reads Harry Potter and the Deathly HallowsÂ is now published and available for purchase!Â Itâ€™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!!!
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