In the thirty-fourth chapter of Blackout, I am now completely terrified of the future. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Blackout.
It’s such a weird sensation to be both frightened and ecstatic about the reappearance of a character in this series. On the one hand, I’ve missed Rick a lot. Even knowing that he was involved in this whole mess before reading this chapter, I still held out hope that things would be glorious and beautiful when he was finally reunited with the team. In a way, it is! Well, for Rick and Georgia. Sort of? At the same time, his presence here is foreboding and painful. I don’t feel good about this at all. NOT AT ALL.
I’ll get to the worst part at the end. Let’s first discuss how utterly unnerving Georgia and Rick’s interaction is. I almost said “reunion,” but… technically, they’ve never met. Wrapping my head around that is a feat in and of itself, and then I have to think about the fact that Rick paid to create her. For a reason. A reason we don’t know. And one that Rick has to apologize for. And one that requires him to get all of these people into the White House.
I am so lost and terrified, y’all. THE WHITE HOUSE. Why? Why are they there? What is the government hiding? How are they supposed to trust Rick after he’s been silent this whole time? Apparently, he has a good reason for this, but I can’t possibly think of one, especially not in terms that seem amenable to me.
So, remember that whole thing I wrote about on Tuesday regarding the dullness of the blood tests?
Those tests didn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know… but they reinforced the idea that we had to be afraid, always, that our humanity was fleeting, maintained only by a constant web of government oversight.
Which is a terrifying thought once you put that in the context of where they are and who they are with. It’s not lost on me that the White House has virtually none of the same regulations for entering the building privately as most other places do. It reminded me of the Agora in one sense, especially if you consider that both are only accessed by the rich. One set of rules for one class, one for the other. Guess who gets which one?
I wonder how much of this experience has changed Rick, then. He’s been in a position of power for a long time, and based solely on the fact that I’m now watching The West Wing, I shall assume he has had access to a lot of classified and secretive information. He obviously has lots and lots and lots of money or it’s readily available to him through the government. His sporadic unpublished blog posts have shown us that he’s felt regret and fear about whatever it is he’s done for the government, but they’re all vague at best. So when Shaun comes right out and ask what the fuck happened to Rick, I braced myself for the answer.
“You’re here to learn why we have to lie, and why we can’t let you run around telling the truth without consequences. It’s time you learned the truth about Kellis-Amberlee.” He looked back over his shoulder at us, and his expression was haggard, like he’d personally witnessed the end of the world. “I am so, so sorry.”
WHAT THE FUCK. How do you say something like that, and then leave everyone in the elevator to stew in THE WORST THING IMAGINABLE??? I agree with Georgia: I got such a horrible vibe from this. What have I been missing all along??? Why the fuck would Rick ever say that these people NEED to lie about Kellis-Amberlee? No, I refuse to accept that! How can you justify setting loose KA-infected mosquitoes, or killing Dave and Buffy, or THE BILLION OTHER THINGS THAT THIS SECRETIVE ORGANIZATION HAS ENACTED ON THE WORLD?
Oh my god, this chapter ends with President Peter Ryman creepily applauding After the End Times once they step out of the elevator. It scares me. I am so not ready for the next chapter, y’all. At least Maggie’s parents have arrived at the Agora, and Alisa is doing fine with the Masons. Something is going right for once! It won’t last. It can’t last. I sincerely feel like I’ve reached a point of no return, and next week, I won’t ever be able to think about Newsflesh in the same way again.
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!
– I have announced what the next books I am reading on Mark Reads will be, as well as updated y’all on the events, cons, tour dates, GOING TO EUROPE OH MY GOD, and general shenaniganry going on in my life. I have a similar post up on Mark Watches, detailing the next two shows I’m doing as well as the return of Double Features, and I finally explain what happened with my Vimeo account. Check these posts out!
– Mark Reads Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is now published and available for purchase! 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!!!
– Video commissions are open, and you can commission a Mark Reads/Watches video for just $25!