This chapter is entitled cracked. I assume that Otis isn’t going to fill these next pages with articles from the website of the same name. Hmm, what could this title be signifying? Maybe Jeeve drops a geode which contains dozens of alien spider, eager to consumer her flesh? It couldn’t be the obvious where somebody has a mental breakdown, that would be too easy. Of course, knowing Otis, it will be more of a mental stall rather than a full breakdown.
Jeb has apparently turned into a chatty Cathy and Jeeve keeps pulling his string. Blah blah blah, he likes science fiction blah blah. Did you know Jeb was listening to her regale Jamie with her boring life? Gasp! Also he’s seen them put aliens in people and they must use an anesthetic because they aren’t awake and screaming thus it might not be tortuous.
Eve thinks that torture is humans specialty. Yes, because knocking someone out to do things they wouldn’t sign up for voluntarily does no harm to them. I’d better bring that argument to the next date rape case. ‘My client wasn’t torturing his victims, it’s not like he beat her while she was unconscious. He simply sedated her so he could have intercourse with her, something she wouldn’t have agreed to awake. I move that no crime was committed whatsoever.’
Does Otis get that based on the society she’s created that it’s not possible for the aliens to have avoided things like torture and murder? These creatures aren’t mentally linked so odds are there’s been moments where some creature had information that the others wanted and couldn’t get from them by just asking nicely. Not to mention that there’s obviously disagreements between them, remember the argument between FDS and the seeker?
See Otis, it might be interesting to see Eve start off thinking that humans are worse than her own race and then, through interaction, she starts to understand they aren’t too different. Perhaps she realizes that the violent human image was propaganda promulgated form on high by the alien overlords. That might be interesting. But this constant bad mouthing humans via your author avatar is really starting to piss me off. I think it’s time to give Peter Stormare a call and see if he’ll shove her into the wood chipper.
Still more talking. Jeb is continuing his one-sided conversation that’s supposed to pass for exposition. Here’s and idea Otis, show me don’t tell me. I’m not interested in hearing your characters talk, I want to see them do. If they must figure things out maybe an internal monologue might be a bit snappier, especially considering this is a first person perspective!
This is worse than an old school RPG in that every character happens to suffer from a condition where they happen to know exactly what you need and are willing to vomit it upon anyone who wanders up to them and presses A. ‘Did you know that the Baron is the uncle of the Prince? He rules in stead until the Prince came of age after his father mysteriously died. Some say that Baron von Evildarkpants had something to do with it but I’m not sure. There have been a few more shady characters wearing inexplicably black armor and anonymous faceguards around the palace these days. I wonder if there’s any truth to those rumors?’ ‘Uh, I was just looking for the post office.’ ‘Did you know that the Baron…’
So to summarize. Jeb has been thinking, he’s lying, and using logic. Or rather he’s been using logical fallacies to back up what he already wants to believe. He thinks there’s no way she could be a seeker because the aliens couldn’t have possibly learned form their mistakes.
Nope, nobody learns or changes after a certain point. Just take a look at humanity, why we’re still frozen in the nineteen seventies. We all drive muscle cars, we all are still fascinated with polyester clothing, ABBA is still charting number one hits and All in the Family is still running strong.
Why Jeb even saw some aliens acting just like people when nobody was watching. It occurred to him then that the aliens are just riding around in us and that means they’re still us. Except how they make us do things that they want, other than that they’re sort of us.
Is that premise supposed to excuse the billions of meat puppets they’ve made out of humanity? ‘Well, sure you’ve ruined society and killed thousands that resisted but, hey, you have feelings. That means it’s all okay. Never mind the near genocide and complete destruction of a long and proud civilization that owns up to their foibles as quickly as their triumphs. So, when do we get together to talk about our feelings?’
Jeb asks her about her previous alien bodies. They skip interesting detail like societal structure and focus on physical traits. It’s like listening to a writer for the doctor from the sixties coming up with new aliens. ‘Okay so they’re dragons but they’re made of jelly and they swim through the air which is like jelly too, oh and they breathe acid.’ ‘So not like dragons at all then.’ ‘Exactly but we can recreate the effects with a green filter, a fire extinguisher, two lights and a couple boxes of clear gelatin.’ ‘I like the way you think Steve.’
Jeb repeats more than once how she tells a good story. Of course we don’t get to hear this story so we don’t know. Otis knew she couldn’t’ support a good story and instead left it to our imagination, a wise move though not believable coming from her. That’d be like Michael Bay saying he was directing a contender for the academy awards, I don’t buy it.
Man these folks do a lot of talking. And it’s not interesting, it’s just banal, empty words we could do without. Jeeve says once more this is her ninth planet for those keeping track at home. Jeb wants to see if she’ll teach some people about the other places. Doc comes in to guard her and Eve goes to sleep. Wow, if this moves any faster I’d better see about getting some anxiety meds. This fast paced story is too much too handle.
Just before the chapter closes Eve wakes up. She hears a shuffling noise but Doc is still asleep. What could it be? A cave rat? Ian coming to slit her throat? A teenage boy from the colony who decided to grope her in her sleep because she’s not really human anyway? Please let it be Ian with a knife.