Dead Space: Martyr - Part 1

New Series! Perfect time to jump on. Phil and Kevin are talking about Dead Space: Martyr by B.K. Evenson and boy-howdy is it certainly a BOOK. It tells the story of Michael Altman and the founding of the Black Marker, which is the erstwhile MacGuffin of the Dead Space series. Come laugh, cry, and comiserate with Phil and Kevin as they work their way through this story which feels a little… rough around the edges.

Automated Transcript

I'm Verner Hertzog.

Phil  0:02
Let's say the one that Graber taught about memes

Kevin Erhard  0:05
Yes, I would like to see the baby

Phil  0:08
to see the baby. Jesus that man

Kevin Erhard  0:16
Good. All right, and on that note Hey there everybody. Welcome back to pixel it's and a brand new series, it feels like we start a new series every month because we kind of do since we do four or so episodes for every book, but hey, Grant, through these things, man, we do we do. And the current book that we are tearing asked through is dead space martyr, which is not a book that you want to necessarily tear as through if you know anything about that space. It just

Phil  0:49
brings up all the wrong visuals. Let's just put it that way.

Kevin Erhard  0:54
So yeah, we're reading deadspace, martyr by what's this guy's name? Brian. I haven't written ever, ever sent Ryan

Phil  1:06
in this in this book. He is credited as you think I would just have it in front of me wouldn't be Kay Evanson is what he is what he he went by for this particular book. But as as time goes on, he starts going by his full version.

Kevin Erhard  1:27
Yeah, it's based it's a prequel, so to speak of the very popular but currently dormant but soon to be resurrected dead G's Dead Space series. And it is interesting.

Phil  1:45
Yeah, I am. I gotta kiss. I'll tell you what, Kevin. I you played all these games? Yeah, I sure did. Okay, now I am. I'm almost finished with my run of the first game. I gotta tell you loving it.

Kevin Erhard  2:00
Yeah, solid game.

Phil  2:02
solid, solid game. just so much fun. And Kevin, what do you think of? When you think of dead space?

Kevin Erhard  2:10
The first thing that comes to mind is the niekro morphs. Okay? Just, you know, ripping human flesh apart and repurposing it for you know their own sentience. Whatever's short shortened. The second thing is, I guess, the, the protagonist, Isaac,

Phil  2:32
Isaac, Isaac, which who's got a totally iconic kind of look by now? Yes. You know, even I who had never played the game, you know, I could have I could have pointed him out by name. Just based on how good that look is and everything like that. Now I got to ask you as a follow up question, what about the setting? What do you think of when you think of the setting of dead space? space? space? Sure. The cold dark, sweeping vacuum space? What do you think about Mexico?

Kevin Erhard  3:03
No, I don't believe I've ever thought of Mexico while playing not when

Phil  3:07
when you're playing dead space that must have been that I keep thinking that's probably going to be the epilogue, you know? He's just sitting there drinking a Mai Tai on the Yucatan Peninsula coast, you know, just enjoying himself. That's what I figured must be coming because so far. This all takes place in Mexico.

Kevin Erhard  3:26
Yeah, yeah, this book entirely. It's 100 pages in and it's all Mexico.

Phil  3:32
It's all Mexico. And not that I excuse me, not that I have a problem with stucco now, but it's a lovely country. Oh, lovely, lovely spot. But I gotta tell you, I love I love horror sci fi. I love the deep dark void of space and everything like that. So when I came into this, and that didn't happen, you can imagine my surprise,

Kevin Erhard  4:00
surprise, perhaps disappointment? A little a little bit

Phil  4:03
of Yes, yes. Why not? Why not? let's just let's just say what it is a little bit of disappointment indeed. And, and Isaac, any any spotting of him so

Kevin Erhard  4:16
far? No, no, there's no no Isaac.

Phil  4:20
Isaac. Okay, so we got a dead space book. We got we got no Isaac. We got no space. We

Kevin Erhard  4:30
got a little debt. We got some dead. We got some

Phil  4:33
dead. We got some dead. We got the the the the the macro morphs. Yeah, all that good stuff. So there's there's a little going on there. That's good. Let's,

Kevin Erhard  4:43
let's be specific. A macro morph

Phil  4:46
macro, a macro morph. Mostly we're dealing with the the side bits the side plot that involves you know, you know, the the their head Getting played with which was a neat little side effect

Kevin Erhard  5:02
yeah that's that's that's also a thing that's also part of that's also part of the horror and dead space is short the event horizon esque psychological which is basically that's that's what it is it's it's very much a a take on the event horizon style har

Phil  5:23
absolutely absolutely

Kevin Erhard  5:25
which is which is basically ghosts it's it's ghost stories hauntings in space it's Poltergeist in space

Phil  5:34
it's it's a haunted the ship is a haunted house that's really what it comes down to. Yeah. So well why don't we just let's just get into it then. Yeah, I want to leave the people guessing at what the hell esoteric shit we're talking about your

Kevin Erhard  5:50
the book starts with a little prologue dream sequence. It's only a page and a half or so. About and it's a it's a person identified person being facing off against a gigantic niekro morph. Which, given how long you've played the game, I think you probably know which one this is referring to.

Phil  6:15
I finally do I finally do Yeah, so the big

Kevin Erhard  6:19
boy Yeah, the big boy. So yeah, and it's a really brief scene. There's some nice little action he gets a slice in on it and then it kills him. Yeah, and he's dead are our character Java wakes up and it was his dream of fighting this neck or morph

Phil  6:45
or at least he was having a very similar sort of dream I know Yeah, they don't they

Kevin Erhard  6:50
don't specify whether it's him but they do that as the chapters go on. It seems like people are having similar dreams.

Phil  6:58
Right? Right. It's not just him. And and Chava is a young man how do we get to a specific age on him?

Kevin Erhard  7:06
I assume teenager like a like a teen? Yeah, just based on the actions that he takes he seems teen ish.

Phil  7:15
Yeah, he seems pretty young. He doesn't seem like a child. But he seems he seems young. Yeah. And it doesn't go into a lot of specifics with that. So yeah, he wakes up and we are in chick Zulu Puerto which is a I guess this is a it's a kind of we were we were just talking about we're looking it up it's kind of a resort town there. Yeah, for 10 plants.

Kevin Erhard  7:39
From what I understand it's it's just it's got some hotels, it's located on a barrier islands on the Yucatan Peninsula. And those are that's that's an island. If you've ever been to Florida, those are the islands that run down the coast of Florida. Same situation. It's it's on a little barrier island.

Phil  8:02
But they don't want you to know that. It's like that's the thing when we look it up. It seems like a nice little resort town.

Kevin Erhard  8:08
Yeah. And in the book, it's like they're talking about crops and all that stuff. And you're like, well, this isn't really the place where you worry about crops.

Phil  8:17
The book the book kind of wants you to think of it as like man on fire Mexico. Yeah.

Kevin Erhard  8:23
Right. And let's be let's be honest, this is this is supposed to be way in the future. Still,

Phil  8:29
yes. Yeah.

Kevin Erhard  8:30
There you I'm not sure it would be. It wouldn't be a farm land no matter how long into the future.

Phil  8:37
No, I gotta say it's not a sandy soil of the beach is not exactly conducive to growing a ton of corn. Let me put it that way. So

Kevin Erhard  8:47
I made a note here. He he heard his father talking angrily about it crops that even a few years back had been healthy and strong now came up stunted if they came up at all. The only supposedly safe food was the patented foods grown in controlled environments by mega corporations, food that few could afford and the new. The note I wrote was capitalism

Phil  9:09
message. There it is.

Kevin Erhard  9:13
There it is. We are in a hyper capitalist future. Where we're the the evil corporations are controlling the foods.

Phil  9:22
Yes, and no one but the super rich can afford the foods. Yeah. Yeah. That's, that's our setting. That's that's where we are for the time being.

Kevin Erhard  9:33
That's our setting. And the chapter ends in these. Let me tell you folks, these chapters are blink and you miss them.

Phil  9:40
Yes, they sure are. It's it's and the characters are too young, you know, and that's the thing. Do you know what this actually made me think of to begin with? I don't know if you've ever read Jurassic Park? Yeah, I've

Kevin Erhard  9:56
read the Yeah. Jurassic Park. Yeah.

Phil  9:59
This is one of my favorites. books I find myself reading it like once every few years. I read it when I was a kid probably way too young to be reading it. But it was it. There's a great the way Michael pregnane writes Jurassic Park is terrific because he knows that there's going to be a lot of spooky stuff and scary stuff and action packed stuff coming along. He's got a lot of exposition to sit down first, right? You know, and so he gives us an opening chapter with a bunch of people that we will never hear see, again, right? That is a scary, spooky, mysterious chapter that really sets the tone and basically says to the reader, Hey, I know you're here for thrills and chills and spills. We're going to get to them let me give you a taste just so you don't immediately lose focus. And that's kind of what Evanson ends up doing here. But I think he does it a little it's just a little it's a little shotgun. There are a lot of really disposable characters that come up. Yeah, a few chapters.

Kevin Erhard  11:12
Yes, yeah. And then yeah, cuz that first chapter ends with Chava who is our current protagonist? He is not he is not the Once and Future protagonist I mean later in the book he might he might come back but

Phil  11:29
he might come back but my guess is Lincoln he's gone. He shares me we remember we remember the the the great Halo embarrassment of 2021 Yeah, so I'm not gonna I'm not gonna put money on that or anything.

Kevin Erhard  11:44
And then chapter two, we dive and we got Michael altman now Mike altman is a huge character in the dead, the Dead Space averse. Okay. altman is the guy who eventually he founded the church of unit tautology.

Phil  12:04
We're getting a little brief glimpse into him in the second chapter. It basically tells you what he's doing in Chicxulub that he's been there for about a year he moved there with his girlfriend who is an anthropologist you know and he's he's he's, what is it exactly that he does he's a geo fit the James field jF geophysicist, he shares a lab with him. He's a scientist let's just go with that.

Kevin Erhard  12:33
All men is like a rogue geologist or something like that.

Phil  12:37
Oh gosh, that's the worst kind.

Kevin Erhard  12:39
That's the worst kind he's just like he's just like I'm gonna I'm gonna I'm gonna figure this shit out.

Phil  12:47
You think that's a rock? That's not a rock gotcha punk

Kevin Erhard  12:51
he's he sees she'll throw geologists he seems very arrogant. He at one point there's internal monologue where it's he it says the work was slow not very rewarding but he tried to tell himself it wasn't quite as pointless as what field was doing the guy that field this guy he shares an office with

Phil  13:10
right yeah he's it's it's kind of funny because you would think that a person with that level of delusions of grandeur would have chosen a more exciting or or or otherwise like important if you will field and geology I'm not trying to shit on geologists I'm just saying they don't generally sway the events of the world on the level that that that kind of that kind of like ego mania requires

Kevin Erhard  13:40
Yeah, yeah, exactly. And then it's like it's like another boom we move we're moving on they detected something

Phil  13:49
in the crater in a crater and

Kevin Erhard  13:50
a crater yes yeah in the Chicxulub crater which is a massive it's like one of the it could be like killed the dinosaurs Yeah exactly. Greater field later is like oh, I'm clocking out that's not in this chapter.

Phil  14:07
Right well that's that's how quickly are That's how quick

Kevin Erhard  14:12
that Slater's field is like this yours interestingly. Yeah, they find it anomaly. Meanwhile, anomaly. Meanwhile, Java are our forever hero.

Phil  14:23
Forever. He's not going anywhere. We

Kevin Erhard  14:24
cut back to Java. And he's getting closer to the thing that he saw on the beach.

Phil  14:29
Yes, yes. This horrible. He thinks it's a you know, it's not a it's not a sea turtle or a dog or Jaguar. He says he thought maybe it was a monkey, but it's too big to be a monkey. And as he gets closer, he realizes that it's it's very similar to the creature that was in his dream. And this is this is actually a pretty terrific description here. Its neck looked like it had been flayed free of skin, the reddish pith underneath flecked with white splotches oozing slowly would look to be eyes were only empty sockets covered with veins veined opaque membranes. And it just it's it goes on and the huffing noise that huffing noise came from the opening his mouth along with a bitter accurate smell that made Chava cough and I'm pleased to say that I've at least made it far enough along in dead space to know exactly what they're describing here.

Kevin Erhard  15:29
It says puffer dudes that are Yeah, that changed the environment.

Phil  15:33
Yeah, yeah, it did we get a really awful moment where the creature makes a terrible sound. And these lumps on its back are pulsing and you hear bones cracking, and it's coughing up liquid and the horrible gray sacs on its back are filling and deflating over and over again. Just leaning there on the sands of the beach and just coughing up shit and making horrible sounds. You know, I gotta be honest, at this point, I was like, this is pretty cool. I'm into it.

Kevin Erhard  16:04
Yeah, that's pretty cool. I was like, by in chat by chapter three, I was like, Oh, this is gonna be the line I really liked was its muscles tightened and the gaping hole pulled back into a poor imitation of a smile, and that's what causes him to run.

Phil  16:20
And you know what, fair enough.

Kevin Erhard  16:22
Fair enough.

Phil  16:23
Fair enough. Yeah, no one here is mad at you over that action.

Kevin Erhard  16:29
And then we're back with field and field and altman and field basically checks himself out of the of the adventure, and just says I'm just gonna follow protocol.

Phil  16:44
Which you know, what might have been the smartest thing he's ever done when you think about it? He just goes, You know, I know they don't pay me more for I don't get overtime, motherfucker. I'm a salary man. I'm out.

Kevin Erhard  16:55
I'm out. Five o'clock. I'm gonna get my Margarita is on.

Phil  16:59
When you live on the beach in Mexico, Outman like kicks your butt. But Allman says, you know, he accuses him of he basically basically he doesn't say this, but to me it was kind of like a scientist insult when he was like he was like, You're not even curious. Because like, oh, science. And so that's

Kevin Erhard  17:20
a science insult. And that's the whole point. And that field, pointed one shaky finger at him. Which by the way, Evanson uses shaky finger way too often in the first 100 pages.

Phil  17:35
Yeah, yeah, it sure does. He sure does. Like,

Kevin Erhard  17:39
I note as like, I registered it like at least three times they're like, all right, not everybody's fingers shaky when they point. It's like no,

Phil  17:47
everyone's finger sheets just CIG if you've ever deeper reasons, that's all. Like, look, we don't, we don't need a description for every finger in the book, one or two at most, at most.

Kevin Erhard  17:58
And then we got a quavering voice, which I believe there might be another quavering voice later but but a field says go ahead be a maverick and see where it gets you your Maverick altman

Phil  18:16
rogue geologist, You

Kevin Erhard  18:17
rogue geologists.

Phil  18:20
God, oh, yeah. So he gets and then like he's, he decides he's going to settle into this himself and he stays on. He's going over all this data and, and trying to look for any any similar situations that happened with the anomaly like they're thinking of volcanic eruptions, stuff like that. Underneath the crater, and and like it's, it's, it gets it's, this is where this is to me. Where the book starts, like slowly rolling down the asshole Hill. He's just he's just hanging out and he looks and he looks and he can't find anything. He just he basically has a late day. Yeah, that's all Yeah, that's a late day. And then he gets a phone call from a shadowy figure. I couldn't help but think of

ways he's like he's like weird has it you've been asking around about the crater and I wanted him to go Yeah, that's literally my job. That's questions about the great Wait,

Kevin Erhard  19:25
hold on, hold on. I'm getting I'm getting a call from Jill Valentine. Okay. Yeah, yeah, yeah,

Phil  19:29
yeah. Okay, I'm back. Okay. Okay. Yeah.

Kevin Erhard  19:34
You've been asked about the crater.

Phil  19:36
And open does actually answer the way I kind of explain it goes. That's correct. There's this odd anomalies like he's explaining it's not a big secret and the Keiko is not over the phone. You've already said too much as it is eight o'clock, the bar near the clay. You know where that is. It's like, yeah, who is this but the caller had already hung up on that.

Unknown Speaker  20:01
Yeah it's

Phil  20:04
just it's just like just a completely out of nowhere conspiracy theorist like he literally took a couple of extra hours on his work day and Q anon called him up be like I hear that you want to learn the truth about the crate or like

Kevin Erhard  20:21
come to our Q anon meeting at the PI you're gonna learn all about the

Phil  20:25
crater but for him it's the lizard people yeah yeah by that don't say Jews I mean lizard people that's what I man Oh my god. So now this and like I said, rolling down as the asshole Hill. It also continues we go back to Chava and this is where we get a brouhaha now. We're gonna, this is this is where we roll happily into 1995 impression of Mexico everywhere, which everywhere in Mexico looks like Mexico City, which is simultaneously dirty and modern and old and primitive. It's like same time

Kevin Erhard  21:08
a Wait, hold on in my mind's eye. I have to slap an orange filter on the lens.

Phil  21:14
Exactly. No, it's it's man on fire. Like just that's that's where that's what Mexico is. And so he basically grabbed like Chavez gone and he's gone to get his mom and a bunch of other people from the nearby shanty town. And at this point, those wet gray sacks on the back or like the size of a man like their balloons now Yeah. And, and, and they're all checking them out. And it's like, they're all they're all checking them out. And there's the drunk the old town drunk one man, a small but dignified looking old drunk. What the fuck does that mean? Anyway, there's a cloud, like the air is just this horrible yellow, and he walks into it, and collapses and everyone pulls him out of it slaps him smacks him around. And the first thing he does is almost slipped past me. But the the drunk eventually wakes up. Right? It says shovel, watched until the drunk was conscious again and groping for his bottle. Because Come on, man.

Kevin Erhard  22:23
I thought he was dignified. is like witches. He

Phil  22:27
man. He sounds like a Looney Tunes drunk For God's sake. Sounds

Kevin Erhard  22:31
like he's like you will be played by the guy from Back to the Future.

Phil  22:36
Yes, yes. It's just a mess. So they're all looking at him. And eventually, Chavez mother says, Go fetch the old brew. Ha, she'll know what to do. So the old town witch and they bring her in and she looks like the Mexican version of a German fairy tale which she's moving slowly. She's leaving on a staff rise covered in wrinkle it's

Kevin Erhard  23:01
it's rumored that she's been alive for 1000 years.

Phil  23:06
Yeah, yeah, it's gotta love this. She's like a last book. His mother had said another time. She knows everything that everyone else has forgotten. And I'm like, I don't think your mom said that. I don't think it made that I

Kevin Erhard  23:18
think you're making that up Chava what is the what is the equivalent of this? This is where I started to get a little like, because this is almost like the equivalent of what like Orientalism but for Mexico for our Hispanic culture.

Phil  23:38
Yeah, that kind of that the the fear and allure of the exotic Yeah, I don't know what you would call that for for folks in Central and South America. I'm sure there's a word for it but I'm sure it's a word for it. But that's it but that's a great point. That's basically where we end up here there's there's this level of, of kind of, you know, it's like oh, well we want to make this really spooky. Let's put it in a in a terribly exotic and frightening place.

Kevin Erhard  24:06
Yeah, let's let's inlet then let's take some of the cultural mysticism and shoehorn it in there to you to explain some of the plot.

Phil  24:17
Right? Right. And yeah, and, and basically, the, the bra explains that this this this thing on the beach has something to do with ex Tom, which is presumably the old Mayan goddess of suicide.

Kevin Erhard  24:40
Yes. And that is true. I looked that up. That is yes, that's the thing.

Phil  24:45
You know, and I've got you gotta give it to the Mayans. If you're going to have a God for everything a god for suicides? That totally seems fair. Yeah. Where's that explanation in our sixth grade Greek Greco Roman mythology class. I know Bring me the South American fuckin a suicide goddess says I want more of that. Yes fucking cool some cool shit. So yeah it's he's explained he explains his dream to the bra This is all by the way this horrible things like writhing and pulsating in the background there he like mentions he has a dream and she's like telling me about the dream.

Kevin Erhard  25:25
They're like they're like dream journaling while there's like there's a literal monster behind them on the beach.

Phil  25:32
Exactly, exactly. And it's just and all this is happening. It's like pages it's the longest chapter in the book. It's only like five pages long but still longest chapter in the book so far. And it's and then she says something about she says, chicks is a loop. Do you know what this word means? Just curse the name of the town. He says he doesn't. And so she draws with the tip of her stick in the sand. She draws these two lines that are twisting together, which they call the tail of the devil. It's this symbol and at this point I thought to myself, do we have time for this? Like you don't have to you can just do to be like, Hey, listen. So listen, chicks a lube, it's about it means the tail the devil, I don't need to take you know, a minute out of our time right now to draw that in the sand for you. Because we have a literal fucking noxious pox demon. We have a herald of Merkel on our goddamn shores. And I don't have time to draw pictures for you. Because this is kind of important. It's so weird. Like, if you read this book, guys, if you read this book, all of chapter five. Never forget that as all of this is happening, not 15 feet away from them is this horrible? gasping with with giant lung bladders on its back that it said literally when fully inflated was the size of the man's mouth? It's like a bad fucking carnival ride in the background gasping and making horrible sense. And if you've played the game, it really does make terrible horrible sounds. This is all happening while they're having this little conversation about dreams are powerful. Ha,

Kevin Erhard  27:22
ah, ah. Of course she has a toothless smile. Of course Let's we're in the future and the brouhaha can't get some dentures.

Phil  27:34
Right. Right. But you know, when you think about it, we're in the future. That means that the brouhaha might be someone from our generation and leave it to our generation to like she probably had like, that girl like blew her boyfriend while they were watching knocked up. translated to Spanish. Like she's she's she was a regular chick and a certain point she started getting old. She's like, I think I'm gonna be this town's old witch and she just like went whole hog into that. And what they don't know what she has a full Tiktok account where she recounts all of her weird shit she's brouhaha. 2099 on tik tok. Check her out. Jesus not have a lot of faith in our generation. You see?

Kevin Erhard  28:22
Yeah. The millennials in the future when they're old. I'm not not gonna

Phil  28:29
we're not going to be very helpful. We're very hopeful now.

Kevin Erhard  28:31
Not going to be super helpful. No, why

Phil  28:33
would we be helpful when our backs start giving out? Oh, God, stupid.

Kevin Erhard  28:39
So all right, so so often goes home to his his girlfriend, Ada Wong from Resident Evil to

Phil  28:50
kinda yeah, oh, yeah. And they, he, he does the most sensible thing in the book since his coworker said I'm going home. He thinks about the phone call that was like, hey, meet me at the bar and he goes a pass. Just goes home. And they're sitting there chatting. His his girlfriend is an anthropologist. And this is another really again, these are just the stupidest moments. He mentions that things are off. Yeah, with that. And she's like, That's funny. Things are off at my job do and he says What the? So you guys discovered a gravitational anomaly. She says kind of, or at least the anthropological equivalent. The stories are changing. And he says what story she says the folk tales they're starting to change and quickly to that doesn't happen, Michael, it never happens. To which I respond. You're right. That doesn't happen. That's not a thing. What do you go and check with people day after day? Are you still telling that one full tail the same way? Okay, great.

Kevin Erhard  29:54
Okay, so Hansel and Gretel did Yeah, yeah, recap All the details from a beginning to end. Right now I'm timing you, and I'm gonna compare it to yesterday's time and details go.

Phil  30:08
And I hope you're ready because tomorrow we're doing this again, we're doing

Kevin Erhard  30:10
this till the day you die. That is my job as an anthropologist, is I come by and I checked the folk tales. I have a journal, I have a journal back at home, when it's got every full sail.

Phil  30:23
Listen, the guy who pays for our grants does not look at my work. He just checks the word count, I need to fill these folders. Go.

Kevin Erhard  30:36
So so all the folktales have the devil's tale. That is like they, this whole conversation could have been a few pages longer total to explain what the fuck she means. What is I don't there's it's just the stories are changing what stories there's hotels, what do you mean, they're changing? She doesn't explain.

Phil  30:58
That's a really vague thing to say. It doesn't make any sense. And my guess is either, and we're going to get a little bit into the author himself here in a minute. Yeah. But my guess is either, either he just want to it's just that week of writing. Or he did explain it. And the editor who works for the you know, book company that wanted him to make a video game book came in and just like, sliced out entire pages, because no one's going to read a 600 page Dead Space book. And there are a lot of moments like that. Yeah, that makes me go This feels like a shitty edit. Yeah. I don't know for sure. But we're gonna get to a lot of moments like

Kevin Erhard  31:42
that. If you can you think it was like an editor saying, just like select and delete?

Phil  31:48
I think a times Yes. And I'll tell you why. I did a little research okay on our on our dear friend Evanson. And he is better known as Brian Evanson these days. And if you recognize if you're a horror or sci fi geek, and you recognize that name, it's because he's a really well respected and lauded writer these days, he released last year or the year before a book called song for the unraveling of the world. It's a collection of short stories that won like the Shirley Jackson award. And like he's won, he's won an Oh, Henry award, the dude has won, like some serious awards. He's got some clout behind him. He's a good writer, at least based on I say that, but at least based on the track record of things written and the level of respect that others seem to give him. He is a respected writer, and he's been a respected writer for a while. Yeah, so I can't help but wonder, there are all these abrupt jarring cuts like that one, that where it's like you said something that makes very little sense and offered no explanation. And I can't help but feel like, they were like, Hey, you want to pay check? We will pay you to write this video game prequal. And he was like, cool. I could probably hammer that out in a couple of months. Right? He gave me and, and he sent them back, you know, a literary manuscript that was like five or 600 pages long. And they were like, Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, this will never say,

Kevin Erhard  33:23
Yeah, no, yeah, that's the and what's weird is he wrote several other deadspace, or at least one other deadspace novel, he wrote, he at least wrote the next one how to list Yeah. And just looking up his his Wikipedia. He has PhDs in literature and critical theory. He's he often he's translated several books from French into English. He is a well studied, well respected author with a ton of awards. He is he had a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2017,

Phil  34:02
you're sure to know now? Does that mean that author with all of the all of that badass clout behind him? Does that mean that he couldn't possibly have written a single shitty novel? Let's not be silly? Of course, he could have right there's a total chip, but I can't as a writer and an editor, frankly, there are moments like this that I can't help but go. I don't know if this was his fault or not. Yeah.

Kevin Erhard  34:29
It's hard to say. And that's and that's, that's part of the thing. The Unseen thing about books is that, sure, there's only one name on the cover, usually, right? There's what there's either the author or co authors or what have you. The editor is never on there. But the editor has a huge amount of weight on apps on what happens in that book. And sometimes I can imagine you get stuck with an editor who makes some some bad calls or even Somebody higher up the person who has the license or takes a look at it and says yeah lose this lose this it's got to keep it's got to keep moving

Phil  35:11
you know exactly especially SCI especially when you're working on commission for you know something that's based on a video game I can totally see where that would happen right but for those of you that I mean like next time you guys crack open a book you know sometimes it's the front usually it's in the back check the back page where they do the acknowledgement page after it's all over and there will be like 30 names that the person's acknowledging this author is not acknowledging those people out of the goodness of his heart because they like gave him some inspirational words one afternoon or at least that's not the majority of them a lot of people have you know, like Kevin said there's only one name on the book but a lot of people stick their fingers in these so who the hell knows who really

Kevin Erhard  35:56
knows Yeah. But all we can really judge is the final product and and so we're we're poor we're moving along and the brouhaha is viewings. She's doing some some witchcraft or something like that. Oh, yeah, they they burn it they just burned the thing like well they can't done that like an hour ago.

Phil  36:23
Right? I'm not sure how much the magic spell needed to be involved but they just they get everyone grabs a piece of driftwood. Yeah, they light it up. And and then they light him up. And they basically just kind of collapses in on itself. Yeah, and yeah, it's it's just it's just a smoldering skeleton. By the end of it the whole thing is just improvised. I have to believe like I just imagine her going Ah, how do I get them to blow this thing up and still keep my Mystique yeah going yeah. Okay even you do it now you do it just yeah, feels really weird. It

Kevin Erhard  37:07
feels very weird. It feels very forced and the only thing that I'd say at this point is that we aren't we aren't developing really any character in these in these non altman chapters like no not really I like Java is just there any added I had a dream once and we're back with altman now the thing has been burned. And Altman's MIT is meeting with his with his mysterious friend to is not named Trent. His name is Hammond. Charles Hammond not right not the Hammond from Jurassic Park.

Phil  37:48
No, no it's it's it's really weird that the introduction to this Allman says and you are the guy says, I only get my name out to friends. Are you a friend? altman stared at him all right, said the man maybe you don't make friends right off the bat. okay whatever you think of what I tell you if anyone asks you didn't hear from It's like he just kind of goes Are you my friend the guy what almonds like alright fine. Here's my name almonds.

Kevin Erhard  38:16
Like I don't know how to answer that.

Phil  38:21
x the most normal of any just like I don't know what you want for me

Kevin Erhard  38:27
is like I don't know who you are You were in a bar you wanted to talk to me really fair?

Phil  38:33
He's completely fair about it you know he's like, I don't know no man. And so having you know, they both they they basically both been noticing stuff and Hammond points out that he says there's a pulse slow and irregular, very weak but strong enough to fuzz up other signals. So he's been noticing these strange anomalies the same way that

Kevin Erhard  38:59
so I so my eyes started to glaze over a little bit during this conversation. And there's a note that I highlighted this there's so there's this chat of this paragraph where Hammond says I did some investigating I set up a few receivers trying to the pulse it's like it goes on and on. And my note that I wrote down was Hammond. I did science

Phil  39:27
and then he gets in it like he just it's like a weird moment. It just he's just like he's keeping the the conspiracy coming on thick really. And he's got a moment Hammond leaned even further in putting his arm around altman shoulders and bringing his lips close to oltmans ear. Remember he whispered you didn't hear this for me. Just like and then they kiss

Kevin Erhard  39:54
and that was gonna happen and now kit.

Phil  39:57
Now they kiss it It's a really awkward and uncomfortable scene. It just is.

Kevin Erhard  40:03
Yeah. And it's like so it all centers around. Basically the main takeaway is that there's this other Corp called dredger Corp. That is they basically do things without asking permission. And they're the ones that are kind of like circling in on it. Yeah, yeah. So that's that's pretty much it. And Hammond is Hammons, dude. So

Phil  40:32
and yeah, and I will say he has that now like I I can't I can't believe it's coincidence. But he has the same last name as a pretty important character in the game. And so I wonder

Kevin Erhard  40:48
Yeah, is there supposed to be a relation or is it just like coincidence

Phil  40:56
right right and as we go on you'll see why I'm as confused as I totally am Yeah, yeah. So yeah,

Kevin Erhard  41:06
I'm just just looking yeah you're talking about oh yeah, yeah. Yeah, he is he

Phil  41:19
also has he also has a moment at the very end though where he basically at the very end it's the first time you realize how the hell did Hammond find altman in the first place?

Kevin Erhard  41:29
Yeah, well that's the thing is like all men was not being quiet about it. I don't understand what the I don't understand what the relation is like Altman's just literally calling everybody else who works in the area. We're like, Hey, have you heard anything about this? No. Okay, have you heard anything about this now? I can't talk about it. Okay, etc, etc. And meanwhile this guy is like his I guess he just heard from somebody else that altman is curious about it, but I don't understand necessarily the I mean, I guess there's a reason for him to be quiet if it's this dredger core thing is is as shady as they are but I don't know it's it's a weird scene it's kind of a weird it's a weird conceit you know to make it out to make it sound more mysterious than it is and rather than just give altman some like I don't know character motivation to just find it or figure it out himself.

Phil  42:37
Right right. Yeah, it's it's just it's just odd. So it ends kind of it's just in a weird ambiguous place and we get to chapter nine and the boy Chava is you know he's he's walked the brouhaha back to her Shanti says one moment, she was there walking beside them talking softly to him and then actually was gone not only was she gone but as as he looked back the only tracks in the sand which means Jesus was carrying him when he most needed her. That is a fact Yeah,

Kevin Erhard  43:20
my note my note is brouhaha Jesus.

Phil  43:24
Jesus. So he basically he's got he's gone to check on her and her Shanti and it's dark inside he calls out to her he doesn't even like have a name for he just calls her brouhaha. He like calls out

Kevin Erhard  43:38
his lady it's me Yeah, Java the kill you just helped kill a giant monster that I'm surprised we're not more traumatized about but anyway I'm

Phil  43:49
surprised we haven't all just been sitting around going Holy fucking shit Do you believe that happened

Kevin Erhard  43:52
anyway? It's Java I'm just checking in on you and like holy shit you're dead

Phil  43:57
and she's dead. She's dead she's she's got she's she appears to have cut her own throat

Kevin Erhard  44:03
Yeah, and the way it's written it seems like she's been dead for a while so the brew high she was a ghost or something.

Phil  44:12
Right? Everybody

Kevin Erhard  44:13
hallucinated? The brouhaha

Phil  44:16
yeah it's it's yeah between the the the the the steps in the sand and all it just feels Yeah, it's a little weird.

Kevin Erhard  44:25
It's a little weird. Yeah. So Meanwhile, we got a Hammond POV chapter Yeah,

Phil  44:33
I didn't think you were gonna get that didn't

Kevin Erhard  44:35
think you're gonna get that well, that's Don't worry. You're not going to get many more of them. Because really won't you really won't because you're going to Hammond is being tracked by three large men. And they're like, come with someone would like to have a word with you. And now Hammonds on the O side, he He tried to beat he tried to be the mysterious one and now he's the situation's how the turntables have turned.

Phil  45:07
Yeah, he kind of sounds like a sad, you know, has been conspiracy theorists like when he's actually faced with these guys. He's kind of he's kind of pitiful in this moment.

Kevin Erhard  45:18
Yeah. He's very pitiful. He runs from the three, the three gorillas that were sent to bring him in where we don't know. But yeah, their name

Phil  45:31
from he runs from them. And a dog that was never introduced by the way, suddenly, he's also just being chased by a dog, I guess is their dog.

Kevin Erhard  45:40
Yeah, I guess they have a dog because they have a dog so why wouldn't they? Why wouldn't they him and only sees one way out. And he slits his own throat?

Phil  45:49
Yeah. And and the chapter ends kind of hilariously like these three toughs that have been like, intimidating and they and all they said they mean don't get me wrong. That's not they've been like, you know, you're our boss wants to talk to you or someone wants to talk. Yeah, like that is intimidating. But he cuts his own throat. I didn't expect that they

Kevin Erhard  46:18
would they want them for just a few questions.

Phil  46:20
A few questions. The guy the guy says nothing serious. Just a few questions. I never seen anything like that.

Kevin Erhard  46:28
was like so hilarious when it gets

Phil  46:30
hilarious. It's just like, well, son of a bitch. Did he believe he did? Okay, well, fuck

Kevin Erhard  46:37
no writing. And their names by the way. Are Tim Tom and Terry,

Phil  46:43
Tim, Tom and Terry, why wouldn't

Kevin Erhard  46:45
they be and I saw that and I was just I wrote the name of the note I wrote next to that was one was unbelievably lame.

Phil  46:59
Were the guys who were the guys in the X Files who they had a spin off show that weird conspiracy

Kevin Erhard  47:04
work. Yeah, the lone gunman.

Phil  47:07
The lone gunman. Yeah, yeah, like that's what it made me think of like suddenly these like, tall dark hooded figures suddenly become these geeky overweight, long haired Brian poor sane looking motherfuckers. Like so. And that's how part one ends.

Kevin Erhard  47:25
That's the end of part one.

Phil  47:28
It's so ridiculous.

Kevin Erhard  47:31
By the way, I love the line that ends part one. And I just I just imagined it as like a huckster.

Phil  47:40
Step live lab and one of

Kevin Erhard  47:41
those nights step lively lads let's get out here before the glow drives. Gotta move these fake trombones

Phil  47:49
got a goal before the gumshoes show up Yeah,

Kevin Erhard  47:52
I gotta get into the habit entry.

Phil  47:55
That's that is that is the perfect way for part one to end its soap zoo.

Bump. My tommy gun like just good lord.

Kevin Erhard  48:09
It was like what is this book?

Phil  48:12
It's so weird. It's so weird. Oh, man.

Kevin Erhard  48:18
All right, so forget all those other characters. We're not going to see him for a little.

Phil  48:24
Yeah, at least Yeah. At least for another part.

Yeah, but but but hilariously enough. Part Two does open with somebody explaining to someone at dredger core. Yeah, he just cut his throat like the hilarity never stops. Like they're just, you can just imagine every step member going wants

Kevin Erhard  48:50
to talk, we just want it we just want to talk to him and they cut his throat. So we're used to William Tanner, who is the newly established dredger core, the head of dredger core in Chicxulub. And they kind of talk more about like, the dredger core and Tanner's military background and it's, it's literally nothing that makes him an interesting character.

Phil  49:17
No, it's a lot of tests. It really is just a lot of tell and no show instead of showing us his military poise or whatever. We're just told that he was military and has military poise and it's it's, it's, it's specially it's lousy,

Kevin Erhard  49:34
it's Yeah. And the best part is when they're trying to remember the name of the guy who cut his throat. Bacon was his name, or no, not quite that another kind of meat, ham. famine, Tim

Phil  49:44
and I have I literally have that part. Because my God, another or no, not quite that. Another kind of meat. Ham Hammond Heaven Jesus Christ this book is supposed to be I mean has to be a man oh my god that's absolutely absurd okay so we're talking

Kevin Erhard  50:17
more about the body in the next couple pages I've seen the body myself he's dead all right they're just trying to bring him in talking to him and he flipped and slit his own throat This is like for poor

Phil  50:30
sod his head off and they just keep going on about the way he they just they keep going on about easy I cut a throat because throat he's got a stroke themselves and they and then they go and they're like and they're talking about this guy and then they're like okay, well should we worry about the guy who went in to see this altman guy? And and they're like, we wanted to we wanted to know if it was worth checking him out when we talked to him and that was one of the questions we're gonna ask and they basically got what Yeah, you know, probably nothing to worry about with all men is a run of the mill scientist. They say no, no Einstein not really the sort that stands out from the pack. And now that I know what you just told me about Altman, that's the that's the dramatic irony. dramatic

Kevin Erhard  51:15
irony. Yeah, the price is right, you lose sound.

Phil  51:24
So sad trombone

Kevin Erhard  51:26
they are their dredger core is dropping off the kernel Metal Gear

Phil  51:37
apparently they're just following harmless idiots around as they weren't impressed with him and and they just kind of decide out of him they're the worst Secret Service Organization members they're just like this just like he'll be fine Don't Don't worry about tightening up that loose end now onward to drilling to the center of the earth Yeah,

Kevin Erhard  51:56
let's let's go drill for this thing here's a prototype submersible and

Phil  52:01
and we do get we do get our first like actually full on futuristic moment that I noticed in here. Yeah. We get we get a moment where we're basically assembling the troops. We get a bunch of like, professionals kind of near to well, mercenary types that were introduced to again, one of them, Dan tech. Right. Dan tech one and that is it. Yeah. Ladies and gentlemen. dantec is a name dantec.

Kevin Erhard  52:26
Company. No, it is a name. Which? I don't know, I guess. Sure.

Phil  52:33
And yeah, it's so strange. I

Kevin Erhard  52:36
highlighted I highlighted the word man. Again, because guess what? Outside of Chavez mother and the brew ha, there has not been another female character.

Phil  52:51
No, we've we've had about 15 characters, I guess. No, I guess, Altman's girlfriend? Oh,

Kevin Erhard  52:58
ADA, who? Explain how long who explain how the stories are changing their news stories change it that the stories are changing, they're mutating.

Phil  53:07
It makes sense. It makes sense though. When you think about it, science and war. We can leave and drilling holes in the earth, our men's jobs, spells and witchcraft and stories. That's women's work. That's the women. Yeah, so it holds up. But we do get one of the characters that describes that he had been part of the shock troops for the moon skirmishes. Part of the deadly fight over which nation had the right to the resources of the moon, and they just kind of leave that hanging just better. And I'm like dangling where's that story?

Kevin Erhard  53:42
Can Can we tag urban wait in two. Oh, my God, the moon skirt.

Phil  53:47
Like a Cormac McCarthy style Far Cry six on the moon. Do dude, I'd read the fuck out of

Kevin Erhard  53:58
soldiers came over the crust of the crater holding their guns. It had been a long time since they had been on earth. And this darky inky black skies sprayed with white

Phil  54:11
he loaded his anti gravity shotgun. God was dead and sewer that hey.

Kevin Erhard  54:17
They they were already dead. They just didn't know what yet.

Phil  54:22
Right? Yeah. And then yeah, in chapter 12, we get into like Space Marine style assembly time, like

Kevin Erhard  54:29
yeah, so he hires the doom guy who was named Dan tech and

Phil  54:35
it was like clearly unstable. And he even admits he's like he's probably he's pretty unstable, but

Kevin Erhard  54:42
he's probably unstable. Let's put them into a tiny pressurized cylinder and send them under the water.

Phil  54:48
Yeah, yeah, they're gonna Yeah, they're, by the way, they're doing a submersible. There they are. They're they're they're loading up a team into the submersible to go down to check out the signals that are actually The crater everyone

Kevin Erhard  55:00
is making horror movie choices at every opportunity.

Phil  55:05
Every opportunity that they can it's just standard issue if they were in a cabin being chased by a man with a skin mask they would be running up the stairs. Yeah, that is what we are dealing with right now.

Kevin Erhard  55:19
So the so my favorite part of this chapter other than you know talking about how dantec is a bit weird. Is is Tanner looking at the colonel, the colonel smile.

Phil  55:36
And yeah, I know exactly why

Kevin Erhard  55:39
you should be careful what you say around anybody said the colonel Ned showed his teeth in a way that Tanner guests might be a smile. Definitely a carnivore Tanner thought. And then the Colonel's lips slid over his teeth again. And he said don't say more than you have to. And at this point the kernel is in my head is played by you know the dude from the wishmaster from whatnot. You know the guy from the wishmaster the actor who played who is the genie in the wishmaster

Phil  56:11
No, but I have to look it up now hold on. You're gonna see wishmaster I remember that I never saw those movies oh my god absolutely 100% Yeah.

Kevin Erhard  56:23
Andrew died and Andrew dive off just not in his like demon form but in his human form. That is right

Phil  56:37
I totally say that absolutely. It's it's like if that is played like if that dude hasn't played like high level ranking officers who can't be trusted that I don't know what I don't I don't know what kind of a wasted career he's had

Kevin Erhard  56:53
Andrew dive off is playing the colonel in this as much as I would like the colonel to be the guy from Metal Gear Solid. as short as all kernels are in my head snake This is a sneaking mission any

Phil  57:11
state this is a drilling into the center of the earth mission and that's what they're doing now basically, we get kind of this would be a montage moment, wouldn't it? Like they're they're all training on this bathysphere the submersible bathysphere that's got like a that's basically almost all drill. Yeah, yeah. And they're just gonna drill and collect samples and see what the hell is going on down there. And, like, just and you get these little quips back and forth, Dan tech is clearly a psycho. But who wouldn't be when your mother named you dantec Yeah, all damn. World Please don't kill me.

Kevin Erhard  57:52
They do. They do a montage. And then it's the next chapter 13 we get Hennessy he's he's woken up by by Timmy and Tommy and Terry

Phil  58:07
rockets. He was having a dream you're twins.

Kevin Erhard  58:11
Yeah, yeah, she's having a dream before that. But then he was he was woken up by the triplets.

Phil  58:15
Yeah, surprise. It's time to do the thing. You we've been activated.

He's having this terrible nightmare because everyone's having nightmares. And he punches one of them in the face and basically breaks his nose talks about blood dripping through his fingers onto the floor and Twitch the guy only responds with what did you do that for? Which is like Christ, okay? And one of them's like, you want us to rough him up a little bit? soften him up a little sagging his fist into his boss

Kevin Erhard  58:51
Hey boss you want me to do I'm gonna rough him up a little

Phil  58:55
like Kiss Me Kate Up In This Bitch like what the fuck are you doing? These are cartoon character criminals waiting for missing brush up your your Shakespeare like this is this is I think you're right Kevin. This is a comedy This

Kevin Erhard  59:10
is turned into pure comedy. So so basically Tanner throws gets Tennessee and dantec into the bathysphere and it's there's just a lot of there's like a lot of back and forth between the characters like should I be worried the blah blah the f7 Yeah, like I it's like I mean I don't care

Phil  59:36
we get a lot of the we get a lot of a lot of should I be worried and a lot of we're not paying you know worry Mr. Captain mister. Like it's it doesn't mean anything. To J. Long, long story short, they stuff Hennessy into a bathysphere with dantec the psychopath and they send them into the ocean at night chapter

Kevin Erhard  59:59
ends with optigo then both of you,

Phil  1:00:02
yeah, off you go then another great end of the chapter Off you go then the both of you. Be sure to be back before Five little ladies making us Baked Alaska.

Kevin Erhard  1:00:16
But before that we're gonna have her lobster thermidor.

Phil  1:00:19
Right. It's just it's Yeah, it's a lot of stilted dialogue and and basically they get them and they get them into the bathysphere and they start making their way down. And Dan Tech's whole job is to basically steer them, you know, towards the crater, right? That's his whole thing. And hence he doesn't have anything to do they make a point of like at the at that he's basically supposed to run the drill. Yep, he'll take over for the drill whenever they get there. But he's just kind of left with his thoughts

Kevin Erhard  1:00:56
and his thoughts turn really bad. You know, something's wrong where he starts like thinking about like, Oh, I gotta file a formal complaint. I go to town at Tana and tell about Dan Tech's behavior and demand this fellow's dismissal. And Aptana wasn't willing to do anything he'd go over his head he keep filing complaints and complaints until he got to the very top to let it small himself surely president small was a reasonable man. And even if I missed a small wouldn't listen, then he'd show them all he take a gun, and he'd

Phil  1:01:28
he's literally he's literally having this insane fantasy of like, he's gonna complain. And if the boss doesn't care, he'll go to the President and the president doesn't care. He's gonna grab a rifle and take it into the White House and shoot him some presidents like he's,

Kevin Erhard  1:01:44
he's he's bones losing, they both reach for the gun rights.

Phil  1:01:50
He's starting to eat starting to snap and he's like giggling and kind of shrieking and making a lot of weird noises and dantec he's rightfully so tells him to get a hold of his damn self.

Kevin Erhard  1:02:03
Here y'all man crumb, jazz and liquor. Sorry that

Phil  1:02:09
many musicals are we're gonna run through this thing. He's just losing it. And, and dantec like, basically and here's the thing. This is this is kind of a psycho move on to antiques part, but I also support it. Yes, point this point antic unstrapped himself gets over there and like, just chokes Tennessee. And he says, Listen, we could do this two ways. We could do it with you alive, or we could do with you did, it doesn't matter to me which way we do it. And it's like, what the fade What the fuck is going on? What's going on? Be I get it like, it's like the guys. The guys losing his mind.

Kevin Erhard  1:02:48
It's the same for Back to the Future. Part Two, that kind of goes, we could do this the easy way or the hard way, right now is the easy way, easy

Phil  1:02:58
way. And that's and that's when and that's when Hennessy just starts to crack and they start fantasizing about murder, murder, murder, and the President always to things that should not go together.

Kevin Erhard  1:03:13
I think that's I think that's the president of dredger core, though not the not the president president.

Phil  1:03:18
I hope so. Like but but but that's the thing, how loony he's going. The fantasy only has one way to go. He eventually does get to the actual President of the United States.

Kevin Erhard  1:03:27
Yeah, its president and then he would attack and dethrone God.

Phil  1:03:33
Yes, exactly. And if the president united states has to take it, then I'll take it up with Jesus. I've been waiting for some revenge against him anyway. So

Kevin Erhard  1:03:44
they basically they get all the way down there. And it's like, Hennessy is now like, hey, like, hey, it's my Let's go. It's it's time for me to run the drill and Dan, Tech's like, Fuck off.

Phil  1:04:01
Yeah, rightfully so I would argue again, the antics like I am not switching spots with you. Absolutely not. I'm just gonna do it. You chill out.

Kevin Erhard  1:04:11
You chill out over there. You you clear your head. Right? The radio isn't really working at this point, because they're too far down.

Phil  1:04:19
Right, right. And they're just and Hennessey's complaining about headaches and dantec you know, kosis Yeah, I got a headache to have that headache all day. And so it's getting there. Basically, as they dig deeper and deeper into the crater into the earth. Hennessey is just losing it more and more.

Kevin Erhard  1:04:44
Yeah, there's voices in his head and he's starting to answer the voices out loud.

Phil  1:04:49
Okay. And at this point is this point where you start seeing his breath Ah, see

Kevin Erhard  1:04:53
does he does start seeing his brother, his brother basically appears So Hennessey's brother Shane appears outside of the of the ship and they basically start like so hit us he starts talking to his brother out loud and Dan Tex like what is what do you shut up just close your mouth so he's he puts his face up to the glass and starts whispering

Phil  1:05:28
again again Now this isn't as overtly funny as some of the other moments we've seen but because that door is open I admit I laugh like this is absurd it gets really silly oh so

Kevin Erhard  1:05:43
god he's like invite me in I guess no vampire rolls

Phil  1:05:47
Yeah, totally totally you know Yeah, the night flyer rolls and he's got up he's he's they're arguing back and forth. And they get really close they're getting really close. And I will I will say I will say at this point the author is terrific at claustrophobia Yeah. In this moment because you realize you get a real feel for how small and and kind of just tight in there they both are sure. Which is probably not going to help matters in terms of tantek not absolutely wanting to kill him. Yeah. So that that is something it's getting really really creepy. Can't Hennessey's over there talking to his brother outside his brother's telling him like he's like, you know, he's telling his brother like, Hey, I'm not allowed to. I'm not allowed to let you in because dantec says it's not a good idea. It's roses dad takes out the ball so you You're the boss. antics just a big bully. He needs someone to put him in his place. And Hennessey's like you're right, he's just a bully. He's just you don't come on in. And when he invites him in all the lights flicker and go out and then back on again in full force. It's one of those it's one of those clear jumpscare moments if you're playing this in a video game or watching it on a movie. And at this point, they've gotten through and Shane is just sitting next to Hennessy yeah he's just sitting next to him it's it's it's really weird. And it ends with now that Shane was here everything would work out and indeed it does. Not for dantec

Kevin Erhard  1:07:32
though not for dantec it's definitely not going to work out for dantec so they continue they continue drilling like is the clock though their watches Oh chronometers But yeah, their watches have started

Phil  1:07:50
to do that why real quick Why do why do sci fi things do that? Like kiss it's like

Kevin Erhard  1:07:55
caught a watch or a clock Jesus just call

Phil  1:07:57
it a watch it's this is not this this book is not 1000 years into the future

Kevin Erhard  1:08:03
it's like 200 years in the future something

Phil  1:08:05
to call it a watch man Yeah, it's cool Relax, man. So anyway, yeah, they're digging

Kevin Erhard  1:08:12
and Shane is like Shane's like Hey, hey, I don't think we should be doing this man. It's so it's weird the ghost is saying maybe you guys should just leave this

Phil  1:08:25
Yeah, the ghost is actually the voice of reason. Ghost it's kind of I don't know if I've ever read an example of that.

Kevin Erhard  1:08:34
So the ghost which I assume is like is summoned by the black marker which is what they found just what they find is is basically like just don't touch it. Just leave it let's let's get

Phil  1:08:48
to Yeah, let's just let's turn around and go back home. Yeah, which What? What is that book gonna be like, I have to wonder because he's already hallucinating and see things This doesn't end well. No. But yeah, they have found this strange monolith made out of some sort of obsidian as it describes it narrowed to a point at the top the whole of it twisting slightly as it rose. It was horizontally strated and covered with 1000s of symbols symbols unlike anything he had seen before were they glowing? Or did it only look like they were because of the way the light was catching them. And that's the black marker which if you've played the first game is is basically what starts the whole damn man. Yeah,

Kevin Erhard  1:09:31
it's the it's the MacGuffin, so to speak. Exactly that you that you discover. We get a quick dantec chapter which gives us a little bit of backstory that's gonna be good, kinda like pointless and abandoned chapter.

Phil  1:09:45
Yeah, it's a good thing that they tell us about dantec in chapter 17, because about five seconds into chapter 18 oopsies dead. I'm glad. I'm glad we got to learn about dantec Aren't you

Kevin Erhard  1:10:02
so? Well so so it doesn't happen in chapter 18, by the way, which is only a patient. Chapter 18 is only a page long. So So Shane is like, in dantec I don't know. The way he's sitting is in Yan tech. And Dan tech moves.

Phil  1:10:25
Oh, that's right. And then as he loses his ship and

Kevin Erhard  1:10:27
his he loses his ship because he, by moving, he rips apart the ghost of Shane, and there's blood everywhere.

Phil  1:10:36
Like, what are we reading?

Kevin Erhard  1:10:39
Basically? And this is it. This is dantec dantec stead because Hennessy Yeah. With the struck from the oxygen re circulator, he just, he just grabbed this thing off the wall and beat stantec to death, this hardcore marine gets beaten by basically Professor Frink to death.

Phil  1:11:02
Right? Right. It's absolutely insane. And, and then following this, we get, I actually thought this is kind of interesting in the in the next two chapters. Yeah. Hennessy is talking with Shane. And, and Shane basically tells him a little bit about the, you know, the the marker, and it's telling him like, you know, you exist, you know, let them know, said, Shane, the marker is the past, and the past must remain undisturbed. If we are to continue as we are. You have already awakened data calls out for you Even now, but you must not obey. You must not listen. Tell them that. So again, the ghost is kind of giving them

Kevin Erhard  1:11:47
good advice. Like tell everybody to leave it alone.

Phil  1:11:50
Yeah, tell him leave alone. And Kevin, how would How does a Tennessee choose to tell the story of leave the black marker alone?

Kevin Erhard  1:12:00
Well, I got to understand it if I'm correct.

Phil  1:12:06
Okay, we don't have time for that. There's not enough time in the world for that. So he basically

Kevin Erhard  1:12:15
like, decides to heat he, like decides to touch it or something with the ship or something?

Phil  1:12:24
Yeah. Yeah. He does.

Kevin Erhard  1:12:27
Oh, okay. The way he decides to tell the story is to write it down on the walls of the ship with his with the blood of dantec.

Phil  1:12:38
Right? And the marker has, it's covering all the symbols and stuff like that, like, all right, the symbol stone, right? So he's gonna write all these symbols down here, and he realizes that he's the marker. Now. He feels the power of the black marker flowing through him. And so he's got to show everyone all these badass symbols. Yeah. And and the way he does it, he just gets the blood that dantec has spilled all over the floor thing. When he runs out of blood, he kicks Dan Tech's head, he stomps on him, he cuts pieces open, and just squishes blood out for him. It's grotesque, it's scar tissue. And until, until he and the entire interior, this

Kevin Erhard  1:13:19
is my moment of like, the entire book is just how gruesome and grotesque it is. Like this is kind of neat. This is very dead space.

Phil  1:13:29
Well, it's Yeah, and you don't and it's actually really neat to watch. Because normally in a game, or a movie, or a book or something like that, when it comes we've seen plenty of movies and media in general, with a guy who gets found dead covered in symbols usually written in blood. That is that that is a trope at this point. But we very rarely see the person doing it and hear their inner monologue and why they're doing right. So it's a neat touch. I will have to say it's a neat touch. Yeah.

Kevin Erhard  1:14:01
And the best line is he used all of dantec up. He hadn't saved enough to write the ending.

Phil  1:14:09
Yeah, yeah. He still doesn't have enough. He still doesn't.

Kevin Erhard  1:14:13
I guess there's just like, I'm just trying to visualize he used them all up. Is there just like skin and bone?

Phil  1:14:21
Yeah, I just I want to know what that looks like. But I don't I

Kevin Erhard  1:14:25
don't at the same time, right.

Phil  1:14:27
It's horrible. And as he starts to realize that he's getting really tired, he's getting exhausted. And he realizes he's getting exhausted because the oxygen is running out. Yeah. And he's been down there for so long.

Kevin Erhard  1:14:41
Yeah. And he, he's run out of blood to write things and he says he's run out of blood. He's run out oxygen, and he looks down at his arm, and he says, Ah, that's where you're hiding. That's where the blood is hiding in his arm,

Phil  1:14:55
right. So he keeps using more of him.

Kevin Erhard  1:14:59
He starts using himself and he writes it out he writes it on himself and he records a little message and he he talks about like he's drawn a map he doesn't know if it's what Shane wants but it's not what Shane wanted this isn't what chain water

Phil  1:15:26
right he totally seems to be going fully against what Shane wanted the ghost was trying to tell you do just leave a very confusing you think he would have trust his own dead ghost brother who was exploded by his coworker yeah but I guess nothing sacred anymore yep so he's just he's losing it and and also I this is a part I realized as well this is the creation of a video slash audio log in a video game right that you that once again we're getting to see it from the other side which you never

Kevin Erhard  1:15:58
really get to see Yeah, pretty cool. It is cool stuff.

Phil  1:16:01
Yeah, so that so as silly as it is it's fun

Kevin Erhard  1:16:05
it's fun Yeah, they talk about he talks about convergence you we need to learn from it we need to understand it not destroy it. It's the way like God that you really misread what your brother wanted your bread was brother was pretty clear about this and then Hennessy lays down and he says I'll get up in a moment. But he doesn't he dies

Phil  1:16:30
and that's the end of Part Two.

Kevin Erhard  1:16:32
That's the end of Part Two. Oh,

Phil  1:16:33
my God in heaven.

Kevin Erhard  1:16:38
When you texted me you texted me earlier what is this book? And I agree Yeah, I don't know what it is.

Phil  1:16:48
Yeah, it is it is there are so many they're just the the the tone shifts. The tone is so fluid, and I don't know if he's doing it on purpose. Certain things are so just blatantly absurd they

Kevin Erhard  1:17:06
just get a hit hilariously

Phil  1:17:09
right and yet I can't help but feel like they were meant to be taken seriously on some level it's kind of like me and me and my fiance just got done watching malignant care

Kevin Erhard  1:17:18
if you see no I haven't I've heard people talk watch Okay, yeah, it's garbage.

Phil  1:17:23
It was terrible. But I also felt like the the the filmmakers are trying to be funny they were trying to make a campy, silly funny horror film. But there were too many moments where you also just kind of imagined them giving each other a high five over how cool they were being and it's like nope guys, we need to pick a lane here. And that's what I think about with this book so far right? It's like yeah, and and there is no room for silly in the Dead Space games

Kevin Erhard  1:17:59
so far. No, it is.

Phil  1:18:01
They're pretty grim.

Kevin Erhard  1:18:02
They are they're exceedingly grim dark. There is not a not really a light moment to be had it's either it's varying shades of gray and dark.

Phil  1:18:15
Right? Right. So I can't shake the feeling that the stuff that's making us laugh isn't meant to make us laugh so shit rap rap. I think we might have a not so good book on our heads here.

Kevin Erhard  1:18:32
I always feel bad about having the not so good books but at the same time what what what what the fuck can I do? It's

Phil  1:18:39
it was it was 2010 when this came out we were all different people

Kevin Erhard  1:18:43
were different people matter Yeah, we were definitely different people it was it was 12 years ago Jesus Christ

Phil  1:18:53
I know I know I don't want to think about it either. Yeah, so

Kevin Erhard  1:18:58
anyway, we'll be back. We're gonna continue reap plowing our way through because guess what? We don't give up on a book.

Phil  1:19:06
No, we not not since the first one not yet that we gave up on which will which which you know what? That's an Easter egg. I'm placing for future if you will, you will in a year or so because I know what the fuck that means

Kevin Erhard  1:19:19
because we are going to come back around to it and we are going to conquer that one.

Phil  1:19:23
Absolutely, we will. I'm sure we will. Boy howdy but but Alright ladies and gentlemen, go to Twitter and check us out and vote. Tell us what book you think or franchise it was. That caused us to quit just take

Kevin Erhard  1:19:38
a wild guess. take a wild guess and

Phil  1:19:40
go wild. That's a crazy wild guess. I dare Yeah, I guess.

Kevin Erhard  1:19:45
Anyway, this has been pixel it. Yeah, go go. Follow us on Twitter. Give us a five star rating. Follow us on our stars, maybe five stars. Follow us on your favorite podcast platform. All those good call to actions that you hear other podcasters talk about all the time. They say them because they're helpful. And I'm saying, Please

Phil  1:20:08
review us It means it means First off, we love it. We love reading any nice or mediocre thing you have to say like being validated. We do, but it also helps get us in front of other people who you can join in on talking trash about us as we talk trash about books and video.

Kevin Erhard  1:20:27
Yes, yeah, yeah, exactly. So anyway, that'll do it for today's episode. Have a good night, everybody. Bye.

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