Dead Space: Martyr - Part 2

Who wants to learn about grant proposals in the world of Dead Space? I KNOW us too! Phil and Kevin continue with BK Evenson’s Dead Space Martyr even though their doctors recommended that the excitement was TOO MUCH. In this episode: Part 3: The Noose Tightens. Indeed.

Follow us on Twitter:

Our website:

Our discord:

PixelLit is the video game-literary nerd’s dream come true. It’s a podcast where we read and discuss video game novelizations, and the games they’re based on. This is a podcast for the former kid who read their instruction booklets cover to cover. For the gamer who listens to every audio log in Bioshock.

The PixelLit Podcast! Because the only thing better than playing a video game is reading about it.

			<span class="fbxt-header-text">Automated Transcript</span>
		<div class="fbxt-header--nav">
				class="fbxt-header--nav-item fbxt-nav-email"
				<svg width="16" height="12" viewBox="0 0 16 12" xmlns="">
				<span class="fbxt-nav-text">Email</span>
				class="fbxt-header--nav-item fbxt-nav-download"
				<svg width="18" height="16" viewBox="0 0 18 16" xmlns="">
				<span class="fbxt-nav-text">Download</span>
				class="fbxt-header--nav-item fbxt-nav-new_tab"
				<svg width="14" height="14" viewBox="0 0 14 14" xmlns="">
				<span class="fbxt-nav-text">New Tab</span>

	<div class="fbxt-content">
		<div class="fbxt-content--inner">
			<p>Kevin Erhard  0:00<br />

Hey there, everybody. Welcome back to pixel lit, and God this book

Phil  0:18
black, Kevin, Kevin, oh God, thank god you're here I just had this horrible dream that I was playing. I went to play dead space, and I started playing it. And instead of fighting monsters, and being creeped out and scared and taking in the majesty of the darkest depths of space, and the unknown, I was forced to read a couple 100 pages that read like a technical pamphlet on how to install the dishwasher.

Kevin Erhard  0:53
Oh, I'm sorry to say Phil, that's exactly what you did because we're reading deadspace martyr

Phil  0:58
curse eyes Oh my god, it's so boring. Oh my god.

Kevin Erhard  1:08
It's so boring.

Phil  1:09
It's just getting to a point where you're like, why is this happening? What did they play the game? Yeah, every now and then they'll do something and you'll go okay. I recognize that reference you you know what the games about right?

Kevin Erhard  1:22
BK Everson or Evanson? Whatever the hell Your name is, you're you're a well respected person, but Gosh, darn it. You really whiffed on this book?

Phil  1:33
This is just not great so far. Yes. let's let's let's get into it.

Kevin Erhard  1:38
Alright, so we left off going into part three, which is titled The news Titans but I would say that that is a that's a poor title. Because that implies something interesting happened.

Phil  1:52
Yeah, the news Titan sounds exciting. It sounds like you know, spooky and edgy and someone's gonna get hurt. Don't get me wrong. People do get hurt. But it's mostly me and Kevin.

Kevin Erhard  2:05
It's me, me and Phil and nobody else you really care about?

Phil  2:09
Nobody else? Yeah. No one that you our beloved listeners know anything about so fuck,

Kevin Erhard  2:14
yeah, some of them are going to be named after Irish beverage. Like, like, like Hennessy? Actually, he's he's already dead.

Phil  2:25
One of them one of them will be named after a meat not not bacon, but ham, haven't Oh, but he's, he's already dead.

Kevin Erhard  2:33
He's already dead and dantec He's the answer.

Phil  2:36
Which sounds like a it sounds like a fucking startup. Like, just just don't get your emails like Dan does. Dan.

Kevin Erhard  2:45
Dan tech day and today, we're in chapter 22. Because there's been 22 chapters in like five pages. We're Tanner and the colonel are talking. It really doesn't matter what they're talking about. They're just looking at the footage. And I highlighted this passage. I don't even know why I highlighted anymore. I think I just highlighted it because it was it was just like, what the fuck? I highlight this passage in the middle of the chapter, which when I say middle of chapter, I mean it's this. It's the second clause of a sentence.

Phil  3:24
I hope to God that you highlighted the same thing. I did it

Kevin Erhard  3:27
10 or circled portions of the image on his monitor. You can see here and there are bits of hair. It's caked in blood, but we're reasonably certain it's hair. Yes, the colonel. Now I see. Hennessy was bald Tanner said simply. The colonel leaned back in his chair thoughtful. What happened? he asked. Tanner shrugged. Something went wrong. He said beyond that, I can't say and I just read that exchange and I'm like, What am I reading?

Phil  3:57
What the fuck is this? It's like a football play by play. Like what they're what they're for those at home. What they're asking about is if you recall the last section ended with two guys going down and submersible one of them losing his damn mind and chopping up the other one that's a little bit's and using his blood to paint symbols all over the walls, and dantec dantec being the person who dantec thing being the person who was chopped up now they're asking how do you know that this pile of body parts is tantek It's dinner like fucking Madden up there with the you know hand play by play. Alright, so you see over here Oh yeah, you go you got bits of hair bow was caked in blood bone, but you got him coming in here. We're reasonably certain plates. It's here. That's that's just

Kevin Erhard  4:51
a pad summer rags guide. You got Dan tag. He's on the ground.

Phil  5:00
version. I have to I have to we have a podcast. It is about video game novelizations and we are making sports references. I think we've lost our entire

Kevin Erhard  5:12
it's well you know what Pat Summerall and john madden were on the john madden football video game for like, you know, 20 years or so I think that counts for something

Phil  5:26
but yeah, it's I'm so glad when you said it was in the middle I was like,

Kevin Erhard  5:30

Phil  5:34
and that's that's the and that's the kind of detached but not in a like significant psychopathy sort of way. But attached in just like a author wanting to get through the beats kind of thing you're going to deal with in this book a lot. People don't talk like people in this book. They don't act like people do. It's it's, it's so strange. And this is. So this is like a great chapter to introduce you back into the book. If maybe you've put it down for a little while, sat in the corner of your room and thought to yourself, what the fuck am I doing with my life? I'm reading deadspace martyr. Give yourself a minute. Can you come back and you read this chapter? And you get to that point you go. Ah, yes, that's right. That's what, that's what that

Kevin Erhard  6:24
is why I put this book down. Yeah, right. Right.

Phil  6:27
And so the whole chapter is just them discussing this thing that happened. And and also, this is also a thing that you're going to be dealing with a lot in this book recaps so many recaps, oh my god, the following two parts of this book. They recap everything that happened so much to the point that I'm convinced that if it was just, if you did it properly, instead of actually writing it all out again, this would be 100 pages long.

Kevin Erhard  6:57
This book is feels so padded. Yeah, very much so. So the next chapter because I wasn't lying when I said it was it was like a two second chapter. Basically, the colonel and Tanner are having a dumb conversation about pear. And then we get back to altman.

Phil  7:18
Mary Sue hero oltman,

Kevin Erhard  7:19
Mary, sue him, he's such a nothing character. There's literally nothing interesting about him. He is the like, the villain of the games. And he is just like, Yeah, I know how to do things.

Phil  7:34
I keep getting that. That's the thing. Like, I, I finished the first deadspace you gave me a lowdown on that, like, the video game rather than the book. But I and I keep forgetting that because most of these characters don't have a lot going for them. Yeah, y'all might remember that in one of the last parts the colonel. He's described as being predatory you know, he's got a predator smile. And that kind of is that's his characterization. And he's he's the military guy from every movie made 1993 that you've ever seen. Yeah, you know, the whole Mr. Scientist kind of guy but he's killing all the scientists or hiring them. But that guy that you've seen now back when it was okay to turn the military guy into the bad guy, like think of it in that way? Oh, boy. Think about that. Like someday people are gonna watch you know, movies like suburban commando and shit like that be like, Oh, they were kind of you got that was a different time. You can't say that about the the army, you know?

Kevin Erhard  8:40

Phil  8:42
But yeah, so it takes forever for you to realize that altman is meant to be our protagonist in this Yeah. And when you do get to that point, it's I can't speak for you but for me, it was just like, I just Well, I guess he's just as fleshed out as

Kevin Erhard  8:59
a gas he he has a girlfriend so that's he's got a girlfriend. That's true. That's an additional dimension that nobody else has. And I misspoke. He's not the villain of this series. He's just the founder of the Church of unit tautology, which are the villains of the series, right? To clarify any lore heads who are already writing their emails. Yeah. But yes, Michael Altman, Michael Mary, Sue Altman, or whatever. what's the what's the male equivalent of a Mary Sue? It's a Michael altman.

Phil  9:35
It's a mite. Yeah. From here on out. It's Michael altman.

Kevin Erhard  9:38
Gary Sue. I think it's a Gary Sue, but it's

Phil  9:42
it's pretty good. It's pretty.

Kevin Erhard  9:44
I think it's Michael altman from here on out. So chapter 23 is just like altman being like I didn't hear from him and recently and the audience knows that Hamlet is dead. They're out in the water. They hired this guy, Captain. Hey, Zeus. Another another nice man from Mexico who is you know, talking about how there's there's bad people out here and he's he's got his he's got his team and he's arguing with Scud the laconic squeeze Swede

Phil  10:23
Oh yeah, yeah. God

Kevin Erhard  10:26
skyed are skewed. I don't know good. What do you think is better scatter skewed.

Phil  10:31
I mean, I like Scott better. But I have to I have to believe that it would be skewed

Kevin Erhard  10:35
scared the disposable assassin. Yeah, yeah,

Phil  10:39
exactly. Man. What a good design. It's you raise an interesting point, though, with a captain. Hey, Seuss, like all the brown people in this book kind of serve to do the same thing that the Romani characters in the in the Yeah, in the old black and white horror films serve to do like they look off into the distance and say, this is a bad place.

Kevin Erhard  11:07
Yeah, a lot of Yeah, a lot of mysticism, abuse of mysticism and all that stuff in this book. All of any any person of color is seemingly subjugated to a role of Harbinger.

Phil  11:23
Pretty much rather than,

Kevin Erhard  11:24
like a, like a protagonist or anything that's that does anything interesting.

Phil  11:34
The other part of the scenery you know, they they just kind of give you exposition in a foreign accent. That's right, it comes down to that's pretty much it. So these guys have been trying to like capture information like seismograph grip, seismographic data, and that kind of thing on this pulse that they're they're all still following. And I do think it's a clever idea, like they need to get closer to the crater. So yeah, they hire Hey, Seuss, the captain to take them out there on, you know, the ideas that Oh, yeah, we're totally going out there to do some fishing. And hey, Sue Stokes is that they don't even have a worm on a hook. Yeah. So like, and, you know, military style, kind of, you know, jackbooted kind of thug guy show up and kind of wave them along and that's all writing. Yeah, yeah, it's but they and they get some more data but it's not enough man. It's more

Kevin Erhard  12:34
data. Not enough they need more data moving on.

Phil  12:39
By the way, by the way, this is all about getting data this whole fucking like the next two parts are basically about Okay, well, the data says this. Well, what do we do with the data? Well, the data suggests we should do that. It's like where are the freakin zombies?

Kevin Erhard  12:55
Let's apply let's apply for a grant. Oh, yes. That's coming up.

Phil  13:00
That's coming up. Yeah. All the all of the excitement of academic rigor coming your way in a dead space book

Kevin Erhard  13:09
would you like like academia and bureaucracy in your desk based

Phil  13:15
novels? I tell you I'll tell you what the chapter where altman isn't sure if he's gonna get tenure or not that really did get my heart jacked Oh say that I

Kevin Erhard  13:24
was pumping me up before that review board

Phil  13:27
oh god it could there could there possibly be anything more stressful than standing before a review board? No says Dead Space murder and by the way they're done that part doesn't actually happen but you can you can imagine

Kevin Erhard  13:45
Yeah, you can imagine you can imagine it could have happened i mean i wouldn't be surprised we still got plenty of book left let's say

Phil  13:51
oh yeah we got lots we got lots of disappointment to be had. So they're finding this information they don't they don't know you know there's a signal they're not sure where it's coming from in it but it's definitely the crater and there's a lot of discussion over is it coming from the center of the crater? Well, I don't know it might be it might not be maybe it's the center of the crater. Maybe it's not and it's like, Who cares? Oh, my God, who cares? Why does this matter?

Kevin Erhard  14:19
Yeah, this this entire section was I believe, I was just saying the entire time. We got to there's just a lot of there's a lot of back and forth between all men and Scud about the nature of conclusions. Yeah,

Phil  14:39
yeah. Yeah, all of that all of that beautiful like if you want to learn about you know the the mores and the the very slight differences in what a theory could possibly be or a conclusion could possibly be boy Howdy.

Kevin Erhard  14:56
We gotta get the ball we got for you. Meanwhile, Tanner Is jacked up on on on goofballs oh yes he's he slapped together as much of the the video that what's his name Hannah sia had made and is showing it to the colonel and they they it's just now there's a recap of the thing that we read

Phil  15:24
literally ladies and gentlemen Kevin is not exaggerating there are entire pages of him recapping to the colonel what we watched in live well I got all of you could call it that but we read the actual scenes where it happened he basically just goes yeah so we killed the guy the guy said he was doing this he said he was doing that he killed them he started putting symbols all over the walls and like he's explained like we know you could have cut this down and just said he explained to him what happened because we already know what happened it's it's and this is this is not the first nor the last time this is gonna happen

Kevin Erhard  16:04
yeah. So the kernel on the kernel response to the video with and I highlighted this section because it was another example of just like super dumb super villainy discussion how many people have seen this this particular version? Three or four technicians but it was generally broadcast to a lot of people I've seen different bits of it no way to say who has seen what so no point in killing the technicians then ask the colonel Yeah, yeah, just do nothing. Yep, standard standard operating procedure just kill them.

Phil  16:39
Bond villain bullshit. And this is going to be a really, really you're going to find out how ridiculous this is. When you find out just how many people are under the Colonel's employ. Yeah, it's just like how is this how is any of this top secret? I didn't really get this delightful to keep to keep the the James Bond villain theme going. The colonel basically detainers kind of shocked he's like oh my goodness. You know where you would have killed those guys you know if you add it, and oh my god hold the camp is just can't love some microphone, he said.

Kevin Erhard  17:18
Which, which? Which cat is Jonesy? Yahtzee the terrible muffin.

Phil  17:22
Jonesy the terrible muffin he is so big now. He's a monster he's ridiculous. Yeah, he spent so pitiful we went away for the weekend for Emily's birthday and they just stay behind and our best friend came in and fed them and everything like that and he was just so he's got abandonment issues and Oh, he's been so just attached at the hip. It's pitiful.

Kevin Erhard  17:55
It just wants to be on you Wherever Oh my god. Well

Phil  17:59
yeah, he's he's my guy. He's he basically they've shipped they've they've split up like he's he's my little guy and in Ripley is Emily's Yeah, Emily, at least. Josie likes to keep his distance. He just needs to be in the same room as you. Right. Ripley wants to I'm convinced she wants to climb inside of Emily's skull. She like she gets up so close. And she gets right up against Emily's mouth. And I feel like she's trying to force her to swallow her something. Yeah, it's absurd. She's the funniest cat

Kevin Erhard  18:32
that has the final stage of codependence.

Phil  18:34
It's pretty bad. these are these are our COVID pins. So yeah, so yeah. The colonel just to just to drive the I'm a bad guy point home. Informed standard container says, you know, are you saying I'm expendable? And the colonel Colonel gave him a shrewd look. Don't take this the wrong way. He said at this point. You're less expendable than nearly anyone else. But yes. If the circumstances develop in the wrong way, you're expendable. Does that bother you? Yes of Tanner. Then don't let the circumstances develop in the wrong way the colonel said and then looked at his goddamn chronometer

Kevin Erhard  19:13
again. monitors that's a watch

Phil  19:15
it's a watch guys. It's a watch. Oh my god. So yeah, just another moment of Colonel basically hopping around singing Billy Eilish at the top of his lungs making sure everyone knows that he's the bad guy. Yeah, okay. All right. boo, boo boo. Yeah, back to our totally well developed abolished protagonist all

Kevin Erhard  19:43
altman altman and his girlfriend Ada who we get the we get the nice that the male gaze he description It is like, it's like it. I noticed it only because it's like she is the only person who has ever described this way. She Beyond and stretched her body arching Yeah, and I'm like, Jesus Christ. She's the only woman in the goddamn book. And and and he managed to just sneak one line in there is just like, you really needed to describe her body arching that way.

Phil  20:15
We don't hear that about the body of any of these other characters. We don't know if they're fat or thin, or there's no

Kevin Erhard  20:22
description, but of any physical description of like anybody except for like the Colonel's teeth.

Phil  20:28
There was one guy at the very, very beginning of the book, and it was so awkward. It was like, it was treated like just a list of attributes that needed to get taken care of him. He's got brown hair, brown eyes, spot, six feet tall. 145 pounds 150 after lunch, like, is that kind of like bullet list?

Kevin Erhard  20:50
One is entirely liquid. Yeah,

Phil  20:53
exactly. Yeah, he's still he's still by the way. altman is still on unaware of Hammonds untimely death. Yeah, so he's kind of like he's kind of preoccupied with the fact that he hasn't heard from him yet. A little too preoccupied for someone that who was literally he knew for a total of 45 minutes. Yeah. Based on the writing, but yeah, ever. Yeah.

Kevin Erhard  21:17
And then he he gets a phone call from some mystery person. Whatever. Yeah. I just like it

Phil  21:31
if asking like it's asking.

Kevin Erhard  21:34
And everybody's seen the transmission.

Phil  21:37
Yeah. And everyone in the mystery calls every time it gets a mystery call. They're the least intimidating. Miss. Like, just like I can have you. I'm curious if you managed to pick up anything unusual lately. intercepted something. Like what he asked, I can see that you haven't said the Voice quickly. I'm sorry to have wasted your time. And it's like, oh, man, he's like, he doesn't want him to get off the phone. He's like, hey, wait, wait. Jimmy was signal. Like No, just oh my god. It's so awkward.

Kevin Erhard  22:08
You'll have to do better than that. Mr. Othman.

Phil  22:12
What's Mr. Hoffman?

Kevin Erhard  22:15

Phil  22:16
the fuck does that mean?

Kevin Erhard  22:17
What does that mean? He has to do better than that. Yeah. Like, he asked him a clarifying question of like, what, what exactly are you talking about? Right? It's like, and I just imagine the the flip scene of this is like, some some doofus is like, just making phone calls. He just has a list of people to call. And it's just he keeps doing the same thing. everybody's like, I couldn't get anybody to talk. We're like, oh, did you ask him? If if they if they get like a pulse either. And he's like, Oh, I thought we were just supposed to.

Phil  22:51
I didn't know we had follow up. Fuck, sorry.

Kevin Erhard  22:55
I'll start back at the top of the list. Yeah, it

Phil  22:57
started again. Here again.

Kevin Erhard  23:01
Oh, man,

Phil  23:01
I know that the phone call ended awkwardly. And I was wondering, yeah, just and then. And then we get fuckin ADA, who bless her heart. It's just, it's not your fault data. It's not your fault. But we just data basically, he's worried for her boyfriend. That's really what it comes down to. He's in this weird position. She doesn't want him or you know, God forbid her to get hurt on this, and she's like, she just she starts out as the gentle kind and understanding girlfriend. I'm the cool girlfriend. You know? It's not like the other girls. Yeah, I just want to make sure you're cool. You know? Yeah, I'm cool. And then he won't give her more the details on the phone call and all the weird shit that's going on. So finally, Michael. She said her voice stern now. I want to know exactly what's going on. You shouldn't keep secrets for me. You're not in trouble. Are you? she asked. I don't think so. He said, If you are in trouble, you tell me right? She said, I'd like to think I would. He said, What do you mean you'd like to think you would? What kind of answers that? I mean? Yes, of course I would. There she said. That's better. During sci fi horror dialogue. None of this is what the fuck like

Kevin Erhard  24:25
later the conversation continues. You promise you'll tell me? Yes. He said.

Phil  24:34
They got they got something really special going here.

Kevin Erhard  24:37
So just to sum up, the rest of the dumb chapter is like basically they find out. There's just there's gonna be a lot of names. There's like 30 names of scientists. There's so

Phil  24:48
many names are kind of coming and going.

Kevin Erhard  24:51
Yeah, that basically everybody was getting the same call. And they're like trying to figure out who has parts of the video. And you know the they start putting it together or whatever. And then Altman's basically, they get the video together. And altman sends it out to he like sends it out to the news, I believe, is that where He sends it? Yeah, he kind of just like, it's like an anonymous news message.

Phil  25:28
And they say they explained to us once again, in full detail, what's on the video again.

Kevin Erhard  25:34
And then ADA and altman have another stirring. Like debate. An Ada finally reveals more about the the stories are changing.

Phil  25:45
Yeah. Yeah. This is this is once again, and we've talked about this before. But again, this doesn't make sense. Yeah, the thing about the Legends is that they've been basically the same for hundreds of years. So she reached out and cuffed the side of his head. I thought I told you not to be as smart as she said, her dark eyes flashing, which, all right, but they're no longer the same. They changed drastically once the pulse symbol started. That's not how legends work.

Kevin Erhard  26:17
That's not a legend. That's not a legends. That's a new thing that they

Phil  26:20
it's a new thing. If I have a legend, if I'm talking about Hulk Hogan, if you come to me and said tell me about whole Cogan, I say well, you know back in the day, you know he was everyone's hero and you know, blow the all American star and, and he took on the Ultimate Warrior and he lost to him, but it was like, you know, it was a it was a good loss, blah, blah, blah. You give a bad guy, you know, that's a legend. I tell you the legend. And then you say, okay, what's going on with you today? And I say, oh, man, I'll tell you what. I wanted to have a grilled cheese but there's a cheese cheese shortage in town. That's completely unrelated to the legend of the of Hulk Hogan, our hero,

Unknown Speaker  27:08
my real Savior.

Phil  27:11
She's like my grilled cheese sandwich fiasco, which just happened

Kevin Erhard  27:17
is that happened today is that is that a problem?

Phil  27:20
I i'm just i'm really frustrated with the fact that I have nothing but sharp cheddar and it wouldn't melt it just didn't melt. It just

Kevin Erhard  27:29
it's not good. It's not that it's too high of a melting point to get a good grilled cheese. It

Phil  27:33
was it was a it was a real pain in the ass. Anyway, it had nothing to do with the legends. Like that's not how it works. Who does it? Who does that? You go to somebody you're like, tell me the legend of how your village started? And they go Okay, well, there was a sea worm and, and he kicked up some surf, and it revealed an island and that's how we ended up on our island. And then you go to another person go Okay, tell me the legend about how your island came about. And they're like, Okay, well, there was a C worm and a kicked up some surf and and then there was no good cheese for a grilled cheese sandwich. Oh, my God, the legends are changing.

Changing Oh, my God. That's just it's just such. It's nonsense. I don't know how that's even. Now here's the thing. Here's the thing. Maybe some of you are listening to this because we got we got lots of geeks. We got people who like stories. And geeks are awesome at coming up with explanations for just about any hole in a plotline. So let's say you, you hear this and it's not so ridiculous. And you go Okay, well to you anyway, because you're like, Well, I think what she means is that ABC and D. That's great. And wouldn't it be way more interesting to demonstrate to us what the fuck it means to have a legend change rather than just have that person inform another person right? Like it's just it's it's not good writing no matter what way you slice it. Yeah, just because it makes no sense.

Kevin Erhard  29:17
Right? Yeah, then so we got a character reintroduction. Well, Pat in passing the town drunk who

Phil  29:25
were Oh, thank God, he's back. There.

Kevin Erhard  29:28
Thank God. He's back where he's referenced in passing, but he only talks if I play him with booze. Oh, yeah. Classic. The classy town drunk who only talks if you play him with the booze the good stuff

Phil  29:40
and talks like he was he was a fucking like antebellum turned gunfighter by the way

Kevin Erhard  29:49
we will get to him but Yes, he is. He is. You give them this, this booze and suddenly he's a well I grew up in Northern Virginia

Phil  30:05
right? And it's like it was in he's telling the story he's telling it before but this is the time that I really thought about it. He talks about the devil's tale once again yeah you know and he talks about the others you touch the tail they say you make yourself known to the devil. If the devil knows you he will try to claim you if you destroy more than you create you make yourself known to the devil. You know just going on and then it says it says he made that strange symbol at me a kind of curse twining his index and middle fingers together

Kevin Erhard  30:40
crossing your fingers Yeah,

Phil  30:43
that's strange symbol of crossing your fingers I wasn't sure what he was doing because he I don't think he was trying to tell a fib and go to heaven anyway. I really got to like cool up on like what what constitute like this strange esoteric here?

Kevin Erhard  31:06
No, this lovecraftian twisting of his fingers by the way I like basically the way you you you played the the drunk just now I was like, he's basically john seed for pretty much Yeah, or Joseph seed. Like good you touch the tail of the devil. To the devil.

Phil  31:28
Just thinking back on like on a good video game novelization. And

Kevin Erhard  31:34
the good old days the good

Phil  31:35
old days of last month, I go with nightmare. The thing she keeps saying is she's because she want basically she wants to take old men to like meet this town drunk. So yeah, they can get more stories from the guy I guess. And, and she keeps pointing out she's like, this is all anecdotal. None of this is science, but maybe it'll give us it'll give us something to work with. Okay, put a pin in that. That was something that I found to be it comes up to be something pretty interesting. Now the way

Kevin Erhard  32:07
putting a pin in that because we are back with good old Tanner and Tanner and the colonel are talking about how they're gonna deal with the fucking thing. And there's mention of Lenny small the president of dredger CT that that is originally from Sigmund Bennett Who is he don't forget about doesn't matter Don't worry about it. In fact, most of these names just don't worry about it. So they're just figuring out what to do and they decide to just like they they basically is this when they just decided to release the tape to yeah like to like press the

Phil  32:47
the rumors are getting out there and people are talking anyway. So they're trying to discuss what are they going to do with it? And yeah, they basically decided they're going to come clean quote unquote, where basically they'll they'll they'll tell a certain level of the truth and the other they'll kind of hide this brings me to another example of what I call the horrors of spider Island. I'm not explain this. Did you do ever watch Mystery Science Theater? 3000? Yes, Yeah, I

Kevin Erhard  33:16
do. Okay,

Phil  33:18
there is a one of my favorite episodes of all time is their coverage of an old French horror film called the horrors of spider Island. It is a great episode. And it is it is a French horror film that is French it is super French is all about a bunch of babes on an island they they these these, this like two guys and on an abandoned Island. With these models slash dancers who get somehow their plane goes down and the only place they could be on is this island that has a killer spider on it.

Kevin Erhard  33:56
prompts, hence the name

Phil  33:58
hence the name. Problem is the spider makes up maybe 10% of the movie. Most of it is spent watching these women in bikinis lounge around and dance and flirt with each other and these two sailors happen upon the island and they're fighting amongst themselves for the women and the women are fighting amongst themselves for the men and every now and then when something comes up that could be no couldn't be further from a horror movie. One of the one of the cast members of MST through Kay would go oh horrors of spider and that's what it made me think of there's so many moments in this book, where it's like it's like dead space murder. We're discussing a cover up

Kevin Erhard  34:43
that says martyr

Phil  34:45
yesterday, they start going to what matters is what you say about it, says the colonel, you can't say that it's a hoax, because that just gives the conspiracy junkies fuel for their fire. So tell us much of the truth as you can without damaging us. the horrors of Spider Island what what is this based on? Like I you if you play the game, there would have been if you play the game of dead space and started reading this book without realizing immediately that it was a novelization, there have been little moments that you've gone Oh, well that I mean that's dead space, right? I feel like I'm you know, and then as it goes on, you would have assumed it's some sort of business thriller. You know, cover ups and politics. Isn't that kind of

Kevin Erhard  35:35
it's like, it's like, just imagine, imagine if you will, john. JOHN Grissom was hired to write a business white collar legal thriller, about the doings of a drilling operation, and the Chicxulub crater in the, in the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. And, except john Grisham got really fucking stoned on quaint moods. And then he wrote it. And he just they published the first draft. Yeah, that's this book.

Phil  36:13
This is this is this is Yeah, this is frustrating. And the chapter basically the whole chapters then discussing how they're going to pull off this cover up. It has nothing to do with spooky good times. It's just how is this? How are we going to stay afloat? Like the next chapter? Might as well that be them? Like, how do we remain solvent?

Kevin Erhard  36:37
We're gonna remain solvent,

Phil  36:38
right? It just lets you mention exactly what it is the only thing that saves this entire chapters in the final like three sentences of it, when they asked the colonel who they're going to contact, to talk to the military to help them get out of this bind. And it says the colonel gave another predatory smile. You've already contacted them, he said, and pointed both thumbs at his own chest. You're already working with him. This guy. Say this guy. That's, that's what

Kevin Erhard  37:10
he means who has two thumbs and it's a colonel in charge of projects like this. This guy, this guy,

Phil  37:16
like, Oh, my God. That's the only thing that saved that chapter, if you can call it being saved.

Kevin Erhard  37:27
Wasn't your data, Colonel? Was that wasn't your data Colonel?

Phil  37:31
He was Yeah, yeah, he was he was very that's I mean, that's a colonel thing. He's very fond. is very fun. both thumbs. This guy this Colonel. It's technically what you're supposed to say. But now did Kevin Did you miss altman?

Kevin Erhard  37:53
Did I miss him?

Phil  37:54
Did you miss him? Because he's back

Kevin Erhard  37:56
he's back. He's back and he's being arrested or something? I don't know or

Phil  38:01
something? Yeah, there's some dudes

Kevin Erhard  38:03
and one of them calls him Miguel Altman, and he's no that was Michael. And yeah,

Phil  38:09
yeah. I think even I think even the whitest guy in America has figured out would have figured out that Miguel means Michael so please let's write Mexican characters at least as smart as the dumbest white guy and

Kevin Erhard  38:26
yeah, and then they the there's at one point where they call out the the Mexican guys accent is, uh, do you know Charles ham ham and the tall man asked his voice was flat and uninflected he pronounced Charles as if it had two full syllables. char less

Phil  38:44
Charlotte's Charlotte's Now listen motherfucker. The Spanish language has names like Gonzalez. I think they can figure out the Le s part. Fuck is like I'm not interested in looking for any little piece of like something from a book that's 15 years old like to like point out that it's politically incorrect or whatever but that's like something that I'm like that's kind of racist like a Mexican guy would look at the word Charles and go oh, this must be char less

Kevin Erhard  39:22
char less like

Phil  39:25
that with that art was so weird

Kevin Erhard  39:29
and it turns this whole this whole dialogue it's like basically he's being interrogated by these two guys Gallo and Ramos. And it's like it's it's this weird like stick this sticky thing he's got going on where

Phil  39:48
the goons in henchmen in this book. Just fucking like, like 1930s style.

Kevin Erhard  39:57
authors. Yeah, they alternate between job She and Daniel stern in home alone

Phil  40:06
with Joe Pesci especially we're talking about home alone here by the way,

Kevin Erhard  40:09
yeah, not Goodfellas. He says he met him Gallo says Ramos What do you think that means the tall man Gallo ignored Ramos How well did you know him? Yeah stoltmann not very well said altman we met once he says they met only once Gallo said Ramos and sucked down a cigarette again.

Phil  40:27
Who's on first acts when ice give me

Kevin Erhard  40:30
it's like it's like these are the it's like Are these the goons from Chinatown that jack Nicholson's nose?

Phil  40:39
It's what happens to a rat. Like what the fuck is yeah these aren't even by the way these are not we're not gonna get a mask turn off and find out that this is Terry Tommy Tony and whatever the T triplets that we met last episode. Now these are completely new. just stupid sticky criminals like this is so weird.

Kevin Erhard  41:05
Yeah, we'll get back in touch we need you said Gallo that this is after like three page. So the book is short when it when it when it shouldn't be and long? It absolutely doesn't need to be there's a really, I am. I am. I am not going to recap this entire conversation between Gallo Ramos and notman. Because it's basically just talking about what happened to him. And again, yeah, don't

Phil  41:30
you know what what happens? You know what all you need to do, right? This is pages long. It is what it is? It is a lot you're absolutely right, is one of the longer chapters that we have read in this book at this point. And it's mostly in service at this point of telling altman that Hammond is dead. So all we needed was a altman waking up there, these goons in there, they're threatening them. And then they go, and then someone writes, they told him that Hamlin was dead. altman was shot, the end. That's all you need. But it's pages upon pages of it. Yep. And then they leave,

Kevin Erhard  42:10
they leave.

Phil  42:12
And then they leave.

Kevin Erhard  42:13
And they leave. And I don't think I don't remember if we ever see them again.

Phil  42:16
I don't think we do. Basically they find out that they like they get whatever information from him that they were hoping for a like because they're trying to they're trying to find out what his connection to Hammond was essentially. Yeah, find out there really isn't one. Yeah. Which means that this is a pointless exchange. This should have been cut.

Kevin Erhard  42:42
Yeah. So yeah. So the next things that happened are also things that could have been cut or compressed to like, a couple sentences. Alright, I'm gonna run through them real quick. So they leave and field comes in and says, Hey, look at the news and drudge record is doing the thing that they said that they would do last chapter, whatever. Moving on. He goes, that's it. He goes home. Ada is gone. But then he had it comes home. Oh, yeah. I mean, it was tense. It was tense, first sentence. And then, and then she introduces him to Java. Who does the who, who in the spirit of recaps? Does the recap of the first scene of the book. Yep. And the balloon man burned very nice. and stayed. They they fucking do the fishing

Phil  43:36
gives him pages long. Remind? Yeah, oh, just

Kevin Erhard  43:40
long Recaps of the thing. And then we're back with Tanner, who is not having a good time.

Phil  43:49
Just just yet. Now we're back. We're back Tanner. He's drinking. Going to bed.

Kevin Erhard  43:55
He's drinking. He's going to bed. And he's he's just thinking about, he gets a call from a reporter. And he hangs up. And he's taking he's drinking whiskey and taking sleeping pills, which, like that is the stereotypical, just not a good move.

Phil  44:15
Just to terrific combination of processes there. Yeah. Lovely. And they Yeah, they've just released the cover up thing. He's not feeling real good about it. And he's getting the call from someone who supposedly is a reporter, I suppose.

Kevin Erhard  44:31
Yeah. And then suddenly, it's a call from Dan tech.

Phil  44:36
Yeah, that's right. That's right.

Kevin Erhard  44:38
He's he he he has a little conversation. Now this This scene is like it. This is probably the best. One of the best death scenes in the entire book.

Phil  44:53
I actually will say that this part is not half bad.

Kevin Erhard  44:58
This we're not half Because the it's not it's very subtle in like what the what what the implication is of what's happening

Phil  45:08
yeah yeah so you got you know you you have the responsibility of hammering through the the nonsensical parts Why don't you Why don't you enjoy yourself and okay watch through this it's actually pretty good

Kevin Erhard  45:22
Tanner Tanner is after he hangs up with the reporter and he's just like he turns the light back on there's a there's another phone call and the call says it's coming from dantec and he he answers the phone but instead of just on the phone dantec is there and but he's he's lips are blue. It's like he's losing oxygen. His skin is white, almost bloodless. And basically this dantec hallucination is telling Tanner that he's running out of oxygen. Now this is a call back to the when these two characters first met it's like it's literally the only impertinent backstory in the entire goddamn book is that dantec save Tanner during the moon was during the moon was dantec save Tanner during those battles by supplying him with oxygen. And now the situation is reversed this ghost of dantec is telling Tanner that I need you. I need oxygen from you. And now Tanner starts hallucinating that he has an oxygen tank on and dantec says just make a slit in the breathing tube. And so he grabs his pocket knife and he makes a nice long cuts and in his it across the breathing tube. And then he made a long horizontal cut almost cutting the tube right in half. Alright Tanner said quickly handed to me. His voice sounded strange something wrong with his vocal cords. He coughed spat blood blank in front of him seemed covered in pink mist. He looked down and saw that his chest was coursing with rivulets of blood. And then that goes to vantec says you should have left it down there where was safe, you shouldn't have tried to understand it. And then like Tanner dies thinking he's still like it says air keeps leaking out but it's not air. It's not air. It's It's It's blood. He basically slit his own throat with this knife thinking is cutting the breathing tube. And that's picture app on Tanner.

Phil  47:53
That's it. And I agree I think this is like, you know, I have to go back and read it again. It actually in a book filled with almost no subtle moments. In fact, it's so unsettled that they feel the need to repeat various parts of the book back to you over and over again. They actually give us a kind of horrifying and subtly ton death scene. Yeah.

Kevin Erhard  48:19
It's nice. Thank you BK.

Phil  48:22
Thank you. I

Kevin Erhard  48:22
want us throwing us a bone.

Phil  48:24
Really good.

Kevin Erhard  48:25
Pretty good. Pretty good. Yeah. Chapter 29 he wants more recaps.

Phil  48:36
Did you guys miss Java? I didn't miss him. But maybe someone did this

Kevin Erhard  48:41
podcast is going to be called oops all recaps

Phil  48:44
all recaps.

Kevin Erhard  48:47
Chapter 29 is basically Java telling them more about the balloon man.

Phil  48:53
Yeah, the balloon man. And

Kevin Erhard  48:54
then it's like, there's more. It's it's three parts. It's balloon man. We know what happened to the balloon man. Whatever, who cares. Another discussion about between altman and Ada of like, the stories are changing fucking them. And

Phil  49:14
the stories are changing. And I still love you and I promise and i and i nothing nothing's gonna, no one's gonna get hurt or whatever. Like, it's the whole like, promise me, Michael. She said, promise me because I can't. Why not? Look, he said take her by the shoulders. You're the one who brought Java to me. I didn't ask you to do that. And every new thing I hear makes it seem stranger and stranger. I need to figure out what's going on. And we get a moment at the end. I do love you. He said that's not what this is about. She pouted which come on. Finally she put her arms around his neck. I don't want to lose your Michael. She said you won't lose me. He said I promise Oh my God, we get it. This scene

Kevin Erhard  49:55
is is acted out in my head. Was it is it is it waiting for guffman where Catherine O'Hara's character is talking about her acting method where she, she she closes her eyes as she delivers her law away when she's not doing

Phil  50:19
I mean, my goodness, I think you're fucking nailed it like that's the only way you can imagine it so like, we get it. Oh my god, you don't want to lose each other You don't want some bad to happen. Oh my God, that's enough.

Kevin Erhard  50:37
And now we get our we get to finally meet the antebellum drunk who tells a really, really long story about that, and this is this is good information. It's it's super long. It takes forever to kind of like get through it. But it's basically Well,

Phil  51:00
here's the thing, we don't get to that good information. until after like, they've had a discussion of like, the meanings of their names and the heritage.

Kevin Erhard  51:12
rights. Yes. Like the drug is names.

Phil  51:16
Yeah. So he's like, that's a German name. Right? Interesting. And your name's Hebrew. Interesting. And where are you from? Oh, my mother was part Indian. Interesting. Bengali No, I'm saying a politically incorrect way of talking about a First Nation person. Oh, Hmm. Interesting. And it's just like, pages upon pages of them discussing their 23andme bullshit. Until finally he comes in and is like, Alright, I'm gonna tell you about the tale of Bill. Oh wait, he's the only drunk in Mexico apparently.

Kevin Erhard  51:48
Only drunk he's the he is the drunk.

Phil  51:51
drunk. Mexico's drunk it's a rough job.

Kevin Erhard  51:55
Oh my god he is drinking all the drinks Yeah, and basically he this guy gives his his his version of the Indianapolis speech

Phil  52:08
Yeah, pretty much

Kevin Erhard  52:12
to basically basically the point of the story is even though they burned a body on the beach earlier that's not the only body that they've ever burned they've it's it's happened several times before

Phil  52:24
before any knows that it's connected to the people that this that this thing used to be a person basically like

Kevin Erhard  52:30
that would have been good information to know Yeah, and then it's

Phil  52:38
Yeah, they start they start heading home they're freaked out you know they're freaked out and and all probably wants to do all he wants to do is get in bed and just watch some shitty TV or something like that and relax which again anytime that this writer tells us that like he's like your face for something fucked up and they basically just like someone mysterious calls you and wants to meet at a bar and they go no thank you

Kevin Erhard  53:10
thank you

Phil  53:11
yeah and then like some somebody something weird as fuck happens and I always by his writing when he's talking about people dealing with the aftermath of this shit because he's just like he just wants to get it I would have been surprised if he said he just want to take a hot bath you know he just wants to be living well and he turns on the TV and and it's an it's an immediately he gets notification that William Tanner manager for dredger CT chicks lube formerly known as equal dine was founded this morning in apparent suicide so he's like great, awesome. This is a great way this is a great end of my day.

Kevin Erhard  53:51
I'm very very relaxed now.

Phil  53:53
I'm feeling good. Maybe like turns it on here's that turns it off. And that he just doesn't it this is also relatable I don't think I think I probably would done the same thing. He just chooses not to tell aina

Kevin Erhard  54:06
Yeah, we're not gonna and I guess

Phil  54:08
maybe maybe I'll bring this up later. Maybe not this. We've had we've had a hell of a day. I'm not gonna bring up my my co workers slash friend who committed suicide. Yeah. Be the the blood covered, you know, maraschino cherry on the top of this fucking Sundae, right?

Kevin Erhard  54:27
Yeah. Anyway,

Phil  54:29
maybe one second real quick before you run. Grab your drink real quick. Did you know that they make white claws that are double the alcohol level now?

Kevin Erhard  54:38
Wow. They're disgusting. But you're drinking it anyway.

Phil  54:44
And they get the job done and I paid for him did not

Kevin Erhard  54:48
paid for him.

Phil  54:51
Blood Orange, good. Good. Okay,

Kevin Erhard  54:56
Lenny, small, Lenny, small president of dredger core. He You get to a point of view chapter. Everybody gets a point of view.

Phil  55:03
You get one and you get one. You get one.

Kevin Erhard  55:05
we're introduced to Craig Markoff, who? I don't know is if he is also, is he? Is he the Colonel? Or is he is are we getting a name for the colonel now or is he a completely distinct character?

Phil  55:18
I'm so glad that you asked that because I also wonder that this is the first time the kernel is always just the kernel.

Kevin Erhard  55:28
And the kernel has never heard from again we there is no more kernel. There is now Craig Markoff.

Phil  55:34
And it's there's now Craig Markoff to make a point of saying these a military guy.

Kevin Erhard  55:39
Yep. A government intelligence.

Phil  55:42
He acts the same way. He's the same level of like, villainous. dickweed Yep. that we got from the colonel. I think it must be the colonel. Yeah, I guess Okay,

Kevin Erhard  55:56
sure. Fine. Anyway, yeah, Tanner's dead he was dead were there this the conversations basically Markov recapping to Lenny that the that that Tanner is dead and

Phil  56:11
and once again we get too much dialogue where it's like he literally sets they they he's literally there are they're like having an argument back and forth about it first it kind of makes sense because they're like he killed himself Are you sure? Yeah, I know. It doesn't quite make sense. That's fine. But then we get into like he slit his throat easily Yeah, well, he's like you're gonna have to say something I'm gonna give you I'm gonna give you the the official story like our official line, if any in case anyone asks you and and he says you know I have a script for you said mark off things you can say and can't say about this death. I want you to memorize it. Word for word. I've never been much good at memorization. It'll sound canned. Just as fine said mark off put it in your own words. God Who cares? just be like, okay, yeah, we will. We'll tell you what to say. Got it. That's all you need.

Kevin Erhard  57:10
For cars all you need Markov then takes precedent small to a meeting of Toastmasters International. And there's a whole there's a whole section on President smalls rising through the ranks of Toastmasters. Absolutely, it's it's it's thoroughly entertaining. It actually could be like an Oscar bait movie, if you just adapted that part of it, and left out everything else

Phil  57:40
makes it to the top with a charming but sad tale about the time that he got his father's trust after stealing $20 from his dad's wallet and giving it back to him, only after he'd finally passed. Just there's a real real heartwarming few chapters here.

Kevin Erhard  58:01
Yeah. Yeah. And then the the final chapter is, is all men in the boys getting their beers on and the boys and they are. It's really just talking about getting a grant to find out what the signal is. And that's how this that's how this that's how Part Three ends his discussion of getting a grant. To figure this out, that is the end of the third part of the book. I might sound like I am being facetious. I am not. That is just how it this is daddy's face. Why are you talking about grants,

Phil  58:48
it ends with them, getting into with them being visibly excited. If you'll excuse the use of that term, over the concept of like, Hey, we could do some more research, we could get a grant. And it literally ends with altman saying let's get to work. So I'm sure that then immediately following this, they're gonna get started and will not immediately be sidetracked. No, that's because they ended on such a strong note.

Kevin Erhard  59:23
They ended on such a strong note.

Phil  59:25
the horrors of spider Island. Got that was and by the way, just to remind you guys, that part part three was called the tightening of the noose,

Kevin Erhard  59:41
tightening of the noose.

Phil  59:44
With the that's that's, that's well you know, just the nowadays grant money is few and far between, like the academic landscape of 1993 my young buck,

Kevin Erhard  59:56
it is it is a it is a very well Well tapped Well

Phil  1:00:04

Kevin Erhard  1:00:06
that's part three no blood from that stone.

Phil  1:00:09
None None. Grind that stone down

Kevin Erhard  1:00:14
and then there's there's a deleted chapter apparently immediately after this where they talk about their favorite new yorker cartoons.

Phil  1:00:21
Oh god and they describe them in detail. You don't need to actually have you ever Have you ever experienced the joy of not having to have your brain and your eyes all befuddled by the visualizations of a cartoon instead? Having someone describe all of the finer details and then reading the hilarious caption to you

Kevin Erhard  1:00:51
Oh joy that I that I really wish to be passed upon my countenance someday

Phil  1:00:59
I mean it would That's the dream My friend That's the dream the dream Oh my god.

Kevin Erhard  1:01:07
So that was that that took that took a lot of energy and time

Phil  1:01:16
this man sat down at a fucking computer and wrote this out and turned in the chapters and somehow fine with it. He turned it into his editor was like yeah, this is the chapter where the discussing their grant opportunities, bitch like it was prompt How did an editor looked at it and editor looked at it and said, seems good to me. Bitch is this displays all the gravitas that I need in my horror fiction? Oh, God, oh my God. You know, this is this is the thing. Alright, ladies and gentlemen, this is the thing Kevin and I give him I've been doing it. I've been have been doing this a long time. And I'm not podcasting specifically. But Kevin and I's entire friendship. Started in a room where we were sitting around a table trying to put something together and make it funny. That was our that was how we began our relationship together. And I still surprise myself. When we sit down and go, man, I don't know like we read a chapter or read a section of the book. We're getting ready for an episode. And one of us will text the other one and go, do you think we have enough material? I just don't. I feel like this thing is just like this. This part was so boring. And I just I'm worried that we're not going to have enough material to really flesh this thing out. And then there's a part of me that goes, You know what? We'll be fine. We'll be good. We have we have endless supplies of incredulity.

Kevin Erhard  1:03:01
And how's that of incredulity?

Phil  1:03:02
It just it's it's it is it is the stuff that can't fit in the office ends up in the shed out back we've got the stack up the incredulity, like heart like hardwood around here. It is just we will be warm. all winter long.

Kevin Erhard  1:03:22
Yeah, it's only gonna get better.

Phil  1:03:29
Now, I will say that in the following part. Stay tuned. Ladies, gentlemen, we got more ghosts.

Kevin Erhard  1:03:36
Oh gosh. morgase Hey, and if you're not afraid of those ghosts, give us a five star review on Apple, iTunes or podcasts, whichever you're using to listen to this fine, fine show. And follow us on whatever platform you choose. And please follow us on Twitter, all that good stuff. Share us with your friends, your family, your pets, your Pokemon, maybe you can even you can even open up your Pokemon card collection and be like hey listen to this podcast

Phil  1:04:11
and share make sure they've evolved at least once though I feel like I feel like our yeah general disposition is not great for like the young Ling Pokemon

Kevin Erhard  1:04:19
not right for a Pikachu. Okay for a ride shoe.

Phil  1:04:24
Perfect. Exactly. And that is the extent of my Pokemon knowledge.

Kevin Erhard  1:04:34
Hey, you've been listening pixel it Have a good night, everybody.

Phil  1:04:39
Good night. You know what? We managed? We made that fun once again. We made that fun

Transcribed by