Dead Space: Martyr - Part 4

We are rounding the corner on Dead Space Martyr!

Automated Transcript

Yeah, yeah, it's been around for a very long time and it's in North Carolina.

Kevin Erhard  0:05
So still producing

Phil  0:06
still produces grapes.

Kevin Erhard  0:08
That's crazy.

Phil  0:10
It's really weird. And I'm going to taste one of those grapes. God damn it.

Kevin Erhard  0:14
You're gonna you're gonna make a wine out of one of those grapes.

Phil  0:17
Yeah, I'm gonna I'm gonna steal it. Steal mine.

Kevin Erhard  0:20
That's really that's actually your version of was that Nicolas Cage?

Phil  0:26
Oh yeah national treasure

Kevin Erhard  0:28
that's your version of national treasure is dealing with we're gonna

Phil  0:30
steal the oldest grapevine in the world

my impression of Nicolas Cage is basically just a male version of anyone else's impression of Jodie Foster and

Kevin Erhard  0:47
I was I was like that's a really good Nick Cage You mean like then you said the Jodie Foster thing and I was like, Oh, she

Phil  0:53
that's exactly what it is. I just I just make it a little lower

that's all it's all fuck I'm only I'm realizing this just now as I'm saying it out loud.

Kevin Erhard  1:12
It's amazing. Hey there everybody. Welcome back to pixelate. My name is Kevin alongside Phil. Hello. And were still reading Deadspace martyr. We got your emails. We got your your requests for us to to practice some self care and stop. But we are not going to.

Phil  1:35
I'm smoking cigarettes again.

Kevin Erhard  1:38
Phil. Phil had quit. Phil I'd quit for a year. Damn it.

Phil  1:43
Space murder pushed me over the edge. I did. I did not. I did not start smoking. Say I want to say it's it is honestly though. I'm just thinking about it. It is terrific. We took what it was. It's been a minute in real time real lifetime since we recorded an episode. Yeah. And I'm really glad to be recording. Another one with you. Kevin Gino one. Why is that? Because it means that there's going to be one less episode of dead space for us to record.

Kevin Erhard  2:14
Oh my gosh, yeah, that's true. We that's true.

Phil  2:18
It's just it's just the law of averages.

Kevin Erhard  2:20
It's just the law of averages, we would one fewer chunk of Deadspace to

Phil  2:26
get through. Right. I'm not sure if that's what the law of averages is. But

Kevin Erhard  2:30
it is now. It is now what is now it is what we say on this podcast. It becomes law. So it's true. We have to be careful with what we say on this podcast.

Phil  2:40
I know it's a dangerous world. We

Unknown Speaker  2:41
live in a dangerous era.

Phil  2:43
We are irresponsible with disability.

Kevin Erhard  2:46
We wield it like Michael Altman wielding a tranquilizer

Phil  2:51
oh and and what a tranquilizer he wields Kevin well done well done. Yeah, we left off he was he was going to be going down in that bathysphere a whole lot more. And the whole reason his his main request for that wasn't, I need you to give me more money or I need like I need you know, this kind of protect. He just he just wanted a tranquilizer gun. Yeah, that's all he wanted. That's all he won. And that's and that's all he got.

Kevin Erhard  3:18
And the first the first line of part five which is titled collapse and not not the noose is tightening even more but collapse. It says he took two trips and had to use a tranquilizer gun once. Now that is an economy of storytelling that we have yet to see in this book.

Phil  3:40
I gotta tell you, man, this this book, as we've discussed is all about tell and not show. But this is this is a new low even for them. Although the and that was I even have a note here. I even know where it's just like that. That sounds like it would have been fun to watch. But then I thought about some of the other things that we have been forced to watch and maybe I'm wrong.

Kevin Erhard  4:05
Maybe I'm wrong. Yeah. Yeah, that's the case. Yeah. So yeah, he's he's gone down with people, you know, various people at one point, he's going down with a psychologist who has electrodes to his head. You know, monitoring his brainwaves, because they're trying to figure out why Altman doesn't really get affected that much. Right. And then of

Phil  4:31
the main they're all different missions on some level or another, but really, the theme seems to be why is it when he gets close to the marker? He doesn't he just he gets a headache, but that's about it. Yeah,

Kevin Erhard  4:43
he doesn't lose his mind. But what's the what's the line from The Simpsons version of The Shining? No beer. Makes Homer cookies Oh, something

Phil  4:57
something or

Kevin Erhard  4:58
something? Go crazy, don't mind.

Phil  5:07
I'd really appreciate it if we don't talk about good media while we're going through our bad media.

Kevin Erhard  5:12
So I highlighted in the next chunk of the chapter, there's a scene with this guy Kimble. Don't worry about Campbell. He said, Don't worry about Campbell, literally do not worry about any other character other than Altman after this point, because who cares? So he's going down with Campbell, and they're retrieving the other sub, because it is still down there. So this is the one that has the corpses of Dantec. And what's his face? The guy who, who killed Dantec and wrote the runes all over the walls. Exactly. They're going down and they're basically like looking at it from different angles. Like a think it's a bad bet, as bad as it's gonna look or whatever. The thing I highlighted in all of this was the phrase vid cameras,

Phil  6:08
and cameras.

Kevin Erhard  6:11
I am going to lose my mind.

Phil  6:19
It's like ATM machine isn't an

Kevin Erhard  6:20
ATM machine.

Phil  6:22
Yeah, red cam

Kevin Erhard  6:24
your vid cameras. Like come on, man. Just take this. Just find and replace vid cameras and chronometer errors.

Phil  6:34
Just I was just gonna say at least it's not chronometer at least

Kevin Erhard  6:37
get them out of the book, or holo vids or whatever. Just we already have words for these.

Phil  6:46
Right? Right. Well, that's just it. It's like you forget that this movie takes place in the future. I don't know if it's if it's far future or near future, but it's definitely the future. And half the time. Excuse me. Oh, Lord. See, see, that's what this book does to me. Um, half the time. The only thing that reminds you is every now and then they say things like, you know, the moon wars or COVID, or chronometer and you go, Oh, right, right, right. Future. That's fun.

Kevin Erhard  7:21
It's like, it's like, it's like 1997 meats to 2500.

Phil  7:28
Right. Right. Right. Just

Kevin Erhard  7:32
it's that it's the 80s view of the future. It's like, it's like, it's like Demolition Man in here.

Phil  7:39
Exactly. Exactly. It's It's It's It's Robocop it's all that shit.

Kevin Erhard  7:44
Robocop? It's all that. Yeah, there's the three seashells and

Phil  7:50
the rag. And I buy for $1. Yeah, yeah, that's pretty much what we're dealing with here. But it's the ocean.

Kevin Erhard  7:59
bottom of the ocean. So yeah, what happens next? They get the they get the thing they get and an Altman steals the chunk out of the core sampler. Yeah, in the next chapter, he steals the chunk of the marker that the previous one had had drilled. Everybody was too preoccupied with it. It's like it's a repeat of this of the previous time. When he saw off the the pink stuff

Phil  8:35
the pink goo it's the same exact thing. And just like the I'm stealing this important pink glue sample. He like leaves like it when they get up there. It's I've got a note here it says mark off quickly had the area quarantine. But not before Altman had gotten away with a sample. And I'm just like look, even an incompetent military leader of some kind even even a shitty cop is going to be able to like get everybody quarantined away. Yeah, time to stop you. Like so many moments in this book happen simply because someone sucks at their job.

Kevin Erhard  9:15
It's yeah, it's it's plot suckage it really

Phil  9:18
is it because yeah, there's no good reason for half the shit to happen. It just does.

Kevin Erhard  9:24
It's not a surprise that they're coming back up. It's never a surprise. It takes them time to get up there. Like Mark

Phil  9:33
doing they Yeah, it was very specific what they sent them to do. They in the very beginning. I was surprised at the level of honestly and here's the thing. If if the Far Cry five book was kind of like written in the style of Cormac McCarthy and done pretty well in that style, then this is a shitty retelling of a Michael Crighton novel. Yes. like I'm getting a lot of sphere, you know, this

Kevin Erhard  10:02
is shitty sphere. Yeah,

Phil  10:05
that's exactly what this is. And and you get those moments where it's just like, This is nonsense. This is this is not how this is not how shit works. And it's not even done well done. It's a It's so frustrating. So yeah, so Altman gets away, like like, oh, sorry, that's what I was getting at they the every now and then the author puts in these moments of detail that if this were a better novel, it would just be kind of part of the book, right part of the craft of the book. But because it's not such a good novel, it kind of stands out as this is competent enough that it's almost a waste of time. Basically, what happens is they got to get down there to the drilling bathysphere the one that yeah, the the two guys dive in, it's still down there. It's full of ballast, and which is for anyone who doesn't know with ships and submarines and stuff like that to keep underwater, they'll it'll take on heavy stuff, usually water, you know, in any case, water itself.

Kevin Erhard  11:09
Yeah. Yeah, exactly.

Phil  11:11
And it weighs you down in a sailing ship, it takes on a lot of water, stuff like that. It's how we get like, invasive species, like zebra mussels, you know, it fills up with water, and then they let the ballasts go, the ship goes way higher up in the water and releases all those animals. Anyway, that's basically what they're, they have to get down there and release the ballast in this bathysphere so that they can guide it upwards and are never stopping and going. That's, that's like, that's like a smart bit. Right of, of writing. Like, that's a detail that's like a scientific detail. That's an engineering detail.

Kevin Erhard  11:49
That's, that's Tom Clancy talking about, you know, spending a chapter to talk about the ballot son to read October, you know,

Phil  11:56
right. And it's like, it's like an official story, if it matched up with the rest of the book. Well, the irony, of course, is if it matched up with the rest of the book, it would just be a detail and you'd go okay, cool, right would be he and Malcolm slowly explaining chaos theory to you in Jurassic Park. Right? It would be that kind of thing. We're like, Oh, that's a really neat detail. Cool. But because the book is so just kind of rushed and clearly I'm convinced of this now I mentioned this before I thought that maybe somebody came in and fucked with the original book because they don't for whatever reasons just a match it up with the game somehow or something. I'm convinced of it now because it just it feels like it was written by two different people sometimes. And that's a detail where it's like this is really neat. That's that's a cool detail right? Because of how poorly written the book is. You just want to go Why are you trying Why are you doing this? I

Kevin Erhard  12:52
tried to stop trying just stop trying just let us slide into the end.

Phil  12:58
It just feels like patting at that point you're like let's just get through this together man. Yeah, let's let's make a lien novel here. This is this book has no business being 500 pages long What are you doing

Kevin Erhard  13:10
this is the you know what it is? It's like you what you said earlier is on is spot on? Is that this book and this universe needed a Michael Creighton touch it needed it needed specifically that and needed that that detailed sci fi you know the with all the all the fixins to really ground it. And then when the horrors come it's you're like oh yeah, I believe it.

Phil  13:45
Yeah, yeah, the hard science. Like it's sci fi Yeah, yeah, if you're gonna go into that you know then then you know do it honestly if you if they had the budget if you if you wanted to get a famous writer to write your Deadspace prequel I probably tap Michael Crighton it's not a not a bad decision

Kevin Erhard  14:06
but he's still alive when this happened when this was written

Phil  14:09
I believe so yeah, I don't remember what he died a little while back but I think I think I'm pretty sure he was still alive. Yeah. But yeah, it's it's there are a lot of moments like that that make you think of it and unlike again, unlike Far Cry absolution the comparison is only there unlike that to remind you of better books. I swear, it made me I want to read sphere and I never read a drama stream I mentioned read that you know, that kind of thing.

Kevin Erhard  14:41
Sphere is good. Spheres good. Yeah.

Phil  14:45
Yours but I remember being good. You guys should go out and read sphere.

Kevin Erhard  14:48
Going sphere don't watch the movie The movie is like the movies kind of lame compared to the book.

Phil  14:54
Right? Right now redressing Park I still I read that every two or three years. Yeah, that's one of my Ever books ever

Kevin Erhard  15:00
Yeah, Michael Creighton, kind of problematic dude. But you know

Phil  15:03
even shit in many ways. Yeah.

Kevin Erhard  15:06
But he he wrote some good books so yeah good right can you

Phil  15:11
take that away from can't take that away from him?

Kevin Erhard  15:13
He was also six foot nine Did you? Did you know that he was a tall man.

Phil  15:19
That's crazy. All right so we now would like to announce that we are taking this podcast and it's going to be a Michael Creighton fan cast from here on michael craig fan cast. I'm not prepared for that.

Kevin Erhard  15:33
So like So basically after all this, Altman pretends that he is another scientist and to find out that they are they're designing a winch to lift the marker up into the room that they have always been planning to lift the marker. It's weird he kind of acts like this is a surprise but I was like wasn't this always the idea is to lift it

Phil  16:06
and also also can you I can't believe it starts with basically just like I said before, this person who's an idiot pushing another like he literally literally a scientist thinks that he somebody else.

Kevin Erhard  16:22
Another person being bad at their job is why he gets this information.

Phil  16:27
Yeah, he like are you telling me that he gets this super important information? Because some fucking intern didn't know who they were talking to.

Kevin Erhard  16:37
Like like you're not Perkins and be like No My name tag clearly says Altman

Phil  16:41
right right. Oh never mind says scientists Forget I said anything like that's that's that's the plotline guys.

Kevin Erhard  16:52
Okay I said is people calling all man and saying forget I said anything

Phil  16:57
or line progressed because a guy Miss took another guy for another guy. Why in God's name

Kevin Erhard  17:07
insert clip of I'm a dude playing a dude pretending to be another dude.

Phil  17:14
Oh, do we? Yeah. So we get we get a reminder, by the way that violent incidents are on the rise. In the in the labs, I don't know wherever they are the fund the earliest days

Kevin Erhard  17:29
double their double what they were a few months ago. And the suicide rate, dry rocketed

Phil  17:35
skyrocket, assault rates climbed considerably. We see we see none of that.

Kevin Erhard  17:41
No, we see none of that. We see none of the we just told. We're told. And Altman says it's a tense time playing devil's advocate. Maybe that's all it is.

Phil  17:53
Is he's a he's a Reddit message board drill. I'm just playing devil's I'm just asking questions,

Kevin Erhard  18:01
just asking questions. He's simultaneously the hero and the villain.

Phil  18:07
Yeah, exactly. He's gonna be your hero. Or he could be your devil or

Kevin Erhard  18:12
your angle. He could be your devil or your angle. Aaron Henson was the one. It's the guy and that's it. So he's a man. He's talking to Ada and they're like, we're fucked. So Altman is on another descent and this time with a researcher by the name of Torquato and

Phil  18:37
stupid aim. What the fuck? Well,

Kevin Erhard  18:41
I was what I was about to say. My assistant band director in college was Frank Torquato.

Phil  18:48
Are you shitting me be serious. That's a fake name. That's a fake name. No, no, that's not a real name.

Kevin Erhard  19:01
He was a he's an Italian American guy from Scranton, PA.

Phil  19:05
All right. You know what? I when you when you lose, you lose. You take your l like a champ. I I would like to apologize to all our Torquato fans. He

Kevin Erhard  19:15
is a he was a he was a large man. He was well not large in height. He was about like five feet tall. He was like, here's a good five feet 500 Here's a five by five type of guy. Yeah, I was gonna

Phil  19:27
say he was one of those one of those justice totallys He is why Yeah, he

Kevin Erhard  19:30
is. He's a you know, very boisterous spherical man.

Phil  19:37
So what brings Torquato down in the bathysphere? Here, that timer.

Kevin Erhard  19:43
He's a he's a member of Mark Hubbs inner circle. And he has a black box homemade with a single knob on it and a needle readout. And it's like we get we vacillate between like sci fi with all the dials and stuff. And then this is like, this is like Stanley Kubrick. sci fi where there's like, Yeah, nothing. There's no detail. Or like 1950s sci fi where it's, it's, it's like what are we looking at?

Phil  20:12
Just a budget. Oh, the dogs are nice. The knobs and dials are situated here friend. Yes. Oh yeah, yeah,

Kevin Erhard  20:18
the bleeps the sweeps in the creeps.

Phil  20:20
Exactly. Exactly.

Kevin Erhard  20:24
Some kind of scientists Torquato shrugged. You could call it that. geophysics, Geology volcanology, it's hard to explain claim Torquato and not very interesting. Like just say it. Just say I don't care any more about these, these, these villain vague characters. So yeah, he's down there. And he's he's taking some measurements with his with his box that has a single knob on it. In the middle, the needle is moving back and forth.

Phil  20:58
It descends into comedy, because it's like oltmans, basically trying to trick him into telling anything that's going on. And at one point, like, there's some irregular movement on the needle, and Torquato kulula reacts to it says, what is it and took what it says? Did you say something? Like, you're not even trying? Like, oh, no,

Kevin Erhard  21:24
take it. Take it lower, huh? And then, and then Torquato loses his mind.

Phil  21:31
Then yeah, and then we get another guy who lost lost his fucking

Kevin Erhard  21:35
and basically the same a repeat. It's like it's a rinse and repeat of a one of the previous scenes where somebody loses mind except this time. Altman doesn't like he's not able to tranquilize them. Torquato beats him up and then is trying to he's disabled, the oxygen recite circulator. So they're going to be running out of air. And Torquato is trying to open the hatch.

Phil  22:03
Yes. Which And if anybody's

Kevin Erhard  22:07
got a great idea. Yeah, it's not a great idea. But also if anybody's tried to open like a hatch? Well, I haven't. But just I can imagine, if you're trying to open an outward opening hatch underwater under all that pressure, you're not going to like that's you're not going to be able to do that.

Phil  22:27
Right? It's just not going to happen. At least at least not with you. Just all you're doing is like trying to push the door open. That's really not Yeah, you're you're you're kicking water uphill. That's not going to do there's too much pressure. Yeah, oh, he's muttering to himself constantly about the necessity for convergence. And there's that word again that we've been hearing over and over again, convergence with a capital C. And we are here we are over halfway through the book, and we are no closer to knowing what the hell that is meant to be. Yeah.

Kevin Erhard  23:06
Yeah, so this chapter is this, this whole sequence would Torquato is surprisingly long. Yeah.

Phil  23:14
There's just a lot of back and forth. Surprisingly familiar.

Kevin Erhard  23:17
Surprisingly familiar and boring. Altman does manage to subdue and kill Torquato. Yes.

Phil  23:28
Yeah. He has to he actually has to kill

Kevin Erhard  23:31
knocks him out first. Yeah, he knocks him out first. And then he just a he murders him. I mean, it's like it's it's weird. It goes from a self defense thing to like a full murder.

Phil  23:43
And I will say it's actually decent writing. You know, that we get an interesting moment here where because Altman was is and will continue to be a just a just Mary Sue self insert character, who is always good at anything that he puts his mind to, really isn't going to have a lot of failures that he's going to have to deal with Atul. He always seems to succeed, even when it comes down to it being because of like some intern mistaking him for his lab partner. Right. But the moment where he because he he strangles the guy. Yeah. And, and he has a lot of this internal monologue of thinking like, well, this is not as easy as I thought it was going to be. And this is actually horrifying. And, you know, and the guy wakes up and starts to kind of flail and so he's, he can't just, he can't just pull a fucking, you know, Chief from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Right, right. He actually has to fight him. Yeah. And, and, and you know what, it's actually pretty effective. Right? It is effective

Kevin Erhard  24:54
writing. Yeah. Yeah. And then he tork starts talking.

Phil  25:04
Right? Right. And it's just the best, it's just the best because he's just like, oh my god, he just he, this will happen again and again as the book continues, and every time I never get tired of this, whatever someone dies and then their ghost just starts talking to him again. He just he seems kind of nonplussed every single time. You know, hello, Altman Torquato said, go back to being dead. Altman said, Yeah, it's like

Kevin Erhard  25:33
the and then he said, Then he Oh, man. Yeah, then he sees eight his mother and he goes, But that's impossible. He thought eight is Mother's Day. Like, dude, you've dealt with this already several times. Like right why is that where you're where you're Why are you drawing the line? I'm hallucinating again just like with Torquato like yeah, it was five it was like five sentences ago. Yeah, that just happened it just just but we don't need to. We don't need to you know Yeah, yeah. Yeah, it makes he makes it back up to the surface though. He gets he's able to resurface the sub. Before he gets it. He gets it resurfacing before he passes out because he is running out of air. And he wakes up and doctors are basically all over him.

Phil  26:20
Yeah, and eight his mother's ghost basically tells him the same shit converge

Kevin Erhard  26:27
don't don't don't do the convergence. Shantou convergence Not even once.

Phil  26:32
Don't Yeah, don't fuck with a marker. You know, only only dopes do marker.

Kevin Erhard  26:37
Oh wait dopes do mark

Phil  26:39
right so, it's like a combination of three different like day or phrases I learned? Just say no to mark or say no. Say no to Devil's tail

Kevin Erhard  26:55
this is your brain this is your brain on marker

Phil  27:01
this is your brain on marker boring

Kevin Erhard  27:06
I'm thinking specifically of the Pee Wee Herman one

Phil  27:09
Oh god this is crap.

Kevin Erhard  27:12
This is crack this is marker

Phil  27:16

leave the Barker alone

Kevin Erhard  27:35
marker that's the word of the day

Phil  27:47
we need to get our new avatar Twitter to be Pee Wee Herman with blood rooms covering his face need people to know what the marker saying

Kevin Erhard  28:09
oh God, just like it's like it's basically if if if you crossed Pee Wee Herman and Bobcat Goldthwait?

Phil  28:22
That's exactly

say I would buy it I would buy it a bobcat Goldthwait came out and was like, you know to touch the market like I can't do him.

Kevin Erhard  28:37
I don't think anybody can do I don't think anybody can do it. But good bob cat.

Phil  28:43
Right? It's such a it's such a very specific I would totally buy it. You could tell that Bob Cats been through some shit like he knows style. He would know he would know I would like you know what I I would listen to him. I would listen about Boston comedy in the 80s You got to be careful

Kevin Erhard  29:04
Yeah, because now he just directs the shows he doesn't even he doesn't he's nice. He's right he's like I'm not getting on stage.

Phil  29:10
He's a smart man he got the fuck out. No, no thank you I'm gonna make weird ass movies by myself please alright, so oh man wakes up oh man wakes up yep surround by doctors

Kevin Erhard  29:29
he made it he's alive and he starts talking about the marker and Markov is like a nice thing is like I guess we did we not do we have nobody else called it the marker yet? Like because Mark Markov says the marker what marker He's talking nonsense. Give him another shot. And I'm like, Yeah,

Phil  29:48
I I doesn't make any sense at all. I know. People have been calling it the Barker. Of course. Maybe it's just been ghosts. Telling him

Kevin Erhard  29:58
Yeah, I don't know. It's it's what One of those little things like we could have just assumed everybody's calling it the marker. We didn't need that line.

Phil  30:05
Right? Right. It's also another sign of like it, we'll see it some more. But, you know, mark off represents a very specific kind of villain used to see this villain a ton in the 80s. Before. You weren't allowed to make fun of people in the military. And you certainly weren't allowed to have them be the bad guys, but you know, your et your, you know, your real genius, the people, you know, just the 80s movies where the bad guy had some connection to the shadowy government, right, you know, the government, the military, that was a bad thing to be involved with the military, right? And, and they were often played as incompetent but not in this sense. They're usually played in the sense of like, you're playing God, your hubris is gonna get you killed. And you moron, don't you see what's right in front of your face? And of course they don't. And Marco is actually just shitty at his job.

Kevin Erhard  31:04
Now, he's, he's, he's terrible. He is the worst. He's the worst. And this

Phil  31:10
is a great example. Instead of like, going out, man, tell me what you're talking about. Like, like, we're here for an alien artifact based on what we're seeing like, so any little bit of information is going to help a stage like knockabout I want them unconscious till Christmas,

Kevin Erhard  31:25
you know? Okay, so before I think I think Markoff I was I was giving him too much credit for the creepiness factor. You know who he is. He's, he's played by. He's played by GW Bailey.

Phil  31:43
GW Bailey, GW play.

Kevin Erhard  31:45
Bailey played Lieutenant Harris in the police academy movies.

Phil  31:49
Oh, there you go. Yeah. Nailed it.

Kevin Erhard  32:00
So we get a we got a new villain. Officer cracks who basically,

Phil  32:06
Officer Oh, yeah, this guy is. He's a lot.

Kevin Erhard  32:11
He's a lot. He's basically like, he's like, if Dan tech wasn't dead, this is basically just a continuation of Dan tech.

Phil  32:20
Right, right. He's just kind of picking up where he left off is.

Kevin Erhard  32:25
Is that Dan tech? Matt? Like, yeah, it's

Phil  32:33
he's, oh, here's another. There's a little moment in here too. Before we get too close, because I want to talk about that guy. Sure. Sure. Cuz he's a weird character. But before we get into it a little bit, there's a moment that it's like, suddenly competent writing out of the clear blue sky. And, you know, we've been talking about how they just love to repeat themselves. And they'll instead of just saying he said that he they like to have to give us like the whole line for line exchange. There's this great moments hidden moment here where we're introduced officer cracks. And, and, oh, he's, he's telling him. You remember, Stevens said, mark off this is This is Officer cracks. Altman nodded. It's very simple said markup, I want you to tell me everything. This is how this is the response to that? He did, starting with the moment that Torquato had suddenly attacked and moving through to his hallucinations. How hard was that? Was that?

Kevin Erhard  33:37
Like, like, he could have like, written that the entire time?

Phil  33:40
Dude, there were like, 37 moments in this book, where you could have just done that it would have been better writing and it would have saved you about 100 Goddamn pages

Kevin Erhard  33:52
37 in a row in a row.

Phil  33:55
It'll happen. It'll happen in part two. I'm surprised you don't remember those things. Maybe you blocked them out. I don't know.

Why, why? Why? Like, how is it you know that you know what you're doing, you know that that's the right thing to do. You came to this moment. And you said, That's pretty boring. To go over all that again, I better just wrap it up here in a tight little bow so we can get on with the rest of the story, which is the right thing to do. And why is it that you could do it for that one, but not the other moments? I don't know. I'm just that's what I mean. When I say it feels like this book is written by like two different people sometimes Yeah.

Kevin Erhard  34:39
Yeah. Yeah, that's that's the bummer of it all. So strange. So So and after after all that, you know, they, he, he talks a little bit more like it says Stevens is your man. You got to tell Stevens everything. Everything you see Steve As the psychiatrist has to know, and then we get to chapter 45 And now things are starting to get a little spooky on the if it wasn't get spooky already with all the suicides. Now it's spookier because it's, he's like He said, he's in a ghost. In like a ghost world where he started he, he sees a lot of dead people. He sees his father. He sees his father, his his sister, a teacher, a friend killed, and they were all talking to him about the convergence. And then, that he's He's wasted his time. It's too late. And then what? Oh, Ada saw her mother. And she knew Yes, there it is. Ada is now. If ADA is gone, say bye bye to ADA. She is. Yeah, after the

Phil  35:57
point she is the Oh, no, it is the bear that went over the mountain to see what she could see. She's never coming back. Oh, boy. Oh, yeah. It was her said ADA with a sense of conviction that worried him. And I need her. I need her back. Oh, Ada, you sweet summer child you.

Kevin Erhard  36:16
Yep. Hey, she is never going to add that mark this point in the book because you're never going to get the same eight as you did before. The bright and if confusing. Characterize, right. You're talking about story's changing all the time.

Phil  36:38
Right. And it's and and, and Altman and her have a big exchange, arguing about whether or not these ghosts are real now. And I think this is another moment that I'm going to give the author credit because the author talks about being in a ghost world here. He sees his dad, he sees this old friend who's dead in a car crash. And at first, I still had that instinct to go well, that would be interesting to learn a little more about. But he makes a point of saying all they do is keep repeating themselves. They're all just talking about the convergence. And he starts to realize these aren't the ghosts of these people. This is just something that's manipulating my brain. Yeah, trying to get this message across, right?

Kevin Erhard  37:19
It's just going into his brain and taking a form of somebody he knew at some point runs and trying to communicate with him. This message after that, we have a brief scene where a scientist named Meier kills himself using a laser

Phil  37:40
scalpel. Which laser scalpel

Kevin Erhard  37:43
laser if future it's the future. And there's the last two sentences are amazing. My what happened all monastics Myra went crazy started screaming in the lab about the end of the world and he stabbed Westerman through the arm with a broken pipe bet. Then he grabbed that laser scalpel and ran it ran here. And I'm like how do you stab somebody? Have you ever tried to stab like stab somebody with a pipette it's not a very sturdy item, piece of glass to stab at you're far

Phil  38:21
more you're far more likely to you know smash it in your own hands and like shred up your hand with that. But but you know what, Kevin? I think here's the thing. Here's what you haven't taken into account. It's the future so it's it's probably some laser pipe.

Kevin Erhard  38:37
It's a laser pipette for laser laser. Laser etching. Cool

Phil  38:42
is laser for lasering

Kevin Erhard  38:43
piping liquids or something. So So it ends with this. This this brilliant line, the man. Altman says, But why the man shrugs? Who knows? It's just like when that guard shattered technician last week for no reason then shot himself. These things just happen.

Phil  39:05
Wait, what? What are you gonna tell me about that body? Are you sure you want to end your section that way?

Kevin Erhard  39:16
And it's like that. It's like that onion headline. I wish there was gotta be a way to stop this from happening. Asks only country in the world where it keeps.

Phil  39:29
Right, right. God. Yeah, the whole thing is once again, just like this, this is probably this is a master class. This is a two page master class in the difference between telling and showing. Because it's like they do have some brief moments where the action is active and happening before you and then you get a lot of moments of like, hey, it happened this way. This happened to Oh, wow. You should have been there. Yeah, that would have been nice. Yeah, that would have been nice if we

Kevin Erhard  39:59
were there. That's nuts. Yeah. So the the proceeding scenes kind of taken as a chunk are like, basically people are now are just getting more and more unhinged. They're starting to, like, I don't know, praise the marker. Yeah, Aida Aida is starting to become one of the true believers, and has now threatened to leave him because Altman just won't see the light.

Phil  40:34
Right? It's getting real culty. It's getting real culty in there. And it's interesting. He does, you know, I think there's a moment, which is a little too early for this realization. Obviously, you see where it's getting, especially if you played the game. But there's like this group of people in front of Altman. He's just trying to get through them. And they're all just this cluster of people. This is early on. Yeah. And they're all just acting weird. Like they've been talking, they see him they get quiet. And then he starts hearing what they're saying. And they're talking like weird culty religious psycho

Kevin Erhard  41:09
burying themselves from the flesh. Right? Right. And his

Phil  41:14
inner monologue is a religious meeting of some kind, some crazed Sikhs, no doubt, or why is that? So blase, what? If I, if I were on, I know that the station they're on is enormous. We've made it clear, right? Everyone in their mom knows of you know about this top secrets, classified thing. But it's still small enough, that if I saw a group of people that I lived with, in this little community, I wouldn't be like, huh, it seems that they're starting a weird ass religion over there. It would be like the fucking people doing Yeah. Like, he's just like, I remember those days. It was crazy. sick days, the salad days I tell you, and this

Kevin Erhard  42:00
is this is like another like, this is like background Markov incompetence, right? Because it's like, it's time to call it right. This is like, it's like, just just just end it. This is this this character has has, you have people, people are killing themselves. People are killing each other. And then you have people starting a cult, like, and it wrap it up, go take the ball and go home because it's not right now you're, you're you're, you're on a powder keg mark off. And he doesn't I mean, they're still they're still doing it. And then field

Phil  42:50
field finds field

Kevin Erhard  42:53
fields who is he has lost his mind.

Phil  42:57
Just if anyone did or field is the is the frumpy scientists that Altman used to he shared a lab with him. Yeah, isn't that what it was? And yeah, he just didn't like him just didn't like I thought we were done with field I didn't realize we're gonna see field again, and

Kevin Erhard  43:12
field is back. And he is back with a group of people to ask Altman to be His Prophet, because he has seen the marker.

Phil  43:22
Right? The one guy who's seen the marker, he's gone down there 1000 times. Therefore they want him to be their prophet Altman. And the one

Kevin Erhard  43:31
guy who's who is he's qualified to be a prophet because he knows how to pilot the sub.

Phil  43:39
Right? I mean, I gotta tell you at first there's that part of me though to be like This is stupid. Nobody's ever chosen their profit based on such an arbitrary and nevermind maybe this is one where the author's just fucking nailed it to the wall. I don't know. So yeah, so the cult, you know, approaches Altman, it says we want you to lead us You shall lead us you cannot abandon us. And, and he's and he's basically just like, it's, it's, it's very stereotypical. He's like, he's like, Fuck you guys. And it's it's very Fight Club. Yeah, not not leading you guys. And they're like, Oh, it's a test. Okay, we'll sit out front for three days, you know that kind of Yeah. And yeah, so he just keep kicks them out. And he finally finally maybe the first one of the first times anyway, is that Altman like actually is like, reacting appropriately. He doesn't have like, a smart ass cute thing to say is like, Okay, this is actually really fucked up. This is actually not looking so good. He's

Kevin Erhard  44:49
not being quippy. He's not he's not he's any I mean, we we get almost zero emotion about his like his his almost break up with ADA. Like we we don't know what he there's no feelings to Altman in any sense other than none being inconvenienced by people by a colt that wants him to.

Phil  45:14
You couldn't have put it better, you couldn't put it better. That's and that's why I brought up the whole scene with him killing the guy and feeling weird about it. Because it's the first time that any of this insane shit happens and it will be the last I believe. Yeah, we're any look, shit is going to get even crazier from here on out. It's just where this book is going and often outside of the memorials to kill a guy. And it's the only time Altman never raises his internal emotion above the low hum of being annoyed at being mildly inconvenienced. Yes.

It never goes beyond that.

Kevin Erhard  45:55
That's pretty much it. That's pretty much it. Yeah. So after that the marker is in. They have they are they're pulling the the marker up in the next in the next chapter is they're they're bringing it to the surface. They're bringing it to the surface. Markov reminds Altman like, Hey, you're like, you're almost expendable, because I don't need you to pilot this submarine anymore.

Phil  46:25
Keeps he keeps doing that. He loves He loves that. He loves that term. You're gonna hear that for Markov a lot. You're expendable, and you're expendable? Yeah. That cats expendable that tractors expendable, expendable spindle, it's just the loves that

Kevin Erhard  46:38
word loves it loves it. Can't get it.

Phil  46:41
He learned it. Like I think he learned it like a week before he took this this duty.

Kevin Erhard  46:45
Yeah, he basically has, he has like a word of the day calendar. And right before he got hired, he started like, oh, expendable. Okay, right. Yeah, I

Phil  46:56
can use that in a sentence. Like that one time I guy was watching the office years and years ago when it was still new. And there's a moment where Jim said, uses this phrase that I did not know. And he says six of one half a dozen of the other. And I'd never heard that expression before. And my girlfriend at the time had to explain it to me. And I thought that and when I realized what it meant. I was so charmed by it that I used it so frequently that she nearly broke up. So yeah, so I get it. I get it. But I think that's the position that Mark office in right now.

Kevin Erhard  47:36
Yeah, I mean, he's in a real six in one half dozen. The other position.

Phil  47:41
I know. Exactly. Thank God, you understand what I am saying? What happens? It's six of one half dozen of the other. Yeah, thank you for listening to the six of one half dozen of the other podcast. We will be discussing

Kevin Erhard  47:58
eggs. My name is six in one alongside half dozen of the other

Phil  48:08
it's gonna replace our our handles can fill the half dozen of the other

Kevin Erhard  48:21
So yeah, basically, Markov just tells Altman to bring the sub RAM back and park it like we don't need it. Right.

Phil  48:35
They're done. They're done. And they bring up they bring up the the marker. And yeah, it's pretty clear that they're done with Altman. He's not invited to the party. He doesn't he's he's not going to get to investigate the marker. So yeah, so the next chapter is basically him trying to get in

Kevin Erhard  48:57
he's trying to he's trying to be a sneaky boy. Yeah, yeah. And right

Phil  49:01
up the beginning of chapter 47. What is up with this author's obsession with like, cartoonish toadies? We've got Tim, Tom and Terry. And now we've got different guys that are like you got a couple of guards who sound like, like the mob characters from an old Bugs Bunny cartoon where he's like, he's trying to bluff his way and he says, I'm supposed to be in there to bring the marker up. Do you have a pass as one guard? Nobody gets in without a pass?

Kevin Erhard  49:32

Phil  49:35
Nobody really the boss says so nobody know the boss is like two and a half feet tall with a really big hat. Yeah, like just

Kevin Erhard  49:44
yeah, the boss is like, you know, paid played by Peter Lorre or something like that. Right? Or the Bugs Bunny. Like you know how they would draw Peter Lorre and those cartoons with like the

Phil  49:55
Oh God. Yes. Yeah. I think I was in my mid 30s before it even saw Peter Lorre and had like a reference for who he was outside of a Cartoon Parody. That was just that's how that's how you Bic witness that portrayal is

Kevin Erhard  50:13
with like, the really heavy eyelids. Yeah, yeah.

Phil  50:17
Yeah. Fucking Robin Williams as the genie and Aladdin pretending to be Yeah, you know, it's just I seen them. I've seen it 100 times before it actually seen the guy and you're like,

Kevin Erhard  50:29
Oh my God, that's exactly it's like shits like him it is exactly

Phil  50:35
the real thing. So he's trying to get in to get to the marker. He gets he gets a little glimpse. He gets a little glimpse

Kevin Erhard  50:46
gets glimpse, you know? Yeah. And then he realizes

Phil  50:49
his only chance to get to do it is to be a profit, I guess.

Kevin Erhard  50:57
Like, it's like the it's just like the Ferris Bueller ification of Altman.

Phil  51:05
Right. He just needs like, he's like, alright, if I'm gonna get in there and look at the marker. I'm gonna have to like let these these cultists see my dick or sorry, rather the piece of the marker that I've got just exactly what he does impressions on

Kevin Erhard  51:22
you. That was a that was a spot on Matthew. Like, that was that was a that was a spot on meet at Matthew Broderick, I gotta tell you,

Phil  51:34
God cuz I've never done that one before. He goes back to field. And he's like, Hey, I gotta see the marker. Cuz, you know, we all know how the markers alive and totally the Prince of Peace and King of the Jews right at so he's totally hip, and an eye the marker wants something from me. So I gotta go in and you guys got to help me get in there. And it basically he does he has the piece of the marker that he stole still. And he shows it to field and field just like basically. Yeah, yeah. Like, like, like the finger bone of of dead. Yeah, Eastern field

Kevin Erhard  52:18
field has a field. He he orgasms just a little bit.

Phil  52:24
Just a little. Just a little.

Kevin Erhard  52:29
Can Can I hold it? Yes.

Phil  52:34
Which which out of context, you have to admit sounds pretty bad.

Kevin Erhard  52:39
So we're not bad. You know?

Phil  52:41
We're not bad.

Kevin Erhard  52:42
I mean, can be good. It can go either way, depending on if there's, you know, depending on the context,

Phil  52:49
right. So, so they Yeah, they basically strike up an arrangement. He's gonna work with a bunch of like Harmon and these guys who, who they're all basically on the side of the religion. And, and so they're going to dress them up as a guard in a uniform, and going to sneak in past the guards to go see the marker.

Kevin Erhard  53:15
Snake. This is a sneaking mission. Right,

Phil  53:19
right, exactly. Exactly. Almost as this moment they get given a uniform and outfit. That's the same as HARMANs. And it's all mustard. And it has this kind of help. Yes, well, they recognize me in any case, maybe, said Harmon. But they won't try to stop us. They won't question the past as long as you have the uniform. If we have trouble it'll be afterwards, which is a risk I'll have to take. And that might be the stupidest thing said in this book. Like there's like really saying like, yeah, you know, if, if you they'll look at you and realize you're totally not who you say that you are. Oh, no. Don't tell don't hear, though. No, but yeah, you're gonna let you go, you know, and we'll deal with it afterwards. It's like, what the fuck are you even talking about? It's like you're writing the book, give them something else.

Kevin Erhard  54:11
Like, just just make it a better scene. Just right. Just don't just select it and delete it and make this a better scene. Yes,

Phil  54:21
that's all just make it better. And it would be one thing, it would be one thing and it still wouldn't be great. But it will be one thing if this was meant to lead to some, like scary standoff moment. You know, like, the codes are a little older, but it all checks out. You know, that kind of thing. Like, stand up on something. It doesn't it goes exactly as planned without a single hiccup. If they did, yeah, they get in there and they go and there's the marker and he takes out his cell phone and starts taking pictures.

Kevin Erhard  54:54
Harmons like Nobody's allowed to visit it. And and like It's like why are you drawing the line here Harmon like what the fuck?

Phil  55:03
Right? You broke in you just broke in, you're gonna be court martialed, like and you're like, but don't take video of it What the fuck are you talking about? It's like, like we murdered that guy. Yeah, but don't take his wallet What the fuck? Yeah, yeah, you know it's so so Altman gets all this this information, he starts packing he gets back to his room starts packing up getting ready to roll and clearly he is he's ready to leave he's he's ready to escape like let's get out of here. Let's get out of here let's take this evidence that I've got and God only knows how this is going to work out let's blow this popsicle stand. Exactly so and that leads us to a rarity in this book a chapter that is the POV not evolvement

Kevin Erhard  55:59
yeah yeah well in the first remember in the first part, it was like no element at all. Or it's true it was sure it was not it was it was every other chapter was like Chavez Altman Chava Altman and then like Part Two is no Altman and then But then part three on it's been all Altman all the time. And that's true. And now we get a Markov chapter. And he's just like, This chapter is basically Markov just being like, Fuck, I don't know. There's called there's a convergence is shit happening? I don't there's there. I don't know what's going on.

Phil  56:39
You fucking nailed it. That's exactly what this Fuck, I don't know.

Kevin Erhard  56:47
Like EJ asked if like cracks is like, Hey, here's some shit mark. I was like, Well, what's your recommendation? And cracks is like, I don't know. These guys are crazy. And

Phil  56:59
the religious fanatics are finally paying attention to them. They're nuts. You know? It's like like we should you don't want to get in cracks is like, he's like, No, don't fucking crazy. Kill him. Take him out.

Kevin Erhard  57:12
Take him out deal with this is BS.

Phil  57:14
You know? Yeah, Mark. I was like, no. You know, like, like, it's not gonna you know, it's I don't know about that. And cracks kind of convinces me like, Yeah, we're gonna we're gonna have to, it's gonna get ugly and we might as well be ready for it. So we are prepping for the proverbial shit to hit the proverbial air conditioning unit. Yep.

Kevin Erhard  57:35
So the proverbial air conditioning Oh, God. So yeah, basically, there's more like now there's there's a there's a there's a kerfuffle there's there's a rumble going down in the marker chamber and scientists are protesting cracks is and his team are down there and yeah, field is really there they're fighting

Phil  58:10
over they're fighting like the cult is they're like trying to protect the marker essentially Right? Like worried that they're gonna take it away there's gonna be some some bad that'll happen something that they're gonna destroy the marker in one way or the other. And they get into Yeah, they get into a big scuffle. And in order to make it and cracks basically shoots the marker, right. He like he shoots it a couple times. Nothing happens to the marker. It's fine. But the cult freaks out and starts going okay. Yeah, yeah, like Well Just don't hurt anymore. And cracks gets like a splitting migraine in that exact moment. And doesn't seem to take any notice of any significance to that. No, suppose

Kevin Erhard  58:56
No, but cracks does then. Take Take it all I mean, just more proof that religion is a dead end. Right? Right. Which is

Phil  59:08
which is the right message that you came to in the room with.

Kevin Erhard  59:14
Then he smiles and he says he hadn't had so much fun since the moons the moon skirmishes,

Phil  59:20
the Mon skirmishes cracks

Kevin Erhard  59:23
have gone to the moon.

Phil  59:26
It's like those old every time they bring up like the moon wars. I think of like those old cartoons and comics and stuff, where it's like it was made in 1956 and they're like, yes 2007 We are fighting on the moon. You know? How you got okay.

Kevin Erhard  59:45
The boys really high spirits on the front.

Phil  59:50
Fighting space communism. So yeah, they Yeah, he's just he's just happy got to shoot a guy because he did. field in the foot

Kevin Erhard  1:00:00
you Sheffield in the leg? Yeah.

Phil  1:00:02
He shot him on the leg. Yeah, yeah. Um, so he's in a good mood. And you know what if you got if I got to shoot field in the leg, maybe I'd be in a pretty good mood too.

Kevin Erhard  1:00:10
Yeah. And the next chapter we get a, and, like, I was surprised that we finally got backstory on Terry, Tim and Tom. Oh, my God, we totally do. Tim and Tom are brothers and Terry is unrelated.

Phil  1:00:26
He's just there for the rise.

Kevin Erhard  1:00:28
He's a thin guy with glasses that carries a large caliber gun. Tim and Tom are brothers large men who looked at enough to be to be twins.

Phil  1:00:37
Yeah. And they are. Well, here's the thing. They say that they look enough alike to be twins. And then not far down the way they say that they are indeed, twins. Basically, one of them is 99 minutes older than the other. Yeah. So they kind of like that. I don't know. It's like he was so caught up in writing another one of his the backstory on one of his cartoonish toady characters that he was like, yeah, they're twins. No, they're not. Yeah, they are like, just come on, man.

Kevin Erhard  1:01:06
Yeah, just pick it. Just pick pick something.

Phil  1:01:09
Yeah. So they're guarding like, what are they doing?

Kevin Erhard  1:01:15
What are they doing? Like I don't even know what what's happening in this chapter. What the fuck is happening in this chapter, all men is doing something but there's, there's he the pulse had started again. And then there's there's the geologists who may or may not be the same API geologists as before I think it's the same one now he's got he's got a name a gazes I guess a gases

Phil  1:01:44
gases gases.

Kevin Erhard  1:01:48

Phil  1:01:51
basically, they're trying to like they're trying to they're they're hurting the way out they're guiding

Kevin Erhard  1:01:57

Phil  1:01:59
Yeah, yeah. And Ohlman obviously wants to get out. Okay, it started trying to come up with some sort of plan for

Kevin Erhard  1:02:05
that Yeah. Oh, they were in the land compound. Okay, they were back at there off the I missed the part where they actually got off but yeah, they were there in there. Basically they were shipped off field is there with them. They're trying to now leave the compound and they're like no. But skewed the disposable Scott the disposable assassin it has some research equipment. And he's still still doing some some research. And they keep seeing ghosts.

Phil  1:02:38
Yeah, he's not he's not going anywhere. So basically, they're trying to this is this is sneaking mission. This is and this is taking maternal. So he's, he's walking down the hall. It's late one night he's walking here this and then suddenly, late one night walking down the hall. He realized that the guard on duty at the front door Tim or Tom was talking to himself. He watched him gesture to empty air and then hold out his rifle and let go of it. It clattered to the ground and he just left it there and then went rapidly down the hall passing Altman without a second glance. Nobody was guarding the door. Saltman grabs the gun, scoops it up and just runs the fuck out, takes advantage and goes now. This is another moment of like, just someone is bad at their job, right? And therefore he takes advantage. And if you're wondering what the fuck happened? Well, the next chapter is gonna tell you,

Kevin Erhard  1:03:37
the next chapter tells you Tim is on duty and his dad shows up and starts talking to him and says here, basically. He, He gives he the dad says, Hey, Tom Talion stop talking. And Tim's like I'm gonna go check on him. Now, dads, the dads it goes to dads go

Phil  1:04:03
stabby dads it goes. And he's like, and it's it's it's so again, we get the total madness. The total Enos of this character like that cartoonish bullshit is so over the top. It's it's so cartoonishly buffoonish. It's, you

Kevin Erhard  1:04:22
know, give him the rabbit Lenny.

Phil  1:04:25
Right. So it goes dad basically tells them you know, go check on your brother. He goes he finds his brother. Brother

Kevin Erhard  1:04:35
went you know at Tom or Tim or whoever. It's Tom. Tom is dead.

Phil  1:04:40
Dead. Dead and his throats cut. He cut his own throat in much the same way that many of our characters have done. Rest in peace, Tom. You will barely be remembered If so, thanks. That's a wrap on Tom.

Kevin Erhard  1:05:00
I'm Tim. I think I think both Tom and Tim. I don't recall if we get any more Terry either, but it doesn't

Phil  1:05:07
matter, because they really are a package deal.

Kevin Erhard  1:05:11
They're really a package deal, because in chapter 51, suddenly, Altman is having a press conference in Washington DC with the footage of the marker.

Phil  1:05:23
Oh, my God. All right. So this is the beginning of what I call the Great back and forth of Altman. And I don't mind I'm not gonna give anything away, per se. But this is the beginning of several moments. In the final 30% of this book, where Altman disappears, he runs away, he's he's escaped,

Kevin Erhard  1:05:51
he has escaped.

Phil  1:05:54
He's escaped and he is he is basically taking his video footage of the of the the marker that he took, and he is showing it everywhere. He's getting all these press conferences done. He's on TV in the way that nobody ever would be. We know how this works. Ladies and gentlemen, there are way more convincing things on the internet. And the New York Times does not pay attention at all because a crack is a crank and a crack box a crackpot and that's clearly what Altman is, even if we happen to know that he isn't. So anyway, that's what he's doing that the the the part five ends with him being some whistleblower, people like, oh, man, maybe this is proof that there is alien technology on the planet. Maybe they says a government conspiracy in the way that nobody except for the people who believed in pizza Gatewood

Kevin Erhard  1:06:49
Yeah, the ticker says the ticker below him says Michael Altman whistleblower or paranoid,

Phil  1:06:55
right, right. It's like, no, no, no, come on. So he does this, I don't mind telling you guys. He's gonna go back. And then he's going to leave again. And then he's going to go back. And then he's going to leave again. And none of it means anything. It means nothing. It means less than nothing is just so this is the this is the beginning of the Great back and forth. And we'll get into way more detail on

Kevin Erhard  1:07:27
yep, yep. On the next episode, we'll cover the great back and forth learning of Michael Altman. There's only two parts left in this book, Part six and part seven, I believe, right? Is it

Phil  1:07:41
it's a yes, this is this is we are we are rounding the bend here. And it's just like this book that were when we were dealing with a mysterious pulse. Our it ended with grants and and, you know, research into getting one of those. And and then we get actual footage of an alien art artifact. And the character's reaction is to take it to the press hold

Kevin Erhard  1:08:08
a press conference in Washington, DC.

Phil  1:08:12
Yeah, dead space, a story of doing things by the book.

Kevin Erhard  1:08:19
Michael Altman goes to Congress.

Phil  1:08:26
It's just

Kevin Erhard  1:08:27
his test. Like he's testifying in front of Joe Manchin who is somehow still alive. Right?

Phil  1:08:36
Yeah, he's he's still there. He hasn't and no one questions it by the way on questions. It's that even the markers freaked out by that guy

Kevin Erhard  1:08:43
that he's got coal running in his blood. That's what keeps him going. Steam Punk Senator overlord Joe Manchin, right who runs on coal.

Phil  1:08:54
All hail, all hail his Colet holiness Corley. Holy

Kevin Erhard  1:08:58
cow man. What's bad God, Virginia.

Phil  1:09:04
Exactly. Oh my god. They've somehow resurrected Strom Thurmond in this universe as well. Oh, God,

Kevin Erhard  1:09:12
it is. Part Six is hella unleashed in that. I mean, really, if if hell is unleashed? I imagine Strom Thurmond is going to be leading the charge.

Phil  1:09:21
Oh, my God. Yeah, just a head in a jar balanced carefully on a Confederate War Horse. Like, that's just that's what we're dealing with here. We say no, you know what? No, it's not because that would actually make for an interesting book. Yeah. Yeah. Actually want to read that.

Kevin Erhard  1:09:39
Strom Thurmond, by the way, live to the ripe old age of 101. Which see that oh, God, motherfucker. Like he was the he's like, he was like the Emperor.

Phil  1:09:52
And some sometimes evil is is a is an amazing preservative. Yeah,

Kevin Erhard  1:09:56
it is. I'm really, really sorry. salts the skin and the Oregon's

Phil  1:10:06
just that crispy crackly good fried chicken skin. Strom Thurmond man

Kevin Erhard  1:10:18
he was yeah that's that was his that was his beauty regimen that's a deep fat fryer in the back of myself in a row myself in flour none I have my good friend Paula Dean get me into the deep fat fryer in the back when Lady and Sons buys me another 10 years.

Phil  1:10:41
They use they reuse that oil on the chicken afterwards. Wow the way

Kevin Erhard  1:10:45
gives the chicken its distinctive flavor.

Phil  1:10:49
The flavor of evil

Unknown Speaker  1:10:50
racism and hates

Phil  1:10:55
that is a Southern Gothic novel. I will absolutely right.

Kevin Erhard  1:10:59
Fried Chicken is flavored with evil evil.

Phil  1:11:05

Kevin Erhard  1:11:06
that is that's like If Stephen King was born in South Carolina, he would have written that already.

Phil  1:11:12
Yeah, he would have written that and it's two sequels. Wow. Now

Kevin Erhard  1:11:17
that's basically like, it's like the the mangler verse, but but for a fried chicken place.

Phil  1:11:24
Oh my god, I loved the mangler. That's so stupid.

Kevin Erhard  1:11:31
But yeah, I think I think a gothic horror novel set in a fried evil fried chicken place.

Phil  1:11:42
I think it's time has come. It's time has

Kevin Erhard  1:11:45
come. Yeah. Well that'll do it for today's episode. Remember to rate us five stars on Apple iTunes and Apple podcasts. And follow us on the podcast platform of your choice and remember to go ahead and follow us on Twitter and you know share the podcast share with your friends. Share with your family and share with your enemies and share

Phil  1:12:10
it with your evil southern relatives share

Kevin Erhard  1:12:12
it with your your favorite evil southern senator. Because hey, they deserve a good podcast too and maybe it will soften that cold dead heart of theirs.

Phil  1:12:26
Maybe the delicious crackly skin with that delicious

Kevin Erhard  1:12:29
chicken fried crackly skin. Taste good y'all. Have a good night, everybody.