Chapter Seven – A Case of Hero Worship
Reb and Token exposit together. We learn that they’ve now been there for three weeks. They’ve eaten nothing but meat the entire time. Somehow, I have the feeling that there should be a lot of health problems present in these people.
Token is weaving vines into a fish trap. He’s already woven vines into a rope to make Reb a lasso. Reb asks him the question which you’d think he’d have asked him a long time ago, which is how Token knows how to do this.
“We always made stuff like this where I come from – baskets and things like that” (page 65).
Token has never given any indication of being anything other than your average, typical black American kid from the South. As such, this isn’t really a convincing explanation. On the other hand, all of the Sociopaths have new, amazing skills from their past that suddenly come in handy this novel even though no mention has ever been made of them before.
Token completes his fish trap and they head down to the river with the chief. Apparently the river is full of fish, although these people have absolutely no way of catching them. Not even spear-fishing. Which becomes readily explained – these people haven’t even come up with the concept of spears yet. I’m starting to wonder how they’ve survived in the land of velociraptors and T. Rexes.
Eventually they pull the trap out and it’s full of fish. They go back to the caves and eat, and Dave asks them to tell them about Greska. The witch doctor does so. When he’s done, Dave starts to talk about Goel, but no one’s particularly interested.
The next day Josh and Sarah sit and talk. They share a Moment, but they’re interrupted by Reb returning, yelling like a Rebel. Because he’s from the South, and that’s what Southerners do. And guess what he’s riding? Wait for it…a Stegosaurus. A young Stegosaurus. Which wandered off from the herd and so Reb lassoed it and tamed it in about fifteen minutes and then fashioned a bridle and taught it to turn and start and stop.
Seriously. I can’t make this stuff up.
The tribe comes out to look. Lom is delighted and says they’re going to eat tonight. Reb says no dice, he caught it and it’s staying alive. Lom is angry, but the chief sides with Reb.
The next day Dave goes down to trap some more fish. Eena asks to come along, and he says sure. Sarah pulls him aside and says that Eena probably has the hots for him and to be careful, but Dave blows her off. They get down to the river, which is flooded and extremely fast. They put the trap in, and Dave settles down for a nap. He wakes up to hear Eena screaming, because she’s fallen into the river and can’t swim. He dives in and rescues her and she stares at him with love in her eyes. It’s all very contrived. Later, when Eena’s telling the story, it’s Reb’s turn for an idiotic quote:
“Trust you to find a pretty girl and save her life. Never seen you fail” (page 74).
Like pretty much everything else that the Sociopaths say to each other, it doesn’t make any sense, because Dave’s never saved anyone’s life before, let alone the life of a pretty girl.
That night, Lom punches Dave and tells him to stay away from Eena. Dave, rather admirably, doesn’t fight back, but tries to explain that Goel sent them to help them. The witch doctor immediately shouts him down and says that he had a dream that said Goel is weak and they should follow the Dark Lord. Dave tries to argue and convince everyone that Goel is actually the cat’s pajamas. Needless to say, he fails miserably.
Chapter Eight – Sarah’s Admirer
Dave works with Beno on a secret project. Every time I see the word ‘Beno’ my mind tells me ‘Bean-O’. I’m not really sure what this means, but it’s making it harder for me to take him seriously.
…Not that I take any of these people seriously.
Dave makes a drawing with a pencil and a piece of paper. I’m not exactly sure where the pencils have come from – or the paper, for that matter – since you’d think they would be fairly scarce in a post-apocalyptic world. The most likely explanation is that they were left over in the capsules and the Sociopaths have had them all along. Then again, we’ve seen nothing thus far that has indicated this.
But the drawing is of an arrowhead. Dave explains the concept of a bow and arrow to Beno, and tells him to make as many arrowheads as he can. Then Dave heads out to find some wood. And the flimsy rationale continues:
He had been interested in archery back in Oldworld. He had even made a bow or two (page 78).
It’s amazing how all the Sociopaths have all these hidden talents which have never been seen or even indicated until this very moment where they need to whip them out and show them off, isn’t it?
Dave collects some wood and piles it in the cave. He then meanders outside just in time for a ferocious-looking dinosaur to come out from the trees. And yes, that’s the exact description that Morris uses. It’s about six feet tall and has sharp teeth and big claws on its hind feet. So it’s kinda like a velociraptor. All the women and children run screaming and the men grab their weapons and form a line. Dave wants to run away but apparently is too ashamed to actually do it. So the dinosaur attacks and knocks people down and gives a few random red shirts wounds but can’t managed to kill Clag or Lom, even though they’re in the thick of things, and finally they manage to kill it.
Later, they’re eating roasted velociraptor and Sarah’s been tending people’s wounds, including the wounds of a chap named Raddy, who’s been following her around a lot. Raddy goes over to Dave and says that he wants Sarah as his mate. Dave explains that this is impossible. A long argument ensues, which leaves Raddy pissed off and Dave angry with the rest of the Sociopaths. Personally, I would have just married Sarah off, and asked if he wanted Abigail as well, but that’s just me.
The next day Dave heads off to work on his bows. Eena follows him and she asks why he wouldn’t give Sarah to Raddy. He explains the concept of dating, and, hilariously, uses McDonald’s as an example of one of his prime dating spots.
Later, Dave runs into Josh, who is suspicious as to why Dave was gone with Eena all day. Dave explains that they were working on bows. Josh is concerned, and points out the really obvious fact that this is probably not a good idea, because what happens when one tribe has bows and arrows and another tribe has only clubs? Dave, of course, thinks this is ridiculous, because they’re only going to use the bows to hunt animals. He blows Josh off and saunters away with his nose in the air.
Chapter Nine – Dave’s Scheme Backfires
God, I love these chapter titles. I don’t think I’ve mentioned this before, but they really are fantastic, aren’t they?
Lom has killed a large deer. Everyone is happy because they’re going to eat. Around the fire, Lom gets up and tells a long story about how masterful a hunter he is and how he brought down the deer. Dave gets pissed off because Lom is bragging. Were he a little more educated, he’d know that this is perfectly natural for the culture. Regardless, it means that Dave is bringing his standards to this culture, which is more or less expressly what Goel told them not to do.
Beno watches Lom reenact the hunt. He is sad. Sarah goes over to sit by him. He says, sadly, that he wishes he could hunt.
Sarah had no answer, but she stayed with Beno, trying to cheer up the young man (page 87).
Aheh. Heheheh. Hhehehhehehehehhehehhehehhehe. Okay. Moving on.
Finally Lom sits down and shuts up. Dave gets up to introduce the bow and arrows. Josh again recommends that he doesn’t, and Dave again blows him off. He tells the chief he’ll kill something from far away, and then he tells Eena that he’ll bring it back for her. Which infuriates Lom. Ah, Dave. Y’know, to save time, I think I’m just going to say ‘Ah, Dave’ whenever Dave does something excruciatingly stupid or hypocritical.
Then, because Morris figures his audience is too dense to figure out what’s going on, he cuts over and has Josh explain everything to Sarah. And they flirt a little bit.
They all head out to hunt the next day. Eventually they find some game in a thicket, and the men circle around to drive it towards Dave. Dave’s carrying the bow, which is a six-footer, and quite thick, and I highly doubt a fourteen-year-old could draw it. But a razorback leaps from the foliage and charges towards Dave. And we get more or less an exact carbon copy of the scene where Reb kills the pig in the Camelot book, except this one ends with Dave shooting the pig, with a bit of help from Goel. Chief Clag thinks that bows are the greatest thing ever.
That night, Dave gets up and tells the story of the hunt. And brags like crazy. Reb calls him on it, afterwards, and Dave manages to feel a very slight amount of guilt before moving past it. Ah, Dave.
Clag gets up, and talks about how awesome the bows and arrows are. He asks Beno if he can make more. Beno says yes. Clag says that when they have lots of bows and arrows, they’re going to go kill Mord’s men and take all their women. Everyone cheers.
…who didn’t see that one coming? Ah, Dave.
I dunno. I get the feeling I’m going to be using those two words a lot.