Chapter Four – A Welcome Visitor
One of the cavemen steps forward. And right now the only picture I have in my head is one of the cavemen from the Geico commercials. It’s not really helping me take this seriously, and I try to take these books very seriously.
Seriously. That’s where most of the humor comes from.
At any rate, we instantly get an idiotic quote:
he said “You come to Mordor” (page 39).
Two things: First, why does everyone speak the exact same language? People didn’t speak the same language before the nuclear war, why does everyone speak the same language (which, oddly enough, bears a remarkable resemblance to English) afterwards? Then again, it’s quite possible that all of the action in this series takes place on the remnants of the United States, so it should be a conglomeration of English and Spanish.
Second, this is a lost world. These are caves that time has forgotten. Okay, well actually it’s not. This is a small island and it’s not that much above sea level. I think the nuclear war and ensuing earthquakes, land upheavals, and general destruction would have ensured that anyone who lived on this island before the nuclear war would have been drowned, which means that this island was settled after the nuclear war – which doesn’t really explain why these people live like cavemen and why there’s dinosaurs here, but let’s forget that for a moment. These people are cut off. They have no contact with the outside world. They probably don’t even know that an outside world exists. There is absolutely no reason why they should use the exact same name for their country as everyone outside of their own little place.
Dave says that Goel sent them to help the cavemen. The caveman introduces himself as Lom, and says that they’re bad people, spies, come to kill them. Which doesn’t really explain why he’s standing around talking to them instead of burying his axe into Dave’s forehead.
Another cavemen grabs Sarah’s hair. She screams. Reb (not Josh, note) jumps to save her. Instantly someone knocks him down. This is Reb. This is the same boy who was kicking the ass of every trained knight in Camelot one book ago. Suddenly, he’s unable to handle a caveman when a girl needs protecting. Way to drop the ball, Reb.
The cavemen think about killing Reb, and finally order the Sociopaths to come with them. Cue the forced march and the dialogue about how much more in shape these guys are. The cavemen don’t let them talk. Finally they stop for a break. Dave tries to get Lom to take them to their chief. Lom ignores this, and says that they’re going to give them to Greska. Who is their god, basically. So the Sociopaths are going to end up as human sacrifices. It would be awesome if there were any chance of it happening.
The next day the sun comes up. Apparently Greska is the sun-god, or the sun. The cavemen grab the Sociopaths and drag them out into a clearing. The Sociopaths exchange a few final goodbyes, the cavemen raise their axes, and…a teenage girl appears from the foliage.
Her name is Eena. She looks them over. Dave tells her that they’re friends. Eena tells Lom to take them to the cave instead of giving them to Greska. Now, as it turns out, she’s the chief’s daughter. Unfortunately, these people are cavemen. They live in a male-dominated society and as will shortly be revealed, the women have more or less no rights. So Lom really should laugh in Eena’s face and get back to bashing in some skulls. But he doesn’t. Instead he walks off in a huff and all the Sociopaths sigh in relief. And Token gets a really…interesting…quote:
“I don’t know who that Eena is, but she kinda reminds me of John Wayne coming with the cavalry to save the wagon train” (page 45).
I’m not seeing the similarity, actually.
Dave and Eena walk along. They talk. Dave thinks about how hot she is. Ah, romance. Finally they come to a giant cliff. High up on the cliffs are some caves. They reach the base of the cliffs and meet the chief, whose name is Clag. Dave says they’ve come to help. The chief thinks for a bit, and says that they’ll eat now, and talk about it.
Hooray, Eena’s saved them.
Chapter Five – No Room for Kindness
The Sociopaths head on up to the main cave. Dave mutters about the cavemen’s egotistical views. Abbey starts coughing because the cave is full of smoke. Sarah slaps her on the back – yeah, that’s going to do a lot of good – and tells her to not let the cavemen see she’s offended. And then Sarah immediately goes over to Josh and starts talking to him about what they’re going to eat and how she hopes it’s not something horrible. Just the kind of thing to say in front of your hosts.
Chief Clag gets up. He tells them that if they prove themselves honest and honorable, they’ll be welcomed. If not, they’ll be sacrificed to Greska. Which is odd, because there’s no indication that this culture has any concept of ‘honor’, or really, anything besides ‘Me strong’, ‘You weak’, ‘Food good’ and stuff like that.
Dave gets up to respond and starts to talk. Everyone is too stupid to figure out what he’s saying, even though it’s fairly basic stuff. So instead he just thanks them for pretty much everything and sits back down. Everyone eats. Abbey notices that the women and children just get what’s left over. This infuriates her. Dave tells her to shut up. Then he goes over and talks to Eena for a bit. They flirt a little and Dave asks her if Lom is her boyfriend. After explaining this, Eena says that no, Lom is not her mate. Eena takes Dave over and introduces him to a crippled chap named Beno, who apparently is the only guy who can chip flint into axe-heads. Which I find odd – you’d think that Beno would have at least a few apprentices who’d assist him in the rather important function of making axe-heads. Then again, Beno needs to have his own little ‘niche’ and I guess if he wasn’t the only guy who could do this, he wouldn’t be Special.
Eena takes Dave down to the ground and shows him a big field with grain growing there. Dave eats a few heads, and then tells her that he knows how to make it a lot better to eat, by making bread. Eena has no idea what he means. So apparently these people have mastered planting and harvesting wheat, but not actually making bread from it. Okay. And it wouldn’t be complete without a completely idiotic quote:
Dave stared at her in admiration. “You’re probably the first farmer in Nuworld” (page 54).
Right, so no one else has done any farming for the past fifty years? Not even the farmers that you met back in Camelot?
Later, after it’s dark, everyone gathers in the cave. The witch doctor comes out and starts dancing around waving a rattle and chanting. It’s very cliché. Finally the witch doctor starts shouting that they should feed the Sociopaths to Greska. Lom and a couple of guys jump up and start to do just that, but Eena shouts, and it’s only this (because Eena is Just That Speshul) that makes the chief stop them. They argue, but the chief wins. And then Token gets a stupid quote:
“That old guy’s mean clear through. I’ve seen lots of folks like him” (page 56).
He’s seen lots of witch doctors try to offer him up for human sacrifice? Somehow, I doubt this.
Later, as the Sociopaths get out their blankets to sleep, Sarah and Abbey notice some guy staring at Sarah. Apparently he’s been staring at her ever since they arrived, which means that yet another person has fallen for Sarah. Which is something I find rather odd – much is made of how beautiful Abbey is, along with her rather whorish nature, and we’re also told that Sarah looks rather plain. As such, there’s no excuse for why Sarah gets all the attention, unless it’s the one that Morris can’t mention: she’s well-endowed.
Which could explain why Josh likes her so much.
Chapter Six – Bakery
All the boys head off hunting with Clag. Girls, of course, can’t hunt, so they stay behind to take a bath. The concept of which is one the cavemen don’t understand, and it’s too difficult to explain. [?] So Sarah and Abbey head down to the river, bathe, shampoo their hair, and then Abbey whips out her makeup case that she bought at the shop in the little fishing village. Because post-apocalyptic fishing villages sell makeup cases with lipstick and mirrors.
They smear makeup on Eena for awhile, and then Sarah asks her to show them the wheat field. She has Eena and Abbey start gathering some, and heads back to the cave. On the way she finds a large flat rock with a perfect round hollow in the top. Which is amazing, because I’ve seen millions of rocks in my life but never one like that. She also finds another round rock for grinding, and then a lot of flat rocks to build an oven. Turns out the tribe has a goat, so Sarah milks it into a stone bowl (stones are so useful) and they grind flour and make bread in a very long and uninteresting scene. And everyone is happy.
Finally the hunters return, and wouldn’t you know, they’ve caught almost nothing. Hilariously, it seems that these people’s diet consists more or less entirely of meat. And that’s all. For hunter-gatherers, they seem to not spend very much time gathering. If they can’t find meat, they starve. No berries, no roots, nothing of that nature.
Lom, however, is not happy with the bread. He decides to kill the goat and its kid so the tribe has meat. The Sociopaths protest. Unfortunately, Lom caught it, so it’s his. He bashes it over the head and everyone chows down.
Later, Dave and Eena talk. She’s sad that they no longer will have milk to make bread. Dave says that he’ll catch another goat and give it to her. She’s delighted and takes his hand and they share a Moment. Then Dave notices Lom giving him a murderous glance and pulls away.
File that one under ‘ominous foreshadowing’, I guess.