First Light Chapters 14 and 15… and 16 – Ground Control to Major Bill

It’s arts and crafts hour here in Plane Crash Camp, so Dan and the boy from before (his name is Zach) are making snowshoes. Zach’s mother is appreciative for the distraction.

dont cry craft

… and then he [Daniel] wondered about the boy’s father, if he was at home waiting by the phone for word of his wife and son. … He thought about all the mothers and fathers on board the plane, the living ones and the dead, and their families waiting for word of them, anything but waiting around, not knowing. It was not only Kerry who needed saving.

 

Yeesh Dan, way to be a real Debbie Downer.

At one point Zach stopped and looked at Daniel. “Have you done this before? he asked

“Made snowshoes? No.”

u ever seen a grown man naked

Dan bullshits his way through an explanation that because people have been using snowshoes for thousands of years that this plan will work. Zach is easily distracted and looks at Kerry’s absolutely dead body, reminding us all of the futility of life. Then he adds the cherry on top by making a crappy snowshoe.

He tied the ends of the snowshoe together and then began weaving the shoelaces across the frame… but as it turned out he didn’t tie it tightly enough, and as soon as he pressed down in the center of it with his hand, the shoelaces gave, pulling the frame apart with them, so that Zach ended up holding the long green stick and a lap full of multicolored shoelaces.

FUCKING ZACH.

you blew it

Millenials ruined the snowshoe business with crap like this. YOU’RE WORTHLESS ZACH. WORTHLESS. You practically dragged this plane down by the nose yourself.

Dan is more patient than me, though, and helps him make a second pair that manages to hold his weight.

He was brushing pine needles off his lap when Bob came over.

“What are you doing?”

“Making snowshoes.”

“Bullshit.”

Bob has become the comedic-relief somehow.

Bob has no time for other zippy one-liners, he wants to start taking matters into his own hands. Dan plans on using the snowshoes just to get to the top of the hill, but Bob wants to go the distance. He wants to travel into the Yukon to try and find some help. Dan continues to tell him that this is a terrible idea. However, it is getting more credence as time goes on and supplies get low and Kerry gets deader.

Daniel didn’t want to say what he was really thinking: that Bob was in no kind of shape for the trek to come, nor did he have the slightest idea of how quickly exposure to the elements could shut down a human body. … If he got sick, if he collapsed…

You’d get a replacement executive who would let you have leave for your wedding? Possibly one that knows how to run a company and how benefits work? You should finish your sentence Dan, because I’m failing to see the negatives of this outcome.

Bob says screw that and is gonna go with or without Dan. He commissions Zach to go get him more branches for another pair of snowshoes, which means he’s going to fall face first in the snow when they inevitably break. Bob asks Daniel what he would need for his expedition and for some reason Dan humors him.

Daniel sighed, thinking. “Extra clothes, as many as we can put on. There’s no food left.”

“I stashed some. Some bags of pretzels, some water, a couple of sandwiches I brought back from the tail.”

oh my god

So, Dan, you’ve just been told that Bob, an older man of thick stature, has withheld food from people, who you have said are just as sick as Kerry, and Zach, a child, while you are all trying to survive in the Yukon wilderness during a snowstorm. How would you like to respond.

Daniel was silent. Bob had hidden away food that could have been feeding the passengers, thinking of himself as usual. It didn’t matter. Bob was Bob no matter where he went. He was always thinking of himself first. “Fine,” Daniel said.

Okay. You have lost all your rights to complaining about Bob because at this point, you’re practically enabling him. It could have been interesting if this turned into a Lord of the Flies mutiny situation but nope, ignoring it works too. Lets continue to let plane crash victims starve so you don’t have to confront your boss.

ur a bad person

He thought a minute. “A couple of empty water bottles instead. Um. Snow goggles.”

“You think they have any on board?” Bob asked.

“We can make some. A strip of dark cloth will do the trick. We can tie it around our eyes and cut slits in it to see through. If the sun comes out, it’s going to get awfully bright out there. Our eyes won’t last half a day.”

“How would you know that?”

“Ever gone for a walk in the snow? It doesn’t take a genius to figure out.”

“Okay, Grizzly Adams. Anything else?”

You’re about two chapters too late for that joke to land, Bobbo. Also, even I know that, I don’t think this would be the outrageous survival fact to know. So Dan and Bob keep planning their romantic Yukon getaway.

Bob sat in his spot on the floor nearest the first-class cabin, pulling one of the thin airline blankets around himself and settling down to wait for the boy to return…. In the dim light, Bob’s white hair looked like a crown, like something out of an old legend or fairy tale.

Um, that’s… some weird idiosyncratic imagery. I mean, I was joking about the romantic getaway but perhaps this just means that Bob/Dan just became confirmed endgame canon.

this ship sails itself

Dan continues to tell himself he’s just going to the top of the hill and THAT’S IT GUYS. He’s tooootally not going to abandon Kerry to the wilderness. Nope.

That night Daniel lay curled around Kerry in the dark, willing not only his body heat but his health, his strength, into the frail form beside him. Her and the baby both.

M I N D  M E L D  W I T H  B A B Y

mind meld.gif

When he wasn’t worrying over the trip to come, he was reliving the entire plane ride, starting first at the airport in Anchorage, when he’d watched the news and been relieved the flight was being allowed to leave. When the flight attendant….

I’m gonna’ stop you right there Dan. You don’t get to relive the only thing that’s happened in this book as we approach the final hundred pages.

Sometime in the night, Kerry’s whole body went rigid, her legs trembling as if she were in pain.

Ugh, classic Kerry, making everything about her again. Just because you’re having a “horrific seizure” doesn’t mean you have to make a fuss about it.

Bev comes over and says she needs fluids. The plane has IV’s in the emergency kit. But for some reason no one has thought to thaw them back when they were wondering where to get water from. The seizure is a no bueno sign, if she was in an ER, they’d intubate her immediately. Alright, Dan, whatcha’ gonna’ do?

“The only thing I can do,” he said. “I’m going to try to get us all some help.”

Huzzah! It only took him three pages to backtrack on his promise and go for gold with his best action-movie protagonist impression.

sunglasses

“You can be my wing-man any time, Bob”

Alright, next chapter.

“We’re almost to Edmonton,” I say. “Twenty miles. We should probably stop there for the night.”

Wait what.

For the last hour, Jackson’s been quiet in the back of the car, listening.

MISS JAY IS MEGA SHOOK

ARE YOU BEING SERIOUS RIGHT NOW?

no, No, NO. You do NOT get to pull the framing device back in on us all of a sudden. You’re giving me whiplash here, Bill. There’s only a hundred pages left! What could be so important that we need to be reminded about the car ride right now??

She touches the black journal in her lap. I know very well what’s in there, what it says. Jackson will, too, soon. And what will happen then? Will it change him? I wonder. Will it change all of us, the life we’ve built?

what the fuck are you talking about

Why did you not include the journal in the first two chapters if it was so damn important? No joke, this chapter is only a page and a half long, and that’s the only explanation I can gleam for why we even have it at all. Nothing else happens, Jackson asks some questions and then they go to rest.

So… yeah, let’s just… move on I guess to Chapter 16 and try to forget that nonsense. My brain hurts.

Dan wakes Phil up in the morning because he needs to talk to him.

Phil sat up a little too quickly, the reality of their situation coming back to him all at once. “What happened? Is Kerry all right?”

Daniel was looking away, not at Phil but at the place where Kerry lay on the floor nearby, covered with the winter coats of the dead or missing passengers. There was a stillness about her that morning that Phil didn’t like one bit. He had to resist the urge to hurry over to her and shake her awake, beg her to open her eyes.

What is it about Kerry’s unconscious form that makes people want to shake her violently so bad?

shake em

IT’S. GONNA. BE. OKAY. BABE.

“You’re leaving?”

“I have to.”

“She needs you. I won’t do her any good.” Phil felt his anger rising. What did Daniel mean by deserting her when she was so ill? What could be so important?

“If there were anyone else to go, I’d gladly let them.”

“Anyone else could go. It doesn’t have to be you.”

“I know a little bit about surviving outdoors.”

“A little bit? Why, because you have a house by Lake Superior? That doesn’t make you qualified to lead an Arctic expedition.”

I’ve been wondering this shit the entire time, man, welcome to my world. I’d offer you booze but your insides are bleeding.

Phil’s confidence in this plan does not increase when told that Bob is coming along.

“I can’t believe you’d do this to her.” He glanced over at Kerry. “You know what it will do to her if you die out there. You don’t even care–”

“That’s not it at all,” Daniel said, standing up inside the cramped space, towering over Phil.

“You’re going to freeze to death, you’re going to kill yourself this time, and all because you’re constantly trying to prove yourself to Bob–”

“I told you, that’s not it.” He spoke through clenched teeth.

Phil went silent. If he thinks I’m going to go along with this, him and Bob getting themselves killed to prove what men they are… Stupid macho posturing…

Phil, feminist icon.

He comes around when Dan tells him that Kerry’s pregnant and seizing all over the damn place. Double whammy bro.

Phil looked at the still form of Kerry on the floor of the cabin. He couldn’t bear to look at Daniel, for the other man to see the pain on his face, the fear. They both loved her. They would both try to save her life, if they could, but only one of them was the father of her child.

Phil, cuck icon.

Dan tells Phil where Bob and him are headed in case the rescue team does come. If Kerry wakes up, Phil has to send some smoke signals to tell Dan to come back.

Daniel stuffed a few supplies into a backpack he’d found among the luggage: a few candy bars, a couple bags of peanuts, an extra coat and blanket. He hesitated, then packed a black book from his suitcase, the one Phil had seen him scribbling in from time to time.

23456

Yeah this book that has never been mentioned at all before this point. Ugh.

And thus, Dan leaves Phil with some parting words.

Daniel put a hand on his shoulder. “You didn’t do anything wrong, you know,” he said. “Emily, I mean. You left for a few hours. You needed a break.”

“She nearly died.”

“But she didn’t die. You didn’t abandon her. You came back…. Listen, I understand why you’re being so hard on yourself. It must have been hell, trying to take care of her under those circumstances. Anyone could understand that.”

Would they? Would his wife forgive him, if she were here in front of him now?

You idiot, said the voice of Emily, the one that lived still in his head. You know I never blamed you for any of it. You’re the one who won’t forgive yourself.

Has anyone ever told ghost-Emily that she’s a real piece of work?

Don’t worry Kerry, you’re now in the capable hands of Phil, a feminist cuck who hears his dead wife reprimanding him at plot convenient times.

Next week, Dan and Bob make out in the snow.

 

Kathleen: Hey guys! Hope you’ve been enjoying our romp through Bill Rancic’s incompetency. But, sadly, we’re in the home stretch and will soon be moving on to a different book. You may have noticed that there is a poll of the front page. If you’d like to vote for one of the options (or have an idea of your own) please go vote! Or you could be unmotivated and let this important decision be made for you. That’s cool too.

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