Hola, sorry for my tardiness
Chapter 9: Ghosts in the Machine
- I really want to know what Pex yelled at the walnut.
- I now have a vision of the dwarf sized hole literally only being one or two feet deep...i.e., small enough that he'd just be able to crawl out anyway xD
- Pex and Chips forgot about Mulch...whaddya reckon he could have just casually walked away and that would’ve been the end of it? [/\rtynote: But that wouldn’t have been part of The Plan ]
- What other "jobs" have these guys had to pull...well the what is obvious....I suppose why is better. Is the phone business that competitive? *glances at various iPhone/Samsung commercials* Oh. Maybe it is then.
- I love Mulch readily has a plethora of synonyms for drivel off the top of his head....which is fitting as drivel and waffle are his specialties.
- “Turn up the music” Don’t we all, Pex, don’t we all…
I really want to know how that phone call would’ve gone
Blunt: Are you done?
B: [frowning] What's the problem?
C: Uh, well, the prisoner is surly and being mean. He's calling us names and being smart with us.
B: SO KILL HIM.
C: Oh. Yeah, okay sir.
(Okay, I guess it wouldn’t be that L O L –y, but still. I like to imagine this has had to have happened at least enough times that Blunt has had a year or two of life exasperated off of him.)
“Got everything coming to me.”
STOP IT, ROXANNE.
One more bit before returning to the list –
This whole scene with Pex, Chips, and Mulch, it dances just a dram into being quite dark for a ‘children’s’ book. Not anything that’s said or done, but rather…the implications of it. At that, P&C come right out and put it to print.
There followed a short silence as Pex and Chips tried to come up with something worse than the usual straight shooting.
Could you imagine if a gangland style execution was legit depicted here? I started writing something, then kinda thought better of it.
I’m not complaining at all, mind. More, I’m more inclined to be proud of Eoin for sneaking it in there.
I’m probably overanalyzing it, but that’s a bit of brain candy for you to chew on.
- Ah, so if Chips is into Barney, then Pex must have been the Hooker!
- Even Pex and Chips are boomer enough to hate the young folk, lol. How old do you reckon they are? 30s, 40s? What sort of career or work did they do pre-Spiro? Club bouncers? Professional weight lifters that burned out? Or ‘roided out?
(100% fair game to reference steroids as Artemis does later on)
The girl twisted her ponytail. 'As much as any of us can, like, own anything. One world, one people, right, man? Ownership is, like, you know, an illusion. Maybe we don't even own our own bodies. We could be, like, the daydreams of some greater spirit.'
Well, damn, Juliet, I wasn’t expecting to have to start questioning life and philosophizing. You go take that drivel
back to Socrates!
- Deep frying sushi. *snickers, feeling the Murican Freedom cry of an Eagle*
- “Assassin” is an awful lofty term for these two.
- My copy keeps saying “van” ….and I think that is the term used in my OG Yankee copy…but this vehicle sounds more like an RV or similar small-scale motorhome.
- Foaly considers Artemis enough of an equal that he's pleased to know he's needed. That Artemis’s opinion of the centaur warrants him as being a necessary factor in the operation. Foaly loves all this just as much as Holly.
- The way Holly takes point, I think we can infer Artemis told Holly more about the plan than the others.
It's little things like her taking point on the plan, briefing with Juliet and Mulch, and the "spooky" smile that I can get A/H shipping. / totally get on board with!
- How much do you think Artemis knew? Those canisters of knockout/paralyzing gas would've had to have taken some time to acquire, unless Holly just happened to have them in her Recon kit. [Editing /\rty: Oh he knew.]
- For all his external projections that may suggest otherwise, Mulch is a professional in his trade.
A stab at math:
Juliet and Mulch travel to the 85th floor, I believe. They begin their ascent at 4:05am and it ends at 4:20am*. This means it took the pair approximately 15 minutes to climb 85 stories. The average storey is 14ft. 85 stories equates to roughly 1190 feet…which puts Mulch’s average speed as being able to climb 77 feet per minute, or to break it down even more, 1.3 feet per second. All this from a dude not even three feet tall, with a passenger twice his size.
*It should be noted that we get the time 4:20am only after Mulch and Juliet gain access after scuttling along the window for what could reasonably be assumed as anywhere from two to five minutes. (Which means my proposed rate of climb is most certainly off.)
Since we're at it, we may as well note they technically start from the roof of their "van" which roughly puts them at starting from maybe 10-14 feet...meaning in less than 15 minutes, Mulch scaled 84 stories...not 85.
Chapter 10: Fingers and Thumbs
- I hate to come off as a misogynist, but man, Juliet is really earning her TOB status. Not the most tactical lass, getting (almost) busted by a security camera instantly. Along with butting heads with Holly and generally not offering more to the plan than seemingly rounding out the team numbers. Come to think of it, in the first book, she got capped by Holly by foolishly taking her sunnies off.
- A little more math: Over 2000 cameras in the building…Spiro Needle has 86 floors…but no cameras on his penthouse floor (typical) so that’s 23.5 cameras per floor.
- ”Panther-like,” hehehe. That’s the same description used with Butler. In one of the other books anyway.
- It’s interesting that Pex (or Chips) would have been able to reveal much information of any use. Do you reckon they gave up more information than they knew they had? Like a Limitless style thing where they might see/hear things but don’t consciously register/utilize them?
Seems dodgy, putting a somewhat crucial part of The Plan to the chance these guys know what they’re talking about.
- YOU HAVE ONE JOB, JULIET. ONE JOB. CAN YOU PLEASE TRY NOT TO GET CAUGHT
- I don’t blame you, Holly. Too many variables indeed. But you’d go anyway.
- Follow the laser, Foolproof. Another nod to the first book.
- The bromance between Foaly and Artemis is for real.
- Foaly was doing DeepFakes before it was cool.
- Holly is totally channeling her inner-Root with Foaly.
- So in theory, a sleeper deeper could keep someone awake...or keep someone in a specific cycle of sleep. So if someone was in the middle of a gnarly nightmare and the Sleeper Deeper is deployed....that unfortunate napper's nightmare is sustained indefinitely? Sounds mildly dangerous, depending on the person's nightmare and heart condition.
- I'll give Eoin this one: Now by this point, us veterans know it's not Spiro and we may question how Artemis doesn't recognize him. Would you be able to recognize / discredit an imposter of someone in the middle of the night you had only "met" twice?
- I could easily see in an "updated" version with the fairies having a (portable) 3D scanner / printer capable of perfectly replicating the hand.
- Eh, don't worry, Holly. If you mess it up, then maybe we could give (fake!)Spiro a hook for a hand. Pex would dig it
- At this point, it would’ve been easier just to Mesmerize "Spiro"
- Y’know, Artemis is more honest than we give him credit. Yes, he deceived/misled Holly with the scanner, but he could easily have passed that off as an underestimation of Spiro’s security. “How was I to know he’d have a gel scanner?” It circles back to something I asked before: How much had Artemis planned/anticipated beforehand in Ireland? Sounds like a good majority and the “tour” was simply a formality/a confirmation of his suspicions.
Ultimately, we can conclude that Artemis’s pride for being right is more important than being perceived as incompetent (and possibly instilling any doubts in his team over his plotting abilities)
- And how, Holly, should magic be used in your opinion? So vague B&E is okay, suppressing a person’s free will through Mesmer is okay, but temporarily slicing a finger off is negligible/crossing the line?
- If Cudgeon were still around and caught wind of this, he’d bio-bomb the block and bat nary an eye.
- *snickering at the Hook vs Barney bit* Pex was the OG Hooker before Colin O’Donoghue made it cool(er). Respect.
- Holly default punching Artemis when things don’t go as expected.
- All of a sudden, I’m having this plot twist notion: Knowing the mind wipes are imminent, Artemis decides to throw his lot in with Spiro or runs off with the Cube, a fresh start on his life on the horizon.
- *gasp* It’s a trap? What a surprise!
- Soooo back in Ireland (we’ll assume, why not?) Artemis concocted this Plan B and specifically had Holly tell Foaly “Btw, just in case it’s a trap and Artemis gets caught and things go sideways, you’ll remotely takeover the Cube and assume its identity and if Spiro asks about the LEP, tell him it’s a Lebanese TV Network.”
And no one raised an eyebrow to wonder if that was just a little too much foresight?
'Don't make me laugh. They haven't invented a unit of time short enough to measure how long it will take me to crack the Phonetix hard disk.'
A Planck, Foaly. It’s called Planck time. Quantum physics, dude, look it up.
*dubiously glances at Cab* Right?
- Anyone else feel like Plan B had more planning than Plan A? I suppose we can argue that the variables in Spiro Needle were too unknown, that it was inevitable/highly likely for discovery/capture thus Artemis thoroughly detailed Plan B in a more “controlled” location i.e., Phonetix. It’s akin to TLC where he nudges that demon dude Billy Kong(?) into going to Taipei 101.
- Incompetent Phonetix security is incompetent. Two guys in the whole building and neither one caught the intruders.
- What, there aren’t stairs that lead down to the super secret lab? OSHA would have a field day.
- S u p e r s e c r e t l a b. WHY. Again, is the phone business really that competitive? My dudes, they’re all about the same phone that’ll die in six months, just in time to get the updated model.
- I don’t think I’m understanding Juliet’s plan. How is blowing the doors down there going to be any help? xD
IS SHE DEVIATING FROM THE PLAN???
- (I swear I don’t mean to be riding her. Apparently I need to ride at least one character per book. This time it’s Juliet )
- How considerate of Spiro to permit Artemis a monologue.
- Playing the shoulder game. That’s honestly so wholesome and utterly adorable.
- And here it is at last, with Artemis using the chaos in lab as cover to fudge Mulch’s criminal record, I think we can safely say Plan “B” was Artemis’s true intention the entire time.
- Ten seconds a character is quite a lot of time when you consider most passwords now have to be anyway from 8 to 16 characters. Especially in a battle climate, which can end as fast as it starts.
- Juliet coming to terms with not being “perfect” / equal to her brother’s standards. And being okay with it.
- Oooh, a grudge match between the Jade Princess and Blunt Teeth! BT hurt her big bro! It’s sooo personal! (How did that go in the first book? Lolol)
(Is it really a grudge match if Blunt doesn’t even recognize her/know who she is?)
- Captain Hook would’ve kicked everyone’s butts.
- Brakes? Where we’re going we won’t need…brakes.
- I’m a little sad Root doesn’t have as big a role as in the first or second…especially considering what’s to come
*pants* Alright. So there we have it.
A big thing that threw me here was that I took at face value that “Plan B” was
a Plan B and accordingly took my notes in such a fashion, as I went back over them, it became clear some were obviously illogical/ non-noteworthy…
Part of this stems from a crucial detail: Inside the Needle, it's specifically pointed out that Artemis can talk to Holly and co., but it's not two-way communication. Meaning they can't plot as effectively with back and forth scheming. That they would have to have a lot of this plotted out beforehand.
Again, a lot happens here! Artemis is captured, rescued, the Cube is cracked and recovered!
It might have been a tad more fun to mess with us the reader that perhaps the Cube did
go rogue and decide to help Spiro…but again, that prolly would have been too obvious a ploy for us to buy.
A retrospective note is that it’s awful convenient Spiro and Co. were so open with their passcodes. No attempt to fox or shield the hand tapping the numbers.
Whoo! Go Iris and AA! Keeping us on track/honest
Battery wrote: ↑
Wed 19th Aug 2020
Iris wrote: ↑
Sun 16th Aug 2020
- Further evidence Spiro's employees are relatively well looked after! Even more benefits beyond the dental plan. Day care centers and stock options. We can hardly call him the villain in this book, can we?
...This has actually dispelled my mental image of him as the real-life tech billionaire, thank you
Lol, now my image of Spiro is essentially aging businessman looking to escape the 9-5 grind. xD
Battery wrote: ↑
Wed 19th Aug 2020
artymon I\/ wrote:Juliet's patriotism seems a tad off. Like...okay, you might have been born there but your home for the most part seems to be Ireland. Seems more of a sentimental/rose tinted glasses love than a genuine deep rooted born, bred, and raised Murican love. Course, she does seem to have violent tendencies influenced by American television wrestling programs. *shrugs*
I kind of love the idea of Artemis and Butler being appropriately proper/sophisticated while out to lunch with Juliet, while she plows her way through a loaded cheeseburger while wearing an American flag shirt
….headcanon accepted. xD