The story so far... well, we're only on Chapter 2, so there isn't much of one yet. Blah, postapocalypse, Russians in control of the US(S)A, noble freedom fighters just had their city nuked, Nazis all got eaten by swamp monsters, various members of Rock Squad got injured by ninjas. If you're new to these threads, all of those things happened. Yes.
Rock'n'Rona are out huntin' to feed the inhabitants of CC until they can magically repair their unlikely hydroponics lab. Surprisingly, the second chapter continues this hunting trip rather than getting on with the slightly more important freedom-fightin' business, as they return home with their team of hybrid horses.
The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. But not in the Colorado Rockies.
Must be due to the hilliness. Those Ottomans, they knew what they were doing.
This line is not explained, however, as Stacy goes off on a page-long digression about the various forms of wildlife that can be seen in the area. This includes razor-beaked hummingbirds, three-winged owls and armor-plated skunks. The singing ferrets are not mentioned, they must be endemic to a different part of the Rockies.
Now a bit of overblown authorial wanking over our hero. Brace yourselves.
Only when one soared closer, as if looking through the eyes of a hawk swooping down from its cloud-shrouded nest, did one see the face of the man who led the team. There was something about the face, something different from other men. Perhaps the eyes. Eyes in which one could see no fear. Not a trace, not a glimmer. Eyes that had loved and knew love, but now as they surveyed the trail, the thousand-foot drop below, the sky above, were clear and cold as a panther's, a snake's. Eyes of pure perception unclouded by the neuroses, the fears, the trembling nightmares of twentieth-century man. For those alive in 2089 AD lived the nightmare. Every second it threatened to strike out of nowhere. One had to be able to react with the speed of a striking snake, the strength of a cat, to live.
So Rock has.... the eyes of a snake and the strength of a cat? Er, OK then.
Not only this, but apparently he walks along by "carefully placing one foot in front of the other", and exists in perfect harmony with all nature, even the scurrying chameleon lizards, in a state of perfect warrior enlightenment. I was wondering what the point of all this was, until I got to the very next paragraph, where the purpose of the contrast becomes clear.
"Rock, I'm getting tired," Rona shouted from about twenty yards behind on the trail.
Yep. Women, eh? Never shut their yaps, distracting the men from their perfect warrior consciousnesses. Looks like AwesomeHardcoreRona has outstayed her welcome, and Stacy has remembered just how much he actually hates women.
"When the hell do we stop?" she whined, joining in the bray of the beasts.
Rock is rudely wrenched from his reverie of communing with nature by this shrill interruption. He takes a brief moment to acknowledge Rona's fighting prowess (though of course she's nowhere near as good as himself)... BUT.
And though he thought that perhaps sometimes he might love her, her frequent lapses into childish histrionics, particularly in the middle of the most impossible situations, made him want to put her right over his knee and spank some sense into her. The Post-Nuke world was not a place to play games in, or to sink into infantilism.
Yeah. Pfft, chicks, what can you do? Rona has further hissy fits and continues shrieking for at least the next hour, which our hero tunes out as a meaningless noise along with the animal howls.
Finally they reach a place to stop and camp, but Rona is now doing the Silent Treatment and stomps off into the trees without a word, as Rock smirks behind her back and makes helpful comments about how children should be seen but not heard.
But she had to learn. God only knew how she had survived all these years, tramping through forests and mountains, talking a mile a minute, complaining, stopping to admire the view.
Probably also picking flowers and breaking her nails at inopportune moments, I wouldn't doubt.
On cue, a scream! Rock dashes to the rescue, only to see Rona being threatened by... a moose. Rock is so awesome that he immediately recognises it as a herbivore, and scares it away with a few warning shots, then lectures Rona on how stupid she was to walk around unarmed. And its teeth were really blunt anyway! Obviously those are the only possible danger from a 1500-pound animal with huge antlers and hooves that can charge at fairly high speeds, but we'll let Stacy's lack of wilderness knowledge slide here in the face of the egregious and continuing misogyny.
Rona is contrite and sheepish. She knows she's being a bitch and now she can't even look Rock in the eye, so ashamed is she of her behaviour. It's only because she loves him so much and now she's jealous of Kim! It serves her right for all those times she led men on and broke their hearts.
Rock, for his part, has done little to discourage Rona's affections, even as far as telling her he loves her. But it looks like Kim may be making a reappearance sometime later this book. Watch this space!
Edited by MinDonner, 07 December 2012 - 12:04 PM.