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Maithanet

Doomsday Warrior: The Return of Ted Rockson

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The year is 2089.  America was destroyed by a dastardly nuclear first strike by the Soviets.  One man embodies the hope of all freedom loving Americans in their desire to liberty.  That man:  TED ROCKSON.

For years, we relied the illustrious @MinDonner to relay the tales of the great Rockson and his band of freedom fighters (continued from here).  But recently I offered to assist her in her quest to bring Ryder Stacy's 19 book epic to the masses here at Westeros.  Like Samwise carrying Frodo up Mount Doom, we must get to our final destination of an America free of Soviet tyranny.  Maybe the rest of the world can have some freedom too, we'll see if there’s any left over. 

Min made it through most of book 9, and I’m just going to be starting fresh with book 10.  

Highlights of the first nine books:

-          Rock’s girlfriend Rona has white nipples, which proves she’s the reincarnation of Eva Braun.    

-          100 foot tall mutant slugs can be herded using boomerang.

-          Sikh cavalry are marauding the plains of America in search of Soviets to kill.

-          The Pony Express is back in operation.

There’s plenty more, but that gives you an idea of the kind of adventures we should expect in this series.  On to chapter 1!

 

Book 10:  Doomsday Warrior:  American Nightmare

You know how the first sentence of a book gives you a feel for the prose and tone of the entire story?  Well how's this for a concise, thrilling opener:

Quote

The vulture soared high above the slowly moving dot that its keen eyes tracked far below.

Yeah...

Ted Rockson is walking through the Utah desert and it is brutally hot.  Why doesn't he walk at night and seek refuge from the sun during the day?  Because Ted Rockson is not very bright.  He escaped from Soviet captivity in book 9, and now he's walking to Century City (the capital of Free America).  He nearly dies of thirst until he finds and eats a bloodfruit.  But then he suddently feels terrible - oh no, the bloodfruit was poisonous!  But Rockson is too manly for mere poison and recovers in a single paragraph.  Why did we have that poisoning diversion at all?  Beats me.  

Don't worry, Ryder Stacy sprinkles in fun facts like this tidbit:

Quote

If he could just avoid hypothermia - extreme loss of body heat - tonight...

Uhh, yeah, that's what hypothermia is all right. 

But then Rockson encounters a Soviet patrol!  Rock tries to hide, but they've spotted him!  He's being pursued by "A tall Soviet officer with a gold left eyetooth".  That officer must be having a really good day - nothing like patrolling the nuclear wastes to bring a smile to your face.  Thus ends chapter one.

Don't worry, Stacey/Rockson have plenty of zany adventures in store for chapter 2.  I peeked ahead and it would seem that Rockson engages the Soviet officer in a battle of wits (of sorts).  Any guesses?  Looking at all the Rock Squad veterans out there @larrytheimp, @Gillio, @maarsen, @unpaid comintern, @Triskele, @lacuna

Edited by Maithanet

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Yaayyyy!

 

He tries to hide? And furthermore, fails to hide?

 

#notmyrockson

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Fuck yeah!  Can't wait for more mutant pony express pony povs!

And more manly manliness than you can shake a poisoned blood fruit at.

 

 

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6 hours ago, Maithanet said:

-          Sikh cavalry are marauding the plains of America in search of Soviets to kill.

 

OK, so overall this is just awesome, but I have a specific question about this one above.  Sikh sounds pretty un-American to me (though cavalry sounds awesomely American, but I digress).  Are we OK with these Sikh's given the context and that they're hunting commie filth?  I just want to be clear that I stand with Rockson no matter what.  

And now that we're all back let me point something out to anyone who's had it escape them:  Rockson is a patronomic surname, which means he may as well be Ted, Son of Rock.

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15 hours ago, lacuna said:

He tries to hide? And furthermore, fails to hide?

Oh yeah, he does that too.  So I guess he engages in two battles of wits. 

 

10 hours ago, Triskele said:

OK, so overall this is just awesome, but I have a specific question about this one above.  Sikh sounds pretty un-American to me (though cavalry sounds awesomely American, but I digress).  Are we OK with these Sikh's given the context and that they're hunting commie filth?  I just want to be clear that I stand with Rockson no matter what.  

And now that we're all back let me point something out to anyone who's had it escape them:  Rockson is a patronomic surname, which means he may as well be Ted, Son of Rock.

The Sikhs were definitely not American, they even had the temerity to say "Down Cur!" to Rockson (in perfect english).  Since they allied with Rock against the Soviets I suppose they're all right, but we'll keep a close eye on them to make sure they don't immigrate over here or anything.  This is our post nuclear radioactive wasteland, and if we let a bunch of foreigners settle in, it'll turn into a real hellhole. 

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Chapter 2 begins with our optimistic young Soviet officer, Lev Streltsy.  Amazingly, Streltsy is actually a Russian military unit from the 16th to 18th century that roughly translates as "musketeer".  Did Stacey do some research?  That's weird.  

Anyways, our boy Streltsy is an ambitious young officer who is training a corp of KGB officers at his outpost towards personal loyalty.  He knows that taking over the KGB and ruling North America is more possible now that Killov is out of power.  Sometimes he casually brings up rebelling against Moscow, just to see how everybody reacts.  Apparently there are no loyal informers in the KGB, since he's still alive.  He also seems to be quite the Francophile, since he refers to his loyal cadre as musketeers several times, and his personal torture chamber (we all have one of those, right?) is called the Bastille.  
 
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Rockson intended to do his best to avoid joining the "jolly company" {?} of KGBers coming after him.  He knew from the uniforms that these were Killov's {they're not} sickboys {??} and he was sure that their welcoming committee had more than tea planned for him when he finally gave out.

Right...does Rockson have a lot of people over for tea?  Is he British all of a sudden? 
Anyways, Rockson hides for a bit, and then gets knocked out by a convenient blow to the back of the head.  Surely no brain damage for ol' Rock, although who could tell?
Rock wakes up to Streltsy taunting him in the Bastille torture chamber.  
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"What...what do you want from me?"  Rock gasped, feigning fear.  In tight situations, making your opponent underestimate you is a useful strategy.  In truth Rockson was not afraid.

Rockson wouldn't know fear if it smashed into the back of his head!

Streltsy knows who Rockson is and is planning to torture Rockson for information.  But first he needs to explain his dastardly plan in detail.  Like the worst torturer ever, we proceed with several pages of Rock asking questions and Streltsy providing extensive answers.  
 
Then Rockson is tortured by a large Russian named Relsk for a couple of hours.  This would no doubt phase a lesser man, but of course Rockson hasn't given anything up.  Strelsy tries to get the location of Century City (didn't the Russians already nuke CC, and thus must know where it is?)  Rockson isn't talking so we get more torture, this time Rock is strapped to a big spinning wheel.  We get plenty of stupid quips from Rockson like "we know how to block pain, make it feel like tickles."  Then Rockson makes his most stunning gambit yet:
 
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I'll never reveal Century City's location by means like this.  But stop the wheel.  I'll play a chess game with you.  If you win, I'll talk.

:blink:.  Apparently Streltsy is the #2 chess grandmaster in the western hemisphere, so this is really quite a coincidence. Streltsy takes this offer, nothing like bargaining with someone you're torturing amirite?  Rockson is "careful not to mention that he was the Inter-Free City chess champion".  Rockson has been careful not to mention this in any of the previous nine books either.  When exactly are these chess tournaments happening?  Right between rebuilding from that Century City nuclear strike that happened a few books ago? 

Quote

Streltsy said he wanted Red, Rockson would play white. 

I looked it up and apparently some old timey chessboards have red and white pieces, although that seems really weird to me.  Streltsy is really generous, he's wants Rock to have first move.  Perhaps, like Indigo Montoya, he's also playing left handed?  What a thoughtful host!  And don't worry, we've got the match, in it's entirety:

Quote
Rockson         Streltsy
1.  P-K4          P-QB4
2.  N-KB3       N-QB3
3.  P-Q4         PXP
4.  NXP          P-K4
5.  N-B5         KN-K2
6.  N-Q6  Mate!         

 

I'm not a chess expert, but i mapped out this game.  My quick take is that none of the players made any illegal moves...but that's about all I can say for it.  Grandmaster chess this is not. Streltsy's fifth move is literally the only move he could have made to allow Rockson a mate in one.  

What's more amazing is the inclusion of the game at all.  Like, why not just say Rock got a mate in six?  Why show us this preposterous sequence?  It's like "show don't tell" gone horribly wrong.  TELL us he's a grandmaster and then SHOW us you were lying.
Of course Streltsy doesn't honor his word, and decides to drag Rock to death in his jeep.  How you are going to get useful information from someone this way is unclear.  Regardless, he's dragging Rockson with 60 feet of rope (presumably they only have rope in 60 feet sections or they would have used a shorter one).  Fortunately, Rock is apparently not too affected by all this dragging, since:
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Rockson managed to position his body so that the ropes on his wrists scraped the surface, wearing the fibers thin and allowing him hope to break them.

Hate to break this to you Rock (or Stacey, who can tell) but rope is a lot tougher than skin.  Unless the Soviets are just using crappy rope?  That must be it.  Anyways, a storm comes up removing all visibility, and this gives Rock his chance! He breaks his ropes, and flees into the eye of the storm!

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I haven't seen that notation used in a long, long time. Here's the more common version of the chess match:

1.  e4          c5
2.  Nf3       Nc6
3.  d4         PxP
4.  NxP      e5
5.  Nf5        Ng8-e7 (??)
6.  Nd6
9 hours ago, Maithanet said:

Streltsy's fifth move is literally the only move he could have made to allow Rockson a mate in one.

Technically, moving the other knight (the one on c6) to e7 allows exactly the same mate. But yes, if those two are considered experts, chess playing ability in post-apocalyptic America has declined as precipitously as everything else.

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11 hours ago, Altherion said:

But yes, if those two are considered experts, chess playing ability in post-apocalyptic America has declined as precipitously as everything else.

That would certainly be believable, although with Soviet Russia coming through the nuclear apocalypse mostly intact, it is hard to believe they would be similarly diminished.  I mean, this isn't "second chair in a high school chess team" bad, this is "just taught my ten year old the rules" bad. 

I know I shouldn't expect any more from Stacey, but he just keeps finding new ways to surprise us. 

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I gotta track down some of these books.

 

@Triskele I am torn between 'Killov's Sickboy' and 'Ted, son of Rock'.

 

Quote

Streltsy takes this offer, nothing like bargaining with someone you're torturing amirite?  Rockson is "careful not to mention that he was the Inter-Free City chess champion".  Rockson has been careful not to mention this in any of the previous nine books either.  

I'm dying here

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3 minutes ago, larrytheimp said:

I gotta track down some of these books.

I'm dying here

Glad you like it :D

I'm enjoying this book, the terribleness of the prose is truly unique.  So many non sequiturs, abrupt changes in POV and inexplicably strange word/sentence choices.  But I'll admit, the analysis is taking longer than I expected.  I'm sure I can manage book 10, but I don't know if I can promise more than that.  I have no idea how Min made it through 9.5 books.  She truly is a saint. 

I'm considering a Rockson themed custom title, I'm on the lookout in chapters ahead for the right one. 

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Wait, so the capital of Free America is Century City? And the pinkos don’t know where it is? Do they know where Beverly Hills is? Because if you can find Beverly Hills you can find Century City.

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10 minutes ago, Myshkin said:

Wait, so the capital of Free America is Century City? And the pinkos don’t know where it is? Do they know where Beverly Hills is? Because if you can find Beverly Hills you can find Century City.

What's weird is the Soviets know Century City is in Colorado but apparently are unable to find it in spite of having, ya know, planes and satellites and stuff.  It's like the book has decided that since CC is mostly underground, it cannot be found through normal means.  Perhaps someone put a glamour on it? 

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14 minutes ago, Maithanet said:

What's weird is the Soviets know Century City is in Colorado but apparently are unable to find it in spite of having, ya know, planes and satellites and stuff.  It's like the book has decided that since CC is mostly underground, it cannot be found through normal means.  Perhaps someone put a glamour on it? 

Um, Century City is in L.A. 

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15 minutes ago, Myshkin said:

Um, Century City is in L.A. 

Shh!  They'll hear you! 

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Shit, sorry. I never meant to give away our secrets comrade fellow yankee pal.

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Quickly the storm rages out of control, and a massive "duel tornado" appears!  

Quote

It seemed as if the hand of Gad had come to arm wrestle with the devil in Utah. 

I know who I'm taking in the classic hand vs arm battle for arm wrestling supremacy.

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First spawned in the holocaust of the great nuclear war, the Kala-Ka were violent upheavals of nature, storms marked by sinister double tornado funnels often over 100,000 feet high, each spinning in opposite directions. 

100,000 feet sounds really high for a tornado.  Quick, to the googlebox!  According to the internet, the "height" of a tornado kind of depends on how you measure it, but if you're being generous about it a height of 12 to 15 miles is possible.  So this 100,000 foot high tornado isn't too outlandish.

But this tornado isn't mere set decoration, oh no, we've got some (sorta, maybe) foreshadowing.

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Indian legends were rich with tales of the storms.  Some fanciful tales claimed that the storms were "Time-tornados" - tunnels in time!

And surprising no one, Rock is sucked in!  Stacey is really laying the pseudoscience on pretty thick:

Quote

Once engulfed within the pressurized magnetic field of the storm, Rock shed the puny force of gravity and encroached on another dimension.  He felt himself spinning through space, yawing and tumbling, protected from collisions with other objects by the strong magnetic field that charged everything within the storm's eye, causing objects to repel each other.  

Uh huh. 

Like Vincent Vega coming out of the bathroom, Rock's circumstances have dramatically changed. 

Quote

He had barely arrested his forward motion when an automobile screeched by him only inches away, driver leaning on the horn and cursing out the window.  It was a red Toyota.  "Out of the road, you tramp!" he bellowed.

Yes, Rock has apparently been transported back in time to 1980s Salt Lake City.  Gone is the masculine, confident Rockson we all expect, instead we get things like:

Quote

But...but..." Rockson gasped, gawking at the man's strange clothing and pointing around in a stupor...Rock continued on his way, his jaw hanging open, staring into the city as he approached.

So...yeah, Rock is walking around like a stunned duck as the citizens of Salt Lake City yell at him for being homeless.  Be sure to come back for Chapter four as we get more adventures of Ted Rockson - Confused Vagrant.

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Rock stumbles around Salt Lake City, getting kicked out of various establishments.  He encounters another homeless man and asks where he can get some water.  The man points him to a public fountain, and there he has a drink and a quick bath.  But then he's picked up by the police, who are both wearing badges with Rooks on them.  They take him to the station and then his crazy answers mean he's sent to the psychologist (every local jail has one, right?)  The psychologist is names Roy G. Biv, which indicates that Stacey is trying to cram some jokes in here, but like the rest of this chapter, it isn't really working.  

But soon something seems amiss besides just poor writing!
Quote

"He needs music.  This man, Theodore Rockman, C.P.A., a solid citizen according to records.  He must be drunk.  Perhaps his ears got clogged up and he didn't hear the music and got confused."

Ook, I'm thinking this music thing is probably going to come up again.  

 
Quote

 

"Let us take him to the music room.  Give him some easy listening for a night."
That didn't sound so awful a sentence, Rock thought.  

 

That's right Rock.  Surely nothing bad will ever happen to you.  

 
Then, after two chapters of stumbling around bizzaro Salt Lake City, Rock comes to a realization.  
Quote

 

He had to think, organize what he had seen and  heard in this weird city, and draw some conclusions.  First, this had to be an American city.  He hadn't seen a single Soviet around.  Second, it was awfully primitive - reciprocating engine vehicles, high-rise buildings and that lunchonette!  Straight out of history books!  
That was it.  This whole place, the name of the city was straight out of a history book.  The storm!

 

Uhh...yeah Rock.  I had honestly forgotten that you hadn't figured this out yet, I thought we'd moved on to "what is going on in Bizzaro SLC and how do I get out of here?"  But apparently Rock hadn't quite gotten that far.  I can see how he got the nickname Rock.

Anyways, he gets a newspaper from the jail guard and determines it is September 6 1989, five days before the nuclear apocalypse!  Then the music starts, and Rock is quickly in agony
Quote

"Stop" Rockson Yelled. "Stop the music!" he held his hands against his tortured ears, but the music penetrated...He slumped to the floor unconscious.

Pretty badass.

 
But wait, Bizzaro Salt Lake City has more craziness in store for us!  Anyone want to guess how Rock gets out of jail?  I'll give you a hint - it is both mundane and batshit ridiculous. 

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5 minutes ago, Maithanet said:

  Anyone want to guess how Rock gets out of jail?  I'll give you a hint - it is both mundane and batshit ridiculous. 

Does he point out he's a white Republican?*

* Though I repeat myself.

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