Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Chapter Twenty-Two

Kearns and Bailey, remember them? They're like Glenn Beck's own Odd Couple. "One's a narc, the other's a rat, they're Kearns and Bailey, Bailey and Kearns!" (Sing along!)

They're hanging out in Kearns' "double-wide" with "an ugly off-white cat, and a full-scale model of a small atomic bomb." (No singing!) The two are In Winnemucca, which is somewhere between Reno and Salt Lake City, prepping for their big sting operation.

"I don't want to come off like a puss, but is this bomb-looking thing, like, radioactive?"

"Nah, not too much." Kearns returned with their coffee and sat in a nearby chair. "The core's inert; it's just a big ball of lead. There's some depleted uranium under the lining, so it'll set off a Geiger counter in case anybody checks. Here, look." He flipped a switch on a boxy yellow gadget on the table and brought its wand closer to an open access panel at the fore end of the model. The meter on the instrument twitched and a rapid clicking from its speaker ramped up to a loud, raspy buzz as the tip of the wand touched an inner metal housing. "Sure sounds hot enough though, doesn't it?"

Oh, man, Bailey is such a puss! What a fag! Who's afraid of a little radiation? Radiation: You hear the most outrageous lies about it. Half-baked goggle-box do-gooders telling everybody it's bad for you. Pernicious nonsense. Everybody could stand a hundred chest X-rays a year. They ought to have them, too.


Where was I?

Oh yes, so Bailey asks how Kearns convinced his partners that he scored a real nuclear weapon. There is some faction (faction!) thrown our way as Kearns references this incident, except makes it more John Travolta/Christian Slater by saying "six nukes left the base, but only five showed up" on the other end.

"Now we both know that something like that can't just happen, not as an accident anyway. It's like the Secret Service accidentally putting the president into the wrong car and then nobody missing him until noon the next day. It's impossible; there are way too many safeguards in place. Unless, of course, it was an inside job."

Plot point! Plot fucking point! An inside job? The deuce you say! Anyway, blah blah blah, Kearns' story is that he, being the anti-government online superhero that he is, made some connections at the AFB and arranged to smuggle a nuke out before anyone knew it was missing.

Bailey asks more leading questions, delivers some clunky dialogue ("I haven't slept for twelve hours like that in twenty years"), and basically exists to give Kearns someone to exposit to.

"I would have thought you guys had all kinds of labs and engineers back at headquarters that would have built a model like this for an undercover operation. You know, so someone like you wouldn't have to bother with any of it yourself."

Plot point, part two, electric boogaloo!

"Yeah, they do, but these last few years I've gotten accustomed to working alone. The less contact you make when you're undercover, the safer it is. Hell, I've been out in the cold so long on this one, as far as I know only one guy inside even knows I'm still on the payroll."

Plot point III: Revenge of the Sith!

Woah! Are you getting all this? Because if you're not, I might be a little worried about your deductive capabilities, Miles Archer. Kearns' supposedly fake nuke is suspiciously real. Why? Because Kearns is so far undercover no one even knows he's still with the FBI! OMFGWTFHolyGuacamole! I am beginning to think Kearns ain't on the up and up. Danny Bailey, what have you gotten yourself into?

Is Kearns on the Doyle & Merchant payroll? Is the nuke active? Is Bailey a stooge? Yes! Yes to everything! Yes yes yes, and more yes!

At least that's my guess. What's your pet theory at this point?


  1. First of all, I'm not sure Beck's ghost writer knows how a nuke works. Secondly, he's stealing the plot of that awesome movie with Jack Nicholson and Leo DiCaprio and, you know, those other people, except that that plot was actually interesting and well written.

    Also, this book would greatly benefit from Sith.

  2. I must agree with Personal Failure; there is nothing that cannot be improved by the application of red lightsabres going VWOOM! VWOOM! VAUMM! Bonus points for Sith-inspired couture and music.

    I must also agree that Beck's ghost writer has no idea how a modern nuke works. Just how 'small' is it? A so-called suitcase nuke is actually the size of a large steamer trunk. I'm a little baffled as to what Beck is trying to do here. Clearly it's some kind of plot hula going on, but...

    ... you know, I just had the sudden urge to Not Care about this book anymore. It's a screed, with a strawman world set up specifically so Beck can giggle as he knocks everyone down except his magical Gary-Stu self-insert. But, if you continue to review it, I shall continue to soldier on. Because despite this being a really, really crappy book, by a really, really crappy person, it's worth seeing what creally bent world-view these people have.

    Plus, it's helpful to understand their revenge fantasies since that's what they'll be trying to impose on everyone else.

  3. "[Danny] was looking over the elaborate cylindrical device in its heavy wooden cradle on the coffee table."

    small enough to sit on a coffee table, i guess.

    and yes, i do plan to finish this thing. i'm more than halfway through, thank jebus. if i am lucky i'll be finished by christmas. maybe someone will give me a sweater as a reward.