The Last of Us [Pleasure and Payne]
The Special Services Group in Pakistan is better known in the country as the Black Storks because of the commandos’ unique headgear. Training reportedly includes a 36-mile march in 12 hours and a 5-mile run in 50 minutes in full gear.
In October 2009, SSG commandos stormed an office building and rescued about 40 people taken hostage by suspected Taliban militants after an attack on the army’s headquarters.
Miss Kane comes to herself six hours later, pushing Mrs. Carson’s battered, rusting shopping cart. Mrs. Carson is walking beside her.
The girl is wearing sternns, borrowed from Mrs. Carson. Scratched up frames and lenses. No hygiene mode.
Additionally, the girl is wearing a dead, diseased Kaye and a dirty perl necklace. Just like Mrs. Carson.
No hygiene mode for the girl’s Kaye or her perls. Just like Mrs. Carson.
Specifically. Dirty perls. A filthy Kaye—dead and diseased—that’s seen better days—ripped seams, a tattered skirt with a ragged hem, and a well-worn coat with frayed cuffs. Just like Mrs. Carson.
Filth-engrained skin. Patches of her body are so dirty, they look black. Just like Mrs. Carson.
Filthy, uncircumcised Parts with no hygiene mode strap her nethers. Rendering her a she-male, just like Mrs. Carson. Initially, the Parts were seamlessly fused to her nethers, but her body eventually rejected that modification—reversal number one.
The girl’s yellow-blonde hair is no longer geriatric. Initially, her hair turned geriatric, but her body eventually rejected that modification—reversal number two.
Tellingly. All of the reversals have solely been Miss Kane’s doing. A fact not lost on Mrs. Carson—i.e., even coerced, the girl is still something to be very wary of.
Miss Kane’s wild, filthy, unkempt hair is the krazed version of a Grune, not a Greta. Therefore, worn as a krazed, her long, dirty, golden tresses do not obscure her tortured face and its long bangs don’t obscure her vision, whatsoever. The girl can see just fine.
Bottom line: no reversal on the volumized hair and bangs. And. A tortured face that remains hard and pretty, 1950’s movie-star pretty, contemporary porn-star pretty.
A hand-bra. A cannibal push-up brassiere, in all its putrid repugnant glory, clutches her filth-smeared tits. Shoving her boobs up, together, and straight out, while groping and mauling them. The long, dirty fingernails of the bra’s fingers are dug into the flesh of her tits and have drawn blood—the blood has dried, streaking her dirty boobs.
No personal hygiene for the girl, whatsoever—just like Mrs. Carson. Seemingly, all that matters to the girl is getting that next fix or that next bottle of booze—but, that’s not all that does matter to her.
There are fresh needle marks in the girl’s left arm—from being shot up with reagent. There are fresh puncture wounds in the leftside of her neck from having been recently fed upon by Mrs. Carson. There are fresh puncture wounds inside of her mouth from having been recently fed upon by Mrs. Carson’s ravenous tongue. Nonetheless, in the here and the now, the girl is quite sober.
Well-concealed underneath Miss Kane’s decrepit suitcoat, “clipped” to the waistband of her skirt, are her phone, holster, and purse. Sleight of hand made it look like Mrs. Carson had locked them up in that locker back there in the basement of that building. Obviously, Mrs. Carson intends to “employ” the girl as a Sandman. But. To what end?
Let’s jump the shark.
Mrs. Carson is a rabid fan of both The Magicians book series and the SyFy Channel adaptation. If this were Lev Grossman’s The Magicians, the answer to that question would be the same answer to another question.
Why does the Magicians trilogy keep raping and killing off its best characters?
Lev Grossman creates amazing, complicated women—then, with the exception of the female lead Grand Dame Quentin Coldwater, gruesomely dispatches each one of them.
Which is why, unfortunately, the reader’s attention is inevitably drawn to the one irritating fantasy cliché that the Magicians trilogy doesn’t avoid. It’s not just that it’s an epic Hero’s Quest narrative centered entirely on a spinster, an older dowdy woman who is also a very gifted magician. It’s the absence of another female besides the lead who can make it through even one entire installment of the trilogy without being killed, raped, or otherwise horrifically traumatized to fuel that older woman’s arc.
Miss Alice Quinn, Dame Coldwater’s Sandman in the first installment of the series, is transformed into a demon made of pure rage by one of the dame’s magician rivals. Miss Quinn is unspeakably traumatized before she is changed into a “crazy magic rage-demon”. Miss Quinn’s transformation involves her being “possessed of a demonic and inhuman rage”.
Miss Julia Wicker, Dame Coldwater’s Sandman in the second book, is granted a lengthy, exceptionally graphic rape scene at the hands of an anthropomorphic fox-god, and then shunted off to another dimension.
Grossman lives to name-check and subvert the tropes of genre fiction. In the middle of a heated battle scene in a fantasy kingdom, he’ll pause to explain the ethical problem with Tolkien’s conception of orcs. So he’d almost certainly be familiar with the infamous tradition of “Women in Refrigerators”, coined by comic fan Gail Simone in 1999—it means, basically, that female characters are often killed off or otherwise grotesquely traumatized (raped, tortured, paralyzed, stripped of superpowers, etc.) to motivate angst on the part of female leads.
All of the females in this series are pale, brainy, well-endowed beauties. Additionally. All of Dame Coldwater’s Girl Fridays are twenty-something human females and can best be described as a “sharp-featured young woman, girl-next-door pretty, if you happened to live next door to a grad student in astrophysics who craves to page through a book of Piranesi etchings”.