Friday, October 4, 2013

The Quest for Skye: Chapters 13-14

Recap: Skye can summon butterflies and play music perfectly. Really, just remember Skye is The Most Perfect Child Who Has Ever Existed and you've summed up the entire book thus far.

These chapters are both really short, so I'm combining them into a single blog post.

The next morning, Morgan and Tammy actually wake up on their own, rather than being woken up by a nine-year-old pounding on their door. However, then Skye doesn't show up and doesn't show up, so Morgan goes the Leontious' cabin, where their maid, Maya, informs them that Doctor Layland Leontiou had some important business to take care of, and that the whole family left for the airport as soon as the ship docked. Most of their luggage will be sent to them.

The Hamiltons are distraught and don't really enjoy the last few days of the cruise. Oh, but hey! Remember that tiny snippet of nothing where Skye wanted a dress in blue but they didn't have it? Turns out they did have it in blue! So Tammy buys it for her, figuring she can at least send it on to her.
The Hamiltons were invited to return and speak at the conference next year.
Now people will be able to ask them more irrelevant personal questions and get even MORE convinced that they should care about rare childhood diseases! They want Morgan to speak about clinic administration, but he doesn't want to make a decision on that yet.

As everybody disembarks from the ship at the end of the cruise:
Without Skye’s bubbly personality, things were dull, different. Sadness hung in the air.
It's called "peace and quiet" and "people minding their own business" and it is a beautiful thing.

Morgan sees Mrs. Scott, aka Wheelchair Teleport Woman, and thinks:
I wonder what her life will be like when she returns home. With the cruise over, and her husband gone, does she have anything to look forward to?
Holy crap, dude. Way to assume quality of life for the elderly and disabled. Mrs. Scott did mention on the cruise that she recently lost her husband, but she said nothing to imply she does not have family, close friends, a church community, or passionate hobbies to look forward to in her life. Assuming the cruise was The Last Great Thing that would ever happen to her is really condescending and awful.

Chapter 14 starts with the Hamiltons returning home to Minnesota. They are nicer and more compassionate at their clinic Because Skye. But then Tammy gets super depressed. Gee, do you think maybe constant contact with a child during their two attempted child-free weeks might have been unhelpful for the deep pain she's feeling about not being able to have kids?
As a result, their marriage problems deepened— each blaming the other for their unhappiness.
And this is why Skye's interference on the cruise just makes me sad. Morgan and Tammy had two weeks away from work, with no distractions, and their marriage needed it. They needed to use that cruise for themselves. Instead, they spent nearly the entire two weeks caring for someone else's child. They never got time to work things out on their own. That cruise could have been a great opportunity for the two of them to figure some stuff out, and Skye ruined all of it by being an obnoxious, noisy, constant, bouncy-haired distraction. (Admittedly, they were both only too willing to let her be one, but if she hadn't been quite so insistent on shoving her way into their lives, they would have at least had a chance to take some time for themselves.)

Six weeks later, Skye somehow manages to contact Morgan on his work computer via instant message. He is astounded by how this IMing thing works, so it clearly wasn't something he installed. He asks her how she got a hold of him:
“Hello? It’s called a computer! You know website... WWW... dot... your clinic name, and there you are, big as day. Hold on a minute.”
She then video chats with him, leaving me just as confused as Morgan as to how she found him. Does his clinic's website include a "video chat with Doctor Morgan Hamilton here!" button? Because that seems like a terrible idea.

Skye randomly reminisces about dolphins with him and then tells him her parents have been working in the lab all the time while she's been playing with the other kids.
“I just wish we had a nicer playground— where all my friends could play safely without getting hurt.”
This might be a reference to her friends being sick kids who are extra frail, but all I can imagine is a playground consisting of rusty equipment, with shards of broken glass and nails lying all over the place. Doctor Layland Leontiou is not doing a great job of keeping his lab rats... erm, I mean patients safe.

Skye's call is interrupted by "a muffled sound, which seemed to shake the camera, and then a siren". I'm pretty sure her parents just died in the kerfuffle from chapter one. Skye says she needs to go, and she signs off.

Tammy wanders into the room and Morgan tells her he just chatted with Skye. He brings up adoption, and Tammy gets angry, and then he brings up working at the Leontious' clinic, and she gets really angry and stalks out of the room.

And that is where we leave off this week. Tune in next week to find out (probably) that, yup, Skye's parents are dead and for some reason Morgan and Tammy are going to be the ones to adopt her because her parents, being the super responsible people they are, probably never made any provisions for her to be taken care of!

(Chapter 15.)


  1. Given Morgan hasn't installed anything and has no idea what's going on, it sounds to me like Skye has broken into Morgan's computer and installed some form of RAT (, which she's using to access the webcam. Clearly she is a highly skilled hacker alongside all her other abilities.

  2. I'm impressed. It takes talent to squeeze in vulgar, ablist privilege, complete ignorance of the Internet in 2013, and smothering insensitivity to the frustrations of fertility difficulties, but leave it to Rothdiener to deliver the goods!

    I'm almost certain you're right that we've just caught up to the lab attack from the beginning of the story. I don't care what we're told from here on out, though; this was all an elaborate put-on by Doctor Leyland Leontiou and his wife Malinda to ditch Skye. The whole conference was a scam. There's no schedule flexibility for him to spend any time with Skye, but they can put Tammy Hamilton on stage willy nilly? $1 million in donations through the first three days, and they suddenly have to leave the cruise early? Riiiiiight.

    Well played, L.L. Well played.