Friday, April 25, 2014

The Quest for Skye: Chapter 38

Recap: SKYE IS DEAD. FINALLY. Now we'll see what happens in the last two chapters. We are so, so, so very nearly done with this book, guys.

This chapter opens with Morgan creeping into Skye's bedroom to look around at the thing she left behind.
He noticed a scrapbook on the nightstand. He read the title, My Favoritest Cruise. 
“Favoritest.” He smiled. “I can’t even say it like she did.”
Guys, once again, she's supposed to be ELEVEN, not five. Most of the ten- or eleven-year-olds I know are long past "favoritest."
Then he came to the photo of Tammy, Skye , and himself— the night she surprised them at their table. Tammy’s makeup was smeared from her laughter.
...I guess we're supposed to assume that Tammy laughed so much she cried? Or maybe she tried to put on makeup while laughing and then, instead of fixing it, went to dinner? Otherwise, how is laughing smearing her makeup? I mean, I don't wear makeup that often, so maybe I've just never laughed quite hard enough while wearing makeup to smear it, but I can't even figure out how that would work. Any of my makeup-wearing friends want to chime in on this one?

Suddenly, Morgan hears a beeping noise. He discovers Skye's telescope has turned itself on and is beeping at him. He finds a note next to the telescope saying that the very last time Skye's comet will ever be visible with her telescope is that night, so Skye has programmed the telescope to, uh, I guess beep and turn on and go to the right coordinates at that time. (Is this something fancy telescopes do? I feel like an alarm is a thoroughly useless add-on to a telescope, but I'm sure it's possible. I pose this question especially to my stargazing friend Mike, who might actually know the answer to this.)
While he was staring at the screen, Isaura disappeared into the heavens, exactly as the letter said it would, just like his precious Skye. . . . He took a deep breath, and reached for the shutoff switch turning off the telescope. The monitor turned black.
Also, do telescopes typically have monitors and screens? To, I dunno, save you all the trouble of actually looking through the little holes? Is this an actual thing or is Rothdiener confusing telescopes with computers? He does really like screens. He was all invested in Leontious' clinic having three of them that performed extremely specific tasks.

The next scene is Skye's funeral. It's a pretty generic scene that isn't too terrible, because, oddly enough, they gush slightly less over her after her death than she did before. Although Morgan does include this in his eulogy:
“She never said an unkind word about anyone.”
He's clearly forgotten her merciless mocking of his genuine fear of heights and water.
“And if we ever need her, or want to talk with her—” Morgan’s voice quivered, “Just reach toward the sky, because that’s where she’ll be.” 
Trembling, Morgan released Tammy’s hand, and extended his arms toward the sky. Tammy followed, and then Zack and Kim. Within seconds, almost all hands on that island were raised in honor of the very special girl who loved everyone she met.

Although, once again, it is SLIGHTLY more appropriate and less creepy here because you're allowed to be extremely sentimental and nostalgic and do memorable gestures like this at a funeral. It would just be nicer if Skye's life itself, and this moment in her life particularly, wasn't so very creepy.

The next day, Morgan receives an envelope in the mail from Today's Photography, where Wheelchair Lady's photo of Morgan and Skye kissing the dolphins has won first prize in their photography contest, and Skye has won $10,000 for it. Morgan is all, "Aww," but, of course, it doesn't even cross his mind that, um, Wheelchair Lady should have that money. Way to go, Skye and Morgan, stealing credit and money and fame from an elderly lady in a wheelchair when you are pretty much millionaires now. You people are so noble and awesome and not disgusting at all. Clearly Jesus condones this, so I will now go and take all the art made by my friends and sell it as being made by me. I'll never have to work again!

(Also, $10,000 is a LOT of money for a photography contest. A LOT.)

Zoom ahead six months, where it's time for the cruise again. Zack is cruise director now, because apparently we're continuing the trend of giving him jobs to do that he is in no way qualified for. Kim is pregnant, so Zack got an office job with the cruise line and they're going to settle down in Florida and she's going to be a stay-at-home mom, so that's nice.
Walking through the atrium, Morgan’s eyes were captured by a sight that took his breath away.  
Tammy gasped.
They held each other close.
All my mind can picture here is the two of them gasping and running into each other's arms, like they're in a cartoon about a haunted house and just saw a ghost. There's some very specific image I'm picturing, but I can't for the life of me remember what it's from, which is sad, because I was hoping to link to it so you guys knew what I was talking about. If I remember I'll come back and link.

What makes them gasp is that apparently the ship now has an entire bulletin board dedicated to Skye. They then discover that Skye's real name was Isaura, which is the name of both the cruise ship and the comet she discovered. The captain reveals that the ship was built for Skye.

Hold up, hold up, hold up.

Is this a private ship or not?

If it is a private ship, then how the heck were Morgan and Tammy able to randomly book a cruise on it for their own pleasure without being in any way connected to the Leontious? Did Doctor L. L. schedule these cruises on his own ship but then call a random cruise company and say, "Hey, if you want to use my ship for a cruise, I'm going through the Panama Canal anyway and have room for like 50 more people"?

If it's not a private ship, then is it because Doctor L. L. made a ship for Skye and then... sold it to the cruise line, with the assumption that he'd be able to take it back for his disease cruise every year as long as he let random other people sign up for that cruise too? And won't all the people who don't happen to go on this one particular cruise two weeks out of every year be very confused about this bulletin board focusing on a random little girl they've never met because she lives on Leontiou Island most of the time?

Tammy added, “Oh my goodness, that comet was named after her too, wasn’t it?” 
Captain Dimitriou nodded his head. 
“She never told us that either.” Morgan shook his head. 
“That was Skye. She did things that none of us knew about, and never took credit for any of it.”
Except for photographs. She's totally fine with taking credit for other people's photographs.

And if she really never took credit for any of it, she wouldn't have named the comet after herself.

It seems Skye frequently stole blankets and towels from the ship to give to homeless kids "across the street," which is a little confusing, because I don't know why the cruise ship was ever parked on the side of a street. More confusingly, they're "in a field," which means that there's a street somewhere in between Florida and the Panama Canal with a dock large enough for an enormous cruise ship on one side and a field on the other, and I can't picture the geography of this area at all.

They finish out the cruise, where they receive more donations than ever before, which is impressive, considering that two years ago, absolutely everyone who attended donated $30,000 apiece and was still expected to donate more by the end of the cruise.
Upon returning to the clinic, they both plunged into their work. Morgan ran the clinic with love and kindness . . . 
. . . despite never having shown any interest in any of the other patients, preferring to just walk on the beach with Skye all the time. I'm not sure he even knows who anyone else is.

We have one more chapter, gang. ONE MORE. Next week, The Quest for Skye is FINISHED. And then we'll discuss what I'm going to tackle after that. I've had some suggestions made, and I'm going to ask for all of your input.


  1. Well, I'm not much of a stargazer, but I once had a less-fancy telescope that you could hook up to a television and see what it's pointing at on that rather than having to look through the eyepiece. It's probably especially handy for showing multiple people at once without making them each look one at a time. Of course, that would also circumvent the old "black eye" gag, which may be a benefit or a downside, depending.

  2. Yeah, hooking up a CCD camera to consumer-level telescopes is pretty common now, and not that expensive. Consumer-level auto tracking telescopes are available too. I don't know if they'd have an alarm in particular, but maybe to alert you when the object you're interested in comes up over the horizon or something?