UnWholly Ch73-75 Risa, Roberta, Cam

Anyway, remember Risa? Who gave herself up to protect her friends? Who are basically all dead now? The dressing room she’s waiting before her next interview has a TV, and what just happened is all over the news.

Risa never considered herself a violent girl. Sure, she’s always been more than able to defend herself, but she was never the kind of girl to initiate or enjoy brutality.

I find it interesting.

This isn’t what we’ve seen of Risa – and really, it’s not something you’d usually see at all, this is the sort of non-personality found in bad RP bios. She’s not violent but wholly capable of violence, because both those things are seen as positive traits and Connor’s girlfriend must be a Strong Female Character, and like all Strong Female Characters, it’s an informed attribute.

She goes on to finish by saying that despite how she is normally, she’s so furious that if she could kill Roberta she would – but she’ll make no attempt. If she was that sort of person, she’d have tried violence before now.

Luckily the book’s ending, so this doesn’t mean she just sits and keeps doing nothing.

In less than three minutes Risa will be broadcasting live to a national audience. She doesn’t have to kill Roberta. She can unwind her. . . .

Now, given what we know about their scrubbed, highly monitored internet, it’s odd that this is truly live, no delay, or that those in charge will keep broadcasting once she goes far enough off script. But really, nothing makes sense and there’s conspiracies within conspiracies. Maybe some other master plan is fulfilled by letting her do this.

Regardless, Risa should get to the point as fast as she can since she can’t predict any of that, and of course she won’t.

Time for the interview!

Cam leans over to her and whispers, “We should hold hands.”
“There’s no wide shot,” she points out. “No one will see.”
“We should anyway.”

Cam is just an awful person. But now that it’s the end of the book and Risa is resolved to do something, she’s also no longer forced to go along with his whims. Risa gets to end this on her terms.

Risa is still passive enough to wait for an opening, but again, end of the book, so the guy immediately asks her about her feelings on a giant hideout of escaped kids getting rounded up.

“I feel it’s important that I set the record straight,” Risa begins. “I am not now, nor have I ever been, in favor of unwinding. . . .”

We immediately jump to Roberta to underscore how little initiative Risa really has and now it’s only a string of stupid contrivances that let this happen. She somehow was so busy with Cam she didn’t hear any news about Connor2 burning stuff, and Yes, the Juvenile Authority was supposed to notify Roberta of the raid through her associates at Proactive Citizenry. But like any spiderlike organization, the fangs of Proactive Citizenry don’t know what the spinneret is doing. so because author says so, and then people tried calling her about the actual news of the raid (which she’d also missed), but she’s been too fed up with too many people wanting too much of her time to answer it. because that isn’t completely ridiculous for an adult whose whole job is pulling strings and talking to people to ask.

So anyway, she finds out about the raid right when the question’s asked. Risa starts patiently explaining how she hates unwinding and blackmail and let’s discuss the groups behind this. Roberta tries to get into the studio, a guard stops her, threats don’t get him out of her way, so she’s stopped there.

Roberta bursts into the control booth, where an engineer works the editing bay, and the show’s producer leans back in his chair, extremely pleased. “This is mint,” he tells his engineer. “The princess of unwinding bites the disembodied hand that feeds her! It doesn’t get any better than this!”
“Stop the interview!” orders Roberta. “Stop it now, or I will hold you and your network liable for everything she says!”
The producer is unfazed. “Excuse me, who are you?”
“I’m . . . her manager, and she is not authorized to say what she’s saying.”
“Well, lady, if you don’t like what your client has to say, that’s not our problem.”

So they can scrub a guy from history, and there’s such powerful forces around that searching for the frankly trivial backstory behind an urban myth gets the internet shut down, but also they’re no big deal.

“Your viewers need to ask themselves this,” Risa says. “Who stands to benefit most from unwinding? Answer that question, and I think we’ll know who’s behind Proactive Citizenry.”

What the viewers need to ask is how powerful is this supposed conspiracy really if no one’s intervening?

Immediately afterward the guard drags Roberta away. She stews in a room for however long it takes the interview to end and then decides to shove past the guard and try to find Risa, but Risa, of course, already ran for it. She attempts to talk to Cam but he’s busy having a breakdown. She tries to look for Risa, but there’s no sign of her. She can’t keep searching because her phone is ringing off the hook…again, because we were told it was already doing this just over the other stuff so it’s not actually a new thing.

She goes back to Cam for a bit, then leaves again, at which point he goes to the dressing room to open the closet and tell Risa that it worked and they don’t know where she is.

“I can’t help what I am,” he tells her.
“I know . . . but today you showed me you can help what you do.” And then she leans forward and kisses him on the cheek. He feels it like an electric shock in all the seams of his face. She turns to go, but he can’t let her. Not yet. Not without saying—
“I love you, Risa.”
She glances back at him and offers nothing more than an apologetic smile. “Good-bye, Cam.”

And at last and much effort, Risa has found a way to be the perfect girl, the right behavior to be safe. She has someone else to go to, so she’s allowed her escape, and since she has to leave, the fallout is no longer her problem.

He takes the chair and hurls it against the vanity mirror, smashing it. He hurls everything that’s breakable against the walls and doesn’t stop until the security guards burst in on him.

Sorry, Cam! Returning to her rightful owner takes precedent over dealing with your bullshit tantrums. And now your attempts to keep her mark you as the villain:

Cam will never accept Risa’s good-bye. He will not let her disappear from his life. He will do whatever it takes to have her, to hold her, to keep her. He has all of Roberta’s resources at his fingertips to get what he wants, and he’s going to use them.
Roberta smiles at him reassuringly between phone calls, and he smiles back. For now Cam will play the game. He’ll be the good rewound boy Roberta wants him to be, but from this moment on, he has a new agenda. He will make Risa’s dream come true and take down Proactive Citizenry piece by bloody piece.
And then she will have no choice but to love him.

Creepy and actually meant to be! But regardless of if you’re creepy or not, she’ll never be yours unless Connorsue finds somebody he likes more, and I don’t think the author would waste all the effort he put into fixing up Risa so she could be the perfect girlfriend.

That’s the end of that plotline, which also brings us to the end of the sixth part and illustrates how the parts really don’t make any sense. The final part will just be about the graveyard kids – Connor, Connor’s friends, Connor’s double.

7 Comments

  1. Roarke says:
    Never though I’d see an evil dystopian government make The Capitol from Hunger Games look competent, so well done there. I miss Battle Royale.

    Sorry, Cam! Returning to her rightful owner takes precedent over dealing with your bullshit tantrums. And now your attempts to keep her mark you as the villain:

    We’re back in the Fate route. The hero and the villain are the exact same sexist douchebag, but one of them has narrative backing.

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    1. illhousen says:
      You can’t escape Fate.
  2. illhousen says:
    I’m going to pretend Roberta was in her Mad Place and was too busy laughing maniacally and tinkering with her bloody inventions to pay attention to anything else. That’s the only way it remotely makes sense.
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    1. Roarke says:
      This is just classic misogyny. And by that I do mean Classical misogyny. Woman gets hysterical in a crisis and stuffed in a room, conclusively showing she never had any true authority.
      1
      1. illhousen says:
        That it is. This book is pretty much impossible to get through without inventing your own scenarios replacing the actual narrative.
      2. Farla says:
        It does create a sort of weird narrative drift – like, their problem was hiring Roberta, because if there’d be A Guy there, he would’ve bullied his way through anyone and gotten that feed cut, but by going with a woman they became powerless and retroactively only ever able to do anything through sneaky misdirection.
        1. Roarke says:
          I suspect that the reasoning for making Roberta a woman goes something like this:

          1) Cam is a “baby” of sorts, so his “mother” must be a woman.
          2) What, you thought there’d be a two? You’re seriously overestimating this author.

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