Chapter Thirty-Nine: Left, Right, Left

With the OrbArena in darkness, the crowd starts panicking. Shiraz appears beside Tookie, pulling her away from the arena, with Tookie losing the SMIZE in the process. Dylan and Piper join up with them as they exit the OrbArena. Piper leads the way to the 7Seven stadium. Tookie thinks about everyone she’s leaving behind, then hurries after her friends. Descending down flights of stairs, the girls find the emergency ZipZap underneath a pile of rocks and leap inside.

They come to a fork in the ZipZap. The girls are split on which way to go, but they go down the right fork anyway. Which ends up not being the right fork, as they land in the Diabolical Divide!

But then they just jump back into the ZipZap just before they’re hit with magical fireballs.

Well, that was incredibly pointless, especially since they could just jump back in if they chose the wrong path. And why does this ZipZap lead to the Diabolical Divide anyway? And how come all of the girls who went the wrong way when the old stadium burned down didn’t just jump back into the ZipZap?

Anyway, the girls go the left way this time and land in a fountain in LaDorno. They think about what to do next, with none of them being particularly enthusiastic about going back to their old lives.

But then Ci~L’s weird pouch thing shows up! Because who would have thought that the super-powered supermodel would pursue them? The girls start running, through alleyways and into sewers, winding up in the place where Metopia’s Day of Discovery was held—and where Ci~L had chosen Tookie to go to Modelland.

Then a noise comes from behind a garbage can. Piper thinks that it might be Ci~L, but instead a redhead in a hospital gown and covered in cuts and burns steps out.

Joy fills Tookie (and me!) as she runs to Lizzie, doing their “What’s up, Hot Queen?” greeting. Lizzie comments on Tookie’s costume, and Tookie wonders what happened to the SMIZE. She wonders if the Likee sisters stole it. Keep in mind that we’ve never seen any traces of the Likee sisters being kleptomaniacs other than Tookie thinking that they are.

Lizzie says that she’s been waiting for Tookie to return every day. Tookie apologizes for being dragged away, glad that Lizzie isn’t mad at her. Tookie tells Lizzie that she’s ready for Exodus and introduces Lizzie to the other Unicas.

Lizzie then sees Ci~L’s pouch. Thinking that it’s whoever is after her, Lizzie starts freaking out before running away. Tookie chases after Lizzie, leaving the others behind. She ends up getting lost, not knowing where any of her friends are.

But then a bus shows up with the other Unicas on board. The bus driver, speaking in a Labrian accent, tells Tookie that he knows who Shiraz is and is helping them to escape Ci~L. Once Tookie boards the bus, Dylan sees Ci~L flying through the sky, followed by two Ci~Ls appearing on each side of the bus via the power of Multiplicity. The Unicas order the driver to step on it, with the three Ci~Ls in pursuit. As the bus approaches the Obscure Obelisks, Tookie sees Lizzie taking a metal object to her wrist. Then a shopkeeper steps out in front of the bus! The driver tries to steer around the shopkeeper, causing Tookie to slam into the windshield and lose consciousness.

Damn those inconvenient shopkeepers. Never paying attention to speeding buses.

Will Tookie wake up in time in order to escape Ci~L’s clutches? Are we going to get an extremely stupid plot “twist” in the next chapter? Will we see Lizzie again?

The next chapter will answer those first two questions…and I’m just going to answer that last one right now: no, we won’t. Just like Hunchy, Lizzie completely disappears from the story after this point. Nothing about her character is resolved. All she gets in the end is a token thought from Tookie, hoping that Lizzie’s alright.

Farewell, Lizzie. You were the most interesting character in the entire book, a character who wanted me to learn what was happening to you. Instead, we got stuck with a bunch of idiots.

And speaking of idiocy…

Chapter Thirty-Nine: Breathless Sister-Friends

Tookie regains consciousness and immediately starts wondering where Lizzie and the other Unicas are. The Unicas are nearby, but Lizzie is nowhere to be found. (sniff)

This causes Tookie to think about everything in her life that sucks, prompting her to repeat “I’m so sorry!” for Lizzie. Then, when she stops speaking, she hears someone else saying the same words—someone kneeling before the Obscure Obelisks. Ci~L.

Do the girls take this moment to run like hell from totally evulz Ci~L? Nope! Tookie sticks around, watching Ci~L claw at herself until Ci~L spots Tookie. Ci~L advances on Tookie, who tells Ci~L to take her instead of the other Unicas, whatever Ci~L wants to use her for.

Ci~L stops, then immediately starts apologizing to no one again. She keeps saying that something is her fault. Tookie suspects that Ci~L is referring to the sacrifices that she thinks Ci~L has done, but then Ci~L says that she should have been able to save some people. Shiraz thinks she isn’t talking about the Unicas.

Ci~L launches into a rant about these people, then screams at the Modelland mountain. She says that she dug up her three friends, but they wouldn’t wake up, and asks Tookie to help her wake up.

And in this moment, Tookie realizes that everything she assumed about Ci~L was completely wrong and that Ci~L couldn’t possibly be a murderer.

Remember back when Tookie had just overheard Ci~L’s conversation with the BellaDonna and “realized” that Ci~L was “the most twisted, diabolical person” in Modelland based solely off of that one conversation? Remember how, shortly after that, Desperada started climbing over the Modelland wall? Remember how Ci~L tried to stop her from climbing over the wall?

And what did Tookie think about that? Did she take it as a sign that maybe Ci~L wasn’t utterly evil? No, she assumed that Ci~L was faking her concern for Desperada.

Which begs one simple, glaring question that makes Tookie look like a massive idiot (even though, naturally, Tookie is completely right this time):

WHY THE FUCK DOESN’T TOOKIE THINK FOR EVEN A SECOND THAT CI~L IS FAKING IT RIGHT NOW? Why does she automatically know that Ci~L isn’t a murderer based on her breakdown right now, especially when Ci~L flat-out told Tookie that she wanted to kill her previously?

In fact, don’t you find it strange how Ci~L seemed very positive (save for the breakdowns that Tookie witnessed, of course) before the moment when Tookie overheard the conversation between Ci~L and the BellaDonna? That Ci~L only showed any hint of hostility and threat towards Tookie and her friends after that conversation?

Like Tyra Banks had to have Ci~L act completely different than how she acted previously in order to turn her into a red-herring villain, using “Ci~L is crazy” as an excuse?

As soon as Tookie overheard a vague conversation that mentioned other girls, the BellaDonna’s dislike of what Ci~L was doing, and the word “sacrifice”, she decided that Ci~L was completely evil in everything she did and completely incapable of kindness. And just as quickly as Tookie decided that based on vague words, she’s now instantly reversed her opinion on Ci~L based on more vague words, despite having decided recently that anything “nice” Ci~L did was just Ci~L faking it. There’s no apphrension. There’s no doubt. Tookie is certain that Ci~L is not evil, and of course she’s right.

Yeah, let’s get back to the story now.

Tookie gets Ci~L to stop attacking herself, then asks who Ci~L is talking about. Ci~L tells Tookie about her three friends who happened to resemble Tookie’s three friends. Ci~L would always invite her “sister-friends” to her penthouse. One day, Ci~L’s friends had vanished, and Ci~L had realized what had happened to them. She went into the Diabolical Divide, finding her friends and digging up their bodies with the intention of parading their bodies through LaDorno. With Gunnero pursuing her, Ci~L created the Obscure Obelisks and put her friends’ bodies into the Obelisks—hence Gunnero’s nickname of “Body Girl”. The BellaDonna wanted the Obelisks removed, but the mayor of Metopia refused because they drew tourists, thus the BellaDonna took her frustration out on Ci~L.

Tookie tries to tell Ci~L that she shouldn’t beat herself up over her sister-friends’ deaths. Piper and Shiraz point out the obvious here: that Ci~L is nuts and that they don’t know if she might experiment on and kill them.

Ci~L blinked hard. “Killing? Are you serious?”

Yes, they’re serious, Miss “Do you know how much I want to kill you right now?” Ci~L.

Ci~L tells them that Piper, Dylan, and Shiraz weren’t on the list she was given on The Day of Discovery, but she threw away the list once she found Tookie, though she doesn’t know why Tookie was chosen in the first place. She explains her staring at the other Unicas as being reminded of her friends. Ci~L tells them that she’s bringing them back to Modelland, and Tookie now angsts about everything she disliked about Modelland, like she angsted about everything she disliked about LaDorno life previously. Ci~L tells them that they’re symbols and Tookie’s “victory” at ManAttack made her look good.

The Unicas’ decision is unanimous: they agree to return with Ci~L. Ci~L gives a farewell to the Obelisks and takes the girls away in her pouch.

As soon as they return to Modelland, Tookie and her friends are torn limb from limb by Gunnero while Ci~L and the BellaDonna laugh maniacally. Then they start making out. What, there’s enough lesbian undertones in this story already.

Chapter Forty: The 7Seven Tournament

Hey, look who it is. It’s our dahling narrator. The one who hasn’t shown up for dozens of chapters. She’s here to exposit about the 7Seven Tournament, telling us things that don’t have any impact on the plot of this story.

First, she’s going to get very annoying.

Oh my poor, dear dahling. You thought it was over, didn’t you? That the Unicas piled into Miss Used-to-Be-Sweet-Then-Turned-Crazy-and-Now-Is-Sweet-Again Intoxibellas’s pouch and sailed up, up, up into the sunset, the end. Dahling, you should be ashamed of yourself. There’s so much more to this story to tattle-tell you.

And how dare you assume otherwise!

Yes, because the fact that there are still eight chapters and an epilogue to go whizzed by my head when I thought that this story was over. Wishful thinking, perhaps? Not to mention the mountain of unresolved plot arcs, not that I expect very many of them to get resolved.

It was quite the shocker that Ci~L was not a murderess sociopath, wasn’t it, dahling? Might I suggest the next time you come ‘cross another vindictive, vile, venomous creature, you stop, drop, and roll around the idea that maybe the, shall I say, bitch did not spring out of her mother’s birth canal that way. I can money-back-guarantee that her sorrowful, sourpuss saga would be quite interesting, but nowhere near as juicy as this one.

Yes, how dare we think that Ci~L is evil after the author had Ci~L act completely contrary to her established character and just chalked it up to being crazy.

With our dahling narrator’s idiocy out of the way, we get paragraphs of exposition on the 7Seven Tournament. To sum them up: seven girls are chosen to become Intoxibellas; stupid jealous twits with bad breath call them names; only 43,347 people are invited to the Tournament; girls sometimes screw up their powers; it isn’t rigged like college basketball; the Bellas who lose get nothing, they lose, good day ma’am, though some are chosen as Scouts. Finally, we’re told that Tookie has returned to Modelland, “Safe. Sound. Happy. But maybe not for long.”

Ci~L gets the Unicas through the Modelland gates and hurries them to the 7Seven Tournament. Ci~L is back into Awesome Sassy Ci~L mode, complaining that they’ll have to stand if they take too long and that her dogs are killing her from chasing the Unicas.

They run through Beautification Boulevard, with everyone else being too obsessed with preparing for the Tournament that they don’t notice our messy heroines. The Mannecants are directing traffic, confiscating cameras and snatching flowers from guests. As they pass through the crowd, competing Bellas angst about the Tournament and their abilities. Then ZhenZhen calls to them and approaches the girls, unable to keep herself from turning into Ci~L with her power of (sigh) Chameeleoné. Ci~L tells her that people don’t want a knockoff and that ZhenZhen is more special when she is being herself than being Ci~L. A horn sounds and ZhenZhen rushes off.

The girls arrive at the D building, where Ci~L orders the Unicas to change into their uniforms. Once dressed, they head outside…to find that everyone’s headed off for the stadium. Ci~L vows to get the Unicas into the Tournament “if I have to teleportal your butts inside.”

Then two Mannecants close the stadium doors and Ci~L takes a hissy-fit. How about that Teleportaling now, Ci~L?

Piper hears a noise coming from the other side of the wall around Modelland. The group watches as filthy, monstrous-looking hands appear on the wall, followed by a head and shoulders. Piper recognizes the creature as a LeGizzârd and breaks down crying. The LeGizzârd approaches them, licking its lips…

…and then Tookie notices something in the monster’s hands. A doll. A familiar doll. Bellissima.

This wasn’t a LeGizzârd. It was…

“C-C-Creamy?” Tookie cried, and promptly passed out.

Cliffhanger! Though this does bring up a very interesting question: are LeGizzârds former Pilgrims who were transformed in the Diabolical Divide? Sadly, we don’t get a concrete answer in the story itself.

And that marks the end of this twist-filled installment. Next time: Tookie wakes up and thinks it was all a dream, we delve into the BellaDonna’s past, and two minor characters turn out to be major players in the mountain of a flashback we’re about to delve into. (Whoever guesses which two characters correctly first wins ten metaphorical points.)

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  1. Nintendo on 2 June 2013, 00:13 said:

    Does Kamalini show up later? Because I kind of assumed the book would end with the Unicas, Zarpressa, Chaste and her becoming the new Intoxibellas, if Tyra’s only writng the one book.

  2. lilyWhite on 2 June 2013, 07:10 said:

    Does Kamalini show up later? Because I kind of assumed the book would end with the Unicas, Zarpressa, Chaste and her becoming the new Intoxibellas, if Tyra’s only writng the one book.

    Kamalini has no further appearances in this book. It’s planned to be a trilogy, but I haven’t seen word about the sequel yet.

  3. Juracan on 3 June 2013, 12:31 said:

    Ah, crap. I was hoping that narrator wouldn’t come back.

  4. Brendan Rizzo on 3 June 2013, 13:37 said:

    So why didn’t Tookie and her friends age rapidly when using the ZipZap? And was there even a point to her thinking that Ci~L was evil at first? And why did Banks make Lizzie, the only interesting character, so pointless?

    There are no words for how ridiculous this book is right now.

  5. Maxie on 7 June 2013, 13:16 said:

    A lot of trilogy writers think that it’s OK to leave plot threads dangling under the assumption that they will be resolved at some point. I don’t care for this type of writing, because it encourages sloppy plotting and it’s a little presumptuous (if book 1 is terrible, why on Earth would you just assume that all your readers will make it to book 4 to find out).