Vince Friggin’ Wilkins!!

At first I thought I had overslept, by about a week… but we fast forward to Vince Wilkins’ crash pad where we find a still dripping Mark Trail starting to “Come Around…”  Apparently Vince was “punting around” near the blast site and found Mark bobbing around in the flaming wreckage and pulled him to safety.  BGwPT is gone now for sure…  Fine with Mitchum, that’s one less witness to have to worry about, take care of or pay off…

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Yea, I bet your ears are ringing, Mark.  Considering how close you were to the blast and the fact that there isn’t a piece of the boat left you couldn’t fit into a suitcase, it’s a miracle you aren’t dead.  But like I have said and have to keep reminding myself, the strip is named “Mark Trail,” and unless James Allen wants to bring Mark back from the dead, he has to keep him alive.  But seriously, when do the cumulative effects of all the sustained head trauma start to manifest??  Or at least the psychological effects of all the beatings begin to emerge??

Meanwhile, back on the ORCA…

Well, Mitchum is certainly back to smug mode

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Mitchum, you really are evil, aren’t you?  I underestimated your ability and willingness to kill people.  “If you husband is still alive…” Not to mention the fact that you stranded BGwPT somewhere in the swamp where he’s sure to become gator meat…  And BGwB is OK with all this?  Maybe he and PT don’t go back that far, maybe they hooked up in stir and came out thinking they could do “jobs” together but that there’s not a lot of history or loyalty here…  and is thinking that now he doesn’t have to share in whatever fee Mitchum has promised…

I think James Allen likes to see Mark in pain!!

Could it be all those years playing understudy to Jack Elrod, waiting for him to hand over the wheel??  Poor Mark!  I mean what did he do to deserve all the danger he’s been placed in since he went off on his local adventure where he finds himself treed, with an injured shoulder, overnight, by an angry Black Bear with a sore foot

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So as Mark calls out for his Cherry, we see that there is only so much buoyancy we can count on… And even if he remains afloat, face down isn’t going to do it…  and isn’t <<gurgle, gurgle>> a more accurate noise when face-down in the water, not ‘UUUNNNHHH?’

But good gravy, people, these are violent and desperate times we live in, right?   Is there nothing a person won’t do once intoxicated by the potential for profit??  Murder?  Mayhem?  Thy name is Mitchum!

Blast Radius? Any guesses?

I will say one thing for James Allen.  He sure likes to blow sh*t up…  And judging by the silhouettes, I’d say that BGwPT took more of it than Mark did…  in fact he may have shielded him somewhat…  Only this time there is an extra ‘O’ in B O O O M

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Empty Vessel you say?  Never an Empty Vessel when Mark is around.  His cup always runneth over even in the most dire of situations.  One might assume that they are both dead or stunned to the point where drowning is a given, but don’t lose faith, dear readers, people have been known to survive these kinds of things in the Trailverse…

How long is that pole, anyway?!?

Let’s just say for argument’s sake that the keel on the Swan is fixed and the overall draft is 8 – 10 feet… and that the water there is at least a few feet deeper so as not to damage said keel,   it makes “punting” out to the boat depend on having a pole at least 20 feet long… And Mark, wouldn’t it have been better to knock BGwPT out and leave him stranded with the Alligator?  Rather than have him along as a constant nuisance and threat??

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Plus I would imagine that BGwPT knows something Mark doesn’t…  that the ignition is rigged to blow the whole thing into oblivion…  this information asymmetry does neither of them any good, though, as Mark forces them both back onto the boat…  And Speaking of getting back on the boat, did someone think to leave the ladder down?  Otherwise, they will need Jedi powers to get back on board…

I still don’t understand this whole “hostage taking” thing…  how this makes anything any easier… if the goal is to get Justin and his “friends” (and their ilk) out of the way, he’s going about it in a very clumsy way…

They ditched me! Totally ditched me!!

BGwPT must be thinking…

Your boat??  Really, Mark??  OK, so it’s yours to use, but that’s about it.  And let’s hope it’s well insured without any exclusions for losses related to terrorist acts…   But it’s great how BGwPT just stands there, all bald-pated and slack-jawed, with all the fight taken out of him…

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But what about the dude Vince Wilkins who appeared briefly looking for boat motor parts, who was “punting” around in his backup boat??  How does he feature?  Does the Bull Shark swim upstream in the brackish waters and wreak havoc with those who are bent on doing bad??  Oh the suspense!!

So… if you have already paid for the land…

Wouldn’t your cousin’s interests be unaffected??  Unless he sold you the land on a Land Contract or something and there are still payments to be made??  OK, I know I over-think these things and there is only so much detail one could fit into the daily frames before it would become completely stalled and unreadable… Sort of like Star Wars Episode I, II and III (not IV, V and VI) where we were treated to a terribly boring story line about how Jedi Knights were dispatched to break an impasse over what?  Embargoes and Trade routes?  <<yawn>> and that set the tone for the entire movie…  complete with votes of no-confidence in the Galactic Senate  <<double yawn>> and Jedis protecting Politicians (OK, now that’s just stupid…)

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But I digress.

Certainly one thing that’s nice, though, is that Mitchum feels compelled to share everything about his motivations, which certainly helps move the story along…  “So don’t ‘Buddy’ me,” says Mitchum…  “I have a plan and I am going to execute on it!”