Path to Conquest
Written by Howard Weinstein
(The page numbers come from the 1st printing, paperback edition,
published September 1987)
Diana enacts a two-pronged plot to alter
world weather patterns to bring an early, crushing winter and to
then contaminate world petroleum supplies and make the needed
heating oil unusable.
Diana initiates Project Icewind to alter the weather patterns of
the northern hemisphere and bring about an early, crushing
winter on the humans in the free, red dust protected portions of
Earth. Six modified motherships are placed in different
positions around the globe to begin the project, which quickly
begins to bear fruit in the northern states of the U.S.
Pete Forsythe, of New York's resistance group White Christmas, is
introduced to his comrade Sari's new boyfriend Neville More, an
English computer and business wiz who is travelling the country
helping resistance efforts shore up their computer systems. But
Pete is suspicious of Neville, though he can't put his finger on
why. He goes to Denise Daltry at CBS News to see if she can dig
up some dirt on him. While he's there, the Visitors launch an
air attack on New York. During the attack, one skyfighter peels
off and lands at an oil refinery on Staten Island. There, the
environment-suited Visitors meet with two men who have agreed to
contaminate the refinery's oil with an additive.
Lydia brings Diana a report showing that Project Icewind is
demanding 43.9% more power of the motherships than Diana's
scientists had predicted, threatening to drain the ships'
engines. The plan must be halted, but Diana is satisfied because
she has already put phase two into action.
Soon, two buildings in New York report overwhelming and
nauseating fumes, making people sick. The Brook Cove lab,
through testing, determines that it was caused by an alien
microbiotic substance tainting the heating oil in the buildings.
Further, they learn that the microbe in its current state has limited
effectiveness but they know how it could be made more potent. Meanwhile,
the President's national security team informs him that the
Visitors are suddenly erecting a rig in the Persian Gulf. And
Brook Cove's resident computer hacker, Mitchell, catches Neville monkeying around with one of the facility's computers in the
middle of the night, raising suspicions in his mind.
The following evening, Neville cooks dinner for the entire Brook
Cove crew, which turns out to be a mistake on the crew's part as
they all find themselves drugged and asleep through the night. In the morning they find
that Neville's missing and their own
matriarch, Dr. Hannah Donnenfeld, kidnapped.
Mitchell reveals he'd been checking up on Neville's past and
learned that at one of the places that Neville had helped,
the computers suffered a system collapse within a week of his
leaving. They now suspect him of being a saboteur and discover
their own system has now gone haywire as well due to a virus
planted by Neville.
The President consults with Israeli Prime Minister Avram Herzog
and they decide to launch an attack on the Visitor rig
using fighter jets of the Israeli air force under the
(correct) assumption that the aliens are planning to use it to
contaminate one of the largest oil fields on Earth. But the attack fails
miserably, the jets blown away by Visitor skyfighters.
Hannah awakens aboard Diana's mothership, greeted by Neville.
Soon, Diana is attempting to coerce and torture her knowledge of
the microbe's effectiveness from her. Neville tries to advise
Diana on Hannah's stubbornness and how to break her, but he is
rebuffed. Neville returns to the surface and pays another visit
to Brook Cove. He tells the assembled resistance there that he
will help them get Hannah back and destroy the Visitors' Persian
Gulf rig; he wants revenge against Diana for rebuking him.
With Neville's expert help, White Christmas is able to rescue
Hannah from Diana's mothership. Shortly after, the rebels travel
with Neville to Saudi Arabia. When they arrive, Diana's
mothership is also hovering over Hofuf, the beachfront city
overlooking the Visitors' rig; she is planning to activate the
contamination in person. That night, Pete, Neville, and the Saudi
resistance member Abdul, take an inflatable launch to the
Visitors' rig. Pete and Neville board the rig and take out the
guards. Neville gets into the Visitors' computer system while
Pete and Abdul head back to shore to avoid notice, with plans to
pick up Neville when he's done. But, upon return to the rig,
Diana and Lydia attack the launch from a skyfighter and they are
forced to abandon Neville to his fate. To his credit, the
Englishman is able to stop not only the contamination from
taking place, but also to infect the aliens' computer network such as to
wipe out the research information on the oil microbe so it will
take them months to reformulate. He also triggers Diana's self
destruct sequence on the platform due to his tampering and he
and the rig go up in a rippling fireball.
The rest of the resistance members return to New York and Pete
even puts in an appearance at his old third base position with
the Yankees in the new semipro leagues.
Notes from the V
The novel suggests this story takes place about 2 months after
the events of Death Tide
and after the fall of Los Angeles, which would place it at a
point in the timeline when either Charles or Philip were
essentially in command of the Visitor fleet, with Lydia as Diana's
superior officer. Yet, Diana consistently is presented as the
one charge, with no mention of Charles or Philip. As witnessed
by Weinstein's author's notes at the beginning of the book, it
was written in 1985 when the fate of the TV show was not yet
known. And so the entire twists and turns of the TV episodes
were not yet known at the time of writing either. To fit it into
the V timeline, I think we must assume it takes place after
"The Champion" when Philip places
Diana and Lydia at roughly equal command authority (though Lydia
is still technically adjutant to him and, thus, Diana's
superior) and before "The Littlest Dragon" when Philip starts to
have some respect for the Earthlings. We must assume that at
this point Diana's Project
Icewind has Philip's approval, so Lydia can't directly stop it,
despite her reservations.
Page 1 reveals that when she first donned her human skin, Diana
found herself ugly, wanting her own face back. But she grew
accustomed to it and even learned to appreciate the beauty of
the human form.
Page 4 introduces us to the U.S. supercarrier USS Nimitz.
The Nimitz is a real ship, named for WWII Navy Admiral
Chester W. Nimitz and the lead ship of the Nimitz class
of nuclear powered carriers. It was launched in 1975 and is
still in service today.
Page 4 also tells us that when the Visitors returned a year
after V-Day, the fleet contained fewer motherships and
skyfighters. No explanation is given as to why. We know from
"Liberation Day" and the novels
previous to that episode that the Visitor fleet was hiding
behind Earth's moon, awaiting its chance to return. But,
possibly, some of the fleet was recalled by the Leader in that
year to fight his enemies elsewhere.
Page 6 mentions F-14 Tomcat and F-15 Eagle jet fighters. These
are real fighter craft of the U.S. military. The F-14 was introduced
to the Navy in 1974 and retired in 2006. The F-15 entered
service in the Air Force in 1976, going on to become one of the
most successful fighter planes in history; it is expected to
remain in service until 2025.
Page 6 also mentions the Phoenix, Sidewinder, and Sparrow
missiles. These are long, short, and medium range missiles
respectively which have been in use by the U.S. and other
nations for decades.
On page 7, Nimitz Master Helmsman Reinhold mentions
being deployed to the Middle East during conflict between the
nations of Iran and Iraq. This references the Iran-Iraq War
which began in September 1980. In our world the war continued
until August 1988. In the
V universe, it's
not clear whether the war continued after the Visitors' invasion
of Earth. Presumably the Middle Eastern nations, being in a
temperate zone where the red dust would have died off, have been
largely occupied by Visitor forces and Iran and Iraq would not
have the forces to waste on battling each other.
Page 7 also mentions the E-2 Hawkeye. This is an early-warning
aircraft carrying radar to detect approaching enemy forces and
long range communications in order to warn U.S. and Allied forces
ahead of time. The
plane is described as having "four-bladed Allison turboprop
engines." Allison was a real engine manufacturer at the time
which was bought out by Rolls Royce in 1995. The radar dome on
top of the fuselage is described in the book as looking almost
like "a small, flattened replica of a Visitor Mother Ship."
On page 9, Captain Felix briefly reminisces on his time at
"Gonzo Station". Gonzo Station is a nickname given to the region
patrolled by the U.S. Navy in the Indian Ocean during the
Iranian Hostage Crisis which lasted from November 1979 to
January 1981. GONZO was actually an acronym applied to the area
by the Navy: Gulf of Oman Naval Zone of Operations. The Strait
of Hormuz is also mentioned in this passage, which is the small
opening connecting the Persian Gulf with the Gulf of Oman.
Also mentioned on page 9 is the U.S. battleship Arizona.
This is the ship sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl
Harbor, Hawaii in 1940 whose remains still lie at the bottom of
the harbor and which became the USS Arizona Memorial in
1962 in commemoration of the lives lost in the attack.
Page 10 mentions the A-7 Corsair attack aircraft. This aircraft
entered service in the U.S. Navy in 1966. The Air Force also
adopted use of a modified A-7 not long after. After a relatively
short period of use by the Navy and Air Force, the Corsairs were
transferred to units of the Air National Guard in the mid-1970s
through early '80s, who retired them completely in 1993. As
presented here in the V
universe, the Corsairs are being made use of once again in 1985
by the United States Navy to augment their forces against the
On page 11, when Visitor skyfighters are detected approaching
the Nimitz and the tankers under its protection, Captain Felix
scrambles the F-14s and orders, "Launch when ready." This may be
a reference to the 1978 TV series
where the phrase was frequently heard before the launch of the
Colonial Vipers against the Cylon Raiders, since the
F-16 (though officially known as the Fighting Falcon) has been
nicknamed the Viper by service personnel due to its alleged
resemblance to a viper snake and after the Colonial Viper
Pages 14-15 reveal that the U.S. capital has been temporarily
moved to New York City as Washington D.C. is only just barely
under the protection of the red dust. President Morrow's offices
are now located in the UN building overlooking the East River
and he has taken residence in the
Grand Hyatt Hotel at 42nd Street and Lexington Avenue
(called the Hyatt White House on page 56). This is a real hotel
in NYC, located at this intersection just as described. Page 21
mentions that the Hyatt was built on the shell of the old
Commodore Hotel (originally built in 1919 and refurbished as the
Hyatt in 1980), which is also true.
Page 15 reveals that
New York City is where the Freedom Network is based, as
well as being the de facto capital of the World Liberation
On page 15, Secretary of State Draper laces on his
Nikes for a jog.
Page 17 mentions
Square Garden. This a large multi-purpose arena in
Manhattan, best known for hosting New York professional sports
teams and concerts. At this time in the V
universe, it has become a refugee station for citizens fleeing
the war in the temperate states. On page 19, Mayor Alison Stein
refers to it as Manhattan's own little Ellis Island (the famous
gateway to the United States for millions of immigrants).
Page 18 mentions Penn(sylvania) Station. This is the major
railway station in NYC.
Also on page 18, Cynthia explains to Secretary of Defense Stuart
Hart that New York's suburbs house many refugees at abandoned
military bases or prisons, unused college dorms, and hospitals.
She goes on to say that some refugee camps are just tents and
Quonset huts. Quonset huts were introduced by the U.S. Navy
during WWII as a lightweight, easy to ship and assemble building
for housing offices, barracks, latrines, and medical facilities.
Surplus huts were also sold throughout the U.S. after the war
and can still be seen in many parts of the country.
Page 21 mentions the Art Deco skyscraper, the Chrysler Building
in NYC. The Chrysler Building was built from 1928-1930 and was
briefly the world's tallest building before the Empire State
Building was completed. Art Deco was a popular artistic and
design style in the western world from roughly 1910 until the
start of WWII.
On page 30, President Morrow enters the Secretariat Building of
the United Nations. This is the well-known, tall centerpiece
building of the UN headquarters in Manhattan.
On page 35, national security advisor Livingston reveals that
the Israeli government and military have managed to hold on to
its land despite the Visitor takeover of much of the Middle
East. We also learn that they have set aside their differences
with Egypt and Saudi Arabia to build a combined defensive force
to protect the Saudi oil fields. The TV episode
"Breakout" contains a Freedom Network
report that suggests that fighting has been fierce in Israel but
that the Visitors had retaken the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. It
would seem that in the intervening time, the Israelis pushed the
Visitors out of the country.
On page 36, Secretary Hart suggests they are between Scylla and
Charybdis (or between a rock and a hard place). Scylla and
Charybdis are two Homeric sea monsters of Greek mythology.
Also on page 36, the President and his advisors discuss the
Strategic Reserve of crude oil, a reserve held by the U.S.
government in locations in Texas and Louisiana to be used in the
event of an embargo or cut-off of oil from foreign sources. This
reserve exists in the real world and has expanded since then,
both in the U.S. and other countries.
Chapter 3 implies that the U.S. government is going to attempt
to move the nation's strategic oil reserves from Texas and
Louisiana up north into the free states under the Visitors'
noses. But then it is never brought up again in the rest of the
Pages 38-39 reveal a bit about Diana's parents. They were a
political family, her father, Tiirac, a government minister who
survived under several regimes, and her mother, a highly placed
scientist. Lydia believes Diana to have been highly influenced
by her mother, as Mommy dearest was suspected, but never proven,
to have also been a very successful assassin, eliminating many
of her husband's rivals. Tiirac himself eventually died under
mysterious circumstances, ending an unusually long marital union
in Visitor society. It is left unrevealed to the reader whether
Diana's mother still lives.
Page 39 gives some insight into Lydia's past. Her parents'
coupling was solely for reproductive purposes and she entered
the military academy at an early age. Lydia has learned the
lesson that honor is a low priority among the upper echelons of
the Leader's new army and she has been forced to adapt to this
reality. This passage in the book does not explain what is meant
by the Leader's "new army"; there seem to be conflicting
versions throughout the V
novels of how long the Leader has been in power and how long the
Visitors have had a military government.
Page 40 reveals that Supreme Commander John (who died in
"The Final Battle") was one of the
principle architects of the Visitors initial strategy of the
Earth invasion, i.e. the human syntho-skin disguises and
pretenses of friendship to the Earthlings.
Page 45 mentions that with Hollywood in a real war zone, very
few new entertainment TV shows and movies were being produced
except for a few in New York and Canada. This agrees with the
similar statement in the novel
Symphony of Terror
that the film industry in L.A. is
essentially dead except for making Visitor propaganda movies.
Televised entertainment is mostly a sea of reruns, but plays,
both on and off Broadway, have, consequently, experienced a sort
of renaissance in New York. The L.A.-as-a-war-zone mention here also
places Path to Conquest sometime after the fall of L.A.
in the V timeline.
Page 45 also mentions Robert Redford. Redford is a
world-renowned American movie actor, director, and producer.
Pages 45-46 reveal that although the pro leagues shut down after
the return of the Visitors, a sort of semipro baseball league
has evolved in the free states and proven to be extremely
popular. Games are alternately played at Yankee or Shea
stadiums. The two stadiums that existed in the 1980's when the
book was written, and in which the story takes place, have since been
demolished and replaced with new stadiums. The new Yankee
Stadium is across the street from the location of the original
(now converted into park land) and Shea Stadium, formerly home
of the New York Mets, was demolished to make additional parking
for the new Mets home, Citi Field.
Page 46 reveals that Pete now works as a doctor at New York
Hospital, presumably a reference to New York-Presbyterian
Hospital, affiliated with the two Ivy League medical
universities Columbia and Pete's own alma mater, Cornell.
On page 47, Sari says that Neville More founded the Magicomp
company. This is, of course, a fictional company created for the
story, though there are a number of businesses since then with
that name in several states.
Sari also mentions on page 47 the Von Neumann bottleneck, the
flaw in computers that slows down data processing. She is
referring to John Von Neumann, a mathematician who made
important contributions to a number of scientific fields,
including computer science. The Von Neumann bottleneck is the
rate of data transfer between the central processing unit and
the memory of the computer (i.e. the memory is slower than the
processor, so the processor has to wait for the memory to
complete the transfer).
On page 50, Neville mentions the Great White Way. This is the
Theater District of New York City's Broadway Avenue, given this
nickname in 1902 for all the electrical lights and signs
illuminating the area.
Also on page 50, Hannah asks Pete if he wants to play Trivial
Pursuit. This is a board game in which players must answer
questions of general knowledge and pop culture.
Page 52 mentions
Saks. These are upscale
department stores in competition with each other. Saks' full name is
actually Saks Fifth Avenue in reference to its original store on
Fifth Avenue in New York City as mentioned here.
On page 53, Sari is said to do a Mae West impression. Mae West
(1893-1980) was an American actress, writer, and sex symbol known
for her double entendres and sexy behavior.
Also on page 53, Sari reminisces about her youth, describing her
resistance to coming inside when called by her mother as a
child. She would do a Highland fling and pas de deux with a
light pole. The Highland fling is based on a traditional dance of
Scotland in which warriors would dance to a hard-won victory on
top of a small round shield. A pas de deux is a ballet dance
performed with a partner.
On page 56, Sari compares Neville's implacably perfect attire as
something worthy of G.Q. G.Q. (Gentlemen's
Quarterly) is a (now monthly) magazine devoted to men's
fashion and culture.
Page 62 mentions the Hudson River. This is the river that marks
the border between New York City and the state of New Jersey.
Page 62 also mentions the West Side Highway. Also known as the
Joe DiMaggio Highway, this route runs along the Hudson River on
the west side of Manhattan.
On page 63, Pete bumps into CBS news correspondent Charles
Kuralt (1934-1997). As Pete states, Kuralt was most widely
known for his "On the Road" segments on the CBS Evening News.
In the real world, upon his death in 1997, Kuralt was buried on
the grounds of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Coincidentally, this university is featured prominently in the
The Crivit Experiment!
On page 64, Denise Daltrey comments that newscaster Howard K.
Smith (1914-2002) was thrilled to come out of retirement to be the Freedom
Network anchor. In the real world, Smith had, indeed, retired
from newscasting in 1979. But in the
V mini-series, he
is depicted as still working and reporting on the aliens'
arrival; the novelization by A.C. Cripsin, however, depicts Dan
Rather in most of those scenes, probably in an attempt to ground
the story a little more in the real world. So Weinstein here may
have chosen to follow that path and explain Smith's presence on
the Freedom Network to his coming out of retirement for the
Pete also comments on the same page that it's reassuring to have
Sevareid and Cronkite reporting on the war. Eric Sevareid
Walter Cronkite (1916-2009) are also CBS News journalists who had retired
before 1985 but have apparently come back out of it to offer
their perspective on this new war.
On page 65, Denise says that Neville made the covers of
Business Week, the
People all in one month. These are all
real magazines or, in the case of WSJ, a newspaper.
On page 68, Walter Cronkite
reports on the breaking news of
an attack by Visitor skyfighters
on New York City. He says that
authorities are urging all New
Yorkers to seek shelter and that
all public shelters are marked
with the standard Civil Defense
insignia. Presumably, this would
be the U.S. Civil Defense
insignia as opposed to the
Civil Defense insignia
(example, this can be modified
After Cronkite's news update, the television returns to the in-progress broadcast of a rerun of the Mary Tyler Moore Show.
The show originally aired on CBS from 1970-1977, about a single,
independent woman who is a producer in the broadcast news
On page 69, Denise tells Pete about having done a story at the
Vietnam Memorial in Washington D.C. years ago. The Vietnam
Memorial is dedicated to the U.S. military service members who
died serving their country in the Vietnam conflict through most
of the 1960s and early '70s.
On page 72, Visitors in environmental protection suits complete
a treacherous deal with two oil factory workers on Staten
Island. Staten Island is a borough of New York City, located on
the southwest side, with its own southwest facing the Atlantic
Page 75 reveals that, for the attack on New York City, the
Visitors briefly moved a mothership back into the contaminated
area to launch and retrieve their fighters. Presumably their air
circulation system is able to filter out the red dust bacteria,
at least for a while.
Page 75 also mentions EMT units caring for the wounded after the
Visitor attack on NYC. EMT=Emergency Medical Technician.
On page 83, Pete says that, as a doctor in the war, he feels
like he's stepped into a never-ending episode of M*A*S*H*.
M*A*S*H* was a popular TV series which ran
from 1972-1983 about the dedicated, but zany, doctors of an army medical unit during the Korean War.
Page 86 describes Brook Cove Lab as overlooking Long Island
Sound and Oyster Bay Harbor. Long Island Sound is an estuary of
the Atlantic Ocean between the state of Connecticut and Long
Island. Oyster Bay is a town on the north shore of Long Island
and known as the location of President Teddy Roosevelt's "summer
On page 90, Sam and Denise drive on the Belt Parkway. This is a
series of highways that form a complete circle around the
boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens on Long Island.
Page 90 also mentions Sheepshead Bay and the Verrazano Narrows
Sheepshead Bay separates Brooklyn from Coney Island and the
Verrazano Narrows Bridge is a double-decked bridge that connects
Staten Island and Brooklyn as described in the book.
Page 94 describes Lavi and Abdul as being dressed like itinerant
Bedouins. Bedouins are an Arab ethnic group of desert-dwellers.
Page 98 mentions the oil fields of Safaniya and Ras Tanura.
These are actual oil fields in Saudi Arabia run by the Saudi
On page 100, Sari and Neville discuss both Mr. Spock and Dr.
Spock. Mr. Spock is the well-known Vulcan character in the
Star Trek TV and movie series. Dr. Benjamin Spock was a
famous pediatrician who wrote the bestselling "baby manual"
The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care which has
remained in print since 1946.
On page 104, Mitchell hums the Twilight Zone theme. The
Twilight Zone was an anthology TV series from 1953-1964
that featured science-fiction, fantasy, and horror elements. It
was also revived in two subsequent TV series, a movie, books,
comics, and other media. The famous main four-note theme music
that Mitchell hums originated during the second season of the
original series and has become a short-hand way in modern
culture of suggesting that something strange is happening.
On page 111, Neville mentions his Oxford days. This is a
reference to Oxford University, the third oldest surviving
university in the world, located in Oxford, England.
On pages 121-122, Neville explains the basic concept of a
computer virus to the White Christmas resistance members. It's
amusing in these days to realize that an explanation of the
concept was necessary in 1985 when computer viruses were not
common knowledge to the layman.
On page 123, Mitchell says that his research revealed that
Neville had worked on the Star Wars antimissile system. Star
Wars was the (somewhat derogatory) nickname given by the press
to President Ronald Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative created
in 1983. SDI was intended to be a space-based platform for
defending the U.S. from nuclear ballistic missiles. Many experts
and scientists did not believe it could ever be successfully
developed and it remains unrealized to this day. Interestingly,
though it was President Reagan who proposed and established the
program, in the
V universe Reagan
seemingly was not a President, the role in that time period
being filled by President Morrow as depicted in several
including this one. So, seemingly, President Morrow came up with
the idea in the V
universe instead of Reagan!
Page 125 reveals that the President has the capability to
contact Donovan and Julie in L.A. to ask for their help. They
must be highly recognized resistance members!
On page 127, President Morrow is reminiscing about Presidential
history and mentions that Thomas Jefferson and John Adams hated
each other's guts. This is not exactly true, but is a popular
myth. Adams and Jefferson were initially friendly but became
bitter political rivals when they twice ran against each other
for the office of President. This animosity lasted about 15
years, when they reconciled via written letters and renewed
their friendship which lasted until they both died on the same
day, July 4, 1826.
Morrow's musings on page 128 include that "today's world was no
Dickensian dichotomy--these were simply the worst of
times." This is a reference to the opening sentence of Charles
Dickens' novel A Tale of Two Cities, "It was the best
of times, it was the worst of times."
Page 128 reveals that the Prime Minister of Israel in the
universe at this time is Avram Herzog. This is a fictional
character. The real world Prime Minister of Israel in 1985 was
Page 129 describes an air attack on the Visitor "oil rig" off
the coast of
Saudi Arabia by the Israeli Air Force using K'fir (or Kfir) and
F-16 fighter jets. These two fighter jets were actually used by
the Israeli Air Force at this time. The Kfir was Israeli-built
and entered service in 1975, retired in the late 1990s. The F-16
is a U.S. built fighter that has been in production since 1973
and is still built for foreign markets.
Page 129 also describes the above fighter jets as bearing the
Star of David, a recognized symbol of Israel.
On page 132, Hannah refers to Philistines. A "Philistine" has
taken on a modern meaning of someone who is uninformed or
disrespectful of a particular area of knowledge.
On page 133, Neville calls Diana a doubting Thomas. "Doubting
Thomas" as a phrase is a reference to the Biblical Thomas the
Apostle who doubted Jesus' resurrection until he saw Jesus in
On page 135, the Visitor doctor Stavros expresses concern to
Diana that further torture of Hannah Donnenfeld could result in
her death due to heart ailments she possesses, including
atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a
thickening of the artery walls from fatty materials.
On page 140, Julie Parrish refers to Donovan's visit to New York
in Death Tide as having
occurred "a couple months ago". This helps us as to where to
place Path to Conquest in the
On page 142, Julie refers to needing ammo clips for the Ingram
automatics. She is referring to an Ingram MAC-10 machine gun
(designed in 1964 by Gordon B. Ingram).
On page 143, Julie tells Pete that she obtained the current
Visitor medical codes from a fifth columnist medical student
named Howie. Presumably this is the same character who appeared
in the episode "The Betrayal".
On page 147, Neville activates a Visitor computer terminal which
then flashes a sequence of red, purple, blue. He says that's
their equivalent of our red, yellow, green. Presumably he is
referring to the international color coding of traffic lights
with the red, yellow, green sequence to indicate stop, wait, and
As Pete and Neville rescue Hannah from the mothership on page
148, Pete tells her they're smuggling her out in a body bag,
saying, "You'll look like E.T. when they carted him away from
Elliot." This is a reference to the 1982 film E.T.: The
Also on page 148, Hannah says to Pete, "Ready, Dr.
Frankenstein," referring to the fact that he's a doctor and he
is planning to simulate her death to smuggle her off the
mothership and then bring her "back to life", like Dr. Victor
Frankenstein created life from death in Mary Shelley's 1818
Page 149 reveals that the Visitors have a Medical
Experimentation Center in San Diego. Many of the experiments
there are geared towards new ways of preserving humans for food.
On page 157, Diana is feeling a bit anxious and depressed over
the rescue of Dr. Donnenfeld and the hitch in her oil-eating
bacteria. Here, she is slouched in an overstuffed chair in her
quarters with a bowl of mice in her lap, just like a depressed
woman who might sit down on the couch with a container of ice
cream! On page 158 she tips the bowl to her mouth devouring all
the remaining mice in a series of gulps!
Page 161 refers to Hannah acting like Queen Victoria. Victoria
was the queen of the United Kingdom from 1837-1901 and was known
for her regal commanding presence and composure.
The description and history of Masada, overlooking the Dead Sea
in the Judean Desert given in Chapter 15 is factual.
On page 167, Lavi mentions his days working on the excavations
at Masada under Yagael Yadin in 1965. Yadin was the head
archaeologist at the site at the time.
Gamel mentions the Israelites not liking to be ruled by the Romans,
even under the historically celebrated figures of Cleopatra and
Mark Antony. Cleopatra was the pharaoh of Egypt from 50-30 BC
when Mark Antony, one of the triumvirate rulers of the Roman
Empire at the time, became her lover. They both committed
suicide after losing power and a civil war against Rome's new
Abdul mentions that soldiers of the modern Israeli Defense
Forces now graduate from basic training on top of Masada,
swearing the oath, "Masada shall not fall again." This is true.
On page 173, Lavi jokes about Abdul's English accent, saying he
occasionally gets the urge to call him Prince Charles instead of
Abdul. He is referring to the current Prince of Wales, best
known in the U.S. at the time for his marriage to Princess
Also on page 173, Abdul refers to the city of Riyadh as the
capitol of Saudi Arabia. This is true.
Page 173 also reveals that the defensive force compiled by the
Arabs and Israelis is known as the Arabian Defense Force.
Pete mentions Lawrence of Arabia on page 177. He is referring to
British Lieutenant Colonel T.E. Lawrence, who became known as
Lawrence of Arabia after his successful liaison between Britain
and the Arab world during WWI.
On page 179, Abdul mentions the oasis of Al Hasa. This is a real
oasis in the Saudi Arabian desert, in the Eastern Provence.
Gamel makes a joke about the Jews status as the Chosen People on
page 179. This is a reference to the Old Testament of the
in which God claims the Hebrews as his "treasured people out of
all the people on the face of the earth".
On page 180, Abdul mentions Hofuf. This is the major city of Al
Page 181 makes reference to the medina of Hofuf. A medina is the
older, non-European part of an Arab city.
On page 182, Lavi makes reference to James Bond movies. Bond, of
course, is the fictional British super-spy of novels and film.
On page 183, Diana has moved the L.A. mothership to Hofuf, Saudi
Arabia as part of her plot to contaminate the Saudi oil fields.
Pete also comments here that Diana's ship has never left the
California area since the second invasion began.
On page 189, Pete, Abdul, and Neville take a Zodiac inflatable boat out to the Visitors'
oil platform. Zodiac refers to the French company now known as
Aerpspace, which makes many products but is best known for their
The address given for Yankee Stadium on page 202 is correct.
Page 205 reveals that Joey Vitale is back together with his
former girlfriend who lived next door to his parents in
Brooklyn. She was last seen in
East Coast Crisis.
Page 207 introduces a non-Yankee rival baseball player of Pete's
called Popeye Malloy (Mathew). There does not appear to have been a
professional ball player with that name in the real world. On
the other hand, page 208 gives us Yankee pitcher Ron Guidry, who
actually did play for the team from 1975-1988.
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