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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
V: The Oregon Invasion V
The Oregon Invasion

Written by Jayne Tannehill

(The page numbers come from the 1st printing, paperback edition, published January 1988)

A Visitor who was left behind on Earth after the fleet pull-out on V-day has a destiny far beyond any he ever imagined.

Story Summary

As the novel opens, we are introduced to Hadad, a Visitor who was accidentally left behind when the Visitors fled Earth after the release of the red dust on V-day. Somehow he has seemingly found a small area of Oregon, around the city of Prineville, where the paths of the dust-carrying winds did not travel. He has survived for the past year living in a cave in the hills, eating wild rodents, insects, and lizards and working for money for his other needs at the local lumber mill.

One night he accidentally tears the dermoplast covering on his hand and determines he must pick up a "medicine plant" in town the next morning to patch it up.

In the morning he wakes up to see a mothership hanging over the valley below. He hikes down the hill and finds that the townsfolk are gathered in public places such as markets to discuss what to do about the arrival of the ship. They know it's only a matter of time until the Visitors come down and they wonder what they should do. Some want to fight and some to run, others to just wait and see. Hadad stays in one market to listen to all the ideas. As the crowd finally breaks up and leaves, another person enters the store and recognizes Hadad, speaking to him in Visitorese; it is his former friend, now nemesis, Jeffrey. But a woman named Ruth speaks up for him, saying he's no Visitor and claiming he's her fiancé. Jeffrey pretends to believe her and leaves.

Ruth then takes him to lunch and they talk about her alternative medicine, herbal remedies, and other things, though Hadad tries to keep his words truthful but close to the vest. He does reveal to her that his name of Hadad was given to him because he was expected to become a leader and reestablish a lost city called Pau in the Middle East. They are confused by each other yet they feel a strange mutual attraction as well as they prepare to part ways. Hadad tells her that she must go to Los Angeles and find the resistance there and convince them to release some of the red dust near Prineville so it will become uninhabitable to the Visitors. He knows this will likely mean his own death as well. Ruth promises to do it but, as she walks to her car, she is struck by another vehicle and left laying on the pavement.

Meanwhile, Jeffrey has returned to the hovering mothership and reports that he has found Hadad in the city below. His death has been commanded by Diana should he ever be discovered. Jeffrey's superior, Paul, has convoluted plans of his own to gain power; he has even befriended the fifth column for his own ends. He reminisces on how he has eliminated all of the other 50 "priests of the Leader" (former priests of Zon who have been converted to follow and preach the Leader's words) and Hadad is the last one left.

Back in Prineville, Hadad rushes to the fallen Ruth and he uses his healing powers to heal her battered body. She gets up, feeling fine. Just then the Visitor invasion begins, troops rushing into the city. Hadad says he must leave and Ruth must get to Los Angeles to fulfill her promise.

Hadad knows he must get out of Prineville before more Visitors recognize him and, in the morning, he is able to catch a ride with a local named Jerry who is also fleeing to another small city to the west, Vida. Hadad again moves up onto a hill in the wild of the forest. He gets a job cleaning and sweeping at a pizza parlor. Weeks later, Ruth finds him, having tracked down Jerry, and tells him Prineville is now fully in the Visitors' hands and that she found the resistance in L.A. but they told her they can't release any more red dust because the Earth's ecology is already at the tipping point of the red dust becoming harmful to Earth creatures in large amounts. Hadad tells her she shouldn't have come to him, but she wants to be with him. He insists they cannot be together, there are things she does not know that he can't tell her.

She refuses to go, saying she will live here in the woods with him, so he finally tells her that he is a Visitor. At first she doesn't believe him, but when he tries to touch her she shouts, "Don't touch me!" and runs off in a frenzy.

Hadad visits Jerry who has just returned from picking up his parents and a neighbor from Prineville. He helps Jerry unpack their belongings from the back of the pickup and take them into the house. Jerry introduces Hadad to his parents and old Mrs. Hardesty. She is somehow able to smell the scent of a Visitor and yells at Hadad to get away from there and leave them alone. Jerry apologizes to him and Hadad heads back to his place on the hill.

He finds Ruth waiting for him there. They wind up kissing and then making love. The next morning she is ill and Hadad realizes that she is pregnant. She tells him it was with a man who is no longer around and she had no desire to find him again. They spend days (or perhaps weeks) living this way together, though not without the problems couples often have together, made more difficult by their different species and cultural upbringings. At one point, she runs away from him, crying, and heads to Jerry's house. She tells him that Hadad is a Visitor and when the Visitor comes by to find Ruth, Jerry chases him with a rifle. But Ruth finds him first and helps him escape in her car. She apologizes for her behavior and tells him she didn't know how Jerry would react to the revelation.

The Visitors arrive in Vida as this is happening and Jerry's house is destroyed, with its occupants. As Ruth and Hadad try to drive to a safe place, their car is spotted and trailed by Paul in a skyfighter. But a storm starts and the fighter is struck by lightning and returns to the mothership for repairs. Meanwhile, other Visitor patrols wipe out over a hundred people in a campground while searching for Hadad.

Hadad begins to have flashbacks of his time in the conversion chamber back on the homeworld and realizes that the Leader and Diana changed him from what he used to be, a follower of Zon. He and Ruth retreat to an abandoned resort and fix up a cabin there to live in, hunting and gathering food from the land. A few nights later, Hadad hears a voice in his sleep and follows it outside. There he sees an image of Amon, the last priest of Zon. He tells Hadad that he, Hadad, must become Amon on Earth and fulfill the prophecy to teach the Star Child, Elizabeth, and lead her to her destiny. He also says that Ruth and her child are part of the prophecies of the books of Earth. Amon then disappears.

A few days later, Hadad and Ruth are attacked by a cadre of Visitors led by Paul and Jeffrey. Jeffrey is killed and Paul injured, but Paul comes to the realization that he, too is a converted follower of Zon and accepts Hadad as his leader. The rest of the troops in the cadre are all fifth column and follow Paul's commands to leave.

Paul gives Hadad and Ruth a skyfighter so they can begin their search for the Star Child. 

THE END

 

Didja Know?

The novel goes into great detail about the towns, streets, and businesses of central Oregon. Most of the details are highly accurate to the real world state of Oregon, including the names of streets and businesses and their locations in town!

Jayne Tannehill was the wife (or at least long-time companion; reports differ) of fellow science-fiction author Theodore Sturgeon. The two lived in Oregon until Sturgeon's death in May 1985.

Didja Notice? 

Page 1 establishes Hadad as living near the small city of Prineville. This is a real town, the seat of Crook County Oregon.

Page 3 reveals that the Los Angeles mothership was originally organized to go to the Fertile Crescent area of the Middle East, but Diana objected and arranged to have the ship go to L.A. instead. This might explain why Willie was stationed in L.A. when he was originally taught the Arabic language to be stationed in the Middle East. Hadad also has difficulty with English at the time, even more so than Willie. Presumably Diana was able to exchange most of her crew for English-speaking crewmembers but some, like Willie and Hadad, wound up stuck in L.A. without the proper language skills.

Page 5 mentions Coombs Flat Road, which is a real road in Prineville, though the more popular spelling seems to be Combs Flat Road.

Page 7 reveals that, besides rodents and insects, Visitors are willing to eat small lizards.

Page 7 also states that if he had been assigned to the Middle East as originally scheduled, Hadad would have been involved in the building of a city called Pau below the Dead Sea. This seems like an unusual statement in the novel, beyond the usual scope of the Visitors' invasion, and we are provided no further embellishment other than Hadad's conversion to be a priest of the Leader. I can find no evidence of a city by that name already existing there (though there is a Biblical lost city called Pau [or Edom], possibly located in Egypt). Why would the Visitors want to build a city there? A possible clue is that the previously mentioned Biblical city of Pau was once led by an early ruler named Hadad ben Bedad and our Visitor character says, on page 39, "I was named after an ancient king, because they wanted me to be a great leader here on Earth."

Page 9 seems to suggest that Hadad's true Sirian name is Gclixtchp (he dreams of his mother addressing him as such and is addressed as such by Jeffrey later and by Diana in his flashback of the conversion process).

Page 10 describes an Earth plant with white sap that is useful for patching up tears in the Visitors' dermoplast skins. The plant is not named, but the novel states the plant is easily found in stores in L.A. and Hadad has more difficulty finding it in Oregon. Ruth later guesses from his description that he may be referring to a type of Aloe vera plant.

After the arrival of the mothership over the local mountains, page 13 describes Hadad following Crooked River from his cave home to Deer Street in town. This is an accurate description of areas around the city of Prineville. He visits Erickson's market, a flower store called the Posie Shop, and Bob's Market. Erickson's and the Posie Shop are real businesses. I found no evidence of Bob's Market, but that doesn't mean it didn't exist at the time the novel was written in 1987.

Page 18 mentions the cities of Madras, Redmond, and Bend, all real cities in Oregon.

As the city residents attempt to organize a resistance to the Visitors, someone suggests Cary Fisher Hall as a central meeting place on page 19. I can find no evidence of a Cary Fisher Hall in Prineville, but there is Cary (or Carey) Foster Hall. Perhaps the author changed the names of some establishments if she did not have permission to use the real one. The name Cary Fisher may also be a play on the name of actress and writer Carrie Fisher.

Page 32 suggests that the Visitors have worked out some way to control the vibratory resonance of their voices to emulate human ones.

Some Visitor words are spoken on pages 34-35: "Gclixtchp! Truqch klzopltx grbpdtiq? Spriqktz plictx klzopltx plafqzkrsm. Zhrnimpt trlipgt qravcprts. Crizlchsqpts!" and "Gclixtchp, plupltle." Page 45 reveals that the message delivered with these sentences was that Diana had given orders that Hadad was to be shot on sight as a traitor and now that Jeffrey had found him, he would be rewarded for the information that "the despicable one" was on Earth.

On page 39, Ruth reveals she was named after the Ruth of the Bible, who was known for her loyalty to her mother-in-law after her husband's death.

On page 41, Ruth mentions she will have to look up Hadad's "medicine plant" in her Culpeppers. She is likely referring to the 1653 book The Complete Herbal, a record of herbal pharmaceuticals by Dr. Nicholas Culpeper. From her own knowledge of alternative medicine, she guesses Hadad's plant to be a type of Aloe vera, a plant well-known for its many medicinal and cosmetic properties.

Page 43 describes Hadad as being quick enough with his hands to catch flies in midair.

Page 44 reveals that the Visitor Jeffrey's true name is Spligxzt which means "the Jealous One".

After Hadad explains to Ruth that he was meant to be a ruler by his people, she jokingly tries to guess what he used to do before coming to Prineville to work at the mill. She asks, "What did you do? Guard hordes of beautiful maidens in the holds of slave ships? Do battle with Amazon queens for power and control of empires? Program giant computers so that with the flip of a switch only you could touch you could destroy or preserve the lives of millions?" Ironically, her sarcastic remarks are close to the mark for a Visitor who: used to be the head technician of human storage on the L.A. mothership; came into conflict with Diana; and was poised by the Leader to be a Visitor leader on Earth.

On page 52, Hadad pulls a Willie, misspeaking English words the way Willie frequently does. He says "uncontainerated" instead of "uncontaminated" and uses the phrase "the wrong rail" instead of "the wrong track".

Page 60 reveals that a Visitor scientist named Eleanor has developed an antitoxin to the red dust, but it lasts only a few hours, the Visitors can only be reinjected with it every 72 hours, and repeated use of it makes the user ill in itself. Perhaps Eleanor's discovery could be said to have sprouted from the herbal antitoxin found and lost (?) by the Visitors in "For Old Times' Sake" and "End Game". Of course, this also begs the question of why the Visitors don't make use of the synthesized virus that temporarily holds the red dust bacteria at bay from the novel The Florida Project.

    Page 64 reveals that after essentially wiping out the priests of Zon and forcing Amon into exile, the Leader had taken 50 of the young former followers of Zon, who all bore the mark of Zon, and, using conversion techniques, molded them into priests of the Leader. It's possible that this is what the Leader also had in mind for Elizabeth when she goes to see him at the end of "The Return".
   He also has banned the Book of Zon and replaced it with the Book of the Leader.

Page 65 then goes on to reveal that Paul, for his own reasons of power usurpation, has eliminated all of the priests of the Leader on Earth...except for Hadad.

On page 66, Paul reads from The Art of War by Sun Tzu. This is a real book written in the 6th century BC by the Chinese general Sun Tzu, still studied today in military academies. You can read the book online for free at Sonshi.com.

On page 75, Hadad observes the Zodiac constellations of Cancer and Scorpio as well as the somewhat lesser known constellations of the Eagle, Dolphin, and Swan. These are all internationally recognized constellations in the real world.

Page 78 mentions Hadad and Jerry driving through Sisters. This is another small city in Oregon not far from Prineville.

On page 81, Hadad mentions to Ruth that he was to rebuild the lost city of Pau. He does not mention whether this is the same city by that name which is recorded in the Bible.

Also on page 81, Hadad describes himself to Ruth as one of the "marked people" (presumably referring to the Mark of Zon). Ruth asks him if it is like the Mark of Cain, but he is not familiar with the term. The Mark of Cain refers to the curse and historically unrevealed mark on Cain left by God as punishment for killing his brother Abel.

On page 82, Jerry says, "Es la vita." It's not translated, but from the context it may be Italian for "This is the life." The statement is meant to go along with his and Hadad's arrival in Vida, another town in Oregon. Later, the businesses of Rhodoland (a nursery), Ike's Pizza, and Filacres (a filbert [Hazelnut] farm) are mentioned, which are real businesses in Vida. Also mentioned are the roads of Goodpasture Road and Angels Flight Road, real roads in the area of Vida.

On page 110 and throughout the rest of the book, the term "hover craft" is used for what seems to be the vehicle normally referred to as a skyfighter.

On page 114, Hadad removes his human eye lenses to better see what Ruth looks like "without the limits of those tiny holes". This would seem to suggest his lenses are not electronically augmented as described for Willie's lenses in the novel The New England Resistance.

Page 114 suggests that the eating of at least some seeds and grasses by Visitors that humans are able to eat causes regurgitation of stomach contents, similar to dogs and cats eating wild grass. Perhaps this is true of many plant substances for the Visitors and might explain why they are generally carnivorous. If that is the case, it would mean Willie, as a vegetarian, has to be careful about what he consumes on Earth!

Page 129 describes the destruction of a bridge on Goodpasture Road near Vida, by the weapons of a Visitor skyfighter. This may refer to the Goodpasture Bridge, a covered bridge listed in the National Register of Historic Places. (Photo by Orygun at en.wikipedia).

Page 129 mentions the town of Leaburg. This is a real town in Oregon, west of Vida.

Page 131 mentions the towns/cities of Wendling, Marcola, Sweet Home, Cascadia, Albany, and Detroit. These are real places in Oregon. Also mentioned is State Route 22; this is the main road, also known as the Santium Highway (after the Santium River), into and out of Detroit.

Page 135 mentions the Cascade mountain range. This is the range of mountains that runs from British Columbia, Canada through Washington, then Oregon and northern California and is part of the ring of volcanoes known as the Pacific Ring of Fire.

Page 135 reveals that the theft of water from the region by Visitors has altered the weather patterns, leaving Oregon much drier than it has been in the past and the forests ready to go up in flames at the slightest spark.

Page 148 reveals that, since the hardships induced by the Visitors' arrival on Earth, many of the lawns and lots in the town of Detroit have become vegetable gardens as the citizens struggle to survive with less. This scenario would probably be true pretty much throughout the country and the world.

Page 152 mentions Mount Jefferson. This is a stratovolcano in the Cascade Range.

On Page 161, Ruth comments that more than a third of Earth inhabitants have already been taken by the Visitors!

On page 167, Hadad draws on the energy of Zon to feed into the life force of a young boy, saving the boy's life. This is similar to the healing powers evidenced by Elizabeth in episodes of the TV series. 

During Hadad's cosmic hallucination on page 173, he witnesses himself floating among the stars.
  There were explosions around him as stars were born and died. Sirens wailed as comets swung through solar rings, and shots crackled as starchildren went supernova--the cosmic celebration of the Lords of Light.  
Is the starchildren reference meant to be interpreted as multiple Star Children as in the type evidenced by Elizabeth? If so, is the supernova reference just a metaphor? Could it be meant as a literal cosmic explosion? In J. Michael Straczynski's unproduced treatment for a V revival in the 1990s, it is mentioned that after capturing her following the "The Return" episode of the original series, the Visitors studied and ran tests on Elizabeth at one of their outposts and eventually the entire area went up in an unexplained explosion, destroying all, with Elizabeth presumed dead as well. Perhaps, in this scenario, Elizabeth's Star Child power went supernova?

Although not specific, various passages in the novel, particularly pages 180 and 191 suggest that this story takes place during the "open city of Los Angeles" portion of the V timeline.

On page 184, Patricia tells Paul how a couple of the skyfighters in Jeffery's assault on Oregon destroyed two dams, robbing both the local towns and the Visitors themselves of the water resources there, seemingly as a prank. We are never given a reason why Jeffery or anyone else would want to have done that.

On page 205, Amon, the last priest of Zon, appears to Hadad. Amon's only other appearance to date is as a holographic image in the earlier episode "The Overlord".

On page 207, Amon tells Hadad to assume Amon's own identity on Earth. He also says that the waters both on the Earth and above will do his bidding, and that the substance of the Earth itself and all life on it will respond to his word. It seems that Hadad is being set up to become a messianic figure. Amon goes on to state that the child of Ruth's current human pregnancy will die to fulfill a prophecy of the books of Earth, but she will then have a child by Hadad himself who will do battle for the preservation of the people of Earth.

Page 208 reveals that the dermoplast artificial skin worn by the Visitors is a symbiote that lives off the cells of the Sirian's natural skin and can heal itself over time (or more quickly with the use of medicinals such as the "medicine plant").

The book ends with what seems to be a setup for a sequel that never happens!

At the end of the book, the Visitors still have the temporary antitoxin and are still plundering central Oregon.

The cover of the book features Donovan and Julie but they neither appear nor are they even mentioned in the story. 

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