Cheeseburger Gothic

Where has that dead man been?

Posted October 18 into Books by John Birmingham

I won't say his name, in the unlikely event that somebody here hasn't finished reading Paris yet. But everybody else will be aware that somebody is back.

This is something that I've been planning for a while. I killed him off when I was still finding my way through the trenches of novel writing, bombs bursting overhead, no idea where I was meant to be.

There have been other characters, killed in other books, whose loss might've seemed just as cruel and arbitrary, but I would disagree. With those deaths, I knew what I was doing, As much as it hurt, and as much as I missed the characters in later chapters and volumes.

Poor Fifi.

The apparent return of everybody's favourite palooka at the end of Paris, however, raises the question of what he's been up to for the last 10 or 12 years.

I know. Of course I know.

But I am curious to hear everybody else's guesswork.

Spoilers ahoy.

32 Responses to ‘Where has that dead man been?’

Sparty asserts...

Posted October 18
Its not original series XXX. he's come though from a parallel universe where Kolhammer guys have had more success at transition technology. Either way he and the the secret agent formally known as the Prince have to go on a secret mission TOGETHER!

John Birmingham mutters...

Posted October 18
To fight crime.

WarDog would have you know...

Posted October 19
In capes

Thalesian reckons...

Posted October 19
With much onomatopoeia

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insomniac mumbles...

Posted October 18
I'd guess super deep black ops. Not there but always there. Enough to know that Jules and Harry were in deep doodoo, and in most instances in and out to save the day without the other participants even knowing they were there, except in this case because, well, you know.

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jl ducks in to say...

Posted October 19
My bet is that Dan received a set of oral orders directing him to report to an undisclosed location. As we know, the plane he was supposed to be on crashed. Horrible fire, no identifiable remains.

Donovan takes him under his wing, Dan spends a while in training and hangs out with Ivanov tidying up some of the mess left behind by WW2. The now nameless and stateless Dan specializes in work that is deniable and kinetic, he takes care of the stuff that the alphabet-soup agencies won't touch.

Baathist revolt in Iraq? Dan sneaks into a room with a garrote. No man, no problem. Issues in Cuba? Dan stands ready with a bag of non-sequential hundreds and a silenced pistol. An ex-Nazi wants to regain some of his turf in a rebuilding Germany? Dan passes a portfolio of choice photos to a war-crimes tribunal. Nazi goes away.

Dan is a troubleshooter and an expediter, a hidden tool of the Western interest. He is accountable to few and traceable by none. Dan has gone so long without a name that he forgets who he really is at times. He sits at a souk in the Horn of Africa and contemplates the busy street scene- he is jealous of the busy, innocent crowd. He ponders their normal lives. They are oblivious to the shark in their midst.

Dan is nowhere and everywhere.

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Turlogh Dubh O'Brien is gonna tell you...

Posted October 19
Plain and simple : he works for a top secret organization by the name of Echelon.

jl mutters...

Posted October 19
I feel the itch to revisit the Disappearance novels.

Turlogh Dubh O'Brien reckons...

Posted October 21
Further proving my theory of a connection between the Disappearance and the Transition, Charlotte-Grace was adopted by Dr. Francois. Becomes a highly trained operative. Caitlyn Monroe, if I recall right, was also adopted. Draw your own conclusions.

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DaveC ducks in to say...

Posted October 19
Not entirely sure where we're at on the technology continuum, but he definitely wasn't an Uber driver was he?

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Mario Gómez mumbles...

Posted October 19
I imagine Dan as beeing the only contemporary operative in the quiet room, his death was staged to remove any accountability to the U.S. goverment for his actions. He has both, the mind set of a contemporary american and the backing of the economic, political and technological powerhouse that is the quiet room as his tools, and is presumably their go-to guy in the Middle East because of his minning backgroud and Civil Engineering degree (pre-transition, so basically worthless).

Surtac ducks in to say...

Posted October 19
Yes, I tend to agree with this.

I also see him as a sort of mining canary for Kolhammer in dealing with 'temp society - "How far can I go? how quickly can I make cultural changes in pursuing my overall agenda? how much change would be going too far in this new world? What will the 'temp USA tolerate? How much can I get away with?"

Really looking forward to see how it plays out overall.

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Therbs mutters...

Posted October 19
He didn't die in the plane crash. He was secretly whisked away to an experimental facility where, in a series of ground breaking surgical operations crossing the barrier between organic life and advanced technology he was given two bionic legs, a bionic arm and a bionic eye.

Bondiboy66 would have you know...

Posted October 19
I thought similar, but with an adamantium skeleton complete with spikes that pop out of his knuckles, a six pack and ludicrous side levers

insomniac mutters...

Posted October 19
and a Lasso of Truth, indestructible bracelets and a projectile tiara.

Lulu ducks in to say...

Posted October 19
Or two bionic arms & one bionic leg. He has been running around in circles ever since.

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w from brisbane asserts...

Posted October 19
He's been running a bar/brothel in Tijuana.

Thalesian asserts...

Posted October 19
Which is housed in the ruins of an old Mayan temple

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Aaron swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted October 19
Tempting to make him a Bourne type but I see him more as a quiet room spook handler. A deep cover liaison type coordinating operations due to his ability to adjust to the transition. I think you could dol some cool stuff with him getting lost in the complex world of espionage (kind of like capt Americas struggle ) cause Dan was in the army but not a born killer.

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Murphy_of_Missouri ducks in to say...

Posted October 19
I'd like to imagine that he is simply an extremely competent espionage agent. He doesn't have super strength, nor nutty insane ninja skills. He isn't augmented Captain America style, nor is he running around with an insane duffel full of Bond gadgets.


Perhaps he is akin to the professional assassin in The Day of the Jackal, or even better, the workman style investigator Claude Lebel.


Much as I like explodey and gadgets, it'd be neat for once to see just a normal human being of slightly above average intelligence who knows their job very well.

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Murphy_of_Missouri asserts...

Posted October 19
Even better would be if he kept a safehouse at The Elms Hotel in Excelsior Springs, Missouri. It is his one untraceable way to keep the memory of his love for Julia alive without having any actual physical evidence on him.

John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted October 19
I can confirm that Dan has no nutty insane ninja skills. He's just good at his job. But what that job is...?

Oldy ducks in to say...

Posted October 20
He's the original Blunt Instrument

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Joe mutters...

Posted October 19
Any takers for a counter quiet room group? Set up by FDR to make sure those those uptimers don't get..... uppity?

DaveC puts forth...

Posted October 19
There be much scope for conflict in that thare scenario...

Oldy asserts...

Posted October 20
Yeah, s much as I love the other suggestions, this is the most interesting. FDR knows Dan's all inside-out with the uptimers, but he's 'one of us'. So he builds his own little Quiet Room.
Also steals a march on those arrogant uptimers who think they're so smart, with their fancy toys that other people built for them.

Turlogh Dubh O'Brien puts forth...

Posted October 21
Or Eisenhower - he was no fan of the military-industrial complex as stated before.


Or taking it a step further, what if it's someone within the Soviet regime who wants to remove Stalin but needs some help?

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Dirk would have you know...

Posted October 19
I think it's kinda simple. Hammer would have been needing a trusted person to run a series of ultraviolet (even more secret then black) research programs. Black would have been know and trusted by all the relevant players from his role as a liason. So he would have been shacked up in a secret facility somewhere deep of grid. Dreamland maybe near Tonopah, somewhere near Monument Valley or Zion national park or perhaps somewhere in the Oz or Canadian outback. Think something with hills or mountains where you can bury/tunnel something to hide from satellites etc.

Peter in the bleachers puts forth...

Posted October 20
I'm with Dirk. And on top of that he would be running the odd ultraviolet operations to ensure the relative safety of Hammer etc. the odd assassination or 'moving' a child to a safe location.

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Don Bagert mutters...

Posted October 20
The fact that Dan and Julia were divorced at the time of his supposed death made it much easier for Dan to go along with whatever plans the Quiet Room had for him.

Has Dan - like Julia - found a serious relationship with someone else? I'm leaning towards no, since a Dan-Julia-Harry triangle is enticing enough.

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Rhino swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted October 21
Obviously he has been training...

Rhino, "Yo, Danny, Burger peeps are wondering where you've been and what you been doin."

Dan, "I told Birmo not to drop that I'm back yet. Fucking guy, always looking to get the rabble excited."

Rhino, "I don't care what he says. You ain't done here till I say you're done. Now get your ass back on those weights. What do we say?"

Dan, "Yeah, yeah, yeah ... You don't get these pettin' kitty cats, you fat fuck."

Rhino, "Language! Oh, and K called. Some shit about needing you in Siberia tomorrow."

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Don Bagert mumbles...

Posted October 21
So besides those parallel worlds i listed above, Einstein has suggested that the AoT uptimers' original timeline (last seen on January 15, 2021) still exists. Maybe in this one Manning Pope's experiment fizzled and had no effect.

Of course, originally that was supposed to be our timeline, but events that have occurred since 2004 have proven that wrong...

(BTW, I've been looking forward to the 1/15/21 "Transition Day" for sometime now. Hopefully you'll do something for the occasion :)

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