As for the post title, I couldn't think of anything, so I went with 90s cheese because I have a weakness for it. :shakes head: That show...how many other shows would have the protagonists literally meet Hitler?
I have said many times that Rayford and Buck are the most powerful forces in the LB-verse, at the tippity-top of the hierarchy that governs this world. Because Ellanjay can't possibly envision a world without a hierarchy and since they assume they'll be at the top of it, so must their Mary Sues. I've also said that the only reason there isn't a scene where Zod or TurboJesus sobs and talks about how they wish they could be as manly as Rayford and Buck, is because Ellanjay were too chicken to write it.
As you can probably guess, I stand by all those remarks and will do so until the end of time. In fact, I might find a way to do so beyond time, because Rayford is the Worst. It's a bad sign when a fan theory--about this whole series existing as a dream Rayford's having on his lunch break--makes so much more sense than what is actually there. Worst of all, said fan theory is the "It was all a dream" fan theory, aka a trope that's more often than not, one of the biggest cop-outs ever.
“REHEMA, I need you to call my wife and assure her and the others that I am well. And, of course, I need to know the same is true of them.”
“And why would you think I would do that for you?”
“Because I would do the same for you. You are a mother. You have family. You may see yourself as an operative of the rebellion, but I know better. I can see in your eyes that you know the truth. I have told you everything I know about God and Christ and faith and prophecy, about the world as it once was and now is, and about my family. You know God is real, and you know He will somehow get me out of here in time to get back to my people and my assignment.”
If I was lazy, I would just make my entire response to this chapter just be Linkara's hate laugh.
We all know how much concern Rayford has demonstrated when it comes to the needs and feelings of others. Though to be fair, zero is a percent, as The Simpsons have pointed out.
Okay, how much does anyone want to be that if called upon, Rayford would not be able to say anything about his family, like what is their favorite color or what is their favorite hobby (besides praising TurboJesus and being obsessed with sex)? Heck, I'm willing to bet that Rayford probably wouldn't even recognize his own family. It's not that he suffers from Prosopagnosia because face-blind people are capable of demonstrating genuine concern for the lives/needs of others. It's more like he suffers from Rayfordagnosia, where he's completely incapable of seeing anyone who isn't him or, in the very least, doesn't have anything he needs at that given moment. You can come up with a better name for Rayford's, ahem, unique condition. I just assume that in this conversation with Rehema, all Rayford can perceive, are a bunch of shapes and sounds in a vaguely woman-like silhouette. We all know that if asked to say anything about Rehema, he'd just say, "She's female, brown-skinned...I think she's a carbon-based lifeform that can't survive without oxygen."
I suppose I could make a crack about how Zod ignores starving kids in Africa, so Rayford won't know a moment of discomfort, but to be fair, this is the MK, so there's no poverty, war, disease, and famine. But I will point out that Token Jew, Chaim, Saintly Irene, Mac, Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Barnes, are all going to this talk, so is there a reason why it will be a total wash without Rayford there?
I know--Rayford is one of the most powerful beings in the LB-verse--but because I'm that person, I'll assume they need him to form the head. Also, because I'm that kind of person, I'll post a gratuitous Power Rangers clip mostly because I was way more into Power Rangers than Voltron as a kid. I'll let you all make the call as to which part of the Megazord Rayford is. Though at least, both shows are at least bad in a way that's entertaining. Though that Power Rangers theme song is like the ultimate earworm in that you only need to hear one part of it once to have it lodged in your brain until you die.
Rehema calls Saintly Irene and they talk for a bit.
Irene Steele was, of course, puzzled by and suspicious of the call from the young woman who identified herself as Rayford’s guard. “He’s wondering where we’re hiding?” Irene said slowly, carefully considering whether she should reveal anything.
She decided she could do Rayford no harm. “Tell him that he will find us where he left us. We will wait in plain sight.”
“You are crafty people, Mrs. Steele,” Rehema said.
“If you wish to think so. But it strikes me that God has blinded your compatriots, as we have not moved since my husband left us. And would you remind him that we must be on the road to Siwa by no later than one in the morning if we wish to fulfill our obligations there?”
Okay in a sense Saintly Irene is right in that telling Rehema all this wouldn't do Rayford any harm since IT'S THE MK AND HE'S SAID THE GODDANGED PRAYER SO THERE'S NOTHING BAD THAT CAN HAPPEN TO HIM!
Though at the same time, given how badly Saintly Irene just failed a basic level of OPSEC, it makes me wonder if the RTCs could be brought down via politeness. Look all clean-shaven, be all nice, and polite, and be like, "Would you please tell me in exhausting detail all the plans you have in place?" then sit back and collect the information. Or you can be like, "Hi, I'm a wallet inspector. I'm going to need your wallet and your pin." Offer, of course, is void to anyone who can't pass a paper bag test. No matter how good you look in a suit and tie, how polite you are, you will still be seen as a dangerous threat. They've probably called security on you already.
Though a more sensible reason as to why they haven't moved, would be that because they're in an RV and those, under the best of circumstances, have the same steering/fuel efficiency as the Lincoln memorial. So they would be an incredibly dumb vehicle of choice to go through the desert in.
Then there's this bit, which is just really, really sad.
Irene chuckled. “He has convinced you of the error of your ways, has he?”
“We will welcome you warmly into the family of God, dear.”
“What?” Irene could tell Rehema was overcome. “Did you not hear me?”
“I heard you, Mrs. Steele. It’s . . . it’s . . . it’s just that no one has ever said that to me before.”
Seriously, is there anything sadder than the just quoted passage? Only drowning puppies and there'd have to be a lot of them.
Though for my readers who believe that Jerry Jenkins is a Poe, I'm sure you're leaping all over this quote, because it seems to imply that RTCs are a bunch of intolerant stone-cold hypocrites, unwilling to associate or show basic courtesy to anyone outside their subculture.
Back to Rayford and Rehema. Rehema is all "
But Rayford is all "I could not allow you to release me and go get your son while other believers remain here."
Meta-Rehema is like, "Okay, so how about I go get my own son, seeing as he's, y'know, my kid, then I come back here, release you and all the other RTCs." At least that's what my version of her says.
Of course, given that these people are all RTCs and none of them can die and TurboJesus will eventually punt all his enemies into Hell, anyway, THERE'S REALLY NO GODDANGED REASON WHY A PRISON BREAK HAS TO TAKE PLACE! NO ONE IS IN ANY ACTUAL DANGER!
Though we do have to admire the courage and steadfast will of Rayford Steele.
“What kind of a zealot would I be to escape and leave others to whatever fate awaits? If we do this, we take everyone.”
And the fate that awaits them, is mild discomfort until TurboJesus shows up and kills everyone! Because so far, all they've done to Rayford is take away his shirt and shoes, made him miss a few meals (though that was quickly null and void, because Rehema gave him her sandwich), and forcing him to sleep in less than ideal conditions. Pretty much every torture victim in the history of the world, is laughing and laughing bitterly.
Given that this is what an RTC considers to be torture, well, should the US end up in some kind of dystopian hellscape (a very real possibility these days, given whose in charge right now), how quickly do you think they would fold in the wake of actual oppression?
Of course, the sad truth is that the Christian Right and pretty much everyone on the Right, sold their souls for money and power decades ago and don't care. Whatever horrible stuff that comes to pass, won't affect them or anyone they care about, so why should they care? As I tell people, if Donald Trump screws up, he'll be able to GTFO without any trouble. Money buys a lot of things, including escape hatches. He'll GTFO to some other country and start over, while everyone else is left behind to clean up the mess he's made; it's what he's spent his entire career doing.
Stuff like that makes me wonder if we should encourage the Right to Go Galt. Maybe once all the self-centered, arrogant, rich a-holes are gone, we can actually get to work and have a government that does something besides Fellate the Rich and Kill Brown People. Plus, we all know this would be likely outcome if they Go Galt.
:sighs: Like I tell people, it's not the conservatives kneejerk opposition to change that irritates me; it's how inconsistent they are with said opposition. Since the Founding Fathers were saints among men, if they're really so opposed to change, they should live like them. Travel via horse and buggy and when they get sick, have their humors balanced. It'd work for the some of the same reasons as the Go Galt scheme. While the Right is busy dying of easily preventable illnesses while in their forties, everyone else could get stuff done.
Or we could, like I've suggested before, give RTCs one-way tickets to Saudi Arabia or North Korea or China. If they manage to escape, maybe once they've experienced actual persecution for their faith, they won't through hissies over being told "Happy Holidays." And since they had been refugees, maybe they would be more sensitive to their plight. And if they don't get out, they'll be trapped in third-world hellholes with atrocious human rights records, so, again, Liberals can take advantage of their absence to get stuff done.
Ishmael and co. finally get all pissy about how nice Rehema is being to the prisoner.
Stripped of her weapons and ammunition belt as well as her boots, Rehema was shoved into Rayford’s cell and shackled both to him and to a steel ring embedded in the wall. She was shuddering, but he drew her close and whispered, “The better for us to be able to pray.”
And with the withdrawal of TOL troops, they did pray, and Rehema became a child of God.
“My son is in a TOL day care center six miles from here,” she said.
“God knows,” Rayford said.
Yes, I did have all kinds of pervy remarks regarding this situation. Though it does feel kind of wrong to make them. Rehema is 90, which is underage by the MK standards. Though she also has a four-year-old son, so...you know what, I'm just going to bail out. There are more productive things I could do with my time, than try to figure out what Rehema would (physically) resemble at age 90. Like Heroin. I've always been meaning to take up a Heroin addiction. I should do that instead. It's probably psychologically healthier.
It's ten. Rehema is getting all upset and female, instead of being all resolute and male like Rayford.
The old man and the young girl turned carefully and sat next to each other, backs against the wall, manacled arms raised. “This is the best part of being on the right side,” Rayford said. “Waiting and watching to see what God will do when there seems no possible solution.”
And that sound you hear is pretty much every Christian martyr pointing and laughing. Again, how quickly would the RTCs fold when faced with actual suffering for their faith? You guys can bloviate all you like, but you're not the heirs to Dietrich Bonhoeffer. You guys aren't even worthy to clean the skidmarks off of Bonhoeffer's underwear.
Anyway, for those of you wondering when the deus ex machina will show up, Anis the Angel shows up, busts everyone out without any difficulty, even giving them cars, so they don't have to use those wiggly things located on either side of their sin zone to get around. It wouldn't even be that rough on them, going on foot, because they have super special awesome super speed.
Anyway, Rehema picks up her son and the RTCs are a big hit at Siwa.
Then we get a time jump. But first, a listing of the people who have died.
Qasim Marid was, of course, fired from the Children of the Tribulation ministry, and he died at one hundred.
He was replaced by Abdullah Ababneh’s friend Sarsour, who endeared himself to the staff and Cameron Williams’s extended family over the next nine centuries.
Ignace and Lothair also died at one hundred— as did Mudawar— and became the Other Light martyrs, still revered by billions of adherents more than nine hundred years later.
It's probably safe to assume that Sarsour managed to endear himself to the COT daycare and Cameron WIlliams's family, by being aware of his place and displaying a suitable amount of submission. Because Qasim really is the worst, going out with a girl Kenny Williams was interested in, even though Kenny never gave any sign that he was, and Kat did accept his invitation. How dare he react in an immature manner after being dumped for no real reason? Qasim should have done a better job of kissing up to the bullies and born their emotional abuse with pride, dammit!
As you probably guessed, when it comes to my headcanon, as far as I'm concerned, Qasim, Ignace, Lothair all faked their own deaths and they're hanging out with Cendrillion.
Kenny and Ekaterina Williams’s wedding was performed by Bruce Barnes, and the couple produced eight sons, six daughters, and more than eighty grandchildren over the next two hundred years.
Why am I not the least bit surprised that Kenny and Kat basically became the Duggars? Personal Headcanon: Just as the Duggars pretty much strip-mine the alphabet for J-names, Kenny and Kat do the same with K-names. I'll let my readers list the names of the K-slaves. Just call me paranoid or whatever, but I have a general mistrust of families where every member has the same initials. Maybe there are some families out there where everyone's name begins with, let's just say, the letter A, and they're normal, but experience has taught me that the kind of people who insist the kids all having names beginning with the same letter, see their kids less as freethinking individuals who will eventually move out and form an identity apart from them, and more as boxsets.
Though if Kenny and Kat manage to avoid naming a kid, Jinger, they're still better than the Duggars, much as I hate to admit it. Seriously, you couldn't name her Julie or Jeannette or something? Though Kenny and Kat are better than the Duggars primarily because they're fictional, so no real people are being harmed by all this, whereas the Duggars...I'm not going to say anymore. It's just too sad. Here's to hoping someone manages to bust out of the compound and write one helluva tell-all memoir.
Everyone is all old now. For those of you wanting some specs regarding aging in the MK, here's a bit for you.
By the end, the ministry was maintained by the glorifieds, as the naturals finally saw the ravages of time catch up with their bodies. When the naturals reached ages higher than about seven hundred, they began to slow and notice the diminution of their senses, particularly hearing and sight.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: you guys ever heard of Tithonus? Then this will all be new to you.
Though Wikipedia's quote about what happened with Tithonus does seem to accurately reflect what happens to the RTCs.
but when loathsome old age pressed full upon him, and he could not move nor lift his limbs, this seemed to her in her heart the best counsel: she laid him in a room and put to the shining doors. There he babbles endlessly, and no more has strength at all, such as once he had in his supple limbs.
Though even before old age sat in, the RTCs lied around and babbled endlessly, so maybe this isn't entirely accurate.
Anyway, all the characters from other books who have died, show up and the Original Tribbles have a group photo, but I'm bored to tears.
Sorry, but we're not going to get the next chapter until next week. Kind of figured that was how it was going to go. So have fun until then.