But Bruce is not happy when he hears Vicki's story.
When Vicki told of finding the burned out shell of her trailer, Bruce looked startled. He did not appear to be pleased to hear that she seemed to be planning to stay with Judd for a while. Judd felt he had to explain.
"We're not going together or even interested in anything like that," he said. "And we would stay on different floors. We're more like brother and sister, like you said."
There is so much to unpack here it isn't even funny. But apparently RTC hang-ups about sex will endure even in the rapture.
Frankly, I don't know why Vicki and Judd don't just get married now. I mean it's not like they need to save for education or anything; they've got seven years tops. Have a quickie wedding so they can appease the RTCs, then get to shagging. It's not like you have all the time in the world anymore.
I had considered doing two chapters again in my snark, but the next one is so full of assholish behaviour that I've decided it deserves to be enshrined in its own post. It's like they decided that day was "Be a Dick towards Ryan Day."
We get the beginnings of said day here.
"Fair enough," Bruce said. "No one's going to pressure you. You can be a part of this group as long as you want, regardless of what you decide to do. When you're ready, you make this decision on your own."
Of course, Bruce fails to mention that if Ryan doesn't kneal before Zod, Zod will decide for him and send him to Hell.
Anyone want to explain to RTCs the concept of a Hobson's Choice?
Finally, Ryan spoke. "And what if my decision is to say no?"
Bruce said, "Nobody can make the decision for you. You have to live with the consequences."
"Or die with them," Lionel said.
Now Ryan was mad. Judd thought he might bolt again. "He's been talking to me that way all day," Ryan said. "What kind of Christian is that?"
Very good question. I don't remember Jesus saying, "And when thou goest to make disciples of all nations, be sure to use emotional blackmail in my name."
"I've only been kidding. Kids our age crack on people all the time. Can't you take it?"
Ah, it's the old "I was joking, why are you so sensitive?" defense for assholish behaviour. That one never gets old.
"This has to be a fragile time for him," Bruce said.
"It's that way for all of us," Lionel said. "But that doesn't mean we have to be so touchy."
Just because your parents are likely burning in hell for all eternity is no reason to get all bent out of shape over it.
Basically the rest of the chapter is Lionel goes to the morgue to ID is uncle's corpse only to find that it's not his uncle. DUN-DUN-DUN! This maybe the only genuine surprise in the book only because it wasn't telegraphed in advance.