Vicki runs into Shelly and they start discussing the eevil Mrs. Jenness. They wish her well but really they're laughing their heads off 'cause she's burning in hell. Don't believe me; read this conversation.
Vicki nodded. "I can't help feeling guilty about her," Vicki said.
"From what you said, you did everything you could," Shelly said. "And then some."
"It's not that," Vicki said. "Part of me is glad that she's not around to bug us. Isn't that awful?"
"We're both sorry she had to die," Shelly said. "I'm sorry she didn't believe the truth. But you can't make people believe."
No, Vicki, what's awful is that Mrs. Jenness is burning in hell, roasting on a spit, for all eternity along with Ryan's parents and nearly every other sane character in this book. That's what's awful.
Meanwhile Judd is running and gets caught by some rednecks. Naturally because he's so smart and brilliant, he decides the best thing to do when they've got a shotgun pointed at him is to mouth off to them. I suppose I should question why they have a gun in Nicky Dolomites's gun-free paradise, but I was so excited at the prospect of something actually happening to Judd that I didn't care. Unfortunately nothing does happen to Judd. The only reason he doesn't get his head blown off his shoulders is divine writ of Ellanjay protection. But luckily for him it turns out that Hank and Judy, as the rednecks are called, are secret Christians who are running an Underground Railroad for Christians. But that's not the truly appalling part of all this. What's truly appalling is that their son died in the quake and Hank'n'Judy don't give a damn. In fact after pointing out where their son died and telling about his death, Hank'n'Judy immediately launches into their conversion story, then tells Judd he can wear their dead son's clothes because they won't need them. Egads! These characters are sociopathic to the extreme.
Meanwhile Lionel has laser-guided amnesia has he can't remember anything prior to being at the training camp, though for some reason he remembers his own name.
Ryan is finally rescued. Now to Chaya and her father.
Chaya continues to not use contractions even though she is in her own words "bleeding internally." But she is ready to die which alarms her father for good reason imho. Chaya's all "You have to face the truth" which causes her father to roll his eyes.
Chaya says that God exists and deserves to be heard and her father says that God spoke to them through the laws and the prophets which causes her to launch into her Jesus spiel.
"Jesus," Mr. Stein muttered. "You think he's the answer?"
"What do you think about him?" Chaya said.
"He was a good rabbi. He taught many things about loving your neighbor. But he--"
"How can you call a man good who says he is God?" Chaya said.
Mr. Stein responds that his followers wanted to believe he is God and Chaya gives a variation on the liar-lunatic-lord trilemma saying, "If so why did his followers give up their lives for a lie?"
And of course, the response to this is that people can passionately and sincerely believe something that is wrong. There are after all, people who still believe Saddam had WMDs, despite mounds of evidence to the contrary.
Chaya then starts launching into the whole spiel on Old Testament prophecies because we all know that the Gospel writers were factually accurate historians who recorded exactly what happened and didn't decide to lift scripture in order to bolster their theory that Jesus was the Messiah.
Darrion goes in search of her mother. Next chapter.
Vicki and Darrion find each other and go off in search of Ryan and not much really happens.
Judd helps a biker and in return, the biker lets him take his bike. Thanks to the writers, Judd sure leads a charmed life.
Lionel still doesn't remember the YTF. Next character,please.
Ryan wakes up in a makeshift hospital set up in a furniture store. Again, occasionally they get the little details right, and I have to give credit where credit is due and admit that that detail works. Again, the hospitals would be too crammed to take care of everyone so they'd be setting up tent hospitals and makeshift ones all over the city.
Chaya meanwhile is continuing to preach and asks what will it take to get you to take home a shiny new Jesus today? Mr. Stein responds that if God himself would hold him down and tell him Jesus is the way, he would believe. Chaya then says a headslapper of a statement: Isn't that what he's doing? She then says this is all a gift and Mr. Stein responds the way any sane man would:
"This is a gift?" Mr. Stein yelled. "To have my wife taken from me and now my house and all my possessions destroyed?"
Chaya then responds with the Jesus as the passover lamb spiel before finally passing out and that ends that chapter.