Okay I have a lot on my mind so forgive me if I make a few off-topic comments before I get to the book.
First of all, Rev Apoc, after I'm done with this week's post, I'll go to Right Behind and post the next part of your story. I encourage everyone to read his rewrite of Left Behind: the kids and leave a comment to encourage him.
Second, I saw Courageous with my boyfriend this weekend. I feel bad picking on this film. It's not some elephantine ego project gone horribly wrong or some Uwe Boll hack spewing out garbage so they can afford another solid gold yacht or something; it's a well-intentioned, good-hearted film with a good message. The trouble is, it's still a bad film. Not only could I predict every twist of the plot, but I could practically say the lines before the characters could. The acting is subpar and it's basically a sermon, which may work on Sunday as a Fathers' Day message, but it kills any chance of creating a compelling story. There were so many places that showed promise that any competent director could have taken and made good hay out of, like say a family dealing with the loss of a child, but these are set aside in favor of sermonizing. Not to mention, one of the things that kept bugging me was that even before they sign this whole father agreement, none of the fathers were really that bad. The main one says he doesn't want to be a good enough father, but he was active in his children's lives and he provided them with all the basic neccessities of life, so I don't see how the fact that he doesn't share his son's interest in running is a bad thing. In fact the only one of the bunch who really is a bad father, is the young rookie (implied to be an :gasp: agnostic though he doesn't stay that way for long) who fathered a child out of wedlock and abandoned her.
In short, if you want a good movie that deals with matters of faith and Christianity, see The Last Temptation of Christ or The Apostle.
Now that I got all that out of the way, to the snark.
Okay so Judd and Pete are at the gas station and they have to deal with some bikers who want to steal gasoline. This is less exciting than it sounds. Oh and we find out that Pete and his girl were :gasp: living together without :gasp: being married. Pete remains a good RTC, completely oblivious to the fact that the girl he loved is burning in Hell because she got flattened by a house before she had a chance to kneel before Zod.
So the girly girls, Shelly, Darrion, and Vicki, are gathered watching Nicky Gakkel's speech about the quake and making sarcastic remarks. Me, I can't help but note that the anti-Christ is probably being more of a source of comfort than these smirking assholes for Christ. He shows respect for those who believe in the whole Wrath of the Lamb thing and :gasp: urges tolerance towards them, that bastard! and gives the standard "We will rebuild stronger than ever" speech that every politician gives after a natural disaster. I wonder if this means that every politician who :gasp: shows compassion and doesn't use a horrific tragedy as an altar call is the anti-Christ.
Then Fortunado comes on and gives a speech about how Nicholae raised him from the dead and I have to agree with those who like him; the false prophet actually demonstrates gratitude, a trait none of the RTCs possess.
Lionel, if you're wondering, is still a faithful follower of Carpathia, but Conrad has his doubts, pointing out that Nicholae didn't raise the other people who were trapped in the building with Fortunado from the dead. Lionel then grills him about being a good Morale Monitor.
Judd finally gets back to the New Hope church, but Pete decides to go back and help the gas station owner.
Next chapter. Lionel is sent to Mount Prospect and is pretty much told to shoot any looters he sees. Wanna bet, like Evil Paul said, that he'll regain his memory before he does anything really bad like murdering someone?
Judd goes to his house and for once, Jenkins or Fabry steps off the narrative gas and we actually see some signs of mourning in the Ellanjay universe, as Judd goes in what's left of his backyard and studies the handprints in concrete, the only thing left of his family.
But then we're back to Lionel who's at the mall trying to stop looters. He fires his gun but misses and runs into a display and it's implied that he's starting to get his memory back.
Vicki and Judd find each other. Now back to Lionel.
It turns out the whole mall thing was a test to see how loyal they are to the GC, you know whether they'd be willing to fire on a human being. None of the Morale Monitors had actual bullets in their guns, only blanks.
Next Vicki tells Judd about Ryan's death and once again, we actually get someone demonstrating mourning in the Ellanjay universe, as Judd goes and visits Ryan's grave. Naturally he doesn't apologize for being a complete dick towards him (Need I remind you of the Calvacade of Assholery) but it's still a nice touch. I have a feeling though that after these initial chapters, Ryan will never be mentioned again in this forty book series. The chapter ends with some woman accusing Vicki of killing Mrs. Jenness and given the YTF's callousness towards her death, I can't blame her.
Sorry this post is so long; had a lot I needed to get off my chest. I only hope I didn't bore you.