Well anyway Judd is finishing up work on it when disaster strikes! The YTF have a fight over who gets credit, who does the work, what the design should be, and a bunch of other boring etc. that MMEGO (Makes My Eyes Glaze Over). You also have to wonder about the fact that they're worrying about this penny-ante stuff when the world has less than seven years to live, but I'm willing to allow this chapter because it shows the protags as acting like more than Elsie Dinsmores in training. Kids fight, often over stupid stuff.
Vicki and Ryan decide to go for a walk and discuss what a jerk Judd's being and they find themselves looking at empty playgrounds and discussing who they've lost. Again, I'll allow this passage because for a brief moment, the characters are being human. It hasn't been that long since their parents were alive; they should still be broken-up about them.
"Do you ever stop missing them?" Ryan asked.
"My family? I think about them all the time. On Saturdays my little sister used to ask me to play that memory game. You know, where you flip the cards over and try to get matches."
"I had one of those. It was animals. You had to match the mothers with their babies. Kinda boring."
"That's what I said. I told her to leave me alone. She'd go into our room and play by herself or with Mom. I wish I had the chance--"
"I dreamed about my mom and dad the other night," Ryan said. "They were looking for me. I kept yelling at them, telling them where I was, but they couldn't hear me."
Ryan has also apparently forgotten that his parents are roasting on a spit in Hell for all eternity, but again, I let this passage slide because finally, a human response from these characters.
But anyway, the YTF kiss and make up, okay, they don't really kiss but they do make up and get back to work when disaster strikes! The Blue Screen of Death has deleted their work in its entirety since Judd's an idiot who didn't think to back it up.
And you know who's to blame for all this? Could it be Satan? Lionel thinks so.
"Know what I think?" Lionel said. "It's got something to do with the devil."
Vicki laughed. "That's crazy. What are we going to do, ask Bruce to come over and cast demons out of the computer?"
"Think about it," Lionel said. "We're putting together an underground newspaper that hundreds of kids are going to read. Hundreds of kids who aren't Christians. Now if you were the devil, would you like that? Would you want all these people reading stuff about the Bible right when they're looking for answers?"
That sound you hear is me busting a gut from laughing. The silence that follows is me realizing they're serious. They seriously believe in that Demonbuster theology. There is so much wrong in that, that I don't even know where to begin tackling it save to remind them that the Bible says it rains on the just and unjust alike.
Am I the only one reminded of Becky Fisher from Jesus Camp praying and speaking in tongues to drive the demons out of her powerpoint presentation?
But Vicki has a more sensible view.
"Yeah," Vicki said, "but don't pin everything on Satan. Maybe God din't want that to be our first edition. Maybe he made the computer crash."
So you're saying the almighty creator of the universe who's currently busy giving mankind the middle finger by orchestrating a massive amount of suffering, still finds time to personally interfere with a bunch of kids' homemade newspaper?
Anyway we have a talk with Buck about Pope Calvin Zwingli. Apparently Ol' Calvin read the Book of Romans and came to agree with Martin Luther. Because Catholics apparently go their whole lives without encountering that book in the Bible. I wish I knew Catholic traditions well enough to snark on it, but just say that LaHaye is virulently anti-Catholic--has published several anti-Catholic tracts. He believes he's being humane in making a concession by having one Catholic raptured, but what he's really saying is that Catholics can only be raptured if they renounce all ties to their church.
Catholics and RTCs such as themselves have kind of an uneasy alliance. In the past, they hated each other with fervent passion; now, they support each other because they both fetishize fetuses and hate women, but every now and then, their true opinion comes shining forth.
Anyway they go to school and prepare to do battle with the evil force in this world by dropping off their newspaper. And I'll leave you to wait with bated breath for the response they get.