Sunday, January 29, 2012

It's my post and I'll be wordy if I Want To

The kids are now at the GC headquarters in Des Plaines. For the sake of injecting a shot of realism into this story, I'm going to assume that this headquarters is one of many scattered all over the world and that the YTF are just being egotistic when they act like this is Nicky Appalachians's Tuol Sleng where all the most dangerous threats to the GC go, even though the only reason they would probably go to the trouble of keeping their dog locked up instead of just shooting it is that this is a trap set up to try to lure in our brave heroes.

Anyway so Vicki's group is working on getting Phoenix out. Meanwhile Judd and Lionel run into Taylor, which makes me excited because right now, Taylor is currently the only one willing to do something besides lie back and think of Zod. Taylor has his face painted black and is armed with a hunting knife. Taylor also states that he's willing to kill if he has to which makes Judd blanch for some reason and tell Lionel to alert the GC guards if he thinks Taylor's going to kill someone. Again Judd's sudden "all life is precious" view really puzzles me. Because up until now, there really hasn't been any sign that the GC footsoldiers served any purpose except to be Nicky's army of the damned and serve as an obstacle that will be swept away when TurboJesus comes. No one in the YTF or the TF have been shown wondering if "Hey, maybe Nicky essentially said, 'Join or die," or even if maybe Nicky's army of the damned (henceforth referred to as AOD) is made up of hapless folks who joined because in all likelihood Nicky has a system set up so that loyal GC soldiers get rations and said hapless folk enlisted so they or their families won't starve. Again I thought it was well established that the YTF/TF believe that their opponents are disingenuous, choosing to stick their fingers in their ears and ignore all the evidence that TurboJesus is real and he'll come back and you'll be sorry you ever messed with him.

It could be possible that Judd believes Taylor's actions are wrong because Judd feels that Taylor should at least give the GC some variation on what the Spanish conquistadores called the Requirement. For those who didn't do so well in history class, the Requirement was essentially a decree read by the Spaniards to the Indians that went "Our God is the true god who has given us the authority over you and your land to take whatever we like. If you resist, we will enslave and kill you." Once the Spaniards had read the decree, they could do whatever they liked and still remain holy in God's eyes because they had given those heathens a chance to surrender peacefully. Of course the flaw in all this is that the Requirement was read in Spanish which the natives didn't understand so you see they simply had no choice but to exterminate those brutes.

Anyway I wonder what the RTC requirement would be like. Probably a variation on the sermon John preached to the crew before the ROD hit.

But the simplest and probably the best explanation for why Judd suddenly believes in the sanctity of life is probably the same reason Jesus's disciples got all upset when they saw other people casting out demons and healing people in the name of other gods. Sure Taylor is opposed to the GC and is willing to do whatever it takes to stop them, but he's not doing it in the name of Zod so it is evil and wrong. Of course, it could be Judd is just doing that alpha male posturing and his real beef with Taylor is that he's aware that Taylor is currently in the lead when it comes to cool points and Judd's fragile ego can'st stand being upstaged by anyone.

Sorry to get so damn wordy but hey [points to post title]

Judd then watches as Pete tries to convert his interrogator and of course, everything about the setup of this interrogation is wrong. Even if your only experience in being an evil interrogator for a heartless worldwide despot comes from a stint at Walmart where you interviewed prospective employees, you know what to do. First of all, no windows. Best way to disorient someone is to screw with their perception of time; in other words, deprive them of sleep and make them question how much time has passed since they got there. Has it been days? Hours? Weeks? The harder you make it for the person to answer that question, the easier it will be to get them to spill secrets. Also even though they believe Pete is a murderer, they don't have him in any form of restraints. Basic rule in dealing with potentially dangerous suspects: either put restraints on them or surround them with guys with guns so they won't try anything. The interrogator is acting like he's a high school principal dealing with someone caught smoking in the boy's room, not a trained interrogator for a megalomaniacal despot.

Of course since the word of Zod is so amazing I have a feeling the interrogator will become a good and faithful RTC and help our heroes out.

Anyway after Judd watches Pete's interrogation, he turns only to see that Lionel is tied up and gagged. Turns out Taylor overheard Judd's plan and is now making his way to the second floor. All this of course, only makes me love Taylor even more, even as I know things won't work out for him.

Vicki runs into Charlie, who doesn't recognize her. He believes she's dead and finally tells us why they're keeping the dog. Apparently they want to use him to track down Melinda and Felicia, aka the two girls who served in Lionel's squad during that brief period that Lionel had laser-guided amnesia whose names I hadn't mentioned because up till now they seemed like glorified walk-ons. Anyway Vicki, Darrion, and Conrad put two and two together and realize that everyone connected to them, is turning up dead, so chances are Melinda and Felicia will be hunted down and killed if they don't stop them.

Chapter ends with Judd yanking the fire alarm and escaping in the confusion. He meets with Lionel outside who tells him that Pete promised to deal with Taylor. Sorry to only snark only one chapter but I've probably bored you all to tears.


Apocalypse Review said...

The patent unrealism of the interrogation scene reminds me of how L&J want to pretend the GC is mean and threatening in the early stages of the Left Behind series (though I give them full credit for ramping it up with the execution camps later on). I'm thinking of the flash fic I wrote where Judd actually IS in danger of being "disappeared" in a top-secret GC prison.

Also the whole thing between Judd and Taylor reminds me of Rayford's manly insecurity issues with Albie in that one book just because Albie's pretend rank was higher than his.

I think more charitably, Judd just admires Taylor's derring-do and can't square that with his religious faith, so he acts out like this. (My inner slasher is also squeeing, TBQH. :P )

L&J could at least try for some realism in this book series, for all that it's aimed at Christian teenagers.

Firedrake said...

"No, really, folks, the midwest is important! It's where the proper and decent people live, so naturally that's where the oppressor sets up shop!"

If the word of Zod is this super-powerful memetic warfare device - which wouldn't be a bad premise for a story - wouldn't the GCtapo be aware of this and take precautions against it? Say, insisting that questions be answered with only short phrases and using the cattle prods whenever someone started preaching?

Hey, at least something actually happened in this chapter!

You don't want a dog who's met specific people, you want an item from those people and a trained sniffer dog.

hidden_urchin said...

I'm on Team Taylor here. He does stuff.

@Apocalypse Review--
Yeah, it's kind of like Chloe's "torture" in the adult series. I think it amounted to 24 hours of food deprivation.

This is a children's series. You can't have those without having an animal whose super-special and can find its people with no training because their bond is just that strong. The only way it could be more cliche is if it were a magical white pony. ;)