Monday, February 27, 2012

The Waiting Game Sucks

When we last left Vicki and the rest of the characters not as important as Mini-Rayford aka Judd, they were in an underground tunnel.

I'm going to make this short so we can get back to Taylor and to a much lesser extent, Judd. The kids in the tunnel see a truck with a GC logo painted on it and hear a rumbling sound.

Now to Taylor and the rest of the gang. They've just arrived in Tel Aviv and waiting for them on the runway is one of Taylor's contacts, a young woman named Hasina Kamen. She is described as being of Arabic descent, but I don't know if Ellanjay actually gave her a plausible foreign name or if they did their usual "just make it sound foreign" bit like they've done so many times :cough: Ming Toy :cough: Anyway, she and Taylor banter a little which works so much better than any of the dialogue between Buck and Chloe. Anyway back to Vicki's group.

Well it turns out that nothing remotely exciting happens. Turns out all the freaky sounds were Z coming to check on them. Apparently the vehicle is one he's stolen from the GC and plans to use it to deliver supplies. I don't want to knock Z too much given that it's always nice to see the Tribbles actually doing stuff but wouldn't the GC have a tracking device on their vehicles or in the very least, they should be able to find it by license plate alone. There's brief talk about how the school was once part of the underground railroad. Ellanjay clearly want us to make the connection between the abolitionists and the YTF as they are both breaking the law in service of a higher one, but the abolitionists actually did stuff at great risk to their lives, while the most the YTF have done is publish a paper which was probably balked up and turned into spitballs.

Okay, we are now back in Israel. Judd talks with Hasina, who tells him about how her father was part of the resistance, who died in World War III. Judd tries to convert her but Hasina basically says, "I've been through the disasters, the meteors, the quake, the works, lost most of my friends as a result but have seen nothing that indicates there's any God of Love out there."

:wipes tears: This is truly beautiful. Hasina doesn't actually say it because the authors forbid it, but she realizes on a basic level that Zod, not the anti-christ is responsible for the misery the world is going through. She also vows to do whatever she can to stop the GC. Ladies and Gentlemen, we've found the other half of our power couple. Hasina and Taylor are what Vicki and Judd should be but can't due to Ellanjay's "Lie back and think of Zod" strategy. But before you get too hopeful, I've been to wikipedia and according to them, things don't turn out well for our power couple.

Anyway Z gives Vicki's group a Super Special Awesome TV but after they receive it, they realize that Melinda aka the GC Morale Monitor they're holding hostage because if she goes back to the GC and squeals, the GC will kill her then raid the school, is gone.

Next chapter finds Melinda standing over the grave of her partner, Felicia. Melinda decides to tell Vicki her story. Apparently before Zod slaughtered the kids, her parents liked to drink and party, but on the night of the Rapture, a preacher lady told her mother about Zod. Mother apparently converted and tried to convert Melinda, but Melinda shoved her, accidentally sending her tumbling down the stairs. The Rapture happened before her mother landed at the bottom and Zod slaughtered her. Melinda tried to tell her father what she had seen, but he didn't believe her and Melinda remains traumatized. Needless to say, Vicki decides to try to chalk one up for Zod and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see the inevitable conversion scene coming up.

The chapter ends with Nicky Alps talking with Moishe and Eli. It really is quite boring so I won't linger long on it except that it further underscores how utterly screwed by Zod Nicky is. As said before, Nicky was created by Zod to be the anti-christ and is basically unable to do anything except be Zod's puppet, yet at the end of all this he will be punished and suffer for all eternity for doing exactly what he was created to do.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Once again, Taylor is Awesome

Once again, every time Taylor's on stage, he proves just how awesome he is especially when compared with a posturing idiot like Judd. He's what the hero of an End-of-Days novel should be: tough but brave and willing to do whatever it takes to stop the worldwide dictatorship. Of course, given that the novel can never really take off because everyone, including the villains, must follow the word of Zod as laid out by his prophet, Tim LaHaye, I know something horrible will eventually happen to Taylor.

Anyway, Judd's all "How many people did you kill in order to get this plane?" Taylor responds by essentially saying, "uh, they're enemies remember...why do you care?" As stated many times, and I'm not afraid to state again, Judd's belief in the sanctity of life is really puzzling given that by this point, he's seen who knows how many people, both RTC or otherwise, die and hasn't shed a single tear over them. I've listed several theories for Judd's sudden belief in non-violence in previous posts, but given that the simplest explanation is usually the best one, I'm just going to assume that he's threatened by Taylor's overwhelming awesomeness.

Before I post Taylor's response to Judd's "You need TurboJesus" spiel, first I gotta warn you: it is nothing but awesomeness in its most pure, undistilled form. So awesome that you'd better have your lighter, imaginary or otherwise, raised in salute. This much awesome has killed lesser people so be careful, if you have heart problems or if you're an RTC who stumbled onto this blog by accident.

"I know you all want to tell people about Jesus and do good stuff so God will like you and all that. I've told you before, if that rings your bell, go ahead. But I've seen what the GC does to good people. They're destroying everything I know and love. They talk peace, but they're armed to the teeth. They talk freedom, but they send people to prison. Oh, sorry. They call them reeducation camps."

Did I not tell you that Taylor was awesome?

BTW, Taylor remains the only one to point out the gap between the GC's words and actions. All the other RTCs seem to naturally assume that being a pacifist and a worldwide dictator go hand in hand that every pacifist, while they may preach non-violence, secretly longs to rule with an iron fist. Why do you think after slaughtering the brave British Christians, Gandhi proceeded to install a brutal dictatorship, the effects of which still linger today in India? Thank God a Hindu extremist stopped him before the full effects of Gandhi's master plan could spread beyond the Indian border.

Judd is all, "You can't do this alone," and how I wish this book was told from Taylor's perspective as he and his group of guerrilla fighters struggle against the tyranny of both Zod and the GC. That would be epic. Instead, Taylor essentially says, "Yeah, but I can at least give them a good run for their money."

Taylor talks some more about what he's willing to do to stop the GC. He says he knows that there's the prospect that innocent lives could get caught in the crossfire, but he will try to do whatever he can to minimize civilian casualties. Judd's response is, "You could do more damage on our side." Taylor's response is essentially the same as mine, which is to laugh derisively. Yeah, because just look at the mighty blows dealt by the YTF. Nicky Simien quakes in his thigh-high stiletto boots whenever he hears that the YTF have published another edition of their paper. Why thigh-high stiletto boots? Because everyone knows that they are a must for any cartoonishly evil supervillain on the go.

Next, it's Lionel's turn to explain why sitting on your ass is the only strategy when it comes to dealing with the anti-christ.

"Our goal is to change people one at a time," Lionel said. "From reading the Bible, we know we can't overthrow the system, but having people on the inside I will help."

How will it help? Because I know for a fact that St. Rayford and Our Buck are both on the inside, yet they haven't done anything with their positions except take advantage of employee perm's. We don't hear anything about them using their positions to distribute aid to those suffering the most under Nicky's reign, or smuggle political prisoners to freedom, or see to it that important orders get "lost" in the tangled channels of bureaucracy. Why it's almost as though the TF love the cheap, vicarious thrill that comes with martyrdom and being a double agent without the risks that come with it. But that can't be the case.

Anyway to wrap up this overly long snark, let me just say that all that happens on Vicki's side is that they find a secret passage. I hope we can all agree that Taylor is pure awesomesauce (sorry to overuse the word awesome but it really fits Taylor) and that's it for this week. BTW, if you want to read children struggling against an evil government done right, read the Tomorrow series by John Marsden. Word of warning though: the author is an Aussie and as such, uses quite a bit of Aussie slang. But other than that, it's good reading complete with a kickass main heroine.

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Tale Told By Idiots

When we last left our brave heroes, they were facing down two teenage girls with guns. But one of them, Felicia collapses and it turns out, she drank the water. So the YTF are trying to treat her but despite their best efforts, Felicia dies and is in all likelihood burning in Hell for all eternity at the hands of a compassionate Zod. Then again Vicki did whisper in Felicia's ear about how much Zod loves her, so maybe there's the slimmest of chances that she had enough time to say The Prayer even though she was in all likelihood too busy dying in order to actually say it.

The chapter ends with Judd deciding to jump Melinda even though she has a gun. Ellanjay try to create a little suspense by having the gun go off and having the chapter end there, but it fails miserably because as stated many times before, Judd is a mini-Rayford: billions may die all around him but he'll remain blissfully untouched by all of it.

As you probably guessed, the shot misses, no one is hit, but we do get the satisfying spectacle of Vicki chewing out Judd for being a macho idiot by rushing someone with a gun. It is pretty sweet to read but at the same time, I know Vicki is eventually going to be punished for being a girl with girl parts.

Anyway following the incident with the gun, there's a debate about what needs to be done about Melinda. Judd wants her gone because she's GC, but Vicki wants her to stay because she thinks she can chalk one up for TurboJesus. Either way, they have to figure out what to do with her. Eventually, Vicki tells Melinda this: that the GC for some bizarre reason is after her and if she goes back, she'll die, but if she stays with the YTF, she has a fighting chance. Naturally faced with those choices, Melinda decides to stay and I have a feeling we'll witness her inevitable conversion.

Anyway after burying Felicia, Melinda abruptly changes her mind and decides to leave, believing that Vicki was only being so nice to her because they didn't want her to run to the GC and rat them out. Judd then receives a phone call from Taylor. Apparently he has a plane and is willing to take him and Mr. Stein to Israel. Naturally Judd, in a sterling display of leadership, decides to abandon the school and leave Vicki to deal with everything. Lessons in Leadership from Ellanjay: As a wise commentator whose name I've forgotten put it, leadership isn't defined by tough decisions or making sacrifices for the good of the whole; it's all about how other people see you. If they kowtow to you, then you are a good leader regardless of how your decisions play out.

I'm throwing in a third chapter because again, nothing happens. Anyway they discuss what to do about the plane and naturally it's decided that Judd, Lionel, and Mr. Stein will go to Israel. Melinda tells Vicki her story about how thanks to Zod, her life was shot to Hell following the disappearances and that she and her best friend Felicia decided to join the GC because in such chaotic times, Nicky's words of peace spoke to them. Melinda finally decides to stay but she tells Vicki that if she finds out that they're lying and/or using her, she'll leave.

Anyway there's not much more to say except that Judd, Lionel, and Mr. Stein outwit the GC dragnet and make it to the plane and our on their way to Israel. I would tell you how they did it except that I'm dangerously close to lapsing into a boredom induced coma so I'll just say that the stormtroopers in Star Wars were more competent and they kept hitting their head on the doorframe.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Having a Penis Means You're Always Right

Well the plucky band of Zod's angels save the dog and Vicki decides to go to the school.

Meanwhile the merry band of manly men plus Shelly are crashing at the gas station. Some time during the night Taylor shows up again and he is pissed at Judd. Oh Taylor, how much do I love thee...I want to write hymns of praise to you except I'm terrible at poetry. In the course of the conversation, Judd admits that Pete wasn't in any danger once again cutting into GC's rep as the Big Bad in this series. Hell the Keystone Kops don't bumble this much. Taylor then gives the closest thing to an upraised middle finger as this series will allow (Ellanjay have no issues with killing two-thirds of the population but heaven forbid any of the characters use vulgar gestures or language) and steals Pete's bike.

Judd tells the others about Vicki going to the school and Shelly starts to wonder if they should join her. Judd starts to wonder if he's losing control of the group and wonders if the kids will leave him to follow Vicki. Though Vicki is clearly, at least in the eyes of the male authors, is seen as one of those hysterical females (remember, girls, having a uterus automatically means your opinion must be discounted) clearly her assessment of Judd is right. If Judd was a good leader as opposed to a posturing Alpha male, he would take Vicki's idea into consideration on basis of its merits as opposed to how it'll affect his standing in the great RTC hierarchy. Anyway Lionel, Shelly, and probably Pete vote to go to the school. It's currently up in the air as to whether Judd will follow in hopes of having some authority over the way the school is run or if he, in a fit of pique, will decide to do the lone wolf-alpha male bit so that when things at the school go south (and they will because girls are too weak and womanly to be in charge of aything but the church bake sale) he can swoop in and save the day. Meanwhile Vicki's group makes themselves at home and it turns out the dog has a bullet wound.

Well as you probably guessed, Judd decides not to go. Even if the plot wasn't rigged against Vicki, it wouldn't look good this alpha male if he acknowledged Vicki's idea as a good idea and went to the school. Judd talks about with Pavel how Nicky Himalayas is working around the clock to rebuild the damaged infrastructure which is eeevil because it makes people more dependent on him, which is yet another reason why Zod's plan to convert the heathens by killing them is pretty damn stupid. Pete leaves and Mr. Stein and Judd pass the time answering emails from people wanting to know more about Zod. Amazing how the all-important Internet connection remains intact even after a worldwide quake and a massive ROD should have taken out everything. Whatever Nicky has set up as infrastructure is clearly working. I wonder if RTCs would be able to mobilize and rebuild so quickly.

Judd finds out yet another massive object this one made of rotting wood is going to hit the earth. This is of course is Wormwood which will effectively poison the water supply and kill billions, RTC or not, because it's not like our brave heroes have devoted any time to doing anything besides posturing. Not to mention even if they had, there'll still be all those desperately poor who can't afford to stockpile supplies and will die in droves. But hey Zod hates the poor. Why do you think Jesus told the rich man to put his fortune in some off-shore tax shelter so the eeevil welfare queens won't eat up his fortune?

Anyway Judd makes it to the school just as Wormwood hits, countless die but none of our brave heroes are the least bit concerned. What's more important is Vicki and Judd make up (but with no kissing. They're saving it for marriage) and Judd agrees that Vicki's idea was a good one. I wouldn't hold your breath though; something's going to happen that will prove that Vicki was wrong to challenge Judd's almighty authority and she'll be back to being a good submissive Stepford wife.

At that moment, Melinda and Felicia burst in with guns and that's where book 16 ends. Join us next week when we start with book 17.