Well, fear not, fellow readers: Lionel escapes with nary a hair on his head damaged. Though it turns out that Mr. Stein's money was gone, so they can only hope that Hasina will help them out for free. If I were writting these books, I would have it turn out that Hasina and Taylor are too busy helping out the poor and wretched and sabotaging the GC in any way they can to help out our heroes, but I have a feeling that despite being a heathen infidel, Hasina realizes that rich Americans matter above all other lives and she'll airlift them out and once she does, at no small risk to herself, the YTF will continue to snigger about her behind her back. Because that's what good RTCs do: mock the cherished ideals of those who do not believe as they do.
Meanwhile at the school, Melinda is starting to show signs of having sipped the Flavor-Aid as she and Vicki discuss the prophecies. Melinda hasn't kneeled before Zod yet but it's only a matter of time. But most importantly, someone is finally realizing that all these judgments (which need I remind you, come from God) are going to affect things. Granted, it's pretty damn stupid that they are just now realizing this, even though after Wormwood poisoned the water, they should be rationing their bottled water and using it solely for drinking; or in other words, bathing and showering would become a thing of the past. But apparently the one that finally makes someone sit up and take pause is the next judgment which will darken the moon and stars and sun. Mark, the character who is finally showing some brains, realizes correctly that this means that the earth will essentially go through a deep freeze and things will get a heckuva lot colder. Melinda, acting truly dumb because only one member of the YTF is alloted brain cells at a time, says that they live in the woods and can just chop down some of the trees to keep the fires burning, but Mark shakes his head and basically says that people are going to die. While I'll admit that's a pretty huge "Duh..." statement given how many disasters have struck back to back, killing who-only-knows how many people, I'll still allow this line because finally, an acknowledgement of the massive casualities that would result from one of the disasters. Still part of me has to wonder, do the RTCs ever give any reasons why all these disasters happen back to back within the same short time period? Because I don't claim to be an expert on disasters, but I'm fairly certain that if God wanted to smite the heathens back to the stone-age, it would only take one of the so-called judgments to render life on this planet, moot. Heck, the whole Wormwood thing would be more than enough to finish us off.
[plug]Once again, you want to see well-written young adult fiction about teens facing the end of the world-type disaster, read the Last Survivors series by Susan Beth Pfeffer, not this crap. [/plug]
Back to Israel. Judd is talking on the phone with Hasina and oh, how I wish that she or Taylor were the stars of this series instead of such a weaksauce protagonist like Judd. Again, they actually do shit.
But to my surprise, Hasina doesn't immediately start kowtowing to Judd and doing whatever he asks. Probably because exciting shit that would be nice to actually witness firsthand instead of just hearing about it from Judd, is actually happening. Basically the GC are storming the place complete with all the violence and gunfire that entails and why oh why do we have to read this from Judd's perspective again? Why exactly couldn't Hasina and Taylor be the heroes of this series instead of the Tribbles? Even though Ellanjay distances us from the scene by having us learn it by having Judd overhear it through the phone, it's still a damn effective part of the novel as the GC struggle to subdue Taylor and Hasina and they confess their love for each other, before Judd hears the sound of gunshots and hears a GC Goon say that the suspects are dead. Oh and if you're wondering, Judd did try a last-minute thief-on-the-cross kind of conversion with Hasina and Taylor but both essentially said, "Save your breath."
:fans self: Wow...Hasina and Taylor are so awesome I nearly swooned especially when they both told Judd where he can stick his conversion attempt. Did I not tell you how utterly awesome they both are? I was going to find a clip from the MST3K episode where they riffed on Puma Man, the one where Crow, after watching Vadinho kick serious ass, says, "Our hero is this guy. I think it's time we've accepted that," but I couldn't find the clip. Still, given how very, very awesome they are I must honor them with a YouTube clip so you can feel what I'm feeling right now. Characters as awesome as them deserve to have a Scottish man playing "Amazing Grace" on the bagpipes as a send-off. I would also see to it that they be nominated for sainthood so as to represent all of us brave souls still plodding through these books, but I don't know how to go about such things. I'll just lie down and say, "Wow..." for a little longer though.
Next chapter. Faced with the whole prospect of a massive freeze, Vicki and the rest of the YTF not important enough to go to Israel, start getting to work, chopping and gathering firewood and for a brief period, a few of them act like actual teenagers, wondering if this is all necessary, griping about work, etc. If you guessed the ones behaving like teens instead of Elsie Dinsmore clones were the ones who have yet to convert, aka Melinda and Janie, you were right! Go upstairs and collect your No-Prize.
Meanwhile in Israel, I have as much trouble believing it as you do, but Judd is actually stunned by the deaths of Hasina and Taylor. The cynical part of me just assumes that he's concerned because he lost his ride out of Israel and that's probably true, but dammit! It is nice to see him demonstrate a brief flicker of human emotion. Also, he starts to regret being so harsh towards Vicki about the school and wishes he could fix things between them. We could only wonder what Token Jew would think about Judd conceding that a weak, womanly female with female parts could be right about something.
Judd and Nada discuss her brother, Kasim. For those who can't remember, Kasim was her heathen brother who died unconverted in the Wrath of the Lamb quake. One of the things she mentioned was that Kasim, as a GC guard, had a penthouse apartment bigger than their house. Can't help but note that Nicky Amaro's strategy of giving his employees all these perks probably works better than Zod's convert-by-killing strategy. Anyway, Nada proves she's a true RTC by essentially showing no compassion for her brother saying that he'd seen Token Jew's broadcast so he had his chance to convert.
Back at the school. Janie's being a typical teenager by slacking off from work but of course, in the eyes of Ellanjay, this is only further proof of her reprobate nature.
Back to Israel. Lionel and Samuel talk about Jesus and Samuel finally stops being one of those inscrutable Jews and converts, even though he knows this will cheese off his father. I am just disappointed that it turned out that the verse Lionel slipped in his pocket wasn't Ezekiel 23:20.
And that's it for this week. Please do your best to properly eulogize Hasina and Taylor.