Anyway, the kids at the schoolhouse rock! Vicki and her fellow RTCs are actually demonstrating basic hospitality by taking care of Melinda. I know Ellanjay probably only see this as a means to a possible conversion, but kids, if you're reading this, this is what you should be doing as a means of demonstrating hospitality as opposed to being Assholes for Christ.
Not only is Vicki and the others trying to treat Melinda's frostbitten toes,but Vicki stays with her, giving her aspirin, and holding her when she moans, until her toes start to look a little better. It's really sad when I feel like throwing a Mardi Gras-style bacchanalia when the characters act like compassionate humans.
But there are signs that some of Ellanjay's "RTCs are good/everyone else is full of concentrated evil" philosophy seeping through. After taking care of Melinda, it's mentioned that the YTF start trying to clean up the place, fix the roof, and get the generator going again and naturally, only the RTCs are mentioned as doing this work, because the heathens (for those who don't know, the heathen count is at three, with Charlie, Janie, and Melinda still being unconverted) apparently don't care about getting warm again. But there are some decent signs: Janie is depicted as complaining about the food, but she does wolf it down when it's given to her, giving her a touch more humanity than she has demonstrated thus far. The section ends with Melinda, who's bundled herself up, asking "What's going to happen to us?" You'd think by now, Vicki would have given her the full rundown by now, but instead Vicki simply pats her shoulder and says, "We'll take care of you." Again, it's a nice, human touch somehow seeping in, in that Vicki is showing basic humanity.
In Israel, Moist and Ellie are ranting about leaders who don't do what they promised to do and how shit's going to happen as a result. :Yawn: MEGO Now, I'm longing for J. Michael Straczynski's awesome albeit short-lived series, Jeremiah. Now there was a good show and if you're wondering why I'm bringing it into the conversation, in season two, a character (played by Sean Astin), who refers to himself as Mister Smith and claims to have been chosen by God to be his prophet, is introduced and I'm reminded every time I read any of Moist and Ellie's Tourette's-style ranting, just how badly Ellanjay fail at creating prophets. It's true that many of the Biblical prophets were earthy figures (Amos was a pruner of trees before being called to this line of work) and some were more educated (Isaiah advised kings which implies a little education), but all managed to convey a certain otherworldliness in their writings; you could believe that they were in touch with something bigger than themselves.
You get elements of that in Mister Smith. He is closer to an Amos-type prophet rather than an Isaiah, but he does, despite being an earthy, practical person, demonstrate an otherworldly knowledge that makes people sit up and take notice. Moist and Ellie just sound like they have a Schizophrenia; they are robots, parrotting what bits of holy writ they've heard over and over again, of which they know the words, but not the music. But to be fair, JMS does have more talent in his baby fingernail than Ellanjay do in their entire bodies, so I suppose this isn't too surprising.
In America, the YTF are freezing, running out of firewood, and they can't get the generator going. Melinda's still in considerable pain and that's all that happens in the brief check on the America-based YTF. I kind of wished that Ellanjay would realize that all this back-and-forth between Israel and America gives the readers whiplash and that he shouldn't switch locales between paragraphs and if he does, stuff should be happening. If all that's happening is both sides saying variations on, "Damn it's cold out," then why not do one chapter in Israel and the next in America, so as to make things a little easier on the reader?
Judd's in prison and freezing in his cell, but apparently isn't as affected as some of the other prisoners, though you'd think since they are in all likelihood, eeevil heathens, that all the hellfire inside would be keeping them warm, but apparently it doesn't work that way. There is an affecting moment when Judd realizes a man that had been lying still is in actuality, dead, but it isn't dwelled on too long because stuff like this might actually traumatize the kids who are hoping for the apocalypse so they can watch everyone burn. Emotional responses from the characters would ruin the fun.
Daddy Goldberg is massively pissed at Judd because he converted his son. Judd tries to chalk one up for Zod but it doesn't work and he's sent back to his cell, where he has a curious conversation with a grizzled, old man. Now the whole time, I was thinking, "Oh boy, is he going to have Judd 'pick up the soap'" given how he's introduced but like I've said many times, Judd is a mini-Rayford: of all the YTF, he's in the least amount of danger no matter what situation he's in.
Anyway the grizzled old
But as Judd heads back, the sun comes out and the earth is warm again and Judd thinks this infuriating line which suggests to me that Ellanjay have regained consciousness:
A monitor inside the coffee shop showed a replay of the entire conversation between Nicholae and the witnesses. Commentators praised the work of the potentate. Judd smiled. He knew God had been looking out for him and other believers.Except for all the RTCs who died during the freeze because they were homeless or weak or sick or just plain unlucky enough not to have the resources a rich American does, you prick!
Anyway in the schoolhouse, Vicki and the others are celebrating the end of the freeze and making plans to consider resuming classes and worship. Vicki finds Janie standing by a river and they talk. Vicki is all "God did this and more's coming," but Janie remains convinced that the break in the freeze is Nicholae's doing.
In Israel, Judd waits around before returning to Jamal's, which is a smart move in case he's being followed, but I'm holding onto the faintest hope that he's been lowjacked. He runs into Lionel. They talk about Daddy Goldberg, but the conversation soon turns to Nada. Apparently Jamal cares about her and is keeping her locked up, But still Nada managed to disappear, leaving behind a note saying that she does have feelings for Judd and wants to meet up with him so they can talk. Needless to say, Judd is not pleased by this and neither is Jamal, who throws him and Lionel out, saying that they've caused enough trouble for his family. Frankly, I'm still shocked that Ellanjay are actually letting their teen protags disobey an adult RTC. Isn't RTC-ianity huge on obedience to all RTCs in authority regardless of how incompetent, corrupt, or evil they may be? But then again, judging by their names, which are all scary and ethnic, and the fact that Nada has been mentioned as having an Arabic accent, it may be that before becoming good RTCs, they were islamo-commie-fascists muslims* and since Muslim and Arab are interchangeable because it's not like one's a racial distinction and the other's a religious distinction, maybe the message is "Obey all RTC Authority figures so long as they're white and not a scary shade of brown.
*I've also flirted with the idea that Jamal's family were Palestinian Christians because it's not enough to be Christian in Ellanjayland, you have to be of a specific subculture, but I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that Ellanjay assume that all Palestinians are Muslim, much in the way too many idiots assume Arab=Muslim.
**If you're wondering about all the links and videos, I'm trying to liven up what I'm sure is a dull job, reading my posts, since nothing happens in these books as said many times before.