Judd has been keeping to himself, trying to work through Nada's death, when we hear about Mac McCullum, aka a character from the adult books whose had maybe one onscreen appearance and therefore shouldn't be easy for readers to recall, has apparently saved Leon Fortunado's life from assassins. The characters are like "Why would Mac do that?" and the section ends there. I'm serious; that's all that happens.
Meanwhile, at the school, Melinda, filled with newfound
Janie held up a hand. “Give it a rest. Haven’t you seen all the people dying around the world? You think a loving God would allow that?”
“He’s trying to get your attention,” Melinda said.
“No. He’s not there or he’d do something about all this. The only person you can trust right now is Nicolae Carpathia.”
I know Janie's argument is almost as weaksauce as the RTCs, due in large part to the fact that Ellanjay can't possibly envision someone disagreeing with them who isn't Adolf Q. Stalin-Pot, but still gotta side with Janie here. When compared with Zod, Nicky Chersky seems like a piker. I mean, the worst Nicky could do was nuke nine cities. Zod, on the other hand, smashed the earth repeatedly, froze it, poisoned the water, and unleashed the lion-headed snake-tailed flying people killers. Clearly if we're weighing out villain-cred, Zod wins.
Suddenly the RTCs see the lion-headed snake-tailed flying people killers and know they have to get Janie downstairs. Why would getting her downstairs protect her? I would say it's the same logic from Indiana Jones (shutting your eyes will totally avoid the wrath of God), but at least Indiana Jones had some awesome stunts to go with its illogic. Left Behind has none of it.
Janie starts coughing and choking on the sulphur but Vicki takes this moment to demonstrate the Demonbuster logic that runs this series, manages to call them off by calling on the one who sent them, aka Zod for those of you who haven't been paying attention.
Vicki mustered her courage and spoke. “Leave this place now! In the name of Jesus Christ, the almighty God, I command you to leave.”
The horseman’s face was dark, like a bottomless pit. He turned and looked at Vicki, and she saw the monstrous, evil face with sharp teeth and a look that defied description. Vicki turned away and closed her eyes. Father, I ask you to send these things away. If they stay, there’s no way Janie will ever become a believer. Please, have mercy on her and make these things leave.
Yeah, if Vicki can make them go just by telling Zod to back off, then why didn't the other RTCs try this? Sam could have tried it to save his father, but then again RTC-ianity and sociopathy seem to go hand in hand.
But anyway, it turns out the GC are going to go through with their plans to reopen schools and that's the end of that section.
Meanwhile, Sam is actually thinking about an unbeliever who, as far as we know, died an unbeliever, aka his father. Naturally he doesn't make the connection that dear ol' dad is roasting on a spit for being a faithful Jew, but I'm desperate for what few crumbs I can take from this series.
Judd consoles Sam by saying this:
“God wants people to know him, but he gives us a choice. You and I chose to accept God’s gift. Your dad rejected it.”
“I picture my father suffering now. I wish I could take his place.”
Judd knelt by Sam. “This is going to hurt for a long time, but you’re not responsible for your dad’s choice. The only person God holds you responsible for is you. You can pray and plead with others, but it’s their decision.”
Do I need to reiterate that sociopathy and RTC-ianity go hand in hand? Didn't think so.
They watch the news ceremony honouring Mac and another adult character I don't care about, Abdullah Smith. The chapter ends with the announcement of Hattie's death, but since I've read the next chapter, I know that Hattie isn't really dead so I'm bored to tears. Next chapter, please.
Judd talks with Mac who tells us that Hattie is alive, but they're trying to find and stop her from killing Nicky. That's because she's actually doing something which goes against the whole Tribbles ethos which says that the only thing to do in an apocalypse is nothing. :sigh: Need I reiterate how much I miss Taylor and Hasina?
Mac talks about foiling the assassination attempt on Leon and honestly, I understand why so many of my fellow snarkers side with Leon; he's too pathetic to be taken seriously as a great threat to the world at large. He and Mallory from the Babysitters Club have too much in common. Sorry for making a reference no one will get, but I read the Babysitters Club books as a kid and have recently visited a lot of snark sites, so it's in my head.
Naturally, Judd is more concerned with travel logistics than anything else and asks Mac about flights back to the US.
“Travel is still difficult with the plague. There’s no telling how long that will last. The GC estimates about 10 percent of the population has died since the start of the smoke and fire and sulfur. That means about three times that will eventually die. If you can find a commercial flight, take it.”
Meanwhile, Vicki and the other kids decide who's going to attend the GC schools even though there's no reason for these schools because there's no future and Nicky Chittagong knows it. Then she receives an email from the pastor they met in Arizona. Apparently Jeff, aka Our Buck's brother, became a believer so we can cancel that candlelight vigil we had planned.
In Israel, Mr. Stein has received another vision, this one telling them to preach in the streets. One of the characters points out that that's what the Gruesome Twosome are already doing, but Mr. Stein says that God told him something would happen during their preaching that would cause many to turn to him. Judd is mulling over this when he runs into Kasim. Apparently he and Jamal haven't completely sipped the Tribbles brand of flavor-aid because like Hattie, they wanna do something. Kasim's got a gun and is planning on taking out Nicky. The chapter ends with that bombshell.