Sunday, June 30, 2013

Nicky Fails Basic Villainy

I know, I know. I need to stop talking about how bored I am because it's not funny and because y'all are probably getting sick and tired of me mentioning it, but really it's hard to avoid not mentioning it. It's just that dull. I'll do my best to snark this, but cut me a little slack, willya.

All that happens at the beginning is Vicki and the rest of the American YTF (minus Charlie, who's hanging with Bo and Ginny) hide when the GC come around looking for them. But Charlie realizes that the GC will likely come back and they might be suspicious if he's not with Bo and Ginny so Mark gives him an ultimatum: Stay with them or go with us.

Judd and Lionel are arriving in Jerusalem. They lookover the stage. There's yet another sign of Ellanjay's inability to predict future trends as Judd decides to check on Kasim by calling on the car phone. Ah, car phones... Once again, I find myself wondering when these books were published. The first one was published in 1996, but we're over twenty books in so surely by now Ellanjay could have predicted cell phones becoming commonplace.

They talk to Jamal about Kasim but he doesn't know anything and says all they can do is pray. Also, they past by the Western Wall and run into the Gruesome Twosome again.

The GC had placed massive television lights over Eli and Moishe. Satellite dishes, cables, and cameras filled the space in front of the two witnesses.
“I wonder if they have this much giz at the stage we saw on TV,” Lionel said.

First of all, I had to study the sentence several times to understand what Lionel meant by "giz." But most importantly, why the Hell is Nicky setting up all this tech, the better to broadcast his enemy's message to the world? He owns the press and the police; surely he can tell his reporters to stay away and have the police put Moist and Ellie in a gulag.

Lionel and Judd go for a walk and we see how the holy city has degenerated into a modern-day Sodom and Gomorrah.

Judd and Lionel had walked this same route in the past, but they were surprised at all the new businesses. They passed bars, massage parlors, fortune tellers, and even pagan sanctuaries.

:eyeroll: How is this worse than what you can find in any reasonably-sized city? Ellanjay must get the vapors every time they step outside their house, especially since the wife of one of them works in Washington D.C., a city that's not exactly known for its low crime rate.

In the next few paragraphs, Ellanjay, in response to my eyeroll, try to convince me how degenerate the holy city has become.

“Can you believe this?” Lionel said. “Chicago had these kinds of places, but you had to go out of your way to find them. This junk is out in the open for everybody to see.”

Lionel was right. These weren’t run-down stores in the bad part of town. Gleaming storefronts advertised everything sinful. One busy shop run by a group of witches offered to cast spells. If you purchased one, the second was free. Many shoppers bought charms guaranteed to hurt the two witnesses. A block away, a bar played music so loud Judd couldn’t believe people could go inside without losing their hearing. The lyrics of the songs were so evil, Judd took a side street to escape the noise.

So the most horrible things Ellanjay can imagine are well-maintained thriving businesses with a bunch of people casting spells and a place that serves alcohol and has loud music. I cannot roll my eyes enough because you'd think that a truly degenerate city ruled by the anti-Christ would more resemble Rwanda circa 1994 complete with sex acts that aren't the missionary and aren't done solely for the purpose of reproduction. I feel let down by Ellanjay's lack of imagination, though to be fair, these books are meant for kids so they probably couldn't be too degenerate.

Judd and Lionel approach Kasim's place and hear someone inside screaming, "So that's the way you want it? You want us to kill you?"

Charlie decides to stay on the farm with Bo and Ginny.

Judd and Lionel wait until two burly guys leave Kasim's apartment. They find Kasim lying bloodied and bruised on the floor and the chapter ends with Lionel asking if Kasim's dead.

Next chapter, they're taking care of Kasim, who isn't dead. Apparently he tried to buy some weapons on the black market and got beaten up because he couldn't pay. Judd tries to get Kasim to hand over the weapon but he refuses. Kasim still wants to go through with his plan to kill Nicky.

Judd tries to scare him by saying that he talked to someone in the GC who said they'd kill Kasim if his plan is discovered. My response is, "Well duh, it makes sense that a worldwide dictatorship would frown on someone trying to assassinate their leader," but all Kasim can say is, "They're not going to--"

“If you don’t give me the rifle, I’m telling them myself.”
Kasim stared at Judd. “You’d do that to a fellow believer? Someone who wants to rid the world of that evil man?”
“You’re not thinking clearly,” Judd said. “And if you did get away with it, they’d trace the weapon to General Zimmerman and he’d be in trouble.”

Again, I fail to see the threat, because as said before killing Nicky doesn't do anything except make him SuperEvil, so why not let Kasim get in his shot? Also, given that General Jew is an RTC like all good characters in this series, and RTCism has been declared illegal, HE'S ALREADY IN DANGER REGARDLESS IF KASIM SHOOTS NICKY OR NOT! [/ragedump]

But Judd's incredible logic gets through to Kasim, who gives Judd the weapon. He returns it to General Jew's house and sleeps peacefully.

Vicki and Charlie talk about their times together. Charlie mentions that Judd really likes her and apparently that Conrad and Shelly have been holding hands a lot. This would actually be interesting dialogue if I cared about the characters and admitedly, it's nice that they're stepping off the narrative gas for a little gossipy moment, but the trouble is I don't really care about any of these characters.

They talked about the other kids in the Young Trib Force, and Charlie grew serious. “I’ve been reading as much as I can about what’s going to happen next. It’s going to get bad, isn’t it?” Vicki nodded. “We’re in a seven-year period of trouble. The first three and a half years have been awful. The last three and a half years will be worse.”

Forgive me for not being an expert on Ellanjay's incredibly convoluted prophecy, but I fail to see how the next three and a half years can be worse that the previous given that the previous involved all the children and RTCs being slaughtered, a worldwide quake, a rock the size of the Appalachians hitting the Earth, all the water becoming undrinkable, a massive freeze, and two appearances of lion-headed snake-tailed flying people-killers. I may have left out a few disasters because I can't remember them all, but I believe I've made my point.

Oh and we get two mentions of Ryan and one mention of Bruce.

Charlie asks if they'll get to meet all the great biblical figures in Heaven. It's notable for this part.

“I’d like to meet Ruth. Her story is so sad and then romantic. And Mary, the mother of Jesus.”

That sound you hear is me guffawing because for all their talk about how important the Bible is, they clearly haven't actually read the Book of Ruth, unless they consider a woman seducing a man and having :gasp: :choke: premarital sex to be romantic. I wonder if they're the types who use Ruth 1:16-17 at weddings, not realizing that it's :gasp: a woman saying it to another woman (Ruth to Naomi, if you're wondering).

But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.”

After their conversation, Vicki and Charlie say goodbye, then Vicki and the rest of the YTF load up the Bo and Ginny's Suburban and head north.

Meanwhile in Israel, Mr. Stein makes this statement which once again, makes me headdesk about the GC's stupidity.

“The Global Community has just announced there will be no arrests or detainments during the Gala.”

Really, Nicky?! You should be like Beijing circa the 2008 Olympics where officials used the festivities as an excuse to step up their persecution lest the rabble act up and embarrass them on the world stage.

They talk about holding a tent meeting then General Jew asks Judd if he's seen a weapon missing from his collection. Judd tells him about Kasim and how he took a rifle but Judd admits to having returned it. But something is still missing from General Jew's collection: a high-intensity laser that can be used as a sword.

Nothing really happens at the end of the chapter. Vicki's traveling. There is a rare moment of introspection where they briefly think about all the people they've lost, but it's over pretty quick and that's it for this week.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Excitement Level: 0

So the American branch of the YTF are rowing down the river and we find out that the repeated natural disasters have had some effect on the direction and course of the river. I could go into a long rant about how it should have had more of an effect, especially since Wormwood has essentially turned all the waters into the Salton Sea, but at this point my expectations for these books are below sea level, so I take what I can get.

Meanwhile, Carl is fleeing the GC, thinking that he'll hook up with one of the underground churches. As he flees, his superiors try to message him, hoping to coax him into surrendering. Naturally, he's not buying it.

Meanwhile, Vicki and the others are continuing to struggle down the river and what follows is essentially a long series of action verbs that's pretty much impossible to snark. Again, if this was another series where the characters are in actual danger, it'd be exciting, but since this is the LB-verse where bad things only happen to Butt Monkeys and the Whore of Babylon...yeah, I apologize for the poor quality of snark I'm providing.

More boring action-verby stuff happens and I nearly bash my head against my laptop in boredom, but the chapter ends with the YTF ashore just as a guy in a Chicago Cubs hat threatens them with a shotgun.

Next chapter, well, the fact there's a man with a gun, raises the excitement level just a little, but not much. Basically he asks them a few questions about a missing GC vehicle then inexplicably decides to take them home to his wife, who has the Zod-mark. :massages temples: My futile hope that something would happen just died.

Carl talks with Natalie.

Apparently the farm couple is Bo and Ginny Shairton once again demonstrating Ellanjay's tin ear when it comes to naming characters. Could those names be more hickish? Still, I should be grateful they're not ethnic names otherwise they'd be much more grating.

So Ginny cheerfully serves Zod after he cheerfully murdered raptured her adopted daughter, Amelia. They check Token Jew's website and receive a message from Carl saying that he's trying to get to South Carolina to hide with believers there and to lay low.

Bo and Ginny offer to let the YTF stay as long as they like and even lend them their car so they can escape if they want. Those who were just panting with anticipation for another conversion scene, there's one as Bo finally kneels before Zod and gets his mark. If you're wondering, it is the same exact prayer.

Carl makes it to South Carolina and meets up with believers Tom and Luke Gowin.

Now I thought I'd supply another chapter since so far, nothing has happened and the snark's a little skimpy.

We cut back to Lionel in Israel. I'm starting to think in addition to all my other tags, I should start a "Where's Lionel?" tag because he disappears for chapters at a time with no explanation except that Ellanjay do a piss-poor job of keeping track of their characters. It's almost enough to make me wish for the Lionel of earlier books: yeah, he was a total jerk-ass but at least he demonstrated personality.

So he and Judd ride in General Jew's car to Tel Aviv so they can go to Nicky's gala. And to a previous commenter who wondered why anyone would want to celebrate after all the death and destruction, we get a little acknowledgement of that fact.

The trip to Tel Aviv went quickly, but Lionel couldn’t help noticing signs of devastation. The GC had done a good job of cleaning up dead bodies slain by the horsemen. But those who were still alive looked like walking shells. They had lost husbands, wives, children, and friends. And now, Nicolae Carpathia was throwing a party. Lionel shook his head.

They meet up with Mac and we get some tech porn as he talks about his plane but mostly we get more exposition about stuff that's going on in the adult books. Apparently, Nicky and Leon have had it with the SuperPope (aka Peter Matthews) so something tells me we're getting close to the part of the series where he bites it. If I'm wrong, aunursa will correct me.

Oh and Hattie's being held by the GC.

After Mac gives his long spiel, Judd asks him for some advice regarding Kasim.

When Judd was through, Mac took a deep breath. “We know the big guy is going down at some point. Tsion believes it’s going to be by a sword of some sort, but there’s no way to know what that means for sure. If this Kasim is anything like his sister, he’ll follow through with his plans. With all the security, he’s committing suicide if he walks in with a weapon. The GC will probably execute him for even trying to kill Carpathia.”
“What should we do?”
“Stop him,” Mac said.

Uh, yeah, not seeing the threat here? Don't St. Rayford and Chaim try to kill him and it only makes him SuperEvil? So how would things be affected even more if Kasim tries as well and possibly dies in the process? Or is this another case of the super-delicate continuity possibly being screwed up?

Vicki and the others talk when they see a GC peacekeeper vehicle coming.

Judd talks with Lionel. He'd seen Kasim with a tourist group and is worried that he might have placed a bomb on Nicky's plane, endangering not only Nicky but everyone else aboard the plane. Me, I'm not concerned. I mean, suppose he did place a bomb and it reduced Nicky to charred remains. Couldn't that possibly be a good thing seeing as Nicky would be cinders and ashes. Or can Satan revive a pile of cinders and ashes?

I thought about throwin in another chapter but I'm bored enough for now, so it'll be just a three-chapter snark this week.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

And if that ain't love what is

Happy Sunday everybody! Sorry to be late with the post but I was traveling and thought it'd be easier to post when I was back home. That out of the way, let's get down to business.

The chapter beginning, if we were in a better book like say the Harry Potter series which allowed bad shit to happen to their characters, would be dramatic but given that we're in the LB-verse, it's just a boring collection of quotes, so forgive me for all the summarizing.

Mark is all "Get in the truck!" and I can't believe even with the GC storming their base that they're going to make their escape in a stolen GC vehicle. My five-year-old child advisor can point out all the flaws in that plan.

But Vicki and Charlie are trapped! Apparently one of the GC trucks collapsed the tunnel.

Vicki and Charlie struggle to dig their way through the tunnel and while doing so, they have a conversation. For those of you who can't hold onto the names of the characters along with their single distinguishing characteristic, Charlie is considered slow.

“One of the happiest days of my life was when I saw you had the mark of the true believer.”
“Me too. But I still don’t understand. If I’m, you know, damaged in the head, wouldn’t God have taken me with the other people?”
Vicki kept digging. “God knows everybody’s heart. You knew right from wrong. You were able to make choices just like everybody else.”


So I'm this Ellanjay's answer to my repeated question "What about the profoundly retarded who are unable to make a decision for Christ? Maybe this works in degrees in Ellanjay-land. The profoundly retarded might escape but if you're like Forest Gump aka a little slow, you're screwed. I really wish I could do a better job of taking this apart.

Charlie then asks why the locusts didn't sting him and Vicki gives the weaksauce answer that he was close to making a decision for Christ. He then asks what about Janie and Melinda and Vicki gives this infuriating answer.

“Well, I wonder if it didn’t take those stings to kind of jar Melinda and Janie. Maybe it helped convince them of the truth.”

Again lesson learned from Ellanjay: if someone you know is having a hard time understanding what you're trying to tell them, beat them harder and harder until they do because that's totally within the character of a god of love and charity. Or the Gospel according to Bobby Bare

Conrad shows up and starts trying to help them dig out. But just as the hole gets big enough, a morale monitor shows up! Dun-Dun-Dun!

Those of you hoping something dramatic might happen, keep hoping because the next chapter reveals that the morale monitor is a believer named Natalie Bishop. Because remember, nothing happens in these books. They come up with a plan to lead the GC away using their dog Phoenix, whom I'm sure you've forgotten existed. The plan works and they sprint out of there.

Judd is still hanging out at General Jew's house watching television. He's watching a speech by Leon Fortunado who :gasp: acts like all these disasters are a bad thing and promises that Nicky will stop them by dealing with the gruesome twosome. Out of curiosity, how much does Leon know about all these prophecies and whatnot? But then again, maybe I shouldn't ask that question since the book can't be consistent about whether Nicky knows he's screwed in the end or if he's capable of choosing to follow this convoluted scheme.

Vicki and the others make it to the river and start rowing down it, but the water is choppy and they don't know how much longer Natalie can stall the GC. The chapter ends with Carl wondering how much longer until he's figured out.

Sorry for the skimpy snark but quite a bit happens in the next chapter so this will have to do.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

There's a Light

Oh and I know y'all are pretty sick of me going on about Z-Van, but I found yet another RTC comic with which to model him after or in other words, as far as I'm concerned, Z-Van looks totally like Madonna Dahmer.

But anyway, the American YTF are worried because now they know that Marjorie spilled the beans about everything, probably even the secret handshakes, which wouldn't have happened if they'd abandoned her when she was unconscious like I suggested, but they're still working on plans to hack the next broadcast rationalizing it as,

Vicki nodded. “The reports from around the country and a couple of sites overseas tell us we’ve had incredible results. The truth is changing these pro-Carpathia kids. We estimate there were one to two hundred decisions made at each site.”

“That means there are thousands who are now believers,” Charlie said.

Uh, yeah, am I the only one who wonders if all these decisions mean about as much as all those revivals Fred's always talking about where the preacher calls and calls until everyone's at the altar that way he can say that his church caused X number of decisions for Christ? I am seriously skeptical of the success of Vicki's outreach.

They talk some more about how this is going to get Carl in serious trouble and whether it's worth it (they decide it is), when the baby starts fussing.

Lenore picked him up, tears streaming down her cheeks. “I’d like to say something.” She handed Tolan to Shelly. “You kids saved my life. Literally. And you saved my son’s life. But that’s not the best thing you did for me. You gave me a reason to go on. You showed me how I could know God. For that, I’ll be forever thankful.
“I knew this day would come. I didn’t want it to, but I figured eventually the GC would find this place and you’d have to run. My house is not big, but I’m willing to open it up to any of you who want to stay with me.”

Uh, Lenore, what about your husband? Y'know your loving husband who froze to death when he went out during God's Big Freeze to get food for you and your son. A few thoughts for him? Especially now that he's no longer frozen but burning in hell for eternity without end! :mad:

I know I keep saying these things over and over again, but damn do they bear repeating.

Lenore then leaves, taking Tolan with her, and we cut to Israel.

Basically all that happens is someone mentions Chaim. Apparently his speech sounds slurred, not sure why, and they of course still wish with all their hearts that he stop being all inscrutable and Jewish and become a good RTC before he gets tossed into the fires of Hell where he'll burn for all eternity. Okay they don't mention that last part but I felt I had to. It bears repeating.

Janie's keeping watch as they know the GC is looking for them. While doing so, Vicki comes up to talk to her. Janie confesses that she's done a lot of bad stuff and is worried that she'll keep doing bad stuff, which gives us this conversation from Vicki.

Vicki sat back and smiled. “God’s working on you.” “What?” “I know you think I’m some kind of saint, but the truth is, I was pretty messed up myself. I did bad stuff and didn’t care, because it was fun. After I came to know God, I wondered if I’d ever go back.”
“Did you?”
Vicki shook her head. “I’m not perfect, by any stretch. But after I understood how much God loves me, I didn’t want to do any of that. It’s like God opened a door. When I saw what was on the other side, I didn’t need the booze or hooch or anything else to make me happy.”

Booze? Hooch? What kind of teenager talks like that? Maybe these novels are actually set during the twenties. Also once again, apparently there's no such thing as being chemically addicted: if God doesn't miraculously cure you of your alcoholism, you have weak faith, not a chemical dependency.

But it's time for Neal Damosa's speech and apparently he also has Nicky's mind whammy the way he's described. Or maybe he's got Saruman's gift of the gab. :shudders: I feel so dirty comparing Lord of the Rings and Left Behind: the Kids.

“But first, the real reason we are here. We have been talking about your responsibility as citizens of the Global Community. In order to live in peace, you must help us work for peace.” Damosa’s speech slowed. The camera focused on the man’s eyes, and Vicki felt uneasy. He spoke softly, as if he wanted to put his audience into a trance.
“This is getting weird,” Shelly said. “You think he can do what Carpathia did?”
“You mean put people under some kind of spell?” Mark said.
“I wouldn’t put it past him to try,” Vicki said. “How much time?”
“Two minutes,” Conrad said. “We need to start now. Is there any way to call Carl?”

Carl watched Dr. Damosa and sensed a change in the room. People behind him stopped talking. Damosa’s voice was mellow, inviting, and evil.

Vicki comes in over the frequency and starts to explain about Zod using Janie as an example, but Darrion interrupts to say that the GC are coming up the driveway. Dun-Dun-Dun

This would be dramatic if I didn't know that the YTF wears titanium steel plot armor and that the GC weren't more incompetent than the Keystone Kops. Using my incredible powers of Ellanjay plot deduction, I predict nothing will happen.

Next chapter, Vicki gives her speech, a standard altar call. Judd watches and is all "Atta girl!" and we find out how much time has passed in the LB-verse: three years, since it says that Vicki is seventeen and she was fourteen at the beginning.

The YTF minus Vicki and Charlie escapes by going down this old Civil War tunnel, but horrors of horrors, they forgot the laptop so now they can't communicate with the other branches of the YTF. Gasp! The apocalypse is more horrible than I imagined! In a rare display of sense, they decide to leave the laptop behind and keep moving rather than embark on some stupid plan to go back for it.

But just as they reach the outside, they realize that Conrad isn't with them. Don't tell me...he probably went back for the laptop.

Meanwhile, Carl is watching all this and reflecting on how he came to Christ (John converted him). He also reflects that he probably doesn't have much longer in his career as a double agent.

Vicki and Charlie struggle but find the tunnel. But as they are escaping, there's a rumble and a GC truck sinks up to its axle. The last section ends with Carl as he and his men search and find the stuff Vicki used to get on the air.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

We're Gonna Rock Rock Rock with the Rock

Judd and the other YTF members in Israel have been mostly hanging out at General Jew's house preaching and studying the word. He's been hoping that Kasim has given up on his plans to assasinate Nicky but no luck there. Kasim shows up at General Jew's house, helps himself to a weapon from General Jew's collection, and leaves. And that's all that's happening on the Israeli front.

On the American front, the YTF are struggling with their plan to hack the satellite system. That's all that happens on the American side before we cut back to Israel.

Judd and Lionel and Sam are walking around the gala, taking in all the eeevil sights and sounds. Dr. Neal Damosa is there, introducing all the paratroopers as they enter, but after the paratroopers, it's time for The Four Horsemen.

Lionel shook his head as the most popular band in the world launched into their wild and frenzied music. They had risen to fame a few months earlier with their song “Hoofbeats.” They bashed Tsion Ben-Judah, Christianity, Jesus, and anything to do with the underground church. Lionel wasn’t surprised that the Global Community embraced the group, but to link them with the satellite schools was a stroke of genius on their part.

And we got our obligatory eevils of rock music in here. For the sake of funny, I'm going to assume the eeevil GC-loving rock'n'roll band is the same one from this Jack Chick tract. And yes, their big hit is "We're gonna rock rock rock with the rock."

Kids clapped, screamed, and sang along with lead singer Z-Van. He wore wraparound sunglasses and a skintight outfit that made Lionel wonder how he could possibly dance around the edge of the stage without falling off. GC security allowed kids to stream onto the infield and surround the huge dove.

Ah, gotta love it whenever Ellanjay tries to predict pop culture. Because judging by their description of Z-Van with his wraparound sunglasses and skintight outfit, these novels are set during the Reagan years.

I know there's much I haven't criticized like as soon as the smoke machine started up, there should have been mass panic from the audience. Remember, they've survived disaster after disaster so chances are, they're all suffering massively from PTSD, so the sight of smoke would likely make them more than just a little panicky. But frankly I'm just in love with this whole eeevil rock band thing that I'm willing to overlook it for a bit. Though really, they couldn't hammer together some eeevil lyrics for The Four Horsemen to sing? Mouse is disappointed.

But in America, our brave YTF are still having trouble hacking the satellite. But we do hear more about The Four Horsemen, which makes me a little happy.

horse costume. As he sang, flames shot into the air. Shelly put a hand on Vicki’s shoulder. “Their music is bad, but you have to admit they’re kind of cute.”

Vicki shook her head. “All of their songs are just twisted lyrics from Dr. Ben-Judah’s e-mail messages. I can’t get past that.”

So we hear a little bit about their lyrics, which only makes me want to know more. Twisted lyrics from Dr. Ben-Judah's email messages? First of all, how are they hacking his email and if they are, how come they can't bring him in, and by twisted lyrics, does this mean that they're laying into the RTCs by using their own words against them? Because that'd be kind of awesome if they did.

But just as Z-Van's song ends, they manage to get through. I'm wondering if they're going to call this one a miracle or if the kids just finally worked out how to hack the system or something.

Next chapter, Vicki starts to speak her message to the world. At first it's rather dull with her pretending to be an ambassador and introducing herself, but we find out more about The Four Horsemen's lyrics.

“A good place to start tonight is Z-Van’s lyrics. The latest Four Horsemen recording is ‘Praying to Air.’ I don’t know all the words, but in the chorus Z-Van sings, ‘You’re praying to air, you’re talking to sky, your mind’s full of mush, ’cause you’re willing to die … for a book.’

I am seriously fangirling The Four Horsemen right now, so much so that I wish one of my readers had a DeviantArt account or something with which to make a poster for this group, because their summation of the RTCs is sadly accurate. Except Z-Van could point out that they're willing to kill for a book because that is true. History is riddled with bloody acts of violence whose motivations can be summed up as "They believe slightly different things about our invisible Sky-Daddy! Let's kill them!"

Vicki then reaches for a bible and begins reading verses. Those of you who are groaning in anticipation of yet another sermon, relax. Ellanjay can't be bothered to quote the verses she's reading. Vicki does say, "Hey the RTCs have been right about every disaster so far so maybe we should listen," before letting the feed get cut out.

But the eeevil GC are trying to track them so in order to get their message out, they cut in during Dr. Damosa's speech. For those of you dreading a long sermon, now you can groan because that's what we get.

Vicki stood and leaned against a table. Mark zoomed in tight on Vicki’s face. “But many of you know the stuff the Global Community is throwing at you is hollow. You don’t have peace with God. Every time something terrible happens—an earthquake, stinging locusts, meteors, whatever—you’re scared. You’re afraid you might be the next one whose name shows up on the death list.
“I want you to know you don’t have to be scared. You don’t have to be afraid that God’s going to zap you. You can have real peace with him today.

Forgive me, I know there's so much to take apart here but I've taken it apart so many times that it can probably be summed up with one line: He loved Big Brother.

I thought as an added bonus and because the snark felt a little skimpy, I'd throw in another chapter.

Vicki is feeling all triumphant after her big speech. The others asked how she kept her nerves under control and while I was expecting her answer to be God or Jesus, we actually get the first mention of Ryan Daley for the first time in a long time. I really should have started a tally to keep track of how many times the YTF mentions or thinks about Ryan since sticking him in the ground because it really isn't much. Poor Ryan, even in death he's the series' Butt Monkey.

Vicki wiped sweat from her forehead. “I was really nervous when I thought of all those people watching. Then I remembered my speech teacher. She said I should focus on one person and talk to him. So I pictured somebody sitting there by the camera.”
“Who?” Lenore said.
“You don’t know him. His name was Ryan Daley. He was one of the original members of the Young Trib Force who died in the wrath of the Lamb earthquake.”

After savoring their triumph, Vicki sits down and reads Token Jew's latest epistle and we get more of an attempt at an Author's Saving Throw.

If you watch the GC newscasts, you know how bad things have become. Crime and sin are beyond control. The food and supplies we need to live on are in short supply because many workers who make and distribute them have died. Life is cheap, and our neighbors die every day at the hand of criminals who steal things from them. Many Peacekeepers have died, and the ones left are either overwhelmed with their jobs or are crooks themselves.

Of course though since all this crime and evil takes place off-screen, you'll understand if I'm rolling my eyes here. Again, the world should be worse than Haiti post-earthquake yet this sounds barely worse than everyday life in our world.

I urge you to prepare for the day when it is illegal not just to read this Web site or call yourself a believer. One day you will be required to take the terrible mark of the beast on your forehead or your hand in order to buy or sell anything. Don’t make the fatal mistake of thinking you can take that mark and privately believe in Christ. Jesus has made it plain that those who deny him before men, he will deny before God. I will talk more later about why anyone who takes the mark of the beast will not be able to change their minds.

Uh, yeah, aunursa probably knows better than me, but don't the RTCs working for the anti-Christ repeatedly say that Carpathia is God, while telling themselves that in their hearts, they love Jesus. Hypocrisy thy name is anti anti-Christianity.

The chapter ending is told from Carl's perspective. I know, you're thinking "Who the Hell is that?" but don't trouble yourselves too much with character names given that all the characters are pretty much interchangable in this series. Basically he receives a message that the GC are redoubling their efforts to track down Vicki and her cohorts and that they know she's in Illinois. Dun-Dun-Dun!