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 confused...is 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.