So for those of you worried that there hasn't been enough of Ellanjay's hard-on for communication, the chapter begins with Lionel reading an email. It's from Sam who talks about how "All is being fulfilled" and that he'll be their man in Jerusalem. Which is probably a good thing, seeing as he's actually from Jerusalem and would probably make a better witness to all that's going on than Judd or Lionel; Sam's less likely to stand out.
So Lionel goes for a walk and we get even more proof that Ellanjay Know Nothing About Humans.
The temperature was already in the high eighties, and Lionel wondered how hot it would be by noon. Street vendors set up stands as people moved closer to the funeral site. Dealers sold umbrellas, bottled water, chairs, sunscreen, and even souvenirs. Every block featured street entertainers—some with guitars, others with different musical instruments. The farther away from the hotel Lionel walked, the rowdier the entertainment became. Jugglers and clowns tried to make people laugh who didn’t want to laugh. Fortune-tellers badgered the grieving pilgrims to spend a few Nicks.
Uh, have Ellanjay ever watched the news after a beloved world leader/figure has died? Clearly they haven't because if Nicky was as beloved by all (except RTCs and soon-to-be RTCs)they'd know that funeral services for said leader/figure aren't usually filled with people trying to get a laugh out of the crowd. I'll admit I'm not questioning the presence of venders--in the face of every tragedy, are people selling tacky souvenirs--but I will question the clowns. I know this was published before Nelson Mandela died so I can't point to that as an example, but surely they'd seen other renowned peoples' services so in short, what the hell, Ellanjay?!
In America, Vicki bravely sits at the computer answering questions and experiences persecution in the form of people sending her nasty emails. Once again, someone give Ellanjay (and many others) one-way tickets to Saudi Arabia so they can experience real persecution.
She receives an email from Natalie. Apparently, Charlie and the Shairtons made it out but are now in GC custody and once again, I have to go, What the hell, Ellanjay?! You had a workmanlike albeit chilling scene with them being burned alive and now you spoil it by making it so they live. What exactly did Suspense do to you as a kid that made you hate it so? Did it run over your dog or something?
Vicki, naturally assumes that the GC couldn't possibly be pretending to be Natalie in order to entrap her (that's what would happen in a smart novel), gives the names of some of her friends and promises to help her out.
So Judd and Lionel are backstage with Z-Van at the funeral and apparently it's really sunny out. According to the book, the temperature gauge reads 106 degrees. Me, having experienced several summers in which the temperature reached triple degrees, I am watching these next few scenes closely so I can see how Ellanjay fail at this. Because they will fail; it's a given.
While sweltering in the heat, Judd and Lionel notice some GC peacekeepers with the Super Special Awesome Zod-mark and decide to seek them out. The peacekeeper, whose name is Annie Christopher, gives them water and they talk some more.
Judd pointed to the draped statue behind Carpathia’s body. “Do you know what they’re going to do with that thing?”
Annie’s radio crackled and she held up a hand. “Sector 53 contained,” she said. She put the radio back and sighed. “My boss took a close look at it this morning. They have a fire going inside the statue that was started using Bibles and other holy books. Evidently they got them from the late Pontifex Maximus’s collection.
Anyone remember that furor a few years back about some Gitmo guards flushing the Koran and the riots that ensued from the report? Well apparently Newsweek wasn't wrong to report on the Koran abuse because Muslims (along with every other religion on Earth except RTCianity)don't really care about their holy books.
“And that’s not all. They want the statue to appear alive so they’ve somehow made the thing talk.”
“You’ve got to be kidding,” Judd said.
Annie shook her head. “On the scaffold this morning, my boss swears he heard the thing say in Carpathia’s voice, ‘I shall shed the blood of saints and prophets.’ ”
Okay so Nicky isn't even trying to be all subtle peacey McPeace-Peace anymore: he's flat-out stating that he's Satan. How exactly does claiming to be the Prince of Darkness win you support? I can picture people going, "Well, he is the Father of all Lies but he does support a woman's right to choose so he's got my vote." Then again, that does come close to describing the mindset of some voters so I'll give Ellanjay a half-point here.
So Judd and Lionel are at the funeral, smirking the entire time.
The music faded and Leon Fortunato gave Carpathia’s personal history in a voice filled with emotion. Nicolae had been born thirty-six years earlier in Roman, Romania, and was an only child. He was athletic and interested in academics. Before the age of twelve he was elected president of the Young Humanists and was valedictorian in high school and at the university he attended.
Okay I was going to call bullshit on the "Roman, Romania" thing but apparently Ellanjay cracked open an encyclopedia because there really is a city in Romania named Roman. I still doubt they wouldn't have come up with the name Nicholae were it not for the dictator, Nicholae Ceaușescu.
Also apparently Nicky was a Humanist. I thought Atheist was the most evil "ist" there was. Or is this a case of "No One's really an Atheist; they just hate God!"
Ol' Leon does do something smart by blaming the RTCs for this. Okay he lays the blame at "anyone professing there's only one way into Heaven" which describes most religions, with the exception of Buddhism and Hinduism, but everyone knows he was really referring to RTCianity because all other religions are disingenuous.
The chapter ends with Z-Van performing a praise song to Nicky and Judd wondering what's going to happen when Nicky rises from the grave. That's where I'll leave you, given how long this snark has gotten.