Friday, December 20, 2013

It's Alive!

The chapter begins with more people talking. Again, who would have guessed the apocalypse would be so boring? But for those of you interested, we get another example of Jerry Jenkins Ethnic McEthnic-style names: Enoch Litwala. For those of you wondering, he represents the African region of Nicky's ten region-government.

After the other guys speak, Leon comes onstage and gives his speech. And Leon might as well be twirling a moustache given how much he plays the part of the Strawman Villain who represents all that RTCs hate. I suppose I could quote large portions of his speech for you, but I won't seeing as it can be summed up as "Worship Nicholae Carpathia you fools!" with large amounts of maniacal laughter mixed in.

We then cut to Vicki even though the main action is in New Babylon with Judd and Lionel. Leon continues his "Bwaah" speech by saying this:

“It is also only fair that I offer proof of my role,” Fortunato said, “in addition to what you have already seen and heard from Nicolae Carpathia’s own image. I call on the power of my most high god to prove that he rules from heaven by burning to death with his pure fire those who would oppose me, those who would deny his deity, those who would subvert and plot and scheme to take my rightful place as his spokesman!” Leon paused dramatically. Then, “I pray he does this even as I speak!”

After he says this, fire from heaven appears and torches the three minor potentates* who had been less than enthusiastic about Nicky. Seeing as only one of them has been given a name (Enoch Litwala) and we know nothing about any of them, it's hard to feel horrified by this. Not to mention, if they hadn't been torched now, we all know that TurboJesus would have slaughtered them because the only distinguishing factor between Satan and TurboJesus is that TurboJesus's gun is bigger; therefore he wins. Might apparently does make right. The only bad thing about this scene is not the slaughter, but who's doing it: again if TurboJesus does it; that makes it good. If Satan does it; that makes it bad.

Judd and Lionel wonder what they're going to do if they have to bow to the statue of Nicky. For those wondering if they're going to do a take on the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, I wouldn't hold my breath. In this series, people bow and swear allegiance to Satan all the time, all the while telling themselves that they're secretly bowing/swearing allegiance to God. Like I've said before, you've gotta wonder what all the great Christian martyrs would think of this.

Annie shows up and does something smart by telling them to get out of there. But people are freaking out. The chapter ends with Nicky climbing out of his coffin.

Next chapter, Nicky starts speaking. Naturally he speaks of peace, aka the only virtue more evil than tolerance, trying to calm down the people who are freaking out. Vicki is sickened as he quotes the words of Jesus. Me, I wonder why, if Ellanjay know the words of Jesus so well, can't they see the contrast between the biblical Jesus and TurboJesus?

Vicki's section ends with her receiving a message from Natalie saying that their call has been traced and they need to get out now. Frankly, I can't help but be amazed, given that these two chapters have involved resurrections, fire from heaven, and now the possibility of a GC raid, at how bored I still am. I know I promised not to complain about boredom but I find it really amazing that how Ellanjay manage to suck the horror and suspense out of stuff. Even the hackiest of hack writers would have a hard time making the anti-Christ rising from his grave possessed by Satan not be exciting, but somehow Ellanjay pulled it off. I blame the fact that all the characters are wearing titanium steel plot armor so we know nothing bad can ever happen to them.

Word of advice to aspiring writers: make stuff happen to your heroes. You don't have to be as brutal as George RR Martin, but have something happen. An arrow almost hit, a punch to the jaw, anything. We should be worried about their physical or psychological safety. JK Rowling, while not as brutal George RR Martin, was good about this. Not only did she kill off characters but she showed time and time again that not even the trio was safe from the scars that come with being in a war. [/rant]

Meanwhile, Lionel gives the closest thing to a GTFO here, the series will allow, but Judd says he has to stay and watch this. Why? Because the writers' need a member of the YTF to witness the following events.

Nicky begins by forgiving the person or persons responsible for his death. Then, for those of you wondering, he gives this speech.

“However, individual would-be assassins aside, there are opponents to the Global Community and to my leadership. Hear me, my people: I need not and will not tolerate opposition. You need not fear because you came here to commemorate my life on the occasion of my death, and you remain to worship me as your divine leader. But to those who believe it is possible to rebel against my authority and survive, beware. I shall soon institute a program of loyalty confirmation that will prove once and for all who is with us and who is against us, and woe to the haughty insurrectionist. He will find no place to hide.

Nicky, Nicky, you know you could have used the whole assassination attempt as an excuse to further tighten your hold by imposing new laws eroding religious freedom (just pin everything on those RTCs) and people would probably start worshipping you simply BECAUSE YOU JUST ROSE FROM THE GRAVE RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM!!![/ragedump] Anyone wanna give Ellanjay a one-way ticket to North Korea so they can see how a country based on a cult of personality works?

Lionel, being smart enough not to stand around like Judd, is getting the hell out of there when he runs into Westin, aka Z-Van's pilot. Westin says "You guys predicted everything! Tell me how I can become one of you!" and we walk through yet another standard conversion scene even though in the face of all they've witnessed, it feels kind of foolish that Lionel would use the standard "You're a sinner and sin separates you from God" speech.

Vicki and the American YTF are fleeing into the woods to hide from the GC. That's all that's happening on their side.

The chapter ends with Nicky giving this speech:

Carpathia invited anyone who was formerly against him to join the Global Community, then added, “In closing let me speak directly to the opposition. I have always allowed different points of view. There are those among you, however, who have referred overtly to me personally as the Antichrist and this period of history as the Tribulation.

You may take the following as my personal pledge: “If you insist on continuing with your subversive attacks on my character and on the world harmony I have worked so hard to create, the word tribulation will not begin to describe what is in store for you. If the last three and a half years are your idea of tribulation, wait until you endure the Great Tribulation.”

Standard villain "Bwaah!" speech but I've gotta wonder how much worse can Nicky make it. They've already survived all out nuclear war, several asteroid strikes, all the water becoming undrinkable, two attacks of the Lion people killer thingies, most of which were caused by Zod and not Nicky so yeah, totally not impressed here.

*I haven't yet mentioned this but somebody should have told Ellanjay how utterly stupid the title "potentate" is. It doesn't add to your character's villain cred if your readers giggle every time he's on stage.


Firedrake said...

I think I blinked and missed the switchover from atheism/EBOWF/whatever to Carpathianism. Do they really think all these non-religious people (after all, they've established already that non-RTCs don't really care about their religion) will switch allegiances because someone did some showy tricks? They went from (non-RTC-religion) to EBOWF because it promised peace and love and understanding, man. Or they remained atheists. But none of those conditions predispose people to join up with a guy whose theology is "I am tough".

Meh. I know, the people in these books aren't humans, and I shouldn't anthropomorphise them; I'm only doomed to disappointment.

"So that's the Lord High Potentate? I wonder if he's compensating for something."

Mouse said...

It's almost as though Ellanjay don't think through the consequences of what they write, though surely that can't be the case.

Firedrake said...

I think, like anyone in a position of power who gets to choose the people he talks to, they've surrounded themselves with yes-men. They probably don't meet anyone who isn't an RTC from one year to the next. They see people doing these weird un-RTCish things, and come up with ways of trying to explain them within their own mindset.