Like I said before, what follows is more action verbs. As Fred put it in his latest snark, you can't really call Ellanjay's stuff hack work because even hack work would be better than this. Even a hack like Dan Brown could throw together a decent action scene even if he'd begin it like this, "The Greatest Investigative Reporter Buck Williams..." I apologize once again for the poor quality of snark.
So the American YTF are on the bridge when a GC helicopter flies up ready to take them out. Conrad tells them to jump out of the car and they watch as he drives off the bridge. It's a moment that would be dramatic and would work if we thought the characters were in actual danger. That and before they really start crying and going "Oh Conrad!" the book nullifies what little tension it had built by having Conrad walk up behind them and be like, "What's all the crying about?"
The YTF sneak around in the woods, making sure to stay behind the trees so the helicopter doesn't see them. Yet another technological advance that Ellanjay haven't heard of: heat-vision in helicopters. I'm fairly certain that hiding behind trees wouldn't work.
But horrors of horrors, as they get close to town, they realize they left most of their money in the now-wrecked vehicle. But Ellanjay won't let his heroes even suffer the inconvenience of an empty belly; Shelly is able to wrangle together enough cash to buy bread, bologna, cheese, and water.
Lionel is looking for Judd and again, there's some stuff in here that would make for great horror movie material, with dead and dying people begging for pain medicine, but it's told in a detached fashion and isn't lingered on long so we don't get the full effect. Like I said before, showing how horrible the apocalypse would really be would detract from Ellanjay's haw-hawing so they don't.
Judd has a fever dream in which he sees Nada, Ryan (yet another mention), and other people who have died in the apocalypse, along with a dragon coming towards him. He awakes to see Lionel standing over him. Woo-hoo, they're reunited.
Vicki and Darrion are still in the trunk, listening as they pursue their friends. Vicki is suffering actual physical discomfort--hunger and thirst--but it isn't lingered on long. The car arrives at the police station and they open the trunk with a crowbar, but just as they're starting to get out, they hear the GC coming and that's where the chapter ends.
Next chapter, Vicki and Darrion are struggling as the GC start to unlock the trunk. In addition to safety latches in trunks, Ellanjay also failed to foresee car manufacturers coming out with those electronic key fobs WHICH ALLOW YOU TO OPEN THE TRUNK WITHOUT STICKING YOUR KEY IN!
Sorry for the allcaps, but I'm really really sick of the "Vicki and Darrion in the trunk" plotline.
They somehow dig through the back and go out the front while the GC are working on opening the trunk. Me, I'm going, HOW THE HELL IS THIS EVEN POSSIBLE?! DO ELLANJAY EXIST IN SOME MAGICAL UNIVERSE WHERE THERE ARE NO CARS AND THEY CAN ONLY SPECULATE ON HOW THEY WORK?!
Seriously, someone draw me some schematics. Because unless they're in a minivan or something, I'm used to trunks being closed-off from the rest of the car so they shouldn't have been able to dig their way to the front seat using a crowbar and a fire extinguisher.
Vicki and Darrion hide underneath another patrol car. I headdesk. But the GC aren't completely rock-stupid and are like, "Hey someone's been here" and that's where Vicki and Darrion's section ends.
Judd and Lionel leave the tent hospital and start to speculate that soon Nicky's going to make everyone take the mark of the beast. I yawn.
We're back with Vicki and Darrion. Vicki and Darrion plan on going to Zeke's gas station. Unfortunately they notice a suspicious car parked at Zeke's gas station, so they decide to stay away. Vicki's like "What about calling him?" but Darrion says she doesn't have her phone anymore and Ellanjay actually remembers that pay phones went the way of the dodo once cell phones became readily available. So they decide to try some random guy's house...yeah, I'm with you. I'm not sure how that idea is supposed to work.
When the guy answers the door, they claim to be a youth organization going door-to-door to find out those skeptical of Nicky's resurrection or in other words, those clinging to RTCianity. The guy's like "Yeah, this neighbor of mine's been on about it, trying to get me to go to Token Jew's website, but we all know that's nonsense." Darrion snickers with him and ask where they can find said neighbor, whose name is Margaret (though I don't know if it's worth learning her name yet). He tells them and they leave.
Afterwards, Vicki's like "We shouldn't have lied to that guy." Darrion goes "So we should flat-out tell them we're RTCs?" Vicki hems and haws and just says, "Let me talk to the next person." They go to Margaret who lets them in. They use the phone only to hear from Zeke that his dad has been arrested and the station is crawling with GC so stay away.
Judd asks Westin about getting back to America. Westin promises he'll have them back within a week or so.
The American YTF are like we need money. Conrad offers to dive down into the water to get the money out of the car and I'm sure in the hands of someone else, someone who wasn't afraid to be cruel to their characters, this would be exciting and suspenseful but it isn't. Conrad gets the money without a hair on his RTC head being harmed.
Margaret or Maggie as the book refers to her as, is all you girls need a night's rest and they eagerly accept. But the chapter ends with Vicki waking up to the sound of an explosion and seeing Zeke's station go up in flames.
And two chapters seem to be enough to leave you with for this week. One can only do so many ragedumps and headdeaks at the stupidity of the characters.