Saturday, April 12, 2014

Boring Self-Sacrifice

The next two chapters are primarily action scenes. :groan: But to give Ellanjay a little credit, they do actually have one of the characters get hurt. Naturally it's not Vicki or Judd or Lionel but it's a start. I find myself desperate for whatever bones Ellanjay throw my way.

Okay so apparently the GC have stopped inhaling the Stupid Gas or whatever they're on, because the chapter begins with the Deputy Commander catching Natalie at his computer. For once, he actually asks some intelligent questions and isn't satisfied with Natalie's weaksauce answers. The section ends with her being hauled off in handcuffs.

Vicki's group is still at the prison, rounding up all the believers. They load up all the prisoners and are getting ready to drive off when they notice the GC coming right at them. Colin floors it as gunshots ring out. But they're being pursued by the GC. In the process, Pete is shot in the arm.

The chapter ends with Natalie in her cell, recounting her history (how she became an RTC) for our benefit.

Second chapter, Vicki and the others are still fleeing. They decide to hide out at a storage facility, but the section ends with Vicki and the others hearing the sound of helicopters. Believe me, it's as boring to type as it is to read.

Natalie tries to convert her former roommate but her roommate refuses to take the bait. The section ends with her beginning to give her testimony to the Deputy Commander, finally doing what the RTC characters in this book should be doing: witnessing to everyone they can.

Vicki and the others are debating what to do about the van. Colin wants to tell the man at the front desk to drive it off for them, but Vicki points out that then the GC would be after him. Colin's like "So what should we do then?" Vicki decides to go to the front desk and talk to him. Turns out the man has a wife and a baby which makes Vicki even more hesitant to just use him for their purposes.

Natalie is being questioned about the whereabouts of Token Jew. Naturally it's a pretty weaksauce interrogation scene. C'mon, Ellanjay, this is a Satanic NWO. I doubt they'd have any moral qualms about torturing a confession out of someone. But then again, we've already established that torture doesn't work against brave RTCs.

Meanwhile, the GC is closing in on Vicki in what would be a tense scene except that nothing good or bad can happen to the characters. Pete decides to turn himself in, in order to protect their group and the man in the office. In any other work of fiction, it would be a great dramatic moment, a character sacrificing themselves to save others, but like I said since nothing can happen to these characters...Yeah, I'm going to post an example of a character sacrificing themselves to save others done right.

I've decided to throw in a third chapter for my snark.

Vicki watches as Pete heads in the direction of the GC and the rest of the YTF discuss what to do next. They've decided to give the man in the office a link to the Cube (the program that walks you through Ellanjay theology). Vicki protests, saying he doesn't know how to pray, which in this universe, where prayer is akin to spell-casting, is important. But Mark put a link on the note so everything's okay. Something tells me, if we see this guy again, he'll turn out to be a grateful RTC.

Vicki is still shaken up by Pete's sacrifice and decides to read the note he'd given her.

Dear Vicki,
Forgive my shaky handwriting. I agree with what you said about that guy in the office. We shouldn’t use others who aren’t believers just to keep ourselves safe. We’re here to reach out to people who don’t know God.
That’s why I’m leaving with the van. I don’t know if I’ll escape, but know this. No matter what happens, I’ll be waiting for you kids on the other side.
Vicki, I want you to know, if I ever had a daughter, I’d want her to be just like you. If your parents can see you from heaven, I know they’re looking on with pride. God has planned something special for you. I know that.
I’d better stop writing because the people are almost here to pick you up.
I love you, Vicki. Tell Judd, Mark, Lionel, and all the others that I feel the same about them. Stay steady. Trust God. Celebrate him with abandon every day and never stop telling the truth. Remember, God wins in the end, so we’re fighting a defeated enemy.

I'll admit: it's not a bad bit of writing, though I wonder where he found the time to dash off this letter in the midst of all the chaos.

Next section, after so much action with Vicki, we finally get to hear from Judd again. What's Judd doing? What all brave RTCs should be doing in a time of crisis: bravely searching the web.

First he reads an email from, you know him and love to make fun of him, Our Burk Williams, who talks about witnessing the believers in Ptolemais, Greece. Judd then reads a note from Token Jew. There isn't much to it, just him suggesting that everyone read Revelation 20:4.

I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

He receives a phone call from Chang. Chang won't shut up about his mark, but he's also worried for his parents and his sister. Judd starts to worry for Chang being alone serving the anti-Christ in New Babylon and that's where I'll leave you for this week.


Firedrake said...

"Boring" and "self-sacrifice" really shouldn't go next to each other like that. In a better book…

Here's another example of a self-sacrifice done right:


The GC is presumably run by people who are perfectly well aware that this is the Last Chance for Evil. And, in fact, all they really have to do is stop people becoming RTCs; all the bad stuff is sent by God.

So my alt-GC works like this:

Step 1. Being a Roman Catholic is ABSOLUTELY BANNED. Convert and you will be hunted down and shot. Oh, yeah, we really don't want you to throw us in that briar patch, I mean become a Roman Catholic. Whatever else, yeah, that's fine.

Step 2. Evil Party!

The problem -- one of the problems -- one of the many problems with a literalist interpretation of the Bible is that, when you see a verse like that one, the obvious thing to do is line up en masse at the GC execution centres. Get out of Tribulation free!

aunursa said...

In the series there is a strong implication that, other than Nicolae and possibly Fortunato, the rest of the GC are unaware that Nicolae is the anti-Christ and that they are battling against God.

Firedrake said...

Fair enough; even so, making some completely harmless group the Great Enemy so that people with a martyr complex join them rather than the RTCs seems like a good bet. It's not as though the RTCs ever bother to go out and tell people "we've got books printed before the Great Vanishing which predict all this". (Anyone can put up a web site that "predicts" things which have already happened.)