I think I finally remember who the hell Daniel is, not that many of you really care. Apparently Daniel Yossef (yes, another Jewy McJew name) was an Orthodox Jew (because there are no other kinds of Jews) who was like "I'll believe all this when I see it." And then he was killed by Nicky on live TV with the whole world watching and nobody but the RTCs care. Because all other religions apparently think murder is A-Okay. It also mentions that he was Sam's friend but given that this is the first we hear about this relationship...yeah, I'm understandably skeptical.
But anyway, let's get on with it.
Thousands had gathered to watch Nicolae’s every move. Many supported him, flocking outside the temple like it was some sporting event. But Carpathia’s words and actions repulsed followers of Jesus Christ and Orthodox Jews. Lionel had heard how cold-blooded Nicolae could be, but he never dreamed the man would kill in front of a live camera. Lionel couldn’t understand why anyone would follow this evil man.
This is a classic example of what the Turkey City Lexicon calls a "Signal From Fred." For those too lazy to click on the link, a "Signal from Fred" is when the author makes subconscious critical comments about the lack of quality in their work. For example, saying something like "this sounds like a bad movie." Here, Ellanjay are subconsciously admitting that they've given no good reason for why everyone in the world worships and follows Nicky Hindu Kush. It might work if they claimed that everyone was afraid of him (though you can only coast so far on that), but no, Ellanjay claims that everyone loves him.
Sam wonders to Lionel if Daniel accepted Christ before he died. Me, I'm like "Hello, don't all Christians get the Super Special Awesome Invisible Marks?" But Continuity must have done something terrible to Ellanjay when they were kids because they sure hate it a lot.
Oh, and I've got to apologize. I thought Micah, whom I dubbed "That Guy," was the literal prophet, but apparently it's just what Chaim Rosenzweig is calling himself. I'm not sure if that makes the scenario better or worse. I lean towards better because at least a perfectly good minor prophet's name isn't defiled by appearing in this novel, but...yeah, file this under flummoxed.
Apparently David Hayseed still works for the GC because he's able to hack GC TV so he can have Chaim (I refuse to call him "Micah." I just refuse.) give his two cents about Nicky's desecration.
“As Carpathia continues,” Dr. Rosenzweig said, “you should be able to see the laver where the priests wash their hands before they approach the main altar. The temple was creatively placed over a series of underground waterways where gravity allows constant water pressure for the various cleansings. Of course, he has no business in this place, and even a ceremonial washing of his hands will not exonerate him for defiling it.”
So the epic pig ride wasn't the defiling part, it was the murder? Then why have the epic pig ride in the first place? It did nothing to help Nicky's already laughable reputation. As said before, wet cardboard painted lime-green and hot-pink would be more intimidating than Nicky.
But as Nicky washes, his hands turn all bloody. But of course, only RTCs are shocked by it.
The Jews in the temple are all "Oy Vey!"* about Nicky defiling it through murder. Nicky's all "Leave before I kill you to death!" and the Jews do. Before you criticize their cowardice, they do grumble under their breath as they do, so clearly they are as brave as the Tribbles who bravely do nothing to stop the antichrist.
Chaim continued, contrasting Carpathia’s rantings with the way God had displayed his glory. “God appeared to Moses on Mount Sinai when the Ten Commandments were handed down. He appeared again when Moses dedicated the Tent of God. And finally he showed himself at the dedication of Solomon’s Temple on this very site. Should God choose, he could reveal himself even today and crush under his foot this evil enemy. But he has an eternal plan, and Antichrist is merely a bit player. Though Antichrist has been granted power to work his horror throughout the world for a time, he shall come to a bitter end that has already been decided.”
Need I remind you that they're explicitly saying that God is responsible for massive amounts of suffering yet he's supposed to be the hero of this book? And you wonder why I grind my teeth so much.
Once again, I'm skipping Vicki's part because nothing happens.
Sam, having not completely drunk the Flavor-Aid, wants to do something to stop Nicky from desecrating the temple. In the middle of all this, we get this headdesker of a statement.
Sam finally stood, his face streaked with tears. “We’ll never know if Daniel truly believed in God or not. Carpathia took his life in front of all these people and we’re not doing anything.”
Am I the only one who remembers the Super Special Awesome Invisible Zod-marks?
Oh and Nicky's going to sacrifice the pig he rode.
Next chapter, well I'm going to let this speak for itself.
The holy men cried out, tearing their robes as Nicolae approached the huge pig. In the street, the animal had been slow and seemed drugged. Now it was thrashing around, squealing, and straining at the ropes. Two men struggled to hold it as Nicolae laughed.
He jumped at the animal and slipped, the pig dodging him. “Want to play?” Nicolae howled. Then he leapt onto the pig’s back, sending the animal to its knees. For the next few seconds the pig tried to knock Nicolae off, but it was no use. Finally, Carpathia plunged his knife into the animal’s throat.
Nicolae fell to the ground, a flood of blood soaking his clothes. The pig went wild, thrashing and pulling its handlers. As the blood flow slowed, the pig fell and Nicolae cupped his hands under its neck. Lionel had to look away. The crying and wailing of the holy men reached a crescendo and one priest screamed, “He has thrown the animal’s blood on the altar!”
Sorry for the quote but there are times in which Ellanjay's own words speak so much more powerfully than any snark I could ever give. I have to remind you that Ellanjay intend for us to take this seriously, to see this scene as one of horror.
Sam wants to witness to the crowd, being all "They need to hear the truth." But he's drowned out by the crowd. Oh and I offer yet another quote as we hear more about Nicky's impeccable fashion sense.
Carpathia washed off the blood and dried himself. Someone off camera handed him the shimmering white robe, silver sash, and gold sandals he had worn the day before.
After getting dressed, he places his statue in the temple. The crowd goes nuts and a riot ensues. Nicky's all "I'm taking back my seven-year peace treaty" and Chaim tries to convert the crowd to the Tribbles' ethos of doing nothing.
Carpathia swung the microphone to his lips. “That is right! You will rue the day when you dared—” “
You!” Chaim roared and pointed at Nicolae. “You shall let God’s chosen ones depart before his curse is lifted, lest you face a worse plague in its place.”
“I have always been willing to listen to reasonable men,” Carpathia said. “I will be at the Knesset, available to negotiate or to answer honest inquiries from my subjects.”
I can't be the only one who notices that Nicky goes from being "Bwaah! Bwaah!" back to being Peacey McPeace-Peace within a few lines. That is grade-A bullshit.
The chapter ends with Chaim giving a wordier, much less cool version of Gandalf's "Fly you fools!" line as he tells them all how to get to Petra, RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE ANTICHRIST WHO'S DETERMINED TO KILL THEM ALL!
*Yeah, I'm exaggerating there but not by much.
If you're wondering about the title, it's because Nicky has become so cartoonishly evil, he might as well be named "Baddy McEvilpants."