The chapter begins with Judd and Lionel basically helping tear down stuff and load it up so they can get to Petra. Yea, just what every Young Adult novel needs: Exciting!Packing!Action.
We then cut to Vicki's section which I enjoy a little better because the writers ease off the narrative gas and allow the characters to be something besides Expositors Extraordinaire. Basically what happens is Vicki and Shelly talk about boys.
While Mark got some needed sleep, Vicki pulled Shelly aside and told her about her conversation with Judd.
Shelly put a hand over her mouth. “How do you feel about it?” she said.
“Excited. A little scared. I’ve liked Judd as a friend for a long time. It feels like something’s changed with him.”
Uh, what exactly has changed between Vicki and Judd? It's been several books since they were on the same continent. Oh yeah, I know what's changed: the writers realized that it's nearing the end of the series and they haven't paired them up yet, so they're hurriedly trying to do so even though the only thing they have in common, besides being RTCs, is that they're boring.
But then we get this headdesker:
Shelly ran her tongue over her lower lip and tilted her head back. “Since we’re being honest about guys, I have a confession.”
Vicki grinned, anticipating what was coming. “Conrad and I have become pretty good friends since our trip out west. We’ve been doing a Bible study together. And he writes me letters. Isn’t it romantic?”
“If anything can be romantic these days, it’s writing letters to somebody staying in the same house with you. Does anybody know?”
Unlike Judd and Vicki, who haven't been on the same continent for several books, Shelly and Conrad have been living in close quarters and this is the first mention of any kind of relationship beyond friendship regarding them. I'm dead serious: they just pulled this one flat-out of nowhere. Oh and letters? I guess in Ellanjayland even modern teenagers are hip to Victorian-style courtship. Next up on Conrad and Shelly's list: holding hands.
Here's some advice to aspiring writers out there: if you're going to have characters in romantic relationships, you have to show them acting romantic towards one another. No, you don't have to show the actual act of coitus but some flirting or kissing or something that gives us the idea that they're more than just friends. Right now, I'm picturing a pair of pinballs rubbing up against each other.
Next Vicki and co. turn on the news which informs them that Manny is dead. No. Stop. Think of the children [/Sarcasm] They read an email from Manny, wonder if the gang members converted before Manny died, and that's it.
Here's a good question to ask those of Ellanjay's politics: was Anne Frank sent to Hell when she died? After all, she was Jewish. Maybe not one of those Orthodox SuperJews that predominate these books but still Jewish. I find myself asking that because as Judd watches the evacuation, Westin tries to get an Israeli (or in other words, a Jew) to reject the faith of his followers and accept Jesus. The guy's response is "Never!"
This anecdote isn't very long but it's enough to make me wonder about Anne Frank's fate. Firedrake already told me about the whole "Harrowing of Hell" doctrine and I'm sure Ellanjay accepts it on behalf of everyone in the Bible, but what about all the other Jews. Is Anne Frank along with six million others burning in Hell while the SS (the majority of which identified as Christian) getting front row seats in Heaven. Maybe you think I'm Godwinizing the debate, but sometimes the debate needs to invoke Godwin's Law.
The choppers start firing bullets and that's where the chapter ends.
The next chapter...as you probably guessed, the only ones being harmed are the GC while the RTCs fly unscathed. But those stubborn
Meanwhile, Sam is trying to convert the Israelis in his vehicle. Once again, Ellanjay are trying desperately to make this all suspenseful as they go through gunfire and all that, but it fails because WE KNOW NOTHING WILL HAPPEN BECAUSE IT'S ALREADY BEEN PROPHESIZED THAT ZOD WILL PROTECT THEM! [/ragedump]
Judd talks to Chang, who exists to fill in gaps in the readers' knowledge, on the phone. Apparently he used his Super Hacking skills to get Token Jew on the air. They say the pundits keep trying to talk over him, but you know what might stop that nefarious Token Jew. A BULLET TO THE BRAIN! Any reason why the eeevil one-world dystopian government is all pacifistic when it comes to dealing with a guy rallying people to fight against it? I know, because prophecy! That's why! But I must protest the stupidity; it's in my nature.
Oh and he executed the Supreme Commander Walter Moon for allowing Token Jew on the air. Again, what might help? EXECUTING TOKEN JEW!
Apparently Fortunado has said he plans on praying him off the air and it ends with the announcement that the water has turned to blood. Uh, correct me if I'm wrong, but since Wormwood has hit, poisoning all the water on earth and Nicky has done the water to blood thing before HOW THE HELL IS THIS SUPPOSED TO BE SHOCKING?!
Vicki and co. watch Token Jew's message. There's really nothing to snark: it's basically Token Jew going "Jesus is the Messiah so abandon millennia of teachings and accept the eradication of your culture for your own good." I think Rubyfruit said in a previous conversation that she found herself more offended on behalf of the Catholics than on any other group in the LB series, but I find myself more offended on behalf of the Jewish people. Granted I'm really in no position to talk about issues facing them given that I'm a Gentile whose expertise comes from reading Judaism for Dummies but more and more I wonder why Ellanjay are shocked! Shocked to be called anti-Semites. Do they really believe that we should see a series that presents the Jews abandoning their faith in droves to become good RTCs as anything but?
The GC keep trying to shoot down the RTCs but since they're graduates of the Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy, they keep hitting each other. I know we're supposed to see this as miraculous but that's my interpretation and I stand by it.
The chapter ends with Judd talking to Chang again. The blood water problem is international (again, I shout until I am hoarse about Wormwood) and the GC are instituting lie detector tests to ferret out moles. This is supposed to be shocking because an eevil organization violating 4th amendment rights...color me shocked and surprised.
I've decided to throw on another chapter so I can finish out this book. I've already purchased all the books I need so there won't be any delay in snark.
For those of you worried about Chang, fear not. He's crashed his computer so they can't recover the hard drive and I'm sure when it comes time for the lie detector test, he'll just give some variety of weasely answers like a good RTC.
Vicki watches the destruction of GC forces on the news and we get this headdesker as it talks about how the water turning to blood has affected stuff.
Though the Global Community tried to downplay them, reports from around the world flooded in about the seas turning to blood. Beautiful vacation resorts became death sites as whales, fish, sharks, and every imaginable sea creature perished and rose to the surface. Ships radioed Mayday signals, saying they had run out of drinking water and were unable to get back to land.
If you're going hoarse shouting "WHAT ABOUT FUCKING WORMWOOD!" you're not alone. I'm doing the same. Not to mention, it's good that Zod has wiped out all variety of sea life, real good. So I take their vision of Heaven is an entirely sterile one free of any of the fauna and flora that make Earth interesting. Once again, I find myself longing for the other place.
Nicky gives the generic "We shall overcome" speech which is supposed to be inspiring, but once again, wouldn't inspire anyone with a pulse.
“This Micah claimed to represent the rebels, but we now know he is an impostor who has used his trickery to create the great seawater catastrophe,” Carpathia said. “Do not be dismayed. The enemies of the Global Community will be brought to justice, and just as the difficulty we have faced with the sores has passed, so this problem with the earth’s waters will be overcome.”
Is it any wonder why I envision him as being played by Brent Spiner?
Oh and apparently the RTCs aren't affected by the blood water and bottled water is affected too. Congratulations, Ellanjay, you've condemned pretty much all of the world's remaining population to die horribly only to end up in Hell where they'll suffer horribly for all eternity. Soft drinks and juice for some reason remain unaffected.
Judd and Lionel and Westin are searching around for Z-Van so they can borrow his plane and go back to the states. Me, I question why the hell they're still hitting him up for favors given that Z-Van has accepted the Mark meaning he's fully on Nicky's side. I also think it's damn nice of him to keep letting them run around using his stuff like that, awful nice behavior for someone who's supposed to be one of the Legion of the Damned.
Vicki is doing her watch when she sees someone in the bushes. Yawn.
The chapter and book end with Judd and Lionel running towards Z-Van's plane only to see it get a massive hole blown in it. So I guess our brave heroes will have to find another way to get back to the states. Why I should care, I don't know.