Like I said before, Mr. Stein mentioned that Nicky wouldn't be able to stand against his ultimate enemy and the wife of Ethan Ben-Eliezar (no points for guessing ethnicity) was like "Who's that?" Because Jews are either mind-blowingly ignorant of Jesus or they hate him with all their hearts, but heaven forbid, you accuse Ellanjay of anti-Semitism. I'm sure some of their best friends are Jewish. In fact, they love Jews. Just look at all their great Jewish characters...there's Tsion ben Judah aka Token Jew, Chaim Rosenzweig, Mitchell Stein...Ellanjay just love Jews so long as they abandon the faith of their fathers and stop being so inscrutable and Jewish.
Thankfully, the beginning of Mr. Stein's conversion speech is done in summary. Normally this kind of summarizing, of rushing through pertinent information (like all the Old Testament prophecies which of course, point to TurboJesus) is a bad thing, but here, I welcome it. Less stuff for me to suffer through.
Mrs. Ben-Eliezar mentions that she had a daughter named Meira who, like all good Jews in Ellanjay's world, stopped being Jewish and became a Christian. As soon as she says her daughter disappeared, Mr. Stein leaps all over this saying, "I know what happened to your daughter and you can see her again, but only if you do exactly what TurboJesus wants." Well, okay he leaves off the last part, but yet another lesson you can take from these novels: Emotional Blackmail is A-Okay to use in order to convert someone.
But then for some reason we cut to Vicki. [TANGENT] Y'know more and more I'm starting to think that bad books are just as good or maybe even better at teaching you the craft than good books. Because I've not gotten very far in this chapter and already I can point out so many flaws and say, "Hell yeah, am I doing better than this!" Not to mention, it gives me hope. If something this bad saw the light of day, maybe there's a market for my Young Adult novel in progress. [/TANGENT]
Manny and Hector talk. Hector, being a hardened reprobate, is scoffing about all those people resisting the Mark being like, "It's just a little tattoo." Manny naturally tries to convert him but Hector rolls his eyes. That's all that happens. Why did Ellanjay interrupt the previous section to bring us this interlude which goes nowhere and does nothing? Do they think if we don't get a Vicki section in every chapter we'll forget she exists?
Lionel and Westin are heading to Petra. Z-Van appears, chews them out, but gives them the idea to use Z-Van's plane to transport pilgrims to Masada.
We finally cut back to Judd who's with Mr. Stein as he tries to convert those heathen Jews. Mr. Stein keeps up the emotional blackmail going, "If you accept Christ, you'll see your daughter again." But Rabbi Ben-Eliezar is having none of it. He's all "You expect us to believe all this?!"
But Mr. Stein has a weapon up his sleeve: Revelation 12. I'm going to post the entire chapter so we can all get a look at it and see just how badly Ellanjay fails.
12 A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. 2 She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. 3 Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on its heads. 4 Its tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that it might devour her child the moment he was born. 5 She gave birth to a son, a male child, who “will rule all the nations with an iron scepter.”[a] And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. 6 The woman fled into the wilderness to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days.
7 Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. 8 But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. 9 The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.
10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
“Now have come the salvation and the power
and the kingdom of our God,
and the authority of his Messiah.
For the accuser of our brothers and sisters,
who accuses them before our God day and night,
has been hurled down.
They triumphed over him
by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony;
they did not love their lives so much
as to shrink from death.
Therefore rejoice, you heavens
and you who dwell in them!
But woe to the earth and the sea,
because the devil has gone down to you!
He is filled with fury,
because he knows that his time is short.”
13 When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. 14 The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent’s reach. 15 Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. 16 But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. 17 Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus.
We've already heard Ellanjay's interpretation of the woman given wings of an eagle verse. If you're wondering their interpretation is that all the RTCs will flee to Petra in light aircraft and be safe there. As for the river the dragon spews from its mouth, well, their interpretation needs to be seen to be believed:
“It says the dragon will try to drown Israel with a flood that comes from the dragon’s mouth. Dr. Ben-Judah believes this flood refers to the Antichrist’s army.”
“Oh dear,” Mrs. Ben-Eliezar said.
“But the Scripture goes on to say that the earth will help Israel by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that gushes from the dragon’s mouth.”
To quote Fred, this is what Ellanjay mean by straightforward reading of scripture. How they get "river from dragon's mouth" to mean "army of soldiers" I don't know. Me, I'm just disappointed that it doesn't involve Nicky trying to kill everyone with his drool.
Chang calls and tells Judd that Nicky killed Loren Hut and is planning on shooting down all the craft flying for Petra.
“Carpathia wants to wipe out the Orthodox Jews and the Judah-ites wherever they are.”
“Then everybody needs to head to Petra,” Judd said.
Mr. Stein asked what was happening and Judd held up a hand.
“Carpathia says Petra is just as defenseless against their weapons as Masada,” Chang said. “Judd, if God doesn’t do something miraculous, you guys could all die out there tonight.”
Yeah, I know they're trying desperately to build some sort of suspense. Well guess what, it fails miserably given that they've already mentioned in a previous chapter that the RTCs will be safe at Petra for three years and it mentions IN THIS CHAPTER that the earth will swallow Nicky's army. So why are they worried? Also, did editors even look at this book or do they just red-stamp them into printing?
Next chapter begins with Vicki eating. Again, given that nothing happens on her side, I don't get why Ellanjay keep cutting to her. Didn't Hitchcock say that "drama is life with the boring stuff cut out of it." Clearly Ellanjay don't know that.
Anyway, there's a lot of talking which amounts to nothing. Vicki still wonders what to do about Claudia and Manny introduces them to his sister, Anita.
Lionel's section is basically techno-porn with them talking about GPS and navigating. I'd have a modicum of respect for their techno-porn but given how badly they failed to predict future trends like cell phones and internet porn becoming widespread, yeah. Word of advice, guys: to paraphrase someone I've forgotten, good sci-fi sees not only the car, but also the traffic jam. Ellanjay fail to see either.
In Judd's section, Mr. Stein is still trying to do his damnedest to convince those Jewishy Jews to abandon millennia of teachings and convert! But the Rabbi is being stiff-necked and refusing to bite. Again, that's what Jews do. They either stubbornly refuse to convert despite canned arguments or they kill you if you do.
Judd thinks a little about Vicki and even when they have him doing a little reflecting, I still hate Judd.
Manny decides to stay and try to convert the gangs to RTCianity. Vicki and Mark decide to go after Claudia. They check into a hotel*, allowing the clerk to list all the amenities, and I'm bored to death with the whole thing so that's where I'll end the snark. Sorry if it seems like I was too angry and not funny enough but buttons were pushed.
*So they allow Vick to check into a hotel room with a guy she isn't married to?! That sound you hear is Irene Steele having the vapors. Seriously, they do mention each room having two double beds, but I'm still surprised they went through with this given how rigidly puritanical Ellanjay and their ilk tend to be.