Mr. Stein grabbed Sam’s hands and danced in a circle. “You remember the story of the children of Israel in the fiery furnace?”
“Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego,” Sam said.
“Yes. When the king looked into the fire, he saw four men instead of those three. The Lord was walking with them, giving them victory and safety.”
It's clear: Ellanjay know the words but not the music. I know you guys are probably getting tired of me pointing this out, but the tribbles repeatedly bow to Satan while claiming in their hearts, they bow to God. By that logic, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego could have just bowed to the statue of Nebuchadnezzar while claiming in their hearts, they bow to God, and remained free and clear in God's eyes just like the tribbles do.
The RTCs gathered in Petra are dancing and singing praises to Zod. But all is not well. Sam finds a boy with no Zod-mark who keeps scowling. Something tells me either said boy will be eventually given a name or he'll become one of the nameless off-screen damned. Either way, you must weep for the poor kid who, in his brief appearance, shows more clear-headedness and intelligence than all the RTC characters in the entire series.
The boy looked up, eyes wild like an animal’s. “I don’t understand. How can we be burning and still be alive?”
“It is the work of almighty God,” Sam said. “He has protected us.”
The boy stared. “Then why didn’t he protect my little brother and sister during the disappearances? Why didn’t he save my mother from the earthquake? Or my father from the poison gas?”
Sam tried to comfort him, but the boy stood. “I don’t want anything to do with a God like that,” he said angrily.
“Then why did you come here?” Sam said.
“Because I heard there might be answers. I listened to Micah in Masada, but he never talked about this!”
The boy wandered into the flames. Others without the mark cowered and wailed. Even with so much evidence of God’s power, some would simply not believe.
I could also point out that if the boy does surrender his identity to the collective and believes, he'll have to accept that his mom and dad are burning in Hell. I know y'all get tired of me bringing stuff like that up, but it needs to be said.
Token Jew then preaches but I'm afraid I can't find anything snarkable.
Last we left Our Brave Heroine, Vicki was captured by the Mountain Militia. Not much happens in her brief little section, just Vicki going "You can't keep me here!" and Tanya saying that their father won't let them leave the underground hidey-hole until Armageddon, which is three years away.
The chapter ends with the tribbles receiving news of this latest miracle and being surprised even though their own prophecy predicted exactly what would happen and you'd think they'd have it memorized by now and not be shocked. But anyway, I'll tell you what happens: water gushes like a geyser out of the Earth, extinguishing the flames. So onto the next chapter.
Chapter two, we finally meet Tanya's father, Cyrus Spivey, and we actually get some description as to what he looks like.
VICKI had wondered what Tanya’s father looked like. She pictured the man as tall with a commanding personality, someone others would follow into a hole in the ground and stay for three years. But this man wasn’t anything like that. He was short and round, with a squarish face and long sideburns. He wore a one-piece outfit that zipped up the front. Vicki gripped his pudgy fingers as he greeted her.
Maybe it's just me, but I'm totes picturing a redneck here.
Next section, is the American Branch reacting to the miracle. We do get some hint of potential drama as Mark threatens to kick Vicki out since she won't follow the rules. But I have a feeling he'll remember that Vicki's a main character and change his ways so it'll all come to nothing just like everything else in this series.
Judd and Lionel are still trapped at the hotel room, waiting for ex-Muslim, I mean Sabir to show up in his magical taxi cab and save them. Why did I call it "the magical taxi cab." Because somehow they believe once they get to the cab, they can totally get passed any kind of security checkpoint. The sad part is they're probably right given that the GC couldn't find their dick with two hands and a map.
Judd also receives a phone call from Chang telling them about the miracle in Petra and asking that they pray for believers in Greece. I'm going to assume that "the believers in Greece" line is another call back to the adult books, but I fail to see why I should care. I know nothing about the believers in Greece and therefore, have no stake in this. A good book stands on its own; you shouldn't have to read a bunch of auxiliary materials to understand what the hell is going on.
But horrors of horrors, the GC aren't completely stupid.
Judd punched in the call and heard Sabir’s voice. “I am at the front of the hotel. There are people lined up along the street to take the mark of Carpathia.”
“It would be suicide to come out the front,” Judd said. “There have to be side exits in a building this big.” “There are Peacekeepers and Morale Monitors at each exit.”
“Fire escape?” Judd said.
Judd looked at Lionel. “We’re trapped. If we go out any exit, they’ll stop us.”
“Then we must pray,” Sabir said.
This would be suspenseful that is if we couldn't see a giant Deus ex Machina headed towards us off the port-valve because only Butt Monkeys like Hattie and Ryan suffer long-term consequences.
Meanwhile, Vicki walks around the Mountain Militia (MM) hideout. But horrors of horrors, Cyrus believes slightly different things about prophecy laid down by
“Petra’s been attacked?” Vicki said.
“It’s been wiped out along with everyone in it. The timetable is coming true. Armageddon can’t be more than a week or two away. A month tops.”
“But Dr. Ben-Judah said Petra was the place of refuge. Are you sure?”
Cyrus nodded. “God’s going to set up his kingdom with the faithful, and we’re going to be part of the 144,000. You’ll stay here until that comes true. If you want to become one of us, that’s fine. It’s your choice.”
Vicki’s mind reeled. If Petra had been bombed and the Jews and Judah-ites killed, Tsion was wrong.
So yeah, once again this Take That rings hollow seeing as the tribbles' beliefs have as much Biblical basis as Cyrus's.
Vicki tries to win some converts to the kingdom.
Vicki stood, but instead of following Tanya, she turned to the group’s leader. “I came here to help your daughter with food for her body as well as her soul. I believe you’re wrong about God and the timing of everything. In fact, I know you are. I’d like to tell you about him, and I’d like to see you get supplies. We’re not even close to Armageddon. It’s more than three years away. And I promise you, whether you believe what I’m going to tell you or not, I won’t tell the GC about this place. But you can’t keep me here. I have to get back to my friends and the others who are depending on me.”
And I know that I'm doing a lot of quotes in this post, but I've gotta share Cyrus's response.
Cyrus’s face flushed. “Are you finished?” Vicki nodded and he motioned at Tanya to take Vicki away. “In the Old Testament they stoned children for talking back to their parents. You’re not our child, but you’re under our roof now. We’ll decide what’s to be done.”
But this will probably like everything else, come to nothing.
But before we wrap up for this week, let's find out how Judd and Lionel escape. Is it stupid? You better believe it is.
Apparently though they prayed for God to save them, credit goes to Lionel who actually came up with the plan. His genius plan? Light a rolled-up newspaper and hold it to one of the sprinklers. When the sprinklers start and the alarm is triggered, escape during the commotion. The chapter ends on a cliffhanger so you'll have to wait until next week to discover if it works.