Judd had known this man less than twenty-four hours, but he already felt like the father Judd no longer had.
Again, they've barely had any screen time together yet Judd is already thinking about how Foreign McForeign is like his father. I suppose it could work, if it was established that Judd was seriously traumatized by all the disasters he'd been through and therefore would latch onto any older male as a father figure, but Judd doesn't act the least bit traumatized. The End of Days seem about as dramatic as banging your elbow on the table.
Of course, part of me wonders if Foreign McForeign just wants a replacement for his dead son. Judd, word of advice: if he starts dressing you in his son's clothes and calling you by his name, run. Forget honor, forget dignity, time for some good old-fashioned GTFO.
At least that's what would happen if trauma actually affected people in these books. But apparently, Foreign McForeign desires neither a replacement son or Judd's nubile flesh.
“With your contacts in the States and around the world, you could be an asset to our group,” Jacques said.
I can't be the only one going, "Uh, what contacts?" But then I remember: even though they haven't been seen or mentioned for many pages, Judd is tangentially connected to Our Buck and St. Rayford. Everyone, good or bad in these books, recognizes the awesomeness of Ellanjay's self-inserts.
Foreign McForeign asks him to pray, saying that Lionel mentioned there was someone special waiting for Judd. Oh boy, more ham-fisted attempts to pair up Judd and Vicki even though they haven't been on the same continent for several books now. I think Nada had more screen time and more flirting with Judd, but since she's dead, that ship's sunk.
Judd shows a picture of Vicki and we can add another mention of Ryan to our counter. Once again, I ask myself why didn't I start a count after his death just so I can prove how little Ryan, aka the kids' series Butt Monkey, matters to his friends. But I'm too lazy to scroll through God-only-knows how many posts/books.
But Judd admits that the last time they were together, he was a real jerk towards Vicki. But then again, all the male characters in the kids' version seem to volley between either being a total jerk or being a non-entity with few if any discernible personality traits.
Foreign McForeign says that if she's said she's willing to forgive you, she must have feelings for you. Judd asks whether Foreign McForeign and his wife fought. Foreign McForeign says they did at first but the process of getting together knocks a lot of the rough edges away.
I suppose there are some disgusting sexual politics to take apart here, but compared with the adult books (for example, St. Rayford's treatment of Hattie), these are mild infractions. Plus, like I've said before, I like these rare moments where they try to develop character and not shove another disaster or sermon onstage.
Vicki has decided to leave and take Tanya with her. Mark is on board with it, but the rest aren't. Finally, Vicki decides she'll meet up with Chloe.
Vicki thought of several people she would like to talk with. Judd. Ryan. Bruce. Two of them were dead, and Judd was halfway around the world. A face flashed in her mind, and she turned to Becky. “Chloe Williams. She really seemed interested in me when we talked a long time ago.”
First of all, yet another mention of Ryan! Secondly, as I recall, but am too lazy to scroll through old posts to do so, wasn't the last time Chloe and Vicki were onstage some time in the single-digit books? I recall Chloe talking about how being separated from Our Buck made her love him more; as I recall, it was before they were married, so yeah. Word of advice, Ellanajay, stop doing the cute little trick where you dredge up characters the reader's long forgotten about because there's only so much space in your memory and no one has any discernible traits to make it worth remembering them. In fact, since Chloe runs the Magical Co-op that everyone must shop at, because of The Mark, we should have had more mention of her sooner. But I'm guessing that they think running a Co-op during the End of Days is light work compared with the work of manly men like Rayford and Buck who do, what exactly?
We get a brief interlude with Chang. Nicky's planning to nuke Chicago. That might be shocking if he hadn't already nuked nine cities in one of the single-digit books. Not to mention that said nuking of nine cities didn't affect anything, so neither will nuking one work.
Sam types up something for his blog, "The Petra Diaries." Needless to say, it's not going to upset Porn as the most studied thing on the Internet. But here's a small sampling.
Ben-Judah stood and spoke to us. Following is what he said in my own words. Dr. Ben-Judah asked us to think about the five most important events of history. See if you agree with him. The first event was God’s creation of the world. Second came the worldwide flood of Noah’s day. Third, the birth of Jesus Christ.
Uh, there's nothing in there about the Babylonian Captivity. It's a pretty important event in Jewish history; much of the Old Testament deals with the ramifications of it. I suppose you can argue it's not really world history given that it mostly involves the Jewish people and not the whole world, but given how The Old Testament shaped the New and how the Bible in general, whether you like it or not, has shaped world history, I still think leaving it out is a grievous error.
If you're wondering, the other two events of history are The Rapture and the Glorious Appearing three years later when TurboJesus returns, this time packing heat.
He talks about how after TurboJesus triumphs over every foe, they'll be peace on Earth, and more babble about how all this horrific suffering is our loving father trying to get your attention, even though He's proven he can witness to his people without killing them. There's really not much more to go into with Sam's message, just more talk about the 144,000 non-virginal evangelists. It ends with an altar call.
The chapter ends with Vicki observing the Mountain Militia approaching Colin's underground hideout. And I've decided to end my snark on one chapter for this week. I didn't know it would get so long when I sat down to write it, honest! Sorry about the post title: couldn't think of a decent one for this week.