Saturday, September 6, 2014

The Deus ex Machina is Strong with this One

So Judd's still hanging with the French Believers and while he does, he decides to browse through Foreign McForeign's photo album. Because peeking at someone's personal memories is A-Okay. There really isn't much to go into with this section, just that John 10:10 is mentioned. Once again, they neglect to mention that in that section, which is about The Good Shepherd, Jesus doesn't also say, "And if the sheep reject their shepherd, I will turn them over to the wolves to tear apart forever and ever."

Next section, all that happens is Sam decides to start a blog called "The Petra Diaries." I'm serious; that's all that happens.

Mark and the others are futzing around with night vision goggles when Colin essentially tells them to go to bed. Mark complains about being treated like a child, but hello, they are children. Still standard teenage gripe, so points for realism. The section ends with this little bit, which I'm quoting because I found it interesting.

Mark put his head back and pretended to sleep, but thoughts raced through his mind. Maybe it was time for him to leave, perhaps go to the other Wisconsin hideout or join a band of believers in the commodity co-op. There were a lot of ways to fight the enemy besides hiding below ground.

As he started out of the house, Shelly put an arm on Mark’s shoulder. “We’ll be praying for you.”

As I recall but am too lazy to scroll through old posts, Mark was the one who wanted to join a militia group earlier on in the series, so props for consistency. When Shelly says "We'll be praying for you," I'm going to assume she'll be praying for Mark to see the light and accept the Tribbles' ethos of doing nothing.

Again, I know according to Ellanjay the prophecies are immutable (i.e. can't be changed) but as many more eloquent have pointed out, that doesn't necessarily mean the characters can't be doing stuff, like trying to feed, shelter, and clothed those who have suffered as a result of the myriad disasters. But like I said, the Tribbles don't even bother to do that.

Okay, I admit I've been ignoring Vicki because not much has been happening (she tries to escape but fails is basically all that happens), but now I think we might be getting somewhere. Don't hold your breath though. Excitement must have done something terrible to Ellanjay when they were kids because they sure hate it.

The Survivalists are sitting down to eat, when Ty basically says he's starting to wonder if Vicki's right. Others pipe in and Cyrus goes into full meltdown mood, firing a shotgun and dragging Vicki off.

The next chapter begins with Cyrus dragging Vicki away. Several of his cult confront him, saying that he's crossed the line. Naturally Cyrus doesn't listen. His cult members try to shoot him but Cyrus made sure their guns only had blanks in them.

But just as one of the protagonists is under the threat of lasting harm, Ty leaps on his father, allowing Vicki to escape and meet up with her friends.

Judd, meanwhile, feels a little guilt over the death of Perryn, Foreign McForeign's son.

Judd nodded. “I can’t help but think that your helping us kept you from your son.”
Jacques pursed his lips. “I admit I have thought the same thing, but my wife brought up a good point. Perhaps my helping you was God’s way of sparing my life. If I had waded into that group, my son and I would both have died.”

:grinds teeth: If you had waded into that group, to use your words, you, just like your son, would be in Heaven. You guys should be doing what Perryn did: seizing every waking moment to win converts to your side. At least that's what you would do if you had actual courage as opposed to alpha male posturing.

So other French RTCs talk about their memories of Perryn and I have to admit, it's not a bad scene. Like I've said before it's nice when the writers ease of the expository gas and allow the characters time to react and feel something about the latest events. More and more, I like Perryn and wish to add him, posthumously, to my list of favorite characters. While he's not as awesome as Taylor or Hasina, he's still pretty cool in that he did what the RTC characters in these books only occasionally think about doing.

Perryn's mother (who hasn't been given a name because she's one of those silly womenfolk) reads Perryn's favorite passage. For those wondering, it's part of 2 Corinthians, chapter four. I'll spare you and not do a bigass quote, but I will note just how Ellanjay completely miss the point because that's what I do.

Judd wiped away a tear and wrote the reference down on a scrap of paper. Those verses perfectly described how every believer had to live at this time in history. He couldn’t wait to send the passage to the others in the Young Trib Force.

So apparently Paul's second letter to the Corinthians wasn't meant for them; he, like every writer in the Bible, was writing about some indeterminate point in the future. Thank goodness, Darby and Scofield came along to set everyone straight. :eyeroll:

The chapter ends with Vicki at the hideout. But uh-oh, Mark's pissed.

“That doesn’t excuse what you did. I can’t go on without saying or doing something, and that’s led me to a hard decision.”
“Which is?” Vicki said.
“We can’t stay together and not be accountable.” Mark looked at the others. “And it’s clear I’m the one who has the problem with this.” He took a deep breath. “Either I need to leave or Vicki needs to go.”

Frankly, I can see Mark's point: Vicki did endanger their entire group with her "Witness to the Crazy Survivalists" plan. Then again, witnessing is what they're supposed to do. But don't worry, Vicki. Mark will eventually realize you're a main character and therefore he will back down.

Again, snark is skimpy. I don't know if or when I'll stop doing three-chapter snarks but here we are.

The chapter begins with Sam walking around. He talks to Naomi and we get more exposition. Apparently Token Jew is going to show up and deliver another message. I'm guessing in another chapter because I flipped ahead and didn't see him in this one. So we have that to look forward to.

Judd talks to Chang. Apparently the Greek Believers managed to escape a trap thanks to Deus ex Machina. But then again, the Deus ex Machina basically drives this entire plot. If your wondering, the archangel Michael blinded the GC plane so they couldn't stop the Believers from taking off.

Judd turns on the news and we get more from Leon and Nicky. Leon does the standard "Bwaaah! Bwaah! Those Jewishy Jews will suffer!" speech which I'm assuming Ellanjay put in there to diffuse accusations that they are anti-Semitic. "How can we be when the only characters wanting the extinction of the Jewish people are bad guys!" Nicky, if you're wondering, plans on laying siege and starving the people of Petra out rather than further attacks. Not a bad idea but given that the Deus ex Machina is strong with this story, Nicky will be as weak and ineffectual as a paper parasol umbrella is in a hurricane.

Vicki mopes and decides that Mark is right that she should leave. Cue dramatic prairie dog. I still say this will, like everything else, come to nothing.

The chapter ends with the French Believers holding a memorial service for Perryn. For those wondering, here's the passage that closes out the chapter and this week's snark.

“Do not blame yourself, Judd. God is never surprised at our suffering or at death. He knows the end from the beginning, and though I don’t understand, I do trust him.”
Judd nodded and leaned against the building.
“I want to ask you a question. Think about your answer. Your presence here is not by mistake. And I sense in you—and in your friends—the same spirit in my son. A desire to follow God wholeheartedly and tell others of him.”
Jacques took hold of Judd’s shoulders. “Perhaps you were sent here by God to finish the work Perryn began. Would you consider staying until his vision is complete?”

I can't be the only one who thinks this passage between Foreign McForeign and Judd reeks of Ho Yay. Again, why is it that RTCs are some of the best creators of Ho Yay around?


rikalous said...

RTC heroes are Ho Yay factories because they have all their intense relationships with fellow manly men instead of mere women. Plus, they aren't likely to notice any implications of heroic manly men being anywhere north of zero on the Kinsey scale.

Firedrake said...

I absolutely do not put it beyond this god to say "You thought you had a ticket to heaven, but ACTUALLY all that least-of-my-brothers thing does actually count, and you're gonna burn! Har har har."

"God is never surprised at our suffering or at death, because he's responsible for it all. That's why we gave us free will. So that we could surprise him with inventive ways to torture and kill each other."

I think rikalous has it right: these guys are simply much more interested in other men than they are in women.