Spoiler alert, we've finally come to the part where Chloe's neck gets to enjoy a pleasant breeze. But I, like Pierre, don't care. Seriously, I feel like Bart Simpson, going, "You know what would be better than nothing? Anything!"
I should probably warn you: if there's a lot of links in this post, it's mostly in order to amuse myself and keep from going into a boredom-induced coma. That's why I usually provide links. That and to better fight the urge to tap out lengthy Morse code messages into Ellanjay's skull with a tire iron. That's what I like about hanging out on the Internet: I can supplement my poor social skills with entertaining clips from YouTube.
You'll be happy to know that Vicki and Lionel have finally touched down in Petra so we can cancel that candelight vigil we had planned.
They talk some more about how New Babylon will soon be destroyed. Much of this chapter is talking, I'm afraid. :whimpers: In previous chapters, but not this one, they spoke about how New Babylon will most certainly be destroyed with nukes. Because the Revelation verse they pulled out of context clearly says it will be destroyed by fire and everyone knows the only thing that causes a fire, is nukes, apparently. For centuries, all the great leaders of history, George Washington, Alexander the Great, or Genghis Khan, ate their meat cold and raw, because there were no nukes. Plenty of worthless items such as a bow drill or a piece of flint, but no nukes.
But it's like Fred said: Ellanjay believe that all the books of the Bible weren't written for the people of their time (even though many were undergoing horrible suffering at the time of writing), but for some other people on some continent they've never heard of some 2000 years in the future.
There's some blather about the GC setting up a trap for the Tribbles in Louisiana. I suppose it's a callback to the adult books, but I don't know and I don't care. I just thought I should mention it in the futile hope it will actually mean something later on.
We get this last comment from Vicki, before cutting to Judd.
“Are they going to televise Chloe’s execution?” Vicki shuddered. It was a spectacle Vicki never wanted to see, but if her sister in Christ was going to be killed, Vicki wanted to witness the woman’s last moments on earth.
Vicki wants to make sure after they cut off Chloe's head, they drive a stake into her heart just to be sure. Okay, that's a little dark, even for me, but I'm bored out of my skull.
So much so that I thought I'd see if any of my few, my proud readers can answer a question that I'm forever debating (and probably always will debate until I'm claimed by the icy hand of death): Which fictional supernatural horror does Dick Cheney most resemble in terms of looks and personality, Mumm-Ra from ThunderCats or Randall Flagg from too many Stephen King books to list?
Mumm-Ra is a strong contender in that his motto ("As long as evil exists, Mumm-Ra lives!") does accurately describe Dick Cheney's existence. Because I firmly believe Dick Cheney will never die. He will be around when the sun turns into a red giant and consumes Earth and probably afterwards. Because Heaven doesn't want him and Hell's scared shitless of him! :O Dude's had four heart attacks and is still standing, whereas one is usually enough to take most people out! A few years ago, when I heard Dick Cheney had a heart transplant, let's just say there is nothing you can say that will convince me that he had it done in the traditional manner: I think he tore it out of some poor sap's chest while it was still beating ala Mola Ram in Indiana Jones. Nothing will convince me otherwise.
But at the same time, Mumm-Ra was shown as having a soft spot for his dog and that alone may convince me not to label Dick Cheney as Mumm-Ra. Because Dick Cheney feels nothing for no one. Dick Cheney has no soft spots, period. His wife and kids are all synthoid-replicants created to serve as a cover and convince the public he's not an eldritch horror with a human exterior.
I also lean towards the Randall Flagg interpretation because I have no difficulty believing that Dick Cheney has appeared throughout history under a wide variety of names/appearances, just like Flagg. Whether he always uses the initials "DC" is up to you.
But I thought I'd throw that question out there and see what my readers think? I know they're probably telling me to "STFU and get back to the book!" but trust me when I say that the Dick Cheney question is far more interesting. It's a mystery that demands to be solved!
Judd is still in New Babylon. Why...I don't know and really don't care. I'll just assume it's got to do with padding and move on. It's probably healthier than getting into long debates about the nature of Dick Cheney's existence.
Oh and for those of you, like me, who are still wondering what the hell was the point of the stuff with Krystall, wonder no more. Because apparently she got a bridge dropped on her. They boo-hoo about it a little and talk about how eeeevil Nicky is for killing her for leaking intel to a terrorist organization, but tacitly ignore the whole "Whatever she did to help the Tribbles, it doesn't matter because she'll still wind up roasting on a spit anyway" issue.
Judd briefly starts talking about how they're are probably other people in New Babylon who need to GTFO before God rains down nukes so maybe they should go hunting for them and I start crying and saying, "Make the bad men stop with the transparent excuses for padding!" Thankfully though, the Story Gods are smiling down on me as Mac shows up and is like, "Get on the plane!" and Judd does. :breathes a sigh of relief: I don't know what I did to deserve this reprieve, but hey, I've learned don't question a stroke of good fortune. Besides, Ellanjay will punish me soon enough with more padding.
When Mac saw Judd, he grinned and slapped Judd’s back. “I dropped off a redhead in Petra. Get on the plane, boy. I’m taking you home.”
Judd couldn’t help laughing as he got on the plane. As Mac and Otto spoke at the bottom of the stairs, a sense of peace came over him. During his stay in New Babylon, he hadn’t let himself think of the next day. He simply survived minute by minute. Now his thoughts turned to Petra and who was waiting for him.
That last line, when Judd talks about how his thoughts turned to Petra and who was waiting for him, I had to fight the urge to cross out "who was waiting for him" and replace it with "the vagina waiting for him." Because like I've said so many times, nothing will convince me that this marriage isn't just a flimsy excuse so Judd and Vicki can get laid before God comes and takes away sex for everyone.
We cut back to Vicki. Apparently in Petra, they've set up a massive viewing of Chloe's execution. It will be projected on the side of the mountain for everyone to see. Because that's what Chloe would really like her fellow believers to witness: her tortuous death at the hands of the enemy.
There is some mention from Sam about how they don't normally watch executions, but Token Jew decided everyone should see the coverage. Because those other Believers or Jews (there are no other categories of people who are opposed to Nicky) were NPCs, not Main Characters like Chloe, so the Tribbles could safely ignore their painful deaths.
Apparently Chloe still looks all radiant and beautiful, because no matter what you put a Main Character through, even if they're dragged through a coal chute by their hair, when the time comes for them to grandstand and be all martyriffic (spoiler!), you can't have them :gasp: :choke: have their beauty marred by so much as a bruise. Because as Conservapedia has taught us, fat or ugly or fat and ugly people never have anything wise or insightful to say.
Vicki has a sad, though, when she sees some Jewish prisoners.
The camera panned away, and Vicki noticed prisoners with the Star of David stenciled onto their clothes. These were Jews who had been starved, beaten, and tortured. They looked almost relieved to be nearing death.
The text heroically manages to resist having Vicki think about how those Jewishy Jews will soon pay the price (in other words, burn in hell) for holding onto the faith/identity that has sustained them and their ancestors through centuries of persecutions, many times at the hands of RTCs, but hey. Fear not, though. As you probably guessed those nameless Jews will never be mentioned again in this chapter. They are NPCs who serve no other purpose except to give Vicki a reason to be sad and shake her head. And of course remind the readers that the GC are the real anti-Semites, not us! Afterwards, they will soon disappear from the story, never to be heard from again.
The guy hosting the executions is named Jock Ashmore. I mention him because I'm bored and I thought my readers would enjoy playing "Guess the Ethnicity/Nationality of This Character" game. Plus, it also provides me with a transparent excuse to indulge in my love of eighties cheese, by posting yet another link. Just know that I'm totally spending the whole section picturing him as the host from The Running Man.
Then we cut to Judd. Vicki runs to greet him and they all go to find a place to sit and watch Chloe's execution. I know I overuse the "Our Sociopathic Heroes" tag, but the casualness of this whole endeavor, about them all gathering round to get the best view, as though they were WATCHING THE PREMIERE OF CAPTAIN AMERICA 3: CIVIL WAR* RATHER THAN SOMEONE THEY CONSIDER A FRIEND, DIE HORRIBLY...I find myself oddly grateful that they manage to avoid mentioning whether or not the Tribbles are munching on popcorn as they wait for the blade to come down.
As you probably guessed, an Angel makes an appearance, gives a long speech full of Bible quotes, before leaving without having accomplished fuck-all. Just like all the previous angelic apparitions...because the almighty creator of the Universe can't actually do something that doesn't involve killing people horribly. He would try to rescue Chloe, but there isn't an orphanage or a hospital full of sick people nearby, so if he did perform a miracle and save her from dying, no innocent civilians would get caught in the crossfire and die horribly as a result of his intervention. We can't have that!
Of course, the Tribbles are amazed. Frankly, Tribbles are so easily amazed that I picture them acting like the stoned teenagers on The Simpsons around tin foil: "It's like a living mirror!"
“Incredible,” Vicki said, as Chang switched back to the live feed.
“I was ready to pull Chloe’s execution off the air, but this is too good,” Chang said. “God is even using this terrible event to reach people.”
Uh, God, maybe I shouldn't question you, seeing as I haven't created the entire universe in six days or resurrected myself after being dead for three days, but y'know what would work better than your current strategy of "Send an Angel to accomplish nothing of any importance" or "Exterminate the Brutes!" ANYTHING! I've compared your strategy to that of the Underpants Gnomes plan for riches but y'know what? THAT'S STARTING TO FEEL UNFAIR TO THE UNDERPANTS GNOMES BECAUSE EVEN THEIR PLAN IS MORE THOUGHT OUT THAN YOURS!!!!
Afterwards the area fills with heavenly light, or in other words, we get yet another heavenly miracle that accomplishes nothing. Seriously, it just makes it so the viewers don't get to see the blades cut off peoples' heads. They do get to see the bloody headless corpses as they twitch for a few seconds afterwards but it just isn't the same. And because I'm so bored, I amuse myself by picturing a PBS fundraiser in between all this, with a solemn speaker talking about how PBS is only able to provide such hard-hitting entertainment/news with the help of viewers like you and that they need your support to keep going. And of course you will get a nice tote bag if you do contribute.
But then again, for my own amusement and because it continues to provide me with a transparent excuse to indulge in eighties cheese, I picture Nicky's news channel as being pretty much exactly like Cobra TV. And yes, they do provide breaks so the band Cold Slither can play their hit song "Cold Slither" from their album "Cold Slither." Sadly, I would buy the hell out of that album if it actually existed, because increasingly I, like the good people at Cracked, wonder if we weren't supposed to root for Cobra in the first place. Because do you really expect the show's target audience of prepubescent boys to side against an organization that has the Baroness on payroll?! For those of you who don't know, the Baroness is the femme fatale who insured a generation of young boys would grow up with a thing for women in black leather with foreign accents and librarian glasses. Heck, I'm into her as well! I love foreign accents and am all about glasses. Geek chic rocks!
Okay, I'll try to stop with all the damn eighties cheese-related tangents.
Judd and Vicki and the others watch everybody get executed and if we guessed, there's no reaction and we learn nothing about the people being executed, congratulations. Reactions/backstory are for PCs only! As an NPC, you serve to allow the PCs to shake their heads sadly.
Finally though, we get to Chloe.
Since Chloe is a Main Character, she gets to grandstand, making a long drawn-out altar call, which the GC just allow. Because a Satanic One World Government would never do something as gauche as, I don't know, pull out a gun and shoot her to shut her up! Oh yeah, because guns and bullets are manly weapons unbefitting for effete GC troops! Or y'know, you could use electric batons, zap the hell out of her, then behead her. But then again, I suppose while the GC may be a Satanic NWO dedicated to crushing the RTCs and killing the One True God, they wouldn't be so monstrous as to trample over a condemned terrorist's right to free speech, after all.
The chapter ends with the blade coming down and killing Chloe. But at the moment of contact, angelic light blinds everyone so they don't have to see Chloe's brutal martyrdom.
Yeah, I know Ellanjay have, at best, an uneasy alliance with the Catholics. RTCs and Catholics have mistrusted each other for centuries, but thanks to Roe v. Wade, they have formed an uneasy alliance based on a mutual hatred of women/fetishization of fetuses. They still hate each other, but both sides realize they need the other side's organization/numbers if they are to ever overturn Roe v. Wade. As soon as they succeed in that, they'll be back to accusing each other of being Satan incarnate, but until then, they try to bite their tongues and keep their more unsavory opinions to themselves. Though on occasion, they do slip up and their true opinion comes shining through.
Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that since Ellanjay are Protestants, they don't share a tradition of Saints the way the Catholics do, which is why they are seriously unimaginative when it comes to martyrdom stories. Catholics may have their flaws, but they had some damn good and damn gory martyrdom stories! You believe they actually suffered for their faith!
Though the lack of imagination also stems from the fact that like I've said many times, their readers' love the cheap vicarious thrill of martyrdom stories so long as they don't actually have to go through with the martyrdom part. I mean, just think of the horrors that would unfold if they actually had to suffer for their faith and by suffer, I don't mean, have someone wish you a "Happy Holiday" or watch the gays get married. Kind of kills the gloating if you know that Chloe may have retained consciousness for up to fifteen seconds after being beheaded.
I think that's enough for this week. I apologize for oversaturating my post with G.I. Joe, but admit it, it was more entertaining than anything in the book. I'll just give you one more G.I. Joe link for the road, before I shuffle out entirely: 5 Cobra Commander Terror Plots That Might Actually Work.
And yes, as pathetic as it sounds, I've seen every episode on that list. Can't hate a villain with Chris Latta's voice, who managed to get a giant laser and decided the best use for it, was to carve his face onto the moon. Gotta give Cobra Commander credit for being a hands-on leader. He's in the trenches fighting alongside his redshirts, which is more than you can say for the G.I. Joe brass.
I'll stop now. :( I'm just saying at least Cobra Commander was entertaining while being nonsensical which is more than I can say for this series.
*I am continuing to beseech the movie gods: please let this movie be awesome like all the other movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Please tell me the writers saw what went wrong in the comic book version of Civil War and are taking care not to make the same mistakes. Because even though Tony Stark's traditionally been the more conservative voice in the Marvel Universe, being conservative in his politics doesn't mean he's synonymous with Hitler, dammit! Even though the modern GOP seems determined to prove otherwise.