Soon: Chapter 2: Jae and D.C.

Jae is an odd one.  She realizes immediately how upset Paul is over the “accidental” death of the Dork Too Stupid, yet is shocked that he wants to attend the funeral.  (Which of course will be in D.C., while the Stepolas live in Chicago.)

Jae wants to go to the funeral, but Paul forbids her:

“I’m going by myself,” he said.  “I’ll be back in time [for the flight back to Chicago].”

“Why can’t I come?” she said.

“It’s business.”

I just love that he forbids her, and she takes it.  (She asks why he has issued the order, but not if he can change it.)  These two are going to make a fabulous RTC couple.

Then Jae makes the mistake of insinuating that Paul doesn’t want her to come because he wants the opportunity to chase skirts.  Oh, silly, silly Jae: your husband doesn’t want you away from him on one of the worst days of his life so he can play the field; he wants you away because he can’t stand the sight of you.

Women are so foolish like that.

So, off Paul goes to the funeral, without the volunteered support of his loving, supportive, cold, shrewish wife.  His trip to the funeral takes him by the “Pentagon Memorial Crater,” only so that Jenkins can tell us that it is the Pentagon Memorial Crater (the word “crater” seems awfully disrespectful to me…whether that is accidental or purposeful I’m sure I don’t know), because it was “virtually vaporized” in WWIII by “a North Korean submarine-launched ballistic missile shot low enough to evade radar.”  Oddly, though the structure was “virtually vaporized,” Arlington Regional Cemetery is still completely intact.

Before the funeral begins, Paul finds a group of his old Army buddies.  Oddly, he is the only married one of the group, though they are all in their mid-30’s.  Paul proudly shows off his wedding ring, then, almost as proudly, admits that he is still “the babe magnet” with “the same old tricks.” 

He’s a class act all the way, our Paul.


Posted on January 5, 2011, in Books, Soon. Bookmark the permalink. 25 Comments.

  1. because it was “virtually vaporized” in WWIII by “a North Korean submarine-launched ballistic missile shot low enough to evade radar.”


    Joshua Jordan would have totally stood there with a frickin’ laser on his head and sent that missile right back at the submarine. 😛

  2. “(…)because it was ‘virtually vaporized’ in WWIII by ‘a North Korean submarine-launched ballistic missile shot low enough to evade radar.’”

    *raises hand* Um…excuse me? Professor Jenkins? But doesn’t the term “ballistic”, as used in “ballistic missile”, imply a weapon shot *vertically* out of a silo or launch tube on an arcing course toward it’s target? And having been so launched, wouldn’t radar have picked it up at least a few hundred feet after said launch? I mean, I can see how a cruise-type missile like a Silkworm *might* escape detection if there were Sunspot interference and the winds were blowing just the right way and Tinkerbell had sprinkled fairy-dust on it, but a “ballistic missile”???

    And what about reconaissance satellites? Wouldn’t a RECSAT have been tracking such a sub from the moment that it left port and the NRO* guys controlling it given it’s position to any one of several *dozen* attack subs that we have patrolling the oceans for *JUST SUCH A CONTINGENCY?* And even if the Korean sub *had* shaken off it’s pursuers, wouldn’t the pursuing sub have alerted COMSUBPAC/LANT** that there was now a possibly nuclear-armed rogue enemy submarine on the loose and, at the very least, an active search should be commenced to locate said enemy sub? And wouldn’t land-based aircraft be alerted and looking for the sub as well? And, oh yeah! Wouldn’t the *South* Koreans have something to say about their Northern neighbors having a nuclear-armed submarine in the first place?

    Ya know, Professor? It seems to me that when a student has more knowledge of how the U.S. Military works than his so-called “teacher” it’s time to find a better teacher. I’m gonna go and see what Professor Clancy’s class is doing…

    *National Reconaissance Office
    **Commander, Submarines, Pacific/Atlantic

    • Redwood Rhiadra

      As Firedrake said, it’s pretty clear from this and the EoA books that Jenkins has no effing clue what “ballistic” means. It’s just a military buzzword that sounds good.

      (If you haven’t read the EoA takedown, in that book Our Hero has invented a gadget that supposedly screws with a ballistic missile’s guidance system so that it *reverses course*. Which, of course, requires completely rewriting the laws of gravity…)

      • Wait, the hero of EoA blows people up with nuclear missiles?!

        (Plus, if it’s fired from a submarine, wouldn’t “reversing course” just make it blow up right off our coastline? Better than over DC or something, sure, but still not the first choice.)

        • Two nuclear missiles are fired at New York from a surface ship just outside the 12-mile limit. The magic defence system causes them to return to their launch point and detonate there. This harms nobody except aboard the launching ship.

          Yeah, pick up your jaw, it doesn’t get any more plausible after that.

          See for this incident and discussion of it.

        • Redwood Rhiadra

          Yes, but it’s the evil godless North Korean commies’ fault for launching them in the first place.

          And in EoA, they’re launched from a surface ship, and boomerang right back to hit the launching ship.

          I really doubt Jenkins ever considered what would happen with a sub-launched missile. He probably thinks they would magically tunnel underwater right back to the sub.

          Seriously, the technobabble behind the device is so bad that it’s more magical than anything Star Trek ever showed.

      • Inquisitive Raven

        Since Jenkins is not LaHaye’s coauthor on the EoA books (that’s some other hack), I think it’s more accurate to say that RTCs (at least non-military ones) don’t know what “ballistic” means.

    • Base Delta Zero

      It may not have been a nuclear warhead, or if it was, a very small one… but then, you’d need a pretty big bomb (think of something like the Daisy Cutter or ‘Mother of All Bombs’) to do it, and even then, it’d be sketchy – even if you destroy the (rather fortified) above-ground structure, there’s still the underground portions to consider. In any case an SLBM could carry such a bomb… but again, ballistic missiles are basically the anti-stealth.
      A cruise missile, meanwhile, has a smaller payload… but a low-yield nuclear weapon, mounted on a stealth missile could be responsible for the reported destruction. If you had something like a 50 kiloton warhead, which would almost certainly ‘virtually vaporize’ the Pentagon, bunkers and all, and it wouldn’t be a good day on the mall, either… but it could well leave the cemetery almost intact. Gravestones are small, squat, and fairly durable objects, meaning the overpressure on them would be relatively low, they couldn’t care less about radiation, and are also non-flammable (though, obviously, the graves across the street would probably be various degrees of scattered about by the shockwave and scorched into illegibility… but there is, I believe, a record of all the graves in the cemetery, so they could be replaced – and even if they couldn’t, there’s nothing preventing the cemetery from still being used.)

  3. Well, yeah, I think we pretty much demolished this scenario during the beginning of EoA over on . There it was (probably) a surface ship, but either way there’d have been an attack sub right on top of the NK vessel most of the way across the Pacific. (And that’s assuming the NKs could build oceangoing vessels; most of its navy doesn’t have the range to go from one coast to the other. Submarines are hard to get right.)

    I think that what Jenkins is aiming for here is the classic depressed-trajectory shot but it just doesn’t hold together.

    Maybe meta-Jae thinks that attending the funeral might be a bad idea because this guy was blatantly killed by the secret police, and they’ll be watching to see who turns up? Just maybe?

    “Oddly, he is the only married one of the group, though they are all in their mid-30′s.”

    See, this is what you get for repealing DADT! 🙂

  4. You know, I thought Joshua over in EoA was a douchebag, but after two chapters I think I hate Paul even more. At least Joshua wasn’t a cheating potential date rapist. Really, this more like how Buck should have been acting, the cocky flirty single man who mysteriously never got laid before thirty.

    • And really, I would be fine with that if that was Jenkins’ way of pulling the old, “He was a Horrific Evil Sinner while an atheist, but now that he Has Let Jesus Into His Heart, he is a Good, Godly Man.”

      Except…Paul isn’t. He’s a total ass before conversion, and a total ass after, just in different ways. And it’s not like he doesn’t want to cheat after converting, either, he just knows that God Hates Divorce.

  5. RTC couple?

    Jae becomes an RTC? I was figuring her for the Express Train to Atheist Hell.

    • *** SPOILERS HEREIN ***

      She ultimately converts by early-mid Shadowed.

      • …And promptly dies and goes to Heaven? Or does Jenkins actually leave his hero married to a woman he loathes for the entire series (to date? Don’t know if it’s finished or not).

        • Maybe post-conversion he learns to love her with the help of religion? Like in that annoying ad – “Let God be the source blah-blah-blah” or something like that?

        • I assume that, like every other RTC female in this genre, she becomes a willing abuse-sponge.

          • Yeah, like she isn’t already.

            Anyway, yep, Jae survives and converts. And Paul then says they are “more in love than ever before.” Which, if you’re defining “more in love than ever before” as, “I used to hate her, but now I tolerate her presence because I’m a RTC and I have to,” is true, I suppose.

        • No, Jae survives. In any case, it looks like there won’t be any (direct) sequels after Shadowed. We’re not at Rapture quite just yet.

  6. “Look honey, I know that the last time I told you I was going on a ‘business trip’, I was actually cheating on you with anther woman, but this is totally different! This time, I’m meeting up with my old army buddies! Funny how none of them ever got married…”

    “We’re going to get together and reminisce about the gold old days when we were fighting back-to-back, breathless and drenched in our own sweat for hours at a time, until we were so exhausted we could barely pull ourselves out of that tiny, cramped foxhole. See, no women! You’ve got nothing to worry about!”

  7. Ugh… dear lord.
    I know that that whole thing about nukes and stuff is important, but I just can’t get over how obsessed this jackhole is with how “Studly” he is.
    I recall guys like that in the service… they were mostly RIGHT OUT OF HIGH SCHOOL, and were still under the impression that “Chicks like confidence [read: behaving like a dickhead]”
    Don’t know what that says about Jenkin’s development as far as a personal being goes, or whether he’s trying to say that without RTC people are doomed to be the kind of people who are on my “List” if I ever become a supervillian. (Oh, don’t pretend YOU don’t have one…)

    • (Oh, don’t pretend YOU don’t have one…)

      … One of my favorite phrases when I get frustrated and angry and annoyed is, ‘And now you know why Sith happens!” It’s my own personal Wilhelm scream.

      I mean, aside from the angst, Sith do get cool music (“Duel of the Fates” and “Battle of the Heroes” are both great, to say nothing of the “Imperial March,”) and capes, and red lightsabres. Okay, if you’re female your wardrobe kind of wavers between “crone” and “drafty” with nothing in between (with some noteworthy exceptions) so.. down-check there. But besides that, being able to say “I find your lack of faith disturbing,” is surprisingly stress-relieving.

      Sorry for the derail. =) Let’s see… yeah, Stepola. He’s a tool. Secular authors get called out on awful characters all the time. I realize that I’m answering my own question here, but are RTC authors so isolated from anything remotely resembling criticism (and good editors)? I mean… the chance to publish a novel that’s almost guaranteed to get on the best-seller list, become a virtually household name in some quarters, get paid obscene amounts of money, get to host your own writing seminar, get someone else to do all the marketing for you, and to top it off, not have to worry about an editor and pretty much mail your manuscript right to the printing floor? And the only price is to shed all sense of self-worth and self-dignity and become a blatant Mammonist, a Christianist heretic, and a liar and a cheat? … Now you know why Sith happens.

  8. I’m also interested in which religious faction in North Korea thought it was a good idea to attack America.

  9. inquisitiveraven

    Casts resurrection on zombie thread:

    I found an updated version of the mapplet that Fred linked to in last week’s TF thread. This one includes the pressure wave and fallout. I thought people might be interested in seeing what Little Boy might do if dropped on the Pentagon. Come to think of it, the new version includes an approximation of one of the bombs tested by Korea. If the prevailing winds are correct, it looks like the Arlington cemetery might survive the heat and the pressure wave only to be toasted by the fallout.

    Attempt to embed mapplet:

    Link if embedding fails.

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