Soon: Chapter 4: Polly
In between mistreating every woman he knows, Paul finds time to be given his first mission in the Zealot Underground task force.
First, the big important men go to The Secure Room. No, I am not even kidding:
Koontz unlocked a three-inch-thick steel door that revealed, six inches away, a three-inch-thick wood door, also locked. Once they were inside and Koontz had secured both doors, a guard outside ran a final scan of the room. The results appeared on a small monitor on the wall. No evidence of bugs or microwaves or any other invasive devices. Koontz hit a button next to the monitor, which triggered white noise, a barely audible hum that would interfere with any recording equipment and make their conversation unintelligible.
Even to each other. That is how secure The Secure Room is:
The first order of business in The Secure Room is to obsess about guns:
“You kept up on your firearms, Paul?”
Paul nodded. “I can handle anything from a derringer to a howitzer…”
Forgive me if I find that just a bit hard to believe.
“…I’m at the range every two weeks, minimum.”
“You own a double-action semiautomatic?”
Sure! We all do! /Sally Struthers
“I’ve got an eleven-point-eight-millimeter Beretta and a Walther Stealth.”
“Got a preference?”
“Depends. What am I going to do with it?”
“Kill someone from close range.”
Paul hesitated. “Beretta’s hard to beat, Bob. Who am I going to kill?”
“Hopefully no one.”
But…but you just said he was going to… *sigh* Never mind.
Unlike Paul, I am not at the range every two weeks. So I am looking forward to my loyal readers pointing out anything else that may be wrong with the above passage!
Koontz wants Paul to be “a wild card” and go along on the “strategic raids” and be a consultant and listen to interrogations and do interrogations and help interpret interrogations and report back to Koontz about various crap, and a bunch of other vague and ill-defined things. Not sure how having a Ph.D. in religious studies qualifies someone as an expert in interrogations and giving them, but whatever.
Then, for no reason that I can yet fathom, Koontz tells Paul more lies about The Dork Too Stupid–specifically, that his captors tried to interrogate him, but…
“…well, the way he fought it, it turned into ‘suicide by cop.'”
I cannot get over how stupid it is to lie to Paul, who is supposed to be “in the know,” and who will be Koontz’s eyes and ears in the field. Paul could find out this is false by talking to anyone involved in that mission or, hey-here’s-an-idea, reading the file on The Dork. (I don’t know about Paul, but this would be Number One on my to-do list if I were in his shoes.)
Then Koontz talks about a recent event–the Reflecting Pool in Washington turning into a Pool of Blood (yes, real blood). Of course, we readers know that this was a Miracle From Turbo-Jesus, but Koontz (and Paul, and all the other evil atheists) think it was a “prank” staged by Christians.
Specifically, they think it was done by The Dork. Rather surprising that they simply executed him instead of, oh, gee, I dunno, asking him about it, but there you go.
Then Koontz finally gets to the point, saying there are Christian subversives in all seven states, and that Paul’s first assignment is to go to San Francisco and “monitor…rush…[and] supervise the interrogations” of…
“…a Christian cell led by an elderly, wealthy widow we have code-named Polly Carr.”
Paul smiled. “So you do know a bit of church history.”
“Well, I’ve heard of Polycarp, but that’s the extent of it.”
Ah, I see. Koontz likes his little word games, just like Jenkins. Gee, what a coincidence.
But I still don’t…
Now, this just shows that Jenkins has never conversed with atheists about what we know and believe. I consider myself, for an atheist raised in a secular home, to be fairly well-versed in the basics of Christianity. Indeed, I don’t think people can help but be so when they are raised in the States. Like The Pretender, I have “learned some lingo.” And I had no idea who Polycarp was.
And Koontz, if he is presumed to be a bit older than Paul, spent, at most, only his early childhood in a world in which Christianity was legal. So how the hell does he know who Polycarp was?
Anyway, that is Paul’s mission. I bet you can all guess what will happen when Paul gets to Polly’s home.