Soon: Chapter 6: The Raid
Well, we’ve got about 20 shabby, unarmed zealots versus about 12 SWAT-type NPO guys and gals, plus Coker and Paul Apostle.
Let’s get ready to rumble!
But first, Jenkins has some fun showing how the words and actions of gentle, innocent Christians are twisted and made to look evil by those awful ole atheists.
They pass around the Bible (there’s just one to share), and Coker wants to go now, dammit, because…
“The Bible is contraband.”
Paul convinces Coker to hold out for a minute so they can hear more, and I boggle that religious books are contraband. I mean, I get that practicing religion is outlawed, but owning a Bible is not practicing religion. Hell, I own a Bible! (And a Koran, and a Book of Mormon, but I digress.) But how do majors like “religious studies” exist if religious books are contraband?
Then the Christians sing “Amazing Grace.” Clearly, they are evil:
No question, a crime was in progress.
You can just see the RTC readers nodding along, can’t you? “Yep, that is just what the atheists would do if they could. Arrest people for owning a Bible and singing ‘Amazing Grace.'”
And, of course, innocent little Bible readings are given Sinister Meanings by Paul Apostle. Polly hops right to Revelation 22, but…well, she skips some interesting bits. Here is what Polly says:
Blessed are those who wash their robes so they can enter through the gates of the city and eat the fruit from the tree of life. … “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to give you this message for the churches. I am both the source of David and the heir to his throne. I am the bright morning star.” … Let each one who hears them say, “Come.” Let the thirsty ones come–anyone who wants to. Let them come and drink the water of life without charge. … He who is the faithful witness to all these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon!” Amen! Come, Lord Jesus! (Ellipses are Jenkins’.)
But here is the full version of Revelation 22: 14-20. This is from my New International Bible, and I have bolded the parts that Polly left out:
Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.” The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.
I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
Hmm, anyone who takes away words from this book, eh? I’m looking at you, Polly.
But hey, if Polly had left those words in, Paul might have had some legitimate criticisms about the supposed “inclusiveness” of Heaven. He might have been able to wonder about the judgment against “those who practice magic arts.”
As it is, Paul can just seem like a jerk. Polly goes on to preach about “making disciples of all the nations…[having] critical tasks we must perform–despite the law, despite the danger–trusting God to give us courage.”
These nuts talking about rising up made Paul’s blood run cold. So they hoped to spread their poison all over the world–to “make disciples of all the nations.” They were plotting something big, “despite the law, despite the danger,” the woman said. And that idea that the end was near, that Jesus was coming soon–that was their justification for flat-out sedition.
Finally, Coker (who has wanted to go for about ten minutes now) actually gets to go. Paul hangs back, as Coker instructed. The guys and gals swarm the house, break the windows, etc.:
Through his receivers, Paul heard the SWAT team members bellow encouragement to each other. Then a new sound–the unmistakable, unforgettable whoosh-splat of laser beams hitting human flesh. This was no raid–it was a shoot-out. These scruffy outcasts weren’t just a bunch of deluded dreamers–they were armed with high-powered weapons.
“No, no they aren’t!” the RTC readers cry. “It’s the evil atheist SWAT guys (and gals) who are shooting innocent Christians for their faith! Just like all atheists today want to do!”
The old woman came whirling out the front door, trailing a billowing sail of fire. The hideous, crackling pinwheeling form and the smell of charring flesh stopped Paul. He dropped her into a hissing, smoking heap with a single shot.
And then, an earthquake hits. Yes, just at that moment. Because God is clearly pissed.
As well he might be, because Polly’s death was pretty gruesome. Still, though, you could make a valid argument that Paul was more putting her out of her misery than straight-up executing her…
The middle-aged couple had slipped out and were staggering away as fast as the man could limp. Paul fired and saw the white form sink, dragging the man down. Rocking forward on his knees, Paul fired again and the man was still.
Okay, he straight-up executed them.
Oh, and I should mention that Paul immediately assumes that Polly’s house is a bomb factory. Hey, just like in Babylon Rising! Except kinda different!
Then Paul executes one more Christian trying to make a break for it. Then…
A crevasse burst open in front of him.
And Paul rolls down the famous hills of San Francisco as the old woman’s house is swallowed up. Along with all the Christians, all the SWAT guys and gals, and Coker.
And the dog. *sniffle*