Soon: Chapter 6: The Raid: Responses

Wow.  There have been so many great comments on the evil atheist raid that I feel that I really need to address the raid a bit more before moving on.  A few main points seemed to stand out to people:

1.  Are the Christians Armed?

I think Kish has it right–there is no way we are meant to assume the Christians were armed.  Though the writing kinda makes it sound like they should be, they are definitely meant to be the innocent sacrificial lambs.

Which of course makes detroitmechworks’ comment all the more pertinent: Why are the atheists shooting?  Coker’s comment about “having some fun” seemed to imply that he wasn’t averse to shooting him some Christians, and might even look for an opportunity, but not that he intended it to be a slaughter of everyone, no matter what.  But since it was a slaughter against unarmed and unarmored civilians, a simple extermination of Christians, that raises Evil Paul’s question…

2.  Why Is Paul Even There?

Paul may be anti-Christian, he may even be murderously angry about his father and the Dork Too Stupid, but he does actually intend to take down the entire, worldwide Christian threat, which you would think could be easier done be gaining intelligence, not torching old ladies.  Hell, why go to the expense of flying him out to California and wining and dining him at Smyrna’s Sole Emporium?  As we saw before the raid, Coker was perfectly aware of what was and wasn’t contraband, so Paul’s (alleged) expertise was basically worthless.

And speaking of torching people…

3.  What’s with the laser guns?

I don’t know, but I do know that I didn’t mention another piece of fancy equipment the SWAT guys and gals had:

Flamethrowers.

Paul sprinted through the darkness, gun drawn.  As he neared the porch, flamethrowers belched.  The old woman came whirling out the front door, trailing a billowing sail of fire.

But flamethrowers raise even more questions than they answer:

a.  Where are they carrying all this damn equipment?  It really is like a bad video game, just like Andrew Glasgow said.

b.  Even if they can carry them, why would they?  They have frickin’ laser beams, are flamethrowers really SWAT standard issue or necessary for this raid?

c.  How did Paul’s gun put out a 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.

Because unless Paul dropped her into a pond, I don’t get that.

Ah, the mind-blowing questions brought to us straight from Atheistopia!

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Posted on February 23, 2011, in Books, Soon. Bookmark the permalink. 20 Comments.

  1. Flamethrowers not only aren’t SWAT standard issue, even the military doesn’t use them anymore. They don’t have much place in modern warfare except as a tool of terror, and the Geneva Conventions ban their use anywhere near civilians.

  2. …Flamethrowers?

    FLAMETHROWERS?!?!

    I…But…But…

    Alright, so, plus side. Think positive. The lasers aren’t powerful enough to actually light people on fire. So they’re just going to inflict severe surface burns. Which…I’m not sure if that makes sense or not. See, would burning someone disable them? I mean, obviously a shot to their gun hand would, but a leg shot? Is that going to have the same effectiveness as a kinetic weapon? Or none at all?

    If it’s roughly the same, then lasers actually make a lot of sense as a SWAT weapon. They’re not ideal, since cover negates them to a very high extent and they may well send the whole building up in flames, but they’re also far less likely to kill than a gun shot, while still disabling.

    But that still doesn’t make any sense since they’re clearly here to kill everyone! It’s like having them all go in with tasers, only to have modified them to stop hearts. There’s just no point. You’re crippling yourself for no apparent reason.

    Right, back to the flamethrowers.

    .

    .

    WHY?!?! There is no possible situation in which flamethrowers would make any sense in any police repertoire. Clearing an enclosed space? Gas, Flashbang, or Sting it. Grenades have the advantage of not putting you at risk, being far less of a fire hazard, and are non-lethal.

    I just…argh. I don’t understand this! Why didn’t they just drop a bomb on the house if this was how they were going to play it?

    • “Clearing an enclosed space? Gas, Flashbang, or Sting it.”

      Now you’re just making me think of The Spoony One playing SWAT 4.

      “You’re in my spot, sir.”

    • Then there’s the added problem that flamethrowers are only useful for clearing out enclosed spaces when you’re not inside that space at the time.

      “I just…argh. I don’t understand this! Why didn’t they just drop a bomb on the house if this was how they were going to play it?”

      That might actually make sense. It’d be like those desperate police officers in the “The Battle of Algiers” who can’t make any headway against the insurgency so they just plant a bomb of their own. To take it one step further, Coker could “find” a bunch of bomb-making material in the rubble and claim that the prayer circle was just cover for a bomb factory and that someone got careless. That might actually fit the profile of an increasingly frustrated regime resorting to dirtier and dirtier tactics to crush the rebellion.

      Too bad Jenkins never did any research…

  3. I believe the traditional approach when you just want to kill everyone is to set the place on fire and shoot people as they come out.

    Flamethrowers are huge bulky things. Really not compatible with SWAT-style fast movement.

    Can’t they just toast the house from orbit with their weather-control satellites? (Don’t tell me they don’t have them.)

  4. Flammenwerfers werf flammen.

    My head feels almost like it is literally in danger of exploding. I think I’ve consumed way beyond my recommended daily allowance of FAIL today.

  5. Yeah. Everything that GDwarf said about the flamethrowers.

    Maybe someone watched Farenheit 451 as inspiration for this?

  6. Ok… Here’s what I’m thinking…

    Theory 1: This was an arrest raid.
    – The Christian’s weren’t armed, and the officers opened fire immediately without resorting to any non lethal force..
    Therefore, one of our 2 premises is false.

    Conclusion: This was not an arrest raid, but a extermination raid. (But Shown FALSE by the following)

    Theory 2:
    This was an Extermination Raid.
    -They shot everyone, but brought along a witness who had no idea this was going on, and even the officer’s perpetrating the “Slaughter” didn’t know it was going to be one…
    Therefore, at least 2 of of our premises is false.

    Conclusion: This was not an Extermination Raid, but an arrest raid. (But shown FALSE by the previous)

    Theory 3: Jenkins is a REALLY bad writer.

    -Totally inconsistent writing with either major theory, then has “A rock falls, you all die” as his deus ex machina. Even ten minutes of research into police/military raid tactics would give you a way to make that scene good. (I’m picturing officers shouting GUN and then firing. Even if there is no gun. Because it’s a great excuse for a witness who has no clue…)

    Speaking as a wanna bee author, I’d be embarrassed if that was the plot I came up with, even if I was drunk.

    Conclusion: Jenkins is made of FAIL!

  7. FlamethroWHAT?

    I realize that Jenkins is not-so-subtly suggesting that this is an extermination raid, but as detroimechworks pointed out, there’s problems with that idea. I’m willing to chalk them up to Jenkins thinking that an Atheist Death Squad is a lot more subtle an idea than he’s giving credit for to people who have more than two brain cells to rub together.

    But… in such a case, you either have a cover story or you don’t bother. Considering Too Dork Stupid’s napalm-barreling was passed off as an ‘industrial accident,’ why would the USSA (TSAN!) bring flamethrowers? I mean, it’s kind of hard to hide the effects of flamethrowers.

    Unless he’s also-not-so-subtly attempting to liken these actions to what happened in Waco. “It happened to the Branch Dravidians, IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU! Stock up on guns, food, and Bibles!”

  8. The way I see it…

    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.

    Paul almost shot the next figure to appear, but just in time recognised the smoke-blackened shape as Coker. He stood proudly, having stopped one of these “Christians” from getting away.

    Coker’s slap came as a complete surprise. “What were you thinking, Paul? This whole thing’s gone south – these mad bastards were all armed, even the women and kids. They forced us to kill them rather than arrest them. All except for Polly, the one of them who could take us up the chain of their command structure… until you shot her. One old woman, wounded and on fire, and did you restrain her? Did you knock her down? No, you killed her. What’s the matter with you, was she too scary for your Delta Force ass to take hand-to-hand? Maybe you thought she was going to attack you with her walking stick?”

    • “Paul almost shot the next figure to appear(…)”

      Wow, Firedrake! There’s more tension, suspense and sheer writing talent in those two short paragraphs than Beck could apparently shove into a whole book! When are you going to write something?

    • Agreed. That is excellent!

      Meta-Coker is my new favorite character.

    • Agreed. This was made of win.

    • Andrew The Eternal

      And now Coker looks like a young Gilad Pellaeon to me.

      I wonder if the flamethrower is Jenkins continuing an ‘ironic’ fire theme. Sure, it makes no sense in-story, but perhaps he is trying to preemptively soothe the consciences of his readers. “Eternal hellfire sure is awful, but they deserve it. After all, they would try to do the same to us!!”

  9. Why the flamethrowert? Because it’s a needless weapon of pointless destruction and therefore gives Jenkins a woody.

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