Soon: Chapter 19: A Christian Grieves
TW: Attempted suicide
Paul heads back to the Demetrius building at six-thirty. The vault is on a timer and can’t be opened until eight, but if he came back closer to the time, Paul wouldn’t have a chance to witness what he’s about to witness.
So, apparently there’s a glass pyramid, five stories tall, that makes up the very top of the building. The top of the pyramid is where the brothers’ offices are.
I have to mention this because Arthur Demetrius is about to throw himself from the balcony of his office:
Paul jumped and looked up just in time to see a dark form tumbling down the side of the glass pyramid.
Everyone around Paul froze. People gasped. The body rolled, skidded, and then slid all the way down to the flat roof of the skyscraper. People pressed up against the glass to look. Some clung to each other. Paul fought through the crowd and searched frantically until he spotted a fire door, sprinted toward it, and burst out onto the roof.
Two things of note about this. One is infuriating, the other just kinda dumb.
FIRST THING OF NOTE: Paul’s reaction:
Running to him, Paul was inexplicably overcome with grief. Why should he care? With Arthur Demetrius in a heap, Paul realized that here too was a man God had loved. Arthur may have thumbed his nose at heaven, but he was still a lost soul, someone who needed forgiveness and salvation as much as anyone else.
Why should he care? Well, maybe because Arthur’s a fellow human being and human beings often feel empathy for each other and…
Oh, I forgot. Atheists don’t have those emotions. Sorry, Jenkins, forgot myself there for a minute.
Don’tcha just love it? RTCs tell atheists that we can’t really know what love and joy and sympathy and grief are, and now the best reason Paul can dig up to care about Arthur Demetrius is that God loved him.
“Why should he care?” It is a statement like this that takes this book from being merely a dumb, ill-researched ride into a dystopian future, and turns it into something ugly and offensive.
What must it be like to think this? To think that people who aren’t Christians can’t feel anything when another human being is injured or killed?
Oh, and isn’t Paul a prince? When he was talking to Arthur before, he certainly didn’t consider that “here too was a man God loved.” It took Arthur throwing himself off a building for Good Christian Paul to give a damn.
And then he only cares because Arthur “needed salvation.”
If that’s your empathy, Paul, you can have it. This heartless atheist doesn’t want any.
Okay, Ruby, deep breaths. Go to your happy place…
SECOND THING OF NOTE: Another miracle.
I mean, ZOMG IT’S TOTALLY A MIRACLE THAT ARTHUR SURVIVED OMG OMG OMG
Paul reeled, off balance, and tumbled to his seat at finding not just a heartbeat, but a robust and fast one.
Impossible. No one could have survived that fall.
Hell, I once met a man who had fallen sixty feet and lived to tell the tale. Yes, the odds are against surviving such an event. But “beat the odds” =/= “miracle.”
And let’s bear in mind that Arthur didn’t fall five whole stories. He jumped off a pyramid, so actually fell a very short way before landing and rolling and sliding the rest of the way.
“It’s a miracle,” Paul said.
Arthur’s eyes grew wide and he reached for Paul.
Sorry, that was inappropriate.
He wrapped his arms around Paul’s neck…
OH COME ON, JENKINS, YOU CAN’T JUST HAND THEM TO ME LIKE THAT!!!
…and pulled himself to a sitting position.
Shocked that he survived his really ill-conceived suicide attempt, Arthur TOTALLY CONFESSES TO EVERYTHING!!!
Okay, not really. He doesn’t have much to confess to: he still doesn’t know where his brother or the hell-threatening employee are, though his worst fear is that Ephesus killed her.
And he kindasorta confesses to the whole corporate-crime thing:
“I was evil too, ruthless about the silver…Once the truth comes out, I’m ruined.”
Um, okay. I’m not sure that’s exactly a confession to illegal activity. Being “ruthless” does not necessarily lead to a conclusion of illegality, though “evil” might.
But in light of what’s to come, I’m a bit surprised that Jenkins would have him be actually guilty of this illegal cornering of the market.
“Arthur, clearly you weren’t meant to die.”
Unlike Coker and the nameless SWAT officers and Donny Johnson and the other atheists who have died so far. They all deserved it and (let’s not forget) are presently being deep-fried in Hell. But Arthur is special:
“People have been praying for you.” [said Paul]
“I knew it!” Arthur whispered. “Something has been tormenting me for days.”
Arthur’s being pursued by the Hound of Heaven!
So the rich man is an extra-special snowflake who doesn’t deserve to die and be roasted like all those Other atheists.
Now, you’ve just seen a man fall, roll, and slide down a five-story glass pyramid. He has survived! Do you:
A) use your skull-phone to summon medical assistance
B) wait for one of the dozens of onlookers to summon medical assistance, and concentrate on making sure the victim lies very still so as not to exacerbate any injuries
C) walk with him to his den and sit in an easy chair while you threaten him with Hell
If you guessed (C), then you too can be the next Greatest Christian Writer of All Time!
“Oh, Dr. Stepola, I don’t want to see what’s in the vault. What if it is that woman…or what if it is something supernatural?”
“You cannot escape it, Arthur. But whatever is in that vault cannot compare to the coming judgment. Jesus said not to be afraid of those who want to kill you. They can only kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”
Once again, citing Jesus doesn’t mean a whole lot to atheists in Atheistopia who barely know who he is, let alone consider him an authoritative source.
Oh, and notice they are “Dr. Stepola” and “Arthur.” Guess Paul’s over that whole “wealth is so awe-inspiring” thing, and has realized that Arthur is just another sinful NotSaved.
Next time: On to the vault!
What will they find???