Soon: Chapter 20: Part of the Community
Having introduced Paul to the Underground Zealots via blindfolds and talk of murder, Straight finally brings him to the Super Secret Squirrel Break Room.
I’m serious; Paul is “struck that the area looked like a lunchroom for a small office.”
Here he can re-meet Abraham, and meet for the first time Abe’s wife, Sarah, and Some Other Guy, Isaac. The recurring joke is that Isaac is not Abe and Sarah’s son. Har.
Oh, also, Isaac has a non-working arm, since he was shot in a raid in Pacifica. This may or may not have been the Frisco raid that Paul led earlier in the book, and it would be interesting to know either way, but Jenkins ain’t tellin’.
“We all use code names here,” Abraham said. “Many of our residents are fugitives. Almost none of us know the true identities of those we live and work alongside. It’s a matter of security.”
Yeah, Abe, we’ve seen how well your stupid code-name plan works.
Oh, and Abe and Sarah and Isaac are wearing sunglasses. WEARING SUNGLASSES WILL TOTALLY KEEP YOUR IDENTITY A SECRET.
Paul tells them what he’s already told Straight: that he’s decided to join the Watchmen.
Abraham beamed. Sarah leaned against her husband, raising a hand to brush away tears. Isaac reached with his good arm to grasp Paul’s. “Thank you,” he said. “We know you’re in a far more vulnerable place than any of us, living within the camp of the enemy. You’re an answer to prayer, and we will continue to uphold you in prayer.”
Yes, Paul, our operation was completely useless before your heroic ass showed up. Thank God you are here. After all, it’s waaaay more dangerous for you to be helping than it is for us–it’s not like we live underground and trust everyone so little that we use secret codes with each other. It’s not like one of us was shot recently. No, you Heroic Christian Martyr Mary Sue, you have it so much worse than we do.
In keeping with their EXTREMELY SECRET AGENDA, Abe, Sarah, Isaac, and Straight proceed to reveal to Paul every single part of their Ultimate Christian Plan.
“What do you know of the Rapture?” [Abe asked Paul]
Paul looked at Straight, puzzled.
Puzzled? But, Paul, haven’t you spent these last months reading the New Testament? Doesn’t a basic, literal reading lead automatically to Rapture readiness? Isn’t it obvious???
But here’s the real kicker, guys: the master plan of the entire Christian underground is predicated on the Rapture.
“Since the true believers will be in heaven [after the Rapture], there will be no one left to teach [those left behind] except people who should have known better.” [said Straight]
This is what the Christian underground is busy doing. Not engaging in civil disobedience to fight for their rights as believers. Not showing the world that they have nothing to fear from people of faith. Not trying to make a more tolerant world for their children.
Nope, they are prepping for the Rapture.
And they have all kinds of fun plans!
They leave tracts lying around.
Sarah weaves texts into textiles. (Get it?)
“I used to work in the recording business,” Abraham said. “One of the new programs we want to start involves having one in every-so-many-thousand discs issued contain a New Testament track or maybe even an entire New Testament disc, instead of what the customer ordered. The same goes for downloads off the Internet; you might expect Thelonius Monk and get Thessalonians.”
Paul laughed. “Corinthians instead of Carmen. Galatians instead of Garth Brooks. Ingenious.”
Not really. I once did order a CD and was sent the wrong one by mistake.
I didn’t find Jesus. I just sent the disc back and they sent me the right one.
“And your friend the professor is working with medical professionals to tap into the nationwide hospital communications network.”
Great. Hey, it’s not like that communications network could possibly be in use for something important, like treating injury and disease, right?
“Straight! I always thought you were overqualified to be an in-patient baby-sitter.” [said Paul, because he’s a jerk]
Ah, Paul, you never fail to disappoint with the asshattery.
“Oh no, Paul. My volunteer work is important too.”
Thank you, Straight. It’s good that someone around here is demonstrating charity and compassion and…
“That’s why you’re here, don’t forget.”
Um. Forget I said that, Straight. I guess it’s good that we know that you’re only there to recruit, not to actually care for patients or anything.
Recruitment and the Rapture. I see things haven’t changed in RTC-ianity in the past 30 years.
Now that the underground Christians have told Paul all their most secret plans, the meeting is over.
Abraham raised his hand. “We wanted you brought here, Paul, so you would feel that you are truly one of us, a soldier in the growing army of God. Since He is with us, none of us need ever feel alone.”
Abraham clapped his hands together. “Okay, good meeting everyone! Welcome to the
family army, Paul! Now, back into the blindfold and restraints with you!”