Soon: Chapter 34: Fast Food and the Fate of Barton
Paul sees off Grace the Hydrologist (no longer useful now that God is being asked for the big favor) and the others from The Other Group.
Then, he has another big and important task as the future incarnation of The Apostle Paul…he has to GO GET DINNER!!!
DAMN, the action never lets up!
Well, the off-screen action, anyway. Because some action is coming up.
Too bad Paul won’t be present for it.
But first, it’s PHONE TIME, as Paul calls Straight in Chicago. Straight is totally psyched about the whole ask-God-to-dry-up-L.A. plan, and promises to recruit a whole bunch of “prayer troops.”
This must be some new use of the word “troops” of which I am unaware.
Now, on to ACTION…
Remember how Paul arranged for Barton to be transferred from the armory to the local NPO so he (Barton) could be “safer”?
Yeeeah, that kinda blew up in Paul and Barton’s collective face.
Ranold tells Paul via skull phone that Barton won’t be at the new holding cell to talk to.
Instead of listening to Ranold, Paul Skull-Phone-Hangs-Up on him and listens to the news instead. Because that will be much more edifying than talking to the person in charge of the entire operation. Paul learns that the car carrying Barton pitched off the road and OFF A CLIFF and burst into flames and now Atheistopia has called in DOGS to find Barton’s body.
Bitchin’. THIS is a little more like it, ladies and gentlemen. FINALLY, Atheistopia is acting like the Eeevil Dictatorship it is supposed to be. Causing the “accidental” death of a Christian dissident.
And not in some goofy, stupid way like trapping him in a snake zoo or smooshing him in a coin press.
And (here’s the beauty part) it is ALL PAUL’S FAULT. It was PAUL’S idea to move Barton in the first place. He sent Barton to his death!!!
Not to be deterred from his very important mission, Paul picks up “a selection of fast-food staples” (no doubt all low in calories and carbs and high in fiber and nutrients, as Atheistopian fast food must be), and heads back to the Building of Dead Stinky Fish.
This is the lamest secret hideout ever. They have to order out for EVERY MEAL? You would think they would have stockpiles of food and people trained in survival. But oh no, time to take a break from prayer trooping and make an Arby’s run!
I’m also kinda suprised that the hideout isn’t under siege by the NPO even as we speak.Really, Atheistopia got NO INTEL from Barton before sending him off that cliff? Barton smelled of stinky fish–where did they THINK he came from?
But no, everything is fine, and Paul breaks the bad news to the rest of the underground RTCs. (I can only assume he left out the part about it being his idea to move Barton.)
Carl and Lois looked especially devastated, but everyone was shocked. “It may be utterly the wrong time for this,” Paul said, “but maybe the best way to mourn Barton is to keep planning.”
Paul has known Barton for one day. Maaaaybe it’s not his place to tell other people how to mourn a friend they’ve known for years who was just MURDERED.
But I guess he’s right, because…
…the grieving little band was growing emboldened. Eyes moist and shining, they were clearly ready to believe God would work—to count on Him to answer their prayers.
Emboldened to do what…pray? Does it really take much boldness to ask God to do all the work for you?
“I had started working on something while Paul was gone,” Carl said, “and now I’m going to print it out. Then let’s polish this thing till it shines and thank God for all He’s about to do.”
What Carl is talking about is that he’s written a “daring manifesto,” but we’ll get to that in a minute because OMG BARTON JUST WALKED IN HE’S NOT DEAD AFTER ALL.
I’m serious. He’s not dead.
DAMMIT, ATHEISTOPIA, I THOUGHT YOU HAD THIS ONE
Barton tells his stupid story:
“They unshackled me and put me in an old car. They wound tape around me like a mummy to hold me in the passenger seat…”
Wouldn’t the more sensible plan be to make Barton’s death look like his own botched escape attempt? Wouldn’t you put him in the driver’s seat? And why strap him down? Just knock him out first.
DAMMIT, ATHEISTOPIA, WHY DO YOU SUCK AT THESE SHENANIGANS???
Then the bad guys put cans of gasoline in the back seat and stop them up with rags and light the rags on fire and zoom the car over the cliff.
I just don’t even.
JUST TRUST GRAVITY, ATHEISTOPIA. GRAVITY IS YOUR FRIEND.
This is soooo much trouble to go to when you could just knock Barton out, put him in a car, and send the car over the cliff. Fire and duct tape? Just extra expense and trouble.
“The car hit the rail at top speed, but I hardly moved because I was taped so tight to the seat. Then the car was airborne, tumbling end over end, and I was choking with the smoke from the gas. When it hit the ground, someone popped my door open, ripped off the tape, and yanked me out. We rolled and rolled together and finally hid in the bushes as the car exploded and cartwheeled down the canyon.”
Then, the mysterious benefactor disappears. A nameless RTC says he had to be an angel, and this is not contradicted. Though one might well ask what the angels were doing when The Dork Too Stupid was napalm-barreled, or that guy was bitten by a snake, or that other guy was smooshed in the coin press.
I guess Barton is just an extra-special snowflake.
Lois leads the group in a rousing version of this:
(Jerry Jenkins loves this song. The Tribulation Force sings it, too.)
Lois: Great job singing about Christian love, guys! Now, let’s fill in Barton on recent events: we’ve decided to ask God to desiccate the entire city.