Silenced: Chapter 2: Rome and Paris
So I forgot to mention in the last chapter that Rome was bombed, too.
Basically because Jenkins devoted several pages to Big Ben and the plight of Chubby Charlotte, and one sentence to Rome:
In Rome, the former zoological gardens (which for fifty years had been a Bio Park containing endangered species) had been nearly obliterated, the animals killed or scattered, and hundreds of visitors killed or wounded.
Presumably, Jenkins means the Bioparco, though he doesn’t use its real name. We know it’s an evil, atheistic place, though, what with trying to preserve endangered species and all. Kinda funny that Big Ben gets over two full pages, and the Bioparco gets one sentence.
Anyway, Chapter 2 hits a point mentioned in Soon: that Jae dislikes being a stay-at-home mom, and would rather be working. (Don’t worry, she’ll be taught how wrong she is in two separate ways.)
Also, she is very upset about the disasters in London and Rome: not because of the horror and loss of life, but because it means that Paul will probably have to go overseas and track down the evil religionists who did it.
Things were going so well. Part of her wanted a pledge from him that he would remain faithful to her, but another part of her knew that if she had to require that, they weren’t healthy.
She resolved to bury her worries and suspicions and concentrate on loving and supporting him.
The fact was, he had so far succeeded only in softening her and persuading her that he was trying. If he cheated on her again, she would not be able to forgive him, even if she wanted to.
“I swear, Paul, the other thirty-eight times were one thing, but number THIRTY-NINE???”
Paul gets home from work and reveals that yes, if something else happens, if Styr Magnor bombs just ONE MORE PLACE, he will be sent to Europe. Because there is apparently no one else on the PLANET who can do what Paul does (absolutely nothing but pal around with the zealots and pray for atheists to die, but the NPO doesn’t know that).
“Oh, Paul! We were just getting back on track.”
“Barely tolerating each other and revealing none of our personal thoughts or opinions to each other. Never laughing or having any fun together. We were SO on track!”
And again, Jenkins makes sure we understand that cheating can ALWAYS be laid at the wife’s feet:
She would never again allow herself to take the blame for Paul’s indiscretions, but she knew a bad attitude on her part had to contribute.
Of course it did.
Paul explains the situation to Jae, because wimmins don’t understand manly endeavors like politics:
“The initial posture is to wait, to see whether the response from the chancellor cools things. Face it, he laid down the gauntlet. If he will not negotiate with this terrorist, what will he do? Dengler is the ultimate peacenik. Could be whoever’s behind this will push him to violence, even to war.”
Peacenik. How long had it been since Jae had heard that archaic term?
Man, Paul is one cold bastard. His father was killed in action in the last war this world saw, yet he gets down on the leader of the world for not wanting war.
Also, Jae does not pursue this line of thought. Huh, my husband, who has worked for the National PEACE Organization for his entire career, is using a derogatory term for someone who wants…peace.
Speaking of the NPO, Paul reveals that if another attack happens, he will head to Bern, Switzerland, to meet with Baldwin Dengler himself, and NPO International.
So, National Peace Organization International.
And, of course, another attack happens. Like Chubby Charlotte but unlike the Bioparco, the destruction of the Eiffel Tower follows one of the victims, Gabriela Negrutz of Romania, and her husband and two little boys. They are business-tripping/vacationing in Paris and the one thing Gabriela wants to do is go up in the rebuilt Tower, which…
…had been destroyed in World War III before Gabriela was born. The rebuilt tower, made of gold-plated steel and iron and porcelain, was three times the height of the original and had become the tourist attraction of Europe. Critics of its garish look and monstrous size called it the Awful Eiffel.
Well, those who spoke English, anyway. Otherwise the alliteration doesn’t really work.
The little boys are inexplicably blasé about going up in a tower that is a half-mile tall, but Gabriela’s husband is awesome:
“Your mother has been planning this day for months, and this is the one thing we will do together that she wants to do.”
Yep, the family that stays together…dies horribly when the Eiffel Tower is bombed. They are in the jetvator, past the halfway point, when they hear a boom and the Tower leans waaaaaay to the side, then falls. We are then treated to a detailed description of nearly everyone in the jetvators being suffocated or crushed to death before they even hit the ground.
Fun fact: just like Chubby Charlotte, all the victims are going to roast in Hell forever!
And hey, check it out: there is plenty of footage of the Eiffel Tower being destroyed, too!