Silenced: Chapter 8, Part 2: How Could Anybody Believe This Stuff?
First, a quick conversation between Paul and the awesome Alonza Marcello.
“I thought it went well today,” she said.
“Did you? I felt a little chilly.”
“Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”
Oh, and let’s remember that at the very moment Paul is whining to Marcello, those “chilly” investigators are busy cleaning up the site of a terrorist attack and identifying corpses. And Paul is planning on being no help whatsoever. But the meeeeean investigators are so chilly.
Marcello has actual news (that the INVESTIGATORS, not Paul, discovered):
“It was written in English on a stall door in lipstick. Here’s what it says:
“Long live the USSA. Long live the City of Angels. Long live Jonah. European resistance arise.”
“Mm-hmmm,” Paul said.
But Paul’s useful contribution doesn’t end there. He suggests calling in a handwriting expert (Marcello has already thought of this), and agrees with her that the writing doesn’t “look Italian.”
We are dealing with a pair of mental giants here. The message was written in English. And references America (sorry, the USSA).
“…I’d wager we’re not going to find Styr Magnor in America.” [said Paul]
“Because he says he’s Norwegian?”
“Partly. I don’t know. Just a gut feeling.”
Surely no AMERICAN could ever be responsible for death and destruction!
“You’re known for that, Doctor. But isn’t the northern middle west almost an enclave of Scandinavians in your country?”
“What used to be Minnesota? Yes.”
I continue to be amused by the fact that Paul corrects people using reference points that became obsolete when he was a baby.
Also, he’s correct, but not complete. Wisconsin, for example, has many Scandinavian-Americans. See, for example, this Swedish restaurant in Sister Bay, Wisconsin, where goats hang out on the roof.
Anyway, having established that Paul knows more about Minnesota than an Italian person, we head back to the ranch (the ranch being in Chicago), where Jae continues through Acts, Chapter 2.
The talk about tongues of fire made Jae want to turn off the machine again. How could anybody believe this stuff? Yet each time she heard something strange and disconcerting like that, she was less shaken by it.
Well, yeah, overexposure can do that to a person. Especially a vulnerable person who has been emotionally abused for over a decade, is still being emotionally abused, yet is trying to grow closer to her abuser.
Jae had heard Paul mention something about how the zealot underground put a lot of stock in ancient prophecies…
But couldn’t these prophecies of the Bible be debunked?
If they were not credible, at least to the writers and readers of the New Testament, how had the Bible lasted for so long? Would it not have been cast aside as fanciful thinking long before World War III?
By many people, it had (has), Jae. About 30% of the world is Christian right now (that is, around the time of World War III in this series, and around the time of Jae’s birth. And certainly less than that 30% “put a lot of stock in ancient prophecies.” (And yes, I’m sure that Jenkins and Paul would not consider such people “true” believers, but the point still stands.)
Still, though, Jae, nice appeal to tradition (that no longer exists in your world).
Then Jae does something realistic: she compares studying the New Testament to studying a new subject in college. Of course, one thing you learn in college is that researching a new subject involves more than reading only one primary source. So, clearly, Jae has some work to do.
Fascinating note: Jae is blown away by the fact that Christians love Jesus, but she knows enough about the Bible to know that King David was not a contemporary of Jesus. How did she come to know this? Very confusing worldbuilding.
Jae hears about the apostles performing miracles:
Paul said the believers in Los Angeles claimed the drought was a miracle. Was it possible? The underground had survived, maybe even flourished. But was that God’s idea of a miracle? Something that hurt and killed so many people?
You have not yet learned, Jae. Join the club, and you, too, can celebrate those deaths alongside your “new man” husband.
Anyway, Jae has some questions, and she knows just what to do!
Head to her local public library, or one of the many stellar academic libraries in the Chicago area?
She’s going to call Straight! The guy who has “bad feelings” about plans that make her happy!
Surely he will be incredibly helpful.