Silenced: Chapter 10, Part 2: We Kill Them
Just like on any first date, Enzo Fabrizio, head of the Rome underground, knows it’s important to make his date feel good by keeping the conversation centered on him.
Enzo wanted to know Paul’s story, all about how he became a believer, what had happened in Las Vegas and Los Angeles, and especially how things went with International Chancellor Dengler.
For a more sinister interpretation, consider that con artists make a specialty of knowing a lot more about their marks than the marks know about them. Most people like talking about themselves, and it puts them at ease. The better to make them trust you.
Unsurprisingly, Paul is happy to be a part of this, especially when Enzo brings up Andy Pass, Paul’s napalm-barreled former mentor, whose funeral he attended in Soon (where, also unsurprisingly, he also hogged the spotlight):
“I knew the Pass brothers. I mean, I never met them, but Detroit connected us and we talked by phone and private message. Andy was a tragic loss, and I don’t think Jack has been the same since his brother was murdered by the NPO.” [said Enzo]
“You know I had along history with Andy, and a recent history with his daughter.” [said Paul]
“I almost got to hit that, before Jesus told me I was only allowed to have sex with my boring, stupid, electronically-challenged wife!”
And it’s good to know that Paul’s feelings for a man he hasn’t seen in a decade are much more important than the feelings of the guy’s brother.
This fascinating small talk out of the way, Enzo fills in Paul on the tactics of the Rome underground believers. Unlike Detroit, they only meet underground, they don’t live there. And there is an elaborate tunnel system they use to get into their bunker, and they can only enter at a rate of one person every five minutes. Which means that if they want to have a prayer meeting with a mere 24 people, it will take TWO HOURS to get everyone in there.
But it’s not just that the Rome believers apparently have no lives and all the time in the world to get into their super-secret clubhouse! There is a reason behind the stupidity!
“…we have a strict policy that only one person enters every five minutes, and the people inside know in advance who is coming, so an intruder would feel less than welcome.” [said Enzo]
“How much less?” said Paul.
“We kill them,” Enzo said.
“We do. If you have a better solution, I’m open to it.”
Hey, I’ve got a better solution. Don’t kill people.
That makes you look more like a pussy, if you didn’t know, by the way, dudes.
Oh, and this isn’t just theoretical, by the way: THEY EXECUTED A POLICE OFFICER.
“A Rome policeman came nosing around, and we still have no idea why.”
Well, you took him prisoner. You might have thought to ask him.
Enzo calls him a “casualty of war.” Then Paul has the gall to ask:
“Were there no other options? Could you not have held him until you could move your site? And what about the ethics of sending a lost man to hell?”
Big talk from the guy who is still celebrating the deaths of thousands of atheist men, women, and children in L.A.
Enzo doesn’t really address any other options, but apparently the Rome underground Christians were really nice to the cop and…
“We did share our faith with him. … We pleaded with him to give his heart to Christ.”
But the cop said no, so they injected him with phenobarbital and dumped the body.
But poor Enzo…
“The death of that man haunts my dreams.”
“And thus I have it really bad, much worse than he does now, roasting in hell…”
Man, it is soooo hard to be a Christian
“I do know this—and I am not rationalizing as much as trying to explain—the police in Rome have a mandate to execute religious believers upon sight, based on any real evidence. They have asked people outright if they are atheists, and with a witness hearing the perpetrator deny it, they are allowed to ‘terminate them with extreme prejudice’ on the spot.”
So, basically, you’re straight up admitting that this was a revenge killing, Enzo?
And we are once again left in the dark about the actual laws against being a believer, carrying over the confusion from the first book, where we never really found out if the killings of believers were for being a believer, owning a Bible, holding a prayer meeting, and we never found out if the orders to kill were coming from the top, or were the work of a few rogue officers and agents.
Anyway, enough of that! After the talk of killing an innocent man and dumping the body, Paul wants to hear the heartwarming story of Enzo’s own conversion.
“We met at the university fifteen years ago.”
“My wife and I also met at school,” Paul said.
JESUS, Paul, are you capable of listening to someone else tell a story for THREE SECONDS without making it about you?
They started dating and the then-girlfriend, Maura, revealed she was a Christian, and Enzo tried to debate her out of it.
“We argued, we debated, we discussed, but mostly she prayed.”
So, you’re saying she couldn’t answer your arguments, then? Maybe that should have told you something.
“Doctor, I can’t even tell you when or why I went from not believing in God to believing that He was pursuing me. All I know is that when that happened, it was as if He was as relentless as she. I felt chased, pursued, wooed.”
Huh. Too bad God didn’t care enough about the policeman to woo him. Ew.
“Eventually, when I ran out of arguments, I confessed my sins and received Christ.”
How could you run out of arguments? She was mostly just praying at you. Dude, you suck at being an atheist.
“It has been quite an experience, raising a family, holding a job—I am a tour guide by day—and being trained to be a spiritual leader in a society that makes such a goal punishable by death.”
You raise an interesting point, Enzo—how come you get to be the spiritual leader? Your wife is the one who was raised Christian, by Christians, and the one who can pray people into conversion. Shouldn’t she—
Oh, yeah. She has girl parts. To ask the question is to answer it.
The chapter concludes with Enzo giving Paul boring instructions on how to get into their unnecessarily-complicated, one-person-every-five-minutes clubhouse. But Paul can’t let it go without pointing out how much more awesome America is:
“Well, it’s not the abandoned salt mines of Detroit, but it’s something.”
Well, thanks for nothing, jerk.
USSA!!! USSA!!! USSA!!!