Silenced: Chapters 13-14: An American Christian in Paris

So, I have a plan!

The next two chapters bounce back and forth between Paul and Jae as he arrives in Paris and she arrives in Washington.  So I’m going to do a Paul post and a Jae post, which will leave us at the midpoint of Silenced as we enter that most wonderful and Atheistopic of seasons…

WINTERMAS

I know, I know, I usually do a poll around this time for the Wintermas fare.  But this year, I have discovered a wondrous Wintermas movie of joyfulness.  Stay tuned on Black Friday for Part One of this Very Special Wintermas Special.

This will be followed by a Wintermas novel, and since we had so much fun last year when evil Joella Ratchford and her spawn of Satan son worked their dark magic on all-around awesome dude Jordan Scoville, I decided to try another Steeple Hill Christmas romance, just to see if they all provide such wacky fun.  Coming up after the movie!

So…Paul.

Having accomplished absolutely nothing in Rome as far as the hunt for the terrorist, and nothing for the cause of the underground Christians other than contributing to a man being sent to his death, Paul heads to Paris.  Why the international government would even okay this move on from Rome when nothing whatsoever has been done is a question I cannot answer.

In Paris, Paul meets Alonza Marcello’s counterpart, one Karlis Grosvenor.

He was about five-ten, and Paul guessed him at close to two-hundred-fifty pounds.

Good to see Paul’s obsession with other men’s body measurements continuing apace.

Grosvenor is psyched to give Paul a tour of the city and show him the “Arch” de Triomphe, which Paul immediately disparages, like the good guest he is:

…Grosvenor finally turned enthusiastic tour guide and bragged that [the Arc] remained “at nearly fifty meters, the largest arch in the world.”

“Largest triumphal arch maybe,” Paul said, unable to hold his tongue.

“I beg your pardon?”

“Chief, the St. Louis Arch has to be nearly four times the size of this one.”

Grosvenor made a dismissive sound.  “That is a mere novelty.  This is a magnificent work of art, more than two hundred years old and decorated with the figures in relief.”

Paul couldn’t argue with that.

No shit.  Damn, but Paul just cannot let anyone like anything without barging in with how much better his country is, can he?

USSA!  USSA!

Oh, and I know some of you guys have been waiting for this one:

“Isn’t the Island of the City where Notre Dame stands?” [asked Paul]

Grosvenor nodded.  “Of course it’s not called that anymore, and the crosses are long gone.  It houses the University of the Self-Movement now.”

(Insert poop joke here.)

(Insert “atheists are selfish” joke here.)

Notre Dame

Now known as the University of Getting Enough Fiber in Your Diet

They finally get to the actual attack site, and Grosvenor plays for Paul a surviving security recording of the moments pre-bomb.  There’s not much to tell (despite Jenkins’ best efforts), but a truck labeled “Henri Foods” (’cause they’re in Paris, get it???) delivered the bomb along with a bunch of croissants.  I wish I was kidding.

I’d go into greater detail, but it’s not like Paul gives a flying crap about solving this case, so why should I?

“Would you care to take a walk-through [of the attack site]?” Grosvenor said.  “Not too many will get the privilege, if you can call it that.”

“I’d be honored,” Paul said.  “I’d regret it if I didn’t.”

You guys are weirdos, y’know?  I’m just putting that out there.  You’re both very weird.

Yeah, I’d also regret not seeing the horrific aftermath of a bombing that destroyed a national monument and killed hundreds.  I’m sure the mangled corpses wouldn’t haunt my dreams forever!

Then again, it’s not like Paul gives a good gorram about the deaths of nonbelievers—we know that from L.A.  Still, there might have been a couple of secret Christians among the horribly murdered.  But hey, at least they’re not burning in Hell now, amirite?

Grosvenor then takes Paul to lunch (at a bistro, because they’re in Paris), and eats more than twice as much as Paul, because he’s FAT, haha!  Then he takes Paul to his hotel.  I don’t know what Grosvenor or the international government expect Paul to do with his time, but Paul just calls Straight, and once again gets complicated instructions on how to meet the local underground dude, the “intense” Chappell Raison.

And off he goes into the French countryside, inwardly whining all the way about the wind and the language and the Celsius temperature.  Oh, and he rents the smallest car he can find, because…

Anyone who knew him would not be able to imagine him in an economy car.

Jesus, does Jenkins even realize how Paul sounds when he says stuff like this?

So here is where we will leave our ever-humble and self-denying Christian hero: reduced to an economy car, a stranger in a strange land, never having bothered to learn even the rudiments of a language not his own.  Poor guy.

See you next year, Paul.

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Posted on November 25, 2013, in Books, Christmas, Silenced. Bookmark the permalink. 24 Comments.

  1. It’s stunning to watch Jenkins try to write a taut thriller, but produce a big ol’ bag of assorted loose rubber bands.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy

      Notice Jenkins is sending Paul Apostle-Spelled-Sideways jet-setting around the world to exotic locations, just like James Bond or Jenkins’ Author Self-Insert in Left Behind. This guy’s as much an Ian Fleming wanna-be as John Kerry was a JFK wanna-be. And like He Who Served In Vietnam(TM), he’s just as much a cartoon of himself.

      • If the Murphy books are “like the Da Vinci Code, only Christian”, what’s the comparison for these? Most current dystopic novels seem to be YA, and I don’t think these are aimed at children.

  2. Why the international government would even okay this move on from Rome when nothing whatsoever has been done is a question I cannot answer.

    They’re sending him everywhere because they’ve been secretly monitoring him for weeks, and they want to see who he makes contact with. By this time next month, every Christian cell on the globe will have been busted, and Dumbass will never figure out it was his fault.

    Chappell Raison

    aka “A Phallic Person”. Intense indeed.

    • Oh man, that would be awesome. Whenever the Atheistapo suspects there’s a zealot cell, they roll out their default plan: Send Paul there on some bullshit mission, have him welcomed by an agent who isn’t conventinonally attractive, give him a tour of the city that gives him a chance to be disgusted or express his superiority, then give him some free time, and he’ll lead them right to the next cell.

      At least it would be an in-story explanation for why Paul is traveling from one location to the other. The James Bond stories that Jenkins tries so hard to emulate travel from one exotic locale to the next, based on some vague clue James found in the previous location. But Stonepola spends all his time being horrified at the wicked sinfulness of each location and getting his ego stroked by each city’s zealots. He has no time for no stinking clues!

      • After all, Ivan, it’s not as if he were carrying a permanently-active tracking device… in his skull… oh, wait…

        Next: Paul goes to Canada! He complains about the Celsius temperature. His host points out that it’s the same in Fahrenheit, and leaves him to walk home.

  3. Anyone who knew him would not be able to imagine him in an economy car.

    It’s times like this that I wonder if Jenkins isn’t the greatest Poe ever. It seems impossible that any sentient lifeform could have his protagonist think this and expect his audience to admire him.

    Oh, and has Paul considered that he’s in a country where there isn’t actually ‘anyone who knew him’? And if anyone who knows him from back home is having him followed, does he think they’ll do so by having the entire city of Paris watched for big, manly cars that might have Stonepola in it?

    “Ranold speaking.”
    “Monsieur, it’s agent Baguette.”
    “Ah, any news about Paul?”
    “Oui. Grosvenor brought him to the hotel where I was waiting, and I tailed him from there. He went straight for the car dealership, then drove to the countryside.”
    “He immediately left the city? He didn’t even spend any time investigating the terrorist attacks?”
    “Non. Grosvenor gave him a quick tour of the site, but that’s all. Paul even said he’d regret if if he didn’t get a look at the place where such a slaughter took place, but he never spend anytime investigating it.”
    “Hmm. That is supicious, but not concrete enough to nail him. It wouldn’t be the first time that cheating bastard spends his trips on the N.P.O’s dime trying to get laid. Still, try to get some pictures of him and whatever poor girl he manages to pick up him his luxury sports car, maybe I can convince my daughter to divorce his ass at least when she comes over.”
    “Actually, sir, he didn’t get a sports car. He rented a small utility vehicle. Not quite the car I would pick when cruising for girls.”
    “What!? He always takes the most powerful vehicle in the lot. ‘Compensator-mobiles’ my daughter calls them. Never had to guts to ask if his… deficiencies are really that bad. It would explain why he’s so obsessed with estimating the size of every man he meets.”
    “I saw it clearly, monsieur. He got the new solar-powered version of the 2CV.”
    “Did he make a disparaging remark about French cars or espouse the superiority of USSA models?”
    “Non. Grosvenor said he did it with our architecture, but he didn’t seem to want to make a scene at the rental shop.”
    “Ha, we got him now! He’s so hard trying to hide, he might as well be wearing a trechcoat with the colars up and a fedora. Send the recon drones after him, and have the strike team stand by.”

    • What do you call a French car in the winter?
      Roadblock.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy

      It’s times like this that I wonder if Jenkins isn’t the greatest Poe ever. It seems impossible that any sentient lifeform could have his protagonist think this and expect his audience to admire him.

      You DO know the real reason behind Poe’s Law, don’t you?

      THAT A TRUE BELIEVER CAN TOP ANY PARODY AND BE DEAD SERIOUS ABOUT IT. THAT IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO GO FARTHER AFIELD FOR PARODY THAN A TRUE BELIEVER GOES FOR REAL.

      And Jerry “Buck” Jenkins, GCAAT, is no Poe but a True Believer.

  4. Oh, and Paul’s complaining about the Celcius scale? The worldwide atheist government that got rid of religion still didn’t manage to get the USSA to drop the frigging imperial system already?

  5. I just…Why re-name Notre Dame? Further, why doesn’t our glorious hero know that it’s been renamed? Any evil government that renames things would make very sure that people using the old name were…persuaded to use the new one.

    • Well, “Church of our Lady” doesn’t mean much outside of a Christian narrative. Although I’d still have gone the other way, risen of a statue of Hillary Clinton and claim she was the lady the name referred to.

      • Well, sure, but there aren’t any oxen at Oxford, anymore yet it keeps its name. 😛

        Notre Dame can be remembered for its architecture and history. It’s not like we’ve gone and…Hrm. I was going to say it’s not like we’ve destroyed things like the Central American step pyramids, but the missionaries did try to do that, didn’t they? Suddenly the view that the greater power must want to destroy everything else makes more sense.

        • Probably in that the greater power feels perturbed that there’s ANY kind of competition. I think we’re dealing with a conceit that humility can’t really exist in an utmost leader; the whole POINT is to have all the glory that’s out there. Other lieges, even if they lack ability and/or interest in toppling the utmost, are still lessening the utmost’s glory, which it both is entitled to and must be the only thing it desires. (Honestly, looking at fundamentalists of the Abrahamic religions, you’d think they considered glory-thirst the only honest emotion possible. Followers are supposed to be satisfied with the glory reflected back to them.)

          It’s not that the archon is afraid of dying; it’s that the archon is afraid of SHARING. Or, perhaps better still, afraid of having to change and/or make any kind of effort. (Because the effort would interrupt the high of glorification, or thereabouts?)

    • On the other hand, Disney’s The Hunchback of the Self-Movement was the box office smash of 2034.

  6. I bet they have microcars like this because Atheistopia is just awesome. http://www.technologicvehicles.com/Content/news/2358/i-Road_Geneva2013.jpg

  7. Why exactly is Paul so perturbed about not knowing French? This is Atheistopia, people, don’t tell me they don’t have real-time universal translators.

  8. It’s not like he actually cares about being able to communicate with the locals anyway.

  9. You’d have to be a pretty blind Parisian to think that the Arc de Triomphe is the biggest arch in the world, seeing as the Grande Arche de la Défense is just a few kilometers down the Champs Elysées, in plain view because that’s kind of the effect the architects were going for. Or does it not count if it contains office space ?

    I was curious as to what happened to the Notre Dame cathedral during the French Revolution, since I don’t believe anybody’s ever tried harder to build and Atheistopia in that country before or since, including changing the names of everything. According to Wikipedia the cathedral was desecrated (obviously), somebody started up a Cult of Reason there (heh), and it was turned a warehouse. A warehouse !
    I say actual revolutionaries 1, Jenkins’ atheistopia 0. But even they, as far as I can tell, didn’t change its name.

  10. Grosvenor nodded. “Of course it’s not called that anymore, and the crosses are long gone. It houses the University of the Self-Movement now.”

    I’m too old to laugh at jokes like this but I can’t help it! I’m still grinning at the thought of a university that teaches you how to poop.

  1. Pingback: Deconstruction Round Up, November 29th, 2013 | The Slacktiverse

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