Silenced: Chapter 22, Part 2: Instant Replay and Then Some

The reason Chapter 22 is so long is that Jenkins reproduces, almost word for word, the interaction between Paul and Calandre, this time with Bia and Ranold and Jae listening in.

Once again, the Decenti landline is used, and Ranold and Jae hover over it as “speaker mode” is used.  Turns out the awesome Bia planted a bug on Paul during their small talk session!

Hmm, maybe if Paul had been paying a bit more attention to what was going on, he might have noticed…

But he was just too blown away by the fact that Bia actually spawned a couple of kids.  What with her being so tall and angular and overdressed and all.

“I fear the bug was either malfunctioning or he was out of range all day.  You’re going to find this strange and out of character, General, and you, Mrs. Stepola, may be encouraged by it.  But don’t be fooled.  One bit of intelligence we did pick up from Ms. Caresse is that Paul emerged from a car that was not issued to him by the French Bureau.”

“Is that so?” Ranold said.

Gee, if only we had had Paul followed, we might know more!

Jae was still stewing about Paul’s being out of character and her expecting to be encouraged by that.  Maybe he was in character; had they thought of that?

Well, probably not.  I mean, Bia is well familiar with Paul and how he has cheated on Jae right under her nose for a decade.  She’s talked to Trina Thomas and seen the pictures and everything.

Then again, Bia doesn’t know that Paul once carried the luggage.  So he’s a Changed Man now.

So we have to suffer through rereading the whole scene.  Well, you guys don’t, but I do.  It’s also quite excruciating on the audiobook, FYI.  (Of course I’ve listened to the audiobook of Silenced.  Don’t be silly.)  Oh, and we get play-by-play:

Laughter.  Footsteps.  Elevator noises.*  A door opening.

Jae was dying.

*I guess Jenkins forgot that he created “jetvators” in Soon.

“I am more than a girl, Ray.”

Jae closed her eyes and actually wished for the first time that she was a praying woman.

Sigh.  She already believes.  Because why else would you wish to be a praying person?  No matter how bad things have been in my life, I have never wished to be a praying person.

“You know what?” he said.  “I’m not going to do this.  Don’t make me insult you or appear ungrateful for the offer, but I’m leaving.  Thank again and good night.”

Good night and good luck.  Wow, that is just as nasty the second time around, Paul, you ass.

“That’s all there is,” Bia said.  “A bit of TV noise in his room after that, but that’s all.”

Jae felt as if she could fly.

Which, right there, shows that Paul is not in character.  If someone behaves in character, you don’t become elated when they do what you expect them to do.  I mean, if my dad turned down the advances of some random woman, I’m pretty sure my mom would be like, “Um…yeah.”  Because that is what you are expected and supposed to do.

Oh, and just at that moment, Paul makes a skull phone call, so they can all listen in!

It’s Straight, of course, though they don’t know that.  (This actually makes sense this time, since even a bug probably wouldn’t pick up an incoming skull phone call echoing in Paul’s ears.)

“It’s time to marshal the international underground church, everybody, to again pray that God will act.” [says Paul, to Straight, on skull phone]

“This could be huge.” [says Ranold]

OH, YOU FRAKKING THINK SO, GENIUS???

Seriously, they officially have enough to just Kill Him Now.

Oh, but it gets better.  They get to talking about Jae:

“You’re kidding…You did?  I know you told me God puts it on someone’s heart and—it’s just that when He was prompting you to pray for me, He was prompting me to pray for Jae.  Go figure…Yeah, well, maybe He is working in her life.  Nothing would make me happier.” [says Paul on his skullphone]

“Big question now is, has he flipped, or is he infiltrating the underground?” [says Ranold]

Oh fer…

Reaction GIF: facepalm, Jensen Ackles, Dean Winchester, Supernatural

Gorramit, I love you, Ranold, my man.  I hate it when Jenkins makes you stupid.

“Sounded pretty convincing to me,” Bia said.

Breaking Bad High Five

THANK YOU, Bia.

I mean JESUS, can we please get with the program, here.  Y’all should’ve had Paul disappeared like, months ago.  Now you have actual evidence.  I mean, why is it so hard for you guys to pull the trigger, both literally and figuratively?

Good grief.

Anyway, Jae figures this is her chance to get to Europe, so she fake-reluctantly volunteers to go.  Ranold, to give him credit, at least suspects that Paul was talking to Straight.  Not that he intends on bringing Straight in for any intense questioning or a show trial or anything.  He’s just sticking by his theory until they can get more info.

Man, the NPO is just so decent and open-minded and evidence-oriented and committed to innocent-until-proven-guilty.

Worst evil dictatorship ever.

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Posted on March 3, 2014, in Books, Silenced. Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. Headless Unicorn Guy

    The reason Chapter 22 is so long is that Jenkins reproduces, almost word for word, the interaction between Paul and Calandre, this time with Bia and Ranold and Jae listening in.

    Sounds like padding to me. What’s next, slipping a copy of Zulu into the DVD player and cribbing it scene-by-scene?

    Worst evil dictatorship ever.

    We have known since you started on this abortion with Soon that Jenkins is out to sea on the concept of “dystopia”.

  2. When Paul isn’t around: “The old lady is quoting from a bible! Get in there and kill everyone!”
    When Paul is around: “Hmm, he’s talking to a friend* he acquired around the time his decisions have become dubious, he’s talking about praying to god to act again like he did to LA, he’s never mentioned this operation to anyone and he’s supposed to be hunting for a specific zealot on a completely different continent… we need more info before we move in.”
    Plot armor FTW!

    * How does Ranold know Straight? I don’t think they ever met….

    So Ranold continues to trust Jae to spy on Paul? The fact that Paul was expressing joy that god seemed to be entering into Jae’s life doesn’t make him the least bit suspicious that she might not be such a good mole for his side?

    And yeah, Jae has basically converted already. She’s already acquired the mindset and the hostility to anyone questioning Paul. Even though she just heard him talk about praying for god to act again, exactly like in LA. And she knows that. She was there, and she read the threats about god acting if the heathen populace didn’t accomplish the impossible in about 9 hours. But like a good little drone, that doesn’t matter to her. Just that he turned down sex.

    And as was mentioned last post, Paul never gives a reason why he’s turning it down. He doesn’t say that he’s married, which seemed stupid last time, but it becomes a huge missed opportunity for Jenkins now. Because if he’d expressed his desire to put his past behind him and stay faithful to his wife, Jae’s happiness and loyalty might’ve made some sense. Now, all she knows is that Paul followed a strange woman to her hotel room, then suddenly turned hostile. For all she knows, he really does prefer them drunk and/or submissive, instead of assertive. Or when Calandre was opening her blouse when she said “I’m more than a girl” and Paul was thinking “Aww man, without the clothes her boobs are sagging. What a turn-off.”

    • As usual, Ivan, you’ve said everything I wanted to. Meta-Ranold has already sent the detonation codes to Paul’s skullphone.

      (What do you mean, no detonation codes? For a high-grade operator like Paul? Please.)

      I suppose that in Jenkinsland this is the equivalent of God hardening Pharoah’s heart: the good guys can’t act on their knowledge because God is pushing their brains in the wrong direction.

      • It really kills suspension of disbelief when the premise of your story is that the writer is controlling the plot, and the actions of the characters don’t much matter in the end.

        • Very much agreed. As in the section of the LB books that Fred’s been talking about recently, if the answer is “God will save us” then there’s no tension.

        • Welcome to Jerry Jenkins: the stories where the plots are made up and the characters don’t matter.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy

          It really kills suspension of disbelief when the premise of your story is that the writer is controlling the plot, and the actions of the characters don’t much matter in the end.

          It’s called Predestination.
          “GOD HATH WILLED IT!”

    • Sorry to be late to respond to this: Ranold has been keeping an eye on Straight for some months now. Not, mind you, in the ways you might expect, such as bugging his home or the hospital where he volunteers, or conducting a warrantless search of his home while he’s out. As such, they have “yet to figure him out”:

      https://heathencritique.wordpress.com/2014/01/25/silenced-chapter-16-doing-your-job/

    • Or when Calandre was opening her blouse when she said “I’m more than a girl” and Paul was thinking “Aww man, without the clothes her boobs are sagging. What a turn-off.”

      Or Calandre is trans not cis. Pre-op.

      In Atheistopia that might be quite okay but for RTCs ..Quelle horreur!

      (Can’t believe I’m the first to note that here.)

  3. Yeah…we’ve all rolled our eyes at the extremes Jenkins has Atheistopia going to to eliminate RTCs, but he has established that, in his fictional universe, the few remaining Christian “good guys” really are dangerous extremists with both the ability and desire to murder innocents and wreck the peaceful, advanced society that the vast majority of humanity has worked hard to create. You could argue that the authorities don’t know that the RTCs actually have a dangerous god in their pocket, but then it just becomes an example of doing the right thing for the wrong reason.

    Either way, it takes a profoundly warped worldview to sympathize with the terrorists, and elevate the greatest of the terrorists — Paul, the Destroyer of Los Angeles — into your chief protagonist.

  4. Maybe God has cursed Ranold and Jae with stupidity where Paul is concerned? Bia isn’t a family member so she escaped.

    Ranold knows, or at least should strongly suspect from her actions in the previous chapter, that Jae is still under Paul’s mind-control. Shouldn’t he alert Bia and the authorities to that little fact? Maybe put a bug on her too? (Or better yet, a tail on her and Paul. And Straight.)

  1. Pingback: Deconstruction Round Up, March 7th, 2014 | The Slacktiverse

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