Silenced: Chapter 23: Next Manifesto
In a passage that mirrors the one in Soon, the manifesto against the evil atheists is written.
But Paul has Grown in the Faith, I guess, seeing as how he’s penning this one all by himself (the Soon manifesto having been written by “Old Carl”:
This he would send to Straight, who would run it past the underground leadership in Detroit, Washington, L.A., Bern, Rome, Paris, and all the other contacts around the world. Each faction would be free to copy, forward, and disseminate the document as far and wide as they dared, including to all the major news organizations in their respective countries.
Straight has never even spoken to anyone in any of the European underground factions. Just saying.
We aver that the current world system, which has banned for nearly four decades the practice of religion by people of faith…
Wait, so the practice of religion would be fine by people of no faith? Glad they put this non-writer in charge of the statement.
…is an abomination in the sight of almighty God.
Too bad God let it happen, and has let generations of children grow up with no access to religion, only to be dessicated…wait, this is coming out wrong.
We ask that you rescind immediately the decree announced today and put a moratorium on laws prohibiting the practice of religion until you can determine how people of faith can peaceably live in this society without fear of reprisal.
Okay, this seems a pretty reasonable request. I can’t see how—
We are beseeching our God to act in judgment, should this request not be carried out within forty hours of when the decree is announced, or midnight, Bern time, Tuesday, January 22.
FORTY HOURS??? Less than two days?
Okay, I guess I shouldn’t complain too much. This is actually an improvement (by a factor of FOUR) on the timeline in Soon.
We respectfully warn that you will regret ignoring this request…
This is some new, passive-aggressive permutation of “with all due respect,” is it? Bless their atheistic hearts.
We refer you to the Old Testament account of the ten plagues that God unleashed against Egypt. There are those among us who are asking God to eschew the first nine plagues…
There we go, guys! This is what we’ve been building to! Kill the firstborn!
Gee, isn’t it FUNNY how we’ve been introduced to a lot of young men who didn’t make an appearance in Soon? (Berlitz and Taj especially, though BallDangler also mentioned that he had four sons.)
…and to refrain from hardening your heart…
“It’s almost as though we feel it was unfair of God to harden Pharoah’s heart the first time around, as though God was stacking the deck or something…nah, “God is never wrong.”
Short of this, we fear that God may not limit this plague to the seat of government but rather that it will affect the entire world.
We hope…er, fear—FEAR, that’s it…that God will rain his deadly judgment down on the entire planet.
To our brothers and sisters around the globe, we remind you that you need not feel bound by the Old Testament caveat of protecting your own households by sprinkling blood on your doorposts to identify yourself. We believe the blood of Christ has already been shed on your behalf and that God knows his own.
“Also, that whole ‘sprinkling blood’ thing is just GROSS. Geez, God, what were you thinking?”
After finishing the manifesto, Paul actually has a very brief moment of almost-remorse.
Paul didn’t know how to pray—that God would do it or not do it. Such a catastrophe would eliminate any hope of these millions of slain firstborn ever entering the kingdom.
I’ve probably just been listening to too much Christian Talk Radio, but I feel like the RTC answer to this is that God would have already planned that all those firstborn sons would not be among the “elect” in the first place. They would never have chosen to become RTCs.
(Of course, these firstborn sons, many raised in a world which has outlawed religion, have had so much opportunity to learn about Jesus and convert.)
Anyway, Paul’s brief moment of near-humanity is spoiled by stupid ole Jae, who calls Paul at that very moment…to warn him.
Kinda sad, really. The Christians are praying for millions to be killed, and atheist Jae is risking her freedom (or, at the very least, her relationship with her parents) to save one horrible asshat.
Jae also mentions that she will be in Europe soon, and tells Paul about the entrapment with Calandre and the bug.
“Paul, hear me. I’m on your side. I believe you’re playing up to the underground to infiltrate them. If I’m wrong, well, then you’re going to take me down with you.”
“Just like you’ve always done…”
Now knowing about the bug, but not wanting to make the sounds of finding it, Paul decides to “use it to his advantage.” First, he calls Straight to warn him that he (Paul) is bugged. Then he calls Bob Koontz (yanno, his boss in Chicago, the guy he should be reporting in to regularly?) to say nice things about Bia Balaam:
“I know Decenti sent her to keep an eye on me, but the more I think about it, the less it bothers me. She’s good people, and if I were in the old man’s shoes, I’d probably do the same. Did you know she’s got kids?”
“I didn’t, Paul.”
“Yeah. A grown daughter and a son at Georgetown. Pretty proud of ’em, and rightfully so. Well, hey, just wanted to keep you in the loop, Bob.”
“Sorry this is the first time I’ve ‘kept you in the loop’ since leaving Chicago, Bob. And hey, that Bia, she is some incredible gal, eh? I’m sorry for every dirty look and snide comment I ever made about or to her. Sorry, am I speaking too softly? Feels like I’m kinda speaking softly. BIA BALAAM IS THE BEST. Oh, and have I mentioned to you lately how much I love my wife? I love her so much, I would never dream of banging some hot French chick while I’m here. So, hey, go atheism. Um, bye-bye, Bob.”
Paul is such an amazing covert operative. How did Atheistopia ever suspect anything?