Silenced: Chapter 30: Not Spiteful at All, Part 1
Paul and Jae, after a near-sleepless night of debating the Bible, head to Bern and a lunchtime ceremony honoring Paul. Vibishana is there, though there is no mention of him receiving a medal, even though it was he and his team who carried out the actual operation. Bia is there, and, like Ranold (who is still in Washington) has been totally convinced of Paul’s loyalty by the death of Magnor.
Having wasted yet more hours before the slaughter, Paul finally asks for a private word with Ball Dangler. (Let’s remember that Paul has had the man’s private skull number this whole time. Mere hours before her only and beloved brother will die and go to Hell forever, and Jae tells Paul that her “role today” is to be “the proud, dutiful wife.”
Jae and Paul have agreed to use the bug Ranold gave her so that she can listen in on Paul’s and Ball Dangler’s conversation. I can’t really see that this is the hot issue, again, seeing as how Berlitz has mere hours left on this planet, but Jae only thinks:
Here was a story for her grandchildren someday.
“Hmmm, too bad my brother will never have a chance to have grandchildren, what with God planning to smite him and all. Oh well!”
Jae may not have Prayed the Magical Prayer yet, but I see that her RTC sociopathy is proceeding apace.
Paul weirdly assumes that Ball Dangler has a constant recording on in his office. Even more weirdly, Dangler does, “exclusively for my reference, specifically my memoirs.” Paul asks that the recording be turned off, though what that will get him is beyond me. Either he comes out as a Christian and is screwed whether the conversation is recorded or not, or he hides it, is still seen as a hero, and the recording is still moot.
Paul starts slowly, all things considered, explaining that Magnor “was not really part of the rebel underground and was even seen by them as a charlatan who gave their cause a bad name.”
Because their cause had such a good name when all they were doing was praying for the dessication of L.A.!
Ball Dangler, no fool, then asks the obvious question: if Magnor didn’t write the manifesto, who did?
Jae held her breath. Did Paul have to say?
Nope! Because Paul is well-versed in the RTC art of telling-not-quite-the-whole-truth.
“That came from devout members of he true underground, sir.”
“I certainly had no hand in such a thing! Perish the thought! Even though admitting it just might help convince you, given how much you respect me.”
Paul explains that the Christians think God will do the killing—that they’re planning on keeping their own hands clean as their thug does the dirty work. Okay, he doesn’t say that in so many words, but we all know that’s what’s really going on here.
Ball Dangler remains unimpressed:
“…with [Magnor] gone and the rest counting on God to do their work for them, need I worry?”
“Whether you worry or not is up to you, sir. I just felt it my duty to be sure you were fully apprised.”
This must be some strange new definition of “fully apprised,” of which I am unaware. Because in order to fully apprise Ball Dangler, Paul would have to admit that he is a Christian, has experienced a Real, True Miracle in his own life, was behind the dessication of L.A. (an event which actually happened), and that he penned the manifesto, not just “devout members of the underground.”
But no, Paul’s work here is done! He’s informed Dangler that the manifesto was authored by “devout” Christians (and how is it Paul’s fault if Dangler doesn’t immediately divine that it’s Paul, personally?), so, if anything, Dangler is even less concerned than before. Because Paul hasn’t said anything about the God that he knows dessicated L.A.
Eh, sucks to be a firstborn son, amirite?
Ball Dangler, having not been told much of anything by Paul (what, not willing to speak truth for your faith, son?), says:
“I have already announced that the threat ended with the death of Styr Magnor/Steffan Wren. I still believe that, and I would not want the world to needlessly fear otherwise. Would you?”
Sounds like Dangler is a man of honesty, conviction, and integrity. Let’s see if Paul is, too.
“Want them to needlessly fear otherwise? No, sir.”
“Find a way to keep ‘living a lie,’ without literally lying? Yes, sir!”
And on that note, having helped the evil atheists NOT AT ALL, Paul and Jae head back to the good ole USSA.
Coming in Part 2 of this final chapter—The Actual Mass Murder.