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.



Posted on May 6, 2014, in Books, Silenced. Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. Did Dangler actually think that Magnor could call down supernatural assistance to kill every firstborn on Earth? Or did he just figure the guy was off his rocker, and was just going to set off another bomb?

    Either way, I don’t see how putting him in jail the night before the deadline particularly prevents the attack.

  2. This loophole-lying is bad enough in cases like Apocalypse or Left Behind: The kids, when it’s used to trick the bad guys in not murdering the Christians or not damning the entire world. But here Paul actually uses it to make sure their genocide isn’t interrupted.

    Not that it makes any sense whatsoever that Dangler would be so casually dismissive of the threat of god’s wrath. This manifesto is pretty much the same as the one send prior to the massacre of LA. The entire city was lost, and is even today covered by some invisible force that removes all water, except when RTCs are nearby.

    Even if the Atheistopian government managed to convince themselves that that wasn’t god’s doing, it would only lead them to believe that the zealots have access to highly advanced technology and that they are willing to use it against civilian targets. There’s no way Dangler would be so certain that this threat, unlike the previous and equally far fetched one, is hollow.

    The only explanation is that Jenkins is still stuck in the Left Behind mindset. In that story, the unbelievers weren’t allowed to realistically respond to obvious miracles, because LaHaye’s prophecies couldn’t come true if they did. This story follows no such prophecy, but Jenkins is used to writing unbelievers like that now. And hey, Left Behind is history written in advance, so its portrayal of unbelievers as utterly incurious morons must be accurate.

    • Jenkins actually thinks that the Bible is more convincing than any miracle could be, because the Bible says so. So he doesn’t think that atheists would be persuaded by miracles.

  3. I keep wanting one of these “bad” guys to have read some RTC books, and say something like “are you loyal to the Atheistapo? Before answering, bear in mind that if you say anything other than the single word ‘yes’ I am going to shoot you”.

    Why does Paul even feel the need to give this not-warning warning anyway? Did I miss something?

    • I thought the loyalty oath they were releasing was a smart idea. As Paul explained, the Christians couldn’t bear to outright lie on paper, so Dangler could’ve rounded them all up.

      Of course, it becomes superfluous now that the zealots are about to make any Christian with at least one child obvious to recognize. And possibly those without kids but who are firstborns themselves too, assuming the miracle won’t end up killing them just because their parents are heathens. (This kill-the-firstborns stuff was so much easier the first time, when the Jews and Egyptians were living completely seperate except for Moses.)

      And what will the response be? Well, Jenkins will probably make it so the unbelievers are all wailing and gnashing their teeth and how stupid they were for not accepting the obvious love of the god who just killed their kids, and how bad they were for not overthrowing the government within 48 hours of a terrorist threat.

      But realistically? Lets look at the plague years in the Middle Ages, when the religious mayority (Christians) assumed that a persecuted religious minority (Jews) was responsible for all the deaths. And that was without the minorityy spreading any manifestos claiming responsiblity mind you. Can you guess what the response of the mayority to this alleged use of evil power to murder their families was? I’ll give you a hint, it wasn’t meekly giving the minorty more rights.

    • Actually what usually happens is that the RTC will say yes, but tell themselves that in their hearts they’re secretly saying yes to Jesus, even though yeah, you gotta wonder what Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego would think of that.

  4. What’s really bad – and seems to make this purely revenge fic – is that the goal seems to be the death of firstborn sons, not whatever it was they wanted in exchange for not killing them. You don’t take hostages secretly, then make demands, unless what you really want is an excuse to kill. How hard would it have been for Paul to fake some evidence that would get the government to believe the threat is real? Or, hell, just go ahead and fess up long distance, since wasn’t one of the demands to quit persecuting Christians.

    You could make good suspense out of trying to get the government to take the threat seriously so that the death of firstborns doesn’t happen, but there’s no suspense when the “good” guys don’t care if it happens and seem to even want it to.

    • That would be better. Of course, for that to work, the “good” guys shouldn’t have been praying for god to kill all the firstborn, then have them claim they really, really hope it won’t have to come to killing all the firstborn. It’s amazing how Jenkins keeps trying to portray Paul as a Cassandra trying to warn the oblivious world about the incomming disaster, and completely ignoring how Paul planned and caused that disaster in the first place.

      • I do sometimes wonder if Jenkins is just that divorced from the culture he lives in. Its always the bad guy who claims that the murders he commits will be the hero’s fault for daring to resist him.

  5. Ivan,

    Exactly. You’d still have an evil god – or at least a force-of-nature god – but at least the “good” side wouldn’t be gleefully planning mass murder.

    This has probably been touched on before but how is the relationship between Christians and God in this book not sacreligious? God is a weapon or a minion, doing the Christians’ bidding. I’m pretty sure that’s flat out backwards of how it’s supposed to work. Though it may say a lot about the kind of Christian this book is meant to appeal to. None of it good.

    • God does stuff for his followers on demand all the time in the Bible, particularly the Old Testament. Granted, he’s just as likely to turn around and have the earth swallow up his people afterward for some perceived slight. But I’m sure being in good with Jesus will prevent that.

      There’s a reason why, outside of “Revelation”, RTCs are so focused on the Old Testament.

    • To add to NBwaW’s comment, these Christians are so in tune with their God that they only ask it to do things that it’s willing to do. They only think thoughts that it’s happy for them to think. It’s a good life.

  6. I don’t comment here very often but God I hate Paul. Shudder. That’s why I don’t because it’s all just a variation of Paul is the worst, Paul is a terrible human being, etc. I don’t really go for revenge fiction or any such but I would read something like that if it was happening to Paul. It worries me that a fictional character that is written to be the “hero” can actually create a bit of blood lust in me.

  1. Pingback: Deconstruction Roundup for May 9th, 2014 | The Slacktiverse

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