Shadowed: Chapter 4: Getting to Know You

Alone at last, Jae and Margaret can have some good ole girl time together, now that Jae’s two small children are being taken off…well, who knows where?  Surely not Jae or the children’s fugitive father.

Both women wept, commiserating over the loss of brother and son.

Yeah, too little, too late, Jenkins.  Five minutes ago, Margaret was rolling her eyes at her silly husband and his silly ways.

Jae had never felt the presence of God so clearly, and it terrified her.  She had loved getting to know Him through the New Testament discs…

Um, she had?  Because that’s not how I remember it:

If these discs were going to make her feel bad about herself, even guilty, maybe they weren’t worth listening to after all.

But sadly, Jae has officially drunk the Flavor-Aid:

Strangely, though, while she had predicted that she wouldn’t understand Him or like Him much if the curse was enacted, she found only the former true.

Well, naturally.  Disliking the being that killed your brother would be just plain weird.  Especially the brother you loved, your friend and confidante.  I’m close to my brother, too, and I can’t even begin to wrap my head around what a normal person would feel in this situation.  But Jae, like all good little RTCs, has become so thoroughly sociopathic that she can’t even bring herself to not like her brother’s murderer.

And she knows that Berlitz, who probably never even saw a Bible in the whole course of his life, is now roasting in A Place Called Hell.  Forever.  For the crime of not believing.

Oh well.  Them’s the breaks, eh?

It wasn’t that she was happy about what had occurred.  Who could be?

Oh, I don’t know…your husband, for one?  Given his celebration over the thousands of deaths at God’s hand in Los Angeles, I can only imagine that he’s that much happier now.  It’s only the fact that he actually has to watch over his own children that’s keeping him from a big ole party.

But that it was so specific, so definite, so crystal clear, made her fear God with such profound respect and awe that any doubt escaped her.

Oh yeah, Jae?  Yanno who else did specific, definite, crystal clear things, huh?


Yeah, I went there.

Aside from that, I know Jenkins bangs these books out at the speed of shit, but does that really excuse this?

It wasn’t that she was happy…[but] any doubt escaped her.

These…are not even close to the same thing, Jenkins.  Holy crap.

Yeah, God has proved himself to her.  And proved that he is an unimaginably evil, murdering monster.  He may be a god, but really, the only response to such a being is to fight him.  Or, hell, I’ll even give you flight.  Why not?

But worship?  That is a bridge too far.

This goes on and on, and the upshot is that Jae thinks like Paul now, with perhaps a smidge less bloodlust.

But the important thing that transpires here is that Jenkins engages in a rather subtle (I know, I’m shocked, too) retcon.  He refers to the “New Testament” that Jae had listened to, “all the recorded Scripture” she had heard.

It’s a bit tricksy of him, but it leaves the impression that Jae knows much more of the Bible than she actually does.  Remember, in Silenced, Jae started with Acts, barely making it into Romans.  Even being generous and assuming that this vague reference means she made it all the way to Hebrews during her time in Washington, that still means that she has read less than 10% of the Bible.  If we assume she only made it into Romans (the last direct Bible quote we get), that drops to 4%.

So we’re not exactly talking about a Bible expert, here.

Here is Jae’s Big Prayer, while she sits comforting her mother on the loss of Berlitz:

Lord, I have had my mind and heart thoroughly changed.  I believe in You with all that is in me.  Thank you for Jesus.  Forgive me for rejecting You for so long.

Oh, and that whole killing-my-brother thing?  No worries.  It’s all good.


As Jae is officially making the transaction, Paul is busy coming to terms with the death of one of the few people to ever be able to stand his presence for even a few minutes: Bob Koontz.

Oh, and Tick Harrelson is dead, too.  Paul literally does not even react to this news, but it makes me sad.  Tick was a good guy.

Oh, and Felicia?  She lost her son and her brother-in-law.

Paul felt for Felicia.  What could he say?

Yeah, I guess it’s hard to say “sorry” for calling down the wrath of God on innocent men and boys and babies and consigning them to Hell forever.  There’s not a good Hallmark card for that, either.

But Paul tries:

“I was hoping it wouldn’t have to happen.”


“I’m so sorry, Felicia.  I really am.”

Heh, yeah.  I’ll bet.

“Yeah?  Are you?  Well, so am I.  What am I supposed to do now?”

That’s a damned good question, and one Paul decides he really doesn’t feel like answering.

A tone sounded from one of Paul’s molars.  “I’ve got another call, Felicia.”

“How convenient.”

Yeah, no shit.  And Paul wanted to be so helpful, too.  Stand-up guy that he is, and all.

The call is from Straight.  Paul wants Straight to get his ass into the Columbia underground.  (Oh, and probably those kids in the backseat, too—Whoever and What’s-His-Face.)

But Straight deems Paul too “hot” for the underground to let him in just like that…

…so they just kinda figure that maybe the wanted fugitive and his two tiny children should stay “on the move.”

Once again, Paul,

Not a great plan


Posted on January 13, 2015, in Shadowed. Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. If it turns out that there is a god, and that god is the evil, murderous monster of Jenkins’ books, I’d start searching for a way to kill that god.

    Also, would it have killed Paul to actually think up a plan before going on the run? What an idiot. I know it’s not going to happen, but I’d love it if Ranold found him and rid Atheistopia of this stupid asshole.

  2. It’s hard to criticize a good Godwinning when it’s so perfectly accurate.

    Ugh. I’m not going to be able to provide any good comments on this aside from how much I hate all these people for a long time, I suspect. Still abjectly disgusted with this series and Jenkins especially.

  3. Jae had never felt the presence of God so clearly, and it terrified her.

    Vast numbers of people have died, and that’s what makes Jae feel the presence of God? Let me just go on record here: I never want to feel the presence of god, if that’s what it feels like.

    Obi-Wan: “As if millions of voices were suddenly silenced, and millions of others cried out in terror. I fear something terrible has happened.”
    Jae: “I’ve never felt the presence of God so clearly. It isn’t that I am happy… but any doubt has escaped me.”
    Han: “Kid, I’ve flown from one side of this galaxy to the other. I’ve seen a lot of strange stuff, but I’ve never seen anything to make me believe there’s one all-powerful force controlling everything.”

    Yes, “God-as-Death-Star” and “Paul-as-Tarkin” is too good a comparison to ignore. And I think trying to take out the Death Star is indeed the most sensible goal here.

    Paul: “Fear will keep the local souls in line. Fear of this battle station. Los Angeles was too remote to make an effective demonstration, but don’t worry. We will deal with your atheist friends soon enough. Continue with the operation. You may pray when ready.”

    Given his celebration over the thousands of deaths at God’s hand in Los Angeles, I can only imagine that he’s that much happier now.

    “Stepola? Stepola is dead, my friend. You can call me… Apostle. And as you can see, I’m much happier now.

    Yeah, yeah, I already made Paul be Tarkin, but I seem to be in a mood to quote movies today.

    But Straight deems Paul too “hot” for the underground to let him in just like that…

    If only they had some kind of hiding places prepared in advance… Oh, they have hiding places? Some located in salt mines, some with elaborate five minute entrance requirements. Too bad you can’t use any of them during an actual emergency, because… reasons.

  4. I wonder if it was working on Left Behind for years that rotted Jenkins’ mind, or if it came pre-rotted and he was selected by LaHaye for that purpose. Even on his own he can’t resist writing about “undeniable miracles” that a) don’t happen in the real world, so they no relevance to us b) most of the people in his imaginary world deny anyway, conversion is only for the chosen few and c) always involve mass-murder.

    Has it ever occurred to Jenkins that if he could truly get some friends together for a praying session and permanently remove all water from an area, he could get millions of converts with no casualties? Just select an acre or so of uninhabited land, send a manifesto to the press announcing what you’ll do and how god will respond, pray away, and show the assembled news crew and (later) scientists how all water instantly vanishes as it crosses the threshold if there’s no believer holding the bottle. I give it a week before all scientific or trickery-explanations have been exhausted, then you can rake in the converts (for added PR-value, when you get newbies who haven’t converted yet, have them enter the dry area with a water bottle, have them say the sinners prayer while holding the bottle, and let the cameras record the water reappearing at the end of the prayer.

    I’m curious what, exactly, Jenkins would claim is wrong with this approach. He can’t use the usual convenient excuses like “god doesn’t just jump on command” or “faith, not proof!”, because he writes stories where god jumps on command, and the characters muse about how it proves god’s existence. He can’t claim that that was just because god wanted to enact justice against Christian persecution because a) It wasn’t justice, it was indiscriminate retaliation b) god let that Christian persecution go on for decades before this point in the story and c) Jenkins and friends whine endlessly on how they’re being persecuted worse than the Jews already.

    It’s interesting to have seen reviews of books that LaHaye “co-authored” and Jenkins wrote after their collaboration on LB. LaHaye’s other “works” have taken the motif of horrible America-hating liberals having control of the government and selling it out to illuminatish groups from there. (Actually, Fred is probably right, he took that motif from his John-Birch days and grafted them onto his theology in the first place) But Jenkins is the one who can’t get enough of god slaughtering unbelievers for the horrible crime of not worshipping him.

    • Well, this is all revenge fiction, really. And there is nothing inherently wrong with indulging in occasional revenge fiction. It can be a way for the mind to cope with things you otherwise can’t do much about. It only becomes a problem if you have difficulty knowing where fantasy ends and reality begins. An issue that often crops up with religion.

      Just last night, I had a dream where I was in a shop buying groceries. I realized that I had unintentionally bought two different kinds of onions, when I only needed one kind. Suddenly the dream shifted into nightmare as the shop was being robbed and there was a guy threatening me with a big knife.

      I woke up and I was feeling very disturbed by the dream. So I “fixed” it in my head by imagining a short scene where I smacked some (non-lethal) supernatural vengeance on the robber figure who had spoiled my otherwise perfectly fine dream about onion purchasing. But unlike Jenkins, I do not assume that this bit of imaginary revenge contains any moral truths. And I certainly wouldn’t consider charging people money to read it. It was just a way to get some closure to an unpleasant figment of thought.

      As I was falling back asleep, there was even a brief sequel where my blatant use of magic in a public place had caused the formation of a new religion. And there was this lighthouse keeper who was praying to the Grocery Store Vengeance God, because his daughter was very sick from leukemia. I was feeling bad about having accidentally created a religion, so I cured the little girl and explained to the lighthouse keeper that I was just a mighty wizard, and I didn’t actually create the universe. Although it’s all very metaphysical, since by imagining this world into existence, I sort of did.

      • Your dreams sound more interesting than mine. I’m no good at directing them, or even remembering any coherent story from them afterwards.

  5. Okay. 😡 I really wish this site came with smilies or something because damn I really need them right now. And I know everyone’s probably pretty tired of me laying into how horrible Paul Stepola is but, dammit, it needs to be done as often and as loudly as possible. Shout it from the rooftops: Paul Stepola is such an asshole that even all the assholes of the world, past, present, and future, think “Christ, what an asshole.” In fact, asshole seems too mild a term for Paul Stepola; it’s times like this that there were more profane swears directed towards the male gender. Motherfucker wouldn’t work in this case, seeing as we haven’t found any proof that Mother Stepola was as awful as Paul is, and Son of a Bitch can almost be seen in a positive light, in addition to that mother issue again. That said, at this point, I have no problem finding Paul Stepola guilty of every major crime in history. Anti-Semitism? Invented by Paul. The Spanish Inquisition? That was Paul’s doing as well. He’s also responsible for bringing in the first slaves from Africa and starting the whole idea of Chattel Slavery (where the descendants of slaves are also slaves, as opposed to previous forms where it was just debt or criminal slavery and their descendants weren’t tarred with the same brush), assassinating Kennedy, and to top it all off, he probably keyed somebody’s car because he couldn’t stand the thought of someone having a nicer car than him.

    Again, I know many of you are shaking your heads and thinking I’m being too over-the-top, but I’m not. If anything, I’m being far too kind, because even Hitler demonstrated better strategic thinking than Paul Stepola. Plus, Hitler would feel some qualms of conscience if family members died, which is more than I can say for Paul.

    Okay, done for now. Next time, I’ll add a singalong and some puppets to liven up my Paul Stepola rants.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy

      And I know everyone’s probably pretty tired of me laying into how horrible Paul Stepola is but, dammit, it needs to be done as often and as loudly as possible. Shout it from the rooftops: Paul Stepola is such an asshole that even all the assholes of the world, past, present, and future, think “Christ, what an asshole.”

      No, he’s the Author Self-Insert Gary Stu, and Author Self-Insert Gary Stus Can Do No Wrong. He’s the Alicorn OC who comes out of nowhere and defeats and gang-rapes Princess Celestia, Princess Luna, and all the Mane Six.

  6. Not sure if I’ve told this story around here before, but I once actually spoke with a guy who believed it was for the best that God had killed his wife – her brother was terminally ill and refusing to “get saved”, both husband and wife were convinced he’d go to hell if he didn’t change his mind, and it was the shock of her sudden death that broke her brother’s will to resist.

    Of course, a key difference between this guy and Jae is that he believed (a) his wife was in heaven, and (b) her death had accomplished something extremely important to her. Jae knows Berlitz doesn’t qualify for heaven, and what does she think his death – or the deaths of all the other firstborn sons – accomplished? Does anyone even address that question?

  7. “made her fear God with such profound respect and awe”? Yep, stepfordization definitely completed: I’m pretty certain that a healthy person in that situation would have been made to fear him with hair-bleaching terror.

  8. Just came up with another but-what-about for the firstborn slaughter. Adopted children. Both, can they count as firstborn? by birth parent, I assume?, and, does the birth or adopting parent matter for whether they get the RTC immunity? Inquiring minds want to know!

    • This story takes place in a technologically advanced future, so you’d also have to consider such factors as in-vitro fertilization, sperm donors, surrogate mothers, possibly even cloning… Who exactly counts as a child’s “parent” for purposes of divine retribution?

      Or how about just identical twins? Since they originate from the same egg, they were conceived in the same instant. If life begins at conception, does that mean they are precisely equally old and therefore they both die?

      But then again, the scripture says “first born”, not “first conceived”. So what about non-identical twins? The order of conception is not necessarily the same as the order of birth. They’ve both been alive since conception, but it’s still the birth order that determines which one of them dies?

      And then you have all the people delivered via C-section who can claim the Shakespearian exception of not having been born at all! Abusing loopholes in the wording of a prophecy? It’s almost enough to make one feel that perhaps old poetry isn’t the most accurate way to describe the functioning of the universe!

      • I’d say all this business with gamete donors, surrogate mothers, and so forth would be confusing as hell to the Bronze Age guys who wrote the relevant scripture to begin with. Identical twins are already handled under Jewish law (which should apply here since we’re talking about a rehash of a solidly Old Testament event), the same way as non-identical twins – whoever comes out first is the firstborn.

        Something else that may be relevant – I came across sources claiming that a lot of Egyptian wives at the time of the plague were unfaithful to their husbands, and that this was brought to light by who the plague killed and who the plague spared – i.e. both first and second son in a household dying because they’ve got different fathers. If canon, this would imply biological parents trump adoptive parents. The same source also claimed that the Pharoah himself was supposed to be a firstborn son, and that his survival implied he was not actually the biological son of the previous Pharoah, hence during the immediate aftermath he was wandering around in despair and asked the Israelites to bless him before they went. Again, not sure if this should be considered canon, but if so it’s an interesting detail.

        • If nothing else, it certainly shows that we are not being unfair in mocking Paul for his inability to anticipate the consequences of this plague. The idea that a curse like this could reveal unpleasant details about people has clearly been around for a long time.

        • Well, *actual* ancient Egypt was matrilineal, so a plague killing off all firstborn sons by father’s heritage might not have made any sense to them. The society also had surprisingly modern ideas concerning divorce and single motherhood (though while a couple was married, the woman at least was supposed to be faithful).

          As for the Pharoah, ancient Egyptian kings traditionally took a lot of wives, and considering the high infant and child mortality rates of those times, not to mention that people of that social status tend to be frequent targets of assassins, it’s quite likely that the Biblical Pharoah *wasn’t* a firstborn son – possibly not of *either* parent.

          Though, I seriously doubt Jenkins was aware of any of this, and even if he had been, I doubt it would have mattered. None of that’s in the Bible, after all.

  1. Pingback: Deconstruction Roundup for January 16, 2015 | The Slacktiverse

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