Shadowed: Chapter 8: Lunch
As the Apostle family heads through the tunnels to the yet-more-underground (the children must be terrified, since they are given basically zero explanation of anything that’s happening), Jae is thinking not of said children, but of the inevitable meeting with Angela Barger, Andy Pass’s daughter and Pudgy Jack’s niece, a woman she has only seen in pictures and read of through flirtatious correspondence. I see that now that she’s a genuine RTC, Jae has also become expert at keeping her mind on the most important issues at hand.
(Although it seems that Jae has not become magically aware that being RTC makes you magically immune to cheating. Perhaps this is because, even when Jae was an evil atheist, she never did cheat on Paul.)
It turns out that the “underground” is the underground of an abandoned industrial park, where the water and electricity and stuff used to be controlled. Paul is dismayed that it is not as awesome as being in a salt mine, so I’m sure he’ll write a scathing review on Atheistopian Yelp about how such accommodations are beneath his standards.
And here’s Angela! Paul notes only that she looks tired and not overjoyed:
And only the most twisted person would take any joy or find any satisfaction in the “victory” God had wrought, especially when it brought such tragedy.
Too little, too late, Jenkins. You’re the one who told us Paul was “celebrating” the dessication of L.A., so I see no reason why such a sociopath wouldn’t be celebrating the deaths of even more people.
And, by the way (and part of me hates having to keep harping on this point), but good, decent people try to prevent tragedy. They don’t beg for it, then pretend to be a tad remorseful when what they asked for actually happens.
Turns out that Jae’s worries were all for naught, as Anglaa is way more interested in the kids than in Paul. Because this educated woman, formerly employed by the Library of Congress, now teaches little kids about Jesus. Because that is the most important thing someone with her training can do, I guess.
And Angela wants to show the kids a movie: “The Boy Who Gave His Lunch to Jesus.”
Presumably, this is a kids movie about Jesus feeding the five thousand (or four thousand, depending on which version you read) with five loaves and two fishes (or seven loaves, depending on which version you read). It’s a story that seems to enjoy popularity (if Google is any indication) as a way to teach kids what a miracle is, though I amuse myself by noting that in none of the four accounts is it stated in so many words that the boy gave his lunch to Jesus. Instead, Jesus just takes the food and multiplies it.
By the way, this all should prove a dandy lesson to Brie and Connor…
Angela: *switches off the video* So, class that’s what a miracle is. And Jesus still does miracles to this day. Can anyone name a recent one?
Brie: *raises hand* Killing my uncle in cold blood?
Angela: Very good, little heathen!
Jae, still strangely vaccillating between wanting to control her kids’ religious education and being too ashamed of her own ignorance to do it, whispers to Angela that, “The kids have had zero exposure.”
Yeah, I guess we wouldn’t want the other believing kids to make fun of them for being atheists or anything. Because certainly RTC kids would never sneer at nonbelievers!
So, the kids go off to watch the movie and Jae goes off with “another woman” to do womany things like see their quarters and unpack, and Paul is left to go with Pudgy Jack and see the alleged atheist.
Pudgy Jack is quick to point out that they feed the prisoner just like everyone else, and they “don’t treat him bad, don’t torture him.” The way he says it makes it sound like it’s been days, but the curse only happened a couple of hours ago, tops.
Paul actually does something useful for once in his life and identifies the man as a Gulfland NPO agent.
Wipers is actually the kind of guy Paul feared through all of Soon—a fellow agent who has infiltrated the underground but isn’t a traitor like Paul is, and who could inform the NPO of little details like that Paul penned the manifesto about killing firstborn sons.
But it all seems very simple: Wipers checks in with Bia Balaam at 0200 every day, and agrees with Paul to lie to her tonight and tell her everyone has left for a new location that they didn’t tell him.
Yeah, makes total sense.
All that said, Wipers certainly doesn’t behave like a man in the throes of grief after losing his son (presumably because he’s an evil atheist, and we all know they don’t really love their kids), and Paul and Pudgy Jack certainly have zero sympathy for anyone who lost his kid.
And I’m sure they find no satisfaction in this situation. None at all.