Shadowed: Chapter 10: Second Chances

Jae awakens from her little catnap when Angela brings the kids to their new spacious abode.

The kids are, of course, blown away by the idea of Jesus.  And Jae, feeling especially vulnerable, breaks down in front of Angela and blurts out her whole life story, including, of course, “how she had seen a change in Paul.”

I can’t help but imagine that Angela is thinking, “Damn!  Dodged a bullet there!”

Jae also tells Angela how “guilty” she feels about the children, not instilling in them the religion that she herself did not believe until a few days ago.

Angela reassures her:

“Actually, Jae, they’re at the perfect age.  It would have been good to have them younger, of course, but at eight and six they have no guile, no cynicism.”

Probably.  They do, however, know the difference between fact and fiction.  And the schools may never have mentioned God, but certainly the kids have picked up by osmosis that religion is “pretend.”  If not Connor yet, then surely observant, parentified Brie, so attuned to the adults around her.

Jae is also embarrassed for herself and how little she knows of Jesus (as well she might be, considering how little of the Bible she has actually read), so Angela offers her a job as “assistant,” so she can learn as the kids learn.

Damn, it might be the end of the world, but the indoctrination will continue apace!

Back to Roscoe Wipers!

Paul’s “professional opinion” is that he should just murder Wipers as a favor to the underground.  Yet, in a downright 1984-ish conversation, Paul explains to Wipers that “We’re people of faith, people of redemption, people of second chances.”

But Paul really, really wants to kill him, because he got the information about Wipers from poor, overworked Felicia, and knows that Wipers has been giving them false info about how and when he makes contact with Bia Balaam.

But it is Pudgy Jack who advocates for not killing Wipers.  Not because he is a person of second chances and love and forgiveness or anything, but because they’re stuck between a rock and a hard place: if they let Wipers contact Bia under their supervision, he could give away the underground’s position, but if they kill him, the NPO will also know he’s been made.

Short chapter.  Sometimes I think Jerry Jenkins has aspirations to be Dan Brown.


Posted on February 1, 2015, in Shadowed. Bookmark the permalink. 21 Comments.

  1. Immediate questions that occur to me: Does Wipers perchance have a code phrase he can use to indicate things have gone pear-shaped? And would it be specific to his mission, or does the whole organization just use the same one so Paul already knows what it is? Also, are the NPO people sufficiently on the ball to realize that Wipers’ son dying in the slaughter is both known to the Christian Underground and a big tipoff to them that he’s not a true believer?

    Bia’s been awesome enough I’m kind of expecting her to pick up on that last one, but I fully expect the possibility of code phrases to be either ignored or handled in a completely stupid fashion.

    • My thoughts exactly. Between the manifesto and Ranold’s experience with him and paul, it should be obvious that your son dying or not is an easily spotted loyalty test. The npo should realize that their agent’s cover is blown and act accordingly. Never mind that the recent slaughter should be reason enough to launch a raid immediately based on their spy’s old info.

  2. Has Jenkins ever met a reasonably smart six- or eight-year-old child who hasn’t been brought up to be a praisebot? Not only can they develop guile and cynicism, they can learn how to hide it.

    We have here the same problem as in Left Behind: there is absolutely no point in learning more about Zod. (Thanks to Mouse for this alternate appelation.) All Zod cares about is whether you’ve said the magic words. And they have. Bible Study means nothing after that.

    All those firstborns, they got lots of second chances.

    Oh, hey, Pudgy Jack has read the Big Boy’s Book of Espionage. Probably by accident while he was looking for something else.

    • All those firstborns, they got lots of second chances.
      Again, my thoughts exactly. Second chances for the survivors only.

      The interesting thing is that, in many of these RTC persecution stories, those survivors who get and take the second chance will either be the protagonists or an important supporting character. And they will, in the course of the story, make a mayor contribution to the thwarting of the satanic villains. It happened with Paul, and is a common feature in the Apocalypse-movies too. I’m sure that’s supposed to be inspiring. But it could easily be read as a sign that god only gives second chances to those who are useful to him. All those others whom the villains brainwashed or killed were people god didn’t need, and thus didn’t bother to save until they took that second, or third, or fourth chance. (Looking at you, Stonepola.)

      • Headless Unicorn Guy

        The interesting thing is that, in many of these RTC persecution stories, those survivors who get and take the second chance will either be the protagonists or an important supporting character.

        Sure you didn’t mean to say “Gary Stu Author Self-Insert”?

        • Well… you’d think the author self-inserts would be the people who converted before they had their faces rubbed in it. But none of these people has so far worked out how to tell an involving story when the major characters are watching the end of the world on Heavenly TV.

    • Has Jenkins ever met a reasonably smart six- or eight-year-old child who hasn’t been brought up to be a praisebot? Not only can they develop guile and cynicism, they can learn how to hide it.

      I don’t know that Jenkins would recognize a reasonably smart six- or eight-year-old, by virtue of not believing that they exist.

  3. Off topic, Ruby, but do you think you could add this movie to the list of Things To Review In The Future? (Christian Sasquatch movie — need I say more?)

    • Holy. Crap. This looks AMAZING.

      And it’s not even in theatres yet!

    • Headless Unicorn Guy


    • It’d be worth the review just to see exactly how one makes a Christian Sasquatch movie.

      Will some hapless skeptic get proven wrong about Sasquatches existence, which makes him realize that he must be mistaken in not believing in god too?

      Will they use the existence of Sasquatch baffle the pointyheaded evolutionists and serve as some kind of proof for Noah’s Ark?

      Or will this be a run-of-the-mill monster movie, marketed to Christians because the producer knows that audience will excuse low budgets, low quality and low effort as long as said there’s some Christian subplots, references and dogwhistles thrown in.

  4. Headless Unicorn Guy


    Anyone remember the backstory to the Soon trilogy?
    About how Atheistopia came to be?
    The reason all the governments of the world got together to outlaw ALL religion (but especially Born-Again Bible Believing Evangelical Christians)?
    Real contrived, right?

    Well, there’s been lots of activity breaking recently on spiritual abuse watchblogs — corruption scandals, child abuse scandals, cronyism scandals, sexual abuse scandals, pedophilia coverup scandals, etc (all among BABBECs) that would provide a much more plausible justification. If I was doing the backstory, this is the tack I’d take, right out of RL headlines. Just take this sort of shit…
    …and let it build and break until it reaches critical mass, and you might see Atheistopia by popular demand.

    • inquisitiveraven

      That would require acknowledging actual problems in within the RTC communities and we can’t have that can we?

      Anecdote time. I used to be part owner of a New Age bookstore. One of our employees was the home schooled daughter of a preacher. Anyway, after she’d been working for us for a couple of years, he packed her off to one of those Christian rehab programs. No, worse, he arranged for her to be kidnapped into it. The only reason she got out of it early was her father got into a fight with the people in charge over money. No qualms about how they were treating her, money. When she got back, she’d turned into a Christbot. AFAI am aware, the Christbot stage didn’t last long, but it was way creepy when I had to deal with it.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy

        That “Christian rehab program” wouldn’t happen to be Teen Challenge, would it? They got mentioned over at Wartburg Watch (spiritual abuse watchbolg) regarding abusive conditions at their rehab centers, reminiscent of Scientology’s Narconon.

        And does “Christbot” mean she had NO personality, only blind reflex doubleplusduckspeak Bible verses?

        • inquisitiveraven

          It might have been. We never did find out the name of the program.

          I don’t particularly remember bible verses, but there was a lot of staring blankly and invoking Jesus every other sentence. Then again, I only saw her briefly a couple of times after she got back, and then went to a birthday party for her after she recovered.

  5. Headless Unicorn Guy

    Short chapter. Sometimes I think Jerry Jenkins has aspirations to be Dan Brown.

    On top of his already-obvious aspiration to be Ian Fleming?
    (Well, that would explain his character names — wannabe Bond Girl naming conventions…)

    P.S. In medical terminology, “Aspirating” means an unconscious person inhaling and literally drowning in his own vomit. Hmmmm….

    • inquisitiveraven

      And the EMT speaks. Technically, it doesn’t have to be an unconscious person or vomit (although admittedly that happens often enough that we’re trained to watch out for it.); it just has to be something that should go down the esophagus going down the trachea instead.

  1. Pingback: Deconstruction Roundup for February 06, 2015 | The Slacktiverse

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