Shadowed: Chapter 11: Something Unique

Well, thanks to all this talk about the Christian Sasquatch movie, I now need to watch MST3K: Boggy Creek II today.

And that is no bad thing.

Something unique was happening with the kids, Jae decided.

Mostly because she’s shocked that instead of asking questions about what has happened, the kids just want to sleep after the movie.  This has been a big day for them, what with their uncle and grandmother dying and being yanked around a grief-stricken world to an underground apartment.  And it was also movie night.  So I’m honestly not too surprised that they’re tired.  I’m more surprised that Jae is surprised.

But this newly-Christian mom respects that exhaustion little enough that she keeps them awake to tell them about how she prays before she sleeps, and about how Jesus is real and not “a fairy tale…a make-believe story” as Brie asks.

Wouldn’t want the kids exercising any critical thinking at this important faith juncture, after all!

Speaking of the make-believe story, is anyone else surprised that the RTC underground is capable of making movies that can entertain Atheistopian children, who are used to the entertainment extravaganzas described in Soon?  I mean, we have plenty of evidence from the movies critiqued at this very blog, that Christian movies are, by and large, low budget affairs that tend to sacrifice plot and characterization on the altar of…the altar call.  So I can’t imagine Brie, especially, being impressed.

But enough of the kids!  Back to Paul and his spy games:

In answer to a question asked about the last chapter, Wipers lied about the code words he uses in his communications with Bia.  Paul knew this, not because of his own “prodigious intellect” or anything, but because Felicia found out for him.

Paul heads to the apartment for a nap before the Bia-call, and he and Jae engage in some pillow talk regarding Jae’s dead mom.  Jae thinks her mother as good as converted before her death, and Paul really doesn’t say yay or nay to this.  As I’ve said before, this seems a less formal standard than Jerry Jenkins usually has, given that Margaret didn’t make “the transaction,” but I’m sure this is far more comforting alternative to Jae than imagining her mother being tortured forever in the newly-believed-in Hell.

Yanno, like Berlitz is.  Right now.

At ten to four, Paul meets back up with Pudgy Jack.  Their conversation consists of Paul’s self-absorbed observation that he is currently “the most recognizable and vulnerable fugitive in the USSA,” and Jack’s commentary on Roscoe’s name:

“Where’d he get a name like that anyway?” Jack said.  “Sounds like a retail shop.”

Paul stared at him.  Surely Jack wasn’t expecting an answer.  Where does a man get a name like Jack Pass either?

I am utterly ashamed that Paul and I are in agreement about something…anything.

Also, did Jenkins just poke fun at himself?  Mind blown.

At least I can take comfort in the fact that Roscoe Wipers doesn’t at all sound like the name of a “retail shop” (seriously, who even says it like that?).  Roscoe Wipers sounds like a two-bit thug in a 1930s gangster movie, which I can only imagine is what Jenkins was actually going for.

Anyway…

Given that they know the difference between the real code words and the fake code words, Paul and Pudgy Jack come up with a plan:

“We get him connected, make sure he says the right stuff, have him tell this woman’s machine that we have moved out of Washington.  Then, just as he’s starting to tell her where we’ve gone, we interrupt him, tell him he’s been made, fire off the gun, he drops the phone, end of threat.”

Well, unless they’re actually tracking him and are ready to move.  I mean, gorammit, what are even the point of these stupid skull phones if you can’t keep track of your spies?

They purposefully and unnecessarily slam open the door of the cell, startling Roscoe, who “whines.”

Damn, people who lose loved ones are just so whiny in this book!

Amusingly, Paul is surprised when Bia actually answers Roscoe’s call, instead of letting it go to “machine.”

Turns out that she was up anyway, because her son is dead, too.

Anyway, the dumb spy games continue, as Roscoe spews some nonsense about everyone moving but nobody telling anybody where they’re actually going (?), and Paul and Jack pull the ridiculous “oh noes, he’s been found out, shoot him!” ruse, and that’s that.

Still seems like a really bad plan, but okay.

And a new thought occurs to me—are Paul and Pudgy Jack and the other believers really this unconcerned with being thought murderers by the NPO?  Granted, the NPO already knows that they successfully prayed for the deaths of millions, but now they also shoot suspected spies in cold blood.

They’re the good guys…remember that.

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Posted on February 5, 2015, in Shadowed. Bookmark the permalink. 21 Comments.

  1. This can pretty much be said at any point in a Jerry Jenkins story but . . .

    Our heroes, everyone!

  2. I know, Gram Pol, I know.

    It’s times like this I desperately try to fish around for an appropriately profane word to describe Paul. I’ve called him an asshole in the past, but oddly enough, that insult seems too mild. An asshole is someone who keys someone’s car because they can’t stand them driving a nicer car than them. Paul on the other hand, if someone had the audacity to drive a nicer car than him, Paul’s the guy who’d drop a nuke on the vehicle, watch the mushroom cloud, and laugh as everybody is either vaporized or dies slowly of radiation poisoning. That’s the kind of guy Paul Stepola is.

    I also reject Motherfucker and Son of a Bitch because those are more insults against Paul’s mother than Paul himself. We have evidence that his RTC father wasn’t a prize pig, but I don’t recall anything about Paul’s mother that warrants those insults. In fact given that as far as we know, she died unsaved and Paul hasn’t given a single word of thought to the fact she’s burning in Hell, I’m going to let her slide. Besides, son of a bitch and motherfucker can almost be construed as compliments, conveying that they’re a person you don’t want to mess with.

    So again, my profane vocabulary feels worthless when it comes to Paul or any Jenkins protagonist anyway. Someone with a more expanded, colorful vocabulary wanna help me out here?

    • I would like to propose that “Stepola” become the word that means what you’re trying to say about him. Someone who celebrates and participates in atrocity, and has zero redeeming qualities.

      Ex: “That pastor who told the queer kids they’re going to Hell is a worthless, child-killing Stepola!”

  3. Yeesh, a live conversation with the boss? Dead drops, people! They’re really easy in a pervasively networked world!

    How does the thing with the gun make the report more credible? It’s not as if they have to get him off the line in a hurry to avoid having to answer awkward questions.

    “Uh, we had a slight weapons malfunction, but uh… everything’s perfectly all right now. We’re fine. We’re all fine here now, thank you. How are you?”

  4. I get that Paul is a fugitive, but how is he the most recognizable one? Some of the people working in NPO know him, but beyond that he should be pretty much a nobody. Was there not any movie star or pop singer or athlete whose firstborn survived the massacre and was thereby outed as a believer? Nope, this one guy who used to work for the police is the most famous religious person in the country.

    This book pretends it’s some James Bond-style globetrotting adventure. But the thing is, within his fictional world, James Bond is pretty much unknown. That’s why he can go around telling everyone that his name is Bond, James Bond and no-one reacts to that. We the audience know it’s a catchphrase, but the people he says it to just think it’s some guy with a fairly boring name introducing himself.

    Being a secret agent does not make one famous, in fact that would be counter-productive. But Paul is an author avatar, so he is universally recognizable. Somehow. Or maybe it’s all just Paul’s delusion.

    “Our secret base is out of milk. Someone needs to go to the store.”
    “Well, I can’t go. I’m the most recognizable and vulnerable fugitive in the USSA!”
    “Dude, you were a consultant for the NPO. Unless you have the incredible bad luck to run into one of your old co-workers, you’ll be fine.”
    “But I’m really well known. Everyone will recognize me!”
    “From those TV interviews you’ve never done? The magazine covers you’ve never been in?”
    “But… I’m… Everyone knows me! They have to! I’m important!”

    • Maybe Jenkins got his Mary Sue’s confused. It’s the other one who’s the world-renown GIRAT.

    • PS: Actually, the “Bond, James Bond” thing bothered me too. Especially since all of Bond’s enemies do know his name, especially in the Blowfeld era. I don’t think there’s a single movie where Bond wasn’t made in the first 30 minutes. Only some of the early Bond girls were fooled for longer.

      Bottom line, James Bond is an exelent commando, but a piss-poor spy.

      • The James Bond books are how Ian Fleming felt espionage ought to work if only they’d let him put his wild ideas into practice. He appears genuinely to have believed that a good spy would be a flamboyant ladies’ man and crashing snob like himself, which is why they didn’t.

        The films get even further from the real thing.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy

      I get that Paul is a fugitive, but how is he the most recognizable one?

      Because he’s the Author Self-Insert?

  5. I”m confused, are they still in the Washington Hideout? Cause then, if the last thing Bia hears is her spy saying the zealots have left the place, then a gunshot, she’d figure that her agent and only lead got killed, and the only hope to find them would be to send a large team to the old hideout ASAP and search it for clues. James Bond (you remember him, dontcha Jenkins, even though you keep failing to imitate him) found the bad guy’s lair on much thinner leads.

    Even if they’ve left the hideout though, they did so in a hurry, so those clues may very well still be there anyway. And this indeed all assumes they can’t track the skullphones of their own agents.

    Yup, we’re reading the Underground Zealot books again alright. “Red alert. Full power to forward Plot Armor.”

  6. Okay, for once, once in his actual benighted career, Jenkins has managed to make something resemble a Bond story.

    Because it always pissed me off, too, when Bond or Bond villains would make snarky puns on people’s bizarre names to show how clever and suave they were. BECAUSE THE AUTHOR MADE THOSE NAMES RIDICULOUS. YOU DON’T GET POINTS FOR GETTING AN ARROW DIRECTLY INTO THE BULLSEYE IF YOU WALK THE ARROW THERE YOURSELF.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy

      This from an Ian Fleming wannabe with NO CLUE WHATSOEVER. Even if he finally approximates a Bond thing through shotgun effect.

  7. In the previous book the loyalty oath was a huge potential problem for the believers. Accepting the oath would have meant lying, which is something they can not do.

    Now their plan revolves around feeding Bia false information regarding their whereabouts. But that’s fine, because technically they are not lying. They’re just using threats of violence to force someone else to lie on their behalf. Which is totally different. Great solution to the ethical dilemma there, guys! I’m sure god is very impressed.

    • “No, see, it’s not a lie to shout that we caught him. We caught him several hours ago. So unless we avoid shouting that we found out just now, it’s totally fine!”

  8. Headless Unicorn Guy

    “Where’d he get a name like that anyway?” Jack said. “Sounds like a retail shop.”

    Paul stared at him. Surely Jack wasn’t expecting an answer. Where does a man get a name like Jack Pass either?

    From the Greatest Christianese Author of All Time, of course.
    (“See How Clever I Am?”)

    Thing is, Buck Jenkins, GCAAT, has long demonstrated a tin ear for character names.

  9. Headless Unicorn Guy

    “Where’d he get a name like that anyway?” Jack said. “Sounds like a retail shop.”

    Remember who the author is; especially when it comes to Ethnic Names.
    “GET IT? SEE HOW CLEVER I AM?”

  1. Pingback: Deconstruction Roundup for February 13, 2015 | The Slacktiverse

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