Shadowed: Chapter 15, Part 1: It Never Stops Getting Worse

Yeah, so this is pretty much happening every chapter: a new way for the underground zealots to be unspeakably horrible.

Paul is awake in bed and Jae is asleep next to him:

Was she finally sound asleep, feeling secure, warm, and fuzzy at the thought of her family under one roof? [Paul wondered]

It has been two days since the deaths of Jae’s brother and mother.  However she might be feeling, I doubt it is warm and fuzzy.

Then again, Jae is RTC now, and is already abdicating parenting duties to her third-grader, so maybe I am giving Jae too much credit here.

Anyway, Paul is awake because he is thinking about the latest scheme of horror to be proposed by a zealot:

Pudgy Jack wants to flood the planet.

Yup.  The slaughter of men, little boys, and little babies two days ago is not nearly enough to sate this man’s bloodlust.  He calls this prayer plan “Operation Noah,” and even has a handy work-around to God’s promise never to flood the Earth again: “selective floods,” which Jack characterizes as basically flooding the entire planet except for Los Angeles, which would remain the refuge point for Christians.

“Believers can flee there.  For anybody else who tries, it’s feast or famine.  Get washed away in a flood or die of dehydration in L.A.”

I know I say this a lot, but wow.  Just wow.  The bodies are barely cold.  People are still trying to even find the naked, carless bodies of their loved ones.  And Jack wants all those survivors dead.  The whole planet.

Though the thought occurs to me that “selective” flooding of the entire planet except one city is exactly the sort of “Gotcha!” I would expect from this God:  “Ha ha, suckers!  I promised never to destroy the whole planet by flood again!  But I never promised not to destroy 99.9999999999999999999999999% of the planet by flood!”

(Still, it’s a pretty dumb plan.  A worldwide flood only worked the first time because it had never rained before and nobody else had a boat.  But there are rather more boats in the world now.  I don’t think the evil atheists’ odds are as bad as Pudgy Jack assumes.)

Regardless, Paul is awake because he is very vaguely opposed to Operation Noah, not quite because he doesn’t want other innocent people to die, but because “he was weary of judgment, of mayhem, of chaos.”  How big of him.  How compassionate.

Stay tuned next week—I broke this chapter into two parts because the rest of it is taken up by paragraph after interminable paragraph about Felicia’s conversion.



Posted on February 21, 2015, in Shadowed. Bookmark the permalink. 37 Comments.

  1. Paul needs a couple of weeks to recharge his emotional batteries before pondering the next mass slaughter of his fellow humans. That’s why he’s the hero.

  2. He’s tired of slaughter not so much in the way of the repentant warrior, but in the way of the restaurant diner after the three course buffet. “I know it’s such a thin wafer, Jackass, given that it won’t flood that one city – we’re going with Red Sea style invisible walls? – but I’m just so full of rich, lavish, enjoyable food.”

    Again, there is no moral superiority here. The Atheistopians want to kill all the believers. The believers want to kill all the Atheistopians. But the believers have superior firepower!

  3. Wait, if they flood the planet and drown all the unbelievers (except for the ones that die of dehydration in LA) what was even the point of the slaughter of the firstborn? Or the subsequent looting of the firstborn? Especially the looting – the slaughter miiiiiight have persuaded some easily-intimidated people to convert, but stealing cars and identities is almost entirely useless if your next step is to drown the world.

    Also, because it cannot be said enough – if the religious factions in WW3 were anything like the zealots here, it’s no wonder the world banned religion.

    • I think the problem is that Jenkins isn’t actually thinking in terms of internal consistency, but external consistency.

      That is, everything he writes is an effort to impose his will on the real world, not his fake world. He writes the slaughter of the firstborn, and then he turns on a news article about same-sex couples being married. What?! Clearly it wasn’t enough! Even killing off all the nonbelievers in Glorious Appearing and then again in Kingdom Come didn’t help either, so the answer must be to be even more explicit and brutal about it.

      • This kind of thing comes up over and over in video games. The people who want to kill everyone in order to make the world a perfect place are the villains. People who can’t handle the confusion and chaos of the real world, of people making decisions they don’t approve of, go start a cult to end the world so that whatever is bothering them will cease to exist.

        Jerry Jenkins is a JRPG villain. Well, except he doesn’t have long swishy hair and a big sword, and he’s not gonna set fangirls fainting any time soon.

        • I know which JRPG that makes me think of most. (Shin Megami Tensai: Nocturne, the “the best ending is the one where you’re the Antichrist” one.)

          • I’m convinced that’s the golden ending for MegaTen in general. Something has to be fundamentally flawed about the multiverse that it keeps producing the modern day world over and over, which still needs resetting for all the same reasons every time. There’s something so basic wrong that the whole multiverse probably needs to be completely taken apart before it can be fixed.

  4. WHAT??? These fuckers are already planning an even more deadly miracle? What is this I don’t even.

    Does Jenkins even care anymore? In the first book, the zealots prayed for the deaths of thousands in response to the army murdering hundreds of zealots. In the second, they prayed for the death of hundreds of millions in response to the murder of one son of a zealot. Now they’re praying for the deaths of everyone except themselves because… the atheists hacked their servers?

    Oh, and know one of the kinds of ships that will never be affected by flooding, no matter how hard it rains? Nuclear missile subs. Know what those will do to your little LA sanctuary one they realize that’s where all the people who caused this omnicidal flood are chilling Wipe it off the what’s left of the map.

    I must admit, I had actually thought that when this book opened with the protagonsits causing the deaths of all the firstborn, it had nowhere to go but up. But, no, we’re not even waiting until the third act anymore.

    Still, I must admit, Jenkins has managed to convince I was wrong and he was right on one thing. When this series started, I felt it was ridiculous how atheists were all so eager to kill RTCs. But now, I gotta admit, I do think it is justifiable and an aid to worldpeace to stuff every RTC who approves of the morals of these books in a napalm-barrel. Congrats Jenkins. You’ve convinced me that non-RTCs should despise you as much you claim they do. Let’s celebrate with a showdown. To make it fun, I’ll have a gun, you’ll be unarmed but you can have a week to call all your friends to pray for my death or the gun to explode in my hand or whatever. God’s still on his throne, right? You should win that one easily.

    • I was imagining the Atheistopian World Navy coming along just off LA and bombarding it to mulch as soon as it was clear it was the only safe dry ground, and obviously where the death cultists are holing up. But nuclear missile subs are good too. Just have to make sure they use the non-nuclear nukes with no fallout…

      • My first thought was that fallout wasn’t a concern, considering this will be the end of humanity (and all non-acquatic creatures). But then I remembered that the fish will survive.

        • Well I was referring back to Left Behind, where a bunch of places are nuked, but there was no radiation or fallout. Not even really treated like a miracle from God or anything, just… non-nuclear nukes, or something.

      • Good idea. Then if you put a ship or two with a water purification plant on board just outside the LA dryzone, some atheists can survive. They can dig up soil to be used in greenhouses on ships, the go to the ships to get a drink. Then the world can be repopulated by formerly atheistic satan-worshippers, because as far as they’re concerned, the devil can’t possibly worse than god.

  5. Here’s some lighter news to cheer us up. Guess who just won himself a fancy award?


      Sadly, it is not out on DVD yet, nor did I get the chance to see it at the dollar theater. But maybe it’ll be out for a Heathen Critique Wintermas in July Featurette! 😉

  6. Isn’t this series supposed to be a trilogy? If so, what will our heroes do in the third book, when all the evil atheists have been drowned and the RTCs have the entire world to themselves? Sit around praising Jesus and eating steaming piles of fresh produce drenched in butter?

    • This /is/ the third book. First book: They Wished and their genie dessicated L.A. Second book: They Wished and their genie slaughtered many more-or-less-random male humans. Third book, apparently, they Wish and their genie floods don’t-say-it’s-the-whole-world.

  7. A new way for the death cultists to be even more awful in every chapter… and this is only chapter 15 of a 45 chapter book. Oh gods.

    Are we sure Straight isn’t a Mask of Nyarlathotep? Are we sure Paul isn’t? I know I’ve said this before but this is basically the story of a scientific positivist future discovering the stars are right. It feels like reading the Laundry novels from the perspective of the villains, some of whom have used evangelical Christianity as a cover.

    • Having just recently read the Laundry novel where the main villains are a Cthulhu cult in evangelical Christian drag, I think that’s a great idea. It would definitely explain a lot of the Stepfordization of new converts if there were in fact eldritch brain parasites mind-controlling them into being contented, obedient sheep. If the zealots were actually doing anything to bring about the death and destruction aside from asking God to do it, it’d be a perfect match. Maybe the monster they worship is like a vampire that can’t enter your home without an invitation, and it can’t destroy Earth without being invited to do so by a sufficient number of Earth’s residents.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy

      45 CHAPTERS?
      “Oh gods” is right.

  8. With a sufficiently chunky mega-tsunami, it probably doesn’t really matter who has a boat and who doesn’t. Still, as Ivan points out, there are going to be plenty of submarines out there that can make it – even some of the diesel boats can probably survive if they have enough warning and submerge in time.

    • A ship in deep water won’t even notice a tsunami. They’re only dangerous as they get in close to shore.

      • True, we don’t really know what form this flooding is going to take. If it’s an instant huge rainstorm descending everywhere on the planet, ships are in trouble. If it’s an upwelling that drowns all the land but radiates from a single point, that’ll generate mega-waves but it’s more survivable.

        If the entire world’s going to be flooded, we need to drown Everest, and given that we’re talking about water rather than bricks or something that could maintain different heights, that means we need to increase global water depth by around 30,000 feet. That’s around 4.7 zettalitres, or around 3.5 times the existing total ocean water volume.

  9. This is the captain.

    I have grave news. For the last several days, we have been receiving anomalous readings on depth gauges. This morning I ordered Benbow to periscope depth, to make contact with the satellite network.

    You have all been trained to continue to do your jobs should the worst happen. It seems that the worst has happened without us. The entire world has been hit by massive tidal waves, and I have been unable to raise any land-based stations.

    Almost any. I’ll come back to that.

    We have established authenticated contact with Bellerophon, on patrol in the Atlantic, and with Barham, whose crew got her out of dock when this started. We have heard from other vessels, claiming to be American, Russian and Chinese submarines. We have power for decades, food for years, but our assigned targets are under tens of metres of water.

    But there is one land-based transmitter still operating. It is near Los Angeles in the USA, and it is sending what Sub-Lieutenant Michaels assures me is music, specifically Christian music of a type not heard since the Third War. Satellite scans suggest that Los Angeles is uniquely free of flooding.

    This is consistent with the ontological WMDs previously deployed by the Blood of the Lamb terrorist group, and in accordance with my sealed orders I am therefore initiating Trident launch procedures.

    • It occurs to me that “obsessed with gaining total mindless devotion from all living humans, RTC God sets into motion events that lead to the total annihilation of his creation”…does actually contain a significant moral lesson. In spite of Jenkins’ own worst efforts and failure to comprehend that lesson.

  10. Headless Unicorn Guy

    Stay tuned next week—I broke this chapter into two parts because the rest of it is taken up by paragraph after interminable paragraph about Felicia’s conversion.

    Kind of like John Galt’s speech near the end of Atlas Shrugged?

  11. Does Jenkins present Operation Noah as God-inspired, or is this over-the-top bloodthirstiness meant to indicate that Jack is actually a fifth columnist? I mean, if Operation Noah is really God’s plan, then why bother with the slaughter of the firstborn? Once the Earth is flooded, there will be no loyalty oaths to sign.

  12. I say this with great reluctance, but I have to be fair: I complained last book that the zealots seemed to forget they had the big red god button until a predetermined point in the novel. I have to admit, that has been fixed. The zealots actually remember that they seemingly have the power to get whatever massive miracle they pray for, and plan around that.

    Now if only these worthless fucks could stop jerking off to all the gory genocide-parts of the Bible and consider some non-lethal miracles that would actually aid their cause much more… that’d be great.

    • Jenkins!God: All stick, no carrot. Sorry.

    • At this point, I think Jackass is being realistic. In the eyes of the sinful secular world, these people are mass murderers; anyone who isn’t ready to grovel in terror is someone who will never accept coexisting with them. “You’re offering me bread and fishes? YOU MURDERED MY BROTHER!”

    • Though pretty much all the beneficial miracles they could offer is stuff Atheistopia already manages just fine on its own. “Feed the multitude and heal the sick? No thanks, science has that down already. And science granted you your phones and cars and other fancy trappings of luxury you’re so in love with. So who is it that deserves your worship, again?”

  13. Only Some Stardust

    Flooding would kill fish, too. Most fish (and most water dwelling species in general) can’t stand saltwater and freshwater mixing, or drastic changes in the water. Flooding on that scale might well destroy nearly everything in the oceans and lakes, possibly even the algae that we depend on for a large portion of our oxygen. It would certainly kill the land based plant life, except in the tiny unflooded area, and that would be genetically isolated and vulnerable to being wiped out by stresses or diseases.

    As in, the things we depend upon to make oxygen.
    So potentially we may be looking at death by suffocation eventually for everyone.

    Certainly the gasses and diseases produced by rotting bodies everywhere would make the world nauseating and dangerous to breath alone, if the sheer quantity of billions of dead and rotting didn’t kill you with the smell first…

    Of course, if the world is only going to last a few more years flooding it first is totally pointless; just wait for it to end, problem solved. Actually, that’s a point too. Ending the world after you’ve already pretty much destroyed it is overkill. Why not just outright destroy the Earth then and there then?

    • That was precisely my objection when I saw the movie 2012, the one where the Earth gets flooded to above the height of Everest; at the end, when the survivors were crowding the open deck of their hi-tech ark to gaze at the super-clean seas and freshly-washed land, I was thinking “Why aren’t they all choking on the gases from the billions of tons of rotting organic matter?”

  1. Pingback: Deconstruction Roundup for February 27, 2015 | The Slacktiverse

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