Shadowed: Chapter 23: This Is It, Part Deux
Lest you think we’ve heard the last of the horror that is Doctor Assface deliberately withholding medical care from atheists so they’ll heal slower, another underground Christian has thought of a way to make the whole thing even more terrible.
A few interesting points:
-Abraham still operates under his code name, while knowing everything about Straight and his life.
-He is also the first person in this series to refer to Straight as “Dr. Rathe.” But there is so little description of how the characters are speaking that I don’t know if this is supposed to be a respectful acknowledgement of Straight’s Ph.D. in history, or an ironic reference to the simple fact that Straight volunteers at a hospital.
But I’m stalling. Based solely on Straight’s retelling of the conversation, Abraham concludes that Doctor Slow-the-Atheists “sounds credible,” but that the relationship between he and Straight should be more “reciprocal.”
“And what do I want from him?” [asked Straight]
Abraham offered a weary smile. “Think, man. What do we most need?”
“Brother, I haven’t thought clearly for days. Forgive me and tell me.”
Abraham sighed. “You say this doctor assured you he doesn’t do any real harm to these patients, which would violate his oath. …”
I see we’re still going along with this fiction that slowing a patient’s recovery by days, perhaps weeks, is not doing any “real harm.” You guys just keep telling yourselves that, I guess.
“…But surely a percentage of his cases are terminal nonetheless. It would seem a small thing for him to let you know who those are early enough that you can take advantage of the information.”
“And appropriate their IDs.”
Good, Straight. Don’t use the word “steal.” Because stealing is wrong and stuff.
Abraham clapped a hand on Straight’s knee. “See, you’re not so tired that it has completely clouded your judgment.”
It will never stop blowing my mind that Jenkins doesn’t see how monstrous this all is. These are supposed to be the GOOD GUYS. The GOOD ones.
Meanwhile, a far less monstrous man, Ranold, has been named “interim head of NPO USSA.” So he heads to the White House (or rather, just to the West Wing, since the rest of the place was destroyed during WWIII and Atheistopia was too busy curing cancer to rebuild).
Jenkins once again manages to confuse himself a bit here—the governor of the Columbia Region (hey, at least he didn’t call it “Washington, D.C, Maryland, and Virginia”!) was the last vice president of the United States, yet his duties are “largely ceremonial,” yet it was his decision to name Ranold as the head of the entire CIA/FBI…
I’ll admit I don’t get it.
Anyway, Ranold likes the guy much more than Ball Dangler. And despite Ranold getting a bit too big for his britches and interrupting the guy (“Haywood Hale,” if you please), he manages to save himself, and it is strongly implied that Ranold and Haywood are, at the very least, more simpatico than Ranold and Dangler.
Meanwhile meanwhile, Pudgy Jack is having a meeting of “the elders” of the underground, complete with flipchart, with Bible verses allegedly greenlighting his brilliant flood-the-entire-planet-except-L.A.” plan.
So in one chapter, we have two different sets of Christians plotting how best to destroy the people who survived the first massacre, who still have the temerity not to side with those who prayed for the deaths of their loved ones.
Shockingly enough, after all that’s happened and all he prayed for, Paul thinks this is a step too far. Or, at the very least, that Jack is starting to sound mildly unhinged.
Though Paul thinks this mostly because they have “more pressing business“—they have to get out of their underground bunker before the NOP raids them…in ten days.
I can’t even begin to imagine what would take them ten days to get ready. Just go get ’em, yanno?
Both sides in this conflict just suck.