Shadowed: Chapter 27: Marriage Lessons

Man, yanno how wives are, right?  Always whining about their little problems.  Wahhhh, my brother’s dead, whiiiiine, my family wants me in prison, boo hoo, nobody told me about the funeral just because I’m an international fugitive from justice.

Jae just goes on and on about her piddly little problems to her long-suffering husband.  Geez, lady, just because you and your tiny children are on the run from the cops of the whole planet, it’s always something with you, isn’t it?

Jae, for reasons that make no sense to me because of the aformentioned on-the-run-from-the-law thing, calls her sister-in-law, who spills the beans that Berlitz’s memorial service already happened, and Jae Plus Family were cordially not invited.

She whines to Paul, like wives do:

“…he was my brother!  I would like to have known, to have been thinking about him when they were.  And Daddy has my cell number.*  He could have called, could have tried to say the right things.”
“Now you’re dreaming.”
She shot Paul a look, and he realized she didn’t need his editorializing.  She didn’t want this fixed.  She wanted to be heard.

Yep, yanno how manly husbands are: always wanting to fix things.  (How Paul or Jenkins thinks any could fix this problem is a question for the ages.  Also, what would Jae have been thinking during Berl’s service?  How much it sucks that a just and loving God sent her awesome brother to Hell for all eternity?  Something like that?)

So, that’s our lesson for today, boys and girls.  Wives want to whine about their emotions, husbands want to fix problems.  A lesson on marriage from Jerry Jenkins.

*Speaking of, he forgot again.  Jae doesn’t have a “cell.”  She has a skull phone.  I can’t believe we all remember this, but Jenkins just can’t.


Not that Jae could try to fix Paul’s problems even if she wanted to: he won’t tell her what they are!  The elders, in their infinite holy wisdom, have decided to keep the Mass Exodus a secret until the last minute.  That seems like a great way to engender trust in those uder you.

Paul wants to tell Jae, what with them being in love and all (har), but considers this situation akin to when he knew state secrets when he was in the NPO.

Paul found his first inclination was to pull Jae aside and start her thinking about their own details.  How lightly could they pack?

Really, dude?  You arrived like, four days ago with TWO SUITCASES.  I don’t think packing light is really an issue.

(Even if it was, why are all these fugitives so bad at being fugitives?  Shouldn’t they be ready to move at five minutes’ notice, all the time?)


Paul also takes some time out of his busy schedule to ruminate about how much he wants to punch Ranold.  Of course, being the manliest of men, Paul’s feelings are natural and just mainfestations of righteous, justice-driven anger.  As opposed to Jae’s, being fluffy womany feelings as they are.

This man was going to push to far someday, and Paul might just have to take him on.

I have a feeling Paul is a keyboard warrior of the first order.

Also, Ranold just falsely accused his only daughter of murder and had a memorial service for his unloved dead son without mentioning it to said fugitive daughter.  What more does Paul want?  (Then again, these are slights against a woman, which are, of course, not serious the way slights against a man would be.)

(Paul also assures himself that he’s not being unfair for wanting to take on an “old man,” because Ranold was a badass in his youth.  Basically, this is a whole page is taken up with Paul having a one-man dick-measuring contest in his head.)

And in order to make Jae feel a little better, he reminds her that Ranold’s new job appointment is only interim.

“They don’t hand out jobs like that to old men, even as undermanned as they are.”

They don’t?  Hey, Jenkins, I know that Hollywood has taught us all that positions of power at the top of organizations are most often given to 27-year-olds, but that’s not actually true in the real world.  If anything, I would think Ranold would be just right for the job.  This is Atheistopia, remember, where cancer has been cured and pollution has ended.  I’m sure lifespans are at least a bit longer than they are today, and Ranold is only in his early- to mid-sixties.  And he was one of the founders of the NPO.  In essence, his entire career has been leading to this job.

But I’m sure Paul knows best.


Speaking of age, Straight is kvetching about his.  And he’s a few years younger than Ranold (60 exactly).

It’s 2047 and the map and calendar were changed in 2010, so Straight was 23 when it happened.  So it may actually be realistic that he thinks of Michigan as Michigan and not Heartland.  Still, seeing as how Paul calls it Michigan, too, I’m not inclined to cut Jenkins slack this time.

Now, it’s not like I have any sympathy for Paul in general, but it’s kinda…in poor taste, perhaps?…for Straight, whose cover is secure, to whine to Paul about how he’s feeling tired and stressed.  Paul, after all, is an international fugitive, in hiding with two very small children.

And Straight has so much reason to be happy!  He’s turned the Evil Doctor of Death on to two hospitalized government agents, who have been made “logy and slow to perk up.”

RTC love!

The Evil Doctor of Death has also told Straight of two terminal patients (presumably not Atheistopian employees, since we are not told so), “both of which could provide great identities.

RTC compassion!


Speaking of sensitivity and compassion, Paul and Jae finally get around to telling the kids that Grandma died.  Brie asks if they’ll get to see her again in Heaven, and Paul reports that not everyone gets to go to Heaven.  Because Jesus punishes people for the thoughts in their heads, don’tcha know.

The kids are pretty much okay with this, though, seeing as they now have Jesus in their hearts.  Another two bite the dust.


Posted on June 23, 2015, in Shadowed. Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. “And Daddy has my cell number.* He could have called, could have tried to say the right things.”
    A: If they’re still in the underground salt mines, I doubt Jae’s cell gets much reception.
    B: If it can get reception, Jae should’ve smashed it before Ranold and the NPO traced the call. If Ranold realizes they can grab Jae and Paul, he might decide to give his 10-day-preptime-stormtroopers a kick in the ass and tell them they have 10 minutes to get ready.
    C: Yeah, just because you’re now an internationally wanted fugitive implicated in genocide doesn’t mean Ranold shouldn’t still keep you in the loop and invite you to family dinners. Atheists, amiright? No respect for the family unit at all. (Jae not warning her brother of his imminent demise is fine of course, that was just an act of god, if he wanted him saved he would’ve done it himself).

    Huh, and here I assumed that grandma’s sympathy indicated she did sort of convert. But I guess it doesn’t count if you haven’t said the sinner’s prayer exactly right. Nice parenting to just tell the kids grandma is burning in hell right now. Glad to see Paul and Jae are raising their kids to be sociopathic monsters just like mommy and daddy.

  2. “logy and slow to perk up” – implying our Good Christian Doctor is either giving them some sort of drug they don’t need, or is screwing with the dosage of the meds they do need. Either way, he’s in deep trouble if the hospital catches him, and not just because of who he’s targeting.

  3. inquisitiveraven

    Bit difficult to smash it if it’s embedded in her skull.

    • inquisitiveraven

      *sigh* That was supposed to be a reply to Ivan’s comment about Jae’s phone.

    • She calls it her cell, so was going with Ruby and assuming it wasn’t a skullphone. I mean, the fact that ID biochips are imbedded in people’s arms doesn’t seem to stop the zealots from stealing them.

      Besides, lets face it, even if it is a skullphone, Jae, Paul and pretty much any of the zealots could smash it safely. By their actions and words, they’ve demonstrated that there’s nothing that they really need or use in their skulls.

      • Paul couldn’t possibly smash his skullphone. How would he survive if he couldn’t make pointless calls to Straight where they massage each other’s egos?

  4. So this is what happens when you try to apply bronze age thinking in a modern day setting.

    The old testament takes place in a very tribal world: Rules only apply within your own group and bad things happening to other groups are a blessing. When god sends a plague to slaughter innocent Egyptian firstborns, you praise god for it. After all, they were just some Egyptians. When god says “thou shalt not kill”, it is considered self-evident that the commandment doesn’t apply when you massacre some Amalekites or whatever.

    It’s not a good system, but it can be understandable. Times were different. When people live under harsh conditions, it is not surprising that they might develop a very strict in-group loyalty. But when you make modern humans behave that way, it’s kind of hard to make them look like the heroes.

    For one thing, the “tribes” are no longer defined by blood relations, but rather by philosophical positions. Berlitz was a member of the enemy tribe, the atheists. And Jae is expected to be joyful that god has slain her enemies. Even though that enemy was her brother. Whose death she naturally wants to grieve. While also praising the god that killed him. No wonder she is confused and stressed out.

    Also… The evil atheists actually have memorial services? Well, colour me surprised! I would have thought that they just drop the body in the nearest incinerator, being all cold and heartless and unbelieving of afterlife. Unlike the RTCs, who are “respectfully” stripping clothes and IDs off the bodies of strangers.

  5. Listen, I’m sorry when I said “fuck you, Ruby” four years ago. It was wrong of me. And truth be told, I’ve never cared for or associated with the American Family Association.

  6. Patrick Phelan

    Y’know, I hadn’t noticed this at first, because all of Paul’s awfulness tends to just blend together into a melange of whining, self-importance, hatred, and misogyny, but…

    “He could have called, could have tried to say the right things.”
    “Now you’re dreaming.”
    She shot Paul a look, and he realized she didn’t need his editorializing. She didn’t want this fixed. She wanted to be heard.

    True, Paul. She didn’t want to hear anything so helpful and constructive as “that thought is stupid and unrealistic”.

    HYPOTHETICAL COWORKER: So that’s my NPO plan. Can I get constructive feedback?
    PAUL: It’s wrong.
    HC: …Okay, but if we could make that constructive…
    PAUL: Be less wrong!

    • She didn’t want this fixed. She wanted to be heard.

      Is it just me, or does that seem to apply to the zealots too. They keep sending manifesto’s with impossibly tight time schedules for far-reaching actions the atheists must take, or else. And then they have an anticipatory circle-jerk on how they know the atheists won’t listen, so god will kill them and then “the laughing will stop!”.

      They don’t want the persecution to be fixed. They want bloody vengeance.

  1. Pingback: Deconstruction Roundup for June 26, 2015 | The Slacktiverse

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