Shadowed: Chapter 30: Have You Ever Prayed?

While Our Ranold is busily assassinating the leader of the planet, Paul and Bia are busily having an incredibly important conversation on the importance of prayer:

“Have you ever prayed, Bia?” Paul said.

“Not once, ever.”

“Not even by accident, when your life was one the line, anything like that?”

Hey, remember, Bia, there are no atheists in foxholes!  That’s what the RTCs say, anyway!

“No.  When I’m in trouble, I talk to me, to myself.  I say, ‘C’mon, Balaam, do what you need to do.’  I never pray.”

Huh.  Was that Jenkins actually admitting that atheists don’t pray, that we’re not actually lying when we say we don’t believe?  Wild!

Anyway, Paul quickly schools Bia that she should talk to God just like she would talk to anyone else.

That’s it.

***

On the other side of the world, another non-prayer, Our Ranold, is putting on the performance of a lifetime, as some security personnel finally show the frak up in the office of the leader of everyone.  He drops some compliments to Ball Dangler, mentions that his son and wife died in what they are all now calling “The Incident,” and blames himself for not picking up on poor Aikman’s intentions.  The “investigators,” who are there at the very moment the security guys and Dangler’s assistant are, find the little stone that Ranold planted on Aikman.  It’s the symbol of the Columbia underground, like the penny is the symbol of the Sunterra underground.  So all in all, Ranold has covered his bases quite well.

***

Felicia and Cletus are still debating.  And Cletus may believe in God “because I have no choice,” but still hates him.  Thus making his response the most logical one around.

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Posted on August 16, 2015, in Shadowed. Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. “No, I grew up after the war, when all religious terms and imagery had been erased from all cultures world-wide. Remember?”

  2. she should talk to God just like she would talk to anyone else.

    This is a more fruitful activity when you live in a fictional world where God occasionally responds to you, of course.

    • Indeed. Most other persons talk back when you talk to them. And you can see them too. Tap their shoulder when they’re not responding, sock em if they seem to be engaged in mass genocide… Really, it’s quite different.

  3. Wait a minute… This is a universe where prayer has genuine real world consequences. And now Paul is saying that praying is something one might do “accidentally”?

    “Have you ever massacred millions of people?”
    “No, not ever.”
    “Not even accidentally, when your life was on the line, anything like that?”

    Was that Jenkins actually admitting that atheists don’t pray, that we’re not actually lying when we say we don’t believe?

    Meh. More likely the intended message is that atheists deep down know that god is out there, but we don’t want to ask his help because we are so proud and selfish.

  4. That Other Jean

    I take back all the fun I ever made of Cletus and his 19th Century name. His is the reasonable response to discovering that there is, in fact, a genocidal god, but your authors refuse to let you actively oppose him.

    • Patrick Phelan

      Agreed. Unfortunately, he’ll probably showily go to Hell around the end, when Paul prays for God to send a swarm of remote-controlled buzzsaw locusts to cut every nonbeliever’s legs off. “It’s the only just way to punish you for not loving your child’s murderer,” Paul will say, sternly, as he pilots his miniswarm around for another pass.

      • With a side note of “woo-hoo, look at ’em try to run”.

      • It’s not only a punishment for not loving your child’s murderer. It’s also a punishment for not being able to pick the correct murderer out of a police lineup full of invisible people.

  5. Patrick Phelan

    There’s something about the question “Have you ever prayed?” that strikes me as the equivalent of “Tell me, Houji, do you believe in Hell?” or other such questions a supervillain asks before monologuing and showily killing a minion. Since this is a supervillain saying it, the parallels are all the stronger. Unfortunately, killing a minion at that stage would be entertaining, rather than looking out of the book’s pages and saying “INSTRUCTION MANUAL FOR LIFE, EVERYONE”.

    Bia saying that, when necessary, she gets herself pumped rather than looking for outside aid is probably “ATHEISTS WORSHIP THEMSELVES”, but it makes me like her more. Bia gets the shit done. If she’d kept away from napalm barrels and weird unconvincing snake incidents, she would have been a top-notch protagonist. We could do with a series in which Meta-Bia and Meta-Ranold hunt down Real Actual No Foolin’ Paul.

  6. Only Some Stardust

    I prayed once. I was 9-ish and thought it would be cool if there was a moon cat god. I asked them to turn me into a kitty.

    It didn’t work. So I became an atheist.

    I notice a distinct lack of stories about children praying for unicorns and flying abilities and cat transformation powers. Probably because saying ‘not even when you were a kid and believed in Santa Claus?’ would not provide a great deal of extra dignity to the conversation.

  1. Pingback: Deconstruction Roundup for August 21, 2015 | The Slacktiverse

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