Shadowed: Chapter 36, Part 2 and Chapter 37: Part 1: Bia’s Big Lie
Okay, so during Ranold’s crappy conversation with C.C., C.C. reveals that Roscoe Wipers is probably not dead. How he would know this, I don’t know, unless we’re to assume that C.C. is sympathetic to the zealots, and thus knows they would never kill anyone. (Unless they did it through their thug-god, or unless they were European and had captured a cop, but I don’t think we’re supposed to worry about those contingencies.)
(Also also, did Jenkins forget that Paul really, really wanted to murder Wipers?)
Anyway, Ranold concludes from this little tidbit that Bia lied to him about Wipers. Honestly, this is a bit confusing to me: the zealots fake-executed Wipers before they knew Bia was on the road to being a believer. Hell, Paul wasn’t called by Bia until ten chapters after the fake execution.
But suddenly, this little piece of information has become a big deal. I’ve skimmed back through the book, and I freely admit I may be missing something, but I don’t think there was a single conversation about Roscoe Wipers between Bia and Paul, or between Bia and Ranold.
But suddenly, it’s important to Ranold that Bia lied to him. And given the amount of space Jenkins now devotes to the issue, it’s important to Jenkins as well. Ranold calls Bia, awakening her from her Jesus-induced slumber, and asks her about Wipers. She pulls the old “chchchchch…sorry…shshshsackack…bad connec—chchchchch—” trick, thus buying her time to call Paul for guidance on this moral quandary:
“[Ranold’s] going to push me to the wall,” she said. “Do I just flat out lie to him?”
“Why not?” Paul said, hoping her answer would tell him more than he asked.
What an unbelievable prick Paul is. I mean, we all know this already, but still. Bia could be imprisoned. She could be killed, and all Paul is concerned about is giving her a Christianese test.
“Because I’m one of you now. I’m not supposed to do that, right?”
“That’s the question of the ages, Bia. But let me be the first to welcome you to the family.”
“Seeing as how I was also the first to bar you from the house, after all.”
Bia claims that she knows how to “dodge, to bob and weave.”
(Probably how to dip and duck, too. Har.)
But Paul takes a page of dialogue to sorta nudge her in the RTC-ian direction that Jerry Jenkins loves so much, where you fudge direct questions but not quite telling the whole truth.
Oh, and on top of it all, Paul concludes this whole exchange (which, again, is life and death for Bia) by bringing it back to himself. Again.
“I’m trying to draw the man out, Bia. I want a face-to-face.”
Okay, Paul has officially snapped. He is the one who is hiding, literally underground. And Ranold, as interim head of the NPO, could not be more out if he tried. Hell, he’s sleeping in his own bed, in his own house, every single night, Paul. Go ahead and get you some, if you think you can.