Shadowed: Chapter 39: Bia…
Well, we all knew this moment was coming. In one way or another. Poor Bia. Jenkins has had it out for her since the moment he created her. What with her being a tall, gangly, single woman and all.
But, we’ll get to Bia. First, Paul and Ranold behave like a recently-broken-up couple:
Paul is hanging out with hundreds of the residents of the underground, waiting to get the evacuation organized and going. FINALLY.
So, of course, Bia calls Paul at that moment. First on Ranold’s phone (landline, I guess, if we’re going to be generous), then from her own phone. Bia apparently puts her skull on speaker, and Paul immediately savvies to that.
Then Ranold. “Yes, you’re on speaker, you coward. Why do you answer her phone and not mine?”
“Because I want to talk to her.”
“And you don’t want to talk to me.”
“You’re a quick study, Dad.”
I don’t know whether to slap these two just because they’re acting like a couple of tweens switching dates for the Snowdays Dance, or because they’re acting like a couple of tweens when thousands (more) lives are on the line.
They snipe back and forth for a couple of minutes, to no purpose whatsoever except dick-waving, until Paul suggests an in-person meeting (remember, he wants to “take [Ranold] on“).
So Ranold proposes the National Cathedral for a meet spot. Of course, it’s not a cathedral anymore, but it is where Ranold arrested hundreds of Episcopalians right after the war, when Paul was a baby.
So Paul might leave the underground
thumb-twiddling planning chambers for the first time in 32 chapters!
So after the (possibly skull) phone call, Bia heads back to her office, but is immediately called by Ranold, who asks her to stay late to look over revised plans for the upcoming raid. (Someday, that raid might happen. Maybe.) She agrees, though this seems rather cavalier for her own safety, given that Paul has just confirmed to Ranold that he and Bia have been in near-constant contact for days now.
The only change is that the date of the raid has been rescheduled to Monday, February 11. (For the record, this will be 20 days post the massacre.) But since Ranold didn’t say what the change was, Bia has to read through everything to make sure. Meaning she is late leaving work, meaning there is nobody else around when she finally gets into her car and is shot, presumably by Ranold.
Now, we know Bia is Saved, so she gets the express ticket to Heaven, not like she would have three weeks ago when she honestly didn’t believe, but we have to remember that this is Bia. She of the tallness and boniness and liking slinky dresses and not being a big fan of Paul. So while her death is not drawn out, neither is it immediate—it takes three shots to kill her.
Which I am going to interpret as Bia being almost Too Tough to Die.
I’m sure Leya would be very sad at her mother’s untimely death. If Jenkins remembered he created her.
So, since Leya can’t, let us pause for just a moment and remember the bad-assedness of Bia Balaam.