Shadowed: Chapter 42: Onto Those Women…and the Kids
Since Paul’s been hiding for this entire book like a little scared bunny, it’s almost refreshing to get a bit more of his particular brand of self-absorbed, lying craziness. Almost.
Paul and Straight have a (skull?) phone conversation. Paul reveals Bia’s death to Straight…
“I’m convinced she was a believer, Straight, but it’s just…I can’t—”
“I know, Paul. This is no game. This is real life-and-death stuff.”
THIS IS NO GAME??? Paul and Straight are figuring this out now, not when they orchestrated the deaths of millions upon millions of innocents?
And Paul also informs Straight of the deaths of the believers in the restaurant. Straight is relatively unfazed, except regarding Felicia specifically.
Is it worth noting at this point that neither of these women would be dead right now had not these two men each encouraged not to go into hiding? Paul literally turned away Bia at the door to the underground, and Straight convinced Felicia to go back to work immediately after her husband’s suicide and make contact with the other believers. They could both have been safe and secure in the shelter now, or on their way to
Somehow, I doubt that was what Jae had in mind when she told Paul to “Get your mind off yourself and onto these women.”
Speaking of Jae, Paul then informs her that, simply, “This is all your dad’s work.”
There’s just something about the way he phrases that, that makes it sound like Jae is guilty by association. This is your dad’s work, wifey. Not like my dad, who only thought people, like his own wife, should burn in hell for all eternity.
What a dumb broad, having a father like that.
Pudgy Jack and Greenie show up at the little Stepola “apartment,” and are skeptical when Paul tells them they can speak freely with Jae there. Then Jae, good little Christian wifey that she is, offers to bugger off from her own home so the MEN can talk, but they graciously allow her to stay.
Pudgy Jack and Greenie inform Paul and Jae that there is “outrage” and “backlash” at the deaths of the believers in Joliet. This sounds, shall we say, highly improbable, given that it has been only a couple of weeks since these believers called down the massacre on the planet’s husbands and fathers and sons and brothers. But Pudgy Jack once again brings up his idea of asking their thug-god to flood the whole world. And for once, Paul almost agrees, since he’s so pissed about Bi and Felecia.
If I thought we were supposed to see this as the kind of mindset that war produces, an example of the violence-begets-violence that happens in the world, I might be a bit impressed. Hell, you could almost go for a Hatfields-and-McCoys idea, where the two parties become so entrenched in the feud itself that they forget what the fight was about in the first place. But here, I’m quite sure we’re meant to see this as a Good Christian Man being driven to the brink by the fact that his eeeeevil father-in-law ordered the murders of his friends.
Because that Good Christian Man called down his all-powerful god to murder the father-in-laws son and millions and millions of other innocents.
Anyway, Jae cuts into the Manly conversation about who wants to flood the globe. Not because she thinks the idea is barbaric or anything (in fact, she says, “Call down rain. Call down fire, whatever.“), but because she wants the focus to be on getting all the children out of the underground complex.
Greenie heads off to see Angela (who is taking care of the kids). This is for no real reason other than to split the party (never split the party!). I mean, there was some vague talk about 35 chapters ago about Greenie having a little bit of a thing for Angela, but this has never once been explored, and we don’t even know if Angela knows about it.
THEN AN EXPLOSION ROCKS THE COMPLEX!!!
And Jae is the only one of the three knocked over.
BECAUSE SHE’S A WOMAN
The threesome leave the apartment, and Paul and Jae head toward the room where the kids were all gathered to watch a movie with Angela, and Jack heads the other way, for reasons best known to himself.
[Paul] grabbed Jae’s arm and turned to Jack. “Keep in touch with me by cell.”
Just think…we’re almost done with this series, and then we’ll never have to worry about Jerry Jenkins forgetting about skullphones ever again!
Speaking of them, Jae gets in touch with Angela on them, and the whole corridor to the kids is blocked in with a concrete avalanche.
Paul sees it and immediately says:
“This is hopeless, babe.”
What a hero!
Jae, however, harnesses The Power of Mom and begins digging through the rubble with her hands.
I wonder if Jenkins realizes what a wuss Paul looks like right now?
Said Paul heads off, in a terribly manly way, to find some equipment to dig with or something. Leaving Jae to continue digging out her children with her hands.
Paul meets up with Jack, and gets in contact with Jae by phone, since she is still digging to the kids with her hands. Gawd forbid Paul literally get his hands dirty, I guess.
Greenie, remember, was heading off to meet with Angela. Jae finds him in the course of her digging, and he is okay, of course:
“No way he should be alive, but he is.” [Jae said] “His head should have been crushed. If I ever wondered whether God was real and cared…”
“…then that notion was quickly dispelled when he murdered my innocent brother!”
HA. Just kidding, of course. Jae just trails off like that, because Greenie surviving is such a wondrous miracle!
Boy, I was sure worried for a minute, though. That Greenie was such a nuanced and interesting character, I would have been heartbroken had he bought it!
And so, you can see the action picking up as we trudge towards the conclusion.