Shadowed: Chapter 44: Fumes of All Kinds
As Paul farts around doing…whatever manly things he does, Jae and other real parents continue trying to rescue their kids. There is an odd mention of people getting sick off the “propane exhaust of the loader” that is now helping with the digging. So I guess in addition to skull phones and Bia’s daughter, Jenkins forgot he made all vehicles powered by sun, electricity, or hydrogen.
It’s kinda sad that he keeps forgetting these things. Because we’re now in the last TWENTY PAGES of this epic saga. And the yet the world remains…well, perhaps not unbuilt. But built poorly and with lots of foundation missing from buildings.
Anyway, the manly stuff Paul is doing is ditching the bombed out compound with Roscoe Wipers, to go meet Ranold.
And getting a gun:
[Pudgy Jack] gave Paul an ancient Uzi. “Fully loaded and like new,” Jack said.
I bet it is. Probably one of hundreds from your private collection. Sicko.
As they head out in a nice, heated car, Paul spares yet another fleeting thought for his wife and kids (“Belle and Cory? Beth and Colin? Bob and Carrie? Damn, it’s something like that!”) But he soon focuses in on the most important issue:
There’s a lot of it, you see, so Paul immediately does the second most manly thing a Jenkins hero can do after phone logistics:
As they crept past the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Paul got an idea. He could shoot southwest and then west on Military Road to Nebraska Avenue, then head southwest across Connecticut to Massachusetts. The cathedral would then be just southeast of him at Wisconsin Avenue and Woodley Road.
I can’t believe I just typed all that out. WHO CARES? Was Jenkins huddled over a map for this section? I mean, I’m not going to check him on this, but anyone familiar with the Washington, D.C. roads is welcome to, of course.
But even while being a Manly Man of Traffic Prowess, Paul still has time to be a smug, superior prick:
“You’re a believer, okay, fine. But that doesn’t explain why you came for me.” [says Roscoe Wipers]
“What kind of person would I be if I hadn’t?”
“You’d be like me, that’s what.”
“And you said it yourself, Roscoe, you’re not a believer. Believers do the right thing. At least we’re supposed to.”
It was right to call down the dessication of L.A.! It was right to pray for the deaths of millions upon millions of innocents! It was right to abandon my wife and kids in a collapsed underground lair!
Also, I’m not sure that “rescuing” Roscoe, only to drag him to the showdown between himself and Ranold, when both parties involved are feeling pretty murdery, is the most right thing Paul has ever done, either.
Roscoe, bless his heart, isn’t one to shut up in the face of Paul’s condescending smarminess:
“That’s what you’re doing right now? Looking for your father-in-law so you can give him a hug?”
Heh. I like Roscoe.
Paul admits that he would like to lay down some good old-fashioned street justice on Ranold’s fat ass…
“But I don’t plan to shoot him.”
“Then you’re crazy, Doc. Really.”
Yeah, and if you don’t plan to shoot him, what’s with the Uzi, Paul?
Anyway, Paul points out that “people” know where he’s going, but since those people are all underground believers who just got bombed, I’m not sure what Paul thinks they can do about it. But Roscoe agrees with this minor point, because he has a bigger point to make:
“So he gets caught! You get dead. What are you thinking? You want your family left without you if they do survive?”
Roscoe is laying down so much truth on Paul right now, I can’t even. Twenty pages to go, and Jenkins is still making the nonbelievers the smart and logical ones. I’m not sure that was his intention, going in.
The truth-telling must come to an end though, because there is HOT PHONE ACTION to be had: Straight and Scooter have implausibly beat Paul and Ranold to the cathedral, and Paul tells Scooter to “set up” so he has a view of the “main narthex.” So Scooter’s going to film everything that goes on. Now, this is a classic con, but it sure depended on a lot of luck: Scooter just so happening to be in an accident and just so happening to be under the care of Dr. Nazi, who just so happens to be a friend of Straight who can magically engineer the fastest flight in history and fight a massive traffic jam to get Scooter to the confession site on time.
Just sayin’. Leverage, this ain’t.
(And now I want to watch the Leverage Christmas episode!)
Meanwhile, Ranold is also heading for the cathedral. Jenkins makes a big point out of the fact that Ranold is carrying a nine millimeter, but since Paul has an Uzi, it’s not like I blame Ranold. Our Hero also receives a call from Haywood Hale, who’s in Bern pounding out some policy with other world leaders.
This is policy, mind you, about how to negotiate with the followers of the all-powerful thug god who just slaughtered their loved ones. So it has the potential to be really interesting.
So, no, we don’t get to see it.