NRA: What does the Antichrist want?

Nicolae: The Rise of Antichrist, pp. 99-101

Rayford Steele is eavesdropping on his boss as they fly over the Pacific.

His boss is Nicolae Carpathia — the potentate, global dictator, Antichrist and random destroyer of cities. In the previous scene, Nicolae gave the order for the destruction of San Francisco and the bombs began to fall. Rayford got even with him by accelerating abruptly during takeoff, causing Nicolae to fall in the aisle of the plane.

Causing someone to trip because they just killed a few million people doesn’t really make things even, but Rayford is still enormously pleased with his tiny act of revenge, and the authors are still basking in it here in the following scene.

“I was so excited and so full of ideas,” the potentate said, “that I could not stay seated. I hope I do not have a bruise to show for it.” His lackeys all roared with laughter.

Nothing funnier than the boss’s joke, Rayford thought.

Perhaps soon the cumulative effect of all these bitter, disapproving thoughts directed his way will begin to take a toll on Nicolae. Rayford and Buck have to hope so, because so far, such silent disapproval is the Tribulation Force’s only strategy against the Antichrist.

“We have so much to talk about, so much to do,” Carpathia continued. “When our compatriots join us in Baghdad, we will get right to work.”

This is it — this is his big chance, what Rayford has been waiting for for more than a year.

The whole point of Rayford’s elaborate eavesdropping system — more than that, the whole point of his taking a job as the apparently loyal servant of the Antichrist — was to gather information on the Antichrist’s plans. For many months now, Rayford has served as the personal pilot for a man he believes is evil incarnate, all so that he would have a chance to eavesdrop on exactly this conversation, the one that begins, “We have so much to talk about, so much to do.”

Rayford didn’t learn of Nicolae’s plan to destroy a dozen airports (and their surrounding cities) until it was too late for him to plan a response. But now, it seems, the Antichrist is about to lay out his nefarious agenda for the coming months and Rayford, secretly listening in, will be collecting valuable intelligence for the Tribulation Force.

Or not.

Rayford heard the unmistakable voice of Leon Fortunato. “Potentate,” he whispered, “we’ll need replacements for Hernandez, Halliday, and your fiancée, will we not?”

Hernandez was the co-pilot who flew with Rayford from Dallas to San Francisco. He was just killed in the destruction of the airport there. Halliday, Rayford’s old pilot friend, had been hired to help design Nicolae’s new plane, after which — for reasons never explained — he was to be killed as well. Nicolae’s fiancée, of course, is poor Hattie Durham, who also works as his personal secretary.

Rayford sat up. Was it possible? Had they already eliminated those three, and why Hattie Durham? He felt responsible that his former senior flight attendant was now not only in Carpathia’s employ, but was also his lover and the soon-to-be mother of his child. So, was he not going to marry her? Did he not want a child? He had put on such a good front before Rayford and Amanda when Hattie had announced the news.

Carpathia chuckled. “Please do not put Ms. Durham in the same category as our late friends. Hernandez was expendable. Halliday was a temporary necessity. Let us replace Hernandez and not worry about replacing Halliday. He served a purpose. The only reason I asked you to replace Hattie is that the job has passed her by. …”

So, no, Nicolae isn’t planning to have Hattie killed. The authors have worse things in store for her than that.

Nicolae and his new right-hand man, Fortunato, continue discussing personnel issues for another page or so. “I would like you to handle finding new secretarial personnel,” the global potentate says to the second-most powerful man on the planet.

And this, apparently, was the “so much to talk about, so much to do,” that Nicolae mentioned.

Poor, expendable Hernandez was a lower-level pilot who worked for the Global Community one-world government. The leader of that OWG is here concerning himself personally with the job vacancy created by Hernandez’s demise.

So the global potentate micromanages the entire world, with him apparently needing to be personally consulted about every job opening anywhere on the planet. But it’s even worse than that. Nicolae and Fortunato spend all this time discussing the need to replace this Dallas-based pilot without ever pausing to consider that, oh, by the way, we also just nuked the airport in Dallas, so all of our other pilots there are probably dead, too, and that airport will need to be rebuilt, along with the airports in New York, London, Washington, Toronto, Chicago …

While eavesdropping on this top-secret meeting of the OWG personnel committee, Rayford is also apparently listening to “the news” in the cockpit:

The destruction of the San Francisco airport and much of the Bay Area had already made the news.

“The news” there probably means those omnipresent GCCNN Radio people again. I feel bad for those folks. When the bombs started to fall on San Francisco, they had to get to work, grabbing their microphones and cameras and heading into danger. Meanwhile, at Global Community Weekly’s San Francisco office, everybody just took the rest of the day off.

This is the third or fourth time that Jerry Jenkins has informed readers first about the destruction of an airport and then, as a footnote to that, about the slaughter of millions of people in the surrounding area as well. This weird priority of airports over people seems like a device a better writer might borrow and repurpose as a way of deliberately highlighting the obtuse narcissism of a protagonist. I think that would be effective, since it’s quite effective here at unintentionally highlighting the obtuse narcissism of both Rayford and the authors.

Rayford saw the fear in [co-pilot] McCullum’s eyes. Maybe the man would have felt more confident had he known that his ultimate boss, Nicolae Carpathia, had most everything under control for the next few years.

Last week we looked at a scene that stood out from the rest of this book because, for once, Buck Williams wanted something. He was searching for Chloe and wanted to find her. Briefly, for a handful of pages, we thus had a plot and a character we could understand: Man searches for lost woman.

Here we’re told that the Antichrist has “most everything under control.” He rules over the entire world with absolute power. He has “so much to talk about, so much to do.”

But we still have no idea what the Antichrist wants.

The authors themselves don’t seem to have any idea of this either. And since Nicolae is the antagonist driving the plot of this story, that means we also don’t have any idea of what that plot is. He’s the title character of this book, but we can’t begin to understand his character either. We don’t know what he wants.

The authors told us all along that Nicolae’s professed idealism was a bogus charade. Now, with the mass-murder of his bombing campaign, they have shown us that — shown that all his talk of peace, harmony and global unity was just a deception to enable his rise to power. Now that he has that power, he has no intention of using it to promote peace or harmony or any of that other stuff.

OK, but what does he intend to use his power for? What’s his plan? Why does he do what he does?

The authors don’t tell us because they don’t know. And they don’t care. “Bible prophecy,” they insist, tells us what the Antichrist will do. And if we already know, step-by-step, exactly what he will do, then we don’t need to know why.

And that leaves us with a character who has no character driving a plot that has no plot. We plow our way through the prophecy check list, each inscrutable act following the other, but we can never understand why any of this is happening other than the author’s assurance that it all must happen because it was all foretold.

Rayford knew that Hernandez was doomed as soon as he left the plane in San Francisco. He even briefly thought of maybe half-warning the young pilot to get out of the city before it was destroyed, but then Hernandez was slightly discourteous to him, so he abandoned him to his fate. Now though, overhearing Nicolae Carpathia describe the man as “expendable,” Rayford is horrified:

He was hearing things he never wanted to hear. … Life had become so cheap that in a matter of hours he had lost a new acquaintance, Hernandez, and a dear old mentor and friend, Earl Halliday. …

He turns off the intercom and heads for some rest in his “lavishly appointed” pilot’s “chamber.”

Rayford removed his shoes and stretched out on his back. He thought about Earl. He thought about Amanda. He thought about Chloe and Buck. And he worried. And it all started with the loss of Bruce. Rayford turned on his side and buried his face in his hands and wept. How many close to him might he lose today alone?

That reminds me of one of my favorite passages from Ray Bradbury. In Something Wicked This Way Comes, he wrote:

A stranger is shot in the street, you hardly move to help. But if, half and hour before, you spent just 10 minutes with the fellow and knew a little about him and his family, you might just jump in front of his killer and try to stop it. Really knowing is good. Not knowing, or refusing to know is bad, or amoral, at least. You can’t act if you don’t know.

Bradbury there, in five sentences, pinpoints everything that’s wrong with Rayford Steele. And with his creators.

  • aunursa

    “I was so excited and so full of ideas,” the potentate said, “that I could not stay seated. I hope I do not have a bruise to show for it.”

    As far as I can recall, none of the Tribulation Force moles is ever punished for incompetence, disrepect, or for taking any action that makes Nicky look bad.  With the exception of Leon Fortunato, loyal members of the Global Community are punished for errors great and slight.  But never the enemy spies.

  • aunursa

    Halliday, Rayford’s old pilot friend, had been hired to help design Nicolae’s new plane, after which — for reasons never explained — he was to be killed as well.

    Halliday was killed in order to show Rayford the readers how diabolically evil Nicky really is.  Because the bombing of millions of innocent civilians isn’t sufficient enough to demonstrate the depths of his depravity.

  • http://snarkthebold.blogspot.com/ Edo

    A few irrelevant, named victims are the traditional way to distinguish the Villain from the Hero. As the two become indistinguishable, the likelihood of it approaches 1.

  • aunursa

    He’s the title character of this book, but we can’t begin to understand his character either.

    I think they chose “Nicolae” because the authors didn’t have any other ideas for the title.  Nicky doesn’t play a more priminent role in this book than elsewhere in the series.  In Book #1 he began to assume control of the world.  In Book #6 he is killed, and resurrect in Book #7.  But nothing particularly noteworthy happens to him in this volume.

  • aunursa

    We plow our way through the prophecy check list, each inscrutable act following the other, but we can never understand why any of this is happening other than the author’s assurance that it all must happen because it was all foretold.

    Yep.  That’s pretty much the entire series in a nutshell.

  • aunursa

    He even briefly thought of maybe half-warning the young pilot to get out of the city before it was destroyed, but then Hernandez was slightly discourteous to him, so he abandoned him to his fate.

    I just realized: Rayford spent all of his time in San Francisco making sure that Amanda, who is already saved, would be able to escape the impending destruction.  But it turns out that she dies at the end of this book anyway.  (The readers and Brave Sir Rayford don’t learn of her death until Book #4.)

    But if Rayford had instead warned Hernandez and Halliday, maybe they would have survived longer.  And at any rate they would have had the chance to become RTCs and been saved from eternal damnation.  Which presumably is supposed to be a primary goal of the Tribulation Force in the first place — to save souls.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Nicolae and his new right-hand man, Fortunato, continue discussing
    personnel issues for another page or so. “I would like you to handle
    finding new secretarial personnel,” the global potentate says to the
    second-most powerful man on the planet.

    Secretarial personnel?

    Shouldn’t he be ordering Supreme Commander Leon for security forces? Telling Leon to find anyone who can handle a gun and is willing to work for the GC for a wad of cash to keep Nicolae from being shot at or otherwise attacked by enraged survivors?

    If L&J are trying to show off the “banality of evil”, they’re really not doing a great job.

    And from the point of view of action-thriller books, they suck.

    Granted, that’s long been established, but the evil villain surrounding himself with armed mooks is a staple of the Evil Boss genre and L&J manage to flub that!

  • Foreigner

    I always thought an anti-Christ would be just that: go about preaching hate, greed, intolerance, violence, punishment of transgressors, lauding the virtues of wealth, grinding the faces of the poor, glorifying war … wait a minute …

  • Tricksterson

    This is one of the two books in the series I’ve read and I remember being dissapointed that the book named for him really didn’t go into his past, his motivations or his plans.

  • flat

    So there lies Rayford in his lavishly appointed pilot chamber feeling sorry for himself.

    Excuse me, I have to vommit.

  • Ben English

    Rayford is obviously more concerned about protecting his property than saving souls.

  • Magic_Cracker

    The thousand injuries of Fortunato Rayford had borne as he best could, but when he ventured upon mass murder Rayford vowed to think unkindly on him. You, who so well know the nature of Ray’s soul, will not suppose, however, that he gave utterance to displeasure. At length he would stew impotently; this was a point definitively settled — but the very definitiveness with which it was resolved precluded the idea of risk. Rayford must not only stew but stew with impunity.

  • GeniusLemur

    “Potentate,” he whispered, “we’ll need replacements…”
    He whispered? They’re in Nick’s private plane, one of the most secure places in existence! Can you imagine Herman Goering sitting in the Furher’s bunker whispering about the plans for Operation Barbarossa? Do L&J think we won’t “get” that they’re eeeevilly plotting if they don’t furtively whisper?

  • aunursa

    For the love of God, Magic_Cracker!

  • Magic_Cracker

    It’s rather like going on a guided tour where the bus never stops and the guide doesn’t know anything other than the names of places. (And the only thing to eat are muffin tops.)

  • http://stealingcommas.blogspot.com/ chris the cynic

    [Skewed Slightly to the Left (Not a lot to work with this week.)]

    Rayford lay back on the bed.

    “You weren’t supposed to move a muscle,” one of the guards said.  Rayford didn’t know which one.  The four all blended together.

    “That’s impossible,” Rayford said.

    “Sit back up!”

    “Tired of sitting,” Rayford said lazily.

    “I will fire!”  It was a small room.  There wasn’t any background noise.  Rayford would have heard if the guard had whispered, yet for some reason the guard insisted on shouting.

    “Do it.  Tired of living too.”  Did that count as suicide, Rayford wondered.  Suicides go to Hell, don’t they?  No, that was a Catholic belief.  Still, with the blood on his hands Rayford couldn’t imagine going anywhere else.  He should have crashed the plane when he had the chance.

    Amanda was safe, for the moment.  Small comfort when compared to the millions he could have saved, but it was all he had.  Cameron had been alive when he tried to get warning out.  Some comfort there.

    The warning would give at least some people time to get to shelter, assuming anyone knew where a bomb shelter was this long after the cold war.  Maybe a handful of lives had been saved.

    Rayford pulled his legs onto the bed, more shouting from the guard.  Perhaps more than one of the guards.  He didn’t know.  He didn’t care.

    Curling up into fetal position wasn’t really an intentional act.  He hoped darkness would engulf him soon.  More than that he hoped he wouldn’t dream.

  • Magic_Cracker

    Tell you what, if the admins stopped sending the emails and filing forms, it would be a lot harder for the U.S. at least to wage its wars! Paperwork makes the world go ’round!

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Oh yes. Evil bosses always gloat. They always talk loudly of their plans and cackle with glee.

    *sigh* these books. They really do resemble travelogues sometimes.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon
  • Aaaaaaaaaargh

    I came here wondering if I’d see any posts about a different NRA today.  I’m sure it’ll come yet, but I can’t help feeling this title wouldn’t fit all that badly, and that they’d have a pretty good sense of the answer.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    LB: The Pets

    Arnold the cat sat in the comfortable chair conveniently vacated by his human.

    Suddenly, the roaring sound and vibrations through the chair happened again, and he looked about anxiously as he extended his claws, ready to grip anything if he should fall.

    The ground began to tilt sharply, prompting a plaintive “Mew!” from Arnold. He looked on in surprise as his human tumbled over, and peeked around the back of the chair to see him getting back up as the ground stopped tilting, and the roaring settled to a lower level.

    Oddly, his human seemed unaffected by tumbling over so quickly, which made Arnold wonder if his human were actually another cat.

    (a few scenes later)

    Now seated in his human’s lap, Arnold purred contentedly as his human made those human-ish noises to a rather large human standing next to him.

    Arnold wondered if the large human would also have the ground tilt out from under him on one of these roaring vessels, and whether the large human would be as unaffected.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    This is the third or fourth time that Jerry Jenkins has informed readers first about the destruction of an airport and then, as a footnote to that, about the slaughter of millions of people in the surrounding area as well. This weird priority of airports over people seems like a device a better writer might borrow and repurpose as a way of deliberately highlighting the obtuse narcissism of a protagonist. I think that would be effective, since it’s quite effective here at unintentionally highlighting the obtuse narcissism of both Rayford and the authors.

    I would not necessarily say that such a deliberate use would highlight narcissism as it would be to take a tragedy so enormous that it becomes abstract and turn it into something on a scale the human mind can process.  The whole “One death is a tragedy, a million is a statistic,” kind of framing.  For example, suppose that all these details are only mentioned in passing (as it was in these books) and the impact only really hits Rayford once he retires to the privacy of his quarters.  In the cockpit, he had to maintain his charade and focus on doing his job.  The details around him were absorbed passively, recorded, the impact of them pushed to the back of his mind by the necessity of where he is and what he is doing.  But once he is back on his bunk, he rolls over and closes his eyes.  And in the darkness he sees.

    The airport with that coffee shop that made the best espresso he has ever had.  
    … gone.  
    That other airport with the flight controller who always seemed to guide him in but with a funny accent he could never quite place.  
    … gone.  
    The airport he remembered desperately running through so he would not miss Chole’s birth.  
    … gone.  
    All the faces he has seen, all the people he has met, professionals and personal alike.
    … gone.  

    Sensation swelling up inside him, Rayford stumbles off his cot with a speed born of desperation and heaves great gobs of nothing over the small spartan sink.  He gives a few last hacks, coughing up the sense of horror and disgust, and turns on the sink.  He splashes the water on his face quickly, vigorously rubbing his face with the hand towel as though there were some smudge he could not remove.  Face stinging with a raw sensation, he shambles back to the cot, falling to his knees and clasping his hands together, praying for the strength to carry on one more day.  

  • GeniusLemur

    And remember what we learned a while back. In this plane, you can talk out loud, and anyone in the room who’s not one of your cronies can’t hear you.

  • Tofu_Killer

    So who else here thinks Wayne LaPierre  makes a more convincing anti-christ than Nicky?

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

    Nicolae leaned back in his seat; Rayford could hear the sound of the leather seats. (either that or the only food they could find in San Francisco was Taco Bell, Rayford thought with a chuckle)

    “Leon, I’ll need you to bring me a short list of replacements for those positions. Top people in their fields if possible, but the key is being immediately available.”

    There was a moment of silence. It stretched, until Rayford almost felt a tense stillness through the intercom, before Leon Fortunado snarled a reply.

    “What is wrong with you? We just nuked San Francisco; if there was a rear window, we could see the mushroom cloud! And you want to talk about HR? That’s the next important part of your grand plan? Are you m-”

    Fortunado’s voice cut off suddenly, replaced with a dry gagging sound. Nicolae’s voice sounded velvety-smooth, unconcerned with the subject and unaffected by any exertion.

    “There’s nothing else we need to do, Leon. In times of great trials, some elements of humanity have always lifted themselves up, and lifted up those around them with grace, compassion, love, and mercy. Those elements were taken away over a year ago. Now all that is left are the looters, the squatters, the profiteers. The wounds we’ve made in this world will fester and rot, and the sepsis shall spread across society. We need do nothing, as His grace is no longer present.”

    Rayford heard a long throaty gasp; apparently Leon Fortunado was drawing breath again. Nicolae continued speaking.

    “I know, there will be a demand for a government response, but the bureaucrats will bog down relief efforts and demand extra funding while bodies float in the bay. There will be telethons and charity drives, but the promoters will take their cut, and the celebrity guests will have limos that need to be paid for. Rebuilding will be outsourced, and contractors will run up costs and drive down quality, so that the few buildings restored will be toxic deathtraps in the next disaster.”

    “Leon, we don’t need to do anything more than give people the chance to, well, act like people. This is how the world ends, not with a bang, but with…”

    Rayford suddenly realized at some point in Nicolae’s monologue, a frightened whimper had been escaping from his throat. His fingers numb, he turned off the intercom. 

  • http://stealingcommas.blogspot.com/ chris the cynic

    Blasphemy!

    Nicolae’s cat is named Puffington.

    I cite from the ancient sources, from the days when the blog was at typepad and broken italics ran rampant:

    ferrying him from place to place around the globe, carrying his water and holding his coat

    I misread this at first as “holding his cat”, which made for a glorious mental image of the Antichrist roaming the world, nuking cities and massacring rebels, with Rayford always three feet behind him with a pile of fluffy indifference in his arms. “Have the refugees made their way into the subway? Good. Detonate the nerve gas tanks and release a statement to Le Monde about the latest attack by Christian terrorists. Someone get me four tonnes of sidewalk chalk; I’m going to write the Tetragrammaton on the Western Wall and then call in an air strike. Is Puffington hungry? Puffington wants skritches? Skritchyskritchyskritchypppprrrrrrr. Step along, Rayford, I have to make a phone call to the former King of Jordan. I know you like to watch.”

  • Dogfacedboy

    I’m glad the world didn’t end today, what with nine and 1/2 more books for Fred to still get through.

  • Michael Pullmann

    “The only reason I asked you to replace Hattie is that the job has passed her by. …”

    Uh, Nick, nobody asked why you wanted to replace Hattie. Surely you’re not saying this just to defuse tension in an invisible audience, right?

    Also: I swear, Fred, I feel like every one of your recaps should have a Dave Barry-style “I am not making this up” tacked onto it.

  • aunursa

    No, Chris.  Nicky’s original cat had served its purpose, became expendable, and was eliminated during the 18 month interlude in Book #2.  Fortunato had personally overseen the search for a replacement pet, which resulted in Arnold’s promotion to the position.

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

    Chris, I hate to break the news to you. But Nicky’s original cat had served its purpose, became expendable, and was eliminated during the 18 month interlude in Book #2.  Fortunato had personally overseen the search for a replacement pet, which resulted in Arnold’s promotion to the position.

    Ah yes, I remember the two chapters in which all of Arnold’s contemporaries and associates spoke incredibly highly of him, while Arnold himself struggled over whether or not he should take the job, before deciding after a lengthy prayer nap that it was the right thing to do.

  • Magic_Cracker

    If Nicolae really had a cat in these books, L&J would have had him name it “Lucy Fur”  so that the protagonists could give each other knowing glances behind the backs of the ignorant unsaved liberal idiots cooing and scratching its chin.

  • http://twitter.com/DonnaMcCrimmon Donna McCrimmon

    “The whole point of Rayford’s elaborate eavesdropping system… was to gather information on the Antichrist’s plans.”

    I thought the entire point of the eavesdropping system was so that Jenkins could relay the villain’s schemes without shifting focus away from Buck or Ray. Don’t attribute to elaborate planning which could be more easily explained by sheer laziness.

    Though doesn’t this put Jenkins up against the wall? For about as long as Fred has been doing this series we’ve seen how the heroes refuse to take any action to help others or put themselves on the line. And yet here’s a chance where Jenkins could avoid making them culpable by inaction by not cluing them in on what’s about to happen. Shift focus to Nicholae alone with his puppet government, in a place where neither Ray nor Buck could ever listen in on him, and the audience can find out what the next stage of his plans are without the heroes also doing so. Thus we can’t expect the Tribulation “Force” to take any action to oppose Nicholae, and instead there’d be tension stemming from the fact that we know certain danger is lurking but they don’t. It’s the classic “Look out, the strangler is approaching stealthily behind you!” ploy.

    Of course, to pull that off Jenkins would need to deprive the “heroes” of special knowledge, and considering this entire series is founded on the idea of LaHaye being one of the few special people privy to important information (how to properly read the Book of Revelation) it would be unacceptable for the “heroes” to ever be in the dark about what’s to happen next.

  • aunursa

    If Nicolae really had a cat in these books, L&J would have had him name it “Lucy Fur”

    In an antichrist crossover with The Omen, Rayford could by transporting
    Lucy in the Sky with Damien.

    Sorry … I just couldn’t resist.

  • everstar

    I know there’s no point in again going over how twisted Ellenjay’s view of women is.   Yet reading this I couldn’t help but be struck by how Rayford isn’t worried that Hattie’s life is in danger; he’s worried Carpathia isn’t going to marry her.

  • reynard61

    “So who else here thinks Wayne LaPierre makes a more convincing anti-Christ than Nicky?”

    I think that a more valid comparison would be with Joss Ackland’s evil South African diplomat in Lethal Weapon 2; but instead of waving his credentials and screaming “DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY!!!”, he waves the U.S. Constitution and screams “SECOND AMENDMENT RIGHTS!!!”. Unfortunately, no one seems to be interested in replacing LaPierre (or the rest of the NRA’s so-called “leadership”) with anyone more moderate. And this is why nothing will get done.

  • Magic_Cracker

    Picture yourself on a flight out of Frisco
    As hydrogen bombs light up the skies,
    Somebody calls you, you converse quite slowly,
    Hundreds of pages go by.

    Cellophane prayers will keep your soul clean,
    No matter what horrors you aid,
    You really don’t like it you say to God and yourself,
    But still you want to get paid.

    etc.

  • Magic_Cracker

    Well, if Hattie married Nicholae, she’d no longer be a scarlet lady, but an honest woman meekly submitting to her husband’s headship.

  • aunursa

    Cellophane prayers cellular phone calls

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ann-Unemori/100001112760232 Ann Unemori

    The AntiChrist has a CAT?!?! About time! Don’t need to hear another word about anything else, just fill me in about that Cat! :)

  • http://stealingcommas.blogspot.com/ chris the cynic

    The discussion of cats has me thinking… strange thoughts:

    - – Mr Nicolae Carpathia ate with relish the inner organs of beasts,
    fowls, and dissenters.  He liked ground Christian soup, nutty gizzards, a stuffed roast heart,
    liverslices fried with crustcrumbs, fried hencods’ roes. Most of all he liked
    grilled mutton kidneys which gave to his palate a fine tang of faintly scented
    urine.
    - – Kidneys were in his mind as he moved about the airplane softly,
    righting her breakfast things on the humpy tray. Perfect light and air were in
    the inflight kitchen but outside gentle mushroom clouds rose everywhere. Made him
    feel a bit peckish.
    - – The coals were reddening.  And a faint smell of sulfer wafted up.
    - – Another slice of bread and butter: three, four: right. She didn’t like
    her plate full. Right. He turned from the tray, lifted the kettle off the hob
    and set it sideways on the fire. It sat there, dull and squat, its spout stuck
    out. Cup of saint’s blood soon. Good. Mouth dry.
    T- – he cat walked stiffly round a leg of the table with tail on high.
     — Mkgnao!
     — There you are, Mr Carpathia said, turning from the hellfire.
    - – The cat mewed in answer and stalked again stiffly round a leg of the
    table, mewing. Just how she stalks over my Potentable. Prr. Scratch my
    head. Prr.
    - – Mr Carpathia watched curiously, kindly the lithe black form. Clean to
    see: the gloss of her sleek hide, the white button under the butt of her tail,
    the green flashing eyes. He bent down to her, his hands on his knees.
     — Milk for the pussens, he said.
     — Mrkgnao! the cat cried.
    - – They call them stupid. They understand what we say better than we
    understand them. She understands all she wants to. Vindictive too. Cruel.
    Could learn from her. Curious mice never squeal. Seem to like it. Wonder what I look
    like to her. Height of a tower? No, she can jump me.
     — Afraid of the chickens she is, he said mockingly. Afraid of the
    chookchooks. I never saw such a stupid pussens as the pussens.
     — Mrkrgnao! the cat said loudly.
    - – She blinked up out of her avid shameclosing eyes, mewing plaintively
    and long, showing him her milkwhite teeth. He watched the dark eyeslits
    narrowing with greed till her eyes were green stones. Then he went to thecabinet, took the jug a GC servant had just filled for him, pouredwarmbubbled milk on a saucer and set it slowly on the floor. — Gurrhr! she cried, running to lap.- – He watched the bristles shining wirily in the weak light as she tippedthree times and licked lightly. Wonder is it true if you clip them they can’tmouse after. Why? They shine in the dark, perhaps, the tips. Or kind offeelers in the dark, perhaps.  Like the tentacles of my Lord?- – He listened to her licking lap. Ham and eggs, no. No good eggs withthis drouth. Want pure fresh water. Thursday: not a good day either for ahuman kidney in Paris. Fried with butter, a shake of pepper. Better apork kidney at Dublin. While the kettle is boiling. She lapped slower,then licking the saucer clean. Why are their tongues so rough? To lapbetter, all porous holes. Nothing she can eat? He glanced round him. No.- – On custom baby seal leather boots he went up the staircase to the hall, pausedby the bedroom door. Hattie might like something tasty. Thin bread andbutter she likes in the morning. Still perhaps: once in a way.- – He said softly in the bare hall: — I’m going to nuke a few cities. Be back in a minute.- – And when he had heard his voice say it he added: — You don’t want anything for breakfast?- – A sleepy soft grunt answered: — Mn.
    - – Without warning the hall started to move, the plane was taking off
    could I grab- No.  What about- Too late.  Brace for- OWW! Subpotentates
    must have heard that.  They’ll come to gather all around.  Bootlickers all
    probably do it literally if he asked them.   He should do that.  Ask them
    Step in some shit first
     — Potentate, are you all right?
     — I am all right, Mr. Carpathia insisted. It is my own fault. I will be fine.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jrandyowens Randy Owens

    And since Nicolae is the antagonist driving the plot of this story, that means we also don’t have any idea of what that plot is.

    I just read an insightful post on Facebook yesterday (yes, such a beast exists) discussing a basic problem of superhero comics, that one way to define a protagonist versus an antagonist is that the protagonist is proactive, and the antagonist reacts to the protagonist.  And given the usual relationships between supervillains & superheroes, in this schema, the villain is usually the protagonist.  It seems like we have the same problem (among many, many others) in these books.  It still leaves open the question of whether Nicolae or the not-directly-seen God is the protagonist, but it sure as heck ain’t Ray or Bucky-boy.  Nicolae is the one who’s visibly proactive, but then again, it’s mostly in keeping with the plan decreed by God long ago, so that’s debatable.

  • http://heathencritique.wordpress.com/ Ruby_Tea

    Verna Zee Sensible Shoes Confrontation Countdown: 247 pages

  • http://stealingcommas.blogspot.com/ chris the cynic

    All further inquires about the Antichrist’s cat Puffington should be directed at Will Wildman of Narrow Crooked Lanes.  I’m afraid I’ve already told all I know.

  • David

    We sent Osama’s chauffeur to Guantanimo.  What should be done with the Anti-Christ’s pilot that seems to leave nuked airports in his wake?

    It seems that these books are one long meditation on the quote: All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.  That is assuming these men are good.

  • Magic_Cracker

    Or maybe “cellular towers that never get bombed” ….

  • Kubricks_Rube

    So, was he not going to marry her? Did he not want a child? He had put on such a good front before Rayford and Amanda when Hattie had announced the news.

    Wait, wasn’t Rayford afraid Hattie had been murdered? How did this become about office gossip? And why does Ray sound so hurt by the thought of Nicolae not settling down with a family? It’s almost like he thinks the Antichrist is too good for her, and the mass-murdering spawn of Satan was the last best hope for a girl like Hattie to ever find a groom.

    Oh, and “soon-to-be mother of his child”? Surely as an RTC, Rayford knows that motherhood begins at conception.

  • ohiolibrarian

     You know, a book with one inscrutable act following on another could be interesting … if the characters who had to deal with the acts and each other were recognizably human.

  • Magic_Cracker

    That’s akin to a long-time superhero comic book complaint of mine: Most supervillains are committing crimes to specifically draw out or get back at their preferred nemesis. I can’t remember the last time I read a Detective Comics where Bruce Wayne investigated a case that wasn’t in some way connected back to himself, either as Bruce Wayne or the Batman.

  • http://stealingcommas.blogspot.com/ chris the cynic

    Wait.  So you mean if someone would just step up and kill Batman all the supervillains would leave Gotham alone?  Batman is the beacon that brings them in and says, “This is the city you should attack.”

    Well, damn, we need a hero to get rid of this menace.

  • Ken

    What should be done with the Anti-Christ’s pilot that seems to leave nuked airports in his wake?

    IIRC, in the last book he gets a golden crown, two wives (who are willing to share, wink wink), his own estate, and a hearty “well done thou good and faithful servant” from the Big Guy himself.  So if you’re looking for justice, try another series.


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