NRA: Mojo rising

Nicolae: The Rise of Antichrist; Chapter 6

Our Antichrist is busy getting all Antichrist-y in this chapter, but does he know that’s what he’s doing?

On the one hand, our story so far has often suggested that Nicolae Carpathia must know that he is the Antichrist of Tim LaHaye’s “Bible prophecy” mythos. Much of his behavior only makes sense if he knows this — if he has studied the footnotes of the Scofield Bible and the premillennial dispensationalist writings of people like LaHaye and Hal Lindsey. He has been following their End Times check list too precisely to accept that he is not intimately familiar with it.

A “literal” reading of the Bible never says that the Antichrist will have hypnotic super-powers. But then, of course, a literal reading of the Bible never mentions “the Antichrist.”

Just consider the city of New Babylon. Nicolae spent much of his first year and a half in office building this gleaming new world capital in the middle of the desert just so that he could claim to have rebuilt ancient Babylon. That’s something no one would ever imagine or attempt unless he was intent on establishing himself as the very particular sort of Antichrist imagined by a very particular school of “Bible prophecy.”

The building of this city is too weird and too specific for any possibility other than that Nicolae has a dog-eared copy of The Late Great Planet Earth that he’s using as a daily planner. It shows he knows himself to be the Antichrist — and not just some generic Antichrist type, but explicitly the PMD Antichrist. It is only in that particular school of End Times mania that anyone reads biblical allusions to Babylon as prophecies of the rebuilding of Nebuchadnezzar’s literal kingdom on its original site. (This is just one of many ways that any random reggae musician is a more reliable biblical exegete than Tim LaHaye.)

On the other hand, our story has also often suggested that Nicolae Carpathia cannot know that he is the Antichrist. It seems that for every action he takes that only makes sense if he’s studying LaHaye’s check list, he takes another action that only makes sense if he is completely ignorant of these “prophecies” and what they say is coming next.

It won’t help us to sort this out by skipping ahead to later volumes or to the prequels, where the authors imagine they settle this question. The story so far is too firmly committed to both answers for the contradiction to be resolved that way. Based on his actions and his agenda thus far, Nicolae has to know that he is the Antichrist. And based on his actions and his agenda thus far, Nicolae cannot know that he is the Antichrist.*

In this chapter, during his business meeting with his “sovereign” underlings, Nicolae again suggests both contradictory answers. He shrugs off the significance of Tsion Ben-Judah, seeming as though he’s never heard of the army of Jewish converts LaHaye’s prophecy check list foretells. And he lays out a long-term political agenda with plans for infrastructure and energy investment that he would never bother with if he knew he was the Antichrist and had only five and a half years remaining before Armageddon. Yet this chapter also gives us one of the most explicit scenes yet of Nicolae employing his Antichrist superpowers with a deliberateness that would seem impossible unless he knew, with certainty, exactly who he was and what his role was in the unfolding prophetic check list.

Here, again, Nicolae wields the mind-control mojo** he used back in the anticlimax to the first book. This time Jerry Jenkins tries to give us a clearer picture of how these mind-control powers work. In doing so, he shows Nicolae enjoying the use of his powers and employing them in a way that only makes sense if he knows he is the Antichrist.

Rayford Steele, eavesdropping on this meeting, gets a case of the sanctified shivers in the presence of this display of the dark arts:

Rayford felt a tingle up his spine and nearly turned, convinced someone was standing right outside the cockpit door. Finally the feeling became so foreboding and pervasive that he whipped off his headphones and stood, leaning to peek through the fish-eye peephole. No one was there. Was God trying to tell him something? He was reminded of the same sense of fear that had overcome him when Buck had told his terrifying story of sitting through a meeting where Carpathia had single-handedly hypnotized and brainwashed everyone in the room except Buck.

That last sentence is clumsy, but when you’re trying to have one protagonist remember the feelings of the other one it’s hard to write clearly.

Only born-again Christians like Rayford and Buck feel this ominous sense of evil when Nicolae works his magic. And having their spiritual amulet of protection, such Christians are shielded from the effects of the spell. I’m not sure whether or not Nicolae knows this about his mind-control powers, but if he does, then that effectively gives him another super ability — the ability to detect born-again Christians.

Rayford sat back in his seat and put the headphones on. When he depressed the intercom button, it was as if he were hearing a new Carpathia. Nicolae spoke very softly, very earnestly, in a monotone. None of the flourishes and inflections that usually characterized his speech were evident. “I want to tell you all something, and I want you to listen very carefully and understand fully. …”

I’m trying to imagine what an earnest monotone sounds like, but I suppose what Jenkins is going for here is your standard B-movie hypnotist spiel, so I’m guessing Nicolae is speaking here in the same kind of voice in which one would say, “You are getting sleepy … sleeeeepy.”

Still speaking like a sideshow hypnotist, Nicolae describes his plan:

“Within the next few months we shall all announce unanimous decisions allowing us to control business, education, health care, and even the way your individual kingdoms choose their leaders. The fact is, democracy and voting will be suspended. They are inefficient and not in the best interests of the people. Because of what we will provide people, they will quickly understand that this is correct. Each of you can go back to your subjects and honestly tell them that this was your idea, you raised it, you sought support of your colleagues and me for it, and you prevailed. I will publicly reluctantly accede to your wishes, and we will all win.”

After all the murky tax and energy discussion, it’s refreshing to hear the embodiment of evil endorsing something more unambiguously wicked — and I think the abolition of “democracy and voting” certainly counts as truly evil. But I can’t figure out why Nicolae, or the authors, thinks this is a new step at this point in the story.

The 10 men Nicolae is talking to here were appointed by the potentate to rule over their “kingdoms.” They were not elected and they did not face the prospect of needing to be re-elected. They have, for more than a year, been accountable only to the potentate above them and not at all to their “subjects” below them.

So I have no idea what it means now for the Antichrist to “suspend” democracy and voting. He did that 18 months ago. Democracy and voting haven’t been part of this story since all the children disappeared. And he isn’t proposing any change in the way the “individual kingdoms choose their leaders” — he already did that when he chose their leaders for them.

No one says anything at first in response to Nicolae’s suggestion, but it’s not because they’re confused by the suspension of non-existent democracy. It’s only because his mind-control mojo apparently takes a moment to take effect:

Rayford listened to a long silence, wondering if his bugging device was malfunctioning. He released and depressed it several times, finally deciding that no one was saying anything in the conference area. So this was the mind control Buck had witnessed firsthand.

Eventually, the mojo-ified princes all begin suggesting back to Nicolae the same policies he just fed them. They begin “talking over each other” and “parroting back to him” the instructions he had given them.

“The meeting lasted another couple of hours,” Jenkins tells us. I’m grateful he opted to summarize most of that. We don’t hear any more of Nicolae’s specific evil plans until one last final spasm at the end of the chapter, in which the authors pull out the big guns and have the Antichrist endorse the mostest-evilest thing they can imagine: legal abortion.

“We cannot pretend that the world as we know it has not been almost destroyed by this outbreak of global war. It is not over yet. There will be more skirmishes. …”

Raining nuclear bombs on major cities isn’t usually described as a “skirmish.” But enough about nuclear mass-murder, what about the really evil stuff? What about abortion?

“There will be more surreptitious attacks. We will have to reluctantly access our power base of weaponry, which you all know I am loath to do, and many more thousands of lives will be lost in addition to the hundreds of thousands already taken. …”

The authors seem to regard Nicolae’s estimate there of “hundreds of thousands” of dead as roughly accurate. This is after he has destroyed (at least) the cities of London, Washington, New York, Chicago, Dallas, Toronto and San Francisco with nuclear weapons — metropolitan areas that are home to more than 40 million people.

Once again, population estimates don’t seem to be the authors’ strong suit, which is why they have their Antichrist fretting about the supposed strain of post-Rapture, post-nuclear overpopulation. A problem he proposes solving with lots and lots of — yep, here it is — abortions:

“Those who would oppose us will take advantage of the impossibility of our peacekeeping forces to be everywhere at once, and this will result in famine, poverty, and disease. In one way, there is a positive side to this. Due to the incredible cost of rebuilding, the fewer people we must feed and whose standard of living we must raise, the more quickly and economically we can do this. As the population level decreases and then stabilizes, it will be important for us to be sure that it does not then explode again too quickly. With proper legislation regarding abortion, assisted suicide, and the reduction of expensive care for the defective and the handicapped, we should be able to get a handle on worldwide population control.”

Here again a reminder: Every child on Earth disappeared in the Rapture. Every parent left behind became immediately childless. Every mother lost her every son and every daughter. Every father lost his every child. Every grandparent lost all of their grandchildren. Every aunt and uncle lost every niece and nephew.

This has had no effect on the plot of this story. This has had no effect on the characters in this story.

The Event didn’t just take away every child, but every pregnancy, with every pregnant woman on the planet instantaneously becoming un-pregnant at the moment of the Rapture. The authors drew particular attention to that aspect of the Event back in Book 1 — describing a video from a hospital maternity ward that captured the moment on tape:

Then came the scream and the dropping of the camera, terrified voices, running nurses, and the doctor. CNN reran the footage in superslow motion, showing the woman going from very pregnant to nearly flat-stomached, as if she had instantaneously delivered.

And yet never, in the hundreds of pages that followed, did the authors or any characters in their story ever wonder — after the disintegration of every child on Earth along with the miraculous termination of every pregnancy — if this meant that humans would never again be able to have children. The jarring “Eighteen months later” time-skip at the end of the second book skipped over the period nine months after the Event in which, if it were possible, the first children would have been born in the post-Rapture baby boom.

The authors never tell us that baby boom happened, but they never tell us it didn’t happen either.*** Like all of their characters, the authors don’t seem to have given a second thought to the missing children or to the implications of a childless world.

It is only now, more than 800 pages later, that we get this back-handed, tangential acknowledgement that apparently, yes, pregnancy and childbirth are indeed possible post-Rapture. And the only reason we learn this is because without such new pregnancies, the Antichrist would have nothing to abort.

Of course that still doesn’t explain why, just 18 months after the world’s population instantaneously dropped from 7 billion to less than 4 billion, anyone would be worried about trying “to get a handle on worldwide population control.”

– – – – – – – – – – – –
* This is one of the reasons I enjoyed Gordon Currie’s portrayal of Nicolae in those awful movie adaptations of the first two books. As the actor playing this character, Currie had to make a choice. It had to be one or the other — either he could play Nicolae as knowing he was the Antichrist or play him as not knowing. Yet neither the screenplay nor the books would allow him as an actor to commit to one or the other and stick with it without contradicting that choice several times along the way. So Currie chose the only option he had left and just camped it up as much as he could get away with. Since that was the only choice left to him, I think it was the right choice. If the character you’re playing isn’t permitted to make sense, then you can at least try to make him entertaining.

Still no word on who will be playing Nicolae in the upcoming Nicolas Cage-led reboot of Left Behind. I’m hoping for Charlie Sheen. I might have said Adam Baldwin, but since the parts of Rayford and Buck have already been cast, I’ve had to give up on my dream of an all-Baldwin ensemble, with Alec as Rayford and Stephen as Buck.

** Since the authors insist that these books are a literal portrayal of the literal events literally prophesied in the Bible, you may be wondering where in the Bible it says that the Antichrist will have superpowers, including his own Satanic version of the Jedi mind-trick. The Bible doesn’t actually say that.

My guess is that the authors gave Nicolae such superpowers based on their “literal” reading of Revelation 13, which describes two “beasts” — the first of which the authors regard as their Antichrist. Of that first beast, the Apocalypse says, “the dragon gave it his power and his throne and great authority. … The beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months.” And then of the second beast, it says, “by the signs that it is allowed to perform on behalf of the beast, it deceives the inhabitants of earth.”

Once you understand how the authors got from that to Nicolae’s mind-control mojo, you’ll understand what Tim LaHaye really means when he says he always reads the Bible “literally.”

*** Here is, as far as I remember, the only conversation in any of these books in which anyone expresses the slightest concern or curiosity about whether the conception of new children would be possible post-Event. This is Hattie Durham and Rayford Steele talking on the phone, back in the first book:

“Things are getting so strange,” she said. “You know I have a sister who works in a pregnancy clinic.”

“Uh-huh,” Rayford said. “You’ve mentioned it.”

“They do family planning and counseling and referrals for terminating pregnancies.”


“And they’re set up to do abortions right there.”

Hattie seemed to be waiting for some signal of affirmation or acknowledgment that he was listening. Rayford grew impatient and remained silent.

“Anyway,” she said, “I won’t keep you. But my sister told me they have zero business.”

“Well, that would make sense, given the disappearances of unborn babies.”

“My sister didn’t sound too happy about that.”

“Hattie, I imagine everyone’s horrified by that. Parents are grieving all over the world.”

“But the women my sister and her people were counseling wanted abortions.”

Rayford groped for a pertinent response. “Yes, so maybe those women are grateful they didn’t have to go through the abortion itself.”

“Maybe, but my sister and her bosses and the rest of the staff are out of work now until people start getting pregnant again.”

“I get it. It’s a money thing.”

“They have to work. They have expenses and families.”

“And aside from abortion counseling and abortions, they have nothing to do?”

“Nothing. Isn’t that awful? I mean, whatever happened put my sister and a lot of people like her out of business, and nobody really knows yet whether anyone will be able to get pregnant again.”

Rayford had to admit he had never found Hattie guilty of brilliance, but now he wished he could look into her eyes. “Hattie, um, I don’t know how to ask this. But are you saying your sister is hoping women can get pregnant again so they’ll need abortions and she can keep working?”

“Well, sure. What is she going to do otherwise?”

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  • Madhabmatics

    Have you ever seen the hit movie “The Thing”? This is basically that movie but warmer.

  • Lauren

    I’m not saying Lahaye and Jenkins did this on purpose (you know what they say about broken clocks), but extensive and long-term infrastructural plans do not necessarily mean that Nicolae is ignorant of his role as the Antichrist. After all, the Nazis relied on fake long-term plans for their victims to keep them ignorant of their real fate until the latest possible moment (even putting numbers on clothes hooks in their death camp changing rooms so that people could find their clothes after their “showers”). Why wouldn’t the Antichrist take a page out of Hitler’s book?

  • Lauren

    I have relatives who actually believe that the other services provided (namely, birth control) are intentionally sabotaged so that women will come back for abortions, increasing the clinic’s revenue. Because why just sell birth control pills when you can sell FAKE birth control pills, and make money off the resulting abortion?


  • arcseconds

    I hope they’re not going to turn inside out and eat me!

  • Will Hennessy

    Hell, this raises even FURTHER questions: If Nicky knows he’s Satan’s lackey, and he is advocating population control via abortion, doesn’t that mean that HE’S sparing these children the horrors that are to come from the throne of heaven? Hence, Nicky Buttes is merciful compared to god’s indiscriminate ‘justice?’ Or is he condemning them further by sending unborn fetuses directly to a god who would rain this kind of destruction down on newborns? Good lord, my head is spinning…

  • Also, Jenkins admits that he basically craps these things out in about a month or two. No editor could salvage a wreck like that when he’s already got an open-ended contract to crap out 12 of them.

  • What makes you think they don’t? I do.

  • Constella Espj

    Puffington made me spit my iced tea out onto my shirt. Nicely done.

  • I think I have this one.

    Since there’s only 7 years left, no child born during the tribulation will have reached the age of accountability. That means that they’ll either die during the tribulation (75% chance) and go straight to heaven, or they’ll survive to the end (Can’t recall. Do children who survive to the second coming get auto-saved, or do they still need to Choose Jesus in the millennial kingdom to avoid Buck giving them a really shitty eulogy?). So there’s an at least 75% chance of all of those fetuses going to heaven even if allowed to come to term, probably more.

    But… If a woman has an abortion, well, clearly she’s a shameless whore doomed to burn in hell, whereas if she performs her female duty and becomes a mother, she may well end up saying the prayer and getting saved.

    So sending those fetuses straight to heaven is a comparatively small cost in the face of tricking Poor Innocent Women into damning themselves as Shameless Whores.

  • Quijotesca

    OK, so the antichrist is for abortion, ergo abortion must be bad.
    The antichrist is for “reduction of expensive care for the defective and the handicapped” ergo cutting such services must also be bad.


  • That actually doesn’t sound so bad. Cutting services to people with disabilities is usually harmful, right?

  • No, you’ve got it all wrong. Antichrist is for abortion, so it must be bad. Antichrist is against expensive care, so it must be bad. See how simple it is?

  • P J Evans

    It makes it so much easier for Puffington to shred.

  • Let’s have a show of hands. Who has “L.A. Woman” stuck in his/her/zir head now?

    I have to raise mine only halfway. For some reason, it keeps turning into “Love Her Madly.”

  • Tybult

    he depressed the intercom button

    It’s okay, button, Rayford depresses me, too.

  • Rae

    That brings up the question: As soon as one month post-rapture, the abortion clinics should be having at least a little business, even *if* all they did was abortions. Further on, more and more people might decide not to bring children into the world because of the deteriorating conditions.

  • Rae

    And not just dropped however much from the rapture, but *then* had a full 1/4 of the population killed in the giant global earthquake. So probably more like down to 3 billion now?

  • Rae

    You know what I’d love to see? An apocalypse book where the Rapture happens, and someone realizes that the RTC’s may have been right about it, but still hates them enough that he or she decides f*ck it, they’re going to intentionally be the antichrist!

  • Oh, I get your point, Becka :) I only mentioned putting guys on the hot seat because I’m pretty sick of our politicians harping about ‘welfare queens’ to justify cutting aid for poor women and children while saying nada about the men who helped get them in that situation nor doing any strengthening our child support laws and domestic/sexual violence laws. Either way, such tech would be bad no matter who it gets used on simply because someone innocent would always be victimized by it somehow. Real life examples include the sterilization laws of the past which sterilized disabled and minority rape victims while doing nothing to the fiends who attacked them.

  • Andrew Ryan’s Caddy

    Lately I’ve been getting ready to go overseas, and I keep thinking, one-world religion and currency be damned, I’ll be impressed with any global dictator whose iron fist can establish a worldwide standard for plug shape and voltage.

  • Rayford had to admit he had never found Hattie guilty of brilliance,

    Oh, how charmimg.

    And by that I mean Rayford is a fucking douchebag.

  • Nᴏ, ᴍʏ ᴀssᴏᴄɪᴀᴛᴇs ᴀɴᴅ I sɪᴍᴘʟʏ ʜᴀᴠᴇ ᴄᴇʀᴛᴀɪɴ sᴛᴀɴᴅᴀʀᴅs ᴡʜᴇɴ ɪᴛ ᴄᴏᴍᴇs ᴛᴏ ᴛʜᴇ ʟɪᴛᴇʀᴀᴛᴜʀᴇ ɪɴ ᴡʜɪᴄʜ ᴡᴇ ᴀᴘᴘᴇᴀʀ.

  • Splitting Image

    I recently read The Children of Men, which had been sitting on my shelf for a long time with a few other books I’ve been meaning to read. I must have bought it from a thrift shop years ago thinking it was a mystery and put it aside when I realized it wasn’t.

    I’m actually glad I left it until I discovered Fred’s blog, because having followed the series this far, I couldn’t help but compare the book to Left Behind. P.D. James comes out so far ahead of LaHaye and Jenkins that it isn’t even funny.

  • So you’re saying there shouldn’t even be an effort made to create long-term fertility blockers for men or women who want to avail themselves of the opportunity?

  • Rakka

    What the everliving fuck? No no no no. If it’s a fucking flying refugee camp you can’t be having civilians and children who have to be supported by their mothers’ work. Everyone’s needs must be met or there’ll be blood on the walls – and in a closed system that needs constant and coordinated control and maintainance to support the population, the only way I can see the system being stable is by having everyone be crew. Everyone works for the community, everyone is supported by the community, or there’ll be blood on the walls and the hydroponics will go to shit.

  • rikalous

    Eyup. He’s too important to have to give “some signal of affirmation or acknowledgment that he was listening.” I…I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around the idea of someone being such a colossal asshat that they refuse to say “uh-huh.” Beyond the weapons-grade smugness of it, it’s stupid and counterproductive. The pause Hattie would take to realize that Ray-ray considers any sort of halfway-distinct vocalization not worth his trouble is going to be longer than the time it would take him to perform said vocalization.

    Our hero, ladies and gentlemen.

  • I’ve toyed with this idea for a story, the whole thing being very misotheist. Had a Rapture and general apocalypse where the angels and demons marched out almost immediately thereafter and were using Earth as their battleground right away, and the protagonist ends up working with a large group of human survivors in the (remnants of the) United States. At one point he speaks in front of a large number of people:

    “There are no estimates for how many people are left. If the situation worldwide is anything like what I’ve seen in the past year of travels, then I’d guess less than a billion. Far, far less. And so, all of you before me are survivors of the biggest war in history.

    “Those who side with the angels, both kinds, claim that those taken were lifted up to Heaven or conscripted into Hell to escape this broken remnant of a world, to join the winning side. They were the saved. The elect.

    “I’ve talked to angels. And I’ve talked to demons. The Rapture was the opening salvo.

    “I name myself Antichrist. I defy the powers of Heaven and of Hell, I spit on the names of God and Satan both. I refuse to follow their plan.

    “And I beg of you, please – join me. Defy the invaders. Flee them if you must, fight them if you can. Become antichrist. Even if they drive the last of us to extinction, die with the simple dignity of knowing that even in the face of Armageddon, you stood before them instead of cowering at their sides.”

  • Jolly Green Justin

    I can’t see Adam Baldwin as Nicolae, he’s usually cast as a thug. Also, he’s not one of the brothers. How about Billy, he’s often the smarmy guy?

  • It’s clear to me that Nicky’s a much less effective world Emperor than I would be. Even Stalin knew that you keep letting the proles vote–you just control the vote counters. And there’s no need to mind mojo your hand picked subordinates–assuming you haven’t done that already in the interview–because their job is to do what you say, and they know the price of not doing so, as well as the benefits of obedience.

    Perhaps Nicky just took the first ten people he saw and appointed them.

    Having arranged the appearance of democracy to cover my rule by decree (and rule by decree isn’t actually desired, by the way. It’s far too inefficient compared to ‘rule by legislators who do what you ask’ + ‘ability top assert immunity from law’. Why would I want to spend my time deciding speed limits? Or pipeline developments? Or tax law, for that matter? I just require X amount of tribute and let the minions decide where it comes from.) I might, however, find it deeply amusing to pull out that dog-eared copy of ‘Late Great Planet Earth’ and start thumbing through it to find something nonsensical to do in order to provoke the smug RTCs and conspiracy freaks.

    Rebuilding Babylon–a new city in an area of the world that just lost a hefty percentage of its population (Iraq, for instance, is about 40% under age 14) is just the sort of pointless slap in the face to get the malcontents worked up.
    But I’d certainly not let that interfere with business. And I’d certainly not take a stupid title like ‘potentate’. That would be joke fodder for decades. (Assuming there were decades. And jokes cannot be outlawed. They must be subverted and made to serve. Above all, people must be able to pretend life is normal.) President or General Secretary or Inspector General or Executor (My duty is only to execute the will of the people!) or something innocuous sounding.
    Ideally, nobody will know my name without Google. Thus can one rule forever. Who rebels against someone they never heard of? Who rises up to overthrow the Inspector General? What does he do, anyway?
    Tremble and thank your stars you get Nicolae instead of me, people.

  • Beleester

    While we did give Jenkins an earful for not realizing that nuclear bombs destroy an entire city outright, I’m pretty sure the rest of the planet would still be safe. We only got a few cities flattened, we aren’t in nuclear winter, global apocalypse territory yet.

  • Vegetarian nuclear bombs… I’m trying to wrap my mind around that.

  • christopher_y

    a kind of awful combination of Turkmenbashi and Tristran Tzara

    That is wonderful.

  • Your mention of women being “slut-shamed” on the talk shows immediately brings to mind these sorry young women on the Maury show. Not to throw any more mud, but these unhappy creatures have been seen on their third, fifth, tenth go-round trying to find the miserable excuse who is the “real” father of their unfortunate progeny. I know it’s not the norm (I HOPE it’s not the norm), but I just want to shake some sense into those unhappy girls; don’t put yourselves into situations where you have to keep proving whether this or that scumbag fathered your kid. It doesn’t speak well for either side when spawning a child sinks to this level.

  • You sure it was that thing, and not that other thing? You know, that thing just after the first thing?

  • “Oh crap. Mind mojo must still be on.”

    Made me think of that Family guy episode where Stewie controls Chris’ brain. “No I don’t have a quarter, where would I keep it? In my diaper? Oh crap is this thing still on?”

  • I’m not sure what’s more surprising, someone actively advocating eugenics here or the fact that no one has down voted it yet. Let me take care of that.

  • Chloe – the Rise of Antichrist.

    She knew perfectly well that her father was listening in, but it made no difference. Let him hear. As if he could do anything about it.

    She sat at the end of the table in the large calfskin leather chair with the arms flared out almost like a throne. On either side of her were two of her followers; two of the largest men anyone had ever seen wearing Kevlar and fingering automatic weapons. Anyone so much as gave her a dirty look, they would die. Not that anyone could actually hurt her, but one had to make an impression when one is the ruler of Earth.

    She rarely had to use her mind control anymore. Almost a quarter of the earth worshipped her as Messiah, and the rest were too frightened of her fanatics to resist. When one has an army willing to die for you, there is very little you cannot do.

    “Democracy was a nice idea, but people are too stupid and chaotic to be trusted to govern themselves. Frankly I think they will be happier when someone tells them where to sit. Right now, the earth is in crisis and we need efficiency, not to have every action discussed in the Senate for eighteen months.”

    “So now to order of business. Pax Romana. We take a page from the Romans and put down rebellion with ruthless efficiency. Anyone who speaks out against us, man, woman, or child, dies. No trial or jury, just summary execution. A week or two of that, and we will have peace and order.”

    “There will be some of you who might take it in your heads to use your position to line your own pockets or consilidate your own power. That will not be tolerated either. I have eyes everywhere and I will find out, just as I found out about Prince of South America’s drug and weapons cache.”

    The Hispanic dictator’s face blanched white. “Mistress, I assure you I…”

    “Don’t bother.” She lifted one index finger and the two guards were instantly at his side. Without ceremony, they lifted him up by his arms and carried him over to the plane’s emergency exit. They pulled the lever and the cabin was filled with the rushing of wind out the door.

    “Don’t worry,” she said to the other nine. “I had daddy take us low enough so we won’t pass out.

    A moment later, they shut the door cutting off the man’s fading screams.

    “My first command, elect a new prince of South America. Second command, bring peace to your regions by any means necessary. Third, we need to restore the population, so abortion and contraception is hearby illegal, except by special dispensation. If we do not start growing people, the human race will be just a memory in a few generations.”

    “As our Mistress commands,” they said in unison. One by one, they knelt in front of her to kiss her hand as a pledge of loyalty

  • That’s (spoiler) jung xvaq bs raqrq hc unccravat, jvgu vgf bja vagrerfgvat frg bs synjf. Gleby cbvagf bhg gung ol abg nyybjvat wbo zbovyvgl, OFT fuvc fbpvrgl jvyy ortva serrmvat bhg nybat snzvyvny yvarf, fb gung n sngure’f be zbgure’f wbo jvyy qvpgngr jung gurve puvyq qbrf, naq fb ba qbja gur yvar. to decipher.

  • We know who’s REALLY in charge!

  • Loquat

    As I said, the writers of BSG never actually figured out how the civilian side worked. They’d just occasionally make up details to suit the plot of an episode, then forget them.

  • Is Disqus bugged, or am I just going crazy? This sequence of comments from GDwarf, GeniusLemur, and Kubricks_Rube keeps popping up every few hours as “new” when they first appeared last night. The threaded format’s bad enough, but now this?

  • reynard61

    Remember; these were not nuclear bombs that Nicky Anthill used, they were “nuclear” bombs that didn’t emit any kind of radiation because SHUT UP! So the “authors” of this wretched crap get to enjoy the benefits of “prophetic” destruction without having to show their homework on the technical side of how that destruction is accomplished. “Gentlemen’s C” anyone?

  • reynard61

    Be careful what you wish for, Nicky…

  • I still can’t figure out any reason for Chicago to be fake nuked except as a clumsy narrative device to allow Jenkins to keep the focus characters based out of Chicago, while giving them the ultimate in urban cozy catastrophe fantasy.

  • j_bird

    The straw-liberals in the quoted passages are mindboggling.

    The fact is, democracy and voting will be suspended. … Because of what we will provide people, they will quickly understand that this is correct.

    Oh snap, L&J have us liberals figured out. The reason we want to help poor people is so they will become dependent on our handouts and then we can take away their voting rights. Trenchant, original political commentary there, guys.

  • j_bird

    Oh, man, and that last quote is so ham-handed too. It somehow takes L&J twenty lines of painful dialogue to establish that Hattie’s sister loves money and abortions and money and abortions.

  • j_bird

    Perhaps Becka meant that *forcibly* limiting female fertility is an awful idea? I don’t know.

  • j_bird

    And how exactly would you define “financial and emotional stability”? If people who failed the financial test were more likely to be black, what would you say to them? “Too bad your ancestors were enslaved and you were born into racism and inequalities that still exist today?” And what if the emotional stability requirement caused people to stop getting help for depression in the fear that they would be knocked off the birth list?

    As Andrea says, there are a number of, er, problems with eugenicist ideas. Women actually do a great job of limiting the number of children they have when birth control is easily available (see, for example, this study:; see also: Europe — no coercion necessary. I’d say we have a lot of room for improvement in the area of making birth control available and non-shameful.

  • j_bird

    Did I really just take ten minutes to explain why eugenics is bad? Oh internet.

  • P J Evans

    Under the label ‘discussion’, which actually is a drop-down, at the top of the thread, you can set it to show oldest first, newest first, or ‘best’ (which seems to be the default for Disqus, since it always seems to go for the least-useful way to display comments).