NRA: A responsive reading

Nicolae: The Rise of Antichrist; pp. 133-135

If the first few pages of Chapter 7 of this book had been excerpted and published as a sneak-peek teaser before the rest of the book came out, then this little section might have been bearable.

Jerry Jenkins is doing several things at once here — reinforcing Buck Williams’ role as a (literally) jet-setting VIP, reintroducing the character of charter pilot Ken Ritz from back in the first book, and presenting another little Sunday-school lesson on the duty of personal evangelism. The first and last of those are a bit tedious, but Jenkins does a capable job of the second one.

Like most of the peripheral characters in these books, Ken Ritz benefits from not being Buck or Rayford. We want to be able to like someone in this story, so we’re inclined to treat characters like Ken with a generous benefit of the doubt. In this passage, taken by itself, Jenkins doesn’t give us any powerful reasons to dislike Ken, so we’re willing to regard him as a breath of slightly fresher air and to find him somewhat interesting even despite being told, clumsily, that “Ritz was interesting.”

Unfortunately, though, we can’t take this passage entirely by itself. Chapter 7 follows the previous six chapters, and those were pretty eventful — at least in terms of body count.

Millions of people were just slaughtered. New York, Washington, London, Chicago, San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, Dallas, Montreal, Toronto and Mexico City have all just been “destroyed” with nuclear weapons.

The metropolitan areas of those cities are home to more than 107 million people, and given what we know of the indiscriminate mass-destruction of nuclear weaponry here in the real world, the previous chapters seem to indicate that somewhere around 100 million people were just killed in this story.

But we’ve also seen in those chapters that this story doesn’t work like reality. In the unreal universe of these books, the death toll from the beginning of World War III is probably less than that.

At least some of the nuclear weapons deployed by the Antichrist’s military were apparently a special, non-radioactive variety. These weapons also seem magically bound by city limits, such that a nuclear bomb dropped on the City of Chicago can go almost unnoticed in Evanston or Calumet City, and won’t cause even the slightest disruption to daily routine 90 miles away in Milwaukee. And Buck’s walking tour of post-nuclear downtown Chicago seemed to suggest that, in the fantasy world of these books, the majority of a city’s residents might survive a direct nuclear strike. So let’s take Nicolae Carpathia literally when he tells us that all these cities would be “decimated” by his nuclear destruction of them. Let’s assume that, somehow, nuclear war only claimed one tenth of the post-Event population within the city limits of these targeted metropolises.

Here’s some hasty diner-napkin arithmetic: If the miracle bombs are confined to city limits, so that Dallas gets nuked but Fort Worth is untouched, then we’re dealing with a pre-Event city-limits population of 39 million or so.

We calculated earlier that the post-Event world without children or RTCs would have a population of around 4 billion instead of 7 billion, so let’s use that same ratio to say the city limits of the Antichrist’s nuclear targets would be home to a post-Event population of around 22 million.

And then let’s accept the physical impossibility of nuclear attacks on those cities resulting in the death of only 10 percent of their population. And then round down.

That impossibly low estimate still gives us two million dead. That is the death toll of the events described in the first six chapters of Nicolae. That is what happens during the first two days described in this book.

Two million people killed, and then Chapter 7 begins. Two million people were slaughtered yesterday, and then Buck Williams wakes up on day three and catches a plane.

Buck had always had the ability to sleep well, even when he couldn’t. He could have used a dozen or more hours the night before, after the day he had had. However, seven-plus hours had been just enough because when he was out, he was out. He knew Chloe had slept fitfully only because she told him in the morning. Her tossing and turning and winces of pain had not affected his slumber.

Two million people were slaughtered yesterday. New York, Washington, London, Chicago, San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, Dallas, Montreal, Toronto and Mexico City are no more.

Now, as Ken Ritz landed the Learjet in Easton, Pennsylvania, “just to top off the tank before headin’ to Tel Aviv,” Buck was alert. He and the lanky, weathered veteran pilot in his late fifties seemed to have picked up where they left off the last time he had employed this freelance charter service. Ritz was a talker, a raconteur, opinionated, interesting, and interested. He was as eager to know Buck’s latest thoughts on the vanishings and the global war as he was in sharing his own views.

“So, what’s new with the jet-setting young magazine writer since I saw you last, what, almost two years ago?” Ritz had begun.

Two million people were slaughtered yesterday. New York, Washington, London, Chicago, San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, Dallas, Montreal, Toronto and Mexico City are no more.

Buck told him. He recalled that Ritz had been forthright and outspoken when they first met, admitting that he had no more idea than anyone else what might have caused the vanishings but coming down on the side of aliens from outer space. It had hit Buck as a wild idea for a buttoned-down pilot, but Buck hadn’t come to any conclusions at the time either. One theory was as good as the next. Ritz had told him of many strange encounters in the air that made it plausible that an airman might believe in such things.

That gave Buck the confidence to tell his own story without apology. It didn’t seem to faze Ritz, at least negatively. He listened quietly, and when Buck was through, Ritz simply nodded.

Two million people were slaughtered yesterday. New York, Washington, London, Chicago, San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, Dallas, Montreal, Toronto and Mexico City are no more.

“So,” Buck said, “do I seem as weird to you now as you did to me when you were propounding the space alien theory?”

“Not really,” Ritz said. “You’d be amazed at the number of people just like you that I’ve run into since the last time we talked. I don’t know what it all means, but I’m beginning to believe there are more people who agree with you than agree with me.”

Two million people were slaughtered yesterday. New York, Washington, London, Chicago, San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, Dallas, Montreal, Toronto and Mexico City are no more.

“I’ll tell you one thing,” Buck said, “if I’m right, I’m still in big trouble. We are all gonna go through some real horror. But people who don’t believe are going to be in worse trouble than they could ever imagine.”

Two million people were slaughtered yesterday. New York, Washington, London, Chicago, San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, Dallas, Montreal, Toronto and Mexico City are no more.

“I can’t imagine worse trouble than we’re in right now.”

“I know what you mean,” Buck said. “I used to apologize and try to make sure I wasn’t coming on too strong or being obnoxious, but let me just urge you to investigate what I’ve said. And don’t assume you’ve got a lot of time to do it.”

Two million people were slaughtered yesterday. New York, Washington, London, Chicago, San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, Dallas, Montreal, Toronto and Mexico City are no more.

“That’s all part of the belief system, isn’t it?” Ritz said. “If what you say is true, the end isn’t that far off. Just a few years.”

“Exactly.”

“Then, if a fella was gonna check it out, he better get to it.”

“I couldn’t have said it better myself,” Buck said.

Two million people were slaughtered yesterday. New York, Washington, London, Chicago, San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, Dallas, Montreal, Toronto and Mexico City are no more.

After refueling in Easton, Ritz spent the hours over the Atlantic asking “what if” questions. Buck had to keep assuring him he was not a student or a scholar, but he amazed even himself at what he remembered from Bruce’s teaching.

“It must have hurt like everything to lose a friend like that,” Ritz said.

“You can’t imagine.”

Two million people were slaughtered yesterday. New York, Washington, London, Chicago, San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, Dallas, Montreal, Toronto and Mexico City are no more.

Here ends today’s reading.

 

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    Buck used to apologize and make sure he was not coming on too strong?

    When did that happen? Are there some missing pages cut from the final draft somewhere?

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    At least some of the nuclear weapons deployed by the Antichrist’s military were apparently a special, non-radioactive variety.

    In fairness to the writers, it is theoretically possible to build a non-radioactive nuclear weapon, but to date no one ever has been able to (or if they have it is understandably highly classified.)

    I might be giving the authors too much credit though. Like most things, they do not really do much to explain or follow through on their ideas.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    That seat – that is made of ale.
    A bicycle – that is made of ale.
    The boy – that is made of ale.

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

    Buck had always had the ability to sleep well, even when he couldn’t.

    And Chicago just got (apparently) nuked! Talk about forgetting that little detail.

    *sigh* L&J, why do you so inappropriately focus on the banalities of human interaction when World War Three just frakkin’ happened in your books?!

    Buck used to apologize and make sure he was not coming on too strong?

    The fact that L&J consider this change in Buck to be a positive thing – (O_O) I just don’t even.

    They’re obviously catering to the fantasies of their Christian audience, who seem to believe that they live in a society which excoriates and harries them at every turn.

  • Carstonio

    Enormously wasted opportunity by Ellanjay. Buck could have said how horrific the slaughter was in and of itself, but minor compared to the far worse horrors to come. That might be a truly human response in that situation with the knowledge that Buck supposedly possesses. Silly me, expecting a human response from Buck.

  • Cathy W

    Wow. Inappropriate circumstances notwithstanding….. Buck actually made an attempt to save someone? Is this a first?

  • The_L1985

    I’m trying to figure it out myself.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NR2MMC4EJXJWJMLH6IF457XL64 Alex B

    As much as I am loath to defend these writers, the bombs are never specifically mentioned to be nuclear, IIRC. I believe the only indication in the books are mushroom clouds, which can be produced with large conventional explosives, and would fit more with seeing “several mushroom clouds” over Chicago and the (relatively) smaller level of devastation.

  • Carstonio

    Meanwhile, Chloe was sleeping like anyone else might after an attack of that magnitude. Restless not just from shock and sadness, but perhaps also from fear of what might happen next.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    Granted, any explosion of sufficient magnitude will produce a mushroom cloud, regardless of what caused that much kinetic energy to be suddenly released. Nuclear detonations are just the most popular association of them in the public consciousness.

    Still, for an explosion to be big enough to produce a mushroom cloud, the actual damage depicted is way too small.

  • MikeJ

    so let’s use that same ratio to say the city limits of the Antichrist’s
    nuclear targets would be home to a post-Event population of around 22
    million.

    Are you suggesting that there are christians that live in cities? I’ll bet the authors would disagree. Cities are scary places full of dusky hued criminals, at least according to all the suburbanites I know.

  • http://jamoche.dreamwidth.org/ Jamoche

    And he’s oblivious. I’m a pretty sound sleeper too but I notice when someone is tossing and turning next to me.

  • Jay in Oregon

    There really isn’t any more that needs to be said?

    LB/TB/NRA are set in a world that is completely inconsistent within itself. You don’t have 3 billion people just VANISH and have the world carrying on normally a few months later. You don’t have nuclear bombs rain death and destruction on American cities and have people chatting amicably about stuff the next day.

    There are any number of conversations about evil, faith, and God’s omniscience/omnipresence that could be had in the face of such an atrocity. It’s a pity none of them appear in these books.

  • GeniusLemur

    Well, I’ll give them credit for this: for brief moment, they remembered that a) Bruce is dead and b) Bruce existed in the first place.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    You know, I would not say that Buck’s sound sleep is out-of-character or necessarily an indication of his callousness. I mean, obviously he is callus based on his other interactions, but his ability to sleep soundly is not necessarily something that ties into that.

    He is (supposedly) a globe-trotting reporter, always moving from one spot to the next following a story, probably done some war-reporting from just behind the front-line, etc. Someone who has a job and lifestyle like that learns to take their rest when and where they can, despite uncomfortable circumstances, or they burn out and go find another job. The ability to sleep well after the outbreak of World War III should be in-character for someone like that.

    If only he showed a little more concern or awareness when he was awake, he might be sympathetic.

  • Lori

    Yeah, there really is now way to defend Jenkins’ description of the attacks and the characters’ non-reaction to it. It makes no sense.

  • Edo

    Two million people, New York, Washington, London, Chicago, San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, Dallas, Montreal, Toronto and Mexico City do not matter. They must not be allowed to matter. How can Jesus be my personal Lord and Savior if He can’t be mine exclusively?

    I don’t have time to unpack L&J’s Gnostic horror of a theology right now, but I’m gonna observe that this is both a flaw and a feature of it: it’s solipsistic and dis-integrating. The world’s alienation from God, and its nuclear destruction, is irrelevant because it’s all about Precious Snowflake You, not about the world – or God either, in the end.

    More later.

  • Lori

    I think the implication is that Chloe slept badly because of the injuries she suffered when the mighty SUV fell out of the tree, not due to any concern about a little thing like (possible) nuclear war.

  • http://kingdomofsharks.wordpress.com/ D Johnston

    Oh, but she wasn’t sleeping that soundly. It’s just that “her tossing and turning and winces of pain had not affected [Buck's] slumber.” You know, if my wife had been terribly injured, I might stay up to check on her, but not ol’ Buck. Sorry, that seven hours is not negotiable.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    Yeah, but blasts on the scale they describe do not suddenly stop at the outskirts of the city, they would carry on and do significant damage to the suburbs surrounding them as well. The people out there might not be vaporized like the ones at ground zero, but they are not safe.

    They might actually be in for a much more unpleasant, drawn out death.

    On the other hand, this is a series in which nuclear missiles sent against Israel in the beginning are all magical duds thanks to divine intervention, so there is no reason it could not be like that here.

    Speaking of which, did that ever get addressed? Is there any follow up by the rest of the U.N. going “What the hell Russia? Deploying even one nuclear weapon on an enemy state is bad enough, but you dump your entire arsenal of them on Israel? What the hell were you thinking!?”

  • http://www.facebook.com/jon.maki Jon Maki

    To say nothing of the fact that, ostensibly, this is the love of his life*, who has been seriously injured and just a short time ago he had reason to believe that he might never see again.**

    In Buck’s place, I wouldn’t have slept a wink. I would have stayed up all night just watching her, wincing in sympathy with her every moan.

    And when I wasn’t concerning myself with her, I’d be thinking:

    Two million people were slaughtered yesterday. New York, Washington, London, Chicago, San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, Dallas, Montreal, Toronto and Mexico City are no more.

    So, yeah. Sleeping soundly? Not so much.

    *Right after Jesus, anyway. And possibly Rayford.
    **In this life, at least.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NR2MMC4EJXJWJMLH6IF457XL64 Alex B

    Eh, the FOAB, which is the biggest conventional bomb in existence, is “only” 44 tons of TNT, which sounds like a lot, but in reality would only take out a couple of blocks.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NR2MMC4EJXJWJMLH6IF457XL64 Alex B

    I won’t defend the character’s non-reactions, which are indefensible, but the description of the effects on the city area lot more reasonable if you assume that the bombs were large conventional weapons instead of nuclear strikes.

  • Edo

    That would involve Jenkins acknowledging that horror is bad. Silly you, expecting that from the author.

  • Adamlangfelder

    Am I the only one who reads this with George Carlin narrating it in my head?

  • http://twitter.com/count_01 Jared James

    It’s possible to be atheistic, agnostic; is it possible to be atheological, to have no concept whatsoever that thought is required for a concept of divinity? Because Ellenjay seem to have thought themselves into a corner precisely by refusing to ever think.

  • http://kingdomofsharks.wordpress.com/ D Johnston

    It occurs to me that, even assuming a death toll of “merely” two million people, there would be other consequences to the bombing. In the real world, wars and disasters are often followed by a second crisis as the survivors try to find a new home. For every civilian death, there can be ten refugees that are in need of food, shelter and medicine. Often, no one will take them in. Granted, this is a phenomenon associated with unstable nations, but as we saw after Katrina, even a disaster in a stable, affluent region can still cause considerable local disruption.

    I realize that this is a moot point – if L&J weren’t willing to go into detail on the effects of vaporizing every child on Earth, they obviously were not going to follow through on the comparatively small effects of the refugee crisis. But what bothers me is that, from the writer’s perspective, that’s the fun part. This is where, having put something unfathomably huge into effect, you get to go into detail on how everything changed. It stretches the imagination to the absolute limits, giving you opportunities you just don’t get in smaller, more intimate stories. These little establishing chit-chat parts are the boring bits that you plow through to get to the meat. I’m actually working on a novel with apocalyptic themes, and I’m presently bogged down in that establishing chit-chat. Eventually there will be riots, crackdowns, espionage, and many personal crises – that’s the interesting part. My characters sitting in a diner talking is mere necessity.

    Damn it, Jenkins, why did you become an author if you hated writing so much?

  • Lori

    This section really highlights (yet again) the way real world events have completely over-taken LeHaye’s “prophecy” since the book was written. It was always ridiculous and nonsensical, but that’s even more obvious post-9/11. The death toll then was a tiny fraction of even the most optimistic calculation of the impact of L&J’s version of WWIII. How many of us were having these kinds of normal conversations on September 13th? When folks ran into someone they hadn’t seen since before the 11th they talked about the attacks. They did not say, “So, how ya been?”

    The complete lack of any concept of human behavior displayed by Jenkins in these books is just mind-boggling. I should be used to it by now, but I just can’t get there. In the back of my mind I’ve started to wonder if Jenkins is a robot, like Ted on Buffy.

  • Carstonio

    Good point. With Buck, his sound sleeping looks like callousness because of the scene that follows, and because of what we’ve seen of his personality in the series. In the Sherlock Holmes story The Engineer’s Thumb, Dr. Watson is a good example of someone who is hardened by battle experience is still capable of shock at a deliberately inflicted horrific injury. Ellanjay could have done something similar with Buck, showing even his reporting experience didn’t emotionally prepare him for slaughter of this magnitude.

  • Lori

    Not any more.

  • Adam Haun

    What really struck me is that most of those cities are in the continental United States. The last time we had any kind of wholesale military slaughter here was during the Civil War 150 years ago. A few thousand people died in the destruction of a couple buildings in one city on 9/11 and it drove our entire country into a frenzy for years. What L&J are describing is a thousand times more dead in eleven cities across the continent. Surely America of all places would be thrown into shock and panic?

    Then again, no one cares about the missing children either.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    That reminds me of the manga/anime Pumpkin Scissors. The story begins at the end of a war, with a scene in which some civilians just get the news that their nation has surrendered. A large soldier (one of the main characters) is sitting nearby, hears, and says “Why didn’t they surrender earlier?” as the view expands to show him sitting in bombed-out rubble.

    The rest of the story is this soldier and the squad he joins as they are given post-war peacekeeping and recovery efforts. It is not really a war story, but a story about the lasting effects war has on the population, and how the deal with all the damage left over from the conflict.

    I get the suspicion that the author, Ryotaro Iwanaga, grew up immediately post-WW2, which gives a certain amount of understandable perspective on this. “Write what you know,” after all.

  • Carstonio

    My sixth-grade teacher was exactly right. She said Americans would freak out if there were a major attack on the continental US, while Europe had gone through wars regularly for centuries. Not until 9/11 did I appreciate her perspective.

  • Cathy W

    …that would imply that there was more than one draft, which I recall Jerry Jenkins categorically denies.

  • http://kingdomofsharks.wordpress.com/ D Johnston

    I’m not really troubled by Buck’s being able to sleep after a catastrophe. It’s the fact that he’s sleeping soundly with his horribly injured wife next to him that gets me.

    Look, I was once in a relationship with a woman who suffered from poor health, including multiple hospitalizations and at least one potentially serious chronic condition. At one point, I lost contact with her for several weeks, and it scared me to death. I didn’t sleep well – in fact, I was up most nights waiting to get some sign of life. So to me, Buck’s behavior is positively inhuman.

    Hell, I don’t even know how to properly mock Buck’s behavior here. I can’t call him a robot, because that implies some sort of rationale behind his actions and there clearly isn’t one. Maybe he’s more like a zombie. He may have loved this woman in life, but the virus has long since destroyed the part of his brain capable of those kinds of emotions.

  • Andrea

    Remember, most of the Raptured are children, an those live everywhere.

  • aunursa

    “It must have hurt like everything to lose a friend like that,” Ritz said.
    “You can’t imagine.”

    Less than two years ago billions of people suddenly vanished.
    And Buck thinks that no one else can imagine what it would be like to lose a close friend.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    Admittedly, immediately after 9/11, talking about it was the last thing I wanted to do. This was not so much callousness on my part, but because I had the mentality that the best way to deal with it was to “Keep calm and carry on”. The point of terrorism is to spread terror, to incite a panicked and disproportional response, and the best way to respond was to show that such techniques would not work on us.

    Sadly the country in general did not seem to share this outlook.

  • Edo

    Antitheological Christianity’s been tried before. It’s Restorationism, tl;dr “favoring the language of your favored translation over theological jargon to argue that you’re not doing theology, just talking about what Scripture plainly says.” I’m not sure atheological Christianity’s possible, though – and more importantly, I don’t think L&J are doing that here.

    Theology is a discourse, and although LaHaye’d probably dismiss me for sounding pomo, he participated in that discourse for decades before the World’s Worst Books. More importantly, Left Behind exists. You don’t engage in strategic-level theological warfare (and that’s what the franchise is) without a LOT of conscious and unconscious thought.

    That’s why I’m focusing more on the theology. As a rational argument for PMD, Left Behind doesn’t work; its hugely successful argument for PMD is addressed to the psyche and the soul, and needs to be challenged there.

  • http://kingdomofsharks.wordpress.com/ D Johnston

    I get the suspicion that the author, Ryotaro Iwanaga, grew up immediately post-WW2, which gives a certain amount of understandable perspective on this. “Write what you know,” after all.

    Which is probably why L&J couldn’t manage it – the United States hasn’t experienced a mass migration on that level in eighty years. Still, it happens on a smaller scale all the time. It even happened in my hometown – after another town was wiped out by a tornad0, the surrounding towns saw their populations grow by as much as 20% practically overnight. It wasn’t earth-shattering, but it wasn’t business as usual, either.

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

    , Ritz spent the hours over the Atlantic asking “what if” questions.

    If he’s asking “what if” questions, then he’s being polite and humoring Call-Me-Buck.

    “What if” questions are what you ask if there’s uncertainty. If Buck can effectively show that his explanation predicted the vanishing of the world’s children, the rise of the OWG, and the dropping of bombs all over the world, you’ve moved out of “what if” territory.

    If Ritz really believed what he was hearing, he’d be asking the “what next” questions. What’s the next seal to be broken, the next terrible catastrophe, what planning can be done, how can we stem the loss of life and the pain and suffering.

  • aunursa

    A peek at next week’s LB: Nicolae’s fiancée greets him at the airport.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    He could at least show her some sympathy even with his sound sleep. Wake up, go get her some painkillers and a glass of water. Heck, cook her a couple of eggs in a pan and bring it to her to see if she was well enough to eat a little, before he has to go out and do his own thing. He can show a little care for his wife.

    It is not much, but characterization can be made out of a lot of little things. And I hardly think him doing some domestic stuff for the sake of his injured wife would make him seem any less “manly” to all but the most egregious misogynists.

  • http://kingdomofsharks.wordpress.com/ D Johnston

    We saw this kind of thing back in the first book, when everyone was consoling Ray and only Ray over the loss of his family. The plot has a remarkable blind spot – if we didn’t see it happen, then it didn’t happen, period. Apparently, the world really does go away when I shut my eyes.

  • Lori

    I think there’s a middle ground between giving in to panic and pretending that it didn’t happen.

  • Ross Thompson

    And less than two days since millions of people were bombed to death.

  • aunursa

    If Ritz really believed what he was hearing, he’d be asking the “what next” questions.

    A conversation something like that takes place in Book #4.

  • Jay in Oregon

    Yeah, but we’re talking about a day later.
    People aren’t freaking out wondering if friends or loved ones are dead in the bombed-out cities?
    People aren’t trying to be supportive or reassuring of friends, co-workers, or acquaintances who have missing loved ones in the bombed-out cities?
    You don’t start chatting about some guy that you saw your buddy with TWO YEARS AGO.

  • AnonaMiss

    Hey now guys. A sound sleeper is unconscious and can’t be held accountable for their actions or inactions while unconscious.

    I’m an extremely deep sleeper and can confirm that I can sit up, declare myself awake to anyone who asks, and turn off an alarm across the room, all without any memory of it when I actually wake up, later in the morning.. If Buck’s naturally a very-deep sleeper, we shouldn’t hold it against him.

  • dj_pomegranate

    “Buck had to keep assuring him he was not a student or a scholar, but he amazed even himself at what he remembered from Bruce’s teaching.”

    Good night. Buck is surprised that he remembers the details of Bruce’s teachings? Even though they are actually living the fulfillment of prophesy?! And even though they’ve spent a good portion of this story “studying,” “poring over,” and printing out thousands of pages of Bruce’s notes?


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