Susan, Kevin, and Bernice rush to the Clarion’s office to develop Susan’s film, which has photographs of Kaseph’s records on it. While the film is being developed, we find out that Shawn was the very person who introduced Bernice’s sister to “Thomas”, the spirit “guide” who led to her suicide. And now Sandy’s run off with him!
Madeline, Sandy’s new friend, turns out to be a demon, explicitly mentioned by the text. I’d love to get more details on demonology here, it seems all muddled. We have both named demons and demons-of-stuff. Are named demons acting as spirit guide different than named demons acting as generals over other demons? Or are they just a lesser form of the same stuff? Is a name something a demon earns after a period on the lowest tier as demon of something? Do all demons have names, but we’re not privvy to most of them in this novel for some reason?
Sandy, it seems, is going to be brought to the big meeting that’s going down, as insurance against Marshall bursting in and killing everyone. Or something. I’m afraid I’ve lost track of the evil plot at this point. Marshall’s in jail, shouldn’t the bad guys be suicidally overconfident or something?
So then the book starts to do something really cool. Alf Brummel, besides being one of the major bad guys in this book, is also the chief of police, meaning he’d been a cop for a very long time beforehand most likely.
Langstrat, primly dressed looked ready to leave for the college. Brummel was a wreck, his eyes sunken, his hair disheveled, still in a bathrobe.
He said, “I’ll just be glad when this day is over and everything quiets down. As chief of police, I think I’ve broken just about every law in the books.”
For the first time in a long while of reading this book, I was intrigued! I perked right up at the idea that one of the villains was remorseful, that this was going to show the villainy taking a personal toll on the villain, that maybe we’d even be presented with some of these villains as innocents suffering under demonic influence the way other, minor characters have been shown. Maybe we’ll even get a redemption!
Brummel, you’ve had it. What makes you think you’re not just as dispensible as anyone else the Society considers a commodity, a tool, a pawn? And let’s face it, Brummel. You are a pawn! [...] why don’t you stop Juleen before she totally ruins your life?
So it seems Brummel’s being set up for a heel face turn! And then…. and then this happens.
Lucius, the deposed Prince of Ashton, stood in the kitchen with Alf Brummel, the chief of police, having a little discussion with him. This Alf Brummel always was rather flimsy; perhaps Lucius could make use of this commodity.
Oh. I see. Bad people are bad people no matter what, and any good they do is only a result of demons working at cross purposes to backstab each other. Clearly there is no good in bad people. I look forward to affirmation that there’s no bad in good people either, because that’s totally not boring and problematic and unrealistic.
Officer Dunlop won’t let Mary see her husband Hank in the jail.
So the whole church (or at least the praying folk) turn out in the parking lot to protest peacefully. They hold a church service. They pray a lot. They sing songs. They have a lawyer.
I honestly don’t see why Dunlop won’t let Mary in to see Hank? Um.. what’s wrong with it?
And apparently doing this makes the people in the parking lot “saints of God”. Don’t you have to do something a little more fucking important than stand around in a parking lot singing songs to be considered a saint? I mean, if they were being shot at or something, sure, but… nobody’s stopping them. They’re just hanging out and making vague legal threats.
The singing wakes up Hank and Marshall.
“We’ve made it, Hank,” said Marshall. “We’re in heaven!”
“C’mon, Marshall,” prodded Hank. “Jump in! We might just sing ourselves out of this place!”
Er, what? Okay, they have definitely been captive way too long.
OH. Wait. This is a Bible thing:
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody’s chains came loose.
(acts 16:25-26, New International Version)
Jimmy shook his finger at Hank and said, “Well, you cut that religious stuff out right now! It has no place in a public jail. If you want to sing, you do it in church somewhere, not here.”
Um… given they can’t go to a church…
Look, I’ve never been to jail or prison, but given the percentage of Christians in them, there can’t be absolutely no bible studies or bibles or praying in any of them. Prisoners are still people, and they have spiritual needs. This blog post mentions prison chaplains, prison church services, et cetera. And it’s past 7am, the day shift is arriving, so it’s not like they’re being loud at night. It might be unusual to be having a church service in a short-term detention facility, but since there’s one happening just outside and they can clearly hear through the wall, it’s not weird to join in, is it?
Oh right, Christian “persecution”. I keep forgetting about that weird fantasy land.