Edge of Apocalypse: pages 111-112 (Chapter Twenty-One)
The chapter abruptly segues to this guy, General Rocky Bridger (ret). Given that usually Parshall makes you work a bit to figure out why he picked a name, this one’s almost glaringly unsubtle in telegraphing that he’s one of the Good Ole Boys. A “rocky bridge” after all, can mean a bridge constructed out of rocks, i.e. stones, and made very solid and stable. And that’s the sense his name conveys – that General Bridger is a rock-solid kind of guy who would never turn his back on his good buddies.
Now, if you read the previous write-up and refresh your memory quickly, you’ll note that the Rev. Berne, in this highly artificial world of LaHaye and Parshall’s, has been arrested for holding a rally and used his legal right to a phone call to get word to General Bridger.
A further word on names: I find it rather odd that Berne uses an uncommon word for God – “Jehovah”. For background, Wikipedia offers some help in the area, as does the Catholic Encyclopedia. I read in a book called The Orwellian World of Jehovah’s Witnesses that one origin of it is the Greek-transliterated word Iaoue, which sounds a lot more like Yahweh than Jehovah. That being said, if you judiciously modify the letter-usage, you get yaove, which could be said ya-oh-vey, and you can start to see where Jehovah might come from. My personal thoughts only on the matter, of course; the Wiki has a rather exhaustive analysis. 🙂
Some fringe Christian sects prefer to use this word, and while I’m not up on the details of why, I think LaHaye and Parshall putting this word in Berne’s mouth may be an attempt to telegraph to particular Christians that this book is aimed at them.
So with that out of the way, let’s meet the General. Note again the habit of using his rank even though he’s retired.
“Within the hour General Bridger received a call on his Allfone. His fishing boat was just about to dock at Charleston Harbor along the coast of South Carolina. The man on the other end of the line explained what had happened to Reverend Berne.
The General listened intently as he waved to the marina master who was tying his boat off to the harbor slip. Bridger promised the caller he would look into it.
‘I’m about to meet with some people who’ll want to hear about this,’ he explained. ‘I know nothing about this Reverend Berne fellow other than what you just told me. I have no idea whether he’s an honorable man or not. But let him know his case will not be forgotten.'”
One thing I’ve got to say about LaHaye and Parshall inventing this Allfone thing for their books is it not only allows for phone porn, it also allows for not having to remember which character has one of a zillion brands of cell phones. 😀
Now as yet I don’t know what effect this Reverend will have on the plot, (I did read ahead but to be perfectly honest I was more interested in what was going to happen to the Jordans) so we’ll just have to see when we get there. Meantime, it turns out that Rocky Bridger knows Joshua Jordan:
“‘Josh, it’s Rocky. I know we got a full agenda for the Roundtable, but I got something I’d like to throw into the pot.’
‘General, whatever it is, I’m sure it’s worth discussing. How about sending out an encrypted email to all the members. Let them know what you’ve got.’
Amusingly, the last words of each sentence rhyme. 🙂
In all seriousness, the fact that the organization that Jordan and Bridger have created ad hoc is called the “Roundtable” is quite interesting. There is the well-known legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table; in this context it seems that the intention is to evoke an exalted order of people whose membership to the order has been severely restricted to include only those deemed worthy of it. Since themes of worthiness as a human being run through the LaHaye-sponsored books as being closely correlated with real or incipient Christianity it is worth thinking about this “Roundtable” in that light – especially given that the back of the book hints at Jordan’s encounter with the highly-connected Christian “Patriots”.
‘Abby and I are really looking forward to seeing you in Colorado. Maybe we can arrange to shoot eighteen holes at the club while we talk.’
‘Only if you give me a decent handicap. In fact, as ranking officer, I’ll make that an order.’
Joshua laughed. General Bridger was one of the finest men he’d ever known. Joshua had served under him when he was detached for a stint at the Pentagon, and he reported directly to him when he flew several secret U-2 missions over Iran, leap-frogging over military chain of command.“
(Ed. note: Bold mine)
I’d like to take a look at that bolded part for a sec. It seems consistent with the theme that Joshua Jordan is Special; that he is allowed to break convention and get away with it. It evokes this comparison: Cameron “Buck” Williams in Left Behind is allegedly noteworthy for “bucking tradition”, and his behavior is intended to be interpreted in that benign light – the can-do go-getter kind of guy – rather than the less attractive light of a goldbricking misogynistic jerk who throws his weight around, as evidenced by the way he humiliates Verna Zee of Sensible Shoes fame since he has the ace in his pocket of being in the old boy’s club with the Big Guy in Charge of the company. When Verna Zee calls Stanton Bailey, he verbally slaps her down, telling her that he authorized Buck to work out of his home and suchlike. Buck thus “leap-frogs” over the corporate chain of command even though he’s been nominally put out to pasture.
The rules-defying high-protector-and-protegé relationship seems to have been recreated here: Jordan is the ne’er-do-wrong golden boy under Bridger’s command. And that means we’re to see Jordan as a Special Person, worthy of looking up to, rather than the far less flattering prima-donna sophomoric-humor-using nose-thumber to the entirety of the legislative branch of the US government (honestly, for someone to say “well gee, I just don’t trust you guys and that’s that,” when a great deal of his fortune seems to have come from the revolving door between the Pentagon and the civilian sector and thus from the largesse of the US government in the first place… that takes some sheer chutzpah and more than a minor sense of entitlement).
The chapter has only a couple of extra paragraphs. I’ll end this analysis with the pseudocliffhanger here:
“Then he closed the notebook. Everything in him was indicating that the timing of his upcoming trip to Colorado and the subsequent secret meeting he would convene couldn’t be better.”
So we’re informed that many events will come together at an opportune time for Josh to begin his special project. Wonder what it could be.
Next chapter continues with Josh and Abby discussing the events since the missile deflection.