Edge of Apocalypse: pages 257-258 (Chapter Forty-Five)
Before we get into Josh Jordan’s latest shenanigans, have an old 1970s-era Polka Time song.
So, Josh is hiding out in palatial digs, as I mentioned last time. The book also doesn’t hesitate to describe the other aspects of Josh’s sybaritic existence:
Joshua was now in hiding. He had checked himself into the triplex suite at the Palace Hotel in midtown Manhattan. Only two people knew where he was. One was Abby. The other was his long-time private chauffeur, who had booked the room under his brother-in-law’s name and paid cash so Joshua’s name wouldn’t appear on the registry.
Just for fun, I checked to see if that hotel actually existed, and it’s probably the New York Palace in real life. Kinda expensive, too. I do wonder if Josh is going to pay back his no-name “long-time private chauffeur”, or if he’s gonna stick that guy with the expense. Now, how will Josh contact people? Use the hotel phone? A pay phone? Pshaw, nothing so pedestrian for Mr. Jordan!
Joshua’s company had been developing a super-secure Allfone, one with signal-cloaking capacity so it couldn’t be located via satellite or tower tracing. It was designed for special-ops guys operating in hostile territory, but the Defense Department put the project on hold. Joshua was carrying the prototype with him.
Oh, how convenient that he just happened to be carrying the sooper special secret Allfone. The love that LaHaye books seem to have for techno-gadgetry shines through here. 😛
Basically, Josh is waiting until the AmeriNews thing kicks off, which he thinks will take the political heat back off him, because patriotism, that’s why.
Joshua’s plan was to stay undercover until the AmeriNews media service got off the ground. The project was taking longer than Phil Rankowitz had predicted. Then, hopefully, the Roundtable’s project would ignite citizens into immediate action. People would learn that Joshua’s real motives in resisting Senator Straworth’s heavy-handed demands about the RTS system were to protect America. Voters would discover that a gang of Washington politicians were trying to send an American hero to jail. The phone lines at the Capitol switchboard would light up with angry calls from American citizens. Straworth would see his approval ratings drop like a bowling ball in a swimming pool. What else could he do then but withdraw the subpoena entirely?
The “embattled hero” thing strains credulity, considering the way he’s acted like a kid throwing his toys out of his crib because he’s being told to share what isn’t 100% his to begin with.
Anyway, Josh muses over what he can and can’t do from jail, and then decides to order room service, only to find someone left an Ominous Message in an envelope:
On the outside were written the words To the Gentleman in Room 2507. After tipping the bellman he ducked back into his room and read the note.
You don’t know us. But we know you. It is important we talk. We can help. I am downstairs in the private dining room, the one with the closed doors. It is not visible to the public. I will have dinner waiting for the two of us. Please forgive me for the note, but in the interests of discretion I must not be seen coming up to your room.
The Patriot’s Wife
Joshua’s first thought was that his cover had been blown. Someone knew where he was. Was this a trap to lure him out of his room? But if the feds were behind it, they wouldn’t be using this cloak-and-dagger stuff. They would simply come up to his room unannounced, armed with a warrant.
And we get our first introduction to the shadowy “Patriots” mentioned in the blurb on the back cover, the highly placed group of Christians who want to save the USA from “economic and moral collapse”. Dun-dun-dun….!
I want to break here and discuss this next paragraph, because a couple of phrases in it basically knock the props out from under a lot of Josh’s previous grandstanding.
No, this was something else. He knew he had friends in the Pentagon who were quietly supportive of him. Maybe there were others. But one thing was clear. Now that a federal judge had targeted him for arrest, he needed all the help he could get.
Okay, so he has friends who are “quietly supportive” of him, in the Pentagon? Besides, of course, his good buddy Rocky Bridger who’s probably ass-deep in Good-Ole-Boy connections over there? So why the hell didn’t Josh, way back, have Harry Smythe call up one of those guys, or even have Bridger do it, and get all their stories straight so they could testify in front of the committee and not reveal too much, if Joshy-boy was really worried about someone heisting his company’s equipment and drawings and specifications for the RTS-RGS?
I mean, you just have to stop here and ask why it is that Parshall has led us down the garden path at all? Why has he set up such a patently illogical conflict here, when it all could have been deflected handily had Josh had any sense at all of subtlety?
Let us grant that the committee was not intended to question Joshua Jordan in good faith. Let us grant that the Democrats for whatever reason hate this man so very much that even though anyone ought to be properly grateful to the guy whose experimental-as-hell system saved New York, they still believe he should be grilled over its use.
Then why would anyone with even a smidgen of horse sense not call in for some backup? Make sure all the people who could be called as potential witnesses have their stories straight? Here’s how that committee thing could have gone:
Straworth: Now, Mr. Jordan, will you please explain to this committee why you cannot show us the documents that explain how your Return to Sender system works?
Jordan: Unfortunately, Senator, my contract with the Pentagon precludes my releasing this information without their consent to do so. However, if I may provide you with my contact’s name at the Pentagon, I’m sure we can clear this matter up fairly quickly.
Straworth: Very well. This committee is adjourned for two hours while we locate your Pentagon contact and summon him before the committee.
Written differently, this could be the story of a man so focussed on his own personal glory that he fails to realize he’s burned through all the goodwill he’s accumulated until finally it dawns on him just how completely and utterly he’s gone and bollocksed everything up to the point where only his wife still supports him at all, and he knows he doesn’t deserve even that.
As it is, though, the glory-seeker will be feted and rewarded and called a good Christian. What a complete bizarro world this is.