Ben pulls the truck to a stop and hops out. He tells Libby, "Help me," and starts to carry a moaning Jonesy off the truck. Once they've set Jonesy on the ground, Ben tells Libby to get in the truck. Libby whines, "You can't leave him!" Ben snaps that he isn't, but Libby is. He orders her to drive back to the highway. "You lock up all the windows, you lock the doors. You wait for me. Whatever you do, don't get out." Libby snifflingly asks what the heck Ben's on about, and Ben bellows, "Somethin's gonna happen here!" He says that there's no time to explain, and that he doesn't want Libby to get hurt, so she has to go. He shoves her toward the truck, and Libby gets in. Ben yells some more, and Libby drives around the...court that goes to nowhere, and heads back to the highway. Well, that's odd. The road, I mean.
Over the loudspeakers in Shantyville, Otho explains that the President is "an agent of the international Shylock."
And in the Tent of Jericho, Otho elaborates on that idea. Balthus sits in the front row, with an Otho button pinned to his jacket and a disgusted expression on his face. Sofie strolls through the audience as Otho declaims against communism, fascism, and modernism. So he's either opposed to geometric forms and subjectivity, or someone's confusing the Methodists with the Catholics again. (Please don't send me your thesis on Modernism. It was just a joke.) Iris hurries into the tent and takes a seat on the dais next to Brother Justin. Otho urges a hurrah for Americanism, and the Shantyvillians cheer obligingly. Sofie looks around at the whooping crowd. Justin claps politely as he asks Iris, "Where did you disappear to?" Iris looks a little frightened as she answers, "Merely doing your duty." Justin smiles and says that it was time well spent, and then asks where Iris found Sofie. Iris says, "The camp. Why? Isn't she working out either?" Heh. Justin assures Iris that Sofie's face is "inspiring."
The crowd finally quiets as Otho declares that he's running for Congress. Justin stands, shakes Otho's hand, and takes his turn at the podium. He opens with "Blessed are the poor in wallet, for theirs will be the kingdom here on earth." Heh. He goes on to say that the migrants are "the true Americans." The crowd cheers. Sofie smiles an itty-bitty smile. And: "Blessed are the righteous, for they shall be rewarded...in Washington!" Otho raises his hand in a V-for-victory. In the front row, Balthus looks around unhappily. Then he sees that next to him is a cop, with his holstered gun sitting there temptingly. Justin speechifies that they are the truth and light, and then there's a gunshot. The bullet ricochets off the Radio KoZAK microphone, which, incidentally, has been joined by microphones for other stations. Radio KAOS is not among them. Justin just barely blinks in reaction, a woman screams, and Otho dives down onto the floor. In the audience, two cops and one of the Okies try to wrestle the gun out of Balthus's hand. A photographer takes a picture as more Okies rush up to help. And in moments, there are a dozen people swatting at Balthus. Soon Balthus is hidden in a crowd of people clobbering him. Justin looks at the mob and bellows, "I command thee, stop!" Everyone freezes and looks up at Justin. He hops off the dais and pushes the Okies out of the way, snapping, "Get away. Do not touch this man!" He bends over a crumpled Balthus as everyone watches silently. After tenderly pulling Balthus's head into his lap, Justin looks around and says, "Blessed are those that understand and forgive." Sofie watches as the crowd praises Justin's munificence and begins to applaud. Sofie finally starts clapping enthusiastically. Justin straightens Balthus's jacket to show the Otho pin on the front as the photographer snaps another picture. Heh.