Babylon Rising, Chapter 9, Part 2
Media mogul, multi-millionaire, and employee of The Seven (they’ll stop at nothing!) Shane Barrington is standing on the balcony of his penthouse, surveying his kingdom and stuff, when a falcon flies by with a message for him. The bird, of course, is under the direction of the evil Talon, and this bird is amazing.
First, he flies over to Shane’s balcony with binoculars clutched in his claws. Then he waits until Shane “registers” the fact that the bird is carrying binoculars, before dropping them. Then, on his flight back, he unfurls a banner from its claws (the same claws, presumably, that he was using to hold the binoculars). The banner is, of course, perfectly visible to Shane, and says, “Endicott Arms, 14th Floor, 12 Minutes.”
(Okay, what I know about falconry can fit comfortably into the head of a pin. But…this sure doesn’t seem like it should work. But if anyone knows differently, please let me know.)
So Shane, at this point merely “curious,” picks up the binoculars and checks out the window of the Endicott Arms apartment building, which is just “diagonal” from his own. And in the window, he sees Talon holding a knife to his son’s throat.
Shane understandably dashes from his penthouse suite over to the apartment building.
What is not so understandable is that he doesn’t call the police.
When Shane gets to the apartment, he finds that in the few moments it took him to get there, Talon has removed Arthur from the window, laid him out on a bed, and hooked up the now-unconscious young man to a breathing mask connected to “a rather complicated machine that was lit up and beeping.”
Yeah, medical equipment sure is complicated, eh, LaHaye? And probably controlled by demons, too.
Shane: Who are you and what are you doing with Arthur?
Talon: I am the man the Seven told you would be contacting you, Mr. Barrington. I don’t believe they mentioned my name, however. I go by many different identities, as my work requires, but you can call me what the Seven call me: Talon.
Shane: Talon? What kind of name is that, a first name or a last name?
Um, Shane? Buddy? Not sure that’s the hot issue right now.
Talon explains that the Seven are giving Shane a test: the test is to make sure he will do anything they ask, even if it seems insane. So here’s the test: let Talon kill Arthur, or Talon will kill both Shane and Arthur.
Boy, Talon sure is making a lot of assumptions, isn’t he? Good thing Shane doesn’t have a gun, otherwise he could shoot Talon and free Arthur (Talon is armed only with his razor-finger-thing). Good thing Shane didn’t call the police on his cell on the way across the street, telling them that a madman was holding the son of a ba-zillionaire media tycoon hostage. Good thing that Shane is apparently such a wuss that Talon merely grabbing his arm stops him “instantly.”
And by the way, how the heck did Talon manage to snatch Arthur and get him into a strange apartment building without anyone noticing? And when and how did he manage to get all the medical equipment up there, again without anyone noticing?
But, I guess Talon’s assumptions were correct, since Shane just stands there and lets his only child die.
And boy, there was room for some interesting stuff here. Would this literal life-and-death situation raise conflicted emotions in Shane? Would he regret the time he spent away from his son, and his more recent ill-treatment of him? Would he, in fact, prove himself the cold-hearted villain by not really giving a damn? Well, neither really. In fact, the whole exercise is more an excuse for Talon to pontificate than anything else.
His only child dead, Shane wanders back to his own apartment. What is he feeling and thinking right now? Damned if we know…so I suppose it’s not really important. We don’t even get so much as an, “I love my dead gay son!”
Holy crap…for a chapter about a ruthless killer letting someone slowly die while his parent is forced to watch, this chapter sure was boring and stupid.