Babylon Rising, Chapter 21
After watching Murphy muck around in Lucky Archeology and then take all the credit for everyone else’s work, it is an odd sort of relief to get back to the exploits of Shane Barrington.
It is an even odder surprise that Dinallo seems to be trying to dig a little deeper into Shane’s character. Sure, he’s still a ruthless tycoon, no friends and no family and quite happy that way, thank you very much. And we’re not exactly in danger of a Scrooge-y type change of heart—Shane actually doesn’t have a secret heart of gold. And yet, and yet…as Shane muses on the murder of his Impliedly Gay Son:
Odd, he thought, how after cutting his son out of his life completely for so many years, now, in death, Arthur kept coming to mind.
That is Actually Not That Bad.
Shane has set up a meeting with Stephanie Kovax, “ace TV investigative journalist” on Shane’s network. Despite his musings about his dead gay son, Shane is not so depressed that he doesn’t get a kick over messing with Stephanie’s head:
He checked his Rolex. The meeting had been scheduled for seven o’clock. Late enough to have forced her to cancel any plans she might have had for the evening. And he had made her wait a further ten minutes. Long enough for confidence to drain away and be replaced by fear. Cheap tricks, perhaps, and hardly necessary anymore. But the exercise of power, however petty, was what gave him pleasure, and if he could not indulge himself in that, life would surely be very dull indeed.
Again, this ain’t half bad.
And, of course, the cheap tricks have worked. Stephanie is freaked out that Shane will fire her. Mostly because Shane has the reputation of making good on the phrase, “And you’ll never work in this industry again!”
But Shane quits the game when the meeting starts. He vaguely praises Stephanie’s news judgment, her tenaciousness, her fearlessness, before getting right to what every Persecuted American Christian knows goes on in these secret early-evening meetings of the eeevil librul media.
Shane, you see, wants Stephanie to do “a ruthless exposé, no holds barred—on a certain group of people who pose a major threat to this country.”
And that group is…wait for it…Evangelical Christians.