Babylon Rising, Chapter 36

I have decided that I am going to give the benefit of the doubt to the authors, and assume that they mean for Shane Barrington to be a complicated character.  I will not assume they are simply screwing up and don’t know what they want Shane to be or do.

Because this chapter, in which Shane breaks the news of his son’s death to the press, is full of Shane Barrington Characterization Not That Badness.

Not that stupidity doesn’t abound…but more on that in a minute.

As Shane breaks the news of Arthur’s death (at the hands of kidnappers, anonymous “heinous criminals“), he tries to distract himself from his own memories of watching his son die. 

Yet, he also wonders if he should “try to manufacture a tear.”

Cool.

So, there’s Not That Badness.

There is also stupidity, as follows:

1.  Shane has been given “curt instructions” from Talon as to the story he will tell.  Part of this story is receiving Arthur’s “dead body, horribly mutilated,” back from the kidnappers.  Seems to me that no matter how mutilated the body, an investigation and examination would reveal that Arthur did not die as Shane is relating.  This seems a danagerous game for Shane/Talon/The Seven to be playing.

2.  Other than making Shane’s role as International Billionaire/Media Mogul even more visible than it was before, what purpose does this stunt serve for Talon and The Seven?  Why not manufacture a scenario where Arthur was killed by Evangelical Fanatics, not Faceless Criminals?  

Not that we should be worried about The Seven’s priorities.  They have another One-World Goverment-n-Religion Diabolical Plan: forge a connection between media tycoon Shane Barrington and Paul Wallach, a random, whiny college student.

So, as you can see, all is well with the plans for world domination…

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Posted on May 23, 2010, in Actually Not That Bad, Babylon Rising, Books. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. I’m reading a book on the history of forensic toxicology, so I can say right-out that death by suffocation leaves incredibly obvious signs and could never be mistaken for any other cause of death.

    Even poisons that kill via suffocation are easy to tell apart from the “natural” way and no amount of violent trauma would look even remotely similar.

    Heck, you don’t need the police, any reporter who has ever covered a murder case could probably tell that the story doesn’t work at a glance.

    • Yep, and that’s just the forensics side of things. Get the detectives involved, and see what happens when they find absolutely no evidence whatsoever that any kidnappers ever existed, and no evidence that Shane involved his handlers, bodyguards, or vast resources in thwarting any kidnappers (what, no sudden withdrawals, no mysterious cell phone numbers?).

  2. They can’t even use the checklist excuse here, but there’s the same sort of random event for no reason silliness. What gives? Could La Haye be (gasp) a bad writer? Or is that too simplistic of an answer?

    • Bad writing seems the most logical answer. Is redundant motivation a sound reason? They create a reason for Shane to be loyal (they killed my son, and could kill me or anyone else I care about, unless I follow orders), yet they already established that Shane is amoral, AND they bribed him with billions of dollars. Given those two factors, it seems almost…superfluous…for them to kill the son that Shane didn’t care about anyway.

  3. Just curious: I suppose the concocted version of events don’t allow for the son to be smothered then mutilated?

    If not, then the more I think about this the more my brain hurts. Why kill the son by suffocation and then claim he died from violent trauma? What’s the point? Why concoct the kidnapping story? It’s been established that an assassin could sneak into the boy’s room, drug him, hook him up to an iron lung or something, notify Shane via bird-based sky writing, wait for Shane to arrive, then suffocate the child and leave. So why not have the series of events be that an assassin crept in, killed the kid, left a note that Shane’s horse will be next (or whatever.) and then leave? That would actually fit the scenario as it was down to almost every detail.

    At this point if Talon doesn’t start work on some sort of world-ending, bird-based weapon I’m going to be very surprised. I mean, his elabourate and needlessly complex plans already put most Bond villains to shame…

    • All it says is, “my security team uncovered his dead body, horribly mutilated by these heinous criminals.”

      I suppose he could claim that the kidnappers must have suffocated him, THEN mutilated him, but that’s certainly not what he says.

      • Well, at least he’s being sensibly vague about the whole thing.

        That would be a plus if I thought it was good writing (less specific you are, the harder it is to catch you in a lie.) rather than the authors just being lazy and not wanting to think of what he’d actually have to say.

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