Babylon Rising, Chapter 40
I’ll admit right up front that I know nothing about explosives. It is necessary for me to explain this, as this is the exposition chapter about the church bomb, and a few terms are tossed about, and I have no idea of their meanings.
We are also re-introduced to our two FBI agents. The Nice FBI agent is Hank Baines from Charlotte. The Mean FBI agent is Burton Welsh from Washington. Local Chief of Police Rawley is also there. He is Nice.
We get a quick info dump:
“Body count change in the last hour?”
“Yeah, one more. Don’t know who yet, he must have been practically right on top of the blast…”
(I know who it is! I know who it is! It’s Chuck! Chuck was right on top of the blast! Ha! I know something the FBI doesn’t know!)
“…Then two more downstairs and two upstairs. Those are the dead.”
Then the info dump on the explosives. After the patented “This was no boating accident!” moment (Welsh snorted. “Chief, you don’t get this from a gas leak.”), it is explained that it was not C-4 explosives (a name I know only from the movies) but C-10 explosives (a name I know not at all).
Perhaps my Google-fu is just weak this morning, or perhaps I am just insufficiently caffeinated, but the only definitions I could get on C-10 anything had to do with military vessels and video games. But I welcome any comments anyone may have on this, if only to find out if LaHaye and Dinallo did their research.
Now, on to the motive behind the explosion.
Welsh opines that the church had a bomb factory in the basement, and accidentally set something off. At this point, the evidence is entirely on his side–an explosion that came from within and was not caused by anything as innocent as a boiler (Thanks, Michael Murphy!) and (oooo!) pamphlets lying around on the ground!
Agent Welsh picked up a charred flyer from the floor and read out loud. “‘Will you be left behind?!?!'”
Was LaHaye afraid that his new novel would be so awesome that readers would forget about his other series?
Pastor Bob has apparently already told the agents that he’s never seen those pamphlets before. But Welsh is already on to his next insight:
“I mean, you [Rawley] don’t know this kid Wallach, I bet. What’s to say he’s not some out-of-towner down here to shake things up?”
And already, Talon’s elaborately stupid plan begins to fall apart. Remember, the whole point of the plan is to discredit evangelical Christians. Kinda hard to do that when you deliberately link a nonreligious out-of-towner to your church bombings, eh, Talon?
Rawley responds: “Well, all I know about him is he’s a friend of Shari Nelson, a coed who works for Michael Murphy. She’s a great kid, and I couldn’t imagine her getting caught up with anything fringe.”
The way that everyone in this book knows the details of everyone else’s lives kinda freaks me out. Does Chief Rawley also know that Murphy e-mails Shari at 2:00 in the morning, in addition to knowing all about Shari’s latest conversion projects?
Oh, and just to be sure we know that Welsh is evil, he reveals that this is the first church he has set foot in since he was fifteen years old.