Babylon Rising, Chapter 41, Part 1
This horrible plan and the resulting investigation are fascinating to me, so we are moving right along!
We begin with a reminder that Talon is evil:
Talon preferred being close in, looking at his victims face-to-face. It was neater, riskier, and always more memorable to look at their fear just before he slashed them. Of course, he also derived extreme pleasure from the deadly precision of the falcons he had trained for so many years.
Gee, we would never know that Talon was evil unless we were told here, in Chapter forty-freakin’-one. We certainly had no clues, other than the murders of Farley the window-washer, Arthur the Impliedly Gay son of Shane Barrington, Chuck the dumb ex-con, and now the church bombing.
Good thing we were told.
Also, it seems odd that Talon likes both to be face-to-face with his victims, and killing from a distance with his falcons. You would think it would be one or the other. I figure that LaHaye and Dinallo really liked both ideas, and put them into the same character, when it would have made more sense to paint Talon as someone who likes to kill at a distance with his falcons, but will kill up close when he has to.
Anyway, this is all secondary to the fact that Talon is ruminating over all this while standing in the parking lot of the church he just bombed.
TALON, YOU ARE THE STUPIDEST CRIMINAL MASTERMIND EVER!
So, with the local police, emergency workers, and oh yeah, the FBI hanging around, Talon decides to stand around in the parking lot, gazing admiringly at the carnage he has wrought. He’s not a church member, not a local that people would recognize from the neighborhood, and the only people who would recognize him (Laura and Shari) know him as the suspicious guy who’s been hanging around with a troublemaking ex-con.
More on the explosives and the Really Stupid Plan: There was enough force in that backpack to bring down half the building, and it had been packed into a plastic sheet that looked like a laminated pocket protector. There were also other explosive materials packed in the bags he and Chuck had planted around the basement, but it would not take the FBI long to determine that those were just window dressing.
Well, if you knew they would be quickly determined to be fakes, why did you even put them there, you idiot??
Once he had killed Chuck in the basement, he had packed the C-10 explosives into the backpack, since he hadn’t wanted Chuck walking around with it, then put the wired backpack back on Chuck and left him in the basement.
What? So Chuck’s only job was to wear the backpack after he was dead? Chuck was not an evangelical and had nothing to do with this church. HOW DOES THIS DISCREDIT EVANGELICALS?
And sheesh, why even include Chuck in the stupid plan, since it’s obvious you could have done everything yourself?
Talon had checked to make sure that Chuck had left Paul Wallach far from the explosion so that he would survive.
WHAT? How could you possibly know that an unconscious guy, on the same floor as an explosion that would “bring down half the building,” would survive? How?? And why would you care if he survives or not? Again, he has nothing to do with this church and isn’t even a Christian!
But wait, there’s more:
Making it look like the accidental explosion of a basement bomb factory run by evangelical Christian extremists would not hold up for long under the scrutiny of the FBI.
Hey, genius, maybe it would if you didn’t involve so many non-Christians in your plan. Just sayin’. You get a “D” for effort, Talon.
Talon comforts himself with the thought that, “By the time the FBI saw that the bomb factory ‘evidence’ was just window dressing, the media would have moved. In its wake would be a time of noise and confusion, and people would recall mainly a bunch of crazy evangelicals to be afraid of.”
You wouldn’t have this cold comfort if you had put just a bit of effort into making it look like the work of evangelicals, not out-of-town non-Christians, Talon.
Then Talon remembers something.
He left his keys behind.
I am not making this up.
Talon left his keys in Chuck’s jacket. Which is still on Chuck’s body. Which is now, presumably, lying mangled in the basement, unless investigators and emergency personnel have removed it already.
So he has to go back down into the basement to retrieve his keys.
Worst. Criminal. Mastermind. Ever.