Babylon Rising, Chapter 56
Talon has been summoned to see The Seven. He is escorted into the main scary chamber by a blind footman. Between the blind footman and the tongueless driver The Seven employ, it says either that they somehow incapacitate anyone unfortunate enough to work for them, so that the workers may never identify The Seven…or that they make a point to hire the disabled.
Talon immediately knows that Something Is Different, because he is allowed to see The Seven’s faces for the first time. So he figures he has either earned their complete trust, or is about to be killed.
(Nice little line here, underlining Talon’s psychosis, as he wonders (in a very detached way) how he will be killed. He suspected it would be efficient but also a little theatrical. … Could it be he was about to be flayed alive like St. Bartholomew, or broken on a spiked wheel like St. Catherine? In fact, in a curious way, he almost looked forward to it.)
But, turns out Talon has gained their complete trust, and has proved himself most efficient and reliable. Indispensable, even.
I must say that it is quite generous of them to forgive Talon for screwing the pooch by killing Laura. But then, since Murphy is currently in Saudi Arabia with his replacement hot babe with expertise in ancient cultures, I suppose they figure no harm, no foul.
Talon turns over the tail of the Brazen Serpent to The Seven. Then we get a sort of LaHaye Callback Moment:
Slowly Sir William Merton reached forward and pulled the foot-long piece of bronze from the bag. As he held it to the light, Talon could see his plump hand was shaking. Then a curious thing happened. The air seemed to thicken, there was an audible crackle of electricity, and Merton’s hand steadied. It must have been a trick of the light, Talon thought, but his eyes seemed to change color, from gray to a deep midnight blue. And when he spoke, the English accent was gone, replaced by something deeper and harder to place.
“Soon you shall again be one. As it was in the first days. And sacrifice shall be yours once more.” Then he closed his eyes and let out a long breath, and he seemed to deflate, becoming physically smaller. When he opened his eyes, he looked once again like a portly English cleric.
Man, this sounds just like what happens in The Mark (Book #8 of the Left Behind series), when Leon Fortunato stands up, and, as if in a weird religious trance, spouts off a paraphrase of Revelation 13.
As well, it certainly shows that LaHaye really does believe that the Serpent has magical powers. It just strikes me as odd that RTCs believe in Really Real Magic and Spells That Work, but I guess I shouldn’t be so surprised. I’ve read Jack Chick.
The Seven lay out their plan (as such) that is pretty obvious anyway, that they wait until Murphy has both of the other pieces, then they grab them. (Duh.)
Merton (I keep wanting to call him Metron, like he’s a giant robot or something) confirms what we already knew, that he is indeed that cleric who was friends with Isis’s dad, saying with a leer, “Dr. McDonald and I might have an opportunity to reminisce a little.”
Yeah, Isis could totally kick his ass. With her brain.