TSoA: Chapter 5: Back with Shane and The Seven
Time to check in with Shane Barrington, rags-to-riches media mogul and bitch to The Seven, who will Stop at Nothing to create a one-world government and put the Antichrist (as yet unintroduced) into power.
Well, they’ll stop at nothing except killing Michael Murphy.
The Seven have had Shane in their power ever since they killed his son, the Ambiguously Gay Arthur, and gave Shane billions of dollars to cover up his unscrupulous dealings in his quest to become the biggest television tycoon in the world.
Now, Shane is on his way to Switzerland at The Seven’s collective command, to visit them in their spooky castle.
Shane reminds us immediately what a ruthless bastard he is by firing his pilot (“when we get to Switzerland“) for the crime of asking him if he is okay. I wouldn’t think that such impulsive stupidity would be indicative of a successful businessman, but I guess that’s why I’m not one.
Then we get a very weird series of reflections from the pilot, Carl:
…he wondered how he was going to tell Renee. They’d have to change their plans about moving to that big house in the hills, and maybe that would mean she’d change her plans about the two of them. The twenty-grand diamond engagement ring was definitely out of the question now.
Ha! Because women are flighty, materialistic things who only care about the size of a man’s wallet, amirite?
Well, maybe not.
Carl then fantasizes about flying the plane into a mountain and KILLING THEM ALL BWAHAHAHAHA
But he knew he didn’t have the guts to do it. No, he thought with a wry chuckle, the only way the plane was going down was if the believers in Christ got snatched up to heaven in midflight, like in that book Renee kept telling him to read…
I C WUT YOU DID THERE, TIM LAHAYE.
I guess if Renee is a Left Behind fan, she must not be flighty and materialistic after all. Or at least, no more than all silly women are.
…and the bad guys like Barrington were left to fend for themselves.
Ha! Goes to show what a dumb nonbeliever Carl is, thinking that getting to heaven has anything to do with being good or bad. See, he has to read Left Behind to know that all you have to do is say the Magic Words.
Death is also on Shane’s mind as he finishes his plane ride and is driven to The Seven’s castle by the tongueless chauffeur. He thinks The Seven want to kill him for something (he has no idea what it might be) that he did wrong.
But that is not the case. After some preliminary moustache-twirling and some vague but ominous talk about their “great task,” they tell Barrington their big plans for him:
They want him to hire Michael Murphy as an “archaeological correspondent” for Barrington Communications. Shane brings up the fact that The Seven aren’t exactly in sympathy with Murphy’s RTC-ity, but they explain their plan:
“You see, Mr. Barrington, Michael Murphy has a knack for finding archaeological objects that are of…interest to us. It might make life a little easier if we were all on the same team. Even if Murphy doesn’t know it.”
I guess that’s as good an excuse as any for them to keep Murphy alive, when it is abundantly clear that they could kill him at any moment they chose. (And it’s not like Murphy takes any steps to keep himself safe, living in his little college town, in exactly the same manner he did when a powerful international cabal didn’t want him dead…)
(I deleted a bit above this, because I misremembered The Seven’s motivations in the first book. They did not want Murphy killed then, either—they wanted him to find the Serpent because of the powers it supposedly had. Thanks to Ivan for reminding me!)
So, that’s why The Seven wanted Shane to come all the damn way to Switzerland.
Continuity Error Alert: The Seven are described here as six men and one woman. This is NOT THE CASE in subsequent books, where the group is comprised of five men and two women.
Oh, and as a little favor for Shane, The Seven had Talon go and kill Carl the pilot during their little meeting.
Yeah, real big favor. Let’s see, if Carl was left alive, all people would know is that Shane Barrington is a huge jerk who fires people on a whim. So, nothing new under the sun.
But I’m sure that the death of this man in a foreign country will arouse absolutely no suspicion whatsoever in anyone’s mind. (“So, why did you go to Switzerland by yourself with no notice to anyone, Mr. Barrington? And how and why did your young, healthy pilot die, anyway?”)
I don’t get it, but again, that must be why I’m not part of a Stop at Nothing cabal on the verge of taking over the world.
We’re almost done re-introducing the cast for Book 2! All we have left now are intrepid reporter Stephanie Kovacs, and not-so-intrepid FBI Agent Hank Baines.