TSoA: Chapter 48: Back to Stephanie

When we last left Stephanie, she was berating Michael Murphy at the grave of his “friend,” Hank Baines.

Now, she is enjoying a romantic evening with her boyfriend, Shane Barrington.

When she’d first agreed to become Barrington’s mistress…

Oh yeah.  She’s his mistress.  Even though she’s single.

How soon I forget.

We wouldn’t want to use words like boyfriend and girlfriend.  They might remind us that Shane and Stephanie are people, not Evil Pre-Saved Lying Liars Who Lie.

…each took a mouthful of the vintage champagne.

I have to hand it to Phillips: he has the ability to make drinking an awesome drink sound really unappetizing.

Shane has gone all romantic on Stephanie—decorating the entire top floor of his building with flowers.  And he gives her a special treat: the right to ask any questions of him.

I’d like to think Shane is doing this because he is coming to love and respect Stephanie more and more, and now considers her an equal partner—in his schemes, in his life.

I’d like to think so, anyway.  I am so rooting for these two.

Stephanie thinks that Barrington has been doing EEEEVIL things, and asks him some very important questions.

About Michael Murphy.

Because if there is one important subject in the world, it’s Our Hero.

Shane actually tells Stephanie the truth.  And, to his credit, he starts at the real beginning: not Michael Murphy, but The Seven (they’ll stop at nothing!).  He fills in Stephanie on the events of the previous book (interesting, he leaves out the part about impliedly-gay Arthur), and then reveals how Murphy fits into this:

“You see, these people I work for, these people who own me, are hell-bent on establishing a one-world government.  A one-world religion, too.  And people like Murphy, they see it all coming, in the Bible.  So they have to be stopped.  Before they can persuade people to resist.”

Yeah, because Murphy is doing such a great job with that.  I mean, I guess he and Bob dragooned Sherri into preaching to a random teenager, and childfree Murphy preached some parenting advice to Hank, but is that really persuading people to resist a one-world government and one-world religion?

Stephanie starts to panic at these revelations (EVIL!), then starts plotting her escape:

…she started to hear a voice at the back of her mind.  A voice of hope.  A little voice telling her that maybe this was her chance at redemption.  Her chance to prove that she wasn’t all bad…

WAIT A SECOND

Two pages ago, we are told that Stephanie had done multiple investigative reports on “rapists and serial killers.”  And now she thinks she is “all bad.”  Poor Stephanie…

…maybe she could make a difference after all.

Because hard-hitting reports on rapists and serial killers make no difference at all.

So sad.  My dreams of an Unholy Matrimony between Shane and Stephanie are being destroyed!

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Posted on May 12, 2013, in Books, The Secret on Ararat. Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. Madonna/Whore complex. Wife/Mistress designations. To-mato, tom-ato

    Please remind me, how do the Seven ‘own’ Shane again? They sent Talon to kill his son and then, what? What is there stopping him from turning on them?

    I’m asking because (like all unbelievers, natch), Shane seems to know perfectly well that Murphy’s view of the Bible and what it prophecises is spot on. Note he doesn’t say that Murphy opposes his masters because he mistakenly thinks they match his BIblical prophecies. Shane openly says he knows that they are one and the same. So why is it only Stephany here who’s contemplating the redemption option, when Shane could be doing the same? He doesn’t actually like his new side by the sounds of it (and why would he), so if he knows how easy defecting is, why doesn’t he do so?

    • Headless Unicorn Guy

      Please remind me, how do the Seven ‘own’ Shane again? They sent Talon to kill his son and then, what? What is there stopping him from turning on them?

      Because all Heathens(TM) are in one accord, solidly united against God, Christ, and Real True Christians. All united, tirelessly working as one to bring The Antichrist to power.

      I’m asking because (like all unbelievers, natch), Shane seems to know perfectly well that Murphy’s view of the Bible and what it prophecises is spot on.

      Christianese fiction convention: Even total Heathens(TM) all understand, speak, and think in fluent Christianese. Including anything regarding End Time Prophecy (any minute now… any minute now… any minute now…)

  2. Realistic!Shane: “You see, these people I work for, these people I’ve given my life to, are determined to establish one world government. One world religion, too. Just think of it! An end to wars! Everyone in the world with enough to eat! And people like Murphy, they claim to see it all coming, in the Bible, and according to them it all ends in blood and tears. So they have to be stopped. Before people start falling for their stuff, start blowing up schools and hospitals in the name of freedom.”

  3. Poor Shane. He sets up the most dazzling, romantic date ever for the woman in his life, but the only thing on her mind is that eligible hunk Michael Murphy. Then, to kill the mood even deader, he starts talking about his own powerlessness and the people who “own” him. Jeez, Shane, even I’ve had more successful dates than this.

    Shane’s also forgotten the very important Michael Corleone Rule: when the time comes to permit your significant other to ask about your business, don’t tell the truth. I’m with Ruby’s interpretation that Shane is straight with Stephanie because he truly trusts her, and wants her as his partner in evil (or perhaps his partner in redemption, if he’s seeking it!), and even though they’re villains, it’s still romantic. Which makes it more tragic that his honesty only serves to push Steph away.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy

      Poor Shane. He sets up the most dazzling, romantic date ever for the woman in his life, but the only thing on her mind is that eligible hunk Michael Murphy.

      Three words: AUTHOR. SELF. INSERT.

  4. I’m going to ignore the RTC “being sexually active woman is evil” wankery and read that as Shane being a sub. (Also hooray double standards for Master/Mistress.)

  5. Also, I can’t help but notice that this deceitful, untrustworthy heathen is far more frank and candid with uncomfortable truths to his loved ones than our RTC hero with his From A Certain Point Of View schtick.

  6. Actually, I thought “mistress” meant a woman of ANY marital status who is consistently kept on sexual retainer by a MARRIED man. Meaning it should be Shane’s marital status that’s germane here, not Stephanie’s.

  7. Headless Unicorn Guy

    “You see, these people I work for, these people who own me, are hell-bent on establishing a one-world government. A one-world religion, too. And people like Murphy, they see it all coming, in the Bible. So they have to be stopped. Before they can persuade people to resist.”

    One-world(TM) = “THE ANTICHRIST! THE ANTICHRIST! THE ANTICHRIST! DON’T BE LEFT BEHIND!!!!!”

    “…she started to hear a voice at the back of her mind. A voice of hope. A little voice telling her that maybe this was her chance at redemption. Her chance to prove that she wasn’t all bad…”

    WAIT A SECOND

    Two pages ago, we are told that Stephanie had done multiple investigative reports on “rapists and serial killers.” And now she thinks she is “all bad.” Poor Stephanie…

    “…maybe she could make a difference after all.”

    Because hard-hitting reports on rapists and serial killers make no difference at all.

    I assume Stephanie drew the short straw for The Altar Call at the Ending? Now that “she thinks she is all bad” (“Convicted of her Sin” in Christianese), now the guy (or maybe Murphy himself) gets to break the fourth wall and lead her (and the reader) through The Sinner’s Prayer(TM) to AcceptJesusChristAsHerPersonalLORDandSavior (all one word). Christianese attempts at Fiction are so predictable….

  1. Pingback: Deconstruction Round Up, May 19th, 2013 | The Slacktiverse

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