TEoD: Chapter Three: The Seven Logic Puzzle

We cut away from the MORE THAN TWO CHAPTERS LONG MICHAEL MURPHY “ACTION” SEQUENCE to get back with The Seven (they’ll stop at nothing!) who are once against twirling their collective mustache and plotting in an exotic locale—this time, Cape Town, South Africa.  This is actually Talon’s hometown, which none of The Seven mention, even though they do discuss Talon, and even though you’d think they’d know this tidbit of information.

However, Phillips is very interested in dropping more tidbits of information about The Seven themselves into our laps.  It’s nothing we don’t already know, or could have guessed, and it really makes no difference to the story.  It’s also peppered into the prose rather blunt-force trauma: “said Sir William Merton, the oldest member of the Seven.”

Who cares?

Inserted into their exposition like this, it makes this whole chapter read like a logic puzzle.  If Ganesh Shesha and General Li both have black hair and Viorica Enesco is from Romania, what color was Jakoba Werner’s shirt?

Speaking of appearances, Phillips goes ever farther down the RTC rabbit hole of judging others by their appearance.

[Sir William Merton] was physically repulsive but quite brilliant.

Of course he is.  Because evil and/or unsaved people are always less than beautiful.  Looks at how Isis graduated from pretty-but-frumpy in Babylon Rising to model-beautiful (to the point that nearly everyone comments on it) in the subsequent three books.  Jenkins and Phillips always make sure that the villains have bad looks to go along with their bad intentions.  Heck, it even goes for characters whom we are only meant to pity then dismiss, like Alvena Smidt and Charlotte Ian, both of whom are (gasp! choke!) overweight.  Guys, watch that, okay?  Evil people don’t always look evil.

Okay, sometimes they do.

Anyway, The Seven (TSAN!) observe Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned, and blather on about the events of the last book, including the George Washington Bridge attempted-destruction, and about how they have two “loose cannons”  they have to deal with: Michael Murphy and Methuselah.

Huh, so The Seven consider Meth an enemy, too.  That’s actually…kinda cool.  Now, it makes sense that The Seven haven’t been able to kill Meth, since a) Meth is incredibly wealthy and can afford fortified mansions and the best security money can buy and b) I don’t think they know who he actually is.

Murphy is, as always, a different matter, and it still boggles my mind that The Seven haven’t managed to kill one college professor, who lives in the same house he’s lived in for years, drives the same car on the same route to work every day, takes no security measures with his home, office, or self that we ever see, and is hardly ever armed.  The only way this would make sense would be if The Seven thought Murphy was of more use to them alive than dead, but they don’t say that, and in fact they state that Murphy is now even more dangerous than he was before (since he “knows too much about the Bible” and all), because now he’s talked to Dr. Anderson and knows at least something about “The Boy” (the AntiChrist).

The puzzle of the unkillable Murphy dispensed with, talk turns to Shane Barrington.  They want to call him in to make him promote something or someone (I don’t care) on his news network.  Señor Mendez brings up the tiny inconvenience that they just offed Stephanie Kovacs, his “live-in lover.”

Man, Phillips and LaHaye just can’t help themselves, can they?  The have to use shaming language even in the mouths of the supposed villains who, being godless hedonists, would no doubt find nothing wrong with such a relationship.  Such a relationship being, point of fact, a monogamous one.

Anyway, they decide it’ll all be cool with Shane, since he loves money way more than people.  Good thing too, Sir William points out, as “if he turned on us, he would be a powerful enemy.”

(Actually, my first exposure to this awesome turn of phrase was in the movie Father Goose, when Goody Two-Shoes takes away the Filthy Beast’s booze.  It was Cary Grant’s penultimate film, and a fun romp.  Recommended.)

Finally, they bring up Talon, because he needs to get back to the Black Sea so he can get that crap from Noah’s Ark that he dropped, so The Seven can “know more about Potassium 40.”

And I still don’t know why they all had to be together physically to discuss all this.  (It’s not for pleasure, as Bartholomew points out that “This is not a vacation.“)  So, what, they’ve never heard of video conferencing?  Man, the evil cabal is right out of the Stone Age.  (Which, probably, Phillips doesn’t even believe in.)


Posted on April 10, 2017, in The Edge of Darkness. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. So…Shane’s the anti-Luke Skywalker then? Instead of “If we could turn him, he would be a powerful ally,” it’s, “If his sinful sinful sinful relationship with the woman we recently murdered turned him, he would be a powerful enemy”?

  2. Believe it or not, I can actually think of at least one reason off the top of my head why the Seven (TSAN!) would prefer face-to-face meetings over video conferencing: hackers. Meeting in person would eliminate the possibility of a spy or some scrappy young teen with a laptop hacking into the call and eavesdrop on everything they’re talking about. And with some of them working in their respective governments, it’s possible that they don’t want to take the chance that one of their offices/phones/computers being bugged and spoiling their big plan of finally get around to murdering that one college professor no one likes. Heck, them changing up their meeting place every time makes it even more effective, as it would make it harder to pin down exactly where they will be discussing their plan this time,

    Of course, I don’t expect either LaHaye or Phillips to have thought of this justification themselves, just like they didn’t think of the possible problems with meeting in person all the time. Like finding a good time for everyone to meet up, how to actually communicate the meeting place to the whole group, having to come up with a plausible excuse for why you’re skipping work for the fifth time this month to fly to Cape Town for the weekend, etc.

  3. If they want to know more about potassium 40, why don’t they just check wikipedia? Or fund research into it (by a godless, heathen college professor, natch)?
    What could Talon possibly tell them that a scientist could not?
    Jesus, Philips, just say “phlebotenum” when you mean phlebotinum.

  4. Why do The Seven have only one assassin on their payroll, anyway? Especially one who screwed up multiple times?

    Surely they can branch out a bit and contract The Tongue, a merciless killer who uses trained frogs to immobilize and dispatch his targets.

  5. Do The Seven not realize that all you have to do to “know too much about the Bible” is simply read it? And if Murphy’s so dangerous to their plans and they’re so powerful, why are they so incapable of having him killed? For a vaguely evil council of evil bad guys, The Seven are pretty pathetic at actually doing evil.

  6. Oh. Oh, crap, I’ve worked out why they care about potassium-40.


    It’s because K-Ar dating is one of the pieces of evidence for the age of the Earth, and so this book has to discredit it.

    The Seven (TSAN!) don’t seem to be able to come up with anything to do about Murphy other than kill him. Why not have him caught peculating, or with an underage student of indeterminate gender? They’re a world-moving conspiracy; they have people for that.

    • Wasn’t it enough that the thing could generate infinite power, thus taking away the economic might of all those godly freedom loving oil tycoons or some shit?

  7. Headless Unicorn Guy

    Murphy is, as always, a different matter, and it still boggles my mind that The Seven haven’t managed to kill one college professor, who lives in the same house he’s lived in for years, drives the same car on the same route to work every day, takes no security measures with his home, office, or self that we ever see, and is hardly ever armed.

    It’s obvious, Ruby.

  1. Pingback: Deconstruction Roundup for April 14th, 2017 | The Slacktiverse

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