TEoD: Chapter 40: Told You So

As Paul’s fate hangs in the balance, Phillips cuts away for several chapters to keep the suspense up.  Having “caught up” with the Bible, we’re back with The Seven (TSAN!) at their Swiss castle, who apparently won’t stop…their incredibly bad hiring decisions.

Sir William Merton is understandably annoyed that Talon failed to successfully kill to co-eds.  Hilariously, Talon, “who was used to just about anything,” is startled when Merton pounds a fist on the table.  Then again, I’m not sure about that “used to just about anything bit,” given, again, his failure to take down two undergrads having a Netflix and chill night.

Despite Merton calling Talon “a danger to our mission,” the other six of The Seven seem to not care very much that Talon failed to do the one simple task they laid out for him.  In fact, they engage in a “litany” (not actually transcribed) of childish infighting that seems quite unbecoming of the most powerful people in the world.  In fact, this whole section is very confused, with nobody but Merton even seeming to realize what a boneheaded move they’ve made by sticking with Talon all this time.

They also seem to have no doubts in their minds when Talon vaguely assures them that “I will be able to fulfill any mission you desire.

“Except if that mission involves killing two unarmed and clueless college students, alone in an apartment.  Then there might be difficulties with fulfillment of mission.”

Nothing daunted, The Seven just direct Talon to read an as-yet-unpublished editorial by Shane Barrington himself.  It takes up three whole pages of text, and rather half-heartedly calls out Constantine De La Rosa (aka Nicolae Carpathia), because even though he’s done some miraculous things, nobody really knows anything about him or where all his money is coming from.  Shane basically promises to do an upcoming investigation of De La Rosa, and this really ticks off and terrifies The Seven.  So despite their having multiple agents inside Barrington Communications (which is how they got this unpublished editorial, off Shane’s computer), The Seven inexplicably task Talon with…killing Shane.

Because Talon has done such a bang-up job so far with all his various killing tasks.

To add ridiculousness, The Seven report to Talon that Shane has been taking multiple sensible steps in his own defense.  He’s hiring bodyguards and has ordered a bulletproof car and has a new and improved security system at home.  So already, Shane is proving himself far more intelligent than Michael Murphy ever has been.

So Talon failed to take out one college student who bikes alone at night.  And then he failed to take her out again, when she was having a night in with her not-boyfriend.  And he’s failed to take out Michael Murphy for FOREVER, even though Murphy is the most predictable human ever, and has implemented none of the security measures that Shane Barrington has.

Great job at failing at everything, Talon!  Here’s a new and much more difficult assignment for you!

In the car, being driven away from the castle, Talon muses on his failure.  He blames himself for not waiting until Paul left the apartment before trying to kill Shari again.  Now, first of all, why would a (supposed) world-class assassin care about one unarmed 21-year-old kid getting in the way of the murder of another unarmed 21-year-old kid.  Second of all, Talon couldn’t kill Shari the day before, when she was all alone, so what makes him think he could kill her on Attempt #3 when she was alone?

But Talon’s self-esteem is nothing is not healthy, and he muses on other (unnamed) people he has killed.  In a way, I suppose it’s a lesson for all of us in how to bounce back from failure.  I’m just not sure The Seven would be as kind to Talon as he is to himself.

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Posted on April 10, 2018, in The Edge of Darkness. Bookmark the permalink. 20 Comments.

  1. Meanwhile, at Schloss Stopatnothing…

    “Oh, that’s fine, Talon, you’re only human; it’s entirely understandable that you’ll fail in a mission once in a while, especially such a challenging one. Take some time off, take one of the Learjets to our Tropical Island Lair o’Doom, get yourself back in shape; we’ll use one of the second-raters for this next job. No, no, think nothing of it. No, take the other lift…”

    • The exit is behind you, across the bridge over our shark tank. Psst, number 4, was it this button or is that the one that vents nervegad into the guestroom?

  2. Even if Paul is a filthy heathen with no combat training or in any kind of good shape that was worth mentioning, he still has a penis. Thus he was obviously a potential threat, whereas Shari was a good RTC girl and therefore helpless before violence of any kind. At least when LaHaye is at the helm. (Isis’ competence was an early slip up that has since been fixed)

    • Paul may be a heathen, but so far, he is so much more badass than any of the RTC characters in this story. He did demonstrate great bravery and put himself on the line to save Shari, but you just know that the RTCs won’t even pay any attention to that; they’ll just keep shitting on him.

  3. I’m reminded of the Apocalypse films, where Len Parker, aka MacEvilton, royally and publicly screws the pooch, yet the Antichrist just keeps him around to fuck up again next movie. Even if not-Nicolae was in a bafflingly generous mood, he ought to have had MacEvilton publically executed just to mitigate the PR disaster he caused.

  4. He blames himself for not waiting until Paul left the apartment before trying to kill Shari again.

    Oh, c’mon. I could have killed the two of them, using a device readily available for purchase in the US. The only hard part was getting into Shari’s apartment, which Talon had already accomplished.

  5. This is the last book in the series, right?

    • I don’t think the series has been officially concluded, but this one came out in 2006 and there hasn’t been another one since.

  6. After his first failure, Talon was offhandedly wondering if the Seven (TSAN!) were going to kill him in an interesting fashion that he could professionally respect. Now he’s shocked by one of them pounding the table?

  7. The Seven should have gotten rid of Talon long ago and found a more competent assassin. They certainly shouldn’t be giving him an even tougher mission after he failed such an easy one, unless they’re expecting him to get killed trying to kill Shane. Maybe they have a better assassin who’s mission is to follow Talon and make sure that Shane dies if Talon fails.

    • They just aren’t very good at their job, or alternatively, they took over this evil organization and now use its resources to travel around to exotic locales and be on permanent vacation. I recycled this concept for Left Beyond Quest, in that a lot of the leadership of The Other Light is like this.

  8. Now, first of all, why would a (supposed) world-class assassin care about one unarmed 21-year-old kid getting in the way of the murder

    Because you lose points for killing non-targets! Obviously.

    Talon should’ve just flipped a coin to get Paul to go and investigate.

  9. He de-synchronizes if he kills too many civilians?

  10. Does this book even *have* a plot?

  11. Started looking over old posts for this series and clicking on links and good glob! They are just awful towards Paul. I’m having flashbacks to my snark of Kingdom Come, where the RTCs just shit on this character, Qasim, over and over, even though the worst he’s done, is react in an immature manner when a girl he dated, dumped him for no real reason. Qasim also did such evil things as try to get recruits for the Millies and be kind and helpful at the daycare where he works. Clearly, even Genghis Khan blanches at the cruelty Qasim is capable of.

    Paul is easily the nicest, most selfless character in these books and they just shit on him. Is there any hope he escapes and doesn’t join the RTC collective? I doubt it though. I smell a conversion scene where he becomes a proper RTC boyfriend for Shari. Because remember: you should always bear peoples’ emotional cruelty with pride, dammit! They are just trying to correct you for being wrong and it’s not like there’s such a thing as emotional abuse.

  1. Pingback: Deconstruction Roundup for April 13th, 2018 | The Slacktiverse

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