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Nothing daunted, The Seven just direct Talon to read an as-yet-unpublished editorial by Shane Barrington himself.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 So despite their having multiple agents inside Barrington Communications (which is how they got this unpublished editorial, off Shane’s computer), The Seven inexplicably task Talon with…killing Shane.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.