Book I: Chapter 26
Just as quickly as the Witnesses came, they were gone; once more I was looking back at Alan – and his new visitor…
But that said, even I who hate listening to this hogwash, even I know enough about current events to know that Dr. Ma’bus is the most beloved world leader of our day. To think that he of all people would show up here as Alan’s captor was beyond belief.
(Of course, it didn’t help matters to recall that I had actually let myself believe that Ma’bus might actually be The Sav— but arg, enough of that!)
I shifted my attention back to Alan and his visitor…
“You are The Beast.” Alan repeated to the man who entered his prison cell.
“Well, this is certainly a break from your impeccable image, Dr. Ma’bus. What would the rest of the world think of you torturing me?”
“Torturing you? I have done no such thing. We are merely holding you for your own good. I’d say that’s pretty altruistic. And as for my image, apparently the world likes me quite a bit. After all, the U.N. just elected me Secretary General.” Upon seeing Alan’s surprised look, Ma’bus added, “Oh, that’s right. You didn’t hear the news. Well, allow me to fill you in: Ki-Moon is dead – don’t ask me how, I’m sure your friend Benedict had something to do with it. In any case, I am the new Secretary General. As usual, I gave an impassioned speech at my coronation. It was a lovely ceremony. But more importantly, I pretty much control the world now.”
(At this point, I couldn’t help thinking back to Teri’s words… “Ma’bus is the very definition of worldly. He can fit in anywhere, influence anyone, lead everyone.”)
So, IS Ma’bus The Beast? I’ve got to admit, I’m as confused as you are!
“What’s the matter?” Ma’bus teased, when Alan didn’t respond. “Cat got your tongue?”
“What do you need ME for?” Alan relaxed back into his bonds. “In your own words you already said you control the world. What else is there?”
“I want souls, dear Brother, SOULS…”
(The way Ma’bus said his last comment caused me to feel a terrible chill – as if his was emanating malevolence. Sorry, Alan, but immortal or not, I’m glad you’re there and not me).
Fighting against this, Alan cried out, “There’s nothing you could do to make me help you! I don’t care if The Brotherhood did help you get control of the UMAN territory – clearly we underestimated you, but you’re still nothing more than a glorified economist. You’ve already been given more than you deserve and when I get out of here, I’ll personally see to it that you are finished. You can’t harm me and you know it.”
“I may not be able to kill you, but I have ways to influence you.”
“Well, rather than have me tell you, why don’t I SHOW you, eh?” And calling back through the doorway, “Iffat, enter.”
His servant dutifully entered — head down, awaiting his instructions.
“Iffat, kindly arrange it so that our guest can go on a little tour,” Ma’bus commanded. Then to Alan he added, “To the Life Labs.”
(Now why doesn’t that sound like a GOOD thing?)