TSoA: Chapter 26: Supermodels and the CIA
Happy New Year, all! Thanks for bearing with me through my
New Year’s Celebration World of Warcraft post-Wintermas hiatus.
But now I’m BACK, and ready to hop right back into the hunt for Noah’s ark!
Though the last chapter has no relation to this one (not that there’s anything wrong with that)—Murphy is going to the CIA to get the file on Mount Ararat before the expedition (finally!) gets going, and Isis is going to pick him up at the airport.
Murphy still has no intention of revealing his attraction to Isis…to Isis. And I’d appreciate this impulse if it read more like Murphy feeling delayed guilt about his dead wife, and less like Murphy being a controlling asshat:
Murphy spotted her… [but she doesn't see him yet]
He stopped, drawing out the moment. As soon as he greeted her, it would be all business. That was the way he’s decided it had to be.
I like the set-up of this relationship, I really do. Murphy was very happily married to Laura, and considered Isis a slightly weird professional colleague. But now that he is single once again, he’s starting to see a whole new side to Isis. Maybe she’s not quite as odd as he thought, or maybe her weirdness turns out to be charming. That was certainly where this appeared to be going in the first book.
But not now. Now we just know that Isis is gorgeous, and thus is worthy of Our Hero:
Dressed in combat pants and a tight-fitting green t-shirt, sneakers, no makeup, she looked like a supermodel trying to blend into a crowd. And failing. Big time.
Combat pants and tight t-shirts? That’s sure a far cry from the oversized fisherman’s sweater from the first book.
Mind you, the first book called Isis beautiful, but pointed out that it took some close looking to notice. But this starts a trend that will continue through the rest of the series—people frequently mistaking Isis for a model.
Because only someone who looks like a model is good enough for Murphy!
By the way…Isis is wearing combat pants and a tight t-shirt to her meeting at the CIA?
Their appointment is with one Carlton Stovall, and we can see immediately that he is an ineffective, cowardly sort of man…
…a short, slightly overweight, and balding man with a bland smile.
Appearance, you see, is reality. Plain, “mannish” women like Bia Balaam are evil. Gorgeous women like Laura Murphy and Isis McDonald get the prize of a Good Christian Warrior-Man like Michael Murphy. And chubby, balding guys are of no help to anyone, ever.
Murph asks for the file on Noah’s ark…
“…how about the Ararat Anomaly File? That ring any bells?”
Suddenly Stovall wasn’t laughing anymore. The blood drained out of his face. He began to stutter in reply, but Murphy cut him off.
Of course he did. Interrupting people is Murphy’s greatest weapon. He rattles off some stories I don’t care about, about the CIA taking pictures of the ark in the 1970s. (Suuuuure they did.) So Stovall, being the chubby, balding nebbish that he is, needs to get his superior.
WHO IS AGENT BURTON WELSH
One of the few characters who doesn’t immediately start kissing Michael Murphy’s ass, and thus is shown to be Evil?
Well, here he is, having transferred from the FBI to the CIA.
Welsh explains it all!
“You see, all of those items have been reclassified as secret documents.”
Super Duper Ultra Secret Squirrel Documents!
“That’s impossible,” Murphy said, getting out of his chair and standing toe to toe with Welsh. Isis put a restraining hand on his arm, worried that he was going to lose his temper, but he didn’t seem to notice.
Hmmm, seems Murph is still working through those anger issues of his.
Murphy pleads FOIA, but Welsh isn’t buying it.
Murphy jabbed a finger at him.
Anger issues, Murph. Anger issues.
“You’ve told us plenty, Welsh. You’ve told us we’re right.”
Isis: Hey, leave me out of this, Murphy!
“The CIA has all this information but they don’t want it to get out into the public domain. It’s a cover-up!”
It’s a conspiracy, I tells ya! U.N. black helicopters! Secret files! Sasquatch!
But here’s the best part: remember how Welsh won the staring contest with Murphy back in the first book? Well, he once again demonstrates his awesomeness here. Instead of rising to Murphy’s childish bait, he simply tells Murphy there’s nothing he can do…and leaves, as the steam shoots out of Our Hero’s ears.
I love Agent Welsh.