Babylon Rising, Chapter 8, Part 1
Murphy is so glad to be away from his dumb ole class and in his lab. Here, he can examine the scroll he got from fighting the lion, without any “bloated egos” (well, any other bloated egos), or “petty academic infighting” (since he just got done with that a minute ago, so he’s spent for now).
Here, too, we are given a better look at Shari Nelson, Murph’s “research assistant.” She serves primarily to provide a running commentary on how brilliant Murph is.
The plan is to open the little case that was around the lion’s neck, and see what’s inside. Murph is guessing papyrus. He was going to wait for his wife, who wanted to be there, but what the hell, he’s just gonna go ahead right now. Just him…and Shari. I’m sure Laura will understand, what with there being so much time pressure on this project…
Wait, no there isn’t.
Shari is so gosh darned golly gee excited about this project. And well she might be: Murph sent her a “manic” e-mail at three in the morning (hmmm…), telling her to be there to start work on the scroll. Now, I suppose he could have just told her in his class that she was attending, but then he wouldn’t have been able to e-mail her in the middle of the night, now would he?
Murph “bets lunch” that there’s a papyrus scroll in the tube-thingy, and is, of course, correct, so he gets his “chili cheeseburger with extra pickles” (oh, ick).
“And a root beer!” Shari chirps. Uh-huh. I was a research assistant in college, too. And I am proud to say that I have no idea what my professor’s favorite lunch was. This is skating right towards Creepyland.
And just so we get that women are silly and can’t be trusted with serious stuff, Shari is compared to “a hyperactive two-year-old.” Nice.
So Murph and the hyperactive toddler re-hydrate the papyrus scroll so they can unroll it without destroying it. Which, you would think, Methuselah would already have done, or how else would he have known what the papyrus said?
Eh, let’s not think about that right now! (Murph sure hasn’t!) Who can think about pesky details when there’s red hot archeology going on?