Bablyon Rising, Chapter 11, Part 2
And our new, likeable character, the awesomely awesome Dr. Isis Proserpina McDonald, engages in some competitive exposition with Michael Murphy. Isis makes every assumption Murphy makes about the Brazen Serpent, that is, that any mention of it must be the Biblical Brazen Serpent, and that no one would lie or be mistaken about its authenticity.
Anyway, the scroll from the lion’s neck wasn’t written by Moses or anything. It was written by a made-up Chaldean priest names Dakkuri, who got his hands on the three broken pieces of the Serpent when the Babylonians sacked Jerusalem. Dakkuri put the pieces back together and formed an “inner circle” serpent-worshipping club, based on the serpent’s supposed healing powers. (A quick bit of slight-of-hand is performed here…the Bible clearly states that the Serpent cures snake bites, but from here on out, the Serpent is presumed to cure all injuries and illnesses.)
Murphy is his usual asshatted self here, constantly interrupting Isis and trying to finish her sentences when she is the one who just did all the work. Isis (because she rocks) “realized she would have to be just as pushy if she was ever going to get through her piece.”
Isis McDonald, you are my hero.
Blah, blah, blah, serpent cult, God makes King Nebuchadnezzar go mad, Neb gets well again, bans idol worship, Dakkuri hides the serpent pieces and writes this treasure map…er, scroll.
The first piece leads to the next piece, and so on, in, as Isis puts it, “a high priest’s scavenger hunt.” Isis claims nothing could be simpler than to find the first piece (which immediately would make me fear that someone already had, lo these many hundreds of years ago), but that the big clue is “the Horns of the Ox.”
Isis is awesome and all, but still, all this exposition…