Babylon Rising, Chapter 51
Another Nebuchadnezzar chapter, written all in italics, and it’s starting to piss me off just a tad. I mean, these chapters are so freaking rare (6 chapters out of 70!), that they really yank you out of the real story. Plus, the first two King Neb chapters are Chapters Two and Six, which makes you think that this is actually going to be something important to the plot, but it really isn’t. Like, at all. Plus, then there are twenty-four chapters until the next one, so you forget it’s even part of the story at all.
Why not just make more of the damn things and have them mean something? The entire focus is on King Neb, with David as a side character (even though he is Teh Most Important Prophet Evar ZOMG), but why not follow the “life” of the Brazen Serpent in its entirety? Then we could actually see it all the way from Moses getting it, to evil high priest Dakkuri breaking it apart and hiding the pieces with little puzzles and clues, and then we could see how Murphy and Isis break those same codes in modern times. That might actually mean something.
Instead, we get King Neb watching as his totally bitchin’ statue of himself is yanked into standing position by thousands of slaves. Neb revels at the thought of “thousands of men crying out either from the pain of torn muscles and snapped tendons (oh shit, ouch!) or simply relief that their torment was over.”
I’m no architect or engineer, but really? They built this gigungo statue so that it was lying down on the ground, then they lifted it so it was standing upright? Really? Am I just totally off-base in thinking that is waaay less efficient than just building it already standing up?
Anyway, ooooo, the statue is everything Daniel said it would be, legs of iron, chest and arms of silver, head of gold, 90 cubits high. Now, cubit has meant different lengths in different periods of history, so I’m just going to ballpark the statue as being between 90 and 177 feet tall. Which, again, cool. And Neb is all excited because the face of the statue actually looks like his own face, and he is happy because he is the bestest king ever.
Blah, blah, blah, it’ll be another eighteen chapters until we’re back in ancient times again, so why should I care?