Babylon Rising, Chapter 62, Part 2
The second part of this chapter is Michael Murphy’s conversation with his buddy Jassim, he of the Pyramid Crawler that will investigate the tomb where the head of the Brazen Serpent is supposed to be.
It’s pretty boring, but for two things:
1. Isis, mirroring her predecessor, excuses herself from the Man Talk. Now, when Laura did this, she said straight up that it was because of the sheikh’s outdated views on women. We don’t know why Isis excused herself, though it may be because she was “distracted.”
2. The drinking. Murphy, a RTC, does not drink. Jassim, a Muslim, does. The following fascinating exchange on alcohol takes place:
He [Jassim] sipped appreciatively from his martini glass.
“You’re sure you won’t?” [Jassim asked]
“Are you kidding? I know what you put in that stuff. The alcohol is the least of it.” [said Murphy]
Jassim laughed his rich, mellifluous laugh. “Same old Murphy.”
“Same old Jassim.” Murphy raised his glass of lemonade.
“Yes, sadly, I am a very bad Muslim.”
Okay, so Murphy doesn’t drink. (The feeble “I know what you put into it” bit has Dinallo’s hands all over it, as though he was trying to find a “real” reason to justify LaHaye’s edict that Christian Heroes do not drink.)
Murphy, a “very good Christian,” even according to his arch-nemisi, The Seven, does not drink.
Jassim, a “very bad Muslim,” does drink.
I find this fascinating. Jassim drinks, thus making him a bad Muslim, and thus that much closer to being a Christian (as we know, Murphy prays for the conversion of everyone he knows). Murphy doesn’t drink, because he is such a good Christian. So, does Murphy refrain from drinking because it is a bad thing to do, or because it makes him a Very Good Christian? If Jassim were to convert, would Murphy want him to stop drinking?
It’s a very complicated mental puzzle with which to be confronted every time you are offered a martini.