Babylon Rising, Chapter 65
Murphy climbs back up through the shaft.
Let’s see, he failed to get the head of the Serpent, failed to shoot the murderer, and lost his wife’s cross.
So, we’re right on schedule.
…Murphy imagined Isis and Jassim being butchered by the killer he had had in his sights. … I could have stopped him. I could have stopped him.
YEAH, YOU COULD HAVE STOPPED HIM, YOU STUPID, STUPID MAN!
But Murphy gets back outside to find Isis and Jassim just fine, and unaware that anyone else is in the general vicinity of the pyramid. I guess Talon made it out of the pyramid and was spirited away in Wonder Woman’s invisible jet.
Murphy whines about how he thought it was God’s will that he get the Serpent, and then is a real ass to Isis, who opines that maybe what God really wanted was for Murphy to be able to read the inscriptions on the pieces of the Serpent:
Murphy pounded his fist against the window. “I lost the head of the Serpent. It’s at the bottom of the pyramid by now. No one will ever find it there.”
As others have pointed out, WHY CAN’T HE? You’re an archeologist, but “bottoms” of pyramids are off-limits? WTF?
Also, why am I not surprised that Murphy is the kind of guy who is violent when frustrated?
“Maybe that’s for the best,” Isis said. “I think the Serpent–every bit of it–was nothing but evil. If God had a task for you, perhaps it was just to find the inscription. Dakkuri’s final message.”
“Well, guess what, that’s at the bottom of the pyramid, too, in case you hadn’t figured it out.”
Isis ignored his sarcastic tone. “Not necessarily.”
Yeah, Isis ignored him. Meta-Isis smacked him.
And Isis saves the day yet again, by pointing out that the Robot Vacuum’s camera got many pictures of the head of the Serpent when it was hovering in midair, and they could enhance the images and read the inscription.
OMG, guys, guys, guys!
Do you think the Robot Vacuum got pictures of Talon? ‘Cause I bet the authorities would be interested in enhanced photos of a multiple murderer and bomber!
Eh, never mind. Nobody in the story cares about that.
So, not giving a flying crap about the villain who is making his getaway even as they speak, they head back to the University to play with Jassim’s magical technical equipment. On the drive, Murphy muses about his bow, concluding that shooting the bird and not Talon was a divinely-inspired event. So that Murphy wouldn’t have the blood of a murderer on his hands, I guess.
And, once again, no one said you had to kill him, Murphy! You could have just wounded him!
Oh, and considering how many people Talon kills in the remaining books in this series, I have to question God’s judgment on this one if the action was, indeed, divinely inspired.
(I believe I will start a count when we get to those books, but as we are coming up on the end of Babylon Rising, I am getting really psyched about digging deep into the insanity that is Soon.)
Back at the University, Jassim uses his bitchin’ equipment to magnify the inscription on the head, and Isis translates it right then and there. And all it says is that if the “wrong people” get their hands on the Golden Head of the statue of Nebuchanezzar (currently hidden in “Marduk’s temple”), the evil power of Babylon will rise again.
Oh, hey, just like when the Antichrist sets up his seat of power in “New Babylon” in Tim LaHaye’s other series of books, that is supposed to take place after this series!
Oh, and turns out that unlike the fictional Pyramid of the Winds in the last few chapters, the temple of Marduk is a real place:
And so, after Jassim’s Robot Vacuum found the head of the Serpent, and his computers enhanced the photos that the Robot Vacuum took, and after Isis translated the inscription (again), Murphy shows why he is truly useful to this mission–he can call in favors!
“For this one, I’m going to have to call in everybody: the Parchments of Freedom Foundation, the American University, and my friend Levi, to pull every string in the region. We’ve got to get into Iraq.”