TSoA: Chapter 3: Back with Isis

I know I told y’all to gird your loins last time, but before we get to Isis, I wanted to address a scenario brought up in the comments: Why isn’t Shari going to be Michael’s new love interest?

As AR points out, this wouldn’t be the most difficult thing in the world to pull off—Murphy and Shari realize they have feelings for each other, Shari becomes someone else’s research assistant and never takes any of Michael’s classes.  They would have to check on the Preston University rules for such things, but it might not be impossible.

All this got me to wondering about the age difference.  Shari is pretty easy: she’s a sophomore or a junior, probably 20 or 21 years old.

Michael is a bit more complicated.  We know he was in the Army, and this was presumably before college (that is the most common scenario).  He would need at least two years to qualify for the G.I. Bill, and he might have been in even longer, in order to have his entire degree financed.  (I’m not terrifically knowledgeable about the ins and outs of the G.I. Bill and the Army College Fund, but I think two years gets you two years, three years gets you three, and so on.  If anyone knows differently, please feel free to enlighten us!)

So, let’s assume four years.  That gets Mike to 22.  Another four years for the degree, 26.  Then we have to start guessing.  Did he get his Master’s in archeology or religious studies?  (That would be another year or two.)  How long did it take him to get his Ph.D.?  (We know he has that, but that can take as long as ten years.)  And he is now a full professor at a small university, where he can choose the classes he wants to teach, as well as gallivant off to distant lands during the school year without any danger to his position.

All in all, I’m figuring Mike to be in his mid- to late-thirties.  That’s a pretty big age difference, especially considering Shari is only 20-ish, but I could see it.  And given Shari’s Electra complex, I highly doubt she would mind.

But it important for Shari to be hooked up (well, as hooked up as a good RTC girl ever can be) with Paul Wallach (atheist, butt monkey, and dupe of Shane Barrington).  That way, LaHaye can Break the Shari, show what amoral idiots atheists are, and show what a jerk Barrington is.

Besides, with Michael lusting after wanting to have a no-kissing-until-the-wedding-day relationship with Isis, we can show how a Good Christian Man does not get himself unequally yoked with an unbeliever.

As we meet up with Isis for the first time since Babylon Rising, we see that Murphy is doing a very good job of keeping himself from being unequally yoked with Isis.

He hasn’t spoken to her in six months.

Let me repeat that: After having helped him out several times professionally, then (oh, yeah) SAVING HIS LIFE, Murphy has hogged all the glory for the Golden Head discovery, and NOT EVEN CALLED ISIS FOR SIX MONTHS.



But now that he has a piece of Noah’s Ark in his hands (despite his disingenuous statement to Shari that he “wants her professional opinion), well…suddenly he needs Isis again.

Oh, and get this: It’s not even that he needs her world-class language skills.  He just wants free use of the superior carbon-dating equipment at the Parchments of Freedom Foundation.

So he calls Isis, and as you will see, the Stepfordization is a slow process.  She is actually pretty cheerful with him.  And, good old Isis that she is (at least for now), she kinda calls him out on both his self-centered agenda, and the fact that they haven’t spoken in SIX MONTHS.  (Note: this scene is a lot more fun if you imagine Isis calling him a shithead after every sentence.):

“So what have you got for me?”

“A fragment of wood.  Old.  Very old.”

He spent ten years getting that Ph.D., folks!

“And you want to know exactly how old.”

“That’s right.”

“And you want to know yesterday.”

“If it’s not too much trouble.”

“Of course.  Not a problem.  Send it over and I’ll get right on it.”

I like to imagine that when Isis got the piece of wood, she tossed it into a box and marked it, “Test this in six months.”

“Thanks, Isis.  I really owe you…”

Well, yeah, for the free carbon-dating, and for the fact that SHE SAVED YOUR LIFE.

“…Let me know if there’s anything I can do in return.”

After a pause she said, “Next time, don’t wait six months before you call me.  And don’t wait until you need a favor.”


He started to think of how to respond, but the line was dead.


Now, before you start thinking I am a complete jerk, I get that Murphy is still grieving the loss of Laura.  I get that he’s not ready for a romantic relationship, and that he’s still harboring rageful, murderous feelings towards Talon.

But Isis is his FRIEND.  A friend who saved his life AND helped him find a priceless, fame-making artifact.  And he didn’t so much as send her a Happy Birthday e-card over the past six months?

And don’t get me wrong: Isis should have kept in contact with him, too.  (At least, if she wanted to.)  But LaHaye and Phillips don’t even make mention of this aspect.  I guess it’s pretty immoral for a woman to call a man when they aren’t bound in holy wedlock, even if the friendship is (at this point) purely platonic.

Enjoy Isis taking Murphy to task, everyone.

It won’t last.


Posted on May 27, 2012, in Babylon Rising, Books, The Secret on Ararat. Bookmark the permalink. 21 Comments.

  1. Better question: What was Murphy DOING in that six-month interim? Press conferences and conventions with specialists in Mesopotamian archaeology aren’t going to take that much time, are they? (Hopefully this is when he was ACTUALLY teaching…)

    Any guesses as to how DiNallo would have written the scene?

  2. Since, like all proto-RTC love interests Isis will have already be avoiding any too un-RTC-like behavior to make sure the audience doesn’t rebel against good Christian Murphy dating a filthy whore, I guess she couldn’t have tried contacting him herself. Because she’s of course lusting after him, and any contact initiated by the woman with a man is proof she’s a slut. But I’d like to think that the above conversation continued like so:

    “Well, you could’ve called me too.”
    “I did. The university secretary said you were out.”
    “Well, perhaps I really was…”
    “Yeah, I know you were. I saw you on Fox News being interviewed over your great Biblical find. You looked pretty good on TV.”
    “Uh.. thanks. Yeah that was…”
    “The point where you thanked the marines for their help was a good part, went over well with the audience.”
    “Yes, well, they did agree to help me on such a short notice…”
    “Oh yeah, they did. Must be great to have friends willing to do that for you. Or even the kinds of friends that would actually risk their lives going in unarmed on your little crusades, Mr Church magazine’s Man of the year.”
    “Look, I am giving you credit in the scientific paper..”
    “Which you still haven’t finished, because you’re too busy lining up your next acrobatic adventures. Stuffy writing duties are handled by your grad students am I right? When you’re not giving them mandatory assignments writing about morality and giving everyone who does not mention the Bible as their sole source of morality a failing grade.”
    “Now Isis, please…”
    “And you never mentioned you Egyptian friend either. Guess you figured your fundie audience wouldn’t have liked your big find so much if they’d have to thank a muslim for it.
    “He’s a personal friend of mine he didn’t need…”
    “Say, what do you think the press would say if they knew you’ve been hiding your atheist source of all your great leads, despite his clear illegal actions, just because you can’t stand the idea the police might show any other leads to the accedemia at large instead of you personally.”
    “Hey, that’s…”
    “Oh, on an unrelated matter, our institute has a public review of our scientific achievements next week. My department has some nice results, but they were all obtained through carefull study of exsiting artifacts and comparing them with our historical database. Not really glamerous work that the general public loves. Hmm, I think I should add some details about our institute’s involvement with a big public find.”
    “Isis, please.”
    “Sorry, gotta prepare my presentation. Oh, and I’ll get on that dating job for you as soon as I can”
    “That’s great, but…”
    “Though to be fair, “as soon as I can” is relative. You might actually get your results fasters if you document the exact status of your piece of wood now, buy a freshly cut piece of wood at the store and wait untill it looks exactly the same as your piece does now.”
    “Come on now Is…”
    “Oh, or you could give it to one of your Biblical science buddies. They also like dating stuff. Though I’m pretty sure every single one of their dating machines are stuck at ‘3500 B.C.’, given the results produce. But hey, they’re Christians so they can’t be liars. Well, hope to talk to you again soon.”
    “In 8 months or so.”

  3. Oh come on, Ruby, you can’t expect the big manly hero to admit that he needed help. It’s only heroic if he did it all on his lonesome.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy

      And if he crushes everyone else’s hands with his Firm Manly Handshake.

      • I can’t remember if Rayford or Buck ever measure masculinity by the firmness of a guy’s handshake, but we all know Joshua Jordan sure does. What is it about literature that panders to RTCs that necessitates shoring up “traditional” ideas of how a man should act?

        • Headless Unicorn Guy

          Here’s what Martha of Ireland replied in email correspondence when I mentioned Rayford’s Firm Manly Handshake:

          Me: Well, LaHaye’s Author Self-Insert has a “Firm Handshake” that usually crushes the other’s hand…

          Martha: Say no more – the more masculine man is the one with the firmer handshake and the crushinger it is, the more Manly Man he is (and by extension, the more Girly-Man the one getting his hand crushed is). Seme and uke dynamics at play here, definitely!

          • Which makes me wonder where that leaves those of us who don’t see strength as having any causal link with one’s sense of honor and justice (really, less machismo, more mensch-hood, please).

        • They’re just hoping for the day they run into a bleeding-heart liberal with squeezy-hand-death syndrome. /eddieizzard

  4. Grammar Police

    “And you want to know exactly how old.”

    “That’s right.”

    “And you want to know yesterday.”

    “If it’s not too much trouble.”

    “Of course. Not a problem. Send it over and I’ll get right on it.”
    In my imagination, Isis says those last three with a feral smith, teeth bared, and her middle finger extended at the phone.

    So LaHaye and not-Dinallo are keepng Shari and Paul together in order to illustrate something? Without telling the audiene what it is that the audience is suppose to take away from this? In other words . . . SHOWING, not TELLING?! *dies of shock*

  5. Hee! I like the remnants of non-Stepfordized Isis here. 🙂

  6. Headless Unicorn Guy

    But it important for Shari to be hooked up (well, as hooked up as a good RTC girl ever can be) with Paul Wallach (atheist, butt monkey, and dupe of Shane Barrington). That way, LaHaye can Break the Shari, show what amoral idiots atheists are, and show what a jerk Barrington is.

    Don’t forget lead Shari through The Sinner’s Prayer (TM) for the Altar Call Ending.

    (Conventional Christianese fiction is SO predictable…)

  7. Of course Mikey hasn’t spoken to Isis for six months! She’s the only one who knows the truth, and who won’t tell him what a wonderful big strong man he is. Ivan, I much prefer your version…

    apocalypsereview, I think it’s a nostalgia/simplicity thing – if you can tell who’s a Good Guy by the firmness of his handshake, you won’t have to worry about people ripping you off or, worse, turning out to be Homer Sexuals.

  8. LOL, carbon dating?

    Don’t you just love how carbon dating is just so inaccurate when results show something to be older than 6000 years old or otherwise in disagreement with the RTC version of history, but as soon as it dates something to when the RTCs want it to be, they’re all over it?

    Can’t have it both ways, guys.

    • Yeah, I once came across a 900 page pdf with arguments against evolution. It indeed included gems such as “Carbon dating sucks, but here’s a carbon dating done by our friends which says the earth is exactly as old as we think”, though I also liked the “Here’s a list of stupid scientists throughout history who came up with different values for how old the world is. See, they just don’t know, just follow the example of the people who still use the Biblical value from a thousand years ago and stick their fingers in their ears and go ‘Lalalala I can’t hear you’ whenever they hear another number. Those people are SURE they got the right value”. But a few pages ago, they listed the great scientists of the good old days, before science became a secular bastion of Satan, back when they were good creationists. It included a few of the same names (Kelvin for one) as the other lists.

      The fun thing about that document is that it stated its goal in the introduction and works superbly for that goal. It wasn’t meant to convert or convince anyone who believes in evolution. It was meant so people who already believed in creationism didn’t have to feel intimidated or be at a loss for arguments if a professor tried to convince them evolution is a theory that is backed by the current data and scientific understanding. And it’s great for that. It’s 900 pages, padded with unverifiable own research, repetitive arguments and internal inconsistencies. But if you just demand that your professor counters every argument made in the 900 pages, your creationist believes can rest safely. No one has the patience to go through more than a 100 pages of countering every blisteringly stupid argument or finding out who’s ass each of their results was extracted from. And as we all know, if the secular professor gives up arguing with you, you’ve won!

      • It does seem to me there’s a basic logical error here. “These arguments aren’t good enough actually to persuade anybody”… so where are the good enough arguments? Why not use them instead? If they don’t exist, why support the idea at all, seeing as how it was made up out of whole cloth in the 19th century rather than actually being in the Bible?

      • Well, of course I’m paraphrasing a little. But the intro did, IIRC, explicitly mention they didn’t intend the reader to use this material to convince the other side, but just so good creationist students wouldn’t have to be intimidated if their professor or someone similar brought up evolution. Or paraphrasing again, so the creationists wouldn’t start doubting and actually start thinking about the evidence themselves. They could just fall back to this small little addendum (of 900 fucking pages) to the Bible, and for the same reason: To be sure all the answers have been clear for 2000 years, and that all evidence to the contrary is maliciously falsified by people who shouldn’t have been wasting their time checking the obvious truth to begin with.

  9. She hung up on him. AWESOME.

    Though I suspect that is what triggered Murphy to contact whomever it is that Stepfordizes women. 😦

    Slightly more seriously, I suspect the six month thing is meant to be mildly humorous, the sort of thing an absent-minded affable professor would do. After all, it works for Indiana Jones, doesn’t it? Er… sorta? If you consider ‘Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’ to be Indy-Canon? Maybe?

  10. Hmm, it makes me wonder when LaHaye fired Dinallo. It’s possible that these first few chapters were written or pieces of them written before LaHaye switched ghost-writers.

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