TSoA: Chapter 26: Supermodels and the CIA

Happy New Year, all!  Thanks for bearing with me through my New Year’s Celebration World of Warcraft post-Wintermas hiatus.

But now I’m BACK, and ready to hop right back into the hunt for Noah’s ark!

For anyone who needs a quick catch-up after our two Wintermas books, here is the last chapter and here is the complete critique up till now.

Though the last chapter has no relation to this one (not that there’s anything wrong with that)—Murphy is going to the CIA to get the file on Mount Ararat before the expedition (finally!) gets going, and Isis is going to pick him up at the airport.

Murphy still has no intention of revealing his attraction to Isis…to Isis.  And I’d appreciate this impulse if it read more like Murphy feeling delayed guilt about his dead wife, and less like Murphy being a controlling asshat:

Murphy spotted her… [but she doesn’t see him yet]

He stopped, drawing out the moment.  As soon as he greeted her, it would be all business.  That was the way he’s decided it had to be.

I like the set-up of this relationship, I really do.  Murphy was very happily married to Laura, and considered Isis a slightly weird professional colleague.  But now that he is single once again, he’s starting to see a whole new side to Isis.  Maybe she’s not quite as odd as he thought, or maybe her weirdness turns out to be charming.  That was certainly where this appeared to be going in the first book.

But not now.  Now we just know that Isis is gorgeous, and thus is worthy of Our Hero:

Dressed in combat pants and a tight-fitting green t-shirt, sneakers, no makeup, she looked like a supermodel trying to blend into a crowd.  And failing.  Big time.

Combat pants and tight t-shirts?  That’s sure a far cry from the oversized fisherman’s sweater from the first book.

Mind you, the first book called Isis beautiful, but pointed out that it took some close looking to notice.  But this starts a trend that will continue through the rest of the series—people frequently mistaking Isis for a model.

Because only someone who looks like a model is good enough for Murphy!

By the way…Isis is wearing combat pants and a tight t-shirt to her meeting at the CIA?

Really?

Guess so.

Their appointment is with one Carlton Stovall, and we can see immediately that he is an ineffective, cowardly sort of man…

…a short, slightly overweight, and balding man with a bland smile.

Appearance, you see, is reality.  Plain, “mannish” women like Bia Balaam are evil.  Gorgeous women like Laura Murphy and Isis McDonald get the prize of a Good Christian Warrior-Man like Michael Murphy.  And chubby, balding guys are of no help to anyone, ever.

Murph asks for the file on Noah’s ark…

“…how about the Ararat Anomaly File?  That ring any bells?”

Suddenly Stovall wasn’t laughing anymore.  The blood drained out of his face.  He began to stutter in reply, but Murphy cut him off.

Of course he did.  Interrupting people is Murphy’s greatest weapon.  He rattles off some stories I don’t care about, about the CIA taking pictures of the ark in the 1970s.  (Suuuuure they did.)  So Stovall, being the chubby, balding nebbish that he is, needs to get his superior.

WHO IS AGENT BURTON WELSH

Remember Welsh?  From the first book?

One of the few characters who doesn’t immediately start kissing Michael Murphy’s ass, and thus is shown to be Evil?

Well, here he is, having transferred from the FBI to the CIA.

Welsh explains it all!

“You see, all of those items have been reclassified as secret documents.”

Super Duper Ultra Secret Squirrel Documents!

“That’s impossible,” Murphy said, getting out of his chair and standing toe to toe with Welsh.  Isis put a restraining hand on his arm, worried that he was going to lose his temper, but he didn’t seem to notice.

Hmmm, seems Murph is still working through those anger issues of his.

Murphy pleads FOIA, but Welsh isn’t buying it.

Murphy jabbed a finger at him.

Anger issues, Murph.  Anger issues.

“You’ve told us plenty, Welsh.  You’ve told us we’re right.”

Isis: Hey, leave me out of this, Murphy!

“The CIA has all this information but they don’t want it to get out into the public domain.  It’s a cover-up!”

It’s a conspiracy, I tells ya!  U.N. black helicopters!  Secret files!  Sasquatch!

But here’s the best part: remember how Welsh won the staring contest with Murphy back in the first book?  Well, he once again demonstrates his awesomeness here.  Instead of rising to Murphy’s childish bait, he simply tells Murphy there’s nothing he can do…and leaves, as the steam shoots out of Our Hero’s ears.

I love Agent Welsh.

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Posted on January 5, 2013, in Books, The Secret on Ararat. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. The pattern I’m seeing here is that everyone in the world a) knows the truth of the Ark, b) is covering up the truth of the Ark for vague reasons, c) has magically not seen all this proof despite how much of it there is or d) is deliberately ignoring the truth.

    With c consisting of college students and the reader.

    • Replace “ark” with “Jesus” and you have the fundy evangelical view of us godless heathens.

      Subtext? What’s that?

  2. I’m so confused! Why does Murphy have to meet with the CIA to get their Super De Duper Secret file? He obviously knows what’s in it already if he can make angry accusations and send a middle-aged federal agent into a blustery panic.

    BTW, Stovall, what the fuck?! You’re a CIA agent and Murphy is an incompetent college instructor (I refuse to grant him the title “professor.” He hasn’t earned it.) Unless you are to be shot on sight if someone so much as says the words “Ararat Anomaly File” there is no reason to lose your cool like that.

    *sigh* Well, that’s a convenient career change for Welsh. Unless he’s still FBI and he’s still tailing Murphy as a Person Of Interest, and heard Murphy would be talking to the CIA so he cashed in a few favors to be Stovall’s “supervisor.” . . . . and suddenly Stovall’s unprofessional and unrealistic reaction all makes sense. The cover-up is a secret investigation of Murphy, to see how far this nutjob with anger issues and resentment towards authority would go.

    • Agent Welsh is just a member of the Nebulous Secular Squadron, there to twart Born Again Bible Believing Christians. His title as a CIA or FBI or NSA or Secret Service agent is irrelevant, the powers that be just shift him from agency to agency depending on wherever he can interfer with the RTCs best at any given time. As demonstrated by the fact that he’s apparently already a high-up in the CIA, a mere 6 months after transfering there from the FBI where he failed to arrest anyone for the defacing of the UN building or the bombing of a church.

      I googled “Ararat Anomaly File”. It gets 129 results, but on the first page almost all of the results are the exact quote from some professor called Porcher L. Taylor III “The CIA has photographic evidence that can shed light on the enduring mystery of Mount Ararat, and it has a duty to the public, archaeology and the scientific community to release all of its Ararat Anomaly file, be it photos of a bunch of rocks or a nautical structure of unknown origin.” And seeing how this very post ends up on the first page of the results, it doesn’t seem the ‘Ararat Anomaly file’ is an all that big a deal. But of course, random CIA agent knows exactly what it is, seeing how he stops laughing when he realizes that the guy looking to find proof of the literal Bible is asking for a file that only believers of the literal Bible take seriousy. Because the entire CIA organization and its many spies are all just window dressing. Its only real purpose is hiding the truth of the Bible, so every employee knows shit’s gotten real when someone asks anything about that subject.

  3. The CIA’s pretty old school. A chick who doesn’t dress like Lara Croft just won’t get taken seriously.

  4. Combat pants and tight t-shirts? That’s sure a far cry from the oversized fisherman’s sweater from the first book.

    A more meaningful way to illustrate Murphy’s changing feelings would have been to have Isis continue dressing the same, and then Murphy muses that he never noticed before how beautiful she looks in her oversized fisherman’s sweater.

  5. Ararat Anomaly File… has LeHaye been trying to read Declare again? Because that’s good reading, though it does pretty accurately portray the espionage community as being made up of deeply broken people.

  1. Pingback: Deconstruction Round Up, January 11th, 2012 « The Slacktiverse

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