TSoA: Chapter 28: Michael and Hank, BFFs

Shouldn’t it be BFsF?  I wouldn’t know; the acronym was before my time.  I had a best friend growing up, not a BFF.


You’d think Murphy and Isis would be gun-shy of cabs after the last chapter, but no.  They catch one and hightail it to the nearest police station.  (Insert suprise that neither of them has a cell phone here.)

Murphy was not entirely surprised when the squad cars returned and the captain told them not a single word of their story checked out.  There were no bodies.  No weapons.  Not a trace of blood anywhere.

Spooks, Murphy thought.  Boy, these guys are professionals.

Wow.  Yeah, I guesses.  Look, I don’t expect the cops to go all CSI on us, but really, no blood?  And wouldn’t Murphy have blood on himself, what with Isis shooting that one thug?  For that matter, wouldn’t they be able to tell that Isis had recently fired a gun?


Anyway, things get weird: Murphy turns to Hank Baines for help.  And Hank Baines’ first response is to contemplate how the Forces of Darkness might be keeping tabs on…Hank Baines.

Yeah, an hour after Murphy and Isis were almost killed, Hank combs his own home for bugs.

His wife and daughter aren’t at home when he does this.  Maybe they’re at the funeral of his only child’s best friend.

What a great husband and father Hank is.

Hank finds that all his phones and his computer have been bugged.

What a great FBI agent Hank is.

Hank and Murphy then play a game of cat-and-mouse with each other.  Meet me here, call me there, SOMEONE MAY BE LISTENING.

In the meantime, Murphy discovers that his office was ransacked and his Noah’s ark files were stolen.  Just imagine: YEARS of Bible verses on PowerPoint, gone!

Their spy games take them to an abandoned carousel in a park (seriously) and neither of them see any danger in having their conversation in the middle of nothing…well, except the graffiti-covered van that just so happens to be in the abandoned parking lot next to the abandoned carousel.

Surely nothing bad can possibly come of this!

Murphy actually does the nice thing first and asks after Tiffany.

“[She’s] great.  She’s out of the hospital—she’s been home for about a week.”

Yeah, apart from watching her best friend die, she’s terrific!

And apart from the fact that her father isn’t there for her in her time of need…

Now that they are at the SUPER DUPER SEKRIT CAROUSEL OF DEATH, Hank can fill Murph in on all the Sekrit Squirrel information he got from his bad-ass computer usage.  (Um, wasn’t Hank’s computer bugged?)

“I used my FBI clearance to get into some of the computers at Langley.”


Not sure that’s how it works.

Hank tells Murphy about how astronaut James Irvin was interested in the ark.

“He was convinced that there was something on the mountain.  There were references to that and to some other information he must have had access to.”

WOW.  Your mad hacking skillz have served us well, Hank.  So now we know that Irvin thought he knew something.  Great.

And then Hank is shot.

By somebody (GUESS WHO!!!) in the graffiti-covered van that JUST SO HAPPENED to be at Hank and Murphy’s little secret hideaway.

I told you nothing bad would come of it!

Murphy dodges away and hides betwixt the carousel horsies, but then doubles back to snatch Hank’s gun.  (Trust me, Hank’s in no position to use it himself.)

Murphy gets off a couple of shots at the van before Talon (oops, gave it away!) speeds away, leaving Murphy utterly unscathed and Hank with a pumping chest wound.

Which, admittedly, is probably the way The Seven wanted it.

But…yeah, Murphy is alive, but why kill Hank?  Hank was helping Murphy find the ark (kinda), and that’s what The Seven want, too, right?  For Murphy to lead them to Biblical artifacts, so they can then dispose of them.

That has to be what it is, because any organization with the power of The Seven could kill Murphy in about three seconds, right?



Buh-bye, Hank.  Buh-bye.

Posted on January 19, 2013, in Books, The Secret on Ararat. Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. I’m not sure the police will just let you go home if you said you’d killed two people and their bodies can’t be found. You’re either intentionally wasting the police time with something very serious sounding or you really killed someone, or you have dellusions about committing murders. None of those possibilities will make the police inclined to let you go.

    So the van was all grafiti-covered, but still in perfect condition to drive. And our two James Schmonds here did not notice a fully functional vehicle at their meeting spot, when they knew people were listening to them scheduling their meeting. Great work.

  2. Don’t Murph and Hank know that when you think you’re being bugged, you’re supposed to have the conversation in the bathroom with the shower running.

    I guess LaHaye didn’t want the slash to write itself this time.

  3. inquisitiveraven

    I’m gonna suggest two reasons why Murphy and Isis might not have cell phones: 1) Watsonian: their captors took them and they didn’t have a chance to get them back. 2) Doylist: Jerry Jenkins isn’t involved in this one. No Jenkins, no phone fixation.

  4. No bodies, no guns, no traces of blood . . . just the reek of undiluted bleach and industrial solvents. Nothing suspicious there. (what, are the police on the payroll of the Seven also?)

    Maybe Hank had to be killed off because he was giving Murphy bad information that would lead him down the wrong rabbit-hole and thus lead him AWAY from finding the Ark? I can’t think of anything else that remotely makes sense. (While Playing the Game anyway; clearly it’s because the author wanted to make things all dramatic and intense but failed to pay any attention to logic. And failed to make things all dramatic and intense anyway.)

    • what, are the police on the payroll of the Seven also? They work for the government, and aren’t the military (America, Fuck yeah!). In other words, yes. It makes no less sense than the CIA not only having an Arat Secret File, but every lowly agent knowing they have it and that it must be kept secret from the Born Again Bible Believing Christians at all times.

      Also, is Hank dead or just wounded right now? The quoted text is a bit ambigious.

      And if they were professional spooks, they wouldn’t have hidden the bodies. Just any evidence that they attacked Murphy and Isis, and planted some that suggests the other way around. And then makes sure they get to the cops first (can’t be hard, one of the agents must have a cellphone).

    • Headless Unicorn Guy

      (what, are the police on the payroll of the Seven also?)

      In Grand Unified Conspiracy Theory (with or without the Christian coat of paint), EVERYBODY except the Hero/Conspiracy Theorist is on the payroll of The Conspiracy. EVERYBODY ELSE is Part of The Conspiracy.

      And the Evangelical bubble has eaten the Conspiracy Theory cake and digested it.

      The Dwarfs are for The Dwarfs, and Won’t Be Taken In.

      • What, does GUCT think the cosmos’s sole interest is persecuting the heroes and conspiracy theorists? What did it do before the heroes and theorists came into being, then?

        (And honestly, that worldview’s distance from solipsism can probably be measured in microns…)

  5. As I see it: the cops are met at the crime scene by an FBI agent, told to deceive the terrorists by telling them that nothing was found and letting them go.

    Gram Pol, I agree: Hank is shot so that the readers, I mean Murphy, will realise the stakes are high. Rarely have the bones of dramatic necessity been so close to the surface.

  6. I still don’t understand why this plot exists at all.

    It’s a big ark and it’s on top of a mountain. It shouldn’t be that hard to find. You don’t need detailed files on your computer, you don’t need to let Indiana Jones find it and then take it from him. Just get in a plane and fly around the area until you see a big wooden ship filled with ancient animal poop on a mountaintop.

    What I’m saying is that if the Seven have the resources we’re shown they have, finding and destroying the Ark should be a Sunday afternoon project for them.

    • And for that matter they presumably have access to decent satellite surveillance. If there’s an intact ship-shaped object visible from above, it won’t be too hard to spot.

  7. Wait, Talon is the shooter? No razor sharp pinky nail, no falcon attack, just a drive by shooting? Sheesh, Talon is really phoning this one in.

    I have once again, completely lost the thread of this plot. And where is Isis? If Spooks can make bodies disappear and bug a fellow agent, isn’t she still in danger?

    • Well, first of all, Sam Waterson sends the spy guy in the Piper Cub over to Russia, to the restaurant with the bad service, and then he meets the girl who dates a pig, and he lives in her closet for ten years while they develop the United States rocket program! Yeah, yeah, and like a fine wine the relationship between the spy girl and the fat stinky balding Russian pig guy only gets better – and that’s disgusting! Enter Leonard Nimoy/Bill Bixby type…he hands ’em a megaton of TNT, leads ’em into the woods and suddenly they’re having a teary departure like we’re s’posed to care – I mean, we didn’t even know the guy was s’posed to be a Brit, y’know…all he did was say things like `Cheerio’ and `good boy’, gaaah. And then Suie the Pig Girl gets shot, in one of the least dramatic scenes since Date with an Angel, Spy Guy muffs the bombing on the missile guarded by the Fotomat and then he gets shot in the same place as Suie the Pig Girl! Oh, cut to New York, where Art Metrono and Harry Connick eat pizza and buy ties for their stupid girlfriends and Harry Truman gets off a plane by the sewage dump and then a blind guy goes by and says `Help me,’ what the hell was that supposed to be?!? And then there’s the glorious ending where the entire center of New York City explodes (except for the perimeters) and all we learn is that you’re supposed to live in the suburbs, not in the city!

      Sorry, couldn’t resist.

      I think the problem here is that there’s supposed to be this whole Ark-finding plot, but that kind of comes down to “find mountain, go to mountain, find Ark”, and while there may be Bad Guys trying to stop the heroes it’s basically not about puzzle-solving. So, because the author wants an intellectual hero rather than a thug – and, I have to think, he’s considering The Da Vinci Code (pub. 2003, first Babylon Rising pub. 2004) as his model – the puzzles have to be added in. Somehow. With a crowbar!

      • Headless Unicorn Guy



        I’m going back to My Little Pony fanfics. Even the bad ones are better than this…

  1. Pingback: Deconstruction Round Up, January 25th, 2013 « The Slacktiverse

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