TSoA: Chapter 34: And Then There Were…

Betting has already begun in the comments about who will survive this “great adventure” of Murphy’s.  (And who might be a mole for The Seven.)  Even as Murphy was burying his “friend,” he failed to consider that there might be a small chance that not everyone would survive this little trip.  Because hey, it’s not like his life and his pseudo-girlfriend’s life have been directly threatened (twice, in the case of Isis!) or anything.

At Camp 1, Isis, the Nerd, and Token Turk are Left Behind in charge of watching their stuff while the rest of the team heads out to climb a glacier.

But…I thought…taking stuff to the higher camps…


Anyway, Murphy seems to think Token Turk is In Charge of the B Team.  Granted, Token Turk has a gun, though I don’t see why Isis wouldn’t be carrying as well.

The A Team (Murphy, Fearless Gum-Popping Leader, Señor SEAL, The Dick, and Larry the Photo Guy) go and climb a glacier.  No, I don’t know why.  I also don’t know if Fearless will be able to climb and chew gum at the same time.

Interestingly, Isis loses sight of Token Turk almost immediately.  Hmmm, could Token Turk be a bad guy, or just a red herring?

The A Team reaches the glacier, and…

…unloaded their spiked crampons and put them on.  They each hooked on to a rope for safety, with about forty feet between each climber, and began to cross a sea of white snow…

Damn, I hope it’s white.  Don’t eat the yellow snow, Murph!

…covering the glacier.  Murphy was leading the team…

Of course he was.

…with Señor SEAL behind him.  Next came The Dick, and Fearless brought up the rear.  Larry the Photo Guy had a separate rope tied to the main rope between The Dick and Señor SEAL, allowing him the freedom to move forward or backward to take pictures.

This last bit is stated so matter-of-factly, and maybe I’m overestimating the degree of difficulty of this feat, but it just makes Larry sound SO FREAKING PROFESSIONAL to me.


Meanwhile, Isis and the Nerd have a conversation about how pretty horsies are, which turns into a conversation about Murphy.  Because Murphy is the only thing worth discussing in the world:

“There’s been plenty of time for someone to plant fake remains [of the ark] on the mountains.” [said the Nerd]

“You mean like the Shroud of Turin?” [said Isis]

“Exactly.  Although your Professor Murphy probably believes that’s legitimate.”

He does.  He mentioned it in the first book:

“Some experts have concluded that the Shroud of Turin probably is a medieval fake.  I am not convinced.”

-Babylon Rising, Chapter 7

What an idiot.  (Article is at The Skeptic’s Dictionary)


Back with the A Team, Larry the Photo Guy once again proves his FRAKKING PROFESSIONALISM by being the first to hear a rock avalanche.

Post-avalanche, Fearless and the Dick have a little tiff: Fearless claims that the Dick tripped him up, the Dick responds that he was just pulling Fearless to safety.  But their little spat will have to wait—the A Team hears gunfire.

Turns out that gunmen have invaded the camp and taken the B Team (minus Token Turk) and the horse dudes hostage.  Apparently believing in Divide and Conquer, they shoo the horse dudes and their horsies down the mountain, then two of the three gunmen drag Isis off with them, leaving one gunman with the Nerd.

This strategy proves ill-advised, as Token Turk promptly sneaks up and executes the Nerd’s captor.  Token then heads after Isis.

This leaves the Nerd alone, but interestingly, we stay with him instead of going with Token.  The Nerd has the brains to take the gun off the dead guy for protection, and next thing we know, Isis (or Princess Peach, as we should perhaps start calling her), is led back to collapse into the Nerd’s arms in relief, since Token Turk has proven himself the Frakking Badass and executed the two other gunmen, too.

I should mention that it does not appear, at least at first glance, that the gunmen are of The Seven, who will Stop at Nothing.  They seem pretty low-rent and speak Kurdish.

Huh.  Not a bad chapter, really.  Despite Isis being endangered again, there is minimal Murphy and some ass-kicking of various types by the B Team.  Cool.

Posted on February 10, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. Wasn’t it just yesterday that Murph was freaking out about waiting for two days to get a helicopter but now he’s decided to leave his stuff behind so he can go climb a glacier?

    Also, maybe, just maybe, they wouldn’t had that little “avalanche incident” if they’d brought the fucking climbing expert along on the climb.

  2. Hmm, Token Turk is still my favourite for the Mole. He’s not American, which counts for a lot in this novel. And setting up a situation where he says the day is such a classic/cliche that even LaHaye may have heard of it before. The fact that the narrative doesn’t show us the rescue, but instead a guy who just huddles in the basecamp might be a hint, or it might be the influence of LaHaye’s partnership with Jerry ‘show everything about travel logistics, and nothing of story relevance’ Jenkins.

    And to be honest, I still don’t think Isis is treated too horribly yet. Okay, she got kidnapped, but armed gunmen are kind of outside her area of expertise. And it certainly helps that Murphy isn’t the one to rescue her, causing her to fall in his arms and say how scared she was and how helpless she’d be without him.

  3. Interesting – likelihood of the Nerd being the Mole greatly reduced, likelihood of the Nerd being the Strawman* Unbeliever greatly increased. Unless he’s a mole for some third party, though the existence of a separate non-Seven group wanting to spy on Murphy seems improbable.

    Among the A-team, starting a fight post-avalanche could also be an indicator of a Mole sowing discord. While the argument as presented could be either party’s fault, I’m going to go with the Dick as the potential mole, since there’s no way a book like this will give us an all-American macho military man like Fearless Gum-Popping Leader as the traitor.

    * “Strawman” in this case indicating not that his arguments are wrong/foolish, but that they will be treated as such by both Murphy and the text.

  4. I don’t think the Nerd is the Mole – my bet is that Larry is. And Token Turk is opposed to the whole thing because he’s ebul Muslim and therefore wants to discredit the expedition/ steal the Ark/ whatever LaHayes’ tiny brain imagines ebul Muslims are wont to do.

    Señor SEAL dies first.

  5. Tsk, of course the gunmen aren’t part of the Seven. Clearly they are some local boys hired by the great Atheist Cabal* to take out anyone moving somewhat vaguely in the direction of the Super Sekrit Ark remnants.

    So we now have several pretty cool members of the team. Since Nerd guy is Murph’s main rival for Isis now I’m going to bump him to the top of the list of who gets offed first. I agree with Rakka. Larry is far too talented for this group. On the other hand, he’s too talented for the Seven, too. He must be working for Methusalah (?) since that’s the only other character with an ounce of brains.

    *the same cabal that ensures the CIA keep its Ark file strictly confidential yet oddly widely known.

    • Could it be that the gunmen are part of an ancient order of knights tasked with keeping the Ark safe and hidden? Every holy relic worth its salt has one of those.

      • Pfft, any holy relic who doesn’t have an ancient order of knights keeping it hidden is a loser (makes L on forehead). Even LaHaye knows that, right?

  6. Larry’s on my Mole List – he’s competent enough to be a challenge to Murphy, without being a raving bible-quoter.

  7. Catching up.

    with Señor SEAL behind him. Next came The Dick, and Fearless brought up the rear.

    Does the book actually literally have that in the text? Because if so, just… wow. LaHaye’s co-author grunt hack writer really has no idea just how much of a douchebag he’s managed to make out of the POV character.

  1. Pingback: Deconstruction Round Up, February 15th, 2013 « The Slacktiverse

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