TSoA: Chapter 36, Part 1: No Danger Here

After the encounter with Obi-Wan Kenobi and the vicious puppies of adorableness, Murphy takes a moment to touch base with Vern Peterson.

It is truly amazing to imagine how much death and suffering of puppies could have been avoided had Murphy only waited until Vern could fly them up the mountain.

But, in fact, looks like it will be another 48 hours until Vern can make it to them.  Well, that will conveniently open the door for yet more disaster.

“How’s it going with you and the team?” [asked Vern]

[Murphy] hesitated.  “We’ve had our share of excitement.”

“Yeah, two of our team members were held at gunpoint, and Isis was kidnapped and we had to kill three men to get her back.  A bit of excitement, yes.”

I wonder if Murphy is planning ever to tell Vern about all the excitement.  Vern, let us remember, took this job because he desperately needs the money to support his growing family.  And at the time, Murphy saw no need to inform Vern or his wife about the extra-sepcial dangers posed by Talon and the “spooks.”

After all, if they had known, Vern might have said no.

“Don’t worry, Vern.  We’ll move the supplies up to Camp Two by backpack.”

Um, isn’t that what you were planning to do anyway, Murph?  Yanno, before your little field trip to traverse an ice field for no apparent reason?

[Vern] wanted to be on the mountain, where the action was.

Really?  Yeah, this family man would love to be kidnapped, I bet.  Would love to be threatened by wild puppies and guns and Obi-Wan Kenobi.  A story to tell your kids, if you survive.

“And, Vern, it’s not over yet.  You’ll get your fair share of the excitement.”

“Roger that!”

Murphy cut the connection.  Be careful what you wish for, Vern, he thought to himself.

What, as opposed to thinking to someone else?  Also, you are the one not giving him the complete picture, Murphy.  Tell him everything, and then tell him to be careful what he wishes for.

If Julie knew what was going on, she’d skewer me like a hog.

But even though this is an incredibly dangerous expedition that has been tracked by a psychotic killer who works for a group bent on world domination, I see no reason why I should have told Vern and Julie, Murphy thought to himself.

So, the team shleps the supplies three thousand more feet up the mountain, and Murphy attempts some lame flirting with Isis.

“There’s nothing for dogs up here.” [said Isis]

“Except us,” Murphy said.

She laughed.  “Tempting morsel though I may be, I don’t think they’d climb three thousand feet through snow and ice for the privilege.”

“More fools them,” Murphy said, and she blushed despite the chill.

Yeah, after seeing dogs eating men and after sifting through the gross and bloody remains, this is a perfect subject for flirting.

Isis, don’t let your head be turned!  The Nerd is just waiting for you!  Also, come to think of it, Larry the Photo Guy and his possibly-creepy-but-also-possibly-cute picture-taking of you!

You have options, girl.  Plenty of fish on the mountain.

Posted on February 17, 2013, in Books, The Secret on Ararat. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Awkward flirting indeed.

    “No, babe, you’re totally attack-able. I’d climb *five* thousand feet just to attack and eat you. But those pack-hunting dogs are a bunch of cowards and wouldn’t know what to do with a real woman. Not like me!”

    “Oh, Murphy! You sweet-talker, you!” *blushes like a Victorian maiden*

    Which reminds me . . . She blushed ?! . . . Boy, I know I readily believe that her face managed to maintain the pasty complexion of the chronic academic, despite frigid temperatures and physical exertion and high altitudes, thus allowing Murphy to see that his gawd-awful flirting has had the desired effect. Or is Murphy being psychic again and just knows that she’s blushing?

  2. Flirtatious banter aside, is that “I don’t think they’d climb three thousand feet through snow and ice for the privilege.”-line supposed to implicate that either those wild dogs were part of a conspiracy now? Did Talon branch out from attack birds to a pack of attack dogs? Were the highly inteligent, I-know-what-you’re-thinking-did-he-fire-five-shots-or-six canines sent by Satan?

    And sure, don’t bother telling Vern that there was at least one group of armed men on the mountain, it’s not like Vern might see them, assume it’s Murphy’s group and land his helicopter near them before being riddled with bullets.

  3. None of these people is worthy of Isis. They all went along with this insane expedition.

    Mind you, so did Isis.

  4. Well, while we’re betting on who dies first, would anyone care to place a side bet on…

    1. Whether the killing will start before Vern shows up?
    (I’m divided on this – we’ve already established that Vern is a likely candidate for death because it would be OMG SO TRAGIC FOR MURPHY, and flying into a dangerous situation without knowing about the danger is always a good way to get killed. However, if Vern keeps running into delays, we could have ourselves a properly suspenseful thriller as the team starts getting murdered while they’re stuck on the mountain with no helicopter to extract them.)

    2. Whether Vern will be told about the danger, by anyone, before he finds out firsthand?
    (My prediction: technically yes, via Murphy or one of the gun-equipped team members yelling at him to take cover about 2.6 seconds before a bad guy shoots at him. Bonus points if this takes place at the end of the thriller scenario outlined above, and Vern gets injured badly enough that he won’t be able to fly the helicopter.)

    3. Whether Vern will be at all unhappy with Murphy for not being upfront about the risk?
    (Oh, who am I kidding, of course he won’t.)

    • 1: Hmm, another 48 hour delay, there should be some bodycount I’d think. But then, I’d think an adventure novel should not go 30+ chapters before the adventure starts, so what do I know?

      2: I’ll take the ‘no’ bet. I think he’ll be shot at before he’s done landing, so there won’t be a warning.

      3: No, but only because I think he’ll be killed before he has a chance to tell Murphy he’s an asshole.

    • However, if Vern keeps running into delays, we could have ourselves a properly suspenseful thriller as the team starts getting murdered while they’re stuck on the mountain with no helicopter to extract them.

      The best course for this story to take would be for the helicopter to get shot down, leaving the team stranded on Ararat, and to survive they must burn the Ark for warmth and eat frozen 5000-year-old diplodocus meat. Nothing even remotely that exciting will actually happen, of course, so instead I’ll gamble that Vern survives and the helicopter is fine and absolutely nothing interesting or dangerous happens to either of them.

  5. I’m thinking we might just as well start up the Curse-Vern’s-sudden-but-inevitable-death countdown. It’s really not spoiling anything at this point. Normally over at the Other Place, one Ruby Tea would handle such things, but I suppose it’s different when you’re the blogger rather than just a commenter.

  1. Pingback: Deconstruction Round Up, February 22nd, 2013 | The Slacktiverse

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