Monthly Archives: March 2013

TSoA: Chapter 41: Ark of Wonders–Don’t Touch Anything

About half the ark is visible, with the prow sticking out of the snow.

For those who are interested.  😉

Murphy thinks for a moment about the time God was a total dick in the past, then thinks about the time God will be a total dick in the future:

Murphy’s elation at the discovery turned to anxiety.  How can I warn people?  How can I convince them?  Maybe this discovery will help the world to realize that they need to turn to God and run to Him for safety from the coming judgment.

Murph makes the judgment sound like a natural disaster.  But…these are disasters that are created and implemented by God, right?

Yes, make sure to turn to the evil dictator and run to him for safety from his acts of genocide.

OH WELL

Time for exploration of this “miracle of construction.”

Wow, there are stairs and ramps and stalls.

“Look up there!” shouted [the Dick].

Um, the Dick?  There’s really no need to shout—we’re all right here.

He was pointing to what looked like birdcages hanging from the ceiling in each stall.  “This must be how they were able to get so many animals in the ark.”

BIRDCAGES

IT ALL MAKES SENSE NOW

Yeah, not really.  Do you know how many species of birds are in the world, the Dick?  Over 10,000.  (Hell, even Murphy admits to 8,600.)  You think a few cages will solve the problem?

(I can just imagine Tim LaHaye imagining the birds on the ark: “Let’s see, there would be chickens and duckies and robins.  And flamingoes.  And the American Bald Eagle.  That’s it, right?  Hey, they would totally fit on a boat!”)

Bald Eagle

“You want me to get in there???  You can stick that cage where the sun don’t shine, Noah!”

(Pic from here.)

They find what they assume to be living quarters, and there is writing on a wall (ha!):

Isis stepped forward and ran her fingers over the symbols.  “It looks like a story, written in a form of proto-Hebrew.  Perhaps the story of the building of the ark.”  She gasped at the implication hit her.  “This could be the oldest writing ever recorded!”

She dragged herself reluctantly away and they continued on.

Yeah, don’t take a PICTURE, will ya, Larry?

That is seriously all the time they let her spend with the writing.

And then Murphy finds something he wants to tamper with, and that is much more important than anything Isis might want to do:

Under a collapsed beam was what looked like a chest.  With a lot of effort they dragged it free, and Murphy began to pry it open with an ice axe.

WHAT???

…an ice axe.

WHAT WHAT WHATWHATWHATWHATWHAT

What kind of fly-by-night online Wile E. Coyote School of Refrigerator Repair and End Times Prophecy did you get your “archaeology” degree from, Michael Murphy???

With a loud crack, the wood gave way and Murphy opened the chest.

“Oh, sure,” Murphy shrugged.  “Some ‘traditional’ archaeologists might have waited to take the chest back to a lab and open it under controlled conditions in order to maintain the integrity of this ancient and priceless artifact, but I WANT TO SEE INSIDE RIGHT NOW.”

Murphy must have given his parents hell weeks leading up to Christmas.

Inside they find one of Tubal-Cain’s singing sword and some of the tools Tubal-Cain gave to Noah.  I guess Noah and his family thought these incredibly useful items were better off stored in a box for all eternity rather than…oh, I dunno…HELPING THEM SURVIVE.

They spend forever examining the Manly weapons and tools, which is funny because they didn’t even give Isis one full minute to examine the oldest writing on the planet.  Token Turk messes around with Tubal-Cain’s DIY alchemy kit…

“What is it?” asked [Token Turk], reaching a hand in to scoop up some of the crystals, before jumping back, his fingers scorched.

“I don’t know,” laughed Murphy.  “But whatever it is, it still seems to be working!”

“Ha!  Your pain gives me joy!” chuckled the “team leader,” as his underling sought first aid for his burns.

But Murphy’s glee at his comrade’s pain is quickly dispelled.  In the box are also two bronze plates, and Isis is awesome:

“Michael, I don’t mean to keep harping on it, but these bronze plates look remarkably like the one that was supposed to come from the Monastery of St. Jacob.  The one you were so sure was a fake,” she added pointedly.

“Of course,” Murphy admitted.  “You’re right.”

“You’re right.”  Words Michael Murphy has probably said twice in his life.  Maybe.  Savor this moment, Isis.  It isn’t likely to happen again.

But of course, it’s not enough to make some sissy move like admitting a woman was right and he was wrong.  Being proved wrong calls for a manly act of manliness.  Preferably involving violence.

He brought his fist down on the table with a crash.

“I had the third one in my hands—but I let it go!”

“And I’m so angry that I need to smash this piece of the most amazing relic in the history of mankind!  That’ll teach me!  Stupid table that Noah and his family sat at every day!”

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TSoA: Chapter 40: You Suck, God

Thanks for bearing with me during my mini-hiatus.  I’m sure y’all were on the edge of your collective seat, just waiting to see what kinds of glorious treasures Murphy finds aboard the Really Real Ark.

Well, keep waiting, because it’s time for a Noah chapter.

Noah, you see, has been hard at work ever since God spoke to him personally, building the ark and ruining the lives of all his family members by making them work with/for him.

For one hundred.  And twenty.  YEARS.

And as though it’s not enough that they ripped down a forest and built a boat with it, and have nothing to look forward to but shoveling the shit of two of every kind, they also have to try to convert the entire planet.

Well, the entire planet that is within an approximately five-mile radius of their forest home.

I mean, seriously, God’s going to kill EVERYONE, and he’s not even giving Teh Intertubes to the one guy who got the news straight from the horse’s mouth?

Guess not.

Noah’s all angsty, because God spoke to him personally AGAIN, kindly letting Noah know (har) that there is one week left to go.

So it’s everybody’s last chance.

Absolutely the last.  Final.  Full stop.  Never again.  Cross my heart and hope to die.

-Queenie, Blackadder II, “Chains”

So Noah’s in bed, tossing and turning.  If drinking was okay with God, I’m sure he’d be drinking, and if he living in the 21st century, I’m sure he’d be listening to some nice, angsty, teen emo music.

For one hundred and twenty years he had warned everyone of God’s coming judgment for their wickedness.  He had begged them to turn from their evil thoughts and imaginations and come to the ark of safety.

Not a single man, woman, or child had heeded him.

Huh, thought Noah.  It’s almost as if this has all been completely futile.  And since God knows everything ahead of time…WAIT A MINUTE!!!

Pfft, silly me.  Almost had an independent thought there.  Better tamp it back down. 

There, that’s better.  Oh well, too bad about all those slaves and babies in their cribs.  Guess they’re just too sinful to avoid horrific drowning deaths.

But Noah goes for it one last time, because that’s the kind of idiot he is.  Unsurprisingly, no one listens.

On Flood Day, a bunch of people show up at the ark.  Why?  So they can jeer at Noah and then learn the error of their ways.  (For the few minutes they have left.)

God magically slams the door of the ark shut, then makes it rain:

Noah and his family couldn’t believe their eyes.  Water was falling out of the sky.  It had never rained on the earth before, and the sight was awesome to behold.

Um.

Really?

*snerk*

Okay, I know this is supposed to be the Very Serious Part where everyone dies (not that God gives a crap), but…

image

ZOMG WATER

And then everyone died.

The end.

Sadly no, it’s not the end.  Everyone dies gasping and shrieking for help because God didn’t speak to them like he spoke to Noah.

Yeah, God pretty much sucks.  A lot.

TSoA: Chapter 39: Ark Ark Ark Ark Ark Ark Ark

Needless to say, Murphy is quite happy that the ark is now in his sights.

He felt a huge mix of emotions he couldn’t describe: joy, wonder, awe, gratitude, humility.

He’s a Ph.D. and he can’t describe these emotions?  You’d think he could do.

The Nerd is the second person up:

“My God, Murphy, you found it.  There it is.  Noah’a Ark.”

“Okay, technically, we found it.  And we found it only after Obi-Wan very specifically told us where to look.  Still, though.”

This is a day I’ll feel good to be me.

-Mal Reynolds, a much better man that Michael Murphy

Everyone else is up now, and Murphy and Isis don’t say anything to each other because Phillips can’t think of anything they might say.

Murphy can think of things to say to Vern, though, and calls him on the satellite phone.

(btw, is this not the easiest gig Vern has ever had?  The rest of the team is crawling across fields of ice, being kidnapped, having their ropes cut by Talons, and he’s sitting with his feet up back at the hotel, ordering his fifth raki that hour.)

“Vern, are you sitting down?  We found it!”

“Are you kidding me?  I can’t believe it!  What does it look like?”

“Well, Vern, it’s big and brown and made of wood and shaped like a boat and—WHAT DO YOU THINK IT LOOKS LIKE???”

“Shaddup, Murph, don’t yell at me.”  *hic*  “Ya want me t’bring the copter up the mountain for you?  VROOOOM–”

“That’s fine, Vern.  Er, no rush.”

They all run down into the valley (of the dolls), laughing and throwing snowballs and shit.

It’s like Christmas, Isis thought with a smile.  And we’ve just been given the best present of all.

Pfft, Isis.  The best gift of all is cash money, and don’t you forget it.

We strangely cut away from Murphy’s POV, and get a peek inside the heads of three (and only three) of the other team members: the Nerd, the Dick, and Token Turk.  The Nerd and the Dick are all psyched and thinking worldy, unChristian thoughts about how jealous their colleagues will be.  The Dick is planning to write a book.  Token Turk has somewhat nicer thoughts: mainly pride that he saved lives on the trip.

We don’t find out what Fearless Gum-Popping Leader or Larry the Photo Guy are thinking.

Hmmmm…

Aaaanywho–

We naturally end on Murphy thanking God for the “privilege” of saving the ark just for him.

May I be a faithful teacher of right, living like Noah.

“Hmmm…teaching.  Why does that word sound so familiar?  DAMMIT!!! (Sorry, Lord)  That’s what I’m supposed to be doing with my days!”

So, guess it’s time for a Noah chapter.

Next time.

OT—

Speaking of Belle, last night’s Once Upon a Time made me cry a little on the inside.  Also on the outside.  Can we just give Robert Carlyle his gorram Emmy already???

I ship these two like a hopeless romantic schoolgirl.

TSoA: Chapter 38, Part 2, and Chapter 39, Part 1: Almost There

Now that Murphy has an actual plan for finding the ark, and has decided to do nothing about the murder in his ranks, there is nothing else to do but keep climbing.

They traverse an ice wall, and more trouble unfolds—the Dick slips and he and Token Turk (they were using the same rope) fall before an ice screw stops them.  Fearless leads the rescue effort to grab them and pull them to safety.

BORING

The Dick is understandably pissed that he almost died, and asks Murphy how the frak much farther is it to this gorram ark, already.

Murphy was gazing across the snowfield with a strange look on his face.  “Can’t you feel it?  We’re almost there.”

The Dick:  *sniffles*  I wanna go home.  It’s cold and it’s wet and I almost died and The Bachelor is on tonight.

But there is no going home.  Indeed, the rest of the team is “energized by Murphy’s sense that they were closing in on their goal.”

Really?  I would have thought that they’d be a bit freaked out by the mutterings of the fanatic who thinks he’s on a mission from God and doesn’t seem to give a damn that one person has already died.

Also, a blizzard is here, so they make ice caves.  They double (and triple) up in three caves:

  • Murphy, Isis, and Larry the Photo Guy
  • Fearless and the Nerd
  • The Dick and Token Turk

Murphy is sleeping with Isis and Larry (oh wowwwww…), and, since he has no imagination or ability to detect subtlety, must have a SUPER OBVIOUS dream about a “slim, red-haired angel with sparkling green eyes” who picks him up and flies around with him.

I get the feeling Bob Phillips was watching some classic superhero movies right before writing this scene:

This video is especially apropos, because the dream ends thusly:

There was a loud crack, like a rifle shot.  She screamed.  He felt her hand being plucked from his own.  Then they were both falling.

But it’s all okay!

Because as Murphy steps out of the ice cave in his slippers and bathrobe, stretches, belches, and looks for the morning paper…

HE SEES IT

Teh ark.

It is just that simple.

TSoA: Chapter 38, Part 1: Murphule Poirot

The A Team gets back to the inferior B Team and reports on Obi-Wan and his instructions on how to find the ark.

Everyone seemed to feel that the appearance of [Obi-Wan], so soon after they had made their decision to continue the quest, was a good omen.  The ark actually seemed to be in their sights.

Given that Murphy appears to have had no plan whatsoever as to what to do or where to go to find the ark, I’m surprised that the predominant feeling isn’t one of relief.  We’ve gone from “we’re gonna wander around the whole mountain…area” to “go to Specific Valley X.”  Seems an improvement.

But Murphy spares some thought for non-ark issues, such as: WHO IS THE KILLER???

Or possibly killerS, as me loyal readers have been quick to point out.

Thus Murphy puts the little grey cells (both of them) to work, thinking about each (living*) member of the team, “with the exception of Isis.”

Normally, excluding someone from suspicion would be a striking clue.  And it would be fucking incredible if Isis was the killer.

She’s not.

* Murphy clearly hasn’t read many mystery novels.  (They are, no doubt, sinful and “of the world.”)  If he had, he would know that being “presumed dead” does not necessarily exclude a person from being the killer or the killer’s accomplice.

Anyway, Murphy wonders if Token Turk had been in on the gunmen coming to the camp, then dismisses the thought because he rescued her.

He wonders if Fearless Gum-Popping Leader had cut Señor SEAL’s rope, then dismisses the thought because “despite their rivalry,” Fearless seems genuinely upset by Señor’s death.  (So Murphy thinks that Army/Navy rivalry tends to end in murder?  Wild.)

As for [the Nerd], he seemed to spend most of his time in near-death situations himself.

That’s all Murphy has to say about the Nerd.  Not only does the phrasing make it sound like almost-dying is the Nerd’s hobby, but Murphy fails to consider the possibility that the Nerd could be putting on a “helpless act,” to lull the other team members into a false sense of security before he kills them all.  Murphy also ignores the fact that it wasn’t just Fearless who had the opportunity to kill Señor SEAL—the Nerd did, too.

Murphy has nothing on Larry the Photo Guy except that he tends to stand apart from the group (yanno, because he’s taking pictures of them), though I am impressed that Murphy appears to have set aside his jealousy.  (Either that, or Phillips completely forgot that Larry has a crush on Isis.)

Which leaves the Dick, or, as Murphy calls him, “the enigma,” (???) who has “the weakest motivation for volunteering in the first place.”  Which confuses me a bit because back a few chapters ago, we learned that the Dick worked for the Turkish Ambassador.  Which means that the Dick had exactly the same motivation as Token Turk—they’re two sides of the same coin.

Whatever.

And, of course, Murphy can’t decide on the most likely culprit.

He would just have to watch everybody like a hawk.

Or like a Talon!

OR ororororor…it could be the wonderful old murder mystery reveal:

THEY ALLL DID IT!!!

Maybe.

Stay tuned.