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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Posted on March 24, 2013, in Books, The Secret on Ararat. Bookmark the permalink. 26 Comments.

  1. It’s like they took the worst aspects of Indiana Jones’s, uh, “adventurous” approach to archaeology and magnified it tenfold with their complete disregard for the world around them. An ice axe? Seriously? That’s how he treats a part of one of the most important archaeological finds of his career, something for which the words “holy relic” are quite possibly an understatement? Even Indiana Jones would wait for a convenient Nazi to punch to take out his frustrations, rather than part of the site.

    In a sensible world, governments worldwide should be racing to bar Murphy from even entering the country, much less letting him near sites of historical and archaeological interest. I can just imagine him finding a scroll of some ancient Greek philosopher’s lost writings, or a Mayan codex, or something, and deciding to use it as kindling because they don’t reinforce the Bible enough for him to care about their actual value.

    • *sigh* why is it that consistency between the books only gets applied to dumb-assery? Murphy (and his late wife, What’s-Her-Face) was pretty smash-happy in the first book too.

      Because in archaeology, what’s important is always what’s inside the container, never the container itself. *facepalm*

      • Well, at least DiNallo had the forethought to admit that under normal circumstances, they’d have been trying to preserve the amphoras themselves.

        In this case, meanwhile? Phillips and LaHaye are probably under the impression that the Ark IN AND OF ITSELF, plus the lost technology of what’s basically Atlantis, are what’s important. A single fallen beam and a discrete chest? The beam’s already ruined, and the chest isn’t actually PART of the Ark. How are they themselves going to bring home the concept of impending judgement? Seeking knowledge for its own sake probably strikes LaHaye as worshiping the creation instead of the creator, anyway.

        • “How are they themselves going to bring home the concept of impending judgement?”

          Go to Main Engineering, fire up the reactor, get to the cockpit, transform to a suitable travel mode..Simple!

    • Headless Unicorn Guy

      I can just imagine him finding a scroll of some ancient Greek philosopher’s lost writings, or a Mayan codex, or something, and deciding to use it as kindling because they don’t reinforce the Bible enough for him to care about their actual value.

      That’s the difference between archaeology and ARK-ology.

  2. “And X never, never, marks the spot.”

    I suppose if Murph’s messing about here at least he isn’t in Greece or China or somewhere.

    • Well, it didn’t here. Looking at the map, finding the X and then following the path to the X would be too much work for Murphy, he needs pseudo-angels rolling out the red carpet from his starting point to the destination, else he’s stumped.

  3. “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.”

    It sounds like God is a homicidal maniac on a killing spree with a gun which doesn’t have a maximum range, but it has a minimun range. In that case God can’t hit targets that are next to Him. Therefore, by running towards Him you have more chance of survival than by running away from Him. 😛

    • Ooh, Hunt for Red October-style. It’s probably too much to hope that god’ll blow himself up with his deadly miracles, right?

    • Headless Unicorn Guy

      “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.”

      Young Earth Creationism (including Noah’s Ark as an actual artifact) and Pre-Trib Rapture Eschatology are usually found together.

      • I’d love it if Murphy dragged the Ark home for all to see, and then get his thunder stolen by Levi, who’ll claim that this is obviously proof of Judaism, and that the whole world should be Jewish and join him in waiting for the Messiah (which is all Jews in RTC-fiction ever do). While Murphy stutters ‘no… no, the Messiah already came, don’t you see, why aren’t you listening, JESUS MAN!’

  4. “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.”

    As a good, godly man, of course Noah understood that he didn’t matter all that much in god’s great plan. So he left the weapons to find for those who really matter in his plan: 20th to 21st century American Christians.

  5. Foreign guy burns himself by greedily handling mysterious fire-rocks? I’m getting Twelve to the Moon flashbacks here, people, and that is NOT GOOD.

  6. So why does Isis have to be dragged away from the writing? Murphy had no problem splitting up the party when there was evidence of bad guys being around but now that they are all in a probably safe place they have to stick together? Or maybe Murphy just needs a maximum audience to witness his awesomely manly archeological skills – no namby pamby little brushes and tiny excavating tools for this guy.

    Now that they’ve actually found the ark I think the photo guy is going to die next. Talon or the Seven or whoever might want Murphy to find the ark for them but I don’t think they want evidence of it to get out to the rest of the world.

    • Hmmmmm, yeah. Just where are the bad guys at this point?

      Are they following Murph’s mob closely? In which case Murph should have grown a bullet in his head as soon as the ark was uncovered.

      Are they nearby but not on top of Team SuperMurph? Why? What are they planning to do from there?

      • Actually, if the decks are intact enough, they could indeed be nearby AND on top of Team SuperMurph. But I like to think they’re hiding in the bird cages, for some perverse reason. (Yes, the prepositional phrase is ambiguous, and I like it that way.)

      • To make an educated guess where the bad guys are, we’d have to have some idea of what their plan is. Why do they want the ark found? Do they want to destroy it? Do they think it’ll give them power?

        If I’d have been a mortal enemy of Born Again Bible Believing Christians (oh, right, I’m an atheist, so I am, according to the BABBCs) I’d have killed the super-awesome Murphy, since no one else is super-awesome enough to find the ark. Failing that, trail him, then use your evil contacts in islamic and/or europian governments to get a fighters to carpet bomb the Ark once found, with Murphy still in it.

        But the Seven have never shown signs of inteligence before, so why should they start now?

  7. She gasped at the implication hit her. “This could be the oldest writing ever recorded!”

    *epic facepalm*

    No, lady. The Ark doesn’t even exist and you’ve already hinted to Murphy that the thing he’s got in his hands is a fake. The Hebrew on it could be faked, too.

  8. I vote token turk as our baddie, that’s why his hands got burnt.

  9. What boggles me most from in-setting thinking (may Cthulhu spare me from further such torment) is that Murphy is completely ignoring the writing. Which could lead them to more relics. Sure, you’ve got these, but if you want to keep finding more, why don’t you fucking read what got scribbled on the wall? Even if it just turns out to be “Out to find out if I can milk the ostriches, brb”. That doesn’t mean the other artifacts you’ve got now are going to get up and wander away while you’re translating.

    • I gotta agree, the captain’s log of the Ark would be fascinating reading. “Day 6: Vessel remains seaworthy, crew and cargo alive and well, in continued violation of every physical law known or knowable to man. Had my six hundredth birthday today, the big 6-0-0. Come to think of it, that’s pretty F’ed up as well.”

    • For that matter, the very phrase “the writing on the wall” comes from the Book of Daniel. You would think Murphy might have at least learned something from that. Like, maybe, “read the bloody writing on the wall, you fool!”

    • But that might become a trailer to get people to read the next book! And it’s not time for that yet!

    • I think even RTCs don’t compress history so much that they think Noah was contemporary with any other big artifacts mentioned in the Bible, and would have known where they are. And if the artifacts aren’t prominently featured in the Bible, Murphy just doesn’t give a rat’s ass.

  1. Pingback: Deconstruction Round Up, March 30th, 2013 | The Slacktiverse

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