TSoA: Chapter 42: The Big Bad
Well, I think it’s fitting to reveal the identity of our villain today, a very special day…
THE DAY WHEN THE EASTER CANDY WENT ON SALE!!!!!
*noms chocolate cross*
Vern tears himself away from his drunken stupor at the hotel and actually manages to fly to the ark. And no, we don’t get to see his reaction. We also don’t hear about any ark artifacts he takes with him. But we know he takes the entire team back to the other camp except Murphy, Fearless Gum-Popping Leader, and the Nerd.
…Murphy had been adamant. They had achieved what they set out to do. They had all the evidence they needed to prove the existence of the ark, and much else besides.
Remember this passage for the next book, everyone…
After all they’d been through, he was determined not to expose them to any further risk.
Oh, so NOW he’s concerned. Also, how does splitting up the team (again) reduce the risk? Isn’t this always the big mistake in slasher films?
Oh, well. Murphy, Fearless, and the Nerd hang out on the ark. (Wait, no Larry the Photo Guy? You’d think he would be the first person Murphy would want to stay with the ark.), and Fearless starts screwing with the set of stuff that burned Token Turk before. Fearless doesn’t touch the ouchie crystals–he instead messes about with metal rods inserted into the crystals, which make a burst of light when they touch each other. The Nerd posits that the set is “some type of battery energy source.” And from there, he thinks that the set, including the metal plates, is the Philosopher’s Stone—ALCHEMY!
But the Nerd thinks you wouldn’t want to make gold (or green) in this day and age—you’d want to make platinum, so you could make hydrogen fuel cells.
Murphy was already way ahead of him. “So if the Philosopher’s Stone could convert base metals into platinum, whoever controlled it could control the world’s supply of renewable energy. They would have the power to do whatever they wanted.” [Emphasis mine]
Leave it to our RTC “hero” to make renewable energy the root of all evil.
Well, this has been fun and all, but it’s time for Murphy to head off to the “pickup site” all alone.
(Fearless salutes Murphy as he goes, making this the second time in as many books that a military man has saluted our hero for no apparent reason.)
Yes, you read that right—after suddenly coming to care about the “risk” to his team, Murphy heads off alone, leaving Fearless and the Nerd alone.
This may not be the best plan Murphy has had all day.
So, it’s down to Fearless and the Nerd.
Oh, I won’t keep you in suspense.
THE BIG BAD WAS FEARLESS GUM-POPPING LEADER ALL THE TIME!!!
“I might as well tell you, since you’re not going to live to repeat it. I’m employed by certain people within the CIA who have believed for a long time that the ark might contain some useful technology. Technology that must at all costs be kept in the right hands. We’ve been planning our own clandestine expedition to find the ark, but our information has never been good enough to pinpoint it. Then up pops Murphy, and we decide the smart thing to do would be to piggyback. Let him lead the way.”
He killed Señor SEAL, natch, and is planning on killing everybody else, one by one. He calls this plan “a fairly tidy package,” but I’m gonna have to call bullshit on that one. I suppose he means that the CIA could clean up anything, but aren’t there way too many loose ends here—families…not to mention that two of your intended murder victims work for ambassadors.
Fearless snaps the Nerd’s neck, and gets a round of applause from…TALON…who has been secretly watching in a secretive, Talon-like way the whole time.
Wait…how did Talon follow them all the way here without being spotted…OR DID HE GET THERE FIRST???
Talon, you magnificent bastard!
Talon and Fearless face off like the two macho beasts that they are. Fearless tries to get all fancy-schmancy with kicks and stuff, but Talon is having none of it…not when he can employ Bob Phillips’ favorite move ever—THE REVERSE PUNCH!!!
I’m going to start a reverse punch count in the next book.
But for now, Talon smashes the crap out of Fearless’s chest, which promptly kills him because Talon is a stone killer. (What, no Finger of Doom? No high-altitude attack falcons?)
Sadly, no. But the upshot of all this is that Talon is now on the ark, and has Tubal-Cain’s Singing Sword.
Which all sounds very bad-ass, except HOW IS TALON THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE???
My head hurts.