TEC: Chapter 6: MENE!!!
“Okay, can it, everybody—plot’s back.”
-Joel, MST3K, Catalina Caper
Now that we’ve reset everything and put the characters where they belong, it’s time to talk about the MacGuffin. Meth’s envelope actually contained nothing but plaster. The plaster, now only pieces and dust, might have once been something, but Meth’s stupidly-dangerous and complicated plan made Murphy crumple the envelope, possibly destroying what was inside.
But it basically doesn’t matter to Murphy, who has been thinking about the scale and words back in Colorado.
And I will add here that I find it more than a little bit creepy that Shari has apparently begun referring to Michael Murphy as “Murphy,” not “Professor Murphy” as in the past books. Because his dead wife, Laura, called him “Murphy.” More and more, Murphy (and, it seems, LaHaye and Phillips) are blurring the lines between dead wife and alive research assistant.
Murphy (after the fact, now that he won’t get in trouble) tells Shari about the adventure in Colorado, and hypothesizes that the words are “referring to the head of the golden statue that Nebuchadnezzar built. The same one that was taken to the Parchments of Freedom Foundation.”
“You remember, Shari, when you were smacking around your wounded ‘boyfriend?'”
“Methuselah was giving me directions to another find. It must be located 375 meters directly northeast of where we found the golden head.”
…”Hold on to your pigtails. I think you’re going to like this. I think it might be the Handwriting on the Wall that was mentioned in Daniel, Chapter Five.“
Man, imagine if Murphy had to do his own research and searching. Good thing he has this atheist around to point him to locations that actually have Biblical finds!
So Murphy clues in the clueless readers (through the clueless Shari) on what the handwriting on the wall actually says:
“It said, ‘MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.'”
Geez, no need to yell about it, Murphy!
Murphy explains what it all means, and I’ll just cite one of Phillips’ favorite sources, Wikipedia.
And he explains that the plaster is probably from the very wall on which God wrote the words. Which means Methuselah already found the gorram wall with the writing, so this entire expedition of Murphy’s is just for show.
The chapter ends with Murphy calling Isis in D.C. He asks her to meet him in New York for the weekend.
Nope, it’s not for sexy fun times, but just for more Biblical stuff. Yet Phillips tells us that Isis has just been literally waiting by the phone for Murphy, and that “hearing his voice had sent a thrill through her.” Which is pretty impressive seeing as how Murphy has put her life on the line multiple times, while hiding his true feelings and not giving her any of the credit. But it’s important for us to know that Isis is just sitting there looking pretty, waiting. As a woman should.