TEC: Chapter 23:Wikipedia and Well-Oiled Machines

After the terribly romantic, three-wheeled dinner, Levi has a “late appointment.”  Murphy offers to drive him, in a rental car, to this super-sekrit Mossad meeting.

After dropping off Isis at the hotel, of course.  Because this is all “men talk,” remember.

Bob Phillips proudly takes up Jerry Jenkins’ mantle of Provider of Travel Minutiae:

Murphy drove north and then turned east on 62nd Street to the FDR Drive.

“Michael, take the toll bridge over to Randalls Island Park and then highway 278 into the Bronx.  I need to meet my contact near Hunts Point Market.”

But Phillips also knows to stick with his strengths: regurgitating useless trivia…

Murphy had been to Hunts Point on one other occasion, on the way to the Bronx Zoo with some friends.

Murphy has friends?

They wanted him to see one of the largest food distribution centers in the United States.  He remembered them saying that it provided produce and meat for more than 15 million people.

Yes, Murphy always enjoyed hanging out with his good buddy, Wik I. Pedia, Esq.

Not to be outdone, part-time Mossad agent Levi Abrams is deep into useless trivia, too:

“Did you know that a number of famous people came from the Bronx? … Regis Philbin, Carl Reiner, and even Colin Powell.  I met him in Israel.  …  I also heard that the movie actors James Caan and Tony Curtis, along with Bobby Darin, the singer, and Ralph Lauren, the designer and perfume guy, lived there.  I think Al Pacino and Neil Simon came from the Bronx, too.”

What a story, Levi.

In a move of almost unbelievable stupidity and selfishness, Levi instructs his civilian friend in a rental car to make a series of painfully obvious signals to Levi’s spy pal, Jacob, in another car.  They hop into Jacob’s car, where Levi casually informs Jacob that civilian Murphy can be absolutely trusted with all their terrorism-fighting secrets.  These secrets include the names of the terrorists we met in the last chapter, including Asim, who “looks like a short Saddam.”

I’m frankly surprised that all Arabs don’t look like Saddam to these guys.

The only other information is that a vague attack is vaguely planned for New York, but they haven’t been able to decode anything else yet, because I guess they suck.

Then the guys go around the block to find the third sekrit squirrel Mossad agent, Matthew.  Sadly, Matthew has met a sticky end from a terrorist knifing, and Jacob concludes that they need to go after the terrorists RIGHT DAMN NOW, in the middle of the night, in an unfamiliar neighborhood, without backup.

Except for Murphy.  He wants to go.  And they let him.  Even though Murphy doesn’t have a gun and they don’t have a spare.

And it’s no problem, really, because the terrorists live in a building on that very block.  Again, you’d think that would be a great reason to stay put and call in reinforcements, but no, they all just barge up there and break in.

Abrams rounded the corner of the door with his gun read for action…


The first suspected terrorist (I’m going to start calling them Arab #X, because that is basically how Murphy thinks of them) is knocked out by Levi’s gun as he sleeps in front of the TV.

Then, despite Murphy’s impression that Levi and Jacob are “like a well-oiled machine” of terrorist-fighting, Jacob is immediately shot in the thigh by Arab #2, allowing Murphy to step in and, much like Batman, take down the terrorist without using a gun.  Instead, he uses his “twisting karate fist” to one-punch the terrorist into unconsciousness.

Jacob concludes that Arabs 3-7 are at some bar (because these are extra-specially evil terrorists who are religious zealots but still drink the demon liquor).  So in the meantime, Levi pulls the old scratch-on-the-pad-of-paper-to-see-the-previous-page schtick (I remember seeing it for the first time as a kid in North by Northwest, but I’m sure there are  prior incidents), and all that is there is the word “Presidio.”

Levi thinks this might refer to the Presidio military base, but Murphy knows better:

“There is also a sleepy little town called Presidio in Texas.  It’s on the border between Texas and Mexico.  The Rio Grande runs between Presidio on the American side and Ojinaga on the Mexican side.  Presidio has grown to about six or seven thousand people due to the amnesty program for undocumented aliens.  During the Mexican Revolution, General Pancho Villa used Ojinaga as his headquarters for operations.  It would be a perfect place to infiltrate the border.”

Okay, first of all, thanks again, old pal

During the Mexican Revolution, General Pancho Villa often used Ojinaga as his headquarters for operations and visited Presidio on numerous occasions.[citation needed]

Second of all, hasn’t the border already been infiltrated?  I mean, seven terrorists are lodging in the Bronx and have already killed a Mossad agent in their free time.

Oh, and speaking of the terrorists, while Murphy was expositioning, Arab #1 has woken up, and he jumps Levi.  So Levi breaks his nose.  As you would.

What a well-oiled machine, eh?  Didn’t even occur to them to restrain the guy.

And they still don’t.  Nope, that broken nose didn’t automatically kill the grown man, like you would expect.  Instead, Arab #1 makes a run for it, and before any of the three other men in the room can stop him (really?), Arab #1 has jumped out the window onto the fire escape, and makes for the roof.

So Jacob is left with one gun, in case any of the other FIVE terrorists come back (or Arab #2, also not restrained, wakes up, I guess), and Levi and Murphy give chase.

Well-oiled machine.



Posted on April 23, 2016, in The Europa Conspiracy. Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. I’m frankly surprised that all Arabs don’t look like Saddam to these guys.

    Well obviously the ones who look like Saddam are all those without big beards. The ones with big beards all look like bin Laden to them.

  2. (because these are extra-specially evil terrorists who are religious zealots but still drink the demon liquor)

    This does fit LaHaye’s (ironic) thesis that only Real True Christians actually give a shit about their beliefs and aren’t just mouthing platitudes they don’t follow.

  3. Second of all, hasn’t the border already been infiltrated? I mean, seven terrorists are lodging in the Bronx and have already killed a Mossad agent in their free time

    Yeah, but this way LaHaye can drum up fear of muslims living in the US AND illegal immigrants. Surely logic and sense are small prices to pay for more efficient fearmongering.

  4. Why are we dealing with muslim terrorists now? What the fuck do they have to do with the story, such as it is, of this series? Yeah, the Seven (they stop at nothing!) were a silly villain group, born out of right-wing fever dreams, but at least it was clear they were the villains of the story.

    And then there’s these assholes all of the sudden. A group of villains who have nothing whatsoever to do with Murphy’s quest for biblical artifacts or the antichrist-preparing secret conspiracy. And the only reason they’re part of this story is because Murphy’s Israeli commando friend insists on getting a ride from his unarmed civilian friend to foil a terrorist group on U.S. soil. Instead of, oh I dunno, some actual U.S. enforcement agencies? Those got to have a few agents that aren’t busy suppressing files on biblical artifacts.

    Maybe we’ll learn that this terrorist group is being manipulated by the Seven to create an indicent in the U.S. that’ll be used as an excuse to curtail freedoms or take away guns or something, but it’s all still pretty weaksauce. And it’s silly to use a group that your enemies despise anyway. Talon’s attempts to make Murphy’s church look like a bomb factory was ill-conceived, but was at least trying to frame the right party.

    • My suspicion? LaHaye wanted to put some evil Arabs in the story, and Phillips was additionally worried that the story of trying to find the writing on the wall wouldn’t be exciting enough (he wasn’t wrong).

  5. Good grief! Who cares what famous people came from the Bronx? And would it have killed him to just say “There’s also a town on the Texas border called Presidio”? Nobody in the real world talks like a Wikipedia article. It’s nothing but padding.

    • And I have to admit to some surprise that tough guy Mossad agent Levi cares AT ALL about Regis Philbin or Ralph Lauren.

    • Patrick Phelan

      Absolutely the first thing I noticed; people might talk like a book if they’ve studied it a lot, but that book is unlikely to be the encyclopedia. I’ve made a hobby in these comments of trying to tone up the dialogue while including everything to “not great, but passable” to see how easy it is, and it’s always… depressingly, “why didn’t they try” easy.

      “No, no, I mean, you’d think that, Presidio Military Base, but that’s because you’re military. Think like a civilian, even a civilian terrorist… There’s a town called Presidio in Texas. Right where the Rio Grande marks the border. Town on the other side’s called Ojinaga, and Pancho Villa used that town as his headquarters for operations… If you want to infiltrate the US border, that’s a fine place to do it. Heck, some people’d say it’s already been done, the town’s bigger than it’s ever been after the amnesty program for illegals.”

      There you are, Bob Phillips, I even toned up your little racism jab to be more piercing, and that took about three minutes, including editing “Hell” into “Heck” before Tim LaHaye gets upset at the foulest of language.

  6. “Hey, Murphy, we want you to see one of the largest food distribution centers in the United States. Hey, is that a biblical artefact down there in the packaging machine? Better lean over and get a closer look. I’ll hang on to your belt.” (And the rest was cut-price dogfood.)

    And this is the sort of thinking that gives lots of military aid to Israel: not because they’ve thought about the geopolitics and weighed up the pros and cons, but because Israelis are cool and they’re fighting Arabs.

    Ivan: yes, this feels like a section from an entirely different book. Even by his own standards, Murphy is an Action Archaeologist, not a Super Soldier; he doesn’t belong here.

  1. Pingback: Deconstruction Roundup for April 29th, 2016 | The Slacktiverse

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